Doc Searls points to this article, which explains in complete detail why newspapers - both dead tree and online - are busily dying. Like the recording and video industry, newspapers simply aren't in synch with the new business models, and are desperately trying to cling to their existing ones. It won't be a pretty thing to watch as the screams die off in the distance.
Technorati Tags: newspapers
Sounds like the folks behind "Galactica" are planning to have an actual ending to the series:
"Like many other serial dramas, such as 'Lost' or 'The Shield,' these series have a beginning, a middle and an end," says an insider at Universal, the studio that produces "Galactica."
Hmm - so that will fuel speculation - do they end it at the point where they find Earth? Do they end it with the Cylons wiping humanity out? There are any number of interesting endings, if they are willing to go out with a bang.
Nick Carr has an eye for the obvious today:
In another sign of what the future holds for Web 2.0 in business, the Forrester survey found a clear preference among CIOs for buying a full suite of Web 2.0 tools from a large, established vendor. 74% of CIOs said they'd be more interested in investing in Web 2.0 if all the tools were offered as a suite, and 71% said they'd prefer the tools to be "offered by a major incumbent vendor like Microsoft or IBM [rather than] smaller specialist firms like Socialtext, NewsGator, MindTouch, and others." Web 2.0 startups hoping to make big inroads in the enterprise market will face some big challenges, particularly as the larger vendors release their own suites of tools or incorporate them into existing products. You can bypass the CIO on a small scale, but it's difficult to bypass the CIO when it comes time for a company to standardize on a particular product and vendor.
For established companies, I'd say "well, duh". They say that for the same reason that they keep buying WebSphere and Microsoft Office. The entry point for the smaller guys isn't with the big, established firms - it's with smaller outfits who are willing to take a chance on something that's either cheaper or offers higher productivity - or both.
Michael and I have been working on the Twitter client, and getting various fixes and enhancements in. We added support for Proxy servers today, and (at least on Windows), got international character display support. Here's how it looks right now:
It's a neat little project - we intend to make the message display more useful - that's one of the next tasks.
Technorati Tags: Twitter
Scoble has an interesting post up on ad relevance and paid results - and it looks like Google is going with a "less is more" approach on the ad front. The part that grabbed my eye is how much more relevant the paid results were on Google (and I've noticed this in my searches as well - when I don't know a company's website URL, the Google search usually gives it to me as the first result in both the main and paid results).
All of which tells me that Microsoft and Yahoo still have a lot of catching up to do in this space.
This is good news:
SCI FI Channel has increased its episode order for the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica to 22 from the original 13, including a special two-hour extended episode that will air during the fourth quarter of this year and be released on DVD by Universal Studios Home Entertainment thereafter.
I hope the hole left by Starbuck's death is filled though; the show seems to be meandering at the moment.
Wired notes that CD sales have dropped 20% compared to the same quarter last year (and the ongoing trend is a steadily downward one):
judging from sales statistics for the first three months of 2007, the downward trend is now accelerating with fearsome speed, with sales of compact discs in the first quarter of 2007 dropping 20% compared to the same quarter last year.
The music industry reaction to this is that digital sales are both salvation and damnation. They would like to translate the business model that's been in use for CD's and LP's onto the new world, but what's actually happening is a return to the 50's and 60's - the single is back.
This bothers both executives and artists. Artists have become used to the idea of producing an entire album as an artistic "statement", and executives have gotten used to the revenue stream produced by full album sales. iTunes threw a spanner into that set of gears, and they are still in denial over it. In a very real sense, the DRM fight is a symptom of the larger problem - the unwillingness to accept the change in business conditions. The RIAA wants to keep making saddles while we no longer need them.
In the good ol' United States of America, the receiver pays the SMS bill. In Canada, Australia, Europe and I believe much of Asia, the sender pays. For Twitter , this may add up fast.
This brings to mind something I heard on last week's TWIT - Jason Calacanis called in, and mentioned an enormous bill for text messages (it was over $200 in the space of a week, I think). Now translate that to the bills arriving at Twitter headquarters for all the SMS notifications they get from people (and possibly the ones they send, if they support international SMS). Either way, that's a lot of money bleeding out.
