June 2005 Archives

The High Cost of a Rush to Security

$300+ million dollars appears to have been misspent by a TSA contractor working on hiring airport screeners.

Oh yes. I feel much safer.

ABC Drops Show After Complaints by Civil Rights Groups - New York Times

Curious how a show that attempts, however ignobly, to make public the private acts of prejudice in which we all, to varying degrees, indulge in daily, can't be shown in order to comply with federal regulations preventing discrimination.

Weakness in the Data Chain - New York Times

When I first started prying into the transaction processing business, I was surprised at the number of players involved, and the varying degrees of professionalism of the participants. CardSystems doesn't seem like anywhere near the bottom of the barrel, as far as I can tell, and that's scary.

Atlas Project

Atlas Project

The Microsoftie in charge of Atlas blogs about...Atlas. The part that interests me: where Atlas extends into a toolkit for developing Avalon and Indigo apps: is this the "extend" part of "embrace and extend?" Instinctively, I feel like that's the case, but I'm content to wait and see if this really is a zero-sum strategy for Microsoft.

"Ten Years of Chilled Innovation"

Lessig outlines why Grokster will add costs to, and stifle, innovation in communication technologies

Leaving a Vacuum at Wipro

Leaving a Vacuum at Wipro

Paul's done impressive things with Wipro. If Six Sigma is really in the Indian IT business's DNA, then Wipro should do fine, but it'll be hard to replace this man's skills as an ambassador.

Who would have forseen, even just a decade ago, the west discussing the resignation of an Indian CEO?

Boing Boing: Google Maps API released

Speaking of remixing your apps, Google's released a map API

Looks Good Works Well: Death to Paging! - Rico LiveGrid Released

Open source, Ajax, collaboration, all combine to benefit a large company (Sabre). Nice to watch the evolution of so many things at once.

Jon Udell: How do you design a remixable Web application?

Yet another reason to like Ajax: hackability. Just like HTML, you can learn by popping open the hood and messing around with the naked source, if you're so inclined. This leads to tremendous potential for remixing applications without the need for heavyweight protocols like SOAP or standards like WS-* (at least in the non-enterprise world).

The Post-Grokster Era Begins - Forbes.com

HP strategic bizdev exec Adam Petruszka (hardly the profile of a musician-bankrupting, Big Content-bashing hippie) succinctly puts the cost of Grokster thusly:

If a ruling came down that said that the standard set in the Betamax case isn't good enough and imposed a lot of new legal tests that a device would have to meet in order to not be infringing, that would add a lot of friction and cost to the development process.

Marginal Revolution: Krugman: Illiberal Demagogue

Krugman's turned into a crazed Sinohawk who'd rather war-war than trade-trade

Microsoft Wants a Piece of the Ajax Action

Accompanied by the obligatory "Microsoft's been doing Ajax-style development for years," line, including the citation of Outlook Web Access. Ask anyone who has used OWA with both IE on Windows and Firefox or Safari just how cross-platform that experience feels, and you get a taste of what "Ajax-style" really means. I hope Atlas isn't more of the same.

Incidentally, it's funny to see quotes from Macromedia and Sun talking about how much easier it is do develop rich (but thin) apps using Flash or Java as opposed to the pain Google suffered to get Ajax to work cross-platform/cross-browser for Maps and Gmail. Probably true, and yet Google elected to suffer. Interesting...

iPod screens go all-color | CNET News.com

Apple continues to roll out tasty improvements to their iPod-centric business, such as simple support for podcasts in iTunes 4.9 (much easier than cobbling various third-party tools together) and making color screens and photo support standard across their (non-mini, non-Shuffle) iPod lineup. Shows a certain flexibility on Apple's part, too: rather than let the less-than-stellar sales of the iPod Photo consign the feature to oblivion, they realized people like the idea, they're just not willing to pay a big premium for it.

Sun to buy integration outfit SeeBeyond | CNET News.com

Integration services and ESB seems to be the new app server: table stakes for enterprise IT solution providers. The unanswered question (for Sun) is whether they're relevant enough to get their foot in the door when companies are making their infrastructure software decisions.

David Card - Bogus "Innovations" Under Threat from Grokster Decision

David (another guy whose blog I read daily) takes exception to Cory's editorial, and (rather petulantly and unfairly, I think) throws a bunch of other stuff into the mix.

I think David's underplaying the negative impact of Grokster on investment in new technologies with potentially infringing uses. Until the standard for an "affirmative step" is defined, the purse strings are going to be tightened.

