Thursday, May 31, 2007

Slashdot:Does ZFS Obsolete Expensive NAS/SANs?

Slashdot | Does ZFS Obsolete Expensive NAS/SANs?: "Does ZFS Obsolete Expensive NAS/SANs?"

Finally, someone getting the value of Sun's ZFS - built into Solaris and OpenSolaris (and some rumors say it will be ported to the Mac).
The most impressive demo of ZFS can be found here (sorry, german only).

Planet Identity

Planet Identity: "Planet Identity is an aggregation of public weblogs related to Identity Management."

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Flock moving after all ?

Despite my recent rant Flock seems to be progressing, as Evan Hamilton reports on the Flock blog:
We are very close to releasing a new and upgraded version of Flock (due out in the next 6 weeks or so). This next version will be the final step before we release our 1.0 product (and already includes a large majority of the back end work required for us to deliver v1.0). In the interests of reflecting the reality of this next Flock release, the version number for the release has been designated v0.9 (not 0.8 as previously suggested). We’re super excited to get this penultimate release out to all of you who have been waiting patiently.

Anxiously waiting for it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Schedule meetings with Doodle

Today I stumbled upon a great service (or was reminded of it, to be honest) to easily schedule meeting across organisations.
Now don't expect something fancy with calender synch and free-busy-scheduling etc... nothing like that.
Just a simple web-based tool to facilitate the coordination and polling for a meeting date & time.

The service is called Doodle and works like this.
  1. Create a new appointment like this:

  2. Select one or more (!) dates you'd like to propose for the appointment.

  3. Fill in the time slots on those days

  4. Save the event and use the first link provided by Doodle and copy-paste it into the email you send off using your e-mail client with any message you like.

  5. The recipients will then eventually receive your email, click on the link provided (see above) and see the status of the poll like this:

  6. Then they simply fill in their name and check or uncheck their preferences/votes and that's it.

Quite easy, right ?

And even more important:
  1. You don't have to register for the service.
  2. The recipients don't have to register for the service.
  3. You don't have to give the email addresses of the recipients to Doodle, because you're not using Doodle to actually send the email.
  4. You're quite spam-filter-proof, because you are sending the invitation and not a internet service.
  5. No technical stuff with .ics/ical/... calender formats and synching, nothing. Plain simple.
I really like that service.

(Of course it would be great that once the meeting has been voted for and decided upon you'd get an iCal file to import into your calendar... but I'd rather prefer it that simple...)

Monday, May 21, 2007

USB Mini Fridge

We all saw it coming, didn't we:

Check out the new $33 USB Mini Fridge.

via engadget, thanks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

SAP wants to go Idenity Management

hear, hear, ... SAP likes to join the IDM vendor league by acquiring MaXware.

This is only interesting insofar as
  • SAP is a bit late to the game
  • they did not really acquire a player in the IDM space (as e.g. Sun did when they bought Waveset, and others).
  • If they still pursue their monolithic approach, then good luck with Identity Management, it just wont work that way...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Nice post on Service Architecture - SOA: CRUD is CRAP.

I especially like the sentence:
"The single most depressing thing for me in IT is how many applications are really just Mainframe data processing solutions with better screens."

Monday, May 14, 2007

ODF vs MS OpenOfficeXML

So much for the OPEN in Microsoft's OpenOfficeXML, they simple start by locking you in:

from Crushed by the Wheels of Industry | Tech News on ZDNet
But when I read the files in Word 2007 and eventually found the "Save As" entry in the new menu system I discovered to my horror it was grayed out. "This feature is only available in the full version of Office 2007." popped up a helpful little message. "Click here to purchase it." Getting increasingly worried, I decided to try a more desperate measure. I selected the whole file and looked for the "Copy and Paste" option. I might lose the formatting this way, but at least I'd get the text of the essay she'd written.

Copy and paste were disabled in the same way, and with the same message.Copy and paste were disabled. Think about the fear and paranoia that led to that decision in the product design meeting for the trial version. "We want people to save in the new formats. The new formats are better." So much so that all customer choice must be disabled by default. Choice is an optional extra, only available after purchase.

In case you missed it: SAVING (to other formats) and COPY-PASTE are disabled... and they still call it OPEN.

How can Microsoft get away with that ?
(Of course this is only for the sake and in the interest of the consumer ... right ?)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

about beta software...

Thanks to

Firefox shortcuts

I just learned of a Firefox (and other Mozilla based browsers, like Flock (if it will ever move on)) keyboard short cut I did not yet know in Mozilla Firefox And Flock Shortcut Keys:
"Ctrl (1-9): Switch to tab corresponding to number."

Monday, May 07, 2007

Dell to join alliance that isn't

Dell signs on with Microsoft, Novell:
Dell Inc. has agreed to work with Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. under an alliance the rival software makers formed last year to make it easier for the Windows operating system and the increasingly popular Linux system to work together, the companies said Sunday.
As if there was something like a real MS//Novell alliance worth joining.

In other words: Customers are forcing Dell towards Linux, and this is the corporate way to do it.

Supermarket 2.0

Great commentary on the Web 2.0 hype...

I especially like the tags everywhere...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Flock not moving at all

Flock, the social webbrowser, seems to be at a complete standstill for months now.

Flock 0.7.13 Release Notes
The 0.7.13 Flock Maintenance Patch fixes a Photobucket/MacAfee interaction issue that intermittantly causes a "lost internet connection" error.

technorati tags:

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Google calc

I noticed the other day that quite lot of people (IT people, mind you) don't know that you can use google as a calculator and converter:

try this for math: 2*4**5-7

or if you want to convert units e.g. btu in kWh try this term 2000 btu in kWh.

