The Convergence of Web Applications and an Open Source Lifestyle

Open Source has grown beyond the simplicity of programming and is now being applied to all components of life. Wikipedia’s content is open source. Flickr’s photos while not all released under GPL are on public display and effectively an open source collection. The peace rally I attended yesterday took funding directly from the crowd and its speakers were all volunteers. Participants in the march were expected to bring their own signs, chants and peaceful attitude. This was an open source demonstration.

Before it becomes commonplace to describe a public demonstration as an open source effort, the geek-chic will hold the idea closest to them. The idea that many people can contribute their time or resources to a global effort simply by giving up some of the proprietary in their lives means room for change.

The formal method of desktop software distribution is crumbling. There should be no need for me to buy and install a large package into an OS simply to type up a document. Writely represents the web-based future of a common office application. How about Macromedia Dreamweaver? That is an application that begs to be completely integrated into a web browser.

The licensing scheme for web-based applications will likely follow the path of licensing in traditional desktop installations. Traditional licensing means a single user gets a one license for a single machine. If your neighbor were to come over and make use of your copy of Excel, you would be within your rights as a licensor of the tool. A major advantage of web applications is that they are available to you anywhere you are. The expectation of licensing on web-based tools are that they are yours to use wherever you are. For example, a version of Excel would be yours to use at home or in an internet cafe in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

I foresee the convergence of web-applications and the open source lifestyle breaking traditional licensing models. Here is a practical application for going open source with your web based software:

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The Underwhelming 2006 Portland Car Show

I checked out the 2006 Portland Car Show today with a friend and wow, how totally unimpressive. It was like a huge car lot you pay $10 to get into. No Ferraris! The best they could do was an underwhelming Bentley. I wasn’t even enticed to take pictures.

I do have some rather funny videos of a super sleezy guy talking up the Lexus brand, and a Ronald McDonald grabbing his ass in front of a crowd full of kids.

Ronald Mcdonald goes Hip hop Ronald Mcdonald goes Hip hop Ronald grabs his ass

See the Ronald Video

Sleezy Car Show Guy

Viral Reactionary Content Creation and Personal Equity – Web User's Rights in Web 2.0

There has been nothing short of an uproar regarding the recent changes to’s design and interface. Longtime users of the site began viral reactionary content creation which is making effective use of community building to voice discord with the direction of a website.

The changes were rolled out on January 18th and the response was violent “Tribe: New and Unimproved,” “Revert Tribe Now,” and “I Hate the New Tribe Look” sprang up and garnered members rather than the offically sanctioned comment tribe, “Tribe’s New Look.”

Many users of the site reacted by flaming the changes. The more interesting comments were those that voiced dissapointment in the change and commented that they felt especially wronged because of their personal investment or personal equity which they had invested.

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Sirius Satellite Radio Lacks Quality Internet Listener Experience

I love the service, but Sirius Satellite Radio provides a bad experience for subscribers who listen over the internet. The reasons are, poor quality audio, restricted access to certain channels (i.e Howard 100) and lack of features such as playlists. The reason Siruis provides bad service is because they are concerned about subscription piracy. This entry will explain the three main problems with Sirius Satellite Radio’s internet service for subscribers and why they exist.

The extent to Siruis Satellite Radio's Internet Player OfferingProblem: Sirius provides a poorly designed flash-based interface for listening on the web. The flash Sirius player lacks proper internet radio features such as playlists and links to artist information.

Solution: Abandon flash interface and use a database driven page that offers information about what is being broadcast along with multiple audio streams. An example of a station that has a great internet radio offering is Seattle’s KEXP offers a fully archived song playlist along with DJ comments.

Problem: Sirius provides a very low quality, 32kb st

ream for internet listeners. This point is wholly unacceptable because bandwidth is very cheap, especially in bulk. Rather than provide their subscribers high quality internet streams you get the same low quality sound you get driving around in your


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The Spark That Creates Life

Frankenstein and DNAI was cruising The Drudge Report for some brain relief after five hours of focus and came upon this article on creating synthetic life forms.  The article is about a scientist named Craig Venter who is trying to create life from scratch.

