Friday, May 30, 2008

Comcast Tries to Break Some Windows - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

"As more and more video is available on the Internet, one question moves sharply into focus: What will happen to cable and satellite television providers? Do we really need specialized networks for our TV, or will the Internet be enough once someone figures out an easy way to get Internet video onto our TV screens?

That’s a big question, with lots of technical debate about the cost and quality of various technologies. If I ran a cable company, I’d certainly be worried"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mini-Microsoft: What's up with Microsoft India?

"[T]he underlying fact is that 70% of MS India is stinking with corrupt leaders. EPG has no moral values and ethics in selling. No one even understands why DPE should be paid in the first place. Public Sector has a new country lead for every 12 months and no one has a clue on handling the government accounts. HR is non existent and has the maximum attrition than any group. PR is busy bribing the media and publications to print positive stories."

Sounds just like here.

Mark Zuckerberg: "A technology company is a company that creates technology"

Um. Yeah.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Republicans Are in Denial -

"Unfortunately, too many in our party are not yet ready to return to the path of limited government. Instead, we are being told our message must be deficient because, after all, we should be winning in certain areas just by being Republicans. Yet being a Republican isn't good enough anymore. Voters are tired of buying a GOP package and finding a big-government liberal agenda inside. What we need is not new advertising, but truth in advertising."

Asus to release desktop Eee PC as Ebox | Register Hardware

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Spaceflight Now | Destination Mars | Phoenix spacecraft healthy, on track for Mars landing

"NASA's Phoenix lander closed in on Mars today, healthy and on course for touchdown Sunday evening near the red planet's northern polar cap. Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., decided to forego a course-correction rocket firing late today but left open the option for a final trajectory tweak Sunday eight hours before atmospheric entry."

*Crossing fingers*

Update: Landed safely!

Washington Wire - : How Clinton's Comments Didn't -- Then Did -- Catch Fire

"The fact that it did become big news is illustrative of journalistic competition in the Internet age. The entire pack of reporters sent to watch Clinton’s every move had somehow gotten beat, and forced into following a New York Post reporter who was nowhere near the campaign, but who, apparently, had a much-better Internet connection."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pork and Beans

I don't usually go for this sort of thing but...

OK, I often go for this sort of thing.

Microsoft Will Shut Down Book Search Program -

"Microsoft said it had digitized 750,000 books and indexed 80 million journal articles.

Google, which works with libraries like the New York Public Library and those at Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan and Oxford, said it had scanned more than a million books. It plans to scan 15 million in the next decade. Google makes the books it scans freely available through its search engine but does not allow other search engines to use its database."

Sex and the Sissy

"Meir and Gandhi and Mrs. Thatcher suffered through the political downside of their sex and made the most of the upside. Fair enough. As for this week's Clinton complaints, I imagine Mrs. Thatcher would bop her on the head with her purse. Mrs. Gandhi would say 'That is no way to play it.' Mrs. Meir? 'They said I was the only woman in the cabinet and the only one with -- well, you know. I loved it.'"

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hillary's Bizarre RFK Comment - Swampland - TIME

"Isn't this how Henry finally got rid of Thomas Becket?
'Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest.'"


"'My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it,' she said, dismissing calls to drop out."

DUH! Desparation speaking? Hill demonstrates she's not so smart after all.

Game, set, match on an unforced error.

Microsoft Shuts Down Book Search -

Microsoft finally tires of copying everything Google does?

It wouldn't surprise me if they figured out that buildings full of Windows Server farms are not so easy (economical) to manage after all.

Zune Now Eligible for Protection Under Endangered Species Act | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

"And so a question: Is GameStop’s decision to dump the Zune the beginning of a wider trend?"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

When you have the world by the balls, you can foist crap like Vista on them

Texas seizure of polygamist-sect kids thrown out - Yahoo! News

"Every child at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado was taken into custody more than six weeks ago after someone called a hot line claiming to be a pregnant, abused teenage wife. The girl has not been found and authorities are investigating whether the calls were a hoax."

