- Big news on the WGA strike front: the AMPTP reached a deal with the Directors Guild last weeks. Initial reaction from United Hollywood is mixed, but I’m hopeful this will at least get the AMPTP / WGA talks started again.
- Speaking of new media, Xbox 360 Fanboy has a rundown of 45 short films from Sundance that are getting released on Xbox Live Marketplace. That’s pretty a-typical content for XBLM. Typically, new content on XBLM has been from “Hollywood Heavyweights“. I’m pretty excited to see them branch out content wise.
- Speaking of Xbox 360, seems they had a good year. Congrats!
- Still speaking of Xbox 360, everyone gets a free copy of Undertow this week.
- Scott Guthrie announces the availability of the .NET Framework Source Code. Shawn Burke has instructions for how to use it with VS08. So far, they’ve made the core base class libraries, ASP.NET, Windows Forms, WPF, ADO.NET and XML available. LINQ, WCF and WF are expected to become available “in the weeks and months ahead”.
- Ted Neward wonders if Java is “Done” like the Patriots, or “Done” like the Dolphins? If you want my opinion (I’m guessing yes, since you’re reading my blog), definitely done like the Dolphins. OpenJDK was a desperation move to make Java “cool” again, but it won’t work. People who want an open source stack are using LAMP and language wonks who saw Java as mainstream SmallTalk have moved on to Ruby. The question will be if Sun buying MySQL will make Sun cool or MySQL uncool by association. I’m guessing the latter.
- Speaking of Ted, he’s got a great post about the relevance of game programming to the mainstream or enterprise developer.
- Speaking of game development, David Weller points to all the new XNA GS 2.0 content up on Creators Club Online.
- There’s a new version (220.127.116.11) of F# out, but no announcement from Don regarding what’s new. I reviewed the release notes, seems like this is primarily a bug-fix release with only very minor feature additions.
- Speaking of F#, Don points to Greg Neverov’s implementation of Software Transactional Memory in F#. This immediately reminded me of Tim Sweeney’s Next Mainstream Programming Language talk. Tim suggested said language would need to support a combination of side-effect free functional code and software transactional memory. F# is looking to be closer to that language all the time.
- Still speaking of F#, Don Syme’s Expert F# book is out. I read the draft version – it rocks – but I’m still going to get my own real copy. You should too.
- With their win Saturday, the Caps are back to .500 for the first time since late October. Since Thanksgiving, the Caps are 15-7-4. Only four teams in the league have a better record over that time span. We play one of them tonight – the Penguins – and it’s on Versus, so I’ll even get to see it. In HD no less.
- Bill de Hora responds to a few of my Durable and RESTful ideas. He points out that relying on a client-generated ID can be troublesome, and recommends using multiple identifiers – one created by the sender, one by the receiver and one representing the message exchange itself. However, the sender ID is vulnerable to client bugs & tampering as Bill points out, and neither the receiver ID nor the exchange ID can be used to determine if a given message is a duplicate. If you don’t trust the sender, is it even possible to determine if a given message is a duplicate?
- Pablo Castro confirms that there are “practical limits” to what ADO.NET Data Services can do with respect to idempotence. Nothing in his post was surprising, though I hope it will be more explicitly called out in the final docs. Developers used to the comforting protection of a transaction may be in for a rude awakening.
- Dare Obasanjo has a great post comparing the new features in C# 3.0 to dynamic languages like IronPython. I believe many of the productivity aspects of dynamic languages have little to do with being dynamic.
- Pat Helland noodles on durability and messaging, two topics near and dear to my heart (probably from working with him for a couple of years). I’m not sure where he’s going with this – his conclusion that “Basically, big, complex, and distributed system are big, complex, and distributed” isn’t exactly ground-breaking. But his point that “durable” isn’t a binary concept is worth more consideration. Also, his description of IMS only looking at the effects of a committed transaction is very similar to how web sites work, though obviously HTTP isn’t durable so you can’t make event horizon optimizations like IMS did.
- Tangentially related, Werner Vogels discusses the idea of eventually consistent distributed databases. Today, that’s a problem mostly only Internet-scale sites like Amazon deal with. In the near future of continued data explosion + manycore, we’ll all have to deal with it.
- Nick Malik argues that categorizing enterprise applications by lifecycle is much less useful than categorization based on organizational impact. He might also need a new chair.
- Jesus Rodriguez digs into one of SSB’s new features in SQL 2008: conversation priorities.
- Arnon Rotem-Gal-Oz and Sam Gentile are mixing it up over the definition of SOA. Sam thinks SOA has to include business drivers and Arnon doesn’t. I’m with Sam on this, defining “SOA” independently from “Applying SOA” seems pointless. Then again, rigorously defining SOA – much less arguing about said definition – seems like a waste of time in the first place IMHO.
- Wow, this guy Zed is mad at the Ruby community.
- Andrew Baron has 8 Reasons Why The TV Studios Will Die. Personally, I think reason #2 – Expendable Middle-Person – is the most important. If content producers can reach consumers directly, what value-add will the networks provide? (via United Hollywood)
A week ago, I wrote that the ongoing writers strike might accelerate the transition to Media 2.0. Several other folks think the same way and explain why much better than I have. Marc Andreessen (aka creator of Mosaic) has a fantastic post that not only explains this transition better than I can, it also helped me understand my views on unions in general.
