Monday, October 31, 2005

David Chappell :: Opinari: The Case Against BPEL

David Chappell :: Opinari: The Case Against BPEL: "Using BPEL to define business protocols makes good sense. The requirements for achieving portability are relatively low, since no system-specific behaviors need to be defined, and the benefits of interoperability are considerable. I expect BPEL to become an important technology in this area.
Most of the excitement around BPEL isn?t about solving this important but relatively narrow problem, however. Instead, it?s about BPEL?s potential to become the standard language for defining all kinds of business processes in a portable way. Despite the hype, despite the enthusiasm, and despite the unbridled optimism of some vendors, I don?t believe this is likely to happen. Unless you?re completely focused on those scenarios where the language can shine, BPEL really is less important than you think it is."

Number of software firms in Mass. down 126 since '04 - The Boston Globe

Number of software firms in Mass. down 126 since '04 - The Boston Globe: "John B. Landry, chairman of Adesso Systems, a Boston software firm, said Massachusetts is suffering partly from overly cautious venture capital firms and an inability to grow large companies like Google Inc., the highly successful Mountain View, Calif., Internet search company.
''I'm concerned that we're becoming something of a backwater here, and I don't like it,' Landry said."

For Bloggers Seeking Name Recognition, Nothing Beats a Good Scandal - New York Times

For Bloggers Seeking Name Recognition, Nothing Beats a Good Scandal - New York Times: "But the blogosphere is expanding at a rate of 70,000 sites a day, according to Technorati, the blog search portal, which now tracks activity on more than 20 million blogs in real time - and the right bit of news can always catapult new sites into the limelight. "

Sunday, October 30, 2005

IBM to use Google desktop search deep inside firms - Yahoo! News

IBM to use Google desktop search deep inside firms - Yahoo! News: "IBM and Google Inc. are collaborating to make it easier for office workers not only to search for local documents and personal e-mail but to delve deep into corporate databases, the companies said on Friday.
IBM is linking up its OmniFind corporate search system with Google's free desktop search for business to make it easier for users to locate information throughout an organization that is often locked up in many separate systems."

The Extra-Large, Ultra-Small Medium - New York Times

The Extra-Large, Ultra-Small Medium - New York Times: "Technology tends to shrink. Hulking mainframes begat slim laptops; boxy mobile phones and digital cameras have dematerialized into silvery credit cards. But something curious is happening to television: it's simultaneously growing gigantic and minuscule, stretching across living room walls at the same time it slips into pockets. People can brag about their 60-inch plasma screens and their palm-size nanocasters in the same breath."

Google Wants to Dominate Madison Avenue, Too - New York Times

Google Wants to Dominate Madison Avenue, Too - New York Times: "Mr. Schmidt acknowledges that as Google explores moving into television, it may well face a conflict between its core belief that advertising must be useful and the typical television commercial that is 'based on feeling and emotion.'
'Our model is likely to affect television last,' he said, while expressing optimism that a formula for useful, targeted commercials could be found. For now, he quickly added, the market for various forms of direct marketing is three times larger than that for television ads. 'I was shocked by this,' he said. 'All of us are so conditioned to television as the height of advertising.
'We are in the really boring part of the business,' Mr. Schmidt concluded, 'the boring big business.' "

More interesting analysis of Google's potential impact on the world of advertising. Check out the "Other revenue" slice of the bar chart, however -- scary...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Star Wars Halloween Masks -

Star Wars Halloween Masks - "Steve Jobs as Darth Vader Net worth: $3.3 billion Source of wealth: Apple Computer and Pixar Steve Jobs was the chosen one who promised to make things right in the computing world. But as time passed, his hunger for power took over, leading him to sue hapless bloggers and embrace dark arts, like digital-rights management."

Oracle to offer free database | CNET

Oracle to offer free database | CNET "The database heavyweight on Tuesday is expected to announce the beta release of Oracle 10g Express Edition (Oracle Database XE), which will be generally available by the end of the year. It is targeted at students, small organizations and software vendors that could embed the Oracle database with an application.
The latest edition is the same as other databases in Oracle's lineup but is limited in usage. It can only run servers with one processor, with 4GB of disk memory and 1GB of memory. "

Friday, October 28, 2005

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Shock treatment

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Shock treatment: "Now, companies suddenly have another good reason to jump to the utility model: electricity costs. Corporate data centers are power hogs, and their gluttony gets worse every year. Earlier this week, TechTarget reported on a new survey by AFCOM, one of the leading IT professional societies, that showed the amount of electricity used by the average data center is increasing at an 8% annual clip, and for some centers the growth rate is as high as 20%.
If energy prices stay high, expect to see another wave of companies embrace the utility model and start to close down their data centers. It looks like box-hugging is about to get considerably more expensive. "

SBC to take on AT&T name

SBC to take on AT&T name: "Even after a breakup and a new marriage, Ma Bell's name is here to stay. SBC, which expects to close its acquisition of AT&T this year, said on Thursday that it will adopt the name AT&T once the deal is finalized. It will be AT&T Inc., however, rather than AT&T Corp. "

Somehow this seems kind of pitiful.

E-Commerce News: E-Commerce: Yahoo Doubling Price of Music Service

E-Commerce News: E-Commerce: Yahoo Doubling Price of Music Service: "Effective Nov. 1, Yahoo will charge about US$120 annually for access via download to more than 1 million songs that can then be transferred to portable players. The Internet powerhouse has been charging just under $60 annually -- a price most industry observers predicted wouldn't last when Yahoo entered the market in early May.
Subscribing to the service on a monthly basis will cost $11.99, up from $6.99 under the initial pricing plan. That's closer to but still below services from Napster and RealNetworks (Nasdaq: RNWK) , which each charge just under $15 per month."


Good Morning Silicon Valley: Research In Motion considers changing name to Research In Stasis

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Research In Motion considers changing name to Research In Stasis: "What happens next is anyone's guess. Given the questionable patents at the center of the case, all of which have been re-examined and rejected by the USPTO, I'd be surprised to see the court agree to an injunction that would unfairly harm RIM's business. Still, the federal district court to which the case is now headed has ruled against the company in the past, and that's enough to give BlackBerry users the shakes."

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Exxon's quarterly profit equals $45 million an hour

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Exxon's quarterly profit equals $45 million an hour: "More than a billion dollars a day, $45 million an hour, almost $340 for every living American ? that's what Exxon Mobil reported in third-quarter revenue Thursday.
For the oil giant, that translated to $9.9 billion in net income.
The financial results drew outrage from politicians and consumer advocates who are suspicious of historically high U.S. gasoline prices." - Microsoft's Earnings Climb by 24% - Microsoft's Earnings Climb by 24%: "The earnings precede a briefing next week in San Francisco, where Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is expected to outline how the company hopes to retool itself under Ray Ozzie, a software-industry pioneer who joined Microsoft through an acquisition earlier this year and now serves as one of its chief technology officers.
Mr. Ozzie's work is expected to focus on new software-development and product plans to help Microsoft better use the Internet for making and selling software. The expected strategy is in part an answer to Google, Inc. and other rivals that have seized new ways to profit from the Internet quicker than Microsoft. While those companies' share prices have soared, Microsoft's remains flat." - Delta Air Weighs Shuttering Song, Using Elements - Delta Air Weighs Shuttering Song, Using Elements: "Delta Air Lines is considering a plan to eliminate its Song discount-airline unit, but the carrier would draw lessons from its experience with Song to spruce up its primary flights with satellite-television screens and other popular amenities.
The plan reflects the recent turnaround of Song, which was launched in 2003 and seemed doomed when Gerald Grinstein became Delta's chief executive less than a year later. Song initially seemed to be a distraction amid the financial crisis at Atlanta-based Delta. But it quickly became a laboratory for improvements in operations and customer service and an effective counterattack against other lower-cost airlines such as JetBlue Airways."

I always assumed Song was a creative attempt to eliminate union obligations...

Cold Realities For Novell

Cold Realities For Novell: "It's not too late for Messman to get the company back on track. Analysts praise Ronald W. Hovsepian, Novell's executive vice-president of worldwide field operations, who completed the salesforce makeover. He cut the number of products they were hawking from 300 to about 80. And he instituted a more aggressive sales culture. 'We obviously had to change a lot of the DNA,' Hovsepian says. Analysts see him as the new heir apparent to the corner office, thanks to a go-for-the-jugular style that Novell lacked in the past.
Will it be enough to shift Novell's direction? Maybe. A wild card is the support from computer makers Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ), Dell and IBM. 'There's a huge benefit to having two [Linux] suppliers. Customers have choice,' says Scott Handy, IBM's vice-president of worldwide Linux. The three giants might push business Novell's way. With their help, Novell may yet turn into a leader again. For the sake of Linux, it better happen. For the sake of Messman, it better happen soon."

(BW subscription required)

ROKR is for SUKRs

ROKR is for SUKRs: "It seems that many people who purchased ROKR phones -- which come with a mobile version of Apple's groundbreaking iTunes Music Store -- feel dissatisfied. According to research by Albert Lin, an analyst with American Technology Research, people are returning their ROKR phones at a rate 'six times' the average for returns. Lin issued his report based on interviews with retailers, distributors, and call-center employees. "

The Customer Is Sometimes Wrong

The Customer Is Sometimes Wrong: "The Case: In 1999, when former Oracle executive Marc Benioff founded, companies bought software and ran it on their computers. The idea of handing customer data to another company and then renting access to software running on its servers sounded insane. But today, "software as a service" is a viable business led by Salesforce, whose best early decision disappointed many customers.
Salesforce has attracted believers who say that as long as Benioff is in charge, the company has a shot at the big time. 'Without question, his personality and his will to make this company grow and validate this space have been absolutely critical,' says Nick Blozan, a senior vice-president at OpSource, a Santa Clara, CA-based company that manages software delivery for software-as-a-service providers. 'He's the right guy at the right time. He's pointing out that there are fundamental dissatisfactions with the old model, and I think you'll continue to see all of this accelerate.'"

