I'm not at all sure that I buy Jonathan Schwartz' reasoning on their stock ticker change - instead of SUNW, they are now JAVA. Hmm.
The question is, why? Sure, Java is well known, but in name terms, SUNW is a well known brand. Java is also pushed by other companies (IBM), so I'd make the case that doing this actually dilutes Sun's brand more than anything else. Then there's the monetary cost - re-branding exercises are not cheap. I was along for the PPS to PPD to OBJS ride, and we spent a lot of time telling people things like "Remember PPD? That's really us".
Here's his explanation:
So what's that awareness worth? Ask the question a different way - if we wanted to buy that exposure, to touch tens if not hundreds of millions of consumers every single day of the year, across nearly every continent, industry, geography and demographic - what would it cost us? (If you're in the industry, just do the CPM calculus - the Java launch experience is one of the most pervasively viewed exposures on earth.)
Here's the thing though - I'm sure my phone uses Java. Does it advertise that fact? Of course not - Verizon doesn't care whether they use Java or Fortran, and the only brand they want in front of me is theirs. When I launch the phone browser I see no Java "launch awareness" - what I see is Verizon. The same thing goes for every other Java app I run across, because I rarely see anything telling me that it's Java. Back in the late 90's - yeah, apps announced that fact. Now? Not so much.
I think Schwartz and his merry band of marketers need to get out more.
Looks like the iPhone has finally been unlocked - and from the way the story looks, Apple was kind of ready for this to happen. The only surprise? That it took so long.
It's been a long week around here - one family event after another. Meanwhile, BottomFeeder downloads slacked off to 105/day. The details:
Lets see about HTML usage:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
That looks like an average distro, and the total traffic was average as well. On to Syndication:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Net News Wire||6.3%|
|Google Feed Fetcher||5.9%|
There's still a tone of tool diversity there
Andres Valloud expresses astonishment at what passes for college level coursework these days. To be fair, the grade school level math he noticed was not coursework, but review - for the high school level math that was coursework.
A few years back, this might have surprised me, but my uncle has been teaching that level of remedial math at a university near him since retiring as a high school teacher. Some of the stories he tells about the students he gets are amazing, in the "how did they get to college" sense of amazing.
The problem seems to be an excess of compassion that is not linked to common sense. It is no favor to pass a kid through school when they continually fail basic subjects, and it continues to be no favor to them to send them to a college where they are certain to fail. Without basic standards being enforced, all this compassion yields is tragedy. Better to fail kids early, when there's a chance they'll learn something from it, than to feed a sense of entitlement.
Technorati Tags: schools
Next, to dispel a few myths. Slashdot is written in Perl, seems to handle the load, and also seems to stay up. While there are a number of BitTorrent implementations, the original and (to the best of my knowledge) the most pervasive version is written in Python. Yahoo is a mix, but a good portion of it is written in PHP, with critical functions written in C. Twitter is written in Ruby, had early scalability issues, but seems to be past them. These are all examples of massively scalable applications.
So, while Joe Gregorio sees a future for databases without joins or transactions, I see a future in lightweight threads without locks or semaphores.
I think I've been saying that about Smalltalk and scaling for quite some time now.
Lukas Renggli notes that ESUG has begun. I wish I was there this year, but we had a rash of "too many things at once" around here :)
This week, we talked about object databases and relational databases, and how working with them differs. Along the way we touched on various other aspects of database technology
If you have feedback, please send it to email@example.com - or head on over to iTunes and leave a review, or over to Podcast Alley and cast a vote. You can also join the Facebook Group "Industry Misinterpretations", and leave your comments on the wall there.
Unfortunately, Mark Cuban's vision of distributing high definition video over the Internet has two problems. The first is the fact that it is that distributing high quality video of the Web is too expensive and the bandwidth of the average Web user is insufficient to make the user experience pleasant. The second is that people on the Web have already spoken and content trumps media quality any day of the week. Remember when pundits used to claim that consumers wouldn't choose lossy, compressed audio on the Web over lossless music formats? I guess no one brings that up anymore given the success of the MP3 format and the iPod. Mark Cuban is repeating the same mistake with his HDNet misadventure. User generated, poor quality video on sites like YouTube and larger library of content on sites like Netflix: Instant Viewing is going to trump the limited line up on services like HDNet regardless of how much higher definition the video quality gets.
Dare is right in his summation, where he compares Cuban to a newspaper owner - he's raging at the future while he holds an increasingly irrelevant piece of the past. The broadcast model assumes a limited number of channels, which in turn makes it hard for anyone other than professionals to get on the air. The net simply isn't like that.
