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August 02, 2005

New Prototype Program to Encrypt VoIP

"Phil Zimmermann, the celebrated cryptographer who created PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) for e-mail encryption, is taking a shot at securing VOIP communications.

"Using the open-source, cross-platform softphone Shtoom and the Diffie-Hellman key agreement protocol, Zimmermann has developed a session-based encryption tool that lets two users on a SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)-based VOIP connection verify each other's identity to avoid snooping."

Ryan Naraine. Privacy Pioneer Promises Secure VOIP. eWeek. July 28, 2005.

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August 01, 2005

Open Source Presents Economic Opportunities

"Knowledge is open source. It cannot be curtailed and has to be freely available.

"The concept of open source is not new. It is a subversive ideology that has been surfacing every now and then, setting it's mark on the pages of history."

Shankar Iyer. Tearing Down Those Knowledge Walls. Financial Express. July 31, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 22, 2005

Open Source to Transform Software Business

"A panel of high-profile industry players weighed in Thursday on whether the world will ultimately turn to open source as a means for solving its software needs, with the overriding view being 'yes.'

"In the next five to 10 years, the open-source movement will transform the software business, according to several top industry executives speaking at the AO 2005 Innovation Summit at Stanford University."

Dawn Kawamoto and Stefanie Olsen. Tech VIPs Say Future Belongs to Open Source. News.com. July 21, 2005.

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July 20, 2005

K. Matthew Dames Gives Virtual Presentation

K. Matthew Dames, managing partner of Seso Group Digital Information Advisors and the executive editor of SNTReport.com and Search & Text Mining Report, is this month's speaker for SLA's Virtual Seminar series. Dames will present the second part of a two-part series on digital collaboration projects for information professionals, "Launching A Digital Collaboration Project." The second session is Webcast live at 2:00 EST on July 20.

(The first session was Webcast on July 6, and can be viewed via an SLA Replay.)

Attendance & Registration
Want to view Dames' presentation live? Check the SLA Virtual Seminar page for more information. If you have any additional questions, e-mail SLA at learning@sla.org or call the Professional Development Center at (703) 647-4925.

This session will be taped and available for viewing within one week of the Webcast.

Description
Whatever you call it – digital collaboration, social software, social networking – working across the Web is about more than technology or devices. Ultimately, it is about developing a community of practice where people readily share their information and knowledge, regardless of distance.

Many clients and end-users will suggest that the trend toward using digital collaboration lessens the need for librarians and other information professionals. Instead, the opposite is true: online information sharing increases the need for librarians as facilitators, researchers, and knowledge managers. With some work and initiative, technology-savvy Info Pros can position themselves inside their organizations as critically important team members at a time when their value is being questioned.

This two-part series looks at the tools and issues involved in creating an effective digital collaboration environment, and shares some ideas on how best to establish a digital collaboration initiative within an organization. The first part of the series, part of SLA's Virtual Learning Series, will explain the tools and terminology of digital collaboration, and how different organizations are using these tools to improve productivity and knowledge sharing.

Slides
K. Matthew Dames. Launching A Digital Collaboration Project. (.pdf, 1.8 MB) July 20, 2005.

Coming in August 2005
Stephen E. Arnold. The Google Legacy (Tetbury, Gloucester: United Kingdom. Infonortics, 2005)

Webliography

The American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Basecamp

Salesforce.com

Google Labs

Google Short Message Service

Google Mobile

Google Code

Blogger

Functioning Form. Battle for the Web OS. July 12, 2005.

Fred Vogelstein. Gates vs. Google: Search and Destroy. Fortune. May 2, 2005.

Charles Ferguson. What's Next for Google. TechnologyReview.com. January 2005.

Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled. Weblications. Dec. 20, 2004.

Troutgirl. Google Is Good for Web Dev. Dec. 18, 2004.

Kuro5hin. Web-Apps Are the Legacy of the Future. Oct. 25, 2004.

Jon Udell. Under Gmail’s Hood. InfoWorld. Oct. 22, 2004.

Kottke.org. GoogOS, the Google Operating System. April 6, 2004.

Topix.net Weblog. The Secret Source of Google's Power. April 4, 2004.

Tim O'Reilly. Inventing the Future. O'Reilly Networks. April 9, 2002.

Martha K. Heyman. Building Successful Relationships with IT Professionals. Information Outlook. April 2001.

PaulGraham.com. The Other Road Ahead. Sept. 2001.

Adam Bosworth. Microsoft's Vision for XML. Infoloom. No date.

SNTReport.com™ Covering the Intersection of Collaboration and Technology. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 16, 2005

P2P Projects Continue Despite Grokster

"The ripples of anxiety from last month's landmark Supreme Court ruling on peer-to-peer software haven't quite made it to Jonathan Nilson's home in Tallahassee, Fla.

"Nilson, a programmer who has been working on peer-to-peer software called Shareaza for several years, says the loose band of developers who share responsibility for the open-source project haven't been dissuaded from their work by the court ruling, which is casting a dark legal cloud over the future of companies such as Grokster and LimeWire."

John Borland. Open-source P2P Projects Keep Swapping. News.com. July 15, 2005.

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July 15, 2005

IBM to Offer Free Software to Universities

"IBM is extending an academic outreach program to give universities access to some of its cutting-edge research free of charge.

"The company plans to announce on Thursday a license that will let academics use and distribute 25 software-development technologies hosted on IBM's alphaWorks emerging-technology Web site."

Martin LaMonica. IBM Opens Research to Academia. News.com. July 13, 2005.

See also:
Red Herring. IBM Taps Into Universities. July 13, 2005.

Jim Wagner. IBM to Send AlphaWorks to School. InternetNews.com. July 13, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Project Gizmo Rivals Skype

"There's a new, aptly named VoIP 'Gizmo on the Internet, setting out to compete with the phenomenally successful Skype.

"SIPphone.com Project Gizmo, launched earlier this month, is a SIP based PC-to-PC VoIP application with a basic feature set similar to Skype.

"There are Gizmo CallIn and CallOut features, which connect the application to calls coming from and going to the PSTN, as well as Gizmo-to-Gizmo calls. As a SIP-based application, though, Gizmo also lets users call other SIP-based applications."

Sean Michael Kerner. New Gizmo a Skype Killer?. WiFi Planet. July 14, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 14, 2005

Technology Improves Mobile Phone Reading Efficiency

"For those who have squinted to read text on their cell phones, Stanford University researchers think they have hit upon a better way: Do it one word at a time.

"The technique, known as Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, or RSVP, makes up for the tiny screens on mobile phones by presenting just one word at a time in the center of the screen for a fraction of a second before moving on to the next word.

"As a result, each word is far easier to read than is the case with standard presentations, in which a sentence or two of much smaller type scroll across the screen at a time."

Ina Fried and Michael Kanellos. Reading Phone Text One Word at a Time. News.com. July 14, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 12, 2005

Opera 8.02 to Support P2P

"The next version of the Opera Web browser will support peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, which has been the focus of a lot of legal discussions recently.

"A technical preview of Opera 8.02 released Thursday allows users to download BitTorrent files directly from the browser rather than downloading the file and using a client application like Azureus to download the full file."

Jim Wagner. Opera Adds BitTorrent. InternetNews.com. July 7, 2005.

See also:
John Borland. Browsers Add BitTorrent Support. News.com. July 8, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 08, 2005

SourceLabs Launches Wiki-Based Open Source Catalog

"SourceLabs Inc., a service provider for open-source software, Wednesday announced a new community-based catalog of open-source projects that also serves as a wiki and features RSS technology.

"Seattle-based SourceLabs introduced the new technology, called Swik, as a service to the open-source community, said Brad Silverberg, managing partner at venture capital firm Ignition Partners—which has invested in SourceLabs—and a SourceLabs board member.

"'It's primarily for developers and end users to find out about all the different open-source projects, including documentation, download sites, reviews, descriptions, tips, tricks, all that kind of stuff,' Silverberg said."

Darryl K. Taft. SourceLabs Open-Source Catalog Boasts Wiki, RSS Support. eWeek. July 6, 2005.

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July 07, 2005

A Fifth of Japanese Businesses Use Open Source

"The use of open-source operating systems in enterprise servers is growing in Japan, with companies citing low introduction costs as the main factor for adoption, according to a recent report by the Japanese government.

"So far, 21 percent of Japanese companies have already introduced open-source operating systems while 22 percent either have plans to deploy, or are considering plans to deploy, an open-source operating system, according to an annual white paper (.pdf) released by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).

"By contrast, 33 percent of U.S. companies have adopted open-source operating systems in at least some of their servers, MIC said."

Paul Kallender. One fifth of Japanese Businesses Using Open Source OS. InfoWorld. July 5, 2005.

See also:
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Information and Communications in Japan 2005. (.pdf) June 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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LG to Use Palm OS for Smartphone

"Mobile phone manufacturer LG Electronics has agreed to use a version of the Palm OS designed by Palmsource in a future smart phone, which might be the first phone to use a Linux-based version of Palm OS that is currently under development.

"Palmsource interim CEO Patrick McVeigh had referred to a pending announcement of a new licensee last week during a conference call about Palmsource's fourth-quarter earnings results, in which the Sunnyvale, California, company swung to a profit based on a one-time gain.

"Wednesday's announcement solves that mystery, but does not address which version of Palm OS will appear in the phone."

Tom Krazit. LG Chooses Palm Operating System for Future Smart Phone. PCWorld. July 6, 2005.

See also:
Dinesh C. Sharma. LG Signs Up with PalmSource. News.com. July 6, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 06, 2005

The Value of Open Source Software

"Although Linus Torvalds may be the person most people associate with the Linux operating system, Jon 'Maddog' Hall, with his hippie-length white hair and Santa Claus beard, is a close second as the public face of the open-source movement.

"As executive director of nonprofit Linux International, he travels the world talking about the value Linux and open-source software can offer to large enterprises."

Joab Jackson. The Real Cost of Open-source Software. GCN. July 5, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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July 05, 2005

Motorola Readies Linux Based Mobile Phone

"Motorola announced a new step this week in its plan to remake most of its mobile phone line with Linux, expanding use of the open-source operating system to midrange phones.

"The E895 is a flip-phone design that uses a version of Linux from MontaVista Software, said Cheryln Chin, vice president for Motorola mobile phone marketing. Motorola expects to begin shipping it in Asia in the fourth quarter of the year and in other parts of the globe after that.

"Motorola began selling Linux-powered mobile phones in 2003 but, until now, has used the OS only in high-end phones. Motorola expects to change that as software makers slim down Linux and hardware makers bulk up cell phone computing power, Chin said."

Stephen Shankland. Linux Moves Into Midrange Motorola Phones. News.com. July 1, 2005.

See also:
Linux News. Motorola Readies Tri-band Linux/Java Phone. June 27, 2005.

Stephen Shankland and Ben Charny. Linux to Power Most Motorola Phones. News.com. Feb. 23, 2003.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:42 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Gates: Search Still Needs Improvement

"Describing a future where everyone and every system is highly connected through wireless devices and Web services, Bill Gates said Friday there is still room for improvements in search engines and the Internet.

"Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect was speaking before a conference hall here packed with over 7,000 IT professionals, government officials and students. Gates is in Singapore for the day, following a trip to Thailand.

"'We have the availability of information wherever you go, delivered by the breakthrough of wireless networks' in the office and in public areas, he said."

Eileen Yu. Gates Calls for Better Search Technology. News.com. July 1, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 28, 2005

Sun Microsystems Extends Open Source Initiatives

"Sun Microsystems flung open the doors to its code with an extension of its open sourcing initiatives.

"Monday's announcements here at JavaOne, Sun's annual developer conference, included the open-sourcing of its application server and enterprise Java technologies, along with the introduction of a new spec for business integration. Executives promised still more code to come.

"Sun announced the release of code for Java System Application Server Platform Edition 9.0 and the Java System Enterprise Server Bus (ESB). John Loicano, Sun executive vice president for software, said the two projects would let developers help create the next generation of app servers."

Susan Kuchinskas. Sun Goes Large For Open Source. Internetnews.com. June 27, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 24, 2005

Volunteers Use Wiki to Review Guantanamo Docs

"A group of volunteers has begun using collaborative wiki software to expedite the process of perusing thousands of pages of complex documents related to detainees held by the U.S. government at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

"The group, which has coalesced through the influential liberal blog, Daily Kos, has taken it upon itself to vet documents about Gitmo detainees the American Civil Liberties Union received as a result of a 2003 Freedom of Information Act request.

"Earlier this month, Susan Hu, a Daily Kos contributor, commenced the project, in which she and several co-organizers oversee volunteers who have agreed to review a manageable portion of the ACLU documents."

Daniel Terdiman. Wiki Reviews Guantanamo Docs. Wired News. June 22, 2005.

See also:
Daily Kos. SusanHu's FOIA Project UPDATE. June 9, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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Study: 10% of UK WebSites Fail with Firefox

"One in 10 UK websites fail to work properly on the open source Firefox web browser, a study shows.

"Some 100 leading consumer sites were assessed by web-testing firm SciVisum.

"Websites that proved difficult for Firefox users to navigate included the government website Jobcentreplus.gov.uk and the cinema site Odeon.co.uk."

BBC News. Websites Alienate Firefox Users. June 23, 2005.

See also:
Lucy Sherriff. Firefox Users Turned Away from 10% of Top UK Sites. The Register. June 22, 2005.

SciVisum. SciVisum Study Shows that Websites Alienate Firefox Users. (Press Release.) June 22, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 23, 2005

P2P Commerce Marches On

"As the file-swapping world waits for a verdict on its future from the Supreme Court, a handful of entrepreneurs are pushing ahead with plans to harness the anarchic networks for commerce.

"On Wednesday, a new service called Gnutelligence launched with the aim of bringing something very like Google's sponsored search results to the open-source Gnutella network.

