News & Commentary
Content tagged with Infrastructure posted in May 2006
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Sun CEO Schwartz Plans To Cut Up To 5,000 Jobs
News  |  5/31/2006  | 
Sun sets a six-month cost-cutting plan to cut jobs and increase efficiency.
Do The Math: EU E-Mail Tax Doesn't Add Up
Commentary  |  5/31/2006  | 
Comes now that a French MEP is proposing a tax on SMS and e-mail messages as a way to partly supplement the European Union's general fund. Every time I hear one of these proposals, I have to wonder if people have even done the math on this stuff.
China Fights For Its Wireless Standard Against Intel-Backed 802.11i
News  |  5/31/2006  | 
Chinese officials say the approval process for a wireless security standard was unfairly stacked against its WAPI. It could be the start of more such disputes.
AMD Live! Home Entertainment Platform Expanded With Services
News  |  5/31/2006  | 
The collection of services and applications is designed to make it easier to view, record, manage, secure, and store TV programs, photos, music, and movies on Web-connected devices.
Vista Secrets: Read 'Em If You Can
Commentary  |  5/30/2006  | 
Microsoft has re-released a 300-page guide to Windows Vista that was posted and then pulled in April. But even though there's now a link to it, Microsoft still seems to be working pretty hard to keep it a secret: it's available in two formats -- a 60-megabyte Word file, and an XPS file. (A what file?)
Iranian Nuclear Crisis More Than Just Fun And Games
Commentary  |  5/30/2006  | 
The Iranian government claims its nuclear program is for the production of energy -- peaceful purposes only. The U.S. government claims Iran is secretly working on nuclear bombs for its long-range missiles. America and Iran both say they'll go to war over the issue. Doesn't the conflict sound like the basis for a really fun game?
Apple Against The Rest Of Us
Commentary  |  5/30/2006  | 
The company that made media history with its classic "1984" Super Bowl commercial is acting suspiciously like an organization out of the George Orwell novel it was based on. Yes, I'm talking about Apple's attempts to force online publishers to disclose their sources of confidential information.
Two Events Show Effort To Fix Mobile Web Browsing
News  |  5/26/2006  | 
Nokia releases its browser tools to open source community, and .mobi registration begins.
Verizon's New Service Promises To Boost Application Performance Up To 600%
News  |  5/25/2006  | 
The company's outsourced services suite consists of three offerings. The core service, Application Acceleration, introduces an express lane across the Internet that will accelerate Web-based applications without adding equipment to a company's data center.
Windows Vista Collaboration: A Big Step Forward, But Still An Island
News  |  5/25/2006  | 
Windows Collaboration, a new tool in Vista, will bring collaboration to the masses--but it's an island unto itself, rather than a bridge.
Playing Video Games Could Prove Beneficial To Your Health
Commentary  |  5/25/2006  | 
Before you have that laparoscopic surgery, let's hope your physician played a video game.
Apple Wants iPods To Keep Pace With Listeners
Commentary  |  5/25/2006  | 
A patent application published today suggests that Apple is planning iPod software that plays songs to suit the pace of listeners' activities. "[T]he invention pertains to a computing device that is capable of controlling the speed of the music so as to affect the mood and behavior of
Carnegie Mellon Tackles Data Center Operation Costs
Commentary  |  5/25/2006  | 
Coming up with new approaches to battling the rising cost of operating enterprise-class data centers will require effort from throughout the IT industry, as well as from outside sources such as Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The university this week opened a new data center that will provide computing resources to the institution and its students and serve as a research lab that will target issues related to
StreamCast Sues eBay For $12.3 Billion Over Copyright
News  |  5/25/2006  | 
The sale of Skype to eBay was made possible through a scheme to "misappropriate the FastTrack peer-to-peer technology that rightfully belongs to StreamCast," a StreamCast lawyer says.
Podcasting Really Is For The Masses
Commentary  |  5/24/2006  | 
Many of the readers of Desktop Pipeline are small to midsize business (SMB) owners, and as such have entrepreneurial natures. What that means is that you are more apt to take risks, more likely to embrace new technology and, in general, are just more fun to be around than, say, someone from Enron. All kidding aside, it makes a certain degree of sense that small businesses in particular would be faster adopters -- if not early adopters -- of technology than big companies because there's not the s
Terrorist Connections: Find Them Yourself
Commentary  |  5/24/2006  | 
There's little doubt in my mind the NSA is actively mining huge stores of data and performing social network analysis to produce complex maps of terrorist networks in the hunt for al-Qaida. And if it does it right, it could see some success. It's not like social network analysis of al-Qaida hasn't been done before, even by yours truly (though I admit I don't think I've ever caught a terrorist).
