Saturday, 16 August 2008

Kiwi has a Skyline that runs on water

Another item on Youtube. I get the impression that there are a lot of people out there that have actually created serious alternatives to petro-carbon fuelled vehicles. In addition, my own neighbour here built an electric car about 20 years ago and ran it for a few years in Victoria, before he moved up here to the Gold Coast. It seems pretty obvious to me that petro-carbon fuelled vehicles will not exist within about 15 years. For existing vehicles, I guess there will be a massive industry in conversion of existing engines to run on the type of water-petrol source that is shown in this video.


Thursday, 14 August 2008

Where is Linux and LinuxWorld going?

Channel web reports that -

The LinuxWorld/Next Generation Data Center Show in San Francisco was expected to attract some 10,000 attendees. But some exhibiting vendors complained that attendance seemed far below that. Has Linux become so mainstream that a Linux-specific show no longer makes sense? ...Toward the end of the final day the announcer making a pitch at the Fusion IO booth called out: "And what do we call today? Vendor day! Where half the audience is vendors waiting to go home."

...booth for Canonical and its Ubuntu distribution of Linux also seemed popular with show-goers. Other major Linux distributors, including Novell and Red Hat, did not exhibit at the show.

Canonical had already cancelled their show that was planned for slightly earlier, presumably for lack of interest. So why are Linux shows failing to attract attendees? Here are my thoughts.

Re: 'Linux has become so mainstream that a Linux-specific show no longer makes sense?' Name anything that is mainstream, homeshows, boatshows, camping shows, pet shows and it always has plenty of attendees. However are Linux shows attended by a specialist interest group, not the general (computer using) public. If so, perhaps as soon as those specialists see all the trappings of mainstream dominating the show they opt out. I recently lead an exercise to gauge whether our local Linux users should incorporate to address and engage the business and the wider world more. There was almost no interest. So I see a pattern here? Are Linux users mainly developer types and software techoes who have little interest in the business world and the way it works. Are they composed of more than those who are just focussed on the technical side of creating stuff? Do they have any interest in anything beyond that? Or is the lack on attendance more that the wider business world has (still?) little interest in Linux? Or is it that they are running out of money in the USA to spend attending trade shows?

I also wonder how long it will actually take for Linux to become mainstream. I think the answer to that is in what we think of as 'mainstream'. As it stands, with what I take to be the general attitude of Linux people to the rest of the world, it seems to me that:

  • Linux will continue to slip quietly into corporate mainstream in various areas as if by stealth, but actually as much by chance and circumstance as anything. Linux as a community will continue to exist at level 0 of the CMM model, so individual successes in the business world will be by a combination of the achievements of individuals multiplied by the mass of the entire community, not by any formal systematic approach. Perhaps it will be be a 'natural systematic approach': as inevitable as the planet revolving round the sun, and the ultimate decay of the universe into atrophy.
  • Linux will not take on traditional proprietary technologies eg Microsoft windows and many business applications in head to head contests, simply because there will not be the infrastructure around it to compete, eg in contested contracts to supply.