News & Commentary
Content tagged with Infrastructure posted in January 2006
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IE 7 Beta? It's Not Quite 'Just Click Here'
Commentary  |  1/31/2006  | 
Microsoft really wants the IT pros to check out the just-released Internet Explorer beta. It's got checklists of stuff you should run through on the download site. But if you're just an average Joe Tirekicker, be prepared to jump through some hoops to get the beta up and running on your system. Not big hoops, just enough annoyance to make you think maybe you don't need to bother.
What Bush Might Say About Health Care In Tonight's State of the Union Address
Commentary  |  1/31/2006  | 
Besides the war in Iraq, another hot-button topic that President Bush is expected to give a lot of attention to tonight in his State of the Union Address, is health care, including its spiraling costs and the coverage that millions of Americans lack.
Don't Look Now, But You're A Blogger
Commentary  |  1/30/2006  | 
Studies show most Internet users don't maintain a blog, and even fewer keep an RSS feed. There has been plenty of buzz around blogging over the past two years but, as some observers have pointed out, blogging is just writing that's shared with others using software that makes it all very easy.
Five Things You Need To Know About VoIP
Commentary  |  1/30/2006  | 
Thinking of moving to VoIP, or you've already made the switch? Here's some of the things you need to know about efficiency, security, scalability, and how VoIP can help make your company look cool.
RFID Connects U.S. Outsourcing With India And China
Commentary  |  1/29/2006  | 
Savi Technology Inc., a privately held company that generated revenue of approximately $90 million in 2005, is working with retail companies and ship-vessel operators to build out an international supply chain. This supply chain is enabled by radio frequency identification technology (RFID). The goal is to gain access to real-time data transmitted from the RFID tags on containers in transit to make split-second decisions that could redirect cargo in transit. The application will become more va
Hands Off My Internet, Mark Cuban!
Commentary  |  1/27/2006  | 
Common Cause has picked up the cudgels for "network neutrality," the idea that the Internet should be an equal-opportunity medium, not for sale to the highest bidder the way Big Telco would like to see it. And I love the way the consumer-advocacy group has gone about it -- with pictures of five telco executives in devil's horns posed against the fires of hell. That's about right. But one of those executives is Mark Cuban, the technology maverick who owns the Dallas Mavericks. Wait, this is a guy
'FON' Has Fun With U.S. Launch
News  |  1/26/2006  | 
Startup launches a volunteer-based global network of Wi-Fi hotspots.
Avaya, Juniper Team For Enterprise Networking Wares
News  |  1/26/2006  | 
One example of what the two will jointly offer: a secure IP telephony system for organizations with geographically dispersed offices.
Intel-AMD MPU War Over, We're All Winners
Commentary  |  1/25/2006  | 
It's officially time to call an end to the microprocessor war between Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. War implies that there will be an ultimate victor and a vanquished, a result that's increasingly apparent will not be occurring any time this decade.
Vista: Exclusivity By Design
Commentary  |  1/25/2006  | 
Hoo boy. If you thought Microsoft Vista was going to be complicated to run on a PC, that looks like simplicity itself compared to writing applications to run on it. At every level from the lowliest device driver to the most complex GUI app Microsoft is putting developers through hoops and tightening its grip. If you're a developer who thought it was tough to compete with Microsoft before, get ready for a whole new relationship: Microsoft as God.
Web Talk Show To Be Hosted By Cartoon Character
Commentary  |  1/25/2006  | 
Here's something that could only happen on the Internet -- a new talk show in development that will be unveiled later this year will be hosted by a cartoon character. A British-accented baby named "Stewie" from the Fox animated series "Family Guy" is slated to host the new, online-only show.
AT&T, Avaya Partner On Enterprise VoIP Solution
News  |  1/25/2006  | 
AT&T and Avaya have joined forces to offer a comprehensive managed VoIP solution intended to simplify enterprise migrations to VoIP.
VCs Invest Less In IT, Sort Of
News  |  1/24/2006  | 
But other types of ventures receiving investors' money heavily depend on technology to exist.
What Disney's Pixar Deal Means For Apple: The MoodPod
Commentary  |  1/24/2006  | 
With Disney set to buy Pixar for $7 billion in stock, there will be two main beneficiaries. The first, of course, is Steve Jobs, who stands to double his $3 billion net worth. The second is Apple Computer.
Counterpoint: You Don't Have To Be A Busybody To Worry About Privacy
Commentary  |  1/23/2006  | 
Bob Evans turns his razor-sharp pen on self-styled "privacy advocates" who object to the government subpoenaing search records in defense of the Child Online Protection Act. But you don't have to be a kook to be worried about government setting a big bucket to scoop up thousands of gallons of information about Internet searches.
