Showing posts from August, 2008

Mob Wars: Showing your employer how money is made, gangsta style

Mob Wars, the million-dollar-a-month independent Facebook app, may legally belong to SGN » VentureBeat
the entrepreneur, whose popular game is one of the most lucrative apps on Facebook, both developed and released Mob Wars while still employed at Freewebs, the company that later evolved into Social Gaming Network (SGN). By the time Maestri left the company around the middle of February, the game was already a hit.
Wow.. you've got to give credit to this guy.

1. Develop a Mob game while working for gaming company
2. Release it to Facebook and give your employer the boot
3. ???
4. Profit (apparently $1 million a month)

That's straight-up gangsta! I bet he did the rounds while at SGN trying to push Mob Wars to his bosses.

Mozilla Ubiquity for Firefox :: The latest Mashup Platform ?

Mozilla Ubiquity comes as an Add-on for Firefox and is still at prototype stage.

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo

It looks like they are turning the browser into a Mashup platform. This is cutting edge stuff. To be able to e-mail a friend about a cool restaurant and just highlighting the address and asking the browser to include a Google Map. Then going ahead and asking to find a review for the restaurant and include that too. Impressive and end user friendly. Especially friendly for non-programmers.

It also looks like they have come up with a language to write new browser 'commands' and a mechanism to subscribe to new commands developed and shared by others. Just like the current 'extensions' we see in Firefox. So if you ARE a programmer, you get to play with it too.

Here's a tutorial to get things started ...

Revealed: The Internet's Biggest Security Hole

Revealed: The Internet's Biggest Security Hole | Threat Level from
Two security researchers have demonstrated a new technique to stealthily intercept internet traffic on a scale previously presumed to be unavailable to anyone outside of intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency.

The tactic exploits the internet routing protocol BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) to let an attacker surreptitiously monitor unencrypted internet traffic anywhere in the world, and even modify it before it reaches its destination.

The pdf containing presentation slides can be found here

Google API Libraries for Google Web Toolkit

Google Web Toolkit Blog: Release Candidate now available: the Google API Libraries for Google Web Toolkit
The project is a collection of libraries that provide Java language bindings and API specific plumbing for some Google JavaScript APIs. The goal is to make it easy for developers to use these JavaScript APIs with GWT. Libraries available at this time include a new version of Gears, as well as new libraries for Gadgets and the Google AJAX Search API.

Ever since the term AJAX was coined by Mr. Garret in 2005 and the group of technologies under the umbrella of AJAX appeared on the developer radar, I have worked with numerous so called AJAX Toolkits. GWT was one of the first and I was impressed with it then as I am now. They still have my tutorial on their Wiki. One of the first apart from the standard Getting Started documentation.

Since then I have seen quite a few toolkits chosen over GWT only to crash n' burn when battle tested. The very first prototype I did using GWT was for a …

Cloud computing

Cloud computing: A catchphrase in puberty | The Register

From the article ...
Amazon's EC2 was likely the brainchild of a mid-level ops director who overbought for a data center and had to come up with a way to save his own ass. Use a free, open source project like Xen for virtualization, give it a sunshine-up-the-ass name like Elastic Compute Cloud, and start pulling in all those venture capital dollars like Cisco and Sun did during the first dotcom catastrophe. Fuck me, give that man a raise.

If you ask me, I'd say the jury is still out on this iteration of cloud/distributed/what-ever-the-name-you-call-it computing. But I use Amazon EC2 in a production environment and they have been pretty impressive so far. Although I must agree with the following conclusion;

No matter what the name, you, the developer, will still be dealing
reliability and accountability. Using someone else's infrastructure for
your application will forever be a business risk, but it sounds so much
less so w…

Friendships ...

The History and Nature of Man Friendships | The Art of Manliness
Friendships are an important part of a man’s life. Friends are those men you can count on when the chips are down. They’ll back you up even when the whole world is against you. Friends are those men who will buy you a beer (or a soda) when you lose a job or your lady dumps you. While the man friendship looks like a simple relationship, its history is actually quite interesting and complex. The virtues of duty and loyalty have remained the same guiding principles in man friendships throughout time. However, how men express those principles in a friendship has have gone through fascinating changes in the course of human history.

How to launch software

Interesting read. The GMail launch was one of my favorites too. IMHO It's always a good idea to introduce users gradually to innovation while having short release cycles. Once you think the product is ready (and this may take a while) you can start the hype. Maybe that's why GMail is still in Beta and still has 'invites' although anyone can sign up at this point.

100-word Version: How to launch software
What you should have done all along: the Gmail Launch. Have users from day one. Give it to your friends and family. Keep improving it based on their feedback. Let them invite their friends. Automate the process, giving everyone some invite codes to share. Codes protect against a premature slashdotting. Iterate. Take off the code requirement. People will come across it and become real users. Then build buzz. Have some kind of news hook. With Reddit, we switched from Lisp to Python. Start marketing.

When 'Free' just isn't enough ...