The only business model I can spot for Twitter is "get bought by Google/Yahoo/Microsoft".
Let’s assume that there are 20,000 people on Twitter who have added Starbucks as a Friend in order to get a few promotions a week - e.g. a free cookie with your coffee, a free tall coffee, etc. If Twitter charged Starbucks a few cents per tweet per follower, the revenue from Starbucks might looks something like this:
10 tweets (promotions) per week
$.05 cents per tweet for each follower (maybe more???)
that’s $10 K per week or about $40K per month
I have no idea whether they are thinking along those lines, but they should be.
Update: This needs to come up from the comments to this post:
For example, what if Starbucks put up signs in their shops: "give us your mobile number if you want to receive text alerts of our newest specials"? Suddenly, they can reach most of the same people without the middleman's markup. I think the people behind Twitter have not really thought about just how far disintermediation has gone already, or how far it is likely to go in the future.
So it's back to my first thought - the Twitter business model is "get bought".
Technorati Tags: Twitter
Blogspot - the free platform tied to Blogger - is among the top doorway domains for spam. Some 74% of Blogspot blogs are used as splogs.
It's not just BlogSpot - there are worse ones out there. Check out the whole report.
|I'm up at an ungodly hour - must mean it's time to get on an airplane. I'm headed to the UK today, and will be at SPA 2007 this coming week.|
Getting WiFi access here at O'Hare in Chicago is easy enough - finding a place to plug the laptop in - not so much. With so many of us lugging laptops around, would it be too much to ask to provide a few more outlets?
I'm about to board my flight, so it's time to shut down and pack everything back up. As usual, I'm completely *cough* ready *cough* for my Sunday event - I'll be doing last minute preparation on the plane :) I also bought two books that look interesting:
- "1491", which looks at pre-Columbian America as a more complex thing than we have been taught
- "Future Hype", which looks to debunk the "things are changing faster than ever" meme.
Technorati Tags: books
Glenn Reynolds on falling CD sales:
The music industry blames piracy, but other factors -- from the ability to just buy the songs you like, and not a CD full of filler, to competition from other things like games and the Internet, to the fact that releases tend to suck more than they used to -- seem more significant.
I brought this topic up the other day, and I think I had it right then - the business is moving back to a singles model. The "album oriented" period is coming to an end, and it's a painful adjustment - for studios and for artists.
This doesn't mean that the album will go away; but it does mean that album sales will no longer be the driver for the industry.
Well, the Sheraton Heathrow has two things going against it right now - mostly non-existent connectivity, and the temperature of room is sauna-like. Not a great start to the trip :/
If I were superstitious, I'd say that someone was sending me a message. Blazing hot hotel room, bad WiFi. Then, something truly weird happened to me last night. I got up to go to the bathroom - last night's airplane dinner was not sitting well with me - and then I found myself lying on the floor, confused. I have no memory of falling down - I must have passed out. I came away from that with a scrape on the forehead and a sore front tooth (only thing I can figure is that I must have landed on it).
I had something similar happen to me when I was very sick as a teenager - but that time, I woke up on the way to the floor (and believe me, that was no fun). This time, I have no memory of passing out at all, nor of hitting the floor. When I woke up, I was disoriented enough to not be sure about where I was. Fortunately, everything seems fine this morning.
The only thing I can think of is that dinner - just before it happened, I had fairly intense discomfort in my lower abdomen. I sure hope the rest of the trip goes better than this...
ValleyWag is reporting that InfoWorld is going to shutter their print edition:
InfoWorld, the long-standing weekly magazine to which enterprise technology startups made a dutiful pilgrimage, is to shut down, according to a newsletter report. The title, owned by the IDG publishing group, will continue to operate as a web news site; but the print magazine, which carried celebrity columnists such as Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe, is dead after nearly three decades. Tech titles have been the first, in the magazine industry, to fall to web competition. Red Herring magazine, as we've reported, can't compete with Valley insider blogs such as Techcrunch and Gigaom.
