Mac OS X More Vulnerable than Windows

Bring on the haters. It has been proven that Windows is significantly less vulnerable than Mac OS X. With 234 highly critical flaws in OS X in comparison to 23 for Windows XP + Windows Vista in 2007 (yes the sum total of both Windows OS's) it can now be made fact that at this point OS X is 10x more vulnerable than Windows.

Everyone knew when Apple went mainstream that this was going to become a significant issue, but what's interesting is the magnitude.

Apple software is perceived to be flawless and virus free. Amazing they have these perceptions given the Apple Hack a Day and iPhone flaws that were found almost immediately following the release of security patches.

Is it time for someone to sue Apple over their security advertisements?

Read more about the ZD Net study here:

Hack A Day:

iPhone Fixes:

Over And Out


Google Chart API

This is actually pretty neat. A little known Google Service called Google Chart API went live today to the entire world.

Charts may be embedded in any web application by merely updating the src attribute within an image tag (or using an HttpWebRequest to do something funky with it).

Here are some examples:

Yellow line chart with x-axis labelled with March, April, May, June, and July and y-axis with 50Kb

Yellow line chart: easy to read as data points are spread out well along the x-axis

Line chart with unevenly spaced data points and lines in red, green and dashed blue

Check out the various charts that can be made using this nifty service here.

As an Enterprise Developer, my next question becomes, will my IT department block this service. Unfortunately, because I can't download and install the chart builder component on my server, I'd probably never use it in any big Enterprise.

Over And Out


Californication and Enterprise Blogging

Henry Rollins: What's your latest obsession?

Hank: Just the fact that people seem to be getting dumber and dumber. You know, I mean we have all this amazing technology and yet computers have turned into basically four figure wank machines. The internet was supposed to set us free, democratize us, but all it's really given us is Howard Dean's aborted candidacy and 24 hour a day access to kiddie porn. People...they don't write anymore - they blog. Instead of talking, they text, no punctuation, no grammar: LOL this and LMFAO that. You know, it just seems to me it's just a bunch of stupid people pseudo-communicating with a bunch of other stupid people at a proto-language that resembles more what cavemen used to speak than the King's English.

Henry Rollins: Yet you're part of the problem, I mean you're out there blogging with the best of them.

Hank: Hence my self-loathing.
- Californication - Season 1 - Episode LOL

Is this really the state of the internet? Is it just a big mess of spaghetti that contributes to the degradation of society as a whole.

Does the power of computers drive the commonality of idiocy. Can we for once consider Nerds as being dumber than the average joe?

I mean, other than eBay, which Internet company has always been on top. Possibly Skype (oops eBay), Yahoo is questionable at best, Google is there now, but wasn't around back in the day, what Internet company will be here tomorrow? And what do these huge corporations really contribute to my life other than killing time (their ads fund the videos i watch)?

It appears more and more everyday that the internet is merely becoming a big private channel. You have a channel to buy stuff, you have a channel to sell stuff, you have a channel to participate in another channel, you have a news channel and all of this useful stuff comes from huge private or public corporations all over the world.

So where does Tim Berners-Lee vision in creating the World Wide Web as one big publishing platform fit in anymore? Oh right sorry, that's blogging.

I'm patiently waiting Web 2.0 trends to transcend the non-sensical, non-monetizable, fun time killer space, to the Enterprise. I really do have to say, I think there is value specifically in Enterprise blogging. Especially Enterprise blogging and anonymous comments. And by that I mean, employee blogs, sitting right there on the Intranet as your default work homepage. Try to keep your corporate ladders vertical while you think about that one.

And by the way, if you're a guy, pick up Californication Season 1. You will not regret it!

Over and Out


Enterprise 2.0

Instead of building one system that tries to do everything, build a system that is capable of integrating with everything. From an IT perspective, Enterprise 2.0 is about gaining network effects from various systems, rather than choosing one limited strategy that is supposed to be all things to all people.
- Sharepoint 2007 - http://innovationcreators.com/wp/?p=271

Do you agree?

Over and Out


Script To Create Fixed Width Export Stub File

I'm building an export routine in SSIS and I was forced to create a template text file for the Flat File Destination. I'm sure there are more creative was of doing this, but I decided to go quick and dirty and opened my VBA editor and pounded out the following script. It will setup a fixed width (with row delimiter) column based stub for you to export to.

If you need to change the column widths' than do so by modifying the Array's.

Option Explicit

Sub MakeExportStub()
Dim intCnt As Integer ' create an iterator
Dim intInnerCnt As Integer
Dim intInsertChars As Integer
Dim strPrintLine As String
Dim strEndColWidth As String
Dim OutputFile ' create a long int to hold file pointer
Dim strFilePath As String ' create variable to hold file path info
Dim ROOT_PATH As String
Dim strTableName As String
Dim strColumnNames As Variant
Dim intColumnWidths As Variant

strColumnNames = Array("MASTERID", "FIRSTNAME", _
intColumnWidths = Array(255, 200, 200, 255, 255, 255, 255, 20)

strTableName = "ExportStub"
strFilePath = ROOT_PATH & strTableName & ".txt" ' assign file path
OutputFile = FreeFile ' get the long for a free file

If Dir(strFilePath, vbNormal) <> "" Then Kill (strFilePath) ' if the filepath exists then kill the existing file
Open strFilePath For Output As #OutputFile ' open the output file

For intCnt = 0 To UBound(strColumnNames)
intInsertChars = CInt(intColumnWidths(intCnt)) - Len(CStr(strColumnNames(intCnt)))
For intInnerCnt = 0 To intInsertChars
strEndColWidth = strEndColWidth & " "
Next intInnerCnt
strPrintLine = strPrintLine & CStr(strColumnNames(intCnt)) & strEndColWidth
strEndColWidth = ""
Next intCnt

Print #OutputFile, strPrintLine & vbCrLf

End Sub

Over and Out


Goodbye Joost => Hello Miro

If you don't have the Miro IPTV application you are missing out. I use to think Joost was pretty cool, but I haven't even started it up since downloading Miro.

There are so many super sweet features that I can't even begin to list them.

I can make this hockey fight search into a channel. I can even search YouTube, DailyMotion, Google Video etc. all from within the player, and them have Miro automatically download the video content to my hard disk for viewing on or offline!

For example, Global TV streams several TV shows off their website using these Video RSS feeds:

Who's smarter than a Canadian Fifth Grader
Saturday Night Live

I can add all these Video RSS feeds to Miro and then set Miro up to automatically download new videos.

Further, When I get home at night I have my own customized one hour news video feed mashup from sources all over the world: BBC, Global, MSNBC, CBC, TSN, ESPN, Auzzie Sailing and my nerdy tech shows!

I will be writing more on this nifty application but right now I have to get back to work.

You can download Miro here. Do it or miss out.

Over And Out


Microsoft and Silverlight @ ZuneOriginals.net

OK Microsoft,

When you release a new technology and you promote it as an alternative to Flash please at least make a little attempt to actually use the technology in one of your production web sites. I can't say much of your continued use of Flash in your production web applications. It's frustrating and it's degrading to your developer base. Do you actually think that any developers will jump on board with the technology when you yourselves don't even use it?

If anyone has any insight in to why the https://zuneoriginals.net site is written in Flash please let me know. I would have thought this project was a great candidate to show off what the Silverlight technology can do with a little Zune 2 demo with HD quality streaming video etc. I guess someone at Microsoft wasn't so keen.

Is Silverlight a pipe dream? Will Microsoft even use it in their production implementations? Or is Flash just that much better? You tell me! Would you ever use it?

Over and Out



OK Internet Morons. If one of my friends ever sends this email to me again I think I may seriously lose it. Bill Gates IS NOT PAYING MONEY TO SPAM PEOPLE!!! Bill Gates is a very generous man, but sweet baby J.C., come on people.