"Run by a former LimeWire employee, the service is designed to produce clearly marked advertising results in response to specific, pre-purchased keywords inside the Gnutella network.

John Borland. New Plans for P2P Commerce, Despite Court Wait. News.com. June 22, 2005.

Related:
Associated Press. File-Swapping May Be Here to Stay. Forbes.com. June 22, 2005.

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June 22, 2005

Appeals Court Hears Blizzard DMCA, EULA Case

"The U.S. Supreme Court could release its decision on Monday in the much-anticipated Grokster case, which will determine whether file-swapping networks are legal to operate.

"Yet another, unrelated lawsuit before a federal appeals court taking place on the same day promises to be just as important.

"The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis is set to hear arguments Monday in a case that may decide how the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, applies to computer software and the important practice of reverse engineering."

Declan McCullagh. Putting the DMCA on Trial. News.com. June 20, 2005.

See also:
JoeGratz.net. BnetD Oral Argument Audio Available. June 20, 2005.

Groklaw. Blizzard v. BnetD Hearing Tomorrow Morning. June 19, 2005.

Electronic Frontier Foundation. Consumers’ Rights at Stake in Eighth Circuit Videogame Case. June 16, 2005.

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June 11, 2005

Impact of Open Source on Telecommunications

"Five years after the dot-com bust, the spotlight is again shining on a brash tech whiz kid who thinks his software will radically transform an old-world industry.

"But Mark Spencer's company, Digium, has something that eluded many a Silicon Valley wannabee during the bubble: real revenues. The company pulls in about $10 million a year, and its open-source software has garnered interest from such business stalwarts as AT&T;.

"Spencer's company makes Asterisk, an open-source application, for the Linux operating system, that's at the heart of many installations of sophisticated corporate phone equipment. The upshot: Gear that typically costs hundreds of thousands of dollars is now available for the price of a laptop."

Ben Charny. Is the Telephone Industry Ready for Open Source?. News.com. June 10, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:14 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 06, 2005

Google Launches Sitemaps to Enhance Search

"Google unveiled a new program today which would provide Web site owners and marketers more control over when and how their pages are indexed by the search engine's crawlers.

"The Sitemaps program aims to optimize Google's crawling activities, leading to better search results, and to give site owners more input into how their sites are crawled. The process involves a site owner creating and posting an XML file on the site's server describing which pages on the site should be indexed, when those pages were last updated, how often they're updated, and how important each page is relative to others on the site.

"Google created an open-source tool, Sitemap Generator, to assist in the process."

Kevin Newcomb. Google Unveils Sitemaps Tool. ClickZNews. June 3, 2005.

See also:
Danny Sullivan. New "Google Sitemaps" Web Page Feed Program. SearchEngineWatch. June 2, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:53 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

Apple to Switch From IBM to Intel Chips

"Apple Computer plans to announce Monday that it's scrapping its partnership with IBM and switching its computers to Intel's microprocessors, CNET News.com has learned.

"Apple has used IBM's PowerPC processors since 1994, but will begin a phased transition to Intel's chips, sources familiar with the situation said. Apple plans to move lower-end computers such as the Mac Mini to Intel chips in mid-2006 and higher-end models such as the Power Mac in mid-2007, sources said.

"The announcement is expected Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, at which Chief Executive Steve Jobs is giving the keynote speech. The conference would be an appropriate venue: Changing the chips would require programmers to rewrite their software to take full advantage of the new processor."

Stephen Shankland. Apple to Ditch IBM, Switch to Intel Chips. News.com. June 3, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:21 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 03, 2005

Thunderbird Update to Include Podcast Support

"Developers of the Mozilla Foundation's open-source e-mail client have added a podcasting feature to its arsenal and improved its defense against phishing attacks.

"The changes were highlighted Tuesday in a Mozilla blog that discussed modifications to the software before its upcoming 1.1 release. They are not available in the current 1.0.2 release.

"Thunderbird already supports RSS feeds as they are commonly used by blogs, but a new patch will deal with Podcast-type content by opening a dialog box through which the user can summon a helper application such as a Web browser or audio player."

Renai LeMay. Thunderbird Gets Podcasting Support. News.com. June 2, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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June 02, 2005

Microsoft Adds XML File Formats to Office 12

"Microsoft said Thursday that it will introduce new XML-based file formats for its Excel, PowerPoint and Word applications when the company launches its Office 12 software package next year.

"Company officials said the move to replace Microsoft's traditional binary file formats with open-standards-based XML versions will allow companies using Office 12 to more easily access data across XML's various applications.

"Microsoft pledged that the shift to XML, also known as Extensible Markup Language, will decrease the size of many individual files and make documents created in its Office products more resistant to corruption."

Matt Hines. Microsoft Adding XML Files to Office 12. News.com. June 1, 2005.

See also:
Mary Jo Foley. Office 12 to Get New File Formats . Microsoft Watch. June 1, 2005.

Martin LaMonica. OpenDocument gets Standards Stamp. News.com. May 23, 2005.

Ina Fried. Microsoft Offers Peek at Next Office Suite. News.com. May 18, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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May 25, 2005

BitTorrent Search Engine to Carry Search Ads

"Whiz kid inventor Bram Cohen and a small cadre of developers and entrepreneurs are in the final stage of launching an advertising-supported search engine dedicated to cataloging and indexing the thousands of movies, music tracks, software programs and other files for download over Cohen's popular BitTorrent protocol.

"The free search tool will be the first large-scale commercial offering from BitTorrent, a five-person company headed by Cohen that so far has drawn most of its revenue from T-shirt sales and PayPal donations."

Kevin Poulsen. Next for BitTorrent: Search. Wired News. May 23, 2005.

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Questions Linger Over Longhorn

"The trend for Microsoft releases lately has been lots of glamour and very little content. Many of us in the IT community are likely expecting more of the same of Longhorn, Microsoft's next major operating system (OS) release.

"Well, this time we couldn't be more wrong. Longhorn will be so much more than a Windows XP service pack 3 and the timing couldn't be more crucial for Microsoft.

"Mounting pressure from open-source movements and some recent cutbacks from proposed Longhorn functionality are giving Linux increased momentum. To keep the predators at bay, Microsoft must have a very successful release."

Steven Warren. Will Longhorn Deliver?. CIO Update. May 19, 2005.

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May 20, 2005

Google Stands Behind Privacy Policy

"Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt acknowledged that his company's search engine can ruffle privacy feathers, but said the company's technology doesn't violate the company's founding motto, 'Don't be evil.'

"Schmidt discovered his own home phone number through Google, but said he was able to remove it by filling out Google's standard form. But Google shouldn't be blamed when that sort of private information crops up, he said."

Stephen Shankland and Dawn Kawamoto. Google CEO Defends Privacy Policies. News.com. May 19, 2005.

SNTReport.com™ The Online Journal for Social Software, Digital Collaboration & Information Policy. A Seso Group™ Venture.

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May 13, 2005

IBM Extends Reach Into Open Source

"With the software acquisition frenzy showing no signs of slowing, IBM has bought a small, but technologically significant company and strengthened its hold on the $7 billion middleware market.

"Its purchase on Tuesday of Gluecode Software for an estimated $100 million is a ringing endorsement of the open-source software movement. And when coupled with IBM's recently completed purchase of Ascential Software, it suggests yet another sign that the largest players with the broadest offerings are calling the shots in the software industry."

Bill Snyder. Size Matters in Software Merger Derby. TheStreet.com. May 11, 2005.

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May 11, 2005

Liability: Open Source v. Properietary

"If you've heard lately (via Steve Ballmer at Microsoft) that you put your company at greater risk of being sued because you are using open source software (OSS), don't believe it.

"Actually, there is, depending who you talk to, either an equal or somewhat reduced risk of liability from OSS than proprietary software. This is because OSS code is peer-reviewed by a group of proud developers who often have the ability to recognize other developers' handiwork."

Allen Bernard. Can You Really Get Sued for Using Open Source?. CIO Update. May 6, 2005.

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May 10, 2005

NYC Candidate Leverage Collaboration Tools

"It was inevitable. At some point one of us -- and by that I mean someone with a clue about technology -- would run for political office.

"I don't count Al Gore or Howard Dean, whose campaign raised vast sums when it discovered e-mail and e-commerce. I mean someone like Andrew Rasiej, one of four Democratic candidates vying for New York City's Office of Public Advocate, which advises the mayor on community relations and investigates complaints against city agencies.

"Rasiej's proposals rely heavily on developing universal Wi-Fi and wiring the subways for cell phones. He looks to the model of open source as a way for the citizenry to identify, report and fix problems -- for example, he says it's a fine idea if New Yorkers could use cell-phone cameras to report potholes to the proper authorities."

Adam L. Penenberg. The Techno Candidate. Wired News. May 5, 2005.

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May 06, 2005

Security Inhibits Enterprise VoIP

"Worries over viruses and network downtime are keeping chief information officers from going for purely IP networks--and that's why Avaya uses Linux, according to Don Peterson, CEO of the networking company.

"Peterson said that call centers in particular have fielded security as a reason to avoid switching to an IP network. 'They don't want two devices with virus exposure on their desk,' he said on Wednesday.

"'(Security) is something CIOs think about along with their IP telephony decision--many of our customers say it's why they don't deploy IP influence,' he added. 'It is why we have chosen to deliver our IP telephony solution on Linux rather than on Windows.'"

Jo Best. Security Fears Put Wrench in VoIP Networks. News.com. May 4, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:15 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

May 02, 2005

Firefox Tops 50 Million Downloads

"The Mozilla Foundation's Firefox Web browser passed a significant milestone in adoption on Friday, with more than 50 million copies of the program downloaded, according to its distributors.

"To commemorate the moment, the foundation said on its Web site that it would create 50 limited-edition coins, to be distributed to people with stories of spreading the browser online. An additional, a still-unnamed prize will be given to the owner of the Web site responsible for the 50 millionth download."

John Borland. Firefox Passes 50 Million Download Mark. News.com. April 29, 2005.

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April 28, 2005

Grid Computing Moves to the Boardroom

"Two initiatives in the coming weeks will seek to make computing grids, where far-flung computers act as a single machine, more widespread in the business world.

"In May, a consortium of vendors called the Enterprise Grid Alliance plans to release its first recommendations for making grids more palatable to businesses. The EGA guidelines, which was formed one year ago to promote grid computing in business, will address a range of technical issues, from security to a utility-like pricing system for buying computing power in industry-standard increments."

Martin LaMonica. Grids Get Down to Business. News.com. April 27, 2005.

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Venture Capitalists Again Embrace Open-Source

"The first time Marc Fleury tried to raise money for his technology start-up company, in mid-2000, a venture capitalist told him that he didn't have merely a bad business plan but a terrible one.

"Not only was Fleury planning to compete against the likes of IBM, but his product was open-source software, which he would give away.

"Four years later, he tried again. His business was still based on the free distribution of code, yet now there was a dogfight among venture capitalists competing to finance his company, called JBoss."

Gary Rivlin. Open Wallets for Open-Source Software. News.com. April 27, 2005.

See also:
Martin LaMonica. JBoss Tries to Bulk Up Its Rolodex of Partners. News.com. Feb. 28, 2005.

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April 21, 2005

Will Google Ride Open Source to Dominance?

"Proprietary control is alive and well on the Web; indeed, the only thing more proprietary than a proprietary standard is a closed system with no interfaces at all, which is essentially what Google has traditionally operated (as have Yahoo and AOL). Amazon and EBay both have, in essence, open but proprietary APIs. None of the most successful firms on the Web have nonproprietary architectures that others can freely clone.

"But while the New Age Theory doesn’t apply to the Web, it does increasingly apply to the software market. After completing the Google article, I had embarked upon research for my upcoming article, on open source software and the challenge it poses to Microsoft and the traditional software industry.

"And here I found an unexpected convergence between another criticism advanced against the Google article and my new research."

Charles H. Ferguson. Google and the Coming Search Wars, Revisited. TechnologyReview.com. April 4, 2005.

Editor's Note: See SNTReport.com's related post.

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Content on Demand: Full Text Newsfeeds

"A new company officially joined the world of content providers when it chose to launch its premium newsfeed service at the recent Buying and Selling eContent conference.

"Newstex, founded in late 2004 by president Larry Schwartz and CEO Steve Ellis, has announced Content On Demand, which offers full-text newsfeeds to content redistributors and enterprise customers.

"Content sources include branded newswires, newspapers, magazines, financial and business sources, official government feeds, and Weblogs."

Paula J. Hane. Newstex Launches Content On Demand. Information Today. April 18, 2005.

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April 16, 2005

Victory for Open Source

"A Linux programmer has reported a legal victory in Germany in enforcing the General Public License, which governs countless projects in the free and open-source software realms.

"A Munich district court on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction barring Fortinet, a maker of multipurpose security devices, from distributing products that include a Linux component called 'initrd' to which Harald Welte holds the copyright."

Stephen Shankland. Linux Programmer Wins Legal Victory. News.com. April 14, 2005.

Peter Galli. Fortinet Under Fire for Allegedly Violating GPL Terms. eWeek. April 14, 2005.

Ingrid Marson. Defender of the Linux Faith. News.com. March 18, 2005.

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April 09, 2005

OSI Develops Rules for Licenses

"The Open Source Initiative has begun an effort to pare down the number of open-source licenses in widespread use.

"The OSI, a group that bestows official open-source status on licenses, will promote a small number of licenses as preferred options, according to a position paper it adopted on Wednesday. The group hasn't yet decided which of the more than 50 licenses it's so far approved will get the status.

"OSI also adopted three new administrative provisions designed to screen out new licenses that don't add much usefulness. The provisions, proposed in March, require licenses to be clearly written, simple and understandable; reusable; and not duplicative of existing licenses."

Stephen Shankland. Open-source Group to Corral Licenses. News.com. April 6, 2005.

See also:
Stephen Shankland. Open-source Overseer Proposes Paring License List. News.com. March 2, 2005.

