A few groups inside of Cincom have expressed an interest in blogging on the intranet (i.e., the private Cincom network) - so I've arranged with one of the IT guys to set aside some space on a Unix server. I have the basic server ready to roll out - we should be able to get going next week. With any luck, this will help our internal communications as much as this site has helped the external ones.
The weather was perfect for a beach outing today, so after 18 holes of golf, it was off to the water. Here's a shot looking north:
The current was running south today, which is unusual. The waves were bigger than last night, and there were surfers out. Here's a view looking south:
There's almost no development on the shore going south - I jogged a good ways down that way last night. Finally, here's the waves coming in, and my daughter running out to jump into them:
It was a great day out there.
This is another shot, but by my daughter Victoria, who has a much better camera (5 megapixel) than I do:
This is looking north - on a clear day, you can see the coast jut out a bit at Cape Canaveral. If you look at the dunes on the left, you can see a segment at the bottom that looks dug out. My dad says that happened during a nor'easter type of storm during the early spring. If the space coast gets hit by a serious hurricane this summer, a lot of the houses on the beach are going to fall down - they are just way too close to the edge of the dunes.
Time for my weekly look at the logs - BottomFeeder downloads went at a rate of 152 a day:
Off to the HTML Page accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
Looks like Mozilla's numbers are back to the normal distribution for the site. Finally, the RSS accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Net News Wire||7.7%|
|Google Feed Fetcher||3.7%|
|RSS 2 Email||1%|
And that's a wrap for another week.
We headed out to the beach last night for a walk - it was a pleasant enough evening, and the threat of rain never showed up. Here's a shot of the water:
I also took this one, looking north into the distance - that's my dad walking ahead of us:
It was nicer out than it looks - it was close to dark, which is why the colors are odd.
Steve Rubel notes that real world stores are opening virtual world versions of themselves:
Advergaming in games like Second Life is beginning to really take steam. The 3pointD blog has discovered that American Apparel is opening a virtual store inside the role-playing game. American Apparel has 130 physical stores worldwide, including over 30 here in the US. In-game ads - which this is akin to - will hit $400M, according to CNET.
There are people making real money by selling virtual real estate in Second Life; I wonder if this outfit will be selling virtual clothing for real money?
John Collins draws some nice attention to the ValueModel framework in VisualWorks:
ValueModel was part of their VisualWorks application. As far as I know, that was the most highly evolved MVC-oriented GUI application programming framework devised in Smalltalk.
If you download the Application Developers Guide and do a search on ValueModel - you will get treated to some nice diagrams and code. Not a lot, but they are the right ones to examine. There is a page with all the VisualWorks documentation, if you want to browse everything.
It really is a nice framework, and applicable (as John explains) beyond Smalltalk.
Doc Searls on Net Neutrality:
The problem is, I like Sirius. I like the fact that I can hear Steve Gillmor, yours truly and other people I know on Sirius 102, right above Howard 100 and 101, where I get to enjoy Howard Stern, Scotty Ferrall and other exiles from terrestrial radio, where they were fined and censored off the air by the FCC, which found them "indecent".
Sirius, however, is a silo. It's private. It's not public. It's spaces are finite, but they're far more wide-open that the public airwaves have been ever since Congress, the Supreme Court and the FCC all agreed, long ago, that the First Amendment doesn't apply there . It's just the container cargo we call "content" (check the file name in the URL at the last link) and it can be regulated and controlled just like we do with trucking.
See, the private zones are relatively free, while the public ones are not. And private zones are the ones the carriers want clearance to create.
He makes the point about Sirius, which I think is crucial: The "public utilities" we have in the "content" area are heavily regulated, and free speech on those systems is limited (in multiple ways). If we regulate the net in the name of "neutrality", we'll end up with a new FCC for the net (or the existing one with new ground to regulate).
