Friday, May 29, 2009

OpenWeb 05/30/2009 (a.m.)

  • ....."With Wave, which Google previewed for developers at its I/O conference yesterday, developers can for the first time create Web-based applications that compete with Microsoft in terms of quality (while utterly trumping it on price). It also creates the conditions for customers to comfortably shuck off the shackles of installed software — including Office and other Microsoft products — in exchange for truly lightweight hardware like netbooks or advanced smartphones, without sacrificing the richness of their computing experience. If it gets the kind of developer love it should, Wave is just the first of a series of a breakers that will loosen Microsoft’s grip on the desktop, and may also render Adobe wholly irrelevant." .... "Wave is a Web-based application that breaks artificial barriers between document types; work documents, email, instant messages, photographs, maps — Wave makes no functional distinction between them, and allows users to literally drag all those elements into a single, shareable meta-document. Wave is written using HTML 5, the first significant change to standards for Web coding since 1998. HTML 5 also forms the basis for Webkit, the language underlying the operating systems of the vast majority of smartphone browsers — Apple’s iPhone, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry, Google’s Android, Palm’s WebOS and Nokia’s Symbian. The one glaring omission? Microsoft Windows Mobile, of course.............. "

    tags: openweb, michael-hickens, google-wave

  • Some interesting questions about Google Wave; proposed by Om Malik and Jordan Golson, but with some hesitant reservations. As the title of this nervous commentary suggests. The narrowness and shallow context of this article is to be expected from hapless back-benchers incapable of grasping the big picture. But GigaOM? What a surprise. Maybe i should be revising my Silicon Valley information feeds? Google is into it with Microsoft, and for the sake of the future of the OpenWeb, Google better win. How does anyone able to fog a mirror miss this? Incredible. "..... Has Google, with its latest project, Google Wave, actually come up with the Next Big Thing in online communication, or is it yet another Googler vanity exercise? Wave is a combination of email, instant messaging and a real-time wiki — plus open architecture and APIs. Or as creators Lars and Jens Rasmussen and Stephanie Hannon put it, “what email would be if it were invented today.” Om also points out another comment from Lars: “Email is the most successful protocol on the planet…we can do better.” I think Google Wave is in the center of a number of revolutionary Google initiatives advanced at the recent Google I/O. HTML 5, the Canvas Tag, O3D, and the assault on the x86 Microsoft desktop stronghold are all part of Google's greatest challenge; keeping the Open Web free and competitive with the emerging MS Web. Michael Hickens has an interesting article; Google Wave Crashes Over Microsoft". Michael spoke with me prior to publishing, and i gave him my cosmic viewpoint of how things fit together (or not). You can find a loose summary of our discussion here: Google Wave: Crashing the Microsoft Desktop Monopoly. Clearly i am still writing :)

    tags: google-wave, html5, html+, OpenWeb


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Thursday, May 28, 2009

OpenWeb 05/29/2009 (a.m.)

  • "........ Google Native Client, still highly experimental, lets browsers run program modules natively on an x86 processor for higher performance than with Web programming technologies such as JavaScript or Flash that involve more software layers to process and execute the code. But to use it, there's a significant barrier: people must install a browser plug-in. However, Google wants to make the technology more broadly accessible in browsers through new technology coming to HTML, the standard used to build Web pages, and at the Google I/O developer conference Thursday demonstrated its work to make that happen...." Looks to me that Google is attacking the problem of integrating a Chrome browser with x86 desktop metal. Maybe it's the only way to get webkit/Chromium Web Apps on a par with native x86-Windows desktop apps? There is that infamous quote describing the Google v Microsoft challengeto consider: "Google has to replace the MSOffice productivity environment on the desktop "Client" before Microsoft replaces Google apps and services on the "Server". (Same holds true for IBM Lotus Notes - WebSphere on the Server and OpenOffice/Symphony on the desktop client). The quote actually comes from some high level Microsoft document experts, said to have been uttered while under the glaze of legendary Czech Pilsners during a recent ISO meet up in Prague. Looks like there is far more to this quote than meets the eye. I wonder though. Google is looking good. So good that perhaps they are confident enough to take things public - as the events at Google I/O seem to indicate? ~ge~

    tags: html5, html+, webkit, webkit_chromium, x86-Chrome

  • Rick Jellife weighs in on the OpenOffice ODF- MSOffice OpenXML interop embroglio. His take is to focus on Classes of Fidelity, providing us with a comparative table of fidelity categories. I wonder though if this ├╝ber document processing approach is anywhere near consistent with the common sense meaning of interoperability to average end-users? IMHO, end-users interpret "interoperability" to mean that compliant applications can exchange documents without loss of information. "..... In my blog last year Is ODF the new RTF or the new .DOC? Can it be both? Do we need either? I raised the question of whether ODF would replace RTF or DOC. I think this issue has come back with a bang with the release of Office 2007 SP2, and I'd like to give another pointer to it for readers who missed it first time around.... "...... OASIS ODF TC has some kind of conformance and testing wing at work, but it is not at all clear that they will deliver anything in this kind of area. Without targetting these classes, ODF's breezy conformance requirements means that ODF conforment software can deliver vastly different kinds of fidelity, yet still accord to the letter of the law (and, indeed, to the spirit of the ODF spec, which allows so many holes) which will cause frustration all-around....." Ouch!

    tags: odf, ooxml, openxml, interop

  • With Documents To Go for the Google Android platform you get read, write, create and sync support for Word and Excel 2007 (OpenXML formatted) documents, support for receiving and sending attachments through Gmail and other applications (including the free RoadSync Exchange beta client, open password protected files, and view Word documents with track changes so you can see what others have done to your document. ZDNet reviewer Mathew Miller also recommends that people check out the details of the DataViz Intact Technology to see how documents will be handled to maintain file formatting and structure throughout the process of editing. There are two YouTube Video demonstations of "Documents to Go" running on an Android. ........ No collaborative editing with MSOffice desktops, but this is outstanding stuff.

    tags: openxml, dataviz, android


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Future of the Web 05/29/2009


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OpenWeb 05/28/2009 (p.m.)