Gates Says Next Windows, Office Will Show The PC Is 'In No Way Standing Still'
News  |  5/23/2006  | 
The new versions will change a lot about how the PC operates, from how it boots up to how data, photos, and music are accessed.
IT Analysts Duke It Out In Cyberspace. So Why Should You Care?
Commentary  |  5/23/2006  | 
Pay attention: There's a free-for-all happening among IT analysts. Currently controlled by a handful of major analyst houses--which suck up 80% of a market that rakes in $2 billion a year in revenues--the industry is being turned upside down by a swarm of upstarts that are using blogs, podcasts, and open online forums to propagate their opinions about vendors, technologies, and products. So why should you care one iota about this turf war?
Make Free Skype Calls With Regular Phone
Commentary  |  5/23/2006  | 
A gadget called the Skype USB to RJ11 Adaptor lets you make and receive free Internet VoIP calls using your regular home phone -- and your cell phone. The device plugs into your PC's USB port, and has a place to plug in your home phone. Once you set it up, you can use your home phone to make free calls to anywhere in the world.
Get 'Lost' With Game Coming Next Year
Commentary  |  5/22/2006  | 
It had to happen. By next year there should be a PC and video game based on the ABC TV series, "Lost." The French company Ubisoft announced today a long-term licensing deal with Touchstone Television that allows the game developer to create a "Lost" game in its awesome Montreal studio.
Patent Office To Review Legitimacy Of Amazon's One-Click Shopping Patent
News  |  5/18/2006  | 
A government examiner agreed evidence provided by a New Zealand actor warrants a re-examination of the patent.
Hey Dell, What Took You So Long To Offer AMD?
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
It was almost anticlimatic when the announcement came in under the radar Thursday that Dell would break with its long-standing policy of selling Intel-only computers. The confirmation came tacked on to another disappointing Dell quarterly financial report, which perhaps speaks volumes on why the move to AMD was finally made.
Maybe They Could Spell It 'Serch'
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
Microsoft's rebranding of everything in sight as "Live" reached new peaks of frenzy this week when it announced a desktop search application called Windows Live Search. Only problem was, it already has a Web search called Windows Live Search.
Hardware Monitoring On Windows
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
In the last post, I wrote about the hardware-level monitoring tools that are available for Linux, and in this post I'll look at the same kinds of tools that are available for Windows. Surprisingly, hardware monitoring on Windows is much more complicated than it is on Linux. For one thing, there's no single extensible sensor engine like lm_sensors on Linux
Samsung Unveils Super Phone
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
Samsung unveiled a super smartphone today at the Korea 2006 Expo -- one that replaces your digital camera, iPod and GPS gadget. Oh, and you can use it to make calls, too.
Hardware Monitoring On Linux
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
For the past couple of weeks I've been blogging about hardware-level management issues, but I haven't really talked about the tools and technologies that can be used to keep an eye on this stuff. This post looks at the tools that are available for Linux (and Unix in general), while the next post will look at the tools available for Windows.
Analysis: IBM Takes Dead Aim At Microsoft Office With New Notes Version
News  |  5/17/2006  | 
Microsoft has good reason to be concerned: The new version of Notes will include a built-in office suite complete with a word processor, spreadsheet, and graphics program.
Apple's New MacBooks Are 'Flaky' - Users
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
Less than 24 hours after Apple unveiled its new MacBook laptop, some users have begun reporting that the black matte finish on the notebooks is fragile, literally flaking or peeling off.
Surfing Is From Mars, Support Calls Are From Venus
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
A survey conducted for the Web security company Websense by Harris Interactive says that men surf more non-work-related Web sites than women while at work and spend longer looking at them, and women are far more likely to admit that their PCs are infected with spyware and call the Help Desk about it.
BlackBerry Vs. Laptop: It's No Contest
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
If you could use only one device for an entire day, which would it be: your BlackBerry, cell phone, iPod, or laptop?
Bigger Not Always Better For Networks
News  |  5/17/2006  | 
Rather than focus on expensive and high-bandwidth networks, Gartner analysts say most companies would be better served with technologies that are geared to a distributed workforce.
Skype's Offer Of Free Calling: Desperation Or Smart Business?
News  |  5/16/2006  | 
Skype offers free SkypeOut calls to landline and mobile phones in the U.S. and Canada. The move may be partly out of desperation and partly a well-thought-out, long-term business plan.
Battling Patent Trolls: Four Old White Guys Get It
Commentary  |  5/16/2006  | 
For at least four Supreme Court justices, understanding 21st century business dynamics helped sway their decision to join the rest of the high court in striking down a century-old precedent that all but required an injunction against those deemed to have violated a patent.
