Commentary
Content posted in January 2009
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Will We See Live Streaming Conference PPV This Year?
Commentary  |  1/31/2009  | 
Over the past couple of years, more and more conferences have been providing free live streaming to viewers at home. There are always arguments both for and against live streaming. Some feel that it takes away from those who have paid thousands of dollars to attend a conference. Others believe it offers an opportunity for those at home to interact.
Does The Internet Help Markets Malfunction?
Commentary  |  1/31/2009  | 
Consider: "So the Internet does not only facilitate the functioning of markets; it may also facilitate their malfunction." If that is in fact the case, does your company's application of the Internet's information free-flow have downsides as well as benefits? And if so, are you fully aware of what those unintended and unhelpful consequences are?
Microsoft Patent Turns Smartphone Into A PC
Commentary  |  1/31/2009  | 
Microsoft has applied for a patent that will allow you to dock your smartphone, giving it PC-like powers to print, network, connect to an external display and more.
Take The Moblin Alpha For A Spin
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Intel's Moblin project -- its own sponsored edition of Linux for Atom-powered devices -- just hit the public alpha stage. The Moblin site invites people to take it for a test drive, and that's precisely what I did.

How Business Is Like The Super Bowl
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
For many, Super Bowl Sunday is the official end to the holiday season. And while at first glance you may think football is far removed from your business, think again -- football can have a role at work beyond the office betting pool. Here are some lessons to take from the gridiron.
Mobile Roundup
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
It's been an interesting week in the mobile space, as Verizon had a strong quarter thanks to the Storm, Sprint said it would be axing 8,000 jobs, and Apple got an important patent f
Umbraco's New CMS Is An Impressive Step Forward
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Almost a year and a half after its last major release, the open source .Net-based Umbraco 4 content management system was finally released this week, and based on the impressive set of new functionality and features, it looks to have been worth the wait.
Gut Versus Analytics: What's the Real Story?
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
A recent article in CIO by Thomas Wailgum entitled "To Hell With Business Intelligence: 40 Percent of Execs Trust Gut" caught my attention. This was driven by some recent (separate) research by Accenture and Forrester to examine how business managers are using analytics, as opposed to... gut reaction, gut feeling, gut instinct and, related but even more evocative, butterflies in the stomach.
"Cloud Hosting" Mystifies Small Businesses
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Only about a quarter of U.S. small businesses surveyed even recognize the term, while just slightly more than half of mid-size companies knew what it means. Rackspace's Mosso operation is trying to change all that.
There's Money Up In Them Thar Clouds
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
There's lots of buzz about the Google cloud storage solution -- the GDrive -- as references to it continue to pop up in various programs. When it arrives, will consumers rush to give up their data to the ether?
Draft "LEED For Datacenters" Now Available
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a certification program sponsored by the non-profit U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC) that is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) yesterday posted a draft "LEED for Datacenters" on its website that the lab developed in partnership with a who's who of datacenter industr
Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting On WiMax
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Nortel's officially out of the WiMax game and with capital evaporating, Clearwire's ambition to expand beyond two cities look precarious.
Surprisingly On-Target Internet Predictions From 1981 And 1969
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Check out these two nifty videos, created long ago, that surprisingly get it right about how we use the Internet routinely today. First, a video from 1969 that covers most of today's digital lifestyle in a few short minutes, including Internet shopping, Webcams, bill paying and banking, and e-mail.
Broadband Stimulus No Panacea
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
The nation's leaders plan to spend $6 billion on expanding broadband access, but it's unclear how their efforts will pan out.
Google Adds Features To Firefox Toolbar
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Google is offering up a second beta of its toolbar for the Firefox browser. The new version has several new features, including a new tab page.
Cisco Gets Energy Wiser
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Cisco's new EnergyWise technology, which measures and manages energy consumption on just about everything on the network, is, indeed, wise. But it's going to get a whole lot wiser and useful early next year when it will be extended to the management of HVAC and other building systems.
Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 Delayed
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Citing bugs in its JavaScript engine, Mozilla for the third time has delayed the release of Firefox 3.1's third beta, which was expected to land on Monday, Feb. 2. And now the final version may no longer be released this quarter.
Amazon Web Services Help Fuel Blow-Out Quarter
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
As the economy crumbles around it, Amazon.com yesterday reported fourth-quarter financial results that blew past Wall Street's expectations. And, though details are sketchy, it appears that Amazon's cloud services grew at nearly double the rate of overall sales.
No Longer Co-Dependent: Personal Computing And Business Virtual Desktops
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Desktop virtualization is not like what it sounds. It does not start with a one-by-one conversion of each user's desktop from a straightforward piece of hardware to one that runs only a virtual machine.
RIM: We've Shipped 50 Million Smartphones
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
I received an e-mail from Research In Motion's media relations team this morning. In it were some interesting facts. The first of which is that this month, RIM shipped its 50 millionth BlackBerry.
Why BI is in a Funk
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
I wrote recently that BI is in a "funk." Let me now offer a few ideas as to why that is so: 1. At its heart, BI is an application development technology. 2. Very few enterprises want to or can change the way they do business. 3. Large BI vendors aren't sure what business they're in. 4. The communication collaboration opportunity is being botched.
Crisis Survival Kit: Cost Control Step 1 To Successful IT
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
As the soaring layoff numbers demonstrate, every business is looking for ways to cut costs right now and IT is an obvious place to cut. Before slashing IT staff or eliminating services, be sure you've done wrung every dime from your budget. Start with these steps.
Wall Street Journal Revives Dell Smartphone Rumors
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Last night The Wall Street Journal ran a piece claiming that Dell is set to enter the smartphone business as soon as next month. The paper reported that Dell is eyeing Windows Mobile and Android.
New Appirio App Exploits Facebook/Salesforce Connection
Commentary  |  1/30/2009  | 
Appirio Referral Management Solution matches a Facebook application with a Salesforce.com back end to let companies recruit and market to millions of social networking users.
California State IT Is A Monumental Disaster
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
I love California -- I swear I do -- but to call the state's current IT situation a monumental disaster would be to insult the words "monumental disaster." Despite a $40B state deficit, California is nevertheless planning nine "strategic" projects scheduled to consume 58 years and $3.6B. Come take a look into the abyss.
The Truth About Open-Source Groupware
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
The conventional wisdom holds that Microsoft Exchange towers above its open-source competitors. Maybe it's time to challenge the conventional wisdom.
Twitter Legal Battles on the Horizon?
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
New Firmware Points To New iPhone?
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
One of the Internet's favorite games is spotting the next iPhone, and we've seen tons of rumors that have been squashed. But recent digging into the latest firmware updates potentially reveal a new iPhone model already is being tested.
Down To Business: Hold Governments To Most IT Organizations' Standards
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Fiscal responsibility is everyone's responsibility, now more than ever.
Lenovo Targets Small And Midsize Companies With Bargain PCs
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Predicting that small and midsize companies are getting ready to rebound from the recession, Lenovo is poised to battle for their business. And it's releasing a line of low-cost PCs to prove it.
Google Maps Van Kills Deer, Google Earth Busts Pot Growers
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Google's navigation services have provoked some interesting news items this week. Apparently, the driver of a Google Maps van accidentally struck and killed a deer. Also, over Switzerland, Google Earth helped Swiss police find and bust a two-acre pot farm.
The Oregon Trail Of Cloud Computing
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Cloud computing is like the Wild West, where the players are rough around the edges, the borders are undefined, and the homesteaders are subject to unforeseen risks. In this environment, IT governance is nearly impossible -- but an absolute requirement.
The Rise and Fall of the Millenials?
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Tech CEOs Meet With President, Support Obama's Stimulus Plans
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Tech giants have come out in support of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plans. Dozens of technology company leaders sent a letter to Congress last week saying that they supported Obama's plan.
How To "Fire" A Vendor
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
The folks over at ChannelWeb have just posted an excellent story on midmarket companies that have had to ditch a vendor. Here are some tips in case your company has to end a supplier relationship.
