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Thursday, January 31, 2002
i've taken a second look
[05:50 PM EST - link]

i've taken a second look at something i blogged recently -- a Motley Fool poster's overview of how Mac OS X fit into the world of web services -- and i have some nagging questions.

while Apple Events and AppleScript now have übercool support for making SOAP and XML-RPC requests, it was something else the poster said that drew my attention:

In OS X, open 'System Preferences', go to the 'Sharing' panel, the 'Application' tab, and click the checkbox for 'Allow Remote Apple events'.

You've just made every application on your system that can be scripted with AppleScript (most of them) into network-aware, net-enabled, application services. The network transmission is done via the open standard SOAP, exactly the same communication protocol that .NET is supposed to use.

this is double-plus übercool, and yet i can find nothing to support this claim.

am i being dense? has Apple implemented some way for Apple Events to respond to SOAP or XML-RPC requests? even if AppleScript was a required intermediate step, has the version of Apache shipped with Mac OS X been modified to pass SOAP requests to AppleScript?

according to soapware.org, what Apple has delivered in Web Services for Mac OS X is a SOAP client and not a full SOAP implementation.

IBM's developerWorks site has an
[03:02 PM EST - link]

IBM's developerWorks site has an interesting section devoted to web services. in addition to the usual toolkits and whitepapers, they also provide articles, tips, and tutorials. as you might expect, it has a bias towards IBM technologies and Java, but in the world of web services, the knowledge is portable.

if words like "MQSeries", and "CICS" make you cringe, you might want to give it a pass.

Scripting.com points to this article
[11:57 AM EST - link]

Scripting.com points to this article on XML.com about interop and web services. the author provides some simple examples (in Perl, Java, and .NET) of how web services deployed in one environment can be invoked from another.

SOAP: 99 & 44/100% pure interop.

Wired.com has an article about
[11:43 AM EST - link]

Wired.com has an article about the relative ease with which one can cluster Power Macs.

for you Power Mac owners with jobs that need to be parallelized, i suggest Pooch.

there's only one reason i
[11:22 AM EST - link]

there's only one reason i ever reboot into Mac OS 9. with this early pre-release software, i might not have to anymore.

Apple's developer notes make for
[11:17 AM EST - link]

Apple's developer notes make for good reading. hot on the heels of the devnote for the new iMac comes this one for the recently rev'd Power Mac G4.

"Privacy Seal To Help Identify
[11:10 AM EST - link]

"Privacy Seal To Help Identify Spam" -- c|net. coming soon, "Napalm To Help Put Out Fire," and "Matches To Help Identify Gas Leaks."

guess which other bankrupt company
[10:51 AM EST - link]

guess which other bankrupt company audited by Arthur Andersen also locked its employees out of their 401k plans just before the stock became worthless?

is there a story about a high-ranking executive warning the company about its aggressive (possibly deceptive) accounting practices? ah, yes, there is.

remember that little "time-out" in
[10:18 AM EST - link]

remember that little "time-out" in the Napster case? the New York Times is reporting that the labels sought the pause to prevent Napster from investigating claims that the record companies were illegally abusing copyrights.

Wednesday, January 30, 2002
David Winer highlighted this Motley
[03:51 PM EST - link]

David Winer highlighted this Motley Fool featured posting on Scripting.com, and it deserves the attention.

the upshot is that, since Mac OS X plays nice with SOAP and XML-RPC, the trend towards web services means nothing but good news for Apple.

I am a Breakout
[12:24 PM EST - link]


What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Breakout Bat.I am a Breakout Bat.


I am an abstract sort of creature, who dislikes any sort of restraint. If you try to pigeonhole me, I'll break the box, and come back for more. I don't have any particular ambitions, I just drift, but I am adept at keeping life going along. What Video Game Character Are You?

burn-out, cram-down, wash-out. repeat. thanks
[12:16 PM EST - link]

burn-out, cram-down, wash-out. repeat.

thanks to the excellent Good Morning Silicon Valley blog, i saw this story about VCs rethinking the punitive dilution they visited on their portfolio companies in the last year. apparently, screwing management into the ground is a dis-incentive to create value.

you will note that employees holding bucketloads of common stock options are still out of luck.

bOingbOing has a link to
[11:58 AM EST - link]

bOingbOing has a link to a PDF white paper on peer-to-peer content delivery by Doug Kaye. as he notes in the document, much of what he describes resembles the Swarmcast technology that OpenCola was once developing.

as an aside, the lead developer on the Swarmcast project is no longer with OpenCola. Justin has busied himself with a small start-up of his own called Onion Networks. he's got a bee in his bonnet about "upgrading the web's protocols" to allow for ad-hoc p2p content delivery (ad-hocamai?) in a way that's very sympatico with what Doug's describing.

the revolution will not be televised -- it'll be packetized.

it's interesting to watch the
[11:30 AM EST - link]

it's interesting to watch the two different approaches being taken by Sun and Microsoft as they introduce their web services initiatives.

this week, as Sun rolls out J2EE 1.3, the Register highlighted the difficulties of wrangling a diverse group of technology vendors behind the Java standard. while Microsoft stands accused of exerting an unhealthy control over technology, the loose coalition of Java competitors and collaborators run the risk of eating each other.

when it comes to the hearts-and-minds battle for developers i put my money on the company that offers the most direct path to productivity -- Sun has its work cut out for it.

the Zone's forced march to
[11:06 AM EST - link]

the Zone's forced march to Passport has run into some snags, according to c|net. users logging into the service were all associated with the same Hotmail account: customer!@hotmail.com. in an earlier incident, players of Asheron's Call had been accidentally locked out of their accounts

i'm changing my name to
[10:31 AM EST - link]

i'm changing my name to Edwin van Pronghorns.

