Saturday, October 30, 2004

The New York Review of Books: Uncle Sam Is Watching You

The New York Review of Books: Uncle Sam Is Watching You: "Admittedly, much of the credit for TIA's defeat has to go to the Pentagon's public relations department, which not only gave the program its less than reassuring name, but also came up with a logo consisting of a pyramid topped by a large, digitized eye and the Latin motto Scientia Est Potentia, or 'Knowledge Is Power.' George Orwell and Michel Foucault could hardly have done better. It also helped that the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which developed the plan, was headed by John Poindexter, who had been convicted of lying to Congress in the Iran-contra affair, and whose conviction had been overturned on appeal only on a technicality. The vote to kill TIA came shortly after DARPA floated the idea of creating a market for betting on terrorist attacks and other disasters. Still, the fact that Congress rejected TIA seemed to suggest that it was willing to stand up for privacy even in the face of the threat of catastrophic terrorism."

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Weaned on Video Games

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Weaned on Video Games: "A report last fall by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy research organization, found that half of all 4- to 6-year-old children have played video games - on hand-held devices, computers or consoles - and one in four played several times a week. Of children 3 or younger, 14 percent have played video games.
'Companies have found that there was an untapped market with the really young kid,' said Vicky Rideout, a vice president of the foundation."

Be afraid, be very afraid...

Friday, October 29, 2004

RedNova - Motorola Teams Up With Microsoft in Smart Attack on Nokia

RedNova - Motorola Teams Up With Microsoft in Smart Attack on Nokia: "Microsoft and giant U.S. phonemaker Motorola have joined forces to try to wrest the smartphone market -- the lucrative business end of the mobile sector -- from their European competitor Nokia.
The Business has learned that Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer and Motorola's new boss Ed Zander will spearhead their attack with a new generation of phones capable of putting the Microsoft desktop on the mobile screen.
'We see a coming together of IT and telephony crystallised by Ed Zander's appointment, which marks a significant deepening of the relationship between Microsoft and Motor-ola,' said Pieter Knook, senior vice-president Microsoft Mobile."

Via Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk

Thursday, October 28, 2004 Forget PeopleSoft, Larry Forget PeopleSoft, Larry: "Now that Oracle has cleared all regulatory hurdles to acquire PeopleSoft, should it bother?
Oracle doesn't really need to buy an applications company as much as it needs an infrastructure company. Despite years in the trenches, only 14% of Oracle's revenue in the fiscal first quarter, ended in August, came from applications. The rest was from its mainstay database business and related products."

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft offers insurance Linux can't, Ballmer says

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft offers insurance Linux can't, Ballmer says: "Linux inventor Linus Torvalds declined to comment.
'I don't hate MS, and quite frankly I don't care about them, and whatever new PR spin comes out of Redmond just isn't something I feel is worth my time bothering with,' he said via e-mail. 'Let Ballmer ramble on. I'm not interested.'
Perhaps coincidentally, the e-mail was sent the same day Dell announced a partnership with Novell to sell server computers with a version of Linux pre-installed.
Dell is Microsoft's single largest customer."

Technology Review: Apple Has a Virus? Congratulations!

Technology Review: Apple Has a Virus? Congratulations! "Whenever Windows users grouse about the latest virus or spyware attack, Macintosh devotees good-naturedly tease that they don't have worry about such nonsense. Well, the Apple-heads can't say that anymore. Last week, astute Mac users discovered a program dubbed "Opener"--a nefarious piece of code embeds itself onto Macs using OS X, disables the computer's firewall, and collects any password information it can find. The Apple community should not be upset about this malware news, writes Eric Hellweg, but celebrating it. Finally, a virus writer thinks Macs matter enough to merit attack!"

Uh... if you say so...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - eJournal Turns Five Today

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - eJournal Turns Five Today: "Yike, I just realized that this blog is five years old today. Thanks for reading."

Coincidentally, today is also the 5th anniversary of my adventure in blogging, although my oldest posts aren't available on-line at this point (the first few months were hosted on a friend's site that went away a long time ago). My archive starting in March, 2000 can be found here.

I have my original posts archived in a Notes database, naturally; my first post, on 10/27/1999, was:
"John V. Carlis The guy who taught me everything I know about data modeling; has a great list of interesting books on his page"

The New Republic Online: Risk Management

The New Republic Online: Risk Management: "But in a democracy, you sometimes have to have faith that a new leader will be able to absorb the achievements of his predecessor and help mend his failures. Kerry has actually been much more impressive in the latter stages of this campaign than I expected. He has exuded a calm and a steadiness that reassures. He is right about our need for more allies, more prudence, and more tactical discrimination in the war we are waging. I cannot say I have perfect confidence in him, or that I support him without reservations. But not to support anyone in this dangerous time is a cop-out. So give him a chance. In picking the lesser of two risks, we can also do something less dispiriting. We can decide to pick the greater of two hopes. And even in these dour days, it is only American to hope."

Andrew Sullivan endorses Kerry -- think about it... Via new media musings. If you know anybody who still plans to vote for Bush, ask them to read the entire essay before 11/2.

Getting intelligent about the brain | Newsmakers | CNET

Getting intelligent about the brain | Newsmakers | CNET "Jeff Hawkins was interested in the brain even before he helped spawn an industry with his most famous invention, the PalmPilot. In his spare time, he learned the sciences behind brain research, and after becoming versed in them he developed his own theory, which is contrary to some of the established ideas. In his first book, 'On Intelligence,' Hawkins explains his theory and how it can be used to build truly smart machines--a question others have tackled, through artificial intelligence and neural networks, but haven't resolved."

Good interview and summary of his book's thesis. - Microsoft Steps Up Linux Attack - Microsoft Steps Up Linux Attack: "Mr. Ballmer's e-mail suggests that businesses using Linux face greater risks than those that use Windows. He challenges the belief that such open-source programs -- which allow users and vendors to modify the underlying computer instructions -- yield more secure software. He wrote that 'a structured software engineering process' like that at Microsoft is best for making software more secure. He also noted that Microsoft, unlike open-source backers, offers full indemnification for customers against suits over patents or other intellectual property."

The New York Times > Technology > Newest iPod From Apple Holds Photos and Music

The New York Times > Technology > Newest iPod From Apple Holds Photos and Music: "In focusing on still pictures, Mr. Jobs showed he was moving in a direction different from competitors in the consumer electronics industry, which have been adding video capabilities to hand-held devices. Mr. Jobs disagreed that video was a must-have feature in new devices. 'Our competitors are saying it's video,' he said, 'but they're too big to fit in your pocket.'"

Yeah, nobody wants video on a handheld/mobile device, just like nobody wants TV on their PC... until Steve Jobs decides they do...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Microsoft Delivers Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005

Microsoft Delivers Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005: "Live Communications Server 2005 Standard Edition builds on this foundation by extending these benefits beyond the firewall:
* Federation. With Live Communications Server 2005, two or more organizations can share IM and presence awareness in real time in an encrypted, authenticated and managed environment. Live Communications Server 2005 users also can share presence information and IM with suppliers and customers using MSN?, AOL and Yahoo! public IM networks,* creating a channel for bringing geographically dispersed people together.
* Remote user access. End users now can connect to presence and IM capabilities when they are outside the corporate network, whether working from home or on the road, or visiting customers or partners. Access is provided in a more secure and authenticated manner through the use of standard firewall ports, without the need to establish a virtual private network.
* Increased scalability. Active user capacity can expand to allow up to 15,000 active IM users per server. This increase of 30 percent to 45 percent in capacity over the previous version of Live Communications Server will provide most organizations with ample space to house their active users and the ability to easily accommodate more as their business expands.

In addition, Live Communications Server 2005 Enterprise Edition customers will appreciate enterprise-grade architectural enhancements such as the following:
* Improved architecture. An advanced, tiered architecture using Microsoft SQL Server (TM) benefits customers by substantially improving reliability, availability and scalability to mitigate the risk of unplanned downtime and deliver a higher level of availability. Deeper management options and administrative tools help reduce overall management time while increasing the level of administrative control.
* Increased capacity. Enterprise-grade active user capacity allows organizations to pool Live Communications Server 2005 Enterprise Edition servers to support up to hundreds of thousands of users as their enterprise grows."

The New York Times > Technology > Intel to Join in a Project to Extend Wireless Use

The New York Times > Technology > Intel to Join in a Project to Extend Wireless Use: "He also said that Clearwire could succeed at offering high-speed wireless Internet access where others have failed, in part because it hoped to take advantage of Intel's efforts to create a global technology standard.
'We are tempered by the fact that everyone who has tried this has failed,' Mr. McCaw said, 'but we're crossing the river on the backs of pioneers.'"

Intel invests in McCaw's Clearwire

Intel invests in McCaw's Clearwire: "Telecommunications billionaire Craig McCaw is getting a financial boost from Intel.
The Santa Clara, Calif., semiconductor giant yesterday said it was investing an undisclosed amount in Clearwire, the Kirkland wireless Internet startup that McCaw introduced earlier this year.
The deal, which was announced yesterday morning at the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment conference in San Francisco, calls for Clearwire to roll out powerful new networks that use the 802.16e WiMax standard. Those networks could create a broadband cloud that covers an entire city or county, allowing users to make Internet-based phone calls or conduct e-commerce anywhere they wander within a geographic area. Unlike Wi-Fi, which covers an area of a few hundred feet, WiMax networks are said to extend over several square miles.
Clearwire uses a similar technology in Jacksonville, Fla., where the company this summer launched a high-speed network that covers a 100-square-mile area. Clearwire will deliver service to Abilene, Texas, and St. Cloud, Minn., next month, with the company planning to enter 20 additional markets in the United States in the next year. It is also building wireless networks in Mexico and Canada."

