News & Commentary
Content tagged with PC & Servers posted in March 2008
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Your Next Fav.or.it Blog Aggregation Tool?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
At Startup Camp in London, I met Nick Halstead, the erstwhile founder behind fav.or.it, a new blog aggregation site that's been widely discussed in the, um, blogosphere (there's a dog chasing its tail somewhere in that statement).
Griefers Post Seizure-Inducing Graphics On Epilepsy Board
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Attackers targeted a messaging board for the nonprofit Epilepsy Foundation and posted JavaScript code and flashing computer animation to trigger migraine headaches and seizures in some users.
Did Verizon FiOS' Free HDTV Inch Us One Step Closer To Jonathan Schwartz's Free Cars?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
OK. So things went very badly after, in an effort to drum up more business for its fiber-optic based FiOS service, Verizon offered up free HDTVs. After Verizon had a hard time making good on the promise, the bad news spread like wildfire across news sites and blogs. But did the critics miss a bigger "free car" picture that Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz once alluded to?
Security Showdown: OS X Caves First, Vista Buckles (Due To Flash), Ubuntu Wins
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
At the 2008 edition of the PWN to OWN security showdown at CanSecWest (Canada Security West) in Vancouver, an Ubuntu distribution of GNU Linux took top honors after Apple's Mac OS X and Microsoft's Windows Vista eventually caved under hacker pressure. All OSes were up-to-date with the latest patches.
WatZatSong: You Tell Me
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
When we held Startup Camp in London, WatZatSong was one of the more intriguing new ventures. Raphael Arbuz' project lets the community help you figure out songs that you know some lyrics to, or a tune stuck in your head.
Energy Camp @ Interop: Calling All Interested Parties In IT Energy Savings
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
If you're an IT professional, solution provider, or someone else with an interest in how to trim back the energy consumption of technology (especially if you're someone with domain expertise to contribute to the broader conversation about "green IT"), then I hope you'll join me and Energy Camp master of ceremonies James Governor (blog) for Energy Camp in Las Vegas on April 28 (just prior to the start of Interop).
Photo: Why To Check Power Supplies Before Use Abroad
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
To everyone in the hotel that I was staying in while in the U.K. for Startup Camp London (including my co-workers), I apologize for almost burning the joint down. Twice. Thankfully, I'm the only one who paid a price for my stupidity: a bit of damaged finish to my brand new MacBook, a blown-up power supply for an Ethernet hub, and one destroyed power strip.
Of Earth Hour And Toasty Undercrackers
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
I'll get to the undercrackers in a moment. First, a word about a global event scheduled for Saturday, March 29, which is either a planet-friendly gesture we can all feel good about, or a misguided act of "environmental indoctrination."
Viral Video Of The Week: Big Dog Beta
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
Surely by now you've seen the video of the "Big Dog" -- the amazing quadruped robot designed to serve as a "pack mule" for soldiers in terrains where military vehicles are unable to manage or maneuver. I'll wager, however, you've never seen the original "Beta model" in action?
For Big Tech Companies, Romance Is In The Air
Commentary  |  3/27/2008  | 
Maybe it's the end of Lent and the coming of spring, but despite the gloomy economic prospects there's definitely a spirit of reconciliation and conflict-resolution in the air of the U.S. tech industry.
Squeezing Costs Out Of IT
Commentary  |  3/26/2008  | 
If your company is looking for ways to squeeze more out of IT these days (and who isn't), server virtualization is one of the moves some organizations are making to find savings. Just ask Kent Kushar, CIO at wine maker E&J Gallo.
Driving Design With AutoCAD 2009
Commentary  |  3/25/2008  | 
My neighbor is building an addition to his house. Lots of details. Lots of draft work. His contractor and architect use the time-honored methods. It looks painful. But it doesn't have to be.
Xerox Calculates Office Sustainability
Commentary  |  3/25/2008  | 
This is the time of year many of us start thinking and talking about losing weight. Again. Vague goals like wanting to "slim down for summer" are tough to achieve,in part because they are imprecise. (And in part because pancakes make superior butter delivery platforms.) The desire to "be more green" is another vague yearning I'm hearing a lot these days.