Reuters is also reporting that
[10:14 AM EST - link]

Reuters is also reporting that Oracle will be introducing a new flat-rate, per-user license fee for their 11i suite of applications. this could result in savings of 25-75% for some users.

Linux developers will soon be
[10:09 AM EST - link]

Linux developers will soon be able to wrestle with the idiosyncracies of the PlayStation 2. Reuters says that Sony will be releasing a Linux developer's kit (software, hard disc, keyboard) for the console "in coming months".

Tuesday, January 29, 2002
Mac rumors site ThinkSecret reports
[04:07 PM EST - link]

Mac rumors site ThinkSecret reports that ATi will be developing drivers for older Mac hardware sporting the RAGE II and RAGE Pro chips. this seems out of character as Apple has traditionally handled drivers for OEM hardware (and has stated that they have no intention of supporting the older ATi GPUs).

the privacy watchdogs at EPIC
[03:27 PM EST - link]

the privacy watchdogs at EPIC have asked all 50 states attorneys general to protect us from Microsoft's Passport service -- a key element of their .NET initiative.

if it's anything like the way they protected us from tobacco companies EPIC would be better off informing the consumer directly about their concerns.

today has officially become Business
[02:49 PM EST - link]

today has officially become Business Sucks Day in blogaritaville.

i caught the tail end of Frontline's "Dot Con", an investigation of the forces propelling the "internet" stock bubble. the program's conclusion was that the market turned into a method to transfer huge amounts of risk to unprepared investors while rewarding the privileged insiders: venture capitalists, investment bankers, fund managers, angel investors, and company founders.

now that the bubble's popped, it seems that only the company founders have taken it on the chin. through cram-downs and down-rounds, founders are diluted out of their positions in favor of the private investors. i guess if you're not going to make 1000% gains on your first trading day, you've got to find your ten-baggers some other way.

the Economist has posted the
[02:34 PM EST - link]

the Economist has posted the best, clearest, most comprehensive Enron analysis i've seen yet.

IBM, the sleeping giant of
[01:30 PM EST - link]

IBM, the sleeping giant of the IT business (they compete in everything, but nobody calls them the leader in anything), has announced that Sam Palmisano will be replacing Lou Gerstner, Jr as CEO in March. IBM software supremo John Thompson will also be leaving his post as vice-chairman.

the Reg revisits Microsoft's plans
[12:56 PM EST - link]

the Reg revisits Microsoft's plans to have a database at the heart of Windows' filesystem. readers with sharp minds will recall that they've touched on the topic before.

in general, it sounds like the right direction to take -- it reminds me of the Newton OS's "soup" -- but there are interesting questions about the underlying technology. David Winer's notso-hotso for the relational database that's purported to be at the heart of this thing and suggests a heirarchical, web-like store would a much better idea.

peek-a-booty to make debut-y at
[12:26 PM EST - link]

peek-a-booty to make debut-y at CodeCon, according to the Reg. the 1337 h4x0r2/drunken clowns of the cDc will ostensibly give a demo of the p2p freedom of information tool at this grass-roots con.

okay, maybe i do have
[12:13 PM EST - link]

okay, maybe i do have something to say about Global Crossing's bankruptcy (the largest ever in the telecom industry) -- perhaps we shouldn't look the other way when the right hand man of a convicted felon junk bond salesman passes himself off as an internet visionary.

yep, Global Crossing CEO and founder Gary Winnick used to be one of Mike Milken's top junk bond peddlers at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Winnick's major investment vehicle (post-Drexel) was Pacific Capital Group. PCG owned a major chunk of Global Crossing and, until at least the early 90s, Milken had money in PCG.

although Global Crossing's business never required the regulatory exceptions that Enron did, the company's leadership spent lavishly on access to the top levels of government (as these Mother Jones reports detail here, here, and here). perhaps coincidentally Global Crossing saw lucrative federal contracts come their way.

the good times were very good to Winnick. as the Wall Street Journal pointed out today:

Mr. Winnick took financial precautions for himself, however. Since the IPO in 1998, Mr. Winnick, Global Crossing's largest shareholder, has sold shares in the company for combined proceeds of about $600 million.

normally, i'd link you to the original, but the WSJ requires a paid subscription to view the story. instead, i'll offer you this link to a Business 2.0 feature on Global Crossing from last year, which is just as fun.

update: this New York Times story on the topic is even better -- Winnick's take is bigger (around $750 million) and they quote a teacher who lost over $100,000 in the mess.

i haven't got much to
[10:57 AM EST - link]

i haven't got much to say about Global Crossing's bankruptcy -- it seems to be a straightforward case of spending too much on building a business that didn't take in enough money in sales -- but you'll never guess who their accountants are.

Monday, January 28, 2002
i keep typing "scribvan" instead
[07:58 PM EST - link]

i keep typing "scribvan" instead of "scriban". think i should get venture capital?

