Thursday, May 31, 2007

O'Reilly Ignites Boston

O'Reilly wants to Ignite Boston and you are invited to a special event.

O'Reilly Media is the publisher of technology books including such popular series as Head First, In a Nutshell and the upcoming Dynamic Learning self-paced training system for learning Adobe CS3.

Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media and a Harvard graduate. He is credited with coining the phrase Web 2.0.

Ignite Boston takes place on Thursday, May 31 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Tommy Doyle's at Harvard Square in Cambridge. The event includes a keynote address and "guest speakers who’ll catch you up on the cool, new, innovative stuff going on in technology today."


If you plan to attend, email IgniteBoston [at] oreilly [dot] com for the chance to win $300 worth of really cool technology books, compliments of O’Reilly Media. You must be present to walk away with the prize, so sign up and show up to win!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Google Developer Day

Google is going global on Thursday, May 31 to discuss its view of the future of web applications. The first ever
Google Developer Day™ will feature live, free webcasts discussing Google's Web development tools.

Early birds can catch the London keynote address live at 7:00 am EDT. The Mountain View keynote address will be broadcast live at 1:00 pm EDT.

Building Blocks for Better Web Applications

Google will offer presentations on the following topics:

  • Google Maps
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Spreadsheet
  • Google Checkout
  • Ajax
  • XML
  • Mashups
  • Python
Presentations begin at 2:00 pm EDT. A complete schedule is available at Google Developer Day 2007 Website.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Second Life (In the Year 2525)

In the Year 1969

Zager and Evans became a one-hit wonder when their hauntingly futuristic song In the Year 2525 orbited the Billboard charts for six weeks.
"In the year 2525,
If man is still alive,
If woman can survive,
They may find..."
In the Year 2007

A San Francisco-based company with its own vision for the future acquired a Waltham-based company called Windward Mark Interactive and is looking for talent to help bring its vision of the future into focus. The name of the company is Linden Lab and its vision of the future can be found in Second Life, a three dimensional online community.

In the Year 2011

. . . 80 percent of active Internet users (and Fortune 500 enterprises) will have a "Second Life"' in the virtual world, according to Gartner, Inc. " . . . don't ignore this trend. [It] will have a significant impact on your enterprise during the next five years." To learn more access a summary of Gartner's Five Laws for companies participating in the virtual world.

In the Year 2017

"Instead of Web sites like we have now, we'll have 3-D representations in the virtual world," according to a representative of Mozilla which oversees the development of the Firefox browser. "Business travel, telecommuting, and even the basic things people expect in day-to-day business will be affected." To see how the Web browser will evolve to accommodate 3D technologies championed by Linden Lab access an Information Week article.

Meet The Lindens

If you would like to be part of this future, Linden Lab would like to meet you. They are throwing a private party in Boston the evening of Wednesday, May 30. To find out how you can attend and impress the Lindens with your skills, register for the Boston Recruiting Party for your opportunity to begin a Second Life!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Omnivore or Indifferent?

Imagine a world without the Internet or cell phones. It was not that long ago that this world existed. Yet, nearly half of adults in the United States have a somewhat distant or non-existent relationship with modern information technology. This technology includes Internet access and cell phone usage.

A survey of more than 4,000 adults conducted by the Pew Internet Project categorized adults into the following three groups:
  • elite technology users (31%)
  • moderate technology users (20%)
  • have little or no usage of the Internet or cell phones (49%)
The focus of the survey was on information technology, especially the Internet and cell phones, but also included other technologies such as digital cameras.


Elite technology users were categorized into four subgroups as follows:
  • Omnivores: voracious users of information gadgets and services
  • Connectors: use technology to connect to people and manage digital content
  • Lackluster Veterans: frequent Internet users, but not early adapters; less avid about cell phones
  • Productivity Enhancers: main focus is personal and professional communication
Moderate technology users were categorized into two subgroups as follows:
  • Mobile Centrics: heavy cell phone users; infrequent Internet users
  • Connected But Hassled: find connectivity intrusive and information something of a burden

Low level technology users were categorized into four subgroups as follows:
  • Inexperienced Experimenters: occasionally interactive; late Internet adopters
  • Light But Satisfied: technology does not play a central role in their daily lives
  • Indifferents: use cell phone and the Internet intermittently and find connectivity annoying
  • Off the Network: content with old media and have little use for cell phones, digital cameras and the Internet
The implications of this research are important for helping marketing and technology professionals understand who is most likely to be receptive to Web- and cell-based communications. To learn more about this study access a press release available from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Which technology group do you belong to? To find out take a ten-question quiz.

