Dear Steph And Chey: You Are Soooooooo Busted
Apparently, the new, electronic way for schoolkids to pass notes to each other is to leave comments on random blogs. The reason I know this is because two girls named "steph" and "chey" have been leaving messages on this blog.
Second Life Is Hard To Use -- Is That A Bug Or A Feature?
Second Life is hard to use. Everybody knows it. I've logged something like 20 hours on SL in the past week and a half, and I'm still a consummate klutz. SL needs to be easier to use -- but not too easy, because if it was easy, it would undercut the nature of the world and remove one of its most appealing qualities.
Blogger Smackdown At AlwaysOn
Last night's final panel at the AlwaysOn conference in NYC, "Panel: Can Brands Get Away with 'Buzz Marketing' in the Blogosphere?", was the best session so far at this show. It was chock-full of emotion, idealism, and all the kinds of ideas you hope to see on stage at a conference.
The session was moderated by CKS Partners founder Bill Cleary and included super-bloggers Jeff Jarvis and
The Most Unusual Person In Second Life
Ida Keen is the most unusual person I've met in Second Life. You'll recall that the people I've met in SL include Dirjha Summers, an exotic dancer who works in a midnight city prowled by vampires and demons, along with Tateru Nino, an androgynous figure in a long robe who works in an office floating high in the clouds. Ida Keen, however, is an ordinary woman who lives, along with her husband, in an approximate reproduction of her grandmother's house on the Florida shore. She wears jeans, a sweat
Jim Gray, Noted Database Researcher, Missing At Sea
Jim Gray, 63, the noted database researcher, veteran of stints at IBM, Tandem Computers, and most recently Microsoft, is missing at sea. He set out Sunday morning to do something that I have done twice, sail from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge across 27 miles of ocean to the Farallon Islands. He hasn't returned.
What Happens In Second Life, Stays In SL
Role-playing is an essential part of Second Life. But some people take it more seriously than others. Some people act as if Second Life really is a second life -- as if the person who exists in that virtual world really is a different person from the one in the real world.
Get Me The Geeks? Oh, Please!
Apparently, computers and TVs are now so complicated they can only be set up by people who stay at home Saturday nights reading technical manuals. That's how 60 Minutes portrayed it Sunday, on a segment called Get Me The Geeks.
The First Celebrity Of Second Life Says She Was Misquoted
Anshe Chung just e-mailed me to correct some statements in my earlier blog post. She says she never engaged in cybersex for Linden Dollars. She compares what she did to what a geisha does: "A geisha is not paid for sex, although an individual geisha may choose to pursue sexual relationships with men she meets through her work."
It's Not A Best-Seller, But Better Read It Anyway
It's not going to make it onto the New York Times best-seller list, but the IT Infrastructure Library just might save your job. If you've ever seen things go disastrously wrong, then come to the understanding it was going to happen again--that's the time to read the ITIL titles.
My Dinner With Google
I drove from San Francisco down to Mountain View last night to attend a dinner with members of the Google Apps and Google Enterprise teams.
I rented a Zip Car for the occasion, since my car wasn't available and public transport wasn't an option. The car was a Cooper Mini. It's a fun little car. It had XM Radio and I have to say I was impressed with the sound quality. But I digress.
Everything You Want Out Of Life: Computer Games, Money, And Sex
Pity me, my job is such torture. I've been spending a lot of the last week explicitly, and with the enthusiastic support of my managers and colleagues, doing an activity which gets people fired from most rational jobs. I've been messing around with computer games. Specifically, the virtual world known as Second Life.
Second Life's First Celebrity
Second Life has produced one authentic celebrity so far: Anshe Chung, who claims a financial worth of $1 million real-life, American dollars for creating and selling virtual goods and services. I interviewed her for two hours yesterday evening in Second Life, and woke up this morning with a new appreciation of how slippery identity and reality is in Second Life.
Second Life Slowdown
Today, I took off my pants in public and discovered I have no genitals. I also gave myself a new appearance in Second Life. Other than that, the day's gameplay so far has been pretty disappointing.
Metaphorical Cold Water In Virtual Worlds
John Kusters is an enthusiastic World of Warcraft player. Nonetheless, he poured cold water on one of the main theses of my article: That virtual worlds, like World of Warcraft and Second Life, are becoming mainstream. He says they're inherently solitary pursuits, and therefore appeal to solitary people, who are comfortable spending hours at a time alone in front of their computers.
Discuss: Will SATA Rule Enterprise Storage?
All the research data agrees: SATA already acoounts for the overwhelming majority of all desktop drives currently being sold, and is well on its way to taking the lead in notebook storage too. However, most analysts expect that enterprise storage will remain predominately SCSI, although I'm not so sure about it.