Jim Wagner OSI Tackles License 'Explosion'. InternetNews.com. April 4, 2005.

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April 08, 2005

Growth of VoIP Poses Risk

"Dr. Shashi Phoha, director of the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said she thinks that the growth of VOIP technology brings with it some significant risks that users need to be prepared to address.

"'The vulnerabilities are severe,' she said, pointing to a list that included ways to spoof or spy that aren't easily available on regular phones."

Wayne Rash. 'Severe' Vulnerabilities Are Possible in VOIP, Official Warns. eWeek. April 5, 2005.

See also:
Wayne Rash. SPIT Into This, Please. eWeek. March 16, 2005.

Wayne Rash. VOIP Panel Seeks Standard. eWeek. April 5, 2005.

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Lessig Speaks On Flash Restrictions

"Copyright reformer Lawrence Lessig gave Flash developers an earful Wednesday about how their platform of choice is perceived in the free-software world.

"Flash is the enemy," said Lessig, a Stanford University professor and board member of the Free Software Foundation, as he described the opinions of leading free- and open-source-software advocates.

"Lessig, addressing attendees of the Flashforward2005 conference here Wednesday, sounded familiar themes in his talk, titled 'The Costs of Copyright.'
He argued that the digital age has created new demands for the sharing of content that old-media copyright law cannot meet. As a result, he said, outdated copyright law is casting a pall over creative expression and education."

Paul Festa. Lessig Preaches Openness to Flash Faithful. News.com. April 6, 2005.

See also:
Paul Festa. Fighting for a New Net Copyright Deal. News.com. June 6, 2003.

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April 07, 2005

Wikis Speed Information Flow

"There is a public Web site where people can find a Web log written by some prominent members of the government information technology community. Visitors can view a list of officials in the CIO Council's Communities of Practice and read ongoing revisions to a major government document, the data reference model. Members of the public also are contributing to the discussions.

"An emerging technology called 'wiki' makes this collaboration possible. Wiki technology creates what is essentially a public Web log, one which anyone with a Web browser can add to or modify."

Aliya Sternstein. Wiki Means Fast. FCW. April 4, 2005.

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UK Funds Open Source for Public Sector

"The UK government is funding several projects to accelerate the adoption of open source software in the public sector, including a Sourceforge for councils.

"A UK government-funded initiative aims to accelerate the use of open source software within the public sector, through various activities including the creation of a government-specific code repository and a directory of open source providers."

Ingrid Marson. 'Critical' Open Source Initiative to Crack Public Sector. ZDNet UK. April 5, 2005.

See also:
eGov Monitor. Gov.uk Backs Open Source Drive. The Register. April 4 ,2005.

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April 06, 2005

Wikis Facilitate Collaboration

"There is a public Web site where people can find a Web log written by some prominent members of the government information technology community. Visitors can view a list of officials in the CIO Council's Communities of Practice and read ongoing revisions to a major government document, the data reference model. Members of the public also are contributing to the discussions.

"An emerging technology called 'wiki' makes this collaboration possible. The word comes from 'wiki wiki, Hawaiian for 'fast.' Wiki technology creates what is essentially a public Web log, one which anyone with a Web browser can add to or modify."

Aliya Sternstein. Collaborative Sites Enable Sharing of Ideas, Workload. USA Today. April 4, 2005.

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Strategy Needed for Open Source Tools

"Is open source strategic? This is a question that every company thinking about the use of open source products needs to face. If open source is strategic then, like any other strategic resource, it needs to be managed: you need to have a specific strategy for open source products.

"The first thing to decide is the areas in which open source is to be deployed. Does this only apply to Linux and network servers or does it extend to application servers, databases and development environments? In each case, you also need to decide which open source products you are going to endorse from a strategic perspective."

Philip Howard. Open Source Databases - A Sword that Cuts Both Ways?. The Register. April 4, 2005.

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April 04, 2005

Developers Build Skype Economy

"Like the iPod, free phone service Skype is creating a coattail economy as hungry developers rush to cash in on its popularity.

"In just 18 months, Luxembourg-based Skype has signed up some 31 million registered users, promising free phone calls over a broadband connection between two members anywhere in the world.

"Now Skype is hoping to take the service even further by recruiting third-party developers to build add-on programs that might attract even more customers and possibly take its technology in new and unexpected directions."

Ben Charny. Skype Dreams for Developers. News.com. April. 4, 2005.

See also:
Ben Charny. Why VoIP is Music to Kazaa's Ear. News.com. Sep. 11, 2003.

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SourceLabs Releases Open Source AMP Stack

"SourceLabs, a start-up within the open-source software market, released on Wednesday an infrastructure software stack for application deployment.

"The SourceLabs AMP Stack integrates specially configured versions of the Apache web server, MySQL database and PHP, a scripting language used to create dynamic web pages.

"The package is available free of charge. Like many distributors of open-source software, SourceLabs plans to make money by selling support and services."

Antone Gonsalves. SourceLabs Ships Open-Source Software Stack. CRN. March 30, 2005.

See also:
Martin LaMonica. Services Start-up Gives Away Open-source Bundle. News.com. March 30, 2005.

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April 01, 2005

Groups Catch WordPress Spamming

"One of the most popular Weblog-publishing tools, WordPress, is stirring a controversy over search-engine gaming because it included thousands of articles related to popular search terms on its Web site while largely hiding them from site visitors.

"Bloggers and search-engine marketers are accusing the open-source WordPress project of spamming the major search engines, while at the same time being one of the advocates in an effort to combat comment spam in blog postings."

Matt Hicks. WordPress Under Fire for Search-Engine Spamming. eWeek. March 31, 2005.

See also:
Danny Sullivan. WordPress Caught Spamming After Enlisting To Fight Spam. SearchEngineWatch. March 31, 2005.

Waxy.org. Wordpress Website's Search Engine Spam. March 30, 2005.

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March 31, 2005

Brazil Choses Linux Over Microsoft

"Since taking office two years ago, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has turned Brazil into a tropical outpost of the free software movement.

"Looking to save millions of dollars in royalties and licensing fees, Mr. da Silva has instructed government ministries and state-run companies to gradually switch from costly operating systems made by Microsoft and others to free operating systems, like Linux.

"On Mr. da Silva's watch, Brazil has also become the first country to require any company or research institute that receives government financing to develop software to license it as open-source, meaning the underlying software code must be free to all."

Todd Benson. Brazil: Free Software's Biggest and Best Friend. News.com. March 29, 2005.

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March 30, 2005

Linux Improves Desktop Search

"The next version of Novell Inc.'s Linux Desktop will include new metadata search technology and other capabilities that company executives said they believe will give it the muscle it needs to take on Windows in the consumer market.

"Among the new features Novell hopes will draw the masses to the new desktop operating system, due next year, is Beagle, a desktop search and metadata technology that indexes all the content on a user's hard drive, including Web sites visited and instant messaging conversations, making this content all instantly searchable.

"It will also be able to store and search metadata."

Peter Galli. Linux Desktop Improves Search. eWeek. March 28, 2005.

See also:
Eric Lundquist. Desktop OS Will Be a Key Choice for Business Users. eWeek. March 28, 2005.

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March 23, 2005

Ask Jeeves Toolbar for Firefox Launches

"Ask Jeeves on Tuesday made a Firefox version of its toolbar available for download."

Paul Festa. Ask Jeeves Launches Firefox Toolbar. News.com. March 16, 2005.

Ask Jeeves Blog. Got Firefox? Get Toolbar.. March 15, 2005.

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March 22, 2005

Sun Moves Java Closer to Open Source

"Sun Microsystems wants to send Java closer to the open-source world, yet keep it safe from harm.

"It will modify its licenses to make access to the Java source code easier, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said Wednesday. But it stopped short of creating an open-source license--something it has resisted, despite calls to do so.

"Over the next month, Sun intends to introduce two licenses for using Java 2 Standard Edition, the software for building and running Java programs on desktop PCs. The licenses are expected to be used for the Mustang edition of J2SE, which is due in the first half of 2006."

Martin LaMonica. Door to Java Source Code Opens a Crack Wider. News.com. March 16, 2005.
See also:

Martin LaMonica. Sun Reluctant to Make Java Open Source. News.com. March 17, 2004.

Stephen Shankland. Sun Wrestles With Open-Source Java. News.com. July 2, 2004.

Martin LaMonica. Sun Looks to Sweeten Java. News.com. March 15, 2005.

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March 21, 2005

Google Opens New Site for Developers

"Google launched a developers' site, offering up code to the open source community.

"Following the familiar developers' network model, the opener for Google Code includes software source code developers are invited to use, as well a directory of Google APIs and an online forum for discussion and peer support."

Susan Kuchinskas. Google Opens Developer Network. InternetNews.com. March 17, 2005.

See also:
David Becker. Google Courts Open-Source Developers. News.com. March 17, 2005.

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March 19, 2005

Few News Sites Experiment With Social Software

"Social networks continue to blossom online by appealing to people's deepest needs for connection. What promise do these technologies offer for news sites?

"In the last two years social networking sites mushroomed across the net, heavily fertilized by hype and the promise of six degrees of connection between socially dispersed people who shared common interests or friends. Now companies actively apply social networking principles to shift more stock and lure more clickthrus to their site."

Daithí Ó hAnluain. Social networks: All Around the Net, But Underused by News Sites. Online Journalism Review. March 11, 2005.

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New iPodder 2.0 Available

"The nascent market of podcasting got a boost this week with the latest release of iPodder 2.0.

"The new version of the popular podcasting client sports a slicker look among its long list of feature improvements, which developers argue is proof positive that podcasting technology is now mature and ready to be taken seriously.

"Podcasting, a term derived from Apple's iPod, makes use of RSS enclosures to allow users to listen and subscribe to audio content much the same way they can with a text blog. The technology can be played on any MP3-capable device."

Sean Michael Kerner. iPodder 2.0 Release Elevates Podcasting. InternetNews.com. March 17, 2005.

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March 18, 2005

Lessig Invites Readers to Update 'Code'

"Further nudging outward the boundaries of online publishing, Stanford University Professor Larry Lessig will put his 1999 book 'Code' online today and invite Internet users to help him write an updated version.

"A noted copyright expert and proponent of free software, Lessig is putting the 297-page treatise about technology, culture and regulation on the Web in the form of a 'wiki,' a site that can allow people to freely edit its contents. The law professor will take the contributions at http://codebook.jot.com and edit them into a printed version of the book."

Michael Bazeley. Professor's Online Publishing Experiment. San Jose Mercury News. March 16, 2005.

See also:
JotSpot. Lawrence Lessig and JotSpot Invite the Internet Community to Update 'Code'. (Press Release). March 16, 2005.

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March 16, 2005

BitTorrent's Strength Focuses on Legitimate Use

"Most file-sharing programs aren't the most upstanding citizens of the computing world. Yes, the entertainment industry hates them for the way they're used to download movies and albums without paying -- but many of these programs also fail to treat their own users well, often installing an unadvertised, unwanted load of advertising and spyware.

"BitTorrent is different. This free, open-source program offers a spyware- and nuisance-free installation. And while it is certainly handy for downloading movies and other copyrighted material for free, it's also increasingly used to distribute software and entertainment legally.

"This makes BitTorrent (www.bittorrent.com) not only a fascinating test case for legal experts, but it also looks a lot like the logical fusion of peer-to-peer file-sharing and traditional downloading. It's too robust to stamp out with lawsuits, but too effective not to adopt for commercial use."

Rob Pegoraro. BitTorrent May Prove Too Good to Quash. WashingtonPost.com. March 13, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

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March 08, 2005

A Peek Inside Google

"The key to the speed and reliability of Google search is cutting up data into chunks, its top engineer said.

"Urs Hoelzle, Google vice president of operations and vice president of engineering, offered a rare behind-the-scenes tour of Google's architecture on Wednesday. Hoelzle spoke here at EclipseCon 2005, a conference on the open source, extensible platform for software tools."

Susan Kuchinskas. Peeking Into Google. InternetNews.com. March 2, 2005.

See also:
Charles Babcock. A Glimpse Of Google. Information Week. March 2, 2005.

Martin LaMonica. Google's Secret of Success? Dealing with Failure. News.com. March 3, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

March 03, 2005

Skype = Seed of Redmond?

"Bill Gates has often outlined a vision of Microsoft becoming an 'information utility,' the nerve center of a Microsoftian infrastructure network where people subscribe to computing power (think 'grid') the way they subscriibe to electric power, cable television, or--you guessed it--telephone service. Skype's startling vision of a future telephone-over-Internet network is probably closer to creating the infrastructure of utility computing than even Bill Gates himself is prepared to admit.

"Skype is an orchestrated attempt to utterly replace a the global telephone network, driven by a small army of cash-armed tech warriors who are as success-driven and shrewd as Gates himself was as an ugly, gawky teenager in the 1970s. If I were Microsoft, or SBC, or Nextel, I'd be watching Skype very closely right now."

Tad Wallingford. Skype Looks More and More Like a Baby Microsoft. O'Reilly Developer Weblogs. Feb. 16, 2005.

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February 26, 2005

Spyware Exposes Blogs to Attacks

"Hackers are using blogs to infect computers with spyware, exposing serious security flaws in self-publishing tools used by millions of people on the Web.

"The problem involves the use of JavaScript and ActiveX, two common methods used to launch programs on a Web page. Security experts said malicious programmers can use JavaScript and ActiveX to automatically deliver spyware from a blog to people who visit the site with a vulnerable Web browser.

"Spyware tools also have been hidden inside JavaScript programs that are offered freely on the Web for bloggers to enhance their sites with features such as music. As a result, bloggers who use infected tools could unwittingly turn their sites into a delivery platform for spyware."

Stefanie Olsen. Spyware Infiltrates Blogs. News.com. Feb. 23, 2005.

