SUNW becomes JAVA

Sun is changing its ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA, as announced in Sun’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s Weblog on Thursday 23rd August. There has been a lot of mixed feedback. Most techies and engineers inside and outside Sun are criticizing the decision, as they see it narrowing Sun to Java technology. However, Wall Street did not seem to care much.

The stock went up 1.62%, while the Nasdaq index recovered 1.38% so one can possibly assume the market was insensitive to the change.…

Stall by Incremental Releases

Have you have ever been part of the inception of a software system that later became big and complex? Have you later felt the frustration of not being able to make further changes to the core architecture? Did you end up being taken hostage by the software? I did.

We hope as developers to be able to adapt software as requirements and bugs arise, and to be able to organize our software releases accordingly. By doing incremental releases we hope to work with a stable code-base where we can release often.…

Open LinkedIn Platform Should Focus on Privacy

LinkedIn’s CEO Reid Hoffman promised at the end of June to open the LinkedIn platform, very much aligned with Facebook’s publishing its developer APIs, and surely trying to experience some of the same growth Facebook is receiving thanks to opening their APIs. I hope however that LinkedIn is thinking about all the risks associated with opening up a business community.

LinkedIn will need to review and approve every single application out there consuming their services. The last thing you want is a pile a lawsuits on your desk because of misapproprated data, especially personal data covered by the EU/95 Privacy Directive, also implemented in the UK via the Data Protection Act, and somehow applicable to US companies under the Safe Harbor Agreements.…

Why Trolltech’s Qt GPL license is hurting the Linux desktop

After my move away from Gnome and Evolution, I have now been running KDE for three weeks straight and still going. I have found KDE to be a surprisingly stable and reliable platform. It’s hard to find something to criticize in KDE. It’s a really nice desktop setup: well oiled machinery where everything seems to run smoothly. Inter-application communication and integration of all the KDE applications is simply superb, and I don’t think there is any other desktop out there, proprietary or open source, where you can see such tight integration of its parts.…

Three Weeks of KDE, Too Much Configuration

After moving to KDE three weeks ago now, I am staying. At least for now. If I had to pick on something, my main point for feedback would be that the graphical user interface feels crowded, and its usage metaphors, albeit consistent, are rather complicated.

In KDE, configuration options are scattered all around the place. KDE is a great platform for the power user, familiar with tweaking and working with plenty of configuration options, but for the rest of us who just want to get on using the applications and not waste our time fighting with configuration options, a simpler paradigm for desktop and programs alike would be more useful.…

Measuring time spent at a site rather than hits

In July, Nielsen’s NetRatings changed its web traffic measurements to focus on time spent at a given site rather than the traditional page views, and page views per user (PV/UU). Since then, many web 2.0 sites, including communities, gaming, video, etc. have received this change as the Holy Grail of web ratings, even those whose ranking went down.

While it is true that time spent at a site increases  exposure to ad display, and possibly CPM, the time-based measurement paradigm is only applicable to countries with deep internet and broadbrand penetration.…

Posh-Wannabes: Wannabe-A-Fly?

This 70s sunglasses retro-look inspired by our very own Victoria Beckham, “posh”, and America’s greatest exhibitionist Paris Hilton, is starting to become annoying. Strikingly similar to a fly’s eyes, generally esthetically unpleasant sunglasses are taking over London this summer. People covering their eyes with black lenses of the size of satellite dishes. Men and women, alike, being fashionable human flies.

I had never seen flies in the London underground, until now. A pest of human flies with big dark black eyes has taken over.…

Google News Limited Comments, Not Cool, Not Evil, Just Careless

It’s all around the blogosphere, Google News is going to allow limited editorial comments from those involved in the news. Basically, you get a chance to tell your side of the story if you are involved. Big wow factor. Google, our savor. Well, perhaps not.

For starters, Google TOS and robots.txt restrict others from accessing Google News content, i.e. you can’t crawl Google News, including those limited “editorial” comments. So whereas Google can scrape the Belgian newspapers, bend their arm, and get away with it, Google won’t allow its editorial content to be indexed elsewhere.…

Yahoo! ROBO: Research Online, Buy Offline

Yahoo! Search Marketing Blog published last week a study showing that online exposure to product and retailer information, as well as ads, changes consumers behavior. Yahoo! calls that Research Online, Buy Offline, or ROBO (btw, ROBO means theft in Spanish).

I can easily identify myself as one of those consumers in the study. It’s much easier to use the internet to find out exactly what one is looking for. Sometimes, I want (need?) to buy something, but I am unclear about what is available in the market that would suit my needs.…

NatWest Online Banking: Card Reader

On Friday I received and “Online Banking Card Reader” from NatWest, my bank here in the UK. Let me tell you, it is one of a curious kind.

NatWest issued me a new debit card a few weeks back now, although it was actually not due. The chip in the new card looked slightly different from the one on the last one, but it is still an EPROM with 255 bytes of storage. I have not read its contents yet … I am sure I am bound by some dubious legal agreement not to do it anyway.…