Thursday, 24 February 2005
Wednesday, 23 February 2005
Tuesday, 22 February 2005
Friday, 18 February 2005
Some would argue that the OS market should not really be a competitive market (linux people, mainly) because all the OS should really do is allow application software to talk to hardware. Indeed Linux, like unix, differentiates between the core OS kernel and the window (UI) system - you can get different 'windows' for linux: KDE, Gnome, or even good old xwin. Microsoft doesn't differentiate the two in Windows because it would clearly reduce dependency on Windows. I'd argue that their punishment for monopolistic practices should be exactly that: split the kernel from the GUI (rather than the favoured option of splitting the OS division from the apps division). That would expose the real value discrepancy in their product: that they value the kernel, but the majority of their customers value the GUI (and only then through familiarity).
Tuesday, 15 February 2005
Now this (Wired News) is a good Valentines day prank. Female UK police chief sends valentines cards to suspected burglars which are coated in a unique liquid which coats their hands and is virtually impossible to remove. So the next time they nick something, there's more than a fingerprint's chance of catching them. Assuming they're not wearing gloves, that is...
Monday, 14 February 2005
Thursday, 10 February 2005
Why do we tolerate this? How long must we tolerate this for?
Surely the strongest argument for open source is that it is ethically more balanced with the standard EULA offered by most 'professional' software. Currently, when you buy most software, you indemnify the vendor from just about any fault with their software. And if you want fault resolution, you pay extra for it. If they won't take responsibility for their software, why should they be entitled ownership? In open source, the positions are clear and more even-handed: no ownership, no responsibility - just pay for the service.
Monday, 7 February 2005
Also, the cell chip, mentioned in the article, is due for launch today. Touted for the PS3, it is supposed to be supercomputer fast (16 teraflops in a blade is one quote I've read). Wonder if it will fit into a Powerbook...?
The second part is harder because there is another key to open-source sharing: the cost of distribution, which is negligible. Clearly, for physical goods there will always be a non-trivial cost component. However, there are still plenty of semi-virtual goods out there that could work, including radio frequencies, computer processing and bandwidth (eg. SETI).
Key quote in all of this: “Social sharing [represents] a third mode of organising economic production, alongside markets and the state.”
UPDATE: just saw this (ZDNet) containing an analyst's response to Bill Gates' complete misunderstanding of open source. He cites another interesting reason for not having interoperability problems: less incentive to fork.
Friday, 4 February 2005
Another fine example of this is Bram Cohen's BitTorrent, which is nicely covered in an article here.