Tim’s Weblog Tim's Weblog
Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, managing software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

Announcing the date of the FOSS revolution: 2032!

Rick Jelliffe at O'Reilly Broadcast – Announcing the date of the FOSS revolution: 2032!:

"So why is retirement important? It is because I suspect that if FOSS can present itself in a form that is convenient and fun for retirees to take up as a hobby, it will have access to an incredible reserve army of unemployed talent and knowledge.

[…] I think the time will come when the sheer numbers of sedentary, programming savvy, underemployed, volunteer-minded retirees will require different organization of FOSS projects."

Fri, 24 Apr 2009 21:52:17 +0000

violet nabaztag, mir:ror

violet – The Internet of Things starts here, fun objects using RFID and WLAN:

"Violet’s dream is therefore to make the physical space in which we live – our homes, offices, public spaces – a better place: rich, intelligent, connected, personalized, awe-inspiring, fun. Not a space that simulates 3D, but that naturally is 3D. A space that you don’t need a browser to explore, only your own two feet; that you navigate not with timid mouse clicks, but that you can embrace fully; whose icons are not little drawings, but true objects; that doesn’t need training, as it is able to comprehend your daily habits."

Thu, 16 Apr 2009 09:23:02 +0000


I keep forgetting how to get started with the wonderful rrdtool, so here's a note to myself for the next time (and here's the tutorial)…

I'm creating a database with these characteristics:

  • a single, once every 10 minute measured gauge named "num" which is OK with up to 20 minute gaps between values
  • 10 minute resolution stored for one week
  • 1 hour resolution for one month
  • 1 day resolution for three years

rrdtool create counter.rrd --step 600 DS:num:GAUGE:1200:0:U RRA:LAST:0.5:1:1008 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:6:744 RRA:AVERAGE:0.5:144:1095

Inserting the current value:

rrdtool update counter.rrd N:`echo 'select count(JOB_ID) from DCX_JOB where JOB_STATUS = 1;' | mysql -h localhost -P 3306 -u username -psecret dbname -s`

Creating a graph as a PNG file:

rrdtool graph counter.png DEF:val=counter.rrd:num:LAST LINE2:val#FF0000 

Wed, 15 Apr 2009 12:42:43 +0000

Validated learning about customers

Eric Ries – Validated learning about customers:

"The problem stems from selling each customer a custom one-time product. This is the magic of sales: by learning about each customer in-depth, they can convince each of them that this product would solve serious problems. That leads to cashing many checks. […] They are closing orders. They are gaining valuable customer data. They are close to breakeven. What’s the problem?

[…] Stories like these are what has led me to this definition of progress for a startup: validated learning about customers.

[…] This unit of progress is remarkable in several ways. First of all, it means that most aggregate measures of success, like total revenue, are not very useful. They don’t tell us the key things we need to know about the business: how profitable is it on a per-customer basis? What’s the total available market? What’s the ROI on acquiring new customers? And how do existing customers respond to our product over time?

Secondly, this definition locates progress firmly in the heads of the people inside the company, and not in any artifacts the company produces. That’s why none of dollars, milestones, products or code can count as progress."

Wed, 15 Apr 2009 06:19:47 +0000


"EtherPad lets multiple people work on the same text simultaneously.

[…] Insanely useful for Meeting notes, Conference calls.

[…]  No account required. The only really real-time collaborative editor on the web."

Sat, 11 Apr 2009 21:12:31 +0000

How I Saved Newspapers

Scott Adams – How I Saved Newspapers:

"The key is to get kids interested in the online version of the super-local news. Kids care about themselves more than they care about anything else in the world.

[…] With this concept the local newspaper extends their business model to include working with schools and youth sports teams to make sure there is a steady stream of family-oriented news in addition to world and local stuff. Once you have kids reading newspapers, the potential for advertising is much greater. "

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 07:47:04 +0000

Will Facebook (all but) replace corporate websites?

Martin Kelley at O'Reilly Broadcast – Will Facebook (all but) replace corporate websites?:

"With the rise of the real-time update streams being popularized by Facebook, Twitter and FriendFeed, users are becoming accustomed to a constantly-changing flow of pictures, videos and new snippets. Even actively-maintained websites seem locked in languid stupor in comparison.

[…] This will change company's interactions with customers, who will start to expect and then demand real-time interaction. This can take many forms--status updates, calendars, videos--but the emphasis will be on immediacy. The style will shift from slickly-produced mass marketing to a one-on-one responsive back and forth."

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 05:48:39 +0000

Al3x, Meet Ted

Tim Bray – Al3x, Meet Ted:

"At this point I appeal to Sturgeon’s Law, usually stated as “95% of everything is crap”.

The key thing is, you have to do some mental filtering and look at the other 5%. The Internet helps via PageRank and friends, but independent thinking is required too: make your own finding as to who’s worth listening to. It seems a low price to pay for the privilege of being the best-informed generation in history."

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 08:19:50 +0000