Saturday, October 16, 2004

Information Overload

Blogs are great. It's incredible how easy it can be to be well-informed!

But today I'm not here to extol the virtues of blogs. Instead, lately, I've often found that I am almost becoming inundated with stuff to digest - and if I unplug for a few days I find I have thousands of entries patiently awaiting my eyes' attention.

I also find that it can affect my work. Often while I'm waiting for a build (typically a handful of minutes) I'll bring my Bloglines [1] account to the foreground and have a read. If I'm not dilligent I find that it's easy to get distracted by all the interesting things going on in the world. Twenty minutes later I remember that I was waiting for a build. Damn my curious nature! I don't let it happen often but I'm considering banning myself from reading during work...

How people like Scoble, with his 1000-odd feeds (as compared to my paltry 60!) manage is beyond me...I don't get enough sleep as it is! How do you do it Robert?

In two weeks I'm going on holidays (Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays - can't wait!) for seven nights. I'm almost scared to imagine how much reading I'll be doing the first day I log on!

Anyway, I'd be curious to know how everyone else manages their feeds. Don't be shy. :)

[1] Like many others, I've found Bloglines a terrific service - my blogroll is publically available, feel free to take a squiz or recommend blogs that you think I may be interested in.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Danger of Software Patents

We just had Richard Stallman in town giving a talk about the Danger Of Software Patents. It's not often that we get such illuminaries all the way down here in Melbourne, so I went along and was hugely impressed by his talk. His arguments were compelling and his delivery passionate - I couldn't help but agree with every point he made.

His major points, as I saw them were:
  • Software ideas patents make development hard, particularly for small development groups
  • They help big mega corporations, often at the expense of the small development group
  • They hinder progress (exactly opposite to their intention)
  • Patent lawyers are the only ones who really make money from the system
He's working hard to abolish patent laws in as many countries as he can. He figures that his country is too difficult to change but if other countries don't have the laws then the US will be at a disadvantage and will be forced to change.

I was converted. Power to the man. My little role in the issue now includes informing as many people as I know about the destructive potential that software ideas patents have. Particularly to developers who typically just don't know.

Listen up kids, software idea patents are bad, mmmkay?


The rumour mill is churning over the apparent leaking of information about a new iPod - a wonderful device that has a colour screen, 60 Gig HD, and audio/video out ports. Not only would you be able to store your beloved music on such a device but also your digital photos! Wicked-cool.

It's an obvious extension to the iPod lineup (and something that has been talked about for ages) and I personally am hoping that the news is more than just vapourware. I love my 40Gig Gen III iPod but I would be so tempted to replace it!!

Read about it here and here.

[UPDATE: Of course the iPod Photo has been released and it looks like another winner from Apple.]

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Better tabbed browsing in Firefox

Everyone favourite browser (well, mine anyway), Firefox, has now got even better tab handling. You can now tell Firefox to open new tabs when external applications try to open a new page. Yay! :)

Now there's no need to install extensions to deliver this feature (TabBrowser Preferences, TabBrowser Extensions and Single Window all provided similar features).

It's currently in the daily builds but is looking good for the 1.0 release.

Chu Yeow covers the issue in more detail at redemption in a blog.

PS If you're not using Firefox, why not?! As far as I can see it's better than IE in every way...please comment if you've tried it and 'gone back'!