Tablet PC Thoughts

Friday, December 02, 2005

Phil Windley's CTO Breakfast

This morning was the November/December CTO Breakfast that Phil Windley put together. The breakfast started with a question about hiring good talent. One of the employees from Canyon Bridge said they have been looking to hire some good engineers, and have been finding that few can answer some very simple questions. The example that they gave was about reversing the order of a linked list.

There was a lot of talk about how to alter the hiring process, and also what types of questions people ask: What do you do outside of work? What Open Source projects do you work on? There was also a lot of talk about how to gather names. Examples were leverage your existing employees to get the names of "known good" co-workers. The problem with this approach is that you can quickly run out of references.

The conversation went on for a long time before it finally went over to the CP80 issue. CP80 is the "Clean Port 80" initiative to create laws which forbid certain types of content to be delivered over port 80 ... the standard port used by web browsers. It again becomes an interesting way to attempt to legislate morality. In the end, it will not be technically possible, but could give lawyers a way to go after the producers of "unacceptable" content. Yeah ... "unacceptable" to who? ([tags: ])

The conversation at one point moved to downloading content from the Internet, and the subject of Digital Rights Management (DRM). Several sites were mentioned where you could get free content - Pandora (which is a very cool streaming site - part of the Music Genome Project), and one of my favorites Epitonic. ([tags: ])

There was a brief exploration of the whole area of Wikis and the inability of the "average" user to use "yet another markup language". I have to admit that it truly aggrevates me that the various Wiki platforms have subtle differences ... and most do not provide WYSIWYG editors. and we spent some time discussing the fact that there is a not a really good - Open Source - AJAX/WYSIWYG editor. I mentioned the fact that my parents can use Microsoft Word, but that having to learn a whole symbology wasn't going to happen. It reminded me of a great Podcast by Robert Lefkowitz @ OSCON 2005 ... I'll have to blog about that one! ([tags: ])

Phil Burnes through out comments about Flock ... a very cool Mozilla-based project, I brought up a very cool article that a friend sent me from Make Magazine ... it was about Mologogo ... which is a very cool mash-up of Cellular phones with GPS and Google Maps giving you a very cheap "real-time" geopositioning/geolocation system. We wrapped up on one of my favorite subjects ... wearable computers. We didn't spend a lot of time on it ... I'll have to bring some of my toys to one of the next breakfasts! ([tags: ])

On the way out, Phil brought up a good point. His gatherings bring together an incredible group of people with diverse interests and experience. It is the level of experience of some of the people that really brings a great spin to the whole conversation. We ended up going almost 2.5 hours ... and it was a great conversation the whole time ... and we could have gone longer! I'll look forward to January!


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