- Semantic Search: The Myth and Reality - ReadWriteWeb - Good discussion of Semantic search--what it is. And isn't.
- Google spotlights data center inner workings | Tech news blog - CNET News.com - Interesting look into some details of Google's server infrastructure.
- Microsoft loses a Zune retailer | Crave, the gadget blog - CNET - Zune really does seem to be sucking wind. OTOH, Microsoft does have a good history of sticking with things that don't succeed at first.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
- Amazon.com: The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia: David King: Books - Altering photos didn't start with Photoshop [via Dead Programmer's Cafe]
- Dartmouth Parity Email from Angus King - "I have some first hand experience with this democracy stuff and it is often cumbersome and sometimes downright annoying. But when you lose elections and keep losing, the idea is to figure out why and respond to the issues being raised, not simply change the rules so you don't have to cope with that pesky majority which disagrees with you."
- Desktop Virtualization: Prospective Winners and Losers | HaveMacWillBlog (aka Robin Bloor’s Blog) - Good rundown although I'm uncertain that desktop virtualization corrrelates to lower client revenues as seems to be the underlying assumption here.
- Inexperienced - Can I jump into D300? - Photo.net Nikon Forum - Good discussion on getting into digital. And, amen: "I used to shoot nothing but slide film where the only way to land the perfect image was to nail the exposure. " Just one of the things I love about digital. I have fond memories of darkrooms--but, at this point, don't really miss them.
- Gallery: 10 most annoying programs on the Internet | TechRepublic Photo Gallery - This is funny and I at least 75% agree.
- Megan McArdle (May 27, 2008) - Black and white and read less and less (Media) - This angle on the "unbundling" of newspapers is discussed less than others (such as investigative journalism). However, this post aligns well with my observations as well; blogs etc. are very spotty at covering local news/events.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
- James Governor’s Monkchips » On blogging, AR, Adobe Getting It, David Mendels and “Rich Internet Apps: How We Live Now” - Interesting things happening in the way applications are evolving. Existing taxonomies may not be especially interesting or enlightening--which is one of the reasons that we use taxonomies.
- Economist.com-Down on the server farm - Discussion of the siting of Internet datacenters.
- Sometimes Crowds Aren't That Wise - ReadWriteWeb - "Last year, we laid out a set of rules to get the most out of a crowd. It might be a good idea to revisit those here:"
- tecosystems » The Social Networking Implications of Social Networking Tools - I agree with pretty much everything here. At the end of the day you have to filter how much "stuff" flows by you. I have a few thoughts here I need to post on.
- Cover Story - Emily Gould - Exposed - Blog-Post Confidential - Gawker - NYTimes.com - "What I gained — and lost — by writing about my intimate life online."
- The URL Is Dead, Long Live Search - ReadWriteWeb - This is certainly true for me. "These are called "navigational" searches -- searches done when the user already knows exactly where he or she wants to end up -- and they make up a surprising large number of total sea[r]ches."
Thursday, May 22, 2008
- In the next evolution of the web public interaction will be less important « Alexander van Elsas’s Weblog on new media & technologies and their effect on social behavior - Not sure I agree, but interesting post.
- See « Lolcats ‘n’ Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger? - Good one.
- Macs account for two-thirds of sales of PCs costing $1,000 or more | Hardware 2.0 | ZDNet.com - Data shows that Macs are 66% of >$1K PCs (and 14% overall). Wow. Part of this I think is that Apple has ended up capturing a slice of the market that people once thought would go to Linux. (Although as stshank notes this is retail--which skews the data somewhat esp. wrt Dell.)
- shimenawa - On owning books - And my biggest problem with the Kindle. [via William Patry]
- The Patry Copyright Blog: First Sale Victory in Vernor - U.S. District Court in Seattle "first sale doctrine" decision goes against Autodesk. This judgment basically held that it's OK to resell used software.
- Computer Programs Decide Humans' Fates, Set Social Policy, Panelists Say | Threat Level from Wired.com - Rather thought provoking post wrt Google. As "reading" mail to display ads becomes more sophisticated when does it become something akin to understanding with all sorts of implications?
- Official Google Blog: Introduction to Google Search Quality - Got to love this line: "For something that is used so often by so many people, surprisingly little is known about ranking at Google. This is entirely our fault, and it is by design."
- The Dvorak Keyboard Controversy: Interesting Thing of the Day - "The QWERTY keyboard layout is weird and hard to learn. A competitor, the Dvorak layout, may be superior, but arguments on both sides are so full of hype and bias that it's hard to determine who to believe."