I have a hunch, given the current competitive environment among IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP, that won't be independent much longer.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

InformationWeek > Microsoft > Coming From Microsoft: 'Hosted Everything' > October 26, 2005

InformationWeek > Microsoft > Coming From Microsoft: 'Hosted Everything' > October 26, 2005: "Microsoft wants to get into hosting--in big and small ways.
Within a year, the Redmond, Wash.-based company plans to offer hosted implementations of SharePoint as well as CRM and ERP applications, several sources said.
A handful of service partners now host Microsoft applications for customers; the difference is future customers could choose Microsoft or a partner to run the infrastructure. "

Engineers Make Leap in Optical Networks - New York Times

Engineers Make Leap in Optical Networks - New York Times: "A team of Stanford electrical engineers has discovered how to switch a beam of laser light on and off up to 100 billion times a second with materials that are widely used in the semiconductor industry.
The group used a standard chip-making process to design a central component of optical networking gear that is potentially more than 10 times as fast as the highest-performance commercial products available today."

Personal Technology -- IM Services Offer Alternative to Phones, But Are No Bargains

Personal Technology -- IM Services Offer Alternative to Phones, But Are No Bargains : "Instant-messaging services with voice calling have been around since the late '90s, but the sound quality was poor, and most customers could only text message or call people with the same service.
That is changing. Google recently launched Google Talk, a call service integrated into its messaging service. And Yahoo and Microsoft have announced plans for next year to have users trade messages and eventually conduct voice conversations. The two companies also recently released versions of their services that aimed to improve voice quality and offer new features like free voicemail."

Who Owns XML?

Who Owns XML?: "Developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) between 1996 and 1998, XML has become the dominant way of describing and structuring data so that it can be shared across the Internet and displayed in any browser.
But now executives at Scientigo, a small software maker based in Charlotte, NC, say the company owns two U.S. patents (No. 5,842,213 and No. 6,393,426), that cover one of the fundamental concepts behind XML: the idea of packaging data in a self-defining format that allows it to be correctly displayed wherever it travels. "

Wired 13.11: Battle for the Soul of the MP3 Phone

Wired 13.11: Battle for the Soul of the MP3 Phone: "Consumers want an iPod phone that will play any song, anytime, anywhere. Just four little problems: the cell carriers, the record labels, the handset makers, and Apple itself. The inside story of why the ROKR went wrong.* (*And what it will take to make a truly rocking music phone.)
[concludes with:]
Will Apple make its own phone, as so many pundits have sug-gested? Perhaps - and an iPhone would no doubt be cooler than the ROKR. In theory, Apple could even become a virtual network operator like Virgin Mobile, leasing network capacity from one of the carriers and reselling it to consumers under the Apple brand. But that wouldn't solve its problems: The company would still be beholden to a carrier. Jobs is right when he says Apple is no good at going through orifices to reach the consumer. He should know better than to mimic the orifice mentality himself.
Apple won the loyalty of music fans through elegant design and brilliant marketing. Using DRM as a digital tether will do nothing to hold them. Last January, an irate iTunes user put Apple in the same camp as Verizon by filing a class-action lawsuit over the limits FairPlay puts on music bought online. Consider it an omen: The quest for control - by carriers, by music labels, or by Apple itself - is a hopeless affair that can end only in disappointment for all concerned."

Seems pretty clear to me that Apple is placing a few all-or-nothing bets; it will have only itself to blame if it ends up with a paltry share of a market segment it popularized (e.g., as is the case with the Mac today).

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Sounds great. Where do I upload eBay's business plan?

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Sounds great. Where do I upload eBay's business plan?: "Expected to be introduced today at Google's invitation-only Zeitgeist conference (see 'The first rule of The Google Partner Forum is, you do not talk about The Google Partner Forum. The second rule of The Google Partner Forum is, you DO NOT talk about The Google Partner Forum.'), Google Base is a service that will allow people to submit listings about all manner of goods and services to a publicly searchable database maintained by Google. "

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - Supreme Court Rejects RIM's Stay Request - Supreme Court Rejects RIM's Stay Request: "At issue in the patent dispute is technology used in the popular BlackBerry wireless email device RIM makes. NTP sued in 2001, saying the company had violated several of its patents with the product. A trial in a Virginia district court resulted in a jury verdict against Research In Motion over five patents in 2003.
RIM, in the emergency appeal, said its business would be 'irreparably harmed' if a lower court is free to issue an injunction before the Supreme Court reviews its appeal. 'Research In Motion would suffer substantial revenue and profit losses,' lawyers for the company said in the appeal." - Microsoft CEO: Unafraid Of Google; Search Upgrade Coming - Microsoft CEO: Unafraid Of Google; Search Upgrade Coming: "'We are not afraid of Google, but there is intense competition between us. Google is our main competitor, brilliant people work there, but Internet search engines are still in a terrible state compared to where they could be,' Gates was quoted as saying in the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.
'This is a situation that we hope will change for the better in the next six months. We are working on it, as are other companies, such as Google and Yahoo,' Gates added in comments that were translated into Hebrew."

One More Reason to Wait for My Next Mac | [Dan Gillmor] Bayosphere

One More Reason to Wait for My Next Mac | [Dan Gillmor] Bayosphere: "Apple's new line of PowerBook laptops is totally underwhelming -- a higher resolution screen is the only noteworthy feature.
I predict sales of the company's computers, especially laptops, are going to plummet in coming months. I know I'm going to wait for an Intel-based machine. Apple's made it clear that the current line is going absolutely nowhere."

CRN | New Corel Sales VP | Corel Taps New Sales Chief

CRN | New Corel Sales VP | Corel Taps New Sales Chief: "Corel has named Patrick Morley executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas.
Morley was CEO of Imprivata, a security software maker in Lexington, Mass. Prior to that he was vice president of North America at Macromedia, joining that company when it bought Allaire. "

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Tonight on "VH1: Where Are They Now?" The Motorola ROKR

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Tonight on "VH1: Where Are They Now?" The Motorola ROKR: "We got off to a little bit of a rough start. People were looking for an iPod and that's not what it is. We may have missed the marketing message there.' That's what Motorola CEO Ed Zander had to say about the company's ballyhooed ROKR phone, which appears to be sinking like its namesake in the market for converged devices."

Google Found to Be Testing Classified Ads - New York Times

Google Found to Be Testing Classified Ads - New York Times: "'We are testing new ways for content owners to easily send their content to Google,' the company said in a statement. 'Like our Web crawl and the recently released Google Sitemaps program, we are working to provide content owners an easy way to give us access to their content. We're continually exploring new opportunities to expand our offerings, but we don't have anything to announce at this time.'"

Microsoft joins Yahoo on digital library alliance - Yahoo! News

Microsoft joins Yahoo on digital library alliance - Yahoo! News: "The grouping -- the Open Content Alliance (OCA) -- is making its pitch even as Google Inc. and the publishing industry lock horns over Google's ambitious plan to create a digital library.
The OCA, unveiled earlier this month by a group of digital archivists and backed by Yahoo, H-P and Adobe, says it has also signed up Microsoft Corp. and more than a dozen major libraries in North America, Britain and Europe."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - Google Tests New Service To Build Content Database - Google Tests New Service To Build Content Database: "Google Inc. today confirmed the existence of test service called Google Base that could put it squarely in competition with eBay Inc., one of the largest buyers of its search advertisements.
Google Base would let users submit information to a searchable Google database, according to images of Web pages from the service that were posted on several Web logs and which Google confirmed were legitimate."

Oracle wins big with its Innobase acquisition | InfoWorld | Column | 2005-10-24 | By Neil McAllister

Oracle wins big with its Innobase acquisition | InfoWorld | Column | 2005-10-24 | By Neil McAllister: "By acquiring Innobase, however, Oracle gains three things. One, it gains accurate accounting of MySQL's market share (because InnoDB ships with every copy). Two, and more importantly, it gains access to the list of MySQL customers who need InnoDB support -- in other words, those specific customers who want the enterprise-class features Oracle has provided for years. And finally, by owning the InnoDB code, Oracle will be in a unique position to develop easy tools to let customers migrate from MySQL to Oracle when the time comes.
So why kill InnoDB or MySQL? I think Oracle has long recognized that what's good for MySQL is good for the relational database market as a whole. Now, in the wake of the Innobase acquisition, MySQL may have become the best sales tool Oracle's database division has. "

Groove P2P System Assists Hurricane Relief

Groove P2P System Assists Hurricane Relief: "'After the storms, we did after-action reports, and one of the biggest complaints was a lack of a common operating picture,' Fugate said.
That was when Fugate turned to Groove, of Beverly, Mass., to implement Groove Virtual Office, P2P desktop collaboration software that lets users share information in work spaces. In turn, Groove recruited Denver-based CH2M Hill to come on board. ('CH2M' is derived from the initials of the company's founders; 'Hill' comes from the name of the company it merged with.)
Instead of rolling out Groove Virtual Office in its full capacity at the outset, FDEM decided to take a grass-roots approach. 'We decided to take the virus approach and infect users with a new product,' Fugate said.
Groove and CH2M Hill spent eight weeks in Tallahassee with FDEM and spoke to local, county and state officials to understand how all the agencies operate and work together. "

Microsoft reportedly sets date to release Windows Vista to OEMs - Computerworld

Microsoft reportedly sets date to release Windows Vista to OEMs - Computerworld: "Microsoft Corp. is expected to release to manufacturing the next version of its Windows desktop operating system on July 25, 2006, to ensure PC vendors have it on machines in time for the 2006 holiday season in the U.S., according to sources familiar with the company's plans. "

If accurate, this will be bad news for all Microsoft competitors who assumed "second half 2006" meant 2006/12/31...

