28 April 2006

I want JBoss to have my babies

I've spent the past week basically reading every J2EE and EJB article I could find, as well as ordering some O'Reilly books on the subjects. Been playing a bit with JBoss and NetBeans to get things going and I am really impressed. Today we had a webex demo with the JBoss group and I am seriously just amazed at all they offer, for free.

Now knowing what J2EE and EJB can do in a serious business environment, I realize that I've been living in the minor leagues. I'm definitely pumped about getting into this full-thrust.

25 April 2006

Tilting at Windmills

Just read a great op-ed piece in the Washington Post, (free) registration may be required. It touches on how "environmentalists" are some of the biggest opponents to wind farms.

Tilting at Windmills: "In Western Maryland, a proposal to build wind turbines alongside a coal mine, on a heavily logged mountaintop next to a transmission line, has just been nixed by state officials who called it too environmentally damaging. Along the coast of Nantucket, Mass. -- the only sufficiently shallow spot on the New England coast -- a coalition of anti-wind groups and summer homeowners, among them the Kennedy family, also seems set to block Cape Wind, a planned offshore wind farm."

Scott McClellan's Replacement: AOL Instant Messenger Bot SmarterChild.

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Scott McClellan's Replacement: AOL Instant Messenger Bot SmarterChild.

I honestly can't tell the difference.

13 April 2006

Ten Variables That Affect Compliance

Got this from a friendly child psychologist for dealing with children:

  1. Using a Question Format -- The use of questions instead of direct requests reduces compliance. For example, "Would you please stop teasing?" is less effective than "I need you to stop teasing."
  2. Distance -- It is better to make a request from up close (i.e. 1 meter, one desk distance) than from longer distances (i.e. 7 meters, across the classroom.
  3. Eye Contact -- It is better to look into the child's eyes or ask the child to look into your eyes than to not make eye contact.
  4. Two Requests -- It is better to give the same request only twice than to give it several times (i.e. nag). Do not give many different requests rapidly (i.e., "Please give me your homework, please behave today, and do not tease the girl in front of you").
  5. Loudness of Request -- It is better to make a request in a soft but firm voice than a loud voice (i.e. yelling when making a request to get attention).
  6. Time -- Give the student time to comply after giving a request (3 to 5 seconds). During this short interval, do not converse with the child (arguing, excuse making), restate the request or make a different request. Simply look the child in the eyes and wait for compliance.
  7. More Start Requests instead of Stop Requests -- It is better to make more positive requests for a child to start an appropriate behavior (e.g. "Please start your arithmetic assignment"). It is better to make fewer negative requests for a child to stop a misbehavior (i.e. "Please stop arguing with me.").
  8. Nonemotional instead of Emotional Requests -- It is better to control negative emotions when making a request (e.g. yelling, name calling, guit-inducing statements, and roughly handling a child). Emotional responses decrease compliance and make the situation worse.
  9. Descriptive Requests -- Requests that are positive and descriptive are better than ambiguous or global requests (i.e. "Please sit in your chair, with your feet on the floor, hands on your desk, and look at me" is better than "Pay attention").
  10. Reinforce Compliance -- It is too easy to request a behavior from a child and then ignore the positive result. If you want more compliance, genuinely reinforce it.

06 April 2006

Harry Taylor is my Hero

Think Progress » Bush Event Goes Off Script: "And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself."

04 April 2006

xgl is the <3


Check out some of the demo movies there. This stuff is fantastic. Granted some of the things you can do are things that I personally wouldn't want to do (like watching a semi-transparent movie playing on top of another movie) but it is definitely "cool."