Particle Debris (week ending 8/7) End Zone Tweets, PowerPoint Nightmares


Rafe Needleman, a former editor-in-chief of Byte Magazine went into some detail explaining what an OS really needs to do, in "Chrome OS for the Clueless" and how the Chrome OS fits into the spectrum of OSes. That is, if it ever ships. The article raises an interesting question: Are there occasions when we don't really need a full-blown OS?

We're very aware now of the friction between Apple and Palm, especially with Palm acquiring some Apple employees. The New York Times provided its take and noted that the rivalry is intensifying. As usual, the NYT collected some good industry quotes, including a Columbia University professor who specializes in telecomm and copyright law, Dr. Tim Wu.


Part of the brouhaha over charging for content on the Internet is understanding and managing what one is charging for. A New York law school professor, James Grimmelmann, put the AP to the test, and the AP seemed to have come up short. It's what happens when you get lazy and try to automate without care and attention.

Have you ever been assigned a really lame task at work? Especially with PC tools? Stephen Bates, one of my former managers at Apple, sent this via Twitter, and those whose minds reel at the stuff done in the PC world with PowerPoint will have fun reeling some more. "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love PowerPoint" is classic.

All my readers know I'm a fan of Twitter and use it every day, so my weekly blog usually has some Twitter tweet tidbit from Twitterdom. (I had to do that.) How does the specter of an NFL player scoring a touchdown, then pulling out his smartphone, and sending a tweet to his followers sound to you? Terrell Owens, eat your heart out. NFL had to put its foot down.


All week, I was following the rumors about Netflix releasing an app for the iPhone. I contacted Netflix, but their V.P. of Communications declined to comment on the rumors. TMO covered the story, but in my mind, this is just one more example of a media providers positioning themselves for the portable media revolution. It could be that Netflix knows nothing except the iPhone, but I doubt they're that shortsighted. They probably see an Apple tablet coming too and want to be front and center.

Dan Frommer, who typically has his finger on the pulse of these things, believes the Netflix app is really coming and may not actually compete with Apple's offerings. Can you imagine the fuss if Apple rejected the app?


IBM has received US$16.1 Million to learn how to mimic the best parts of the human brain function and create a highly intelligent computer. This is good reading for all those interested in artificial intelligence. IBM is perfect to do this work thanks to their long experience with supercomputers, Deep Blue Chess, etc.

Finally, for those who aren't satisfied with Phil Schiller's explanation about the rejection of the Ninjawords dictionary app, the Macjournal beat the horse to death with this discussion and retrospective. Decide for yourself.


I've been fairly busy with reviews, so I didn't see a lot of technical debris on Friday. However, I did catch this summary by Jacqui Cheng over at ars technica. It's her own accumulated list of news tidbits, including some rumors about new iMac features, to amuse you on this Friday.

Finally, and this you gotta see, is a chart that shows the Windows upgrade scenario. Ouch.  

Technical Word of The Week

Twitition (n.) A petition conducted on Twitter.