Saturday, June 29, 2002

Opinion: Java to J2EE to Oblivion? Provocative debate of the week
It takes big bucks to beam up Kirk's chair - Tech News - "Want to take Captain Kirk's seat? Be prepared to pay $265,000."

Friday, June 28, 2002

The Register: MS Palladium protects IT vendors, not you - paper "TCPA and Palladium do not so much provide security for the user, but for the PC vendor, the software supplier, and the content industry. They do not add value for the user. Rather, they destroy it, by constraining what you can do with your PC - in order to enable application and service vendors to extract more money from you."
Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition reviewed "However, the Windows CE/Pocket PC devices were not, and are not, PCs, though they are quite powerful in their own right. To enable the type of natural computing environments that Microsoft envisioned--with both voice and handwriting capabilities--a true PC would need to be used. And, over the years, as size, power management and battery life issues were resolved, modern PC laptops became more and more capable machines in their own right. And the Tablet PC was born." Review with several screen shots.
Microsoft Posts New Web Development Tool "While I was at Microsoft for a technical workshop, I learned that the company will use Web Matrix to test features intended for the next Visual Studio (VS) version."
The State Development & Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China & Microsoft Corp. Sign A Memorandum of Understanding To Begin the Largest Joint Sino-Foreign Software Industry Cooperation "Under the Memorandum Microsoft will invest RMB 6.2 billion (USD 750 million) in China in the next three years in the areas of education and training, academic and research cooperation, hardware manufacturing outsourcing, continued support in software outsourcing and strategic investments and cooperative developments in local software companies."
King Larry Proclaims the Land His Another summary from the wishful-thinking department
I, Cringely: on Palladium etc. "The point of all this is simple. It may actually make the Internet somewhat safer. But the real purpose of this stuff, I fear, is to take technology owned by nobody (TCP/IP) and replace it with technology owned by Redmond. That's taking the Internet and turning it into MSN. Oh, and we'll all have to buy new computers."

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Microsoft's Mira joins the CE family - Tech News - "Microsoft says that the software technology previously known as Mira will now be known as Windows CE for Smart Displays. The tablet devices themselves will be known as Windows-powered smart displays."
Swift Kick - The Semantic Argument Web - - Darwin Archive - Darwin Magazine "I fear that the Semantic Web will go the way of SGML and for basically the same reason: normalization of metadata works real well in confined applications where the payoff is high, control is centralized and discipline can be enforced. In other words: not the Web." (via Tomalak)
The Economist: Console wars "Global sales of games will total $17.5 billion this year, predicts Goldman Sachs, comparable to the film industry's box-office takings and catching up with sales of music CDs (see chart 1). According to one forecast, sales of games will overtake CDs in Europe in 2005. Console sales are expected to exceed 45m this year, bringing in another $8.7 billion, predicts Shawn Milne of SoundView Technology Group, a San Francisco investment bank. In short, the games industry is now a big part of the entertainment business."
The Register: MS releases Web Matrix dev tool First press I've seen on Web Matrix
Sybase, Sun partner on data management offering Lots of bundling these days...
XML & Web Services Magazine - One Fell Swoop Adam Bosworth: "... Thinking of the Web servers as "objects" is an extremely bad idea. Objects are repositories of state. Conversations with them are by definition not stateless. Because objects are encapsulated, conversations with them are also inherently fine-grained. If you think about it, coarse-grained messages are the antithesis of encapsulation. You are surfacing your state explicitly as a message. ... This is at the heart of Web services. Web services doesn't mean surfacing application "interfaces" to underlying objects through automatically generated SOAP. It means providing well-defined, coarse-grained messages that provide all possible information in one fell swoop (SOAP) and a contract (WSDL) for which messages sent in result in which messages sent back."

