Friday, January 31, 2003

Alpha Of Kapor's Open-Source PIM Due In Spring

Alpha Of Kapor's Open-Source PIM Due In Spring "Lotus founder Mitch Kapor said his open-source personal-information manager, "Chandler", will be released in an alpha version this April.
Kapor, who spoke to about seventy Stanford University students as part of the university's computer systems colloquium, said the project's goal was to do for application software what Linux had done for operating systems: begin life as essentially a group project, then later challenge proprietary systems and win.
"We think this is a good time to bring to use the OS model to bring to the world of applications software of uncompromising quality," Kapor said."

Microsoft to Alter Online System to Satisfy Europe

Microsoft to Alter Online System to Satisfy Europe "To avert a clash with European regulators over data privacy, Microsoft has agreed to make "radical" changes in the workings of .Net Passport, its online authentication system, regulators said today."

Great PR, but the changes hardly look "radical"

Critical Update for Microsoft .NET Framework SDK 1.0 Users

Critical Update for Microsoft .NET Framework SDK 1.0 Users "The .NET Framework SDK version 1.0 optionally installs an application-specific instance of MSDE 2000 as part of the QuickStart feature. Users of the .NET Framework SDK 1.0 or Visual Studio .NET 2002 who installed this feature need to apply a specially adapted SQL Server Service Pack 3 to protect MSDE 2000 from attack by the recent Slammer virus."

An instance of the type of challenge involved when every fat client is also a thin server... Keynote Vs. PowerPoint Keynote Vs. PowerPoint "PowerPoint presentations are a boom and bane of business life. They are easier to prepare, particularly at the last minute, than overhead slides or notes scribbled on index cards. We now all sit through more but better-organized pitches. But Microsoft's ubiquitous PowerPoint software has also put some awesome power of bad design in the hands of millions of business people.
Enter the design divas at Apple Computer (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ). The company's latest foray in to the office-suite software market is its new standalone presentation program dubbed Keynote. Unbeknownst to his audience, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs has, they say, been quietly beta-testing it for the past year in his own eponymous speeches."

You have to wonder about Apple's long-term commitment to the product, however; they have a history of being rather fickle with software products, and an entry in this category won't be easy to sustain.

Boston Globe Online / Business / In a first, AOL loses US members

Boston Globe Online / Business / In a first, AOL loses US members "When AOL Time Warner Inc. reported financial results Wednesday, the record $98.7 billion loss posted by the giant company, and the surprise resignation of media maverick Ted Turner, garnered headlines around the world.
But beneath the surface, another figure marked a seminal moment for Northern Virginia-based America Online Inc., the media company's Internet unit: The number of US subscribers fell for the first time ever on a quarterly basis, dropping by 170,000 in the last three months of 2002. The dip occurred despite the aggressive launch last fall of the company's newest software, AOL 8.0; the distribution of millions of free AOL computer disks; and the outlay of more than $1 billion on advertising and promotion last year.
''The modest decline in AOL's subscriber base will spark renewed fears over AOL's long-term viability,'' investment firm J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. told investors."

Somehow I suspect there will be a Microsoft MSN press release touting gains in their subscriber base in a day or two...

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft brews up more competition at Oracle seminar

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft brews up more competition at Oracle seminar "The fierce rivalry between Microsoft and Oracle took a distinctly Seattle turn yesterday when the world's two largest software companies engaged in a coffee battle at the Westin hotel. ...
The Microsoft folks also brought a video camera to record the goings-on, even a reporter's conversation with Siroky.
Siroky said the video recordings will be shown to Microsoft software developers working on a new version of Exchange coming this summer." - Paul Allen's in Danger Of Losing His Charter - Paul Allen's in Danger Of Losing His Charter "The lights are dimming in Paul Allen's wired world.
The Microsoft Corp. co-founder has invested billions of dollars in businesses tied to his vision that cable-television technology will lead U.S. households into a future of new interactive services and interconnected appliances. But results have ranged from lackluster to dismal for many of these ventures -- such as cable network Oxygen Media, telecommunications company RCN Corp. and Digeo Inc., a developer of digital-TV services.
Now, the centerpiece of the strategy is in danger of collapse.
That centerpiece is Charter Communications Inc., the country's third-largest cable company, in which Mr. Allen has invested $7.4 billion. Overleveraged and underperforming, the company's cash before interest and capital expenditures, among certain other items, isn't growing enough to service its debt, analysts say. The cash flow tallied about $2 billion last year, analysts estimate, while debt will rise to close to $20 billion by the end of this year."

Boxes and Arrows: HTML's Time is Over. Let's Move On.

Boxes and Arrows: HTML's Time is Over. Let's Move On. "Ultimately, I don’t see a long term future for HTML as an application development solution. It is a misapplied tool that was never meant to be used for anything other than distributed publishing.
The reality is that we are trying to do too much with a language that was never meant for such heavy-duty applications. We have used incredible ingenuity to make up for the faults of HTML by putting all of the real processing effort on the server side, but the time has come to create a new system that is low bandwidth, utilizes a single code base for all platforms, and is componentized enough to make updating and customizations easy using internet-based distribution. Lastly, we need to develop these applications to run in their own space, without a web browser In the end, this may change the way we think of web browsers. It will also change the way platforms need to be developed, in order to support a wide array of thin-clients that are accessed and addressed directly from the operating system as opposed to from a browser."

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The Register: Windows NT 4.0 Server gets another year's life

The Register: Windows NT 4.0 Server gets another year's life "Although Microsoft would dearly have loved NT Server users to have started migrating shortly after (well, maybe about six months before, really) the introduction of Windows 2000 Server, many NT users have been hanging in splendidly. It's robust, they understand it, it does the job, so why switch?" - AT&T Wireless Will Provide Wi-Fi in Hotels and Airports - AT&T Wireless Will Provide Wi-Fi in Hotels and Airports "For AT&T Wireless Services Inc. subscribers who have grown frustrated with their carrier's pokey data speeds, there soon may be a better way.
Making a big push into the increasingly popular technology for accessing the Internet wirelessly called Wi-Fi, the mobile-phone carrier -- one of the nation's largest -- has signed an agreement with Wayport Inc. (, a large, closely held Wi-Fi network provider based in Austin, Texas, to give subscribers high-speed, wireless Web access at more than 475 hotels and several airports.
AT&T Wireless customers will have to pay for Wi-Fi access, even if they already subscribe to the carrier's data service. The Wi-Fi service will range in price from $9.99 for unlimited use over a 24-hour period, to $69.99 for unlimited usage over 30 days.
AT&T Wireless's plans, which are expected to be announced Tuesday, come a month after the Redmond, Wash., carrier said it was scaling back its plans to build a so-called third-generation or 3G network, the industry term for offering services like Web browsing at high speeds over a traditional cellular network. The carrier currently offers data services across most of its network, but at speeds only comparable to dial-up Internet connections. A plan to upgrade its network to increase those speeds by roughly fivefold was reduced last month from to four cities from 13."

