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Talk To an Astute IT Industry Observer

Roblimo posted more than 11 years ago | from the swamis-of-silicon-valley dept.

The Media 275

Dan Gillmor is about as high on the IT journalist and industry pundit "respect" totem pole as you can get. Slashdot has linked to hundreds of his articles. What do you ask this veteran observer of the Silicon Valley scene? Whatever you like, one question per post. We'll email 10 of the highest-moderated questions to Dan 24 - 36 hours after this post goes up, and run his answers shortly after he gets them back to us.

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275 comments

Desktop Operating Systems (4, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403303)

What operating system do you think (most) desktop users will be using 10 years down the road, and why? Will it be *nix, or Microsoft, or something else?

Re:Desktop Operating Systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403376)

If you asked that question 10 years ago most people would probably be wrong.

Thats a question no one can answer, I've done alot of thought on it and it really has no answer.

It would take at most 6 months for microsoft to loose their monopoly if a major news source got pissed at them, it's not something that is based upon merit alone.

Re:Desktop Operating Systems (2)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403420)

They own a major news source. They are not going to fall out of favour.
The war (if you are a zealot of either side) HAS to be won on merit alone. Both sides have been FUD-slining for a great while now, and it has had little to no impact on either competitor.

Re:Desktop Operating Systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403638)

MSNBC is actually a joint venture with NBC and it doesn't shy away from posting negative Microsoft news. You also have to remember that one of Microsoft's biggest enemies owns the most watched news channel in the World (CNN).

Re:Desktop Operating Systems (0)

nebenfun (530284) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403414)

that's easy.

microsoft bob.
it is better known by its alias "mr. clippy"

nbfn

Re:Desktop Operating Systems (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403635)

You know, it pains me to say it, but it's actually possible for it to be Apple.

But it won't be.

Because they're too stupid and too arrogant to realize that they ARE NOT, ARE NOT, and let me say it one more time, ARE NOT a hardware company. They are a software company that tries to maintain a monopoly on the hardware to lock in their customers.

If they would finally, at last, get a clue that they would be infinitely stronger by moving to the Industry Standard Computer Architecture, I fully believe that Microsoft's strength would finally be muted.

Failing that (and Apple probably will, since their history is nothing but shooting themselves in the head), the future will either be Microsoft, or it will be someone who finally creates a fully compatible Windows clone.

You'll note that the common theme between these two is application compatibility. Apple is the only Windows alternative platform with decent apps, so they have a shot. But other than that, compatibility is a must. Microsoft won by providing a relatively clean upgrade path from DOS on up.

It's theoretically possible that Wine might eventually make Windows compatibility possible, but I have my doubts that they will ever get the to the "absolutely, positively 100% compatible" level where any idiot loading Windows software onto Linux will "just work".

hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403305)

I have the FP it is mine, and nai thine.

second post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403306)

second post

Your last name (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403307)

Do you get upset when people spell it Gilmore? It just seems kinda... incomplete without the e at the end.

fr (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403308)

24ll u phUxx0rz!!!

first question (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403309)

Did you know that Slashdot [slashdot.org] has linked to hundreds of your articles?

Why oh why ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403312)

Why does my heart long for your warm touch?

BS industry (2, Interesting)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403321)

Why do you think so much bullshit is going on in the IT industry? Much more than in any other industry anyway.

Re:BS industry (2)

Twister002 (537605) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403436)

I don't think there's any more BS in the IT industry than in any other industry. You just hear about it more often because you read /. :)

If you check out other web sites devoted to other idustries, you'll find just as much BS.

I just had to ask (3, Funny)

dmuth (14143) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403323)

Vi or Emacs?

Re:I just had to ask (1)

monadicIO (602882) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403374)

Hey, even a non-respected lowlife like me can answer that! The answer's Viper - the best of both worlds!!!

HERE WE GO AGAIN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403406)

Re:I just had to ask (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403568)

Sheesh, why do we even debate this anymore? In all the user polls I've seen, vi always comes in around 50-60% and emacs is around 10%. NO ONE (effectively) USES IT!

And yes, often the most popular is not the best, but this isn't one of those times. The only people who don't like or don't prefer vi are people who don't understand vi (hint: the secret to the power is the 'dot' command).

