March 2000 Archives
Joel on Software Painless Software Schedules: Thoughts on software development
Speller is a lightweight spell-checking application tailored for the web.
So You've Decided to be Evil: A Step-by-Step Guide to joining the Forces of Darkness
"People have an innate preference to share with others when it benefits them. This is why Free Software works, and why programs like Napster and other file sharing protocols work. Same cause, although different legalitiy...
IMHO, people follow their instincts. Most intellectual property laws follow against people's instincts, and the only think that protected them in the past was the copying cost (ie for books and movies that cost a lot to copy on paper and film).
We're going to see legal disobedience on a large scale, on the basis of what comes naturally. You can't fight that, no matter how many laws you make. Even then, smart people will find a way - they always have and always will."by bbk
Quotable Heinlein an interactive community for fans of Robert Heinlein.
"PerlDB is database project to create a new database written entirely in Perl. PerlDB will be closely related to the Perl DBI project and will be created in line with the ANSI SQL-92 database standard. If you would like to join us, please get in touch."
I'm not as optomistic as engel after reading Cringely's Don't Touch That Dial piece. Regardless of the connection to local and network TV the concept of everyone haveing high speed acccess to the internet is a good thing.
The problem is who will run it and what type of control will they exert over content? I don't trust the national network TV execs. I do think that they are the players that will push for broadband not just for internet content, if they don't they will go the way of the Passenger Pigeon. Just look at technology like TiVo, buypass the scheduled program times and buypass the comercials. Look at what great broadcasting the networks have given us, Friends, Perfect, Party of Five, etc. Do you want them feeding your internet content?
"If the station owners are smart, that's what they will do, subvert I-Beam by creating something even better. Let the best technology win. And that would be good for us all." Cringely
Not saying that the local affilates are any better but there are more of them, more potential for competition. In order for broadband in every home, and all communications traveling over the same pipe, the system will have to follow the basic principals of the internet, distributed and decentralized. Otherwise what we get will be usless.
My mind got ta thinking after reading Cringely's Piece on the future of broadcasting. I think it would be awesome to have all of our media come through one high-speed line for cheap.
I mean, think about it: what if by getting a $40-$50 DSL/cable connection, you could have: free long distance calls, free phone, cable (actually, any broadcast station in the world), 'radio', and internet access all in one line?
A friend of mine, Steve Cook, once said that instead of breaking up the Bell Monopoly in the 80s, the government should have given Bell a choice to either break up OR finance about 10 strands of fiber-optic cable to every house in the US.
Instead of forcing companies, including Microsoft, to break up, maybe the governement should give them a choice to 'do the right thing'. Could you imagine the shape of the internet and media today if every person had a much-faster-than-LAN speed connection? Could you imagine being able to have enough bandwidth to do whatever you wanted PERIOD and not have to worry?
"Hypercard, Supercard, and Metacard are all hypermedia, stack-based, WYSIWYG, persistent, event-driven, rapid software development systems. Each provides extensive customizability through a proprietory scripting language.Looks very intresting.
The aim of this project is to create a free implementation of a similar application (LlamaCard), using Perl as the scripting language and various standard Perl libraries to help implement the GUI, so that the entire package is platform-independent."
Tales form the Inbox
The following is the Customer Service number for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation. Dial the number and listen to their message, until the time you are requested to choose an extension-and then you can hang up. The opening message is priceless, and worth the toll-free call.
A nice Anime site. One of my college carear highlights was the Anime presentation to my Japanese Culture class. Succeded in converting the professor to a Anime lover, in the academic sense.
Wana practice your demolistion skills? Try to implode the KingDome (500k flash).
"... They are talking about setting aside a percentage of the profits, approximately 10%, and distributing it evenly among the employees based on how many hours they worked. 'A janitor will get just as much as a programmer,' based on hours, says Widenius. 'We try to keep all salaries open. In the long run we think that should be fair to everyone."
Good point about the 'one click buying' patent, Foz. You know, most of the ideas on the internet are not new ideas, they are extentions of current ideas made digital instead of made flesh.
