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Showing posts from November, 2004

Software Patents Considered Harmful

This post by Paul Vick is, I think, a very honest and representative take on software patents -- and in particular the over-the-top IsNot patent -- from the point of view of an innovator.  I find myself agreeing with him wholeheartedly:

Microsoft has been as much a victim of this as anyone else, and yetwe're right there in there with everyone else, playing the game. It'sbecome a Mexican standoff, and there's no good way out at the momentshort of a broad consensus to end the game at the legislative level.

And we all know how Mexican standoffs typically end.  Paul, myname is on a couple of patents which I'm not proud of either.  Butin the current environment, there really isn't a choice: We're alllocked in to locally 'least bad' courses, which together work toguarantee the continuation of the downward spiral (and in the long run,make all companies worse off -- other than Nathan Myhrvold's, of course.)

Web Services and KISS

Adam Bosworth argues for the 'worse is better' philosophy of web services eloquently in his ISCOC talk and blog entry. I have a lot of sympathy for this point of view.  I'm alsoskeptical about the benefits of the WS-* paradigm.  They seem tome to be well designed to sell development tools and enterpriseconsulting services.

Why Aggregation Matters

Sometimes, I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall trying to describe just why feed syndication and aggregation is important.  In an earlier post,I tried to expand the universe of discourse by throwing out as manypossible uses as I could dream up.  Joshua Porter has written areally good article about why aggregation is a big deal, even justconsidering its impact on web site design: Home Alone? How Content Aggregators Change Navigation and Control of Content

Prediction is Difficult, Especially the Future

Mysecond hat at AOL is development manager for the AOL Polls system. This means I've had the pleasure of watching the conventions anddebates in real time while sitting on conference calls watching theperformance of our instant polling systems. Which had some potentialissues, but which, after a lot of work, seem to be just fine now. Anyway: The interesting thing about the instant polling during thedebates was how different the results were from the conventionalinstant phone polls. For example, after the final debate the AOLInstapoll respondents gave the debate win to Kerry by something like60% to 40%. The ABC news poll was more like 50%/50%. Frankly, I don'tbelieve any of these polls. However, I'll throw this thought out: Theonline insta polls are taken by a self selected group of people who areinterested in the election and care about making their opinions known. Hmmm... much like the polls being conducted tomorrow.
I'llgo out on a limb and make a prediction base…