Future (5, Interesting)

Valiss (463641) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403327)

Do you foresee Silicon Valley as the continuing center of tech jobs, or has its reign of the markets long since been gone and will never return?

Re:Future (4, Interesting)

tsetem (59788) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403523)

To further expand upon this, if you do not see Silicon Valley as being the center, what geographic areas do you foresee being new centers of excellence.

Additionally, what do you see companies looking for in non-Silicon Valley areas? Low taxes, low costs for manpower, low utilities, access to bandwidth?

Sad day - Stephen King dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403328)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad day - Stephen King dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403350)

leave it to a horror writer to die once a week.

Re:Sad day - Stephen King dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403370)

Found on BBC:

"Upon hearing of the death of his favourite operating system, BSD, Stephen King sat down to pen his final work. Sadly this work was to be his suicide note, in HTML, containing a link to the netcraft survey that brought him this sad news. He phoned up Goatse to say a final good bye, and pulled the trigger, just as Goatse had done years ago, but instead of pointing up his arse, it was pointing at his head."

Sad news indeed.

Question (5, Interesting)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403335)

We all know that the old-style model of the internet is broken, websites are unable to rely on banner ads and (ick) pop-ups anymore pay the bills. My question to you then is this, how do you believe the future of the web will be, will it be that every website will just have a donation box, or will they all make you pay a subscription fee like is now happening with some of the bigger websites? Or do you see a third answer, sponsorship, whether corporate or by a bigger website that can already pay the bills?

Activism? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403441)

IIRC, back in the day you were pretty seriously activist: I seem to remember you at Usenix handing out buttons and carrying signs.

Do you still consider yourself an activist? If not, what changed? Is there still a place for activism in the geek community? What is it?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403451)

It's hardly limited to websites, there are lots of tech businesses that beleived in:

1) Give away things for free.
2) ???
3) Profit!

Surprisingly there are still quite a few people who thinks this works.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403473)

We all know that the old-style model of the internet is broken,

Er no. My company hosts and maintains web sites for dozens of clients, none of whom think that there is anything 'broken'.

You are talking about a very specific type of site - someone trying to make a profit through content. That type of site are actually a minority of all sites on the web.

The "Big Player" (5, Interesting)

JamesCronus (592398) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403338)

which of the "big " players in silicon valley, hp sun etc do yo think will stil be here in say 20 years? and why? it seems that companies pop in and out of existance almost on a daily basis in the technology world

Hundreds of Articles? (0, Troll)

paulcammish (542971) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403343)

Slashdot has linked to hundreds of his articles.

Errmmm, I followed the link, and saw (counts quickly) 33... Including this one.

Hmm, hundreds in what numbering system exactly?

(And yes, I know, its not a question - what you gonna do, mod me down? - See, thats a question!)

Re:Hundreds of Articles? (0)

nebenfun (530284) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403500)

what number system?

the cowboyneal numbering system...

this is slashdot
we have our own rules for:
spelling,
counting,
what exactly sex is,
what should be modded to +5 funny or +5 troll,
what day of the week to support a company(aka apple or blizzard or intel or sun or redhat, etc),

there is only one constant here...
the gravitational pull of cowboyneal is infinity..

nbfn

Tell us how Colleen Kollar-Kotelly will rule (5, Interesting)

phsolide (584661) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403353)

What's your best guess on how Judge Kollar-Kotelly will rule? The Judge Jackson's ruling came as an utter and complete surprise to almost everyone who hadn't followed *web* reports on the trial. The mass media did a very bad job protraying the issues of the original trial, basically parroting MSFT and Wag-Edd's "freedom to innovate" press releases, rather than reporting on the fairly straightforward restraint of trade case that the DoJ made. This time around, the web reporters seemed a bit confused by how the case went as well.

Your opinion of Jon Katz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403356)

Is he a hack or a fraud?

Re:Your opinion of Jon Katz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403543)

Is this an either/or question?

Re:Your opinion of Jon Katz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403552)

The horse is dead, quit screwin it! Put the whip away, too, while you're at it.

