4 Μαρ 2008

D&D Co-Creator Gary Gygax Has Passed Away

Όσο κι αν λυπόμαστε για τον χαμό του συν-δημιουργού του προ-παππού όλων των RPG's,
το σχετικό άρθρο στο slashdot είναι απολαυστικότατο.

15 Φεβ 2008

Microsoft Battles Vista Perception With Prizes

There are so many funny comments i'm just going to paste the link to the article.

Best is this gem someone found and uploaded on youtube:
Ballmer sells windows back in the 80s

Software - How Software Companies Die

Very interesting and possibly true article on programmers vs. management :

Software - How Software Companies Die
By Orson Scott Card

The environment that nutures creative programmers kills management and marketing types - and vice versa. Programming is the Great Game. It consumes you, body and soul. When you're caught up in it, nothing else matters. When you emerge into daylight, you might well discover that you're a hundred pounds overweight, your underwear is older than the average first grader, and judging from the number of pizza boxes lying around, it must be spring already. But you don't care, because your program runs, and the code is fast and clever and tight. You won. You're aware that some people think you're a nerd. So what? They're not players. They've never jousted with Windows or gone hand to hand with DOS. To them C++ is a decent grade, almost a B - not a language. They barely exist. Like soldiers or artists, you don't care about the opinions of civilians. You're building something intricate and fine. They'll never understand it.


Here's the secret that every successful software company is based on: You can domesticate programmers the way beekeepers tame bees. You can't exactly communicate with them, but you can get them to swarm in one place and when they're not looking, you can carry off the honey. You keep these bees from stinging by paying them money. More money than they know what to do with. But that's less than you might think. You see, all these programmers keep hearing their parents' voices in their heads saying "When are you going to join the real world?" All you have to pay them is enough money that they can answer (also in their heads) "Geez, Dad, I'm making more than you." On average, this is cheap. And you get them to stay in the hive by giving them other coders to swarm with. The only person whose praise matters is another programmer. Less-talented programmers will idolize them; evenly matched ones will challenge and goad one another; and if you want to get a good swarm, you make sure that you have at least one certified genius coder that they can all look up to, even if he glances at other people's code only long enough to sneer at it. He's a Player, thinks the junior programmer. He looked at my code. That is enough. If a software company provides such a hive, the coders will give up sleep, love, health, and clean laundry, while the company keeps the bulk of the money.


Here's the problem that ends up killing company after company. All successful software companies had, as their dominant personality, a leader who nurtured programmers. But no company can keep such a leader forever. Either he cashes out, or he brings in management types who end up driving him out, or he changes and becomes a management type himself. One way or another, marketers get control. But...control of what? Instead of finding assembly lines of productive workers, they quickly discover that their product is produced by utterly unpredictable, uncooperative, disobedient, and worst of all, unattractive people who resist all attempts at management. Put them on a time clock, dress them in suits, and they become sullen and start sabotaging the product. Worst of all, you can sense that they are making fun of you with every word they say.


The shock is greater for the coder, though. He suddenly finds that alien creatures control his life. Meetings, Schedules, Reports. And now someone demands that he PLAN all his programming and then stick to the plan, never improving, never tweaking, and never, never touching some other team's code. The lousy young programmer who once worshiped him is now his tyrannical boss, a position he got because he played golf with some sphincter in a suit. The hive has been ruined. The best coders leave. And the marketers, comfortable now because they're surrounded by power neckties and they have things under control, are baffled that each new iteration of their software loses market share as the code bloats and the bugs proliferate. Got to get some better packaging. Yeah, that's it.

7 Φεβ 2008

Sci-Fi Tech We Could Have Right Now (For a Price)

Where's the Death Star?
Only $1.2 billion for a space hotel? Heck, Microsoft should take that $44.6 billion and invest it into a Death Star! I'm sure Ballmer would like his new Vader costume. :)

Re:Where's the Death Star?
Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL orbital chair launcher!

3 Φεβ 2008

Internet Censorship's First Death Sentence?

