Thursday, March 31, 2005


iobi: "Introducing the virtual assistant for all your employees: Verizon iobi Professional. Simplify your online and phone communications - by bringing them together. With features like real-time call management, call forwarding and calendar and address book integration, iobi Professional helps employees work more effectively, every day."

Interesting -- Verizon goes after some of the same stuff Microsoft seeks to address with Communicator. - H-P CEO Won't Rule Out Breakup - H-P CEO Won't Rule Out Breakup: "In his first public comments since being named Hewlett-Packard Co.'s chief executive officer, Mark Hurd indicated that he intends to keep H-P's sprawling collection of technology businesses together for now, but didn't rule out breaking up the company at some point.
The 48-year-old former CEO of NCR Corp., who was appointed H-P's chief on Tuesday, said his priority is to 'stay focused on the strategy we do have' and improve H-P's financial performance.
But Mr. Hurd left open the possibility of breaking up the Palo Alto, Calif., tech concern. 'I can't give you guarantees of anything,' Mr. Hurd said at a news conference. He said H-P's board has set no limits on what he can or can't do with corporate strategy. Mr. Hurd said he will spend the next few months listening to customers and employees. He declined to set a timetable for unveiling his next steps."

Oh, so maybe NCR will buy parts of HP...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Hilton Family Timing is Everything Sweepstakes

The Hilton Family Timing is Everything Sweepstakes: "We're introducing our new Hilton Family Alarm Clocks at our hotels nationwide this spring. The new Hilton Family clock features an easy-to-set alarm and four pre-set music selection buttons. And in Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Homewood Suites by Hilton hotels, your new friend also comes with an MP3 jack so you can plug in your music device and listen to your own favorite selections. Hampton Inn clocks feature the same great easy-to-set alarm and pre-set music buttons but will not have the MP3 jack. "

Sign of the times: Hilton seeking to differentiate in part by offering alarm clocks that support portable media players (and a sweepstakes offering iPods, iTunes music, etc.), along with a "virtual" (software-based) clock version that's also a channel for Hilton to send you notifications etc.

Microsoft's Grand Plan To Go Vertical

Microsoft's Grand Plan To Go Vertical: "Can Microsoft transform itself from a product-focused company into a solutions-oriented one? Top brass are betting that it can.
Microsoft is shifting its entire sales and marketing strategy to focus on vertical markets.
Microsoft is reorienting its own field sales force to sell vertically; encouraging its solution-provider partners to sell vertically; and putting a sizeable chunk of the company's marketing dollars behind vertical campaigns for the rest of this year."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: New HP chief hailed as "turnaround artist"

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: New HP chief hailed as "turnaround artist": "Hurd enjoyed a strong record at NCR.
Since he was promoted from chief operations officer to chief executive in 2003, NCR's profit has quadrupled, to $290 million last year, and its stock price has soared more than 300 percent.
One of Hurd's strategies at NCR could prove particularly crucial at HP: boosting the 'attach rate' of sales of server computers, which run large corporate and government computer networks.
'HP has been wanting a higher attach rate where you sell a server, but also software, storage and services,' said Jean Bozman, a server analyst with IDC.
'If you look at NCR, they've had a solution-type sell, where when they sell a server they're also making sure to sell a number of other components.' "

Hmmm -- looks like lots of potential synergy between HP and NCR...

Microsoft Launches Online Video Service for Windows Mobile-Based Devices

Microsoft Launches Online Video Service for Windows Mobile-Based Devices: "Microsoft Corp. today announced the launch of MSN Video Downloads, which will provide daily television programming, including video content from, Food Network, FOX Sports and IFILM Corp., for download to Windows Mobile (TM) -based devices such as Portable Media Centers and select Smartphones and Pocket PCs.
Since the launch of the Microsoft Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Center last fall, more than 20 new content partners, including CinemaNow Inc.,,, MSN Music, MTV Networks Music, Napster Inc., SnapStream Media Inc. and TiVo Inc., have agreed to make video available online specifically formatted for Windows Mobile-based multimedia devices.
'The launch of Portable Media Centers in 2004 began a new era of portable entertainment, and today's announcement solidifies the continued momentum we've seen for portable video,' said John Pollard, director of Windows Mobile Applications and Services Marketing at Microsoft. 'With content from some of the most recognized brands in entertainment, MSN Video Downloads helps bring this vision to life, allowing people to take their favorite television shows with them whether they are on the train, waiting for a doctor's appointment, or keeping the kids occupied in the back seat of the car.'"

The New York Times > Technology > A Break With Style, Not With Strategy

The New York Times > Technology > A Break With Style, Not With Strategy: "Hewlett-Packard once went for flamboyance and style with Carleton S. Fiorina, the chairwoman and chief executive who was fired in February.
On Tuesday, the company chose to return to its traditional low-key management approach in naming Mark V. Hurd, the little-known president and chief executive of NCR, a maker of computers and automated teller machines, to succeed Ms. Fiorina.
The appointment of Mr. Hurd, who led a turnaround at NCR through operational improvements and cost-cutting, underscores the Hewlett-Packard board's commitment to a growth strategy led by an expansion into consumer electronics."

I expected to see some speculation about HP acquiring NCR by now... - The Mossberg Solution: The Best Photo Organizers - The Mossberg Solution: The Best Photo Organizers: "Two of the best photo organizers have just been updated, and I have been testing them on my collection of more than 10,000 digital photos. One is Picasa 2, which runs only on Windows and is now a free offering from Google, which purchased Picasa last year. The other is Apple Computer's iPhoto 5, which runs only on the Macintosh. It comes free on every new Mac. Existing Mac owners can buy it as part of the excellent $79 iLife suite, which also includes programs for organizing and editing music and videos, and for authoring DVDs.
Both programs are packed with good features and have been significantly upgraded in their new versions. But iPhoto is the better of the two -- mainly because, unlike Picasa and most other competitors, it totally frees users from understanding the computer's file-and-folder system. With iPhoto you can organize your photos in any way you choose, regardless of where the underlying picture files are stored on the computer. This makes iPhoto much easier to use than Picasa, or any other photo organizing program I have tested."

Orb Networks :: AboutUs :: Press

Orb Networks :: AboutUs :: Press: "Orb Networks, Inc., a developer of streaming media software and services, today announced the company's groundbreaking streaming media software, Orb Media, will now be FREE to all users. Orb's software and service gives consumers the ability to spontaneously access their live TV, music, photos, videos, and other digital content located on their home PC from virtually any Internet-enabled device, from anywhere in the world, and now provides that service without adding any new monthly fees for new and current customers. Additionally, Orb has added a new Photo Sharing service to its solution allowing customers to share all of their selected photos with friends and family at any time."

Interesting trend. I had a briefing yesterday with BeInSync, which has a similar value proposition for PC-based content sync.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Holes in Microsoft Office XML

Holes in Microsoft Office XML: "When I first saw the demos for Microsoft Office 2003, I was blown away. Word would let me edit XML documents, Excel would give me easy access to both reading and creating tabular XML data, Access would let me get data in and out, and XDocs (now InfoPath) would make it easier for people to create XML documents using forms. Everything looked great.
Since then, I've become sadder but wiser. The glossy demos hid an underlying reality which was far less delightful. The marketing story breaks down under any close inspection. While there are useful pieces here, no question, Office 2003's XML support has to be viewed as a Microsoft 1.0 release, awaiting maturation to a Microsoft 3.0 release, when the parts finally come together."

Via John D. Head

I think the commentary is a bit harsh -- it's not as if Microsoft had the luxury of starting over with Office apps -- but useful to review

Microsoft Statement on European Commission Process

Microsoft Statement on European Commission Process: "Microsoft announced today that it has agreed to adopt the European Commission's designation for a name of the version of Windows without a media player. As part of the European Commission Decision issued on March 24, 2004, the company is required to make available a version of the Microsoft Windows operating system without Windows Media Player in Europe. Late last week the Commission instructed Microsoft to name this product 'Windows XP Home Edition N' and 'Windows XP Professional Edition N.'
Two months ago, Microsoft provided the Commission with nine possible names and offered to adopt any name chosen by the Commission from this list. Late last week, Microsoft received feedback based on the Commission's market testing of the media player remedy. The Commission advised Microsoft that all of the names that the company had suggested were unacceptable. While we are disappointed with that determination and have some misgivings that the Commission's designated name may cause confusion for consumers, we will adopt the Commission's name in order to promptly move forward and accelerate the pace of the implementation process."

Monday, March 28, 2005

CRN | News | Planned Microsoft Realtime Reporting Server Could Rock Analytics World

CRN | News | Planned Microsoft Realtime Reporting Server Could Rock Analytics World: "Microsoft is poised to fire a shot to be heard 'round the business intelligence world later this year.
The company is quietly working on a realtime reporting server, to carry the Office label, that theoretically would deliver timely updates from all manner of back-office applications, several sources said.
The planned server, going under the code-name Maestro, is expected to hit beta this summer. It will be built on various pieces of Microsoft's stack, including SQL Server reporting services and notification services, as well as the score carding expertise from the Office group, sources said.
'As I understand it, it will take advantage of those pieces to let users create executive dashboards tapping into Siebel or PeopleSoft or SAP data,' said a large integrator based in the Midwest. " - In Secret Hideaway, Bill Gates Ponders Microsoft's Future - In Secret Hideaway, Bill Gates Ponders Microsoft's Future: "In the weeks since returning to his regular schedule, Mr. Gates has settled into a stretch of follow-up meetings spawned by Think Week, including two, he says, on security strategy. Last week he huddled for two hours with the Virtual Earth team helping plot the group's next move.
Mr. Gates is well aware of the potential impact of his comments and doesn't take writing them lightly. 'If I write a comment that says, 'We should do this,' things will be re-orged, engineers will move,' he says. 'It's not like I can just read this paper and say, 'Hey, cool, looks good.' They'll assign 20 people to it then.'"