Craig’s credentials are pretty good.  Previously he helped sequence the first privately-held map of the human genome.  This time he’s trying to construct a working genetic sequence using a process called synthetic biology

The article raises the question: how do you go about sparking life once you’ve put the pieces together in the right way?  I suggest referring to Mary Shelley’s synthetic biology research in her thesis entitled "Frankenstein."

A flippin' sweet liger, click to buy this on a flippin mug right now.The idea of wanting to create your own customized creatures isn’t new.  Back in 1926 Stalin had the bright idea of creating his own army of half-human half-monkey super warriors to fight the capitalists.  Yes, you read that right.  Monkey Super Warriors.

If Craig and his bookish gangstas are successful they could be able to to safely make environmentally friendly industrial chemicals, create a limitless supply of clean energy and build something to make superman walk again.  My hope is that they are successful and are also able to create the liger my brother wants for Christmas.

Google Search Packaged for Sale

anti-googleJust a quick note to point out that Google is not your aunt May who bakes you muffins and tucks you in when you’re sick.  While it has earned the mass belief that it is the best way to find information, it has also somehow aquired the golden halo that mac users feel towards Apple’s iPod.  This is a mistake.  Google is on the verge of capitalizing on all of its database, which includes an understanding of your financial situation, the decision making process you use to purchase products, your personal information, and most importantly how you aquire new information. 

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Why My Sony Walkman D-NE320 is Better than your iPod Could Ever Be

The iPod SucksI have a long-standing rant against Apple’s iPod and iTunes system of consumer enslavement, and have managed to stay well away from their products.  I’m afraid things have not gone as well for my friends.  I’ve wanted to explain my hatred for the iPod in so many words for some time and my recent purchase of the Sony Walkman D-NE320 has provided a reason.

I like to listen to mp3’s.  A lot.  I download several hundred dollars worth of music a quarter, and that stuff has to be listened to.  Most of my listening has been done on the computer or at work.  [Have a look at my profile to see what I’m up to recently.]  I usually burn cd’s to pop into the magazine of my BMW, but this has become a problem since I had the battery replaced.  See second post of this CODE WAIT thread.

I have been hungrily eyeing a number of Sony Walkman cd/mp3 players at the local Fred Meyer, but have never been able to bring myself to drop the 40-80 bucks they wanted for one.  Enter my father, who was in the Christmas spirit this week.  He hooked me up with a Sony DEJ001, which turned out to be not so great.  It was priced at $39.99 and had a crappy little lcd display on the side.  the DEJ001 requires two double-A batteries which makes it heavy.  It comes with a pair of incredibly shitty ear buds–it just sucked.  (note: I picked it out on impulse when he said I could get one more thing.  And yes, I am a spoiled brat.)

Sony D-NE320So I took it back and exchanged it for the Sony Walkman D-NE320.  Now this is a really cool player.  It has a big nice LCD on the top of the player that shows a little animation while it is reading the disc the first time.  It displays its progress as it scans the disc and has a GUI that shows folders and songs inside them. (Album and song names are read from ID3 information imbedded in the mp3s)   Rather than worry about some more crappy ear buds, I went ahead and got a pair of Sony Walkman MDR-EX51LP ear buds.  They were overpriced at $35.00.

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Trac Is Totally Awesome

I’m using this software, Trac with my team on a special project  for about a week and I am totally impressed.  This free tool lets you track bugs and feature requests in a logical and handy ticketing system that integrates with Subversion (SVN).  There’s an integrated wiki that you might think at first is unnecessary.  What Edgewall software has done, however, is make documenting incredibly easy by having hyperlinks to tickets right at your fingertips.

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Dreamweaver 8.O Code-Collapse Feature Sucks

That’s right.  Macromedia took two years to go from Dreamweaver MX to Dreamweaver 8.0, and they threw in some features.  They put in a better WYSIWYG, and supposedly made CSS design easier to use.  Really, wys… is not that helpful because you’re just going to have a browser open to your file anyway and be hitting refresh. Whatever.

 My main complaint is that the code collapse feature in Dreamweaver 8.0 totally sucks.  Yes, it is nice to be able to grab sections of code and shrink them down.  What is not nice is that once they are shrunk you get this totally ridiculous little grey box that shows the first five characters then "…"

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