Qwaq Brings Virtual Worlds To Business Collaboration
Commentary  |  3/25/2008  | 
I had a chance to talk with the CEO of Qwaq the other day. Qwaq makes virtual worlds software optimized for corporate meetings. If you've spent time in Second Life, you know the power of avatars and 3-D spaces to enhance conversations and collaboration. It's hard to explain to people who've never tried virtual worlds, but it's real. Qwaq is an attempt to tailor virtual worlds for business collaboration, adding features that businesses need and taking away features that are harmful.
CNN Creates Citizen Journalism Channels On Web, In Second Life
Commentary  |  3/24/2008  | 
Budding Wolf Blitzers can bring their news reporting talents to the Web and Second Life using a citizen journalism program run by CNN. Reporters post video, photos, audio, and text reports to the beta iReport site, and have the news appear on the site unfiltered. The best contributions appear on CNN itself.
George Clooney Googles Himself
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
Writer A.J. Jacobs takes the debonair actor on a hilarious cybertour of what people are saying about him on the Internet. He bravely reads his Wikipedia entry, looks up reviews of his best and worst movies, and joins the Facebook group "George Clooney is NOT the sexiest man alive."
Viral Video Of The Week: Star Wars Meets Saul Bass
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
Welcome to our new end-of-the-week feature. The clever and astute might recall seeing a similar incarnation on the Network Computing Blogs a while back. I convinced (read: fast-talked and begged) the powers-that-be that this would be a fun way to bid the last five days buh-bye and head into the weekend.
Green Agendas Continue To Influence Content Strategies
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
My first post of 2008 was a content management trend watch: number two on the list was the movement toward green IT.
Video: Bug Labs' Build-It-Yourself Mobile Devices
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
We caught up with Peter Semmelhack, president and CEO of Bug Labs, to talk about how his company is building tools to allow users to build any mobile device "as easy as snapping Legos together." The company's mobile devices are based on open source hardware and software to foster innovation. Watch now to get a look at the devices, and find out how Bug Labs hopes to make money by giving technology away for free.
XPrize: $10 Million For 100-MPG Cars
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
The XPrize Foundation is doing for cars what it has already done for commercial space flight (and is trying to do for human genomics and lunar exploration) -- it is pushing for groundbreaking technical innovation by offering big prize money.
Veedow's Online Personalized Shopper
Commentary  |  3/19/2008  | 
How can you lose with someone named Fabio at the helm, talking about how his company, Veedow.com, will do for shopping what Pandora does for music? Veedow will customize a recommendation-based social shopping site based on the items and styles that appeal specifically to you.
Brightbox Ruby On Rails Hosting
Commentary  |  3/19/2008  | 
Traditionally, Ruby On Rails developers have had difficulty taking applications from their development systems to deployment (difficulties not experienced developing with PHP, ASP, or Java). But Brightbox, a U.K.-based startup showing off its wares at Startup Camp in London recently, specializes in Rails hosting.
Arthur C. Clarke Remembered
Commentary  |  3/19/2008  | 
Arthur C. Clarke, who died Wednesday, spent more than 60 years writing about how communications and computing technology could help drive the the next stage of human evolution. So it's appropriate that he's now being remembered on the international communications network, the Internet.
Fight For Cleaner Technology Before The Man Insists On It
Commentary  |  3/19/2008  | 
In a study of 100,000 IT professionals surveyed by The Corporate IT Forum in the U.K., "About 58% said it was difficult to make a business case for green IT; they found it difficult to overcome the 'so what?' factor."
Is Web 2.0 An Endangered Species?
Commentary  |  3/19/2008  | 
Yesterday I read two articles that suggested Web 2.0 growth is stunted, if not actually in danger of stopping altogether.
Ultralight Notebooks Buyer's Guide
News  |  3/18/2008  | 
Superbly portable laptops from Dell, Toshiba, Panasonic, and Fujitsu promise mobile productivity in a slender package, but can this crop of lightweights get the job done?
5 Ways To Cut Data Center Power Costs
Commentary  |  3/17/2008  | 
Here's the problem: Power costs keep rising, while storage needs keep growing. Whether your data center is a couple of servers or a roomful of racks, creating efficiencies doesn't have to be complicated. Here are five ways to start cutting costs today.
