Archive for February 13th, 2007

Regarding HDR photography

I am not a big fan of photography. I find it too static and (usually) somewhat boring. Which is why I prefer video with audio. However, I absolutely love HDR photography. It just wows me. You can take a not-so-great picture and with HDR bring a whole new way of looking at it. Some nice HDR pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

My JBQ (whose main hobby is photography) despises HDR pictures. He finds them unnatural and according to him, they look like they came out from 3D Studio Max or something. While what he says is correct, it is exactly what draws me towards them. I guess it is because of the same reason why I can’t sit tight and watch medical or social drama TV shows. I need to overstimulate my senses with action and otherworldly sets.

Groklaw == filthy ?

SCO’s lawyers apparently believe that “Pamela Jones” does not exist and that Groklaw is penned by a team of IBM lawyers.”

While SCO is not to be taken seriously, there is a good chance that what they claim is true. And if it’s true, I feel sorry for the thousands of Linux fans who were tricked by the supposedly innocent IBM. Thankfully, at OSNews very rarely we linked to Groklaw’s (ultra-biased) articles. But other sites, like Newsforge and Slashdot, were linking to Groklaw continuously.

That will teach me…

The world’s first commercially viable quantum computer was unveiled and demonstrated today in Silicon Valley…”

Damn it. I just realized that I had an invite from the Computer History Museum to attend and report on this historic event showcasing the first Quantum computer, but I was not reading their emails through for the last few weeks. That will teach me to read their announcements in full in the future.

The myth of the ‘killer app’

I wrote an editorial for BeNews about this once (and I think I had copied it on OSNews a few years later too) but I can’t find a link anymore. In a nutshell, my opinion is that there is no such thing as a “killer app”. The “killer app” myth has been popular among many alternative OS followers, who were always trying to pinpoint and re-create/port a major application to their platform thinking that this would launch their pet OS to the mainstream (dream on). But getting people switching to any OS can not be solely the job of a single app. Even if Photoshop gets ported to Linux for example, its desktop experience would continue to put off a lot of people.

There are ways to make money or make people wanna switch by offering more innovative software than the competition, but this does not mean that your software will change the world. Firefox is better than IE, but it did not fundamentally change the way we browse the net. Firefox is not a killer app. It’s simply a better app.

All this does not mean that there are no “killer technologies” though. I strongly believe that the next big thing in software (I mean, in life-changing terms) is Artificial Intelligence. We are a few years off still, but eventually, companies will realize that natural language and full speech recognition is the way to go (especially for mobile devices). AI has been a dream for many years now, but last year OpenCyc 1.0 was released. While the important libraries of Cyc are still closed source, there is nothing keeping Google or Apple or MS from buying the company and start building on top of what’s already implemented. Half of the work is already done. What’s left is the right vision for the future. Instead of having Apple showcasing their latest shiny black interface and call that innovation, I would much rather have AI and full speech recognition integrated to OSX. Or Windows. Or Linux.

A sad day for the PPC architecture

The Macintosh PowerPC architecture didn’t really die when Apple moved to x86. It died today instead.

Today the “Ubuntu Technical Board has decided to reclassify PowerPC as an unofficial architecture, rather than a fully supported architecture, for Ubuntu 7.04 and subsequent releases. This means that packages and ISO images will continue to be produced, but releases will not be delayed due to problems which are specific to PowerPC, and the quality of the PowerPC release itself will depend very much on the extent to which members of the Ubuntu community drive PowerPC testing and bug fixes.”

This actually means that when a PPC Ubuntu build will be released, it will most probably will be full of PPC-related bugs. The majority of the bugs will be fixed (if they will ever be fixed) by the community AFTER the release of the ISOs. While there is YDL, Debian and Gentoo distros available for the PPC, Ubuntu has been the most successful of all and PPC users were looking forward for new Ubuntu versions. Now that the quality of PPC ISOs will be substantially decreased, more and more PPC users will find another reason to move to x86.

I was never a major PPC fan, but this is a somewhat sad day. It feels like GNU/Linux itself (just because Ubuntu had the biggest distro market share) has also abandoned the PPC, hence it’s over for real now (new Mac OS X versions won’t be released forever you know).

Dresses

I watched these ladies arriving at the Grammys with dresses that cost between $5000 and $10000. I swear that if I was one of them I would arrive there with a $100 dress. Not my pyjamas, but just a normal night dress. Why would I _ever_ wanna spend money on high fashion? Most of these dresses are of course sponsored by the fashion houses and so they are given for free to the actresses/singers, but I would not pay for something like this from my own pocket.