For more information please visit Mandriva’s announcement blog.
Back in March of 1992, Jean Renard Ward, a software developer then working with me at Slate Corporation, gave a presentation at the Boston Computer Society about the history of pen-based computing. He gave the talk a second time in our office in front of a video camera (though he still used an overhead projector for the visuals). I received his permission to post it publicly, and tweaked it a bit today (the original audio was quite low, so I added gain) and posted it to YouTube. It's a fascinating view of the many, many devices produced before that date (going back at least to 1914).
The video is "History of Pen-Based Computing - March 1992, Jean Renard Ward" and is embedded here:
[Embedded YouTube video on original post on Dan Bricklin's Log.]
Even today he still maintains an "Annotated Bibliography in On-line Character Recognition, Pen Computing, Gesture User Interfaces and Tablet and Touch Computers".
From time to time over the past year I’ve noted that events in the real world involving North Korea have been closely tracking the plot of my book, The Alexandria Project. Among other events, North Korea has successfully launched a three stage rocket and threatened to use it to strike the U.S.; analysts have begun to speculate that the surprisingly low-yield nuclear weapons the North has tested may not be poor performing designs, but instead small devices purpose-built for missile launch aga...
More information available on the Document Freedom website
Other links of interest:
"What will people pay for?" (written July 2000) -- the value of social connections.
"The Cornucopia of the Commons: How to get volunteer labor" (August 2000) -- Build systems where increasing its value is a natural by-product of people using the system for their own benefit.
"When the long tail wags the dog" (written February 2006) -- General purpose systems win. People figure out how to apply what they know how to use to what they need or want to do.
Also, you can follow me on Twitter: @DanB.
Here’s something funny: Many people complain about Google shutting down Google Reader, and frankly I also happen to use it myself. True enough, I tend to use it less and less with social networks but sometimes I do use news reader. The real issue that nobody really picked up is not Google doing something evil (Google Reader is not even a paid service), it’s that it seems we are forgetting the importance of the RSS feed. Yes RSS is a very useful technology and following blogs or news site is only a tiny fraction of what it can do.
In a similar fashion the same people who are complaining about the demise of Google Reader do not seem to understand what RSS is about, and do not seem to realize that they can export their feeds very easily to other online news reader such as NetVibes and NewsBlur. And that’s just for the online services. There are actual news reader servers as well one can install for its personal use or for an organization. Now the way the feeds can be exported out from Google Reader and imported to any of these services is simple: you can use a simple xml file or an OPML file. Yes, Google Reader lets you export an OPML file. And what’s OPML? It’s an open standard. It’s been developed aside other open standards for the web, such as the microformats, OpenID, RDF, XMPP, hcards and RSS, so you’re in good company. Ultimately these specifications revolve around the very interesting notion of data portability and everyone should have a look at it. There you have, one more case to prove their importance has just appeared in front of everyone. But instead of that we’re witnessing a headless chicken dance. If you ask me, I have exported all of my feeds regularly over the years in an OPML file, and I don’t feel the slightest panic creeping my spine. I’ll use Open Standards.
“Moved by Freedom – Powered by Standards”. This blog has been going on under that title for quite some time; since September 2007 exactly. I ran an older blog without the same name and title.
These days, I’m still in the ODF development and promotion in various capacities, but I don’t “do” standardization the way I did back in 2007, 2008 or even in 2011. This blog has been at times a tribune for me, a soapbox, and more often a public venue for thinking and writing on digital matters in a deeper fashion. This is not changing, but as I was looking at its title and at its meaning the other day I wondered whether its name is still relevant. I went further and wondered whether it would stay relevant in the near or mid term.
My conclusion is that when it comes to Freedom (Software Freedom or otherwise) standards actually matter as much as rights. Standards, regardless of what they are about, industry specifications, public policies, conventions defining legal terms, even words and their meaning, are the fundamental building block on an open, inclusive and efficient system. While their use may be twisted -any tool can, for the hand that uses the tool is the one ultimately defining its intent- standards form the basis of innovation, be it technological or social, and even political. Standards are what we must agree on first in order to agree on principles, values, and on the way we live. Our world, our countries, our lives, the industries we are working in are thus powered by standards. But it would be a pale assertion to stand at that line; for the author of this blog does not just stick to standards. He believes in Freedom as the energy in everything good that’s been happening in his life and around him as far as he can witness; and if the truth about the “primum mobile” will forever remain a mystery to Man, at least part of its manifestation lies in our innate and universal potential and right to Freedom. Software is no different in that respect. This blog will thus continue to be not just powered by standards. It will always be moved by Freedom.
Fernando Pessoa, an immense poet from Portugal has written texts and poems I deeply enjoy reading. I thought I would be paying a small hommage today. In his poem “O Bandarra” which is part of the famous suite “Mensagem” (Messages) he writes about a Portuguese national figure, Bandarra. But oddly enough, this poem could just be about himself.
He dreamed, anonymous and dispersed,
The Empire by God Himself seen,
Confused as the Universe
And plebeian as Jesus Christ.
He was neither saint nor hero,
But God made sacred with His sign
This man, whose heart was
Not Portuguese, but Portugal!
North Korea threatened to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on its “aggressors,” including the U.S., ahead of a United Nations vote on tougher sanctions against the totalitarian state for last month’s atomic test. - Bloomberg News, March 7, 2013
Excerpt from ...