Tuesday, May 31, 2005

CRN | Breaking News | Windows Servers Gain Traction Over Unix

CRN | Breaking News | Windows Servers Gain Traction Over Unix: "Bozman noted that the Linux server business is growing more rapidly than either Windows or Unix, but the fact that its starting installed base was so low that she can't project out far enough to see Linux overtaking either Windows or Unix. IDC said that Linux servers logged year-over-year revenue growth of 35.2 percent and a 31.1 percent gain in shipments. It was the 11th consecutive quarter of double digit growth for the open source software.
'I don't believe Linux can overtake either Windows or Unix,' Bozman said. Linux revenues for the quarter totaled $1.2 billion as Linux servers carved out a strong position in data centers. Hewlett-Packard held onto its first place position in the Linux server market with 27.7 percent revenue market share ahead of IBM, which was second with 19.8 percent share of the open source market. "

Survey: U.S. residents addicted to e-mail - Computerworld

Survey: U.S. residents addicted to e-mail - Computerworld: "The average e-mail user in the U.S. has two or three e-mail accounts and spends about an hour every day reading, sending and replying to messages, according to the survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corp.
E-mail dependency is so strong for 41% of survey respondents that they check their e-mail inbox right after getting out of bed in the morning. The average user checks his inbox five times a day, according to the survey, which polled 4,012 respondents at least 18 years old in the 20 largest U.S. cities."

WSJ.com - H-P's NonStop Computer Line Will Use Intel's Itanium Chip

WSJ.com - H-P's NonStop Computer Line Will Use Intel's Itanium Chip: "Hewlett-Packard Co. has adapted the venerable NonStop computer line to use Intel Corp.'s Itanium chip, the final element in a costly and controversial bet on the jointly designed technology.
The NonStop line, invented by Tandem Computers Inc., was inherited by H-P through its 2002 acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp., which bought Tandem in 1997. The NonStop name refers to extra hardware and software features that keep computers operating when components fail, a big selling point for customers such as stock exchanges and automated-teller-machine networks."

WSJ.com - Blogging Becomes A Corporate Job; Digital 'Handshake'?

WSJ.com - Blogging Becomes A Corporate Job; Digital 'Handshake'?: "In its short lifespan, blogging has largely been a freewheeling exercise in online self-expression. Now it is also becoming a corporate job.
A small but growing number of businesses are hiring people to write blogs, otherwise known as Web logs, or frequently updated online journals. Companies are looking for candidates who can write in a conversational style about timely topics that would appeal to customers, clients and potential recruits.
Flycell Inc., New York, an 18-month-old provider of mobile-phone content such as games and ringtones, posted an ad on the technology-job site Dice.com in April for a "blogger/copywriter/editorial-content producer." The ad includes the following description: "Create, maintain and promote a blog that covers and reports about mobile-phone content and the marketplace ... Must have experience creating and updating blogs, including creating links to other topical blogs ... Blog savvy is a must."

The annual salary ranges from $50,000 and $70,000. The job also includes duties, such as writing marketing copy and content for the Web site of the company, which currently has 15 employees, says Mark Lehmann, Web marketing director."

Monday, May 30, 2005

System Lets Parents Spy on Kids' Lunches - Yahoo! News

System Lets Parents Spy on Kids' Lunches - Yahoo! News: "Three school districts in the Atlanta area last week became the first in the country to offer the parental-monitoring option of an electronic lunch payment system called Mealpay.com, created by Horizon Software International of Loganville, Ga.
For two years, the payment system, used by 1,000 school districts in 21 states, has allowed parents to electronically prepay for student lunches. Students type in their identification number before the cafeteria cashier rings up each day's lunch bill. The bill then is deducted from the student's account."

The New York Times > Technology > No Privacy in Your Cubicle? Try an Electronic Silencer

The New York Times > Technology > No Privacy in Your Cubicle? Try an Electronic Silencer "Maxwell Smart's "cone of silence" is finally a reality.
Two people in an office here were having a tête-à-tête, but it was impossible for a listener standing nearby to understand what they were saying. The conversation sounded like a waterfall of voices, both tantalizingly familiar and yet incomprehensible.
The cone of silence, called Babble, is actually a device composed of a sound processor and several speakers that multiply and scramble voices that come within its range. About the size of a clock radio, the first model is designed for a person using a phone, but other models will work in open office space."

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Game Is Virtual. The Profit Is Real. - New York Times

The Game Is Virtual. The Profit Is Real. - New York Times: "With about 10 million people worldwide playing at least one of the 350 or so massively multiplayer online games, there is no shortage of income-producing possibilities for the imaginative. Steve Salyer, a former game developer, is now president of Internet Gaming Entertainment, a Los Angeles company that runs Ige.com. He estimates that players spend a real-world total of $880 million a year for virtual goods and services produced in online games - not counting sales of the games themselves, and monthly subscription fees, often around $10. "

The 'Dirty Little Secret' About Longhorn

The 'Dirty Little Secret' About Longhorn: "Contrary to what many believe, Longhorn won't be built on top of the .Net Framework, we hear. But that might not be a bad thing.
Developers say there's a dirty little secret about Longhorn that few Softies are discussing publicly: Longhorn won't be based on the .Net Framework."

I guess I missed the part of PDC 2003 when someone from Microsoft suggested Longhorn was going to be based on the .NET Framework. Yeah WinFX is all about managed code interfaces to platform functionality, but nobody said the operating system would be rewritten atop the .NET Framework.

Second example I've seen so far today of the tech press getting a bit too creative with headlines/stories.

.Net Developers: 'What, Me Worry'?

.Net Developers: 'What, Me Worry'?: "Developers are taking in stride Microsoft's disclosure that it is encountering compatibility problems with its next-gen .Net Framework."

Next, go read "When Headlines Go Bad" by Microsoft's John Montgomery.

IEBlog : Netscape 8 and Internet Explorer's XML Rendering

IEBlog : Netscape 8 and Internet Explorer's XML Rendering "We've just confirmed an issue that has started to be reported on newsgroups and forums that after installing Netscape 8 the XML rendering capabilities of Internet Explorer no longer work. That means that if you navigate in IE to an XML file such as an RSS feed http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml/rss.xml or an XML file with an XSLT transformation applied then rather than seeing the data you are presented with a blank page."

Check the comments appended to the post -- quite a lot of conspiracy theory material.

IEBlog : IE7 Tabbed Browsing Implementation

IEBlog : IE7 Tabbed Browsing Implementation: "My role has been to re-architect IE to support tabbed browsing. This work began last year and includes building a new frame (top-level window and chrome), sorting out how to host and switch between multiple instances of the browser, and managing communication between the various internal components.
There have been a lot of questions and speculation about IE7's tabbed browsing feature, so I wanted to give an overview of some of the work we've done that you can look forward to seeing in Beta 1."

Great to see blogs used as channels for this type of communication.

Microsoft Vs Unix: Its a tie for the first time

Microsoft Vs Unix: Its a tie for the first time: "The worldwide computer server market grew 5.3 per cent to $12.1 billion in the first quarter, with revenue for servers running the Microsoft Corp Windows operating system equalling that of Unix servers for the first time, market research firm IDC said on Friday.
Revenue for Windows servers grew 12.3 per cent to $4.2 billion in the quarter while unit shipments grew 10.7 per cent. Unix servers saw 2.8 per cent revenue growth to $4.2 billion while unit shipments increased 5 per cent. "

Oh, No! My Identity's Gone! Call the Insurer. - New York Times

Oh, No! My Identity's Gone! Call the Insurer. - New York Times: "It may not come as a surprise that the insurance industry has found an eager market for a timely product: identity theft insurance. Before you start enjoying warm and fuzzy feelings of security, know that such insurance does not cover the thousands of dollars that thieves may rack up using your good credit; in fact, consumers are usually responsible for a maximum of $50. Rather, it is meant to reimburse, as much as possible, for the time and out-of-pocket expenses involved in purging the bad credit.
It can be bought either as part of a homeowner's policy or as a stand-alone endorsement. It's free or cheap - usually no more than $50 a year, depending on the policy. And that generally covers up to $25,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org).
Indeed, if you have a homeowner's policy, check with the insurance agent; you may already be covered and not know it."

Friday, May 27, 2005

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > From the Desk of David Pogue: Ground Rules for the Windows-Macintosh War

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > From the Desk of David Pogue: Ground Rules for the Windows-Macintosh War: "The Mac-Windows war, though, is especially pointless, protracted, and winnerless. There will always be people on each side who are every bit as rabid and un-convincible as those in any other religious war.
Still, I'd like to suggest, as a starting point of civility, a few pointers for participants in the O.S. war. Consider it one man's version of, 'Can't we all just get along?'
1. Hate something for its failings, not for its success.
It's totally fine to criticize something because of its flaws--to hate Windows because it's bloated and cryptic, for example, or the iPod because it's too easily scratched. But condemning something just because it's the dominant product is just sour grapes. Arguments along the lines of 'I hate Bill Gates because he's rich' or 'I hate the iPod because everyone has one' add nothing to the dialogue."

See the post for 4 more useful insights/suggestions.