The Grokster Case's Silver Lining?

Disturbing quote/mindset: "If people are really trying to stop infringement, they'll probably be OK." Who decides what's "really trying to stop infringement?" Big Content? The courts? What efforts are sufficient?

This sounds too much like the old "if you're not doing anything illegal, then you've got nothing to hide" argument for mandating back-doors to encryption schemes so the feds can snoop on your communication.

Supreme Court Strikes a Blow against P2P Sharing - Popular Science

Cory has a strident editorial on Grokster in PopSci. I think it sketches out a worst-case scenario where anything can be construed as an "affirmative step" to foster infringement by third parties. Until this is clarified through much lawyer-enriching wrangling, I fear the naturally risk-averse money-men will sit on their cash.

Russian posters, Cuban and other posters. Propaganda posters.

As a child whose parents fled communist repression I sure wouldn't wish its return, but sometimes I miss the good old days when the enemy had style.

AppleInsider | iTunes 4.9 riddled with iTunes phone references

Podcast support and photo features across the iPod lineup are very cool, but iTunes 4.9 also has a handful of iTunes Phone references included in the application package.

Business 2.0 :: Magazine Article :: What's Next :: Start Spreading the News

Fred (whose blog I read daily) talks about coming out the other side of the VC bust, and the thesis behind Union Square Ventures

New York Daily News - Home - 'Violated ...again'

Some of the work the Daily News has selected is clearly in poor taste, but what were people expecting when cultural institutions whose mandates weren't linked to the World Trade Center memorial were included in the plans?

Google Video Search

Google Video Search

Google includes VLC-based player in video search service. Doesn't seem like there's much to play right now, though.

CQ.com | Craig Crawford‘s 1600: The Power in the Undertone

I thought I heard Bush resurrect the idea of a constitutional amendment to ban equal rights to marriage, but nobody seemed to pick that story up. I suppose the strategy running up to the mid-term elections is to shift focus back to "red meat for the red state core." In other words, go back to hammering Democrats as "liberals" who are "with the terrorists" and "against family values."

Om Malik’s Broadband Blog » Greg Maffei does a 360, defects to Oracle

Om Malik has also noticed Greg Maffei's less-than-stellar track record for investment payoffs at Microsoft.

Iran's new hard-liner maps path | csmonitor.com

Iran's new president won by courting rural Red State values voters?

New Bush drive for support on Iraq | csmonitor.com

I don't envy Bush: he's paying the price for not properly preparing the American people for the nature of this adventure. Perhaps he himself truly didn't expect events to emerge as they have, but surely the grim situation has been plain for some time now.

While a timetable to bring the troops home would be a silly, and empty, gesture, I feel that the only hope for Bush to gain the confidence of the electorate would be to clean house at the Pentagon. Fire Rumsfeld for botching the post-Saddam era war effort and promise to do "whatever it takes" to get Iraq stable enough to run its own affairs.

Buying the Cow, Though the Milk Is Free: Why Some Publishers Are Digitizing Themselves

There are a lot of factors that contribute to Cory's success as a writer: talent, dedication, personal charm, and a zillion-bit megaphone in BoingBoing. Nevertheless, he works in a niche genre where, to paraphrase Tim O'Reilly, the biggest threat is obscuracy, not piracy.

Making the text of all of his novels availale has been a boon to Cory, not a blow. Risk-taking authors like him (and publishers like Tor) will be far better off than their dinosaur colleagues.

MTV Finds a New Ally in Games - New York Times

MTV as a patron of video game makers, with the option of participating in the profits.

Once again, newer electronic media are operating far more intelligently than the Big Content dinosaurs. They're finding new ways to finance and market their products, forming partnerships with the brands that reach their target audience.

On Screens, but Not Store Shelves: Casual Games - New York Times

Every few years people rediscover that gameplay isn't directly proportional to budget or 3D firepower, which is what I love about the state of the game industry today: the barrier to entry is so low, and the potential audience available via broadband so high, that well-executed, fun games can become hits without need of a publisher, advertising, licenses, shelf space, or aisle caps.

In Battle to Pick Next Justice, Right Says, Avoid a Kennedy - New York Times

The scariest part is reading people like Bork and Dobson rail on about how their views are representative of the "majority of Americans," something which I doubt is true.

