28 Sep

Groove and .NET

Groove mainly brings offline support, synchronisation and security on top of .NET. Which is a funny story since replication is one of the few points where Lotus Notes outshines its competition.
05/21/04 update: Adesso "is a rapid-development platform for building, deploying and managing mobile applications for the enterprise, workgroups or mobile professionals. Adesso applications reside simultaneously on Pocket PC’s, Tablet PC’s, laptop or desktop computers as well as one or more servers."

25 Sep

After the tragedy: a tale of two dot coms, and how they relate to WWI

See how Priceline and Webex compare: PCLN lost all of their partial recovery, while WEBX has been bouncing quite strongly. And did you notice people are now starting to make fun of the Sept. 11 events (like the fake picture of a tourist posing on top of the WTC, unaware of the plane coming behind him – 29/11/01 update: here’s the true guy)? I guess it takes two weeks before folks believe it’s ok to do so.
As memories fade and people get back to work, I’m wondering whether businesses will change their practices so much that they’ll trade travel for videoconferencing. (08/23/02 update: I didn’t take pseudo-security hassle into account.) No matter how much some think life will never be the same, it’s not the first time in history people felt that way.
My family on the side of my mother is from Lorraine, in eastern France. My mum was born in Metz in 1947, a city annexed by the Germans from 1870 to 1914 and from 1940 to 1944. My uncle Andr

20 Sep

Microsoft opens up Passport service


"Microsoft will extend its Passport authentication service to the broader business market, including its rivals, in an effort to build acceptance for its service and allay privacy concerns. In addition, Microsoft is renaming its HailStorm Web services initiative as .Net My Services."

03/23/04 update: CNet: Password to Nowhere?
10/18/04 update: Anil Dash: Wither Passport?.
10/21/04 update: Microsoft scales back Passport ambitions.

15 Sep

A new Marshall plan to uproot terrorism

For the last two days I’ve been thinking of a new Marshall plan, this time to help Central Asia out of the misery that fosters fanaticism. The original plan was a business plan to increase the ability of European countries to import from the US. And it was a political plan, meant to assure the stability of the region and make sure it would weight with the US in the balance of power against the USSR. Realpolitik doesn’t have to be unethical, while it’s necessary to confront our ideals to the gruesome reality. Realistic and fair solutions can work if they’re sustainable in the long term.
Here’s how started the speech Marshall gave at Harvard University back in 1947:
"I need not tell you, gentlemen, that the world situation is very serious. That must be apparent to all intelligent people. I think one difficulty is that the problem is one of such enormous complexity that the very mass of facts presented to the public by press and radio make it exceedingly difficult for the man in the street to reach a clear appraisement of the situation. Furthermore, the people of this country are distant from the troubled areas of the earth and it is hard for them to comprehend the plight and consequent reactions of the long-suffering peoples, and the effect of those reactions on their governments in connection with our efforts to promote peace in the world."
I dream of a winning proposition, strong but civilized, that we would make to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Sure, we’ll need the soldiers: the enemy is elusive, the terrain is mountainous and the ground is rotten with landmines. But let’s address the disease too, not just its symptoms. A comprehensive package would help these countries relaunch their basic economy, health and education systems, and agriculture (as a positive side-effect, we could lower their opium output).
Terrorism grows out of poverty, fear and ignorance. We won’t suppress the former without alleviating the later. Terrorists don’t have anything to lose, so pain and death (for them, and inflicted upon others) is not a problem anymore. If we get more people to enjoy some of our prosperity, it will be more difficult for fanatics to recruit people willing to give up their life for their cause.
But if we come only to dictate and destroy, we’ll sow more seeds of violence that we’ll have to reap sooner or later. Bringing peace is an eternal task. It takes ambition, vision, and a willingness to commit for the long run.

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14 Sep

Google Searches Related to "America Under Attack"

Google Zeitgeist:

"At 6:51 a.m. on Tuesday, more than 6,200 queries for "cnn" were conducted on Google. Between 6:26 a.m. and 7:06 a.m., the number of searches for "cnn" averaged approximately 6,000 queries per minute."

People probably wanted to see what was in Google’s cache when they couldn’t load cnn.com. Maybe Google is going to compete with Akamai and Inktomi and bill its caching services eventually.
04/23/04 update: MIT Tech Review: Google and Akamai: Cult of Secrecy vs. Kingdom of Openness.

13 Sep

Who Said the Web Fell Apart?


"People have complained that sites for the big news organizations, like CNN, The New York Times and the BBC, were unavailable for much of the day due to high traffic.
And what newspapers and portals were available simply ran wire copy. But under the radar, the Net responded magnificently; it was just a matter of knowing where to look."

11/09/01 update: Ground Zero, the Internet, And Networked Society.