February 2002 Archives

another nice blurb about Peekabooty

another nice blurb about Peekabooty (yes, the one my friends Joey and Paul are working on), this time from the New Scientist. (via MacInTouch)

yesterday, i blogged a story

yesterday, i blogged a story about the tangled web of interrelated deals among the Friends of Gary (Winnick). funnily enough the Washington Post carried a story that featured a lot of the same names. apparently, the SEC's taking a close look at whether Global Crossing deliberately inflated revenue reports while its executives sold $480 million in stock. David Lee and Barry Porter (who have figured in a subsequent Gary Winnick deal involving PrimeCo Wireless) managed to unburden themselves of around $40 million-worth each.

granted, this is chicken-feed compared to Gary himself, who netted $280 million in the same period. (via GMSV)

my friend Joey has a

my friend Joey has a fun-to-read rant cum response ("rantsponse"?) to the NARAS's most recent yaddayadda about file sharing. by the way, did anyone notice that the NARAS/GRAMMY(TM) site is hosted by AOL? that wouldn't be the AOL that's a unit of AOL Time Warner, sister company to the Warner Bros. record label and TV and movie studios, would it?

AOL's corporate parent is a part-owner of the MusicNet joint venture, a label-owned competitor to Napster and other digital music distribution services. AOL's corporate siblings are some of MusicNet's most critical content providers, and that AOL is one of MusicNet's key licensees. that makes NARAS look kind of like a shill, doesn't it?

anyway, that's not what i'm writing about. at the end of his piece, i get thrown into Joey's recommended reading list, which is nice. then Joey asks (in a "Memo to George") that i capitalize the starts of my sentences because, as he says, " The e.e. cummings / archy-and-mehithabel (sic) thing is pretty old."

memo to Joey: suck it.

however, it did give rise to an interesting thought, though: can CSS and/or JavaScript be employed to give readers the site they want, right down to capitalized sentences? i won't be capitalizing anything except proper nouns any time soon, but i don't want to keep on confusing Joey. help me help him. (via AccordionGuy)

here's an update on my

here's an update on my quest for an RSS client for Mac OS X, a topic that's been kicked around on another blog to which i contribute called Forwarding Address: OSX.

the US Senate Committee on

the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is holding hearings on digital content copyright protection (as well as broadband roll-out and the transition to digital television). the scheduled panellists include Disney's CEO Michael Eisner, News Corp COO Peter Chernin, Intel's Leslie Vadasz, Andy Bechtolsheim (ex-of Sun, now at Cisco), James Meyer (former COO of Thomson Multimedia), and Robert Perry of Mitsubishi Digital.

so. the government, two gigantic content distributors, two consumer electronics manufacturers (one of whom owns a substantial MPEG/MP3 patent portfolio), a router company, and a chip company are getting together to debate your rights as a content consumer. sounds like a job for the EFF. (via c|net)

update: the Register has its version of the hearings. call me biased, but it sounds about right: consumers and citizens should be treated like crooks, and unfathomably wealthy copyright merchants are victims who need government-mandated tools to audit your personal use of intellectual property.

...and because O'Reilly understands that

...and because O'Reilly understands that balance is important in the universe, you might find this overview of web services from a .NET perspective instructive. for a little more depth, check out these .NET web services examples by Brian Jepson. (via O'Reilly Network)

(as you can see, i'm catching up on some stuff i've been meaning to post. i guess that's a blogjam)

O'Reilly On Java has an

O'Reilly On Java has an article that walks you through the steps of deploying a simple SOAP web service with Apache and Tomcat. web services, easy as pie! (via O'Reilly Network)

the Tauzin-Dingell telecommunications bill (actually The Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act) US House of Representatives by a vote of 273 to 157. it still faces a grim future in the Senate, however.

three of the the bill's most important provisions essentially allow the Baby Bells to offer long distance services without first opening their local markets to competition (a key provision of the 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act), frees them of the legal obligation to lease parts of their fiber networks to competitors, and allows them to set prices for wholesale data services to rivals while exempting DSL from state utility commission oversight.

in other words, they can offer more complete phone and data packages than their competitors while legally pricing their broadband competition (like Covad or your local ISP) out of business. all this looks like the final nail in the coffin of competitive DSL, so expect to see the Baby Bells buying the hard-won (and expensive) assets of their broadband competitors for pennies on the dollar. (via SiliconValley.com)

this is me blogging Dave

this is me blogging Dave blogging me blogging about RSS (does that count as Dave again?) on Mac OS X.

my head hurts. (via Scripting News)

the ugly mess around Global

the ugly mess around Global Crossing gets, well, uglier and messier. it seems that the previously-reported cross-ownership shell games played by Gary Winnick and the government of Singapore's investment corporations are even more intricate than we had imagined.

