We want our XP

Friday, April 20, 2007
We want our XP, and so does Dell
Tech Ronin
The direct PC maker decides to keep shipping Microsoft’s last-generation operating system, Janet Tokerud reports. “Of course, Dell prefers to support one Windows operating system rather than both XP and Vista, but supporting XP is a cakewalk compared to supporting Vista in the early days,” she writes. “Vista will ultimately prevail, but it is not ready for prime-time in the business world. It is fine if you know what you are doing and are up for some risk. Otherwise, my PC IT friends advise waiting another nine months to a year for better knowledge and better compatibility with software and peripherals.”
[email protected]


How to decipher RIM’s BlackBerry explanation

The company finally issues a public statement about this week’s outage, and Sascha Segan decides to take a closer look.”In English, RIM decided to do a software upgrade on their servers, it crashed their database, and switching over to their backup system took longer than they though,” Segan writes. “I don’t see this as crippling for RIM, because they are normally so reliable. All the same, it’s been a bit of a PR boost for competitors like Microsoft, who are trumpeting that all of their push e-mail doesn’t go through one server.”
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Doubletwist isn’t just looking for any code monkey

So Sue Me

The man known as DVD Jon, Jon Lech Johansen, posts a want ad you won’t see every day. “We’re looking for a code monkey to work on our DRM interoperability technology. Must possess strong skills in the areas of cryptography, reverse engineering, AJAX, code disassembly, code protection/obfuscation and software optimization. Experience domesticating penguins and eating apples is a plus,” the ad says. “Required skills include C, C++, x86 ASM, DRM and Windows APIs. Strong mathematical knowledge of algorithm analysis and implementation is desired. Minimum of 3 years of directly related experience.Your favorite number is 0x90.”
[email protected]

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Everything you’ve heard about Google’s food is true
Adam Ostow
The co-founder of a starup called Mindsay discusses the last days of the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. “We dropped by Web2Open, a conference within the Web 2.0 Expo where anyone can start a session. It was a decent opportunity for networking, but the sessions themselves seemed like soft sells for various products and services. I suppose I can’t really criticize attempts at free marketing though, since we scattered our own data sheets throughout the conference center,” he writes.” No better way to close out the day than free food, and thanks to a friend of mine now working at Google, I had the hook up.  I can now report that the legends that circulate about the splendor of Google’s food are most definitely true, as I feasted on lamb vindaloo, salmon salad, bbq chicken breast, ribs, and just about anything else they had to offer.”

All the news that’s fit for MySpace
Po Mo

Terry Heaton takes a closer look the social networking site’s plan to aggregate news. “Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is not good news for those of us in the news business, unless we view it as another way to get our content onto yet another platform. MySpace is currently cutting deals with content providers to do just that, and I think it’s likely the process will show us what types of ‘news’ will be of interest to young people, circa 2007. And that is something we might be able to use downstream,” he writes. “That said, this is another example of an internet pureplay company taking on the role of media company and using their core audience as the distribution vehicle.”


‘My cybertwin is a dumbass’
Cheap Thrill

After some time spent with virtual services, Ryan Barrett says she’s had enough of her cyber-doppleganer. “First of all, my cybertwin is a dumbass. I trained her to be just like me; I went through 18 of the 19 classroom lessons completely and even added extra tidbits about my life that she could throw into the conversation to spice things up.  But instead, she keeps saying stupid stuff to people like “I cant go up, nor can I go down, as a cybertwin. In cyberspace we only go towards or away from.” I would never say any mess like that,” she writes. “But here’s the really awful thing. I think this site is attracting men who are too scared to talk to a real girl (not like Real Women Have Curves, like real as in working Krebs Cycle). They keep trying to cyber with my virtual twin. My Cybertwin has engaged in 47 conversations, and 35 of them were with men trying to initiate cybersex. I guess by putting a real picture of myself, SMILING (GASP!), I brought this on myself. Psyche.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Won’t you be Eric Schmidt’s neighbour?
Cambrian House Blog
Reporting on the Google chief’s appearance at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, JR finds himself won over. “At the end of the day, I can’t help but like Eric Schmidt. His image is definitely Mr. Rogers. He is friendly, polite, unassuming, and never puts anyone down. He is navigating Google through some very complex waters, while trying to maintain the culture that has made them so successful. No small feat,” he writes. “I get the sense Eric and Google want to do the right thing, because they are under no illusion as to how much power they possess (with all that data), and how easily it would be to abuse. For their part I think they are doing their best to do the right thing, while many other companies would have succumbed to the temptation.”

The software wars aren’t always so black and white

A developer named Bert Admiraal points out the grey area that’s emerging in high-end business applications. “The hot-pluggable options of the Fusion-strategy enable customers to be more flexible in defining the configuration they desire. Oracle is aware of the fact that customers do have applications of different vendors and that’s why Oracle offers more configuration flexibility,” he writes. “Oracle is not the only one offering flexibility. SAP customers already combine SAP with the best components of other Software-vendors. Were you aware of the fact that more than 70 per cent of the SAP-customers is running SAP on an Oracle database?”