Java on the Server: Too Many Choices, Too Few Real Problems Solved-

Java on the Server: Too Many Choices, Too Few Real Problems Solved- "On the server-side, there are even more choices -- but this, unfortunately, proves that you can get too much of a good thing.
Having choices is great, but Java is beginning to suffer for its overabundance of server-side frameworks. It doesn't help that the competing frameworks typically are created to address a technical issue or to take advantage of new language features. It's techie heaven, but we're not seeing very many business problems being solved.
The signs of frustration are increasing in number. Recently, buggy/defunct web browser pioneer Marc Andreessen predicted that PHP will oust Java EE as the default choice for web applications. (This struck me as odd, because going by webserver stats, PHP already is way more popular than Java for web applications)."

United Press International - Hi-Tech - Apple shaken by iPod Nano lawsuit

United Press International - Hi-Tech - Apple shaken by iPod Nano lawsuit: "A class-action lawsuit accuses Apple of knowingly selling defective iPods. Specifically, the company has been charged with shipping out its iPod Nanos, one of the company's smallest and thinnest models to date, even though it knew that the product was prone to being scratched up easily. Moreover, the plaintiffs argue that the scratches make the product unusable as the screen becomes unreadable.
'This consumer class action arises from Apple's deceptive and unlawful conduct in designing, manufacturing, distributing, and selling defectively designed portable, digital music players,' said law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro of Seattle in filing its suit with the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. "

Poor Nations Are Littered With Old PC's, Report Says - New York Times

Poor Nations Are Littered With Old PC's, Report Says - New York Times: "The report, titled 'The Digital Dump: Exporting Reuse and Abuse to Africa,' says that the unusable equipment is being donated or sold to developing nations by recycling businesses in the United States as a way to dodge the expense of having to recycle it properly. While the report, written by the Basel Action Network, based in Seattle, focuses on Nigeria, in western Africa, it says the situation is similar throughout much of the developing world."

Skype targets businesses as growth accelerates - Yahoo! News

Skype targets businesses as growth accelerates - Yahoo! News: "Skype is adding 170,000 new subscribers every day to its 61 million person user base, up from 150,000 a day until September, when Skype announced it was to be taken over by eBay for up to $4 billion.
The company has almost doubled its number of registered users in the last six months.
A new service launched on Tuesday, Skype Groups, enables companies to set up Skype accounts for employees -- 30 percent of subscribers already use Skype for business calls.
With the new service, a person in a company can pick up the bill for all Skype users in an organization."

Sunday, October 23, 2005 - EMC Buys Maker Of Paper-Scanning Software - EMC Buys Maker Of Paper-Scanning Software: "EMC Corp. agreed to buy Captiva Software Corp., a maker of paper-scanning programs, for about $300 million. The deal gives the data-storage vendor software that turns reams of paper into digital files, ready to be stored on EMC systems."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

PBS | I, Cringely . October 20, 2005 - Seeing Is Believing

PBS | I, Cringely . October 20, 2005 - Seeing Is Believing "The problem comes when you start to think about power consumption. It's not that disk drives consume so much power or that they haven't come down in consumption over the years, but each of those cabinets will require using modern drives about 3,300 watts to run while the full 100 petabytes will require 2.148 MEGAwatts. And all that heat has to go somewhere, so the building will typically use three to four times as much power for air conditioning as it does to run the drives, taking our total power consumption up to just under 10 megawatts, which at typical U.S. industrial power rates will cost about $5 million per year.
NOW we know why Google bought those 30 acres on the Columbia River in Oregon right next to a generating station from the Bonneville Power Administration. It's a source of cheap, uninterruptible power."

Microsoft Tests 'Virtual Wi-Fi' Software

Microsoft Tests 'Virtual Wi-Fi' Software: "Researchers at Microsoft Corp. have created the prototype for new Wi-Fi software that allows a user on a PC with a single network card to connect to multiple local area networks concurrently via 'virtual mirrors.'
Chandra offered other examples of how this virtualization software works. For example:
With VirtualWiFi, you can connect to a guest's machine or play games over an ad hoc network, while surfing the Web via an infrastructure network.
You can use VirtualWiFi to connect your ad hoc network, which may contain many nodes, to the Internet using only one node.
VirtualWiFi can help make your home infrastructure network elastic by extending its access to nodes that are out of range of your home WiFi Access Point."

Friday, October 21, 2005

Profit Rises Sevenfold at Google - New York Times

Profit Rises Sevenfold at Google - New York Times: "Google earned $381 million, or $1.32 a share, in the third quarter, up more than sevenfold from its $52 million, or 19 cents a share, a year ago. Last year's results were depressed by a $201 million noncash charge related to settling a patent dispute with Yahoo.
Google shares rose about 10 percent after the announcement, which was at the end of regular trading. In after-hours trading, shares hit $335, a record, up from the $303.20 closing price in regular trading.
Mr. Schmidt said the strong growth did not come from more users, as traffic slowed in the summer, but from Google's growing ability to earn more money from Internet searches. "

Netflix to delay launch of online download service - Yahoo! News

Netflix to delay launch of online download service - Yahoo! News: "Netflix Inc. will postpone a test launch of its online movie download service indefinitely because of problems obtaining licensing agreements from Hollywood studios, Chief Executive Reed Hastings told analysts on a conference call on Wednesday. "

Bummer, given the frequency of scratched DVDs lately...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Official Google Blog: The point of Google Print

Official Google Blog: The point of Google Print: "Imagine sitting at your computer and, in less than a second, searching the full text of every book ever written. Imagine an historian being able to instantly find every book that mentions the Battle of Algiers. Imagine a high school student in Bangladesh discovering an out-of-print author held only in a library in Ann Arbor. Imagine one giant electronic card catalog that makes all the world's books discoverable with just a few keystrokes by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
That's the vision behind Google Print, a program we introduced last fall to help users search through the oceans of information contained in the world's books. Recently, some members of the publishing industry who believe this program violates copyright law have been fighting to stop it. We respectfully disagree with their conclusions, on both the meaning of the law and the spirit of a program which, in fact, will enhance the value of each copyright. Here's why."

Official Google Blog: Why we believe in Google Print

Official Google Blog: Why we believe in Google Print: "We've been asked recently why we're so determined to pursue Google Print, even though it has drawn industry opposition in the form of two lawsuits, the most recent coming today from several members of the American Association of Publishers. The answer is that this program, which will make millions of books easier for everyone in the world to find, is crucial to our company's mission. We're dedicated to helping the world find information, and there's too much information in books that cannot yet be found online. We think you should be able to search through every word of every book ever written, and come away with a list of relevant books to buy or find at your local library. We aim to make that happen, but to do so we'll need to build and maintain an index containing all this information."

Andreessen: PHP succeeding where Java isn't | CNET

Andreessen: PHP succeeding where Java isn't | CNET "'Simplicity is a huge part of it,' said Rod Smith, vice president of IBM's Emerging Internet Technologies Group, describing PHP's appeal to IBM in a meeting with reporters at the conference. 'They weren't interested in adding language features to compete with other languages,' choosing instead 'the simple way, and not the way we've done it in Java, unfortunately.' "

A Journey to a Thousand Maps Begins With an Open Code - New York Times

A Journey to a Thousand Maps Begins With an Open Code - New York Times: "An army of programmers, most of them doing it just for fun, has grabbed the software code that generates the distinctive maps with their drop-shadowed virtual pushpins, and combined it with other data like the locations of potholes, taco trucks and U.F.O. sightings, and even the sites of murders and muggings.
Google's openness to the use of its maps does have limits, though. Once a mash-up turns into a large-scale commercial enterprise, Google looks to share in the revenue. That is happening at Trulia; Google lawyers are trying to negotiate a royalty agreement. "At the moment it is free," Mr. Flint said, "and we are taking advantage of it.""

AOL trims staff by more than 700 - Yahoo! News

AOL trims staff by more than 700 - Yahoo! News: "Time Warner Inc.'s AOL Internet division this week laid off more than 700 employees, or less than 5 percent of its global work force, amid ongoing efforts to cut costs, the company said on Wednesday.
Most of the cuts came from AOL's dial-up service operations, AOL said."

Somehow I suspect the safest jobs at AOL these days are in their legal and marketing departments, as AOL jockeys to sell 49% to the highest bidder.

Publishers sue Google over copyright dispute - Yahoo! News

Publishers sue Google over copyright dispute - Yahoo! News: "The suit seeks a declaration that Google infringes on the publishers' copyrights when the Web search leader scans entire books without permission of copyright owners.
'If Google can make...copies, then anyone can,' Patricia Schroeder, president of the Association of American Publishers, said in a phone interview. 'Anybody could go into a library and start making digital copies of anything,' she said."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Adam Bosworth's Weblog: Speaking up

Adam Bosworth's Weblog: Speaking up: "I've been sitting on this post for 3 months because I didn't want to hurt Google. But Google has given me permission to post this, and in any case, it speaks for me and not Google.
It is time to speak up. It is time to say that facts are what matter, not faith, that human progress is accomplished through unfettered use of reason and inquiry and tolerance and discussion and debate, not through intolerant and irrational acts of terror or edicts. For all of our children and for the future, speak up against this wave of intolerance and irrationalism washing over the world."