It's hard to get regular op/ed space in a newspaper - there are a limited number of slots, and the well known writers get first dibs on them. It's childs play to toss up blog though, and your words can become as prominent as those of any pundit. The same thing is happening with audio and video. This hardly means that professional quality content will wither away; it does mean that it suddenly has a lot more competition.
Technorati Tags: media
On today's Smalltalk Daily, we take a look at class SharedQueue, and how you use it to pass objects between two Smalltalk Processes. Here's the script I used in the screencast:
queue := SharedQueue new. one := [[true] whileTrue: [| nextItem | nextItem := queue next. Transcript show: '--- (one) Received: ', nextItem printString; cr]]. one forkAt: Processor userBackgroundPriority. two := [1 to: 10 do: [:index | Transcript show: '(two) Sending: ', index printString; cr. queue nextPut: index. (Delay forMilliseconds: 500) wait]]. two fork.
Think of it this way. Facebook is an intranet for you and your friends that just happens to be accessible without a VPN. If you're not a Facebook user, you can't do anything with the site...nearly everything published by their users is private.
I can definitely see this happening in Facebook groups that get (and stay) active - the only potential problem I see getting in the way is spammers joining groups and defacing the Walls in them - and I suspect that Facbook will respond to that. In any event, if this stays big, Google has a problem - as dare sums up:
The way you get disrupted is by focusing on competitors who are just like you instead of actually watching the marketplace. I wonder how Google will react when they eventually realize how deep this problem runs?
And there's the challenge for Google - not from someone else getting search better, but from someone bypassing the entire problem. If you trust your network to get you a large enough percentage of the answers you need, then the value of Google ads will drop accordingly. That's a big if, of course...
Technorati Tags: facebook
I guess Sony wasn't happy getting scads of bad publicity from their Rootkit CD adventure - they've expanded the rootkit game to one of their USB stick products. From f-secure:
We received a report that our F-Secure DeepGuard HIPS system was warning about a USB stick software driver. The USB stick in question has a built-in fingerprint reader. The case seemed unusual so we ordered a couple of USB sticks with fingerprint authentication. We installed the software on a test machine and were quite surprised to see that after installation our F-Secure BlackLight rootkit detector was reporting hidden files on the system.
This USB stick with rootkit-like behavior is closely related to the Sony BMG case. First of all, it is another case where rootkit-like cloaking is ill advisedly used in commercial software. Also, the USB sticks we ordered are products of the same company -- Sony Corporation.
This isn't ordinary stupidity at work here - after the previous incident, this is deep, deep stupidity.
There was a huge blog storm over the last few days - Robert Scoble did a video and post on Facebook/Mahalo (et.al.) being a better long term answer than Google, and the flood gates just opened. Jason Calacanis has a short summary of links here;
I talked about this briefly yesterday, but this morning I was reading Danny Sullivan's tirade against Robert (and a tirade it was; he made some good points, but needed to sit on his post another couple of hours to cool down). In all of that, this popped out at me, as I've had the same thought:
Mahalo comes up next and how by using a small number of human editors, it can be harder to spam. Sure. So's the Yahoo Directory. You remember the Yahoo Directory, right? It used, um, a small number of human editors to categorize the web. Advances in crawler-based search engines meant you could get really good relevancy and be spam resistant, which caused the Yahoo Directory to effectively be abandoned by Yahoo. Mahalo's approach to custom-tailor the most popular searches is interesting -- but despite heaps and heaps of publicity the new service has had showered upon it, it still hasn't gained any real traction among searchers. Mahalo Launches With Human-Crafted Search Results from me in May describes the service in more depth.
That was pretty much my thought about Mahalo when it launched - this has been tried before, by an outfit with a lot more resources - and abandoned. I could be wrong though - the real answer will make itself known soon enough - either people will start using Mahalo or they won't. Thus far, I haven't been motivated to do so - Google is still the default for me in Firefox's search box in the upper right corner. That has more to do with inertia than with any positive choice on my part, but inertia may well be the determining factor here.
