Abusing Alan Turing

The centennial of Alan Turing’s birth brings us the news that Alan Turing probably did not commit suicide by eating a poisoned apple, was not depressed at the time of his death, and that the hormone treatments intended to suppress his homosexual urges had been discontinued a year before he died. I am not in… Continue reading Abusing Alan Turing

Categorized as General

doclifter 2.8 is released

In response to a bug report that was relatively easily fixed, I’ve just shipped release 2.8 of doclifter, a program that takes troff-based document markups – including man page markup – and lifts them to DocBook XML.

The smartphone wars: Inauspicious exits and debuts

RIM’s death rattle became audible a few days ago when its manufacturing partner announced that it would no longer be manufacturing Blackberries. And Nokia is entering the final stages of one of the most spectacular implosions in the history of business, taking the Windows phone down with it. So what’s Microsoft doing? Announcing a brand-spankin’-new… Continue reading The smartphone wars: Inauspicious exits and debuts

The Smartphone Wars: Oracle lawsuit’s final fizzle

OK, this is just weird. “Oracle agrees to ‘zero’ damages in Google lawsuit, eyes appeal” That vast lawsuit that, according to some idiots (including a few of my commenters), was going to destroy Android and sow the earth with salt in its wake? It’s done – but in a bizarre way that makes me question… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: Oracle lawsuit’s final fizzle

GIFLIB 5.0.0 is released

I’ve just shipped the 5.0.0 release of GIFLIB, a graphics service library that is deployed pretty much everywhere that throws pixels on a display. Older versions live in your browser, your game console, and your smartphone. I have written about what it was like to go back to this code after 18 years previously, in… Continue reading GIFLIB 5.0.0 is released

Beware the vampire app!

This is a heads-up for all smartphone owners out there. A few days ago I read Buggy Apps Killing Your Smartphone Battery. And I can now certify that the problem is real.

Evaluating the harm from closed source

Some people are obsessive about never using closed-source software under any circumstances. Some other people think that because I’m the person who wrote the foundational theory of open source I ought to be one of those obsessives myself, and become puzzled and hostile when I demur that I’m not a fanatic. Sometimes such people will… Continue reading Evaluating the harm from closed source

The Smartphone Wars: Android loses share?

The April 2012 comscore results are out, and something very odd has happened. If they’re to be believed, Android has actually lost U.S. market share over the last three months – albeit by a statistically insignificant amount of 0.2% – for the first time in its history.

API copyrights are dead

I’ve now read Judge Alsup’s ruling in the Oracle vs. Google lawsuit addressing the copyrightability of the Java APIs as a matter of law. This is a bigger win for the good guys than appears at first glance; Alsup has subtly but definitely driven a stake through the heart of API copyrights. The interesting part… Continue reading API copyrights are dead