IBM acquires DataPower in software security push |

IBM acquires DataPower in software security push | "Software accounts for about 15 percent of revenue at IBM while generating about one-third its profit, according to the company. The IBM WebSphere business that includes service-oriented architecture grew 14 percent in the third quarter, the fastest of any of the company's software brands, IBM said on Monday when it announced quarterly earnings that beat analysts' forecasts."

IBM buys DataPower of Cambridge for $100m - The Boston Globe

IBM buys DataPower of Cambridge for $100m - The Boston Globe "IBM Corp., continuing its string of Massachusetts acquisitions, disclosed that it has purchased DataPower of Cambridge, a privately held company that helps businesses use open standards-based software applications. IBM paid about $100 million for DataPower, which sells its enterprise customers service-oriented architecture, an approach that combines business processes with information technology. Earlier this year, IBM bought Ascential Software Corp. of Westborough for $1.1 billion. In recent years, IBM also has acquired three other Massachusetts software companies -- Lotus Development Corp. of Cambridge, Informix Software Inc. of Westborough, and Rational Software Corp. of Lexington -- for a total of $6.2 billion."

Yahoo Reports Revenue Gains Bolstered by Online Ads - New York Times

Yahoo Reports Revenue Gains Bolstered by Online Ads - New York Times: "But Yahoo's performance in the fastest-growing Internet market - Web search - continued to lag behind that of Google.
Indeed, Yahoo said that Ted Meisel, the president of its search advertising unit and the former chief executive of Overture Services, which Yahoo bought two years ago, would leave the company at the end of this year.
His duties are being split, with the search advertising sales efforts reporting to Gregory Coleman, Yahoo's executive vice president for global ad sales. The critical product development function for search, will report to Jeff Weiner, Yahoo's senior vice president for search."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - Yahoo's Revenue Soars With Ads, Premium Services - Yahoo's Revenue Soars With Ads, Premium Services: "Yahoo Inc.'s revenue climbed with success in online advertising and premium services, though profit was flat when compared with a large investment gain a year earlier.
Yahoo, of Sunnyvale, Calif., reported net income of $253.8 million, or 17 cents a share, about even with $253.3 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier, when Yahoo gained $129 million from the sale of Google shares.
Revenue rose 47% to $1.33 billion from $906.7 million in the year-earlier period
Analysts surveyed by Thompson First Call were looking for earnings of 14 cents a share."

IBM buys XML appliance maker | CNET

IBM buys XML appliance maker | CNET "IBM said it intends to offer a line of service-oriented architecture (SOA) appliances based on the DataPower products. SOAs are modular systems that rely on standards--notably Web services and XML--to be more flexible and cost-effective.
The move to acquire 6-year-old DataPower follows Intel's purchase this year of Sarvega, another XML appliance vendor. In June, IBM partner Cisco stepped into the same market with the introduction of its Application-Oriented Networking (AON) product line. "

Google's Got GAIM

Google's Got GAIM: "Sean Egan, Google Inc.'s latest high-profile hire, up until a few weeks ago was lead developer of software to simultaneously use multiple IM accounts.
But now he's got some much bigger fish to fry, namely helping Google chart the future of Google Talk, the search giant's instant messaging feature that for now stands in the shadows of IM pioneers America Online Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s online unit, The Microsoft Network. "

vowe dot net :: Taking SharePoint offline

vowe dot net :: Taking SharePoint offline: "Access shares something with Notes: an MDB, much like a Notes NSF, contains a full application with data and UI and code. So this is how Microsoft wants to make SharePoint available offline. It's not Groove, it's Access."

Interesting that venerable Microsoft Access is getting more attention these days, but there's a multi-part answer to Microsoft's plans for taking SharePoint content and apps off-line -- depending on your needs, the answer may include Outlook 12, Groove, and/or Access 12. Microsoft will need to make the selection criteria very clear by the time Office 12 is released.

Jensen Harris: An Office User Interface Blog : New Rectangles to the Rescue? (Why the UI, Part 4)

Jensen Harris: An Office User Interface Blog : New Rectangles to the Rescue? (Why the UI, Part 4): "The Task Pane was the last attempt to find a way to scale old-style UI to programs as full-featured as Office. Although it was a successful stop-gap measure, it ran its course in only two versions. I'm reminded of Nathan Myhrvold's First Law of Software: 'Software is a gas.' Every time we add a new UI mechanism, it fills up. Because we only added and never renovated/reorganized/removed, complexity went up each release.
Office 12 is our chance to build a new interaction foundation for the next decade of productivity software."

More refreshingly frank commentary on why Microsoft is making major changes in Office 12.

Google Opens 8 Sites in Europe, Widening Its Book Search Effort - New York Times

Google Opens 8 Sites in Europe, Widening Its Book Search Effort - New York Times: "Google said Monday that it had begun operating local-language sites in eight European countries for its Google Print program, its closely watched effort to make all of the world's books searchable online, expanding into territories where it has drawn fierce criticism."

Father of Wiki Quits Microsoft; Moves to Open-Source Foundation

Father of Wiki Quits Microsoft; Moves to Open-Source Foundation: "Microsoft has lost one of its high-profile hires to an open-source consortium.
Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, announced on Monday that Ward Cunningham is leaving Microsoft to join the staff of the open-source tool consortium. Cunningham's new title is Director of Committer Community Development."

I.B.M. Surpasses Estimates as Tech Spending Improves - New York Times

I.B.M. Surpasses Estimates as Tech Spending Improves - New York Times: "I.B.M. delivered a solid quarterly performance yesterday with earnings exceeding Wall Street's expectations, suggesting that corporate spending on information technology is continuing to pick up modestly.
I.B.M., the world's largest information technology company, is closely watched as a barometer of business spending on technology. About one dollar of every $10 spent by corporations worldwide on technology is spent on I.B.M. hardware, software or services. "

Monday, October 17, 2005

Macromedia - Press Room : Macromedia and Mercury Announce Strategic Agreement to Optimize Rich Internet Applications

Macromedia - Press Room : Macromedia and Mercury Announce Strategic Agreement to Optimize Rich Internet Applications: "Macromedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: MACR) and Mercury Interactive Corporation (Nasdaq: MERQE) today announced an agreement to integrate Mercury Quality Center and Mercury Performance Center products with the new Macromedia Flex 2 product line. Mercury has licensed Flex technology to help deliver rich data visualization dashboards within future Mercury products. Macromedia has licensed Mercury Quality Center and Mercury Performance Center products for use in the development and deployment of its Flex product line. The integrated Macromedia and Mercury offerings will help joint customers optimize both the quality and performance of rich Internet applications."

Watch for lots of Macromedia press this week, in conjunction with what will almost certainly be the last Macromedia annual conference (i.e., next year, it'll be part of Adobe).

I've seen lots of interest in Flex lately -- it's getting substantive market traction.

Blogger: Download Blogger for Word

Blogger: Download Blogger for Word "Now you can use Blogger right within Microsoft® Word. Just download and install the Blogger for Word add-in and a Blogger toolbar will be added to Word allowing you to:
Publish to your blog
Save drafts
Edit posts"

Also see FAQ and known issues

At Microsoft, Interlopers Sound Off on Security - New York Times

At Microsoft, Interlopers Sound Off on Security - New York Times: "It was clear from the presentations that Microsoft still has work to do to secure its programs, which are the most widely used on the Internet. But it was also the consensus of those attending that the company might have made progress in slowing the deluge of viruses, worms, spam and spyware that plagues its customers.
'It's not perfect, but compared to the competition, they've made significant progress,' said Dan Kaminsky, a prominent independent computer security researcher who attended the meeting. " - TV Downloads May Undercut ABC Stations - TV Downloads May Undercut ABC Stations: "Apple's deal with Disney, which also includes past and current episodes of 'Desperate Housewives,' 'Night Stalker' and 'That's So Raven,' is already causing waves in the TV business. On Friday, Leon Long, the president of the association representing ABC's affiliate stations, expressed misgivings about the partnership, which was announced publicly by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs and Disney CEO Robert Iger at an event last Wednesday. In a letter Mr. Long sent to the president of the ABC network, Alex Wallau, Mr. Long said ABC affiliates are concerned that they weren't given an opportunity for financial participation in a new form of distributing shows that derives value through the promotion and broadcasting of affiliates.
The letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, says: 'It is both disappointing and unsettling that ABC would embark on a new -- and competitive -- network program distribution partnership without the fundamental courtesy of consultation' with its affiliates." - Palm Treo to Use RIM's Software As Rivals Team - Palm Treo to Use RIM's Software As Rivals Team: "Palm, the Sunnyvale, Calif., maker of hand-held computers and Treo smartphones, and RIM, the Waterloo, Ontario, maker of BlackBerry devices and wireless-email software, said they are collaborating to bring RIM's wireless-email software to Palm's Treo 650 smartphone. The product is slated to be available in early 2006.
The move puts together two rivals who had competed fiercely to offer the wireless-email device of choice -- RIM with its BlackBerry and Palm with its Treo. Palm's Treo currently works with multiple wireless-email platforms, including GoodLink from Good Technology, but it had lacked compatibility with RIM's widely used BlackBerry Connect wireless-email software.
It is unclear if Palm, as part of the deal, will put BlackBerry Connect software on any new Treos that run on Microsoft's operating system. Mr. Colligan declined to comment on the details of the pact."

Friday, October 14, 2005 - Yahoo Eyes Stake in AOL, Joins Long List of Suitors - Yahoo Eyes Stake in AOL, Joins Long List of Suitors: "Yahoo Inc. is in early talks about buying a stake in Time Warner Inc.'s America Online unit, according to people familiar with the situation.
Yahoo joins a long list of suitors who have expressed an interest in AOL, including Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Comcast Corp. A person close to the situation says that Yahoo is interested in luring AOL users to its search engine."

