Monthly Archives: December 2001

Mark

John Robb: Mark flames me for calling Open Source a “Flop of 2001.”  Hey, the reason it is a flop is this:  it didn't live up to the hype.  I don't dismiss the value of open source, but rather the bombastic rhetoric of its proponants.  A lot of stuff was said by open source zealots in the last five years that doesn't hold together today.

For my flops list, I picked areas of technology that were most greatly impacted by the deflation of their hype balloon.  Portals and 3G where the other two areas cited.  All three were masters of the universe in 2000.  Firms and individuals poured billions into them.  They are now merely players on a larger landscape of technology.  Portals aren't going away entirely and certainly not open source.  3G may be dead.  [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

John Robb's top picks for the biggest trends of 2001:

1) Tivo.  The death of free TV.

2) WiFi.  The solution to home networking, laptop mobility, and urban last mile bandwidth.  The death of regional Bell laziness in rolling out last mile bandwidth and home networking.

3) Digitial cameras.  The death of film.

Top flops for 2001:

1) P2P.  A solution for nothing except copyright infringement.

2) Wireless 3G and WAP.  It would do what?

3) Portals.  Yawn.

4) Open Source.  You get what you pay for.

Top picks for 2002:

>1) The browser (next generation).  The two-way Web emerges.

2) Instant messaging (next generation).  Real collaboration through IM.

3) Geo computing.  Location matters.

Starts for huge long-term trends in 2001:

1) Nanobiotech.  This is where the smart money in nanotech is going.

2) Quantum computing and communication.  Real advances this year.  It works!

3) Web Services.  [
John Robb's Radio Weblog

John Robb's top picks for the biggest trends of 2001:

1) Tivo.  The death of free TV.

2) WiFi.  The solution to home networking, laptop mobility, and urban last mile bandwidth.  The death of regional Bell laziness in rolling out last mile bandwidth and home networking.

3) Digitial cameras.  The death of film.

Top flops for 2001:

1) P2P.  A solution for nothing except copyright infringement.

2) Wireless 3G and WAP.  It would do what?

3) Portals.  Yawn.

4) Open Source.  You get what you pay for.

Top picks for 2002:

>1) The browser (next generation).  The two-way Web emerges.

2) Instant messaging (next generation).  Real collaboration through IM.

3) Geo computing.  Location matters.

Starts for huge long-term trends in 2001:

1) Nanobiotech.  This is where the smart money in nanotech is going.

2) Quantum computing and communication.  Real advances this year.  It works!

3) Web Services.  [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

Fraud of the Rings

Fraud of the Rings. “There can be only one!” No wait, wrong movie. “These are not the hobbits you are looking for.” Whoops, wrong world. “They boldly go where no hobbit has gone before” Hmmm, I guess hobbits don't have spaceships, now do they?
If you're looking for some parody amusement based on the Lord of the Rings, the comic strips at this site are pretty funny.
On a side note: I do have to admit, I thought the movie was just absolutely amazing. [Tangent.org] [Meerkat: An Open Wire Service]

New York Times

New York Times – Editorial Op-Ed: By William Safire free registration required Threat of National ID. The plastic card would not merely show a photograph, signature and address, as driver's licenses do. That's only the beginning. In time, and with exquisite refinements, the card would contain not only a fingerprint, description of DNA and the details of your eye's iris, but a host of other information about you.

Hospitals would say: How about a chip providing a complete medical history in case of emergencies? Merchants would add a chip for credit rating, bank accounts and product preferences, while divorced spouses would lobby for a rundown of net assets and yearly expenditures. Politicians would like to know voting records and political affiliation. Cops, of course, would insist on a record of arrests, speeding tickets, E-Z pass auto movements and links to suspicious Web sites and associates.

All this information and more is being collected already. With a national ID system, however, it can all be centered in a single dossier, even pressed on a single card — with a copy of that card in a national databank, supposedly confidential but available to any imaginative hacker.

What about us libertarian misfits who take the trouble to try to “opt out”? We will not be able to travel, or buy on credit, or participate in tomorrow's normal life. Soon enough, police as well as employers will consider those who resist full disclosure of their financial, academic, medical, religious, social and political affiliations to be suspect.

The universal use and likely abuse of the national ID — a discredit card — will trigger questions like: When did you begin subscribing to these publications and why were you visiting that spicy or seditious Web site? Why are you afraid to show us your papers on demand? Why are you paying cash? What do you have to hide? [Privacy Digest]

XML Cooktop

XML Cooktop: “While the commercial XML editors race to expand their ever-growing set of features, users suffer under the load of bloated applications that take too long to download, too long to start, and too long to comprehend. The developers of XML Cooktop struggle to keep features out of Cooktop so that it downloads in seconds, starts up fast every time, looks clean, and gets the job done.” # [Scripting News]

Ace's Hardware Replaces PHP with Java

Ace's Hardware Replaces PHP with Java. An interesting article that suggests some of the weaknesses of a naive PHP implementation for heavy traffic sites.

Here's what they should have done with PHP:

  1. Switched to using 2 web servers. One server for graphics, with Keep-Alives enabled, and another server for dynamic HTML using PHP and Keep-Alives disabled. This is an issue that occurs with all web servers, not merely PHP.
  2. Rewrite bits of their PHP using a HTML caching technology such as Smarty templates or PEAR Cache. This preserves their investment, and is a minor rewrite.
  3. Purchase Zend Accelerator.

You can read in the article that the main problem was the hardware could not keep up with the load. The new Java application performed poorly also the old hardware, and only when they upgraded to faster hardware did performance improve.

There are also pointers to where PHP needs to improve in the future: better resource pooling and multi-threaded support. [PHP Everywhere]