Friday, February 27, 2004

Burton Group TeleBriefing: Microsoft’s Next-Generation Platform Strategies: Putting Whidbey/Yukon and Longhorn in Context

Burton Group TeleBriefing: Microsoft’s Next-Generation Platform Strategies: Putting Whidbey/Yukon and Longhorn in Context
TeleBriefings are part of the Burton Group service offering, along with detailed analysis/reports, consulting, etc. I'm presenting my first one in a couple weeks:
"Microsoft is currently in overdrive, having released a record number of new products during 2003 and introduced the next two waves of its platform and tools strategies (Whidbey/Yukon and Longhorn) at its October, 2003 Professional Developers Conference. In this Application Platform Strategies TeleBriefing, Burton Group Senior Analyst Peter O'Kelly explains the next two waves relative to both broader application platform market trends and Microsoft's .NET strategy, including implications for Microsoft customers and competitors."

This TeleBriefing will be available in trial/complimentary mode (i.e., free); sign up at the link above.

Ray Ozzie's Weblog: Applied Decentralization: A large-scale social system for HLS

Ray Ozzie's Weblog: Applied Decentralization: A large-scale social system for HLS: "Today, with the gracious permission of one of our most significant customers, Groove made an announcement that I'd like to talk about for a moment. It's very significant to me for two reasons: First, the nature of how Groove is being used in this solution demonstrates to the extreme the very reason why Groove was built the way it was, from a technology and architecture perspective. Decentralization at its finest. The customer's core challenge was to enable individuals from many, many different organizations - most of whom had little or no opportunity for training - to rapidly assemble into small virtual teams to selectively share information, make decisions, get the job done, and disassemble. The individuals are geographically dispersed. They use different kinds of networks, behind different organizations' firewalls and management policies. They are very, very highly mobile. And there are few applications where the requirement for deep and effective security is more self-evident."

A Brief History of Microsoft on the Web: Reflections on from Birth to 'Middle Age'

A Brief History of Microsoft on the Web: Reflections on from Birth to 'Middle Age': "In the beginning, was just one computer tucked under a table at the end of a long hallway. It was designed to test Microsoft's first 32-bit Windows implementation of TCP/IP, the software plumbing in Windows that enables Internet communications.
Microsoft legend says that this machine once lived under the desk of the site's first official administrator, Mark Ingalls, but like most legends that's only half true. A staging server for was actually housed beneath his desk, and it was relocated because too often Ingalls reached down and turned off the wrong machine by mistake. "

A bit dated but still a fascinating read, via Nick Bradbury - Technology - Tivo's Dreams Come True ... Sort Of - Technology - Tivo's Dreams Come True ... Sort Of "When Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton co-founded TiVo in 1997, they could only have dreamed that three million people would one day use digital video recorders. But now that it has happened, TiVo is facing a depressing reality: It may become the latest in a long line of technology pioneers that see competitors run away with the riches. It'll join the fellow who wrote the original DOS operating system—no, not Bill Gates—and of course the founders of Netscape, to name just two.
First, the good news. TiVo's service, which gives customers a huge array of recording and viewing options, including the much-noted ability to pause live programs, has attracted a million users. In its most recent quarter TiVo added 209,000 subscribers, more than twice as many as it signed up in the previous quarter. Sales for the first nine months of 2003 totaled nearly $100 million, a 35% year-over-year jump.
But the company has yet to make a profit. Worse, TiVo's overall DVR share is about a third and shrinking, according to Forrester Research. The market has been flooded by cheaper, more efficiently distributed products, including a set-top cable box made by Scientific-Atlanta that doubles as a DVR. The cable-box maker shipped more than 500,000 units in its first year. Cable companies like Time Warner Cable (which, like FORTUNE, is owned by Time Warner) are distributing the boxes to customers free in return for a monthly service charge that ranges from $5 to $9. (Buying a TiVo at retail costs a minimum of $199, plus $13 a month for programming data.) And a host of ultracheap DVRs made by manufacturers like South Korea's LG Electronics are about to hit retail stores."

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Microsoft exec says marketing effort faltered with Windows XP

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Microsoft exec says marketing effort faltered with Windows XP: "People who use Microsoft's Windows XP operating system aren't taking advantage of many of the systems best features, a top executive said - and the world's largest software maker has only itself to blame.
Jim Allchin, Microsoft's group vice president for software platforms, including Windows, said he thinks customers aren't using gadgets like Windows Messenger and Movie Maker because Microsoft hasn't done a good enough job telling people about them.
'I don't think we've marketed it very well,' he said at a dinner with journalists Wednesday in Bellevue, near the company's Redmond headquarters."

Microsoft PressPass - Microsoft Expands Office Solution Accelerator Program

Microsoft PressPass - Microsoft Expands Office Solution Accelerator Program: "Rinearson: Industry partners and customers have expressed strong interest in the new Office Solution Accelerators, but they've also told us they'd be even happier if we permitted all Microsoft customers -- not just those on a Software Assurance program -- to use solutions built on the accelerators.
In response to these requests, we'll expand the availability of Office Solution Accelerators to all Microsoft customers and industry partners at no charge. We'll significantly increase the support resources offered online and through our developer-focused communications channels to enable a much broader set of partners to build development and support practices around a growing number of Office Solution Accelerators. "

Mass High Tech: Groove Networks software to be the core of new Homeland Security network

Mass High Tech: Groove Networks software to be the core of new Homeland Security network "The Department of Homeland Security has chosen Beverly-based Groove Networks Inc., a maker of secure virtual office software, to provide its software as a core component of an information-sharing network that Secretary Tom Ridge announced Tuesday.
The financial nature of the deal was not released.
According to Ridge, the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) will expand on the Joint Regional Information Exchange System (JRIES) that includes Groove Workspace as a core component for real-time, secure, intra- and inter-agency collaboration. JRIES has been developed by state and local officials in partnership with the federal government.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

CRN: Macromedia's Flex XML Tool On Track To Ship This Spring

CRN: Macromedia's Flex XML Tool On Track To Ship This Spring: "Macromedia is edging closer to the release of Flex, a presentation server designed to enable developers and solution providers to code multimedia applications through an XML-based language.
At Web Edge 2004 East in Boston on Wednesday, David Mendels, senior vice president of tools and platforms at Macromedia, told CRN that Flex is due to begin shipping this spring, 'on the cusp' of the first and second quarters. "

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: 'Windows XP Reloaded' will bridge version gap

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: 'Windows XP Reloaded' will bridge version gap: "Microsoft will release an update kit for Windows XP this fall to bridge the gap until the company releases a new version of Windows around 2005 or 2006, Windows chief Jim Allchin said yesterday.
Called 'Windows XP Reloaded,' the kit will include a new media player and other new technologies, Allchin said. The kit will provide features in addition to security improvements to be available by this summer in an upgrade kit that Chairman Bill Gates detailed Tuesday."

Windows XP SP2 Update Adds Security Center, Other New Features

Windows XP SP2 Update Adds Security Center, Other New Features: "XP SP2 build 2082 includes the new Windows Security Center application, which is based on a similar tool from last year's 'PC Satisfaction' beta. Basically a Web-based tool, Security Center monitors your Windows Firewall, Automatic Updates, and Virus Protection settings and warns you if any are deemed unsafe. You can now set the Windows Firewall to On (Recommended), On (But don't allow exceptions; recommended for mobile use), and Off (Not Recommended). Beyond this obvious new feature, build 2082 includes small tweaks to the wireless-networking interface and slightly updated versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), Microsoft Outlook Express, and Windows Media Player (WMP) 9 Series." - Vonage Makes Phoning Through the Internet Convenient and Cheap - Vonage Makes Phoning Through the Internet Convenient and Cheap "If you're sick of your local or long-distance phone company, you now have an alternative: Internet phone calling.
Internet calling can save you money, and allow you to add features and flexibility unheard of in the traditional phone industry.
The idea of making voice calls over the Internet isn't new. For years, some Internet users have been doing this, mainly to save money on international calls. But it was a pretty techie process. You had to use a PC, or a special phone, and find the other person in some special online directory, or by typing in an Internet address. The quality of calls was lousy."

I've been using Vonage for a couple months now, along with an inexpensive AT&T dual-line speaker phone. I'm a very happy Vonage customer, and I'm also happy to be a thrice-wired (Vonage line, home line, and AC power -- i.e., no batteries to worry about) phone user; my AT&T Wireless/Sony Ericsson/Jabra Bluetooth headset is fine when I'm mobile, but it just wasn't sufficient for all of the conference calls etc. I have from my office. Video That's Finally On-Demand Video That's Finally On-Demand ... "thanks to startup Akimbo, soon, we'll be able to watch these same videos on our TV sets. Akimbo, which demonstrated an intriguing product at the Demo 2004 conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., earlier this week, was founded by Steve Shannon, a former executive of ReplayTV, the TiVo competitor that is now a unit of D&M Holdings. The company demonstrated the Akimbo player, a set-top box that doesn't look much different from a TiVo or other personal video recorder box. Like those other players, it has an 80-gigabyte hard drive that stores video played on a TV. But it's the source of the video that's unusual. The Akimbo player is connected to the Internet via a broadband Internet connection. Through a subscription service, the company plans to offer access to roughly 20,000 hours of video offered for download. Akimbo's service will present video from services like IFilm, Digicast and CinemaNow, among others, all of which are available as part of a $10 monthly subscription."

Sun's Sueltz shifts to | CNET

Sun's Sueltz shifts to | CNET "Patricia Sueltz, who led the services unit at Sun Microsystems to record revenue, is leaving the company this week for a post at
Beginning Thursday, Sueltz will become president of marketing, technology and systems at, according to a statement from Sun on Wednesday. Salesforce delivers customer relationship management software over the Web."