Never underestimate Craig McCaw...

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Secret World Of Marsh Mac

The Secret World Of Marsh Mac "CEO Jeff Greenberg presides over the arrogant and tight-lipped culture of Marsh & McLennan, where conflicts of interest abound. There's more trouble coming for the world's largest insurance broker."

Yes, the CEO in the cover picture of this week's BusinessWeek is the guy expected to resign this morning...

Yahoo! News - Yahoo, Adobe Team Up for New Web Services

Yahoo! News - Yahoo, Adobe Team Up for New Web Services " Under the deal, Adobe will first introduce a cobranded Yahoo browser toolbar that users can choose to install on their computers when prompted to download an update of Acrobat Reader. The toolbar — an increasingly popular method of online search engines to stay constantly visible on a user's Internet browser — will feature links to Yahoo products and services as well as Adobe's Web-based subscription service that lets people convert documents into the Adobe PDF file format.
Later, the companies said, the toolbar will add features such as the ability to quickly convert Web-based content into Adobe PDF files. Yahoo search will also be built into a future version of the Acrobat Reader, allowing users to search for more information from within the document without going through the extra steps of launching a Web browser."

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: Pixar's Mr. Incredible May Yet Rewrite the Apple Story

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: Pixar's Mr. Incredible May Yet Rewrite the Apple Story: "Even his biggest fans might see Steven P. Jobs, Apple Computer's chief executive, as a brilliant dunce. He has the absolutely best software to run a personal computer but can't figure out how to convert technical superiority into the industry standard. He has the absolutely best portable player for tunes but can't figure out how to convert market dominance on the music side into increased market share on the computer side.
At Pixar, one of Mr. Jobs's masterstrokes has been to emphasize the old-fashioned virtue of compelling storytelling. He wrote to Pixar shareholders in 1997: "It is chiseled in stone at our studio that no amount of technology can ever turn a bad story into a good one." One could add that the same maxim applies to Apple."

Interesting perspectives from Randall Stross, who published Steve Jobs and the Next Big Thing in 1993. The book was one of the harshest Jobs profiles I've come across, although it seemed relatively objective and well-written at the time. Despite all of the rosy press for Jobs, Apple, and Pixar lately, a Bill Gates quote from a recent interview --
"It's great for Apple to get attention. I was there when the Macintosh was launched in 1984 creating the template for graphical user interface. We believe in the PC. We actually agree with Apple that the PC in its general-purpose richness will play a strong role in the home vision. Now we're doing more with that than they are, but that's actually a common view. The more attention that's paid to this digital-media space, the better it is."
... is a timely reminder that this race is far from over.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Yahoo! News - Kids Opt for Kerry in Bellwether Online Poll

Yahoo! News - Kids Opt for Kerry in Bellwether Online Poll: "The kids have spoken, and it's Sen. John Kerry with a convincing victory over President Bush on Nov. 2.
An unusual opinion poll that has correctly predicted the winner of the last four presidential elections has given Democratic challenger Kerry 57 percent against 43 percent for Bush, according to results released on Wednesday.
The Nickelodeon cable channel, better known for programs "SpongeBob Squarepants" and "Jimmy Neutron," conducted "Kids Vote," an online survey of almost 400,000 children on Tuesday.
Nickelodeon, a unit of Viacom Inc., has organized its poll every election since 1988, and has a 100 percent record of picking the winner.
"The 'Kids' Vote' seems to work as a good barometer of the actual presidential vote because, developmentally, kids between the ages of two and 11 share the same opinions and outlooks as their parents," said Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon Television."

The New York Times > Technology > Rah-Rah, Sis-Boom-Bah for Google! Or Not

The New York Times > Technology > Rah-Rah, Sis-Boom-Bah for Google! Or Not: "Such an enormous increase in the value of a company over a few weeks recalls the day in December 1998 when Henry Blodget, then an analyst for Oppenheimer & Company, famously predicted that, then trading at $240, would soon rise to $400. It reached that target in three weeks. Three years later, Amazon shares were selling for one-tenth that price.
'We have seen this before,' said Jake Zamansky, a New York lawyer who has represented investors who claim they were misled by brokerage firms. 'Google is another bubble that will burst. Next year we will bring claims by investors who were hyped to buying Google by analysts with a herd mentality.'
Still, Google is by no means like the start-ups that had Web addresses but no profits.
Its revenue is expected to be about $3 billion this year and its profit margin would be the envy of any company. Even so, skeptics question whether the five-year-old company - now with a total market value of $47 billion - is really in the same league as the world's largest media companies like the News Corporation, Disney and Viacom."

Friday, October 22, 2004

PBS | I, Cringely . The Diddy Factor

PBS | I, Cringely . The Diddy Factor: "My other topic this week is what I'm calling the Diddy Factor, named for hip-hop entrepreneur P. Diddy, who is headlining an ad campaign right now on cable TV urging young American music fans to register and vote in the coming Presidential election. I think the impact of this get-out-the-vote campaign is being underestimated. A communication revolution is taking place right now, and simultaneously, creating confounding influences on presidential tracking polls. All the polls right now say close to the same thing, that the race for President is neck and neck, but I'm here to predict that it is not. I'm sticking my neck out a bit, but I'm pretty confident that the polls are wrong. What's most interesting is why we aren't being told that.
Anna Greenberg of pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research told the BBC, or example, that only three percent of Americans use their mobile phones as a sole communication device, but the FCC said two years ago that five percent of U.S. homes have only mobile phone service and that 15 percent of university students have only mobile phone service. And with 77 million U.S. mobile phones owned by people age 18-24, many of those supposedly counted are probably still associated with a parent's hard-wired telephone number but are really mobile. So the numbers of unpolled votes could be huge.
Now how about Diddy and all the others urging young people to register and vote in the upcoming Presidential election? Their stated goal is 20 million new voters (out of a total of perhaps 110-120 million voters) and given the fervent message and extensive advertising on MTV, VH1 and elsewhere, that goal just might be reached, presumably with most of those kids voting for Kerry, the Democratic challenger. If the polls are skewed, then Kerry is actually doing much better and can probably expect a comfortable win."

More insightful analysis from Robert X. Cringely.

Tangent: while this may be an issue localized to my PC, this is one of several sites lately that responds immediately with Firefox but goes into some kind of infinite loop in IE. Hmmm.

Must read: HP's cease and desist letter to Sun | Between the Lines |

Must read: HP's cease and desist letter to Sun | Between the Lines | "When the news originally surfaced two weeks ago that HP had sent a cease and desist letter to Sun COO and president Jonathan Schwartz who was regularly bashing HP in his personal blog, the text of HP's letter was no where to be found. Now that the September 28-dated letter is published, we finally get to see the he said / she said."

Strikingly similar to the interaction context described in my previous post... but probably also an important leading indicator of blogs having to morph in order to better align with reality.

News From Mudville: Bush Team Slams Kerry's Red Sox Pitch (

News From Mudville: Bush Team Slams Kerry's Red Sox Pitch ( "Shortly before the start of Wednesday night's decisive game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, the Bush campaign carpet-bombed reporters with an e-mail that accused John Kerry of 'sports pandering.' The release ridiculed the Massachusetts senator for being 'against sports before he was for them' and went on to catalogue 'Kerry's sports flubs' -- such as when he called the Green Bay Packers' stadium 'Lambert Field' (instead of Lambeau Field) and when he referred to nonexistent Red Sox slugger 'Manny Ortiz' (a hybrid of actual sluggers Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz).
The Bushies were attempting to spin Kerry's triumphant association with his hometown Red Sox -- who were on their way to the World Series -- into something that feeds their recurring caricature: that he is not a real sports fan but someone who poses as one."

Even "reality TV" isn't this stupid...

The New York Times > Business > Sales of PC's Buoy Results at Microsoft

The New York Times > Business > Sales of PC's Buoy Results at Microsoft: "Analysts said that one reason for the tepid reaction among investors was that fewer Microsoft customers than expected renewed their software subscriptions.
One result was that Microsoft reported that its deferred revenue, or money that is booked from subscription sales, dropped $395 million in the quarter.
Earlier, the company had projected that its deferred revenue would drop $200 million to $300 million. Some Wall Street analysts had projected that the drop would be less than $150 million. Generally, Wall Street had been watching the deferred revenue figure closely, even though it represents a fraction of Microsoft's overall sales."

CRN | Breaking News | Ballmer Calls Linux Threat Overblown, Touts Progress With Office, Security

CRN | Breaking News | Ballmer Calls Linux Threat Overblown, Touts Progress With Office, Security: "'There is no appreciable amount of Linux on the client anywhere in the world,' Ballmer said in response to questions from Gartner analysts. 'People can read the drama stories. ... They read about the city of Paris. It said it would adopt Linux. Well, the study came back, and there's no ROI case for Linux for the next seven to eight years.'
"If I can say nothing else, we've learned a lot more about security than anyone else in the world. That's the good news and the bad news of being in our position of market share," he said. "We need to engineer in fewer vulnerabilities going forward and have a whole new set of development tools to do so. To spot potential vulnerabilities, we've trained our engineers differently, and it makes a dramatic difference, as seen in [Windows] XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003. I can't say all vulnerabilities will be eliminated. Hackers get smarter, too, and threats get more sophisticated.""

