by Chris Douce
Security is a topic that has been considered from time to time within PPIG (see Jitan's work-in-progress review). Bruce Schneier addresses elements of the psychology of security at a recent conference (RSA 07).
Whilst looking at something entirely different, I stumbled across a 'code of practice' (not to be confused with 'practice of code') I had never seen before. On this occasion it was the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice. In this case, I prefer the long version to the short version.
What's all this I hear about a mad place called Second Life? Someone tells me that you can write script to create a whole range of virtual objects, and even sell them to others using a famous auction site. Apparently there's a thriving virtual property market too! (Please feel free to correct me if I am sadly mistaken).
Will Second Life be an interesting end-user programming research vehicle, I wonder? I recently heard about (again, through Slashdot) about a paper in Dr. Dobb's Journal that introduces the Second Life programming language: the Linden Scripting Language.
Other researchers are using the environment to determine whether it will give real educational benefit. Find out more at Sloodle.com
(I have to confess I have never used Second Life. There are two reasons why not. The first is that the graphics card on my home PC isn't up to the job, and secondly I have to confess I have enough trouble remembering where to go in my first life, never mind doubling the complexity by acquiring a second!)
Back to something a little more serious. A new FOSS study has been released by an international consortium led by the University of Maastricht. It compares free and proprietory software and considers the direct and indirect economic impact of FOSS. Comments about this study can be found by viewing some correspondingSlashdot discussions, if you the usual jokes.
Many thanks go to the effors of the reviewers of this edition of the newsletter. All your comments and words of wisdom are always appreciated.