Commentary
Content posted in January 2008
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Microsoft Gives Bloggers A Free Ride At CES (Literally)
Commentary  |  1/5/2008  | 
Bloggers covering the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas can skip the taxi lines while getting in some Halo 3 time, courtesy of Microsoft.
Business Resolutions -- It's Not Too Late!
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
Im not usually a fan of New Years Resolutions. In fact, Ive been known to break them even before the New Year starts. But as we ease into January, dont miss the opportunity to set some annual goals for your business.
The CIO And Privacy: Liable, Culpable, Or Merely Responsible?
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
Or maybe all of the above. What exactly is the CIO's role and responsibility in protecting the digital privacy of customers, partners, and employees and the security of proprietary corporate data? Where does the privacy buck stop?
Goodbye Google, Hello Startups
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
David Hirsch, a sales veteran in Google's New York office, is leaving the company to advise and invest in Web startups. Hirsch was one of Google's earliest New York-based employees and the first manager of its business-to-business vertical markets team.
The Five Things I'd Like To See Most At CES
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
Rather than offer up some predictions about what will be unveiled at CES next week in Las Vegas, I've formulated a few products that I'd really like to see showcased on the floor -- but probably won't.
Five Things For Open Source In 2008: The Follow-Up
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
After posting my article about five things that open source needs in 2008, I braced for a storm of feedback, as would be generated by most any discussion of the subject.  To my surprise, I got more than a few things worth chewing over and sharing.

CES Spotlights The Consumer Effect
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
Those of us who cover enterprise IT don't often describe computers as sexy, snazzy fashion accessories, but that seems to be the way the technology industry is moving these days.
Process Analysis: The Downside of Participation
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
I was recently asked to review a business process diagram that was intended to capture current state for a service disruption planning process. I quickly found out that the challenge was not so much assessing the diagram itself, but resetting expectations of users that seemed to be already sold on the diagram, despite its numerous deficiencies. This is a classic pitfall in business process analysis.
Huckabee And Obama On Globalization, Technology
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
First off, Huck-a-who? I had to do some research this morning to learn more about the winning Republican candidate at the Iowa caucus. So Mike Huckabee is an ultraconservative and former Baptist preacher. Ohh-kay. But I'll resist the urge to spout out my personal views here and share with you what Huckabee and Democratic winner Barack Obama have to say on the issues of globalization and technology at their Web sites.
Man Defies Death By Jumping Onto Subway Tracks To Save His iPhone
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
A New York City man was so desperate to retrieve his lost iPhone that he jumped onto subway tracks to save it from being carried off by a rat. OK, maybe a rat wouldn't really be interested unless it was slimed with pizza sauce. But that doesn't change the fact that the gentleman involved risked his life for his iPhone.
Windows XP Service Pack 3 Looks Like OS Life Extender
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
Way back in 2004, Microsoft released a little OS upgrade it called Service Pack 2. Windows XP owes much of its current popularity to the changes made in SP2. Although Vista is grabbing all the front-page attention with its soon-to-be-released Service Pack 1, XP hangers-on are hopeful that the upcoming Service Pack 3 can solve the nagging problems of software middle age.
Windows Live! Lives...
Commentary  |  1/4/2008  | 
Microsoft is massively increasing its offerings under the Windows Live platform umbrella and it's worth a look if you're doing anything in the web space (who isn't these days).

