John Carroll

John Carroll has delivered his opinion on ZDNet since the last millennium. Since May 2008, he is no longer a Microsoft employee. He is currently working at a unified messaging-related startup.

Latest Posts

Happy Birthday...I've stolen $2500 from your account

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.

October 26, 2008 by John Carroll

45 Comments

Low cost is king

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.

October 21, 2008 by John Carroll

11 Comments

The tangled web of broadcasting regulations

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.

October 17, 2008 by John Carroll

8 Comments

Open source protectionism?

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.

October 13, 2008 by John Carroll

55 Comments

Anonymity and the Internet

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."

October 9, 2008 by John Carroll

7 Comments

Mono 2.0...why not Microsoft?

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.

October 6, 2008 by John Carroll

10 Comments

Stallman vs. the cloud computing tidal wave

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.

October 1, 2008 by John Carroll

29 Comments

Jackson Browne and Copyright

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?

September 26, 2008 by John Carroll

65 Comments

Thoughts on Microsoft Response Point

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.

September 24, 2008 by John Carroll

6 Comments