Canada has a significant proportion of it’s military involved in a combat and reconstruction role in Afghanistan. In principle, the mission is a good one: get rid of what’s left of the Taliban; help rebuild the damage done by war; establish a stable political system that allows the country to become self-sufficient.
Everything sounds pretty good except for that last part. Try holding a gun to someone’s head and saying “right, form a stable civil state or I’ll shoot.” It’s not going to work.
A year or so ago, I needed a tool to generate thumbnails of Web pages. I found a lot of inadequate tools and a server based solution with limited flexibility (thumbshots.org). So I decided to throw together Thumb-Page to do the job, and then I decided to release it as open source.
Since then, it’s been a surprisingly popular application. I figured maybe a few hundred people would be interested in it… instead it’s clocking in at about 400 per month. Now compared to a “hot” shareware application that can pull in 400,000 downloads per month, that’s not so hot, but it’s still pretty good. (more…)