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Adobe Stakes New Claim To Rich Web Apps

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InformationWeek Daily - Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008

Editor's Note

Ubuntu: Linux's Obama (Sort Of)

What is it about Ubuntu that has generated such excitement about Linux?  To steal a word from Obama's playbook, "Change."

In the four years it's been around, Ubuntu's managed to set itself apart from the rest of the Linux distributions out there by dint of two things: it evolves, and it evolves on a fairly aggressive schedule.  They don't let things languish.  Part of that is because they have solid backing and a broadening circle of support from the industry, but I'm inclined to believe it's also because they don't just sit around and say "Good enough."  They ask, "What can we do now?"

In Mark Shuttleworth's recent e-mail to the Ubuntu developer's mailing list, he outlines the goals for the 8.10 version of Ubuntu, the "Intrepid Ibex" (what happens when they run out of letters?).  The big goal this time around is mobile connectivity.

The way Ubuntu has flourished is a source of great hope for everyone who cares about open source.  It shows that it's not just possible to put something like this out there, but have it flourish and even have it picked up and re-used by commercial partners (e.g., Dell (Dell), or the Wal-Mart PC).

That said, I do worry, though, whether or not they can sustain that kind of development pace.  Two major releases a year or so is a lot to look forward to, and I do worry about the possibility of developer burnout, unrealistic goal-setting, and many other things that could cause Ubuntu's development to stagnate.  I'm also learning that it's not enough to say "Well, if they don't do it, someone else can fork it," because the code is one thing, but a strong and insightful development team is another entirely.  Good programmers are tough enough to find; a collection of good programmers who can work together is even tougher to assemble.

What I hope for most from Ubuntu is not just that it contains this or that feature -- although I have my own wish list which I should publish -- but that it earns a position of respect alongside Windows and the Mac.  And I'd also hope that such a thing doesn't come from Windows or the Mac being brought low, but by Ubuntu reaching as high as it can.

What's your hope for the future of Ubuntu? Leave a message on the InformationWeek Blog and let us know.

Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp

Quote of The Day

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation." -- Henry Kissinger

YouTube Video Of The Day

Today's Video: "Star Wars, Reviewed By 3-Year Old Girl." "Kind of like a garage sale, but they're selling robots... It's an exciting movie."

Seen a great YouTube video? Share it with the rest of the InformationWeek community. Just leave a message on our forum with a brief description and the link. We'll highlight the best video of the day in this newsletter.

Top Stories

Adobe Stakes New Claim To Rich Web Apps With Release Of Air
Adobe and its partners announced a number of Air applications for consumers and businesses, including Nasdaq Instant Market Replay and Business Objects' BI Desktop.

Related Stories:

Adobe To Open Source Data-Connection Technology For Rich Internet Apps

Adobe, BEA Unite On Rich Web Apps For Business

EBay, Others Launch Desktop Apps With Adobe AIR

Internet Evolution

The Curse of Internet Anonymity
Renowned for his radical views of the Internet as a culture killer, Silicon Valley author, broadcaster, and entrepreneur Andrew Keen argues that Internet anonymity, which is fast becoming the norm, is a societal danger, leading to serious, long-term consequences.

White Paper Unveils Adobe AIR Tools

Developers will be able to build new AIR/Flex applications and sell them on Salesforce's AppExchange marketplace.

Photo-Sharing Startup Expanding Internationally

Tiny Pictures received $7.2 million in investment funding to build its Radar Gallery service, which allows instant sharing of pictures and videos taken with camera phones and camcorders.

Judge Grants 'Vista Capable' Lawsuit Class Action Status

A federal judge expanded a lawsuit filed by two consumers to potentially include all customers who purchased a Windows XP PC advertised as "Vista Capable."

N.Y. Times Unveils Mobile-To-PC App

ShifD eliminates the need to save information separately on multiple Web-enabled devices.

Military Says Spy Satellite Was Destroyed By Missile

Military officials are tracking fewer than 3,000 pieces of debris and all are smaller than a football.

Pakistan Blocks YouTube, Puts Blinders On The World

Users had a hard time accessing YouTube after Pakistan directed the country's ISPs to begin blocking the site for distributing offensive content.

Starting Salaries For Most IT Pros Will Climb In 2008

IT consulting firm sees increases of 5.3% in major metropolitan areas, with application developers, application architects, and project managers seeing even higher boosts.

Cisco Unveils 40-Core Networking Semiconductor

The QuantumFlow Processor includes a programmable chipset and can perform up to 160 simultaneous processes.

Hospital Takes Its Grand Opening To Second Life

Virtual visitors to the Palomar West Medical Campus can tour the facilities and see some of the amenities of the $810 million, real-life publicly financed hospital in San Diego.

Radar Networks Readies Hot 'Twine' For Public Beta

The company reports that 30,000 people have joined the waiting list for the information-management software, which may become available next week.

Social Network LinkedIn Goes Mobile

The site's 19 million members can now search profiles with photos and bios, make introductions, and invite other professionals to join a network while on the go.

Dell Updates AMD-Based Optiplex Business PC

Dell's desktop models are available with some of AMD's latest Athlon dual-core chips; it also offers as an option the more powerful AMD Athlon 64 X2 chips.

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In This Issue


Kinder Microsoft?
Microsoft recently pledged new support for standards, although critics are skeptical. What do you think? Is this the dawn of a kinder, gentler Microsoft? Take our poll and let us know.

Join Us For InformationWeek Live Today With Clay Shirky

Our guest, New York University's Clay Shirky, will discuss his new book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power Of Organizing Without Organizations, which describes how social networks like MySpace and Digg are allowing new kinds of collaborative action. Social media are enabling groups to form fast, grow large, and take broad action, without the kind of corporate and government expense and bureaucracy that has previously been required -- without even much leadership. Shirky explores how these changes are affecting society.

