FryUp: Neigh worries for Sun

Horrific internet crime, Jonathan Schwartz' fireside chat and TiVO madness

Anatomy of an internet copyright crime

What is this thing called “internet copyright crime” I hear you ask. That is a very good question, albeit a complex one to answer. I will try, however. The more notorious copyright crimes tend to involve 70s Danish keyboard players with mullets and toothsome smiles. These are then further aggravated when electro ravers Prodigy become partners in crime and the mixy mashy hits YouTube:

YouTube Ahh… the sheer horror of it! I trust everyone involved will receive several education notices and be taken out to be accountly terminated with prejudice. Peeling back, over time, the layers of nefarious activities featuring that song shows that it has been abused in the past as well. Best described as the twang that rang throughout the world and originally performed by The Shadows in the sixties after Bert Lordan bashed it out on a ukulele, Apache has been defiled by jazz musicians as well as Moog-munting Danes. It gets worse though: in 1973, The Incredible Bongo Band coopted Apache to create proto-hip hop, with a long percussion break that has been sampled ever since. Sugar Hill Gang, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Fatboy Slim followed, and the rest is, as the dog-eared cliché goes, history. There you have it: if you ever doubted just how serious the whole copyright issue is and how it affects contemporary culture, doubt no more.

Neigh worries for Sun

As FryUp readers know, Sun Microsystems has fascinated me for years. It’s fair to say that compared to for instance Gates and Ballmer, Sun supremo Scott McNealy got things like the internet much earlier on. Sun has also decided to work with the open source crowd (well, in its own way, tied down as it is to ancient licensing agreements) and as one result, users of the glorious FreeBSD and NetBSD operating system have access to Sun’s 128-bit file system as well as that group of MIS masochists who favour the company’s Solaris OS. Apple’s looking at importing ZFS too, for Mac OS, and Sun’s supporting the OpenSolaris project as well releasing useful system tools like Dtrace to the world. In other words, it’s kind of useful for that ecosystem thang to have Sun around. It’s good see the company brings in US$3 billion in revenues and has the same amount in cash in the bank, but at the same time Sun does need some revitalising horse pills to face the future that will be really quite different to what was expected just a few years ago. Sun’s biggest challenge is to ensure that they get some serious traction with the current and future generation of web developers — and, that actually means users as well, because those two groups are becoming intermingled. Buying MySQL went someway towards meeting that challenge, and there’s Java as well, but more is needed to keep the Sun from not setting, and it’ll be interesting to see what the company does to keep going. Anyway, here’s Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz having an office-side video chat, the first of three, explaining why we don’t need to worry about the company’s future:

And, a touching tribute in sounds and images to CEO Schwartz, by fan jngnnr:

YouTube Schwartz not worried about Sun’s future


Surely if, as a large state broadcaster, you’ve been asked to shave off $25 million from budgets, which looks like it may lead to around 15 editorial staff getting the chop, it wouldn’t make sense to spend over $19 million in a technology acquisition overseas? Especially if that technology has been around for years and, while being a pioneer in the field, doesn’t appear to offer anything existing ones do not. If the TiVO-TVNZ deal comes off, what are we not being told about it? Well, apart from confirmation of the deal itself of course. Internet TV via TiVO is only mildly interesting and didn’t stop its demise in the UK. There’d be cheaper ways to do that anyway, and where's our infrastructure with Big Bottom Broadband Speeds and Caps, and VoD retailers? Curious stuff. TVNZ to buy TiVo share, claims report

XKCD I know you're listening


Robert X. Cringely Has Microsoft found the answer to Google? Search me

It's quasi-official: Microsoft will be rebranding its Live Search service in yet another pathetic attempt to catch up to Google. Cringely wonders: Why bother? I saw it on Twitter so it must be true: Microsoft is relaunching/rebranding its Live Search service. Based on the strength of a single Tweet ["Played today with Live search upcoming (to be rebranded) launch pre-beta. I like the new features and UX so far"] from Powerset CEO Barney Pell, and a kinda/sorta/almost tweet-confirmation from a Microsoft "MVP" named Karenyo, the LiveSide blog has concluded that big changes are afoot at Live Search. Adding to the tea leaves and entrails, Search Engine Land also noticed a few tweaks to Live Search's fonts and a handful of new features. Meanwhile, Boomtown's Kara Swisher has screen shots of the new service, which is code-named "Kumo" (not to be confused with Cujo, the rabid St. Bernard). According to La Swish, "Kumo" means either "cloud" or "spider" in Japanese, a distinction you'd think would be kind of important in ordinary conversation. (As in, "better pack an umbrella, those look like rain spiders," or "don't look now, but there's a very large cloud crawling on your neck.") Either way, that's better than renaming it Dead Search or even Persistent Vegetative State Search, though those names would be more accurate. Because a new name and new fonts ain't gonna do diddly to Google's dominance. (Try saying that three times fast.) As PC World's JR Raphael drolly points out, just about everything Microsoft has done to revive Live's moribund market share — from bribing users via the Cashback programme to integration within Facebook — has had the effect of hopping up and down on the patient's oxygen hose while puffing on a stogie. When the smoke clears, it's still a Microsoft product. And that's the real problem. The only way Live Search/Kumo has a chance — and at this point, it's a wafer-thin chance — is to out-Google Google. Make a search engine so stunningly accurate and blindingly fast that people will prefer it over the G-monster. Or do something Google can't do, like finding the most recent information available on a topic. That's the one thing that drives me nuts about Google: the inability to easily search by when the information was produced, not the date the page on which it appears was last refreshed. Do that for me, Spider-Cloud, and I'll consider switching. Until then, it's still the same old Microsoft search in a new wrapper. Outside of MSFT Fanboyz, why should anyone care?

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