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Monday, April 20
BLAME IT ON SOFTWARE
said today its recent frame relay network failure was due
to a software-based problem. Last week AT&T's massive
frame relay network failed, disrupting service for
thousands of business customers nationally for about a
day. AT&T previously said the problem was related to
the interaction between two frame relay switches that
affected the rest of the network. AT&T Chairman C.
Michael Armstrong said today the company is working
closely with Cisco Systems Inc.
, which provided the switches, on ways to fix the problem. The frame relay
network is a high-speed packet data networking technology
used by businesses that need to exchange large amounts of
computer information in short and frequent bursts.
98 NOT QUITE READY FOR PRIME TIME
Corp. Chairman Bill Gates touted the features of the
upcoming Windows 98
and offered a sneak peek
at future Windows' abilities during his speech today at
Comdex Spring 98 in Chicago. But he also poked fun at
some glitches the company is trying to fix before the
June 25 launch date for the product. Among the problems:
the product's complexity, and a penchant for giving
cryptic error messages.
off new features of Windows 98, including quick turn-on,
support for multiple monitors, the ability to
self-update, and an integrated experience that allows the
user to navigate the hard drive in an Internet-like
fashion. Gates also said Windows 98 would support as many
as 127 peripheral devices -- such as cameras and scanners
-- through a machine's USB port. However, support for a
scanner crashed a machine during a demonstration,
prompting Gates to quip, "That must be why we're not
shipping Windows 98 yet." To which his demo helper
replied, "We still have a lot of work to do."
Gates said he
envisions a future where people will use much more than a
mouse and keyboard to interact with their computer.
"I think people are underestimating how quickly that
will come," he said. Gates said his team of
developers is working on features including natural
language support, speech and handwriting recognition, and
automatic learning -- where the program understands a
user's favorite features and categorizes them
I have been working
feverishly to complete the interface design
changes for this site before I go on vacation later this
week. If you aren't a first time visitor, you will notice
I have begun the transformation of this technology diary
with the arrival of the new week. The 1998
is now available in the new format in all six supported
languages. Because I have been rushing, please be sure to
me know if you
encounter any errors in hyperlinks, or spelling, or
the day: "Though
no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can
start from now and make a brand new ending."
W3C WORKS ON NEW HTTP
Wide Web Consortium
(W3C) has issued a working draft of short- and long-term
goals for the next incarnation of Hypertext Transport
Protocol (HTTP). The W3C Protocol Design Group, which
wrote the draft, said the next generation of HTTP, called
HTTP-NG, should be based on a distributed object system.
The consortium defined a number of factors the Web
protocol revision should incorporate, including improved
networking performance and scalability, as well as
modularity, which the W3C said HTTP 1.1 lacks. The
working group said adding modularity to HTTP should make
it easier to update the protocol.
version of HTTP should also support multiple transport
protocols (the current version supports only TCP) and
resource migration, which the W3C defined as the
capability to redirect requests and clean up unreferenced
resources such as outdated links. The W3C said support
for smaller clients and servers as well as better
management of intellectual property rights should also be
built into the next version.
Microsoft and the U.S.
squared off in a federal appeals court today over the
high-profile antitrust action surrounding Microsoft's
Internet Explorer Web browser. At issue is a preliminary
injunction, imposed by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson,
requiring Microsoft to offer Windows 95 to its licensees
without Internet Explorer. The company is also
challenging the appointment of a "special
master" assigned to the case.
attorney Richard Urowsky told a three-judge panel that
Jackson's decision was riddled with procedural errors,
such as a lack of notice that he was considering issuing
such an order and a lack of support. "These errors
are fundamental," he said. DOJ attorney Doug Melamed
argued Jackson had "inherent authority" to make
his ruling. The 90-minute hearing this morning was
dominated by arcane discussions of statutes and legal
case law relating to circumstances in which judges can
issue preliminary injunctions and appoint specially
trained court officers to help guide cases.
1998 on the Web
received another award last night. The Syop Award for Excellence
is a nice one to have. While I
didn't quite make the grade for their "Topnotch
Award", I am very pleased to have received the next
level. Go visit them when you have a chance. You can view
the award graphic on my Awards page.
the day: "The
pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in
which we are permitted to remain children all our
lives." - Albert Einstein