On Not | Mo Chit

December 16, 2004

Off The Record Encryption Those guys at Slashdot are still good for something. Off-The-Record Messaging is an encryption protocol with some very nice properties for instant messaging. As per their website: 1) Encryption (thank goodness) 2) Authentication 3) Deniability, and 4) Perfect Forward Secrecy.

I'll have to read this in depth to understand what's going on here, but this is exactly what I want to add to Gush. I knew holding off implementing PGP for Gush would pay off. I hope this isn't too good to be true.
Posted by Dudley at 10:10 PM

December 14, 2004

SMS for Coffee Ryan Freebern has a great idea for improving service at Starbucks. Forget waiting in line, just order via SMS, pay via SMS, and get an SMS message when your coffee is ready. He's offering to sell the idea to Starbucks for a low price $10,000. Ryan, I think you left out a zero.

I've got an addition to the idea. How about sending your picture with your order (assuming you have a camera phone) so that the Starbucks flunkies can deliver your coffee to you where you're sitting. I guess the same thing could be done using GPS, but we're trying to be realistic.
Posted by Dudley at 04:54 PM

December 13, 2004

Expediting packages Remember the good-old days when Outpost used to ship stuff overnight for free if the purchase was for more than $50? Those days are gone, and now I actually have to pay for shipping.

I'm cheap so I usually get ground shipping for stuff I order online. Sometimes I'll splurge on the shipping if I'm really impatient. Invariably after I order something to be shipped ground, I started checking the status of the package, and then wish that I had shipped it second day air.

I think FedEx and UPS ought to have an option on the package tracking so that you can pay more money to have it delivered sooner. Imagine the extra cash they could make around the holidays.
Posted by Dudley at 06:49 PM

December 12, 2004

Request for new PubSub attribute My latest query is for anything to do with FreeBSD. I'm getting lots of interesting results, but the problem is that a lot of posts mentioning FreeBSD are not in English. Even the posts that are in English aren't always easy to follow.

It would be nice to be able to specify the language in the query. For example:
I'm sure this is easier said than done. It's at this point that I wish that every RSS/Atom document specified the xml:lang attribute.
Posted by Dudley at 04:56 PM

December 11, 2004

Update Blogging has become pretty sporadic around here. From time to time there's something that I come across in the newsreader that may be worth posting about but then I realize that someone else has already posted about it (that's why I'm reading about it in my newsreader). Also, the whole photoblogging thing seems to be more interesting as well to me. I can take a picture, it can be absolutely crappy, but it's still wholly original.

However, there's hope for Going Nowhere. The plan is start blogging more about Gush development. I think it's good to let people see some of our thought process, and hopefully with some reader comments along the way, we could make adjustments to "features" before they become bugs in the next release.

So what's so great about the new release? First, tons of performance improvements in the UI. Wes found a hidden feature in Flash that makes the program 10x faster! Actually, that's not true. He's just re-written anything that's list-based like the roster, the news panel, and the newsreader. The new list code is at least an order of magnitude better than the old code. People will finally be able to load as many feeds into the news panel without having a Cray as their desktop machine. We did all of this because we want Danny back!

The other thing that's finally done is Gush's (Text Conferencing) implementation. It's really a thing of beauty, if I do say so myself. It pretty much supports all the features as outlined in the MUC specification. Well, we haven't gotten the stuff working where a one-to-one conversation gets turned into a conference room. Then again, I'm not sure if any of the server implementations support it either. I've tested our MUC implementation against most of the servers that I can get my hands on, and I was surprised by the number of implementations that don't support list operations for editing owners, admins, etc.

Those are some of the exciting updates. At this point all I have to do is put up a screenshot, and then the next version officially becomes vaporware.

Some things outlined in our roadmap are not going to make it into the next release. We're kicking ourselves about it, but that's the reality of developing software. There's some other software realities that I want to rant and rave about, but not in this post and not today. Like my dad says, "Don't spill all your candy is the lobby."
Posted by Dudley at 09:45 PM

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