Commentary
Content posted in January 2007
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Dear Steph And Chey: You Are Soooooooo Busted
Commentary  |  1/31/2007  | 
Apparently, the new, electronic way for schoolkids to pass notes to each other is to leave comments on random blogs. The reason I know this is because two girls named "steph" and "chey" have been leaving messages on this blog.

Second Life Is Hard To Use -- Is That A Bug Or A Feature?
Commentary  |  1/31/2007  | 
Second Life is hard to use. Everybody knows it. I've logged something like 20 hours on SL in the past week and a half, and I'm still a consummate klutz. SL needs to be easier to use -- but not too easy, because if it was easy, it would undercut the nature of the world and remove one of its most appealing qualities.
Roadkill at the Corner of Search and BI
Commentary  |  1/31/2007  | 
A client who regularly generates large numbers of reports that "sit within a data warehouse system, run off Business Objects/Cognos against one source or another." The client envisions "something like the Amazon site that allows search, and when someone selects a report, it lists other reports, noting 'people who looked at this report also looked at... '"
Blogger Smackdown At AlwaysOn
Commentary  |  1/31/2007  | 
Last night's final panel at the AlwaysOn conference in NYC, "Panel: Can Brands Get Away with 'Buzz Marketing' in the Blogosphere?", was the best session so far at this show. It was chock-full of emotion, idealism, and all the kinds of ideas you hope to see on stage at a conference. The session was moderated by CKS Partners founder Bill Cleary and included super-bloggers Jeff Jarvis and
Mobility At AlwaysOn: If You Personalize It Will They Come?
Commentary  |  1/31/2007  | 
Mobility took the stage this morning at the AlwaysOn Media conference in New York City. Panelists tried to tackle the question of the third screen: Will consumers respond to mobile ads? How can marketers capitalize on such a small space? Are cell phones too personal a space to hit with marketing messages? The panelists agreed that a couple of factors will contibute to the success of mobile marketing. The first is the personal connection consumers have w
PTT By the Minute?!?
Commentary  |  1/31/2007  | 
Correct me if I am wrong here, but wasn't the major premise of push-to-talk technology (PTT) that it would help save people (enterprises) money by allowing them to avoid using their monthly minute allotment because they were using the walkie-talkie instead? If so, AT&T's new plan to allow customers to use PTT on a per-minute basis negates the entire appeal. Sorry, but if I have to pay by the minute to use the PTT s
The Most Unusual Person In Second Life
Commentary  |  1/30/2007  | 
Ida Keen is the most unusual person I've met in Second Life. You'll recall that the people I've met in SL include Dirjha Summers, an exotic dancer who works in a midnight city prowled by vampires and demons, along with Tateru Nino, an androgynous figure in a long robe who works in an office floating high in the clouds. Ida Keen, however, is an ordinary woman who lives, along with her husband, in an approximate reproduction of her grandmother's house on the Florida shore. She wears jeans, a sweat
Surviving Media Disruption At AlwaysOn: Will There Be A Calm After The Storm?
Commentary  |  1/30/2007  | 
Yesterday, I was at the opening session of the AlwaysOn NYC Media Event. Many of the media industry's top congenscenti were on hand to discuss, debate, spin, and relentlessly pitch the future of all online media. All of the bloggers present (like yours truly) were sectioned off into a tiny space in the middle of the floor called the "Blogger Bullpe
Gartner Insight on BI Platforms Revealed
Commentary  |  1/30/2007  | 
Whenever Gartner cranks out another of its famous Magic Quadrants, we inevitably see the vendors in that prized top-right quartile cranking out press releases announcing their success. Sometimes they even purchase reprint rights to the Quadrant itself, which gives us all a peek at the outcome.
Outsourcing Reaches Its Tipping Point
Commentary  |  1/30/2007  | 
Author Malcolm Gladwell says a tipping point occurs when a phenomenon starts to multiply exponentially, as though it were an infectious virus. Outsourcing's tipping point occurred this week when Accenture announced it would have more workers in India than in the United States by August.
Jim Gray, Noted Database Researcher, Missing At Sea
Commentary  |  1/30/2007  | 
Jim Gray, 63, the noted database researcher, veteran of stints at IBM, Tandem Computers, and most recently Microsoft, is missing at sea. He set out Sunday morning to do something that I have done twice, sail from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge across 27 miles of ocean to the Farallon Islands. He hasn't returned.
