Thursday, August 04, 2005

Learning From Open Source

Every once in a while I decide to spotlight open source software, and today is one of those days. Paul Graham (of Hackers & Painters fame) put up a great post about what businesses can learn from open sourcers. This is probably one of the best articles on the good parts of open source that I've seen, and its only flaw is in not exposing the troubles with open source software development. The most obvious pro is that these people are amateurs who are highly motivated by their own desire to work on the programs. Motivation is a key principle behind productivity. Speaking of productivity though, it's easier to work at home than in an office because it's more conducive to work in most cases and less obtrusive and uncomfortable. Then there's the whole concept of building software from the bottom up rather than having ideas trickle from the top. He writes a lot about all these topics, but it's definitely a worthwhile read if you don't know much about open source concepts. I don't know how big it will end up getting, but I can definitely see a lot of geeks getting excited about it.

In today's nerd news, Yahoo! has launched a trial version of its audio searching software. The application is designed to seek all kinds of music and speeches and such online and it looks like they've finally managed to beat Google to something. Speaking of Google, if you're a website owner or developer then you'll want to look into the Google Hack Honeypot to protect against attackers using search engines. If you're a P2P freak but you're scared of downloading a virus from the RIAA then you should use Credence, which works on Gnutella to discern bad files from good ones. I guess it was bound to happen, and I think it's kinda cool. If you're easily impressed by movie technology then you'll want to read about stereoscopic 3-D glasses that, much like the visualization lab at UT (in ACES), display different images to either eye to simulate 3-D in what you're seeing on a screen and is very cool. I'm going to close up with some video game stuff real quick. While Sony is marking a few new games to be Greatest Hits, analysts are investigating the possibility of Sony delaying the PS3 until 2007. Nothing is official at all regarding that, but if the Xbox 360 starts off weak it would make sense for them to hold off for a better roster of launch titles rather than rushing it. They may even drop the PS2 price to $99!

'I know how bad you want me, Harry'Given how crazed everyone is about Harry Potter with the release of the new book I thought it was necessary to put up a picture showing how old they've become in this fourth movie. You can see a few more new pictures over here from the Goblet of Fire movie. If you really want to see some more pics, JoBlo got some exclusives from Elizabethtown. I don't know how many of you remember the old TV show The Adventures of Lois and Clark, but the actor playing Superman (Dean Cain) is apparently slated to make an appearance in a few episodes this next season in Smallville ala Christopher Reeves (as a background character). There are a few other big guests also slated, which is surprising since it's a teen show. The best piece of movie news today is really this long interview with Frank Miller that asks almost everything you'd really need to know from the man. It's a fantastic read for Sin City and/or graphic novel fans. I rarely ever say this about a movie but Little Manhattan actually looks really cute and if you check out the trailer at Yahoo! Movies you'll see why. It was totally not that easy to find a girl when I was growing up (or at least in Houston I suppose). They also put up the Rent trailer if you're really into musicals. Lastly, Mortal Kombat III is slated to start filming in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as soon as they can get the set built for God only knows what reason. I don't have anything against the state, but that movie just sounds like a bomb waiting to happen.

Now for the 3x Thursday:

1. Do you consider yourself to be a competitive person? Why/why not?
I consider myself pretty competitive, but I always try my best to not be overbearing. Shoving yourself in someone else's face is definitely not cool unless you're obviously just messing around.

2. Are you a work-a-holic, or is 8 hours a day enough for you? What's your reasoning behind it?
I do a lot of work for school (probably more than most people on average), but it's only because I don't like to fall behind. The more I get done the more at ease my mind is. Otherwise, I just feel disappointed in myself. I still get to have fun on the weekends though so I think that it works itself out.

3. Is it important to you to have a lot of money, or is it enough to pay your bills and eat and buy the stray nice thing here and there?
I'd like to think that it's a happy medium. I've spent my whole life up to now living the latter way, and while I don't want to go out to fancy restaurants every night or anything I'd just like to have money to spend when I need to. For example, I want to get an mp3 player now but I don't know if I may need that money for something else and since I'm not steadily working yet I know I shouldn't get it.

Bonus Question for Comments: What is your ideal salary?
Probably $60,000-$70,000 would work out pretty well for me. I'd take $40k-$50k as starting though when I graduate as long as I'm not somewhere with a real high cost of living (like L.A. or New York City).

Oh, and it's very possible that I may not get Friday's post up until Saturday morning so just take the necessary precautions for that.

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