Saturday, July 31, 2004

Barron's Online - Plugged In: Ballmer's Plan: "Push, Push, Push, Push, Push!"

Barron's Online - Plugged In: Ballmer's Plan: "Push, Push, Push, Push, Push!" "But the cast of competitors seems to have changed. While some veteran attendees contend that the analyst briefing used to delve deeper into businesses throughout the tech world, providing fascinating tidbits about Intel, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, Apple Computer and IBM, last week's meeting focused more on Microsoft's current threats -- and partners -- such as Sony, Google and SAP.
Frankly, Sun is old news, a disarmed and wounded rival that is now an ally of sorts. Chief Executive Steven Ballmer calls them "our new friends at Sun" and says he "speaks to Scott [McNealy] frequently." Whereas AOL (now Time Warner) was everywhere at meetings in the not-so-distant past, the online rival was barely mentioned last week.
On the other hand, Google -- the new hotshot on the block -- was a bit of a preoccupation, getting mentioned several times. One of the more revealing product demonstrations involved new search technologies aimed directly at Google. This is a clear reflection of the new world order in tech, as the kinder, gentler and more mature Microsoft faces the dawn of its post-employee-stock-option era."

Friday, July 30, 2004

Miguel de Icaza: OSCON

Miguel de Icaza: OSCON "The big announcement yesterday was from Jim Hugunin: IronPython, an implementation of Python for Mono and the .NET Framework was released to the public under the CPL license. It has been a long wait, but it was worth it: Python is a language of choice for many developers because of its ease of use and rapid prototyping cycle, and C# is a fantastic language for component-based and large scale programming, now both languages have come together.
His presentation touched on the challenges of getting a dynamic language like Python to run efficiently on the CLR, and also presented a couple of benchmarks with interesting results: while IronPython on the CLR seemed faster on average with the various tests, with Mono it ranges from 5% to 50% slower (and in a degenerate cases with exceptions, we are 65 times slower). But that being said, it is not terribly slower than Python 2.3, and we are going to look into these issues.
IronPython works out of the box on Linux, and I was able to run Edd's sample out of the box.
Echoing Edd's sentiment: there is a sense of freshness in being able to issue Gtk# commands from the Python command line.
Jim also announced that he is joining the CLR team at Microsoft to improve the VM for scripting languages. Congratulations to Jim on his new job!"

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > State of the Art: A Palmtop as Wireless Omnivore

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > State of the Art: A Palmtop as Wireless Omnivore "That's why the HP's new H6315, due on Aug. 26, is a welcome breakthrough. It's a PocketPC, meaning that it auto-synchronizes your e-mail, address book and calendar with a Windows PC when placed in its charging cradle. Like other PocketPC's, it also has a built-in voice recorder, vibrating reminders and a card slot (for storage beyond the 55 megabytes of built-in memory). It even has a built-in camera that takes disappointingly washed-out 640-by-480-pixel photos.
But this iPaq's real distinction is its wirelessness. It's the first palmtop that can connect to the Internet and other gadgets in four wireless ways.
Still, considering how many gadgets this palmtop replaces, HP has done an excellent job at keeping a lid on the complexity and size. The new iPaq is an imperfect but extremely useful option for the well-heeled, communication-addicted traveler. No laws of physics were broken in its creation, but a few were cleverly bent."

MSFT Financial Analyst Meeting: Bill Gates

MSFT Financial Analyst Meeting: Bill Gates "It was probably 14 years or so ago when IBM, as part of their relationship with us, came and visited me and said, hey, they'd be willing to license their patents to us. And we said, oh, patents, wow, you want to license to us. In fact, we did enter into an agreement with IBM, which IBM has done with many others, Microsoft has done with many others, where we had a certain type of cross-license. And I'd say year after year, certainly subsequent to that, that is something we've put a lot of energy into.
Patent numbers can sometimes be a bit misleading, because you really have a choice when you have an idea how many patents it breaks down into, and how novel and important that idea might be. Again, there's no precise science on this. This is one measure of patent importance called “current impact,” and what it does is say, patents coming after yours, how much do they think your work is of enough importance that they cite that prior art. And it's one of about four or five measures people use just to look at overall patent quality. This is compared here to a group of other companies that do similar types work. You can see we measure up fairly well. Not a dramatic difference, ranging from 1.45 to 2.23. But we think parents are patents: What we're doing is, if anything, more valuable than what others are doing.
Our patents are on some fairly basic things: these new approaches to TV, or interactive gaming, the work we're doing in speech recognition and understanding. So we end up with a very broad portfolio, and that's something that we will continue to invest in and has always been something that we look at with other companies in the industry and decide what sort of licensing relationships we should have with them.
Just in the last year, examples of this are our cross-license with SAP; an IP license with Sun, as part of our new relationship with them; we had some cases like InterTrust, that there's actually–there was some level of court activity before we reached a license to their full portfolio that related to digital rights management. So a lot of activity, a lot of visibility."

See the transcript for more on patents etc. and this page for an index of all speech/ppt downloads from the financial analyst briefing yesterday - Microsoft Execs Say 'Big Bets' To Drive Profit Growth - Microsoft Execs Say 'Big Bets' To Drive Profit Growth ""Over the next four years, we might be able to grow a whole Nokia, a whole Siemens, potentially even a whole Intel," Ballmer said at the company's annual financial analyst meeting. "Those are big profit numbers."
Ballmer predicted Microsoft's new businesses - its Xbox game console, MSN Internet properties, back office software for small businesses, and operating systems for mobile devices - will account for about 40% of the profit growth in the next four years."

Thursday, July 29, 2004

rhs blog: Radicati-Bashing Is So Yesterday! Now It's Meta's Turn

rhs blog: Radicati-Bashing Is So Yesterday! Now It's Meta's Turn: "This time, it's a Meta Group report called 'Messaging Total Cost of Ownership: Microsoft Exchange 2003 and Lotus Domino in Small and Medium Organizations', which is also a free download from the Microsoft site, that Michael finds to be flawed. Michael's full analysis points out many flaws in the report, not the least of which is the fact that it compares Exchange 2003 running on Windows 2003 to a hodge-podge or Notes and Domino versions running on various platforms."

See the post for links and more details

InfoWorld: Longhorn faces another delay

InfoWorld: Longhorn faces another delay "The first beta test version of Microsoft Corp.'s next major Windows client release, code-named Longhorn, probably won't be available until the second half of next year, which would represent another delay for the much-anticipated beta.
Microsoft had scheduled the beta for 2004, but earlier this year said its release would slip into early 2005. The company is adjusting timing for the test version again because of all the work it had to do, and still is doing, on security, especially Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP, people familiar with Microsoft's product plans said Thursday.
"I don't think you will see the beta in the first half," one of the sources said. "SP2 has been a very big deal."

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - Apple Shows Some Mean Colors

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - Apple Shows Some Mean Colors: "So Apple is happy to let you play your music only in the way it permits, if you're going to use its devices. The company says it'll rewrite its software to thwart Real's customer-friendly hack -- and I use that word in the benevolent sense -- that lets people use what they've bought with just a bit more freedom than Apple wishes to grant.
Threats to use copyright law against Real are exactly what you'd expect, unfortunately. Apple wants control over online music, and this is just part of the game.
What we customers want is cross-platform compatibility: standards. What the companies want is lock-in. They may win, but they're only locking me out -- because I won't play by those rules. Which means I've bought my last iTunes Music Store song until Apple starts paying more attention to what its customers want."

Sumisho Computer Systems Acquired All Intellectual Property of Curl Corporation

Sumisho Computer Systems Acquired All Intellectual Property of Curl Corporation "Sumisho Computer Systems (SCS TSE:9719), an enterprise software and professional services provider to more than 2000 companies, today announced the acquisition of All the Intellectual Properties of Curl Corporation, developers of the industry's first rich client software suite to deliver Web-distributed enterprise applications. With this acquisition, SCS will offer its customers and partners throughout Asia a flexible and open way to quickly and easily deliver multi-platform applications that interact with numerous information sources and present it within a Web browser."

Oops -- I'd missed that one as well, from late May; looks like the "X-Internet" fledgling dance floor is getting a bit less crowded...

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: RealNetworks' 2nd-quarter revenue soars

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: RealNetworks' 2nd-quarter revenue soars "RealNetworks yesterday reported its highest quarterly revenue in nearly four years — and the second-highest in its history — as its digital-music and Internet-game sales continued to grow.
The Seattle digital-media company said it was still on track to become profitable by the end of this year, excluding legal expenses related to its antitrust lawsuit against rival Microsoft.
For its second quarter, ended June 30, RealNetworks reported $65.5 million in revenue, up 32 percent from the same period in 2003. The company reported a $4.6 million net loss, or 3 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with a $9.6 million net loss, or 6 cents per share, for the same period in 2003.
Revenue from business products and services fell 25 percent from the year-ago quarter to $12.4 million. Chief Executive Rob Glaser said some key deals in this area took longer than expected to close, and will be counted in the current quarter."

