Tuesday, April 30, 2002

MBusinessDaily: Linksys Wirelessly Projects Your PowerpointsAnother innovative product from Linksys: "The Instant Wireless Presentation Gateway enables wireless PC users to project PowerPoint presentations and other data onto VGA-equipped devices such as multimedia projectors, monitors and LCD panels without having to physically wire each PC to the projector."
Geek Holiday Destinations via Dave Farber
Sun names new software chief - Tech News - CNET.com "Jonathan Schwartz, currently chief strategy officer, will become executive vice president of software and leader of an expanded software division on July 1, Sun said Monday. His predecessor, Patricia Sueltz, led Sun's work with its Java software and its Solaris operating system, but Schwartz's domain also will include the Sun Open Network Environment (Sun ONE) products that formerly carried the iPlanet brand."
FOXNews.com: The AOL Time Warner Black Hole via slashdot
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Is Microsoft confident? Company halves its witness list "In a strategic move that could shorten its antitrust case, Microsoft yesterday reduced by half the number of witnesses it plans to call in this latest courtroom chapter."
The Register: Sun's Zander ambushed in tech stock shoot-out "Hey, I don't know what Scott's been saying - but any more questions about my life and I'm outta here," said Zander, after an excruciating five minutes, that seemed like hours to us.
Youth Let Their Thumbs Do the Talking in Japan "Their thumbs have become bigger, more muscular," said Sadie Plant, author of a new report of "On the Mobile," a study of cellphone habits of people in eight major world cities. Talking from Birmingham, England, she said that Japan's "oya yubi sedai," or "thumb generation," was "the most advanced in the world.

Many Bidders May Pursue New Method to Carry TV "A new television technology is coming after eight long years of debate. ... It's digital. It's wireless. It's local. It offers high-speed Internet access. It is akin to digital cable — but without any cables."
ITworld.com - Reporter's notebook: The Ballmers' calendars "My wife thinks my getting home on time is a mission-critical application. She would like to see me frequently merge (our calendars) and make sure my calendar fits with her calendar," Ballmer told attendees at the Microsoft Latin America Enterprise Solutions Conference 2002. ... But there's a problem: Mr. Ballmer keeps his calendar in Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange at work, while Mrs. Ballmer keeps her calendar on the Microsoft MSN Web site."

allNetDevices: - Microsoft Notches In-Car Win "Putting Microsoft technology in our vehicles takes us one step closer to the end-to-end connectivity that our consumers are asking for," said Phil Bienert, Volvo's manager of CRM, e-Business and future product strategy.

Monday, April 29, 2002

Macromedia - Designer & Developer Center Lots of good info on MX FYI
Linux at IBM - Linux Line "Every time we got corporations enthusiastic about the TCO savings in converting from Windows to Linux systems, Exchange™ emerged as a deal-killer," says Adelstein, co-founder of Bynari, a high-level consultancy for Open Source systems. ... So Adelstein's team wrote the two DLLs that make up InsightConnector so that he could sell Bynari's InsightServer. Together these two solve the problem of letting employees use Outlook on their PCs while connecting with their non-Microsoft e-mail servers." via Camworld
Macromedia promises better Web apps - Tech News - CNET.com
The Register: Hands on with the PDA-killer Sony P800 "Handspring's fine Treo communicator had Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal hyperventilating recently, with Walt describing it as the best phone and the best PDA he'd ever used. It probably is. ... But when Walt gets to see the Sony Ericsson P800, we recommend that the demonstrators bring along a team of paramedics. Although the Treo and the P800 are functionally similar, our first impressions of the new Ericsonny device leave the Treo looking like Dilbert's secret Elbonian recipe for mud (that's soil and water, by the way)." via Tomalak
Sun veteran calls it quits "For the third time this month, Sun Microsystems announced the imminent departure of a top executive. Larry Hambly, head of Sun's services group and a 19-year company veteran, will retire shortly, the company said Friday. ... Replacing him as executive vice president of Enterprise Services will be Patricia Sueltz, currently executive vice president of Sun's Software Systems Group."
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Look behind Windows and watch Linux "Four to five years after it was supposed to happen, the Linux revolution may finally be gaining traction."
Comforts of Home Yield to Tyranny of Digital Gizmos Not quite yet the age of appliances, apparently...
Macromedia Lays Out Strategy for More Uses for Flash Player ... and more

Friday, April 26, 2002

Tech Support on Wheels Great snapshot
Chase Cringely: Finding Meaning in a Lost Life "Chase Cringely sounds like the name of a NASCAR driver. Chase Cringely was my son. He died this week after 74 days of life, a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). He literally stopped breathing lying in my lap while I did e-mail. There was no sound, no struggle. I just looked down and he was no longer alive. I have no idea whether he had been dead for one minute or 10, but we were unable to revive him. He was never sick, he just died, and now there is a void in our lives that we can never fill. ... Still, as a grieving nerd, I feel the need to do something. And I am not at all convinced that epidemiologists are to be trusted in this. After all, they are medical statisticians and mainly play the odds. I want to defy the odds. If current monitors won't work, I want to make ones that do. ... So here is what I propose. It is my plan to devote much of my resources and a good portion of the rest of my life to combating SIDS. I can't cure it, but I think I can help babies to evade it. The trick is to first develop a very cheap, very accurate, recording medical sensor."
Expand .NET Beyond Windows "It'll take cross platform expansion for Microsoft to compete fully against vendors such as IBM, Oracle, and Sun in high-end enterprise accounts. This is not to suggest that .NET won't be successful if it never moves beyond Windows—it will. However, the degree of this success and the subsequent ability of Microsoft to push into high-end markets is ultimately tied to this eventuality. And this is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Microsoft developers should assume that .NET will be officially tied solely to the Windows operating systems for at least the next three years. The best they can hope for is an unofficial clone of .NET from third parties (such as Mono) that will approximate, but will likely not fulfill, complete compatibility for several more years."
O'Reilly Network: A Quick Look at the Compact Framework [April 26, 2002]
Bypassing the Carriers, a Burg Goes Broadband David Farber, a former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission and professor of computer science at the University of Pennsylvania, agrees that local governments will need to take part in extending broadband availability. "Cities and towns provide highways, sewers and infrastructure," he said. "In a world where it's pretty clear that telecommunications companies aren't in any rush to provide infrastructure, it's rational for the cities to get into the business."
Sony Defies Downturn, Thanks to PlayStation 2 "Sony depends on television video games, and that's very good for their balance," said Lee Kun Soo, an analyst at West LB Securities in Tokyo. "Kids don't care about recessions."
WSJ.com: Personal-Organizer Market Declines
As Consumers Wait for New Models
"U.K.-based canalys.com Ltd. said shipments into Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell 30% from a year earlier to 679,000 units. Europe accounts for the vast majority of these shipments. The research firm reported that shipments by market leader Palm Inc. fell 48% as it lost market share to the No. 2 supplier, Compaq Computer Corp., whose shipments climbed 36%. Compaq's devices run software from Microsoft Corp., and the U.S. software giant now has 34% of the region's organizer market, compared with 18% a year earlier, canalys said. The figures also show that shipments by Finnish mobile-phone maker Nokia Corp., the third-largest supplier of organizers, fell 23% from a year earlier."