RPPtv's Simple Web-Based Video Production
Commentary  |  3/17/2008  | 
RPPtv sounds a little too good to be true: A Web-based uploading, sequencing, editing, and output program for consumers and broadcasters. It's also free, available any day from RPPtv's site or as a Facebook application.
See, It's Not So Easy To Disconnect, Is It?
Commentary  |  3/14/2008  | 
Back in January, I pondered if I would be able to survive a week away from e-mail, cell phones (other than for emergencies), and overall connectivity during my family's trip to Disneyworld. Several readers expressed surprise and disbelief at such a quandary, saying how easy it was for them to leave their gear behind for vacations and extended periods of time. According to a new study, however, disconnec
Rosedale Out As Second Life CEO
Commentary  |  3/14/2008  | 
Philip Rosedale, the co-founder of Second Life, is stepping aside as CEO of corporate parent Linden Lab, and the company will begin a search for a CEO with more operational and management experience. This could be great news for Second Life and its community -- the service is, in many ways, brilliant, but it often trips over its feet when trying to execute some of the functions that are basic to any business, like communicating with big customers and processing payments.
Watch The Video Of My Interview With Fox News About Social Networks
Commentary  |  3/14/2008  | 
Fox Business had me on this morning to introduce its viewers to social networking. I explained a little about what it is, who the big players are, and why it's popular. I talked about the differences between the three big companies, MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo, and why people like them. We're a social species (I said), and socnets replace the kind of face-to-face casual conversation we'd have if we all lived in the same small town and ran into each other on the streets every day. Watch the video
Darwin And The Big Telcos
Commentary  |  3/13/2008  | 
For a telecom and Web conference, the Emerging Communications Conference at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley this week had a lot of talk of death and extinction. Most of it was related to the big telecom carriers.
Watch My Interview On Fox News
Commentary  |  3/13/2008  | 
Fox Business Network is going to interview me tomorrow about AOL buying Bebo. They're going to put pancake makeup on me. I told them if they wanted to make me look good, they're going to have to apply it with a trowel.

Video: EFF Co-Chair John Perry Barlow Is Feeling Optimistic
Commentary  |  3/13/2008  | 
We caught up with the former Grateful Dead lyricist and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation at the ETech conference in San Diego last week. He says technology is beating Hollywood efforts to control knowledge. We talked about how people will make money if they can't sell copies of their work, and more.
What Hulu Will Do... And What It Won't
Commentary  |  3/12/2008  | 
I've been beta testing Hulu.com, the NBC Universal - News Corp. collaboration that puts TV shows and some movies online. At first blush ... it's very entertaining and there are some enterprise possibilities, but why does it have to be so much like TV?
StartUp Camp: Video Interview With WebCanvas
Commentary  |  3/12/2008  | 
You may have heard about bands discovering a fan base (or vice versa) on MySpace or YouTube; or about the launch of some new Web TV show on YouTube which makes its way onto regular television because of its popularity (to some degree, South Park is a great example). Now, thanks to fun startup WebCanvas, artists can have the same opportunity. The WebCanvas presentation at Startup Camp last week in London was impressive in its creativity. But these guys, who fini
Facebook Application Finds Blood Donors
Commentary  |  3/11/2008  | 
Now here's a great idea: Register with the Takes All Types facebook application, tell them your location and blood type, and they'll contact you when your blood is needed.
Energy Literacy: Saul Griffith Unplugged At ETech
Commentary  |  3/11/2008  | 
The monumental imperative to save our planet requires launching ourselves over what seems an insurmountable hurdle involving the orchestration of global agreement and policy combined with individual actions that manifest themselves as a nebulous series of micro decisions. So good luck with all of that and call me when the polar bears and penguins are tanning themselves on Fire Island. Or maybe we should completely re-examine our own lives like Saul Griffith, MIT PhD, chief scientist at Makani Po
Wikipedia's Tin-Cup Approach Wears Thin
Commentary  |  3/11/2008  | 
Wikipedia gets 300 million page views per day and could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars if it sold ads. But it doesn't -- it survives on donations. The company hired an executive director nine months ago, and is looking for ways to raise revenue, which is tough because it's a not-for-profit that depends to a huge degree on volunteer labor.