I don't know what is worse, the fact that some people are so stupid they actually think Microsoft will pay them out, or that some people are so desperate for cash that they become so stupid. Regardless, it's amazing how money talks - or should I say, how people will do the dumbest things for money.

I enjoy debunking these ridiculous forwared'd emails. I enjoy it when smart people make themselves look so dumb when the prospect of making a couple bucks comes along. I could make a slanderous claim here but I won't.

So for all of those idiot friends of mine, who have just made me aware to either their pitiful financial situation, or to their complete and utter idiocy; Here is your sign:

I'm Stupid

Print it out, hang it on your neck, and next time I come across you in a bar I won't offer to buy you a drink, nor will I pry your brain for a shred of original insight. Further, don't forward me junk, and don't forward junk at all. I guarantee you some other moron will just forward it to me and I will see your email in the forwared'd spam mail harvesting list and harass you for it. But the same person to my knowledge sent this out more than once after I busted her for it (but didn't copy me the second time - dah, I got the next forward). What an idiot!

"This isn't real, it wasn't written up in USA Today (other than in articles about Internet hoaxes), Microsoft and AOL aren't running a tracked "e-mail beta test" with Bill Gates paying people for participating, and Intel and AOL aren't merging. The bottom line is that no matter which incarnation of this silliness one receives, the principle is the same: there's still no free lunch, and big companies aren't going to hand out fabulous vacations, $1000 bills, free trendy clothes, new computers, cases of candies, wads of cash, or new cars just because someone with a functioning Internet connection does them the favor of forwarding an e-mail. Though at first blush, participating in such pie-in-the-sky wishfulness appears perfectly harmless, such participation only serves to clog up already overtaxed resources. Oh yes, it does one other thing: it gives the idjits who cooked up these frauds a great big laugh at your expense."

I just don't understand how such a simple Google search couldn't inform these people to this hoax. It has been going on for 10 years!!!

"Opps I just forwarded this e-mail to about 12 people and I've been waiting for my check to come in the mail. The person that e-mailed me said please read cause it was on Good Morning America. I figured if it had been on Good Morning America it must be true. I didn't know thanks for telling me." - here's your sign Stupid
"No offence, but you can't seriously tell me that you think Bill Gates wold pay for spamming."
"Here's a good hint - if it seems to good to be true, it normally is."
''There's a sucker born every minute."
"Jeez, people's stupidity is only matched by their greed."
"I've been dying for years to write one of these things just to get off on knowing that idiots everywhere were passing it on." - here's your sign Stupid
"I don't think most of us know enough people stupid enough to fall for it to make it worthwhile." - I didn't either, but then again, I've got this email so many times I don't even need to read the body any more.
"It is fascinating, isn't it? I've wondered myself, what is that little tic in the brains of people who have this need to get you to pass on chain e-mails? It bugs the heck out of me. I'm not talking about the scams that involve money (which are naturally offensive because they actually cause harm), I'm talking about e-mails like the one Alison mentions here, where they simply want to see you pass it on. Do the people sending the e-mails out need validation in their lives so badly? Does it ease some insecurity if they can get you to do what they say? It reminds me of a child pointing behind you to make your turn around and then singing "Made you look! Made you look!""
Over And Out

Powerset - Powerlabs free Invites Here

If you want an invite to the Powerset Powerlabs beta please leave your email in some sort of obvious encryption below and I will send you an invite.

Also, be warned, sailing in Hurricanes is a ton of work!

Over And Out


Web Based Regular Expression Test Page

Sup! Regular Expressions suck if you're building them yourself but they are too powerful to resist for too many applications.

If you need to recursively test your regular expressions against possible matches, try this JavaScript Regular Expression test page


I've been using this site to test dynamically generated regular expressions and it's working quite well.

Over And Out

Blackberry Curve 8320 + WiFi + T-Mobile = Unlimited Phone Calls for $20


I want to be first to say this here. When this option is available on the iPhone the entire internet is going to be buzzing about it.

"The functionality that sets this BlackBerry Curve apart from any other BlackBerry device is the UMA T-Mobile HotSpot @Home support. Without this functionality I may never have tried the device and this support is actually what is driving me to a purchase of the Curve and activation of the service. HotSpot @Home now runs US$19.99 per month for a single phone and I believe US$29.99 per month for a family plan. It allows you to make and receive unlimited calls while you are connected to an authorized WiFi hotspot. This can be your home @Home or other router, T-Mobile HotSpot location, or other WiFi access point (even secure ones) where you do not have to enter information via a web page login (this may knock out a lot of hotels from being candidates). I may actually take along a WiFi router when I travel to setup a virtual HotSpot in the hotel room with an ethernet connection. I want to test this out when I travel outside the U.S. as I am very curious to see if I could make and receive calls internationally when connected to a compatible WiFi access point. That would be very cool to make and receive calls that appear to be from my mobile phone while traveling overseas."
Make sure to read more here.

Over and Out


Microsoft vs. Open Source = Hilarity Part 2

I like pointing out other peoples mistakes. I hate it when I make mistakes. But I'm only human, and can only fly in my dreams, so I guess I make mistakes too. But I'm not trying to reflect on my failures. That's not my style, I don't fail all that often, there is nothing to reflect on. I'd rather boast about my success. Or this time, other people's success.

A while ago I wrote an article entitled Microsoft vs. Open Source = Hilarity. Well, this is the follow-up quick blog posting.

Yesterday, Mitchell Baker's the president of the Mozilla Foundation talked about Mozilla's success in fiscal 2006. Give it a read, you will be shocked about the amount of money that is pouring in the door. This serves to be a lesson to everyone including Microsoft that knocks open source. Open Source IS here to stay, and it will only get bigger.

If you have not read my previous post let me refresh your memory. Clint Patterson PR director Microsoft:
"The open-source development model has yet to demonstrate the ability to support profitable software businesses that can drive the coordinated research and testing necessary to sustain innovation," Patterson said.
Well, I guess Extensions, Themes, Add-Ons and um ah etc's still don't count as innovation. I guess neither does tabbed web browsing (added to IE 7 in response to firefox), standards compliance (still waiting), and um the few million members participating in this web browsers development community.

I guess the $66.8 million or 25% YOY Revenue increase isn't profitable. I guess a gross profit margin ratio of approximately 0.70:1 isn't that good. And I'm 100% sure that because they are open source they will never be able to leverage the nearly 100 million in cash on hand (well at least 66.8 revenue-17.9 expenses) to support profitable software business that can drive the coordinated research and testing necessary to sustain innovation. This definately won't happen according to Clint Patterson.

I'm going to keep harping on this until Patterson retracts his words, or he dies, or i die.

Dear Microsoft, I am a trusty integrator of your services. Please start to understand just a shred of what's going on here, because it's obvious you don't, and when you go down, your going to bring pretty much everyone else down with you. It's not going to be pretty, and it's not like IBM of the old days. You guys support too much of the PC economy - or pretty much everything in the PC economy outside of internet. Please figure out how to make a proprietary shop demonstrate the ability to support profitable software businesses that can drive the coordinated research and testing necessary to sustain innovation.

(But congrats on the F# announcement, I cannot wait to dive into that language, I just hope you are not becoming the next Sun).

Over and Out

Apple and Big Picture Strategy

I was sitting there watching Steve Jobs help push one of the biggest Software evolutions in history: The Web Application.

I sat there distraught, thinking, SNAP DANG, my blackberry's browser sucks. My Nokia browser sucks. I quickly installed Opera Mini 4 beta and hit the net on my mobile device. I jumped onto the iPhone Facebook site, logged in on my Blackberry Pearl and started poking around.