IT Industry (5, Interesting)

AAAWalrus (586930) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403358)

How do you see the current weak economy affecting the IT industry today? Is the lack of corporate spending hurting the number of jobs, increasing the workload of IT professionals, or reducing the amount of technology brought into the modern workplace? Or is it merely affecting where companies choose to spend their dollars? (such as Linux instead of Solaris or Windows, open source instead of closed source, new faster hardware or older, not-as-fast but adequate hardware)

Employment? (5, Interesting)

Lumpish Scholar (17107) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403364)

For a lot of us, the biggest issue on our personal agenda is employment: the chances of being laid off, and (worse) how long it will take to find a decent replacement job. (Underemployment is an issue, too; staying in the tech sector but taking more than a 25% pay cut, or leaving the tech sector in order to pay the rent/mortgage.)

It's not just relative to the dotcom bubble. There are few jobs, and those that are out there process applicants via companies that specialize in resume processing. (The latter means it's all about keywords, not how good you are.) The most reliable way to get a job continues to be working your personal network; but many networks have dissolved, as everyone gets laid off in a short period of time.

What's your take? From where you sit, have you seen any bright spots, or any indications things might get better (or worse)? What coping strategies have you seen people find for sucessfully getting new jobs, or surviving unemployment well?

Yea, and his brother Happy Gilmore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403371)

High on the respect totem.

Microsoft .NET (5, Interesting)

Qrlx (258924) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403388)

My question is about the Microsoft .NET product. It's rather a simple question, but one that nobody seems to be able to answer:

What the heck is .NET??? Will it dramatically change the world? What do you think the results of .NET are going to be?

Re:Microsoft .NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403562)

I can answer that!

It's a grand stratgey by Microsoft to get everyone to postpone thier java web services deployment while they try to figure out what it does.

Re:Microsoft .NET (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403588)

Having just attended some sort of MS conference, I can say that .NET is a webified cloud of stuff. Does that help?

Re:Microsoft .NET (2)

AAAWalrus (586930) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403629)

As far as I can tell, ".NET" is Microsoft's latest creation of an obfuscated buzzword that is their newest attempt at making a new technology the "standard" for desktop operating systems. It started out as a nifty idea that is being blown to Microsoft-marketing-department proportions.

As far I can tell, it's simply a virtual machine that uses a common-language-runtime (CLR) to allow multiple languages to interact with each other via the VM with just-in-time (JIT) compiling of native .NET components. It's supposed to replace COM, eliminate "DLL Hell", allow "secure" components be presented to the web, and have high performance.

Ultimately, what you have is a cool VM technology that runs exclusively on Windows machines that are .NET enabled (Windows XP comes with the .NET runtime installed).

With so many people asking "What is .NET?", the more interesting question is, "If nobody understands what .NET is supposed to accomplish, how is Microsoft going to sell it?" Also, I'd like to know what (not if!) anti-competitive devices have been built into the .NET platform by Microsoft.

How much longer will programming stay in the US? (5, Interesting)

georgeha (43752) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403391)

It's getting easier and cheaper to outsource programming jobs to India, Russia and Singapore (among other nations). How much longer can programmers count on a healthy, US based industry?

Re:How much longer will programming stay in the US (4, Insightful)

Hanno (11981) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403448)

Being a German software developer, I don't quite get your question. Software development was never a solely US-based industry.

Re:How much longer will programming stay in the US (2)

Jester99 (23135) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403610)

Hanno -

There are a decent number of "US based" software companies in which design work or other is done here, and the programming itself is exported to places such as India where they will work for pennies on the dollar.

Lots of US citizens who are programmers are ticked off about that fact.

As long as... (2)

Twister002 (537605) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403466)

The programmers in those countries keep listing classes they took in College/high school on their resumes as actual jobs.

Re:As long as... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403535)

The programmers in those countries keep listing classes they took in College/high school on their resumes as actual jobs.

That is not true. They are just as skillful at lying as their US counterparts.

IT industry as a career ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403392)

do you think the IT industry is a viable career choice ? its getting more like manufacturing with the number of jobs increasing overseas and decreasing in north america with only customer service/sysadmin positions left behind.
are you planning to stay in the IT industry long term ?

Windows or Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403398)

Windows or Linux?

