Software Razzie Awards

This is not a new idea. Every now and then someone suggests it. Apparently I hear about it more often than, say, 5 years ago. Sure, today software is more spread than 5 years ago but somehow I don’t think this is the only reason.

I guess the main reason for people dissatisfaction is that nowadays people have higher expectation of the product’s quality. Let’s take for example the mobile apps. Everyone expects mobile apps to work fast and smooth and to provide good user experience. These expectations are transferred to the PCs as well. What was acceptable 5 years ago is not anymore.

Also I don’t think software became worse with time. Sure, there are products affected from software bloat. Some notorious examples are Nero Burning ROM and iTunes. Although¬†software bloat manifests in APIs (e.g. Win32 API and Linux Kernel API) and frameworks (e.g. JDK and .NET) there is a tendency that most developers try to minimize and control their code. As a result a new wave of lightweight software (e.g. Google Chrome, Node.js, nginx, etc.) becomes popular.

So, what if there are Software Razzie Awards? There are Pwnie Awards but they are very security focused. I still cannot decide if such awards can be stimulating for the IT industry or not. I guess it won’t harm anyone.

Software agents from the past

Nowadays, we are all familiar with Siri, Google Now and TellMe but are these intelligent personal assistants something new? Probably you remember Clippy or Rover that Microsoft introduced in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Or probably you remember the intelligent personal assistants for Mac OS or OS/2.

Today, I would like to remind you about the agents built by SRI International back in 1990s. Check these short videos out.

You can find the original videos at http://www.ai.sri.com/~oaa/distrib.html#videos.