Microsoft and AOL Time Warner
[07:56 PM EST - link]

Microsoft and AOL Time Warner resolved their differences over documentation, according to c|net.

despite the thaw in their legal briefs, battle lines are starting harden as the penalty phase get into the short strokes.

sorry.

"web services" is a difficult
[02:49 PM EST - link]

"web services" is a difficult conceptual beast to harnesss with a short, punchy explanation. the enterprise software industry constantly wrestles with the meaning of the term because a web services orientation to application development changes nothing and everything in the enterprise. here's why i believe that.

the Mono project (an unofficial
[12:19 PM EST - link]

the Mono project (an unofficial open-source port of part of Microsoft's .NET platform) has changed the licensing scheme for the Mono Class Libraries from the GNU General Public License (GPL) to the more permissive, yet still GPL-compatible, MIT X11 license.

since the licenses differ in minor detail, i expect full-scale ideological warfare among free software advocates. twist on an old joke: what do you get when you put two free software zealots on a desert island? three licenses.

Big day for new models
[11:41 AM EST - link]

Big day for new models as Palm debuts the BlackBerry-killing i705 Palm OS PDA, featuring always-on wireless access to the internet.

i used to use a BlackBerry e-mail pager (when fully loaded, i carried the pager, a Handspring Visor, and a Nextel iDEN phone) and was often heard to lament that "the only good thing about it is that it lets me get my e-mail." rolling BlackBerry-like functionality into the Palm lineup is a smart idea. so's adding wireless telephony. in fact, if the Handspring Treo features always-on access to mail through its service providers (and it's not clear to me that it does), then we just might have a winner in this category.

Apple has introduced enhanced Power
[11:17 AM EST - link]

Apple has introduced enhanced Power Mac G4 models to their "pro" product line. the two new configurations sport 933MHz and dual 1GHz G4 processors, 2MB of DDR SDRAM-based L3 cache, and the new nVidia GeForce 4 MX GPU. they also feature enhances bundled software packages including must-have tools like Ambrosia's SnapzPro and Lemkesoft's GraphicConverter.

the G4 Power Macs still use PC133 SDRAM, and standard USB, FireWire, and PCI expansion busses.

SiliconValley.com has a report on
[10:43 AM EST - link]

SiliconValley.com has a report on how MBA programs and students are adjusting to the new new economy. example: classes on e-commerce are out, and interviewing skills are in. also up, figuring out how to describe "living at home with my parents" on the resume.

Saturday, January 26, 2002
you like games? you like
[02:20 PM EST - link]

you like games? you like programming? you like Mac OS X? well, here's an article from StepWise about how to use Mac OS X's features in entertainment software development.

Friday, January 25, 2002
the judge presiding over the
[03:54 PM EST - link]

the judge presiding over the government's antitrust case against Microsoft rapped the software giant's knuckles. judge Kollar-Kotelly issued an order rebuffing Microsoft's request that AOL Time Warner be directed to more fully disclose any contact between AOL and the nine hold-out states.

InfoWorld is reporting that judge Kollar-Kotelly ordered the two companies to resolve this dispute themselves.

Sugar Land police say an
[02:39 PM EST - link]

Sugar Land police say an Enron executive found dead in his car committed suicide.

the AP is reporting that the executive was of the few who felt nervous about Enron's accounting and business practices.

there's a new Gnutella client
[12:05 PM EST - link]

there's a new Gnutella client on the block for Mac OS X users: Xlife.org is has released Aquisition 0.4. it's based on the gnut client and it sports a Cocoa application layer and Aqua user interface. like any "0.x" release, it's not quite feature-complete, but it already provides a remarkably polished user experience.

Mac OS X's Services (available
[11:23 AM EST - link]

Mac OS X's Services (available to both Cocoa and Carbon apps) are a real undiscovered gem -- you almost never see them demonstrated -- but great new uses for them are being found all the time. this is a nifty one i saw on the Mac OS X Hints site that lets you select text in any Services aware app and launch a Google search.

Intel's Yamhill project aims to
[10:43 AM EST - link]

Intel's Yamhill project aims to extend the x86 architecture into the 64-bit world. SiliconValley.com sees the effort as the chipmaker's "Plan B" in case the EPIC-based Itanium/McKinley processor design fails to take off with customers.

proving that the penguin has
[09:49 AM EST - link]

proving that the penguin has a place in the glass room, Reuters is reporting that IBM has introduced two Linux-only maniframes.

Thursday, January 24, 2002
MacScripter really is your best
[04:55 PM EST - link]

MacScripter really is your best source for all things AppleScript. with the release of AppleScript Studio, developing Cocoa applications is within the grasp of mere mortals. here's MacScripter's resource page for AppleScript Studio development.

Satan has made his choice,
[04:02 PM EST - link]

Satan has made his choice, and has sent his minions as a sign: N'Sync goes with AOL, leaving MSN.

MacInTouch points out that Charles
[11:50 AM EST - link]

MacInTouch points out that Charles Wiltgen (former QuickTime Technology Manager with Apple's developer relations group) has posted an interesting article about .NET from the Mac user's perspective.