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Ellison confirms interest in HP's middleware "We talk to them about it," said Ellison in a session with reporters after he delivered a keynote speech here at Oracle World. He would not say what stage the talks are at, but did say that buying HP's middleware business would be a "tiny" acquisition, comparable to Oracle's takeover of WebGain's developer tools last week." Pretty bad ROI on HP Bluestone acquisition... Lots of other fun Larry-land quotes in the article -- worth a skim. WSEdge 2002: WebSphere chief says Web services movement just beginning "Ferguson: At Lotusphere this year, [Lotus] announced a whole product roadmap for Domino. But the simple answer is no, WebSphere is never going to engulf Domino. WebSphere is an application server. It allows people to build and integrate applications. One of the applications WebSphere is going to interoperate with is Domino. ... Lotus does have a plan for reengineering some of Domino so that it is more pegged on J2EE and Java, and any product that powerful does go through reengineering eventually. But there are collaborative application elements that WebSphere is never going to do. It's going to rely on Domino. So no, WebSphere will never get into the collaborative application space."
Boxes and Arrows: Computer Human Values "We should be creating experiences and not merely "tasks" or isolated moments in front of screens." (via Tomalak)
The Register: Windows Longhorn slips again, becomes megaproject I'm starting to see a lot of press reminscent of the pre-Windows 3.0 Windows-OS/2 debates, with Windows XP playing the part of OS/2 this time. The press is establishing conventional wisdom that Longhorn will be 2005 or later. Guess what happens if everyone believes them, Longhorn comes a year earlier, and is on target?
The Register: Be Inc. completes takeover of Palm "Palm's hardware division is led by Steve Sakoman, former Be CEO. But the OS division is now firmly in the hands of former Be Inc staff. Palm acquired almost fifty Be Inc engineers, and the attrition rate has been remarkable: two down. Forty seven to go. ... Be's former chief architect George Hoffman, is now Palmsource's chief architect. Cyril Meurillon, Be's former kernel chief, is the PalmOS kernel chief. Pierre Raynaud-Richard, Be's VP of Engineering, is … you can fill in the blank now."
The Register: MS to eradicate GPL, hence Linux Deep paranoia: "But here's the diabolical bit. Linux distributors are going to lose big time if they remain faithful to the GPL. Palladium will either break the GPL, or if not, break Linux."
WBUR: Big Dig: Underground Tour (2002-06-20) Flash animation of where our all tax dollars went
BEA Systems - 2002 Press Releases: BEA Systems and HP Team to Deliver Integrated Solutions to the Enterprise RIP HP-AS/Bluestone - Gadgets: As Wireless Network Prices
Drop, Wi-Fi Demand Soars
Prices have dropped so much that wireless networks now aren't much more expensive than a fancy cordless phone. The low prices, in the neighborhood of $200, and high visibility in retail stores like Best Buy have fueled demand. The number of home network devices shipped is expected to nearly double this year. - Games: Microsoft to Format Its Games
For Rival Nintendo's Game Boy
"Game Boy Advance is not a direct competitor for Xbox," said a spokesman for Microsoft, referring to the Redmond, Wash., company's game console for TV. "This is an opportunity for us to get our games and our game characters in front of a wider audience, which is what Game Boy Advance represents." All You Need Is Love, $50 Billion, and Killer Software Code-Named Longhorn "Sure, Microsoft is still a powerhouse, on track to generate revenues of more than $28 billion and profits of nearly $9 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30. It now employs more than 50,000 people, supports a portfolio of 227 products and services, and has subsidiaries in 74 countries. And with its lock on the desktop and its $39 billion in cash, it will dominate the world of software for years to come. But if the products beginning to take shape in Bill's labs aren't world-changing, Microsoft may never be a growth stock again." ... As Buffett puts it, "Even though Steve is really running it all, Bill knows what's going on everyplace. No sparrow falls, or even thinks about falling, at Microsoft without him knowing about it."
FORTUNE - How FORTUNE Covers Bill Gates Collection of Fortune cover stories on MSFT/Gates
Study: Buggy software costs users, vendors nearly $60B annually - Computerworld "Software bugs are costing the U.S. economy an estimated $59.5 billion each year, with more than half of the cost borne by end users and the remainder by developers and vendors, according to a new federal study"
Bright Eyed Mister Zen "Oracle 9i is now by every definition that I know of, a native XML database. And in my opinion is also the most complete and powerful native XML database around. It allows you many options for how XML is stored in the database. It can be stored in CLOBs, mapped to tables or any combination thereof that may be necessary for an application. Regardless of how the XML is stored it appears to SQL as an XMLType. This enables XMLType as a type within the relational model and opens the full richness of relational manipulation to XML data. They've provided some extension functions to SQL to enable accessing data within XMLType instances and then using that data within SQL queries. I expected this to be very cumbersome, and I guess it is, but the familiarity of SQL makes it surprisingly comfortable to use. Something I can't say about XQuery. In fact, I really have to question why Oracle would even want to add XQuery given how their SQL extensions work. There just isn't any need for it. Hell, with their SQL method you can even update XML, something XQuery can't do at all." (via Dave Winer)

