Tuesday, August 31, 2004

BBC NEWS | Technology | Apple shows off new iMac in Paris

BBC NEWS | Technology | Apple shows off new iMac in Paris ""Just like the iPod redefined portable digital music players, the new iMac G5 redefines what users expect from a consumer desktop," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing in his keynote speech.
"With the entire system, including a gorgeous 17 or 20-inch display, just two inches thin, a lot of people will be wondering 'where did the computer go?'"

I have a hunch the new iMac isn't going to do well -- just as other, similar form-factor PCs from Gateway and others haven't in the past. Maybe if Apple had included a TV tuner -- then it would have been at least more competitive for dorm rooms etc. But since Steve Jobs apparently still believes PCs and TV don't mix, the new iMac won't be directly competitive with PCs running Windows XP Media Center Edition.

Xamlon Forums: Microsoft Avalon on XP/2003 Announcement

Xamlon Forums: Microsoft Avalon on XP/2003 Announcement "Given that Longhorn (and Avalon for XP/2003) won’t ship any earlier than sometime in 2006, having the option to deploy XAML-based application today on any Windows OS from Win98 to Win2003 Server is very compelling. Xamlon, Inc.'s goal is to be the definitive XAML resource for developers. Through our XAML engine, our tools, and our online resources, Xamlon will continue to offer a complete XAML solution for developers, whether it be using Avalon, Xamlon, or both."

Dave's Travel: University of North Dakota campus pictures

Dave's Travel: University of North Dakota campus pictures Okay, that's a weird way to start my day -- Dave Winer's pictures from Grand Forks, North Dakota, where I grew up...

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog: Solaris on Nocona, Sun's new comp plan, and other interesting items...

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog: Solaris on Nocona, Sun's new comp plan, and other interesting items... "I'm not sure we could make the point more clearly that we're committed to making Solaris the volume leader on all systems - and building the most price performant systems a customer can find. How confident are we Solaris customers will choose our new SPARC and Opteron systems? We're comp'ing our reps the same, no matter which systems the customer buys. We're putting money where our mouths are. Want proof? Got a farm of legacy Xeon systems, supplied by someone other than Sun? Talk to your rep to license Solaris - and let me know how it goes."

Sun also hired the Dave Johnson, the creator of Roller, Java weblogging software: "Roller is server-based weblogging software, a web application that is designed to support multiple simultaneous weblog users and visitors. Roller supports all of the latest-and-greatest weblogging features such as comments, WYSIWYG HTML editing, page templates, RSS syndication, trackback, blogroll management, and provides an XML-RPC interface for blogging clients such as w:bloggar and nntp//rss."

Apple - iMac G5

Apple - iMac G5 "What if you could fit your whole life — all your music, all your photos, all your movies, all your email — in a computer as fun and useful as an iPod? Now you can. Introducing the futuristic iMac G5 in 17- and 20-inch widescreen models. The entire computer, including a G5-based logic board, slot-loading optical drive, hard disk, speakers, and even the power supply — dwells inside the enchanting display. Modern living starts at $1299."

On Apple's homepage: "From the creators of iPod. The new iMac G5." Oh, so they outsourced this box as well?...

Monday, August 30, 2004

The New York Times > Technology > A PC That Packs Real Power, and All Just for Me

The New York Times > Technology > A PC That Packs Real Power, and All Just for Me "On Monday, Orion Multisystems, a start-up company based in Santa Clara, Calif., will announce a new desktop workstation computer for engineers and scientists who want more computing power than is easily available from Fry's, the local retail chain for personal computers. Orion is building a computer the size of a pizza box, intended for a single engineer or scientist, which will have 12 processors yet consume about the same amount of power as a standard desktop personal computer.
The company is hoping that it will be able to deliver about 10 times the performance of a desktop personal computer. Traditionally, such order-of-magnitude performance differences have been necessary in the computer industry to ensure the adoption of a new technology or a new strategy.
They are initially introducing two systems, a 12-processor model that is priced under $10,000, and an under-the-desk model that will have 96 microprocessors, is priced below $100,000 and draws about 1,500 watts, about the maximum power deliverable from a standard electrical outlet.
To achieve its low-power goal, the biggest gamble Orion is taking is building its system based on the Efficeon microprocessor, the newest chip from Transmeta. The chip maker pioneered the idea of ultralow power processors for mobile computers, but had until recently not been able to meet its performance goals."

The New York Times > Technology > Can Microsoft Stomp iTunes With a Store of Its Own?

The New York Times > Technology > Can Microsoft Stomp iTunes With a Store of Its Own? "When Microsoft unveils its online music store later this week, the first song offered should be Dave Brubeck's "It's Déjà Vu All Over Again." For Microsoft, taking a trail blazed by others - then trying to dominate the market - is a familiar tune.
With the opening on Thursday, Microsoft will land itself in a market that Apple Computer pioneered more than a year ago with its iTunes online music store, in much the same way that it took on Netscape in the Web browser business and Sony in the market for console game machines. As a storefront on the MSN online service, Microsoft's music service will offer song tracks for downloading to personal computers and portable music players."

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Microsoft won't ship WinFS with Longhorn - Computerworld

Microsoft won't ship WinFS with Longhorn - Computerworld "Sullivan said WinFS is being developed independently of the client and server operating systems. "We'll deliver it independently so it will then be available to users of Longhorn client and server. Exactly when that happens, we don't know," he said. WinFS could be applied and installed on one of the existing operating systems, he said."

Business 2.0 - Web Article - Saving TiVo

Business 2.0 - Web Article - Printable Version - Saving TiVo "There's at least one problem with that scenario, however. His name is Arthur van Hoff. He's an obscure but revered high priest of software coding. And he thinks he's devised a way to pull TiVo back from death's door.
In January, TiVo bought van Hoff's tiny startup, Strangeberry, for an undisclosed sum. Hardly anyone noticed. But for TiVo, the deal is shaping up as a masterstroke. Van Hoff is known in elite computing circles as one of Silicon Valley's most brilliant minds. Prickly? A bit. Nerdy? You bet. But, among other career highlights, van Hoff was one of the chief developers of Sun Microsystems's (SUNW) Java programming language, now seen as being among software's most momentous technical feats. Even Sun co-founder and industry legend Bill Joy calls van Hoff "a great programmer." Marimba founder Kim Polese, who worked with van Hoff at both Sun and Marimba, calls him a "giant in the software world."
More to the point for TiVo, van Hoff is an absolute nut for its technology. He owns five TiVo boxes. At Strangeberry, he and a fractious posse of coders put their minds to building the elusive dream machine that TiVo and every other convergence player has long sought: the single, elegant, indispensable device that will control all the elements of home entertainment, from computing to music to movies.
Six months later, van Hoff wangled a meeting with more VCs, this time at Redpoint Ventures. Ramsay, TiVo's CEO and an engineer himself, dropped in as a casual observer; Redpoint was one of his investors. He was floored. "We had a meeting of the minds," Ramsay recalls. The acquisition came together within six months. If it ever troubled van Hoff that TiVo was bleeding, he isn't saying. "We really liked TiVo," he says. "Great product. Good karma. Great engineers."
So how does Strangeberry give TiVo a fighting chance? For starters, van Hoff and his team joined up and brought their coding wizardry. Far more important, of course, is the Strangeberry software and what it promises for TiVo.
(Netflix has said it will put its catalog online next year, and TiVo CEO Ramsay is a Netflix director.)"

Subscription required...

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: Google, Shmoogle. The Biggest I.P.O.'s Went Unnoticed.

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: Google, Shmoogle. The Biggest I.P.O.'s Went Unnoticed. "The shares of Google, the Most Popular for the Moment, held up last week. Closing at $106.15, Google has secured a market capitalization of $28.79 billion, incomparably ahead of Microsoft at a similar point in its life. Given history and investor inclinations, the question that is bound to be asked is this: Will Google have a halo like Microsoft's, benefiting the many other hopefuls in tech? This is a question of pure psychology, nothing more. Experience suggests that "halo" is a euphemism for "investors turning bullish en masse for no substantive reason.""

iPod: The Basics

iPod: The Basics "What's the Apple iPod + HP?"

Okay, maybe it's not a future collectors' item, if there's no way to distinguish between an "Apple iPod + HP" and an Apple iPod, except for the sames receipt. I'm still perplexed by this one...

Boston.com / News / Local / Comcast to market new video recorder

Boston.com / News / Local / Comcast to market new video recorder: "Starting tomorrow, Comcast Corp. will begin marketing an enhanced cable box to New Englanders that will accelerate a revolution that is changing television-watching habits, and the television industry itself. The Motorola box, which includes a TiVo-style digital video recorder, will allow millions of subscribers to watch shows on their own schedule and skip through the advertisements.
Although the technology has been available for a few years, most notably from industry leader TiVo, the adoption of the digital video recording by the region's dominant cable provider signals that this disruptive technology is about to go mainstream.
The Comcast digital video recorder, built around a large hard drive, will be able to store 50 hours of regular programming or 10 hours of high-definition format shows, while also letting people pause and rewind shows as they are broadcast live. Comcast will charge $9.95 a month for the system with no upfront installation charge, a steep discount from TiVo, which charges at least $99 for a stand-alone recorder plus $12.95 for monthly service."

