News & Commentary
posted in December 2008
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Resolving What Not To Do In 2009
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
The New Year is upon us. This annual switch of the calendar signals the official shift from looking back on 2008 to looking forward to 2009. Looking forward usually takes two forms: predictions and resolutions.
Microsoft's Year-End Zune Fail
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
Users of the 30-GB Zune all over the world awoke this morning to find that it was the day the music died. Although it's still a bit of a mystery why the Zunes failed, the only fix that gets the Zune working right now is an extreme reset that requires disassembling the case to disconnect both the battery and hard drive.
The Internet's Cool, But TV Remains Ad King
News  |  12/31/2008  | 
A Deloitte survey also finds that nearly six in 10 U.S. consumers would like to easily integrate their televisions with their computers to download or watch online content.
Treasure Hunter Claims Google Maps Treasure Find
News  |  12/31/2008  | 
A 39-year-old musician and filmmaker from Los Angeles has been fighting representatives of an estate in Refugio County, Texas, for the right to excavate.
Alaska Air Taps Oracle To Build Customer Loyalty
News  |  12/31/2008  | 
The airline implements Siebel loyalty-program software designed to shift the focus away from revenue-draining free miles and more toward personalized service.
Quality Issues (Still) Plague Spoke.com People Search
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
"If you want to keep your job, use Spoke," advise the folks behind "the fastest growing and most up-to-date business network in the U.S." Sounds like something to look into; social/people networks are one of the most important BI assets to have emerged in recent years. Grading according to accuracy, completeness, quality, usefulness, and usability, I'd give Spoke a low C. Here's why.
LG Adds CinemaNow, YouTube Access To Blu-Ray Player
News  |  12/31/2008  | 
The new services will be available on Network Blu-ray Disc Players shipping in the first half of next year.
Microsoft Scrambling To Thaw Zune Freeze
News  |  12/31/2008  | 
The incident is unlikely to help Microsoft gain ground against Apple's iPod, which accounts for about three-quarters of the digital music player market.
AIIM Adds Resources For Content Management Neophytes
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
AIIM, the Association for Information and Image Management, has long been a useful resource for established content management industry professionals as well as organizations just getting started with piecing together a content strategy.
China Approves 3G Licenses
News  |  12/31/2008  | 
The rollout could lead to big business for the likes of Alcatel-Lucent and Motorola, but questions remain about which companies will get 3G contracts.
Dell Unveils Massive Reorganization
News  |  12/31/2008  | 
To try to stem declining revenue and profits, the PC maker will change its business sales and marketing approach from a regional to a global strategy.
What Ever Happened To On/Off Switches?
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
On this last day of 2008, among the many forecasts and prognostications for the next year, I'd like to take a moment to ponder a subtle change that already has occurred.
Green Stories To Watch In 2009, Part 2
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
Yesterday, I wrote of five green IT stories worth following in 2009: Energy Star data centers; cap and trade, carbon offsets and RECs; federal business energy tax credits; e-waste; and corporate purchases of green IT equipment. Here are five more:
Citi Inks Sale Of Offshore Services Unit
News  |  12/31/2008  | 
Citigroup Global Services is sold to TCS for $512 million.
Why OpenOffice Is Mired In Sun's Swamp
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
While I was out getting my fill of Christmas turkey, a brouhaha erupted online about the state of the OpenOffice.org project. One of the developers on the Novell side, Michael Meeks, wrote a widely circulated blog post in which he chastised Sun for its heavy-handed handling of arguably one of the most significant open source projects of our time.

Cisco Comes To A Home Near You
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
Cisco is going to launch a new product at the Consumer Electronics Show in January intended to "take on" Apple, Sony, and other brands that sell technology products to regular folks.
Macworld Puts Its Future In Hands Of Apple Fanboys
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
With Steve Jobs passing on the January classic and Apple pulling out altogether after next year, the brain trust at IDG is hosting a town hall meeting of Macintosh faithful for suggestions. Is there wisdom in the collective?