Bad news for Sun, good news for, imho

IBM urges Sun to make Java open source | CNET

IBM urges Sun to make Java open source | CNET "In a letter sent by Rod Smith, IBM's vice president of emerging technology, IBM offered to work with Sun to create a project that would shepherd development of Java through an open-source development model. If implemented, portions of Sun's most valuable software asset--Java--would be freely available, and contributors ranging from volunteer programmers to large corporations would submit changes to the Java software. "

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Webmonkey: authoring: Mighty Atom: Really Similar Syndication?

Webmonkey: authoring: Mighty Atom: Really Similar Syndication? "So then, why do we need Atom, again?
Dave Winer's RSS spec is penned in a succinct, conversational style that's both easy to read and easy to learn. Yet while brevity and informality work great when it comes to getting the masses to adopt new ideas, the spec had some notable gaps and gray areas. And late efforts to re-write or repair the RSS spec were hampered by a variety of issues, such as RSS's emphasis on backwards compatibility and its adoption of a Creative Commons license."

Firewall Vendors Wary of Microsoft Rivalry - Computer Business Review

Firewall Vendors Wary of Microsoft Rivalry - Computer Business Review "Microsoft Corp's announcement yesterday of its imminent entry into the personal firewall market was expected, but it is still concerning for some companies already playing in that space.
The company has been flagging up advanced firewall features of Windows XP Service Pack 2 for some time, and Bill Gates yesterday revealed some of the Windows Firewall features that will be turned on by default in the forthcoming release.
"SP2 is a release that's totally focused on security," he said. "And, in fact, today this is the primary focus of the Windows team...we prioritized resources and activities around what's an intermediate release under the name SP2, which is just security-oriented.""

File under "Damned if you do,..."


Gates Details Security-Related Technology Investments and InnovationsAt RSA Conference 2004

Gates Details Security-Related Technology Investments and InnovationsAt RSA Conference 2004: "Highlights of the keynote include the following:
The announcement that Microsoft is investing in the development of security technologies to extend integrated protection to PCs, to make them more resilient in the presence of worms and viruses
Gates demonstrating, for the first time, upcoming security enhancements in Windows® XP Service Pack 2 including Windows Firewall, Windows Security Center and browsing enhancements in Internet Explorer
An outline of Microsoft's technological approach for reducing spam, including its Coordinated Spam Reduction Initiative (CSRI) and technical specifications for the establishment of caller ID-like functionality for e-mail to help prevent domain spoofing
The announcement of Exchange Edge Services, a milestone in the development of next-generation Microsoft® Exchange Server e-mail protection and security technologies to better protect users' systems from viruses and junk e-mail "

Wired 12.03: The Complete Guide toGooglemania!

Wired 12.03: The Complete Guide toGooglemania! "Why is Microsoft so obsessed? Because it knows search is a key component in the future of computing. Microsoft's next-generation OS, Longhorn, is conceived as a unified interface for a PC, its local network, and the Web. For it to work, Longhorn needs a sleek search utility. If Microsoft can't buy Google, it'll resort to its time-tested strategy: copy the best technology and integrate it on the desktop.
At the same time, Google has become more than a typical search engine. Its search box is a phone book and a dictionary. It can check stock prices, provide news, track FedEx packages, perform metric conversions, locate airplanes, offer street maps, and supply weather conditions. It'll search retail outlets by zip code and, with Froogle, scour the Web for products. In short, Google execs are innovating like they're running from someone. "People at Google don't talk about it, but it's pretty evident," says Danny Sullivan, editor of Search Engine Watch. "Microsoft's making a move into search that's equal to its move into Web browsers. That's got to make you nervous."
For all their differences, the two companies have a lot in common. Microsoft looks at Google and sees its own past, full of promise. Google looks at Microsoft and sees the future - a swaggering company that dominates the tech landscape. It's a classic battle between youth and experience or, as Google likes to believe, good and evil."

Multi-part, multifaceted Wired cover story series on Google.

Epistemologically Multiple Actor-Centered Systems: or, EMACS at work!

Epistemologically Multiple Actor-Centered Systems: or, EMACS at work!: "Actors from different backgrounds contribute multiple ways of knowing, understanding and resolving problems that arise in the innovation process. This paper employs a socio-technical perspective to analyze how editing macros are shaped by diverse actors, and at the same time also shape these actors and their practices.
Unlike some proprietary software firms that try to lock users in by using proprietry document formats (and critics say they do this in order to dominate the market), EMACS engages users by presenting greater shared interests in socio-cultural or technical aspects." - Technology - How the Open-Source World Plans to Smack Down Microsoft, and Oracle, and ... - Technology - How the Open-Source World Plans to Smack Down Microsoft, and Oracle, and ... "Microsoft thrives, of course, when faced with competition—remember how it rallied to crush Netscape during the Internet boom. (Nor is it without allies: Tiny SCO of Lindon, Utah, has worried Linux users by claiming copyright ownership of some of the underlying code—a claim that's wending its way through federal court in Salt Lake City.) Today at Microsoft hundreds of employees are working on Linux and other threats, and the word "open" crops up a lot. Martin Taylor, a rising star who recently served as CEO Ballmer's chief of staff, is assigned full-time to the open-source challenge. Says Marshall Phelps, an ex-IBMer whom Microsoft hired in June to develop an intellectual-property licensing program: "Microsoft has been pretty closed as a company. Basically now we're open for business." Jason Matusow, who runs a program that allows selected customers special rights to view Microsoft source code, says, "Customers in large numbers are telling us we need greater transparency."
Then there is Bill Gates. Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect is spending most of his time these days on a top-to-bottom reworking of Windows, the company's $11-billion-a-year mainstay. Code-named Longhorn and not due for release before next year, the software aims to make computers more versatile and less expensive to maintain. It also aims to discourage defection to Linux: It will integrate key functions of Office and database software so that users won't be as easily tempted by free programs like OpenOffice and MySQL.
As the popularity of open source surges and prices and profit margins in software crumble, will the industry be ruined? Microsoft's Mundie warns darkly that the erosion of profits will slow innovation. But Torvalds (sounding positively Gatesian) argues that the demand for innovative software is limitless: Programmers will never lack for moneymaking opportunities as infotech weaves itself into all aspects of our lives. That may be closer to the truth. Software companies have always had to innovate to survive—and fear focuses the mind."

Another long open source article in Fortune. Annoyingly requires registration.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

"The World's Gone Crazy with XML," Says Sun's Senior IT architect (SYS-CON)(Printview)

"The World's Gone Crazy with XML," Says Sun's Senior IT architect (SYS-CON)(Printview): "'The world has gone crazy with XML and then Web services,' writes Sun's senior IT architect Victoria Livschitz, in an article currently to be found on the official Sun Web site.
'SOAP and UDDI are getting enormous attention,' she continues, 'and yet, from a software engineering standpoint, they seem to me a setback rather then a step forward. We now have a generation of young programmers who think of software in terms of square brackets. An enormous mess of XML documents that are now being created by enterprises at an alarming rate will be haunting our industry for decades. With all that excitement, no one seems to have the slightest interest in basic computer science.' "

See the full article for a lively debate -- Sun, MS, etc.

Steve Gillmor: RSS Anonymous

Steve Gillmor: RSS Anonymous "OK, here's the deal. My name is Steve Gillmor. I am an RSS addict. I have 4,624 unread items in NetNewsWire. Why so many? Because I have 400 separate feeds and some of them (the New York Times, Yahoo, Scobleizer) emit hundreds of items a day. Why so many unread? Because what I don't read won't get deleted. Why is that important?
What I really want is a persistent, controllable store of RSS data. Not just the abstract, or summary, data, but the full text and graphics, even scripting data, executables, and enclosures. Couple that with embedded browser rendering (Safari on the Mac) and add the ability to cache the Web pages of RSS feeds that don't support full-text.
Now add authoring system services with WYSIWYG features for dragging and dropping quotes, URLs, graphics and formatting. Safari doesn't support XML yet, but Mozilla does—and it's cross-platform. Here's where Jon Udell's vision suddenly crystallizes. If we have the full text, we can convert the HTML to XHTML and use XPath and XQuery to create whatever view is most appropriate to the consumer.
For me, the view that's most important is the one that reflects my interests—and the interests of those I consider most important. Some of that data already exists in NetNewsWire in an OPML file called MySubscriptions.xml—what RSS feeds I subscribe to, and in what order. The file could easily be augmented with additional data—what items I read, and in what order. Technorati's Dave Sifry calls just such an extension attention.xml."

Microsoft Parades 'Whitehorse' at DevDay Kick-Off

Microsoft Parades 'Whitehorse' at DevDay Kick-Off: "Forte described Whitehorse as a set of integrated, model-driven design tools for the design, deployment and maintenance of 'service-oriented distributed systems.' He showed how developers can use Whitehorse to link components graphically, add methods and then create code.
'It doesn't sound that different from UML (Unified Modeling Language). But Whitehorse is a two-way street,' he explained.
Whitehorse updates design documents as programmers code. And if they modify the design document, the change is automatically reflected back in the code, Forte said. At the same time, Whitehorse simplifies deployment by detecting settings on machines in advance, thus alleviating the need for trial-and-error code deployment, he said.
What Forte didn't say during his keynote, but mentioned on his Weblog is that Microsoft's System Definition Model (SDM) is at the core of Whitehorse's architecture. SDM is the foundation of Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative, which is its utility-computing products/strategy."

