A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Friday, August 19, 2005

Akamai Unveils News Website Traffic Tracker

An interesting item this morning in the Web Industry Host Review (The WHIR) mentions the new Akamai Net Usage Index for News. According to The WHIR, "the index, updated every five minutes, analyzes traffic during major news events, recording aggregate numbers and breaking down the data by geography and time. Data on end users is not being collected."

You can access the Net Usage Index for News on the Akamai website here. Apparently the index is gathering data from over 100 news portals that are also Akamai customers. The top media events by traffic is also an interesting feature.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cold Fusion scales!

MySpace had 10% of the total of 102bn ad impressions in July according to Nielsen//NetRatings. And it runs on Cold Fusion
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The first PDA?

When I blogged about IBM's SHARK interface for entering text I recalled a device which I'd used around 1990. The Agenda had a "chording" interface for entering text whereby one pressed up to five keys (one for each finger) to generate a letter. I found this link to the Microwriter after seeing Jack Schofield mention the Agenda in passing in the Guardian last week. The "finger keys can be seen above the standard keyboard with one for the thumb at the left. It was tricky to use!
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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Best keyboard-less text entry system yet?

IBM has developed a system that recognises words as a stylus is dragged across letters on an on-screen keyboard. IBM SHARK Shorthand could revolutionise the way that text is entered on PDAs and mobile 'phones.
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Silly name for a must-have security device?

Intelli7 produce a device that monitors the inside of the network rather than keeping threats outside (as a firewall does).
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Monday, August 15, 2005


What if Google wanted to give Wi-Fi access to everyone in America? asks Business 2.0.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Massive ID Theft Ring Uncovered:

Beware............. I've been checking all the machine of family.
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Monday, August 08, 2005

War driving costs punter £500

An Ealing man became the first to be successfully prosecuted for stealing bandwidth last week. It's not clear what he was really trying to do....
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Friday, August 05, 2005

Developing using blogs

Economist.com is getting a redesign.

Here in the Solutions Delivery team, we have been developing it on both sides of the pond, and email is always clogged, constantly cc'ing people who don't need to be cc'd. So we thought we'd try a blog, it's been a really good way to raise issues and track them and also to note assumptions as we go along. It's all died down a bit now we have delivered some of it and has moved into cc's for bug tracking but it really was a clean way to manage and document progress and issues.... It would of course be a lot better if we could have used the cc system in blog mode however.

This is a call to action. How can we make the cc system better?

Post your comments here.....
More than anything else, I think it would be great if CCs could have multiple owners so that they could appear in a everyone's list simultaneously. Its like pass-the-parcel right now, and the consequence is that a user's CC list really isn't a full and accurate representation of the work they have on the go.

Also, we should find a better way to handle simultaneous updates to CCs; this would obviously be essential for the above.

Finally, I liked the fact that in the previous CC system we could add styles to our text. I realise this was taken out because it was a Java applet and took a while to load, but in this day and age I'm sure we can find a light-weight tool that will do the job (plus, we have faster computers too).
I like FCKEditor, which is similar to the blogging interface on Blogger.com, I am sure whatever we do the the cc system we could incorporate something like that. To be honest, if you could buy blogger.com's software I think it would do great change control.
I'd like the cc interface to be skinnable so that every service could have it's own fields with required and optional interfaces. Something like an xsl style sheet that each team could get coded so we can really move forward in a flexible fashion.
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Game on

The Economist has a leader and special report on video gaming. Steve Johnson's Everyting Bad Is Good For You is mentioned - TCH of 3 June has a link to a speech given by Marjorie Scardino in which she quotes from the book.
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