In other words, for the last quarter, Real Networks was ~81% consumer products/services. - Personal Technology: Phone-PDA Combo That Works On Wi-Fi Is Bulky but a Winner - Personal Technology: Phone-PDA Combo That Works On Wi-Fi Is Bulky but a Winner "For people who rely on a smart phone or wireless PDA to do e-mail and access the Web, the Holy Grail has been to get a device that can work on both a cellphone network and on faster Wi-Fi wireless networks. The idea is that when you are near a Wi-Fi transmitter, your device will work at high speed, and when you're not, you still will be able to get online, albeit at slower speeds, via the much more widespread cellphone network.
The cellphone industry has been working on such combo devices, and Nokia and Motorola have announced specific models. But this week, Hewlett-Packard, the computer giant, and T-Mobile, the cellphone carrier, announced what they say will be the first combined Wi-Fi/cellphone to reach the public. A wireless PDA that can also make phone calls, rather than a traditional cellphone, it's called the HP iPAQ h6315.
As a combination cellphone and PDA, the 6315's design is inferior to that of PalmOne's hot Treo 600, which has better phone functionality and is smaller and lighter. The 6315 is best thought of as a wireless data device that also has voice capability.
All in all, the HP iPAQ 6315 is a winner. I wish it were a bit smaller and that the keyboard was built in. And I still prefer Palm's software to Microsoft's. But for mobile e-mail and Internet addicts, the ability to use both Wi-Fi and the cellphone network is a big plus." - 'Wiki' May Alter How Employees Work Together - 'Wiki' May Alter How Employees Work Together "Wiki is a Hawaiian word for "quick," and some say it has the potential to change how the Web is used.
A wiki is a type of Web site that many people can revise, update and append with new information. It's sort of like a giant bulletin board on an office wall to which employees can pin photos, articles, comments and other things.
A wiki can gather, in one place, the data, knowledge, insight and customer input that's floating around a company or other organization. And it's a living document, since workers who are given access to it can make changes constantly.
Despite its speedy name, the wiki is not a new idea. It was pioneered in the mid-1990s by a programmer named Ward Cunningham, who wanted to create a platform for freewheeling collaboration in software development. He named his effort WikiWikiWeb. The idea first caught on among other techies, who used wikis to collectively work on engineering projects.
Now, venture capitalists are funding several startups that are attempting to take the idea to a bigger and more lucrative general-business audience. Their goal is to try to solve one of the workplace's most vexing problems: how to have employees collaborate and communicate better electronically.
Coming up with a good solution to this problem long has been a quest of the tech industry. Big tech companies have responded with heavy-duty collaborative software packages, such as Lotus Notes and Workplace from International Business Machines Corp. These products usually are expensive, controlled from the top and difficult to implement and use. And e-mail -- the most common way workers share information -- is hard to search, leaves important data deeply buried within it and is highly vulnerable to viruses. Some analysts have dubbed collaboration via e-mail "occupational spam" -- endless, time-consuming and often pointless.
Indeed, the creation of communal fabric is one that a wiki revives, says Clay Shirky, an interactive telecommunications professor at New York University, who has written extensively about the beneficial uses of social software like wikis in the workplace. "It's got to be a fluid, ongoing conversation to work," he says, noting that too much emphasis on the Internet has been about attracting giant passive audiences to Web sites over which they have little control. "But suddenly, people are realizing that perhaps the most human value actually occurs in smaller groups." / Business / Technology / Terra finds possible buyer for Lycos / Business / Technology / Terra finds possible buyer for Lycos "The Spanish telecommunications conglomerate that bought former Waltham-based Internet company Lycos Inc. for $12.5 billion four years ago says it has found a possible buyer who could pay less than one hundredth of what Lycos sold for less than five years ago.
In a regulatory filing in Spain, Terra Networks SA said it expected to get $95 million to $115 million for Lycos's US operations. A Spanish newspaper, Expansin, identified the potential buyer as a South Korean company it did not name."

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

ACM Ubiquity - Has the Microsoft of Today Become the IBM of the Late '80s?

ACM Ubiquity - Has the Microsoft of Today Become the IBM of the Late '80s? "Microsoft is the chief target of accusations of unfair competition, buggy software, and general conspiracy theories. The company could learn a few tricks from an old dog like IBM."

Some interesting analysis

3c-InterOp: Thoughts on Radicati Group's "IBM Lotus & Microsoft -- Corporate Messaging Market Analysis" and ensuing blog activity

3c-InterOp: Thoughts on Radicati Group's "IBM Lotus & Microsoft -- Corporate Messaging Market Analysis" and ensuing blog activity Uh oh -- now I'm blog-wedged... You might want to skim the 3c-InterOp blog once and a while, or add its RSS feed to your reader; I don't plan to redundantly post stuff here on a regular basis.

Wired News: Dashboard DVDs and Death

Wired News: Dashboard DVDs and Death "When a pickup truck crossed the double yellow line along Seward Highway and killed two occupants of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, police initially thought the accident was another tragic mistake by a momentarily distracted driver.
Then they spotted the dashboard DVD player.
In what may be the first trial of its kind in the nation, prosecutors have accused the pickup truck's driver of second-degree murder for watching a movie instead of the road when he crashed head-on into the Jeep."

New PowerToys for OneNote 2003 SP1

New PowerToys for OneNote 2003 SP1 "Better sooner than later - the first PowerToys are already here and available for download. Bear in mind that “PowerToy = hobby project”, so these are not necessarily the same robustly designed and high quality things you should expect in the main product, but that said, many of us use them all the time at work and they have been worked over plenty by our internal user group, so they're good to go.
You can check out the PowerToys page (may not be up just yet if you're reading this post July 27-28):
Or go directly to these download pages to get the first two PowerToys:
IE to OneNote. This PowerToy adds a button to IE that lets you send any page or a selection on a page to OneNote. You get the same results as a copy/paste would give you, but you can do it all in one click. It also nicely puts the clippings in a single section so you can browse and clip, browse and clip. Then review your research later, complete with links back to the source pages. Link:
Outlook to OneNote. This PowerToy adds a button to Outlook so that you can send any email message (or group of email messages if you multi-select) to OneNote to keep them together with notes and other docs. Very handy if you like to have a “project folder” section in OneNote that keeps all your stuff together in an easy to flip through and modify/reuse format.
More to come in the next weeks...I love extensibility."

Briefly: Motorola phones to get BlackBerry flavor | CNET

Briefly: Motorola phones to get BlackBerry flavor | CNET "Research In Motion announced on Tuesday that Motorola is licensing technology that will allow its cell phones to connect to RIM's BlackBerry messaging service and software. The deal means that people with certain Motorola handsets, such as the upcoming MPx and MPx220, will be able to wirelessly access their e-mail anytime. Motorola already has a similar deal with RIM's rival Good Technology.
Motorola's MPx phone, set for launch in the second half of 2004, will come with a keyboard and built-in Wi-Fi technology. The MPx will run Microsoft's Windows Mobile Pocket PC 2003 operating system, while the Motorola MPx220 will use Microsoft Windows Mobile SmartPhone 2003. The MPx220 is due out in the fourth quarter."

Google Blog: Global Worming

Google Blog: Global Worming "Okay, folks, we know what you're thinking.
So Google got hacked, huh?
Actually, we didn't. What happened yesterday was that someone sent the latest version of the MyDoom computer virus out for a spin, and this version flooded search engines like ours with automated searches. Fortunately, we were able to quickly identify those queries and block them, so that, for most of our users, at no point was our site significantly impaired.
Then why did some people get error messages when they tried to do searches?
A very small percentage of our users and networks--most notably, a few media outlets that write about us--were heavily infected with MyDoom, so our systems temporarily blocked their queries. By noon, service for all our users had been completely restored.
What was up with that "Error-27" page?
Yeah, we've just learned that our error message for blocked queries isn't the friendliest or most informative communication we've ever had with our users. Hey, we didn't think we'd ever have to show it to anyone..."

Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty "How's Microsoft doing it? For one thing, business customers continue to buy its products, despite ongoing concerns about security vulnerabilities in the Windows environment and worries about getting sucked too deep into Microsoft's money-making vortex. "Microsoft is going to be a huge part of our computing platform going forward, and I don't see a viable alternative any time down the road," says Scott Hicar, CIO of storage-drive manufacturer Maxtor Corp. "If you see one, let me know."
Conventional wisdom is that Linux and other open-source products, with the backing of Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell, and others, are emerging as that alternative platform. "By a long shot, the single biggest long-term competitive challenge to Microsoft is open-source Linux," says Lehman Brothers financial analyst Neil Herman.
Yet, in its most recent quarter, sales of Windows-based servers grew 18%, which was faster than the overall server market, according to Microsoft. "So far, we're competing well" against Linux, said CFO Connors in a conference call to discuss the company's fiscal 2004 financial results. In a recent survey by InformationWeek Research, 80% of 300 respondents re- ported plans to buy Windows servers, compared with 37% who have plans for Linux servers.
Microsoft's emphasis on desktop-to-data-center integration, leveraged by its huge installed base, seems too attractive for many customers to resist. The company has long designed its products to work together, but the Office 2003 System and Windows Server System push the concept wider and deeper. Companies that want to use Microsoft's Sharepoint collaboration software, for example, need to run Windows not just on their desktop PCs but also on servers."

ALERT: Microsoft Delays Windows Server 2003 SP1 to 2005

ALERT: Microsoft Delays Windows Server 2003 SP1 to 2005 "As expected, Microsoft today confirmed that Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will be delayed until the first half of 2005. The schedule change comes in the wake of delays to Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), which is now due in early August. Development of Windows Server 2003 SP1 can only happen in earnest once XP SP2 is complete, sources at Microsoft tell me.
"We now anticipate Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows Server 2003 for 64-bit Extended Systems will ship in the first half of 2005, whereas we previously estimated the release timing for both to be the end of 2004," a Microsoft representative told me. "Additionally, given Windows XP 64-bit for 64-bit Extended Systems is also tied to Windows Server 2003 SP1, it will also ship the first half of 2005. As is the case with all Microsoft product schedules, the development cycle is driven by quality with a focus on the needs of our customers, rather than an arbitrary date."
Windows Server 2003 SP1, like XP SP2, will include a number of security-oriented changes, such as a Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) that will use the roles-based infrastructure in Windows Server 2003 to automatically shut down unnecessary ports and services. The release will also include any relevant security changes from XP SP2, Microsoft tells me."