Winnick and partner Steven Green (who, incidentally, is the United States' former ambassador to Singapore and a former director of Asia Global Crossing) bought partnerships in a Singapore investment firm called K1 Ventures. K1 Ventures is a unit of Temasek Holdings, the Singapore government investment vehicle that also controls Singapore Technologies Telemedia. STT (along with Hutchison Whampoa) has a $750 million offer on the table to buy Global Crossing.

but wait. there's more.

K1 Ventures also made a recent $14 million investment in wireless company PrimeCo Wireless Communications. one of PrimeCo's owners? you got it: Gary Winnick, this time through his Pacific Capital Group investment company. in other words, Gary was on both the buying and selling side of the PrimeCo deal. Gary's a generous fellow, though, and other Global Crossing directors had a seat at the PrimeCo table.

at the time of the K1 investment, PrimeCo was also owned by the completely inappropriately-named Clarity Partners. Clarity's investment team includes David Lee (a Global Crossing founder and former managing director of Pacific Capital), Barry Porter (a Global Crossing founder and former managing director of Pacific Capital), Clinton Walker (a former Global Crossing and Pacific Capital vice president), and Andrew Howard (who worked for Barry Porter at Global Crossing). PrimeCo's ownership also included Trimaran Capital Partners. two of Trimaran's principals (Jay Bloom, and Dean Kehler) are former directors of Global Crossing. the other Trimaran principal, Andrew Heyer, is also a partner in the Argosy Group, an affiliate of CIBC (another major beneficiary of Global Crossing). finally, as if to put a bow on the whole stinking package, JP Morgan Partners was also a part of the PrimeCo posse. that's right, the same JP Morgan that lent Global Crossing money (and is now in line with the other creditors) and the same JP Morgan that handled investment banking for Global Crossing was also in bed with Winnick on this closely-related side-deal. (via NY Times)

Apple's getting a technical Grammy,

Apple's getting a technical Grammy, but Steve Jobs doesn't think much of the big labels' digital distribution plans. as he tells the Wall Street Journal:

"No one is going to use such services," Mr. Jobs said. "If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own."
(via the WSJ -- paid subscription required)

featuring what has to be

featuring what has to be the most redundant headline since "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is Still Dead", the AP is has a story entitled "Starbucks Hopes to Expand in 2002".

now that New Economy poster

now that New Economy poster child Buy.com has been reunited with notorious greed-head founder and (erstwhile CEO) Scott Blum, they've finally hit upon the strategy to lift them out of their disastrous death-spiral: start a free magazine that highlights crap you can buy on their web site.

bravo. they've invented the Sharper Image catalog.

i guess this is what they mean when they say that "Scott Blum epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit and has defined the role of a business leader in the information economy." either that, or they're talking about the time Blum and the SEC signed a consent agreement that closed an investigation of his accounting practices while at Pinnacle Micro (which subsequently went bankrupt in late 2000). (via c|net)

good old solid-blue IBM has

good old solid-blue IBM has published a comparison of WebSphere Studio Application Developer and Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET in the WebSphere Developer Technical Journal (i read it for the pictures). it's a pretty even-handed look at the two developer tools, and at the tradeoffs involved with the two vendors' approaches to web services. (via WebServices.org)

Monday's Washington Post featured a

Monday's Washington Post featured a letter from MPA warhorse Jack Valenti. after some ranting about the "movie industry [being] under siege by a small community of professors", Valenti gets to the meat of the MPA's position:

