Friday, February 03, 2006

Rich in Free Software

We had a pretty good NSC New Member Retreat tonight, so I'm going to just write this post and hit the sack. My interview today with Goldman Sachs went pretty well, but I almost hope they don't call me back for round two so that I don't have to choose between them and TI. Moving on though, I haven't really posted an open source article in a while just because they all have tended to say the same thing, but this one talking about Firefox extensions really struck me and is a must-read if you're a programmer (still an interesting read otherwise). I actually went to the Mozdev site this afternoon to add extensions to my CS Linux machine's Firefox as well as my home PC one, and I was starting to realize that I was totally customizing my browser for free! The author of this article suggests that wealth should be measured more in the value of something to people than greenbacks, and the 1,000+ extensions for Firefox would make the Mozilla foundation quite rich. He makes an analogy between our banking system and the "bank" of free software available on the Internet that allows some developers to create whole companies out of nothing thanks to this software. It's almost a cyclic model of increasing change and improvements in our digital lifestyle, and it's just not the way most of us typically see the open source community. It's more than just a bunch of guys living in their parents' basements.

I actually have one more article to direct my programming audience to and that is a list of six secrets to great programming, all of which I've heard before but cannot be emphasized enough as it's easy to forget stuff like keeping each method to doing just one thing and variable naming consistency. I didn't read about the actual losses Google's earnings report provoked until today, and they actually took a 12% hit on its market price. Some of you may think that this isn't much, but because Google is so big, it actually means $13 billion. I think it's a great wake-up call for them and that it's important for them to end the honeymoon with investors so that they can really keep pushing themselves harder. Meanwhile, Microsoft made the stupid move of explaining that they're charging licensing fees on their DRM technology to keep out hobbyists from utilizing it! I smell a lawsuit coming on, because the entire point of it is to keep the little guys out of the market, which is illegal in this country. The new issue of Official Playstation Magazine (OPM) has revealed some crazy details about the PS3 such as that it will have a DVR built-in, the Cell processor will actually relieve a lot of burden from the Blu-ray reading technology (hence, driving its cost down), and the PSP will integrate quite nicely with it. If the DVR thing is true, I may actually recant on my decision to wait on buying a PS3 and just get one at launch. There's a supposed PS3 trailer floating around, but I speculate that it's just a fan-made video compilation. Nonetheless, all the footage is definitely real if you want to check it out even though it may not have Sony's endorsement.

Click to enlargeI like this poster for Dave Chappelle's Block Party and think that it's a real interesting idea for a movie (he throws a free block party in a Brooklyn neighborhood with himself and top hip hop artists), though it'll only appeal to a narrow audience. Everyone should see it just to see The Fugees though. Anyway, JoBlo is apparently an avid watcher of Oprah and when she had him on the show today he spoke a lot about his running to Africa and stuff. The most important part was that he said that he'd be willing to finish Season 3 of Chappelle's Show if Comedy Central gives him a better working environment, and I'm sure they'll do anything to get him back. Anthony Hopkins, who plays Hrothgar in Robert Zemeckis' Beowolf adaptation, spoke to Sci Fi Wire a little bit about the production. It sounds like it's kind of intense, but he's Anthony Hopkins so he can pretty much handle anything. Lastly, it looks like iTunes has seen the addition of many new shows in the past few days including a number of CBS shows, which were previously only on Google Video. I can't imagine what the iTunes music store's earnings are going to look like for this quarter with so many shows selling episodes online, including Southpark and many stand-up comedy specials now.

Now for Friday's Feast, though a bit late (I fudged the time so it would be a Friday post since this is only covering Friday's news after all):

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10=highest), how sociable are you?

I'd like to say a 7. I love being around people and meeting new people, so I'm not even remotely a recluse and I'd like to think that I've been able to be personable even with my interviewers, but I could definitely stand to be a little more outgoing. I have a long history of being aloof that holds me back a little.

Name 3 DVDs you currently own.

The Girl Next Door, Batman Begins, and Memento are just what popped into my head. Which reminds me, I really need to watch Memento again sometime soon.

If you were to win a superlative award now (such as most talented, class clown, most likely to succeed), what would it be?

Probably "most over-achieving" since I probably work harder than I need to to get what I want. I'd rather be too busy than feel lazy, which is what I have felt this week because of my horrible Physics test grade. I'm going study an unnatural amount for the next Physics test now, and I'm worried as to what my CS 337 tests will be like.

Main Course
What is your favorite radio station?

From what I've heard (note that I haven't listened to satellite radio), 96.5 Mix FM in Houston because it plays a lot of good music that I've grown up on. They don't play the same thing over and over like the more popular stations do, and Austin radio really isn't that great. I think that's pretty ironic considering that Austin is the live music capital of the nation.

Complete this sentence: I believe __________ because __________.

I believe in god because of all the little miracles in life.

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