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Structured Data of New York is building Thumbstacks.com, which enables users to create and run slideshows in just about any Web browser. The idea is to build presentations and then publish links, which can be viewed by anyone, anywhere. A remote meeting feature enables users to show their stuff in real-time.

Still in the development stages, the Thumbstacks app—which supports FLASH, AJAX, Flickr and live plug-ins such as Google maps—offers basic presentation functionality. Developers are working on drawing tools, animation, audio and video, according to the company’s blog. You can test drive it.

De-coder10 years ago

Times change, but it’s truly amazing how much stays the same. Ten years ago, ADT ran a story about reporting tools then emerging for client/server environments. The new tools promised the “flexibility of desktop products and the power of host-based systems.” Meta Group analyst Dave Folger observed, “In the past, a manager would get a pile of paper once a week. Now, they’ll get an electronic file that they can print if they want.”

In this month’s May 2006 issue, ADT is running a special report, this time looking at the emergence of open-source reporting tools. Many of the big names—at least on the commercial side—remain the same: Actuate, BusinessObjects and Crystal Reports. In 1996, Actuate’s Director of Product Marketing Bill Osbor said: “While people still need to print out reports, we see reporting moving online where the requirements are different. People expect to interact with reports, [which] can’t be static like ASCII text or a graphical image that doesn’t have any intelligence in it. We created an architecture that delivers active, intelligent objects.”

Testing was another area that began to evolve with the advent of multi-tiered client/server architectures, distributed systems and object-oriented technologies, according to a series of articles. “The proliferation of personal computers has changed software into a consumer product found in homes, as well as the office, and users expect it to work as well as any other appliance,” said Alka Shah Jarvis, president of Bay Area Quality Assurance Association and senior software and service engineer at Stratacom.

DecoderRunning with scissors

Cutting and pasting are standard desktop functions, so why not extend that same model to the Web? Lotus Notes creator and now Microsoft’s CTO Ray Ozzie has asked a MS conceptual dev team, headed by his brother Jack, to work on a new open standard called Live Clipboard. Ozzie acknowledges in his blog that others outside of Microsoft have bandied about similar ideas.

Still in draft spec stages, Live Clipboard would allow users to cut and paste dynamic data between Web pages, Web sites and desktop apps. As Ozzie sees it, calendar and contact information would appear in familiar MS Office formats. The idea behind Live Clipboard is simple: XML feeds are associated with content rather than Web pages or sites.

Designed to support standard JavaScript and CSS techniques, it uses a DHTML control for the copy/paste functionality on pages using the Live Clipboard XML data format. Check out an example of how it works on the sample Web page.

De-coderSoft touch

Germany’s Eleksen is touting fabric keyboards to OEMs for mobile computing devices with USBs or Bluetooth connections. The keyboards, which are the same size as standard laptop and desktop models, are based on ElekTex. That’s the company’s core technology, which uses sensors and electronics to create customizable fabric touchpad interfaces.

Winners & losers

SourceForge.net collected 250,000 votes for its First Annual Community Choice Awards. Only the projects hosted on SourceForge.net with the highest activity rankings in key technology categories were eligible for nomination. Here’s a list of of the winning projects:

  • Clustering—BitTorrent Queue Manager
  • Database—phpMyAdmin
  • Desktop—WINE for Darwin & Mac OS X
  • Development—Gaim
  • Enterprise—Zimbra Collaboration Suite
  • Financial—A PHP Paypal API
  • Game—Xbox Media Center
  • Hardware—Linux on the Microsoft Xbox
  • Multimedia—Xbox Media Center
  • Networking—FileZilla
  • Security—WinSCP
  • SysAdmin—phpMyAdmin
  • VoIP—Asterisk GUI client
  • Most Popular—Azureus
  • BitTorrent Client

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