Data network connectivity developments, networking business news, and related computing items.
Monday, January 12, 2004
Microsoft Bows to Pressure, Extends Support for Older Windows Versions: "Microsoft Corp. on Monday capitulated to customer pressure and announced that it would now continue extended support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition and for Windows Millennium Edition (ME) until June 30, 2006. Microsoft recently said that support for Windows 98 and 98 SE would be phased out this Friday—January 16, while support for Windows Me was due to stop on December 31, 2004. ..
During this time, Microsoft will continue to offer paid phone support and will continue to review any critical security issues and take appropriate steps. ..
According to officials, Microsoft also wanted to bring Windows 98 SE into compliance with the company's current lifecycle policy for new products, which provides for support for seven years instead of the original four. " 9:15:58 PM
Yahoo, NewsGator Extend RSS Aggregation
: "research shows that consumer dependence on the Web browser has diminished
significantly. A recent study from Nielsen//NetRatings
found that three out of every four home and work Internet users -- a full 76 percent -- access the Internet using a non-browser based Internet application like RSS aggregators, media players, Instant Messaging and P2P applications." 5:32:02 PM
More casual VOIP
: "We leave Skype running in the background when Matt's online in Helsinki and I'm in London. It's an easy, casual way to keep someone present when they're not. You hear the rhythms of their typing, occasional laughs or sighs or mutterings, and you can break into conversation when you feel like it. You can have conversational spurts, rather than one big download. It's casual, background conversation rather than a focused IM exchange or time-pressured telephone call." 5:29:05 PM
Entering CasualSpace... John Perry Barlow gets a different VOIP experience: "Joi and I were typing at each other over the Net using Apple's iChat AV. I've never liked Internet chat. I don't like having to type that fast. So, at a certain point, I asked him whether he'd used the audio capacities that are built into iChat AV. I hadn't. A moment later we were conversing by voice through our computers. Despite the fact that Joi is presently in his country house outside of Tokyo and I'm at my condo in Salt Lake, it sounded like he was in the room with me. There was no discernible latency or loss of fidelity.
For awhile, we talked as though we were on the phone.. The really interesting shift occurred as we drifted back to what we'd been doing before we started chatting, leaving the audio channel open as we'd did so. We could hear each other typing. One of my daughters entered the room and spoke to me. Joi heard her and said hello. They had a brief conversation; .. I could hear the sounds of construction going on in his house. .. For a long time, it was as though we were working in the same room, each of us alone with his endeavors and yet... together. Though half a world away.
This feels significant to me. Even over shorter distances, people rarely think of phone calls as being so casually cheap that one would simply leave the connection open for ambient telepresence and occasional conversation. To create shared spaces that span the planet, and to do so whenever you feel like it, and to leave them unpurposefully in place for hours, is not something people have done very often before. The next step is to make those shared spaces larger, so that multiple people can inhabit the same auditory zone, entering and leaving it as though it were a coffee house. This will change the way people live.
Big deal, you think. You can do this with conference calls now. But you don't. Conference calls are expensive and unstable. The sound quality usually sucks if you're using a speaker phone. I think this is different. It certainly felt different to me. I had the same shiver of the New that I got years ago the first time I ever used telnet and realized that I could get a hard disks to spin in any number of computers thousands of miles away just by entering a few keystrokes. " 5:23:09 PM
Tim Berners-Lee to get OBE
: "Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), will be made a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth. This was announced earlier today by Buckingham Palace as part of the 2004 New Year's Honours list. The rank of Knight Commander is the second most senior rank of the Order of the British Empire, one of the Orders of Chivalry awarded. Berners-Lee, 48, a British citizen who lives in the United States, is being knighted in recognition of his "services to the global development of the Internet" through the invention of the World Wide Web." 3:19:41 PM