I think that covers every feasible permutation. Maybe Google should try a leveraged buy-out of Microsoft next...

Special Report from PC Magazine: Hands-On Preview: Xbox 360

Special Report from PC Magazine: Hands-On Preview: Xbox 360: "It's possible to connect an mp3 player via a USB port and play your music on your Xbox 360—even as you're playing a game. Xbox 360 can connect to a Windows XP PC and pull music or graphics files (photos) from it. Connectivity is taken a step further with Windows Media Center and the Xbox 360 acts as an extender meaning that it has full Windows Media Center functionality including My TV, My Pictures, My Movies, My Music, and online spotlight. Microsoft has not only gone from the office to the living room with Xbox, but now, with the Xbox 360, combines the two to present a compelling multi-media solution."

Read the full review for more details on hardware etc.

Pete Lacey's Weblog -- The Bloom is Off the Rose

Pete Lacey's Weblog -- The Bloom is Off the Rose: "Finally, earlier this week, the PowerBook shuffled off its mortal coil completely. I called Apple, had a more-or-less pleasurable experience with support, and arranged to send the ol’ boy in for surgery. I’ll send it to Apple tomorrow, and expect to have it back in a few days. So, yes, the bloom is off the rose. Macs are just computers after all. But when my PowerBook is returned to me, it will once again be my machine of choice. Because, despite these tales of woe, OS X still runs circles around Windows and Linux."

Timely reality check from my Burton Group colleague Pete Lacey

Greg Matter : How the New iPod will lead to their self-extinction (eventually!)

Greg Matter : How the New iPod will lead to their self-extinction (eventually!): "I'll bet that we will look back of this era of quasi-networking and wince, 'How did we ever live that way?' And the idea of wanting to carry all of your content with you will seem both old-fashioned and rather ridiculous.
Here's my prediction: a successful portable video player (perhaps the iPod is it) will be THE big driver for significant increases in bandwidth and connectivity. Those increases, over time, will ultimately undermine the utility of 'carry your stuff with you' personal devices and lead to the next era of real-time connected personal network."

Interesting perspective, but "eventually" may be decades... - Judge Stays Google Suit Against Microsoft - Judge Stays Google Suit Against Microsoft: "A Microsoft spokesperson said the company is 'very pleased' with Judge Whyte's order. 'Dr. Lee's employment agreement with Microsoft clearly states that the Washington courts will be the venue for resolving any disagreements, and we look forward to presenting our case in Washington state, where the judge has already ruled twice in our favor,' the spokesperson said in a statement."

I, Cringely . NerdTV . Transcript | PBS: NerdTV #6: Dave Winer

I, Cringely . NerdTV . Transcript | PBS: NerdTV #6: Dave Winer: "In other words, it took him two years to basically agree with that DaveNet that all the crap he was doing wasn't working, and now he needs to go redo the company. And he's still fighting that battle. He still is trying to turn that ship back to 1992, before the Internet, and it's still not gonna work. And that's why Jim Allchin just quit, or was fired, your choice. Finally, I think that's run out of gas. That they realize that they can't get back to that place. "

Read the full interview for more interesting perspectives and historical insights from Dave Winer. E.g.,

"... and if you'd asked me when I was a teenager if I would end up being a programmer, I would've said, "That's the most ridiculous thing/idea in the world." Absolutely not. No, I was the editor of an underground newspaper. I was a promoter of rock concerts. I was a drug dealer."

The more things change,...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tablet PC's Reach for the Masses - New York Times

Tablet PC's Reach for the Masses - New York Times: "Still, tablet PC's have taken hold in some segments like education and health care, and computer makers continue to introduce models with features for broader markets. Many of the new units are aimed at general consumers, professionals and management-level business users, and they include features like ultraportability and wide-screen displays. Soon some will have touch screens. In addition, prices of tablet PC's have been declining along with computer prices in general, and the price gap with notebooks has begun to narrow."

Wow, an objective article about a Microsoft platform, amid all of today's press Apple-fawning...

Big Hitters Said to Want Piece of AOL - New York Times

Big Hitters Said to Want Piece of AOL - New York Times: "'The enemy of my enemy is my friend,' he said. 'I don't think Yahoo fears Microsoft. There is no animosity between them at a corporate level. But both Microsoft and Yahoo are increasingly fearful of Google's power.'"

Weird that AOL is ostensibly a hot property again, if only for ~15 minutes...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ed Bott's Windows Expertise ? Apple recycles Media Center

Ed Bott's Windows Expertise ? Apple recycles Media Center: "I do hope the people who were so outraged about Microsoft ripping off Apple “innovations” - the Windows Vista interface, Microsoft Gadgets, etc. - are slamming Steve Jobs right now for Apple’s blatant (and frankly pretty lame) ripoff of Windows Media Center Edition, Front Row. After all the buzz earlier this year about what a cool media platform the Mac Mini would be, this is a big letdown." - Google, Comcast Mull Buying A Stake in AOL - Google, Comcast Mull Buying A Stake in AOL: "Google Inc. and Comcast Corp. are in serious discussions with Time Warner Inc. about buying a minority stake in America Online, according to people familiar with the situation.
The negotiations focus on AOL's Web portal, rather than its dial-up Internet access business which is suffering a steady decline of subscribers. Google and Comcast are hoping a stake in AOL's portal will allow them to tap AOL content, such as AOL's highly successful Webcast of the Live8 conference this summer, to draw more consumers to their online services and related advertising."

The tectonic plates are shifting... - Apple Booms, but iPod Disappoints - Apple Booms, but iPod Disappoints: "Apple said it sold 1.2 million Mac computers in the quarter, for revenue of $1.61 billion, up from 836,000 Macs and $1.23 billion in revenue in the same period the prior year. Analysts said the 48% growth in Mac units exceeded their own forecasts for that segment of Apple's business and provided evidence that a meaningful number of customers aren't suspending purchases of Apple computers ahead of a planned transition next year of Macs to microprocessors from Intel Corp."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - Microsoft, Yahoo to Announce Communications Partnership - Microsoft, Yahoo to Announce Communications Partnership: "In a competitive realignment of the heated Internet industry, Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. are expected to announce Wednesday that consumers using their free communications services -- including instant messaging and computer-to-computer voice calling -- will be able to communicate directly with each other for the first time, say people familiar with the matter."

Interesting times...

Real, Microsoft reach truce | CNET

Real, Microsoft reach truce | CNET "
Under the deal, Microsoft will pay $460 million in cash to RealNetworks to settle antitrust claims. It will also pay $301 million in cash to support Real's music and games efforts and Microsoft will promote Real's Rhapsody subscription music service on its MSN Web business. Microsoft can earn credits toward that $301 million by signing up subscribers via MSN.
For its part, Microsoft noted that the agreements with RealNetworks over Rhapsody are not exclusive, meaning that Microsoft could partner with others or offer its own subscription service. Gates stressed that the company has not announced any plans to do so, and both he and Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith characterized Tuesday's announcement as a first step toward what's possible between Real and Microsoft.
But, Smith added, 'There's no guarantee that further steps will follow.'"

I hope I'm never forced to download the Real Player again. I had to do so in order to watch the recent Sun/Google non-event and was reminded of all the advertising junk Real throws at its users.

Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing: "Microsoft will acquire my company"

Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing: "Microsoft will acquire my company": "How does Microsoft decide to acquire rather than build internally? This is the toughest question in any acquisition discussion. Microsoft has thousands of very talented software engineers that can build just about anything. How can you justify paying hundreds of millions or even billions for something a team of 50 engineers could build in a year or two. That translates to about $20M of development cost versus a huge acquisition cost. Technology is not the issue here. It is all about marketing channels, sales expertise, and market leadership in segments where Microsoft is not strong.
It comes down to this; if the company in question has a product that is squarely in the domain of an existing Microsoft product than the valuation is some multiple of the internal development cost. If the company has market leadership in a new product space or market segment than the valuation goes up significantly."

Also includes handy list of MS deals through mid-2003.

Oracle buys Innobase. MySQL between rock and hard place? (by Jeremy Zawodny)

Oracle buys Innobase. MySQL between rock and hard place? (by Jeremy Zawodny): "MySQL is now faced with the prospect of licensing technology they cannot ship without from their biggest rival. Interestingly, there's always been once piece of the InnoDB puzzle that's not available under the GPL: the InnoDB Hot Backup Tool. Without it, database administrators cannot backup their InnoDB tables without shutting down MySQL or at least locking out all transactions.
Oracle just bought themselves a whole lot of leverage with MySQL AB and a talented team of database engineers to boot."

The official-speak MySQL AB response to the deal, thus far, ominously reminds me of Apple's 1981 "Welcome, IBM. Seriously" ad in the WSJ (see, e.g., this recap).

Business 2.0 :: Online Article :: Working Tech :: Clearer Skies for Sun?