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Teleo - internet calling for everyone, anywhere

Teleo - internet calling for everyone, anywhere: "Teleo provides Internet telephony applications that bridge the gap between your computer desktop and regular telephones and cell phones. Teleo's software integrates with your computer desktop and allows you to place and receive telephone calls from Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, and other applications. Teleo allows you to place PC-to-PC calls to other Teleo users anywhere in the world for free, even over wifi connections and behind firewalls. Calls from regular telephones are also free. Calls to regular telephones are paid as you go using flexible PSTN minutes with 2 [cents] per minute calling anywhere in the world. If you want to avoid using PSTN minutes, simply get your friends and business associates to install Teleo, and then you'll be able to place and receive calls from them for free, no matter where they are in the world."

(Thanks for the pointer, Irwin)

New Directions in Context-Based Collaboration - Collaboration Loop

New Directions in Context-Based Collaboration - Collaboration Loop: "Both Adobe and Advanced Reality are reacting to the need of users to have collaborative tools that support interactions within a specific context or process. Adobe is taking one approach, Advanced Reality another, but both approaches support collaboration through an application, usually eliminating training time, and ensuring a common context for the interaction. We expect to see this type of application-based collaboration from Microsoft also, as the company moves more and more to embed collaboration functionality into its rich 'Office' applications. We expect to see this later this year in Office 12. Although it will be implemented somewhat differently from Advanced Reality, it will certainly give them a run for their money."

Friday, March 25, 2005

Father of Word and Excel shoots for three-peat with Intentional Software | Between the Lines |

Father of Word and Excel shoots for three-peat with Intentional Software | Between the Lines | "After a storied 21-year tenure with the Redmond, Wash.-based company, Simonyi is looking for a three-peat. But this time, it's not with Microsoft. Instead, he has struck out on his own and, with the two-year-old company Intentional Software still operating in stealth mode, he is looking to strip time, cost, and inefficiency out of the laborious collaboration that often takes place between requirement setters (subject matter experts) and the software programmers that do their bidding. If Intentional makes good on that promise, it will be a rare success in the black-art of turning mortal non-programmers into software engineers without ever having to lift one line of code. "

Yahoo Search Embraces Content Sharing

Yahoo Search Embraces Content Sharing: "Yahoo has created a search site for finding digital content that can be reused and shared for free.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company Thursday will announce Yahoo Search for Creative Commons, a service for searching millions of Web pages which include content that is available under the Creative Commons license."

(Via Tomalak)

Shared Spaces Research & Consulting: Jabber, Inc. Update, Mar 25

Shared Spaces Research & Consulting: Jabber, Inc. Update, Mar 25: Michael Sampson reviews Jabber's products/strategies; bottom line:

"Every organization considering its enterprise IM strategy needs to think seriously about what Jabber, Inc. brings to the table. In particular, organizations that don't want to buy their entire technology stack from the Microsoft's and IBM's of the world should consider Jabber, Inc.'s real-time presence-based products, services and solutions."

SIP/SIMPLE support in Jabber -- very important development.

Optimizing Communication and Collaboration with Microsoft Technologies

Optimizing Communication and Collaboration with Microsoft Technologies Check the "sneak preview" part of this page for the "Enterprise Communication and Collaboration Market Dynamics" presentation I'm using on the "Optimizing Communication and Collaboration with Microsoft Technologies" tour (along with the rest of the presentations from the event's business decision-maker track). Visit the remaining tour stops/dates and register if you want to catch the event live/in-person.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Jeff Hawkins' Bold Brainstorm

Jeff Hawkins' Bold Brainstorm: "And Ajay Bakshi, a consultant in McKinsey & Co.'s health-care practice, read Hawkins' book and plans to contact him about using his ideas to help pharmaceutical companies discover new drugs. 'Nobody was stepping back and looking at the big picture [of how the brain works],' he says. 'Hawkins has given us a very big picture. It's a low-resolution picture -- but it will lead to a whole bunch of experiments.'
That's just what Hawkins wants. 'I don't need to run another company,' he says. 'But I think this is the most important thing I can do with my life. I'm trying to create a movement. Artificial intelligence had one for years, and neural networks had its time. But they were flawed theories. And I think we've got it right.'
Experts caution against making such a claim too soon. But even if Hawkins finds only a small sliver of the Holy Grail he seeks, he'll add yet another industry-moving startup to his resume."

(NYT, BW, WSJ -- somebody has earned a PR gold star for the day)

Product Review: Email, Wiki Integration with Socialtext - Collaboration Loop

Product Review: Email, Wiki Integration with Socialtext - Collaboration Loop: "A Socialtext wiki, or a shared collaborative team workspace, provides a single place for team members to store common and shared information about a team project, e.g., documents, emails related to the project, descriptions of team members. Email is no longer an ideal technology for coordinating and sharing team deliverables; email messages drift out of their original context, discussions don't flow, anti-spam servers can block messages, and attachments may be blocked by corporate firewalls. As a result, a plethora of vendors, including Socialtext, are bringing new group-oriented collaborative technologies to market."

Look2Skype - The Outlook Skype Add-In

Look2Skype - The Outlook Skype Add-In: "Look2Skype allows you to control Skype from within Microsoft Outlook 2000, XP, and 2003 on Windows 98, 2000, and XP.
Look2Skype toolbar gives you instant access to Skype features:
1. Make SkypeOut calls to contacts who don't have Skype installed or are not online.
2. Make Skype IP telephony calls to Skype contacts who are online.
3. Start Skype Instant Messenger chats to Skype contacts who are online."

Via Michael Sampson

Apple settles with Tiger leaker | CNET

Apple settles with Tiger leaker | CNET "Apple said on Wednesday that it has reached a settlement with 22-year-old Doug Steigerwald. It did not discuss the details of that settlement, though it does involve money being paid to Apple, according to Steigerwald. The company still has legal action pending against two other men in the case, which was filed in December in federal court in San Jose, Calif.
'While Apple will always protect its innovations, it is not our desire to send students to jail,' Apple said in a statement to CNET 'We are pleased that Mr. Steigerwald has taken responsibility for his actions and that we can put this lawsuit behind us.' "

The New York Times > Technology > A New Company to Focus on Artificial Intelligence

The New York Times > Technology > A New Company to Focus on Artificial Intelligence: "In recent years, vision and listening systems have made steady progress, and Mr. Hawkins said that while he was uncomfortable with the term artificial intelligence, he believed that a renaissance in intelligent systems was possible.
He said that he believed there would soon be a new wave of software based on new theoretical understanding of the brain's operations.
'Once you know how the brain works, you can describe it with math,' he said.
Mr. Hawkins said that in addition to his work with Numenta he was developing a new product for PalmOne."

The New York Times > Technology > Apple's Legal Drive to Stifle Web Sites Is Fruitless So Far

The New York Times > Technology > Apple's Legal Drive to Stifle Web Sites Is Fruitless So Far: "Since Apple Computer filed a lawsuit in January against Think Secret, a Web site operated by a 19-year-old Harvard student, accusing the site of publishing Apple's trade secrets, the company has sent a series of cease-and-desist letters to the student, Nicholas M. Ciarelli.
So far, the letters appear to have done nothing to reduce Mr. Ciarelli's enthusiasm. He has continued to publish articles about Apple's new product plans. "

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft's story on display

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft's story on display: "Paul Allen gave Seattle the Experience Music Project. Now, Bill Gates has given Redmond the Experience Microsoft Project.
But don't look for rock-star guitars and stage outfits at the new Microsoft Visitor Center. Instead there's a collection of hands-on software exhibits and a company timeline displaying old computers, early software packages and a variety of promotional materials such as company T-shirts. " - Automated Ads Serve Up Nonsense - Automated Ads Serve Up Nonsense: "Google Inc.'s powerful search engine can find nearly anything on the Web. It also serves up targeted advertisements alongside search results -- some of which leave consumers scratching their heads. Take 'lost dogs,' for example. A recent Google search turned up an ad promising 'great deals' on lost dogs. Similar ads touted bargains on 'disease,' 'sewage' and 'rot.'
Behold the bloopers of hyper-automation. Google lets companies bid to have their ads appear when users type in keyword phrases on its search site. Some advertisers, including online auctioneer eBay Inc., sign up for hundreds, or even thousands of these keywords at a time, generating automated, fill-in-the-blank ads around each. Google's computers then place these ads on pages automatically, sometimes without a human editor ever being involved." - Next Case for Palm Pilot Creators: The Brain - Next Case for Palm Pilot Creators: The Brain: "The first time Donna Dubinsky and Jeff Hawkins worked together on a start-up in the 1990s, they invented the Palm Pilot and helped create the hand-held computer industry that generated more than $4 billion at its peak. Now the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are reuniting to create a business that mimics the complex world of the brain.
The co-founders of Palm Computing Inc. and Handspring Inc. are teaming up at Numenta, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based start-up that hopes to make a new kind of software that emulates the brain's memory system to solve problems. The ambitious effort differs significantly from past attempts to copy human thinking, the duo says, and is already yielding some early results.
Ms. Dubinsky, who will serve as chief executive of Numenta, plans to remain a director of palmOne and software maker Intuit Inc. Mr. Hawkins is scheduled to spend two days a week on mobile computing at palmOne and the rest on Numenta. But he expects to scale back his day-to-day involvement with his Redwood institute.
"This isn't like our previous ventures. We won't be putting out a consumer product like the Palm Pilot," says Ms. Dubinsky. But there are some similarities, she says: "We're working together on a kind of next-generation computing.""

