Computer Science

Trusted computing

Friday, September 17th, 2004

Some scary stuff going on in the discussions at Slashdot today over Microsoft’s “Trusted Computing” initiative.

quote (Two Slashdot posters):

They [Microsoft] have already made the deals w/ Phoenix to make a MSFT certified BIOS that will enable them to not boot �insecure� OSs [read: Linux]. They are in talks to get the RIAA to support a format to make CDs unreadable in machines other than those running Windows (I presume this would include insecure versions of Windows as well). They are working to get the MPAA to agree to allow them to distribute movie materials via WMP which will likely lead to DVDs �protected� with MSFT products…

Sure, you can run all the free software in the world on your OpenBIOS computer. You will not be able to watch media, listen to media, surf the net, etc, because everything will require a “trusted” computer.

Yeah, it’s paranoid, yeah it’s probably [it seems] unlikely, but this is where we are headed whether we like it or not.


Good article on programmer productivity

Friday, July 23rd, 2004

Read it here. It encourages programmers taking breaks to think about the bigger issues and reduce code bloat.

I understand now why programmers end up so conflicted. They have to work to meet deadlines, but often problems could be solved much more elegantly if there were extra time.

If I ever did run a software development company, one of the rules would be that everyone runs Workrave, a great free tool that forces you to take breaks from your computer every once in awhile. Not only does this reduce your chance of RSI/Carpal Tunnel, but it also provides a way for you to sit back and think about a problem in the abstract, rather than code your way through it.

I know deadlines are a reality. But in a perfect world, programming projects would be done “when they’re done.”