Server Buyers In Danger of Drowning In Multiple Cores?
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
More than likely, they'll be floating blissfully.
Discount Hardware, Discount Software - Stock Up Now
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
As vendors look to keep revenue coming in the door, prices on hardware and software are plummeting. For small and midsize businesses who can afford it, now's a great time to buy.
Do Layoffs Make SAP More American?
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
I received a few analyst research notes yesterday following SAP's announcement of quarterly earnings, and its plan to reduce its 51,536-strong global workforce by 3,000 heads. I thought I'd share with you the most interesting tidbits, including one analyst's observation about the cultural barriers SAP faces with upcoming layoffs.
Practical Analysis: Time For Some IT Self-Improvement
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
It's time to hone best practices and position your organization for better days.
Which Smartphone Reached 1 Million Sold The Fastest?
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
An enterprising reader of Engadget put together a nifty little chart showing how fast a handful of smartphones hit the 1 million mark. The figures used are those based on actual announced sales by the companies involved. Those included are the Apple iPhone and iPhone 3G, the BlackBerry Storm, the HTC G1, and the Nokia 5800. Also, it looks like 2008 saw 1.21 billion mobile phones sold.
Will It Take A New Deal To Stop The Economic Crash?
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Colossal government work programs stopped the Great Depression and created infrastructure improvements we still use today, argues The Infamous Brad. What colossal technology programs might help pull the United States out of its economic nosedive, and leave a legacy for generations to come?
Sun's Data Center In A Box Gets New Handle
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
The debut of the Sun Modular Datacenter (nee Project Blackbox), a complete data center housed within a shipping container, is an important reminder that data centers can grow greener as they expand.
Sonos' Gear Moves To The Heart Of My Digital Home Strategy
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Six years ago, just before moving into our current home, my wife and I decided that we would constantly have that home filled with music and she entrusted me to the task of making it happen. Yet, it was only over these last holidays that I finished "the design." It took me that long to figure out how to do some complicated things like integrate a single digital audio library across the whole home audio system, all of our computers, and our portable digital audio players. I'm still not completely
Vendor Stability Matters Too
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Technology is important, and so is vendor stability. You want solutions that perform, and you need to be confident that providers will be there for support and upgrades. I've seen evidence that two software vendors I follow are facing business complications. Here are their stories, a cautionary tale, names withheld as an ethical compromise...
iSuppli: BlackBerry Storm Innards Cost More Than The iPhone's
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
iSuppli sunk its teeth into the BlackBerry Storm to see what the sum of its parts is really worth. According to its analysis, the Storm costs RIM about $203 to make. Verizon Wireless is selling the Storm for $199 (after rebates). Apple's iPhone 3G costs about $174 to make and sells for $199/$299.
Ubuntu In Your Pocket
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Printed documentation never goes completely out of style. Cases in point: the O'Reilly books, the ... For Dummies series, and MacFreda's Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference. It's $10 in print -- and free as a PDF.

Bandwidth Management Coming To You
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
Cox Communications recently announced a new bandwidth management program, while Google and partners are releasing a tool to detect throttling. The traffic battles are heating up, but the deck is stacked against users since we use the pipes, not manage them. Even so, Cox's plan seems responsible and, if done right, can balance competing network demands.
Readers Talk Back On 'What CEOs Want From CIOs'
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
My recent post on "What CEOs Want From CIOs" triggered some insightful responses from readers, including how one CIO forged a career-changing relationship with the CEO; the business value CEOs perceive when CIOs leverage existing systems with new, expansive technologies; four tips from a headhunter on how CIO candidates can best-position themselves to CEOs; and why a new CIO peer-level grou
bMighty Says It's Time To Embrace Linux
Commentary  |  1/29/2009  | 
As the bad economic news continues to accumulate, Linux offers hope to cash-strapped businesses everywhere. That's why bMighty has put together a uniquely useful set of how-to guides that can help you choose which Linux distro is right for your company's needs, show you exactly how to make the move, and even point you to the best places to get free Linux help.
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