Just about then this thought came racing through my mind so I logged onto the iPhone Facebook site on my desktop PC. I was stoked. It worked in both places. Stupid me, of course it worked in both places. So then I started thinking, I wonder if I could use this on a Mac? I don't have a Mac, but I'm sure I could.

Then, this random stream of thought flew through my head: What if Apple is only going to allow a web (Safari) SDK to develop for the iPhone? What if they never release a stand alone SDK for the iPhone?

Well, first, this would probably mean that every application you'd run on the iPhone would be web based... well ah dah. Then I thought, I wonder if they will allow web plugins to run - What if I could run Flash on the iPhone? Then I could create a real RIA with full graphics capability, and use the Safari API's to access the cell features. I loved it.

Then I started thinking, SNAP DARN (Actually, it was more like, I wonder how I could use this for business??). Then I stopped. It slammed me straight in the forehead with no less ferocity than a four by four being slammed into the scull. I could use this for business, infact, I could use this phone for more business features than my Blackberry or my Nokia. And, I could do this all from within the Safari browser. I could not only log into my Intranet, I could follow links from my intranet into my Web Based business applications. So there I was looking at a nice high color graph in Safari thinking: "I can't believe people don't think this will fly in the corporate world".

Then it dawned on me. Apple does not have a very strong foot hold in corporate - in mobile, or desktop. A major issue for Apple was that none of the stand alone software would run on the Mac platform. Well, then came Windows Virtualization on the Mac. That solved the problem nicely, but it still doesn't help Apple. Why should Apple require virtualization to run business applications on their platform? Sure they can still sell more licenses! But why should Apple have Windows virtualization? This has to be helping their single largest competitor maintain it's foothold - and further, allows developers to continue to build applications for the Windows Environment - something they were already skilled and trained to do.

For Apple to grow in corporate, and consumer markets they needed to be able to leverage all the existing hot technologies out there - especially web based applications which nominalize the desktop Operating System. Further, Apple is branching out with it's other devices and including web browsing over WiFi and everything is based on the Safari browser.

So my theory was that Apple could gain a stronger foothold in the corporate market by forcing developers of the iPhone to develop mobile web interfaces. The back ends for these mobile apps would be leveraged against the desktop app (most likely the other way around). So Apple can easily and quickly have people build services for their devices - and easily extend web based business applications to the iPhone.

Further, if Apple can contribute toward the perception that all software will be web based ASAP then they can expiditiously eliminate problems where software will not run on the Apple Desktop.

So yesterday Apple announced they will be opening the iPhone to third party developers. Does this undermine their support of web applications being the future now? Will this negatively affect Apple's ability to reach corporate markets? Is Apple limiting itself to the consumer market? You tell me!

Learning, Storing, and Recalling Information

I was sitting around the house on Saturday night and had a 3 hour conversation about how we learn, store, and recall information in our brains (I must be a nerd). What irony in getting this quote this morning.
“I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it - there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”
The above quote appeared in my inbasket, a blog entry from the President of the company I'm consulting for (he was quoting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlett).

My point was that if you do not have a specific perspective when you learn something, that you will never be able to store that information in a manner that is useful to recall the information later. Further, without the ability to draw relations in the information you decide to store in an organized fashion in your brain – you lose creativity – you lose innovation – you lose the ability to visualize the totality – and focus on the specifics rather than the big picture.

Specifics are important in developing a perspective of clarity of the parts. But, understanding the big picture is potentially more important – to see which specifics are in ‘big bold font’ – or where the specific emphasis lies in your ‘business’ (EX// the classic Coke recipe change-up).

Continuous Improvement has nearly become a staple in Modern Information Businesses. If it’s not broke than fix it mentalities. I’m with you 100% there.

When you refer to tools below, and imply that with the increased availability and accuracy of this toolage, we will be able to strive for new levels of innovation / creativity / accuracy – I believe you may be implying that if we free our brains of the “useless facts elbowing out the useful ones” VIA toolage, we will be able to achieve more true Eureka moments. This is truly a dichotomy, whereby we must be careful that the toolage we employ doesn’t undermine the creative / innovative part of our thoughts. Such that we are not too closely tied to the specifics, or abstracted from the intent, such that we understand the purpose of what we are doing, and how that purpose fits into the greater scheme of what the business is doing.

For example, an employee performs analysis on a set of figures. The fact that the employee must repeat the same sequence of steps leads the employee toward innovation – and that employee may suggest a creative solution to this repetition (seeks to cut Noise, Confusion, Distraction). It is the repetition, noise, confusion, and distraction - with the perspective to understand the purpose of the task - that may lead the employee toward implementing a specific software tool to streamline his problem. However, in implementing this software tool the employee now stands to inherit a different set of repetitious tasks. The downside to this is that the employee is now lead in a different direction to innovate / create. They now see their problem as being: “I have to tab too many times through the user interface”.

I ask, where is the true Eureka moment here? Was it before the toolage was implemented or after? I’d suggest it was before – when they were closer to the numbers, and dealt with noise, confusion, and distraction – when they knew how the calculations were performed – when they understood how the specifics, fit in to achieve the big picture goal. The noise makes them smarter, allows them to process and store information with a specific perspective. And in doing this they draw a relation to a software app, they found Eureka.

I’ve seen too many times in too many businesses, software solutions being implemented that actually degrade the overall intelligence of the business – because they are idiot proof and repetitive. Users have a tendency to merely follow the steps, rather than truly understand why they are performing the steps. It’s not to be underestimated that knowledge is the sum of what we know, and what we can acquire, and that tools may aid us in focusing on what we can improve next – BUT - too frequently tools aid us in what we can acquire. In doing this, we lose the information we’ve stored in our brain with a specific perspective, and lose the ability to draw those relationships in our head that lead to the truly innovative leapfrog type of change you are talking about; where we stand up and shout EUREKA!!!

My question then becomes, how do we manage EUREKA moments, such that we can become more intelligent, all the while improving the efficiencies / effectiveness of our process, in employing these new information tools?

Anyway, I felt that I’d share these idea’s / opinions with you. Hope you can take it with a bit of a grain of salt mixed with a grain of philosophy! Regardless, I thought it would be nice to get some feedback. Interesting text!

Over And Out


What is the best Offline JavaScript Library?

Dudes and Dudettes,

I'm writing to ask which JavaScript library is best suited to bring a web application Offline.

Here are the limitations of my question:

1) I don't want a library that objectifies my JavaScript objects (EX// I don't want to use prototype).

2) I want to use a library that is web standards compliant (EX// I don't want to use Flash, Apollo).

3) I want to use a library that is abstracted from server architecture (EX// I'd prefer to develop a 100% JavaScript interface that merely calls XML services on the server for data).

To my knowledge there are a couple options on the market and I guess I'm asking for your input:

1) Google Gears
2) Dojo Offline Toolkit
3) ???

Let me know your opinions!

Over and Out


Plea For Your Vote on Productivity in Office 2007

Just a quick plea to pass on links to vote on my Office Productivity Poll.

I know I'm begging for hits here but am shocked at how few people actually find it useful considering how much time and money was spent on Focus Groups to redesign the product.

A big sticky point for Microsoft Office has to be people's familiarity with the product. I knew having gone through school using their older suites that I'd have success using them once I started working full time in the business world - BUT - as the interfaces have been redesigned I no longer believe this to be the case.

With other alternatives like Google Docs available for free to students I wonder if we are going to see some sort of paradigm shift whereby students tag their resumes with that skill set. University is expensive enough in tuition and books and I can't imagine any student wanting to shell out beer dollars for MS Office when they can use and collaborate on Google Docs for free.

While you are here be sure to check out my other related opinons on Office 2007:
Your opinions are appreciated!

Over And Out


Get an MIT Education For Free Online

For all you non-Digg readers please check this out.

You can get an MIT degree online for free.

Click here for more information

Over and Out

The iPhone is a Piece of Shit and So is Your Face!