Note: I recently signed up for the "pokey" AT&T Wireless data service referenced above, with a spiffy SonyEricsson T68i; I'll post impressions here after I gain some experience with it.

Article: PDA Sales Decline in 2002

Article: PDA Sales Decline in 2002 "It was a tough year for the PDA industry, as global sales fell 9.1 percent from 2001 totals, according to research firm Gartner Dataquest.
The big three -- Palm, Hewett-Packard and Handspring -- each shipped about 600,000 fewer PDAs last year than in 2001. Gartner analyst Todd Kort pointed to poor economic conditions and a lack of compelling devices as reasons for the decline. In addition, Kort said the slow adoption of PDAs by enterprises has also hurt the industry.
Only about 30 percent of PDAs are purchased by business users, Kort said. Part of the reason for this is that the wireless PDAs that enterprises seek are still expensive and can be difficult to deploy."...
Palm still holds the lead in the operating system market, with 55.2 percent of worldwide shipments. Windows CE accounted for 25.7 percent of PDA sales, up about 7 percent from the previous year.
"I think Palm can maintain 50 percent or more of the PDA business in 2003," said Kort. He predicts the $99 Palm Zire, which comprised about a third of Palm's shipments in the fourth quarter, will be priced closer to $50 or $60 by Christmas, competing with basic calculators.
In the U.S. market, Sony jumped from the No. 6 position in 2001 to the No. 2 position in 2002, as its shipments increased 351.8 percent. Handspring, which slipped to the No. 4 position after being third in sales in 2001, is exiting the PDA market entirely to focus exclusively on smart phones, said Kort."

LOTUS® SOFTWARE: IBM Lotus NextGen is Now - - - -

LOTUS® SOFTWARE: IBM Lotus NextGen is Now - - - - So the biggest headline is the resurrection of cc:Mail as "NextGen Mail" with a DB2 and LDAP back-end?

Monday, January 27, 2003

Borland, Microsoft tie .Net knot - Tech News -

Borland, Microsoft tie .Net knot - Tech News - "In October last year, Borland acquired TogetherSoft, which makes application modeling and design tools. The forthcoming Borland product that incorporates the .Net Framework SDK will be an enhancement to TogetherSoft's current .Net product, said Simon Thornhill, vice president and general manager of Borland's rapid application development business unit. The revamped TogetherSoft tools are scheduled for release later this year."

Microsoft Renames Palladium, Gives Up Trademark Hunt

Microsoft Renames Palladium, Gives Up Trademark Hunt "On Friday, Microsoft revealed that it had given up trying to trademark "Palladium," the term it had given to its secure computing initiative. The company says that the technologies once called Palladium will now go by the name Next Generation Secure Computing Base, which it feels is more accurate and mature. Also, another unnamed company had apparently applied for a trademark on the term Palladium, and Microsoft didn't want to be seen as strong-arming that company."

Microsoft PressPass: Microsoft Investigating Internet Worm

Microsoft PressPass: Microsoft Investigating Internet Worm "At approximately 9:30 P.M. Pacific Time Friday, January 24, Microsoft became aware of an Internet attack causing a dramatic increase in network traffic worldwide. Microsoft immediately began investigating the issue and learned of a worm targeting Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000-based and MSDE 2000-based systems not updated with the appropriate security patches. This worm does not appear to attack the data of infected systems."

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Quiet Desperation ( [Review of latest Po Bronson book]

Quiet Desperation ( (Review of latest Po Bronson book) "Bronson would like readers to believe that his book is deeper, more existential than a book about, say, career coaching, but it simply isn't. Like Audrey Hepburn, who plays a bohemian book clerk enamored of a philosophy called empatheticalism in the 1956 film "Funny Face," he has discovered that the true meaning of life is – yep, you guessed it – getting with the program. If you've suddenly realized that your high-powered job as a surgeon, a corporate lawyer, an investment banker or a dot-commer isn't fulfilling, there's no need to freak out. Quit your job – or, as Bronson puts it at one point, take a "gripless open-handed jump into the void," as though the void were nothing but life off the career track – and get a job you like better. Bronson, himself a former bond salesman, pats himself on the back early on in the book for helping one young man realize that what he really, really wanted was to become a golf pro; and he is proud of a friend who resigned his position as a vice president at Wells Fargo, drifted for a while, then ended up as a highly paid portfolio manager in the United Arab Emirates.
In the end, Bronson sums up what he has learned, not for the sake of the average reader, but for a group of CEOs "from some of the biggest companies in the country. Together, they pretty much are the economy." He's been invited to speak to these folks about What People Really Want, we learn in the book's final chapter; although he's nervous, he thinks it's a great opportunity to speak truth to power. When it's his turn to speak, he tells the assembled head honchos that most people don't care so much about benefits, flex time, day care or stock options. "We need to encourage people to find their sweet spot," he says. "Productivity explodes when people love what they do. We're sitting on a huge potential boom in productivity, which we could tap into if we got all the square pegs in the square holes and round pegs in round holes." This, apparently, is what life is really all about: improving productivity. If you don't love the job you've got, get a job you'll love. This is existentialism, American style."

I wasn't looking for deep existential insights from Po Bronson, and I'm enjoying the book...

Thursday, January 23, 2003

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft realigns Windows operation

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft realigns Windows operation "In his new role, Poole will have extensive oversight of a range of Microsoft operations, including development of Windows in desktops and laptops, the Windows eHome division and Microsoft's digital media player. He will report to Brian Valentine, senior vice president of the Windows division.
Microsoft also moved its Tablet PC business to Poole's jurisdiction from that of Jeff Raikes, its group vice president in charge of productivity and business services.
"This basically reflects Microsoft's contention that digital media is going to drive the next generation of consumer PC sales," said Matt Rosoff, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland research company that closely monitors the company's internal maneuverings."

