Commentary
Content posted in October 2007
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Can Security Awareness Deliver Competitive Advantage?
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
It's disconcerting to live in a world where security can be seen as delivering competitive advantage, yet that's the idea behind Unisys's Enterprise Security initiative. But after all, the company's Trusted Enterprise Model only extends the security selling point that is a marketing mainstay for financial institutions and that has been adopted or embraced by IT vendors, sometimes far too slowly, with the rise of network computing.
Could Your Next ERP System Come From China?
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
Ufida is a $150 million-a-year ERP company that's China's largest domestic enterprise software vendor. I talked with Ufida's VP of international business about its plan to come to the United States.
Smaller Companies Optimistic On Growth, Tech Investments
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
Bullish on their growth prospects, many small and midsize companies are planning significant investments in such new technologies as storage VoIP, virtualization, and Wi-Fi.
The Wall Street Journal's 10-Year-Old Advice For CIOs
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
General Motors CIO Ralph Szygenda has a terrific track record, and he and his work were profiled yesterday in the Journal. But the Journal really laid an egg with the GM/Szygenda piece by presenting a circa 1996 snapshot of the CIO position and the role of business technology. So if you recognize yourself in the image of the CIO presented by the Journal story, be afraid --
Flirting With Verizon, Google Drops 'Don't Be Evil' Pretense
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
The word "evil" is vastly overused these days. Here's a link to the "Top 10 Evil People in History," if you've got an afternoon to blow -- and I would never call a major U.S. wireless carrier "evil." Oligopolistic, predatory, bureaucratic, yes -- evil, no. So the idea of Google shacking up with Verizon Wireless doesn't exactly qualify as "Doing e
Business Users Want GPS In Their Smartphones
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
According to the latest J.D. Power and Associates survey of smartphone users, GPS tops the list of features that users want most in their smartphones. Looks like location is going to be one of the big wireless must-have features for mobile business in 2008.
What Is Google Talking To The Carriers About?
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
Late yesterday it came to light that Google is in talks with Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile USA regarding its big mobile plans. Are they talking about the gPhone, or something else?
Silicon Valley Crash Course: 14 Startups In 28 Hours
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
I just returned from a trip to earthquake land where I had one-on-one meetings with 14 tech startups in just over a day. Their products included a project-management app, e-mail marketing tool, widget maker, and PC database. The big unanswered question: Who needs them?
Happy Halloween From The iPhone
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
Still can't decide what to wear as your Halloween costume this year? Why not dress up as an iPhone?
The Zune Universe Expands, Where's The Bling?
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
If Microsoft wants to even catch a sliver of iPod's market share, it's going to have to build up its base of third-party accessories for its Zune music player... Oh, wait. That's just what they did this week.
Pantech Duo Offers Windows Mobile In A Fun Form Factor
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
I spent the last two days with the Pantech Duo, a new 3G Windows Mobile 6 smartphone available from AT&T for $199 (with a two-year contract). Do you need a Helio Ocean-like smartphone that's ready for business?
How To Get Gmail's IMAP, Leopard, And The iPhone Working Together
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
When I heard last week that Gmail is getting IMAP support, I was excited. My life was going to get a little easier. And how hard could it be to set up? Change a couple of settings in Apple Mail and I'd be good to go, right?

Is The Web Headed For Meltdown 2.0?
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
In recent months I've seen a lot of anxiety in the tech marketplace. Bloggers, pundits, and industry insiders all seem to suggest that Web 2.0 is headed for Correction 2.0. Are we in the middle of another bubble?
Is Apple's Leopard Worth the Leap?
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
Apple is making headway in the enterprise environment. But is Leopard, the sixth major release of Apple's Mac OS X operating system, worth an IT manager's consideration?
Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me A Map (And Please Entertain My Takeover Bid)
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
It's a good time to be a mapmaker. As the digital mapping industry undergoes some serious consolidation with mergers and acquisitions, today Garmin threw a wrench into TomTom's bid for Tele Atlas by offering 15% more. A sign that GPS, LBS, and navigation apps are on the verge of exploding?
Good Rules Can Eliminate 65% of Activities
Commentary  |  10/31/2007  | 
There's a long list of verbs - adjust, approve, expedite, inspect, verify and many others - that tend to indicate that activities are non value-added and should be considered for elimination. Many of these exist because something wasn't done right the first time, and a lot of the the non-value-added activities can be cut if there are ways to reduce the error rates in the real-value-added and business-value-added activities.
Google Phone (Legend) Lives
Commentary  |  10/30/2007  | 
What has become the Loch Ness Monster of the mobile phone world, the Google Phone, is once again purported to exist.
The Three Opens, Pt. 1: Open-Source OS
Commentary  |  10/30/2007  | 
There's been a lot of talk about the three big "open"s in the computing world today -- open-source OSes, open-source applications, and open standards.  I'm going to talk about each one of these things in turn over the course of the next few blog posts, and examine how they fit together and complement each other.

