Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

April 29, 2008  6:41 PM

Overheard: Hardy Heron flunks the girlfriend test

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
hardy_heron2.jpg Linux won’t truly be ready for the desktop until someone computer illiterate can sit down at a the computer and with little effort do what they want to do.

Content Consumer, The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment

The Linux on the Desktop debate continues. Lots of buzz this week about this guy who had his girlfriend try out Ubuntu‘s latest release, Hardy Heron. (Love the codenames!)

It seems the guy (Content Consumer) had his girlfriend perform 12 tasks — ordinary things like watching a video on YouTube or changing the mouse speed. Nothing fancy.

And guess what? She had trouble. His conclusion?

The main issue with the desktop experience is that the geeky programmers and designers assume too much from the average user. They assume the user knows about the way in which programs are installed, or how the file system is set out. The average user will not go out of their way to google for help or even read the associated documentation that comes with Ubuntu and its default software. The little information pop-ups and guided wizards are critical to explaining how the user can accomplish the basic tasks they most probably are trying to do.

For those of you who’ve never even seen Linux on a desktop, Shawn Powers from Linux Journal gives you a high-level look-see. And here are the release notes from Wayne Richardson in plain English.

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April 29, 2008  4:52 PM

Overheard: Goodbye GoLive

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
neil_mcallister.jpg HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the Web graphics formats are all public, open standards. It just doesn’t seem right that the primary tool for professional Web site creation should be an expensive, proprietary software package. Where are the low-cost or open source competitors?

Neil McAllister, GoLive Goes Dead as Adobe Consolidates

Adobe should just have cleaned up GoLive and made it free. It’s still a useful app and would go a long way to soothe all the people who are still angry about how Adobe promised something useful with Photoshop Express but didn’t deliver.

April 29, 2008  11:30 AM

Overheard: iPhone vs. Blackberry

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
mike_lazaridis.jpg I couldn’t type on it and I still can’t type on it, and a lot of my friends can’t type on it. It’s hard to type on a piece of glass.”

Mike Lazaridis, as quoted in BlackBerry’s Quest: Fend Off the iPhone

April 28, 2008  12:44 PM

Overheard: Microsoft Cosmos

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
microsoft.jpg Unlike most OSes,   Cosmos doesn’t run on the bare metal of machines. Rather, it’s a virtualized OS that runs within the .NET container, intended to support .NET-based languages (particularly C#) that are also resident on the .NET container.

Joe McKendrick,  A New OS is Born

Channel 8 has step-by-step directions for downloading and making Cosmos work on your PC. 

April 25, 2008  4:53 PM

Overheard: Microsoft Live Mesh is JBOF (just a bunch of feeds)

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
live_mesh.jpg Essentially, Live Mesh is a collection of feeds (which can be expressed as ATOM, JSON, FeedSync, RSS, WB-XML, or POX). Every piece of data entered into a user’s Mesh — be it a file, a folder, a message, a user permission, or a new device — is rendered as a piece of information in a feed. The feeds are then synced with other devices that are part of that Mesh following rules for how to sync each particular piece of information.

Josh Catone, Live Mesh: First Look at Microsoft’s New Platform

Ok…I’m loving this. Social networking all grown up. News feeds are the future and Facebook showed us how to use them.

The Live Mesh Notifier is a news feed of all the activity on a user’s Mesh. Right now that means changes made to files, folders, devices, user permissions, and comments left on files/folders. However, because Live Mesh is a platform that seeks to interact with third party services…it is easy to envision how much more could be pushed through the news feed.

April 25, 2008  12:52 PM

Video: Robot demonstrates face recognition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

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Kind of cool!

April 25, 2008  12:44 PM

Overheard: InPhase Tapestry is just a WORM optical drive

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Essentially, the InPhase guys have built yet another WORM (write once, read many) optical drive. Yes, the 1.6 TB capacity is impressive, considering that the only recently has the new Blu-ray DVD-like format made it to market and the proposed dual-layer Blu-ray disks top out at ~50 GB. However, modern 52X CD-ROM drives have a random seek of ~90 milliseconds, significantly faster than the InPhase spec. for their drive.

Dossy, InPhase Technologies to publically demonstrate “Tapestry” holographic data storage drive

When I saw that Ivy had picked holographic disk drive as today’s Word of the Day, I got all excited. Then Dossy brought me back to earth.

April 24, 2008  9:15 PM

Overheard: Ballmer says customers love Vista

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
ballmer.jpg “In the business environment, we still have customers who are buying PCs with XP because information technology departments often have to work with old machines.”

Steve Ballmer as quoted in Microsoft could keep XP if customers want it: CEO

I don’t know which was more entertaining — Ballmer’s spin — or laughing at how this Reuters headline was written for search engines.

Microsoft, by the way, has announced that the cut-off date for XP will be June 30.

April 23, 2008  1:03 PM

Video: Microsoft’s “I’m making a difference” campaign

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

This collaboration between Windows Live Messenger and nine non-profit organizations has raised $1.3 million dollars so far. Every time a user starts a conversation using Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft shares a portion of the program’s advertising revenue with one of the non-profit organizations.

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April 23, 2008  12:20 PM

Overheard: 75% of businesses still block instant messaging

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
infologo_europe.gif According to a report released at Infosec 2008, nearly three quarters of businesses are blocking the use of free instant messaging (IM) applications.

Asavin Wattanajantra, Infosec 08: Businesses clueless on instant messaging

The report says that retail and distribution companies were most likely to block instant messaging, while financial companies were most likely to allow instant messaging ( but they monitor its use).

Ironically, I read the article above the very same day there were blogswarms about Apple adding an instant messaging application to the iPhone — and Microsoft announcing that their Windows Live Messenger campaign has raised $1.3 million so far.

Tom Newton from Smoothwall (they commissioned the report) says that as time goes on, business will have to change. He points out that while today’s network administrators didn’t grow up with instant messaging, today’s kids are skipping right over email and using a combo of instant messaging and MySpace or Facebook to communicate with friends. I can’t argue with that. It’s that way in our house.

So here’s my question: With a whole generation (think consumers) growing up using instant messaging, how come it’s the only major communication service that isn’t interoperable? And might that have something to do with business not “getting it?”

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