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

InfoWorld: Microsoft bridging relational, object, XML data models

InfoWorld: Microsoft bridging relational, object, XML data models "Comega, or C?, is described by Microsoft as a strongly typed, data-oriented programming language to bridge semi-structured hierarchical data (XML), relational data (SQL) and the .Net CTS (Common Type System). Additionally, Comega extends C# with asynchronous concurrency abstractions."

AOL Unveils ICQ 5

AOL Unveils ICQ 5: "ICQ Voice Chat, which provides PC-to-PC voice service based on VOIP (voice over IP) technology, allows for longer chats and doesn't require participants to take turns.
'They got ahead of the curve a little on the voice stuff,' said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group of San Jose, Calif. 'Basically, they have integrated a voice over the Internet feature, which is something the others will have shortly, but don't yet.'"

Smart Phones, Smarter Partnership

Smart Phones, Smarter Partnership: "The licensing agreement could also boost Microsoft's mobile business. Some industry insiders argue that it help Microsoft gain market share from another rival, Research In Motion (RIMM ), maker of the popular BlackBerry devices. If corporate customers want to connect to their Exchange servers, and RIM doesn't offer that capability, those customers will now have more alternative devices -- based on Windows Mobile and Symbian -- to choose from.
As that market expands, so will Microsoft's share of it. Already, the Windows Mobile division ranks as Redmond's fastest-growing business -- albeit a small one, accounting for less than 1% of total revenue. After only two years on the market, Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS is used by 40 device manufacturers, who sell to 67 wireless service providers in 48 countries. While Microsoft still places third -- after Symbian and Palm OS -- in the mobile market, it's closing in on No. 2, says Strother.
Indeed, for Microsoft, this looks like a good deal all the way around. As it has in so many other markets, the software giant is starting to reel in its rivals. "

Don Park's Daily Habit - Tags and Divergence

Don Park's Daily Habit - Tags and Divergence: "I've been looking at the way people using tags (not XML tags but associating words to lumps of text or pictures) and, so far, concluded that some form of focusing mechanism needs to be introduced to limit divergence of tags which leads to the Tower of Babel."

More hypertext redux - see comments for some interesting ideas. Via Dave Winer.

Pito's Blog: [ETECH] Taxonomy of Folksonomies

Pito's Blog: [ETECH] Taxonomy of Folksonomies: "One way to organize a taxonomy of folksonomies is to notice that there are two dimensions: Whose stuff is being tagged, and for whose benefit. Flickr ends up in the bottom right, and in the top left. But what about the other quadrants?
This organization gives a new way of looking at conventional concepts like folders and directories on personal computers (my stuff/my own benefits) and Web based directories like Yahoo (other people's stuff/other people's benefit.)"

Lots of interesting analysis at the intersection of tagging and hyptertext lately, e.g., also see Jon Udell's Prime-time Hypermedia series.

PC Pro: News: Yahoo! ups limit on its Mail service to 1GB

PC Pro: News: Yahoo! ups limit on its Mail service to 1GB: "Yahoo! Mail is to increase its storage capacity to 1GB. The move may not be entirely unconnected to the fact that Google's Gmail is widely expected to become available to anyone from the 1st of April - one year to the day since its launch.
The current storage limit for Yahoo! Mail until now has been 250MB. At the time of Gmail's launch it was 4MB which was raised to 100MB. Last November Yahoo! raised the limit again to 250MB."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: 3 newspaper giants acquire stake in online news collector

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: 3 newspaper giants acquire stake in online news collector: "Three major newspaper companies are investing in, a startup technology company that collects and sorts news stories from various sources on the Internet.
Like other automated news aggregators, Topix uses computer software to troll around sites on the Internet to collect stories from thousands of different sources.
But instead of searching articles for keywords such as "Chicago" or "Madonna," Topix uses a computer program that its founders designed to separate news stories into very specific categories and geographical regions."

The New York Times > Technology > Oracle Profit Slips 15% After Acquisition

The New York Times > Technology > Oracle Profit Slips 15% After Acquisition: "Safra Catz, a co-president of Oracle who is also serving as the company's chief financial officer, said the company was pleased with the quarter, which she described as a transitional one. 'We are beyond satisfied,' Ms. Catz said of the PeopleSoft merger, in a conference call with reporters. 'We are thrilled with how it is going.'
"Oracle needs to lay out a more proactive acquisition strategy," Mr. Piper said. "Their reactive approach leaves them paying too much. If Oracle had made the first move for Retek, they wouldn't have paid as much as they did.""

Yahoo! News - AOL LatAm Running Out of Cash, May Cease Operations

Yahoo! News - AOL LatAm Running Out of Cash, May Cease Operations: "America Online Latin America Inc. (Nasdaq:AOLA - news), the beleaguered provider of Internet services in South America, said on Tuesday that it was running out of cash and may shut down or file for bankruptcy protection.
AOL Latin America, founded as a joint venture between America Online Inc. and the Cisneros Group at the start of the Internet bubble in 1998, has since struggled to become profitable. " Bill Joy: Rejoicing again (3/28/05) Bill Joy: Rejoicing again (3/28/05): "During his interregnum, Joy invested through a Silicon Valley firm called Highbar Ventures with another Sun cofounder, Andy Bechtolsheim. But Joy also spent some time at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Snowmass, Colo., an energy-policy think tank. There he was able to explore his interest in using breakthrough technologies to promote the more efficient use of natural resources. 'We can build much stronger and lighter and ecologically friendly materials, for instance, using biomimetics, which looks at nature to find solutions already engineered through natural selection and evolution,' he says. An example: sails that capture moisture from the air the way the wings of Namibian desert beetles do."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

? Microsoft's Identity Chief: After Passport, Microsoft is rethinking identity | Between the Lines |

Microsoft's Identity Chief: After Passport, Microsoft is rethinking identity | Between the Lines | "Using words like 'open' and 'standards,' [Kim] Cameron is not only leaning on insiders at Microsoft, all the way up to Bill Gates, to mend fences and adopt more of an open position; he's leaning on the industry for an identity breakthrough. Until it does, claims Cameron, technology will remain forever shackled from some of the most explosive growth that awaits it -- growth that he likens to a big bang.
Cameron on the mistake Microsoft made: Passport began supporting unidirectional identifiers. Over time, it changed to omnidirectional because the Web sites wanted to be able to amalgamate digital dossiers in order to market to us better. Nobody thought very deeply about what these issues meant in terms of how people would react. The technology evolved, I think, in the wrong direction....We tried to do something that we thought was in the right direction but it wasn't well thought out... We need to rethink how you build this identity system in such a way that it behaves the way people expect it to behave."

Yahoo! News - Mac OS X Will Become a Target, Symantec Warns

Yahoo! News - Mac OS X Will Become a Target, Symantec Warns: "It's only a matter of time before Apple's newly redesigned Mac operating system becomes a happy hunting ground for malicious hackers, according to a research report from security vendor Symantec.
'Contrary to popular belief, the Macintosh operating system has not always been a safe haven from malicious code. Out of the public eye for some time, it is now clear that the Mac OS is increasingly becoming a target for the malicious activity that is more commonly associated with Microsoft and various UNIX-based operating systems,' Symantec warned." Palm Pioneer's Brainy Vision Palm Pioneer's Brainy Vision: "The man who invented the PalmPilot and Handspring Treo is creating a new company to develop software that will mimic the mathematical patterns of the human brain.
Jeff Hawkins, best known as the founder of Palm Computing and Handspring Computing, entertained 400 attendees at the PC Forum technology conference here Monday with a 20-minute talk on how the human brain works. He concluded by announcing plans to form a new company to take some of his brain theories and discoveries to market."

Wiki Providers Eye the Enterprise

Wiki Providers Eye the Enterprise: "The two leading wiki providers are retooling their services in an attempt to attract larger enterprises to using the still-emerging form of online collaboration.
In separate announcements Monday, JotSpot Inc. and Socialtext Inc. expanded their product lines and features with a focus on the enterprise. JotSpot launched JotBox, a hardware appliance version of its wiki service, while Socialtext remodeled its user interface and expanded its e-mail capabilities.
Socialtext and JotSpot have emerged as the two main rivals in the wiki space, but the leaders of both companies downplayed the competition. The rivalry made headlines earlier this year when The Walt Disney Company, then a Socialtext customer, decided to switch to JotSpot." / Business / Time Warner settles AOL case / Business / Time Warner settles AOL case: "Closing a difficult chapter, Time Warner Inc. said yesterday it would pay $300 million and restate three years of financial results to settle civil fraud charges stemming from its accounting of online advertising revenues and subscriber counts at its AOL unit.
The combined $510 million settlements should give Time Warner a freer hand to pursue acquisitions, including a joint bid with Comcast Corp. for the assets of Adelphia Communications Corp. But the agreements aren't expected to resurrect Time Warner's stock, which has lagged since its disastrous merger with AOL. Time Warner's stock is still about 75 percent below the level it reached in early 2000, when it agreed to be acquired by the Dulles, Va.-based Internet company."