- tecosystems » When is Open Open? And When is Open Closed? - Good discussion of this topic--including in the comments.
- Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Formula One Racing World - Fascinating article.
- TuneGlue° | Relationship Explorer - A very cool looking music relationship explorer. [via VSL]
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Let me give you a case in point. I'm not naming names because this is, unfortunately, but one random example among countless and I have no interest in embarrassing any specific individuals. (With the aid of Google, you can probably figure out the guilty party but I'm not going to.)
So let's start with the subject line.
ACME Recognized for Application Acceleration InnovationSeeing that this is going to be about some sort of "recognition" or award has already started started my finger rapidly moving towards the delete key. Other leading candidates include CEO speeches, sales office openings, new Board of Directors members, random conferences, and new white papers on the company Web site.
I wanted to provide you with an update on ACME, a leading provider of solutions that accelerate dynamic web applications. Over the last week ACME has been recognized by three leading organizations for its innovations in the application acceleration space.
I don't especially care about accelerating dynamic web applications and I'm not sure what I've written or what it says in my bio that would make you think I do. But, then, it's hard to vet your list that carefully when this is doubtless going to thousands of your closest friends.
Most significantly, ACME received the Red Herring 100 Award given to the 100 most innovative private technology companies in North America by Red Herring magazine. Red Herring's annual list of top companies has traditionally identified new and innovative technologies and the companies responsible for them.
And this is the most significant? You see "magazine" isn't quite the operative word here because, well, there is no Red Herring magazine any longer. That went down last year. (In all fairness, because I am nothing if not fair, there is still an online edition but it's hardly the touchstone of high-tech journalism that it once was.)
In addition, ACME's BIT SCRAMBLER was named a finalist for the Best of TechEd 2008 IT Professional Award. The Best of Tech-Ed 2008 Awards recognize companies who offer innovative products in the industry. Winners will be selected by Window IT Pro and SQL Server magazines and announced at TechEd in June.
More magazine awards. Nothing personal, but I find most of these pretty bogus. I've even been involved in judging a few "Best of the Year" type things and I've found it all horribly arbitrary once you get away from products that have actually been hands-on comparison-tested. Oh, and I see they're just a finalist--which for all I know means they just entered themselves for the award.
Finally, the British Colombia [sic] Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) selected ACME as a finalist for the Most Promising Start-Up and Excellence in Product Innovation categories in its annual Technology Impact Awards, the premier awards program devoted to promoting and celebrating innovation and high-tech excellence in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Winners will be announced at the BCTIA's awards gala in June.
British Columbia is a very nice place. Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler--great destinations all. But with all due respect to my friends from British Columbia, now we're really starting to stretch. I'm sure the BCTIA awards gala is an affair not to be missed and all that, but--how do I put this nicely--did ACME really have to survive insurmountable odds to become, again, a finalist for this particular award?
I feel better now.
(Again. I have no desire to pile on this particular company. They're probably nice people, are kind to dogs, and may even make an interesting product. But this kind of email does not raise my estimation of them.)
[Update: And BTW. Unless our allies across the sea have invaded a certain South American country, I believe that the proper spelling for BC is "Columbia."]
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
There's a great point in this comment:
Not surprisingly, people develop strong filters for what information they're going to take in, let alone process. When you say oh it does no harm to provide people with more information, you're totally missing this. It certainly may do them harm, because, as a rule, all of our information bandwidth is presently occupied -- very few of us are standing around, in line at fast-food joints or not, wondering how we can find something to read or think about because our brain is just bored, bored, bored.
I ran into a situation just this weekend. My power went out Sunday morning. I have various outdoor cookery thingies out in the garage but that's sort of a pain. How about firing up my propane-powered stove? What could be the issue? But the manual has this scary warning about NOT operating the stovetop.
I know the electrical spark thingies won't work but I'm OK with that. And the on/off lighting indicators won't work. OK as well.
And as far as I can determine those were the only reasons the stern warning was in the manual. Which decreases respect and observance for any other warnings that have a serious basis. Of course, many of the other warnings involve admonitions about warming up your gasoline on the stovetop and the like. Not that these aren't things to guard against but the conflating of the basic common sense with the the non-obvious but important doesn't do anyone a favor.
- Oracle Confirms $285M Utah Data Center - Data Center Knowledge - Although this datacenter is for several purposes, this article highlights Oracle's On Demand business. It's logical/inevitable that large ISVs are getting into SaaS one way or another.
