Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mark Zuckerberg "Most Influential Person in Tech Industry"?

MarkZuckerberg.jpgThis is just insane.


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has today been named the most influential person in the high-tech industry by a panel of experts in the eighth annual Agenda Setter’s poll by The Agenda Setters Top 50 focuses on the people driving and shaping the tech industry in 2007 and is a barometer of success within the IT sector.

Mark Zuckerberg rocketed to the top spot above the likes of Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt and Rupert Murdoch, after failing to appear at all in last year’s rankings. Launched just three and a half years ago, Facebook’s popularity has exploded in 2007, with the social networking giant growing to more than 42 million active users across the world. In the UK alone, the site has tripled its reach from 2.7 million users to 9 million users in the past six months.

I think we really have to worry about a world where a guy who runs a business that is built on a virtual "friends" network becomes the most influential person in the IT industry. What influence has he had, really, other than on his own homepage?

Ninjas attack King Richard


Yale students dressed as ninjas staged a mock attack on Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman last week, reenacting a great installment from xkcd, a fantastic webcomic. Stallman came to Yale to give a talk on DRM at the debating society, and confronted the ninjas "with good humor and grace."


I'm glad that these people from the best college in the US, that, incidentally, I attend myself, have not been hypnotized by King Richard's annoyingly high-pitched voice and are standing up to him -- be it in a goofy way.

Friday, October 19, 2007

People Don't Like Me, Part 27

Beyond being conservative, I'm also a shameless self promotor and self-lover. I love it when people respond to my persona. After yesterday's short post, Dawn, who is in fact a dude, says "WTF?"

He gives a very interesting summary of what I've been saying these past couple of months:

To be fair, he shares my disdain for Richard Stallman’s antics. That’s great. I’ll buy him a beer on account of that. Unfortunately, he goes from being pragmatic to just plain bizarre in claiming:
  • Open Source software is the work of Communists hell-bent on destroying capitalism.

  • The OpenMoko phone is somehow related to the threat of global terrorism and September 11th.

  • DRM-free music is somehow a bad thing

Now, although I might have once insinuated each of these, he's taking them out of context in a gross manner. But that's ok, we all make mistakes sometimes. And although he is a Linux lover, he does hate King Richard, so I would accept his beer.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Seven Thing I Hate About Linux"

Dawn @ 366mhz posts the 7 things she (?) hates about Linux (what's there to love?). Have a good look at point 1 and 6 -- 7 is not that relevant.

Cult of the Amateur

I went to visit the bookshop just around the corner from my house. It is owned by Frank. I have been buying all my books with Frank for the past ten years. Sure, it's a bit more expensive than buying books at, but hey, I like the atmosphere. I actually like going somewhere and browsing and actually taking the book with me at once and not having to wait days or weeks for it. Frank has not been doing so well with his store lately. The Amazons in this world have been killing him. He used to be able to make a good living, but it has become harder and harder. All part of the "progress" that web 2.0 brings us that everybody is raging about I suppose.

I bought "The Cult of the Amateur", by Andrew Keen. Of what I heard of it, we seem very like minded so it seems a good idea to read it.

Microsoft's Plan to Kill Open Source: Strike #1 Won

The OSI approves two of Microsoft's licenses (Microsoft Public License and Microsoft Reciprocal License) as open source. It's Microsoft's first strike in killing open source.

Acting on the advice of the License Approval Chair, the OSI Board today approved the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL). The decision to approve was informed by the overwhelming (though not unanimous) consensus from the open source community that these licenses satisfied the 10 criteria of the Open Source definition, and should therefore be approved.

Stephen McGibbon, regional technology officer at Microsoft, says "There is a convergence going on. We're seeing that commercial companies go open source and that open source companies act more commercial. Everbody moves from one of the extremes towards the middle." Meaning: let's kick the shit out of these free software fundamentalists and end up at a weaker form of open source -- we'll move it more to the commercial side from there.

Your name is different, but you're really a Unix system too, aren't you?

(Click for a larger version, if you can't read)

Microsoft used to be silly too, bringing out a Unix system in the late '70s. Good old times, when all we had was the command line.

And a certain group of people are still there.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Another Freetard Beauty: TuxPhone!


Isn't it gorgeous? Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it perfect? Yep, it's another Linux phone. You'd think they can't make it any uglier after looking at the OpenMoko junk, but yes they can. Freetards are talented that way.

Fake King Richard is Here, Hooray...