MacMinute notes that Apple has
[11:36 AM EST - link]

MacMinute notes that Apple has posted a convenient wrap-up of Mac OS X-related announcements from NAMM.

time to take a post-Watergate,
[11:15 AM EST - link]

time to take a post-Watergate, cynical look at the flip side of this story.

while Microsoft accuses AOL Time Warner of coaching the nine hold-out states on their proposed remedies, the American Antitrust Institute is suing Microsoft and the Department of Justice. the AAI's complaint is that neither party has disclosed the full extent of the communication between the two during the settlement phase.

the Register feels that Microsoft may have rigged the system to get what it wants, but it doesn't seem that it was completely successful. i guess we'll have to wait until Antitrust Settlement 2.0

Microsoft has lobbed a legal
[11:02 AM EST - link]

Microsoft has lobbed a legal volley of their own at AOL Time Warner. the Associated Press reports that Microsoft filed a motion late Wednesday demanding that AOL produce documents detailing the assistance AOL has given to the nine states seeking stricter anti-trust remedies against Microsoft.

the obvious guess is that Microsoft hopes to show that AOL is pursuing a competitive strategy under the guise of government anti-trust action in the public interest.

thank god -- another industry
[10:48 AM EST - link]

thank god -- another industry standards consortium to the rescue! according to Reuters the PayCircle industry group is going to lay down the necessary open standards for payments through wireless devices, hoping to broaden their role in everyday commerce. in their own inimitable phraseology, it's a bridge between the e-world and the r-world.

i love marketechture are much as the next guy, but in my corner of the r-world, the phone company owns your ass when you're on their network. any m-commerce plan that hives off a slice of the transaction to [insert wireless provider here] sounds like a waste of time to me (and, no doubt, to the merchant).

The NY Times takes a
[10:23 AM EST - link]

The NY Times takes a closer look at the running battle between AOL Time Warner and Microsoft. the Times points out that, at the moment, the two companies don't compete head-too-head very often and goes on to suggest that the struggle is over future access to networked content and services.

AOL TW has the broadband pipes and Microsoft has the developer tools. while both are creating pervasive front-end consumer services they're each fearful of the other's ability to choke off supply and demand.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002
MacUser UK is reporting a
[01:48 PM EST - link]

MacUser UK is reporting a delay in the introduction of new Power Macs.

their sources indicate the speed-bumped machines will be top out with a dual 1GHz model, marking the first PowerPC to break the gigahertz barrier. i'm keen to see if any of my other predictions are on the mark.

chargebacks aren't just a problem
[12:53 PM EST - link]

chargebacks aren't just a problem for the credit card industry -- they're hitting the pay-per-call phone business too. AT&T is getting out of the 900-number business, according to the Associated Press.

Miss Cleo will just have to get on Keen.

what's the difference between the
[12:24 PM EST - link]

what's the difference between the Mob and CSFB? it's hard to tell in light of the evidence that led the SEC and NASD to fine the investment bank $100 million for running an illegal kickback scheme. the NASD issued a press release covering their investigation of CSFB. one of the many e-mail exchanges cited in the release covered how CSFB would cut off clients who didn't pay their protection money:

For example, a trader in PCS-Tech communicated the following to his supervisor:
"Basically, I told [client] that he was very far behind in commissions and that we expect a 65% return on all money that we make him. I said he still owes us for the LNUX deal not to mention the deals that have come since then. I then stated that he can do trades to increase his commissions but will be cut off from any syndicate in the future." The supervisor responded, "Out." The trader replied, "Done."

further bolstering the theory that
[10:46 AM EST - link]

further bolstering the theory that 99% of anything is pure crap, the Slashdot thread on AOL versus Microsoft yields only 13 comments with a score of 5 out of 880 comments total.

for the inveterate tinkerers out
[10:23 AM EST - link]

for the inveterate tinkerers out there, Apple has provided a TechNote on the new iMac. if you have the time, it's a great way to dig deeper into the guts of the latest hardware from Cupertino.

a reminder that the technology
[10:06 AM EST - link]

a reminder that the technology business isn't all about one multi-billion-dollar corporate leviathan suing another: the NY Times says Woz is starting a company -- his first in around 13 years.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002
in a sign that things
[04:29 PM EST - link]

in a sign that things are only going to get worse for you and me, AOL Time Warner subsidiary Netscape has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft. the $121.3 billion mountain of media synergy alleges that Microsoft's business practices have harmed it.

update: this is what the Associated Press had to say (on MSNBC.com).

update: Reuters says the same thing, but classier.

update: here's a little something for the media watchdogs out there: AOL Time Warner subsidiary-joint-venture CNN/Money (which brings together editorial from the CNN cable property and Money magazine) features its own story on the lawsuit. the odd part? CNN/Money consistently refers to it as a Netscape lawsuit -- the AP calls it an AOL lawsuit, while Reuters leads with the fact that Netscape is a unit of AOL. throughout the CNN/Money story Netscape is mentioned ten times, while AOL only makes four appearances.

this wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that AOL is the least trusted company on the 'net?

update: and this is AOL Time Warner's press release on the suit.

despite a headline that screams
[12:36 PM EST - link]

despite a headline that screams "Enron Fired Workers for Complaining Online", this story in the New York Times has a refreshing twist on the "Enron-is-pure-evil" theme: one of the employees says he won't sue because he believes he was appropriately terminated.

note to the Times: "complaining online" is redundant.

i know i've mentioned this
[11:11 AM EST - link]

i know i've mentioned this story already, but now Nokia has taken the wraps off its luxo-phone subsidiary Vertu. according to this Reuters story the baubles (which feature gold and platinum accents) will retail for around $20,000.

