Sunday, October 31, 2010

Better Living Through Stoicism!

My cat went missing yesterday! What does this have to do with ancient Greek philosophy? I've written this blog posting to explain.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

RIP LimeWire. Should We Care?

In stark contrast to the inability of some folks to conduct an actual discussion, I've always gotten along well with Tim (aka "Goblin"), who blogs on free software and related matters over on OpenBytes.

He recently posted on the LimeWire shutdown, and the attempt to punish the RIAA for it by conducting a DDoS attack against their site, something we agree is hugely counterproductive behavior.

My response to one of Tim's comments there turned into a blog posting in its own right, on what the issues are here and how the community should be viewing this.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Week's "Linux on the Desktop" Debate

The subject of whether there's any future (or present, for that matter) in the notion of "Linux on the desktop" as something that "regular end-users" might want to take up has been discussed in a variety of places this past week. I put my two cents in over on my other blog (and this is "GNOME-related", so I don't want any whining).

The situation, as I see it, is that, even if Linux isn't "dead on the desktop", if it were, it would scarcely make a ripple on the awareness of most users of personal computers.

The reasons why things got to this point, and why we can expect the same in the mobile space—more Android and webOS and the like on phones and tablets and such, but scarcely any user-visible "community developed-and-maintained" open source—in the foreseeable future are really pretty basic as I see it.

Most of this is not appreciably different to things I've said at "GNOME Mobile" meetings and on the gnome-marketing list. If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you always got.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why Would Someone Try to Bribe Me to Bury This Story?

I've never had anyone attempt to buy me off before, that's a first. Evidently, I turned over a rock related to some tax fraud scandal on freenode which has been covered up for about five years.

Anyone know any details regarding this? Feel free to contact me privately if you prefer.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No, Apple Is Not Trying to Patent LLVM. That's a Lie.

There's been some nonsense being floated around on (as well as less savory locales) the past week, to the effect that "Apple has patented LLVM". It turns out to be based, as near as I can tell, on someone's having done a simple string search through Apple's patents for the string LLVM, finding two instances, assuming the worst, and pouring out their darkest, most ignorant, most ill-informed fears onto the "End Software Patents" site, which Ciaran Riordan runs, without ever actually having read the patents (actually one patent, one application) that had gotten them so upset.

This was more or less the state in which I found the Apple page, a couple of days ago, over there. Ciaran and I have been discussing the matter for the past couple of days, pretty constructively for the most part, while I corrected the page in various ways. It's in a state at this point where we can both tolerate it, at least.

If anyone tries to tell you that "Apple has patented LLVM", it's a load of FUD and nonsense. All the details are over here. I've summarized the five biggest arguments the opponents of this situation—which turns out to involve a single patent application which actually has nothing to do with LLVM per se—have brought forward as to why this particular patent application is so problematical in their view here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Can't Tell Whether I'm "Good" or "Evil" Any More.

My filters picked up this story (in multiple instances) today: Microsoft has agreed to license a portfolio of some 70-odd smart phone-related patents held mutually by my ex-employer ACCESS and Acacia.

I actually worked as ACCESS' patent portfolio strategist on this last year, helping to assemble, organize and relate the patents in question (out of possible hundreds), reporting to the then-General Counsel (who's now indulging himself making fine Belgian chocolate, something he tells me he's enjoying a lot more than lawyering).

So, I guess that makes me an official "patent troll". However, I'm a patent troll that got money out of Microsoft. I suppose Boycott Boy and his pals are liable to burn out a few circuits trying to get their (pin)heads around that!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Are You Using the Facebook App on Your Smart Phone?

If so, you really need to take a look at the article I've posted on my other blog. Like now.