WSJ.com - U.S. Pushes Broad Investigation Into Milberg Weiss Law Firm

Nobody loves Millberg (or Lerach), but I'm interested to see if the DoJ goes after the firm as they did Andersen (and if they also file criminal charges against KPMG). Indiciting companies is like a death sentence: will the feds take down a company who "fights for the little guy" while letting one that serves The Man off the (criminal) hook?

USATODAY.com - Airlines gear up for ultralong haul

Long-haul flights are the fastest growing segment of air travel, but US carriers are missing the opportunity. United's strong Asian network may be their ace in the hole after they come out of bankruptcy.

File-Sharing Networks Can Be Held Liable, Court Rules - New York Times

I think this one's going to be pretty well covered elsewhere (particularly by those with more legal expertise than I have), but it would be wrong not to note it.

You know, I find the law, and things like appeals rulings, very unsatisfying sometimes: they seldom seem to be about the issues we all think they're about, but rather about the details of crafting the legal arguments themselves.

How To Change Ugly Regimes - Newsweek: International Editions - MSNBC.com

Sanctions are like any other boycott: leaky and ineffective. Far better to let loose the infectious ideas of capitalism and freedom on some poor dictator's people.

CBC Sports: NHL players to get worse deal: Lemieux

I know it's a lockout, so it seems perverse to blame the players, but if the NHLPA eventually agrees toa salary giveback and a cap, then they wasted a season for nothing. Given that they've lost a year in front of the fans and the ESPN deal in the process, the player's union's also managed to ensure their members get to come back to a league facing its weakest prospects for a long time.

www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish

I think Rove's road testing a Republican congressional campaign on being Tough on Terror. After all, there will be no progress on Social Security, the price of gas isn't guaranteed to be any lower, and the situation in Iraq might not improve in time. If things get really bad, interest rates will rise, housing prices will fall, and people will suddenly find out how hard it has become to declare personal bankruptcy.

Brad Setser's Web Log: The joys of being a creditor nation

Rolls a bunch of timely themes (the current account deficit, trade deficit, monetary policy, Chinese political and economic power) into a coherent whole.

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iraq violence shifting Arab media

The arab media is beginning to think that maybe the guys doing the indiscriminate killing of fellow Arabs aren't necessarily on their side.

Oh, and Death to America.

Venture Chronicles by Jeff Nolan: Making sense of AON | Jun 23rd 2005 11:47am

Thus far, I think Cisco's immediate concern is playing defence: preventing customers from buying non-Cisco XML routers, for example. Still, I agree that it's not eminently clear to me how AON solves a problem for customers.

Malls of America

Malls of America

Growing up in 70s Montreal, I caught the tail end of some of these mall looks. Fabulous.

WSJ.com - Oracle's Ellison Recruits Maffei To a Senior Role

Just what Oracle needed: some Microsoft in their DNA. Their customers must be jumping with joy.

I seem to recall many of Microsoft's deals under Maffei's watch turning out to be real duds: billions wasted on cable, for example.

Browser makers warned against ad-blocking: ZDNet Australia: News: Software

Best part of the article (which has some suit from DoubleSpeakClick yammering about ad blocking eventually making free stuff disappear) is the fact link to ad blocker Adblock in the first graf. Exactly what that DCLK weasel wanted, I'm sure.

WSJ.com - Phone Giants Are Lobbying Hard To Block Towns' Wireless Plans

What's SBC's objection here? It seems clear that wiring a town like Granbury would be unprofitable (otherwise they would have done it by now), and well-served cities won't bother offering truly value-adding, competitive services.

FOXNews.com - Politics - Rove: Dems Just Don't Get Sept. 11 Attacks

Now that his dreams of a permanent GOP-based government are foundering, Karl's waxing nostalgic for the good old days of late 2001.

Wal-Mart Is Focal Point Of Democrats' Health Bill

This is what passes for progress on healthcare: reporting the names of companies whose employees receive government-funded health insurance?

House GOP Offers Plan For Social Security

The article takes two pages to explain the plan and the punchline is that there's no real benefit to the retiree or taxpayers. Dead on arrival, while making the GOP and White House look weak. Perhaps I'm not seeing this play fully, but I can't figure out why Republicans think this is a good idea.

Military Enlists Marketer to Get Data on Students for Recruiters

The Pentagon, already entitled to student data from the No Child Left Behind Act (which sounds much more ominous now) has extended their kiddie dragnet to the state DMVs and other similar sources.

This story has the effect on the reader of a combined ChoicePoint data breach article crossed with a story about some huge spammer.

