News & Commentary
posted in March 2008
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Open Source Databases Widely Used, Seldom Paid For
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
Open source systems have replaced only a few commercial products in the enterprise.
Your Next Blog Aggregation Tool?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
At Startup Camp in London, I met Nick Halstead, the erstwhile founder behind, 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).
Customize Windows Vista Installations With vLite
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
Create custom Windows Vista installations by adding or removing system components and automating setup options with vLite. It's unsupported by Microsoft, but vLite is free and will delight Vista enthusiasts.
Suit Accuses Apple Of iMac Deception
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
Lawyers claim Apple deceived consumers by grossly inflating the capabilities of its 20-inch iMac monitors, which they say cannot display millions of colors.
Fujifilm's Tape Tracker - GPS For LTO
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
As expected, the seemingly constant stream of news stories revealing how one organization after another has lost, misplaced, or allowed evil hackers (which some of you want me to call crackers) to access personal data about its customers, employees, and/or clients has spawned a new product. Fujifilm's Tape Tracker combines a GPS receiver and cellular modem to create a James Bondian tracking device cleverly disguised as an LTO tape. All you have to do is slip a Tape Tracker into each Turtle of ta
Startup Fusion-io Unveils Solid-State Storage Product
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The device can be installed at multiple points in existing data centers or workstations without any changes, the company said.
CTIA: Just Who Is It For?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
We're here at CTIA Wireless 2008, the cellular industry's trademark show in the United States. This year's show kicked off with Smartphone Summit, where the morning held tracks discussing everything from market stats from leading analysts to the latest and greatest smartphones.
BlackBerry 9000 Has Rotten Battery Life, But Otherwise Rocks
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
The word from early testers of the much-rumored BlackBerry 9000 mystery smartphone have reported absolutely abysmal battery life. With the Wi-Fi running, testers say the battery runs dry with just two hours of Web browsing. Other features, though, impressed the users in the field.
Cell Phones Face Extinction As Smartphones Take Over
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
Apple's iPhone, Verizon's open network, and devices based in Google's open source Android mobile platform are expected to put simple cell phones to rest.
CIO As Acquisition Partner
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Is the CIO an effective position to enlist in your company's mergers and acquisitions strategy? It makes sense, given that integration is one of the major challenges in an M&A move, particularly integration of the IT variety.
HP Unveils Products with Muscle for Midsize Businesses
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Today, HP announced several products targeted for smaller businesses. Regardless of how these products play with the so called SMB market, the announcement indicates just how serious HP is about competing for midsize business IT dollars.
IPass Offers Dual 3G, Wi-Fi Hotspot Service
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The iPassConnect wireless combo is aimed at busy road warriors with a price plan that starts at $29.95 a month.
AMD Unveils 3D Workstation Graphics Card
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The FireGL V7700 is made for professional computers used in computer-aided design, digital content creation, and medical imaging.
CTIA Wireless: On The Ground In Las Vegas
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Over The Air is on the ground in Las Vegas for the CTIA wireless trade show this week and will be posting videos galore of all that we see. Be sure to check back regularly for updates. So far, the smartphone summit showed some interesting developments from Symbian and UIQ.
Google Has A Privacy Policy That Doesn't Offer Privacy
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
In an effort to demonstrate its commitment to privacy, Google on Friday announced a revamp of its online Privacy Center, a repository for information about Google's privacy policies and practices. On Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Google's enterprise search hardware is finding its way into U.S. intelligenc
Microsoft Awaits Vote Results On Open XML Standardization
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
If the file format does not become a standard, some governments could shy away from using Open XML -- and therefore, potentially, Microsoft Office.
Intel, STMicroelectronics Officially Spin Off Flash Memory Business
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
Numonyx will absorb the tech companies' money-losing businesses for memory devices found in portable media players, smartphones, and other handheld computers.
Apple's Security Patch Process Gets Worse While Microsoft's Gets Better
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
Swiss researchers suggest that the revived popularity of Apple's products may have left the company unable to keep up with security risks.
Google Docs 'Geared' Up To Work Offline
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
Copying online Google Docs files to a local device and synchronizing local copies with remote versions could take some time if the files in question are large or numerous.
HP Introduces Three Consumer PCs, Backup Device
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The Pavilion machines include one optimized for entertainment, another for energy efficiency, and a third for consumers looking for a low-priced computer.
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.
Nokia Siemens, Sprint Launch LTE Endeavor
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The Nokia service will be rolled out for Sprint's WiMax network, which is being tested in Chicago and the Baltimore-Washington area.
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?
Outspring Mail For Mac Learns From You
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
I've recently been bumping up against the rough edges of Apple Mail, and so I was very interested in learning about Outspring Mail, a $95 Mac e-mail program that's designed to observe the user's actions and learn from them.
Verizon Debuts Smartphones For Multi-Taskers
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The BlackBerry Curve 8330 and Moto Q 9c are both optimized for business users that rely on keeping in touch via QWERTY keyboards.
