business

COMCAST SPEED INCREASE

Comcast Internet subscribers in the North Bay are getting a free speed increase, and some new choices for even faster Internet connections. Here’s today’s press release. The increase covers much of Northern California, including all of Sonoma and Marin counties.

Residential customers are supposed to have their speeds doubled for free, effective immediately. […] continued

Read more

iPHONES AND CARRIERS

iphone_att I ran across an interesting article about the effect Apple is having on the wireless business. The conventional wisdom has been that AT&T and Verizon are abusing their market power when they enter into exclusive arrangements with handset manufacturers. A letter from four senators got the FCC looking into the exclusive handset deals, and the Department of Justice has started an “initial review” that potentially could lead to antitrust action.  Realistically, it’s only AT&T’s exclusive right to sell the iPhone that causes concern, although there are similarly restrictive deals for the Palm Pre (Sprint) and devices built on Google Android (currently T-Mobile). […] continued

Read more

WEB HOSTING

At some point on Tuesday, the web host for bruceb.com will change from XO Communications to GoDaddy. In theory it’s going to go smoothly and you won’t notice. If bruceb.com disappears for a while, rest assured that I’m going nuts trying to fix it.

I can’t unravel the mysteries of domain registration and web hosting in a few paragraphs. […] continued

Read more

R.I.P. COMPUSERVE

compuservelogo

Does your technology memory extend back to the 80s? If so, you may shed a nostalgic tear at the news that the last remnants of CompuServe have been shut down by its current owner, America Online. I spent many hours listening to the dialup modem make its bong-bong sounds connecting to a local CompuServe number so I could scroll through text screens of online forums and download little DOS utilities and games. […] continued

Read more

WINDOWS 7 – UPGRADES

Pretty tempting, eh? For the next ten days or so, you can pre-order Windows 7 Home Premium upgrades for fifty bucks, or Windows 7 Professional for a hundred bucks. It’s a really truly cheap sale, a limited offer from Microsoft scheduled to end July 11, and only continuing “while supplies last.” No one knows how many units are being sold by Amazon and a host of other retailers but a report came in from Japan tonight that the discounted upgrades were sold out in that country in less than two days. […] continued

Read more

BEHIND THE SCENES: DATA CENTERS

I love occasional glimpses behind the scenes. In The Wizard of Oz, I would have been Toto, pulling back the curtain to figure out what was running the big head. The New York Times gives us a fascinating look at the data centers powering the online services that drive our world – Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and more. […] continued

Read more

MICROSOFT DISCONTINUES MS MONEY

Have you noticed the collapse in the market for boxed software? We used to go to Best Buy or Staples or Costco and buy the latest programs in boxes. The only time we do that now is for Quicken and Quickbooks. Just about everything else is either preinstalled on our computers or downloaded. […] continued

Read more

ON-DEMAND PUBLISHING

obama Today Amazon began selling a book of photographs and essays about Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency and his first 100 days in office. It’s not the first book like that but this one has an interesting twist, and the publishing industry is hoping you find it compelling – or if not this one, then another one that uses the same technology. […] continued

Read more

GOOGLE LOCAL BUSINESS SEARCH

Small businesses should pay close attention to this article about a recent change in the way Google reports search results. Apparently Google recently began analyzing the IP address where a search originates and giving higher placement to local businesses, even if the search doesn’t include a particular location.

For your business, the process begins by putting information into the “Google Local Business Center.” Someone from your business has to log in with a free Google Account and put in a few details about the business. […] continued

Read more

KAISER RECORDS IN A FLASH

Kaiser is taking an interesting step to make your medical records available to you in a flash. Let me give you some background, then tell you about yet another of the ways that the world is changing around us.

Technology is going to play a major role in the health care debate that is about to take place in the US. […] continued

Read more

SUBSIDIZED NETBOOKS

Netbooks will be widespread by the end of the year, shaking up the PC market and changing our world in ways that will be more dramatic than you expect. You might not have foreseen one of the ways they’ll be distributed – sold and subsidized by the cell phone carriers.

verizonmodem Many notebook computer users are familiar with the concept of a separate “mobile broadband” device built into the notebook, or plugged into a USB port, that gives the computer an Internet connection anywhere within a cell phone carrier’s network. […] continued

Read more

NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE SKIMMER

You can take a peek at one of the experiments by the New York Times as it tries to deliver an online experience that is as satisfying as holding a newspaper in your hands. The “article skimmer” is a work in progress, not a finished product. It presents a single screen overview of a number of articles, so your eye can browse just as it would on the printed page. […] continued

Read more

THE FAILURE OF THE OPEN FIELD

Microsoft has a reputation as a monopolist but built its dominance by opening the Windows world to partners – thousands and thousands of partners. Microsoft controlled the underlying environment and reserved some highly profitable parts for itself, but the world is a PC world because you can buy computers and printers and software from untold numbers of independent companies, big and small. […] continued

Read more

CANCELLING ONECARE

You don’t have to leave Windows Live OneCare right away. It’s not broken and you don’t have to replace it. It will be supported until December 2010. Still, we can’t feel completely comfortable with a product that’s being taken off the market. You should consider switching to a current product when your OneCare subscription expires. […] continued

Read more

READING THE NEWSPAPER

The newspaper business is quickly collapsing in waves of bankruptcies and layoffs and rapidly declining readership and ads. Our local paper, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, just announced that it will be shrinking again, making it an even more pale shadow of a real newspaper.

Anything is possible in this economy but it’s impossible to imagine that the venerable New York Times won’t be the last man standing, still publishing a print edition when all the other newspapers have folded up – although even the NY Times is dealing with a crushing debt load, looking for investors and seeking to sell some of its assets to raise cash. […] continued

Read more