Weekly Review, November 29

By Saturday, November 29, 2014 0 Permalink 1

There, I’m done with my Nexus 5 Lollipop upgrade mini-project. You’ll stop hearing about it all the time now! 😉

On a similar fun note, the entire family was sick a significant part of this week… You should have been here to see the fun! The twins started pretty much at the same time with some generic stomach bug. Oogi joined shorty after, taking it even harder. The grandparents also got it after being with the twins for some time. I joined the party, fortunately lightly and briefly. Definitely much fun! Allow me to skip the graphics…

We got some winter in Israel at last, with cooler air and some rain, hurray! The rain prevents me from bicycling to work, and also reminds everybody how bad the Israeli infrastructure is if it gets a little wet. That aside, being able to walk outside without sweating, and breathing a lungful of cool air is priceless for me! Definitely worths the price of needing to put on shoes and long jeans (T-shirts are still enough for me though).

The Weekly Review is a recurring (so-far-)weekly summary, reviewing highlights from the last week.

Blog posts from the last week

  1. Documented my Android data backup procedure, before upgrading to Lollipop.
  2. Upgraded my Nexus 5 to Lollipop using a factory image from Google (fastboot inside).
  3. ShellFoo: How to list all C/C++ source files (and headers) in a project, recursively, excluding the build directory.
  4. Completing the Lollipop upgrade project with a walkthrough of my restore process.
  5. The previous weekly review.

If you’ve been following my SCons series, be assured that I have more episodes coming up. In case you’re interested, I finished implementing and deploying most of the SCons enhancements I planned in DayJob, so I have all that to cover.

I also have stuff for my Mac training, planned for the coming week.

The best way to keep up with new posts is to follow the feed.

Web selections

The Google Inbox team published a post with some technical details behind Inbox. They describe an interesting approach to the multi-platform trade-off problem. To optimize the user experience on there web, Android, and iOS, 3 different front-ends need to be written. They opted to write once for Android (in Java), and then “compile” the Java to JavaScript for web (using GWT), and to Objective-C for iOS (using a new tool, J2ObjC, that they developed and open-sourced). Putting aside all the bad things I heard about GWT (never used it though), I find it difficult to believe that this approach really achieves native-like experience on the “generated” platforms. I’m sure there are at least a couple of platform-specific elements that cannot be cross-compiled. Either you don’t take advantage of such elements, or you mess up the Java code with hacky inline JavaScript and Objective-C. There must be a better way…

The Smithsonian has a series of videos, dubbed “Ask Smithsonian”. These are short (~1 minute) videos answering all kind of “common / interesting” questions, like “How do take buds work?”, and “Where does space begin?”. I’d explore it with my kids, if they were at an age to absorb it (and not try to taste the screen).

Also, A Scientist’s Curiosity Cabinet. Fantastic!

If you missed it, go take a look at some of the Barbie fuck up. I’m not sure why it gone viral now (the storm started here), as I understand to book is not that new. It is nonetheless frustrating the see the crap that is still being fed to young girls… Good thing the Internet went ahead and fixed it! Apparently, it even caused Mattel to pull the book off Amazon!

Meanwhile, in another galaxy, Code.org and Disney partnered to produce a programming tutorial featuring Anna & Elsa from Frozen. Another great way to get kids (boys and girl) excited about code! Kudus!

If you’re on the market for an Android phone, check out this Lifehacker Best Android Phone 2014 Edition. Nice to see the Nexus 5 is still up there! Spoiler: The OnePlus One took first place by a landslide.

Side project updates

Did I say already that I completed the Nexus 5 Lollipop upgrade mini-project? OK, that was the last time I mention it… 🙂

No significant progress with the website project. More bugs in the Evernote image-extractor. This time, another example of how difficult it is to parse free-form XML… Maybe I’ll end up rewriting this extractor with a real XML parser (like the rest of the Evernote-WordPress integration), instead of good-ol’ regular expressions…

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