Stories by Peter Wayner

AJAX breathes new life into Web apps

One year ago, Thomas Lackner didn't ask much of JavaScript. When he sketched out the architecture to a Web application, he knew he could count on the browser language for "set-a-cookie hacks" and for loading images, but he turned to the server side for the heavy lifting. But when Google began launching highly interactive Web sites such as Gmail and Google Suggest, the scales dropped from Lackner's eyes and he saw the opportunity.

iSpy

Gathering competitive intelligence over the Internet is a deadly serious game that can be played in many ways. There's a wealth of information readily available, and it can offer a surprising amount of insight into the competition's next move. Savvy companies are keeping close tabs on competitors in a variety of ways.

New Wine, Old Apps

For many people in the computing industry, the fight card for the next several years is dominated by one colossal battle for supremacy: Windows vs. Linux. At first glance, the issues seem simple. Microsoft Corp. will offer software compatibility and stability, while Linux will counter with low cost and full access to everything under the hood. Some see it as a battle between being coddled (or regulated) and being free.

Protecting Your Property in Cyberspace

Elizabeth Osder designs Web sites for companies like the Financial Times in London, and she has a problem. A vice president at iXL Enterprises Inc. in New York, she knows that the sites she designs must deliver readers and revenue. Many readers can bring in lots of revenue. But this revenue can be cut dramatically if someone steals the sites' content -- text, images and layout. And digital content is easy to cut and paste.