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

HP executive hints at middleware divestiture "We are carefully evaluating what we should do about Bluestone," Rorsted said. "We are seeing the application server market consolidate around very few players & the strategy we had was not the right one."
Microsoft Rethinks Windows .Net Server Packaging Microsoft Corp. has decided to pull its real-time communications features and standards support out of Windows .Net Server and repackage those features as a separate .Net Enterprise Server add-on, according to sources close to the company.
Welcome to! " is Closing... was created in September, 1999, to encourage the exchange and definition of XML-based documents. Now that XML is a ubiquitous format, the need for this site has diminished. Furthermore, there are other repositories now for XML schema (for example For these reasons, Microsoft will be shutting down the web site on July 19, 2002. ... Note: has nothing to do with the BizTalk Server product. BizTalk Server 2002 Partner and Standard editions were released on June 18, 2002. The BizTalk Server business is growing strong, and Microsoft is continuing to invest heavily in the BizTalk Server product line." Interesting sign of the times. (Thanks Bob)
The Register: Half of US Net users to have broadband by 2004 Broadband will account for half of all Net access connection in the US by early 2004, according to a survey by New Jersey-based market research firm Solomon-Wolff Associates. ... Its prediction comes as it revealed that currently three in ten of all Net connections in the US are served by either cable or DSL.
It's a Tablet. It's a Notebook. From Microsoft, a New Hybrid. "It is totally a laptop," said Alexandra Loeb, vice president for Microsoft's Tablet PC unit. "And in the long run, the Tablet PC should be an integrated feature of any laptop."
Confirmed: Longhorn Will Be Major, Innovative Windows Release While the software implementation details are still vague, Gates says that Longhorn will:
- consolidate Windows storage so that documents, contacts, email, instant messaging buddy lists, calendar, and other data are all stored in the same way and easily searched together. The number one question Longhorn will answer, Gates says, is "Where's my stuff?"
- protect users from distractions by screening phone calls and email.
- track you down when you're out of the office and forward calls and email to you automatically.
- arrange conference calls and online meetings.
- let consumers easily set up Web sites and email lists to keep people they care about informed and up-to-date.
- securely access their important work data from home, using any connected device.
- read digital versions of magazines and other publications online that look exactly like the printed versions.

Monday, June 24, 2002

The Register: MS to micro-manage your computer "Isn't it ironic that the company responsible for nearly every major computer security problem, virus, and backdoor -- thanks to its poor software development and testing among other factors -- is now heralding its ability to make everything right in a stroke?"
Comparing J2EE and .NET - A Rebuttal to Oracle Definitely worth a skim
Microsoft's Secret Plan to Secure the PC "You've heard of Trustworthy Computing, and the massive corporate remodeling going on at Microsoft where every developer, product manager, and executive assistant has been asked to rethink everything they do in the context of security. Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Secretly, the company has been working on a plan to rearchitect the PC from the ground up, to address the security, privacy, and intellectual property theft issues that dog the industry today. Inexplicably, the company pulled an Apple and chose to detail its plans solely to Newsweek, so we only have that one report to work from. But if Newsweek's take on the plan is correct, and consumers and businesses buy into the new devices that would result, the PC landscape will soon change forever."
After Media Player Recount, RealNetworks, Microsoft Continue to Beat Apple "A media player usage recount that was supposed to bolster Apple QuickTime has been completed, but the outcome isn't quite what Apple wanted: Instead, RealNetworks has retained the top spot for home-based media playing, though its usage share has fallen dramatically, and Microsoft's Windows Media Player has launched into the top spot at work. Meanwhile, QuickTime ends up where it was when the recent media player usage controversy began: A distant last place in both categories." - Major Business News: EBay to Offer Health Coverage To Auction Site's 'Power Sellers' "Selling on eBay Inc. has become an occupation for so many people that the company plans to offer full-time eBay merchants a chance to buy low-cost health benefits." - Technology: Microsoft, Chip Makers Work To Create Built-In Web Security WSJ on MSFT "Pallidum:" An underlying concept is to use chips and software to establish a kind of walled-off portion of a personal computer that can't be modified or tampered with, said Geoffrey Strongin, a platform security architect at AMD. "By no means is there any unbreakable security technology," Mr. Strongin said. But this kind of "lockbox" approach could make successful attacks harder, he said. - Boom Town: That Glowing Report on Firm X? It Isn't What You Might Think Industry analyst "white paper" debate continues
ZDNet: Tech Update: Wireless / Study: Cell phones-cell damage link "A study by scientists in Finland has found that mobile phone radiation can cause changes in human cells that might affect the brain..." Can anyone actually be surprised about this?
Scripting News Dave Winer update: "OK, here's the deal. I did not have a heart attack, but it was close. I had bypass surgery, which I am now recovering from. It was my fault -- I had classic warning signs that I ignored. No family history of heart disease. Most important -- I wanted to keep smoking. The numbers are good if I quit smoking. If I don't the numbers are totally awful."
The Big Secret "The plan, revealed for the first time to NEWSWEEK, is... Palladium, and it’s one of the riskiest ventures the company has ever attempted. Though Microsoft does not claim a panacea, the system is designed to dramatically improve our ability to control and protect personal and corporate information. Even more important, Palladium is intended to become a new platform for a host of yet-unimagined services to enable privacy, commerce and entertainment in the coming decades. “This isn’t just about solving problems, but expanding new realms of possibilities in the way people live and work with computers,” says product manager Mario Juarez." via Dave Farber
Boston Globe Online / Business / Silence is a virtue "Ozguc wanted to stay mum about Maven, but he did confirm that he has linked up with a fellow Lotus Development Corp. alum, Bill Wittenberg, who in April left Art Technology Group, where he'd been senior vice president of software development. Working out of an office at Cambridge Innovations in Kendall Square, with funding from David Orfao and John Simon at General Catalyst, the pair are developing a new kind of software platform for managing digital media."
Boston Globe Online / Business / What's next for Microsoft: a Q & A primer Handy summary