The reason pitifully few films are legitimately available on the Internet is not producer hoarding. It is that those valuable creative works can't be adequately protected from theft. The analog format (videocassettes) and the digital format (DVDs) are different. Videocassette piracy costs the movie industry worldwide more than $3.5 billion, even though the sixth or seventh copy of analog becomes unwatchable. But the thousandth copy of digital is as pure as the original. Moreover, digital movies on the Internet can be pilfered and hurled at the speed of light to any spot on the planet. This is what gives movie producers so many Maalox moments.
this statement -- that inadequate technology and not producer hoarding is at the core of Hollywood's problem -- is completely at odds with established movie distribution practice. "producer hoarding" is the key to the movie distributor's business model.

when a movie is released, it's "windowed" first to the theaters, then to the pay-per-view market, then to the airlines and hotels, then to rental and retail, then to cable, and finally to broadcast. each step is an incremental relaxation of artificial scarcity driven by nothing more than business models. it's also worth remembering that this orthodoxy came only after Hollywood was forced to accept the technological shocks of first television and then the VCR -- both of which were regarded as detrimental to the movie business' interests.

the MPA needs to take a page from their compatriots in the entertainment software business (or even the software business in general) -- the only intellectual-property-based industry that's been digital from day one. every CD of Unreal Tournament can spawn a perfect illegal copy, yet nearly four million legitimate copies have been sold to date. without aid of unbreakable copy protection (and with pretty routine anti-piracy efforts), the entertainment software market has grown steadily. why shouldn't the MPA's members be able to do the same? (via the Reg)

fat-faced dimwit investment bankers will

fat-faced dimwit investment bankers will probably be yakking about this tale of stupendous excess until the next bubble comes along: six Barclay's derivatives geeks (most of them from the London office) were fired for trying to claim a $62,700 dinner tab as client expenses.

for all you ILM and

for all you ILM and Pixar wanna-bees out there, Alias|wavefront has released Maya Personal Learning Edition for Windows NT/2K/XP and Mac OS X. (via MacMinute)

in other Mac OS X

in other Mac OS X houskeeping news, Apple has updated its Java 2 Standard Edition environment. Java 1.3.1 Update 1 is available via your Software Update control panel (in your System Preferences). (via MacMinute)

Adobe's making a lot of

Adobe's making a lot of Mac OS X noise this week: they've announced Photoshop 7.0 and GoLive 6.0 and LiveMotion 2.0 are available for purchase. they've also released a 30-day tryout for their InDesign publishing solution. (via MacMinute)

i won't bore you with

i won't bore you with the details, but Microsoft's getting deeper into the enterprise applications business starting with customer relationship management (CRM). given the raw materials they had lying around (Great Plains, bits and pieces of .NET, bCentral, etc), it's not a big surprise.

my guess: huge multi-line application vendors like SAP and Oracle will survive, but Pivotal, Onyx, KANA (hell, even Siebel)...not so much. (via c|net)

BEA is opening another front

BEA is opening another front in the web services battle. with the introduction of WebLogic Workshop, BEA attempts to be the first to bring Visual Basic-like ease of development to the J2EE-speaking world. given that the way to a corporate developer's heart is through his IDE, it's the right move -- make a developer's life easier, and you'll have a friend for life.

the real question is whether a fragmented, multi-vendor approach will be effective against the vertically-integrated Visual Studio .NET? in a way, Microsoft has chosen to play Apple to the Java camp's WinTel consortium. Microsoft's delivering a soup-to-nuts web services story where everything is supposed to work because it's all lovingly overseen by one vendor, while companies like BEA are fighting their J2EE brethren (like Sun). (via c|net)

JP Morgan Chase is taking

JP Morgan Chase is taking another swift kick in their assets nuts -- this time from their dealings with Global Crossing. the bank foolishly allowed Global Crossing to pledge stock in subsidiaries rather than physical assets against loans. since that stock is now worthless, JP Morgan Chase (and many other Wall Street banks) are now forced to line up with other vultures trade-creditors for their hunk of the Global Crossing carcass.

clearly, JP Morgan got fast-talked like a hayseed on his first trip to New York. the complexity of Global Crossing's corporate and capital structures make a perfect smoke screen for the kind of three card monte that Gary Winnick excels at. (via NY Times)

the circle of hell that

the circle of hell that is Enron just keeps getting wider. in addition to Andersen, the White House, and both major political parties, now JP Morgan Chase is getting sucked into the vortex. JP Morgan Chase's insurers are refusing to pay $1 billion in claims related to the bank's Enron dealings, alleging that JP Morgan Chase disguised loans as trades to help Enron conceal its debts. (via NY Times)

the US Federal Court has

the US Federal Court has partially opened the files of the Microsoft anti-trust case to the media. tapes and transcripts from the depositions of Steve Ballmer, Jim Allchin, Jim Barksdale, Mitchell Kertzman, and Scott McNealy by the nine hold-out states will be made available to media outlets.

this sounds like the worst Fox special ever made.