Ballmer Says Longhorn Wave Is Coming

Ballmer Says Longhorn Wave Is Coming: "This year has been a quiet one for Longhorn, the next version of Windows, although that situation is going to change, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Interviewed by Gartner analysts this week during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2004 conference in Orlando, Florida, Ballmer said that the Longhorn wave of products--which will include new versions of Microsoft Office, Windows, and Windows Server, among other products--is finally on track.
Ballmer touched on one of the more controversial Longhorn topics--the recently delayed WinFS storage engine--and noted that progress is being made, 'just not good enough for the 2006 [Longhorn client] delivery.' Instead, WinFS will ship as a free Longhorn add-on a year later, when Longhorn Server ships.
According to recent internal schedules I've seen, Longhorn and Office 12 are set to arrive concurrently on May 22, 2006."

The New York Times > Technology > At Google, Earnings Soar, and Share Price Follows

The New York Times > Technology > At Google, Earnings Soar, and Share Price Follows: "Several financial analysts said on Thursday that they were still trying to understand what the company's business would be over a longer period because the company has kept much of its strategy closely held, even after going public.
'We can't adequately answer the question of whether the company's stock is overvalued until we can tell what the company is,' said David M. Garrity, a financial analyst with Caris & Company, an investment firm in New York.
However, he added that the broader underlying outline is that the company intends to use software technology made available freely to its customers to drive traffic and that could be a model that would be difficult for rivals like Microsoft to compete against.
'Google is making a mockery of existing technology solutions, to wit, Microsoft,' he said." - Yahoo Acquires Stata Labs - Yahoo Acquires Stata Labs: "Yahoo Inc. appeared to move a step closer to challenging Google Inc. in searchable Web mail, acquiring the start-up behind the powerful e-mail application Bloomba.
It was Yahoo's second purchase this year of an e-mail start-up following the July acquisition of Oddpost Inc.
Bloomba was launched last year by San Mateo, Calif.-based Stata Labs. Many analysts praised it as being more nimble and elegant than Microsoft's Outlook, but doubted Bloomba could survive without a larger patron.
However, the $60 product will be discontinued and Yahoo has no plans to sell Bloomba or its accompanying spam filter software, SA Proxy Pro, Stata Labs said on its Web site."

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Microsoft Reports Record First Quarter Earnings

Microsoft Reports Record First Quarter Earnings "Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $9.19 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2004, a 12% increase over revenue of $8.22 billion for the same period in the prior year. Operating income for the first quarter was $4.05 billion and net income was $2.90 billion. Diluted earnings per share exceeded Microsoft’s guidance by $0.02 and were $0.27 including stock-based compensation expense.
“We've had a strong beginning to what we expect will be a very good year with continued growth in both our commercial and consumer businesses," said John Connors, chief financial officer at Microsoft. "This quarter we had a very healthy commercial server and desktop business driving double digit revenue growth, and we expect to continue the trend of growing revenue faster than expenses as we work to make each of our businesses more efficient and profitable.”

From the earnings release PowerPoint details: Microsoft now has $64.4B cash and short-term investments.

Peter O'Kelly's Reality Check: fun with AdSense

Peter O'Kelly's Reality Check: fun with AdSense Hmm -- a moment ago, Google's AdSense placed the following at the top of my blog:
" End Procrastination Now: Hypnotize yourself, get things done Be excited in just one CD session
Stop Procrastination Now: Achieve greater results today Free goals, plans, attitude CD
Stop Procrastination Now: How your life would be today if you had done everything on time?
Time Management Tips: Learn time management techniques plus organizing and planning."

Somehow I don't think this is a good sign...

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > State of the Art: Google Takes On Your Desktop

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > State of the Art: Google Takes On Your Desktop: "Of course, every operating system offers a Find command. But the one in Windows is not, ahem, Microsoft's finest work. It requires too many clicks, it asks too many questions, it takes forever, it can't search your e-mail and its results are difficult to interpret. As a final insult, Microsoft endowed the supposedly ultramodern Windows XP with a cartoon dog that appears during the searching, as though to say, 'We know this is taking a long time, but hey, watch the puppy!'
But already, Google Desktop Search has many rivals. Lookout (, for example, is a free- add-on for Microsoft Outlook that can search not only your e-mail but also your address book, calendar, e-mail attachments and even files on your hard drive. Microsoft liked it so much that it bought the company.
There's more power and flexibility to be had in programs like Blinkx (, free), Lycos Hotbot Desktop (, free), Enfish (, $50 and $200) and DT Search (, $200). For example, these programs can search more kinds of files than Google Desktop. Whereas Google searches only your main (C:) hard drive, its rivals can search secondary drives and removable disks (like CD's), and the expensive ones can even search other computers on your network. Most come in free trial versions, so if you're Google-phobic, by all means give them a shot.
You'll learn from the experiment, though: with great power comes great interface clutter. Few of those rivals can touch the familiarity, speed and simplicity of Google Desktop, and they don't offer Google's delicious photographic-memory feature. If you use Windows XP or 2000 - and especially if you use Outlook, Outlook Express, Internet Explorer or AOL Instant Messenger - download Google Desktop Search. You have nothing to lose but Fido the Time-Killing Windows Dog."

Barry Talks! : Common Sense for Uncommon Times: Why I'm Not Voting for Bush - III

Barry Talks! : Common Sense for Uncommon Times: Why I'm Not Voting for Bush - III: "Few, I would imagine, would accuse our federal bureaucracy of acting with great intelligence. Still, in the past four years the American government has adopted a culture of stupidity unparalleled in history."

More important insights from Barry Briggs.

Business 2.0 :: Magazine Article :: In Front :: Microsoft's Worst Nightmare

Business 2.0 :: Magazine Article :: In Front :: Microsoft's Worst Nightmare: "Blake Ross is lounging at his parents' Florida Keys condo, thinking ahead to his first day back at Stanford. His goal for his sophomore year: nothing less than to 'take back the Web' from Microsoft (MSFT).
You might think the shy 19-year-old is outmatched. Think again. Ross, a software prodigy who interned at Netscape at age 14, is the lead architect behind Mozilla's Firefox -- a revolutionary new browser that's catching on the way Mosaic did in 1993. In beta for the past four months, Firefox version 1.0 is set to be released in November. With that, Ross will issue the first truly formidable challenge to Internet Explorer that the world has seen in seven years."

Microsoft Unveils Next-Generation Real-Time Collaboration Client

Microsoft Unveils Next-Generation Real-Time Collaboration Client: "As the preferred client for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server, 'Istanbul' will enhance the business user experience:
* Enhancing presence and real-time collaboration. With 'Istanbul,' presence becomes richer as additional availability data, including out-of-office information, is included. In addition, users are able to control their communications based on their presence.
* Improving usability. 'Istanbul' will help business users take advantage of advanced communications capabilities more easily by consolidating applications into a single interface including instant messaging, conferencing and traditional telephony.
* Member of the Microsoft Office System. With 'Istanbul' and Live Communications Server, presence and communications capabilities become a richer part of the Microsoft Office experience, including integration with Microsoft Office Live Meeting. End users will be able to initiate collaboration directly from their already familiar desktop applications."

Microsoft Touts Next-Generation Corporate IM Product with VoIP Support

Microsoft Touts Next-Generation Corporate IM Product with VoIP Support: "According to Gupta, Istanbul will combine IM with presence functionality, video and voice chatting, and Voice over IP (VoIP)-based telephony services. The presence functionality is a feature Microsoft has been promising for its communications products for some time. It will tell users where online contacts are physically and how they're connected to the network (i.e., via PC, smart phone, or another method). The VoIP services are a new development and will let users make phone calls using inexpensive IP-based networks such as the Internet.

Gupta said that integrating so many communications services into one product will let users choose how to respond to communications based on their current capabilities and needs. For example, if you receive an email, you can choose to respond via IM or a VoIP phone call. You can also use Istanbul to set up instant remote meetings with other contacts. These meetings can include up to 25 people and feature file-sharing and document-collaboration capabilities between the attendees.
Microsoft is positioning Istanbul--along with existing products such as Live Communications Server and Live Meeting--as part of the Microsoft Office System product family. This approach suggests that Istanbul will be a licensed rather than free product and will likely require Live Communications Server on the server end. Microsoft says it will ship the Istanbul client in the first half of 2005. "

The New York Times > Technology > Coming Soon to Your Pocket: High-Definition TV Phones

The New York Times > Technology > Coming Soon to Your Pocket: High-Definition TV Phones: "Miniature mobile phones, which already double as cameras, Internet devices and music players, are poised to merge with the largest of home appliances, the television.
The cellphone industry is working to build phones able to receive high-definition television signals over the air, even though HDTV has yet to make its way into most American living rooms."

File under "mixed blessing..."

(p.s., Paul: the next Dell Pocket PC device will have 640x480...) - Personal Technology: These Services Search Beyond the Internet And Offer New Formats - Personal Technology: "For years, the competition in the search business has focused on finding things on the Web quickly and accurately. And Google has been widely perceived as the winner.
But the competition in search is taking a new turn. Instead of focusing solely on accuracy and speed, new search services -- including a new one from Google itself -- are working on searching things other than Web sites, and on presenting search results in novel ways.
I've been testing four of these new search products -- Google's new Desktop Search, Amazon's A9 search site, Yahoo's My Yahoo Search and a service named Clusty from a small company called Vivisimo. I like them all, though whether they work for you will depend a lot on your personal working style and the way you want your information served up." - Ahead of the Tape: Microsoft's Downshift - Ahead of the Tape: Microsoft's Downshift: "The idea that Microsoft won't grow like it used to appears to have filtered to its shareholder base. At $28.70, its shares are at a level they first breached in mid-1998. Over the intervening six years, Microsoft's annual revenues have more than doubled and the amount of cash on its balance sheet has surged. Take it with a grain of salt, but it's gotten to the point where despite modest growth expectations, analysts can safely argue that Microsoft shares are inexpensive."

