I had to eat a little crow this morning. Yesterday I recommended that CNET One More Thing Apple blogger Tom Krazit use CoverItLive to liveblog the Steve Job Macworld keynote (see review: Ultimate Liveblogging Tool: CoverItLive). He declined. And good thing, too, since CoverItLive choked during the keynote. The failure was because of a minor programming slip-up, not the platform's inability to scale to hundreds of thousands of users, CEO Keith McSpurren told me. But it doesn't matter. In the liveblogging Superbowl, CoverItLive "tripped over its own laces," McSpurren admitted. Bloggers burned by the outage included … Read more
Coghead on Monday plans to launch a second version of its hosted application development platform, which the start-up has moved to Adobe Systems' Flex/Flash technology and Amazon.com's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) computing infrastructure.
The company is one of several targeting what it calls "do-it-yourself developers" at small and midsize businesses.
Such developers are generally tech-savvy enough to write macros in Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet software or work with scripting languages, but they don't have the same level of training as a professional C++ programmer, for example. The company estimates that there are between 15 … Read more
CoverItLive is a new hosted service for blogging events in real time, or "liveblogging." It's a useful tool for people covering major industry events, speeches, sports, and the like. I first saw the product in use when I was watching the CrunchGear team cover the Bill Gates keynote at CES.
I've liveblogged several events myself in the past, but I've used tools not designed for the job. My hack has been to set up a unique Twitter account for each event and embed a widget from that account into my blog (example: YouTube's Steve Chen interviewed at the NewTeeVee Live conference). … Read more
Google and Microsoft haven't quite cornered the market on mobile search and directions apps, at least not yet. Infospace Find It!, built with the BlackBerry in mind, gives users multiple entry points to search businesses, people, and directions while squeezing in features not yet stocked by competitors.
To satisfy variant search methods, Find It! sorts searches by name, by category, and by maps and directions. When choosing to search by name, you can look up a business or person in or near a location. This wasn't always successful during my tests, nor was the reverse phone number lookup, a feature unique to Find It! among its better-known and more prosperous rivals. However, when Find It! did strike gold, it didn't skimp in doling it out. Upon locating an individual or business, users can click-to-call, view a map, get directions, save the entry to the address book, and see what else is nearby.
I should mention that both Microsoft's Windows Live Search for Windows Mobile and Google Maps for Mobile had their fair share of data holes--one didn't even register CNET after a search, the brute--so Find It!'s defaults are common to still-youthful mobile search.… Read more
Erecting wind turbines requires a lot more work than finding a site and bringing in cranes to install them.
Before construction, wind developers need to test the wind resource, which will have a significant bearing on how much power--and money--a turbine will produce.
Second Wind is a small company that has carved out a niche in "wind profiling," or gathering data about wind resources.
The Somerville, Mass.-based company on Tuesday announced that it has raised $4 million in the second round of financing from Good Energies, a renewable energy investment company.
Earlier this year, Second Wind introduced … Read more
Thomas Edison had it right, say the founders of start-up Validus DC Systems. Direct current is the way.
Validus on Tuesday announced that it has raised $10 million from Oak Hill Venture Partners to further develop its data center power supplies that use direct current (DC) to lower power consumption. Products are expected to be released in late January next year.
By using direct current, rather than drawing electricity from outlets that supply alternating current, data center managers can reduce their energy consumption by up to 40 percent, according to the company.
There is a growing awareness of the cost … Read more
Efforts to purchase eco-friendly and energy-efficient IT equipment have expanded notably since the spring, according to 130 companies surveyed by Forrester Research.
Some 38 percent of corporations said they take environmental concerns into account when making purchasing decisions, a jump from 25 percent surveyed in April.
The top reason for going green was slashing energy costs, cited by 55 percent of respondents. Doing the right thing for the environment was the next most popular motivation, noted by half of those surveyed. And 95 percent called environmental concerns either somewhat or very important to operations.
However, the study found that most … Read more
Personal travel aggregation service TripIt has received a very important update this morning. It's now able to sync up travel plans that are sent its way to a handful of popular calendaring tools including Google Calendar, Apple iCal, Plaxo, Outlook, or any other service that can handle URL events. What this means for you as the traveler, is that if you're sent a change notice from whatever travel service you booked with, TripIt will spit that out to both your e-mail and your linked-up calendars, saving you the bother of having to manually go in and make changes.… Read more
To be truly disruptive, open source is best when it is of one mind, as it were. I've never been a fan of hybrid licensing models primarily because they take a company in two different directions: one is all about opening up, and the other is all about closing off. How do you reconcile the two?
But the verse has more poignancy, I feel, as it regards IT departments. Relating back to last week's post on software development being about more than just "bread" (i.e., money, security), it turns out that many IT departments cede the sovereignty of their IT to a vendor. They want to focus on their "business," whatever that is, and so leave IT to the experts (namely, someone other than them) to feed them.
This called to mind a passage from Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, which I'm in the middle of re-reading. The passage comes from the chapter entitled, "The Grand Inquisitor," and has the leader of the Spanish Inquisition arguing that bread buys human allegiance, and not something intangible like faith:
...[N]ever was there anything more unbearable to the human race than personal freedom! Dost Thou see these stones in the desolate and glaring wilderness? Command that these stones be made bread--and mankind will run after Thee, obedient and grateful like a herd of cattle....… Read more
The Web 2.0 style IT management tool, Paglo launched in beta on Monday.
Paglo is essentially an IT search engine that indexes a ton of information about the network you are managing. For example, if you are concerned about how many copies of Microsoft Office are installed on computers at your company and want to make sure that you are complying with your license, Paglo allows you to view that statistic in real time.
There are three key elements to Paglo: the Crawler, Search Index, and UI. If you are a network administrator, for example, you install the Paglo … Read more