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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Paul Merrell

Paul Merrell

christine varney - Programming Blog - 0 views

  • Consumer Watchdog today called on the Justice Department to guarantee that its

    ongoing antitrust probe of Google
    ’s business practices include an investigation into if the company is manipulating its search results to favor its own products.

    The nonprofit advocacy group said it sent a letter to Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Division, after news that the European Commission had received three complaints against Google alleging the company manipulated search engine results in an anticompetitive way.

    Also this week U.K. based price comparison site Foundem filed papers with the Federal Communications Commission with examples of how Google products were allegedly favored in its search results.

  • ongoing antitrust probe of Google’s business practices include an investigation into if the company is manipulating its search results to favor its own products.

    The nonprofit advocacy group said it sent a letter to Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Division, after news that the European Commission had received three complaints against Google alleging the company manipulated search engine results in an anticompetitive way.

    Also this week U.K. based price comparison site Foundem filed papers with the Federal Communications Commission with examples of how Google products were allegedly favored in its search results.

  •  
    If the evidence supports the allegations, this is a plausible antitrust theory, a company with a dominant market position leveraging that position into new markets via integration. In essence this is the same theory as that applied against Microsoft's bundling and integration of Windows, Internet Explorer, and Windows Media Player.  
Paul Merrell

The Past Clouds the Future of Europe's New Antitrust Enforcer - Vox - 0 views

  • Joaquin Almunia left his job as the E.U.’s economics and monetary affairs commissioner this month to become antitrust chief.
  • Christine Varney, the head of the antitrust division at the United States Justice Department, warned European regulators in a speech on Monday to restrict imposing obligations to the European Union on American companies that are doing business globally.

    Regulators in Europe are under pressure from governments, media companies and technology developers to blunt the market power that Google has amassed by running the world’s most popular Internet search tools.

  • Mr. Almunia also will need to resolve whether to give greater freedom to online merchants like eBay and Amazon which, like Google, are based in the United States. Some specialty goods and luxury goods brands, in particular LVMH of France, have lobbied hard to require that merchants have traditional shops as a precondition for selling goods over the Internet.
Paul Merrell

Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube - Free Software Foundation - 0 views

  • Dear Google,

    With your purchase of On2, you now own both the world's largest video site (YouTube) and all the patents behind a new high performance video codec -- VP8. Just think what you can achieve by releasing the VP8 codec under an irrevocable royalty-free license and pushing it out to users on YouTube? You can end the web's dependence on patent-encumbered video formats and proprietary software (Flash).

  • This ability to offer a free format on YouTube, however, is only a tiny fraction of your real leverage. The real party starts when you begin to encourage users' browsers to support free formats. There are lots of ways to do this. Our favorite would be for YouTube to switch from Flash to free formats and HTML, offering users with obsolete browsers a plugin or a new browser (free software, of course). Apple has had the mettle to ditch Flash on the iPhone and the iPad -- albeit for suspect reasons and using abhorrent methods (DRM) -- and this has pushed web developers to make Flash-free alternatives of their pages. You could do the same with YouTube, for better reasons, and it would be a death-blow to Flash's dominance in web video.
  • If you care about free software and the free web (a movement and medium to which you owe your success) you must take bold action to replace Flash with free standards and free formats. Patented video codecs have already done untold harm to the web and its users, and this will continue until we stop it. Because patent-encumbered formats were costly to incorporate into browsers, a bloated, ill-suited piece of proprietary software (Flash) became the de facto standard for online video. Until we move to free formats, the threat of patent lawsuits and licensing fees hangs over every software developer, video creator, hardware maker, web site and corporation -- including you.
Paul Merrell

Google Buzz: Forget Twitter, Microsoft's SharePoint is a bigger target | Between the Li... - 0 views

  • Google launched its new social Gmail experiment dubbed Buzz and the “Twitter killer” comments will be a dime a dozen. But from an enterprise perspective, Google Buzz has a far larger target in mind: Microsoft’s SharePoint.
Paul Merrell

Official Google Docs Blog: Upload and store your files in the cloud with Google Docs - 0 views

  • We're happy to announce that over the next few weeks we will be rolling out the ability to upload, store and organize any type of file in Google Docs. With this change, you'll be able to upload and access your files from any computer -- all you need is an Internet connection.