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February 25, 2005

Open Source Source Software Plays Central IT Role

"IT managers who once used Linux chiefly to support Web and file-and-print servers said at last week's LinuxWorld Conference & Expo here that they're now running key applications and databases on Linux-based systems—a sign that the open-source software is penetrating deeper into corporate enterprises.

"'It's as deep as it will get for us. It's what we're betting the data center on,' said Jon Fraley, a Linux administrator at Glen Raven Inc. In December, the Glen Raven, N.C.-based textile manufacturer finished moving mission-critical Oracle databases from an aging 24-CPU Hewlett-Packard server running Unix to four-way HP servers that are based on Intel Xeon processors and run Red Hat Inc.'s Linux distribution.

"New enterprise Linux capabilities are also helping early adopters such as Yahoo Inc. venture into new terrain. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet hub already had 'lots' of Linux servers running Yahoo services, databases, business intelligence software and reporting applications, said Mason Ng, Yahoo's director of engineering operations."

Carol Sliwa. Linux Starts to Take a More Central IT Role. ComputerWorld. Feb. 21, 2004.

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Panel: Cultural Change Needed to Share Data

"Health researchers are rewarded for hoarding data as opposed to sharing it, concluded experts on a panel on intellectual property and information access in the genetic age. The panel was part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's larger conference, which explores how scientific issues impact society, here this week.

"Alan Herbert, a geneticist at Boston University, said that the natural tendency of companies and universities is to lock up data contained in electronic medical records or banked tissue samples. The databases become a unique resource that can be curated to generate revenue, so there is a huge disincentive to release data, even though such access would improve the quality of everyone's research.

"Science is usually done in 'small groups that hold data in small silos,' said Carol Kovac, general manager of IBM Healthcare. She said that multiple experiences in IT showed the advantages of open access for the general community and for IBM in particular. She cited Linux as a culture that 'rewards people for contributing, not holding back.'"

M.L. Baker. Panel: Cultural Shift Needed to Make Health Data Valuable. eWeek. Feb. 19, 2005.

See also:
M.L. Baker. Bush's Science Advisor, Congressman Clash Over Computer Models. eWeek. Feb. 18, 2005.

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February 24, 2005

At 25 Million Downloads, Firefox Gains on IE

"Firefox is gathering steam and gaining traction, but the open-source browser is not expected to overtake Microsoft in the foreseeable future.

"The number of downloads of Firefox has topped 25 million, indicating that the open-source browser continues to make gains in the market dominated by Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer.

"Downloads of Firefox 1.0 had reached 25.24 million as of Friday, just over 100 days since its release, according to the Mozilla Foundation, developers of the browser. A preview release of Firefox 1.1 is scheduled for April."

Antone Gonsalves. Firefox Tops 25 Million-Download Mark. InformationWeek. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
Mozilla Foundation. Mozilla Foundation Announces 25 Million Downloads of Firefox Browsers. (Press Release.) Feb. 16, 2005.

Antone Gonsalves. IE 7 Sparks Talk Of Browser Wars. TechWebNews. Feb. 16, 2005.

Jack McCarthy. Firefox Surpasses 25 Million Downloads. InfoWorld. Feb. 22, 2005.

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February 21, 2005

IBM Pledges $100 Million for Linux

"IBM is spending $100 million over the next three years beefing up its commitment to Linux software.

"The cash injection will be used to help its customers use Linux on every type of device from handheld computers and phones right up to powerful servers.

"IBM said the money will fund a variety of technical, research and marketing initiatives to boost Linux use."

No author. IBM Puts Cash Behind Linux Push. BBC News. Feb. 18, 2005.

See also:
Jennifer LeClaire. IBM To Invest $100 Million in Linux Support, Technology. TechNewsWorld. Feb. 17, 2005.

Dennis Callaghan. IBM Pledges $100 Million to Workplace on Linux. eWeek. Feb. 17, 2005.

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Posted by Carol Schwartz at 08:12 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

February 18, 2005

3G Linux Phone Boasts New Features

"Several leading mobile technology players are cooperating on a project to explore Linux's potential as the major software component in smart phones of the future.

"At the 3GSM World Congress taking place here this week, Infineon Technologies, Samsung and embedded-Linux specialist Trolltech said they have created a 3G, or third-generation, smart phone built around the Linux operating system.

"The prototype uses Linux software from MontaVista Software, a company that creates versions of the open-source operating system that can be embedded into special-purpose computing devices such as telecommunications equipment. The prototype features services such as video calling and streaming, Web browsing, stereo speakers and Java-based 3D gaming."

Andrew Donoghue. 3G Linux Phone Allows Video Calling, Web Browsing. News.com. Feb. 15, 2005.

See also:
CNET News.com Staff. Cell Phones Sound Off with New Skills. News.com. Feb. 16, 2005.

Stephen Shankland. MontaVista Aims to Simplify Cell Phone Linux. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

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February 16, 2005

Yahoo Unveils Firefox Toolbar

"Yahoo released a beta version of its Web browser toolbar for users of the Mozilla Firefox browser on Thursday, offering bookmarks, newsfeeds, and search and translation tools.

"The beta version of the toolbar requires Firefox 1.0 for Windows and is available as a free download. It also includes features such as the ability to search a site, Yahoo Mail notifications and alerts, and buttons for access to the Internet company's games, finance, news, and sports sites, among others."

Scarlet Pruitt. Yahoo Fires Up Toolbar for Firefox Users. PC World. Feb. 10, 2005.

See also:
Reuters. Yahoo Unveils Test Toolbar for Firefox. News.com. Feb. 10, 2005.

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February 15, 2005

Los Angeles Considers Open Source Software

"City officials in Los Angeles are considering switching to an open-source platform for their computer systems to potentially save millions of dollars that could be redirected to other services.

"Three council members — Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greul and Jack Weiss — introduced a motion last week asking the city's Information Technology Agency to provide an initial report on potential savings in 30 days and a transition plan in 90 days. Although city officials already use some open-source software, they spent $5.8 million on proprietary software licenses for the fiscal year that ran from July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2004.

"With open-source programs, users can read, modify and redistribute the source code for free. The most widely known example is the Linux operating system, although some vendors charge for their Linux distributions."

Dibya Sarkar. L.A. Investigates Open Source to Cut Costs. FCW.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

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February 14, 2005

Google Proposes to Host Wikipedia Project

"Wiki Media Foundation, the group behind the Wikipedia online encyclopedia project, said Friday that search giant Google has volunteered to host some of its content on company servers.

"In a notice posted to the nonprofit organization's Web site, the group, also known as Wikimedia, said its board of directors is currently considering the terms of Google's offer and plans to meet with the search company sometime in March.

"The group was quick to point out that any relationship established with Google would not require it to begin advertising on its Web site."

Matt Hines. Google May Host Encyclopedia Project. News.com. Feb. 11, 2005.

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February 12, 2005

Approaches to Open Source Licensing

"The notion of collaborating to create open source applications for higher education is rapidly gaining momentum. From course management systems to ERP financial systems, higher education institutions are working together to explore whether they can in fact build a better mousetrap. As Lois Brooks, of Stanford University, recently observed, the open source movement is as much about building communities as it is about developing and sharing applications.

"As higher education creates open source communities for shared resources, it's important to know what kind of community we are creating and some of the principles underlying that community. Fundamental differences in approaches, philosophies, and incentives for various stakeholders exist. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the legal area of licensing.

"Licensing in the open source world is not about giving up ownership of software or content. In almost all cases, the authors or communities maintain copyright of their work. However, through licensing, open source authors and communities can allow others to use the software or content more freely than would generally be allowed under copyright law. Broadly speaking, there are two approaches for open source licenses: (1) the General Public Licenses (GPLs), known as the 'copyleft' approach, and (2) a set of approaches that together are sometimes referred to as 'open/open.'"

Paul B. Gandel and Brad Wheeler. Of Birkenstocks and Wingtips: Open Source Licenses. Educause Review. Jan./Feb. 2005.

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Wikinews: An Experiment in Collaborative News

"You may, in the course of reading this article, spot a factual error that made it to press. A certain bit of grammar may makes you bristle, or you may think the writing is biased. But by now the ink has dried; all you can do is send an e-mail message or a letter of complaint.

"If this article had been published on Wikinews, a Web site begun recently, there would be something more you could do: change it, fix it, expand it or delete it.

"Wikinews (www.wikinews.org) is an experiment in collaborative news gathering and reporting, and the latest in a collection of Wikis (pronounced WIK-eez or WEEK-eez) under the umbrella of Wikimedia, which cultivates free and open information resources written by its users."

Aaron Weiss. The Unassociated Press. The New York Times. Feb. 10, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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February 09, 2005

Sun's Open Source Vision

"Sun Microsystems is a company that's made good use of its visionary impulses to survive against bigger rivals. So it's fitting that Jonathan Schwartz is the company's No. 2 executive.

"Schwartz has a reputation as an ideas man, but now he's got to turn those ideas into reality. For Sun, which is still working to reverse a three-year revenue slide, that suggests a period of intense change.

"Schwartz has climbed Sun's ranks since the company acquired his start-up, Lighthouse Design, in 1996. On the same day in April 2004 that Sun announced a detente with Microsoft, along with its third major round of layoffs in three years, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer.

"Since then, Schwartz has pinned much of Sun's turnaround plan on software. So it is that the company's salespeople are no longer compensated simply for selling hardware. Meanwhile, the Solaris operating system is becoming open-source software, and adding a Sun database has become a real possibility."

Stephen Shankland. Sun's Open-Source Gamble. News.com. Feb. 7, 2005.

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February 07, 2005

Skype Expands VoIP Service to Linux, OS X

"At a time when major U.S. telephone operators are spending billions of dollars to expand, telephone software maker Skype on Tuesday says it's building a global phone network virtually for free.

"New renditions of Skype software for Linux and Macintosh operating systems are expected to become available on Tuesday. The new releases are a significant expansion for 17-month-old Skype. Since its debut, Skype's free software only worked on Microsoft devices, though test versions of the Linux and Macintosh software have been available since last year.

"Skype's latest software arrives at a time when many elite U.S. phone companies are consolidating with others in multibillion dollar deals that let the communications giants expand into new markets and territories. Using the merger-mania as a backdrop, Skype's new software releases should put even more fright into traditional telecom executives.

Ben Charny. Skype Creeps Under Phone Giants' Radar. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Skype. Skype for Mac OS X and Linux. (Press Release.) Feb. 1, 2005.

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Firefox 1.1 Delayed Till June

"Firefox 1.1 will be released three months later than originally planned, according to Ben Goodger, the lead programmer on the browser.

"'In a move that I would hope should surprise exactly nobody, we're pushing back 1.1 by a little bit because of the realities of the work remaining to be done,' Goodger said in a blog posting last week.

"Some reports have speculated that the change in date was caused by Goodger's recent move to Google. But Goodger denied these reports in a later post.

"Firefox 1.1 was initially scheduled to be released around March 2005. But the final version has been delayed until June 2005."

Ingrid Marson. Firefox 1.1 Delayed. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

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February 05, 2005

Open-Source Patents: A Closer Look

"The latest tactic in the software-patenting battle is the granting of patent rights to open-source developers. But are the grants really the equivalent of wolves in sheep's clothing?

"That's not the only movement on the patent front. The possible approval of a software-patenting measure in Europe this Wednesday could bring a barrage of lawsuits on both sides of the Atlantic, affecting proprietary software as well as the open-source community.

"Let's take a closer look."

Bruce Perens. The Open-Source Patent Conundrum. News.com. Jan. 31, 2005.

See also:
Stephen Shankland. Open-Source Honchos Trash Software Patents. News.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

Richard Stallman. Sun's No-Op Announcement. Newsforge. Jan. 31, 2005.

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February 04, 2005

Activists Urge Open-Source Software

"Activists at a leftist gathering where Microsoft is viewed as a corporate bogeyman urged developing nations Saturday to leap into the information age with free open-source software.

"John Barlow, a lyricist for the Grateful Dead, told a gathering inside a packed warehouse that poor nations can't solve their problems unless they stop paying expensive software licensing fees.

"'Already, Brazil spends more in licensing fees on proprietary software than it spends on hunger,' said Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a cyberspace civil liberties group."

Associated Press. Activists Urge Open-Source. Wired News. Jan. 29, 2005.

See also:
National Public Radio. Brazil Makes Move to Open Source Software. Morning Edition. Jan. 31, 2005.

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Legal Center to Support Open-Source Developers

"Freely distributed open-source software like the Linux operating system has become increasingly popular, but one cloud over its future has been legal risk. So far, most of the lawsuits have involved claims that software code owned by someone else found its way into a cooperative programming project.

"A nonprofit legal center opening today, backed by $4 million in initial financing from a corporate consortium, will provide advice from specialists that is intended to minimize the risk that developers and users of free software will be sued.

"The Software Freedom Law Center, its founders say, will focus on helping the leaders of open-source software projects organize and manage their work in ways that anticipate and avoid potential legal pitfalls."

Steve Lohr. An Effort to Help Free-Software Developers Avoid Suits. The New York Times. Feb. 1, 2005.

See also:
Jim Wagner and Michael Singer. Open Source Law Center Opens Doors. InternetNews.com. Feb. 1, 2005.

Stephen Shankland. Lawyers Ride Shotgun for Open Source. News.com. Jan 31, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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February 03, 2005

Firefox Rocks the Software World

"For Rob Davis, the final straw came during a beautiful weekend last summer, which he spent holed up in his Minneapolis apartment killing a zombie. The week before, a malicious software program had invaded Davis' PC through his browser, Internet Explorer, using a technique called the DSO exploit. His computer had been repurposed as a "zombie box" - its CPU and bandwidth co-opted to pump reams of spam onto the Internet. Furious, Davis dropped out of a planned Lake Superior camping trip to instead back up his computer and reformat his crippled hard drive. Then he vowed never to open IE again.

"Lucky for Davis, a new browser had just appeared on the scene - Firefox, a fast, simple, and secure piece of software that was winning acclaim from others who also had grown frustrated with Internet Explorer.

