Monday, February 28, 2005

The New York Times > Technology > Cyberspace to Outer Space, Let's Have a Conference and Go There

The New York Times > Technology > Cyberspace to Outer Space, Let's Have a Conference and Go There: "The diva of cyberspace is shedding her earthly ties.
Esther Dyson, who made a name for herself ballyhooing the Internet, has a new mission. In March, she will put on a conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., to discuss how best to send people to space - not using phone lines this time, but rocket ships. The gathering, called Flight School, is taking place at the same time as PC Forum, a technology conference that Ms. Dyson has organized since 1983.
If the final frontier seems a bit outside Ms. Dyson's expertise as a promoter of modern telecommunications, it does fall within what she does best - identify, promote and capitalize on the spirit of the age." - Tech Innovator Raskin Dies at 61 - Tech Innovator Raskin Dies at 61: "Mr. Raskin joined Apple in 1978 -- as its 31st employee -- to start the young company's publications department. At the time, computers were primarily text-based and users had to remember a series of arcane commands to perform the simplest tasks.
In 1979, Mr. Raskin had a different idea: A computer that's priced affordably, targeted at consumers and extremely easy to use. A small team, under his command, was put together at Apple to pursue his concept that would eventually become the Macintosh.
'His role on the Macintosh was the initiator of the project, so it wouldn't be here if it weren't for him,' said Andy Hertzfeld, an early Mac team member."

(Read Revolution in the Valley -- great perspective on the creation of the Mac by Andy Hertzfeld.) - AOL Integrates Buddy Lists With Microsoft Outlook - AOL Integrates Buddy Lists With Microsoft Outlook: "Users of America Online Inc.'s instant messaging service can now automatically see from Microsoft Corp.'s popular Outlook e-mail application whether their friends and colleagues are online.
A free tool AOL is offering beginning Monday integrates 'buddy list' information from AOL Instant Messenger with Outlook.
When you receive an e-mail from an AIM member who is online, a yellow 'running man' logo appears in the 'from' line next to the e-mail address. If you believe a quick chat session might be more appropriate in reply than a series of further e-mails back and forth, clicking on the logo launches the AIM software for you.
Users need to configure little after downloading the Outlook plug-in developed for AOL by Intellisync Corp.
The tool, available at, will comb through your Outlook address book and match your e-mail addresses with the corresponding AIM screen names that AOL has based on information collected during the AIM registration process. You can also add screen names manually."

Saturday, February 26, 2005 / Business / 1.2m US workers' personal data lost / Business / 1.2m US workers' personal data lost: " Bank of America Corp. has lost computer data tapes containing personal information on 1.2 million federal employees, including some members of the US Senate.
The lost data includes Social Security numbers and account information that could make customers of a federal government charge card program vulnerable to identity theft.
''We deeply regret this unfortunate incident," said Barbara Desoer, who is in charge of technology, service, and fulfillment for the Charlotte bank. ''The privacy of customer information receives the highest priority at Bank of America, and we take our responsibilities for safeguarding it very seriously."
Leahy has been a leader of calls this week for a Senate Judiciary Committee inquiry into whether more regulation of companies that buy and sell personal data is needed. This came after the disclosure that ChoicePoint Inc., a Georgia data warehouser, had learned that as many as 140,000 consumers may have had their personal information compromised.
''I hope this latest incident at least will bring the issue closer to home so Congress will pay better attention to the rapid erosion of privacy rights that ordinary Americans are facing as more and more of their personal and financial information is collected and sold on databases that too often have too few privacy protections," Leahy said in a statement yesterday."


Microsoft IM release expected soon | CNET

Microsoft IM release expected soon | CNET "Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is expected to take the wraps off Istanbul, the company's new instant messaging and real-time communications client, in a few weeks.
The software giant sent invitations to journalists and other insiders this week for a March 8 event in San Francisco, during which Gates will 'unveil Microsoft's new and revolutionary real-time collaboration offerings.'
A Microsoft spokesman said he couldn't specify that Istanbul would be the subject of the event, but the software has been widely touted as Microsoft's next major move in real-time communications. Istanbul is an internal code name. Microsoft has not said what the program might be called when it's ready for formal release. "

Google Blog: On the map

Google Blog: On the map: "The Maps team was excited to see all the ideas and feedback that hit blogs around the Web after Google Maps launched a couple weeks ago, and we've been listening: Maps now supports Safari and Opera. Keep the feedback coming..."

Friday, February 25, 2005

Fractals of Change: The Flattening of Almost Everything #2: Information Retrieval

Fractals of Change: The Flattening of Almost Everything #2: Information Retrieval: "The WorldWideWeb is where Moore’s Law met Metcalfe’s Law. Information management – the way we find out what we want to know – went from hierarchical to flat in just a few years as a result. We now assume – usually correctly – that we can find any particular piece of data from a railroad schedule in Estonia to a quote by an Argentine novelist on the Web within minutes of wanting it. We also rely on the web for cross–references (links) to interesting information related to whatever we originally searched for specifically.
Back when I was at Microsoft, Lotus Notes, written by the brilliant Ray Ozzie, was the competitor which worried Bill Gates (and, therefore, the rest of us) the most. Companies were building information management application in Notes. True, Notes ran under Windows, but the danger we saw was that Notes and not Windows would be the platform that developers wrote to. Many of the pundits were saying (hoping) this would happen.
There were several competing efforts under way in Redmond to build the Notes-killer. One of them was mine: Microsoft Exchange Server. Exchange was behind schedule for release when I took it over and slipped even further as we tired to shoehorn in features that would one-up or at least match the information-handling capabilities of Notes. Trouble was that Exchange was also the long-overdue replacement for DOS-based Microsoft Mail."

From Tom Evslin, self-described "retired serial ceo currently writing an historic murder mystery set in the Internet bubble"

I don't agree with everything in the essay, but it's a fascinating perspective. Definitely required reading.

InformationWeek > Instant Messaging > Trillian 3.1 IM Client Debuts > February 24, 2005

InformationWeek > Instant Messaging > Trillian 3.1 IM Client Debuts > February 24, 2005: "Cerulean Studios on Thursday launched Trillian 3.1, the newest version of its all-in-one instant messaging client that works with the AOL, MSN, Yahoo, and ICQ public IM networks.
The new edition runs faster, claims Cerulean, during such chores as rendering icons and start-up, adds an undo feature to the text-entry box, allows users to edit AOL Profiles in HTML, and guarantees that contacts from multiple accounts aren't accidentally merged.
Trillian comes in a for-free Basic edition and a $25 Pro version. The latter, which boasts sophisticated audio and video conferencing features, now also includes a new identities manager where users can set up and work with multiple identities for each public network. " Apple Buyout Of TiVo 'Highly Unlikely' Apple Buyout Of TiVo 'Highly Unlikely': "'Specifically, Apple had two points that lead us to discount the current reports. First, it appears as though Apple want to stay focused on selling select proven products (e.g. iPod) rather than gambling on unknown initiatives. ... Second, Apple indicated that the DVR market seems to be a commodity whereby all players will eventually have similar hardware and software longer term, which means that the DVR market really boils down to marketing and branding. Apple clearly already has a strong brand and would not gain much from acquiring TiVo. If Apple were to get into the DVR market, we believe they would build a proprietary product.'"

Mobile TV Goes Nowhere Fast

Mobile TV Goes Nowhere Fast: "The Good Nice sound quality, a wide variety of news, sports highlights, and weather reports
The Bad Heavy and clumsy, and video downloads take too long
The Bottom Line Design flaws everywhere. If you want V Cast, try Verizon's other options
Mobile TV is finally here -- sort of. Starting on Feb. 1, Verizon Wireless began rolling out its new V Cast service, which lets users stream 1-minute video clips from several TV channels, download music videos and movie trailers, and play new '3D' video games, which Verizon says is on par with the graphics of a PlayStation One. V Cast costs an additional $15 a month, on top of whatever you're already paying for wireless service.
It's fun to pick and choose specific sport or news highlights to watch, but most of the appeal is in the novelty. Verizon will need to speed up the slow load times, get even more TV content, and make some decent shows for cell phones before it's really worth paying for. What's certain: No matter how good V Cast gets, the UTStarcom/Audiovox CDM 8940 will not be the phone to watch it on."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Apple's transformation upstages RealNetworks

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Apple's transformation upstages RealNetworks: "RealNetworks pioneered digital media in the 1990s and doubled its music-subscription business last year, but Wall Street's playing a different tune nowadays.
When RealNetworks founder and chief executive, Rob Glaser, pitched his stock yesterday at the Goldman Sachs Technology Symposium, the room was half empty and only a handful of investors stayed around to ask questions.
Digital media is hot, but RealNetworks apparently is not, at least in comparison with Apple. Apple boss Steve Jobs didn't make it to Goldman's conference, but the company's chief financial officer came and drew a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 institutional investors."
"'"It's really a very simple story — Apple is transforming from a niche computer company into a consumer-electronics company, and the PC is also transforming into a consumer-electronics device, more like a home stereo where you know how to press a few buttons and it works," he said. "If Apple is really doing that and the products are really going that way, then it will be really successful — it will be basically Sony, that's what it will wind up looking like.'"

($.07 says: Apple and Sony will merge -- it's only a matter of time...)

