Humans and Avatars: The Ghost in the Machine
The January 10 New York Times ran an intriguing article, "Computers Join Actors in Hybrids On Screen." It describes a new James Cameron film, "Avatar," in which the movie's alien characters will be designed by computer but played by human actors "filmed using the latest evolution of motion-capture technology -- markers placed on the actor and tracked by a camera." This description says as much about the limits of high-performance computing as it does about HPC's leading-edge capabilities.
Keeping Your Energy Up At CES
With all the gadgets and devices that are being shown at CES (a large portion of them mobile) something has to power them. This can be really apparent during a big trade show, where the use of notebooks, PDAs, and especially phones is constant -- and you really don't want to drag around a power cord along with the hundreds of product info brochures and CDs that you've piled into your bag.
The Scourge of CES: The Content Crisis
LAS VEGAS - The second-biggest problem at the Consumer Electronics Show, the World's Most Exhausting Tradeshow, is apparently the Content Crisis. (The biggest problem, as always, is the wait to get a cab.) I hadn't been aware of the Content Crisis or its effect on consumers, but in every aisle of the exhibit halls vendors are anxious to tell me that they have the solution to the Content Crisis - a way to give me more media, more audio and video to play on my iPod, my HD TV, my home theater. And
iPhone Hype: I Just Don't Get It
Reading up on the Apple iPhone, I'm not seeing what's so exciting about it, and I'm even tempted to say that the thing is going to sink like a lead balloon and everybody who's jazzing about it now is going to feel foolish in a year. It's a cell phone that's also an iPod that does the Internet and takes pictures. Why is that exciting? I already have a cell phone and an iPod, and my cell phone -- a 14-month-old Palm Treo 650 -- is Internet-enabled and a cameraphone too. I grant you there will be a
Why More U.S. Tech Jobs Could Be Lost To India In 2007
Despite all the outrage over outsourcing from Lou Dobbs and other protectionists, the practice of sending jobs to low cost countries like India has to date had only minimal impact on the U.S. labor market. But that may be about to change, according to a new survey from Merrill Lynch.
iPhone Phone Home, And Reaction To My Mac OS X Review
My initial reaction to Apple's Macworld announcements was: "Um...OK, a phone, the Apple TV, and a name change...OK." Now, I think the iPhone is a solid phone. I think it has a lot of things that people will want, and it will probably shake up the phone market quite a bit. Am I going to get one? Probably not. First, I'm a Sprint customer, and to be more precise, a happy Sprint customer. There's nothing in the
CES Products: Tinkerer Toys For Picture Takers
Underneath the casual-Friday dress code that predominates at CES beat the hearts of many a mad scientist. Digital photography seems to attract a disproportionate number of tinkerers and garage inventors, for some reason, and as I've wandered around the exhibit halls I've run into several products from some of them that make me want to reach for my wallet or scratch my head in disbelief, often at the same time.
We Haven't Heard the Last Word on Teradata
Monday's announcement by NCR that it will spin off its Teradata Data Warehousing business comes as the latter faces new competition from HP and increased competition from established rivals including IBM, Oracle, SAS and appliance players Netezza and DATAAllegro. Teradata executives are sticking to the script about an independent path forward, but I won't be surprised to see Teradata snatched up by a larger rival.
CES 2007: It Can Be A Lonely Trade Show For Some
It's been a long two days, and at 6 p.m., closing time at the Las Vegas Convention Center, everyone is either on line for a bus, on line for a cab, trudging wearily back to their hotel -- or, as I am, sitting in Starbucks doing some last minute work and just letting their feet rest.
Counting Down To June For The iPhone
It's going to be a long wait until June.
That's when Apple says it will release its newly announced iPhone.
But it may be July or later before I actually get one (or two, since I assume my wife will want one). Given the universal praise I've been hearing for the device, I suspect they may be hard to get ahold of initially.
Welcome to CES, Brought To You By iPod
LAS VEGAS - While I'm at the Consumer Electronics Show, product announcements coming from MacWorld in San Francisco are proving where the real center of the consumer electronics industry is - wherever Apple's Steve Jobs is standing. Even here it feels like every third or fourth vendor you see is pitching something that works with an iPod.
CES 2007: Microsoft Offers Reassurance Via Family Testimony
Microsoft has a tent at CES just outside the Las Vegas Convention Center where, among other things, they are offering interviews with families were were part of their beta testing program (excuse me: their Life With Windows Vista program). These families were given a computer loaded with an early version of Vista about two years ago and were asked to use it as their main computer while giving constant feedback.
Insight at the Speed of Thought… Sometimes
The Internet has raised the bar for BI expectations. We want to click a report and get an answer now. Complex query? Millions of records? Full table scan? Those are details that users really don't care about. People can view stock prices in near-real time, voting results, sport scores, even traffic. So why can't access to corporate data be equally instantaneous?
