Finally, Sisyphus, There's Help for Those Internet Forms - New York Times: "Together, these are the main elements of an approach that Jesse James Garrett, of the consulting firm Adaptive Path, christened Ajax in a Web posting in February. The term itself has become controversial. It was popularized in a Wall Street Journal column in March. But David Mendels, executive vice president at the software company Macromedia, says 'Rich Internet Applications' is more accurate, while Georges Harik, director of project management at Google, suggests 'Rich Web Application' and Charles Fitzgerald, general manager of platform strategies at Microsoft, says that no special name is needed for tools that have been available to clever programmers for years. Whatever the term, all affected parties seem to agree on two things.
One is that 'richer' Web sites can make for a far more satisfactory experience, especially but not only for online commerce. Mr. Mendels of Macromedia, whose Flash technology has functions similar to Ajax, gave several examples, including a Sherwin-Williams site where users can mix different paint hues on-screen and see how they would look when applied to the doors or windows of houses like theirs. "
It's unusual for James Fallows to make big mistakes, but saying Flash has functions similar to Ajax is a bit like saying oceans have functions similar to lakes.