The BS in Business Intelligence
Commentary  |  1/30/2007  | 
In the last year, corporate management seems to have gained a better understanding of what business intelligence (BI) means to organizations. Executives finally are realizing that information about performance and the metrics that measure it are keys to improving their bottom line. Yet even so, they have invested far less in efforts to support BI than in other areas of information technology.
Microsoft's Sound And Fury
Commentary  |  1/30/2007  | 
You would think that, for the launch of its much-anticipated Vista operating system, Microsoft could transcend the typical hype session that companies seem to think are the best way to introduce their products. But Microsoft's vaunted Vista launch event was a bigger version of the kind of production that you usually see at trade shows such as CES or the late, lamented Comdex -- a lot of noise, a lot of lights, and a lot of sound and fury, signifying ... well, you know the quote.
And Away We SVGo!
Commentary  |  1/30/2007  | 
Yesterday in NYC the Mobile Monday organization hosted a half-day seminar on scalable vector graphics (SVG). According to the fine collection of speakers the little group huddled at the Samsung Experience had the pleasure of listening to, this tiny little computer language is promising to revolutionize the mobile web experience. Some day. The take-away message for the afternoon was: SVG is grrrrrrate!
Hello, Vista. Good-bye Tablet OS?
Commentary  |  1/30/2007  | 
In case you didn't know, Microsoft's Vista operating system launches today. Though there are 80 gazillion different versions of Vista, I didn't see any of them labeled "Tablet OS". What gives, Ballmer? In scrolling the headlines today, I noticed a small blurb from HP about a new TouchScreen PC they are working on. You can read about it here. As I was perusing the article, I thought to myself, "Hmm, is there a Tab
IM, Therefore I Think
Commentary  |  1/29/2007  | 
I ranted about AOL's extreme makeover of AIM Express last week and was gratified by the comments and e-mails from people who were quick to fill in my memory lapses with the names of instant messaging alternatives. Trillian and Gaim both have numerous supporters.
What Happens In Second Life, Stays In SL
Commentary  |  1/29/2007  | 
Role-playing is an essential part of Second Life. But some people take it more seriously than others. Some people act as if Second Life really is a second life -- as if the person who exists in that virtual world really is a different person from the one in the real world.

Avoiding Failure: The Better Part of IT Valor?
Commentary  |  1/29/2007  | 
It felt confessional to explain to a friend the other day that typically my greatest value as a consultant comes from helping enterprises avoid making a big mistake. Usually the looming mistake is selecting the wrong software for their needs. That just doesn't sound as triumphant as "restored them to profitability," or "instituted a fabulously successful publishing regimen."
Get Ready For Vista
Commentary  |  1/29/2007  | 
Strange Anti-Microsoft Bedfellows
Commentary  |  1/29/2007  | 
What do Brussels and Des Moines have in common? An apparent determination to keep Microsoft's competitive instincts under control that goes far beyond what Washington had the belly for.
Three New BI-Style Tools for Investment Managers
Commentary  |  1/29/2007  | 
The business intelligence movement rolls on and one of its benefactors is Wall Street. It's a good fit -- after all, what asset manager wouldn't want the most insightful views of the right data? I was recently briefed on three new or updated data analysis tools: one for analyzing the blogosphere for stock tips, one for analyzing SEC data, and one for portfolio backtesting. Here's what I found interesting.
A Peek at the Future from Lotus Labs
Commentary  |  1/29/2007  | 
Major Vista Facts? Please!
Commentary  |  1/29/2007  | 
There's an article floating around the Internet today called "Facts About Windows Vista." In it, you'll find 4 genuine pieces of information (which are not all that exciting, by the way) about the world's most expensive operating system, following by some inane statistics on how many dopes will use it. C'mon, Reuters. You call this news? The entirety of their article tells us this: new look, easier search, g
Is Palm Losing Its Grip on Business Customers?
Commentary  |  1/29/2007  | 
With tight integration to back-end systems becoming more and more necessary, is Palm OS on the verge of extinction? As nifty as the Palm OS is to use, it seems fewer and fewer businesses take it seriously, opting instead for Microsoft-based platforms. There was a time when I was addicted to my Treo 650. It was my first qwerty keyboard device, but more than that, it was my first smartphone. I loaded it chock full of contacts, synced it with my calendar, stuck some tunes and applications on there
Get Me The Geeks? Oh, Please!
Commentary  |  1/28/2007  | 
Apparently, computers and TVs are now so complicated they can only be set up by people who stay at home Saturday nights reading technical manuals. That's how 60 Minutes portrayed it Sunday, on a segment called Get Me The Geeks.
