Blog = Tamagotchi ?

Corante [broken link] makes a wise point comparing blogs to tamagotchis:

If you don’t feed them, they die. If you don’t clear up their crap - comment spam, for example - they die. They’re more fun when there are other bloggers to play with, just like the new IR connected Tamagotchi are allegedly more fun because your little virtual pet can now interact with other little virtual pets.

One thing I’d like to add though: many people tend to overfeed their blog by posting just as much as they can find time to! Though I’ve never owned a Tamagotchi, I’m pretty sure they die if your overfeed them. So when will bloggers realize that posting 10 times a day will kill their blog?

I don’t think the average blogger can come up with more than one, maybe two, constructive, original and/or interesting ideas a day. Posting more will only dilute your interesting posts in an ocean of ordinary posts and readers will eventually unsubscribe because they don’t have the time to – or just get bored by – reading all that irrelevant stuff…

I don’t even know why I’m suggesting this since virtually all bloggers tend to consider themselves above average anyway!


Something pretty much unrelated, but I must say Corante also got this “shower lucidity” thing sooo right:

Often thinking requires quietude, physical exercise or doing some non-cerebral task. The shower, for example, is a great place for a good think, but opportunities to take a quick shower in the workplace are, well, limited. This is one of the problems that arises when the creative clashes with the corporate - the way that the creative mind functions is often at odds with the work ethic, not to mention environment, of many companies.

away...

When you have just spent one year between the sea and the mountains in Montpellier, can you still find some place you'd like to go on vacation?

Yes you can!

Bavaria

Sure you could probably find an even smaller village in the middle of nowhere, but this one is where part of my family lives, lost in the Bavarian forest! (Quick note for the international reader: Bavaria is in the south-east of Germany ;) )

I definitely could not live there for a year, especially after the Montpellier experiment (and also because they have no DSL!), but my week there felt like the most brain relaxing experience I ever had. I instantly forgot about the loads of stuff I have to do over here...

Of course, the downside is that coming back is even harder now! Btw, thanx for the 400 (not including spam) emails guys! Please expect a little delay before you get an answer...

Follow up on all kinds of stuff (move, WiFi, Sendo, etc.)

Done with the moving. Done with the painting. Almost done with the unpacking.

And it’s already mid August… 2004 :!: (Last time I remember time going by slowly was summer 03… when it was so hot there was nothing you could do but wait for it to end XX( )

Still no DSL access in the new appartment. Why does this have to take so long!? There is no single other procedure in moving that takes that long! Not even the whole organizing, sorting, packing and labelling extravaganza! :crazy:

My new appartment is quite near to my parents’ house actually. When positionning the elements carefully, it’s close enough to use a DECT phone from one place to the other… and of course you would expect that what works for DECT also works for WiFi! Don’t they share the same frequency range anyway?

Oddly enough, 802.11b only works in a slighly shorter range than DECT. No way for me to squat my parent’s DSL from my appartment! Their computer is too far away… and moving it closer to the right side of their house will not only make them kinda angry at my interference, it will probably also unplug the DSL cable from the wall socket, which would defeat the purpose. :-/

I’m using an ad hoc network here. So I came up with this – crazy? – idea of placing my laptop in the middle of the distance to act as a WiFi ad hoc relay! :>> I checked: the laptop can see both other computers: the one that I want to use as an Internet router, and the one I want to work on in my appartment. Somehow I had imagined that the ad hoc protocols of 802.11b would relay Ethernet packets accross all nodes in the wireless networks… but apparently that was too optimistic! There is no way for me to ping from one end to the other!

The solution would probably be to split the network into two distinct IP networks and setup the laptop as a router between both IP networks. The only problem is that it takes quite a few trips from one house to the other to change parameters and run the tests. After a couple of back and forths I found myself in the desert street, feeling bored and realizing I would not even have time to use that setup before I leave for Germany on Sunday. And when I’ll be back, the DSL should finally be activated too.

I started walking through the streets, just too see if I could still recognize the places I grew up in and left nearly 15 years ago. Attempting that in the dark of night doesn’t really help… but still, it was a nice walk… especially when I pulled out my much anticipated but finally available (and promptly aquired) Sendo X and used the mp3 player to put a soundtrack on my memories. “Moments in Love” by Art of Noise made it just perfect (It lasts 10 minutes!) I gotta remember to get “Lili was here” by Dave Stewart & Candy Dulfer onto that SD card for next time. :D

That kind of reminded me that offline technology can still be very enjoyable too! :>>

I, Robot

I, Robot Went to see "I, Robot" tonight, just to get me out of my boxes for a while...

I was pleasantly surprised. Very pleasantly actually! I love it when you just go for entertainment and before you know it you find yourself thinking about the very deep nature of the human soul. Because that's what it is all about, if you ask me! ;) And, in this respect, this is the greatest movie I've seen since "Fight Club".

I guess the original book is just as good. Well, could be, but I'm pretty sure the actual movie serves it well. The visual effects are really cool. They'll definitely appeal to the geek inside of you! :)

There's two things though that I found a little deceiving:

  1. The pathetically obvious product placements. JVC, Converse, Audi... all over the screen, again and again, and in the dialogues too... Can someone tell those guys that most moviegoers are not blind? Btw, what about "USRobotics"? Do they realize there actually is, ahem... was a company called like that? (of course they must know) The movie doesn't say they've been bought by 3Com... :>>
  2. But the real sad thing is this: when they find out the reason of the robots' unexpected behaviour, this reason actually makes perfect sense... at least in a logical way. Nonetheless, the main characters won't give it the slightest thought before they decide they don't want it and start to fight it... That's really deceiving... IMHO... because I'd say the whole point of the story is to think about those reasons! But I can't really say more or I'll ruin the plot for those who haven't seen it yet...

Anyway, go and watch it! It's really good! Much better than things like the Matrix reloads and the Terminator sequels or even Minority Report if you're expecting that kind of stuff. Actually, I've never seen the late night show that crowded since I'm in Montpellier!

Offshoring/outsourcing software development

This thread in Ask Joel is the most interesting discussion I've ever read abut offshoring/outsourcing software development!

It's getting incredibly long though, so it's really hard to read through. But the first 25 comments are definitely worth reading.

My personal take on the subject is roughly this: I believe software is art more than science. I think the best approach to make it look like engineering is something along the Unified Process - that's what the IT world has learned the hard way for the last 30 years! One golden rule of UP is to have the users and the coders communicating, to have them understand each other's constraints...

This doesn't mean I think nothing can be outsourced, but you certainly cannot carelessly offshore a whole IT department to a place with a radically different culture and expect that communicating with specs will "just work"! :|

If offshoring software development is ever going to succeed we'll need a whole new set of skills and tools (internet being one of them) to master it, and we're not even close! However, I think the experience of open source software projects developped by an international community are an interesting experience to this.

I would probably elaborate on this if I wasn't this busy reading the thread at Joel's right now! :>>