Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Mitch Kapor's Weblog: Making Design Decisions Great goals for Chandler. Lotus Agenda might still be around today if it had been similarly guided.
Pew Internet & American Life Project": Counting on the Internet "With over 60% of Americans now having Internet access and 40% of Americans having been online for more than three years, the Internet has become a mainstream information tool. Its popularity and dependability have raised all Americans’ expectations about the information and services available online. When they are thinking about health care information, services from government agencies, news, and commerce, about two-thirds of all Americans say that they expect to be able to find such information on the Web. Internet users are more likely than non-users to have high expectations of what will be available online, and yet even 40% of people who are not Internet users say they expect the Web to have information and services in these essential online arenas."
Economy Intrudes on Dreams of New Services "The coming year, cellphone evangelists say, will be the year of 3G in Europe. Of course, that's what they said about 2002.
3G, or third-generation cellular service, which uses high-capacity networks to deliver multimedia services in addition to phone calls, has become the perennial tease of telecommunications — its arrival eagerly awaited and endlessly predicted, yet seemingly always further in the future."
WSJ.com - Risking a Flop, Microsoft Places Bets on 'Longhorn' "... The massive Cairo project simply "imploded under its own weight," says Gartner Inc. analyst David Smith. Still, some aspects of the failed system did make it into other Microsoft products, and Microsoft says Longhorn will contain innovations that weren't in Cairo. Microsoft Group Vice President Jim Allchin, the company's Windows czar, acknowledges the similarities between Cairo and Longhorn, but says the previous effort failed because "we didn't have the technology we needed to pull this off ... Now we think we do."

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Beyond "Couch Potatoes" "The fundamental challenge for computational media is to contribute to the invention and design of cultures in which humans can express themselves and engage in personally meaningful activities. Cultures are substantially defined by their media and tools for thinking, working, learning, and collaborating. New media change (1) the structure and contents of our interests; (2) the nature of our cognitive and collaborative tools; and, (3) the social environment in which thoughts originate and evolve, and mindsets develop.
Unfortunately, a large number of new media are designed from the perspective of seeing and treating humans primarily as consumers. In personally meaningful activities, the possibility for humans to be and to act as designers (in cases in which they desire to do so) should be accessible not only to a small group of "high-tech scribes," but rather to all interested individuals and groups. While the core message of the article applies to cultures, mindsets, media, technologies, and educational systems in general, my examples are mostly drawn from computational media, and more specifically from human computer interaction as a particular domain."

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Microsoft Loses a Round to Rival Sun "Had Microsoft not undercut Java the way it did it would likely be more popular on desktops today," said David Smith, an analyst at Gartner Inc. "But now there are other alternatives. This is certainly a plus for Java and a negative for Microsoft, but the fact is you can't turn the clock back."
WSJ.com - Microsoft to Carry Sun's Java After Judge Rules for Its Rival "Judge Motz, who during the hearing compared Microsoft's behavior against Java to skater Tonya Harding's knee-capping attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan, rejected those arguments. His written opinion also seems broadly skeptical of Microsoft executives; in one footnote, he credited the testimony of a Sun executive who failed to persuade Judge Kollar-Kotelly, while dismissing two other Microsoft officials for sharing "what some might characterize as their employer's imperialistic inclinations."
Two other judges have been removed from government cases involving Microsoft for showing bias against the company. Sam Miller, an antitrust lawyer with Folger Levin & Kahn in San Francisco, called the must-carry decision "unusual," and a "strong rebuke" to Microsoft that might also help the case filed by AOL's Netscape unit. But Mr. Miller didn't think Judge Motz's opinion could necessarily be construed as biased, noting Judge Motz also has ruled in Microsoft's favor in a consumer class-action case against Microsoft."

Monday, December 23, 2002

Microsoft’s Top 10 Challenges for 2003 Predictions/projections from Directions on Microsoft
NY Times: Many Tools of Big Brother Are Up and Running "The early version of the Total Information Awareness system employs a commercial software collaboration program called Groove. It was developed in 2000 by Ray Ozzie, a well-known software designer who is the inventor of Lotus Notes. Groove makes it possible for analysts at many different government agencies to share intelligence data instantly, and it links specialized programs that are designed to look for patterns of suspicious behavior."

