Vista Service Pack Out This Year
Congrats. You might be able to move to Vista this year after all, as the
first SP is due in '07
, according to recent reports. Don't expect any groundbreaking
new features, as the service pack is expected to focus largely on fixes.
Some in IT are more concerned with the long-overdue XP SP3, as that 5-year-old
OS will continue to dominate for years to come.
Sun Moves Closer to Intel, Sparcs Fly at AMD
I've got to tell you, I don't think this new
alliance between Sun Microsystems and Intel is a very big deal -- unless
you are an AMD shareholder! Sun has already had success selling Intel-compatible
AMD-powered servers. Now it will just sell Intel-compatible Intel-powered servers.
What kind of servers do you prefer, AMD or Intel-based, and why? Tell us all
Microsoft's Massive New Data Center
Microsoft is serious about Web services like Windows Live. To support such offerings,
Redmond is building a half-billion-dollar,
400,000-square-foot facility in Texas. Unlike Google, I doubt this puppy
will be running much Linux!
That is an interesting point, as Microsoft will be able to test its high-end
server software in a hugely demanding environment.
Undocumented APIs: A Story That Just Won't Die
A decade or so ago, I joined InfoWorld, and my very first order of business
was to help Stuart Johnston finish reporting a story about Microsoft giving
its own developers access to APIs that third parties like Lotus, Borland, Ashton-Tate
and WordPerfect were shut out of.
Stuart did a remarkable job on the story, and it ended up being the center
of many of the antitrust allegations made against Microsoft.
Ten years later third parties have the very same complaints.
A suit in Iowa on behalf of consumers charges that Microsoft is violating
a 2002 agreement to play fair with APIs. I'm not sure exactly what's going
on here. Maybe I should give old Stu a call!
Doug's Mailbag: Pick-Up Lines for Viruses, Text Wins
Worm" virus, which uses legitimate-looking headlines to lure people
into accepting e-mails with virus attachments, prompted me to ask readers what
similar e-mail traps they'd likely fall for. Turns out some of us are pretty
"Bill Gates taking a bubble bath with Steve Jobs." I would open
it just for the chance to laugh.
I may be the most susceptable to opening an e-mail that says "I
am from the government and I am here to help you" or maybe "29-year-old
Russian female is online waiting to hear from you"...NOT.
Generally, I rely on what an Australian may call a "bullsh*t detector."
Don't know the sender, size of the file too small or even the subject is a
bit off the wall? Then just delete it. Easier in my Yahoo! account as the
bulk mail either has the same subject and/or the same file size so it is easy
to remove the rubbish.
I would probably fall for a Christmas picture from a personal address
from my addressbook, at least a singleton rather than a patterned group.
I think the biggest title in an e-mail that I would fall for right now
would be: "U.S. pulls all troops out of Iraq."
And your votes are in. When it comes to newsletter format, all the responses
we got show you prefer text over HTML, both for readability and security:
I'm a plain text girl -- I can read it easily on anything from my laptop
to a BlackBerry, there's minimal clutter and it keeps file sizes down (and
we pay by the byte on the BB). Plus, plain text doesn't contain any nasty
surprises such as Web bugs and embedded mischief. It may be dull to look at,
but after all, it's the content that counts!
I voted for plain text in your recent survey. Why plain text? The one
advantage of HTML in my opinion is it allows a well-meaning author more capability
with text formatting. But that's a "nice to have" and I can easily
do without images and other active content in something I am reading basically
for the information. In fact, a plainer format helops me focus on the words
Oh, and I don't have to explain that it's more secure, do I?
I subscribe in text whenever possible. Smaller, faster to load, is readable
on nearly any conceivable interface (Web interface, on a phone or PDA, Web
e-mail, Lynx, any e-mail client ever produced, etc.) and basically has no
security concerns. It can't contain HTML links with hidden URLs directing
me to some wacky Web site, etc. If an article is of interest and has a follow-up
link or related story, I click on the URL I can read.
I prefer text for the simple reason that I can simply open the message
and start reading. Whenever I get a message in HTML, I have to enter my network
login and password. I'm lucky if I only have to enter that once, but usually
it's multiple times. I don't have that kind of time to waste and, no, I don't
always want to see any advertisements or photos that could come with that.
Graphics mean NOTHING when you are reading for information. Now, if I'm reading
for entertainment, then bring it on and the more pictures, the better. But,
I'm not paid to be entertained; I'm paid for the information I can learn and
I prefer text newsletters. Reasons? One, the newsletter doesn't look
as obvious as a newsletter at first glance. This is good when you want to
read the newsletter while you are in the office. Two, I already force all
incoming mail to be text and this way I do not lose any information. Three,
text newsletters are easier to search with search programs.
I prefer text. It's easier to read, and after a long day of looking at
"Web type code," it is nice to read something that helps my eyes
Got something to add? Send it our way! Comment below or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.