Friday, March 31, 2006
While Sling is still a young company and the quality of "slung" media is poor given bandwidth constraints, some members of the content and broadcasting communities have already expressed concern over the device. Krikorian points out, however, that the skepticism is unfounded because Sling neither records content nor distributes it to more than one end point at a time."
Good Morning Silicon Valley: Why yes, your honor, Steve Jobs did teach me everything I know about diplomacy
Grabiner might want to choose his words a bit more carefully in the future if he knows what's good for him. According to Geoffrey Vos, a lawyer for Apple Corps, Apple CEO Steve Jobs offered to buy the Apple Records name for $1 million in 2003."
A fun example:
"'Apple has some tremendous assets, but I believe without some attention, the company could, could, could -- I'm searching for the right word -- could, could die.'-- On his return as interim CEO, in Time, Aug. 18, 1997"
This shouldn't hurt the bottom line to any real extent during a period of rapid growth. But what it does do is reinforce the notion of karma on the somewhat spiritual and ascetic Steve Jobs. After all it was during his first reign at Apple that the company itself first became litigious. "
The deal makes available top prime-time and late night programs from the NBC broadcast network, as well as popular shows from NBC Universal's USA, Bravo and Sci-Fi cable channels."
Thursday, March 30, 2006
See the full post for interesting Facebook stats. BW also suggests maybe Facebook is what Google has in mind for that $2B. That'd be kinda pitiful, imho...
This is entertaining, considering Apple is bundling far stuff more than Microsoft ever has (including Apple Corps-offending music-related tools). Of course, with single-digit market share, the Mac is held to different regulatory standards. Go figure.
Check out the photo gallery sidebar -- I know what's on my birthday gift wish list for this year...
'We know what they're selling with that,' Mr. Vos said.
One band that Mr. Vos was unable to highlight on iTunes was the Beatles themselves. Apple Corps -- which is owned by Ringo Starr; Paul McCartney; John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono; and the estate of George Harrison -- has so far refused to license the Beatles' music catalog for digital sales. That makes it one of only a handful of bands still unavailable via legitimate online music sites."
- A 'modern' Intel, AMD, or Via CPU.
- 512 MB of RAM or more.
- A DirectX 9-class 3D graphics card."
See the full post for more details
The Mountain View, Calif., Internet company said the share sale would partially meet the demand of index funds that need to own Google when it is included in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index at the end of the month. Google said it would use the proceeds from the sale for "general corporate purposes, including working capital and capital expenditures, and possible acquisitions of complementary businesses, technologies or other assets." It said in its filing with regulators that it currently didn't have commitments to make any material acquisitions."
Maybe Google will use part of that next ~$2B to acquire some of its search competitors...
''For potential employees, it is not uncommon for senior executives to have a media search conducted that would include all public statements the individual has made,' said Tal Moise, chief executive of VerifiedPerson, which performs online background checks for US employers. ``What the public needs to understand is that whenever information is in the general domain, assume it is not private.'"
To paraphrase: don't be stupid...
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
I'm starting to suspect my next mobile PC won't have a hard disk...
[Steve Ballmer:] It's going to take an innovative proposition. In five years are people really going to carry two devices? One device that is their communication device, one device that is music? There's going to be a lot of opportunities to get back in that game. We want to be in that game. Expect to see announcements from us in that area in the next 12 months."
Good Morning Silicon Valley: How many times do I have to tell you, Ballmer: I'm not interested in the position.
Maybe it was simply a conscientious objector move in response the spat with The Beatles...
For the record company, a big settlement could be a way of getting its hands back on one of the crown jewels of The Beatles' legacy: the publishing rights to some 250 songs that are controlled by Sony/ATV, a joint venture between the singer Michael Jackson and Sony (SNE), his record company.
Jackson, you may remember, is in debt up to his eyeballs, and his 50% stake in the song catalogs controlled by Sony/ATV could be worth as much as $200 million. The singer's $270 million debt used to be held by Bank of America (BAC) but is now owed to New York-based Fortress Investment Group."
Who needs reality TV when we have the Apple Corps/Computer lawuit potentially leading to near-bankrupt Michael Jackson losing control of the Beatles portfolio?