Thanks, but no thanks
David Rubinstein of SDTimes says that we should trust the professionals in media rather than bloggers. Let me start with his summary:
As more unnamed, untrustworthy writers enter the blogosphere, they will actually drive readers back to the traditional publishing sites, where the George Wills and Maureen Dowds -- and in our industry the Alan Zeichicks, Peter Coffees and Larry O’Briens -- have proven, over years of reporting and analysis, that they are the names you can trust.
Unnamed? If there's a rise in anonymous blogging, it's not in the areas I follow. But hey - no mention of the AP, Reuters, and UPI, who also push out stories with no bylines quite frequently (and whose stories get spread a lot more widely). And Maureen Dowd, or George Will? Those two are opinion columnists, not reporters. You don't read either one to get breaking news, and I'm not sure why either of their opinions on politics would be better than a blogger's.
Further back in his article, he mentioned WikiPedia:
Meanwhile, encyclopedia publishers employ a veritable army of fact-checkers to ensure the information they put out is accurate. Does Wikipedia use the same standard, or does it assume that the public at large is the army of fact-checkers, who jump in and correct errors they find? Well, what happens if the day I look something up is the day before someone with better knowledge corrects the very entry I relied on the day before? Who’s standing at the gate before this information gets disseminated over the Internet?
I addressed that here. Short answer: Wikipedia has churn primarily in controversial (current or near current) events. The fact checkers used by Wikipedia are reviewed in real time regularly - when are the fact checkers for a print encyclopedia reviewed? They make errors (and have bias) at the same rate, at least according to the checks that have been done. Rubinstein seems to believe in some mythic infallibility on the part of media pros. Umm, yeah. I have a few names for him - Steven Glass, Jayson Blair, Mary Mapes. Do they discredit the entire media field? Of course not.
By the same token, a few verbal bomb throwers don't discredit the entire blogosphere either. This article sounds a lot like others I've read on this subject - a deperate attempt to prove that the author is part of some group of near infallible experts, while the hoi polloi out here are just noisemakers who should sit down and shut up.
All static typed languages are broken.
Joshua Bloch, Software Engineer at Google Research recently wrote about the non-correctness of ALL mergesort implementations. His statement stands on the tottery shoulders of static typed languages. Joshua, get a decent programming language and don't tell non-sense!
Bonus quote linked from that page, from one of the authors of the Refactoring Browser:
Static types give me the same feeling of safety as the announcement that my seat cushion can be used as a floatation device. (Don Roberts)
Based on the comment stream from my last post on this, expect more desperate reaching for chewing gum and bailing wire...
With this news:
Microsoft announced Thursday that chairman and co-founder Bill Gates will transition out of a day-to-day role at the company, effective July 2008, to spend more time working on his charitable foundation.
Microsoft's active era comes to a close, and they enter the "big, but not influential" space that IBM entered when Microsoft came on the scene. Gates was able to turn the huge ship that is Microsoft, seemingly through force of will. He clearly has other interests now, and I just don't see Ballmer as the guy to lead Microsoft through the period they are entering. Ray Ozzie has vision, but I don't know that he'll be able to pull the troops along the way Gates - as founder - could.
I'm about to head out the door, on my way to the DCA airport, and then down to Florida. It's a long evening coming - we are leaving here early in case of traffic (the flight's not until 7:35). Then, once we arrive in Orlando, it's over an hour to the coast, where my parents live. I don't expect to get in until nearly midnight.
Whatever w = new Whatever[Integer.MAX_VALUE * 2];
I checked, and Java will compile that happily. Binary search fall down go boom. Sigh. So, if you think you might have more than a couple billion elements in your array, you’d be better off declaring all your indexing variables as long . (Which should be free on a 64-bit computer, right?) I’ll go update the binary-search article to add this caution.
You can continue to try to work around the obvious defects of the Java type system, or you can grab a nickel and get yourself a real programming language. Like Tim, many people will continue to call the languages without these problems "academic", and desperately cling to the broken-ness.
