September 30, 2004
In a whirlwind attempt at getting something done - I now have my own r00t box - and plans of course. However, first I need to learn/remember quickly how Linux stuff works. Luckily the guys on #mobitopia are very patient and helpful. And they don't laugh at my stupid newbie questions. You don't laugh - do you guys?
Posted by Matthew at 03:49 PM
Apache now has a jobs related mailing-list. Signup by sending a mail to jobs-subscribe at apache dot org.
Posted by Matthew at 08:14 AM
September 29, 2004
Delay, delay, delay
Posted by Matthew at 08:28 AM
September 28, 2004
Earthquake in California
Our West Coast friends on #mobitopia are reporting an Earthquake in that part of the world, that hit at 10:15 local time. CNN doesn't have anything yet. USGS has details of the 5.9 quake and the aftershocks.
Posted by Matthew at 07:39 PM
Bloglines announces Web Services
Posted by Matthew at 02:18 PM
Cocoon GetTogether - ramping up
Only 2 weeks to go before the Cocoon community decends on Gent, Belgium for the annual GetTogether. Already the number of registrations is at around 70 and we have four sponsors listed so far. This is the final week of registration so make sure you get your seat booked!
Posted by Matthew at 12:14 PM
Geocaching - it's here
An "interesting" program on the radio while I was driving back from the airport. It turns out that there is this new exciting hobby, called geocaching. And people in Germany are really "into it". Duh.
Posted by Matthew at 12:10 AM
The age of the business plan is dead. Long live the age of JFDI. In case you're wondering - that translates roughly to "get on and do it".
Posted by Matthew at 12:08 AM
I spent today in Switzerland doing a Cocoon workshop at a company in Bern. It was a fun - if exhausting - day. I flew down from Hannover to Zürich yesterday afternoon, stayed overnight at a friend's house, then took the train to Bern this morning, did the workshop, took the train back to Zürich this evening and flew back to Hannover. Then a quick drive home and there's Monday. Gone.
Posted by Matthew at 12:04 AM
September 23, 2004
Posted by Matthew at 05:15 PM
Teaching kids to code
Back in the days of yore, I learnt to program by tapping endless lines of BASIC into my VIC-20 and sitting through LOGO and PASCAL classes at school (this was the early 80's - remember). So, now my son Christopher turns 10 this year and will be getting his own PC. To date he has been more interested in playing on the PC than finding out "how the stuff works". But that seems to be slowly changing. Looking at the bloated development IDEs that are common today, I think the multitude of functions are probably too daunting for "first steps". So, what other suggestions do you have for starting kids on programming? My email address is on the left or you can link to this article. I'll find you.
Update: Already, suggestions are coming in. I'll keep track here:
Posted by Matthew at 09:51 AM
September 21, 2004
Jackrabbit jumps into incubation
Jackrabbit is a new Apache project (currently in incubation): "formed to develop an Open Source implementation of the Content Repository for Java Technology API (JCR), being specified within the Java Community Process as JSR 170. Day Software, the JSR-170 specification lead, has licensed an initial implementation of the JCR reference implementation for use as seed code for this project."
Posted by Matthew at 06:03 PM
Joe Kraus, the founder of Excite, has started a weblog where he speaks about entrepreneurship. Joe is currently setting up another company, still in stealth mode. Anyway, he has some interesting posts up there on starting and managing new companies that you can jot down and use.
Posted by Matthew at 12:30 PM
It's that time of year when the ground is littered with horse-chestnuts (or "conkers"). We had quite a storm overnight and so the kids here will be collecting them like crazy today. Interestingly enough, here in Germany, the kids don't play conkers - so my children just drag kilos and kilos of chestnuts around with them. And every collected seed is more precious than the one before it.
Posted by Matthew at 08:52 AM
September 20, 2004
My increased use of chat programs such as IRC and iChat leads me to worrying about what "available" actually means. In the iChat program you can set yourself to be either "available" or "away". In addition, you can also configure custom states (like "eating" or something else). However, I find that I mostly use the defaults - as do most people I guess. Now often enough signaling "available" doesn't really mean you're interested in chatting to all your buddies does it. Often I'm right in the middle of doing something when that pop-up message comes up. Of course I can choose to ignore it - but that's not "polite", so I often find myself dragged into a chat that I don't really have the time for. So, really I would need a status that reads more like "only bug me if it's really really important or if you are Steve or Russ" (just examples - don't hit me). And I'm sure as you become more well-known (i.e. famous) you get even more people just bugging you at times you're not really interested in talking to them. Oh, wait I have to go - someone wants to chat....
