Snow engulfs London (again)

Picture of snow in West London - January 2010

It’s been snowing again in London today.

The duration and total volume of snow that’s fallen during the current cold spell easily exceeds last February.

Fusion power and climate change

A deal has been agreed at the climate change conference in Copenhagen following extraordinary last minute discussions.

However, it falls well short of what could have been achieved, with no legal enforcement, and is frighteningly vague on important issues.

One important technology designed to address climate change, fusion power, needs to have a serious injection of funding.

Work has just started on building the world’s biggest fusion reactor in France

However the pace of work needs to accelerate on this racing certainty so that commercial fusion generation can go online as soon as possible.

Twitter API: a new standard?

It started with Matt’s announcement of support for posting to and reading of blogs via the Twitter API.

Now Tumblr, inspired by WordPress, has introduced a Twitter compatible API.

Dave Winer says: “If Facebook were to implement the Twitter API that would be it. We’d have another FTP or HTTP or RSS”.

If it was also added to the self hosted WordPress, the case would be even stronger for the Twitter API becoming a new open standard.

Climate summit: a deal must be done

I read with deep concern the “process itself has been in disarray” at the climate change conference in Copenhagen and “an international agreement may have to wait until a 2010 meeting in Mexico” according to the BBC.

Action urgently needs to be taken given the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is man made and will have catastrophic consequences if not addressed.

Whilst understanding the reasons for the arguments between rich and poor nations at the conference, everyone needs to work together on this critical issue to avoid devastating environmental changes that may be irreversible.

MySQL and Oracle: not so straight forward

Since writing my piece on MySQL and Oracle, I’ve now discovered the situation is more complicated than I first understood.

Matt Asay outlines the roles of Monty Widenius and IBM in the arguments surrounding the future of MySQL, and says “it has everything to do with money”.

I’m now not so convinced by Monty’s arguments and am concerned there may be a conflict of interest lurking in the background.

I took the 2009 ALA Survey

Picture of ALA logo

A List Apart is conducting it’s third annual survey for people who make websites.

I took the survey last year, and have just completed the 2009 version.

I urge all those involved in building sites take part, “whether you call yourself a user experience consultant, web developer, or content strategist; whether you design customer flows, buttons, or brands; no matter what title you hold as a full- or part-time web professional”.

The findings from the 2008 survey, with 30,055 participants, shows the value of this unique international exercise.

Towards one WordPress?

There have been a number of interesting developments recently in the WordPress world:

The implication, if these ideas are implemented, could be that one WordPress installation would be starting point for subsequently setting up WordPress MU, BuddyPress and bbPress on a common base.

The canonical plugins could then provide a number of popular functional extensions to all systems using best practice.

Having a common starting point for all of the WordPress family could make everyone’s life a lot simpler in the future.

Problems ahead for MySQL?

Michael “Monty” Widenius, creator of MySQL, is concerned about the future of the open source database under the stewardship of Oracle.

This follows the Oracle’s planned takeover of Sun Microsystems, which itself acquired MySQL AB in February 2008.

The Oracle-Sun deal has been approved by US regulators, but has not yet been approved by the EC due to concerns about MySQL.

Monty is asking readers of his blog “urgently to help save MySQL from Oracle’s clutches“. He details the current situation, and urges everyone to act quickly to support MySQL.

MySQL is the database used by WordPress, and if the scenario outlined by Monty comes to pass, I can see problems on the horizon.