The New York Times > Technology > For a Start-Up, Visions of Profit in Podcasting

The New York Times > Technology > For a Start-Up, Visions of Profit in Podcasting: "The primarily amateur Internet audio medium known as podcasting will take a small, hopeful step on Friday toward becoming the commercial Web's next big thing.
That step is planned by Odeo, a five-person start-up that is based in a walk-up apartment in this city's Mission District and was co-founded by a Google alumnus. The company plans to introduce a Web-based system that is aimed at making a business of podcasting - the process of creating, finding, organizing and listening to digital audio files that range from living-room ramblings to BBC newscasts."

My initial reaction: with XML syndication, myriad feed aggregator clients, etc., what role would an intermediary service have for podcasting? Then I read on:

"... Odeo, which is scheduled to make its formal debut on Friday at the Technology, Entertainment & Design Conference in Monterey, Calif., was founded by Noah Glass and Evan Williams, two pioneers of the Web logging, or blogging, movement.
Mr. Williams, who is 32, helped found a maker of Web logging software, Pyra Labs [creator of Blogger], which he sold to Google in 2003 for an undisclosed amount of stock, and then stayed at the company until last October. He predicts that podcasting will repeat the steep growth curve of the text blogging phenomenon - which went from only a few thousand blogs when he entered the field in 1999 to more than 7.3 million today."

Definitely one to watch... - Server Market Grew 5.1% In 4th Quarter, IDC Says - Server Market Grew 5.1% In 4th Quarter, IDC Says: "Sales of computer servers rose 5.1% in the fourth quarter to $14.4 billion, market researchers from IDC said.
The quarter was the seventh in a row in which the market advanced, though low-cost servers -- those costing less than $25,000 -- were the only ones to show growth. Revenue from shipments of mid-range servers, costing from $25,000 to $499,000, and high-end servers, costing $500,000 or more, declined, IDC said.
Unit shipments for the market as a whole rose 15.7% in the period.
IDC said International Business Machines Corp. remained the largest server vendor with 38.2% of the market's revenue. Hewlett-Packard Co. was second with a 25.9% share.
H-P maintained its lead in the market for servers running x86 chips from Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. with a 32.6% share. IBM and Dell Inc. tied for second, each holding a 21% position.
In the Unix market, IBM took over the lead, while H-P was second and Sun Microsystems Inc. was third.
Linux server revenue continued its strong growth, expanding 35.6%. Revenue from the Windows server market grew 15.5%."

Reading between the lines:
1. Lintel and Wintel are the only growing platform permutations (including AMD x86)
2. Dell has matched IBM on x86 server share
3. Lots of clouds in Sun's future

VoIP is ready for prime time | Tech News on ZDNet

VoIP is ready for prime time | Tech News on ZDNet: "In short: my mobile phone bill has plummeted from $500 a month to less than $10 a month. The number of times I have had to use my mobile phone in the US during the past two weeks can be counted on the fingers of one hand. For the most part it is people calling me on my mobile that dominates my usage. My outgoing calls are now few and far between. The prevalence of low-cost or free Wi-Fi across the US means I am at most paying for a local telephone call in the destination country.
My evaluation of VoIP is very simple: it either works or it doesn't--it is strictly binary. It either has a quality of service that far surpasses the telephone network or it is so poor it is unusable. Either way the economic impact for my company and many others is profound. I've purchased headsets for all of my children and colleagues and asked them to move to VoIP. Early this morning in Cupertino, California, I had four conversations back into the UK at zero cost.
At last the telephone companies and mobile operators are realizing the nightmare in which their future income from phone call minutes related to time and distance is under real threat. A combination of high billing system costs, static (or rising) provision and services costs, severe competition and an unwillingness of customers to pay is severely cramping their style. It is unfortunate indeed that they have long been aware that their 200-year-old model was going to collapse but took limited or no action.
The value for fixed and mobile operators is now in services. Unfortunately neither has seen fit to invest in sufficient numbers of services that interest users.
To be blunt, VoIP is going to hurt the industry. The really big question is: who is going to support the wired, fiber and wireless infrastructure for global data communication if the money is taken out of the industry by services based on VoIP and others that charge nothing? The answer is not 100 per cent clear but for sure there is no free lunch. We will have to pay--one way or another."

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Google PhoneBook Name Removal

Google PhoneBook Name Removal I suggest you go to this page and have your personal information removed ASAP. Why: first go to the main Google page, enter your home phone number, and observe how Google provides handy maps to your home (which will only become more useful when it adds its own Google Maps to the results)...

I realize this information was already out there, but I wish the folks at Google would think more about the people who don't subscribe to their "do no evil" mantra more, in contexts such as this, when it comes to making it easier to search for information.

(p.s. for all of the conspiracy theorists out there, BlogThis! is again not working well via IE, but works via Firefox...)

LogMeIn - Remote Access Software and Remote Control Software: Product Comparison

LogMeIn - Remote Access Software and Remote Control Software: Product Comparison Handy summary. Also add MyWebEx PC to the mix if you're exploring offerings in this context. You might also want to check out the Microsoft Remote Desktop stuff already installed on your PC, if you're using XP...

Microsoft Reveals SQL Server Pricing, Packages

Microsoft Reveals SQL Server Pricing, Packages: "Microsoft (Quote, Chart) announced final features and pricing for its forthcoming SQL Server 2005 database, including a new edition of software priced between the developer and standard versions.
The software giant also deepened its partnership with Dell, inking a formal original equipment manufacturers (OEM) agreement with the systems vendor to provide customers better support.
Microsoft is confident it will be able to offer functionality and performance comparable to database software from rival products Oracle 10g and IBM DB2 at a lower cost, he added. For example, he said Microsoft won't charge for multi-core architectures, which means customers pay per processor socket instead of per chip.
Oracle and IBM charge per processor. Microsoft anticipates multi-core architectures will become more mainstream, effectively doubling the per-processor pricing of database products from Oracle and IBM.
Moreover, Rizzo said Oracle and IBM force customers to buy costly add-ons for management, high availability and business intelligence.
In related Microsoft database news, Dell, already the top reseller of SQL Server 2000, will resell SQL Server 2000 Workgroup Edition, SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition and SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition along with its PowerEdge servers.
Dell will also offer front-line customer support for Microsoft software and will embark on a sales and marketing initiative."

Dell is also apparently the top reseller of Oracle Database; small world... Dell also reaffirms its commitment to shipping only Intel-based PCs.

Beaming Into Your PC from Anywhere

Beaming Into Your PC from Anywhere: "Unless you do all your computer work on a laptop that is always at hand, you have probably found yourself in desperate need of information stored on a PC somewhere that you weren't. Two new services, GoToMyPC and LogMeIn, promise simple and secure access to your computer from just about anywhere -- provided, of course, that you leave it on, and online.
GoToMyPC is the more powerful of the two programs. It offers more flexibility in matching screen resolutions, especially if the PC you're working on has a smaller display than the remote one. And its more accurate rendering of the screen enhances the feeling that you are actually working at the remote computer.
But free is a good price, and LogMeIn is more than adequate for a lot of users. It also lets you set up multiple computers on a single account, so you can run your home PC from work and your work machine from home. When you need something badly and it's on a computer far away, either of these services can be a lifesaver."

BBC NEWS | Business | Takeover talk boosts TiVo shares

BBC NEWS | Business | Takeover talk boosts TiVo shares: "
TiVo is facing competition from cable operators
Shares in TiVo, the digital video recorder pioneer, have risen sharply on speculation that it could be bought by Apple Computer.
TiVo shares shot up 17% on Wednesday after financial analysts said the US firm could be a takeover target.
Apple, Time Warner, Comcast, Sony and Liberty Media have all been suggested as potential buyers. "

I think it's pretty obvious TiVo needs to be acquired; perhaps this "rumor" is part of somebody's meticulous choreography...

Moonwatcher Pundits: The State of Analyst Weblogs

Moonwatcher Pundits: The State of Analyst Weblogs: "In a bit of irony, the analysts who cover the blogging space by and large haven't adopted the format. This report says that's about to change."

Too much time on your hands? Go import this OPML index of industry analyst blogs...

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Basics: Bloggers Add Moving Images to Their Musings

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Basics: Bloggers Add Moving Images to Their Musings: "The Oxford English Dictionary added 'blog' to its entries in 2003. The editors may soon have to consider 'vlog' and 'moblog' as well.
Web logs - the personal online journals better known as blogs - use text to dissect nearly every conceivable topic, and now video blogs, or vlogs, which incorporate moving images, are on the rise. Mobile blogs, or moblogs, have brought blogging into the cellular age by allowing people to post video and photos taken with camera phones to a blog, or to call in an audio posting.
But the object remains the same as with traditional blogs: to inspire (or to provoke) others to post responses to one's ruminations and images."

Timely snapshot of the state of the blogosphere (in general -- not just video)

The New York Times > Business > JetBlue to Expand Its New York-Los Angeles Service

The New York Times > Business > JetBlue to Expand Its New York-Los Angeles Service: "JetBlue is establishing service in May between Boston and San Jose, Calif., as well as Washington and San Diego. And it plans more flights west on existing routes from Boston and Washington.
JetBlue began flying on Feb. 11, 2000, with one daily flight between J.F.K. and Fort Lauderdale. It now has 292 flights a day, serving 30 cities with 71 Airbus A320 jets, equipped with leather seats and in-flight entertainment systems.
Its newest Airbus was delivered two weeks ago, and the airline will take delivery on 13 more in 2005. Later this year, JetBlue also plans to begin flying seven 100-seat Embraer E190 regional jets.
Mr. Neeleman said the airline planned to use its big planes on transcontinental and other long-distance routes, and operate the regional jets primarily between Eastern cities." - Apple Cuts iPod Mini's Price 20% - Apple Cuts iPod Mini's Price 20%: "Apple Computer Inc., trying to tap deeper into a mainstream audience for portable music players, slashed the price of the iPod mini by 20% and introduced new iPods with more storage capacity and improved battery life.
Analysts believe Apple is also trying to take the iPod to a mainstream market from a core audience of early adopters before competitors do so. "Apple is really focused on dominating this market," said Stephen Baker, director of industry analysis at research firm NPD Group Inc.
Even with greater competition during the holidays, Apple in December still held onto a huge lead in the market, with 91% of all sales of new portable music players that use hard disks, according to NPD. Apple said it has sold more than 10 million iPods. Sales of the gadget came to $1.21 billion in the final quarter of last year, 35% of the company's total $3.49 billion in revenue in the period."