Windows code is too complicated. It’s not the components themselves, it’s their interdependencies. An architectural diagram of Windows would suggest there are more than 50 dependency layers (never mind that there also exist circular dependencies). After working in Windows for five years, you understand only, say, two of them. Add to this the fact that building Windows on a dual-proc dev box takes nearly 24 hours, and you’ll be slow enough to drive Miss Daisy.
That build process makes the whole thing less than agile, for sure. Their long term "integrate everything" strategy has ended up painting them into a corner - and it's one they'll have more and more trouble getting out of. At some point, if they expect to move forward, they'll have to do what Apple did with OS 9 --> OS X -- make a clean break.
I'll be blogging from the beach next week - I'm heading down to Florida with my daughter tonight. We go down to visit with my parents, who live off A1A, 1/4 mile from the beach - Melbourne Beach. It's a nice place to relax, and they have WiFi. Sunscreen and WiFi :)
Well, I'll say this for IBM - they are trying out an interesting marketing spin on offshoring:
In a letter to the Financial Times, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano says his multi-billion dollar investments in offshore production facilities are part of a campaign to transform the company from classic multinational (read: evil, exploitive, outdated, bad for world peace) into "a new actor" known as "the globally integrated enterprise." The GIE, says Palmisano, is a benevolent form of industrial organization that creates lasting wealth and meaningful jobs around the world. It can even disarm terrorists--figuratively, at least. Sounds like a corporation your mother could love, even if she's a raving anarchist. But is this really why IBM is spending $6 billion in India?
Read the rest - I don't know how well this will work, but it's proactive, at least. I still say they are hiring too fast in India, though.
Bob Wyman decided to descend into the mudpit yesterday. PubSub is running into funding problems, and he addressed that by publicly blaming one of the co-founders. I have no way of evaluating what he's saying about Ismail in this post; it just looks like an ugly fight brought outside where we can all see it.
Having said that, Bob does make an excellent point that too many managers forget:
I believe that by the time we go through bankruptcy proceedings, we won't have any employees and frankly, a software company without the employees that developed its software is worthless. Our assets will have a much higher value if we have the employees available, thus, the best course at this time is to sell our assets, trademarks, etc. to cover the outstanding debt and make our employees available to the purchaser.
Too many managers have the idea that developers are fully interchangeable parts (witness the "send maintenance offshore" idea). What they don't seem to get is two things:
- It's not like a factory: developers are not fully replaceable gear wheels
- Code is complex, and sending it to a bunch of people who've never seen it before is not a great solution
It takes time for new developers to come up to speed when they have people to lean on - it takes longer when all they have is the code. If PubSub does go down, and the employees leave - the value of the code there will approach zero almost immediately.
The RIAA has gone straight into self parody now. Mike Arrington notes that they are torqued at users of online video sites like YouTube:
The RIAA is apparently sending out cease-and-desist letters to YouTube users who dare to put up videos of things such as themselves dancing to music they haven't licensed. It's difficult to see how the RIAA can make a credible claim of "losses" in this case. Clearly, some kids videotaping themselves bopping along to some song aren't going to pay a license fee -- and these sorts of viral videos tend to help build up more interest in artists. So what good does it do to go after these videos?
They've apparently decided that they have to address every single thing that could possibly be defined as an infringement, on the grounds that not doing so would lead to a slippery slope. As Mike says, they haven't stopped to ask what possible revenue losses are coming from this kind of thing.
Laura Ries lays out the PR/Branding errors that the Dixie Chicks have made by being politically controversial. This mistake is a doozy:
The Dixie Chicks are a country act. Crossing-over means more album sales, but can leave you stuck in the mushy middle. Core fans think you have sold out and new fans can quickly move on to the next thing. The Dixie Chicks today are wearing lots of black eyeliner and saying things like “Country listeners are a bunch of rednecks; we don’t need ‘em.” Not a good move. Always remember where you came from and never insult the fans who made you successful.