Update: I just read Russell Beattie's thread about this and how valuing companies through page views is a bad sign. It's back to the bad old days of the Internet bubble. But it's definitely happening. When MySpace blasted into the public consciousness last year, what it touted then too was page views. Not a good thing..."
Get ready for bubble burst v2 -- it's only a matter of time...
In fewer words, the formerly premium services will now be free.
EU regulators have also warned Microsoft against putting certain software-security functions into the Vista system, according to Mr. Todd."
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
An Apple representative confirmed Tuesday that Tevanian will leave Apple's employ on March 31 and said he 'plans to take some time off in the interim.' "
That sounds kind of abrupt...
Timely snapshot; I need a tool of this type. I currently use a mix of IBM Lotus Notes, Microsoft Groove, and Novell iFolder, but it'd be handy to have a simple file-based alternative for some sync/back-up needs (especially since Novell is reportedly going Linux-only for the iFolder server component).
So applications are changing in their architecture, and the change we have now is that we can't be monolithic in the user interface, that's the role-based, and we can't ignore all of the communications and productivity software advances that are taking place. We need to sit on top of those and let people very easily build the composite applications."
Hmm -- this seems vaguely familiar somehow...
Newsweek's April 3 cover story looks at the Web 2.0 phenomena -- discussing the rise of content sites such as Flickr, MySpace, YouTube and others."
Good Morning Silicon Valley: Mr. Jobs, it's almost time for your periodic contribution to the Beatles Preservation Fund
Geck, vice president and SUSE Linux CTO at the company, said in an e-mail that his contract with Novell officially ends June 30. He described the parting as amicable.
'There's nothing for [Geck] to do. He's a thinker, a strategist, and differs with Novell,' said one source close to SUSE, who asked not to be named."
Reminds me of PointCast -- which turned down a $450M offer from News Corp in 1997, only to crash and burn shortly thereafter.
It's unfortunate this sort of stuff appears to be a cost of conducting post-90s business in the US... but it's also very pragmatic on Google's part.
I don't often disagree with Paul Thurrott's perspectives, but I do in this instance. BTW Net Docs didn't get killed; it morphed into XDocs, which became InfoPath -- a product line that will, in Office 2007, significantly expand the types of apps Microsoft-focused developers can deliver in browser clients.
One telecom company in particular has exploited the changes and created competition in France -- a start-up called Iliad. Over 1.1 million French subscribers pay as low as €29.99 ($36) monthly for a 'triple play' package called Free that includes 81 TV channels, unlimited phone calls within France and to 14 countries, and high-speed Internet. The least expensive comparable package from most cable and phone operators in the U.S. is more than $90, although more TV channels are generally included.
Iliad built its own hardware, dubbed the "Freebox," to deliver Internet, voice, and TV services. Iliad also designed its own DSLAMs -- the machines that direct traffic into and out of subscribers' homes. The company uses open source Linux software to write its own programs for Internet TV. It was one of the first companies in the world to offer Internet TV in December 2003."
In a filing with U.S. securities regulators last week, Apple said it has withheld more than 4.5 million company shares, worth $296 million, from Mr. Jobs, leaving the Apple executive with 5.4 million company shares, worth $323 million. The shares were part of 10 million shares of restricted stock Apple awarded to Mr. Jobs in March 2003, a grant that vested over three years."
I trust the Wall Street Journal in this context...
Mathew works for a US firm, but does his tutoring while seated at a computer in the southern Indian city of Cochin. Thanks to a high-speed Internet link, and software that lets him sketch chemical formulas onto a computer screen, Mathew can give 16-year-old Aashish one-on-one tutoring from 8,000 miles and half a day away."
Monday, March 27, 2006
"Q You were working at Hewlett-Packard while you and Steve Jobs were creating Apple Computer. Did HP know about your Apple work?
A Yes. As soon as Steve Jobs suggested, ``Why don't we sell a PC board of this computer,'' I said, `I think I signed something, an employment contract, that said what I designed belongs to Hewlett-Packard.' And I loved that company. That was my company for life. So I approached Hewlett-Packard first. Boy, did I make a pitch. I wanted them to do it. I had the Apple I, and I had a description of what the Apple II could do. I spoke of color. I described an $800 machine that ran BASIC (an early computer language), came out of the box fully built and talked to your home TV. And Hewlett-Packard found some reasons it couldn't be a Hewlett-Packard product."