VoIP Eats Into Traditional Voice Services Revenue
News  |  5/16/2006  | 
A new report says that because of VoIP, traditional voice services won't be the primary revenue generator for traditional telecom operators in developed nations for long.
Sony Unveils Its 'Ultra Mobile PC'
Commentary  |  5/16/2006  | 
After Microsoft unveiled its Ultra Mobile PC, or "Origami," concept March 9, we witnessed a flurry of new hardware interpretations from a variety of vendors. The basic idea is a mobile device bigger and more feature-rich than a smartphone or PDA, but much smaller than a laptop.
Hong Kong Company Claims First-Ever Live TV-Over-3G Broadcast
News  |  5/16/2006  | 
PCCW Mobile said it has started rolling out its 3G TV service in Hong Kong's subway system, enabling commuters to watch TV.
Peer-To-Peer Finance Connects Borrowers And Lenders
News  |  5/15/2006  | 
Companies like Prosper and Zopa help users borrow and lend money among themselves without the involvement of banks.
IBM Bets Big On Open Source In Next Release Of Lotus Notes
News  |  5/15/2006  | 
Notes will support the XML-based OpenDocument Format and the Eclipse open-source framework.
Supreme Court Ruling Could Change Balance Of Power In Patent Infringement Cases
News  |  5/15/2006  | 
In eBay v. MercExchange, the Court created a high barrier by requiring a four-factor test for a permanent injunction. The decision could have had a big impact on the RIM case had it come earlier.
Brief: Skype Delivers Free Landline/Mobile Calls
News  |  5/15/2006  | 
Skype announced that customers can now place free calls to traditional landline and mobile phones in the U.S. and Canada. It used to charge a fee.
Power Supply Management: The IT Blind Spot
Commentary  |  5/13/2006  | 
As part of building out my testing infrastructure, I've become more involved with system-level management tools and technologies. This effort has proven to be generally useful for overall resource management purposes (and particularly useful for resolving the various heat-related problems that have cropped up), but there are also some significant blind spots in the current crop of hardware management solutions. At the top of the list are system power supplies, which are currently treated as litt
Internet-Connected Appliances Could Lower Energy Bills
News  |  5/12/2006  | 
A pilot test in Washington and Oregon lets dryers and water heaters check electricity prices and decide if it's worth waiting until off-peak times.
Telecom, Datacom Equipment Sales To Hit $143.5 Billion By 2009: Report
News  |  5/12/2006  | 
Growth will be driven by IPTV equipment and surging VoIP-related sales, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.
BT To Offer Enterprises Converged Wireless, Wireline Voice
News  |  5/12/2006  | 
The converged service will combine voice-over-IP and cellular service in the same phone.
BellSouth, Samsung Team On Broadband Devices
News  |  5/11/2006  | 
The partnership will produce as-yet-unspecified wares for the consumer market, particularly in the areas of multimedia and voice.
Flash Outgrows The Browser
Commentary  |  5/11/2006  | 
It makes a lot of sense. Adobe is running a project code-named Apollo to free Flash from its servitude as a Web browser plug-in and make it a full-fledged, stand-alone Web application client. Apollo would render HTML and PDF files as well as Flash animations, says an article on C|Net. Web-based apps are pushing the limits of Web browsers, and Apollo would let developers package up applications that would
Xeon Heat Management
Commentary  |  5/11/2006  | 
Last week I wrote about issues dealing with getting some of my older 32-bit Athlon processors to run in a low-power, low-heat mode during idle conditions. As I said then, being able to switch into this mode when the operating system isn't busy is enough to get you most of the way toward decent power and thermal management, although sometimes you need to do some other things, like use better fans or heatsinks. To illustrate just how much extra effort can sometimes be required, I thought I would t
How To Share Camera Phone Videos
Commentary  |  5/10/2006  | 
YouTube, a very popular service for sharing videos, just rolled out today a new service that lets you easily upload your camera phone videos. It's free and easy to use.
How To Get Total Information Awareness (Without Really Trying)
Commentary  |  5/9/2006  | 
The Pentagon's Total Information Awareness (TIA) project, a massive effort to use information technology to know everything about everyone in the name of national security, was too controversial, so Congress pulled the plug on funding in 2003. (Recent reports suggest that the effort was secretly taken up by the
Microsoft Lap Dog, Ms. Wyne?
Commentary  |  5/9/2006  | 
Memo to Melanie Wyne, executive director of the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC), evidently a Microsoft PR program masquerading as a trade organization: When you get what you want, you are supposed to say "thank you." Didn't your mother teach you any manners? The state of Massachusetts' request for a OpenDocument format plug-in for Microsoft Office is a very reasonable compromise. So why are you doing a very unattractive imitation of a

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