Details on the Motorola box.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

BW Online | September 6, 2004 | Douglas C. Engelbart: From Mice To Windows

BW Online | September 6, 2004 | Douglas C. Engelbart: From Mice To Windows "It's hard, but try to imagine -- or remember -- a world without the Internet, without e-mail, without Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT ) Windows operating system, without pull-down menus in computer programs, and even without the computer mouse. Then, in one fell swoop, one person unveils the underpinnings of them all.
That's what happened in 1968, when Douglas C. Engelbart took the stage at the mid-December Fall Joint Computing Conference in San Francisco. He was nervous, fretting the audience might dismiss his concepts for augmenting human intelligence as too far-out. But he needn't have worried. Over the next 90 minutes he demonstrated how he could edit a document interactively with researchers in a distant location -- his laboratory at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) in Menlo Park, Calif. -- pointing and clicking a boxy mouse to switch among windows on a computer screen. The audience surprised him with a standing ovation. The event is now considered a watershed in the history of computing.
Yet Engelbart says his inventions have been slow to deliver the impact he wanted. Drawing on his experience watching radar images as a technician in the Navy during World War II, he had envisioned window graphics that would make computers easy to use. Then individuals, companies, and governments could tackle major issues collectively. Gradually this would enhance the way people think and learn. Today we have online teamwork and so-called learning organizations. But society has yet to exploit computers to boost human intelligence on the scale that Engelbart has been dreaming about since the 1950s."

The Seattle Times: Stock sale raises $160 million for McCaw venture

The Seattle Times: Stock sale raises $160 million for McCaw venture "Kirkland-based Clearwire, billionaire Craig McCaw's latest venture, has quietly sold $160 million in common stock, according to a document filed this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The amount is a huge sum for a new public company, let alone a private entity such as Clearwire, which unveiled its plans for wireless broadband service only this summer. But McCaw's name appears to attract interest."

The New York Times > AP > Technology > RealNetworks Gets in Content Business

The New York Times > AP > Technology > RealNetworks Gets in Content Business "RealNetworks was started a decade ago by former Microsoft executive Rob Glaser, who still serves as its chairman and chief executive. It made a name for itself with its RealPlayer software, first released in 1995 and now installed on millions of computers.
But Microsoft undercut RealPlayer in the late 1990s by giving away a digital media player with Windows. RealNetworks sued on antitrust grounds. Microsoft has paid billions of dollars to settle similar suits with rivals such as Netscape and Sun Microsystems Inc. Some investors think a similar settlement with RealNetworks could boost its stock price.
But Glaser, who still owns about a third of RealNetworks shares, isn't banking on a legal windfall. He has used acquisitions and partnerships to expand into the business of selling digital music, video and games to consumers."

PBS | I, Cringely . Out of School: Doug Engelbart's Experience Shows That Even the Best Technology Can Be Ignored If It Is Difficult to Classify

PBS | I, Cringely . Out of School: Doug Engelbart's Experience Shows That Even the Best Technology Can Be Ignored If It Is Difficult to Classify "I spent an afternoon recently with Doug Engelbart, talking about making computing history and troubleshooting Doug's DSL line. Doug, for those who haven't heard of him, conceived of and then went on to invent much of what we value today in computing from the standpoint of the user. Networks, graphical computing, hypertext, the mouse -- Doug's the guy behind all of those in one way or another. He is best known as the inventor of the mouse, but his work goes far beyond that. Doug did most of this at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) in Menlo Park, CA. And nearly all of those innovations first came to him during a momentary fugue state Doug entered while driving to work one day in 1950."

"Links of the week" include a link to a video of Engelbart's historic 1968 demo.

NEWS FLASH: Microsoft Will Ship Pared Down Longhorn in 2006

NEWS FLASH: Microsoft Will Ship Pared Down Longhorn in 2006 "Obviously, this change marks a major departure for the software giant, which had previously pledged to make Longhorn its most impressive Windows update ever. However, since announcing these early, lofty goals, the software giant has been steadily missing deadlines and restarting Longhorn-related projects. Just this month, for example, the core Windows team gave up on its plan to componentized the Windows Server-based Longhorn source code and literally started over from scratch using the Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) code base. That change alone would have delayed Longhorn for several months had the company tried to continue its original rollout plans."

Friday, August 27, 2004

Gates: Longhorn changed to make deadlines | Newsmakers | CNET News.com

Gates: Longhorn changed to make deadlines | Newsmakers | CNET News.com "Ever since about 15 months ago, when we moved Peter Spiro of our database group to take charge of WinFS, we've made very good progress. What happened here is, as we looked at the new things we wanted to add to WinFS, that would have only been consistent with an '07 schedule--adding the tabular stuff and figuring out a server plan.
So we definitely were faced with a decision that Jim, Peter, Steve (Ballmer) and I were having a lot of dialogue over these last couple of weeks. What was the right thing? Was it to take Longhorn as a whole and get these super-cool additional WinFS features in, knowing that that would push the release out into '07, or was it to come up with a plan that was a bit more clever and really not give up much?
The plan we have does give up WinFS shipping with Longhorn. And so if you want my basic assessment here, the glass is three-quarters full."

Microsoft Announces 2006 Target Date for Broad Availability Of Windows "Longhorn" Client Operating System

Microsoft Announces 2006 Target Date for Broad Availability Of Windows "Longhorn" Client Operating System "Microsoft Corp. today announced it will target broad availability of the Windows® client operating system code-named "Longhorn" in 2006, and make key elements of the Windows WinFXTM developer platform in "Longhorn" available for Windows XP and Windows ServerTM 2003.
Microsoft will deliver a Windows storage subsystem, code-named "WinFS," after the "Longhorn" release. The new storage system provides advanced data organization and management capabilities and will be in beta testing when the "Longhorn" client becomes available.
At a meeting today with several hundred of the company’s top developer evangelists from around the world, Microsoft also announced that the Windows WinFX developer technologies, including the new presentation subsystem code-named "Avalon" and the new communication subsystem code-named Indigo, will be made available for Microsoft® Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 in 2006. This availability will expand the scope of opportunity for developers by enabling them to write applications that can run on hundreds of millions of PCs, resulting in enhanced experiences for users of those operating systems."

This is a big change -- and very pragmatic. Avalon on XP is a huge win for developers, and WinFS wasn't going to mainstream overnight anyway, so it's better for Microsoft to focus on getting Longhorn out in 2006 and adding WinFS later (and hopefully to XP and 2003 as well). Perhaps Longhorn, as was the case with XP, will be most successful as a consumer OS at first; Avalon and the rest of the Longhorn user experience will be very compelling for consumers, but most enterprises will plan on much more protracted upgrade cycles.

Economist.com | Business books: How 51 Gorillas Can Make You Seriously Rich (Or, why so many business books are awful)

Economist.com | Business books: How 51 Gorillas Can Make You Seriously Rich (Or, why so many business books are awful) "If you want to profit from your pen, first write a bestselling business book. In few other literary genres are the spin-offs so lucrative. If you speak well enough to make a conference of dozing middle managers sit up, your fortune is made. You can, says Mark French of Leading Authorities, a top speaking agency, make a seven-figure income from speechifying alone.
Given this strong motivation to succeed, it is astonishing how bad most business books are. Many appear to be little more than expanded PowerPoint presentations, with bullet points and sidebars setting out unrelated examples or unconnected thoughts. Some read like an extended paragraph from a consultant's report (and, indeed, many consultancies encourage their stars to write books around a single idea and lots of examples from the clientele). Few business books are written by a single author; lots require a whole support team of researchers. And all too many have meaningless diagrams."

WSJ.com - H-P to Sing Apple's Songs

WSJ.com - H-P to Sing Apple's Songs "But beneath its slim white-and-silver casing -- not blue, as Apple CEO Steve Jobs originally predicted -- H-P's iPod is largely the same as the latest models sold by Apple, and it will be made by the same contract-assembly companies Apple uses. Users of H-P's iPod will be able to buy and download songs from Apple's iTunes Music Store, but not from rival online music stores, the same as with Apple's version, these people add.
H-P is bringing Apple's technology into other H-P products as well. The Palo Alto, Calif., company, which already has started shipping H-P personal computers with iTunes software loaded on them, today also plans to discuss the use of iTunes software in a new class of device that is styled as a central command hub for home entertainment. This "digital entertainment center," which looks like a digital videodisc player and is designed to be paired with a television set, can play DVDs, store digital photos and music, and act as a personal video recorder.
For Apple, H-P's iPod introduction will bring the device into hundreds of additional retail outlets. Apple currently sells its iPod through about 12,000 stores and other channels, including its own Apple-branded stores, its Apple Web site and various resellers, according to brokerage Needham & Co. H-P, meanwhile, sells its wares through 110,000 retail outlets world-wide, including large electronics chains such as CompUSA Inc., notes Needham. If just a tenth of H-P's retail outlets start selling the music player, that could nearly double the iPod's distribution, says Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham.
The iPod and the digital entertainment center are just two pieces of a far bigger push by H-P into consumer electronics. The tech giant is rolling out more than 200 consumer-oriented products today, including plasma TVs and liquid-crystal-display TVs, home projectors and new "media center" computers that tie together digital photos, music and other content. In addition, H-P is releasing a large number of digital photography-related products, such as smaller and more portable photo printers, fade-resistant inks for printing digital photos, and bundles of photo paper and ink cartridges designed to cut the cost of printing a digital image."

Two problems with this strategy: Sony and Dell...

WSJ.com - Online Music's Latest Tune

WSJ.com - Online Music's Latest Tune "So far, there have been two broad categories of companies selling digital music over the Internet: Apple Computer Inc. and everyone else -- a collection of mostly smaller competitors with a sliver of Apple's sales.
Now, the "everyone else" camp is about to be joined by a powerful bunch of big-name companies hoping to shake up the prevailing order in online music.
In the most anticipated arrival in the market, Microsoft Corp.'s MSN division next week will begin publicly testing an online music service that will compete head-on with Apple's iTunes Music Store and others in the market for 99-cent song downloads, say people familiar with the matter.
Not far behind is Yahoo Inc. with its own music-selling site, due out within months. Viacom Inc.'s MTV and Virgin Group Ltd., operator of the Virgin Megastore retail chain, also may start selling music over the Internet by the end of this year or early next year, people familiar with their plans say."

