Monthly Archives: July 2005

Three women who inspire me

Three women who inspire me.

I
was just thinking back on my conference experiences. I helped on the
first VBITS conference (now it's the VSLive conference). At that one,
about 10 years ago, there were 428 attendees. Only two women. One was
Deborah Kurata. We hired her to speak (at least in part because of my
urging). She went on to be one of our most popular speakers.

One thing, though. Deborah helped her cause out. She was active.
Very active in the community. Showed up to the local VB user group (and
eventually led a bunch of talks there too — all for free).

She also wrote a book and many magazine articles. Now she runs her own consulting business.

Again, how do you join (or beat?) the good old boys network? Join it!!! It's hard work, but Deborah shows it can be done.

Another example? Molly Holtzschlag.
She ran her own web development conference for CMP. She wrote dozens of
magazine articles. She writes big thick books on XHTML. And she is ever
present at community meetings and conferences. She shows up. She works
hard. She gets noticed. She beats the boys at their own game. She's
told me about sexism she's faced in the past. What does she do with
that? Works even harder.

She's my hero.

Another one? Dori Smith.
She is one of the world's top authorities on JavaScript. She thinks
she's invisible, but she's not. She's the one who told me to blog. A
decision that made my life very rich. I'm permanently in her debt. Just
goes to show you that if a woman tells you to do something you better
listen to her (that belief helps me in my marriage quite a bit too).

Three women who are at the tops of their games in tech.

They inspire me. Hope they inspire you.  [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]

Law Firms Reinvent KM

Law Firms Reinvent KM.

According to an article by Judith Lamont, Law Firms Reinvent KM,
KM is being integrated nicely in many law firms these days. Though the
general KM hype has definitely died down, Dennis Kennedy is quoted as
saying “Law firms have become more pragmatic in their use of knowledge
management technology. They are less concerned about the buzzwords and
more focused on what can be accomplished.” So KM is now emphasizing
practical, mangeable applications that can effect how lawyers work on a
daily basis, sometimes globally, sometimes on a more local level.

Much of the emphasis seems to be shifting to identifying expertise
rather than just delivering documents. At Heller, Ehrman, they're
emphasized connecting people, though they're also working with American
Legalnet to create a universal forms library, according to Robin
Solomon, the firmwide knowledge manager  [LawLibTech]

Ancient Space Technology

Ancient Space Technology

In technological terms,
the Space Shuttle is ancient. It was designed with technology that is
25-30 years old. This, in addition to the fact that the system has
endured substantial wear and tear over the years, has made every launch
an event rather than business as usual. A crisis is on the horizon.
When (not if), the next shuttle fails, we will be left without a launch
platform.

The problem is that the system has squandered $3.2
billion a year in space funding. This money could have easily funded a
replacement via a mechanism like the x prize. A smart approach would be
to phase out the program in favor of funding a next generation X prize
or the DARPA grand challenge. For a space entrepreneur, a system that
rewards the first, second, and third place finishers with substantial
prizes would zoom innovation. The only problem is that we need to start
it now if we are going to get a next generation system in time for the
crunch.

Here's a
suggested
roll-out. [John Robb's Weblog]

Lesson #15 – Getting the snowball rolling

Lesson #15 – Getting the snowball rolling

Let's
say that you have looked through Lessons 1 through 14. You have chosen
an idea and you have created a site. You have called in every favor you
have to get some friends to link to your site. Now what?
Now it is time to find out if your site resonates or not. You need to
know this BEFORE you start trying to get links on large sites like
Digg, Slashdot, Fark, etc.  [WebKEW]

Let me give you another piece of sage advice… not only can we move in an SBS 2003 server that has the same domain name as the old system [and thus not messin' with the desktops] using a method that many consultants use, we now have guidance to move a SBS 2003 into an existing domain

Let me give you another piece of sage
advice… not only can we move in an SBS 2003 server that has the same
domain name as the old system [and thus not messin' with the desktops]
using a method that many consultants use, we now have guidance to move a SBS 2003 into an existing domain, and … as a result of Jeff's SBSmigration.com, he now has a building database of consultants that are SBS “Swing” Migration specialists that can help.   [E-Bitz – SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS “Diva”]

Reader Voices: Advantage Microsoft

Reader Voices: Advantage Microsoft.

In
honor of Microsoft making its Window Genuine Advantage license
validation procedures mandatory this week, I thought it would be
appropriate to offer a sampling of comments we've had about the program
from current or former Microsoft customers. Or, as I like to call them,
the Windows Genuinely Disadvantaged.

Some readers have reported that Windows installations that they have
every reason to believe valid show up as illegitimate in Microsoft's
validation process. “Imagine my surprise when I actually entered the
Microsoft logo'ed key posted to the bottom of my laptop and was told
that my Windows XP program, pre-loaded at the dealership that sold me
the laptop, was not legitimate,” one reader wrote. This computer was
purchased from a reputable dealer, who advertises regularly in national
magazines, and who charged what I believed at the time was an
exorbitant price. I'm not a techie. I need the computer for my
business. What do I do now, go out and buy another version of XP? I'd
like for someone from Microsoft to advise me what they would recommend.
Ed, why don't you contact them and ask them specifically what course of
action they'd recommend? Should I have my attorney contact the company
that sold the laptop to me? Should I have my attorney contact
Microsoft? Should I sue both the vendor and Microsoft for fraudulent
representation? It's going to get pretty interesting for someone when
they 'turn me off.' First stop will be the Attorney General of the
State of Washington.”