"When Tech Execs Go Bad"
"When Millionaires Get Deposed"
"When TV Gets Dull"
"Survivor 3.0: Federal Court"
(via AP)

it's like Enron or Global

it's like Enron or Global Crossing done right. the Baby Bells (through the US Telecommunications Association) have already managed to rig the FCC's two-week-old nationwide broadband push decidedly in their favor. now analysts, the press, consumers, and smaller ISPs are predicting that the future of residential broadband will be dominated by a telco/cable company duopoly. (via AP)

bandwidth giant Williams Communications may be the next to hop on the Chapter 11 bandwagon. (via Reuters)

caught curling fever yet? satisfy

caught curling fever yet? satisfy your urge to hit a double raise into the four-foot ring with ESPN International Winter Sports 2002. you'll be yelling "hurreee!" at your TV in no time.

why is .NET so important

why is .NET so important to Microsoft's future? because the variety of devices connected to the internet is set to explode and the PC -- the center of Microsoft's universe -- is going to be outnumbered on the net. the Economist takes a look at the flip-side of this phenomenon: how Microsoft is trying to make a play in game consoles and mobile phones.

in addition to spelunking through

in addition to spelunking through the innards of various web logging tools and scripting some XML-RPC utilities of my own, i've taken the time to give blogaritaville a makeover (as you may have noticed). i confess to having borrowed liberally from Jason Kottke, and i'm using his excellent Silkscreen typeface in the site's title graphic and for my navigation headers on the right of the page.

the Committee to Protect Journalists

the Committee to Protect Journalists deserves a link.

BlogApp has been updated to

BlogApp has been updated to version 1.1.

i've detoured from Blogger, to

i've detoured from Blogger, to Radio, to MovableType, to Apache, to Perl, to Greymatter, to XML-RPC, to AppleScript Studio. perhaps it's not so much a detour as a descent into madness -- lightweight, single-user content management is not for the faint of heart. once you start scratching at the surface of the problem you're in danger of being overwhelmed by just how many ways there are to skin this particular feline.

i should never have asked "why do i need all this stuff in Radio, anyway (i have a web server and several scripting frameworks)?"

my good friends (and former

my good friends (and former OpenCola comrades) Paul Baranowski and Joey deVilla have done their first public dog-and-pony for Peek-A-Booty. the net-censorship-busting technology got a rave from the Reg's Andrew Orlowski.

huzzah!

one small step for Mac

one small step for Mac OS X, one giant leap for Mac OS X users. REALbasic developer James Sentman has released beta 2 of acgi dispatcher. now Apache can invoke AppleScripts and Apple Event-aware (i was going to link those, but i got lazy) applications via CGI. bridging Apache and AppleScript is a crucial step for those of us coming from a more traditional Mac OS background: it brings me closer to never having to look at Perl ever again.


Perl makes the Baby Jesus cry.

spent the day getting to

spent the day getting to know MovableType from the bottom up. once you get around some of the peculiarities of Apache and Perl on Mac OS X it's pretty easy to configure to your heart's content.

however, Canada's playing Sweden...must go.

an amusing dispatch from the

an amusing dispatch from the Reg's Andrew Orlowski reporting from BSDCon. besides an attempt to bribe Apple developers to kill the Dock (hey, i like the Dock), Andrew elicits some interesting details on the Darwin core of Mac OS X.

my rate of posting has

my rate of posting has slowed as i dig into the guts of MovableType on Mac OS X.

