Monday, August 25, 2003
Friday, August 22, 2003
I'm a big believer in email newsletters and in sharing my email address with people who are interested in contacting me, but as these viruses and continuous SPAM are proving, it's getting to a point where many computer users may simply stop using this stuff and go back to other means.
If you bought a computer today, thinking it would bring you into the new world and give you all kinds of great new features and ability to search online, and communicate with friends, imagine the surprise when 95% of your emails are all either viruses or SPAM. Is a computer on the Internet still that much more productive?
Based on this idea, it really seems that the best strategy for notifying customers of new updates and articles of interest will be through RSS or hybrid type tools (like the VFP Task Pane's support for FoxCentral.net). Email newsletters are going to easily be confused with SPAM so what's the point in sending them out?
One of the companies I am involved with routinely sends out notices to customers, telling them of new features and seminars. We hit about 45% of our customers because many of them have SPAM filters that prevent them from going out.
Is 45% better than nothing? Yes - but it's not better than picking up the phone and telling them to their faces.
However, until MS and other companies start providing built-in RSS Aggregators in the operating system, there will be no way of getting real valuable information to users.
I am directing this primarily for end-users. Developers and power users will always find ways of doing this but new users won't.
At the risk of making a political statement, viruses and spam are akin to cyber-terrorism that threaten the rest of the world's ability to work successfully on a computer. My uncle made a comment the other day - "it seems the only people who are truly free are the terrorists" - but in the cyber world, I would doubt that even the spammers and virus creators are free from their own handiwork.
Clearly this needs a solution and none of the major vendors appear to be stepping up to the plate with a heavy bat.
Web Technology / Sobig.f proves why focusing on commercial spam is a mistake - Tech Update - ZDNet
Monday, August 18, 2003
Friday, August 15, 2003
I know everyone thinks that XML is the NBH (Next Big Hype) and I will admit to being in that group. I love XML as a way for dealing with so many different data streams and more. But, realistically, I think it's important for an editor to exist that makes it easy to:
a) build useful XSL stylesheets quickly
b) understand the structure of the file
c) modify and update the DTD schema
I think that a lot of developers who have been working with XML tools in a theoretical or "tool" based environment miss the point that many developers, who are focused around getting products out, don't have the same time to learn how all of these new functions work, even though they can understand the benefits. They want the tools that allow them to take advantage of XML without having to understand the syntax of XPATH, XSL and other areas. I really hope this is where the new XML editor comes into play. I may be hoping for too much --- but I hope not. Otherwise we (as the entire developer community) will find ourselves in a similar situation as when OOP started becoming more popular and a great many developers who didn't get it immediately became frustrated and as a result, churned out a lot of pretty ugly stuff.
I've seen lots of TERRIBLE XML implementations and pure misunderstandings of what XML looks like. Tools like XML/Spy have great goals but I think the end result misses the boat. I hope the MS XML Editor helps fill the void...
Ted's Radio Weblog
With a few minor updates and looking over this article, I was able to show them that it was , in fact, possible to do exactly what they said wasn't (without a bunch of work).
Visual FoxPro and .NET Interoperability
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Monday, August 11, 2003
Sunday, August 10, 2003
RIM loses patent-infringement ruling | CNET News.com
Speaking of patent infringements, wonder what's happening with that Business Objects lawsuit?
Friday, August 08, 2003
CNN.com - When good software goes bad - Aug. 8, 2003
Best TRUE story I've ever heard was from a local vendor- get this one.
Compaq iPaq - 1 only - H3650 model - a funny story: a customer bought it, took it home, and brought it back claiming it did not work. We gave him his money back, no problem. At our expense we sent the product back to HP and they called us laughing, saying that their diagnostic tool had discovered an amazing fact: that the ON button had not been pressed. So we have an opened but retail boxed iPaq here - it can be yours for just $299 (it's $100 below our cost) - and like I said just one available
Creating an Online RSS News Aggregator with ASP.NET
"I have met the enemy and he is us."
When Pogo mouthed these words so many years ago, he must have been thinking of software designers, or interaction engineers, or human interface folks, or whatever we who create the interaction model for our products are calling ourselves this week.
We've been complaining bitterly, these last 25 years, that we get no respect, that we are thought of as nothing more than decorators, if we are thought of at all. Guess what? We have no one to blame but ourselves. We have sat on the sidelines, perpetually powerless, whining, instead of changing up the game so we can win.
Thursday, August 07, 2003
Wednesday, August 06, 2003