The Free Diary of Richard Stallman:

Hi everyone. My name is Richard Stallman, but you can call me rms. I am the founder of the GNU Project, which, launched in 1983, is a project to successfully program a free software replica of the UNIX operating system. Two years later, in 1985, I started the Free Software Foundation (more commonly referred to as the FSF) both to sponsor the GNU project and harbor more free software.

I use a computer running GNU/Linux (incorrectly referred to as just Linux, as Linux is just the kernel), and live and work in the Boston-area.

Unlike Steve Ballmer and Steve Jobs, I have chosen to write on the WordPress platform, which is completely, 100% free, using their service. I appreciate being able to use totally free software to write into and read this ‘blog,’ as this type of thing is commonly known.

Fear not, I will have lots to write about, as there is just so much going on (good and bad) in the free software/GNU/Linux communities that I feel the need to comment on.

Some weeks ago I talked about why a Fake Richard would make no sense for two reasons:
  1. He's already fake enough by himself. Have you read his writing? It's essentially pure parody of himself.
  2. It would be dead boring. When you'd read some articles on his website (I don't recommend it) you already fall asleep half-way through. Why read a blog that is fake and boring?

And it turns I was right. Fake King Richard is boring, very boring. Some other fake blogs are amusing from time to time because of character flaws that can be amusing, or they are simply amusing people in real life. Not the case for Richard. His character flaws are not funny. He is not funny. Even when he's fake, he's not funny

Plus Fake King Richard is even fake in the sense he sounds nothing like the real version, his posts are not nearly fundamental enough. His blog is not licensed under some freetard license for example and he actually considers proprietary devices and software, which is something that the real King Richard would never do.

Do your homework fake Richard.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Record Industry Comes With Great Deal

Have a look at this BusinessWeek article, and ignore what this Apple fanboy is saying.


While the details are in flux, insiders say Morris & Co. have an intriguing business model: get hardware makers or cell carriers to absorb the cost of a roughly $5-per-month subscription fee so consumers get a device with all-you-can-eat music that's essentially free. Music companies would collect the subscription fee, while hardware makers theoretically would move many more players. "Doug is doing the right thing taking on Steve Jobs," says ex-MCA Records Chairman Irving Azoff, whose Azoff Music Management Group represents the Eagles, Journey, Christina Aguilera, and others. "The artists are behind him."

This is of course great news. And Christina is in, so I'm intrigued.
The big question is whether the makers of music players and phones can charge enough to cover the cost of baking in the subscription. Under one scenario industry insiders figure the cost per player would amount to about $90. They arrived at that number by assuming people hang on to a music player or phone for 18 months before upgrading. Eighteen times a $5 subscription fee equals $90. There is precedent here. When Microsoft was looking to launch a subscription service for Zune, Morris played hardball. He got the tech giant to fork over $1 for every player sold, plus royalties. Total Music would take that concept even further. "If the object is to wrest control of the market from Steve Jobs," says Gartner analyst Mike McGuire, "this is a credible way to try it."

$90 per unit is nothing. It would be no problem at all for device makers to pay for that. Think about the value to the customer this would add. Wouldn't you pay a device that came with a lifetime (=18 months) of as much music as you wanted at no additional charge? I know I would.

This also shows the importance of DRM. Do you think something like this would be possible with unprotected MP3s? Of course not. You need DRM to make this happen. Another great win for DRM!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Real Freedom

From the comments:

Being a conservative, I'd have thought you'd support something as american as freedom? :)

I am for freedom, but the kind of kind of freedom that makes sense. Not the kind of freedom that nobody cares about. Like the freedom to wave your hands while taking a shower. As I said many times before, most of the "freedom" that Free Software gives you is absolutely not interesting to 90% of the people. The question then is, what's the cost of this so-called "freedom"? You have to be pragmatic sometimes.

The fact that I am conservative does not mean I want us to go back to the '80s, technology wise. I am an IT guy, things have to move forward, that's what's this business is based on. The command line interface, still being an essential part of all of the freetard operating systems, is something that became obsolete in the '80s, when the first graphical operating systems were introduced, most notably the Macintosh, shortly followed by Windows.

So now let's say that this so-called freedom that Free Software gives you actually means anything, what would that mean for normal people. Not you, your mom. It would mean that we would use operating systems like Linux. Meaning that mom would have to read big manuals again, learn how to compile a kernel, do error-prone editing of configuration files in Emacs. Is that really what we want? No, we want progress in IT. And lots of progress has been made in commercial products. Freetard software is lagging behind by over 20 years.

That's the practical answer. The other, more fundamental issue is FSF. Not the Free Software Foundation, but Free Software Fundamentalism. People like Richard Stallman, who have the fundamental belief that all software should be free. All books should be free, essentially everything should be free. This is a ridiculous idea and a scary one.