Thursday, April 25, 2002

The Register: SMS: make hay while the sun shines "Mobile operators could be in for a shock - if the latest research from Forrester is correct. The firm predicts that European SMS (short message service) revenues will start to stagnate as early as 2004."
ZDNet: Tech Update: Web Services / .Net seen gaining steam in dev projects "META trend: Global 2000 organizations will have heterogeneous application environments indefinitely, but .Net share will increase to 30 percent of enterprise development projects as J2EE use stabilizes at 40 percent by 2004."
AOL's Slump Helps Produce a Major Loss for Its Parent AOL sets another record...
Apple - iTools iHotmail?...
WSJ.com: Microsoft's Hotmail Makes Gains In European Cellphone Market "Microsoft believes that building a presence in the mobile-phone market is key to the success of its broader strategy of providing software and services to consumers and businesses over the Internet. ... Having failed to persuade most of the leading handset makers to use its software in their phones, Microsoft is now trying to team up with mobile-phone operators to offer its MSN-branded Internet services to wireless subscribers. ... Microsoft said that it splits the revenue generated by the Hotmail SMS service with operators. Users typically pay to receive an SMS text message carrying the Hotmail message."
Wireless News: The Coming Wireless Storm "After the long period of anticipation of next-gen wireless services was deflated by the economic slowdown, many industry watchers acted as though the new technology would sit on the back burner indefinitely. ... But wireless hot spots are popping up all over, location services are materializing, and Wi-Fi home networking applications are being readied for the next holiday sales event. Is the wireless industry now bracing for the explosion that seemed like it would never come?"
What's New in England, MS-Style We're not working on this year's products. We're not working on next year's products. We're working on the technology that might help improve the technologies of the future," said professor Roger Needham, one-time Cambridge student, now professor and vice chancellor, who heads the lab.
Sun chief hits back at Microsoft web services slur "Charles Fitzgerald obviously has a problem with reality - we're looking at a Soviet-style re-write of history here. Nearly all of the web services work across the world is being done on Java." Hit a nerve, maybe?

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Database future debated "Sun's Rick Cattell, a distinguished engineer at the company, had a less dominant outlook for XML, saying very few people are going to store XQuery data in an XML format. "I think the momentum behind relational databases is insurmountable," Cattell said, adding that he was drawing on his experience with object-oriented databases, which were unable to unseat relational databases in enterprise IT shops."
The Register: Microsoft accuses industry of Web services hype "Charles Fitzgerald, general manager of Microsoft's .NET platform strategies, is reported to have said Microsoft's biggest fear is customers become bored of web services before they are delivered. Fitzgerald blamed hype for falsely raising expectations. ... Fitzgerald said some vendors lacked real technology to back-up web services. "There is a lot of bandwagon jumping going on, from people that are in no way grounded in this. Our concern is that those who are patently just along for the ride are setting some unreasonable expectations," Silicon.com reported."
The Register: Judge betraying pro-MS bias? "I rather doubt that the judge's indulgence of MS indicates that she's been taken in. Indeed if I were in Billg's shoes, I'd wipe that inane, smug smile off my face, and cross my fingers instead."
O'Reilly Network: Opinion: Are we doing OOP when we build EJBs? [April 24, 2002] Good question
Xbox Creator Bails "In another sign of impending doom for Microsoft's Xbox gaming console, Seamus Blackley, who cocreated the unit and its marketing strategy, has suddenly left the company to pursue other projects." File under "unsupported melodrama"
Amazon Defies the Naysayers as Losses Drop and Sales Grow "Challenging skeptics who said that its business had stagnated, Amazon.com said today that sales in the first quarter had grown faster than expected and that its loss was less than expected."
WSJ.com: Symbian Gets Boost, But More Politics, From Siemens Deal "Symbian, a consortium of mobile phone companies that is developing operating software for wireless devices, received a boost Tuesday when Siemens AG (SI) said it would pay EUR22.8 million for a 5% stake in the group... The deal means that four of the world's top five mobile handset makers have stakes in Symbian. The group is increasingly seen competing directly with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) to develop an operating system for mobile phones."

