News & Commentary
Content tagged with PC & Servers posted in December 2006
Giving Tech A Sporting Chance
Commentary  |  12/28/2006  | 
Not being much of a sports fan -- sorry, guys -- I've always been a bit bemused by the lengths to which players will go in order to win for their fans, their teams, and (probably most importantly) their prize money or huge salaries. It seems to have gone from such traditionally accepted means as fixing games (as immortalized in countless boxing films) to taking unpleasant medications that will both increase your muscle mass and shorten your life span -- and now, to using technology to gain an ad
Are You A 'User'?
Commentary  |  12/28/2006  | 
OK, so you don't have any vacation time left, and you're working today (or maybe you're not working and you love InformationWeek so much that you can't keep away). Regardless, I need your help. I want to know about your experiences with user groups: what you think of them, if you belong to any, and how much of an impact they ultimately have on the technology you purchase, use, and manage every day. But first, let me tell you about my experiences with user groups ...
Why Bloggers Will Never Replace Reporters
Commentary  |  12/28/2006  | 
What do you get when you fly in 14 celebrity bloggers to interview Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates (and give them a free Zune as a party favor)? Pretty much a group kiss-up, apparently.
'I Was Quoted Out Of Context' = 'The Journalist Published What I Said'
Commentary  |  12/22/2006  | 
In an interview with a journalist a short time back, Seagate CEO Bill Watkins made a joke about his company's mission: "Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap--and watch porn." Seagate employees were offended, and so Watkins did the manly thing--
Cable Industry-vs.-Telco-Giants Is An Astroturf War
Commentary  |  12/22/2006  | 
While I'm against tilting the playing field in favor of AT&T, which appears to be what Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin was trying to do in this week's FCC ruling on local franchise applications, I'm not against real competition in local broadband. But as you might expect given the players, it gets unreal pretty quickly. One example: "Astroturf" local support.
Malicious Coders
Commentary  |  12/22/2006  | 
Over the course of my rather long and varied journalistic career, I've been laid off five times (usually because the magazine in question was shut down) and have survived two or three others, so I'm not unfamiliar with the anger and angst that can accompany that process. However, that doesn't mean I've got any sympathy whatsoever with the fool who reportedly planted a logic bomb in Medco Health Solutions' com
Principle Rears Its Ugly Head At The FCC
Commentary  |  12/21/2006  | 
The Federal Communications Commission under Republican Chairman Kevin Martin has been a government regulatory agency driven by principle -- the principle most often being, "whatever Big Business wants, Big Business gets." Unfortunately for Chairman Martin, he was prevented yesterday from giving AT&T what it wants most -- approval of its extremely dubious merger with BellSouth.
Apple Customers Want Apple To Make A Phone. Will They?
Commentary  |  12/21/2006  | 
Rumors of an Apple phone have been popping up across the Internet for a couple of weeks. Some parties mentioned in various instances of these rumors have denied the whole thing, while others have remained somewhat silent. Is Apple releasing a phone or not? Who knows. What I do know, however, is that with this level of interest, they probably ought to do so.
Sony's mylo, Like Youth, Is Wasted On The Young
Commentary  |  12/18/2006  | 
Sony's mylo is a big helping of gotta-have-it rolled up in a very small package: WiFi phone, email-IM-text-messaging-Web-browsing with a full keyboard, and even an MP3 player. Sony is marketing the mylo to the youth market, which leaves the impression that the mylo is just a toy. It's not. It's got some serious mobility features for grown-ups, too.
This Is Not The iPhone You Were Waiting For
Commentary  |  12/18/2006  | 
Looks like Gizmodo was half-right. We did get an iPhone today, just not from Apple.

Person Of The Year: Hey, It's The Digital You!
Commentary  |  12/18/2006  | 
No sooner are blogs declared passé, and big business trains its guns on social networking sites, then along comes You, Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2006. Yes, you baby! Or rather we, us, them--the masses as it were, but not just any old masses. For its annual accolade, Time specifically singled ou
What Does 2007 Promise?
Commentary  |  12/15/2006  | 
Earlier this week, futurist and technology guru Mark Anderson hosted his annual SNS New York dinner, a high-level gathering of VCs, investment bankers, journalists, technology entrepreneurs, and others, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Apple iPhone Due Monday?
Commentary  |  12/15/2006  | 
Gizmodo says Apple's iPhone will be announced Monday: "I guarantee it. It isn't what I expected at all. And I've already said too much." Gadgetell has some more rumors.

Reckoning On Robots
Commentary  |  12/14/2006  | 
Robots have always fascinated me: From Robby the Robot (who starred in the classic science fiction film Forbidden Planet), to the inhuman but highly effective mechanisms that build our automobiles, to the current crop of scientific toys that are available for hobbyists and experimenters. In fact, I actually wrote a book about robots back in 1982 titled Robots: Reel to R
The InformationWeek Weblog Community Sounds Off
Commentary  |  12/12/2006  | 
The InformationWeek Weblog community discusses the IT job outlook, ultra-light notebooks and notebook replacements, and Linux vs. Microsoft Vista.

Ban The Analysts! Or Not?
Commentary  |  12/12/2006  | 
It looks like the sometimes raging debate over whether journalists should quote industry analysts - be they technology or financial specialists - has flared up again, this time in an interesting story on a U.K.-based IT publication. Check it out - they are talking about whether to quote the same analysts that U.S. publications talk to. The article notes the New York Times has banned quoting analysts, and then violated
Unboxing Videos: The Latest Internet Trend That I'm Behind On
Commentary  |  12/12/2006  | 
James Kendrick, of the mobile computing blog jkOnTheRun just asked me if we were interested in an article on "unboxing videos." I'm happy to say I immediately responded with my usual alertness: "Huh? Whutza 'unboxing video'?"

