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NOTES FROM THE FIELD: JavaOne is Java ultra lite

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: JavaOne is Java ultra lite

My head hurts. No, I haven't been drowning my sorrows since Randi left me. I've moved on, bought a Harley (I'm told they're great for meeting women) and hit the tech trail with a passion.

My first stop was the annual pilgrimage to JavaOne in San Francisco recently. The upside of this gig is catching up with old programming buddies and drinking long into the night. The downside is waking up.

Health issues aside, I'm not happy with all the self-congratulations on the podium. Talk about lightweight keynotes - Java's cool, but tell us something we don't know instead of firing T-shirts into the crowd.

With much of the focus on wireless Java apps, it's curious that Palm was the subject of rumour on the floor. My spies claim its looking to be sold off.

Here's the skinny. Palm recently wrote off $US300 million in inventory and could be looking for more capital infusion. Sure, $300 million is not as bad as Cisco Systems's recent effort, but it does equal 200 million units.

Rumoured buyers include IBM, Apple Computer and Sony: Steve Jobs mentioned that he'd like to buy Palm a few weeks ago; IBM's WorkPad is simply a rebranded Palm device; and Sony is building a PDA business, so buying Palm would lower its entry-to-market costs.

Meanwhile, I heard that a battle is boiling between Sun Microsystems and Motorola over Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME). At first, Java was too bloated to work on phones, so Motorola stepped in, cut it down and hey, presto! Sun got the kudos and Motorola didn't mind until it became a standard.

Now Sun's changed J2ME to "take it to the next level" with new APIs and is peddling it to Motorola competitors. My spy claims Motorola execs are just a little bit ticked off.

If you read between the lines, Motorola's anger is evident in its recent press announcement about a graphical user interface extension for J2ME implementations. "This extension is called Motorola's Lightweight Windowing Toolkit (LWT) and it can be added to any implementation of J2ME that is compliant to the MDIP (Mobile Information Device Profile) specification."

"Dr Cringely, Dr Cringely, did I miss the one week of free counselling?" wrote a frantic reader in response to my "Dr Love" column last week.

"I need a wife! Where on earth can I find a woman who will put up with technobabble as well as a close-to-50, overweight but young-at-heart and ready-to-start-a-family man?"

That's an easy one. Buy a motorbike and become a trade show junkie. Behold the trade show dream: Lara Croft is lost out there in the lobby and she needs your help.

Hmm, maybe I should keep up this consulting thing? One trade show dream and my head's starting to feel clearer already.

Got some antipodean gossip? Send it on to cringe@infoworld.com


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