OpenStack Activity Board in the news

I think this is the first time a reporter quotes data from OpenStack Activity Board. It makes me proud that Sean Michale Kerner aka @TechJournalist noticed how open the data is.

Drilling down into the data that OpenStack (true to its nature) keeps very open – in the last month alone there were 313 unique authors and 2,512 code commits.

Can’t wait to take the project to its next phase.

via OpenStack Open Source Cloud Crosses 1000 Author Threshold

Come far passare la paura del terrore

Guardando i dati e mettendo tutto in prospettiva. I blogger del 538 hanno dato uno sguardo ai dati del Bureau of Transportation statunitense e con un rapido conto hanno notato che negli ultimi dieci anni ci sono stati 6 attacchi terroristici in volo su 99,320,309 voli commerciali originati o terminati in USA. Un incidente su 16,553,385 di voli.

Se il pubblico fosse informato seriamente invece che terrorizzato saprebbero immediatamente dire no ai body scanner perché non possono abbassare un rischio che è già così vicino a zero. Decisamente meglio sarebbe investire nel miglioramento dell’intelligence.

Ma non ce li vedo i nostri ministri lavorare invece di andare in televisione a spararle grosse.

How to avoid frustrations with BlackBerry and Mac

Just don’t buy that combo: Mac and BlackBerry are two very closed environments, they don’t want to be interoperable, they hate each other and their customers.

Not that I would make such mistake, never. But I have friends that do this kind of stuff and then I’m enough of a friend to share with them the painful experience.  A very good friend of mine loves Mac: it’s a cult (no rationality, only emotions) coupled with a very strong lock-in strategy with non-standard data format and in general poor interoperability with the outside world. She hates touchscreens, so she ruled out buying an iPhone. I can’t really say that this is necessarily bad because the iPhone would have tightened her data in stronger shackles.

So she decided to buy a BlackBerry Curve 8900 hoping that RIM’s newly released Desktop Manager for Mac would work. As she soon realized, that was a wrong assumption. I tried to help her out but DM for Mac is a smelly piece of **ap.  The software installs fine and when you connect the phone for the first time the DM happily tells you that there are upgrades available for your device. Do you want to install them? DM asked. Not now, I answered, as I first want to do a backup of all data. Ok, clicked on Backup.  The DM tried to shit but only farted: after 3 minutes with a progress bar not progressing, it said ‘Sorry, can’t backup’. Ok, I said, lets try this again. This time no useless progress bar, nothing. I noticed that the BB seemed disconnected. I unplugged and plugged it in again several times but nothing changed.  I tried soft rebooting the machine with no result, so I hard rebooted it taking off the battery. Everybody hates rebooting a BB: after waiting for 3 minutes I connected the usb cable again to the Mac Desktop Manager and the device showed up again, connected. DM asked: Do you want to install the updates for your device? This time I answered Yes, thinking that maybe declining the request the first time was the reason for the mess. Well, it wasn’t: the DM started the upgrade process but, after a few painful minutes watching the progress bar not showing any progress, it eventually gave up. I tried again the soft reboots, unplug-replug., hard reboot, etc. I even uninstalled and reinstalled the RIM Desktop Manager as suggested in the BB forums (wow! a pure Windows mentality) until I finally gave up.  I’ll see if I can find a Windows machine for her to update the BB firmware and see if that solves the problem of communication between Mac and BB.

The lesson learned is: if you buy highly proprietary products like Mac and BlackBerry don’t expect them to be interoperable between each other. These companies hate each other and they sacrifice their user’s freedom of choice only to see the other company suffer.

Datamining apache logs with NeoOffice

As Funambol community manager, one of my duties is to know such community. It sounds simple, but since lots of software is involved to gather this knowledge things get less simple. I need to dive into apache logs and I decided to use my good old friend Postgresql. If I could, I would put everything in a database 🙂 The problem is that I also need to rapidly prototype reports to transform data into information for the board. To start navigating the data, I first followed this nice tutorial to load apache logs in PostgreSQL. Connecting the database to NeoOffice was more difficult, mainly because there is no native PostgreSQL driver in NeoOffice and PSQL JDBC page is confusing. Anyway, after trial and error, I found out that on Leopard OS X 10.5 you need JDBC3 for your PSQL version 8.3 (I used the dmg packages). To install the driver I followed the instructions provided here. Now I can start diving in the logs and prepare some reports. The board will be happy soon and I’m glad I’m on my way to better knowledge of this community too.