The New York Times > Sports > Baseball > Boston Wins Series, 4-3: Red Sox' Anguish and Yankees' Mystique Dissolve in Game 7

The New York Times > Sports > Baseball > Boston Wins Series, 4-3: Red Sox' Anguish and Yankees' Mystique Dissolve in Game 7: "They had been reliable caretakers of a cosmic curse, feasting for decades on the gift that kept on giving: Babe Ruth, purchased from the Boston Red Sox in 1920, and all the championship karma he brought with him.
The rules were very simple. The Yankees won and their rivals lost, often painfully, eternal justice for the worst trade in baseball history. The Red Sox still have not won a World Series in 86 years. But they got there last night, playing the Babe's game in the house that he built.
With a barrage of four home runs - all pulled into the right-field seats, where Ruth once took aim - the Red Sox eliminated the Yankees with a 10-3 victory in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium."

The first of two stunning come-from-behind victories for Boston over the next two weeks (i.e., the second will be 11/2, but I also have high hopes for the Red Sox in the World Series :)...)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Microsoft scales back Passport ambitions

Microsoft scales back Passport ambitions: "Microsoft is recasting ambitions for its .Net Passport identification system, saying the service now will be limited to its own online offerings and those of close partners. Microsoft no longer sees Passport as a single sign-on system for the Web at large, a spokeswoman said.
"Liberty changed the dynamic, simply because we came out very quickly and said that centralized is not the right model, essentially because there are parties that will never trust one centralized identity source," he said. "By the end of 2002, nobody was talking about Passport... it was remarkable how fast the centralized idea died.""

Windows Server System Magazine - Database Management System Market Dynamics

Windows Server System Magazine - Database Management System Market Dynamics: "Database management systems (DBMSs) have a fundamental role in application platforms, but there is currently a lot of market confusion about how, when, where, and why DBMSs should be used. This column provides an overview of DBMS trends and the reasons why DBMSs have a resurgent and expanding role in the broader application platform landscape. The next Trends & Analysis column will assess how Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 product family fits into both the emerging DBMS market landscape and Microsoft's overall Windows Server System strategy."

FYI my latest Windows Server System Magazine column.

Microsoft sets summer delivery of SQL Server | CNET

Microsoft sets summer delivery of SQL Server | CNET "Microsoft said it will deliver its much-anticipated SQL Server 2005 database by next summer and pushed back the timing of a third beta testing program.
Earlier in the year, Microsoft delayed the delivery of SQL Server 2005, code-named Yukon, from the end of this year to the first half of 2005. On Monday, the company sent a letter to beta testers, saying a final product will be available next summer." Bono's IPod Bono's IPod: "Rock band U2 has cut a deal with Apple Computer to sell custom iPods promoting the band's forthcoming album.
Sources close to the group say the U2 edition of the popular digital music player will come preloaded with the band's new album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, along with portions of the Irish supergroup's 25-year catalogue. The iPods will be black and will be made available the same week as the band's 11th studio album, which is slated to be released in the U.S. by Universal Music Group's Interscope Records on November 23. "

(Warning: page includes what appears to be a network connection-killing Java-based multimedia ad...)

The New York Times > AP > Technology > Microsoft to Debut 'Istanbul' Application

The New York Times > AP > Technology > Microsoft to Debut 'Istanbul' Application: "Microsoft Corp. introduced on Tuesday a desktop computer application that aims to seamlessly integrate e-mail, instant messaging, video conferencing, traditional phone service and Internet-based calling.
Microsoft plans to debut the product, code-named ``Istanbul,'' sometime in the first half of 2005. It will compete with efforts from rivals including IBM Corp. and smaller players such as Convoq Inc. to link together various channels of communications and promote their most effective use." - The Mossberg Solution: High-Speed Internet Without a PC - The Mossberg Solution: High-Speed Internet Without a PC: "What about those features for advanced users? Well, curiously, MSN TV 2 can be used as a home media-streaming device, a hot new type of gadget that lets PC owners play back on a TV all the photos, videos and music stored on a PC's hard disk in another part of the house.
Because this requires a PC, and some knowledge of networks and PC file systems, it's unlikely to appeal to the product's core audience of techno novices. And, even if a PC user bought and used MSN TV 2 expressly for this purpose, he or she would still have to pay the minimum $10-a-month service fee, which other media-streaming gadgets don't charge. So we view this aspect of the product as relatively unimportant.
As an Internet device for the non-PC household, however, the MSN TV 2 is a good choice. It's well-designed and extremely user-friendly. If someone you know isn't ready for a computer, this is a good substitute."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Microsoft updates corporate IM | CNET

Microsoft updates corporate IM | CNET "he new enterprise IM client, code-named Istanbul, resembles the Windows Messenger software that's currently found in Windows XP. The difference is that a user's IM information is synchronized with Outlook's calendar and scheduling information. Istanbul further connects to common desk phones and serves up an alert when someone calls. People can then route the call to their cell phone or voice mail box.
Istanbul is a feature within Microsoft's Live Communications Server 2005, software that initially launched as a way for companies to offer secure IM to their employees."

Wired News: Inventor Rejoices as TVs Go Dark

Wired News: Inventor Rejoices as TVs Go Dark: "Altman's key-chain fob was a TV-B-Gone, a new universal remote that turns off almost any television. The device, which looks like an automobile remote, has just one button. When activated, it spends over a minute flashing out 209 different codes to turn off televisions, the most popular brands first.
For Altman, founder of Silicon Valley data-storage maker 3ware, the TV-B-Gone is all about freeing people from the attention-sapping hold of omnipresent television programming. The device is also providing hours of entertainment for its inventor."

CRN | Breaking News | Red Hat Hires Sun VP To Focus On Desktop Strategy

CRN | Breaking News | Red Hat Hires Sun VP To Focus On Desktop Strategy: "Red Hat Inc. on Monday took the next step in its push to branch out beyond providing the Linux open-source operating system. The company appointed former Sun Microsystems VP Karen Tegan Padir as VP of Red Hat's new desktop infrastructure technologies group, putting her in charge of the strategy to provide a desktop version of Linux.
The group grew out of a task force the company launched earlier this year to investigate desktop Linux technologies and marketing strategies. Tegan Padir, who joined Sun in 1993, will report to Paul Cormier, Red Hat's executive VP of engineering.
Tegan Padir, who will work out of Red Hat's Westford, Mass., Engineering Competency Center, is one of the founding members of Sun's J2EE organization, where she managed the creation of specifications, compatibility test suites, blueprints, and guided implementations of Java in the enterprise. Most recently, Tegan Padir was responsible for the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition; Java System Application Server products; and Java System Message Queue, Integration Server, and Database technologies."

Q&A: Red Hat exec talks of challenges to open-source - Computerworld

Q&A: Red Hat exec talks of challenges to open-source - Computerworld: "The Linux Standard Base 2.0 of the Free Standards Group attempts to get some standardization into various distributions of Linux. When will Red Hat start shipping LSB 2.0-compliant products? We are really looking towards LSB 3.0, because the 2.0 compromise is not compatible with prior decisions we have made with respect to C . We have been very successful to certify against LSB Version 1.0, and we will continue to stay compatible with that. We think 2.0 overreached in what it was trying to do. We have it from the LSB people that there will be a 3.0 out in less than six months, and we are quite confident that that version will be adequate for our needs and everybody else's."

Boingo Wireless and Vonage(R) Team to Simplify Wireless VoIP Services

Boingo Wireless and Vonage(R) Team to Simplify Wireless VoIP Services: "Boingo Wireless and Vonage Holdings Corp., the leading broadband telephony provider in North America, today announced a relationship that teams two industry innovators in an effort to simplify voice over Wi-Fi services and make them more accessible to customers.
In the first phase of their partnership, the companies have agreed to co-market a service bundle that includes Vonage's SoftPhone service and Boingo's Wi-Fi service. The XPRO SoftPhone, from XTEN, the preferred Softphone Client utilized by Vonage is available for personal computers running Windows 98SE/NT/ME/2000/XP/MACOS-X operating systems. Mobile travelers using this product can access the Vonage service from almost any Internet connected personal computer. It provides increased mobility of the Vonage service, while maintaining the same quality of service consumers have come to expect from Vonage."

Another bump in Microsofts Windows roadmap - Computer Business Review

Another bump in Microsofts Windows roadmap - Computer Business Review: "Microsoft Corp has re-stated plans to ship an updated version of Windows Server 2003 next year, but removed a major security component from the planned operating system.
The Network Access Protection (NAP) program, backed by more than 25 partners when announced earlier this year, is now planned in the Longhorn Server operating system - expected during the 2007 timeframe with a beta in the second half of 2005."