(Entire article) - Amazon Prods Reviewers To Stop Hiding Behind Fake Names - Amazon Prods Reviewers To Stop Hiding Behind Fake Names "After years of letting Internet users anonymously savage or salute everything from books to toasters in online reviews, Inc. is encouraging its customers to put their names where their opinions are.
Earlier this month, the Web retailer quietly launched a new system, dubbed Real Names, that encourages users to append to their product reviews the name that appears on the credit card they have registered with Amazon. A logo saying "Real Name" appears beside such customer comments.
Amazon still allows reviewers to sign their comments with pen names, effectively concealing their identity from other Amazon users. But even these reviewers need to supply a credit card or purchase history. Previously, users could easily open multiple Amazon accounts from which they could post multiple reviews of the same product. The new system is intended to block that practice.
The changes are an effort to bring greater integrity to the influential Amazon rating system, which has been open to abuse by users settling personal scores or heaping praise on their own works. The system has infuriated some authors whose works were panned in multiple reviews that the authors suspect were the work of the same person. Other users wonder whether books or other items that receive reams of kudos may have been praised by a small group of fans." - Sony's Profit Surges, Helped By Mobile-Phone Venture - Sony's Profit Surges, Helped By Mobile-Phone Venture "Sony Corp. Wednesday reported a surge in earnings for the latest quarter on increased sales of flat-panel television sets and digital still cameras, and improved results at its Sony Ericsson mobile-phone joint venture.
Sony also booked a ¥12.8 billion gain as a subsidiary received proceeds from a license agreement with Microsoft Corp. related to a settlement of a patent-related lawsuit, the company said.
But operating income declined nearly 50% in Sony's core electronics segment to ¥6.9 billion, partly due to restructuring costs. In recent years, Sony has suffered from growing competition from cheaper U.S. and Asian rivals that have chipped away at its previous domination in electronics. Sony plans to spend ¥130 billion on restructuring this fiscal year after spending ¥168 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Sales plunged in CRT television sets and portable-audio equipment, while sales were solid in digital cameras and flat-panel television sets. Sales in the electronics segment totaled ¥1.098 trillion, down 0.2% from a year earlier.
In the game sector, sales shrank 16% to ¥105 billion on slowing sales of the PlayStation 2 video-game machine. Sony shipped just 710,000 PlayStation 2 machines for the quarter, a decrease of nearly two million machines from a year earlier.
Sony's game business, once its most profitable sector, sank into an operating loss of ¥2.9 billion, compared to an operating profit of ¥1.8 billion a year earlier." - PeopleSoft Profit Plummets 70%; Oracle Trial Cited - PeopleSoft Profit Plummets 70%; Oracle Trial Cited "PeopleSoft Inc. said second-quarter net income was down nearly 70% on revenue that fell short even of the preliminary results the company announced earlier this month.
The Pleasanton, Calif., software maker blamed the weak performance on the heavy media coverage of the antitrust trial over Oracle Corp.'s hostile takeover bid for the company. In turn, the results could make it harder for PeopleSoft to continue to resist Oracle's $7.7 billion offer if the deal receives legal clearance. A decision in the case -- which would still be subject to appeal -- is expected next month.
Documents disclosed in the four-week antitrust trial over Oracle's bid revealed deep discounting and doubts among PeopleSoft's executives about the company's ability to invest enough to remain competitive with Oracle and SAP AG, the leader in the market for business-software applications. Craig Conway, PeopleSoft's chief executive, said the trial "was the elephant in the room for our customers."
PeopleSoft appears to have relinquished the No. 2 spot in the business-applications market that it seized last year. The most recent quarter brought PeopleSoft's license revenue during the past 12 months to $606 million. In a roughly comparable period, Oracle's applications license revenue totaled $615 million." - The Mossberg Solution: Sony's iPod Killer - The Mossberg Solution: Sony's iPod Killer "For more than 2½ years, Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod digital music player has fended off every rival product handily, not only remaining the most popular digital music player, but becoming a cultural icon and spawning an industry of accessories and of legal music downloads.
Next month, however, the iPod will face its most potent competitor. This latest challenger is none other than Sony Corp., the Japanese giant that revolutionized portable music with its Walkman tape players 25 years ago. Sony, which has lost its leadership in portable music to Apple, will try to regain that crown with its first iPod-type high-capacity, hard-disk-based music player.
Our verdict: While the new Sony is smaller than the iPod and has much better battery life, it is markedly inferior overall. It has a confusing, complex user interface that makes it hard to use; weak software for the PC; an oddball music format that makes loading it with songs tedious; and a companion music download service that offers less than Apple's. The iPod wins this round, and remains champion.
If you love the Sony name, or the Walkman's size and design, or if you regularly take flights lasting more than 12 hours, you might be willing to pay $100 more for this new Walkman over an iPod. But, for everybody else, until Sony fixes the multitude of sins in this product, steer clear of it."

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Under-the-skin ID chips move toward U.S. hospitals | CNET

Under-the-skin ID chips move toward U.S. hospitals | CNET "VeriChip, the company that makes radio frequency identification--RFID--tags for humans, has moved one step closer to getting its technology into hospitals.
The Federal Drug Administration issued a ruling Tuesday that essentially begins a final review process that will determine whether hospitals can use RFID systems from the Palm Beach, Fla.-based company to identify patients and/or permit relevant hospital staff to access medical records, said Angela Fulcher, vice president of marketing and sales at VeriChip."

Yikes... What is a Plog? What is a Plog?: "Your Plog is a diary of events that will enhance your shopping experience, helping you discover products that have just been released, track changes to your orders, and many other things. Just like a blog, your Plog is sorted in reverse chronological order. When we think we have something interesting or important to tell you, we'll post it to your Plog."

Amazon strikes again -- I went to check a price on something at and discovered I now have a "Plog"

InformationWeek > Thin-Client Computing > Yet Another Thin-Client Scheme Is Launched > July 26, 2004

InformationWeek > Thin-Client Computing > Yet Another Thin-Client Scheme Is Launched > July 26, 2004 "IBM's original Workplace software, launched last year, offered messaging and collaboration features. Workplace 2 is a new beast because it is managed by remote servers. Now in pilot testing by 120 IBM customers, Workplace 2 is to be officially released by the end of July.
IBM expects it to especially appeal to companies with lots of mobile workers, or employees who use computers only for specific tasks--people like bank tellers, call-center operators and factory-floor managers.
The program gives users a dashboard-like view of several applications, notably E-mail, instant messaging and a calendar, along with documents created by the users or their colleagues. In an important step, IBM released software tools this month to let outside developers create programs that work with Workplace 2.
Workplace 2 runs on Windows or Linux computers, and its dashboard can incorporate the big three applications in Microsoft's Office software package--Word, PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets.
But if a user doesn't want to buy Microsoft Office software, Workplace draws on open-source alternatives that roughly simulate the big three. That means a Workplace user who doesn't have Word but gets E-mailed a Word document could open the file, change it and send it back to the source--who would then be able to work on it in Word just the same."

"The New York Times > Technology > Cellphones, Say Hello to iTunes

The New York Times > Technology > Cellphones, Say Hello to iTunes "Starting next year, users of Apple Computer's iTunes music service will be able to play songs on some Motorola cellphones, the companies said late Monday.
The agreement is the first for the cellular phone industry, which is eager to add functions to phones to bring in additional revenue.
For Apple, the deal could help it keep the lead in the online music market, which promises to get even more competitive later this year with the arrival of Microsoft.
Customers of iTunes will be able to transfer possibly a dozen to a few dozen songs from their PC or Mac to their phone over a cable or wireless connection, said Steven P. Jobs, Apple's chief executive." - Motorola Unveils New Phone Combining GSM and Wi-Fi - Motorola Unveils New Phone Combining GSM and Wi-Fi "Motorola Inc. yesterday unveiled a phone that combines cellular and wireless Internet-calling capabilities. The device, called the CN620, which could be the first mobile phone that combines wide-area GSM cellular technology with shorter-range technology known as Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, could open the floodgates for users to steal away significant minutes from cellular networks and place free calls over the Internet.
Motorola says its new device will still work after leaving the Wi-Fi "hot spot," because the call will simply hand over to the regular cellular network, using the wireless technology called GSM. That means that a user -- instead of having a cellular number and a work number, for instance -- can have just one. Though the phone will be initially aimed at business users, Motorola envisions the technology working in consumers' homes as well, allowing people to take a single phone number with them wherever they go."

Wired News: The Empire Blogs Back

Wired News: The Empire Blogs Back "The promise of blogs, wikis and social networks to upend business as usual was on display at a high-powered conference Friday, when blogging software company Six Apart and evangelists from Microsoft co-chaired a panel detailing how these tools lead to better customer relationships.
In something of a throwback to the halcyon days of the Internet boom, the BlogOn 2004 conference, held Thursday and Friday in Berkeley, California, stressed how the latest in Internet technologies -- such as social networks and syndication technologies -- are starting to revolutionize life on the Internet and outside it."

Monday, July 26, 2004

MSN Web Messenger

MSN Web Messenger "MSN Web Messenger lets you talk online and in real-time with friends and family using just a web browser! Use it on any shared computer - at school, at work, at a friend's house or anywhere you can't install the MSN Messenger software."