The New York Times > Science > Space & Cosmos > Unexpectedly, the Mars Rovers Are Still Going Strong

The New York Times > Science > Space & Cosmos > Unexpectedly, the Mars Rovers Are Still Going Strong: "Nearly a year past its planned three-month lifetime, the Mars rover Spirit has found itself rejuvenated and is now making some of its most significant discoveries about Mars' waterlogged past.
Spirit and its twin, Opportunity, on the other side of Mars have continued working so well that managers have requested that the mission be extended up to another 18 months. NASA reported that one of the mineral-identifying instruments on Opportunity had been turned off because of a malfunction, but the rovers appear otherwise healthy." - Microsoft Licenses Technology For E-Mail to Rival Symbian - Microsoft Licenses Technology For E-Mail to Rival Symbian: "Microsoft Corp. has licensed an e-mail technology to its biggest rival in the cellphone-software market, Symbian Ltd., in the latest sign of how intensely the cellphone industry is wooing businesspeople who send and receive e-mail on their handsets.
The deal will allow handsets running Symbian's software to automatically send and receive e-mails from accounts managed by Microsoft's Exchange software, which is popular with corporations.
The agreement, which follows a similar deal with top cellphone maker Nokia Corp., of Finland, last month, is designed to boost sales of Microsoft Exchange and reduce the lure of BlackBerry mobile e-mail technology, made by Research In Motion Ltd., Waterloo, Ontario."

Monday, March 21, 2005

Microsoft delays tool, database updates | CNET

Microsoft delays tool, database updates | CNET "Microsoft said new versions of its Visual Studio development tools and SQL Server database, expected this summer, have been delayed until later this year.
The software maker said Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 will be delivered in the second half of the year. A company representative declined to say whether the company expects to ship the new software in the third or fourth quarter of this year."

I hope that doesn't mean December 32nd... JackBe Makes Dial-Up Connections Bearable JackBe Makes Dial-Up Connections Bearable: "JackBe's product is called the NQ Suite, and it helps companies build simple, streamlined snappy user interfaces on top of complex applications, using nothing more involved than Dynamic HTML.
For companies building Web applications there are traditionally two ways to get the job done. One is through a client-server application, where part of the application runs on a server and the other on a user's PC. Performance can be fast in part because the server doesn't have to work very hard, but the downside is that users have to install some software on their machine.
The other way to build an application is simply to rely on the Web and let the application run on the server, and then serve up the results directly via the Web browser. There's no software for a user to install but running the application can eat up server time, which can yield a slower overall experience.
JackBe takes some of the good bits from each approach. There's no software to install on a PC and the overall performance is fast. "

An "AJAX" IDE | Wireless e-mail | Wireless e-mail: "What Apple's iPod music-player is to teenagers, the BlackBerry e-mail hand-held is to executives: the gizmo they cannot be seen without, and often cannot live without. But you probably knew that already: readers of The Economist are smack in the middle of the BlackBerry demographic. At conferences, in boardrooms and on commuter planes and trains, they are everywhere. The BlackBerry has spawned designer accessories; earned a nickname ('CrackBerry') that reflects its addictive nature; and even has a malady ('BlackBerry Thumb') associated with over-use. But its success means that the Canadian firm that makes it, Research in Motion (RIM), now faces a growing throng of competitors.
Yet while RIM will continue to grow at an impressive rate, it will probably do so more slowly than the overall market as competitors start to muscle in. One possible outcome is that RIM and Good will end up fighting over the lucrative corporate market, while the less-demanding consumer market becomes commoditised. But with hundreds of millions of e-mail users worldwide and, despite their apparent ubiquity, only 2.5m BlackBerry devices in circulation, it is still early days for the mobile e-mail business. "

Hackers break into Apple iTunes :: Contractor UK

Hackers break into Apple iTunes :: Contractor UK: "Apple's plan to revamp its iTunes music store by offering an 'all you can download' monthly service has been shelved after the US giant was hacked on Friday.
The attack was alleged to have come from prominent hacker, Jon Johansen -- dubbed 'DVD John' - after he was credited with breaking the software protection on DVDs.
According to reports, Johansen has created a quasi-legal programme that effectively strips DRM software from the existing software protecting iTunes." / Business / Technology / Long-term health risks remain unclear / Business / Technology / Long-term health risks remain unclear: "Parents should think twice before giving in to a middle-schooler's demands for a cellphone, some scientists say, because potential long-term health risks remain unclear.
When you use a cellphone, 70 to 80 percent of the energy emitted from the antenna is absorbed by the head, Lai said.
He also said that because brain tumors usually take 30 to 40 years to develop, children who use cellphones from their teen years onward would have a longer period of time to see a cumulative impact."

The New York Times > Technology > To Cut Online Chatter, Apple Goes to Court

The New York Times > Technology > To Cut Online Chatter, Apple Goes to Court: "He has always had a reputation for being iconoclastic and confrontational. As a result, despite Apple's tradition of positioning the Macintosh as 'the computer for the rest of us,' some Apple watchers said the move could actually serve to strengthen Mr. Jobs's marketing magic by deepening the secrecy - and thus the buzz - he has always tried to maintain around the company's future products.
'He's a master at creating the mystique,' said Regis McKenna, a Silicon Valley marketing executive who began working with Mr. Jobs shortly after Apple was founded. 'His problem is how to continue to innovate out of the limelight.'" / Business / Technology / Let's focus on the theft, not the identity / Business / Technology / Let's focus on the theft, not the identity: "Identity thieves like to open new charge accounts, using the victim's identity and good credit rating. Banks or merchants order credit reports before opening these accounts. But if there's a do-not-issue flag next to the victim's name, the agency must drop a dime before sharing his data. The would-be victim blows the whistle, and the crook gets nothing.
Do-not-issue isn't a cure-all, either, but it tackles an aspect of identity fraud that's usually neglected. In an age of ubiquitous computer networks, we'll never cut off the supply of sensitive personal data. But by limiting what crooks can do with our secrets, we may be able to dry up the demand for them."

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The New York Times > Business > Ask Jeeves Inc. to Be Bought for $1.9 Billion

The New York Times > Business > Ask Jeeves Inc. to Be Bought for $1.9 Billion: "IAC/InterActiveCorp, the Internet company headed by Barry Diller, is close to an agreement to acquire Ask Jeeves Inc., the nation's fourth-largest search engine company, for about $1.9 billion, according to an executive involved in the negotiations."

FlickrBlog: Yahoo actually does acquire Flickr

FlickrBlog: Yahoo actually does acquire Flickr: "Holy smokes, SOMEBODY out there is bad at keeping secrets!! Yes! We can finally confirm that Yahoo has made a definitive agreement to acquire Flickr and us, Ludicorp. Smack the tattlers and pop the champagne corks! "

The New York Times > Magazine > The Way We Live Now: Bad Connections

The New York Times > Magazine > The Way We Live Now: Bad Connections: "As a society, we need to approach our personal technologies with a greater awareness of how the pursuit of personal convenience can contribute to collective ills. When it comes to abortion or Social Security, we avidly debate the claims of individual freedom against other goods. Why shouldn't we do the same with our private technologies? In the end, it does matter if we watch six more hours of television every week, and it does affect our broader quality of life if hollering into our cellphones makes our daily commute a living hell for our fellow citizens on the bus or a danger to other drivers on the road. Rather than turning on, tuning in and dropping out, we might perhaps do better, individually and socially, to occasionally simply turn our machines off. "

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Techno Files: To-Do List: Shop, Pay Bills, Organize Brain

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Techno Files: To-Do List: Shop, Pay Bills, Organize Brain: "Happily, I have found two programs that hold promise for bridging the brain gap. They are MindManager ($229 for the basic X5 version from and an add-on called ResultsManager ($145 for the basic version from
Both programs grew from the 'Mind Mapping' movement, which is more famous in Britain and other parts of Europe than in North America, and whose origins are usually attributed to Tony Buzan. Beginning in Britain in the 1960's, Mr. Buzan popularized the idea that to learn new topics, organize thoughts and become creative, people should draw 'mind maps' on big sheets of paper, ideally with crayons or pens of many different colors. Mr. Buzan's theories, including his 10 strict 'laws' for drawing such maps, are available in his many books and seminars and at his Web site."

Saturday, March 19, 2005

A Conversation with Tim Bray

A Conversation with Tim Bray: "JG Just what is RDF?
TB RDF is a general-purpose facility for expressing meta-data, which is to say assertions about resources. I use resource in the technical term, Web resource. So RDF models the world as a series of triples, where you have a resource, and then you have a resource-property-value triple, you have a resource that has a URI (uniform resource identifier), you have a property that also has a URI, and then a value that can be a literal value or another URI.
JG I generally identify RDF with the Semantic Web.
TB The whole Semantic Web was launched by the RDF activity and now has grown to include OWL (Web Ontology Language), which is a general knowledge representation language. But, boy, there are problems. The XML serialization of RDF is horrible; it's a botched job.
You know, KR didn't suddenly become easy just because it's got pointy brackets. Doug Lenat has been off working in the desert on that for decades and nobody has ever made a buck on it yet, as far as I know.
Motivating people to provide meta-data is tough. If there's one thing we've learned, it's that there is no such thing as cheap meta-data. The whole point was to make search run better at some level. Google showed us the power of what was always used in the academic citation index -- namely, the number of incoming links.
JG Inferring meta-data...
TB Inferring meta-data doesn't work. Google doesn't infer meta-data. It's a deterministic calculation based on finding links and counting links and doing transitive closures on that. Inferring meta-data by natural language processing has always been expensive and flaky with a poor return on investment.
I spent two years sitting on the Web consortium's technical architecture group, on the phone every week and face-to-face several times a year with Tim Berners-Lee. To this day, I remain fairly unconvinced of the core Semantic Web proposition. I own the domain name I’ve offered the world the challenge, which is that for anybody who can build an actual RDF-based application that I want to use more than once or twice a week, I’ll give them I announced that in May 2003, and nothing has come close."

