May 19, 2010
Now that AltSci is back up and fewer a few serious XSS bugs, I thought I would show you some awesome things that AltSci has given you in the past few years. AltSci Language AI is perhaps the most interesting, with gems like "悪政" and "День Победы", you may learn a lot more than a language or two.
Tonight I hacked on something for work and for humanity. At the same time a person I know worked for me on another project that will not so much advance humanity so much as prove something quite simple. Who did more for the world, who had more fun, and who did the most work are pretty much immaterial but I wished that everyone in the world could enjoy a fraction of the satisfaction that a programmer does when they create a piece of code. A piece of code that can be open sourced and that helps others, even better.
AltSci was designed to improve the world by creating valuable things. It failed because it didn't have a proper business model. Selling vulnerabilities is a difficult business model. Fixing software is a better business model, but doesn't work unless you have a someone willing to pay. The business of software is difficult all around, but that does not dissuade programmers. Last night I talked with a friend about a project he was working on. It was a website that helped people socialize. Imagine taking the functionality of Facebook and adding the ability to socialize. Okay, maybe that's going a bit far.
Small Wide World is a piece of software I wrote that easily maps networks of related things. I was unable to properly advertise it or sell it or even develop proper necessities for it, but it is still pretty cool.
I wrote a virus called the AltSci Modular Virus 2.5 years ago in order to understand and prove a lot of difficult things about malware. I plan to re-release it in the distant future for free, but I had to take down my initial release for business reasons. I am not unhappy about that, it had served its purpose and no person actually bought the virus (although one person tried).
An interesting project I undertook was Digg Diversity. I wrote a reasonable amount of code and hired a friend to do a part of the project, then I released it to the world. Dozens if not hundreds of people used it and it proved beyond any doubt what the front page of Digg should actually look like. In fact, it proved it too well and even soured my impression of Digg to a point that I don't wish to use my website very often anymore. Perhaps that's one thing digg has going for them, their users can't kick their habit.
And so AltSci's highest achievement was probably the hundreds of hours Morgan and I spent on AltSci Concepts C Language Analysis system. Although it won't likely be released and it has been under a pile of stuff for 5 months, I still think that the next 2 years will be defined by it. Even if I don't put another hour into it its still the most interesting thing I've done in my life.