Saturday, August 31, 2002

Ray Ozzie's Weblog "Interesting factoids from Groove usage analysis aggregated across a very broad statistically significant anonymous sample set. I did this in order to empirically validate some intuitions related to some UI design enhancements that I'm considering.
The analysis does indeed validate that the 2-25 design center of the product is precisely the sweet spot of where it's being used in practice: approximately 35% of shared spaces are between a single pair of individuals, 60% of shared spaces are between 3 and 25 individuals, and 5% of shared spaces have more than 25 individuals. Amazingly to me - given the design center of the UI - I found that within this 5% there are actually hundreds of spaces with 100-250 members each; I'd surely never have expected this.
One other incredibly fascinating tidbit: 25% apparently use shared spaces with only themselves as a member, using Groove as a "briefcase" to transparently and securely synchronize files across multiple computers that they own - e.g. Office documents being synchronized between home and office PCs."

Friday, August 30, 2002

.Net Server's new name suggests delay - Tech News - Makes for a provocative headline, and the article includes a useful summary of the history of Windows .NET Server 2003, but there is no news in it
Last Task at Andersen: Turning Out the Lights "The only significant, certain revenue source for Andersen in the future will come from its onetime sister consulting firm, now known as Accenture, which was separated from Andersen by an arbitrator's decision two years ago. Partners on the consulting side did not want to share profits with their less-profitable accountant brethren. ... Accenture now has more than three years left on a five-year contract to send more than 10,000 employees each year to what is called Andersen University, the Andersen training campus in St. Charles, Ill. A spokeswoman for Accenture did not disclose the value of the contract."
O'Reilly Network: The Death of EJB As We Know It? [August 30, 2002] "People are starting to recognize some of the frailty implicit in the EJB specification. In particular, the emphasis on vendor-neutrality within the EJB specification leads to a number of inefficient ways of developing enterprise applications. In order to work around these inefficiencies, developers are forced to adopt "design patterns" that create more work for the average developer, arguably more work than if they'd just abandoned EJB altogether and started from a core architecture of just servlets/JSP and JDBC. ... Developers seek simpler alternatives to EJB for a simple reason: EJB is not only way overkill for most enterprise applications, but it also represents a huge learning curve for the average Java developer. The goal of "making enterprise applications easier" for developers (a stated aim of the EJB Specification) has been sacrificed on the altar of vendor-neutrality."
O'Reilly Network: Netscape 7.0 - A Winner! But for who? [August 30, 2002] Interesting perspective, but being a well-managed open source project doesn't make the result a marketplace winner
WebServices.Org - The Web Services Community Portal - Portal Syndication with Web services and Cocoon Very useful overview
The Register: Netscape plans comeback tour with v7.0 "... But the campaign will stop short of marketing the browser to AOL's 34 million subscribers, all of which use a proprietary client built on top of IE. AOL has a test version of its client based on Gecko, the same rendering engine as Netscape 6 and 7, in circulation, but has not yet said if future versions of AOL will use the browser. ... "AOL is committed to Gecko," the Netscape spokesperson said. "They're now using it in AOL clients for Mac OS X and on their CompuServe internet service... For the time being AOL has not decided to switch out IE for Gecko in 8.0."