Identity Theft Complaints Double in '02

Identity Theft Complaints Double in '02 "The number of identity theft complaints nearly doubled in 2002, continuing to make it the Federal Trade Commission's most widely reported consumer crime since the agency started issuing reports three years ago.
The F.T.C. said that in the last year it had received 162,000 reports of identity theft, compared with 86,000 a year ago. They make up 43 percent of complaints. Auction fraud, an almost nonexistent crime six years ago, ranked second with 13 percent of the total. Internet-related fraud, which includes auction fraud, generated slightly more than 100,000 complaints. The rise in identity theft complaints partly reflects greater consumer awareness about reporting and does not necessarily indicate an increase in the crime." - Personal Technology: Now, XM Satellite Radio Has Gear to Match Programming - Personal Technology: Now, XM Satellite Radio Has Gear to Match Programming Walt goes XM -- an interesting model to consider, as "... Subscriptions to XM radio cost $9.99 a month, plus a $14.99 activation fee" and yet he concludes "With the new SkyFi hardware, XM Satellite Radio is a great service that can rescue millions of Americans from the FM wasteland." - Analyst Values Microsoft Deal For PlaceWare at $200 Million - Analyst Values Microsoft Deal For PlaceWare at $200 Million "How badly did Microsoft Corp. want PlaceWare Inc.? Neither of the companies will discuss the price of the acquisition, announced Tuesday. But Elliot Gold, an analyst with TeleSpan Publishing Corp. of Altadena, Calif., says he has learned the software giant is paying on the order of $200 million to buy the closely held Silicon Valley company."

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Microsoft Business Solutions Launches CRM Solution That Includes Technologies From Crystal Decisions

Microsoft Business Solutions Launches CRM Solution That Includes Technologies From Crystal Decisions Another major Microsoft milestone, and a big event for Crystal

Microsoft Announces Its Intention to Acquire PlaceWare

Microsoft Announces Its Intention to Acquire PlaceWare I think this is a major milestone, and I'm surprised the mainstream press isn't giving it more in-depth coverage. - The Mossberg Solution: The Keyboard and Mouse, Now in Unplugged Bundles - The Mossberg Solution: The Keyboard and Mouse, Now in Unplugged Bundles "The second wireless keyboard and mouse set that we tested was Microsoft's $159 Wireless Optical Desktop for Bluetooth, for Windows only. This is a more ambitious product. It aims not only to free the user from keyboard and mice cords, but also to equip your PC with Bluetooth wireless capability, so you can link it wirelessly to up to seven Bluetooth-equipped devices.
Unfortunately, I can't recommend the Microsoft Bluetooth desktop. In two separate tests, one by me and one by my assistant Katie -- in different locations with different PCs -- it not only proved useless as a Bluetooth hub, but it also failed as a keyboard."

More data suggesting MSFT is reworking its Bluetooth keyboard -- it has been off the market for more than a month, from what I can discern at
Microsoft's page for the product.

Microsoft has a wireless battle on its hands

Microsoft has a wireless battle on its hands "Microsoft's Suwanjindar admits the wireless wars won't be easy.
But he said Microsoft has learned a lot from other recent efforts to expand beyond the desktop, such as Tablet PCs and the XBox video game system.
"I would acknowledge that the wireless business, specifically the smart-phone project, is one of the most ambitious projects this company has ever entered into," he said. "But we have a history of doing hard and risky things and having the patience to see them through.""

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

IBM Brings Domino and WebSphere Closer Together

IBM Brings Domino and WebSphere Closer Together "The first initiative, code-named Project Montreal, will add Domino classes to IBM's WSAD (WebSphere Studio Application Developer) tool kit, which is based on the Eclipse 2 open-source Java integrated development environment. This will allow non-Domino developers to create collaborative applications as Web services. It will also provide integration between WebSphere and Domino applications while allowing WebSphere developers to remain in the coding environment they're familiar with.
The second, and thought to be the more ambitious, initiative is code-named Project Seoul. It will allow Domino developers to work within the Domino development environment but output code as Java 2 Enterprise Edition components, which can be embedded in other non-Domino J2EE-based applications."

Microsoft Announces CD Copy Protection Alternative

Microsoft Announces CD Copy Protection Alternative "Microsoft has invested heavily in DRM technologies, and the company has already seen widespread adoption of its DRM software in downloadable media content. Current audio CD copy protection schemes have been a disaster for record companies, because of incompatibilities with PCs, Macs, and even certain home and car stereos. If Microsoft's software is adopted by major recording companies, it could spur the first widespread adoption of DRM technology worldwide."

Microsoft Announces Appointment of [former SEGA America COO] Peter Moore As Corporate Vice President of Retail Sales and Marketing

Microsoft Announces Appointment of Peter Moore As Corporate Vice President of Retail Sales and Marketing "Microsoft Corp. today announced that Peter Moore, video game industry veteran and former president and chief operating officer of SEGA® of America Inc., has joined Microsoft as corporate vice president of retail sales and marketing. In this newly created position, Moore will oversee retail business in the Home and Entertainment Division, including the Xbox (TM) video game console, Xbox and PC games from Microsoft Game Studios, and home software and hardware products sold at retail, in Europe and Japan.
Moore brings to Microsoft more than 20 years of global management, marketing and sales experience. At SEGA, Moore played a critical role in repositioning the SEGA brand and product suite to achieve a leadership position in the industry. Before serving as president and chief operating officer, Moore was the senior vice president of marketing and was responsible for the successful launch of the SEGA Dreamcast (TM) video game console. Before joining SEGA, Moore was with Reebok International Ltd., where he held senior management positions including vice president of global sports and senior vice president of Reebok Footwear." - Sega of America President Quits, Takes New Position at Microsoft - Sega of America President Quits, Takes New Position at Microsoft "Peter Moore, president and chief operating officer at Sega of America Inc., has resigned from the videogame developer and joined Microsoft Corp. in a newly created position.
Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., said Mr. Moore would serve as corporate vice president of retail sales and marketing. He will oversee the retail business for the company's home and entertainment division, including the Xbox videogame console, Xbox and computer videogames and home software and hardware products sold in Europe and Japan. Mr. Moore will report to Robbie Bach, senior vice president of the home and entertainment division."

Playing for keeps...

