January 31, 2006

Google Working on Desktop Fusion?

Okay, not really, but we're as likely to release that as our own version of ubuntu as noted in This Slashdot Story

StarForce threatens to Sue Cory Doctorow

I was reading the Boing Boing Story about badware provider Starforce, and I gotta ask....can't they afford good lawyers? Who are these people, really? As someone who has gotten more than his share of cease and desists, nasty lawyer letters and death threats for his activities online, this one wouldn't have risen above the spam threshold for me. The PR Manager is sending the threatening email? What, don't they have a urinal-licker or pig-waxer on staff to do it? If people are serious about shutting you up/down, they talk to a judge, or a lawyer, not the schmuck in the basement. Update: This wasn't meant to imply that a pr manager == a pig-licker or whatever, but having a pr person send c&d letters is just stupid.


January 25, 2006

Everything makes sense now!

So Richard Gibbs wrote this awesome soundtrack for the new Battlestar Galactica series. What band was he in before doing BSG? Oingo flippin' Boingo. So there you go. The BSG soundtracks are awesome.

The Oingo Boingo Generation Gap

Me: Hey, Saul (a University of Waterloo intern in our office) do you like "Oingo Boingo"?
Saul: Who?
Me: You know: Dead man's party, only a lad, etc?
Saul: Sounds like they were big in the 80's. I was 7 when the 80's ended.
Me: Get back to work.

January 24, 2006

How do developers use HTML?

Hixie's research on HTML use just went up on Code.Google.com . It's really interesting research. For instance, <Title> is more popular than <BR>. Who knew? Lots of interesting information in there. Very useful for those creating browsers and tools like cURL.

I'll show you, I'm gonna blog it......the Age of the Whiny Blogger

So this begins one in a series of ranty titles that have no real connection to the text of the blog. This entry is not about bloggers who think they have more influence than they actually do with vastly huge cable or cell phone companies. No. It is about.....can you guess?....mechanical gyros. Can we phase those out and go with MEMs based gyros from now on? Mechanical, plastic, labor intensive (and thus cheaper) gyros are less accurate, have more drift and are less sturdy than their MEMs counterpart. That's all I have to say about that. That said, they're probably wicked expensive or something. I know laser mechanical ones certainly are.

I welcome anyone who would like to rant about actual issues raised in the title in the comments. I've probably done it myself, for that matter.

Neat: Jabphone

Jabphone - Jabber to phone gateway. Open Standards supported by open source implementations are hot and make cool things happen.

January 21, 2006

Regarding the DOJ and Flat Tires

I'm not really going to talk about it, but I'm really proud of my employer. I mean, who knows how it will turn out, but at least we're willing to stand up and force the issue. That said, it's not something I'm going to talk much about, but I'm especially happy to be at Google this week.

Also, got a flat tire on Wednesday morning. I sat in the car and thought about calling AAA, but then I thought....hey....I can change a flippin' tire. When I was young a friend of mine, Christof Voegler, bought a bunch of crappy tires that popped a lot. I got good a changing tires, so anyhow, I changed the tire and went to work. Very exciting, I assure you. The only bad part is that I don't like changing a tire on the left side of the car on the right shoulder of 101. Luckily traffic was crawling so I didn't worry much about some drunk driver plowing into me.

January 17, 2006


Yet again, people don't understand open source software licenses. I was reading this Information Week Article: New Open-Source License Draft Less Controversial Than Feared For Business and while it's not terrible, it propagates the erroneous idea that a new rev of the gpl means google and ebay might have to open up code it is not prepared to.

All that a rev of the gpl means is that, if we don't like the provisions of the new one (which is pretty reasonable, then we opt to not upgrade and maintain the gpl v2 code ourselves.

This is not a big deal. Also, the kernel team has said that they likely won't use the upgraded licenses. Again, I don't want to slam the article too much, but a rev of an free software license can not be retroactive otherwise the ability to fork the code would be impossible.

There are some tricky points in the new draft, for sure, but forcing Google or Ebay or whoever runs Linux to upgrade isn't one of them. Forcing upgrades is not free software's way.

January 16, 2006

Cambridge is a little Chilly.

Well, I was a little worried about the new version of the GPL, but so far it looks pretty good. The network performance thing looks like it is a non-issue and there is a lot of very good stuff in there. The discussion group lunch afterwards (we were in that room for probably 4 hours) was pretty productive and useful.

It'll be very interesting when the comment period starts. (Keep in mind the new license will take over a year to finalize). It's a good start, for sure. Also, lots of old friends at the thing, too. Lots of old time free software folks :-)

January 11, 2006

So what's up with DiBona, you ask.....

Okay, so maybe you aren't asking. But I'm telling.. You might have been thinking to yourself: Man, Chris has been pretty flippin scarce lately, hasn't he? Maybe you haven't been asking yourself this, but I'm going to tell you why anyway.

But first: I really like saying the word "Flippin'" lately. Unknown as to why.

Anyhow...so, I've been going to school. When I was hired by Google, I did not have a college degree. I had left my CS program with one class left (Artificial Intelligence, natch) and....well....I meant to take it at San Jose State or Stanford at some point and hadn't been able to do it. Life (startups, marriage, child) all conspired with my procrastinators soul to make me skip AI.

Anyhow, I was hired by Google and I realized that I was probably the least educated person ever employed there. So I immediately called my old school to see if there was some way I could take it remotely. They agreed and I got an A and graduated. Yay me.

The book was the one you think it was too, co-written by a Googler and someone I personally admire, Peter Norvig. In fact, it was in a meeting with Peter that I thought it was kind of stupid that I hadn't taken the course when the author of the courses textbook was sitting across the conference table from me.

So that got me thinking. If I can pull that off, maybe I could consider trying for an advanced degree. So I looked into CMU's west coast campus on Ames and, well, to make a long story short applied and started last August. I should get my masters in software engineering after another year and a half of work. This is all, of course, the same time as my very full load at work and so that, my dear readers, is why I haven't been posting as much. The degree is a lot of work on top of a lot of work and since my family is very important to me, so I'd rather spend what very little free time I have with them and not posting on my blog. That's also why I skipped doing Nanowrimo in November and have been laying off the writing a bit for O'Reilly.

My, I'm in a sharing mood today.

January 10, 2006

January 9, 2006

Censoring + Teenagers = Crazy Malicious.

Two things:


News Corp censoring competitors sites off of MySpace. That's -so- uncool. To recap: Myspace is editing out when you say the words "YouTube" (a popular video hosting site, where you likely watched the "Chronicles of Narnia" spoof rap video.) So flipping bogus, this is. Censoring + Teens = Crazy Malicious.


There is no second. That's a pretty funny video.