I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, I realize that the print edition costs a lot to produce (and is mainly advertiser supported - I get my copy free). On the other hand, I like getting the print edition - I rarely go to the websites for things like InfoWorld, ComputerWorld (et. al.). I read some of their stories, but only the ones that go by in my news reader. With the print edition - like a regular newspaper - I read stories I wouldn't necessarily be looking for.
Sadly, my interest in grazing the print edition just isn't part of a big enough market to justify the ongoing print editions. I don't pay for InfoWorld, and I don't currently pay for any newspapers, either - so my inchoate desire for hardcopy is just that.
Technorati Tags: media
I finished "Future Hype" this morning on the train ride up here to Cambridge - it was a decent book, and a fast read. The author's main point: don't believe all the hype you hear about how things are moving so much faster now than they ever have been.
My history reading has made me skeptical of that idea, and one of the examples given by Seidensticker is communications. Yes, the internet is an advance: but consider earlier communications advances, and where they took people. When the net came online, we already had news traveling around the globe nearly instantly, via phone, television, and radio. Now go back to the early 19th century, before the telegraph was invented - communications took days, weeks, or even months. Ambassadors back then had much more power and latitude than they have now; when the young US sent an official to deal with the Barbary pirates in 1805, he wasn't going to get new instructions from Washington for months - he was left to his own best judgement. In 1858, there was a transatlantic cable - suddenly, the President could give his foreign (at least in Europe) ambassadors new instructions anytime he wanted.
Consider that upheaval. Just within the foreign service ranks of the various powerful nations of the day: foreign office staff went from being powers unto themselves to being message carriers in an instant. When the internet really came into its own in the early 90's, it didn't have anything like that impact.
The book is filled with similar anecdotes, and should reset any thinking person's notions of how fast change is happening. The early industrial revolution, for instance, changed the lives of the average Westerner a lot more than anything that's happened in the last 50 years - look at the changes taking place right now in places like India and China to see a modern day example of that.
Technorati Tags: technology
This will make my friend Mike happy - WKRP's 1st season is hitting DVD. He had mentioned that the holdup was due to payout issues over all the songs that were playing (in full or in part) during the episodes. Whether that was the issue or not, it's out there for order.
We had some timing issues this week - David Buck and I recorded at 5:30 yesterday afternoon, without Michael. Michael woke up an hour later and then he and I recorded a session. I'm posting the latter session as this week's episode - only so that Michael can make his announcement himself.
Scoble has related thoughts on this here - and he's not pulling any punches:
The industry has NOT invested in its future.
It is reaping the rewards of that.
How many future journalists are being trained for the online world?
I can tell you how many: zero. When I talked with students back then about half thought they were going to work in newspapers.
I told them they were smoking crack.
Harsh, but not wrong.
The conference is starting today - I've got my talk in a couple of hours. Unlike the chilly drizzle we had yesterday, it's nice out today: I took a picture of the central quad here at Homerton:
Looks like it'll be a good day to teach Smalltalk!
Slashdot highlights some more of the RIAA's finest work:
"The latest target of the RIAA's ire is a 10-year-old girl in Oregon, who was 7 when the alleged infringement occurred, and whose disabled mother lives on Social Security. In Atlantic v. Andersen, an Oregon case that was widely reported in 2005 when the defendant counterclaimed against the RIAA under Oregon's RICO statute and other laws, the defendant's mother sought to limit the RIAA's deposition of the child to telephone or video-conference. The RIAA has refused, insisting on being able to grill the little girl in person. Here are court documents
I wonder how much caffeine the RIAA's PR staff needs to take in to stay ahead of the constant wave of negative PR Events generated by their lawyers?
The tutorial I gave this afternoon went fairly well - I had fifteen people and a lot of questions. It was fun to get in front of a group of non-Smalltalkers and show off the system again - and it also reminded me of how long it's been since I was a beginner (the beginner questions they had weren't anything like the beginner questions were back in the 90's, when I taught for ParcPlace. Oh, for anyone interested in what I covered: it was a shorter version of Smalltalk Daily - which you can watch in order here.
