Archive | March 6, 2003

Will firms balk at Microsoft’s program?

What a great question! Asked in this c|net article about the new InfoPath program, a tool for integrating Office documents. That Microsoft is considering Office as a “platform” for development is no surprise to us who have used the Developer’s Kit for the last three or four versions. However, Micrososoft has had many tried-and-failed attempts with “Office-as-a-canvas,” non-document-centric interfaces. One of these times they’ll get it right.

Yet another article on RSS and news readers

The Washington Post has this article. “…I have been testing a promising new breed of software that is helping me on the daily news hunt. Called “news readers,” these programs fetch headlines and site summaries from hundreds of Web sites I preselect and present all the information in one spot on my computer desktop.”

Everyone seems to be covering RSS and news readers. The question is whether someone will come out with the “killer app” that “crosses the chasm” or if it is just another interesting technology that fades into a niche. I’m not one to predict (I poured all my time, money and effort into Amiga), but it will be fun to see how it plays out.

Microsoft’s Semi-Helpless Helpers

Dan Gillmor at Silcon “These deliberate waffles have two effects. They deter other developers who might do such a product for the alternative platform. And that deterrence further reinforces the Windows lock-in.”

Announcing TaskPane Central

Announcing a new site: TaskPane Central. The URL is TaskPane Central is designed to encourage and facilitate the sharing of Task Panes, a wonderful and powerful addition to VFP 8.0. You can upload your own panes, and download those created by others in order to learn how to make them yourself, or to make suggestions for improvement. The site has a link to the corresponding section in OpenTech, so it’s easy to post questions or comments on any of the panes you find there. Start playing with panes as soon as you get VFP 8.0 (you are getting it, right? ) – you’ll be glad you did! Posted at FoxCentral.Net

One hundred car pileup on I-95 in Attleboro, MA

WCVB-TV is reporting there was a one-hundred-car pileup on Interstate 95 in Attleboro Massachusetts today, due to a couple inches of snow on the ground and low visibility. Fortunately, it seems like most injuries were minor.

It’s pretty hard to imagine going back to commuting each day after a year in the home office.

Oh, no, more snow!

Oh No, SNOW!.

Oh No, SNOW!

Doesn’t seem possible — yikes! Ugh! Please, say it ain’t so! We’re in the middle of a big storm again. Oh no, no more snow! From Halley’s Comment

Wasn’t Halley skiing only a few weeks ago, in twenty below weather? It’s two weeks until the astonomical end of winter, and usually a few more until New England can really claim to be in Spring. I was just talking with a fellow Contoocooker (Contoocookian?) and she was complaining that winter has been so looooong. It’s been cold, and the snow’s been a bit more than usual, but I can’t wait to see what comes next. To paraphrase Twain, if you aren’t griping about the weather, just wait a minute. Much as I gripe, too, living in someplace where the weather hardly ever changes would be pretty dull.

Me, too…

The Pathos of Blogging. In a wide-ranging interview, Vint Cerf, the serendipitously-named Father of the Internet, explains the popularity of blogging: I think this is merely an indicator that we would collectively and individually like our lives to “count” somehow and if someone finds our blogs of interest, it is confirmation that our lives and opinions are making a difference to someone. I am not that pathetic! Ok, yes I am…. [Joho the Blog]

David Pogue: How Important Is Copy Protection?

How Important Is Copy Protection? By David Pogue. From the New York Times: Technology. David’s a great wirter. I loved his Palm Pilot books and his O’Reilly “Missing Manual” series, but I don’t think he gets it when it comes to copy protection.

I think David misses the point here, when he points out the DVDs were copy protected from the beginning and no one objects. What about DeCSS? You can rip a DVD if you want or need to, perhaps not legally. However, DVD video is too huge to move around right now. Music, otoh, is something we want in our cars, on the beach, in our own mixes, playing on our PCs. I bought my albums and I want to rip them to my machine for my personal use. I haven’t had the urge to rip DVDs to my PC yet, as I can’t think of a reason to do so. However, I should have the right.

The music and movie industres still haven’t really proven that they lose sales, and I don’t think they can. Bootleg copies of some teenie-boppers’s latest music does not equate to lost sales; it is freely distributed marketing. If the recording industry stopped trying to sell such slop, maybe their sales would go back up.

I don’t have a scientific sampling, but I know from talking to the local high school and college kids that they buy the albums of the artists they like. How do they know who they like? They hear the music. On the radio. On the TV. And through shared files.

Next gen home computing is going to have terabyte data storage in the basement and the ability to play any home video, CD or DVD in any room in the house, and it is right and proper that the music and video distributors let us do this.

Copy protection is dumb, a waste of money, and it doesn’t work. I wish we’d get out of this hole we’re digging.

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