We all know that the economy is badly screwed. And this isn’t just some country-specific problem, it’s economic buggery on a global scale, thanks to the wonders of a joined-up international banking system run by people who thought they were a lot smarter than they actually were. “Gold rushes” always collapse eventually, it’s just that in this case the gold rush knew no national boundaries and when it ended, everyone is left with a hangover, even (or perhaps even especially) the people that didn’t benefit stratospherically from the good times.
Another week, another plan to stimulate the economy from the UK government. I actually think what they’re doing this week is pretty sensible, which basically means an insurance / underwriting scheme dependent on mandated lending to individuals and small businesses. But I think today is actually less about this individual step, and more about the fact that most commentators are in agreement that if this doesn’t work, ie doesn’t restart the flow of credit to sound lenders, then it’s going to lead to pretty much a wholesale nationalisation of the banking sector in the UK.
So, 2008 is almost done and 2009 rapidly hoves into view. I thought I’d share a few of my predictions for the next 12 months, on the frankly dubious assumption that anyone on the Internet actually cares what I think. Specifically, I thought I’d talk about some IT business topics, since that’s what my mind is largely focused on when it comes to trying to figure out what’s going to happen next.
It’s been clear for some time that the US is becoming more and more paranoid about border security. My first trip to the US was in late 1993, when we hopped over to New York on a special deal (less than 2 weeks notice), and I remember it being much like any other international destination, or if anything easier. In particular if you held a British passport, you were pretty much waved through at the border with very little fuss.
I read today that it’s estimated 90% of people playing the full PC version of World Of Goo have a pirated copy (note: the authors 2Dboy chose not to include any copy protection). Edit: For those being pedantic about this figure, here’s how it was estimated; but arguing the exact number is chronically missing the point. You see, this is why PC gamers can’t have nice things anymore. It’s why desperate publishers reach for horrible, broken DRM measures to try to stamp out piracy, universally failing of course and often upsetting the small minority of paying customers they have left into the bargain.
Note: I’m going to pick the way I discuss this carefully, since I have a good friend on the LINQ to SQL team (yes, we Guernseymen do get around) and I feel bad to criticise too much in this area; nevertheless I think there are lessons to be learned and I have a definite angle on this, being an ex-business coder and open source enthusiast. My thoughts here reflect pretty much what I’ve already suggested on his blog, but in more detail, so hopefully this won’t offend him!
I read with some interest Matt Asay’s blog on TWiki, and what has happened over there as the company associated with the open-source project has basically decided to ‘reorganise’ everything, it appears in order to make itself more attractive to venture capitalists. To be honest, I really don’t understand the motivation at all. All open source projects live or die by the strength of their community, and to suddenly break from it in the interests of attracting investment is crazy.
I’m here in Sweden again for the rest of the week, working for an interesting client who is making a sizeable investment in creating a long-term strategy on Ogre, which is obviously a good thing. It’s a little under the radar for the moment so I’ll leave it at that until a more appropriate time 😀 Luckily my back held up for the trip, despite carting luggage and 3 flights with fairly small connection windows in between.
Like most people I’ve been following the current economic news with a mixture of morbid entertainment and mild trepidation. I’m not likely to be out of a job soon (my employer and I are on very good terms), but inevitably my work is part of the global economy, so I can’t expect to be completely unaffected. There are a few interesting lines of thought in the blogosphere that I thought I’d share with you.
IDV yesterday issued a press release on speedtree.com announcing OgreSpeedTree 😀We’re also in their gallery and (currently) also on their front page. I’m rather pleased! I do however feel the pressing need to come up with some better screenshots, including HDR and some more interesting terrain. As always my thanks go to Kevin Meridith from IDV for his assistance throughout this whole process.