Nerd Fun

April 1, 2014 Tech News

Google Announces Google++

Google++ users will have access to a social network with encapsulation, multiple inheritance, and polymorphism. Google++ users get the added benefit of UML diagrams and free advice from the Gang of Four (The computer scientists, not the punk band).

Yahoo! Acqui-hires Apple

To ensure it has the right talent for the 21st century Yahoo! acquired Apple today, cancelled the iPhone, iPad, iOS, and all those other tired old projects, and distributed Apple’s engineers to it’s most disruptive technology initiatives, including Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Groups, and My Yahoo!.

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Buys EVERYTHING

Facebook bought everything, the whole shebang, all of existence, and life as we know it, for a combination of cash and stock valued at $1 Quadrillion USD. “Mark promised the universe would remain independent and free of advertising,” Noted The Creator, who now reports directly to Susan Sandberg.

Apple Unveils Apple TV, Which is Apparently, a TV

Tim Cook released detailed of the long rumored Apple TV. According to Mr. Cook, Apple’s super secret TV is a TV. It hooks up to any cable box and is compatible with almost any Ikea entertainment center. Innovations include a power cable with an odd connector and a remote control with no buttons.

Elite Hackers Who Supposedly Fixed Admit They Did Nothing

The co-called elite hackers called-in by the Obama Administration to keep the Affordable Care Act website from crashing admitted, via a blog post on Medium, that while they held many meetings and drew several diagram, the scaling and performance problems with were actually resolved by the software developers who have been working on the project the whole time. “Luckily the developers just ignored us and fixed the bugs they were going to fix.”


Opps! Errors in Google’s Chrome Extension Tutorials

I don’t know why, but I got interested in writing a Chrome ¬†Extension. Yeah, I know, like 3 years too late. I figured it would just take an hour and I might learn something about well designed plug and play component ¬†architecture. I quickly found the Getting Started tutorial. The screen shots were a bit out of date but the instructions were clear and simple. After following the tutorial the example extension (kitten photos from Flickr) failed to display images and failed to post any errors to the debug console.

So I went the Debugging Tutorial but I could not get my extension to load in the debugger.

Fooling around I could make text to and images display in the example extension’s popup window but the example code, provided by Google, failed to work. Did the Flickr query API change? Was a bug introduced in a Chrome update? Is my computer broken? A glitch in the matrix?

I love that feeling you get when you’re debugging utterly simple code and completely lost: “It should work and when I figure it out I will feel like an idiot!” (because generally it’s a missing a “}” or some other typo).

But this time it wasn’t me! It was Google’s tech writers.

First, if you want to debug a Chrome extension do not follow the instructions: Right-click the Hello World icon and choose the Inspect popup menu item.

Instead do this: Left-click the Hello World icon so the popup appears and then right-click the popup window! (Unless you are left-handed like me and you have to right-click where the world says “left-click.”)

Clicking with the “other mouse button” (the handed-neural way to say “right-click”) on the extension’s window brings up a context menu that let’s you inspect the extension and load its code and resources into a Chrome debugging window.

Second, if you want to see the kittens, change this line in popup.js:"GET", this.kittensOnFlickr_, true);
to the much more effective:"GET", this.searchOnFlickr_, true);
The function kittensOnFlickr_ is never defined. The function searchOnFlickr_ is defined instead. The kitten look excellent when they finally appear!
Sometimes when looking through a tutorial I find errors like this and wonder two things: Am I the only one who actually reads and runs programming tutorials? Is this an intelligence test?
Given that Chrome extensions are no longer a hot technology it probably doesn’t matter ūüôĀ
Programming Tech Trends

Android SDK Compatibility with Eclipse and JDK

I recently switched my development workstation from a MacBook Pro to a Windows desktop PC. Yeah, I know, I’m going ¬†against ¬†the trends but it’s a sweet machine I assembled myself based on recommendations from Ash.

Immediately I ran into compatibility problems with Google’s Android SDK and the current versions of Eclipse (Helios) and the Java Developer Kit (JDK Version 6). In a nutshell Google’s cool Android dev tools don’t work with Helios–you need to install Eclipse 3.5 (Galileo). Galileo require’s JDK Version 5. All this info is ¬†prominently ¬†featured on the ¬†Android ¬†system reqs page–but who reads any more?

Digging up old versions of Eclipse is easy. You can find Galileo here.

Digging up old versions of the JDK is a  bureaucratic nightmare. You can find JDK Version 5 here but to install it you have to fill out a form, give away PII, and then wait for an email.

One way around Sun Oracle’s walled garden is to install Open Office 3.2.1 which installs Java 1.6 (JDK Version 6) in such away that everything compiles.

Now that Google is throwing away all their Windows PC’s I’m sure this compatibility nonsense will get even worse. Here is a note from Google about enabling debugging of Android Phones:

If you develop on Mac OS X or Linux, you do not need a special driver to debug your application on an Android-powered device.

Damn it! I might have to go back to coding on the Mac and only using my PC for trival tasks like gaming and web browsing. Ironic huh?