MetricStream | News - Collaborative BPM and Compliance Firms Zaplet and MetricStream Merge

MetricStream | News - Collaborative BPM and Compliance Firms Zaplet and MetricStream Merge "Zaplet, a developer of collaborative business process management software for corporate compliance markets, said it has merged with MetricStream, a provider of software for quality and operational compliance market. The combined company will be called MetricStream. Financial details of the merger were not disclosed.
Shellye Archambeau, Zaplet's CEO, will become CEO of the combined

Hmm -- didn't catch this before (from 2004/03/31)

InfoWorld: Groove Virtual Office 3.0 redefines working in the virtual world: July 16, 2004: By Mike Heck

InfoWorld: Groove Virtual Office 3.0 redefines working in the virtual world: July 16, 2004: By Mike Heck "Groove 3.0 immediately helps workers securely communicate, co-edit documents, plan projects, hold online meetings, and share files. Moreover, this solution brings on-demand collaboration to virtual teams without increased IT infrastructure. Groove 3.0’s more intuitive interface, easier navigation, and new end-user development functions further enhance virtual work."

Very strong Groove v3 review in eWeek last week as well: "Groove Virtual Office 3.0 The latest Groove update's revamped user interface makes it much more approachable for a broader set of users. Groove has also made it easier to manage custom applications as well as multiple instances of a work space for a single user."

3c-InterOp [new blog focused on communication/collaboration/coordination]

3c-InterOp [new blog focused on communication/collaboration/coordination] "There are a bunch of us who have been deeply involved in the Notes/Domino (and related product) industry for many years. Some of us have worked at Lotus in various capacities, all of us are now "indies", working at small consulting/development/training/article-and-book-writing companies, and we are all Lotus/IBM business partners. Our common center of gravity is (and will probably continue to be) Notes and Domino. Why? Because we know it real well, we like it (despite a few warts here and there), and we think it provides real value to our customers, and will (if allowed) continue to do so for years to come. Notes/Domino as a product has been transformational in the way it allows small, medium and large organizations to build, deploy, maintain and use business applications that can be roughly placed in the "collaborative" category. The services and features of the product are unequalled in the collaborative application space.
So, what's the big deal? Well, the deal (it remains to be seen how big it will be) is that some of us have been speculating about /hypothesizing on/discussing what some of us see as a wave of change which we think may be about to transform the Notes/Domino software industry. Domino has always been strong in its ability to exchange data with other products (relational database systems, message queues, desktop apps, etc.).
But what we think we're starting to see more recently is an emerging focus among developers on integrating Domino apps (and I'm including apps that use the Notes client and "Web" apps, which use browser clients) with other "app server" platforms. The most common app server product mentioned tends to be WebSphere App Server, IBM's J2ee implementation. That's not surprising, Notes and Domino customers are used to dealing with IBM, and it's natural that most of the ones who are starting to look outside the Domino space for other kinds of platforms would turn first to another IBM product.
Does this mean that Domino is on the way out, or are we only changing how we use it? And if we're going to be using other platforms, is WebSphere the only other logical choice? What about Microsoft's .NET framework?
These are the topics we're going to be exploring in some depth here in this multi-author blog. (And, by the way, none of us thinks that Domino is dead, although some of us think that it will play a different role in the world of application development in coming years).
Here are some examples of topics we expect to be exploring in coming weeks and months:
Getting Started with .NET Technology - The Big Picture
Getting Started with J2EE Technology - The Big Picture
Technological comparison of Domino, J2EE and .NET
How to Decide What to Use - Domino, J2EE, .NET
.NET Application Architecture Meta Model
J2EE Application Meta Model and Object Model
Security Model Comparison and Coding Techniques Domino, .NET, J2EE
Inter-Operating Web Applications in Domino, J2EE and .NET Bringing it all together
Application Deployment and Administration J2EE and .NET"

I hope to contribute posts occasionally.

The New York Times > Technology > RealNetworks Plans to Sell Songs to Be Played on iPods

The New York Times > Technology > RealNetworks Plans to Sell Songs to Be Played on iPods "Tomorrow, without Apple's authorization, RealNetworks will start to give away software that will allow people to buy and download songs from its online music store and then play them on Apple's popular iPod portable devices in addition to those that use the Windows Media Player format and RealNetwork's Helix format.
This will be the first time any company other than Apple has sold songs for the iPod. While the Microsoft Corporation has freely licensed the Windows format to various music stores and makers of portable players, Apple has kept its business proprietary. This has helped Apple keep the dominant market share both for online music stores and portable players with hard drives, the more lucrative half of the player market.
"Apple has basically locked in their users," Mr. Bernoff said. "We are not used to thinking of Apple as the monopolist, but in this market they are."

IBM Takes On Microsoft Over Modeling Tools

IBM Takes On Microsoft Over Modeling Tools "With Atlantic, the code name for the next version of IBM Software Development Platform, IBM plans deeper integration among its components for designing, modeling, developing, testing, deploying and maintaining applications. Atlantic promises greater integration with the Java-based Eclipse open-source development platform and tight support for UML (Unified Modeling Language) 2.0.
One key issue separating IBM Rational's tools from Microsoft's VSTS (Visual Studio Team System) solution is the approach to modeling. UML is the OMG (Object Management Group) standard for modeling. IBM said it is necessary; Microsoft said it is not."

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Advertising: All Commercials, All the Time

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Advertising: All Commercials, All the Time "Television commercials have become so fashionable in Britain that a new satellite network, the Advert Channel, has begun showing them 24 hours a day.
"People love commercials," said Vince Stanzione, managing director at the network outside of London. Marketing for the Advert Channel takes the same stance, with slogans like, "Everything you'd see on a normal TV channel - except the programs." - T-Mobile USA, H-P to Roll Out Wi-Fi Web Phone - T-Mobile USA, H-P to Roll Out Wi-Fi Web Phone "Hewlett-Packard Co. and T-Mobile USA Inc. are expected today to unveil what they say is the first mobile device that combines Wi-Fi and wide-area cellular data technology, allowing users to browse the Web wirelessly wherever they go, using the highest speeds available. The device, which is also a wireless phone, marks Hewlett-Packard's entry into that highly competitive business.
"The whole intent is to bring the best-in-breed" of whatever connection is available, said Scott Ballantyne, vice president of business-service marketing for T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG. The device, called the iPaq 6315, looks like a traditional iPaq -- Hewlett-Packard's line of hand-held computers -- and comes with an attachable keyboard that can be used with a user's thumbs." - BEA Tech Guru, Once of Microsoft, Jumps to Google - BEA Tech Guru, Once of Microsoft, Jumps to Google "Google Inc. recruited a top technology executive from BEA Systems Inc., giving the Web-search powerhouse additional clout in its looming battle with Microsoft Corp.
The executive, Adam Bosworth, 48 years old, was responsible for several key projects at Microsoft before leaving to launch Crossgain Corp., a start-up software company that was acquired by BEA in 2001. He served as BEA's "chief architect" and helped the San Jose, Calif., company broaden its offerings of tools used by companies to build Web-based applications.
A BEA spokeswoman said Mr. Bosworth's departure would have little impact on the company's products and plans. Still, the defection is at least a symbolic blow to BEA. The company continues to lead International Business Machines Corp., Microsoft and others in the market for "application servers" that power Internet services. But license revenue has been falling, and its limited success in extending its product line has helped cause BEA's shares to drop from a high of $15.50 in September to $6.32 each Friday on the Nasdaq Stock Market." / Business / Technology / Updating the appliances / Business / Technology / Updating the appliances "Give Len Kawell 20 points for chutzpah. His company, Pepper Computer, is developing a low-cost, lightweight, easy-to-use Internet appliance.
Remember Internet appliances?
Like personal jetpacks and decent cellphone reception, they're one of those visions of the future that never seem to arrive. Tiny little outfits like Oracle, 3Com, America Online, and Gateway have all tried to launch Internet appliances aimed at making it easy for non-nerds to surf the Web and send e-mail. Each failed miserably, and the devices were withdrawn from the market within a matter of months.
Enter Kawell and Lexington-based Pepper, with a device called the Pepper Pad, which debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The current prototype is about half the thickness and weight of a typical notebook computer, and noticeably more rugged."

Saturday, July 24, 2004 Microsoft in Talks to Sell Highly Rated Online Magazine, Slate Microsoft in Talks to Sell Highly Rated Online Magazine, Slate "Eight years after Microsoft Corp. launched an online magazine in a groundbreaking attempt at cyber-hipness, Slate may be sold.
More than half a dozen media companies have expressed interest in buying the Internet publication, and the leading contenders are the New York Times and The Washington Post, a source familiar with the discussions said yesterday. The source declined to be named because of the delicate nature of the talks."

Glad to know Slate isn't going away -- I've been a fan and daily reader of its Today's Papers column for many years

Friday, July 23, 2004

[print version] BEA's Bosworth decamps to Google | CNET

[print version] BEA's Bosworth decamps to Google | CNET "BEA Systems Chief Architect Adam Bosworth is leaving the company to join search heavyweight Google.
Friday is the last day at BEA for Bosworth, chief architect and senior vice president of advanced development, according to a representative of the Java software company. The representative would not comment on whether BEA will fill Bosworth's position.
Bosworth is a well-respected technology executive in the software industry. Before working for start-up Crossgain, which BEA acquired in 2001, Bosworth spent several years at Microsoft, where he worked on successful projects, such as Microsoft's Access database. " The Mainframe is Back The Mainframe is Back "So much for the "dinosaur" label. Sales of IBM's mainframe, now referred to as the zSeries, are growing at remarkable rate, not experienced since its hey day - indeed if current mainframe growth continues, then the mainframe is emerging like a phoenix from the flames.
In its latest earnings report, IBM showed mainframe revenue growth of 44 percent, year over year. The mainframe has delivered remarkable performance over the last four quarters to become IBM's largest hardware growth segment."

