I received a one-line letter from a reader today, and I couldn't agree with him more: "Do you realize that if anyone has to ask about ethics, they shouldn't be doing the job to begin with?"
I had a similar reaction when listening to the recent congressional grilling of HP CEO Mark Hurd and ex-chairwoman Patricia Dunn about the company's tactics when investigating a media leak within its board.
IBM's Global Ambition Draws Fire From U.S. Workers
One of the tech industry's true heavyweights, IBM is the very definition of a multinational corporation. Its operations span the globe, and it's committed to building out its workforce in emerging countries like India and China. But there's growing evidence that the company's U.S. workers are feeling left behind, and that can't be good for IBM or its customers.
Firefox 2.0: You'll Like It If It's The Kind Of Thing You Like
I've been using Firefox 2.0 since Release Candidate 1 came out a couple of weeks ago, and I'm pretty satisfied with it. There are no major new capabilities to the browser, but there's a couple of nifty new minor features. Combine that with Firefox's improved stability, and that means existing Firefox users will want to upgrade right away, as soon as the version hits final release.
However, because there are no big new capabilities, I don't think the new version will win Firefox much new market
Spamhaus Needs New Lawyers
In case you haven't been following the news, a United States federal judge for the Northern District of Illinois recently issued a proposed order that instructs ICANN to place a hold on the domain name of The Spamhaus Project, a nonprofit firm based in England. The international political ramifications of such an order, should it be enforced, are obviously quite severe and are the cause of much valid concern. But while the judge is stretching the bounds of reason and temperance with this order,
The Spamhaus-e360Insight Case Isn't Just One Bad Decision, It's Several
A federal court ruling last month in favor of an "e-mail bulk marketer" appears to be a spectacularly bad decision. But it's hardly the only one in the case. Spamhaus sparkplug Steve Linford made another when he decided not to defend against the suit. But the judge may make the worst decision of all if he follows through on a proposal to order ICANN to pull Spamhaus' domain name to force Spamhaus to comply.
Printer Ink--The New Black Gold
I don't know about you, but every time that "ink low" warning comes up on my printer driver, my day gets a little bleaker. Ink and toner cartridges (known as "consumables"--probably because printers eat 'em up like candy) are one of those expenses that few of us can avoid. You have a printer? You need ink. And the printer manufacturers are happy and eager to sell you some--in fact, one of the reasons so many printers have dropped in price lately is that consumables are the great cash cow of the
What Does Microsoft Think Vista Is Good For?
I installed Microsoft's Windows Vista RC1 Beta a couple of weeks ago and started a list of things about it that really impressed me. The graphics are really whizzy, for one thing: That Aero 3-D interface is very pretty. And...well, it's only been a couple of weeks. I'm sure my list will get longer. But in the meantime, I got a chance this week to see what's on Microsoft's list when Mike Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows client marketing at Microsoft,
Web Applications: Just Out Of Reach
Google is putting its Writely word processing into an online application suite. I look forward to the day when a Web app suite is available and I won't have to send any more dollars to Bill Gates for Office upgrades. But that day still hasn't arrived.
The Spreadsheet: 1979-2006. May It Rest In Peace?
Remember VisiCalc? For those too young to remember the dawning of the PC age in the late '70s and early '80s, VisiCalc was the first spreadsheet app for personal computers and credited with turning the PC from an expensive toy into a serious business tool. But the PC spreadsheet as a key app to drive value in many businesses may have reached its limits, according to a study to be released next week.
Infosys CEO: Data Security In India As Strong As In U.S.
Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani takes exception to media reports that India's outsourcing industry is rife with data thieves and hackers. During a conversation I had with Nilekani Wednesday morning, the chief of India's second largest outsourcer insisted that information security in his country is at least as strong as it is in the United States, and that hacking and identity theft are global problems.
No ERP For Benioff, He's Thinking Bigger
Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff seemed almost resigned to the question asked by the press this week at the company's Dreamforce '06 user conference: When would the on-demand CRM application vendor expand by offering on-demand ERP apps, such as financial or supply chain management software, through either acquisitions or internal development?
Benioff, with a touch of exasperation in his voice, said it's never been in the company's DNA to offer such apps. Such efforts to "be all things to all peo
Is It Time For A Browser Free-For-All?
In brainstorming about a browser article this week, I threw out to my colleague that nearly all businesses will just go with Internet Explorer 7 for simplicity and lock out other options such as the new Firefox browser, also due this month. But will they? Or better question, can they, even if they wanted to?
If Firefox Is Actually Gaining On Internet Explorer, Automatic Update Will Fix It
As Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla.org's Firefox round the clubhouse turn and head toward the release of new versions, it's interesting that Firefox continues to get press for increasing its share of the browser market from month to month (the latest story puts Firefox at 12.5%, up for the third month in a row). Maybe it's because we all love an underdog. But is Firefox's reputation as a giant ki
Death, Taxes, And Vista
The customer perspective on new operating systems hasn't changed in 20 years: Users adopt software after balancing the usual limitations--time, personpower, and IT budget--versus whatever benefits they're expecting compared to the previous Windows version they already have installed. When the equation is right, they move.
Deleted: What's Not Up To Snuff For Wikipedia
Administrators at Wikipedia delete some 2,000 articles a day--that's about half the 4,000 entries added daily to the online encyclopedia. How do those administrators decide which articles stay and which ones get cut? The evaluation process begins with suggestions from volunteers as to what makes a person or organization "notable."
A Different Kind Of Feature Creep Hits Vista Performance
"Feature creep" is a problem familiar to corporate developers. It describes what happens to applications that never get finished because their feature set is a moving target. But Windows Vista is apparently being hit by a different kind of feature creep: Its performance is being slowed down by some of its features. And not the ones anybody seems to care much about at that.
Longer Battery Life, Not Explosions, Top Laptop Concern
We've seen and heard about laptop computers exploding or catching fire in airports and conference halls. One such explosion is believed to have burned a truck. Another is blamed for torching a home. But if there has been a significant public outcry to make immediate changes that would eliminate the potential for future problems, I must have been taking that day off.
The Saga Of America Online
Everybody has an AOL story. Mine took place several years ago, when my parents were still on a dial-up connection and used AOL as their main conduit to e-mail and the Web. My father realized he needed to make an important call and signed off. However, AOL, as was its habit, took that opportunity to do a major upgrade (without, of course, asking whether it was convenient to do so). After waiting for several minutes, and with no idea how long the upgrade was going to take, my father finally broke
WGA Compulsion Becomes, Er, Compulsory
How's Windows Genuine Advantage working for you? A correspondent of mine says WGA has forced him to reinstall Windows twice on different PCs. I haven't heard of widespread problems like this with WGA, but if there are, now's the time to get them out in the open because Microsoft has just announced that the anti-piracy controls in Windows Vista will make its current WGA efforts look indulgently permissive.