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Netscape usage down to 3.4 percent [global market share] "This is a steep decline from the 13 percent share held by Netscape at the same time last year, said Geoff Johnston, vice president of product marketing for StatMarket, WebSideStory's Web site design and software developer service. Rival browser Internet Explorer (IE), owned by Microsoft, holds an estimated 96 percent of the market, up from 87 percent a year ago, according to WebSideStory, in San Diego. ... "There are pockets of resistance in certain countries, but unless AOL makes a move soon, Netscape may find itself battling Opera for the last 1 to 2 percent of the market," Johnston said."
The iMac-Like PC "The PowerMate is remarkable for another reason, too: It's a "green" computer. According to NEC, discarded PC's will exceed newly purchased PC's this year, adding 220 tons of computers to the landfill — including toxins like lead, barium, boron and cobalt. The PowerMate, on the other hand, is built without any such elements. The plastic case isn't sprayed with toxic flame retardants, as are other PC's, and it sips only a laptop-like 31 watts of electricity (compared with 150 watts for a typical desktop machine)." Let's hope it's a trend-setter in this regard, at least...
WordPerfect Gets New Life in Deal With 2 PC Makers Certainly a boost for Corel's sickly stock, but not a customer-driven switch by HP and Dell (know many WordPerfect or Quattro Pro users these days?).
When the Cellphone Is the Home Phone "In what may be the start of an alarming trend for the nation's largest telephone companies, the total number of business and residential telephone lines declined last year for the first time since the Depression — to 192.3 million at year's end from 192.6 million a year earlier, according to the Federal Communications Commission."
Big Airlines Cut Service and Add Fees New case study in customer disservice; Southwest and other more customer-focused and cost-efficient airlines will only get stronger as UAL and other dinosaur-brained airlines attempt new scams to extract cash from customers.
Ray Ozzie's Weblog: Publishing is Dead Hardly, but I like Ray's suggested feedback mechanism: "Comments? Please reply on your own blog, and point back here"; Dave Winer, for one, has already juxtaposed Ray's one-line summary with a one-line rebuttal (links included, of course), so Ray et al. are providing useful examples of the power of weblogs, but I for one don't expect traditional publishing to fade away real soon now; I think weblogs and books/magazines/etc. are as persistently complementary as, say, Groove and Notes...

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

JBoss > Sun's J2EE Standard Needs JBoss "Marc Fleury, founder of JBoss and President of JBoss Group LLC responds: On the contrary, I would argue that Open Source and JBoss in particular are already Sun's best defense against Microsoft .NET. Only Open Source has proven uniquely resilient to a Microsoft onslaught. In the same way that Linux has prevented MS NT from dominating the server operating system, JBoss will prevent .NET from making serious inroads into the application server tier, the crucial gateway to enterprise software applications."

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

DDN | Big Brother hiding inside cars’ airbags via Dave Farber. Be careful what you do (and later say?...) in your shiny new vehicles; your insurance company and local police may be recording...
Notes is dead As you may have noticed, I've generally refrained from commenting on articles/themes in the Notes/Groove/MSFT intersection zone (since I worked for both Lotus and Groove, etc.), but this column is way over the top and warrants a comment.

Groove is very useful in many contexts, and has strong synergy with Microsoft's products, but it's outrageous for Steve Gillmor to assert that Notes is dead because Groove added superficial Notes integration and because Ray Ozzie has been sharing his weblog thoughts on his (excellent) weblog. Anyone who has used Notes effectively (i.e., for anything beyond basic email and document sharing) understands that Microsoft (and even Microsoft + Groove) still has a very long distance to go before it catches up to Notes functionality (which is not to say that Groove and MSFT don't do useful things Notes does not do, or vice versa; they're partially-overlapping circles on a Venn diagram), and IBM/Lotus is certainly not standing still in the meantime. Gillmor does Ray a major disservice by distorting Ray's diplomatic and precise comments about Notes.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Amazon expands free shipping: $25 purchase is all it takes now Another cool Amazon feature: if you order CDs via Amazon, they set up a "digital library" from which you can stream your purchases (after authenticating) -- they time out after a while (quite reasonably), but performance on a couple CDs I ordered yesterday (after noticing the free shipment for >= $25 headline...) has been good. More smart innovation on Amazon's part.
Gateway: Think Smarter, Not Different Interesting controversy -- story also hit today's Boston Globe business section in a generally hostile article, but either way Gateway is getting lots of free press via the ads...
Xbox Brings Early Holiday Cheer With Free DVD Movie Playback Kit As someone mildly annoyed about MSFT giving away something I paid $30 for: Xbox is not an ideal DVD device for two reasons: the hard disk makes enough noise to be distracting, unless you have the console in cabinet you can close, and using DVDs means you can't plug the Xbox in through your VCR, as many people would otherwise default to doing (as DVDs won't play well, since the entertainment oligopoly was able to make it undesirable to record DVDs onto tape via VCRs). I'm pleased with my Xbox overall, in any case (in part because I have it in a cabinet I can close to reduce hard disk noise without overheating risks etc.); it's an adequate DVD player and a great game machine.
Microsoft PressPass: Server Appliances: The Right Tool for the Right Job Positioning challenge: assert message about being better than Linux from a total cost of ownership perspective, but don't cannibalize full Windows server licenses...
Stocks Set to Dip at Open "U.S. stocks are set to dip on Tuesday's opening after stock futures contracts drifted lower in overnight trading and chip giant Intel Corp. (INTC.O) slipped in European hours after it said its outlook remained tough." (see WSJ link below; file under "can't believe everything you read") - Blue Chips Are Expected To Open Slightly Higher "Stocks are expected to open slightly higher Tuesday, lifted by a surprising rebound in durable goods orders." (Included only to contrast with link above.)
Web Services Tips & Newsletters- The Web Services Specific Search Engine "What does all this squabbling, name-calling, and legal battles add up to? For Sun, it's not good news. Passport is well ahead of the Liberty Alliance, .NET has been gaining momentum, and Sun has only recently gotten its act together concerning its Web services strategy. If Sun continues to focus on the courts and public spats, rather than wooing developers, developing technologies, and emphasizing the strengths of its technology, it will end up losing the biggest battle of all — the fight over who controls Web services. And it will end up being all Microsoft all the time, with no other choices."

