This is a journey through sound

Friday 5: Skateboarding tablets, pull requests and Ceefax

Chris Mayer

Our weekly take on the week’s lighter news – featuring the mourning of Ceefax

Yet another week has flown by and the JAX editorial team
are preparing for the upcoming holidays. Yes, Halloween counts and
there’s certainly some chilling coding stories to be told (get in
touch with those at chrism@jaxentercom or

You know the score know – five irreverent things that caught
our eye this week from the world of Java and beyond. Let’s get to

 1. Banking on Clojure

Probably our favourite blogpost of the week -
recounts his team’s experiences of taking
the plunge at the investment bank he works at, moving to Clojure
from Java. Definitely worth reading if you’re in the financial
industry and considering a similar JVM move.

 2. Github dating spinoff service?

Well this brings a new meaning to pull request. Noriko
Higashi, a female Tokyo software engineer has used

essentially as a ‘lonely hearts’
advertising service to find her Mr Right. It’s a pretty
comprehensive list of what she’s looking for and unsurprisingly
this has received much attention on

. Currently, she has received 17 pull
requests and 44 issues noted. You have to admire her for targeting
the demographic she wants.

3. A journey through sound

It’s scratchy and fairly indecipherable but

an important piece of musical history
Dating back to 1878, this first ever recorded musical performance,
made on a Thomas Edison phonograph, has been digitally remastered
and shown to the world. The recording begins with an unidentified
23-second cornet solo before a man recites two nursery rhymes, in
which he gets Old Mother Hubbard wrong. Surely the oldest blooper
in history. Personally, I preferred his earlier work…

4. Microsoft find new use for Surface at launch – as a

It’s been difficult to escape talk of
Microsoft’s foray into the tablet market with
, but we’ll leave the reviews to the
experts. It won’t take you long to find a lauding hands-on followed
by a scathing piece from an Apple advocate.

Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky however managed to show on
Twitter that there was another use for the durable Surface, as a
skateboard. Just don’t expect to be Tony Hawk with it, pulling
ollies left, right and centre.

5. R.I.P Ceefax

Ceefax 1974-2012


This one is for Brits and American readers may well be
lost here, but bear with us. Back in 1974 in the UK, a

TV-based text information service was launched
called Ceefax, a forerunner to the interactive services we see
today. Sure, looking at it now, its garish colour scheme make it an
eyesore and its loading times were sluggish at best, but there’s
still a charm about it. Live sports events would be conveyed over a
pixelated videprinter, leaving fans waiting by the minute for news
of how their team were doing.

After 38 years of long service at the BBC, Ceefax ceased on
Tuesday 23rd October 2012 (in line with a UK digital TV switchover)
and a national mourning period began. Even former Prime Minister
John Major said it would be “much missed”.
As the country
to come to terms with the departure of a
faithful friend, Twitter users can ease the pain by
their feed. A nice touch.

Have a good weekend. Mine will be Bond-based, I suggest you
follow my lead.

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