Major League Baseball : Black-hole physicist pays up

Major League Baseball : Black-hole physicist pays up "After 30 years of arguing that a black hole was basically a cosmic version of Brooks Robinson, Dr. Stephen Hawking has lost his bet, and the stakes were a baseball encyclopedia.
The Cambridge University physicist had to pay up on a 1997 bet with a California Institute of Technology physicist, when he admitted his original assertion, that anything "swallowed by a black hole is forever hidden and can never be revealed," was incorrect.
Dr. Hawking spoke Wednesday at the 17th International Conference of General Relativity and Gravitation in Dublin. His revision now states that eventually some of the information about the black hole can be determined from what it emits.
His original offer of a cricket encyclopedia was turned down in favor of "Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia" -- from which the winning physicist, Dr. John Preskill, can recover information at will.
Preskill told the assembled media he'd always hoped there'd be witnesses when Hawking conceded, but "this really exceeds my expectations."

Via Google News

Microsoft to hire 3,000 in area

Microsoft to hire 3,000 in area "In another boost for the local economy, Microsoft Corp. yesterday said it would hire 6,000 to 7,000 employees worldwide during the coming year -- including 3,000 people in the Puget Sound region.
Although the Redmond company isn't growing as quickly as it did during the heyday of the technology boom, the new hiring projection shows that it plans to continue the steady expansion that gave the region a measure of stability during the economic slump." Udell: Longhorn & Yukon's XML-RDBMS-CLR Triad Udell: Longhorn & Yukon's XML-RDBMS-CLR Triad "...this excerpt from an interview with Quentin Clark, director of program management for WinFS:
On the object/relational/XML "trinity"
Why do you need all three? I take it that it's obvious why you need objects: you program to them. The CLR has given us some language independence, and we've done a fairly good job building an object universe better than we had before, we're strong believers in that. As for XML, there's no argument there either. The big thing isn't turning out to be industry schemas, but the fact that you have this self-describing thing, this is what I can learn about it, and I can reason on it in a programmatic way by pulling it up into an object.
Then there's relational, this is harder to describe. I will observe that nobody has built an XML store that has the level of scale, performance, or capabilities of today's relational stores. It's just true that the relational model has a set of design characteristics that give it performance characteristics that are just inherent. Doing things in the XML store doesn't give you the same benefit—and that's not even accounting for the fact that there's so much data in relational stores today." - Telecom Rebel To Connect PCs To Telephones - Telecom Rebel To Connect PCs To Telephones "Skype Technologies SA, whose software has allowed millions of people to make free calls on the Internet, is about to go mainstream.
The Internet calling rebel plans to start offering calls from computers to regular phone lines anywhere in the world for less than two cents per minute. Today, the company is expected to announce a deal with Level 3 Communications Inc. and other carriers to route the calls.
Already, in less than a year, Skype -- a creation of the makers of music file-sharing software KaZaA -- has attracted more than seven million registered users by offering free software that allows users to make free calls from one computer to another, using PCs to speak to each other instead of telephones. The new service comes in addition to the already free existing service, which has been downloaded more than 16 million times." - Microsoft Posts 81% Profit Increase - Microsoft Posts 81% Profit Increase "Chief Financial Officer John Connors said that growth by each of Microsoft's seven business units helped lift the company while many software companies suffered. In particular, Mr. Connors pointed to Microsoft's Office System software as a strong performer. Sales of software for large server computers hit a record, while the MSN online service posted its first full-year profit. "We've got a really great end to the year and an extraordinarily good pipeline for the future, so we are very jazzed here in Redmond," Mr. Connors said.
For the quarter ended June 30, Microsoft said net income rose to $2.69 billion, or 25 cents a share, from $1.48 billion, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier.
Microsoft's results showed the underlying strength of its operations and added weight to recent signs that the biggest software makers are growing stronger as their industry matures and as business buyers try to consolidate their spending with fewer suppliers. Yesterday, Germany's SAP AG, the world's third-largest software maker behind Microsoft and Oracle Corp., posted a 14% jump in its net profit on the strength of U.S. sales. (See related article.)
Those results buck surprise profit warnings earlier this month from a host of other software makers, including PeopleSoft Inc. and Veritas Software Corp., who said customers were delaying purchases.
For the quarter just ended, Microsoft said better-than-expected PC sales helped lift sales of its Windows group by 9% to $2.73 billion and spurred a 10% rise to $2.06 billion in the unit's operating income.
The quarter seemed to show that businesses are upgrading to Microsoft's Office System software, which helped drive a 23% increase in sales, to $2.88 billion, in the Information Worker group. Operating profit at the group reached $1.96 billion, a 33% increase over the year-earlier period.
Revenue from server software surged 20% to $2.3 billion on the strength of Windows Server 2003 operating system. The company closed out the year ended June 30 with revenue of $36.84 billion, a 14% rise from $32.19 billion in the previous year."

Thursday, July 22, 2004

CRN | Breaking News |Groove, Casahl Collaborate On Collaboration

CRN | Breaking News |Groove, Casahl Collaborate On Collaboration: "Groove Networks and Casahl Technology are teaming up on software that will ease information flow from various data repositories and Groove's own forms and workspaces.
Due to start beta in August, Casahl's Groove Connector for the newly shipping Groove Virtual Office V. 3 promises to help companies access, work with and update data now residing in backend ERP and CRM."

Very strong synergy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

InfoWorld: HailStorm was before its time: July 16, 2004: By Jon Udell

InfoWorld: HailStorm was before its time: July 16, 2004: By Jon Udell "I'd be even happier if I could control the source of that data. Public information is a poorly defined concept, after all. There are online directories that still remember an address I vacated five years ago. I'd like to maintain the facts about me that I deem public. When applications need those facts, I'd like to refer them to a service that dispenses them.
We've now arrived at the brink of a precipice. On the rocks below lies the shattered body of Microsoft's HailStorm. What sent it over the edge was the notion that it would manage not only public facts, but also private ones: credit card numbers, travel itineraries, musical preferences. Sooner or later, we will wind up delegating the management of these facts to services acting on our behalf. HailStorm was the right idea. But the dawn of this century was the wrong time and Microsoft was the wrong company."

Gates' dividend will go to charity

Gates' dividend will go to charity "Microsoft's decision to issue a special dividend to its stockholders will also make the world's wealthiest philanthropy about 10 percent richer.
Bill and Melinda Gates yesterday announced that all of an estimated $3 billion of the stock dividend that would have gone to the Microsoft chairman will instead be donated to their non-profit foundation in support of its efforts in global health, education and equity.
"While our family foundation is making progress, there remain so many urgent needs and challenges that we must address together as a society," said Melinda Gates in a statement the Gateses released yesterday announcing their donation.
With this donation, Gates will have endowed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a total of about $30 billion."

Wired News: Inside Look at Birth of the IPod

Wired News: Inside Look at Birth of the IPod: "Ben Knauss is a former senior manager at PortalPlayer, the company Apple Computer approached to help develop an MP3 player that would eventually become the wildly popular iPod.
Knauss shared his firsthand knowledge of the device's development, the glitches that almost killed it, and the extraordinary steps Apple took to keep the iPod a secret.Knauss, who acted as the primary liaison between Apple and PortalPlayer, quit the company in 2001. According to Knauss, the iPod originated with a business idea dreamed up by Tony Fadell, an independent contractor and hardware expert who'd helped develop handheld devices at General Magic and Philips.
Knauss said Fadell left Philips and set himself up as an independent contractor to shop the idea around. Knauss said Fadell approached several companies and was turned away by all of them, except for Apple.
Apple hired Fadell in early 2001 and assigned him a team of about 30 people -- "a typical industrial design team," Knauss said, including designers, programmers and hardware engineers. He's currently the senior director of iPod & Special Projects Group at Apple.
Knauss stayed on until near the end of the iPod's development, but quit shortly before it was released because he had no confidence it would be a success.
"It was probably a mistake, but then you have to go with what you think at the time," he said.
Knauss, 33, is now contracting for Microsoft."

Interesting history.

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - Collaboration, Up Close and From Afar

Silicon Valley - Dan Gillmor's eJournal - Collaboration, Up Close and From Afar: "With great regret, I bid my goodbyes yesterday to the folks at the Strong Angel II demonstration, but I'm staying well-connected to the project in several ways.
One is by using software that has become a crucial component to the project, Groove, the collaboration software that just hit its 3.0 milestone. Groove does so many things, but at its heart is a peer-to-peer networking system, replete with widgets and tools and fully encrypted at every level. In situations like the ones the Strong Angel teams are modeling, security is vital for some data even if not for all.
One of the most intriguing demonstrations on Kona has been named 'Pony Express,' after the relay mail system of yesteryear, except this is being done with WiFi, laptops and Groove. The idea is that humanitarian assistance people in the field -- where there's no connectivity -- could fill out forms on their laptops, gathering data about populations and needs; then someone would drive by with a WiFi-equipped vehicle, synchronize the Groove 'workspace' containing the data; and bring it back to the home base. This would be done again and again, and ultimately each person in the field, not just the people at the base, would have the most current possible data even without a direct Internet connection."