Beating Swords Into Data Centers
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
Since my previous post about Canadian startup Bastionhost's hosting plan for an underground bunker in Nova Scotia, I've been investigating a number of former nuclear fallout shelters that have been converted into data centers.
Consumers Don't See Mobile Banking As Secure
News  |  12/30/2008  | 
A research report recommends banks adopt a login method beyond user name and password, and provide e-mail alerts for particular conditions like a large withdrawal.
7 Reasons Cloud Computing Is Fed By The Bad Economy
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
Cloud computing is everywhere these days, with talk of it saving businesses money and streamlining their equipment. And now one company explains how the recession is feeding cloud computing.
Keep Firefox On Guard Against Attack-Site Threats
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
Firefox 3 employs some great new security features. Here are a few quick tips on to make them work as effectively as possible.
Sony PS3 Costs Less To Make, But Still A Money Loser
News  |  12/30/2008  | 
A teardown analysis by iSuppli finds that the latest PS3 costs $448.73 to make, or 35% less than the $690.23 for the first-generation model.
Home Networking: Next Big Thing For Consumer Devices
News  |  12/30/2008  | 
A Parks Associates survey suggests 2009 will center largely on connecting digital cameras, photo frames, and mobile phones.
T-Mobile Handset Schedule Hits The Tubes
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
The kid has done it again, as the Boy Genius Report has snagged the upcoming release schedule for T-Mobile. It's packed full of some really cool handsets, including a new BlackBerry, and an 8-megpixel camera phone.
Top 10 CIO Issues For 2009
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
Taking for granted that all CIOs want to stay employed in 2009 while helping their companies grow and increase profits and delight customers, our list of 10 top-priority items for CIOs in the coming year offers a blend of the old and the new. Here's our list of the 10 items we think will keep you excited and delighted in 2009.
Sprint Increases Payments To Virgin Mobile
News  |  12/30/2008  | 
At last count, Sprint had slightly more than 50 million subscribers.
Samsung Building Its Own 4G Chips
News  |  12/30/2008  | 
The company will bypass paying royalties to the likes of Qualcomm by manufacturing its own WiMax and LTE chips.
Amazon, Netflix Rated Highest In Holiday Customer Satisfaction
News  |  12/30/2008  | 
Home Shopping Network and the Gap suffered the steepest declines in the annual ForeSee online retailer customer satisfaction survey.
Global CIO: The Top 10 CIO Issues For 2009
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
What should be on your agenda next year: A CIO-centric blend of business and tech issues that will help you increase business and customer value.
LG Display To Unveil Motion-Blur-Free LCD TV
News  |  12/30/2008  | 
The Trumotion 480Hz uses scanning backlight technology to eliminate the blur often seen when flat-panel displays show fast-moving images.
Yes, Trust In The PKI Is Broken
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
The trust in digital certificates relies on the fact that the authority issuing the certificate has validated the identity of the person or company making the request and that the digital certificate can't be forged. New research presented at the 25th Chaos Computer Congress shows that forging digital certificates is possible and practical. Trust in the SSL i
FCC Could Drop Filtering For Free Internet Plan
News  |  12/30/2008  | 
In hopes of getting free wireless broadband passed before he's replaced, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said the winner of the AWS-3 spectrum wouldn't have to filter adult content.
Crisis Survival Kit: 3 Things Every Business Owner Need To Thrive
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
Among the axioms flying around in these bleak financial times is that a recession is a great time to start a business. It's also a time to seize opportunities as competitors retreat and retrench. But whether you're hatching a new business or scrambling to keep the one you already have afloat, bringing 3 things to your business will put you on the path to success.
Green Stories To Watch In 2009
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
There have been a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings around green computing in 2008. As a new year begins, expect intense scrutiny as green efforts take shape, including data center metrics, cap-and-trade programs, vendor claims of power-management features, and state and federal legislation. Here are five stories to watch in 2009 (another five to come tomorrow).
