Archive for July 2007


My friend Marcello recently took me to see the movie “Paprika” by Satoshi Kon. I was blown away by the movie – it is definitely worth seeing!

Wait… you thought the MPAA does NOT concone movie copying? But they do it themselves, dude

Sure, this clip is no proof at all, but it’s hilarious, and it only serves to back up the evidence that is already out there.

An open letter to John Soat.

After reading InformationWeek’s June 18th edition, I emailed the following to John Soat in response to his “Google Vs. The FBI” article.

Dear Mr Soat.

I read your column in InformationWeek (June 18th) on the data collection done by Google and the FBI.
I particularly noted your opinion on the value of the FBI’s data mining:

“I guess I should be concerned about the FBI’s data accumulation plans. I might console myself with the idea that the FBI will never get its huge data mining operation built… But the fact is, I want the FBI to succeed. I believe in what the FBI is doing. If a mammoth data mining operation is what it takes to stop domestic terror attacks, I’m all for it. How can I help?”

Although I understand and agree with most Americans that the concept of innocent civilians dying in events such as the attacks on the Twin Towers on 9/11 are horrific, I don’t follow the logic in your paragraph.

How does the FBI plan to identify “terrorist subjects” from this massive database of information? Do you truly believe that they will come up with a great way to accurately pinpoint true terrorists? That is definitely not what their track record indicates. Rather, it sounds like the American nation will go even further in alienating Muslims, immigrants and people from the Middle East. Is intruding on every American’s privacy really supposed to be able to identify terrorist suspects? The concept of “identifying” these people have always been left incredibly fuzzy, much worse that most of Google’s ideas of “data collection”, that I can hardly jump up to support the FBI through algorithms that they hardly mention.

How will a mammoth data mining operation stop terrorist attacks if the American nation keeps on violating the basic human rights of millions of people, both abroad and domestic? Do you truly support the organization that tortures innocent civilians in an operation to find out even more about each person in America? How do you plan to have America remain a player in today’s global economy by supporting the alienation of its people, and the building of walls to keep people out?

I cannot support the FBI’s concepts of “gathering information” while we as a country cause more reason for terrorist attacks every day we violate the basic rights of the people we are at war with.

I ask you to please reconsider your stance towards this matter. I have little power as an individual civilian and student. As a columnist, your opinions reach and influence thousands of people. Will you not put your power towards justice rather than creating a police state?

Yours sincerely

Niels Joubert
UC Berkeley

Setting up Eclipse for Red5 Development

I’ve been playing with Red5, an open source alternative to Adobe’s Flash Communication Server. My Eclipse setup just died on me, so in the process of setting up eclipse for developing the Red5 server, I’ll put up a quick tutorial on using eclipse to work with Red5. Note that this is aimed more towards hacking on Red5 itself than writing applications that use Red5, although the latter will definitely benefit from starting with the setup I’ll be doing.

Tools we will be installing:
- JDK SE 1.6
- Eclipse SDK (Eclipse Classic)
- Spring IDE plugin for Spring development
- IvyDE for dependency management using the Ivy system.
- Subclipse for SVN management

We want to do some serious java development, so we’re going to need the Java Development Kit… Or, as it is now known, the Java Standard Edition. Download the current JDK and install.

Next, we need Eclipse itself. I grabbed Eclipse Classic (Eclipse SDK) from Eclipse’ Downloads section. Another good alternative to start from is the Expert Java build from EasyEclipse. Download the zip file and extract it to some directory. I prefer C:\Program Files\eclipse for windows, or /home/njoubert/eclipse for Ubuntu.

NOTE: If you want FlexBuilder as a plugin inside your eclipse install, you should install flexbuilder NOW before doing anything else. There seems to be some conflicts when FlexBuilder plugin gets installed after other 3rd party plugins are present or something…

Open up Eclipse, and select whatever directory you want as your workspace. If you already have Red5 checked out somewhere, you can make the directory that Red5 lives in as your workspace, or you can choose some other one, and we will associate the already-checked-out code with the workspace you select a little later.

Once Eclipse is running, we want to associate Eclipse with our shiny JDK that we downloaded instead of sitting on top of the built-in JRE. Go to Window > Preferences… and open Java > Installes JREs. It should show only the supplied jre (jre1.6.0_01 for my Eclipse 3.3.0). Hit “Add…”, then “Browse” for a JRE home directory. (aka. “C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_01″). Everything should pop up. Hit OK, and make sure to select the new JDK in the list of Installed JREs. Hit OK, and you’re good to go.

Now we need to get IvyDE and the Spring IDE installed. The Spring IDE is technically not necessary, and I tend to not use it in the areas of Red5 i’m working on, but Red5 is built on top of Spring, so it’s worth installing it and removing later on if you think it is unnecessary. Eclipse plugins all follow the same installation procedure, so i’ll be a bit more detailed with the first plug-in, and then roll with it for the rest.

Spring IDE 2.0 plays well with Eclipse Europa’s Java Development edition, since this Eclipse build comes with Mylyn, which Spring plugs into. Mylyn is a fancy task manager that does all kinds of cool stuff, which i’m not going to go into now, but it worth looking at.

