Tag Archives: review

Mühle Rasierhobel offener Kamm vs geschlossener Kamm

Vor kurzem bin ich wieder auf Rasierhobel zurückgekommen. Zur Information, ich habe dickes schwarzes Haar das sechs Stunden nach einer Rasur aussieht wie der Dreitagebart manch anderer. Nach einigen Reviews habe ich festgestellt dass es eine Fraktion der “offenen Kamm”-Rasierer (echte Männer machen das wenn die Klinge freisteht!) und eine Fraktion der geschlossenen Kamm-Rasierer (“das ist sicherer und fast so gründlich”) gibt.

Als echter Mann habe ich mir also den  Mühle R41 mit offenem Kamm zugelegt: Oh weh, so habe ich selten geblutet wie die nächsten zwei Wochen. Das Teil fuhr mir in die Haut wie nichts und ich verbrauchte mehr Alaunstein als in 5 Jahren zuvor. Fast hätte ich das Kapitel Rasierhobel schon wieder aufgegeben, da habe ich probehalber noch einmal den Mühle R89 mit geschlossenem Kamm getestet.

Tag und Nacht hätten nicht unterschiedlicher sein können. Endlich konnte ich mich wieder rasieren ohne Todesangst auszustehen. Das Teil gleitet wo das erste häckselte. Für mich absolut das Richtige.

Mein Fazit: offener oder geschlossener Kamm muss jeder für sich selber herausfinden, wenn es sich richtig anfühlt ist es das. Für mich war es der geschlossene Kamm.

Mein letztes Amazonreview

Mein letztes Amazonreview wurde abgelehnt, es entspricht nicht den Amazon Guidelines. Ist es nicht ok wenn man zum Datenkabels für eine Sony-kamera von einem 3.Hersteller schreibt?:

Funktioniert einwandfrei
Auch wenn nicht vom Originalhersteller Sony, so funktioniert das Kabel hier tipp topp; Lieferzeit war akzeptabel. Warum sind Original Ersatzteile dermassen überteuert?

Wenn Amazon meine Urteile nicht haben will, werde ich meine Meinung ab sofort eben für mich behalten.

Gambardella and Hall, 2006, Research Policy

For a number of reasons I had to reread this Gambardella & Hall, 2006 article [1] today. It is about researchers (in which open source software developers are included) having to chose between operating in a “Public Domain” (PD) manner, in which knowledge is disclosed according to “The republic of Science” and a “Proprietary Research” (PR) mode in which researchers attempt to monetize their work and keep the created “intellectual property” proprietary.

Overall, I have to say I found the paper to be somewhat sloppily researched and written. It refers to “forking” as selling a commercial program while an open source version of the same program co-exists, a definition which most of my acquintances would not approve of. Also, I am not at all sure that one can subsume all “scientists, open source contributors, user inventors and communities of technologists” into one category, as there are major differences in terms of incentives, governance structures and legal frameworks between those.

I do not think the GPL license is presented in a correct manner either (which I find disappointing for a paper that is mostly about the GPL license). It is not intended to restrict freedoms from a Public Domain point of view (the GPL is far from a Public Domain approach), it grants additional rights over the conventional copyright-based protection mechanisms (PR). While the end result might be similar, the emphasis is different, the GPL does not limit freedoms, it grants additional ones. This becomes important in cases when the GPL would be deemed illegal or invalid: The assets in question would not fall into the PD area, but squarely back into old-style copyright law, and its use by others would become automatically illegal too. Gambardella & Hall make a point on the enforcability of the GPL, and they seem to posit that there is “a lack of legal enforcement” and that the GPL mostly “acts as a signal” clearing potential ambiguities. I think, the companies that have been subject to a GPL violation law suit or informal settlement would disagree on the lack of legal enforcement. I that I think a thorough paper on the GPL as a legal coordination tool would be good to point out these issues in more detail. There are more things like that, but that is not the point.

The paper attempts to bring home 3 main points, 2 of them I can whole heartily agree with:

“Our contribution is simply to highlight that Olsons’s insight [that collective action needs coordination in order to be sustained] can be applied to the analysis of the instability of open systems.”

That is a valid and well observed point. I think that there is still too little research on Open Source from a collective action perspective. Our study [2] attempts to go there, but more on that would be welcome.

The second point is a policy implication:

The implication is that there is little need for policy if more proprietary research is desirable, as the latter is likely to arise naturally from the individual actions. By contrast, policy or institutional devieces that could sustain the right amount of corrdination is crucial if the system under-invests in knowledge that is placed in the public domain.” p.880

Research on the fragility of knowledge sharing ([3] forthcoming in Research Policy, online available if you have a subscription) is certainly needed and its policy implications discussed. I do not think that the above statement will be valid under all circumstances (Open Source contributions seem to be coming without policies in place), but I am sure they are needed in other circumstances.

And third, their main point is to create a framework which rests under the assumption that (in my own phrasing):

“The number of contributors to GPL projects will increase. As 1) those who would have operated under the Public domain (PD) scheme anyway stick to it and 2) some of those would would have done Proprietary Research (PR) join the PD scheme, increasing the number of overall contributors to the PD-GPL scheme. Those who would have done PR at any price will stick to their way.”

It is interesting and intuitive assumption, but I am not convinced that it will universally hold true. I have previously written a piece about What constitutes free that asserts that there are 2 camps of “free” definers. One sees the GPL-free as they only free (as GPL’d assets are guaranteed to remain free), the other camp (BSD-free) sees the GPL as unfree as it limits what can be done with the code (eg it can not appropriated). Gambardella and Hall cater to the first group but silently ignore the second one. They are even closer to any “PD” scheme, but would never contribute to a PD-cum-GPL scheme which is not free enough. (If you don’t believe that read any BSD vs GPL flamewar in a mailing list). As such, attaching a GPL license to assets, could very well deter
PD-proponents from joining the GPL’d project. Which renders the paper’s underlying model moot.