CRN | Breaking News | Microsoft Business Network Gets Shut Down

CRN | Breaking News | Microsoft Business Network Gets Shut Down: "One Microsoft partner, who requested anonymity, said he doesn't think the end of MBN is a big deal, since the functionality will be integrated into Microsoft Business Solutions applications. 'It was kind of weird. They made a big deal out of it, and then it just disappeared. But this stuff really does need to belong more around BizTalk or with the other MBS apps, because it's really just EDI on steroids,' said the partner, a Mid-Atlantic solution provider. 'They probably figured out they screwed up and are trying to recover.' "

BBC NEWS | Technology | Sims creator takes on evolution

BBC NEWS | Technology | Sims creator takes on evolution: "The creator of the hugely popular Sims game is working on an ambitious title in which you can truly be God.
Called Spore, the game allows players to determine the evolution of a species, from an amoeba to an inter-stellar race. "

Sounds like intelligent design...

Fat Cyclist: Renegade Geese from Hell!

Fat Cyclist: Renegade Geese from Hell! Fun new blog from my friend Elden Nelson

SKYPE USB to RJ11 adaptor

SKYPE USB to RJ11 adaptor: "This is a very handy device that allows you to use any phone of your choice with Skype.You can use a cordless phone,a desktop phone or any other phone you wish.
If you hate having to be by your computer when you are making phone calls with Skype,this is the product you are looking for.You can make and receive calls without even standing by the computer since this Skype Box integrates your phone with skype. You can use your phone's keypad to make Skype and Skype out calls,and you will hear a ring when a call comes in from Skype! "

Via Jason Lewis

As TV Moves to the Web, Marketers Follow - New York Times

As TV Moves to the Web, Marketers Follow - New York Times: "Web video - once too halting to bother with - is much easier to look at now, as high-speed Internet access spreads.
More than 34 million homes in the United States, representing 29.9 percent of households, had broadband connections last year, according to eMarketer, an online research provider. By 2008, eMarketer projects, broadband will be in 69.4 million homes, or 56.3 percent of households.
Web surfers have proved their willingness to watch live sports online for more than an hour at a time, said Bart Feder, president and chief executive at FeedRoom, a provider of broadband video technology to clients like NBC, Reuters and Telemundo. "

Open Database Startup Taps PostgreSQL

Open Database Startup Taps PostgreSQL: "The Edison, N.J., company also announced the availability of the beta version of its flagship product, EnterpriseDB 2005. EnterpriseDB 2005 is based on the open-source PostgreSQL database and supports high-volume applications and update-intensive situations, said Andy Astor, chief executive of the company. Astor, who joined the company three months ago, previously ran the standards and Web services efforts at webMethods Inc.
"We're taking PostgreSQL, the most advanced open-source database on the planet, and along the way making it compatible with Oracle and SQL Server," Astor said."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Absolution for Couch Potatoes and Gamers - New York Times

Absolution for Couch Potatoes and Gamers - New York Times: "Hard evidence is so rare in 'Everything Bad Is Good for You' that it becomes disproportionately valuable when it does crop up. For instance, the best corroboration of the book's claim that television has become more subtle and elliptical involves the enormous new market for repackaging television series as DVD's. Perhaps there is a link between rising I.Q. scores and sophisticated television plotting, as the book suggests. More demonstrably, there's a link between selling something for home viewing and making it complicated enough to be worth a second, third or fourth look.
At the end of this book, the author backpedals. Not even he really believes the title statement, and even he realizes that the book's facile argument is missing something. Without a zero-sum model for the kinds of changes in thought that are cataloged here, Mr. Johnson need not explore the real price of new pop-cultural intelligence. He understands what skills we have gained. He'd rather not think about what we've lost. "

Demand for skilled project staff drives up average salaries across the UK IT industry

Demand for skilled project staff drives up average salaries across the UK IT industry: "IT professionals with expertise in communications have seen salaries rise by 14% over the past six months. Salaries for Lotus Notes skills rose 11%, SAP 9% and Linux 7%. On the downside, Java Swing fell by 17%, Corba by 10% and Enterprise Java Beans by 7%, the survey revealed."

I have no idea if the research was statistically significant etc., but it's an interesting snapshot.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The New York Times > AP > Technology > Hackers Holding Computer Files 'Hostage'

The New York Times > AP > Technology > Hackers Holding Computer Files 'Hostage': "The latest threat to computer users doesn't destroy data or steal passwords -- it locks up a person's electronic documents, effectively holding them hostage, and demands $200 over the Internet to get them back."

The New York Times > Technology > A Front-Runner at Microsoft, but There's No Race Yet

The New York Times > Technology > A Front-Runner at Microsoft, but There's No Race Yet: "Mr. Rudder's group has grown at 15 percent to 20 percent annually for the last few years, reaching $10 billion a year in sales. It has become Microsoft's third big business by expanding at roughly twice the pace of the more mature desktop divisions, the Windows operating system and the Office software package. Microsoft's server group has posted faster growth than the software businesses of big corporate rivals like I.B.M. and Oracle, and has not suffered much so far from Linux, the popular free operating system. "

Monday, May 23, 2005

Technology News Article | Reuters.com: PalmSource CEO resigns

Technology News Article | Reuters.com: PalmSource CEO resigns: "PalmSource Inc.(PSRC.O: Quote, Profile, Research) , which develops operating system software for handheld computers and phones, on Monday said David Nagel has stepped down as president, chief executive officer and director.
The company, in a statement, gave no reason for Nagel's departure, which was effective on Sunday. PalmSource officials could not be reached immediately for further comment."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Yahoo! reaping profits from search engine

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Yahoo! reaping profits from search engine: "As Yahoo! struggled to lift itself out of the dot-com slump a few years ago, it faced a big decision.
Google was dazzling the world of Internet search engines with its building of a massive index of Web documents.
And a Pasadena, Calif., company called Overture Services was beginning to convince the world that search-engine advertising could be wildly lucrative. "

Timely summary of Yahoo!'s turn-around

WSJ.com - Apple Explores Use Of Chips From Intel For Macintosh Line

WSJ.com - Apple Explores Use Of Chips From Intel For Macintosh Line: "Apple Computer Inc. has always blazed its own trail, a tack that has helped turn the company into a stock-market darling lately. But a pivotal step toward the mainstream could be in the offing.
The computer maker has been in talks that could lead to a decision soon to use Intel Corp. chips in its Macintosh computer line, industry executives say, a prospect that may shake up the world of computers and software.
The idea that Apple Computer might use Intel-based products, which provide processing power for personal computers that use Microsoft Corp. software, has long been the subject of industry speculation and off-and-on negotiations between Apple and Intel. Two industry executives with knowledge of recent discussions between the companies said Apple will agree to use Intel chips.
The idea of creating a version of the Macintosh operating system for Intel chips -- a vital step in introducing Intel-based hardware -- goes back more than a decade. Engineers from software maker Novell Inc. and Apple collaborated on a secret effort, code-named Project Star Trek, that was designed to create a product that Apple could sell to rival PC makers. They completed a prototype in 1992, but Apple chose not to release it for fear of hurting its hardware business.
Apple has subsequently created, but not released, versions of its operating systems that work on Intel chips, former Apple engineers say. That work has been aided by the fact that Mac OS X descended from software that Apple purchased from Next Computer Inc., Mr. Jobs's former company, which had already created a version for Intel-based computers."

Small world...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out, Start the Computer Revolution - New York Times

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out, Start the Computer Revolution - New York Times: "IN Mr. Markoff's view, the PC era, which placed each user in charge of an isolated box, was a long detour from the higher aim of information sharing conceived by Mr. Engelbart. This purpose was vindicated by the Internet. The tension still persists between profit-seeking publishers and, ahem, idealists who would love to share what belongs to others - music rights, for instance. According to the author, this is today 'the bitterest conflict facing the world's economy.'
Such overwrought claims aside, at the core of 'Dormouse' lies a valid and original historical point. Computer technology did turn out to be creative, spirited and even freeing. Most of this was a result of the fabulous advances in the power of the microchip. But perhaps, also, in the tactile clicking of the mouse, you can hear the faint strumming of a guitar."

Check out the full review and then purchase the book. I'm only ~1/3rd into it at the moment but I'm enjoying it and learning a lot.

So You Want to Be a Venture Capitalist - New York Times

So You Want to Be a Venture Capitalist - New York Times: "Mr. Kapor had enormous success investing for himself in barely-formed start-ups like RealNetworks and UUNet Technologies, both of which provided him with staggering payouts.
Yet he did not prove to be a star the years he worked as a professional venture capitalist.
'The fact that it's someone else's money you're investing, and that you're investing as part of a partnership, that was more different than I thought it would be,' said Mr. Kapor, who went to work in 1999 for Accel Partners, another top venture house in Silicon Valley. 'I later found out that everybody who makes the transition like I did says that.'
Mr. Kapor failed to choose a single company that made him, his partners and their investors any money. He confesses he was 0-for-5 in the investments he made during his three years at Accel. 'Most of us learned the hard way that venture investing is best left to the professionals,' said Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape Communications. "

Saturday, May 21, 2005

An Oracle Collaboration Suite preview

An Oracle Collaboration Suite preview: "The Oracle Collaboration Suite is getting a facelift. Due out this summer, the third version of the product will be known as Oracle Collaboration Suite 10g release 1 and will feature major enhancements to its file management and group collaboration capabilities. SearchOracle.com recently sat down with Rob Koplowitz, Oracle's senior director of the Oracle Collaboration Suite product line, to find out more about the direction the product is taking. Here are some excerpts from that conversation"

E-mail retention a must after Morgan Stanley case | CNET News.com

E-mail retention a must after Morgan Stanley case | CNET News.com: "The $1.45 billion judgment against Morgan Stanley for deceiving billionaire Ronald Perelman over a business deal has a lesson all companies should learn--keeping e-mails is now a must, experts say.
Banks and broker-dealers are obliged to retain e-mail and instant messaging documents for three years under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules. But similar requirements will apply to all public companies from July 2006 under the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform measures."

