Friday, May 20, 2005

PERL ? what's that ?

It really surprised me, but I forgot almost all about PERL. After just a few months hacking with Python I do not even remember basic syntax (and I've used PERL for long... even writing non trivial web-based applications that in retrospect do not fit in what I think is PERL target). I was able to get the job done but I had to resort to documentation (and it was a really trivial script to convert a text file with some hex data into a format suitable for importing in excel). I'm just getting old, I suppose.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

and i want it NOW

Yesterday I watched on history channel the a documentary about the match Kasparov/Deep Blue, and I was impressed by an intermezzo that was added between that show and the next one (that was a biography of Bobby Fischer).
It was a collection of small news of the "Week of Incom" ... something dated 1943 that was sort of a TV news when there was no television yet here in Italy. The week of incom was added before movies and there were newsreports about the war, but also about other aspects like exhibitions, fashion, sport.
I stopped wondering why it's so important for the news to be fresh... even more... for them to be instantaneous. The TV channels are always fighting for who delivers something FIRST, not who delivers the better report. They even get to the absurd level of talking about something they don't have yet the faintest idea... something that may be it won't even deserve a place in the news... even just to be able to say "we'll report about this next in next edition".
Why is this really important ? For some news it's of course important being timely, but I would say not for most of them, especially if you're reporting news from other parts of the world.
May be it's the usual problem of the time resource... time looks so important to every single individual while it's probably the only resource we're not going to run out as a collectivity. Our society gives big prizes to who does it first, not to who does it better. Even if there's a common saying here in italy that goes more or less "well and quickly don't go together" few are the ones that can take their time.