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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Future of the Web 05/28/2009


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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Future of the Web 05/27/2009


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Sunday, May 24, 2009

OpenWeb 05/25/2009 (a.m.)

  • What mr. Weir and mr. Allison also don?t tell you is that controlling a standard is very much a competitive instrument. Imagine Microsoft extending Word or Excel with new capabilities (like tex-like layout rules, new graphics filters or new advanced mathematical functions). If the documents had to be saved in a format controlled by someone else, they could stall the standardization of these features until the product they support catches up. Or postpone the functions indefinitely effectively nixing the advantages. That is why Microsoft had to have a standard they could influence. That is why mr. Weir and mr. Allison are pushing ODF. While these standards now are the responsibilities of standards organizations (Oasis and Ecma for ODF and OOXML resp.), they are still very much driven by corporations with their own agendas. This is as true for ODF as it is for OOXML. That?s why we need both standards. We cannot afford corporate politics playing delaying games with our standards. And whatever happened to the argument that a standard was important to retain document fidelity for the future? Wasn't the whole idea behind writing down the specification that the way documents render and behave would be defined by an open specification rather than an implementation (which is subject to change)? Or was that argument only valid when it could be used effectively against Word and Excel? Double standards make me sick. Please face up to it. State that you expect Microsoft to adhere to ODF 1.2 once ratified. Until then quit trying to spin this as a defiency in MS Office. It is a failure in ODF. Owe up to it and get back to work! Please!

    tags: odf, ooxml, openformula, interoperability


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Friday, May 22, 2009

OpenWeb 05/23/2009 (a.m.)

  • Mozilla plans to drag IE into the next generation of open web technologies without Microsoft's help. One of the first steps towards achieving this goal is a new experimental plugin that adapts Mozilla's implementation of the HTML5 Canvas element so that it can be used in Internet Explorer. The Canvas element allows web developers to programmatically render interactive bitmap images in HTML content. It was invented by Apple to bring richer graphical capabilities to the company's WebKit renderer. The Canvas functionality eventually became part of the HTML5 standard and has been implemented in both Gecko and Presto. Canvas is used extensively in several popular web applications, including Google Maps, but it hasn't gained widespread acceptance because it isn't available in Internet Explorer. Taking advantage of ActiveX  In order to make Google Maps work in IE, Google had to develop ExCanvas—a complex library that implements many of the Canvas element's features with VML, Microsoft's proprietary alternative to SVG. Unfortunately, scripted manipulation of VML is too slow to be used for highly interactive web applications. Mozilla's solution is to bake its own native Canvas implementation into an ActiveX plugin that can be integrated directly into Internet Explorer.

    tags: activex, canvas, searchmonkey, mozilla, ie


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

OpenWeb 05/21/2009 (p.m.)

  • tags: no_tag

    • OK, once again things are looking very nasty at the ODF TC wonderland. This may surpass the infamous "List Enhancement" donnybrook that ended up with OASIS closing down the OpenDocument Foundation OSS sponsorship loophole. - post by garyedwards
  • ODF is important. So What Went Wrong? Response to Jeremy Allison: Having participated in a number of government pilot studies, I must say that you are right; government officials do care about ODF. They really want it to work. But they also had expectations that ODF simply wasn't designed for. What they expected ODF to be was an open technology based on highly-structured XML markup that was application, platform, and vendor-independent, backward compatible, universally interoperable, and importantly, Web ready. That is not ODF nor is it OOXML. In fact, the closest thing we have for meeting these expectations is an ajax-webkit style HTML+ (HTML5, CSS4, SVG/Canvas, JS jQuery, etc.). ODF is highly structured, but it is not application-independent. .....

    tags: odf, ooxml, iso, compatibility


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Future of the Web 05/21/2009


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OpenWeb 05/20/2009 (p.m.)

  • Is there nothing that can cool the flames of this document war? Interesting coverage of the recent OOXML Interoperability event in London (Monday). Real stuff not talk. Since Florian, Jason and i are working on an OpenWeb ready HTML+ layer riding over OOXML there are some things mentioned that look very interesting. ..."An Opera browser plug-in for Open XML Document Viewer v1.0 was released at the meeting; the tool provides direct translation for Open XML documents (.DOCX) to HTML, enabling access to Open XML documents from any platform with a Web browser, including mobile devices. The document-viewing software already includes a plug-in for Firefox, Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8...." ..."Microsoft and the other participants in Monday's forum also made available a beta of Apache POI 3.5, a Java API (application programming interface) to access information in the Open XML Format....."

    tags: ooxml, plutext, wiki-word, html+


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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

OpenWeb 05/20/2009 (a.m.)