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Company Men (washingtonpost.com): 'Bad Boy Ballmer' by Frederic Alan Maxwell and 'Sloan Rules' by David Farber "What drives this intensely driven man? With no real answer to this central question, Maxwell resorts to vague insights drawn from pop psychology, suggesting that "competition addict" Ballmer may really be driven by an unfulfilled childhood need to be loved. Even by pop-psych standards, that's not much of an answer. Ballmer may come across as a manic buffoon, but he didn't get where he is today on enthusiasm alone. Unfortunately, the book that truly explains the secrets of his success remains to be written."
NY Times: Bush Administration to Propose System for Monitoring Internet "The Bush administration is planning to propose requiring Internet service providers to help build a centralized system to enable broad monitoring of the Internet and, potentially, surveillance of its users."

Friday, December 20, 2002

I, Cringely | The Pulpit: Go to the Back of the Bus -- Intel's Plan to Crush Competitors by Making More and More of Your Next PC "It all comes down to earnings growth. In order to keep its earnings growing in a market that is no longer enjoying 20 to 30 percent annual revenue growth, Intel has to make sure it makes more and more of the next computer you buy. The ultimate goal is to make sure that computer has an Intel processor with Intel support chips on an Intel motherboard. Then it is only a short step to having Intel make the whole computer, which they will gladly do. Maybe it will work, but this strategy is going to lead to interesting responses from Intel competitors and customers alike. Fortunately, such responses can only be good for the consumers, for you and me."
"The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Japanese supercomputer dashes past competition It's a machine so fast it performs more computations per second than there are stars in our galaxy. It's so large it's housed in a building the size of an aircraft hangar.
Running 35.6 trillion calculations per second, the Earth Simulator is the fastest supercomputer in the world, almost five times faster than the next best one and as fast as the top five U.S. supercomputers combined."...
"IBM, flush with a $290 million government contract to build two supercomputers, says it will regain the No. 1 title in 2004 with a 100-teraflop machine that would be nearly three times faster than Earth Simulator.
Seattle-based Cray has won a $90 million contract to build a supercomputer for nuclear-weapons simulations at Sandia National Laboratory, also by 2004. And it has taken on a government challenge to create, by 2010, a computer that will be measured in petaflops — 1,000 trillion calculations per second."
The supercomputer leapfrog game continues...
Boston Globe Online: Sharing the riches -- Mitch Kapor uses his personal fortune to create free software he says will outdo Microsoft Outlook ''One of the certain things in the marketplace is that Microsoft products tend to advance when they are challenged,'' Marc Andreessen, a creator of the Netscape Communications browser that prompted Microsoft's abrupt shift toward Internet-based software, said in a recent interview with the Globe. ''It won't necessarily put price pressure on them, but at least it will cause them to maybe innovate.''

Thursday, December 19, 2002

The Register: VB developers take back seat at BEA "BEA Systems Inc is back-pedaling on efforts to attract Visual Basic developers to its WebLogic Workshop Java programming environment, in what appears a strategic reversal, writes Gavin Clarke.
After 12-months' rhetoric, San Jose, California-based BEA told ComputerWire Microsoft Corp's Visual Basic developers are no longer a priority as the company now focuses on building grassroots market share against Java rivals like IBM."
Xbox Sales Surge "Microsoft said Tuesday that sales of its Xbox video game console have surged in the past 30 days, an indication that the system might be gaining ground on competitors such as the Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube. In a letter to analysts, the software giant said that it sold 468,000 Xbox units in November, nearly double the number it sold the previous month. The company also reported sales of 2.4 million Xbox software titles, with five titles topping the 100,000 units sold mark. Finally, Microsoft reported that the Xbox Live Starter Kit, which enables Xbox users to play games online with people around the country, has sold over 136,000 copies.
Still, market leader Sony posted numbers that, predictably, leave Xbox in the dust. The company reported sales of over 1 million PlayStation 2 units "in the first couple of holiday shopping weeks," and says that its network adapter, which is required for online games, will sell over 400,000 units by the end of the year."

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

"Office 11" for Developers "Office 11 smart document technology will enable developers to create solutions that give users more useful, contextual, and customized content in the Office task pane. Developers can create these document-based solutions by using underlying XML schemas—which define the structure of a Word 11 or Excel 11 document—and a custom DLL. As users navigate through a smart document, the solution will detect the cursor location, and then in the task pane display the most relevant information—such as context-sensitive actions, help with the current task, suggested content, or supporting data or links to related information. The applications respond to user input and offer a significantly enhanced user experience."
Includes useful summary of new XML and smart tag features as well.
SONICblue Introduces First of its Kind Networked DVD Player "SONICblue™ Incorporated (Nasdaq: SBLU), introduced the world’s first Networked DVD player, the GoVideo® D2730. Besides top quality, standard DVD playback, the D2730 brings all the pictures, music and video clips stored on your computer onto your TV. The user-friendly PC software included makes set up incredibly simple, and TV viewing is as easy as pressing a button on the DVD remote control. The product is so exciting that the Consumer Electronic Association (CEA) recently selected it as a 2003 Innovation Award winner."

