Monthly Archives: June 2005

return to flight july 13th

According to a recent AP article, Space Shuttle Discovery is “ready to launch on July 13th”: Perhaps even more interesting is a little blurb at the end of the article:

_The Iran Non-Proliferation Act would effectively bar U.S. astronauts from staying on the space station after April 2006. The bill, passed in 2000, had aimed to prevent Russia from helping Iran expand its nascent nuclear program._

Whoops. That might be something to look into…

a flaw in the AJAX model?

I’ve been using GMail a lot lately. I’ve shunted my public-facing e-mail address through it, and the spam filtering has been surprisingly effective. I’m also interested in the AJAXy goodness they’ve implemented, which gets around some of the interface headaches inherent in Webmail.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed something disturbing when using GMail in the same context as a traditional mail reader. It doesn’t seem to respond well to multi-tasking. Specifically, if I try to fire-and-forget something (like “Archive these three messages”) and switch to another window or tab, GMail stops acting on my request and gets stuck on “Loading…” or similar.

So, is this a symptom of the J in AJAX causing trouble? Is Firefox stopping the Javascript flow when I switch windows, or is some important object no longer available to GMail? Or is GMail not handling some common environment change that occurs when the window is out of focus? Either way, it’s a caveat to be considered when trying to replace desktop apps with AJAX Web apps.

back in the saddle again

It’s good to be back on “CPAN”: It’s been over a year since “Apache::PSP”: went 1.0, and I haven’t had much chance to come up with publicly-useful Perl modules since then. That’s why it felt really good to post the “EVDB::API”: module for work.

It’s a spiffed-up version of a module Chuck (our CTO) wrote for internal use, but the fact that it’s _out there_ now makes it even cooler. (Well, that and the “API”: it actually uses.) I’m actually starting to get excited in that “hey, someone’s actually going to use this” sort of way.

If you’re interested and have a Perl install laying around, try this:
@perl -MCPAN -e ‘install EVDB::API’@
…and let me know what happens.

velvet smog

For those of you in the San Diego area, be sure to check out “Velvet Smog”:, our own Mike Roufa’s jazz trio. They’re playing this Sunday (6/26) and next (7/3) at Hennessey’s Tavern in the Gaslamp. (Details are on the “Global Spin calendar”:

If you can’t make it to one of the gigs, be sure to download a song or two from their Web site and have a listen.

update: space travel still risky

Cosmos 1, the solar-sail probe launched yesterday by the “Planetary Society”:, has apparently “failed on launch”: The failure was in the first-stage rocket launching the probe into orbit, not the probe itself, so it seems that the thing to do is to build the same thing over and try it again.