Oh Boy, A Survival Kit For The Holidays
Welcome to the silly season, when marketers decide their company's products make great holiday gifts. As InformationWeek's Master of Disaster, I get e-mail from all sorts of folks who think I should say nice things about their products in this here blog. Sometimes they try just a little too hard to make their products topical.
Up Next: BI on Social Networks
It's time for the BI community to treat social networks as the business-intelligence resource they are. The recent "Motrin moms" clamor and response to Mumbai terrorism prove networks' value. The value of the information that flows through these networks is indisputable. A deeper challenge is next on the agenda: optimizing that flow by better understanding the networks themselves.
Looking At Twitter As A News Source
If you are into online technology, you've certainly heard of Twitter by now. It seems many tech blogs can't get enough of how great Twitter is. The scene reminds me a bit of Facebook about 18 months ago. Apparently there's nothing Twitter can't do. In addition to people sharing that they just rode a horse; watched a video; cleaned their apartment; ate a hamburger or took a shower, now Twitter is being utilized as a key news source.
Twitter In Controversial Spotlight Amid Mumbai Attacks
Never before has a crisis unleashed so much raw data -- and so little interpretation -- than what we saw as the deadly terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, unfolded. Amid the real-time video feeds (kudos to CNN International), cell phone pictures, and tweets, we were able to keep abreast of what seemed to be happening, and where it was going down, all the while not really knowing those other key, canonical components of journalistic information gathering -- namely, who or why.
Microsoft Loses Internet Ground, Or Not?
As Microsoft continues its struggle for relevance in Internet services, the latest numbers seem to tell a confusing story. Depending on the headline you read, Microsoft is either treading water or losing ground to Google. A closer look at two takes on the Microsoft search share show that it's a half-full/half-empty situation with a worrisome long-term trend.
My First Open Source Project
I started an open source software project a couple of weeks ago, sort of. It's about as minor as something like this gets -- at least for now. But even at that scale, it's become a learning experience.
Cisco's Off Switch
Cisco is shutting its doors to any employees who aren't "business critical" for four days, starting Dec. 29. It's supposed save money, but I think it'll cost its brand.
Mozy Sez: Back The F:\ Up!
At least the T-shirts they're giving away at backthefup.net do. As the site says, "Screw Klondike® Bars, What Would You Do For A Back The F:\ Up T-Shirt?" Turns out what you have to do is something that promotes EMC's Mozy backup service, like writing a blog entry.
On Thanksgiving, Freedom for Some, Fear for Foreigners
I hope you will excuse a departure from my BI-focused blogs to a more personal one, but on this Thanksgiving eve, I find myself thinking more about freedom and how fragile it is right now. If you are one of the many foreign-born BI product managers, software developers, or BI specialists I have met over the years, then you will want to read this story...
Apple Allows Some MacBook Videos To Play On External Displays
Apple released a QuickTime update that allows standard-definition iTunes movies to play over new MacBooks' DisplayPort to older displays, according to reports on Apple blogs. However, high-def movies are still blocked, which is unfair to owners of MacBooks and other systems by other vendors that use the same technology.
NREL Wood Chips To Power Lab's Silicon Chips
Engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have taken a major step in launching a "net-zero energy" facility: They lit a road flare and began burning wood chips. No kidding.
SAP User Group Fires President
ASUG, which had been dealing with member complaints about SAP price hikes, said Steven Strout's departure resulted from a "strategic decision" by the board of directors.
Microsoft Helps Whiny Kids Get Their Xbox 360
It's Microsoft to the rescue for bratty children who've run out of reasons why their parents should pony up cash for an Xbox 360, economic slump be damned. The Xbox Web site will now generate a customized letter "that proves to the gift-giver in your life why you need an Xbox 360 console." I'm going to put it to the test.
Sony Ericsson Adds Facebook, Windows Live To Xperia Smartphone
Looks like developers have taken advantage of the SDK that Sony Ericsson made available for its Xperia X1 Windows Mobile smartphone. This week, Sony Ericsson added two more panels to the X1's user interface: one for Facebook and another for Microsoft's Windows Live.
Startups Use SaaS To Take On SharePoint
Microsoft's SharePoint is the T. rex of collaboration products: big, fiercely competitive, and standing atop the social computing food chain. But smaller, nimbler players are using SaaS to compete against the thundering giant.
Green Jobs In This Economy?
The momentum for green jobs seems to be building. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty just introduced his Green Jobs Investment Initiative for the 2009 legislative session. Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell is banking on a nearly $12 million investment into alternative clean energy projects to create at least 1,200 jobs. And California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, recent host of an international summit on the issue, has repeatedly thrown his political weight behind clean-technology businesses. But there a
Are Apple Retailers Arming For A Price War?
Best Buy is getting ready to slash prices on new Macs and other Apple products, and Apple has authorized employees of its own retail stores to match the price cuts, according to reports on Apple blogs. That's bad news for store margins, but good news for Apple fans hoping for some fruity goodness under the tree.
ONEsite: A Custom Social Networking Platform that Supports iPhone Users
There are oodles of social networking sites. I'm partial to Facebook and LinkedIn, but there's MySpace and countless others. Why pay attention to another one, ONEsite? Because this is one that your company can build for itself, and use to build brand loyalty and create marketing opportunities.
VMAN Comes To Town, But Virtual Machine Law And Order Still Elusive
I've noted that the DMTF.org standards body is not working on a spec for a standard virtual machine runtime, one that could be shared by all vendors. Why not? Because among DMTF members, there's no political will to do so. There is, however, a desire to create a standard VM management interface.
PayPal Adds SMS Authentication Service
In a bid to add more security, the online payment company will offer the option of having a unique code sent to the user's cell phone prior to logging in.
Are Netbooks On Your Company's Shopping List?
If your company occasionally sends workers out of the office, you might want to consider a having a "loaner" Netbook available to keep them productive without weighing them down. Especially since holiday sales are pushing prices down below $300 on Black Friday.
Death, Taxes, And Open Source Business Models
To the eternal list of death and taxes, we might as well add debates about open source licensing and sales. Two recent discussions about licensing and business models got me thinking again about what's suitable to what end, and how to interpret what you see other companies doing as a model for your own work.