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

xmlhack: Microsoft Office embraces XML Some details:
"Word 11 has been transformed into a XML editor and can be used to edit any XML document, assuming you can write a W3C XML Schema for it. The presentation can be configured and the validation is done on the fly like spell-checking. A standard XML format has also been added for "regular" Word documents.
Excel XP already exports documents as XML. Excel 11 adds support for arbitrary documents and maybe more interesting the possibility to import values from XML documents as can be done with DBMS. The selection of the values to import is done through drag and drop and the links are stored as XPointer expressions.
XDocs is a new application to define and use document-oriented forms which are more similar to the forms in Lotus Notes than to those on the Web. User input may be stored together with the form in a XML document after a schema defined by Microsoft or in external XML documents with arbitrary schemas.
Access 11 can export its content as XML using your own schema.
Visio has its own XML format and can also read arbitrary XML documents and display their content in its drawings. Visio is the first Microsoft application to support SVG, and can load and save SVG documents.
Front Page 11 includes a WYSIWYG XSLT editor to define XSLT transformations through drag and drop."
Microsoft unveils entertainment software - Tech News - CNET.com "The technology, called Microsoft Plus Digital Media Edition for Windows XP and part of the Microsoft Plus product line, is designed to give users of standard PCs more features for editing and playing with media files, without turning to entertainment-friendly Apple iMacs or upgrading to more expensive systems like Microsoft's own Media Center PC." This $19.95 addition must annoy some of the recent Media Center PC customers...
Bloomberg.com : Microsoft Mulling Lower-Priced Office for Consumers "Microsoft gets about a third of its sales from Office. Revenue from Office grew less than 1 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30, as customers balked at spending several hundred dollars for a new version of the software when many already have an older one, analysts said. The program also faces competition from cheaper products such as Sun Microsystems Inc.'s StarOffice and the freely distributed OpenOffice."
2003 Preview: The Year Microsoft's Enterprise Computing Infrastructure Expands, Unites Around .NET Very handy reference list -- summary overviews of products planned for 2003

Monday, December 16, 2002

Mitch Kapor's Weblog: What's New About Chandler "By treating items as the first-class elements of data, it is then possible for the user to obtain an integrated view of all the information in her universe. One simple feature which takes advantage of this is that when you use Chandler you will never have to look in multiple places to find what you're looking for. In today's world, you use your PIM to look for information sent by email, and you use a file manager to locate information contained in a document stored as a file. You may have to use other tools to find other types of information."
Boston Globe Online / Business / Sites to watch for news of what's next When media collide... (If the Boston Globe were really serious about blogs, they'd fix their broken URL scheme.)

Saturday, December 14, 2002

CNN.com - Review: 'Trek: Nemesis' its own worst enemy - Dec. 13, 2002 I don't understand the harsh reviews; I saw the movie today and thought it was better than average for the ST:TNG franchise.
Novell previews new GroupWise collaboration suite More not-dead-yet Novell: "Novell currently has some 34 million users of its GroupWise application, according to figures from Framingham, Mass.-based IDC."
The Lives and Death of Moore's Law More Moore; from Business 2.0 reference

Friday, December 13, 2002

ZDNet: Novell: Not dead yet "If your company already has a significant NetWare investment, and you want to move applications to the J2EE platform, the Nakoma release is well worth investigating. The rise in popularity of Java, coupled with the interest in application servers as a core enterprise server offering, has given Novell a new lease on life. And with the Nakoma release, Novell is in a great position to take advantage of it."
O'Reilly Network: Why JSP Sucks So Hard [December 13, 2002] Interesting perspective; I wonder if XForms would do the trick for this author
The World According to Google [Steven Levy] "Eleven years ago computer scientist David Gelernter wrote of the emergence of “mirror worlds,” computer-based reflections of physical reality that can increase our understanding and mastery of the real world. Google is the ultimate mirror world, reflecting the aggregate brilliance of the World Wide Web, on which is stored everything: cookie-bake results, Weblogs, weather reports and the Constitution. And because Google is now the default means of accessing such information, the contents of Google’s world matter very much in the real world."
ObjectWatch Newsletter #42: J2EE versus .NET; The Latest Benchmark Roger Sessions fans the Pet Store benchmark flames:
"Admittedly, the TMC benchmark is not perfect, but no benchmark is. Overall, we owe TMC a debt of gratitude for a difficult job well done. The following conclusions are, I believe, strongly supported by the TMC benchmark:
* The cost savings of using Linux are illusionary. The actual hardware/software cost of a WebLogic on Linux or WebSphere on Linux system will be more than twice that of a comparable .NET on Windows system.
* Either a WebLogic or WebSphere system will cost at least six times as much to program as the equivalent .NET system.
* Either a WebLogic or WebSphere system will cost at least five times as much to administer as the equivalent .NET system.
* Either a WebLogic or WebSphere system will, in the end, support one half to one third the user load as will the equivalent .NET system, at least when those systems are run on the Windows operating system."
(Thanks to Wolfgang Hilpert for the pointer)

