Microsoft’s School System

September 13, 2006

CNN writes:

After three years of planning, the Microsoft Corp.-designed “School of the Future” opened its doors Thursday, a gleaming white modern facility looking out of place amid rows of ramshackle homes in a working-class West Philadelphia neighborhood.

The school is being touted as unlike any in the world, with not only a high-tech building — students have digital lockers and teachers use interactive “smart boards” — but also a learning process modeled on Microsoft’s management techniques.


Social Shopping

September 13, 2006

The New York Times writes:

Sites like ThisNext and a handful of services like, and are spearheading a new category of e-commerce called “social shopping,” that tries to combine two favorite online activities: shopping and social networking. These sites are hoping to ride the MySpace wave by gathering people in one place to swap shopping ideas. And like MySpace, the sites are designed for both browsing and blogging, with some shopping-related technology twists included.

Social shopping is just the latest solution to a chronic problem for online retailers and shoppers: many shoppers aren’t sure what to buy, but they know they won’t find it on the sites of mainstream retailers like Macy’s, Amazon or Wal-Mart.

Сloning Web Apps In Local Markets

September 8, 2006

Read/Write Web writes:

Cloning is one of the biggest themes to come out of my series on international web markets. I’ve noticed that every country has its set of ‘web 2.0’ clones – bookmarking sites that look like delicious, photo sharing sites like Flickr, community news sites like digg, etc. Occasionally I find a very nice original app, such as Moltomondiale in Italy – a special automatic semantic news aggregator that became popular in the World Cup. Or Cyworld in Korea. Or in Russia. But these are far outnumbered by cloned apps.

And even in America of course there are a lot of clones. New Netscape = Digg is one high-profile example.

There’s no doubt there’s a lot of money to be made cloning web apps, particularly in huge, growing markets like China (where there is A LOT of cloning of web 20 apps). So it’s much riskier to create something innovative, untried. You have little idea how it will turn out and if there will be a market at all for it. Whereas with cloned apps in a foreign market, you have a well established product template and there is a lot of opportunities for ‘localized’ clones.

Search Function in Business Intelligence Software

September 8, 2006

Software Magazine writes:

Matt Glotzbach, head of products for Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Enterprise, says, “The real focal point from our point of view and, we believe, from the perspective of our BI partners is the realization that BI systems contain much valuable information about a company’s process, workflow, etc., but that information is untapped by the average employee. If you look at the traditional BI implementation, a very small number of users actually access the BI system and use its data, so the question becomes how to make this extremely valuable information accessible to the broader user base.” Google recently announced (April 2005) an initiative into BI around its Google Onebox for Enterprise technology. The initiative includes partnerships with a number of BI and enterprise application and professional services providers, including Cognos, Information Builders,, SAS, and others.

SAP unveils compliance products

September 7, 2006

InfoWorld writes:

Delivering on a promise made earlier this year, SAP has unveiled the first set of products to help businesses meet their compliance requirements, in addition to announcing a marketing agreement with Cisco Systems.

The three new governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) applications, based on SAP’s new SOA (service-oriented architecture), offer companies help with repository, process control, and risk management functions, the Walldorf, Germany, company said Wednesday.

In May, SAP announced the creation of a new GRC business unit at its Sapphire customer event in Orlando. The unit was set up to develop new technology to help companies meet a growing list of compliance requirements, such as the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for pharmaceutical companies, and Basel II regulations for the banking sector.

Hyperscope 1.0

September 7, 2006

Richard MacManus writes:

Brad Neuberg has announced the release of HyperScope 1.0, a Web app based on tech legend Douglas Engelbart’s 1968 NLS/Augment (oNLine System). Engelbart and team have been working on Hyperscope since March this year, in a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Its aim is to rebuild portions of Douglas Engelbart’s NLS system on the web, using current Web technologies such as AJAX and DHTML.

HyperScope is described as “a high-performance thought processor that enables you to navigate, view, and link to documents in sophisticated ways.” This is seen as the first (renewed) step towards Doug Engelbart’s larger vision for an Open Hyperdocument System – only this time round it’ll be based on Web technologies.

Segway 2.0

September 7, 2006

Business Week writes:

In predicting the future of technology, the hardest part might not be envisioning what can be invented, but determining what will be needed. There’s an awful lot of amazing technology in the personal transporter, which is powered by computer-controlled electric motors that automatically keep the machine in balance in response to bumps in the road and the rider’s movements. Still, when it comes to clean, inexpensive, one-person transportation, for many people a bike does just fine. Disabled users swear by the Segway, and police departments have adopted it, but that doesn’t make the personal transporter the game changer Kamen imagined. Thousands have sold, but not nearly as many as Segway hoped for.

“I look at the technology,” says Norrod, “and ask, ‘Where else can it be used?”‘ Norrod’s approach is what you can think of as “future agnostic.” In his view, Segway needn’t define a whole new urban ecology or replace the car. It can put its technology into anything that moves. That means unmanned vehicles with potential military or industrial uses, or multiperson vehicles that use Segway’s computers and electric engines to glide smoothly over obstacles. And Norrod thinks Segway’s efficient electric motors could be central to a new generation of hybrid cars (yes, cars). Segway has already built a four-wheeled, multiperson prototype. “If people want four wheels,” says Norrod, “I should give ’em four wheels.”

Open Data: Small Pieces Loosely Joined

September 6, 2006

Tim O’Reilly writes:

Long before I was calling it Web 2.0, in my talks about the future “internet operating system,” I always have had a slide called “A Platform Beats an Application Every Time”, in which I predict that the first wave of web applications will be replaced by a second wave of consolidation, which weaves it all together into a new platform. And I provide a view of two alternative futures, one symbolized by Tolkien’s “one ring to rule them all,” and the other by David Weinberger’s “Small Pieces Loosely Joined.”

As databases built by collective action get to the point of increasing returns, one or more de facto standards will emerge, and may well be owned by one company. They will ultimately, regardless of good intentions, most likely use that market power to limit competition and protect their position. The only defense against it is a vigorous pursuit of open standards in data interchange.

Amazon S3… Building a Telco for only $0.15 per hour

September 5, 2006

Thomas Anglero writes:

Vodafone (or any Telco/service provider) could migrate their entire global user database, to Amazon S3 and eliminate the costs associated with storing all this critical information locally. Its cheaper, faster, (and possibly more reliable) and now that this data is within a web service environment, it has the ability to be accessed via new web services so that Vodafone (or any Telco/service provider) can offer new services that they could not have offered before because of the limitations of their own antiquated infrastructure.

This means storing 1 terabyte of customer data cost only $150/month. Savings: no hardware cost, no SW licensing, no maintenance, no dedicated personnel monitoring the HW/SW, no electrical charges, no air conditioning failure issues, etc (if you operated a NOC then I’m sure your list is longer then my entire blog). The biggest savings to operations is the reductions of uncontrollable HEADACHE issues that are a necessary/vital to your business.

Small VoIP companies to large Telcos should be migrating their data infrastructure to Amazon right now! The cost savings associated with this move is guaranteed to reward the individual who presents this to management, with a nice Christmas bonus (appealing to the vanity of the IT community). This is only the tip of the iceberg. If your a small company desperate for attention, issuing a press release announcing your migration and cost savings seems to Amazon S3, seems to be a guaranteed way of getting your company recognized (at least this week).

Top 10 Firefox Web 2.0 Add-ons

September 5, 2006

Read/WriteWeb features following “top 10 Firefox Web 2.0 Add-ons”:

Smart Browsing / Personal Productivity

Bookmarking / Social Bookmarking
Google Notebook
Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer

RSS Readers
Wizz RSS News Reader