Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Register: From soup to nuts with Microsoft’s collaboration chief

The Register: From soup to nuts with Microsoft’s collaboration chief "Previously, Microsoft has offered more or less the same IM client to everyone, whether they’re senior businessmen or teenage girls. But in the next six-seven months, says Gupta, Microsoft is will launch a new IM client, focused on information workers.
“Our instant messaging clients have been fairly generic,” says Gupta. “We are coming out with a specialised information worker client which will make it very easy to integrate with telephony applications.”
Users will be able to click on an icon to switch from IM to voice.
“Like Yahoo! it will go direct to VoIP, and it can also do [voice calls through the] PSTN (public switched telephone network) if there is the appropriate ‘connector’ installed on the LAN where there's a corporate network scenario - the connector being a piece of software for call control that works with the APIs of the switch that's installed.”
“It is probable that at some point similar versions of this will also be available on the consumer side, but the RTC group is just focused on the Information Worker scenarios at the moment.”

Adam Kinney on XAML: Xamlon Product Demo Movie

Adam Kinney on XAML: Xamlon Product Demo Movie "In preperation for our October 4th version 1 release, we've put together a product demo movie that I'd like to share.
The video includes demonstrations of multiple user interfaces with one code base, scaling user interfaces (along with a special surprise feature), and Visual Studio Integration."

Very cool...

Desktop Linux a vehicle for pirating Windows | CNET

Desktop Linux a vehicle for pirating Windows | CNET "PCs running Linux are growing in popularity in part because they can be loaded with a pirated copy of Windows, according to a study from analyst Gartner.
The consulting firm issued a report on Wednesday stating that about 40 percent of Linux PCs will be modified to run an illegal copy of Windows, a bait-and-switch maneuver that lowers the cost of obtaining a Windows PC.
In emerging markets, where desktop Linux enjoys wider popularity, the trend is even starker. Around 80 percent of the time, Linux will be removed for a pirated copy of Windows. Pirated copies sell for around $1 in the streets of Shanghai and other cities in Asia and Eastern Europe, but can also be bought in stores selling brand name PCs."

Unfair market share...

Red Hat acquires AOL's Netscape server software | CNET

Red Hat acquires AOL's Netscape server software | CNET "In a move to add more open-source arrows to its quiver, Linux seller Red Hat has acquired the Netscape server software products of AOL Time Warner, the companies plan to announce Thursday.
Red Hat plans to release the Netscape Enterprise Suite as open-source software, meaning that anyone will be able to use, modify and redistribute the products. It's a new step in Red Hat's "open-source architecture" plan to expand beyond its core product, the Linux operating system, Chief Executive Matthew Szulik plans to tell analysts at a company conference Thursday in New York.
In an interview Wednesday, Szulik declined to comment on terms of the deal, but said the company spent less than $25 million on the acquisition.
America Online bought the Netscape products in 1998 when it acquired the company in a complicated $4.2 billion transaction. As part of that deal, Sun got the Netscape intellectual property--and many of its programmers--for use in products called iPlanet, Sun Open Network Environment and now the Java Enterprise System.
What Red Hat got is very different from what Sun has now, though, said Joe Keller, vice president of application and development platforms for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based software and server company.
"They're buying antique software," Keller said, adding that Red Hat's tactical shifts are confusing. "They used to find the best of open source and bring that forward. Now they're buying the oldest of commercial software and making it open source."
But Netscape's server software wasn't frozen in 1998. The acquisition includes a team of fewer than 50 programmers, Szulik said, and the directory software is included in Hewlett-Packard's Web Server Suite for Unix."

The mutually-assured destruction competition between Sun and Red Hat continues to expand...

The New York Times > Technology > New Company Starts Up a Challenge to Google

The New York Times > Technology > New Company Starts Up a Challenge to Google "Google executives have long conceded that one of their great fears is to be overtaken by a more advanced Internet search technology. Vivisimo, a company founded by three former Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists, is hoping to prove that Google's worries are well founded.
Four-year-old Vivisimo plans to start Clusty, a free, consumer search service based on results from Yahoo's Overture engine, Thursday.
The new Clusty service for consumers, which will be free and supported by advertising revenue, uses a similar organizational structure. But it also presents a series of tabs enabling the user to see results from sources besides the general Web, including shopping information, yellow pages, news, blogs, and images."

So... it's like A9?

The New York Times > Science > Space & Cosmos > Private Craft Rockets Past Edge of Space

The New York Times > Science > Space & Cosmos > Private Craft Rockets Past Edge of Space ""The airplane flew like a dream," Mr. Melvill said upon returning to Earth. But at the top of his arc, the tiny ship unexpectedly went into dozens of rapid rolls, initially turning once every two seconds and slowing gradually as he brought it back under control with stabilizing jets. On the ground, spectators watching the craft's corkscrewing vapor trail gasped and held their breath.
Mr. Rutan's team initially called the roll a "flight-control anomaly." Mr. Melvill, 63, suggested that he might have accidentally caused the problem himself. "It's possible I stepped on a rudder when I shouldn't have - when you get older, you do things like that," he said with a smile.
Mr. Melvill joked that it was an unintentional "victory roll," and said that he had been so well conditioned to deal with such problems that he never felt that he was in danger, and did not even feel discomfort. "I thought it was kind of cool," he said."

Maybe a bit more (press) spin control this time, following the deal with Virgin?...

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

InfoWorld: Former BEA executives launch open source company

InfoWorld: Former BEA executives launch open source company "Part of SourceLabs' initial round of funding came from Index Ventures, an information technology and life sciences venture firm. Danny Rimer, a partner at Index, is also an investor in MySQL AB and Zend Technologies Ltd., two companies that sell the kind of open source software that SourceLabs plans to support. Zend develops and supports the PHP scripting language."

That at least in part explains the praise from MySQL AB's CEO in one of the articles this morning, despite the potential for serious conflict with MySQL's own business model.

BTW whoever is doing PR for SourceLabs gets a gold star this week; they've hit most of the major publications in a sweep today.

InformationWeek > Small And Midsize Apps Market > Oracle Puts Pressure On Microsoft > September 28, 2004

InformationWeek > Small And Midsize Apps Market > Oracle Puts Pressure On Microsoft > September 28, 2004 "With the first phase of the high-profile PeopleSoft Inc. antitrust suit behind it, Oracle is stepping up efforts to take on Microsoft in the small and midsize database and applications market.
Oracle says it's pitting its E-Business Suite Special Edition--now available in North America--against Microsoft Business Solutions-Great Plains, an enterprise-resource-planning suite that's priced somewhat lower than comparable software.
Oracle says it will tap channel partners--approximately 2,800--to penetrate the small and midsize market in North America. E-Business Suite has already been a successful product line for Oracle in Europe and Asia-Pacific for nearly two years, Oracle president Charles Phillips said Monday."

As a side effect, of course, this is not good news for PeopleSoft...

CRN | Breaking News | Former BEA Execs, VC Heavyweights Launch Open-Source Startup

CRN | Breaking News | Former BEA Execs, VC Heavyweights Launch Open-Source Startup "Besides its management team, all of whom left BEA earlier this year amid the software vendor's organizational turmoil, SourceLabs has some impressive VC backers. Brad Silverberg of Ignition Partners and Danny Rimer of Index Ventures have joined SourceLabs' board of directors, and together their VC firms contributed $3.5 million in funding to the startup.
Sebastian, who left BEA in January, called SourceLabs' strategy a way to provide "dependable, open-source systems" to customers that want one throat to choke for support and maintenance of open-source software stacks. He said he got the idea for SourceLabs by asking about 60 industry experts why open-source software, aside from Linux, wasn't being used broadly in enterprises. His discovery: Customers face a choice of buying proprietary software and being locked into a particular vendor for support and maintenance, or cobbling together open-source systems from a variety of software and calling several companies or searching list-serves for support when there's a problem.
SourceLabs wants to give customers a third option, one that Sebastian thinks will make open-source more prevalent in the enterprise. "We want to provide open-source systems that have been preintegrated, tested and certified so that if something goes wrong, they have one number to call," he said."

Is anyone on the SourceLabs roster not a former Microsoft "Internet dove"?

BBC NEWS | Health | Viagra bought online 'often fake'

BBC NEWS | Health | Viagra bought online 'often fake' "Half of men buying the impotence drug Viagra online are getting counterfeit tablets, study findings suggest.
Dr Nic Wilson from the University of London tested Internet-sold samples using a new technique that accurately spots the ingredients of tablets."


Google Blog: China, Google News and source inclusion

Google Blog: China, Google News and source inclusion "For last week's launch of the Chinese-language edition of Google News, we had to decide whether sources that cannot be viewed in China should be included for Google News users inside the PRC. Naturally, we want to present as broad a range of news sources as possible. For every edition of Google News, in every language, we attempt to select news sources without regard to political viewpoint or ideology. For Internet users in China, we had to consider the fact that some sources are entirely blocked. Leaving aside the politics, that presents us with a serious user experience problem. Google News does not show news stories, but rather links to news stories. So links to stories published by blocked news sources would not work for users inside the PRC -- if they clicked on a headline from a blocked source, they would get an error page. It is possible that there would be some small user value to just seeing the headlines. However, simply showing these headlines would likely result in Google News being blocked altogether in China.
We also considered the amount of information that would be omitted. In this case it is less than two percent of Chinese news sources. On balance we believe that having a service with links that work and omits a fractional number is better than having a service that is not available at all. It was a difficult tradeoff for us to make, but the one we felt ultimately serves the best interests of our users located in China. We appreciate your feedback on this issue."