"A journalism student in Afghanistan has been sentenced to death by a Sharia court for downloading and sharing a report criticizing the treatment of women in some Islamic countries."
Opportunity knocks
I guess the RIAA will be moving its headquarters to Kabul.
by Perp Atuitie (919967)

Don't tell the RIAA they can do this...
Shariaa law?
by florescent_beige (608235)

Κάποιος με πρόλαβε ...

και κατοχύρωσε το kotisis.com
Το περίεργο είναι πως δεν έχει σελίδα, αν και έχει κατοχυρώσει το όνομα από το 2002.
Ας ελπίσω να βάλει μυαλό και να μην ανανεώσει.

[owner-c] fname: Uwe
[owner-c] lname: Hillmann
[owner-c] org: EUKOPAR EWIV
[owner-c] address: Hamburger Allee 40
[owner-c] city: Hannover
[owner-c] pcode: 30161
[owner-c] country: DE
[owner-c] state: Hannover
[owner-c] phone: +49-511-3365270
[owner-c] fax: +49-511-3365270
[owner-c] email: eukopar@arcor.de
[owner-c] protection: B
[owner-c] updated: 2006-06-19 15:19:41 

[zone-c] fname: Colt Germany Hostmas
[zone-c] lname: Role
[zone-c] org: Kotisis GmbH
[zone-c] address: Herriotstrasse 4
[zone-c] city: Frankfurt
[zone-c] pcode: D-60528
[zone-c] country: DE
[zone-c] state: Frankfurt
[zone-c] phone: +49-695-66060
[zone-c] fax: +49-695-66066350
[zone-c] email: hostmaster@de.colt.net
[zone-c] protection: B
[zone-c] updated: 2006-06-19 15:20:16
by iknownuttin (1099999) on Saturday February 02, @11:09AM (#22273330)(Score:4, Funny)

MS should merge with ...

Exxon Mobile. They're a bit more profitable than Google (ROE: 33.33% (XOM) vs. 22.74% (GOOG))and the synergy towards a truly evil empire would be achieved faster.

I think, I need to send my resume over to MS for the position of V.P. of Evil Strategy because they're just not cutting it anymore. I mean, really, Google is still around!? Geeze!

H μικρομαλακή έκανε πρόταση εξαγοράς στη YAHOO!

Όχι ότι θα στερηθώ κάποια υπηρεσία του yahoo, αφού δεν έχω καν λογαριασμό, όμως τα συναισθήματά μου είναι ανάμεικτα.
Κατ'αρχάς, επειδή θα τους καταπιεί το "θηρίο", όπως τόσες και τόσες επιχειρήσεις πριν από αυτούς.
Ή, γιατί έτυχε να είναι η πρώτη ιστοσελίδα που αντίκρισα το μακρινό 1996 στον Navigator.
Γιατί αποτελεί κομμάτι της ιστορίας του Διαδικτύου.
Γιατί πρόεδρός της ανέλαβε πρόσφατα ο ιδρυτής Yang για να την αναζωογονήσει και να την επιστρέψει στην κορυφή (θυμίζοντας κάτι από Jobs?). Ο άνθρωπος δλδ που ξεκίνησε το 1993 σε ένα τροχόσπιτο στο  πανεπιστήμιο του Stanford να δημιουργεί έναν κατάλογο ιστοσελίδων που του άρεσαν στον υπολογιστή του.
Επειδή χρησιμοποιεί κατά κόρον open source τεχνολογίες και λογισμικό και οι εργαζόμενοί της είναι ενεργοί commiters σε αυτό. Κάτι που μάλλον θα αλλάξει αργά και σταθερά.
Γιατί η αρχική σελίδα του yahoo! ήταν πραγματικό σεμινάριο για το πώς πρέπει να γράφονται οι δικτυακές εφαρμογές σήμερα (χαρακτηριστικά όλη η αρχική σελίδα έχει 1 [ναι, ένα] image).
Γιατί πιστεύω σε ένα πολυπολικό (δικτυακό) κόσμο.
Και, τέλος επειδή δεν σκέφτηκα να αγοράσω μετοχές της yahoo !!!