Posted by Matthew at 08:11 PM
September 17, 2004
It looks like Erik had a lot of fun at Foo camp last weekend. He took his son and from the pictures I've seen, it looks like the kids had at least as much fun as the adults (if not more). Erik also recommends a book I think I should get. Ordered.
Posted by Matthew at 09:13 AM
Social software - the next wave
Ross Mayfield points to a report by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young citing Social Software as one of the six key 24-month technology trends.
Posted by Matthew at 09:06 AM
September 16, 2004
Own your data!
DataLibre is a body working toward getting self-publishers to tag and publish their content in ways that can make them usable by many people for whatever reason they may want them. This in contrast to filling information out on one website for that website to lock away in their treasure chest forever.
Frank has a good example of why this sort of stuff is becoming increasingly important.
Posted by Matthew at 11:25 PM
REM in 2005
If you're my age, then there isn't much left in the way of music you would (or still could) actually go and see live. One of the few left on my list was R.E.M. And so I ignored the price and just ordered tickets for their concert in Hannover next year. I'm sure the price includes a buffet dinner or something before the concert.
Posted by Matthew at 09:10 PM
From Russia with love?
I don't often blog about politics, mainly because most of it isn't worth the bandwidth. Today, Diego writes an excellent piece on the current changes that are taking place inside Russia. Spot on.
Posted by Matthew at 04:49 PM
It seems to be "moving on time". Russ will soon be a "free agent". Fingers crossed.
Posted by Matthew at 07:20 AM
September 15, 2004
VC Pitch Tips
Things to remember when pitching your idea to VCs. Actually these are good tips when pitching your product at customers too.
Posted by Matthew at 01:34 PM
A couple of days ago, I wrote about Jot. Jot is a company, currently in stealth mode, building a service around wikis. You can guess that much from the job posting. I was fortunate enough (ok, I bugged them) to get a beta account so I will be spending the next few days giving the service a spin. Obviously it's all very "stealthy" at the moment and it would be unfair for me to write about my very postiive first impressions already. Quite a step up from the wikis I've been using so far.... Jot will be going public with this at the Web 2.0 conference.
Posted by Matthew at 08:25 AM
September 14, 2004
Who's News is it anyway?
Today, the German newspaper publisher Handelsblatt started selling a cheap pocket sized newspaper - titled News. News is aimed at the "iPod generation" and apart from containing - well news, it also contains quotes from weblogs (on the "interactive" page). This is an - um - interesting use of weblog material (like this example) that is, in part, copyrighted using a non commercial creative commons license.
Update: There's now quite a bit of heated discussion ongoing in the German blogging community. Start here for some additional views.
As a whole I guess bloggers like being quoted and indeed they mostly strive to be quoted (i.e. linked to) - so more press is good press for them. On the other hand, if someone explicitly states that their material is not to be used in a commercial context (and News is a commercial venture), then that wish should be respected.
Posted by Matthew at 08:07 PM
EuroFoo on film
During EuroFoo, 2 students made a film that is now available. It's a very large dowload but well worth watching to get a feel for the atmosphere of the event. You also get to see a phone being hacked via bluetooth and something else "surprising" (if you have a laptop). (via Leo).
Posted by Matthew at 04:35 PM
September 13, 2004
Internet choking on RSS - film at 10
The past couple of days have seen quite a bit of discussion in the RSS world concerning the growing amount of RSS data being transferred over the Internet. Robert Scoble started off the heated discussion by posting about how MSDN was having problems paying for the bandwidth usage for their polled RSS feeds (which in itself is worth thinking about). The analysis on this is a no-brainer and basically boils down to the fact that RSS aggregators everywhere are polling RSS feeds for all they are worth ("give me my RSS fix please"). Some poll once an hour, some do it once a day and combined this leads to a "whole lot of polling going on". And our friend, the Internet, just wasn't designed for that sort of thing. Or maybe it was. At least it would seem that there are ways of routing round this problem and the main thing will be getting everyone to agree on the right way. But this seems to be a step in the right direction.