Future directions of technology (5, Interesting)

knightwolf (457910) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403399)

Currently, most of the industry relies on a silicon based technology, using optics to burn silicon wafers. What technology areas do you see the industry looking into, as well as what are areas the industry isn't looking into that it should? Add to this, what technologies are out there that in your opinion aren't looked at heavily enough? As a last part of this, where do you see most of the innovation. Is it in large corporations, such as IBM, or smaller corporations or startup companies?

Media Undstanding of Technology (5, Interesting)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403405)

While reading articles about new technology from various mainstream media sources, I get the impression that they have absolutly no idea what they're talking about. It's clear to me that the average mainstream journalist has, at best, a minimal understanding of the techology that he or she is reporting on.

What impact does this have on the public's perception and awareness of new technoloy, and will this lack of understanding dissapear as older journalists are replaced by a younger, more tech-savvy breed?

Re:Media Undstanding of Technology (3, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403605)

While reading articles about new technology from various mainstream media sources, I get the impression that they have absolutly no idea what they're talking about. It's clear to me that the average mainstream journalist has, at best, a minimal understanding of the techology that he or she is reporting on.

The other possibility is that they are "encouraged" to hype stuff from particular vendors, or even all vendors. A magazine that criticizes latest trends and products is going to draw *less* advertisers than one that goes along with the hype. After all, why put in an ad for your latest greatest gizmo if the mag is just gonna bash it next month?

Thus, a variation of this question would be: "How can excess hype be counteracted in spite of the pressure to hype vendors' new stuff?"

the cycle of things (5, Interesting)

Hanno (11981) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403408)

We all know the economy is going in cycles, but how cyclic is IT, in your experience? When was the last big downturn, what happened back then and what changed because of it?

Right now, most of "us" IT-workers are facing the results of "new economy" bubble and the consecutive downturn of IT.

Here in Germany, I remember that in 1991 when I finished high school, people told me not to go study computer science because back then, the career outlook was bland and many IT academics were unemployed or received low figures. Then came the internet, salaries and everything else exploded, which was nice while it lastet, yet incredibly surreal.

Right now clients are sitting on every single penny , I know highly-skilled IT workers who are nevertheless unemployed because companies stopped hiring and around us and even some of the former key players of the industry are going bust...

So, do you remember a similar economic situation in IT and how did you experience it?

Keeping up and remaining unbias. (5, Interesting)

timmie... (141368) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403409)

Many of us here are happy to criticise IT Journalists in general for inaccuracy or biased opinion. You've managed to build a reputation for yourself without attracting much of that bad karma.

What/where/who do you read/research/ask to stay abreast of the many technical aspects you need to report on (to keep technical accuracy) without simply taking various companies words for granted (and thus loosing your unbiased approach)?

Silicon valley businessmodel. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403417)

Do you think this is a good businessmodel that will survive?

1) Give stuff away for free.
2) ???
3) Profit!

Not slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403422)

Posted by Roblimo on 12:00 PM October 7th, 2002
from the swamis-of-silicon-valley dept.
Dan Gillmor is about as high on the IT journalist and industry pundit "respect" totem pole as you can get. Slashdot has linked to hundreds of his articles. What do you ask this veteran observer of the Silicon Valley scene? Whatever you like, one question per post. We'll email 10 of the highest-moderated questions to Dan 24 - 36 hours after this post goes up, and run his answers shortly after he gets them back to us.

Conflict of Interest (5, Interesting)

joyoflinux (522023) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403430)

Have you ever had a conflict of interest; like, what you should write, rather than what would get you promoted or would be better for your career? How do you deal with this?

What's up with the open relay? (2, Interesting)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403431)

Dan, you are often referred to as one of the voices of power in IT, freedom on the Internet, etc. But, I have a hard time swallowing that in light of your much-publicised problems with Verio regarding your open SMTP relay. Can you please explain the logic behind your actins to us rabid anti-spammers here on Slashdot? Specifically, why keep an open SMTP relay which can be (and has been) used by spammers to propogate their evil (and sue your ISP for the right to run said SMTP relay) when there are numerous secure methods of SMTP relaying out there? Was this simply a matter of principle, or was there actually some technical reason for not wanting to deploy a secure relaying method?

