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one million JXTA downloads!

A press release from Sun announces that:

one million developers have downloaded Project JXTA from the Sun Web site. JXTA is the only open source, standards-based, peer-to-peer technology that supports collaboration and communication on any networked device anywhere, anytime. Sun also announced that the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Convenience Stores are implementing JXTA-based applications and that InView Software and Internet Access Methods have released commercial products based on JXTA.
Impressive. Microsoft is a little behind the curve on this one, no?

Categories: soft.dev, technology
Posted by diego on March 4, 2003 at 5:47 PM

mobitopia

Mobitopia has gone live! Great work Russ. Here's my first post with a short intro to ad hoc networks.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on March 4, 2003 at 4:34 PM

believing your own hype

From Wired: Segway's Breakdown:

Before he'd sold a single one, Kamen blithely forecast that by the end of 2002, his enterprise would be stamping out 10,000 machines a week. Meanwhile, his best-known backer, venture capitalist John Doerr, predicted Segway would rack up $1 billion in sales faster than any company in history.

Segway's breakout year wasn't even a few months old before bad news started to hit. Kamen was pushing the scooter to corporate customers amid a period of belt-tightening that has yet to let up. Supposedly obvious buyers like Federal Express said no thanks, and others offered nothing but mushy maybes. A smattering of government agencies and corporate clients are testing the vehicle, but none have agreed to any bulk purchases. Kamen's largest customer last year was Walt Disney, which ordered four dozen machines for its theme parks and cruise ships. Meanwhile, the company decided to delay offering its überscooter to consumers until safety and training issues could be ironed out.

Segway officials acknowledge their factory sat largely idle last year but refuse to disclose specific sales or production figures. "My sense is they're producing 10 per week," University of Pennsylvania professor Karl Ulrich estimated near the end of 2002. Ulrich is nominally a Segway competitor - he's cofounder of a company that manufactures electric motorbikes - but he shares suppliers with Kamen and respects his work.

Segway is still pushing its scooter to the corporate market, but the great hope now is everyday consumers. Inside headquarters, a redbrick former mill along the Merrimack River in downtown Manchester, employees remain stoically upbeat. In November, the company announced that consumers could purchase a Segway on Amazon for $4,950. But at that price, the scooter seems doomed to life as a yuppie plaything.

Ah, the hubris. Only someone that lives in one of the affluent spots of the US could think that a device that costs $5000, for which no infrastructure exists and that goes directly against the idea of walking would sell "10000 units a week". Segways are truly something for the priviledged few. Even if they were cheap, they would create huge problems if you have more than one or two per block. Oh well.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on March 4, 2003 at 4:24 PM

the funny side of Win95's stability (or lack thereof)

I remember having a good laugh when this little piece of news came out three years ago. Some justification for the hilarious 10-second appearance of Bill Gates on the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on March 4, 2003 at 12:15 AM

games and performance art

A New York Times article on the unlikely marriage of the TV series 'Friends' with Quake. Choice quotes:

n a coming episode of the television show "Friends," here's what might happen. Ross arrives and starts to whine. Suddenly an armor-clad warrior rushes in and with a blast from a space-age weapon reduces Ross to a pile of twitching viscera. But the show must go on, so Ross pulls himself together and rises to complete his sniveling soliloquy. Just as he finishes, he is slaughtered again. Call this episode "The One Where Ross Is Repeatedly Annihilated by a Plasma Rifle."

Except that this full-combat "Friends" takeoff will be seen on the Internet, not on television. And rather than a cozy New York cafe built on a Hollywood sound stage, the show's setting will be the futuristic digital scenery of "Quake III Arena," the ultraviolent computer game.

[...]

Mr. DeLappe said he was motivated to combine the brutal "Quake" and the genteel "Friends" because both are pop-culture creations that "present a fantasy, a simplistic view" of the world. He said the "Friends" characters' happy life in New York is "this perfect existence, and it's totally fake." To him the "Quake" violence is equally phony. "You're killed but you're instantly O.K.," he said. "There's no real consequences to it."

There are other similarities as well. Both "Quake" and "Friends" take place within tightly defined universes. The action on "Friends," such as it is, rarely occurs outside the characters' apartments or the Central Perk cafe, while "Quake" shoot-outs are confined to their computer-generated environments.

Nor is it obvious whether it is "Quake" or "Friends" that can claim to have the most three-dimensional characters. Both function on a set of predetermined rules. So just as we can predict that an opponent will need to reload at a certain point, we also know that Joey won't get the joke. As for character development, neither Phoebe nor the gun-toting skeleton has matured much since we first met them.

Quite funny.

Categories: art.media, technology
Posted by diego on March 4, 2003 at 12:10 AM

bound to happen

The blogsphere has been discussing this for days, but finally News.com caught up with the turn of the tide in terms of how people view Google. Actually, instead of "turn of the tide" it's more like "navigating the waters that were just around the corner anyway". Turn of the tide has a nicer ring to it though. :-)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on March 4, 2003 at 12:04 AM

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