What we're reading
A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Patrick Cox has posted an article on TCS Daily titled The Next Big Thing in which he discusses how the release of Netscape Navigator was instrumental in creating the open Internet we use today, and how the virtual reality of Lawnmower Man has given way to the 3D online environments of Everquest and Second Life.
"Imagine how much more useful your computer experience would be if you were able to design a virtual office as large or complex as you needed, and reach anything in it without leaving your chair. Voice over IP will be integrated, naturally. Your avatar will be your real image, photographed live and enhanced if you don't want to deal with hair or clothing, and you will be able to meet friends and business associates in VW, your places or theirs, as easily as making a phone call. Blogs and punditry will involve virtual talk show and other environments and, with some planning and enough cameras, audiences will be able to visit any place on the globe, from a Baghdad battlefield to a Broadway stage."
Monday, October 23, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
You read it here first.
IE 7 was finally released to the masses. Albeit not by auto-update, you must go to their site and download it. It will make it to the auto-update site in November.
This is the first time I’ve taken a look at it. I have to say it is quite impressive. I’ve had one crash thus far which was according to the pop-up flash 9.
I’ve also installed a couple of the IE add-ons. The first WebMon is good, it alerts you to updated pages. Something which I feel has been lacking for sometime. I’m using it at the moment to track updates to some homepages and it’s working out well. Also looks like you can set it to build a feed to then track… The only other one I’ve used is fiddler which allows you to see the http traffic. It seems good. Whilst they are ‘add-ons’ they’re actually run as stand-alone programs from the start menu which I find odd…
It is nice having multiple homepages, meaning you get tabs immediately. This is pretty nifty. As is the built in feed system. Although my favourite has to be the search. With the ability to learn and ad in new search systems this is useful, I’ve now got one for Economist.com which is rather nice. Does mean there is a knock on to developers though not to change the URL system, which is of considerable concern.
But I think the clear type fonts which come down with it are possibly the best feature.
Recommend you give it a shot…
Thursday, October 19, 2006
If you answered yes to that, then I'll make a mental note not to get involved in a flame war with you!
There are several ways to prevent the unintentional entering of text in uppercase characters.
I've been using StickyKeys for ages and it's ok, but it doesn't prevent the problem.
John Haller tells you how to disable the Caps Lock key via a Registry key (funny that).
However, I have a simpler method.
It works for all versions of Windows (including Vista), Mac OS and even Linux.
You'll need a screwdriver, spoon, knife or similar implement
- Insert the flat end of your implement of choice between the Caps Lock key and the keyboard surround
- Gently bring your implement towards a horizontal position, prising out the offending key
- Presto! The Caps Lock key will pop out and can be discarded.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I will volunteer to test their research findings on behalf of the company if anyone has a few thousand dollars to buy me one of these screens.
Here is the original report in full if you want more convincing before rushing out to the Apple Store with your credit card.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Well I just had a call from someone from Interoute about our plans for an MPLS service. She sounded very eager and was certainly proactive, but when she pronounced Reuters (one of their clients) routers (the British way) I knew it was all bullshit.
the sales person that's just been on a negotiating/active listening /whatever course.
One of our DartMail account managers was a really nice guy (that's not to say your're not Matt, if you're reading this). In fact he was so nice that he told me he'd recently got back from a negotiating course just as we were about to start contract negotiations.
Not a fair comaprison, but Coghead, which is still in beta looks very promising for smaller simpler apps. It's really a platform that allows custom apps to be built. It's USP is its simple interface that allows building or customisation of applications using drag and drop.
There are some neat built in apps - staff directory, issue tracking system.....
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The big news from the keynotes:
- Last year SFDC released AppExchange, which allows anyone to create a add-on tools/applications and make them available to the public. So far there are about 400 apps individuals and companies have added. Some are for sale, some are free.
- Now, SFDC wants to expand on that idea. They are making their Apex development language and platform open-source. Developers can also use their servers to host the code. Of course this allows SFDC to utilise other's work and make customers happy without actually creating the code and including it on the road map themselves. Genius. Someone else's notes on Benioff's keynote:
Article in eWeek about the announcement:
- Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke for an hour this morning. What a phenomenal speaker! What does Powell have to do with SFDC you might ask? I think we all wondered that. Well, the (long) intro Benioff gave him talked about how Powell had inspired him years ago in the realm of corporate philanthropy. (Another theme at this conference is all of the philathropy SFDC does and how they are trying to influence others to do the same and spotlight organizations that are also doing a lot.) Anyway, Powell's speech covered areas on leadership, philathropy, the current state of foreign affairs between the US and the rest of the world. He also threw in a bunch of little funnies about missing his old job, the current administration, and adjusting to his new life. Can't say I agreed with everything he did while he worked as SoS, but I have a lot of repect for the man.
The sessions I've attended have been pretty interesting so far, including:
- Integration Strategies in a SaaS (software as a service) environment
- Redefining Integration: The End of the Black Box (making ERP integrations more transparent)
- How to Make Change Manangement a Reality
- The Path to Achieving 100% Adoption
- Territory Management Made Simple
- Global Deployment Case Study
I've also spent a good amount of times talking to vendors at the expo and looking at what they have to offer. Some cool tools out there!
Gotta run to the next session. If there is any more exciting news from the conference, I'll post again.
Have a good time,
Monday, October 09, 2006
LISP is often seen as one of the best languages ever written but it never got massive community support even though it was a great way to introduce kids to computing, by programming turtles through LOGO! I already know about Seymour Papert and his role in getting kids into computing so I got sidetracked thinking about social networks and redstripe which got me reading about Alan Kay, I went on to read about PARC, which is perhaps the greatest IT team ever to work together, including Digital Media.
But essentially I read wikipedia and posted about him/it. HE IS STILL A GENIUS
I don't think that he invented all those things. Question four from my (in)famous Henley quiz was:
Q. Which of the graphical user interface, the laser printer, the mouse and Ethernet was not invented at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre?
A. The mouse, which was invented by Douglas Engelbart's Augmentation Research Center at the Stanford Research Institute.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
The video can't be embedded here, so watch it at youtube....... Changes
Yes I know it's stolen off the telly.