Too bad the new HP device won't be able to work with these services...

WSJ.com - Apple Up 6% Ahead Of H-P Unveiling Branded IPod Fri

WSJ.com - Apple Up 6% Ahead Of H-P Unveiling Branded IPod Fri "Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) shares rose 6% Thursday ahead of an anticipated unveiling of an IPod carrying Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (HPQ) brand.
On Friday, H-P is set to hold Big Bang 3, an annual rollout of a broad array of consumer electronic products. One of the highlights will be an H-P-branded IPod, which will help both companies make their push into the consumer electronics during the tail end of the back-to-school season."

3 words: future collectors' item... I don't see HP having a complementary channel for HP-branded, consumer-oriented iPods.

Google to Bloggers: Get Your Ad Share

Google to Bloggers: Get Your Ad Share "Google Inc. is making it easier for Webloggers to earn extra cash, while expanding the reach of its search-based advertising.
Its Blogger service this week put out a call to bloggers to share in advertising revenues by joining Google's AdSense program, which displays advertisements targeted to the keywords in a site's content. Through AdSense, Google returns a portion of the pay-per-click fees back to the site publisher."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The New York Times > Business > World Business > Europe Opens Another Microsoft Inquiry

The New York Times > Business > World Business > Europe Opens Another Microsoft Inquiry "The European Commission has opened an investigation into the planned acquisition of ContentGuard Holdings by Microsoft and Time Warner, a commission spokeswoman said Wednesday. ContentGuard specializes in software that protects digital material from counterfeiting.
Microsoft is already the world's largest supplier of digital rights management software, which comes packaged with the latest version of its audio- and video-playing software, Media Player.
Microsoft uses ContentGuard technology under a license in its development of rights management systems and services.
In April, Microsoft and Time Warner announced that they would acquire a majority of ContentGuard, a small company spun out of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, leaving Xerox as a minority owner.
Competitors in digital rights management software include the California-based InterTrust Technologies, which was acquired last year by Sony and its Dutch consumer electronics rival, Philips Electronics."

The New York Times > Education > Internet Gives Teenage Bullies Weapons to Wound From Afar

The New York Times > Education > Internet Gives Teenage Bullies Weapons to Wound From Afar "The episode reflects one of many ways that the technology lubricating the social lives of teenagers is amplifying standard adolescent cruelty. No longer confined to school grounds or daytime hours, "cyberbullies" are pursuing their quarries into their own bedrooms. Tools like e-mail messages and Web logs enable the harassment to be both less obvious to adults and more publicly humiliating, as gossip, put-downs and embarrassing pictures are circulated among a wide audience of peers with a few clicks.
The technology, which allows its users to inflict pain without being forced to see its effect, also seems to incite a deeper level of meanness. Psychologists say the distance between bully and victim on the Internet is leading to an unprecedented - and often unintentional - degree of brutality, especially when combined with a typical adolescent's lack of impulse control and underdeveloped empathy skills."

WSJ.com - Luxury-Goods Firms Are Hunting Copycats as Web Market Expands

WSJ.com - Luxury-Goods Firms Are Hunting Copycats as Web Market Expands "Tiffany & Co. grabbed headlines with its lawsuit against online-auction company eBay Inc., but the suit is just part of a larger effort the world's largest luxury-goods companies are using to thwart online counterfeiting.
The stakes are high: In the past 10 years, the Internet has overtaken even New York's copycat central, Canal Street, to become the third-biggest market for the sale of counterfeit goods, behind China and Italy.
Other industries have launched scare campaigns and sued buyers, but luxury-goods companies hawking such things as diamond tiaras to rasta-striped handbags are training their guns on the sales channel -- and that usually means eBay, though Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. could be future targets."

WSJ.com - A Price War Hits Internet Calling

WSJ.com - A Price War Hits Internet Calling "Fierce price competition is hitting the fast-growing Internet phone-calling business.
Consumers are used to prices of many new technologies eventually falling. But with Internet phone calls, the industry has begun to lower its rates at a remarkably early stage, reflecting the low cost of providing the service and the cutthroat nature of the phone business.
AT&T Corp. recently extended an introductory offer of $19.95 a month for its CallVantage service, which offers unlimited local and long-distance calling, through the end of September. Earlier, Vonage Holdings Corp., the pioneer in Internet calling, shaved $5 off the price of its primary service, which is now $29.99 a month."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The G-spot - News - ZDNet

The G-spot - News - ZDNet "In moving toward this software-as-a-service platform, Google has some interesting partners-in-waiting—-the carriers and their partners (Sun, Motorola, Nokia), the increasingly Web-focused broadband players (TiVo, SBC, Dish Network) who are circumventing cable and record companies with direct-from-Web downloads to personal video recorders, and micro-content creators (exercise left to the reader.) Add together this loosely-coupled group of companies and their aggregated market caps, and today’s price per share for Google starts to look like a bargain."

The redoubtable Steve Gillmor looks for harmonic convergence in RSS, Google, and Microsoft "millstones."

Slashdot | Microsoft Leaves U.N. Standards Group

Slashdot | Microsoft Leaves U.N. Standards Group "pk2000 writes "Microsoft withdrew from a United Nations software standards group for commerce." 'Unfortunately, for now, we have made the decision to stop participating in U.N./Cefact for business reasons and this serves as notification of our immediate withdrawal from all U.N./Cefact activities.' This might be connected to Microsoft's intention to build up its patent portfolio. Currently it has about 5,000 patents and seeks to at least double this number by the end of 2005.""

Being a Slashdot post, there can of course be no consideration of the remote possibility that the standards group in question, focused in part on ebXML, could be in an academic infinite loop; it must be some sort of nefarious Microsoft plot...

rhs blog: OneNote And Collaboration (08/24/2004 12:53:16 PM)

rhs blog: OneNote And Collaboration (08/24/2004 12:53:16 PM) "Almost exactly a year ago, I asked whether IBM should be concerned about Microsoft's OneNote product. I continue to hear interesting things about OneNote. Seems to me that Microsoft is looking at OneNote as a collaboration tool. I.e, look at the second to last heading in this article, and the quote within:
Willoughby has found that OneNote is just the ticket for collaborating on team projects. When all research group members use OneNote, the critical peer review process in which students review and comment on each others' work becomes seamless.
Although I don't have a tablet PC, I think I'm going to try it out to see what it offers. Based on things I've read about how it interacts with MS Office, think it's probably an OLE server, so integration with Lotus Notes should be possible."

OneNote is a very useful app, and it's definitely handy for laptops/desktops as well as Tablet PCs. The SP1 updates add real-time session-based collaborative authoring a la Apple Hydra in some respects. The session sharing works well, but it has some limitations:
1. Once the session ends, each participant has a snapshot of the work-in-progress, and there is no way to replicate/resync later changes
2. It doesn't work across NATs or firewalls unless you have configured your equipment to allow UPnP

Still pretty innovative, in any case, and a nice enhancement to already-useful OneNote.

Yahoo! News - Is troubled BEA a target?

Yahoo! News - Is troubled BEA a target? "The departure of another senior executive at BEA Systems Inc. is fueling speculation that turmoil at the ailing enterprise software maker could make it vulnerable to a takeover.
BEA said Monday, Aug. 23, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (news - web sites) that chief marketing officer Tod Nielsen has resigned to pursue other interests. Chief technology officer Scott Dietzen quit earlier month, and chief technology architect Adam Bosworth left in July to join Google Inc. Other executives who have left BEA recently include vice presidents Scott Edgington and Rick Jackson, and Erik Frieberg, senior director of product marketing.
The exodus comes amid a 54% decline in BEA's stock price since September and what analysts describe as BEA's failure to gear up to compete with bigger enterprise software developers offering a wide product range.
"These are really talented people, and they want to work for a company with buzz — and BEA has lost its buzz," said Richard Williams, research director at Garban Institutional Equities in New York. "They're strategically isolated because the world wants integrated suites, and BEA is providing pure-play components.""

WSJ.com - Iona Up 20%; Analyst Calls It A Good Acquisition Target

WSJ.com - Iona Up 20%; Analyst Calls It A Good Acquisition Target "Shares of Iona Technologies PLC (IONA) rose as much as 34% Monday after an article in the Sunday Business Post in Ireland quoted Davy Stockbrokers' analysts as saying a change in the software maker's marketing strategy makes it a more attractive acquisition target.
"A 'significant change' in strategy at Iona Technologies has made the software company a likely acquisition target for multinationals such as Microsoft or IBM," the story said.
Also, Iona's new product, Artix, should gain traction, Dixon said."

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Executive flight continues at BEA | CNET News.com

Executive flight continues at BEA | CNET News.com "BEA Systems' chief marketing officer and executive vice president has resigned, in the latest of a string of high-level executive departures at the struggling software company.
According to a regulatory filing, Tod Nielsen has resigned to "pursue other interests" and will leave the company effective Aug. 26.
Nielsen joined BEA in 2001, when the company acquired development tools maker Crossgain, where he was CEO. Before joining Crossgain, Nielsen had spent 12 years at Microsoft, where he worked on software development technology."

HP readies TVs, media hub products | CNET News.com

HP readies TVs, media hub products | CNET News.com "Hewlett-Packard plans to announce by next week a set of home entertainment products, including large-screen TVs and a digital storage console, embedded with copy protection technology.
Shane Robison, HP's chief strategy and technology officer, said at a conference here that the announcement, which will be made in about 10 days, is designed to curb copyright infringement though an unspecified form of digital rights management (DRM) technology."

