Charnell Lucich

Posts Tagged ‘Web

Mashable wrote an article about a news site called Newspond. Their “about” page brags that the site is “the most advanced news site on the planet.” That’s a pretty big statement to make, given the competition that already exists. Its main function is similar to that of Techmeme, with some of the social features of Digg thrown in.

At first glance, it appears that the content that is floating to the top of Newspond is very different to what is atop Techmeme right now. It’s not clear whether this is due to the sources that Newspond is drawing on, or due to differences in their algorithms. I tend to think that it is a result of the algorithm, since many of the sources for popular articles are comparable on both sites.

As far as functionality and look goes, Newspond is at the top of the heap. Everything on the site moves so smoothly, and there are beautiful gradients and rounded corners as far as the eye can see. Comments slide out and boxes light up all over the site. The design of Newspond should be the poster child for Web 2.0.

I don’t think that Newspond will dethrone Techmeme or Digg anytime soon, but they are definitely a start-up to keep your eye on. If any of their claims end up coming to fruition, we will be hearing from them a lot.

Kevin sent me an article to read this morning, just as he does every morning after I get to work and I must say, I was pretty damn happy to see it. In this post I’ll share snippets from the article and if it strikes your interest, you can read more about it here.

At the end of last year, (2007 for those of you who haven’t really got in the groove of realizing it’s now 2008) ICANN/IANA made the following announcement:

“On 4 February 2008, IANA will add AAAA records for the IPv6 addresses of the four root servers whose operators have requested it.”

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is responsible for the global Domain Name System, IANA ( Internet Assigned Numbers Authority ) is a part of ICANN. So as this article states, “come February 4, 2008, it will be possible for two IPv6 hosts to communicate across the IPv6 Internet without having to rely on any IPv4 infrastructure.” We’ve heard a lot of stories about getting to this point for several years now and I’m happy to see that it’s finally coming together.

Just as the article explains, when a DNS server starts up, it has to find the root servers that sit at the top of the name delegation chain. For this purpose, a DNS server keeps a local hints file, named.root, (or named.cache or named.ca, found in /var/named/ on many systems) that has the names and addresses for all the root servers. However, system administrators don’t always keep this file up to date, so the first thing that a DNS server does upon startup is ask for an up-to-date list of root servers. So as long as there is still a single correct root server address in that named.root file, everything will work.

The problem: the original Domain Name System specification only allows for 512-byte packets in the DNS protocol. Now doing the math with 13 root servers, that’s quite a bit over 400 bytes already. Having any useful number of IPv6 addresses for root servers would push this beyond the 512-byte limit. This is part of the reason that the parties involved have constantly re-evaluated the downside effects of when IPv6 addresses for the root DNS servers are added to “the dot.” (A dot signifies the end of a DNS name. A dot without a name is the root of the DNS hierarchy.) The majority of modern DNS software is very well capable of sending and receiving packets larger than 512 bytes. If a DNS server doesn’t indicate this capability in its request, the root server will fit as much as it can within a 512-byte packet and mark the answer as “truncated,” which is the requester’s cue to retry the request over TCP rather than the usual UDP. So older DNS software shouldn’t have any problems, either, so long as firewalls don’t block DNS packets larger than 512 bytes or DNS requests over TCP.

And finally,

“If you run a resolving DNS server (that doesn’t include a DNS server in a home router), this is something you may want to check with your firewall administrator/vendor before February 4. If you run really old DNS software, this might be a good time to upgrade. However, if it’s well-behaved, you shouldn’t have any problems as long as you don’t download the new named.root file with IPv6 addresses in it that will no doubt show up on the IANA web site in the next few weeks. In the binary DNS protocol, the unknown information is of a known size and can be ignored by older software, but IPv6 addresses in a text file can only be parsed by software that is IPv6-aware.”

I was quite surprised at first when I read the announcement today that SWSoft had acquired WebHost Automation, maker of the Helm Control Panel.

By integrating Helm into the SWsoft family of automation and virtualization solutions and partners through our Open Fusion initiative, Helm customers will be able to take advantage of a wider array of solutions and new business opportunities such as software as a service (SaaS),” said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of SWsoft.

So, this acquisition follows 3 automation software acquisitions that SWsoft made just months earlier  – Sphera, Ensim Pro and Positive Software. Could there be an IPO in the works?

cPanel next?  Nah!

A co-worker and very good friend linked me to an article today that shows Internet Explorer 8 passed the acid2 test and is now more standards compliant than Mozilla. I didn’t believe him at first until I started reading. This is good news for web developers.
You can check out the Acid2 Browser Test here.

The Chumby is a compact device about the size of a GPS that allows you to access the internet using your wireless internet connection. Instead of lugging around your laptop or always searching for a public computer to access the Internet, you can just toss this little baby in your bag or in your purse and go.

My first thought when reading about this neat little gadget was, “cool idea, but what’s the cost?” They boast that the cost is less than $200.00 which is a great deal, especially since it includes FREE access to the Chumby Network. No subscriptions, no plans, it’s all paid for by Chumby and sponsors who send you widgets to use.

The only downside that I see for this neat little gadget is that you always have to have AC power. The reason for this is because it’s always on; no sleep mode. Luckily they say it takes less than 30 seconds to power up if it shuts down for any reason.

They say that “the Chumby is “open” for tinkering in every way: hardware and software specifications are available online, plus the pattern for crafting new cases.”

I’ll be checking one of these out just as soon as it’s available for me to purchase.

I read an article not long ago that spoke about how Web 2.0 technology empowers the user with web tools and sites such as Wikipedia, Digg, Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, and so many others. Sites like this are user friendly, easy to access and share. I’m always amazed at how far we’ve come from just not too long ago with technology, social networking and the like.

Bridging the gap between consumer Web 2.0 and Enterprise. All of these individual Web 2.0 sites are great for the average person, but to reach the Enterprise they need to be combined in such a way that works for companies. Enterprise needs are much different than personal needs, so someone needs to become the conduit between consumer and enterprise: a community evangelist. Being a Community Evangelist, my job is to talk to both customers and the internal business units to get everyone working together, bridging the gap. Customers don’t always understand how the business works internally (if they did, they could do it themselves!) and businesses sometimes lose focus of what their customers really need or want.

To read more, check out “Enterprise Mashups“.


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