Commentary
Content posted in January 2009
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Mobile BI Emerges on the Apple iPhone
Commentary  |  1/26/2009  | 
There's a "perfect storm" brewing that just might elevate the iPhone as the tool of choice for corporate types, not just for e-mail but for BI on the go. Apple equipment is still a rarity on the corporate landscape... But it looks like things might be about to change, with a groundswell led by the acclaimed iPhone.
CSC, Terremark Pitch Cloud Computing To Feds
Commentary  |  1/26/2009  | 
Outsourcer Computer Sciences Corp. and infrastructure services provider Terremark are teaming up to introduce cloud computing services aimed at the federal government.
Microsoft's Netbook Woes Also Mean Linux Yays ... Right?
Commentary  |  1/26/2009  | 
When Microsoft specifically cited netbook PCs as a big reason for its weakening sales, the "L word" didn't get mentioned by name -- but it wasn't difficult to tell this was the flip side of that news tidbit about Linux-equipped netbooks being returned. So what's this mean for Win7 vs. Linux in what is fast becoming the battleground for the new desktop?

As Promised, AMD Unveils Low-Power Opterons For The Server Market
Commentary  |  1/26/2009  | 
One would almost think that market conditions are normalbut there are indications to the contrary.
RIM CEO's Statement On Buggy Phones Is Unacceptable
Commentary  |  1/26/2009  | 
The Wall Street Journal ran a story detailing the "bumpy start" seen by Research In Motion's BlackBerry Storm smartphone. InformationWeek detailed a lot of the Storm's software problems in its full review of the device. In response to the rocky launch, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said that such issues are the "new reality." I think that's the wrong attitude.
California Dreamin': Cut IT By $1.5B But No Job Losses
Commentary  |  1/26/2009  | 
Hey -- you think you've got a tough job? How would you like to oversee 8,000 to 10,000 IT workers, 130 CIOs, and a budget of about $3 billion? That's the state of California's IT sprawl, where CIO Teri Takai is charged with cutting $1.5B in costs over five years without reducing headcount. I respect the challenge, but the no-layoffs plan is sheer lunacy.
Symantec Merges Web 2.0 With Cloud Computing
Commentary  |  1/26/2009  | 
As more and more businesses embrace SaaS and cloud computing, workers faced with juggling more and more online workspaces. With an ambitious new beta program, Symantec hopes to unify these disparate workspaces so everything's accessible with a single password.
Intacct Opens Channel To Small And Midsize Business
Commentary  |  1/26/2009  | 
SaaS financials vendor Intacct introduces a sweeping upgrade with new features and global reach and a channel partner program slashes the implementation and subscription costs.
bMighty Wants To Give You A Free Computer!
Commentary  |  1/25/2009  | 
Some lucky bMighty.com is going to win a free HP Compaq dc7800 Ultra Slim Desktop PC, just for subscribing to the bMighty newsletters.
Can Virtual Goods Work For Scrapblog?
Commentary  |  1/24/2009  | 
When I spoke with Scrapblog CEO Carlos GarcÍa last year, he described the service as "a way to create multimedia scrapbooks." I liked the service then because it knew that users alone wouldn't be enough to generate sustainable revenue. This weekend it is launching the next phase of its business model.
Pittsburgh Steelers Will Win, But 5 Ways To Beat Them
Commentary  |  1/24/2009  | 
Although this is "Global" CIO, I'm going strictly local for the Super Bowl and picking my hometown Pittsburgh Steelers to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 24-16. Arizona fans, feel free to write back and explain how the Cards will win -- and to get you started, here are five areas where the Steelers could be vulnerable.
Microsoft Can't Have It All
Commentary  |  1/24/2009  | 
At Microsoft's earnings call on Thursday, the company announced measures to cut costs and staff. Normally, Wall Street looks at belt tightening as a positive thing and rewards the stock with a bit of a bump, but not this time. Part of it was lowered expectations for the next two quarters, but I also suspect the market saw through Microsoft's tepid cuts. Microsoft isn't really addressing their problems.
How To Rip DVDs To Your iPod
Commentary  |  1/24/2009  | 
I periodically find myself "cleaning" my iPhone -- removing old podcasts and apps, rearranging the screen icons -- in an electronic analog of how I de-gunk my wallet. (No dollar-off coupons in the iPod, though.) The only really unpleasant part of the process is dealing with stuff that everybody does but iTunes still refuses to support. Namely, ripping protected DVDs
DTV Delay Still A Bad Idea
Commentary  |  1/24/2009  | 
With more households going digital, the U.S. Senate's plan to push back the mandated DTV transition date from Feb. 17 to June 12 makes less sense than ever. Hey, if we're supposed to be entering a new age of personal and national responsibility, let's bite the bullet and exercise some technological leadership here.
There's Web Work Out There Now Go Get It!
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
Over the years as I travel around the country, one of the most popular questions I am asked is whether I know of anyone looking for help with their website. Internet marketing consultants ask me, developers and designers ask me, and search engine optimization consultants ask me. There's plenty of work out there, you just have to know where to look.
