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Archive for November, 2010

Google AppEngine Tale using python

November 24, 2010 2 comments

Months and Months have been foregoing having to finish up an application that runs on the App Engine stack. In my free time I am working on a java project that will run on App Engine making use of Google Web Toolkit (GWT) API’s (GWT, gwt-map), Guice, and Google App Engine Java SDK. But as long as I continue postponing, I don’t know when I will ever finish that project. But Thursday last week things changed, due to course assignment, I chose to play around with App Engine.

Here I go through woes and success of getting an application running on Google App Engine stack in total 20 hours.
My target was simple. Write a Google App Engine application that scraps Uganda voters from the electoral website and store them in the Google data store for easier searching. I am not an experienced python developer, but I do have enough concepts to get done with whatever I need in python. Below I attach the whole final code.

So to start with I need to scrap the districts, constituencies, sub counties, parishes and polling stations because it’s that information that I need to be able to download PDFs having lists of voters on a specific polling station. To get started I wrote functionality that scraps the locations above and pickles them in a file for later transformation in to CSV format for uploading using the bulkloader. Read more…

Categories: Programming Tags: , ,

Copyright infringement in Uganda

November 21, 2010 1 comment

The enforcement of Copyright Laws in Uganda is just starting to pick up. Today you can walk into a movie store and buy the latest movie three days old for just 1200/= ($0.5). The leaked HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS first 36 minutes was already on the shelves. Even movies which are not translated in English are sold and shockingly people buy them not knowing, only to reach home getting frustrated.

As of now meetings are going back and forth between the authorities and vendors who rip thousands of movies a day. The authorities are educating and warning them soon they will enforce and penalties will be costly. Currently in my opinion 99% of movies in Kampala are pirated movies. The business is booming. Movie renting is not a profitable business currently since its just cheaper to buy a DVD. Go to the malls, there you will find duplicators in the open making copies of DVD’s. Ink and printers printing DVD flyers. The heat from some of the shops is just unbearable.

What about music? Music ripping is not such a profitable business. Movies are the in thing now. Series, block busters on the shelves before or just a few days after official cinema release. If the FBI was to come to Uganda abruptly and start arresting fox, some malls in Kampala will become almost empty. Read more…