Microsoft to “Standardize” file formats…

 Business, Microsoft, Web 2.0  Comments Off on Microsoft to “Standardize” file formats…
Nov 212005

Microsoft, today, announced that there were going to “standardize” their Office 12 XML file formats. Looks like someone from Microsoft read my article on ODF. But there is an awful lot of word parsing coming out in these announcements. To wit, the use of the phrases, “standardize” and “openess.” Either they are playing word games to trick the public or the managment at Microsoft. If Microsoft was truly serious they would approach OASIS and participate in the ODF work going on there.

Another problem is their use of Ecma International as their “standards” partner. Need I remind you of the Ecma Script/ javascript dichotomy? This is something for you to decide, but I would point to their list of standards as a place to start. Anything there ring a bell with developers or doesn’t it seem more of a “safe harbor” for corporate interests.

Here is some more “marketing speak” from Scoble interview with Jean Paoli:

“we are offering the Office XML file format technology behind billions of documents to customers and the industry as an international standard.”

Well, to my knowledge, it is highly questionable that a non-shipping product and a non-shipping format can behind billions of documents.

Now I know that the smart people at Microsoft are probably going nuts trying to convince upper management to give up making buggy whips — but that isn’t going to happen until Ballmer is gone. Ballmer is still a firm believer of grabbing a company’s corporate jewels (Data) and wrapping it up in a Microsoft format. Steve needs to learn that it is “our” ball and not his. We’d love for Microsoft to keep playing but throwing these tantrums and then trying to talk around it is making companies more than a little….impatient with Microsoft.

So in short, until Microsoft starts participating in Open Document Format and OASIS — I wouldn’t read anything into this more than trying to FUD Open Document. After all, when was the last time anyone read a book on Ecma Script?

 Posted by at 7:18 pm

More machines than people on the Internet, Duh!

 Business, Web 2.0  Comments Off on More machines than people on the Internet, Duh!
Nov 202005

Some rocket scientist, Nick Farrell, over at The Inquirer makes the seeming apocalyptic statement that, “More machines than people on the Internet.” Oh my, when did that happen? What this genius fails to recognize is that there has always been more computers than people on the Internet.

Let’s review the simplest case, a single person surfing a web site. For that person to access the Internet they must be on some device that has a processor or “computer” and that device connects to the web server, another computer. So completely disregarding routers and switches that person is already outnumbered 2 to 1. In fact, in the simplest view the number of computers will always be n+1 where n is the number of people “on” the Internet.

Spooky, huh? Actually it is worse. Mr. Farrell is reporting on the UN’s telecommunications agency prediction. What is spooky is that the UN think’s it can govern the Internet. They don’t even understand it — Now that is spooky.

 Posted by at 5:11 pm

on Open Source Patch Management

 Business, FreeBSD  Comments Off on on Open Source Patch Management
Nov 172005

Today, Dana Blankenhorn on opines about the need for open source patch management. More specifically he talks about notifications of vulnerabilities. Well the best kept secrets in open source, the BSDs handle this just fine in my opinion.

Being a FreeBSD user, I have to say that portaudit and the FreeBSD Security Advisories are a very good existing answer. I stay in the know and the gap between release and me knowing is as small a delta as I want. It is completely up to me. The other BSDs have similar mechanisms.

The best thing about the FreeBSD Advisories is that they tell you, as soon as they know, the unvarnished truth.

 Posted by at 10:06 pm