Have Blogs Peaked?
Commentary  |  12/12/2006  | 
Micro Persuasion has some interesting stats to indicate that blogging has peaked. The numbers of new blogs being created, rate that people are writing new posts, and searches on the word "blog" are flattening. However, he hastens to add, these numbers are preliminary, and don't necessarily reflect diminishment in the influence of blogs. (Thanks,
Washington Watch: IT On The Docket
Commentary  |  12/11/2006  | 
This winter, you will want to be on the look out for a number of IT-oriented issues going bump in the dark corridors of Washington and, separately, in discussions with in industry consortiums. Several groups are agitating for changes that will affect IT - some for the better, and some for worse, but one way or another, all will require action on your part.
Torture Video Puts Pressure On Egyptian Police
Commentary  |  12/11/2006  | 
Privacy goes two ways. While the Internet and other information technology enable unprecedented levels of surveillance of private citizens, tech also permits the people to shine a light on government. For example, in Egypt, an Internet video, is causing citizens to question the prevalence of torture by police.

Traveling Light
Commentary  |  12/8/2006  | 
Recently, a Metafacts study stated that most mobile PCs are used at two locations rather than all around town. The reason? Lack of Internet connections and, according to principal analyst Dan Ness, "the weight and hassle of carrying around a notebook." You said it, Dan.
Make Extra Money With CPU Cycles You Have Lying Around The House
Commentary  |  12/8/2006  | 
This could be as big as the invention of eBay: Italian Linux developer Andrea Arcangeli is working on CPUShare, a project to let you rent out spare cycles of your PC for supercomputing projects..

Good News On E-Voting Security
Commentary  |  12/7/2006  | 
Freedom To Tinker analyzes this week's decision on voting machine security standards, and it looks like the news is very good. He says they're officially just guidelines, but will almost certainly become law. "Thirty-five states either have a paper trail statewide or require one to be adopted by 2008. The glass is already 70% full, and the new standard
Best Comments From The InformationWeek Weblog
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
Participants in our InformationWeek Weblog community spoke out on spam, Linux vs. Vista, and blaming Google.

Bush Administration Wants Broader Powers To Read Your E-Mail
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
The Bush Administration continues its ongoing assault on citizens' right to privacy, pursuing a lawsuit in an appeals court in Ohio in an attempt to gain the right to read your e-mail without a warrant.

De-Touristify Your Vacation Photos
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
Set up a tripod to take a picture of whatever landmark or scenery you want a picture of. Take a whole bunch of shots. Because you're using a tripod, the landmark will look the same in each shot, but the people will move around (as people do). Then, when you get home, use Photoshop or your photo editor of choice to create a composite photo. dsphotographic.com shows you how.

Or, you can do
Wall Street Analyst: iPhone Will Look Like iPod
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
In an interview this week, Prudential analyst Jesse Tortora said that Apple's new cell phone will look like an iPod with a small screen and click-wheel interface. Tortora claims the device, dubbed the iPhone, will be a "slim music phone" that runs on GSM/GPRS networks. Rumor claim that Apple will debut the iPhone in January 2007.
Best Comments From The InformationWeek Weblog Community
Commentary  |  12/5/2006  | 
Participants in the InformationWeek Weblog Community speak out about Microsoft Windows Vista, offshoring, and e-voting security:

Media Piracy Begins At Home
Commentary  |  12/5/2006  | 
Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman's own kids are music pirates, he admitted in an interview. "Naturally, his kids were forced to cough up thousands of dollars to the RIAA to keep from getting sued. Right?" Ars Technica asks rhetorically. Of course not -- Bronfman says he disciplined the kids (he says he prefers to keep the details in the family) and gave them a talking-to about stealing music.

Of course, music piracy i
New Nonlethal Weapon Induces Searing Pain At A Distance
Commentary  |  12/5/2006  | 
The U.S. military completed a round of testing of the Active Denial System, a weapon that inflicts searing pain at a distance -- but (according to the military) produces no injury. It motivates targets to run away -- and fast. It's been certified for use in Iraq.

The ADS shoots a beam of millimeters waves, which are longer in wavelength than x-rays but shorter than microwaves -- 94 GHz (= 3 mm
E-Voting: Feds Say One Wicked Programmer Could Bring Down Democracy
Commentary  |  12/3/2006  | 
In what the Washington Post calls "the most sweeping condemnation" of paperless electronic voting machines, researchers at a key federal agency say such systems can never be made secure enough. Among the reasons: just one "clever, dishonest programmer" could rig an entire statewide election.
Not Exactly A Roomba
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
How to turn a radio-controlled toy car into a remote-control dustmop. This is really cute, for geeky values of the word "cute."

Transferring Old Home Movies To Digital Media
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
If you grew up in the 70s or earlier, you've probably got a box of home movies sitting around somewhere, probably in 8 mm or Super 8 format. It's just sitting there, gathering dust and fading into worthlessness. That's some precious family memories and history there, slowly being destroyed by time and changing data formats.

Jim Carroll solved that problem, building his own tools for automatically converting movies to digital media. Other solutions already exist for this problem, but th


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