Saturday, March 23, 2013

Free, Freemium, and Paid

There was a time when I'd bridle at the idea of having to pay for software or services. But I browse the iTunes app store now, and see people pleading to have the chance to pay for an app that they like, so that the authors won't stop updating it. The whole kerfuffle with Google Reader, Keep and Evernote is another example of how people have begun to prefer to pay for products, rather than rely on something free.

It feels like the end of an era where open source and free software (not the same thing, but often referred to in the same breath) were the default. Maybe we've come to the realization that nothing is really ever free, and that it's more realistic to get the costs out in the open rather than "being the product".

Friday, March 15, 2013

The SIGACT CG column

As you might have just discovered, I'm the second half of the two-headed monster that's taken over the SIGACT Geometry Column after Joe O'Rourke stepped down (Adrian Dumitrescu, who hopefully does not mind being referred to as the head of a monster, is the other half). My first column is up, and it talks about some recent fascinating developments in nonnegative matrix factorization.

My hope with the pieces I write is to cover areas of geometry that may have not had sufficient representation in the past (especially things closer to problems I'm interested in). My next column is due in August, and apart from doing a wrapup on SoCG, other things that come to mind include Laplacians and graph geometry, reproducing kernels, or even Bregman geometry.

But everything is now mobile, crowdsourced and social networked, so I'm looking for your suggestions on interesting topics to cover, new emerging areas, results that I'm not tracking, and so on. So post away here or on G+.

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