Will You Join The DRM Dance?
Back in the bad old days of the 1970s, Sony came out with a wonderful machine called a Betamax video tape recorder. The idea was that consumers could tape their favorite programs off of their televisions and watch them at their leisure. No longer would people have to rush home in a panic in order to catch that week's episode of Star Trek--you could watch Johnny Carson at 9 a.m. and your favorite daytime soap at 1 a.m. if you wanted.
But Universal City Studios didn't see it that way.
Social Bookmarking For Cheapskates
Social bookmarking sites like Digg where users vote on the quality of links -- the best rising to the top -- are transforming the Web-using experience. They do this by harnessing the power of public opinion to vet, filter and rank "content."
Now -- at last -- someone has harnessed the power of the Web 2.0 to discover and rank great deals. Call it social bookmarking for cheapskates.
Is Hyperion Shopping?
Some pure-play business intelligence vendors appear to be in a daze these days, as the battlefield gets crowded. Instead of remaining focused on building defenses against an eventual full-scale assault on the market by Goliaths Microsoft and Oracle, vendors Hyperion, Cognos and Business Objects have had to deal with self-inflicted wounds.
Group Wants U.S. Gov. To Reveal Who's Asking For H-1B Workers Now
Should the U.S. Dept. of Labor provide public access to a government database that purportedly contains information about employers planning to hire H-1B workers for fiscal 2007, which starts on Oct. 1, 2006?
Kim Berry, president of advocate group Programmers Guild, says he wants U.S. tech workers to have the chance to more fairly compete for jobs that might otherwise go to foreigners.
U.S. workers should have the opportunity right now to look at requests employers have made to the DOL to fill
The 'Drama Queen' of Software Installations
I have installed a lot of PC software. A LOT of software. Back in the day it was a piece of cake: copy the EXE file, add it to your path statement, maybe edit a little parameters file, and you were good to go.
Windows, of course, changed all that. The typical Windows installation has become a production worthy of Cecil B. DeMille, with the blessings and curses of the license agreement, the shriek of your hard drive as temp files are copied, directories initialize, cab files spring into being, r
Spammers Trying To Do To Blogs What They Did To E-Mail
Blog comment spam -- advertising slipped into the "comments" section of blog entries -- has been around awhile. It tends to trickle in. Various schemes exist to combat it, but most blogs are completely unprotected.
Though the mainstream press hasn't noticed, there was a radical increase in spam over the weekend. Who's doing it? And why the sudden increase?
Microsoft Makes Its Peace With Open Source
Last month, I noted in the Linux Pipeline newsletter that Microsoft's new leadership was likely to adopt a far more pragmatic, and positive, attitude towards open-source software. I was right about what would happen, but wrong about the timing: In just two weeks, with two decisions, Microsoft has already largely demolished years of anti-Open Source dogma.
Dude! Wanna Be In The National Student Database?
It's been a while since I've been in college or hung around with anyone who is, but I distinctly recall that no matter who was paying the freight, a student's grades were delivered only to the student. Even paying parents had no right to see the results. In the weird halfway house of adulthood that makes up the college experience, students are considered adults in some areas, children in others. Grades fell into the adult side of the class. And my guess is this goes for student health and other
Hiring Hackers: Would You Ever Trust Your Network Security To An Ex-Thief?
As the saying goes, if you can't beat them join them. But in the case of ex-hackers who abandon their criminal lives to pursue careers in corporate security, these security wizards often have already beaten the system and are now choosing to exploit it further by profiting from the expertise they gained at the expense of the organizations they once menaced.
The Postcard Has Finally Been Licked
The postcard -- a photo or graphic on one side with a note and addressing and postage on the other -- was patented in 1861 by John P. Charlton. Since then, tourists and holiday makers have been sending them back home to friends and family to share their experiences abroad. Oftentimes, vacationers reach home before the postcards do.
Now, after 145 years the postcard's days are numbered, thanks to a new, free, and very cool Web 2.0 alternative. Sorry, Charlton.
Microsoft Takes Another Step Away From SOHO, Home Users
Microsoft cut off support for Windows 98 and Windows Millenium Edition (ME) last week. It was not a very responsible decision. There are still plenty of PCs running 98 and ME out there, and denying them the protection of security updates will make them vectors of infection for PCs running supported Windows versions in the long run.