CmdrTaco is getting married. does

CmdrTaco is getting married. does Fry's have a wedding registry? (via the Reg)

finally, an unholy alliance of

finally, an unholy alliance of individual rights-eroding media oligopoly and individual privacy-eroding spam artist. just what i wanted for Valentine's Day. (via Reuters)

Tinnef Software's Text Wielder lets

Tinnef Software's Text Wielder lets you build your own Mac OS X services for text manipulation. Text Wielder's Simple Find and Replace Language (SFRL) combines regular expression searching with Java Server Page-based output manipulation.

frankly, i think AppleScript might have made a better choice for output manipulation, but the idea of easily creating application services for applications that don't provide their own services (like Radio) is a worthy one.

NZ $337.50 for being an

NZ $337.50 for being an arrogant bastard? (via GMSV)

OK, so Apple may not

OK, so Apple may not be able to boss big boys like AOL Time Warner or Microsoft around, but they sure as hell seem to be laying a beating on the MPEG LA.

first, they lead up to the QuickTime Live conflab with the news that QuickTime was downloaded 80 million times in the last year (compared to 75 million downloads for RealPlayer or RealOne in the same period). next, they unveil the details behind QuickTime 6. finally, the zinger: Apple -- a company that can add 220,000 new MPEG-4 users a day -- won't release QuickTime 6 (at least with MPEG-4 support) until MPEG LA drops their per-streaming-minute licensing fee.

i'm taking a perverse pleasure in seeing Apple throw their weight around, especially since there's no doubt that any streaming fee imposed on a content provider (say, CNN) is going to get passed onto you and me (with the requisite mark-up).

the arrival of VS .NET

the arrival of VS .NET is an important milestone in establishing a leader in web services from among the big players. Microsoft has been developing a clear, cohesive picture of the elements involved in building web services and now its delivering on the key pieces. while others can argue that Microsoft was late to the game, it looks to me like they're successfully setting the terms of the debate -- bad news for their competition.

today marks the final release

today marks the final release of Visual Studio .NET. Microsoft's web site (and i'm not kidding) says:

Visual Studio .NET
The future is here.
Start building now.

you've got your marching orders, now go!

this will not help you

this will not help you run Mac OS X any faster or more efficiently, but it's just one of the many cool things you can find at RedLightRunner.

according to the LA Times,

according to the LA Times, Fox, Universal, and MGM are suing Sonicblue on the basis that your convenience is detrimental to their ability to make a fast buck.

"If a ReplayTV customer can simply type 'The X-Files' or 'James Bond' and have every episode of 'The X-Files' and every James Bond film recorded in perfect digital form and organized, compiled and stored on the hard drive of his or her ReplayTV 4000 device, it will cause substantial harm to the market for prerecorded DVD, videocassette and other copies of those episodes and films."

i hope the studios are ready to sue Gemstar and my cable company. i can already search and program my cable box to tune into every episode of a show, and (with a $5 cable) my cable box can also drive my VCR.

i hadn't noticed this comment

i hadn't noticed this comment from the pugnacious Jim Allchin in a c|net back-patter:

Q: What's your impression of Apple Computer's latest iMac?
A: It's a warmed-over Mach (kernel)...The technology didn't blow me away.

interesting answer. it's a non sequitur -- the question was about the iMac, but the answer appears to be about Mac OS X -- but it demonstrates what gave Jim his mane of prematurely white hair: he sees UN*X everywhere.

c'mon, Jim, we all know Win 2K is just warmed-over VMS.

Apple's newest commercials for the

Apple's newest commercials for the iMac were produced by Steve's other company. this won't help with all the Luxo, Jr cracks, but i bet they'll help sell a few CPUs.

an illustration of the differences

an illustration of the differences between the US and Canada: Americans have Enron and Global Crossing. Canadians have this Nortel controversy.

my cocktail napkin math tells me that the combined take for Enron and Global Crossing execs is north of $2 billion (and counting), while the (now-former) CFO of Nortel fell on his sword for about $165,000 in poorly-timed trades.

standards and interoperability, while not the same thing, are closely related (you don't need standards for interop, but it helps). this is probably why the establishment of the WS-I group is being seen by some as a symbol of frustration on the part of the major web services vendors with the W3C.

a c|net article features analysts and smaller software vendors criticizing the web standards body for focusing on initiatives like the semantic web while ignoring web services. it also boasts a juicy quote from Tim Bray:

"The hype merchants are out of control on this one," said Tim Bray, a member of the nine-member Technical Architectural Group for steering W3C strategy. "I think that 'Web services' in general is at least as experimental and unproven as the Semantic Web."

i think Tim's wrong.

a massive IE for Windows

a massive IE for Windows patch fixes a previously unacknowledged vulnerability, according to c|net.

it never did make much

it never did make much sense to me when PayPal divorced itself of its banking operations (and, therefore, banking license). now it seems that several states agree with me. the AP reports that Louisiana has asked PayPal to suspend service in that state.

i read Eve Andersson's account

i read Eve Andersson's account (which i found through Scripting.com) of the rise and fall of ArsDigita with a twinge of recognition and sympathy.

Tim Connor has released BlogApp

Tim Connor has released BlogApp -- a posting tool for Blogger API-compatible weblogs -- for Mac OS X. it's a good example of what you can do with AppleScript Studio: harness AppleScript's support for XML-RPC and SOAP in Studio's RAD environment.

one of the more indespensible

one of the more indespensible tools in my Mac OS X arsenal has been Space, which isn't quite a virtual desktop utility, but more a virtual workspace tool.

development seems to have stagnated over the last year, but the project is open source.

the Document.Open() exploit (reported by

the Document.Open() exploit (reported by thePull) can be put to some pretty malicious uses when combined with Windows Messenger, according to the Register.

the billion-dollar hissyfit that is

the billion-dollar hissyfit that is the penalty phase of the Microsoft antitrust trial features Oracle today. Reuters reported a Microsoft filing that complained of Oracle's involvement in guiding the hold-out states' hand in drafting remedy proposals.

anyone remember Oracle's attempt to crack into the browser market?

now companies can buy Google

now companies can buy Google in a box, according to Reuters.

NextCard was co-founded on June

NextCard was co-founded on June 6, 1996 by Jeremy and Molly Lent. Because NextCard was built on the Internet from the ground up, our culture is fast-paced and ever-changing.
five years from founding to receivership to delisting? that is fast-paced and ever changing!

here's my first Mac OS

here's my first Mac OS X tip (which is being mirrored on the "Forwarding Address: OSX" blog -- a nice little reference for those new to Apple's OS).

a simple, free (as in "free beer") way to reduce Dock clutter and give you quicker access to your apps is to take the "Applications" folder from your Finder directory view and drag it into the your Dock. now you can Control-click, mouse down, or (for multi-button mouse users) right-click on the Applications folder icon in your Dock for access to your applications.

while Blogger appears to be

while Blogger appears to be down, i've had time to ponder the question: is there any way to rig Radio's categories to update a specific blogger-based blog when you're not the administrator? for example, i want to mirror all of my Mac OS X stories to FA:OSX, as well as posting them to Radio blogaritaville.

my guess: the answer is "hell, yeah." my mission: to figure out how. if you're feeling helpful, you can let me know what you'd do.

RMS can't draw a breath

RMS can't draw a breath without pulling out the knives for the "open source movement". in this note to the Register -- ostensibly to correct the misconception that RMS is at loggerheads with Miguel de Icaza over Mono -- things are moving along nicely until the last three paragraphs.

the Trotskyite revanchists will get theirs, i'm sure.

the more i think about

the more i think about it, the more it seems to me that Sun is pulling an SGI.

Sun's recent embrace of Linux (here's c|net's version of events) is remniscent of SGI's capitulation to Intel and Windows NT/2K for their low-end workstation and server products. that move took SGI from a value proposition based on deep R&D into one where they became just another OEM bundling outfit. that strategy was corrisive enough to cause SGI to abandon it for the comfort of their old IRIX/MIPS redoubt, from which they are currently fighting their last stand.

Sun's Linux strategy cedes the low-end to Intel-based Linux appliances while they hang their hats on a scalability advantage built on the combination of SPARC and Solaris. with the combined efforts and resources of Intel and the Linux community, i can't see that advantage lasting. the only variable left is the support of application vendors like Oracle and SAP, and we already know where Larry's placing his bets.

don't even get me started on the damage that IBM, newly-imbued with Linux religion, is going to inflict on Sun.

in a familiar-sounding refrain, Global

in a familiar-sounding refrain, Global Crossing's bankruptcy is now under investigation by the FBI and the SEC. Reuters is reporting that an internal memo, from a former veep of finance, complaining of the company's shading accounting practices, is the focus of the investigations.