Of the 31 people the state initially said were underage mothers, 15 have been reclassified as adults, and one is 27. - Truth In Politics: Illinois Gas Prices And Taxes

"And that, of course, is exactly the point for the politicians. Gov. Blagojevich, for example, is counting on the high price of gasoline to bring at least an extra $220 million in the State Treasury in the fiscal year that begins this July. Most of that will be used to balance the way-out-of-balance budget."

Official Google Blog: Google Sites now open to everyone

"A few months ago we launched Google Sites exclusively as part of Google Apps for companies and organizations that wanted to use the service on their own domains. Now we've made it easy for anyone to set up a website to share all types of information -- team projects, company intranets, community groups, classrooms, clubs, family updates, you name it -- in one place, for a few people, a group or the world. You can securely host your own website at[your-website] and add as many pages as you like for free."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Little Orphan Artworks - New York Times

"A hired expert shouldn’t be required for an orchestra to know if it can perform a work composed during World War II or for a small museum to know whether it can put a photograph from the New Deal on its Web site. In a digital age, knowing the law should be simple and cheap. Congress should be pushing for rules that encourage clarity, not more work for copyright experts."

Why the Roku Netflix Player is the First Shot of the Revolution - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

"In the small, generic plastic box that is the new Netflix Player made by Roku, I think you can see the future of video." - Wind River, Intel ride Linux into car market

"Intel and Wind River Systems have teamed up to create a Linux/x86 platform for car electronics, which will debut at the Telematics Detroit 2008 conference today (May 20). The offering is based on Intel's low-power Atom processor and a new variant of Wind River's embedded Linux."

House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices | Reuters

"The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on Tuesday allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices, but the White House threatened to veto the measure."

The Netflix Player by Roku | Netflix Instantly on your TV

* Over 10,000 movies and TV episodes instantly
* No change in monthly Netflix costs and you continue to get your DVDs by mail
* Easily connects directly to your TV
* Pause, rewind or play anytime - just like a DVD
* Guaranteed to work with your TV

Review: Roku Netflix Set Top Box Is Just Shy of Totally Amazing | Gadget Lab from

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've heard this all before, right? For years now, everyone from computer companies like Apple to OS companies like Microsoft to content providers like NBC have been trying to figure out the secret formula for delivering downloadable video."

Tech Trader Daily - Barron’s Online : Netflix Unveils Streaming Video Device; Lehman Upgrades

"Netflix (NFLX) today unveiled a new set-top box to be produced by privately held Roku Inc. that will allow subscribers to stream an unlimited number of movies and television shows directly to televisions. The device costs $99. The video content is free to anyone with a Netflix subscription of $8.99 a month or more. Most of the video content will consist of older material, rather than new releases."

Official Google Docs Blog: Simply scientific

"We've been using Google Docs for some time. The fact that it's free helps our rural school district save money that would otherwise be spent on more expensive productivity suites. We've found, especially, that the sharing capabilities have helped facilitate research and collaboration in our school's science classes."

Adam Nagourney - On the Campaign - Election 2008 - Politics - New York Times

"Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor, certainly wasn’t thinking about presidential politics when he proposed in New York that illegal immigrants be granted driver’s licenses. But when Mrs. Clinton was asked about his proposal at a debate last year, she gave an equivocal answer — make that answers, since she seemed in the course of the debate to say both that she opposed it and that she supported it — in what may well have been the single most politically damaging moment of her campaign. It encapsulated the image of Mrs. Clinton as cautious, calculating and disingenuous. That night is arguably when the descent began."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mercantilism is not the key to job growth

"No, David, you need to cut all spending, not just the wasteful spending. You need to do less for us, you need to do less to us. You need to do less, period. Shut down department after department, and send the people home to get productive jobs. Most of what New York State does is either irrelevant or actively harmful."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Welcome to Walmart

Southpark Walmart Episode. NSFW. Throws New York Affiliates Overboard to Avoid Sales Tax - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

"There were two predictable fallouts from New York State’s move to force online companies to collect state sales tax: There would be a lawsuit. And some online merchants would cut off their affiliates in the state."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Did Andreessen miss the point of Google’s Friend Connect? «

Ning would be better for a small group, condo association, church group, fan club. Everything you need in 5 minutes, and spend the next 5 years customizing. If it gets big enough you can even get a domain name and stay with Ning for the infrastructure.