Jim Gray interviews Tim Bray. Read the entire interview if you care about the past, present, and future of XML. (Note: it's a 4-part interview and there doesn't seem to be a single-page view.)

The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > 'Dark Hero of the Information Age': The Original Computer Geek

The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > 'Dark Hero of the Information Age': The Original Computer Geek: "But there's another kind of scientist who never breaks through, usually because while his discovery is revolutionary it's also maddeningly hard to summarize in a simple sentence or two. He never produces a catchy hit single. He's more like a back-room influencer: his work inspires dozens of other innovators who absorb the idea, produce more easily comprehensible innovations and become more famous than their mentor could have dreamed. Find an influencer, and you'll find a deeply bitter man.
Norbert Wiener -- the inventor of ''cybernetics'' -- is precisely this type of scientist. Odds are that you are only dimly aware of cybernetics, if at all. (A friend asked me, ''Isn't that like Dianetics?'') ''Dark Hero of the Information Age,'' by the journalists Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, intends to correct this, but their book struggles with the circular tautologies of fame: it must continually plead the case of why the guy ought to have been better known."

Thoughtful review of a sad story.

PBS | I, Cringely . Bursted Not Busted

PBS | I, Cringely . Bursted Not Busted: "Why the case never made it to trial is clear. Microsoft's immediate motivation to settle was the spoliation hearing that could have exposed the company to older cases being re-opened based on the possibility that Microsoft had deliberately destroyed evidence. Burst's motivation to settle was the 4.5 years remaining on their oldest patent. Taking the case to trial and then a couple appeals would have extended any eventual reward past the expiration of the first patents. That means while Burst may have gained a huge damage award from Microsoft, they would have got nothing from any other possible infringers. Since Burst has maintained all along that there are many such infringers, probably including companies like Real Networks and Apple Computer, settling now lets them have a go at those companies, too."

InfoWorld: Google's Blogger faces performance problems

InfoWorld: Google's Blogger faces performance problems "Google is both adding new hardware and addressing an electricity-availability issue in order to improve performance, wrote Biz Stone, a Blogger official in an entry posted Thursday in the official Blogger team blog called Blogger Buzz ("

Glad to know that -- BlogThis! has been working at glacial speed for the last few weeks (and sometimes not at all)

Friday, March 18, 2005

When Big Blue Goes Shopping

When Big Blue Goes Shopping: "With Ascential under IBM's wing, Informatica (INFA ) remains the only large, independent company that specializes in data-integration technology. No surprise that the Redwood City (Calif.) company's stock increased 4.66%, to $7.64, on Mar. 14. Ascential shares rose 16.4%, closing at $18.29. IBM rose 43 cents, to $91.90, on news of the acquisition.
Is Informatica in play? Whether executives there like it or not, you can count on it. Someone is sure to take a page from IBM's playbook."

[print version] Skype goes for the gold | CNET

[print version] Skype goes for the gold | CNET "The Luxembourg-based upstart has so far signed up 29 million registered users for its free Net phone calling software--a unique version of voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP--making it one of the fastest-growing services on the Net. Now it's aiming to milk profits from the swelling ranks of freeloaders with paid services that promise to make its Net-only product significantly more useful to consumers--and potentially more lethal to traditional phone providers.
Skype's costs are bound up almost entirely in payroll--currently about 100 employees--and related expenses, such as travel, Zennstrom, said.
Ultimately, Zennstrom said, there will be only one network--the Internet--making SkypeIn and SkypeOut superfluous. But that could take years to come, giving Skype plenty of time to develop new paid services. He said the company is working on offering a video calling feature, but declined to comment on when it would be available, or whether it would be a free or paid service."

Google Code: Frequently Asked Questions

Google Code: Frequently Asked Questions: "What is is our site for external developers interested in Google-related development. It's where we'll publish free source code and lists of our API services.
Who are the people behind
A lot of people worked together to both prepare source code for release and prepare for launch and ongoing maintenance. We really care about free and open source software (F/OSS) at Google, and this site is one aspect of that affection. "

The New York Times > Technology > Europeans Doubt Microsoft Is Obeying Antitrust Order

The New York Times > Technology > Europeans Doubt Microsoft Is Obeying Antitrust Order: "The European Commission has 'strong doubts' that Microsoft is obeying an order issued a year ago in a landmark antitrust ruling against the company, a commission spokesman, Jonathan Todd, said Thursday.
It plans to discuss its concerns with Microsoft, and could impose fines up to 5 percent of daily worldwide sales until it decides that the company is complying.
Microsoft now generates about a third of its $36 billion in annual sales from Windows, roughly a third from Europe."

BI Journal - Legacy Integration: Moving to People, Processes & Programs

BI Journal - Legacy Integration: Moving to People, Processes & Programs : "This article examines many of the emerging dimensions and problems of business process computing and attempts to formulate a new, consistent model for processes of the future."

Timely insights from Barry Briggs, Microsoft lead architect for Business Process and Integration - College Alumni Data Are Breached by Hacker - College Alumni Data Are Breached by Hacker: "Boston College sent letters to more than 100,000 of its alumni warning them a hacker had breached a university computer system containing personal data including their Social Security numbers.
Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn said, however, that the college found no evidence any data was taken and believes the hacker was trying to use the college's machine to attack other computers.
The security breach was discovered by the college's technicians last week during a routine check of the on-campus computer system, which is connected to a phone bank used in fundraising activities. Mr. Dunn said the college took the computer offline, repaired the security breach and purged it of all Social Security numbers. The computer system involved is managed by a third-party vendor who Mr. Dunn declined to identify." - Software Titans' Rivalry Fuels A Bidding War - Software Titans' Rivalry Fuels A Bidding War: "The fight for Retek, of Minneapolis, is the latest showdown between SAP, the world's largest maker of business-application software, and No. 2 Oracle. The rivalry has intensified in the months following Oracle's $10.3 billion acquisition of PeopleSoft Inc., a transaction that doubled its share in a market where SAP used to face little competition.
Shortly after the PeopleSoft acquisition closed in January, Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison declared a 'technology war' against SAP in a presentation to analysts. And in an interview a few days later, Oracle President Charles Phillips boasted that his company soon would be 'seeing the whites of' SAP's eyes.
Told of the comments, SAP's chief of sales, Leo Apotheker, shot back, 'Make my day.'
Behind the trash talk is a multibillion-dollar race to be the dominant supplier of the next generation of business software. SAP has had a slight headstart, having launched its development effort earlier. Its next-generation software will build on its current product, known as NetWeaver. Oracle executives deride NetWeaver as 'NetDeceiver,' calling the product just a new label slapped on old software. SAP executives, for their part, mock Oracle's own plan, Project Fusion, as 'Project Confusion.'"

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Buzz Report: Good-bye, computer; hello, world! -

The Buzz Report: Good-bye, computer; hello, world! - "...which is that I think Google's going to build a Web-based thin client-type hosted environment-slash-operating system replacement. Or at least, they should, and that's only if Microsoft doesn't beat them to it."

More omnipotent-Google speculation. For a more objective reality checks, see recent articles in Wired and Time comparing the business fundamentals of Google and Yahoo. - RIM to Pay $450 Million To Settle Patent Suit - RIM to Pay $450 Million To Settle Patent Suit: "Research In Motion Ltd., the Canadian maker of BlackBerry wireless e-mail devices, said Wednesday it will pay $450 million to resolve litigation with NTP Inc., a company that said the devices infringed on in its patents.
Wall Street responded positively to the news, sending shares of Research In Motion soaring 18% to $78.83 in early trading Wednesday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock has rallied 30% since talk of possible settlement surfaced earlier this week.
... Research In Motion's cash and equivalents are about $1.73 billion, leaving the company with $1.28 billion following the settlement. This is "still a very substantial war chest by anyone's estimate," he said."

Irwin Lazar's "Real-Time" Blog: Two Weeks with a Treo 650

Irwin Lazar's "Real-Time" Blog: Two Weeks with a Treo 650: "I've now had my Cingular Treo 650 for two weeks, it is without a doubt worth every penny. The 650 is a HUGE improvement over the 600. Among other upgrades it offers a much better screen (compared with the 600 it is the equivalent of switching from a black and white television to a 52' plasma HD-TV), bluetooth, faster speeds using EDGE, a much nicer backlit keyboard and a much improved camera. On the downside, it is incredibly unreliable. It seems that it either locks up or reboots itself several times per day."

Hey Irwin, my new Motorola (Windows Mobile) smartphone has yet to crash...