Okay to abet evil, but not to directly do evil?

Industry veterans bet on open-source model | CNET

Industry veterans bet on open-source model | CNET ""The trend over the last couple of years, and if you project it forward, it's clear the value (in the software industry) is moving toward maintenance, testing, support and configuration," Silverberg said. "Customers can easily acquire the technology they want via a configurator, just like how they buy computers off the Dell Web site."
SourceLabs will distribute existing open-source software, including server software and enterprise applications, and provide associated services based on a subscription model, said co-founder Byron Sebastian, who recently worked at software infrastructure provider BEA Systems.
Other ex-BEA executives also are working with SourceLabs, including Will Pugh, the new company's chief architect, and Cornelius Willis, who is vice president of marketing and sales. Former BEA chief architect and technology guru Adam Bosworth, who is now working at Google as a vice president in engineering, is also an adviser.
SourceLabs' next moves are to launch a test program with customers and establish partnerships with companies such as open-source database provider MySQL, Sebastian said."

Last I checked, Dell makes most of its money selling PCs, not on maintenance and support, so the analogy is spurious. I also don't see how MySQL AB and other commercial open source vendors (that do make most of their money on maintenance and support) will see SourceLabs as a positive development, both in terms of competition for their primary revenue sources and with the implication that the leading open source offerings are sufficiently complex to warrant fee-based configuration assistance.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Comcast arms for TV revolution

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Comcast arms for TV revolution "Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has a keen interest in the Puget Sound region. Two of its business partners, Microsoft and RealNetworks, are based here, and the company is the primary cable-television provider in the area.
The Philadelphia-based company has 1.1 million cable subscribers and 400,000 high-speed Internet customers in the state; it says Washington customers are among the most receptive to its new products and emerging technologies.
By the end of the year, Seattle will be the first city in which Comcast plans to roll out new set-top boxes featuring digital video recorders and Microsoft's program guide.
Microsoft is working very hard on making their new Foundation Guide a guide that we can roll out more broadly. If all goes well, our plan is to roll out the Microsoft guide across the Seattle market by the end of this year."

Mainframe Migration Alliance Helps Businesses Transition Their IT Environment to the Microsoft Windows Platform

Mainframe Migration Alliance Helps Businesses Transition Their IT Environment to the Microsoft Windows Platform: "While migrating mainframe applications, data, processes and people from the mainframe can seem like a daunting challenge, the Mainframe Migration Alliance wants to help. The new MMA Web site provides information for businesses that want to understand their options, including tools for calculating the return on investment for migrating from the mainframe to the Windows Server platform, a comprehensive directory of alliance members, case studies, white papers, and upcoming events that provide insight into mainframe migration.
'As businesses worldwide continue their dual focus on reducing costs and increasing agility, the MMA enables customers to unlock the value in their legacy applications,' says Tony Hill, chief executive officer of Micro Focus, an MMA member."

The New York Times > Technology > Market Place: Google Shares, Once Devalued, Just May Be Winners After All

The New York Times > Technology > Market Place: Google Shares, Once Devalued, Just May Be Winners After All "Wall Street, which forced Google, the Internet search engine, to lower the price of its shares sharply in its initial public offering in August, has decided that the company is worth a lot more today than it was then.
Research analysts associated with five of the investment banks that managed Google's offering released their first reports on the company yesterday, at the end of a government-mandated quiet period.
The analysts were bullish on Google's shares, which closed at $118.26 on Monday. The shares jumped yesterday to $126.86, up 7.3 percent.
Mary Meeker, the Internet analyst at Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter in the offering, published a model that valued Google shares at $132 each."

Further evidence of a chronic lack of long-term memory in the investment community... - Start-Up to Offer Software Support For Open Source - Start-Up to Offer Software Support For Open Source "A former top executive at Microsoft Corp. is backing a start-up that says it will help large companies set up and run open-source software.
Ignition Partners, a venture capital group run by former Microsoft Senior Vice President Brad Silverberg, and Index Ventures said yesterday they have invested $3.5 million in SourceLabs Inc., a closely held company in Seattle.
The company will try to position itself as a one-stop shop for open-source software, providing certification, testing and maintenance services to companies that run such programs."

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Gear Eye: MSN TV 2 - Engadget -

Gear Eye: MSN TV 2 - Engadget - "We’re operating on a couple of assumptions here being that you’re reading Engadget: first is that overdrive-ease-of-use probably isn’t your number one priority, and second is that you’re probably not reading from a TV-based browser. That said, the MSN TV 2 a pretty well equipped, very easy to use TV-set top with a solid foundation of multimedia playing capabilities. About this much we can’t complain. So if you’re thinking about getting it for GM+GP [grandma + grandpa], no worries, it’s a pretty dead-lock. If they can learn some rudimentary concepts, this may be easier for them than a Mac.
But if you’re thinking about getting this for yourself for the networked multimedia capabilities, move straight on and put your money into something more like Viewsonic’s new WMx series. If you want a decent all-around internet-capable machine and you don’t want to have to plunk down to buy a proper box (which, admittedly, would only be about $200 more for something pretty decent) then the MSN TV 2 may be for you; just don’t get your hopes up, web on the TV isn’t due to get really good until we’re all running HDTV and have hefty pipes from the Net to the home."

Via Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk

Q&A: New Corporate VP Aims to Help Make MSN More than the Sum of its Services

Q&A: New Corporate VP Aims to Help Make MSN More than the Sum of its Services "Few people understand the power of brands as well as Jane Boulware, the newly appointed Microsoft corporate vice president for MSN Global Marketing. Boulware is widely recognized as a thought leader in consumer branding and marketing, with almost two decades of experience in award-winning brand building and management for some of the world's most trusted and recognizable global brands, including Huggies, Scott and Kleenex.
Before joining Microsoft earlier this month, she worked for 17 years for Kimberly-Clark Corp. Most recently, as vice president of marketing services, Boulware headed Kimberly-Clark's marketing research, advertising, promotion, interactive, packaging and design departments. She also led development of the company's Brand Equity Management initiative, pioneering a comprehensive, consumer-centric approach to building brands that spanned the company and its products. This included the creation of Brand Builder, the first marketing technology system to integrate sales, finance, the supply chain and other functions influenced or led by marketing."

Looks like the software industry must have finally depleted the supply of Procter & Gamble marketing people...

Windows XP Starter Edition Pilot Expands to Russia

Windows XP Starter Edition Pilot Expands to Russia "Russia is the fourth nation to participate in the Windows XP Starter Edition pilot program, which is designed for first-time desktop PC users in developing technology markets. The operating system will be available in Russia in early 2005. A fifth emerging technology market will be announced in the coming weeks."

Back in the good old days, when Lotus and Microsoft were relentlessly competing in the PC software market and suites were growing in popularity, I remember reading a Bill Gates quote directed to Jim Manzi: "It's not a good idea to get into price competition with someone who has more money than you do."

Nokia and Metrowerks Agree on Transfer of Application Development Technology to Nokia

Nokia and Metrowerks Agree on Transfer of Application Development Technology to Nokia "Licensing deal, reseller agreement and purchased assets enrich Nokia’s offering for the Symbian OS ecosystem and endorse Metrowerks core technology
Austin, Texas, September 8, 2004 - Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a portfolio of applications development tools based on the Symbian Operating System and to license core development tool technologies from Metrowerks Corporation, an independent subsidiary of Freescale™ Semiconductor, Inc. (NYSE:FSL).
Upon completion of the acquisition, the development and support resources of the Metrowerks tools portfolio for the Symbian OS will be transitioned to Nokia. In addition, Nokia Inc. will make employment offers to approximately two-dozen Metrowerks employees, who are experts in these products. This will complement the acquisition by bringing in the skill set required to develop and support the portfolio. The employees will be located in a newly established Nokia Inc. office in Austin, Texas."

In fewer words, Motorola sold its Symbian tools group to Nokia (Motorola spun out Freescale in July, 2004; Motorola acquired Metrowerks in 1999).

The Register's take:
"... Nokia is likely to find itself accused of taking over the Symbian development process once again. The recent pre-emption process at Symbian showed that interest in the OS was healthy and broad, with several Symbian shareholders upping their stakes to prevent Nokia grabbing Psion's former Symbian stake in its entirety. But not only does Sony Ericsson base its Symbian work on a non-Nokia UI, Nokia's rivals are also keen to see that it isn't tilting the playing field its way. Today's press release studiously avoided placing the word "acquires" in the headline, but more diplomatic skills might be needed, too. Still, you never heard the accusation that Motorola was slanting it towards its own embedded platforms, so may be it will prove to be less of a wedge than its rivals hope."

Progress Software Corporation to Acquire Persistence Software

Progress Software Corporation to Acquire Persistence Software "Progress Software Corporation (PSC) (Nasdaq: PRGS), a supplier of leading technology to develop, deploy, integrate and manage business applications and Persistence® Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRSW) today jointly announced an agreement by which PSC will acquire Persistence, the technology and market leader in distributed data access and caching software, in an all-cash transaction for a purchase price of $5.70 per share or approximately $16 million in the aggregate. Upon the closing of the transaction, Persistence will become part of ObjectStore, an operating company of PSC that provides products for real-time data management."