Monday, August 26, 2002

Revolt in the Den: DVD Sends the VCR Packing to the Attic "Some recent hit films, like "The Fast and the Furious" and "Training Day," have earned more money from their DVD releases than from their first-run theater engagements. And for the first time, DVD sales have surpassed those of videocassettes, even though DVD players are in only about a third of American households, compared with a saturation of more than 90 percent for videocassette players."
Plunge in Bison and AOL Weighs on Turner Fortune Tough times for Ted (somehow I imagine he'll be okay)
From Unseemly to Lowbrow, the Web's Real Money Is in the Gutter "Cyberspace is "debasing itself in front of our eyes," said Bruce Sterling, a science fiction author. Mr. Sterling, who sees the Internet becoming a pit of spam and swindles, pornography, corporate advertising and government surveillance, warns, "We will lose the Internet if we don't save it."
Death of the Database "XQuery is a strongly typed XML Query Language that mimics the functionality that the SQL language provides to query relational databases. One of the advantages of XQuery is that it can query XML documents whether they are housed in relational databases, freestanding documents or strings dished up from business objects in the middle tier." Okay, so learn relational calculus and you can use both SQL and XQuery; the former certainly is not going away.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

On a Roll, Dell Enters Uncharted Territory "Dell is, indeed, rolling. In the last two weeks, it reported improved profits and solid gains in the PC business and declared its intention to enter three new markets by the end of the year: printers, hand-held devices and unbranded, or white-box, PC's. And its campaign to move up the computing food chain into corporate data centers appears to be gaining traction."
Is This One Nation, Under Blog? Blog life cycles...

Saturday, August 24, 2002

Professional: Web Addiction on the Rise "According to research conducted by employee management firm Websense Inc., 25 percent of employees feel addicted to the Internet, while only a meager 8 percent of those polled claim no knowledge of workplace Web addiction."
Business 2.0 - Web Article - Printable Version - Blogging for Dollars This is very reminiscent of the early days of Lotus Notes in many ways

Friday, August 23, 2002

O'Reilly Network: The Great EJB Refactoring [August 23, 2002] "So every EJB 2.1 compliant container will expose session beans as web services. Can you say, "massive rewrite"?"
The Linux developer lifestyle, exposed - Tech News - Interesting profile
Xbox Live applicants: No game for you - Tech News - "More than 100,000 Xbox owners applied to participate in the beta program for Xbox Live, said Jennifer Booth, marketing director for Xbox Live. A total of 5,000 applicants were notified Tuesday that they had been selected for the first round of beta testing and will be able to tap into online versions of "NFL Fever" and racing game "Re-Volt" starting Friday.
Booth said the response from potential testers was way beyond Microsoft's expectations and an encouraging indicator of interest in the online service. "There's a lot of pent-up energy and excitement," she said."
The Ten Immutable Laws of Security Interesting MSFT perspective