Oh Man Oh Man ... If you don't read The Best Page In The Universe you really should start. This guy is just hilarious.

Which is why I point you to his pointed article entitled: The iPhone is a piece of shit, and so is your face.

I thought it was pretty funny, but then again I wasn't too excited about the iPhone hype and I really like my Blackberry.

The following animated gif is property of The Best Page In The Universe and I will remove it at their request:

Over and Out

Cnet.com Commenting Problem: Comment 6 of 5

This isn't very funny but I like pointing out inconsistencies in other peoples work. Any developer knows that fixing stupid problems like the below is one of the most frustrating things about being in this line of work. Can you spot the problem:

Over And Out

Microsoft vs. Open Source = Hilarity

I wanted to comment on some amusing quotes from a C-Net article titled Microsoft Resumes Bashing Open Source. Firstly, Clint Patterson, public relations director for Microsoft's Unified Communications Group says the following:
"The open-source development model has yet to demonstrate the ability to support profitable software businesses that can drive the coordinated research and testing necessary to sustain innovation," Patterson said. "Many in the open-source software community have shifted to hybrid business models. They are making the same business decisions as any commercial software company in terms of what products and services to give away, what intellectual property to protect, how to generate revenue, and how to participate in the community."
I wonder if Microsoft recognizes that the Mozilla Foundation (Firefox) with 90 employees made over $52 million dollars in revenue in 2005. I don't want to suggest that's almost $600K per open source developer but I just did. Not to mention that Firefox has pushed browser innovation further than any other company could have anticipated VIA Extensions, Themes, Dictionaries, Search Engines, and Plug-Ins - Something Microsoft claimed was not possible.

I laughed pretty hard when I read this quote from Matt Asay, vice president of business development at open-source document management company Alfresco:
"The open-source community has actually been shifting away from hybrid models," he said, pointing to Alfresco, Funambol and MuleSource as examples. "Hybrid was yesterday's model, when people were still trying to get comfortable with the shift. Tomorrow's is 100 percent open, with 'proprietary services' on top."

Those services, Asay predicted, could be either for support, as in Red Hat's case, or as in Internet-hosed services, the kind of thing Yahoo is getting more serious about with its $350 million acquisition of open-source e-mail software maker Zimbra.

This is the way I've thought of Software recently, so I guess it's tough to take MicroSoft seriously when they seem to again be nothing more than one step behind the pack. Any how ...

Over and Out


(Powerset vs. Google) vs. Search Industry

Powerset has positioned itself as the company that is going to bring down Google.

The reason I'm excited isn't because Mark Johnson looks like Bill Gates, or because he has a super high voice, it's because its natural-language technology is being licensed from PARC (the Palo Alto Research Center and susidiary of Xerox Corp.). Renowned for hatching breakthroughs such as the computer mouse and the graphical interface for personal computers, is it possible they are up to their old tricks?

If you haven't seen the somewhat limited promo video you can view it here on YouTube. There is also a demo from the TechCrunch40 conference here (part 1) and here (part 2). I'm not convinced yet but there are tons of other video's talking about it: CNBC, Get Connected, Kron 4.

When Google launched I wasn't much of an Internet Evangelist. But after nearly a decade they are a part of my daily life. I'm not too sure how natural-language search will trump a simple keyword search. Is it really easier to find what you are looking for using natural-language? I'm not too sure that it is. In the 1990s, Ask Jeeves was founded on the premise that Internet search requests should be presented as simple questions. It then frustrated users with too many irrelevant answers. After nearly failing in the dot-com bust, the company embraced the keyword approach to search and abandoned its mascot, a cartoon butler named Jeeves, to distance itself from the days it relied on natural-language algorithms. It is now known simply as Ask.com.

Google was a huge success because they were so simple. They only had one search box and their name on their home page. With more slower connections back then, users like myself found Google the best bet for quick searches. I've never looked back since (although I really do like Yahoo!). But I'm not sure that this is the case anymore. If I can't find something on Google that I can find using Powerset then I'd be happy ... Any how ...

Powerset is gradually opening its testing ground, dubbed Powerlabs, to 16,000 people who signed up to get an early glimpse at the search engine, myself included. During this test phase, Powerlabs is only indexing material from Wikipedia so it will be interesting to see how the natural search term Who is Matt Stark? produces results.

The San Francisco-based startup is so confident that its methods are superior to Google that they will present some answers alongside what its rival returns when asked the same questions. Powerset is requiring its users to vote on which engine produced better results before they are allowed to enter another search request.

There is a site called Hakia that already does natural-language search but I'm not sure it is as fast or comprehensive as Google. Understanding the meaning of many words is difficult without people involved. Unfortunately for Powerset, I'm not sure there is demand for this type of search at this point in time! But nonetheless, good luck Powerset, good luck! Can't wait to see you guys integrate this over voice using integrated GPS on a mobile phone "Where is good Chinese food?".

Over and Out


Yahoo! Finance Update

Hey Ya'll ... I just happened to notice that the Yahoo! Finance site has been updated and boy oh buoy do I like this one!

It's almost 100% AJAX which makes sense to me as this site is really a destination site for finance not a search-able knowledge base. It also has some very non-abraisive animations on the site which work really well to show / hide content.

It would be very nice to see some of the tabs other than the Home tab get a refresh. One feature I'd really like to see is more news or headlines in the Investment tab - possibly a nice little slider animation like the home page to show me more news.

Very nice work Yahoo!

New Features Include:

1) Global Market Summary
Yahoo! has added a really nice summary tab at the top of the page so we can see how the over sea's markets are performing.

2) Easy Access to My Portfolio
They have embedded a stock ticker style list with every stock that I am tracking in my portfolio - or imaginary portfolio. This should be a widget and I should be able to put this list onto any web page I like.

3) Collective Intellect
This is basically the current state of opinion on different investments. Based On postings from Yahoo!'s popular message boards, you can now see which stocks have had significant increases in bullish, bearish or neutral postings in the past 24 hours. This should all tie into Yahoo!'s social network. If I could have the opinion of all my trusted advisors show up there I'd be super happy.

4) New Market Movers Overviews
Shows information on which stocks or industries are the most active during the trading day. Further this identifies stocks that appear in the news more often than usual, most active, most price % changed, industries on the move and unusual trading volumes.

I really really like this new site. I hope we see more like this out of Yahoo! in the future. We all know their stock could use a little help!

Over and Out


Firefox The Most Common Browser To Hit This Blog

I installed w3counter a couple days ago on my blog and I'm shocked to see that the vast majority of the hits are coming in from the Firefox 2.0 browser.

Check out the graph below. Firefox 1.5 and 2.0 account for about 52% of the hits on this site leaving Internet Explorer 6.0 and 7.0 with a measly 37%.

One thing that shocks me a bit is that there is actually a Blackberry Browser hitting the site. Sweet Sweet Sweet

Over And Out

Microsoft's New Mobile Phone: The phonIE

Microsoft's entry into the Cell Phone market is called the: phonIE.

This is a phony post.

Over And Out

4 Reasons Internet Service Companies Will Beat Device Manufacturers In the Mobile Race

About 8 years ago, wasn't there some perception that Software companies shouldn't get into hardware? Didn't IBM and Apple fail with spectators citing their hardware businesses as being huge cash sinks? Wasn't it around that time that Microsoft really took off after building an OS that could run on pretty much any hardware?

In the past 5 years Apple has been riding the successful iPod all the way to the bank! Microsoft and Nintendo are destroying (sales) on everything coming out of the Sony arena and Dell and HP saw falling profits in 2006 only to be saved by Microsoft's Vista OS.

Is now the right time for software companies to once again pursue the hardware market? I'd say yes, and I'd cite the following 4 reasons for why Software companies will be very competitive against device manufacturers in the next five years.