Sony's Chief Pledges to Halt Company Slide - New York Times

Sony's problem is that it has heart disease: the soul of the company is their consumer electronics engineering business, and it's been performing dismally for years now. It'll be tricky, though, to revitalize that business without completely decimating the corps of Sony-lifers that run the operation.

WSJ.com - China's Cnooc Lobs In Rival Bid To Acquire Unocal

Remember when the Japanese were magic, and we'd all wind up working for them? They were buying everything in sight and the western world was running in terror. Ask Matushita how much money they made on their MCA purchase, or how happy Sumitomo was with their Rockefeller Center investment.

USATODAY.com - Bush refusal to bend is break for Dems

Perhaps the problem is that Bush is a natural bully, insecure enough to swallow the Cheney philosphy that the President should be imperial. As a consequence, he's a brittle, prickly, imperious leader.

It's a shame, because "drunk Bush" sounded like a fun guy.

Flight Suits - New York Times

Flight Suits - New York Times

I'm generally a fan of egalitarianism, but long for the days people dressed to travel. That the downward spiral continues in the name of national security doesn't make it any more appealing.

Given that most of my travel is for work, and work has me in a jacket and tie, travel has become a real burden.

Forget Grokster? A Recording Industry Bombshell from the Copyright Office: Corante > The Importance of... >

I can't grok all of the implications to this yet (and it doesn't help that IANAL).

Cisco CTO: Converged Apps Drive Network Upgrades

For Cisco, the network really is the computer, as switches become message processing, policy-applying units.

It was always interesting to me to see that, for a company whose name stood for Stanford University Network, Sun seemed to sell the wrong thing for a "network is the computer" company.

Calif. lawmakers back tougher ID theft law - Computerworld

Not that I'm a fan of federal regulation, but I don't see how a state-by-state patchwork of laws helps here. Furthermore, disclosure seems meaningless: what can I do if Bank of America loses my personal data?

FT.com / Home UK - Technology groups celebrate ruling on software patents

A patent regime's ability to foster innovation is only as good as its ability to properly discriminate between the truly new and the obvious. If the American experience with software and business method patents is any indication, the lobbyists for entrenched interests have once again weakened capitalism to favor their continued franchise.

Outsourced All the Way - New York Times

More on globalization's expanding reach into small business plans. Part of a trend of stories on the topic, including a recent Business 2.0 cover and yesterday's blog post by Rick Segal

Black Market in Stolen Credit Card Data Thrives on Internet - New York Times

And this is where the stolen data purportedly goes (although if reporters and consultants can find it...): online marketplaces for pilfered identities and credit instruments. Complete with eBay-style seller ratings, too.

Hackers Score Big by Thinking Small, Experts Say

I'm not sure there's a new trend here, unless it's the trend of industry magazines focusing on theft rather than random, mass vandalism. I would imagine that people intent on stealing information for profit have always taken a more traditional, focused approach: casing the joint, finding weaknesses and opportunities, and pulling off the heist.

eBay launches developer Web site | CNET News.com

eBay, the platform for ecommerce applications, is expanding its reach. They, Google, and Amazon would be wise to learn from Microsoft's experience: platforms are successful because they help developers be more productive and to reach a wider audience.

Cisco muscles into software | CNET News.com

Middleware under attack from another direction: networking hardware.

Darknet: Story: The tech exec who broke federal law (and why the law is broken)

An excerpt from JD Lasica's book Darknet tells the story of an Intel veep who broke the DMCA, admitted it to congressional staffers, and lived to tell about it.

Variety.com | Music Labels Look To Corral iPod

Given a glimpse of how they may be permitted to exist in spite of their Luddite tendencies, Big Content's instinct towards greed, and their inflated sense of importance, wins out:

Asked how users should react to the problem, one insider at a major label responded, "Maybe they'll send Steve Jobs an e-mail."

Not likely. The customer loves their iPod, the artist loves their iPod, nobody gives a rat's ass about BMG Sony, EMI, Warner, or any other label (or movie studio, or software publishers). If the labels break their compatibility with the iPod the labels will suffer.

"But it works with Windows Media!" Sorry. Your target platform is the iPod. Now get thee to Cupertino, and be ready to pucker up, buttercup.

The Post Money Value: Sanyo vs. Jr. Achievement

The diffusion of manufacturing knowledge, the ease of electronic communication, the prevalence of reliable intercontinental transport, and a fast-and-loose approach to patents and trade secrets are opening up all kinds of opportunities for innovation and commerce. Even in consumer electronics

"Is Sony guts!"

