Monday, 06 February 2006

Products_hero_serverThe virtualization marketplace is huge, and very competitive. Microsoft has their Virtual Server product and the Virtual PC counterpart, and VMWare's got their VMWare ESX Server and Workstation products, among others.

VMWare has formally announced that they're shipping a free server product, which they are coining "VMWare Virtual Server." It replaces the GSX Server line, and the target audience is developers, testers and IT pros that need flexible environments. It's not positioned as an enterprise-class platform for production server use, however.

You can see a comparison chart that depicts the differences between VMWare's virtualization server products here.

The company also recently released the free VMWare Player, which allows people to run pre-build virtual machines (or if you are technically creative you can also build virtual machines with it, but that's another story).

For any of these VMWare virtualization platforms, there are some pre-built virtual machines also available for download in the Virtual Machine Center.



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Tech
Monday, 06 February 2006 13:37:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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My co-worker Mike pointed out an article that's got to make some people more than a little nervous. Imagine if an RFID chip could be embedded in a piece of paper, virtually undetectable.

Well, it can. You can imagine the security and privacy concerns (while marveling at the technical advances). From EETimes.com:

"Hitachi was due to present details of the 0.15-millimeter by 0.15-millimeter, 7.5-micron-thick chip on Sunday (Feb. 5) at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

"Paper is typically 80 microns to 100 microns thick, and the chip substrate has been made small and thinned to 7.5 micron to ease application in paper, where it could be used as an intelligent watermark."



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IT Security
Monday, 06 February 2006 13:03:48 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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The Super Bowl commercials are on the web at Google Video.

You can play them all back to back by clicking here. My favorites? Here they are:

 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 

  Bud Light
  Hidden Bud Light

 

And because you have to have the one that makes you turn your head and and say, "Whaaa???"

  Emerald Nuts

 



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Humor | Random Stuff
Monday, 06 February 2006 00:52:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 05 February 2006

The talented QA guy on our product team, Brent Strange, did a boatload of automation of tests used to ensure the quality and security of our Intelligent Authentication security software product, and he's started to write on his blog about his experiences and how he used several technologies available out there in combination to ease his Web UI testing pain. Ever try to automate Web UI testing? Wouldn't it be great if you could, and if it was fast and reliable?

Well, if you're a tester/QA type, or if you know someone who is, be sure to visit and subscribe to Brent's blog, QA Insight.

Here's his first automated Web UI testing post:



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Tech
Sunday, 05 February 2006 22:44:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Co-comment-logoAll the virtual world's a-buzz with commentary and conversation (ironically, since a lot of the commentary is out of the reach of the service for now) about coComment, a coolio and not-yet-fully-released "Web-2.0" online service that let's you track comments make on blogs everywhere. Or at least it will at some point - only a few blogging platforms are supported right now (and the software this weblog runs on, dasBlog, is unfortunately not one of them), so it's very much hit and miss as to whether or not you can use it, but the promise of an interesting future is certainly there.

I'm using coComment now, and it's pretty cool. You can sign up at the site (look for the "Get Notified" section on the home page), and they're trying to get new invitations sent out as soon as they can.The coComment web site is well designed and the core feature/functionality is a sharp idea. I will say that it's a bit clunky in terms of how the actual user commenting experience works. You have to think about it too much, which is not so good... It puts an extra graphical "button" with your name onto the page that you have to click first, before you click the actual comment submission button. The new button falls to the right of the submit button, so it's a lot like being forced to read right to left and it just doesn't look very clickable - It's just counterintuitive.

You have to click the little blue icon with your name on it first

Brian Benzinger wrote a little GreaseMonkey script that automates the sign-in for FireFox users - It's very nice and you can get it on this page. Otherwise you have to use a "bookmarklet link" to activate the service on any given comment page - another layer of abstraction that would be nice to avoid somehow.

But hey, it is pre-v1.0, so... Anyhow, it would be especially nice if the authors and some creative blog software creators made it even more usable.

It does solve a few problems, mainly being able to find your conversations in the blogosph -- uh, on blogs. Two other things it does is, 1) it allows you to embed a little bit of code in your blog template to display comments that you've made on other blogs, and 2) it allows you to subscribe to a RSS or ATOM feed with all your tracked comments in one place. Adoption will depend on how many blog software authors get into the mix and how many blogs the coComment people decide to try to tackle themselves, I suppose.

Note that, while it's a great start, the real test will be whether everyone will sign up - since that appears to be a requirement in order to actually track everything that might matter. Is there not a better way to do this? Does the RSS comment capability/spec not go far enough?

From their site:

Coming soon..

For advanced bloggers who would like to more fully integrate coComment features in their own blog, coComment will offer:

The ability to add elements of the coComment service to blogs based on non-standard blogging platforms in order to ease the usage of coComment for commenters (automated capture).

The ability to customize the appearance (eg colors, fonts, etc.) of coComment elements, in order to better suit your tastes and needs.



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Blogging | RSS Stuff | Tech
Sunday, 05 February 2006 13:21:00 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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UPDATE 2/7/2006: Looks like bmw.de is back in the index - details here...

Google's been saying for some time that it would be paying more attention to search engine spam on web sites, including internationally, and apparently they really mean it. They just virtually executed German automobile manufacturer BMW when they killed the BMW.de domain from their search database and sent their page rank to - you guessed it - zero.

Ouch. That'll teach 'em not to use spammy doorway pages, I guess.

Matt Cutts of Google explains on his weblog. Good to see that if Google's wielding the sword (and I think they can and should), at least it appears that everyone's held to the same high standards. Now if they'd just step it up a notch and do more of the same for all those splogs at blogger.com... But that's a whole different can of worms.



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Random Stuff | Tech
Sunday, 05 February 2006 11:41:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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