Wednesday, 30 March 2005

Slashdot | 2005 Star Wars Fan Film Entries Online... and here are some surprisingly good amateur films of a humorous Star Wars nature
Devil's Advocate: Programme management (silicon.com) - Here's an article that's right on the button about project vs programme management. Most usefully, it doesn't vent opinion about which is better, but merely weighs up the pros and cons of both, and advocating a pragmatic approach to the impending hype.

Monday, 28 March 2005

This is a test from my new Treo 650... the picture is part of the test.
typewriter

[Posted with hblogger 2.0 http://www.normsoft.com/hblogger/]

Thursday, 17 March 2005

Economist.com | Technology and development: The real digital divide. Finally, some empirical evidence to support the intuitive view that the developing and even 3rd world could use mobile telecoms to narrow the digital divide. Not only that they could, but that this is the only really viable solution, mainly because it provides the greatest advantage for the lowest cost, but also, interestingly, because certain characteristics (eg. battery life) are more suitable for nations with poor energy infrastructure.

Wednesday, 16 March 2005


Mobile and Open: A Manifesto... from Howard Rheingold. I read one of his early books on the internet as a communication community at university, and he's definitely a man to listen to on intuitive, compassionate aspects of the internet.

Friday, 4 March 2005

intelligent Picture and Sound Pusher, or iPSP. A rare case where the acronym is more informative than the full name. This is a synchronizer for OSX and the PSP (PlayStation Personal) handheld gaming and multimedia system. Not only does it synchronize iLife apps (iTunes, iPhoto), but it also converts other media types to the latest, most efficient MP4 format. Amazing, and market-beating were it not for that damn Sony proprietary memory stick. I'm an SD man, and memory stick is the equivalent of betamax, in my view.

Thursday, 3 March 2005

Yet another piece of brilliance from Clay Bennett (click on pic to visit his website)...
Google's secret of success? Dealing with failure | CNET News.com. Here are some interesting insights from the VP of operations responsible for Google's infrastructure - the real asset strength of the internet uber-company. It's interesting that they use their own tweaked version of Linux, with a modified file system, and that they gear their systems for massively parallel tasks by default, in the expectation of system failure from the component level right up to the location level.
The Sound of iPod... now this is hacking from the old school. This guy describes how he managed to hack an ipod using the clickwheel sound controller to access the ipod's memory (thought to be a closed system for 4th gen ipods). By sending the ipod different sounds he manage to figure out how to write a decoder for the rest of the memory. He then recorded the content of the memory, and played it through the decoder to get the ascertain the contents of the flashrom (the bit required to boot an operating system). Top marks for perseverance and hacking innovation.

Wednesday, 2 March 2005

It seems that metrics are still a key issue for the IT industry. For all the data collecting and processing tools that this industry provides, it seem it still can't measure ROI (Working out IT value tough, say banks - silicon.com) or even their own industry metrics (Analyst research 'distorted' against open source - ZDNet UK News). Is this seemingly perennial problem (I remember the ROI problem as an undergraduate) willful, or simply part of the process of a pioneering industry?


I'd suggest both, with the latter often used as an excuse to cover the former. If organisations delieated more clearly between operating costs of IT and project delivery costs, the picture would be clearer, but where is the incentive for CIOs to be more open about justifying their budget? This is further confused by the inherent nature of software: is it a product or a service? The answer is in the pricing, and that's usually very flexible. Personally, I veer towards service, and that's at the core of whether open source is a viable industry model in the long term.