"Firefox couldn't have arrived at a better time for people like Davis - or at a worse time for Microsoft. Ever since Internet Explorer toppled Netscape in 1998, browser innovation has been more or less limited to pop-up ads, spyware, and viruses.

"Like most open source software, Firefox is forever a work in progress, the product of continual tweaking by thousands of programmers all over the world. What makes Firefox different from other open source projects is its consumer appeal. Until now, the open source community has been very good at creating useful software but lousy at finding nontechnical users.

Josh McHugh. The Firefox Explosion. Wired. Feb. 2005.

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January 29, 2005

Alternative Web Browsers

"It used to be that Internet Explorer, the one-size-fits-all Web browser bundled with every copy of Microsoft Windows, was enough for most people. It worked well and cost nothing. Who needed anything else?

"That attitude is fading these days as consumers begin to realize that other browsers offer more features, better security and greater freedom. Bells and whistles, perhaps, but some of them can be surprisingly useful.

"The number of competitors to Internet Explorer is surprisingly large and diverse. The most commonly mentioned alternatives are Mozilla and its cousin, the recently released Firefox 1.0, two browsers descended from Netscape, the early Internet company that is now part of AOL. Firefox is a Web browser pure and simple. Mozilla uses the same basic core (known as Gecko) and adds tools for reading e-mail, chatting and composing Web pages."

Peter Wayner. Custom Tailor a Web Browser Just for You. The New York Times. Jan. 27, 2005.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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January 27, 2005

Open Source DRM?

"The leading vendors in consumer electronics have banded together to create a Community Source Program for digital rights management and will license the whole kit and caboodle, the patents, copyrights, compliance logo and source code to anyone that wants it.

"Effectively CE DRM is going open source (to the extent that Community Source is the same as Open Source) in order to flood the market with DRM systems and route the threat offered by Microsoft in consumer electronics.

"The move comes from the leading lights in the October announced Coral Consortium, and the DRMs that can be created with the new development tools will all be compliant with and ready to interoperate through the Coral interoperability standard."

Faultline. CE Giants Open DRM to the Community. The Register. Jan. 24, 2005.

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January 26, 2005

AOL Releases AOLserver Update

"The open source AOLserver Web server project released a new update this week, enhancing the server that powers some of the most trafficked sites on the Internet today, including AOL.com.

"Licensed under the Mozilla Public License, AOLserver is, according to its project page, a massively scalable and extensible Web server tuned for large scale, dynamic Web sites."

"The AOLserver includes a dynamic page-scripting language, as well as complete database integration. The new release adds one API change and a pair of feature enhancements, including on-the-fly gzip encoding of HTTP responses."

Sean Michael Kerner. AOL Updates Its Open Source Web Server. InternetNews.com. Jan. 21, 2005.

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January 25, 2005

Firefox Continues to Gain Popularity

"The popularity of alternative Web browser FireFox continues to rise at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to a new study.

"From the beginning of December through mid-January, 4.78 percent of Internet surfers studied by online measurement company WebSideStory used the Mozilla Foundation's FireFox browser, a gain of 0.88 percentage points. At the same time, IE usage declined 0.7 percent to 92.7 percent, the firm reported. WebSideStory said IE use has declined from 96.7 percent since June."

Jim Hu. FireFox Continues Gains Against IE. Jan. 21, 2005.

See also:
Steve Hamm. Mozilla Is Gaining on Godzilla. BusinessWeek Online. Jan. 12, 2005.

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January 14, 2005

IBM Pledges 500 Patents for Open Source

"IBM has decided to let open-source developers use 500 software patents without fear of an infringement lawsuit, a new step in its encouragement of the collaborative programming philosophy.

"It is a small but significant measure for a company with major efforts to patent its research, then license those patents. Still, the vast majority of IBM's 10,000 software patents in the United States aren't being shared so freely.

"The move follows that of Linux seller Red Hat, a comparatively small company that objects to software patents but allows unfettered use of its own smaller portfolio in open-source software. And Novell, the second-largest Linux seller, has vowed to use its own patent portfolio to deter and counter legal attacks against open-source software."

Stephen Shankland. IBM Offers 500 Patents for Open-Source Use. News.com. Jan. 10, 2005.

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January 13, 2005

Wiki Co-founder Discusses Open Source Journalism

"Can Internet volunteers improve journalism? Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy 'Jimbo' Wales is out to find out.

"Wikipedia is a very successful online encyclopedia written and edited by thousands of volunteers. Now they are trying the collaborative wiki process on news. The project, called Wikinews, is in its early stages and faces clear challenges, from the difficulty of doing original reporting to delivering news quickly in a peer review model.

"Wikinews is just one of several wiki-related efforts--from an online dictionary to freely available textbooks--being run by the nonprofit Wiki Media Foundation. But Wikinews appears to be the project in development getting the most attention--at least from journalists.

"Wales spoke to CNET News.com about Wikinews and the 'burgeoning culture' around wikis."

Martin LaMonica. Open-Sourcing the News. News.com. Jan. 7, 2004.

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January 12, 2005

Commonists, Not Communists, Bill

"When Bill Gates referred to copyright reformers as modern-day communists in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show, it didn't take long for the web community to respond with a big 'nyah-nyah-nyah.'

"Bloggers and designers were quick to dream up 'creative communist' symbols, a play on one of the best-known groups working for copyright reform, Creative Commons.

"The images were instantly passed around and added to websites, T-shirts and buttons."

Katie Dean. We're Creative Commonists, Bill. Wired News. Jan. 8, 2005.

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January 11, 2005

Six Apart Buys LiveJournal

"Six Apart said on Thursday it had acquired Danga Interactive Inc., bringing together two pioneers of online journals known as blogs and creating a stronger rival to Google Inc.'s Blogger.com service.

"Terms of the stock and cash transaction were not disclosed, said closely held San Francisco-based Six Apart, which developed the popular Movable Type online publishing software and the TypePad blogging service.

"Danga, which is based in Portland, Oregon and also privately held, operates the blogging service LiveJournal, which is popular among adolescents and teenagers."

Duncan Martell. Six Apart Acquires Maker of LiveJournal Weblogs. Reuters. Jan. 6, 2005.

See also:
Michael Bazeley. Six Apart Interview. SiliconBeat. Jan. 6, 2005.

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January 10, 2005

Vulnerability in Mozilla Firefox

"A vulnerability in Firefox could expose users of the open-source browser to the risk of phishing scams, security experts have warned.

"The flaw in Mozilla Firefox 1.0, details of which were published by security company Secunia on Tuesday, could allow hackers to spoof the URL in the download dialog box that pops up when a Firefox user tries to download an item from a Web site. This flaw is caused by the dialog box incorrectly displaying long sub-domains and paths, which can be exploited to conceal the actual source of the download.

"Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research at software maker F-Secure, said this bug could make Firefox users vulnerable to cybercriminals. 'The most likely way we could see this exploited would be in phishing scams,' he said."

Ingrid Marson. Firefox Flaw Raises Phishing Fears. News.com. Jan. 7, 2005.

See also:
Staff ZDNet UK. Firefox: When Is A Flaw Not A Flaw?. News.com. Jan. 7, 2005.

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iPods as Storage Device for Images

"Radiologists are turning to iPods to deal with the hassles of managing medical images. They're not listening to music, though; they're looking at pictures.

"Medical images are increasingly important in diagnosing everything from cancer to heart disease to sports injuries. And they are used extensively for research, including brain function and experimental treatments, but they also require large data sets, making storing and transferring images problematic.

"Two radiologists recently developed open-source software, called OsiriX, to display and manipulate complex medical images on the popular portable devices called iPods. The most current version of OsiriX, which speeds up some processes and fixes crash-causing bugs, was released on Tuesday."

M.L. Baker. iPods Store Medical Images. eWeek. Jan. 5, 2005.

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January 08, 2005

Polese Details Open Source Plans

"SpikeSource, a start-up headed by computing industry veteran Kim Polese, has revealed more details of its plan to tap into the growing popularity of open-source software at corporations.

"When it launched earlier this year, SpikeSource said it was working toward offering maintenance and support services for packaged open-source components to businesses. In an interview with CNET News.com, Polese fleshed out the company's planned lineup, which includes automated delivery of software and services for a 'hybrid' of infrastructure software, both open source and proprietary.

"'Our focus is software as a service--it's delivering a stream of updates and remote management of open-source stacks,' Polese said. 'We're going from do-it-yourself software to fully integrated and supported.'"

Martin LaMonica. Polese Opens Up on Open-Source Plans. News.com. Jan. 4, 2005.

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January 06, 2005

EFF Sponsors Anonymity Project

"A group dedicated to preserving civil liberties on the Internet announced this week that it's throwing its weight behind the development of a technology to foster anonymity in cyberspace.

"The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) of San Francisco said in a statement that it is sponsoring the Tor Project, which has created an open-source application to help users remain anonymous when they surf the Web.

"According to EFF Technology Manager Chris Palmer, backing Tor is a way to safeguard on the Internet the real-world right to anonymity established by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 'The way the Internet works, you can't necessarily be anonymous,' he told TechNewsWorld."

John P. Mello Jr. Internet Lib Group Backs Anonymity Project. TechNewsWorld. Dec. 27, 2004.

See also:
Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF Joins Forces with Tor Software Project. Dec. 21, 2004.

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January 04, 2005

Opera Software Releases Talking Browser

"Opera Software released a test version of a major update to its Web browser software, intensifying its efforts, along with open-source rival Firefox, to cut into Microsoft's market share.

"The new, as-yet-unnamed software adds stronger support for RSS (Really Simple Syndication)--a technology widely used for automatic access to blogs and other material--and technology that allows users to navigate through voice commands and have Web pages read to them.

"The company said it has made enough improvements to turn the final version of this beta download into a major new release, instead of an ordinary incremental upgrade."

John Borland. Opera Releases New Talking Web Browser. News.com. Dec. 23, 2004.

See also:
No author. Opera Releases New Talking Web Browser. Search Engine Journal. Dec. 23, 2004.

Matt Hicks. Opera Tackles Voice Browsing and RSS in Latest Beta Release. eWeek. Dec. 23, 2004.

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Microsoft's New Year's Resolutions

"Directions on Microsoft has released a list of what it considers the top 10 challenges for the software giant in 2005.

"'Left unattended, each (challenge) could ultimately interrupt Microsoft's 25-plus-year run of growth and profits and leave the door open for younger, smaller and more nimble competitors,' the analyst house said in its end-of-year research note Wednesday."

Tony Hallett. New Year's Resolutions for Microsoft. News.com. Dec. 23, 2004.

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January 03, 2005

Analysis of Microsoft's EU Decision

"In rejecting Microsoft's appeal this week a European court has dealt a significant setback to Redmond's attempts to mount an attack on competitors based on intellectual property litigation.

"The decision by Judge Bo Vesterdorf at the European Court of the First Instance reveals for the first time many of the legal arguments that were made behind closed doors this year. The parts that interest us here are the decision itself, which rejects the idea that communication protocols are any kind of 'trade secret,' and the slightly astonishing admission from Microsoft itself that suing people for IP violations is bothersome, or in its lawyers' own words: 'a particularly complicated and inefficient exercise.'

"If we're to take the lawyers at their word (always a risky business), then what has so often been described as a patent war between Redmond and open source developers looks much more like a phony war. Put the two together, and we have a much clearer idea of Microsoft's strategy than we did twelve months ago."

Andrew Orlowski. How Microsoft Played the Patent Card, and Failed. The Register. Dec. 23, 2004.

See also:
Red Herring. Europe Smacks Microsoft. Dec. 24, 2004.

BBC. The European Court of Justice. No date.

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December 22, 2004

BitTorrent Reacts to MPAA's Pressure

"BitTorrent 'hubs' that publish lists of movies, TV shows and other free downloads suddenly went dark this weekend, in a major victory for Hollywood that highlights vulnerabilities in technology behind the world's busiest peer-to-peer network.

"Last week, the Motion Picture Association of America launched a series of worldwide legal actions, aimed at people who ran the infrastructure for BitTorrent networks being used to distribute movies and other copyrighted materials without permission.

"The MPAA's actions have put pressure on a short list of large Web sites that had served as hubs for the BitTorrent community and that had operated for months or even years. Many of those sites have now vanished almost overnight, including the SuprNova.org site that was by far the most popular gathering point for the community, serving more than a million people a day, according to one academic study.

John Borland. BitTorrent File-Swapping Networks Face Crisis. News.com. Dec. 20, 2004.

See also:
Peter Svensson. Popular File-Sharing Site Shuts Down. eWeek. Dec. 20, 2004.

Johan Pouwelse. The BitTorrent P2P File-Sharing System. The Register. Dec. 18, 2004.

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December 21, 2004

Firefox Steals Share from Microsoft Explorer

"Firefox is a classic overnight success, many years in the making.

"Published by the Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit group supporting open-source software that draws upon the skills of hundreds of volunteer programmers, Firefox is a Web browser that is fast and filled with features that Microsoft's stodgy Internet Explorer lacks. Firefox installs in a snap, and it's free.

"For the first time, Internet Explorer has been losing market share. According to a worldwide survey conducted in late November, Internet Explorer's share dropped to less than 89 percent, 5 percentage points less than in May. Firefox now has almost 5 percent of the market, and it is growing."

Randall Stross. The Fox Is in Microsoft's Henhouse (and Salivating). The New York Times. Dec. 19, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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December 18, 2004

2004: Review of Mobile & Wireless Technology

"Mobile and wireless technology is still hot, only its application is going through teething problems. Tony Hallett looks back on a busy 12 months and sticks his neck out on what to expect in 2005 - sort of…

"In all things mobile and wireless it has been a year of consolidation, launches, wireless everywhere and some familiar battles between well-known standards and companies.

