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Submission + - Kawa 2.0 supports Scheme R7RS

Per Bothner writes: Kawa is a general-purpose Scheme-based programming language that runs on the Java platform. It combines the strengths of dynamic scripting languages (less boiler-plate, fast and easy start-up, a REPL, no required compilation step) with the strengths of traditional compiled languages (fast execution, static error detection, modularity, zero-overhead Java platform integration).

Version 2.0 was just released with many new features. Most notably is (almost) complete support for the latest Scheme specification, R7RS, which was ratified in late 2013. This LWN article contains a brief introduction to Kawa and why it is worth a look.

Comment Arbitration can be dangerous as well (Score 2) 116

TLDR; Arbitration is legally binding across countries, so unless the contract specifies your country as where conflicts will be handled, there are significant risks in terms of fees (in my case $150000) and risk (all my personal assets). The other country may not share your country's view of limited liability, and madman clients may make claims that do not make any sense in your part of the world that you are forced to defend yourself against.

Just a friendly warning to people throwing out arbitration as the solution to many problems. Sometimes arbitration makes matter worse, because they are legally binding across countries. In my case an idiot client went broke, and when he stopped paying I stopped working. The contract had an arbitration clause in it, which would be handled under US law. My client had various issues and excuses for late payments, and eventually I stopped working. I was willing to take a loss of a hundred thousand USD, but my idiot client had another agenda; he wanted me to work for free, until he managed to make money off my product. So despite the fact that he had stopped paying and breached the contract, he said the only settlement he was willing to enter into to avoid suing me in the arbitration courts was if I was willing to work for free until the product made enough money that he could pay me according to our contract. He was in the US, I was in Norway, and the arbitration clause in the contract was under US law (big mistake). I got a legal opinion in Norway about just ignoring the case (it was ridiculous after all), and then defend me when/if he won a claim and came to collect in the Norway. Well, the legal opinion was "you should win the case in the US". Under arbitration law, if I lost in the US, they could collect in Norway. Even worse, in Norway, the goverment actually go a really long way of enforcing such collections, so I could stand to lose my house, car etc. So risking a default judgement (for not showing up) in the US was out of the question. The idiot client sued me, initially for a million USD, although this was later adjusted down. To have any hope of collecting anything in return, I had to counter sue. After spending $150000 in legal fees, I won and was awarded just below $600000 for his breach of contract. But differently from Norway, the US will not help me collect what I won, so I would have to sue him again in his state to collect. And since my claim is against his company, and the fact that he is a fraud, the odds are he would bankrupt his company, stealing any and all assets, and continue as before. So I would have to sue him again personally (with stricter burdens of proof) to demonstrate actual fraud from his side, and hope he has personal assets I could collect. The fraudsters name is Gregory Spear, and his prime vehicles of fraud are companies named Independent Investor, Spear Financial, Spear Publications and more.

If you want to read the whole sad story, I've put it up on .

Submission + - File synchronization across systems ("Dropbox")

kjeldahl writes: After upgrading my development system and servers to newer linux releases (Ubuntu 10.04 in my case), it's that time again where I need to look at how I synchronize work across my machines. My work pattern is pretty standard; in my office I have a desktop computer with a multiscreen setup. In addition I have a laptop that I carry with me everywhere else. I also have a server which hosts my personal web server, email and other apps I'm working on that are server hosted.

I used to have a Windows laptop as well, but less and less work (from clients, and involving my own projects) touches Windows, so the requirement to synchronize with Windows is less of an issue than it used to be. In fact, Windows work so well running under linux virtualized now that it can be treated quite similar to other "embedded" type development systems, minimizing the need to actually work from within the Windows environment. When needed, I develop outside of Windows, where the Windows machine is set up to access files directly from the host.

Mac OSX is similar enough to other unix/linux system that most solutions should work pretty well on OSX, and I will not treat it separately in my notes below.

Submission + - - HTML5/CSS3 realtime Twitter rankings (

kjeldahl writes: Monitors Twitter, looking for links mentioned in tweets and ranks destination sites by frequency. Auto-resolves shortened links etc. Site titles and ranks are collected and animated in real-time. Useful to see what links are being mentioned, or which links contain actual useful information during real-time events. Disclaimer: My site.

Submission + - Why arbitration clauses are dangerous (

kjeldahl writes: I'm an entrepreneur and software developer who entered into a contract with a US company for developing certain software. When the US company stopped paying me and needed to get paid work elsewhere, I got sued through arbitration where the US company basically tried to blackmail me into becoming their unpaid slave. This is my story about what happened, how an arbitration judge decided to pretend limited liability companies doesn't matter, and how the first arbitration judgle single-handedly decided that since I was contractually bound to performing services for my own limited liability company, I was personally bound (with all my personal assets) to the arbitration clause that I had signed as an employee of the limited liability company. If that was a correct decision, people, and small developers, need to be aware of this fact. If it was an incorrect decision by the first arbitration judge, people need to be aware of the power they have (and the consequences when they apply it wrongly). I had to spend $150.000 defending myself and getting the ruling overturned, and ended up winning the case, being awarded more than $500.000 from the original claimant.

Comment Dropbox, Unison (Score 1) 305

If you're looking for a commercial hosted solution with limited storage, Dropbox is probably the best product there is right now. Unison also syncs great both ways against a central "master" copy (if you delete a file from _one_ child copy, it will get deleted from the master and other children as well), although I have no personal experience with Unison on Windows. It also doesn't come with a fancy UI AFAIK.


WSJ Confirms RIAA Fired MediaSentry 158

newtley writes "Two days ago we discussed the earlier p2pnet report that the RIAA had fired MediaSentry (now called SafeNet). Now the Wall Street Journal is confirming this report. MediaSentry has been 'invading the privacy of people,' the WSJ quotes Ray Beckerman; 'They've been doing very sloppy work.' Beckerman cites MediaSentry's practice of 'looking for available songs in people's filesharing folders, uploading them, and using those uploads in court as evidence of copyright violations.' MediaSentry 'couldn't prove defendants had shared their files with anyone other than MediaSentry investigators.' The WSJ notes, 'In place of MediaSentry, the RIAA says it will use Copenhagen-based DtecNet Software ApS. The music industry had worked with DtecNet previously both in the US and overseas, and liked its technology...' "

Comment Power and grid owners (Score 1) 730

Great article. Let me tell you a different, yet somehow possibly related story about how things may progress in the future. In Norway we have lots of hydroelectric power (power from water running downhill through turbines). Some years back our goverments finally figured out that it would be a good idea to open up the powergrid and markets so people could buy power from whoever they wanted, not just their local supplier. Worked great for a while. Unfortunately, at the same time the local suppliers were given a monopoly over their own grids, i.e. the lines carrying the power into your house.

Guess what happened next? The price of power remained low and but the transportation fee started rising significantly. Today a lot of people in Norway pay more for getting the power transported to their house than for the actual power itself, and the cost of transportation keeps increasing every year while the cost of the actual power remains low.

Something to think about when the power companies / grid owners really start worrying about not being able to generated their profits from the power itself.

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