Google lately has been introducing several new goodies every week. Sometimes blockbusters like this, other times just a new map overlay or something. They may not be as nimble as they once were, but they are running circles around Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and the other established players (no, Facebook shouldn’t be lumped in with the older walled-garden crowd age-wise, except that is the way they are acting).

Still, some of the new Google stuff doesn’t always lend itself to novice use. Much of this latest round requires that you be able to cut-and-paste code snippets into parts of your web presentation that you don’t have easy access to unless you own your own servers. Ironically you can’t easily use some of this stuff if you are also a user of Google pages. They aren’t stopping to make sure that everything works seamlessly together. Conceptually Google is re-implementing for the web the same overlapping bloated wasteland that Windows/Office has become. The difference is, that as a user, I only pick and choose the components that interest me. The rest don’t fill up my hard drive or constantly ding my CPU for cycles or present targets for viruses (at least not the type I have to worry about).

I guess somewhere at Microsoft they are webifying Word and Excel and at Facebook they have decided to let their captive chat users connect with AIM and Jabber (what a concept! What next? E-mail?) While MS and Facebook play chess with their features, the Nings and Googles are playing Tetris, spitting out new features as fast as possible and letting users figure out how to pack them together.

It’s a much better model for development, don’t you think?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Official Gmail Blog: A need for speed: the path to a faster loading sequence

"We spent hours poring over these traces to see exactly what was happening between the browser and Gmail during the sign-in sequence, and we found that there were between fourteen and twenty-four HTTP requests required to load an inbox and display it. To put these numbers in perspective, a popular network news site's home page required about a 180 requests to fully load when I checked it yesterday. But when we examined our requests, we realized that we could do better. We decided to attack the problem from several directions at once: reduce the number of overall requests, make more of the requests cacheable by the browser, and reduce the overhead of each request."

All I need to do to speed up Gmail's web interface is go check my mail at Yahoo or MSN, after that the Gmail interface seems MUCH faster.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Google Press Center: News Announcement

'Google Friend Connect is about helping the 'long tail' of sites become more social,' said David Glazer, a director of engineering at Google. 'Many sites aren't explicitly social and don't necessarily want to be social networks, but they still benefit from letting their visitors interact with each other. That used to be hard. Fortunately, there's an emerging wave of social standards -- OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, and the data access APIs published by Facebook, Google, MySpace, and others. Google Friend Connect builds on these standards to let people easily connect with their friends, wherever they are on the web, making 'any app, any site, any friends' a reality.'

Analysis: Dems wonder about Clinton exit strategy - Yahoo! News

'It just takes time for the candidate to realize it's over, for the campaign to realize it's over and for everyone to deal with that in some sort of responsible way,' said Bill Carrick, a California-based strategist who has worked on winning as well as losing presidential campaigns.

'From my point of view, there's very little benefit for sticking it out. You just run up more and more debts and you become increasingly irrelevant to the process.'

Spreading OpenSocial Across the Web

"Paul Buchheit wrote last year that 'there's no such thing as a social network'. The social aspect of a site is just one of its many features. 'Real products need more functionality in order to somehow deliver value to their users. It is this other functionality that defines the real purpose of a product, not the social network, which exists only to enable or enhance the core purpose.'"

Meantime Facebook bleeds talent or goes to India looking for a miracle working guru. Microsoft transitions executives over to the charity wing.

Google brings Friend Connect to the masses | Outside the Lines - CNET

"As expected, Google has unveiled a preview of Friend Connect, a way to add social features to a Web site without programming."

Gates Foundation Names Microsoft Veteran as CEO -

"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation tapped a respected Microsoft Corp. executive to lead it into its next phase, a period that will bring rapid expansion to the foundation, the world's largest private philanthropy."

Bonus: No need to mess around with those silly P&L spreadsheets any more!

Does Being Ethical Pay? -

"To find out, we conducted a series of experiments. We showed consumers the same products -- coffee and T-shirts -- but told one group the items had been made using high ethical standards and another group that low standards had been used. A control group got no information.