Wired News: Battlefield Tech for Aid Workers

Wired News: Battlefield Tech for Aid Workers "In a bid to improve coordination in humanitarian efforts, a group of civilian and military technologists met in Hawaii this week to demonstrate several newly integrated systems, including a machine translator that can record Arabic television programs and translate the audio on the fly.
Representatives from nearly 20 military and civilian organizations gathered on a lava flow near Kona, Hawaii, to demonstrate the e-TAP translator and other communication and collaboration technologies that could be used in chaotic conditions.
The event, known as Strong Angel II, was intended to provide a platform for testing a broad collection of communications, collaboration and translation tools that can help smooth the flow of data in austere disaster zones.
In another demonstration, radio traffic from the local fire department was recorded to a date-stamped MP3 file and placed into a shared Groove work space. The demonstration showed that such broadcasts could be monitored from anywhere in the world and plotted on a digital map.
Rasmussen said the Groove collaboration software -- which would run on laptops and communicate with other workstations through a peer-to-peer network -- could help the military and civilian organizations trust each other better by providing transparency."

Very cool application of Groove v3. / Business / Technology / For Gates and Ballmer, it will be a rich payout / Business / Technology / For Gates and Ballmer, it will be a rich payout "While investors rewarded the news by sending shares of Microsoft up 5 percent in after-hours action, those likely to benefit the most are Gates and Ballmer. Gates, who started the company in 1975, remains its largest shareholder, owning about 10 percent of the company.
Currently, Gates owns 1.2 billion shares of Microsoft. He is set to collect more than $3 billion in the one-time dividend and about $384 million from its annual dividend. Meanwhile, Ballmer, who owns 410.9 million shares of Microsoft is set to rake in $1.23 billion from the special dividend and roughly $131.5 million from the annual dividend."

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Joel on Software - [Outlook and Lookout]

Joel on Software - [Outlook and Lookout] "Could Microsoft have possibly bought Lookout just to shut them down? Even at my most paranoid, I can't for the life of me figure out why Microsoft wants searching in Outlook to be worthless. Maybe just Hanlon's Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
Update: They figured it out on the discussion group. Lookout is using an open-source component for searching, which Microsoft can't redistribute. The only part of Lookout that Microsoft allegedly cares about, the search engine, is released under the Apache license. The only part of Lookout which Microsoft can use is the Outlook integration, and they don't seem to care about that. Methinks this is one of those "HR Acquisitions," wherein Microsoft buys a company for a few bucks because it's the only way to hire someone they want."

alphaWorks : Interoperability Tool for Eclipse and .NET WinForms

alphaWorks : Interoperability Tool for Eclipse and .NET WinForms: "Interoperability Tool for Eclipse and .NET WinForms is a JavaTM tool that allows hosting of third-party WinForm controls in Eclipse, handling of .NET events, accessing of .NET properties, invoking of .NET methods, and instantiating of .NET objects. This tool can aid in moving to the Eclipse platform while making use of investments in .NET WinForms controls. "

BBC NEWS | Technology | EBay dips toe in music downloads

BBC NEWS | Technology | EBay dips toe in music downloads "The net auction website eBay is dipping its toe into the digital music download market in a six-month trial.
It said it wanted to gauge the demand for buying and selling music through its already successful service.
Pre-approved sellers with licences to music could decide to auction tunes or sell them at a fixed price, as with other items for sale on eBay." - Apple Expands Its iPod Offerings - Apple Expands Its iPod Offerings "Apple Computer Inc. announced a minor makeover for its popular iPod music player, reducing prices for high-end storage capacities and updating the way users navigate the device.
The Cupertino, Calif., computer maker yesterday announced two new models of the slim gadget -- a 20-gigabyte iPod that holds 5,000 songs for $299 and a 40-gigabyte version holding 10,000 songs for $399. The new iPods are available immediately. Apple's iPod mini, a thinned-down version of the original, has been on back order and sells for $249.
Apart from the lower prices, the new iPods boast other improvements. They feature longer battery life of 12 hours, up from eight hours in the past, Apple says. In addition, the gizmos are a millimeter thinner than their predecessors. Apple has also gotten rid of the buttons that sat under the iPod's display screen, replacing them with a "click wheel" that allows you to control the device with one hand."

That must annoy all of the people on the waiting list for an iPod mini. - China Grants Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation QFII Status - China Grants Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation QFII Status "China's securities regulator Tuesday said it has approved the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a qualified foreign institutional investor.
The foundation is the first non-financial institution to be granted QFII status in China. Previously, only investment banks and asset management companies were approved as QFIIs.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission provided no other details in a statement posted on its Web site.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, co-founded by the chairman of software giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and his wife, had $26.8 billion in assets at the end of last year and distributed grants totaling $1.18 billion in 2003, mostly for health and education causes." - IBM Offers Universities Access To Software, Course Assistance - IBM Offers Universities Access To Software, Course Assistance "Seeking to counter Microsoft Corp.'s increasing dominance of computer science on campus, International Business Machines Corp. is offering free access to IBM software and course-development assistance to any university interested in broadening its curricula.
IBM's new academic initiative is designed to ensure that computer-science programs will teach students about open-source software such as Linux and Sun Microsystems Corp.'s free J2EE and Java programming languages as well as IBM's proprietary DB2 database and WebSphere Internet software.
IBM declined to put a dollar value on its new program, which has a team of 300 to 400 people promoting it. Besides letting professors download software for use in courses, IBM permits them to use software courses developed by consultants in IBM's services group for training within IBM. In some cases, schools will be allowed to use IBM hardware over the Internet under a "virtual loaner program." Parties Square Off In a Database Duel Parties Square Off In a Database Duel "The 2004 election will be the first presidential election in which both national parties use their database and number-crunching skills to shape their organizing and get-out-the-vote strategies.
Marketers have used databases to target customers for years -- they know enough about your credit history to offer you that low-interest credit card -- but the political world is just becoming acquainted. For several years, largely out of public view, the two major parties have been assembling their infobanks, each with the same daunting goal. By tracking the electorate, and employing ever more sophisticated statistical models through the field called "data mining," the parties and their candidates hope to zero in on who will vote, how they might vote, and how to persuade them to vote for Republicans or Democrats.
"You could ask me about any city block in America, and I could tell you how many on that block are likely to be health care voters, or who's most concerned about education or job creation," said DNC Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe. "And I could press a button and six seconds later you'd have a name, an address and a phone number for each of them. We can then begin a conversation with these people that is much more sophisticated and personal than we ever could before."
It is not quite that simple. Models and databases offer better-educated guesses, not certainty, about what a voter thinks and how he or she is likely to behave. But with enough computing power, enough personal details and the right search features, political database pros say they are improving the efficiency of an array of campaign decisions, including fundraising, advertising and get-out-the-vote operations."

Monday, July 19, 2004

Macromedia hones Web publishing tools | CNET

Macromedia hones Web publishing tools | CNET "Macromedia announced plans on Monday for a new software package intended to help companies easily build and manage Web sites.
The new Web Publishing System includes Studio MX 2004, a collection of Web design and development tools that includes the company's Flash and Dreamweaver applications, plus new versions of Contribute and FlashPaper."

I've been a happy Contribute user for quite a while, and am very impressed with where Macromedia is taking it.

BW Online | Sun: A CEO's Last Stand

BW Online | Sun: A CEO's Last Stand "Talk with ever-voluble Sun Microsystems Inc. CEO Scott McNealy, and you may hear one of his favorite quips: "Conventional wisdom doesn't contain a whole lot of wisdom." He believes it because of his own experience. Consider 1995: All of Sun's competitors -- Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Digital Equipment Corp. -- were busy developing new servers to run the next version of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows software. Wall Street pundits begged McNealy to show some common sense and do the same. But he refused, instead cranking up his investment in Sun's own software, called Solaris. What happened next made McNealy look brilliant. Rivals couldn't match the speed, reliability, and security of Sun's servers. As the tech boom took off, Sun's boxes became the must-have gear for thousands of Internet startups and financial firms. Sales soared; profits exploded.
Six years later, as the boom of the late 1990s came to a crashing end, Wall Street had more advice for McNealy: Batten down the hatches for the storm ahead; slash research; lay off staffers; and get serious about low-cost products. Once again, McNealy held his ground. But this time, he was dreadfully wrong. Sun's sales have tumbled 48% in the past three years, it has lost a third of its market share -- and it continues to head south even as its rivals ride the economic recovery. Its stock, which reached $64 in 2000, trades at about $4. No other major player has been weakened as much during the tech downturn. "Right now it looks pretty grim," says Geoffrey A. Moore, author of several tech-industry books, including Crossing the Chasm.
Now some investors believe it's time for McNealy to follow his former execs out the door, or at least give up the CEO post and retain only a chairman's role. Says analyst Andrew Neff of Bear, Stearns & Co.: "It's pretty standard that if the ship keeps going toward the iceberg, you change the captain."

IBM Lotus Notes/Domino 7 Public Beta: Preliminary feature list for Beta 2

IBM Lotus Notes/Domino 7 Public Beta: Preliminary feature list for Beta 2 Impressive list, via Ed Brill

WinFS and ObjectSpaces Part 3 - Proliferation of Data Access APIs, and why we worry about it.

