Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The first of many lazy link entries

I'm going to throw some links out to the world and pretend that it's a real entry!

The 500 Mile Email Problem
This is an anecdote about debugging an email system. The problem: email will travel no more than 500 miles. It's a fun read.

Geekonomics: The Real Cost of Insecure Software by David Rice
A keynote about crappy software and the problems it causes for everyone. It's a very good presentation and if you can find the 50 minutes or so you should definitely watch it. The presentation is very accessible and is a good introduction to software security issues for non-geeks. I didn't agree with all the things that were said but I think the solution proposed is on the right track. Rice suggests that we need to help consumers discriminate between software products on security rather than features and to do so a software safety rating like those found on cars should be adopted. Also check the presentation out to hear Australia referred to as a socialist nation.

I love virtual economies, I did some work on market dynamics in MMOs as part of my undergraduate studies, I try and read all the EVE Online economic reports that they publish and I love the novel Halting State by Charlie Stross which is partly about a company that manages virtual economies. This presentation focuses more on Farmville style casual games rather than World of Warcraft style MMOs. William Grosso works for a company that seems to provide virtual economy management services. The key things with virtual economies are that virtual money doesn't circulate infinitely, there are money sources and money sinks and that the controllers of the game have perfect information about the economy.  

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