In all of our tests, consumers were willing to pay a slight premium for the ethically made goods. But they went much further in the other direction: They would buy unethically made products only at a steep discount."

What Google Knows About Spam

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Now Go Away or We Shall Taunt You a Second Time | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

So many of Microsoft's mistakes are characterized by their inability to consider the possibility of losing on an issue such as this (or a hostile take-over for another example). This, in spite of the fact that they've had numerous failed products, lost legal battles, devastating (to their customers) security exposures. The company's name is becoming a modern synonym for "hubris".

Only one company comes to mind for me when it comes to not being easily confused by the facts: SCO

To Be Fair, Sales Figures Were Limited to Consumers Willing to Admit Owning a Zune | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

Friday, May 09, 2008

Official Google Docs Blog: Aliza's chronicles: climbing out of document hell

"Adopting Google Docs into my suite of favorite Web apps came about after mixing up spreadsheets on a project where multiple people were updating the same document and emailing it back and forth. Looking back, I can't believe how primitive our 'organizational system' was at the time. I finally gave in, uploaded the spreadsheet to Google Docs and invited team members to view and update it. Only one person had trouble accessing the document (user error)."

Nigerian Scammers: It's Now Completely Impossible To Sell A Laptop On Ebay

"The cool thing about eBay's support system is it will always answer your question; unfortunately, that answer will always be a form letter on how to reset your password, as Timothy discovered when he tried to figure out how to sell his laptop to someone who wasn't a Nigerian scammer."

Windows XP SP3 Sows Havoc, Users Complain

"Within hours of its release, Microsoft's Service Pack 3 for Windows XP began drawing hundreds of complaints from users who claim the update is wreaking havoc on their PCs.

The problems with XP SP3, according to posters on Microsoft's Windows XP message board, range from spontaneous reboots to outright system crashes."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Webby Congrats to “Here Comes Another Bubble” | Kara Swisher | BoomTown | AllThingsD

"So good I’m going to blog it again, and again and again."

Official Google Docs Blog: Google Docs in burning marshmallows

"I'll make this quick, but I have to share. The Google Docs team recently returned from a team-building offsite at Seascape Resort just south of Santa Cruz, CA (hint: many very cool things coming!). After a long day of hiking, eating and thinking big about the future of Docs, we gathered around fire pits on the beach -- drinking hot cocoa, making s'mores, and enjoying the full moon. Ben Margolin, one of our tech. leads, took these photos: Google Docs spelled with burning marshmallows! (For the record, the circle at the end of 'Docs' is an artistic rendition of a trademark symbol :)"

This group sounds too wholesome for our times.

But maybe that's why they are getting things done.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Official Google Blog: Investing in the future of the open Internet

"As you may have read, Google, Comcast, Intel Capital, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Trilogy Equity Partners have entered into an agreement to invest $3.2 billion in a new wireless broadband company. The new company will combine Clearwire's existing consumer WiMAX business with Sprint's broadband infrastructure and 2.5 GHz spectrum to create a new nationwide wireless broadband network."

Time for Clinton To Quit? - dot.comments

"mcdcl2 discovered a 'news flash' that said '...Hillary's Second Grade Report Card was leaked from White House documents... The report shows that she failed Math...Finally, the report recommends that Hillary be given a psychological evaluation noting an insistence on being treated as a princess...'"

Tee Hee.

Why many MCSEs won’t learn Linux | Paul Murphy |

"What he’s doing here is striking out as a way of expressing the frustration he feels at being unable to understand what we’re all talking about - and while that’s fully understandable because he’s the victim of a social community confusing training with education, I think it’s also completely illustrative of the great divide blocking widespread Linux acceptance within the MCSE community."

Crimeware server exposes breadth of data theft

"Finjan analysts needed a week to process the 1.4 gigabytes and determine what was there. The log files were traced to 5,878 distinct IP addresses. The number of compromised PCs the data was lifted from has not been determined, but Ben-Itzhak said it could be as high as double the number of IP addresses. Files on the server included 571 log files from the United States, 621 from Germany, 322 from France, 308 from India, 232 from Great Britain, 150 from Spain, 86 from Canada, 58 from Italy, 46 from the Netherlands and 1,037 from Turkey."

