Free Speech on the Internet is in Trouble

Congress is considering the Stop Online Piracy Act this week (SOPA) this week. This bill represents the most dangerous piece of legislation that has ever come before congress in our lifetime. Depending on what side of the aisle you sit, you probably thought the PATRIOT Act or the Obama stimulus and healthcare bill were bad. Allow me to say this clearly: those were nothing. This bill is especially bad because Section 102 of the bill requires that, after being notified of infringing content, service providers are required to take steps to prevent access to the content (link) and search engines are supposed to make the links magically disappear from their results (link). Similar provisions exist in the bill for payment processors (link).

Practical Git Strategies

I’ve always been a proponent of version control from my very first interaction with CVS. And although the concept of using CVS on a project nowadays makes me shudder, I can’t deny that I have respect for its role in introducing me to version control. When I was working for the University of Georgia, I was introduced to Subversion. Subversion was, and still is, a powerful version control tool. However, recently I’ve come to prefer Git due to the increased flexibility that it provides. There are some things that are possible with Git that aren’t doable with Subversion, and in my humble opinion these features can make managing multiple copies of an application much, much easier.

Some Thoughts on Steve Jobs's Retirement

As a Mac user for five years now, I’ve had some interest in Steve Jobs to say the least. He managed to orchestrate leading Apple from the nearly bankrupt skeleton that it was when he returned to the company to an industry leader in the mobile device market. This is a feat that’s not easy to accomplish in any market, but perhaps less so in a market that changes as rapidly as Information Technology. I’ve had regular exposure to Mac OS for years before I switched to Mac myself. I’ve used Mac OS 8 a little, and Mac OS 9 much more. In my humble opinion, the progress that has been made between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X Lion is a leap that would have taken many corporations much longer than 14 years to accomplish. OS 9, in comparison with Windows 95 and Windows 2000, was a joke. Yet, here we are some years later and the tables are completely flipped. Apple has gone from being the butt of the joke of internet message boards, to a company revered for their forward thinking. I think most, if not all, of the credit for that goes to Steve Jobs.