    Instead of emailing files to yourself, which is particularly difficult with large files, you can upload to Google Docs any file up to 250 MB. You'll have 1 GB of free storage for files you don't convert into one of the Google Docs formats (i.e. Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations), and if you need more space, you can buy additional storage for $0.25 per GB per year. This makes it easy to backup more of your key files online, from large graphics and raw photos to unedited home videos taken on your smartphone. You might even be able to replace the USB drive you reserved for those files that are too big to send over email.

    Combined with shared folders, you can store, organize, and collaborate on files more easily using Google Docs. For example, if you are in a club or PTA working on large graphic files for posters or a newsletter, you can upload them to a shared folder for collaborators to view, download, and print.
Paul Merrell

VMware to Acquire Zimbra - 0 views

  • PALO ALTO, Calif., January 12, 2010 — VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop through the datacenter and to the cloud, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zimbra, a leading vendor of email and collaboration software, from Yahoo! Inc.
  • Zimbra is a leading open source email and collaboration solution with over 55 million mailboxes.  As an independent Yahoo! product division, Zimbra achieved 2009 mailbox growth of 86% overall and 165% among small and medium business customers.
  •  
    PALO ALTO, Calif., January 12, 2010 - VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop through the datacenter and to the cloud, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zimbra, a leading vendor of email and collaboration software, from Yahoo! Inc.

    Zimbra is a leading open source email and collaboration solution with over 55 million mailboxes.  As an independent Yahoo! product division, Zimbra achieved 2009 mailbox growth of 86% overall and 165% among small and medium business customers.
Paul Merrell

WG Review: Internet Wideband Audio Codec (codec) - 0 views

  •  
    A new IETF working group has been proposed in the Real-time Applications
    and Infrastructure Area. The IESG has not made any determination as yet.
    The following draft charter was submitted, and is provided for
    informational purposes only. Please send your comments to the IESG
    mailing list (iesg at ietf.org) by January 20, 2010. ...

    According to reports from developers of Internet audio applications and
    operators of Internet audio services, there are no standardized,
    high-quality audio codecs that meet all of the following three
    conditions:

    1. Are optimized for use in interactive Internet applications.

    2. Are published by a recognized standards development organization
    (SDO) and therefore subject to clear change control.

    3. Can be widely implemented and easily distributed among application
    developers, service operators, and end users.

    ...

    The goal of this working group is to develop a single high-quality audio
    codec that is optimized for use over the Internet and that can be widely
    implemented and easily distributed among application developers, service
    operators, and end users. Core technical considerations include, but
    are not necessarily limited to, the following:

    1. Designing for use in interactive applications (examples include, but
    are not limited to, point-to-point voice calls, multi-party voice
    conferencing, telepresence, teleoperation, in-game voice chat, and live
    music performance)

    2. Addressing the real transport conditions of the Internet as
    identified and prioritized by the working group

    3. Ensuring interoperability with the Real-time Transport Protocol
    (RTP), including secure transport via SRTP

    4. Ensuring interoperability with Internet signaling technologies such
    as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Session Description Protocol
    (SDP), and Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP); however,
    the result should not depend on the details of any particular signaling
    technology.
Paul Merrell

Selectors Level 3 - 0 views

  • This document describes the selectors that already exist in CSS1 [CSS1] and CSS2 [CSS21], and further introduces new selectors for CSS3 and other languages that may need them.
  •  
    W3C releases CSS Selectors Level 3 as Proposed Recommendation.
Paul Merrell

InfoQ: ECMAScript 5 released - 0 views

  • ECMAScript 5 was released this week (pdf), generally known as JavaScript™, bringing advances to the basic libraries whilst introducing stricter runtime modes to aid with identifying and removing common coding errors.
  • The additions of a standard JSON parsing mechanism and strict mode will be of great benefit to developers, with the potential to translate into smaller libraries for Prototype and other extension libraries required. Parsing ISO dates from a JSON stream now becomes much more portable than before, and looks likely to be the de facto standard for representing dates in the future. Lastly, since this is backwardly compatible and takes cues from existing libraries like Prototype, it is likely that developers and web browsers alike will take to the new features of JavaScript in the near future.
Paul Merrell

Google waving goodbye to Gears, hello to HTML5 [Updated] | Technology | Los Angeles Times - 0 views

  • As Google prepares to release its first beta version of Chrome for the Mac (a developer preview has been available for months), the company is letting the sun set on its Gears project.

