XML and software
XML, web and software in general, with notes on Radio Userland resources

Ken Novak's Weblog


daily link  Monday, February 28, 2005


Jon Stewart's Daily Show on Bloggers 02/16/05.  Hilarious.  5:23:48 PM  permalink  

iPod Radio and Skype:  "This post provides a "how to" on creating a personal iPod Radio that you can use in your Skype calls or simply leave running for your friends to call. The implications are disruptive, and the "ease of use" likely to further Skype's adoption when solutions are available for effectively using Skype as a broadcast service. It's perfect for low volume delivery of recorded messages off websites. Perhaps another zone for convergence between music, media and voice?"  see also SkypeCasting: How to Record Skype Conversations  

This builds on Skype's low latency, its high quality (if higher-bandwidth) codecs, and its ability to run in several instances on a single desktop.  It's not just VOIP telephony, and beats streaming technology in having fast call setup and no server (being peer-to-peer). IP telephony seemed to me to be economically important but not functionally important, unless it could enable new functions.  Up to now, making your own conference calls, keeping a line open for long periods, or integrating with other collaboration tools were valuable, but relatively minor, new functions.  Skype's approach of adding high quality audio was intriguing ("the medium is the massage").  With recorded apps and closed user groups, we have SOIP, Sound over IP, with many apps, such as:

  • personal or party-sized radio
  • low-volume simulcast of events (I'd happily pay $5 to hear the music from my favorite jazz club when I can't make it; and I'd like to listen in on community or political meetings when I can't be there)
  • recorded announcements (school reports, ski reports)
  • intercom/surveillance:  listen in on microphones anywhere
  • PA systems:  make an announcement from your PC, or PDA
  • personal online dictation or transcription

Especially interesting is the ease of access from a telephone.  Motorola is adding Skype to mobile phone handsets, and third parties can give a public phone number address to an SOIP destination.  So any service you make on a PC can be accessed from phones, as well.  Carriers may now reuse the phone numbers that used to connect to modems and faxes, and can carry calls from conventional phones into the new applications.

As noted by former BT CTO Peter Cochrane, unbundled VOIP like Skype has become as practical for road warriors as modems did in the 90s, and the results may not be pretty for the phone carriers.  New applications may soften the blow a little.

  9:11:01 AM  permalink  


daily link  Friday, February 25, 2005


IBM Cloudscape open source database: Late 2004: "IBM Cloudscape™ V10.0 is a pure, open source-based Java relational database management system that can be embedded in Java programs and used for online transaction processing (OLTP). A platform-independent, small-footprint (2MB) database, Cloudscape V10.0 integrates tightly with any Java-based solution." 

Also:  Q&A on IBM is open sourcing Cloudscape as ASF Derby. Open source code is available on the Apache Incubator Project site.  Early 2005: IBM will partner "with Zend Technologies to create a bundle called ZendCore, which includes IBM's Cloudscape-embedded database and Zend's PHP development tools. Zend sells tools built on the open-source edition of PHP and offers related services."

  10:38:38 PM  permalink  


daily link  Tuesday, February 22, 2005


MySQL Update: "Managers at Open Source database provider MySQL are squarely targeting the enterprise DBA and IT exec in 2005. With last month's major MySQL 4.1 upgrade, the Open Source DB now offers a set of new graphical query views, admin tools, and clustering support for high availability.  .. [in 2005, they plan] MySQL 5.0, adding some more key features eagerly awaited by enterprises and ISVs, including support for stored procedures" and views and cursors.  11:46:17 AM  permalink  

Firebird Relational Database: "Firebird is a relational database offering many ANSI SQL-99 features that runs on Linux, Windows, and a variety of Unix platforms. Firebird offers excellent concurrency, high performance, and powerful language support for stored procedures and triggers. It has been used in production systems, under a variety of names since 1981.

Firebird is a commercially independent project of C and C++ programmers, technical advisors and supporters developing and enhancing a multi-platform relational database management system based on the source code released by Inprise Corp (now known as Borland Software Corp) on 25 July, 2000 under the InterBase Public License v.1.0. New code modules added to Firebird are licensed under the Initial Developer's Public License. (IDPL). The original modules released by Inprise are licensed under the InterBase Public License v.1.0. Both licences are modified versions of the Mozilla Public License v.1.1. "

  11:42:56 AM  permalink  

IT Using More Open Source Databases: "Researchers at Evans Data Corp. have found a strong uptick in usage of a variety of Open Source databases throughout corporate U.S. In Evans' Winter 2005 Database Development Survey of developers and DBAs released this month, Evans found two-thirds use Open Source DBs, and 50% use (or plan to use) XQuery and other open web services standards with their data..

Aside from the traditional names of MySQL and PostgreSQL, Evans also found the FireBird Open Source databases making some inroads -- particularly in the "edge" sector of networking. Evans found FireBird is the most used database period for 'edge' applications, Microsoft Access is a close second (at 21%). In addition, MySQL and FireBird are locked in a virtual tie in the open source database space with each being used by just over half of database developers who use open source databases. ..

"Right now, if a developer wants to put together some type of project, and can't get the CIO to authorize the funding, he can now simply download a free database and build an enterprise-caliber project based on this database," [the analyst] said."

