In the summer of 1947, President Harry S. Truman ordered formed asecret organization of military personnel, scientists, and members ofgovernment. A reaction to the Roswell UFO crash in July of that year,Majestic 12 (or Majic 12) was given the task of investigating andcovering up other UFO activity in the ensuing years. Since then, theyhave operated as a black-ops group within the government, one of manyUS government organizations that are secretly funded each budgetcycle.
I've been re-reading The Third Wave, by Alvin Toffler. Though first published over twenty years ago, there's still some serious predictive mojo left in that book. The basic concept is this: there have been two previous "waves" of civilization. The first was the agricultural wave, which spread across the world over the course of several thousand years. About three hundred years ago, the second wave of civilization began—the industrial revolution. Now we are in the middle of the next wave, the information revolution.
Firefox is more than just a web browser. It’s also a cross-platform arcade machine. No quarters necessary.
An ode to Ralph H. Baer
I owe much of my life to Ralph H. Baer. Oh, he doesn’t know it. He doesn’t even know me. But that’s how it goes in these days. Much of life is owed to strangers.
If you want a measure of success, I will give you a yardstick: wasted time. Or rather, leisure time. Ralph H. Baer has given many of us a legacy of time spent in front of a television, twiddling white squares around with a paddle. So it is Ralph H. Baer is a very successful man.
I have always been a fan of fringe operating systems.
Between 1989 and 1992, I learned and used VMS, OS/2 2.0, NeXTStep on those beautiful cubes, GeoWorks, AmigaOS, and probably half-a-dozen others that I don't recall at the moment. I loved the diversity, the differences, the similarities. Booting an unfamiliar operating system for the first time always gave me a rush of geeky machismo, usually accompanied by the irresistible urge to grow a thick mustache and learn to fence with a saber.
Perhaps it's a sickness peculiar to geeks. Or maybe it's just me.
In 1982, I attended computer camp.
I know, this sounds like a "One time, at band camp. . ." story, but it's not. This was computer camp. It took place at the little-known Eastern Oregon State College, and it was the first year EOSC offered computer camp.
Growing up in Thorne Bay, Alaska, I realized I was odd. In sixth grade, the school district sent out an Apple ][. While others played Star Wars or Space Invaders, I studied Applesoft Basic. While others learned how to master Aztec, I delved into the mysteries of the Sweet16 assembler. When my mom told me her college was offering a whole month of computer studies for high school geeks like me, I couldn't wait.
Today marks the rebirth of Java. Sun has announced their intent to release thesource code for Java under the GPL. If this isn't some of the bestnews in a long time, I don't know what is.
The freeing of Java
Sun isn't releasing all of the code. It seems there are partsof Java Sun doesn't own, and for which Sun hasn't been able tonegotiate releasing under the GPL. But, it appears this is a tiny bitof the code.
Microsoft has always had excellent timing. They know when to announce a product; they know when to begin grass-roots movements to build hype for a product; they know when to create an alliance; they know when to break an alliance. They have missed some marks, that's true. They almost missed the internet boat, but were able to quickly recover with the licensing of Spyglass, Inc's browser. Microsoft's best timing, though, has always been when and where to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.
And that brings us to Novell.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the visible front of the current standards battle royale: in this corner, at 220 pounds, Open Document Format (ODF)! In the other corner, the 800 pound gorilla, Microsoft Office 12 XML format! Hopefully, we won’t get caught in the explosion.