Microsoft to Ship Windows Server 2003 SP1 RC by Year's End

Microsoft to Ship Windows Server 2003 SP1 RC by Year's End: "In related news, Microsoft told me in a briefing Friday that the Windows 2003 installed base has finally surpassed that of Windows NT, making Windows 2003 the second most prevalent Windows Server version, after Windows 2000 Server. Microsoft expects the Windows 2003 installed base to surpass Win2K Server by the end of 2005. The company also noted that Windows 2003 deployments are up 375 percent this year." - IBM Earnings Beat Expectations - IBM Earnings Beat Expectations: "By business segment, the strongest performer for IBM in the quarter was its enterprise-systems group, which makes servers and storage systems. The unit reported pretax income rose 32% as sales jumped 9%, led by mainframes and servers powered by Intel Corp. chips. The earnings improvement was fueled by a return to profitability by the semiconductor segment, which was unprofitable a year ago.
The personal-computer business eked out a small profit, as sales rose 17%, led by surging laptop sales. Software sales rose 4.6%, while earnings soared 18%.
IBM's big services group, which accounts for half of overall revenue, reported 10% revenue growth, but pretax income declined slightly. IBM's closely watched backlog of business -- mostly made up of its longtime service-outsourcing contracts -- fell to $110 billion from $118 billion, partly because of the previously announced decision by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to cancel a $5 billion outsourcing contract under which IBM was running computer operations for the financial-services company."

InfoWorld: Study: Mobile phone use increases brain tumor risk: October 14, 2004: By : TELECOM

InfoWorld: Study: Mobile phone use increases brain tumor risk: October 14, 2004: By : TELECOM: "Ten or more years of mobile phone use can dramatically increase the risk of developing a benign tumor on the auditory nerve, according to a study conducted by the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.
The Institute found that the risk of developing the tumors, known as acoustic neuromas, almost doubled for persons who started using their mobile phone at least 10 years before diagnosis. What's more, the risk increase was confined to the side of the head where the phone was usually held, according to results of the study released Wednesday."

Monday, October 18, 2004

Firefox - Rediscover the web [I'm now multi-browsered...]

Firefox - Rediscover the web [I'm now multi-browsered...] FYI I'm now using Firefox (as well as IE), initially for Blogger-related activities. IE and Blogger don't get along very well anymore (especially with XP SP2), but Firefox and Blogger, e.g., with Blogger's BlogThis! tool, get along fine, and Blogger's quick edit feature also works consistently in Firefox.

The New York Times > Technology > Google Envy Is Fomenting Search Wars

The New York Times > Technology > Google Envy Is Fomenting Search Wars: "Future competition for domination of the Internet may also mean refighting the battles of the past - in particular, the Web browser wars. There have been reports that Microsoft's control of the browser market may be loosening. America Online, for example, is thought to be preparing to re-enter the market with a new browser.
Google is also rumored to be developing a Web browser as part of its strategy to defend itself against Microsoft, whose new Web search service will almost certainly be integrated into Internet Explorer.
'If you drive by the Google buildings in the evening,' said a person who has detailed knowledge of the company's business, 'the lights that are still on are the ones on the floor where they are working on the browser.'"

News @ Cisco: Cisco and Microsoft Team to Improve Network Security

News @ Cisco: Cisco and Microsoft Team to Improve Network Security: "What are the terms of the collaboration?
Bob Muglia: As a first step, we've agreed to ensure that Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) and Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP) security architectures will work together by understanding and passing enforcement decisions between them. Cisco and Microsoft will share application programmer interfaces (APIs) and protocols to ensure that compatibility. As a result, customers will be able to deploy components of each architecture that best serve their needs
Jayshree Ullal: This is a long-term, multi-phased collaboration to share and integrate each other's network security products and technologies. This will make it easier for our customers to defend their IT resources and manage their security. Specifically, Cisco is giving Microsoft a license to evaluate the Cisco NAC wire protocol for use as part of the Microsoft quarantine system, and Microsoft is giving Cisco a license to evaluate the Microsoft NAP client and server APIs as a way to build interoperability into future versions of Cisco NAC. Cisco and Microsoft have also pledged to work toward driving industry standards in network admissions and access control technologies to help promote wide market adoption, making integrated security defenses more viable." - Cisco and Microsoft to Cooperate On Computer-Security Issues - Cisco and Microsoft to Cooperate On Computer-Security Issues: "Cisco Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. said they would work together on computer-security issues, in an attempt to address concerns that the two high-tech giants were headed in different directions.
In the past year, Cisco, the dominant maker of computer-networking equipment, and Microsoft, whose software runs the vast majority of personal computers and many corporate computer servers, had each laid out strategies for protecting corporate networks from threats such as worms and viruses. Both approaches generally would require computers to be checked for viruses and antivirus software before they are allowed access to a corporate network.
But the two approaches differed in many technical details, including which machines would run the protective software. That prompted concerns from corporate tech managers, most of whom rely on both Cisco, San Jose, Calif., and Microsoft, Redmond, Wash." / Business / Technology / Full disclosure overdue from high-tech analysts / Business / Technology / Full disclosure overdue from high-tech analysts: "The world of the tech analysts is in need of greater transparency, and fast. Over the past four years, as the firms have suffered through the downturn, they've begun to cuddle up more closely to their customers, working on special consulting projects and publishing more research funded by a single company. (Forrester's reputation got dinged last fall when it issued a report, paid for by Microsoft, that found -- surprise -- that Microsoft's tools for building Web portals were better than Linux. Aberdeen suffered harsh criticism in The Wall Street Journal in 2002 for its 'pay for praise' policies; a new chief executive is trying to patch things up.)

'You've got far more disclosure today in the financial industry,' says Ian Campbell, a founder of Nucleus Research, a small Wellesley firm. 'Look at a Gartner `magic quadrant',' a matrix-like diagram that presents the relative merits of different technology vendors, produced by a Connecticut market research firm to help IT buyers make better decisions. How many of the companies included in the quadrant 'are and aren't paying clients of Gartner?' Campbell asked."

Google tops Microsoft with new PC search tool

Google tops Microsoft with new PC search tool: "Google itself offered a solution Thursday, beating rival Microsoft to market with a free program for quickly searching by keyword through e-mail messages, previously viewed Web pages, archived chat sessions, word-processing documents and other files on Windows PCs.
The long-rumored program, called Google Desktop Search, adds a new dimension to Google's competition with Microsoft by further blurring the line between Web-based programs and traditional desktop software, which revolves around the Redmond company's ubiquitous Windows operating system."

Thursday, October 14, 2004 - Apple, Paced by Sales of iPods, Sees Profit and Revenue Surge - Apple, Paced by Sales of iPods, Sees Profit and Revenue Surge "Apple's numbers show how the company continues to change from a traditional computer maker to a digital-entertainment company, with a particular focus in digital music. The growth in iPod sales was striking. The Cupertino, Calif., computer maker sold more than two million iPods during the quarter. In the same quarter a year earlier, Apple sold 336,000 of the devices; in the fiscal third quarter ended in June, Apple sold 860,000 iPods.
Despite strong growth of iPod unit sales, Apple's Macintosh machines remained the biggest revenue generators. While iPods delivered $537 million of revenue, or 22.9% of overall revenue, Macintosh computers produced $1.23 billion, or more than 50%, of overall revenue. The company introduced an iMac G5 desktop computer in August. But Macintosh computer-revenue growth was up just 2.6% from a year ago."

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Microsoft's Media Center packs sticker shocker | CNET

Microsoft's Media Center packs sticker shocker | CNET "Despite all the changes Microsoft is touting with the new version of Media Center, the biggest change may be one that the company barely mentions: the price drop.
With the first two versions, the software maker sold Windows XP Media Center edition for more even than the professional edition sold to businesses. This time, Microsoft has priced the software somewhere between Windows XP Home and Windows XP Pro, CNET has learned."


Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Review

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Review "When we talked about Media Center in the past, we tended to refer to it as the version of Windows that came with a remote [control]," Belfiore said. "But it's also worth mentioning that in this version in particular Media Center represents the version of Windows that is the highest end, most complete, and best version of Windows, even when you're sitting at your desk using your mouse and keyboard. It's the best PC experience you can get as a consumer."

Detailed review

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Review

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Review "When we talked about Media Center in the past, we tended to refer to it as the version of Windows that came with a remote [control]," Belfiore said. "But it's also worth mentioning that in this version in particular Media Center represents the version of Windows that is the highest end, most complete, and best version of Windows, even when you're sitting at your desk using your mouse and keyboard. It's the best PC experience you can get as a consumer."

Detailed review - Bill Gates, Entertainer - Bill Gates, Entertainer
WSJ: What makes this the right time for Microsoft and other big companies to put more emphasis on digital entertainment?
Mr. Gates: We came out with Media Center initially a few years ago. We had modest expectations and those expectations were met. As the hardware has gotten better, the software has gotten better ... we raised our expectations. We have raised them pretty dramatically for what's going to happen next year. It will be way more than all the previous years put together.
The video will probably surprise people the most -- where you can get in and get news stories and just pick the kind of news stories that you are interested in. Or you can get videos that would never come out through a broadcast infrastructure. That stuff is coming out on the Internet.
WSJ: Apple has attracted a lot of attention with its digital-music efforts. Is that frustrating?
Mr. Gates: No. It's great. The fact that the music scenario is maturing, it's more and more digital.
It's great for Apple to get attention. I was there when the Macintosh was launched in 1984 creating the template for graphical user interface. We believe in the PC. We actually agree with Apple that the PC in its general-purpose richness will play a strong role in the home vision. Now we're doing more with that than they are, but that's actually a common view. The more attention that's paid to this digital-media space, the better it is."

