Learning how to communicate
Pity poor Dr. Ari Jaaksi from Nokia. He gave a talk at the Handsets World conference in Berlin on Tuesday, where according to ZDnet, he lectured Open Source Developers that they needed to learn why DRM and other closed technologies were necessary, because of business issues such as subsidized (device) business models. I suspect he wasn’t prepared for the reaction, which took the form of a major fuss on Slashdot, as well as some declarations from a few people on the maemo-users mailing lists that they would never buy another Nokia device.
Donald Knuth: “I trust my family jewels only to Linux”
Andrew Binstock interviewed Donald Knuth recently, and one of the more amusing tidbits was this:
I currently use Ubuntu Linux, on a standalone laptop—it has no Internet connection. I occasionally carry flash memory drives between this machine and the Macs that I use for network surfing and graphics; but I trust my family jewels only to Linux.
More seriously, I found his comments about about multi-core computers to be very interesting:
Organic vs. Non-Organic Open Source, Revisited
There’s been some controversy generated over my use of the terminology of “Organic” and “Non-Organic” Open Source. Asa Dotzler noted that it wasn’t Mozilla’s original intent to “make a distinction between how Mozilla does open source and how others do open source”. Nessance complainedthat he didn’t like the term “Non-Organic”, because it was “raw and vague – is it alien, poison, silicon-based?” and suggested instead the term “Synthetic Open Source”, referencing a paper by Siobhán O’Mahony, ” What makes a project open source?
Links — 2008-04-25
The Open Source Commands Really good ideas that companies should take to heart. Open Source Commandments II: Passover Penguins More really good ideas, especially for companies like Sun… Did Canonical Just Get Punked by Red Hat and Novell? Interesting thoughts about Linux desktop strategies rPath to OEM SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell for Appliances I know a bunch of the folks at rPath, and I very much respect their technology; I think this is a very good thing for them.
Organic vs. Non-organic Open Source
Brian Aker dropped by and replied to my previous essay by making the following comment:
I believe you are hitting the nail on the “organic” vs “nonorganic” open source. I do not believe we have a model for going from one to the other. Linux and Apache both have very different models for contribution… but I don’t believe either are really optimized at this point.
Optimization to me would lead to a system of “less priests” and more inclusion.
What Sun was trying to do with Open Solaris
I was recently checking to see what, if any follow-up there had been from Sun’s ham-handed handling of the Open Solaris Trademark, and I ran across this very interesting comment from John Plocher’s Candidate Statement for the Open Solaris Governing Board:
“I also think there was a misunderstanding about what Sun desired when it launched the community (in part) to encourage developers to adopt and use Solaris. My take is that, while there *is* value in getting more kernel, driver and utility developers contributing to and porting the (open) Solaris operating system, there is significantly *more* value in having a whole undivided ecosystem based on a compatible set of distributions, where application developers, university students, custom distro builders and users are all able to take advantage of each other’s work.
AT&T: Customer support horrors
This morning, I just wasted two hours of my life trying to deal with a bill with AT&T. I am a work-at-home employee, and my company has a contract with AT&T so that when I deal 1-700-xxx-xxxx, I can reach the internal corporate phone network. In addition, long distance calls on my home office line are billed to the company at the pre-negotiated corporate rates. I also had a (long-dormant) AT&T long distance account, dating from before I started working at this company.
Why I purchased the Sony PRS-505 Reader
Although I lot of people have been lauding the Kindle, I recently decided to go with the Sony PRS-505 instead. Yes, the Kindle has built-in EVDO access, and the ability to buy books without a computer, or even browse the web; and yes, the Sony has once again demonstrated it can’t create a compelling 21st century computer application to save its life. However, it had a few things that at least for me, made a better choice for me than the Kindle:
Does perfect code exist? (Abstractions, Part 1)
Bryan Cantrill recently wrote a blog entry, where among other things, he philosophized on the concept of “perfect code”. He compares software to math, arguing that Euclid’s greatest common denominator algorithm shows no sign of wearing out, and that when code achieves perfection (or gets close to perfection), “it sediments into the information infrastructure” and the abstractions defined by that code becomes “the bedrock that future generations may build upon”. Later, in the comments of his blogs, when pressed to give some examples of such perfection, he cites a clever algorithm coded by his mentor to divide a high resolution timestamp by a billion extremely efficiently, and Solaris’s “cyclic subsystem”, a timer dispatch function.
I love it when things Just Work
I am currently in the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower hotel, and since I fly entirely too much, I got upgraded into a room which contains a printer. Thinking that I would try using it, I hooked it up to my laptop (running Ubuntu Gutsy), selected System->Administration->Printing on the desktop, and then clicked on New Printer. To my astonishment, when the dialog box came up, the system had already autodetected the fact that I had an HP OfficeJet KX60xi printer connected to the parallel port, had recommended which driver I should use, and a few “next” and “continue” clicks later, the printer was installed, and 15 seconds later I was able to print to it.