Identity theft is a fast-growing problem, and I've taken it seriously for quite awhile. I pay to have people monitor my credit to ensure someone doesn't open accounts in my name, and I try to use temporary credit card numbers when I make online purchases.
A Developer's View
At the intersection between technology and economic policy, John Carroll brings years of experience as a software developer to bear on the latest issues affecting the technology industry.
<p>John Carroll has programmed in a wide variety of computing domains, including servers, client PCs, mobile phones and even mainframes. His current specialties are C#, .NET, Java, WIN32/COM and C++, and he has applied those skills in everything from distributed web-based systems to embedded devices. In his spare time, he enjoys the world of digital video, and served as director of photography and editor on a feature-length film produced in Limerick, Ireland, as well as a low-budget production filmed in Los Angeles that used Panavision digital cameras (the same ones used by George Lucas in the later Star Wars episodes).</p> <p>John worked in Microsoft's Mediaroom division from May, 2005 to May, 2008. He is co-founder of <a href="http://www.forgetmenotafrica.com">ForgetMeNot Software</a>, a creator of unified messaging software targeted at telecommunications providers, where he currently works as Director of Technology.
A couple of days ago, Steve Jobs sat down and spoke to analysts about Apple results, and future plans. It was quite an interesting read.
Analysts have recently revised downwards sales estimates for Blu-ray disc technology, a move largely related to the fact that Blu-ray hardware is comparatively rather expensive. Blu-ray always had an uphill battle, in my opinion, irrespective of the down market.
The FCC is preparing to approve licensing of "white space" spectrum, which is good for the public even if it poses challenges for broadcasters and mobile networks who paid top dollar for the right to have fewer competitors. Likewise, though the NAB supports a delay in the switchover to DTV, Congress should reject such legislation. It's time to get it over with.
I just caught a rather interesting piece by fellow blogger Dana Blankenhorn on the subject of the "value and values" found in open source ecosystems. Near the end, he references an article on InfoWorld which questions whether it is wise to "protect" open source development by mandating its use at the government level.
A case winding its way through a court in Pennsylvania attempts to pierce the veil of anonymity that protects web forum participants' ability to say whatever they want about public figures. Though I don't agree with the conclusions of the judge, I am not fan of anonymity of the Internet, as it tends to turn civil discourse into a "flame war."
The release of Mono version 2.0, the open source implementation of .NET that is available for use on Mac, Linux and Windows platforms, is an achievement in itself. I often wonder, however, why Microsoft has no interest in releasing a cross-platform, fully-supported version of the .NET framework themselves.
Stallman's recent statements regarding his dislike of "cloud computing" didn't surprise me in the least, given what I understand about his software preferences. In fact, I think this is less about Stallman's worry about the security implications of cloud computing, and more about his desire for a software ecosystems that adheres to the principles embodied in the GPL.
Jackson Browne's decision to sue the McCain campaign over the use of one of his songs in a TV ad in Ohio raises serious "fair use" issues. Why can authors (such as myself) lift whole paragraphs from copyrighted works by way of citation, but we can't lift portions of songs for use in audiovisual creations? What is so special about audiovisual media?
One of the products that stood out at last week's Internet Telephony EXPO was Microsoft Response Point. Built as an easy way to bring SIP-based digital telephony to small organizations, it's ease of use is a step on the path towards pulling customers away from traditional, TDM-based telephony infrastructures...as well as a very different product than the kind Microsoft traditionally develops.
As was clear from last week's ITEXPO in Los Angeles, SIP is shaping up to be the standard replacement protocol for the traditional TDM / SS7 network. SIP trunking starts to make it possible to offer an end-to-end digital communications solution that can call any number in the world...without a traditional phone line anywhere in your organization.
America often has difficulties funding pure research because, as a society that sees itself as market-oriented, there is a misperception that such funding smacks of socialist central planning. The reality, however, is that pure research is often one of the places where government money can add the most value.
Ed Bott asked a few days ago whether Microsoft should get into the PC hardware business. The question is clearly driven by the recent success of Apple computer.
I've spent the past few months as the primary developer at a very small company. An important technology to this company is Instant Messaging, as it plays an essential part in our approach to unified messaging.