Editor's Note: The results of my quiz reveal that I am a Connector. Here is my profile:

Connectors, which make up 7% of the population, have a median age of 38, with a majority (54%) in the 30-49 age range. Ethnically, it is mostly white (72%); 16% are Black and 12% are English-speaking Hispanics. The typical Connector has been online for 9 years, which suggests they were a second-wave of late 1990s adopters. Most are women (55%) and they rate above average in educational attainment and income.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

JavaFX Script & Silverlight

Two new kids have moved into the neighborhood and Web designers and developers should take notice. The kids names are JavaFX Script and Silverlight.
JavaFX Script has siblings in the JavaFX family and Silverlight is related to the Expression family.

New Kids on the Block

JavaFX Script is a new scripting language based on Java which was created by Sun Microsystems. JavaFX Script enables content rich, highly interactive sites to be built by creative professionals on Java-based devices including computer, television and mobile.

Silverlight is a Microsoft product designed to compete with Adobe Flash. It was engineered using a subset of Microsoft's .NET technology. Silverlight provides support for such technologies as XHTML, JavaScript, Ajax, Apache, PHP, Visual Basic, C#, Python, Ruby and MP3.


JavaFX is a Sun Microsytems family that currently includes the siblings JavaFX Script and JavaFX Mobile. New follow-on content authoring tools are expected to be added to the family in the near future.

Expression is a Microsoft family of tools developed for professional designers who build Web and Windows client applications and rich media content. Expression Studio includes the following family members:
Test Drive

JavaFX Script and Silverlight are currently in test release. Microsoft Expression is available for purchase and free trial versions of the entire suite or individual family members can be downloaded for 60 days.

Beantown Web will monitor the demand for Web professionals who have developed expertise in using these new tool sets
as these technologies become mainstream.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Boston Market -- May

Quality jobs remain plentiful as the U.S. economy continues its expansion. Here are three positive indicators from surveys released during the past week:

  • Deloitte's 2007 CEO Survey -- CEOs of the fastest growing technology companies report that finding, hiring and retaining qualified employees continues to be their biggest operational challenge.
  • Spherion IT Employment Report -- Three factors -- growing technology economy, increasing Web 2.0 activity, declining graduation rates of science and engineering students -- are converging to create an abundance of open IT jobs with few qualified candidates available to fill them.
  • Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series -- Massachusetts leads the country in job openings per capita with more than five vacancies for every 100 persons in the labor force.
This month's analysis of the job market for Web-related technology professionals focuses on scripting languages. Earlier this year Evans Data Corporation released its 2007 Scripting Languages – Developers Choice Report. More than 400 developers evaluated 12 scripting languages. The focus of the survey was to determine which provided the best security.

Two scripting languages provided superior security:
So, does best security equate to best job prospects? Here is a list of the 12 scripting languages along with the number of listings for that technology at
  • JavaScript [ 228 ]
  • Perl [ 207 ]
  • ASP.NET [ 177 ]
  • Python [ 70 ]
  • PHP [ 65 ]
  • ColdFusion [ 40 ]
  • VB Script [ 31 ]
  • Ruby [ 25 ]
  • ActionScript [ 18 ]
  • Tcl [ 7 ]
  • Adobe Flex [ 4 ]
  • XAML [ 1 ]
If you are a Web technology professional and would like to expand your career prospects, consider formulating a training plan to learn one of the top three scripting languages:
All three of these languages are in the Top 10 Web Technologies list which has been updated for May and appears in the right-hand column along with links to jobs that list that technology skill in the job description.

Once again database and programming skills dominate the Top 10 Web Technologies list. Expertise with these technologies form the foundation for solid career prospects as website owners continue to move beyond static website offerings.

The remaining 17 Web-related skills are as follows:

  1. CSS [ 122 ]
  2. Photoshop [ 97 ]
  3. Flash [ 91 ]
  4. Ajax [ 86 ]
  5. Python [ 70 ]
  6. PHP [ 65 ]
  7. MySQL [ 64 ]
  8. DHTML [ 59 ]
  9. Visual Studio [ 47 ]
  10. Dreamweaver [ 45 ]
  11. ColdFusion [ 40 ]
  12. DB2 [ 40 ]
  13. VBScript [ 31 ]
  14. Ruby [ 25 ]
  15. XHTML [ 22 ]
  16. ActionScript [ 18 ]
  17. DOM [ 12 ]
Average Salaries in Boston and Browser Version Market Share have also been updated and appear in the right-hand column.

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