Readers also had their doubts that fighting piracy was the real
motivation behind Microsoft's program. “Microsoft hasn't been able to
innovate for a long time now, and are thus unable to show sales and
revenue growth based on the merits of their products and real customer
demand,” one reader wrote. “Customers have few if any reasons to
purchase newer versions of either Windows or Office. I assert that Bill
knows that a certain percentage of legitimately licensed copies will
have re-activation issues in the coarse of normal everyday hardware and
OS maintenance activities. This is really just an indirect license
'sunset' methodology — many less-sophisticated users will take the
easy way out, and have an excuse to go buy that new PC they had their
eye on anyway. And, guess what, Bill sells another copy of Windows, and
the new one has an even stronger tractor beam back to Redmond. I've
never been a fan of Linux, but I'm about ready to give it a try.”

Many readers saw the whole Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy
effort as yet further justification for their decision to get out of
the Microsoft licensing maze and into Open Source. “Even if everything
else were equal — and it is not even close — just the licensing
issues alone are sufficient,” wrote one reader. “Absent the remote
possibility of SCO actually winning, there is no way that a Linux
Server can be illegal. But even if you have a properly licensed
Microsoft server, in the event a disgruntled employee or evil
competitor calls the BSA or SPA and you find a strike team breaking
down your doors and confiscating all your equipment, you still are
guilty until proven innocent. Can you find every single COA, CALC,
receipt etc. across numerous upgrades? And this begs the question of if
there even is such a thing as a legal Microsoft Server. With all the
assorted limitations and myriads of additional licenses you need to be
able to do anything useful I have never heard of anyone, even
Microsoft, who is willing to certify that a client is actually properly
licensed for what they intend. According to the EULAs, you are not
actually allowed to do anything useful anyway. If Linux were half as
fast, unreliable and twice as difficult to install, it would still be a
better deal.”

One reader made the astute point that all this verification nonsense
would be unnecessary if Microsoft hadn't forced OEMs to go to OS
recovery systems without a full-fledged Windows CD. “This whole problem
has roots when Microsoft forced vendors to move to 'restore disks and
then no disks, only software restores on hidden partitions,” the reader
wrote. “I always had good reason to believe I had purchased a
legitimate copy when I received a legal CD and certificate in a sealed
Microsoft package. I know these were copied also, put no small-time
operator could do that easily. This is the root of much of this
problem.”

Other readers seconded that motion. “It's much easier to fake it
when you don't have the media to prove your license,” another reader
wrote. “And those Certificates of Authenticity? Please. Perhaps
businesses keep them, but do home users really pay any attention to
those? And yes, a few years ago Microsoft stopped supplying original
media to OEMs. Their policy at the time was that only recovery CDs were
allowed for OEM installs. I don't know if this is still their policy,
but I have to assume it is. I don't even use OEM installs anymore, but
buy separate boxed copies instead. It's just smarter and more flexible
in the long run — especially since OEM Windows can only be used on the
original machine. If you upgrade, too bad: no Windows.”

In other words, many readers felt Windows Genuine Advantage is just
another of the many licensing tricks Microsoft uses to get more money
from customers instead of providing better products. “Another
interesting thing to note is that Microsoft will not publish their
license management API's,” wrote one reader. “You can use Microsoft
tools to display them on a per-domain basis, but they will not tell you
how they are able to do that. There is no way to effectively count
licenses across the enterprise. I believe this is by design. I am quite
sure that they don't want you to be able to count licenses. They want
you to keep disposing of perfectly valid licenses and buying new ones.
This is their core business model — selling unneeded licenses by
generating licensing models that even they can't decipher. If, because
I refuse to be audited or to buy a new copy of Windows every time I
plug a new motherboard into my favorite case, Microsoft wishes to label
me a pirate, I can only say this to them: It takes one to know one.”

Read and post comments about this story here.  [Ed Foster's Radio Weblog]

Apple to adopt Hula?

Apple to adopt Hula?.

ThinkSecret says that Apple is getting ready to upgrade OS X Server with some sort of improved mail and calendar solution, probably Hula. That’s nice and all, but I REALLY want them to upgrade iCal to support some
publicly-available calendar server. The ability to publish read-only
calendars was nice in 2002 when it was first added, but it’s been three
years, and I’m still waiting for the ability to share read/write
calendars with other family members. I’m aware that I could probably do
this with .Mac, but I’m not willing to pay $100/year just so I can edit events on my wife’s calendar a couple times per week.

Having said that, Hula looks pretty nice. Even without iCal syncing
support, I’ll probably consider it when it’s time to upgrade my mail
server software again; fortunately that’s probably at least a year away
still. If iCal gets CalDAV
support before then, then I might have to be a bit more aggressive with
the timeframe. Either that or look for other CalDAV servers.  [*scottstuff*]

Duopoly Laws?

Duopoly Laws?.

Independent ISPs and phone services may soon have no way “home”. Cable
is out. DSL services may soon get similar exclusivity to the phone
operator if the FCC's Kevin Martin gets his way. Unlicensed broadband
wireless – at 5.8 GHz – may be their only hope to deliver competitive
services in the United States.

From the 1960's until the day President Bush took office, writes Thomas Bleha,
“The United States led the world in Internet development.” In the first
three years of the Bush administration, the United States dropped from
4th to 13th place. Now it's 16th.

In 2001, Robert Crandall, an economist at the Brookings Institution estimated that “widespread” adoption of basic broadband in the United States could add $500 billion to the U.S. economy and produce 1.2 million new jobs.  [Daily Wireless]