What's That Noise?! [Ian Kallen's Weblog]

Main | Next day (Apr 21, 2006) »

20060420 Thursday April 20, 2006

Mindstorms Open Source

I've been wondering how Lego will maintain a business around Mindstorms and at last, I think we have an answer: they'll hop on ye olde cluetrain. By enabling the community of Mindstorms enthusiasts to drive innovation openly, I finally feel confident that the Mindstorms technology will enjoy long term viability. From the Gizmodo post:

Jon Lund took some time out from liveblogging the CustomerMade conference in Copenhagen to email in and tell us that according to Soren Lund of Lego, the software behind the upcoming highly anticipated Mindstorms NXT will be published as open source; Lego is currently in the last stage, figuring out which public domain license to use before releasing it. Power to the people! (read on)
The dreaded EOL'ing scenario, such as that suffered by the Sony Aibo, would have been a really crappy outcome for Mindstorms. Instead, they're innovating and opening up. Thanks, Lego! Oh, and one hting: BSD/Apache style licenses, please!


( Apr 20 2006, 03:25:53 PM PDT ) Permalink

Commuter Blues

I suspect I'll be opting to casual carpool more often with BART eliminating free parking at the Contra Costa county stations I frequent. That could raise my already-not-inconsequential commute costs 15%. And how timely. Gas is already exceeding $3/gallon and the chatter on the radio is to expect $4/gallon! In that scenario, I wouldn't be surprised to see carpool drivers putting a cup out for the riders as their fuel prices put them in the squeeze. Meanwhile, the Big Oil Companies are ringing in record profits...

One possible ray of light for the BART ride option is the report of WiMax service coming:

WiMAX is similar to WiFi but can carry signals across greater distances. WiMax is also being considered by Silicon Valley public transportation officials (free registration) who want to let passengers browse the Internet on local train systems like BART. They want to run a test from July to December. WiMAX, they believe, might be a better technology to do hand-offs as the train rushes through various wireless coverage zones. read on
(via burtonator)

Maybe the price hikes will help them pay for a software test harness; BART's bugs have rendered the system unusable in the past.


( Apr 20 2006, 07:19:57 AM PDT ) Permalink