I got some more requests from CD's after the session as well, so word of mouth must have been ok :)
After things wrapped up at 7 PM, we headed down to the great room for a Google sponsored dinner:
Joseph Pelrine is here, so I took a picture of him chatting at a table - I also want to thank Joseph for his help during the tutorial today - he sat in and had some helpful and timely suggestions. Thanks!
So now I just have to sit back and enjoy the conference - and there are a number of good sessions that conflict tomorrow. Decisions, decisions...
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
It's the opening session of SPA 2007, here at Homerton College. It's a nice location - I like it better than last year's spot, the Robinson Centre. There are three sessions of interest to me this afternoon after the opening - I'm going to head on over to Joseph's session though, since we are adopting more of a Scrum-type approach to development on the Cincom Smalltalk team. Here's to a good week!
I wanted to exercise, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to hear Dave Thomas (Smalltalk Dave) give a talk. Dave is having a fun time offering to let us vote on which of his two presentations to give :) Heh - he's skipping the planned talk due to audience demand, and saying only that there are ways to introduce agile techniques into large organizations. Instead, we're going to take a look at where Dave thinks development is going in the next decade and a half.
Since leaving OTI, Dave has founded Bedarra Research Labs - he's looking to be able to do some development again, but current technology fads make him feel like he's had all his limbs hacked off. The problem: we're in an incredible complexity mess due to the badness of the current languages. This has generated a plethora of tools to try and compensate for that, but it only makes for a bigger pile. We have what Dave calls "Latent Technical Complexity".
Open SOurce from OS to Application allow every customer application to be "unique".
Why the latent complexity?
- Objects, components, interfaces, AOP, WS*, SOA (etc, etc)
- Enterprise Applications and the need for their customization
- Integration is difficult.
- Flagrant disregard for limited resources (Embedded Java, XML, SOAP)
- "Linux works because it's basically BSD circa 1980"
- KLOCS kill both performance and ability to evolve
- A Better Algorithm is better than optimization
There's a real skills gap: "everyone" knows Java: "Certification is a statement that you aren't competent". If you want to be where the action is, it's in the domain (business) side, not the development side.
MDD: The Ideal. Then there's the OMG (Object Losers Group, heh). way: MDA, or UML all the way down. This gives you development and debugging at the level of the abstraction. Interestingly, UML isn't even fully defined.
Heh - you aren't getting the real flavor of this talk - Dave is a truly funny guy.
The challenges of next generation applications: Business Driven vs. Technology Driven.
- Based on sound and deep understanding of the business
- complexity mandates development driven by business experts - domain fusion, probablities and fuzzy reasons)
- Support for high performance teams
- First time applications vs. traditional processes improvement
Real time business:development in real-time, execution in real time. They have masses of data and event streams. Important point: Processors, memory, bandwidth, and storage are "free" - Amazon ECL and S3, for instance.
So going back to games: Not just the fun stuff of the graphics and physics. You also have data persistence and versioning. You have distributed processing, visual content editors, scripting and compiler technologies, and UI work.
Game updates happen at high speed, they are distributed, and state changes hit multiple other objects. So back to MDD: a natural way of expressing application requirements in a disciplined and well understood "language" which models some aspect of the domain.
We want to work in a high level, domain oriented language - which will allow us to specify the domain more easily. Ideally, the developers would work with a domain (not a software engineer) expert who is versed in computational modeling. This is really about DSL (Steve Kelly!) - Domain Specific Languages.
Back to the future: We want languages that encourage "think and try it" - not ones that favor "design code and test". There are lots of examples of end user programming: Spreadsheets, MatLab, QBE tools, visual languages like ProGraph, DabbleDB, etc. There are lots of important things that aren't being taught anymore:
- Constraint Programming: ThingLab
- Dynamic Object Programming: Smalltalk, CLOS
- Logic Programming: Prolog
- Reactive Programming: Erlang
He listed others - point being, "fad" training is what Universities do now. Language design challenges:
- Readable and Writeable
- Strong specific vs. Strong generic (domain-wise)
- Uniform access to data (i.e., LINQ)
- Supporting multiple domains
- Supporting multiple paradigms
James McGovern talks about outsourcing in India (et. al.), and makes a snap judgement based on an utter lack of historical awareness:
People are poor if they have to purchase their basic needs at high prices no matter how much income they make. Take the case of India. Because of cheap food and fibre being dumped by developed nations and lessened trade protections enacted by the government, farm prices in India are tumbling, which means that the country’s peasants are losing $26 billion U.S. each year.