Interview With Science-Fiction Writer Charles Stross About Virtual Worlds
This research into virtual worlds and online gaming is taking me to some weird places. So to speak. Today, I'm totally jazzed because I got to interview one of my favorite writers, Charles Stross, a science-fiction author, former tech journalist, programmer, and veteran of two dot-coms. I talked to Charlie about his upcoming novel, Halting State, set 12 years in the future, in a world where virtual worlds have become mainstream.
Virtual Worlds: The Next Big Thing Or Next Big Nothing?
Are virtual world and online games like World of Warcraft and Second Life what the Internet will look like in coming years? A few people I've been talking to recently think so, including Corey Bridges, co-founder of Multiverse Network, whom I interviewed Friday afternoon for an article on virtual worlds. A generation of young people is growing up hacking and slashing their way through virtual worlds -- that's literally true in the case of World of Warcraft -- and they're going to expect a 3-D
MySpace Lawsuits Called Losers
Four families are suing MySpace for failing to prevent adults from contacting and subsequently sexually assaulting their daughters.
The lawsuits charge MySpace and parent company News Corp. with negligence, gross negligence, fraud, fraud by nondisclosure, and negligent misrepresentation.
As InformationWeek's Antone Gonsalves reports, the assaults occurred in late 2005 and early 2006. Auth
The Revolution Will Be Vlogged
Will privacy become a quaint custom that people in the 20th century used to practice? While government and corporate surveillance and massive, petabyte databases of personal data are making it harder to keep secrets, the biggest threat to privacy is something you're carrying around in your pocket: Your cameraphone.
Reach Out And Touch Your Computer
What will the computer user interface of 2017 look like? Maybe something like this, which allows users to reach out to the computer screen and touch and move objects on it as though they were physically real. Check out the mind-blowing video demo.
Reality Check: Senate Bill S.1 Poses No Threat To Bloggers
My colleague Mitch Wagner and some other journalists have picked up on a report by an organization called Grass Roots Freedom that a Senate bill designed to bring transparency to the lobbying process could result in the jailing of political bloggers. Did you know that the bill does not even mention the words "blog" or "blogger"? There's also a couple of things you should know about "Grass Roots Freedom."
SNL Mocks Steve Jobs And The iPhone
Just in case you had any doubts that the iPhone has trescended mere techdom to become the cultural trend du jour for January, perennial TV sketch show Saturday Night Live mocked both Steve Jobs and the iPhone in a recent episode.
Obama Developing Online Video Strategy
Beet.TV reports that U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who this week formed an exploratory committee to investigate running for U.S. President next year, has a deal with Brightcove to manage the senator's online video strategy.
Top 10 Potential iPhone Problems
Our friend Dave Greenfield at Network Computing came up with a list of top 10 potential iPhone problems. These include the low-resolution camera, slow data feeds, missing GPS, and lack of support for the most popular instant-messaging platform: AOL's.
An Ironic User's Guide To The iPhone
It seems everyone is talking about the iPhone these days, including Dave Eggers' hip literary journal McSweeney's. McSweeney's writer Darren Cahr offers some interesting and creative ways to make use of the iPhone.
Your Digital Life
Starting next week, we're launching a new area of reporting, focusing on how information technology changes people's lives and how it changes society. This will include a hodgepodge of subjects: Internet law, politics, censorship, digital rights management, online gaming, blogging, a bit of Web 2.0, online communities, local search, and more.
Where's The iPhone's Software Development Kit?
After you spend $500 on an iPhone, what will you be able to do with it? Not enough, unless Apple makes it easy for third-party developers to build applications for it. Is Apple doing that? Not yet.
Mac OS Or Vista? Your Turn To Weigh In
Last Saturday, we published a review comparing Mac OS X and Windows Vista. The topic was a huge hit with you, our audience, prompting a flood of e-mails.
Top 7 iPhone Questions Steve Jobs Doesn't Want You To Ask
Apple CEO Steve Jobs was the star of the Mac(world) universe this week, with his unveiling of the uber-cool iPhone. While the device is earning kudos in many circles as a "leapfrog" device, it's also prompting a backlash. In that vein, we present a David Letterman style list of questions, which take a few pointed but not necessarily unfair potshots at Apple's as-yet-unproven product.
Walking the CES Walk, Talking the CES Talk
LAS VEGAS -- Three things I learned at the Consumer Electronics Show: (1) IT is irrelevant. It used to be that innovations in computing flowed from big business down to the small-office and home markets. Now it flows in the other direction. (2) Hardware is no longer the bottleneck for anything. And (3) universal connectivity is still a long way off.
