Thursday, November 30, 2006

Vista Will Foil Office File-Format Attacks

Vista's Address Space Layout Randomization approach will stop some kinds of exploits, notably those that rely on memory manipulation, by arranging key data areas randomly in the available address space.

It should make "reboot and retry" diagnostic techniques a lot more interesting too! I can hardly wait to hear the war stories.

PS3 based super-computing cluster on Linux

Overall, they conclude that the next generation cell product needs minor hardware change to scale efficiently for double precision work, but that the first generation is already between 3 and 60 times faster, and between 10 and 200 times more power efficient, than its competitors - numbers to keep in mind when you think about Apple's triumph in arranging to get dual core Xeon CPUs from Intel for only slightly more than than four times the $89 Sony is estimated to pay for an 8+1 cell at 3.2Ghz.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

As Patents Grow More Contentious, As Patents Grow More Contentious, Battleground Shifts to High Court

The high court, which today hears arguments in one of three patent cases on this term's docket, has ruled in recent cases on the side of more flexibility in enforcing such rights. If that trend continues, it could translate into weaker protections for patent holders and promote greater access to inventions.

Wal-Mart Unveils Movie Download Service

Wal-Mart will be entering a crowded field pioneered by CinemaNow and Movielink. Newer entrants include Apple Computer Inc., Inc. and Guba. Starz Entertainment LLC's Vongo offers an all-you-can-view online movie service for $9.99 a month.

Trolltech rolls "complete" Linux smartphone stack

"European and U.S. vendors are also just more conservative about adopting new handsets," Nord continued. "Here in Silicon Valley, I see handsets advertised by carriers as 'new' that I saw two years ago, in Asia. But, I believe Motorola has announced that it will now begin to roll out its Linux phones in the U.S. and in Europe."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Windows Shutdown crapfest

But here's how the design process worked: approximately every 4 weeks, at our weekly meeting, our PM would say, "the shell team disagrees with how this looks/feels/works" and/or "the kernel team has decided to include/not include some functionality which lets us/prevents us from doing this particular thing". And then in our weekly meeting we'd spent approximately 90 minutes discussing how our feature -- er, menu -- should look based on this "new" information. Then at our next weekly meeting we'd spend another 90 minutes arguing about the design, then at the next weekly meeting we'd do the same, and at the next weekly meeting we'd agree on something... just in time to get some other missing piece of information from the shell or kernel team, and start the whole process again.

IBM laughs all the way to the bank

Zeitler added that the reason IBM managed to capture the console market was because while the likes of Intel and AMD were trying to show off the sizes of their clock speeds, Big Blue thought the smart money was on a "multicore" design.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Divide and Conquer: The Microsoft/Novell deal is more about disruption than cooperation.

We saw this happen before when 3Com tied its fortunes to Microsoft in the late 1980s with the lamented 3Com-Microsoft LAN Manager network operating system, which was ironically Microsoft's answer to Novell at that time. Then 3Com CEO Bill Krause felt the only way to compete with Novell was through an alliance with Microsoft. So 3Com bought its way into the relationship, ended up doing all the work (MORE THAN all the work if you count recoding Microsoft blunders), then had to BUY ITS WAY BACK OUT when the product failed.

After that deal was over and the blood had dried, 3Com founder Bob Metcalfe claims that a Microsoft exec told him, "You made a fatal error, you trusted us."

IBM Gets A Second Life

Although it's a virtual world, Second Life is having a big impact on real world commerce and business. News agency Reuters has opened an in-world Second Life news bureau,'s product database is available to book merchants operating within Second Life through an open API, and several pop stars have given concerts within the virtual environment. "There are all sorts of new applications for this technology," says IBM's spokesman.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Novell bridges gap between .Net and Linux

"With this release, we have solved an important issue by making it easier to translate the Microsoft user interfaces to Linux, an important contribution in increasing the number of client-side Linux applications," said Miguel de Icaza, vice president of developer platforms at Novell and maintainer of the Mono project.

Let me know when the first one is out.

(I think this is a good idea, I'm just skeptical about the degree of cooperation Linux will get from Microsoft)

Gates: Rivals wanted to 'castrate' Vista

Windows Vista will make it to market largely unscathed, despite attempts by Microsoft's rivals to take it to pieces, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said Thursday.


I thought most of the new features were removed two years ago to get it out "on time".

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Myth of the Rational Voter

My final remedy for voter irrationality, then, is for people who know more than the average voter to stop being so modest. When experts and those who heed them address a broader audience — in the media, in their writings, or in a classroom — they need to focus on the questions where experts and the public disagree, and clearly explain why the experts are right and the public is wrong. Thus, when economists get the public's ear, they should not bore them with the details of national income statistics, or quibble with each other about marginal issues. They should challenge the public's misconceptions about markets, foreigners, saving labor, and progress.

An appropriate time for sour grapes.