MSNBC - New computer virus for voyeurs

MSNBC - New computer virus for voyeurs "A new computer virus takes spying on victims one step farther than most worms -- the malicious program is capable of switching on webcams, allowing the author to literally peek into victims' lives. The virus, called Rbot-GR, isn't spreading much, according to antivirus firm Sophos. Still, the technique is "creepy," says spokesman Graham Cluley, and it brings digital voyeurism to new heights."

The New York Times > Business > 2 Companies to Make Gear for Phoning Over Internet

The New York Times > Business > 2 Companies to Make Gear for Phoning Over Internet "Linksys and Netgear, two competing providers of home networking equipment, plan to announce today that they are entering the business of making equipment used to place telephone calls over the Internet, according to industry executives.
In both cases, Linksys and Netgear plan to announce that they are selling equipment designed specifically for use by Vonage, a start-up company that has become a pioneer in providing so-called Internet telephony."

BTW I reconfigured my home network and put the Vonage box in-line between my cable modem and my Linksys wireless router (the Vonage box was previously connected through the Linksys); the phone service is now much better.

Where is the Windows 2000 Service Pack?

Where is the Windows 2000 Service Pack? "With the release of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, Microsoft has taken a significant step toward removing the security holes and insecure configurations that have made Windows such an easy target for malicious hackers and scammers—but only for 10 percent of Windows users.
For the 90 percent of Windows users who don't run Windows XP, there is no improved default configuration ridding the system of unnecessary services that are tempting targets for attackers. There is no greatly improved firewall protection. And, worst of all, there is no new version of Internet Explorer, one of the main causes of security problems in Windows (and there likely never will be)."

Microsoft Revisits Web Service Plan

Microsoft Revisits Web Service Plan "The problems facing the Office team are obvious. Although most Office applications are decades-old, mature products, they've also grown stale. Nevertheless, convincing customers to upgrade to newer versions is increasingly difficult. After all, what more can the company add to its stalwart word processing solution, Microsoft Office Word? Word's broad feature set hasn't really changed since the mid-1990s and probably never will. In the current Office version, Office 2003, Microsoft did something it hasn't done for years; the company added two new major applications, Microsoft Office InfoPath and Microsoft Office OneNote. But although both applications have been well received, neither is likely to dramatically change the Office team's financial picture.
In response to this situation, Microsoft is turning to the Web services strategy that it originally plied with a since-canceled project called Net Docs. But this time the company will apply the strategy to the core Office suite applications, not to a new Office-like product. Word, Microsoft Office Excel, OneNote, Microsoft Office Outlook, and the other Microsoft Office System applications will continue as standalone applications but will also be used as spokes in a collaborative system that will use Web services for intra-application communication. And because they're built on Web standards, these services can be used to interact with Office applications and servers that are locally available on users' hard disks or are remotely accessible via the Internet."

Microsoft Office OneNote Helps Students Move to the Head of the Class

Microsoft Office OneNote Helps Students Move to the Head of the Class "To help more students realize OneNote's benefits in an academic setting, Microsoft is giving away 1.7 million copies of the software on campuses this fall. Normally, OneNote is available at a special academic price to students and teachers of US$49, but students throughout the United States will find free CDs of the software in their dorm rooms or being handed out on campuses. When OneNote is paired with the Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003, which includes all of the core Office applications for a special academic price of $149, the combination provides integrated learning tools that can become essential to college success and beyond."

Monday, August 23, 2004

Former Microsoft COO: Intelligence overhaul means crushing 'fiefdoms' - Computerworld

Former Microsoft COO: Intelligence overhaul means crushing 'fiefdoms' - Computerworld "The U.S. intelligence community has "effectively missed the information and communications revolution of the 1990s," according to Bob Herbold, retired executive vice president and chief operating officer at Microsoft Corp. And he said he knows exactly why: Cultural fiefdoms at various intelligence agencies have grown large and powerful, and have even allowed new fiefdoms to grow within them.
According to Herbold, the 9/11 Commission and the U.S. Congress -- both of which have called for a major overhaul of the U.S. intelligence community to help improve information sharing -- are up against a formidable enemy.
Herbold recently completed a book about the topic called The Fiefdom Syndrome, and his comments come as the Bush administration and Congress work to reshape the nation's intelligence gathering abilities.
"Fiefdoms emerge when individuals and groups seek to make themselves as independent as possible and work to protect their turf and reshape their environment to gain as much control over it as is possible," said Herbold. "This behavior stems from the inclination of individuals and groups to become fixated on their own activities, their own careers, their own territory or turf to the detriment of those around them."
Those who create fiefdoms become dangerously insular, losing perspective and awareness of what is happening in the world outside of their own control, Herbold said. "They lose their ability to act consistently on behalf of the greater good, [and] they are determined to do things their own way, often duplicating or complicating what should be done organizationwide," he said."

Microsoft Notebook: Ex-executive's book tells of 'fiefdom' issues

Microsoft Notebook: Ex-executive's book tells of 'fiefdom' issues "Microsoft Corp.'s current chief executive, then its sales boss, was meeting in the mid-1990s with an overseas subsidiary that insisted on using its own measures -- rather than those set out by the company -- to assess its financial performance.
Ballmer, his face turning red as he listened, finally put an end to it. "I'll define the key measures," he told them. "It's your job to grow them."
That's one of the inside stories told by Bob Herbold, former Microsoft executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a new book due out this week. Called "The Fiefdom Syndrome," it examines and offers solutions for overcoming what Herbold describes as the human tendency to create isolated domains within larger organizations -- defending them and resisting change to the detriment of everyone involved.
Herbold, who joined Microsoft in 1994, retired as chief operating officer in 2001 but worked part time, in an advisory role, until last year. His book contains explanatory examples not only from his Microsoft days but also from his previous experience as a longtime Procter & Gamble executive and his more recent work as a business consultant."

Economist.com | Hewlett-Packard: Losing the HP way

Economist.com | Hewlett-Packard: Losing the HP way "Her problem, in a nutshell, is that HP is trying to be all things to all kinds of customers, and is leaving more and more of them plain confused. HP dominates in the market for printers, both laser and inkjet, and both for consumers and companies. It is also strong in handheld computers and some other consumer electronics items, such as digital cameras. In desktop personal computers and notebooks, HP runs neck-and-neck with Dell as the world's biggest supplier.
Ms Fiorina's best option is to address the “conglomerate discount” in HP's share price—in other words, to break up her company, says Mr Milunovich. Many of HP's investors would prefer to own only its stellar printing and imaging business, which need not apologise to anyone. This would also free the printer business to parry the distant threats from rivals such as Lexmark and Dell.
The remaining computer and storage businesses could then be further divided by customer focus—corporate versus consumer—or merged with rivals. The result would be several well-targeted companies that would either be genuine leaders (printers) or potentially profitable runners-up in corporate computing, the “Avis to IBM's Hertz”, as Mr Milunovich puts it."

Sunday, August 22, 2004

The New York Times > Magazine > The Making of an X Box Warrior

The New York Times > Magazine > The Making of an X Box Warrior "For the past three years, the military has been entertaining the surprising idea that video games, even those that you play on a commerical system like Microsoft's Xbox, can be an effective way to train soldiers. In fact, the Army is now one of the industry's most innovative creators, hiring high-end programmers and designers from Silicon Valley and Hollywood to devise and refine its games. Some of these games are action-packed, like Full Spectrum Warrior. Others, like one that the military's Special Operations Command is currently designing to help recruits practice their Arabic, are less so. All the games, however, speak to the military's urgent need to train recruits for the new challenges of peacekeeping efforts in places like Iraq."

Friday, August 20, 2004

Gmail now works with XP SP2 FYI

Gmail now works with XP SP2 FYI

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft laying off 76, cuts production of own Xbox games

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft laying off 76, cuts production of own Xbox games "In the latest adjustment to its Xbox business, Microsoft is closing its sports video-game studio in Redmond and laying off 76 employees.
The cut is the division's largest single layoff since Microsoft launched Xbox in 2001, but it has shed hundreds of games jobs over the past year.
A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company no longer has to make as many Xbox games itself, now that the console has support from the games industry."

The New York Times > Technology > After Months of Hoopla, Google Debut Fits the Norm

The New York Times > Technology > After Months of Hoopla, Google Debut Fits the Norm "In the end, Google had a fairly normal I.P.O.
In the stock's first day of trading, investors bought, sold and flipped shares at a furious pace, with the price ending just above $100 - 18 percent above where it started.
It was, in other words, everything the company's founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, had sought to avoid with their unconventional approach of using an online auction to determine the price and distribute the shares ahead of public trading."

WSJ.com - Green Light for Grokster

WSJ.com - Green Light for Grokster "In a powerful setback to the entertainment industry's efforts to fight illicit online trading of movies and music, a federal appeals court affirmed a lower-court ruling allowing creators of Internet file-sharing software to stay in operation, despite piracy by users of their programs.
The ruling yesterday by three judges for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will almost certainly intensify efforts by movie studios, music companies and songwriters -- the plaintiffs in the case -- to curb online piracy through other means.
Those efforts are expected to include lobbying for legislation designed to crack down on makers of file-sharing programs and lawsuits against individuals who share pirated files over the Internet. Music companies have already been filing such lawsuits for about a year, though the Hollywood studios have not yet followed suit.
The entertainment companies involved in the case said they were also considering whether to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The recording industry largely blames rampant online file sharing of music that began in 1999 for a multiyear decline in global music sales, and Hollywood movie studios have been bracing for the impact of such activity in their own business. Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Jack Valenti stressed that "copyright theft is still illegal" and the decision "should not be viewed as a green light" for companies or consumers to ignore the rights of copyright holders."