- How to Make Facebook Useful Again - ReadWriteWeb - "For true Facebook'ers, though, real email is for business only. Using Facebook (and MySpace) is how you talk to your friends. (The frightening implications of what this means to an I.T. department that is charged with email archiving for compliance purposes and yet doesn't block Facebook.com is a subject for another article!)" A lot of good thoughts in this post.
- 10 things you can do when Windows XP won’t boot | 10 Things | TechRepublic.com - A nice list--even if, in my experience, you spend a lot of time fiddling with this sort of thing and then you have to end up rebuilding the system from scratch anyway.
- Megan McArdle (May 19, 2008) - Nature, nurture, or what? - A lot of interesting discussion in the comments. I found myself going a lot "He's right" and, then. a minute later "No, he's right."
- Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Cloud may squeeze margins, says Microsoft exec - "In five years, 50 percent of our Exchange mailboxes will be Exchange Online," said [Microsoft SVP] Capossela, who expects a portion of Exchange Online customers to come from customers switching from International Business Machines' Lotus Domino system."
- Distractions: Why Solitaire is Still Addictive - To be honest, I find the "mindless" computer games less interesting than I did before there was so much stuff on the Web I could waste time with :-)
- The Volokh Conspiracy - Dartmouth VRWC Yadda Yadda: - Todd Zywicki, who was elected as a petition trustee, on various matters related to the current fight over Dartmouth Board of Trustees representation.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Earlier this month, I had a few days off between events in Las Vegas and San Francisco so I decided to rent a car and spend the time exploring some ghost town and semi-ghost towns in Nevada--as well as Great Basin National Park (the former Lehman Caves National Monument). My Nevada photos (99% from this trip) are in this Flickr set. (Photo on the left is from Pioche.)
- Amazon Web Services Blog: Lots of Bits - Amazon Web Services now consume more bandwidth than Amazon.com retail sites.
- Marginal Revolution: The Uncanny Valley - "It was well known that as depictions of humans became more lifelike, audiences would perceive them as more appealing -- until the realism reached a certain point, close to human but not quite, when suddenly the depictions would be perceived as repulsive. "
- ivan krstić · code culture » Sic Transit Gloria Laptopio - Not a disinterested observer but an in-depth look at what is increasingly looking like the OLPC debacle.
- Five Reasons -- Wait, Six! -- to Start Considering WiMax Today - CIO.com - Business Technology Leadership - So I guess the betting money is that wimax may actually happen one of these days.
Friday, May 16, 2008
- Smithereens: It's like your mother always said, if you play your music too loud in those earphones, you'll get killed by fallen aircraft... wait, was that it? - "Now I certainly agree that it is just common sense to make sure you can hear when you are going to be near moving vehicles, but let's be serious here, this kid was not hit by a city bus, it was a lightweight aircraft, keyword being air, where it ought to have stayed."
- Coding Horror: Where Are All the Open Source Billionaires? - This is from last year but I've been thinking about some of these issues again. WRT some of the comments, while it's certainly true that open source is not a business plan, it does effectively constrain associated business plans in some important ways.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
- Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Gilligan's web - "Despite the party-pooperism of the Deletionists, the true glory of Wikipedia continues to lie in the obscure, the arcane, and the ephemeral. Nowhere else will you find such painstakingly detailed descriptions of TV shows, video games, cartoons, obsolete software languages, Canadian train stations, and the workings of machines that exist only in science fiction. "
- Digital Image Resources on the Deep Web - ReadWriteWeb
- Watching a new word spread through the blogosphere - Duke Listens! - This is, in a sense, the dark side of online advertising. A HUGE number of people scrape content in the hope (I'd guess largely futile) of making a quick buck.
- Coast Guide Online - Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston & the North Shore provides maps and descriptions of not only the spectacular beaches found on major road maps, but smaller, little-known coastal treasures too.
- Google vs. Microsoft may not be zero sum, but... | The Open Road - The Business and Politics of Open Source by Matt Asay - CNET Blogs - "I suspect that OpenOffice wasn't disruptive enough. It's not purely a question of license cost: It's also a question of training and deployment costs." Bingo. Cloud computing deployments costs aren't zero either, but they're lower.
- Wi-Fi Networking News: EarthLink Will Shutter Philadelphia Network, Company Says - And the telcos wanted to FIGHT muni wi-fi?
- Cleaning Camera Sensors - Good overview of cleaning DSLR sensors by Jeff Greene.
- Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: HP rolls up EDS - Although Nick Carr (of all people) disagrees. "In a conference call this morning, he [Hurd] highlighted "a leaner cost structure" as one of the major benefits of the merger. "There's a tremendous leverage you get from scale," he said. With this buy, Hurd doesn't have his head in the clouds. His concerns are altogether earthly."
