Tech things in the papers last week:
Slate: Microsoft’s search discount doesn’t really work if stuff is still cheaper elsewhere.
NYT: You guys heard about this Firefox browser? Pretty sweet.
Boston Globe: Sometimes it’s OK to make a joke in a headline. Sometimes it’s not.
With-it farmers: She thinks my tractor’s techy.
Sarah Lacy, author of Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0, has blogged about me blogging about her book.
So I feel compelled to respond. That, and I’m sitting in my kitchen, listening to Old 97’s and a bit bored on account of everyone I would be interviewing taking an early weekend. Can’t blame them. Weather’s stunning here in Boston.
What we did this week:
Misread Microsoft’s intentions and actually painted our car dashboards green.
Felt kind of bad about leaving Windows Vista off the dance card.
The Real Neil pulled out his to-do list and tried to figure out what tasks could use an offshore vacation.
Read that Web 2.0 book. Immediately locked up the privacy settings on our Facebook accounts.
What we’re doing this weekend:
Watching Syracuse destroy Virginia in the NCAA lacrosse semifinals, held in Massachusetts. Hey, if we can’t have another basketball championship…
Praying for Teddy Kennedy.
I know, I know, I know that people love to hate on Microsoft and Windows Vista in particular.
So when I wrote yesterday on SearchCIO-Midmarket.com about whether CIOs might skip Vista and wait for Windows 7, I figured I’d get an email or two.
And I did. But something was a bit different. Usually, when we get emails about stories they come from thinly veiled PR firms. “Hey Zach, loved your story on virtualization. You know, it got me thinking about my favorite new email client that is inexpensive and easy to install for the midmarket.” Junk like that.
The real comments either come anonymously or from personal email addresses. It’s obvious the writer wants to speak his mind, but that this is a one-way street.
Not so this time. Emails are coming in from work addresses, signed from IT managers and other CIO-like higher-ups. I’m not going to publish a writer’s name here today, but here’s a selection of the comments: Continued »
Well, we can’t very well ignore Web 2.0, can we?
The term alone – along with Enterprise 2.0, whatever that is – can be infuriatingly stupid.
So it was that a friend spied me reading Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0 and asked “Don’t you know we’re already on to Web 3.0?”
My sentiments exactly. People have beaten their heads senseless trying to define this silly term. BusinessWeek reporter Sarah Lacy, who covers Silicon Valley and wrote the new book, has almost managed it. It only took about 284 pages.
Essentially a wrap-up of her reporting over the last few years, Once focuses on the current winners in the Valley. Max Levchin of PayPal and Slide. Marc Andreessen of Netscape and now Ning. Kevin Rose of Digg. And, of course, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.
The sometimes-too-fawning book portrays all these men as dreamers, not capitalists. They all want to be paid, of course, but in Lacy’s telling, the product comes first.
Google Health is up, and it is getting a LOT of press this week.
I wrote last month for the site about the challenges this and other on-demand personal health record programs will present for hospital CIOs. And since then, I’ve been dying to at least get a look at it.
Microsoft to Yahoo: “I didn’t mean to hurt you. Please baby, let’s give this another try.”
Poor security lets spammers make off with the emails of webcam chat users. But might the ensuing porn invitations be reaching the right audience?
Nintendo is encouraging this lame “Wii=healthy” storyline. Please, please stop.
Microsoft is scaling down XP so it can run on stripped-down laptops. What, can’t do that with Vista?
What we did this week:
Ruminated on the awesomeness of Gmail.
Reconsidered that computer science degree.
Maybe we could even pick it up at Bryant University.
What we’re doing this weekend:
Looking for hard objects to throw at Eric Gagne upon his return to Fenway. Seriously, we managed a World Series win despite this guy’s craptastic pitching for the last months of the season. Dude, didn’t I see your name in the Mitchell Report?
Praying for just one road win.
A few weeks ago I wrote on the site about the attempts to set up a Wi-Fi network across four square miles of downtown Augusta, Ga.
The story addressed the challenges – increasingly appearing insurmountable – to municipalities trying to employ this trend.
It boils down to service providers not seeing an ROI in partnering with a city for the opportunity to provide a service already provided to residents on an individual basis. And now that wireless access cards let laptop users connect to the Internet while sitting just outside a cornfield (I’ve done this), there’s not much need to pay for access to a network still limited to a city’s borders.
So the attempts have fallen, one at a time. Today we can add Philadelphia to the municipal Wi-Fi graveyard. Earthlink is pulling out of its Wi-Fi plans there, leaving behind a $17 million network nobody wants.
What a nightmarish proposition for a city CIO. As if it wasn’t already hard enough to run IT in a municipality. Equipment is old, city employees are underqualified and infrastructure is crumbling. Cities and towns sit at the bottom of the tax food chain. Think your budget’s tight now? Try running “computer services,” as the department is inevitably called.
Combine that mess with a clueless mayor scrambling for quick, easy press (“He’s making computers work everywhere! How progressive!”) and you’ve got a situation that would make any IT employee bury head in hands.
I wish the city of Augusta all the best. Limiting the network to downtown was a big step in the right direction. It doesn’t help garner votes, but it does make the project more realistic.
Mozilla has announced that Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is scheduled for the end of May. A code freeze was implemented late last week, forcing programmers to scramble to make last-minute changes and stomp out any bugs that still exist.
Release candidates are typically the final stages of development before the new software is pushed out to users.
The latest beta version – Firefox Beta 3.5 – was released in early April and, in my experience, the results of that version weren’t exactly stellar.
Techworld notes that Mark Schroepfer, vice president of engineering, posted to Mozilla’s development blog this weekend, “The release candidates will move a little slower than beta.” The reason, according to Techworld, is because of “the need to account for more public feedback than with earlier builds.”
Or, as one friend posted succinctly to his Twitter stream: “Firefox 3 beta 5 = fail.”
I wonder if Schroepfer saw a lot of that and decided to urge his company into a more cautious route.
Personally, I’m still a Beta or two behind 5. But even the Firefox 3 beta that I use to surf the Interwebs daily is a little buggy. From time to time it freezes or just decides to shut down on its own. That said, I’m a lot happier with my latest version instead of Firefox 2, which routinely froze and forced me to reset my user preferences: Losing my bookmarks and history several times a day got old quickly.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/hpLJqLhzzLk" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]