For how much longer?

Student grants at risk after botched costing | Education | The Guardian
A department spokesman said: "The government is fully committed to the expansion of higher education and can ensure finance should not be a barrier to those that want to do a degree."
My emphasis added - I suspect we are very close to the point where this statement will prove impossible to fulfill. We ran a huge deficit when times were good - now we have decreasing tax income and extra costs.

The future of Lisp is.........

Lisp50 Notes part VI: The Future of Lisp « Learning Lisp
And unlike some of the talks that were tinged with a little bitterness, a sense of loss, or a sense of nostalgia, Hickey was upbeat and forward looking. “Lisp as an idea is still vibrant, especially among young developers,” he said. “People are excited about Lisp and the idea of Lisp.” ........... After JonL was finished responding, a young developer in the back could not contain himself. “This is the best thing I’ve ever heard in any conference,” he said. “Great work.”

And that’s what the Lisp50 conference was about.

Great series of reports from Lisp50, and a great deal of excitement about Clojure.


Footnotes in Google docs

Official Google Docs Blog: Adding footnotes to your documents
Last week, we added support for footnotes. You can find footnotes in the Insert menu. When you create a footnote, it'll appear to the right of the document margin and a footnote marker (#) will appear within the actual document. You can drag and drop footnotes anywhere you'd like by clicking on the pound sign and dragging it.

But in a printed do or PDF it appears as a normal footnote; nice!!


How to think like Leonardo da Vinci

How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci
Since my childhood, I was utterly fascinated by the figure of Leonardo da Vinci and his achievements. It never ceased to puzzle and amaze me how a single person could be a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer.

Luciano has done a great summary of a book that I have had for years - a great book which I must look at again. In addition he has pointed to a technology I was not aware of - Freemind Flash browser.

He also has an interview with Mark Forster


Will the credit crunch affect Open Source more than Closed Source projects?

James Robertson raises an interesting point:

Open Source Directions
In the midst of all of this financial uncertainty, I'm really curious as to how various open source projects will fare. Will they suffer because the corporations backing them will pull back? Or, in the midst of layoffs, will they keep plugging away because people have nothing else to work on? Or will corporations keep investing in open source - assuming services revenues hold up?

I have no idea, to be honest - but I imagine that there's going to be an impact.

I have no idea either ( aren't bloggers useless), perhaps there is some data somewhere.  The answer depends on many things including the types of participant, license, business model etc.  For instance:
  • Amateur programmers: the students and others chipping in for the fun and experience of it will continue - perhaps they will do more as their willingness to spend on movies, restaurants, bars goes down?
  • Open source projects which support a pure services play
  • Open source projects which are a foundation for other projects (e.g Eclipse) - affected by the down turn in the license sales but perhaps gaining from sharing development of the commodity components
  • Combinations of the last 2 points - could be spreading the risk.
Of course, what about businesses depending on non-open source?  These will slow down for sure, but more or less than those based on Open Source?

My gut feel says that everyone will hurt, but that any business model which sidesteps a business model which makes their customers shell out large lumps of money will suffer most.  Lot's of small transactions or amateurism will win out !