Employers Can File For H-1B Visas Starting Tomorrow
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The government will accept H-1B visa petitions for five days instead of just two, and will probably see a record number of applications.
So, Lady, You Want to Grow Your Smaller Business? Here's Some Advice
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Apparently, women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men. That statistic has caught the eye of none other than Microsoft which is teaming up with a bunch of small business experts in a series of conferences kicking off this week in five cities across the country just for women to network and learn. Men, go watch some basketball.
FairPoint Takes Over Verizon's New England Lines
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The deal was approved in last-minute emergency hearings by utility regulators in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Yahoo Launches Site For Women To 'Shine'
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The search engine aims to reach the 40 million women whose demographic is being described as "chief household officer."
Are Vendors Accountable For Over-Promising Software Demos?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
It's a classic. An on-stage software exec confidently gestures toward the demo of newly "announced" software, expounding on its life-changing features before a packed audience. But the software doesn't really work yet; it isn't even shipping until next year. So is this demo an act of fraud? That's an interesting question in light of the lawsuit Waste Management has filed against SAP.
Gossip Site JuicyCampus Defends 'Anonymous Free Speech'
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
Several states are investigating the Web site, which allows college students to anonymously post comments about other students.
Linux Wins The Security Showdown! Now What?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
So now that Ubuntu Linux was "last man standing" in the PWN to OWN contest at CanSecWest, does this mean open source has it all over the competition when it comes to security?  It can, and it ought to -- but it's not a guarantee.  And we need to not think it is.

Adobe Teams With Linux
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
PC World, Techtree
U.S. Atty. Gen. Says Piracy Threatens National Safety
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The U.S. Attorney General wants wiretap authority for piracy investigations, adding that counterfeit goods and intellectual property theft generates profits for organized crime and terrorists.
Gartner BI Summit 2008: The Next Generation of Innovation
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
Decision making as core competency, emerging technologies as BI enablers and changes in the BI market itself are core topics at this week's Gartner Business Intelligence Summit in Chicago. Analyst Kurt Schlegel explains the trends and business drivers.
Adobe Cozies Up To Open Source World
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
The company is joining the Linux Foundation and released an early test version of its Adobe Integrated Runtime (Air) for rich Internet applications.
Arch Rock Builds Internet Protocol Links Into Wireless Sensors
News  |  3/31/2008  | 
By combining nodes with Internet Protocol capabilities, wireless sensor nets get the same addressing, naming, and management as the rest of the enterprise network.
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.
Cradle To Grave, Baby
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Virtual Center can support 200 hosts and 2,000 VMs. VMware's new Lifecycle Manager offers hope to automate and track those thousands of containers...
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.
Death To Brick-Level Backups!
Commentary  |  3/30/2008  | 
Friends, readers, fellow backup geeks, lend me your eyeballs. I come to bury mailbox by mailbox (brick-level) backups, not to praise them. Exchange server administrators shall not backup mailboxes individually via MAPI for it is so slow it causes thy tape drive to shoeshine, takes several times the disk or tape space as an information store backup, is prone to errors, and causes your backup jobs to fail, claiming disabled mailboxes are corrupted. The time has come to throw brick-level backups o
Gartner BI Summit 2008: Q&A With Howard Dresner
News  |  3/30/2008  | 
In a preview of his keynote presentation at this week's Gartner Business Intelligence Summit, former analyst Howard Dresner talks about his new book, the convergence of BI and process management, and what it takes to get to the next level of performance management.
Printing Out Is Hard To Do
Commentary  |  3/30/2008  | 
I used to have a wonderful printer. It was an HP Laserjet III, and it lasted me through about eight years and three Windows upgrades. Its black-and-white toner produced beautiful, sharp, smudge-free output. Eventually, though, it wore out and went to that great recycle bin in the sky; I had to face the loss and look for a replacement. That's where the trouble started.
GoVault - It's The Software, Stupid
Commentary  |  3/30/2008  | 
Simplicity is the key to products for the SOHO market. Small business owners are like one-armed paperhangers; accounting, technology, and other administration tasks will always take second place to doing enough business to make next week's payroll. The backup software bundled with Quantum's GoVault uses this year's hot technology, data deduplication, to make backup to GoVault's removable hard drive cartridges simple as any I've seen. All you have to do is pick the folders to backup and set a sch
Cinci Bell Goes Thin With Sun
Commentary  |  3/29/2008  | 
I wrote on Sun's VDI upgrade earlier this month. Charlie Babcock interviewed Jeff Harvey from Cincinnati Bell on his company's VDI deployment for our 3/31 issue.
Rails: Vendor Everything Just Got Easier
Commentary  |  3/29/2008  | 
Here's a common deployment fiasco: You build something. Something great. You use a number of different third party libraries installed on your system. Then, when you deploy the app to production, things break. You investigate. You realize that one of the libraries you're depending on doesn't exist on the server. You install it. Things still don't work. You realize that another one of the third party libraries is an older version. You update it. Things start to work. But now, on
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