Behind The Music: Animoto And RightScale Ramp Up To Render Facebook Videos In The Cloud
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
If you build a better Web 2.0 mousetrap, you have to be careful when everyone beats a path to your door. Remember Cuil, the over-hyped search engine that launched last year, which is currently nursing a market share around 0.01%, thanks to an initial server crash and complaints about the accuracy of Cuil's search results? On the other hand, there's Animoto, a 2-year-old New York-based s
GE Pushes Smart Grid Via 'If I Only Had A Brain'
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
The current economic crisis has blurred memories of the fuel-price crisis, but now there's supposedly a low-energy-prices crisis that's heating up the alleged boiling-the-Earth crisis. To escape the vises of these crises we need an infusion of IT into the distribution and usage of energy, so GE's jumping into the smart-grid business with a Super Bowl ad featuring a dancing scarecrow singing, "If I Only Had A Brain."
Web 2.0 Tools Not Bringing Transparency To White House
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
Reality doesn't seem to be measuring up to the hype about the new administration's promise to use technology to increase access, accountability, and transparency.
A Sketchy Virtualized Desktop Begins To Flesh Itself Out
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
How is Citrix's upcoming desktop hypervisor different from its XenDesktop already on the table? Mainly, end users gain the ability to leave the network that connects their client to a host server and still operate their personal virtualized desktop. XenDesktop, on the other hand, is tethered, not free roaming.
Carbon Nanotubes: California Has Big Questions For The Small Packages
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
Carbon nanotubes, the wonder material that is used in some solar cells, batteries, and circuits, has the California Department of Toxic Substances beginning to wonder. The agency yesterday put manufacturers and importers of the material on notice that it wants more information on the health effects of exposure to CNT byproducts.
Cloud Computing = Managed Services, Measured In A Different Way
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
Just what IS cloud computing, anyway? Is it really all that different from managed hosting, ASPs, client-server, and all the rest? According to a managed services provider I spoke to recently, the difference increasingly lies in how it's measured and sold.
13 Mac Productivity Tools, From Merlin Mann And Friends
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
Productivity maven Merlin Man, author of the blog 43 Folders, gives a video tour of his Mac desktop in his uniquely entertaining and informative style, talking about the tools that help him work. After watching this video, I spent hours and hours fiddling with the tools Merlin recommends, which I'm sure will save me
Netbooks Knock Microsoft On Its Heels
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
Microsoft's first ever layoff tosses more dismal job numbers onto the financial crisis heap, but it's not just the recession that's putting the screws to Redmond -- it's those pesky little netbooks.
A Little Neighborly Consideration, If You Please?
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
The other night a friend of mine, an active open source developer, told me something which has convinced me all the more that you can't be a good open source developer by simply being a good programmer. You have to also be a good neighbor, for lack of a better word.

Will G1 Android Users Get To Eat 'Cupcake' Or Not?
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
Developers have been working on a branch of code called "Cupcake" for the Android mobile operating system from Google. The update for Android promises major improvements to the mobile operating system. G1 users are anxiously awaiting the update, but T-Mobile is saying "no" for the moment.
Reasons Why Paper Is An Emergent Technology
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
As Conficker/Downadup worms its way into PCs, and the OSX.iWork trojan haunts pirated copies of Apple's updated work suite, I'm reminded that the technology of paper continues to find new uses.
Stop The Presses! The 'Boss Every CIO Would Love' Is Out!
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
Talk about timing: Touted yesterday by Global CIO as the type of boss every CIO would love to have because of his strong advocacy for customer-driven business technology, First National Bank of Omaha president Rajive Johri has just left the company. He says his departure was voluntary. And I say no one should believe there's any such thing as a Global CIO jinx.
Microsoft's Big Change on Performance Management (and BI)
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
What's the quickest way to grow your market share in an economic down turn? Change your licensing policy! That's exactly what Microsoft has done with the dashboard and scorecard capabilities that were initially part of PerformancePoint Server. Effective today, Microsoft is now making it easier for customers to get these by including them in the SharePoint Enterprise license.
Nokia's First Touch Phone Sells 1 Million, Sees UK Launch Frenzy
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is the company's first attempt to bring a touch-based phone to market. It went on sale at the end of November in several European countries, and has sold 1 million units so far. Today, Nokia fans in London lined up in the wee hours of the morning to get their hands on the touch screen device.
President Barack Obama Has Been Googlebombed
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
We all know the story of the Googlebomb, right? Googlebombs are created by manipulating links and search rankings to produce a specific result for a certain search term. Perhaps the most famous is the one that targeted former President George W. Bush. When you Googled "miserable failure" the results pointed to him. A new Googlebomb has been created for President Obama.
A Smarter Alternative To PCI
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
Let's dump the credit cards' security compliance program and replace it with a framework to actually reduce the risk that card data will be stolen.
What is Social Bookmarking & Twitter?
