My plan for this year is to bring in the clients, write the apps, and make some money. Being anything other than ruthlessly pragmatic about learning new programming languages is distinctly not part of the plan. This year is about focussing and consolidating, it is not about wandering about smelling the roses.

However, …

Separate from programming, I am following up some of my reading from last year. In particular, Hegel (I’m finally tackling his Phenomenology of Spirit) and Schrödinger (his book and Weyl’s book both look worth a try; and Schrödinger’s paper on colour looks like it might be a good introduction to some of the geometry).

Learning about the strong link between Schrödinger and Weyl was quite a revelation. Weyl was also associated with Brouwer and the intuitionist/constructivist approach to maths. The ncatlab page on constructive maths mentions Hegel in its prehistory section.

So, sometime later in the year I’ll be reading about Brouwer, his mathematical intuitionism, and constructivism. As part of that, I might be “doing” some maths.

Doing constructive maths seems to involve proofs, verifications of proofs, and even mechanisations of verifications. Things called proof assistants can be used. So quite possibly I’ll be trying out one or more of these proof assistants.

To the untrained eye these proof assistant things look a lot like programming languages.

There’s been various gossip around the web this past week about Baidu’s forthcoming mobile operating system, (yì, easy).

  • Reuters wrote that Baidu Yi is “modelled” on Android.
  • 山寨机 (Shānzhài Jī, cottage machine or kind of home made) wrote about its compatibility with Android.
  • The English-language rumour mill says Yi is built on / based on / a fork of Android.

Without a decent grasp of Chinese, it’s quite difficult to get beyond the chatter. 搜狐IT (Sōuhú IT) has a couple of articles from the 6th September:

  • 百度易手机11月上市 戴尔负责硬件制造 (Baidu Yi mobile phone, devices from Dell, coming in November): quotes Baidu CEO on the importance of compatibility with Android (百度CEO李彦宏在接受搜狐IT采访时 … 百度•易“刚开始做,需要兼容现有流行的操作系统——Android系统”。).
  • 外媒解读百度易:剥离安卓应用 封装自己的服务 (Foreign media interpretation of Baidu Yi: Android with Baidu applications): has a passage mentioning Yi as a fork of Android, but the paragraph does start with “allegedly” (据称,实际上在中国销售的部分安卓手机上,百度的网络服务开始取代谷歌的服务,不过百度此次将更加深入,将在安卓操作系统基础之上推出一个独立的分支。).

[updated 061111: added another award]
[updated 290911: added another award]

Congratulations to BeatBullying! Six awards — so far.

MAAW Globe Awards

MAAW = Marketing Agencies Association Worldwide

Third Sector Excellence Awards

Institute of Promotional Marketing

  • Digital Promotions (Gold)
  • Not for Profit (Silver)

List of 2011 Winners

UTalk Marketing

For more on the Big March:

I was the main server-side developer for the campaign, weaving together technologies including Google’s App Engine, Django (non-rel), gaem, nginx, and Crisp‘s community management platform.

Smartphone market share by manufacturer

Tuesday, 29th September, 2009

[updated 061009]

A year or so ago, I quoted a chart from the FT showing smartphone market share by operating system. Here it is again:

Today’s FT has a similar piece with similar data, this time breaking down the market by manufacturer (nb: the article on the website doesn’t have the data). Here it is as a pie chart:

I know it’s not a direct comparison but, if we assume that Nokia produces Symbian phones, RIM produces RIM phones, and Apple produces iPhones, we can see a few things:

  • Nokia has lost a quarter of its market share, but it still owns more of the market than all of its rivals put together (apart from the “Others”).
  • RIM, which I think is often treated in these iPhone days as a tired old brand, has almost doubled its market share. Not bad.
  • Apple has of course made huge growth.

Where might we find Linux and Windows in this data, as neither are phone maufacturers? HTC, Fujitsu and the Others all make Android and Windows phones, and the Others will also include Palm; note that some of these bottom three make Symbian phones too, eg Samsung. For a quick calc, let’s divvy HTC and Fujitsu half-and-half between Windows and Linux (including Android), and the Others three ways between Windows Linux and Palm. That would put Windows and Linux both at around 9%. Neither is doing well at all.

The disappearance of Microsoft from the mobile space is no surprise, but Linux’s lack-lustre performance is: Android is a much-hyped newcomer, and Nokia and others have been making linux-based internet-enabled devices for a while. Perhaps what Linux needs is for smartphones to cease to be luxury products, with boutique operating systems, and to enter the rough-and-tumble of the mainstream — which is exactly what the FT article says could be happening.

update 061009: Yesterday’s FT had a report saying that Windows mobile had 9.3% of the market in Q2 2009, so the quick calc wasn’t so bad.

IBM to buy SPSS

Thursday, 30th July, 2009

IBM is buying SPSS, for $1.2 billion. Here is IBM’s press release.

I smelt something fishy earlier this year when SPSS renamed their flagship stats package from SPSS Statistics to PASW Statistics. PASW stands for Predictive Analytics Soft Ware.

It seems like a strange acquisition to me. Maybe IBM want a high-street brand in their portfolio. What else do they hope to get out of the acquisition? Surely they don’t need the back-end statistics software?

This is not really a post, more like a braindump. I need somewhere to offload all this so I can go to bed. I apologise for lack of context.

OK some context: I’m looking for a chat application I can use within a django-based website (and if I can’t find one, girding my loins to write one). Irrelevantly (or so I’d thought until a few minutes ago) I’m learning Haskell, and finding out about functional programming.



Oracle buys Java, MySQL, Solaris

Tuesday, 21st April, 2009

Lot of long faces over at /. about this. Here are the relevant pages from the companies:

Today’s Financial Times has a couple of articles (21/04/2009, p27; online version here) covering the story.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Java and MySQL. For me, the interest lies in Java (and Dalvik) on mobile devices.