Saturday, June 22, 2002

The Register: WSJ veteran fuels Handspring cronyism charge "The Wall Street Journal's veteran tech curmudgeon Walt Mossberg has inadvertantly stepped into the debate about Handspring's cronyism tactics. ... We say curmudgeon, but this needs some qualification. Although Walt has as a long history of no-nonsense reviews of consumer technology - we shared a cab with him at Comdex once - he regresses into a state of drooling infantalism whenever he receives a package from Apple Computer or Handspring."
The New York Times: Technology Special Several articles on digital surveillance
The ASP.NET Web Matrix Project Surprised to not see press on this
Dell may try its hand at handhelds - Tech News - "Profit pool" is a concept Dell uses to size up a new market. If the available revenue is considered large enough, Dell often partners with a third party to enter the market swiftly. It has taken that sort of action recently in network switches and digital projectors. ... In keeping with its overall strategy, Dell would likely get into handhelds with a lower-priced offering than its competitors in an effort to quickly gain market share. It launched its projectors, for example, at $2,500, at least $500 less than rival products." Watch this airspace "Here, then, are four emerging technologies that show much promise: smart antennas, mesh networks, ad hoc architectures, and ultra-wideband transmission." (via Dave Farber)
Two big names to offer DSL service "The largest software company and the largest U.S. local-phone company said yesterday that they will join forces to offer high-speed Internet access." Patently Absurd "OK," he said, "maybe you don't infringe these seven patents. But we have 10,000 U.S. patents. Do you really want us to go back to Armonk [IBM headquarters in New York] and find seven patents you do infringe? Or do you want to make this easy and just pay us $20 million?" via Dave Winer.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Microsoft, States Exchange Heated Final Arguments Taking some big chances in the final chapter...

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Boxes and Arrows: Foreseeing the future: The legacy of Vannevar Bush "Bush’s vision for how we handle and interact with information took a step towards reality with the creation of hypertext and the basic linked web, but those of us working with information and creating information spaces and connections would do well to take another look at his vision and be as inspired to create new and innovative ways to gather and share information as other have been in the past." via Tomalak
Sun targets Microsoft with free software - Tech News - Ironic timing - Microsoft Agrees to Support Java In Windows Operating Systems "Analyst David Smith, of the Stamford, Conn., research firm Gartner Inc., said Microsoft likely reinstituted support for its version of Java partly because of potential bad publicity tied to its original decision to keep Java out of Windows XP -- and because the company might want to curry favor with the judge in its antitrust case. ... "They want to be seen as making concessions one way or the other," Mr. Smith said. "This could be seen by people who don't understand the issue as a major concession ... but nobody should interpret this as a real change in strategy. Microsoft has not all of the sudden gotten Java religion."

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Novell exec's start-up goes bust - Tech News - A former employee who requested anonymity said he was taken aback when Stone left and knew the end was near. "One day (Stone) was gone and instead, a group of investors we had never met showed up and told us Chris Stone was leaving Tilion to go back to Novell," the former employee said. "You should have seen the faces drop. I was furious."
Telecom Outlook: First the Bad News, Then the Bad News "I foresee a near total collapse as the endgame," said Susan Kalla, a senior telecommunications analyst at Friedman, Billings & Ramsey. "I've become more reactionary in the last month as it becomes clear that almost nothing is working in the industry's favor."
New Study Shows Digital Media Becoming Mainstream Technology for Enterprise Businesses "A new study of 700 large U.S companies from Market Decisions Corp. (MDC) shows streaming media making significant inroads among large companies. While the data shows one in four large companies (those with over 500 PCs on their corporate desktops) uses streaming technology today, among the very largest companies (those with 5,000 or more PCs), the use of streaming jumps dramatically to 40 percent using streaming." - Technology: Instant Messages' Popularity Pushes Brokerages Into Action "Internet "instant messaging'' has overtaken the business world -- and that has set off a scramble at Wall Street firms, which are required to archive their every communication. ... Securities and Exchange Commission rules state any records related to "business as such" must be retained by firms for three years. So-called IM conversations -- like phone calls and e-mail -- would presumably fall under that rule, although it hasn't been tested by any specific case, an SEC spokesman said."
.NET Magazine - Windows .NET Server Sneak Peek "With Windows .NET Server, we're delivering a new breed of application server that enables corporations to move into this new world where a classic application server isn't enough. You need an application server that's part of the broader vision of an application platform."