Posted by Matthew at 08:15 AM
September 10, 2004
Weekend fun on both sides of the Atlantic
We're off to meet Frank and family for the weekend in a youth hostel. German youth hostels are now great alternatives for family vacations. The kids can run around without people going "shhh" and the atmosphere is relaxed. The only bad thing about our plans for the weekend is lack of Internet access :-). You see, this weekend loads of geeks will be gathering for O'Reilly's 2nd FooCamp and Russ is going to be broadcasting from the event - FooTV.
Posted by Matthew at 08:54 AM
September 09, 2004
Giving our lives away
Now that next generation web services such as Flicr and deli.cio.us are paving the way, what are the implications of these systems when applied to our personal lives?
We're giving our life away.
Ok, that's perhaps a bit drastic, but think about it.
- Those personal pictures you used to store on your local hard-drive - now they're online (and probably "public" by default).
- Those thoughts you used to write into your paper diary - now online - in your blog
- Your email (some of it probably quite private) - now online in GMail and searchable by Google
- Your hobbies, information about your workplace - online in (probably) several social software sites
- Your CV you used to type personally onto (or print to) paper - online in (probably) several job-sites
- etc. etc.
Sure it's handy to be able to share your pictures online - but all that personal data is moving further and further away from you and out of your control. So how do we regain control of that data and make sure it stays personal while utilizing the advantages the services offer?
Posted by Matthew at 04:18 PM
September 08, 2004
Shall we play a game?
Posted by Matthew at 09:55 PM
Return of the marionettes
This film looks set to be a success this Autumn. Using marionettes as actors in a film/series is nothing new of course (quite the opposite) and some of us - cough - remember watching this classic series on TV back in the - cough - 60's. I even had the toys...
Posted by Matthew at 10:33 AM
21Publish is a weblog hosting business aimed at groups of people (small/medium companies, clubs, universities etc.) that want to set up their own hosted weblog systems. Monthly prices start from around 9 € and you can have your own domain, own layout etc. While it's way to early to comment on the success of business models like this one, I would be wary of the fact that "traditional" blog hosting companies (Typepad, Blogger) can copy this idea pretty easily.
A couple of things on the features page caught my eye: No mention of Atom support and RSS subscriptions limited to 20 (what does that mean?). A few of the features are listed as being "optional" - but it's not really clear what that means exactly. At the moment the system is free - and pricing will start at 8.95€ from April. Interestingly enough, if you want to use your blog for commercial purposes they add another 4$ to the monthly price.
Posted by Matthew at 08:51 AM
September 07, 2004
CV Repository idea
Here's an idea for someone... Build a web site that provides a repository for CVs. People looking for a job can upload their CV into the repository, provide a summary - and tag it. So if I were to upload my CV into the repository I may tag it with say "open source, author, it-manager". Then provide a REST based web service that allows head-hunters and large companies to subscribe to an RSS feed of a tagged URI. So if I was interested in receiving updates of CVs to do with PHP then I would subscribe to "http://www.cvrepo.com/cv/tag/php". As a result I would receive a list of summaries from people who have tagged their CV with "PHP". Something like this probably exists already.
Posted by Matthew at 10:30 PM
Jot that down!
This evening, I stumbled across another sign that the "social software" hype is ramping up to make some serious noise in the coming months. Take a look at Jot. Now, the site itself is - well - non existent. But, I was led to the site by reading this job post on craigslist. In turn that post lead me to an article in today's Mercury News (registration required). From what I have read it turns out that Excite's original founders are starting a company that will be doing "something" in the social software space. So Jot that down!
Posted by Matthew at 09:43 PM
Cocoon GetTogether: Registration opened
Run - don't walk - over to the Cocoon GetTogether site and register for the 2004 Cocoon community meet-up/hackathon/conference. The program is packed full of sessions aimed at showing just how powerful Cocoon is.
Posted by Matthew at 04:01 PM
Cocoon portal revealed
Posted by Matthew at 02:10 PM
A very nice collection of pictures showing some East Bay Area properties. But look closer (picture #3). (via #mobitopia).
