jastram.de Blog

Copyright revisited

Most people these days think of Copyright as a fundamental right – but this is not in the spirit of the original copyright laws, as Eric Raymond prominently stated 1998 in the Cathedral and the Bazaar. Instead, it is "a bargain with the public." It is nice to see that this idea is being discussed more widely these days, as in this Economist editorial.

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Wikipedia

… and there I thought the days of finding cool sites was over. I ran across the astonishing project wikipedia.org. It is a multilingual open content encyclopedia.

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Enron in Space

When I was riding the T the other day, I saw this amusing poster that compared the national missle defense (a.k.a. “Star Wars”) with Enron.

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TBTF retires

Tasty Bits from the Technology Front (TBTF) officially retired, but will still be available as an archive.

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Can you secure Windows for Internet Cafes?

I use Internet Cafes fairly often. I travel a lot, and I like to check my email while on the road. There’s just one catch: I like to connect to my home computer via ssh, and Windows doesn’t ship with an ssh client. However, there is an excellent free ssh client called Putty. But most Internet cafes disable the ability to run programs downloaded from the Internet.

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Bought CD? Get money back!

The CD industry recently settled a price fixing suit. Everybody who bought music through a retailer between 1995 and 2000 is eligible! Go to http://www.musiccdsettlement.com to file a claim.

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Missle defense scandal covered by NY Times

Missle defense doesn’t work! This is the message by MIT Professor Theodore A. Postol. I’ve been following this story since MIT Technology Review reported about Professor Postol’s quest. Today, the New York Times reported prominentely about this scandal.

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Philip S. Khoury on the Middle East

Yesterday, I attended a talk organized by the Boston MIT Alumni Club on the Middle East. The speaker, Philip Khoury, is Professor at MIT. He gave an excellent overview on what happened in the region the last 100 years, and he didn’t hold back on what he thought should be done to fix the situation.

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Misconceptions about new Technologies

I work with new technologies in Software, and there seem to be a groundbreaking new technology every six months, while year-old technologies are already fading. Or are they? It usually takes 10-20 years for a technology to go mainstream (yes – that long!), as observed by well-known experts like Everett Rogers, who introduced Diffusion of Innovations, and Geoffrey Moore, who wrote “Crossing the Chasm”. In fact, I had the pleasure to briefly work with Geoffrey Moore when I was with Post Communications.

New technologies are tempting, but when should be bet on them? How should the risk be managed? How do you identify a winner? I recently read a Cutter report on technology decision making, which brought up these issues all over again. Most of it you can read in Roger’s and Moore’s books. However, the report talks about the most common misconceptions, and that list I found exceptionally useful.

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Impressions from SD East

Yesterday, I visited the Software Development conference SD Expo in Boston. While I only had the free Floor pass, the organizers sent out an email that allowed me to visit some classes. If you are interested in what I learned there, read on…

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