Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

A new OS X... on the Win95 Anniversary

Apple will release the latest OS X (codenamed "Jaguar") on the 7th anniversary of the launch of Windows 95. This is all well and good, but think about it...

Today's UIs are flashier and they certainly require a lot more power, memory and drive space to boot, let alone to do anything useful. The web has been the main qualitative change since Win95 came along (And to think the arrogant codecutters at Microsoft didn't even include a TCP/IP stack in it, because MSN was going to take over the world!). And in a way it all goes back to the 70s and the Xerox Alto and even the late 60s and Doug Engelbart's astonishing 1968 demo of a fully networked environment with Windows and a mouse.

Which is to say, we need a paradigm shift. Now. I can't bear the possibility that we'll get to the year 2010 and, instead of being on a mission to rescue Discovery and see what had happened to that Monolith after all, we'll be using Windows 2010 on a machine with 10 Gb of RAM to run... Microsoft Word.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 23, 2002 at 7:46 PM

Lessig's ideas

Dave has an excellent short opinion piece today on Scripting News regarding free software, Lessig's position on it, and why software can't be entirely free. People (and yes, software developers qualify!) need money to buy food, clothing, etc. Well maybe not so much clothing. CNET's Charles Cooper makes a slightly different argument but touches on similar points.

I agree with what they say, and in particular the attack on the comparison on Hemingway. And I would add, isn't that analogy a bit overstretched? Literature is not software. Lessig's take is that:

When the system protects Hemingway, we at least get to see how Hemingway writes. We get to learn about his style and the tricks he uses to make his work succeed. We can see this because it is the nature of creative writing that the writing is public. There is no such thing as language that conveys meaning while not simultaneously transmitting its words."

Let's look at the centerpiece of his argument here: "We get to learn about his style and the tricks he uses to make his work succeed." This is a very strange argument to make. If what Lessig says is true, then this "exposure of the inner working of the book" would mean hundreds of Hemingway copycats. Ditto for anything else, like Joyce or Pynchon or whatever. Yet the works of these authors is unique in history. Hmm. Intriguing, no? Maybe "what we learn about the tricks these people use" is not that much eh?

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 23, 2002 at 3:13 PM

controlling content

Ray Ozzie on nondiscretionary content control, and its implications for UI design, software development, and any technology that manipulates or displays content in general. A very interesting read. And these problems will only become more and more complicated as DRM (or worse things, like Palladium) become more widespread.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 23, 2002 at 2:56 PM

typing -- with your eyes

This article reports on another article on this week's Nature magazine about Dasher, software that predicts which letter is most likely to come next in a piece of text, and an eye-tracking interface to the software that lets people type up to 25 words per minute using the software. Best of all, Dasher is language independent and it adapts to the user's habits (vocabulary, writing style) over time.

Tons of applications come to mind, but the most intriguing of all would be its integration into a PDA or a cellphone. Maybe it will be a way of getting rid of the "palm alphabet" once and for all.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 23, 2002 at 2:15 PM

the open source developer lifestyle

It had to happen: someone did a survey of open source developers, which, surprise, turn out mostly men in their twenties. Not too surprising.

One interesting thing though: most of the open-source developers prefer Debian rather than Red Hat. Sounds about right... :-)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 23, 2002 at 10:07 AM

the destruction of the amazon

There's been some progress in reducing the rate of destruction of the Amazon, but economic forces could easily reverse it, as this article in today's New York Times clearly shows.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on August 23, 2002 at 10:00 AM

Copyright © Diego Doval 2002-2011.