magpiebrain

Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Archive for ‘October, 2006’

Once upon a time, the Internets was about two things:

  • Kittens
  • Porn

Then, things changed, and the Internets became about these things:

  • Kittens
  • Porn
  • Gambling

Then blogging happened, and things changed again. The Internets was transformed into a media concerned with:

  • Kittens
  • Porn
  • Gambling
  • People talking about their macs

Yes, for those still listening, I’m awaiting the delivery of a shiny new MacBook Pro.

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As Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubmner’s book Freakonomics explains, Economics can be considered as nothing more than the study of how incentives affect people. Broadly split into three types – Financial (What’s it worth to me?), Moral (Is it the right thing to do?) and Social (Will society act in a bad way if I do this thing?) by understanding the incentives available to someone, you can understand how they will act in a given circumstance.

Taken further, Econmics allows you to alter the available incentives to alter how people act. Want people to reduce their carbon output? Well, you could explain how they’d save money by reducing their energy use (financial incentive). You could also create a groundswell of opinion stating that society views excessive energy use badly (social incentive, which could ultimately become a moral incentive).

A good example of changing incentives to change behaviour could be seen on BBC Breakfast this morning. Since 1998, using a mobile phone whilst driving has been illegal in Jersey. The simple act of making something illegal attempts to act as a moral incentive – with the punishment of a £500 fine acting as a financial incentive. On it’s own, this wasn’t enough. There wasn’t enough stigma associated with the act of using a mobile phone whilst driving for it to stop altogether. In the end it took a campaign, started by Paul Newman (no relation) and backed by the local Jersey Evening Post and more surprisingly mobile phone company Jersey Telecom. The resulting Hands Off campaign is attempting to create the social incentive – using a mobile phone when driving is unacceptable to society.

This guide assumes you’ve already installed Eclipse, PyDev, Python and Django. It also assumes you’re using Eclipse 3.2, PyDev 1.2.4, Django 0.95 and Python 2.4.

* Go to Window->Preferences->Preferences->PyDev->Python Interpretter and add the django source file to the PYTHONPATH settings.
* Create a new PyDev pyhon project. Make sure you uncheck the ‘create src folder’ option.
* Create project on the command line using django e.g. django-admin.py startproject mysite
* In your newly created project directory create a src directory in it, and move the django generated source files here
* In eclipse, right-click your project and select refresh
* Right-click on the project and select Properties->PyDev - PYTHONPATH, and add your src folder to the project source settings

That should be it. I still get red underlines on the Django source imports even thought PyDev seems to know about them – to test this is working properly, open up your urls.py file and ctrl click on the patterns call – it should take you to defaults.py.

Now you can go ahead and create your database & super user.

Launching to built-in server

Open up manage.py and hit F9. This should print out the usage information for the server. To actually start the server, select Run->Run..., and in the Arguments tab for manage.py enter runserver --noreload. The noreload argument gives you output.

Thanks go to PyDev creator Fabio Zadrozny for his guide which got me going.

In an attempt to try and stick to the ‘first Monday of the month’ pattern for the London 2.0 meet-ups, our next meeting will be on Monday the sixth of November. As per usual, it’ll start from about 6.30pm, and will involve lots of people involved with (or just interested in) Web 2.0 technologies.

No fixed agenda, demos are welcome, as is beer.

Unless I get a better offer, we’ll be at the Olde Bank of England once again. If you fancy coming along, either leave a comment here or over at “upcoming”:http://upcoming.org/event/113730.

Thanks to everyone that attended this month’s meeting – I took some pretty ropey pictures, and they’ll up on Flickr soon. I have good chats with Simon W on OpenID, <a href="http://www.brunningonline.net/simon/blog/"Simon B on not blogging, and most other people there (which is a first) about lots of other things. I’m unable to make tonight’s Python meet-up, although both the Simons and Remi should be there, so go along if you fancy it.

Stay tuned for information on November’s meeting.

I spotted some “side by side photo’s”:http://www.engadget.com/2006/10/01/zune-vs-ipod/ of Apple’s latest 80GB iPod, and Microsoft’s Zune MP3 player.

For me, the decision about which one I’d rather have comes down to this – would I rather have a 5th generation product from Apple, or a 1st generation product from Microsoft?