I Want My Apple TV
While the hype is targeting the iPhone, the Apple TV is a more interesting device. The market for cell phones is relatively mature -- there's plenty of good and great cell phones out there -- which makes me skeptical tha
Keeping Your Energy Up At CES
With all the gadgets and devices that are being shown at CES (a large portion of them mobile) something has to power them. This can be really apparent during a big trade show, where the use of notebooks, PDAs, and especially phones is constant -- and you really don't want to drag around a power cord along with the hundreds of product info brochures and CDs that you've piled into your bag.
The Scourge of CES: The Content Crisis
LAS VEGAS - The second-biggest problem at the Consumer Electronics Show, the World's Most Exhausting Tradeshow, is apparently the Content Crisis. (The biggest problem, as always, is the wait to get a cab.) I hadn't been aware of the Content Crisis or its effect on consumers, but in every aisle of the exhibit halls vendors are anxious to tell me that they have the solution to the Content Crisis - a way to give me more media, more audio and video to play on my iPod, my HD TV, my home theater. And
iPhone Hype: I Just Don't Get It
Reading up on the Apple iPhone, I'm not seeing what's so exciting about it, and I'm even tempted to say that the thing is going to sink like a lead balloon and everybody who's jazzing about it now is going to feel foolish in a year. It's a cell phone that's also an iPod that does the Internet and takes pictures. Why is that exciting? I already have a cell phone and an iPod, and my cell phone -- a 14-month-old Palm Treo 650 -- is Internet-enabled and a cameraphone too. I grant you there will be a
iPhone Phone Home, And Reaction To My Mac OS X Review
My initial reaction to Apple's Macworld announcements was: "Um...OK, a phone, the Apple TV, and a name change...OK." Now, I think the iPhone is a solid phone. I think it has a lot of things that people will want, and it will probably shake up the phone market quite a bit. Am I going to get one? Probably not. First, I'm a Sprint customer, and to be more precise, a happy Sprint customer. There's nothing in the
CES Products: Tinkerer Toys For Picture Takers
Underneath the casual-Friday dress code that predominates at CES beat the hearts of many a mad scientist. Digital photography seems to attract a disproportionate number of tinkerers and garage inventors, for some reason, and as I've wandered around the exhibit halls I've run into several products from some of them that make me want to reach for my wallet or scratch my head in disbelief, often at the same time.
CES 2007: It Can Be A Lonely Trade Show For Some
It's been a long two days, and at 6 p.m., closing time at the Las Vegas Convention Center, everyone is either on line for a bus, on line for a cab, trudging wearily back to their hotel -- or, as I am, sitting in Starbucks doing some last minute work and just letting their feet rest.
Counting Down To June For The iPhone
It's going to be a long wait until June.
That's when Apple says it will release its newly announced iPhone.
But it may be July or later before I actually get one (or two, since I assume my wife will want one). Given the universal praise I've been hearing for the device, I suspect they may be hard to get ahold of initially.
Cisco Doesn't Think Apple Owns That iPhone Name
Cisco says it's been negotiating with Apple for years about using the name, and that those negotiations continued into last night. Apple CEO Steve Jobs didn't seem too concerned while making his blockbuster announcement about Apple's iPhone.
Welcome to CES, Brought To You By iPod
LAS VEGAS - While I'm at the Consumer Electronics Show, product announcements coming from MacWorld in San Francisco are proving where the real center of the consumer electronics industry is - wherever Apple's Steve Jobs is standing. Even here it feels like every third or fourth vendor you see is pitching something that works with an iPod.
CES 2007: Microsoft Offers Reassurance Via Family Testimony
Microsoft has a tent at CES just outside the Las Vegas Convention Center where, among other things, they are offering interviews with families were were part of their beta testing program (excuse me: their Life With Windows Vista program). These families were given a computer loaded with an early version of Vista about two years ago and were asked to use it as their main computer while giving constant feedback.
CES 2007: It's Not Just Tech Folks Anymore
For somebody who has spent most of her professional life writing about computers and associated technologies, the crowds at the Consumer Electronics Show are a revelation. Not just the vast number of companies shouting for the attention of the buyers and media -- even though classifying some of the products here as "consumer" can be a stretch -- but the attention it's getting in the popular media. It's been front-page news in the
So Small, They're Unreal
LAS VEGAS -- While there are rumors floating around that Microsoft may use the Bill Gates keynote at CES here today to launch its Origami ultra-mobile PC, there are far more interesting super-small PCs floating around the corridors of the tradeshow -- little wonders so they're unreal. The only downside, of course, is that some of them literally are unreal -- they're prototypes -- but they're signposts to the futu
CES 2007: How To Get The Message Across
At CES, everybody's middle name is entertainment -- even at the news announcements. As a result, Panasonic is going to have to learn how to present itself properly if it's going to get the better of, say, Sony. The former started its Sunday press conference with a canned question-and-answer session between two top executives in a seemingly desperate attempt to uphold the honor of their plasma displays (and eventually announcing two new HD video camcorders). Sony opened its event with violinist