"... the rest of the story" on Jobs' reported stock sale -- perhaps; via Om Malik. Timely reality check, in any case.
I think this is one of the most under-reported stories of the last few years, and I expect Apple Corps to perform a spectacular cashectomy on Apple Computer. It's also a classic case study in hypocrisy, as Jobs et al brazenly violate their contract with Apple Corps while using litigation in attempts to control everything from blogging college students to business partners who won't play according to Apple's whims.
A deal is a deal -- Apple signed a contract when it negotiated for the right to name its company. Fitting that Jobs was probably the person who led that deal in the first place; somehow I suspect he was most adamant, ~30 years ago, about the company name...
Windows runs on 330 million personal computers worldwide. Three hundred PC manufacturers around the world install Windows on their machines; thousands of devices like printers, scanners and music players plug into Windows computers; and tens of thousands of third-party software applications run on Windows. And a crucial reason Microsoft holds more than 90 percent of the PC operating system market is that the company strains to make sure software and hardware that ran on previous versions of Windows will also work on the new one -- compatibility, in computing terms."
This is an interesting snapshot, but I disagree with some implicit themes such as:
1. There hasn't been a signficiant Windows XP update since 2001 -- while Microsoft hasn't charged for upgrades, as, e.g., Apple has, there have been several substantive XP updates during the last few years
2. The market doesn't need or care about backward compatibility -- I think Apple's recent experience in breaking compatibility is a useful counter-example, even though Apple has also managed to alienate most of its traditional ISVs (i.e., customers still care about compatibility...)
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Jobs was granted the 10m shares in 2003, but they didn't vest until now."
2006/03/27 update: check this story for a reality check; The Register is now officially off my news source list (except for occasional humorous headlines/quotes...)
Ben Domenech had just started writing a daily Web log when another online publication, Salon.com, made the allegations."
Friday, March 24, 2006
Computer hardware in general will be ready for Vista on time despite the delay, he said, so any further change in the schedule--such as an early release--would be possible."
Well, I think there are experts who claim Linux violates our intellectual property. I'm not going to comment. But to the degree that that's the case, of course we owe it to our shareholders to have a strategy. And when there is something interesting to say, you'll be the first to hear it"
(This final part of the WSJ article stuck in my head after my initial post below...)
In the 13 months since it launched, Bebo has racked up more than 22 million members. It is aimed at those aged 13-30 but has proved particularly popular with school and college students. "
'We have, however, decided to coordinate with Windows Vista to hit retail store shelves in January 2007,' a Microsoft representative said in an e-mail to CNET News.com. 'We believe this will provide an easier experience for consumers and retailers alike.' "
The Treo product line accounted for more than 70 percent of the quarter's revenue, up from 46 percent last year. The jump affirmed Palm's own strategic expectations and reflected an industrywide shift in interests from basic personal digital assistants, which Palm pioneered, to more advanced cell phones that combine PDA, data and voice functions."
While surveys show that more than 60% of large companies use some form of encryption software on laptops, it is typically installed only on machines used by the highest level employees, like the chief executive and chief financial officer, says Charles Kolodgy, an IDC research director."
On Dec. 15, the scientific journal Nature ran a two-page 'special report' titled 'Internet encyclopedias go head to head.' It compared the accuracy of science entries for the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and the online version of Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Now, Britannica's editors are firing back with a strongly worded open letter demanding that Nature retract its article and a 7,000-word rebuttal on its Web site. Executives at Britannica say the letter will appear in half-page ads in The Times of London, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune as early as Monday. The letter says that Nature's study "was so poorly carried out and its findings so error-laden that it was completely without validity." The letter was emailed Wednesday to roughly 5,000 librarians, school-district administrators and curriculum coordinators."
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Unlike Apple's iTunes downloads or the mobile-video services of wireless carriers, Sling doesn't require you to pay for each show or cough up a subscription fee. Unlike video recordings transferred from a Media Center PC, it doesn't require running complicated software before syncing large files over to your handheld."