Tiny PCs: Is There a Market? Lots of cool devices coming soon
IBM outlines enterprise storage roadmap Zisman strikes again

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Mercury News | 04/23/2002 | Microsoft slashes 60 jobs in valley "A year ago, Microsoft was trying to be all things to all people,'' he said. "Now they've got a much better handle on what the marketplace can and can't absorb.''
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: New Microsoft media player will be part of video cards "The media player, test versions of which are due in late summer, will double the video-processing ability of PCs, enabling them to display video equal in quality to high-definition televisions, said Michael Aldridge, lead product manager of the Windows Media division."
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Co-creator of Xbox says he's leaving Microsoft More on high-profile Xbox exit
Direct Testimony of Bill Gates to U.S. District Court Interesting historical perspective
Major Architect of Microsoft's Xbox Resigns to Start a Game Company "Seamus Blackley, 34 years old, is leaving the software giant by the end of the week to start a game-development company. Mr. Blackley held the titles of games otaku, which means "extreme fan" in Japanese, and technology evangelist. He was responsible for wooing game creators to make games for the Xbox, Microsoft's first foray into the roughly $20 billion global videogame industry." He's the central figure in the new book recently referenced.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Pay Features Gather Steam on Web "Yahoo, which has rolled out 17 paid services to consumers in the last year, has been among the most aggressive businesses in getting people to pay for online services and information they had formerly received free. Its revenue-generating services include an online games area, for which subscribers pay $8 a month, and a premium e-mail service, for $30 a year. But with each passing day, Yahoo is getting more company."
Unisys to expand mainframe line - Tech News - CNET.com "Fujitsu subsidiary Amdahl has decided to phase out its mainframes, for example, but IBM and Unisys mainframes continue to defy competitors' proclamations of extinction" (except the Unisys one can run Windows 2000...)
Google gives some advice...for a price - Tech News - CNET.com "In yet another test of new services, Google is quietly wading into the expert-advice market, a lackluster business that proved too taxing for some former Net highfliers." Makes sense to me...
Software Reality "Many Java programmers can't see that C# has leapfrogged Java. Whilst many of its Component-Oriented aspects are supported by Java, they are not built in, and they involve significant programmer effort to get to work. Thankfully the next version of Java (1.5) is planned to have boxed types built in, which shows they are at least responding to .NET." (entire article is worth a skim)
Barry Diller Has Second Job and $3 Billion for Shopping Some interesting speculation. "Barry is the smartest media executive out there and has a better ability to generate returns on investment than most of his peers," said Christopher Dixon, an analyst with UBS Warburg. USA, he said, was able to take the cash flow from its entertainment units to build "the best portfolio of Internet brands that actually takes advantage of what the Internet can do best."
Japan Slow to Accept New Phones "Nearly 60 percent of the Japanese own cellphones, and persuading them to trade in their trusty year-old models for newfangled ones is becoming tougher."

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Gorillas in the mist "And consequently, when there are purely political discussions going on, you often find that Sun doesn't have a spokesperson there because Sun is actually doing the work rather than shaping the politics," [Sun Chief Technology Evangelist Simon] Phipps continued. "It seems that one of our competitors has come up with a cunning ploy to exploit our resistance to doing standards hype and use it to marginalize us." ... "Who is that?" I asked. "Microsoft?" "No," Phipps replied. "Microsoft [is] not playing the game that I just described. On the whole, Microsoft's involvement in XML, at a technical level, tends to be very pure, constructive, and good." ... "So you're talking about IBM?" I asked. "I'm talking about IBM," Phipps replied. "IBM devotes more time to the politics than it does to the technology, in most cases."
Captain Xbox Excerpt from new book about the creation of Xbox
When Here Sees There "The globalization of the media was supposed to knit the world together. The more information we receive about one another, the thinking went, the more international understanding will prevail. An injustice in Thailand will be instantly known and ultimately remedied by people in London or San Francisco. The father of worldwide television, Ted Turner, once said, ''My main concern is to be a benefit to the world, to build up a global communications system that helps humanity come together.'' These days we are living with the results -- a young man in Somalia watches the attack on the south tower live, while Americans can hear more, and sooner, about Kandahar or Ramallah than the county next to theirs.

But this technological togetherness has not created the human bonds that were promised. In some ways, global satellite TV and Internet access have actually made the world a less understanding, less tolerant place. What the media provide is superficial familiarity -- images without context, indignation without remedy. The problem isn't just the content of the media, but the fact that while images become international, people's lives remain parochial -- in the Arab world and everywhere else, including here."

How to Get There? It Counts the Ways "The founder of ITA, Jeremy Wertheimer, said that the company began as what he half-jokingly called a "thesis avoidance project." Mr. Wertheimer, 40, was a graduate student in artificial intelligence at M.I.T. in the early 1990's when he became interested in air-fare searching — a classic computer science problem.... A single round-trip can have hundreds of millions of fare combinations. Fares have a range of variables: the array of airlines serving the route, the number of daily flights, connecting flights and dozens of airline rules (things like passenger eligibility, seasonal restrictions and advance-purchase requirements). International trips have even more possibilities. "It's unfathomably complex," Mr. Wertheimer said."
How Does AOL Fit in the Grand Plan Now? "...After all, if America Online were independent, AT&T Comcast could not demand $10 billion from the Internet operation for the Time Warner Entertainment stake. In addition, the core Time Warner businesses seem to be doing reasonably well. Perhaps investors would value the Time Warner operations more richly if they were not confused and anxious about America Online."
IP: Japanese Computer Is World's Fastest, as U.S. "Falls Back" Dave Farber response: "I would argue that maybe we are not so wrong. The idea of assembling a large number of smaller computers connected via a network (an idea which dates at least back to 1970 with the DCS project at UC Irvine (I was PI) may in the long run be a much more powerful way to get large scale computing. The advent of all photonic networks and the increasing power of micro-computers may make such dinosaurs out of conventional superccomputers."

Saturday, April 20, 2002

TheServerSide.com - A Look Inside EJB for Architects Overview of multi-day EJB training
vnunet.com HP and BEA in Netaction spat Wouldn't surprise me; the sales force will sell what sells, not necessarily what corporate strategy dictates
Scientific American: Feature Article: Wireless Data Blaster: May 2002 Great overview; via Tomalak
Gates to Take Witness Stand in States' Case on Microsoft "In a real sense, he's been the shadow defendant all along," Andrew Gavil, an antitrust law professor at Howard University, said of Mr. Gates. "Things are not tilting decidedly one way or another right now. If the judge is going to be persuaded that the states' remedies are unnecessary and would be damaging, he has to make that case, and he has to make it persuasively."
Japanese Computer Is World's Fastest, as U.S. Falls Back "The NEC supercomputers are based on vector processing, a way of using specialized hardware to solve complex calculations that was pioneered by the American supercomputer designer Seymour Cray. The concept has generally fallen out of favor in the United States in recent years... Assembled from 640 specialized nodes that are in turn composed of 5,104 processors made by NEC, the new Japanese supercomputer occupies the space of four tennis courts and has achieved a computing speed of 35.6 trillion mathematical operations a second. The processors are linked in a way that allows extremely efficient operation compared with the previously fastest "massively parallel" computers, which are based on standard parts rather than custom-made chips."