Business 2.0 :: Online Article :: Working Tech :: Clearer Skies for Sun?: "Though both companies remain mum on exactly what hardware Google will purchase, it doesn't take a genius to conclude that Google must be interested in Sun's newest servers. Bechtolsheim was Google's first investor, so he's familiar with the search engine's growing computing needs, and Schmidt was Sun's former chief technology officer, so he actually helped build the server and is quite familiar with its capabilities.
In Google?s early days, company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hand-built their servers from off-the-shelf parts, an approach that saved them money but is apparently proving difficult to scale, especially as Google adds new features like serving up online video. (At the press conference, Schmidt revealed that Google has already been buying servers from Sun.) The company probably will continue to build strategic partnerships with key vendors like Sun to keep costs low, especially as its computational demands continue to grow. "

'Web 2.0' Has Arrived

'Web 2.0' Has Arrived: "'Almost every aspect of what we're trying to do is changing in some way, shape, or form,' said Ray Ozzie, who's famous in the software world for developing Lotus Notes and was recently named Microsoft's newest chief technology officer.
Even basic desktop-software products such as Excel and Word, Ozzie said, would eventually take on many of the characteristics of today's browser-based Web services. The company's software will undergo 'a steady migration' toward 'user experiences using browsers, or using Internet-based services that are not running in the browser,' he said.
'If it takes very seamlessly weaving together software, hardware, and services in order to accomplish that experience, that's what you're going to find us doing,' Ozzie said. " - Microsoft, RealNetworks Are Near Settlement Of Antitrust Lawsuit - Microsoft, RealNetworks Are Near Settlement Of Antitrust Lawsuit: "Under terms of the settlement, which could still fall through, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft would provide a combination of cash and promotions for RealNetworks music and game services through Microsoft's online services and software, and the two companies would collaborate on technology initiatives in the future, these people said. The two companies were working on plans for a joint announcement of a possible deal, which could come as early as today. Participants may include Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and RealNetworks Chief Executive Rob Glaser, a former Microsoft executive who became an outspoken critic of his former employer following his departure, these people said."

This could in part explain why Microsoft terminated discussions with music publishers recently.

Monday, October 10, 2005

RIM Edges Closer to the Edge

RIM Edges Closer to the Edge: "It's the latest wrinkle in a long-standing battle between RIM and NTP, a company set up to manage the patent portfolio of Thomas Campagna, an inventor who died in 2004. At issue is ownership of the patents on the groundbreaking technology at the base of RIM's BlackBerry pager. The decision may bring Arlington (Va.)-based NTP a step closer to winning enforcement of an injunction that would force a shutdown of the BlackBerry service. "

BBC NEWS | Technology | Web enjoys year of biggest growth

BBC NEWS | Technology | Web enjoys year of biggest growth: "The web has grown more in 2005 than it did at the height of the dotcom boom, says a study.
In the year to October the web grew by more than 17 million sites, says monitoring firm Netcraft. "

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft sees a future on the small screen

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Microsoft sees a future on the small screen: "It took 12 years and more than $10 billion, but one of Microsoft's biggest dreams may finally be coming true: The company is close to becoming a major player in the television business.
This is not about PCs that play video — the company has done that for years — but rather a whole new platform for delivering television over the Internet, through software that's mostly invisible to consumers."

Includes a recap of Microsoft's moves in this context since 1994.

You need not be paranoid to fear RFID - The Boston Globe

You need not be paranoid to fear RFID - The Boston Globe: "Somebody needs to sit down and think this through. Dozens of companies and government agencies are planning to use RFID to track nearly every move we make. And although many of the individual applications make sense, what would happen if they were all implemented, without oversight or restraint? We'd then live in a world in which everything we own gossips about us behind our backs.
And it would be too late to call the IBM Help Desk to ask for our privacy back."

MySQL AB :: MySQL AB Welcomes Oracle's Endorsement of Open Source Database Technology

MySQL AB :: MySQL AB Welcomes Oracle's Endorsement of Open Source Database Technology: "According to Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL, 'This announcement represents further validation of the open source movement. The beauty of open source software and the GPL license is freedom. As with all MySQL code, InnoDB is provided under the GPL license, meaning that users have complete freedom to use, develop, and modify the code base. We are pleased to see even broader industry acceptance of open source database technology. This also means that database developers now have even greater flexibility to use MySQL and Oracle in the same environment.' "

Oracle and InnoDB

Oracle and InnoDB: "InnoDB is not a standalone database product: it is distributed as a part of the MySQL database. InnoDB's contractual relationship with MySQL comes up for renewal next year. Oracle fully expects to negotiate an extension of that relationship. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed."

Saturday, October 08, 2005 - Oracle Announces The Acquisition Of Open Source Software Co, Innobase OY, Inc. - Oracle Announces The Acquisition Of Open Source Software Co, Innobase OY, Inc.: "Oracle Corp. (ORCL) acquired Innobase OY, a Finland-based developer of open-source database technology.
Financial terms of the transaction weren't disclosed.
In buying Innobase, Oracle intends to continue developing Innobase's technology, InnoDB. Oracle, the database-software giant, has already developed and contributed an open-source clustered file system to Linux.
InnoDB is distributed as a part of the MySQL database. InnoDB's contract with closely held company MySQL comes up for renewal next year, and Oracle said it fully expects to negotiate an extension."

Friday, October 07, 2005

Yahoo CEO belittles Google's expansion -

Yahoo CEO belittles Google's expansion - "Yahoo Inc. Chairman Terry Semel belittled rival Google Inc.'s recent efforts to expand beyond its leading Internet search engine, describing the diversification as a haphazard attempt to catch up with his company.
'So far they don't seem to have a plan, but maybe they do,' Semel said Thursday during a question-and-answer session at an Internet conference. 'Maybe magic will happen tomorrow.'"

Despite all the noise about Google versus Microsoft this week, there should be no doubt that Google's #1 competitor is Yahoo.

BBC NEWS | Technology | TVs and PCs 'take over US homes'

BBC NEWS | Technology | TVs and PCs 'take over US homes': "The average American spends more time using media such as TV and the internet than sleeping, a study has found.
US researchers found that Americans spend nine hours a day watching TV, using the web or talking on a mobile."

Collaborative Thinking: You Say Learning, I Say Training

Collaborative Thinking: You Say Learning, I Say Training: "In the end, the future of e-learning is to mainstream it into the everyday environment of users (in an integrated and seemless manner) and stop treating it as something that is done separately or in parallel to one’s work activities. Mainstreaming it includes letting it be free from overly engineered courseware, overly structured content and overly intrusive scheduling – not that those tactics go away, you need such frameworks for formal certification and compliance reasons. But if you look at the move towards people learning from each other in a more social manner, and the rise of mass amateurism, then learning strategists need to start designing much more immersive environments for people to exchange know-how. From a technology perspective that takes us beyond portals, virtual workspaces, IM, presence, Web conferencing, search and content management and so on. They are important elements in regards to a platform foundation but still inadequate when it comes to socializing learning. We need to include tools that provide users with a higher degree of cooperative ownership and influence around sense-making and the the exchange of know-how where “learning” per se disppears into the background. Examples include blogs, wikis, podcasting, tag clouds, shared bookmarks, folksonomies and social networking applications. Perhaps when we get to that point, the meaning of "learning" and "training" will be synonymous."

Timely insights from my colleague Mike Gotta.

Saba to Combine With Online Learning and Training Solution Provider Centra Software

Saba to Combine With Online Learning and Training Solution Provider Centra Software "Saba (NASDAQ: SABA), a leading provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions, and Centra Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRA), a leading provider of software and services for online learning and training, today announced that they signed a definitive agreement pursuant to which Saba agreed to acquire Centra for a combination of Saba stock and cash."

Congrats, Leon.

Official Google Blog: Google goes to Washington

Official Google Blog: Google goes to Washington: "It seems that policymaking and regulatory activity in Washington, D.C. affect Google and our users more every day. It’s important to be involved - to participate in the policy process and contribute to the debates that inform it. So we’ve opened up a shop there. The first member of our Washington team is Alan Davidson, a veteran thinker and advocate for issues we care about.
Our mission in Washington boils down to this: Defend the Internet as a free and open platform for information, communication and innovation. OK, that sounds a little high and mighty, so let me break it down into something a bit wonkier with a sampling of the U.S. policy issues we’re working on: ..."

Opening Arguments, Endlessly - New York Times

Opening Arguments, Endlessly - New York Times: "Inside every lawyer, it is said, there is a brilliant writer, held back by professional ambition or by fear of failure. Nowhere is that truism more evident than in the explosion of online blogs by, for and about lawyers."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Why Is Microsoft Afraid of Google? - Knowledge@Wharton

Why Is Microsoft Afraid of Google? - Knowledge@Wharton: "This was the dream of Marc Andreessen [co-founder of browser company Netscape Communications] and others back in the mid-1990s when Andreessen boasted that the web would reduce computer operating systems to nothing more than 'a poorly debugged set of device drivers,'' Whitehouse recalls. 'And this is why Microsoft responded so aggressively to the threat of Netscape after [Microsoft Chairman] Bill Gates issued his famous memo warning of an Internet 'tidal wave' that threatened Windows. Netscape didn't succeed. Microsoft managed to thwart Netscape's attempt to establish a new platform on the web.'
How, specifically, do innovations at Google threaten Microsoft? Whitehouse points, for example, to Google Maps. The API of Google Maps lets developers embed Google Maps in their own web pages using JavaScript. A visit to -- which bills itself as an unofficial Google Maps blog tracking the websites, ideas and tools being influenced by Google Maps -- shows a long list of applications built using Google Maps as the underlying engine.
Google is not the only company offering products and services that run on a web platform. Feeling the heat, Microsoft has already announced products to compete with those of Adobe (developer of the PDF document format) and Macromedia (developer of Flash and ShockWave software for video and animation), which announced a merger earlier this year. 'To the extent that PDF and the Flash SWF file format could be an emerging platform for web application development,' Whitehouse notes, 'Microsoft has to be worried.'"

How Dell repels attempts to buy its 'open source' PC | The Register

How Dell repels attempts to buy its 'open source' PC | The Register: "So, at least you're saving money by not going with a Microsoft OS, right?
Er, well, not exactly.
The 5150n, for example, starts at $649 with a 3.0GHz Pentium 4 chip, FreeDOS, 256MB of memory and a 80GB hard drive. Meanwhile, a very similar system, the E510 - presumably just like the n Series box by the same name with the difference being that this one appears on the web site - sells for $679 with the exact same chip, memory and hard drive. The only distinguishing marks are the inclusion of Windows XP Media Center 2005 Edition and a $30 higher price tag.
Er, well, not exactly. You'll get a free 17 inch flat panel with the E510 and nothing free with the 5150n. The Windows PC is looking like the much better deal given that you can remove Windows and plunk Linux on the box anyway."

