cyberspacial musings
bits about the real and virtual worlds

23 Sep

Catching Up (Again)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I guess even with the number of things going on in the industry, I haven’t been inclined to write much lately. It could be just because I’ve been busy (thankfully). Maybe.

Anyway, here’s a few thoughts about recent events:

– RIAA lawsuits. This seemed to be big news for a while until a 12 year old girl was caught in the mix, prompting a number of companies and organizations to pay her $2000 fine. This can be nothing but bad publicity for the RIAA. Certainly this battle isn’t endearing them to anyone. The best move I’ve seen regarding this was the decrease in the retail price of CDs. The decrease isn’t enough, but it’s a step in the right direction. People won’t bother to download if CDs are priced correctly. Instead of wasting millions of dollars to protect your profits, generate a little consumer happiness with CDs that are priced around $4 each.

– Verisign’s SearchLight. Verisign, who runs the .COM and .NET gTLD servers, has decided that if you request a domain that doesn’t exist, they will return the IP address of their search engine. You can read ICANN’s comments here. From my perspective, this is problematic since Verisign can’t tell from the DNS request whether it’s a web browser, e-mail server, or custom application that’s making the request. This has the potential to wreak havoc on many applications that rely on DNS return the proper message for nonexistent domains. In addition, the management of a gTLD seems to be a public trust; Verisign seems to have violated that.

– Mac development. I noted earlier that I’ve been working on a 15″ PowerBook and thought I’d offer a little update. I’ve since installed Virtual PC and have booted both Windows XP and Linux on it. That means that the Mac is the only machine that runs all three operating systems that I care most about. It’s likely to become my main computer. Hopefully Microsoft will not remove the Linux option from Virtual PC now that they own the company that makes it. (By the way, I really want one of the new 40 GB iPods!)

Other than that, I haven’t been impressed much with the software industry of late. My colleagues tell me that there’s a chance that spending will begin to increase in the IT sector because many companies will begin to need software and hardware upgrades that were shelved for the past three years. This seems right with the increased movement toward service-based companies. IBM, HP, EDS, and others like them will benefit from this. However, the innovations of the dot-com era still seem far in the future. I’m still predicting a total of five to seven years before we truly get out of this funk.

Cheers — jeff

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