Microsoft Posts InfoPath 2003 SP1 Preview

Microsoft Posts InfoPath 2003 SP1 Preview "The InfoPath 2003 SP1 preview is fully backward-compatible with the original InfoPath 2003 release and can be mixed into existing environments. SP1 comes with a wide range of improvements over the original release, including
- better security--improved support for digital signatures so that users can sign individual portions of a form and verify their intentions even after future changes are made to the form
- better reliability--enhanced document recovery, data-submission and filtering controls, and stability-related enhancements that are based on data gathered from users through Office 2003's automated error-reporting tools
- better technology integration--improved handwriting support for Tablet PC users and simpler email-attachment support, which lets users send InfoPath forms to one another through Outlook
- better programming environment--richer page-layout controls that will help developers and technical users more easily create new forms, integration with Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000's workflow-automation functionality, customizable capabilities accessible through professional programming environments such as Visual Basic .NET and Visual C#, and more extensive support for XML schemas and XML Schema Definition (XSD) language data sources

Office 2003 SP1 will also include dramatic changes to other applications, including several expected changes to Office OneNote 2003, Microsoft's new note-taking application. Microsoft says it will release Office 2003 SP1 in June."

Critics question motive by Microsoft

Critics question motive by Microsoft: "Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates won widespread applause in January when he trumpeted an agreement to give $1 billion in software and cash to the United Nations as part of a job-training program for the developing world.
But Microsoft did not seek any attention for a much smaller amount that it contributed earlier to pay some travel expenses for a U.N. business standards group.
That payment, critics say, had a much more opportunistic motive than the big donation.
Several software industry executives and technologists contend that Microsoft has been moving behind the scenes to undercut support for a set of business-to-business electronic transaction standards jointly developed by the United Nations and an industry-sponsored international standards group."

Not like the ebXML gang doesn't have its own agenda, of course...

Monday, February 23, 2004

Wired News: MySQL Profits From Open Source

Wired News: MySQL Profits From Open Source: "Zack Urlocker likes to compare his employer's database software to a budget airline.
It's cheap, devoid of luxurious trappings and doesn't expend much effort catering to customers' whims. But if the point is to reach one's destination quickly and easily, it'll do the job.
'We don't try to be the database that has all the features,' said Urlocker, vice president of marketing for MySQL AB, the Swedish maker of an open-source database platform. 'If someone needs the advanced grid capabilities, they should buy that from Oracle.'
If, on the other hand, they don't want to spend the money, he advises they take a look at open source."

The Register: Symbian beats a million handsets a month

The Register: Symbian beats a million handsets a month: "The Symbian operating system shipped in 2.76 million handsets in the fourth quarter of 2003.
This was up from 0.98 million for the fourth quarter of 2002. In December the smart phone OS designer exceeded the million phones a month mark for the first time.
Symbian receives $7.25 per unit for the first two million units, and $5 thereafter"

Most Wanted: Notebook Sales Grow

Most Wanted: Notebook Sales Grow "The notebook PC is becoming the computing equivalent of a second car in many households. Notebooks finished off last year with strong sales, continuing to grab a growing share of the consumer PC market, NPD Techworld reported last week.
Mobile machines accounted for more than 35 percent of all PC’s sold in retail stores last year, up from 29 percent in 2002 and 23 percent in 2001, the research firm said. Measured in dollar terms, consumer desktop and notebook sales are even.
The usual technology trends — faster, cheaper and better — have made notebooks more attractive and affordable. Consumer notebooks carried an average price tag of $1,329 in the fourth quarter of last year, down from $1,672 three years earlier."

BW Online | March 1, 2004 | Linux For The Desktop: It's A Contender

BW Online | March 1, 2004 | Linux For The Desktop: It's A Contender With a few caveats:
"Of course, there are a lot of people who shouldn't even consider Linux. The primary reason to avoid it is the need for software, whether a custom corporate application or a commercial program that exists only for Windows. From Adobe (ADBE ) Photoshop to Apple (AAPL ) iTunes, you're out of luck. And even when a Linux version exists, such as Real Player, installation is a complicated, slightly scary business -- and RealNetworks (RNWK ) disavows support of the product.
Corporations, which are looking to Linux PCs to reduce costs and simplify administration, usually restrict it to settings where the software is limited. The most popular uses are in call centers and other transaction-processing operations, where employees will often run just one application." - Nokia Takes Leap Into Wi-Fi Arena With New Phone - Nokia Takes Leap Into Wi-Fi Arena With New Phone: "Nokia Corp., in a move that could loosen mobile-phone operators' grip on the wireless market, plans to unveil Monday its first handset capable of surfing the Internet using short-range wireless technology known as Wi-Fi.
Nokia's Communicator 9500 will be able to bypass conventional mobile-phone networks, but still access the Web and even make phone calls using a Wi-Fi network. Key to its operation are 'hot spots' springing up in offices, homes, coffee shops, hotels and other areas within 300 feet of a Wi-Fi base station connected to the Internet via a fixed line. Consumers now need a specially equipped laptop or personal organizer to use these hot spots." - Technology - What Does Steve Jobs Want? - Technology - What Does Steve Jobs Want? "Machiavellian minds see the recent Pixar-Disney brouhaha—when Steve Jobs abruptly abandoned talks to extend the animation boutique's partnership with the venerable Hollywood studio—as much more than a soap opera. In light of Jobs' stunning success with Apple Computer's iTunes music-download service and iPod player, they view Pixar and Apple as Trojan horses that Jobs can ride into the executive suite of some bigger, more storied company.
s not that Jobs isn't one of the most ambitious entrepreneurs the world has ever seen. He is. But he is most effective when he is in his own sandbox. And despite his reputation for being impulsive, Steve can be as patient as they come. It would have been easy simply to have shut down Pixar during those first difficult 12 years. Or never to have returned to Apple after he quit in a huff in 1985. Apple and Pixar are the brands he cares about, not Disney or Sony. So it's far more likely that Jobs will continue to operate the way he always has, with a stubborn independence and unique creativity that give him a special kind of clout he would lose if he were a captain of the establishment. Like George Lucas, the independent filmmaker from whom he purchased Pixar, Steve wants to write his own script."

(Requires login...)

Sunday, February 22, 2004

NYT: The Search Engine That Isn't a Verb, Yet

NYT: The Search Engine That Isn't a Verb, Yet "But now Mr. Semel must win over a tougher audience: Silicon Valley. In many ways, Yahoo's main rival is Google, started five years ago by two brainy Stanford graduate students who believed, against conventional wisdom, that sophisticated computer science could produce better Web searches.
They were right. Google has become not only a verb but also a profitable company with a reported $1 billion in sales. It is expected to be the hottest initial public offering this year. And now Google is preparing to offer a free e-mail service, people close to the company said, in a bid for Yahoo's most important source of loyal customers.
Mr. Semel, meanwhile, inherited a Web search business that was largely a Potemkin village. Yahoo was founded in 1994 as a directory of cool Web sites, but most users considered it a search engine. The company, however, saw itself more as a place that packaged experiences for consumers and sold ads. So it had other companies do the hard technical work of indexing billions of Web pages, which is what search is all about. That led Yahoo, before Mr. Semel arrived, to hire Google, unwittingly giving its future rival crucial early exposure.
Mr. Semel soon realized that the company had helped create a monster. So he has spent $2 billion trying to assemble his own Google, buying Inktomi, the Web search software company, and Overture Services, the pioneering seller of search advertising.
Last week, Yahoo finally replaced Google's search results with its home-brewed search engine, which uses a robot, called Slurp, to read Web pages. Experts say Yahoo's new search engine is credible and roughly comparable to Google's. And more important, Yahoo appears committed to the sort of engineering work that is needed to improve the quality of Web searches.

Sneak Peek at Microsoft's Virtual Server

Sneak Peek at Microsoft's Virtual Server "Once relegated to the networked storage sector, virtualization software has become increasingly popular as more and more enterprises seek to simplify the infrastructure in their data centers by pooling or sharing resources from multiple machines and accessing them from a single GUI (define) or console.
Storage systems vendor EMC (Quote, Chart) entered the server virtualization fray by acquiring VMware, universally acknowledged as the largest virtualization provider for Intel-based computing systems. VERITAS software later bought. application virtualization player Ejasent.
In a recent interview, VMware Vice President of Marketing Mike Mullany said he did not anticipate Microsoft and VMware butting heads much because he said Microsoft appears uses virtualization at the application level while VMware concentrates on hardware-based virtualization.
"Microsoft is not interested in server virtualization as a core IT strategy," Mullany told "Microsoft is using virtualization to address the problem of migrating from NT4 and Windows 2000 to Windows Server 2003 and Virtual Server will help them do that."


Jon's Radio: Heads, decks, and leads: revisited [on info overload etc.]

Jon's Radio: Heads, decks, and leads: revisited [on info overload etc.] "In his essay Birth of the NewsMaster, Robin Good writes:
'I have seen and heard of people subscribing to hundreds if not to thousands of feeds inside their RSS aggregators.
Is that manageable? Do these people get better and more information than everyone else?
It is not. They don't.'
Information architecture is one of my abiding passions. Designing an information display that can be efficiently scanned is something I've thought a whole lot about. So I'm particularly keen to understand why some people report being overwhelmed by too much RSS input, while others say they're able to process lots of it effectively.
Yesterday, for example, Steve Gillmor told me that he's feeling overwhelmed by thousands of unread items in NetNewsWire. Yet I never feel that way. I suspect that's because I'm reading in batches of 100 (in the Radio UserLand feedreader). I scan each batch quickly. Although opinions differ as to whether or not a feed should be truncated, my stance (which I'm reversing today) has been that truncation is a useful way to achieve the effect you get when scanning the left column of the Wall Street Journal's front page. Of the 100 items, I'll typically only want to read several. I open them into new Mozilla tabs, then go back and read them. Everybody's different, but for me -- and given how newspapers work, I suspect for many others too -- it's useful to separate the acts of scanning and reading. When I'm done with the batch, I click once to delete all 100 items."