Monday, June 17, 2002

Eclipse casts shadows "Eclipse, however, owes its strength to more than just SWT/JFace technology. The primary developer of Eclipse, Object Technology International (OTI), has for many years been refining the arts of the componentized IDE (integrated development environment) -- Smalltalk/Envy, VisualAge for Java -- and the portable GUI. The current AWT/Swing vs. SWT/JFace debate recapitulates an earlier tug-of-war between the ParcPlace (emulated GUI) and DigiTalk (native GUI) flavors of Smalltalk. OTI favored the latter approach, which prevailed. Should Sun have done likewise with Java, as by several accounts OTI proposed to Sun years ago? A growing number of voices are now saying so."
O'Reilly Network: Pet Peeves about each .NET language [June 17, 2002] "What language do I really choose? OK you are going to accuse me of being a tease, but the answer is I am not even sure which language to pick and I'll tell you why. Each language has things that annoy me so much about them that they keep me from fully committing to them."
Manning's J2EE and XML Development Book PDF Posted on TSS Tangent to book-related stories below: has posted full text of several recent Java-focused books; interesting marketing trend.
Large Liquidation Auction at WebGain Headquarters "Toplink is not the only thing for sale from development tools maker WebGain Inc. Apparently, a liquidation auction was held at their corporate headquarters in California on June 13th, for items ranging from over 140 Herman Miller office chairs to refridgerators to travel mugs and over 120 workstations/servers. If anyone needs an Aeron, there might be some leftover from the auction. ... This obviously represents a huge chunk of Webgain. When I tried to call their corporate headquarters today to find out more (at 2pm local time), I was told that no one was 'in' at the office." See story for link to auction site.
How Google Searches Itself "You can take Google's temperature just by going to the intranet site," Rosenberg says. "It's a window to everyone's soul." (via Tomalak)
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Small browser dares to take on giant — Microsoft "Microsoft's Internet Explorer now has a global-usage share among browsers of 93 percent, up from 87 percent last year and 67 percent in 1999, according to WebSideStory's StatMarket."
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Digital library of knowledge doable dream "Out of the Internet Archive's offices in San Francisco, he and his staff are busy filling terabyte after terabyte with the digital images, sounds and text of our times. It costs $2,000 to add a terabyte (1 million megabytes) of storage to the archive. Kahle considers that a pittance compared with the $25 billion a year spent on libraries. ... Kahle puts his goal simply: "Universal access to all human knowledge." Unreachable? Hardly, he says. ... Kahle has put together "The Wayback Machine," a record of home pages back to the Web's infancy. Want to know what or Yahoo! looked like in the old days? Check"
The Register: Wal-Mart shipping PCs with Lindows preinstalled More on Wal-Mart page below
What's So New in a Newfangled Science? "By short-circuiting the traditional formalities of scientific publication, he has managed to offend not just scientists who think he is wrong but also some who think he is right. What hasn't always come across in the debate, which is shaping up as the intellectual skirmish of the season, is that Dr. Wolfram is not a lone voice in the woods."
'The Perfect Store': The Rise (and Rise) of eBay "What Cohen is really documenting -- though he never says it quite this bluntly -- is the way eBay gradually lost the eBaysian spirit as it became an ever bigger, ever more successful business."
Battle Over Access to Online Books Inevitable... - Microtel PCs with LindowsOS $299 for 850 MHz AMD, 128 meg RAM, 10 gig hard drive; monitor and Windows not included...
An Internet Pioneer of the 90's Looks to a Future in Software "Asked about lessons learned from the Loudcloud experience, Mr. Andreessen replied that good ideas count for only so much. ... "What really counts in getting through a tough period like this is a sheer level of energy and willpower," he observed. "You need a group of people who are willing to walk through brick walls." (Interesting PR blitz during the last few days) Technology | The end of the revolution "In effortless, lucid prose Mueller documents and explains precisely how "Internet governance" has evolved from the enlightened despotism of a technological elite into a tool of special interests intent on protecting and expanding the control of intellectual property online."
Boston Globe Online / Business / Technology for teamwork ''I wonder if there's something in the Boston air,'' says Simon Hayward, an analyst with the research firm Gartner. ''There are more companies selling collaboration tools in the Boston area than there are on the West Coast.''

Sunday, June 16, 2002

EDS to Buy Part of Loudcloud Will be interesting to see the price and percentage...
New Oracle tech to put steam behind Java - Tech News - Confirming TopLink acquisition; apparently not much left at WebGain

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Wired 10.07: The Madness of King George [Gilder] "Just a few years ago, he was the toast of Wall Street and commanded as much as $100,000 per speech. Now, he confesses, he's broke and has a lien against his home."
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft regains its No. 1 ranking "General Electric had ranked as the biggest company since April 3, 2000, when it passed Cisco Systems' $524 billion. Cisco is now worth $104.6 billion."

