Monday, October 31, 2005

Free Remote KDE Desktops from

"From the something-for-nothing dept. offers free remote KDE desktops over NX. Anyone can sign up to have their own desktop accessible from any computer with a network connection. CosmoPOP uses KDE's Kiosk framework to ensure security for their system. To find out more about the service and why KDE was the chosen desktop, KDE Dot News spoke to the man behind CosmoPOD, Stephen Ensor. "

Read on for the interview.

I found the service too slow to be useful when I gave it a go. I think we have to wait until he switches to outsourced CPU time.

Interesting idea though, he just needs to get the sums right for his capacity planning. Eventually it may be practicable. I know a bunch of people who could do all their computing this way - but the service would need to be rock solid and snappy.

Builder AU: Creating re-usable controls (custom tags) for your browser

The secret to making $$$ is to be a good middle man.

In an internetworked marketplace, this means distribution. Audio compression in the form of MP3 was a great enabler for internet distribution for music. The corporations obsessed with the charter and the bottom line didn’t see the opportunity. I remember when MP3 was a dirty word in corporate circles. Then apple came along and showed people how to behave sensibly with the technology. Now everyone is climbing over each other to get on the bandwagon to do with video what iTunes did with MP3.
How long is it gonna take for someone to realize that P2P is the great enabler for video (large file) distribution. Can you say “free capacity” (storage and bandwidth) – provided up-front by your customers? BitTorrent is MP3 all over again only it’s even more revolutionary – turning the central server bottle-neck scenario on it’s head. When is some company gonna be creative enough to realize that all they need to do is create a variant of the BT protocol to own the Internet video distribution market?

If Microsoft doesn’t come up with this (possibly using the xbox 360 as the platform) in the next 12 months, I will be flabbergasted.

TV programmers and video hire outlets need to be put on notice (in the long term).

Sunday, October 30, 2005

AJAX - big whoop de doo...

I can't believe the amount of fuss being made over Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) at the moment. People have been communicating with the web server via pure Javascript for years now and they've been doing so with XML for a long time too. Just because someone coined an acronym for this "handy little trick", it's become all the rage now and big companies are funding projects in it's name. It's all further evidence that our industry is still plagued by hype and ineducation.

The educated among us will know that what's now handily termed as AJAX is just a nifty little trick that's been around for years. We also know that there are even more powerful technologies out there that are already mature, and they extend the functionality even further. Take XUL's RDF data binding for instance. Just so we can be cute too, let's call it XRDB (damn, that doesn't sound as sexy as AJAX - oh well, I don't work in marketing).

XRDB runs in a web browser and can also be scripted with JavaScript. In fact, scripting is not even required for the initial binding. I can just add a datasources attribute, which points to some RDF, to a container element. Then it's just a matter of declaring a template which will iterate over the RDF data. I can use JavaScript to reload (check for changes) my RDF datasource and I can add more datasources to merge data. All this without the need to run priverlaged code. You can "query" by adding get variables to the URL in your datasources attribute. If you MUST post, then by all means, use the http request functions in JavaScript.

When will people learn?

Here's an example of PHP generating RDF using XAO
My status