Dave Dargo has written a thoughtful piece on one problem with proprietary software today: it spends too much time isolating itself as a product, rather than opening up itself and combining to create solutions. As it turns out, open-source software is following in these same destructive footsteps, as we notes:… Read more
Microsoft is readying releases of its Web development tools as it looks to replace Adobe's Flash platform with Microsoft's own Web browser plug-in Silverlight.
Later this week, Microsoft is set to release a string of a tools, including Silverlight 1.0 Release Candidate and a second beta of Visual Studio 2008.
It said that Silverlight 1.0 is scheduled for final release in the fall, which should automatically be updated to users who download the Release Candidate. Visual Studio 2008 and the .Net Framework 3.5 are set for release by the end of the year.
Continuing to warm up to Web developers, Microsoft released an early version of IronRuby that will let programmers write .Net applications with the Ruby language.
In tandem with the "first code drop" of IronRuby, Microsoft will be taking code contributions from outsiders, John Lam, program manager on the Common Language Runtime team at Microsoft, wrote in his blog on Monday.
Lam said that the company intends to fully release IronRuby on RubyForge and take a wider range of contributions by the end of August. The software is available under the open-source style Microsoft Permissive License.
IronRuby uses the … Read more
Intel on Tuesday is scheduled to release the source code to a development tool for writing applications to run on multicore chips.
The company released Threading Building Blocks last August, a C++ template designed to simplify the job of writing applications that take advantage of processors with multiple cores, or processing units.
During the last year, Intel found that customers and potential customers wanted greater platform support and assurances that the toolset would be around for a long time, said James Reinders, the director of Intel's software development products.
Paving the way for genuine, binary applications that run on the iPhone (and don't originate from Apple), developer "Nightwatch" has created, compiled and actually run a basic "Hello World" application natively under the stripped-down version of OS X that ships on the iPhone.
The new development is part of the "iPhone binutils" project, with a stated goal of producing a high quality set of binary utilities for the Apple iPhone, primarily an assembler and linker.
Apple will hold a series of "tech talks" on developing Web 2.0 applications for the iPhone in the following cities (with locations and dates):Los Angeles, CA 08/02 at the LA Marriott Downtown San Francisco, CA 08/24 at the Westin San Francsico, Market Street (Formerly The Argent) Chicago, IL 08/28 at the Allerton Hotel New York, NY 08/30 and 08/31 at the American Conference Center
The event is open to all Apple Developer Connection (ADC) members (if you're not an ADC member, you can register for free here).
Apple's promotional … Read more
Last week, Opti Technologies announced a patent infringement lawsuit against a bevy of chip companies: Advanced Micro Devices, Atmel, Broadcom, Renesas Technology, Silicon Storage Technology, SMSC, STMicroelectronics and Via Technologies. At issue are two patents for "Compact ISA-Bus" technology.
Opti had recently sued Apple and AMD over three patents for "Predictive Snooping" technology used in some computer chips. And, in August of last year, Opti settled with Nvidia for $11 million plus up to $9 million more if nVidia continues to use Opti's technology in its products. The nVidia action included all five of the above-mentioned patents.
Silicon Valley faithful will remember Opti as a once-respected chip company that fell on hard times. Is the company's recent patent litigation rampage the death-throws of a desperate company or a promising new business model? Let's go through it.
At present, Opti has but one full-time employee, CEO Bernard Marren. And, according to the company's 1995 proxy statement, Marren gets a cut of everything he brings in to shareholders on a sliding scale that starts at 5 percent and ramps down to 1 percent. Mike Mazzoni, the company's part-time CFO, appears to have the same deal.
Do the math; it's not bad work if you can get it.
I had lunch with Marren a few weeks ago. The 71-year-old industry veteran seemed excited about Opti's prospects and he may have reason to be. Marren isn't new to executive management. He's a former founder and president of electronic distributor Western Micro Technology and the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). He sits on a number of boards, including Microtune, Infocus and Unipixel. Marren knows his way around the negotiating table.
For better or worse, patent infringement litigation is business as usual in the chip industry. If not for broad cross-license agreements, chip companies might spend more time suing each other than developing products. Nevertheless, some companies have carved out significant niches by developing and licensing technology. ARM, Qualcomm, Rambus, Tessera, even IBM and Texas Instruments, make a solid business of it. But, for the most part, these companies develop technology with that business model in mind. Believe me, they prefer to negotiate than to litigate.… Read more
In my summer camp days, we did things like swim, play Capture the Flag, and fashion crafts out of Popsicle sticks and Elmer's Glue.
Traditions get turned slightly on their head when an uberhyped phone and grown-up geeks are involved. This weekend, Adobe Systems is hosting a summer camp of a different kind--one for developing iPhone applications. Yes, that's right: a whole three days of nothing but stirring Web developers into an iPhone-related frenzy.
Adobe's swank San Francisco offices are set to host about 250 engineers, designers, iPhone owners and anyone else with a knack for … Read more