Links: Nov 25, 2005

More quick pointers to things that crossed our transom:

  • Microsoft acquires Net calling start-up–another piece of their voice strategy snaps into place. Microsoft want telephony as tightly integrated into your computer experience as images have become now (remember back when multimedia was a very forced concept–who had the expensive scanner to put images onto computers?!). This is definitely fodder for ETel.
  • TransTraffic–a real-time link sharing system (“people reading this blog have also read …”). Not just useful for answering the question “who reads this crap?!”, it might also help you find related items. I wonder how long it is before Google comes out with something like this: the knowledge of who’s reading what is valuable.
  • Insurer Launches $10MM Open Source Policy–another. This must mean there’s no real risk :-)
  • Duelling Simplicities–deeply thoughtful post from Jon Udell comparing Google Base with Microsoft’s Simple Sharing Extensions to RSS (“two fascinatingly different approaches to building out the data web”). I’m particularly intrigued by SSE, the baby of Ray Ozzie. Jon again: “You couldn’t pick a better Microsoft CTO to own this problem. Who else would tackle it using Creative Commons-licensed extensions to a grassroots XML standard?”. Jon sees them as complementary: Google Base creates a standard way for web apps to behave like databases, and SSE creates a standard way for the data in the databases to propagate.
  • Alfresco CMS–heavyweight player entering the overcrowded open source CMS space. Claim to fame: co-founder of Documentum.
  • SDSI Professor Mapping Fires–interesting article, but the professor ends by talking about his upbeat vision for the future: “Think about it: you walk down the street, and maybe your cell phone will have a pop-up advertisement saying there’s a coffee bar down the street from where you are, and offer a coupon.” This sounds great until you actually listen to the words and picture the product: great! Another device bugging the shit out of me to sell me crap. Marketers always say, “it isn’t spam if it’s useful,” but ultimately these kinds of intrusive applications are doomed. People just don’t want to be pestered–they want shit to happen without being bugged. If technology is to help, it must be serendipitous rather than strident.
  • Yahoo! Map Skins–I just love the pirate parchment. This is the value of getting Flash designers involved in your mapping application: they know from beautiful.