Tuesday, 13 December 2005
Friday, 25 November 2005
Thursday, 24 November 2005
That's a huge grasp for market share, if ever I saw one... it will be interesting to compare to Nintendo and Sony's offerings. Even if Sony's is comparable, I think they have a much larger portfolio of games development companies to lean on to recoup the cost.
Related to this, the first news of Xbox 360 crashes are pouring in. Seems that although Microsoft are addressing security, they're still having problems with robustness.
Wednesday, 9 November 2005
Well, I know gadget freaks are a demanding bunch, but I have started to use my Treo 650 more frequently (~conveniently) than my ipod these days, mainly because I don't have to remember to take my ipod.
Will Apple's stringent sense of proprietary technology and DRM shot it in the foot again? In 1984, they had the PC market sewn (sown, even) up but refused to share. Other companies went to the next best thing: IBM's 8086 architecture. Now, in 2005 Apple seem to have the digital media market sewn (sown, even) up. Will they allow their seeds to cross-germinate this time?
Tuesday, 1 November 2005
It was only a matter of time before someone combined the two.
Remember to click the 'Traceroute' box, and be sure you have Google Earth installed (obviously).
Now all we need is a 'dial a missile' service, and the port scans on my firewall will be no more...!
Wednesday, 26 October 2005
Tuesday, 25 October 2005
Friday, 14 October 2005
Saturday, 17 September 2005
Friday, 2 September 2005
What this industry needs, in these flagging innovation times, is a refinement cycle: a phase where these innovations are refined and hardened for broader appeal. Marketers would do well to remember the adage that "an englishman's home is his castle". People expect the hard sell at work and in the shops, but selling in the home is viewed at best as a necessary evil (TV adverts), and at worst an object of ridicule (door-to-door selling). Technology adoption, at the domestic level, is driven strictly by necessity, and is almost always by invitation only.
The upside to all this is that consumers, unlike corporates, do not tolerate multiple standards for long. So maybe it will force tech companies to behave themselves... the only 600lb gorilla in the ointment being Microsoft...!
Friday, 12 August 2005
Monday, 8 August 2005
Tuesday, 2 August 2005
Monday, 1 August 2005
The other interesting aspect is that Yahoo did this in the context of moving "more onto the mac". That would be a resounding endorsement to mac users, especially if they could get a Yahoo plug-in for iSync working and beef up their OSX version of Yahoo IM.
Monday, 11 July 2005
Friday, 8 July 2005
Thursday, 30 June 2005
It's nice to see that consultancies are actually realising that customers rule, and that they actually have to work for their money by doing more than the in-house staff. The physicians are healing themselves at last.
Wednesday, 29 June 2005
Thursday, 23 June 2005
Monday, 20 June 2005
Even the scams are maturing online, it seems...
Thursday, 16 June 2005
I can remember my first web development project using MS tools being excruciating because of the verbose way ASP interacted with ADO and SQL Server. We actually had tools to automate code writing, such was the cludginess. I remember mentioning to a Linux-fan colleague at the time that the stateless nature of the web meant that the most efficient delivery mechanism was a database and a scripting engine. He said "You mean mysql and PHP - and better yet, they're free. The whole software setup is free if you run it on Linux, too." The prospect of setting up Linux galled me at the time (it involved formatting a special floppy disk, and rather too much fiddling in vi and recompiling), but the principle of a free database-oriented, powerful web deliver mechanism amazed me. It's gratifying to see Microsoft treating it as enough of a threat to address.
Wednesday, 8 June 2005
This will really split the cult of Mac. There will be those decrying Apple's decision to go with a 'technically inferior' architecture, selling out to Wintel etc. Then there will be those who have begged all along for an Intel version of OSX. Many of the latter are either mac techies (rather than the traditional mac designer beard types), or mac wannabes who want to break out from Windows, without having to learn Linux. And the latter are who Apple should be targetting, in my view.
It's not an aesthetic or an engineering decision, its a corporate decision. It may tarnish the brand, it may cause unforeseen engineering nightmares (unmanageably large driver support list? new target for viruses? etc.), but at least it will woo the market. Rupert Goodwin sums it up best here.
Monday, 23 May 2005
Wednesday, 18 May 2005
Having worked there, albeit briefly (a year), I can confirm that it is an extraordinary company to work for. There is a very strong sense of social responsibility for such a large entity.
