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Android, Kindle, DDG, Books, HTTP & Caching in general

posted May 1, 2012, 3:38 AM by Sami Lehtinen   [ updated Aug 14, 2012, 8:17 AM ]
  • Bought Android ICS phone. It really seems to be worst privacy nightmare that I have seen for a long time. - Google it, Google that, no thank you! - It's also quite annoying that wake-up won't work unless phone is powered on. Afaik, it should work.
  • Bought Kindle. I really lovdd my e-ink e-reader that I used to have, unfortunately it got broken last summer during my travel to Paris. During Finnish winter, it's dark all day long, so I managed well with my cell phone. During Finnish summer, it's exact opposite, sun is shining all night long too. So therefore I couldn't manage with my cell phone alone. I had to have display that works properly in straight sunlight. Currently there is no alternative to e-ink displays.
  • SSL search plugin for Firefox seems to set default location always to US. It's easy to fix that by adding preferred parameters to duckduckgo-ssl.xml file. You'll find out required parameters by visiting DDG settings. When you're done click "Bookmarklet and settings data" to see the url parameters. If you don't store parameters to that XML file, DDG will store your settings to a cookie. But as we all privacy concious users know, it's best to drop all cookies when browser is closed.
  • I actually would prefer much better session data separation per tab in web browser, but I'll write more about that later. Some browsers like Firefox won't even allow running multiple parallel instances to get that separation.
  • Had chat with Gabriel aka yegg at DDG. DDG is finally operating multiple front-end proxies using Amazon Cloud services. Unfortunately cache misses remain too slow.
  • Now I can spent what ever sparetime I have anywhere to study. So I have finished two Google App Engine books in less than week and learned new term AHAH to be used with AJAX. App Engine is just chaning so fast that some of that information in those books were already outdated. I have already loaded: MVC, HTML5, JavaScript, Python 3 and MongoDB books which I'm going to study next. - Because I whined about Android and privacy, Kindle seems to follow similar pattern. Data is synchronized to Amazon cloud. So if you don't like that, you shouldn't ever register or sync the device to Amazon. Just use it as drive and store and delete documents using USB-interface. - Added exact book references: O'Reilly - Using Google App Engine (Charles Severance) and Oreilly - Programming Google Apps Engine (Dan Sanderson).
  • Wrote long artile about HTTP caching. But when I got to the topic I also mentioned that caching in general is very important thing when talking about performance. All systems use cache, cpu's, motherboards, harddisk drives, applications (if properly designed) etc. One system admin said to me that if you got any swap, it means you don't have enough ram. No it doesn't mean that. It means that you have some "stale data" in memory, which can be swapped out so memory can be better utilized as disk cache or what ever. Many people don't just realize how important caching in general is. P.S. I remember from 486 times, that it was possible to turn L1 and L2 caches off. I just wonder if that's possible with modern motherboards and CPU's, it would be also quite intersting what kind of performance hit it would deliver. I think it would be absolutely devastating. At least all performance gain from multi core cpu's would be lost in an instant.