Archive for May, 2011

Update to AutoDBAdapter for Android Developers

Update to AutoDBAdapter for Android Developers

Trouble with your database code or databasehelper in android?

As I mentioned earlier, I have written a web application which automatically creates a database adapter code in java for your Android application based on a text description of the database schema.   This grew beyond its initial intentions and now spits out java code for a fair bit of stuff.

I have recently updated it.  Version 1.2 gets rid of some annoying bugs (like fields being wrongly declared – oops!),  adds code to allow each table to be automatically initialised from an array in the, also has code to easily nuke and re-initialise the db (don’t use in production!).

If you’re looking for ready-made DBAdapter  java code which is tailored to your database schema or a java database adapter example please give autoDBAdapter a try.

Digital TV Badness

Digital TV Badness

One of the good things about analogue signals is that they fail gracefully.  Many was the time in my younger years of watching a TV program with a picture barely perceptible through black and white static, albeit with reasonable audio reception.  Digital offers no such graceful degradation.  Either you get a near perfect picture or you get nothing.  I noticed this in regional NSW a while back.  At times digital gave me nothing watchable, but switching to analogue gave something acceptable or better (?presumably? from the same transmission tower).   Bad luck to you people in the regions who will now get nothing with the phase out of analogue.

Ben Grubb Transcript of Interview

Fascinating transcript of police interview with Ben Grubb available on SMH:

BG: I need to go back to work tomorrow and this is my iPad. I don’t want to do that.

EC: Ok. Well. I am now going to tell you that you are now under arrest. OK? In relation to receiving unlawfully obtained property. Ok? And we are now seizing your iPad. So if you could please hand your iPad over to us.

BG: Now before I do that, lawyers all of that, I would like to seek legal advice before you do what you say you are doing. Because I feel that I am now being unfairly treated.

EC: Now I will tell you I have placed you under arrest. You are physically under arrest now. You are not free to leave now. I will allow you to make a phone call however before you do that I will ask you to put the iPad on the desk and not touch it and we will not touch it while you make a phone call but we are going to remain present here. OK?

BG: Yep.

EC: I expect the lawyers will want to speak to us.

Break in recording while BG made contact with his employer and lawyers. Lawyers and employer held phone conversation with police.

[my emphasis, different from the transcript]

The emphasised part is my guess as to when the arrest occurs, apparently for the purpose of obtaining the iPad. Earlier parts of the transcript the officer is talking in a weird present future tense “I am now going to tell you”
It’s long and I started skimming half way through, but the police seem to be polite and rational, acting in response to a third party complaint.  They explain what they’re doing at each turn.  There’s not a lot here to criticise them for – perhaps a criminal lawyer might be able to be more critical?
Later in the transcript Mr Grubb is released from being under arrest.

W7 Fresh Install = 70GB (wt?)

W7 Fresh Install = 70GB (wt?)

I have recently bought a notebook. It comes with w7 installed.   I happened to look at explorer today.  When I look at the drive properties it tells me that over 77GB of space have been used.  The windows folder alone has 14GB (????)  Are they serious?  [have installed two programs so far, which I would generously allow for 10GB at the outside (the stated system requirements for the software totals about 5GB).]

Where is all my disk space going???

iiNet: Disturbing Full Federal Court decision

iiNet: Disturbing Full Federal Court decision

The full court of the Federal Court handed down its decision in the iiNet case (on appeal from the judge at first instance) in February of this year.  While there’s a lot of the decision about which to be anxious if you’re a business, this statement by Emmett J cannot be correct:

The infringement in question is an infringement by the iiNet customer whose account is being used. An iiNet customer whose account is being used to make Films available online cannot deny responsibility for the way in which the iiNet service is used. The iiNet customer must accept responsibility for the way in which the service provided by iiNet to that customer is used. Infringement by an iiNet user of a computer attached, by means of a router or otherwise, to a modem to which an iiNet service is provided, is a use of the service provided by iiNet to that modem. An iiNet customer is infringing by permitting the use of the service for infringement. [at para 157]

Surely an iiNet customer is liable only if they are doing the infringement themselves or if they are authorising the infringement.  Mere coincidence of circumstances should not suffice.   If it did, why would they need to put out hundreds pages of judgment considering iiNet’s liability?

Jagot J makes a similar leap:

The first, which arises from the above discussion about collective punishment, is that I do not accept the validity of the distinction iiNet consistently sought to draw between iiNet customers and iiNet users. As iiNet’s CRA and other policies disclose, iiNet (at least in all respects other than copyright infringement) operates on the basis that the iiNet customer is taken to be responsible for the use of the customer’s service by any other person. The customer is taken to be responsible not only in terms of payment but also potential sanctions for misuse of the service including warnings, suspension and termination of the service. This basis of operation, reflected in the CRA and other iiNet policies, is a practical necessity given the way in which internet access is provided. It is also appropriate to operate on that basis in the copyright context. [at para 390, my emphasis]

On what basis can this emphasised sentence be justified?  Given that iiNet’s terms seek to identify customers and users, such a fusion might be justified for the purposes of analysing the contractual relationship between iiNet and a customer, but iiNet’s terms are incompetent to tar a customer with another user’s infringement under copyright law.

It is useful to note in this context, that in the few months since the decision a company related to one of the litigants (Sony) had its customer’s data taken in a widely publicised server cracking.  Judges should not be quick to discount the possibility that people’s wifi routers do get hacked from time to time.

Automatically Create Database Adapter Java Code for Android Developers

Automatically Create Database Adapter Java Code for Android Developers

I have written a web application which automatically creates a database adapter code in java for your Android application based on a text description of the database schema.   This grew beyond its initial intentions and now spits out java code for each of the following:

  • package statement
  • necessary imports
  • class definition for the database adapter
  • database constants (name, version, TAG)
  • definitions of keys and tables with comments
  • create table strings
  • String[] full projection for each table
  • an inserter function for each table
  • an updater function for each table
  • basic database helper code with onCreate and onUpdate

In fact, if you just want inserts and updates then this should generate complete java code for your adapter.  Just cut and paste your schema in, press the “do it” button and copy and paste your Android code into your application.

It’s housed on Google Apps, so may take a few seconds to get started the first time. <- click this to try it

Please give it a whirl and let me know if there are any problems.

Search Engines Suck

Search Engines Suck

Google used to be neat.  You could, through your query string, customise things more or less how you like it.  Well, I can’t anymore because of the hateful Google Instant – why anyone thinks this is a good idea is beyond me.  I don’t want my searches restricted to 10 farquing useless results, forcing me to open endless windows 10 @#$ results at a time.  I want it to spit out 100 so I can skip the cr*p myself.  Well, Google has decided it’s their way or the high way.

So I did something I’ve never done before – I used bing. That, unfortunately, seems just as useless – perhaps moreso, trying to outdo Google in lack of usability.  I don’t want instant site previews popping up with my mouseover.  I don’t want to exchange a cookie just to get basic functionality. I just want a search engine which thinks I’m adult enough to craft my own search terms and browse through my search results.

The utility of searching has decreased markedly over the past couple of years.

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