Eerily reminiscent of the early Palm days in many ways...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

OneNote Shared Sessions

OneNote Shared Sessions: "In my opinion, one of the cooler features of OneNote 2003 is 'Shared Sessions' (this requires you to have Sp1 installed, as I know most of you have done already.)
A shared session is a peer-to-peer shared note-taking experience. 'peer-to-peer' means you don't need some fancy server or web site. You just have to have a network where your machine can connect to other machines running OneNote.
You can set up a shared session with as many other people as you want - we have tried over 70 in our testing, but most people do it with 10 or less. It works best on an intranet, but you can also run a shared session over the internet or through firewalls, provided your firewall allows such connections.
Ever had the experience of attending a meeting and then finding out later that all the things you discussed and decided were remembered differently by the other people in the room? Another great effect of shared notes is that you have a live record of the meeting that you can verify is accurate and even edit yourself before the meeting ends. That way things are very clear about what was decided, and you don't have to get some "minutes-taker" to understand a clarification you want to make to the notes - just edit it yourself. At the end of the meeting it is easy for everyone to review the written record of decisions made, so there is no confusion."

See the full post for more on how Microsoft uses the feature.

Very glad to see Chris Pratley blogging again.

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger: Correction: Jeff Reynar didn't work on Google's Autolink feature

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger: Correction: Jeff Reynar didn't work on Google's Autolink feature: "Correction: Someone I know at Microsoft talked with Jeff Reynar on Sunday and asked him if he was involved with Google's new Autolink feature. My source says that Jeff said he was not."

I suspect lawyers will eventually be looking for proof to support that assertion.

IEBlog: What have you guys been doing since IE6?

IEBlog: What have you guys been doing since IE6?: "Before I answer this, I want to acknowledge that we have a problem if people are asking this question. Listing what we’ve done or our priorities will help but won’t address the problem. Responding to specific questions with a great product and great documentation (for developers, for IT professionals, for deployment specialists, and for other customers as well), and doing that consistently for as long as we’ve been quiet about IE will help more.
I think the unarticulated question behind "What have you guys been doing?" is "Do you think it's enough?" I want to answer clearly: No, it's not enough. It's a good start, but we need to do more (product) and communicate more (acknowledge that we're listening, post responses, and reflect that feedback in the product). That's why we're working on IE7."

Good counter-FUD measures. See the post for a list of what the IE team has been up to.

InformationWeek > Novell's Linux Business > Linux Isn't Moving The Revenue Needle Much For Novell > February 22, 2005

InformationWeek > Novell's Linux Business > Linux Isn't Moving The Revenue Needle Much For Novell > February 22, 2005: "Linux remained a small part of Novell's sales in its most-recent quarter, which got a big cash boost from settling with Microsoft.
Despite a significant momentum boost at last week's LinuxWorld conference, Novell's first fiscal 2005 financial results reflect just how tough a challenge the company faces in selling a combination of open-source and proprietary technology.
Still, total net revenue from new software licenses was down for the quarter to $50.4 million, from $54.8 million during the first fiscal 2004 quarter. Novell chairman and CEO Jack Messman said during Tuesday's financials call said that he was "not pleased" with his company's Linux performance for the quarter. NetWare revenue was also down from the last quarter of fiscal 2004. Messman couldn't put his finger on one reason for this. "It's not unreasonable to think that customers are waiting to evaluate [Open Enterprise Server] before renewing NetWare maintenance contracts," he said.
Novell didn't parlay its windfall from Microsoft into stock buybacks or stockholder dividends. Instead, Messman said, the company will use the money to build up its cash position for potential acquisitions."

It'll be interesting to see how NOVL moves today. Sony to Halt Production of Clie Sony to Halt Production of Clie: "Sony Corp. said Wednesday it will abandon its Clie hand-held computer business in Japan because of the gadget's declining popularity.
The Tokyo-based electronics giant will stop making Clie products in July, Sony spokesman Taichi Yamafuji said. The company pulled out of the overseas market last year.
Though Sony still leads the domestic personal digital assistant (PDA) market, it plans to withdraw as profits are expected to slide amid severe competition, Yamafuji said.
PDAs have lost ground to cellular phones with advanced features."

The New York Times > Business > Business Special > Innovators: Does the Kid Stay in the Picture?

The New York Times > Business > Business Special > Innovators: Does the Kid Stay in the Picture?: "By some measures, Netflix has never been more successful. Safa Rashtchy, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, had predicted the company would swell to 2.2 million customers by the end of 2004, but the subscriber base crossed 2.6 million members, growing at an even faster pace, 76 percent, than the impressive 74 percent growth rate the company sustained through 2003. It also exceeded fourth-quarter revenue targets set by Mr. Rashtchy and other analysts.
Yet shares in Netflix are down 68 percent from their January 2004 high. The low point came in mid-October, when the company reported its quarterly earnings. Mr. Hastings announced that because of the anticipated entrance of Amazon in the market, he was slashing the basic subscription fee to $17.99 a month from $21.99, prompting eight of nine analysts who cover Netflix - on a single day - to downgrade the stock."

Good overview of company's past, present, and possible future.

The New York Times > Technology > For Users, Napster of Old Is Just a Few Tweaks Away

The New York Times > Technology > For Users, Napster of Old Is Just a Few Tweaks Away: "The old Napster, circa 1999, was a vast jukebox with no controls over the illegal copying of music files. The new Napster, which sells legal downloads, is also a vast jukebox, but it was clear last week that the company still has less-than-perfect controls over illegal copying.
Word spread across the Web recently that a few tweaks of WinAmp, a popular music-playing program, and a small plug-in available on the WinAmp Web site would allow users to take a music file protected with Microsoft technology and produce an unprotected copy.
Meanwhile, AOL, which owns the company that makes WinAmp, removed the problematic plug-in from the WinAmp site (copies soon appeared elsewhere) and said it was rushing to fix the glitch in WinAmp."

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft in Internet TV venture

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft in Internet TV venture: "Alcatel, the world's largest provider of broadband Internet equipment, and Microsoft agreed to jointly develop and sell products for watching television via Web connections.
The companies will combine their Internet-Protocol video software, and Alcatel will be the preferred company to install the product for network operators such as SBC Communications, said Alan Mottram, Alcatel's head of fixed solutions.
'Every fixed-line operator is contemplating or already moving to IPTV,' Mottram said in a news conference in Paris yesterday. 'We are integrating the Microsoft TV middleware and Alcatel hardware and software to provide a combined offer.'
The companies worked on the agreement for about a year to solve "issues," Mottram said, without giving details. "Mating elephants is always an interesting proposition." "

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Dave Winer: Google's toolbar and content modification

Dave Winer: Google's toolbar and content modification All the arguments against Google AutoLink in one handy summary. Winer actually says something nice about Microsoft ("Microsoft's Smart Tags provided an opt-out in the form of an HTML meta tag") ... a couple paragraphs before he jumps on the Microsoft = evil bandwagon ("If Google goes ahead with this feature, it seems then that Microsoft will argue that if Google can do it, why can't they?"). Pretty deeply nested, since Winer was also one of the people who (armed with all the facts or not) fueled the controversy about smart tag technology in 2001.

FWIW, BTW, I suspect Microsoft ultimately backed down on smart tag technology in IE during 2001 because the opportunity cost, relative to appearing to capitulate to the controversy at the time, was low -- that is, I suspect Microsoft didn't think it was all that big of a deal -- primarily because they were trying to support smart tags in Office documents published to the web (not exactly the primary Office usage model, then or now) and not, as Winer and others asserted, trying to subvert the Internet by redirecting every page request to MSN.

BEA, Sybase join open-source consortium | CNET

BEA, Sybase join open-source consortium | CNET "Back-end software makers BEA Systems and Sybase have joined the Eclipse open-source foundation, lending two more established companies to the organization.
Both BEA and Sybase have joined as 'strategic developers' and will have seats on the board of Eclipse.
BEA said that the next version of its Java development tool, called WebLogic Workshop, will be based on the Eclipse software, which means that Eclipse-compatible tools will work with Workshop. BEA will also take the lead in the Eclipse Web tools platform project, a first version of which will ship this summer.
Sybase, meanwhile, has been a member of Eclipse since 2002 but is stepping up its commitment and will become a board member. Sybase is also proposing a project called Data Tools Project for database management tools, where it will be the lead developer."

Tangentially, Sun lays off more software developers; maybe Sun should get on board with Eclipse as well, and stop trying to establish an alternative with Netbeans/Java Studio.