  • Surprise—to make more money! After the initial burst of discussion about Google putting their toe into the standardized metadata water, I started wondering about the corner of the pool they had chosen. They're not ready to start parsing any old RDFa; they'll be looking for RDFa that uses the vocabulary they somewhat hastily defined for the purpose. Why does the vocabulary define the properties that it defines? It will be interesting to see how the big hustling SEO world adapts to this. In the words of Drupal project lead Dries Buytaert, Structured data is the new search engine optimization. When he writes "Every webmaster wanting to improve click-through rates, reduce bounce rates, and improve conversation rates, can no longer ignore RDFa or Microformats", it reminds me that when the SEO world eventually gravitates more in the RDFa direction or the microformats direction, these very quantitative, results-driven people will have some real data to explain why. I'll have to start searching their voluminous discussions out there to see what people are saying.

    tags: RDFa, metadata, bobdc, google

  • IntalioCloud takes on Salesforce.com with public-private cloud design. Note that business applications developed for use in Salesforce’s platform have to use the company’s proprietary programming language, while IntalioCloud is open to many languages such as JavaScript and Ruby. Third, Intalio says it provides 25 gigabytes of data storage per account, much more than Salesforce. $42 Mill in VC The nexxus here is that both salseforce.com and Intalio need to provide integration into the MSOffice productivity environment to compete with Microsoft Azure.

    tags: venture-capital, plutext, wiki-word, jason, salesforce.com, intalio

  • The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s. this article features a complete break down of where the money went!!!! New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008.

    tags: financial-crisis, financial-oligarchs, obama-socialism

  • The Dollar Crisis Quick Synopsis:     * Abandoning the gold standard in 1971 has resulted in large global trade imbalances and a massive buildup of foreign currency reserves     * These trade imbalances and buildup of foreign reserves have resulted in frequent booms and busts since 1971     * The Japanese bust of 1989, the Asian economic crisis of 1997, and the current US credit market collapse have resulted from the post-1971 paper money monetary system     * Abandoning the gold standard has gradually resulted in a very overvalued US dollar, and that the dollar is headed for disaster     *  “The dollar standard is inherently flawed and increasingly unstable. Its collapse will be the most important economic event of the 21st century.”

    tags: financial-crisis, obama-socialism, inflation, dollar-destruction

    • Before I begin, I’ll make a prediction, since I’m an investor and my job is to predict. I increasingly believe that the dollar will collapse, and its ramifications could be as violent as when the credit markets cracked in July 2007. Currency collapses are nothing new, just as the bursting of a credit market bubble was nothing new. A dollar collapse could very well lead to carnage in domestic asset markets, whether it be the stock market, bond market, etc. Also, US imports and the overvalued dollar are fueling many of the export-oriented economies abroad, so a dollar collapse could wreak havoc on foreign asset markets as well. And once it happens, we’re going to view the collapse of the dollar as an obvious event that we should have long seen coming. Just as we now view the subprime wreckage and bursting of the real estate bubble as an event we should have easily predicted.

      The problem is timing. Does the dollar collapse in 2009, or 2015? And is it a slow depreciation, or a sudden 50% fall? Those are tougher questions. Richard Duncan predicted the dollar’s demise in 2002. His error of timing discredited an otherwise brilliant book.
    • In a sentence, “The Dollar Crisis” is about how the world changed in 1971. That was when Richard Nixon dropped the gold standard (or its close cousin, the Bretton Woods international monetary system). Here’s the youtube video: Youtube Bretton Woods. The end of the gold standard ushered in a new era of large trade imbalances and the buildup of foreign currency reserves, and these trade imbalances and large foreign currency reserves have had significant impacts on the global economy that many people don’t realize. Huge trade imbalances and large foreign reserves didn’t really exist during the gold standard. During the gold standard, a country’s money supply was determined by the amount of gold it had. Banks’ reserves were either gold or indirectly tied to gold, and so the amount of money they could lend, and that the nation could print, was backed by the nation’s gold reserves. To see the implications of that sort of monetary system on trade imbalances, let’s take a hypothetical United States and China, where the US is buying lots of goods from China. The US gets goods; China gets dollars. China takes its excess dollars, gives them to the US, and gets gold in exchange. The US gold reserves would decline, causing credit contraction in the US. This would lead to recession; prices would adjust downwards; and falling prices would enhance the trade competitiveness of the US. The US would stop exporting so many goods from China as China’s costs of production begin rising relative to the United States’. The US would stop being a net importer; gold would flow back in; and equilibrium on the balance of payments would be re-established.

      Under the gold standard, trade imbalances were unsustainable and self-correcting.
    • Today, in the system of fiat money, that’s no longer the case.

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Future of the Web 05/20/2009


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Sunday, May 17, 2009

OpenWeb 05/18/2009 (a.m.)

  • Google "Rich Snippets" is a new presentation of HTML snippets that applies Google's algorithms to highlight structured data embedded in web pages. Rich Snippets give end-users convenient summary information about their search results at a glance. Google is currently supporting a very limited subset of data about reviews and people. When searching for a product or service, users can easily see reviews and ratings, and when searching for a person, they'll get help distinguishing between people with the same name. It's a simple change to the display of search results, yet our experiments have shown that users find the new data valuable. For this to work though, both Web-masters and Web-workers have to annotate thier pages with structured data in a standard format. Google snippets supports microformats and RDFa. Existing Web data can be wrapped with some additional tags to accomplish this. Notice that Google avoids mention of RDF and the W3C's vision of a "Semantic Web" where Web objects are fully described in machine readable semantics. Over at the WHATWG group, where work on HTML5 continues, Google's Ian Hickson has been fighting RDFa and the Semantic Web in what looks to be an effort to protect the infamous Google algorithms. RDFa provides a means for Web-workers, knowledge-workers, line-of-business managers and document generating end-users to enrich their HTML+ with machine semantics. The idea being that the document experts creating Web content can best describe to search engine and content management machines the objects-of-information used. The google algorithms provide a proprietary semantics of this same content. The best solution to the tsunami of conten the Web has wrought would be to combine end-user semantic expertise with Google algorithms. Let's hope Google stays the RDFa course and comes around to recognize the full potential of organizing the world's information with the input of content providers. One thing the world desperately needs are powerful desktop editors capable of