'Blink' Meets 'Freakonomics' - New York Times

'Blink' Meets 'Freakonomics' - New York Times: "Naturally, readers are drawn to the blog, which picks up where the book leaves off. And unlike a lot of writers who blog their books with a seeming reluctance, the authors, Steven D. Levitt, an economist, and Stephen J. Dubner, a journalist, take to it with the same zeal they applied to their book, and the blog is abuzz with activity.
For example, Mr. Levitt tells of an e-mail message he recently received from a fellow trend-tracker, Malcolm Gladwell: A man approached Mr. Gladwell at the Toronto airport, asked for an autograph, and pulled out a copy of 'Freakonomics' for him to sign. 'We are totally co-branded!' Mr. Gladwell wrote. "

The New York Times > Technology > Joseph Nocera: Google This: Is Microsoft Still a Bully?

The New York Times > Technology > Joseph Nocera: Google This: Is Microsoft Still a Bully?: "Although Microsoft insists it has not made a final decision on whether to include Internet search in Longhorn, Google has no doubt that it's on the way; it says as much in its latest annual report . So can the kinder, gentler, tempered-by-the-trial Microsoft do to Google what it did to Netscape lo these many years ago? Google has serious profits, a ton of talented engineers, a great brand name, and, in Eric Schmidt, a chief executive who has gone up against Microsoft twice before, at Sun and at Novell. Microsoft has Windows. That's the main thing that hasn't changed in the wake of the antitrust trial. That used to be enough. We're going to find out if it still is."

Friday, May 20, 2005

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Netscape 8.0: All your browser vulnerabilities in one convenient package

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Netscape 8.0: All your browser vulnerabilities in one convenient package: "Seven years after being mercilessly beaten into submission by Microsoft, industry pioneer Netscape is back in the game with a new browser based in part on Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Netscape 8.0, which launched this morning, makes use of both the Firefox and IE rendering engines, switching between them depending on the security and compatibility of the Web pages it's used to visit."

Wins my headline-of-the-day contest...

Beyond Relational Databases

Beyond Relational Databases "Old-style database systems solve old-style problems; we need new-style databases to solve new-style problems. While the need for conventional database management systems isn’t going away, many of today’s problems require a configurable database system. Even without a crystal ball, it seems clear that tomorrow’s systems will also require a significant degree of configurability. As programmers and engineers, we learn to select the right tool to do a job; selecting a database is no exception. We need to operate in a mode where we recognize that there are options in data management, and we should select the right tool to get the job done as efficiently, robustly, and simply as possible."

Interesting perspective (albeit with many extrapolations/projections with which I don't agree) from the CTO of Sleepycat.

Helzerman's Odd Bits - Chicago Crime Database

Helzerman's Odd Bits - Chicago Crime Database "This is one of the coolest sites I have seen for a while. chicagocrime.org catalogues the locations of every crime imaginable in an easy to search database, along with directions via Google Maps.
For example, say you are wondering where the ladies of the evening are..."

Interesting application of Google Maps. Check, for example, the "Most common crime location" index.

Dr. Chadblog: microsoft winning the DRM wars?

Dr. Chadblog: microsoft winning the DRM wars?: "Hm, looks like Yahoo is using Microsoft DRM for their new service. Russell Beattie explains below, but basically its clear that Microsoft and Apple are pretty much repeating the OS wars in the DRM space. Thats not to say Microsoft is guaranteed a win, but if they license their DRM for embedding in other consumer electronics and cable systems in the same way they're doing for MP3 players - which you can damn well expect they will - well, then, they'll have Hollywood and everyone else who wants to sell music and movies over a barrel. Its actually kind of humorous, and its still better than the cell phone carriers who have choked the life out of cells as a viable platform for small developers in their zeal not to let Microsoft or anyone else gain a toehold in providing services to their subscribers."

Read the full post. Then check assumptions -- why, for example, do most people appear to still assume Microsoft will go out of its way to abuse relationships with music and other entertainment producers? Isn't there a remote chance that, e.g., Yahoo! decided to use Microsoft's PlaysForSure technology because it was their most effective option?

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Google revs its engines to show where it may be headed

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Google revs its engines to show where it may be headed: "Google opened its doors yesterday to more than 100 journalists in what it called its first 'Factory Tour' -- but there was no factory and no tour.
There were no assembly lines of Google workers stamping out search engine features. In fact, the company had let its employees out for the day to watch 'Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith.' "

Lots of new goodies from the mightly morphing Google, including a MyYahoo! clone.

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > From the Desk of David Pogue: A Sneak Preview of the New Windows

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > From the Desk of David Pogue: A Sneak Preview of the New Windows: "Yesterday, Microsoft showed me a very, very early version of the next Windows (code-name: Longhorn). It's not even in its first beta-test version, so a lot could change, and the final version won't be available until the 2006 holiday season (that's right, it's a year and a half away). Even so, the version I saw is far ahead of the version that Microsoft demonstrated only a couple of weeks ago at the WinHEC conference. So considering that--oh, around 200 million people use Windows, I thought I'd share my impressions. "

Final 'Star Wars' film leaked to the Internet - Yahoo! News

Final 'Star Wars' film leaked to the Internet - Yahoo! News: "'Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith' has been leaked onto a major file-sharing network just hours after opening in theaters, at a time when Hollywood is increasingly concerned about online piracy.
At least two copies of the film, first shown in theaters in the early hours of Thursday, have been posted to the BitTorrent file-sharing network -- a new and increasingly popular technology that allows users to download large video files much more quickly than in the past."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

CRN | Breaking News | Lotus GM Demonstrates Activity Collaboration In Future Notes Client

CRN | Breaking News | Lotus GM Demonstrates Activity Collaboration In Future Notes Client: "IBM Lotus Software General Manager Ambuj Goyal Wednesday demonstrated for the first time publicly new activity based collaboration capabilities inside a future version of the Notes client.
Goyal showed off the new activity collaboration capabilities, which are already part of Lotus' Workplace 2.5 managed client, as part of a sneak peak at how the Notes interface and client will evolve in the future. Goyal would not comment on exactly when the new features will show up in the Notes client.
Last year, Lotus added four to five million new Notes/Domino users, said Goyal. Furthermore, he said that last year 1,500 customers switched from a non IBM messaging environment to Notes/Domino.
Notes/Domino now has an installed base of 61,000 customers and 118 million users, said Goyal. "Messaging is no longer a nice to have technology," he said. "Messaging and collaboration is becoming mission critical.""

Enterprise Edition: Google Desktop Search for Enterprise

Enterprise Edition: Google Desktop Search for Enterprise: "Google Desktop Search for Enterprise helps you easily manage the ever-growing mountain of information located on your computers and includes key standards-based administrator features that provide enhanced security, centralized configuration and easy company-wide deployment. Perhaps best of all -- it's free."

Check the feature list -- definitely disruptive.

Boston.com / Business / A new push for power

Boston.com / Business / A new push for power: "They're supercomputers, capable of trillions of mathematical calculations per second. They're the kinds of machines once used only to simulate nuclear explosions or create special effects for Hollywood blockbusters. But over the next year, these monster machines will start turning up in homes all over the world.
Microsoft's Xbox Live Internet gaming service is at the heart of the company's strategy. All Xbox 360 customers will get free access to basic Xbox Live access, allowing them to compete with other players worldwide, conduct voice chats, download new game content, and even get access to recorded music. Players will also be able to use Xbox Live Arcade, a service already available on the system that allows people to play games like poker or checkers.
By giving free access to this service, Microsoft hopes to dramatically expand the appeal of the Xbox platform, which is currently a distant number two in market share to Sony's PlayStation 2."

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > State of the Art: A New Spin on a Palmtop (or Inside It)

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > State of the Art: A New Spin on a Palmtop (or Inside It): "The most serious cause for pause, though, is the LifeDrive's unfortunate case of narcolepsy. To save power, the hard drive stops spinning between uses. That's fine. What's not so fine, however, is that it takes six seconds to spin up again and feed its data into the palmtop's memory so you can use it.
According to PalmOne, these lockouts should disappear over time. Once you've used a program or feature for the first time, it remains in memory, so that it appears instantaneously thereafter."

Q&A: 'New World of Work' Shapes Next Wave of Microsoft Office Products

Q&A: 'New World of Work' Shapes Next Wave of Microsoft Office Products: "... PressPass: How will 'Office 12' improve collaboration?
Capossela: The opportunities in this area are centered on further integrating all the different modes of communication that information workers use -- from instant messaging to phones to Web portal sites to e-mail and so on -- so that end users can effortlessly share information between these different channels without really having to think about which one they're using. We're also addressing the IT complexity that comes with enabling collaboration over corporate boundaries by making it easier to set up and use shared workspaces in Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server. To complement that work, the team is also looking at how best to incorporate peer-to-peer collaboration capabilities from Groove Networks. Personally, I'm excited about upcoming advances in 'Office 12' that will let me securely connect with a trusted partner outside of my corporate firewall to share documents and track issues at a moment's notice, from anywhere and at any time that we have Internet access.
PressPass: When will customers get their first look at "Office 12"?