Sleek Mac Mini Plays Well with Others

Sleek Mac Mini Plays Well with Others: "In summary: The mini addresses two major issues I've been struggling with for some time. One is that many people who would benefit from having a Mac never get the chance because they are so firmly wedded to Windows. The other is that most of us buy a lot more computing and software performance than we actually use or need.
With its minimalist approach, ability to live right alongside a Windows PC, and low price, the mini is finally a Mac that the non-Apple world could easily embrace. I have friends who've already decided to buy a mini instead of a planned upgrade of their Windows machine, and I bet there will be many more like them.
If you've always wondered about the allure of Macintosh computing, the mini is an inexpensive way to find out. And it's a very nice piece of hardware?regardless of what OS it runs. "

Tim Bray on HST

Tim Bray on HST: "There just haven't been that many books in the history of the world that can make you laugh out loud, over and over, and anybody who writes one is OK by me, and Hunter S. Thompson did. Plus, he changed what the word "journalism" means, plus he helped advance the general understanding of the U.S. electoral process. But maybe those things are less important than a couple hundred pages of perfect comedy. The bloggers are waxing graceful in eulogy; I like Doc's take. HST was a very strong man, but the fact is that decadence in general, and cocaine in particular, take things away that usually don't come back."

More HST from today's Boston Globe: After Thompson's suicide, attorney saw clues

John Robb's Weblog: Google's Strategic Mistake

John Robb's Weblog: Google's Strategic Mistake: "I don't think that Google clearly thought through its decision to move to Web page modification. If they succeed in nullifying the opposition to this, they will open the floodgates to Microsoft to rerelease its version of the concept.
Through modification of the browser, Microsoft could put this on 1,000 times the desktops Google could with its toolbar. Opposition to the concept is the only thing that is stopping Microsoft from doing it today.
It gets worse. The basis of this modification are search-based services. If Microsoft is able to put a basket of search-based services into every Web page most people view with a browser ('search in situ' vs. the site based model), Google could be in real trouble. It could quickly turn Google into Netscape, and I am sure Bill Gates knows this.
This is a bet the company decision."

Via Dave Winer, who summarizes the post as "John Robb calls Google's move into content modification a strategic mistake, a bet-the-company mistake."

A few issues with this:
1. Some fact-checking is in order, on Microsoft's intentions and architecture for smart tag technology in IE circa 2001; there's a bit of folklore at work here.
2. So... the biggest threat with Google's potential "bet-the-company mistake" is that it will "open the floodgates" for Microsoft to do even bigger evil? Not quite objective analysis...

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: ID security breach may affect people in every state, firm says

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: ID security breach may affect people in every state, firm says: "ChoicePoint, under fire for being duped into allowing criminals to access its massive database of personal information, said yesterday that consumers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories may have been affected by the breach of the company's credentialing process.
The data warehouser also announced plans to rescreen 17,000 business customers to make sure they are legitimate.
Formed in 1997 as a spinoff of credit-reporting agency Equifax, ChoicePoint has 19 billion public records in its database at its suburban Atlanta headquarters, including motor-vehicle registrations, license and deed transfers, military records, names, addresses and Social Security numbers." - Qwest Sets Its Sights Anew on MCI - Qwest Sets Its Sights Anew on MCI: "Qwest Communications International Inc., stepping up efforts to overturn Verizon Communications Inc.'s agreement to acquire MCI Inc. for $6.75 billion, is expected to launch a revised offer for MCI this week, people familiar with the situation say.
Qwest has complained that its earlier approaches to MCI, an informal offer and a formal bid, weren't treated properly by MCI, which rejected the Qwest offers and instead agreed to Verizon's, though it was valued at 19% less than Qwest's most recent bid."

From last week's BusinessWeek:
"How do you make a $6.7 billion deal look like a $5.3 billion bargain? The investment bankers working on Verizon Communications Inc.'s VZ ) purchase of MCI Inc. (MCIP ) apparently think they've found a way. And if they pull it off, they'll likely encourage a string of copycats -- all of whom will owe a note of thanks to President George W. Bush for pushing through the 2003 tax cut on dividend income.
To understand why, start on Feb. 14, when Verizon and MCI execs announced their deal. While MCI shareholders would get $6.7 billion if they agree to the sale, Verizon said the purchase would cost its shareholders only $5.3 billion. To make up the difference, MCI agreed to pay its shareholders the extra $1.4 billion, or $4.50 a share, in dividends. The money would come out of MCI's own cash before Verizon ponies up its $5.3 billion and actually takes over. Adding to the fog over the true value of the deal: a second slug of cash, $488 million, would be part of Verizon's payment; moreover, MCI shareholders were already scheduled to receive 40 cents of that suddenly plumper dividend. "We are offering...a total package of about $6.7 billion. But it is $4.8 billion of Verizon equity, and the rest of it is in a variety of cash distributions that come from MCI's cash hoard," said Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan G. Seidenberg in a conference call held with MCI Chief Executive Michael D. Capellas on the morning of the deal.
When deals are structured to save taxes, sellers won't demand as much money from buyers for their companies. If, in turn, buyers find they can do deals by paying less, they'll likely do more deals. How many more is speculation. But even one is probably one more than Congress or the President imagined when they changed the tax law." - IBM Takes New Tack in Server War - IBM Takes New Tack in Server War: "... Unable to compete on price with low-cost leader Dell Inc., IBM is trying to buck the trend and make a commodity device better, hoping that users will pay more for added oomph.
IBM is expected today to unveil a new 'chipset' -- industry lingo for the collection of auxiliary circuitry that surrounds a processor -- that it says increases the performance and capabilities of a plain-vanilla, low-end server. ...
The chipset, dubbed x3, will run in conjunction with central processing chips from Intel inside some of IBM's low-end servers. A typical four-processor configuration will cost around $12,500, IBM says.
Big Blue has been making performance enhancements to Intel servers for years, but executives say this iteration is the most advanced yet, drawing on features from IBM's flagship mainframes as well as from its higher-end servers running the Unix operating system.
X3 designers included 'literally the same people who worked on' the mainframe, says Susan Whitney, who runs IBM's low-end server unit. The chipset includes speed boosts such as an extra layer of 'cache' -- a chunk of high-speed memory -- positioned close to the processor to reduce the amount of time the chip waits for needed data.
That value-added strategy seems to have worked better for IBM, though, in the low-end server market, which industrywide had nearly $19 billion in sales in 2003, according to market researcher IDC. After languishing in the late 1990s as Dell zoomed past, IBM has picked up some ground in recent years. Its share of Intel server market revenue was 19% compared with Dell's 22.2% for the first nine months of 2004, according to IDC data, narrowing a gap that was as large as five percentage points in 2001. Hewlett-Packard Co. is No. 1, with a 32.9% share for the first nine months of 2004." / News / World / Europe / Bush admonishes Russia to commit to democracy / News / World / Europe / Bush admonishes Russia to commit to democracy: "President Bush publicly urged Russia yesterday to adopt 'a commitment to democracy and the rule of law,' delivering an unusually blunt admonishment to Russian President Vladimir Putin three days before the two leaders are set to meet in Slovakia."

Putin should "admonish" Bush to do the same; capitalism != democracy, and the Bush administration's track record on "rules of law" leaves ample room for improvement...

(Clarification: I don't mean to imply capitalism and democracy are mutually exclusive; just pointing out that team W seems to put capitalism ahead of democracy in its priority queue, often with unfortunate ramifications for democracy.)

Monday, February 21, 2005

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.: Guest Post: Is Google's AutoLink Patent Pending -- By Microsoft?

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.: Guest Post: Is Google's AutoLink Patent Pending -- By Microsoft?: "While Google pooh-poohed any comparison of its controversial AutoLink feature to Microsoft's SmartTag technology, Google's generation of dynamic links to maps and use of ISBN numbers to trigger links to booksellers cover the same territory as Microsoft's 2000 patent application for Providing electronic commerce actions based on semantically labeled strings, whose sole inventor - Jeff Reynar - was the lead SmartTag Program Manager while at MS and is reportedly now a Google Product Manager who's being credited as AutoLink's creator. Reynar's patent applications that have been assigned to Microsoft, including one for Smart Links and Tags, describe a world of 'recognizer' plug-ins that automatically look at every document a user creates, receives or views, transmitting messages to 'action' plug-ins - and even to the plug-ins' authors - that can be used to decide what info you'll be presented with, what options you'll be given, what price you'll pay for goods, and even who you'll be permitted to buy from."

(Full post text; see original for several links.)

So... I guess Google should be pretty clear on possible patent infringements...

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger: SmartTag discussion stirs

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger: SmartTag discussion stirs: "... 2) SmartTags in IE were evil because they were loaded in a browser (they only were in a beta of IE and were never shipped) by default and they changed everyone's Web experience."

Scoble gets a bit more outspoken (e.g., "I can't speak for any of our competitors (obviously) but if Microsoft ever does any of the above three, I'll be the first to speak out about it in public. Do some research on just how stringent I was against SmartTags. I am NOT going to back down on this issue, even if Bill Gates comes and slaps me upside the head.") but is, imho, wrong about smart tag technology in IE.

The smart tag support planned for IE was designed to make it possible for people using smart tag technology to have similar experiences when using Office apps as well as Office content published to Web pages and viewed through IE. It used the same client-side execution model used in Word and Excel, and wasn't conducive to evil -- unless you explicitly enabled smart tag recognizers and/or action handlers provided by evil sources.

See this article (pdf) for more on my smart stuff perspectives.