- HP-EDS: It’s About The Clouds, Baby! - GigaOM - This echoes some of my thoughts about the deal. Whether people buy computers or computing, HP wants a seat at the table.
- 60 Photography Links You Can’t Live Without at CameraPorn - Some I know, a few I don't care for, but some good stuff here to check out.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
- HP’s bid for EDS: Opportunity costs loom | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com - Overall, I'm probably a bit more positive (mostly because of Mark Hurd) but I basically agree with Larry's analysis.
- When Crowdsourcing Fails: Cambrian House Headed to the Deadpool - From the comments: "A key assumption for us, which proved out NOT true: given a great idea with great community support and great market test data, we would be able to find (crowdsource) a team willing to execute it OR we could execute it ourselves. We needed amazing founding teams for each of the ideas – this is where our model fell short." i.e. execution trumps ideas.
- Why Yelp Works - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog - Egoboo apparently survives as part of a viable business model given the right conditions.
- The Canon FD Documentation Project - Main Menu - Very comprehensive archive of Canon FD manuals.
- Are Americans Afraid of the Outdoors?: Scientific American - Although the data is intriguing, drawing a correlation with video games is very bad statistics.
- The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: Why Dell will not bounce back - This is really funny--with just enough truth to be really brilliant.
- Megan McArdle - "The Brijit concept is similar: take people who have time but no money, and marry them to people who have money but no time. Or rather, pay the people who have a lot of time on their hands to read stuff, and then tell the people who have money but no time what they really need to look at, and what they can safely skip."
- Tiki: Interesting Thing of the Day - "in keeping with the modern “retro is good” meme, Tiki is experiencing a renaissance. I couldn’t be happier. I missed the Tiki fad the first time around, and of all the imaginary cultures I’ve experienced, Tiki is among my favorites. "
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
- Annals of Innovation: In the Air: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker - Malcolm Gladwell on innovation and invention.
- Black Star Rising - Stock Photographers Keep Playing the Hits - "Like popular songs manufactured from a formula, stock photo "hits" aren't necessarily the photos you'd choose as the best representatives of your heart or talent -- but they sure can pull in dollars for you while you are laboring to survive in the stock photo industry."
- Fairness, idealism and other atrocities - Los Angeles Times - "Commencement advice you're unlikely to hear elsewhere." from P.J. O'Rourke [via Marginal Revolution]
- 25 WYSIWYG Editors Reviewed | Developer's Toolbox | Smashing Magazine - When it comes to coding editors, it's damn hard a get clear overview of all the benefits and functionalities different editors have offer. However, in end everybody needs one, so important know which editor is
- A How-to Guide to How-to Videos | Katherine Boehret | The Mossberg Solution | AllThingsD - "It's not always easy to learn from the information you find online, and how-to videos can be a big help -- especially when they're well-made and discoverable using sites featuring instructional clips."
- It's official: The future of Sun/MySQL is open...and closed | The Open Road - The Business and Politics of Open Source by Matt Asay - CNET Blogs - I agree with Matt. Sun has clarified--if in a somewhat offhand way--what its "hybrid" software strategy going forward is. There have been consistently uttered codewords.
- Megan McArdle (May 06, 2008) - What's wrong with chain restaurants? - I try to avoid most chain restaurants but I guess I agree with this more than not.
- Happy spamiversary! Spam reaches 30 - tech - 25 April 2008 - New Scientist Tech - A bulk advertising message sent on the precursor to the internet 30 years ago spawned a phenomenon that now accounts for 90% of all email
- Delta Rolls Out Fancy Seats for Plebeians | Popular Science - Looks interesting.
- Trendpedia (beta) - Social media monitoring, buzz tracking, brand measurement and blog trend search - I'm not sure how much stock to put in these trends tools but I've used them to backup some intuitive impressions about "buzz" levels.
- Reason Magazine - Huzza for Commerce! - "Hotels, then and now, are a material manifestation of a world that prizes free mobility and peaceful exchange."
- OGC unveils new logo to red faces - Telegraph - Very funny.
- There is No Web 3.0, There is No Web 2.0 - There is Just the Web - ReadWriteWeb - I pretty much agree, if only because "web 3.0" seems to encompass a variety of at least somewhat orthogonal things.
- Sun chum Oracle pushes database buyers to IBM | The Register - Per-core pricing and power factors are such a fricking mess. I had to deal with this sort of customized pricing for each new system generation back in the bad old days.
- Linux 2 6 25 - Linux Kernel Newbies - Summary of the changes and new features merged in the Linux Kernel during the 2.6.25 development.