The Progress shopping spree continues

Monday, September 27, 2004

New Microsoft set-top box ready to roll | CNET

New Microsoft set-top box ready to roll | CNET "Though MSN TV2 is the successor to the original WebTV devices, the new box is a vast departure from its predecessors.
On the outside, it's slick, with new video-playback and photo-viewing programs, and a custom version of Internet Explorer 6 designed to make Web browsing on the television a far less painful process. On the inside, it's a Windows CE-based product with a 733MHz Celeron--slow by PC standards but downright zippy in the world of set-top boxes.
The new box, which is being made by Thomson and sold under the RCA brand, will be shipped to stores starting next week. The product has no hard drive, but it has enough flash memory to store some data, including 100 compressed photos that can be used as part of a slide show."

Commerce One Announces Layoffs (

Commerce One Announces Layoffs ( "Internet software developer Commerce One Inc. on Friday said it laid off about 61 percent of its staff to conserve cash ahead of plans to close down its business, sending its stock plunging during morning trading.
The San Francisco-based company said it cut about 56 of its 92 workers and expects to take a charge of about $200,000 from the layoffs, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
The company, which was worth almost $20 billion at the peak of the dot-com era, nears its end after posting a string of losses and trimming about 3,600 employees over the past four years. Its shares fell almost 40 percent to 23 cents Thursday on news of its impending failure."

MSNBC - Memo to Bloggers: Heal Thyselves

MSNBC - Memo to Bloggers: Heal Thyselves "What went wrong? In part, it's the same reason that traditional media sometimes fall short on their civic duty: the low road is a well-trodden path to big readership. "In the blog world, people gravitate toward subjects that generate traffic," says Gillmor. "The more raucous you are, the more page views you get." Also, while Big Media must answer for any missteps or favoritisms, bloggers seldom do.
I celebrate the liberating tools that let people post their thoughts unfiltered. But as with many other utopian predictions about how the open nature of the Net will create arenas that transcend foibles of the physical world, our faults have followed us to cyberspace. We were promised a society of philosophers. But the Blogosphere is looking more and more like a nation of ankle-biters."

Via new media musings Oracle May Makes Things Tough For FileNet Oracle May Makes Things Tough For FileNet "S&P Equity Research has "a less aggressively negative opinion" on FileNet after recent stock price declines, but thinks product demand will be weaker than expected. The research firm cut the 2004 earnings estimate to 33 cents from 40 cents, cut the 2005 earnings estimate to 52 cents from 64 cents, and cut the 12-month price target to $17 from $18. S&P Equity Research said tech research firm Ovum said last week that Oracle (nasdaq: ORCL - news - people ) will in the fourth quarter announce new offerings that will compete with FileNet."

DBMSs rule...

Metaphorical Web: Who ya gonna call? XUL!!

Metaphorical Web: Who ya gonna call? XUL!! "Interest in XUL has picked up dramatically ever since Firefox came into its own as a separate application, and the combination of ease of use, cross-platform compatibility, intrinsic web awareness and a growing community of developers makes it a technology to watch.
One problem that XUL faces is that the documentation out of the Mozilla site is sketchy at best. However, XULPlanet at has several good XUL tutorials and reference documents that are up to date, if not necessarily complete or exhaustive. I would strongly recommend if you're interested in XUL that you check out that treasure trove first.
XUL is, in many ways, analogous to Microsoft's XAML, and with the recent work on the part of the SVG community making its way into the Mozilla effort, I see XUL and XAML effectively going head to head as the first of a new breed of meta-application development languages. XAML is perhaps more exhaustive, but until the Mono effort gets further along, it is not as well represented on non-Microsoft platforms. Additionally, XAML puts a lot more of its emphasis on the use of C# code-behinds, an approach that makes sense for very large enterprise developers but seems like overkill for the average programmer.
XUL may not be your cup of tea, but you owe it to yourself to at least check it out ... as an application framework, it may very well become one of the big technology stories of 2005." Sun Microsystems: It's Hard to Manage if You Don't Blog Sun Microsystems: It's Hard to Manage if You Don't Blog "Jonathan Schwartz, president and COO of Sun Microsystems, has recently criticized statements by Intel executives, mused that IBM might buy Novell, and complained about a article—all by writing a blog on a Sun website.
Yep, blogs—which are a way to post text to a website—have found their way into business. Schwartz is the highest-ranking executive yet to embrace the new medium, which is burgeoning globally.
But some managers find that even more important than writing blogs is reading them. During a recent conference for Microsoft software developers, top company executives huddled backstage reading up-to-the-minute blogs written by the audience to get a sense of how their messages were being received."

The New York Times > Technology > Maker of Palm Software to Unveil Operating System for Smart Phones

The New York Times > Technology > Maker of Palm Software to Unveil Operating System for Smart Phones "... PalmSource wants its operating system to be the brains behind a variety of smart phones, not only Treos. It is planning to add features like the popular BlackBerry e-mail software created by Research In Motion; new Java technology for downloading games; a new browser that will make it easier to view Web sites on a mobile phone screen; and the ability to connect to several kinds of wireless networks, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Wi-Max.
PalmSource said its software would soon be available in 11 smart phones, but it would not identify the manufacturers.
Analysts say that about 70 percent of all smart phones sold are powered by an operating system from Symbian, which is owned by several major cellphone makers. And Microsoft is making a big push into the market with its own software."

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: The New Silicon Valley: A Dog-Eat-Dog World

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: The New Silicon Valley: A Dog-Eat-Dog World "Last week, PeopleSoft customers met in San Francisco for a company pep rally, and PeopleSoft executives put on a brave front. They also had news to lift spirits: a technology pact with I.B.M. This set off speculation that I.B.M. may be willing to come to PeopleSoft's rescue. It was easy to imagine Mr. Conway's dog safe in a new home, a company with $89 billion in revenue, that would protect it from the $10 billion predator.
If I.B.M. acquired PeopleSoft, it would offer a new science lesson for Mr. Ellison to absorb: while consolidation in the software industry is inevitable, Oracle is far from the top of the food chain." - Intel Chip Effort Is Hit by H-P Move - Intel Chip Effort Is Hit by H-P Move "Intel Corp.'s struggle to popularize a second microprocessor family took another blow, as partner Hewlett-Packard Co. said it will stop offering desktop workstations based on Intel's Itanium microprocessor.
The Itanium chip, designed with help from H-P in a project kicked off in 1994, originally was billed as a successor to the popular Intel X86 chip technology that began in personal computers and spread to low-end server systems. But the first Itanium chips didn't arrive until 2001, about two years late, and didn't handle customers' existing software as well as expected.
An H-P spokeswoman said the company decided to stop offering Itanium-based workstations because customers prefer the extended 64-bit approach. She said the decision doesn't weaken the company's commitment to Itanium for high-end servers.
Separately, Intel said it has decided not to offer technology that was expected to turn PCs into hubs for managing wireless networks. The communication features were discussed in June as an enhancement to a set of accessory chips, known by the code name Grantsdale that connect its microprocessors to other components in PCs."

Friday, September 24, 2004

Blogger Help : How do I put AdSense on my blog?

Blogger Help : How do I put AdSense on my blog? I'm testing AdSense on my blog. I suspect it won't expedite my retirement planning, but I'm curious to see the results. Sorry if the ads are a nuisance/distraction.

A couple observations/working hypotheses:
1. The Google-powered AdSense service will be a handy heuristic for summarizing blog content -- e.g., at the moment, the ads are all business intelligence-focused; the correlation is a bit of a mystery to me...
2. Until/unless the AdSense folks figure out a way to unobtrusively have ads appear in my RSS feed, and make it very simple (ideally automagic) to tweak all of my Blogger templates, only a small subset of the people who read my blog are going to see the AdSense stuff.

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > They Are Sleuths Who Weigh Prose

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > They Are Sleuths Who Weigh Prose "The document forger's job has been made much simpler with the help of image-editing programs like Adobe Photoshop. Documents created in a word-processing program can be cleaned up, blurred, resized, or otherwise manipulated using Photoshop's arsenal of drawing and painting tools, special effects and filters. A forger can electronically copy a signature from an authentic document, tweak it in Photoshop and then paste it into a new document. To the untrained eye, the fake composite is often indistinguishable from the genuine article.
But document examiners have several counterweapons that can help detect sophisticated digital cut-and-paste forgeries. One is a digital image analyzer, a high-resolution digital microscope connected to a computer with image-analysis software that can distinguish and measure microscopic characteristics of the document - everything from the wicking qualities of the ink to pen pressure."

Thursday, September 23, 2004 - Commerce One's Shareholders May Get No Bankruptcy Payout - Commerce One's Shareholders May Get No Bankruptcy Payout "Commerce One Inc. said Thursday that it doesn't expect to earn sufficient proceeds to meet all of its debts and obligations, nor will shareholders receive any amounts if the company files for either Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.
According to a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commerce One said it expects to eventually wind down its business and may file for bankruptcy protection as a result of unsuccessful recent efforts to raise additional equity or debt financing.
"We anticipate that we will eventually wind down our business and may file for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 or 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code," the company said in the filing."

I guessed they missed Don Tapscott's latest predictions... CMRC is now trading at $.26, down from an adjusted peak north of $1,000/share.

Qualcomm, Microsoft team on streaming media | CNET

Qualcomm, Microsoft team on streaming media | CNET "Qualcomm plans to integrate Microsoft Windows media technology into many of its cell phone chips, the companies said Thursday.
The move is expected to be a boon for both wireless streaming services and for Microsoft, which has been struggling for a bigger share of the cell phone software market.
The first line of Qualcomm chips to directly support Microsoft's streaming audio and video technologies will be available by March, the companies said.
For Microsoft, the deal is a major step toward getting its audio and video software into mobile phones ahead of rivals such as Apple Computer. So far, just Motorola and Japan's NEC have Microsoft's media decoders integrated into their handsets."