I share Steve's pain -- I'm finding it difficult to keep up with all of the RSS feeds I find interesting/useful. On the other hand, given a choice between my current info-foraging tools/modus operandi and my earlier approaches, e.g., circa 1988, when I used to spend a couple hours each week hitting the shelves at Lotus' Information Resources Group library, and several more hours each week skimming weekly hard-copy press, I'm much better informed today.

Blogs and RSS have made a major difference for me during the last couple years. I now spend far less time reading email newsletters and routinely visiting Web sites, and much more time in FeedDemon, skimming headlines etc. I also still spend what most people would probably consider an inordinate amount of time reading hard-copy periodicals; I subscribe to a couple dozen IT and general business press pubs.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Microsoft Architecture Update newsletter: Just what are 'Smart Clients' and why are they so smart?

Microsoft Architecture Update newsletter: Just what are 'Smart Clients' and why are they so smart? The term Smart Client was coined to highlight the differences between the typical 'Rich Client' applications of yesteryear and the next generation of client applications. To understand these differences, and to understand how they are likely to change the face of client-side computing, it is useful to take a trip down memory lane... "
If a client application displays these characteristics, then it can be said to be smart:
Utilizes Local Resources
A smart client application always has code artifacts on the client that enable local resources to be utilized. What do we mean by local resources? We mean everything from hardware to software resources. A smart client may take advantage of the local CPU or GPU, local memory or disk, or any local devices connected to the client, such as a telephone, bar-code/RFID reader, and so on. But it may also take advantage of local software, such as Microsoft Office applications, or any installed line-of-business (LOB) applications that interact with it.
Smart client applications are never standalone and always form part of a larger distributed solution. This could mean that the application interacts with a number of Web services that provide access to data or an LOB application. Very often, the application has access to specific services that help maintain the application and provide deployment and update services.
Offline Capable
Because they are running on the local machine, one of the key benefits that smart client applications offer is that they can be made to work even when the user is not connected. For applications running in occasional or intermittent connectivity situations, such as those used by traveling workers or even those running on laptops, tablets, PDA's, and so on, where connectivity cannot be guaranteed at all times, being able to work while disconnected is essential. Even when the client is connected, the smart client application can improve performance and usability by caching data and managing the connection in an intelligent way.
Intelligent Install and Update
Smart client applications manage their deployment and update in a much more intelligent way than traditional rich client applications. The .NET framework enables application artifacts to be deployed using a variety of techniques, including simple file copy or download over HTTP. Applications can be updated while running and can be deployed on demand by clicking on a URL. The Microsoft(r) .NET Framework provides a powerful security mechanism that guarantees the integrity of the application and its related assemblies. Assemblies can be given limited permissions in order to restrict their functionality in semi-trusted scenarios.
Client Device Flexibility
The .NET Framework together with the .NET Compact Framework provides a common platform upon which smart client applications can be built. Often, there will be multiple versions of the smart client application, each targeting a specific device type and taking advantage of the devices unique features and providing functionality appropriate to its usage."

Also see the Venn diagram in the full article.

BEA's Bosworth: The World Needs Simpler Java

BEA's Bosworth: The World Needs Simpler Java "eWEEK: Simplicity in tools is an issue on everybody's mind today, particularly with BEA and your Workshop product. How much of an impact do you think you've had on making Java development easier?
BOSWORTH: Well, I think we've had a huge impact on making it easier, which is to say… I'm going to make a very aggressive assertion. I would argue that there were really only about 500,000 people who could effectively use J2EE [Java 2 Enterprise Edition] before Workshop. There were obviously more people who could program in Java and there were obviously more people who could use JSPs [JavaServer Pages]. What I'm saying is the people who could actually make use of J2EE to develop true enterprise computing, it was the systems programmer crowd. That's who we were selling to. And I believe we truly have made it possible for the corporate developer, the applications developer to play in that and that means there's more like 5 million people. And what's more is because of the two-way views we've let them work collaboratively with the business user. Now the effect of that is measured in different ways. We just released the product not too long ago and I don't know yet what the impact will be in terms of what everyone does. I think it's interesting that other products are now starting to try and repeat what we've already shipped.
eWEEK: How can BEA, which seems to be mostly known as an application server vendor, lead this kind of revolution?
BOSWORTH: Well, you're asking two questions in one. I'm only equipped to answer one. One is a marketing question and the right people to ask that question of are Byron Sebastian and Tod Nielsen. Tod, as you probably know, has extensive marketing experience. And Byron is in my opinion one of the finest people in software today, and is thinking very hard about this problem. That's not my expertise, which is why I shouldn't be allowed to be the CEO of a company. I've been one but only because I had to.
The other question you're asking is technically how could we do it, which is a different question. Technically, I do think my approach is a little bit unique. I brought about 100 people into BEA who had done this.
eWEEK: From CrossGain?
BOSWORTH: Well, from all over. I bought a company called Westside after BEA bought me [CrossGain]. And Westside had many of the people that helped me build VB and Access. And many of the people that came in with CrossGain had worked for Borland at some point and had worked with me for years. I was asked at one point how can we build an IDE for the rest of us in 18 months when no one can build an IDE in 18 months. I said look the people who are doing this, this is their fifth generation. They built Quick C then they built Visual C. Then they built another and then they did it again. Then they went to CrossGain and built work and they've been doing this over and over and learning as they go. So I think what's unique about us is we have two separate pieces of DNA in the organization.
We have the enterprise DNA that came out of the Tuxedo roots and the WebLogic roots that are massively scalable don't-fall-down roots, which honestly are not Microsoft's roots. And then at the same time we now have the DNA of how do you make it mass market and how do you make it easy. And honestly I'm pretty proud of what we did in the first place. I started building 8.1 in December of 2001. And 18 months later we shipped a product that really pretty profoundly started to change what you had to know to build a truly scalable, truly asynchronous platform that took advantage of the things you can do in J2EE. Are we done? No. We're not close to done."

Jeremy Allaire's Radio: Shaking up the Web Conferencing Market

Jeremy Allaire's Radio: Shaking up the Web Conferencing Market "Convoq ASAP breaks a lot of ground in the convergence of presence management, rich media instant messaging and multi-participant web conferencing, and do this with an economics for the mass-market. For less than $100 per year, users of ASAP can conduct an ulimited number of meetings with up to 25 participants. Comparative pricing from Microsoft LiveMeeting (Placeware) and WebEx is in the tens of thousands of dollars.
This approach to the market reflects Convoq's philosophy that real-time, rich media multi-participant online collaboration is ready to be an everyday productivity application, not a stovepipe system that is limited in its use to those "premium" sales calls or online demos. The focus on making real-time collaboration more common is reflected in Convoq's thoughtful embrace of productivity-enhacing presence and convocation management features, helping either large or distributed organizations gather the right people at the right time in online settings."

Friday, February 20, 2004

Gary Devendorf has a new role at Microsoft

Gary Devendorf has a new role at Microsoft: "As of today, I'm the Technical Evangelist on the Windows team covering 'Collaboration'. So now SharePoint and any Microsoft product remotely related to Collaboration is my area. Notes/Domino also fits into this space. I can't think of a better time to have this responsibility. This area is going to explode in the coming year."

Congrats, Gary

Enterprise Collaboration Platforms Debut at DEMO

Enterprise Collaboration Platforms Debut at DEMO: "New enterprise collaboration technology was on display this week at the DEMO 2004 show in Scottsdale, Ariz., as IMlogic Inc., Convoq Inc., ViewCentral Inc. and ExpertCity Inc. rolled out new offerings for connecting people inside and outside of organizations."

Fascinating to see so much collaboration-related activity. Check out Convoq's pricing model -- major disruptive potential.

NewsGator Takes RSS Online

NewsGator Takes RSS Online: "With NewsGator online services, NewsGator Technologies has taken its popular RSS aggregator online, giving users a convenient combination of tools with which to check Web logs and news sites.
Launched last month, NewsGator Online Services is a subscription-based service that enables users to access RSS feeds on multiple machines. The service is priced at $5.95 per user per month."

CRN : Breaking News : BEA Tops $1 Billion

CRN : Breaking News : BEA Tops $1 Billion : "BEA Systems had its first billion-dollar year in fiscal 2003, company executives said Thursday.
BEA, San Jose, Calif., posted $1.01 billion in revenue for the year ended Jan. 31, 2004, an 8 percent increase from $934 million the previous year. Income was up 41 percent to $118.7 million over the same period. "

NYT: Navigating Digital Home Networks

NYT: Navigating Digital Home Networks: "The solution included eliminating physical media like CD's, cassette tapes, videotapes and DVD's. Everything, including the writer's photos and home video, was digitized and stored on a hard drive in the apartment and linked to flat-screen televisions, a home theater system, his PC and his color printer.
But what the makeover failed to make clear - as consumer electronics executives and technologists often fail to do in such demonstrations - is how people will be able to retrieve precisely what they want, when they want, from such deep digital wells.
It will require more than a fancy remote control."

Report: Linux draws more attacks than Windows - News & Technology - CNETAsia

Report: Linux draws more attacks than Windows - News & Technology - CNETAsia: "Linux advocates often pride the operating system to be more secure than Windows but this claim could have attracted the unwanted attention of the hacking community.
An analysis of hacker attacks on online servers in January by U.K.-based security consultancy mi2g found that Linux servers were most frequently hit, accounting for 13,654 successful attacks, or 80 percent of the survey total. Windows came in a distant second with 2,005 attacks.
A detailed analysis of government servers also found Linux to be more susceptible, accounting for 57 percent of all security breaches.
According to the study, the most secure OS turned out to BSD (Berkley Software Distribution) and Mac OS X."