Yes, publicly insulting your core audience is not a great way to move the ball forward - the audience is, after all, the source of revenue :)
James Holderness looks at encoded characters in RSS titles, and notes the performance of many aggregators, including BottomFeeder. I'm not surprised the Bf doesn't handle many of them; it's due to the fact that I pro-actively strip HTML from the title element. In Bf, I display titles in a widget that doesn't do HTML, so I started stripping HTML a long while back. It seemed like a reasonable choice at the time.
My friends have been asking me "why doesn't Wall Street believe Steve Ballmer?"
That's an easy one. Cause he didn't convince the grass roots influence networks first. Why have Google and Apple done so well in the last three years? Cause the grassroots loves them. That's the powerroot of the industry. Ideas here don't come from the big influencers and move down. No, they start on the street and move up. Anyone miss how Google got big? Not by throwing a press conference.
I have a far better answer, and it has to do with the track record of delivery. How many revs of OS X has Apple pushed since Windows XP shipped? Meanwhile, how many revs of Windows has Microsoft pushed? This isn't about influencers and grassroots - it's about actual delivery of real products - something Apple excels at. Microsoft? Not so much.
Doc Searls cuts through the haze of excitement over Scoble's move to Podtech, and asks:
Questions: What huge company Scoble was blogging at before he went to Microsoft? And what's that say about both companies?
That's a very good point. To push out an old quote that applies here: "The graveyards are full of indispensable men" (Charles de Gaulle).
The Redmonk guys posted their summary of the briefing we had with them earlier this month - check it out here.
Update: Some of you may get a 404 on that link. It's working for me, but James Governor told me that they are having some problems as they switch hosting providers.
And another repeat, but I got another email reminder :)
We're holding a Smalltalk Party in Cagliari on Saturday 1st of July. This will be a great chance to have a friendly talk about Smalltalk and related technologies, meet some other Smalltalkers, and get to know a nice part of southern Europe.
The wiki also contains travelling information which you may find useful.
I mentioned this a couple of days ago, but I just received an email announcement:
If you are in the vicinity of Sydney, Australia, just a reminder about the upcoming Sydney Smalltalk Users Group on Friday 16th June, where Michael Lucas-Smith will present a talk based on his presentation from the recent Smalltalk Solutions conference in Toronto. After which we will adjourn for a cleansing ale and catch up on the gossip in the Smalltalk universe, and maybe a bit of football discussion as well The presentation starts at 6:30PM sharp.
Venue: Norman Self Room Level 3, 280 Pitt St, Sydney 2000 (Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts) The building is between Park and Bathurst Streets. It also the location of the ACS (Australian Computer Society).
For a GoogleMap see here http://tinyurl.com/llqmk.
Time: 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Building UI's in WithStyle
For a long time there has been a divide between Web Interfaces and classic Desktop interfaces. This divide is being closed by the WithStyle user interface platform. This session will demonstrate how to build hybrid User Interfaces using the WithStyle technology featuring Pollock widgets and Web-like content defined using XML and CSS. Behavior is linked directly to Smalltalk objects. The entire Look and Feel of the interface is switchable simply by swapping CSS. Dynamically changing a live user interface on the fly by altering widgets, XML content and CSS stylings will be demonstrated. The full power of the Smalltalk environment blended with browser-like rendering technology is finally at our fingertips.
Michael Lucas-Smith is the CTO of Software WithStyle and head of Research and Development at Wizard Information Services. He has worked on Smalltalk business applications ranging from an Audio/Visual archiving system to continuations based web applications and web rendering technology. Having used computers since he was four, he first came in contact with the "Online" concept in high school when he ran his own BBS. Michael regularly contributes to several open source Smalltalk projects such as Bottom Feeder and Bottom Line.
One of the common problems people have with boardgames is a lack of players - it's not always easy to round up enough people. That problem doesn't have to be a showstopper though - there's brettspielwelt.de, an online portal for a bunch of boardgames, such as my current favorite, Caylus:
There's a client you can download as well, if you don't want to play inside the browser. One caveat - players there expect you to play fast.
