Monday, November 28, 2005

Perpetual Betas

I've got to admit that this Monday went better than most. I had a good workout, I took in a good 30 minute nap in CS 310, I owned my Latin quiz, we had a better NSC meeting than usual in terms of member interaction, and I took in some more Terry Tate videos with Jennyfer in the office, which I highly recommend you guys watch though they're quite old. Anyway, it seems to be a new trend in software development nowadays to lengthen the beta period by a lot and let the consumers do the testing for you. The main advantages to this technique is that you get better feedback from the people that matters most and you can keep it out there longer before you're held accountable for it. However, it hurts your reputation and dramatically revises the traditional development cycle. Google is a prime example of a company using long, public betas with Gmail, which has been in beta since before I graduated high school, and Google Maps (now Local), which was recently pulled out of beta but still has problems, among others. I have to say that I don't particularly like this strategy because it seems so cheap. Some may argue that you'll never know how reliable what you've made is until it's been in the hands of your customers, but if your project was managed responsibly why would this be necessary? And if you think of it that way, a project can be in beta forever because how will you know when you've added every feature you can and tested the Hell out of it?

Speaking of shady betas, the buzz surrounding Longhorn (now known as Vista) actually hurt the launch of Windows XP, and now it could actually be on store shelves by next winter. They're not saying this publicly in the case that they have to push it back again, but they'd be stupid to delay it any further than that. I'm always interested in breakthrough research efforts and one research at TACC has actually created mathematical software that sets speed records in solving complex problems. It may not interest you guys, but I still think it's pretty crazy stuff. Most people have heard of the "War on Drugs" but why don't people feel as concerned about the "War on Cybercrime"? This article should open your eyes as to how serious it is as it makes more money than drug trafficking now and I think it threatens a whole lot more people. I want to conclude with a humorous article on how to looks like you know a lot about computers, which is funny because a lot of people actually follow it (I admittedly used to as well back when I actually cared about my intelligence and thought I was hot stuff).

Click to enlarge

I feel that there's been a drought of really good animated films (the likes of The Lion King and Mulan), but that first shot from Kung Fu Panda makes it look pretty fun and though we don't know much other than the involvement of Jackie Chan, Jack Black, and Lucy Liu among others, we can still hope that Dreamworks doesn't screw it up. Some of us are clinging to the hope that Brett Ratner may actually do well with X3 and it's a good sign that he's taking the effort to think about the predicament of Beast with decent character development in the movie. Please, keep praying! Speaking of superheroes, for those of you who don't know the long journey of the production of the new Superman movie then you can get a crash course in it over here. It looks like George Romero is set to work on another installment of his "of the Dead" series due to the success of the last one abroad and on home video. Hopefully, they'll pick a better release date this time. Lastly, I mentioned a bootleg trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean 2 last week, but for those of you who didn't catch it in time it's still online illicitly in equally bad quality.

And now, you know you want some Monday Madness, baby!

1. I've always been afraid of ________.
bees and wasps (I don't ever want to get stung)
2. People should not talk on cell phones while ________.
in class (I've actually seen this before)
3. The one thing I look forward to every day is ________.
sleeping (besides blogging, of course)
4. My first meal of the day usually consists of ________.
milk (plus another component of my choice)
5. It seems like ________ is a never-ending job.
cleaning up (it's either the tub or the toilet or the sink or the floor)
6. The last time I painted a room in my house/apartment was ________.
7. The next time I paint, I'd like to paint my ________(room) ________ (color).
bedroom in Houston a neutral shade of blue (it currently has some crappy wallpaper that came with the house)

1 comment:

Connie said...

kung fu panda.... O_o