Monday, January 20, 2003

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Landscape rich in innovation for '03 software

"The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Landscape rich in innovation for '03 software "Kapor describes Chandler as a way of managing and coordinating calendars, contacts, projects and other personal information among multiple computers and with the world at large. Although Kapor does not see Chandler as a "commercial venture," it could at least cover expenses through fees and licenses — and create a platform for software vendors to develop and sell products. Chandler is being designed to run on Linux, Windows and Macintosh computers.
Chandler is a long-term undertaking. Early test versions will be available this year, focused initially on calendaring. But Kapor, wary of raising false expectations, says it will take five years to a decade for the software to reach mature form. Assuming everything proceeds according to plan, the payoff will be not only a powerful tool, but an infusion of innovation to the software arena."

As Linux Nips at Microsoft, Its Advocates Talk Numbers

As Linux Nips at Microsoft, Its Advocates Talk Numbers ""All of Unix is more at risk than Microsoft's Windows in the next few years," said Thomas Berquist, a Goldman, Sachs analyst and a co-author of the study. "But what is really at risk is the concept of a proprietary operating system. And that has to affect Microsoft."

Saturday, January 18, 2003

MIT Conference Takes Aim at Spam E - mails

MIT Conference Takes Aim at Spam E - mails "Spam traffic has grown from 8 percent of Internet e-mail in 2001 to as much as 40 percent in 2002, according to Brightmail Inc., which provides filtering products for several major Internet service providers."

Friday, January 17, 2003

Broadband: Broadband Surges in 2002, But Narrowband Declines

Broadband: Broadband Surges in 2002, But Narrowband Declines "Broadband access in the United States surged in 2002, growing fastest among both the oldest Internet users and the youngest, according to a new report by Nielsen/NetRatings.
The company Wednesday reported that broadband access at home posted a 59 percent year-over-year increase in 2002, bringing the total number of U.S. users who accessed the Web via high-speed connections to more than 33.6 million in Dec. 2002.
While broadband saw its fortunes rising, narrowband connections began to lose ground in 2002, declining 10 percent during the course of the year to about 74.4 million users by the end of December."

I.B.M. Beats Earnings Expectations Again

I.B.M. Beats Earnings Expectations Again "Bolstered by the addition of the PricewaterhouseCoopers employees, revenue for the Global Services unit jumped 16.7 percent to almost $10.58 billion. Global Services signed contracts for $18.1 billion, which was roughly double the third quarter. But the quarter included a number of contracts I.B.M. had said previously had been unexpectedly pushed back from the third quarter. ...
Sales of computers and other hardware rose 1 percent, to $8.1 billion, but would have declined 1 percent without the currency translation increase. Software revenues were flat at $3.8 billion (or down 2 percent in constant dollars) compared with a year ago. Mr. Joyce said customers continued to delay software buying decisions and to make smaller purchases than in the past."

In a Surprise, Microsoft Says It Will Pay Dividends

In a Surprise, Microsoft Says It Will Pay Dividends "eclaring its most threatening legal problems over and its business strong, Microsoft surprised Wall Street yesterday by announcing it would begin paying a dividend. ...
Today, Microsoft sits on a cash pile totaling $43.4 billion, and its business generates cash at the rate of $1 billion a month.
"This is a surprise, but it mostly reflects the economics of the business," said Charles di Bona, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. "It is not a sign that this is the end of growth for Microsoft. It is a recognition that this company is throwing off more cash than anyone has ever seen."...
"Microsoft has bets down all the possible squares," said Roger Kay, an analyst for IDC. "If anybody does well, Microsoft does well."

I, Cringely: What Lies Beneath: Why Microsoft Should Build Its Next Version of Windows on Top of Linux

I, Cringely: What Lies Beneath: Why Microsoft Should Build Its Next Version of Windows on Top of Linux "Now back to Microsoft putting Windows on top of Linux. Linux is better, faster, stronger than whatever is living underneath XP now, right? Performance would improve. As Mike Class points out, by not having to develop its own OS, Microsoft could also save money. They wouldn't need however many people are presently devoted to maintaining the underlying OS that isn't supposed to be there."

Some interesting historical trivia, but also a surprising number of spurious assertions/conclusions. Apparently Cringely hasn't reviewed Show-Stopper!: The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft lately.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Apple Posts Loss on Weaker-Than-Expected Revenue

Apple Posts Loss on Weaker-Than-Expected Revenue "Apple's financial performance did little to counter Wall Street's lingering skepticism about the company. Apple, analysts say, is a classy, niche producer of elegantly designed machines and clever marketing. But they often criticize Mr. Jobs for seeming to take a nonchalant attitude toward quarterly profits.
Apple does have a comparatively strong balance sheet. The company has more than $4.4 billion in cash. Mr. Young estimates that Apple's cash position is the equivalent of $12 a share. The company's shares closed at $14.43 yesterday, down 18 cents for the day. In after-hours trading, Apple shares fell further, to $14.10."

(Pay no attention to that man behind [or in front of] the curtain...)

AT&T Broadband users see 3d e-mail [domain name] shift

Boston Globe Online / Business / AT&T Broadband users see 3d e-mail shift "AT&T spokeswoman Jennifer L. Khoury said the company expects to begin making the switch from e-mail addresses ending in to starting in March. It will affect more than 2 million subscribers nationally. Mail sent to old e-mail addresses may be forwarded to the new addresses for as few as 60 days before the addresses are shut down, the company said."
This is stupid beyond words -- hello, DSL...

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

O'Reilly Network: Does this bluetooth keyboard exist? [January 15, 2003]

O'Reilly Network: Does this bluetooth keyboard exist? [January 15, 2003] I've been trying to buy one of these as well, to no avail, for the last month; I'm assuming it went back to the drawing board for some revisions. Would be nice if MSFT updated their Web page that uselessly directs prospective customers to stores that don't currently offer the product...

The Mac Observer - Mainstream Opinions Lean Towards The Idea That Apple Is Directly Challenging Microsoft

The Mac Observer - Mainstream Opinions Lean Towards The Idea That Apple Is Directly Challenging Microsoft Actually, I think Safari and Keynote are more effective competition for Mozilla, Opera, and lots of Apple-focused ISVs than they are a threat of some sort to Microsoft; Apple is getting some good PR for its implicit anti-Microsoft bravado, but I suspect the ramifications will hurt Apple's partner community more than they do Microsoft.

War or No, News on Cable Already Provides the Drama

War or No, News on Cable Already Provides the Drama "As the military buildup continues in the Persian Gulf, another conflict is brewing at home, among MSNBC, CNN and the Fox News Channel. The battle is putting an especially high premium on showmanship and drama.
Recalling how CNN made its name during the gulf war, each channel is trying to distinguish itself and outdo its rivals. And because cable news success often seems to rest as much on the presentation of the programs as the journalism itself, executives are looking for different production twists to enhance their war, and prewar, coverage."

