Software and Community in the Early 21st Century

This is a very interesting keynote delivered by Eben Moglen (Professor of Law and chairman of the Software Free Law Center). The same person who once said: “Anything that is worth copying is worth sharing.” and “The more we give away, the richer we become. His keynote is definitely worth listening to, it is very educational.

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[tags]free software, foss, eben moglen, sharing, proprietary software, open source software, wealth[/tags]

Respecting your thoughts

I have an inexpensive wired notebook that I use for putting down brain stormed ideas, doodles, diagrams, client meeting notes, and daily journals. I number every page as I go, and I make sure to have it in my gear bag all the time. When I feel creative once in a while, I don’t want to leave my thoughts on loose sheets of paper, printer throw outs, napkins and such. Problem with scrap paper is that they get taken by people, or end up in a recycling bin. That would be such a waste of what money can’t buy so easily: IDEAS!

Getting into the creative mindset takes inspiration and practice. Once you are there, it lingers for a while and then fades away, during which you’d really want to document what is received by your mind, or else they get forgotten somewhere in the time-warp.

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Tips on Finding the Right Application Developer

If you are looking for the right developer to bring that brilliant business idea of yours to reality, you may find the following seven tips useful:

Tips on Finding the Right Application Developer

Always Shop Around

Let’s say you’ve got a price quote from a developer, and it sounds higher than what you expected, or they are not even willing to deliver the results within the time frame that you are expecting.

Please consider that novel business ideas are often done for the first time, that means there are no history or track records of such a project available to give some kind of clue to the developer about how much resources (Time + Money + Brain) are required to finish the job. In other words, they have to make lots of assumptions and there is a high level of risk involved in that.

Developer’s cannot afford to look bad as a result of a failed project, therefore they demand all the time and fees they can to minimizing risks for delivering the final product.

Seems like a sensible thing to do right?

On the other hand, chances are that some developer has already done a project somewhat similar to yours in the past. Maybe he’s got some magic library of code sitting somewhere on his hard drive that could be used for your project. In that case he would require less time and money to make your idea happen.

Therefore always check with at least 3 different developers, ask for price quotes, and find out how they are planning to take on your project.

Hire a hacker to help you find other hackers

When I say a “hacker” I don’t mean a cyber criminal, but a developer who can solve problems using novel short solutions, basically a smart talented developer.

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Is it a Toaster or a Series of Tubes?

Senator Ted Stevens thinks Internet is a series of tubes. He said it himself last year.

[…] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material

According to the Wikipedia he is also the Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

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Matthew Yarro, VP Marketing for the CP80 Foundation, thinks that Internet is a toaster! and he wants to fix it and control it.

“There is this assumption that you can’t control it (the Internet),” Yarro said. “It’s a toaster, we made it, we can fix it. … We can solve the Internet pornography problem tomorrow if we decided to.”

I think Internet is a collection of interconnected computer networks. It is distributed and diverse by nature, and cannot be controlled and dictated by an entity from the top. What computers do, computers can undo, which is exactly why top notch dictators such as China or Iran spend tons of resources and still have a difficult time censoring the Internet. Internet by nature is democratic. An element of control and locking mechanism placed today by a small group of people, can only withstand for so long the wisdom of millions who attempt to crack it.

Politicians would wish if Internet was just a series of tubes or a Toaster, so they’d have had an easier time understanding the nature of it.

[tags] Matthew Yarro, Ted Stevens, series of tubes, internet porn, cp80, funny, humor [/tags]

What is Business System Analysis (BSA)?

This article was originally posted on rmdStudio bloe, a mobile app development company in Vancouver.

Absence of a Business System Analyst is often the reason that relationships between Business People and Programmers go ugly. Most of us have heard stories about business people who bring a project to programmers, and later on the project is either delivered late, or comes short of the specs. That’s not always the case specially when the Programmer does a good system analysis job during the project, but again not every programmer makes a good system analyst.

Photography by Rastin Mehr © Some rights reserved

In larger organizations, System Analysts make the communication between IT and Business departments possible. In the absence of System Analysts this relationship becomes gradually dysfunctional, until at some point one department manages to dominate the other in the power hierarchy. During this struggle, people on both side become overworked, undermined, and frustrated. Eventually, the excessive loss of resources and lack of productivity could bring down an entire organization.

What System Analysts (SA) do, is to study a business model, break it down to smaller bits of tangible information and understand how they should be processed. Then, these bits of information are compiled in the form of documents and visual diagrams ( UML, ER, IA Garrett ) for Programmers to comprehend and follow. It is impossible to put down every detail of a project at the beginning, that is because designs usually change as the project moves on and by the time the project is finished it probably has little in common with the original specs. Despite that, the initial documentation could provide a development team, a good starting point and a big picture view.

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