Saturday, 23 September 2006

Saw this coming a mile away. It's always fascinating when people - or companies - show their true colors.

Apple Computer is sending cease and desist letters, apparently, so a number of companies and organizations that are using the term "pod" in their positioning or names, claiming it causes confusion in the marketplace. Podcast Ready is the latest victim among several.

Give me a break.

The deal is this: It's said Apple has recently applied for coverage from the USPTO to get protection via trademark for the word "pod" in addition to the already protected term "iPod." They've not been granted protection, and I would hope they won't get it. "Podcast" is probably next on their list, at this rate. I see several others have already applied for the term and several variants.

But , after all, it doesn't take a solid legal footing to be a bully, it just takes - well - a bully mentality.

And now, it appears the fight is being taken to the podcasting playground. Despite the fact that Apple didn't invent the term "podcasting," and despite the fact that they adopted - even embraced - the term (and created a whole section and special logo for iTunes, etc.), Apple apparently believes they can Monday-morning-QB this one into the courts - and they must think they can win. One would hope that's not the case, but in California, who knows.

Don't get me wrong - Apple's a company that makes cool stuff and I own a Mac in addition to my PCs. But hey - no one likes a bully, especially when there's really nothing to gain, and a lot of people who could be negatively affected as a result of this move. The idea that the terms "Podcast Ready" and "myPodder" could be confusing in a way that hurts Apple is a stretch. "Podcast" is practically a household term now, and the fact is that Apple didn't jump in until well after it became the defacto standard name and term (despite some heated debates early on around the terminology).

Apple really needs to go find someone or something else to pick on, lest all the other kids on the playground get tired of the black eyes and bruises. Or send some of the lawyers out for a vacation or something. Their judgement is getting clouded.



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Tech | Things that Suck
Saturday, 23 September 2006 09:45:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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In a few hours I'm heading for San Francisco (again) to speak tomorrow at (yet another) conference. I'm starting to realize that my little world has certainly changed over the past few years. These days I find myself constantly on the road, speaking in front of groups of people who need to know more about that which I know. I'm on the phone or face-to-face a few times a week with reporters and industry analysts, talking about Internet security, anti-fraud efforts and identity protection.

And somehow I thought I was going to be a photographer. Heh.

Sure, the flying can be tiring (drink lots of water on-board, that's the ticket, except you can't carry it on anymore), and I think I could probably count on my fingers and toes how many times I've slept in my own bed in the past six months. But the experience is a great one, and I am learning and growing more and more every day.

Tomorrow afternoon's topic of conversation (which incidentally is how I try to do my presentations - interactively) is "Solving the challenges of multi-factor authentication." I plan to discuss strong authentication in general (which includes multi-factor among other methods), the many wonders of passive and active behavior biometrics, Cardspace/Infocard and related projects, why we need stronger authentication in the first place, the difficulties of deciding what to implement and how to make it happen, what the impact of requiring strong authentication is on consumers and businesses, and some creative ways to meet the needs of everyone involved. So, nothing big. If you're an identity and access-management geek, or someone who has to implement this stuff, it's probably interesting. If you're anyone else, you're probably bored already, heh. ;)

Best part, though, is that I will get to see my dad, whose birthday I missed last month due to a fit of travel and business overextension on my part. I think I was in Minneapolis or something. I am very much looking forward to spending some time with him.



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Random Stuff | Tech
Saturday, 23 September 2006 08:22:34 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 20 September 2006

There's no point in droning on and on about this one - Scott Hanselman is 100% correct when he proclaims:

"I say this: IE7 and Office 2007 not supporting Basic or Digest Authentication out of the box for accessing secure feeds will negatively affect adoption of RSS more than any other failing of the spec since its inception. It will slow adoption down at every level; it will make it harder for Financial Institutions to justify it and it will flummox internal Enterprises who don't have completely NTLM/AD infrastructure."

He discusses this in the context of using RSS to securely retrieve feeds for banking data, for example. Sure, there are many points to ponder regarding the retrieval and storage of likely sensitive information, but in the end this is something that will be needed, and would be useful now for many uses.

Do you think this functionality is important? Scott does and so do I. Read his post, Accessing Private and Authenticated Feeds - Why it's important, and say something - in the comments here on this blog, on Scott's blog, on the IE Blog, on your blog.



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Blogging | RSS Stuff | Tech
Wednesday, 20 September 2006 15:44:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Microsoft today announced and released (in an apparently closed beta) Soapbox, their new service aimed at the YouTube crowd. Word is it will allow you to upload your videos, up to 100MB, for sharing with others. Works with Windows Media player or Flash embedded in the web page. You can get on the waiting list for a beta account via a link on the Soapbox site.

This should be interesting to watch. From the site:

"Soon you’ll be able to upload your own videos, watch those made by other contributors, post comments on what you’ve seen, and much more."

I sure hope I can subscribe to feeds there. That would be a terrible boat to miss. We'll see soon enough.

   Soapbox



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Tuesday, 19 September 2006 05:55:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 17 September 2006

Update: I was able to get the refresh installed - see below...

I've been running the various betas of Office 2007 for many months now, and the other day Microsoft released their Office 2007 Beta Two Technical Refresh. I ran across installation failures when I tried to install it, and the error that comes up when the installation fails was slightly less than helpful:

So I started looking around for any bright ideas. I found the below KB article (which is apparently the one that is supposed to be referenced in the above dialog box, according to the release notes - oh and by the way, don't even try to view it in Firefox Beta 2, use IE if you want to be able to read all of it, sheez):

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/923718/en-us

I tried all the suggestions in there, to no avail. And now my Office programs have some horribly broken ribbon and menu bars. Uh oh.

Any ideas? I am going to try a reboot and maybe one more installation try, and then it's off to the newsgroups I go...

-------

Update:

I ended up having to uninstall the entire Office 2007 suite, reinstall it, and then run the Beta 2 TR updater. Once I did that all was fine. Now I am up and running on the latest and greatest. Performance in Outlook is improved, and some menu items and buttons have been moved around in ways that make good sense. All the Office programs seem snappier and cleaner. PowerPoint is so much better performing in this version it's back to being usable again (the last version was a freakin' dog).



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Tech
Sunday, 17 September 2006 15:56:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Corillian - the company I work for - is hiring. We have a number of positions open across the country, in a variety of locations.

Right now I have one opening in the Security Solutions business (for an experienced software QA engineer), plus all around the company there are a variety of interesting positions and opportunities. As of the time of this post, positions are available in offices located in Portland, Oregon as well as Omaha, New York City and Reston, Virginia. Current jobs include positions in software development, test, product management, support, customer management, database administration and systems administration.

You can check out all the current openings at the Corillian web site job search page. If you find something you like, let me know and I will be glad to discuss the position in my section, or to tell you more about the company. My email and mobile phone numbers are on this blog's web page, over at the right. Don't be shy - I'll be glad to hear from you.



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Random Stuff | Tech
Sunday, 17 September 2006 09:33:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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