CES 2007: It's Not Just Tech Folks Anymore
For somebody who has spent most of her professional life writing about computers and associated technologies, the crowds at the Consumer Electronics Show are a revelation. Not just the vast number of companies shouting for the attention of the buyers and media -- even though classifying some of the products here as "consumer" can be a stretch -- but the attention it's getting in the popular media. It's been front-page news in the
Second Life, New Opportunities
My 11-year-old daughter and her friends already are addicted to a virtual world. Called Club Penguin, it's for tweens, who create avatars--of course, they don't call them that--who are (quite naturally) penguins. Through their penguin alter egos, the kids can chat, build, and furnish houses (which are igloos, of course), and work at various jobs to earn money that they can spend on penguin clothes, furnishings for their igloos, and other goodies dear to the hearts of that species, er, age group.
So Small, They're Unreal
LAS VEGAS -- While there are rumors floating around that Microsoft may use the Bill Gates keynote at CES here today to launch its Origami ultra-mobile PC, there are far more interesting super-small PCs floating around the corridors of the tradeshow -- little wonders so they're unreal. The only downside, of course, is that some of them literally are unreal -- they're prototypes -- but they're signposts to the futu
CES 2007: How To Get The Message Across
At CES, everybody's middle name is entertainment -- even at the news announcements. As a result, Panasonic is going to have to learn how to present itself properly if it's going to get the better of, say, Sony. The former started its Sunday press conference with a canned question-and-answer session between two top executives in a seemingly desperate attempt to uphold the honor of their plasma displays (and eventually announcing two new HD video camcorders). Sony opened its event with violinist
CES: Calibrating The Hype Factor
The Consumer Electronics Show and Las Vegas are made for each other. They are both built out of flash and dazzle, and rest on a solid foundation of bullpucky that must reach all the way to the center of the earth. But they reach out their tentacles to ensnare your mind. Why else, a mere four hours after I got to town, would I wait in line with 500 other press people on a Saturday night to take a picture of an iPod in a plastic box with built-in speakers floating in a fish tank?
Get The Lowdown On CES 2007 And Macworld Here At InformationWeek
The year kicks off with two big tech events this week. All the latest electronic toys and gadgets are on display at CES 2007 in Las Vegas, and Apple Computer struts its stuff in San Francisco at the Macworld Conference & Expo. In past years, those two conferences saw the introduction of pretty much every electronic gadget in your house: The iPod, MacBook, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, VCR, and DVD -- all introduced at either CES or Macworld.
CES 2007: Products On View At CES Unveiled
I've always been warned that CES would be chaotic, and it looks like they weren't kidding. On Saturday, at the opening of CES Unveiled, the first press event of CES, the line of journalists waiting to get their first glimpse of new tech (and their first free meal of the day) was down the hallway and around the corner. And this was before most of the attendees had shown up.
Guinness Brought to You Faster By Real-Time BI
It's Friday evening -- a perfect time for a cold pint of Guinness. Did you know that 10 million pints of Guinness are drunk around the world every day, four million of them in the U.S.? Getting all that alcohol shipped from the Dublin brewery to North American warehouses is a supply chain challenge is being met with the help of real-time business intelligence software.
New Security Threats For VoIP
Panda Software looks at some scary security threats posed by VoIP. The top part of the article in IT-Observer looks at new ways that VoIP might be used for denial-of-service attacks, but the author, Fernando de la Cuadra, dismisses those threats as unlikely (too quickly, I think). The article then goes on to deal with possible threats posed by social engineering.
CES 2007: How'd Things Go Last Year?
Macworld takes a look at how vendors did fulfilling promises at last year's CES. The upshot: Microsoft mostly delivered on its promises for Vista and for the Xbox 360. On the other hand, big promises for Blu-ray and HD-DVD fizzled.
Well, Sure, Everybody Loves Latte
Reporter Sharon Gaudin is on the Macworld rumor mill, with reports that the company may introduce a phone and video player next week. Great quote from analyst John Welch, who describes how Wall Street is always disappointed by the announcements at Macworld, no matter how big or small they are. Welch says Steve Jobs "could announce warp drive teleporters and people would bitch that he didn't announ
New Year's Resolutions for Vendors and Buyers
When I talk to vendors about customer projects that were seriously delayed or that failed outright, the response is invariably: "implementation problem." That's code-speak for the customer or integrator (or both) screwing up. Sometimes customers are blissfully ignorant of their unreadiness to implement new technology, but I suspect more commonly implementation troubles result from a poor product fit.
Vista Lagging, XP Unflagging
Cost of upgrading to business versions of Vista: $199, $299, or $399, depending on which edition you choose.
Cost of staying with Windows XP? Apparently priceless.
That's one logical conclusion based on the stories that InformationWeek readers are clicking on fast and furiously these days.