Microsoft has released a security

Microsoft has released a security update for Microsoft Office v. X, but it's not clear if it's related to the malformed PID announcement issue.

malformed announcements to the Microsoft Office v. X network product identification (PID) checker can cause Office to shut down, according to this Microsoft Security Bulletin.

in an effort to prevent piracy, Microsoft Office v. X applications check the local network to find other instances of Office running with the same PID. Adobe has long used a similar strategy.

although i find the headline

although i find the headline "Sun details plans for Linux servers" slightly misleading (more like "Sun offers inscrutable advance notice of something Linux-y down the road"), the article itself is an interesting glimpse of the difficult finesse Sun has to employ around the issue of Linux. it's hard to laud an OS in the same breath you use to dismiss it, but that's exactly what Sun's trying to do.

according to SiliconValley.com (and the US Department of Justice), over 30,000 public comments were submitted regarding the Microsoft anti-trust action. about ten percent are considered "substantive" while the rest have been categorized as opinion, spam, or pornographic.

Miguel de Icaza tries to

Miguel de Icaza tries to rise above the firestorm caused by the Register interview in this message to the GNOME-hackers and GNOME-devel lists.

while Dave Winer sees danger in Mono (he essentially says that a diversity of frameworks is better than a single dominant framework), i can't see where activity on Mono prevents competing, equivalent web services frameworks from being developed.

for all the economic malaise,

for all the economic malaise, it was a good year to build your business on the disposable income of Americans. market research group NPD is reporting that 2001 was a record-breaking year for the interactive entertainment industry, with total sales hitting $9.4 billion.

Nokia is predicting a rise

Nokia is predicting a rise in mobile phone prices, according to Reuters.

it makes you wonder about why they bothered with the "prediction". why not just say "we had a meeting, and we're going to raise prices"?

Reuters sets the scene for

Reuters sets the scene for Monday's preliminary hearing of BT's case against Prodigy. BT is claiming that it holds the patent on hyperlinking. others, like Ted Nelson and Douglas Engelbart have pointed out that the concept and term were widely understood long before BT's patent claim was granted by the USPTO.

in an effort to offset

in an effort to offset some of Ken Bereskin's Maple Leafs bias (he's more to be pitied than scolded, really), i offer the following story about nos glorieux and their victory in the Meadowlands.

at FordMicrosoft, quality is job

at FordMicrosoft, quality is job one.

according to a c|net interview with Steve Ballmer, "...we really have to work on these trust and quality issues. I'd really put that as job one....It's trust and quality, trust and quality."

can you do "trust and quality" in 4/4 time (i think it can be set to the tune of "Love and Marriage")?

c|net (and just about everybody

c|net (and just about everybody else) is reporting that Microsoft, IBM, Intel, and BEA Systems are forming a web services standards organization. the Web Services Interoperability Organization is also rumored to number Sun, Oracle, and TIBCO in their member.

maybe it's an over-simplification, but the greater the commitment to standards (like SOAP, XML-RPC, UDDI, WSDL, etc), the better it is for all web services players (vendors, developers, and users).

while spelunking through Google results (i was trying to figure out how many of Enron's leadership were McKinsey & Co alumni like Jeffrey Skilling), i ran across this CFO Magazine article singing the praises of then Enron CFO Andrew Fastow. fascinating reading -- the unintended dramatic irony of some of the statements is priceless.

the fabulous BlogScript has been

the fabulous BlogScript has been updated, and its developer has also licensed the source code under the GPL. it's indispensible for Mac OS X Blogger users and can now be modified to work with any weblogging tools that support the Blogger API via XML-RPC.

now that Miguel de Icaza

now that Miguel de Icaza has made clear his ambitions for Mono, let the flames begin.

today's Reg features this article covering the fallout among Miguel's free software colleagues as they parse through the implications of the Mono project for GNOME.