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Cingular poised to lead in speed

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Cingular poised to lead in speed: "Cingular Wireless reaffirmed yesterday it would begin to install the world's fastest wireless data networks by the end of the year, allowing the United States to leapfrog past advances found in most of Europe and Asia.
Under 3G, data transmission speeds are in the same class as other broadband technologies.
In Cingular's case, the company is taking speed to the next step by rolling out what some are calling 3.5G.
The differences between the 3G and 3.5G centers are twofold. The latter uses broadcast spectrum more efficiently, allowing more people to connect to a cell tower at one time without sacrificing speeds. UMTS can handle only 12 people on one tower at a time at peak speeds.
The other difference is in bandwidth. With the faster 3.5G, users would be able to download a 5-megabit song in 15 seconds; with UMTS it would take two minutes."

Survey Finds Workers Average Only Three Productive Days per Week

Survey Finds Workers Average Only Three Productive Days per Week: "Unclear objectives, lack of team communication and ineffective meetings are among the top time wasters that workers around the world say make them feel unproductive for as much as a third of their workweek on average, according to results of an online Microsoft Office survey announced today. Survey respondents also said that, as they grapple with the need to work longer hours and the desire for better work-life balance, they rely heavily on technology tools to help optimize their personal and team productivity.
The most common productivity pitfalls are unclear objectives, lack of team communication and ineffective meetings -- chosen by 32 percent of respondents overall -- followed by unclear priorities at 31 percent and procrastination at 29 percent (U.S.: procrastination, 42 percent; lack of team communication, 39 percent; ineffective meetings, 34 percent)."

Some scary statistics -- "from more than 38,000 people in 200 countries" - Comcast Users to Get TiVo Options That Go Beyond Generic DVRs - Comcast Users to Get TiVo Options That Go Beyond Generic DVRs: "TiVo's deal with Comcast comes after years of off-and-on negotiations. While the deal's terms weren't revealed, people familiar with the talks say Comcast took advantage of the fact that TiVo needed the deal much more than Comcast did. Comcast is already selling over 12,000 DVRs a week, although they don't have all the features of TiVo. Meanwhile, TiVo's future has been uncertain because its biggest distribution partner, satellite provider DirecTV Group Inc., is increasingly promoting a rival technology.
TiVo insisted in prior negotiations with Comcast that the cable company commit to providing the TiVo service to a minimum number of subscribers, people familiar with the talks said. But under the deal announced yesterday, there is no such commitment. Sales will be determined solely by consumer demand, an arrangement similar to TiVo's deal with DirecTV.
While most investors and analysts reacted positively to the deal, some estimate the financial terms of the deal won't provide a big boost for TiVo. Alan Bezoza of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. estimates TiVo will get less than the $1 cut of monthly subscription fees TiVo is believed to be receiving from DirecTV.
TiVo declined to comment on details of its discussions and terms of its deal with Comcast."

But TiVo's stock jumps 75% anyway -- go figure... - Yahoo Plans Service to Let Users Create Blogs and Share Content - Yahoo Plans Service to Let Users Create Blogs and Share Content: "Yahoo Inc. is plunging into Web logs and social-networking software as it tries to tie friends and family closer together online and increase their use of its services.
The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet company today plans to outline 'Yahoo 360,' a free service that will allow Yahoo users to share content such as photo albums and restaurant reviews with designated groups of friends. The service will also permit Yahoo users to create and share Web logs, or blogs, simple diary-like Web sites. The company plans to begin an invitation-only test of the service at the end of the month.
In a nod to possible consumer-privacy concerns, Yahoo 360 will allow users to control the personal information and content that other people see. The company said Yahoo 360 is different from many other social-networking services, which link groups of friends online, because it will allow users to share a variety of content such as photo albums. Over time, Yahoo plans to allow Yahoo 360 users to link to photo albums, blogs, and other content stored on non-Yahoo sites."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

AOL clarifies IM privacy guarantee | CNET

AOL clarifies IM privacy guarantee | CNET "America Online said late Monday that it plans to revise its user agreement in response to concerns that instant messages sent through the company's service could be monitored.
The new policy for AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM, will stress that the company does not eavesdrop on customer's conversations except in unusual circumstances such as a court order, an AOL spokesman said.
AIM's terms of service have been in place since at least February 2004, but nobody appears to have raised an alarm until a few days ago. Over the weekend, a brushfire of sorts flared among bloggers alarmed about six words embedded deep in the policy: 'You waive any right to privacy.'
That unfortunate wording was intended to apply to an AIM feature called "Rate-a-Buddy," spokesman Andrew Weinstein said. Like the classic site, Rate-a-Buddy permits AIM users to post photographs publicly so others can rate them on how "cute" and "interesting" they seem to be."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Wireless industry itching to muscle in on the music

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Wireless industry itching to muscle in on the music: "The Apple iPod is a small, simple-to-use white box that can store and play back thousands of songs.
But that's it; that's all it can do, says the wireless industry, which is betting it can build a strong contender by adding those features to a cellphone that already places calls, takes pictures and links to the Internet.
The wireless industry focused on music services and hardware yesterday, the first day of the annual Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association wireless conference in New Orleans. Judging by vendors and others at the conference, streaming music to the phone is one technology that may reach a wide array of consumers by the end of the year. "

Microsoft-Time Warner-Thomson Complete Acquisition Of ContentGuard

Microsoft-Time Warner-Thomson Complete Acquisition Of ContentGuard: "Microsoft, Time Warner and Thomson today announced completion of their three-way acquisition of ContentGuard.
ContentGuard is a developer of Digital Rights Management technologies. The term Digital Rights Management describes a wide range of technologies that are being developed to allow movies, music and other digital content to be accessed by users on the Internet while protecting that content from illegal copying and counterfeiting.
ContentGuard's portfolio of DRM patents originated at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Technologies developed by ContentGuard include XrML (eXtensible rights Markup Language), which is now the basis of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved MPEG REL, the standard rights expression language for assigning usage rights and conditions to any digital object. Launched in April 2000, ContentGuard conducts its operations in Bethesda, MD, and El Segundo, CA. For more information, please visit For details about ContentGuard technology visit"

Monday, March 14, 2005

Developers slam Microsoft's Visual Basic plan | CNET

Developers slam Microsoft's Visual Basic plan | CNET "More than 100 influential developers using Microsoft products have signed a petition demanding the software company reconsider plans to end support for Visual Basic in its 'classic' form.
The developers, members of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional program which recognizes influential members of the developer community, claim the move could kill development on millions of Visual Basic 6 (VB6) applications and 'strand' programmers that have not been trained in newer languages."

This might have been reasonable in 2002, but it's unrealistic now, with Visual Studio 2005 expected to be released this summer; VB in VS 2005 will be a very different story in terms of learning curve etc. - IBM Plans to Acquire Ascential for $1.1 Billion - IBM Plans to Acquire Ascential for $1.1 Billion: "Ascential, based in Westboro, Mass., makes software tools that help companies extract data from various sources, reformat it and transport it to other software programs. The company has close ties to IBM, which resells its products and bought a large part of Ascential's business four years ago.
In 2001, IBM paid $1 billion to buy the database business of rival Informix Corp. The transaction left behind a much smaller company, renamed Ascential, with a significant cash hoard. As of Dec. 31, Ascential had $480.7 million in cash and investments, so IBM's net purchase price is closer to $600 million."

GCC K-Pool: Microsoft/Groove commentary by Ludwig Nastansky

GCC K-Pool: Microsoft/Groove commentary by Ludwig Nastansky: "I am happy that with this acquisition the obvious has happened so soon. For good, IBM Lotus Notes/Domino is finally facing serious and profound competition on the Groupware & Collaboration markets. This will help to (re-) focus after more than a decade of Notes/Domino cannibalization on the real and essential issues of IT-support for collaboration, including technology. My guess is that Groove's integration in the MS Windows desktop will accelerate the collaboration market, and start a fruitful competition in this important IT-segment. The Groove Networks step will be a gain to profile Lotus Notes/Domino's value for decentralized collaboration - including the decentralized N/D client-server model being positioned not so much on the edges of an organization, not so much ad-hoc, and much more (form-based) structured and thus enterprise-integration enabled like Groove is with all these MS-Office document files."

Interesting insights and projections -- read the full post for more. See this Ludwig Nastansky bio for background on why he is very well positioned to comment on Microsoft/Groove implications.

(Thanks for the link, Bob)

Slashdot | SkypeIn Reaches Beta Users

Slashdot | SkypeIn Reaches Beta Users: "galdur writes 'Skype quietly released a new 1.2 beta featuring SkypeIn (in US, UK, France, China & Hong Kong), central voicemail (for those not using the free 3rd party SAM or Pamela), and finally centralised contact list. SkypeIn is the opposite of the company's SkypeOut, allowing you now to receive normal telephone calls through Skype.'"

AOL's Terms of Service Update for AIM Raises Eyebrows

AOL's Terms of Service Update for AIM Raises Eyebrows: "America Online, Inc. has quietly updated the terms of service for its AIM instant messaging application, making several changes that is sure to raise the hackles of Internet privacy advocates.
The revamped terms of service, which apply only to users who downloaded the free AIM software on or after Feb. 5, 2004, gives AOL the right to 'reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote' all content distributed across the chat network by users.
'You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the content or to be compensated for any such uses,' according to the AIM terms-of-service." / Business / Technology / Teen reporter pays price for Apple coverage / Business / Technology / Teen reporter pays price for Apple coverage: "Nicholas Ciarelli is an excellent journalist. Too bad. The poor kid's liable to be bankrupt before he's old enough to buy beer. All because he's very good at what he does -- and because he does it on the Internet."

