Z Trek: The Alan Zeichick Weblog

Digital Rights Mis-Management

A fast car, lots of music, and a really good corned-beef sandwich, these are a few of my favorite things, and of those, music is the most prevalent. It’s part of my life nearly 24x7. At home, the radio is always playing. In the office, unless…

227 bogus comments in four hours

The floodgates have opened... with many of the spam comments coming from false "registered users" of the Blogspot/Blogger system. Therefore, commenting on this blog is now disabled.What a shame. My apologies to those who have legitimate comments.>>…

Ada's father passes away

Last week, Jean Ichbiah, the lead designer of the Ada programming language, passed away.Dr. Ichbiah worked on the language in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he worked at Cii Honeywell Bull in France. He later left to found Alsys Corp.,…

Blog spam: The price of success

Z Trek reached a dubious milestone today. There were more than 50 pieces of blog spam when I checked in this morning.This blog is set up so that all comments are moderated, and must be approved by yours truly before they can become visible on…

SD Times 100 open for nominations!

It's been five years — and the nominations for the 2007 SD Times 100 are now open. You can learn all the rules and access the nomination forms online. There's no cost to nominate.Unlike some other awards in our industry, the SD Times 100 isn't…

Michael Dell back at the helm

Here comes the new boss — literally, the same as the old boss. Michael Dell, founder of Dell Inc., reclaimed the CEO position, as his longtime #2 guy, Kevin Rollins, left the company. Rollins took over the command chair in 2004, and led Dell…

Wow, what a stupid headline

Microsoft Vista Has Gates Saying "Wow"That's the headline of a CBS News story about the launch of Windows Vista today. Oooh, the headline writers at The Associated Press must have worked overtime to come up with that one.No, this isn't a knock…

Seven things I like about Windows Vista

1. Windows Presentation Foundation and Aero user interface. The new GUI is clean and slick, and when run on the right hardware so that it can use its “glass” effects, is much more visually appealing than Aqua, the GUI in Mac OS X 10.4……

Ka-Ching! Windows Vista's real cost

For the past week or so, Microsoft has been dribbling out press releases touting a benefit of Windows Vista: The upgrade will drive IT jobs and spending.Today's release brags that Windows Vista will generate US$10 billion in new revenue for…

ASP.NET AJAX, XQuery reach 1.0

Two important server-development elements have been finalized this week.ASP.NET AJAX, which is Microsoft's tooling to support rich Web applications on its ASP.NET application server, reached 1.0 status on Tuesday. ASP.NET is a well-respected…

The chilling effect on software security

Bruce Schneier, in a blog posting today, argues (convincingly) that it's important for researchers and white hats to publicly release details about security vulnerabilities in hardware, software and Web sites. He writes,Before full disclosure…

Jon to Microsoft, Peter to Salesforce.com

Where have all the great tech journalists gone? They've gone to vendors, every one.First, last month, InfoWorld's Jon Udell went to work for Microsoft. See his auto-interview about the new job. He'll be working as an evangelist on MSDN's Channel…

Intel on Sun

According to a CBS News report, Sun will soon be using Intel processors in some of its servers. In return, Intel will endorse the Solaris operating system.If true, this is a good move for both companies, and potentially, for everyone except…
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Consolidation, growth in software security

Yesterday, we learned that Fortify Software will be buying Secure Software. Each company makes source code analysis tools. Both are well-regarded in terms of the quality of their products, and in the expertise of their teams. However, Secure…

Eight things you don’t know about me

Larry O’Brien tagged me. Larry, that prankster, is playing Blog Tag, where you dare people to reveal things that most people won’t know. (I traced Larry’s tag back and found this entry on “Storm & Wind” from August 2006. After that,…

Many unhappy returns from SCO Group

The SCO Group released its earnings for the quarter that ended Oct. 31, 2006. To no surprise, they're worse than ever, as CEO Darl McBride (pictured) continues to drive the company into the ground.Some highlights:* Revenue for their fiscal 4th…

PCI Express goes zoom-zoom

I've seen relatively little coverage about yesterday's approval of the PCI Express 2.0 specification by PCI-SIG, the industry consortium that, well, defines the PCI Express specification.With the introduction of PCI Express (aka, PCIe) a couple…

Red Hot Chili Pepper #19-1557

Best e-mail of the week so far: A press release from Pantone, a company that sets color standards, telling us that "they" have selected Chili Pepper, which they catalog as color #19-1557, as the Color of the Year for 2007. So, if you go to a…

Patents fuel the intellectual property wars

Before 2006, only one company – IBM – managed to gain more than 2000 U.S. patents in a single year. But in 2006, five companies broke that barrier: IBM with 3651 patents, Samsung with 2453, Canon with 2378, Matsushita at 2273, and Hewlett-Packard…

Newly optimistic about CodeGear

Last week, I visited CodeGear — the tools business from Borland, which has been spun off into a wholly owned subsidiary. CodeGear will be evolving JBuilder, Delphi and C#Builder, and will also be introducing some new tools for dynamic languages…

Presenting the Threading Maturity Model (ThMM)

Threads are breaking out of the server into the desktop and notebook computer – and even in servers, the advent of dual-core and quad-core processors is drastically changing the landscape for applications. To put it bluntly, applications need…

Not a smart consumer electronics company

Today, Cisco Systems Inc. sued Apple Inc. over unauthorized use of the iPhone trademark.You see, Cisco's Linksys division already has a line of wireless VoIP telephones called the iPhone, introduced last month. The press has been speculating…

Opus 100

This is my 100th blog entry on Z Trek. Profound, ain't it?Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick

Nice feedback on my CUA comments

Last Thursday, I wrote my SD Times newsletter column on CUA compliance in general, and Microsoft Office 2007's lack of CUA compliance specifically. I also mentioned it briefly here in the blog.Some nice comments came in the column, and I followed…

Macworld is fundamentally uninteresting

Apple's decision to change its name from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc. reinforced my nascent feelings about the company, and by extension, IDG's independent conference for the Macintosh industry. Apple and Macworld Expo aren't about computers…

Microsoft Home Server: A brilliant idea

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Bill Gates announced the Microsoft Windows Home Server, designed to serve as the digital hub of the modern house. It's a great idea, and frankly, it's about time someone addressed this need.Consider digital…

XML schema for business gets better

Jon Bosak informed me this morning that UBL 2.0 has been approved as an OASIS standard. UBL, or Universal Business Language, is designed to provide a consist way for businesses to share common documents using XML; that is, documents like invoices,…

SanDisk's $600 solid state disk

While we're on the subject of storage: don't forget solid-state drive technology. This week, SanDisk released a 32GB SSD that's going to cost about US$600, and fits into a standard 1.8-inch form factor.Sure, that's a lot of money for a 32GB…

Terabyte drives, but too late to save Andrew

Andrew Binstock pointed me to this CNet article, regarding the forthcoming introduction of terabyte hard drives from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Too bad they didn't ship in December. My, that burger tastes good.Hitachi GST, by the way,…

CUA compliance and Office 2007

I love the ability generate gorgeous graphics using Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007. But otherwise I'm unimpressed by the software update, and have no plans to upgrade our company to Office 2007 any time soon.One particular issue I have is the…