Open Source patch-work

Interresting article on what business can be built with Open Source Softwares, what can (should) be opened and what shouldn't. It also talks about general OSS marketing and project life (and death sometimes). But IMO it's missing an important part : design choices. You can't have a software work if A decides one day to commit code that will make it work in a way and B want to do it the other way. At least if they work on expanding the same software (ie collaboration, not fork). There needs to be an authority to decide. It also shows how OSS usually have no pre-established design (what we tried to avoid in matroska and got everybody surprised). This is usually a bunch of patches around an original design that was probably not meant for many twists in the way it works. IMO a good software (OSS or not) has to be designed and choices have to be made in advance. And this very simple aspect that is missing in the article cast a different perspective of what can be achieved with the OSS, only in an utopian (and purely anarchic) world. Successful OSS projects actually have an authority to decide choices.

My dream-portable audio player v2

I once published a wishlist of what I would like my audio player to do. In short it would allow me to play music wirelessly from my home. That means a large amount of data would be downloaded from the net. And even though it's possible with UMTS, Wifi or WiMax (yet to appear) the cost would be huge. And besides, I couldn't listen to the music I want where the wireless access is unavailable.

So the interim option would be a device in 2 parts. One small part that would have a screen, a Bluetooth 2 (stereo) connection and a few buttons. Lots of current phones would be enough. The second part would be a large HD. Last time I counted 300 or 400 GB would be enough to store all my music losslessly. And such drives already exist in 3"5 format. Even though it would be heavy to carry, it would be almost OK for everyday use. This HD would need an enclosure with Bluetooth connectivity and USB 2 or Firewire to feed it. And of course enough battery to run it. Which might be the main problem as such big drives need a lot of power to work. The Bluetooth software could be almost all handled in the HD, close to the data and the phone would just run a Java applet to access this software (music server).


An autist explain his extraordinary abilities

When I multiply numbers together, I see two shapes. The image starts to change and evolve, and a third shape emerges. That's the answer. It's mental imagery. It's like maths without having to think.

I also wonder if it has anything to do with mastering quantum mechanics.


The birth of digital life ?

This is, AFAIK, the first example of what could be called digital life. A digital system (computer instructions) that replicate its own code and can mutate some of its genes (code) to evolve. I wonder if, such a system left living on a computer connected to the net could evolve to make use of the net and spread there. Without any human intervention.

On MS interroperability

A somehow funny article from an Opera chief responding to Bill Gates' recent claims and praises about interroperability of softwares. Something that MS is known to be doing very badly.

f you truly believe in interoperability, Mr Gates, here are some ways you can prove it:

Fix your document! Start by looking at the source code. Get disgusted.


What is evil

This is an interresting article on the evil we all have in us. It's weird to see that a century after Nietzsche, the evil side in us is still mostly unknown, unexplored. Probably because we basically seek pleasure and happiness. So we avoid the evil part of us as much as possible. I'm not sure if that's as healthy. It would also challenge that "love for humanity" that everyone is meant to have...


Robots as a new species

Finally someone starts thinking like me. That's the first time I read something so close to what I've been thinking for a while :
"Christians may not like it, but we must consider this the origin of an artificial species. Until now, most researchers in this field have focused only on the functionality of the machines, but we think in terms of the essence of the creatures.