IBM to Acquire Ascential Software

IBM to Acquire Ascential Software: "IBM and Ascential Software Corporation today announced the two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire the equity of Ascential Software, a publicly held company based in Westboro, Mass., in an all cash transaction at a price of approximately $1.1 billion or $18.50 per share. The acquisition is subject to Ascential Software shareholder and regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2005. "

Interesting -- IBM acquires the parts of Informix it passed on when it acquired the Informix DBMS business (for $1B cash) in 2001/04. The market consolidation among IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP continues...

Update: link above broken; see instead

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Can Papers End the Free Ride Online?

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Can Papers End the Free Ride Online?: "Consumers are willing to spend millions of dollars on the Web when it comes to music services like iTunes and gaming sites like Xbox Live. But when it comes to online news, they are happy to read it but loath to pay for it.
Newspaper Web sites have been so popular that at some newspapers, including The New York Times, the number of people who read the paper online now surpasses the number who buy the print edition.
This migration of readers is beginning to transform the newspaper industry. Advertising revenue from online sites is booming and, while it accounts for only 2 percent or 3 percent of most newspapers' overall revenues, it is the fastest-growing source of revenue. And newspaper executives are watching anxiously as the number of online readers grows while the number of print readers declines. "

I would gladly pay for access to -- if it involved less ad junk - Portals: Google Pioneers Use Old Microsoft Tools In New Web Programs - Portals: "Meet Ajax, the technology powerhouse. For years, it has been living indolently on your computer, never really doing much of anything.
In the past few months, though, computer programmers, most notably those at Google, have begun to wake up Ajax and put it to work. And as a result, the computer industry may never be the same.
Ajax is a recently coined name for a dense mouthful of software technologies that are built into Web browsers. The most important of them are JavaScript, a computer-programming language; dynamic HTML, which is a way of displaying information on a screen; and XMLHTTP, a procedure a Web browser can use to very quickly get information from a central server.
Who loses? For one, Sun Microsystems, which has for years talked up its Java programming language for precisely these sorts of jobs. Instead of Java, Ajax-style programming uses JavaScript -- no relation -- which is easier to work with and built free into every browser.
Another potential loser, of course, is Microsoft, which doesn't much like the fact that its upstart rival Google is setting the agenda for the world's computer programmers -- and in such an offhanded way at that. (Google is way too cool for anything as gauche as news releases; it usually just puts new programs on its Web site and waits for the world to beat a path to its door. Much of the explication of Google's innovative work was done by outside programmers like Jim Ley in London and Philip Lindsay in New Zealand.)
There is a barn-sized irony in all this. Many of the Ajax technologies were developed by Microsoft, back when it was fighting Sun over Java. At the time, Microsoft was beefing up Internet Explorer to make it a rival to Java. Now those tools exist everywhere, even in the hands of Microsoft rivals."

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Mitch Kapor's Weblog: Microsoft Acquires Groove

Mitch Kapor's Weblog: Microsoft Acquires Groove: "With the prospect of open source-based server capabilities of all kinds becoming more like the electrical power and distribution system, universally available on demand in whatever amount is needed, a whole class of objections to client-server architectures such as dependence on non-local, unreliable and inconvenient infrastructure diminishes. Groove's peer-to-peer architecture performs uniquely well in areas where the telecom infrastructure is weak, such as conflict-ridden areas of the Middle East and Asia where both military and humanitarian aid groups have deployed it successfully, but this alone is a niche application.
The challenge now is whether Ray and Groove, which represent forces of architectural innovation, can have a successful impact at Microsoft, which after all, is a large (58,000 person), middle-aged (30 year-old) company. It's hard to know whether the loss of nimbleness due to size and age is a greater challenge to Microsoft than is open source. "

See the full post for some history lessons.

Mitch Kapor's Weblog: Should Groove Have Gone Open Source?

Mitch Kapor's Weblog: Should Groove Have Gone Open Source?: "Andrew from Blogging on the Free Web asks whether I discussed taking Groove open source with Ray Ozzie prior to the Microsoft acquisition. Unfortunately, one of the constraints of working in the proprietary world is the loss of liberty to be open about the details of business transactions (at least until I write my memoirs). Part of the joy of open source by the way is that it permits, if not virtually requires, a degree of transparency that is congruent with my approach to life and business.
What I can say is that I have consistently had substantive conversations over the past several years whenever the opportunity presented itself to discuss open source opportunities involving ALL of the companies I've made investments in and have at one time or another had board seats on. This includes Real Networks, Groove Networks, and Linden Lab (which makes Second Life, an increasingly popular virtual world). "

The New York Review of Books: Welcome to Doomsday (By Bill Moyers)

The New York Review of Books: Welcome to Doomsday (By Bill Moyers): "There are times when what we journalists see and intend to write about dispassionately sends a shiver down the spine, shaking us from our neutrality. This has been happening to me frequently of late as one story after another drives home the fact that the delusional is no longer marginal but has come in from the fringe to influence the seats of power. We are witnessing today a coupling of ideology and theology that threatens our ability to meet the growing ecological crisis. Theology asserts propositions that need not be proven true, while ideologues hold stoutly to a world view despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. The combination can make it impossible for a democracy to fashion real-world solutions to otherwise intractable challenges. " Top Sellers Top Sellers: Semi-random: 8 of the top 10 "Top Sellers > Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Web Development > Internet Applications" at cover Exchange and/or Outlook

The New York Times > Technology > Apple Can Demand Names of Bloggers, Judge Says

The New York Times > Technology > Apple Can Demand Names of Bloggers, Judge Says: "The case has been closely watched for its potential impact on the publishers of Web sites and bloggers, who say the privilege of reporters to protect their confidential sources should extend to online writers.
But Judge Kleinberg wrote that assuming Apple's accusations are true, the information is 'stolen property, just as any physical item, such as a laptop computer containing the same information on its hard drive (or not) would be.'
He went on to say that 'the right to keep and maintain proprietary information as such is a right which the California Legislature and courts have long affirmed and which is essential to the future of technology and innovation.' "

Unpopular but necessary

Microsoft settles suit for $60 million

Microsoft settles suit for $60 million: "Microsoft Corp. will pay $60 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a California software company that alleged Microsoft stole its multimedia streaming software.
Microsoft and said in a joint statement yesterday that they had reached 'an agreement in principle' to resolve all claims against Microsoft. Under the settlement, Microsoft also will receive a non-exclusive license to Burst's patent portfolio.
Microsoft denied any wrongdoing."

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Groove gives lift to Microsoft Office

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Groove gives lift to Microsoft Office: "One government project was a factor in the departure of an early Groove supporter. Lotus co-founder Mitch Kapor quit the Groove board in 2003, in part because of his objections to a federal monitoring system (later rejected by Congress) that Groove was involved with.
Kapor, now a leader in the open-source software movement, remained a shareholder and agreed to the Microsoft deal after Ozzie explained his reasoning -- that Microsoft's offer was the best course to maintaining jobs in Massachusetts while allowing Groove to continue realizing its 'bigger vision.'
Kapor said Groove doesn't give Microsoft a lock on the market.
'Groove has had some significant adoption but, really, not in a mainstream kind of way,' he said. 'Most of the potential for collaboration has yet to be realized so I don't think anybody owns that or is even ahead.' "

The New York Times > Technology > Microsoft Acquires PC Pioneer's Company

The New York Times > Technology > Microsoft Acquires PC Pioneer's Company: "While other Lotus executives, like Mitchell D. Kapor and Jim Manzi, had sometimes bitter and confrontational relationships with Mr. Gates, Mr. Ozzie had a more collegial relationship with Microsoft, the software company that came to dominate the PC industry in the 1980's.
'We all had mixed feelings,' said Bob Frankston, who founded Software Arts with Dan Bricklin in 1979, and who later worked at Lotus and Microsoft. 'Mitch took it more personally, but Ray was immersed in making things work on Windows.'
Mr. Frankston said that early on, Mr. Ozzie won the respect of Microsoft executives with his technical achievements.
'He impressed Microsoft by pushing the technology farther than what any other mortal could do,' Mr. Frankston said."

Microsoft loses pair of engineers | CNET

Microsoft loses pair of engineers | CNET "Microsoft this week lost a key software engineer to, following another recent departure to Google.
Pat Helland, a longtime Microsoft software developer, announced last week through his blog on Microsoft's MSDN developer network site that he left the software giant on March 4 and planned to start at Amazon on March 7.
Microsoft's loss of Helland followed news of another departure. Marc Lucovsky, Microsoft's "distinguished engineer" who headed up a group working on the company's .Net technologies, now works for Google, the search company confirmed." - Microsoft Adds Its Voice to Call For Overhauling Patent System - Microsoft Adds Its Voice to Call For Overhauling Patent System: "Microsoft Corp.'s top lawyer called for an overhaul of the U.S. patent system and said the software company will apply more political muscle to see it through.
The comments, made in a speech yesterday to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., came as Inc. announced it had reached an agreement with Microsoft over a long-running suit that accused the Redmond, Wash., software company of patent infringement and violating antitrust laws.
The software maker in recent years has put more focus on its patent policy to better protect itself from suits. At any given time, Mr. Smith said the company is defending against roughly 35 to 40 patent suits at an annual cost to the company of about $100 million."

