Monday Aug 10, 2009

ADO.Net Entity Framework on MySQL

Reggie Burnett, the lead behind MySQL Connector/NET, will be presenting a MySQL webinar, "For ISVs: ADO.NET Entity Framework for MySQL", tomorrow at 10 Pacific Time!

Among other topics, Reggie will discuss how to

  • Develop your application against SQL Server and then switch it to MySQL with zero code changes

  • Optimize your database schema without requiring any code changes in your application

  • Use LinQ syntax for type safety in your applications

(Interest in using MySQL on Windows is growing. The 2008 MySQL OEM Annual Survey, which closed in March 2009, shows that some 73% of MySQL OEM customers develop applications on Windows, and some 59% deploy these applications on Windows.)

If you're interested in Windows programming with MyQL, do not miss Reggie's other upcoming webinar for Sept. 15: "For ISVs: What's New in MySQL Connector/NET 6.1".

Saturday Feb 28, 2009

The Three Forces of the Long Tail and the Classic Market

Chris Anderson's study of The Long Tail identifies three economic forces that the modern computing technologies, the Internet and the Web have helped unleash: (1) Improvements in tools of production of content and goods. (2) Improvements in tools of distribution. (3) Reductions in search costs through improvements in search technologies. (When we speak of "search technologies," we should understand them to mean any method of search, including the physical search, which is the "classic" search technology.)

These three forces join and orchestrate a move, in the consumption curve, from "hits" to "niches".

The argument is that this increases overall economic value. It does, indeed, for some firms and large numbers of consumers that engage in related "modern" search-and-consume activities on the Net. However, the classic market economy does not improve and will suffer, without a fast enough replacement in all niches and certainly in "hits" which provide the batteries for the classic market. Unless we reformulate the classic consumption game in new innovative ways, through innovations in general logistics of moving people and goods, I remain skpetical whether the replacement rate will be sufficient to outpace the overal reduction in consumption due to the diminishing physical search habits.

Wednesday Aug 27, 2008

Brand Value vs. Logos

Jim Buckmaster, Craig's list CEO:

We pay zero attention to brand. We never use that word internally. We do zero advertising. We don't have a logo. We've never done a focus group. We don't care about any of that. And now we're told we have the strongest brand ever for a company our size.

What a great example, and still, isn't there a little symbol, a little logo, a little peace sign in the browser URL box?

Friday Aug 01, 2008

Web Smarts -- Using Time

Imagine how much easier it will be if my wife and I, who share calendars on Google, can use some kind of service that would  propose a few flights for our family to some desired destination at some free cross section of our time—the move from Internet calendars and other identity-rich measures (whether of the Google, Yahoo or other variety) to integration with already existing web services we all use (for everything from travel and budget planning to various other purchases, projects and plans) should be a relatively trivial matter.  

Another scenario—I'm looking for a house. My calendar is on the web. Some service can arrange house seeing expeditions for me and reserve time on my calendar.

This does not seem to be a tremendously difficult mathematical problem, and it doesn't involve much AI.

So, why don't we have these types of services yet. Lack of proper integration?

This type of integration simply allows to deploy other dimensions of search and constraint satisfaction technology—any search or technology that reduces transaction costs and brings real convenience to us. There is not really much else to it!

Thursday May 22, 2008

Sun OpenSolaris on Amazon Web Services

Simone Brunozzi writes about availability of OpenSolaris on Amazon Web Services.

Wednesday Oct 03, 2007

New Media: From Blog to Online Newspaper

The newspaper format responds to real demands, and as popular blogs grow, they gravitate to that format. See the Financial Times piece by Joshua Chaffin, "Blogs get the old-media habit," which reports changes at the Arianna Huffington's Post. (Should we guess the exit strategy to be an acquisition of the type that gripped the WSJ?)

Wednesday Sep 19, 2007

Wirless Broadband Planning

"Wireless Broadband Planning" is actually the name of a joint venture focused on obtaining WiMax licenses in Japan.

Essentially, WiMax extends WiFi technology over longer distances and larger throughputs. For a summary introduction to the technology, see here. WiMax Forum, the relevant standardization body, has grown in the number of participants as the base technology emerges and participants start thinking about actual applications. (For example, this August, Vodafone joined the forum.)

Friday Jul 13, 2007

Internet Radio Gets a Bruise

Recording industry's SoundExchange duked it out against SaveNetRadio Coalition in courts, and now, fees will start to hamper radio on the Internet, the greatest copy and distribution machine ever made.