Thursday, December 12, 2002

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: New Tablet, Media Center PCs sell slowly for Microsoft Maybe that's because, as with the Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard/mouse (and indeed with all Microsoft wireless keyboard and mice), they're almost impossible to purcahse? Interesting twists on Xbox -- also see News.com: Xbox may boost Microsoft earnings
WSJ.com - Rational Software Up 3% On Rumors Of Second Bidder "Shares of Rational Software Corp. (RATL) saw heavy volume Wednesday after rumors spread on the Internet that a second company could make a bid for the software maker." ...
Gary Abott, an analyst at RTX Securities, said the chances of a second bidder emerging are "highly unlikely."
"There is a constituency out there that believes IBM has stolen this on the cheap," said the analyst. "I do not count myself among that group."
WSJ.com - Personal Technology [Walt Mossberg]: Two New PDA Models Offer Real Choice in Price, Design "For those with deep pockets who value style and compactness, the Palm Tungsten T may be just the ticket. For those with tight budgets who don't mind bulk and a more complex software interface, the Dell Axim is the better deal." I've noticed a resurgence in pro-Palm press this week -- interesting...
IBM Improves ODBC/SQL Access to Domino Data Nice to see NotesSQL is still running strong, 10 years later...
Fawcette.com - Is There an (X)Doc in the House? "Technically speaking, XDocs refers not to the format itself, but rather to the application used to create and manipulate this XML format. In essence, the XDocs editor will likely end up superceding Microsoft Word, and will offer much the same functionality that Word does. You will create documents just as you did before, except you'll be able to specify the underlying schema (presumably) to which specific word-processing elements get mapped. This means you could create a document based on its semantics—the meaning of each style or tag—and still be able to handle much of the presentation-layer work that has proved to be problematic when working with an XML editor."
Interland Gains Leadership in Mass-Market Web Solutions for Small Businesses By Signing to Acquire Trellix "The transaction consideration consists of $9.75 million in cash and stock plus warrants. In return for all the outstanding shares of the company, Trellix shareholders will receive $4.75 million in cash, three million shares of Interland stock, and a five-year option to purchase up to six million additional shares of Interland at a price of $5.00 per share. The transaction is expected to close within the next 30 days." via Dave Winer

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

[Marc Andreessen] Perspective: Sidestepping the new IT crisis - Tech News - CNET.com To paraphrase: buy my stuff or we're all doomed...
In the Future, We'll All Be Harry Potter (Alertbox Dec. 2002) "By saying that we'll one day be like Harry Potter, I don't mean that we'll fly around on broomsticks or play three-dimensional ballgames (though virtual reality will let enthusiasts play Quidditch matches). What I do mean is that we're about to experience a world where spirit inhabits formerly inanimate objects.
Much of the Harry Potter books' charm comes from the quirky magic objects that surround Harry and his friends. Rather than being solid and static, these objects embody initiative and activity. This is precisely the shift we'll experience as computational power moves beyond the desktop into everyday objects."
META Predicts Microsoft Will Offer Linux Software Interesting speculation, via slashdot
Q&A: Instant Messaging Milestone for Real-Time Communications Strategy "The marketplace for enterprise IM is growing at a record rate and is putting a strain on corporate IT departments. According to recent studies by IDC and Ostermann Research, 200 million people worldwide use IM today, and it is predicted that this number will grow to 500 million by 2006. Among corporations, 84 percent reported information workers use IM, but the majority of these users access IM via private applications that are not endorsed by the company. This number is expected to grow to 93 percent by September 2003. ...
"Greenwich" is also a component to the real time communications strategy; it not only consolidates communications into a central, secure platform but provides a way to integrate presence-based technology into an IM network and across any line of business solution. This allows the user to ask, "What could I do when I know a person with whom I need to do business s available?" "Greenwich" will provide a delivery mechanism for real-time alerts, which could be something as simple as "Machine A is out of red paint." It finds and informs the person available who is most able to deal with an issue. This presence-based technology, the ability to see whether people are available to communicate with you or not, and vice versa, is the core of how real-time communications can change the way people work and use computers in their day-to-day life."
First Yukon Beta Set for Q1 2003 "Microsoft is prepping the first beta release of SQL Server 2003--code-named Yukon--for release in February or March, and will use feedback from Beta 1 to determine the final release schedule. The long-awaited Yukon code-base will usher in a new era on Microsoft's software development roadmap, with the software being plumbed into various other projects, including the WinFS (Windows Future Storage) file system in the next Windows version (Longhorn) and the data store for a future Exchange release called Kodiak. Microsoft will also issue the next major release of Visual Studio .NET to coincide with Yukon; a minor release, code-named Everett, will ship in early 2003 to coincide with Windows .NET Server 2003."