now, how many Weekend Minutes do i get with that?

speaking of money pits, Amazon.com
[09:57 AM EST - link]

speaking of money pits, Amazon.com has come of age, finally turning a net profit for the fourth quarter. to their credit, nobody expected the company to do better than a pro forma profit (which excludes things like interest payments), but Amazon.com exceeded expectations.

in contrast is the news that Kmart has gone Chapter 11. a less discriminating fake journalismo might write some crap about the ascendancy of one way of doing business over another -- new economy v. old economy, clicks v. bricks -- but i'll say "Kmart sucks" and leave it at that.

update: and by "less discriminating", i mean those hacks at MSNBC.com:

in a case where yesterday's
[09:40 AM EST - link]

in a case where yesterday's clever maneuver is today's outrageous deception, the San Jose Mercury News decribes some dubious accounting by PeopleSoft. essentially, the company created a subsidiary that turned a massive R&D sinkhole into a revenue center. since PeopleSoft didn't pull a total Enron there's no talk of scandal, but i wonder how many other companies out there have tried to shift costs off the books in a desperate attempt to stay in business?

Monday, January 21, 2002
disaster (for Red Hat) averted.
[08:40 PM EST - link]

disaster (for Red Hat) averted.

a c|net headline blares:"Sources: AOL not bidding for Red Hat". my question: how can sources be "familiar" with a "situation" that they deny exists?

you know, it's a shame that AOL didn't get it together in time to buy Be, Inc.

InfoWorld's Next-Generation Web Services conference
[04:05 PM EST - link]

InfoWorld's Next-Generation Web Services conference wrapped up last week, bringing a few interesting stories in its wake (dutifully covered by InfoWorld online):

InfoWorld preceded the conference with this special report, and followed up with stories on BEA's plans for Cajun, and a look at how messaging middleware vendors are adapting to the web services push.

while not specifically tied to the conference, InfoWorld also took a look at the ins-and-outs of the real-time enterprise. of particular interest is the sidebar that ties real-time enterprise computing with web services.

while most mainstream media is looking at the web services battle from the perspective of the consumer (Passport vs Liberty Alliance vs AOL Screen Name Service, etc) the real trench warfare will take place behind the enterprise firewall.

BusinessWeek Online has devoted a
[03:01 PM EST - link]

BusinessWeek Online has devoted a special report to the fortunes of Apple Computer. the articles run the gamut from analyzing the company's technology, products, and solutions to crunching the numbers on AAPL.

naturally, a skeptic (in this case Jef Raskin) is hauled out to moan about Apple's lack of progress (in this case, with user interface). UI designers are little dictators -- SimCity-sized tyrants -- intent on foisting their New Orthodoxy on everyone. just wait 'til i'm in charge -- i'll show them.

Carl Malamud has an idea
[02:23 PM EST - link]

Carl Malamud has an idea for dealing with the Internet-scale infoglut that's headed for our living rooms. his non-profit NetTopBox project (described here by the Assocated Press) aims to build the infrastructure for an open interactive media guide that will deliver personalized, real-time recommendations to its users.

the story puts a smile on my face as it sounds very much like what my former employer wanted to do when it first got off the ground. with the vicissitudes of being a start-up, i don't think that's what the current incarnation of OpenCola's intent on doing, but i remember when we used to talk about a "relevance switched" network of digital content. we even figured out some reasonably common-sense approaches for doing just that.

the Register's Andrew Orlowski makes
[12:24 PM EST - link]

the Register's Andrew Orlowski makes another couple of interesting points about the coupling of AOL Time Warner and Red Hat: first, that Red Hat's $1.6 billion market cap makes it an awfully big pill to swallow and, second, that extending the reach of a media conglomerate's synergies has very little to recommend it to Joe Average Consumer.

it's a holiday honoring Martin
[11:52 AM EST - link]

it's a holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr today in the United States, so i thought a link to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization at the forefront of the civil rights struggle for the past 30 years, would make for some interesting reading.

Saturday, January 19, 2002
like most stories that involve
[12:36 AM EST - link]

like most stories that involve AOL's plans to take on archrival Microsoft i initially can't tell if this is a really good idea, or simply A Cunning Plan of Baldrickian proportions.

my buddy Joey says that the WashTech site says that AOL is in talks to buy Red Hat. the idea (and it sounds more like journalistic delusion to me) would be to have your freebie AOL CD-ROM install a version of Red Hat over Windows, giving AOL a desktop OS of their own to abuse.

"you've got Linux."

(it's the obvious joke)

Friday, January 18, 2002
Analysis: What's a Web service?
[06:52 PM EST - link]

Analysis: What's a Web service? Experts want to know [IDG InfoWorld]

InfoWorld provides a reasonable overview of some of current thinking around web services.

my blogging life is turning
[06:39 PM EST - link]

my blogging life is turning into one big, self-referential, synergistic...uh...lump. thanks to brilliant tools like ManilaBloggerBridgeTool i'm writing once and publishing everywhere.

i started out writing blogaritaville using Blogger and BlogScript. once Radio Userland came out for Mac OS X, i added Radio blogaritaville (just to kick the tires). now, all the boundaries are gone -- everything can be painlessly routed through Radio.

according to Yahoo! Finance, the
[05:27 PM EST - link]

according to Yahoo! Finance, the current broker recommendations on Enron Corp read: one "strong buy" (i think that's where CSFB initiated their coverage in October 2001 -- nice timing, boys), no "buy", six "hold", one "sell", and one "strong sell".

let me get on the phone with EF Hutton.

first the Naked Mole Rat
[04:34 PM EST - link]

first the Naked Mole Rat (see below) and now MacMinute is saying that revised, faster Power Macs will be announced on or near January 22nd.

