Phew, what a busy week it was. Unfortunately, it was busy for me in a way that meant I didn't get to see as much of the World Design Congress as I had hoped. The plan for blogging during it also didn't work out as expected. Tim got to see a lot more than I did, and his post does a masterful job of capturing the highlights and trends.
From my more limited perspective I would tend to agree with the key points of his post. The highlight for me, as I think it was for many, was … Read more
Anyone who has ever used an instant-messaging program has seen the basic idea of presence. That little status bar that says "available," "away," "out to lunch" or "cursing the Mets" is your presence--the computer's understanding of how and under what means you are available.
Today, that information is stored on the computer, but is mostly acted on by other people. Perhaps you see that someone's status is busy, so you send them an e-mail asking them to call rather than pestering them with an IM. Or, you see that someone … Read more
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--The legendary Internet technologist Bill Joy has found a better place than the Internet to put his venture capital dollars: green technology.
On Monday Joy gave a talk on why he is exploring a wide range of green technologies as a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. He spoke at the Lux Research conference on nanotechnology where he also predicted major changes in transportation industry and solar energy.
Joy, credited with inventing several Internet technologies as a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, joined the high-profile Silicon Valley venture capital firm in 2005.
Apart from some … Read more
Into a sea of online personal financial services wades billQ, a bill management service that promises to store your one-time and scheduled bills and alert you before they're due.
Unlike competitors like Mint, Wesabe, and others, there's no bill pay engine, no money-saving deals, and no hot financial tips. For now, billQ is strictly positioned as information management, and for a lot of folks that's the right load.
Add and manage bills The site is visually appealing in Google-esque minimalism. Adding and viewing bills is intuitive on billQ's clean, user-friendly interface. Tweaking account options and adding from a noble menu of additional tools are also easily done.… Read more
I've been tracking the progress of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 for months. Having spent time in a federal prison for protecting my source material, it's natural that I would be interested in a law that would prevent others from enduring this same fate.
The last time I wrote about the bill's status was in August, after it cleared the House Judiciary Committee. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee followed suit, and both houses of Congress are now ready to vote on the law.
While this is very exciting news for many journalists, I'm less than ecstatic, given that neither the version of the bill is ideal, and there is no telling how the two bills will be combined, should it pass both houses.
While the amended version of the House bill seeks to tie journalism to an economic exchange, the Senate's definition is broader in scope and would not only protect professionals but would likely apply to students and many bloggers as well.… Read more
If NTT DoCoMo had its way, one day in the future users might be able to make electronic payments via their mobile phone while the handset remains in their pocket.
The Japanese cell phone operator this week showed off a prototype equipped with a sensor developed by Kaiser Technology that can send electric signals through the human body. Practical uses include opening doors to secure areas without flashing security cards or programmed personal preferences such as drivers' seat and steering wheel angles.
All these are still hanging in the air, though, as the company isn't sure if the technology … Read more
The more Microsoft events CNET sends me to around New York (the Windows Vista launch weekend, Halo 3's raucous little debutante ball), the more I realize one thing: No matter how much Gates, Ballmer, & Co. seem to always have issues (like that "Zune" debacle), that company knows how to throw one hell of a party. I'm not kidding. It even has its own wine now.
Earlier this month, New York enacted an Air Passenger Bill of Rights. Among other things, it requires that airlines make minimal provisions for passengers stranded on the tarmac for more than three hours. If you've done any traveling with kids, you probably know how difficult it is to both pack light (a key strategy for successful travel generally) and to pack enough stuff so that if there's a delay, you can keep the little ones occupied. The New York law bounds the problem a little bit: if your longest leg is 6 hours, you can be relatively assured that your outbound leg from a New York airport won't add more than 3 hours to that. But as the US Customs and Border Patrol SNAFU at LAX confirms, airport authorities don't seem to get particularly concerned about tarmac waits of 6, 8, or 10 hours, be they outbound or inbound. I think that when traveling with children, that's a bit much. What's a parent to do?… Read more
And anything that drives renewable generation growth will tend to drive a need for more transmission. So chalk up getting our transmission grid in order as a new priority number one (this … Read more