UK Government Tries Twittering By Committee
Reading about U.K. government guidelines for participating in Twitter, I'm reminded of a joke: A woman says to her workaholic husband, "We need more spontaneity in our marriage. Surprise me!" And the man says, "Great idea, honey! Why don't you prepare a list of ways that you'd like me to surprise you spontaneously, and then we can schedule a meeting to discuss it!"
SPSS Is Not the Story; IBM's Vision for Analytics Is
The media and my fellow analysts have been breathlessly touting IBM's acquisition of SPSS ($1.2B) as some sort groundbreaking to a new era of analytics. I don't see it that way... If anyone thinks the acquisition of SPSS marks IBM's serious entry into analytics, they've been sleeping...
Netezza Is Changing its Hardware Architecture, Slashing Prices
Netezza is about to make its biggest product announcement in years, cutting prices to less than $20K/terabyte of user data, replacing its PowerPC chips with Intel-based IBM blades and making substantial changes in how data flows between the various parts of a Netezza node for a claimed 10-15X increase in price-performance...
Whacky Graphics at USAspending.gov
I started this blog entry with the intent of appraising USAspending.gov's IT Dashboard, a new, interactive tool for evaluation of Federal Government IT spending. Unfortunately, graphical issues start on USAspending.gov's main page with one downright whacky graphic. I can't recall the last time I saw a graphic that so distorted the numbers, so I tried to recreate it (and failed). Here's how...
The Potential of Virtual Desktops
I've been covering desktop virtualization quite a bit lately; it's a pretty hot topic. After debugging the Matrix for the last 6 months in the InformationWeek Desktop Virtualization labs, I'm trying to free my mind and consider the potential uses of desktop virtualization beyond running MS Office, here's some pretty cool ideas. Gaming companies, listen up.
In SPSS, IBM Gains an Open R & Python Analytics Platform
I love telling folks that I ran my first SPSS programs in 1976... and that I haven't run one since. SPSS has long since reinvented itself as a predictive analytics vendor but brings other, less-visible assets to the IBM deal including the ability to patch Python and R code into SPSS routines. SPSS's Bring Your Own Analytics is a clear competitive differentiator with benefits for users and the company alike...
NASA's Next Mission: Cloud Computing
As NASA prepares for the return of space shuttle Endeavour and, beyond that, its next-generation Aris moon rocket, NASA's IT experts are thinking about what's next for the agency's data centers. An early adopter of cloud computing, NASA could play a central role in the U.S. government's move to virtualized, on-demand IT resources.
Homeland Security Saves Millions In Microsoft, Oracle Licenses
The Department of Homeland Security, in a published update on its ongoing "efficiency review," reveals it was able to save $89 million in software licensing fees by renegotiating contracts with Microsoft and Oracle. Every other federal agency should be undertaking similar reviews.
Black Hat: Fighting Russian Cybercrime Mobsters
McAfee and the FBI teamed up at Black Hat to discuss Russian online organized crime. The standing room only presentation was part fact and part hype. With a mission to publicize the FBI's work, Russians were made to be some of the most organized and threatening of all cybercriminals. While this could be true, the connections to American and other hackers around the world were drawn and cannot be ignored.
Veiled: A Browser-based Darknet - Not for Porn, Says HP
For those living in a box, Black Hat is currently underway in Las Vegas. The first talk of the day I attended was by Bill Hoffman and Matt Wood from HP's Security Labs. They discussed their browser-based darknet called Veiled. Billy is best known for his web security research while working for SPI Dynamics, acquired by HP, and authoring a book on AJAX security. Matt leads development on HP's Scwaler and SWFScan security tools.
New York's Facebook Race Fracas
A young aide to a New York City politician joined the long parade of people who've learned the hard way that what you say on the Internet matters. Lee Landor, until recently deputy press secretary to Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer, posted comments on her personal Facebook page criticizing Henry Louis Gates and the President, and apparently defending racial profiling
Homeland Security Names A New CIO
The agency's new IT leader, Richard Spires, has private sector experience and previously led systems modernization efforts at the IRS.
Don't Confuse Health IT Stimulus With Cash-For-Clunkers Program
My family's old minivan only has heat, no A/C. And I mean heat even in the summer. It won't turn off. We've spent hundreds (thousands?) of dollars on repairs over the years and don't want to pour any more money into this junk-box. So, the fed's program for trading in a clunker for a more fuel-efficient vehicle comes at a perfect time for us--as long as we don't make a hasty choice that really doesn't meet our family's needs looking ahead. That's the same position many healthcare organizations ar
Q&A: Veterans Affairs CIO Explains IT Overhaul
The recently appointed Chief Information Officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs discusses why 45 IT projects were put on hold and his plan for avoiding the mistakes of the past.
