Business

Spring eats Tomcat

Well, not quite. But if you’re a fan of open-source software for the enterprise this is pretty big news - SpringSource (who, unsurprisingly, provide services around the Spring framework) is buying Covalent, who in turn provide services around server implementations like Tomcat and Geronimo, which are of course both Apache open source projects. It will mean of course that SpringSource will become more of a ‘one stop shop’ for people wanting to deploy Spring from start to finish.

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Open Season on Sun / MySQL

The acquisition of MySQL by Sun Microsystems for an eye-watering $1bn is old news by now, but I just thought I’d recommend listening to a special edition of Open Season which talks to the executives involved (as usual, hosted by the leaders of Alfresco and MuleSource) - if you’re at all interested in the state of ‘commercial’ open source, Open Season is always a good listen, even if most of us aren’t within a million light years of the sort of enterprise business these guys are involved in.

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Microsoft vs Becta

If you’re not familiar, Becta (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) is an arm of the UK government that is dedicated to setting IT strategy for UK schools. Recently, they advised schools in a report not to upgrade to Vista or Office 2007, for several reasons: “…there remains a perceived lack of significant business benefit delivered by the new features in Vista to balance out the costs associated with its deployment…“ “…only an estimated 22 per cent of [existing] machines meet the specification necessary to run Vista effectively…“ “Our interim report recommended that Microsoft should develop a compelling business case to underpin any rationale for deploying Office 2007 in UK education.

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Damn the puny Dollar

Well, if I thought the US Dollar was behaving on the economic stage like a big girls blouse before, I clearly underestimated its ability to plunder the depths of unmanliness. As of this morning the dollar has minced up to a shockingly effeminate GBP£1 == US$2.078 on the back of the US central bank dropping their interest rate again. Since a significant part of my income (and Ogre website ad funding) originates from the US, this of course is a royal pain in the ass.

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Pelican Crossing's InDuality

Quite a few of you will know the name Pelican Crossing already, they’re the company that does Blink3D, a web-based 3D interactive content creation / viewing system which uses OGRE. Well, I was aware that CEO Clive Jackson was in California last week for the Virtual Worlds conference, although I didn’t at that time know precisely why except that there was an announcement on the cards - it would have been good to meet up (especially as he was dropping by NVIDIA too) but unfortunately we missed each other by a week.

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Wild Wild West

If the post title made you think of an awful film of the same name and the awful title single that went with it, I apologise. It popped into my head this morning unsummoned, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to be the only one trying to engage a mental decontamination protocol. Yes, over the next 24 hours I’m heading over to the west coast of the USA to attend the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit, for a full day of debate and general open source geekery.

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The problem with being self-employed

Being self-employed has many advantages, but I’m sure one bugbear we all share is debt collection. When it comes to payment, customers generally fall into a number of categories: Those that pay immediately on receiving the invoice, or even all in advance; you want to hold on to these with both hands! Those that pay precisely on the 30-day due date; which is fine, we all have cash flows to manage Those that pay on the first reminder; not too bad Those that pay sometime after the second reminder (when I start threatening interest) or not at all; now you’re yanking my chain After almost a year of doing this full time, and almost 3 years before that part-time, I’ve had at least one customer in each of these categories, although I guess I’ve been fortunate that most are in the better groups.

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OOXML doesn't get fast-tracked, ramblings on professionalism

Microsoft might have called up all their friends to vote but OOXML isn’t an ISO standard yet. Hopefully now the proponents and detractors of OOXML can actually debate the substantive issues properly, such as the claims that there are elements over which MS can exhert unilateral control, in a way that actually justifies being called a standardisation process. Those wanting to simplify my position on this will chalk this up to more Microsoft-bashing, but ISO standardisation is a very serious business, and it deserves to be taken so - and that’s where my problem is here.

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Wifi access in airports / hotels - what century is this?

The next thing I want to rant about is wifi access in airports and hotels. We’re pretty lucky in Guernsey, our airport has free wifi access throughout, something I have come to appreciate a lot (Cable & Wireless, for all their local broadband overcharging, did something right here) having spent time in UK airports and hotels . All UK airports seem to be living in the late 1990s with their incredibly expensive, incredibly crappy ‘internet cafes’ and ridiculously overpriced wifi access via BT Openzone or similar.

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Exhausted

I’m knackered. I had a couple of pretty busy days planned anyway, with quite a bit of travelling. The meetings themselves went well, I met up once again with a long-time colleague and friend formerly of WMI and now of Linden Lab, and also finally got to meet Matt Fairclough (aka Mr Terragen - TG2 is looking so awesome) in the flesh for a couple of beers - we worked together remotely on a project a couple of years ago so it was good to finally put a face to the emails.

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