Entries tagged as lca2010
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Wednesday, March 10. 2010
I’ve been thinking that iPhone vs Andoid has more than a whiff of Mac vs PC all over again about it, and Apple going after HTC as a proxy for Google just bakes that impression in; I’m not the only one who remembers as far back as Apple’s look and feel lawsuits, although that seems to be rather undercommented upon these days, as is Steve Jobs’ apparent long-forgotten view that people making expansion cards for the old pre-Mac Apple platforms were stealing money that belonged to Apple (which was, presumably, part of the reason why the original Mac was a sealed box).
Apple’s hostility to openness is one of those odd features of the modern computing landscape; they are, to the best of my knowledge, the only company the FSF refused to have software ported to (because of the look-and-feel suit), and their modern-day developer agreements for their sealed platforms are fabulously Draconian. It was one of the weirder aspects of LCA2010 to hear people booing DRM, software patents, overzealous IP law, and Microsoft, while watching them poke at their iPhones and Macbooks. Disconnect much?
There is one thing I must disagree mightily with Harry McCracken on:
So here’s the grim and dystopian scenario, and it’s grim and dystopian for Apple, not for HTC or Google: A few years from now, maybe this new case will end up looking as ill-advised as the 1988 one.[...]Maybe people will see the iPhone as a breakthrough that lost ground to a less inventive but more pervasive competitor. I hope not.
I hope so. I mean, my preference would be for Maemo-MeeGo-whatever the fuck it’s called this week to win out, but I think Nokia’s recent record of shooting its toes off will probably carry over to what is, the bleatings of Google fanboys notwithstanding, the most open phone platform on the market. But as a realist, I’d settle for seeing Android crush the iPhone, if only as a consumer. Consider the iPhone: a sealed unit, no expansion, no replacability, what Apple think I need. It’s Apple 1984 all over again. Andriod, on the other hand—you want an expandable phone? Get an HTC Legend where you have SD card support, rather than paying Apple an extortionate sum for the igger phone option. And a battery you can change. You want to live in the future? How about lobbying Samsung to release their Beam as a product, rather than waiting for Steve Jobs to decide whether you deserve a projecter. That’s the nice thing about the ‘droid; like the PC universe created by the ubiquity of DOS and then Windows, you have multiple manufacturers vying to lure you to their product, and responsive to your niche. You want a better-than-shitty-2 MP camera? There’s a droid manufacturer who’s releasing those. You want a bigger screen? More storage? Longer battery life? Go nuts.
The Android ecosystem is far from perfect; Google are certainly nowhere near as open a company, or as good at playing with the open-source projects they crib from, as their more enthusiastic fans would have you believe. But they are a hell of a lot better than the sealed-hood world Apple would like you to live in. If Apple’s decision to wage patent war against Android backfires and consigned them to the (ultimate) irrelevance of their decisions to prefer litigation and owning a high-priced vertically integrated stack did in the late 80s and 90s, I, for one, will be delighted.
Friday, February 26. 2010
I’m going to miss the magic cloud of Internet that follows me around. (at least, without it costing me per kilobyte..)
One of the little perks of my work is getting a better (read: cheaper and more capable) cellphone plan that I’ve had previously. That’s nice and all, and after much deliberation I slapped a small data plan on it. It still costs less than I’ve been spending on my old plan, but I have a shiny new capability.
Kiwis and Aussies will be unsurprised to learn that $10/mo gets me a pitiful 100MB of data; any international reader from the first world will most likely be slack-jawed with amazement. This is a charge rate comparable to Actrix’s rates for international traffic two decades ago; at that point Actrix at least had the excuse that as and that they were one of the first ISPs in the world they were running on what was, at the time, horrifically expensive proprietary Unix hardware and, perhaps more importantly, New Zealand’s international Internet pipe was less than a half megabit for the whole country.
But still. Two decades.