Had we taken venture capital, I think we could of developed this much faster, but we are doing okay skipping that part and the two of us remain in complete control of our company. Perhaps in a few more months, after a few more sales, we will start to roll and eventually have ads running on all days.
Without VCs, they'll be able to grow organically, and hire new staff as they need (and can afford) them. It's not that VCs are useless - it's that they add an additional level of pressure, and contribute to a desire to get big fast.
Elliotte Rusty Harold is talking about a common bug you get when using C style languages:
I’ve probably wasted two hours over the last couple of days trying to debug this line of code:
private static final QName name = new QName("valid-isbn", "http://www.example.org/books");
Do you see the bug? I’ve even made it easier for you by showing you just the line that contains the bug. Originally, of course, I didn’t know this was the buggy line. The exception was thrown somewhere completely different in the code base, but this is indeed the buggy line.
The bug is, of course, non-obvious - the arguments are swapped. His answer to that?
This is an example of poor API design. A method should not have two arguments of the same type that can be confused for each other if you can avoid it. If you can’t avoid it, then the method should check its arguments to make sure that the right one is in the right place; and throw an exception if it isn’t.
Actually, not so much. In this case, it's a fair cop to blame the tools . Here's how that same method would be written in Smalltalk:
getISBNNumber: isbnString fromUrl: urlString
Which would lead to the calling method looking like:
bookName := self getISBNNumber: isbnString fromUrl: urlString
Now, given that code, what's the liklihood that the user of the method would swap the arguments? Approximately zero, but only for your larger values of zero. Showing that he anticipates (but does not fully grasp why) a complaint from Smalltalkers, he says:
Interestingly this a case where even stronger typing would have helped, a lot; though doubtless the Smalltalk enthusiasts will explain to me exactly how this could never have possibly happened in their playpen; and if it did, they would have debugged it at runtime using a piece of chewing gum, a boby pin, and a pocketknife they got out of a Crackerjack box.
The problem has absolutely nothing to do with the type system. Stronger typing wouldn't help. Grabbing a better language, that makes it easy to describe the arguments? That would help.
Declare Victory and issue a press release - that seems to be what the RIAA is up to today:
Nearly a year after the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling against online music file-sharing services, the CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America says unauthorized song swapping has been "contained."
"The problem has not been eliminated," says association CEO Mitch Bainwol. "But we believe digital downloads have emerged into a growing, thriving business, and file-trading is flat."
Translation: "We've been unable to stop Bittorrent, PirateBay is still online, and the bad press from our lawsuit strategy is starting to smell. Meanwhile, we noticed that Apple is actually making money with the iTunes store, even with all the roadblocks we've thrown at it."
As Bugs Bunny would say, what a bunch of maroons. CD sales are still dropping, and it took a non-music industry effort (Apple) to smack them with the reality of the download model. They think that their lawsuit strategy worked:
Garland says the RIAA has made some inroads. "They have removed the profiteers from online piracy," he says. "They've also embarked on a very successful education campaign. Kids now know about copyright, and the consequences."
The RIAA has sued just over 18,000 individuals for sharing songs online, with 4,500 settling for about $4,000 per case.
18,000 is a lot of bad word of mouth. I suspect that they'll see that strategy as the brain dead move it was, eventually.
Ok, everyone is agog at the news that Scoble is joining Podtech.net. Well, I've just spent awhile wandering their site, and I have a simple question: What's the business model behind this? Never mind the content of the podcasts - they could all be really, really engaging - I'd still have the same question. I don't have to pay to listen (and I'm not sure I would - there are too many good free casts available). I don't get ads, so they aren't using a sponsor model (at least not yet).
I've had the same question about RocketBoom, actually. I like their stuff, but I have no idea how they can make money off the segments they do. It's all really nifty stuf, but where's the payoff?
So Microsoft's self-styled human face is now some other company's human face. This must be the first corporate human face transplant ever attempted. Will it take? Or will the new body reject the used puss? And what does it say about this whole human face business when a person proclaims himself to be a company's human face and then, when a better offer comes along, tears himself from the old noggin and stitches himself to the new one? That seems a little untoward to me. If I were in a punny mood, I just might call it a mugging.