Lessons from the Netflix Prize competition
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
The $1,000,000 Netflix Prize competition has produced interesting results, even if no winner, 15 months in. Some of those results are a bit surprising; others we should have expected but didn't anticipate. So while participants haven't yet bettered the accuracy of Netflix' Cinematch recommendation algorithm by 10%, the threshold to win the $1 million prize, we can still take away lessons about predictive-analytics fundamentals.
Why Windows Predominates On Virtual Machines
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
We reported Jan. 2 that 96% of IT managers polled by Sage Research reported running Windows on their virtualized servers and 52% reported running Linux. Without a lot more information, exactly what that means can be debated, but I think it means Windows runs on a lot of physical servers.
Another Year, Another Bogus iTunes Antitrust Lawsuit
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
Maybe if enough lawyers sue Apple for violating monopoly laws with its iTunes/iPod service, eventually one of them will find a judge bonkers enough to agree. The latest lawsuit brings up variations of the same old arguments: Start with the assertion that Apple dominates the online media market, follow up with a lot of handwaving, conclude by saying that Apple should be required to write a big check. Be sure to
Clueless Circuit City Scrooges Itself Out Of Christmas Sales
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
Yesterday I was railing against the ill-behaved legal eagles of the RIAA. Today's raspberry goes out to the executives in charge of consumer-electronics mega-retailer Circuit City, who canned their best employees and subsequently -- surprise!-- reaped what they sowed.
The CIO Reading List: The Big Switch
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
Nicholas Carr is the master of good timing. His latest book is sure to stir up controversy among business executives and IT managers, just as his Harvard Business Review article, "IT Doesn't Matter," did several years ago.
Can OpenMoko's Open Source Handset Compete With Android?
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
Today OpenMoko announced that it is going to make a version of the open source Neo 1973 available to the mass market later this year. This is great news for open source, but with Android set to be released this year, too, what chance does the Neo FreeRunner have?
What The Heck Is Spock?
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
I’ve been getting dozens of e-mail invitations recently from people on a new social networking service called Spock. Then I started getting another batch of e-mails asking, “What the heck is Spock?” So I called the Spock team to find out.

Think Big: Focus on the Data
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
To get ahead of the game, small and mid-sized companies should start thinking like a big business early, and build a solid foundation around what may be their single most valuable asset -- data
From BeOS To Haiku
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
Who remembers BeOS?  The "media OS", produced by a company with former Apple alum Jean-Louis Gassée at the helm, and which was briefly considered as a possible replacement for the Mac OS?  Well, after an all-too-brief moment of possibility, it died.  Ended up in the hands of Palm, and a few people (me included) shook their heads at what could have been.  And now, after a fashion, it's been reborn.  Me
Data Quality's Threat to Democracy
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
Data Quality expert Larry English has claimed data quality is the second biggest threat to human kind, after global warming... Yesterday's cover story in USA Today is yet one more case to support Larry's dire claim: data quality problems threaten this year's presidential election process.
The Tech Voter's Guide to the Candidates
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
Granted there are pressing issues -- like healthcare, immigration, and the war -- that will sway some voters from one candidate to another but what will likely influence many IT managers is the candidate's stand on tech issues.
Startup Reinvents Business Presentations And, Once Again, Itself
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
FreshBrew is preparing to introduce software that turns business presentations into rich Internet applications. The company has characteristics of a startup--a new name and Web site, soon-to-be-released software application, and financial backers--though its roots go back 20 years.
Can A Firmware Update Trump All Of The News From CES?
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
The Consumer Electronics Show starts in just 96 hours. When it does, the din will be deafening. Some 2,700 exhibitors will be pitching their latest and greatest doodads to the world. Last year, Macworld was held at the exact same time. Jobs' announcement of the iPhone essentially silenced the noise from CES entirely. This year, Macworld occurs a week later. What will Jobs do to keep the focus on Apple?
Make Mine A Mac
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
Year over year, Apple has been selling more Macs. 2007 was no exception; the Mac's market share continued to grow. The surge might have seen more sales thanks to Vista or the release of Leopard. Either way, there is some kind of iPod "halo" effect going on.
Silence is Golden
Commentary  |  1/3/2008  | 
Silence may have worked in school, but not in the software industry. Hype, like it or not, can go a long way. So why has Sun gone so quiet with Java FX Script and Java FX Mobile?