Fundamentalism is scary and bad and should be fought. We're in war in Iraq and Afghanistan right now to hunt down fundamentalists. We should do the same in our own country. Because, as I said many times before, the real threatening fundamentalists are the ones that are killing the very foundation our country is built on: capitalism. Giving into the freetard fundamentalists is going back to communism. Is that what we want?

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Freetard Way of "Hyping"

Boycott Novell (great blog, *cough*):

Here is a video that hypes up the impending release of OpenMoko.

Here's the video:

Ok, now be honest. Is it me, or are you too bored 20 seconds into this video that's supposed to "hype Openmoko"? The music is boring and repetitive and what does it show? Camera moves over a OpenMoko device. What is immediately apparent is that it doesn't look that cool at all. The widgets on the screen are badly styled. Luckily the camera moves quick enough not to be able to see all that unless you look very carefully (I did). So what's left is a video essentially avoiding showing you the phone with boring music. And it lasts like a minute and a half. Honestly, what can you show in a minute and a half that you can't show in thirty seconds? Especially when it comes to freetard devices that nobody wants to use anyway?

Great ad campaign.

MSNBC Gone Mental?


Social news site Newsvine, which launched in March 2006, has been acquired by, a fifty-fifty joint venture between Microsoft and NBC. This is’s first acquisition.

The deal, which closed on October 5, was all cash, but the acquisition price is not being disclosed. Both companies are based in Seattle. Mike Davidson, the founder of Newsvine, said that the companies will continue operating separately but that technology integration will occur over time. MSNBC has around 200 employees; Newsvine has just six.

This is just crazy. Have you seen Newsvine? It pretends to be a citizen journalism site, but in fact all you see is AP news there. It has absolutely no added value, other than that it possible for the whole moron world to comment on each AP story. Big win.

MSNBC is a Microsoft and NBC company, both respectable commercial companies. Why do they invest in this crap?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Version Control "Update"

Dee (for those who don't know, this is Dee), as I said some time back has been upgrading our version control system. We always used Microsoft's Visual SourceSafe which worked great. It was quick, integrates well into Visual Studio, was reliable. Dee was hired here to cut costs. VisualSource Safe is not free, so she cut it.

This is what I found on our intranet bulletin board: "We got rid of SourceSafe and replaced it with Subversion, you can find more information on". That's it. Our SourceSafe stopped working and now, supposedly we have to use Subversion. I spent hours looking how to get it to work, eventually found a freetard GUI tool (TortoiseSVN) for Windows. It works, but it slows down my computer a lot. Plus, it does not integrate into Visual Studio!

Also, the migration of data was simply a check-out of SourceSafe and a check-in into subversion. Meaning all of our history is lost. Great job Dee!

Management at this company has a really bad idea of cutting costs. It's not about software costs, it's about total cost of ownership and use. If I spent hours learning a new system, lose months of work (in old revisions). Have to switch between Explorer and Visual studio all the time, this costs money too. Probably more than this lousy SourceSafe license fee...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Apple is Getting Microsoftier

I have noticed that Apple isn't so bad when it comes to acting like a proper capitalist company. People always thought of Microsoft as the evil corporation that exploited its customers up to the bone and Apple of the poor underdog that lost from Microsoft. However, Apple regained strength, made some powerful alliances, most notably with Microsoft to produce an Office Suite (Microsoft Office) and browser (Internet Explorer) for its Mac platform.

Apple made lots of these deals. It made sure its operating system worked well with other operating systems and in non-Apple environments. It worked well with Windows, it worked well with UNIX.

Now, Apple is getting a dominant player in both PC and music device market. The Apple iPod is the most popular MP3 player on the planet and Apple uses this dominance to push a few other of its products, such as the iTunes Music Store. Where Apple used to make sure it cooperated well with other companies' products, it now locks them out. A few years ago, some company (Real?) tried to make its DRM-protected music play on the iPod. Apple sued them. More recently, with the new iPod series, Apple locked Linux users and other users who do not use Apple's iTunes player to manager their music out.

Apple no longer has to be BFF with every other company to survive. It can stand on its own legs now. Better yet, other companies (for example the iPod accessory makers) need Apple to survive. Chances have turned and Apple can now show its real face. A face that is not unlike Microsoft, and I predict even more aggressive, except with a sex-symbol as a front-man, who will tell us it's all going to be alright.

Good news for its shareholders, which I recently joined myself. Long live the American system.