News & Commentary
Content tagged with Infrastructure posted in March 2006
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Privacy Protection: Progress, Of Sorts
Commentary  |  3/31/2006  | 
Reasonable minds can argue over the specifics in these bills, and they should. But whatever passes, and I do hope that happens soon, at least those bills form some sort of basis for nailing thieves and for holding accountable the companies that are the repositories of our most sensitive data. It also speaks to a beginning of a public policy of sorts.
Next Version of Google Talk Leaked
Commentary  |  3/31/2006  | 
Screenshots and installation software for a major upgrade version of Google's instant messaging application, Google Talk, have apparently been leaked online. The new Google Talk appears to have "themes," color schemes and so on for how conversations look, and the equivalent of what rival AOL Instant Messenger calles "Buddy Icons." Here's a look at the screenshots.
Ethics Aren't Just For The Classroom
Commentary  |  3/30/2006  | 
My colleague Paul McDougall has been taking quite a beating in the comments section of the InformationWeek Weblog for suggesting that it's a bad idea for executives to take massive gifts from vendors bidding on company business. Paul is making the crazy, wild-eyed assertion that bribery is, perhaps, ethically speaking, the nonoptimal solution. You might even say it's wrong.
The Nerdy Way To Better Health
Commentary  |  3/30/2006  | 
As junk food, alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs and inactivity increasingly take their toll on our health, people are looking for ways to get healthy. Of course, there's no getting around the need to consume fewer toxic substances and excercise more. The good news is that you can employ gadgets and computers to help you out -- and make getting healthy easier and more fun.
IBM, 3Com Team On IP Telephony Suite
News  |  3/30/2006  | 
The idea is to allow IT groups in midsized firms to reduce cost and complexity by deploying a single server housing all their core applications: ERP, CRM, DB2, and now IP telephony.
Globalization, Or Sailed Ships And Election-Year Politics
Commentary  |  3/30/2006  | 
The car's left the driveway on the globalization of IT, but the United States apparently still thinks it has the keys. International deals of all sizes have been coming under increasing scrutiny over supposed security questions, and the atmosphere doesn't seem to be getting better anytime soon. Well, at least until after November.
Three Competitors Threaten Skype With A Smackdown: Analysis
News  |  3/29/2006  | 
Skype's once-rosy future is now looking less sure. Europe-based Jajah is a particularly intriguing entrant.
Microsoft Targets AOL Dial-Up Customers With Price Cut
News  |  3/29/2006  | 
MSN is offering dial-up service for a total monthly fee of about $8 less than AOL.
It Takes An Indian Village To Buy An Intel Laptop
Commentary  |  3/29/2006  | 
Intel Corp. has dropped the other shoe in its defense of its laptop processor business against whatever threat Nicholas Negroponte's One-Laptop-Per-Child project poses. In December Intel Chairman Craig Barrett bad-mouthed the $100 laptop Negroponte, founder of MIT's Media Lab, plans to distribute in Third World countries, and earlier this month Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, the other half of the "Wintel" combine, did the same thing. Even though he dismissed Negroponte's design as "the $100 g
Big IT Takes Step To Influence Tech Policy In U.S.
Commentary  |  3/29/2006  | 
Influencing public policy in Washington and throughout the country requires more than hiring K Street lobbyists to push a legislative agenda. Look at the success of the modern conservative movement in shaping public policy. Its roots date back to 1973 with the founding of the think tank, The Heritage Foundation. Big IT vendors are tearing a page out of the right-wing playbook by establishing their own think tank.
What Happened To Morgan Stanley Could Happen To Any Of Us
Commentary  |  3/28/2006  | 
Reading over the tawdry details of a disgruntled employee's lawsuit against Morgan Stanley, any reasonable person is going to break out in a cold sweat and get a feeling that what happened to Morgan Stanley executives could happen to any one of us if we fail to follow some commonsense rules about doing business.
In This Corner: Big Names Back eBay, MercExchange
Commentary  |  3/28/2006  | 
The fight pits eBay vs. MercExchange, but both sides have some impressive names in their corners when the Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in the patent infringement case.
Skype Founders Sued For Racketeering
News  |  3/27/2006  | 
The suit claims that peer-to-peer client maker Kazaa, also founded by Skype founders, violated StreamCast's exclusive rights to the technology behind Kazaa by selling it to a shell company.
Lycos Enters VoIP Market Bundled With Goodies
News  |  3/27/2006  | 
The VoIP marketplace is getting another major player in the form of Lycos Phone, which is offering a bundle of free features and services.
One-Gigabyte SD Card Costs Just $20
Commentary  |  3/27/2006  | 
It's amazing how quickly the price of removable mobile storage drops. The price of Secure Digital (SD) cards is now so low you can buy one for $19.95 -- and shipping is free.