I guess the uproar from Carr's last outburst died down enough that he needed to get more. What does Carr expect? That once you reach a given point of being well known, you're stuck with the job you have then? The rest of his post is even sillier. Looking at my calendar, it's been nearly 20 days since Car put out a desperate cry for attention. Anyone want to take the over/under bet on the next time?
Hat tip Dare Obasanjo.
Chris Petrilli notes that a network outage can baffle the staff:
Today, I had lunch with a friend at The Daily Grill in Bethesda, MD, and when I went to cash out our check, the waitress came back with a “your card has been declined.” Now, I know how much American Express loves me, and my constant stream of payments, so I figured that wasn’t it. When I looked at the receipt, it said “Rejected: NO CARRIER.”
I've seen this with cab drivers too - after they drop me off, they get downright odd when they have trouble getting a connection to the authorization server - and I know that they have the old carbon-copy devices in the car.
Rogers says that Scoble had less of an impact on MS than you might think:
Though he's been touted as a direct channel between the user/developer community and Microsoft, Scoble was heavy on ain't-it-cool and light on criticism. Considering my recent experience with a compromised PC, I was curious how much he's said about the company's biggest problem: the long-running inability to make Windows secure, no matter how many times they launch new initiatives to address the issue.
The answer: bupkiss.
I'd call this one of those perception vs. reality things. In the security arena, MS is still a laggard, mostly due to the legacy of sub-optimal decisions that were made years ago, when few people saw what was coming down the pike. Scoble did have little to say on that, but I'd say that his perceived impact on MS was pretty big - people - including me - felt like the company was more responsive, and got a real feel for it being more than a B0rg Cube.
That's a hole that MS will have a hard time plugging - quite possibly, more trouble than they have with security issues.
This has got to be the dumbest idea I've ever heard of - a ringtone at a frequency that older people can't hear:
In settings where cellphone use is forbidden -- in class, for example -- it is perfect for signaling the arrival of a text message without being detected by an elder of the species.
"When I heard about it I didn't believe it at first," said Donna Lewis, a technology teacher at the Trinity School in Manhattan. "But one of the kids gave me a copy, and I sent it to a colleague. She played it for her first graders. All of them could hear it, and neither she nor I could."
Well, except for the dead give-away - the head swivel by all the other students in class. I guess neither the Times nor these students have heard of silent vibrate modes?
Unfortunately, the dirty little secret of the media biz is that RSS is so disruptive few have fully embraced it. Let me explain.
Those who have adopted RSS still publish headlines and summaries in the feeds in an effort to drive more eyeballs back to their Web sites to boost page views. I propose syndicating content in an ad-supported full-text format-something the largest publishers on the Web haven't done.
Ironically, this is from a partial text summary feed :)
Over the last few years, the Store Merge tool has come under some criticism. We've responded with an update (it's in preview for 7.4.1) this summer. Here's a shot of the old merge tool, after selecting package HTTP:
Now, notice how it's offering to merge just about every version ever published? It also took forever for that list to pop from the DB. With the new tool, that list pops immediately, and it looks like this:
Notice how I can easily select the packages to merge? Now, here's what it looks like after I select 3 of the versions:
Much nicer. Load it from preview and take it for a spin.
One thing lost in the haze of worries over the "net neutrality" thing is what would likely happen under a "neutrality" regime. My take is that it would regulate the "pipes" (in the US) through which the net flows as a "public facility". You know, like the airwaves. Now, stop and consider that for a moment - the FCC enforces all sorts of fascinating rules about what you can and can't do over the airwaves, and it runs flat into free speech too - the campaign finance laws in the US regulate political speech over the public airwaves.
Well. Seems to me that once the internet is a regulated, "neutral" public facility, we'll have out-clevered ourselves and let the camel's nose in the tent. In will rush all the "for the children" protections. In will rush all the content restrictions that the FCC enforces over the air. Is that what any of the net neutrality advocates really want? I rather doubt it - but they seem to have some utopian vision that allows for government to regulate only in ways that they like.
