They were also showing (in beta) version 5 of their oddly-named but wonderful application OmniGraffle. This is usually described as diagramming application similar to Visio, but this does its wide range of applications an injustice. I use OmniGraffle all the time for all manner of activities, from … Read more
Google.org's technology project to help save lives in the event of natural disasters or public health threats is set to launch Thursday.
The project, called Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disaster (InSTEDD), is a nonprofit organization that ambitiously aims to help communities around the world use Web and communications technology to identify and warn others of outbreaks like Avian flu or disasters like Hurricane Katrina. That technology, which will include social software Twitter and Facebook, will be used to coordinate rescue responses and help save lives, according to Eric Rasmussen, president and CEO of InSTEDD.
"We'… Read more
One thing that struck me during Steve Jobs' keynote yesterday was this odd moment when Jobs was trying to rationalize many of the reasons MacBook Air owners would be happy not having an optical drive in their laptop. He was going down a list of things we need optical media for and replacing them one by one with various Apple creations. Apple's perceived solution for not having a drive would be to buy all your media through iTunes and play it on your iPod, delegate the task of reading discs to another computer in your house, or simplify things with a new and proprietary $99 external drive. Sounds simple, right?
It's commonly been referred to as the "Steve Jobs reality distortion field" and there hasn't really been a clearer example of it since Apple launched the "simpler" version of its one-button mouse that actually had five. In this case, it's the importance of optical media and the role it still plays in our lives. While I applaud Jobs and Apple trying to get rid of what's admittedly become a weak and cumbersome format, I'm a little disappointed that Apple hasn't decided to offer a real solution to the problem they're creating for novice computer users and road warriors who want to avoid optical media altogether--at least not yet.
What I'm getting at is that Apple's in the perfect position to start offering digital software downloads to the masses, and tie it into a software system that millions of people are comfortable with giving their credit card information to on a daily basis. I'm speaking of course, about iTunes.
Apple's got all the pieces in place to start offering people computer software the same way Valve's been doing with video games with its hugely successful Steam service for the last six years. I love Steam for many reasons, but primarily for its built-in updating tools and easy-to-navigate digital storefront that make it easy to buy software with one click and not have to worry about it again. If I could get the same performance from an app that's admittedly become a little bloated but already has a decent updating system, I'd be happy as a pig in mud.
Two things stick out in my mind as being good signs such a service is in the works via iTunes:
There are awkward times to answer an incoming call, and equally awkward ways to silence it. I can think of a few scenarios where fumbling to locate the ringer or off button is as disruptive and stressful as the constant ringing.
Taking advantage of accelerometer technology, the very same used to reorient phone and camera displays horizontally or vertically, is FlipSilent. With FlipSilent, quieting a call is simple as flipping the phone from its back to its face.
Ever want to own a third-party enterprise applications software maintenance and support company?
Better hurry. Tuesday's the deadline to declare your interest to its owner SAP, as the deadline draws near, according to sources.
SAP, back in November, said it was considering putting TomorrowNow on the auction block, and apparently it's headed in that direction. But whether the software applications vendor ultimately selects a buyer from among TomorrowNow's competitors and new parties interested in entering the market has yet to be seen, sources said.
SAP could also just wind down the operations and let it go at … Read more
Reading Marc Fleury's post on the subject of open source and proprietary software (a response to my post on Benchmark's investment in Engine Yard), you'd be tempted to believe that the world is growing more proprietary. Reading InfoWorld's response to Marc, you'd be certain that yes, the world is definitely closing off.
Unfortunately, the data suggests the inverse.
It seems quite clear to me that the software industry is rapidly, in some cases, and gradually, in others, opening up. Very few can get away with foisting a heavily proprietary model on the market anymore. Were a startup to launch today with a great new idea for a proprietary database/application server/etc., they'd probably fail to get funding and would certainly fail to find a great deal of customer traction. (I should know - the founders of my company, Alfresco, attempted to do just that before starting Alfresco.)
Even Marc's words fail to convince because his example (100% open) speaks much louder than his belated blog entry on the subject. The blog isn't paying his bills. Open source is.
I think the reason for the disconnect between reality and words is because we're looking at the same data in different ways. Let me explain.… Read more
Are you making regular backups of your PC? Please, don't lie--it just embarrasses both of us. Don't tell me it's because you don't know how or you can't afford pricey backup software. Excuses don't pay the rent (or restore your data).
Buy.com has Norton Save & Restore 2.0, by all accounts a solid backup utility, for a mere $2.99 (shipped!) after a pair of mail-in rebates. Granted, one of them is a competitive upgrade, but just about any utility software qualifies: antivirus, antispam, firewall. You supply the proof of purchase (confirmation … Read more
I loved this post over at OpenLogic about the risks of proprietary software. All those risks some persist in seeing in open-source software? They're twice as bad when you can't access the code.
Here are my two favorites that OpenLogic lists:Proprietary software we use could be really buggy and break down, making it impossible for anyone in the company to get any work done.… Read more
KDE programmers released a significantly revamped version of its Linux graphical interfaces software on Friday, incorporating several features that also appear in Windows Vista and Mac OS X.
Among new features in KDE 4.0 are a start menu on steroids called Kickoff, new ways of viewing widgets and applications, a revamped file browser, and a new look to some entertainment applications that I hope will help pioneer a new user interface technology.
Here's a good business decision: pay $139.99 for Peachtree Pro Accounting 2008 now, and get a $140 rebate in 4 to 6 weeks. Thank Staples for this eventual freebie, but don't wait to take advantage: the rebate deal expires January 12.
Designed for small businesses, Peachtree Pro Accounting helps with payroll, invoices, inventory, reporting, and stuff like that. CNET hasn't yet reviewed the 2008 edition, but the 2007 version earned a respectable 7.3/10. And, hey, even if it turns out to be a lemon, you're only out the cost of shipping and/or … Read more