Spring IDE has an Eclipse update site, that Eclipse uses to install the plugin from. go to Help > Software Updates > Find and Install.. in Eclipse, select “Search for new features to install” and hit next. Current known sites pop up. Select “New Remote Site…” and set the URL to and name to “Spring” (or whatever you want). Make sure there’s a check next to it, and hit “next”. After contacting the site, Eclipse should show “Spring” as a feature to install. Check it, and click Next. Accept the terms and select Finish. Click finish to start the installation procedure. Eclipse will first download the necessary utilities, then prompt you to install them. Restart Eclipse when prompted to.

Once Eclipse comes back, we follow the same procedure to add IvyDE to Eclipse. There is a good tutorial on the Red5 wiki on installing IvyDE and using it with Red5. For the moment, follow the previous procedure, with the update site “”.

Lastly we want to get Subversion compatibility for Eclipse, so we need Subclipse. You can follow the same procedures as before, this time with the update site “”. When it prompts you for which features to install, open up the Subclipse item and deselect Integrations. Some of the integration plugins is not installed, so i just skip that part.

To get the current Red5 source from scratch, go to File > New > Project… and choose SVN > Checkout projects from SVN. Select “Create a new repository location” and use the URL “″ in the next section. Eclipse should resolve this and download a Table of Contents from which you can select what you want to check out. Browse to java > server, select “trunk” and go for it! This should check out and try to build Red5.

If you already have a copy on disk of Red5, I opted for a File > Import > File System, and imported the root Red5 directory. Once this was in my workspace, I right-clicked on the project, and selected Team > Share…, at which point SVN should kick in and realize that this is a current SVN project and associate the project with the right repository.

To get Ivy running with your local checkout copy of Red5, you need to set some non-obvious preferences. Open up Window > Preferences > IvyDE in Eclipse. Each of the fields needs to be filled out before Ivy will start doing its job. Point the IvyConf URL to the ivyconfig.xml file that is in the root of the Red5 folder. Fill in Accepted types, Sources types and Javadoc types as in the examples below each. I checked “Do a trtrieve after resolve” and set up the Pattern to their example, although I believe you can get away by not doing this. When you click “OK”, Ivy should start running and resolving dependencies.

Voila, Red5 is ready to run! Launch it by going to src > org.red5.server and running as a Java application.

FireEagle & TripTracker – Where I am and What Pictures i’m taking!

This is one sweet widget, using some of the super-alpha location platforms from Y!RB as well as ZoneTag (

FireEagle is the current super-alpha location platform being developed right here at Yahoo! Research Berkeley. It allows multiple applications to update and access your location to predefined levels of privacy. This specific badge looks at your current location to the ZIP code level and displays a picture taken in this location. It was developed by Rahul Nair, one of the researchers at Y!RB.

This is a sweet flickrstream widget!

Pogramming tip of the day

Courtesy of Visual Studio C++ 6.0:

“Always code as if the person who will maintain your code is a maniac serial killer that knows where you live”

Holocaust survivor leaving the US

From Justice for None:

Holocaust Survivor Leaving US

Monday, May 02 2005 @ 03:02 PM PDT
Contributed by: Joey Picador
One of our neighbors is moving. I’ve been in this neighborhood for about six years now, but didn’t really know them very well at all – just waves and nods, mostly.

So I heard the moving van pull up this morning. When I got home this evening I happened to spy my neighbor (he’s like 85 years old – I don’t know exactly, but he’s old, talks and moves very slowly) standing on the sidewalk next to the van. I walked over and shook his hand, and we started talking. I asked him where he was moving, and he said, “Back to Germany.”

I had been stationed in Germany for two years while in the military, so I lit up, and commented about how beautiful the country was, and inquired if he was going back because he missed it.

“No,” he answered me. “I’m going back because I’ve seen this before.” He then commenced to explain that when he was a kid, he watched with his family in fear as Hitler’s government committed atrocity after atrocity, and no one was willing to say anything. He said the news refused to question the government, and the ones who did were not in the newspaper business much longer. He said good neighbors, people he had known all his life, turned against his family and other Jews, grabbing on to the hate and superiority “as if they were starved for it” (his words).

He said he was too old to see it happen right in front of his eyes again, and too old to do anything about it, so he was taking his family back to Europe on Thursday where they would be safe from George W. Bush and his neocons. He seemed resolute, but troubled, nonetheless, as if being too young on one end and too old on the other to fight what he saw happening was wearing on him.

I gotta tell you – it was chilling. I let him talk, and the whole time, my gut was churning, like I had mutated butterflies in my stomach. When he was finished, he shook my hand, gripping it really hard, until his knuckles turned white and he was shaking. He looked me in the eyes, hard, and said, “I will pray for your family and your country.” He let go of my hand and hobbled away.

I have related this event to you in the hopes it will serve as a cautionary anecdote about the state of our Union, and to illustrate the path we Americans are being led down by a group of fanatics bent on global economic and military dominion. When a man who survived the fruits of fascism decides its time to leave THIS country because he’s seeing the same patterns that led to the Holocaust and other Nazi horrors beginning to form here, it is time for us to recognize the underlying evil inherent in the actions of those who claim they work for all Americans, and for all mankind. And it is incumbent upon all Americans, Red and Blue, Republican and Democrat, to stop them.