The Maybe Merry Month Of May
This first day of the month of May, popularly known as May Day, can mean different things to different people. For many, it heralds the beginning of spring, when you can finally stop running to weather.com to see if there's yet another late snowstorm coming and can start googling phrases like "weed killer" and "swimsuit sales." For others, especially if they live in some other country, or have certain political views, it means a
Microsoft Blog Takes On .ANI Bug Post-Mortem
How did the animated cursor flaw, which plagued Microsoft users with wave after wave of exploits this spring, get through Vista's security? A Microsoft security guru takes on the question in a blog.
Mobile And Wireless Prominent In IBM's Top Five Technology Innovations
Wireless and mobility figure prominently in IBM's "Next Five in Five," a list of the top five technologies that will impact people's lives in the next five years. The results of this study come from IBM's interal research labs and think tank, as well as input from 150,000 people in 104 countries. So what are the top five technologies to look out for?
Ballmer Takes Another Swipe At Google Apps And The iPhone
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer just can't resist taking shots at the iPhone. Who can blame him, the iPhone has the potential to redefine the entire handset business -- as well as position OS X as a competitor in the mobile OS market.
What's The Best Service For A First-Time Blogger?
My colleague John Foley asked for some advice on starting a personal blog. He wanted to know which software or service to use. I had two recommendations: The TypePad service if he wants to have a blog that's open to anyone, or the Vox service if he wants to control access to the blog.
Video Illustrates The Sorry State Of The Customer Service Industry Today
A company called Vocal Laboratories provides video commentary on a six-minute customer service call to Hewlett-Packard. HP treats its customer rudely, like cattle. They waste the customer's time. They make the customer sit through six minutes of silence, hold music, and pointless questions. Then they abruptly hang up on the poor guy without providing any help at all. But the most shocking thing of all is that HP is not unusual in this behavior. It's a typical call by any customer to any compan
It Depends On What The Meaning Of 'IT' Is
My colleague Michael Singer recently posted a compelling item about the work and words of Nick Carr, who burst into prominence four years ago with a Harvard Business Review article called "IT Doesn't Matter" and shortly thereafter a book with the softer title, Does IT Matter? And now Carr is about to release a followup book. I wish Nick much success with his book sales because he's a rema
In Search Of Credibility On The Web
At a recent get-together of IT community people on Microsoft's campus, the meeting started with an attempt to define Web 2.0, a term some associated with nothing more than marketing fluff. Talk turned from the medium to the message--to the content being generated by wikis, blogs, feeds, and social nets--then to a question about the people generating it all.
Ubuntu Linux Vs. Windows Vista: What Do You Think?
Popular myth -- those tidbits of received wisdom that epitomize the phrase, "Of course it's true, everyone says so!" -- is as evident in the technology community as it is in any other society. The only difference is that this particular community isn't divided by geographical location, but by language -- namely, the language that their favorite computer speaks.
NOAA Sets Up Shop In Second Life
The Meteora island offers hurricane, submarine, and weather balloon rides, a tsunami-training beach, a planetarium, and other educational experiences.
The Museum of Modern Betas? Del.icio.us!
So this friend of mine wants to tell me about his new company, new product. But he's suave, he doesn't just email me, "Hey, Mr. Ur-So-Kool Press Bigshot, write me up." Instead he invites to me to connect to him on LinkedIn. Very subtle. He knows I'll backtrack his email address. I do. I find his company Web site. Product's still in the oven. Hmmm. But I also find it's listed on the
Safari Vs. Firefox On The Mac: Firefox Wins
I'm done with my fast-and-dirty evaluation of the Safari as a potential replacement for Firefox on the Mac, and I'm sticking with Firefox. Here's why I stuck with Firefox, and what I still miss about Safari.
The Two Most Useful Search Tricks I Know
I use these all day and every day. One of these tricks allows you to do a search quickly in Firefox. The other trick allows you to narrow searches down to a particular site.
FON Dials It Up With Software-Only Hotspot For Mac, Linux
FON, the Spanish share-your-Internet-connection company, is moving fast this week. On Monday it announced a deal with Time Warner Cable that will officially let broadband customers do what some of them have already been doing unofficially -- set up FON routers that redistribute their Internet service via Wi-Fi. Today, FON announced software for Intel Macs and Linux boxes that does the same thing, no router required.
Is It An 'Interview' If It's Via E-Mail?
In working on my story on Wall Street's efforts to reduce data latency, I had several e-mail exchanges with a spokesperson for BATS, a very nice but not overly responsive fellow. After the story came out, he chided me for not checking the facts with him. I pointed out that in the week the story was being edited, I made several attempts to reach him by phone and by e-mail, unsuccessfully. I am reminded of this
How Does RadioShack Stay In Business?
Leave it to The Onion to ask one of the pressing questions of our time: How does RadioShack stay in business? This clever satire ponders how the age-old retailer manages to survive in the era of Best Buy and Amazon.
Too Many Writers Spoil The Story
Blogger Jason Calcanis recently refused to be interviewed over the phone by Wired contributing editor Fred Vogelstein. Calcanis prefers e-mail.
As Calcanis explained in an e-mail to Vogelstein, "I'm an email guy like dave winer.. And I own my words as well, and often print them on my blog (after stories come out)."
Building In Second Life, With Links To Web Info
I spent a pleasant hour or so last night acquainting myself with building in Second Life. I created a simple platform that floats at an altitude of 100 meters above my land. Building in Second Life is actually fairly simple in concept, and simple once you get the hang of it, but in the middle there's lots of fiddly little options to select and buttons to push and it's easy to make mistakes.