Quaintness in Salt Lake

(This is the script for a piece I did for the BBC World Service. Posted here by request. Podcast here.) Something rather quaint is going on in a Salt Lake City courtroom. A company called Novell, who you’d be forgiven for not having heard of, is suing Microsoft over a product called WordPerfect, which you …

Continue reading ‘Quaintness in Salt Lake’ »

The Fate of New Acquisitions: Whither or Wither?

By Jeremy Wagstaff I’m writing this on a Windows PC using a great piece of Microsoft software called Windows Live Writer. And that’s only part of the problem. As you no doubt know, Microsoft have announced they bought Skype, the Internet telephony company, for $8.5 billion. You’ll have to look under a lot of stones …

Continue reading ‘The Fate of New Acquisitions: Whither or Wither?’ »

2011: Year of The Media App

This is my weekly Loose Wire Service column. By Jeremy Wagstaff I predict this year that we’ll settle on a way to make people pay for stuff they so far have proven reluctant to pay for—namely information. This won’t be done by pay walls, exactly, but by what we’re now calling apps. Apps are applications …

Continue reading ‘2011: Year of The Media App’ »

Google’s Missteps

By Jeremy Wagstaff This one needed some correcting, for which apologies, and also, unsurprisingly, attracted some opprobrium. It’s Google Notebook, not Notes, and Jaiku’s founders are Finnish, not Swedish. I’m a big fan of Google. A big fan. But I’ve finally realized what its problem is. It doesn’t know what the hell it’s doing. Take …

Continue reading ‘Google’s Missteps’ »

The Phantom Threats We Face

This is a copy of my weekly Loose Wire Service column. By Jeremy Wagstaff We fear what we don’t know, even if it’s a guy in Shenzhen trying to make an honest living developing software that changes the background color of your mobile phone display. Here’s what happened. I’ll save the lessons for the end …

Continue reading ‘The Phantom Threats We Face’ »

Phantom Mobile Threats

How secure is your mobile phone? This is an old bugaboo that folks who sell antivirus software have tried to get us scared about. But the truth is that for the past decade there’s really not much to lose sleep over. That hasn’t stopped people getting freaked out about it. A security conference heard that …

Continue reading ‘Phantom Mobile Threats’ »

The Browser Wars: Another Milestone

(This is a copy of my Loose Wire Sevice column, produced for newspapers and other print publications. Hence lack of links) By Jeremy Wagstaff As you know, I’m into milestones, and another one has been passed in recent days: Microsoft’s market share of browsers is down below 60%. Now this may not sound very exciting …

Continue reading ‘The Browser Wars: Another Milestone’ »

Google’s Sleazy (and Broken) Updater

Sorry to see that Google is going the sleazy route that Microsoft and Apple have ploughed before, namely trying to hoodwink and browbeat users into installing and automatically updating software they don’t want via an installer. Try to download Google Earth now, for example, and you’ll be directed to the Google Updater, which will try …

Continue reading ‘Google’s Sleazy (and Broken) Updater’ »

Heathrow’s Old Windows

Snapped this on my way to Gate 1 at Heathrow’s Terminal 3. I know the London hub has its problems, but I didn’t realise one of them was that its passenger information system — or at least part of it — was running on Windows 95, a 12-year old operating system that has not been …

Continue reading ‘Heathrow’s Old Windows’ »

The Power of Tiddly

This week’s Loose Wire Service column, a service for print publications,  is on the TiddlyWiki, a piece of software I find myself coming back to from time to time: This isn’t for everybody, but I’ve found myself recently going back to a little itsy bitsy piece of software that turns your browser into a notebook …

Continue reading ‘The Power of Tiddly’ »