Apple Mighty Mouse goes wireless... but how far away?

Wireless Mighty Mouse
Wireless Mighty Mouse

Until now, Apple had a cool mouse called the Mighty Mouse with all the advanced features you'd expect from a mouse (right click, scroll weel... even better: multidirectional scrolling ball)... it just wasn't wireless.

Apple also had a Wireless mouse... but it had only one button! :(

Today, you can finally get the best of both worlds! The mighty mouse with all it's buttons becomes wireless! Apple has even improved the pointing technology which is now a laser instead of an LED. This should allow for smoother movement on more surfaces...

...except this one little detail: the problem with the Apple wireless mice is not the pointing technology... it is the bluetooth technology! Apple bluetooth is just not reliable any more if you get more than 2 meters away from your Mac. (Home entertainement use... Of course you have less issues on a desktop... but do you really need a wireless mouse on a desktop?)

It seems that the mouse can operate on either one or two batteries. So you might expect it to have more power and greater operating range when you insert a second battery. Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that will be the case. The "old" wireless mouse had 2 batteries already... :-/

Ironically... I think I'll buy it anyway... yeah, even at 69 €... I just want that thing in my living room! :P

My (alternative) definition of blogging

How do people usually define blogging?

They tend to say that it's about organizing posts by reverse chronological order. That it's about writing in the first person. That's it's about being more personal. That's it's a social thing. That it's about personal sites.

Yeah right. Like we had no news sites before? No forums with personal opinions before? No personal home pages before? No discussion boards before?

To me, the main difference blogging makes is this:

  • Before blogging, all kinds of people tended to talk about a specific subject in a specific place (forum, mailing list).
  • After blogging, a specific person tends to talk about all kinds of subjects in a specific place (his personal blog).

This central paradigm shift now triggers a series of changes all other the web: we need trackback & aggregators to replace discussion threads & forums. We need new website ranking algorythms based on more complex criterias than inbound links alone. We have new forms of (referer, comment...) spam to cope with...

Then... comes collaborative blogging... where bloggers unite their efforts to publish a multi-authored blog. This then very much looks like an old-school news site or forums. Well it's still clearly different from forums since the authors are limited/selected and the new guy can only post in the comments section.

But as far as news sites are concerned, I'm not sure there really is a difference with what existed before... Maybe it's just easier than before to set up the tools needed for collaborative publishing. (Well, with b2evolution it certainly is! ;D)

Status of PHP 5

Here are a few bits of information I collected at PHP Forum (Nov 9 & 10, 2005):

  • It is estimated than no more than 5% of the servers running PHP have switched to PHP 5 yet
  • PHP 5.0 is a feature release, not a performance release. Therefore it is slower than PHP 4.x. Therefore it makes no sense running apps designed for PHP 4 on PHP 5.0.
  • PHP 5.1 should almost match the performance of PHP 4.4
  • Rasmus will probably migrate Yahoo's servers from PHP 4 to PHP 5 once PHP 5.1 has undergone a few weeks without any major issue.
  • It is extremely painful for everyone to make code that works on PHP 5 as well as PHP 4, especially because you cannot redefine the clone statement in PHP 4 for compatibility.

Okay, that's all I can recall right now! :P

Podcasting in Windows Media Player: BitTorrent?

Window Media Player logo BitTorrrent logo

In yesterday’s “Daily Source Code", Adam Curry is talking about his meeting in Redmond with the Windows Media Player team.

Adam says he can’t tell anything… but what else could this probably mean than Windows Media Player supporting podcasting – or “blogcasting” as they like to call it in Redmond ?

What could Microsoft possibly add to get their Media Player ahead of iTunes? Video? No way: iTunes has had that for even longer than the iPod video.

If I was Microsoft (yeah, right :>>) I’d definitely add all podcasting features you can find in iTunes and I’d add this little extra: BitTorrent distribution! (Or any other P2P distribution method if I had a political/licensing problem with BitTorrent…)

Today, independant podcasters can easily put their shows online, but as soon as they get popular, they face a huge problem: bandwidth!

The current podcasting architecture relies on a central server for each podcast and independant podcasters just can’t afford the bandwidth it’s going to take. And it only gets worse with video-casting.

Right now they have no alternative other than paying the bills and financing them by adding advertisements to their shows. A peer-2-peer add-on to the architecture would change the deal significantly. We all know how large files get distributed easily that way.

Of course the risk is for the system to be hijacked in order to illegally distribute copyrighted material… This is why Apple hasn’t done it in the first place. Will Microsoft have the guts to do it? Hum…

Does Microsoft only need to do something like this? Well… yes… sort of. They’ve lost the leadership in digital contents already and they’re losing a lot of momentum too. Besides, they have finally realized they needed a damn good IE7 after swearing there would never be a new browser after IE6… Now they realize they need a damn good new Media Player…

Can’t wait to see what’s in it!

Efficient vs. effective

Guy 1: I am so efficient I can fold 100 parachutes in a hour.

Guy 2: I am so effective I can fold 100 parachutes and every single one of them will open right.

Would you rather give your parachutes to the efficient or to the effective guy?

Now what I'd like to know is why all these programmers we interview pride themselves on being efficient?

I'm so sick of their industrial strength bug generating skills... :/