I just went over to see Damjan Lampret present the work on OpenRISC at the Freedom Technology Center. The presentation was great, it gave lots of info about the project that it’s hard to get (as a software weenie) trying to just look at the stuff up at OpenCores about the project. What I learned is that most of the details of OpenRISC are probably over my head, unless I want to invest a lot in the EDA tools necessary to familiarize myself with how the system as a whole works. I’ll keep fooling with the simulator and waiting for a project that lets me justify the cost of getting some of the toys.
There’s a post over at LOOSEwire pointing to an article in the Washington Post about RFID being used in tags at The Internet Summit. It strikes me as Reporters without Borders just fearmongering, using the common pain point of RFID to drum up some sympathy. RFID has gotten so much negative press, and I think it’s just cause the undereducated contingent of the privacy sector has latched onto it. Sure, there are plenty of issues to be worked through with RFID, but it’s hardly the boogeyman that everyone makes it out to be. A cell phone can just as easily (and in the future, more easily most likely) be used to determine a users location. RFID tags are extremely short range devices, and pathetically easy to defeat, jam, and disable. They’re getting used in lots of applications because the tech guys are having trouble finding an application where they actually work more often than they fail. They can provide some benefit, if used correctly. I would love for my environment to be aware of me and itself, so that more of my everyday life could be automated and I could have more time for human interaction. This is what a lot of technology does. But for some reason the only mainstream press that RFID gets is negative. I would urge people to read up on RFID a bit before buying into the fearmongering that privacy groups are engaged in. There are issues that should be addressed with RFID. But just jumping up and screaming “witch, burn them!!!” whenever someone uses the technology is not going to result in progress.
There’s an article at Network World Fusion pointing to some information released by Intel about how much wireless has boosted their productivity. Umm.. this is the same Intel that’s waist deep in Centrino, its new chipset for wireless that it’s been pimping left and right? I find this to be a bit lacking in terms of journalism. Of course Intel says that wireless is cool, and of course if they have supporting data it’s nice of them to release it. But I would expect at least a bit of a mention of the fact that the information about wireless productivity gains is being provided by a company with a weighted interest in selling those wireless systems.
I’ve released the 1.6 version of Vagablog, which contains fixes for using accented characters with Blogger.com and an option to post without publishing. I’ve had trouble getting accented characters working in Wordpress and Movable Type however. I think the issue is actually with the tools, although I could be wrong. I’ve done a bunch of checking around in the XML spec and looking up information about unicode and iso-8859-1 and utf-8, and I’m pretty sure that the accented characters I’m putting in are correctly specified. But it looks like somewhere along the line they get mangled. I’ll have to do a little more poking around, but if someone is familiar with using the xmlrpc interfaces to either Wordpress or Movable Type to post messages with characters outside of the ASCII character set, please drop me a line and let me know if you have any tricks.
After the horrid turnout of the last Weblog Meetup, I did a little web crawling and emailed the people that I could find who were signed up for the event. The results were great. In particular, Jason Shellen says that he’s getting as much of the Blogger crew as he can to come out and join the event. Yay!! Thanks Jason. And to the rest of you, I hope to see you there.
There’s an interview with Adam Bosworth over at ACM Queue, and it touches on some ideas I’ve had in relation to mobile application. There is a lot of stuff that I don’t agree with at all in that article, such as modeling of web services upon the web browser/web site interaction. I’m hoping that’s an artifact of the interview, and not what our cutting edge service deployment experts are really thinking. Because if they think that HTML is a good example of contract based programming, and that further server to server interactions should be based upon it, I’m definitely going to have to keep steering clear of enterprize application settings.
There’s an article at MozillaQuest.com describing how to do the basic spreadsheet formatting operations necessary to setup a simple table of text. Actually very usefull for me, cause I’ve never learned how to use a spreadsheet at all. The stuff there is really basic, and could be picked up in just a few minutes of poking if you have a general computer skills background. But it’s nice to have a nice basic layout to introduce the basic common features and where to find them. It’s great to see articles like this being produced. There seem to be a few articles of the same kind linked off of MozillaQuest, such as an article about using OpenOffice to create a newsletter. Awsome! I hope to see a lot more.
There’s an article over at The Feature about a company called Wireless Ink. Wireless Ink is running a moblogging service with hopes of extending it’s offering out to social networking apps in general. I like the position, as I’m into the mobile networking issue in general. And it seems like they’re really concentrating on the use of the technology, not just the technology itself (an essential element missing from most mobile application offerings).
I’m over at the Open Source Expo, sitting in the business track. Cause the business side is definitely where I’m weak. An interesting point came up during the investment panel related to the factors that realy stick out in the investor’s mind when looking at a company. Of course they take a look at the business plan of the company overall, but there were two qualifying factors that stuck out to me. The first is that the company has to be solving a hard problem. This is the same as the “barrier to entry” issue I’ve heard from Eleanor (my strategy consultant) before. The second is that investors look particularly for solutions which revolutionize a whole vertical. An example given here was a CIO mandating replacing their existing platform with open source across the board. OS, tools, database, the whole shebang. And enabling this for particular verticals is something that investors really look favorably upon. It’s a good summary of what to aim for I think, and it really helps out to describe what I do quite well. For many companies looking to explore using open source I can help provide those additional peices that enable them to clear the whole vertical.
I have the 1.5 release of Vagablog up on the Vagablog page. The updates are relatively minor, but it explicitly says that WordPress and Movable Type are supported. And when Movable Type is being used, it hides the extra fields on the main screen. Maybe this will cut down on people misunderstanding Title field. I was hoping that people using the roll-your-own tools would at least skim the setup docs on the web. I should have known better. Now they just shouldn’t even be tempted. I’m planning to do the Metaweblog API soon, so that Movable Type does get title support.
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