Commentary  |  1/23/2009  | 
Linux Netbooks: A Tough Ticket?
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
Why don't PC makers sell more Linux netbooks? Maybe because they simply aren't making enough of them.
What Does Netbook Power Cost?
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
Netbooks were designed to be lightweight alternatives to heavy laptop computers. But a complaint among users has been low battery life, sometimes just a couple of hours. Manufacturers are responding with nine-cell batteries, but at what cost?
Fidelity Selling India IT Operation To Infosys Or IBM?
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
In a further sign that the Indian IT services industry remains a powerful force in global business, Infosys is competing against IBM to acquire the India-based IT unit of the largest mutual fund company in the world, Fidelity Investments. It's also interesting to note that Fidelity will reportedly retain control over high-value services such as business analytics and BPO while unloading primarily back-office functions.
What a way to run a government!
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
Sun Cloud CTO: 'Your Data Center Is Your Computer'
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
Lew Tucker has contributed to several waves of technology innovation over the last 20 years. Currently VP and CTO of cloud computing at Sun Microsystems, Tucker started work on distributed computing in the mid-'80s as a research scientist and director of advanced development at Thinking Machines, working on machine vision and system architecture to create the massively parallel Connection Machine.
Panelists Say Legacy Apps In The Cloud Are A Roll Of The Dice
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
The premise of the Thursday morning panel discussion at the Cloud Connect event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., was that it's possible to have the best of both worlds: your legacy applications and the cloud. By the end of the hour-long discussion, many of the 200 or so attendees seemed to have come to the conclusion that enterprise and Web-scale development were worlds apart and moving further away from each other at something approaching the speed of light.
Don't Chase Checkboxes
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
Drew Conry-Murray takes apart PCI in his recent blog PCI Is Meaningless, But We Still Need It. I agree with most of his points, but they mostly apply to companies that view compliance as a set of checkboxes that have to be filled in annually. Filling checkboxes is doomed to failure. Focus on the spirit of the requirements and your company's security posture will be the better for it.
Who's The Champ? Apple, Microsoft, Nokia Report Smartphone Sales
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
Apple disclosed sales figures of the iPhone for the holiday quarter. The total amounts to 4.4 million iPhones sold. That's a huge increase over the year-ago quarter, but down significantly from the 6.9 million 3G iPhones sold during the previous quarter. At the same time, Microsoft says 2008 saw 20 million Windows Mobile smartphones sold. Nokia sold 113 million phones, but how many of them were "smart"?
2010 Too Late For Windows 7 To Save Microsoft
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
Microsoft needs to ship Windows 7 as soon as possible. If that wasn't obvious before Thursday, it sure is now. Despite two years of positive spin from Redmond, it's clear that Windows Vista is one of the biggest flops in computing history. And each day that passes with Vista still on the market brings Microsoft another day closer to the abyss.
Apple Drops Hints About Netbooks, iPhone Nano
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
Apple's top brass let slip some tantalizing clues about the company's plans for an "iPhone Nano," netbook, and Apple TV during the their quarterly earnings conference call on Wednesday. Or did they? With Apple, it's always hard to tell.
Why You Should Try Google's App Engine In The Cloud
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
When thinking about applications in the cloud, it's best to think of new applications, applications oriented toward Web operations, and applications that do things in a way that's contrary to what you're accustomed to. In other words, think about using Google Bigtable.
Practical Analysis: In Support Of Aligning IT With The Business
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
As IT seeks to make itself a key asset, there's no substitute for an intimate partnership with business partners.
Does Best Practices = Monkey See, Monkey Do?
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
According to Info-Tech Research, the term "best practice" is a widely misused and misunderstood management consulting idea. Business owners and IT managers would be wise to abandon it in favor of seeking the best solutions for their unique business challenges.
Rumors of Mac's FireWire Demise Continue...
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
Apple is moving away from the FireWire peripheral interconnect that it championed, and is tightening its embrace of Universal Serial Bus. We saw early indications of this with the release of the new MacBook notebook computers last October. The trend continues.
Happy Birthday, Mac  Here's $1.6 Billion Profit
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
As the Macintosh turns 25 years old this week, Apple Inc. announced its latest quarterly earnings  a whopping record profit of $1.61 billion.
Obama May Get Super-Duper-Top-Secret Blackberry
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
Rumor has it that the new President is about to get a special Blackberry with advanced encryption features that will let him stay in contact on the road -- just like every junior sales manager in America.
How To Save A Whopping One-Half Watt Of Energy In 12 Easy Steps
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
If you can't trust the geeks at MIT when it comes to leveraging technology, whom can you trust? Still, the memo the other day that students and faculty save a half-watt of electricity by turning off the backlit LCD displays on their VoIP phones seemed a bit over the top.
Linux's Active Directory Killer Is A Step Closer
Commentary  |  1/22/2009  | 
For years one of the few truly irreplaceable Microsoft technologies has been Active Directory. Now it's that much closer to being replaced, by the open source Samba project in its fourth major revision.

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