Monday, 16 May 2005
Friday, 13 May 2005
"Indeed, e-mail is likely to blow away a lot of the other fancy services that mobile operators are hoping to push over their third-generation wireless networks. Andrew Odlyzko, a telecoms guru, once did a survey in which he asked people to choose, hypothetically, between having either e-mail or the entire content of the world wide web: 95% chose e-mail.".
It's the essence that techies tend to overlook: that IT is about information and interaction, not technology - the 'I' comes before the 'T'. TV is not an interactive medium, it's a broadcast medium; it doesn't mix with mobility.
Wednesday, 27 April 2005
What amazes me about this article is the 'glaring oversight' that M$ have made in leaving this problem in their mail system. Storage is cheap and has been for several years now, so there is no excuse for M$ to be reticent about overcoming the capacity issue.
Again, this is the Ultimate Monopoly dictating a hidden upgrade path which users only stumble across when a) it's too late and b) they don't have the time/resource to find and implement another solution.
Monday, 25 April 2005
I've always felt a certain fear & loathing of the Murdock empire: the right-wing 'balanced viewpoints' of most of his press, the nepotism (elder son runs Fox, younger son runs Sky), and just the plethora of his portfolio - monotheic opinions voiced through many, often obscured, channels. In a profession seeking 'the truth', he seems to control an awful lot of varieties of it. All of which makes this latest speech thoroughly fascinating. Is it merely pandering to popularism, or is it a genuine rallying cry? Does it matter which, as long as it's him saying it? My brief stint in media has taught me one thing: the closer to the top you get, the more people will try to gun you down. Clearly, it's this sort of foresight that has enabled him to survive as long as he has.
Friday, 22 April 2005
Thursday, 21 April 2005
Thursday, 14 April 2005
Sure, they were clobbered by the 3G license bonanza, but then they have the gravy of SMS fees (this extra channel costs them nothing - an accidental, and lucrative bonus). It would seem that this is not enough, and that they want to continue making money for no effort (of their own). This, coupled with their silly restrictions on phone functionality (eg. no bluetooth DUN on provider-locked phones), and their insistence on hefty GPRS charges, makes me wonder whether there are serious problems in the health of that market.
Is it too competitive? Not competitive enough? The key difference between this network and the internet is that the internet is open, whereas the global mobile network is factioned - regionalised and cross-charged. Could you imagine your ISP charging you 50% of your takings for your website? Could you imagine the eBays, Amazons and Googles of this world working in that context? They messed it up once with WAP; GPRS is still hovering in the early-adopter stage, and, unless they loosen their grip, 3G and proper data services will also stall. Leaving them, at least for a while, in another consolidating market. Stop charging for air, guys, and let the consumers breathe a little more.
Thursday, 7 April 2005
Records and books traditionally cost nearly as much to reproduce as produce. It's only when we get to the digital age that reproduction is as easy as drag 'n drop. And while some have been making hay while the suns shines, others have been quietly buying up all the fields. Ultimately, I suppose, the consumer will still get their hay. But at what cost to progress? Imagination and innovation are what drew me to information technology. To threaten those is to threaten the heart of this incredibly progressive industry.
Wednesday, 30 March 2005
Monday, 28 March 2005
Thursday, 17 March 2005
Wednesday, 16 March 2005
Mobile and Open: A Manifesto... from Howard Rheingold. I read one of his early books on the internet as a communication community at university, and he's definitely a man to listen to on intuitive, compassionate aspects of the internet.
Friday, 4 March 2005
Thursday, 3 March 2005
Wednesday, 2 March 2005
I'd suggest both, with the latter often used as an excuse to cover the former. If organisations delieated more clearly between operating costs of IT and project delivery costs, the picture would be clearer, but where is the incentive for CIOs to be more open about justifying their budget? This is further confused by the inherent nature of software: is it a product or a service? The answer is in the pricing, and that's usually very flexible. Personally, I veer towards service, and that's at the core of whether open source is a viable industry model in the long term.
Thursday, 24 February 2005
Wednesday, 23 February 2005
Tuesday, 22 February 2005
Friday, 18 February 2005
Some would argue that the OS market should not really be a competitive market (linux people, mainly) because all the OS should really do is allow application software to talk to hardware. Indeed Linux, like unix, differentiates between the core OS kernel and the window (UI) system - you can get different 'windows' for linux: KDE, Gnome, or even good old xwin. Microsoft doesn't differentiate the two in Windows because it would clearly reduce dependency on Windows. I'd argue that their punishment for monopolistic practices should be exactly that: split the kernel from the GUI (rather than the favoured option of splitting the OS division from the apps division). That would expose the real value discrepancy in their product: that they value the kernel, but the majority of their customers value the GUI (and only then through familiarity).