WinFS and ObjectSpaces Part 3 - Proliferation of Data Access APIs, and why we worry about it. "So in other words, shipping a technology like ObjectSpaces has cost and long term consequences. One of the decision points on merging ObjectSpaces with WinFS was that the charters were similar enough that customers would be using both. The problem was that the implementation and API were different enough and in some cases had impedance mismatch that shipping ObjectSpaces before WinFS would have caused problems for developers wishing to migrate in the future. Also, it would have made ObjectSpaces a lame duck, deprecated after the first version solution."

More than an open-source curiosity | Newsmakers | CNET

More than an open-source curiosity | Newsmakers | CNET "People always talk about the battle for the hearts and minds of developers, who choose between Microsoft's .Net and Java. Do you think Mono will attract Java developers to the .Net fold?
[Miguel de Icaza:] Today what's happening is that ASP.Net (Microsoft's system for building Web applications) is replacing, it's basically pushing J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) aside. We did a study at Ximian when we were trying to find customers for Mono. We found that people said that it was 25 percent more efficient to build in ASP.Net, because they have to do all this academic crap (with J2EE). Microsoft later funded a similar study and they came up with 30 percent. We interviewed about 25 customers about why would you buy Mono, why not J2EE, and we came up with that.
The problem with J2EE really is that it became very, very academic and the complexity of all these perfectly designed systems in schools does not necessarily map when you have deadlines and all kinds of other things. Twenty-five percent means we can develop it in a shorter time period. We can actually hire less people to do this thing. So those shops that spend $200,000 to $2 million say it's a one-year project. We are talking about relatively small shops--four or five developers or six developers to maybe 20 developers. If you can save 25 percent, it's a very big savings there. So, it's just because the technology is not as pretty as it could be or as nice as it could be, but it gets the job done. So, it's not Java's fault; it's more the framework has not been designed for these users."

The New York Times > Technology > The MSN Butterfly Begins to Break Free

The New York Times > Technology > The MSN Butterfly Begins to Break Free "Over the last year, however, MSN has finally started to see some profits. The unit began making money last fall and is expected to post an operating profit of about $200 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, compared with a loss of about $531 million last year.
The reason has little to do with any of Microsoft's more ambitious Internet strategies. Instead, it was one of the businesses that it had put on the back burner - Internet advertising - that really started to take off."

Friday, July 16, 2004 - Apple's iPod May Meet Its Match In New Microsoft System - Apple's iPod May Meet Its Match In New Microsoft System "Apple Computer Inc.'s success in the online music market seems to have settled an industry debate, showing that more consumers prefer to own music outright rather than rent access to a smorgasbord of songs for a monthly fee. But a new technology from an old Apple nemesis -- Microsoft Corp. -- may give a big boost to the rental approach in coming months.
The Microsoft technology is likely to be the first in a series of more vigorous challenges to Apple's position in the music market, including a raft of new audio and video gadgets due out by Christmas that will compete with Apple's hit iPod music player. Microsoft itself plans to compete directly with Apple's iTunes Music Store through a music retail Web site expected from its MSN division as early as the fall.
Microsoft's greatest impact on the market, though, may come with the release of the new version of its widely used software for preventing music piracy, called Windows Media Digital Rights Management. One of the most intriguing uses of the technology -- better known inside the industry by its code-name, Janus -- is that it will let subscribers to music-rental services, for the first time, transfer their song collections from their PCs directly to portable audio players. That capability has been a key missing feature of such services." - IBM Posts 17% Increase in Earnings - IBM Posts 17% Increase in Earnings: "International Business Machines Corp. reported a 17% earnings gain for the second quarter and issued a confident business outlook, contrasting with cautious recent predictions from other information-technology companies.
Revenue at the world's largest information-technology concern rose 7%, boosted by currency translations and strong sales of mainframes and other business computers that have been taking shares away from rivals.
IBM's chief financial officer, Mark Loughridge, said the company remains comfortable with analysts' estimates for the full year. According to Thompson First Call, analysts expect full-year earnings of $4.95 a share, up 14% from $4.35 a share last year.
This causes a sigh of relief among investors because there were no comments about seeing a slowdown," said Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein." - Dell Raises Second-Quarter Outlook, Citing Overseas Market-Share Gains - Dell Raises Second-Quarter Outlook, Citing Overseas Market-Share Gains "Dell Inc. raised its second-quarter profit outlook, citing "robust" enterprise systems and services sales and market-share gains outside the U.S.
In a press release Friday, Dell said it raised its earnings per share guidance by two cents to 31 cents. The company earned 24 cents a share a year ago.
Wall Street expects the computer designer to earn 29 cents a share for the latest second quarter, according to a consensus estimate produced by Thomson First Call."

Microsoft boosts search ability

Microsoft boosts search ability "Moving to strengthen its position against Google and Yahoo!, Microsoft Corp. said yesterday that it bought a company that makes software for searching through e-mails and other computer files.
The acquisition of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Lookout Software LLC will bring new technology into Microsoft's MSN Search initiative, the company said. In addition, one of Lookout Software's founders will join Microsoft as an employee working on the MSN Search team. Microsoft declined to disclose the price it paid.
Founded in early 2003 by two former employees of Web pioneer Netscape Communications Inc., Lookout makes software for finding e-mails, files and other information in Microsoft's widely used Outlook e-mail software. The Lookout software has been available free over the Internet on a trial basis.
Microsoft said Lookout co-founder Mike Belshe will become an employee of Microsoft. Co-founder Eric Hahn, former Netscape chief technology officer in the late 1990s, will help during the transition of Lookout into Microsoft but won't stay with the company."

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Oracle Finds E-Learning a Breeze

Oracle Finds E-Learning a Breeze: "Oracle is taking advantage of resurgence in online training to ink a deal with a flashy partner.
The software giant will augment its iLearning platform using Macromedia's Breeze, a Web conferencing tool that uses Flash Player to deliver voice over IP, video, application and screen sharing, and other rich content."

Big win for Macromedia.

Windows Server System Magazine-Microsoft's Platform Strategies for 2006 and Beyond

Windows Server System Magazine-Microsoft's Platform Strategies for 2006 and Beyond "This is the fourth and final Trends & Analysis column in a series focused on the past, present, and future of Microsoft's platform strategies. The first column, "Understanding Microsoft's Platform Strategies," established a framework for evaluating Microsoft's product line in terms of platforms, tools, applications, and services. The second column, "Microsoft's Platform Strategies Today" described how .NET has matured during the past two years. The third column, "Microsoft's Platform Strategies for 2004-2005," addressed .NET Framework 2.0, Visual Studio 2005, and SQL Server 2005. This column focuses on Longhorn, Microsoft's biggest and most strategically significant undertaking to date."

FYI my next couple Windows Server System columns:
Sept (Web in August): Microsoft Office 2003 smart stuff (smart tag technology, smart documents, etc.)
Oct (Web in Sept): Microsoft Information Bridge Framework

I'd welcome suggestions for other column/report topics --

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Living the Broadband Life

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Living the Broadband Life "San Diego was one of the first cities in the nation to get residential high-speed Internet connections, and some 55 percent of households with Internet access have high-speed cable modem or D.S.L. service - a higher percentage than in any other metropolitan area in the country, according to a survey by comScore Networks, a market research firm. Next in line, according to comScore, are Boston, where 53 percent of wired households have high-speed connections, and New York, with 51 percent.
San Diego and other cities with such heavy broadband use serve as signposts for what other cities might come to expect in a future when such service is an omnipresent and vital part of daily life.
Before getting in their cars, for instance, San Diegans routinely check traffic online. If conditions look unbearable they can use their broadband connections to work from home."

The New York Times > Technology > Demand for iPods Leads Big Increase in Profits for Apple

The New York Times > Technology > Demand for iPods Leads Big Increase in Profits for Apple "Apple shipped 876,000 Macintosh computers in the quarter, a 14 percent increase compared with shipments in the quarter a year earlier. But the brightest star was the iPod, the company's portable music player; shipments of iPods nearly tripled, to 860,000.
Mr. Wolf said that Apple's music products had become something of a Trojan horse for the company as the popularity of the iTunes service and the iPod are clearly helping sell Macs. "The Apple Macintosh is starting to be a growth story," he said. "Music is starting to drive Mac sales."

Okay, so maybe Apple found its 10th life... - Microsoft to Link Message System With Yahoo, AOL - Microsoft to Link Message System With Yahoo, AOL "Microsoft Corp. is expected to announce today a deal that will allow users of its corporate instant-message software to communicate with services from rivals America Online and Yahoo Inc.
The agreement marks the beginning of a truce in a long-running battle between the three largest providers of instant messaging, a service similar to e-mail that allows computer users to send and receive text messages in real time. The deal could also advance a push by Microsoft to take on International Business Machines Corp. in the corporate market for instant messaging.
Under the agreement, the three companies will connect their instant-messaging networks by early 2005, according to a Microsoft spokeswoman. The service is designed to work with the new version of Microsoft's Live Communications Server, which is set to come out toward the end of this year. About 1,000 companies are now testing the software.
Companies that install the Microsoft software will be able to connect to about 400 million users of Yahoo's Yahoo Messenger, AOL's AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger, Microsoft's consumer-messaging network. To make the connection, Microsoft's corporate customers will have to buy an extra license, and Yahoo and AOL will receive royalties on those sales.
As instant-messaging services have grown, so has the pressure to make them work together. About 92% of companies in North America use instant messaging, according Osterman Research Inc., a consultancy based in Black Diamond, Wash.
In recent months, both AOL and Yahoo, with strongholds in consumer markets for instant messaging, have backed away from selling the software that powers corporate instant messaging." - Oracle Chief Doesn't See Slowdown - Oracle Chief Doesn't See Slowdown "Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Larry Ellison said his company hasn't seen the business slowdown cited by other software makers. "We don't see our business weakening," he told a gathering of Wall Street analysts at Oracle's headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif. Oracle reported generally strong results in the quarter ended May 31. In the current quarter, which ends in August, "We started off very well," Oracle Chairman Jeff Henley said. Mr. Henley said Oracle still expects earnings of nine cents a share on a 6%-to-9% increase in quarterly revenue. Mr. Ellison said the flurry of earnings shortfalls in the June quarter from software companies is evidence of a gathering shakeout of the industry's weaker players. He said Oracle, along with Microsoft Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and SAP AG of Germany, will collect a disproportionate share of the industry's revenue and profits because of their broad product lines."