If you're intrigued with this topic you should read The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray

Why Do New iMacs Surf So Slowly? "As a result, Welch said, "We are merely at the beginning of the performance opportunities in Mac OS X."" I'm sure that's reassuring to current customers.
Microsoft's 'sowing seeds' might pay off, analysts say "Spending $800 million is "an ambitious task," he said. "There's a lot of effort involved in spending that much money.""
Gates likely to liven up trial "Sullivan's main goal, Lande said, is to make Gates "forget his coaching and make him revert to his normal arrogant, evasive side." If Sullivan can do that, Lande said, it could create doubts in Kollar-Kotelly's mind about the credibility of Microsoft's argument."

Friday, April 19, 2002

IP: Feds might use Microsoft product for online ID "Forget about a national ID card. Instead, the federal government might use Microsoft's Passport technology to verify the online identity of America's citizens, federal employees and businesses, according to the White House technology czar."
Microsoft Announces Fiscal Third Quarter Results "On Feb. 13, 2002, Microsoft launched Visual Studio® .NET and the .NET Framework, the culmination of more than four years of work to create a new software development platform. In less than two months since the launch, more than 1 million units of Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework have shipped to developers worldwide."
Hints of Woe as Microsoft Posts Gains More analyst-full-employment act results from MSFT. Amazing penetration for Windows XP ("during the quarter, Windows XP shipped on almost 60 percent of all PC's, representing the fastest growth rate of any of Microsoft's operating systems to date"), disappointing results for Xbox, big "investment impairment" hits...
I, Cringely: Fixing IBM: Big Blue has big problems Some interesting analysis and recommendations
FORTUNE - How Microsoft Conquered Washington "By spending lots of money--of course--but also by doing lots of creative lobbying you don't know" via Dave Farber

Thursday, April 18, 2002

ZDNet: Printer Friendly - IBM drops patent bombshell Jim Boak, CTO of IONA Technologies, a provider of ebXML-compliant Web services and application integration software, wonders whether there had been a breakdown in communication. "I've seen IBM do this in the past," said Boak, "where they end up saying 'jeez, we didn't mean to do that'. It doesn't make sense for them to spend years and years donating to ebXML and then make it so nobody can use it."
Microsoft's crystal ball - Tech News - CNET.com "Topping the list of trends over the next five or more years is the growing popularity of digital media, the establishment of global networking, a shift to software services delivered over the Web, and the development of smaller, more efficient microprocessors that could lead to consumers owning multiple, powerful, yet low-cost PCs, Jones said."
Xbox prices take a tumble in Europe - Tech News - CNET.com "Microsoft said Thursday it would cut the price of its new Xbox video game console by nearly 40 percent in Europe and by a third in Britain this month, just six weeks after its launch."
The learning curve "Summary: The secret to big civilization and big organisms is standardization, and a world made of pre-fabricated components"
WinHEC: Longhorn Slips to Late 2004 "Longhorn will ship in the second half of 2004," Toutonghi said. "It will deliver the next generation of communications and collaboration experiences, streaming audio/video [A/V] functionality, integrated device connectivity, simplified networking, and tools to help Microsoft deliver on our promise of the connected home."
Microsoft Brings XML Web Services to Mobile World .NET Compact Framework overview
Q&A: Celebrating Five Years of Innovation at Microsoft Research Cambridge "Working closely with the academic community in the region and with some of the country’s best computer scientists, the lab today is home to over 60 researchers from 13 different countries, doing cutting-edge work in programming languages, security, information retrieval, machine learning, computer vision, operating systems and networking."
Kids' Corner: Website Usability for Children (Alertbox April 2002) Interesting analysis
FORTUNE - Microsoft vs. Nokia: Steve and Jorma Make the Hard Cell "Ballmer is off to a good start. Having already struck deals with Cingular, Verizon, and Voicestream in the U.S., he announced at CeBIT that T-Mobile, the No. 1 cellular service in Germany, Europe's top market, will offer Microsoft-powered phones and PDAs. MMO2, the British Telecom spinoff, has also committed to the Microsoft platform, as have France Telecom's Orange, Spain's Telefonica, and Britain's Vodafone."
FORTUNE.COM - Fast Forward - The Office of the Future "Hundreds of millions of people already use Microsoft's signature business applications, but the man in charge of Office sees plenty of growth opportunities ahead."
Microsoft's focus: Still PCs "Two years ago, these couldn't work with each other," he said. ... They couldn't yesterday, either. The demo crashed. ... Allchin said the next version of Windows XP, code-named Longhorn, won't ship until "beyond 2003."

Wired 10.05: The Blogging Revolution This, at least, is the idea: a publishing revolution more profound than anything since the printing press. Blogger could be to words what Napster was to music - except this time, it'll really work. Check back in a couple of years to see whether this is yet another concept that online reality has had the temerity to destroy.

Forbes.com: Growing Up Is Hard to Do Internet poster boy Marc Andreessen has a new recipe for survival after the bubble: three parts sweat, one part luck.
The Microsoft Macintosh "According to Browne, Microsoft intends to deliver .NET capabilities through future versions of Office and IE on the Macintosh. He specifically—and repeatedly—said that Microsoft will not offer a separate Macintosh .NET development platform or APIs to ISVs. Indeed, he noted in passing that all of Microsoft's Mac development is now hosted on Metrowerks tools. When asked about third-party access to the .NET APIs, Browne said: "If ISVs are interested in that, we should get together and approach Apple about it.""
Has Grammar Lost Its Technological Edge? Not likely to get an award for unbiased interviewing
Test time for Microsoft's wireless .Net Big milestone
News: Survey: MS Passport required, not wanted "Microsoft has doubled the number of people signed up for its Passport authentication service, but the majority of people are doing so because of product requirements rather than the allure of new features, Gartner said Wednesday. ... The number of Passport users jumped to 14 million from 7 million between last August and February, according to the research group."
searchWebServices.com: Why are Microsoft and IBM best buddies on Web services? Interesting speculation

