November 06, 2007

Predicting Pakistan

Martial law, corruption in the military, and protests in the streets. Could civil conflict in Pakistan have been predicted? And why don't we see protests in the streets in Cuba or China when corrupt governments there tighten control during sensitive times?

Do tempers flare under Musharraf because of the youth bulge in Pakistan?

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Posted by David at 12:47 PM | Comments (1)

November 09, 2007

Information At Your Fingertips

This week back in 1990, Bill Gates opened Comdex promising "a crusade" to make computers more useful. His tagline, "Information At Your Fingertips" would become the leaderships' vision for Microsoft for a generation....

Bill's Big Idea

The idea, Gates explained, was to make it possible to use your computer to get any information you needed, without worrying about where it came from. In 1990, Gates demonstrated the vision by showing a query tool that would let you find any file on the network by matching the contents of the file. This was well beyond a PC's ordinary ability to find a file on its hard drive by looking for a particular filename...

Obviously, in 2007 we know Gates' vision was prescient - full-text information retrieval was not merely interesting; today it is a major focus for the whole computer industry. So one would think that given Gates' prediction, Microsoft would have staffed up a Search project in 1990 and beat everybody else to the punch. What happened?

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Posted by David at 10:29 AM | Comments (1)

November 12, 2007

Gave One Got One

Today's the day that OLPC's Give One Get One program opens. They say they'll make a best effort at delivering for the holidays, but no guarantees. "Early purchasers have the best chance of receiving their XO laptops in time for the holidays, but we cannot guarantee timing."

Anybody else going to give the OLPC a whirl?

(Yay, that's Masi!)

Posted by David at 06:52 AM | Comments (1)

November 15, 2007

Obama at Google

Obama visited Google at Mountain View yesterday, and according to press reports, Eric challenged him to answer a Google algorithms interview question.

I am watching the video on the train this morning; I want to see the question and Obama's response...

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Posted by David at 04:22 AM | Comments (2)

November 17, 2007

Taro Ito's Dice Wars

Do you like Risk? Have you ever played Dice Wars?

Dice Wars is a flash implementation of a risk-like strategy game, stripped down to its bare essentials. Gameplay is simplified enough so that play as quick and easy as solitaire, yet the game retains the strategic depth and feel of Risk....

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Posted by David at 07:26 AM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2007

Obama's Horizons

In today's Chronicle, Saunders asserts that Clinton is alone among Democratic candidates in understanding that "outside American borders lurks a hostile world." But my takeaway is different...

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Posted by David at 08:35 AM | Comments (2)

November 24, 2007

Christmas Sequel

Christmas 2008 is shaping up to be like Christmas 2007, but more of the same.

Like last year, the Wii is out of stock everywhere unless you buy a bundle. (Although this year's bundles are better than last years, so get one.)

But unlike last year, we have great games like Guitar Hero III for Wii that are also out of stock everywhere. (Unless you want to pay a $100 markup.) I note with interest that it's pretty easy to obtain a PS2 or Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero. It's the Wii version that's selling like mad.

Which console would you invest in as a game developer?

Ho ho ho....

Posted by David at 09:04 AM | Comments (2)