Now They're Giving Away Kid's GPS Cell Phone
Commentary  |  1/23/2006  | 
A company in the UK is actually now giving away cell phones aimed at children. The phones have four preset buttons and feature GPS. The company doesn't charge for the phone or the GPS tracking, but does charge a normal rate for the phone
Business Technology: Through The Prying Eyes Of 'Privacy Advocates'
Commentary  |  1/20/2006  | 
Fighting children's access to pornography is a noble cause, so Google must find a way to aggregate search information without compromising the privacy of individual customers, Bob Evans says.
Cisco Security Alerts Serve As VoIP Wake-Up Call
News  |  1/20/2006  | 
Cisco's revelation last week of two security alerts and fixes for CallManager, the processing component of its voice-over-IP technology, is a reminder that there's no getting around VoIP's vulnerability.
Five Ways To Avoid Gaming Addiction
Commentary  |  1/20/2006  | 
In November, we ran a poll on this site asking what kind of electronic crack you're addicted to. The results were shocking: Video games - 9% PC games - 14% Online multiplayer games - 15% Instant Messaging - 5% Web surfing - 18% Online pornography - 7% E-mail - 14% Cell phone text messaging - 3% Mobile gaming - 2% None -- I'm not addicted to any of the above - 13% You'll note that somewhere between 15 and 40 percent of you are
Wisconsin Getting Wireless Broadband Network
News  |  1/20/2006  | 
A high-speed wireless broadband network using Alvarion Ltd. gear and technology is being rolled out in Wisconsin by TDS Metrocom, as the two firms begin eyeing wide regions underserved or not served at all by broadband.
Consumers Say Feds Should Protect Their Right To Internet Services: Survey
News  |  1/20/2006  | 
Two-thirds of Internet users worry that Internet providers may block their access to information and services, and a majority support congressional action to prevent the practice, says a new survey released this week by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).
Lower That Windows Threat Condition Level, Please
Commentary  |  1/20/2006  | 
Well, darn. I was hoping Steve Gibson was right last week and Microsoft had planted a secret backdoor in the Windows Metafile format (WMF) that would let Bill Gates run mind-domination software on all our PCs and achieve his goal of taking over the universe. Yesterday Gibson said after another week of looking at it that the backdoor is d
Langa Letter: XP On Your Thumb Drive
Commentary  |  1/19/2006  | 
Fred Langa offers a step-by-step and illustrated guide on how to boot XP from an ordinary USB drive.
High-Tech Obsolescence: How To Date Yourself In A Nanosecond
Commentary  |  1/19/2006  | 
I'm a night owl, or, as one of my smarty-pants sisters likes to put it, a vampire. I don't require lots of sleep, and I can get so much done in the distraction-free hours of the night. That's also when I happen to listen to TV the most--usually in background for a little white noise. Every now and then, something flashing across the screen from one of the mostly boring late-night talk shows catches my attention. The other night it was the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show. He did a very amusing ske
No Cell Phone Cancer Risk Found -- Again
Commentary  |  1/19/2006  | 
British researchers say in a British Medical Journal report to be published tomorrow that they have found no evidence that mobile phones cause brain cancer.
EarthLink And Motorola Team Up For City Wi-Fi Projects
News  |  1/19/2006  | 
Philadelphia and Anaheim, Calif., are first on the project list for Wi-Fi, and three more U.S. cities are expected.
Three New Mice-Phones Unveiled
Commentary  |  1/18/2006  | 
In the dark, forbidding corners of the recent CES event in Las Vegas two weeks ago, a new, underappreciated micro-industry emerged: The desktop PC mouse that doubles as a VoIP phone. The idea is an unholy convergence between the ubiquitous mouse, and the largely non-existent PC handset for VoIP calls through Skype, Google Talk or some other service.
Salesforce.com Brings Big Names Into New Apps Marketplace
News  |  1/17/2006  | 
Adobe, Business Objects, and Skype will offer their applications through Salesforce's new AppExchange site.
Security Concerns Mount For Wireless Networks
News  |  1/17/2006  | 
Security is top-of-mind for businesses managing wireless networks, especially as they start adding new applications, such as voice over IP. Meru Networks' new offering scrambles malicious code at the radio-frequency signal level.
Ultimate PC? I Can Dream
Commentary  |  1/17/2006  | 
I confess: I have lust in my heart -- lust for the ASUS P5N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard, for the eVGA e-GeForce 7800 GTX KO video card, even for the Antec Performance P160 case. I've been reading Bill O'Brien's article on The Ultimate PC For 2006. I want one just the way I have always wanted a Porsche, or Diane Lane.
IBM Inks $1.1 Billion Outsourcing Deal With Gap
News  |  1/17/2006  | 
The 10-year pact calls for IBM to support and manage mainframes, servers, networks, and data centers, as well as provide help-desk and disaster-recovery services.
Sky TV Launches Two New Broadband Video Services
News  |  1/17/2006  | 
U.K.-based Sky TV has launched two new services, Sky by broadband and Sky by mobile, that lets subscribers watch TV on their computers and on their mobile phones.