1) Information Communication Device: A cell phone is primarily a communication tool. A cell phone is almost a perfect information consumption device. I can read my www.NetVibes.com feeds on my blackberry, I can text my friends, I can send and receive video's, images and pictures. I can email. I can MMS. I can Google Talk, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger etc. all from within my device. It isn't a huge shock that this is what I use my phone for. The device serves to consolidate these services into one umbrella. And I don't much to distinguish between the services I use to communicate anymore. They all seem the same - and they work perfectly - my phone has replaced my PC / Laptop for all of these channels making it next to impossible for any single device manufacturer to offer me a more compelling communication option. It’s the Internet Service providers that have enhanced my communication options and device manufacturers would be stupid to compete with the above services - with the exception of Blackberry Messenger I've not seen much that is even decent manufacture provided software. Thus, Device manufacturers cannot do much to make my communication experience better. The big Internet players carry the most schwag: More people in their networks, more connections to other information sources / destinations (kind of like why I quit Wayn, and Beebo when I realized 95% of my friends were on Facebook). They can even take that communication experience back to the web or make it shared with my phone or a device of the future. Why should RIM / Nokia / Rogers be involved if I want to check my gmail? They shouldn't. The internet should.

2) No Manufacturer's Proprietary Software: Windows made the PC UI consistent and this lead to their OS being the OS of choice. Nothing like this exists in Mobile, and this is because first the Hardware manufactures use their own proprietary software avoiding a license fee for the OS, second carriers want to load their proprietary software and charge a usage fee - you get a dually branded device - "Blackberry Pearl by Rogers Wireless" with Rogers Blackberry TV. The Manufactures have tried to partner with the Internet Players: Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google, but then the Carriers have the option to remove all the software before selling to customers – after all they are the resellers. Obviously this totally undermines the competitive landscape of mobile software. Further customers DO NOT seek out and INSTALL applications on their phones. Window's Mobile OS has not been a hit for MSFT. The Internet players are all pissed off at the device Manufacturers, the device manufacturers are frustrated with the Internet players and then came the iPhone. To AT&T the iPhone is a Data hog, to Apple where PC meets the phone, and to the consumer - a breath of fresh air and a severe disconnect from these ghetto manufacturers proprietary software applications. In fact, most of the iPhone sites work on my Blackberry Pearl (when the Opera Browser is installed). I've read other people can view the iPhone sites on their Nokia's (when the Opera Browser is installed). This all comes down to: When the Opera Browser is installed. And that folks, is why Device Manufacturers are doomed. I can install one single 3rd party application on my phone and it unlocks 100% of the internet functionality that I need to exist. The Blackberry browser pales in comparison to Opera Mini - it's not even close to as good. Using the built in Blackberry browser is like showing up to a Formula one race with a Toyota Prius and expecting to take the pole. In this high speed, consumer facing RIA world we call the web - we need specialized software built by companies with experience. Not junk ware built by Device Manufacturers and tossed on their platforms just because they can. We need standards – after all we did design them. We need cross platform. We need interoperability. But especially as a developer, if I can write one mobile web site and not care which device it’s running on. That just makes sense – and developers will not go back to writing stand alone mobile applications for one specific platform because of this. Device Manufacturers make nice devices, but their software sucks.

All of this information consumption leads to another problem still, bandwidth, how to charge and how to collect, how to keep the pipes open and flowing all the while keeping them full.

3) Advertising Revenue and Service Plans: We purchase Cable TV and basically pay to have people advertise to use. Genius, whomever thought up this scam is pure genius! We get a questionably better and wider range of shows, and they get a wider range of shows to advertise to us on. But seriously think about this: the more mobile bandwidth we consume, the more information we consume, the more information we consume the bigger the range of information there is to advertise to us on. When you perform a mobile search on Yahoo! on your cell phone your carrier doesn't get a cut of the advertising revenue. The carrier builds the sidewalk for you to walk to the store on and then charges you for walking? Isn't there a problem here? The store keeps getting richer and richer, and I pay to walk to the store? No wonder nobody's walking. If Google / Microsoft / Yahoo! end up developing in house Mobile Phone Hardware products then they can get people walking by providing mobile users 1/2 or 3/4 or 7/8 of their advertising revenue to the carriers to help support the bandwidth use. This provides incentive for consumers by making it cheaper to consume bandwidth on particular sites (the bigco sites) than it does on other sites (the littleco) and provides value through the entire “digital supply chain” - sustenance. With the privatization of the internet – or at least private channels – this concept will only continue to grow. The real money in mobile correlates location to advertisement relevancy in that the advertisement viewed is more applicable in one geographic location over another. The big internet players are in much better position to be able to leverage these trends. They already own geographic tools, they own advertising networks and they have far more total cash on hand – they are much more agile businesses and they are far more use to working with their customers than say Nokia, Motorola or RIM. Simply put, Internet companies are in position to subsidize your viewing experience through the advertisements you consume and view. Carriers must work with the Internet Companies but not the Device Manufacturers to spread this wealth – So doesn’t it make sense to have the Internet Companies be the Device Manufacturers? Or at least be borderless against them?

4) Hardware Innovation: The cell phone manufacturers are no longer technology innovators. Hardware is basically stuck waiting for other bottlenecks to work themselves out. Sure sure, there is innovation to be had - I mean come on, the most successful part of the iPod was the scroll wheel – big deal. The Carriers support the huge costly 3G networks. Hardware can far outperform 90% of the capabilities of the networks it runs on. In many cases software actually correct these hardware issues. It is technically possible to watch an HD movie on my wireless device – but if everyone did it the cell networks wouldn’t be able to support it. So, it appears as Marc Cuban said – the internet is dead (I say it with a grain of salt). At least, there is no next revolution on the immediate horizon, just time for the array of technologies that have been building up to actually mature together leading the next software standard or should I say consumer software standard or what becomes the norm. In this type of a business climate, how is it possible for a company that supplies hardware (and arguably a bunch of crappy proprietary applications) to continue to drive growth? They can attempt to start their own social network or sharing sites, they can try to hook these into their devices, they can try to leverage enterprise software like a BES to drive unit sales inside the enterprise. They can’t do it by innovating on hardware because it’s already done. They can make their iPhone red, say it’s for AIDs and sell it, or use whatever gimmick to drive unit sales –BUT They CANNOT innovate in the arena’s that make the internet the internet: Consumption of information, Search, and Communication. With Hardware Innovation more driven by other technologies, this really means they can’t innovate (Camera innovations from camera companies and sold on license to phone manufacturers etc…). Even if RIM purchased Ask.com, I’d still use Yahoo! Mobile for search! With the release of the iPhone manufactures face an obvious ultimatum: connect your devices to the internet or die a slow cold death. But connect them using robust SOFTWARE like Opera Mini – Hardware is done – we are connected. Firefox – Make a Mobile Browser!!! Look what the internet has done to the music industry, look what it’s doing to television. It’s about to do the same thing to the mobile phone – and it’s all about consolidation and consumption of information – not hardware innovation – that makes our lives more convenient and simple given this is the norm we have to deal with.


It seems the only way to get total and complete mobile platform dominance is to make a mobile hardware device and put interfaces into all your internet services on it then force it down the carriers throat. So what if it’s built by Nokia – it’s branded and supported by Google, or Microsoft, or Yahoo!. It’s a gPhone, yPhone, or phonIE.

This is no longer about the Telephone, it’s a realization that we can make laptops so small and powerful that they look like phones, act like phones, and perform the same functions as phones. I’d welcome Google providing me a device that I can actually do stuff on, as opposed to this technologically advanced Blackberry Pearl that still can’t read bloody HTML emails.