Capossela: Microsoft "Office 12" development is well under way, and we expect to deliver the final programs, servers and services in the second half of 2006. This fall, we'll begin a series of extensive beta testing cycles that will give a broad range of audiences a chance to try the new technologies for themselves."

Google releases desktop search for businesses - Yahoo! News

Google releases desktop search for businesses - Yahoo! News: "Dave Girouard, general manager of Google Enterprise, said the business edition of desktop search is based on Google's consumer product but includes features particularly for business users.
Among other things, the free downloadable software is integrated with Google's Search Appliance and Mini -- which search company intranets -- and Lotus Notes, the ubiquitous business e-mail system from IBM."

WSJ.com - Gateway's Waitt Is Leaving Board To 'Start Things'

WSJ.com - Gateway's Waitt Is Leaving Board To 'Start Things': "Ted Waitt, who co-founded personal-computer marketer Gateway Inc. in an Iowa farmhouse 20 years ago and oversaw its rise to become the third-largest U.S. PC company by sales, is resigning as chairman and a director.
Mr. Waitt, 42 years old, said he plans to leave the board today following the company's annual stockholders' meeting. He remains Gateway's largest individual investor.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Waitt said he plans to spend more time on investments, especially in the areas of nanotechnology and biotechnology, and on the Waitt Family Foundation, which he and wife, Joan, started 12 years ago."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Book recommendation: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Book recommendation: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

I think this book is worthwhile reading but was a bit disappointed with it.

The book starts strong, with a few "fundamental ideas:"
"1. Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life
2. The conventional wisdom is often wrong
3. Dramatic effects often have distant, even subtle, causes
4. 'Experts' -- from criminologists to real-estate agents -- use their informational advantage to serve their own agenda
5. Knowing what to measure and how to measure it makes a complicated world much less so"
(pp. 13 - 14)

The book then flows into a series of interesting chapters, each centered around provocative questions such as "How is the Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real-Estate Agents?" and "Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?"

Stephen D. Levitt, the economist co-author, commented (in the US News interview referenced below) that he thinks "... the first thing readers should do is to enjoy it. It's meant to be interesting and stimulating and to provide a deep well of cocktail-party fodder." The book succeeds in that mission but it could have been much more effective, in my opinion, if the authors had, for example, taken the time to close the book with an essay revisiting and reinforcing the "fundamental ideas" from the first chapter.

I had a similar reaction to Malcolm Gladwell's best-selling Blink -- lots of interesting ideas and engaging anecdotes, but lacking a robustly-reinforced thesis (Gladwell is quoted on the Freakonomics cover: "Prepare to be dazzled"; perhaps Levitt will be quoted on the next printing run of Blink...).

In any case: read Freakonomics for insights and good discussion fodder and then pick up Heilbroner's classic The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers (and perhaps New Ideas from Dead Economists if you enjoy the genre) for more substantive background in economics.

Other resources:
Book web site
Review in The Economist
New York Times review
US News co-author interview

Sony Runs Circles Around Xbox 360

Sony Runs Circles Around Xbox 360: "Did the spider just eat the fly? After seeing new consoles Monday night from Microsoft and Sony, it's clear Sony couldn't have been happier that their Redmond (Wash.) nemesis jumped first with Xbox 360. Technically, Sony's new PlayStation 3 doesn't just outdistance Xbox 360 in performance, it runs circles around it."

I'm amused by the rush of press on the next-gen game console announcements from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Of course, if Sony had announced details and planned to ship first, and Microsoft subsequently rushed out with FUD PR on its intentions to leapfrog several months later, the press would crucify Microsoft. Instead, the general tone is that Sony will invariably vanquish Microsoft. We shall see...

The Hitchhiking Blogger's Guide To IBM Blogs

The Hitchhiking Blogger's Guide To IBM Blogs: "IBM is big. Really big. You won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. So is the IBM web site. With the IBM web site being as mind-bogglingly big as it is, the chances of finding exactly what you are looking for within 30 seconds, which is roughly equivalent to the amount of time that a hitchhiking blogger can survive in a total information void, are two to the power of two hundred and seventy-six thousand, seven hundred and nine to one against. "

Handy guide to IBM-related blogs. Richard, please add me to the list of IBM former employee blogs. Hope to see you on the 23rd...

Xbox 360 to Offer Enhanced Media Center Experience, Link with iPod and Sony PSP

Xbox 360 to Offer Enhanced Media Center Experience, Link with iPod and Sony PSP "On Tuesday, Microsoft revealed that its upcoming Xbox 360 video game and home entertainment system with offer integrated Media Center Extender functionality that will allow the device to interact with a Windows XP Media Center 2005-based personal computer. However, this simple description only hints at the digital media prowess of Xbox 360. In addition to offering a Media Center interface that is, in some ways, superior to that of many Media Center PCs, Xbox 360 will also aggregate content from networked PCs running other XP versions, and will directly connect with Apple iPod, Sony PSP, and a slew of other portable devices."

Your device will be assimilated...

The New York Times > Technology > Personal Data for the Taking

The New York Times > Technology > Personal Data for the Taking: "Working with a strict requirement to use only legal, public sources of information, groups of three to four students set out to vacuum up not just tidbits on citizens of Baltimore, but whole databases: death records, property tax information, campaign donations, occupational license registries. They then cleaned and linked the databases they had collected, making it possible to enter a single name and generate multiple layers of information on individuals. Each group could spend no more than $50."

WSJ.com - The Hand-Helds Strike Back

WSJ.com - The Hand-Helds Strike Back: "Another of the new hand-held devices comes from Archos Inc., of France, which recently introduced a $799 hand-held gadget, dubbed the PMA 430, that has even more storage capacity than the LifeDrive. Going one step further than the latest from palmOne, the PMA 430 enables users to record and play television shows, and record digital music from CDs. To record the latest episode of 'CSI: Miami,' for example, you simply plug the Archos unit into a docking station that connects to a TV or VCR."

(FYI I took a detour to the palmOne ad below after seeing a Flash ad for the LifeDrive on the wsj.com home page...)

palmOne - Products - LifeDrive Mobile Manager

palmOne - Products - LifeDrive Mobile Manager: "For those who demand more, palmOne introduces the all new LifeDrive™ mobile manager. With a huge 4GB hard drive1 and built-in Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® wireless2, 3 support, you can easily carry all the essentials of your busy life and use them as you will."

Interesting milestone -- and a new wave of competition for media players.

Bink.nu | More on Windows XP "Eiger", the lean Windows client

Bink.nu | More on Windows XP "Eiger", the lean Windows client: "Last Thursday I had an interview with Barry Goffe and Jon Murchinson who are part of the Windows division in Redmond and responsible for the product
Barry started to explain what the focus Eiger really is: The goal is providing a better solution for certain type of customers and their legacy pc's.
Companies that have 5-6 year old pcs that still run NT4 or win9x. These customers are not upgrading their hardware for financial or business-political reasons, but they are concerned about security, NT4 and win9x are not patched anymore, since Microsoft does not support these OS'es.
Manageability of these different OS'es can be hard or it not at all. Windows XP does not run on these systems. Microsoft heard these issues and began thinking what they could do. Eiger is the solution for this, the latest OS for legacy PC's. A Stripped down version of Windows XP that runs on these old PC's and can be managed by client management tools like SMS and SUS."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Nintendo PR: Nintendo's Compact Console Will Turn the World of Gaming on Its Side

Nintendo PR: Nintendo's Compact Console Will Turn the World of Gaming on Its Side: "The specs: The system boasts 512 megabytes of internal flash memory, wireless controllers, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi access. A worldwide network of Nintendo players can gather to compete in a comfortable, inviting environment. Revolution's technological heart, a processing chip developed with IBM and code-named 'Broadway,' and a graphics chip set from ATI code-named 'Hollywood,' will deliver game experiences not previously possible. "

Clean sweep for IBM -- Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony will all use IBM processors in their next-gen game consoles.

The Latest from Brightcove: Microsoft vs. Apple, Part Deux ? [+ Yahoo! Music Unlimited]

The Latest from Brightcove: Microsoft vs. Apple, Part Deux ? [+ Yahoo! Music Unlimited]: "I'm going to go out on a limb here and say history repeats itself. Microsoft's open approach trumps Apple's closed system. And to hedge, Microsoft also places digital media bets on cable and telco infrastructure.
I don't believe you can overlook the power of a robust developer community. Look no further than Yahoo's superb new music service. Built on the Windows Media platform - and network enabled by UPnP - this could give iTunes a run for its money. Yahoo's wide distribution and an interconnected set of services could finally build mass-market awareness for the value of a music subscription service. With Flickr, Yahoo 360, and Yahoo Music, is there anyone better right now at building and integrating complex and innovative online services?"

I've been using Yahoo! Music Unlimited since late last week and am very pleased with it so far. The catalog is incomplete (same for all competitors, e.g., no Beatles), and the client software gets a bit flaky at times, but for the most part it works well. You can download/rent music on up to 3 devices (for $4.99/month if you sign up for an annual plan or $6.99 billed monthly); I've downloaded a couple gigs of albums so far and have discovered or rediscovered lots of great music.

(I also agree with the Apple part of the Brightcove post, but you already knew that...)

Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus: Just a thought: Xbox 360 vs. Mac mini

Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus: Just a thought: Xbox 360 vs. Mac mini: "I like the Mac mini, I really do, though I've grown to become a bit unsettled about some of its lackluster features, which could have been replaced by better parts easily and affordably. But one thing I never bought into is the idea of the Mac mini as an iHome device. It's just not suitable for that purpose.
But the Xbox 360. My God.
A water-cooled, three-core PowerPC processor running at 3.2 GHz? 512 MB of RAM? Vicious graphics, wireless controllers, integrated Media Center software? The next Xbox isn't just a killer game machine, it is the first device to truly claim the title 'Hub of your digital home.' Microsoft will sell millions of these things and immediately. And I bet they will retail for far less than $600."

Form follows function...

The New York Times > Technology > Sony Unveils Details About PlayStation 3

The New York Times > Technology > Sony Unveils Details About PlayStation 3: "To power the PlayStation 3, Sony will use a Cell processor architecture developed by I.B.M., Sony and Toshiba. Each chip has nine processors, 'the most in any consumer application,' said Lisa Su, an I.B.M. software technology group vice president.
The Cell technology can process 10 times the number of operations of previous game processors, giving the PlayStation 3 the ability to run multiple programs in parallel. For example, intricate graphics can be created while various online entertainment programs run simultaneously, Ms. Su said.
Those could include the ability to play games while conducting high-definition video chats, surfing the Web or accessing music, movies or photographs stored on the console."

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Sony promptly trumps Xbox

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Sony promptly trumps Xbox: "Microsoft said yesterday that the Xbox 360 will be able to play certain games made for the original Xbox system ? a feature called backwards compatibility that Xbox users have been clamoring for.
The company will start by making its most popular games, 'Halo' and 'Halo 2,' compatible with the Xbox 360. It will then work down the list of its best-sellers, with a goal to eventually connect them all.
Backwards compatibility is often a checkbox feature for new video-game consoles, but it became a difficult technical challenge when Microsoft overhauled the engine powering the Xbox 360 from that used in the original Xbox. The company switched to IBM from Intel for its processing chip and to ATI from Nvidia for its graphics processor. "

Study: Blogs haven't displaced media - Yahoo! News

Study: Blogs haven't displaced media - Yahoo! News: "The study dispels the notion that blogs are replacing traditional media as the public's primary source of information, said Michael Cornfield, a senior research consultant at Pew.
'Bloggers follow buzz as much as they make it,' said Cornfield. 'Our research uncovered a complicated dynamic in which a hot topic of conversation could originate with the blogs or it could originate with the media or it could originate with the campaigns.
'We can say that if people still have that idea that the bloggers are the new fifth estate, that the bloggers are the new kingmakers, that's not the case.'"

NYTimes.com to Offer Subscription Service - New York Times

NYTimes.com to Offer Subscription Service - New York Times: "The New York Times announced yesterday that it would offer a new subscription-based service on its Web site, charging users an annual fee to read its Op-Ed and news columnists, as the newspaper seeks ways to capitalize on the site's popularity.
Most material on the Web site, NYTimes.com, will remain free to users, The Times said, but columnists from The Times and The International Herald Tribune will be available only to users who sign up for TimesSelect, which will cost $49.95 a year. The service will also include access to The Times's online archives, as well as other features.
The service, which is scheduled to start in September, will be provided free to home-delivery subscribers of the newspaper.
The Wall Street Journal, which is the only national paper to charge for all of its online content, requires a $79 annual fee - $39 a year to those who have a newspaper subscription."

WSJ.com - Sony Offers Peek at PlayStation 3 As Videogame Battle Heats Up

WSJ.com - Sony Offers Peek at PlayStation 3 As Videogame Battle Heats Up: "The Japanese electronics giant showed the PlayStation 3 -- a sleek, curved box in white, silver and black -- on a movie production stage here in advance of the E3 game expo. The company said the console will be released in spring 2006 but didn't specify a sale price. That release date will be months after Microsoft Corp. releases the Xbox 360, its next-generation videogame console.
Sony said its new console will permit a range of multimedia functions, including downloading of music, movies and videoconferencing. The console will be able to play games from both the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2, Sony said."

NewsGator Buys FeedDemon (Chris Pirillo)

NewsGator Buys FeedDemon (Chris Pirillo): "Q: But Nick, I thought you were doing just fine. Why are you doing this with NewsGator?
Nick: Well, over the past year I've heard countless customers asking to be able to synchronize their feeds between computers -- they want to use FeedDemon at work, at home, while traveling, etc., and not have to read the same articles again just because they're using a different computer. This has been -- by far -- the number one request from FeedDemon customers. But doing this right required a server-side piece that was beyond what my one-person company could handle, so I knew I needed to join forces with someone. Then I read the "NewsGator platform roadmap" post in Greg's blog, in which he outlined NewsGator's plans -- and right then I knew NewsGator was the company I needed to join with.
Q: I’ve been a FeedDemon customer since the beginning. What will happen to me?
Nick: So, here’s the deal: NewsGator uses a subscription model, and FeedDemon will become part of their subscription plans. All existing FeedDemon customers will get a two-year business standard subscription for *free* - and this includes upgrades to FeedDemon. In other words, you’ll get brand new versions of FeedDemon and a subscription to NewsGator Online *free* for the next two years."

I'm very happy to see this, as a FeedDemon customer who uses the product on multiple computers. Via Dave Winer.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The New Yorker: The Critics: The Current Cinema: “Star Wars: Episode III.”

The New Yorker: The Critics: The Current Cinema: “Star Wars: Episode III.”: "The general opinion of "Revenge of the Sith" seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones." True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion."

Nice contrast to the fawning praise in most other publications, including today's NYT, and a very funny read as well.

Sprint and Microsoft Join Forces to Deliver Real-Time Location Services to U.S. Businesses

Sprint and Microsoft Join Forces to Deliver Real-Time Location Services to U.S. Businesses: "MLS and Sprint Business Mobility Framework combine to create an easy platform for integrating real-time network services into line-of-business applications. Third-party application developers and business customers benefit from the Sprint Nationwide PCS network that now includes location, messaging and notification capabilities. Microsoft's rich set of development tools for building location-based applications and powerful mapping capabilities powers a wide range of applications, including those used for asset tracking, fleet management and mobile-worker dispatch based on real-time location information.
The MapPoint Location Server provides access to real-time location of mobile devices via applications that have been tested and certified for Sprint Business Mobility Framework, and acts as a proxy between business applications and MapPoint Web Service. Support of standards such as Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) removes traditional barriers associated with the adoption of location information into applications. MLS enforces user privacy preferences in the enterprise's network, giving the enterprise control of default privacy settings and a single platform for developers to connect to multiple wireless networks."

I saw a demo of this last week -- very powerful for mobile application developers. E.g., Microsoft provides a level of abstraction that buffers app developers from network service provider API differences, so it's simpler to create apps that currently work with Sprint in the US as well other network service providers elsewhere in the world.

Saturday Night Live mocks Oracle's sales force | News.blog | CNET News.com

Saturday Night Live mocks Oracle's sales force | News.blog | CNET News.com: "Are Oracle's salespeople really that humorless?
Saturday Night Live seems to think so. In a spoof over the weekend, comedian Will Ferrell returned to SNL where he hosted a skit mocking the database company's sales conventions. "

ongoing: Raining on the Parade

ongoing: Raining on the Parade: "I guess it's good that Steve and Scott made nice, and there's no doubt that when the customers tell you to interoperate, then you bloody well interoperate, so it was a good piece of work (see Pat Patterson's take in a comment on his own blog). But this glue for linking to Microsoft's WS-Federation is a second-rate solution at best. Among other reasons, WS-Federation is yet another WS-backroom spec that might change (or go away) any time the people in the backroom want it to; not something I'd advise betting on. If you have products from any two vendors that implement Liberty Alliance specs properly, well, they interoperate. Single sign-on? Yawn. Pretty well everybody is a member, oh except Microsoft. If the customers want single sign-on (and they do want single sign-on), Microsoft should bloody well join Liberty and implement the specs, then they'll have interoperation with everyone, not just Sun."

(Sun employee) Tim Bray on the MS/Sun news. See original post for links.

IEBlog : IE7 Has Tabs

IEBlog : IE7 Has Tabs: From the IE blog:

"Yes, IE7 has tabs.
In general, I think tabs are a great idea. I liked them a lot in Office dialogs and in Excel in the early 90's. (I used to work on Office, and I admit we almost added tabs to Word at one point.) I like them in Visual Studio. I think, as an industry, we have a ways to go in refining the experience, consistency, and value of tabs.
The main goal for tabs in our beta release is to make sure our implementation delivers on compatibility and security. The variety of IE configurations and add-ins across the Internet is tremendous. We want feedback on how it works with add-ins that you run (or have written), with the sites that you visit, and with the line of business applications, accessibility tools, management and development tools that you run."

Exchange Security: Office Communicator released to manufacturing

Exchange Security: Office Communicator released to manufacturing: "Congratulations to the Microsoft Office Communicator team! They just RTM'd their product. If you haven't already tried it, grab the evaluation version and give it a spin."

Paul Robichaux with an important product milestone -- I guess the Microsoft guidance on "second half 2005" was a bit on the conservative side...