What Does Web Analytics Consolidation Mean to You?
Commentary  |  10/30/2007  | 
There has been plenty of discussion over the last few days about "consolidation" in the Web analytics marketplace due to the Omniture/Visual Sciences deal... In fact, the marketplace is not consolidating; it is in fact fragmenting, and there are plenty of options to consider if you are purchasing Web analytics solutions... Much of the consolidation discussion is based on vendors that adhere to the SaaS/page-tag collection model.
Eye-Fi Stuffs Wi-Fi Radio Into An SD Card, Enables Wireless Storage
Commentary  |  10/30/2007  | 
You might be scratching your head wondering why on earth you want an SD card with a Wi-Fi radio, but just think of the wonderful uses. Now you can beam your pictures straight to your favorite photo sharing site without editing them first!
Google Announces That It Is Going To Make An Announcement Regarding Its Mobile Plans
Commentary  |  10/30/2007  | 
Announcements about announcements crack me up. The only reason this one is worth paying attention to is because it is Google, and the subject of the announcement will be its future mobile plans. Specifically, products and services it hopes to have in the market by mid 2008.
Woops, Says Microsoft, Sorry for That Unauthorized Install
Commentary  |  10/30/2007  | 
IT managers who subscribe to Microsoft Windows Server Update Services program but didn't choose the automatic updates setting must have thought the desktops on their networks had taken a page from HAL.
Shovels As A Service In The Social Networking Gold Rush
Commentary  |  10/30/2007  | 
For this week's feature on Web 2.0 in the enterprise, we counted 17 startups that offer social networking platforms. I don't mean social networking sites (there are thousands of those), but companies touting technology for the FaceBook and MySpace wannabes.

MySpace Cofounder Lies About His Age
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
Tom Anderson, cofounder of MySpace, is five years older than he claims.
Join Us For GridTalk With The Creators Of The Greenies
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
Join us for GridTalk on Tuesday when our special guest will be Jonathan Himoff of Rezzables, the company behind the Greenies and about 20 other of the most popular and innovative areas in Second Life. He'll talk about business, community building, and creativity in Second Life, as well as where his company gets those crazy ideas.

No Cash Please, We're Apple
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
Believe it or not, Apple has decided not to accept cash from people buying an iPhone. That's right, your money's no good at an Apple store.
Broadband Providers Nix Sticks
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
Testimony before a House subcommittee last week reiterated what we already knew: fewer people in the United States have broadband Internet access than in several other countries, and rural areas of the United States have even less access to broadband than urban areas. They're called "the sticks" for a reason: rural America gets this one stuck to it, too, as it does on a lot of other social, economic, and technical issues.
BI as Commodity Technology: The Information Angle
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
BI is complex, simultaneously software, transformational work practices, and business information. Consider: What value is reporting or OLAP or data mining (software) that doesn't tap whatever data is relevant to produce business insights (information) that can help you restructure, realign, or optimize business operations (practices)? We need to examine all three, complementary aspects of business intelligence: software, information, and practices. Let's start with information, with BI sou
Why Run Leopard On A PC? A Hacker Explains
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
In writing an article about how hackers had gotten Apple's new Leopard operating system to run on PCs, I corresponded with the individual responsible for posting a how-to-guide for creating a "hackintosh." The person who posted the how-to-guide goes by the forum name BrazilMAC and since he responded to my query at length, it seemed appropriate t
Expect The Worst With Your Leopard Upgrade
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
When upgrading your operating system, expect the worst. Expect that your system won't boot. Expect your favorite applications won't run. Expect that your essential documents will be deleted or inaccessible. Also, your dog will get pregnant, the milk in your fridge will go sour, and you'll wake up with a big zit on your nose and run into your high-school sweetheart later that day.

