Cluster your JVM to simplify application architecture

Watched this tech talk over at google today, about using Terracotta’s DSO to act as network attached memory sharing critical parts of the Java Heap across servers. The talk focuses on how clustering in the runtime provides a simpler development environment without hindering scale out.

Got me thinking about how this could be quite useful for building distributed applications.

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Microsoft Labs – Photosynth

I’ve been playing with Photosynth over at Microsoft Live Labs. My first reaction was … wow!  Every now and again you come across something that makes you sit up and ask how the hell did they do that? The demo bascially takes a number of images of an object or a place and creates a scene, which is a detailed 3D model that gives the user the sensation that he or she is “flying” around the model.

The end of faith?

A few months back I listened to this podcast over at IT Conversations and was curious enough to buy Sam Harris’ book, The End of Faith – Religion, Terror and the Future Reason to learn a bit more about his views.

Wikipedia: Harris’s basic theme is that he considers the time has come to speak openly and unambiguously about what he sees as the dangers posed to society by religious belief. While highlighting what he regards as a particular problem being posed by Islam at this moment in respect of international terrorism, Harris has made an outspoken attack on religion of all styles and persuasions. He is especially critical of the stance of religious moderation, which he sees as essentially providing cover to religious extremism, while at the same time acting as an obstacle to progress in terms of pursuing what he considers to be more enlightened approaches towards spirituality and ethics.

Harris’ views center around what he perceives to be the evils of religious belief, that religious belief has no place in a modern secular society because religions foster intolerance of others. Unfortunatly for Harris he advocates, as I interpret it to be, the violent intolerance of intolerance. Oxymoron anyone?

Whilst he is critical of all faiths he’s particularly critical of Islam and at a time when relations between the west and the islamic world are strained, I dont find it overly suprising that hes becoming a poster child for many islamaphobes.

What frightens me most about this guy is that he actually advocates that society as a whole should consider the culling of those who are so deluded as to believe in something that cannot be scientifically proven … the example he cites is the immaculate conception.

The sad thing is that he truly fails to understand that he isn’t unique in considering such solutions ( Hitler, Stalin, etc. )… Harris’ intolerance of faith is as damaging as the religious fanatacism that he believes hes fighting against. In fact I’d go as far as to describe him as a fascist … since he himself exhibits the same irrational intolerance that he claims to be fighting against.

Fundamentally I believe that to lay the blame entirely on religion is disingenuous. Religious belief alone is rarely motivation enough for someone to kill, religious fanaticism exploited by politics and social and economic difficulties however is.

Beginnings are such delicate times

So I’m a blogger now! I suppose just having a blog doesn’t make me a blogger its the act of actually blogging on that makes someone a blogger. Which really does make this the most delicate of times; you see I’ve never blogged before so this is all very new to me.

Blog’s though aren’t new to me, I’ve been reading other peoples blogs for a while and have spent a lot of times reflecting on the views of others but never really having a place where I can articulate my own. I guess for the longest time I chose to be one of those deaf mutes, out of convenience or perhaps it was apathy and a certain amount disaffection with the industry I once loved.

What’s changed I guess is that I’ve spent the last six months working in an environment unlike any I’ve been in before. The infectious enthusiasm of a team of incredibly passionate and extremely talented geeks @ Talis has not only helped me rediscover my own passion for developing great software … but helped me find my direction again.

So I guess what this is … is a place where I can share my thoughts, share some of the lessons I’ve learnt, voice my opinions on anything and everything … and its also a place where I can blow off a bit of steam every now and again.