Napster hack leads to free downloads | CNET

Napster hack leads to free downloads | CNET "It's like the old Napster all over again: all the music you want for free, as long as you're willing to get a little geeky.
Blogs were buzzing Tuesday about the resurgence of an old technique for recording music on a computer, reapplied to Napster's all-you-can-eat subscription music plan. Using software freely available from America Online's Winamp division, it's possible to turn Napster's copy-protected downloads into unprotected files that can be burned by the hundreds or even thousands freely to CDs. "


The New York Times > Business > World Business > Europe Teems With Web Dailies That Twit the Mainstream Press

The New York Times > Business > World Business > Europe Teems With Web Dailies That Twit the Mainstream Press: "Across the world, their sharp comments can provoke an array of reactions: amusement, insults, public outrage, blunt legal threats. Yet these Web sites and Web logs, or blogs, are scoured by policy makers and the political elite.
'It's a phenomenon that has grown very much,' said Monica Ridruejo, a former member of the European Parliament who runs her own media consulting firm, Dragonaria, in Madrid. 'People like to see the scoops there, and everyone talks about them at lunchtime.'
Advertisers are also taking notice, with distinct regional differences. For example, big banks and telecommunication companies post strategic banners on popular Spanish digital press sites, known as confidenciales, for their mix of spicy insider gossip about business, politics and the media. But conventional advertisers steer clear in Italy, where a popular tabloid-style site, Dagospia, feasts on pornographic advertising." / News / Boston Globe / Magazine / What Are Video Games Turning Us Into? / News / Boston Globe / Magazine / What Are Video Games Turning Us Into?: "... more than 60 percent of the American population has played some kind of video game. Kids are gaming younger than ever - half of all children aged 4 to 6 have played video games, and a quarter say they do so regularly. And children, boys in particular, are abandoning traditional toys like action figures, building sets, and puzzles for video games. For the first time, children starting to game today are likely to have parents who played as teenagers themselves - the Atari 2600, the first video-game console to really hit it big in American living rooms, was released in 1977; Pac-Man was born in 1980; and the totemic Nintendo console debuted in 1986. And what's new is that gamers are showing no signs of stopping as they hit adulthood; the average age of video gamers is 29, and 17 percent of gamers are older than 50. All of this digital delight has made gaming a multibillion- dollar enterprise, one that frequently beats the earnings posted by the television and movie industries. Last year, Americans spent $9.9 billion on video games, on consoles like PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube, and on hand-held systems like Game Boy and Nintendo DS, as well as on various accessories, according to the NPD Group, a market-research firm. And then there is the $1 billion that buyers paid for PC games and accessories."

Timely reality check on gaming ramifications.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The New York Times > Technology > Are You Ready to Listen to a Podcast?

The New York Times > Technology > Are You Ready to Listen to a Podcast? List of several podcasting sites including
" - five podcasts from Grand Forks, N.D., including "Why Fish," the "Miller Report" and "The Mayor's Podcast""

The New York Times > Technology > Tired of TiVo? Beyond Blogs? Podcasts Are Here

The New York Times > Technology > Tired of TiVo? Beyond Blogs? Podcasts Are Here: "Since August, when Adam Curry, a former MTV video jockey, and David Winer, an early Web log writer, developed the podcasting technology, 3,075 podcasts have sprung up around the world, according to a Web site,, that offers downloads of podcasting software.
From 'Say Yum,' a California couple's musings about food and music, to 'Lifespring,' a Christian show whose creator said he had a vision to podcast, to 'Dutch Cheese and American Pie,' by a Dutch citizen planning to move to the United States, these shows cover a broad variety of topics.
Podcasts are a little like reality television, a little like 'Wayne's World,' and are often likened to TiVo, which allows television watchers to download only the programs they want to watch and to skip advertising, for radio or blogs but spoken. "

Too weird for words: a podcasting story in the NYT from Grand Forks, ND -- where I grew up.

Friday, February 18, 2005

CRN | Breaking News | BEA Expected To Join Eclipse Effort

CRN | Breaking News | BEA Expected To Join Eclipse Effort: "In a sign of continued realignment in software tools, BEA Systems next week is slated to formally join the Eclipse effort, industry sources said.
One industry observer said BEA's alliance with Sun Microsystems, another Eclipse holdout, has fractured. Last fall, BEA and IBM defected from a Sun-led push to entrench the Java Business Integration specification. BEA and IBM--bitter rivals in Web application servers--instead threw their weight behind the Business Process Execution Language specification. "

Optimizing Communication and Collaboration with Microsoft Technologies

Optimizing Communication and Collaboration with Microsoft Technologies FYI Microsoft moved to a more accurate title for the multi-city tour I'm involved with -- it's not exclusively about Notes

ABC News: One-on-One with Bill Gates

ABC News: One-on-One with Bill Gates: "JENNINGS: On the subject of music, I read somewhere that about 80 percent of Microsoft employees who have a music playing instrument or a music playing device use an iPod.
GATES: Well, I doubt that's the case. Certainly, the iPod's a great success.
JENNINGS: Do you have one?
GATES: No, I'm not an iPod user. I use the Creative Zen which is a fantastic product. That's another space where, even what we have today, whether it's iPod or the other things are only the start of what we're gonna have in a few years. People are gonna want choices. These things are going to be smaller or better, cheaper. So, music has changed. The age of the CD is really coming to an end.
JENNINGS: The public likes this tension between you and the others as I'm sure you know. So people want to know do you have an iPod. You say you don't have. Did iPod beat you in this issue?
GATES: Oh the iPod did a great job, but what Apple's done there is typically what they do. It's their, only their one music store, only their device. What we're doing is providing choices. So it's like the Apple computer versus the PC. With the PC you can buy from many companies so you get cheaper prices, you get more variety and here with music devices we're coming in with the same. But they're a strong leader in the space and I think as we gain share, people will be surprised.
JENNINGS: But, it isn't hard for you is it to stand back and compliment somebody else?
GATES: No, particularly Steve Jobs who's done a lot of amazing things in our business. " - Another Form of Encryption Goes Down for the Count - Another Form of Encryption Goes Down for the Count: "News that a nine-year-old encryption method--one that underlies the protection of virtually all secure online communications--appears to have been cracked by a team of three Chinese researchers has spurred encryption experts around the world to issue a call to action.
The standard, known as SHA-1, 'is used in pretty much every cryptographic protocol out there,' says encryption expert Bruce Schneier. '[SHA-1 is] used in SSH, in SSL, in S/MIME, in PGP. It's used in IPSec. VPNs use it. Everybody uses it.'
The scope of the problem is enormous. Virtually all application and server software that incorporates SHA-1 into its functions--including Web browsers, e-mail clients, instant messaging programs, secure shell clients, and file- and disk-encryption software--will need to be replaced or upgraded.
'We all sort of knew this could happen, but we didn't expect it this bad, this soon,' says Schneier, who also blogs about security topics. "

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.: Google Emulates Microsoft, Uh Oh

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.: Google Emulates Microsoft, Uh Oh: "Several years ago, Microsoft was pounded -- correctly -- for the 'Smart Tags' feature it was slipping onto people's PCs. This essentially created hyperlinks where none had existed before, and sent people clicking on those links to Microsoft-chosen content. It was insidious, and a number of folks, with Walt Mossberg in the lead, denounced the move so loudly that the company was basically forced to back away. (Of course, Microsoft being Microsoft, the company slipped it back into Office in the 2003 version, one more reason I didn't 'upgrade' on my Windows PC.)
Now Google, using its own growing clout, is doing something similar with its latest 'Google Toolbar' for Internet Explorer on PCs, says Search Engine Watch. No, Google doesn't control the operating system, and if I understand this correctly the feature isn't turned on by default (please correct me if this is not the case). Moreover, it only works with certain kinds of terms, and you have to explictly download the toolbar in the first place. And, of course, no one has to use this -- one more reason to choose Firefox as your browser, anyway. "

This unfortunately perpetuates some of the misperceptions about smart tag technology -- it uses a client-side, loosely-coupled recognizer/action handler model that isn't conducive to the sorts of Machiavellian scenarios projected by its critics.

Of course, the same may not be true for the new Google features...

Google blazes trail to Oregon | CNET

Google blazes trail to Oregon | CNET "Google has bought 30 acres of land from the Port Authority of The Dalles, Oregon, for a new technology infrastructure facility, the Web search giant said Thursday.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Google is expected to pay $1.87 million for the parcel of industrial-zoned land 85 miles east of Portland, with an option to buy three other area sites.
The new facility would be Google's second operations outpost in the Pacific Northwest. Last November, Google opened an office in Kirkland, Wash., just a few miles from the headquarters of Microsoft, which recently launched a rival search engine. "

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Advertising: Interactive Viral Campaigns Ask Consumers to Spread the Word

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Advertising: Interactive Viral Campaigns Ask Consumers to Spread the Word: "As more Americans become comfortable with the Web, though, major marketers are increasingly asking agencies to produce elaborate, interactive online campaigns - even for grocery store goods that hardly anyone researches or buys online.
One of the shiniest lures online is the developing field of viral advertising, in which companies try to create messages so compelling, funny or suggestive that consumers spontaneously share them with friends, often through e-mail or cellphone text messages. The goal is the exponential spread of ads that are endorsed by consumers' own friends."