Boston.com / Business / Personal Technology / Apple gives identity thieves a way in

Boston.com / Business / Personal Technology / Apple gives identity thieves a way in: "One of the world's leading software companies has just introduced a product that can put users and their data in peril. And despite being warned about it, this company has so far done nothing to protect its customers.
No, we're not talking about Microsoft Corp. This new folly comes from the labs of Apple Computer Inc., home of the Macintosh.
No doubt you're wondering what Apple has to say. The answer: no comment. It hasn't urged Mac users to lock down their browsers, or even officially admitted there's a problem. Never mind, guys; we'll spread the word."

More bad Apple press on the Dashboard design flaws.

The New Yorker: The Critics: Books: BRAIN CANDY by MALCOLM GLADWELL

The New Yorker: The Critics: Books: BRAIN CANDY by MALCOLM GLADWELL: "Is pop culture dumbing us down or smartening us up?
One of the ongoing debates in the educational community, similarly, is over the value of homework. Meta-analysis of hundreds of studies done on the effects of homework shows that the evidence supporting the practice is, at best, modest. Homework seems to be most useful in high school and for subjects like math. At the elementary-school level, homework seems to be of marginal or no academic value. Its effect on discipline and personal responsibility is unproved. And the causal relation between high-school homework and achievement is unclear: it hasn?t been firmly established whether spending more time on homework in high school makes you a better student or whether better students, finding homework more pleasurable, spend more time doing it. So why, as a society, are we so enamored of homework? Perhaps because we have so little faith in the value of the things that children would otherwise be doing with their time. They could go out for a walk, and get some exercise; they could spend time with their peers, and reap the rewards of friendship. Or, Johnson suggests, they could be playing a video game, and giving their minds a rigorous workout."


WSJ.com - TV Networks Go Online to Capture Wider Viewership

WSJ.com - TV Networks Go Online to Capture Wider Viewership: "Big television networks are beefing up their Web services, anxious to capture some of the viewers and advertising dollars moving to the Internet.
E.W. Scripps Co.'s Scripps Networks, parent of Home & Garden Television and the Food Network, will announce today that it plans to launch several new Web sites designed for high-speed Internet services later this year. The new sites will offer specially made programs and repackaged TV content.
Also today, Time Warner Inc.'s CNN is boosting its Internet presence by making video content on CNN.com available free. CNN has had video on the Web for some time, but it has previously required a subscription fee. CNN's rivals, News Corp.'s Fox News Channel and MSNBC -- which is owned by General Electric Co.'s NBC and Microsoft Corp. -- both already offer video for free on their Web sites."

Meanwhile, in the Boston Globe today, "Coming to the Net: niche programming"; excerpt:

"Also getting into the act: Brightcove Networks Inc. It will let customers avoid buying a separate set-top box and instead link their TVs to newer computers that run Microsoft Windows Media Center software.
Led by Jeremy Allaire, former chief technical officer of Macromedia, the Cambridge firm plans to begin offering a platform to deliver all manner of programming -- supplied by everyone from traditional TV producers to video bloggers to video-on-demand start-ups -- sometime in the second half of the year.
''I deeply believe that over the next several years it will be this blend of very popular shows to kind of middle-of-the-road, down to you-happen-to-be-a-fly-fishing-guy, and you watch fly fishing videos made by some guy in Kansas, and you're paying him $10 to see it," Allaire said."

WSJ.com - Real Time: You Look Like You Need a Hub

WSJ.com - Real Time: You Look Like You Need a Hub: "But Microsoft has broader aspirations for the Xbox than simply a really great game machine -- one that has barely a wisp of a head start over rival Sony, which plans to unveil its next-generation game shortly. The new Xbox, you see, will also serve as a digital hub. The box will play DVDs and CDs. But it will also stream music and video stored on a household's computer, as long as it's running the Media Center version of Microsoft's Windows XP. (If sometime rival Apple Computer aims for insanely great, Microsoft tends toward insanely synergized to dominant operating system.)
To be sure, the marketing positions it as game system first, reordering of couches, extension cords and torch lamps second. But media hubbing is still a major theme. Microsoft executive Jeff Henshaw, in an interview with the Washington Post, called the Xbox 360 a 'catalyst that jump-starts not just the game industry, but the entire entertainment and consumer-electronics industries into the high-definition era.'"

Also the cover story in Time this week, but Time annoyingly requires subscriber login now...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Silicon Valley Watcher: IBM is preparing to launch a massive corporate wide blogging initiative as it seeks to extend its expertise online

Silicon Valley Watcher: IBM is preparing to launch a massive corporate wide blogging initiative as it seeks to extend its expertise online: "Early next week IBM will introduce what could be the largest corporate blogging initiative so far, in a bid to encourage any of its 320,000 staff to become more active in online tech communities.
The world's largest computer company has prepared a broad range of programs and online materials that staff can access to find out how they can start to blog. The move would help establish IBM's 'thought leadership' in global IT markets.
IBM used wiki, a simple technology that allows groups to collaborate on projects and share knowledge, to help produce the guidelines for its corporate bloggers.
Wikis are not as sophisticated as IBM's Notes collaborative software, but they are making some inroads into corporate departments where they sometimes displace the use of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for small applications."

Via Ed Brill, naturally...

Finally, Sisyphus, There's Help for Those Internet Forms - New York Times

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.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Windows OneCare Live: Coming soon to beta

Windows OneCare Live: Coming soon to beta: "Are you tired of spending time trying to protect and maintain your computer? Are you worried that you're still not doing everything you should to keep it safe and running at optimal performance? If your answer is 'Yes,' then Windows OneCare? is for you. Windows OneCare is built specifically for people who don't have the time or technical expertise necessary to secure and manage a computer on a daily basis. It is a comprehensive PC health service that goes beyond security to take an integrated approach to help protect and care for your computer."

Hmm -- scant details thus far, but if it costs less than Norton Anti-virus and works at least as well, and if the backup etc. features work well, I'm sure many PC users will sign up.

Former foes Ballmer, McNealy report on alliance

Former foes Ballmer, McNealy report on alliance: "Moreover, McNealy -- whose past barbs comparing the design of Windows to a hairball and likening Gates and Ballmer to Beavis and Butthead punctuated the long Sun-Microsoft rivalry -- could not resist redirecting his fire at IBM, a sometime ally. Referring to the effect of the Sun-Microsoft collaboration on IBM, he said, 'If it cuts out a very large New York-based company, I don't care.'
One technology direction mentioned only briefly, but potentially of great significance to Sun, was the company's licensing of a Microsoft software specification known as RDP, or remote display protocol. This will make it possible for Sun to display Windows programs on its low-cost Sun Ray display station. Customers will be able not only to centralize computing but potentially to replace some Windows PCs as well.
The company is hoping to interest Internet service providers in offering inexpensive Sun Ray devices to consumers as alternatives to PCs."

Friday, May 13, 2005

Q&A: Microsoft's Kim Cameron Wins 'Balancing Innovation and Reality' Award for Contributions to Digital Identity

Q&A: Microsoft's Kim Cameron Wins 'Balancing Innovation and Reality' Award for Contributions to Digital Identity: "Microsoft's chief architect of identity and access outlines his vision for the 'Laws of Identity,' as well as the work the identity management community is doing to solve today's toughest digital identity problems.
Microsoft Passport is one of the things that started my research into what I call the "Laws of Identity." Passport, on one hand, has been phenomenally successful, with 1 billion authentications per day and 250 million people using it to log in to MSN Hotmail and other Microsoft properties. Microsoft continues to invest in Passport for the purpose of providing the logon services for MSN, Hotmail and other Microsoft properties. On the other hand, we have learned from Passport and other approaches in the industry that a single provider or a single technology can't meet the needs of all customers. "

The New York Times > Technology > In Console Wars, Xbox Is Latest to Rearm

The New York Times > Technology > In Console Wars, Xbox Is Latest to Rearm: "Three and a half years after it entered the console market with the Xbox, Microsoft yesterday unveiled its successor, the Xbox 360, a creamy white console that is to go on sale in North America, Europe and Japan by the holiday season.
Though noticeably smaller than its squat black predecessor, the console houses three 3.2-gigahertz I.B.M. microprocessors that could qualify it as the most powerful home computer on the market.
In sheer computing power, the new Xbox is capable of a trillion calculations per second, many orders of magnitude above the original Xbox. (The current box depends mainly on a 733-megahertz processor.) The heat generated by all that power will be drawn off by a water-based cooling system, something usually seen only in high-end PC's. "

WSJ.com - Microsoft Plans Security Service For Computer Users

WSJ.com - Microsoft Plans Security Service For Computer Users: "Microsoft Corp. said it plans to offer consumers a 'computer health' service this year as it seeks to protect its customers from an onslaught of computer viruses and other attacks, a move that will put the world's largest software maker in direct competition with smaller makers of security software.
Microsoft intends to charge an annual subscription fee for the service, which is designed to provide home-computer users with an easy way to maintain up-to-date antivirus, antispyware and firewall defenses. The service, Windows OneCare, will automatically perform certain personal-computer maintenance tasks such as backing up and recovering files."

