Category Archives: Great Governance

Me Tizen, You Join?

Mobile Linux characters have been acting out lately like they were in a bad adventure movie.

Maemo lopes slowly and reluctantly toward its fatal date with the sunset.  MeeGo blinks in the same sun and finds its full commitment gone.  And like a battle-tested Phoenix, Tizen emerges from the ashes of twice-burned, thrice-shy skepticism.

Such is life in the largely undeveloped desert ecosystems outside the expanding stockade walls of Appleworld, Microsoftia and the remaining fading few.  Continue reading

Gary Birkett: A Community Heart

Some of us like to think that systems and data and processes are the bones, brains and blood of any venture.  And for the most part that’s true.  But what body can thrive without a heart?

This isn’t just rhetorical.  The question came up for me a few days ago when I received the devastating news that a very good friend had passed away.  Continue reading

Maemo, MeeGo, Mango and Me

Ever since the February 11 2011 Nokia event cheekily tagged as #NoWin and known colloquially as The Elopocalypse, I’ve struggled to cover Nokia’s present and abandoned strategies here with equal care.  Don’t be misled by my attempts of objectivity over Linux and Microsoft activities, though– it hasn’t been easy.  I’ve been moderating an internal conflict between a growing invasion of open source love versus a legacy of Microsoft development experience combined with strong curiosity.  Neither side has a clear advantage over the other for me and therein lies a conundrum.

I could have very easily avoided the whole controversy at the start.  When I assumed responsibility for Maemo internet tablet quality in the North American market, I could have taken the easy route and stuck to the basics.  That meant developing test plans, training auditors and inspectors, hosting Finnish and Mexican product teams, and making sure CES 2007 was supplied on time with 200 pristine N800s.  Nothing more.

But no.  I’m a device nut.  An admitted hardware geek.  As I’ve shared many times, laying eyes on the Nokia 770 tablet changed everything for me.  It put what I saw then as the future in my hands, literally and figuratively.  I could not just treat this product line as I did the various and sundry cell phones I also touched.  I took tablets personallyContinue reading

The Cells of Smart Power

When I last wrote about “smart power”, I was taking US business and especially political leaders to task for failing to craft comprehensive, forward-looking energy policy.  They seem to be more concerned with drilling for today’s dwindling oil than planning for tomorrow’s growing needs.  Meanwhile, citizens feel powerless to do much about it.

Part of the problem is one of scale.  Our energy dilemma is big and not easily solved.  There’s a great deal of economic inertia keeping us stuck in hydrocarbons.  As I said before, I believe it’s largely the role of government to help “unstick” us– to provide incentives, tax or whatever, in facilitating a transition from a polluting power paradigm to one more responsible and sustainable.

But that doesn’t mean the citizenry should sit back and wait for their tax dollars to be put to proper use.  There are moves we can make at local levels to get change underway… and set the stage for more expansive solutions.  Continue reading

Achievement Badges: Not Just for Gamers

A friend of mine in the MeeGo community brought my attention to an interesting concept he calls MeeGoVerse, which translates common gaming elements to real-life work as a sort of “massive multiplayer” endeavor.  One important aspect is the use of achievements to reward people for attacking necessary community evils, like bug reporting.  I can envision Meegon badges for each achievement.  People love to contribute, and especially be recognized for it.

Badges can be found in unusual places and contexts.  While updating my LinkedIn profile recently I took stock of a couple of icons I had not really thought much about before.

Right there beside the YOU indicator you’ll note an in and, next to it, a circular array graphic.  The first indicates  a Premium account, meaning for one that you get to harass potential connections with InMails.  Very valuable when I was searching for a new job two years ago.  The circle of circles shows profile viewers that I’m a member of an OpenLink network and thus open to said harassment.  Fair, after all, is fair.   Continue reading

What is the Future for Forum Nokia Champions?

Like many high-tech companies, Nokia’s success depends not only on its vast assembly of internal talent, but also on the numerous volunteer advocates and ambassadors of its solutions in the wild.  To that end, Nokia formalizes recognition of top volunteers with its Forum Nokia Champion program.  Since 2006, hundreds of hard-working community leaders have been awarded this 1-year designation… which brings with it free devices, training and occasional travel to events.

As I wrote recently, it was under these auspices that along with several others I recently enjoyed sponsored travel to Microsoft’s MIX11 conference.  This came as a virtue of Nokia and Microsoft’s new close partnership around Windows Phone 7.  It’s a given that Microsoft MVPs would be represented at a MIX event, but this was a first for Forum Nokia and travel arrangements were made almost at the last minute.   Continue reading

Linus Torvalds, Linux, and the Issue of Software Quality

Friend and Maemo/MeeGo bugjar master Stephen Gadsby alerted twitterites yesterday to a Fedora bugzilla flamefest, and at first blush it made for interesting comic relief.  Who doesn’t enjoy a good Internet argument?

But a second read sobered me up quickly.  The bug turned out to be an issue introduced into the crucial (and occasionally controversialglibc code library that doesn’t appear to have been sufficiently regression-tested.  The code change reason is described as an execution speed improvement, but it appears to have come at the expense of pre-emptive error-checking.

Most people aren’t going to care about the technical reasons underlying the discovered bug.  Most will, instead, be concerned with its impact.  And that gets us to the reason behind me writing today.   Continue reading