    tags: rdfa, rich-snippets, google, html5, odf, ooxml, w3c

  • tags: no_tag

    • Just a note about the diigolet cutoff problem: i wrote my lengthy missive by clicking on the comment link in the "Future of the Web" eMail notification: Could Adobe be open-sourcing Flash? - Computerworld Blogs - Add comment Tags: Adobe flash open source | shared by Paul Merrell 2009-05-17 03:46:22 Kind of a shortcut to get around the diigolet limitations. - post by garyedwards
    • Hey Paul, watch out for diigolet. It does cut your comments off!!!! If you post the comment first, and then go to Diigo later, you can complete the full edit. I have notified Wade and Maggie about this killer problem. - post by garyedwards
    • Paul, you forgot WebKit! This is now a three horse race; Adobe "Flash-Flex-Air", Microsoft XAML-Silverlight, and the Apple-Google-Nokia-Palm-RiMM "Webkit". Novell's "Moonlight" is to Siliverlight what "WiNE" is to the Win32 API. Adobe has a long history of gradual open sourcing, with PDF a good example. What they seem to do is to milk a proprietary technology for all it's worth, developing best they can a "platform" of tools, services, developers and end user dependencies. As competitors and emerging technologies grind away at the proprietary platform, Adobe hastens the transition to "open source / open technology" basis. This allows them to milk the platform even longer. Trust is an important part in the establishment of any platform. Submitting parts of a proprietary technology to an open standards consortia helps offset developer and end user fears of lock-in. Adobe seems to have mastered this aspect of the quiet trap. They somehow manage to get these technologies into an open standards - open tech footing / future direction, before the accusations start. I think it's also true that Adobe is careful and in many ways respectful in how they "milk" a platform. Especially compared to the ruthless way Microsoft squeezes users, developers and trading partners. (Once the platform is established though, dependencies and the cost of moving become far more important factors than "trust"). One other point is that WebKit has won this race for next generation "Rich Internet Application" (RiA). Silverlight and Flash are browser plug-ins capable of running as standalone run-times or, application based add-ons. WebKit didn't win by challenging Flash and Silverlight in the RiA sense of a highly graphical and fluid interface. The way the WebKit community won was by re-writing the basic browser components to accommodate three things: ..... the browser as a "rich internet application" OS ...... target the Web document model with the webkit API for a highly graphical, multi-dimensionally interactive, backwards compatible but classically structured document advance. This is HTML+ (HTML5, CSS4, SVG/Canvas, JS, jQuery). ..... Own the edge of the Web (devices), and let that emerging marketshare whipsaw the document model for the greater Web. Oh yeah. WebKit is an open technology that was open source from the gitgo. The way they deal with vendor dominated standards consortia is to submit their enhancements as proposals, but keep advancing the open technology regardless of the competitive vendor wars and alliances guaranteed to slow/kill things behind the thin veil of "standards" work. Because of the dominance of webkit at the edge, the vendor consortia are unable to stop WebKit enhancements. They are forced to consider the proposals. This has numerous effects. For instance, after eight years of left-for-dead neglect, the W3C was forced to resurrect work on HTML, CSS, CSS layout, and SVG. It's the only way the W3C could stay relevant. Adobe will be similarly forced to accelerate the openness of Flash. Given a choice between a truly open technology like WebKit, and a somewhat/eventually open Flash, developers will choose WebKit. And oh yeah; there is that little thing about WebKit owning the edge of the Web. The killer that seals the deal for WebKit however is that the greater Web's document model is changing. As Google, Facebook, Yahoo and many other web site service providers move to get their pages iPhone ready, the greater Web ends up adopting the WebKit document model at it's core. Microsoft has lost the battle for the Web's document model. The OOXML-XAML-Silvelight chain of WPF technologies will dominate the "business Web" primarily because we were unable to break the desktop monopolist grip on business documents and processes. The incredible success that WebKit is having both at the edge and across the greater Web insures however that the future of the Web will be "open". At least in part. ~ge~ - post by garyedwards

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Future of the Web 05/18/2009

  • Google "Rich Snippets" is a new presentation of HTML snippets that applies Google's algorithms to highlight structured data embedded in web pages. Rich Snippets give end-users convenient summary information about their search results at a glance. Google is currently supporting a very limited subset of data about reviews and people. When searching for a product or service, users can easily see reviews and ratings, and when searching for a person, they'll get help distinguishing between people with the same name. It's a simple change to the display of search results, yet our experiments have shown that users find the new data valuable. For this to work though, both Web-masters and Web-workers have to annotate thier pages with structured data in a standard format. Google snippets supports microformats and RDFa. Existing Web data can be wrapped with some additional tags to accomplish this. Notice that Google avoids mention of RDF and the W3C's vision of a "Semantic Web" where Web objects are fully described in machine readable semantics. Over at the WHATWG group, where work on HTML5 continues, Google's Ian Hickson has been fighting RDFa and the Semantic Web in what looks to be an effort to protect the infamous Google algorithms. RDFa provides a means for Web-workers, knowledge-workers, line-of-business managers and document generating end-users to enrich their HTML+ with machine semantics. The idea being that the document experts creating Web content can best describe to search engine and content management machines the objects-of-information used. The google algorithms provide a proprietary semantics of this same content. The best solution to the tsunami of conten the Web has wrought would be to combine end-user semantic expertise with Google algorithms. Let's hope Google stays the RDFa course and comes around to recognize the full potential of organizing the world's information with the input of content providers. One thing the world desperately needs are powerful desktop editors capable of natively speaking RDFa-HTML+. Leading office suites fail miserably in this respect. MSOSffice implements OOXML, and OpenOffice ODF. When it comes to HTML though, these clowns are stuck in 1998.

