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Archive for May, 2006

The Signs of a Company Under Collapse

The Digg front page
Web services and Open Source force a plunge (click for full-sized image)

THE Picture above speaks for itself. Microsoft’s stock (MSFT) continues to lose its value even after that 11% one-day drop. There are plenty of factors going against it at the moment. Word on the street it: George Soros is dropping that stock progressively.

Analysts will one day return to looking at the day when this prominent downward movement began — notably the end of the first quarter of 2006 when Office, Windows Server, and Windows Vista failed to be released on time, let alone offer what was initially planned. It is a sad story, but I cry not.

Who still wants to work at Microsoft? See: Microsoft Job Offer Refusal, My Sister and Microsoft

Digg First and Second

The Digg front page
Two stories at the very top of Digg.com (click for full-sized image)

GROOVEY! Another two submissions of mine have just reached the front page of Digg. At the time of writing, both the first and second positions are occupied by Linux advocacy articles which I submitted.

I am now hoping to get a higher proportion of submissions accepted. I must admit that I am slowly becoming addicted to that whole Digg phenomenon.

I Appear in the Digg Front Page!

The Digg front page
A story on Open Source parasites — one which I submitted yesterday (click for full-sized image)

A story/link I had submitted to Digg.com has just made it into the front page. Digg is, at present, among the top 100 sites on the Web, which makes this a high achievement. My site was also once referenced in the front page of Slashdot.org, which appears to be losing (some of) its community to Digg. The term ‘Slashdot effect’ was recently substituted by the ‘Digg effect’, at least to some folks.

Benchpressing Benchmark

Roy as a baby
My days of innocence

I have never, in my entire life, not even after 10+ years of persistent training, attempted to find out how much weight I can benchpress. I am referring to a proper trial under good conditions and just one repetition, at maximum capacity. Perhaps I feared find this outing because of the possibility of injuries (particularly if the spine is permitted to bend). And yet, the curse has just been lifted, so to speak.

Today at the Health Club we undertook the second stage of the Mr. Fitness contest (I fortunately won the first stage). This time, for a change, the task was to benchpress the most weight just once, on a Scott Machine. Arms had to hover over the chest and the grip could be relatively wide if necessary. The back needed to stay tight on the bench. I started by securing a weight of 150KG (we get 3 attempts/goals in total), plus the bar which weighs about 5 KG. I then attempted 160KG successfully and finally I did 165KG, at which point it became hard. I could probably benchpress more, but I ran out of attempts (the third must be last). I later tried 170KG (175 including the bar, which bent under the heavy load), but I mistakenly allowed my arms go too low (below 90 degrees on the elbow), which botched it. I am still extremely pleased with this achievement.

The Rise of Linux, SOA, Mobile Devices

Season of the playful penguins
Season of the playful penguins from Oyonale

SEVERAL years ago I foresaw the demise of Windows, especially when I was first introduced to Linux. Years later to find myself sought after by companies like Google, whereas giants like Microsoft only seem to offshore their job market as to cut margins and sustain stable figures.

As some recent large declines in the MSFT stock indicate, the trend looks unpromising, for Microsoft. If I was to predict the events of the next couple of years, I would argue strongly in defence of SOA and mobile computing, predominently run on Linux.

Concurrently, as an article in the CNN suggests, mobile devised will gnaw at usage of the personal computer. The evidence is there to be seen as Google liaise with Nokia on their Linux-based Internet tablet. Moreover, Motorola have just become friends of Open Source.

The ‘FUD Effect’

Whisper

I was involved a rather mind-boggling discussion last night. In a very particular newsgroup, we had a powwow about the issue of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) tactics and how they are used to vandalise GNU/Linux adoption. In essence, it was realised that FUD creates zealots and leads to broad apathy. People are deterred by the very thought of using Linux. Yes, indeed they still believe that “it’s all command-line” or “it’s only for servers”. Moreover, some people are led to hate Linux due to stereotypes that are being spread constantly.

“FUD makes bigots”, one guy said. How correct was he, by all means. Such zeal and disgust makes difficult not only to persuade others to migrate. It also deters manufacturers of software from making it available for Linux. The general perception of Linux is dysphoric among those who do not understand it and behave merely like cattle, propagating the same myths onto others.

So when will Linux become a platform of the majority? Clearly, once more people experiment with it and, over time, judge it for themselves (rather than rely on hearsay), this shall start a domino effect.

Blogging for Pace or Blogging for Essence

Riddle
Can you make sense of the numbers? They spell out “blog”.

MY blogging patterns have been rather patchy recently. When I first began blogging, back in 2004, a few short items per week seemed beyond sufficient. I even argued strongly in favour of short posts, which better suit the low attention span of people in the age of information overload.

In due time, I began sticking to a daily post. This was less sporadic then before. I perceived it as a rather steady and predictable pace that accommodated my readers. At some later stage last year, the figures began to climb up. I opted for 2 posts a day; then 3-a-day became a new ‘standard’. I kept this pace going for a long time, but at the back of my mind I kept saying to myself: “blogging is dying. Just enjoy it while it lasts”.

Much has been changing in recent weeks. At the moment I have several hundreds of readers, yet I seem to encourage little feedback in the form of comments. That is perfectly acceptable to some, although it is also nice to receive feedback from the readers. Comments are a very pleasant bonus, not a hindrance. Currently, with nearly 100 posts that I send to mailing lists and UseNet on a daily basis, I get more than enough interaction with people. I consider some level of interaction to be a basic necessity. Who is to oppose this aspect of human nature?

So, what does it all boil down to? I cannot deny the fact that the terrain of the Internet is changing and this includes the existence of over 100 million blogs, just a year or so down the line. I wish to cite less articles and submit more unique contributions to the Web, whenever I have something to offer or say. For the time being, I may as well stick to just a daily blog post. I will remain quiet when nothing noteworthy crawls among my synapses.

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