So.... The migration of industries like textiles and heavy manufacturing from England to the US in the 19th century did long term damage to the US? Sheesh - I wish people had some base awareness of what's happened in the past before they started making sweeping generalizations.
This workshop is going to deal with how we deal with problems on a project - Joseph Pelrine and Ben Fuchs (tech and psychology). More information on this stuff on their website: http://www.cateams.com/index.php. Difficult Behaviors - from minor to bad:
- estimate fudging
- chronic lateness/under-performance
- physical violence
For our purposes, "difficulty" is in the context of the team and the project. We can deal with the team or with the individual.
A nice metaphor for team state - compare to cooking:
- Burning: Team in panic mode, chaos, ruination
- Cooking - things mix properly, flavors come out, things progress
- Medium Heat - things stagnate, don't mix - things break (meetings missed, bugs accumulate)
- Low Heat - things congeal - "This is how we do things"
- Off - solid, "This is how you must do things" (no discussion possible)
Periodically, you have to "turn the heat up", and then let things cool on their own (as the team self organizes). How do you turn the knobs?
- Work Pressure (TimeBox vs. amount of work)
- Diversity (age, gender, perspectives, ethnicity, etc)
- Physical environment
- Tools to slow down/and/or amplify team dynamics
- And, of course, conflict
Dealing with conflict: Pre-Conventional (Police, Medical staff use these sorts of approaches)
- Core Issues: Physical Safety
- Metaphor: Conflict as a threat to survival
- Model: Conflict management, de-escalation
- Approach: Positive authority
Conventional (most professional situations)
- Core Issues: Identity, Rank, Power
- Metaphor: Conflict as a threat to identity
- Model: Conflict Resolution
- Approach: Mediation/Facilitation
Post-Conventional (teams/inter-personal, for instance)
- Core Issues: Shared meaning
- Metaphor: Conflict as opportunity
- Model: Conflict transformation
- Approach: Sense-making
Constructive conflict requires emotional maturity and an ability to be self reflective. The session included multiple exercises, and I can't really convey those here.
Interesting perspective: We look at things via OIC: Observation, Interpretation, Conclusion - where the latter two come from our own beliefs, biases (etc). Often times, we see things completely differently than the other person intended.
We wrapped up with a group exercise: one of the participants related an actual work problem, in order to generate some feedback. I'm not going to say anything about it, as we all agreed to keep all the people involved anonymous.
Phillip Greenspun explains that Java is fading from cool to passé:
In September 2003, I innocently posted Java is the SUV of programming languages? based on the fact that students in 6.171 who’d chosen to use Java were incapable of getting anything done. It created quite a stir in the comments and on Slashdot. This semester is the first time that we’ve taught 6.171 since then. Despite the fact that all the students are expert Java programmers, having used Java to build a big project in 6.170, none have chosen to use Java this semester. It is all Ruby on Rails, Microsoft .NET (C#), and a touch of Python.
Meanwhile, the Enterprisey folks - who are always years behind the curve - still think it's the end all, be all :)
It's been a good day at SPA 2007 - I attended a Creativity workshop this morning, which was pretty neat. The idea was this: we got a problem statement, and then we did some brainstorming exercises to either find solutions or better understand the problem. Our group had a "Lotus Blosson" exercise:
- Toss out an idea
- Find eight related ideas and ring them around it
- Then pick one or more of those, put them out, and repeat
We didn't find solutions, but we iterated towards understanding the problem. Here's a shot of one of the other groups, using lots of paper on another approach:
Earlier, we had a little exercise that went like this: Statements on a board, handouts with other statements. Find the ones that are "opposite" and tack them up:
So that was a fun session - I might well try some of the ideas out at work.
