Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Reboot Talks

June 23rd, 2003 · No Comments

Two good talks at Reboot, which have been documented by Cory Doctorow.

Tim O’Reilly’s talk was on “The Open Source Paradigm Shift”. He says the real value of Linux and open-source software (OSS) is the new platforms it is enabling (Amazon, Google), and not just in the shrinkwrapped apps. This is coming about due to commoditisation, customisability and collaboration.

Paradigm shift: Introduced in 1962. Used to describe the change
from Ptolemaic to Copernican astronomy. At certain points in
intellectual history, everything you know turns out to have been
wrong.

The last paradigm shift in IT: Mainframe to minis to PCs. They
were Computer Companies: hardware and software. Apple is the last
of these.

IBM built “open source” hardware with the PC. Commodity hardware
kicked Apple’s ass. Increased commodification went on: Dell beat
IBM and Compaq (because Compaq added bells and whistles, made a
premium product).

We’re in the middle of another paradigm shift:

Linux critic: Linux isn’t user-friendly

Linux geek: Linux will be better in the next rev

They’re both wrong: the apps that run on Linux are Google,
Amazon, etc. Not shrinkwrapped apps, but new platforms.

Amazon, Google aren’t OSS, but they’re built on OSS. Getting the
source to Amazon would be pretty useless, in fact.

Meg Hourihan’s talk discusses blogs and more interestingly, the Project Lafayette she is working in. Here’s more:

The Lafayette Project: Make it easier to read weblogs.

When you find a blog you like, you also like the blogger. You
have shared interests. You don’t ask your friends for restaurant
reviews, but your friends will tell you about the restaurants you
enjoy.

Lafayette builds on the social network that underlies blogs. If
you like reading kottke.org, you might like megnut.com, and if
you like megnut.com, you might like boingboing.net.

I co-founded this with Nick Denton, and we hired our engineer in
April. Hoping to have a beta in July.

We’re building an RSS reader that will tell you about the sites
that have updated recently. Then we’re building the
recommendation engine.

We’re going to add more predictions — we’d be able to tell you
about Reboot, posts about Reboot, even if there’s no direct
matching.

Over 50% of blogs are non-English. Polish blogs may link to
English blogs, but the English blogs don’t link back. We want to
make a tool available to anglo bloggers to help them read
non-English blogs.

More people are coming online and creating blogs. The tools are
improving.

As the readers improve, we’ll see a whole new way to read and
access the content.

Tags: Software

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