What is WebGL and why is it important?
So far, we’ve talked about the impact of a modular approach on existing business models outside of the software industry. Today, we delve in on the industry most associated with modular design: software. Certain software companies have been suffering from the advance of modularity in software design. The main one, to date, has been Microsoft with its Windows software platform. In the mid-nineties, Microsoft decided to integrate a number of Internet components tightly with its operating systems offering. The two most critical ones of those components have been a web server (IIS) and a web browser (Internet Explorer). Leaving aside discussions relating to the antitrust issues this kind of integration has raised, the integration of those tools with the operating system have left openings for alternative approaches that were more modular. On the server end, IIS has been the subject of many attacks by hackers. Because it is hooked deeply into the operating system, an attack against the web server can have an impact that goes much further that the web front-end. In most cases, the attacks succeeded not only in taking machines down but also turning them into zombie armies that could then turn around and attack other servers.…Read More
Like many other geeks, I’ve gotten a Gmail account but unlike most people, it took me less than 48 hours to render unoperational (and this time, it’s not a joke). First of all, let me say that while it is an interesting package, it is not without flaws. For starters, the lack of indicator when the Spam folder and/or trash have stuff in them is a bit disturbing. Sure, it’s not that much of an issue when you have a gigabyte of space but, for those of us who are particularly clean when it comes to online operations (I generally try to keep my virtual trash relatively empty), it’s a bother. On the spam blocking end, Gmail does an OK job but is nowhere near as good as simply using Squirrelmail with SpamAssassin, or using the spamcop black-list. On the good side of this is the fact that, in the course of a day of use (about 600 messages, most of them spam), Gmail had no false positives in terms of tagging things as spam. On the bad side, it failed to tag hundreds of messages as spam. I’m assuming that Gmail has a learning curve, like other email packages,…Read More
AOL and Microsoft have announced an end to their feud. It seems to me that there is a lot in there that needs to be dissected and pondered about. It will impact the development of the Internet for years to come. IM : One of the conditions for the AOL/Time Warner merger was that AOL open its instant messaging platform to other parties. By agreeing to interoperability between the AOL IM client and MSN messenger one, AOL will now be able to point to its “openness” while maintaining a relatively tight control over the progress of that tool. I am sure the two companies are interested in working together and somehow doubt that they will be very interested in opening the world to other competitors. At the current time, IM has taken the consumer world by storm and is starting to make headway in the enterprise. Because of its presence concept (you can see whether the people on your buddy list are online right now or not), it will eventually become a critical tool in the enterprise, moving some data traffic from the phone and email to this new platform. Already today, enterprises that have implemented IM solutions are seeing…Read More
Over the past year, it has seemed like TNL.net had gone quiet. Few updates were made to the site and fewer newsletters were being published. Behind the scene, however, I was busy rebuilding the site from the ground up. The new TNL.net was relaunched in late January 2003, about a month behind the schedule I had originally set. In this newsletter, I will explain why I relaunched it and how I went about it. The Genesis Since 1995, TNL.net was running on Microsoft Windows. Initially, the site was running on Windows NT, using Microsoft IIS to serve pages on the web. Prior to that, TNL.net had been running on a shared Linux box but none of the administration of that server was in my control. When it moved to its own environment, I looked at a number of options that would allow me to spend time developing the site, not necessarily administering the box. In late 2000, the site was upgraded to Windows 2000 and continued to run on this until recently. So why did I decided to change things? Unhappy with Microsoft The world in 1995 was very different from today’s world. In those days, administration of unix system…Read More