Slow TREO 650

Recent frustrations with the ">slow Treo 650 have led me to start looking for others with the same problem. There don't seem to be many. The biggest problem seems to be in switching from anything to the phone application. With the Sprint Treo 650 it can take 5-30 seconds to switch from a Palm application to the phone. So far the experimenting has been minimal with only removing the extra 1GB SD card (no difference) and having done the upgrade a couple of months ago.

Update: It looks like there is another update to the operating system for the Treo 650. So far this is one of the very annoying parts of convergence. I'll now spend another hour or so downloading, backing up and installing software so my cell phone will work. Not the most productive use of my time.

A9, Perfect 10 and the Supreme Court

Cnet has an article about the publisher of Perfect 10 suing Amazon over its A9 search engine.

The suit and another against Google by the publisher claims the operators of these search engines are infringing on Perfect 10's copyright by including images in their search results. To my non-legally educated mind, the suits don't seem to be such a huge deal. There are plenty of opportunities for Perfect 10 to protect their copyright. If as the article implies the suit has to do with Google indexing other sites that are hosting the infringing images then separate action against those sites will solve two problems at once. It seems from this seat on the sideline like a company looking for a way to squeeze money from the search engines that are making money.

The article notes in the last paragraph "The situation is more dire after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that companies can be held legally liable for copyright piracy that takes place on their online networks." Which leads me to say um, not really. Cnet needs to get their facts straight here. The Supreme Court ruled that there was enough evidence that the cases against Grokster and Streamcast should not have been granted summary judgement. They went on to describe a lot of actions that look like the companies were inducing users to violate copyrights of third parties. However, they also by way of example, suggested filters might be one way a company could help to show they are not liable for inducing infringement. It so happens that robots.txt is just one such filtering mechanism that Google, A9 and others support.

Let the rumors fly calls the rumors it is propagating news.

The hot rumor is that Apple is set to announce a switch from IBM to Intel microprocessors. There are some claiming to also know the timing which purportedly would involve the first round of the switch coming in mid-2006.

If the rumors are true it could be big news. When the Mac mini came out I outlined a killer way Apple could proceed to a few people I know. The plan goes something like this. Come out with the mini and get people to switch. Then, prior to the release of the new Microsoft Longhorn operating system, announce x86 compatibility. If the roll-out of Longhorn goes as well as some other versions of Microsoft's operating system there will be plenty of frustrated users looking for an alternative.

Cashing out

It looks as though the decision about when to cash out my StorageTek stock has been made for me. As a veteran of StorageTek and Electronic Data Systems I'm not sure what to make of the deal. It seems to make a lot of sense in as the two companies have very integrated offerings in the open systems world. The two companies have significant campuses that sit across from each other along the Boulder Turnpike in Colorado. Both also have an existing relationship with Texas based EDS for some of their support and comarketing agreements.

For the past several years it has appeared that StorageTek was trying to slim down and make the company an attractive takeover target. Though results have appeared to be good it seems many of the gains came from down-sizing and cutbacks instead of organic growth. In a press release announcing Sun's reselling the StorageTek StreamLine SL8500 tape library last June Bob Koecheler, StorageTek's vice president for golbal partners and alliances said:

The road to content management

Educause has a paper published in 2003 about Gonzaga's move to a content management system. The article details the perils of starting with a centralized system and then realizing that a monolithic organization can't handle the publishing for the many small units, groups, departments etc. that make up a modern university. Sounds eerily like the state of affairs I'm familiar with.

By the way, this problem is not unique to universities. I've been with several companies that struggle through the same thing. Having built a system for content management using text files in 1996 it's odd to see organizations trying to figure out, nearly a decade later, what the solution is.

Many technologists begin to think the world is about their technology. They jealously guard the company product - "we use product X" the line goes. (Though in higher education the product portion is often left out.) In their view the world begins to revolve around their product. They stop seeing faculty and staff members as organizational peers who have needs that might be met by technology and begin to see users. Part and parcel of this shift is the view that product X can do everything any user might want. If it doesn't then the user is mistaken about what they want. The conversation shifts from being driven by the question "What do you want to do?" and is replaced by "You need to use product X."

Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

Dr. Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King's College, London University, has done some research suggesting that emails, text and phone messages have a negative impact on IQ. In fact the average IQ loss in the studies commissioned by Hewlett Packard was 10 points, or more than double the average loss in studies of pot users.

It gives a whole new meaning to smoke breaks. In the information technology age workers might have to smoke a little weed every once in a while to get their brain cells back. That is not the exact conclusion the study draws, but the implications are widespread. Other findings mentioned in the article include that a third of respondents felt that answering text messages and emails during face to face meetings with other people had become acceptable and is seen as a sign of diligence. And the finding that two-thirds of respondents look at their work email while they are off or on vacation.


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