Monday, December 09, 2002

Wi-Fi Internet Access Is Hot, but Its Profit Potential Is Tepid "With the Wi-Fi wireless Internet access standard becoming a bandwagon that even big players like AT&T, I.B.M. and Intel are joining, equipment companies big and small are hoping to ride along. But many industry analysts say it could be hard to make money in Wi-Fi, which is unlikely to represent more than a tiny fraction of the overall telecommunications equipment market for at least several years."
In Software, Still Testy After All These Years ... "Feisty and combative, Mr. Gates says he finds I.B.M.'s software unimpressive — a patchwork of programming projects, not as coherent or as integrated as Microsoft's competing offerings. "WebSphere is a marketing term for I.B.M.'s platform," Mr. Gates said.
"We have nothing against free software," Mr. Gates insisted. But, he added, it just so happens that the commercial model works better in most cases for both producers and consumers.
Good software, he conceded, is running on Linux systems, including computerized special-effects for Hollywood movies and gene-sequencing research. "But that is because something has been built on top of it," he said. The Linux technology itself, is "sort of Unix of the 1970's," Mr. Gates said. "There's not one iota that's changed."
ZDNet: Story: Why you'll own a Media Center PC someday "One day, you will wake up and new computers will have all the Media Center features and there will be add-ons to integrate most of your entertainment systems with the computer. I expect the consumer electronics industry will develop products to compete with Microsoft on this. So far, however, none of the companies has stepped forward with anything like a vision, much less the fairly complete one Microsoft can offer and has the ability to implement."
Boston Globe Online / Business / E-mail overload a myth, study says "A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds that overwhelming levels of e-mail are quite atypical, an outcome that surprised even the researchers."
Boston Globe Online / Business / Linux is no longer just an upstart Interesting snapshot and factoids

Sunday, December 08, 2002

IBM deal could hurt Microsoft A cash deal of this size makes me wonder if it was a preemptive strike...

Friday, December 06, 2002

Judge: 'Java People Have Pride, Too' Egads. The hypocrisy in this is amazing. Maybe Sun and the judge are hoping for a TV miniseries; their commentary would be more fitting for "The People's Court".
Wired News: Saving Your Bits for Posterity "Someday, long after you're dead, your descendents will rummage through the minutia of your life, eavesdropping on long-ago phone conversations, reading private e-mail exchanges and watching the video highlights of your existence.
That's the idea behind MyLifeBits, a new Microsoft research project that aims to record the essence of a person's life on computer disks: every photograph snapped, home movie filmed, Web page browsed, e-mail scribbled, phone call made or bill paid."
(I imagine this plus a summarization engine will leave many people in a serious funk...)
Microsoft Not Cutting Losses with Xbox "Despite dropping into the number three spot behind Sony and Nintendo in the video game market, Microsoft says that it is not throwing in the towel and will instead double its investment in the Xbox video game console. Microsoft CFO John Connors told analysts in Scottsdale, Arizona yesterday that the software giant wasn't considering an exit strategy and would instead "double down and make it successful.""
Judge Likens Microsoft's Effect on Java to a Bang on the Knee I do not understand these judges and their snappy, notable/quotable one-liners in MSFT-related contexts. I recently read the not-great Bad Boy Ballmer; the author speculated that MSFT bet Judge Jackson would eventually blow a fuse, for instance, and that he would be removed from the case (which he was in part for inappropriate public commentary about MSFT). Seems likely that Tonya Harding analogies are in the same zone...
High-Speed Wireless Internet Network Is Planned Only a matter of time...

