Last week Facebook publically unveiled its data centre design, showing off its architecture, and telling the world that it was open source. I suspect that last bit was a bit of a surprise to anyone designing and building modern data centres, as they’d been using similar techniques for the last few years.
500 words into the future
Unapologetically opinionated views on technology, in the office and out
Simon Bisson is a freelance technology journalist. He specialises in architecture and enterprise IT. He ran one of the UK's first national ISPs and moved to writing around the time of the collapse of the first dotcom boom. He still writes code.
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.
Even though IE9 supports Google's WebM HTML5 video codec 'natively (for values of 'native' meaning it works and all you have to do is install the codec) alongside H.264, the HTML5 video situation continues to be murky.
If you spend any time on the road, to get work done and preserve your sanity you need to be able to hear your phone and your PC properly. I sat in a noisy coffee shop for the infamous Intel Thunderbolt conference call (configuration issues on the conference bridge made it very difficult to hear) and without an noise isolating in-ear the technical details were indecipherable.
Trash talking your competitors is nothing new (Apple and Adobe have been at it for a while, with Google joining in on occasion), but we've had an ugly spate of it this year - from Google derailing the Future of Search event by accusing Bing of copying (and Bing's Harry Shum drily snarking back by accusing Google of click fraud) to (notice a pattern?) Google pre-empting Nokia's deal with Microsoft by repeating a Nokia insult to Siemens and Benq.
This week it’s the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, where we’ve been listening to a wide selection of presentations and meeting a bunch of interesting people and companies old and new.
There’s a lot to be said for the modern data centre movement, and the trend away from power-hungry inefficient racks of under-utilised servers. Virtualisation lets you pack more and more functionality onto each CPU, saving space and power (at the expense of a little more cooling, or a slightly shorter server lifespan).
Microsoft set a very firm spec for Windows Phone 7 and the user interface is the same on all devices. There's only one handset so far with a keyboard (the Dell Venue Pro, soon to be followed by the HTC Arrive for Spring customers in the US).
The last year has been an interesting one. We've had considerably more access into the development processes behind IE9 than we've had for many products, and it's been fascinating watching the inputs Microsoft's used to drive its design process.
Internet Explorer used to have plenty of security holes, but the last few versions have been pretty good in terms of security.
And are Windows tablets' too fat to fly'?The Asus Eee Slate is never going to be the iPad; four hours of battery life, a Core i5 and real Windows apps are a different ballgame - not necessarily better or worse, but certainly different.