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Permanent link to archive for Monday, May 01, 2000. Monday, May 01, 2000

PC Week calls for Microsoft breakup

A win-win solution: "The Internet has opened countless opportunities for computing and business. Microsoft in its current state is a looming roadblock to those opportunities. Taking the best Microsoft has to offer and letting each part run free will ensure a dynamic, innovative and competitive industry for generations. The time is now to embark on that course."

A gutsy position for PC Week. Very unusual times.

Is it SOAP yet?

Either SOAP 1.1 is stable, and any future versions are a ways out and backward compatible or it's going to remain a moving target. I don't know if SOAP is finished yet. That's the big question. What do you think?

Survey: Is SOAP Stable?

All over the map

MacInTouch: FileMaker Security Holes.

Leonard Rosenthol says that Xerox has HTTP-based scanners. I must get one of these asap.

DJ Adams: RSS channels in Mozilla sidebar. I tried it out in Netscape 6 and sure enough, it works.

BTW Scripting News is available in RSS.

Gordon Eubanks: Value customers, not stocks.

Michael Sippey explains Pyra, the application behind Blogger.

NY Times: "A Dallas company has won a patent for a method of applying for a patent."

The War over Music on the Web

News.Com: Metallica fingers 335,435 Napster users. "Many individuals using the software or rival products believed they were operating anonymously or that individual actions would go unnoticed among the massive quantity of files being traded at any given time."

News.Com: loses legal battle to RIAA. " copied and stored a database of close to 80,000 CDs on its own servers. Customers could tap into this database if they proved they had their own copy of the CD."

NY Times: "It seems counterintuitive, but an increase in free downloads coincided with an increase in paid sales," Goldberg said. "Particularly among the young audience, the people who are most wired, the evidence is that it's bonding a new generation to music."

News.Com: Chuck D throws weight behind Napster. "The rapper left his longtime record label after disputes regarding digital distribution and has since been a prominent advocate of artists' ability to release music online independently and retain control of their careers."


SJ Merc: "Users dial a toll-free number and pick from several categories of information, from stock quotes and weather reports to local restaurant and movie listings. Callers speak commands and listen to responses through the telephone, rather than read a Web site's text or look at its graphics."

I'd love to use a voice portal that worked the other way. Call an 800 number, leave a voicemail. It sends an email with a pointer to a Real Audio file, which you can listen to, while watching ads in the video portion of the window. A new kind of web hosting service, with a really easy to use content tool, a telephone. What do you think? (Call it V2E. Voice-to-ear.)

Unix culture

Finally some self-deprecating humor about being a Unix user. Unix people have a rep among Mac and Windows users as being heavy-handed enforcers. Tough love-ers. Threatening people who say super-arrogant things.

I totally support a self-deprecation culture for Unix. Over the weekend I exchanged email with a Unix guy who chastised me for being "insular" and proposed to tell me how to speak to Unix people with proper humility. Well, I only pray to one God in relation to computers, and His name is Murphy. He's cross-platform, imHo.

Don Hopkins: The Unix-Haters Handbook.

Microsoft culture

Washington Post: "The Microsoft corporate culture can be broken down into four key parts: a tremendous work ethic; Bill Gates is always right; an us-versus-them mentality; and Bill Gates is always right," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner Group Inc. "If you execute successfully on all of that, you get to retire in your thirties as a multimillionaire."

NY Times: "Microsoft's stock is now down by nearly 45 percent from the all time-high of nearly $120 it reached late last year, meaning that Microsoft has lost more market value than the combined worth of all of the 25 next-biggest Northwest-based companies, including Boeing and"


Picture: Where the Subhonkers used to be, now there is empty space. What to do? Gardening, of course.

A peek behind the scenes at Scripting News. Here's how I upload pictures, direct from Adobe ImageReady to the Web, using just the Save command in ImageReady. Also included, the full source for Frontier 6.1.1 users.

Hint: Brent is sneak-previewing a new Manila feature that will be highlighted on Scripting News tomorrow.

"Turned me off of Frontier"

Joel Spolsky: "When UserLand (the company that graciously hosts this weblog) released the first Windows version of their flagship Frontier product, I downloaded it and started working through the tutorial. Unfortunately, Frontier crashed several times. I was literally following the instructions exactly as they were printed in the tutorial, and I just could not get more than 2 minutes into the program. I felt like nobody at UserLand had even done the minimum amount of testing, making sure that the tutorial works. The low perceived quality of the product turned me off of Frontier for an awfully long time."

Joel, we're doing better. Yesterday I installed a fresh copy of Frontier 6.1.1 on the machine formerly known as Nirvana. This was the first time I had ever installed an old release without cringing in horror at how awful the experience was. It went pretty smoothly. Could it be better? Yes it could.

Breakage and disconnects

Morning breakage alert. We're seeing problems on one of the servers that moved to Exodus over the weekend. Logging on to UserLand.Com has been a problem. Eeeeks. Moving these servers was a bit of a Hail Mary. Aim for the gutters, hope you miss all the pins. Well, it seems we nicked one. Murphy was very kind. But maybe we haven't prayed with sufficient humility. Fixed.

New Mac scripting site. It seems to only cover AppleScript, which is just one of many scripting systems for the Mac. Hmmm. Python, Perl, tcl are all available for the Mac. Aren't they? I think Python was developed first on the Mac. Why is this disconnect still there??

Speaking of disconnects, I got an email from Conxion customer support. It begins "Dear valued customer". What values? Weird.


Last update: Monday, May 01, 2000 at 8:29 PM Eastern.

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