...and while i'm tweaking the
[04:04 PM EST - link]

...and while i'm tweaking the major labels' noses with one hand, i've got my other one out and it's saying "where are the damn Mac OS X clients for your online music services, you fatheads?"

a bit like Seľor Wences, i guess.

while i've heard nothing about MusicNet (which runs on a platform provided by RealNetworks), the Windows Media-powered pressplay has committed to a Mac client later this year.

according to the Register, Royal
[03:47 PM EST - link]

according to the Register, Royal Philips Electronics, major electronics manufacturer and custodian of the Compact Disc standard, doesn't feel like playing along with the major labels on copy-protected CDs.

having been relieved of PolyGram by Universal several years ago, it's much easier for Philips to figure out what side of the fence it's on. i wonder what the boardroom discussions are like over at Sony's headquarters?

James Gosling talks to c|net
[03:21 PM EST - link]

James Gosling talks to c|net about Java, but c|net dutifully makes it a story about Microsoft, .NET, and C#. paradoxically, this puts paid to all of Gosling's nay-saying about Microsoft's technology: when even an interview with the inventor of Java can't earn a headline with the word "Java" in it, who cares that C# has "a memory model where you can access everything at all times."

Gosling gets debating points, but it looks like Microsoft will steamroll Sun on mindshare.

shout out to my homeys.
[02:26 PM EST - link]

shout out to my homeys.

my much more notorious friends Joey "AccordionGuy" deVilla and Cory "bOingbOing" Doctorow were kind enough to point their popular blogs in my direction -- you can see their sites linked in my main navigation thingamajig.

i think this all started when some guy named David Winer noticed the name "Radio Blogaritaville" and mentioned it in ScriptingNews.

SiliconValley.com's Peter Delevett makes the
[12:55 PM EST - link]

SiliconValley.com's Peter Delevett makes the cardinal journalistic error and admits he was wrong. i almost stopped fake journalisming.

Peter's confessing to having misread the tea leaves on the fate of Snowball.com, a teen-oriented content play that saw its market value plummet from around $800 million to less than five million dollars. by hacking off non-performing assets (and the attendant "human capital" costs) and riding a wave of videogame-related activity, Snowball.com is one of the only companies to successfully employ the "reverse stock split".

Thursday, January 17, 2002
i have to laugh to
[06:24 PM EST - link]

i have to laugh to prevent myself from crying. Bud Selig and Jeffrey Loria are weasels.

famed independent Mac game developer
[02:05 PM EST - link]

famed independent Mac game developer Ambrosia Software has released their own game development tool and engine. a Mac OS-only product, it allows you to create games playable on Mac OS, Mac OS X, and Windows.

word from the NAMM show
[01:55 PM EST - link]

word from the NAMM show is that Propellerheads will be releasing their product line (Reason, ReWire, ReBirth, etc) on Mac OS X. no word on when.

will Hans Mosesmann of Prudential
[01:47 PM EST - link]

will Hans Mosesmann of Prudential Securities please claim his Nobel Prize for Discovering the Stunningly Obvious?

his breakthrough? that the Xbox is the first stage towards a Microsoft all-in-one home media gateway/center. "Our visit to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week provided us with enough datapoints to confirm that a project of this nature is currently in the works at Microsoft with meaningful ramifications for the industry," he is quoted as saying in this EBN story.

there's something galling about the
[01:35 PM EST - link]

there's something galling about the legal pissing contest between Akamai and Digital Island (now a unit of Cable & Wireless, plc). both companies are arguing that they should be in a position to claim ownership of the most basic technologies behind physically-based content delivery networks: two-level DNS, and adaptive routing to a cache based on traffic conditions. two networks enter, one network leaves.

i doubt there was ever a better reason to replace these guys with P2P content distribution. take a look at these presentations from O'Reilly P2P 2001in Washington, DC.

Damien Stolarz (PPT)
Frank Hausmann (PPT)

it's official: security is important.
[01:06 PM EST - link]

it's official: security is important.

as eBay gets further and
[01:03 PM EST - link]

as eBay gets further and further from its Pez dispenser-trading roots, it's turning into the kind of impersonal corporate juggernaut that asks "Is This Good For The Company?".

while eBay continues to shift the focus away from little-guy auctions to become the largest overstock-close-out-bargain-basement on the Internet, they're jacking up their fees -- in some cases as much as 100%.

your big-dollar geeks just don't
[10:55 AM EST - link]

your big-dollar geeks just don't argue like their poorer cousins on Slashdot. despite calling the article "The Great Debate: J2EE versus .Net", there wasn't anything particularly contentious coming from this InfoWorld panel.

remember the days when all
[10:34 AM EST - link]

remember the days when all you needed to be an entrepreneur was a gleam in your eye, a skip in your step, a song in your heart, a cool domain name and a pile of someone else's cash?

good times, good times.

it seems that those days are very over, and if i was Timothy Lee (or Mrs Lee), i wouldn't be so casual about that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002
Toshiba (which is, wisely, "comitted
[01:31 PM EST - link]