Read this book by Neal Postman (published in 1992 but still very relevant) and you'll never watch TV news again...

BBC NEWS | Technology | The internet takes to the air

BBC NEWS | Technology | The internet takes to the air "On 15 January Lufthansa will start offering travellers the ability to surf the net and send and receive e-mails in real time as they fly.
The in-flight net service will use satellite links to connect passengers to the terrestrial internet and help businesses contact executives while they are flying across the Atlantic."
via Dave Winer

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

101 Reasons Java is Better than .NET

101 Reasons Java is Better than .NET via theserverside; some thoughtful analysis

New database war shapes up - Tech News -

New database war shapes up - Tech News - "IBM's Xperanto, which builds on XML, a standard for data exchange, is based on the concept of federated data management. Instead of creating a single, larger database --a model, in part, espoused by rival Oracle--a federated scheme creates a virtual database linked to all the relevant data. In this model, data sources are queried from their native locations and database management servers consolidate the results and make them available to users."

The Register: IBM Lotus to rename products in 2003

The Register: IBM Lotus to rename products in 2003 "With the exception of its flagship groupware products, Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino, all Lotus products will be identified in the future by their functionality and value proposition rather than by their current Lotus-coined trade names. As an example, users can expect to see 'IBM Lotus QuickPlace' to be replaced by 'IBM Lotus Team Workplace'."

Phone Units Join in Effort for Seamless Wireless Net

Phone Units Join in Effort for Seamless Wireless Net "Motorola, Proxim and Avaya are expected to announce today that they will jointly develop technology to allow wireless communications to jump between networks without interruption.
If the three companies are successful, an executive could begin downloading data using a wireless hub in a Starbucks, airport or other public site and move to a company office without interrupting the transfer. Similarly, a phone call that began over a company's internal voice-over-Internet network could move to a public carrier as the user of the cellphone left the building."
This will be wonderful -- if and only if they don't play silly licensing/subscription games.

IBM again granted more patents than any other U.S. company

IBM again granted more patents than any other U.S. company ... "Since 1993 IBM inventors have been awarded a record 22,357 patents, about 7,000 more than the next closest company, Canon, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The company has received more patents than 10 of the largest computer companies combined, which include Hewlett-Packard/Compaq, Intel, Sun, Microsoft, Dell, Apple, EMC, Oracle, and EDS.
Over that same period, IBM officials said the company's patent portfolio has generated about $10 billion in intellectual property royalties."
Maybe they should file a patent on their patent application process.

Monday, January 13, 2003

RSS feed of this blog

RSS feed of this blog Sorry it took me so long to get this set up...
WebServices.Org - The Web Services Community Portal - All under one roof with BEA's WebLogic Enterprise Platform "Achieving business objectives with Web services requires more than just building applications on Web services standards such as SOAP and WSDL. It requires a runtime framework for loosely coupled integration and an architecture that supports asynchronous conversations and business messaging frameworks. It needs to be developed, deployed, integrated and orchestrated, all on a reliable framework. BEA meets these challenges, recognises that its WebLogic Server is a market leader and builds on this product with its WebLogic Enterprise Platform."
(Author must work for BEA PR, but still a useful overview/perspective)
Boston Globe Online / Business / Battle for the sexes "Seeking to broaden their appeal to women, computer game makers are trading their characters' combat garb for designer clothes. They're creating worlds in which hunger and death don't exist, but shopping does."
(good press day for There Inc...)
In the Virtual World, a Place to Chat "He has concluded that there are two main types of users. One group is made up of people who want to interact in person with friends by riding digital dune buggies, flying hovercraft, decorating virtual homes and going on online scavenger hunts.
The others, he said, want to be with people they do not know in the physical world. An archetypal user "is the woman who is in her 30's, single, really overweight, lives in a small town," Mr. Melcher said. "She's quite verbal and bright. She feels trapped by her weight and location. She reads The New York Times and The New Yorker and Salon, and she wants to meet people who have her interests."
Mr. Melcher said the virtual world would let such people be appreciated for what they feel and think, and how smart and interesting they are, and not by more superficial criteria."

Sunday, January 12, 2003

.NET? Well, perhaps .NOT "Part of the problem, they say, is that even though Microsoft has been adding the .NET tag (pronounced "dot-net") to its software products, many people haven't been able to figure out what they're talking about."
Must be a lot of very frustrated marketing people in Redmond...
Wireless News: TiVo Enters Home-Networking Space "For TiVo, the ultimate objective is to be the gateway into the home for content distribution, IDC analyst Abner Germanow told NewsFactor. "Once they establish that, they can start offering a number of new services using a broadband connection," he said.
An advantage for the company is that customers can remotely control their TiVo recorders in the home, and they will be able to access files from their PC through the WLAN connection, said Germanow."
FCC's Chief Calls TiVo 'God's Machine' ( "My favorite product that I got for Christmas is TiVo," FCC chairman Michael Powell said during a question and answer session at the International Consumer Electronics Show. "TiVo is God's machine."
(via Dave Farber)