This is happy news for Microsoft and other vendors that have invested mega$ in digital rights management. I presume the co-founders of Skype, who also created Kazaa, can now get out of what Fortune called "catch us if you can" mode.

WSJ.com - Google Shares Prove Big Winners -- For a Day

WSJ.com - Google Shares Prove Big Winners -- For a Day "Investors who went through the cumbersome auction for Google Inc. shares were feeling particularly lucky yesterday.
The countdown to Google's initial public offering of stock was filled with confusion, frustration and miscues. The first day of trading was no different. But shares of the Internet search-engine company proved to be big winners, at least for a day.
The stock closed at $100.34 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, up 18% from the reduced $85-a-share IPO price in heavy trading -- some 22 million shares traded, which was more than the 19.6 million shares sold. While some of the gain can be chalked up to the fact that the projected offering price had been reduced in the days leading up to the IPO, it still was an impressive price "pop," especially in a dreary IPO market and in the midst of another down day for the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index."

It'll be interesting to see what happens to GOOG today. I no longer see clearly discernible correlations between short-term stock market valuations and company potential (and haven't for several years...), so I think this is basically a gambling case study.

The New York Times > Friendly Fire: The Birth of an Anti-Kerry Ad [non-tech]

The New York Times > Friendly Fire: The Birth of an Anti-Kerry Ad [non-tech] "Records show that the group received the bulk of its initial financing from two men with ties to the president and his family - one a longtime political associate of Mr. Rove's, the other a trustee of the foundation for Mr. Bush's father's presidential library. A Texas publicist who once helped prepare Mr. Bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president provided them with strategic advice. And the group's television commercial was produced by the same team that made the devastating ad mocking Michael S. Dukakis in an oversized tank helmet when he and Mr. Bush's father faced off in the 1988 presidential election.
The strategy the veterans devised would ultimately paint John Kerry the war hero as John Kerry the "baby killer" and the fabricator of the events that resulted in his war medals. But on close examination, the accounts of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' prove to be riddled with inconsistencies. In many cases, material offered as proof by these veterans is undercut by official Navy records and the men's own statements."

How could these people possibly imagine this wouldn't be revealed?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

End of the line for HP's Alpha | CNET News.com

End of the line for HP's Alpha | CNET News.com "Hewlett-Packard will release its final Alpha processor on Monday, the beginning of the end for a chip dynasty that never was.
Created by Digital Equipment and released in 1992, the Alpha often drew accolades from analysts and benchmark testers for its performance. The first Alpha ran at a record-breaking 200MHz. The 64-bit chip was engineered to run multiple operating systems--Unix in addition to Microsoft's Windows NT--and was expected to have a life span of 25 years.
Alpha was also the first chip to reach a clock speed of 1GHz under ordinary conditions, back in 1999.
Unfortunately for Digital, the chip--and servers based on it--won only a dedicated core of customers. It was expensive, and finding software applications to run on the Alpha was a constant struggle for its users. Because of low sales of Alpha systems, Microsoft stopped shipping a version of Windows NT for the chip architecture in 1999."

AppleInsider | First beta of Skype for Mac OS X seeded to testers

AppleInsider | First beta of Skype for Mac OS X seeded to testers "The first external beta version of Skype Technologies' free voice over IP (VoIP) software for Mac OS X has been distributed to a limited number of testers and is expected to reach public beta in the coming months.
A free and simple piece of software from the developers of KaZaA, Skype uses innovative P2P (peer-to-peer) technology that lets users make free calls anywhere in the world to other Skype users.
The software--currently available for both Windows and Linux (Beta)--aims to address all the problems of legacy VoIP solutions such bad sound quality, difficult configuration, and the need for expensive, centralized infrastructure."

Via Bruce Elgort

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > In the Classroom, Web Blogs Are the New Bulletin Boards

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > In the Classroom, Web Blogs Are the New Bulletin Boards "Classroom Web logs, or blogs, many of which got their start in the last school year, are becoming increasingly popular with teachers like Mrs. Dudiak as a forum for expression for students as young as the second-grade level and in almost any subject. In the blogs, students write about how they attacked a tough math problem, post observations about their science experiments or display their latest art projects.
For teachers, blogs are attractive because they require little effort to maintain, unlike more elaborate classroom Web sites, which were once heralded as a boon for teaching. Helped by templates found at sites like tblog.com and movabletype.org, teachers can build a blog or start a new topic in an existing blog by simply typing text into a box and clicking a button."

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Back-to-School Issue: When Gadgets Get in the Way

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Back-to-School Issue: When Gadgets Get in the Way "Even in rooms without computers or Internet access, students have other devices to draw their attention away from academics. Cellphones may be prohibited at many schools, but that doesn't stop students from putting them on vibrate and trading text messages under their desks. That is, when they aren't fiddling with their organizers or music players.
Teachers have started to fight back. All agree that the best weapon against attention deficit is the same one that worked before the dawn of computers: strong teaching. But new strategies don't hurt, either. Some teachers have found, in fact, that the best defense against the distractions of technology is other technology. Here are five examples of teachers who are fighting fire with fire."
One of the five:

"It doesn't take long for the students in Donna Lee's class at the North Gulfport Seventh and Eighth Grade School in Gulfport, Miss., to realize that the computers at their desks are not under their control.
Ms. Lee, who teaches keyboarding and Microsoft Office skills, uses networked software called NetOp to take over a student's computer screen whenever she sees fit. Her desktop computer has a master control panel that enables her to see thumbnail images of every screen in her lab. If she spots an unauthorized Web site, she clicks a button to freeze the student's screen. Using her mouse like a red pen, she writes "No No" across the screen. The scolding suddenly appears on the student's screen too."

SD Times: Microsoft Updates Visual FoxPro

SD Times: Microsoft Updates Visual FoxPro "SQL Server and Access get all the attention, but the not-so-famous FoxPro database appears to be alive and well at Microsoft Corp.
Last month the company made available at msdn.microsoft.com/vfoxpro the beta version of Visual FoxPro 9.0. Among the many features new to 9.0 is the ability to create .NET-compatible solutions using XML Web services, said Visual FoxPro product manager Ken Levy.
Although the market for Visual FoxPro is not expanding rapidly, the database has a loyal following among roughly 100,000 users worldwide, most of whom have used it for more than 10 years, Levy said, adding that because it includes a language, an IDE shell and a database engine all in one, FoxPro is attractive to developers who do data-centric programming. The language is tightly bound with the database engine features, and unlike most databases, FoxPro supported object orientation as early as 1995, said Levy."

The Xbase database product that wouldn't die...

The New York Times > Technology > Google Lowers Its Sights as Demand Proves Weak

The New York Times > Technology > Google Lowers Its Sights as Demand Proves Weak "Google, whose S.E.C. filings pledged a "Don't be evil" philosophy, said its so-called Dutch auction of shares online would democratize the distribution of its stock, while achieving the best price for the company's stakeholders. In a Dutch auction, all bidders end up paying the same price - the highest price that assures that all shares will be sold.
"It seemed clear to many from the start that the Dutch auction process for such a high-profile, consumer-oriented company like Google - with an unseasoned management team - was a recipe for failure," said Hulus Alpay, who counsels companies about to go public as the head of investor relations at Makovsky & Company, an investor relations and public relations firm."

WSJ.com - How Miscalculations and Hubris Hobbled Celebrated Google IPO

WSJ.com - How Miscalculations and Hubris Hobbled Celebrated Google IPO "A combination of Google's own hubris, stubborn investors and a deteriorated technology market transformed what was billed as the hottest IPO of this short century into a rather messy affair. The auction closed late yesterday afternoon after the Securities and Exchange Commission declared the IPO effective. After reviewing the bids, Google late yesterday set the $85 price. That was 37% lower than the top of the $108-to-$135 it had declared to regulators last month as the expected range.
The price "says that a type of auction going out to the public like this is a failure because it raised uncertainties to such a level that people backed away," said Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, an auction theorist at Columbia University's business school in New York. By creating uncertainty, it "got Google a worse price than they could have gotten using a standard mechanism," he said. Mr. Rhodes-Kropf had himself bid last week, at $120 a share, but he revised that yesterday to $95."

washingtonpost.com: Records Counter A Critic Of Kerry [non-tech]

washingtonpost.com: Records Counter A Critic Of Kerry [non-tech] "Newly obtained military records of one of Sen. John F. Kerry's most vocal critics, who has accused the Democratic presidential candidate of lying about his wartime record to win medals, contradict his own version of events.
In newspaper interviews and a best-selling book, Larry Thurlow, who commanded a Navy Swift boat alongside Kerry in Vietnam, has strongly disputed Kerry's claim that the Massachusetts Democrat's boat came under fire during a mission in Viet Cong-controlled territory on March 13, 1969. Kerry won a Bronze Star for his actions that day.
But Thurlow's military records, portions of which were released yesterday to The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, contain several references to "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire" directed at "all units" of the five-boat flotilla. Thurlow won his own Bronze Star that day, and the citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged Swift boat "despite enemy bullets flying about him."

Setting the record straight...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Web Informant #382, 18 August 2004: Blog THIS!