Expert: New OS e-mail client coming, but Outlook remains strong

Expert: New OS e-mail client coming, but Outlook remains strong "A new open source e-mail client, code-named Chandler, could give Microsoft Outlook a run for its money, according to Julie Hanna Farris,'s resident messaging expert. Right now, however, users are finding that it's easier to dump Exchange on the server than Outlook on the client. In this interview, Farris discusses Chandler's and Sendmail's possibilities and why breaking up with Outlook is hard to do. Farris is founder of alternative messaging system provider Scalix Corp., of San Mateo, Calif."

Scalix is definitely one to watch.

Uh oh... I just fell for PostgreSQL. But I'm married to MySQL!

Uh oh... I just fell for PostgreSQL. But I'm married to MySQL! "Last night I tried PostgreSQL for a couple hours before bed.
I fell asleep dreaming of column constraints. I woke up thinking of foreign keys.
I've been married to MySQL for so long that I had no idea all of these other things were possible!"

What Microsoft (and META Group) don't want you to know about their latest messaging TCO study

What Microsoft (and META Group) don't want you to know about their latest messaging TCO study "Recently, Microsoft posted a META Group study entitled "Messaging cost of ownership: Microsoft Exchange 2003 and Lotus Domino in small and medium organizations" to the Microsoft Exchange website. While it probably is no surprise that the report's findings favor Microsoft, reviewing the report yields a number of interesting questions -- about the validity of the study. Here are ten highlights that we believe should be taken into consideration with regard to this particular report"...

Another timely example of analyst report scrutiny.

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > State of the Art: Making Windows More Secure

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > State of the Art: Making Windows More Secure "In the big picture, though, there's a much more depressing problem: Service Pack 2 hands over a big victory to the software terrorists. They've made Windows a lot less convenient, a lot more complex and even naggier than before. Nonprofessionals are now supposed to know the answer when some unfamiliar component asks for permission to open a firewall port, whether it's safe to open a quarantined e-mail attachment or if it's O.K. for your banking Web site to install some browser add-on. You can beef up security, but only at the expense of convenience, simplicity and comfort.
And it's a war that won't end, either. "We know that as soon as we close a bunch of doors, the bad guys will go back to the drawing board," a Windows product manager says. "They're clever, and this cat-and-mouse will continue forever. We're in this game for the long haul. We'll never say, 'Mission accomplished.' "
In that regard, Service Pack 2 is only one more sign of the times." - Personal Technology: Apple's Latest iMac Is Elegant, Powerful, Surprisingly Affordable - Personal Technology: Apple's Latest iMac Is Elegant, Powerful, Surprisingly Affordable "I am writing these words on the most elegant desktop computer I've ever used, a computer that is not only uncommonly beautiful but fast and powerful, virus-free and surprisingly affordable.
The iMac has some less tangible advantages, too. It has a better, more modern operating system than Windows XP. It comes with a free suite of photo, video and music programs that can't be matched on Windows. And it frees users from the worry and expense of battling viruses and spyware, because there has never been a successful virus targeting the Mac operating system, and there is little or no spyware for the Mac. The many thousands of viruses and spyware programs that afflict Windows can't run on, or harm, Macs.
The iMac G5 is another winner from Apple. It's a computer that's a real pleasure, not a hassle, to use."

Walt Mossberg fawns over Apple (again) and perpetuates his weird fiction about Mac viruses and spyware.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Bnoopy: Persistence Pays. Part 1

Bnoopy: Persistence Pays. Part 1 "My mentor in business is a guy named Vinod Khosla. He funded Excite and believed in us when no one else did and we knew from the beginning he was a different kind of guy.
While we were still in the garage (literally), we met with at least 15 different venture capital firms. The meetings we're all the same. We showed them our search technology, showed them "concept-based" search, and showed them targeted advertising. To a firm, the first question they asked was a very reasonable one: 'great stuff guys, but what's your business plan? how are you going to make money?' Of course, being 22 years old and fresh out of college we replied, 'we thought you could help us out with that.' Apparently, that's the wrong answer. Who knew?"

Adam Bosworth's Weblog: PC's and media revamped

Adam Bosworth's Weblog: PC's and media revamped "I have a posted comment about just using XML over HTTP. Yes. I'm trying, right now to figure out if there is any real justification for the WS-* standards and even SOAP in the face of the complexity when XML over HTTP works so well. Reliable messaging would be such a justification, but it isn't there. Eventing might be such a justification, but it isn't there either and both specs are tied up in others in a sort of spec spaghetti. So, I'm kind of a skeptic of the value apart from the toolkits. They do deliver some value, (get a WSDL, instant code to talk to service), but what I'm really thinking about is whether there can't be a much simpler kindler way to do this."

InformationWeek > The Role Of IT > Tapscott Emphasizes 'Business Webs,' The Value Of IT, And Innovation > September 20, 2004

InformationWeek > The Role Of IT > Tapscott Emphasizes 'Business Webs,' The Value Of IT, And Innovation > September 20, 2004 "Don Tapscott, co-author of The Naked Corporation and president of New Paradigm Learning Corp., took the stage Tuesday morning at InformationWeek's Fall Conference in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and spread the message about "business webs," which he described as a key way to gain business advantages.
Business webs come in a number of forms, from open markets like eBay, to aggregates or exchanges such as the B-to-B auto-industry exchange Covisint, to tightly organized value chains of manufacturers and outsourcers, to self-organizing alliances, like the network of kids and adults building and sharing Lego Mindstorms robotics apps. What they have in common is what matters: Their ability to use IT to create killer businesses."

Hey, it's 1999 again!

SD Times: Adoption Of .NET Continues, Study Says

SD Times: Adoption Of .NET Continues, Study Says "Despite the migration from older native code to .NET, the number of respondents who indicate that they plan to write applications for any Microsoft platform has remained statistically constant, moving from 72.5 percent in 2002 to 73.9 percent in 2004.
In a separate question, when asked which platforms they planned to target for in-house applications, survey respondents overwhelmingly indicated Windows XP or other Windows desktops, with 78 percent targeting those platforms. This was followed by Windows servers, at 62 percent, Linux/Unix servers, at 44 percent, and Java servers, at 28 percent."

Forrester Research: J2EE Versus .NET: The Divide Inside IT

Forrester Research: J2EE Versus .NET: The Divide Inside IT "Across North American enterprises, different parts of IT organizations have different views about which development platform is primary. Forrester's data indicates that survey respondents with job titles that appear related to application delivery are 40% more likely than all respondents to name J2EE as their primary development platform. Respondents with senior IT executive titles are also more likely to name J2EE as primary, but by a smaller margin. By contrast, respondents with job titles that appear related to IT operations, networks, and general IT management are up to 25% more likely than all respondents are to name .NET as their primary development platform."

Google Local

Google Local "Find local businesses and services on the web."

Another new Google service in beta.

BTW I have a few more Gmail invitations; email me as pbokelly @ gmail . com if you want one.

WebEx Adds Sales Application

WebEx Adds Sales Application "Web conferencing service provider WebEx Communications this week will announce a new version of its service designed for sales professionals called WebEx Sales Center.
The service is used for conducting Web conferences with sales prospects. It includes special features to assist sales professionals, such as a subject-matter-experts database, the ability to launch a Web conference from within a CRM (customer relationship management) application, private chat between sales team members, and a feature called Attention Indicator that shows when a prospect has switched to a different application."

CRN | Breaking News | Sun Takes Aim At Red Hat

CRN | Breaking News | Sun Takes Aim At Red Hat "Sun fired a major counter-offensive against Linux nemesis Red Hat Tuesday by announcing hefty discounts on its forthcoming Solaris 10 Unix upgrade on commodity hardware.
Sun President Jonathan Schwartz, speaking at a Wall-Street conference, revealed plans to offer a 50 percent discount to any Red Hat Linux customer that switches to the Solaris 10 Unix upgrade and will repurchase any customer's Xeon-based server and give them a "big" discount of $1,250 off AMD's Opteron servers.
In addition to those price incentives, Sun said it will provide a global Unix/Linux support center to handle customers' technical issues 24 hours per day, seven days per week."

Turnabout is fair play...

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Web logs catch fire as kindling for change

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Web logs catch fire as kindling for change "The number of people keeping online journals known as Web logs, or blogs, has exploded in recent years. Blog search service Technorati says it now tracks almost 4 million blogs around the world, up from 100,000 two years ago.
Blogs, which are open for anyone to read and often to post comments, are emerging as a new medium of expression. They're different from garden-variety Web sites because they're updated often, like diaries, and the most recent information appears at the top.
Bloggers also link to each other to spread ideas. But their reach is still relatively small. A study this year by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that only 2 to 7 percent of U.S. adult Internet users have created blogs and 11 percent have read blogs.
Nevertheless, bloggers have played a key role in national issues."

Sun, BEA, and Microsoft All Losing Key Staff to Google, Inc. (LinuxWorld)

Sun, BEA, and Microsoft All Losing Key Staff to Google, Inc. (LinuxWorld) "What do Sun's Joshua Bloch, BEA's Adam Bosworth, and three developers from Microsoft's team including Joe Beda, the lead developer on Avalon, have in common? The answer is that all left their respective employers join Google, Inc.
The big question now exercizing the technology community is: what are they up to?
Speculation is rife, given their respective talents, that they may be part of a concerted Googleplan to out-Microsoft Microsoft in the browser space, by devising a rival to Internet Explorer."

