Monday, 28 September 2009

Shure SE210 - just music, nothing else

Utterly enjoying my new headphones. Suddenly our (normally) noisy office turned out to be very quite place: listening to some Spanish guitar on 10% of volume sounds perfectly well, all I hear is just a guitar. Very, very happy with it.


Saturday, 26 September 2009

Friday night at Trafalgar Square

I really love this place – probably, one of my most favourite here in London. Well, not only here and not only in London – just take a look yourself.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

VoIP calls via 3G from your iPhone

What if you're away from any wifi or desk phone with a fancy "All World Unlimited" price plan (i.e. your work phone), and you still need to make that long international call urgently? Apple says there's nothing you can do about it and you must use your provider's international tarif.

Independent developers who don't bother putting their app to AppStore disagree. 3G is just another source of the Internet, and if Steve, O2, AT&T & co doesn't want youto use it the way you like - worse for them. Because tiny app Siphone (apparently, SIP + telephone) works nicely via your 3G connection, and all you need is a SIP account with some money on it (I use for that backup purpose - they're crap, but none of them is any better). This morning I had a call with my wife (who's meeting with some of her clients in Moscow) and chatted for 15 minutes; guess how much should I pay if I use O2's international tarif?

Anyway, Siphone is a little gem and if you have your iPhone jailbroken, you have absolutely no reasons not to install it. Do it. Now.

Roman Kirillov

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 21 September 2009

New Yahoo! marketing campaign: it's you!

Totally completely utterly amazingly breathtakingly awesome! Proud to work for Y!

Two questions to Posterous

Hi guys,
First - thanks again for a nice service, themes are really cool and I'm really going to do some heavy-weight customisation over the weekend! Now, two questions:
1. Is there any way to hide past of the post behind the "read more" link? Like in LiveJournal or '' in WordPress? That may definitely help to make Posterous more solid and professional blogging tool.
2. Is there any way to convert tags into twitter hashtags? So, if I tag this post (you see - I'm CCing!) with "posterous" tag, can it be converted into #posterous on Twitter?
3. (oi! there're three questions actually!) – can we have an option of sending content which will be processed by Markdown OR at least sending HTML source? Say, I want to include snippets of code into my post, so I'd prefer to have `int a = 128` or at least int a = 128; feature.
Thanks again!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Edit in TextMate functionality in Firefox

Do you like "Edit in TextMate" command you can use in any Cocoa edit window, and write the text in your favourite text editor? (of course, TextMate that is). I like it too, and since I've switched to Firefox (after 1.5 years struggling with Safari and getting finally tired of it being SO slow sometimes!) I missed it a lot. Well, now you can do it, too – just follow the advice here:

 Little tip: there's no need to create any symbolic link, you can simply specify `/usr/local/bin/mate` as your editor, or, if you didn't install `mate` command when installing TextMate (which I highly recommend to do), you can use `/Applications/` to achieve nearly identical results.

Mesmerising Flash video/animation/game


Try it yourself, really.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Debugging Hadoop applications using your Eclipse

Well, it can be annoying - it can be awfully annoying, in fact, to debug Hadoop applications. But sometimes you need it, because logging doesn't show anything, and you've tried anything but still cannot get under the Hadoop's cover. In this case, do few simple steps.

1. Download and unpack Hadoop to your local machine. 

2. Prepare small set of data you're planning to run the test on

3. Check that you actually can run Hadoop locally, something like this (don't forget to set $HADOOP_CLASSPATH first!): 

bin/hdebug jar yourprogram.jar

          tiny.txt ./out

4. Go to Hadoop's directory, and copy file bin/hadoop to bin/hdebug

5. Now, we need to make Hadoop start in debug mode. What you should do is to add one line of text into the starting script:

Yes, here's it. Copy it from here:

-Xdebug -Xrunjdwp:transport=dt_socket,address=8001,server=y,suspend=y

What does it say basically is an instruction to Java to start in debug mode, and wait for socket connection of the remote debugger on port 8001; execution should be suspended after the start until debugger is connected.

Now, go and start your grid application like you did in step 3, but now use bin/hdebug script we've created. If you've done everything correctly, program should output something like this:

Listening for transport dt_socket at address: 8001

and wait for debugger. So, let's get it some debugger then! Fire up your Eclipse with your project (likely you have it opened already since you're trying to debug something) and add new Debug configuration:

After you've set everything up, click "Apply" and close the window for now – probably, you'd want to set some breakpoints before starting the actual debugging. Go and do it, and then simply choose created debug configuration - and off you go! If everything worked properly, you should soon get a standard debugger window, with all the nice things Java can offer you. Hope it'll help some of us in our difficult business of writing distributed grid-enabled applications! :)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

My O2 iPhone App - easy and convenient, does what it says

So, you would really like to now, how much longer can you use your inclusive minutes and text, or want to see, when your next bill is due or how much did you pay the last time? There's an app for that! Recently released My O2 app is a tiny brilliant - does what it says, easily and simply – no more, and no less.

Main screen simply shows you the most important information – well, for me it's not that bad, as the last bill was just yesterday and I am unlikely to put the needle to the left-most position. But, I can easily see what I want to, and that's pretty much enough. You can also view your last bill summary, your recent charges (I found out how much one minute costs me when I'm in Spain!) – and even view your tariff details, which is something totally amazing if you need just a quick reference, on what you're paying. Honestly, O2 - you did a great job and my congratulations are well-deserved!

