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My Vista Experience, Part Two

March 5, 2007 4:13 PM | 2 Comments

Vista%20logo.jpg Well, it's been a rather disappointing couple of weeks in Vistaland, as it seems one disappointment (read "performance issue") after another rears it's ugly head.

I've been trolling the message boards to get a sense of Vista-related problems, and it seems most fall into the following categories:

1. Devices (printers, scanners, etc.) that won't work due to lack of updated drivers.

2. Applications that don't run because they haven't been upgraded (for example, I tried to run Second  Life, to no avail -- as of now, it won't run on Vista).

3. Big performance hits to PCs that have been upgraded from XP to Vista. Apparently installing Vista on top of XP produces extra processes or some such situation that causes new core 2 systems to crawl. It seems that this isn't a problem on virgin Vista systems. If I had  purchased an XP-based screamer, that ran  laps around older PCs, and then started behaving like an ancient 486 system after installing Vista, I'd probably be livid.
4. Trouble with all the application nesting -- many tools and apps that were right out in the open in XP are buried behind multiple screens in Vista. Continue Reading...

GE%20logo.jpg GE has just introduced new incandescent light bulbs that supposedly match the new compact fluorescent type in efficiency and energy savings.

See this post from the Green Tech blog on this announcement. I agree with some of the comments that this appears to be taking two steps back, one step forward, but if the energy savings (and consequent reduction in carbon dioxide) rival fluorescents -- and the prices are right -- then we are still far better off going with either option than doing nothing at all.

Also of note, check out a new Yahoo! site -- -- designed to encourage people to change to compact fluorescent bulbs -- a task that supposedly takes 18 seconds. The site, sponsored by Wal-Mart, shows a running tally of dollars saved and amount of carbon dioxide reduced as a result of replaced bulbs.
Continue Reading...

Jon Arnold and I figured that since most everyone else was making some sort of announcement, issuing press releases and generally making noise  -- especially to pull in the crowds at Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO East going on right now -- that it was OK to make some noise of our own.

Hopefully it will be music to your ears

Robins%20Consulting%20Group%20Text%20with%20Logo.JPG          JArnold_logo.jpg

Robins Consulting Group and J Arnold & Associates Announce New Partnership

Two Prominent IP Communications Industry Research and Consulting Practices Join Forces to Offer an Array of Services and Co-Develop New Sources of Industry Intelligence

NEW YORK, TORONTO, and FORT LAUDERDALE, January 23, 2007-- Robins Consulting Group (RCG) and J Arnold & Associates (JAA) – both leading IP Communications industry research, marketing and consulting firms – have proudly announced a new partnership that includes the two firms joining forces to provide an array of marketing, communications, strategy consulting and market research services to their growing roster of IP communications technology vendors and service providers.

In addition, RCG and JAA will be jointly developing new information resources, including an electronic newsletter and related Web site, which will offer unique industry analysis, a healthy dose of opinion, provide a new platform for other industry thought leaders, and offer valuable coverage and information not readily available elsewhere about the rapidly evolving IP communications industry.

Veteran industry thought leader Marc Robins, RCG's founder and Chief Evangelism Officer, has been involved in the IP communications industry since its inception, and has served the industry as a leading reporter and analyst, conference producer and magazine publisher, and marketing executive and consultant. Continue Reading...

Here Comes Web 3.0

December 27, 2006 12:08 PM

Just when we started getting comfy with the term Web 2.0, along comes the term Web 3.0.

Web 3.0, according to most of what I've read, refers to a "Semantic  Web" that relies on attaching metadata to information residing on Web pages to create a framework for turning the Web into one humongous, relational database. The advantages are said to be much deeper and flexible Web searching, and much tighter integration between all manner of applications.

For more information, check out this piece from the International Herald Tribune.

Don't Buy That HDTV, Yet

December 20, 2006 6:54 PM

Pioneer Elite.gif
Here's a good cautionary tale for those looking to make the plunge into buying their first HDTV or getting a second or third set for the bedroom and study. With prices finally coming down to earth, many people have decided they've waited long enough and are snatching up the plasma or LCD thin screens of their dreams.

