Ryze Needs an Update…in users

Be forewarned, I’m probably going to make someone mad with this one…but that’s OK. No one ever accused me of lacking an opinion. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago about the latest fad: online networking. In the article, they mentioned two web sites: Ryze (www.ryze.com) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com). Both of these were to be like mixers…only on-line. You could go to the websites, find people interested in the same things you were, and network.
Well, LinkedIn caters to professionals who want to protect their email from SPAM. So other than allowing the producers of The Bachelor to SPAM their members, the list is pretty protected. Ryze, on the other hand, seems to be inhabited almost exclusively by vocal MLM sales people and “spiritual success” advisors. I spend more time deleting their “flame” wars than sharing useful information.
So look me up on LinkedIn. I’d like to see you there. Until Ryze revises its target audience, I’d stay away…unless you’re selling the latest meditation technique guaranteed to earn me $50Million. In that case, just skip Ryze and email me directly. You know the address. Right?

Acrobat 8 Beta 1 Available

Adobe Acrobat 8 Beta 1 is available. Adobe Acrobat has done as much to move us in the direction of the paperless office, make electronic publishing easier, and ennable document transmission. In addition, the ability to annotate, collect data, and work with forms through Acrobat has evolved through the last several versions.
Acrobat Reader, which you need to read Acrobat documents, is free. Acrobat professional, which creates Acrobat documents, isn’t free. In fact, it’s quite expensive.
If all you need to do is to make your Microsoft Word report into a PDF, there are cheaper alternatives, such as ScanSoft PDF Converter or Nitro PDF or PrimoPDF.
As the article below says of these cheaper alternatives,

These PDF converters lack many of the features found in Acrobat 8 Professional, such as Web conferencing tie-ins and workflow capabilities, but they can capably create PDF documents.

Adobe Builds on Acrobat Strengths

RFID As A Passport

There has been a lot in the news lately about RFID as a supply-chain replacement for barcode. As a barcode replacement, RFID has a lot of benefits. There are other uses of RFID, though.
American Express was one of the first to release a credit card (Blue) with an embedded RFID chip. They also offered a free USB port connected reader that could be used to read the info from the card and enter it into eCommerce applications that were ennabled for the card. I actually ordered one. Still have it. Never used it.
Now RFID is rearing its head in international territory. The PASS card will replace the Passport for entry into certain countries. Take a look at the article below for more information.
New Border-Crossing Card Could Boost RFID Demand – Security Technology News by TechWeb

Now That Microsoft Vista Is (Almost) A Reality, What Next?

Vista (the next version of Windows) nears its release date. It’s near enough that the spin machine is already in full force. The first couple of questions from clients have arrived in my in-box. What should we do? How will it work with my existing hardware? What software will I have to update? Will my old DOS programs still work?
And the answer is…no one knows, really. The release candidates that have come out have enjoyed generally good reviews. The last couple have tuned features and speed items that were sorely needed. For months, we’ve known that you needed good, speedy hardware to run Vista. Systems as little as 18 to 24 months might need upgrades to run Vista, if they run Vista at all. But the jury is still out. We need to see the actual production version of the code. And load it a few times.
So if you want to be a guinea pig, go ahead and buy the first copies of Vista off the production line. Otherwise, our (my) advice is … WAIT!
The article below gives you and idea of some of the issues to be addressed before committing to Vista.
Vista Compatibility: What Does Microsoft Owe Us?