Howard, Ozzie & Worms

Reading between the lines and extrapolating madly, I suspect Rosemary Howard is overjoyed to wing it across the Tasman, leaving TelstraClear for Doc Alan Freeth to sort out.

Top Stories

- Homeward ho, Howard!

- MS takes Notes of Ozzie

- Worms go mobile

- Homeward ho, Howard!

Reading between the lines and extrapolating madly, I suspect Rosemary Howard is overjoyed to wing it across the Tasman, leaving TelstraClear for Doc Alan Freeth to sort out. It’ll be a complete role reversal for her: incumbent instead of underdog and billion dollar budgets rather than peanuts like in NZ. And Australia has a regulator that’s not afraid of actually knocking heads together, unlike our gumming ComCom paper tiger… mind you, it’s Telstra that’s been at the receiving end of ACCC chewing across the pond, in most cases.

With her new boss Ted not exactly sitting Pretty with the Telstra board, thanks to huge losses incurred for the Hong Kong campaigns, Howard’s star could very well be in ascendancy. The lacklustre NZ performance is easily explained by our competition-averse regulatory environment, so it’ll soon be forgotten. Good luck in your new job Rosemary, and please could you let Alan out of the Smales Farm dungeon so that we can talk to him?

- Howard's end - Freeth replacement at TelstraClear

- Howard: TelstraClear heading in the right direction

- MS takes Notes of Ozzie

A certain online editor with a sadistic bent caused me to break out in hives this morning by posting a news item about Ray Ozzie. For those who don’t know, Ozzie created Lotus Notes - the groupware package that I have to use as punishment for unspeakable sins in a past life.

It appears that Microsoft has gone and bought Ozzie’s Groove Networks. Not only that, but Ozzie will become Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Number Three. He will report directly to The Great Chief Software Architect himself, in fact.

Despite my effing and blinding over Notes, I should say that Groove was reasonably good last time I tried it. It was a handy little collaboration tool that you can use for instant messaging, document and file sharing, whiteboarding, and so forth, in an encrypted fashion over networks. I wasn’t so keen on Groove being a sluggish Java app though, and it eventually cost money, so I uninstalled it and forgot about it until this fateful Friday.

Now Groove has grown into Virtual Office for the networked but geographically separated multi-organisational cadres of occasionally disconnected office drones. Nice sentence that. Wonder if I should become a software visionary?

- Microsoft to buy Groove Networks

- Groove Networks

- Lotus Notes Sucks

- Worms go mobile

I actually resisted carrying a mobile phone until a few years ago because it seemed more like a nuisance than a useful communications tool. If it wasn’t callers asking where you were (“just coming into the office”), it was someone, on purpose, ringing you from the windiest and noisiest spot they could find, which also happened to have marginal reception.

But I’ve succumbed to the mobile craze and now have a jolly nice data phone. Not that I ever talk on it because it can do email fairly well, as well as IM.

Anyway, my phone runs Windows for Pocket PC, which is okay once you’ve added a sensible task switcher/manager to it. What does worry me, though, is the lack of updates for it. I know WinPPC has been neutered – for instance, the version of Internet Exploder it comes with doesn’t run ActiveX and PC viruses won’t run because of the ARM processor – but you’ll still deal with binary files like Word and Excel documents which have been, and are still, used as malware vectors.

There’s no “WinPPC Update” feature in the OS, however. Nor is there an upgrade path for users of older versions of WinPPC it seems. The techies I’ve talked to say Microsoft leaves suppliers to handle upgrades who then, in most cases, would have to source them from their OEMs in turn.

Microsoft should look at what’s happening to the competing mobile OS from Symbian which is starting to get hit by malware writers. Symbian OS represents an attractive target for the digital miscreants, thanks to Nokia’s huge market share compared to other makers, but just think… a nice, juicy EV-DO phone with 400MHz CPU and 500kbit/s of wireless internet connectivity… and it’s running unpatched Windows.

- First mobile messaging worm reported in the wild

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