Open sources licenses still not understood (by Hiscox, at least)

Insurance company Hiscox has posted a misleading article on “the advantages and risks of open source software” in its “small business knowledge centre”. It is not clear who the article is aimed at, the explanations of legal issues are unclear, and the discussion of security issues irrelevant. They could have saved themselves from looking foolish if they had asked some with some technical knowledge and familiarity with the licences to review the article. Continue reading

Fossil vs Git

I have used Fossil for version control for a few years, and I like it, but this recent comment on the fossil-users mailing list made me think about its limits:

we must agree Fossil [..] much easier and friendlier to use.

It is, and it is not. I do recommend it, and it does provide a a lot of functionality and it is easy to learn and use. Continue reading

Why you should not use WordPress

The appeal of WordPress is obvious: cheap and easy, and lots of “developers” know it. The biggest problem with WordPress is that something originally designed as a blog platform, has evolved general CMS features, and is widely used a development platform. The problems are that it has security issues, and is neither flexible nor productive when used a a development platform and cheap developers are not good developers. Continue reading

Tablets: anti-consumer and anti-innovation

Tablet computers (and smart phones) are bad. They are bad for consumers and kill innovation. They move power from the owner of the device to its manufacturer, and denying the use of a cheap base for research and development, the very base that made the tablets possible in the first place, and, if PCs follow suit, innovation will become much harder. They deny consumers choice, are sometimes impossible to update (a security nightmare) and are inflexible. Continue reading

Beer markets – and Microsoft

My dissatisfaction about the beers that a golf club bar stocks started me thinking about what gives a firm monopoly power in the absence of any apparent reason. Unlike in software there are no apparent network effects, a dominant player has little leverage to bias distribution channels and switching costs for consumers are zero. So how can an inferior product (and I am firmly convinced it is inferior) continue to dominate the market? Continue reading