IBM Pays Big For Little Startup
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
Did IBM pony up to 100 times the initial investment for a startup? Why?
Windows Vista And Web 2.0: Are They Doomed?
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
Nothing got more media attention in 2007 than the troubles of Microsoft's Windows Vista and the triumph of Web 2.0. But now observers are starting to wonder if both hype-fests are about to crash and burn.
Microsoft Making Millions Off Novell Linux
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once called Linux a cancer. Now, thanks to his company's alliance with Novell, he's probably labeling the open source OS as something much more benign.
Will Mobile Disappoint Yet Again In 2008?
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
It's the second day of the year and it seems almost everyone is finalizing their schedules for CES next week. Filling the news void, bloggers are busy rehashing the big news from last year and pontificating on the new year. So, I decided to add my own thoughts to the mix. What does mobile promise in 2008?
What Are Your 2008 Job Predictions?
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
Bad economic news is making techies glum about jobs, even though managers supposedly remain fairly upbeat about IT hiring and spending plans, according to a new report. What does your gut tell you about tech jobs in 2008?
IT Managers Don't Know Their Stuff -- Or Their Staff
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
An anonymous e-mailer takes CIOs, IT managers, and IT staff to task for not knowing how to complete their projects. And if they don't know how to do their own work, how can they expect to expand their responsibilities beyond IT?
Celio Hopes To Succeed Where Palm Failed With Foleo Look-Alike
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
The Palm Foleo was probably the worst product non-launch in recent memory. Announced in May, Palm canned the laptop-sized "smartphone companion" in September before it had a chance to hit store shelves. L
Online Sales Were Up. Can Smaller Businesses Get a Piece of the Action?
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
E-commerce sales were up 19 percent this holiday season as compared with last year, according to ComScore. That figure is less than the 26 percent increase seen for the same period in 2006, but it's still a lot of sales. Smaller businesses, are you making sure you're getting in on this?
Be Skeptical about BI Predictions and Trends
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
Happy New Year! Have you ever wondered why every year in December we hear all these new BI predictions and trends for the following year? Well after being in the BI market for now 20 years, I have become more skeptical than optimistic about much of this hoopla. While they might sound interesting you should clearly examine the sources of information. If they come from a technology vendor executive, do they result in pushing their company's agenda...
The BlackBerry 9000 Shows Its Face, Touchscreen Not Included
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
Debunking one of the favorite Internet rumors of late, purported spy shots of the BlackBerry 9000 have emerged. Contrary to what has been reported in the past, it does not have a touchscreen. It does have a redesigned keyboard, but otherwise it isn't all that different from the BlackBerry Curve.
RIAA Behaving Badly; Let's Cut Their Copyright Privileges
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
Innocent consumers are being bothered by another round of the record industry behaving badly, via more lawsuits and anti-copying threats. This time, though, I've got a solution. We should do what we do to children who misbehave: Take away their privileges. Here's the deal.
The Five Open Source Business Models
Commentary  |  1/2/2008  | 
Open source has become standard in Silicon Valley, with nearly every software startup planning to release at least some code. So far, they've found five main business models:

Will Windows Vista Succeed In 2008? Don't Count On It
Commentary  |  1/1/2008  | 
Conventional wisdom seems to be that existing Microsoft customers won't leapfrog Windows Vista and wait for "Windows Seven," currently expected in 2010. There's a feeling of inevitability about the transition, as if it's just a question of when to write the checks to Microsoft and do the tedious work of switching operating systems. Yet as Vista celebrates its first birthday, the chances are increasing that many users will never see it on thei
Five Offshore Outsourcing Predictions For 2008
Commentary  |  1/1/2008  | 
Plenty of change lies ahead in the area of offshore outsourcing, which has evolved from a little-used practice to a mature industry in less than 10 years. Here are five predictions for offshore outsourcing in 2008:
Will Web 2.0 Survive The New Year?
Commentary  |  1/1/2008  | 
Are you just about sick to death of the so-called magic phrase "Web 2.0?" If so, you'll be pleased to hear that it's doomed to crash and burn faster than Britney's/Lindsey's/(insert scandal-ridden starlet's name here) career. At least, that's what one U.K.-based research firm claims.
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