Sun Exec Rips Microsoft Patent Application
Commentary  |  1/28/2007  | 
Simon Phipps, chief open source officer at Sun Microsystems, took aim on his blog at a Microsoft patent application for an object test bench.
The First Celebrity Of Second Life Says She Was Misquoted
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
Anshe Chung just e-mailed me to correct some statements in my earlier blog post. She says she never engaged in cybersex for Linden Dollars. She compares what she did to what a geisha does: "A geisha is not paid for sex, although an individual geisha may choose to pursue sexual relationships with men she meets through her work."

It's Not A Best-Seller, But Better Read It Anyway
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
It's not going to make it onto the New York Times best-seller list, but the IT Infrastructure Library just might save your job. If you've ever seen things go disastrously wrong, then come to the understanding it was going to happen again--that's the time to read the ITIL titles.
My Dinner With Google
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
I drove from San Francisco down to Mountain View last night to attend a dinner with members of the Google Apps and Google Enterprise teams. I rented a Zip Car for the occasion, since my car wasn't available and public transport wasn't an option. The car was a Cooper Mini. It's a fun little car. It had XM Radio and I have to say I was impressed with the sound quality. But I digress.
Down To Business: Another (Unconventional) Look At Executive Compensation
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
To argue against artificial caps and controls isn't to denigrate the millions of hard-working wage earners. Capitalist markets are full of inequities, real and perceived, but in the end their attributes far outweigh their flaws.
Everything You Want Out Of Life: Computer Games, Money, And Sex
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
Pity me, my job is such torture. I've been spending a lot of the last week explicitly, and with the enthusiastic support of my managers and colleagues, doing an activity which gets people fired from most rational jobs. I've been messing around with computer games. Specifically, the virtual world known as Second Life.
Second Life's First Celebrity
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
Second Life has produced one authentic celebrity so far: Anshe Chung, who claims a financial worth of $1 million real-life, American dollars for creating and selling virtual goods and services. I interviewed her for two hours yesterday evening in Second Life, and woke up this morning with a new appreciation of how slippery identity and reality is in Second Life.
Time to Accept SaaS as Part of the Enterprise
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
I was on a plane the other day, and I heard one salesman say to another, "I have that Salesforce.com." The other salesman said, "I have that Salesforce.com, too… a very fancy Website." To many people, SaaS-delivered applications are really just "fancy Websites," but it's crucial that these apps work and play well with existing enterprise processes.
IT Confidential: Computers And Football: Made For Each Other
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
The Super Bowl has been the stage for some entertaining and provocative computer commercials. Here are a few more that we may--but probably won't--see this coming Super Sunday.
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
Mobile Spam Finally Arrives
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
It's the day many of us wireless industry insiders have been waiting for, the day mobile marketing spam finally hits North American shores. And it appears mobile spam may be here to stay.
Nokia Mobile Enterprise Still Losing Money
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
Nokia's enterprise group, Nokia Enterprise Solutions, is still in the red. Why can Nokia make so much money off its core business of cell phones, but not from business mobility? Is it that mobile enterprise is still the little engine that could? Or is the company's focus off? To be fair, Nokia said that it expects its mobile enterprise business to
"Cough! Cough!" Yes, That Was Your Smartphone Wheezing At You
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
Believe it or not, the first mobile viruses began appearing back in mid-June 2004. The Cabir worm and Mosquito Trojan both targeted smartphones that run the Symbian Series 60 operating system, which is the most widely used smartphone platform across the world. Others targeting Windows Mobile appeared later. Should the enterprise be concerned? Hell, yeah!
HP, Alas, Why Did Ye Stray?
Commentary  |  1/26/2007  | 
That the weight of the spying scandal continues to cause small implosions and aftershocks over at HP isn't terribly surprising. What does surprise me is the lack of a battle cry from other journalists and the complete silence from HP's press team.
How To Improve Your VoIP Service
Commentary  |  1/25/2007  | 
Ferenc Veres over at VoIP.com offers some advice on how to improve your VoIP service.
Is Microsoft's Impact On The Economy Bigger Than Google's?
Commentary  |  1/25/2007  | 
Donna Bogatin asks a thought-provoking question: Who has more impact on the economy, Microsoft or Google? During his annual predictions for 2007, futurist Mark Anderson said that Google and Microsoft represent two very different types of money. Microsoft is plumbing money, Anderson said, while Google is
Second Life Slowdown
Commentary  |  1/25/2007  | 
Today, I took off my pants in public and discovered I have no genitals. I also gave myself a new appearance in Second Life. Other than that, the day's gameplay so far has been pretty disappointing.

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