Tuesday, 15 February 2005
Now this (Wired News) is a good Valentines day prank. Female UK police chief sends valentines cards to suspected burglars which are coated in a unique liquid which coats their hands and is virtually impossible to remove. So the next time they nick something, there's more than a fingerprint's chance of catching them. Assuming they're not wearing gloves, that is...
Monday, 14 February 2005
Thursday, 10 February 2005
Why do we tolerate this? How long must we tolerate this for?
Surely the strongest argument for open source is that it is ethically more balanced with the standard EULA offered by most 'professional' software. Currently, when you buy most software, you indemnify the vendor from just about any fault with their software. And if you want fault resolution, you pay extra for it. If they won't take responsibility for their software, why should they be entitled ownership? In open source, the positions are clear and more even-handed: no ownership, no responsibility - just pay for the service.
Monday, 7 February 2005
Also, the cell chip, mentioned in the article, is due for launch today. Touted for the PS3, it is supposed to be supercomputer fast (16 teraflops in a blade is one quote I've read). Wonder if it will fit into a Powerbook...?
The second part is harder because there is another key to open-source sharing: the cost of distribution, which is negligible. Clearly, for physical goods there will always be a non-trivial cost component. However, there are still plenty of semi-virtual goods out there that could work, including radio frequencies, computer processing and bandwidth (eg. SETI).
Key quote in all of this: “Social sharing [represents] a third mode of organising economic production, alongside markets and the state.”
UPDATE: just saw this (ZDNet) containing an analyst's response to Bill Gates' complete misunderstanding of open source. He cites another interesting reason for not having interoperability problems: less incentive to fork.
Friday, 4 February 2005
Another fine example of this is Bram Cohen's BitTorrent, which is nicely covered in an article here.
Friday, 21 January 2005
Computer game evolution has leapt in recent years, with the advent of multiplayer online gaming. This has not only brought a much-needed social aspect to computer gaming, but it has made games less predictable, more open-ended... more like life. If the US army can use these things for training, even offering cut-down versions for free on the Internet, then why can't we leverage this stuff better for kids?
Games will never substitute books - that's absurd, like saying TV or radio would. But what they can offer is a degree of immersion and interaction far beyond previous media; a chance to ignite those young imaginations while retaining the informational input, and even testing their skills and knowledge.
Wednesday, 19 January 2005
Tuesday, 18 January 2005
Friday, 14 January 2005
Wednesday, 12 January 2005
Makes you wonder what the USSS are missing... I mean, imagine if some Sith lord type got hold of this talent and mentored them...
Tuesday, 11 January 2005
Software is, and always will be, a service. That's why it's soft. The sooner companies wise up to that, the sooner the industry will deliver what its customers demand, and should expect.
Monday, 10 January 2005
...because of digital technology, you think your rights are worthless. They aren't. You need to monetize them in two ways: by ensuring that there's a revenue stream for things you can't count, and finding new bottles that you can count.
Nicely put. Now, if he could just do the same for my other bugbear: battery life (Economist.com), then I'd be willing to hail him as a guru. Notable stat from this article: ...the amount of energy that a battery can store (its energy density) is growing by 8% a year. Mobile-device power consumption, meanwhile, is growing at more than three times this rate. That, and the hilarious prospect of America's "Future Force Warriors" lugging 15kg of batteries around with them. Wonder if they've factored in the multi-adaptors and docking cradles into that figure??
Wednesday, 5 January 2005
On a more emotive note, Will Eisner, the reknowned god of comics and creator of the first comic dubbed a 'graphic novel' died yesterday aged 87. His main legacy, other than his amazingly timeless works, is in the form of the annual Eisner Awards - the comic book equivalent of the Oscars. If you're a comics skeptic, who tends to view the medium as little more than Garfield or Peanuts, I suggest you investigate the inspiration for at least a quarter of all the major studio movies in the last couple of years. For the rest of you, there's an excellent set of tributes on Neil Gaiman's blog here
Finally, and on a lighter note, here's an interesting quirk... go to href="http://www.mammals.org">www.mammals.org and see where you end up. Weird, eh?