Nortel's Latest Game Plan: Fast And Simple
News  |  3/24/2006  | 
A simpler services organization and superfast routers are part of CEO Mike Zafirovski's plan to leave Nortel's troubles behind.
Strong Earnings Show Palm Is On A Roll
News  |  3/24/2006  | 
Quarterly profits jumped from $4.4 million a year ago to $29.9 million, while revenues increased 36% to $388.5 million.
GAO: Sensitive Taxpayer Data At Risk
News  |  3/24/2006  | 
Despite some improvements, the IRS needs to do much more to secure its IT systems, congressional auditors say.
It Takes One To Know One, Stephen Toulouse
Commentary  |  3/24/2006  | 
I am sorely tempted to heap ridicule on Stephen Toulouse, the program manager for the Microsoft Security Response Center who had the unmitigated gall to lecture Apple on how to do security alerts. But I won't. It's too easy. Mr. Toulouse doesn't need me piling on. He's self-satirizing. But I hope he and other Microsoft employees do learn a little lesson from this. Nobody from Microsoft has the right to tell anybody anything about secur
Apple's Demand For A State-Sponsored Monopoly Shows That DRM Aims To Stop Competition, Not Piracy
Commentary  |  3/23/2006  | 
Companies touting DRM technology claim it's intended to protect data from unauthorized copying. But Apple's angry response to a French plan for iTunes interoperability has let the truth slip out: DRM is designed to lock in customers, not lock down data.

Why Enterprises Aren't Signing Up For Fiber Access
News  |  3/23/2006  | 
Less than 12% of enterprises have fiber access to their offices. With bandwidth at such a premium, what's keeping them away?
Dell and Alienware: A Mismatch Made In Heaven?
Commentary  |  3/23/2006  | 
I've been trying to think of apt similes for "Dell Buys Alienware." It's like "Kia Buys Ferrari," or "J. Howard Marshall II Marries Anna Nicole Smith" -- something that at first glance seems sort of ridiculous, and the longer you think about it, the less sense it makes. Dell's been going through a bad patch and could use a shot of good PR, but is being laughed at the kind of PR it really wanted?
'V For Vendetta' Phone Coming To U.S.?
Commentary  |  3/22/2006  | 
In the film "V For Vendetta," all the movie's office yuppies carried identical cell phones -- a sweet black and very thin rectangular gadget that (like all technology in the movie, including old-school Dell PCs) seemed oddly primitive for the year 2020, but that would nevertheless be a very cool phone to have now. And soon you may be able to buy one.
Adware Pioneer To Exit Market, Sale Could Lead To Consolidation
News  |  3/22/2006  | 
Claria's announcement that it will sell its adware business raises the possibility of rivals 180solutions and WhenU making a bid.
Siemens Is Ringing: Dare You Answer?
News  |  3/21/2006  | 
Siemens' new P2P VoIP system will be easy to deploy. Businesses should wonder whether it will be just as easy to hack.
FCC Chair Says Commission Has Authority To Enforce Net Neutrality
News  |  3/21/2006  | 
AT&T chief Whitacre pledges not to block or degrade independent services as the network neutrality issue takes center stage at the TelecomNext show.
Disney To AT&T: Here, Hold My Wallet
Commentary  |  3/21/2006  | 
How much more are you willing to pay for Internet service? If you're Robert Iger, the CEO of Walt Disney, apparently you're willing to pay billions. Iger appeared at TelecomNext yesterday in Las Vegas and said he didn't see a need for any net-neutrality legislation that would keep the big telecoms and cable companies from charging his company whatever they want to to deliver Disney's content to customers.
Many Data Centers Still Have No Risk Management Plan
News  |  3/21/2006  | 
More than 75% have experienced a business disruption in the past five years, including 20% who say the disruption had a serious impact on the business, according to a recent survey of data center managers.
Disney's Iger: No Net Neutrality Laws Needed
News  |  3/20/2006  | 
The Disney CEO also said his company supports a national franchising plan to make it easier for telcos to get into the video delivery business, while "also supporting a level playing field for cable companies."
Has Google's Privacy Policy Protected Us From Government Surveillance?
Commentary  |  3/20/2006  | 
The District Court ruling that Google doesn’t have to turn over any search records to the Bush administration isn’t just a victory for Web surfers who don’t like the thought of being tracked by the government. It's a victory for anyone who stores data and doesn’t want to be h
Brightcove Acquires Rich-Media Software
News  |  3/20/2006  | 
The goal is to combine both privately held firms to provide Internet TV tools.
Patents And Unpleasantries
News  |  3/20/2006  | 
Analysis: How Real Are Microsoft's Live Video, Voice?
News  |  3/16/2006  | 
A Microsoft executive this week gave the first public demonstration of a PC running the Live Mail client, during which he initiated a video call by clicking on an icon in the software's contact list. Although he was clear that the tools are still in beta, the demo was limited all around.