Friday, January 10, 2003

Now Playing: Reality Without the Downside "It's geared for people who want to spend time wanting to interact with other people beyond their family," she said. "They are the same sort of people who go and hang out in the afternoon in various places or get together after work."
On the Internet, Ms. Dyson noted, the social interaction in chat rooms often disintegrates into "trivial, useless, sex-oriented" babble. And game-based virtual worlds are usually filled with people who want to play games or talk about them.
A virtual destination like There, she said, is more akin to going to a cooking class or an art museum to meet people. "It's for people who want to be doing something while they meet people," she said. What is striking about There is the lengths to which it goes to mimic the mundane detail of everyday life. Members can guide their avatars by basically using the directional keys on a standard computer keyboard not only to meet friends and make new ones but also to explore There's worlds. That can mean anything from spending a day in a spa, where avatars can receive makeovers and haircuts, to surfing in a virtual ocean or joining in a spontaneous game of paintball." - Videogame Industry Thwarts Plans to Keep Fare From Kids "Concerned that it's too easy for children to get their hands on sexually explicit and violent videogames that depict everything from rape to decapitation, Rep. Joe Baca (D., Calif.) next month plans to introduce a bill in Congress making it a federal crime to sell or rent such games to minors.
The videogame industry doesn't seem very concerned. "We've got lots of lobbyists on Capitol Hill," says Doug Lowenstein, president of the Interactive Digital Software Association. "We'll make sure it doesn't get anywhere."
Evil evil evil evil... - Microsoft, Sony Sketch Visions Of Future Connections in Home "Although Sony and Microsoft are competing fiercely in the videogame market, Mr. Ando told reporters that Sony executives talk regularly with counterparts from Microsoft and chip maker Intel Corp. Without providing details, he said negotiations were under way to make it easier in the future to connect products from the information-technology and audio-visual industries.
"We are hoping that we can make an announcement that Sony, Intel, Microsoft and all the key guys will get together to guarantee compatibility between IT and AV products," [Sony COO] Mr. Ando said during a press conference following his keynote speech. "We still have not made it to the point where we can make an official announcement."
For the moment, however, Sony is making software decisions that are at odds with Microsoft's designs. Mr. Ando said that although Sony uses the Microsoft Windows operating system for its Vaio personal computers, Sony remains committed to operating software developed by Palm Inc. for hand-held computers.
In the living room, Mr. Ando said, Sony is working with other consumer-electronics companies to promote the free Linux operating system as a standard building block. It already has used Linux in CoCoon, a new product line which has a hard disk for recording videoprogramming from television sets, downloads software and data, and can learn user preferences. The first CoCoon device is being sold in Japan but hasn't been released in the U.S. yet.
Intel, meanwhile, seems to have a foot in both camps. It is Microsoft's biggest partner in the PC business but Intel also is working with Sony on Linux-based products. Craig Barrett, Intel's chief executive officer, also pledged in his keynote speech to promote the interconnection of consumer and computing devices, particularly through the use of wireless technology. The company disclosed that a new generation of notebook computers, based on the new brand Centrino, will go on sale in March.
"Whether the center of all the activity is a media-controlling PC or another media center of some type really doesn't matter," Mr. Barrett said in an interview. "Everything plays together."
Allen's Vulcan develops wireless Mini-PC This is at least the 4th mobile/handheld Windows XP device I've come across.
Bill and Paul's excellent adventure continues -- but the Sony/MSFT theme is also pervasive this week, e.g., see WSJ/Dow Jones story on (Allen's) Charter Communications both licensing Sony's set-top box platform and expanding its relationship with MSN...
Wired News: Bill Gates' Watch: Your Next PC? "Norman Weinstein, an analyst with Yeske and Company, said Microsoft has covered its bases by supporting so many different technologies. At the show, four electronics makers, including Sanyo and Samsung, are expected to release a Windows-powered personal digital video recorder by the holiday season. The 20-GB recorder would allow users to carry with them up to 175 hours of video or 8,000 songs."
Wireless News: Microsoft SPOTs a New Opportunity "What is particularly intriguing about Wednesday's announcement is that the SPOT devices will use a nationwide WAN (wide area network) based on FM subcarrier technology, much like that used by the Muzak piped-in music service.
Dubbed DirectBand, the technology includes a custom radio-receiver chip and new radio protocols to transmit information to smart objects via FM broadcast bands. By using radio frequency, Microsoft has access to nearly every FM station in the country. DirectBand's initial coverage area will include some 100 of the largest population centers in North America, the company said, representing cities in all 50 states and in Canada.
Broadcasters Clear Channel Communications, Entercom Communications, Greater Media and Rogers Communications are among those working on the project with Microsoft."
The Register: MS dumps .NET tag in latest Windows Server name change "It's not called Microsoft(R) Windows(R) .NET Server 2003 any more, since you ask, it's called Windows Server 2003. This tidily follows up on last August's name change to Microsoft(R) Windows(R) .NET Server 2003, prior to which its been called numerous things at various points, including Windows 2002 server. Not, of course, that Microsoft is confused or anything - oh no, sir..."
Boston Globe Online / Business / Technology titans clash to control living room of the future "Microsoft Corp. conquered the personal computer. Sony Corp. dominates the living room. Now those two realms are moving closer together, and that means Microsoft and Sony are bracing for war."
This is a timely snapshot, but the war is already underway and the author neglected to note the aspirations of another uber-vendor with similar in-home/consumer aspirations: Nokia.
ZDNet: Story: Here's what's next in home tech "I'll go out on a limb and say that, in less than five years, it will be pretty hard to buy a midrange home PC that doesn't come with a built-in TV tuner and the ability to digitally record television programs. Further, I'll predict it will be fairly easy to use that PC as the center of a home wireless entertainment system, where the programs recorded on the PC or a standalone digital video recorder can be wirelessly transmitted to displays throughout the home. Likewise, a music collection that lives on a PC will be available wirelessly to audio devices around the home."
InformationWeek > Software > Zollar Out At Lotus > January 9, 2003 "Many observers expect that Lotus and its flagship messaging and collaboration framework, Domino, eventually will be folded into IBM's WebSphere product line. That speculation has caused some Lotus Domino developers to fret that their development work could go to waste, and Aberdeen Group analyst Dana Gardner says a management shake-up right before Lotusphere will fuel such concerns. "That's not what you want going into your biggest event of the year," Gardner says.
Whereas Lotus needs to be focused on cultivating its developer community and providing a migration path from Domino into WebSphere, Gardner now expects Lotusphere to revolve around the introduction of Goyal.
Zollar is a 26-year veteran of IBM who took the helm at Lotus in 2000. Goyal also is a longtime IBMer, joining in 1982 as a researcher at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center and later serving as director of computer science at IBM Research. Most recently, Goyal was general manager of IBM's solutions and strategy division, and in that role he was responsible for WebSphere business integration and for setting the business strategy for IBM's software group."