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Microsoft to Acquire Groove Networks, Combining Talents to Create Anytime, Anywhere Collaboration Products and Services

Microsoft to Acquire Groove Networks, Combining Talents to Create Anytime, Anywhere Collaboration Products and Services: "Microsoft Corp. announced today that it will acquire Groove Networks Inc., a leading provider of collaboration software for the 'virtual office.' The deal unites two top innovators of technology that help geographically distributed workgroups be as productive as those that work in a single physical location. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The addition of Groove products to the lineup of Microsoft Office System products, servers and services builds on the capabilities of Microsoft's current collaboration products, allowing Microsoft to better meet the needs of organizations of all sizes that increasingly are creating borderless project teams comprising employees, customers, partners, suppliers, contractors and others.
'The acquisition of Groove complements Microsoft's collaboration offerings to include real-time, server-based and peer-to-peer solutions that address the ever-changing and more-complex work environment,' said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Microsoft's Information Worker Group. 'Together, Microsoft and Groove will make anytime, anywhere collaboration a more natural and easy extension of how information workers coordinate their projects and document-centric work.'
The acquisition also brings to Microsoft the development talent and technology leadership of top Groove executives, including founder Ray Ozzie, a creator of IBM Corp.'s Lotus Notes. Ozzie will assume the role of chief technical officer, reporting to Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, chairman and chief software architect, with responsibility for influencing corporatewide communication and collaboration offerings and associated platform infrastructure. Ozzie also will continue his work with the Groove team, which will be part of Microsoft's Information Worker Group."

Congratulations to Ray and the rest of the Groove gang.

[I created this post at 9:05 EST but Blogger has been inaccessible most of the day...]

Microsoft Reveals First Details of Next-Generation Xbox

Microsoft Reveals First Details of Next-Generation Xbox: "Today at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC), Microsoft Corp. announced the first details of its next-generation Xbox video game system platform, highlighting how hardware, software and services are being fused to power enhanced game and entertainment experiences.
Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Chief XNA (TM) Architect J Allard further outlined the company's vision for the future of entertainment, citing the emergence of an 'HD Era' in video games that is fueled by consumer demand for experiences that are always connected, always personalized and always in high-definition.
'In the HD Era the platform is bigger than the processor,' Allard said. 'New technology and emerging consumer forces will come together to enable the rock stars of game development to shake up the old establishment and redefine entertainment as we know it.'"

Press release includes some high-level feature previews.

Yahoo! News - Motorola Says It Is Working on More iTunes Phones

Yahoo! News - Motorola Says It Is Working on More iTunes Phones: "Motorola said on Thursday it is working on several mobile phones that are compatible with Apple's iTunes music service and some of which can store eight hours of songs. "

Motorola is also building some Skype-related products -- placing lots of bets.

The New York Times > Technology > Another Data Broker Reports a Breach

The New York Times > Technology > Another Data Broker Reports a Breach: "The LexisNexis Group, a major compiler of legal and consumer information, said yesterday that information on about 30,000 people - including names, addresses and Social Security numbers - may have fallen into the hands of thieves.
The announcement follows the recent disclosure of several other cases involving the loss or theft of consumer data. ChoicePoint, another major data broker, said last month that it had inadvertently sold the records of about 145,000 individuals to criminals. And the Bank of America said more recently that backup computer tapes containing information on more than a million of its customers had been lost." Internet Phone Calls Not Just For Geeks Internet Phone Calls Not Just For Geeks: "Making phone calls over the Internet used to be a task only hardcore geeks and sophisticated IT departments could tackle. But once inaccessible Voice-over-Internet Protocol technologies are going mainstream, and now even America Online says it's going to roll out VoIP to its members. The product will help raise awareness and increase adoption of the technology, but could pose a big threat for smaller, pure-play VoIP vendors. "

That's wishful thinking on AOL's part; I hardly think Vonage or Skype, for instance, represent tasks that only "... hardcore geeks" etc. can handle. $.07 says AOL Internet Phone will join AOL TV in the industry trivial pursuit boardgame (i.e., get one soon, before it becomes a collectors' item)... - Personal Technology: Google Toolbar Inserts Links in Others' Sites, And That's a Bad Idea - Personal Technology: Google Toolbar Inserts Links in Others' Sites, And That's a Bad Idea: "What if you had worked hard to design a Web page, carefully placing links just where you wanted them and carefully selecting the Web destinations to which those links led? And then, what if a company with great power on the Web started adding its own links to your page, drawing visitors away from your page to other sites of its own choosing?
You might be more than a little upset. You might wonder what gives any third party the right to edit or alter your Web page without your knowledge or permission.
Yet that's exactly what Google, the powerful search-engine company, is doing. A new feature of the company's popular Google Toolbar for the Internet Explorer browser actually adds links right into the body of any Web page. The links lead to Google's own map site or to other sites Google selects.
Google notes that this feature, called 'AutoLink,' makes it easier for users to look up certain information. It also is strongly reminiscent of a Microsoft gambit of a few years back in which the software giant planned to program Internet Explorer to automatically add its own links to others' Web sites. Microsoft was forced to drop its 'Smart Tags' feature after Web site owners and others complained."

It'll be interesting to see how Google responds; Walt Mossberg was, imho, largely responsible for the Microsoft IE smart tag technology plan recalc in 2000; his 2001 smart tag article was widely influential. / News / Boston Globe / Living / Arts / Multi-tasking kids turn on, tune in / News / Boston Globe / Living / Arts / Multi-tasking kids turn on, tune in: "''My mom says I need to get a job watching TV for a living because that's all I'm good at,' says the 14-year-old. ''I never read, unless it's for school.'
To the dismay of a number of educators, psychologists, and parents, (including his mother), Zach Breslin is typical of a young generation saturated by the media.
A study released yesterday by the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C., found that increasingly young people are media multi-tasking -- using television, videos, music, video games, and computers at the same time -- often while doing homework."

See the full articles for some scary stats.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

GuruNet adds Google's AdSense | CNET

GuruNet adds Google's AdSense | CNET "GuruNet, the company behind and the desktop application that researches keywords over the Web, inked a deal with Google to distribute its AdSense contextual advertisements and share resulting revenue.
GuruNet said it would serve the text ads, which have turned Google into an ad revenue powerhouse, on its 1 million online topic pages. The site also launched an search results page that uses the Google search engine."

Check out -- it's a great utility

Google window-shops for VoIP | CNET

Google window-shops for VoIP | CNET "A team of Google honchos met this week with several Net telephone service providers, sources familiar with the talks told CNET, renewing speculation that the search giant may be exploring a move into the fast-growing market.
While that's great for consumers, it remains to be seen whether a VoIP program makes sense for Yahoo, MSN or Google. Yahoo and Microsoft could jeopardize important partnerships with telecom companies if they invest too heavily in voice services. Despite potential risks, all of the portals have begun tentatively checking out VoIP providers to test possibilities, according to sources familiar with the talks."

The New York Times > CNET > Technology > Instant Messenger Worms on the Prowl

The New York Times > CNET > Technology > Instant Messenger Worms on the Prowl: "In the first six weeks of 2005, 10 instant-messaging worms and their variants spread over America Online, ICQ and MSN networks, according to researchers at Akonix Systems. That's more than three times the number of worms that spread over public IM networks over the same period last year, and Akonix expects the trend to continue to climb."

And, of course, "easy to use" AOL Instant Messenger deliberately installs ad-related junk that many would consider malware...

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Workers' presence known with software

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Workers' presence known with software: "An IBM executive said the presence technology is interesting but otherwise Microsoft showed little in new technology.
'A lot of what Microsoft is talking about now is really catch-up ? it's things we've been doing with Lotus messaging and Web conferencing since 1998,' said Ed Brill, a Lotus business-unit sales executive based in Chicago.
Brill said about half of his customers are using instant-messaging products, especially financial companies such as J.P. Morgan. Some are starting to ask about integrated communications systems, but the technology is still in its early days, with fewer than 10 percent having installed them, he said. "

The New York Times > Business > Delta to Quit Selling Food; Cost Cuts Hit Pillows, Too

The New York Times > Business > Delta to Quit Selling Food; Cost Cuts Hit Pillows, Too: "Delta Air Lines plans to announce today that it will stop selling food on its flights and give passengers a choice of snacks. But the airline is eliminating pillows in an effort to save money."

Meanwhile, JetBlue plans $100 Boston-N.Y. service...

The New York Times > Technology > New Microsoft Products Aim to Take Ground From Phones

The New York Times > Technology > New Microsoft Products Aim to Take Ground From Phones: "Microsoft introduced three software products on Tuesday that are intended to blur the lines between traditional phones and computer networks within corporations.
The company is searching for ways to bring new life to the increasingly mature market for its Office programs. It has set its sights on what it calls real-time collaboration software as its next big area of growth.
Bill Gates, the company's co-founder and chief software architect, introduced an updated version of Microsoft's Live Meeting service for Web conferencing and document sharing; Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 for corporate instant messaging; and a new instant messaging program, Microsoft Office Communicator 2005."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

IBM, AT&T and the collaborative Lotus Workplace bundle

IBM, AT&T and the collaborative Lotus Workplace bundle: "Key among PartnerWorld announcements was word that IBM and AT&T will jointly offer a packaged team collaboration product for SMBs. The package, known as IBM WorkplaceServices Express with AT&T Managed Internet Service, will be based on IBM's Workplace Services Express, a collaboration solution with an integrated portal, and AT&T Managed Internet Service. The IBM-AT&T bundle supports Windows or Linux-based servers as well as Windows or Linux browser-based clients."

Let's hope this is a bit more successful than AT&T Network Notes...