Downsides of SaaS

Software-as-a-Service has its downsides, as one commenter notes: We’re beginning to see the pitfalls of software-as-a-service in general: loss of control for for the user, increased security risks, and being entirely at the mercy of the providers’ future business strategies. The context is Google discontinuing its RSS Reader. A small outfit has motivation that a… Continue reading Downsides of SaaS

Software Runs the World: How Scared Should We Be That So Much of It Is So Bad?

From The Atlantic: The underlying problem here is that most software is not very good. Writing good software is hard. There are thousands of opportunities to make mistakes. More importantly, it’s difficult if not impossible to anticipate all the situations that a software program will be faced with, especially when–as was the case for both… Continue reading Software Runs the World: How Scared Should We Be That So Much of It Is So Bad?

Insidious Ad Award

Here’s a screen-shot of’s main page, as of today. Notice the giant Download button on the right. That’s really an ad for who-knows-what. To download ClamWin, you want the much-smaller download menu item on the left. Caveat emptor.

LinkedIn broken?

As of right now, a couple LinkedIn connection requests I made, that were accepted, still aren’t showing up in my connections list. I received the e-mail that we’re connected. So it’s half-working, half-broken, even after 30 hours or so. (Surely the electrons can travel from one end of LinkedIn to the other in that time.)… Continue reading LinkedIn broken?

Developers in Short Supply

From today’s Chicago Tribune: Software engineers hard to find Shortage of trained IT talent challenges Chicago companies Good to know in these troubled times. And to keep in mind: “One good developer can do the work of three or four guys,” And this… … finding qualified job candidates is “the bane of my existence.”

XMarks: fare thee well

Received XMarks’ notice that they’re folding, and their story is excellent reading. Here are a few of my observations. First, it’s very well-written and has an excellent tone. I hope never to fold a business, but if I had to, I hope I’d bow out as gracefully as they are. Hats off to them for… Continue reading XMarks: fare thee well


Here’s an interesting read: the Scrum development framework. Methodology, strategy and work-flow all rolled into one rather informal process. Not specifically for software projects, either.

Save Windows XP

It seems Windows XP is being phased out: Fans of the six-year-old operating system set to be pulled off store shelves in June have papered the Internet with blog posts, cartoons and petitions recently. They trumpet its superiority to Windows Vista, Microsoft’s latest PC operating system, whose consumer launch last January was greeted with lukewarm… Continue reading Save Windows XP

NY Subway Office

Despite our best efforts, we can’t always reproduce phenomena we see in the field. So to the field we go. Here are a few shots of my makeshift office in the New York Subway system. Not the most productive or ergonomically correct environment. The chair is a life-saver. Under $6 from Target, it collapses into… Continue reading NY Subway Office

Lunch 2.0 @ Google Chicago

Hats off to Google Chicago for hosting today’s Lunch 2.0. Having no idea what to expect (except, um, food), I had to check it out. Free lunch and “no time-share pitch to sit through!” I learned (among other things) that Google has a decent-sized presence in Chicago, a lot of it engineering. If I understand… Continue reading Lunch 2.0 @ Google Chicago