Web Informant #382, 18 August 2004: Blog THIS! "The increasing popularity of blogs has me worried. My first thought was that as more and more people document their lives, journalists may become mere curiosities: You mean you actually get PAID to write for a living? What an antique notion. Today, I realize that the more interesting issues concern how the trust between reader and author evolves with this new documentary form, and how that becomes subverted and perverted as the casual and anecdotal blogspeak takes over for real reported work and thoughtful analysis.
So where does this leave the average blogger? I think eventually the better ones will develop the same discrimination and skepticism skills that the better journalists have, just as a matter of self-preservation. And it doesn't hurt to be adept at network protocol analysis either so you can determine where your postings are actually coming from. I do think that readers will also become more discriminating, and perhaps less prolific as the blogosphere expands. In the meantime, keep reading, and keep documenting your world."

Very timely and insightful analysis.

Reuters.com: AOL to Sell Cheap PCs to Minorities and Seniors

Reuters.com: AOL to Sell Cheap PCs to Minorities and Seniors "America Online on Thursday said it plans to sell a low-priced PC targeting low-income and minority households who agree to sign up for a year of dialup Internet service.
The launch is part of a broad strategy at the recovering online service, which watched 2.2 million members abandon its service.
Over the past two years, the company has attempted to find new sources of revenue by appealing to different categories of customers including the Spanish-speaking and teen markets.
Executives said it hoped to attract the 27 percent of U.S. households comprised of seniors, African Americans and Hispanics who do not yet own a PC.
The computers will come configured with a simple desktop with large icons that send users to specific areas of the AOL service or applications loaded on the computer. They can also be preconfigured for Spanish language speakers.
The company said its AOL Latino service launched last October has already become the leading service provider servicing the U.S. Spanish-speaking community, with over 2 million members.
AOL plans to launch a service targeting the African American community, called Blackvoices, in September."

David Coursey's Weblog: Google: Pull the IPO and Start Over

David Coursey's Weblog: Google: Pull the IPO and Start Over "The Google IPO, if successful, will create the worst kind of company, a quasi-public entity in which the founders shares have a 10-to-1 per share voting advantage over the shares you and I could own. That's wrong and is the sort of corporate governance we've come to associate with scandal-plagued companies like Adelphia.
If Google wants to be a public company, it should be just that--and that means a share is a share, no matter who owns it."

AOL releases Netscape 7.2

AOL releases Netscape 7.2 ""Corporate execs are more comfortable with a known brand name. Even though Mozilla (and FF, Camino, K-Meleon, etc.) are based on the same code, they are not "Netscape". When execs are made aware of the faults and deficiencies of IE, they may think "I wish it was still like the old days, when we could at least choose between IE and Netscape." Lo and behold, here's Netscape 7.2. If you mention Opera or Firefox to them, you'd get blank stares. "Mozilla" sounds like something only a geek could love. "Netscape" sounds like a polished product, like the marketing team actually spent more than 5 seconds to think of it. That's important to execs. Also, some of these execs want an all-in-one solution, not a perceived patchwork of Firefox+Thunderbird+whatever to meet basic internet needs". - Comment on Slashdot.org
"No company has ever done a deal with Microsoft that lasted, they're naive if they think they can". Jonathan Schwartz to Business 2.0, 2002"

Article goes on to recap some of the history etc. and concludes:

"I congratulate the small team at the Netscape remnants for delivering such a quality product, and the management for realizing that they could still keep up the fight with the Vole and take advantage of the never ending flood of MSIE security bugs, to lure users to a safer alternative that still has wide brand recognition and is based on an open source core."

BTW I have a spare (circa 1983) Kaypro CP/M box that I'd be willing to part with for the right price, if you're feeling generally nostalgic about dead brands.

Gadget price declines slow for summer | CNET News.com

Gadget price declines slow for summer | CNET News.com "The rate of price cuts in consumer electronics has slowed, according to a study from The NPD Group, which examines the monthly prices of a hypothetical basket of electronic goods. While some products, such as wireless access points, continued to plummet, prices actually increased marginally for other products.
Of all the product categories tracked, 802.11g wireless access points dropped the most, falling 10.3 percent from May. Blank write-once DVD discs fell by 8 percent to less than $18 for a pack of 10 discs. Last year, 10 packs were $23.41.
Other notable price declines for June included 32-inch Direct View HDTVs, which fell below $900. These TVs have now fallen by nearly 33 percent over the past 18 months, according to the firm. Seventeen-inch LCD monitors and 20-inch LCD TVs also continued to decline.
Portable DVD players and DVD recorders increased in price from May to June, though both are down 36 percent and 45 percent since January 2003. Standard DVD players rose in June as well, at a time when another analyst firm has reported that per-unit profit for Chinese manufacturers of these boxes is down to $1."

I recently picked up a new Linksys 802.11b/g wireless cable router and a USB wireless adapter for $68, after rebates etc. -- pretty amazing.

Speaking of price watches (and watch prices), I noticed that all of the MSN Direct SPOT watches are on sale at Amazon.com -- hmm...

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: "Hip-e" PC designed as digital hub for teens

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: "Hip-e" PC designed as digital hub for teens "This isn't your typical, humdrum, slate-colored computer. Not only is the PC known as the "hip-e" almost all white, but its screen and keyboard are framed in fuzzy pink fur. Or a leopard-skin design. Or a graffiti-themed pattern.
Sure, it's outlandish, but you won't see the hip-e in an office cubicle. The creators of the $1,699 product claim it's the first PC specifically for teenagers."

$.07 says this product will soon join 3Com's Audrey on collectors' shelves...

The New York Times > Technology > So Google Is Almost Public. Now Comes the Hard Part.

The New York Times > Technology > So Google Is Almost Public. Now Comes the Hard Part. "If Google does finally succeed in raising billions of dollars through its initial stock offering, the next big challenge will be proving that its success is not an accident - that the company, operator of the world's dominant Web search engine, can survive from one technological generation to the next.
Even while Google may try to offer technology-intensive services like a personal information storage system on the Internet, the heart of its long-term strategy centers on finding new ways to sell ads, said Eric Brewer, a University of California computer scientist who founded Inktomi, an early Internet search engine.
"Because Google arose after the Internet bubble, they were able to acquire a very strong technical team," Mr. Brewer said. "The irony is that they are really more of an advertising company than a search engine company today."

Includes a Flash-based pop-up slide show with John Markoff voice-over in which Markoff expresses more personal opinions about Google's likely trajectory -- interesting and innovative complement to the traditional article format. (I'd include a link, but it's a JavaScript pop-up window; see the "Multimedia audio slide show" link in the original article.)

WSJ.com - Google Cuts Price Range For IPO to $85-$95 a Share

WSJ.com - Google Cuts Price Range For IPO to $85-$95 a Share "In a sign that Google Inc.'s initial public offering isn't as popular as expected, the company lowered its estimated price range to between $85 and $95 a share from the earlier prediction of $108-$135 a share.
The company also said the number of shares available to the public will be lowered by 6.1 million as existing holders will now only sell 5.5 million shares, down from about 11.6 million shares. The company itself plans to sell 14.1 million shares as originally planned.
That means a total of 19.6 million shares will be available. The reductioin should help increase the per-share price because the overall supply of shares has decreased.
The company sent e-mail notices at 2:53 a.m. EDT to people who had registered to bid in its unusual auction that will determine the ultimate IPO price."

Late developments from dare-to-be-different Google...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

ACM: Ubiquity - The World Wide Blog (Joichi Ito interview)

ACM: Ubiquity - The World Wide Blog (Joichi Ito interview) "Weblogs are, from a technological perspective, just content management systems that use a bunch of the technologies and standards that have been developed in the community — things such as style sheets and syndication formats, the ability to import and export entries between software packages, and the existence of a common API that allows you to write a client for all the different blog packages. It's really what the Internet is all about, and what the big companies are NOT all about.
One of the companies I work for is Technorati, and we index Weblogs. Some of the recent statistics will show that we're currently indexing three million blogs, and we only index blogs that send us messages to ask us to index them. Our statistics show that there is a new Web log created every 5.8 seconds and that the rate of increase is accelerating. We see about 275,000 individual new posts every day."

Very interesting interview.

IBM Redbooks | RSS feeds

IBM Redbooks | RSS feeds "IBM Redbooks now offers its content via RSS feeds. These XML-based files, updated in real-time, help you stay up-to-date with most recent publications from the IBM Redbooks team. Our RSS feeds also let you easily add always-current Redbooks headlines to your Web site."

Via vowe dot net. Immediately found a couple great IBM Workplace Client Technology docs by Pooter et al that were otherwise cleverly hidden...

Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus: Little-known startup was behind iPod's easy-to-use interface

Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus: Little-known startup was behind iPod's easy-to-use interface: "So... If PortalPlayer made the iPod hardware platform, and Pixo made the OS software, and Apple simply fine-tuned the Nomad UI that Creative had previously used, where exactly did Apple innovate in the iPod? Was it the high price? Or was it the marketing? When Microsoft innovates like that--by fine-tuning the work of others and selling it to a larger crowd--the company gets accused of not being truly innovative. However, I fully expect hundreds of people to come to Apple's defense simply because I'm pointing out how black the kettle is."

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog: HP's Problem? It Ain't the SAP Install...

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog: HP's Problem? It Ain't the SAP Install... "So we all saw that HP had a bad week. My bet? It's only going to get worse - and it has nothing to do with their SAP implementation.
Personally, all cards on the table, I'm a fan of their CEO - I think she demonstrates courage, is willing to buck conventional wisdom, and has a titanium spine. (Last week's public firings notwithstanding.)
But that said, I think HP faces an enormous challenge. And it's not related to the cancellation of PA-RISC, or weakness in their Itanium transition. Or even Dell's printer onslaught.
To me, HP's problems spawn from the death of... their operating system, HP/UX. Like IBM, they've elected to ask their customers and ISV's to move to Red Hat Linux or Microsoft Windows on x86 systems. And if you're an ISV, how does that differentiate HP? - they're a box vendor. If you're a customer, where does that leave you with your HP/UX investments? Facing untimely change - with a vendor no longer in charge of their OS."