Monday, April 15, 2002

Analyst: Xbox may miss sales targets - Tech News - CNET.com "If they sell a lot--since it's a low, negative-margin product--then it's a bit of a concern, but if they don't sell as many, then in terms of near-term profit, it's more reassuring," said Jonathan Geurkink, an analyst at Ragen MacKenzie. ... "But long term, you want to see more consoles out there and hope that the software sales turn a profit. You're going to be more interested in the long-term strength of that," Geurkink added.
AOL Slips as It Tries to Get Grip on Market What a difference a year or two can make...
Sun rebrands software portfolio Long overdue

Friday, April 12, 2002

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft delays key project Lots of confusion in the press during the last two days (NYT and myriad weblogs yesterday, WSJ etc. today) on HailStorm's status
Mozilla poised for revival - Tech News - CNET.com Version 1.0 after they started the project in 1998. I guess "Internet time" doesn't apply anymore.
Impressions after riding a Segway HT: Part 1 In-depth review
AOL Time Warner Stock Hits Post-Merger Low "AOL Time Warner's stock has plunged 10 percent over the last two days, as investors have grown concerned about the company's balance sheet, turmoil in its Internet unit and stock sales by a big shareholder. ... The stock closed yesterday at $19.60 in heavy trading, piercing the $20 mark for the first time since late 1998, more than a year before AOL announced plans to acquire Time Warner."

I, Cringely | The Pulpit: Invisible Giant: How the SAS Institute makes tons of money solving business problems most companies don't even know they have "Here is a simple fact of corporate life. Organizations tend to value systems over data, but users value data. In this case the users are right. Without good data, systems are meaningless... But with good data and good analytic tools, and with a top-to-bottom mandate to use that information -- literally, the right to know -- it is possible to change the world. That's what they did at Wal-Mart, a company that uses information technology and corporate data as a strategic asset. Wal-Mart's success is based entirely on knowing their data and deriving actionable information from that data. It is the same at Home Depot. These companies are world-beaters entirely because of the quality of their data and their willingness to make decisions based on that data."

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Microsoft, I.B.M. and VeriSign to Cooperate on Web Security "The new specification, known as WS-Security, defines a standard set of extensions to the basic Web services communications technology, called simple object access protocol, or SOAP. These extensions can be used to build security features into Web services applications. A Web services application might, for example, link a company's inventory data with a supplier's data and, obeying programmed instructions, reorder parts automatically when they run low."
O'Reilly Network: Inventing the Future [Apr. 09, 2002] Tim O'Reilly's assessment of what's next
Salon.com Arts & Entertainment | Galactic gasbag "Beneath all the pseudo-mythic Joseph Campbell hogwash, the roots of George Lucas' empire lie not in "The Odyssey" but in classic and pulp 20th century sci-fi." (File under "Get a life!")
What, Exactly, Was on John Nash's Beautiful Mind? "In the movie, the fictional John Nash described a strategy for his male drinking buddies, but didn't look at the game from the woman's perspective, a mistake no game theorist would ever make."
Microsoft Has Shelved Its Internet 'Persona' Service "We're sort of in the Hegelian synthesis of figuring out where the products go once they've encountered the reality of the marketplace," said Charles Fitzgerald, Microsoft's general manager for platform strategy. ... He said part of the decision to back away from a consumer version of My Services was based on industry concerns about who was going to manage customer data. The issue, he asserted, was more of a sticking point within the industry, rather than among consumers. ... "We heard a lot of concern about that point from competitors in the industry but very little from our users," he said.

WSJ.com - Mossberg's Mailbox "Q: I don't want Windows XP. I still like Windows 98. But all new computers seem to come with XP. Is there a way (without too much wailing and gnashing of teeth) to buy a new computer and uninstall XP, then install Windows 98? How will that affect the drivers for things like a CDR, etc.?

A: It would be a major undertaking. You'd probably have to reformat the hard disk, wiping out everything, and then reboot from a floppy with a driver for the CD drive. Then, you'd have to install Windows 98 from an original CD. And the Windows 98 CD would have to be a full-fledged version, not the "upgrade" version, which requires the presence of an earlier version of Windows.... Not only that, but you'd have to find and install Windows 98 drivers for all your drives and cards and peripherals. Some of these drivers might be included on your Windows 98 CD, but since you'd have a new PC, some of the peripherals might be newer than Windows 98, and would require new drivers.... Unless you are highly technical, I don't recommend you try this. It has the potential for massive misery. Instead, I'd look around for a local computer shop that might sell you a new machine with Windows 98 preloaded, or even a machine with Windows Me, which is very similar to Windows 98."

WSJ.com: Among New Ultralight Laptops, Battery Life, Size Carry the Day "The Gateway and Dell entries, due soon, turn out to be nearly identical -- built by the same Asian contractor. ... Dell's embarrassingly identical Latitude X200 laptop is due on May 6. It's exactly the same size and shape as the Gateway and has all the same ports, in all the same places. Its batteries and docking base are interchangeable with the Gateway's but Dell's power adapters are much smaller." Sign of the times...
EBay has three outages in three days | Computerworld News & Features Story What would they bid for reliable infrastructure?
Guest Opinion: IDE Gives Sight to .NET Vision "It appears that in the lee of .NET mania, which lead up to and followed the February release of that platform, Microsoft has found itself with very little left to say. At Tech·Ed this week the company released Commerce Server 2002, the beta of SQL Server for Windows CE, SQL Server Notification Services, and a Web services toolkit for Exchange 2000 Server, but for the most part laid low and let partners and exhibitors take a larger portion of the available mindshare. Bottom line: It's pretty darn quiet here. And it's going to stay quiet, for a year or longer." I suppose the fact that mainstream customers are totally overwhelmed by the stuff that's already out there doesn't matter, relative to the press need for headline-worthy material...