In the post, he describes two economic models – the Hollywood model and the Silicon Valley model. The Hollywood model is highly-centralized, with a small number of huge companies (aka “big media”) owning practically everything. In contrast, the Silicon Valley model is highly-decentralized, where pretty much anyone can create a company or bring a product to market. Marc believes that the entertainment industry at large is transitioning to the decentralized model. I agree 110% – the general decentralization trend is one I highlight in my “Moving Beyond Industrial Software” presentation that I’ve been delivering recently.
Unions are a response to the dramatic power differential between an employer and individual employees. By pooling (aka centralizing) their bargaining power, the union provides a counter-balance to the power wielded by the employer(s). But in a decentralized model, unions aren’t really necessary. Marc describes the “alignment of interests between creators and financiers” as “near-perfect”. Near-perfect might be a bit on the rosy side, but it’s a model I’m much more comfortable with than mega-corporations & unions.
Some believe that the AMPTP (aka the studios) is trying to break the entertainment unions. But what if those unions decided to break the studios? I gotta think that while there are lots of quality writers out there, the best in the business are members of the writers guild. What if they just decided to stop writing for the studios and go into business for themselves? Patrick Goldstein of the LA Times wonders the exact same thing.
Most of my readers get DevHawk via the RSS feed, so I wanted to explicitly call out a new addition to my flair. If you’re not aware, the Writers Guild of America is on strike. When you buy a $20 DVD, the writer makes a measly 4 cents. When you watch an episode of your favorite show online, the writer makes nothing. This video explains the situation pretty well.
Even though I’m about as liberal as you can get, I’m not a big union guy. Neither of my parents were in a union. Neither Julie nor I are in a union. My only exposure to unions growing up was negative, typically when the Washington Opera (where my mother works) was negotiating with the musicians or stagehands. I vividly remember one musician’s strike where one of their demands was to increase the minimum call size to be bigger than the size of the orchestra pit. Needless to say, that seemed like an unreasonable demand to me (though to be fair, I only heard the management side of the story).
In the recent hockey labor dispute, I was firmly on the side of the owners since day one. And while the teacher’s union is one of the strongest bastions of democratic party support, I think the modern education system is fundamentally broken. So while I am a liberal, I’ve never been a big union guy.
However, I’m firmly with the writers union on this one. I spent several hours tonight reading a bunch of strike-related blogs, like United Hollywood. Obviously, they’re coverage of the strike is pro-writer biased, but it’s hard to argue with the idea of a fair wage for Internet delivered content. I particularly like this video which is a series of clips of media CEOs bragging about how much money their companies can make online. Yet – again, according to pro-writer blogs – they refuse to even negotiate paying the writers a percentage of the money they make for using the writer’s content that way.
And to add a Media 2.0 spin to all this, there was a fascinating post wondering if Google could/would “scoop up the entire entertainment industry“. I don’t think substituting Google for AMPTP (which includes among others “big media” like Disney, Fox and Viacom) would be a good idea – new boss, same old problems. However, the idea of bypassing the studios with direct Internet distribution is a good one. One has to wonder how much this strike will accelerate that trend. This strike seems much more risky for the distribution companies & networks than for the writers – even direct distributed content needs to be written, right?
- Quick update to the DevHawk 2007 World Tour: I won’t be making it to the SOA & BP Conference. Riley’s having her tonsils out. As much as I’d like to hang with my geek peeps, family is the priority. But I can still make an evening event or geek dinner later in the week if anyone is game.
- Caps season-opening winning streak continues. Still 100% on the PK, though the power play is pretty anemic. As I said yesterday, it’s WAAAAY to early in the season to start bragging, but starting strong is much better than starting weak.
- Speaking of hockey, looks like the NHL Network is launching in the US this month (it’s been available in Canada since 2001). Also, NHL.tv is up and running. Those wishing to see Caps highlights can go directly to Capitals.NHL.tv. Unfortunately, if you want to see full games, you’ve got to subscribe to Center Ice or Center Ice Online to the tune of $150. But I don’t want to get “up to 40 games each week”, I just want the Caps games. Between the time zone difference and kids, it’s not like I have time to watch that much hockey anyway. Why can’t I subscribe to just the Caps games online for say $25 a season?
- Finished Halo 3 Sunday night. Fun game and a great end of the trilogy. Looking forward to what the newly-independent Bungie does next. Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of Master Chief. However, I do think Bioshock has better and more original storytelling. Mass Effect looks like it’ll be better still.
- Sam Gentile pointed out that his Neudesic colleague David Pallmann has posted a series of WCF tips. Several of them are right on the money like “Take Advantage of One Way Operations” and “Use a Discovery Mechanism to Locate Services“. However, I can’t agree with “Maintain a Service Catalog“. David warns that if you don’t, “The left hand won’t know what the right hand is doing.” Of course, that’s probably the case regardless of how you maintain your service catalog. And “Retry on minor failures“? That’s fine, if you’ve got an idempotent operation. Unfortunately, most non-read operations aren’t idempotent unless you take the time to design them that way. And most people don’t.
- Speaking of Sam, he’s blown up his CodeBetter blog and walked away from the ALT.NET crowd. I’ve not been a fan of this ALT.NET stuff since it surfaced – as Sam said, “ALT.NET is a divisive thing” – so I’m happy to see my good friend walk away from it.
- Speaking of ALT.NET, Scott Hanselman blogged about previewing the new ASP.NET MVC Framework at the ALT.NET conference. Like Sam, Scott thinks the term ALT.NET is “too polarizing”. I like Scott’s suggestion for Pragmatic.NET. Oh, and the MVC framework stuff looks cool too.
- Reading Dare’s description of OAuth gave me a distinct sensation of deja-vu.