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Tech News - Thinking about the future of data Dave is a smart and thoughtful guy, and I've always been a fan of Contivo's mission - Personal Technology: Sprint's PCS Vision Network Is Fast, but Also Quite Pricey "A few months back, I tested Verizon's similar higher-speed network using a laptop card made by Sierra Wireless. I prefer the Sprint experience. For one thing, the Novatel card used by Sprint encloses its antenna in a sealed compartment that protrudes from the laptop. The Verizon card has a hinged, vertical antenna that can break off and get lost. Also, Verizon drops your network connection after five minutes of inactivity, while Sprint keeps you connected for at least two hours, allowing e-mail to arrive automatically.
The big problem with PCS Vision is pricing. With the Novatel card, Sprint offers consumers two plans: $39.99 a month for 20 megabytes of data, or $79.99 a month for 70 megabytes. Anything more you download costs two-tenths of a cent per kilobyte -- about $2 a megabyte. You can buy an extra 50 megabytes a month for $40.
But this pricing scheme is absurd, and financially risky for the consumer. Who totes up how many megabytes Web surfing or e-mail consumes?
The PCS Vision network and Novatel card work well. But until Sprint offers flat-rate pricing so users know the costs, I doubt the service will be as popular as it could be."

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Free speech, free beer and free software - Tech News - More Sun doublespeak
Context Magazine -- The 19th-Century Internet. "The sign of a truly mature technology is that it becomes invisible. You notice it only when something goes wrong: when the lights don’t come on, or when there is no dial tone. By mutating into easier-to-use technologies that were better suited to specific tasks, the telegraph threw off its nerdy origins. In the process, the telegraph became ubiquitous and was transformed into a variety of instant communications devices that have been almost unnoticed, but integral, parts of everyday life. The same will surely happen to the Internet." (via Tomalak)

Monday, August 19, 2002

Out-of-It Eyebrow Lift Gives Apple a Superstar Go figure...
Apple's Chief in the Risky Land of the Handhelds "We decided that between now and next year, the P.D.A. is going to be subsumed by the telephone," [Jobs] said last week in an interview. "We think the P.D.A. is going away." So it's time for Apple to buy Handspring...

Sunday, August 18, 2002 : Oracle, IBM, Microsoft Challenged by Free Database Software ``Linux has really hit the mainstream now and the same thing's going to happen in the database world,'' Zawodny said. ``It's just going to take a few years. That's when (database vendors) are really going to have to wake up.'' via Slashdot
Unstrung - Ricochet Rides Again "However, Ricochet is no longer styling itself as a wireless network for mobile professionals. "The users weren't mobile… you could own 1,000 percent of the mobile business market and still go bankrupt," snorts Ricochet's new president and CEO Mort Aaronson, talking about Metricom, the defunct previous owner of Ricochet, and its flawed plans to provide Internet on the move. ... "We've retooled the business model," explains Aaronson. "We want to provide broadband where the other guys can't."

Friday, August 16, 2002

The Register: Dell mocks MS' mandatory-OS regime "To make life easier for big shops using Linux, which can be installed on any number of machines without drawing a 'dynamic entry' from the BSA paramilitary squads, Dell is going to ship naked desktops and workstations and simply chuck a copy of FreeDOS into the shipping carton to satisfy the Microsoft licensing Taliban."

Thursday, August 15, 2002

McNealy Takes Jabs at Microsoft ""I am very pleased by the pricing and licensing strategies the open-source community is committed to. This provides a counter to the 'annual tax' users have to cough up to Microsoft," he said." Compare with "... So, potentially you could make an argument that the open source thing is just screwing up all the revenue models and we aren't getting the advertising, because it isn't the best technology that always wins, it's who advertises more. You could make a very strong argument that says, "No that's messing with it." And in fact Bill Gates may be sitting up there laughing his butt off because the open source community is cutting the legs out from under all the R&D and promotion efforts of all the open interface strategies -- not open implementation, but open interface strategies" from this interview. Reading the fine print, it appears McNealy thinks it's okay for open source to decimate ISV models on the desktop, but hopes to preserve the traditional ISV model on the server side.
BEA Systems - 2002 Press Releases: BEA Wins Hands Down in Real-World Competition Against IBM as Customers Prefer BEA "Another point of differentiation between BEA and the competition is the notion of "serviceware." Customers who have purchased from other vendors, including IBM, have been frustrated by the time-consuming and extremely expensive consulting services often required to get applications up and running. Some vendors even offer their software for free, or at greatly reduced prices, to entice customers, only to end up charging far more than BEA in the long run due to the high cost of their services."

