Monty the cat would prefer to remain anonymous.
Or, at least, her owner, Mary Kalin-Casey, would.
Because with Google's new "Street View" feature, the Google cameras were able to get a street-level view of her building in San Francisco, and when Mary zoomed in on the picture, she was able to see her cat, Monty, sitting on a perch in her living room window.
I sense a Hitchcock move in the making: "Rear Window," Google style.
Google keeps saying it takes privacy seriously, yet it seems to keep making moves that evidently ignore people's privacy concerns.
Read more in the New York Times story.[Read More]
Todd "Turbo" Watson -- IBM Corporation
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  google bill_gates google_gears steve_jobs walt_mossberg 4,158 Views
I'm really sorry I couldn't make it out to the Wall Street Journal D5 digital medium soiree. I love keeping up with Mossberg and Swisher's columns, but it looks as though they're sharing plenty of the goods through some recap clips and blog postings on the D5 site.
Including this highlight reel of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates sitting onstage for a collaborative interview together. Sounds like there has been lots of good natured ribbing about PC and Mac guy. I've decided me personally, I'm a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in that dept.
I use both, pretty much every day.
I'm also very interested in the interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. I wonder if he and Gates had to enter through different doors lest they take the search battle out into the parking lot.
Although at this juncture it's not really much of a fight, certainly not one I'd pay for on pay-per-view.
That's especially the case now with the announcement of Google Gears, which is intended to help developers get access to online data and applications to a browser when you're offline.
Now that was a problem looking for a solution.
This means being able to get access to useful online data when there's no Internet connection avaiable.
Like, say, on my 3 and 1/2 hour flight from JFK to Austin last night when there was nothing on DirecTV except reruns.[Read More]
It was certainly unsettling to be flying up to NY yesterday, watching coverage via my JetBlue seat back TV about the patient with a drug resistant strain of TB called "XDR" being held in "respiratory isolation" at the Center for Disease Control down in Atlanta.
"Gee, I'm stuck on this plane and I'm watching news about a guy who traveled thousands of miles knowingly carrying a virulent strain of TB...Oops, that guy just sneezed. I hope it's just a cold!"
Forget peanuts and a pillow, I'd like to see airplanes carry more fresh air with TB-less travellers.
Though the airlines may be helpless in their ability to stem the porousness for passengers with highly communicable diseases boarding their planes, Google is doing what it can to keep virtual intruders at bay.'
Google: Protecting You From Microsoft
Over the long weekend, browser-based security software provider GreenBorder announced it had signed an acquisition deal with Google, according to a story on InfoWorld.
GreenBorder offers a browser-based host intrusion protection tool that has specifically helped secure Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Outlook products for business users.
Hey, it's a dirty job protecting IE and Outlook, but somebody's gotta do it.
With GreenBorder's Professional Edition, whenever content arrives on user's desktop from an untrusted source, it is hosted in a controlled environment highlighted by a green border surrounding programs like Outlook and IE.
Hmmm...I envision a new kind of alarm system at the airports, one in which the green border automagically appears around the guy carrying the XDR-TB strain.[Read More]
I've been reading about what some have described as the recent cyberwar between Estonia and Russia with great fascination, and The New York Times' Mark Landler and John Markoff have gone deep on what happened beginning April 26 of this year.
According to the story, the Estonian "data siege" impacted the country's entire digital infrastructure, clogging everything from government Web sites (including that of the president, the prime minister, and the Parliament) as well as Estonia's largest bank along with numerous daily newspapers.
The attack consisted primarily of distributed denial-of-service attacks, by which key Estonian government Web sites were bombarded with data (up to 90 megabits per second in the worst assaults).
These attacks were led by denial-of-service bots that had been planted via rented "botnets," which helped the invaders amplify their assault.
So are botnets the new mercenaries?
And if an Estonian bank can be brought to its cyber knees and lose over $1M U.S., what are the implications for those companies entirely dependent on the free and open exchange of IP packets like, say, Google or Amazon, or other IBM customers, including governments around the globe?
The Estonian digital "after action" reports are already being written. And though Estonia put on an admirable defense, it was the chinks in its armor that could provide useful object lessons for governments, corporations, and other organizations around the globe.[Read More]
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  enron accounting_standards compliance sarbanes_oxley filenet 4,707 Views
Barron's Tech Trader Daily posted overnight that the SEC approved new guidance yesterday for how to implement Section 404 of Sarbanes Oxley, which has caused no end of complaints due to its high cost of compliance.