WSJ.com - Microsoft Gambles With Xbox 360

WSJ.com - Microsoft Gambles With Xbox 360: "The box is a gamble. It could give Microsoft the lead in the $25 billion videogame market and help establish it as a force in home entertainment. It also could become one of the company's most expensive failures. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates concedes the risk in pushing forward a game strategy he launched in 2001 with the first Xbox but is confident it will pay off. 'Three years from now,' he said in an interview, 'the world will see that was one of the gutsiest decisions that we ever made.'
The Xbox 360 will connect with PCs running Microsoft's Media Center Edition of Windows XP, a version of the operating system aimed at consumer uses. The feature is clearly aimed at consumers who might use the Xbox 360 with their television sets to view videos, music, pictures and other files from their PCs. Mr. Gates badly wanted this feature, which could help attract PC users who aren't necessarily gamers."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

dodgeball.com :: mobile social software (acquired by Google)

dodgeball.com :: mobile social software (acquired by Google): "What is it?
dodgeball.com is a new social networking site built specifically for mobile phones.
What does it do? Give me an example.
The idea is simple: tell us where you are and we'll tell you who and what is around you.
We'll ping your friends with your whereabouts, let you know when friends-of-friends are within 10 blocks, allow you to broadcast content to anyone within 10 blocks of you or blast messages to your groups of friends.
For example... You're having drinks at Luna Lounge. Send a text message to nyc@dodgeball.com with the message '@Luna Lounge' and we'll send out a text message telling all your friends where you are AND send you back a message letting you know if any friends-of-friends are within 10 blocks. If you have a camera phone, we'll even send you their picture. "

Book recommendation: George Gilder's "The Silicon Eye"

Book recommendation: George Gilder's "The Silicon Eye"

This is, imho, one of Gilder's better books. It builds on the topics he covered in his excellent 1990 book, Microcosm: The Quantum Revolution In Economics And Technology, continuing his biography of Carver Mead, Mead's students and colleagues, and the pioneering technologies Mead et al have created. As the title suggests, the book is focused on the future of digital imagers (along with related technologies and product categories). If you're interested in disruptive digital technology breakthroughs and their implications, and/or the research/discovery process, and/or start-up business dynamics, you should read both books.

Fiberlink, Skype team to offer VoIP: Internet News from The Industry Standard

Fiberlink, Skype team to offer VoIP: Internet News from The Industry Standard: "Fiberlink has inked deals with a handful of vendors to offer its customers VoIP, 3G wireless and anti-spyware options when traveling worldwide. Fiberlink offers remote access services and client software to business users. The company is teaming with Skype and Webroot Software to offer new applications, access and security options.
For the first time Skype, which is best known as a peer-to-peer VoIP service provider for consumers, is teaming with a service provider that squarely focuses on enterprise users.
'This is a fairly significant announcement showing Skype is trying to get legitimate within the business world,' says Michael Disabato, service director for network and telecom strategies at Burton Group. "

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog

Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog: Explaining the Tarantella acquisition: "SunRays will ultimately run Microsoft's Windows applications without modification, and without the complexity and expense of a Citrix license."


New York Post Online Edition: 'STAR WARS' SICKOUT IN THE WORKS FOR OPENER: "The Force will not be with American businesses next week when the new 'Star Wars' flick opens.
Employers are expected to see a dramatic spike in absenteeism as workers play hooky to see 'Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith,' when it opens May 19, according to a new report.
That loss of productivity could cost employers as much as $627 million in the first two days that the picture -- the last installment of the epic sci-fi series -- hits theaters. "

Via Slashdot

Yahoo's Music Rivals Sing the Blues

Yahoo's Music Rivals Sing the Blues: "Q: How does Yahoo's entry affect the digital music market?
A: The headline everyone is talking about today is that Yahoo is now going to become a formidable competitor to say, Apple, which has its iTunes service and the iPod MP3 service. But the first thing is that there are two segments right now in online music: Pay-per-download, like Apple's iTunes, and subscription services, like what Yahoo is about to offer. The reality is that they are moving into a different segment in online music than Apple. It's one that is occupied primarily by two other players, Napster and RealNetworks with its Rhapsody service. Those two are going to be much more seriously affected.
I think the market is reacting to uncertainty over whether there will be less robust growth of MP3 sales for Apple in the future with this new entrant. This isn't any new entrant. Yahoo is the proprietor of the most visited Web site in the country."

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Basics: Now, Audio Blogs for Those Who Aspire to Be D.J.'s

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Basics: Now, Audio Blogs for Those Who Aspire to Be D.J.'s: "What do the pope and Paris Hilton have in common? They're both podcasters - and you can be one too.
Ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, podcasts are essentially do-it-yourself recorded radio programs posted online. Anyone can download them free, and, using special software, listeners can subscribe to favorite shows and even have them automatically downloaded to a portable digital music player."

Timely overview of podcasting processes and programs

Microsoft Ships New Windows Mobile Version

Microsoft Ships New Windows Mobile Version: "Windows Mobile 5.0 will also support tiny mobile hard disks, leading to the development of far more powerful smart phones and PDAs with which users can interact with digital music, photos, and videos. It also features that annoying cell phone feature called 'push-to-talk,' which lets expensive, modern mobile phones pretend they're 1970s-style police walkie-talkies.
With the release of Windows Mobile 5.0, Microsoft is finally killing off three overlapping brands: Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition, and Windows Mobile-based Smartphones. Now, all three types of devices will be supported by one code base."

MSN Acquires MessageCast to Expand Automated Alerting Services

MSN Acquires MessageCast to Expand Automated Alerting Services: "The MSN network of Internet services today announced that it has acquired substantially all the assets of MessageCast Inc., a leading provider of automated alerting and messaging technology that currently supports the MSN Alerts service. This acquisition builds on the robust MSN Alerts platform, enabling tighter integration with the MessageCast technology. It also extends MSN Alerts to new content channels, helping to expand the ability of MSN to connect consumers to the information and people they care about most."

WSJ.com - Personal Technology: Yahoo, RealNetworks Offer New Alternatives To Apple iTunes Model

WSJ.com - Personal Technology: Yahoo, RealNetworks Offer New Alternatives To Apple iTunes Model: "I've been testing these two new services, and of the two, I strongly prefer the new Yahoo Music Unlimited to Real's revamped Rhapsody service. Yahoo's offering is bolder, and it works much better. In fact, even though it is still in a beta, or test, phase, I regard Yahoo Music as the new champ among subscription services. Whether it can dislodge Apple is another matter.
... [but]
Finally, the songs you rent from the subscription sites won't play on the world's favorite and best portable music players: Apple's iPod models. The rental sites are all built on underlying Microsoft software that doesn't work on iPods."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

DDJ: The Lowdown On Longhorn

DDJ: The Lowdown On Longhorn: Lots of useful tidbits in this review. Example: "Windows Longhorn for the desktop will be based on an upgrade of the Windows Server 2003 code base, not the Windows XP code. Microsoft claims that this will make the next desktop version of Windows notably more stable than Windows XP. "

Microsoft?s Ambitions Soar with SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services

Microsoft?s Ambitions Soar with SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services: "When Microsoft Corp. announced its free SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services add-on last January, the software giant was careful to position it as a non-disruptive product entry into an already crowded reporting tools marketplace.
With Reporting Services 2.0, slated to ship with Microsoft?s forthcoming SQL Server 2005 database, the software giant is taking a very different approach. To wit: Microsoft officials have eighty-sixed the humility and are ready to discuss Reporting Services as a product on par with established entries from Actuate Corp., Business Objects SA, Hyperion Solutions Corp., and others.
Redmond’s SQL Server point man has also touted SQL Server 2005’s revamped Integration Services (nee Data Transformation Services) component, which he says has been “built … from the ground up to compete with the Ascentials and the Informaticas of the world.”"

Wired News: Dashboard Leaves Macs Vulnerable

Wired News: Dashboard Leaves Macs Vulnerable: "A security hole in Dashboard could expose users of Apple Computer's new Tiger operating system to attack, and may put personal information like passwords and credit card data at risk.
A new feature of Mac OS X Tiger, Dashboard is a suite of simple programs called widgets that often access information on the internet. Tiger comes preloaded with 14 widgets, including a world clock, a dictionary and a weather station.
For the convenience of users, most widgets automatically install themselves. But experts fear any program that auto-installs is ripe for exploitation."

Read the article for more details suggesting Dashboard wasn't well designed.

Microsoft makes mobile move | Tech News on ZDNet

Microsoft makes mobile move | Tech News on ZDNet: "Microsoft has invested an undisclosed sum in Laplink Software and agreed to license some of Laplink's mobile-worker technology, the companies said Tuesday.
The investment gives Microsoft a minority stake in the 50-person company and demonstrates the software titan's growing interest in technology for the mobile work force, Microsoft said.
Laplink, a closely held company in Kirkland, Wash., makes programs that give people access, via the Internet, to their computer's files and e-mail messages, and to calendars on other machines. People can use the program, called Laplink Everywhere, to access information on desktop machines, laptops, handheld computers and some mobile phones. The service costs $8.95 a month."

ACM Queue - A Conversation with Pat Selinger - Leading the way to manage the world?s information.

ACM Queue - A Conversation with Pat Selinger - Leading the way to manage the world's information.: "Take Pat Selinger of IBM and James Hamilton of Microsoft and put them in a conversation together, and you may hear everything you wanted to know about database technology and weren't afraid to ask.
Selinger, IBM Fellow and vice president of area strategy, information, and interaction for IBM Research, drives the strategy for IBM's research work spanning the range from classic database systems through text, speech, and multimodal interactions. Since graduating from Harvard with a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, she has spent almost 30 years at IBM, hopscotching between research and development of IBM's database products.
Leading her in this wide-ranging conversation about all things database is James Hamilton, who has spent most of his career working on the development side of the database business. For the past eight years he has been working with the SQL Server Team at Microsoft. Prior to joining the Microsoft team, he was with IBM for 11 years, where he was lead architect on DB2. Before that, he led the IBM C++ compiler project. Hamilton graduated from the University of Victoria with a B.Sc. in computer science in 1986 and has a master’s degree from the University of Waterloo."

