Someone on the gpsd-users list asked: I was just wondering why gpsd doesn’t have a configuration file in /etc/gpsd.conf, like most other Unix/Linux software? Because configuration files are evil, and not to be countenanced unless they become an absolutely necessary evil. Which in gpsd’s case is not yet, and I sincerely hope not ever.
Month: May 2011
The Smartphone Wars: HTC rejoins the good guys
Market pressure works. In response to an outcry from customers, HTC has just annnounced that it will return to its policy of shipping handsets with unlocked bootloaders. This makes me personally happy because I’ve been a fan of HTC handsets since the G-1; I would have had to stop buying and recommending them if they’d… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: HTC rejoins the good guys
The Moral Landscape: a critical review
Sam Harris’s The Moral Landscape continues a pattern I’ve noted in the last two books of his I’ve read, Letter To A Christian Nation and The End Of Faith (my review here). Harris is a very capable thinker and a fearless, lucid, forceful writer; at his best, he’s the most accessible of the group he… Continue reading The Moral Landscape: a critical review
Maybe science is my religion, after all
In a recent comment thread, I wrote that I am revolted by the corruption and politicization of science. After I wrote that, I experienced a moment of introspective surprise during which I realized that my feelings about people who commit scientific fraud for personal or political ends are in tone and intensity very much like… Continue reading Maybe science is my religion, after all
The Smartphone Wars: More fun with statistics
Today, a prediction about the timing of Android victory. But – more importantly – a discussion of the uses and perils of statistical extrapolation.
The Smartphone Wars: Tracking userbase growth
I’ve put together a tool to visualize the smartphone market-share data comScore makes available in its monthly press releases. Readers can download both the tool and the raw data in order to check my work. And the first new visualization is quite interesting:
The Smartphone Wars: Still It Rises
I’ve been meaning to put together a running plot of U.S. smartphone marketshare for some time. The monthly press release from the market research firm comScore contain enough information to do it, but you have to stitch a number of them together as they only report the covered month and the third previous month. Stitching… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: Still It Rises
The Uses of Cliche
I’ve done a lot of writing for the game Battle For Wesnoth. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned, and now teach others, is this: genre cliches are your friend. Too much originality can badly disrupt the gameplay experience. This is so at variance with our expectations about ‘good’ art that I think it… Continue reading The Uses of Cliche
The Smartphone Wars: With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends?
Android just got a boost it didn’t need. RIM, already staggering after a 5% market-share drop over the last quarter and the Playbook debacle, has just…well, “shot itself through the foot” fails to convey quite the right sort of intensity. In fact it has executed a hitherto-unprecedented form of marketing suicide which can only be… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends?
Scenes from Penguicon
It’s Saturday night at Penguicon. A few hours ago I blatantly pulled social rank on someone, and I am not ashamed. This is how it happened.