Friday, June 14, 2002

Interview: Browser wars aren't coming backIDG: So then Netscape is basically its plan B?... Andreessen: Yeah, I think so. When they originally did the acquisition, the big motivation around it was to be able to have a bargaining chip ... to get better terms. They could say, 'We own Netscape and we're willing to use Internet Explorer, but if you don't give us distribution through the Windows desktop we're going to use Netscape and we're going to double its market share overnight and cause you guys lots of problems.' There's no internal goal at AOL, or at least when I was there, to go get browser market share."

Ellison jabs at IBM over study - Tech News - --"IBM DB2 is only popular on mainframes...which are only used by your father!"
WaxPraxis : Replay to VCD "My wife and I happen to own a Replay 4000, which is basically a souped up digital VCR - like a TIVO but with a lot more features. One of those features is that after it records shows you can send those shows to other Replay 4000s (it has an ethernet port on the back which is required to download it's guides and software updates) ... The only problem is that it records onto a big hard drive, but that's not exactly portable. To solve this problem I've figured out a pretty easy (and cheap!) method to pull shows off of the Replay and put them onto video CDs that play in nearly all DVD players!" Relevant to TV link below
Enron Nice Flash-based explanation of the Enron disaster
FORTUNE - Alsop on Infotech - I Want My File-Served TV! via Slashdot. "That's file-served television. It is very different from today's TV: The popularity of content is controlled by users rather than broadcasters. It's a system flexible enough to adapt to a new TV standard like HDTV over time. It's a vision that's big enough, in fact, to contain all the previous visions of the television industry." Yet another reason why digital rights management is a very active domain.
The Register: British Airways flies high with broadband Anything to get away from captive-audience infomercials... - Major Business News: Microsoft's Cable-TV Miscues Turned Into a Costly Lesson Handy summary of the iTV train wreck

Thursday, June 13, 2002

FORTUNE.COM - Fast Forward - Microsoft Backs Off Its Passport Push "Passport now has 200 million users, Microsoft says, and authenticates 3.5 billion transactions every month. As the first large-scale identity management service, Passport has a huge leg up on competitors."
Scientific American: Fibbing Common in Everyday Conversation "Meeting new people can spark nervousness and dread in some individuals; it can elicit eagerness and enthusiasm in others. Most of these folks share a surprising trait, however: they lie. According to study results detailed in the current issue of the Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 60 percent of the participants lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation, and most fibbed two or three times." (via Barry Briggs)
Microsoft's vision of .Net Framework "... InfoWorld: What's your assessment of BEA's WebLogic Workshop Cajun development environment? How does it compare with Visual Studio.Net? ...
Hejlsberg: It's a very nice tool. I was quite impressed. Cajun is really about building Web services, but that's about it. It's the tool that you would use for Web services, but then when you're going to build the rest of your app or do remote debugging or all of these other things, it doesn't really do that. It's a cockpit for writing a Web service. ... There's a lot of boring stuff that has to be in a development environment today. It is amazing how much stuff goes into Visual Studio and how you can just keep digging. Take the whole data design environment, for example. You can look at all your tables in the hierarchy. All of those things are actually important when you're building apps. We tend to be very serial in our thinking, in our marketing. [We think] it's all about Web services and forget about everything else. Well, no, [you can't] forget about everything else. You've got to be able to do all of that and then you've got to be able to do Web services. It takes a lot to be a grownup development tool today."
The Register: Microsoft to go 3G? "All the time spent in the court room seems to have given Microsoft plenty of time to contemplate life the universe and everything. Never one to lie on its laurels the company is always keen to look for new markets to move into. We saw recently that the troubled telecom operator WorldCom may be on the shopping list and now there is news that the Redmond software vendor may be taking on other struggling telecoms companies in the 3G space."

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Nasdaq 100 Closes Below Its Low Point of September "The Nasdaq 100, once the hottest stock index there was, fell to its lowest level in more than four years yesterday as technology issues continued to suffer."
ANALYSIS: Microsoft vs. open source gets political Maybe Microsoft should sue these governments for collusion...

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

eRoom CEO: More Room to Grow Interesting perspectives
Microsoft Edges Closer to Sony in Cyber Games "Microsoft Corp on Tuesday took a step closer to arch rival Sony Corp in the budding world of cyber video games, unveiling a $54.5 plug-and-play starter kit for its Xbox game console in Japan. ... The U.S. software giant also said 39 game makers would offer a total of 47 titles for its online game service, ``Xbox Live,'' set for a worldwide launch this autumn. ... The starter kit covers the cost of subscription fees for the first 12 months and a headset for chatting online while playing games over the Web. Last month it said it would sell the kit for $49 in the United States."