Thursday, February 19, 2004

Dan Bricklin: Back to Software Garden

Dan Bricklin: Back to Software Garden: "I have resigned from Interland as an employee and CTO. I will be available to them to provide advice on product and service offerings, and possibly participate on their behalf in various external relationships.
I am going back full-time to Software Garden, the tiny company that I founded in 1985. I plan to do consulting (for Interland and other companies) to bring in revenue, as well as product development and sales (for Software Garden). I have no specific product that I am set upon creating. I just want to spend a lot of time programming and then we'll see what happens. I love programming and hands-on product development and this change gives me the opportunity to do a lot more of it. With respect to consulting, it gives me an opportunity to learn about new business areas and perhaps new technologies, and the money will take some of the 'ship now' pressure off of Software Garden."

Office Developer Center: Sorting Out Microsoft's Collaboration Technologies (Microsoft Office 2003 Technical Articles)

Office Developer Center: Sorting Out Microsoft's Collaboration Technologies (Microsoft Office 2003 Technical Articles): "Whether or not you have been developing for the Microsoft Office System for a long time or just getting started, you may be a little overwhelmed by the number of new, re-crafted, or updated Microsoft products available for building collaborative solutions. This article lists the different programs that you can use as the main components of a collaborative solution."

Microsoft Monitor: Logitech's MSN Messenger Magic

Microsoft Monitor: Logitech's MSN Messenger Magic "When Microsoft released Windows XP, the company planned to deliver robust interactive services--white board, videoconferencing and gaming--through Windows Messenger. But, there was a wrinkle: Corporate and home router firewalls often prevented some services from working. For many users, videoconferencing in particular was a bust. That problem persisted until last summer, when Microsoft released a preview of MSN Messenger 6.
Microsoft wasn’t the power behind the solution, but Logitech. According to the peripheral maker, it provided the software code for punching video through the firewall and the infrastructure for making the connection. That’s why, regardless of the Webcam attached to the computer, MSN Messenger runs a Logitech flash screen while making the video connection. The company claims that the Logitech flash screen, or pre-roll, has run 500 million times since last summer. That’s hefty marketing material."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: The Newsletter: Countdown to in-flight broadband

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: The Newsletter: Countdown to in-flight broadband "Connexion by Boeing will begin in-flight broadband Internet service within the next 45 days on a Lufthansa flight to Japan, marking what is expected to be an intense battle for the market to provide passengers with in-flight e-mail.
Scott Carson, president, told the monthly dean's breakfast at the University of Washington Business School that Connexion has 18 "campaigns" under way with potential airline customers around the world. The company has six firm customers, including Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines, both considered trendsetters in international markets. Carson said the business also is moving into maritime and business-jet services.
The Lufthansa flight will be the first commercial use of the service, which incorporates satellite technology to provide a broadband in-flight service. Passengers will pay a flat fee for the service per flight, reportedly between $16 and $23.
Carson said Connexion's service is different from existing services because it is a broadband connection, meaning it can handle big files, and because it can be linked to other information applications on an aircraft. For example, flight-data recorders could be downloaded in flight, providing airlines with advance warning of repairs needed on arrival.
Several low-cost airlines are looking at Connexion, Carson said, because if "they can trim turn times from 28 minutes to 26 minutes, it is worth it."

State of the Art: Videophones Revisited, by Way of the Modem

State of the Art: Videophones Revisited, by Way of the Modem: "In short, having a high-speed Internet connection neatly solves the technological problems that have prevented videophones from becoming commonplace. It does not, however, solve the cultural problems.
Using the VisiFone makes you acutely aware of being on camera, especially if you tap the View button to place your own image in a small picture-in-picture rectangle on the screen. There are buttons that can 'mute' the audio or video, freeze the outgoing picture while you perform small acts of personal grooming, and so on.
Nonetheless, a videophone deprives you of visual privacy. You're pretty much obligated to give the other guy your full attention, and even nod understandingly, while he talks; you can't doodle or shoot exasperated 'What a windbag!' expressions at your spouse. You're locked in front of the phone, too, worried about centering yourself in the frame. (The screen tilts up and down, but not side to side.) You can't clip your nails or walk around, cleaning the apartment as you chat. "

Yahoo! News - Show Report: Is there a Microsoft Office Killer in the Bunch?

Yahoo! News - Show Report: Is there a Microsoft Office Killer in the Bunch?: "While Microsoft Office remains the de facto standard in productivity applications, that didn't deter several companies from debuting new productivity applications at the Demo 2004 Scottsdale, Arizona. conference this week. Many of the applications we saw were in various stages of development and offered new approaches to desktop application productivity. There were a couple, though, that took on the Redmond giant directly."


Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Unplugged: Charles Simonyi creates software intentionally - TechUpdate - ZDNet

Unplugged: Charles Simonyi creates software intentionally - TechUpdate - ZDNet "Simonyi: UML can be used to describe many things about a system, but it is a partial solution with many limitations. First, it is not the conventional notation of the domain experts--not for administrators, accountants, human factors experts, and so on. Second, the implementation details are still described in static code. What happens when one or the other or both changes? With intentional software, there will be no limitation on the nature of the domain notation, and the implementation will be expressed in terms of a generator, which can be simply re-run if the design or implementation, or both, change.
ZDNet: In 1997 you said in an interview in Forbes that Java would be totally forgotten. It would significant only to vendors with tiny market share. That hasn't turned out to be the case.
Simonyi: I was talking in the very long term. Thirty years from now nobody will remember Java and everyone will remember Microsoft." Paul Allen's Mobile Computing Fantasy Paul Allen's Mobile Computing Fantasy: "'I've had a vision for a device like this for a long time,' Allen says. The FlipStart-- which we first noted before it had a name almost a year ago is the very definition of mobile. It's a full-fledged PC running Microsoft's Windows XP. It has a 30-gigabyte hard drive from Toshiba--the same one inside Apple Computer's (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) iPod, Allen says--as well as a small but wide screen with a resolution of 1,024 pixels by 600 pixels.
But it folds up and goes in a briefcase or even a big pocket a bit like a Reasearch In Motion (nasdaq: RIMM - news - people ) Blackberry on steroids. The keyboard is wider and there's a red joystick mouse, similar to those you'll find on an IBM (nyse: IBM - news - people ) Thinkpad. Inside is a processor from Transmeta (nasdaq: TMTA - news - people ). The full package weighs in at less than one pound. Users can attach a port replicator to the back of the FlipStart, which allows it to act like a regular desktop PC, connecting to a common keyboard, mouse and monitor. "

Via Tomlak

Intel Concedes 64-Bit Chips Are Wave of the Future

Intel Concedes 64-Bit Chips Are Wave of the Future: "The Intel Corporation, which has long dominated the computer microprocessor market it created in 1971, did an abrupt about-face on Tuesday, announcing that it would follow the lead of its much smaller rival, Advanced Micro Devices, by building 64-bit capability into its most popular chips.
The strategy reversal is a setback for Intel, the world's largest chip maker, which had been trying to convince computer users that more powerful 64-bit processing aimed at heavy-duty corporate and scientific computing should be handled exclusively by its ambitious, but incompatible, Itanium processors. "

p.s. sorry about the sparse posts during the last week; I was on vacation

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Reuters EU rejects Microsoft settlement proposal

Reuters EU rejects Microsoft settlement proposal: "The European Commission has rejected Microsoft's (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) offer to settle its anti-trust case by putting competitors' software on CD-ROMs sold with computers, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday. "

Monday, February 16, 2004

PBS | I, Cringely: Crazy After All These Years

PBS | I, Cringely: Crazy After All These Years "Microsoft is building another empire. All that messing around with WebTVs and xBoxes and investing in cable TV companies hasn’t been for naught. It has taught them the road rules for their next monopoly.
There is, in fact, only one thing that stands in the way of Microsoft achieving this objective, and that’s little Inside those 37 Burst patents based on work dating back to 1984 are legal control over not only efficient video and audio streaming, but control of just about every media hub strategy whether it comes from Microsoft, Sony, or Apple. These companies, on some level, hope that Microsoft beats Burst. But they have to also realize that Microsoft’s victory would eventually make Microsoft their absolute master. It’s enough to drive Microsoft competitors crazy.
That may be the plan.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Release of Windows Coding Is a New Worry for Microsoft

Release of Windows Coding Is a New Worry for Microsoft: "The illicit distribution on Thursday of portions of the secret programmer's instructions for two versions of the Windows operating system poses vexing legal and security challenges for Microsoft.
Computer security experts said Friday that having even relatively small parts of the blueprints for Microsoft's Windows 2000 and Windows NT operating system as easily available reference material for potential vandals and troublemakers could complicate the company's already difficult task in securing its software."

Thursday, February 12, 2004

State of the Art: For iPod, 6 Flavors of Flattery

State of the Art: For iPod, 6 Flavors of Flattery "Apple could have been some character from Greek mythology: blessed with ingenious, culture-changing innovation yet cursed with seeing its ideas co-opted by rivals who wind up making all the money. In the iPod's case, though, none of the companies who lust for some of Apple's pie can deliver the elegance and convenience of Apple's music trinity: iPod, the iTunes software and the iTunes music store.
But if an iPod isn't for you, you could do worse than buying the Dell for its simplicity and economy, the iRiver for its super-geeky feature list or the Rio Karma for its excellent design and compact dimensions. In this election, at least, there can be more than one victor."

