Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Ten Best. . .

Since my percocet prescription has left me too messed up to even follow most blog posts, much less comment on them, even less come up with anything substantial myself, we'll continue the lighter, tech-geeky vein from two days ago. Today I give you the ten best things to ever hit cyberspace:

10) Winamp If you ever used a media player before Winamp you understand exactly why it's here. It's not the best media player anymore. But it was a pioneer.

9) Steve Jobs Man, what a showman. Nobody, nobody, in the tech world does better PR than Apple's ringmaster.

8) Creative Commons "We use private rights to create public goods: creative works set free for certain uses. Like the free software and open-source movements, our ends are cooperative and community-minded, but our means are voluntary and libertarian. We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them — to declare 'some rights reserved.'"

7) Firefox It fails the Acid2 test miserably. While it's generally less likely to be exploited than IE, there's nothing that really makes it inherently more secure, and IE blows it out of the water so thoroughly on virtually any benchmark that its claim to be "faster" is almost comedic. But this open source darling gets the nod anyway. Firstly, for changing what users demand from a browser, secondly for creating arguably the most successful grass roots movement of any tech product ever.

6) IRC Yeah, Bittorrent is better for file sharing. Yep, most IM clients are better for chat. Without IRC, neither would exist. Between PacketNews, XDCCSpy and IRCSpy, it's become a bit of a slum. How I long for the disorganized jungle of yesteryear.

5) Slashdot News for nerds. Stuff that matters.

4) Bittorrent Has it killed the piracy scene? Sure has. Any idiot can now upload their DVDShrink copy to the same place as the 9 Pass CCE scene release. But that's not the point. Bittorrent accounts for some 35% of worldwide bandwidth usage, making it easy to distribute anything from Linux distros, to pirated movies, to clips that have gone down to the Slashdot effect.

3) Linux The first time I installed Linux, it took me a week to figure out how to get everything set up properly. And even then it was half-assed. Earlier this month I set up Gutsy Gibbon, start to finish, in two hours. I assure you that isn't a testament to my improvement, it's a testament to the improvement of Linux. Between Shuttleworth's billions, and the best user community in the world, Linux has become a legitimate contender for the desktop.

2) Open Sourced Software Talk is cheap, show me the code!

1) Google Larry and Sergei, the de facto mayors of the global village. Blogger, GMail, Google Earth, Google Maps, YouTube. . .they used to do one thing, and do it well. Now they've got their fingers in every pie. With a stock price of over $690 and a market cap of some $214B, Google is a juggernaut. They're taking over the world, and I, for one, welcome our new overlords.