VMs On The Edge
What started as a basic VM test has taken on a life of its own; it looks like we'll be walking the virtualization talk, pushing a VM host out near the edge of my production network. Wish me luck ...
Toward Buffer Overflow Extinction
The first time a buffer overflow was used as part of an attack on information systems, at least the best I can find, was the infamous 1988 Morris worm. While the Morris worm propagated across Unix, buffer overflows have been the bane of Windows security for years. Microsoft is furthering its efforts to push this problem into the history books.
The Coolest Thing I Saw At DEMO
Every year at Demo there's one presenter that captures my imagination and actually seems to be providing something that I will find useful. This year, while Skyfire showed off the beta of an intriguing new mobile browser and BitGravity displayed its power new network platform for high-definition video, the choice was easy: Silobreaker.
Life After CIO
Gail Farnsley, CIO of Cummins, is leaving her post to create and oversee a new technology education effort at Purdue University. So there is life after the CIO position, after all.
When Criminal Intent Lurks One Cube Away
The ongoing Société Général fraud story is a case study in insider threats. The costs, north of $7 billion for the French bank, are high and likely to go higher. For the rest of us, it leaves an uneasy question: Do we have a rogue in our organization? And if so, what do we do about it?
ELT vs. ETL: Much Ado about Something
There's no doubt that ELT - yes, that's extract-load-transform (also called "pushdown") not conventional extract-transform-load (ETL) - is now a mainstream capability. Informatica's inclusion of pushdown optimization in the recently released PowerCenter version 8.5 brings ELT the legitimacy it deserves... I fully expect pushdown will be come a new frontier in the battle for ETL supremacy.
How many iPhones does it take to change a light bulb?
The answer is: I don't know. But when I get one, I'll let you know. But there are other riddles regarding the iPhone. One is... where are they? Apple says that it has shipped 3.75 million iPhones by the end of 2007. At that time, the only authorized telecom company for activating those iPhones was AT&T. However, AT&T reported activating just under 2 million iPhones.
Build-A-PC Chronicles: Reviving A Dusty Old Case
Embarking on a PC construction project is the opposite of building a new relationship. With the latter, the first flush of discovery is the fun part. In contrast, gathering up all the components for the computer is an expensive drag. Nothing is less enticing than picking out a case. The difference nowadays is that the PC's enclosure used to be an afterthought. Now, with hot-running modern processors, it's cri
Dirty, Sexy Data Centers
Solar and wind technologies are as popular as Tom Brady and his sparkling choppers. Everybody wants some. Sadly, the green initiatives investors should be pushing for even harder are as glamorous as snaggle-toothed Nanny McPhee: data center efficiencies.
So Open Source Is Mainstream -- Now What?
This may not be "the year of Linux on the desktop" -- and who knows, maybe it is -- but there's little to no question that this is a pivotal year for open source as a mainstream economic phenomenon in the tech world, as my colleague Charles Babcock has indicated. My big question is: what next?
Apple Users Are Smug Control Freaks, Says Study
Researchers from Internet ad network Mindset Media say the Mac guy in the "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" commercial is typical of Mac users: superior, self-satisfied, control freaks, perfectionists, politically and socially liberal -- and satisfied with their purchases.
Best Laid Plans, Or Cables...
On Tuesday night, two unrelated undersea cables in the Mediterranean were cut within hours of each other, disrupting Internet and phone service to Egypt and, more significantly, to India, the call center capital of the world.
The Recession is Coming! Quick, Start Hiring
Anyone who follows news on the economy knows the picture isn't great: a volatile stock market, a mortgage crisis, a credit crunch. If we were living in Paul Revere's day, we'd probably eventually see a man on a horse racing through our towns and cities shouting, "A recession is coming! A recession is coming!" Still, we get it. So, how should smaller businesses get ready for the inevitable?
Dog Food Is Important, But Don't Forget The Dog
Long ago, Microsoft verbified the term "dog food" to describe the act of using its own products within Microsoft, as they are being developed. Dogfooding helps developers make sure the product really works the way it's supposed to work, on real computers with real users trying to get real work done. Yet all that focus on the dog food ignores the importance of the dogs.
Juniper and Cisco Square Off in Enterprise Switching Ring
How intense is the rivalry between Cisco and Juniper. One day after Cisco made its most significant switch announcement in years, Juniper followed with its own magnum opus. Coincidence? Hardly, but a competition that will benefit small and medium businesses.