    Tags: rdfa, rich-snippets, google, html5, odf, ooxml, w3c

  • Tags: Adobe, flash, open source

    • ow, however, with Strobe, its just announced Flash framework, Adobe looks like it may be getting more open-source friendly as well.

      Strobe, which will show up in the 3rd quarter of 2009, is an open framework for creating SWF (ShockWave Flash) server-side players. With Strobe, content creators and Web developers will be able to easily create sites that host their own video.

    • To make sure that the Flash family beats out the likes of Microsoft's Silverlight and its Linux little-brother Novell's Moonlight, Adobe is also considering open-sourcing its flagship Flash player.

      As part of the Open Screen Project, Adobe has already opened up much of Flash.

    • To make sure that the Flash family beats out the likes of Microsoft's Silverlight and its Linux little-brother Novell's Moonlight, Adobe is also considering open-sourcing its flagship Flash player.

      As pa

  • Tags: Intel, antitrust, DG, Competition, satellite litigation

    • But Intel could face even more payouts if Intel competitors, such as AMD, take civil cases on the back of the Commission's regulatory action, according to Alan Davis, an expert in competition law at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM.

      "This will open the floodgates for competitors to sue," said Davis. "There was a complainant in this case, AMD [Advanced Micro Devices], and without question they and other competitors will pursue a case for damages."

      "The fine goes to the European Commission's coffers, not to the competitors who suffered damage to their businesses because of Intel's anti-competitive practices," he said. "What is likely to happen is that action will be started and a massive settlement will be made."


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Friday, May 15, 2009

Future of the Web 05/16/2009


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Thursday, May 14, 2009

OpenWeb 05/15/2009 (a.m.)


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Future of the Web 05/15/2009


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Future of the Web 05/14/2009

  • Tags: Microsoft, cloud computing, azure, marketing, government

    • The Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI) is an initiative led by Microsoft Public Sector Developer Evangelism teamExternal Link. OGDI uses the Azure Services PlatformExternal Link to make it easier to publish and use a wide variety of public data from government agencies. OGDI is also a free, open source ‘starter kit’ (coming soon) with code that can be used to publish data on the Internet in a Web-friendly format with easy-to-use, open API's. OGDI-based web API’s can be accessed from a variety of client technologies such as Silverlight, Flash, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, mapping web sites, etc.

      Whether you are a business wishing to use government data, a government developer, or a ‘citizen developer’, these open API's will enable you to build innovative applications, visualizations and mash-ups that empower people through access to government information. This site is built using the OGDI starter kit software assets and provides interactive access to some publicly-available data sets along with sample code and resources for writing applications using the OGDI API's.

  • Tags: Microsoft, Amazon, cloud computing, marketing

    • Microsoft has set up a repository in which government agencies may upload and store their public-facing datasets so that they can be reused by other parties.

      Agency developers can upload their data to this repository, called the Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI), through Microsoft's Azure, the company's cloud-computing offering.

    • Since taking the role of federal chief information officer, Vivek Kundra has urged agencies to make more of their data open to the public in easy-to-use formats. To this end, the General Services Administration, on behalf of Kundra, is setting up a repository of government feeds, to be called Data.gov. Data.gov will both serve as a repository for data and as an index for government data located elsewhere, Kundra told GCN.

      OGDI came about as a way to introduce Azure to the federal information technology community, said Susie Adams, Microsoft Federal chief technology officer. "The government wants to store all this data, what with Kundra talking about Data.gov. We asked if you were to use Azure as data source, [what would you need to do]?"

    • In addition to Microsoft's effort, at least one other company has volunteered to rehost government data for wider use. Amazon is offering to store public-domain datasets for users of its Elastic Compute Cloud service.
  • Tags: antitrust, IBM, Google, DoJ

    • The Obama administration put large companies on notice that it would be tougher on mergers and attempts to stifle competition, restoring the type of aggressive antitrust enforcement of the 1990s that led to the landmark government case against Microsoft Corp.
    • Among those likely to feel the heat of federal inquiries are technology companies, such as chip maker Intel Corp., Internet giant Google Inc. and longtime tech leader IBM Corp.
  • Tags: Intel, antitrust, DG Competition, DoJ

    • European regulators today levied a record antitrust fine of $1.45 billion against Intel. Corp. for abusing its position as the world's dominant computer chip maker.

