Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Apparently I've Violated a Software Patent

Yesterday I was attending a class in administering FAST Enterprise Search software. The instructor explained how document IDs are distributed among search nodes (md5 hash of ids is generated and a numerical value is computed from the hash, then molulo % number of nodes is applied) for deterministic document id management.

After he described the algorithm I was like, "Wow, that's exactly how I did it in a prototype I did a year ago with Lucene." I thought I was clever when I did it, but later on I learned another developer working for a nearby software company did it the same way, too.

But I digress.

FAST Instructor: "I hope you realize the dangers of using Lucene!!?"

Me: "Ummm, no. What dangers are you talking about?"

FAST Instructor: "Lucene violates several of our software patents. In fact, the algorithm we just discussed about deterministic document key management is patented, too."

Me: "Interesting."

So I will try and determine what patents, specifically he is talking about - and alert the Lucene DEVs to this situation.

Looks like software patents are getting to be a bigger and bigger threat to innovation everywhere. Silly, huh?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Helped a Friend Leach off Unprotected Wireless Networks

I recently help a friend connect to the internet using "free" (as is several neighbors aren't encrypting their wireless networks) wireless access.

Do you think this is unethical or immoral?

He lives in a condo; middle to low income residental community.

This will save him approximately 70 bucks a month over what he would be paying with comcast or other local broadband providers.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Everyone Seems to Hate IT People

You may have seen the Nick Carr piece about IT deparments dissappearing soon.

We run your networks and safeguard your data - so naturally we're great candidates for outsourcing and / or elimination.

Engineering of other sorts is next up, I'd imagine.

Wish I could fast forward to the part where shareholders realize that they can save really big bucks outsourcing their top management personnel and CEO.