Business Technology News and Commentary - InformationWeek
News & Commentary
Content tagged with PC & Servers posted in February 2006
Google Porn Search On Cell Phones
Commentary  |  2/28/2006  | 
Google gave two computer scientists access to more than a million of its mobile search records in research aimed at understanding the unique needs of wireless Web surfers. Judging by the results, what users really need is a porn portal, as more searches were for smut than anything else.
Dealing With The Computer Viruses On Mouse And Keyboard
Commentary  |  2/28/2006  | 
Both companies and individuals have become much more successful lately coping with computer viruses by buying, installing and using anti-virus software. But what about the REAL germs living on your mouse and keyboard?
For Apple, There's No Business Like Show Business
Commentary  |  2/27/2006  | 
Apple plans to announce something tomorrow, and the rumor mill is working overtime trying to guess what that announcement might be. Over the weekend, one possibility -- a big-screen video iPod -- was knocked out of contention after a hoaxter posted a step-by-step video about how he created the fake prototype photo everyone was buzzing about.
Finding Humor In IT
Commentary  |  2/27/2006  | 
Humor is in short supply in the business world. And that's a shame because there are some subjects that benefit from a liberal dose of levity. Osterman Research's report, "Email Troubleshooting: The Cost and Impact to the Enterprise," represents just such a topic. Though no doubt a subject near and dear to the heart of Zenprise, the E-mail management software maker that sponsored the study, it's not the sort of reading m
A Club Apple Wants Out Of
Commentary  |  2/27/2006  | 
Windows users most likely yawned at last week's warning that Apple's Safari Web browser contains a critical vulnerability that exposes Mac users to attacks using malicious Zip files with virus-laden payloads. Subsequent reports of an exploit that makes it possible to take advantage of this latest Mac OS X flaw surely elicited no sympathy from long-suffering Internet Explorer devotees.
Is There Life After Search Engines?
Commentary  |  2/27/2006  | 
We should all be thinking the unthinkable about search engines: they may be put out of business by legal challenges. Search engines are under attack from several directions, and of course, it's all about the money. Companies that own "intellectual property" (something that's always sounded to me like a contradiction in terms) are gunning for search engine's revenues, claiming that Google and Yahoo and the like are profiting unfairly from the use of their copyrighted content. Everybody from
Ten Sites I Check Daily
Commentary  |  2/24/2006  | 
We journalists tend to read a bunch of news. I guess it comes with the job description. I've rounded up some of the top blogs I read to help gather and make sense of the news I'm seeing out there. Check these out, and add your favorites in the comments section.
Are Your Kids Safe Online?
Commentary  |  2/24/2006  | 
You know the old saying: Timing is everything. The best time to start a new diet, for example, is not the same week Girl Scout cookies are delivered. I learned that lesson last week, and I'm not turning back until the last Thin Mint has been consumed! So when is the right time to find ways to keep your kids safe online? In a word: Now. But ask 10 people about their strategies, and you'll get 10 different answers--filters, computers in a visible family area, talking to their kids about good and b
Utility Computing And The MEGO Factor
Commentary  |  2/23/2006  | 
Fundamentally, though, the "MEGO" (my eyes glaze over) factor is huge here--and by "here" I mean utility computing, autonomic systems, and pretty much next-generation anything. After decades of hearing about how technology is going to make their lives better, their infrastructures more manageable and/or less expensive, their smiles brighter (or just pick your benefit), I think IT professionals are casting an extremely wary eye on just about everything right now.
The Patent Mess: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Commentary  |  2/23/2006  | 
It's a hopeful sign that once again the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected one of five patents at the heart of the NTP-RIM suit. But don't get your hopes up. At the same instant we get more signs that the patent nightmare is far from over — the USPTO has granted a patent that its gleeful owner and his equally gleeful phalanx of lawyers declare
IM Skyrockets, E-Mail Declines Among Young
Commentary  |  2/23/2006  | 
A whopping 66 percent -- two thirds -- of "young online users" (13 to 21) send more instant messages than e-mail messages, according to a study by America Online. That's up from last year, when just 49 percent claimed to send more IMs than e-mails.
Is The CIO 'Field Of Dreams' A Greenfield Data Center Deployment?
Commentary  |  2/22/2006  | 
Do CIOs and IT managers dream of the opportunity to build a data center infrastructure from the ground up, with no regard for legacy requirements of existing equipment and software? Or is the bigger challenge in finding ways to improve existing infrastructures with incremental changes and additions?
A GNew Version of GNOME
Commentary  |  2/22/2006  | 
I confess I'm writing this item just so I could use that headline. Well, no, I'm not either, because the new version of GNOME, the open-source Linux graphical desktop, is news all on its own. The second beta of what will be GNOME 2.14 slipped out last week, and release is scheduled for March 15.