Transform Magazine - Oracle ECM: 'SharePoint on Steroids'

Transform Magazine - Oracle ECM: 'SharePoint on Steroids': "Oracle quickly confirmed the gist of Ovum's report, but it declined to discuss details of Tsunami's architecture or pricing. As part of Collaboration Suite, it's clear the product will be built on the company's database rather than a separate content repository managed by the database. This is the same model used by Microsoft in its SharePoint offering, but PelzShape described it as 'SharePoint on steroids.'
The approach of using a database rather than a dedicated repository was 'difficult to defend five years ago,' says Pelz-Sharpe, 'but with technology advances, today it stands up more vigorously to defense.' Tsunami will likely serve broad document and content management applications rather than specialized, high-end departmental needs. "

Tuesday, October 12, 2004 | 10/12/2004 | Bid may be cut by a third | 10/12/2004 | Bid may be cut by a third: "A top Oracle executive testified Monday that the software giant may lower its $21-a-share bid for rival PeopleSoft by as much as one-third.
Oracle Co-President Safra Catz, who first approached Chief Executive Larry Ellison with the idea of buying PeopleSoft, said the Pleasanton company's recent weak financial performance is the key reason Redwood Shores-based Oracle is contemplating lowering its $7.7 billion offer.
``The direction is down significantly,'' she said in response to questions from her attorneys in the Delaware Chancery Court, according to the Associated Press."

CRN | News | Office Server Salvo

CRN | News | Office Server Salvo "The Office System lineup, which includes mostly client offerings such as Word, Excel and Visio, is slated to get an InfoPath server in the Office 12 2006 time frame, sources said. An InfoPath server, which would ease forms distribution among far-flung users, likely will be just one in a series of server-side offerings carrying the Office moniker."

Monday, October 11, 2004 Coming soon: Laszlo (presentation server optional) Coming soon: Laszlo (presentation server optional) "Once you decide you're making a server rather than a compiler to deliver rich applications, there are all kinds of features you can contemplate that could not be delivered via (say) an LZX->SWF standalone compiler. Real-time data push, transcoding, and server-based data connectors and filters are examples of this. But in fact the core value of an RIA platform for most applications lies in the programming model (markup language, client app framework). Were it not for (1) the deficiencies of the Flash 5 Player, and (2) the low perceived value of compilers and runtime libraries, it would have been possible to package most of Laszlo's functionality without the need for a runtime server.
With Laszlo's new business model built on top of an open-source platform, we are now in a position to make the presentation server an optional component of a Laszlo deployment. Sometime over the next few months, we'll release a build that allows you to compile LZX files on a developer's machine, and post the resulting SWF to a Web server. The SWF in the browser will communicate with XML and media sources directly, with no intervening presentation (proxy) server. For many Laszlo applications, this will mean no need to install Java on the server, no need to deal with new servlets or test presentation server scalability.
We're expecting that serverless deployment, coupled with open source, will go a long way toward making it easier to deploy rich Internet applications, particularly at high scale. And it's yet another reason to select Laszlo as a platform, compared to the presentation-server-required competition."

Microsoft Notebook: Gates preps to pitch 'XP Reloaded'

Microsoft Notebook: Gates preps to pitch 'XP Reloaded' "Nearly three years have passed since Microsoft Corp. released the last full version of Windows, the Redmond company's most important and profitable product. But when Bill Gates takes the stage tomorrow morning at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, he won't be launching a new generation of the flagship operating system.
He'll be looking to stir up some new interest in the existing one.
Microsoft is expected to use the event to unveil a series of new and overhauled digital media products, including a revamped version of its specialized software for watching and recording television and other digital media on a computer.
The company's success or failure in persuading people to upgrade is no small matter when it comes to Microsoft's financial performance. Versions of Windows for personal computers were responsible for $11.5 billion, or more than 31 percent, of the company's fiscal 2004 revenue."

The New York Times > Technology > Phone Line Alchemy: Copper Into Fiber

The New York Times > Technology > Phone Line Alchemy: Copper Into Fiber "The new offering is part of a multibillion-dollar bet by Verizon and the other Bell companies. They are gambling that by going door to door to replace century-old copper wire technology with high-speed fiber optic lines, they can hang onto their most valuable asset: a direct line into the home of each customer.
Verizon and the other regional Bell companies are losing customers by the millions as people drop their old phone lines in favor of cellphones, e-mail and ever cheaper phone services from cable companies."

Burton Group Catalyst Conference

Burton Group Catalyst Conference FYI limited opportunities for blogging this week; I'm in Monaco for Burton Group's annual European Catalyst conference.

NYT: Microsoft’s Latest Plan for TV

NYT: Microsoft’s Latest Plan for TV "Television has been something of a great white whale for the Microsoft Corporation. The company has tried to sell WebTV and build software for TV's and cable boxes. It has even invested billions in cable systems. So far, these efforts have been expensive and have not yet put Microsoft into the position it covets: the maker of the software behind every glowing screen.
Tomorrow, Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman, ventures into Hollywood to announce a renewed assault on a different front in his war of the tube, one that builds on Microsoft's greatest strength: Windows.
Mr. Gates will unveil a new version of the Windows XP Media Center, software that combined with specially configured personal computers from dozens of manufacturers, turns the PC into a photo album, jukebox, DVD player and, most important, a TV set with a built-in recorder.
More importantly, say industry executives, demand will be spurred by a series of new hardware devices using the Windows software that will be introduced tomorrow. Several manufacturers, including Linksys, a unit of Cisco Systems, and Hewlett-Packard, are expected to introduce versions of a product Microsoft announced last January called the Media Center Extender, a device that allows a television signal to be sent from a Media Center computer to a television in another room, by way of a wireless network."

Friday, October 08, 2004 - Oracle Mulls Lowering Bid For PeopleSoft, Ellison Says - Oracle Mulls Lowering Bid For PeopleSoft, Ellison Says: " Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Larry Ellison said discussions within the company at this point are leaning more toward lowering the $21-a-share Oracle is offering for rival PeopleSoft Inc.
Mr. Ellison said Friday that 'acquiring PeopleSoft is very, very important for Oracle's future.' The statement came in the fifth day of testimony at the trial of Oracle's lawsuit against PeopleSoft's corporate anti-takeover measures."

Sun settles Kodak's Java suit for $92 million | CNET

Sun settles Kodak's Java suit for $92 million | CNET "Sun Microsystems has settled a patent suit brought by Eastman Kodak relating to Java software, agreeing to license Kodak's patents for $92 million.
The settlement, announced Thursday, comes less than a week after a jury in U.S. District Court in western New York ruled in Kodak's favor over accusations that Java violated three Kodak patents. Kodak was seeking more than $1 billion in damages.
"It is not much of an overstatement, if any at all, to characterize Kodak's patents as claiming the ownership of the entire concept of delegation--one system or module asking another for assistance executing a task," Eunice said. "The patents reference specific concepts...that are clearly part of Java. But the patents seem to equally describe the execution environment of just about every modern programming language, operating system, (database) engine, messaging broker and application server."

Barry Briggs : Why I'm Not Voting for Bush -- II

Barry Briggs : Why I'm Not Voting for Bush -- II: "Last night I discussed Iraq, probably the most visible and significant issue of this election. Iraq however obscures other important and dangerous issues. Tonight I examine the suppression of Constitutional rights, and I conclude that this President has violated his oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Thursday, October 07, 2004

InfoWorld: Kim Polese returns as head of SpikeSource

InfoWorld: Kim Polese returns as head of SpikeSource "Kim Polese, the woman who coined the term "Java," has found a new job. At the Web 2.0 conference here Thursday, she will unveil a startup called SpikeSource that will provide enterprise support services for open-source software.
The 30-person Bay Area company was founded in 2003 by Chief Technology Officer Murugan Pal, formerly a consultant with SpikeSource investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who was at one time a principal developer in Oracle (Profile, Products, Articles) Corp.'s application server division. Polese, a founder of software vendor Marimba Inc., was hired as chief executive officer (CEO) in the last few months.
SpikeSource's services will be similar to those being prepared by another venture-captial backed startup, SourceLabs Inc., which was publicly announced last week.
"We're both clearly in the same new market," Polese said of SourceLabs. "That's a good thing. Competition makes markets."

Andreessen: IE faces one-two punch | CNET

Andreessen: IE faces one-two punch | CNET "Claiming browser development has been at a standstill since 1998, Andreessen said the recent emergence of competitive software will force Microsoft to pay more attention to developing new features in IE.

However, competition could compel the company to use aggressive tactics to protect its Windows operating system monopoly, he warned. Microsoft's maneuvers against Netscape ensnared the software giant in a lengthy federal antitrust suit. Microsoft was found to have violated antitrust law, but was spared from a breakup of the company.
Andreessen said he doesn't expect Microsoft to change its way of doing things should it detect a threat from Safari and Firefox.
"If I were (Microsoft) I'd take another look, and I would see how I could screw with other people's businesses with this monopoly (I) have," he said."

This just in from the objective observer department...

Barry Talks! : Why I'm Not Voting for Bush - I

Barry Talks! : Why I'm Not Voting for Bush - I "This is the first in a series outlining my reasons for not voting for the current administration. First things first: I am not a Democrat; I have voted Republican more times than not. I voted for Bush the elder in 1988 and 1992, and Bush the younger in 2000.
However, I believe the current administration is leaving the United States in a far worse position than when it found it. Tonight I will discuss what is the central issue in this election, Iraq; in subsequent posts I will describe how the President has violated his oath to protect and defend the Constitution; how he has slowed the pace of the economy and innovation; and how he has betrayed the founding principles of the Republican Party.
I believe this to be the most important election of my lifetime; that is why I am speaking out."

Barry Briggs shares some very timely and important insights.