Did This Man Just Rewrite Science? "The idea that complex things can arise from simple ones is as old as Euclid, who built a whole geometry out of a few axioms and logic, but the giant on whose shoulders Dr. Wolfram is most securely standing is the English mathematician Alan Turing. In 1936, Mr. Turing and Dr. Alonzo Church, a Princeton mathematician, showed that in principle any mathematical or logical problem that could be solved by a person could be solved by a so-called Turing machine. As envisioned by Mr. Turing, it was like the head of a modern tape recorder that would move back and forth along an endless tape reading symbols inscribed on it and writing new ones. Moreover, a so-called universal Turing machine could emulate any other conceivable computer. ... From that point on, Windows 95 and the Internet were only matters of time and transistor technology." Uh, sure...
A New System for Storing Data: Think Punch Cards, but Tiny "I.B.M. scientists say they have created a data-storage technology that can store the equivalent of 200 CD-ROM's on a surface the size of a postage stamp."

Monday, June 10, 2002

Novell to buy SilverStream - "Our channel partners would like an app server from Novell," noted Novell's Stone [someone should tell him SilverStream isn't an app server company anymore]
3G DoCoMo Comes Third, for the First Time "The figures serve to underline the increasing pressure being placed on DoCoMo. Once lauded for its command of the new mobile technology as subscriber numbers to its i-mode service soared, it now appears to be falling behind its rivals in crucial areas."
Boston Globe Online / Business / Wireless devices "Nextel Communications, best known for its cellphones with the walkie-talkie feature, has rolled out its first ''air card'' service offering wireless access to laptop computers, which at least for now can claim wider coverage than some of Nextel's biggest competitors. ... Nextel's iM1100 device sells for $350 with a $55-a-month unlimited usage plan. It has its own battery, so it reduces the power draw on a laptop battery. It promises access at speeds of 20 to 56 kilobits per second, comparable to a landline dial-up modem. ... The Nextel unit works any place Nextel phone service works, in contrast to Verizon's Express Network, which so far has been launched only in the Boston-to-Washington corridor, Salt Lake City, and parts of Northern California." (Note: stale data on the Verizon coverage areas)
NOVELL: Novell to Acquire SilverStream Software "Under terms of the agreement, Novell will commence a cash tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of SilverStream common stock at a price of $9.00 per share, followed by a merger in which the holders of the remaining outstanding shares of SilverStream common stock will receive the same cash price. Assuming a closing of the acquisition in July 2002, with approximately 23.6 million shares projected to be outstanding, which includes estimated option exercises prior to the closing date, the total cash acquisition price before acquisition fees will be approximately $212 million. In that event, cash on SilverStream's balance sheet is expected to total approximately $100 million, which would yield a net cash outlay by Novell of approximately $112 million." ... "This acquisition will make Novell a meaningful player in the web services game, right next to others who are pursuing a services strategy, like IBM, Microsoft and Sun, " said Chris Stone, Vice Chairman - Office of the CEO at Novell. "But we're coming at this market from a different place. Instead of the monolithic approach based on proprietary products that others have adopted, Novell is focused on offering a cost effective, flexible alternative that allows the products of all vendors to work together. It's a role we play already in the networking space, and one - uniquely - we'll take to the Web services arena. ... "By bringing the capabilities of SilverStream, Cambridge and Novell together, we'll have the pieces in place to deliver on our one Net vision of a world where resources of all types can be securely managed and utilized across networks of all types, all working together freely," Stone explained. [thanks to Paul DiCristina for the update]
The Register: WebGain to exit tools, Oracle to buy TopLink Great news for Borland, if true
BW Online | June 17, 2002 | Ballmer's Microsoft Today, after a transition that had its rocky moments, it's clear that a new era has dawned at Microsoft: The powerhouse that Gates built is being reconstructed by Ballmer. And Gates doesn't seem to mind. Ask Gates about Ballmer's thumbprint on the company, and he laughs at the understatement. "Thumbprint? He's got big thumbs," Gates says. "Steve's the No. 1 guy, and I'm the No. 2 guy....I have a strong voice, a strong recommendation, but Steve has to decide."
Apple Ad Campaign Stars Former Microsoft Users "Our relationship with Microsoft is really pretty good," Mr. Jobs said. "What's a few market-share points between friends? It wouldn't matter to them, and we would be eternally grateful."
Apache Today - PHP Overtakes Microsoft's ASP as Web's #1 Server-side Scripting Language "According to a Netcraft survey published in April 2002, PHP is now being used by over 24% of the sites on the Internet. Of the 37.6 million web sites reported worldwide (, PHP is running on over 9 million sites and continues to grow at an explosive rate. Over the past two years PHP has averaged a 6.5% monthly growth rate."
BlogComp: Blog Tool Feature Comparison Table via Dave Winer
Boston Globe Online: Next up: Web of data/Tim Berners-Lee wants his newest creation to reach is full potential