    "We are excited that much of the technology in Gears, including offline support and geolocation APIs, are being incorporated into the HTML5 spec as an open standard supported across browsers, and see that as the logical next step for developers looking to include these features in their websites," wrote a Google spokesman in an e-mail.

    That's great, but HTML5 isn't ready yet, and commercially available browsers don't support it.

Paul Merrell

Join Opera's journey to reinvent the Web - 1 views

  • Opera today released Opera 10.10 with Opera Unite, a powerful technology for personal content sharing directly between all your devices. Opera Unite is available as a standard feature in Opera 10.10, available free from www.opera.com.

    To mark this release, Opera is inviting the world to join our journey to reinvent the Web. By wrapping both a Web browser and a Web server into one package, Opera Unite challenges the conventional, semi-private methods of sharing the content that really matters to people everywhere.

    "We promised Opera Unite would reinvent the Web," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera. "What we are really doing is reinventing how we as consumers interact with the Web. By giving our devices the ability to serve content, we become equal citizens on the Web. In an age where we have ceded control of our personal data to third-parties, Opera Unite gives us the freedom to choose how we will share the data that belongs to us."

  •  
    Playing with the software now. Unite is a cloud integration, with a directory on your system identified as a directory to be shared with the cloud storage. Haven't really got into it yet, but I see options to keep the data in the folder private, to share it with those who know the password, and to publish the directory to the world. There are roughly 25 Unite applications not discussed in the press release here. http://unite.opera.com/applications/

    My first thought was that Google will have to respond in kind, while Microsoft --- which doesn't get the power of "free" --- will respond but with a less generous offering.
  •  
    Opps. I was wrong. There is no online storage. It is as stated in the press release, an integration of a server with the Opera browser. The shared content is served by the local machine. Which means that the local machine must be running in order for others to access the shared content. But according to the Unite FAQ, this also means that there are only practical limits on the amount of content shared, e.g., hard disk capacity and bandwidth.

    Why bother with setting up a LAN or VPN if you can share files over the internet using Opera? And how will Google and Microsoft respond?
Paul Merrell

Microsoft begins paving path for IT and cloud integration | Cloud Computing - InfoWorld - 0 views

  •  
    Microsoft last week launched its first serious effort to build IT into its cloud plans by introducing technologies that help connect existing corporate networks and cloud services to make them look like a single infrastructure.
    The concept began to come together at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference. The company is attempting to show that it wants to move beyond the first wave of the cloud trend, which is defined by the availability of raw computing power supplied by Microsoft and competitors such as Amazon and Google. Microsoft's goal is to supply tools, middleware, and services so users can run applications that span corporate and cloud networks, especially those built with Microsoft's Azure cloud operating system.
Paul Merrell

The War For the Web - O'Reilly Radar - 0 views

  • But it's also a sign just how competitive the web is getting, and just how powerful Google is getting, because they understand that "data is the Intel Inside" of the next generation of computer applications.
  •  
    An important insight from Tim O'Reilly.
Paul Merrell

Why Tim O'Reilly Sees Microsoft as a Proponent of the Open Web - 0 views

  • At the Web 2.0 Expo, Tim O'Reilly predicts that Microsoft will emerge as a leading proponent of the open Web, despite the company's tradition of fostering its own proprietary operating systems and development languages. O'Reilly says Microsoft's recent deals to index Twitter tweets and use Wolfram Alpha's APIs for computational data show a shift in its willingness to work with other Web companies. Moreover, the Windows Azure cloud computing operating system is designed to work with open-source technology.
Paul Merrell

Exploring HTML 5's Audio/Video Multimedia Support - 0 views

  • Because HTML 4.0 essentially was a "frozen" version, the specific mechanism for displaying content has been very much format dependent (e.g., Apple QuickTime Movies and Flash video) and usually relies upon tags with varying parameters for passing the relevant information to the server. As a result, video and audio embedding on web pages has become something of a black art .

