Well, yes. I’m kind of wondering why they didn’t figure that out sooner. They had the data; I’ve probably been quoted in The Economist more often than any other single magazine. Except maybe Linux Journal.
Six years ago, in The Art of Unix Programming, I observed some interesting trends in the deployment of programming languages. One Christer NyfÃ¤lt mailed me this morning reporting that he had followed up by collecting the analogous statistics from SourceForge for present time. Here’s what he said (lightly copy-edited as his English is a bit… Continue reading Computer Language Trends in 2009
Mancur Olson, in his book The Logic Of Collective Action, highlighted the central problem of politics in a democracy. The benefits of political market-rigging can be concentrated to benefit particular special interest groups, while the costs (in higher taxes, slower economic growth, and many other second-order effects) are diffused through the entire population. The result… Continue reading Some Iron Laws of Political Economics
This weekend, at Balticon (the Baltimore Science Fiction Convention) I got to play a bit with an infrared-sensing webcam. These turn out not to be very difficult to construct, because CCDs are sensitive well into the IR range. The normal filter blocks IR but passes visible light; by replacing it with fully exposed film stock,… Continue reading Objective Evidence
Well, now. This is interesting: A study of corporate Linux adoption polling 1,275 IT professionals says: Linux desktop roll out is easier than expected for properly targeted end-user groups Those with experience are much more likely to regard non-technical users as primary targets for Linux. The message here is that in practice, Linux is easier… Continue reading News from the Linux-adoption front
If it is impossible for something to continue indefinitely, it will eventually stop. The politics of the modern redistributionist state is founded on the assumption that politicians can buy votes by promising voters ever more munificent entitlements – from federal deposit insurance against bank failures to government-subsidized medical care – with the money for these… Continue reading California Dreamin’
Some years ago I did a speaking tour in Scandinavia that involved staying in Denmark for a couple of days. Denmark, like the other Scandinavian nations I’ve visited, is a tidy little country full of intelligent, civilized, and agreeable people. As long as you can get along with gray sub-arctic weather and gray, characterless food… Continue reading Is Danish Dying?
I saw the new Star Trek movie last night, and it answers a question I wasn’t sure anyone would ever ask (or want to) – namely, could they find a young actor who could effectively clone William Shatner’s performance in TOS (The Original Series) as the alpha asshole of the future galaxy. The answer is… Continue reading The Trek Movie: TOS rides again
I enjoy a game called “Commands and Colors: Ancients”, which I’ve blogged about here before. It’s a simulation of tactical ancient warfare that uses special dice to resolve battles. In any given battle you can consider each six-sided die to have faces labeled with the symbols Miss, Miss, Hit, Sword, Helmet, Flag. To improve my… Continue reading Engage the balonium generator, Scotty!
I began reading science fiction almost exactly 40 years ago, when my family was passing through Orly airport in Paris while moving from London to Rome. My parents liked to encourage all five of their kids to read; we were told we could have one magazine of our choice from the newsstand. I picked a… Continue reading What I have learned from science fiction
I have deactivated IntenseDebate. Its maintainers tell me there is no way to disable pagination of comments, a feature several of my regulars justifiably complained about and I loathed. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.