Federal Government To Spend $30 Billion On New Security Efforts
One of the most interesting IT security news stories to hit this week is that the Bush administration is apparently proposing $6 billion (maybe this is an increase on existing spending. That's not yet clear) be invested to shore up federal network security next year, and up to $30 billion across seven years. This is good news. Maybe.
Continuity's RecoveryGuard Reveals DR Flaws
Today's large IT environments are dynamic places; applications, volumes, and file systems are added, deleted, and reallocated on SANs on a daily basis. The disaster recovery plan, on the other hand, is updated and tested on an annual basis. As a result, most organizations think their data is better protected than it really is.
Dell + Google = First Android Phone?
The Gphone has been resurrected and the rumor mills are running rampant with this one. The latest scuttlebutt is that Google is partnering with Dell for the first ever Android-powered handset. According to people in the know, word will be delivered from on high during the Mobile World Congress next month. Is this one for real?
DEMO Update: The Problems With 'Me-Centric' Search
Among the presenters in the final stretch of the 2008 Demo conference were a pair of companies that are focused on search results geared specifically to the preferences, needs, and personality of the searcher. It was apparent that that's not necessarily such a great thing.
Next-Gen Collaboration Takes Stage At DEMO
In the after-lunch lull at Demo 08, a group of companies displayed new sets of collaboration technologies that can transform the way companies connect and collaborate remotely.
Put A Brick In It
"IT managers continue to place a premium on system reliability as they grapple with storage capacity concerns," started a press release in this morning's inbox. This was the key (and altogether unsurprising) data point of a vendor survey. Why do vendors bother with these blazing insights into the glaringly obvious?
Open Source 'Movement' Becoming A Gold Rush
I see references to the open source "movement," as if it were a cohesive ideological gathering, like the Labor Movement of the 1930s or maybe the Wobblies. I agree there are certain shared values among open source developers and a favored way of doing things, but I've always doubted the political agenda. After the $1 billion Sun/MySQL deal, however, my doubts have been erased. It's clear there is a movement -- and it's headed toward the bank.
The Four (Non) Myths Of IT Security
Some of the reports and surveys security firm Symantec has provided over the years I've found both useful and informative. This most recent report, which hit today, isn't one of them.
Where's Your Credit Card Data?
PCI regulations require companies to protect credit card numbers. But first you have to know where they are. Here's what I've learned from retailers and PCI auditors about step one of PCI compliance.
It's The Talent, Not Just The Technology
Something I've noted in passing about the recent spate of open-source acquisitions -- Nokia and Trolltech, Sun and MySQL AB -- deserves to be expounded on at length. What's being bought here is not the software, but the talent behind it. The software is free, or as free as this sort of thing gets. Talent is priceless. That's what's being bought and sold here.
Amy Winehouse Drives A Top EPA Official 'Nuts'
The deputy EPA administrator has used his latest blog to inform the public not about global warming, alternative energy, or carbon credits. Nope, he's ranting that Amy Winehouse's "incredibly self-destructive behavior" drives him "nuts." Huh?
AMD's Bug-Free Barcelona Is Ahead Of Schedule
System builders and end-users still troubled over the fallout from the bug in AMD's quad-core Barcelona and Phenom processors can take comfort from some good news. Sources close to AMD tell me that the new B3 stepping, which corrects the problems via a silicon fix, is ahead of schedule and things are looking good. Here are the details.
Consumers Are Not Smart Enough For Smartphones
You have one chance to guess what the most-returned gifts were this holiday season. If you guessed smartphones, you'd be right. A new survey from Opinion Research Corp. shows that 21% of gifted smartphones were returned to the store. The reason? Inability to understand the product setup process. Perhaps smartphones aren't ready for prime time after all.
Intel A Green Giant
Intel is now the single largest corporate purchaser of green power in the United States, according to the EPA.
What Matters Most About Your Job In Uncertain Times?
Do you expect your paycheck to grow much fatter this year? Maybe you're just glad you get a paycheck, especially with all the gloom and doom about the economy. If that's the case, then maybe other job traits or perks -- besides money -- are moving higher up on your priority list right now when it comes to work.
Silobreaker advances social-network visualization
I'm a fan of network visualizations, by which I mean display of interconnectedness mined from disparate sources. The subject matter could be just about anything: witness the collection of projects at Manuel Lima's VisualComplexity site. Social networks inferred from on-line media prove particularly interesting, the sort of stuff you'll find in static form at Jeffrey Heer's and Danah Boyd's vizster site and dynamically in Linkinfluence's Map of the Political Blogosphere, which I wrote about las