The content liberation revolution continues...
Michael Robertson is really one of the most bright and distruptive entrepreneurs ever. This ajaxWrite thing looks silly at first, but the application itself is much usable than its competitors. It should get better and better."
The most interesting part of the deal, said Kretzer, is Dell finally tying the knot with AMD despite pressure from Intel. 'This is a back-door in for AMD,' he said. "
The stolen computer belongs to Fidelity Investments, which provides services to HP, a representative for the Palo Alto, Calif., technology giant said Wednesday. The laptop was being used by several Fidelity employees in an off-site location, said Anne Crowley, a spokeswoman for Fidelity, which is based in Boston. "
Today is another milestone in society's great march toward anytime, anywhere TV. Starting today, Slingbox owners can install new player software on Windows Mobile palmtops and cellphones, thereby eliminating even the laptop requirement. "
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, said Alienware will operate as a standalone unit and maintain its own product development, marketing and sales operations. The management and founders of Alienware will continue to run the Miami-based business."
Dude, you're in the high-end AMD box business! This is a multifaceted milestone for Dell.
Timely open source reality check from The Economist (I would have blogged this article last week, but it was for subscribers only then; now it's "freely available to all...")
'This gives Apple the biggest competitive advantage they've had in history from Microsoft,' veteran technology consultant Rob Enderle, founder of the Enderle Group, said of the delay announced by Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft's Platform and Services Division. "
Er, yeah, maybe if Vista slipped a couple years instead of a couple weeks or months. Taking until October, 2001 to get a robust, 32-bit, consumer-oriented version of Windows (i.e., XP) into market was the biggest competitive advantage Microsoft ever gave Apple, and it didn't seem to help Apple much in the grand scheme of things.
The delay will also push back something else that had been expected: Allchin's retirement. After 15 years at Microsoft, he had planned to leave when he finished this upgrade. 'Quality is the top thing,' Allchin says. 'I'm going to stay until the quality is right.' "
Interesting background on the Writely team (via Barry Briggs), including key roles on FullPaint, FullWrite, Claris Home Page, and Adobe Dreamweaver, apparently.
The shipment delay, he conceded, was 'a bit painful, but we're trying to take a leadership role here and do the right thing.'"
U.S. users of Yahoo's Messenger instant messaging service will be able to call friends' telephones from their computers for low fees such as two cents per minute within the U.S. Consumers can also pay to have a traditional telephone number that directs incoming calls to their computer for $2.99 a month or $29.90 a year. U.S. users can select a telephone number located in the U.S., France or U.K."
Tapping Mr. Sinofsky, 40 years old, adds an executive from Microsoft's Office group to the Windows division. Mr. Sinofsky, who joined Microsoft in 1989 and served as a technical assistant to Chairman Bill Gates, has earned a reputation in his current role as head of the Office product group as a no-nonsense manager willing to push back against engineers, according to people familiar with the executive."
Schmidt said he saw Writely and other server-based tools as another way to collect and organize the world's data. 'All the world's information includes personal information,' he noted.
But Schmidt also said the company can't possibly be doing all the things that people say it is working on. 'We're not really that exciting,' he said.
But he also noted that the company's image also gives it a certain aura within the technology industry. 'The mystique works in our benefit,' he said. 'It's an engineering recruitment tool.' "
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Microsoft Updates Windows Vista Road Map: Business availability for Windows Vista in November 2006, consumer availability in January 2007.
Because of the way businesses test and deploy software, it makes sense for Microsoft volume licensing customers to receive windows Windows Vista starting in November of this year. Availability for consumers and on new PCs will follow in January."
I suspect there will be lots of "Includes a free upgrade to Windows Vista" PC offers starting in October or so... Not good news for Microsoft and its hardware partners, in any case, but more embarrassing (in terms of inability to hit schedule goals) than any sort of massively business-impacting crisis...
At the same time, he said, Microsoft's easy-to-use programming tools are appealing to Web developers, despite the buzz for alternatives such as open-source software.
'Developers are in the end pragmatists,' he said. 'Some of your louder, squeakier wheels tend to be idealists when it comes to what technologies are best, but ... everybody else just wants to solve a problem and go home to their kids.'"