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Altering Microsoft Windows for other software described as easy "Microsoft has already performed substantial parts of this engineering task in creating its Windows XP Embedded operating system product."
Online Sales of Used Books Draw Protest "Amazon's practice does damage to the publishing industry, decreasing royalty payments to authors and profits to publishers," the guild wrote in its message. "There's no good reason for authors to be complicit in undermining their own sales." I guess there'd be no used car market either, if these geniuses had their way
Microsoft To Detail Mac .NET Plans Apparently we'll get the straight scoop today
WSJ.com: Robert Pittman Returns to Run AOL Unit as Revenue Slumps "Now, Mr. Pittman is commuting back to America Online's campus in Dulles, Va., on a corporate rescue mission. America Online -- once considered the jewel of the combined company -- has lost its luster as the advertising business slumped and Internet growth slowed. Last year, America Online's revenue per U.S. subscriber dropped 6%, despite a 9% price increase. ... A glaring omission from Mr. Pittman's note was any mention that America Online's subscriber growth, which launched the company to its pre-eminence over the past decade, is slowing. In the past, he has said that isn't an issue for the company. Also of concern to analysts is a slow rollout of AOL's high-speed online service."

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Sun: Microsoft worried over Web services - Tech News - CNET.com "Web services continue to be a substantial, viable threat to Windows," Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's chief strategy officer, said in written testimony submitted to the court. "Because Web services components increasingly reside and run on servers that can be accessed with a variety of client devices, consumers will not be required to purchase Microsoft's desktop operating system in order to run the applications that they desire."
At Microsoft, three's a crowd [Bulluzzo interview] "I want to finish the transition here before I think about what my next move will be." I suspect a few more frank interviews like this one will help expedite the "transition" process...
Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Office .NET Revealed? Interesting speculation
I.B.M. Says Earnings to Fall Short of Estimates "This brings to the surface the old question about I.B.M. — for all that Gerstner did, it is still not a growth company," said Ulric Weil, principal of Weil & Associates, a research firm in Washington. "Where is the growth going to come from?"

Monday, April 08, 2002

Forbes.com: Paul Allen Aims At Microsoft With Moxi "The Moxi technology is what will also make Digeo's offering tremendously appealing. Users can send programming to other TV sets in their homes and to computers and stereos for much less than it would cost to have multiple cable boxes... "That's the secret sauce," says Doherty, "The average household has 2.7 cable boxes, and with Moxi, Digeo now has a way to meet the demand for multiple boxes in a way that's still affordable." ... The piece de resistance for Allen no doubt is the fact that the merger will put him in a position to challenge alma mater Microsoft in the television set-top box market, which the behemoth is desperately trying to conquer to little avail. "This will raise the bar for Microsoft," says Doherty. "They're either going to have to dig in and create a better design or fold their tent and get out of the market all together."
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Ballmer's heaping plate: Implications of Microsoft's executive changes "If anything, I would think Microsoft would want more coordination from the top rather than less coordination from the top," he said. "A lot of outsiders are surprised sometimes at how little communication and coordination there is between groups. The Office group and the Windows group are notorious for not communicating well with one another."
"Google's Toughest Search Is for a Business Model Analysts wonder, in fact, whether Yahoo will see Google as too much a rival to renew its contract, which was worth $6.1 million in cash (and far more in publicity) for the last year. The Yahoo deal expires in June. Google's effort to expand to other areas, like providing search capabilities for corporations' internal Web sites, has yet to pay off."
WSJ.com: Microsoft Tries to Outgrow 'The Bill and Steve Show' "The rapid exits underscore a surprising fact: For all its market might, Microsoft continues to struggle with the basic task of building a professional management structure. Though Mr. Ballmer, 46, has taken many chores from Bill Gates, Microsoft's 47-year-old co-founder and chairman, the two men remain inextricably involved in mundane matters as well as strategic ones. Mr. Ballmer, who joined the company in 1980 and has long been Mr. Gates's right-hand man, has tried harder to delegate authority lately. The most recent reorganization is just his latest attempt. But he has made limited progress in creating a top-level management foundation to outlast the two leaders."
Cable Offers More Viewing on Demand Also see similar story in today's Boston Globe

Microsoft Programmers Focus on Secure Software Steven B. Lipner, Microsoft's director of security assurance, responded, saying: "I'd be astonished if the open-source community has in total done as many man-years of computer security code reviews as we have done in the last two months."

Sunday, April 07, 2002

WSJ.com: New Flood of For-Fee Web Services May Find Few Willing Customers"If you want to listen to a baseball game, you could use an AM radio and tune in for free. Or you could fire up your PC and hear an Internet "stream" of the same broadcast -- after forking over $14.95 for a Gameday Audio season pass at Major League Baseball's Web site... That's not the only price tag you'll bump into online these days. CNN.com now wants $4.95 a month for blurry video clips of President Bush's news conferences and other feeds, while Monster.com asks $6.65 a month for fancy résumé typefaces. Fees are popping up everywhere, from sophisticated financial services to greeting-card sites ... The long-term answer to that problem might be a universal ID system like Microsoft's Passport, or even some sort of automatically deducted micropayment. Yet no matter what approach sites take, it will pay to keep in mind that the tollbooth Web gives consumers new power: the ability to vote with their pocketbooks."
Born Out of Disaster "New York, Sept. 11-18: Bridges are closed. Ferries are docked. Employers are telling people to stay home. What's a couple to do? According to some New York childbirth professionals, couples did what came naturally, leading to a spike in births anticipated in late May and early June, around nine months after the World Trade Center attacks."
Lutris drops Commercial EAS and Enydra, Leaves AppServer Market "I am sorry to say that it is true that Lutris has decided to stop selling application servers to end users. We will no longer offer commercial versions of Enhydra or EAS. This should make no impact on any of you open source users. Enhydra.org and the projects it contains will not be impacted. ... Lutris is going to go back into a development mode and take the significant technology we have developed over the past few years and reposition ourselves in a new market. We have no plans of announcing any of these new products for some time. We currently have no plans make any new donations to Enhydra.org. I encourage anyone looking for an open source J2EE application server to get JBOSS."
Tell the Good News. Then Cash In. Can anyone really be surprised about this?
Report: MS Foes Bribed Attorneys "In his column, which appears in the Washington Post, Novak pointed out that the attorneys general who have refused to settle the case have received tens of thousands of dollars -- each, in some cases -- from Microsoft enemies including Oracle and Sun Microsystems."