Vonage isn’t the only VoIP player in town
PC Answer

As the company’s fate hangs in the balance following a court case with Verizon, Larry Magid ponders his future as a Vonage customer. “The reason I’m concerned is that I not only use Vonage for outgoing calls but for incoming ones as well and if there were to be a disruption in service, people might have trouble reaching me. I could transfer that incoming number to another phone company but that process could take up to 45 days,” he writes, adding that he is trying out a new competing service. “SunRocket, which has about 200,000 subscribers – offers unlimited domestic calling for $199 a year or $16.58 a month. Vonage charges $24.95 for its unlimited service which also includes free calls to landlines in France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Virginia Tech massacre gets group blog treatment
Mathew Ingram/Work
The Globe and Mail columnist discusses how Web 2.0 tools were used to communication information (some of it inaccurate) about Monday’s killing spree. “Several students blogged about what was going on, reassuring friends and relatives that they were safe. The Roanoke Times ran a blog-style update story, a smart response to the event, and the Collegiate Times was providing regular updates as well. Not surprisingly, people started using the Net to search for the identity of the shooter – and came up with the wrong guy, as described by Wired’s Threat Level blog,” he writes. “A failing of crowdsourced journalism? Perhaps. But as Robert Niles of the Online Journalism Review pointed out, traditional media muffs the details in the heat of the moment too – and that takes longer to correct.”

Let’s agree: No Web 3.0 until at least 2010

The head of a data services provider, Bob Brauer, gives his take on a conference happening in San Francisco. “The catch-all nature of Web 2.0 is also demonstrated by the diversity of companies exhibiting at this week’s O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo. Everything from cell phones 2.0, to hardware 2.0, to magazine subscriptions 2.0 are being pitched,” he writes. “Even with the amorphous nature of Web 2.0 and amidst all of the hype, one thing is for certain. It’s going to need a heck-of-a-lot of data to fuel it, and much more than ever before. And since Web 2.0 is as much about creativity as anything else, the last thing developers want to worry about is integrating live data from many different sources, formats, and business models to build these innovations. And they certainly don’t want to waste precious development cycles on data storage, updates and management processes.”

MS may not intend Silverlight as a Flash-killer
Rickmann Design

Although it is already been touted as a threat to Adobe’s line of Web software, Andrew Rickmann says there is a major difference in the way the two operate. “The feature getting the most focus, probably due to Silverlight being accounced at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference, is the video capabilities. These are impressive and include everything from simple embedding of video into a Web page with very few lines of XAML, to mapping video onto 2D objects. As far as I can tell 3D isn’t supported,” he writes. “Like Flash, I doubt I will use it. I do find it interesting but I really see it as an application platform and not something, like Flash, which should be used to enhance Web pages, although I may well be wrong about this.”

Monday, April 16, 2007
Before there was Doubleclick, there were dollar signs
Peter Adams Weblog
Following the company’s US$3.1 billion blockbuster deal with Google, an early employee looks back and congratulates his former coworkers. “DoubleClick fared better than most on-line advertising companies with its huge cash reserves but it was hard to generate revenue when your customers literally decide to stop spending money on on-line advertising. It wasn’t long after 2000 that Doubleclick shut it’s ad network and retrenched to focus on it’s technology services business which was headed up by Dave Rosenblatt,” he writes. “DoubleClick was taken private in 2005 by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman and promoted Dave Rosenblatt to CEO. Just two years later David and his team have done what few have done before – generate several billion dollars for their investors a second time. This time from Google.”

Ubuntu can be a hard sell

As the Linux distro gets set for its “Fiesty Fawn” release on Thursday, Emalyse discusses the tweaking she tends to do for clients.”I find that you do have to take into account what potential users may feel is the norm in terms of layout and use. This doesn’t make it better as users will often use the term ‘easier’ when in fact they mean ‘more familiar’ in terms of that’s what they’ve seen before or what their friends may have at home and encountering something different can be disorientating for them and quite simply they may not know of any other ways of doing things. You can’t preach to the windows converted, all you can do is make users feel at home and present them with less of a difference when being given a computer with an open source desktop on it rather than Windows.”

Don’t look for me at Web 2.0 Expo

As the second annual confab gets underway in San Fransisco this week, Steve Rubel explains why he bowed out. “There wasn’t enough value in my justifying a cross-country trip to California to attend or participate. Most of the vendors/speakers I can engage with online. In addition, there are other conferences I already have on my calendar, like Gnomedex, where I get to mingle with the digerati in the ‘meatspace.'” he writes. “Still, this morning when I woke up and began to slurp the buzz it occurred to me that I saw this movie before. Stories like this one about San Francisco 2.0 conjure memories of rooftop parties hosted by the Industry Standard. And Web 2.0 Expo feels eerily like Internet World circa 1999. We know how that movie ended, of course. I believe the same will happen to this conference within a year or two.”

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