"But 2004 was also 12 months where some of us became a little more sophisticated in how we use mobile devices and even the higher-ups learned - sometimes the hard way - that this remains one of tech's most exciting areas, one that can make a real difference to the bottom line."

Tony Hallett. Re:Viewing 2004: Mobile and Wireless. Silicon.com. Dec. 14, 2004.

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December 17, 2004

Firefox Downloads Exceed 10 Million

"Firefox, the open-source challenger to market heavyweight Internet Explorer, has surpassed 10 million downloads in a little more than a month since the browser was released in November.

"The free Web browser from the Mozilla Foundation surpassed 10 million downloads on Saturday as Web surfers continue to move away from Microsoft's market-dominating IE.

"The milestone highlights growing frustration with the security vulnerabilities that have dogged IE during the past few months. Nearly two dozen holes in the Web browser have been discovered during the fall, ranging in degrees of seriousness."

Steven Musil. Firefox Surpasses 10 Million Download Mark. News.com. Dec. 12, 2004.

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December 10, 2004

Foxfire Users Click Less

"Internet Explorer users are at least four times as likely to click on Web ads than Firefox users, a German advertising technology company said last week.

"The company, Adtech, found that during October and November, only 0.11 percent of Firefox users ever clicked on an ad, compared with around 0.5 percent of IE users. The percentage of IE users clicking on ads varied depending on which version of the browser was being used, the company said: from 0.44 percent of version 6.x users to 0.53 percent of version 5.5 users.

"Dirk Freytag, the chief operations officer of Adtech, said in a statement that the reason for this trend is probably the different surfing habits of Firefox and IE users, plus the inclusion of an integrated pop-up ad blocker in Firefox. Among IE users, only those who have version 6 and who have installed Windows XP Service Pack 2 have an integrated pop-up blocker, although IE users can also choose to install a third-party pop-up blocker."

Ingrid Marson. Firefox Users Ignore Online Ads, Report Says. News.com. Dec. 6, 2004.

See also:
Sam Varghese. Most Web Users Hate Pop-Up Ads: Nielsen. FairfaxDigital.com. Dec. 7, 2004.

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December 07, 2004

"W3C10" Gathering Looks Back, Looks Forward

"Internet luminaries gathered in Boston Wednesday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), honor its founder, Director and Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, and look forward to another decade of innovation.

"Speakers at the gathering recounted, in sometimes excruciating detail, the events leading to the creation of the Web and the W3C, which has promoted a long line of key Web standards, including HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and XML (Extensible Markup Language). Experts, including representatives of leading technology firms, also looked forward to future developments backed by the W3C, including the Semantic Web, which will allow users to access and connect more types and sources of data online.

"Berners-Lee was the star of the gathering, and he used the occasion to focus attention on W3C's ongoing work, including the Semantic Web, a World Wide Web extension that greatly expands the information types and relationships between information that can be represented online."

Paul Roberts. W3C Focuses on Future at 10th Anniversary Meeting. InfoWorld. Dec. 2, 2004.

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Mozilla Unveils Thunderbird E-mail App

"The Mozilla Foundation, an open-source development group founded by Netscape and spun off last year by Netscape's parent company, Time Warner, on Wednesday published a release candidate of its Thunderbird 1.0 e-mail management software.

"The release candidate--a substantially complete version of the final product posted for last-minute testing on the eve of the official release--'is a big step forward for giving users a safe e-mail experience,' said Scott MacGregor, Thunderbird's engineering lead. 'We think users will enjoy our adaptive spam filters, in addition to new features like saved search folders and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) integration.'

"Thunderbird 1.0 will fly into a marketplace with no shortage of competition--both proprietary and open source."

Paul Festa. Mozilla Previews E-mail Program. News.com. Dec. 1, 2004.

See also:
No author. Thunderbird Email Client Hits V1.0 Release Candidate. Desktop Linux. Dec. 2, 2004.

Matt HIcks. Mozilla Launching Second Act with E-Mail Client. eWeek. Dec. 7, 2004.

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December 06, 2004

Firefox Uses Creative Commons Search Engine

"There are probably not many that are familiar with the new search engine for finding material online that can be used without paying royalty or clearing copyright issues. Finding this kind of material is naturally of great interest to e.g. people in the media who need to know if they can use a given text, photo or stream etc. without risking a lawsuit.

"Since September a beta version of a Creative Commons search engine has been available that lets you search for just this kind of thing.

"This new search engine has not been launched in a big way, but in the new web browser FireFox 1.0 from Mozilla, it has high visibility: In the search box in the upper right corner, the Creative Commons search engine is right there among Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, Ebay and Dictionary.com!"

Lars Vage. Creative Commons Search Engine in the New FireFox. Pandia. Dec. 2, 2004.

See also:
Creative Commons. Creative Commons Unique Search Tool Now Integrated into Firefox 1.0. (Press Release) Nov. 22, 2004.

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November 30, 2004

Open Access vs Tradional Publishers

"The benefits to scientists of open access scientific publishing provided by the internet are too significant to be ignored, says Matthew Cockerill.

"The progress of science is ultimately defined by peer-reviewed journal articles: they record the results of research and act as a foundation for all future research.

"In the UK alone, billions of pounds of tax-payers’ money are spent annually on research, so the government might be expected to take a prudent interest in how the resulting journal articles are published, archived and made accessible. Surprisingly, though, copyright to publicly funded research articles is routinely signed over to publishers, who then sell limited, subscription-based access back to the scientific community.

"The cost of publishing a scientific research article is a tiny fraction of what it costs to do the research in the first place; yet publishers end up controlling access to the findings."

Matthew Cockerill and John Enderby. Internet Upstarts v Traditional Publishers. FT.com. Nov. 25, 2004.

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November 17, 2004

Free Culture Fest Raises Awareness

"It's been said that information wants to be free. Now some folks are saying culture wants to be free, too. And they're building a grassroots organization throughout the nation's campuses to advance that idea.

"FreeCulture.org, founded by Swarthmore students Nelson Pavlosky and Luke Smith, is advancing its mission to unfetter culture by supporting projects such as promoting the use of open-source software, encouraging student artists to adopt relaxed licensing agreements for their creations, holding remixing contests and campaigning against legislation that expands the powers of copyright holders.

"This week, the organization is holding a week-long 'Free Culture Fest' at Swarthmore to educate the public about a host of subjects, from open-source software software development to workshops on collage and intellectual property law."

John P. Mello Jr. Free Culture Fest Targets Copyright Restrictions. TechNewsWorld. Nov. 12, 2004.

See also:
Katie Dean. Students Fight Copyright Hoarders. Wired News. Nov. 10, 2004.

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Firefox: User-Friendly Open-Source Browser

"Mozilla's browser is taking market share away from Microsoft. Sometimes, slow and steady really does win the race.

"To misquote F. Scott Fitzgerald, there are no second acts in the lives of software projects.

"Oh sure, the developers sometimes move on to bigger and better things. When it comes to the created works, however, the trajectory is depressingly consistent: Functional simplicity gives way to feature bloat, followed by brittleness, unreliability and, barring certain monopoly-friendly market conditions, oblivion.

"A funny thing happened on the way to oblivion, however. With no employer to guide them and no market to punish them, Mozilla developers stubbornly kept plugging."

Sam Williams. Firefox -- the Flag Bearer of Free Software. Salon. Nov. 16, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: Salon.com normally requires a paid subscription, but you can view articles if you register for a free day pass.)

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November 16, 2004

Technologies Reinvent CRM

"Many of today's most effective CRM processes and strategies are so successful because of the underlying technologies that enable and support them.

"In our dynamic, evolving industry new technologies continue to allow us to interact with customers in ways we never imagined. This is not to say that technology is the end-all in CRM--we still need engaged people, relevant processes, and quality data. But when properly implemented, technology can take that powerful threesome even farther.

"Consider the already heady impact and potential of the following 10 technologies..."

Coreen Bailor. 10 Technologies That Are Reinventing the CRM Industry. CRM Magazine. Dec. 2004.

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November 15, 2004

Microsoft Now Leads PDA Market

"Microsoft has a firm grip on the handheld software market, winning the lead in shipments for the first time, a new report from Gartner shows.

"Shipments of handhelds that use Microsoft's Windows CE operating system rose by about 33 percent to about 1.4 million in the third quarter, compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, shipments of handhelds that use the Palm operating system shrank by 26 percent to 851,000. Research In Motion showed huge growth, with shipments jumping more than 356 percent to 565,000 to round out the top three, the research company said.

John G. Spooner. Microsoft Grabs Lead In Handheld Market. News.com. Nov. 12, 2004.

See also:
Associated Press. Microsoft Takes Lead in PDA Shipments. CBS MarketWatch. Nov. 12, 2004.

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November 11, 2004

Political Mudslinging Hits Wikipedia

"It's a rocky road from news to history. If you don't think so, just take a look at the entry for George W. Bush on Wikipedia, the collaborative online encyclopedia founded in 2001 by Larry Sanger, a philosophy lecturer at Ohio State University, and Jimmy Wales, an Internet entrepreneur.

"Wikipedia, maintained by users all over the world who write and edit the entries pretty much as they wish, is visited by hundreds of thousands of people daily and has an estimated 400,000 entries. There are no user fees and no advertising: the site is supported by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, based in Florida, which maintains and develops free resources, including a dictionary and a collection of quotations.

"To keep it all under control, contributors to the Wikipedia are instructed to adopt a neutral point of view. Not everyone obeys, though. So certain trusted, regular contributors and editors become administrators who oversee what is going on. But each one has a different view of that job. And that is where the fun begins."

Sarah Boxer. Mudslinging Weasels Into Online History. The New York Times. Nov. 10, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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Mozilla Plans Firefox Enhancements

"Having launched the much-awaited version 1.0 of the Firefox browser on Tuesday, the Mozilla Foundation is busy planning future enhancements to the open-source product, including the possibility of integrating it with a variety of desktop search tools.

"The Mozilla Foundation also wants to place Firefox in PCs through OEM (original equipment manufacturer) deals with PC hardware vendors and to continue to sharpen the product's pop-up ad blocking technology.

"These and other enhancements, such as graphics display improvements, will help Firefox to continue building the already considerable momentum it has generated so it can capture between 10 percent and 12 percent of the Web browser market by some point next year, said Chris Hofmann, the Mozilla Foundation's engineering director."

Juan Carlos Perez. Mozilla Considers Desktop Search Integration for Firefox. InfoWorld. Nov. 9, 2004.

See also:
Paul Festa. Firefox Maps Its Next Moves. News.com. Nov. 9, 2004.
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Mozilla Plans Firefox Enhancements

"Having launched the much-awaited version 1.0 of the Firefox browser on Tuesday, the Mozilla Foundation is busy planning future enhancements to the open-source product, including the possibility of integrating it with a variety of desktop search tools.

"The Mozilla Foundation also wants to place Firefox in PCs through OEM (original equipment manufacturer) deals with PC hardware vendors and to continue to sharpen the product's pop-up ad blocking technology.

"These and other enhancements, such as graphics display improvements, will help Firefox to continue building the already considerable momentum it has generated so it can capture between 10 percent and 12 percent of the Web browser market by some point next year, said Chris Hofmann, the Mozilla Foundation's engineering director."

Juan Carlos Perez. Mozilla Considers Desktop Search Integration for Firefox. InfoWorld. Nov. 9, 2004.

See also:
Paul Festa. Firefox Maps Its Next Moves. News.com. Nov. 9, 2004.
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November 10, 2004

Firefox Browser Now Available

"After 19 months of development, two name changes and more than 8 million downloads of its preview release, the Firefox browser is finally turning 1.0.

"Firefox, a browser based on the Mozilla Foundation's open-source development work, was made available for
free download at 1 a.m. PST Tuesday.

"If the download statistics from preview releases of Firefox are any indication, the open-source browser could be headed for a big debut."

Paul Festa. Mozilla Releases Firefox 1.0. News.com. Nov. 8, 2004.

See also:
Mozilla Foundation. Mozilla Firefox 1.0 Released. MozillaZine. Nov. 9, 2004.

Chris Sherman. Firefox, Google and Web Search. Search Engine Watch. Nov. 9, 2004.

Chris Sherman. Mozilla Firefox: The Searcher's Browser. Search Engine Watch. Nov. 8, 2004.

Chris Sherman. More Search and Browsing Fun with Firefox. Search Engine Watch. Nov. 10, 2004.

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November 08, 2004

Researchers to Study International Governance

"The University of Albany's Center for Technology in Government is expanding its research to international governance with a new grant from the National Science Foundation.

"The center has focused on intergovernmental information sharing within the United States for the past two years through another NSF grant, but the additional $90,000 is for examining information technology innovation across governments on an international scale, according to officials."

Diane Frank. Researchers to Study International IT Innovation. FCW.com. Oct. 29, 2004.

See also:
Office of Government Commerce. Open Source Software Becoming Mainstream Says New Government Report. Oct. 28, 2004.

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November 05, 2004

Firefox Campaign Raises $250,000

"The Mozilla Foundation announced on Saturday that it had raised $250,000 during the 10 days of its fundraising campaign, securing donations from 10,000 individuals. The money will be used to promote the final version of Firefox 1.0 when it is released on Nov. 9.

"The campaign started two weeks ago with the goal of getting 2,500 people to donate $30 or more to the marketing fund within 10 days, with the aim of placing a full-page ad in The New York Times.

"Within three days, it had raised $100,000--enough to pay for at least one ad--and the campaign has now closed with a quarter of a million dollars in the kitty."

Ingrid Marson. Firefox Donations Hit $250,000. News.com. Nov. 1, 2004.

See also:
Jim Hu. Study: Firefox Still Gaining on Internet Explorer. News.com. Nov. 1, 2004.

Joris Evers. More Surfers Ditch Internet Explorer. PC World. Nov. 3, 2004.

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November 04, 2004

Webmail Leaves Windows for Open Source

"Webmail.us, which provides hosted e-mail service for small and medium-size businesses, will announce next week a raft of improvements to its service, including a major migration of its core e-mail platform from Microsoft Windows to an open source platform.

