As usual, there isn’t a unifying theme. In this issue: lumpiness, stuff, microformats, eye candy, metaprogramming, beards, and psychology.

Let’s start with Paul Kedrosky’s Building the Perfect Board Package, which quotes a “sales-guru colleague” as saying the following: “Lumpy is not a fact of life in enterprise sw companies - lumpy companies should never go public.” Jeepers, can that be right? I’ve never been in Oracle’s board-room, but enterprise SW traditionally has been one of the lumpiest businesses there is that doesn’t involve building nuclear power plants or Olympic facilities. While we’re on the subject of surprising things in Mr. K’s vicinity, he wrote a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed that concludes with “And Mr. Jobs knows that there is pretty much zero chance the music industry will eliminate DRM. That move would sound a death ringtone for their struggling business, making online piracy dead simple and destroy the livelihood of an entire generation of artists.” For the record, a high proportion of people who are educated about the issues and don’t work for record companies do not believe that DRM is about helping artists’ livelihoods.

Moving on, check out my brother Rob’s essay on, uh, stuff, which despite its offhand tone says (I think) some fairly profound things.

Back to business. Several people have now asked me to think about Coté’s RFP Microformat proposal. The idea is compelling, all right. How would one build critical mass? Hmmm.

While we’re still in Redmonk country, check out Steve O’Grady’s Finally, Some Linux Eye Candy. Gotta get me some of that on my Ubuntu box. I suspect that in the pretty near future, this kind of UI will be a requirement for personal computers that want to be taken seriously. Glad that Harpster agrees.

Let’s visit Rubyland. At Practical Ruby there’s A Ruby Metaprogramming Introduction; interestingly, they want you to drop the entry into your programming editor rather than read it in your browser. So far it looks good.

Those outside the Ruby community have occasionally remarked that the culture seems, well, a little weird. They’re wrong; in fact it’s extremely weird. Set your weirdness-tolerance level to the absolute maximum and check out When You Wish Upon a Beard by why the lucky stiff. In among the cartooning are koans like "!pleH".send(:reverse).

Let’s close with a bang, namely Bruce Schneier’s The Psychology of Security. It’s large and it covers its subject exhaustively and uncompromisingly. You’ll need to set aside a chunk of time to read it, and you should read it.



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From: Rob (Feb 16 2007, at 14:05)

Why on earth is the single most commonly used discriptor for my vapourings "off-hand"? I don't even know what that means.

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