Microsoft might like to pooh-pooh the issue, but its own actions tell you something about the size of the problem: It felt it had to announce a solution for its corp
Mark Cuban Says The Internet Is Boring. Oh, That It Were So
Mark Cuban's recent blog entry pays tribute to the Internet by declaring it boring. It works, and we take it for granted. He compares it to indoor plumbing, with similar dependence and lack of excitement.
The thing he ignores: the wireless Web.
Spawn Of Wikipedia
So can commoners--as the British like to refer to those not of aristocratic birth--be trusted? That's the question that two of the founders of Wikipedia appear to have asked themselves recently. And they appear to have come up with radically different answers.
Are You Using Spreadsheets As BI?
If you could peer into the very heart of your operation and learn where you are most- and least - profitable, it's obvious that you'd learn a lot. But figuring out just what makes your business a success, and where you need to turn up the volume, takes at least a little bit of time (often it takes more...) and a commitment to seeing the task through. That's where many businesses fall short.
In fact, it's probably one area that separates the businesses that are eeking out a profit from the ones
Skype Gets Reverse-Engineered
According to a blog post by Charlie Paglee, a Chinese technology company has successfully reverse-engineered the core Skype protocols. It's clear that the company is a long way from productizing this into something that will "compete" with Skype on a feature basis, but it's an interesting and important milestone nonetheless.
Geronimo Rides, Novell Switches Sides
Apache Geronimo is rapidly maturing as an open-source application server and, in its 1.0 version, venturing outside the protected bounds of its previously out-of-view camp. But can Geronimo keep moving and slip past the well-guarded doors to the enterprise the way JBoss did?
Doing H-1B Math, In Dollars And Sense
Foreign tech workers who enter the U.S. with H-1B visas are paid about $25,000 a year less than American workers with the same skills, according to the Programmers Guild, an advocate organization for U.S. tech professionals.
And the guild's president, Kim Berry, is hoping that Congress will "correct" current wage rules that are supposed to keep the pay playing field level between American professionals and H-1B visa holders, but aren't.
Current regulations have loopholes that allow employers
Windows Reactionaries, Unite!
Whenever Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, there's always a backlash from people using previous versions. "It's all just a bunch of hype," they say. "Why should I spend a lot of money to upgrade when Windows Me works just fine?"
One Small Step For Bloggers, One Giant Step For Journalism
The San Francisco Chronicle reports this morning that Apple won't continue to bully bloggers for the name of the internal source who leaked secret company information to them last year. An appeals court ruled May 26 that Apple could not force the bloggers to reveal the identity of the person. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which had challenged the Apple lawsuit, told The Chronicle the decision means that bloggers and other online journalists have the same right to protect their sources as t
Is Google Earth Falling Apart?
No. (Cheap, fear-mongering headlines should always be answered "Yes" or "No" to save readers from the certain inanity to follow.)
But there's more to it than that.
The story begins with an e-mail from a reader who wrote, "Google mapping technology is falling apart."
If true, that claim would make an interesting story. Given that a similar report appeared this morning in The Register, stating that Goo
Wi-Fi And The Freeloaders
The latest chapter in high-tech rudeness involves a battle brewing between steaming café and coffee shop owners and Wi-Fi freeloading laptop users. The problem is that some laptop users see nothing wrong with turning their corner coffee bars into extensions of their office--if not their actual office. They come in to take advantage of the free Internet access and end up displacing the paying clientele by hogging tables for hours while spending next to nothing. And they think nothing of it.
Google Goes Back To Its Wolverine Roots
Google has once again proven it's a step ahead. It could have chosen the overcrowded, overpriced Silicon Valley to set up a new center employing 1,000 workers, but it instead chose Ann Arbor, home of co-founder Larry Page's alma mater, the University of Michigan.
IT Security: An Overconfidence Problem?
Network security threats seem to be everywhere, but system administrators believe their companies aren't at greater risk than in the past. This potentially false sense of security was expressed by nearly 90 percent than 2,100 companies surveyed as part of InformationWeek 2006 Global Security Study. So where is the bravado coming from at a time when security researchers are warning us that risk has never been greater as c