Sorry boys and girls, that's not how it works. I'd be very, very careful what you wish for here - because if you get it, you'll be utterly astonished at how little you like it.
I've had RSS/Atom handling as part of BottomFeeder, but I've never split it out before. There's some community work going on for STIC that calls for having a separate package though, so I just split out Bundle Syndication-Handling. It's in the public store, and executing the following code:
doc := Constructor documentFromURL: 'http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/rssBlog/rssBlogView.xml' forceUpdate: true useMaskedAgent: false. cls := Constructor determineClassToHandle: doc content. target := cls objectForData. feed := cls processDocument: doc content from: 'http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/rssBlog/rssBlogView.xml' into: target.
Will result in an RSSFeed domain object (with an appropriate set of Items. There's still work to be done, and I'm sure that there are some lingering BottomFeeder dependencies in there. Help on this will be gratefully accepted :)
Michael points to the next STUG meeting in Sydney:
I'm presenting at the Sydney Smalltalk Users Group on the 16th - that's next friday. I really enjoyed the last trip I had to Sydney and met up with this group. Last time I met with them was about two years ago and I showed them the early WithStyle and EzyXML. This time I'll be showing the alpha version of WithStyle4 and how to build UI's with it.
It's taking place at:
Norman Self Room Level 3, 280 Pitt St, Sydney 2000 (Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts).
The building is between Park and Bathurst Streets. It also the location of the ACS (Australian Computer Society).
The STUG meeting I attended in Sydney (2 years ago now) was a lot of fun - head on over if you're in the area.
Say hello to Alberto, bringing Tropical Storm force winds to western Florida soon.
At this point, I have to call this a rumor (Now confirmed) - Silicon Valley Watcher is reporting that Robert Scoble is bailing out on Microsoft:
Andy Plesser from Plesser Holland and the videoblog Beet.tv just called and told me Robert Scoble is leaving Microsoft and will join Podtech.net, the podcasting network. He will be moving from Seattle to Silicon Valley.
Mr Scoble has expressed frustration working at Microsoft and he has also been unhappy with his compensation. He has created a tremendous amount of positive publicity for Microsoft but there have been many within the organisation that have resented his very public position. The company has not been able to control his views or his travels to various conferences and blogger meetings.
I've thought that he was sounding more frustrated at Microsoft lately, and I expect that his "out front" position has created internal political problems. Either way, I'm sure that Robert will let us all know soon enough - he'll either verify and explain, or refute.
Update: Chris Pirillo says it's true, and he's certainly in a position to know.
Update2: Fascinating speculation by Vinnie Mirchandani: "Now you wonder what the visit with Sun was about". Another thing I hadn't thought of - I wonder if Mini-Microsoft will come out of hibernation for some commentary?
Update3: Scoble confirms the news. Interesting comments about how no one drove him out too - I believe that, Scoble isn't one to conceal that sort of thing. In any job, with any employer, there's what I call a "BS factor". Big companies tend to have larger ones - heck Cincom has its BS factor too. At any point, some people have just "had enough", or decide that they can have a bigger impact elsewhere - I know that when I worked at larger firms, that "small cog in a big wheel" thing was always there.
Michael van der Gulik posted some code that runs a number of processes, and wondered about the results - which showed that the processes don't all run:
- My code is borked, which is entirely possible,
- The ProcessScheduler is buggy, or
- Squeak is meant to work like this.
Which of those is true?
I haven't examined the scheduler in Squeak, but in VW (which is descended from the same original codebase), processes are cooperative - i.e., a process at priority N will never interrupt another process at priority N. So in VW, when I tried his test, only one of the processes ever ran. He set up N processes, and had them fork like this:
loop: element [[ continue ] whileTrue: [ counts at: element put: ((counts at: element) + 1). ] ] forkAt: 10.
