How Many Open Source Developers Sabotage Themselves

Despite that I have sold hundreds of titles over the years of very closed source products, I respect and support open source projects. I use open source projects every day. There are numerous open source products I pay for, too. That might seem a bit strange to those who see open source being synonymous with free. An open source project can be free, but its in its usage where it has value – its got to work when you need it to work – and that is the value point that many open source developers fail to grasp. Continue reading How Many Open Source Developers Sabotage Themselves

Racial Microaggressions Comes Across as Collective Pseudo Psychology

Some member over on Japan Intercultural Communication posted an article about Microaggression in Japan, based on this Psychology Today article Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life.  I have a hard time accepting that he behaviors the author describes are collective examples of anything – a mix of perceived, subjective slights and unrelated behaviors. Please convince me if I am wrong here.

Agency Model Should Be Familiar

Apple is in hot water over what appears to be price fixing with major book publishers, in an effort to harm Amazon. Steve Jobs apparently suggested following the agency model, which is more a business model than an actual pricing model.

In the agency model and in regular retail practice, the reseller is a kind of conduit to customers.   By way of distributors, products appear on shelves. Resellers buy, based on a percentage of the suggested retail price. The reseller is entirely free to set their own prices (with certain exceptions) and compete with other resellers in the market. Resellers also generate additional revenue off of selling advertisements within their circulars, charging for end cap or point of purchase promotions or other in-store experiences. The agency model works quite differently. Continue reading Agency Model Should Be Familiar

Rank Fixing on the Mac App Store

MacWorld Magazine has an interesting piece of news ( Apple warns developers against gaming App Store rankings )  about how Apple is warning developers about gaming the system on the Mac App Store to improve ranking. I have not engaged in this kind of gaming, but every system has its holes, and the Mac App Store seems to encourage some kind of unethical behavior by nature of how it works. Continue reading Rank Fixing on the Mac App Store

iBooks 2, iBooks Author Attractive But Frightening Solution to Educational Publishing

The big, transformational announcement for educational publishing is out from Apple and the message is clear – Apple wants to monopolize the educational publishing market. But it is going to fail unless Apple dramatically changes course, perhaps later to be eaten by the Android market, and here is why. Continue reading iBooks 2, iBooks Author Attractive But Frightening Solution to Educational Publishing

Mac Only Apps That Shouldn’t Be

Mac OS users and especially Mac OS developers are a proud lot.  Users who were around since the dark days of OS 8.x watched their favorite platform shrink in market share to near irrelevancy in the computer market had their faiths tested again and again. I understand that. Up until OS 8.x I pretty much felt the same way (though market share wasn’t the only reason my passion was cooled).

I can also understand why some Mac OS developers focus solely on Mac OS X development. For one, if you are a professional developer and only supporting the one platform, you code in Xcode and probably are coding in Objective-C. C derivative languages require a huge investment to learn. There are RAD tools that will let you create software for the Mac without a comprehensive study of professional software development – not Objective-C. And Objective-C really isn’t very portable to other platforms anyway. That’s why many Mac OS developers use the more portable C++ instead.

So if a developer creates an application on the Mac that leverages all the most current, interesting features exposed through the lastest OS update, without any consideration of porting to Windows or Linux – yeah, I get it. There are plenty of application categories where it may not bring any particular benefit. For example, a specialized word processor (for instance, ones focused on novel writing) that is Mac OS only is understandable, especially if it supports exporting to any number of open standards (or at least one that can be read my Microsoft Word).

The ones I do not understand are ones that would benefit from cross platform collaboration, such as project management software. Omni Group, a well known Mac OS developer, developed a product called OmniPlan. This follows in the steps of another very good tool called Merlin from Project Wizards, that unfortunately is also Mac OS only. You really need to be in an all Mac shop to pull this off – anyone who is a collaborator within your own company is going to need a Mac just to use this software. Yes, there are quite a number of all Mac using companies, so at this level it may not be such a bit issue. But this problem extends beyond simple choice but also into specifics of your industry. In many industries, clients are also collaborators, and can you reasonably expect your clients to also be Mac only?

Shade 12.1 Released with FBX Export

Although a .1 update may not sound exceptionally exciting, Shade 12.1 shipping with solid FBX Export is something to be excited about. FBX is a format that unintentionally has become an important interchange format for 3D objects that can include animation data. For example, you can set up an animated character within Shade and, using FBX export, export the animated character so that the animations can be played back within another 3d animation program or in a game development system like Unity3D.

Senator Wyden Suggests OPEN as an Alternative to SOPA/Protect-IP

Ars Technica is reporting on the OPEN Act from Senator Wyden (D-OR) and Darrell Issa (D-CAL) as an alternative to SOPA/Protect-IP. I congratulate Senator Wyden on producing an alternative after several years of thwarting present and previous bills that would have provided greater protections to American intellectual property. OPEN has some very good points, however it also has numerous weaknesses. Continue reading Senator Wyden Suggests OPEN as an Alternative to SOPA/Protect-IP

The Enigma of Subtitling in Movie Releases

There are people I know in other industries – more traditional and commoditized ones – that tell me just how bug nuts crazy software and web services industries are, by comparison. But we have nothing on the motion picture and entertainment industries. The motion picture industry seems to be able to repackage the same products again and again in ways that the software industry can only dream about. One thing that really mystifies me are films and subtitling. For example – consider the releases of the television series LOST.  When individual seasons were released in Region 1, they included English subtitles.  The Complete Series on DVD includes French subtitles. The Complete Series on Blu Ray include French and Spanish subtitles. What happened to English subtitles on the Complete Editions?  Why would you exclude Spanish on individual season releases when Spanish is spoken so widely in the countries covered under Region 1? Continue reading The Enigma of Subtitling in Movie Releases

Senator Wyden Supports Business as Usual Intellectual Property Theft

Silicon Florist is covering how Oregon Senator Wyden has come out against SOPA and PROTECTIP, bills that would update protections  and criminalize intellectual property theft to fill the obvious loopholes with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Silicon Florist gave me the opportunity to rebut Senator Wyden’s stance before, and my request to Senator Wyden to propose alternatives that protect the intellectual property rights of creatives – unfortunately Senator Wyden is fresh out of new ideas. Continue reading Senator Wyden Supports Business as Usual Intellectual Property Theft