Robert Fripp, a propos of why he did a soundscape for Microsoft
- Current Mood:amused
- Current Music:Lifeboat - Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Could some kind soul explain what popular idiom I'm failing to understand here?
"As exciting as the new version of Visio is, the new version of Project is also a very exciting release. I was trying to – I asked Mike backstage, c'mon, between us chickens, tell me, so to speak, is this a breadbasket or a refrigerator or is it something in between, bigger than a breadbasket, smaller than a refrigerator. Mike says this is a sub zero, this is the biggest set of innovations we've done in Project in a long, long, long time."
- Current Mood:croggled
Marc is behind Netscan - software that measures and maps social spaces like Usenet; they're planning to turn it into a community reputation tool that could work for any threaded social space. Picturing Usenet - an article from the group in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication - has lots more visualisations and identifies various online personality types: questioners, answer people, trolls, locals, cynics, conversationalists... The treemaps that they produce apply to any hierarchical information - like the classic sales territories so many people track in Excel - so the Microsoft Treemapper with Excel Add-In they've made available could be handy.
Computers have the ability to slice, dice, drill and map so much data from the information we store of them and the monolithic way so much information is presented is a real waste. After playing with the colour categories and To-Do tags in Outlook 12 and the visualisation of conditional formatting in Excel 12, I'm rather hoping that 2006 could be the year of data visualisation. Marc mentioned the ClearContext Inbox Manager as a way of getting Outlook 12-style goodness now, and I notice it works with ActiveWords which I must make time to play with (I got distracted by being able to use shortcuts in the Windows Search deskbar to get verbs - so I can type lj or flickr and a username to jump straight to someone on either service).
I'm now looking forward to the two new versions of SNARF we'll get this year and the new features planned for them... luckily for me, some of the things I thought it would be neat to see (like tagging people who matter to me irrespective of the statistics of our email exchanges) are already on the list.
*best parts of my job, the conversations
**SNARF and the Treemapper have their own pages but they're also on http://research.microsoft.com/research/d
- Current Mood:drinking from a firehose
Chat programs and talkers and local messaging go back to the 1960s. We had floppy disks in 1970 (the VCR wasn't until 1971 and the Walkman was 1979) - and the @ was chosen for addresses by Ray Tomlinson writing email software in 1971. What Plato did have - which is probably what made an impact on Ray Ozzie that we can see in Lotus Notes and Groove - was the original Notes, which started as a bug reporting system and turned into a conferencing system, along with Talkomatic, which was different because it didn't wait for a whole line of text before it sent your message, and an online community built around them. I saw another descendant - DEC Notes - in the late 1980s, so discovering Usenet felt like coming home.
What's really remarkable is how new we think all this is. The PC world's failure to learn the lessons of the mainframe and workstation world about basic concepts like multi-threading, multiple user accounts, security and communications - let alone the more sophisticated tools that were developed long before desktop computers had to earn their living - have meant that our industry repeatedly re-invents the wheel without seeming to have any idea that there was a wheel before. At least Linux reprises an OS first coded up in 1969. It might have been clunky but I was doing mobile email in 1993 with an HP OmniBook 300, a Motorola CELLect mobile phone and CiX. What other industries routinely ignore the knowledge gained in previous developments? Never mind code re-use, we don't seem to have much interest in re-using successful designs and building on them. The ground behind most development teams is streaming with bathwater and covered with babies.
- Current Mood:busy
- Current Music:Enya - La Sonodora
This year I've been finding nouned verbs more annoying. Customers don't make requests, they have a 'key ask'. And now Waitrose is at it. The instructions on the Emperor's Sticky Ribs tell me to remove the lid "for a stickier eat".
Sometimes there's a good reason to weird the language, as Calvin and Hobbes put it. Strunk and White defines flammable as "an oddity, chiefly useful in saving lives. The common word meaning 'combustible' is inflammable. But some people are thrown off by the in- and think inflammable means 'not combustible.' For this reason, trucks carrying gasoline or explosives are now marked FLAMMABLE. Unless you are operating such a truck and hence are concerned with the safety of children and illiterates, use inflammable."
- Current Mood:hungry
Is your homepage immature?
