Posts Tagged ‘news’

Apple Insults Developers at WWDC

My news feed today was full of news about Apple’s WWDC. And it is no surprise. However, I am getting more and more concerned about Apple’s leadership. Reading Bloomberg, I felt that Apple is focused on Google rather than making existing and new customers happy. Users and developers are just a tool to beat Google. But it should have been clear for Apple executives that their customers fill Apple’s pockets for good products, not Google. I guess, Apple clearly belongs to the group of companies that work to try to charge more. I thought this is my opinion that might be wrong.

But later I read another article on Barron’s that appeared to be more disturbing to me. According to Barron’s, Tim Cook dropped this phrase of the day in front of a crowd of loyal Apple developers:

Only Apple could make such amazing hardware, software and services.

I guess, in Apple’s opinion, no one in the audience at WWDC (those who grow Apple’s ecosystem) is capable of making software better than Apple does. Unless they are employed by Apple. Let consumers decide what is amazing and what is not. Okay, this is about the insult. The injury (kind of)? Used MacBooks flooded the market. Yesterday’s treasure is today’s trash. I wonder how much an average Apple customer spends to get comparable functionality available on other platforms.

All above is my opinion as a user of Apple products.

Categories: companies, Mac OS, news Tags: , ,

Eclipse Takes the Lead

March 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Two years ago I was complaining about how heavy IDEs are. Not sure if any of Eclipse contributors read my blog, but it looks like Eclipse is taking the lead in this area. The Eclipse Foundation readies a browser-based IDE.

While this is still a baby step targeting only HTML and JavaScript development, it is in the right direction. While to my knowledge Eclipse will become the first browser-based IDE, it is not the first web-based development tool. Yahoo Pipes and content management systems are just a couple of examples. If you know other good examples, please let me know.

This is what I would like to see next.

RSS Feeds and Bloomberg (and other sites with no RSS)

June 12, 2011 18 comments

For some reason back in 2006 Bloomberg disabled its RSS feeds. So I started to follow Bloomberg less frequently. But Bloomberg offers good news. So I decided to look into this again. Bloomberg still does not offer RSS feeds, but another site does. I found Feed43 (Feed for free).

But first, a couple of words about Bloomberg. It has sites for some keywords –<keyword>. For example, (since I wanted to follow the Belarus financial crisis). It makes it easier to get news on a specific topic.

Now all you have to do is to get an RSS feed out of it. This is where Feed43 helps. It allows you to create a feed from a URL after you describe the URL so it could extract your news. It is free and you do not even have to register to use it.

Here are step by step instructions how to do this with an example:

Step 1: Specify source page address (URL)

  1. Provide a URL:
  2. Specify the encoding in necessary: <leave empty>
  3. Click “Reload”.
  4. It extracts the page contents.
  5. Please note, it removes leading and trailing spaces. This is critical to know when you configure other parameters in the next steps.

Step 2: Define extraction rules.

  1. Provide the Global Search Pattern. This is where your news block starts and ends: <h2>Belarus News</h2>{*}<ul>{%}</ul>
  2. Here the {*} indicates any character, which is used in this case to suppress spaces, {%} indicates the news block itself.
  3. Provide Item (repeatable) Search Pattern. This is the structure of your news item: <li>{*}<h3><a href=”{%}”>{%}</a></h3>{*}<p>{%}</p>{*}</li>
  4. As you can see, here the first {%} stands for the news URL, the second {%} stands for the title, and the third one stands for the news body. These variables will be converted to {%1}, {%2}, and {%3} respectively.
  5. Hit “Extract”.
  6. Now it extracts your news items.

Step 3: Define output format.

  1. RSS feed properties are easy.
  2. Feed Title (should be populated automatically): Belarus News – Bloomberg
  3. Feed Link:
  4. Feed Description: Belarus News – Bloomberg
  5. RSS item properties refer to the variables you extracted.
  6. Item Title Template (news title): {%2}
  7. Item Link Template (news link): {%1}
  8. Item Content Template (news body): {%3}
  9. Click “Preview” and you will see the extracted news.

Step 4. Get your RSS feed.

  1. Feed43 generates you an XML file with your RSS feed, which you can link to in your RSS aggregator.
  2. If you are picky, you can rename your feed.

The concept is very simple and easy to implement. The only missing thing is ability to get a publication date. But it is not always available and it requires a more complex configuration.


Dec 12, 2011 (update): It looks like Bloomberg has changed formatting. I will take a look at it with a couple of days to update the information above. But the purpose of this post was to provide some guidance, not very specific way. Stay tuned.

Dec 14, 2011 (update): One of the blog visitors suggested that this pattern should now work for the news item (step 3): <li>{*}<h3><a href=”{%}”>{%}</a></h3>{*}<p>{%}</p>{*}</li>

Dec 03, 2012 (update): I’ve got a lot of feedback recently that this no longer works. I tested it and it does work. Just use the standard double quote in #3 (Step 2). Do not just copy and paste! For some reason, WordPress tries to be too smart.

Dec 03, 2012 (update 2): Another example: Apple Technology News.

Step 1:
1. URL:

Step 2:

1. <h2>More Apple News</h2>{*}<ul>{%}</ul>

3. <li>{*}<a href=”{%}”{*}>{%}</a>{*}</li>

The rest is the same. Don’t forget there are simple double quotes in #3 above.

Categories: news, productivity, tricks Tags: , , ,

Epsilon Data Breach

April 4, 2011 1 comment

Epsilon reported a data breach on Friday. This breach made a lot of shock waves last a few days as new information about impacted clients became known. Banks, retailers, you name it. I received an email Saturday morning informing me that my first and last name along with my email address were exposed (what a wonderful news for Saturday morning, isn’t it!?).

What is disturbing to me is how this breach was communicated. While it is good that I was notified, the notification I received was confusing. It stated that I may start getting spam. What is not clear to me whether information linking an email address to an Epsilon customer was exposed. This creates a possibility of more dangerous attacks – phishing – where you start getting emails “on behalf of” an Epsilon customer prompting users to reveal more information, for example, “You heard our database was breached. Please click *this link* to reset your password”. This information was not communicated at all and it may not be very obvious to the users of Epsilon customers.

Categories: companies, news Tags: , , , ,

John Zimmerman, originator of JAI, dies at the age of 58

February 16, 2011 3 comments

I have learned a sad news. John Zimmerman, who conceived and led the Java Advanced Imaging (JAI), died last Wednesday, February 9th at the age of 58 from kidney cancer. John left Sun Microsystems in 2004. At the time of John’s tenure at Sun Microsystems, the JAI support group was the best group at Sun that cared a lot about its users responding quickly and clearly to all questions. JAI, a well designed and very powerful Java library for image processing, is a trace John left behind. JAI was/is used in many industries from space to drug research. John will be largely missed.

Social Networking + Cloud Computing = …

July 7, 2010 1 comment

This news is more than two months old, but I found it noteworthy. Back in March Microsoft moved its suite of Office applications into the cloud. That was a prerequisite of the following step. In April a Microsoft lab cross-pollinated Facebook and Microsoft Office, thus allowing to use social networking for collaboration on Microsoft Office documents.  Well, this is more than one year after Google released its Facebook application for Google Docs. Nonetheless, this is a brilliant application of social networking besides sharing photos, posting statuses, and so on. I want to see a software development application on Facebook next!

NetBeans 6.9 is out

It looks like it was released yesterday since stopped to open properly in FireFox on my Mac. The Java bundle contains with GlassFish Server (J2EE, not OpenESB) v 3.0.1 as well as Apache Tomcat 6.0.26.

Categories: open-source Tags: , , ,