Information Protection: Microsoft's Windows Rights Management Services Sparks a New Breed of Solutions

Information Protection: Microsoft's Windows Rights Management Services Sparks a New Breed of Solutions: "The topic of information protection -- long subject No. 1 in IT security circles -- is heating up in the boardroom. New regulations and competitive pressures have heightened the stakes for companies to put effective controls on business data, whether it resides in corporate e-mails, documents, intranet portals or CAD drawings.
Most organizations depend on digital information to run their business, but conventional approaches to protecting that data -- firewalls, access control and encryption -- have remained largely unchanged. According to Microsoft's Suzanne Kalberer, the current methods are all important, but all share one significant vulnerability.
'Access control and firewalls keep intruders out, and encryption protects data in transit,' says Kalberer, a product manager in Microsoft's Security Business & Technology Unit. 'But people basically have the freedom to do whatever they wish with the information once it's in their hands, and this problem is magnified once it leaves the company domain.
After listening to customers express their need for a better way to protect sensitive information, Microsoft entered the enterprise rights management (ERM) space in the latter half of 2003 with the release of Microsoft's Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) for Windows Server 2003. "

Yahoo! News - Microsoft Walking Fine Line with Security Push

Yahoo! News - Microsoft Walking Fine Line with Security Push: "As Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) prepares to ship new software to protect its Windows operating system, a top target for malicious programers and hackers, the world's largest software maker also faces another threat -- the scrutiny of antitrust regulators fearing the monopolist could choke off competition.
If Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft ties its new anti-virus software, expected out later this year, too closely to Windows or prices it steeply below anti-virus software offered by vendors such as McAfee Inc. (NYSE:MFE - news) and Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC - news), antitrust regulators could turn their attention toward the company again. "

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > The Times Company Acquires for $410 Million

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > "The Times Company Acquires for $410 Million: "he New York Times Company announced yesterday that it would acquire About Inc. and its Web site,, from Primedia Inc. for $410 million.
Times Company officials said the acquisition would add a fast-growing, highly profitable Web site to the company's portfolio and would increase the company's revenue from the expanding online advertising business.
By adding About's 22 million monthly users to the Times Company's 13 million monthly users - from The New York Times, The Boston Globe and more than 40 other Web sites - the company said it would have the 12th-largest presence on the Internet."

Thursday, February 17, 2005

[print version] Fight over 'forms' clouds future of Net applications | CNET

[print version] Fight over 'forms' clouds future of Net applications | CNET "As Net heavyweights vie to define the next generation of Web applications, the Web's main standards body is facing a revolt within its own ranks over electronic forms, a cornerstone of interactive documents.
This week, a breakaway faction of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) said its work on the Web Forms 2.0 specification is nearly done and put out a call for final comments. The splinter group, which includes browser makers Apple Computer, the Mozilla Foundation and Opera Software, calls itself WHAT-WG, or the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group.
The move brings a new entry into the race to take forms software to the next level, complicating efforts to create an open standards foundation for emerging Internet applications that could shape the competitive landscape in software development for years to come. It also marks a major new headache for the W3C, whose XForms recommendation, unveiled in 2003, has long been stymied amid resistance from proprietary software makers, especially Microsoft.
'At the moment it's mass confusion,' said Dharmesh Mistry, chief technology officer of Newbury, U.K.-based EdgeIPK, which builds forms-based applications for clients in the financial services industry. 'The W3C is saying the answer is XForms. Microsoft is saying it's XAML. Macromedia is saying its Flash MX. And Mozilla is saying it's XUL. If you look at it from the point of view of an organization, you're not going to say, 'We're going to write our rich Internet applications in one language, and the forms in XForms.''"

MSNBC - Steamrollered by the Dell Machine

MSNBC - Steamrollered by the Dell Machine: "Of all the cards dealt to Carly Fiorina, the now departed HP diva, there was one that just couldn't be played. Dell. She fought like a tiger to merge her company with Compaq, hoping that two of the more innovative-minded computer makers might bring on some agita for Michael Dell and his CEO Kevin Rollins. But last spring at an industry confab, Rollins was boasting that Dell reaps more than 100 percent of the profits in the entire industry."

Extending Lotus Notes with Microsoft Collaboration Technologies

Extending Lotus Notes with Microsoft Collaboration Technologies: "Microsoft has developed a unique and comprehensive set of platforms, tools, applications, and solutions for today's communication and collaboration needs. The Microsoft Collaboration platform, including the Microsoft Office System, SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Exchange and the .NET Framework, can deliver tremendous Information Worker solutions that improve the way your organization collaborates.
You can reap the benefits of these technologies even while you maintain your existing investments in Notes infrastructure and developer talent. Find out what is possible by attending this FREE EVENT, specially designed for Notes customers."

FYI I'm speaking at this event -- my presentation is an overview of enterprise communication/collaboration market dynamics. See this page for an index of cities and dates.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Study finds Windows more secure than Linux

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Study finds Windows more secure than Linux: "Believe it or not, a Windows Web server is more secure than a similarly set-up Linux server, according to a study presented yesterday by two Florida researchers.
The researchers, appearing at the RSA Conference of computer-security professionals, discussed the findings in an event, 'Security Showdown: Windows vs. Linux.' One of them, a Linux fan, runs an open-source server at home; the other is a Microsoft enthusiast. They wanted to cut through the near-religious arguments about which system is better from a security standpoint.
'I actually was wrong. The results are very surprising, and there are going to be some people who are skeptical,' said Richard Ford, a computer-science professor at the Florida Institute of Technology who favors Linux. " - Personal Technology: While Switching to Mac Will Improve Security, It Isn't for Everybody - Personal Technology: While Switching to Mac Will Improve Security, It Isn't for Everybody: "In general, the best candidates for a switch to the Mac are those who use their computers overwhelmingly for common, mainstream consumer tasks. These include e-mail, instant messaging and Web browsing; word processing, spreadsheets and presentations; working with photos, home videos and digital music; and playing and creating CDs and DVDs.
The Mac is as good as Windows at these core tasks, and in many cases better. Still, you certainly shouldn't consider switching to the Mac if you are happy with Windows and you aren't much affected by viruses and spyware."

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 The Best Internet Innovation In Years The Best Internet Innovation In Years: "Let me just come right out and say it. is the most useful, smartest, coolest, easiest-to-use Web innovation to come around in years. is a new approach to Internet search, but make no mistake: It is not search. With one click delivers instant information, not Web links, laid out cleanly on one page."

Great to see the people who created GuruNet (aka Atomica) get this kind of coverage.

nat friedman: The Hula Project

nat friedman: The Hula Project : "Our direction is distinct from other open source collaboration server projects in that we're not trying to build every conceivable bit of functionality that someone might consider 'collaboration' into the server. Instead, we are focused on building great calendar and mail functionality. The dominant collaboration solutions today (Exchange and Notes) are built on a pre-Internet design and are just no fun to use for real people who live on the web, who collaborate across organizational boundaries (or who don't have organizational boundaries to worry about), who want light-weight tools and URLs for their meetings and their appointments on their cell phone and so on. "

Convoq Announces the First Free Web Conferencing

Convoq Announces the First Free Web Conferencing : "Convoq, Inc., today announced from DEMO@15!, the annual conference that focuses on emerging technologies and new products, the immediate availability of ASAP Express, the first free Web conferencing service for everyday meetings. ASAP Express enables users to conduct unlimited free one-to-one Web meetings featuring VoIP audio, video, text chat, screen sharing, PowerPoint and file transfer. The service is available for download at"

Novell Unveils 'Hula' Open-Source Collaboration Project

Novell Unveils 'Hula' Open-Source Collaboration Project: "Novell Inc. is forming a new open-source community project to create a collaboration server called Hula, CEO Jack Messman said during his keynote speech at LinuxWorld here on Tuesday.
Hula will be a groupware calendar and mail server. The new program is licensed under both the GNU Lesser GPL (General Public License) and the MPL (Mozilla Public License).
The Hula server will be built on open Internet standards such as SMTP, IMAP, iCalendar and the emerging CalDAV calendar access protocol. It will also include an extensible architecture enabling it to be integrated with other projects such as Open-Xchange and the Mozilla Foundation's e-mail client Thunderbird and scheduling program, Sunbird. " Chief humanising officer Chief humanising officer "ROBERT SCOBLE, known in the blogosphere as “the Scobleizer”, is a phenomenon not just because he has had an unusually strange career of late, but because his example might mark the beginning of the end of “corporate communications” as we know it. Mr Scoble is, first, a blogger—ie, somebody who keeps an online journal (called a “web log” or “blog”) to which he posts thoughts and web links several times a day. But Mr Scoble is also an employee of Microsoft, the world's largest software company, where he holds the official title of “technical evangelist”. Those two roles are intertwined. It was his blogging prowess that led to his job, and much of the job consists of blogging.
Mr Scoble seems to be worth his salary. He has become a minor celebrity among geeks worldwide, who read his blog religiously. Impressively, he has also succeeded where small armies of more conventional public-relations types have been failing abjectly for years: he has made Microsoft, with its history of monopolistic bullying, appear marginally but noticeably less evil to the outside world, and especially to the independent software developers that are his core audience. Bosses and PR people at other companies are taking note."

Security Software Shootout

Security Software Shootout: "A few hours later, Thompson, a man who runs a company that has earned a great deal of money making Microsoft's software more secure, took the same stage at the sprawling Moscone Convention Center. It took him all of five minutes to take his first swipe at his famous counterpart from Redmond.
'I could try to be like Bill and show you product demos or talk about our product road map, but I thought our time together would be better spent if we took a more strategic view of what we do,' Thompson said.
The software industry could very well be seeing the first stages of its next clash of the titans. On one side is Microsoft, the industry giant with two monopolies, a reputation for creating software that hackers love, and a plan for a broad set of security software to both improve its reputation and better protect its customers. "

Wireless: NewsFactor Network - Wireless Systems - Motorola, Skype Team on Mobile VoIP

Wireless: NewsFactor Network - Wireless Systems - Motorola, Skype Team on Mobile VoIP: "Motorola is working with internet telephony firm Skype to develop products including headsets and mobile devices for Skype's 25 million Voice over IP users.
The companies said that the initial focus of the collaboration will be on co-marketing 'Skype Ready' products from Motorola, such as Bluetooth headsets, dongles and speakerphones, and the delivery of the Skype 'experience' on some Motorola mobile devices."