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Price Is Limiting Demand for Broadband "Only about 15 percent of American households currently subscribe to broadband service — or fast Internet access — despite the fact that 70 percent of households have the technical option of doing so. And analysts do not expect the majority of homes to have broadband access anytime for at least five years."
Fortune.com - Fast Forward - Like It or Not, Microsoft Has a Vision "Despite its monopoly, Microsoft's products are feeling more competitive heat today than in many years, mostly from open source software like the Linux operating system and the MySQL database. But Microsoft will probably continue to drive the adoption of technology and will maintain its overwhelming market share. I predict it will eventually become some sort of regulated utility--its monopoly accepted as a necessary evil and the price we have to pay for widespread access to inexpensive computing."

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Liberty Alliance Waves White Flag at Passport "Officials at the Liberty Alliance's founder and chief sponsor, Sun Microsystems Inc., last week went so far as to concede defeat to the Passport authentication service on the Windows platform.
"There is no way we can compete with them there. They have that market tied down really tight," said Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president at Sun's software group, in Menlo Park, Calif."

SD Times: Delivering on a promise "Almost a year after its release, Microsoft Corp.’s .NET has yet to prove itself to be the “next big thing” to hit the software industry, and it has not proven itself compelling enough to convert significant numbers of Java or Linux developers. What it has done, however, is to deliver significant benefits to those companies that are already Microsoft shops; and perhaps as important, it continues to hold out promise to those users as the platform to be on for future integration with Web services and loosely coupled application components." (via theserverside.com)

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Object Relational Tool Comparison Handy resource
BetaNews | AOL Pulls Rug From Under 'Magic Carpet' "Weinstein claimed that there was no shift in the company's overall strategy, and touted ScreenName partner sites while failing to characterize what Magic Carpet really was meant to be."
Adobe Jumps Gun on Microsoft's Xdocs Curious Adobe also doesn't mention XForms
Microsoft - PressPass - The Disappearing Computer by Bill Gates- The World in 2003 (The Economist), Nov. 2002 "According to Gartner Dataquest, an American research firm, the world computer industry shipped its one billionth PC in 2002, and another billion more are expected to be built in the next six years. Almost all of the first billion were traditional desktop and laptop PCs, but the second billion will be very different. They will be optimised for the things that people actually want to do with them--we will have tablet-sized PCs for taking notes at meetings or reading e-mail on the couch, entertainment PCs that play music and movies on the living-room television, and pocket-sized PCs that keep people connected and informed wherever they are.
Add to this the exploding number of embedded computers--the kind found in mobile phones, gas pumps and retail point-of-sale systems—which are fast approaching the power and complexity of desktop PCs. On one estimate, people in the United States already interact with about 150 embedded systems every day, whether they know it or not. These systems—which use up to 90% of the microprocessors produced today—will inevitably take on more PC-like characteristics, and will be able to communicate seamlessly with their traditional PC counterparts. They will also become amazingly ubiquitous. In 2001, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association, the world microchip industry produced around 60m transistors for every man, woman and child on earth. That number will rise to one billion by 2010."

Monday, December 02, 2002

O'Reilly Network: XForms and XDocs: friend or foe? [December 02, 2002] "Microsoft needs to support XForms, though they probably need some encouragement to do so. Every Office program has a "Save as Web Page" feature. What will come out of XDocs when you choose that menu item? For it to be anything other than XForms would be silly, comparable to "Save as Web Page" in Word not producing HTML. And from the competitive angle, it seems inevitable that OpenOffice and other software alternatives (including Mozilla, Xopus, and blogging tools) will support XForms or XDocs-like functionality in short order."
Boston Globe Online: Here come the disposable servers "Servers are centralized computers used by businesses or other organizations. Once expensive and bulky, the new models are increasingly cheap and compact. If a server breaks today, it's simply swapped out for a spare. Or the spare is already installed and is waiting to be switched on. Rarely is a box cracked open to repair the failed component. In a sense, servers have become as disposable as electronic appliances that aren't worth fixing even if they could be."

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Speaking Mind to Mind [Ray Ozzie] "After graduation, I said to myself, "By hook or crook, I am going to build software to recreate the interactive environment I'd used with Plato." That thought led to the creation of Lotus Notes, which sits on nearly 100 million desktops, as well as everything else I've done."