Thursday, January 09, 2003

I, Cringely | The Pulpit -- Free Flight: Why Apple is Pulling Away From Microsoft and Can't Afford Not to Do It Lots of fun trivia about Apple/Microsoft history, and I'm sure this was a cathartic and fun week for Apple, if the anecdotes are true... but I still don't understand why Apple would want to build and market a new browser and PowerPoint-like product.
A Microsoft Watch Will Provide Much More Than Time "The media player, called Media2Go, resembles the Apple iPod, in that it has a 20-gigabyte hard drive that can hold hundreds of songs. But it also has a color screen for watching videos and looking at photographs. Microsoft showed a mockup with a 3.5-inch screen, but some manufacturers would make larger versions with 7-inch screens, it said. Samsung, iRiver, Sanyo and ViewSonic have agreed to make versions of the device, which is expected to sell for less than $500.
The device will not be able to hold movies from DVD's. But it will store and play home movies and video downloaded from the Internet. It will also be able to store copies of broadcast and cable television programs recorded by Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition.
Rob Enderle, a research fellow with the Giga Information Group, said there was great demand for such personal video players.
"It's going to be the biggest thing in 2003," he said. "Our testing shows that it least has the market potential of Apple's iPod if not quite a bit more."
BW Online | January 9, 2003 | Bill Gates on His "Spot" "Microsoft Chairman William H. Gates III unveiled his new Dick Tracy-watch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 8. The new gizmo gives users personalized, up-to-the-minute information such as stock quotes, sports scores, local weather, news headlines, horoscopes, calendar info, and even one-way instant messages -- all on their wrist. The data will be beamed over FM radio airwaves to the gadgets, wherever they are. Consumers will pay $120 to $300 for the watches and perhaps $99 more a year for the data service.
The watch is the first product to roll out using Microsoft's new Smart Personal Object Technology -- or Spot. Microsoft (MSFT ) expects to follow the watch with a travel alarm clock that will cull traffic data and your calendar info to suggest an appropriate wake-up time so you won't miss your first meeting of the day. Also on the drawing board: key-chain fobs that provide the same sort of data as a watch but might be more appealing to those who don't want a big watch face on their wrist.
[Gates:] The processor we have here makes the original PC look like a complete joke. This thing has 10 times the memory of the original PC. And it has more processing power than the original PC. It's just interesting to see somebody react to it who hasn't been involved in the project and have them go, "No, you can't really do that. Does it work? No -- it's got to be too big? Where does it work?"
Reuters | Gates sees massive market for smart watches "The only screen you carry around with you and you can just glance at is a wrist-sized screen," he said. "If we get 5 percent or 10 percent of people who have watches, it's a huge, huge number."
Time will tell...
Q&A: [Microsoft] "Media2Go" Platform Puts All Digital Media Onto One Portable Device "Media2Go" is a platform that enables next-generation, portable, handheld devices that enable entertainment-on-the-go by providing consumers with an easy and complete solution to download, store and play back all their favorite digital media content including video, music and photos. Today a lot of people have media players, such as a portable music player, that they can put in their pocket and listen to their favorite songs wherever they go. "Media2Go" is designed to provide people with a player that is more complete -- that plays more digital content, not just music but also video and even digital photos. I might have all those capabilities on my PC, but I’m not always at a PC when I want to access those media files. Plus, if I go on a cross-country trip, I might want to take my music or movies or photos along with me.
From a more technical standpoint, it’s a software platform built on Windows CE that enables Microsoft technology partners to build portable media players that have rich media capabilities using technologies such as Windows Media. Additionally, "Media2Go" provide seamless integration with the digital content stored on a PC that's running on the Windows XP operating system. It's important that "Media2Go" devices are complete and easy to use, but what is also critical with these devices is the integration back to the Windows XP PC. If it’s too complex to synchronize with the PC, then people aren’t going to do it. Synchronization of the "Media2Go" device is automatic. Consumers can quickly download their favorite digital content from their PCs to a "Media2Go" device using fast connections, such as USB and IEEE-1394, giving them the freedom to experience the digital media they edit and organize anywhere, any time." - IBM Will Shift Lotus Chief To Computer-Server Group "...In 2000, Mr. Zollar succeeded Jeffrey Papows, a Lotus veteran who was the subject of an article in The Wall Street Journal about exaggerating his military and educational credentials. Mr. Zollar quickly integrated some aspects of Lotus's back-office operations, eliminating its separate human resources and legal departments. Last year, he jettisoned Lotus's separate sales staff.
Analysts say Lotus has long been a trouble spot for IBM, the world's largest computer company. People familiar with the situation said Lotus had losses in some quarters last year, but IBM doesn't break out results.
Mr. Zollar will succeed Buell Duncan as general manager of IBM's iSeries server group. The iSeries, formerly called the AS400, is a line of proprietary computers used by many small businesses. Mr. Duncan will take a job in the software group working with software partners.
At Lotus, Mr. Zollar will be succeeded by Ambuj Goyal, 46, a computer engineer who has been general manager for solutions and strategy in the software group."

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

O'Reilly Network: Awkward Moments Dampen Woz's Return [January 07, 2003] "As frustration set in for panelists and audience alike, the pace of the discussion began to disintegrate. The topic was supposed to be "The Move to Mac OS X," but the only LeVitus and Ticktin seemed truly enthusiastic about Apple's new operating system. And at times, Wozniak even appeared clearly dissatisfied with the Unix-based OS. Not that I was expecting all love and roses here, but I wasn't prepared for a platform debate either."
I.B.M. in Deal to Farm Out Some PC Jobs "The move is part of I.B.M.'s continuing drive to cut costs as it focuses on software and services. In recent months, I.B.M. has sold its disk-drive business to Hitachi, while adding to its services and software presence by purchasing PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting and Rational Software."
I guess IBM plans to only make specialty computers these days, e.g., AS/400, mainframe, and supercomputers. It has already outsourced/partnered in many other areas, e.g., with Cisco for comms gear; of course Cisco also doesn't manufacture its own boxes...
Microsoft Smart Display opens door to world of sofa surfing "The AirPanel is impressive for first-generation technology. The screen is sharp and responsive to taps by either a stylus or fingers. It sets up easily and elegantly handled errors such as dropped connections. But I would not spend nearly $1,000 when a light, wireless-capable laptop with a larger screen costs only a few hundred dollars more."
I think most reviewers are missing the strategic direction/point here -- it's not about directly competing with a laptop; it's about handling a subset of PC usage contexts and also consolidating all remotes etc. into a single control unit, with a form factor that's more appropriate for carrying around the house. Yes there are some serious release 1.0 issues to fix, such as monotasking the host Windows XP PC when the Smart Display is active, and the prices need to come way down, but I think the concept is right and expect Smart Display will be very successful over time. Especially as roaming wireless, iSCSI, etc. go mainstream, when you'll no longer be housebound with this device type...
Apple Branches Out, Offering 2 Software Programs "Speaking before a frequently cheering crowd of 3,500 Macintosh faithful at the opening of the twice-yearly Macworld exhibition, Mr. Jobs, Apple's 47-year-old chairman and co-founder, spent 94 minutes of his 129-minute presentation speaking about Apple software before introducing the two new portable computers."
I'd love to have one of the new 17" display PowerBooks, but I'm baffled about why Apple would choose to compete with PowerPoint and the leading browser clients.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Xbox Live Subscriptions Double Expectations "Microsoft Corp. today released new data that indicates playing video games online via the Xbox Live (TM) service is quickly becoming the evening activity of choice for throngs of entertainment thrill seekers. Since the introduction of Xbox Live less than 60 days ago, more than 250,000 starter kits have been sold -- double original sales expectations. The starter kit has been selling out in most locations in North America. According to data released by NPD Group Inc., in the first month of availability, Xbox Live Starter Kits outsold by 86 percent the number of PlayStation 2 Network Adapters Sony sold in its first month.* Gamers have flocked to the world's first high-speed video gaming arena fully dedicated to online gaming, spending an average of 2.5 hours per day playing online."
Oh my... I wonder what the age distribution and other demographics pictures look like. || What the Future Holds for Microsoft "Many people consider Microsoft to be this all-powerful entity that always gets its way and succeeds in whatever it attempts (whether through technical ability, luck, marketing, or illegal means). But in fact, if you look back at all the initiatives Microsoft has attempted, most of them have failed. Remember Windows at Work, an attempt to unify all office machines on a network? Or TrueImage, a clone of the PostScript page description language? Or ACE, the Advanced Computing Environment, designed to replace the Intel PC architecture? If you look at all the things that Microsoft has boldly announced with a gaggle of industry partners, the success rate is maybe 10 to 20 percent. So pick any ten things that Microsoft is attempting now: Auto PC, cell phone operating system, set-top box, Xbox, electronic books, Internet Gaming Zone, Tablet PC, Pocket PC, speech recognition, MSN. The odds are that only one or two of those will actually succeed."
Interesting self-interview from someone who wrote a book about his decade with Microsoft.