Site Offers $35 Unlimited PSP Games For Life
Commentary  |  2/22/2006  | 
A company called is offering unlimited game and movie downloads for the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) for life. The Price? $34.95 -- basically a rounding error. Normally the fee is $74.95, but they're offering a promotional price until tomorrow (Thursday). Sounds great, but what's the catch?
Truthiness Confuses U.S. Patent System
Commentary  |  2/17/2006  | 
Go beyond the headlines, and listen to what the parties say in patent infringement cases, and you might come to this conclusion: there's a whole lot of truthiness being bandied about.
AT&T Buys Congress: Alert The Media
Commentary  |  2/17/2006  | 
Thanks to Russell Shaw's blog we have the sound of the other shoe dropping. Recently I wrote about bully-boy Ed Whitacre Jr., the CEO of AT&T, and his plans to extort money from Google and Yahoo and other successful Internet services (see Google Is About To Become Ed Whitacre's Worst Nightmare). Shaw points out why Whitacre needs the money: to buy more Congressmen in his battle to defeat that m
Why Everyone Needs A Remote-Controlled Shark Robot
Commentary  |  2/17/2006  | 
I love the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog. Though overpriced, the store tries really hard to find both cool and exclusive products, many of which are just awesome toys you couldn't even imagine when you were a child. One great example is a new remote-controlled robotic shark.
Google Apps On Linux? Inevitable
Commentary  |  2/15/2006  | 
Google is developing a version of its Picasa photo-management application for Linux, according to Linux-watcher Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols at It's sort of a test, he says, and if it goes well other Google apps will likely get similar treatment. I'd say it's more than likely. It's inevitable.
Will Big Brother Snoop Through Your Medical Records?
Commentary  |  2/15/2006  | 
Awhile ago, I received an anonymous E-mail from a reader arguing that the real reason the Bush administration is pushing so hard for a national E-health information highway is that it wants to quickly track down would-be bio and chemical terrorists who hopefully end up in an E.R. somewhere coughing up clots and bleeding out of their eyeballs before they're able to pull off an event of mass suffering and death. Claiming to be "in the know," the E-mailer also asserted that the federal government
Nokia Working On Next-Gen 770 Tablets
Commentary  |  2/14/2006  | 
Nokia staff at the 3GSM show have revealed that Nokia is working on follow-on models to the Linux-based Nokia 770, which Personal Tech Pipeline reviewed recently. The 770 is a table form-factor device with an 800x480 screen optimized for Web surfing.
Finally: The Right Kind Of Cell Phone Innovation
Commentary  |  2/13/2006  | 
My Treo 650 is a marvel of engineering. It's packed with amazing features and capabilities, including a digital camera, Bluetooth support, thousands of available downloadable software programs, QWERTY keyboard and much, much more. I just wish I could turn off that annoying blinking green light.
Putting A Price On Love
Commentary  |  2/13/2006  | 
Maybe it's cynical, with Valentine's Day right around the corner, to say it, but it's time for some of us to put a price on love. If you're a BlackBerry user you can deny that there's any alternative and cling to the idea that your BlackBerry is priceless. But with a possible shutdown of BlackBerry service looming it's time to take a hard-headed business approach and put a dollar value on what it would cost you — and all the other BlackBerry users in your company to switch. And I've got a b
Google Is About To Be Ed Whitacre's Worst Nightmare
Commentary  |  2/8/2006  | 
Bully boy Ed Whitacre, Jr., the CEO of AT&T, got two messages from Google yesterday, and they both amounted to "up yours." One came in the form of an appearance by Vinton Cerf before the Senate Commerce Committee, and the other was an announcement that Google and Skype, the VoIP vendor, are among the investors putting $21.7 million into a Spanish startup called Fon that's building a
Marketing In Death Online
Commentary  |  2/6/2006  | 
A paid link resulting from a Google search ties roadside memorials for victims of traffic fatalilties to an ad marketing travel services.
Palm Treo 800p Rumor In Circulation
Commentary  |  2/2/2006  | 
I told you back in November about three new Treo smartphones from Palm expected to ship in 2006: 1) A Windows Mobile version; 2) an inexpensive device code-named "Lowrider"; and 3) a sleek, internal-antenna 3G device code-named "Hollywood." Since then, the Windows Mobile device has shipped, and we haven't heard a peep about the other two.
Separate Technology and Politics? How?
Commentary  |  2/1/2006  | 
Yesterday in my e-mail newsletter I happened to mention the President and lying in the same sentence. (You can read the piece here.) I've received a few responses taking me to task for mixing technology and politics. Nick Purdin's note was typical.
AMD Poised To Finally Capture Dell
Commentary  |  2/1/2006  | 
The long-anticipated introduction of the first Dell computers using processors from Advanced Micro Devices is expected to come within weeks--or at the most within a few months--providing yet another impressive milestone for AMD and giving Intel another black eye to go along with the bloody nose it has been nursing the past two years.

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