Should 'Internet,' 'Web,' And 'E-Mail' Start With Lowercase Letters?
Commentary  |  3/11/2008  | 
Just as the Internet has evolved over the past decade and a half, the language used to describe it has evolved as well. We used to say "World Wide Web," now we just say "Web." English tends to get more compact and faster over time.
Startup Camp U.K.: Are Domestic VCs Missing Out On Better Opportunities?
Commentary  |  3/11/2008  | 
As I write this blog post -- a reflection on Startup Camp London -- I'm on a Boeing 777 that's racing across the Atlantic to Boston's Logan airport. This plane is full of technology. Presumably, the first class cabin has seats that can convert into beds or that can pivot and face a variety of directions. I heard that everyone up there also gets Bose noise canceling headphones. I'm not sure. It's a secretive place that only people who've paid 10 times what I've paid to cross the Atlantic are allo
Thou Shalt Not Trash The Planet
Commentary  |  3/11/2008  | 
Call it sinflation. The Vatican has doubled the number of mortal sins and one of them is really dirty: polluting the environment.
Apple Buyer's Guide: From MacBook Air To XServe
News  |  3/11/2008  | 
We compared the Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, the iMac, the Mac Mini, and XServe, to help you choose the Apple computer that's right for you.
Startup Camp London: Video Interview With Startup Scred
Commentary  |  3/10/2008  | 
I have a friend who does everything in Excel. I mean EVERYthing. If he were ever to write a novel, I am convinced he would do it in Excel. He obsesses about balancing his books at home on Excel; organizing trips in Excel. So when we went to Italy a couple of years ago and shared expenses, he built us a handy spreadsheet. There was nothing complicated about it, but its elegance and logic just made everything tidy -- well, except the part where I owed him money. Now I don't need the spreadsheet, t
MySQL Co-Founder: Success = Humility + Passion (Not Exit Strategy)
Commentary  |  3/10/2008  | 
There's nothing more charming than a humble entrepreneur like MySQL co-founder David Axmark. Zero ego, maximum success, achieved from a place of pure personal passion and the observation of need rather than blatant commercialization. Axmark made it clear to the Startup Camp audience in London this past weekend that while most companies start up with a business plan that includes an exit strategy, Axmark and his partner Monty Widenius started simply to create, to fill a need, because it was fun.
Mozilla Introduces Firefox 3 Beta 4
Commentary  |  3/10/2008  | 
Mozilla introduced Beta 4 of Firefox 3 , with a boatload of stability fixes and a few improvements to the user interface. Mozilla says the beta -- like all the pre-release browser versions -- is for developers and testers only, but I've been using it as my primary browser since December and it works just fine.
Developer: iPhone SDK Is 'Crippled'
Commentary  |  3/10/2008  | 
One of the underground developers working on hacking iPhones says that the Apple SDK is "crippled," and predicted that the thriving market in jailbroken applications will continue.
Visiting Roma In Second Life
Commentary  |  3/10/2008  | 
Second Life's Aberystwyth Lane recently visited one of the best areas in Second Life: Roma, which is dedicated to role-playing the ancient Roman Empire. She posted a terrific photo essay, which highlights all the detail and creativity that went into the build.
How Daylight-Saving Time Costs More
Commentary  |  3/10/2008  | 
If you're certain that daylight-saving time is good for the planet, put your hands up. Now put your hands down, because a recent study of more than 7 million residential meter readings over a three-year period shows what many of us have believed anecdotally for years. Electric bills go up when we switch to daylight-saving time.
Will The SDK Be The iPhone's Achilles' Heel?
Commentary  |  3/10/2008  | 
Apple is betting its future in the smartphone market on a control-freak business model. Where other smartphone platforms let anybody build applications for them, Apple demands to be the gatekeeper for what goes on the iPhone, to protect users from inappropriate and dangerous content, and to generate additional revenue for itself. But developers might decide that Apple's business model is too much hassle and give their business to competitors instead. And Apple needs third-party developers to ens
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