Burners' Bummer

Burners' Bummer

It infuriates me when the RIAA gets to flog their party line, "Sales are down,file-sharing is to blame," unquestioned. Nevertheless, I could have told you how this article was going to end after a few seconds' reading: denied his legitimate desire to listen to David Matthews' latest on his iPod, a paying customer for the record industry turns to file-sharing to get what he's entitled to.

I repeat: Big Content intentionally forced a guy who was willing to part with his cash for a CD (a dying breed, in case the RIAA hasn't noticed) to do something illegal to "protect" their business. Making your customers into "criminals" is an (ultimately) ineffective business strategy, but neglecting to make your DRM content iPod-compatible is contemptibly stupid.

Terror Camps Scatter, Persist

Terror Camps Scatter, Persist

Long article, but the essence seems simple: nobody knows anything about the shape or scope of the "jihadist" movement in Pakistan. A mis-spelling here, a secret informant there, and a trip back home could mean you too could be "interviewed at length," in secret, and without a lawyer or family member present.

WSJ.com - Crackdown Puts Corporations, Executives in New Legal Peril

I'm curious as to why corporations think "separating" themselves from individual employees directly responsible for illegal activity offers any protection. Isn't this what RICO was designed for: prosecuting people who are only indirectly responsible for criminal activity?

Indian docs turn entrepreneurs in US- The Economic Times

Dissatisfied with the career potential for doctors in a managed health industry, Indian doctors are increasingly turning where other desi have gone: entrepreneurship.

FOXNews.com - Politics - Hunter: Gitmo Release Policy 'Too Liberal'

As if in direct response to the FT.com OpEd, Rep Duncan Hunter wants a tougher Gitmo.

FT.com / Comment - Why power is America’s weakness

The most thought-provoking point of this OpEd: that failure, on the part of the powerful, seldom leads to introspection, but to the conviction that success requires the redoubling of efforts. In other words, the plan was not flawed in its conception, but rather in its execution.

Former Editorial Writers Charge 'Indy Star' with 'Religious Discrimination'

I suppose an activist judge would be welcome in this case

Open source progresses into back-end integration | CNET News.com

In a few years ESB plumbing will be the province of FOSS.

Boing Boing: Copyright cops crack down on cooks over cakes

This will be bad: my <2-year-old son was once stopped dead in his tracks by the sight of an Elmo cake in a bakery display case. If daddy has to tell him that Big Content won't let him have any Elmo cake for his birthday, I pity Big Content.

Lodi Men Accused of Lying to FBI

Lodi Men Accused of Lying to FBI

Something doesn't make sense here: the son is charged with lying to federal agents, but if the lies were about his alleged terrorist training, why isn't he being charged with a terrorism-related charge, like conspiracy, material support, etc? In order for the lying charge to be true, he actually has to be a terrorist, so why not indict him as such?

Globalization: It's Not Just Wages - New York Times

Well, it's mostly wages but, yes, advantage can come in many forms (especially as labor costs rise as a result of increasing globalization). Whirlpool beat Maytag in the market for front-loading washers in the US, despite being a year late and sourcing production in expensive, distant Europe.

Questions, Bitterness and Exile for Queens Girl in Terror Case - New York Times

Being subject to the immigration laws of the United States, I can see how easy it would be to fall afoul of some picayne regulation or other. This means that innocent, well-meaning people, under investigation because of indirect and uncorroborated "evidence" and lacking the protection of citizenship, are going to suffer tremendous injustice.

WSJ.com - Jet Orders Highlight India's Potential

It was hard not to notice the number of Indian carriers announcing deals at the Paris Air Show. India is going to be a very interesting travel market as deregulation progresses.

Michael Gartenberg - Shuffling with Windows Media Player is a no-go

Perhaps the Windows Media group took the "Life is random" slogan far too seriously.

Cisco at a crossroads? | Perspectives | CNET News.com

I suspect the absorption of more and more intelligence (especially security intelligence) into the network layer represents as much of an opportunity as it does a crisis to Cisco. Crisitunity!

Your ISP as Net watchdog | CNET News.com

I'd say "well then, make sure you encrypt your traffic," but I hear that the presence of encryption is now considered acknowledgement of illegal behavior.

I'm sure investigating, prosecuting, and convicting sexual offenders is frustrating business, but surely a nationwide dragnet isn't the answer.

The New York Public Library, The Branch Libraries - eBook Software - eAudio

Good: the NYPL offers audio book downloads

Bad: it's Windows Media-based, so no Linux.

