Monday, November 12, 2007

Technological Digest III

Another weekend passed, and here's another batch of tech and business headlines that piqued my interest over the weekend:
  1. FireFox, no longer the poor little contender - The New York Times has an interesting article about the financial situation of FireFox. The browser has become quite a contender to IE, with 15-20% market share (especially in Europe). It seems that the Mozilla Foundation (creators of FireFox), originally a nonprofit organization, is pulling in $66 million in revenue. Most of it from Google, who's using FF as part of their cold war with Microsoft. So is the open-source project turning into a corporation? And how much do executives in Mozilla earn? (use bugmenot to avoid registration).

  2. Think of a number, any number - a team from the Haifa university in Israel, has proven that the Random Number Generator (RNG) used in the Windows operating systems, is not random. Not only did they manage to predict the next number coming out of the algorithm (negating its randomality), they've also managed to use that info to decipher an encrypted communication - the main use for the RNG. Read more here.

  3. Are we there yet? - despite Microsoft promising that no Vista patches will come out until SP1 in January '08, they're releasing 3 major patches on Tuesday. Contributing to stability, wireless connectivity and, one of the biggest pet peeve with users, waking up from hibernation (the only OS so far where shutting down and restarting is faster than using hibernation). As one of the reader commented on this "Just think: in a year or two Vista will be amazing. Keep on patchin' that baby!". Read more here.

  4. What do YOU want to see in the next version of Windows? - well, if you have no idea, why not take a peek at the feature request list for Windows 7, that was leaked today?
    I wonder who leaked it (well, I have my opinion) - and also what percentage of those features will be implemented. In case you forgot what Windows 7 is, read this and this.

  5. The right place at the right time - This NYT article interviews a masseuse who turned into a multimillionaire from rubbing engineers' shoulders for a couple of years.
    The secret? She was working for Google 6 years ago, and got stock options, when the stock was at $85 (over $700 today). She has retired and is using her money for traveling around the world and publishing a book about her story. Luck cannot be bought.

  6. IBM to acquire Cognos - IBM announced today that it has acquired Cognos for $4.9bn in cash. Cognos develops BI and reporting applications. What grabbed my interest was the similar deal last month, where SAP acquired Business Objects - Cognos's direct competitor - for $4.8bn. Both IBM and SAP estimate that integrating BI solutions into their existing enterprise suites would increase the range of their offerings.
    To make the deals seem even more identical, there's the fact that both companies are based in Canada (Cognos in Ottawa, ON - BO in Vancouver, BC). Interesting, eh?

  7. Reminder - just a reminder that the OLPC "Buy One Give One" deal starts today and will be available until November 26th. As an added bonus, T-Mobile will throw in a year of free access to any T-Mobile hotspot. Read more about the deal here, or buy one here.

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