Startup Makes Bold Spam-Fighting Claims
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
Abaca, a startup that launched at last week's Interop NY show, claims to have developed a new approach to spam filtering that guarantees a minimum of 99 percent accuracy.
T-Mobile Wants You To Jump At Its Shadow
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
T-Mobile's latest Windows Mobile smartphone bucks the utilitarian integument of other devices and dons some sharper duds. It's about the size of a BlackBerry Pearl, and should tempt enterprise and consumer users alike.
Microsoft Wants to Stick XP on XOs
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
Like an uninvited birthday party guest who shows up on the wrong date with an unwanted gift, Microsoft is "working to adapt a basic version of Windows XP so it is compatible with the non-profit One Laptop per Child Foundation's small green- and-white XO laptop."
Is Facebook One Social Network Or An Aggregator Of Social Networks?
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
Last week The Economist took Facebook and other social networks to task, questioning their real value and their potential to scale. Is Facebook headed for a brick wall?
Should You Replace Microsoft Office with an Online App?
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
What feels like the sudden arrival of a multitude of online app options -- like Google or Zoho -- has allowed IT managers to ponder a move they would never have even considered just a short while ago: Replace Microsoft Office with an online office suite.
Want To Use That New Gift Card To Buy An iPhone? Apple Won't Let You Do That, Either
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
Wow, Apple must really be trying to alienate its customers. Not only can people no longer pay cash for iPhones, but you can't even bring in a stack of Apple gift cards to pay for an iPhone -- even if those gift cards were paid for by credit cards.
The Not-So-Good at the Business Objects Meeting
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
Following up on my last post about all the good things I encountered at Business Objects' recent user conference in Orlando, Fla., here are a few looming and, in some cases, troubling aspects of what's ahead for customers in the wake of the pending SAP acquisition. For instance, Business Objects is very bullish on its approach to enterprise performance management (EPM), a topic highlighted in many executive keynotes at the event... Despite all the reassuring words, I have my doubts about what li
The Good at Business Objects' User Conference
Commentary  |  10/29/2007  | 
My trip to the recent Business Objects user conference in Orlando, Fla., revealed many good surprises as well as many big questions yet to be answered. Business Objects founder and chairman Bernard Liautaud addressed the deal during the opening of the event, and his comments quickly transitioned to those of SAP CEO Henning Kagermann (by way of video)... But with many forks in the path ahead for customers and partners of Business Objects, Kagermann's video instilled little comfort.
Mobile Broadband Is A Mix-and-Match Affair
Commentary  |  10/28/2007  | 
"The Future of Wireless Broadband" was the first session I attended at last week's Mobile Business Expo at Interop in New York And the first thing I learned was that the adoption of wireless broadband isn't going to be a simple matter of clear winners and losers.
Apple's Leopard Hacked So You Can Install It On Your PC, But Why Would You Want To?
Commentary  |  10/28/2007  | 
It took a less than 24 hours for an Apple enthusiast site to weigh in with a hack recipe on how to "install Leopard on your PC in 3 easy steps." The big question is, why would anyone want to, given that Windows Vista is almost -- but not quite -- as pretty as the latest incarnation of OS X. The answer, clearly, is to see if it can be done.
Second Life Lawsuit Over Cybersex Toy Theft
Commentary  |  10/28/2007  | 
You know it had to come to this eventually in the reality substitute called Second Life: Thieves are stealing virtual people's virtual crap, and reselling it to other avatars for real money. And when they're caught red-handed, they've got this great defense -- how can it be criminal, it's only a video game?
My Favorite (Open-Source) Things: MPlayer
Commentary  |  10/27/2007  | 
Since this blog does get filed under the category Open Source, I thought I'd take time out here and there to talk about some of my favorite open-source applications, not just Linux (or OSes in general).  I'll start with an app that has breathed unexpected new life into some of my DVDs: MPlayer.

Want To Pay Cash For An iPhone? Apple Won't Let You
Commentary  |  10/27/2007  | 
In an apparent effort to curb the reselling of unlocked iPhones, Apple has instituted a new policy that forbids customers from paying cash--you know, the stuff that says "legal tender for all debts public and private"--for iPhones. And it has dropped the limit to two per person.
Liveblogging The Leopard Upgrade
Commentary  |  10/27/2007  | 
My wife and I just got back from geek date night: A visit to the local Apple retailer to pick up a copy of Leopard, along with some other schwag, followed by dinner at Souplantation. We like to live large, my wife and I. I'm about to jump in to upgrading this system to Leopard. Bookmark this page for the thrilling play-by-play.

"Did I Mention It Was Free?"
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
Scott McNealy took his "software wants to be free" act to the NICSA Technology Summit 2007 in Las Vegas, even featuring a showman's hypnotic cadence. And it was a fine presentation, if you believe one thing: Open Source = Sun Microsystems.
Facebook Is Only Warming Up
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
This was Facebook's week. The golden child of Web 2.0 scored a $240 investment deal from Microsoft, launched a new mobile application for the BlackBerry, and was even rumored to hav
Oracle's Linux: Unbreakable? Or Just A Necessary Adjustment?
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
As I talked to Wim Coekaerts, VP of Linux engineering at Oracle, about "Unbreakable Linux," a gap emerged between what he was saying and what Red Hat's product management director, Joel Berman, was saying. Riders of Linux's impressive upsurge are advised to "mind the gap" and try not to fall into it.
Down To Business: The Labor Shortage And Other (Changing) Global Dynamics
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
As one retiring tech pro put it: "The new 'Flat World' tilts back and forth and does not stay horizontal for long!"
CIOs Uncensored: Should CIOs Be Afraid Of Web 2.0?
Commentary  |  10/26/2007  | 
Most aren't -- but are they drawing a line in the sand or whistling past the graveyard?
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