Archive for November, 2006

Vista available for download: Microsoft logjammed!

November 17, 2006

DownloadingYes, that’s the “progress bar” for Windows Vista – finally, available to download. Well, yes. And… no. It’s there, that’s true. but as usual, once the international date line reached the East of America, every geek on the continent went for the download.


And at that point, Microsoft Developer Network just died! So if you were thinking of grabbing your copy, here’s the tip: save it till America goes back to sleep… say, around 8 AM GMT Saturday.

Meanwhile, NewsWireless reports that some people are actually being put off buying new PCs – because they think they can no longer buy machines with XP.

Apparently, some resellers are so keen to keep in with Microsoft and Vista that they are already offering Vista machines for sale – even though they don’t ship till January 30.

Technorati tags:


Springer and the ebrary – a deal

November 16, 2006


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  • Managing IT Security and Privacy, Denis Trcek, (2006) *
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testing Technorati? Doesn’t it work?

November 16, 2006

This is a piece I found .:. Comment .:. Testing Technorati! – how long before it …

Testing Technorati! – how long before it smells coffee?
by Sniffer | posted on 27 October 2006
Here, I want to insert a comment that is not part of the blockquote.

Nothing to see here, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Just a brief appearance by the Hunkymouse. Tag: Hunkymouse to be reported at 13:00 hours Friday 27th October. Sniffer

As very attentive readers may have spotted, the Publisher is curious about why, after filling this news site with Technorati tags, not a single one has ever been linked from Technorati. They are now experimenting with putting a tag in the introductory paragraph.

Here I need to add a bit more comment…

then, continue:
Your Sniffer is dubious about how effective it will be… certainly, it does nothing for the general aesthetics. Meanwhile, Technorati continues to be spammed to death – try searching for “sharp pda” for example, and what you get is – pure spam.

the latest Scenta page, for those who can’t see it

November 10, 2006

Liverpool is set to develop a centre focused on discovering new functional materials.
science, engineering & technology news
The University of Liverpool, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and the Merseyside European Objective One programme have pooled investment for the £8.2 million institute.

The centre is planned for applying state-of-the-art techniques to discover materials with applications in energy storage, medicine, consumer products and communications technology.

Accessible to all businesses within Merseyside, it is hoped that the research and knowledge transfer centre will permit small, medium and large businesses across a wide spectrum of sectors to move rapidly into the next generation of materials science.

All participating businesses will have access to technologically advanced research facilities, such as High-Throughput (HT) technology, supported by highly trained staff and a network of academic competence.

HT technology accelerates materials research by producing large numbers of materials and testing them in parallel.

HT technology at the Merseyside fingertips

With HT techniques set to become standard tools in academia and industry over the next few years, the centre will encourage UK businesses to take aspects of the technology in-house by offering training in HT methodology.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jon Saunders, said: “This significant investment in Materials Chemistry will ensure the University continues to play a major role in advancing the research capability of the region and in positioning the North West as a world-leading centre for the development of science.”

Director of the Merseyside Objective One programme, Richard Nutter, said: “This sort of groundbreaking science offers enormous potential for the Merseyside economy which is why we are investing in it.

“Not only will it enhance Merseyside’s reputation as a centre of scientific research, it will also create fantastic opportunities for local businesses and exciting career opportunities for local graduates.”

Dr George Baxter, NWDA Director of Science and Innovation, said: “This high-tech manufacturing facility combined with the academic expertise of the University of Liverpool will help England’s North West to pioneer the development and discovery of new materials.

“Working with businesses on the practical application of different materials will help bring new products to the market more quickly, enabling companies in the region to grow and prosper.”

Berners Lee on “reinventing HTML”

November 7, 2006

Reinventing HTML | Decentralized Information Group (DIG) Breadcrumbs

Reinventing HTML
Submitted by timbl on Fri, 2006-10-27 16:14. ::

Making standards is hard work. Its hard because it involves listening to other people and figuring out what they mean, which means figuring out where they are coming from, how they are using words, and so on.

There is the age-old tradeoff for any group as to whether to zoom along happily, in relative isolation, putting off the day when they ask for reviews, or whether to get lots of people involved early on, so a wider community gets on board earlier, with all the time that costs. That’s a trade-off which won’t go away.

The solutions tend to be different for each case, each working group. Some have lots of reviewers and some few, some have lots of time, some urgent deadlines.

A particular case is HTML. HTML has the potential interest of millions of people: anyone who has designed a web page may have useful views on new HTML features. It is the earliest spec of W3C, a battleground of the browser wars, and now the most widespread spec.