"Webmail.us, whose outsourced e-mail service is aimed at companies that have between five and 500 employees, adopted open source software to gain scalability, said Patrick Matthews, co-founder and chief executive officer of Webmail.us.

"'Using open source software allows us to tap into the open source community and move faster than with commercial manufacturers,' Matthews said. 'It helps us with long-term scalability, which is important because we're growing rapidly.'"

Juan Carlos Perez. Webmail Drops Windows for Open Source Platform. InfoWorld. Oct. 29, 2004.

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A9 Toolbar Now Available for Firefox

"Amazon.com subsidiary A9.com on Monday released a version of its Internet toolbar for the Firefox Web browser.

"A9 said the toolbar, which is available for free download, will offer the same features to users of the Mozilla open-source software as it does for other browsers. Those features include the 'bookmarks' function, which lets users save favorite Web sites and access them from any PC, and 'diary,' which lets users save notes to themselves.

"The toolbar can be used with Microsoft's Windows, Apple Computer's Mac OS and the Linux operating system."

Matt Hines. Amazon's A9 Toolbar Now Available for Firefox. News.com. Nov. 1, 2004.

See also:
No author. Amazon Offers A9 Toolbar for Firefox Browser. Search Engine Journal. Nov. 2, 2004.

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October 30, 2004

What Makes a Wiki Work?

"It has no editors, no fact checkers and anyone can contribute an entry - or delete one. It should have been a recipe for disaster, but instead Wikipedia became one of the internet's most inspiring success stories. It might seem like anarchy. And, given the lack of central control, it technically is. However, there are three elements that make it work.

"The first is its ownership, and lack of commercial imperative. The site is manned by volunteers, and now owned by a foundation, which means people willingly give their time and intellectual property to the venture. It manages to run on less than $100,000 a year.

"The second is that the overriding editorial principle that all articles should show a "Neutral point of view' (NpoV). According to Wales, this is as much 'a social technique for getting people to work together" as it is an editorial policy.

"The third - and perhaps most critical - has been the evolution of an incredibly intricate and democratic social order to keep this vast sprawling project in order."

Simon Waldman. Who Knows?. The Guardian. Oct. 26, 2004.

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October 29, 2004

ICQ Instant Messaging Adds Video to Chat

"America Online's ICQ instant messaging software now supports video chat, one of the first tangible results of the ICQ unit's recently launched developer program.

"ICQ in April began providing partners with access to the software's application programming interfaces, or APIs, so they could develop programs that run inside the IM client. The ICQ unit plans to offer an open API license to the public soon, according to a notice on its Web site.

"Applications created under the program are known as ICQ Xtraz, and now include video chat, several games and a sketching tool that lets users create custom avatars."

Evan Hansen. ICQ offers video chat. News.com. Oct. 25, 2004.

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October 26, 2004

Wiki Projects Expand

"Jimmy Wales, 38, a computer programmer in St. Petersburg, Fla., is trying to make the entire concept of a printed reference book obsolete. Three years ago he created the Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia that draws articles not from a sequestered brain trust of academics but from the great unwashed: thousands of Internet users around the world who freely add to and edit the site. It's one part reference tool, one part fascinating social experiment.

"Wikipedia just roared past 1 million total articles (300,000 in English, the rest mostly in 40 other languages), making it the world's largest encyclopedia—three times the size of the 233-year-old Britannica.

"Wales is also expanding into projects like the Wiktionary (a dictionary and thesaurus), Wikibooks (textbooks and manuals) and Wikiquote(quotations). The goal: to give 'every single person free access to the sum of all human knowledge.'"

Brad Stone. It's Like a Blog, But It's a Wiki. Newsweek. Nov. 1, 2004.

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October 18, 2004

Political Wiki Wars

"Wikis, touted as the next big thing in online content, have become the latest battleground in the presidential election as users of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the best-known wiki, squabble over entries related to President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry, the junior senator from Massachusetts.

"Disputes over content related to Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry have been growing since August, prompting the popular reference site’s administrators to warn users last month that election-related entries may be the focus of 'contention and debate – possibly diminishing their neutrality.

"Wikipedia community members held an online town hall meeting last month to try to solve the disputes over the entries, to no avail."

No author. Wiki Wars. Red Herring. Oct. 14, 2004.

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October 15, 2004

Gaining Advantage with Open Source

"Many organizations might be missing out on the benefits of open source software (OSS) because they simply don't understand how it can benefit their enterprise.

"CIOs and IT departments that see the benefits of exploiting OSS are often put off by the ongoing debates about risk, licensing, support and maturity of open source. And, those organizations that do explore OSS, often employ a misguided one-size-fits-all approach to evaluation, selection, utilization and management within the company.

"This type of thinking about OSS is causing many IT organizations to miss out on the ongoing practical value that can be realized from using what is now a vast and diverse toolkit of useful software components."

Cyndi Mitchell. Understanding Open Source. CIO Update. Oct. 8, 2004.


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October 13, 2004

BBC Announces Open Source Video Technology

"The British Broadcasting Corp. has announced an open-source video compression project that it hopes could one day give Windows Media Player a run for its money.

"The BBC didn't make a particularly big show of the project at LinuxWorld in London, but if the codec lives up to expectations, it could soon be challenging proprietary video technology.

"The codec, called Dirac--after physicist Paul Dirac--is still in the early stages of testing. But developers say when it goes into beta in the fall of 2005, there's a good chance it will be as good, if not better, than anything else out there."

Matt Loney. BBC Reveals Open-Source Video Technology. News.com. Oct. 7, 2004.

See also:
John Leyden. BBC wants Help Developing Open Source Video Codec. The Register. Oct. 6, 2004.

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October 12, 2004

The Wiki as an Application Development Platform

"The co-founders of early search engine and portal Excite.com are bringing a new concept to the Web: the wiki as an application development platform.

"JotSpot Inc., the brainchild of Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer, was unveiled here on Wednesday during the Web 2.0 conference and began offering invitation-only access to a beta of its hosted wiki.

"JotSpot combines more typical wiki functions— collaborative editing, version control, support for attachments and full-text search—with a tool for writing applications and tying together outside data from RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, e-mail and Web pages.

Matt Hicks. Startup Turns Wikis into Development Platform. eWeek. Oct. 6, 2004.

See also:
Rob Hof. Do-It-Yourself Software for All?. BusinessWeek Online. Oct. 6, 2004.

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Microsoft Increases Industry Cooperation

"Microsoft Corp. is expanding its efforts to move from a 'trade secrets' company to one that banks on sharing its intellectual property (IP) and benefits from being seen as a more cooperative and open-industry player.

"Almost a year after announcing a new IP licensing policy and the formal licensing of two technologies, the software giant is set to announce new formal program licenses within the next two months, according to David Kaefer, director of business development, for Microsoft's Intellectual Property and Licensing Group.

"The move comes amid an overall effort to even up the amount of technologies the company offers through licensing and those it licenses."

Scarlet Pruitt. Microsoft Opens IP in Licensing Push. InfoWorld. Oct. 8, 2004.

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October 02, 2004

Microsoft Announces FlexWiki

"Earlier than scheduled, Microsoft Corp. has gone public with its announcement of its third open-source code contribution to SourceForge. Microsoft's mystery contribution? FlexWiki.

"Late Monday evening, SourceForge posted information on Microsoft's FlexWiki code to its software repository.

"FlexWiki is an experimental collaboration tool based on WikiWiki, which is a tool for collaborating on common Web pages."

Mary Jo Foley. FlexWiki: Microsoft's Third Open Software Project. eWeek. Sept. 28,2004.

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September 30, 2004

Wikis Allow Knowledge-Sharing

"Taran Rampersad didn't complain when he failed to find anything on his hometown in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia is unique for an encyclopedia because anybody can add, edit and even erase. And the Wikipedia is just one,albeit the best known, of a growing breed of Internet knowledge-sharing communities called Wikis.

"Though for now largely the domain of techies, Wikis are poised to become what blogs have turned into--still in the Internet avant garde yet widespread enough to be influential."

Anick Jesdanuna. 'Wikis' Offer Knowledge-Sharing Online. USA Today. Sept. 26, 2004.

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September 27, 2004

Spamassassin Adopts Apache License

"Programmers on Wednesday released the new version 3.0 of SpamAssassin, open-source software for filtering out unwanted e-mail, but the changes are as much legal as technological.

"Project leaders for the widely used software chose to enter the fold of the Apache Software Foundation to take advantage of the nonprofit group's legal and technical resources. To make the move, SpamAssassin had to adopt the Apache License.

"Previously, the software was available under a choice of two licenses: the General Public License that governs Linux and many other open-source programs and the Perl Artistic License."

Stephen Shankland. SpamAssassin Sports New Open-Source License. News.com. Sept. 22, 2004.

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September 23, 2004

Interview with "Father of the Web"

"Perhaps for some, being credited with inventing the World Wide Web would be more than enough as far as life accomplishments go. But for Sir Tim Berners-Lee, it's merely the beginning of something even more fulfilling.

"The man who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 greatest minds of the 20th century is now busy channeling his energies into the work of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a standards body he founded and now directs.

"Moments after delivering a keynote address at the SpeechTek Conference in New York earlier this week, Sir Tim sat down with internetnews.com to discuss the state of the Web browser market, the growth of the Semantic Web and some of the challenges facing the W3C."

Ryan Naraine. Tim Berners-Lee, Director, W3C. internetnews.com. Sept. 17, 2004.

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September 22, 2004

Microsoft Expands Source-Code Sharing Program

"Microsoft is expanding a program to give government organizations access to some of its tightly guarded software blueprints amid growing competition from rivals who make such source code freely available.

"Beginning Monday, Microsoft will offer more than 60 governments and international organizations the option of viewing the proprietary source code for the latest version of its ubiquitous Office software, including the Outlook e-mail program, Microsoft Word and Excel spreadsheet application.

"Microsoft has launched a number of efforts in recent years to give governments and certain private groups access to some source code. The moves come as an increasing number of governments and companies are looking at switching to 'open source' alternatives such as Linux.

Associated Press. Microsoft Shares More Source Code. Wired News. Sept. 19, 2004.

See also
Peter Galli. Microsoft Opens Office Source Code to Governments. eWeek. Sept. 19, 2004.

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September 21, 2004

Wikipedia Announces One Millionth Article

The Wikimedia Foundation announced today the creation of the one millionth article in Wikipedia, its project to create a free, open-content, online encyclopedia .

"Started in January 2001, Wikipedia is currently both the world's largest encyclopedia and its fastest-growing, with articles under active development in over 100 languages.

"Nearly 2,500 new articles are added to Wikipedia each day, along with ten times that number of updates to existing articles."

The Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia Reaches One Million Articles. Sept. 20, 2004.

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September 20, 2004

Wikis Allow Cost Savings

"Software developer Xten Networks Inc. has an edge when it comes to meeting deadlines: a Web-based collaboration system called a Wiki, which has shortened its product development time by 20 per cent.

"Xten develops voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) software, and its development team is scattered across two continents. A Wiki 'was the best way not only to disseminate information but to allow developers to interact and provide input' between offices in California, British Columbia and Sweden, president Erik Lagerway says.

"In addition to running an employees-only Wiki that is protected by a firewall, Xten used a Wiki platform to beta test its latest VoIP software product, eyeBeam. The code was made available to potential customers such as large telcos and cable carriers, who explored it and published feedback to the Wiki.

Natasha Netschay Davies. Wiki Software Provides Free Shortcut to Cost Savings. The Globe & Mail. Sept. 16, 2004.

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September 17, 2004

Mozilla Repairs Security Flaws

"The latest releases of the Mozilla and Firefox browsers, along with the Thunderbird e-mail software, fix 10 security issues, including three critical vulnerabilities, according to the Mozilla Foundation, which develops the software.

"The three critical flaws could let an attacker run code on the victim's computer, according to information published by the Mozilla Foundation.

"The issues are fixed in the latest versions of the Mozilla Foundation's open-source software products: Mozilla 1.7.3, Firefox release candidate 1.0 and Thunderbird 0.8."

Robert Lemos. Latest Mozilla Releases Fix 10 Security Flaws. ZDNet. Sept. 15, 2004.

See also:
Mozilla. Firefox Preview Release and Thunderbird 0.8 Released. Sept. 14, 2004.
Mozilla. Mozilla Foundation Announces First Payments of Security Bug Bounty Program, Further Strengthens Browser Security. Sept. 14, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:05 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

September 14, 2004

IBM Opens Its Speech Software

"IBM plans to announce today that it will contribute some of its speech-recognition software to two open-source software groups.

"The move is a tactical step by International Business Machines to accelerate the development of speech applications and to outmaneuver rivals, especially Microsoft, in a market that is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years with increased use in customer-service call centers, cars and elsewhere.

"To do this, I.B.M. is again using the strategy of placing some of its proprietary software in open-source projects, making it available for other programmers to improve.”

Steve Lohr. Speech Code From I.B.M. to Become Open Source. The New York Times. Sept. 13, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

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September 11, 2004

Open Minds on Open Source

The Wisdom Project, the world's only open source think tank and founded by Matthew Ready, has announced the World's First Open Source Think Tank.

The purpose of this project is to foster knowledge and distribute wisdom. The Open Source model allows open dialogue for anyone who wishes to contribute ideas and insights. By using an innovative combination of e-forum and wiki technology, the Wisdom Project's open problem solving process is able to address the following questions over and over:

What are the most important problems?
What are the best solutions to those problems?
What can I do to help implement those solutions?

The Wisdom Project. The World's First Open Source Think Tank Empowers Ordinary People to Express and Develop Extraordinary Ideas. Sept. 9, 2004.

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Double-Checking Wiki Informaton is a Must

"Wikipedia has more than 340,000 articles, written by a sprawling online community. Researchers are testing its veracity, while plans proceed for fact-checking it formally. Can journalists trust Wikipedia, and can collaboration software such as wikis improve newsgathering?"

