I’m a bit of a grump when it comes to a lot of the Web 2.0 startups of recent years. I still dislike Facebook - originally it was just an in-principle reaction based on their rather irritating child-CEO and his ability to attract vast amounts of investment based on a business plan made entirely of arm-waving and wet tissue paper, but now having used it for a while, I dislike it on its own merits.
After Kaz Hirai’s interview yesterday (only one part of which I felt merited comment), Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg has returned fire. Can we stop this now please? Negative PR, just like negative political campaigning, just ends up making everyone look bad in the end. Let the products speak for themselves for goodness sakes.
Sony’s PR machine has been rather contrite of late, after some really quite stellar gaffes a few years ago, but comments from Kaz Harai in an interview recently are a firm return to the ‘what in Gods name were you thinking?’ school of PR. Ignoring the fanboy-baiting predictions of who’s going to ‘win’ (given the expansions in the game industry, does anyone have to ‘win’?), the bit that got my attention was when he talked about the (many would say unnecessary) complexity of developing for the PS3:
Rock Band has come through again for introducing me to music I might not have otherwise have come across; this week’s DLC included ‘Typical’ by Mute Math: It’s a great track, and I’m definitely buying it - the drum chart in particular is really interesting, very Reni-like. The video was deservedly nominated for a Grammy, but I totally missed it at the time and I don’t remember hearing it on the radio.
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, following on from my thoughts last week, I spent a little time today rearranging my main work area to accommodate working standing up. I’m just aiming for a temporary solution for the moment, so I can experiment with it and evaluate whether it’s going to help. Luckily, I have a ton of sturdy boxes left over from various technical purchases, so after trying out various combinations I came up with this:
As a gamer, I pay a lot of attention to what game critics say - I might not agree with all of them, but in the main my views tend to fall into line with average, relative opinion of what are the games to look out for within a genre. However, I was struck recently by how much this really doesn’t work for me with films in a lot of cases.
I’ve been thinking for a while that I needed to get a new chair for my home office - the one I have now is 15 years old and doesn’t even have a lumbar support (so I supplement it with cushions). However, good chairs are expensive, and I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted - I had a more modern chair when I used to work in an office, and that still didn’t stop me getting back problems, and most recently I’ve had thorasic-region problems which aren’t directly addressed by a lumbar support anyway.
I’m on the Qt (owned by Nokia now) mailing list since I have a commercial license for a client project, and I got a very interesting email today, telling me that on its release in March 2009, Qt 4.5 will be available under the LGPL. This is really big news. Up until the current Qt 4.4, your only licensing options are a per-seat and per-platform commercial license (which adds up if you have multiple developers and multiple target platforms, which you will do if you’re using Qt anyway), or alternatively the free option which means you use it under the GPL - meaning all your own code has to also be GPL, with an exception that allows you to publish / use software under other open source licenses too, but nevertheless it all has to be public.