Month: January 2007

How Plastics And Nanotechnology Are Changing The Microchip Industry And The World We Live In

By Roger Bell, special to In an article I wrote for the July 2006 edition of The Edge, I used plastics as a metaphor to describe the dawning age of nanotechnology and how applied uses of the new science will sneak into our daily lives with little or no fanfare, as did plastic products. But little did I know when I wrote those words that plastics were still on the march too, particularly in the microchip industry. However, let me add that nanotechnology is behind this important development. So, there! Many major companies and some upstarts are investing heavily to produce plastic polymer microchips, including Philips, Hitachi, Samsung, Lucent, and Plastic Logic. Plastic Logic? This seven year-old British company has developed the world’s first working plastic microchip prototype. More on the company later in this article. Why do we need plastic microchips? After all, silicon is basically sand so how expensive can silicon microchips be to produce? Why would companies spend millions from their R&D budgets on plastic microchips? To paraphrase a well-known line from The X-Files, because the future is out there. Plastic chips will be less costly to manufacture. The cost savings are more related to manufacturing and scale than to the cost of raw materials. Silicon chips require very expensive and elaborate fabrication plants, which use high temperatures and vacuums in manufacturing and also produce...

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Ready, AIIM, Fire: Adobe to Release PDF for Industry Standardization

Adobe Systems announced January 29, 2007 that it “it intends to release the full Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.7 specification to AIIM, the Enterprise Content Management Association, for the purpose of publication by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).” “As the administrator for several specialized ISO standard subsets of PDF, AIIM is pleased to receive this proposal from Adobe,” said John Mancini, President, AIIM. “Over the last several years we have seen and in many cases helped facilitate a range of ongoing market and customer focused efforts around PDF. These efforts have grown so broadly that it now makes sense for Adobe to let the full specification serve as a unifying umbrella and submit it for approval under the formal ISO standards...

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Tool Tip: RestoreWindows Plug-in for Adobe FrameMaker

Thanks to Gordon McLean of Graham Technology (Scotland) for turning us on to RestoreWindows ($12 US), a handy plug-in for Adobe FrameMaker that, according to the manufacturer (Leximation), “restores the window location, zoom factor, and view settings of opened documents along with the show/hide state of frequently used tool windows.” Gordon says this is a useful and time-saving tool that is “especially handy for those working with Structured FrameMaker”. No more “open document, open tool 1, open tool 2, open tool 3 everytime you start FrameMaker. Sounds like a time saver to us. Thanks, Gordon. Your Adobe technical writing t-shirt is on the way to you...

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Forrester Wave vs. Component Content Management

In the January issue of Content Management Professionals newsletter, Ann Rockley shares her thoughts on the recent Forrester Wave Report: Content Centric Applications, Q1 2006 and discusses her views on a category of software tools she calls Component Content Management Systems (CCMS). What is CMMS, you ask? According to the article, “Component Content Management systems manage content at a granular level (component) of content rather than at the document level. Each component represents a single topic, concept or asset (e.g., image, table). Components are assembled into multiple content assemblies (content types) and can be viewed as components or as traditional “documents”. Each component has its own lifecycle (owner, version, approval, use) and can be tracked individually or as part of an assembly. CCM is typically used for multichannel customer-facing content (marketing, usage, learning, support). CCM can be a separate system or be a functionality of another content management type (e.g., ECM or...

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Microsoft Bumble: Manipulating Wikipedia Content Or Just Correcting Mistakes?

Microsoft is in the news again today. No, it’s not the news about Microsoft mistakenly accusing 2.6 million people of using pirated copies of their software.  This time, according to the Associated Press: “Microsoft Corp. has landed in the Wikipedia doghouse after it offered to pay a blogger to change technical articles on the community-produced Web encyclopedia site. While Wikipedia is known as the encyclopedia that anyone can tweak, founder Jimmy Wales and his cadre of volunteer editors, writers and moderators have blocked public-relations firms, campaign workers and anyone else perceived as having a conflict of interest from posting fluff or slanting entries. So paying for Wikipedia copy is considered a definite no-no.” Of course, much of Wikipedia content is submitted by folks with a particular bias or slant. And, it’s certainly not uncommon for a PR firm to discover content about their clients on the web and want to correct it. Wikipedia makes this possible, like it or not. The real issue is intent. If you publish content to Wikipedia that is relevant—and of the type that would be expected in an encyclopedia—who cares who enters it. What matters is if it is factual, accurate and devoid of opinion and bias (as much as is humanly possible). Wikipedia editors are good at correcting sloppy content and removing opinion and speculation. One thing is for sure. This new world...

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