The first PDA I owned was an Apple Newton. The next, it was a Palm III.
500 words into the future
Unapologetically opinionated views on technology, in the office and out
Born on the Channel Island of Jersey, Simon moved to the UK to attend the University of Bath where he studied electrical and electronic engineering. Since then a varied career has included being part of the team building the world's first solid state 30KW HF radio transmitter, writing electromagnetic modelling software for railguns, and testing the first ADSL equipment in the UK. He also built one the UK's first national ISPs, before spending several years developing architectures for large online services for many major brands. For the last decade he's been a freelance writer, specialising in enterprise technologies and development. He works with his wife and writing partner Mary Branscombe from a small house in south west London, or from anywhere there's a WiFi signal and a place for a laptop.
Mary Branscombe is a freelance tech journalist. Mary has been a technology writer for nearly two decades, covering everything from early versions of Windows and Office to the first smartphones, the arrival of the web and most things inbetween.
Mary and I have braved the remnants of the volcanic ash, and insane taxi drivers in tropical thunderstorms, to arrive safely in Orlando for Research In Motion’s annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium. WES 2010 is the latest instance of RIM’s biggest BlackBerry event, which mixes content for operators, phone vendors, system administrators, and developers.
Don't confuse headlines with truth or bad design and poor customer service with actual failure...I came across a blog suggesting that the Internet had failed stranded travellers and having been a stranded traveller, I disagree.
Currently we’re stuck in Barcelona, waiting to find out if we can dodge the volcanic cloud by sea. The whole situation has made me think about just how connected the world is, and how well information technologies have kept us informed – and how they have managed to keep us, if not where we want to be, at least alive.
We’re at Intel’s ISTEP software event in Barcelona, getting a deep dive into the world of parallel computing. It’s an interesting place to be, as the physics of silicon has put an end to the seemingly constant increase in speed and power of processors.
Phase change memory will probably just miss the Windows 8 schedule but it's been looking the most promising advance on flash storage - which is going to hit a problem with density and storage life in the not too distant future. The larger your flash memory, the shorter the storage life and some of the really high density flash memory that's been talked about could store information for as little as an hour.
The people who keep proclaiming that privacy is dead tend to be the ones who gain the most form the death of privacy, Danah Boyd (from Microsoft Research) pointed out at the SXSW conference last month.
Will Office 2010 have fully 'standards-based' OOXML support - and does it need it?Alex Brown, the Convener of the Geneva Ballot Resolution Meeting where OOXML became an ISO standard, has been claiming that the OOXML process has broken down because the beta version of Office 2010 doesn't have support for the 'strict' version of the OOXML ISO/IEC 29500 format agreed as the future of OOXML in the standard.
How about the Google apps?On the one hand, everyone complains about fragmentation with multiple devices and multiple resolutions and not every phone getting Android updates; on the other Wired says device makers who do Android things that aren't phones aren't getting the OS love - they want the marketplace and updates and device certification and a framework for making sure apps can be compatible.
For Lady Ada Lovelace day (celebrating women in technology), I always like to write about not so much one specific woman in technology but about women generally. It's not just how do I choose, though that's hard: it's that by randomly picking some of the women I've talked to recently I feel I can point out the breadth of what women are contributing to tech.
A second screen for your laptop. Reading email attachments in the cloud on your Symbian phone or watching a presentation on the phone while you talk on the phone.
Microsoft is in the same rush to ship Windows Phone that it was to fix its search engine by launching Bing. Microsoft veterans on both teams have told us (separately) of an unrivalled sense of urgency and purpose.
While Internet Explorer 9 may have had the limelight on MIX’s second day, Microsoft also made significant moves towards data accessibility with further announcements around its Open Data Protocol, and the release of the second CTP of its Codename “Dallas” data set marketplace.Asking the questions, “How do you enable many experiences?
Because the wireless Internet is currently a choice between affordable and ubiquitous (pick one - especially when roaming), I can't assume I'll always be able to get online to get files from our server.
The 'Bloom box' fuel system that Silicon Valley is fussing about isn't free energy or perpetual motion; it's a clever way of storing the energy from gas (natural or biogas) in solid oxide fuel cells more efficiently than a gas generator (although when they say it's far more efficient than the US electrical grid that's not saying much, as that emits considerably more CO2 than the UK national grid and loses more of it in transmission).
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 I came to love Surface Pro so why does Windows 10 feel like duct taping my fingers together?
- 2 Will these tiny computers herald the arrival of the Internet of Things?
- 3 Bandwidth vs signal strength: How to get the best internet connection for your device
- 4 Windows 10, OneDrive sync and the art of difficult conversations
- 5 SQL, NoSQL? What's the difference these days?