Tuesday, December 13, 2005

My Own Private Internet

Here's a Boston Sun Story about select telecoms wanting to wire their own Internet. The argument is that they create a closed network to serve high speed, high quality content. Presumably this would carry better security and for-pay services. What? Is this 1992? Has Compuserve emerged from the grave?
Some big players (Google, eBay, etc.) have come out against this plan. What is likely is that these telcos will get their wish and produce their own networks. There will be two networks: the safe high value network and a network for the commoners (that's where Google will hang out like McDonalds-- playing to the masses). The problem will come if these telcos are large.
They will offer a finite set of enhanced services of the stuff you want out of the Internet: content, news and the like. They will protect you from harmful stuff. They will protect your kids from harmful sites. They'll drop high expense staples of the Internet: Usenet, FTP, unlimited VOIP (like Skype). Rogers' High Speed in Canada has done this. They are dropping support for Usenet and directing users to use Google Groups. Big ISPs are sometimes the only game in town, so you have to sign up with a large, stable ISP; or go for the flaky mom'n'pop ISP. The stable ISP calls the shots of what services it offers. Because joe blo user doesn't know what they're missing they blissfully accept the small offerings. AOL does such a good job of talking up its services, I know one user that signed up to use AOL through their Shaw High Speed account: that's like riding a moped around the interior of your motor home. When Telus workers striked this year, the union website was blocked to its Telus user base. Just because you pay an ISP doesn't mean you'll get what you want.
The downside of the Wild West nature of the Internet is that there are no rules for delivery and content. If your ISP decides to omit services for your benefit, you may have to take it.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Neccessity and Patterns in Design

This is a very good article for design people and set theory junkies (like myself):

http://www.37signals.com/papers/introtopatterns/

If you want to hear predictions:

http://www.andybudd.com/archives/2005/12/...trends_for_2006/
http://www.cameronmoll.com/archives/000666.html

Expect my predictions this weekend (I guess that's a prediction, isn't it?)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dot XSL : WYSIWYG XSLT builder

A free piece of software for one of the more powerful capabilities seen on the web: XSLT
More Info

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

AJAX vs. Server Load

This is a Slashdot thread worth following: AJAX vs. Server Load
On the heels of that thread, Jakob Nielsen has published a piece "Why Ajax Sucks (Most of the Time)" He talks about how 22% of the users cannot use/benefit from Ajax. He looks at how it hindered search engine optimization and its hard to print. Boo-hoo.
In 1997, it was cool to do a website in white text on black. Very edgy and when you printed it, out came page after page of white text on white paper. Ajax is a fringe tool that I think will push its way into the mainstream. When I have time over the Christmas break, I will publish a piece on "Discreet Introduction" and show that whether you love Ajax or loathe it, there are many tried and true strategies for getting new content to the page without hitting the "refresh" button.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Color schemes

What separates the pros from the punters? Color schemes!

Signed,

A Punter :)