Via Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk - PeopleSoft, IBM Create Alliance - PeopleSoft, IBM Create Alliance "PeopleSoft Inc. has forged a five-year technology and marketing alliance with International Business Machines Corp., another indication of how Oracle Corp.'s hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft is reshaping software industry strategies.
PeopleSoft, based in Pleasanton, Calif., and IBM, Armonk, N.Y., put a $1 billion price tag on the partnership, but details remained sketchy.
From PeopleSoft's side, the agreement is intended to blunt the recent momentum of SAP AG of Germany, the leader in the market for corporate software to manage financial reporting, human resources and other functions. For IBM, the deal serves as a counterweight to Microsoft Corp.'s recent agreements with SAP.
Both PeopleSoft and IBM are eager to thwart Oracle, which competes with both companies."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: AOL offering users second layer of security

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: AOL offering users second layer of security "Passwords alone won't be enough to get onto America Online (AOL) under a new, optional log-on service that makes AOL the first major U.S. online business to offer customers a second layer of security.
The so-called two-factor authentication scheme, being unveiled today, will cost $1.95 a month in addition to a one-time $9.95 fee. It is initially targeted at small businesses, victims of identity theft and individuals who pay a lot of bills and conduct other financial transactions through their AOL accounts.
Subscribers get a matchbook-size device from RSA Security displaying a six-digit code that changes every minute. The code is necessary to log on, so a scammer who guesses or steals a password cannot access the account without the device in hand."

The New York Times > Technology > In Video Games, Sequels Are Winners

The New York Times > Technology > In Video Games, Sequels Are Winners "The videogame industry has a lot in common with the movie business in that both industries bank heavily on special effects, big releases and even glamour. And increasingly, the game industry shares something else with Hollywood: a heavy reliance on sequels. In the six-month period ending in June, only two of the 10 best-selling video games were based on original ideas, according to the NPD Group, a research firm. Most were spinoffs from other best-selling games or were licensed from pro sports; a few were based on blockbuster movies and books. The only original title in the top five is Halo, a first-person shooter game from Microsoft. The rest - MVP Baseball 2004, NFL Street, Pokémon Colosseum and Fight Night 2004 - are all sequels or sports spinoffs.
According to one agent who represents developers but declined to be identified because he negotiates with the major game publishers, the industry is now controlled by managers who have a background in the packaged goods industries, rather than entertainment."

Q&A: Microsoft Introduces Microsoft Data Protection Server

Q&A: Microsoft Introduces Microsoft Data Protection Server "DPS is a separate standalone server that combines the technologies of replication and point-in-time snapshot technology. Once the data is replicated to DPS, the server creates a series of snapshots that reflect how a server looks at a certain point in time. Unlike backing up from tape, these snapshots take only seconds and have no impact on the server that's being protected. It moves only the bytes of the file that have changed versus the full file, which translates to faster incremental backups for big files.
Using DPS, IT administrators have full control over how frequently they replicate the data and how many snapshots they keep on hand for fast, easy recovery. For example, administrators can choose to maintain 30 days or 60 days of snapshots. In our research, maintaining 30 days of snapshots allows companies to recover approximately 90 percent of all files that would likely ever need to be recovered. And DPS can be configured to protect servers by taking snapshots on the hour, every two hours, every day, and so on. So businesses no longer need to rely on a full backup from a production server, which means they can avoid the shrinking backup window phenomenon.
However, one of the biggest advantages that sets DPS apart from other data protection solutions is that it enables companies to not only back up but also recover files in minutes rather than the hours it usually takes to do it from tape. For example, if an administrator sets up the software to take a snapshot of a file server every day, the daily snapshot actually represents the way that file system looks at that point in time. So if a file were accidentally deleted on Thursday, but the deletion weren't discovered until the following Monday, you could easily go back to that point in time by simply browsing a file system.
Another benefit that sets DPS apart is that end users can do their own recoveries directly from the Windows XP client. By giving end users the capability to do their own recoveries, productivity is increased because users no longer need to wait for IT administrators to help them, and IT professionals can regain time back from their busy day."

See DPS home for more info. Due during 2H 2005.

Monday, September 20, 2004

The Globe and Mail: RIM hits a major crossroad

The Globe and Mail: RIM hits a major crossroad: "In short, Messrs. Lazaridis and Balsillie have more than earned their high-tech medals. They virtually created the wireless e-mail market in 1999, and have helped it grow to about four million users worldwide; by 2007, there could be 30 million wireless e-mail users, including thousands in the U.S government, RIM's largest single customer. Any fair description of the company today would call it robust, healthy and growing. But the competitive threats are out there and gaining; the landscape is definitely changing. What RIM will look like a year from now is very much a mystery."

Timely snapshot. At the moment RIM has a market cap of ~$13.8B, so challenges or not, the market considers RIM almost as valuable as, e.g., Apple (~$14.6B) and more valuable than Sun (~$13.4B).

New York Post Online Edition: Google Picks Gates' Brains

New York Post Online Edition: Google Picks Gates' Brains "Based on the half-dozen hires in recent weeks, Google appears to be planning to launch its own Web browser and other software products to challenge Microsoft.
Google has wooed Joshua Block, one of the main developers of the Internet programming language Java, from Sun Microsystems.
The company also hired four people who worked on Microsoft's Web browser, Internet Explorer, and later founded their own company. One of them, Adam Bosworth, is credited with being a driving force not only behind IE, but Microsoft's database-management program, Access.
Most recently, Google grabbed Joe Beda, the lead developer on Avalon, Microsoft's code name for the user interface that will part of the next version of Windows, called Longhorn."

Via Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk

The New York Times > Technology > Sun Looks to Wall Street in a Comeback Bid

The New York Times > Technology > Sun Looks to Wall Street in a Comeback Bid "More than any other factor, though, it will be the success or failure of Solaris 10 - the new operating system being shown to Wall Street this week - that could determine whether Sun can return to anything resembling its former glory. Analysts and first customers of the new software say it represents a generational shift for Sun, offering a variety of technology features not available under Linux or Windows.
Key functions include a performance monitoring system called D-Trace that makes it easy to see how programs are functioning during normal business operations, and to identify any bottlenecks and work around them to make the programs run faster. Another new feature, Containers, is meant to let corporate users crowd programs more efficiently onto a single computer.
A file storage system called ZFS organizes information in a modular fashion that removes many of the data limits of a file-based system and is designed to offer better data protection. ZFS is particularly impressive, analysts note, because a similar feature has proved a thorny technical challenge for Microsoft and is one of the reasons it has delayed introduction of its Longhorn version of Windows." - Microsoft to Let Governments Access Code for Office 2003 - Microsoft to Let Governments Access Code for Office 2003 "Under the plan, the Redmond, Wash., company is adding its Office 2003 suite of software applications -- including Word and Excel -- to its Government Security Program, an initiative that since January 2003 has given governments access to the "source code" behind the Windows operating system. The program was the first official move by Microsoft to give governments a peek at the code. China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are among those that have signed up for the initiative.
The addition of Office to the program comes as Microsoft is trying to tighten relations with governments and dissuade them from adopting Linux and other open-source software, which is made by a loosely knit community of programmers and is built on code that can be freely modified. Advocates of open-source software say that open access to code can produce software that is more secure than commercial software made by Microsoft, Oracle Corp. and others."

Saturday, September 18, 2004 - Putin Says Russia Is Preparing Pre-emptive Antiterror Action - Putin Says Russia Is Preparing Pre-emptive Antiterror Action Later in the article:
"Mr. Yeltsin said in the weekly Moskovskiye Novosti that while "tough and quick" action is needed, he warned that curtailing democracy would help the terrorists. "We will not allow ourselves to deviate from the letter and, above all, the spirit of the Constitution … if only because the stifling of freedoms, and curtailment of democratic rights would be, among other things, a victory for terrorists," Mr. Yeltsin wrote.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, whose liberal reforms paved the way for the Soviet collapse and Mr. Yeltsin's ascent, leveled harsh criticism at Mr. Putin's initiatives. "Under the motto of fighting terrorism, it is proposed to sharply restrict democratic freedoms and deprive the citizens [of the right] to directly express their attitude toward the authorities in free elections," Mr. Gorbachev wrote in the same newspaper."

Think about it... A9 user discount A9 user discount -- I was pleasantly surprised to find a discount on an order I placed last night, along with a link to the following explanation:
"Peter O'Kelly, since you've been using recently, virtually everything at is automatically an additional pi/2% (1.57%) [the original has the pi symbol instead of "pi" but Blogger apparently doesn't like "special" characters"] off for you. Collecting this discount is zero effort on your part. It will be applied automatically at checkout (it will happen whether you use the shopping cart or our 1-Click Shopping®). You don't need to do anything to get this discount except keep using as your regular search engine.
We don't advertise this additional discount that we give in exchange for using, so if you want your friends to know about it, please tell them. It is probably the only way they'll find out. All they have to do is use as their regular search engine. They should make sure they are signed in to (it should be recognizing them by name) so that we can be certain they get credit for their visit.
While the pi/2% discount is a good additional reason to use it isn't the best reason. licenses its web search results from the industry leader Google, and then supplements those results with Amazon's Search Inside the Book™ results. The coolest feature is that keeps track of your search history for you on the server side. To see how this works, do some A9 searches from your computer at work and then sign in to from your computer at home.
How can we afford this additional pi/2% discount?
Sponsored links revenue -from the small text-based ads on and search results pages -will help offset costs we incur through the Rewards promotion. With our automatic pi/2% discount, we are effectively sharing with you some of the money we collect from sponsored links, i.e. sharing the pi.
Please use and tell your friends."

pi/2% -- clearly the A9 gang is intent on out-nerding Google...

