We think it’s fair to say that the majority of people in the world today take technology for granted. We drive to work without understanding how an internal combustion engine works. Our leftovers are mysteriously re-heated in the microwave without any knowledge of how its non-ionizing radiation affects what the food we’re about to put into our mouths. The same goes for computers: We turn our PCs on and get down to the serious business of checking our mail, paying a few bills online and wasting what’s left of our lives on Twitter without so much as a thought to how any of these services operate. (Well, maybe not Maximum PC readers, but...) While ignorance can be bliss, knowledge is pretty sweet, too. That’s why Codecademy is our Cool Site of the Week.
A recent survey hit my radar this weekend and, I must say, I’m not that surprised by the results. Contrary to my usual columns, I won’t bury the lede: Accenture polled 300 large organizations in both the public and private sectors and—surprise!—found that half of them are “fully committed” to using open-source software in their businesses.
To be honest, I expected results more in line from the Zenoss survey I ran across this weekend, which notes that 98 percent of all enterprise companies use open-source software in some capacity. But I’ll leave that difference up to nomenclature / polling differences. The real juice of Accenture’s story is buried in a single, meager sentence somewhere toward the bottom of the press release: less that 29 percent of surveyed companies intend to shovel their open-source contributions/modifications/development back into the community.
This week's Web App of the Week isn't so much for you, but your friends, family, and users. If you ever tried your hand at Web development--doesn't have to be professional, even amateur Web creation will do--you'll know that the strangest of problems can pop up in the strangest of places. A little CSS misstep here, a little HTML coding boo-boo there, and your perfectly constructed three-column layout has somehow crafted itself into a Tumblr page. And it's blinking. And it's hacking off your grandmother who just wants to see pictures of your recent family vacation.
But that's okay. Like that one insurance advertisement featuring the guy with the soothing voice, your grandmother, user, friend, or angry forum commenter will be in good hands with the Web App Support Details.