The SEC press release posted yesterday is virtually an apology for the burdensomeness that has become SOX 404:
"Congress never intended that the 404 process should become inflexible, burdensome, and wasteful. The objective of Section 404 is to provide meaningful disclosure to investors about the effectiveness of a company's internal controls systems, without creating unnecessary compliance burdens or wasting shareholder resources," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox.
"With the Commission's new interpretive guidance for management on the evaluation and assessment of its internal controls over financial reporting, companies of all sizes will be able to scale and tailor their evaluation procedures according to the facts and circumstances. And investors will benefit from reduced compliance costs."
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board approved the streamlined auditing rules earlier today, which essentially direct accounting companies to focus their audits on those risks deemed most important.
Yeah, like making sure Turbo's paycheck makes it from the IBM account through the Intertubes to the direct deposit in his Intertubes bank!
If size is any barometer, the new accounting standard is 59 pages, a third of the size of the one it's replacing, according to MarketWatch.
Tech Trader interviews tech analyst Gerard Hallaren, who thinks Wall Street is missing the import of this news. He asserts it could cause a drop off in corporate spending on compliance technology.
But the rising accounting standard tide should also lift most boats, with the same analyst saying the lowered spending on SarBox compliance could boost 2008 corporate profits by 2 percentage points.
If the massive trend to capital moving into private equity takeovers, along with executive talent, then probably some relief was warranted.
But also don't forget that those rules were put in place for people like Inmate #14343-179, one Andy Fastow, the former chief financial magician at Enron who could make off-balance sheet capital disappear with the snap of a Star Wars character, and who's now livin' it large at the Oakdale Federal Detention Center down in Louisiana until December 17, 2011.[Read More]
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  ibm austin dell carbon_neutrality patents green patent_licensing linux 5,079 Views
Dell's Ubuntu 7.04 Linux preload machines have arrived in an assortment of flavors, and just in time for Novell to announce that it will share more details about its patent pact with Microsoft in a forthcoming SEC filing.
Trying to balance out the innanity of watching the "American Idol" finale last night (although I really dug Tony, Smokey, and Gladys' guest appearances), I read Fortune's article "Microsoft Takes on the Free World" as a way to feed my FOSS head, but between the coupons and the GPL, Ryan, Simon, Jordin and the gang ultimately won my attention.
I still don't completely understand Microsoft's play here. However, I'm sure Novell's SEC filing will clear everything up. Me, I think I'll go long on intellectual property law firms.
Green With Carbon-Neutral Envy
Speaking of intellectuals, here's some news from the Austin homefront: Our own mayor Will Wynn is making some news in an interview over at C:NET, in which he is expressing his desire for Austin to be carbon-neutral by 2020.
Our mayor is one brave dude, making such proclamations smack dab in the middle of the great state of Texas oil province.
But it ain't just talk: The mayor's putting the city's money where its electricity mouth is, having already offset 600 megawatts through improved city energy efficiency measures.
Me, well, I'm doing my part. I work from mi casa pretty much full time now, I have an energy efficient washer and dryer, and I started using those godawful ugly fluorescent light bulbs.
Throw a diffusing shade over them and you'll never know the difference.
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  google media_consolidation american_idol rss digital_media syndication jordin_sparks 4,765 Views
Your next American Idol will almost certainly be Jordin Sparks.
I was all about Melinda Doolittle myself, but if Melinda had to go, I'm banking on Jordin. I like the little beatbox madman okay, especially what he did with Bon Jovi...
But c'mon, that girl is 17 years old and she can sing and this is a singing competition. Vegas has her 2-1 favored to win at last count.
In any case, it was the first season I've watched most every episode, and all silliness aside, I enjoyed it, although there are certainly some other singers who would likely still have been around if my vote counted for much. Which it doesn't.
Feed Me Seymour
While we wait with baited breath on this season's outcome, more FOG has moved in to the RSS area, with Mike Arrington and many others writing that Google is about to write a $100M check for Feedburner.
Feedburner, ya say? Who dat?
Feedburner provides distribution and "engagement services" for blogs and RSS feeds (with an emphasis on RSS).
Think of them as a vehicle for carrying ads into the RSS pipeline.
Wanna wager how long other RSS player Pheedo stands on its own after this cash gets transacted?[Read More]
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  digital_media blogosphere ibm technorati blogging 2 Comments 5,234 Views
If you've used or followed Technorati much over the past several years, you know that the site made its name in facilitating useful, real-time searches of blog entries.
But as the social computing world turns, so must those sites who came into the market with a single specialty.
With that in mind, Dave Sifry blogged about Technorati's just-announced overhaul, one which provides a "360 degree context of the Live Web," including not only blogs, but other user-generated content such as video, photos, podcasts, music, games, and the ever-present "more."
In other words, it's more of a TechnoratiPodTechFlickrYouTube-ish kinda thing.