    Its perhaps not surprising then that the <audio> and <video> tags were among the first features to be added to the HTML 5 specification, and these seem to be the first elements of the HTML 5 specification that browser vendors implemented. These particular elements are intended to enable the browser to work with both types of media in an easy-to-use manner. An included support API gives users finer-grained control.

  • Theoretically, the <video> and <audio> elements should be able to handle most of the codecs currently in use. In practice, however, the browsers that do currently support these elements do so only for the open source Ogg Vorbis and Theora standards.
  •  
    Kurt Cagle digs into audio and video support in HTML 5. As always, his view is revealing.
Paul Merrell

Rich Web Client Activity Statement - 0 views

  • The CDF Working Group remains in hibernation pending an updated implementation report. No significant Team resources are be dedicated to this Working Group, other than coordination with implementers as progress is made. Since there is currently good progress on implementation, the expectation is that these specifications will proceed to Recommendation status, and the CDF WG will be closed.
  •  
    My initial impression is that this is not good news, that this is a further sign of W3C abandonment of XHTML. The announcement that the WG will be closed by implication means that all CDF WG projects are coming to a standstill. The CDF WICD profiles currently have no profiles developed for spreadsheets and presentations albeit feature-rich enough to serve for web display of presentations. WICD profiles are at version. 2.0, with each 2.0 profile a superset of the 1.0 profiles. They are feature-lean in comparison to desktop word processors. The Compoound Document by Incorporation Framework  is an even more immature document, not nearly ready for prime time. All of which suggests that the Compound Document by Reference Framework itself may be the only WG work product with a shot at survival. HTML 5 and browser quirks mode wins; the world loses. Blech!
Paul Merrell

Google adds bookmark sync to Chrome browser - 0 views

  • Google upgraded the beta version of its Chrome browser yesterday, adding integrated bookmark synchronization and boasting of a 30% speed improvement over the current production edition.
  • Bookmark sync requires that all the machines being kept in step run the Chrome beta, and that the user has a Google account, such as a Gmail username and password. The browser syncs bookmarks using Google Docs, the company's Web-based application suite.
Paul Merrell

"Windows Management Framework" is here for Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003, 2008 - Remot... - 0 views

  • Windows Management Framework, which includes Windows PowerShell 2.0, WinRM 2.0, and BITS 4.0, was officially released to the world this morning.
  • Windows Management Framework, which includes Windows PowerShell 2.0, WinRM 2.0, and BITS 4.0, was officially released to the world this morning. By providing a consistent management interface across the various flavors of Windows, we are making our platform that much more attractive to deploy. IT Professionals can now easily manage their Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 machines through PowerShell remoting
  • WinRM is the Microsoft implementation of WS-Management Protocol, a standard Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)–based, firewall-friendly protocol that allows for hardware and operating systems from different vendors to interoperate. The WS-Management Protocol specification provides a common way for systems to access and exchange management information across an IT infrastructure.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • BITS is a service that transfers files between a client and a server. BITS provides a simple way to reliably and politely transfer files over HTTP or HTTPS. File downloads and file uploads are supported. By default, BITS transfers files in the background, unlike other protocols that transfer files in the foreground. Background transfers use only idle network bandwidth in order to preserve the user’s interactive experience with other network applications, such as Internet Explorer. Foreground or typical transfers are also supported.
Paul Merrell

Microsoft opens Outlook format, gives programs access to mail, calendar, contacts - 0 views

  •  
    The ripples from the European Commission v. Microsoft decision continue to flow. The catch, of course, is that the patent rights will almost certainly be subject to the Microsoft Open Specification Promise, a weasel-worded document that actually grants no rights. http://law.bepress.com/unswwps/flrps/art71/ But someone with some clout will push that issue sooner or later.
Paul Merrell

Tech advice from Tim Berners-Lee | Rafe's Radar - CNET News - 0 views

  • "I'm worried about anything large coming in to take control, whether it's large companies or government."
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