Microsoft Locks Up XML Patent

Microsoft Locks Up XML Patent: "The speculation as to whether Microsoft (Quote, Chart) intends to patent XML (define) technology is over.
Microsoft has been granted United States patent 6,687,897 for 'XML script automation.'
The patent, awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on February 3, appears to deal with basic XML functionality. Specifically, it describes a method for unpacking multiple scripts contained within a single XML file"

Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - Sun Microsystems Co-Founder Returns - Sun Microsystems Co-Founder Returns: "Sun Microsystems Inc. agreed to buy a start-up company run by departed co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim -- a deal that returns one of the one of the most celebrated computer designers to a strategic position at the company.
Sun said it would buy Kealia Inc., a closely held company formed by Mr. Bechtolsheim before resigning from a senior position at Cisco Systems Inc. in December. Terms weren't disclosed, though Sun characterized the deal as a stock-for-stock transaction.
Mr. Bechtolsheim, 48 years old, designed Sun's original computer workstations more than 20 years ago, while he and Chief Executive Officer Scott McNealy were at Stanford University. He was a longtime force in hardware design at the company before leaving Sun in 1995 to form Granite Systems Inc., a maker of networking equipment that Cisco purchased the next year for $220 million. At the time he left Cisco, he was vice president in charge of a unit that was making devices using a technology called gigabit switching.
Kealia's plans were closely guarded, though people familiar with the matter said it was working on computer servers to help distribute movies and other digital content. Significantly, Mr. Bechtolsheim disclosed Tuesday that the 58-employee company's computers were based on an Advanced Micro Devices Inc. chip called Opteron that has become a major part of Sun's strategy since last fall."

Yahoo! News - Women Over 40 Biggest Online Gamers -Study

Yahoo! News - Women Over 40 Biggest Online Gamers -Study: "Think teenagers are spending all night long playing online games on the computer? Wrong -- it's their mothers burning the midnight oil.
AOL, a unit of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX - news), released a study on Tuesday showing that U.S. women over the age of 40 spend nearly 50 percent more time each week playing online games than men and are more likely to play online games daily than men or teens."


02/10/04 - SUN TO ACQUIRE KEALIA, INC. -- SUN CO-FOUNDER AND INDUSTRY TECHNOLOGY VISIONARY RETURNS AS CHIEF ARCHITECT: "'It is great to have Andy (Bechtolsheim) back home at Sun,' said Scott McNealy, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Sun Microsystems Inc. 'We started the company together while we were at Stanford University over 20 years ago and both of us could not be more excited about working together again. The return of employee number one is 'back to the future' for Sun Microsystems and marks the start of a new wave of innovation at the company. Stay tuned. Andy has been more than prolific for Sun in the past, when he practically invented building computing 'Ferraris' out of off-the-shelf parts.' "

Developer Guide to Migration and Interoperability in "Longhorn": Chapter 5: Recommendations for Windows Forms and "Longhorn"

Developer Guide to Migration and Interoperability in "Longhorn": Chapter 5: Recommendations for Windows Forms and "Longhorn" (The Developer's Guide to Interoperability and Migration in "Longhorn"): "Choosing Between 'Avalon' and Windows Forms
In situations where an application can be built exclusively to run on 'Longhorn,' we encourage developers to rely on the 'Avalon' classes so that they can take full advantage of the platform's capabilities. Developers who must maintain a single code base for a Windows client application that can run either on earlier versions of Windows or on 'Longhorn' should build their UI using Windows Forms. They should structure their applications in such a way that the 'Avalon' UI-based features are available if the application is running on 'Longhorn.'
Developers can accomplish this by referencing these features in a DLL that is either loaded or not loaded, depending on the underlying operating system version. This way, users running earlier operating systems such as Windows XP can access the entire application through Windows Forms, while 'Longhorn' users can take advantage of the added features in 'Avalon.'"

Program Management (at Microsoft)

Program Management (at Microsoft): "Long ago, before there were any program managers (PMs), there were just developers, testers, and marketing people. The developers would build software they thought was interesting, and the marketing people would dive-bomb them every little while with the latest hot issue from a customer or magazine reviewer that had to get added or fixed. The developers found this frustrating, because it seemed like they were getting randomized a lot. The marketers found this annoying since the devs seemed pretty unresponsive and did not seem understand the customer or business issues.
The first PM at Microsoft was an Excel developer who decided to 'take one for the team' and act as a buffer between the marketers and developers. He defined his role as a person who would go and figure out what these marketing people were really talking about and understand the customer needs or business problems so he could interpret those into actions the dev team had to take using his technical knowledge of what was possible and what was hard. I believe this was 1987, but I could be off by a year. "

Macromedia Plans Update to Web Conferencing App

Macromedia Plans Update to Web Conferencing App: "Macromedia touts Breeze's basis in its Flash technology, which alleviates the need to download software for the 98 percent of Web browsers with Flash Player installed, the company said.
Macromedia Breeze 4.0 will add application sharing, live polls that can be tracked, whiteboard capabilities and file transfer support. It also expands Breeze's content library so it not only stores presentations but also indexes recorded meetings and makes the content searchable, Lee said.
For greater integration, the new Breeze release exposes its Web services APIs to allow companies to link Breeze into portals and enterprise applications.
Macromedia Breeze 4.0 will be offered as a hosted service or as a licensed application. Pricing for the hosted version will start at $84 per concurrent seat per month. A perpetual license will start at $22,500 for 25 concurrent seats, increasing for additional users and options. "

Monday, February 09, 2004

benjaminm's blog - Scott Guthrie's ASP.NET Whidbey Presentation

benjaminm's blog - Scott Guthrie's ASP.NET Whidbey Presentation: "When's ASP.NET Whidbey going to be available?
The aim is to ship a Beta in June and for RTM in Q1 2005. There will be a 'go live license' that will let people put Beta 2 into production, later this year. The Beta in June will be a public beta and it will be possible to download ASP.NET and Visual Studio Whidbey. The build that Scott demonstrated with was from last Monday when he said they achieved 'Code Complete. So they are now in that long stabilisation phase."

Okay, so maybe not by year-end 2004... - Longhorn will kill middleware - Longhorn will kill middleware: "The server version of Microsoft Windows (code-named Longhorn) will include business process orchestration features to allow users to link together Web services, among other tasks, without the need for additional middleware.
The technology will be lifted from BizTalk Server, according to Valerie Olague, Microsoft's director of Windows Server System marketing. BizTalk Server is designed to help companies integrate disparate business applications and connect to business partners.
Microsoft in the past adopted capabilities from BizTalk Server in the Windows server product - message queuing, for example - but this does not mean that BizTalk capabilities will be absorbed in the server operating system, Olague said.
"The OS is the place where these common kind of services need to reside. The focus for BizTalk is in more specialized areas. Orchestration is very general," she said."

The article doesn't support its provocative title, but the author certainly got Microsoft's intent right.

Microsoft offers cut-rate Windows | CNET

Microsoft offers cut-rate Windows | CNET "Microsoft has provided a modified version of Windows XP with reduced features for use in the Thai government's low-cost PC program, and may make this software available to other governments, the company said.
The 'entry-level' version of Windows was created to allow Microsoft to participate in the Thailand ICT Ministry's program without adjusting its policy of charging the same price for Windows and Office no matter where in the world they are sold, Microsoft said Monday. The software was provided at a cost of 1,500 baht, or about $40, compared with the usual price of several hundred dollars. "

Stimulus/response... | Oracle ups its Peoplesoft bid | Oracle ups its Peoplesoft bid "The customers and, most importantly, software-maintenance contracts that come with PeopleSoft's applications business (together with that of JD Edwards, a mid-market specialist which PeopleSoft bought last year) should help to salvage Oracle's costly applications investment. “From a management-team perspective, PeopleSoft takes care of a lot of sins,” says Ray Lane, a former Oracle president."

Nokia to acquire Psion plc's shares in Symbian

Nokia to acquire Psion plc's shares in Symbian "Nokia today announced that it has started the process of enabling the transfer of Psion's shares in Symbian to Nokia. Symbian, owned by a core group of mobile industry players with its independent governance structure, will continue to pursue its fair and non-discriminatory licensing business of the standards-based Symbian operating system (OS).
Continued innovation in services, applications and handsets is required for the growth in the mobile industry. This requires that all parties have the ability to differentiate and add value to their products and services while maintaining end-to-end interoperability. As a founder and shareholder, Nokia is determined to make further investment to support Symbian's long-term success in the increasingly competitive wireless OS market. The decision to acquire Psion's shares in Symbian is based on Nokia's confidence in the Symbian OS as a core platform technology for advanced mobile devices.
The value of the transaction will derive from two parts. A fixed portion of £93.5 million (137.1 MEUR), and a variable payment of £0.84 (1.23 EUR) from Nokia to Psion for each Symbian OS device sold during 2004 and 2005. Upon completion of the transaction, Nokia estimates that its share in Symbian will increase from the current 32.2% up to approximately 63.3%."

That must be comforting to all of Nokia's competitors that are also building Symbian devices; I suspect a few are revisiting Windows Mobile.

NewsForge | Sun 'explains' open source at EclipseCon

NewsForge | Sun 'explains' open source at EclipseCon "Simon Phipps, formerly an IBM employee and for the last two years Chief Technology Evangelist for Sun Microsystems, gave his EclipseCon keynote address Thursday. As you might expect, he took exception to a couple of remarks from Wednesday morning's keynoter, Michael Tiemann of Red Hat. Phipps's talk was on "The Business of Open Source." It was interesting, almost a through-the-looking-glass experience, to hear a suit from Sun stand on a stage and try to explain open source to an audience of mostly proprietary developers. It should be noted that the ballroom where the keynote was given was not far from Disney's Fantasyland."