Windows 7: Linux Killer, Or Windows Killer?
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
The newest installment of Conventional Computer Wisdom holds that Windows 7 will be "a Linux-killer," unseating Linux on netbooks and sealing its fate on the desktop. Well, maybe XP-killer and Vista-killer is more like it.

Windows 7 Leaked To The Internet
News  |  12/30/2008  | 
Microsoft's next operating system is available from torrent sites.
Microsoft's Obvious-Patent Insanity
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
On Christmas, Microsoft filed for yet another one of those crazy patents that seems so obvious you have to wonder why they bother to apply. Aren't patents supposed to be for nonobvious inven
Forrester's Year-Old CIO Outlook: Where's 80/20 Plan?
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
Thirteen months ago, Forrester's Bobby Cameron offered a summary of his $379 CIO agenda for 2008: become a business change-agent, etc. The summary failed to mention attacking the 80/20 demon, which should be the top priority for CIOs in 2009. Because if they don't undertake that battle, all the other transformation happy-talk will remain just that -- a lot of talk.
Intel Launches Fresh Mobile Quad-Core Chip
News  |  12/29/2008  | 
The Core 2 Quad Q9000 can first be found in Acer's latest Aspire 8930G-7665 laptop.
Fake iPhone Nanos Pop Up
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
Well, it's that time of year when we get flooded with iPhone Nano rumors. But this one's a little different in that we're already seeing cases and knockoffs of a nonexistent device. Should Apple bring out an iPhone Nano?
Microsoft Seeks Pay-As-You-Go Computing Patent
News  |  12/29/2008  | 
While such patent applications don't always lead to products, they do give some inkling as to what Microsoft is considering.
Text Messaging Rates Questioned Again
News  |  12/29/2008  | 
Industry watchers and politicians say the cost to transmit the growing number of SMS messages isn't in line with the rising fees.
The Future Of The Netbook?
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
As laptop computers are predicted to outsell desktops in 2009, what role will the smaller, cheaper netbook play? And how can you decide if the netbook is a good fit for your business?
RIM Takes Motorola To Court Over Jobs
News  |  12/29/2008  | 
Motorola is trying to keep the BlackBerry maker from hiring fired or soon-to-be fired employees, RIM said in a lawsuit.
Kindle E-Reader Amazon's Top-Selling Electronic Device
News  |  12/29/2008  | 
The Oprah-endorsed e-book reader was also the No. 1 item on Amazon customers' wish lists.
Calif. Saying Hasta La Vista To Driving While Texting
News  |  12/29/2008  | 
Ironically, text messaging has exploded in the last few years and has become a significant revenue generator for wireless carriers.
NMAP Network Scanning: A Must-Have Addition To Your Library
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
NMAP, the open source network mapping tool, should be in any network or security administrator's toolbox. It's a feature-rich network scanner that goes far beyond port scanning such as service and OS detection, stealth and evasion modes, and sports an internal scripting engine. NMAP Network Scanning, a reference guide written by Gordon Lyon, a.k.a. Fyodor, is a must-have book to get the most out of NMAP.
Congressman Says Funds Needed For Digital TV Converters, Call Centers
News  |  12/29/2008  | 
A government agency is projecting a shortage of coupons for analog-to-digital converter boxes.
Getting Started With Your New iPod Touch
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
The iPod Touch was a hugely popular gift for Christmas last week. If you got an iPod Touch or iPhone, read on for pointers to our favorite free and cheap iPod Touch apps. And if you didn't get an iPhone or Touch, we have some alternatives for you.
Samsung's 8-Megapixel Innov8 Coming To AT&T
News  |  12/29/2008  | 
The Symbian-powered smartphone, with its high-caliber camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, will be compatible with AT&T's networks.
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