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Interview With Jeremy Howard of 135

Siker writes "In a world of giants such as Gmail and Rackspace, email service provider is somehow doing great, with signups above the million mark and reliability above four 9s. Email Service Guide interviews Jeremy Howard, founder of, to find out how. Also covered are the company's contributions to Open Source software such as Cyrus-IMAP and Thunderbird. Jeremy discusses the future of IMAP, how open protocols help, and why he thinks SLAs from email providers are a con."

Canadian Minister Lies On Net Surveillance Claims 155

An anonymous reader writes "As we discussed last month, the Canadian government has introduced Internet surveillance legislation that requires ISPs to disclose customer information without a warrant. Peter Van Loan, the Minister in charge, claims that a Vancouver kidnapping earlier this year shows the need for these powers. Michael Geist did some digging and revealed this as a lie — the Vancouver police acknowledge that the case did not involve an ISP request and the suspect is now in custody."

Comment Re:Scala (Score 3, Interesting) 491

I am surprised how they manage to get scala to perform so much worse than pure java.

Scala does generate optimized Java byte code. Pretty much any Java code can be directly ported to Scala with nearly identical performance.

The Scala benchmarks perform worsethan Java's, on average, for two main reasons. The first is that some of the tasks have been implemented using higher level code (think memory allocation and closure generation), trading conciseness for performance. The second is that the Scala benchmarks haven't been tuned and tweaked to the extent that the Java ones have.

Then there are a couple benchmarks where Scala's performance is hugely worse than Java. This seems to be because the Java benchmark was implemented using optimized native libraries (big integers as I recall) or using a better algorithm. Again, Scala could achieve equivalent performance in principle, but someone needs to invest the time to update the benchmark implementations.

Comment Re:Good thinking, (Score 1) 324

For people like me, without Scala the JVM wouldn't even be under consideration, though I admit that Java has been more usable since it got generics.

The creator of Scala, Martin Odersky, was instrumental in the design and development of Java's generics. I believe he is also responsible for (some version of) Sun's javac implementation.

For a reference, see

In my opinion, Scala is excellent. So far I've used Scala to generate code which leverages NVIDIA GPU's for computational physics. I've also used Scala to do simple combinatorics and text processing. The latter is particularly pleasant -- a parser-combinator framework is included in the standard library which makes it a snap to define and process arbritrary grammars. My biggest frustration with Scala has been the somewhat spotty IDE support (compared to Java). However, the situation is improving and decent plugins for Eclipse, Netbeans and IDEA are all on the horizon.

Comment Re:As the head instructional tech guy at my colleg (Score 2, Informative) 181

My main issue with it is that there's no method of syncing or consolidating and index or database between multiple comps.

There is a Zotero beta available which does provide synchronization support (its called 1.5 sync preview, available here

For those not familiar, let me give a short advertisement for Zotero. I'm a Mac user, and I recently switched from Safari to Firefox just for Zotero. Zotero makes it possible to add a citation entry to my library with one click in Firefox. Another nice feature is Zotero's ability to determine citation information for loose PDF's. And did I mention that Zotero is free?

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