People have been running tabs for thousands of years. What makes Amazon think that because it is now done digitally instead of physically it can patent an idea that has been around since the beginning of history?
A phrase that was overused a few years ago but makes sense: "Right now the internet is us writing on the digital cave."
That's right, and let's face it, Amazon got a patent on painting.
Click once to buy...
Here is a test of prior art.
During spring break of '94 I spent one glorious evening in Key West. Me and some friends, the three amigos, went to the Hog's Breath for some drinks. Apon walking up to the bar the bartender collected one of our credit cards. When we wanted a drink, or to buy one for a pretty senorita, one would just, "Hey another margerita over here!" and low and behold there was a margerita at the table. At the end of the evening my amigo got his credit card, or I think he did everything is fuzzy at that point.
For those of you that didn't make the connection I call it "1 shout drinking." We setup an agreement with the bar to pay for anything we ordered with the credit card, just like Amazon but they sell books not drinks.
"As the Net traumatizes one institution after another, some appear to be eating their young.
People selling things on the Net -- whether books, newspapers, chocolates, banking or ideas -- interact with their customers in jarring, often invasive ways. But both sides can benefit.
It is no accident that the companies that have managed to profit most from the information revolution are the ones that devote the most energy to maximizing customer responsiveness."
That would be mean neither the newspaper nor publishing industries, both of which have made it a sacred virtue to be disconnected from and unresponsive to their customers.
The old industries <voice="Doctor Evil">Just don't get it</voice>.
Ramen Recipe Page
Too bad I didn't know about all these Ramen recipes bach in The Slum days. We started, tried, a tradition of "Ramathom" where the week before finaly was a Ramen only diet for the slumites. It would all kick off with a party around a big pot of Ramen and some friends.
German Chameleon Inks Deal with Canadian Dust Puppy User Friendly and SuSE make a deal.
I'm watching Tombstone on <shudder>Fox</shudder> tonight. I was struck with the thought of how mutch the 'modern' american action movie is just a western, even the old westerns.
An I-Opening Hack: $200 PC Wired joins the coverage.
"He too reported local Circuit City outlets out of stock. "I think we've 'Slashdotted' Circuit City," he said."
My favorite slashdot comment, "Blame Canada! With their beady eyes, and floppy heads..."
"In ways that could not have been predicted even a few years ago, the patent system is in crisis. A series of unplanned mutations have transformed patents into a positive threat to the digital economy. The patent office has grown entangled in philosophical confusion of its own making; it has become a ferocious generator of litigation; and many technologists believe that it has begun to choke the very innovation it was meant to nourish."
"If you're just starting to learn Linux in the hopes of becoming a paid professional, or have been using it for some time for personal use and are interested in making a career out of it, the main question on your mind, is probably "what do I really need to know to make a living doing this?". This subject could easily be expanded to a full length book of suggested learning, but I will outline some of the basic concepts and skills you should be seeking to acquire for yourself in the interest of becoming a paid Linux professional."
Fozbaca and I have been having a debate on what the next 10 years will bring in the form of gas-efficient cars. His position is that everything will remain pretty much status quo. My position is that something will change in the next 10 years to make the general populace go toward alternate/hybrid cars.
Blogger, what I am using to blog, has a new look and remote editing. Too bad I have bowling tonight and will not be able to play with Blogger changes til Tuesday night.
The National Electric Drag Racing Association
This one is for Engel.
Talking to Mark Stone:The latest on VA's vision for its new Web holdings
"When VA Linux bought Andover.net, the first question on many people's lips was why. Eileen Cohen sheds light on that question in an interview with Mark Stone."
Really a usless interview. Nothing is answered, almost sounds like Clinton being interviewed.
SciFi Channel is going to have a six-hour miniseries ofFrank Herbert's Dune this fall. Now I might have a reason for getting cable.
"Angelina Jolie is in final talks to play Lara Croft in the upcoming Paramount movie Tomb Raider, based on the Eidos Interactive video game series of the same name, according to Variety.
... Jolie embodies some of the qualities of Croft, who is intrepid and resourceful as well as easy on the eyes. ... Tomb Raider is set to begin production this summer."