The site will focus on current and historical data for both public and private companies, and following a Google practice for its new offerings, it will not immediately carry advertisements."
Internet Explorer 6, the previous version, was released five years ago. 'We're doing a mea culpa saying, hey, we waited too long,' Mr. Gates said."
The Redmond, Wash., software company could release the device as early as the end of the year, but it may end up deciding on a later launch date, these people said. The product is being planned by the group within Microsoft responsible for the company's Xbox console. The product may also allow users to play music and videos, a move that would put the device in competition with Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod."
Monday, March 20, 2006
He also hopes that Alfresco -- once the dust has settled and the IBM's and EMC's of the commercial CMS world have been cut at the knees by his firm's open source CMS applications ? finds itself at the top of this heap as the de facto standard in Web content management.
Cochrane joined Interwoven in 1996 as its fourth employee and led the development of the company's flagship product, TeamSite."
One of Documentum's co-founders is also a key Alfresco developer.
"Last fall, Eclipse hired Ward Cunningham, a software programmer credited with building the first wiki application, as its director of committer community development.
In a keynote speech at EclipseCon, Cunningham will discuss plans to enhance the Eclipse software and processes with collaborative features, he said."
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft's new Vista should reach store shelves by holidays
'The current thinking is it's highly probable the end of August is RTM, so it's in the market in December,' Carter Maslan, director of technical evangelism, told The Indus Entrepreneurs group Thursday night."
Brian Monnin, the MetaStories cofounder and chief executive, who is a veteran of Microsoft Corp.'s MSN division, will remain in Seattle with his 10-person team and report to Allaire. Rather than move MetaStories to Brightcove's headquarters in Cambridge, home to most of its 50 employees, Allaire said that he decided to keep the Seattle operation as a base for recruiting multimedia employees from companies like Microsoft, Real Networks, and Amazon.com."
With 205 million people signed up as Messenger users, and another 40 million users of MSN Spaces (and 100 million Spaces visitors in the last 16 months), the company already has a strong network of potential classifieds customers, said Garry Wiseman, Microsoft's product unit manager for Windows Live Expo."
Verizon will spend about $18 billion by 2010 to run fiber lines into people's homes, Bernstein says. The Verizon network will serve half that number of customers, but will offer more bandwidth than networks run by AT&T and the cable companies. "
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Read the full article (no subscription to The Economist required)
No single-page view, annoyingly, but still a timely article.
But the fact remains the Netscape's owners and handlers were as much to blame as Microsoft that Internet Explorer quickly bulldozed the browser pioneer from the top spot. "
At least as much to blame, imho...
The biggest difference between the mini and Media Center is that Apple doesn't include any way to tune into or record TV programs. The company built this machine to bring the computer to the TV, not the other way around."
Saturday, March 18, 2006
My computer knowledge is extremely limited,' Himmer admitted, 'but as limited as it is, I was able to sign on to Myspace and find tons of kids that my daughter grew up with, whose parents would be appalled at what they have posted on there.'"
Sites/services such as Myspace, Facebook, and Bebo are in big trouble when this sort of article starts appearing on p. 1 of town newspapers...
Friday, March 17, 2006
The Next Big Thing does exist...it just doesn't look BIG to IBM. That is a common problem with large companies. When you have revenues of $40B to $100B no one thing will move the needle. Nothing looks big or interesting. Innovative or disruptive technologies are viewed as a threat to the core revenue stream, rather than promising new opportunities. This is the premise of The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen.
Here is a sampling of the hot start-ups we are working with now. Any one of them could emerge as The Next Big Thing."
Handy list from Microsoft's Don Dodge
Great to see innovation in the messaging market again.
Irrefutable evidence that "social networking" has jumped the shark...
'We're talking about giving people in business the tools to be more productive every day,' he said. 'I.B.M. is talking about a project.'"
"Ken Bisconti, a vice president in I.B.M.'s software group, said the Microsoft demonstrations, which he saw on a Webcast, were a display of 'more functions than people need or want in a pure Microsoft software environment.'
