Business

GeoCities demise should be a warning

A few days ago, Yahoo! announced that they would be shuttering the venerable GeoCities this year. “So what?” you might well ask - GeoCities is after all an ageing service from a bygone era, and apart from some nostalgia and perhaps some data that some people might have had parked there for a while, most people won’t really notice it’s passing. But nevertheless, it’s important, and people who get carried away with putting a dollar value on the current favourite websites of the day (e.

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Windows 7 giveth, and taketh away

I picked up on this via Gringod’s twitter: Windows 7 will have an XP Mode, a virtualised environment but with the added bonus that it doesn’t create a new desktop, just virtualised application windows inside Windows 7 that are actually running on an XP SP3 VM. At first it all sounds pretty damn good, paving the way for MS to ‘do an Apple’ and redesign things more fundamentally without having to worry about being backwards-compatible forever.

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Oracle - the devourer of open source databases

In a past working life, I used Oracle a fair amount - I used Oracle 7 through 10, and they were pretty decent products. The lineup was pretty simple back then - Oracle was the gruff, stoic mercenary who didn’t talk much and cost a fortune, but had it where it counted - if you could get him to do what you wanted; SQL Server was the approachable and gregarious rogue who was a jack of all trades and came fairly cheap, but had a habit of disappearing into the shadows or asking for more money at more sticky moments; and MySQL was the happy-go-lucky bard who was just along for the ride, happy to work for free so long as it was all just a jape and no-one asked him to do any real work.

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My take on the B-game debate

B game B movie Games

I picked up on the Gamasutra article about B-games thanks to Penny Arcade, and I found the debate fascinating. I’m a regular casual consumer of B-movies myself, thanks to the fact that the Sci-Fi channel shows them almost constantly, and their ability to amuse is seemingly inexhaustable. I also like the fact that you really don’t need to watch the whole of a B-movie to get something out of it, or even see the beginning or the end; you can have fun just trying to figure out the (usually awful) plot by just watching a 30-minute slot - in fact this is part of the entertainment.

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I finally have a 'real' office

My office has finally been christened as a legitimate workplace - I now have a photocopier 😀 Well, of sorts - it’s actually one of those All-in-one devices, which I finally decided to buy because I was fed up of laboriously scanning multi-page contracts / licenses on a flatbed. I went with a HP Officejet J6410 - it was cheap, got some very good reviews, and I’ve generally been happy with other HPs over the years.

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OnLive - an idea that deserves to work (eventually)

In the past, I’ve made no bones here about the fact that I consider proprietary console platforms to be a sub-optimal content delivery platform for games. I understand why they’ve got to this stage (desire to seed the market with advanced, standardised tech at less than cost price, requiring lock-in to recoup later), but that doesn’t make them a desirable end-game. Closed systems are by nature market distorting, and can hamper innovation, because when only a chosen group of ‘authorised’ developers have access to deploy on it, you’re not maximising the amount of content innovation available.

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Reflecting on how far open source has come

It seems that more and more these days I find articles cropping up in publications like the Economist or WSJ about open source projects, and it occurred to me how ‘normal’ it had now become for such business-oriented publications to recognise what a driver open source has become in the modern world. It’s expected now, but it made me think back to my personal journey with open source, and how much resistance I’ve encountered to it over the years.

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Process: no replacement for people and principles

Over my years in working in the IT business, one thing that’s a constant is that we’re never short of talk about the latest “Process” that we should be following. There have been a shedload of them over the years I’ve been doing this, and I’ve tried a load of them out and encountered them via third parties, and while some are interesting and useful when taken as a basis for adaption to individual circumstances, one thing I absolutely cannot stand is the kind of people that focus on this as a proof or guarantee that their projects are being run well.

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Why do we like chains so much?

I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties of late, not because I don’t have anything to say (it takes strong gaffer tape to achieve that particular result), but I just seem to be juggling a lot of stuff at once right now and there’s always something else to be doing. This post is therefore for those who have been missing my particular brand of opinionated rambling. 😉 I recently watched Dave Gorman’s America Unchained.

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Making a new home for patent trolls

I live on an island that often gets bad press for being a ‘tax haven’. Those in the local financial services industry don’t like that term of course, pointing out how standards-compliant the finance industry is, and how many information exchange agreements we have with other countries (the line ‘the lady doth protest too much’ bubbles to the surface in some people’s minds I’m sure at this stage). So, we’re not technically a tax haven according to the OECD definition, but we’re certainly a place for people to stash their money and avoid paying tax on the income they derive from it in the juristictions in which they live.

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