October 17, 2005
PowerDNS at OSCON
PowerDNS has been making great inroads into the otherwise ultra-conservative DNS community since it was released as open source GPL. The latest statistics from DENIC, the German DNS registry, show that PowerDNS now powers an increadible 51% of the German .DE zone.
October 16, 2005
O'Reilly rides into town
On Monday O'Reilly's European Open Source Convention (OSCON) is kicked off in Amsterdam. Not counting the EuroFoo gathering in Enschede (likewise Holland) last year, this is O'Reilly's first European conference and program chair Nat Torkington is sharing his notes on the novelty so far.
Bar Nat's amusing blunder of confusing Flemish with Dutch (well, admittedly they're close even though the Flemish like not to think so), he brings up an interesting discussion of the (apparent) differences between running conferences in Europe and in the US.
The lead-up to OSCON in Amsterdam has been different than the lead-up to OSCON in Portland. With the US OSCON, we have a long history and our marketing could take advantage of that. With OSCON in Amsterdam, we've had to begin building the trust that we now have in the US.
The challenge for any conference going abroad is what remains once the campsite has been leveled and the show moved on. That is what creates value for the individual participant and earns the organizer trust.
In my mind there are two ways to claim success for OSCON Amsterdam (which I btw much prefer to EuroOSCON): One is to bring Americans and Europeans closer, seeding European projects and people to the Americans and vice-versa. As Nat also notes, open source is at two very different stages in Europe (I say faith and ethics) and the US (Nat says business, TCO and ROI), and surely one can learn from the other. It should come as little surprise to anyone that while Linux (from Helsinki -> San Jose), MySQL (Uppsala -> Cupertino), PHP (Greenland -> Sunnyvale), JBoss (Paris -> Atlanta), Rails (Copenhagen -> Chicago) and many more all hail from Europe, the US traditionally has, and, quite likely, will continuesly capitalize on these, as other, technologies.
The other option, which in my mind is of far greater importantance for O'Reilly's long-term success in Europe, is to foster community within European open source constituencies (be that loosely coupled organizations or tight-knit companies), helping neutralize some of the barriers that Nat points out. At this year's reboot, Thomas elegantly coined our call to action as "European practical visionaries unite!". I think O'Reilly can make good claim to doing just that in the US, and we can only hope that, despite the obvious differences each country inbetween, they will also succeed in Europe.
The future of being European, and thus of anyone trying to capitalize on anything European, reboot and O'Reilly included, is to nurture and grow the European community -- be that a spritual, ethical, or economic community. Individually, we're way too small.
October 13, 2005
Aresa - helping make a difference
(Update: Pictures from press briefing uploaded)
About three years ago Morten Lund and I agreed that it was probably safest for our friendship not to get involved in any projects together. About six months ago we broke that agreement, and one outcome has been a mutual involvement in Aresa Biodetection.
Aresa's mainstay is a genetically modified Thale Cress that can change colour from green to red when exposed to specific compounds, like toxins or explosives, highly useful for detection and clean-up of polluted soil and life-critical detection of land mines.
While neither Morten nor I can claim any particular insight into biotech, we were both magically drawn to this project. Why was really quite simple: it's a dream about making a difference.
Only this January on a vacation in Laos, I was stunned and hurt by learning the latest figures from UXO, the United Nations mine-removal program:in 2004 unexploded bombs and mines from the Vietnam War (30+ years back!) claimed 192 lives, while injuring and disabling hundreds more.
Being a part of Aresa is our small contribution to attempting solve significant issues that fatally impact many people. Aresa is not the cure to the wars and ails of this world, but a potential significant step in helping us clean up after ourselves. We are humbled by the task at hand but I truly feel honored that I'm able to help in some little way.
Bonus links for those of you who understand Danish:
- A short two-minute report on Aresa in TV Avisen yesterday, and
- A full-feature documentary is available at a public library near you.
User Experience Director at Del.icio.us
In.credib.ly, everybody's favourite social bookmarking site, Del.icio.us, is looking for a User Experience Director.
Does this mean the death of the infamous un-design of Del.icio.us, by now a fully featured Web2.0 design pattern?
October 10, 2005
Inflight lesson #2 (#1 was on babysitting): when onboard entertainment sucks and you're unable to sleep, whip up BTJunkie and torrent Hotel Rwanda.
Download time via Connexion on SK926 : 1 hour 12 min.
October 07, 2005
How to switch to Google Reader (from Bloglines)
The cost of switching standards-compliant web services is close to zero. While Jason Shellen was still on stage announcing the Google Reader, I managed to switch from Bloglines to Google Reader. Here's how it was done in 30 seconds:
- Export you Bloglines OPML file of subscriptions to your local disk:
- Upload the OPML file to Google Reader (-> Add a feed, -> Import subscriptions)
- Load and read
Low switching costs is great news for users as true competition obviously spurs application innovation. I'm happy to see that Google up front is supporting OPML export and thus leaving the door open for further innovation.
I would, however, wish that Bloglines, Yahoo! and now Google would go ahead and extend support to include export (and hence import) of OPML files including items that might have been saved. That is for example the list of wheatpaste tagged pictures on Flickr that I have been collecting in a scrapbook on Bloglines for about a year-and-a-half. These I cannot export. :(
Jason Shellen of Google/Blogger just announced Google Reader for RSS feeds, with the same clean user interface as known from Gmail, Google Groups and Google itself, of course.
I'm already now exporting my subscription list from Bloglines...
October 06, 2005
Mary Meeker - Web2.0?
Bonus stat: Mary Meeker says that in Denmark more phone minutes go through VoIP than through landline.