The next "next thing"? (5, Interesting)

Lumpish Scholar (17107) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403433)

Ubiquitous personal computers, ubiquitous fax machines, ubiquitous e-mail (I can send e-mail to every member of my family), ubiquitous Internet access (especially the Web), ubiquitous wireless voice service: telecom and computing innovations keep changing the world. Do you see anything that's just a blip on the radar screen today, but which might have a big impact on people's lives in a few years?

Larry King Dead at 54 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403438)

I dont understand the strange, strange postings that get put up on this site.

Q's for Industry pundit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403445)

1) Why does santa cruz county have the WORST traffic management/highway maintenance program in the entire western world?

2) How many san lorenzo valley rednecks does it take to run a stop sign?

3) How many ineffectual SC county sheriff deputies can fit inside the donut shop on Mt. Hermon Road?

3a) How many CHP officers does it take to fulfill the speeding ticket quota on Mt. Hermon road?

4) How many SLV redneck FREAKS does it take to start a forest fire? I can answer this one for you: ONE - the one lighting the fuse of the illegal fireworks during the worst fire season in decades.

5) How long is highway 9 going to be torn up?

6) When is SC county going to implement alternate traffic throughways from SLV into the silicon valley and santa cruz?

7) Why would anyone pay half a million dollars to live here?

Re:Q's for Industry pundit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403583)

"7) Why would anyone pay half a million dollars to live here?"

Because Santa Cruz is beautiful and has some of the world's most perfect weather (at least, perfect for my tastes)

Is Apple truly against DRM? (5, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403454)

I'd really LIKE to believe that Apple is taking a conscious and principled stand against digital restrictions management, as suggested in your article here. [siliconvalley.com]

Your article is, however, basically speculative.

Do you have any evidence that Apple really has an anti-DRM corporate strategy? Gateway has issued a limited but significant public statement of support for fair-use rights. Do you have any ideas why Apple has not done anything like this?

Re:Is Apple truly against DRM? (2)

zephc (225327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403558)

Some of Apple's current anti(ish)-DRM offerings
  • QuickTime Streaming Server
  • Darwin Streaming Server
  • iPod
  • iTunes/"Rip, Mix, Burn"
Others I'm sure, I just can't think of at the moment =]

Digital divide.. (5, Interesting)

encrypted (614135) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403462)

Many people talk about doing something about the "digital divide", where third world and developing countries are fast falling far behind, most with very few computers and little or no internet access, do you forsee this ever changing or will this situation just get worse as time goes on?

In hindsight... (5, Interesting)

Hanno (11981) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403478)

...as a longtime observer, what has surprised you most about the current technology, in a positive (what did you never expect to happen?) and in a negative (what should never have happened?) way?

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403479)

Was having hundreds of your articles Slashdotted a traumatic experience?

Any changes in Valley startup culture? (5, Interesting)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403482)

Thanks for taking the time to field our questions, Dan.

Silicon Valley venture capitalists in the late 1990s turned their money and attentions to bear on creating dozens of companies that never had any hope of turning a profit.

From personal experience I've seen just how powerful VCs are in shaping the development of the IT market through their iron-grip control of individual startups.

Have you noticed any fundamental power shifts or changes in the way startup IT companies are being funded and created in the Valley over the past couple of years?

Market Saturation (5, Interesting)

nweaver (113078) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403485)

Market Stauration has been seen coming since around 2000 or before, combined with the end to the "software gets slower" Corrolary to Moore's law ("Groves Giveth and Gates Taketh away"). For the last couple of years, the IT bubble covered up many of these effects.

Now that the bubble is gone, Mr Bill's Corrolary has (mostly) failed, and the market is obviously saturated, when are Intel/AMD/Microsoft going to admit to this, and what are the general industry plans to deal with this, beyond the obvious software rental model?

dating tips... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403489)

after reporting so much on geek interests you must have interacted with a lot of geeks. do you have any dating tips/suggestions for geeks (male and female)? i mean besides the obvious, "bathe more," and, "larts can also be used for fending off persistant suitors."

Databases and File Systems (5, Interesting)

d3xt3r (527989) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403498)

In both the open source Unix (FreeBSD, Linux, etc.) and the Microsoft worlds, there is a lot of talk right now about making the file system more like a database and vice versa.

