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January 26 2011

Developer Week in Review

The weather outside is frightful (at least here in the northeast United States), but the news is so delightful. Note: Delightfulness may vary. This statement contains forward-looking statements, and should not be considered an indication of future delightedness.

The Donald returns ... no, not that Donald

The Art of Computer ProgrammingThe seminal study of programming techniques has long-time been considered to be Donald Knuth's "The Art of Computer Programming." Unfortunately, new volumes in the series have been coming out slower than year-old ketchup out of a bottle.

It was news of some note, therefore, when it was announced this week that Volume 4A of his magnum opus (which covers Combinatorial Algorithms, Part 1, for the curious) was available for purchase. Given that it's been 38 years between the original volume 3 and the new 4A, and seven volumes are planned in total, we may all be programming via thought waves by the time the series is completed.

It's time to play musical CEOs

There are shakeups afoot at both the second and seventh largest U.S. companies this week (that would be Apple and Google, respectively). Steve Jobs' on-again, off-again, on-again stewardship of Apple appears to be off again, as he heads off for something medical, leaving COO Tim Cook at the helm.

Meanwhile, over at Google, Eric Schmidt announced he's changing his role from CEO to executive chairman, with Larry P. running the show as CEO now.

The generally held assumption at this point is that both companies are mature enough and large enough that they don't depend on direct guidance from the top to stay on mission, but only time will tell (especially for Apple) if the long-term philosophy survives a succession.

Repent, for the end is near

You've been hearing about it for years, that the IPv4 pool is going, going ... well now it's evidently gone. Or at least it will be in February, according to the latest IANA projections. That's when the last address blocks are due to be handed out, and then the biker gangs take over and Tina Turner starts hoarding subnets.

In spite of the persistent warnings that the day was coming, IPv6 service is all but non-existant in the United States, and much of the IPv6 software stacks in products and operating systems has never really been put to the test under real world conditions. We may have avoided Y2K, only to get slammed by Y2K11 ...

Assuming that the web is still operating next week, we'll be here reporting on any other apocalyptic news that may occur. Suggestions are always welcome, so please send tips or news here.

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