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Sun switches on LAMP initiative - Computerworld Looks like some folks at Sun missed the McNealy interview about open source destroying the software business
Borland, BEA shake hands on Java - Tech News - "Software maker Borland is hoping to extend its lead in the Java programming tools market through a closer alliance with BEA Systems. The two companies announced Wednesday a co-marketing agreement in which BEA will resell Borland's popular JBuilder Java development tool. Borland, in turn, will build a version of JBuilder for BEA's WebLogic application server software."
ZDNet: Tech Update: Enterprise Applications / IBM, Microsoft ride herd on B2B Web services Can anyone seriously be surprised that BEA, IBM, Microsoft, and others elect to not enthusiastically support overlapping "standards" initiatives directly or indirectly controlled by Sun? This is indeed a milestone, with BEA joining the IBM/MSFT platform, and it doesn't bode well for Sun, ebXML, BPML, and WSCI.
Dodging pop-ups with Mozilla - Tech News - "Mozilla 1.0, the open-source technology whose coding is the basis for America Online’s latest Netscape browser, is garnering favor for a new feature that helps block irksome pop-up advertisements. But don’t expect to see the tool in the coming full release of Netscape 7.0." Very tempted to install Mozilla for this feature; pop-ups are second only to spam email in my list of the loathsome. I hope a version of IE with this option will appear soon, but of course AOL TW/Netscape likely won't include the feature anytime soon, since they are suppliers of zillions of pop-up ads as well as browsers.
A Top AOL Manager Has Left Company You've got jail? Boston Globe article mentioned that he was "ousted" and locked out of his office; I think it's safe to conclude his exit wasn't his idea.
Kristen Nygaard, Who Built Framework for Computer Languages, Dies at 75 A sad season for comp sci, with the deaths of Nygaard, Ole-Johan Dahl (mentioned in Nygaard obit, died June 29) and Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (died Aug 6)
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft treated politely in corner of the Linux den (You will be assimilated...)
Xbox Live to Launch on One-Year Anniversary of Console Launch "At [Nov 15] launch, more than 5,000 North American retail outlets will begin selling the Xbox Live Starter Kit for a suggested price of $49.95 (U.S.). For the price of a new game, the kit includes a one-year subscription to the broadband-only service, the highly anticipated Xbox Communicator headset and a minigame so gamers can start playing with their friends right away. Retail programs will be supported by a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign that will include advertising, retail communications and promotional activities." - Microsoft's .Net 'moving along just fine' "It's tempting to declare Microsoft's ambitious .Net strategy a flop — as some have.
After all, two years have slipped by since Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates redirected his troops to find new ways to profit from increased business and consumer use of the Web. Meteoric success did not follow, prompting some company watchers and competitors to deride .Net as .NotYet.
Big mistake." Latest Attempt at Video Phone Is Light Years Past Early Tries Walt Mossberg's latest review, of the Vialta Beamer BM-80. Apparently Mossberg completely forgot about PC-based audio/video solutions that cost a lot less and don't require every participant to have a $299 unit.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