Yahoo! News - Cheney Blunder Lauded Anti-Bush Web Site

Yahoo! News - Cheney Blunder Lauded Anti-Bush Web Site "Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) probably did not intend to direct millions of television viewers to a Web site calling for President Bush (news - web sites)'s defeat but that's what a slip of the domain achieved.
Anyone who heeded Cheney's advice and clicked on "" on Wednesday morning was redirected to the site of anti-Bush billionaire investor George Soros that had a banner message saying "Why we must not reelect President Bush."
..., run by the Annenberg Center of the University of Pennsylvania, said on its site on Wednesday that Cheney not only got the domain name confused, he had mischaracterized its fact-finding."

Oops... - Google Encroaches on Amazon As Rivalries Grow - Google Encroaches on Amazon As Rivalries Grow "The Web's biggest companies, seeking new avenues for growth, are invading each other's turf with gusto.
The latest example: Search-engine kingpin Google Inc. is introducing a program called Google Print to a broad audience of book publishers that want to let users search the content of their books on the Internet. Google Print is an expansion of an initiative that the company has been testing for several months on a more-modest scale with some publishers.
The move pits Google, of Mountain View, Calif., against a similar effort by Inc. called Search Inside the Book, which lets shoppers sample from more than 100,000 books as an enticement to make a purchase.

The rivalry between Google and Seattle-based Amazon is just one example of how the barriers between once-discrete markets -- such as Web searching, auctions and retail -- gradually are breaking down. The changes are leading to more spirited competition in a variety of areas, including efforts to transform online outposts from ordinary Web sites into integral pieces of software products created by independent programmers."

Wednesday, October 06, 2004 Can Skype Cash In On Free? Can Skype Cash In On Free? "Skype Technologies made a name for itself providing a free Internet telephone program to users around the world. Now it's time to cash in. The company announced today it's planning to launch a paid service for businesses and expand its premium offerings.
"We will be making a special offering towards business users sometime next year in order to better serve their specific needs," says Chief Executive Niklas Zennstrom. Changes to the software will include the ability to integrate Skype's software into corporate intranets or calling directories, allowing users to click on a co-worker's name and automatically initiate a call, as well as simplified group billing for its existing SkypeOut service. Zennstrom said a price has not yet been set.
Other premium products under development include voice mail, custom-built phone hardware including a cordless phone from Siemens (nyse: SI - news - people ) and a gateway to the traditional phone network allowing users to have their own number and receive calls from outside the Skype network.
But even if Skype isn't making its investors much money yet, it's already having an effect on its competitors, putting price pressures on the entire world of telephony.

"It's a threat to the business models of everyone else," says Burton Group analyst David Passmore. "It's in effect something that competes not only with the existing public-switched telephone network, but also competes with these other parasitic services that make use of broadband."

Investor doesn't see browser in Google's future | CNET

Investor doesn't see browser in Google's future | CNET ""Browsers are going to come back...We'll see a lot of innovation," said Doerr, speaking to a roomful of attendees at the Web 2.0 conference here. He added that as new browsers come onto the market, Google's application protocol interfaces and advertising network will be there to plug into and support them.
Doerr later joked, however, that just because he was on the board of Google didn't necessarily mean he knew what they were doing.
More broadly, Doerr said he thought of the next phases of Internet development in terms of the scientific theory known as string theory, which posits that there are seven parallel universes. The 'near' Web represents the PC; the 'far' Web stands for television; the 'here' Web represents mobile devices; the 'business to business' Web for XML, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and other backend technologies; and the 'weird' Web is for 3D experiences or virtual worlds that could be developed. Doerr said he had yet to come up with the seventh."

palmOne Licenses Microsoft Exchange Server Synchronization Protocol for Integration With Next-Generation Treo Smartphones

palmOne Licenses Microsoft Exchange Server Synchronization Protocol for Integration With Next-Generation Treo Smartphones "palmOne, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLMO) today announced that it has licensed Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange Server ActiveSync® protocol to enable the delivery of security-enhanced, wireless and direct synchronization between Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003, part of Windows Server System, and future Palm OS®-based Treo (TM) smartphones. palmOne intends to use the technology to extend the company's device support for Microsoft Exchange Server by adding capability for wireless server-based synchronization.
"The combination of the Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol and mobile solutions from palmOne provides customers with a direct means of extending wireless access to corporate e-mail from their palmOne devices in the field," said Dave Thompson, corporate vice president of the Exchange Server Product Group at Microsoft. "We believe that the combination of Treo smartphones and Exchange Server 2003 can significantly enhance end-user productivity by providing a direct, easily implemented wireless e-mail while simultaneously lowering IT costs by eliminating the need for middleware." - A Hub for Home Entertainment - A Hub for Home Entertainment "Personal computers have rapidly turned into storage vaults for digital music, photos and videos. Now computer-industry companies are rolling out new ways to let that content roam through the house.
Next week, Microsoft Corp. will showcase devices that allow users to ship digital content from PCs to televisions, stereos and other consumer electronics in different parts of the home. Starting mainly with music, the goal is to get digital files to the places where people relax and entertain, instead of restricting content to where they do their computing.
Unlike many digital devices that are already on the market, the latest crop from Microsoft works with copy-protected music purchased on for-pay services like Musicmatch and Microsoft's own music store.
Microsoft hopes to jump into the lead with its new offerings. Its Windows Media Connect software will allow televisions, stereos, DVD players and other consumer gadgets to play back digital media stored on PCs running the Windows XP operating system. Consumers will use a remote control to actually move the content around." - Excite Founders Form JotSpot To Promote Wikis Technology - Excite Founders Form JotSpot To Promote Wikis Technology "Two founders of Excite Inc., a star during the early years of the Internet, have joined a race to turn a grass-roots technology called wikis into a mainstream business tool.
Wikis are Web pages that users can write on as well as read. The concept, developed in the mid-1990s by programmer Ward Cunningham, has evolved as a way for work groups to create documents that can be updated continuously.
The popularity of wikis attracted Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer. The two men in 1993 helped to start Excite -- which was sold in 1999 to @Home Corp. -- and have now formed JotSpot, a start-up that hopes to make wikis easier to set up and to program. That way, companies can more quickly create simple Web-based software to handle chores such as tracking job applicants or customer calls, Mr. Kraus said."

Wiki-based apps -- I'm impressed with JotSpot's approach.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - PeopleSoft Board Is Open To Merger Talks With Oracle - PeopleSoft Board Is Open To Merger Talks With Oracle "The PeopleSoft Inc. director who has been leading the defense of the company's antitakeover measures said Tuesday the company's board is willing to talk about a deal with rival Oracle Corp.
On the stand for the second day in a Delaware court trial, PeopleSoft director Steven Goldby said the board would be willing to talk about an Oracle acquisition now if the price was right and there was a "high certainty" that a deal could close quickly."

Not a surprise...

Briefly: Macromedia giving away Flex | CNET

Briefly: Macromedia giving away Flex | CNET "Macromedia on Tuesday announced a free licensing program for noncommercial users of Flex, the company's server application for creating Flash-based interfaces for Web services. Under the program, bloggers, hobbyists and other qualified noncommercial users will receive one free license for the server version of Flex and one for the accompanying Flex Builder authoring tools. Macromedia said it will begin accepting applications for the program in a few weeks."

WebMethods Chief Resigns (

WebMethods Chief Resigns ( "Phillip Merrick, the 41-year-old co-founder and chief executive of WebMethods Inc., resigned suddenly, citing health reasons that company officials described as "stress-related."
David Mitchell, who previously served as the Fairfax software company's president and chief operating officer, took over the chief executive's position yesterday. Bill Russell, an outside director, was appointed chairman of the company's board.
Mitchell, 39, said Merrick submitted his resignation Saturday at his doctor's urging, describing the stress-related condition as "life-altering but not life-threatening." Merrick could not be reached for comment."

Laszlo - Web Innovator Laszlo Systems Unveils Open Source Strategy for Rich Client Platform

Laszlo - Web Innovator Laszlo Systems Unveils Open Source Strategy for Rich Client Platform "Laszlo Systems, a significant contributor to the "Web 2.0" movement, today announced that the entire Laszlo platform is now available as open source under the Common Public License (CPL). Laszlo's platform, a standards-based presentation layer technology and application framework, delivers zero-install, rich client applications in any standard Web browser today."

InfoWorld: Microsoft, HP, IBM safe from Kodak software patent

InfoWorld: Microsoft, HP, IBM safe from Kodak software patent "Though a Friday patent lawsuit verdict against Sun Microsystems Inc. could potentially have a wide-ranging impact on the computer industry, the ruling appears unlikely to affect three of the world's largest IT companies, who have licensed the technology in question. Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. are licensees of the software patents in question, the patents' owner, Eastman Kodak Co., confirmed Monday."

evhead: Next?

evhead: Next? "It's been almost six years now since I started working on what became the company I sold to the company we started talking to two years ago because of the product we launched five years ago.
Yes, I'm leaving my baby (or is it an adolescent by now?), in the hands of an awesome team we've compiled over the last few years. And I'm taking some time off to think. And...who knows?"

Blogger's creator exits Google; read this FAQ-style post if you want more details on why and what's next for him.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Microsoft rules out PeopleSoft bid | CNET

Microsoft rules out PeopleSoft bid | CNET "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has ruled out acting as the white knight for business software maker PeopleSoft, which is trying to fight off a hostile takeover by Oracle.
Several months ago, it emerged that Microsoft had been in merger talks with Germany's SAP, the world's biggest business-planning software maker. But much smaller PeopleSoft pales by comparison, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told the U.K.-based Financial Times.
"I know SAP, and they're no SAP," he said in a Financial Times article published Monday.
"We like our focus on small and medium (size) companies. And if we weren't going to be focused on small and medium companies, you know what we wanted to buy," he was quoted as saying."