Toshiba (which is, wisely, "comitted to the future") has announced 10- and 20GB hard drives built on their 1.8-inch platform. their current 1.8-inch capacity champ is the 5GB model at the heart of Apple's iPod MP3 player.

as these models become available in the spring of 2002, i suspect we'll see the iPod product line expand to include more expensive, higher-capacity models. another nifty idea might be to offer existing iPod customers on-site upgrades at Apple Stores. like bread and milk at a supermarket you'd want to keep the upgrades at the back of the store -- increase traffic and impulse purchases.

in an example of how
[12:37 PM EST - link]

in an example of how difficult it can be to coordinate things in a company the size of Microsoft, MSDN has posted the final release of the .NET Framework SDK and subscribers can download Visual Studio .NET. unfortunately, this news doesn't seem to have made it to the .NET main web site.

for those of you keeping track of .NET's progress, this marks the second major tools release this week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002
while i have no doubt
[08:25 PM EST - link]

while i have no doubt that the PowerMac line will get a boost in the near future, it seems like it would make more sense for Apple to peg an announcement to an event like Seybold -- something targeted at its core creative audience. that being said, i think we're definitely looking at an Apollo-class G4 CPU and the arrival of DDR RAM (finally). i'll take a flyer and say the NVIDIA GeForce 3 will become the standard across the product line. there's also been a lot of speculation about Apple's "GigaWire" trademark application. personally, i don't think it's anything more adventurous than gigabit FireWire (the IEEE 1394b standard revision), but that would be a welcome development on its own.

those are my five major predictions. let's see how i do.

the spirit of Mac The
[07:44 PM EST - link]

the spirit of Mac The Knife is alive and well at MacEdition in the form of the Naked Mole Rat. this week The Gay Blade, rather than recapping what was announced at MacWorld Expo San Francisco 2002, covers that which was conspicuous by its absence.

Gigahertz PowerMacs by next week? that's what the Rat says.

a discussion of Microsoft on
[12:27 PM EST - link]

a discussion of Microsoft on Slashdot would be bad enough, but add security, open source, and the law into mix and you're in for 360+ comments' worth of fun. i don't know what's worse: geeks talking about the law, lawyers talking about technology, or vegans talking about meat.

Monday, January 14, 2002
an alternative to Blogger-based weblogging
[05:20 PM EST - link]

an alternative to Blogger-based weblogging -- Radio Userland -- is now available for Mac OS X. it's not cost-free (it's still cheap, less than US$40), and the additional features may make for a confusing transition from something as straightforward as Blogger (especially when combined with BlogScript) but niceties like offline publishing and enabling blogging-by-mail might be worth it.

here's my Radio UserLand test site.

yet another piece of the
[04:18 PM EST - link]

yet another piece of the .NET puzzle quietly slides into place. according to c|net News, Microsoft has launched two .NET toolkits for Microsoft Office XP. the Office XP Web Services Toolkit allows VBA developers to integrate web services into their Office XP-based solutions, while the Smart Tag Enterprise Resource Kit provides documentation, white papers, and sample code to help developers integrate the much-maligned Smart Tag into their enterprise apps.

the former toolkit allows you to roll XML-based .NET web services into an Office XP front-ended application -- anything from plain-Jane XML-based data integration with legacy applications to new-fangled UDDI discovery of public web services. the latter gives developers the tools to link keywords (say, a client company's name in an e-mail message) to relevant actions ("open contacts for HugeCo").

might not seem like a huge deal but, believe me, more of your bretheren are slaving away inside huge corporate IT departments than cranking out extreme sports sims.

while pressplay and MusicNet push
[01:25 PM EST - link]

while pressplay and MusicNet push their "secure" proprietary file formats, and Listen.com's Rhapsody service limits its users to streams, retailer Virgin Megastore France (which is, confusingly enough, no longer a Branson property but a unit of Franco-conglomerate Lagardere) is talking about introducing an MP3-based download service this spring. the details are skimpy -- will users outside France be allowed to participate? what are the security mechanisms in place to prevent MP3s from being "freely" distributed? -- but the entry of retailers into the business seemed an inevitable step.

now that the labels themselves (the "content owners") have a way of going direct to the consumer, how happy will they be with continuing to give up a piece of the pie with the Megastores, HMVs, and Amazons of the world?

for those who find C-SPAN's
[12:05 PM EST - link]

for those who find C-SPAN's style to be too "fancified" for their tastes, you can indulge your hard-core parliamentary voyeurism by watching webcasts of British Parliament. available in Windows Media and Real formats (but not QuickTime). check out Question Period for hot Tory-on-Labor action.

i join my fellow Canadians
[11:46 AM EST - link]

i join my fellow Canadians everywhere in mourning the death of Frank Shuster, who is alleged to have been the "subtler half" of the comedy duo Wayne & Shuster. longtime viewers of the CBC will know that the words "subtle", "Wayne", and "Shuster" do not belong in the same sentence.

outdated and geeky (much like
[11:32 AM EST - link]

outdated and geeky (much like yours truly) this history of Borland is an hilarious mix of technology, business, and faux biblical language.