Socialtext -- Enterprise Social Software

Socialtext -- Enterprise Social Software "As Socialtext deployments grow within organizations, here are some reflections on enterprise social software deployment patterns, based on observation of usage patterns of weblogs and wikis at scale on the public internet.
There are three main tiers of social networks in an organization, as Ross Mayfield describes. These map to different usage patterns of social software.
Project teams are creative networks, groups that work closely together. These teams use shared workspaces to communicate and collaborate intensively, and maintain a continuous, shared understanding of project status. Schedule and presence capabilities will make it easier for these groups to co-ordinate.
Communities of practice are social networks. Knowledge workers want to be able to scan, discover, and meet other in their disciplines across the organization. On the public internet, there are communities of bloggers in technology, law, teaching, and other fields using this model today. There are established wiki communities in technical areas, like Apache and non-technical areas, like, for instance, Kayaking, RSS subscriptions provide an excellent method for members of communities of practice to discover and follow relevant projects and conversations. Blog search engines, including Technorati and Blogstreet, that are used to discover network relationships among blog communities.
The enterprise as a whole is a political network. Weblogs can be used by executives to communicate in an individual voice across the organization. On the public internet, the relevant model is popular bloggers such as Joi Ito in Japan and Doc Searls in the US. The link structure enables the discovery and tracking of popular ideas, with blog search engines such as Daypop and Blogdex."

USB-powered vacuum

USB-powered vacuum: "Occasionally there's a USB-powered gadget that makes perfect sense, like this mini-vacuum cleaner for keeping your computer clean and tidy. Though we're almost disappointed whenever someone finds a practical use for USB power -- it's like the entire concept simply demands frivolity."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft not ready to battle with Google

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft not ready to battle with Google "Google will undoubtedly exceed Netscape's wealth and make a lot of Googloids multimillionaires. But Google's brain trust has shown consistent creativity in expanding basic searching into a variety of profit-making arenas.
There is one area, however, where Google could face Netscape's fate. If Microsoft chooses to integrate a Windows search with a Web search in a seamless, one-click fashion, the issue of antitrust "tying" once again may rear its pachydermal head.
By all indications, a primary goal of the next version of Windows — code-named Longhorn — is to help users organize and find stuff on their computer. No long-suffering PC user will quarrel with that (by contrast, Macintosh users have Apple Computer's superior "Sherlock" search tool)."

A Gamble on a $399 Digital Camera

A Gamble on a $399 Digital Camera: "Some analysts have suggested that Foveon technology may be bypassed as the consumer marketing effort pushes simplistic measures of picture quality like how many million pixels the camera sensor has. 'We are faced with a very active market with formidable competitors,' said Federico Faggin, a well-known Silicon Valley engineer who was the co-inventor of the microprocessor and who joined Foveon as chief executive last August. 'We are hoping that our technology will rise above the noise.'"
More than 41 million digital cameras were sold in 2003 worldwide, according to the InfoTrends Research Group, a market research company based in Norwell, Mass. That number is expected to grow to 53 million this year, creating a $17.9 billion market, the company said.

Moreover, the marketplace could be transformed when a new generation of camera phones that can take video, as well as still images, arrives perhaps next year. If that power-hungry function proves popular, Foveon's sensor chips with their low power use would have a significant advantage.

"If the idea of a camcorder in a cellphone catches on, there's an immense market," said George Gilder, the technology analyst who has written a book about the work of Carver Mead, a pioneering physicist who founded Foveon in 1997. Foveon executives say they are in conversations with cellular telephone makers, but no deals have been completed. Analysts disagree over how much the current digital photography and camcorder markets will be affected by cellphones."

MS server products will reach industry security standards by 2005: Gartner - ITNews -

MS server products will reach industry security standards by 2005: Gartner - ITNews - "Tech research company Gartner is predicting that by 2005, Microsoft's server software products will be at, or above, the industry security average.
The prediction came in one of four commentaries issued by Gartner as a special report in which the research firm analysed Microsoft's licensing practices, security efforts, and plans for Longhorn (the next version of Windows) and Yukon (the next version of SQL Server).
Researcher John Pescatore said the prediction, which was rated as a 0.7 probability, was based on Microsoft's internal actions and product track record during the second half of 2003. "

Via Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk

E-Commerce Report: Social Networks: Will Users Pay to Get Friends?

E-Commerce Report: Social Networks: Will Users Pay to Get Friends?: "The idea behind 'social networking' Web sites like Friendster, and LinkedIn is almost the opposite of the old Groucho Marx joke: they attract people who want to join a club eager to have them.
But as the popularity of such sites has taken off, the big question for investors in new technologies is whether social networking sites can ever make a lot of money by connecting friends of friends in mini-networks of trust, whether for dating, business or maintaining acquaintances. For many, the buzz over social networking sounds a lot like vintage Internet hyperbole from the late 1990's." - TiVo Tunes In To Its Users' Viewing Habits - TiVo Tunes In To Its Users' Viewing Habits "TiVo insists that it respects the privacy of its users by keeping data about them anonymous unless users expressly permit otherwise. The company says as it receives a stream of information from viewers' DVRs, it filters out identifying information to keep the data anonymous. "We're very serious about this stuff," says Matt Zinn, TiVo's general counsel and chief privacy officer. "We know the capabilities that this technology can afford."
Still, some privacy experts say TiVo users are forced to take the company's word that it's not violating its own policies. "What they're saying is, 'You have to trust us,' " says Richard Smith, a privacy and security consultant, who has examined TiVo's technology. " 'We're going to snoop on you, but we will disconnect all that information we have about you from your actual identity.' "

WSJ: Macromedia Plans to Branch Into Web-Based Conferencing

WSJ: Macromedia Plans to Branch Into Web-Based Conferencing
Macromedia Inc., maker of the Web-animation format Flash, is diversifying into the conferencing market.
2002 conferencing market share
The San Francisco company is announcing a system called Breeze that exploits the Web to let computer users in different locations view and discuss documents, images and video. Besides live conferences, which allow users to avoid traveling to meetings, Macromedia offers the ability to record presentations that can be viewed later, and are indexed to let users search through and skip parts of presentations they don't want to see.
"It's business TiVo," said Tom Hale, Macromedia's senior vice president of business strategy, referring to the popular video-recording technology. "You can have presentations without meetings."

Saturday, February 07, 2004

NYT: The Virus Underground

NYT: The Virus Underground "Philet0ast3r, Second Part to Hell, Vorgon and guys like them around the world spend their Saturday nights writing fiendishly contagious computer viruses and worms. Are they artists, pranksters or techno-saboteurs?"

CRN : Breaking News : Corel Sells XMetal, Exits Web Services Tool Market : 3:40 PM EST Fri., Feb. 06, 2004

CRN : Breaking News : Corel Sells XMetal, Exits Web Services Tool Market : 3:40 PM EST Fri., Feb. 06, 2004 "Corel Corp. on Thursday exited the web services tool market with the announcement that it has sold its XMetal division to consulting company Blast Radius.
Terms of the deal, which is expected to be completed in several days, were not released. Both companies are privately held.
XMetal, which Corel acquired in 2001 with the purchase of SoftQuad Software, is an authoring tool that uses extensible markup language to define data elements on a Web page and create business-to-business documents. XML is a key technology in web services, an umbrella term for a set of emerging specifications for building applications that can communicate over the Internet using standardized interfaces.
The need for standalone XML tools has narrowed over the last several years, as makers of full-featured integrated development environments, such as IBM, Borland, Sybase, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft, have added authoring capabilities."

A subtle sign of the times...

Friday, February 06, 2004

Microsoft’s Longhorn platform promises to remove middleware

Microsoft’s Longhorn platform promises to remove middleware: "Gates said, 'Of all the middleware [used today] the only one that will exist is the high-end transactional database. Everything else will be built into the operating system.'"

The Register: Adobe brings grid to the mass market

The Register: Adobe brings grid to the mass market: "Adobe has allied with GridIron Software to deliver the first mass market grid product. This is a version of Adobe After Effects that can be bought through retail channels and is designed to enable smaller businesses to use grid techniques, where processes are run over a pool of low cost networked servers.
The new version of After Effects, which produces motion graphics and other effects for film and the web, will incorporate the GridIron XLR8 product. This will distribute the work among several computers on a network to speed up preview and rendering work."

E-Mail at The Washington Post Disrupted by a Missed Payment

E-Mail at The Washington Post Disrupted by a Missed Payment: "Sometimes it doesn't take a hacker to bring down a computer network.
The Washington Post said yesterday that it had inadvertently allowed the registration for one of its Internet domain names - - to expire. That lapse had the immediate effect of shutting down the e-mail system that reporters and other Post employees use to exchange messages with the world, something they were unable to do for much of the day."