'Microsoft,' Mr. Bisconti added, 'is clinging to a pre-Internet, proprietary software model.'"
Competition = good...
Raikes: Sure. We're also making it easier and more economical for customers to access software that works together, enabling comprehensive solutions for their collaboration, communication and compliance needs. As a result, customers can now deploy on their own schedule and scale as required, ensure the tools are there when the business needs them, and have earlier access to more training and support for new technologies and desktop deployment planning services that enable People-Ready business."
This collaboration thing is gonna be big, real big... :)
My television set-top box is starting to feel insecure...
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Apple took the first step today by making the Disney Channel original film 'High School Musical' available for a $9.99 download price. The made-for-TV movie is already widely popular among the 'tween' set. The music soundtrack is highly sought-after on the iTunes site -- one of its songs is currently listed as the second most popular download in the soundtrack category."
Jon Udell on Microsoft's new Internet realities, on the eve of Microsoft's first web developer/designer-focused event in a decade or so.
Viva Piata Universe Revealed Entertainment Property Brought to Life by Microsoft, Rare and 4Kids Entertainment
"Set to release this holiday season worldwide, “Viva Piñata” is a customizable, social and spontaneous game that invites players of all ages and skills to explore an immersive world where they are challenged to create and maintain a living garden ecosystem that grows in real time. Beginning with a few basic tools, players build and take control of their environment to attract and host more than 60 species of wild piñata, utilizing hundreds of customizable elements to create their very own distinctively unique thriving paradise.
“Viva Piñata” gameplay continues to evolve with new content available via the Xbox Live® service and the ability to play, trade and interact with more than 2 million gamers via the online service."
'If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you're not sitting there cranking the thing while you're trying to type,' Gates said."
Last month, Google began processing payments for some sellers using its Google Base service, which lets users submit information such as classified-like listings of items for sale. The Mountain View, Calif., company in recent weeks extended that offering to more sellers. Under the program, Google handles the billing of a consumer's credit card for an unspecified number of sellers."
Timely snapshot of Cisco's strategy
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Ants, which claims 18 corporate customers, said its method of storing information avoids the need to lock rows of data, as most SQL databases do, while maintaining data integrity. That enables increased transaction speeds, especially in online transaction processing environments where bottlenecks may occur when many users try to read or write to the same data fields at the same time."
Timely interview with one of the pioneers who created the Mac.
Dell replied, 'We love Linux, and we're doing our best to support the Linux community. We see lots of opportunity there. If the Linux desktops could converge at their cores, such a common platform would make it easier to support. Or, if there was a leading or highly preferred version that a majority of users would want, we'd preload it.'
In the end, 'we see [the Linux desktop] as a customer-driven activity. If customers want it, well, Dell will give it to them.'
One company has not played a role in Dell's Linux decisions. 'Microsoft has not talked to us about Linux. If they did, I wouldn't care. It's none of their business,' concluded Dell. "
In 2005, 44 percent of US companies offered at least some telecommuting options, according to a survey of 1,043 large employers by Mercer Human Resources Consulting."
Obviously, the issues are a little more complex than this basic summary. But I find Google's decision to fight this request a bit bizarre, especially when they had no problem bowing to China, one of the most egregious human rights violators on earth."
Microsoft Developing Web's Largest Advertising Network: Ad testing begins on Office Live, Windows Live Mail and MSN Spaces.
MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide."
The company's Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. unit earlier had set the launch of the next-generatioin videogame console for this spring. The PlayStation 3 is critical for Sony's profits and brand image, so the delay is seen as a major setback for the Japanese electronics and entertainment company as it struggles to mount a recovery after several years of poor earnings."
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
The project builds on established methods of using sensors to detect electrical impulses from the brain and assess a person's cognitive state. Such techniques can determine, for example, whether someone's mind is relaxed, crunching numbers or imagining objects at any particular moment."
We are Borg...
Very smart -- read the entire article.
I guess Apple "FairPlay" didn't translate into French...
Interestingly, the speech was pitched at a room full of execs and venture capitalists that spend their time concocting the next big thing."
I should also mention that Windows Live Family Safety Settings will also work in concert with the family safety offerings built into the upcoming Windows Vista, which, when used together, will help provide families with valuable layers of protection through both Web- and PC-based safety settings. "
Brilliant PR to do this in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics; read the full Q&A for a timely reality check.
