Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On current events

Quoth Conan:

Pac-Man’s 30th birthday was marred by the sudden deportation of the Super Mario Bros. What were those fools doing in Arizona?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Prisoners of our own device

Xkcd offers some perspective on platforms. 

Good to keep in mind next time we discuss H.264 vs Ogg, MS vs... anything, or whathaveyou.

We don't need no stinkin' flash!

You can play Pacman on google right now.  Yeah, it works on the iPad. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Anything you can do I can do better

Apple's been pretty evil lately, going after the dude who lost his prototype iPhone, picking fights with Adobe, sticking with AT&T despite overwhelming evidence that AT&T sucks.

Now say what you want about Microsoft.  They'll let Google win search and Apple win mobile, tablet, and MP3 players.  But they will not be out-eviled.

So, I guess that means it's time to patent-troll SalesForce.  This news popped up in my feeder from about 80 different places, but 37signals gets the nod here because they're a company with the guts to put this text in an official communication on their website:

Fucking patent trolls. Fucking Microsoft. What a sad day.

No matter what company it is that signs your checks right now, chances are they aren't that ballsy.

Now, I can't think that I've ever met a developer who would rather work for a patent troll than a ballsy outfit like 37signals.  Good devs make good tech, which makes this a bad move for MS.  Maybe they have a hole card.


Quoth Paul Graham, HT Giles:
Don't be discouraged if what you produce initially is something other people dismiss as a toy. In fact, that's a good sign. That's probably why everyone else has been overlooking the idea. The first microcomputers were dismissed as toys. And the first planes, and the first cars. At this point, when someone comes to us with something that users like but that we could envision forum trolls dismissing as a toy, it makes us especially likely to invest.
I wonder if he bought Apple on news of the iPad.  My iPad is a pretty fun toy, I think.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Costs of doing business

Tech companies spent 111 million on lobbying last year, with MSFT naturally leading the pack.

Some of the money was probably to encourage government adoption of their services.  The rest was probably regulation repellant.  Does anyone have a model for this sort of thing that explains 111 million in terms that aren't largely dead-weight loss?

Corporations have countervailing forces pushing them to be bigger (economies of scale) and pushing them to be smaller (see my too big not to fail).  Lobbying costs push companies to be larger than they'd otherwise have to be.

Contrary to the common leftward model of government regulating megacorps, government regulation benefits the megacorps by increasing the amount of money and pull that is required to operate in our marketplace.  The reason why Microsoft can afford a few million in bribery is that it's potential competitors cannot.

In the meantime, let's punish Goldman Sachs by introducing new compliance guidelines the adoption of which will only be affordable if you're... Goldman Sachs.  We'll have mostly current and former GS management take care of writing the regs.  Can't fail.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SC2B Bleg

Hey, so I was kinda ignoring StarCraft 2 Beta since they didn't have a Mac client yet... but now they do.

So, anybody know anybody who's got a key?  If you give me one, I'll name my first Zergling after you.

Tell-tale signs

So how do you know if you're reading a publication that came from print and is now trying the interwebs?  The editors make everyone capitalize "Web."

Other news at that link: It looks like the Feds are going to form a committee to see who's in charge of determining whether or not Apple's no-code-generator policy is "anti-competitive."  Whatever that means.

So the editors still think that the dictionary-makes-right rules of yesteryear apply to neologisms describing the very medium that they are attempting to conquer without understanding.

Meanwhile, the regulators still think that the monopoly laws of yesteryear apply to the world of licensed SDKs and development platforms.  A world which, if the Microsoft proceedings of last decade are any indication, the feds have yet to conquer or understand.

If your faith lies in Oxford's Unabridged, or Sherman's anti-trust, you are a modern day Horatio.  There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.