Here are a few shots I took during the day. First: Dave Thomas' keynote - and it was a great talk:
Funny dinner story on that - turns out that a lot of people didn't really "get" Dave's talk - those of us in the room who were Smalltalkers, or Ruby-ists (etc) - we spent the entire speech nodding our heads. Very interesting difference in perspectives :)
Here are two pictures from a humorous "panel" that ran this evening - hard to describe, but think of tech/geek word association and Startup send-ups:
I really do like this conference - it's a great bunch of people :)
So, since she doesn’t feel safe. I’m going to stop blogging in support of Kathy, who I consider a friend and someone who’s voice would be dearly missed here. I’ll be back Monday.
The Internet culture is really disgusting. Today when I was on Justin.TV the kinds of things that people were discussing in the chat room there were just totally disgusting and over the top.
It's not specifically internet culture - we've seen this in email (and further back, on BBS systems) for years. People will say things in text that they would never say in person - because they feel like it isn't "personal". The answer isn't pulling back - it's more speech, more condemnation, more un-acceptance of bad behavior. If we want bad behavior to stop, we have to stand up to it. Pulling back only encourages it.
So here's my part of the disapproval: The people Kathy mentions in her post who were willing participants (active or passive) in this set of disgusting threats (including death threats) against Kathy - you should all be deeply ashamed of yourselves, and - at the very least - you should all offer personal apologies to her. Failure to do so will demonstrate one thing, and one thing only: that you have no character. I mean you, Jeneane Sessum, and you, Allen Herrel, and you, Chris Locke. I would hope that those three (and anyone else involved) get actively shunned until they publicly apologize. Maybe Scoble wants to withdraw and not call a spade a spade. That's not me.
Update: Sadly no - this blizzard of "Not Me!" doesn't count as an apology or explanation.
Technorati Tags: news
Time for the weekly jobs posting from Precision Systems:
Northern New Jersey – multiple projects, various cities
Senior Smalltalk Developer (permanent, 6 month contract-to-hire and 12+ month contract)
New York, NY – multiple projects
Smalltalk Developer, Smalltalk Team Lead, and Smalltalk/Java Developer (contract and permanent)
Ohio – multiple projects
Smalltalk Developer (permanent)
Smalltalk Developer (permanent or contract-to-hire)
Software Engineering Manager (permanent)
Texas – multiple projects in different cities
Smalltalk Developer (contract or 6 month contract-to-hire)
Smalltalk Developer (permanent)
.Net Developer, Smalltalk a plus (permanent)
Senior Smalltalk Developer and Junior Programmer/Analyst (permanent)
Don’t forget to pass along your co-workers and friends; for any new and successful referral to Precision we will pay you $1,000!
I look forward to speaking with you!
Smalltalk Staffing Group – Precision Systems
The basis for the talk is Seaside , a web framework for Smalltalk that Avi wrote several years ago. The problem with Seaside is you're not going to use it! There are a lot of interesting ideas in Seaside that people should know, so this tutorial is way of spreading the ideas outside of Smalltalk.
In a nutshell, there's what's wrong with the software industry. People see a fantastic technology, but insist on rewriting it (badly) in other languages because it's "politically correct" to do so. Productivity? Time Saving? ROI? Apparently irrelevant.
Technorati Tags: development
I wasn't awake enough to take notes on Brian Marick's keynote, but I should have - it was a great talk. In any event, I'm attending Michael Feather's talk on API design. He's starting with a common problem developers have: say you want to fetch mail in code. You then have to dig through the API documentation (or in VW, the PDF docs) to figure out how to use the mail code. Interestingly enough, raw API doc isn't that useful without accompanying "how to" type doc. IMHO, what you really want in this case is example code - the API documentation doesn't help you initially (although it will help you down the road, when you want to do more. On the Smalltalk side, you then go browse code, but that works just as well - even though it's "politically incorrect" compared to massive API doc :) )
This particular example is of interest to me because I did screencasts on mail sending and receiving just last week - and I didn't have to create a new class just to figure that out. After perusing the example code in ours doc, I just tossed a few lines into a workspace and tried them out. Once I had that down, I just did the screencasts :). Ultimately, you do what I did in BottomFeeder - create a class that wraps mail sending (or receiving), and deal with your own API, and then have a simple place where the underlying vendor API is isolated and easy to manage.