Monday Jun 18, 2007

Cookies and Privacy

By now, it should be commonly known that Google has bent its privacy policy to address concerns expressed by EU's Article 29 Data Protection Working Group.  Google will make data anonymous in its server logs after 18 months. According to Financial Times, and prior to the agreement, "Google cookies are set to expire after 30 years" (June 12, 2007). Google FAQs on privacy should probably give the current cookie lifetime. (In fact, it should ideally be possible for any user to examine the properties of Google cookie(s) on a known Google web page linked through its privacy FAQs.)

Sunday May 13, 2007

For the Anonymous Among You

Every once in a while I do get an anonymous commentator who leaves me a comment I cannot track or parse or understand because I cannot determine anything about its authorship or authority.

In one recent comment, one such "anonymous" graces the comments section of one of my entries with the following pleasantries:

Why is this kind of twisted-logic America-bashing on Sun's blog site? Does Sun Microsystems employ lots of people like you?

Totally confused about the authorship, its authority and its intent, I wrote the following response:

Mr. or Ms. Anonymous -

Thanks for catching my typo. It should have read "extension" not "extention" ... Yes, thanks for catching it, and it shows you had the patience to read the whole thing, and thanks for that, too!

Please note what I've said loud and clear on the top left corner of my weblog, in boldface: The opinions expressed here are purely my own, and neither Sun nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

So, postulating otherwise would not only be quite silly but unreasonable.

Let me address one other point in your comment, as immediately as I can.

If I did not love the community I live in, I wouldn't even bother writing this particular entry. There are far better things to do in life. So, I have no idea what you mean by "America-bashing." Perhaps, you should explain.

As far as the rest of your comment, you don't seem to have the simple courage to say what you're saying with your own real identity, whatever that might be. Hiding behind "anonymous" only makes what you say hollow and impossible to deal with because I have no idea what kind of authority you are and what moves you to say what you're saying.

So, I'm lost [as to] what to say.

Perhaps you're trying to perfect the art of anonymous intimidation.

At least I have the courage not to hide behind "anonymous" when I say what I think.

To say that the U.S. has exercised imperial power in the world should be quite a non-controversial matter.

To say that empires tend to over-extend themselves beyond their means also carries a great deal of scholarship and authority behind it.

If you believe it [to be] otherwise, please present your facts!

And again, in closing, I refer you to the top left corner of this blog:

The opinions expressed here are purely my own, and neither Sun nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

If you think that anyone who has a job with some company should not say anything [related] to current topics and politics, I refer you to Lawrence Lessig's book Free Culture. For a relevant extract, I refer you to: "A Taboo Against Political Discourse."

As an aside, I think you might also want to consult any of the books by Zbigniew Brzezinski, where he examines the challenges to the empire from a strategic perspective. Searching for recent Zbignew Brzezinski interviews on YouTube might also produce interesting results. [I've also written about one of Brzezinski's recent comments here.]

Yours truly,

P.S. I hope next time you write, you'll drop the "anonymous" so I may better be introduced to you and your ideas!

I do wish anonymous commentators find the courage and feel the need to say who they are, and to commit themselves to what it is they write. The least they can do is to use a consistent pen name or a consistent set of pen names and write enough tractable material (with each pen name) so that we know and can construct their position on topics of interest.

That sort of commitment is certainly missing in much of the web. See one of my earlier comments on a related topic at "Existential Phenomenology of The Internet."

There, I leave it, for now.

Sunday Feb 04, 2007

Another Web 2.0 Application

Check out Netvibes. It is a highly-interactive, personalized content and messaging portal brought to us by French Internet entrepreneurs (with one, a Sun Microsystems' alumni).

Tuesday Jan 30, 2007

Falling for Flickr

Masjid Imam Reza

Gonbad-e Haruniyeh

First, I hit the limit on the number of albums and then the limit on the number of photographs that can be posted on Flickr's free service.

So, now, I'm afraid I've fallen for the paid Flickr PRO service, and got myself a jUploader. Now, I'm busy uploading photographs starting from 2003, a year or so after I bought my first decent digital camera.

For months, I resisted the upgrade from free to paid Flickr service. I planned to roll out a content server of my own but never found the time to do it or the right ISP for it where I could simply manage a piece of hardware housed someplace. (Fulup Ar Foll tells me such a service is readily available in France.) If I could host my own service, I would no longer have to depend on or pay Flickr anything for the service it offers. My main goal is to have the photos on some file system accessible by some HTTP server that can dish it out. This is not much to set up but just as I said, I've not found an ISP that provides a nice service where I can "own" the use of a piece of dedicated hardware, with unlimited download albeit on a fixed network bandwidth and some file backup service already provided. This way I can install and configure software as I wish and I don't have to store the hardware in my own home.