Monday, January 06, 2003

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Gateway seeks a new way Perhaps it's time to start using "Dell" as a verb, as in "Gateway has been Delled..."
Phone Calling Over Internet Is Attracting More Interest "Internet calling currently accounts for more than 10 percent of international calling traffic, with about 18 billion minutes worldwide, up from 9.9 billion minutes at the end of 2001, according to the research firm Telegeography."
I think the author missed a key dimension -- the use of PC-based tools such as Windows Messenger and Macromedia Flash Communication Server-based apps; such tools facilitate long-distance audio and video (although in the case of Windows Messenger there are still lots of firewall and NAT etc. challenges).
Boston Globe Online / Business / Software designers with vision map hard drives - and beyond More press for Gelernter and Grokker

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Today's Visions of the Science of Tomorrow "At the end of every year, John Brockman, a literary agent and the publisher of, a Web site devoted to science, poses a question to leading scientists, writers and futurists. In 2002, he asked respondents to imagine that they had been nominated as White House science adviser and that President Bush had sought their answer to "What are the pressing scientific issues for the nation and the world, and what is your advice on how I can begin to deal with them?" Here are excerpts of some of the responses."
The Register: Microsoft's masterplan to screw phone partner - full details "Back in 1998, the phone companies decided to pool their resources on a wannabe smartphone OS from PDA-pioneer Psion Computer. The formation of Symbian caused Bill Gates much agitation [as these now-legendary memos show] ,but it's to his credit that he identified the company as Microsoft's No.1 enemy. In this case, at least, Microsoft's paranoia was fully justified."

Friday, January 03, 2003

Boston Globe Online / Editorials / Cracking a software code "Mitch Kapor is using his wealth to finance a new e-mailing software. But his real accomplishment may be changing the way people think."
Only in Boston could this show up on the editorial page...
[99 Bottles of Beer] - History and Background Cool site showing simple app in 487 programming languages/styles, via JD on MX
Microsoft's Gates Talks Trends, Points to Rivals IBM, Sony "... Our biggest competitor is IBM. IBM has always been the biggest company in the computer business by number of employees or revenue. We also work with IBM a lot. This XML Web services have a lot of the key foundation technical work that's going to make that a broad standard and make that succeed. It is based on the partnership between IBM and Microsoft around this Web services activity.
Sun Microsystems is actually quite small now. They've shrunk quite a bit, and they mostly make expensive hardware. AOL is just a competitor primarily in the United States in dial-up. Sony is certainly a great company, and we work with them on a lot of things in the PC and interoperability area. And we compete very aggressively with each other on video games."
Wired News: Vaporware 2002: Tech up in Smoke? Sign of the times: 50% are games
PDAStreet: Special Reports: Smartphones Come of Age Handy reference

Thursday, January 02, 2003

I, Cringely | The Pulpit: Bob's Predictions for 2003 Best 2003 tech market predictions I've seen so far (example: time to sell HPQ...)
And Now, the Portable Desktop PC, Up to a Point "The beauty of the Smart Display concept is that it keeps you out of Duplicate Hard-Drive Hell. That's the disorientation experienced by laptop owners who can't remember which machine contains the latest version of a certain file or which e-mail In box stores a critical message. With a Smart Display, you still own only one computer (that PC in the den), so all of your stuff remains in one place." ...
"ViewSonic charges $1,000 and $1,300 for its 10- and 15-inch screens; Philips will charge $1,400 for its model. But for that kind of money, you could buy an actual laptop. You could use it precisely the way you would use a Smart Display, tapping into your main PC using the same wireless technology and the same remote-control feature of Windows XP Pro.
In the process, you would avoid the frustrations of a missing keyboard, you would be able to play DVD movies in bed and you wouldn't be limited to tapping into a single computer.
Finally, not incidentally, you would own a true laptop - a computer that doesn't turn into an expensive hors d'oeuvres tray the minute you take it beyond the property line."
What Should I Do With My Life? "Environment matters, but in the end, when it comes to tackling the question, What should I do with my life? it really is all in your head. The first psychological stumbling block that keeps people from finding themselves is that they feel guilty for simply taking the quest seriously. They think that it's a self-indulgent privilege of the educated upper class. Working-class people manage to be happy without trying to "find themselves," or so the myth goes."...
"I have spent the better part of the past two years in the company of people who have dared to confront where they belong. They didn't always find an ultimate answer, but taking the question seriously helped get them closer. We are all writing the story of our own life. It's not a story of conquest. It's a story of discovery. Through trial and error, we learn what gifts we have to offer the world and are pushed to greater recognition about what we really need. The Big Bold Leap turns out to be only the first step."
Excerpt from new Po Bronson book
Peering Into My MSFT Crystal Ball ... Some interesting speculation