Monday, May 05, 2008

From Win32 to Cocoa: a Windows user's conversion to Mac OS X—Part II

"The .NET library is simple to the point of being totally dumbed down; it's probably okay for the first and second groups, not least because they don't know any better, but for the rest it's an exercise in frustration. This frustration is exacerbated when it's compared to .NET's big competitor, Java. Java is no panacea; it too is aiming roughly at the middle kind of developer, which is understandable, as they're the most numerous. But Java's much more high-minded. It's much stronger on concepts, making it easier to learn. Sun doesn't get it right the whole time, but the people behind Java have clearly made something of an effort."

Google Online Security Blog: Contributing To Open Source Software Security

"While distilling anything down to three steps makes it seem easy, this isn't necessarily the case. Given how important open source software is to Google, we've attempted to contribute to this bottom line. As Chris said before, our engineers are encouraged to contribute both software and time to open source efforts. We regularly submit the results of our automated and manual security analysis of open source software back to the community, including related software engineering time. In addition, our engineering teams frequently release software under open source licenses. This software was written either with security in mind, such as with security testing tools, or by engineers well-versed in the security challenges of their project."

Ask a Question | AllThingsD

D6 is now sold out–but you can still participate in the conference.

May I take your order?

"I was so stunned by the English blunders herein, I had to buy the menu from them. Can you imagine the scene when that happened? I’ll never forget it. They couldn’t decide whether to be flattered or confused."

Found at All Things D. More translation errors here than I've ever seen in one place. This is from 2006 but worth it. Who can pass up "Fragrant spring onion sauce explodes cow son"?

FriendFeed: Why Silicon Valley just won't shut up about FriendFeed

"Has it ever occurred to Arrington that he is, in the argot of product managers, an 'edge case'? Entrepreneurs desperate for coverage, and aware that he never reads email, are trying a new way to reach him — and Arrington, in his compulsive neophilia, actually tries out the new medium, for a while. He then quickly tires of it, and throws a tantrum. Catering to such a person's whims is no way to run a company."

Yahoo Execs’ Reaction: “I Need Some Prozac” | Kara Swisher | BoomTown | AllThingsD

"Be careful what you wish for, Jerry Yang.

Because after talking to a dozen Yahoo (YHOO) execs over the weekend after the Microsoft (MSFT) takeover deal cratered, most of whom are vice presidents or above, I have to say that your stock drop isn’t the worst thing you will have to deal with this morning when you pull up at work."

Yahoo's Microsoft Bid Rejection Raises Larger Corporate Governance Questions - Seeking Alpha

"The problem is that there is little recourse for shareholders when a company’s management behaves poorly. What if Chuck Prince had a clause in his contract that he would have to pay back Citigroup all his past and present compensation in the event of shareholder wealth destruction? Would he have managed the company in the same way? Most boards of directors have insurance whereby they are not personally liable to the shareholders."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Windfall Profits for Dummies -

"This tiff over gas and oil taxes only highlights the intellectual policy confusion – or perhaps we should say cynicism – of our politicians. They want lower prices but don't want more production to increase supply. They want oil 'independence' but they've declared off limits most of the big sources of domestic oil that could replace foreign imports. They want Americans to use less oil to reduce greenhouse gases but they protest higher oil prices that reduce demand. They want more oil company investment but they want to confiscate the profits from that investment. And these folks want to be President?"

Friday, May 02, 2008

Acquisitions: The radical transparency of Microsoft's Yahoo buyout

"Microsoft, last year, declared that it was embracing 'radical transparency,' a tactic of divulging every detail of its every move to gain wide support. Yahoo has more recently pursued a strategy of 'openness.' But at this key moment, which will surely shape both companies' fates for years, neither company is practicing what it preaches."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Web attacks spike; e-mail attacks down

"Web attacks surged to an all-time high in the first quarter of this year, with no signs of abating, according to a recent study by anti-virus software maker Sophos.

For the first three months of 2008, Sophos identified about 15,000 newly infected Web pages daily. To put that figure in perspective, consider this: In 2007, Sophos discovered and blocked an infected Web page about once every 14 seconds; this year, according to the company, it's doing so about once every five seconds."