Over and Out

Task Manager 2.0

No No not Web 2.0 ... Process Explorer for Windows v11.0

Please download this amazing Advanced Task Manager application from Microsoft. It's just too good to pass up. It's free and there is no installation so you should be able to deploy it even without admin privs. You can even replace the existing Task Manager with this super sweet utility.

Process Explorer
works on Windows 9x/Me, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Server 2003, and 64-bit versions of Windows for x64 and IA64 processors, and Windows Vista.

Here are some cool new features:

  • New treelist control for better UI responsiveness
  • Asynchronous thread symbol resolution on threads tab of process properties
  • More flags on groups in security tab and SID display
  • Thread IDs on threads tab
  • On-line search uses default web browser and search engine
  • Vista ASLR column for processes and DLLs
  • Vista Process and thread I/O and memory priorities in process and thread properties
  • Vista Process and thread I/O and memory columns
  • PROCESS_QUERY_LIMITED_INFORMATION support on process permissions on Vista
  • Run as limited user runs with low IL on Vista
  • Reports information for all object types on Vista
  • Show details for all processes elevation menu item on Vista
  • Supports replacement of task manager on Vista
  • /e to launch elevated
  • /s switch to select a process at startup
  • Compiled w/ASLR, DEP
  • Faster startup
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and minor improvements


What Do Apple Users Not Hate?

Does anybody actually think Microsoft cares about Mac Office? I think it's hilarious they released the ArtOfOffice.com before releasing Microsoft Office 2008 Mac edition. That's a real slap in the face. And you know what, as long as you attack MS for being a business OS, they will never take you seriously.


To all the PO'd Mac users out there, why don't you stop whining about something and start proving you're not just whiners by putting a bunch of links to something that didn't come out of Apple that you actually like.

I'd really be fascinated to see what types of things Mac users like. If they are not complaining that Vista is a rip off of OS X which is a rip off of Linux, then they are complaining they can't get Microsoft's new version of Office on a Mac.

Moreover, they hated the new iMac design back in 1997. They are even so insecure they think Adobe hates Mac users. I'm sure Adobe puts more into developing Microsoft products ... kind of like a 95% market share thing there.

They hate brushed metal interfaces, and all of the sudden the don't really hate Microsoft.

My favorite has to be they think they hate their Mac, but they are not quite sure.

Anyway, if you are a Mac user and you've written about something you really like, I'd be fascinated to know what it is ... I mean anything other than Steve Jobs and Apple products that is ...

I think you guys secretly love Microsoft Office 2007 with the Ribbon ... Let it out!!

Over and Out


Google / Yahoo Phone

Just a quick side note on this one:

I think this is a move for both companies to get into Internet Tablet devices. I'd be betting Google and Yahoo are using the term "Phone" to appeal to certain people while the intent is to develop their own Internet PC's.

I wonder if Web OS's will take of in parallel?

Over And Out


Two Mobile Devices / Accessories I'd like to see

1) Touch Screen LCD with Web Browser and Bluetooth

I don't really care if it's Bluetooth or some other equal technology, but I'd like to see a tiny touch screen that can pair with my mobile phone that merely includes a full web browser sort of like the iPhone. The idea would be the built in Web Browser would be able to display any content from the mobile phone or internet VIA some type of wireless connection. I could put it on my desk to run a slideshow or I could carry it in my pocket to browse the web.

2) Standalone Cellular Internet Router Device

A mobile device which connects to cellular networks (note device has no LCD Screen or Qwerty keyboard), and broadcasts that internet connection over a short range wireless connection. The purpose of this device would be merely to enable other types of wireless devices to use a shared internet connection. You could connect the above screen to this device thereby utilizing the web as an OS.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of these things so if anyone has any suggestions as to what devices I should be looking into please let me know. As of current, I do not believe these devices exist.

Over and Out


Digestion Phase of Web 2.0

Another blatant repost from ReadWriteWeb's Alex Iskold:

"If the value created by the companies is greater or equal to the money put into them, then we are fine, we can continue to grow. If the technologies that we invented will be used not only by a few hundred thousand people, but by millions, then we are fine, we can continue to grow. And if these new tools work well by themselves and together enhace our online life then, great, we are in good place.

But if the answer to some of these questions is a no, then we need to pause. If the answer to all of these question is a no, then we might need to take a step back. In the worst case scenario, it may mean that we will slow down and maybe even slide back. We may not like this, but this is just how all cycles work."

The Digestion Phase: How We Got Here And Where We Are Going Next


Tafiti: Under the Silverlight hood

I'm particular. I looked through the www.Tafiti.com source code and noticed a bunch of stuff that I didn't like about how Silverlight is building the underlying RIA.

In www.tafiti.com there is a function called startSkipjack that uses a Silverlight.createObject function. Back in the day's that used to be a call to ActiveX or some sort of COM object in the browser - but this function is obviously a JavaScript wrapper for the creation of the Silverlight plugin. I'd assume an actual plugin is loaded that is not 100% JavaScript - I'm sure Microsoft would like me to think that too.

Kind of a strange strategy to make a plugin dependent on XAML and JavaScript at the page level but then again I guess any scripting language will suffice and XAML is just XML.

After seeing a working demo certain things escape me ...

Use of Styles

It's use of styles ... Consider this EX//

SJ.Hyperlink(0, 0, 55, 0, "feedback",
"FontFamily='Verdana' FontSize='9' Foreground='#ffffff' Opacity=' 0.8'",
"mailto:tafiti@microsoft.com ");

One would think inline styles would be replaced with CSS. By externalizing CSS developers would be able to modify styles by simply modifying the underlying CSS template. This just makes things easier to maintain. But Kudos for actually using the same syntax in the inline style declarations.

Text Content in JavaScript

My final criticism is: Isn't a huge problem with these Rich UI's (Flash) that search engines have a ton of trouble indexing the actual text and links? In Silverlight text and link info is included in the JavaScript which most search engines will just ignore. Consider this EX//

signInSignOutLink = new SJ.Hyperlink(0, 0, 35, 0, userIsAuthenticated ? "sign out" : "sign in",
"FontFamily='Verdana' FontSize='9' Foreground='#ffffff' Opacity=' 0.8'",
userIsAuthenticated ? userSignoutUrl : signInSignOutLink.openWithName = "_self";
if (!userIsAuthenticated) {
signInSignOutLink.onMouseEnter = function(sender, args) { SJ_ShowToolTip(sender.visual, "Sign in with your Windows Live ID so youcan access your stacks from multiple computersand post stacks to your Windows Live Space.", args.getPosition(SJ.topCanvas)); }
signInSignOutLink.onMouseLeave = function() { SJ_HideToolTip(); }

They (Microsoft Silverlight) could have easily put time into developing a sort of hide region feature whereby things like the sign in sign out link could be defined in markup to be hidden and then merely organized using Javascript / Silverlight. They could then subclass the hyperlinks into external and internal Silverlight hyperlinks. This would support search engine indexing ... Consider this alternative to above EX//

Site Size:

I'd be curious to get a Flash developer to develop a simple "Hello World" application and then compare the size of that application to a Silverlight application. My guess is that Silverlight will be significantly larger than Flash merely because it requires XAML and JavaScript to run before launching the application and it's provided in the raw mark-up files. I see this as a drawback for anyone wanting to develop a high performance RIA in Silverlight.


My understanding is that in using Silverlight you may effectually write a client side multi threaded interface. I'm curious to understand how we can actually multi thread when communication between the browser and Silverlight is dependent on JavaScript. Possibly Microsoft can better explain this.


I'm very suspicious. Is this a plugin or a cached clientside JavaScript library. Or is it as it looks, a hybrid mash-up of a bunch of trendy technologies: Plugin + XML + JavaScript. And if it is the later, why in the lords name wouldn't they make indexing the content a priority and why would they leave crap like inline styles in the source. I'd assume that would be a huge win over Flash etc. especially if the search crawlers can already crawl html.

