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Office

Internet Explorer Update this Summer

Microsoft announced that it will be updating their Internet Explorer browser which hasn’t had a major upgrade since they announced 6.x back in 2002. The news was greated warmly by most users commenting on the MSDN IE blog with many asking for advanced CSS, PNG, and XHTML support while others ask for features such as Tabs or integrated Popup Blockers, Microsoft is touting this release as focused on fixing security & phishing exploits.

One thing left off the request list, and pointed out by some, is integrated Search which I personally make extensive use of in my instance of Firefox. I regularly use the Google, Amazon, and Dictionary plugins and have also installed the Wikipedia and Creative Commons plugins which come in handy. Are they leaving this out just to keep Google and Yahoo guessing?

The release will be made available to XP Service Pack 2 subscribers and later rolled out with their Longhorn OS upgrade. Another nail in the coffin for any Windows 2000 users out there.

Smart Mobs

One of the nice things about going on vacation is that you get to catch up on all that reading that you want to do. One of the books I read was Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs which has given me a lot to think about. This book has been out for a couple of years now so while I was reading, it was like I was connecting dots and getting answers to questions that have been sitting in the back of my mind for some time now. I now know why Dr. Mizuko Ito looked at me and rolled her eyes when I asked at a recent lecture she gave at Berkeley why texting hasn’t really taken off in the US. It’s covered in detail in this book and she is referenced quite a bit as a primary source of research.

I had the chance to dabble in SMS and have a new appreciation for T9 software. One of my first exchanges, while sitting on a beach in Hawaii was with a friend that I thought would be holed up in a meeting room in Silicon Valley. Nope, came the reply, he was sipping bitters at a pub in Edinburgh. The appreciation for the power of this medium was immediate!

Gotta try out this new RSS to SMS app Feedbeep.

Hawaii

For those of you who were wondering where we were – we skipped out of town for a week in Hawaii. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Takei for putting us up again in your splendid pad! We took it real easy as several of us came down with colds which kept the activities to a minimum. I did get a chance to hook up one evening with old Tokyo mate, Brad Glosserman and David Keuning, an old buddy from an internship I did at Recruit.

I also finally read Howard Rheingold’s book, Smart Mobs and was inspired enough to dabble a bit with SMS on my cellphone (which I also dropped into the jacuzzi but we won’t go into that story). One of my first exchanges was to Doug Yarrington who promptly SMS’ed back that he was sitting in a pub in Edinburgh – the power of this type of communication was immediate.