BBC - h2g2 - Lotus Notes/Domino - A676433 "Like the Apple Macintosh, Lotus Notes is a product which steadfastly refuses to die however often the doomsayers predict its imminent and certain death." Came across this succinct history of Notes via serendipitous searching on Google
The Register: TogetherSoft in, Borland out, in WebGain deal More analysis of WebGain's disintegration. Interesting times in the Java IDE landscape; TogetherSoft is rapidly gaining momentum, e.g., with very strong comparisons with Rational, and Borland appears to be the last remaining large, for-profit focused/pure-play IDE ISV, as Eclipse and Sun ONE (aka Forte for Java, aka NetBeans) continue to compete for the leading free Java IDE role.
O'Reilly Network: You Only Hurt the ONE You Love [August 13, 2002] Harsh analysis of McNealy's latest tirade
WebServices.Org - The Web Services Community Portal - IBM release BPWS4J - Business Process Execution Language for Web Services JavaTM Run Time (BPWS4J) Apparently the industry has finally run out of reasonable acronyms and abbreviations
WebGain sells Java development tool - Tech News - As Larry Ellison once reportedly said of Computer Associates, "Every ecosystem needs a scavenger."
Computing Old Guard Attends LinuxWorld "[Microsoft] says it has no plans to port its popular Office suite to Linux, for example, though such a port was secretly tested two years ago when Microsoft was unsure of its Linux plans. But Linux never took off on the desktop, and likely never will, curtailing any need for such a product. ... This week, however, the six Microsoft employees that man the company's booth at LinuxWorld will get a taste for what it's like to be the minority. It should be an interesting learning experience."

Monday, August 12, 2002

Toilet Paper algorithms ( ) More useful observations from Don Norman (via slashdot)
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Internet cafes find the price is right for wireless service " Way back in 1997, Internet cafes were all the rage. They offered decent coffee, acceptable pastries, a high-speed Internet connection and lots of desktop computers running Windows 95.
How times change. These days there are lots of coffee shops and restaurants where you can get high-speed Internet access. But now, even better, the Internet access is wireless — and it's free." (and we have a version of Windows that doesn't crash a couple times a day)
The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Microsoft changes its tune toward Linux "Microsoft executive Peter Houston wasn't too worried about the reception he'd get at the LinuxWorld conference this week in San Francisco — until he heard about the pie cannon."

Friday, August 09, 2002 Technology | "Buy, Lie and Sell High" "In his new book," Buy, Lie and Sell High: How Investors Lost Out on Enron and the Internet Bubble," D. Quinn Mills sets out to analyze what happened. A professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School and the author of a number of books on the high-tech industry, Mills argues that the bubble in Internet and technology-related stocks that developed in the U.S. and international stock markets during the late 1990s was evidence, not of the "irrational exuberance" of ordinary investors, but of a complete ethical collapse on the part of major investment banks, brokerage houses and even the Federal Reserve." (via robot wisdom)
WebServices.Org - The Web Services Community Portal - IBM, Microsoft and BEA release details of new specifications More on WS stuff referenced below
Tech giants back new Web services - Tech News - "The three new specifications are the latest in a series of Web services specifications that Microsoft, IBM and their industry partners have created to advance the Web services effort. In fact, the Business Process Execution Language merges two languages--Microsoft's Xlang and IBM's Web Services Flow Language--that the two companies originally created separately."
Microsoft settlement 'raises bar' on privacy Another PR lesson from MSFT: how to turn dumb process mistakes into a positive headline