According to this great piece on by David Carnoy, a new HDMI standard -- specifically HDMI 1.3 -- is slated for incorporation into HDTV's starting around the second quarter of 2007. Based on this information, you just might want to hold off a little while longer before buying that snazzy new set.

What is HDMI 1.3? HDMI, which stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, is a successor to DVI, and is the highest quality A/V connection available today that can transmit both digital audio and video signals. Continue Reading...

Update: Cheap Inkjet Toner Cartridges

December 3, 2006 7:06 PM

epson inkjet cartridge.jpg With some dismay, I noticed that my favorite ecommerce site for cheap inkjet toner cartridges has slowly but surely been nudging prices higher -- despite the frequent 15-25% discounts that are regularly provided. The prices in the last couple of months have jumped from $2.15 to $4.50 for cartridges for my Epson CX6600.

Since I posted about, I have nothing but good things to report regarding using compatible cartridges -- they seem to deliver the same page count per cartridge and the same quality printouts as much, much more expensive OEM cartridges. And my printers don't seem to mind the switch one bit.

So, I started to search for other bargains, and the good news is that there are a host of alternative sites selling cartridges for less. Continue Reading...

Happy Sweet 16 World Wide Web!

November 14, 2006 10:00 AM

According to a posting on Slashdot, the Web celebrated it's 16th anniversary yesterday. According to, the first Web page was "" -- but alas, the site is no longer active. For those of you interested in the history of the Web, the W3 has a neat timelime of Web milestones.

100 Million Web Sites

November 1, 2006 1:23 PM

A huge milestone was reached this past October, according to Internet monitoring company Netcraft. According to the company, there are now 100 million Web sites with domain names and content on them, with about half that many rated as "active" sites that are updated on a regular basis.

And the pace of Web growth appears to be only accelerating: When Netcraft began keeping track of the Web in August, 1995, there were just 18,000 sites in existence. It took until May of 2004 to reach the 50 million milestone, and then only 30 more months to hit the 100 million mark this past month.

Netcraft credits the low cost, and ease of domain registration and new, powerful Web site builders that have taken the complexity out of building Web sites. Much of the growth is attributed to small business, personal and yes, new blog-related sites. Continue Reading...

For those of you who thought mainframe computers were completely passe, washed away in the wake of a flood of powerful, cheap servers -- surprise! Far from disappearing from the IT ecosystem, mainframes are in fact making a big comeback, according to an interesting piece on today.

In fact, according to the piece, IBM's mainframe revenues are up 25% this quarter -- to an estimated $2.3 billion for the first nine months of the year -- which makes it the fastest growing division for the company after microprocessors!

Who'd a thunk that?!

According to research firm TeleGeography, over the past five years wholesale international Internet service providers have experienced demand increases that are virtually unprecedented in other industries. At the same time, equally stunning price declines eroded much of the benefit of this traffic growth. According to the latest research in TeleGeography's Global Internet Geography 2007, these trends continued through the 12 months from Q2 2005 to Q2 2006, but with a significant twist: International IP traffic growth actually accelerated over the past 12 months, while the pace of price erosion abated noticeably in many of the world's most competitive markets.

According to Eric Schoonover, Senior Research Analyst with TeleGeography, "Carriers should not become too optimistic," adding, "At the moment, nearly all markets have growth rates that more than compensate for the steady decline in wholesale prices, providing opportunities for carriers to increase return on investment. This is particularly true in high growth markets, including Latin America and Asia."  For example; in Buenos Aires, the average price for STM-1 access to Internet networks (known as "IP Transit") fell only 11 percent to $187 per Mbps in 2006; at the same time, average Internet traffic from Buenos Aires increased by 119 percent.

For carriers, investors, and hardware/software vendors, such trends are a welcome change of pace from earlier years, when demand could barely keep up with price declines. Continue Reading...

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