Kodak wins Java patent suit | CNET

Kodak wins Java patent suit | CNET "Eastman Kodak has won a controversial lawsuit in which it claimed Sun Microsystems had infringed several of its patents with its Java programming language.
A federal jury on Friday ruled in favor of Kodak, and the photography giant is now seeking damages of $1 billion from Sun.
The case has outraged some opponents of software patents, who claim it is a textbook example of why software should not be patentable.
Kodak's case centered on three patents that it bought from Wang Laboratories in 1997, several years after Java was created."

Meanwhile, on Jonathon Schwartz's blog today: "I believe in intellectual property. In my view, it's the foundation of world economies, and certainly the foundation upon which Sun Microsystems was built. Copyright, trademark, patent - I believe in them all. I also believe in innovation and competition - and that these beliefs are not mutually exclusive."

The New York Times > Technology > I.B.M. Updates Old Workhorse to Use Linux

The New York Times > Technology > I.B.M. Updates Old Workhorse to Use Linux "I.B.M. has just completed a three-year, $100 million overhaul of the software engine behind the world's airline, hotel and rental car reservations systems, and credit card systems like Visa and American Express.
The company plans to announce the retooling of the little-known program, an aging workhorse of mainframe computing, this week. Its goal, executives said, was to rejuvenate what it considered a strategic product - T.P.F., for transaction processing facility - with the help of the Linux operating system."

Linus Torvalds hadn't been born yet, when TPF was at its peak in popularity.

The New York Times > Technology > New Economy: BlackBerry, Beloved Gadget, Continues to Thrive

The New York Times > Technology > New Economy: BlackBerry, Beloved Gadget, Continues to Thrive ""I've followed R.I.M. for five years and once I made a list of all the imminent BlackBerry killers," said Michael Urlocker, a technology hardware analyst with UBS Investment Research. "There were between five and 10 of these things. The fact that the alleged killers have all disappeared shows that R.I.M. hasn't just been lucky so far. They've been more right about the product and technology than wrong.""

Yahoo! News - Google Challenge: Keeping Wealthy Workers

Yahoo! News - Google Challenge: Keeping Wealthy Workers "As Google Inc. nears the end of its first quarter as a public company, industry watchers say one of its emerging challenges is how to keep soon-to-be wealthy workers from cashing out and moving on.
Based on Google's share price of around $130, senior vice president Bill Coleman estimated that around 60 percent of the 1,900 Google employees with the company at the end of March each now hold stock options worth at least $1 million.
"If you live in Mountain View, California, and someone gives you $1 million, you might be able to pay off your mortgage, but you can't retire," said Coleman, referring to Silicon Valley's sky-high home costs.
On the other hand, Coleman estimates that 400 to 500 of Google's longer-term employees will have stock options worth $5 million or more. "Are they flight risks? Absolutely."

Sunday, October 03, 2004

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Tinker With Your Computer, and Reap the Rewards

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Tinker With Your Computer, and Reap the Rewards "It is therefore with both guilt and nervousness that I mention the existence of programs that can improve on the usual, built-in ways of getting things done on a computer - but that take some tinkering to set up, luring the weak into a cycle of further frittering. Please imagine the rest of this column being delivered in the tone of an N.R.A. instructional video about a child's first weapon: "Always remember, Bobby, a rifle is not a toy."

Saturday, October 02, 2004

InfoWorld: Gates undaunted by Linux

InfoWorld: Gates undaunted by Linux "An audience member said that almost 50 percent of servers being purchased today are running Linux. But Gates disputed the figure. “It’s just not a right number,” Gates said. “Well over 50 percent of servers that are sold run Windows Server,” he said.
“First, start with the facts, then proceed from there,” Gates said, adding that Unix, not Windows, is being displaced by Linux.
“We do compete with Linux. The shift of Unix share to Linux has been dramatic,” he said. “[Linux will] wipe out a lot of the stuff that’s been out there down to very small numbers, [based] on current trends.” Windows and Linux will dominate market share, he said.
Unix, in faltering, has lacked the advantage that Windows has had in that it comes from one vendor and has one set of instructions, Gates said."

At peace with Microsoft, Sun chief whips off the gloves over Red Hat

At peace with Microsoft, Sun chief whips off the gloves over Red Hat "Sun Microsystems Inc.'s combative chief executive, Scott McNealy, fresh from resolving his long-running quarrel with archrival Microsoft Corp., has found a new target for his wrath: Linux software maker Red Hat Inc.
''We love Linux," said McNealy at yesterday's meeting of the Massachusetts Telecommunications Council in Newton. ''We just don't love Red Hat."
McNealy stressed that Linux wasn't the enemy. He noted that Sun is one of the leading contributors of free software to open-source projects, that Sun sells computers equipped with Linux, and that the company plans to release the next version of Solaris as an open-source product. ''Open source is not a threat," he said, just Red Hat. ''They're a competitor," McNealy said, ''and we're going to blow them out of the water if we can."

Friday, October 01, 2004

[Updated] - PeopleSoft's Board Removes Conway as President, CEO - PeopleSoft's Board Removes Conway as President, CEO "During a conference call with analysts, board member A. George "Skip" Battle said there were "no smoking guns, no accounting irregularities" that led to Mr. Conway's removal. "It was a matter of the board losing confidence in Craig," he said, noting the decision has nothing to do with Oracle's hostile takeover attempt.
In Friday's statement, the company noted that all five members on the board committee that has unanimously rejected Oracle's offer remain in place."

In other words, the price will go up a bit before they accept, which explains why PSFT is trading above the current Oracle bid price at the moment. Now Oracle is in the power position; it could drop its bid or refuse to negotiate a higher price...

(Note that also fixed the very unusual typo in the original article...) - PeopleSoft's Board Removes Conway as President, CEO - PeopleSoft's Board Removes Conway as President, CEO "PeopleSoft Inc.'s board fired Craig Conway as the company's president and chief executive as a result of a "loss of confidence in Mr. Conway's ability to continue to lead the company."
The abrupt move comes as PeopleSoft is attempting to fight off a hostile takeover bid from Oracle Corp., and has maintained that Oracle's bid is inadequate. The company didn't signal a change in its position on the hostile bid, but investors sent the stock up in early trading. PoepleSoft shares opened up 6.8% Friday to $21.21 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
The Pleasanton, Calif., company named Dave Duffield, its founder and chairman, as the new CEO. The company appointed Kevin Parker and Phil Wilmington as co-presidents, and Aneel Bhusri as vice chairman of the board. All of the changes are effective immediately. The company said all of these decisions received the unanimous vote of the independent directors."

This suggests Oracle is having a good day (significantly increases the probability of Oracle acquiring PeopleSoft) and that IBM, which just unveiled a major partnership with PeopleSoft, may be having a bad day.

Google Blog: Pencils down, people

Google Blog: Pencils down, people "We're a little obsessive about digging into hard computing problems, and we love finding more people like us. One way we find obsessive smart problem-solvers is by using a standardized test. Now standardized tests can suck, especially since you usually take them to become a broke student for years on end. Which can lead to starting a career that, if you're lucky, might eventually lead to a really cool job.
But what if there were a standardized test that led, like, immediately to the really cool job? What if, for instance, there was a Google Labs Aptitude Test?"

Includes links to the GLAT test pages, in case you haven't already recieved the test as an insert in the Communications of the ACM or another publication.

Paul Allen to open microcomputer museum

Paul Allen to open microcomputer museum "Twenty-five years after he and Bill Gates moved their small software company from Albuquerque, N.M., to the Seattle region, Paul Allen is returning his attention to the city that ended up on the short end of one of the most famous corporate relocations in history.
The Microsoft Corp. co-founder today is expected to unveil plans for a $5 million microcomputer history gallery within the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. It will be funded primarily by Allen. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has also committed $1 million toward the project.
The permanent gallery, to open in 2006, is meant in part as a gesture of appreciation to the city where Gates and Allen started their company, wrote much of its early software, and liked to blow off steam racing their cars through the streets in the early-morning hours."

Sun's Schwartz guns for patent glories | CNET

Sun's Schwartz guns for patent glories | CNET "Sun Microsystems President Jonathan Schwartz, who speaks often of innovation in sales methods and not just technology, is seeking a patent on the company's per-employee software pricing plan, CNET has learned.
Other co-authors of the unpublished patent application, filed in July, are Chief Marketing Officer Anil Gadre and Director of Worldwide Marketing Aisling MacRunnels. In addition, Schwartz is co-author of two other patent applications relating to Sun's three-dimensional Looking Glass user interface."

Maybe next he'll try to patent a method for using blogs to disseminate corporate propaganda. - TiVo Strikes Deal With Netflix For Online Delivery of Movies - TiVo Strikes Deal With Netflix For Online Delivery of Movies "TiVo Inc. and Netflix Inc. agreed to a deal under which Netflix plans to deliver movies online to TiVo's digital video recorders, which are expected to have the ability to download video programming from the Internet beginning next year.
The agreement is part of a growing effort in the high-tech industry to develop technologies and services for playing video from the Internet on televisions, rather than personal computers. If their efforts succeed, analysts and industry executives believe, the Internet could become a viable alternative to conventional delivery of video through cable television and other networks."