(Entire article)

InfoWorld: IBM buys BI company

InfoWorld: IBM buys BI company "IBM added another piece to its ongoing business intelligence initiative on Wednesday, acquiring AlphaBlox, a small software company in Mountain View, Calif., that specializes in analytics software.
The AlphaBlox acquisition is the 16th by IBM's $14 billion software group and the fifth for the company's DB2 Data Management Division."

Investment Viewpoint: Brad Silverberg, Managing Partner, Ignition Partners

Investment Viewpoint: Brad Silverberg, Managing Partner, Ignition Partners "Milestone: How does Microsoft deal successfully with the open source threat?
Silverberg: I don’t think they have figured that out yet, I think that is clear. They are struggling with not so much open source, per se, but rather they are no longer the low price solution. In the past Microsoft was the low cost solution and Microsoft was then competing and attacking expensive proprietary systems from below. Now for the first time the tables are turned and it's Microsoft that's being attacked from below by a lower price solution. Microsoft needs to figure out how it can demonstrate better TCO to justify its higher prices. Another aspect to that, which is an area I think Microsoft is also struggling with, which is when you are as successful and dominant as they are, how do you continue to foster that ecosystem? What really propelled Microsoft Windows success was an ecosystem that they created that allowed other people to benefit from your success. Actually your success was really a side effect or byproduct of their own success. If they saw a way that they could develop your platform, make money for themselves and build big businesses. Now that Microsoft has expanded into so many different areas there is reluctance from some developers to continue to invest in a Microsoft platform because they wonder how do they build a business? How does it become their business and not Microsoft’s business? So people are looking for alternative platforms that create new ecosystems that allow them to build. The challenge to Microsoft is to continue to keep that ecosystem going and to get developers and applications folks to see that there is benefit to themselves in adopting and continuing to develop for the Microsoft platform."

Via Good Morning Silicon Valley | 07/14/2004 | Webshots co-founder hits jackpot with sale to CNET | 07/14/2004 | Webshots co-founder hits jackpot with sale to CNET "Online technology news provider CNET Networks Inc. said Wednesday that it will pay $70 million to acquire Webshots, a digital photography Web site that was salvaged from the ruins of bankrupt ExciteAtHome for $2.4 million 2 1/2 years ago."

Hmm -- a pattern this week.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - Apple's Earnings Soared in Period, Lifted by iPod - Apple's Earnings Soared in Period, Lifted by iPod: "Apple Computer Inc. said fiscal third-quarter profits more than tripled amid a 30% rise in revenue, fueled by sales of its Macintosh computers and the continued success of its iPod digital-music players. Apple also predicted solid revenue and earnings for its current quarter, despite a delay in introducing a new iMac desktop computer.
For the three months ended June 26, the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker posted net income of $61 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with net income of $19 million, or five cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. The results include an after-tax restructuring expense of $6 million, related to the closing of a California factory. Without that expense, Apple would have reported earnings of 17 cents a share.
Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, called the delay in the new iMac a "speed bump." He blamed the slip-up on manufacturing problems by International Business Machines Corp., which supplies Apple with the PowerPC G5 microprocessors used inside Macintosh computers. Mr. Oppenheimer, the CFO, said there is a shortage of the microprocessors, which will also limit supplies of some models of the Power Mac G5 desktop computers. "We couldn't secure enough of the IBM" microprocessors, said Mr. Oppenheimer. "We are extremely unhappy with these events."

Red Hat alums try new Linux angle | CNET

Red Hat alums try new Linux angle | CNET "A group of former Red Hat employees have formed a start-up called Specifix that aims to lure customers who have customized software needs their former employer couldn't accommodate.
"We're trying to build a model for Linux that lets people do customization and tailoring of the operating system," said Specifix co-founder Erik Troan, who joined Red Hat in 1995 when it had four or five employees, and had risen to vice president of engineering and, later, director of marketing.
Specifix's chief executive and other founder is Kim Knuttila, who worked at Cygnus, a company that Red Hat acquired in 1999. Troan left Red Hat in 2003, and Knuttila left in 2002.
Also among the company's 10 employees is Matthew Wilson, who will discuss Conary at the Ottawa Linux Symposium that runs July 21 through 24. Michael Johnson, who started using Linux with version 0.02 and left Red Hat early in 2004, has also joined Specifix.
No hard feelings, Red Hat Chief Executive Matthew Szulik said. "I think that's great. There are more people creating open-source start-ups. Those are good guys, and I wish them nothing but the best."

Uh, if you say so...

Ballmer: Xbox to 'take Sony' | Newsmakers | CNET

Ballmer: Xbox to 'take Sony' | Newsmakers | CNET
"First of all, we haven't vanquished IBM. They still have a $12 (billion) to $13 billion software business. Every dollar they derive is still a dollar over time that is available to us, pretty much. I think we've done a good job where we compete, and we still have a great opportunity in front of us relative to IBM and the competition there.
... the work that Bill (Gates) and I have been doing, really together, is to make sure we are investing in new areas. Look at what we have done with Xbox. We may still be losing money, but we have gone from nowhere to a significant player with a whole different approach. We've generated something brand new. I bet we can take Sony next generation. I am betting we can take Sony in the next generation.
The key decision we did make is that Office would also support pre-Longhorn systems so we weren't completely tied to a Longhorn schedule. It's less tied than our initial thinking. Our next release of Office should exploit and light up on Longhorn but absolutely it will be available to run on pre-Longhorn releases of Windows."

Bo Selections!: there's no "one size fits all"!

Bo Selections!: there's no "one size fits all"! "The launch of Groove 3.0 has left no one indifferent! Out they go the detractors (and converted supporters) of the product. Ain't that great? A product that polarizes opinion, that provokes sincere fascination or dislike, but leaves no one indifferent, it's a great product."

(Congrats to the Groove gang on the release of Groove 3.0!)

Techdirt:Vast Majority Of Popup Click Throughs Are Accidents

Techdirt:Vast Majority Of Popup Click Throughs Are Accidents "A new study has shown that approximately 90% of popup clickthroughs are accidental, caused by people trying to shut down the damn windows so they can get on with their surfing. This quote says it all: "Achieving an over-inflated click-through rate might help brands to justify their spend, but they are only deceiving themselves. The brand, which we used in our research study, is not only wasting up to 90% of its budget by paying for unintentional click-throughs, it is also frustrating and deceiving users."

(Thanks for the pointer, Jim)

Ed Brill [comment on Ballmer's Notes => Exchange migration assertion]

Ed Brill [comment on Ballmer's Notes => Exchange migration assertion]: "Interested vs. doing are two different things, Steve... I'm seeing just the opposite, myself. "

I'm seeing traffic in both directions as well, FYI.

"The New York Times > Technology > Google Buys an Online Photo Manager

The New York Times > Technology > Google Buys an Online Photo Manager "Google Inc., the Internet search engine, said yesterday that it had acquired Picasa Inc., which makes technology to help consumers organize and display photos online.
Picasa's product "complements Google's ongoing mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible," said Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's vice president for product management.
Google said it formed a partnership in May with Picasa, which is based in Pasadena, Calif. That deal allowed users of Google's Blogger service, a site where people can publish personal journals, to post photos using Picasa's software."

CRN | Breaking News | Ballmer Slams IBM, Novell Partner Efforts With Linux, SMBs

CRN | Breaking News | Ballmer Slams IBM, Novell Partner Efforts With Linux, SMBs "At Microsoft's annual partner conference in Toronto, the rambunctious CEO told thousands of its global partners that commercial software, in combination with Microsoft's channel model and go-to-market plan, offers the best value proposition for service partners, solution providers and ISVs.
"Who do you go-to-market with [concerning] Linux?" Ballmer asked the capacity crowd. "Go-to-market with IBM? You'll be competing against IBM services. How does IBM sustain its investment in Linux when the only money they make is on services? They make no money on software; they make no money on hardware. They make money only in services."
This is the year of opportunity. Let's go after the Novell installed base and help them come into the modern world," Ballmer said, urging Microsoft partners to poach Novell NetWare customers and IBM Lotus Notes customers. "And I don't know what the heck IBM is doing with these [Notes customers]. I've seen more Notes-to-Exchange conversions in the last year than ever before. These two bases are ripe for winning."

Miguel de Icaza: Macromedia Flex

Miguel de Icaza: Macromedia Flex "Very nice development platform for GUI applications, which happens to generate code that will run on the Flash Player VM. The widget set is very flash-like, and has the standard set of components you would expect from a widget set, and the components are tied together with their implementation of ECMA Script.
Since the VM is the same across all platforms the code runs on Linux, Windows and the Mac unmodified, I am pleasantly surprised by the results.
Microsoft's Avalon is doing something very similar to this, but the Macromedia markup is not only simpler, but also cross platform from the client to the server."