The Marble of Doom is a cute site created by some folks who clearly have a good sense of humor about waiting for their computer to finish processing. It's Mac-centric, and aimed to track all the time you've lost due to the Mac's version of the hourglass, also known as the "marble of doom" and "spinning beach ball of death." Whenever this happens, you just have to sit there and wait it out, leading to a somewhat inevitable destruction of any productivity.
SAN FRANCISCO--One area where Sun Microsystems' Java caught on was in mobile phones, but a leader of the project is working to eventually replace the mobile-specific version of the software.
Java Standard Edition (SE), geared for desktop computers, will gradually supplant Java Micro Edition (ME) as technology improvements let more computing power be packed into smaller devices, said James Gosling, the Sun vice president often called the father of Java.
"We're trying to converge everything to the Java SE specification. Cell phones and TV set-top boxes are growing up," Gosling said at a Java media event here … Read more
What do you get when you cross a Firefox with a chameleon?
An open-source Web browser whose user interface is adapted to the look of the operating system it's running on. One change planned for the upcoming Firefox version 3, code-named Gran Paradiso, is this more native appearance.
"The Web browser is an incredibly central piece of the user's operating system, and we don't want the user's initial reaction to be that they have modified their computer to add some type of strange, foreign application," said Mozilla interface designer Alex Faaborg in a blog posting last week. &… Read more
Open-source software start-up Cleversafe has a new twist on an ages-old warning not to put all your eggs in one basket.
If it were up to the Chicago-based company, you'd protect your data by putting slices of your eggs in multiple baskets scattered across the globe.
In the earlier version of the company's software, you could reconstruct your entire egg collection even if five of eleven baskets were destroyed in earthquakes, swamped by tsunamis, consumed in an overheated data center inferno or otherwise lost. A new version released Tuesday, though, lets users choose their own egg slice and … Read more
BadBuster gives a quick glimpse of "green" ratings of businesses you run across while reading searching, or shopping online.
BadBuster took a few quick minutes for me to download and set up, although it stalled on one of two Windows XP machines. Once installed, BadBuster underlines on Web pages the names of brands and goods it has ranked, with colors indicating the level or lack of "greenness." For example, green underscores the BP oil company, known for its "Beyond Petroleum" campaign, while glaring red marks notorious polluter Exxon. Yellow is the middle rating.
Roll … Read more
Editor's note: This story was updated at 9:59 a.m. PDT.
Steve Jobs made it official Wednesday morning: third-party applications are coming to the iPhone.
Apple's CEO posted another of his open letters to the world Wednesday on Apple's Hot News section of its Web site, confirming reports that a software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone will be released to developers next year. It's coming in February, rather than January as reported, but application developers and iPhone owners will probably be able to wait the extra month.
"We are excited about creating a … Read more
SAP announced on Wednesday that it is snapping up Yasu Technologies, which creates business rules management software.
The India-based company was founded in 1999 and has about 120 employees.
The deal is designed to boost SAP's business process management (BPM) offerings and will be tucked into SAP NetWeaver, which channels the ebb and flow of data to software applications via SAP's back-end middleware.
The Yasu announcement comes just a little over a week after SAP announced that it will acquire Business Objects in a deal valued at more than $6.8 billion, its largest acquisition ever.
SAP, however, … Read more
Excel 2008 for Mac will offer worksheet templates with baked-in calculations designed to make it easier to balance household finances, manage inventory and other common tasks. The new Ledger Sheets features will include a gallery of elements, shifting formulas to the background.
In addition, the Entourage e-mail client will offer more support for Microsoft Exchange, which traditionally has enabled non-Mac PC users to make appointments and share notes and files with each other.
Each version of Office for … Read more
Two Microsoft licenses have been given official open-source status by the group that bestows it, the Open Source Initiative. So yes, cue the tire-screeching, glass-shattering noises now.
The OSI has been working to reduce license proliferation, but evidently thought the Microsoft licenses not only met the criteria of the open-source definition but also merited approval.
"The decision to approve was informed by the overwhelming (though not unanimous) consensus from the open-source community that these licenses satisfied the 10 criteria of the open-source definition, and should therefore be approved," the OSI said in a statement Friday. "In spite … Read more
Other than its first reported quarter of positive cash flow, Napster has enjoyed a relatively unremarkable year--at least on the surface. It is now apparent, however, that plenty of tinkering has been going on in the background.
The company on Tuesday announced a fairly significant redesign to its music service and software. The new Napster, version 4, is lighter and a bit simpler--and it definitely appears to take some cues from RealNetworks' Rhapsody.
Of particular note are the launch of a Web-based version of the service, which will enable Mac and Linux users to join in the fun, and the … Read more