[1] Gambardella, A. & Hall, B. Proprietary versus public domain licensing of software and research products Research Policy, 2006, 35(6), 875-892
[2] Spaeth, S.; Haefliger, S.; von Krogh, G. & Birgit, R. Communal Resources in Open Source Software Development Information Research, 2008, 13(1))
[3] Simon Gaechter & Georg von Krogh & Stefan Haefliger, 2006. “Private-Collective Innovation and the Fragility of Knowledge Sharing,” Discussion Papers 2006-21, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

A new netbook: The HP5102

The ETH Neptun offers discounted laptops every six months, and having to travel quite a bit this year, I ordered the Hewlett Packard 5102. This morning, I recveived it and could not resist unpacking it and starting it up.

The hardware is nice: It looks slick, is pretty lightweight and feel very robust. The keyboard is a very nice one, nearly standard sized and not flimsy at all (me avoids looking at my Acer eee701 here!). The touchpad operates quit nicely too. I am happy to have a hardware switch that seems to turn the Wifi off. There are 2 extra buttons with lights on, one starting Firefox and one starting Evolution. If those lights can be easily turned on/off, I can see some uses for them (like email notification, or online presence of my wife :-)).

  • Booting whatever came by default, the Suse Logo appeared, for 5-10 minutes during which nothing happened. If I were clueless this would be giving me a bad Linux impression.
  • The OpenSuse installer appeared, in which I needed to configure things like my keyboard layout. Hey, HP knows which laptop they sent me, so why do I have to select my keyboard layout! But that is a minor issue. Generally the intallation went smoothly, but there were some weird questions and checkboxes, that really put me off. "Change my hostname with DHCP": does that mean, receiving a host name byy DHCP, or setting my hostname at the DHCP server? I don’t know. Or "save hostname to /etc/hosts": would that save my entered hostname as in /etc/hosts? I don’t know. As a clueless user I would easily have given up here already.
  • I also did not like that I had to click myself through 2 EULA dialog windows that I did not bother to read. I thought in open source we are beyond imposing EULA dialog windows?
  • The installer screen is somehow scaled to fit on that netbooks resolution, the whole screen looks very unsharp. If I did not know that Linux can give me nice resolutions and graphics, I would probably be stopping my "linux" experience here and put in a Windows Vista usb stick… At least, some minus points for user experience here.
  • Sometimes an expert option button appears offering me stuff like the encryption method for my stored passwords. Encryption method for my passwords? What the heck? Why would I ever want to chose an encryption method (even at expert level)? Just select the most secure one and be done with it. And yes, I am spoiled by Ubuntu.
  • Boot times are 35 seconds from hitting the grub menu entry to the user authentication dialog and from entering my password, 15 seconds to the build up gnome screen.
  • I do like the dialog that pops up when I hit the "Computer" button , although I know that I will immediately uninstall 3 out of 6 applications that are presented in the application wuick selector thingie. (Evolution, banshee, and f-spot if you are curious)
Enterprise Suse 11 Start app dialogSchlitten hoch

©Spaeth, licensed: CC-BY-2.0

  • The boot process looks a bit 1995’ish, with lots of scary white-on-black text scrolling over my screen so fast, I cannot read it anyway.

I have not actually used it yet, so I can’t say anything about that, but I expect some pretty standard Gnome install. I will keep OpenSuse on it for a while, but it looks like I might switch to Debian or a Debian-derivative at some time.

Matrix 3

Today a couple of colleagues and I went to the movies to see the premiere of Matrix 3. I loved the first part but was severely disappointed by the second. The third part…

… is equally dissappointing. The ‘coolness’ of the actors is gone, they appear to be more like frightened game.  Read more or go read the (German) review on this movie in the Spiegel.

What I loved about the first part is that the story was not easy to grip, but once you’ve got it everything made sense and was consistent in itself. The second and third part definitly lack this consistency leaving too many questions open. The ‘oracle’ is an annoying character, she’s still a cookie baking woman telling nothing really and we still don’t really get who or what she is.

The deal Neo cuts with the machine ‘Godness’ sounds like Neo was bamboozled, paying with his life for a temporary peace. Anybody noticed that he merely saved the lifes of his remaining co-‘Zionists’? What’s with all the millions of people still grown by the machines to feed their energy hunger? Wasn’t it the vision to free them? Now the majority of mankind is still doomed to a life at the needle. Darn, seems like mankind should have send another negotiator!

A nice aspect is agent Smith (intruding the real world) which appears a lot cooler than all others. And even he is not really a success (we’ve already seen in the second part that he can multiplicate and is able to overtake people so nothing too new here). The only nice twist is the irony that by taking over Neo, the machine Godess was able to kill Agent Smith through killing Neo. But heck, what virus can be destroyed by destroying a mere copy of it. That would mean the end of anti-virus-software companies!

The camera is nice but not as innovative as in the first movie. I would even dare to say that things look a lot more artificial and you can tell that it comes straight out of the rendering computer.

I also wonder what the creators mean by the more or less subtle allusions to Christian and Jewish (+ some Hindu in this film ?) religion? I mean, calling the city ‘Zion’ would even give the dimmest person a hint, wouldn’t it? And when Neo walks in the robot city, blinded yet still seeing everything in a golden light, his steps ripple on the surface like if he would walk on water. Man, doesn’t remind me of somebody I’ve heard of?