The company also plans to eventually allow parents to control who communicates with their children over e-mail, instant messaging and in their blogs.
The software giant already offers a similar service under its subscription-based MSN premium, but Microsoft said customers are increasingly asking for the service to be free."
Cool -- these features are the primary reason I pay $99.95/year for MSN Premium today...
In seeking the Google data, the Bush administration intends to defend the act in federal court in Pennsylvania against the ACLU's claim it violates the Constitution's First Amendment right to free speech. The government argues the Google information will help it determine whether filtering software can satisfactorily keep minors from offensive material online or whether the stronger measures of the act are needed.
In legal papers, the Justice Department said it might be willing to accept a smaller random sample of Web site addresses to ease worries that Google trade secrets might be revealed."
Monday, March 13, 2006
Sam [Guckenheimer, Lead Product Planner for Orcas]: Visual Studio code-named 'Orcas' delivers on Microsoft's vision of smart client applications by enabling developers to rapidly create data driven, connected applications that deliver the highest quality rich user experiences, providing full support for the Windows Vista and Office System smart client platforms. Beyond that, Visual Studio code-named 'Orcas' enterprise capabilities enable developers in any size organization to rapidly create more secure, manageable & reliable applications using key technologies such as the Microsoft Business Framework and Dynamic Systems Initiative. As per the current status, our teams have now started developing on this vision, and we will know more about timelines and release mechanisms around TechEd in June."
Again, if this sounds scary to those suspicious of Microsoft, it shouldn't. It's a protocol - a set of rules for exchanging information - not a Microsoft product. Any company can provide certified protection for data using the protocol, and many will. So unlike Microsoft's Passport system, the dubious personal info repository that alarmed many people a few years ago, no central administrator decides how privacy is protected or trust secured. Instead, the protocol solves the problem of security the same way the Internet solved the problem of browsers - through competition on an open, neutral platform. This is infrastructure for a digital age. It's TCP/IP for privacy and security.
None of this means there isn't a role for (smart) government policy and laws against online fraud or theft. There plainly is. But if this identity layer sticks, then there is a wider range of solutions to the problem. In particular, there is one that seemed impossible to me just a year ago, one that's consistent with the decentralized design of the Internet. That's an extraordinary gift to the online world, from a giant that increasingly depends on the Net's extraordinary design."
Lawrence Lessig on InfoCard (via Barry Briggs)
The Houston-based company is gathering academic and textbook publishers like John Wiley and Sons and putting their works on the Web. For $20 a month, or $100 for a full-year subscription, individuals can get full access to peer-review articles, textbooks and other academic publications online. High schools can access the database too, for about 85 percent of the cost, said CEO Troy Williams.
Although most people haven't heard of the company, Google has. Questia was one of the early big purchasers of AdWords on Google. CEO Eric Schmidt called once a few years ago to ask who they were and what they were up to, Williams recalled."
Oracle Introduces Oracle(R) SQL Developer - Free, Database Development Tool: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
IBM has provided the bulk of its consulting services to major companies on high-priced projects. But revenue from IBM's Business Consulting Services group fell 6% in the fourth quarter, prompting the company to pursue consulting arrangements with smaller businesses."
''The biggest threat for Microsoft or for any technology company is if you stand still,' Ray Ozzie said. ''You have to reflect on the environment and how you shift your business strategy.'"
Nice snapshot of Ray Ozzie's role at Microsoft, a year after Microsoft announced plans to acquire Groove Networks.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Worldwide forecast for IPTV subscribers by digital consumer market research firm The Diffusion Group seem to match Microsoft's optimism for IPTV subscribers. The group predicts that by 2007, subscribers for IPTV will hit 8.9 million worldwide; by 2010, the number of IPTV subscribers should climb to 37.8 million worldwide."
By the third quarter, Symantec is planning to release a product called Genesis that would combine several security elements together with minimal effects on the performance of a computer, Trollope said. Genesis will have antivirus, antispyware and antiphishing technology built into one product, he said. The price of Genesis hasn't been released, he said."