      The fine comes after nearly two years of investigation by the European Commission into allegations that the Santa Clara company offered improper rebates and other discounts to discourage companies from buying microprocessors from its smaller rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Complaints from AMD triggered the case.
    • The fine tops the $1.23-billion fine European regulators levied against Microsoft Corp. last year for abusing its dominant position in computer software.
    • "Intel takes strong exception to this decision. We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor marketplace – characterized by constant innovation, improved product performance and lower prices. There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal."
    • The European ruling, which had been expected in recent days, comes as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission continues its own antitrust investigation against Intel, which was opened in June 2008. AMD also has sued Intel in federal court.
    • "The relief that the Europeans imposed I think will provide an excellent guide to U.S. enforcers as they try to determine what to do about Intel's exclusionary conduct," Balto said today.
  • Tags: Intel, antitrust, dg competition

      • The Commission has found that Intel excluded its competitor in two ways:

        1. through illegal loyalty rebates
        2. by paying manufacturers and retailers to restrict the commercialisation of competitors' products.

        These illegal actions were designed to preserve Intel's market share at a time when their only significant rival - AMD - was a growing threat to Intel's position. This threat was widely recognised by both computer manufacturers and in Intel's own internal documents seen by the Commission.

        The computer manufacturers involved are Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC. The retailer involved is Media Saturn Holdings, the parent company of Media Markt.

    • Naturally, the Commission favours strong, vigorous price competition, including by dominant firms. However, Intel went beyond normal price competition by giving rebates to computer manufacturers on the condition that they bought all, or almost all, of their CPUs from Intel.

      Intel also made direct payments to a major retailer – Media Markt - on the condition that it stocked only computers with Intel CPUs.

    • Just to give you one example: in one case, a computer manufacturer took up only a small part of an offer by AMD of free CPUs because acceptance of all the free CPUs offered would have led that computer manufacturer to breach the conditions of its agreement with Intel and to lose rebates on all its much more numerous Intel purchases.
    • Intel made direct payments to computer manufacturers to halt or delay the launch of products using their rival's chips, and to limit their distribution once available.

      The Commission has specific, documented examples, of Intel paying other manufacturers to, for example, delay the launch of an AMD-based PC by six months, and to restrict the sales of AMD-based products to certain customers.

    • The Commission Decision contains evidence that Intel went to great lengths to cover-up many of its anti-competitive actions. Many of the conditions mentioned above were not to be found in Intel’s official contracts.

      However, the Commission was able to gather a broad range of evidence demonstrating Intel's illegal conduct through statements from companies, on-site inspections, and formal requests for information.

    • Finally, I would like to draw your attention to Intel's latest global advertising campaign which proposes Intel as the "Sponsors of Tomorrow."

      Their website invites visitors to add their 'vision of tomorrow'. Well, I can give my vision of tomorrow for Intel here and now: "obey the law".

  • This is an uncharacteristically strong press release from DG Competition. I still must read the order, but the description of the evidence is incredible, particularly the finding of concealment of its rebate conditions by Intel.

    Tags: Intel, antitrust, DG Competion

    • The Commission found that Intel engaged in two specific forms of illegal practice. First, Intel gave wholly or partially hidden rebates to computer manufacturers on condition that they bought all, or almost all, their x86 CPUs from Intel. Intel also made direct payments to a major retailer on condition it stock only computers with Intel x86 CPUs. Such rebates and payments effectively prevented customers - and ultimately consumers - from choosing alternative products. Second, Intel made direct payments to computer manufacturers to halt or delay the launch of specific products containing competitors’ x86 CPUs and to limit the sales channels available to these products.
      • Intel awarded major computer manufacturers rebates on condition that they purchased all or almost all of their supplies, at least in certain defined segments, from Intel:

        • Intel gave rebates to computer manufacturer A from December 2002 to December 2005 conditional on this manufacturer purchasing exclusively Intel CPUs
        • Intel gave rebates to computer manufacturer B from November 2002 to May 2005 conditional on this manufacturer purchasing no less than 95% of its CPU needs for its business desktop computers from Intel (the remaining 5% that computer manufacturer B could purchase from rival chip maker AMD was then subject to further restrictive conditions set out below)
        • Intel gave rebates to computer manufacturer C from October 2002 to November 2005 conditional on this manufacturer purchasing no less than 80% of its CPU needs for its desktop and notebook computers from Intel
        • Intel gave rebates to computer manufacturer D in 2007 conditional on this manufacturer purchasing its CPU needs for its notebook computers exclusively from Intel.
    • Intel structured its pricing policy to ensure that a computer manufacturer which opted to buy AMD CPUs for that part of its needs that was open to competition would consequently lose the rebate (or a large part of it) that Intel provided for the much greater part of its needs for which the computer manufacturer had no choice but to buy from Intel. The computer manufacturer would therefore have to pay Intel a higher price for each of the units supplied for which the computer manufacturer had no alternative but to buy from Intel. In other words, should a computer manufacturer fail to purchase virtually all its x86 CPU requirements from Intel, it would forego the possibility of obtaining a significant rebate on any of its very high volumes of Intel purchases.

      Moreover, in order to be able to compete with the Intel rebates, for the part of the computer manufacturers' supplies that was up for grabs, a competitor that was just as efficient as Intel would have had to offer a price for its CPUs lower than its costs of producing those CPUs, even if the average price of its CPUs was lower than that of Intel.