Mark Glaser. Collaborative Conundrum: Do Wikis Have a Place in the Newsroom?. Online Journalism Review. Sept. 9, 2004.

Editor's Note: Interesting enough, CNN cites Wikipedia throughout a recent article which updates the U.N. Security Council's official terrorist list.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

September 10, 2004

Sharing Knowledge Through Wikis

"One of the Internet's more fascinating social experiments was born at a time when it seemed all the dot-coms were dying. Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia started in January 2001, has since surprised Web watchers by maturing into a popular reference site.

"Wikipedia's success is particularly remarkable because unlike regular Web sites, it is created entirely by the people who visit it. With more than 340,000 English-language articles, this community-edited encyclopedia is already considerably larger than its leading rival, the Encyclopedia Britannica, which offers 75,000 articles online in a subscription service.

"Yet some worry that because it charges users nothing, this new-age reference work may siphon readership away from old-school encyclopedias and take a devastating bite out of their revenue -- without delivering the same levels of accuracy and quality."

Leslie Walker. Spreading Knowledge, The Wiki Way. WashingtonPost.com. Sept. 9, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Post allows free access to their stories on the Web for 14 days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archives.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:53 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

September 07, 2004

Microsoft Lists Concerns in SEC Report

"Microsoft has filed a report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission warning that 2005 could be challenging, as Linux continues to steal business and PC sales remain sluggish.

"Many of the concerns listed in the filing, such as the threat from Linux and the pressure on license, have become boiler plate in recent years. In addition, Microsoft predicted in its recent earnings forecast that PC sales could slow.

"The filing also lists where Microsoft has identified potential market opportunities. Expect to see Microsoft gunning for the search segment, putting on big consumer technology (TV, games, video) drive and trying to woo small and midsize businesses."

Jo Best. Microsoft: Linux May Mean Price Cuts, Fewer Sales. News.com. Sept. 3, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:11 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (1)

September 04, 2004

Designing for the Handheld

"Among the few websites that are truly standards-compliant, only a handful sport style sheets adjusted to the needs of handheld devices. Of those which do offer styling for handhelds, not all will fit the smallest, lowest-resolution screens without presenting the user with the ultimate handheld horror: namely, horizontal scrolling.

"The Opera browser runs on handheld devices of all screen sizes and resolutions, some of them only 120 pixels wide. In this article, we’ve prepared a set of general suggestions for creating a handheld-friendly style sheet, along with a few Opera-specific pointers that you may find useful."

Elika Etemad and Jorunn D. Newth. Pocket-Sized Design: Taking Your Website to the Small Screen. A List Apart. Aug. 31, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 06:40 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

August 31, 2004

Open Source Proposal for Business Intelligence and Reporting

"Software maker Actuate on Tuesday proposed a project within the Eclipse open-source foundation to create freely available business intelligence and reporting software.

"If accepted as an Eclipse project, the initiative would result in open-source software to design and generate business reports from Java application servers.

"A vote at Eclipse on whether to accept the proposal, called the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project, is slated for one month from now."

Martin LaMonica. Actuate Pushes Open-Source Data Reporting. News.com. Aug. 24, 2004.

See also Jim Wagner. BIRTs of a Feather: Actuate and Eclipse. Internetnews.com. Aug. 24, 2004.

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Linux Plans New Search Feature

"Developers of KDE have announced plans to simplify searching for files on the open-source Linux desktop environment by adding a Google-style search feature.

"The next version of KDE, which will either be called 3.4 or 4, is expected to include the new search feature. It's likely to be released within the next 18 months. Aaron Seigo, a KDE developer, said the community has already been discussing and writing code for the new search engine at the KDE Community World Summit, which is taking place in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

"The search engine will be included on the control panel and will build on KDE's current search functionality."

Ingrid Marson. Linux Group Aims for Google-Like Search. News.com. Aug. 26, 2004.

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August 30, 2004

Broadcast Treaty Negotiation Reaches Crucial Stage

"An international treaty to give broadcasters the right to control who may record, transmit, or distribute their signals is reaching a crucial stage of negotiation by the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.

"The current draft (.pdf) incorporates many proposals, but the main ones most countries agree on give broadcasters 50 years' worth of legal control over the recording, retransmission, and reproduction of their broadcast signals. These rights are separate from those of the owners of the actual content being broadcast and if members at the next meeting of WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, in November approve the treaty, it could take effect by 2006.

"The idea that broadcasters should have rights enabling them to combat signal piracy is relatively uncontentious. Opponents such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Union for the Public Domain are concerned, however, that broadcast rights might lock up materials that should be freely available to the public."

Wendy Grossman. Broadcast Treaty Battle Rages On. Wired News. Aug. 28, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:36 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

August 21, 2004

Software Revives Music Sharing

"A group of anonymous programmers has released new software that allows music to be swapped via Apple Computer's popular iTunes jukebox.

"Like an older piece of software called MyTunes, the newly released OurTunes allows a person to browse complete iTunes libraries on other computers and download songs, either in MP3 or the AAC format preferred by Apple.

"Songs purchased from the iTunes music store and wrapped in Apple's copy-protection technology cannot be traded. OurTunes works only among computers that share a network, however."

John Borland. Hackers revive iTunes music sharing. News.com. Aug. 19, 3004.

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August 17, 2004

California May Implement VoIP

"A body of independent auditors and experts recommended last week that the state consider open-source software and voice over Internet Protocol telephony as two measures to cut costs. The suggested measures are a small part of the voluminous California Performance Review.

"'If all of these recommendations are implemented, they have the potential to save more than $32 billion over the next five years,' the directors of the group of appointees told California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in an letter introducing the report.

"The savings from using the two technologies would make up a small fraction of that total. Moving to VoIP could reduce the state's phone bill by between $20 million and $75 million a year."

Robert Lemos. California Urged to Use Open Source, VoIP. News.com. Aug. 13, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:19 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

August 04, 2004

IBM Offers Java Code to Spur Innovation

"IBM plans to contribute more than half a million lines of its software code, valued at $85 million, to an open source software group.

"The move is one of the largest transfers ever of proprietary code to free software, and I.B.M. is making the code contribution to try to help make it easier and more appealing for software developers to write applications in the Java programming language.

"I.B.M. is handing over the code for Cloudscape, a database written in Java, to an open source group, the Apache Software Foundation. Within the open source group, the database will be called Derby."

Steve Lohr. In Competitive Move, I.B.M. Puts Code in Public Domain. The New York Times. August 3, 2004.

See also:
Stacy Cowley. IBM offers Cloudscape as Open Source Code. InfoWorld. August 3, 2004.
Jim Wagner. IBM Tosses Embedded Database to Apache. InternetNews.com. August 3, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:00 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

August 03, 2004

Possible Patent Infringements by Linux

"OSRM, a provider of open-source consulting and risk mitigation insurance, announced (.pdf) that the group has found that there are 283 issued, but not yet court-validated, software patents that could conceivablly be used in patent claims against Linux.

"That's the potential bad news for Linux developers and users. The good news is that the Linux kernel contains no court-validated software patents.

"OSRM won't publicly say what the specific software patents are that potentially affect Linux because it 'would put the whole developer community at risk.'"

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. Open-Source Insurance Provider Finds Patent Risks in Linux. eWeek. August 2, 2004.

See also Stephen Shankland. Group: Linux Potentially Infringes 283 Patents. ZDNet.com. August 1, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:03 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 31, 2004

Microsoft to Double Patent Applications

"Microsoft plans to increase its storehouse of intellectual property by filing 50 percent more patent applications over the next year than in the previous 12 months.

"Microsoft increasingly regards the legal protection of its programming ideas as essential to safeguarding its growth opportunities.

"The planned surge in Microsoft patent activity would come at a time when it faces increasing competition from open source software like the Linux operating system, which is distributed free."

Steve Lohr. Pursuing Growth, Microsoft Steps Up Patent Chase. The New York Times. July 30, 2004.

See also Keith Regan. Gates Says Microsoft Will Increase Patent Push. E-Commerce Times. July 30, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:54 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 27, 2004

Microsoft Opensourcing More Technologies

"Microsoft is gearing up to drop more open-sourced code on SourceForge.

"What technologies will Microsoft open source next and when will it open source them?

"Industry watchers have been speculating on these questions since Microsoft released its Windows Installer (WiX) and Windows template-library components under the Common Public License (CPL) earlier this year as part of a Microsoft open-sourcing experiment."

Mary Jo Foley and Peter Galli. More Open-Source Morsels on Microsoft's Plate? Microsoft Watch. July 23, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 06:20 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 07, 2004

Apple Opens Rendezvous

"Apple has published updated source code to its Rendezvous network-configuration technology for use in Windows, Linux, Unix and Java applications.

"The move is designed to entice developers to use the code to incorporate the 'zero configuration' technology into their own applications. The software allows network devices to automatically connect to other components of a network and to communicate what features they have to offer. The technology competes with the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) technology that Microsoft has developed."

Robert Lemos. Apple updates Rendezvous for Windows, Linux. News.com. June 30, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:31 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

July 05, 2004

Mozilla Gaining Popularity

"Hackers have long insisted that steering clear of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser is one of the easiest ways to protect computers from many of the security threats that lurk on the Internet.

"Since about 90 percent of the world's computers run Microsoft operating systems, this homogenous environment is attractive to those cyber criminals looking to make some kind of impact.

"Mozilla and Firefox downloads have increased steadily since last fall, with the Firefox user base doubling every few months, as more people seem to have reached their threshold level of frustration dealing with problems with IE and Windows. They have found the Mozilla software a good solution to solving those problems."

Michelle Delio. Mozilla Feeds on Rival's Woes. Wired News. July 2, 2004.

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:12 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (1)

June 29, 2004

Linux Adds Media Player

"As more user-friendly software makes its way onto the Linux desktop, the free operating system is starting to make progress in its David-vs.-Goliath competition against Microsoft, the dominant power in PC software.

"Linux distributors, Red Hat and Novell, are expected to announce that they will ship the media-playing software of RealNetworks in their Linux desktop products.

"By the end of the year, Linux will be running on 1 percent of the desktop PC's worldwide, compared with 2.8 percent for Apple's Macintosh, and 96 percent for Microsoft's Windows, according to Gartner Inc."

Steve Lohr. One Small Step in Uphill Fight as Linux Adds a Media Player. The New York Times. June 28, 2004.

See Also:
Stephen Shankland. Red Hat Unveils Storage Software. ZD Net. June 25, 2004.

(Editor’s Note: The Times allows free access to their stories on the Web for seven days before sending the stories to the paper’s fee-based Archive.)

Posted by Carol Schwartz at 07:10 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 14, 2004

Government Entities Using Open Source

"It used to be that governmental agencies enamored of the status quo -- and that's pretty much the whole government -- were not interested in open source solutions to their IT problems. Like the rest of the IT industry, though, government is now looking to open source to make its resources go further. Unlike the rest of the industry, and atypical for government, federal and state agencies are embracing open source ideas and ideals."

Mary E. Tyler. How Your Open Source Company Can Begin Government Contracting. IT Manager's Journal. June 8, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:56 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)

June 07, 2004

Wikis Gone Wild

"The amazing thing is that wikis work at all. Created in 1995 by Oregon programmer Ward Cunningham, who named them for the "Wiki-Wiki," or "quick" shuttle buses at Honolulu Airport, wikis are special Web sites on which anyone can post material without knowing arcane programming languages. Likewise, anyone can edit them. This can lead to mischief: Jokers have posted images of male anatomy on Wikipedia. But graffiti is usually gone within minutes, because the previous version of a page can be restored with a click. In sensitive corporate situations, access can be controlled, too.

"That's one reason the onetime nerd novelty is infiltrating the corporate world. Peter Thoeny, creator of TWiki, a leading open-source wiki program, says at least 35,000 people have downloaded TWiki since 2001. Two-thirds of his programs are going into businesses -- Walt Disney, SAP, and Motorola among them."

Robert D. Hof. Something Wiki This Way Comes. Business Week. June 7, 2004.

Robert D. Hof. Wikis' Winning Ways. Business Week Online. June 7, 2004.

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 07:14 AM | Send to a friend!

May 28, 2004

Give It Away Now!!

Courtesy of the Creative Commons blog, I have just read an interesting story about how a creator might use the Creative Commons licensing program and still manage to make some money in the process. In particular, the story analyzes Lawrence Lessig's decision (along with his publisher, Penguin) to distribute free electronic copies of his new book Free Culture, and the business model any author might use in order to earn money from a creative work in the age of digital reproduction and distribution.

"Let's say you've written a book. A book that is worth publishing. Let's say you've got a publisher for your book. A publisher that people have heard of. What happens when you convince your publisher to give your book away, for free, to anyone who wants it? This isn't about giving review copies to journalists, this is about converting the book into an electronic format and giving it away to the general public so that they don't have to spend their hard-earned cash on buying a hardcopy for their hardwood bookshelf.

"If you believed the RIAA and other proponents of draconian copyright legislation, what happens when there is a choice between a free (legal or otherwise) download and a bought physical product, people will choose the free version over the bought version. Thus, say the RIAA, each time the free version is downloaded a sale is lost and the creators (read: rights holders) lose out financially.

"By this logic, giving away your book, even with the consent of your publisher, is a bad idea. Commercial suicide even. It's not something that any sane author should do, surely?"

Suw Charman. Something for Nothing: The Free Culture AudioBook Project. Chocolate and Vodka. May 24, 2004.

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March 04, 2004

Getting Up to Speed on Social Software

Need a primer on some of the underlying technologies iin the social software space? Check out News.com's "Get Up to Speed" series. As of this writing, the series covers six areas, four of which are important technologies within the social network sector:

Posted by K. Matthew Dames at 08:08 AM | Send to a friend! | Comments (0)