Monthly Archives: July 2005

Justice Served

First up, congratulations to the Hawaii
Judiciary Internet site
team. The Hawaii site has been
chosen as one of the top 10
judiciary sites in the US for 2005
according to
JusticeServed.com.

The Internet team has worked very hard in making the site
useful for court users and I’m sure they will be pleased by
the recognition.

Again, congratulations to the entire team!

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Trust Me on This

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a series of
articles on Microsoft’s so called “trusted computing” (MS
speak for they don’t trust you). There are four articles, all
of which illustrate the movement towards a point where you no
longer control your PC (link
here
).

Even when there is no law forcing MS to implement some of
these DRM efforts, MS appears set to appease Hollywood by
implementing them anyway. Go and read all the articles and
think about what it means to you and then decide whether your
best interests coincide with Microsoft and Hollywood.

PhotoFriday

My next wallpaper for the week is from fellow Daynoter Phil Hough. Phil has
been a regular at the photofriday site. The

photo
below is his latest submission.

Good job, Phil!

Attraction.

Have a Great Weekend, Everyone –
Aloha!

Thursday Tidbits

I have a bunch of stuff to do today so I don’t have a lot
of time this morning so here are a few quick links:

Opera 8.02 was released. The change
log
says there are three security fixes and a few bug
fixes. If you use Opera, you may wish to upgrade as soon as
possible.

According to
this article
, a Idaho attorney’s license to practise law
was suspended for 11 months. The attorney allegedly asked one
of his clients to pose in the nude, in lieu of his regular
fee. The client did so, in fear that she would not otherwise
be able to get representation in her divorce proceedings.

As if the Lamborghini Gallardo wasn’t exclusive enough,
they’ve come out with a
special edition
(SE). I don’t know what’s so special
about the SE but it “is equipped with a permanent 4WD, 6 speed gearbox, aluminum
space frame, ESP and
ASR,
ABS, ABD, air
conditioning, as well as two front and two side airbags…In
Europe it will be available at a list price of €
141.500, — excl.VAT.”

Lamborghini Gallardo SE.

Aloha!

Holding the Key

According to
this article
, starting yesterday, Microsoft will require
you to register your copy of Windows 2000 or XP before you
will be allowed to download

“updates, such as the updated versions of its media
player or graphics program, glitch fixes and other features
the company may issue 10 or more times a year…

Older systems don’t require validation for updates.

Security updates are not part of the system. They can
still be downloaded free without the validation
process.

Needless to say, according to the article, the update
registration system has already been hacked.

The article goes on to say, the registration system is
part of a larger effort to add copy protection to more media
and devices. When this expanded copy protection system is in
place, Microsoft will control PC functions such as the
ability to forward email.

In my opinion, Microsoft is driving its customers to Linux
and Apple by treating them (it’s customers) like thieves. As
for me, I already dual boot into Linux on a daily basis. As
applications for Linux slowly mature, it’s just a matter of
time until I won’t need Windows at all.

Aloha!

The Best and the Brightest

Joel Spolsky, he of the “Joel on Software” site, has
a longish article on quality versus quantity
when it
comes to programming and software companies.

The common belief is that when you’re building a
software company, the goal is to find a neat idea that
solves some problem which hasn’t been solved before,
implement it, and make a fortune. We’ll call this the
build-a-better-mousetrap belief. But the real goal for
software companies should be converting capital into
software that works.

For the last five years I’ve been testing that theory
in the real world. The formula for the company I
started
with Michael Pryor in September, 2000 can be
summarized in four steps: Best Working Conditions –>
Best Programmers –> Best Software –> Profit!

It’s a pretty convenient formula, especially since our
real goal in starting Fog Creek was to create a software
company where we would want to work [Emphasis in
the original]. I made the claim, in those days, that good
working conditions (or, awkwardly, “building the company
where the best software developers in the world would want
to work”) would lead to profits as naturally as chocolate
leads to chubbiness…

What a concept: Having the best employees saves time and
money while, at the same time, increasing profits through the
creation of great products. In order to get and keep these
employees, management must create and maintain an environment
in which employees want to work. There are a lot of deep
psychological underpinnings to all this but the bottom line
is that it works – if, that is, what you want to produce is
the best. It doesn’t work if who you want to sell to are
Wal*Mart-type customers. His software is not free (other than
a free trial version) nor even cheap (but then, nothing from
Apple is cheap either). But there’s another old saying: You
get what you pay for.

Toying with You

On a lighter note, I thought the Japanese were wild about
vending machines but some folks over in the UK may have
topped them. It seems pub patrons in Bath can now get their
pints and crisps then go over to the vending machine and get
their sex toys. Whoa. Sex toys? Yup. Sex toys.

This
article here
says four pubs have agreed to have the
vending machines installed and are reporting a brisk
business. While the idea has not exactly spread far and wide,
it does open itself to penetrating questions as to its
appropriateness.