Why Startups Condense in America: "Ironically, of all rich countries the US has lost the most civil liberties recently. But I'm not too worried yet. I'm hoping once the present administration is out, the natural openness of American culture will reassert itself.


ODF progress

Sean McGrath, CTO, Propylon:
"From September 1st, Government pubs will be available in ODF.

Hats off to the Danes."


BBC NEWS | England | London | Schoolboy wears stab-proof vest:

"He added that in consultation with the school 'the officer told the pupil to remove the vest'."

when we have this:

A teenage boy has been wounded in a stabbing outside his Birmingham school.
or these:


Planet Lisp: "The comprehensive air blast cleaning cut 45 seconds off the benchmark time. It was like getting a processor upgrade."


NewsForge | The Curious Incident of Sun in the Night-Time: "
What is Sun's new contribution to the FLOSS community?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing--and that's what makes the response to this non-incident so curious."


The best thing since Abba - though not as pretty!

Digital Digressions: Why Monsters Rock: "Yesterday was thus a triumph of humour, great entertainment free from the political quagmire and a rebellion against the predictable, boring pop-entries that have become to signify what the Eurovision Song Contest means to the average European."


Another Lisp Video

Via William Bland.abstractstuff: Peter Seibel video:

"I was wandering randomly around Google Video, when I found this excellent video of a talk by Peter Seibel. "

Bit of a slow start, and sometimes the lack of visuals is a pain, but I enjoyed this - some intersting concrete examples of some cool CL features - not macros BTW !!


[Debian-haskell] Linspire/Freespire Core OS Team and Haskell:
"The OS team at Linspire, Inc. would like to announce that we are standardizing on Haskell as our preferred language for core OS development."
Hmm, it's not April 1st ! Well then, good for them - I look forward to hearing how they geton


"IBM though has seemingly failed to create a competitive advantage through its own hosting capabilities, because it has focused too much on its Fortune 500 sweetspot and not enough on the markets where the rest of us live.



Model-Driven Software Development book: "Tom Stahl and Markus V?lter's Model-Driven Software Development book is out 19th May"

OK article, but which book is referenced?

Quite a good article, though not terribly original:The Observer | Business | John Naughon: Microsoft is a victim of its past monopolistic success:

"Therein may lie the real significance of Open Source. In a perceptive book published in 2004, the social scientist, Steve Weber argued that it's not Linux per se but the collaborative process by which the software was created that is the real innovation. In those terms, Linux is probably the first truly networked enterprise in history."

Does anyone know which book is referred to above?

One factor not mentioned is the power of potential ridicule: poor design work can be obvious to all, whereas in corporate they can be hidden and design improvement decisions can easily made subordinate to schedule decisions.

Oh yes

Escape from Cubicle Nation: Open letter to CEOs, COOs, CIOs and CFOs across the corporate world:

"If you want to see things change immediately, stop acting like an asshole. If you see one of your senior managers acting like an asshole, ask him to stop. If he doesn't stop, fire him. You will be amazed at how fast the culture shifts."

I love it - don't suppose the right folks will read this though!!


Don't let work take over!

Nice article :A List Apart: The Four-Day Week Challenge:

"The more you work, the more you get done, right? Well, I’d like to encourage you to take the “Four-Day Challenge.”"
I think it is a good idea to plan a shorter week - if you are like me , ou end up working a normal week as opposed to a very long week!

Long weeks in a short burst are good, but not to go on forever. Bu this seems to happen a lot - there is always one more deadline/crisis and your work pattern is rigidly set to the max!!

The author of the article doesn't say how is quality of work altered, but , I think, the more brain/imagination-powered your work is the better this advice is!

Stagnant Groove?

Groove and Innovation:
"I think having control of Groove is Microsoft’s biggest strength right now. There is no similar platform (on any OS) as far as I know. Nothing prevents Microsoft from evolving Groove, and even building their OS around some of these ideas. But sadly, Microsoft seems to choose an "

Groove was a breath of fresh air - but too platform specific. As it was bought by MS it was unlikely to improve in this direction, I lost interest - glad to hear that I haven't missed too much.

Ant as a Domain Specific Language

An interesting ( though long ) article evangelising Lisp: defmacro - The Nature of Lisp:
"So why XML? Can we find a good reason for using it?

It turns out that we can (although as I mentioned earlier I'm not sure if James was consciously aware of it). XML has the property of being far more flexible in terms of introduction of semantic constructs than Java could ever hope to be. "

The idea of a flexible abstaract syntax is not new, but is well explained in this article ( for me at least).


BBC NEWS | Entertainment | BBC 'must improve Mid-East view':
"Broadcast news lacked historical background, stories were often not put in the wider context and there was insufficient analysis and interpretation of important events and issues, the report said."

This is a report about middle east coverage and yet that paragraph seems to sum up what the BBC news has become - just like most other news programmes it has become rather shallow and un-informative....
R-Squared: Fuel Efficiency and Lessons from Europe:
"I lived in Europe from 1999 to 2001, and I typically paid over $4/gallon for gasoline. I coped by getting a very fuel efficient car. I didn’t feel unsafe, because I was not surrounded by big SUVs on the autobahn. I rode my bike whenever possible."

Unfortunately, the UK seems to have European fuel taxation, but US-style "drive everywhere" suburb layouts.
It's a mud hut school for a down-to-earth generation . . . - Britain - Times Online: "“It will be the largest earth building in the Western hemisphere,” said Adam Weismann, who runs Cob in Cornwall with his wife, Katy Bryce. “This new school will stand as a living example of the legitimacy of using this ancient building method as a contemporary ‘eco’ material that can fully comply with stringent modern building standards."