Worst: the "console" is Windows-only, so no Macs either. Brutal.

What am I missing Macrovision? - Blog Maverick

Doesn't look like he's missing anything to me.

Navy takes central command of IT assets - Computerworld

Navy discovers that they own computers, some running Linux.

Bush Is Expected to Address Specifics on Iraq

Quoth the article:

"Still, White House officials say Bush's fate is tied to events on the ground. They said Bush is pushing hard for the Iraqi government to meet this year's deadlines for writing a new constitution and finalizing a government.
Because, as everyone knows, once a constitution is written, people become magically bomb-proof

House Blocks a Provision for Patriot Act Inquiries - New York Times

Either bookstores and libraries have just become a "safe haven for terrorists" as they plan to take "hundreds of thousands of lives," or this is a Phyrric victory as one of the more meaningless elements of the USA-PATRIOT act has been blocked by the House. If I were the WH, I'd have the DOJ bitch a little more but essentially let this one lie in order to appear to have "compromised" in the interests of balancing security with freedom. Thus a particularly odious-sounding bit of Big Brotherism is no longer a viable issue, while the real powers of the police/state complex continue to expand. I'm less worried about the Feds snooping on my reading than I am about the subsequent incarceration without charge or access to a lawyer, the secret trial, and the extraordinary rendition to Uzbekistan.

WSJ.com - SAP Grabs Talent From Oracle And Other Rivals

No names, but executive rats are also fleeing sinking ships like Siebel, PeopleSoft, and BEA. I suppose they're trying to avoid the fate of eventually working from Oracle.

Xinhua - English | China to further push software industry: vice premier

This will make a catchy slogan at the next Party meeting: "China should seize the opportune time to implement the relevant policy to further develop software industry within its own capacity"

Xinhua - English | Multinationals to purchase goods of US$60 bln in China

Does it seem like everything you buy is made in China? According to this article, only 3% of the procurement spend of the world's largest retailers goes to Chinese-made products.

After IIT, IIM turns a global brand- The Times of India

The Indian Institute of Management is looking for some respect.

Technology News Article | Reuters.com | New Yahoo service searches subscription sites

Hiding your content from the big search engines is bad business, but I wonder how sites that offer Google or Yahoo! powered search will feel when a competitors' for-pay wares are offered.

asahi.com:Firm drops ads with chimp in dreadlocks - ENGLISH

I remembers seeing tubes of "Darkie" toothpaste on the shelves in Tokyo stores in 1983, complete with a blackface mascot.

asahi.com:Canon to build plant in Oita, aims to stop technology drain - ENGLISH

Canon would rather manufacture their toner and ink consumables in Japan at higher labor, land, and tax costs rather than take advantage of cost differentials overseas. They fear that their trade secrets are more vulnerable outside of Japan. In the case of China, I could see why, but surely there's someplace that offers Canon significant cost-savings over Japan while offering the company sufficient legal protection for their trade secrets.

CBC News: Tories offer budget bill passage for same-sex marriage delay

It appears the Tories (do they really get to call themselves "Tories?" They're more Reform than Conservative or Progressive) are willing to sell out their deeply-held belief in fiscal restraint for the sake of "protecting" marriage.

USATODAY.com - Spotlight skips cases of missing minorities

I must be a news snob, because I can't see why any individual kidnapping or missing person story would rise to the level of national or international importance (unless the kidnappers were making demands of a government). The obvious (to me) answer is that "straight" news likes a franchise. If the damsel in distress is found alive, great! On to the movie-of-the-week. If the helpless heroine is dead, well then we've got a shot at news' equivalent of a sequel: an investigation and a trial.

Will Apple use LaGrande to lock down OS X?

Depends on whether or not Apple's keen to get into an escalating [k]rack war with DRM hackers. But it's an interesting question: if Apple goes with a standard Intel chipset, then how will they prevent Mac OS X from running on Dell hardware? Perhaps Intel and Apple will collaborate on chipset/platform design.

BSA disgusted with critiques of their inflammatory piracy loss methodology

Add the BSA to the pyre on which the MPAA and the RIAA burn. Please.



Thanks to you too, Whit.

As Grokster Decision Nears, Hollywood Talks Tough

I grow weary of the Valentis, Rosens, and Glickmans. Their ceaseless calls for government regulation to preserve their business. Their mind-numbing repetition of shamefully twisted statistics "proving" their losses at the hands of "pirates." Their doublespeak usage of terms like "free market." Their threat to cut off your movies and music unless they get everything they want. Big Content is like a cancer on innovation. Either we cut it out, or it will kill us.