Advertisers Planning To Spam Your Phone With Video Ads
Commentary  |  1/16/2006  | 
It's called ad creep. As an increasing number of available spaces -- from stadiums to grocery store floors, from beach sand to people's foreheads -- become littered with advertising, marketers look hard for new places to hit you with their advertising messages. It's driving them nuts that you spend so much time looking at your cell phone, yet that phone isn't as polluted with spam as your e-mail inbox.
Smartlabs Gaming And Movie Technology
Commentary  |  1/14/2006  | 
The idea came out of the Insteon technology group at Smartlabs. Imagine the lights in your home begin to flicker as thunder and lightning affect the characters in the movie you're watching or the video game you're playing. Wouldn't that make it the ultimate movie or gaming experience? It's possble, and I'll tell you how.
The Urge To Converge - And Embed
Commentary  |  1/13/2006  | 
Everywhere you look, convergence is the air. I'm not just talking about the much celebrated intersection of consumer and business technology, nor the newly emerged jockeying for position, as IT vendors seek to cozy up to consumer companies and their lucrative customers. It's way more than that.
Business Technology: Nanotech Nannies Threaten To Cripple Industry
Commentary  |  1/13/2006  | 
Let's not let the drive to regulate interfere with reasonable advances as a promising technology takes off, Bob Evans says.
IBM Targets Blade Servers At Retail Stores
News  |  1/13/2006  | 
IBM is offering blades, middleware, point-of-sale applications from third-party vendors, and an integrated wireless switch from Symbol Technologies.
3 Out Of 4 Block Telemarketing Calls
News  |  1/13/2006  | 
Most participants in the Federal Trade Commission's Do-Not-Call program say they have seen a drastic decline in telemarketer calls, although they're still getting the calls.
Lucent Trims Predictions, Names New COO
News  |  1/13/2006  | 
The network equipment maker said Friday that it won't meet its revenue numbers for fiscal 2006. It also named its chief financial officer, Frank D'Amelio, as chief operating officer.
Big Phone Company, Little Problem
Commentary  |  1/13/2006  | 
For the Desktop Pipeline email newsletter this week I wrote a rant about the greedy telephone companies who charge you for access to the Internet and have decided they also want to charge Internet sites for access to you. I got several attaboys from readers, including a note from Syd Warburton, who recounted his own struggles with SBC. (SBC is the company that, under bully
U.K. Government To Sell Legendary Spy Shop That Inspired James Bond's Q
News  |  1/13/2006  | 
High-tech R&D firm is credited with inventing or co-inventing the jet engine, radar, and the liquid crystal display.
Langa Letter: 5 Essential Steps To PC Security
Commentary  |  1/12/2006  | 
As the new year begins, Fred Langa says keep these items in mind to help prevent data theft, identity theft, and private information falling into the wrong hands. These steps will give you 365 days of safe computing.
Google Runs First-Ever Home Page 'Ad'
Commentary  |  1/12/2006  | 
Google is running today its first-ever "ad" on its home page. Some users in the United States are reporting that a pitch for CSI and NBA TV shows on Google Video is showing up at the bottom of their Google home page screens. Others don't see it at all.
AT&T Bulks Up Customer Service Portal
News  |  1/12/2006  | 
AT&T is adding a click-to-chat service that makes a customer service rep available with the click of a mouse.
Clothing Makers Jump On iPod Bandwagon
Commentary  |  1/11/2006  | 
Makers of everything from jeans to underwear are jumping on the Apple iPod bandwagon, hoping to boost sales by hanging on to the coat-tails of the Apple iPod juggernaut. In the past, iPod clothing has come from little known niche manufacturers. But today, the first major international clothing maker has jumped in front of the iPod clothing parade. Levi's announced today that the company plans to sell denim jeans with an iPod remot
Networking's Big Players Form Ethernet Industry Alliance
News  |  1/11/2006  | 
After Ethernet's 25 years in existence, some vendors felt it was time to gather as a 'voice' for the technology, particularly on the development side.
New Macs: If Not Now, When?
Commentary  |  1/11/2006  | 
I'm dying to get my hands on one of the new Intel-based iMacs or MacBook Pro laptops, just to see what Steve Jobs' "twice as fast" would feel like. I've offered up my first-born child to the hardware loan people at Apple (I didn't tell my first-born, because if Apple turns me down it would probably hurt his feelings), but I'm not counting on hearing from them any time soon. I just called my neighborhood Apple store and . . . I'm not counting on seeing the new Macs there anytime soon either.
Video: Mona Lisa Smile
Commentary  |  1/10/2006  | 
Researchers at the University of Amsterdam analyzed the Mona Lisa using advanced emotion-recognition software and figured out why she's smiling. Watch my video commentary (1 min., 32 sec.) WARNING: May induce laughing behavior.
Digital Rights Management Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better
Commentary  |  1/10/2006  | 
Most online services and entertainment-related concerns, I'm hoping, learned lessons from Sony about what *not* to do with DRM, sure, but there aren't a lot of models yet about how to do DRM right.
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