InfoWorld: Microsoft, Flextronics team for mobile platform

InfoWorld: Microsoft, Flextronics team for mobile platform: "'Mobile phones will be what PCs were in the 1990s - the new platform,' said David Passmore, research director for the Burton Group.
'This move is for more than phones,' Passmore said. 'A lot more devices will migrate into what we now think of as a phone. All the things you now can do on a networked PC will do on phone. You need a nice software platform, and Microsoft has to catch up on the action. Microsoft has to have a solution they can offer to mobile operators. They've got to have hardware as well as software.'"

ACM Ubiquity - A Concise Guide to the Major Internet Bodies

ACM Ubiquity - A Concise Guide to the Major Internet Bodies: "The bodies responsible for the Internet's protocols and parameters can be said to steer the Internet in a significant sense. This document, by Alex Simonelis of Dawson College in Montreal, is a summary of those bodies and their most important characteristics."

Handy reference

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Microsoft and Singapore firm team up on 'smartphones'

Microsoft and Singapore firm team up on 'smartphones': "Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership with Singapore-based Flextronics International Ltd. yesterday to market a new range of high-specification phones, running Windows Mobile, to handset makers and network operators worldwide.
The deal between the world's No. 1 software company and the largest contract manufacturer of handsets comes as companies like Motorola Inc. and Samsung Electronics Ltd. are pushing to improve profits on high-tech 'smartphones' and wireless services."

E-Commerce Report: Simplifying Web Checkouts

The New York Times > Technology > E-Commerce Report: Simplifying Web Checkouts: "For many e-commerce sites, the shopping cart is where transactions go to die.
About half of prospective customers bail out of their purchases sometime after selecting products and before hitting the buy button, according to Forrester Research, a technology consultant. That phenomenon has prompted sites like and to find new ways to shepherd customers smoothly through the checkout process. As traditional retailers sharpen their online operations, those kinds of improvements could be critical in winning business."

Good to see the value of "rich Internet applications" getting mainstream press coverage.

The New York Times > Technology > E-Commerce Report: Simplifying Web Checkouts

The New York Times > Technology > E-Commerce Report: Simplifying Web Checkouts: "For many e-commerce sites, the shopping cart is where transactions go to die.
About half of prospective customers bail out of their purchases sometime after selecting products and before hitting the buy button, according to Forrester Research, a technology consultant. That phenomenon has prompted sites like and to find new ways to shepherd customers smoothly through the checkout process. As traditional retailers sharpen their online operations, those kinds of improvements could be critical in winning business."

Good to see the value of "rich Internet applications" getting mainstream press coverage.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft shifts tactics for security on Internet

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft shifts tactics for security on Internet: "One of the products coming this year shows just how far Microsoft has moved from its original Passport vision. Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), a product to help companies share their collections of digital identities across the Internet, is included in an updated version of Windows Server 2003 appearing in the second half of this year.
An early challenge to Passport came from a coalition of competitors and corporations that advocated for a network of 'federated' identity-management systems that worked together, on different software platforms, rather than a large system managed by a single company such as Microsoft.
Microsoft has since embraced the federated approach and is working with IBM on one of two leading standards. It's also working with Sun Microsystems, one of Passport's biggest critics, to make their platforms work better together.
'I think the monolithic, centralized approach that Passport epitomized has given way to a more loosely coupled, federated approach,' said Gerry Gebel, an analyst with the Burton Group in Salt Lake City. "

The New York Times > Technology > Bloggers as News Media Trophy Hunters

The New York Times > Technology > Bloggers as News Media Trophy Hunters: "With the resignation Friday of a top news executive from CNN, bloggers have laid claim to a prominent media career for the second time in five months.
In September, conservative bloggers exposed flaws in a report by Dan Rather; he subsequently announced that on March 9 he would step down as anchor of the 'CBS Evening News.' On Friday, after nearly two weeks of intensifying pressure on the Internet, Eason Jordan, the chief news executive at CNN, abruptly resigned after being besieged by the online community. Morever, last week liberal bloggers forced a sketchily credentialed White House reporter to quit his post." - Verizon Agrees to Buy MCI for $6.75 Billion - Verizon Agrees to Buy MCI for $6.75 Billion: "Verizon Communications Inc. announced Monday it will acquire MCI Inc. for $6.75 billion in cash, shares and dividends, marking the end of the last independent long-distance giant in the U.S.
The two companies said Verizon will pay $4.8 billion in stock and $488 million in cash under the deal. The transaction values MCI at $20.75 a share, they said. Verizon's deal follows a $6.3 billion bid that MCI received from Qwest Communications International Inc. in early February.
MCI also said Monday that its revenue fell 10% in the latest quarter."

Friday, February 11, 2005

A Conversation with Alan Kay

A Conversation with Alan Kay: "When you want to gain a historical perspective on personal computing and programming languages, why not turn to one of the industry's preeminent pioneers? That would be Alan Kay, winner of last year's Turing Award for leading the team that invented Smalltalk, as well as for his fundamental contributions to personal computing."

This is must-read material for anyone interested in programming languages. - Verizon-MCI Talks Advance; Merger Deal May Be Days Away - Verizon-MCI Talks Advance; Merger Deal May Be Days Away: "Talks between Verizon Communications Inc. and MCI Inc. advanced yesterday, and the two companies could announce a deal in the next few days, according to people close to the situation.
Key issues, including exact price and who will end up running certain operations, remained fluid last night. But these people said those matters could be worked out soon. Movement toward a deal has gathered momentum."

While in 2001: Ebbers Avoided Verizon Deal, Trial Is Told -- in order to avoid scrutiny of Worldcom's then extensively-cooked books...

Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - Carly Fiorina Resigns As H-P CEO, Chairman - Carly Fiorina Resigns As H-P CEO, Chairman: "Hewlett-Packard Co.'s board announced that Carly Fiorina has stepped down as chairman and chief executive, effective immediately, over strategic disagreements.
Robert P. Wayman, H-P's chief financial officer, has been named interim CEO and appointed to the board. Patricia C. Dunn, an H-P director since 1998, has been named nonexecutive chairman, also effective immediately, the company said.
'While I regret the board and I have differences about how to execute H-P's strategy, I respect their decision,' said Ms. Fiorina in H-P's press release. 'H-P is a great company and I wish all the people of H-P much success in the future,' she said."

Google blogger has left the building | CNET

Google blogger has left the building | CNET "Mark Jen, a blogger whose candid comments about life on the job at Google sparked controversy last month, has left the company.
'Mark is no longer an employee at Google,' a Google representative said in response to an inquiry Tuesday. Efforts to reach Jen for comment were not immediately successful.
While details of Jen's departure are unclear, the newbie Googler ran into trouble at the company almost immediately when he decided to record his impressions of Google on a blog called Ninetyninezeros--one zero short of the mathematical term known as a "googol.""

Google Blog: Get the picture

Google Blog: Get the picture: "If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Google Image Search is now worth 1 trillion, 187 billion, 63 million words. Yes, that's right, math majors; we've updated our image index, and now offer users precisely 1.18763 billion newly updated images of purple flowers, Lamborghinis and whatever else you care to look at.
In fact, we're so excited about the quality and comprehensiveness of our updated image index, we've even begun sprinkling a few images into the regular search results for certain search terms. If you do a Google web search for, say, sunsets, Mount St. Helens, or other queries for which our algorithms think pictures might be relevant results, you may see a few pictures at the top of your search results page, along with a link to complete image search results for that query. "

Busy times at Google...

The New York Times > CNET > Technology > Google Launches Map Service

The New York Times > CNET > Technology > Google Launches Map Service: "In its latest play in the ongoing search wars, Google on Tuesday quietly launched a beta site for a new map service.
Google Maps offers maps, driving directions and the ability to search for local businesses. The search giant appears to be working with TeleAtlas for the mapping products. Neither Google nor TeleAtlas could be reached for comment.
The service offers a few tweaks to standard mapping products. Someone using the service can click and drag the maps, instead of having to click and reload, for example, and magnified views of specific spots pop up in bubbles. The new map service supports Internet Explorer and Mozilla browsers. It covers the United States, Puerto Rico and parts of Canada." - Aiming to Fix Flaws, Microsoft Buys Another Antivirus Firm - Aiming to Fix Flaws, Microsoft Buys Another Antivirus Firm: "With Sybari, Microsoft gains a specialist in software that filters out viruses, worms and spam from big e-mail systems. Microsoft didn't disclose terms of the deal, but some analysts estimate it to be valued at $140 million to $180 million, based on financial details Sybari had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of a plan to take its stock public this year. The East Northport, N.Y., company, was founded in 1995.
The deal builds on existing work at Microsoft to create antivirus software for personal computers. These programs are based partly on technology and expertise Microsoft acquired in 2003 when it purchased a Romanian antivirus company. In addition, in December Microsoft bought a small maker of software for stopping spyware; it released a test version of that program last month."

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Microsoft to Acquire Enterprise Anti-Virus Security Provider Sybari Software

Microsoft to Acquire Enterprise Anti-Virus Security Provider Sybari Software: "Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has signed definitive agreements to acquire Sybari Software Inc., a leading provider of security products that help more than 10,000 businesses worldwide protect their messaging and collaboration servers from viruses, worms and spam. Microsoft will use this acquisition to further provide its enterprise customers with new solutions to help protect them from malicious software."