Friday, January 11, 2002
my buddy Cory posted this
[08:36 PM EST - link]

my buddy Cory posted this bad boy to bOingbOing. it's an open-source project to have your computer (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X) act as a peer to a ReplayTV 4000-series devic. i wonder if you'll be able to PVR the shows you want, then play them on your computer later (on your laptop while you criss-cross the continent, for example), or archive them to DVD-R?

small-time dot-com Internet Advisory Corp
[12:38 PM EST - link]

small-time dot-com Internet Advisory Corp has emerged from bankruptcy reorganization and has decided to make the move from gigabytes to megaboobs: they're reportedly in negotiations to buy Manhattan peeler joint Scores.

the crotchety Andrew Orlowski (of
[12:21 PM EST - link]

the crotchety Andrew Orlowski (of the irascible Register) has tied his cranky MacWorld Expo rants into a neat package. this brings to light the problem inherent in soliciting a Mac user's opinion: all Mac users are blessed with superior common sense and taste -- that's why we're Mac users. naturally, this means that each Mac user considers himself to be smarter than anyone else. multiply by 80,000, and you get MacWorld Expo.

Nokia is set to put
[11:43 AM EST - link]

Nokia is set to put some serious bling bling into the hands of the rich and tasteless. expect to see these trinkets all over next season's MTV Cribs.

Microsoft's taking so much flak
[11:19 AM EST - link]

Microsoft's taking so much flak on security, they might want to consider changing their logo into a bullseye. c|net news has a good round-up of some of the latest flare-ups.

brush-with-1337ness points to me: thePull is an acquaintance of mine.

are global media conglomerates determining
[10:44 AM EST - link]

are global media conglomerates determining the law in Norway? DVD-Jon is indicted in his native country.

Thursday, January 10, 2002
a quick note for all
[12:42 PM EST - link]

a quick note for all you budding 3D animators and illustrators. Alias|Wavefront announced Maya Personal Learning Edition at MacWorld Expo San Francisco 2002. as of next month, you'll be able to download a modified version of Maya for free.

MTV, AMD, and LanPlus are
[12:11 PM EST - link]

MTV, AMD, and LanPlus are conspiring to foist an all-in-one PC, TV, DVD, and audio system on unsuspecting TRL viewers. sounding every bit like an MTV VJ, AMD's Pat Moorhead enthused "We believe this product is revolutionary because it will deliver convergence technology that successfully blends productivity and entertainment powered by the world's highest performance PC processor, the AMD Athlon(tm) XP."

"hey Carson, i wanna give a shout out to all my homeys at AMD, 'cuz the Athlon is soooo hot! woooooooo!"

Guy "Bud" Tribble, PhD, returns
[11:58 AM EST - link]

Guy "Bud" Tribble, PhD, returns to Apple as VP of Software Somethingorother, reporting to Avie Tevanian. the gimlet eye of the Reg takes a look at what the move might mean in a theoretical post-Jobs Apple.

for the record, Andrew Orlowski is dead wrong about Mac OS X. it's funny to see people wax nostalgic about a user interface that was as much of an ad-hoc kludge as anything out there.

supporting my theory that you
[11:32 AM EST - link]

supporting my theory that you eventually wind up with two identical options, AOL has introduced an AOL Alerts service that seems suspiciously like Microsoft's .NET Alerts. whatever magic happens in the background, the user eventually gets the same thing: a bunch of services tied to a single identity.

looks like Napster's back as
[10:36 AM EST - link]

looks like Napster's back as a subscription service. in a deft piece of marketing worthy of a record label, Napster's Bertelsmann-imposed supremo, Konrad Hilbers, cautions users that "you can't expect too much." in other words, Napster has gone from leader to follower. i think i said something along those lines a little over a year ago.

Wednesday, January 09, 2002
according to the Associated Press,
[12:35 PM EST - link]

according to the Associated Press, a Treasury department audit found that the IRS has "misplaced" some 2,300 computers, 50 communications devices, 40 ID badges, and 15 pieces of "electronic surveillance gear" over the last three years.

for its part, IRS spokeswoman Toni Zimmerman said ``We want to show that we are fiscally responsible and taxpayers should feel confident with our processes."

Tuesday, January 08, 2002
Freestyle? Moxi? Mira? TiVo? ReplayTV
[07:31 PM EST - link]

Freestyle? Moxi? Mira? TiVo? ReplayTV sounds so...blah (it must not be very good).

it's my opinion that long,
[12:56 PM EST - link]

it's my opinion that long, abusive spam threads are always good for a laugh.

Monday, January 07, 2002
that was a real barn-burning
[04:17 PM EST - link]

that was a real barn-burning keynote. while seeing the new iMac is a thrill, i found myself most impressed with iPhoto. not only can i get my grubby mitts on this thing *today*, but i can see how just about anyone--technophile or not--would want to use this. far be it from me to complain about the convenience of digital photography--the whole thing's pretty miraculous as far as i'm concerned--but iPhoto makes dozens of improvements (big and small) to the process. it's brilliant.

as always, my old PowerBook (a PowerBook G3 Series/233 "WallStreet/PDQ revision") isn't one of the officially supported models (it predates built-in USB), but iPhoto works anyway, thanks to the Belkin USB BusPort PC Card adapter. and even though the Canon PowerShot S10 isn't on iPhoto's list of supported USB cameras, the software seems to have no problem recognizing the device.

Friday, January 04, 2002
i swear, i will blog
[06:47 PM EST - link]

i swear, i will blog on monday.