The White House's Flickr stream has a picture of the now famous dinner where US President Obama met a sizable cross section of the Silicon Valley technology aristocracy. We've all heard of most of them, of Larry Ellison, of Carol Bartz, of Steve Jobs, of Mark Zuckerberg.
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.
The desktop operating system as we know it isn't dead yet, but the writing's clearly on the wall. The rise of the tablet and of the cloud, both public and private, is changing the way IT departments think about desktop PCs and how they're managed and used.
There are plenty of ways the Microsoft Nokia tie up in phones could go wrong, from Nokia spoiling the frankly delightful Windows Phone metro interface with Symbian-style clunkiness (Nokia is allowed to customise the interface the way no OEM can), to a backlash by disappointed Symbian developers, to sheer delay (the NoDo update has allegedly been ready since late 2010 and carriers and operators may be the hold up - something Microsoft was specifically trying to avoid).
The furore over whether Bing should have surgically excised the clickstream from Google out of the results they get about what IE and Bing Bar...
The world has changed, and the clock has rolled back to IBM of the 1970s. Everyone wants to own their own stack, from software to hardware to services.
Experts are valuable. Anyone can have an opinion and you can find instructions for doing a great many things online (including brain surgery, I'm told) but while I'm a maker, a crafter and a DIY fan, I also believe that it's not just that experts can do it faster - they can often do it better.
I don't want to think about how many email messages I get a day, but in 2010 it was over 10,000 messages that I didn't delete on sight (or didn't get around to deleting during the year). I know that because while I've never declared email bankruptcy and deleted the lot (old messages are far too useful), I do like to start the new year with at least the feeling of clearing the decks.
After the furore at the end of last year of the removal of Drive Extender from Windows Home Server "Vail" and Small Business Server 2011 Essentials things have gone quiet in Redmond. The last few years have seen Microsoft advertising Home Servers all over CES, with its "Mommy, Why Is There A Server In The House" and "Home Server Feng Shui" campaigns, but this year there was nothing.
Thinking about WHATWG's rather Orwellian approach to the specification formerly known as HTML 5, where the 'specification' becomes a 'living...
The discussion about Google dropping support for H.264 produced some comments that complaints about WebM ignored the inherent advantage and goodness of openness - as well as suggestions that given that WebM was originally developed as the proprietary, commercial VP8 codec and hasn't been submitted for formal standardisation, calling it more open than an open but commercial standard really depends on your definition of open.