Somehow I suspect this is not happy news for customers of Sybari's Domino-focused anti-spam and anti-virus products.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: IBM-Sony-Toshiba processor unveiled

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: IBM-Sony-Toshiba processor unveiled: "Designers say their chip, code-named Cell and built from the start with the burgeoning world of rich media and broadband networks in mind, can deliver 10 times the performance over today's PC processors.
It also will not carry the same technical baggage that has made most of today's computers compatible with older PCs. That architectural divergence will challenge the current dominant paradigm of computing that Microsoft and Intel have fostered."

A key question: will Microsoft support it with Windows XP/Server 2003/Longhorn? The PAL (processor abstraction layer) in the Windows architecture is still there, so it's certainly feasible; WIndows NT used to run on MIPS, Motorola, and IBM Power PC (although never marketed as a product, IIRC) as well as Intel...

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: AT&T was finally done in by forces that built its success

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: AT&T was finally done in by forces that built its success: "Last week, AT&T, better known as Ma Bell, agreed to be eaten by one of its progeny, the Baby Bell named SBC. The Oedipal irony is more than just another story about mergers and acquisitions. It's an epic saga about Washington and its fickle relations with the world of commerce."

Useful snapshot/summary; the saga continues... - Intel Hastens Delivery of Chips Amid Increasing Competition - Intel Hastens Delivery of Chips Amid Increasing Competition: "Intel Corp. detailed plans for giving personal computers the equivalent of two electronic brains, the latest sign of pressures that are forcing companies to roll out technology quickly.
The company said it will deliver two separate kinds of 'dual-core' microprocessors for desktop computers in the second quarter. Intel also said those chips will process 64 bits of data at a time, a capability that allows computers to exploit much more memory than existing 32-bit chips. Intel previously said it would have dual-core chips and 64-bit technology sometime in 2005, prompting speculation that such features would arrive late this year.
Chips with multiple processors are among many performance-enhancing technologies discussed yesterday at the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco. A closely watched example of the trend is Cell, a chip being designed jointly by International Business Machines Corp., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Inc." - Ask Jeeves Acquires Trustic, Which Runs Bloglines Web Site - Ask Jeeves Acquires Trustic, Which Runs Bloglines Web Site: "Ask Jeeves Inc. plans to announce today that it has acquired Trustic Inc., whose popular Bloglines Internet site lets users track and search Web logs.
The acquisition, for which financial terms weren't disclosed, is the latest move by a search-engine company to provide users with tools for tapping into blogs, which are simple journal-like Web sites whose numbers and audience have swelled over the past year.
Bloglines is a free online service that lets users track their favorite blogs as well as other Web sites and view updates of those sites in a single place. It allows users to search for blogs and create their own."

Monday, February 07, 2005

Dell's Manifest Destiny

Dell's Manifest Destiny "In an industry characterized by shaky finances, Dell's numbers are impressive. Two years ago, the company set a goal of doubling revenue, from $30 billion to $60 billion, in five years. When its revenue for fiscal 2005 is reported later this month, the company is expected to have hit nearly $50 billion, about a year ahead of schedule.
Despite attempts to diversify its product line, PCs still represent the majority of Dell's revenue, about 79% if you include laptops, compared with 21% for servers and other enterprise products. Last year, Dell was the largest provider of PCs worldwide, with 18% market share, according to research firm IDC, slightly ahead of Hewlett-Packard, at 16%. Also, Dell recorded 23% unit growth worldwide over 2003. Domestically, Dell had 33% of the PC market last year, while HP, its closest competitor, had 20%.
With IBM selling off its PC business to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo Group Ltd., CEO Rollins believes Dell is primed to dominate the market. "In some of the business units in the United States, we're already closer to 40% to 50% market share, so that tells us it's possible worldwide," Rollins says. Dell sees future growth outside PCs, too. "We want to see our servers, storage, printers, and services business share as high as our PC market share," Rollins says. "You add all those things up, and the notion of a $60 billion to $80 billion company is pretty simple to get to."

Sun floats open-source database idea | CNET

Sun floats open-source database idea | CNET "Sun Microsystems has raised the possibility that it might offer customers its own database, a move that could trigger displeasure at Oracle but curry favor with open-source advocates.
Chief Executive Scott McNealy offered the provocative idea Wednesday at a meeting of influential financial analysts at Sun's headquarters here. During a speech, he showed a slide that placed the words 'Sun DB' next to a list of existing database products.
McNealy offered no details besides 'stay tuned,' but Sun President Jonathan Schwartz indicated in an interview that database software is one possible way Sun plans to extend into new open-source software realms. "

I can't imagine how this is going to play out as a net gain for Sun or its customers, but I can think of many scenarios in which Sun could alienate key partners and open source advocates by trying to be a bit too clever with its DBMS plans...

The New York Times > Technology > E-Commerce Report: A New Direction at Google

The New York Times > Technology > E-Commerce Report: A New Direction at Google: "Eileen Rodriguez, a Google spokeswoman, hardly quelled the speculation by explaining that the whole thing was really a learning opportunity for the company. Google 'has become a domain name registrar to learn more about the Internet's domain name system,' she said recently in an e-mail message. 'While we have no plans to register domains at this time, we believe this information can help us increase the quality of our search results.'
Ms. Rodriguez would not say how having registrar status might help Google improve search results. But Bret Fausett, who publishes, a Web log following the domain name industry, and who first disclosed the news that Google had become a registrar, said Google could improve the quality of search results by getting better access to the list of expiring domain names - a list available only to registrars."

Let's see -- Blogger is still one of (if not the) most popular blogging tools, Gmail is apparently ramping up to go beyond "beta," now offering 50 account invitations to current users (LMK if you've been on Planet 10 for a few months and need an invitation), and Google has hired key Firefox developers; one-stop shopping complete with your preferred domain name would certainly be a logical option.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Jon Udell: Office conference wrapup

Jon Udell: Office conference wrapup: "Attendee: Those of us who saw the webstore in Sharepoint 2001 thought, wow, that's sort of what Cairo was going to be. And now looking at WinFS, it has vague echoes of what webstore was going to be. Is SQL really the underlying storage that's going to be in Sharepoint in the future?
Gates: Yeah, what's happened is that there's this dream of unified storage, which is the world of files, mail, records, all these things coming together in a very rich store. That's a dream we've been investing in for a long long time. It's about taking a very advanced version of SQL that can deal with XML, and can deal with streams, and putting a very high-level data model -- you could almost call it an entity-relationship data model -- on top of SQL, so it can deal with all these things. And that's the path we're going down. WinFS is merely the client implementation of that strategy. And so what Sharepoint is going to sit on top of is a database engine, and WinFS is just a framework on top of this database engine, those are one and the same thing. It's the next big iteration of SQL that gives us all of those powers. It's perfectly symmetric -- client to server, WinFS to Sharepoint. It's not even clear that WinFS and Sharepoint are necessary because what you're going to see is they're exactly the same thing. Sharepoint just evolves up on the server, WinFS evolves down on the client."

The story continues to evolve...

InformationWeek > SAP > Ex-Sun Exec Paolini Joins SAP > February 4, 2005

InformationWeek > SAP > Ex-Sun Exec Paolini Joins SAP > February 4, 2005: "You might be hearing more soon from George Paolini, the former Sun Microsystems exec who found himself in the middle of the Java wars in the 1990s. German software maker SAP hired Paolini about two weeks ago to work out of its Palo Alto, Calif., office to run its expanding independent software vendor program. He'll be a senior VP at SAP and will report to executive board member Shai Agassi.
Paolini, who'd spent the last two years at Borland Software Corp., spent eight years at Sun before departing in 2001. He was perhaps best known there for running the Java Community Process, a system Sun established for making technical and business decisions about its Java programming language. By the late '90s, Paolini was involved in industry spats with IBM and Microsoft over Sun's control of Java."

WebEx Slaps Citrix with Cyber-Squatting Suit

WebEx Slaps Citrix with Cyber-Squatting Suit: "A week after entering the remote-access market, WebEx Communications has sued one of its top competitors for allegedly cyber-squatting.
WebEx Communications Inc. announced Thursday that it has filed a federal lawsuit against Citrix Systems Inc., accusing the competitor of intentionally registering a series of Internet domain names that contain the name of WebEx's new service."

MyWebExPC (free for up to 5 PCs until 2005/04/04, then $9.95/PC/month for full-featured version; see Plans) is an interesting twist on WebEx's services/positioning.

World's largest Linux migration gets major boost - Computerworld

World's largest Linux migration gets major boost - Computerworld: "The world's largest Linux migration is speeding ahead, with the German national railway announcing today that it has successfully moved all of its 55,000 Lotus Notes users to the open-source operating system.
"This strategic choice is further proof that Linux has matured as a strategic enterprise platform offering a variety of advantages like cost savings, shorter development time and a high level of security," said Steve Menadue, European vice president for IBM's technology group. "IBM continues to deliver strong support for Linux across all of IBM's technology platforms as still more companies look for simple, safe and cost-effective enterprise computing.""

IBM claimed, at Lotusphere, that the R7 Linux version of Domino will have > 200% performance/throughput improvements relative to R6.x.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft goes Hollywood: "Halo" to hit big screen

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft goes Hollywood: "Halo" to hit big screen: "Microsoft may finally be getting into a business where 'blue screen of death' could actually be a good thing.
The company is going from writing code to writing a movie script adapting the 'Halo' video-game franchise, according to a report yesterday in Daily Variety. "