Archive | November, 2003

Steve Gillmor

Steve Gillmor predicts “Look Out, Outlook: RSS Ahead in 2004” in his eWeek column:

This is a game at which Microsoft excels÷the waiting game. Clone, wait, collaborate, extend, wait, repeat, rinse, dry. But now comes RSS÷and the rules may have changed. First, the enemy is now scattered, behind rocks, in startups, open source, virtual coalitions that pop up on IM and videoconferencing, and a myriad loosely coupled evolutionary steps forward.

I’d not count Microsoft out of the game. Despite their “Windows Everywhere” and Windows Any Way tactics, they do have the advantage of being able to place their solution onto 100 million desktops and then enhance, embrace, extend and extinguish until they get it right or discredit the underlying technology.

Check out Gillmor’s predictions for future technologies. There’s some opportunities there, if he’s right.

White Papers as PDF?

I’m looking at republishing much of the white paper and slide material available at my site as PDF. Why? The format is “Portable” readable in many browsers and platforms consistently. It’s easier to print out in readable format. It doesn’t take significantly more space or bandwidth than the bloated HTML of Word or StarOffice documents. And it looks better.

I’d really be interested in feedback on whether you would find the PDF more or less convenient, accessible or useful. Hit the comments link below and share your opinion, please.

New RSS Feed: Ted Roche & Associates, LLC web site changes

RSS doesn’t have to just be about news, or blogs. It can also serve as a good source of information on what’s new on a web site. At, I’ve just started an RSS feed where I will post changes to the web site as they are made. There are a substantial number of white papers and sample code snippets on the site, but many are not well-organized or presented. I hope to punch each sample up, and as I do I’ll post it to the RSS feed.

The feed is maintained with some simple Visual FoxPro code I demonstrated at the 2003 Great Lakes Great Database Workshop, and I’ll be glad to pass it on to any Fox developer interested in doing the same to his or her site.

Scott Dierdorf: Hey, who’s the boss here? Is it me — or my computer?

Scott Dierdorf writes a great column in the Baltimore Sun this week, picked up by my local paper — haven’t found a link online yet. In it Scott bemoans the machine that takes more to maintain than it gives us back. In part, he says:

Would John Steinbeck have finished The Grapes of Wrath if he had to spend his time ferretting out the spyware from his computer? Would Ernest Hemingway have even started The Old Man and the Sea if he had been occupied with critical Windows security patches every two weeks?

Very good stuff. Check it out, if you can, and send along a link if you find one.

Friday was "Buy Nothing Day"…

Friday was “Buy Nothing Day,” but unfortunately, I didn’t stick with it this year, the first in a decade or two. At 5 AM, I could be found outside the local Best Buy with Laura, shivering in the cold. We bought a laptop that’s the graduation present for my son. What a miserable experience! An hour of standing around outside followed by a mad and completely disorganized crush into the store, and an hour-and-a-half of standing around to purchase the one item.

I hope it will be two decades before I shop again on madness day.

Balmer on Windows vs. Linux security

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, spoke recently at a panel discussion of a Gartner-sponsored conference, and was fascinating to watch. He blundered and spouted and was nearly incoherent. The one allegation he said that stuck with me was the claim that, in the first 150 days of release, one version of Windows had less security flaws than Red Hat Linux 6 during its first 150 days. It sounded fishy and artificial and contrived.

Ballmer Says Commercial Software is Better Because Someone’s Rear End is on the Line” is an article in response.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Vulnerability

A caution to those of you who might have deployed Exchange Server 2003: it appears that the Outlook Web Access interface may provide a security hole, not the first time this component has done that. It appears to be related to the disabling of Kerberos security. Here’s one article on the problem.

I saw another article while browsing last night that linked the disabling of Kerberos to the installation of Portal Server or Services on the server machine, but I neglected to bookmark the link, sorry.

Thanksgiving: Joe, Yap and Chesapeake

Brother Joe made it to Seattle on his humanitarian mission to Yap in Micronesia before being told to stand down, and then scrambling for a way back east on the busiest travel week of the year. Fortunately, he made it and got to visit for Thanksgiving yesterday. Much to give thanks for.

He also sent on this great column, “Gertrude Stein was right,” bemoaning the monotonous uniformity of America. A good read.

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