So if I do that, only the first one in ever runs (as they never get blocked on i/o). To make them all run, you do something like this:
loop: element [[ continue ] whileTrue: [ counts at: element put: ((counts at: element) + 1). Processor activeProcess yield. ] ] forkAt: 10.
That #yield puts the process in question on hold, allowing others to run. This is simply the way VW (and, to a large extent, it seems) Squeak work. If you want pre-emptive scheduling, it's easy enough to do - just change the scheduler (all the code is there in Smalltalk).
If this is true, then Sony will need to have a lineup of new games for the PS3 - this is from the guy behind the "Final fantasy" franchise:
The Xbox 360 operating system shares enough similarities with Windows, he said, so that porting the Windows version of FFXI to the 360 was a fairly quick task. A PS3 version of FFXI, on the other hand, would require redeveloping the game almost from scratch, a process that Tanaka estimated would take two or three years.
As a result, FFXI will emphatically not be a launch title for the PS3. In fact, Tanaka did not commit to bringing out FFXI for the PS3 at any time. He feels that the resources required to port the game to the PS3 might be better invested in a new game that's built from the ground up for next-gen hardware--but his team has yet to make a final decision one way or another.
I don't follow the development side of the game industry that closely - is it that the game engine for the PS3 is that different?
Yann Monclair sends word of a Smalltalk meeting in Paris, on July 18th:
Eric Winger offered (on the squeak-fr mailing list) to present Gemstone's Smalltalk products (GemBuilder, Gemstone/S 64...) in Paris.
It's been scheduled for Tuesday, the 18th of July from 7pm to 9pm.
The meeting will be held in the offices of OCTO Technology, 50 avenue des Champs Elysees, Paris.
If you are interested in attending this presentation, you can add your name on the wiki page
Sounds like fun. And remember, there's a Smalltalk party in Cagliari, Italy on July 1st
Doc Searls notes the rejection of "net neutrality" legislation, and ponders what's next:
Now that the NN bus has crashed, maybe we can get together and think of better strategies - and not just political ones - to build the Net we want, while preserving the best of what we already have.
I'm not that worried. At the consumer side, there's already a set of tiers, depending on what you are willing to pay for. In my area, there's everything from dialup to 30mbps down, 5 mbps up FIOS. prices range from $15/month on the low end, up to $180/month on the high end. This is far more choice than I had just a few years ago, btw, and it's all coming via the dreaded carriers.
It's also tiered service - not everyone has the same internet experience, which is a lot like everything else. Not everyone enjoys HD TV, either. The reality is, things are improving in the direction we want, without some overriding governmental control. Heck, a few years back, the corporate grade connection into our engineering office in California was a T1 - which offered symmetric 1.5 mbps. I can now buy better than that for my own use.
I'm not really worried about a one way set of tracks being erected - that's not the direction things have been going, and I seriously doubt that they'll start going that way.
Update: Doc updated his post to reflect his (lack of) choices where he lives. The thing is, internet service is no different than any other product - you get more and better choices in some areas, and fewer in others. Internet service just isn't going to be magically universal and better than other things.
Could Duke Nukem Forever actually be coming out? Or do we file this under "Godot"?
The National Hurrican Center reports that we have Tropical Depression One on the map. If their maps are right, they have it hitting Northwest Florida next week. I'm heading to Florida next Thursday, but it looks like this storm will be long gone from Florida by then.
Time for the end of the week wrap on the logs. BottomFeeder downloads stayed strong, at a rate of 172 a day. The details:
Which takes me to the HTML page accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
I see that the IE stats are creeping up - Surprisingly, only 2% of the IE usage is IE7, so that IE number isn't growing much due to that. The good news is, there's real competition in the browser space now. The bad news is, MS still hasn't supported CSS properly. Finally, on to the RSS accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Net News Wire||9%|
|Google Feed Fetcher||2.5%|
|RSS 2 Email||1%|
Mostly a normal distribution, although BottomFeeder access is a bit up. We'll see if that sticks next week, or if it's just a weekly anomaly.