the biggest mistake microsoft made was to decide that patents would be
an effective defence against new competitors
because that stops you from really innovating yourself
so Microsoft wasted most of a decade, thinking they could use patents to
defend the castle.
Meanwhile, others were innovating for real.
– Mark Shuttleworth, IRC Q&Q
I’m pretty sure Microsoft wouldn’t see their patent portfolio as a
mistake. Remember; that portfolio allows them to make more money out of
Android than they do out of their own mobile OS, and that’s without
having to do any of that tricky, expensive innovating
Otherwise, Shuttleworth absolutely nails how the patent system is broken
and why that needs to change.
No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.
– CmdrTaco, Slashdot
My prediction: you’re going to see an awful lot of that quote today.
In a way it’s a shame that’s the famous quote, because you only have to
scroll down a few pages of coments to find this gem:
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Seriously, that’s it.
OK, so why? You have to ask? I use twitter on four different devices (2
desktops, my phone and my iPad) most days, and I simply can’t be
bothered scrolling through tweets I’ve already read. TweetMarker takes
that pain away from me by allowing my various devices to sync my last
read tweet. It’s simple and it works.
I’m not saying I’ll definitely use a twitter client just because it
supports TweetMarker, but I am saying I won’t use one that doesn’t.
In case you hadn’t heard, the security researcher Charlie Miller has had
his iOS developer program access terminated after posting a malware
proof of concept to the App Store. His response:
OMG, Apple just kicked me out of the iOS Developer program. That’s so
That’s putting it mildly. Since then he’s found out that he’s also
barred from re-entering the program for a year. Could have been worse I
suppose; I wouldn’t have been astounded if it had turned out to be
The thing is, I don’t think this is just rude; I think it’s wrong. I
know the internet is full of people shouting out that this was clearly
against the terms of the App Store and that Charlie should have expected
this response, but I’m sorry; I disagree. Well, partially. I guess he
should have expected it, what with this being Apple and all, but just
because it was predictable doesn’t mean it’s OK, and I feel their
response was both disproportionate and, ultimately, unproductive.
The proportionality of Apple’s response isn’t really something with an
objective measure; either you think they were justified or you don’t. My
opinion is that, while I can understand Apple wanting to take a hard
line on malware in the App Store, it wouldn’t kill them to take a
slightly softer approach in a case like this, where they had been
informed of the vulnerability, no malicious payload was in use, and it
was an important disclosure of a security vulnerability. I’d have
thought deleting the app in question and having a frank exchange with
Charlie about Apple’s expectations in similar situations would have
Not only would it have sat better with me morally, but it would have
been a better outcome for everyone, Apple included. Their PR department
might not like it when someone points out that their platform isn’t
immune to malware, but it’s an important thing for end-users to know,
and I guarantee that even the marketeers like it a lot more this way
than they would if someone less scrupulous had found the exploit first
and started using it maliciously in the wild.
an approving report about the anti-piracy measures in Bohemia
Interactive’s new game, Take On
Helicopters, and how, in one case they outed
a pirate by having him post about its visual degradation on their
support forum. That’s great if your goal is to make pirates look stupid,
or if you think you earn some kind of kudos by sneakily getting them to
effectively admit to you what they’ve done, or even if you just don’t
like pirates and want to ruin their fun. But… are any of those
really the goal of anti-piracy measures?
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I didn’t notice the speed increase.
– Marco Arment, Official Marco.org in-depth review of the iPhone 4S
It’s easier to notice by going back to the no-S iPhone 4 for a few hours.
– John Gruber, Daring Fireball
While I don’t doubt for a minute that going back to the slightly slower
device for a while is much more noticeable than going to the slightly faster
one, I’m pretty sure the increase would pass me by as well. Why? In my
just-over-a-year of owning one, I’ve never once thought my iPhone 4 was
slow. Since I got it phone performance is something which I basically never
have to think about. That’s why those new-fangled multi-core 1GHz+ Android
handsets have never appealed to me, and it’s why the speed bump is the least
appealing feature of the 4S to me.
It’s been a terrible month for the industry. First Steve
and one of the key developers of unix.
His name may not be so well known as that other, equally tragic but more
high profile passing, but his influence on computing - his legacy if you
will - is every bit as pervasive and wide ranging; many would say it’s
more so. His impact on me personally was certainly much greater.
To this day, I still consider myself a c programmer at heart and, were
my employers to allow it, I’d probably fall back on using it for
performance-critical parts of any project I write. As it is, the last
time I wrote c professionally was five or six years ago, but that
doesn’t reduce Ritchie’s influence being felt; C may be out of favour
with large, non-technology, companies, but in it’s place they use Java;
a direct descendent of that language.
Gaming aside, all the computing I do, I do on operating systems based
on or derived
from unix. Even my mobile phone (along
with a significant percentage of the smartphones in the world,) is a
distant descendant of the work he did 40
years ago at Bell
Put simply, it’s impossible to imagine my life without the influence his
work has had on it; c/c++/Java/other-descendent-language and unix have
been inexorably entwined in my hobby and my job every day for about as
long as I can remember.
Recently I’ve been spending a bit of time getting properly acquainted
with Ruby, to which end I’ve picked up a copy of the famous ‘Pickaxe
book’, and have been
working through the early chapters to give myself a good grounding the
language and its core concepts.
So far it’s all going well; the book is excellent and, while it’ll be a
while before I’m applying for Ruby programming jobs, I think I’ve got to
the point where I can start putting together trivial programmes for my
own use. Which is where the book seems to have left me a little
high-and-dry. There’s a chapter on how to structure your source
directory, which all seems sensible, but when it comes to running your
code it leaves you with
cding into the source directory and running
bash % ruby -I lib bin/some_ruby_script
That’s fine as far as it goes, but it’s a lot to type every time I want
to run something, and it’s sensitive to the
CWD, so symlinking it into
$PATH or something isn’t an option.
The book then goes into detail about how to package your code up as a
Gem and install it on any machine, but that’s more effort than I want to
go to for system maintenance scripts and the like, which are only ever
going to be run on the machine they’re developed on.
All of which is a long winded explanation of why I wrote this:
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Wow. When I set up a blog to capture my more technical thoughts, I never
imagined that the first post would be about the passing of Steve Jobs.
If I’m honest, I find it hard to know what to think, and I don’t really
have a lot to say; it’s not like I knew the man. And while he had an
enormous, if indirect, impact on my life, who can’t say the same? What
possible insight could I have, or what thoughts could I share that
aren’t currently being repeated across the internet by anyone, no; by
everyone who loves technology?
None; I’m just another consumer who loves the products he steered his
company to create.
So I won’t quote or link to his Stanford address; you’ve already seen
I won’t share anecdotes about my life using Apple products; Google can
show you more moving ones if you care about that.
I’ll just say that he was a great man; a visionary, and that our entire
industry is worse-off for losing him.
RIP Steve, the world’s going to miss you.