Thursday, August 08, 2002 - Personal Technology: Danger's Sidekick Puts Phone, Net, Camera in One for $199 Bad news for Handspring and RIM: Walt likes T-Mobile Sidekick more. "One of the problems with all the exciting new hand-held wireless devices on the market is that they cost a lot to buy and use. They are often aimed at corporate customers, and so carry hefty price tags and steep monthly fees for phone, e-mail and Web-surfing services.
But by sometime in October, you'll be able to buy a very capable, breakthrough wireless device that will change all that. The new T-Mobile Sidekick looks nothing like the other wireless hand-helds on the market, and costs far less -- $199 after a rebate, compared with $350 to $800 for BlackBerries, Treos, Pocket PCs and Nokia 9290s. It's aimed squarely at consumers, not corporations.
With consumers in mind, the monthly fee for the Sidekick will be just $39.99 for unlimited data usage over a high-speed, always-on GPRS network. That's all the Web surfing, e-mail, and instant messaging you want. No separate Internet service is needed. That rate also includes 200 minutes of voice calling using the Sidekick's built-in phone. Those minutes can be used anytime during the week, and long-distance is free. You also get 1,000 free weekend minutes.
The Sidekick is a well-designed, very usable gadget that looks like nothing else on the market and that is packed with clever features. It was created by Danger Inc., an upstart Silicon Valley firm staffed with veterans of Apple, General Magic and other innovative companies. It will be sold by VoiceStream, the cellular carrier that's changing its name to T-Mobile."
Where Scott McNealy's wrong about the economics of open source - Aug 07, 2002 Useful and timely discussion. One possible conclusion: MSFT is the only for-profit platform ISV left (and it's a bit late in the game for McNealy to start complaining about it, especially given Sun's role in Java and open source)
Are 99 Percent of All Web Sites Obsolete? I guess "Internet time" is still applicable in some respects; it's amazing to think of the number of generations of Web site/app dev tools during the last ~7 years.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Study: Linux sales down, but not out - Tech News - "The Linux operating system market, from a revenue perspective, accounts for one half of 1 percent of the total operating system revenue each year, or roughly two days' worth of Microsoft's operating system revenue," Gillen said. "On the second day of January, Microsoft had generated more operating system revenue than the Linux community (will for the entire year)."
Ricochet set to bounce back - Tech News - "Ricochet plans to sell the service for $44.95 per month and charge $99.95 for the modem, Kelly said. In contrast, Metricom charged $75 to $80 per month for Ricochet service and $250 to $300 for the modems, she said." Compare with $99.99/$299.99 (monthly/laptop card) for Verizon Express unlimited. Of course, Verizon coverage is much broader.
Linux Market Shrinks in 2001 "Despite more than half a decade of hype, an undeserved level of press coverage, and unsubstantiated claims about the product's superiority to Windows and other OSs, open-source poster child Linux saw its market shrink last year, according to reports by market researchers International Data Corporation (IDC) and NPD INTELECT. According to the IDC report, Linux-generated revenue shrank 5 percent in 2001, the first time the fledgling OS has seen its market contract. A similar NPD INTELECT report says that the Linux market shrank 10.2 percent last year."

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Microsoft Gets Serious About Consulting - Trendlines - CIO Magazine Aug 1,2002 "In its move from supporting player to starring role, the software company has created a single consulting organization called Microsoft Worldwide Services that as of Memorial Day had about 12,000 employees. ... According to Jim Wilson, group marketing manager for Microsoft Worldwide Services, IT consultants focusing on e-commerce, enterprise application planning and distributed network architectures make up a little more than a third of this group. The rest are IT analysts and a growing legion of customer service representatives." - As the Times Get More Tough, Many Go on eBay to Sell Stuff "For financially strapped Americans, eBay is a new way to raise emergency funds during a downturn that is costing many people their jobs and savaging stock portfolios. In past financial crises, people have sold cars, jewelry and stocks to help make ends meet. But in the age of eBay, household clutter is a liquid asset with its own global exchange."
Visual Studio Magazine - Compare .NET Remoting to Web Services "Both the .NET remoting and ASP.NET Web services architectures provide a suitable framework for developing distributed applications. For applications that require interoperability and must function over public networks, Web services are probably the best bet. For those that require communications with other .NET components and where performance is a key priority, .NET remoting can prove advantageous."

Monday, August 05, 2002

New Software (and Bosses) at AOL "If you are in this for the stock price, you are probably out of this by now," said James P. Bankoff, an executive vice president in charge of programming on the AOL service. "The people who are here now are passionate about what they do, and 8.0 has been a great goal to focus on amid everything."

Sunday, August 04, 2002 McNealy: I think it's important to have a community process, open specs, and choice for the customer, absolutely. How that gets implemented, I don't particularly care. I actually think we need more revenue in the J2EE space, so that we can do more advertising to get the message out, because right now the world is getting blitzed with Microsoft advertising, and promotion and branding and propaganda, and big lies, and that's why they're going, not because it's a better product. ... So, potentially you could make an argument that the open source thing is just screwing up all the revenue models and we aren't getting the advertising, because it isn't the best technology that always wins, it's who advertises more. You could make a very strong argument that says, "No that's messing with it." And in fact Bill Gates may be sitting up there laughing his butt off because the open source community is cutting the legs out from under all the R&D and promotion efforts of all the open interface strategies -- not open implementation, but open interface strategies."