    • In its decision, the Commission does not object to rebates in themselves but to the conditions Intel attached to those rebates.
    • Furthermore, Intel made payments to major retailer Media Saturn Holding from October 2002 to December 2007 on condition that it exclusively sold Intel-based PCs in all countries in which Media Saturn Holding is active.
    • For example, rival chip manufacturer AMD offered one million free CPUs to one particular computer manufacturer. If the computer manufacturer had accepted all of these, it would have lost Intel's rebate on its many millions of remaining CPU purchases, and would have been worse off overall simply for having accepted this highly competitive offer. In the end, the computer manufacturer took only 160,000 CPUs for free.
      • Intel also interfered directly in the relations between computer manufacturers and AMD. Intel awarded computer manufacturers payments - unrelated to any particular purchases from Intel - on condition that these computer manufacturers postponed or cancelled the launch of specific AMD-based products and/or put restrictions on the distribution of specific AMD-based products. The Commission found that these payments had the potential effect of preventing products for which there was a consumer demand from coming to the market. The Commission found the following specific cases:

        • For the 5% of computer manufacturer B’s business that was not subject to the conditional rebate outlined above, Intel made further payments to computer manufacturer B provided that this manufacturer :
        • sold AMD-based business desktops only to small and medium enterprises
        • sold AMD-based business desktops only via direct distribution channels (as opposed to through distributors) and
        • postponed the launch of its first AMD-based business desktop in Europe by 6 months.
        • Intel made payments to computer manufacturer E provided that this manufacturer postponed the launch of an AMD-based notebook from September 2003 to January 2004.
        • Before the conditional rebate to computer manufacturer D outlined above, Intel made payments to this manufacturer provided that it postponed the launch of AMD-based notebooks from September 2006 to the end of 2006.
    • The Commission obtained proof of the existence of many of the conditions found to be illegal in the antitrust decision even though they were not made explicit in Intel’s contracts. Such proof is based on a broad range of contemporaneous evidence such as e-mails obtained inter alia from unannounced on-site inspections, in responses to formal requests for information and in a number of formal statements made to the Commission by the other companies concerned. In addition, there is evidence that Intel had sought to conceal the conditions associated with its payments.
  • When available, the decision should appear at http://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/cases/index/by_nr_75.html#i37_990

    Tags: intel, antitrust, DG Competition

    • Did the Commission co-operate with the United States on this case?

      The Commission and the United States Federal Trade Commission have kept each other regularly and closely informed on the state of play of their respective Intel investigations. These discussions have been held in a co-operative and friendly atmosphere, and have been substantively fruitful in terms of sharing experiences on issues of common interest.

    • Where does the money go?

      Once final judgment has been delivered in any appeals before the Court of First Instance (CFI) and the Court of Justice, the money goes into the EU’s central budget, thus reducing the contributions that Member States pay to the EU.

      Does Intel have to pay the fine if it appeals to the European Court of First Instance (CFI)?

      Yes. In case of appeals to the CFI, it is normal practice that the fine is paid into a blocked bank account pending the final outcome of the appeals process. Any fine that is provisionally paid will produce interest based on the interest rate applied by the European Central Bank to its main refinancing operations. In exceptional circumstances, companies may be allowed to cover the amount of the fine by a bank guarantee at a higher interest rate.

      What percentage of Intel's turnover does the fine represent?

      The fine represents 4.15 % of Intel's turnover in 2008. This is less than half the allowable maximum, which is 10% of a company's annual turnover.

    • How long is the Decision?

      The Decision is 542 pages long.

      When is the Decision going to be published?

      The Decision in English (the official language version of the Decision) will be made available as soon as possible on DG Competition’s website (once relevant business secrets have been taken out). French and German translations will also be made available on DG Competition’s website in due course. A summary of the Decision will be published in the EU's Official Journal L series in all languages (once the translations are available).

  • Tags: Intel, antitrust, DG Competition

    • "Intel takes strong exception to this decision. We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor marketplace – characterized by constant innovation, improved product performance and lower prices. There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal."

      "We do not believe our practices violated European law. The natural result of a competitive market with only two major suppliers is that when one company wins sales, the other does not. The Directorate General for Competition of the Commission ignored or refused to obtain significant evidence that contradicts the assertions in this decision. We believe this evidence shows that when companies perform well the market rewards them, when they don't perform the market acts accordingly."

    • "Despite our strongly held views, as we go through the appeals process we plan to work with the Commission to ensure we're in compliance with their decision.
  • Tags: intel, antitrust, DG Competition

    • Most likely, we grant you, it was coincidence. But we couldn’t help notice the timing: Two days after the DOJ’s new antitrust head, Christine Varney, publicly repudiates her predecessors by pledging to ramp up enforcement on so-called “single-firm” monopolistic behavior, the European Union takes a sledgehammer to Intel Corp., fining it $1.45 billion for alleged monopolistic activity. The fine is the largest ever assessed for monopoly abuse. Click here for the WSJ story, from Charles Forelle; here for the NYT story; here for the NYT story; here for the FT story; here for the Commission’s statement; here for Intel’s response.
      • See my earlier Diigo bookmark quoting the DG Competition statement that it had coordinated with the U.S. Justice Dept. in its simultaneous and ongoing investigation of INtel. - By Paul Merrell
    • John Pheasant, an antitrust practitioner at Hogan & Hartson in London and Brussels, told the Law Blog that some of the evidence does “not look very good for Intel,” adding that “if the facts are there, this type of conduct is more likely to be regarded as abusive if practiced by a dominant company. . . .”
    • On Varney’s statement from earlier this week, Kroes said the Justice Department’s stance gave her a “huge positive feeling. The more competition authorities joining us in our competition philosophy, the better it is.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Future of the Web group favorite links are here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

OpenWeb 05/12/2009 (p.m.)