Microsoft's approach is to tune the database (SQL Server) to act as a file system, scheduled replace NTFS in 2006. The open source community, however, is taking the opposite approach and aiming to make the file system more database-like.

One of the most promising ideas right now for Linux seems to be coming from Hans Reiser, soon to be implemented in a future version of Reiser FS. Reiser FS will store many attributes about a file in other files, basically expanding the capabilites of the file system into a database.

Which do you see as the more promising approah? What do you think the impact of such hybrid filesystem/databases will be on DBMS such as Oracle, Sybase, and DB2?

Desktop Linux (4, Interesting)

Soko (17987) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403511)

What, in your opinion, is the greatest stumbling block to Linux getting bigger marketshare numbers on the desktop? More specifically, is RedHat on the right path with RH8.0 (psyche)?

Soko

Software Patents and Law (5, Interesting)

Hasie (316698) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403521)

A number of people are painting a very bleak future of software engineering in the future. The reasoning is that it will soon be possible to write any useful program without it containing something that violates a patent or a law somewhere in the world. In this case only large companies with deep pockets and large patent portfolios will be able to compete in the marketplace and others, including open source/free software developers, will be pushed out of the market.


What is your opinion on this issue?

What will happen to the consultant-industry. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403524)

Now then peoples idea of value in the computer industry (hardware/software/whatever) has dropped sharply do you beleive consultant and other service related businesses will be the next one to be slaughtered?

Next technology to go down (3, Interesting)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403526)

Perhaps you would like to share your view of several standards and technologies that you think would go down in the near future? What of current technologies would you not recommend investing in?

Convergence or Divergence? (5, Interesting)

Nomad7674 (453223) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403528)

Many have been saying that convergence is the way of the future - combine Cell Phones& PDAs, standardize on a single OS, etc. Other have been pointing to Linux, the renewed stength of Apple, etc. as evidence that divergence (i.e. more choices) is the way of the future. Which trend will be more powerful in the short and long terms?

Thanks for ignoring me qjkx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403534)

What do you think about the growing movement to convert all numbers to hexadecimal?

Journalism ?? (1, Redundant)

aitala (111068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403540)

It is my imagination or is the quality of mainstream journalism, expecially in the technology area, going downhill a bit? I've seen numerous articles with serious factual errors, omissions, or containing downright silliness. Either that or the article is an outright troll, i.e. anything John Dvorak writes about Apple, anything Microsoft has to say about Linux, etc.

Are the pressures of getting news out fast seriously harming the accuracy of the news being presented? Or is it something else?

Eric Aitala

ICLICKCAMERA.COM!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403547)

iClickCamera.com!!!

Someone mod this spammer into oblivion. (0, Offtopic)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403606)

I don't go anywhere on the net with the keywords "click" or "camera" in the domain name and certainly not if the subject is in all caps with exclamation points.

Database Costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403548)

Considering a database of detailed information on everybody inside the USA, how much would it cost to set one up, and how much would it cost to maintain per annum? (Also, which database software would you use?)

The Re-writing of Computer History (5, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403557)

I'm always amazed at how industry commentators have re-written history, particularly when it comes to the computer industry.

For example, in Robert X. Cringely's book "Accidental Empires", he tells the story of how the personal computer grew from a hobby toy to one of the most important devices ever made.

But it's a decidedly left-coast "californa-centric" point of view. Very little mention of IBM is ever made, except how they screwed up and gave the golden key to Bill Gates, and computer industry pioneer Commodore doesn't even seem to warrant a paragragh, although at one point in the early 80's CBM held over 33% of the market.

So, my question is: Do you feel that the number of reporters hovering around Silicon Valley have distorted the view of the rise of the industry?

While I also believe that Woz is due saint-hood, I also have tempered that view with the knowledge that both Commodore and Clive Sinclair did more to raise the bar on the Personal Computer than most others, despite the Mac being "insanely great".

When I watch "Pirates of Silicon Valley" I can't help but feel that we're cheating ourselves by allowing the "pundits" to dictate how this industry came to where it is now.

It does appear at times that the those reporting on technology are often just cheerleaders for whatever large software/hardware company pays the advertising bills for the magazine that reporter works for.

How do you feel about these issues?