So API Design: The art of creating interfaces that are useful to clients and extensible for future needs. Not all interfaces are APIs.
Unit Tests: They really do need to be isolated (i.e., not dependent on network communication, database results, etc).
API Development is hard work because:
- APIs live forever
- Meaning, Mistakes live forever
- Early choices can close off future desires
Interesting comment next: Avoid Static Methods. I would have said that Sun simply screwed up, and didn't create real objects. If classes in Java were actual objects, this problem wouldn't exist. Heh - he also recommends against using Sealed, Final, and non-virtual. Again, those aren't features - they are bugs.
Here's a good piece of advice: write code that uses your own APIs. If it's too hard for you to use, then what will your clients think? As well - supply your tests to the end users (developers). There's no good reason not to.
After the API talk and lunch, there was a croquet game set up outside - so I headed out and played two games. It was a lot of fun, and I managed to get a lucky wicket by rolling my ball over another :) Here are two pictures of the Croquet game:
After that diversion, I headed to the Web 2.0 Fishbowl session, as I was part of the initial panel. I took two shots while I was outside the fishbowl:
That was fun - second fishbowl I've done, and I hope not the last :)
On this one, I take the side of the mean kids, because no one else is, and I have a soft spot for people who are being attacked by a mob, no matter how pathetic they are.
Tip for those - like Dave - who are too stupid to understand: There should be a mob after those who condone death threats. I'll add Winer to my list of people who the decent sorts should shun - his post is just despicable.
Technorati Tags: stupidity
After the sessions wrapped up, we had a champagne tasting event - I don't much care for champagne, but I gave it a whirl. We had five bottles to identify by taste. Since I've already said more than I know about the topic, I got one of each and lined them up:
That didn't help me much, but other people used the lineup to compare:
Later, we retired to the Combination Room (lots of couches and chairs) to while away the evening:
Jon Udell notes that authenticated RSS is hard to do, and ended up picking up RSSBandit to solve his problem:
Today I created a private blog site that is, Internet-accessible but SSL-and-password-protected and realized that there was no easy way for most people to subscribe to it. Even if the popular cloud-based readers like Bloglines and Google Reader supported authenticated feeds, I wouldn't want to let them use my credentials to impersonate me.
BottomFeeder has supported Digest and Basic Auth protected feeds (with or without SSL) for years now :)
Technorati Tags: BottomFeeder
Via TechCrunch, I see that a way for Twitter to make money does in fact exist:
Currently, it costs a lot of money to launch a start-up in the SMS/mobile space — you have to license a shortcode monthly ($500-$1000/mo), pay a SMS gateway provider, and then pay anywhere from $0.03 - $0.05 per inbound or outbound text message. It adds up. But now, if a start-up chooses to use Twitter as a command line to their web service, it’s free (until Twitter starts charging for it).
So right now, Twitter could be in "viral" mode, getting people hooked. Later, they could start charging a nominal fee for the service. Hmm...
There was a very good session this morning on scoping, which involved a game to get the idea across. We set up teams of three, and each of us got money, product cards, and feature cards, along with marketing info. Our task - decide which products to ship with which features, given the constraints of reuse vs. one off features (more cost for reuse) and the monetary limit. Here's a picture I took of the board after round 2:
In round one, we didn't spot a way to tradeoff one of our dollars, and decided to ship only 2 of 3 possible products - which is why we tied for second in round two: we were just too far behind after that mistake. It was fun though, and it put the whole product marketing/management decision process "in my face" in a very good way. Food for thought.
Another SPA is done - and it was a fun conference. I'll be back next year - it looks like another Smalltalk tutorial is a real possibility. I like the Cambridge location, too - it's nice, and being near a sizeable town has its advantages.
As the show wrapped, we all put up post-its with "what did you learn", or "what did you think" ideas on them - I took a few shots, and no - I didn't add the "Smalltalk" one :) I did like the one in the middle:
It's been a great week!