Former Microsoft Visio Execs Regroup

Former Microsoft Visio Execs Regroup "Four former Microsoft executives have banded together to form a new company that is developing social-networking software and Web services that will build on top of .Net and Microsoft's forthcoming Longhorn Windows operating system.
The new venture, The Graw Group, officially launched in October 2003. The principals behind Graw include Jeremy Jaech and Ted Johnson, the co-founders of Visio.
Jaech served as Visio's president, CEO and chairman of the board prior to Microsoft's Visio acquisition. After the acquisition, Jaech remained at Microsoft for six months, during which time he served as the VP of the Business Tools unit. Prior to founding Visio, Jaech co-founded Aldus, and worked on the original PageMaker development team." - Macintosh Users Can Now 'Video Chat' With PC Users On AOL - Macintosh Users Can Now 'Video Chat' With PC Users On AOL: "Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) released a new version of its iChat software Thursday so Macintosh users can now do video chats with America Online subscribers who have Windows-based PCs.
The move is the latest example of Apple expanding beyond its enclosed world of Macintosh owners. Last month, Apple signed a deal allowing Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) to bundle its iTunes digital jukebox software with HP's Windows-based PCs.
Apple users already can do instant messaging with AOL users, but using only text. The new iChat AV 2.1 version adds video conferencing support for AOL's latest version of its instant-messaging program, AIM 5.5, also launched Thursday.
That means iChat users are no longer confined to face-to-face talks with only users of Macintosh's OS X Panther - a chief complaint - and can reach any of AOL's 60 million instant-messaging account holders who are equipped with Internet video cameras.
The lack of widespread 'interoperability' between different instant-messaging systems remains, however, since AOL still has not opened up its AIM network to rival systems by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Yahoo Inc. (YHOO)."

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Open-source ERP gaining users - Computerworld

Open-source ERP gaining users - Computerworld: "Jorg Janke didn't set out to write open-source ERP software. But like many small start-up application vendors, he found the traditional path to success blocked by sales and marketing costs.
'I thought open-source was a model where I can make money and not have salespeople,' he says. 'My customers do presales and demos on their own by simply downloading the software and trying it.'
Janke says he has no idea how many companies are using the software, called Compiere. But for the part of his business that keeps him afloat -- paid support contracts -- the response rate so far has been worse than that for spam. Of more than 600,000 downloads of Compiere, 50 customers have signed support contracts. And those contracts start at $1,500 for 10 people per year -- a pittance compared with the license fees charged by commercial ERP vendors, which charge anywhere from 10% to 25% of those fees per year for maintenance and support. Compiere works with Linux, Unix, Solaris and Windows 2000 server operating systems, and with Linux and Windows desktop systems as well. "

Users Cheer Microsoft’s New Reporting Services

Users Cheer Microsoft’s New Reporting Services "Although Microsoft’s competitors have tried to downplay the capabilities of the first-generation Reporting Services offering, users say they’re impressed with the product's features and functionality. For example, says report developer Witter, the report publishing, distribution, and lifecycle management tools that are part-and-parcel of the Reporting Services experience have been an especially pleasant surprise. “I have been very impressed with [Reporting Services] and its capabilities for such a new product. At first glance I thought it was just a report writer, but after working in it for a while I started to realize it was much more powerful than I would have ever expected,” he concludes."

I agree -- it's much more than simple reporting, and it also works with non-Microsoft data sources. Interesting to see Microsoft run multi-page ads for a product (e.g., in the latest issue of Application Development Trends) that's free if you already own SQL Server 2000.

CRN : New FrontPage Is Ready To Rumble

CRN : New FrontPage Is Ready To Rumble: "For years, Microsoft FrontPage was considered the ideal Web development tool for novice Web users. Using almost no coding, developers could create static Web pages and some simple e-commerce sites that normally would require extensive knowledge of HTML and ASP.
That was yesterday. Microsoft FrontPage 2003 is not geared for novices; instead, it places emphasis on coding and resource connectivity through Web technologies and includes a host of new design and publishing capabilities."

Perhaps, but FrontPage 2003 is also in an increasingly ambiguous position in the broader Microsoft product line, with Visual Studio.NET "Whidbey" and its much-improved Web site development capabilities (including SharePoint-style portal-oriented pages etc.) expected late this year. I didn't catch one reference to FrontPage during the PDC 2003 keynotes (and if you seach the PDC 2003 session list, you'll find a total of 2 references).

Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - Oracle Raises Its Offer For PeopleSoft by 33% - Oracle Raises Its Offer For PeopleSoft by 33%: "Business software maker Oracle Corp. raised its hostile takeover bid for rival PeopleSoft Inc. by 33% to $26 a share, or $9.4 billion, setting the stage for more high-stakes drama in the high-tech soap opera.
The all-cash offer tops Oracle's previous bid of $19.50 per share. The new offer is a 19% premium from PeopleSoft's closing price Tuesday of $21.89 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif., is betting the new bid will win over PeopleSoft's major stockholders and pressure PeopleSoft's board to drop its staunch resistance to the offer, transforming what has been a hostile battle into friendly negotiation."

Okay, I think they mean it...

I've spent a lot of time focused on Oracle during the last couple months, from an industry analyst perspective, and I'm now much less skeptical about Oracle's intentions and the probability of the deal closing. Indeed, unless Oracle hits regulatory show-stoppers (which I consider unlikely, given SAP's overall market lead, the rate at which Microsoft is expanding in the mid-tier ERP etc. markets, and IBM's aspirations for industry-specific solutions), I think Oracle is going to succeed both with the acquisition and in exploiting the synergies between PeopleSoft and Oracle apps.

In fewer words: I'm impressed...

Oracle guns for Microsoft in database market - Computerworld

Oracle guns for Microsoft in database market - Computerworld "Taking aim at Microsoft Corp.'s perceived dominance at the lower end of the database market, Oracle Corp. has slashed the prices on the base version of its next-generation 10g database.
The company announced that the cost of the 10g Standard Edition One has been cut by $1,000 to $4,995 per processor, and it is also doubling the CPU maximum to two per machine. The Standard Edition One, which caters to small-business and branch or departmental needs, will also sell under a named-user license for $149 per user, down from $195 per user, with a five-user minimum. Oracle will also throw in its Real Application Cluster (RAC) clustering technology for Standard Edition purchasers."

I suspect this has as much to do with MySQL as it does Microsoft.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Cardiff - Verity Announces Agreement to Acquire Cardiff Software

Cardiff - Verity Announces Agreement to Acquire Cardiff Software "Verity Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTY), a leading provider of enterprise software that enables organizations to maximize the return on their intellectual capital investments, and Cardiff Software Inc. of Vista, CA, a leading privately-held supplier of technology that enables the capture and automation of dynamic business information, today announced a definitive agreement for Verity to acquire Cardiff in a transaction with an aggregate purchase price of approximately $50 million in cash, adjusted for Cardiff’s net cash balance as of December 31, 2003."

OneNote genesis

OneNote genesis "OneNote started as an email exchange between myself and Steven Sinofsky, the Senior VP for Office, Nov 27, 2000. We were talking about how there wasn't much in the way of software to deal with information that was not yet a document. This coincided with the end of the OfficeXp development project. I had recently become the Group Program Manager for Word halfway through the project. The OfficeXp development cycle had bothered me as I felt we had not really moved the needle enough in terms of solving user problems in Word, at least partly because we were confining our thinking to simply how to make a word processor better. Steven described some thoughts he had about “ephemeral information”, and the idea of outlining. Outlining sort of turns me off, because it is one of those things most people can’t bring themselves to do, but the ones who do it rave about it. It’s a classic “niche”. But I liked Steven's idea that we could build a new app if necessary, rather than be stuck grafting things onto our existing tools."

Via Scoble

Email To RSS In Three Easy Steps - Robin Good' Sharewood Tidings

Email To RSS In Three Easy Steps - Robin Good' Sharewood Tidings: "MailbyRSS is a FREE service for authoring RSS channels by email. It is ideal for organizations that wish to augment their opt-in e-mail campaigns with RSS channels, providing them a way to ensure that the information they publish reaches subscribers without being blocked by spam lists or filters. MailbyRSS accepts both text and rich content email, requires no new computer hardware or software, and is invoked by simply emailing content to a secure MailbyRSS account."

Yahoo! News - TiVo Bares Facts on Instant Replay

Yahoo! News - TiVo Bares Facts on Instant Replay: "When Justin Timberlake (news) tore at Janet Jackson (news)'s leather outfit during Sunday's Super Bowl half-time show, TiVo (news - web sites) users took notice.
Then they took notice again and again, using the digital video recorder to replay the event and to pause at the crucial moment in order to discern just what it was that Jackson had revealed to millions of Americans.
TiVo said that particular halftime stunt was the most replayed moment not only of the Super Bowl but of all TV moments that the young company has ever measured."

The new killer app for TiVo...

Is the future hub of the broadband home the PC?

Is the future hub of the broadband home the PC? "There’s a war going on for the future of the home, with consumer electronics manufacturers on one side and the PC industry on the other. Both sides want their gear to be the eventual “hub” of the digital home. CE vendors, like Sony, see the television and the set top box as the hub, while the PC industry is countering with Media Center Edition PCs, wireless media adapters, and Intel’s forthcoming Prescott chip which improves the Pentium 4’s ability to handle high quality audio/video media."

imho a general-purpose device, as long as it doesn't entail a major form-follows-function penalty, will always win in the long run.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: MyDoom worm not strong enough to slam Microsoft, virus experts say

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: MyDoom worm not strong enough to slam Microsoft, virus experts say "Microsoft likely won't have that problem. Jimmy Kuo, a researcher with the anti-virus team at McAfee Security, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said MyDoom.B has its own flaw — a bug within a bug, so to speak — that will make the attack ineffective. About 93 percent of computers that try to attack Microsoft's site will fail, he said.
And MyDoom.B isn't really circulating on the Internet, he said. By yesterday morning, he said, McAfee had collected a sample count of millions of MyDoom.A instances, but the MyDoom.B count was in the teens.
MyDoom.B has another twist: It is programmed to block a computer's access to some 65 Web sites, including many of the top anti-virus vendors. Some of the 65 belong to Microsoft, such as its site for developers and the Windows Update site the company uses to provide security information to customers.
Microsoft has responded by creating another Web site, at, that isn't on the worm's hit list. Customers can go there to learn how to get rid of the worm and visit some of the company's blocked sites, said Stephen Toulouse, a security program manager at Microsoft."