Two things rammed it home for me: LCA2010 where I got to work with a warm, comfortable, CBD-encompassing cloud of 802.11 goodness courtesy of CityLink’s event sponsorship for a week, and Christine’s comment above. In Canada, whose inhabitants consider themselves horribly mobile Internet deprived, she enjoys a 6GB/mo plan. That would cost me $600 per month at the rates I’ve got.
Continue reading "Propelling Us to Third World Status"
Tuesday, January 26. 2010
One of the best things about attending the Linuxconf is the renewed sense of enthusiam for my field (lightly dampened yesterday by battling with @#@^#%$!^% PulseAudio, which is the worst thing to be inflicted on desktop Linux in a long time, and today on arriving home to discover a household box had literally cooked itself, likely beyond repair).
A lot of the last near-decade has, for me, seen my interest in what I do wane, damn near finished off by two years of release management. I had become, well, barely a tradesman, practically an assemblyline worker; interested in doing my job properly, but largely devooid of a vast care factor beyond that.
The last while working on zLinux has helped considerably with that, and LCA has piqued my interest mightily; I want to get back into hand-rolling Postgres releases to play with the new features, I want to play with new technologies and tools and follow their development, not just because I want to be better as a craftsman of my job, but because I can glimpse my former interest in the art of what I do; of doing a thing for itself and that alone, rather than merely because it turns a crust. On that front, LCA is a huge personal success as well as providing me with a bunch of professional value, and that’s (hopefully) a genuine improvement in the whatsit of my life.
Friday, January 22. 2010
Today was the last (formal) day of linuxconf 2010, and since I was a “professional” delegate I went to the dinner, and took Maire and Ada along, too. It was a pretty decent night out, with a kapa haka group, a chance to catch up with gnat after way too many years, sitting with Tridge at our table (do coding skills, like celebrity, osmose through proximity? If so, I should be able to do the best work of my life after bathing in his aura), and having Liz give Ada a ride in her wheelchair (which was the coolest thing of the evening, I reckon).
Ada was magnificent. We left early, but still didn’t get home until 10, which is two and a half hours past Ada’s usual bedtime, and she was brilliant. She drew, she ran around Civic Square, she chatted to people, she sat in the lobby of the Town Hall with me and scrutinised the geometry of the tiles that made up the floor (“Un, deux, trois, quatre triangles in the square!”), and at quarter to ten she explained she wanted to go to bed, all with nary a grumpy moment for the evening. I feel so lucky with her.
I discovered that I’ve forgotten large chunks of Ka Mate.
The quote of the conference is still “Twitter: Release early, release often—for thinking.”
L3wt soon, but first:
Continue reading "Closing"
...<genuflect type=“waynes world”>not worthy, not worthy<genuflect>
perf superceeds operfmon and similar tools for understanding.
Continue reading "perf counters"
Andrew Tridgell, Samba Team (not a lawyer)
The talk is about how you can understand, as an engineer, how you can talk to patent attorneys, how to understand the language, do analysis.
Understand how to lower exposure to patent attacks, and how the community can avoid that; Tridge has a concern these will only become more common.
Patent lawyers are, like a platypus, shy, industrious creatures. Getting time with a patent lawyer can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have access to one through work. It’s great to understand how you can communicate efficiently with them.
Continue reading "Patent Defense for FOSS Developers"
Thursday, January 21. 2010
A very excisting time for PostgreSQL, since the final commitfest for PG 9.0 development.
8.5 had gone by the by because the feature set is going to be SO DAMN HUGE. 64 bit windows, exclusion constraints, JSON/XML EXPLAIN output, host standby, sync replication.
What’s a commitfest? It’s a way of dealing with scarce committer and reviewers time; review patches faster, sooner, every patch, and train reviewers. People were getting patches knocked back or forgotten because of a lack of reviewer time, which was making people unhappy.
Every other month during the development period, we clear the queue of patches; this also makes it transparent as to what’s happening in the development world. It lets you help with failing patches if you care about them, too.
Four commitfests, followed by cleanup, beta testing, and then a final release. Version 9 should be released mid-way next year.
Continue reading "PostgreSQL Development Today"
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