Saturday, April 06, 2002

Countries Who Met Over Internet Go To War The Onion strikes again...
Realism May Be Taking the Fun Out of Games Virtual reality gets too real
PCWorld.com - Has the Web Become Humdrum? "The status of the Internet is shifting from being the dazzling new thing to being a purposeful tool that Americans use to help them with some of life's important tasks," the Pew study says. "As Internet users gain experience online, they increasingly turn to the Internet to perform work-related tasks, to make purchases and do other financial transactions, to write e-mails with weighty and urgent content, and to seek information that is important to their everyday lives."

Tech Ed: Microsoft to tout first .Net-based server "...the new version has advancements in three specific areas: an application runtime that enables Commerce Server to integrate with applications built on ASP.Net (Active Server Pages); a class library set of APIs that developers can use to write to and access Commerce Server; and the Common Language Runtime interoperability layer, which serves as the bridge for the COM (Component Object Model) platform and .Net-based systems."

Friday, April 05, 2002

Hotmail back on track after glitch - Tech News - CNET.com "I've found that these days, Hotmail outages are far and few between," he said. For a free service, I couldn't ask for anything more. I think my electricity at home is less reliable than Hotmail--that's quite an achievement. I'm very pleased with the reliability and accessibility of Hotmail and am even considering paying the $20 annual subscription fee...I'd pay up to $50 a year for Hotmail without blinking an eye." This guy should get a free Xbox for this kind of endorsement...
The Register: Anti-Unix site returns - on MySQL? Give it a rest already...
Mercury News | 04/05/2002 | Belluzzo looks to the future "I've gotten a lot of e-mail from HP employees asking me if I would come back. I haven't responded to any of them yet... It's really hard to answer that question. I love HP. I love the HP culture. It's in the fabric of my being. I would take very seriously any opportunity to help the company move forward."
Web Services Architect : Articles : The State of Java Web Services "Sun believes that the map for Web Services is split into three phases; Phase 1 is using Web Services within the enterprise for integration between disparate systems, both software and hardware, we should see this happen from now and over the next 18 months. Phase 2 is the implementation of Web Services for integration between enterprises; partner to partner, supply chain management, customer relationship management, etc. That should commence in 18 months. Finally in around three years, we should see loosely federated, secure, end-user systems with fully integrated security models available - mainly because the standards are not in place for this to happen and there are many questions to be answered before we can see whether this part of the Web Services vision will resolve. Perhaps key among these is distributed transactions being handled by standards driven technologies."
Microsoft: AOL trying to take over Net - Tech News - CNET.com Microsoft "has nothing to match Time Warner's assets, and AOL must take advantage of this in every way it can," the AOL employee wrote in the May 23 report.
AOL partners to extend reach of IM "Under the deal, PresenceWorks will provide the plumbing necessary to stitch AOL's IM presence capabilities into directories, applications, and databases. Alexandria, Va.-based PresenceWorks develops presence and IM technologies for integration into a variety of pre-existing applications."
Read Darwin -Darwin Evolves - LETTER - Magazine - Darwin Magazine "After considerable internal debate and deliberation, we have decided to suspend publication of Darwin as a print product and to morph, for the time being, into an online-only form. Today's environment—like the bubble that preceded it—is temporary. And when the time is right, we will have survived to launch again in print (which is still the most pleasing and convenient way to package in-depth information)."
Microsoft Remedy Hearings: Microsoft Killed Custom PCs, Compatible Web Services, AOL Says Am I the only one who thinks AOL is looking ridiculous in this context?

Thursday, April 04, 2002

CNN.com - Bill Gates fooled by Quebec radio station - April 4, 2002 "Trudel said they imitated Chretien's heavily accented English, talking about the economy, insulting Microsoft's Windows operating system and inviting the multibillionaire to visit a well-known Montreal strip joint. "
PCWorld.com - Top 15 Home PCs What a difference a year makes -- not a single Windows 9x/ME/2000 option to be found; all 15 run Windows XP Home
Belluzzo out at Microsoft in reorganization - Tech News - CNET.com Maybe Walter Hewlett will try to recruit him for post-Carly HP...
AOL buddies up to increase IM wingspan - Tech News - CNET.com "America Online has struck a deal with a developer that could turn Web sites into vast instant messaging playgrounds, the companies said Thursday."
Deconstructing the Blog A professional gadfly critiques the amateurs (thanks, Ulli)
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Gates, Shirley served longest as president
Living on Internet Time, in Another Age Amazing...
Instant Home Computer Networks "Either way, the news is that you now have a choice of solid technologies that let you build a home network without inhaling a single speck of plaster dust. Powerline is a simple, straightforward way to multiply the usefulness of each computer, give other family members their own fast Internet connections, and gain the flexibility to settle down for work in any room at any time. Everybody's happy — except, perhaps, your electrician." You will be networked...
Interactive TV Arrives, Sort of "Unlike the grandiose dreams of the past, interactive services currently available in the United States seem rather modest. They include video on demand, expanded content for channels like ESPN and the Weather Channel, and virtual channels to provide local information like restaurant listings or sell books, pizza and other products."
TheServerSide.com - J2EE Platform Independence: Have We Regressed? "In the last two years, the EJB market has flourished. The application server vendors rush to keep up with the changing specification and ever more imposing demands of its users. At the same time, there seems to be a post-Microsoftian psychology that has gripped the tool vendors. Application server vendors are now inevitably packaging their application servers with a proprietary IDE. At an alarming rate, in fact, these IDEs are becoming so tightly woven to the application server product that it is difficult to separate them. The effects are easily perceptible and completely devastating."
Yahoo service changes baffle customers - Tech News - CNET.com Maybe Yahoo! is just trying to see if they can break Hotmail's server architecture by forcing millions of people to migrate at once...
Study Finds SQL Server 2000 Saves Customers $3 Million Vs. Oracle9i Great competitive positioning
Q&A: Bob Muglia on the Business of Storage Management No small ambition
WSJ.com: Sharp's Zaurus Fails to Deliver On Its Performance Promises No Linux PDA for Walt: "Sometimes a new technology product looks great when its maker demonstrates it, but behaves poorly when you actually use it. And sometimes a new technology product is touted for some underlying techie feature, but in actual use that feature turns out to be either irrelevant or an actual disadvantage to mainstream users... Sharp's new $499 Zaurus SL-5500 hand-held computer, which I've been testing, unfortunately fails both these tests."