Technology: Wings of wonder or chains of opression (5, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403571)

When computers, first became widely available to the public, there were a lot fewer governing laws and regulations. The also applies to the internet in its initial stages.
Nowadays, it seems that one can't do anything with a PC without a bunch of rules, regulations, or disclaimers. While it's understandable that many companies wish to protect their products, and also protect themselves from lawsuits, it seems that today freedom in IT is becoming increasingly narrow.

What do you think the future of the internet is, in a legal and freedoms sense? Will it continue to become a medium for free expression (quite strongly accented by sites such as here, slashdot), or will insane lawsuits and regulations put to much fear into using the freedoms which are so easily stepped on today.

As the world integrates IT more and more into our lives, what will happen with it as a medium of freedom Vs one of restriction. Will we still be able to speak our minds online, or will we live under the chains of lawsuits, speed governers, and surveillance devices.

Technology is a wonderful medium for crossing new boundries, but often it seems to also be used to impose new ones. Which usage for technology do you see being stronger in the future: the wings or the chains, and how would you see each being applied?

Apple bashing? (5, Interesting)

zaren (204877) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403580)

Can you offer any insights as to why, even after all these years, forces in the IT and journalism scenes still insist on beating up Apple Computer? The cries of "Apple is dying!" have echoed in my ears for over ten years, and Apple still survives - in fact, Apple is one of the few computer companies to continue to make a profit in the current slowdown. From it's early days as the first true home PC, all the way up to it's current award-winning accomplishments - Firewire, the iPod, the first true consumer-oriented Unix OS - Apple has positioned itself as a leader in the industry. So why is it that the industry is forever running it down, instead of giving it the credit it deserves?

Question (2)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403584)

In your opinion, what are the most notable events you have witnessed in the computer industry, the good, the bad, and the ugly?

Sponsorship, biases, etc. affecting articles (2, Interesting)

knightwolf (457910) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403586)

I have several friends who are Journalists. In general, though they claim impartiality, I've found that most Journalists tend to be very biased with regards to anything upon which they are reporting. The question is how do these biases affect reporting of the technology sector?

We all hear stories of different reports being paid for by corporations such as Microsoft. How are many of the current stories, newspapers, and other printed (electronically printed or otherwise) stories affected by corporate sponsorship, biases, etc.? Which industries, points of view, or otherwise get promoted heavily with regards to importance due to these biases or sponsors? Is this a way to manipulate public viewpoints, in an arena which should be impartial?

What sources are doing this the most? Are there any sources that truly seem impartial in most of their judgements? It all comes back to who do we trust?

Hidden corruption? (5, Insightful)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403594)

I've seen an awful lot of money spent during the .COM boom, in awfully questionable ways. Ways that were just completely beyond comprehension. I've often thought that a better explanation than sheer stupidity, might be that there were kickbacks and other shady dealings going on (you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours).

With so much money having been tossed around, surely there was a lot of corrupt dealings; however, I haven't seen any press or other talk of such happenings.

Is it primarily because these companies weren't public and thus publicly accountable that any mini-Enron's were simply never discovered?

In some ways, corruption would be a little more comforting of an explanation than sheer stupidity.

I feel like I might be pretty naive in not realizing some of this is going on. What's your take on corrupt dealings, patronage, and such in the industry?

-me

Trends in Software Quality (5, Interesting)

PenultimatePenguin (588422) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403614)

As an IT security specialist, poor software quality - both in design and implementation - is my greatest headache (and my surest job security). How aware are consumers and the media of this problem, do you think the critical mass of demand for quality software ever coalesce, and what effect will/would this have on the industry?

Silicon Gulch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403622)

Why do you folks have such a high regard for the denizions of the gulch? Why do polluters of the environment get such high regard? When are the people going to wake up and kill all the dot com wannabe's?

Dinosaurs (2, Interesting)

drdanny_orig (585847) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403631)

I'm a dinosaur: 51yo, IBM mainframe background, lost my technical edge years ago, can't stand being a lying salesman, can't delegate well enough to be a manager, and don't have two dimes to rub together. Is there any hope for me? Thanks, I'll listen to your answer offline.

do you use (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403643)

open source for all your needs? if not, what products are needed in the open source community to get you to 100% open source?
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