  • Michael Hickins has an interesting angle on the document wars: ...... "By releasing a new service pack for Office that includes support for the open document format (ODF), Microsoft appears to be complying with European demands that it play well with others, while putting to rest accusations by IBM that it is still trying to maintain a monopoly over document formats. But forgive IBM for failing to cheer an apparent victory in its long-running document format war with Microsoft; IBM is busy attempting to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, probably because it’s now run out of excuses for failing to capture significant market share against Word and Excel....." I've got two comment below the article: "Hoist on our own petard"

    tags: ge, odf, ooxml


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

OpenWeb 05/12/2009 (a.m.)

  • In 2004 Ian Hickson attended the W3C workgroup on XHTML and CDF. He notes the fact that, as Steven Pemberton pointed out, six year ago (1998), the W3C decided that HTML was dead, and the way forward was a host of new languages (what is now XHTML2, XForms, MathML, SVG) that would lead the world's population to a clean new world. Then he has this to say: ".... The truth is that the real Web, the Web that authors write for, is the Windows IE6 Web. The only way to change that is to reduce the IE6 market share, and new technologies don't do this. Marketing does. Once users are primarily using a browser that is being regularly updated, then we can start introducing radically new technologies. Until then, such technologies simply aren't going to become popular. There were a lot of rather confused statements during the meeting. For example, it is clear that a lot of people think that the browser is dead and that the way forward is transparent "runtimes" that execute remote applications securely. But then these same people demand to know why Mozilla, Opera and Safari don't support XForms and SVG, saying that their lack of support is crippling their standards' adoption. Surely if the browser paradigm is dead, it doesn't matter what we implement? What I think most of the people at the meeting actually want is a standard that combines XHTML, XForms, SVG, and SMIL (and CSS, DOM, and ECMAScript, although they rarely if ever actually mention those by name), and then adds enough APIs to make the host into a platform in its own right. ..."

    tags: html+, html-css, html5, w3c, hixie


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Future of the Web 05/12/2009

  • Tags: antitrust, DoJ, FTC, Google, Apple

    • The Obama administration today said it would reverse rules made during the Bush administration that made it difficult to stop anticompetitive business behavior.
    • Over the past couple weeks, antitrust regulators have launched reviews of online giant Google. The DOJ is investigating a settlement Google made with book publishers and authors. And the FTC is reviewing the board ties between Google and Apple, which some antitrust experts argue are competitors.
  • Tags: antitrust, ibm, google, microsoft

    • Google, the industry’s newest giant, is also coming under closer scrutiny. On April 29th it emerged that America’s Justice Department is examining whether Google’s settlement with authors and publishers over its book-search service violates antitrust laws; and on May 5th the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched a probe to see whether Google’s sharing of two board members with Apple reduces competition between the two firms.
    • Similarly, antitrust lobbying is part of a broader “platform war” for IBM, which hopes thereby to keep Microsoft at bay. Among other things, IBM is a sponsor of the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), which has many of Microsoft’s other competitors as its members and is one of the prime movers behind the new browser case. It started in late 2007 with a complaint by Opera, a Norwegian browser-maker and ECIS member.

      Not to be outdone, Microsoft has entered the antitrust game, too. It recently made an investment in T3, a small vendor of mainframe-like computers, which in January lodged a complaint with the European Commission, alleging that IBM kept it from competing by refusing to license mainframe software to T3’s customers. Microsoft has also lobbied American antitrust regulators to tackle Google, encouraging them to look into an online-advertising deal between the search giant and its rival, Yahoo!, which was eventually abandoned.

    • IBM, for its part, would appear to have little to fear. It is hard to argue, with so many different computer systems around, that mainframes still constitute a separate market—a necessary condition if IBM’s behaviour is to be judged anticompetitive.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Future of the Web group favorite links are here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

OpenWeb 05/09/2009 (p.m.)

  • Marbux nails it again in the comments section of this obscure review. In particular, he sites Shah, Rajiv C. and Kesan, Jay P., Lost in Translation: Interoperability Issues for Open Standards - ODF and OOXML as Examples (September 2008), Link to paper on SSRN (compatibility fidelity comparisons of ODF implementations testing only a very small set of word processing features). "...Switching documents, I go through similar travails with the published ODF 1.1 specification, using both the PDF and ODT versions. Bottom line: I can't get either document into WordPerfect X3 or X4 using any rich text format. So I convert the document to plain text using Symphony and get my work done. That is the real state of ODF interoperability. There is no such thing. But that does not stop the vested interests from claiming that there is. E.g.:"

    tags: marbux, odf, ooxml, interoperability


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, May 08, 2009

OpenWeb 05/09/2009 (a.m.)

  • From Notes2Self 2006 post we discover once again that ODF Interop problems are not new. Back in early February 2005, the legendary developer James Clark made a comment to the OASIS OpenDocument technical Committee about the lack of interoperability for spreadsheet documents:

    ".... I really hope I'm missing something, because, frankly, I'm speechless.  You cannot be serious. You have virtually zero interoperability for spreadsheet documents. OpenDocument has the potential to be extraodinarily valuable and important standard. I urge you not to throw away a huge part of that potential by leaving such a gaping hole in your specification...". Claus Agerskov further commented that this provided a means of creating lock-in (my emphasis)

    "OpenDocument doesn't specify the formulars used in spreadsheets so every spreadsheet vendor can implement formulars in their own way without being an open standard. This way a vendor can create lock-in to their spreadsheets"

    tags: odf, interoperability, james-clark, oasis


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Future of the Web 05/09/2009


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Future of the Web group favorite links are here.