Topic: Open Source
Scott Lemon is not happy with Firefox 3.0 and he, Ben, and Phil use his dissatisfaction to begin a discussion of browsers and other tech topics. Phil gives some statistics of browser usage on his blog Technometria, and they talk about Canvas (the HTML element, not the material), as well as a number of other related subjects.
Puppet is an automated administrative engine for systems, performs administrative tasks (such as adding users, installing packages, and updating server configurations) based on a centralized specification. Luke Kanies, who founded Reductive Labs, has been doing server automation for years, and Puppet is the result of his frustration with existing tools. He joins Phil, Scott, and Ben to discuss it.
If you're a software developer, you probably already know who Steve Yegge is. Developers all over the world spend a lot of their time reading or commenting on his blog when they're not writing code. A senior software engineer at Google, an ex-Amazon employee, one of the most widely read bloggers, an excellent hacker, and an outrageously funny chap, Steve talks about why branding is so important.
Rick Falkvinge is a Swedish politician who recently founded a new party. Its values include freedom, upholding laws, and rights to privacy. These may sound like safe and just laws - things that are constant and don't need defending; so what's jeopardizing them? According to Falkvinge, that would be copyrights and patents.
Cell phone handset manufacturers don't know what features future applications will use, and developers can't build those applications without having hardware support. In this talk from the Emerging Communications Conference, Michael Shiloh of OpenMoko tells how their open hardware platform solves this "chicken and egg" problem.
During the first stage of Linux, openness and a superior development methodology created a new technology product that changed the world. The next stage will be a battle between two platforms and ideologies, with Linux representing openness and Microsoft representing closedness. Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation tells how Ubuntu is leveraging the strengths of the Linux platform while buttressing its weaknesses.
We live in a world of cognitive biases and polarized opinions. We consider ourselves to be largely rational, yet we are often prone to systematic errors such as overconfidence, wishful thinking, and the attraction of strong opinions. This means decisions are often driven more by personalities and passions rather than technical merits. Economic theorist Robin Hanson explores common errors, and points to innovative tools such as prediction markets which can help overcome bias and promote truth.
Mark Shuttleworth began Ubuntu in 2004 with a dedicated group of developers intent on creating a revolutionary new Linux desktop. Now, many in the Linux community are calling it the Linux desktop for real people. After three years of phenomenal growth, Shuttleworth sat down with Tim O'Reilly at the first ever O'Reilly Media sponsored Ubuntu Live Conference. During the interview, Tim asks Mark for insight into Ubuntu's meteoric rise and about key challenges for Ubuntu going forward.
In this talk from the Ubuntu Live conference, Chris Kenyon of Canonical discusses the values of the Ubuntu project, the role of Canonical in promoting those values, and the importance of cultivating a partner ecosystem. What is already a successful project with millions of users and tens of thousands of contributors has the potential to be an even bigger disruptive force in the world of computing.
Software concurrency is hard to get right, and the main tools programmers have to deal with it are over 30 years old. Simon Peyton-Jones of Microsoft Research discusses a new technique called Transactional Memory that is simple to program and removes many of the possibilities for error inherent in traditional concurrent programming. Look for Transactional Memory to be more important as multi-core programming becomes standard.