Thursday, April 28, 2005

Firefox tops 10%

I've seen reports saying Firefox makes up 8.5% of the browser market. But then today I saw a report from Janco that Firefox in April topped 10%. I don't know whether they are counting page views or unique visitors but I wouldn't be surprised if Firefox accounts for more than 10% of the page views on the Internet.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Perpendicular Recording

Informative article on perpendicular recording.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Microsoft and SAP ties

During the Oracle anti-trust, there was a big bruhaha when Microsoft testified it had discussed buying SAP. Although, that hasn't happened yet the two companies are now working together to integrate Office and SAP's ERP system. Microsoft and SAP are no 1. and no. 3 in the software world so an alliance between them could mean a whole new Win-SAP monopoly.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Blocking Google Ads

I decided not to use Greasemonkey or Adblock to block Google ads for 2 reasons: 1) They are displayed using only non-flashing text 2) They support independent web publishers and bloggers. However, Google has decided to sell animated ads and to let advertisers control the position of ads. Looks like it won't be long before I start blocking ads from Google.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Greasemonkey and blocking ads

Next, I installed a Greasemonkey script for blocking the ads in the right hand column of CNN articles. Quite good because it displays more of the article per page. Instead of finding scripts for each website, I installed the adblock extension for mozilla. It allows you to filter out ad images by their URL address. After installing, I noticed an noticeable improvement in my surfing. Today I improved my surfing speed by 2x: by blocking ads and using the windows host file for DNS caching (using a freeware program called CIP). I must say: I haven't enjoyed surfing this much since I got DSL.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Greasmonkey script for Amazon downloads

Finally installed Greasemonkey. Couldn't resist this script for simplifying free downloads form Amazon's music store.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Consolidation in the software industry

According to WSJ (Sorry no link) the top 5 independent software companies are

1. Microsoft
2. Oracle
3. SAP
4. CA
5. Adobe

The list doesn't include InfoSys and Electronic Arts, which I guess the WSJ doesn't count as independent software companies. What is interesting is that after the Adobe+Macromedia merger and the Symantec+Veritas merger, the list should look like this:

1. Microsoft
2. Oracle
3. SAP
4. Symantec+Veritas
5. Adobe+Macromedia
6. CA

The next company in terms of market cap would be Intuit ($7.7b) and after that its all niche software companies ie. Autodesk, Verisign and Checkpoint. Is this going to be the list of top-tier software companies or are there other big mergers in the works?

Sony's virtual marketplace

Sony will start a website to allow people to sell and exchange virtual items. According to the article, Sony orginally fiercely opposed to the market in virtual goods but have now decided to get behind it. It was already starting to get weird when companies began hiring people from the 3rd world to play video games for money; however, Sony's latest move is just plain stupid. If Sony is going to run and profit from the primary marketplace for virtual goods, what's going to stop them from skewing the generation of virtual items inorder to manipulate the market. Lets see, not enough people trading --- just make level 30 armor twice as rare... Also, how does it mean anything to have a really uber character because you bought all of your items. I don't know why anybody would want to play in a world like that.

Mini Revolt @Microsoft

Mr. Lenn Pryor (Robert Scoble's former manager) has left Microsoft for Skype, apparently to write software that is actually used and makes people happy. Another blogger at Microsoft complains about the malaise at the company.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

$100 17" Displays

Prices are coming down on 19" displays, so buyers are advised to wait. The forecast is for $100 17" displays by 2008.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Google Maps adds Satelite Images

More hours of Google fun, now you can search for satelite images of the earth.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

A Major blow to Computer Science in the US

If you ever worked as a research assistant in Computer Science departments at American universities, you'd know a lot of research funding comes from DARPA or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. A lot of CS research projects get funding from DARPA even though their work isn't remotely related to Defense. Still, it pays for a lot of interesting and valuable research.

Now, the defense department is cutting back on the funding[reg req'd] of basic research in CS. Funding will now focus on military projects that have well-defined 'deliverables'. Also, some projects will require all graduate researchers to have US citizenships. This is not surprising given the nature of the research, but you will have to keep in mind some 60% of CS grad students are foreign. Unless some other US agency makes for the shortfall in funding, CS research in the US is likely to suffer.