Whether it's because of business necessity or a business that doesn't know what it actually does (some businesses make more money out of a sideline than what they think of as their core business), Web sites often spew out everything about the company at the same level. Gogle's the exact opposite; hoever many new tools they launch, the one thing everyone knows they do - search - is literally at the heart of the page. Less is more...
- Current Mood:busy
Sun President Jonathan Schwartz
But acquisition isn't everything. If it's free, a lot of people will try it but open source software has always been about being free as in speech, not free as in beer; or as Microsoft has taken to putting it "free as in puppy". Businesses can't afford to pick something because the acquisition cost is low if building with it and working with it is more difficult or time consuming than something with a higher up-front cost. You have to be both free and good. And in this case, able to front up against Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, BEA and successful open source projects like JBoss. I'd be much more interested if the Java core was going open source too.
- Current Mood:busy
The stage doesn't stop at Busted Link. It's a dangerous place to go. If you can find it you may never find your way back...
- Current Mood:procrastinating
- Current Mood:preparatory
I'm not anti ID cards for any one reason, but I don't believe they solve the problems they set out to tackle and I worry a lot about the implementation of the biggest and juiciest honeypot yet when a friend who's been battling fraud caused by stolen post was told by the police that the biggest source of ID theft seems to be inside the post office. Government IT projects work when they have a clear spec and avoid feature creep; but we find out details about what the database will be used for piecemeal. The technology questions persist and the Home Office conflates all biometrics and ID threats. Too much muddle for the clarity something this complex needs.
- Current Mood: accomplished
"Speaking of search, lots of debate goes on around MS-land about which search engine is the most accurate. In an effort to put an end to the debate, I did a search for "search" on various engines to see which engine gets returned most often. Here are the results:
MSN returns Google as the first result.
Google returns AltaVista at the top
AltaVista returns MSN Search first (actually after CNET Search, but seriously.)
Incidentally, all of them, except Yahoo itself, return Yahoo at least somewhere on the first page."
I checked; modestly, Google is the third result after Altavista and Lycos, followed by My Excite... it puts Search Engine Watch on page 1 but MSN Search is on page 3. Hmmmmm
- Current Mood:packing
- Current Music:Joe Jackson - Me And You (Against The World)
Wired Magazine 7.09
Question is, has that changed in the last 6 years? Email and Web are in the mobile mix but in Britain we send over 3 million text messages an hour.
Reminded me of last July when Steve Ballmer said he wanted the world to be more like Denmark because Microsoft sells so much software there.
I'm torn; do I want to be more like New Zealand or more like Seattle?
- Current Mood:busy
"People are afraid someone will drive by their house and scan everything in it. No, if they had a scanner powerful enough to do that, your fear should be being cooked in your own home."
Or, in translation:
Waka waka bang splat tick tick hash,
Caret quote back-tick dollar dollar dash,
Bang splat equal at dollar under-score,
Percent splat waka waka tilde number four,
Ampersand bracket bracket dot dot slash,
Vertical-bar curly-bracket comma comma CRASH.
Fred Bremmer and Steve Kroese of Calvin College & Seminary
of Grand Rapids, MI
- Current Mood:rained on
Every so often I explain to people that I spent 5 years at AOL, nearly all of them doing online journalism and the question that comes up most is about the merger. I think it's a shame it didn't work, because nobody has got the fusion of old media and new media exactly right and together AOL and Time Warner had a lot of puzzle pieces. But when people say it was only the share price that went wrong, I point them at this paragraph from a Wired analysis of the mess Time Warner made of Internet strategy on its own.
- Current Mood:sneezy AND wheezy
"they're just front end end terminals to dark stars"
- Current Mood: creative
Some other memorable purchase online that respondents owned up to included two kilograms of worms, a piece of the Berlin wall, a Parrot's drinking bowl, Timmy Mallet's autograph and a Vampire killing kit.
- Current Mood:deadpan
- Current Music:Simon's phone interviews
You can add your own predictions, enjoy 25 brief, biting predictions from the 90s or search the database. Any site where the experts disagree so violently can't be all wrong.
- Current Mood:Cassandresque