I guess he missed the Schwartz interview referenced below, about free app servers and DBMSs, etc. Astounding hypocrisy. (excerpt from interview via

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Inboxes grow fat with spam, ruining users' taste for Web Indeed. I've been a daily email user for ~18 years, and the experience is getting worse every day, thanks to spam. Maybe it's all a very clever marketing campaign for Microsoft Palladium...
Broken Promises and Political Deception [by Al Gore] "For well over a year, the Bush administration has used its power in the wrong way. In 2000, I argued that the Bush-Cheney ticket was being bankrolled by "a new generation of special interests, power brokers who would want nothing better than a pliant president who would bend public policy to suit their purposes and profits." Some considered this warning anti-business. It was nothing of the sort. I believe now, as I said then, that "when powerful interests try to take advantage of the American people, it's often other businesses that are hurt in the process" — most of all, smaller companies that play by the rules."... "The economic debate, now as then, is fundamentally about principle. The problem is not that Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney picked the wrong advisers or misunderstood the technical arguments, but that their economic purpose was and is ideological: to provide $1.6 trillion in tax giveaways for the few while pretending they were for the many, and manipulating the numbers to make it appear that the budget surplus would be preserved. It was pre-Enron political accounting."

Friday, August 02, 2002

ZDNet: VoiceStream debuts dud of a phone based on Microsoft's OS An unusually thorough review (many of the recent "reviews" can be summarized as "PocketPC phones smear my make-up or force me to use an ear-bud; I hate that!"). Note: it's a 3-page article, but annoyingly the print version only includes the first page.

I think a multi-unit configuration is the most sensible approach, at least until we see breakthroughs in battery life (and likely thereafter anyway); my ideal configuration will have a small communications unit (phone with reasonable display, great battery life, some apps -- e.g., instant messaging, SMS -- and a simple means of establishing high-speed link with PC and PDA), a laptop that can easily use the comm unit as a high-speed network connection, and a Pocket PC PDA that also easily connects to the comm unit. Verizon is close to this today; they have a phone + PDA option (albeit connected via a cable) that's much less expensive than the Thera, but unfortunately the laptop option currently requires a separate card ($299 last time I checked). Overall: this stuff is getting much closer to mainstreaming...

The Register: IBM challenges Oracle with DB2 v8 Good overview of v8 features and competitive position relative to Oracle - Boom Town Exchange: Is .NET Innovation, More Than Imitation? Fascinating feedback on recent WSJ .NET article

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Sun and Apple not working on StarOffice for Mac "Nevermind..." Wonder if MSFT had anything to do with this sudden clarification.
Tech News - Can software pull Sun out of its funk? "Our value proposition to them is, "Why on earth did you pay fifty-thousand bucks a CPU for WebSphere when you can get a free Application Server 7.0 from Sun running on Solaris and Linux--and by the way, we'll give you a database as well? Why do you bother with DB2 on Linux? Why don't you just run MySQL? It's cheaper, faster and more stable...""
WebGain seeks buyer for Java tools - Tech News - "WebGain has only kept a skeleton crew on staff. Maybe they can maintain the (software) code, but not to the point where it's a great release or a good product," Meyer said. "It's basically back to a simple IDE (integrated development environment). Who's interested in that?"
TV Magic, Made More Magical Still Good summary of current PVR state-of-the-art. Not surprising that MSFT aims to dominate this space, when you consider the usage model and implications.
Tablet PC Makers Embrace a Dying Art: Handwriting "How paradoxical, then, that at a time when handwriting is in such decline, the computer industry is making a new push to embrace it. Led by Microsoft's development of the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system, hardware makers like Acer, ViewSonic and Fujitsu are this year releasing tablet PC's, laptop-like devices that permit users to write directly on the screen with a stylus and then manipulate the handwritten text." - Personal Technology: First-Edition Pocket PC Phone Has Flaws in Both Functions "For now, the T-Mobile Pocket PC will likely appeal most to techies and gadget freaks, and to hard-core Pocket PC fans. Everyone else should wait for a bolder redesign."