Technorati Tags: seo
I haven't posted much on this, but I have to figure that AT&T is royally torqued by the unlocking of the iPhone - there goes their 5 year exclusive, burnt to ashes in about a month. Business Week sums up:
Apple (AAPL) and AT&T (T), the sole authorized supplier of the iPhone in the U.S., are doing what they can to make sure that legal clearance never comes. The two companies have put their lawyers on the case, applying pressure on hackers involved in unlocking iPhones to try to get them to stop. Much is at stake. AT&T has been hoping that as the exclusive provider of the iPhone, it will see a surge in new customers and monthly service charges of at least $60 from each one. Apple is supposed to get a cut of the revenues. If iPhones are unlocked, they can be used on the wireless networks of rivals like T-Mobile USA - and AT&T gets zippo. AT&T wouldn't comment for this story, while Apple didn't return a request for comment.
They might as well tilt against windmills. This is like the RIAA and MPAA using DRM - it mostly upsets paying customers, does nothing to stop piracy, and - most importantly - cannot be blocked. Apple and AT&T can get as many legal rulings as they want, and software hacks will be available on servers beyond the reach of the US legal system anyway.
It took something as interesting as the iPhone to make unlocked phones interesting in the US - I don't think that genie is about to go back into the bottle. You know what AT&T's best recourse would be at this point? Offer better service than the competition. Give people a reason to stay, rather than trying to barricade them in.
Of course, given their corporate history, I won't hold my breath for that to happen.
Update: CNet makes a point I had thought of, and agree with completely:
Unlocking a cell phone is neither illegal nor in any direct violation of laws. Apple can't stop anyone from unlocking a cell phone, and to be honest, I don't think it really cares. Apple is playing this recent iPhone unlocking news perfectly. If it overreacted and stopped the hack, it could stymie its future revenue gains, but if it endorses such a maneuver, it effectively leaves AT&T out to dry. Isn't it ironic that AT&T lawyers went knocking on the doors of the hackers while Apple lawyers sipped tea at home?
Yeah, I think that demonstrates the depths of Apple's concern nicely.
Technorati Tags: iPhone
In short, they want to protect science by locking it up under copyright. They want to restrict access to publicly-funded research results by requiring that everyone pay a fee to see it. There are plenty of reasons why PRISM's logic falls apart (see here for a thorough bashing), but I wanted to point out just one: they're hypocritical. While their entire web site advocates strict enforcement of copyright laws, the images they've used on their front page are a violation of copyright law.
Have we reached the "farce" stage of copyright battles yet?
As recently as 8 days ago, there was a race in the AL East - then thE Yankees decided to do an instant replay of April and May. At this point, they would have to sweep the Sox, and have the Sox collapse to win the AL East. At least the wild card is still in play - but not if games like last night's 16-0 drubbing keep happening...
Scoble has a video conversation with Plaxo up (why isn't this available as audio only?) - it's about some tools that Plaxo will be releasing today:
Plaxo, sometime in the next few hours will ship an online identity consolidator (that’s what they call it) based on microformats. What does that do? Lets you keep track of your identity from a group of online social networks.
They say that they'll allow aggregation between things like Twitter, Jaiku (and a bunch of other things). Sounds like they are scraping data that is available from these tools via RSS and other microformats (like the XML format Twitter uses, I guess). The question: how many terms of service agreements does this violate? I understand that this solves a problem that needs solving, but that may not be enough.
Technorati Tags: social media
InfoWorld misses the point about Apple: they aren't targeting Enterprise shops:
From a business buyer's perspective, however, I've got to give it a C-. It passes, but with limited third-party software support and a company that seems to care so little for me as a customer, I simply wouldn't feel comfortable making those kinds of purchases.
That rating probably leases Apple, because it's not who they are after. The answer slides by earlier in the column, when InfoWorld notes that Apple devotes a lot of resource to iTunes. Exactly - they are aiming at the consumer/prosumer market, not the stolid business user market. The guy looking to save a few pennies off his purchase of 500 boxes isn't who they're after.
Technorati Tags: enterprise
This should be interesting to watch: the Macintosh is leaving the niche and becoming much more mainstream:
On the desktop, part of the slip may stem from the fact that Apple is grabbing customers from other computer makers. Mac sales alone have grown at three times the rate of the overall computer industry this year, with the one-time niche computer retailer now selling one out of 20 personal computers in the U.S. "Some of those switchers are coming over, and it's like learning a new language to a certain extent," says Jim Gillespie of the Napa Macintosh Users Group.
The fact that Parallels let's you run Windows seamlessly helps a lot - the switchover cost is now pretty light - and you get a much nicer machine (unless games are what you're after - but even there, you can use Bootcamp). MS was already having size problems, and now they face some real competition - whether you like Apple or not, that's a good thing.
