News & Commentary
posted in August 2008
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More Mainframe Fun
Commentary  |  8/31/2008  | 
I recently "released" (he says in quotes because it's still sub-alpha, albeit functional) PigIron 0.3 Java Class Library for IBM VM SMAPI. I blogged previously about PigIron. Working on PigIron has made me refresh my view of mainframe programming resources.

Envycasts Advanced ActiveRecord Review
Commentary  |  8/31/2008  | 
DCT readers of my posts know how interested I am in the power of vidcasts, especially ones that fully engage the viewer. I recently received an invitation from Gregg Pollack of Envycasts, to check out their new Advanced ActiveRecord vidcast.  And the verdict is...
FIJI Fun - Still Crazy After All These Years
Commentary  |  8/31/2008  | 
In 2001 I posted the last public changes of my ForthIsh Java Interpreter to SourceForge. There was a lot of interest in Java interpreters at that time. FIJI was a pretty good cut but the arcaneness of addressing Java classes in RPN insured a manageably small user community, so to speak.

Jump ahead to this week when
Think Holistically
Commentary  |  8/31/2008  | 
Software architecture is not a three-layer diagram -- UI/Business logic/Data. As an architect, you need to consider the project/solution at hand from a lot of different angles and take care for all sorts of concerns from the technical, team, managerial, and event esoteric ones.
The Mobile Evolution
Commentary  |  8/30/2008  | 
Embrace Your Constraints: Code Contests
Commentary  |  8/30/2008  | 
Regardless of our background, programming language of choice, or political persuasion, most developers have at least one thing in common: we enjoy building things. As full-on members of the creative class, however, we're also likely to have a million ideas for useful gadgets, web services, and applications, but comparatively little time to execute on them. Sigh.

Fortunately, given modern web savvy tool sets, it's easier than ever to launch a website or application. In fact, yo
A Few Pithy Thoughts on Architecture
Commentary  |  8/30/2008  | 
"97 Things" - Architect Axioms
Commentary  |  8/30/2008  | 
I recently stumbled on "97 Things - Things every software architect should know" (via Bobby Woolf). This is a list of axioms for architects (which will eventually be a book by O'Reilly) edited by Richard Monson-Haefel. While I don't agree with all the axioms, and some, which I fe
Calling All Software Pirates
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Don't you just love it when someone comes after you while trying to convince you that they're on your side? Well, then you're going to really enjoy "Smart about Software: 2008 Software Strategies for Small Businesses, a new reference guide for small businesses from Small Business Administration (SBA) in partnership with the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
Twitter, Not Rock 'N' Roll, Saved My Soul
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
I'm getting lots of questions about whether Twitter and other microblogging sites can and should be used in the enterprise, to which I say, "Can you afford not to?"
BlackBerry Bold Delayed Again?
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Arg. If you believe the Boy Genius Report, it looks like the BlackBerry Bold will be delayed again in the United States until Oct. 2. If true, this is truly disappointing news.
Google Launches Google Video For Business
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
The company is using its Google Apps business to provide the infrastructure necessary to search videos, restrict access to them, rate them, comment on them, and download them.
Google Shows Off Android App Winners
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
All of the 10 teams that won the Android Developer Challenge top prize of $275,000 utilize GPS in some manner.
Majority Favors Global Internet Bill of Rights
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
Key rights granted under the global Internet Bill of Rights would be freedom of information, freedom of expression, and the right of people to have affordable access.
Review: Verizon's V CAST With Rhapsody Music Service
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
I've spent the last few weeks taking Verizon Wireless's V CAST With Rhapsody music download service for a spin. It has some really great features and some really annoying features. Find out if the pros outweigh the cons.
Report: TXTRS SND 95.4B SMS MSGS IN 2008
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Thumbs of people the world over are getting some serious action. That action comes in the form of pecking out text messages on their cell phones. So far, 2008 is on pace to smash last year's numbers by a mile. Some of the figures being touted by VeriSign are just staggering. It sent more than 52 billion messages in the second quarter, up more than 20% from the first quarter for a total of 95.4 billion messages. People sure have a lot to say.
Busy Week For E-Discovery
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Three new product releases aimed at the electronic discovery market close out the last week of summer.
Obama's VP Text Missed By Half Who Signed Up
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
Keynote Systems' independent tests showed inconsistent performance of Obama's SMS service with extremely poor availability compared to the industry standard.
Comcast Sets Bandwidth Threshold For Residential Customers
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
Residential customers will receive phone calls and requests to curb use if their bandwidth use exceeds a new gigabyte limit.
AT&T-iPhone Problems May Signal Difficulties For Android
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
Verizon and T-Mobile may do well to sidestep network glitches if Google wants its phone to outsell Apple's, a wireless spectrum expert suggests.
Kindle Upgrade Unlikely Before Next Year
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
A version of Amazon's e-reader aimed at students would need to incorporate technology that lets them highlight key text passages.
Open Source Culture Needs To Be Security Culture, Too
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
How to react to the news that an earlier flaw in Debian's random-number generator has been used to fuel an honest-to-Linus exploit, especially after yesterday's post? Welcome to the tip of the iceberg.