WSJ.com: Price War in Online Music

WSJ.com: Price War in Online Music "As part of a mounting campaign against market leader Apple Computer Inc., rival RealNetworks Inc. is slashing the cost of downloading music. Starting today, and for the next three weeks, the Seattle company, which sells tunes over the Internet via its RealPlayer Music Store, will drop its prices to 49 cents a song and $4.99 an album. That's compared with the 99 cents a song and $9.99 an album that is standard on Apple's iTunes Music Store and on other sites. The price cut amounts to a music sale of massive proportions because it applies to all 630,000 songs on the RealPlayer Music Store and most of the albums available on the site.
The move is a surefire money-loser for RealNetworks in the near term because it will be charging consumers substantially less than it pays recording companies for the music. But RealNetworks is using the sale to highlight its broader effort to unseat Apple, which by some estimates has a 70% share of music-download market."

Boston Globe: Stakes high for Windows upgrade

Boston Globe: Stakes high for Windows upgrade "The upgrade will activate a new security feature being built into computer microprocessors. Some worms and viruses install themselves in a part of the computer's memory that should not contain an executable program. Most computer chips will run the code anyway, but the Athlon 64 processors from Advanced Micro Devices have a feature that will block the illicit program and send a warning to the computer's user. However, current versions of Windows XP can't take advantage of this feature; adding the service pack will activate it.
Bahr Mahoney, division marketing manager at Advanced Micro Devices, said that if computers with Athlon 64 chips and the new service pack had been in use last year, they would have been immune to the Slammer and Blaster worms.
Advanced Micro Devices plans to add the antivirus feature to all its future processors; its chief rival, Intel Corp., is also adding antivirus features to its chips."

Monday, August 16, 2004

Microsoft delays auto delivery of XP SP2 to corporate users

Microsoft delays auto delivery of XP SP2 to corporate users "Responding to customer complaints, Microsoft Monday said it would delay the automatic rollout of Windows XP Service Pack 2 to corporate users until the end of the month.
The company sent a memo to its corporate customers saying the delay was in response to feedback from those customers who said they need more time to install a registry key on desktops that will block the automatic delivery of XP SP2. Users want to block the automatic installation of the service pack so they can have adequate time to test their applications against security changes in XP SP2.
Also on Monday, Microsoft posted a list of nearly 230 applications, including versions of BizTalk, Office and Outlook, that "may behave differently after you install Windows XP SP2."

Q. I've been having problems with Groove and other applications since installing Windows XP Service Pack 2. What's the issue?

Q. I've been having problems with Groove and other applications since installing Windows XP Service Pack 2. What's the issue? "Last week, Microsoft shipped Windows XP Service Pack 2 that provides users greater protection against hackers, viruses and worms. Unfortunately, in attempting to address these issues, Microsoft changed Windows behavior in a way that impacts a broad array of communications software products, including Groove Virtual Office. The issue: XP Service Pack 2 now intentionally degrades overall Windows network performance when it senses attempts to establish large numbers of simultaneous outbound network connections. Because of this new operating system behavior, some Groove users who upgrade to XP Service Pack 2 may experience performance degradation while browsing the Web or using other network-based applications."

I have a hunch I'm not going to be installing SP2 on my primary work PC for a while... (I also run ZoneAlarm and PC-cillan 2003, so I'm not feeling particularly exposed at the moment.)

HP's Software Woe Has Bigger Industry Implication

HP's Software Woe Has Bigger Industry Implication "When Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) warned of a profit shortfall last week, it blamed problems it had combining two SAP systems, something that the computer maker believed would be relatively simple when they were putting together a deal to buy Compaq two years ago.
But the integration is more difficult than expected. HP's earnings fell short, as a long planned switch to new SAP software went awry, causing orders disruption and forcing it to ship some orders via air rather than ground.
To be sure, HP said the software glitch is more its own execution problem and did not blame SAP directly. A SAP spokesman said HP, which also implements SAP software for other companies through its services arm, is one of its most important customers and the relationship continues to expand."

Programs that may behave differently in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Programs that may behave differently in Windows XP Service Pack 2 Longer list than the "Some programs seem to stop working after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2" list referenced below.

Windows XP SP2 experience update

I installed XP SP2 on my test machine this morning. The install went smoothly, and a few apps, e.g., Groove Virtual Office (v3) and MSN Messenger, noticed the SP2 changes; Groove politely offered to add itself to the SP2 firewall exception list (noting that it would no longer function, if I didn't...), and MSN Messenger upgraded itself and added itself to the Windows firewall exception list. I use Aventail VPN at Burton Group, and it also automagically appeared on the exception list.

The pop-up blocker seems to work well. The NY Times site, for example, is a very different experience without annoying pop-up windows and Flash ad overloads. I had to add Blogger to my pop-up exception list, in order to keep using the handy BlogThis! shortcut, but otherwise pop-up blocking seems to work as expected. I have noticed there seems to be a correlation between Flash ad-heavy pages and pictures, e.g., sometimes nytimes.com pages with big holes where the Flash ads should be also fail to load (unrelated) images.

One site that doesn't work on SP2 at all, at least on my test machine: Gmail.

842242 - Some programs seem to stop working after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2

842242 - Some programs seem to stop working after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2 "The following lists the programs and games that may require you to open the port or ports manually so that the programs can work correctly."

(I assume MS will be regularly updating this list)

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Bloggers clog up news at convention

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Bloggers clog up news at convention "Bloggers shine when they bring to light significant information not otherwise reported. Two notable examples: U.S. Sen. Trent Lott's racially charged comments at Strom Thurmond's birthday party, which a blogger monitoring C-Span coverage drew attention to after journalists did not report them. And an Iraqi blog that reported street-level perceptions of the war far more meaningfully than "embedded" American media.
But at the Democratic convention, the handful of bloggers permitted entry unfortunately committed independent journalism's cardinal sin: They became part of the story. National print and broadcast media, on the alert for an easy target, seized on bloggers as the upstart newcomers and highlighted them in fawning feature stories.
Regrettably, the commotion also neutered any real objectivity and rawness that bloggers might have brought to convention coverage. Monitoring C-Span, news media and blogs, I watched eagerly for insights that only a blogger on site in Boston could provide.
Instead, bloggers for the most part mimicked major media. Commentaries were trivialized by observations on speakers' clothing and appearance rather than their message. Most blogs regurgitated quotes and reported themes that were meaningful only if you failed to watch the speech or see TV and newspaper coverage.
The oldest trick in the world is to flatter a reporter into thinking he or she is as important as the story at hand. The Republican convention may tell us whether bloggers, having been suckered once, will fall for the same line again."

washingtonpost.com: 'SP2' a Must For XP Users

washingtonpost.com: 'SP2' a Must For XP Users "Service Pack 2, "SP2" for short, is Microsoft's most important release since XP itself. It aims to stop viruses, worms, browser hijackings and worse by including security features that people had to add and adjust on their own. (Users of Windows 2000, Millennium Edition, 98 and 95 will still need to do that, since Microsoft has no plans for a comparable update of those systems.)
The most important part of SP2 is an new firewall program to stop break-ins by network worms such as Blaster. Unlike XP's earlier firewall, this one is turned on automatically and protects every connection on a computer -- even if you already have another firewall active. It also watches what your programs do; if one wants to open its own channel of communication with the Internet, you'll need to approve this action.
As part of SP2, the Internet Explorer Web browser now -- finally! -- blocks unsolicited pop-ups. This overdue step eliminates many intrusive ads (yes, The Post's Web site runs its share) but also stops hostile Web sites from tricking users into downloading unwanted programs by barraging them with pop-ups.
To police browser-hijacking attempts, IE now restricts the ability of Web sites to push "ActiveX" programs on visitors; the default choice is to decline an ActiveX program, and you can reject all future installations from a Web site with two clicks. ActiveX should be retired -- this inherently insecure Microsoft technology grants a Web site unrestricted access to your computer -- but these changes should at least make a hijacker's job tougher."

The New York Times > Technology > Trying to Take Technology to the Masses

The New York Times > Technology > Trying to Take Technology to the Masses "Raj Reddy was fed up debating the problem of the digital divide between the rich and the poor and decided to do something about it.
Mr. Reddy, a pioneering researcher in artificial intelligence and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, plans to unveil at the end of this year his new project, called the PCtvt, a $250 wirelessly networked personal computer intended for the four billion people around the world who live on less than $2,000 a year.
He says his device can find a market in developing countries, particularly those with large populations of people who cannot read, because it can be controlled by a simple TV remote control and can function as a television, telephone and videophone."

The New York Times > Technology > Ambitious Package to Raise Productivity (and Microsoft's Profit)

The New York Times > Technology > Ambitious Package to Raise Productivity (and Microsoft's Profit) "The information worker business at Microsoft, which is nearly all from Office, had revenues of $10.8 billion in the year ended in June, and operating profit of more than $7.15 billion. As a stand-alone business, Office - which on average sells for about $275 - would be slightly larger than the second-largest software company, Oracle, and far more profitable. Only the Windows operating system, the other pillar of Microsoft, is slightly larger.
"Making collaboration faster, easier and more efficient will be the next revolution in worker productivity, and we want to be in the forefront," said Peter Rinearson, vice president for new business development in Microsoft's information worker group. "The goal is to make Office a tool that steadily delivers productivity improvements. It becomes a competitive advantage for the companies that use it well. If you don't have it, you can't keep up."
Microsoft's Office business grew 14 percent last year, but analysts expect the rate to slow considerably this year, as the financial impact ebbs of upgrade contracts that Microsoft pressed customers to sign a few years ago. The underlying growth rate of the business, analysts say, is 6 to 8 percent.
Programs like SharePoint, InfoPath and OneNote, sold separately, will add to revenues. Their retail price is typically about $100 each for individual users, but sizable corporate discounts are common. Still, a few add-ons would increase the annual fees of $200 or so that a large corporation might pay per employee in a subscription-style contract for Office running on Windows, including upgrades, maintenance and some programming features like tools for designing Web pages."