Ning | Home: Front Page

Ning | Home: Front Page: "Ning is a free online service (or, as we like to call it, a Playground) for building and using social applications.
Social apps are web applications that enable anyone to match, transact, and communicate with other people."

Hey, it just wouldn't qualify as a real bubble if Marc Andreessen weren't involved, right?

Computerworld | Sun's software chief eyes databases, groupware

Computerworld | Sun's software chief eyes databases, groupware: "'If you look at the spectrum of databases, at the high end you have two companies - Oracle and IBM [and] MySQL ain't even near those guys,' Loiacono said. 'You've got MySQL, PostgreSQL, and things like Cloudscape and Derby. People in the high-end space are saying they just can't afford the licensing fees they are charging [and] even Microsoft SQL is not dirt cheap.'
Loiacono said that, because customers are asking what else is out there, Sun is taking a serious look at solving that problem by addressing some of the need in that space.
'We're not going to OEM Microsoft but we are looking at PostgreSQL right now,' he said, adding that over time the database will become integrated into the operating system. "

Via Slashdot

[Cliff Reeves] Most of the time: Advice to Google ... from my scoutmaster

[Cliff Reeves] Most of the time: Advice to Google ... from my scoutmaster: "The comment from Scott McNealy made me want to mention to Google something my old scoutmaster told me: 'don't get too close to a drowning man, unless you plan to save him.'"

Best Sun/Google non-event headline of the day: "Google, Sun to jointly develop better news conferences"

Online Pioneer Sets Out to Shake Up TV - New York Times

Online Pioneer Sets Out to Shake Up TV - New York Times: "Set in an office building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brightcove will offer three interrelated online services. It has tools that let television producers load their video onto its servers, arrange them into programs and display them to Internet users. It will help producers charge fees for their video, if they choose, or sell advertising on their behalf to insert into the programs. And it will broker deals between video creators and Web sites that want to display the video, arranging for the profits from such arrangements to be split any number of ways.
"We are trying to create a new kind of online media distribution business that has the scale of Google, an Amazon or an eBay," Mr. Allaire, 34, said. Some big companies, including Viacom and A&E Networks, are already experimenting with Brightcove's service."

AOL to buy Weblogs Inc. network -source - Yahoo! News

AOL to buy Weblogs Inc. network -source - Yahoo! News: "America Online Inc. has agreed to buy Weblogs Inc., a network of Internet sites focused on niche topics ranging from food to gadgets, for around $25 million, a source familiar with the deal said on Wednesday.
Weblogs Inc. includes roughly 80 advertising-supported sites published by a group of more than 100 bloggers.
Examples include Autoblog, BloggingBaby and Engadget, Weblog Inc.'s most trafficked site, which is aimed at "rabid gadget freaks.""

Microsoft Unveils Games for Its New Xbox 360 - New York Times

Microsoft Unveils Games for Its New Xbox 360 - New York Times: "'The Xbox 360 is the first console that I've ever worked with that actually has development tools that are better for games than what we've had on PC,' John Carmack, Id's technical director and one of the most respected programmers in the game industry, said in a videotaped announcement."

Should Microsoft Invest in Startups? :: Dan'l Lewin AO column

Should Microsoft Invest in Startups? :: Dan'l Lewin AO column: "In this first “Edge of the Valley” column, my aim is to clarify Microsoft’s position: We are heavily investing in startups. We’re open for business and care passionately about entrepreneurs and their commitment to changing the world. In fact, during the last three or four years, we’ve had hundreds of extremely successful engagements helping startups drive their shareholder and end customer value. The reality and leverage of the Microsoft partner ecosystem is amazing—96% of Microsoft’s revenue is driven through our partners, and for every $1 of our revenue, our partners make $7 to $8. We know venture-backed startups are fundamental to Microsoft’s long-term success. "

Borland CTO Steps Down

Borland CTO Steps Down: "Borland Software Corp.'s chief technology officer is calling it quits after five years with the company.
Patrick Kerpan, Borland's CTO since early last year, said he is leaving the software ALM (application lifecycle management) tools maker to take 'time to look into a few other things.'
Kerpan moved into his role as CTO last year when then Borland CTO Blake Stone left to join Microsoft. But Kerpan said Microsoft and IBM are the last places he is likely to work.
"If I want to work for the best ALM company I'm at it," he said."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - Adobe Announces Mgmt Changes Ahead Of Merger - Adobe Announces Mgmt Changes Ahead Of Merger: "Joining Adobe will be Macromedia Chief Executive Stephen Elop; Chief Software Architect Kevin Lynch; Tom Hale, manager of Macromedia's Breeze Web conferencing product; David Mendels, who runs the Web development and presentation tools product lines Flash, Flex, and Dreamweaver; and Al Ramadan, who oversees Macromedia's efforts to penetrate the mobile handset and PDA markets.
Elop will be president of worldwide field operations - an appointment that Adobe had earlier signaled. Lynch will become Adobe's chief software architect. He will fill that role along with Adobe's current Chief Software Architect Tom Malloy, who will focus more on advanced technologies, while Lynch will concentrate on the technology platform and delivery methods.
Adobe also said in the SEC filing that three of its current management team - Theresa Townsley, senior vice president of human resources; Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of the digital imaging and video business unit; and Ivan Koon, senior vice president of the intelligent documents business unit - will resign.
Townsley, a veteran of Adobe since 1988, and Lamkin, who has been with the company since 1992, are leaving to spend more time with their families, while Koon is leaving to explore possibilities outside the company, Adobe's Warner said." - Sprint Nextel Files Patent Lawsuit Against Vonage - Sprint Nextel Files Patent Lawsuit Against Vonage: "Sprint Nextel Corp. said it filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Internet-calling company Vonage Holdings Corp., alleging it infringed on seven of its patents for sending phone calls over data networks.
The suit, which also names Internet-calling start-up Inc. and its Voiceglo Holdings Inc. unit, comes a few months after Sprint Nextel and Vonage scuttled preliminary merger discussions, according to people familiar with the situation."

Apple calls press to 'video iPod launch' | The Register

Apple calls press to 'video iPod launch' | The Register: "Apple fansite AppleInsider cites unnamed 'reliable' sources who claim a video iPod will be announced next week. Apparently, it's a 60GB job with a Nano-sized clickwheel to make way for a bigger colour display. If previous speculation is correct, it will be based on Toshiba's latest generation of 1.8in hard disk drives, which use perpendicular recording technology to increase the drive's storage capacity without growing its size.
Apple has to date publicly dismissed the idea of a video iPod, but then CEO Steve Jobs always used to put down Flash-based music machines - right up until he launched one of his own."

Microsoft Under Fire -

Microsoft Under Fire - "This is where Google's and Sun's mutual animosity for Microsoft intersect.
'Microsoft is already talking about its Office version 12 coming out next year,' said Charles King, principal with Pund-IT Research. 'From a marketing-buzz standpoint, this Google-Sun announcement will wash the idea of Office 12 out of most people's minds.' "

Hey, it's 1996 again, with Google playing the part of Netscape, at least as far as parts of the press/punditry are concerned...

Google + Sun = ??? | Bayosphere

Google + Sun = ??? | Bayosphere: "UPDATE: Well, the deal as reported has some troubling aspects, especially Sun's move to include the Google Toolbar in all Java VM downloads. This spreads a technology that many folks find useful but which I and some others find problematic from a number of standpoints including the way it changes users' content (and not necessarily with their direct understanding or knowledge).
The lines are being drawn in the tech world. Once upon a time Larry Ellison joked that it was Microsoft against the world, with the world only a slight underdog. It's not such a joke anymore."

NewsGator - NewsGator Technologies Acquires NetNewsWire

NewsGator - NewsGator Technologies Acquires NetNewsWire: "NewsGator Technologies, Inc., the leading RSS platform company, announced today that it has acquired NetNewsWire, the leading RSS reader for Mac OS X. NewsGator also announced that NetNewsWire will integrate tightly with the NewsGator Online synchronization platform. Brent Simmons, the creator of NetNewsWire, will be joining the NewsGator team as a product architect.
"Synchronization is set to be the killer feature of the next generation of feed reading software. NetNewsWire already offers terrific synching between multiple copies of NetNewsWire; but it's no longer enough just to track feed subscriptions from one computer, using one application," said John Gruber, author of the popular Mac weblog Daring Fireball. "What's needed is a way to track your subscriptions from different applications on multiple platforms, including from the web itself. I'm happy to see Brent Simmons and NetNewsWire have joined with NewsGator to bring these features to Mac OS X.""

Google and Sun Announce a Joint Agreement - New York Times

Google and Sun Announce a Joint Agreement - New York Times: "The collaboration will significantly raise the profile of Sun's OpenOffice, a suite of software applications that offers many functions of Microsoft Office, including a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation program. But Mr. Schmidt gave no details on how Google might be involved in OpenOffice. 'We're going to work to make the distribution of it more broad,' he said."

Reality check: is not a Sun product, although it was bootstrapped with a project Sun open-sourced. StarOffice is a Sun product, and it's one even fewer people are likely to be eager to pay for, if, e.g., Google becomes a major advocate. And even if StarOffice 8 garners some strong reviews (e.g., see recent eWeek article), most are based on a dubious comparison of $70 (download)/$100 (enterprise license) for StarOffice versus "nearly $500" SRP for Office -- when was the last time a consumer, for example, left a retail store (or with anything other than a student/teacher version of Office ($99.99 on at the moment, and BTW the license is for up to 3 PCs)?