We'll talk with Shirky about these changes Tuesday -- that's today -- at 3 p.m. Eastern time. To join us, visit the InformationWeek Live page on TalkShoe or call (724) 444-7444 Call ID: 12478 or visit us at the CMP Amphitheater in Second Life.

The report from India, previously scheduled for today, is postponed to next week, Tuesday March 4 at 3 pm Eastern. Hope that doesn't inconvenience anyone.

The latest research, polls, and tools

Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.

The BI Explosion
Examine the business intelligence strategies of 500 companies, including deployment drivers and challenges, spending plans, and vendor selection, in this recent InformationWeek Research report.

Latest InformationWeek Blog Posts

Virgin Atlantic's Biofueled Flight Plan Is Coco-Nuts
A Virgin Atlantic 747 topped off its fuel tank with the oil of 150,000 coconuts and flew from Heathrow to Amsterdam Sunday. The odor of pina coladas hanging over the economy cabin should have been a giveaway -- this idea is a stinker.

EMC Updates RecoverPoint SAN CDP/Replication Engine
The new 3.0 version of its RecoverPoint CDP/Replication appliance extends the technology EMC acquired with Kashya in 2006. The version provides both local replication to a CDP volume and journal on the same Fibre Channel SAN as the primary storage and remote asynchronous replication via IP to another array at the same time. Unlike array-based replication options, the source and destination arrays need not be the same type, or even from the same vendor.

Google Outlines The Secret To Its Success
Apparently, there's some level of mystery involved in Google's success. So much so that Google's chief economist Hal Varian put together a bunch of ideas on why Google continually succeeds. Varian has one answer. I have another.

Windows Vista Childbirth Pack 1
I have become convinced that Windows service packs and childbirth have a lot in common. You approach the big day with nervous anticipation, and hope that everything will come out OK. That day sometimes involves a lot of pain, but a few years after each event people look back wistfully and think, "Gee, that wasn't so bad. I'm sure glad we did it." As the big day arrives for Vista Service Pack 1, be prepared for that short-term pain.

Virtualization: Just Another Layer Of Software To Patch?
Researchers at Core Security have issued an advisory warning users of a significant security flaw in a number of VMware desktop apps that could allow attackers to gain complete access to the underlying operating system.

LinkedIn Launches Mobile Site
Today LinkedIn showed off a new beta WAP site that lets you perform some basic tasks related to your LinkedIn database of professional contacts. And when we say basic, we mean basic. You can't view your contacts' contact information, accept invitations, nor even update your own profile. LinkedIn Mobile has its work cut out for it if it intends to catch up to other social networking sites' mobile capabilities.

Hacker's Poised To Beat Apple's Latest Version Of DRM (aka C.R.A.P.)
One of the hotter memes over the weekend had to do with a cease and desist letter that the ever-litigious Apple sent to the operators of the Hymn Project. For those looking to remove Apple's copy protection technology (officially "FairPlay," but I call it "C.R.A.P.") from iTunes Music Store (iTMS)-bought content, the Hymn Project has been the go-to site for utilities that have managed to stay one step ahead of Apple in what has been a cat and mouse game.

Symantec Protection Network Online Backup, How Innovative?
This week Symantec released the first services from its previously announced Symantec Protection Network (SPN) and, as Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise," online backup. Symantec Online Backup is a middle of the road service for small businesses that should have some appeal, especially after Symantec takes the time to add a few features the competition already has. Symantec Online Storage for Backup Exec, on the other hand, breaks new ground providing online off-site backup capabilities to the legions of Windows shops running Backup Exec after they update to the new version 12.

Video: Is Microsoft Open Source's Friend?
Microsoft made its most significant move since the 1992 release of Windows 3.1 on Feb. 21, when it pledged to make "strategic changes in technology and business practices to expand interoperability." What does this mean in plain English? It's Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's corporate-speak way of telling the open-source community that he can't beat 'em, so he plans to try to outflank them.

Report: No iPhone SDK In February
According to reports, the software developer kit for the iPhone is going to be delayed by one to three weeks. Apple is turning into a regular Microsoft with the recent spate of product delays.

White Paper

Real-World SOA: Definition, Implementation and Use of SOA with CentraSite
Web services are having a dramatic impact on improving enterprise architecture and application development practices. This paper highlights three sample case studies illustrating how Fujitsu's CentraSite delivers SOA solutions.

Forrester Consulting: Unified Communications Delivers Global Benefits
This Forrester Consulting study shows how Unified Communications (UC) makes it simpler to contact others over any device in any location, enhancing business agility, cutting costs, and boosting employee productivity. Forrester finds that UC is already delivering major savings for organizations around the world in retail banking, manufacturing and education. Download the full report for free.

Software as a Service Research Report
No longer a niche software delivery model, software as a service (SaaS) can help small and midsize companies get access to enteprise-class software functionality without having to commit enterprise-level capital resources. Download the full report for free.

The Internet & the Developing World
The evolution of the Internet has been full of surprises – surprises that have sometimes resulted in radical changes in the commercial landscape, such as the arrival of Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube, and Skype. Could one of the next big surprises turn out to be linked to developing countries? Read the full report for free from

Job Listings

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Comcast Cable seeking Divisional Business Analyst in Manchester, NH

Hewlett Packard seeking Technical Account Manager in Cupertino, CA

TheMuniCenter seeking Java / B2B Developer in New York, NY

Micron Technology, Inc. seeking Architect and Technologist in Boise, ID

Mentor Graphics seeking Software Development Engineer in San Jose, CA

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