April 2007

If you’ve used any of the Enterprise Library blocks in an application you know how quickly the app/web.config file can grow. This is a quick tutorial on how to tell Enterprise Library to leave  it the hell alone and to store info in a dedicated file instead.


This is a great 5-minute read on how garbage collection works in the .NET Framework. As the author states, you don’t need to know how the GC works in order to program, but you’ll be a much better developer if you do.

Internet radio stations were dealt a crippling blow today. The old royalty structure ensured that internet stations would only pay a percentage of profits (plus a fixed annual fee). The new structure will force royalties to be paid on a per-user, per-song basis – regardless of profit.

This of course means that many independent netcasters will be forced to shut down their operations due to the massive fees they will now be charged. Those that remain will invariably be absorbed by larger companies in time. History will repeat itself – as always with a slight twist on the original – and internet radio will become as innovative and exciting as FM.

The case for an XM-Sirius merger may have just become a little less solid…

This morning at the NAB convention in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced that the Windows Presentation Foundation Extensions product has been renamed Silverlight. It’s a good thing because WPF/E doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Inspired by my recent visit to Las Vegas, I’m planning on writing a simple slot machine emulator for practice and perhaps even for a CodeProject article/tutorial. It will be a good chance to finally learn Silverlight.

This video is hysterical.

Well, it’s not really, but it would be were it not for the fact that thousands of people watch that assclown every day and form opinions based on what he says. This kind of ratings whoring has been allowed to pollute the national discourse in this country for far too long. How can we reach common ground on political and social issues when the average Joe has been brainwashed into thinking that the “other guy” is laughably wrong, perhaps even evil, and certainly unwilling to see things from another perspective? Anti-intellectualism short circuits any semblance of meaningful debate, and with it the opportunity to explore and incorporate better ideas and move forward as a country.

Oh well. I guess we’ll always have American Idol to fall back on.

There’s a great (but lengthy) post on tomdispatch.com this morning from a former assistant director of the public library system in Salt Lake City. It is well worth reading if you have the time. If you don’t, just read this:

“The cost of this mad system is staggering. Cities that have tracked chronically homeless people for the police, jail, clinic, paramedic, emergency room, and other hospital services they require, estimate that a typical transient can cost taxpayers between $20,000 and $150,000 a year. You could not design a more expensive, wasteful, or ineffective way to provide healthcare to individuals who live on the street than by having librarians like me dispense it through paramedics and emergency rooms. For one thing, fragmented, episodic care consistently fails, no matter how many times delivered. It is not only immoral to ignore people who are suffering illness in our midst, it’s downright stupid public policy. We do not spend too little on the problems of the mentally disabled homeless, as is often assumed, instead we spend extravagantly but foolishly.”

Today brings excellent news for music lovers of all stripes: EMI will start selling its entire catalog without any DRM restrictions. They will also upgrade the sound quality of the unprotected songs from 128kbps to 256kbps. The tracks do cost more – $1.29 each – but the price is still well within reason. I suspect the bitrate increase was a secondary consideration and most likely a P.R. move to justify the price bump. Whatever the reason, EMI is going to be watched very closely over the coming weeks to see what this does to their bottom line. If the world is fair and just, this will triple their profits and demonstrate to the RIAA just how wrong their failed policies have been.