The Time Is Now: Bust Up the Box! - New York Times

The Time Is Now: Bust Up the Box! - New York Times: "For decades increases in the speeds of computer networks trailed the exponentially accelerating speed of microprocessor chips. Now the balance between the power of computer processing and networking has fundamentally reversed, and the rapid rise of transmission speeds is beginning to have a revolutionary impact on how computers are used and what they can do.
'That box of things that used to be contained inside of your PC now gets spread out literally on a global basis,' said Mike Volpi, a senior vice president at Cisco Systems, the largest networking company in the world. The changes are taking place both at the highest end of the supercomputing world and just as swiftly in the consumer World Wide Web."

Microsoft Might be Forced to Cancel Subscription Music Plans

Microsoft Might be Forced to Cancel Subscription Music Plans: "If Microsoft is forced to cancel plans for a subscription music service, it could have a chilling effect on online music sales. Combined with record label pressure on Apple to raise its a la carte pricing, it's clear now that the music industry still doesn't get digital technologies or, for that matter, a competitive market."

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Sun, Google talk, tease about future

The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Sun, Google talk, tease about future: "Sun and Microsoft seemed to have a growing relationship. McNealy toned down his trademark anti-Microsoft rhetoric after winning a $1.95 billion antitrust settlement from the company in 2004, and the companies are working together on some technologies.
But yesterday he ridiculed Microsoft's platform as passé. Asked about his strategy to compete with Microsoft, he said Windows is "the only remnant of the old client-server computing model."
"That's so last millennium. There are lots of choices out there," he said. "We are providing what to us feels like where the puck is going, not where the puck has been, in terms of a platform environment. That's what this is all about.""

A challenge to Microsoft? Not this deal - The Boston Globe

A challenge to Microsoft? Not this deal - The Boston Globe: "''It was less than we all hoped for,' Rymer said. He doubted that the Google Toolbar deal alone would bring much new revenue to Sun or many more users to Google. Indeed, Rymer thinks that Google and Sun had hoped to detail more substantial initiatives, but couldn't put the deals together quickly enough.
''What I think is they failed to come to an agreement on some of the other things they were working on,' said Rymer. ''That's why it was so quixotic today.'"

Makes sense to me. I also stand corrected on Google's intention to purchase at least some Sun Galaxy servers.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

10/04/05 - Sun and Google Expand Technology Reach And Global Opportunity

10/04/05 - Sun and Google Expand Technology Reach And Global Opportunity: "Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Google Inc. today announced an agreement to promote and distribute their software technologies to millions of users around the world. The agreement aims to make it easier for users to freely obtain Sun's Java Runtime Environment (JRE), the Google Toolbar and the office productivity suite, helping millions of users worldwide to participate in the next wave of Internet growth. "

To paraphrase: Sun seeks magic Google PR pixie dust and announces redundant joint plans to make already freely available stuff somehow more freely available; details to follow...

Somehow I suspect
1. This means the distinction between StarOffice and will be increasingly difficult to discern (i.e., StarOffice likely fades away)
2. Google isn't planning to move off non-Sun commodity hardware anytime soon
3. Making the Google search bar an option in consumer JRE downloads probably won't make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things

Motorola and Microsoft Form Strategic Alliance

Motorola and Microsoft Form Strategic Alliance "Microsoft Corp. and Motorola Inc. today announced an alliance to provide marketing and development support to deliver next-generation software applications to law enforcement, first responder and criminal justice customers. Motorola will offer mission-critical software applications built on the Microsoft® platform, including the Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft Windows Server System™.
These integrated applications are designed to provide a complete rapid, seamless incident management solution that enables first responders to quickly and efficiently handle incident information and accurately record, store and retrieve department records. Motorola’s current NetRMS™ Records Management System and Motorola Computer Aided Dispatch Software will immediately take advantage of this agreement. Motorola will develop justice, public safety and public service applications using Visual Studio® .NET 2003 and Microsoft Windows Server System software, including Microsoft SQL Server™, Microsoft BizTalk® Server and Web services built on the .NET Framework."

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The amorality of Web 2.0

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The amorality of Web 2.0: "Like it or not, Web 2.0, like Web 1.0, is amoral. It's a set of technologies that alter the forms and economics of production and consumption. It doesn't care whether its consequences are good or bad. It doesn't care whether it brings us to a higher consciousness or a lower one. It doesn't care whether it burnishes our culture or dulls it. It doesn't care whether it leads us into a golden age or a dark one. So let's can the millenialist rhetoric and see the thing for what it is, not what we wish it would be."

Read the entire essay -- important issues/questions

Microsoft ends license talks with music labels: WSJ -

Microsoft ends license talks with music labels: WSJ - "Microsoft Corp. has broken off licensing talks with the four global music companies, raising questions about the software giant's plans to start a subscription-based music service, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.
According to several people briefed on the matter, the labels separately were seeking royalty payments of $6 to $8 per user, per month. People close to the labels say that is in line with what existing subscription-music services pay, the Journal reported."

I'm just guessing that my $4.99/month Yahoo! Music Unlimited rate is going to go up after the first year...


Alfresco: "Alfresco is an open source, open-standards content repository built by the most experienced content management team that includes the co-founder of Documentum. The Alfresco product has a lean, modular component architecture that allows new functionality to be added without any system disruption and is significantly faster than proprietary commercial systems."

Came across a reference to this company in this week's InfoWorld

Next Up: Google Office?

Next Up: Google Office?: "Google and Sun Microsystems (Quote, Chart) will hold a press conference on Tuesday at which they're expected to announce a collaboration to bring StarOffice productivity applications to Google users.
StarOffice is Sun's suite of integrated word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing and database software based on the OpenOffice open source project.
StarOffice or OpenOffice users can add their own browsers and e-mail applications, while Sun offers Sun Java Communications Suite for customers that want to add messaging, collaboration, calendaring and scheduling tools.
Google's dip into OpenOffice began with its hiring of Joerg Heilig, former director of software engineering at Sun, according to Gary Edwards, a consultant and designated representative of the open source community.
'He was the project manager for StarOffice, a longtime employee of the Star division, and a very important person to StarOffice,' Edwards said. 'When he left, there were some real tears. Also a great deal of apprehension.' "

Assuming this widespread speculation turns out to be true: so what?... You can freely download 2.0, if you are so inclined, and a fat client circa Office 97 partial clone from Google would be distinctly un-"Web 2.0"-ish.

Jon Udell: Superplatform politics

Jon Udell: Superplatform politics: "In her Catalyst keynote, Anne Thomas Manes identifies IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and BEA as 'superplatform' vendors and expects all (with the possible exception of BEA) to grow more dominant over time, not less, because of the massive resources required to sustain and enhance a superplatform. If she's right, we'll be seeing the same familiar movie again.
Consider workflow. Microsoft's new Windows Workflow Framework (WWF) isn't a product, it's a chunk of the .NET Framework intended to enable that platform -- which is only artificially bound to the Windows family of operating systems, by the way -- to weave workflow into everything from intermittently-connected handhelds to desktops to collaboration servers to orchestration servers. Will WWF-to-WWF workflow run more smoothly than WWF-to-WS-*? Sure. Will this tend to lock you in to the WWF? Sure. "

Check the full post for Anne's keynote and some timely/important interviews with Roger Sessions.

Altova SemanticWorks

Altova SemanticWorks: "Altova SemanticWorks™ 2006 is the ground-breaking visual RDF/OWL editor from the creators of XMLSpy. Visually design Semantic Web instance documents, vocabularies, and ontologies then output them in either RDF/XML or N-triples formats. SemanticWorks™ 2006 makes the job easy with tabs for instances, properties, classes, etc., context-sensitive entry helpers, and automatic format checking. It is the sensible way to put the Semantic Web to work for you."

Also check out Altova's Professional XML Suite Features matrix

Google, Sun Micro to make announcement - Yahoo! News

Google, Sun Micro to make announcement - Yahoo! News: "Google Inc. and computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. plan on Tuesday to announce a 'collaborative effort' in Silicon Valley.
Sun issued a media advisory on Monday saying that the two companies will hold a press conference hosted by Sun Chief Executive Scott McNealy and Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California."

Maybe Google is going to sublease some of Sun's empty office space...

To Surf Web While Aloft, Fly Foreign (for Now) - New York Times

To Surf Web While Aloft, Fly Foreign (for Now) - New York Times: "But SAS's experience highlights a stark reality for American business travelers: to make an office in the sky these days you have to fly a foreign airline. After five years of intense marketing, Boeing is still struggling to bring the Internet to domestic airlines, whose financial woes and concerns about added weight on planes are making them reluctant to invest in hot spots in the sky. That is limiting potential productivity, perhaps, but it is also providing at least a few hours of escape for business managers from their 24/7 connection to the home office."

Silence Aloft Is Under Threat - New York Times

Silence Aloft Is Under Threat - New York Times: "Forget the cone of silence. Many have come to cherish the airplane as the long metal tube of silence.
Once cellphones and BlackBerries are allowed to breach that silence, the solution may not be so simple as keeping the devices turned off, since business associates and bosses will expect to be able to get in touch. Travelers say the no-phone policy has saved them from their own compulsions. " - AOL's Netscape Browser Gets HP Distribution Deal - AOL's Netscape Browser Gets HP Distribution Deal: "Netscape has gained some market share recently, apparently at the expense of both IE and Firefox. According to Web-based software firm Net Applications, Netscape had 2.16% share of the browser market in September, up from 1.91% in May. Meanwhile, IE's share fell to 86.87% from 87.23% and Firefox's fell to 7.55% from 8.06%."