WSJ.com - Sun Seeks to Woo Corporate Users Away From H-P

WSJ.com - Sun Seeks to Woo Corporate Users Away From H-P "After Hewlett-Packard Co.'s poor enterprise computing results last week, rival Sun Microsystems Inc. said it will capitalize on the weakness by ramping up a program to steal corporate customers away from H-P.
Sun is aiming to make this program, dubbed "H-P Away," attractive to current H-P customers by keeping it inexpensive. H-P clients who choose to move to Sun's servers won't have to make any payments and won't have to pay any interest on Sun products until 2005, the company said. H-P customers who move to Sun's AMD Opteron servers will get a 40% discount off the machines as long as they also subscribe to the Solaris operating system."

EE Times -Computing graphics spotlight shines on Microsoft

EE Times -Computing graphics spotlight shines on Microsoft "The leading name in computing graphics these days isn't Pixar or Nvidia or 3Dlabs. It's Microsoft Corp. With the help of sophisticated algorithms and computing techniques, the company is finding new ways to manipulate pixels and re-create reality.
A testament to its efforts was the awarding of the prestigious Computer Graphics Achievement Award to senior researcher Hugues Hoppe of Microsoft Research last week at Siggraph 2004, the computer graphics industry's biggest event.
Hoppe was the eighth Microsoft Research employee to win the award since 1983."

Via Tomalak's Realm

Boston.com / News / Nation / Internet publishing attracting academics

Boston.com / News / Nation / Internet publishing attracting academics "For more than 100 years, publication of major scientific and medical breakthroughs has been concentrated in a handful of prestigious journals. But the factors driving the shift to so-called open-access journals, including the reach and power of the Internet, rising subscription prices, and pressure from patients, are forcing changes in the world of scientific publishing. Universities are rebelling against rising subscription costs, as scientists chafe at paying for access to research that builds on their own work. One oft-cited example: the journal Brain Research has an institutional list price of $22,386 a year. Patient advocates insist on easy, searchable access to the results of taxpayer-funded studies.
Some among the 1,100 or more open-access journals available solve this problem by charging researchers a fee to publish their articles instead of charging for subscriptions. The Public Library of Science, parent of PLoS Biology and PloS Medicine (scheduled to launch in October), charges researchers $1,500, but waives the fee for those who can't afford it.
That system isn't better, said Gregory Curfman, executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. He argues that having researchers pay for publication creates a potential conflict of interest: Will publishers subconsciously select articles based on the author's ability to pay?"

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - When Will Fiorina Look in Mirror?

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - When Will Fiorina Look in Mirror? "The HP CEO is going to run out of people to blame one of these days. The Compaq buyout always looked like an act born in desperation, not strategic thinking, and it's pretty clear that it didn't solve fundamental issues.
You have to wonder: What's the board of directors thinking at this point?"

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Gretchen Morgenson: Just Don't Say 'Synergy' to a Hewlett Investor

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Gretchen Morgenson: Just Don't Say 'Synergy' to a Hewlett Investor "The merger of Hewlett-Packard and Compaq Computer, consummated in May 2002, was one of the meanest and most expensive battles in corporate history. As the company's third-quarter results seem to show, shareholders are still paying a heavy price.
Consider the rude awakening for shareholders early Thursday morning when Carleton S. Fiorina, the chief executive, announced that the company's profits in the third quarter would come in well below Wall Street's forecasts. Hewlett-Packard's stock plummeted; by the close of trading on Friday, it was down 17 percent for the week.
Back in November 2002, Ms. Fiorina said in an interview, "The wisdom of this decision will become more and more evident over time."
Or not."

Business 2.0 :: Magazine Article :: What Works :: Is TiVo NeXT?

Business 2.0 :: Magazine Article :: What Works :: Is TiVo NeXT? "Everyone who has TiVo (TIVO) loves TiVo; it is to television what Macintosh was to computing -- a revelation. Which is exactly why Apple (AAPL) should buy TiVo and once again redefine the intersection of culture and technology.
TiVo should find a soft spot in Jobs's heart for other reasons. In January, TiVo announced that upcoming devices would use Apple's Rendezvous networking technology to allow TiVo-equipped TVs to play music and display photos stored on a Mac. Also, TiVo is similar to Jobs's erstwhile NeXT Software -- an expensive and risky endeavor, but eerily prescient. When Jobs returned to Apple, he brought NeXT with him, and its core technologies are burrowed deep into OS X, the elegant operating system at the center of Apple's new "iLife" media strategy.
Jobs could do the same with TiVo. With a depressed market cap and nearly 625,000 customers, TiVo is a steal. Jobs would have to unwind some messy licensing agreements, but he's done that before. His next step would be to apply Apple's design elegance and create an "iTV" device that integrates with Macintosh OS X, the Internet, and your cable or satellite box. Talk about a revolution. Once Apple turned on the marketing and PR offensive, we'd have one hell of a Hollywood drama unfolding. And with Jobs in the lead role, it'd be awfully fun to watch."

Via David Farber

Saturday, August 14, 2004

HP iPAQ 6300 Now Available for Pre-Sale [if you don't have an apostrophe in your name]

HP iPAQ 6300 Now Available for Pre-Sale [if you don't have an apostrophe in your name] I want to learn more about this device. So I go to the referenced T-Mobile site and sign up to be notified when the h6315 is available. What I see:

[Microsoft][ODBC Microsoft Access Driver] Syntax error (missing operator) in query expression ''O'Kelly', 'pbokelly@[...]', 0, 0, '')'.

A couple observations:
1. It's a Microsoft Access-based site; not a major surprise, a very large percentage of database-driven Web apps are built around Access for data management
2. Sigh -- apostrophe discrimination; I entered "OKelly" instead and it worked. Also not an uncommon experience -- go figure...

.NET Developer's Journal: An Interview with Don Box

.NET Developer's Journal: An Interview with Don Box "It is very obvious how to do service-oriented development with ASMX - you don't need Indigo for that. What Indigo enables is if you want to do more advanced messaging - such as rich support for intermediaries and end-to-end security. Indigo is a great solution if you want integration with our transactional plumbing."

(Read the entire interview...)

Windows Server System Magazine - Office 2003 is Smarter & Better Connected

Windows Server System Magazine - Office 2003 is Smarter & Better Connected "You may wonder why you're encountering an article about Office in Windows Server System Magazine, since Office has traditionally been much more about clients and user productivity than servers, enterprise systems, and other facets of the server software stack. Office has expanded to a central role in Microsoft's overall strategy for "integrated innovation," however, and Office 2003 editions have a strong synergy with Windows Server System family members, including BizTalk, Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server.
To explain how Office complements the broader Microsoft platform strategy, this Trends & Analysis column provides an overview of key technologies that make Office smarter and more connected. Next month's column will explain how Microsoft's recently introduced Information Bridge Framework makes Office even more powerful as a client-side counterpart to Windows Server System."

My latest WSS Magazine article -- click on the links in the article body for screen shots, summary tables, etc.

The New York Times > Technology > EBay Buys 25% Stake in Craigslist, an Online Bulletin Board

The New York Times > Technology > EBay Buys 25% Stake in Craigslist, an Online Bulletin Board "For its part, craigslist hopes its alliance with eBay will provide better strategies to deal with fraud and other challenges in the online world, its executives said. Founded in 1995, craigslist, based in San Francisco, has grown steadily to serve users in 45 cities, mostly in the United States, but also in London and three cities in Canada. The company said it had been profitable since 1999.
In July, craigslist estimated that it had 5.3 million visitors, up from around 3.6 million in July 2003. Craigslist, which has 14 employees, has had trouble coping with threats from classified advertising scam artists and spammers, according to company executives.
Craig Newmark, the founder of craigslist who now takes the title "customer service representative," said that eBay's stake would not affect the character of the site. Rather, he said, he would be able to continue to focus on building the operation, while spending less time dealing with scammers and spammers."

The New York Times > Technology > Google's Slow Search for a Good Share Price

The New York Times > Technology > Google's Slow Search for a Good Share Price "Yesterday, Google started its own search, one that will be far slower - it will take most of a week - and far less complicated, probably involving thousands of documents, or a few million at most. Indeed, Google is searching for just one number: the price at which it will sell stock to the public for the first time.
That number, and the subsequent price of the company's shares in the market, could well influence whether Google will continue its meteoric growth or start to stagnate as customers and employees begin to wonder whether its best days are behind it."

Friday, August 13, 2004

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog: Communicating Corporate Priorities

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog: Communicating Corporate Priorities "
I sent out a Sun wide email yesterday, reviewing Sun's corporate priorities for FY05. The priorities are pretty basic - and distill down to eleven words. Which I asked folks to try to remember - lest we have to resort to one of those awkward stickers to put on employee badges.
Notwithstanding the confidentiality breach, it's wonderful to see that some enterprising Sun employee made sure our global workforce and partner community could enlist their dogs and kids in helping them meet the objectives of priority 4..."

New for the fall line-up: Sun corporate strategy dog t-shirts and infant creepers... To save you the clicks, the 11 words are:
"1. Make money
2. Grow
3. Re-enlist champions
4. Leverage our partners
5. Simplify our business"