My Quick Asks For Silverlight:

1) Show me how Silverlight can be used to create Virtual Earth Mash-Ups.

2) Make Silverlight work on Opera Mini.

3) Show me a multi threaded UI example.

Let me know what you think about Silverlight.

Over and Out


POLL: Are you more productive in Microsoft Office 2007?

It's time to either make yourself known as a fanboy, or a hater ...

Please take a second to respond to my Microsoft Productivity poll which you can find in the right side bar.

Are you more productive in Microsoft Office 2007?

Ideas for upcoming polls:

Does Microsoft Sql Server Integration Services make you more Productive.
Does Microsoft Sharepoint make you more Productive.
Does Microsoft Windows Vista make you more Productive.

If you'd prefer something else, or would like me to make one of these a poll question immediately, please let me know by posting a comment.

iPhone Apps = Mobile RIA = Blackberry X with Opera Mini

Yes the iPhone is a cool product that runs OSX over UNIX on a mobile device. My bet is the touch screen will bother more people than it helps, and I’m sure it’ll be a warranty issue as screens get scratched and fail to function. I like my tiny QWERTY that I can feel.

I had a Compaq iPaq back in 2001. It had a touch screen you COULD use with your thumb. It played Audio and Video. It worked on the Cell Network and doubled as my cell phone. It could communicate wirelessly over 802.11a and 802.11b, and even had an external GPS device. Sure it ran Window’s Mobile, not UNIX and OSX. Why didn’t it last in the consumer spectrum? Possibly because there were no mobile services for the device.

So I ask, what is the benefit of running OSX over UNIX when application developers write code for the Safari Browser? With the recent flurry of Mobile RIA’s targeting the iPhone is there really any reason Apple would open the platform and provide a native SDK?

Regardless, I have a Blackberry Pearl. It plays music, video, mobile TV, and runs many popular mobile applications like Opera Mini 4.1. Sure the screen is about a quarter the size of an iPhone, but guess what? It has no problem running iPhone RIA’s!

Try it for yourself:

Navigate to http://www.operamini.com/beta/ (on your device), download and install the new Opera 4 mini beta browser (which as a first includes a little mouse you can control with your trackball!!).

Setup Opera Mini on your device by launching it in the Main Menu (you should see the red O icon).

Navigate to any of the following sites:
  1. Facebook: http://Iphone.facebook.com
  2. NetVibes: http://M.n1.netvibes.com
  3. Meebo: http://www.meebo.com
That adds Social Network, News and IM functionality to your Blackberry device. Everything should run fine. I'm not totally sure if these sites run in Opera 3, regardless, I've installed Opera 4 mini beta.

I think it’s time that the industry in general starts labeling these Mobile RIA’s rather than iPhone applications.

Side Note: I bet there are a lot more Blackberry's out there than iPhones so branding a Blackberry / iPhone site may actually make a lot of sense.

Free Advice to RIM: Drop the Blackberry Browser and replace it with Opera Mini 4 on the base device. If you have features in the Blackberry Browser that are not in Opera Mini than work with Opera to have the features included.

Over and Out


Resolved: Google / Blogger no longer violating my privacy

OK so here is the deal. The Show my Email address option does not apply to instant message coordinates. So if you have an email address in your IM Username field Blogger will display that in your profile.

I think this is a bit silly because I clearly have not shared my email address. Further, there is no setting to share / not to share your IM address. Be weary not to include your IM Username.

I guess an email address isn't an email address as far as Google / Blogger are concerned. I'd just as soon not share any email addresses when I specify not to - but I guess this is a loophole.

Check out my new profile!

Over and Out


Google / Blogger Violating My Privacy!!!!

I just did a Google search for my email address. It directed me to my blogger profile. Well I thought that was strange because I clearly have not selected the checkbox that allows Blogger/Google to share my email address.

I would really like to see what Blogger / Google has to say about this. Possibly I shouldn't be using my gmail address, possibly I should be creating a new email account just so I can blog. I already have about ten so what's another one?

Here is the proof (I guess you'll just have to trust me that the trick works):

Google Search for my email:

Blogger Profile View Clearly Shows My Email:

Blogger Privacy Setting Does Not Specify that Blogger / Google can share my email address:

I've put in a support request but still no luck!

Over and Out


Narcissistic Microsoft Productivity Enhancements: Are you More Productive???

I'm not sure if Microsoft Sales staff is serious when they say their products make people more productive. From my experience lately there is absolutely nothing from Microsoft that makes me more productive. In fact, in abstracting the layers further away from me, I'm becoming increasingly less productive with each iteration of Microsoft technology.

The following productivity enhancement claims from Microsoft have actually made me far less productive. At times up to 90% less productive:
  • Microsoft Office 2007 (Access, Word, Outlook all suck, Visio and Excel are the only apps that are considerably better).
  • Microsoft Windows Vista - don't even want to start on this one. All I wanted to do was change the default font size.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Integration Services: how can it take 1 day to setup an import data routine? How is it possible to build such a beautiful diagnosic display with such contextually irrelevant error reports?
I decided to check my NetVibes.com start page and did a search for Microsoft and Productivity (I tried variations like productiv etc. to get the most results).

The image at right includes some of the biggest technology blogs and yields no results.

I decided to look a bit deeper into the rabit hole and did a Google Search for Microsoft Productivity. The first thing I noticed was that every result on the first page was to a Microsoft site.

So I decided to do a Yahoo Search for Microsoft Productivity same thing except it contains links to Microsoft Applications that once again claim to make you more productive.

So I decided to do a Windows Live Search for Microsoft Productivity and guess what, there are actually links to 3rd party sites for Microsoft Productivity.

Is Microsoft living in a bubble with respect to measuring productivity? I've lost at least 2 months this year to learning curves in updated Microsoft Tool Kits. I'll never get those 2 months back ever - and it was at the expense of Microsoft Clients that I learned this stuff.

What do you think? With each incremental product release, are you becoming that much more productive? Or are you just like me, frustrated, and looking for other options?

Please let me know your opinion.

Over and Out

Where SQL2005 SSIS meets Developer Hastle in Toolage

This is a very simple thing and it pisses me off that MS gives us such a limited solution here. I'm writing an SSIS package to import Microsoft Dynamics AX information into SQL Server (I know could use WS but the AX implementation is at a client office).

The create table statement that I wrote has about 140 fields. Check out the limited editor window in the below screen print.

Microsoft, please allow functions such as find and replace in this window. Syntax highlighting may be too much to ask for but what the heck. Can't you guys make this open into a nice SQL Query Analyzer form?

The window I'm talking about is called: Enter SQL Query.

Please service pack fix this!

Over and Out

Passenger smuggles monkey onto plane under hat

This is so funny ...
A man smuggled a monkey onto an airplane, stashing the fist-size primate under his hat until passengers spotted it perched on his ponytail, an airline official in New York said.

On a flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to New York's LaGuardia airport, people around the man noticed that a marmoset — which normally lives in forest and eats fruit and insects — had emerged from underneath his hat, Spirit Airlines spoksewoman Alison Russell said. The man's journey had begun in Lima, Peru.

"Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him," Russell said.

Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him
The monkey spent the remainder of the flight in the man's seat and behaved well, said Russell. She did not know how the monkey skirted detection in Lima and during the man's several-hour layover in Fort Lauderdale.

LaGuardia airport police were waiting for the man and his monkey when the plane landed, and he was taken for questioning. It was unclear if he would face any criminal charges.

The city's animal control agency said the monkey appeared healthy. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was planning to take it for disease testing and keep it quarantined for 31 days, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.

If the monkey is healthy it could wind up in a zoo.



VCs: Startups Are Too Reliant on the M&A Market

The people at ReadWriteWeb have always been good at allowing me to blatantly repost their great articles. The following is written by Sean Ammirati and talks about how Startups are Too Reliant on the M&A Market. Very interesting read

If you like the article, please take time to visit their site!