Grab it while it's hot! (via O2 Blog)

Me and Natalie on our friends' wedding

I bet you're surprised I do not look as smart as the rest of the guests (and not even nearly as smart as my beautiful wife). Well, that's because I've been the most miserable person there – namely photographer, and spend the whole day jumping around with the camera (with two cameras, in fact), so at 12AM when guests were enjoying the Spanish wine and truly delicious food from the hotel's restaurant, I fought myself to not fall asleep right where I was sitting.

Monday, 14 September 2009

A problem for real engineers

On the first of september 100 immortal prisoners with a life sentence are suggested an early release if they can find a solution to a problem.

 There's a room with a hanging lightbulb. Every day, starting on the 1st of September, warder will let one prisoner into this room. When prisoner is in, he can see, whether lamp is on or off, or switch it. Each prisoner will be asked a question: "Whether every prisoner has been here?". If he says "no", game goes one. If he says yes and this is a correct answer, everyone is released. If he says yes and he's wrong - everyone is executed.

 Warders can choose prisoners randomly, one prisoner can be choose as many times as warder wants. Prisoners do not see each other, cannot talk and cannot see the lightbulb; they can talk only once - on the 1st of September, before the game starts.

 Find an optimal strategy, estimate, how long it may take for prisoners to be released.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Producing Star War effects with Safari 4

Yes, it's all for real. Look at the video.

In my Twitter ( I've added a link to video-manual, how to produce this breathtaking, but utterly useless effect.

P.S. And yes - QuickTime X's screen recoding feature just rocks - now I hardly need any screen-recording apps, as long as I have QuickTime and iMovie.


Monday, 7 September 2009

I want my iPhone - re-think of Sinatra's hit

 Really great to my opinion! Well, maybe there's just a very little bit of pre-justice.


Saturday, 5 September 2009

The Boat That Really Rocked

Richard Curtis is absolutely, unbelievably, unbearably and intolerably fantastic. It's the best movie I've seen in the last few years, that's so bad I didn't have a chance to see it before.

 Maybe it's a first time I'm feeling slightly sorrow I've never been here in Britain back then in 60s to see it all alive. That really rocked.

New posterous address

OK, I've made up my mind - an idea of photoblog didn't work, so I've decided to switch my main domain - - to my posterous account; it is now live and if you're seeing this post, your address bar probably says "".

Friday, 4 September 2009


Something what I wanted to do for such a long time - to make publicly available service, which can answer one simple question – what does this WOEID mean? So, I've made it - in a way that anyone can put a link to it with a WOEID in URL. Finally, everyone who wants to find out how does that look like, shouldn't bother getting Yahoo! AppID, read API docs and so on and so forth (I am not saying that reading docs is a bad idea – it's actually very good and you can save a hell lot of time and nerves by doing that, but sometimes, well ... we just don't feel like it). Anyway, take a look and maybe you will find it useful. In my plans to add a geocoder to the app (so you can type not the WOEID but the human-readable name, such as "London, UK").

Ah. Almost forgot. You can find WOEID Info right here

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Stop being greedy, BOSE - part 2

Griffin's SmartTalk works at least twice better than Bose's £30 mobile headset cable - just because it has a button and now I enjoy same level of comfort as when using Apple's headset - but with incomparably higher sound quality. And I paid only £13.95 shipping included for this - if it's not a bargain, I don't know what it is.

Windows 7 impressions

OK, so I've installed it (in form of a free 90-day preview version distributed by Redmond guys) and it's running in VirtualBox on my MacBook. It's running OK, really. Certain things do really make me happy - the taskbar, which uses the screen space in more optimal way is one of them; really nice and streamlined GUI is another. Snipping Tool, a nice little utility for taking screenshots - is just what many Windows users been asking for many years, is not built-in and shipped as a part of operating system - this could be a real win, but ... you see - I can make a screenshot of a part of the screen. I can draw something using pen or highlighter. What else can I need? Probably, draw an arrow and write some text - and this cannot be done. So, it's not win, really – and it lacks only a tiny feature.

 To be perfectly honest with you, it's very unlikely that I will use it IRL any time soon – I'm poisoned, poisoned long ago by Apple venom, and there's no known vaccine for it, but I must appreciate, what Microsoft is doing - 7 seems to work as fast as XP in virtual machine, and it is way faster than Vista - looks like a right thing to use.

My Snow Leopard is finally here

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

PlaceMaker + Flickr + YQL = PhotoMaker

Today I've created and published a PhotoMaker – mash-up, which geoparses articles, using Yahoo! Placemaker and finds photographs on Flickr which are relevant to found places. It uses YQL to glue them together - and initially was created as a demo of these three brilliant pieces of technology. Please take a look yourself at

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - ultra-fast delivery

I'm totally amazed with a blazing speed Apple UK handles all deliveries. While most of US guys who've ordered Snow Leopard by pre-order (i.e. before 27th) have already got their desired box with a white spotty kitty on it, myself – on September, 1st still observing the following picture on "Track my order page"

Seriously, it's not funny anymore. These G3 Worldwide Netherlands guys - how are they handling their deliveries? Yes I know bikes are quite popular for commuting in Netherlands, but I don't think using bike to deliver my Snow Leopard was a good idea at all; otherwise – I honestly can't understand why the hell it takes so long.