Friday, September 17, 2004

Business 2.0 - Web Article - Printable Version - Watch Out Google! Amazon Gets Search

Business 2.0 - Web Article - Printable Version - Watch Out Google! Amazon Gets Search "I'm quite sure the new A9 will garner a significant share of what I'll term "high-end searchers" -- folks who use the Web a lot and who will be enamored of the elegant interface and the Discover and Search History features. The trick will be to push A9 out to the masses, to convince them that there is a better way to search and that A9 is it. If traffic to does indeed rise and keep rising, expect Google and others -- in particular Microsoft and AOL -- to pay close attention and to catch up with similar innovations. One thing is for sure: This isn't the end of the search race. It's barely gotten started."

Via Nick Bradbury

Very cool that A9 leverages GuruNet -- I've been a happy GuruNet user for years.

Competitors Chip Away at Microsoft's Internet Explorer Monopoly

Competitors Chip Away at Microsoft's Internet Explorer Monopoly "Thanks to gains by FireFox and Opera, Microsoft's Internet Explorer now commands only 93.7 percent of the total browser market, according to new Web site visitor data from WebSide Story. Seriously, it's nice to see Microsoft face a little competition. The revived Internet Explorer team is going to need to do more than just block pop-ups to hold onto its lead."

"... only 93.7 percent of the total browser market" -- what am I missing in this picture?...

rhs blog: IBM Lotus Workplace: The PL1 Of Collaboration (09/16/2004 02:06:36 PM)

rhs blog: IBM Lotus Workplace: The PL1 Of Collaboration (09/16/2004 02:06:36 PM) "There are some really, really good ideas in Lotus Workplace. There's no question about that. I was thinking about what Lotus executives were calling "contextual collaboration" about a year before they started talking about it, and the idea of a component-based collaboration framework is something that I really believe will have tremendous benefits. Unfortuately, the J2EE and portal superstructures upon which Workplace was built give it so much overhead that the description I gave above fits. It took ages to boot up the 2.2 MHz/2 GB lab machine on which we ran our servers. Page transitions were slow. Painfully so, in some cases. To IBM's credit, this is not a realistic production environment, but it should have at least been tolerable as a test environment. Also to IBM's credit, none of the servers crashed, but browser restarts were necessary on several occasions because caching issues that could not be cleared caused some of our lab assignments to fail. This will all get better. I'm quite certain of it. What I'm not so certain of, however, is whether application development for Workplace will get better. What I saw primarily in class was a wide variety of techniques for doing the same thing. There must be eight or ten different paths you can go down to expose a Domino application to Workplace users, and none of the paths that are fully baked at the moment seem to offer any significant advantage over the others. I get the feeling that the very open-ness of the Workplace architecture is working against IBM in this respect, because different groups within the company (as well as some 3rd party vendors) are all taking advantage of the ability to plug in new components, which is good, but they are pursuing similar goals in different ways and what they will end up with is too many choices for application developers."

The PL/1 analogy is a classic...

Oracle plans content management splash | CNET

Oracle plans content management splash | CNET "Oracle is expected to jump into the emerging market for content management software later this year.
The database giant will announce a new product code-named Tsunami at its Oracle OpenWorld conference in December, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, an analyst at research company Ovum, told CNET Pelz-Sharpe, who based his prediction on interviews with Oracle customers and employees, said the product will integrate enterprise content management (ECM) functions into its main suite of business products.
The company has been widely expected to enter the ECM market during the past couple of years, as a way to extend its database dominance and counter moves by competitors. Rival IBM, for example, has increasingly integrated content management functions with its database and collaboration products.
Oracle executives acknowledged during the company's antirust trial over its attempted takeover of PeopleSoft that Oracle had considered acquiring content management specialist Documentum before EMC gobbled it up, confirming widespread speculation that Oracle was contemplating such a move."

Thursday, September 16, 2004 | 09/15/2004 | I suppose $26 million in iTunes cash isn't going to do it for you, huh? | 09/15/2004 | I suppose $26 million in iTunes cash isn't going to do it for you, huh? "Looks like Apple Corps' long and winding trademark dispute with Apple Computer is going to lead to another big cash windfall for the Beatles' label (see "iPod, not Beatles, more popular than Jesus now"). Word among the legal community is that Apples Computer and Corps are headed toward an out-of-court settlement, one that's going to cost the former dearly. "People are expecting this to be the biggest settlement anywhere in legal history, outside of a class action suit," a lawyer with an obvious penchant for hyperbole told Daily Variety. "The numbers could be mind-boggling." If this is the case, it will be the third time that Apple Corps has sued Apple Computer over the latter's use of the AppleMusic brand and won a sizable cash settlement from the company. Indeed, it pocketed a $26 million dollar settlement from Apple in 1991. But another such pay out doesn't seem to bother Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who's long been a diehard Beatles fan. "It's not a big deal," Jobs told Newsweek earlier this summer. "It's unfortunate because we love the Beatles. I'd do anything for those guys."

The New York Times > Business > News Analysis: I.B.M. Shrugs Off Loss of a Service Contract It Once Flaunted

The New York Times > Business > News Analysis: I.B.M. Shrugs Off Loss of a Service Contract It Once Flaunted "Back in December 2002, when J. P. Morgan Chase announced a seven-year, $5 billion deal to outsource much of its data processing to I.B.M., both companies bragged that the contract - the largest of its kind for I.B.M. - would reduce costs, create value and propel innovation at J. P. Morgan.
Now both companies are saying, uh, never mind.
In a major blow to I.B.M.'s grand corporate strategy of providing technology services to companies large and small around the globe, J. P. Morgan Chase said yesterday that it was pulling the plug on the contract less than two years into its existence. The 4,000 J. P. Morgan employees who moved to the International Business Machines Corporation as part of the deal will return to the bank early next year.
"What's really needed is some clarity on this issue," said Mr. Fleckenstein, who has bet against I.B.M. in his portfolio. "They have been crowing about on-demand and how great their backlog is. If losing the contract is a good thing, why is getting more of these types of contracts also a good thing? No facts are given on this, the supposed wave of the future for their business." - Personal Technology: How to Protect Yourself From Vandals, Viruses If You Use Windows - Personal Technology "If you use a Windows personal computer to access the Internet, your personal files, your privacy and your security are all in jeopardy. An international criminal class of virus writers, hackers, digital vandals and sleazy businesspeople wakes up every day planning to attack your PC.
Opting out: The single most effective way to avoid viruses and spyware is to simply chuck Windows altogether and buy an Apple Macintosh. Apple's operating system, Mac OS X, is harder for the criminals to infect, and the Mac's market share is so small that hackers, virus writers and spies get little thrill, financial gain or publicity from attacking the platform.
There has never been a successful virus written for Mac OS X, and there is almost no spyware that targets the Mac. Plus, the Mac is invulnerable to viruses and spyware written for Windows. Not only is it more secure, but the Mac operating system is more capable, more modern and more attractive than Windows XP, and just as stable.
Bottom line: If you use Windows, you're asking for trouble. But you can mitigate the risk by taking precautions."

Looks like Walt Mossberg has been spending time in the Apple reality distortion field again lately...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - Would You By a Net Phone From Jeffrey Citron [Vonage]? - America's Forty Richest Under 40 - Would You By a Net Phone From Jeffrey Citron [Vonage]? "At age 34, Jeffrey Citron has launched two successful startups, made hundreds of millions of dollars—and had a run-in with the SEC. Now he's taking on the telecom establishment. Will he get away with it, or will the industry's giants crush him?"

Great article on Vonage and its history, strategy, etc. Fortune had a similar background piece on Skype early this year which was also, imho, outstanding. This type of reporting is a timely reminder that innovation and business success are often more about disruptive people than disruptive technology.

I'm eager to explore the next generation of "soft phones," e.g., Vonage's SoftPhone, which will eliminate the need for the extra box between my cable modem and my cable router, and will turn my laptop into a phone whenever/wherever it's Internet-connected. We're heading into the next phase of telephony virtualization, breaking the historical relationships among:
1. Identifier (phone number) and place
2. Identifier and device; mobile phones did the identifier/place shift as well, of course, but it'll be even more powerful when the identifier can be easily shared/moved among multiple places/devices (e.g., route calls to my laptop if I'm working on it and have set my presence profile to accept calls, my mobile phone if I'm traveling and not Internet-connected, directly to voicemail if I'm busy and it's not urgent, etc.)
3. Channel and device/context -- this isn't just about better/faster/cheaper/more flexible phone service; once we move to voice over IP and software-virtualized devices, it'll be natural to use other channel types (video, application sharing, even basic text chat) in the same contexts

ENT News | News: What's Cheaper SQL Server or Oracle? Tricky Question, Grasshopper

ENT News | News: What's Cheaper SQL Server or Oracle? Tricky Question, Grasshopper "The stunning upshot, some analysts say, is that the one-time Cadillac dealer of database vendors -- whose motto might well once have been “If you have to ask, it’s too expensive” -- is in some cases trying to out-cheap its competitors – including SMB and small enterprise kingpin Microsoft.That being said, if you were asked to decide between Microsoft’s SQL Server 2000 and Oracle’s 10g database on the basis of sticker price alone, it’d probably be a no-brainer: SQL Server would win almost hands down."