i get nervous when i

i get nervous when i hear the technology marketing weenies talking about what they have planned for my living room. case in point: this c|net article describing Macromedia's deal with Microsoft TV to "add" Flash "capability" to their products for interactive television.

according to Macromedia veep Peter Meechan, Flash allows "for these devices to have a rich, consumer-engaging experience with a really familiar interface."

finally, a rich, consumer-engaging experience and a really familiar interface for my TV. thank you, Macromedia.

odd story from the CBC

odd story from the CBC about infamous gold-medal-winning snowboarder Ross Rebagliati's trouble at the Canadian/US border. it appears that Rebagliati was denied entry to the US due to his admitted drug use, which is clearly identified as one of the many criteria INS agents can use to determine whether or not to admit someone to the US.

by the way, here's a picture of Ross from his appearance four years ago on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno:

the Journal's foray into web

the Journal's foray into web services prognostication was triggered by Rational's release of Rational XDE Professional v2002 for both Visual Studio.NET and Java IDEs (including those supported by IBM's WebSphere platform).

according to a Wall Street

according to a Wall Street Journal story about web services, Gartner analyst Mark Driver is boldly predicting that "80% of e-business applications...will soon be built with Microsoft or Java technology."

i boldly predict that over 90% of those applications will be deployed on "computers."

bankruptcy, whistle-blowers, Andersen, and possible accounting irregularities? the story of Global Crossing gets better and better.

i know it's the obvious

i know it's the obvious joke, but it's my obvious joke.

this article proves that Reuters is ripping me off.

"When it comes to .NET

"When it comes to .NET they've done a really outstanding job."

what kind of sell-out-Redmond-apologist would say such a thing? try Miguel de Icaza -- the man behind the GNOME project (and Ximian -- its commercial offspring). Miguel is also spearheading the Mono project to "clone" the .NET development framework. here he tells the Register why he wants to see GNOME built on Mono/.NET.

since GNOME is a rough equivalent of the Windows development framework, it seems logical enough that the developer-centric improvements in .NET (things like language independence and better deployment mechanisms) would be interesting to the GNOME crew.

Microsoft has revved its BizTalk

Microsoft has revved its BizTalk Server product, another step in deploying .NET for the enterprise market. c|net notes that Microsoft has significantly improved management and administrative features with the latest version of BizTalk.

we'll have to come up

we'll have to come up with a law that determines the rate at which Moore's Law must be accelerated. according to the New York Times the increase in chip speed is gaining pace, rather than slowing down.

if it's Monday, it must

if it's Monday, it must be Enron.

recent events have the release an independent review of Enron's practices (damning of Enron, its board, its management, and its auditor), former CEO Ken Lay refusing to appear before Congress, and Andersen hiring former Fed chair Paul Volcker to "review its practices". it's all tidily summed up in this piece from the Economist.

Hello Dave!

Hello Dave!


i'm not totally dense: Apple

i'm not totally dense: Apple Event support for SOAP and XML-RPC is client-side-only. in other words, you can only generate requests for web services. so says everything i've seen, and (according to Dave Winer) so says Robb Beal.

what's mlife? according to a

what's mlife? according to a story on Internet.com, it's just AT&T Wireless, which is very mlame.

the New York Times has

the New York Times has uncovered tigers roaming the New York region:

Experts say there are about 10,000 privately owned tigers in the United States, dwarfing the 200 or so kept by zoos for display and species propagation.

incidentally, that's also more than live in the wild in Asia.

the Reg is concerned that

the Reg is concerned that Napster (an "independent" partner of media giant Bertelsmann), desperate to get back to business, might not take advantage of the opportunity to dig into the issue of whether the labels' copyright extends to the digital world.

would we be any further along if companies like Napster had digital copyright to music? where are the fully-recouped artists (and their sub-industry of managers, lawyers, and agents) in this? Metallica -- i'm looking at you.

the AP has a story

the AP has a story about Microsoft reimbursing the states for the legal costs of pursuing antitrust action.

Global Crossing has a giant

Global Crossing has a giant phone bill. Reuters is reporting that the defunct telco owes struggling carrier equipment maker Lucent $123 million.

curiously, Global Crossing's bankruptcy filing only shows a $31 million debt to Lucent. probably just an accounting error.