The Evils of Open Source

Recently I caught a conference talk by @rbin of SendGrid where he outlined some benefits of the "Open Source" movement for the uninitiated. Whilst it was a good talk, something about it lodged in my mind. For me the virtues of Open Source aren't as clear as the speaker made out and I'd like to articulate why, based on some quotes and tweets: Exhibit A: Steve Klabnik on Open Source Open source is a mega-capitalist conspiracy to reduce programmer wages
- The Evils of Open Source

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Getting data from PDFs with JRuby

There are many solutions for getting data from pdfs. I'm going to describe how to use the excellent Java library PDFTextStream by Chas Emerick (of Clojure fame) to get data out of tricky pdfs. Why PDFTextStream? Quite simply, it's the best PDF extraction library I've come across in terms of features and performance. It handles layouts and formatting very well and the xml output gives some useful tags for data extraction. Getting the library Head over to http://snowtide.com
- Getting data from PDFs with JRuby

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Transcript of Edward Snowden's Testimony to EU

Edward Snowden recently provided testimony to the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committee as part of its inquiry on electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens. There's better analysis and comment elsewhere but I thought it's important enough to be available in a readable plain text format, rather than a PDF. Source pdf available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/activities/cont/201403/20140307ATT80674/20140307ATT80674EN.pdf Markdown available here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11192828/edward
- Transcript of Edward Snowden's Testimony to EU

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(Re)Starting a blog with Ghost

I like to ramble on as much as the next person, but up till now it's mostly been offline. To save my wife from hearing me talk about programming and tax law I'm making like it's 2004 and (re)starting a blog. Properly this time. Like with actual content and everything. Discovering Ghost For past blogging attempts I've used Wordpress (easy) and Jekyll (hackable) and neither were much fun. As a developer I want something that's easy and hackable and
- (Re)Starting a blog with Ghost

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Test driving Prestashop with Behat, Mink and Selenium - Step by step

Whilst I don't do so much PHP development nowdays, I've been watching the current rennaissance with interest. PHP is taking note of trends being pushed by the Rails world with "clean and classy" frameworks such as Laravel and best practice manifestos like PHP the right way coming to light. This is all good news for the web because better quality code (whatever language it's written in) raises the bar all round. That said, there still seems to be a lack
- Test driving Prestashop with Behat, Mink and Selenium - Step by step

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Migrating customers from Prestashop to Magento

There’s always debate about which ecommerce platform is harder/better/faster/stronger, and from experience of Prestashop and Magento I can say they’re both really good for different types of shops. For Forsyths, I developed a Prestashop solution for their Sheet Music department whilst I was working there and it’s been great so far but… When picking a solution it really pays to do some forward planning and in this case, Prestashop can’t scale up to
- Migrating customers from Prestashop to Magento

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