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Two from Tech

I remembered 9/11 during my routinely scheduled blood donation at the Red Cross in Pleasanton today. The Red Cross has been deluged with blood donors after the explosion and fire in San Bruno. Thanks everyone, for donating blood. Please call the Red Cross to schedule your donation. The staff in Pleasanton worked hours past their quitting time to try to accommodate “walk-ins” among their many scheduled donations. I am sure that it was the case in other locations. Those who can, please sign up to be a regular donor. Blood supplies are often, regularly, quite low in the Bay Area. There are many reasons why some people cannot be blood donors.

Last night, I saw two items from tech that reminded me of two very old Rolling Stones songs (who knows how my mind works?):

1) “… Flash, it’s a gas, gas, gas!” (YouTube video) – Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” Four and a half months after a change in an Apple licensing agreement caused Adobe Systems to abandon a project to bring Flash-derived applications to the iPhone, Apple has reversed the ban! In an Apple statement on Thursday, Apple said, “We are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps as long as the resulting apps do not download any code.”

The CNET article linked above, which also summarizes the loud, public, business tantrums (IMAGINE the PRIVATE ones! :-) ) that occurred between April and September, said:

According to the developer agreement (PDF), Apple removed the extra words it had added to section 3.3.1 of that license in April that blocked the Flash-derived apps: “Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs [application programming interfaces] through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).”

Although it was certainly not the only company affected by the license change in April, Adobe Systems went from “cautiously optimistic” on Thursday to the resurrection of its Flash-to-iPhone app tool (Packager of iPhone) on Friday! The tool allows developers to make native iOS apps out of Flash programs. We shall all have to wait to see what happens.

When I worked in high tech, I always felt that such spats should be settled by putting the two-or-more CEOs in a small room with short swords, so that customers would not be the principal parties affected. :-)

2) “Hey! You! Get off of my Cloud!” (YouTube video) – The Rolling Stones, “Get Off of My Cloud” Not being a lawyer myself (by the “Grace of God,” I was spared that fate! :-) ), I have always wondered how the “Third Party Doctrine” of the Fourth Amendment applies to corporations who share data with a third party (“The Cloud”) in hosted services, since corporations are considered to be “people.” I KNOW that I waive some-or-all-of my Fourth Amendment Rights when I share information :-( with my telecommunications company. Microsoft’s Chris Capossela, in an April interview (entitled “The cloud–it’s not for control freaks”) noted that the shift to The Cloud” is tough for IT departments anyway, especially those companies that like to keep control over their systems. (For those who do not know this, systems administrators and security folks are likely to be among the most extreme control freaks that exist. :-) )

Needless to say, the three service interruptions in the last couple of weeks for users of Microsoft’s hosted version of Exchange (don’t get me started!) and SharePoint must have been very unsettling for such personality types. In a blog post this week, Microsoft said that all of the service interruption issues were related to a change in network infrastructure that the company made last month. Microsoft’s Morgan Cole said that the issues were confined to the hosted Exchange/SharePoint service, which Microsoft calls its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Some big-name corporate customers who use the suite are Autodesk, Blockbuster, and Coca-Cola.

-Bill at

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