Cool, eh ?

Small attachment icons in Thunderbird 2

Just found this on myIT6.Knowledge:
"Small attachment icons in Thunderbird 2
1. Tools > Options > Advanced -> General and click on “Config Editor”
2. Search for the preference “mailnews.attachments.display.largeView
3. Change value to false"
Great. Saves space on the message pane.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The i is getting lame

So Google re-launched their personalized home as iGoogle... the internal code name it always had.
I sort of liked the lower case "i" years ago around 2000ish in iPlanet, when everything else was e-Something...
(iPlanet was the name of the Netscape/Sun/AOL alliance, when Sun Microsystems bought the server software part of Netscape from AOL...)

But now with iPods, iMacs, iPhones, iGoogles, iXxxxx its really getting lame.

iMe is getting bored.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The buzz about (cell) roaming

I really don't get the excitement about prices for roaming with you cell phone (within the EU).

The European commission argues that placing and receiving a mobile call in a “foreign” country within the EU has to be the same price as within your home country - and I don't see why...
I'm making the following points for voice roaming only (I'm not talking data/gprs/umts roaming here).

There are several sides to this discussion, and I tend to take the operators (or most of them) side. Here are my points against regulated/mandated roaming tariffs.
  1. European telecoms market, especially the wireless / mobile / cell part is truly deregulated. Service and innovation have gone up during the last 10 years like nowhere else, prices have dropped to nearly zero.
  2. There is a real market with real competition.
  3. Roaming costs don't seem to matter: Drei /Three / Tre / 3 (Hutchison 3G) is the only operator in Austria to offer roaming from all international Hutchison 3G networks at the same prices as at home. Still (according to RTR - the Austrian telecoms regulation authority) in Q4/2006 they had only 4.2% market share. To me this means that roaming costs have no impact on the choice of operators and are therefore quite irrelevant.

    If roaming costs were such important an issue as to justify a regulation of the market, Drei would have a significantly higher market share (say 20% or so). Customers should migrate in cosmic proportions from A1 and T-mobile to Drei if roaming costs were really an issue.

    They don't - look at the figures.

  4. The commission tends to argue (in the public) with the telephony cost during vacations; so the image there is Joe Average looking for his friends on a beach on a Greek island and calling them – with his Austrian phone on their Austrian phones. Or my favorite example: the dutch guys during their skiing vacation in Austria, chatting on the ski-lift over the phone, just because they are bored.

    I don't see the point for intervening in, and interfering with, a perfectly functioning market, just for that.

    Which also leads me to the next point. the business travellers:
  5. Just the mere possibility to be able to call someone on their phone no matter where he/she is; or from the callee's perspective: the possibility to be called wherever I am, without having to communicate me coordinates, without having to tell people at which hotel/venue I'm staying for the next 3 days, just so they can call me there – this very possibility is an increase in productivity and availability that outweighs any (any!) roaming-costs.
    (I'm not saying that this constant availability is a blessing, but that's not the point here, anyway.)
  6. Just consider the value of being able to call someone from my phone, even when I'm at a hotel in Rome or Athens or London (or ...) and not having to look for a pay-phone or paying the hotel quite a huge premium for the phone.
    I remember that about 10-15 years ago when you wanted to place a call from a French public pay-phone, you had to purchase a pay-phone card/voucher with a certain amount of money. First of all, you had to know that; then you had to find a place to buy that card (and therefore had to make yourself understood); and in addition this card meant that the money was tied-up. You could not use the credit on the card for anything else. This is not about huge amounts of money, but if you had to place just one call (e.g. home) and had to purchase a card for this single purpose, the call was more expansive than any roaming call today is.

  7. I'd like cheaper roaming as much as the next guy, but... Telcos and mobile operators have to make money. That's the whole point of a deregulated market: To bring in, or enable, private companies to offer a range of different services (quite frequently at different service levels as well) and let the customers and the population decide where to put their money. If the operators don't make money, they'll go out of business and there goes the competition and the market.

    Granted, in Austria many of the operators make a huge part of their living (=EBITDA) from visiting roamers, i.e. visitors to Austria, who use their cell here, and therefore the Austrian operators charge money to the home-operators of those visitors.
    According to 2006 annual report for Telekom Austria (whose wireless daughter is mobilkom austria, A1) roaming revenues for the whole group (i.e. inkl Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria) were 258 MEUR out of 2902 MEUR total revnue. Meaning 9% come from roaming. Those 9% would have to come from somewhere else, and this somewhere else can only mean a) higher national tariffs or b) less subsidizing on the handsets.
    I wouldn't like either.
  8. In many cases (not in all, I agree) roaming needs additional infrastructure and therefore additional investments: Vodafone et al in Greece wouldn't plan for the coverage they have on the islands just for the local population; the population and local revenue in Austrian and Swiss valleys and the neighboring mountains would never justify the infrastructure built there... it's the visiting roamers, and – of course – their revenue.
So my point is: there is a market, let it take care for that.
Just because the market - as of today – did not bring down roaming prices, does not mean, that the market does not work. It just means that the market participants, i.e. the consumers, don't really care for the roaming cost. (Except maybe for that invoice they get in August when the come home from Spain...)

For the sake for full disclosure: I used to work for mobilkom austria. but no longer do; and I don't own any stocks or interest in any telco.