I'm at the AlwaysOn Stanford Summit reporting for Read/WriteWeb. This afternoon there was an interesting presentation about the state of the venture capital market. Specifically, it started with a presentation by Paul Denninger, Vice Chairman of Jefferies & Co, entitled "Why Aren't VCs Happy?" and then Paul joined a panel moderated by Mark Stevens, a Managing Partner of Fenwick & West. Other panelists included Roger McNamee, a Partner at Elevation Partners (probably most famous because of their association with Bono of U2), Erik Straser, a General Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Bill Gurley a General Partner at Benchmark Capital.

I've attended a number of presentations and panels at industry events over the last six months on the state of the venture capital market. In addition, there seems to be a recurring meme in the blogosphere on the subject. To be honest, each of these panels - while interesting - seem to raise the same issues every time. They focus on how inexpensive it is to start and reach critical mass for consumer web services. Thankfully then, this panel today actually took a very different path. Paul laid out a number of interesting statistics around options for exits. It leads to some interesting questions that entrepreneurs need to evaluate.

Why Aren't VCs Happy?

Paul started by stating, "Despite the topic of my talk, I think that VCs are happy. But I believe they maybe shouldn't be." He then focused on a number of 'facts' and contrasted them with some common 'myths'.

The Technology M&A Market

The first myth he discussed was that the M&A market is back and going strong. Instead he argued that the technology M&A market is actually well below historical averages. He said that people are usually surprised by this, because there are some big deals going on nowadays and they are in the news. However, the fact is that most of the large (greater than $50M) exits have been to Private Equity firms. He explained that this time last year, there was a total of $40B private debt financing around companies that were looking to eventually exit to public capital markets. Today, there is $230 billion of private financing around private equity backed companies.

As if that reality wasn't grim enough, he also emphasized that the deals that are being done by public technology firms are actually being sold to a very small group of companies. Specifically, he explained that 35% of of all tech deals greater than $100 M were done by 10 companies, with a total market cap of $100 B.

The IPO Market

The other myth that Paul focused on was that "the IPO market is back". He said the fact is that before the bubble, in the early nineties the public markets had about 130 IPOs per year. This year, Paul believes we'll probably do fifty or sixty. He explained the reason it feels like 'the market is back' is because we went through a period of doing twenty-five or thirty a year.


So according to Paul, most VCs have been funding companies that are "reliant on the M&A market." He said it was 90% of VC liquidity last year. The increased focus on M&A has also meant a decrease in each of the last 6 years of the number of public tech companies. For context, before this streak of consistent declines you need to go back to 1988 or 1989 for when there were 2 straight years.

Right up to this point, everything Paul had laid out was consistent with things I'd heard before; but complimented by strong statistics. However, right then he delivered an interesting point about the future of the market.

Hypothetical Question: The Cisco Market Cap at the time of its IPO was $225M. Today, he asked would Sequoia Capital or other VCs have taken Cisco public, or would they have tried to shop it to AT&T for $250M? The data shared with us seems to lead to the belief that they would have tried to find an acquirer. The challenge is: would Cisco have created the value in the tech market and for other entrepreneurs if they had simply been acquired?

So VCs, Are You Happy?

At this point, the rest of the panel entered to discuss if they were indeed happy! After everyone introduced themselves, Roger McNamee said:

"Can I push back on what Paul just said? I've seen all the statistics he saw and I agree with the data. However, I think it doesn't matter, because predicting the future is fairly futile."

However, he continued by noting that "in the battle between fear and greed, fear is temporary but greed is permanent." Therefore, if there is money to be made, then Wall Street will pull those companies to the public markets out of greed.

Bill Gurley said that he actually felt like this was a fairly liquid time. But if he had one concern it would be "the lack of desire of executives to run these public companies." He explained that the average expense to become Sarbanes Oxley compliant was $2.5 million. He told a few good auditor jokes, but also continued to reiterate the concern around identifying executives who want to step into those roles.


While the panel was looking at this from the perspective of a venture capitalist, it did raise some interesting issues as an entrepreneur. What kind of company is each of us trying to build? Obviously, we each need to ultimately make sure we're creating value for our shareholders.

However, this panel showed a very different perspective - that maybe we're focusing too much on being acquired by a limited set of companies. What do you think?

Canadian teams chase $500,000 space elevator prize

This is pretty cool. I wonder if I'll ever see it in my lifetime.

Canadian teams chase $500,000 space elevator prize

I must also say that I'd love to volunteer my time on any project that has anything to do with any this stuff ...

Over And Out


YSlow: A Front End Web Performance Tool By Yahoo!

YSlow analyzes web pages and tells you why they're slow based on the rules for high performance web sites. YSlow is a Firefox add-on integrated with the popular Firebug web development tool.

Performance view scores the page against each performance rule, generates an overall YSlow grade for the page, and lists specific recommendations for making the page faster.

Stats view summarizes the total page weight, cookie size, and HTTP request count.

Components view lists each component (image, stylesheet, script, Flash object, etc.) in the page along with HTTP information relevant to page load times.

YSlow gives you:

* Performance report card
* HTTP/HTML summary
* List of components in the page
* Tools including JSLint

Download it now and wait to see just how bad that auto-generated .Net Markup really is!

Over and Out

Ha Ha ... Crapple iPhone Fixes

I was talking to a friend at Microsoft about the Mac vs. PC debate. Apple seems to promote their products as being virus free - or at least as the commercial would say - there are many more viruses for Windows. OK but what about the exploits.

My friend was very quick to point out that Apple controls less than 5% of the OS market and because of that few exploits had been written to cripple Apple systems. Well, the iPhone is predicted to be a huge success for Apple, so it isn't very shocking that hackers would attack it.

The real shock are the types of vulnerabilities that are being fixed. I consider these vulnerabilities to be very fundamental and require little understanding of hacking to actually execute. As the Apple press release states:
  1. 2 Cross Site Scripting Vulnerabilities in Safari.
  2. 2 Heap Buffer Overflow flaws in Safari cause arbitrary code execution or application termination.
  3. 1 Fishing Scam Flaw
  4. Another MASSIVE flaw allowing any internet programmer to completely take over the device:
"When the iPhone's version of Safari opens the malicious web page, arbitrary code embedded in the exploit is run with administrative privileges. In our proof of concept, this code reads the log of SMS messages, the address book, the call history, and the voicemail data. It then transmits all this information to the attacker. However, this code could be replaced with code that does anything that the iPhone can do. It could send the user's mail passwords to the attacker, send text messages that sign the user up for pay services, or record audio that could be relayed to the attacker."

Here is a little video showing the MASSIVE iPhone flaw

The guys who found this massive flaw suggest 3 strategies to mitigate risk in using the iPhone:
  • Only visit sites you trust. If you don't visit attackers' sites, you give them one less attack vector.
  • Only use WiFi networks you trust. If attackers have control of your Internet connection, they have the ability to insert exploits into any website you visit.
  • Don't open web links from emails. Many current viruses send links to malicious sites in emails that look like they are from trusted contacts.
I've never seen any of these flaws on my Blackberry.

Dozens of vulnerabilities and bugs were covered by a total of six downloads for Mac OS 10.3.9 (Panther), Mac OS 10.4.10 (Tiger) on PowerPC, and the Universal version of Mac OS 10.4.10, as well as the server versions of each of those operating systems. Each download contains several patches to correct flaws, and Apple is recommending that all users of those operating systems download the updates.

Also, a class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple over the fact that Apple wasn't sufficiently clear as to whether a user could replace a battery. With soft sales figures for the iPhone, these issues have to be taking their toll on Apple resulting in the stock falling since the iPhone's release.

Over and Out