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Industry / technology news update 24/04/08

Industry / technology news update 24/04/08

Industry / technology news update 24/04/08

I've only just started these weekly industry news blogs and already I nearly failed to write one this week. Not my fault, you see my 5-month-old boy thought that it would be funny if he took a chunk out of my cornea. Mind you, he did laugh as I was clutching my contorted face so for him I guess it was funny. Having just regained enough vision to sit at a computer for any length of time I've just managed to catch-up on some of the news from the last seven days, so let's get started: According to an article on the Register, woman are more interested in chocolate than password security. It's made clear, though, that in fact woman could just be more clever than men. You see, both men and woman were offered chocolate by market researchers in return for their login credentials (of what I'm not sure). However there was no verification of the passwords given, so they could have given any old rubbish. Good on you! It's probably worth a timely reminder that giving passwords away to anyone, friend or foe, should never be encouraged - just get your free chocolate bar and tell them the name of your cat (if you've got a cat, and only if your cat's name is not the same as your password)! Sad news for some, an opportunity for others, as beeb.net readies for closure. After nearly a decade, and peaking at 140,000 customers, BBC Worldwide have decided to disconnect its ISP. Customers have until the end of June to migrate. If you're a beeb.net customer and looking for somewhere to go, take a look at what uswitch think of PlusNet here. China have officially (well, depending on which article you read) become the largest Internet population. According to Yahoo! News, they now have over 221 million online users. Roll on IPv6 I say! Reuters reports some interesting views from US republicans in response to the FCC rallying support for net neutrality. One was quoted as saying, "the issue was better settled by network engineers in the private marketplace rather than the government." and then followed up with, "the Internet has flourished by operating under the principle that engineers should solve engineering problems, not politicians and bureaucrats." An important point that the FCC did raise was that ISPs need to be transparent with how they manage and treat traffic, a point that you won't hear PlusNet disagreeing with. I've said before that Microsoft are less well known for innovation and instead (very successfully) build on existing ideas or acquire companies that have already innovated. This week is no exception with news of their Live Mesh service. This is essentially a file sharing and file syncing facility that lets you share files on multiple devices, be it your home PC, work PC, phone, or any other internet connected device. You can sync any folder or combination of folders across devices. It has a good user interface for Windows and Macs (no mention of Linux). Given that online storage is becoming so cheap and mobile data transfer is getting faster, I don't know how useful the syncing will be in the medium-term. What's almost certain, however, is that Microsoft's marketing team will give this a lot of attention in the coming weeks. Talking of sharing, there is a new free browser that all Social Network Shepherds are moving to. It's called Flock, and is geared towards integrating content from social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. If you use multiple social networking sites then you'll probably appreciate the features of this browser. It's currently in beta phase but support is growing fast. More details here. Open Source is something that's very close to PlusNet's heart, so news this week of MySQL (the most popular open source database) close sourcing some of its new features is a concern. This follows Sun's acquisition of MySQL last year and was one of many Open Source initiatives moving into private hands. Private companies obviously have different motives and priorities but I would not expect Sun to close source any existing features (this would likely go against GPL v2 & 3 in any case) so would not affect any existing MySQL installations. However it will create a nervous reaction across the Open Source community as well as the businesses implementing Open Source technology. Amongst other things, Open Source is largely about trust and agility, close sourcing will deplete the goodwill that MySQL has built up. I can see other Open Source databases such as Firebird gaining increased support as a result of MySQL's announcement. I would certainly expect some timely marketing from these alternatives very soon. On a lighter note (hopefully), Google's Street View has now started to support Europe. I can remember the uproar when Street View was first launched in the US because you could zoom into people's living rooms! Those glitches have apparently been ironed out now so no embarrassing moments at work due to people seeing your CD collection. I'm waiting for the day when Google release a GPS platform with a Street View facility! One thing I struggled with in 2005 was understanding what eBay were going to do with Skype. And it seems eBay themselves may now be looking back at the decision as they look to bail out of the VoIP platform only three years after the acquisition. Well, that's it for this week. Don't forget to buy your Wii Fit at the weekend! Dan

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Community Gaffer
embarrassing moments at work due to people seeing your CD collection A painful memory close at hand eh Dan?
Dan
Grafter
Memories, from the corner of my mind, Kelly :-)
Not applicable
LOL!
Not applicable
I've been following the Google Street View story closely. It'll be interesting to see if this makes it to the UK. I think that under UK law, you're supposed to warn people when they're entering an area with surveillance equipment. Not sure whether the Google Street View vans would be covered by this, but I believe they're unmarked so it could be tricky for them to comply.