Archive for January 30th, 2007
The title almost makes it look as if Intel has been groping at AMD, but that’s not too distant from the truth. In the latest iteration of the CPU wars, Intel has scored a hefty blow against AMD with faster and energy-efficient processors and the recent deal with Sun to worm its way into the Opteron-only x86 bastion AMD used hold with Sun. I have not been tracking the industry for a couple of years now, but having met a couple of guys who design and produce similar penny-sized marvels over the weekend the interest is somewhat back and I’ve also been baffled by AMD’s relative silence on the matter.
The silence was all the more troubling because AMD’s reported lower Q4 operating incomes, even after excluding the ATI acquisition, while the company is largely believed to have a better long-term edge over Intel in terms of architecture and Steve Polzin’s statement, “Pushing technology for technology’s sake is not what we do,” makes perfect sense. Intel is looking to garner all the attention it can get before it hits the limitations of its architecture in the next two to three years. It should be fun to wait and watch if they stay on message with the “four is the max number of cores you’d ever need on a chip” theme at that time.
Feedburner is one of the best tools that any blogger or publications could befriend for analytics or feed management. But one downside of using the service is that it is a pain when you have to link to a story when you read it in a RSS reader. For instance, the latest post on Fred Wilson’s blog (don’t tell me you don’t read him!) will have the link http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/AVc/~3/83929503/my_keynote_yest.html on all self-respecting aggregators, while the actual article link looks something like this http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2007/01/my_keynote_yest.html. I could, quite easily, link to the Feedburner URL, but that would poison Fred’s clickthrough numbers in Feedburner, especially if you do it from a website with pretty good traffic (which, thankfully, mine is not). Moreover, it is a pain to open the link in a browser just to fish out the actual URL. I guess they could add another link to the actual URL in their ’flares’ link (Email this • Digg This!) that they have and make life easier for us and get one step closer to perfection.
Not quite a new feature as it’s already been posted here a couple of days ago, but it is an interesting one all the same. Document attachments in Gmail now come with the additional option of opening it as Google document. By default the files opened there are not shared, but you can always do that later and set different access levels as you would do to a normal Google document. I was going to write a longer piece, but the link specified earlier has covered all the points. Yet another bit of our digital lives is now potentially covered by Google. And, oh, Hilary Kramer puts a target of $600 for the company’s stock. What will SLE (Sergei, Larry & Eric) do next, defy gravity?
In the old media world, you have junkets and more junkets. In fact, you are even considered to have not arrived on the scene till you get an invite for a junket. For the non-media crowd, a junket is a trip paid-for by a company, about whom you have write (the writing part is not necessarily, but it is implied that you would and preferably in a positive manner). Junkets are organised by everyone, from the government to companies of all sizes and shapes, but the best ones often come from the IT crowd and are coveted by the ones who get it and looked at with considerable envy by the ones who don’t.
In the new media world, with bloggers hanging out their credibility and unbiased factors as their USP, junkets have become a bit of an issue. All of a sudden, the blogosphere has started making noises that were seen only, till recently, in mainstream media’s arena. There are now things they can’t talk about, issues with proper disclosure and what exactly constitutes proper disclosure and other eerily mainstream media problems that are creeping up in the blogs. In old media’s defence, most of the junkets and paid-for articles (with the exception of Medianet for BCCL), do carry the nominal disclosure that the trip was paid for by some firm and I’ve not seen too much of that, as a must-have, on the part of the bloggers.
If you ask me, it is well above board for bloggers to be paid for writing. Like everyone else, they do have a right to make a living, even if it is for something that they already like to do. I particularly like the guest paid and advertising post route that Paidcontent and Techcrunch has taken to advertising in the feeds and posts. It is open, clear and easy for everyone to understand and if you can get someone to write better content (the scores of documentation writers in the major tech companies can easily do it), the advertising content could even be made contextual. But it is imperative for bloggers to follow fair disclosure like a religion. Without credibility they don’t have much else to bank on, since most of their stuff is opinionated from the word go.
For instance, I saw this post on Amit Agarwal’s Digital Inspiration, which is one of the best general tech-related blogs anywhere, especially in terms how approachable it is for the average person. But the post has no relevance and is even factually wrong on a lot of counts (AJAX and Flex/Flash downloads application logic on to the client side, but they still do pull data from the servers and in offline mode offer only degraded views and not full functionality. Microsoft.com and Yahoo.com use Akamai’s distributed DNS service, not their CDN, which is used only for specific and selective purposes),
leading me to believe that it is a paid-for post ( do correct me if I am wrong about it. Amit wrote back saying it is not and that he’s never done a paid post on Digital Inspiration. Thanks Amit.), but the post carries no indication of that. I have a similar feeling about this Adotas post, though it is not half as bad as Amit’s post.
Disclosure: The official gig is an Akamai client.