'Mactel' Desktops May Offer Triple-Threat OS

Quadrupe threat, if you consider BSD/Darwin a separate OS. My guess is that VPC becomes much more like VPC for Windows; if Apple's using stock Intel parts for the CPU, then VPC's job would be to emulate Microsoft-certified technologies in place of the Apple-specific stuff in the Mactel chipset.

U.S. Army to consolidate enterprise app servers - Computerworld

"This is my app server! There are many others like it, but this one is mine!"

DesMoinesRegister.com-Broader definition of terror criticized

When is terrorism not terrorism? When the government says it's terrorism.

China's Haier would have to top $1.13B to bid on Maytag - Jun. 15, 2005

First Lenovo, now (possibly) Haier. Either Chinese companies are coming into their own as world-beaters, or America is dumping the sick and the lame on nouveau riche arrivistes.

Study: Falling CD sales can't be blamed on P2P | CNET News.com

Add the OECD to the list of people who don't think file sharing has led to the decline in revenue for record companies. Last I checked, that would make it Entire World + Dog vs Big Content in the Great File Sharing Debate.

» Open source blooming in new field | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

I'm not surprised to see execs from traditional software companies trying out an open source strategy for their next gig. Remains to be seen whether these guys really get what open source can do for them, or if they're just trying to harness free developers into working for The Man.

AppleInsider | Talk of opening WebObjects overheard at WWDC

What would the liberal licensing of WebObjects mean, both in terms of the actual code released, and its impact on the web app development market? Hard to say, but it would make for a very sophisticated web app development environment at a very attractive price, and what enterprise doesn't want that?

Tech Firms Try to Conquer the Globe

I too am not sure of how companies make money with 3D fly-throughs or street-level maps, but I think it's clear that the wide open R&D model Google uses will change the way other companies look at their own innovation and invention. Google does things because they can. Other companies will have to do things because Google does.

Sony BMG Tries to Limit Copying of Latest CD's - New York Times

More unchallenged bullshit from a media dinosaur: "We need to cripple technology so we can 'build new business models;' the world will end without DRM." Yet, in the same breath, the record companies admit that, in an effort to forgo a flood of customer rage, their best attempts at locking up music are designed to be trivially easy to defeat.

On Board the Message Board - New York Times

Looks like the bitching and moaning at FlyerTalk gets some attention from the travel industry. The article takes a gratuitous shot at blogs, but everything they say about the influence of customer forums (forgive me, fora) and the way companies can respond, applies regardless of the publishing tool or mode.

USATODAY.com - Vote on flag desecration may be 'cliffhanger'

According to this article, there has been exactly one incident of flag "desecration" in 2005. Of course the constitution needs to be amended.

Steinberg - Product summary - Virtual Bassist

Slowly, but surely, I am being replaced by the machines...

David Schatsky - An Eight-Year-Old's View of the Internet

Proving, once again, that even a second-grader could run Sun (at least as well as McNealy does)

Two computers stolen with Motorola staff data - Computerworld

I sure hope ADP's hardware is guarded by sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads

Attack on 'diabesity' - Jun. 12, 2005

The drug's name, Acomplia, is kind of generic but, as a fan of word-splicing, I have to say that I love "diabesity."

Immigration Law as Anti-Terrorism Tool

A country built on immigration is turning to immigration fraud charges (mixed with indeterminite detention, secret charges, and snitch-based evidence) to prosecute the war on terror at home. As a guest in this country, it's a sad, scary spectacle.

Ordering Takeout Online: A Dot-Com Idea Returns for a Second Try - New York Times

Among Web 1.0's problems: overcapitalization, impatience, and lack of discipline. It seems like a good idea five years ago is still a good idea today, as long as the plan to execute is more realistic.

Morgan Stanley Chief, Battered by Opponents, Says He'll Resign - New York Times

And people think the blogosphere hounds people out of their jobs...

WSJ.com - Wonder Land

WSJ.com - Wonder Land

WSJ Opinion Editor Dan Henninger interprets the recent Raich decision thus: "Liberalism to cancer patients: Drop dead." Cute. Neglects to note that, had they the will, all it would have taken was for two conservative judges, Kennedy and Scalia, to side with the minority in their narrow interpretation of the Commerce Clause to start chipping away at Wickard, and bolster the states' defences against federal overreach.