Technorati Tags: Apple
The Yankees are driving me nuts. They crawled within 4 games of Boston, and then squandered two weeks, falling 8 back. Now, they've just taken the first 2 games of a 3 game set with Boston - and they are tied for the wild card. Had they been able to stay within 4, we'd have a live pennant race. On the other hand, if they can win tomorrow, it's only 5 games with a month left. Nail biting time...
If you read the site through a browser, you'll notice that I've cleaned up the navigation on the link bar (probably on the left, but it could be on the right, depending on the style sheet in use). The idea was to make it simpler and more organized; with luck, I've managed to do that :)
The Yankees have swept the Sox, and set themselves up for a shot at the division and the wild card. 5 games back is still a ways at this point, but it's possible - a sweep in the other direction would have been lights out.
Here's what really encourages me - weird stuff happened to the Red Sox:
Boston manager Terry Francona, already miffed at the commissioner's office for sending a security official into his dugout a night earlier to check whether he was wearing his uniform shirt, got hot again, and this time it had nothing to do with the style police.
Francona was ejected in the seventh inning after umpires reversed a call and ruled Kevin Youkilis out for running out of the basepaths to elude a tag by third baseman Alex Rodriguez on J.D. Drew's sharp grounder. Boston trailed 2-0 at the time, and the decision gave the Yankees a key double play. The Red Sox never recovered.
Heh. I love it when stuff like that happens to the Red Sox :)
Engadget imagines the way negotiations (now broken down) between Apple and NBC went over iTunes :)
With iTunes and the iPod sucb huge presences, I'm not sure how much leverage NBC actually has here...
Update: Chris Petrilli explains things for the slower Universal execs:
So what I’m saying to you, and Universal is this: you’ve removed the “no hassle” legal way to acquire your content and will likely make the legal option substantially more difficult than me driving to a friends house to watch it. You sure that’s what you wanted?
With only one month to go, I hope the 3 game sweep of the Sox indicates the direction things are headed. The AL East is still a longshot:
But things are looking up in the wild card standings:
If the Yankees can keep it close, the 3 games in Boston in mid September will be interesting...
|We are pleased to announce that ObjectStudio 8 has been released - if you are a Cincom Smalltalk customer, you can expect the installation media sometime in the next few weeks. Our first customer of the new release has already taken electronic delivery, and has been working closely with us on the development - they are in the process of deploying an application on ObjectStudio 8 this month. I am not exaggerating when I say that we could not have done this without them - they have been very helpful and very patient!|
So what's new? Well, this white paper (PDF) explains a lot of what ObjectStudio 8 is about. What we've done is port ObjectStudio Smalltalk into a VisualWorks namespace, so that it can run on the VisualWorks VM. This has given ObjectStudio better performance, and has also opened up doors for all of our customers:
- ObjectStudio 8 developers now have direct access to all the VW libraries that have been built up over the last few years - such as Web Services, Security, Web Toolkit.
- VisualWorks developers now have access to a native UI toolset on the Windows platform
- ObjectStudio and VisualWorks developers have a unified set of tools to work from (browser, debugger), enabling cross-product learning to happen much faster
You can head over to the ObjectStudio blog to find out what the ObjectStudio team is up to. Enjoy the release, and feel free to send any comments my way. We will be updating the non-commercial download area to include OS 8 soon.
This is bizarre:
- Guy makes "Star Wars" spoof video, puts it online
- Viacom shows the video on the air, as part of a "best of the web" kind of thing"
- Guy thinks "hey, that's cool", and posts some of the Viacom bit on YouTube
- Viacom issues a takedown notice to YouTube
Now, I'm not a lawyer, but maybe one of Viacom's smart guys could explain the steps between 1 and 2 above that make it all ok?
Technorati Tags: stupidity
We came home to some excitement - there were fire trucks on our street, lined up all the way down to a street 2 down from us:
It turned out that a house two streets over (maybe a quarter mile from here) caught fire. The family living there have a handicapped child, so they were putting in a large addition with an elevator - the speculation is that there was some kind of electrical fault due to that. The good news? Apparently, they aren't living there during the renovation. Which was fortunate, as the fire destroyed a lot. I'll see if I can get photos tomorrow during the day - it's hard to see much in these:
That's smoke rising from the top, and at the very top, siding peeled away by the flames. It's not obvious in the first pic above, but the rook has multiple holes. While I was watching, they were punching out windows - I asked, and that was to ventilate the house - lots and lots of smoke. It's a good thing nothing else was hapening in Howard County this evening - we must have had 20 trucks and at least 50 firemen here. Below is a better view of the side of the house, after the firemen set up some lights:
Technorati Tags: fire