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

WSJ.com - Belluzzo to Resign From Posts At Microsoft Amid Shake-Up "He has been described as such a plain-spoken, sometimes humble corporate representative that some people who heard him speak wondered if he really worked for Microsoft."
Sybase to resell JBuilder - ADTmag.com "Sybase Inc. has turned to longtime tools rival Borland Software Corp. in an effort to gain a foothold in the Java development tool battle. The firms disclosed the agreement, under which Sybase will resell Borland's JBuilder development tool, at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco."
Pesky Home Networks Trouble Cable Behemoths: Are wireless router users stealing broadband Internet access? Useful background and projections; via Dave Farber
Executive Fearful of Microsoft in Interactive TV Software See following entry for some of the reasons why he should be fearful
The Register: MS accuses Liberate CEO of offering anti breakup deal
Software for the People - Knowledge Management Research Center "One reason the Internet, e-mail and instant messaging are so popular is because you and I can just sit down and start using them. If you want to put up a webpage, your 12-year-old next-door neighbor can tell you how. If you have a big monolithic system such as Lotus Notes, lots of people use it very effectively, but the end user can't do anything until the systems administrator has done a lot of work setting up contact lists and databases, helping people learn it, and trouble-shooting. You want the user's experience to be something like face-to-face communication."
Yahoo's 'Opt-Out' Angers Users "It's a tragedy when the actions of an individual company force people to conclude that all e-marketers are a bunch of pushy, disrespectful scumbags," said Jason Catlett, of Junkbusters, a direct marketing information site. "People may simply decide that the problems inherent in shopping online aren't worth the benefits."
Enterprise IM lags behind expectations "In a survey of 164 companies conducted March 12 to 18 by Osterman Research Inc. in Black Diamond, Wash., almost 30% of respondents said they officially use IM, and another 42% said they will likely use it in the future. That figure is significantly lower than what Framingham, Mass.-based IDC projected about 18 months ago. In the fall of 2000, the market research firm estimated that 70% of corporations would have installed IM software by now. In a survey of 72 corporations with more than 1,000 employees that IDC conducted at that time, only 6.9% of companies said they had installed such software."

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Boston Globe Online / Living | Arts / In the world of Web logs, talk is cheap Uh oh -- more data suggesting Weblogs have jumped the shark
TheServerSide.com - Making a Real World PetStore Handy history
CRM companies miss financial targets - Tech News - CNET.com Guess they weren't managing their customer-related information very well...
Stealth P2P network hides inside Kazaa - Tech News - CNET.com "A California company has quietly attached its software to millions of downloads of the popular Kazaa file-trading program and plans to remotely "turn on" people's PCs, welding them into a new network of its own."
'The Osbournes': No Rest for Family Values on Black Sabbath "An odd amalgam of "Ozzie and Harriet," "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "This Is Spinal Tap," the show is the biggest hit in MTV's 24-year history, and its popularity is spreading. Last week the show, on Tuesday nights, drew six million viewers. HBO's "Sex and the City" gets about 6.4 million an episode; "Six Feet Under," also on HBO, gets about 5.4 million." (Kill your TV before it's too late!)

Monday, April 01, 2002

AOL Time Warner Merger Adds Up To Less Than the Sum of Its Parts (washingtonpost.com) "So by rather perverse logic, you have to give AOL founder Steve Case credit. When Case found himself with a stock that was way overvalued, he did the smart thing: he spent it before reality caught up." (via Dave Farber)
Microsoft's Next SQL - CRN.com "Constantine Photopoulos, president of Eden Communications, a Lotus partner in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., said he was likewise thrilled about Lotus' DB2 direction. "We'll hopefully be able to remove the sentence 'That's a Notes issue' from our repertoire when people ask us why the application can't do this or that," he said." ... "Even Microsoft insiders privately say Exchange Server has been hamstrung by its current data store. The current WSS "is still built on the old Access JET engine, which was designed for small applications,not running huge multiuser mail systems or directory services with replication. That's why [both] Active Directory and Exchange have so much trouble scaling," one Microsoft source said."
Unstrung.com: Nokia to Gain Control of Symbian? Maybe they just want to be like Sun, and own their very own "standard"
Forbes.com: Gemstar-TV Guide's Star Is Fading "The Gemstar programming guide is now used by most of the country's top-ten cable operators, according to J.P. Morgan analyst Jack Ripsteen. "They are the gorillas in that space," he says. But the company has yet to establish the validity of its technology patents--and that's essentially what its future hinges upon."
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft can't topple Adobe Acrobat
On a Futurists' Forum, Money Backs Up Predictions More on longbets.org
Top HCI Research Laboratories (Alertbox March 2002) "A core group of elite corporate research labs (and a few universities) defined the field of human-computer interaction and established much of whatever ease of use we now enjoy. With big labs disappearing, the future of HCI research is in jeopardy."
WSJ.com: 'Multiple Intelligence' Theory Lets TV
Appeal to Both Parents, Preschoolers
"Dr. Gardner says he has never watched Dora and doesn't have an opinion about the show. But even he says "one has to retain a healthy skepticism when people say things like bodily-kinesthetic intelligence or spatial intelligence or interpersonal intelligence can really be strongly realized by television as we know it." The professor, who removed the TV set from his own house during his youngest child's first 10 years, adds: "A week in the real world is worth 10 years watching television."
WSJ.com: Microsoft-Led Campaign Against Unix
Uses Web Site Running on the Software
"A Web site funded by Microsoft Corp. urging businesses to avoid the Unix operating system is itself running on Unix, the latest example of Microsoft benefiting from the competitive software even while criticizing it."