Microsoft keeps legal options against free Office alternative

Microsoft keeps legal options against free Office alternative "Microsoft Corp.'s settlement with Sun Microsystems Inc. includes a provision explicitly preserving the Redmond company's right to sue licensees of a free alternative to its dominant Microsoft Office software.
Industry analysts say Microsoft appears to be merely keeping its options open, not plotting to sue users or distributors of the software. But some say the provision also underscores how seriously the company is taking the threat from open-source programs that compete with its core products."

WinFS Removal Opens Window of Opportunity

WinFS Removal Opens Window of Opportunity "We do not believe that WinFS technology should be limited to a single operating system. Thus, taking WinFS out of Longhorn provides Microsoft with the opportunity to expand its technology so that file systems outside Windows can be pulled into its metadata network.
For competitors Apple and Sun, Microsoft's decision to hold back WinFS also opens a giant window of opportunity. Armed with a three-to-four-year head start, Apple on "Tiger's" Spotlight feature and Sun on DFS (Dynamic File System), those companies could decisively influence the evolution of file systems and thereby the way nearly all applications and users store and access data. However, given that a true network file system can only be valuable with a wide range of interoperability, we also advise Apple and Sun to be open with their file system technologies and employ them to construct bridges to information on Linux and Windows clients."

Novell Comes Out Swinging Against Microsoft with Linux

Novell Comes Out Swinging Against Microsoft with Linux ""Microsoft took away a lot of our new licensing over the years and we learned to live on maintenance," Messman said. "Now the revenue generator around Linux is maintenance. The remarkable potential for Linux has become obvious to anyone that's paying attention. There are very few customers who are not doing something on Linux." Novell chief technology officer Alan Nugent added, "We're not abandoning Windows from a product perspective but we think the market will abandon Windows at some point. We will maintain our commitment to the Windows desktop for as long as our customers want us to.
But Messman's most interesting comments regarded Microsoft's recent decision to strip the WinFS feature from Longhorn. "They wanted to cut us off," he said. "The more time we have to sell against Longhorn, the worse it is for them." Thus, Messman says, Microsoft will ship Longhorn early in order to prevent Linux from catching up to Windows."

The New York Times > Technology > Yahoo to Buy Online Music Seller for $160 Million

The New York Times > Technology > Yahoo to Buy Online Music Seller for $160 Million "Music is one of the most-used applications on the Web," said Dan Rosensweig, Yahoo's chief operating officer. "Our objective is to be the leading player in the digital music world."
Mr. Leigh said that he thought other companies, including, had been trying to buy Musicmatch, and that Amazon was likely to make a move to expand its online music business.
"This provides more incentive to Amazon for them to fish or cut bait in music," Mr. Leigh said. "I think they will fish." He said the most logical move for Amazon would be to acquire Napster. An Amazon spokeswoman, Patti Smith, and a spokeswoman for Napster, Dana Harris, both declined to comment." - Amazon's Search-Engine Unit Is Set to Announce New Features - Amazon's Search-Engine Unit Is Set to Announce New Features " Inc.'s search-engine subsidiary plans to unveil new features today, in one of the strongest signs that it hopes to compete with the likes of Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.
But today's announcement fleshes out a number of features that allow consumers to personalize Web searches, a common goal among search firms. A9 will allow users who register with Amazon to save a record of their searches and the sites they visit, so they can later search and revisit the same sites more easily. Users can append notes to sites and store lists of favorite sites on A9's computers. They can then search through their notes and bookmarked sites using key words. "It's a search engine with memory," says Udi Manber, chief executive of A9, which is 100% owned by Amazon.
For now, the site relies on Google's search-engine technology. Mr. Manber said A9 currently has no plans to replace the Google technology with its own, but would not speculate on future moves. He declined to comment on competition with Google, Yahoo or other search firms." - Oracle's Net Gained 16% in Quarter - Oracle's Net Gained 16% in Quarter "Oracle Corp. said first-quarter net income rose 16%, but a sharp drop in sales of business-applications software underscored the company's urgency in pursuing a hostile, $7.7 billion bid for rival PeopleSoft Inc.
The 36% drop in application software sales contrasted with stronger demand for Oracle's flagship database software, which showed 18% sales growth compared with a year earlier. Overall, the Redwood Shores, Calif., software company reported net income for the fiscal period ended Aug. 31 of $509 million, or 10 cents a share, up from $440 million, or eight cents a share, a year earlier. Total revenue rose 7% to $2.22 billion from $2.07 billion.
Oracle attributed strong demand for its database systems, which function as electronic filing cabinets for all types of information, to a new approach it has dubbed "grid computing." Oracle is touting the approach, in which low-cost PCs are linked together to function as a single computer system." / Business / Technology / iBasis to offer free calls / Business / Technology / iBasis to offer free calls "iBasis Inc., a Burlington company that has become a major behind-the-scenes wholesale carrier of international phone calls over the Internet for big phone companies like AT&T Corp. and Sprint, is launching its first direct consumer service with a splashy promotion: 1 million minutes of free phone calls for the first customers who sign up.
To market the consumer service, iBasis has set up a new website called, similar to other so-called "virtual calling card" sites. Using a credit card, people can buy prepaid minutes online that they can use to make international calls by entering a personal identification code, as if they had bought a prepaid calling card with a printed number at a store. Users are charged a 98-cent-a-month service fee, in addition to the cost of calls, and surcharges for calls made from payphones.
Since it was founded eight years ago, iBasis has handled more than 9 billion minutes of Internet-based phone calls for big US carriers and international giants including Cable & Wireless, China Unicom, and Telefonica. It is now one of the 10 largest carriers of international traffic in the world. After completing a major financial restructuring earlier this year, iBasis stock -- which went from over $80 in March 2000 to penny-stock status three years later -- has bounced back to close at $2.12 yesterday."

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

InfoWorld: Microsoft, Polycom team on collaboration products

InfoWorld: Microsoft, Polycom team on collaboration products: "In the first phase of the collaboration, Microsoft and Polycom aim to ease communications within an enterprise by allowing users of Live Communications Server and the Windows Messenger Client to see the status of Polycom's IP phones, desktop and conference room conferencing products and to launch intra-company conferences from within Windows Messenger.
To enable this first link, Polycom plans to deliver software upgrades for its Media Gateway Controller and WebOffice product in the fourth quarter. The updates will likely be available at no charge for Polycom users with a service contract, but pricing has not officially been set yet, a Polycom spokesman said.
The second phase of the partnership, slated for next year, will include updates from Microsoft and Polycom and will add federation, allowing users to set up conferences with users outside their own corporate networks. The products will also provide a link to Microsoft's Office Live Meeting Web conferencing service.
In the third phase, planned for 2006, Microsoft and Polycom plan to add control of Polycom products and Live Communications Server capabilities to other applications, including the Microsoft Outlook e-mail client and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) products, the companies said.
Microsoft already has partners including Radvision Corp. and First Virtual Communications Inc. whose products offer capabilities similar to the combination of Live Communications Server and Polycom's products, a company spokesman said. However, these companies don't have the same reach as Polycom, he said."

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Sony-Led Group Makes a Late Bid to Wrest MGM From Time Warner

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Sony-Led Group Makes a Late Bid to Wrest MGM From Time Warner "A consortium led by the Sony Corporation of America reached a tentative agreement yesterday to buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the Hollywood studio famous for James Bond and the Pink Panther, for about $4.8 billion in cash, snatching it from Time Warner at the 11th hour.
The deal, which ends an auction that was filled with behind-the-scenes machinations for months, included one last surprise twist: Comcast, the cable giant, joined Sony's consortium as a strategic partner and a possible investor.
While MGM may be famous for making films like "The Wizard of Oz," under the plan being developed by the Sony-led group, most of the movie studio operation would be shut down. Sony would license and distribute MGM's most valuable asset, its library of more than 4,000 films. Only the studio's best-known film series, like James Bond, would continue to be produced under the MGM brand through Sony."

Go figure... - Conferencing-Hardware Maker Plans Alliance With Microsoft - Conferencing-Hardware Maker Plans Alliance With Microsoft "Microsoft Corp. and Polycom Inc. today are to announce a multiyear deal to integrate products for holding audio, video and Web conferences.
Polycom, of Pleasanton, Calif., is the No. 1 maker of conferencing hardware, including devices used in meeting rooms to hold telephone and video conferences.
Microsoft has been adding its own conferencing programs and services, including features that allow users of its instant-messaging software, known as Windows Messenger, to hold one-on-one video and audio conferences.
Among other things, the new partnership is designed to make it possible for Windows Messenger users to hold conferences with larger numbers of users at the same time." Registration 'nightmare' at UMass Registration 'nightmare' at UMass "For 25,000 students and faculty on the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts, last week's start of the new term was even more hectic than usual, thanks to a computer malfunction that prevented many students from signing up for classes.
The entire UMass system uses PeopleSoft software to manage its human resources and finance systems, as well as student registration on all five campuses. But David Gray, chief information officer for the university, said the Amherst campus uses a custom modified version of the software, and that similar problems have not happened on the other campuses.
PeopleSoft spokesman Steve Swasey said UMass has been a customer since 1998, and that 730 institutions of higher education worldwide use his firm's software. He blamed the problems at the Amherst campus on difficulties in setting up the software on the school's systems, not a flaw in the software itself. ''We're working with them now to understand what it is," Swasey said." - Computer Glitches Stall Wachovia Brokers - Computer Glitches Stall Wachovia Brokers "Wall Street kicked into high gear for fall after Labor Day last week. But thousands of brokers at Wachovia Securities LLC -- and their customers -- were stalled.
The problem: glitches as the brokerage firm's computers went haywire just as Wachovia Corp.'s Wachovia Securities and the former Prudential Securities, which merged their stock brokerages last year, for the first time started using a single technology system, people familiar with the matter say.
At 10:15 a.m. EST Tuesday, about 5,000 brokers, sales assistants and other employees, or about a third of the Wachovia operation, were blocked from logging on to their computers. As the week wore on, the technology breakdowns escalated, with many frustrated brokers unable to view clients' accounts, place trades or wire funds from their computers without using a backup system.
Wachovia had selected the Thomson Financial unit of Thomson Corp. to develop a new technology platform for Wachovia and Prudential brokers. In a February news release, Paul Costello, president of the Business Services Group of Wachovia Securities, said the platform should enable "a seamless integration" of the brokerage systems.
Yesterday Audrey Allopenna, executive vice president, integration partnerships for Thomson Financial, said that the problems brokers may have had last week with computer access didn't stem from the desktop platform that Thomson created. "From a Thomson standpoint, we have successfully delivered, in partnership with Wachovia, an integrated desktop to their financial advisers, which has been up and running since January," she said. "It continues to run successfully and effectively today."