EQO Rolls Out Skype Client For Mobile Phones
News  |  3/16/2006  | 
A new client extends Skype's capabilities to users of Motorola, Nokia, and Sony-Ericsson handsets.
Gates Slings Mud at $100 PC, Winds Up Muddy
Commentary  |  3/16/2006  | 
Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, stopped off in Washington yesterday to push his company's Origami project at his company's Government Leaders Forum. Although generally a pretty classy guy, Gates followed Intel Chairman Craig Barrett down the low road to take some cheap shots at Nicholas Negroponte's One-Laptop-Per-Child $100 laptop project as a way of building up Origami. Sorry, Bill, but when you got a dog that won't hunt
Can't We All Just Get Along (Online And In The Air)?
Commentary  |  3/15/2006  | 
Manners, or rather, the lack of them, have been all over our news pages the last two weeks. The topics covered won't surprise anyone, although the proposed remedies might. And yet when all is said and done, what's really needed isn't some time-consuming legal maneuver or more reams of survey data, but rather a dose of good old common sense served up with a dollop of common courtesy.
Metro Wi-Fi Networks Expected To Grow 8,400% by 2010
News  |  3/15/2006  | 
The growth of municipal Wi-Fi is being driven by several trends, including public safety, increased efficiency, competitive advantage, and the need to provide broadband access to underserved areas, according to a new report from ABI Research.
Tech History Made Yesterday
Commentary  |  3/15/2006  | 
Most of the Big Events in technology history appear big only in retrospect. For example, for technology historians the day Google.com first came online (September 15, 1997) is obviously a historic milestone. But at the time the number of people who were even aware of it was insufficient to form a basketball team. The date became important only because of what happened later. So remember the date March 14, 2006.
Keeping Kids Safe Online
Commentary  |  3/14/2006  | 
These days, we're all somewhat wiser about the risks of online chat rooms. My girls are now helping their friends understand what they've learned about how to be more responsible young adults. However sad I am that they needed to have learned this particular lesson, I'm very glad they did.
D-Link Debuts Mobile VoIP Phone
News  |  3/14/2006  | 
The new mobile device, targeting consumers and small businesses, offers Internet telephony services from TelTel.
Fast Macs, Slow Software?
Commentary  |  3/14/2006  | 
A study says that if Intel-based Macs could run Windows applications as fast as Windows PCs, Apple could sell a million more machines this year. I don't doubt that. And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. The Intel Macs are faster. But there seems to be a problem: they don't run all Mac software faster.
Intel Adds Low-Voltage Xeon In Portfolio Revamp
News  |  3/14/2006  | 
The new Intel processors will bring the company into competitive balance with rival Advanced Micro Devices.
Mini Displays Coming to Laptops
Commentary  |  3/14/2006  | 
Most cool new clamshell cell phones these days have a big display inside, and a small one outside. The outside display shows the time, or Caller ID info. It's a great idea that people seem to like. Don't look now, but the same idea is coming to Windows-based notebook PCs!
Suppliers Of In-Flight Cell Phones Stress Safety
News  |  3/14/2006  | 
Two vendors of phones used on airplanes noted that a recent Carnegie Mellon study, which questioned the safety of cell phones on flights, covered a time period some three years ago. Since then, additional steps have been taken to ensure that passengers can't interfere with aircraft navigation systems, the vendors said.
Intermec Talks New RFID Products For 2006
Commentary  |  3/13/2006  | 
From small portable printers to huge forklifts, Intermec Corp. will RFID-enable more mobile devices this year, says Mike Wills, Intermec's vice president of global services, radio frequency identification, and intellectual property. To download or listen to the podcast, click here. To keep informed on enterprise applications, click here
Social Networking Connects For Businesses
News  |  3/13/2006  | 
But the value provided by personal connection sites is murky, as is their potential for becoming profitable.
The Six Gotchas Of Skype For Business
News  |  3/13/2006  | 
Skype updated its business offering this week, making the service more suitable than ever for small businesses. But Skype for Business still comes up short in six areas.
Analysis: Avaya's Peer-To-Peer Toothache
News  |  3/13/2006  | 
Avaya's new peer-to-peer SIP solution, dubbed one-X Quick Edition, certainly grabbed headlines this week, but users could end up drilling their own teeth if they're not careful.
Competing Wireless Standards Battle It Out
News  |  3/13/2006  | 
Wireless USB and CableFree USB vie for dominance in personal area networks.
The Tech-Savvy Presidential Candidate
Commentary  |  3/12/2006  | 
Mark Warner is mostly known within political circles these days as the anti-Hillary, but the ex-Democratic governor of Virginia has strong IT credentials that would make him the first former high-tech executive to call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home. Of course, he faces numerous obstacles in his still-unannounced quest for the White House, most notably grabbing the Democratic Party nomination from front-runner Hillary Clinton, let alone ousting the GOP hold on the federal government.
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