The perceived accountability of the HTML group has been an issue. Sometimes this was a departure from the W3C process, sometimes a sticking to it in principle, but not actually providing assurances to commenters. An issue was the formation of the breakaway WHAT WG, which attracted reviewers though it did not have a process or specific accountability measures itself.

There has been discussion in blogs where Daniel Glazman, Björn Hörmann, Molly Holzschlag, Eric Meyer, and Jeffrey Zeldman and others have shared concerns about W3C works particularly in the HTML area. The validator and other subjects cropped up too, but let’s focus on HTML now. We had a W3C retreat in which we discussed what to do about these things.

Some things are very clear. It is really important to have real developers on the ground involved with the development of HTML. It is also really important to have browser makers intimately involved and committed. And also all the other stakeholders, including users and user companies and makers of related products.

Some things are clearer with hindsight of several years. It is necessary to evolve HTML incrementally. The attempt to get the world to switch to XML, including quotes around attribute values and slashes in empty tags and namespaces all at once didn’t work. The large HTML-generating public did not move, largely because the browsers didn’t complain. Some large communities did shift and are enjoying the fruits of well-formed systems, but not all. It is important to maintain HTML incrementally, as well as continuing a transition to well-formed world, and developing more power in that world.

The plan is to charter a completely new HTML group. Unlike the previous one, this one will be chartered to do incremental improvements to HTML, as also in parallel xHTML. It will have a different chair and staff contact. It will work on HTML and xHTML together. We have strong support for this group, from many people we have talked to, including browser makers.

There will also be work on forms. This is a complex area, as existing HTML forms and XForms are both form languages. HTML forms are ubiquitously deployed, and there are many implementations and users of XForms. Meanwhile, the Webforms submission has suggested sensible extensions to HTML forms. The plan is, informed by Webforms, to extend HTML forms. At the same time, there is a work item to look at how HTML forms (existing and extended) can be thought of as XForm equivalents, to allow an easy escalation path. A goal would be to have an HTML forms language which is a superset of the existing HTML language, and a subset of a XForms language wit added HTML compatibility. We will see to what extend this is possible. There will be a new Forms group, and a common task force between it and the HTML group.

There is also a plan for a separate group to work on the XHTML2 work which the old “HTML working group” was working on. There will be no dependency of HTML work on the XHTML2 work.

As well as a new HTML work, there are other things want to change. The validator I think is a really valuable tool both for users and in helping standards deployment. I’d like it to check (even) more stuff, be (even) more helpful, and prioritize carefully its errors, warning and mild chidings. I’d like it to link to an explanations of why things should be a certain way. We have, by the way, just ordered some new server hardware, paid for by the Supporters program — thank you!

This is going to be hard work. I’d like everyone to go into this realizing this. I’ll be asking these groups to be very accountable, to have powerful issue tracking systems on the web site, and to be responsive in spirit as well as in letter to public comments. As always, we will be insisting on working implementations and test suites. Now we are going to be asking for things like talking with validator developers, maybe providing validator modules and validator test suites. (That’s like a language test suite but backwards, in a way). I’m going to ask commenters to be respectful of the groups, as always. Try to check whether the comment has been made before, suggest alternative text, one item per message, etc, and add to technical perception social awareness.

This is going to be a very major collaboration on a very important spec, one of the crown jewels of web technology. Even though hundreds of people will be involved, we are evolving the technology which millions going on billions will use in the future. There won’t seem like enough thankyous to go around some days. But we will be maintaining something very important and creating something even better.

Tim BL

p.s. comments are disabled here in breadcrumbs, the DIG research blog, but they are welcome in the W3C QA weblog.

Brave New World ; Digitisation of Content

November 1, 2006

Digitisation of Content – Developing the Opportunities

The Booksellers Association will be launching their Digitisation of Content Report on 9 November 2006.

This report was developed by the BA’s Digitisation of Content (DOC) Working Group to look at how the digital era will affect bookselling and publishing.

The report raises key issues in the digitisation debate:

* What is fuelling digital changes?
* What do we know about the potential impact on the booktrade?
* What can we predict about the future?
* How will these changes affect booksellers and publishers and the way we do business today?
* How can booksellers and publishers work together in this new environment?
* If booksellers wish to align themselves to this emerging market, what should they consider doing and when should they do it?
* How will the rise of e-books affect bookselling?
* What impact will the launch of e-book readers have on e-book sales?
* How will the approach of free access to digital databanks be balanced against the sale of commercial digital content?
* Who will be market for digital books – the younger generation who have grown up through this digital age or the “grey market”?

Further news after the official release, 9 November. URL for Bookseller Association is

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