Monday, September 13, 2004

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Quirky code names inspire developers and hype products

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Quirky code names inspire developers and hype products: "A product manager can be defined as someone who has all of the responsibility and none of the power. It's a thankless job,' said former Apple Computer technology evangelist Guy Kawasaki, the author of several business books. 'One thing the product manager can do is give the code name to the product. Typically, he comes up with a clever name in the middle of the night, and hopefully management doesn't find out until it's ingrained.'"

The New York Times > Technology > Speech Code From I.B.M. to Become Open Source

The New York Times > Technology > Speech Code From I.B.M. to Become Open Source "I.B.M. plans to announce today that it will contribute some of its speech-recognition software to two open-source software groups.
The move is a tactical step by International Business Machines to accelerate the development of speech applications and to outmaneuver rivals, especially Microsoft, in a market that is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years with increased use in customer-service call centers, cars and elsewhere. To do this, I.B.M. is again using the strategy of placing some of its proprietary software in open-source projects, making it available for other programmers to improve.
I.B.M. is also announcing an agreement with Avaya, a leading supplier of call-center technology, to jointly develop speech-enabled self-service applications for corporate customers. "Web self-service and speech self-service can be developed in tandem," said Eileen Rudden, vice president of Avaya's communications applications division. "We see this as a way to lower the cost of building speech applications and broaden the market." - Linux Backers to Support Standard - Linux Backers to Support Standard "Major Linux backers have agreed to support a single version of the freely exchanged computer-operating software, in a move to strengthen its competitiveness against Microsoft Corp.
The Free Standards Group, a nonprofit trade organization based in San Francisco, is expected to announce today that providers of Linux versions from around the world agreed to back Linux Standard Base 2.0. Those who have also agreed include International Business Machines Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc., Intel Corp. and other companies that sell Linux-based computers, software and services." - Gateway CEO Presses Restart: Back to PCs - Gateway CEO Presses Restart: Back to PCs "After four years of selling big-screen TVs, DVD recorders and digital cameras, Gateway Inc. plans to announce today that it is retreating from the consumer-electronics world and returning to its original mission of marketing personal computers.
"Our first objective is to fix our core business," says Wayne R. Inouye, who assumed the role of chief executive earlier this year. "People talk about multitasking, but in real life you have to focus on one thing at a time." Mr. Inouye says new deals with key PC retailers Best Buy Co. and CompUSA Inc. -- as well as a greater focus on fast-growing notebook PCs -- should allow the money-losing company to earn consistent profits beginning next year."

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - Take a Note--Or Lots of Them - Take a Note--Or Lots of Them "Whether on sticky notes, napkins, memo pads, or random pieces of paper, everybody takes notes--usually without the assistance of a computer. EverNote, a promising new application demonstrated at the DemoMobile show here, aims to change that.
Due for release in a public beta test next month, EverNote lets you type quick notes to yourself. But its notes can contain a lot more than plain text. It's easy, for example, to grab images or bits and pieces of Web pages or Microsoft Office documents and paste them into a note for later reference."

The quest to resurrect Lotus Agenda continues... I'm surprised the article didn't mention Onfolio, a very powerful tool for item collection/organization/sharing from ColdFusion creator JJ Allaire.

InfoWorld: Doing the impossible with Longhorn: By Jon Udell

InfoWorld: Doing the impossible with Longhorn: By Jon Udell "It’s funny how circumstances can change your perception of what’s possible. A few months ago, key Microsoft architects were telling me that it would be impossible to decouple the Avalon presentation subsystem from the Longhorn OS. Now they’re huddling in conference rooms trying to figure out how to do just that. It makes me wonder what else might turn out to be possible after all."

More excellent insights and context-setting from Jon Udell.

My $.02 on the Longhorn changes:
1. I'm surprised Microsoft didn't announce some kind of partial Avalon-on-XP sooner. Few developers were likely to exploit Avalon if it remained Longhorn-only, given the protracted Longhorn deployment cycle (even for intranet app contexts).
2. Most of the press/punditry assumed, until the recent announcement, that Longhorn was going to arrive in 2007 at the earliest. Now it's clear Microsoft is determined to ship Longhorn in 2006, albeit with WinFS planned to be in beta when Longhorn launches. Somehow the conventional wisdom now seems to assume that WinFS has gone the Cairo route, and will never ship. To recap: Microsoft plans to ship Longhorn in 2006, and WinFS is expected to be in beta then -- i.e., for most people, this isn't a huge recalc, in the grand scheme of things.
3. I expect to see some sort of "WinFS lite" on XP, for the same reasons it's pragmatic to deliver a subset of Avalon on XP. Architecturally, WinFS is an abstraction and service layer atop NTFS and SQL Server; Microsoft may not be able to deliver 100% Longhorn-level compatibility on XP, just as it can't with Avalon or Indigo, but it can (and will, I believe) go far beyond the 80-20 level in delivering parts of WinFS on XP.

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Can Mr. Chips Transform Intel?

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Can Mr. Chips Transform Intel? "Over the past year, Intel has suffered through any number of missteps: a product recall, the cancellation of major new chip releases, delays in the distribution of faster Pentium processors and, perhaps most important, slips in the release dates of new consumer products that the company casts as crucial to its future earnings.
These and other miscues prompted Mr. Barrett to send a memorandum in July to all 80,000 Intel employees, promising that top executives were "revisiting the meaning of Intel culture and talking about management expectations."
But a handful of missed deadlines and scrapped designs are hardly Intel's only worries. Assuming that the board promotes Mr. Otellini to the top spot, he will face the daunting task of reinventing Intel - a challenge that calls to mind the 1980's, when Mr. Grove turned the company, then an embattled memory chip pioneer under assault by aggressive Japanese competitors, into the world's dominant maker of microprocessors. Its chips run 80 percent of all PC's."

Also see "Suddenly, It's AMD Inside" in this week's BusinessWeek. Books: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable Books: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable I finally finished reading this book, several months after a friend recommended it. The book has been quite successful, and it's currently #11 on the NYT list of best-selling business hard cover books. I'm intrigued with the use of quasi-fictional storytelling as a means of conveying team dynamics (I suspect the author generalized from a few of his real-world consulting experiences), and I imagine many people find the "leadership fable" very helpful in working through challenging group dynamics.

One quote that jumped out at me: "Politics is when people choose their words and actions based on how they want others to react rather than based on what they really think." (p. 88)

Overall, I think people trying to understand group dynamics will benefit from reading a mix of books such as this one and cultural anthropology classics such as Our Kind by Marvin Harris.

Friday, September 10, 2004

VARBusiness | Column | 9-11 Commission Report Has Broad IT Implications, Groove Founder Ray Ozzie Says

VARBusiness | Column | 9-11 Commission Report Has Broad IT Implications, Groove Founder Ray Ozzie Says: "... Ozzie has spent a great deal of time thinking about the future of information security and sharing, and some of the findings that the 9-11 Commission and others, including the Markle Foundation, have come up with for better securing our nation's technology infrastructure. For the most part, Ozzie likes various ideas put forth for strengthening the security of our systems and information, but worries that the way in which some of these ideas will be implemented could lead to trouble for consumers, government agencies, corporations and, by way of extension, the 100,00-plus solution providers that cater to these groups."

Article goes on to describe challenges and how Groove addresses them.

Domino blogging

Domino blogging "BlogSphere, a template available from, is one of several Notes applications that you can use to develop your own Domino blog. Find out how to create and customize your own blogging database from this full-featured Notes template."

This is the template we're using for 3c-interop; it's very useful.

Via Lotus Geek

Allchin's last stand? | Tech News on ZDNet

Allchin's last stand? | Tech News on ZDNet: "But, there is somebody to whom Gates and company can compare themselves-- an updated version of Microsoft, a hungry team of up-and-comers and alumni hitching a free ride on their browser platform, unencumbered by a business model that limits its platform to a subset of the network and innovation around RSS and other disruptive technologies.
In other words, Microsoft will spend 2005 and 2006 competing against itself with what will likely be a free downloadable (a la XP SP2) pruned version of Avalon and Indigo while delaying a competitive response to the Google-led hosted alternative to the Office 'information management shell' to 2007 and potentially beyond. No wonder Allchin asks: 'Does that make sense?' If Longhorn, the latest incarnation of Allchin's 1995 Cairo unification of Windows and SQL Server, slips again, he may not be around for the answer."

Steve Gillmor's stark assessment of Allchin's future.