Saturday, June 08, 2002

The Register: So that's what happened to eSpeak "You wrote: "HP's software portfolio is very highly regarded, and in Chai and eSpeak - two you don't hear so much about - it has a couple of crown jewels." ... I think I can confidently state that this particular jewel was constructed largely of paste and food coloring. ... Imagine a Death Star sized concentration of Java whose density was such that space, time and sanity crumbled in its very presence. Swarming teams of engineers working around the clock without dissent lest the dark Lord himself freeze them with his steely Voice Mail Of Death."
Computer System That Makes Data Secure, but Hard to Find "One expert in the field said it was past time for the bureau to change its technology and the way it handles data. "This notion of not having information shouldn't be an excuse going forward," said Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive of Google Inc., the Internet search firm that enables millions of Internet users to sift through billions of Web pages daily. "As big as the government is," Mr. Schmidt said, "the Web is bigger." [maybe...]
'A New Kind of Science': You Know That Space-Time Thing? Never Mind "Yet Wolfram has earned some bragging rights. No one has contributed more seminally to this new way of thinking about the world. Certainly no one has worked so hard to produce such a beautiful book. It's too bad that more science isn't delivered this way."
Life Jackets Issued To All Americans For Some Reason Could happen... (The Onion) Added Cheney: "The U.S. has received no threats at any time in the past 22 hours, so you can all just relax." ... Despite such assurances, many Americans remain concerned. ... "I don't like having to keep the kids in their little water wings," said Michelle Barerras, a Grand Junction, CO, third-grade teacher. "They look really cute in them, but it's unnerving. And this morning, all the teachers have received a Department of Education memo informing us that geography units would soon be obsolete. It's being replaced with a special 'Swimming Is Fun-damental!' unit with an emphasis on surviving high waves and avoiding waterborne automobiles. Why?"
China Paper Bites on Onion Gag "Beijing's most popular newspaper has unwittingly republished a bogus story about U.S. Congress threats to skip town for Memphis or Charlotte unless Washington builds them a new Capitol building with a retractable dome. ... The source? America's celebrated spoof tabloid, the Onion." Oops - Oracle in talks to buy HP middleware Makes sense to me

Friday, June 07, 2002

Cave or Community?: An Empirical Examination of 100 Mature Open Source Projects via Camworld "Based on a study of the top 100 mature products on Sourceforge, I find a few surprising things. First, most OSS programs are developed by individuals, rather than communities. The median number of developers in the 100 projects I looked at was 4 and the mode was 1 - numbers much lower than previous numbers reported for highly successful projects! Second, most OSS programs do not generate a lot of discussion. Third, products with more developers tend to be viewed and downloaded more often. Fourth, the number of developers associated with a project was positively correlated to the age of the project. Fifth, the larger the project, the smaller the percent of project administrators."
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Ballmer sets goal to remake Microsoft's image "In the four-page message, Ballmer laid out seven company values and said Microsoft's mission for the next century is to "enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential." A bit less precise than the previous two mission statements...
The Register: Hotmail charges for POP email Following in Yahoo's greedy footsteps
The Register: HP raps exec for "premature" middleware death sentence Maybe the universally positive feedback on the idea will help them decide
Mira Stumbles Out of the Starting Block "In Taipei this week for the Taiwan Computex 2002 trade show, Microsoft revealed a few sobering details about its upcoming remote display technology for home users, currently code-named "Mira." If successful, Mira will finally bring Windows Terminal Services into the home, providing consumers with a way to access their desktop machine remotely from anywhere in the house. But Mira's price and exclusivity may be major stumbling blocks that prevent the technology from taking off with its intended audience."
Microsoft Windows "TrustBridge" to Enable Organizations to Share User Identities Across Business Boundaries Interesting PR -- I don't see a lot new in this, relative to what they announced last year on federated Passport

Thursday, June 06, 2002 - Personal Technology: Nokia Gets a Weak Start In Communicator Race Walt Mossberg on Nokia 9290: "I'm sure some folks will like the 9290, and maybe even see it as a substitute for a laptop. But I don't think Nokia nailed the communicator challenge with this one."

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

HP plans to sell off middleware products Amazing if accurate
Mira device won't work with XP Home - Tech News - Oops -- consumer device won't work with most popular consumer version of Windows...

Sunday, June 02, 2002

Boston Globe Online / Business / Gamers indeed: how Xbox creators outplayed Gates "Every now and then, Takahashi suggests, the most powerful man in the computer industry is a clod, a boss right out of Dilbert: ignoring the obvious, sending his subordinates on bizarre errands, and becoming the target of grumbling behind his back. When that happens, it's time to tell Gates what he wants to hear - and then tiptoe down a more sensible path."
AOL Test May Renew Browser War "But, in this instance, AOL has been unable to articulate a reason why it is in the best interest of AOL subscribers and AOL itself to make this move."