26 September 2002
The Guardian's list of top British weblogs. [Scripting News]
10:47:54 PM  #   your two cents []

Just back from about an hour's roundtable talk with Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. No matter how many times I've heard him speak, I'm always startled by how LOUD he is in real life...

 Anyway, for your delectation (or something like that), a few snippets from his comments and answers to Irish journalists' queries (offered without comment!):

* "Our commitment to being here in Ireland is very strong". It is the largest concentration of Microsoft employees (1800) outside Redmond, he said. However he noted that China and India pose a challenge to Ireland for investment, more so than Eastern European countries, because of the skill sets of potential employees, English language ability, costs etc. India in particular is competitive with Ireland, he said. The recent loss of 15 .NET jobs (see below) is nothing except making operations more "efficient" and does not signal a loss of confidence in operations here or a shift in MS policy towards Ireland.

* Ireland is to be the disaster recovery centre for Microsoft's corporate data centre -- everything except Microsoft.com and MSN.com, he said.

* "Right now we are on the verge of the next revolution -- the XML revolution." Microsoft will blend XML with its .NET platform, he said. "We're bringing XML and .NET into our technologies as we speak."

* "We also know we have to be a responsible leader for our industry", keeping code accessible in some cases and sticking with Government regulations and clear accounting procedures. "We do believe over time that stock options should be on the income statement." But MS will not do this until a way of approaching this is agreed among technology partner and competitor companies, he said.

* executive rewards should also be clearly spelled out, Ballmer said. He noted that he and Gates do not take share options, whereas Larry Ellison takes 25 to 30 per cent of Oracle shares.

* Microsoft knows it has been "diminished" in some customers' eyes because of the way in which it introduced its new software licensing procedures, he said. It was "not a very good process".

* "Our own installed base is our greatest competitor," he said, noting that if new versions of software weren't compelling, people will not upgrade and revenue will drop for the company.

* "Linux is just a file system and a file manager."

* Regarding ASP models for selling software as a service: "My biggest dotcom folly was predicting that would happen overnight. But I do think the future of software is services."

* On the general economy: "I don't think things are falling anymore, but I think it will be a while before things pick up. The economy will improve, things will bottom out, and innovation [will help recovery].

* On whether there's enough innovation in the tech industry these days: "You gotta have something that people want to go buy. Maybe our industry could be a bit more innovative" to help spur economic recovery.

*On what kind of start-up he might create if he threw in the towel at Microsoft: "I don;t think like a start-up so it's hard for me to make [a suggestion about interesting start-up sectors]. We have to think about how to grow a $30 billion organisation. Start-ups look more at niches."

4:41:01 PM  #   your two cents []

According to a discussion at last night's Wireless Wednesday in Dublin, "warchalking" -- or identifying with (usually) chalked symbols where wireless networks are in operation to allow people to connect in to them -- is illegal in Ireland, due to some element of a regulation passed by the then-Dept of Public Enterprise a year ago. Will see if I can find out more.

10:58:38 AM  #   your two cents []
From New Scientist: Tough Earth bug may be from Mars: "A hardy microbe that can withstand huge doses of radiation could have evolved this ability on Mars."
10:10:52 AM  #   your two cents []
From the FT: Nokia on the line to get 3G party started: "Nokia, the world's leading maker of mobile phones, will on Thursday attempt to dispel some of the gloom surrounding 3G telephony when it unveils Europe's first 3G handset in Helsinki."
10:05:18 AM  #   your two cents []
Rocket Scientists Find a Rocket. <<Asteroid-discovery mania may be rampant, but one apparent asteroid spotted recently is in all likelihood part of a long-missing Apollo spacecraft. How do scientists know? It's the paint.>> [Wired News]
10:00:32 AM  #   your two cents []
Libération: Les jouebs, stars éditoriales du Web. [Scripting News] I didn't know jouebs was the French term for weblogs! If you can read French, this is a nice little piece. Otherwise it just looks kind of exotic...
9:58:24 AM  #   your two cents []
From the 'Eeeeeewwwww!' Dept.: Waiter, There Are 3.2 Fly Parts In My Soup!. "Emotional knee-jerk reactions might get you to reduce the number of insect heads in your Fig Newtons [ed: Fig Rolls for Irish/UK readers...], but what would the ramifications be?" [Plastic: Most Recent]
9:56:47 AM  #   your two cents []
PayPal goes international. <<The online payment company plans to allow customers to accept payments in euros and British pounds--and eventually in a other currencies as well.>> [CNET News.com]
9:51:27 AM  #   your two cents []
Undersea data network planned off Calif. coast. NSF gave grants to build Monterey Accelerated Research System [InfoWorld: Top News]
9:50:05 AM  #   your two cents []
Computerworld: Privacy battle seen as a 'gathering storm'. "Things are lining up for real legislative battles next year in Congress and in the states, triggered by the impending expiration of a provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that blocks states from imposing their own data privacy rules." [Tomalak's Realm]
9:48:27 AM  #   your two cents []
Web leak of Linux lets Hat out of the bag. <<Parts of the new version of Red Hat's Linux software slip onto the Net nearly a week before the OS's official release, giving glimpses of a product with a new mainstream focus.>> [CNET News.com]
9:46:57 AM  #   your two cents []
Napster redux: Superstars blast file swapping. <<A coalition of artists and labels will start running print, radio and TV ads featuring dozens of major recording stars who compare file swapping with stealing.>> [CNET News.com]
9:45:34 AM  #   your two cents []
Microsoft puts a price on IM features. The software giant is prepping a version of MSN Messenger with new offerings that will be available exclusively to paying subscribers of the MSN 8 online service. [CNET News.com]
9:42:16 AM  #   your two cents []
A. H. Weiler. "Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself." [Quotes of the Day]
9:40:56 AM  #   your two cents []
Reuters | Canada's Cyber-Snooping Plans Raise Ire. << TORONTO (Reuters) - Proposed amendments to Canadian laws that would allow police to monitor e-mail is worrying privacy experts and leaving Internet service providers wondering who will pay for the probing of their customers' Internet activity. A key part of the amendments would require all wireless and Internet service providers (ISPs) to provide the technology to enable law enforcement agencies to monitor the Internet activity of their customers, once a court order has been obtained.>> [Privacy Digest]
9:39:48 AM  #   your two cents []