On The FAA's Slow And Steady SWIM To Open Source
After my talk earlier in the week about open source in health care, I turned to a parallel discussion -- using open source in a federal agency that's long been hidebound by closed-ended legacy systems. Namely, the FAA.
On SPSS and IBM's 'Time to Value' Promise
Building good predictive models requires a high degree of expertise and is not something that will become main stream any time soon... As for the IBM Smart Analytics System, the vision is enticing, but I'm skeptical customers will have the degree of flexibility they currently have.
Initial reactions to IBM acquiring SPSS
One notable point is that SPSS is more SQL-oriented than SAS. Thus, SPSS has gotten performance benefits from Oracle's in-database data mining technology that SAS apparently hasn't... IBM's done a good job of keeping its acquired products working well with Oracle and other competitive DBMS in the past, and SPSS will surely be no exception.
Strickling To Incumbent Carriers: Put Up Or Shut Up
In a small but important victory for public-private applicants, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) chief Larry Strickling told incumbent carriers that they'll have to prove their cases just like everyone else if they want to challenge broadband grant proposals from smaller players.
IBM Takes SPSS for $1.2 Billion
I'm at IBM's research center in Hawthorne, NY, today where a presentation is about to take place on the IBM Smart Analytics System, which is a rebranding of the InfoSphere Balanced Warehouse solutions with prepackacked content such as vertical domain modules and solution accelerators. The bombshell announcement that everybody wants to hear about, though, is IBM's $1.2 acquisition of Chicago-based SPSS...
Best Video Editing Apps For Bloggers
We look at Adobe Premiere Elements, DeskShare Auto Movie Creator, Cyberlink PowerDirector, Corel VideoStudio, and other video editing software for vloggers.
Obama's Twitter Conundrum
It turns out the White House doesn't hate Twitter as reported, or at least not as much, or at least not for very much longer.
T-Mobile To Offer BlackBerry Curve 8520
RIM's consumer-friendly smartphone has strong social networking features, out-of-the box Mac compatibility, and an optical navigation pad instead of a trackball.
Attensity Mines Customer Comments
Attensity Group is offering Web-based software that can mine customers' comments in surveys to better understand their sentiments, satisfaction, loyalty and potential product or service issues.
Open Text Launches iPhone App
The FirstClass Mobile client takes advantage of the iPhone's and iPod Touch's capabilities for playing and sharing sound and video files and displaying and sending photos. Users can play voicemail messages from their mailbox and access FirstClass calendars and contacts.
Twitter Launches Tools For Businesses
The micro-blogging service hopes that its search widget and user manual will help businesses use Twitter for marketing --- and boost its own revenue.
Network Computing Is Back!
You read that right. Network Computing, the only IT magazine For IT, By IT is back with the first digital issue (registration required) on WAN optimization and application delivery in a virtualized data center.
Extra, Extra: Wall Street Uses Technology to Make Money
The New York Times today unmasked what it calls "high frequency trading" in a page-one story that paints a picture of big Wall Street firms taking unfair advantage with the aid of technology. The story is really about complex event processing, or CEP technology, something that has been operating behind the scenes on Wall Street for years.
Is There Really Interest In Windows 7?
Sometimes it's hard to gauge whether or not a particular technology has real interest or just the native curiosity all IT professionals have when something is 'new'.
In the case of Windows 7, the interest is real. InformationWeek Analytics launched a research survey this week on organizations plans for Windows 7. Typical research surveys get 500 respondents; folks that are genuinely interested in the topic, not just filling out the survey to win an IPod.
How many have taken the time to revie
Oracle Buys GoldenGate: Should Customers Be Concerned?
Another independent gets taken over by the big boys. That's the good-for-Oracle, possibly bad-for-the-industry news today with Oracle's acquisition of GoldenGate Software, the San Francisco-based data integration, replication and synchronization vendor. Just what will become of GoldenGate's many technology-agnostic tools and industry partnerships?
The Encryption Gap
Things that make us say "hmmm" include these stats: The percentage of respondents to our 2009 Strategic Security Survey rating encrytion as effective in reducing risk dropped from 57% in 2008 to 48% in 2009. Use of disk, file and backup media encryption ALL fell year over year by at least five percentage points. Backup encryption usage is down 10 points.
Contractor's Widow Seeks $25 Million From Iraq
It's bad enough her husband was murdered outside Baghdad. Now, the widow of a contractor who provided IT and military hardware services for the reconstruction effort claims the Iraqi government stiffed the man's firm for $25 million.
'Meaningful Use' of E-Health Details Getting Worked Out
While the nation has been abuzz with healthcare reform talk lately, some big progress is being made on the healthcare IT front. The policy group advising the U.S. health department on the criteria healthcare providers must meet to qualify for more than $20 billion of stimulus rewards for using e-health systems has completed an important chunk of its work.