Posted by Matthew at 08:06 AM
September 06, 2004
Tags and an API
The new breed of Web applications comes with 2 distinct characteristics: Tags and an API. I've talked about the tagging functionality before. So here are the pointers to the APIs - Flickr and del.icio.us. Not only does the tagging functionality allow the users to build value back into the system, but providing an API allows the developers to integrate the data back into their systems. There's a pattern there somewhere....
Posted by Matthew at 01:39 PM
It's the speaker, stupid
I just received a conference schedule and was scanning through the sessions. I suddenly realized that I was looking more intently to see who was speaking and not so much at what the session was about. I find that if I see a conference but don't recognize the names as being "from the subject" then I quickly lose interest in attending.
Posted by Matthew at 11:07 AM
Hacking the Radio Times
Andrew is hard at work using Cocoon to set up his own version of the Radio Times web site. Well, not the whole site probably, just the bit that lets you configure the programmes you'd like to watch. Andrew is using XML data from a different web site - which makes it ideal for processing and presenting using Cocoon. Actually, this reminds me of the Matt Biddulph's BBC session at EuroFoo. One of the problems the BBC team has when deciding what exciting features to implement on their website is that because the BBC is publicly funded, they can't just put up a service that makes an existing commercial one obsolete. So, although they have all the programming data, they can't put up a flashier alternative to the Radio Times. They can't.
Posted by Matthew at 08:15 AM
September 03, 2004
Getting the users to build the value into your business.
Something to think about is how architectures like that can be moved into large corporations. Imagine the potential of building an enterprise CMS that invites the del.icio.us sort of participation when adding new content, intranet portals where employees themselves build up the content base - as opposed to some administrator defining what they should be looking at. Another reason Wikis need to be "free" inside the enterprise and not forced into given corporate infrastructures. Something I see all to often.
Posted by Matthew at 10:48 PM
Sponsor the Cocoon GetTogether!
This year, the Cocoon GetTogether will be held for the third time in Ghent, Belgium. If you are a corporate user of Cocoon and wake up nights wondering how oh how you could help support your favourite Open Source project, then maybe sponsoring the GetTogether is just what you've been waiting for. Sponsorship money is used to keep the entry price for Cococon fans as low as possible and to allow the GetTogether to bring together the brightest minds inside the project. And pssst.....we can keep your name a secret if you really want us to :-). So drop by the sponsorship page for more information on how to get that warm fuzzy feeling.
Posted by Matthew at 01:55 PM
Who's Internet is it anyway?
In another episode in the timeless fight for control of the "Net", the battle for controlling who is allowed to send you an email (also known as "SenderID") heats up. Read Apache's position and a detailed background article on SenderID history. To be continued.
Posted by Matthew at 01:33 PM
September 02, 2004
I started playing around with Skype yesterday, now that there is a version for Mac OS X. I was quite impressed with the quality when talking to Frank. Although the Mac version is still beta - it's well worth checking out.
Posted by Matthew at 08:07 PM
Quietly, through the back-door so to speak, users are building their own information filters out on the web. Not caring to wait for the "semantic web", services like del.icio.us and Flickr offer users a way of tagging their URLs or pictures with keywords. The great advantage being that other users can then use those keywords (or collections of keywords) to filter the information they want to retrieve. These "architectures of participation" (i.e. get the user to do the work) are showing the road ahead for information systems on the Net.
Posted by Matthew at 09:23 AM
September 01, 2004
A few months ago, at a regional fair, my wife tasted some wine from the German vineyard Pallhuber. After a few glasses, the wine tasted ok, so she ordered some. That was a big mistake. After receiving the overpriced wine (which of course didn't really taste that good in the end) we received (are receiving) countless calls from what seems to be their call-center. We always speak to someone else - and of course that person is always very apologetic. Even worse, their traveling sales-people arrive on our doorstep presenting "a present for our dear customers", and you can't get rid of them. We have repeatedly stated that we are not interested in buying any more wine from them and asked them to take us out of their customer database. However they told us it wasn't possible (for "guarantee reasons"). Duh. So, I'm busily thinking up a tactic for the next call. I hear a loud whistle is good...
Posted by Matthew at 06:40 PM
The corporate weblog manifesto
Posted by Matthew at 01:39 PM