So, yes, I finally signed up for a 1-year subscription to Flickr PRO and have started posting all these photographs that have been sitting in iPhoto library of an iMac at home. About 3 more years of photos are waiting to be posted.

Some of these photos are from years ago. 

Here, I have linked-in two photos from the batch I just uploaded from 2003.

The details for the first photo, taken in the Astan-e Qods-e Razavi in Mashhad, Iran, can be found here

I remember, when I took this photograph in the open courtyard, a mildly-spoken sermon was being delivered in a very simple Persian on how parents should care for their children. My wife, for whom Persian was a 3rd (or 4th?) language, still remembers easily following the Persian.

The second photo captures the main wall of Gonbad-e Haruniyeh, a 14th century mausoleum, about whose origins there are many theories. The mausoleum is on the Tus-Mashhad road. I rememer finding it amazing how much cooler the inside of this 700-year-old building was when compared to the climate just outdoors. (Yes, the high ceilings and the design for air circulation has something to do with it. There might also be some underground water or spring.)

Monday Jan 29, 2007

Growth Path

Financial Times on video and film downloads: (a) Growth from now until 2012: 10 folds. (b) Worth in 2012: $6.3 billion. Chad Hurley at Davos: YouTube will share advertising revenue with video uploaders.

Friday Jan 12, 2007

Web Software

The best web software blog around I know is right here on Aquarium.

Aquarium is not only a great example of a collaboatively produced blog but also full of new information about software for web applications.

Frequent and attentive enough visits to the Aquarium will turn you into fast fish in the sea of Web applications.

Saturday Jan 06, 2007

Classifying Content

Lawrence Lessig classifies content on the web according to their participation and sharing characteristics.

Wednesday Dec 20, 2006

Torrents to Distribute Video Content


Legal writers on the Internet have viewed it as a giant copying and distribution machine.

They are not far off the mark, and from this position, they have argued that the Internet should be let loose as such a machine with only minimal limitations, and that the legislature need to reconsider and rewrite copyright laws to bring them back to their original intent.

Let the machine do what it does best and figure out how to use it to benefit society at large, they have argued.

Roberto Chinnici and Michael Calore write about a major use of BitTorrent protocol for (copying and) distribution of video content from a major news media outlet, the BBC. 

This is a grand idea and a great use of the machine.

The only potential downside I could see is that BitTorrent works best when a piece is popular. For it to work for programming that does not always suit the popular taste of the masses, a major news outlet must also use enough torrent seeds to ensure these programs remain available for distribution. This way the less popular programming can still have the minimal torrent seeding necessary for efficient distribution while the more popular programming gets the benefit of additional distribution through the collaborative distribution BitTorrent makes possible as a piece becomes increasingly popular. In other words, popularity should (and can, thanks to BitTorrent) pay for itself.

One day, the designer of BitTorrent will be considered a great visionary who changed the face of the Internet. He made a great leap to make the copying and distribution machine more efficient and more fair.


Thursday Dec 14, 2006

Disruptive with TV

Roberto Chinnici puts some probing questions to non-mainstream English language TV channels. His solution to their problems to break into the U.S. market: Use the web to your advantage to be disruptive with conventional TV programming.

To address the complaint regarding economic cost of bandwidth, finding a way to include decent advertising may prove sufficient. Furthermore, there can be a web-based subscription model that collects small subscription fees (or micropayments) for access to programming. This will work because bandwidth will still be able to serve all users particularly if programming does not emphasize real, real-time news and breaks content into pieces available separately.

Thursday Dec 07, 2006

Power Javascripting

jMaki means business with power Javascripting and more, including Phobos.

If you know your stuff, you'll check them out! 

Net Neutrality

Josh Silver who regularly posts on Net Neutrality debate, reviews Bill Moyer's PBS program on the same.

Friday Dec 01, 2006

Fake vs. True Sharing

Lawrence Lessig writes about fake vs. true sharing.

The fact that Lessig has to use an adjective to qualify sharing may be another proof of how little words have come to mean in common usage. You cannot be said to be sharing your bread unless the party you're sharing it with can also eat from the part that has been shared. Otherwise, you're only sharing the right to watch the bread, not any rights to eat from it. 

Much of the videos posted on YouTube are posted with an intention to share them completely. Users should be able to copy and mix such video quite freely. As Lessig has noted, disputes regarding this model continue.

A sharing that doesn't grant any independent use rights can hardly be called sharing.




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