  11:40:15 AM  permalink  


daily link  Thursday, February 17, 2005


O'Reilly: Open Source Paradigm Shift:  A restatement of Tim's thesis of the last few years.  Some points I want to remember: "My premise is that free and open source developers are in much the same position today that IBM was in 1981 when it changed the rules of the computer industry, but failed to understand the consequences of the change, allowing others to reap the benefits. Most existing proprietary software vendors are no better off, playing by the old rules while the new rules are reshaping the industry around them.

I have a simple test that I use in my talks to see if my audience of computer industry professionals is thinking with the old paradigm or the new. "How many of you use Linux?" I ask. Depending on the venue, 20-80% of the audience might raise its hands. "How many of you use Google?" Every hand in the room goes up. And the light begins to dawn. Every one of them uses Google's massive complex of 100,000 Linux servers, but they were blinded to the answer by a mindset in which "the software you use" is defined as the software running on the computer in front of you. Most of the "killer apps" of the Internet, applications used by hundreds of millions of people, run on Linux or FreeBSD. But the operating system, as formerly defined, is to these applications only a component of a larger system. Their true platform is the Internet. ..

Sites such as Google, Amazon, and salesforce.com provide the most serious challenge to the traditional understanding of free and open source software. Here are applications built on top of Linux, but they are fiercely proprietary. What's more, even when using and modifying software distributed under the most restrictive of free software licenses, the GPL, these sites are not constrained by any of its provisions, all of which are conditioned on the old paradigm. The GPL's protections are triggered by the act of software distribution, yet web-based application vendors never distribute any software: it is simply performed on the Internet's global stage, delivered as a service rather than as a packaged software application. ..

And the opportunities are not merely up the stack. There are huge proprietary opportunities hidden inside the system. .. We saw this pattern in the PC market with most PCs now bearing the brand "Intel Inside"; the Internet could just as easily be branded "Cisco Inside". ..

[On open source style collaboration as a generator of value:] those that have built large development communities have done so because they have a modular architecture that allows easy participation by independent or loosely coordinated developers. The use of Perl, for example, exploded along with CPAN, the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, and Perl's module system, which allowed anyone to enhance the language with specialized functions, and make them available to other users. ..

an observation originally made by Clay Shirky in a talk .. entitled "Listening to Napster." There are three ways to build a large database, said Clay. The first, demonstrated by Yahoo!, is to pay people to do it. The second, inspired by lessons from the open source community, is to get volunteers to perform the same task. The Open Directory Project, an open source Yahoo! competitor, is the result. (Wikipedia provides another example.) But Napster demonstrates a third way. Because Napster set its defaults to automatically share any music that was downloaded, every user automatically helped to build the value of the shared database. .."

  12:09:29 PM  permalink  


daily link  Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Geeklog - The Ultimate Weblog System: "Geeklog is a 'blog', otherwise known as a Weblog. It allows you to create your own virtual community area, complete with user administration, story posting, messaging, comments, polls, calendar, weblinks, and more! It can run on many different operating systems, and uses PHP4 and MySQL."  2:07:49 PM  permalink  


daily link  Saturday, February 12, 2005


dorkbot-sf: A local chapter of the international network of dorkbot groups, "people doing strange things with electricity."  Just in the last month in SF:  cool wierd constructions of robots, dystopian security systems, and real life laminar design tools for anyone to build the object they model in 3d in their computer.  Spime builders international.  (Thanks for the tip, Scott!)

  9:54:52 AM  permalink  


daily link  Thursday, February 10, 2005


Eggplant Demo: Neat testing application that uses VNC (from a Mac!) to run graphics-based user interactions against code under test.  Good for cross-platform testing.  Very good demonstration movie, too.  2:49:43 PM  permalink  


daily link  Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Mike Olson on XQuery and Database Technologies:  I've been learning more about berkeley db and berkeley db xml from sleepycat software. They're open source for end users, and lisenced to software or hardware developers that embed it into products. This interview is interesting for showing how sleepycat thinks about sql vs xml, and for talking about xquery, xml schema and other topics. And the page carries a list of relevant links in its right margin for further reading.

 

  8:49:36 AM  permalink  


daily link  Monday, February 07, 2005


Slashdot | Open Source Licensing and Slashdot | A Compact Guide To F/OSS Licensing: Reviews of two good books on open source licensing.  12:15:41 AM  permalink  

EPIC 2014: Very amusing flash projection of media in 2014.  Worth all 8 minutes.  12:04:47 AM  permalink  


daily link  Sunday, February 06, 2005


NexTag:  Interesting comparison shopping site, esp for used and refurb computer gear.  They show graphs of the price over the last few years, kinda like stocks except the slope is always sharply down... for example, an Acer Notebook.

  10:26:34 AM  permalink  


daily link  Saturday, February 05, 2005


Telligent Systems: "We manage and maintain 3 of the most popular Microsoft Open Source projects: The Community Server :: Forums (formerly known as ASP.NET Forums), a rich web based discussion systems; Community Server :: Blogs (formerly known as .Text), the most popular Microsoft blogging platform; and Community Server :: Gallery (formerly known as nGallery) a rich photo gallery application. "  10:42:00 PM  permalink  

Copyright 2005 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 11/25/2005; 12:07:57 AM.
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