Another classic ACM Queue interview.

Taking the Heat Out of the Kitchen - New York Times

Taking the Heat Out of the Kitchen - New York Times: "Wolfgang Puck introduced a new line of lattes this month. That the Los Angeles chef has stamped his name on yet another product isn't surprising. But the container is. It heats itself.
It took a California company named OnTech seven years and $24 million to create the self-heating cans, which are activated by pushing a plastic button on the bottom. Water flows into a sealed inner cone filled with quicklime, which is mostly calcium oxide. A chemical reaction heats the coffee to a pleasant 145 degrees in six to eight minutes, the amount of time it might take to order, pay for and receive a latte from a barista."

The technology was also featured in the latest issue of Fortune. Just what we need -- landfills overflowing with bulky containers in order to save people from the burden of heating liquids the old-fashioned way...

The New York Times > Technology > I.B.M. Expected to Buy Start-Up to Advance Open-Source Strategy

The New York Times > Technology > I.B.M. Expected to Buy Start-Up to Advance Open-Source Strategy: "The Gluecode acquisition can also be seen as a defensive tactic for I.B.M, which ran the risk of ceding the lower end of the business application server market to others, like JBoss, another open-source start-up, which has grown rapidly recently.
Gluecode was founded in 2003 and, in March 2004 received $5 million from two venture capital firms, Palomar Ventures and Rustic Canyon Partners.
'We're very complementary to the strategy that WebSphere has now,' said Chet Kapoor, chief executive of Gluecode. 'They sell software at the high end, and we have a support and subscription business model for small and medium-sized businesses and departmental projects in big companies.' "

I don't believe IBM will be able to maintain the dept/SMB ... enterprise dichotomy for long, but the acquisition was probably a necessary risk given JBoss's expanding reach.

The New York Times > AP > Technology > Microsoft Unveils New Windows Mobile

The New York Times > AP > Technology > Microsoft Unveils New Windows Mobile: "Windows Mobile 5.0, introduced by Chairman Bill Gates at the company's annual conference for mobile software developers in Las Vegas, also marks an about-face in marketing by eliminating the distinct Pocket PC and Smartphone brands of the operating system.
The elimination of the five-year-old Pocket PC brand for PDAs and the separate Smartphone label puts Windows Mobile on the same page as rival mobile device platforms such as Symbian and BlackBerry.
It also marks another change of course in Microsoft's long-evolving strategy to extend the dominance of its Windows computer platform to mobile devices."

Bill Gates' Web Site - Speech Transcript, Microsoft Mobile & Embedded Devices Developer Conference 2005

Bill Gates' Web Site - Speech Transcript, Microsoft Mobile & Embedded Devices Developer Conference 2005: "As you use these different devices, we think about the user and we think about how you collaborate with other users. For example, the idea of not fragmenting communications, over time even the idea of the phone number will be fairly obsolete. You will just think of using that e-mail address for all the things you do, whether it's SMS, instant messaging, dialing, starting a videoconference, and in some cases you'll simply use a picture-driven interface where you don't need a name at all, you just pick the picture and then pick exactly how you want to communicate.
And so communications are coming together across these different platforms, even to the point where you ought to be able to walk in with a phone conversation taking place and transfer that onto, say, the PC and have a full screen sharing experience without rebuilding that connection. Having your contacts shared, your group name shared, not thinking of buddy lists as being separate from what you're doing with e-mail, that integration can simplify communications.
We believe in collaboration, letting you take things like photos, the business data and share that in what we call the SharePoint facility. That information you should be able to connect to from a mobile phone and be notified of things that are important, things that you care about."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

WSJ.com - Yahoo to Unveil Music Store

WSJ.com - Yahoo to Unveil Music Store: "Yahoo Inc. on Wednesday plans to roll out an aggressively-priced online music service, in a bold move to undercut rivals and win consumers over to a music subscription model in which they rent songs rather than buying them outright.
The new service, dubbed Yahoo Music Unlimited, will give individuals unlimited access to over a million music tracks for $6.99 a month, or, alternatively, for $60 a year. The service, which also lets users transfer the songs to select portable MP3-format music players, is priced far below rivals' services: RealNetworks Inc., for example, charges $179 a year for its comparable subscription service.
Beyond pricing, Yahoo is offering links to its other services, such as instant messaging, and giving users extensive ability to share their music. Yahoo says its service, which includes free software similar to Apple's iTunes jukebox, will allow subscribers to see what songs friends have on their computers, and listen to their friends' tracks if the tracks are part of Yahoo's catalog. Rival services let users share music playlists, but individuals can't always hear the songs unless they own them.
Yahoo Music users will also be able to buy tracks under the traditional download model, with fees of 79 cents per song for Music Unlimited subscribers and 99 cents for nonsubscribers."

Sign me up, if:
1. It works seamlessly with Windows Media Player
2. Songs I "rent" are playable on all PCs on which I save my Yahoo credentials (that way I'll be able, e.g., to use Groove to sync the music files on my desktop and laptop PCs)

Security Curve Weblog: "Fox in the snow, where do you go?"

Security Curve Weblog: "Fox in the snow, where do you go?": "A vulnerable browser, an exposure with no patch, a catastrophe for FireFox? And this is a surprise? Hey, since when did any of us believe security by obscurity is a good thing?
What do attackers tend to target? The most 'props' (or financially) worthy 'sploits. Think FireFox or Mac OS X are secure? Think again.
Sorry to beat a drum here - but weaving security into the SDLC, understanding the requirements, use cases, production environment, and checking for potential defects early in (and throughout) the process, is the only way we're going to get a real handle on software faults and subsequently application failures. For anyone who thinks using a marginally adopted application or OS, one that wasn't designed by the 'machine' over in Seattle, is going to get us all a free pass to the land of security. Think again.
This is about thinking about security from the ground up - it's not about blindly accepting any thing, or application, without question."

(From my Burton Group colleague Diana Kelley)

New Microsoft product to tackle business reports | CNET News.com

New Microsoft product to tackle business reports | CNET News.com: "Microsoft expects to deliver the beta version of the new product--code-named Maestro--in September, Lewis Levin, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Office Business Applications, told a group of reporters. A select group of users is now testing the product, he said.
Microsoft views business-intelligence software as a $3 billion to $4 billion-a-year market, Levin said. Maestro is aimed directly at the top companies in that field, including Business Objects, Cognos and Hyperion, he added. They each make programs that deliver reports and alerts to business managers, indicating how a company is tracking with sales and profit targets and other performance goals, such as returns, warrantee claims and discounting levels."

InformationWeek > Security > 'Extremely Critical' Bugs Found In Firefox > May 9, 2005

InformationWeek > Security > 'Extremely Critical' Bugs Found In Firefox > May 9, 2005: "
A pair of unpatched vulnerabilities in Mozilla's Firefox Web browser -- rated as 'extremely critical' by one security firm -- could allow an attacker to take control of a PC simply by getting a user to visit a malicious Web site, Mozilla said Sunday.
Because proof-of-concept code has been leaked -- as were the vulnerabilities -- before a patch was ready, Mozilla recommended that Firefox users either disable JavaScript or lock down the browser so it doesn't install additional software, such as extensions' or themes, from Web sites. "

The New York Times > Technology > I.B.M. Expected to Buy Start-Up to Advance Open-Source Strategy

The New York Times > Technology > I.B.M. Expected to Buy Start-Up to Advance Open-Source Strategy: "I.B.M. is increasingly betting that it can build a big business around open-source software. The latest step in that strategy is the purchase of Gluecode Software, an open-source start-up.
The Gluecode acquisition, which I.B.M. plans to announce today, is small in size but significant in the evolution of the company's plans in open-source software, according to industry analysts.
Gluecode, based in El Segundo, Calif., sells support and service for an open-source server, called Geronimo, that is used by companies for applications including customer service, electronic commerce Web sites and work-sharing Web sites."

WSJ.com - More Employees Are Using the Web at Work

WSJ.com - More Employees Are Using the Web at Work: "In an annual survey by Websense, a San Diego computer security company, 93% of the workers polled spent some time on the Web while at work, an increase of seven percentage points from a year earlier.
The average time spent during the workweek accessing the Internet for all workers polled, is 10.5 hours, an 18% increase from the 8.9 hours in 2004.
Of the employees using the Internet at work, 51% access nonwork sites for about one to five hours a week; 5%, six to 10 hours; and 2%, 11 hours or more. An average of 3.4 hours a week was spent at such sites by each employee, a slight increase from 3.3 hours in the year-earlier poll."

Monday, May 09, 2005

[print version] A blog revolution? Get a grip | CNET News.com

[print version] A blog revolution? Get a grip | CNET News.com: "At a time when media conferences like 'Les Blogs' in Paris two weeks ago debate the potential of the form, and when BusinessWeek declares, as it did on its May 2 cover, that 'Blogs Will Change Your Business,' Denton is withering in his contempt. A blog, he says, is much better at tearing things down--people, careers, brands--than it is at building them up. As for the blog revolution, Denton put it this way: 'Give me a break.'
'The hype comes from unemployed or partially employed marketing professionals and people who never made it as journalists wanting to believe,' he said. 'They want to believe there's going to be this new revolution and their lives are going to be changed.'"