I hope the "talks" work out. I woudl love to see Jolie as Lara.
"This is a list of some (not all) public Blogger-powered blogs that we have verified are not junk.*"
WhoHa! made the list.
"The concern is about patents used to stop things from happening. The logical outgrowth of that is software developed solely by lawyers. If you want that kind of software and web services, stay quiet. If you care about the future of technology, now is an excellent time to make your point of view known, respectfully of course."
Weblog Nation: an occasional compilation of highlights from the independent weblog community
"As Dan Gillmor, crusading columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, said in a conversation we had about the issue, 'It may be legal, but IT ISN'T RIGHT!'"
"I think the Human Genome Project should produce a genome sequence that's available to everybody, but biotech companies should also be able to protect their intellectual property,"
Intellectual property (IP) isn't a right. IP is granted for the good of society and for the advance ment of useful scientific and artistic pursuits. IP is not a right, it is a a privlage.
"I get myself psyched up to make a difference, and then we always end up with the same old things: men who have no personality or charisma, who are as impassioned as planks when speaking, who seem to have sketchy morals, and who exist totally disconnected from the majority of Americans." megnut
"Why does it happen? Specifically, what are the economic forces that drive it? How does free software differ from proprietary in this regard?"
"...you consider Altoids, Salt-&-Vinegar chips, and blue Teeni Hugs a balanced diet. (or even an acceptable combination.)"
But they are a good combination :)
"WHEN they wrote the Constitution, the nation's founders didn't figure on digital technology's impact. But I'm convinced they would have been appalled by the way greed has overcome the public interest when it comes to intellectual property."
The relevant constitutional language is the eighth clause in Section 8 of Article I. It gives Congress the responsibility ``To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.''
"Without patents, the customers **always** win. With patents, he who dies with the most patents wins."
The Future Of The Programmable Browser, Jon Udell DHTML Standards? XUL?
I have not done a serious technical evaluation of either XUL or DHTML. My hope is for XUL to "win". Why? I don't trust Microsoft, they have burned me too many times in development projects.
Outlines: The Do Everything Tool
"Writing is remarkably like software development."
The hard roots of open source software
How the road forked when proprietary software was invented
Kevin Mitnick was no hacker in testimony before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
"The human side of computer security is easily exploited and constantly overlooked," Mitnick explained ..."
"Interestingly, research by Jack Carroll at IBM in the 1980s proved that a "training wheels" approach to computers makes people better at understanding the expert features once they get to them. The reason being that users learn the conceptual structure of the system better when they are presented with the smaller set of features first. Not seeing something during initial use of the system would result in better use of the hidden features later.
...In the old days, an operating system was designed to optimize the utilization of the computer's resources. In the future, its main goal will be to optimize the user's time."
Earthport claims prior art in Amazon patent
Thank god for prior art. The question "are patents really useful to society?" is not answered.
"Storm Linux 2000 is a very nice distribution. Although it's not as polished as Mandrake 7 in many aspects, Storm Linux is a nice, easy to use, solid distribution. I particularly recommend Storm Linux for anyone who wants to setup a small home network. Storm Linux isn't as ready for the desktop as Mandrake is, but Storm would definitely feel right at home in just about any server/workstation. "
So far Stormix is my distribution of choice.
the 5k award
Now this sounds like an intresting contest. Design a site in under 5k, 5 kilobytes. The winner gets 5120 (5k) US cents.
"The entire system when installed is less than 150Mb!..and makes it the most convenient, fastest, operable and appealing Linux distribution ... "
Looks like there is another distribution on the streets. The only problem that jumps out is exclusive use of KDE which I just can't stand. Now what I want to see is a 20-50 meg Linux distribution that is GNOME and Debian based. The beauty is Debian has a very rational upgrade/instalation path. For the end user off the bat has a simple to use easy default setup that can be easily configured and upgraded as their experience level increases.
Sex addicts rule online
I find this one hard to believe. So are people who play games on line more than 11 hours a week game addicts? Are people that have more than 11 hours of sex, in real life, are sex addicts?
THE HACKER CRACKDOWN Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier, Texinfo Edition 1.2, February 1994