For funsies, I did a quick search of the keyword "ibm." The tag line at the top of the returned results indicated that this page had "Everything in the known universe about ibm."
Wow. Really? Everything?
So where's my blog? I'm part of the known universe!!! Or at least the known IBM universe!
But seriously, for my money, the most interesting and important change is not the face lift, but rather, what's been transformed under the hood.
The silos between keywords and tags and blog directory searches be gone!
That's a veddy good thing.
Users (of which I consider myself one) are normally not necessarily interested in the media type, but rather the idea or issue or concept that they're searching on.
Now, you can search all media types against the single query, and be presented with a common front in terms of the presentation of those media results.
Yes, yes, of course Technorati is also not immune from the FOG -- but rather than attempt to hide in it or from it, they have instead come out swinging.
Turbo says check it out...just don't use it to try and find this blog. : )
Redmonk's James Governor gives IBM some props for its SOA leadership in a post from his Monkchips blog yesterday.
He writes that "its pretty clear that in the Fortune 500 SOA game IBM is playing its hand extremely well. To see competitors play on IBM's turf is very interesting."
James goes on to explain he's not an unabashed fan of BIG SOA, preferring instead the "Tabula RASA - Rest ATOM Scripting and Agile" approach. Very clever. I think there's probably room for both.
If you're interested in learning more about creating impact through your own SOA implementation, sign up for the coming Webcast on June 5 featuring Steve Mills, our senior VP for IBM Software, and Robert LeBlanc, the man behind our SOA madness.
Meanwhile, know that not everything can be as hot as SOA, especially on Google's new "Hot Trends" from its Google Labs.
It's Paula Abdul By A Nose
TechCrunch's Duncan Riley writes that Google Hot Trends "takes the idea behind Google Zeitgeist to the next level," providing daily search data trends (Google Trends provided weekly increments).
This morning, "paula abdul broken nose" came in at a whopping number 23. "google hot trends" came in at 44, suggesting that somebody cares, but only about half as much as Paula's nose.
An Eye For An Eye
And if that's not humorous enough for you, NewTeeVee is reporting that "Wallstrip," the short format Daily Show-like entity for financial news online, has been swooped up by the big serious boys and girls at Black Rock.
Will they make fun of themselves getting bought ought by the man!
More importantly, will they make fun of themselves for becoming part of CBSNews.com, which has always been so deadly serious about its news bidness?
Only time, and sweeps week, will tell.
But somehow I don't think Edward R. Murrow would be LOL.[Read More]
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  digital_media twitter insurance golf internet_advertising 4,789 Views
Well, I'm back from a short but sweet trip out to the high desert of Scottsdale, Arizona, where I communed with the lizards, the jack rabbits, and the roller coaster ride golf courses. Bogeys never felt so good.
Though I slowed down long enough to take a breather and stay blogless in Scottsdale, the world of e-advertising did just the opposite, continuing to accelerate with WPP's announced acquisition of 24/7 Real Media for $649 million, and Microsoft's $6 billion gamble for aQuantive (an 85% premium).
The FOG continues, although some analysts are wondering why the extraordinary price tag on the Microsoft/aQuantive deal, and indicating the regulators will be swarming Redmond on this one.
With my new Pearl Crackberry tether, I was able to keep a limited pulse on all these tidings, which I found myself compulsively checking between jaunts in the golf cart.
"Todd, it's your putt!"
Oh, yeah. Putt, sure. Right. Oh yeah, I'm on the golf course.
Yes, you, too, can be a Crackberry news junkie.
Simply set up a few Google news alerts, subscribe to the New York Times' Dealbook blog email and the Wall Street Journal Morning Brief and Evening Wrap, and you're good to go.
My father, who accompanied me on the trip, was none too pleased with my newfound electronic tether.
Who Needs a Gecko?
Yet while our "Out of Office" shingle was raised, dad, who is a 40+ year independent insurance agent, could be very pleased with a survey recently commissioned by IBM which found that three-quarters of consumers are very satisfied with the service provided by their insurance agents, even while golfing in Scottsdale.
As the press release about the survey noted, "the study demonstrates consumers' unwavering loyalty to their insurance agent regardless of potential savings that online channels alone can provide, and it indicates how insurance carriers are providing their agents with innovative technologies to deliver more personalized customer services."
Good People + Good Technology = Happy and Loyal Customers Shocker!
Don't Be Such a Twit
Meanwhile, just prior to my fleeing to the high desert I recorded a new episode for our IBM ShortCuts podcasting series.
This time around, George queries me about microblogging: Everything you ever wanted to know about a Twitter Tweet but were afraid to ask.[Read More]