Content Management Help For Law Firms
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Lawyers need a little love from content management systems, too, and the recent product and partnership announcements from Open Text and Interwoven should fit the bill nicely.
Psystar: Apple Illegally 'Destroys' Competition, Bricks Mac Clones
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
The upstart Mac cloner claims in an antitrust suit that Steve Jobs and company employ a mix of hype, dubious licensing schemes and technology to dominate the Mac computing environment.
BlackBerry Wins Versus Windows Mobile For Google Apps Mail
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
After a flawed experience with one of the first Windows Mobile-based Motorola Q's, Microsoft outfitted me with a Samsung SCH-i760 smartphone which, from an industrial design perspective, is one of the best designs for a smartphone I've ever experienced (more on that in a second). Unfortunately, integrating WinMobile 6.0's version of Outlook with Google Apps-based Gmail was so problematic that I gave up in favor of a company-furnished BlackBerry. Bla
Start-Ups Bring Google's Parallel Processing To Data Warehousing
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
Aster and Greenplum have made Google's MapReduce compatible with SQL for use in the parallel data warehousing systems based on open source PostgreSQL.
Smaller Businesses Drive SaaS Growth In China
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Worldwide, the market for SaaS is projected to grow 25% annually and reach $19.3 billion by 2011. Much of the fuel for the growth comes from China, where the annual growth rate is pegged 33% and almost 20% of the total market ($3.8 billion). And in China, the SMBs are the growth engine -- 42 million of them contributed 60 % of GDP and by 2012 there will be 50 million.
Zi Renews Nokia Contract
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
The multiyear contract to provide its text products to Nokia calls for a 100% increase in first year revenue over the existing contract, the company says.
Learning about Text Analytics
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
I spend a lot of time on teaching materials on text analytics: articles, presentations, and courses. I've gotten positive feedback about my introductory materials, which I designed for practitioners (like myself) rather than for academics or researchers. There are great resources out there — technical papers and white papers, case studies, software, etc. — but you have to get the basics down first...
Microsoft To Acquire Ciao Shopping Portals For $486 Million
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
Ciao operates in seven European languages and countries, and recently launched a beta site aimed at the U.S. market.
Leaked Documents, Unintended Access: That's Also Life In The Cloud
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Running a business in the cloud, or even part of a business, is great for so many reasons: It's cheap (sometimes free), incredibly convenient, and simple. But life on your private little cloud can get unintentionally, and unknowingly, crowded with extra eyes if you're not very careful.
MapReduce: And You Were There
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
There's been a lot of buzz lately about Google's MapReduce framework for speeding up the processing of large datasets. It makes you wonder, did Google just dream this up in last couple years while all of the database vendors were sleeping? Or, paraphrasing Isaac Newton, were they standing on the shoulders of giants? The answer is, both.
Obama Nomination Spotlights 'Net Nation
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
We are all Internet Americans now. OK, Barack Obama actually didn't say that in his nomination-acceptance speech Thursday night. But he could have, because the great thing about this campaign is that you don't have to watch TV or consume the news when it's pushed down to you by big media. You can learn about the candidates when you want, how you want (for example, Obama's speech can be viewed here). All the more reason that it's incumbent upon y
Electric Cars: Inside Chevy Volt, Tesla Roadster
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
Check out our image gallery with pictures of GM's upcoming Chevy Volt hybrid, and Tesla Motors' groundbreaking all-electric Roadster.
Smartphone Apps For The Rest Of Us
News  |  8/29/2008  | 
Even if you use Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon -- or don't have an iPhone for your AT&T connection -- you can still get games, music, location-based services, and other mobile content on your phone. Here's how.
Assertions in Production Code?
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Acquia Expands Its Commercial Drupal Private Beta
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
It appears that Acquia, the startup focused on releasing a commercial version of open source content management system Drupal, is moving briskly toward a full launch. Its private beta program has kicked into high gear this week with a new batch of invitations being given out at both Drupalcon Szeged and by TechCrunch. Going forward, Acquia plans to dole out about 100 new invi
Comcast Orders Extra-Large Customer Caps
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Yesterday, DSL Reports broke the news that Comcast is planning to implement a 250-GB monthly bandwidth limit, starting in October. All I can say is that it's about time.
Apple Patent Application Describes Multi-Touch Mac
News  |  8/28/2008  | 
The 52-page diagram shows gestures on the touch screen associated with a number of tasks, including zooming, panning, scrolling, rotating, and enlarging.
Upcoming iPhone Software Update to Address Security Flaws
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
A locked iPhone isn't really locked -- not if you're running firmware 2.0.2 (the current version) or earlier. Apply promises to patch a newly discovered security flaw next month.
IBM Expands Its Information On Demand Strategy
News  |  8/28/2008  | 
The updated software tools help position the company as a provider of all of a business' data management needs, including content management, data cleansing, and data integration.
Dell's Profit Drops As IT Spending Slowdown Spreads
News  |  8/28/2008  | 
The company has been cutting expenses for months to meet a promise to Wall Street to cut at least $3 billion in spending by the end of the fiscal year 2011.
SaaS Doubts Boost Remote Infrastructure Services
News  |  8/28/2008  | 
Chiquita Brands, a SaaS believer, taps remote management services provider for e-mail chores.
No Blueprint Yet For Private Clouds
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Many people don't like the concept of "private clouds," including my colleague John Foley and Sam Johnston ("The case against 'private clouds' "), since by definition cloud computing involves letting people plug into shared IT services in data centers that aren't their own. As oxymorons go, though, private cloud computing doesn't st
FBI Arrests Blogger Over Online Music Sharing
News  |  8/28/2008  | 
Los Angeles music blogger Kevin Cogill is accused of posting Guns N' Roses songs online before their commercial release.
Google Unveils Android's App Store
News  |  8/28/2008  | 
A competitor to Apple's App Store, the Android Market will allow users to browse, purchase, install, and rate applications on Android handsets.
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