Free Isn't Enough | OStatic
The upshot of this is this: If open source projects and companies want to succeed, ultimately, they have to play the same game as the "big guys," which means going toe-to-toe with PR and marketing. Whether it's paid PR pros taking the lead, or contributors wearing the PR hat, someone has to speak for the FOSS projects or they'll be ignored. Free isn't enough.

What's that? A pic is worth a thousand words? WORD !!!

'nuff said ...

Facebook; So many users, yet so little revenue?

Facebook's new money plan: same as the old one

I guess the size of a community and the amount of revenue doesn't really go hand-in-hand in the Web 2.0 world after all. I see a similar pattern in YouTube as well. Digg seems happy though. Then again, no one bought it at a ridiculously high price yet.

Maybe I'm onto something here. Something Warren Buffett knew way before any of us.
According to the “Oracle of Omaha”, and probably the most successful purchaser of businesses of all time, a business must have three main characteristics if he’s going to buy it, or even just buy shares in it:
Is the business simple and understandable?Does it have a consistent operating history?Does the business have favorable long term prospects?Which pretty much means that he only invests in Brick and Mortar companies with physical indications of good fiscal policy and future vision. This saved him from the dot-com bubble (or the burst rather) and probably will save him from the Web 2.0 bubble too.

Open Source Software and Dual Licensing

Viral Licenses, Dual Licenses or Non-viral Licenses... What suite you?

Explaining dual licensing is an interesting read. I still remember trying to convince clients that using GPL software doesn't pose a threat as long as you don't sell derivative works. However, I failed to see then what the situation might be in the case of a takeover or merger.

Imagine running a customized version of a GPL licensed software in your local intra-net. Since you are not planning to redistribute or sell this particular software, you are safe form the 'viral' aspects of the license. One fine day a division of your company is targeted for a takeover. Obviously the buyers valuation will include your infrastructure, which in turn includes your customized, GPL licensed software. In other words, if the deal is made, you are effectively distributing this software to a third party.

The way I see it, there are 2 options at this point;
Deduct the software from the entire deal. This will almost surely …

Top Gear is now on YouTube as a Channel

YouTube - TopGear's Channel

Want to watch a bit of Top Gear on the interweb? Next to browsing the video vault at this new YouTube channel is the most comprehensive collection of official clips you'll find online.

All the iconic films are there -- from Richard's epic race against the Eurofighter to Clarkson's office drive in that tiny Peel P50. You can also relive the boys' biggest challenges -- including amphibious cars and that trip across America.

Add to that a bunch of stars in our reasonably priced car, the odd explosive stunt and a ton of Stig power laps and everything's covered. Just browse using our playlists for comprehensive clip listings or search by most viewed or discussed.

It's about time.. I hope 5th Gear will follow !!

Increasing the memory allocated to WSO2 Mashup Server 1.5+ in Windows

We changed the way VM Options are loaded when starting the Mashup Server in 1.5 and recently found out that these are not loaded properly in the Windows core startup script (wso2mashup.bat). This might lead to Java Heap Space errors once you run the server for more than 24 hours, with a few heavy duty Mashups running.

The best fix is to get the script from our SVN repository (revision 16554) and replacing your local copy. Upon restarting the server, all should be fine. You can test whether the script works (if you have further doubts) by changing the values found in the mashup.vmoptions file.

REST vs WS-* :: A comparison of SOA stacks

source: service-orientated-architecture wiki / SOA Stack

Technology Camps; Hated them before, hate them now and probably will hate them in the future.

But it's always nice to see a nice comparison, especially in a graphical form, to get a perspective. I have always groomed myself as a consultant than a code jockey and therefore I would say, use the correct stack, that solves the business problem at hand with acceptable efficiency within the available time frame.

In my experience, there's no glory in recommending your 'pet technology stack' to a client if it makes the solution unnecessarily complex and a nightmare to maintain. Just as your client will not appreciate you trying to push Free Software (as in beer or freedom) when budget really isn't a constraint, they won't praise your excellent architectural masterpiece, which executes every single line of code in a unit test when you can't deliver it in time for the business to gain a competitive advantage.


5 Tips for an Information Dashboard design

Design vs Art Blog » Designing Information Dashboards

I've been doing a bit of research (and a PoC) in this area and the tips in this article are pretty valid. You might go to town with your design and eventually end up with overloading or confusing users with your information presentation. I'll be keeping these tips in mind during the next design iterations.

The Development of a New Car at Toyota

InfoQ: The Development of a New Car at Toyota

In this presentation made during Agile 2008, Kenji Hiranabe talks about
Toyota's development process of a new car. Kenji shares his experience
meeting Nobuaki Katayama, Chief Engineer at Toyota, and the lessons he
learned from him.

An interesting presentation in which, the presenter draws parallels between two seemingly different engineering disciplines in their use of Agile Techniques.

WSO2 Mashup Server 1.5.1

We just released a point version consisting of fixes to some issues we felt were critical. Download and take it for a spin.