Va. Gov. Takes Steps Towards Presidential Run

The day after the election, I tried to put together a short list of Dem candidates for 2008. Warner was at the top of the list. I'm keen to see if he has the staying power to be around in two years.

Venture Capital Rediscovers the Consumer Internet - New York Times

Someone should tell these guys that saying things like "consumer space" makes them sound like tools. Fearless prediction: within five years, all of these start-ups will be whoring an enterprise product, just like the last thousand times this cycle has played out.

Hollywood Hardball - New York Times

Microsoft manages the impossible: they offended Hollywood studio executives with their aggressive business tactics.

Schneier on Security: More MD5 Collisions

Another publicly documented MD5 collision inducement.

...The Motley Fool?

...The Motley Fool?

Apple is hooking up with Intel to take on Dell.

Who's right? Cringely or...

Who's right? Cringely or...

Intel is hooking up with Apple to crush Microsoft.

Homeland Security Struggles with 'Extraordinary' Turnover

Information flow is critical to the success of DHS, but the department's CIO position has neither the authority nor the stability to be effective.

Microsoft planning music subscription service | CNET News.com

The target may be Apple's iTunes, but the real victims will be Napster, RealNetworks, and Yahoo! Microsoft is bloody-minded enough to protract Yahoo!'s price war tactics to everyone's detriment. In the end, subscriptions have a long way to go before the supplant iTunes Music Store's supremacy.

Developers get taste of Intel-based Macs | CNET News.com

Converting applications to support Mac OS X on Intel CPUs doesn't appear to be terribly difficult, unless you're still using Metrowerks, or you've made extensive use of AltiVec.

CBC News: Top court strikes down Quebec private health-care ban

Upshot: the government can't outlaw private insurance for public services, which means people could opt to pay for quicker service (rather than wait for the free option). As long as you pay taxes to finance public health, isn't this sort of a net benefit by removing those who can afford to pay from the public system?

The Home Loans Vexing Greenspan

The Home Loans Vexing Greenspan

Not that I support the idea, but if we use tobacco lawsuits as a guide, shouldn't attorneys general everywhere be preparing their cases against "interest only" mortage sellers?

The Future of Technology and the IT 100: Technology's leading companies in 2005

Interesting global mix: among the top 10 companies are one each from Mexico, Russia, India, and Taiwan, two from Korea, and four Americans (three of whom are from California)

Sifry's Alerts: New Technorati Public Beta - Go bang on it!

Much more usable. I've always liked the service, but the interface sometimes seemed a little impenetrable

WSJ.com - Africa's Problems Move To Top of Global Agenda

Just not to the top of the Bush administration's "budget process"

» BEA reinvents itself as the 'Switzerland' of SOA | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

Why is "being Switzerland" always cast as such a good thing? The Swiss are neutral in order do retain sovreignty, the exact opposite of what a customer wants from their software vendors.

Hell freezes over; it must've been the liquid cooling: Hannibal on the Apple-to-Intel transition : Page 1

God bless Ars Technica. I don't understand half of what they say about processors, but I read every last word

Wired News: Tiger Tweaks Could Kill Folders

Kill away, I say. This comes from a guy who keeps all of his mail in his inbox, of course.

Welcome to Pushing Back! Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)

"Send Comments" about this odious, phony blog to the Federal Narcs? Right...

CBC Sports: New bid for NHL lets owners retain stake

I've said all along this isn't a market, it's just one product, and it needs one owner

» SPARC: The black-eye of open standards | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

SPARC as an object lesson of how being an "open standard" isn't enough for competitive differentiation

Helms mea culpa on AIDS, not integration - Politics - MSNBC.com

Cites Bono for turnaround on AIDS. Now if only someone would give Jesse a copy of The Unforettable Fire

A Luxury Airline Planned - New York Times

Eos will offer all business class trans-Atlantic travel

The Frill Is Gone - New York Times

Major carriers get chintzier while the budget operators offer in-flight TV

WSJ.com - Personal Technology

WSJ.com - Personal Technology

Uncle Walt reassures the Mac-using masses

WSJ.com - Computer Associates to Buy Software Maker Niku

CA adds IT management to system, network, and security management portfolio

WSJ.com - Airline Turmoil Poses Safety Issues

If aircraft maintenance was 100% of your business, wouldn't you actually be doing a better job of it?

USATODAY.com - Billionaire's plan in Seattle sets off furor

Will assorted municipal and state giveaways bring biotech boom to "Allen Town?"