Commentary
Content posted in October 2008
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Persistence Is The Browsers' Most Persistent Problem
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Over on his Tecosytems blog, Redmonk principal analyst Stephen O'Grady picks up a conversation that he and I first batted back and forth on Twitter. Twitter, with its 140-character limit to each post, can cramp even the simplest of dialogs. Take a complex topic like offline persistence of anything (a single page, data, applications, etc.) in a browser and I'm glad he took it to the blogosphere. Sometimes only a blog wi
Verizon Plugs UC
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Mobile News Roundup
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
It's Friday again, and this week was filled with Motorola backing Android while Sprint dissed it. Qik came to the BlackBerry, Verizon
VC Drought? 70 Million Exceptions To The Rule
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Anxiety is high in Silicon Valley over an anticipated decline in VC funding, but investment money hasn't dried up yet. In the past few days, a handful of startups have pulled in $70 million.
Green Politics 2008: Troy The Turbine Builder
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Now that Joe The Plumber has a manager, I thought I'd give equal time to Troy the Turbine Builder. United Steelworkers member Troy Galloway, in this video posted on a site operated by a group calling itself Cleantech and Gr
Will Verizon Wireless Give Away The BlackBerry Storm For Free?
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Verizon Wireless' U.K. partner, Vodafone, recently announced that it will give the BlackBerry Storm to users for free if they sign up for new contracts. Can Verizon Wireless afford to do the same thing?
Drupal Takes Home 2008 Overall Open Source CMS Award
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Drupal cleaned up for the second year in a row in the 2008 Open Source CMS Awards, taking home both the Overall Open Source CMS Award and the Best Open Source PHP CMS Award. This marks the first time in which a content management system has ever won the overall award in back-to-back years.
'Linux-Haters Blog' Signs Off
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
As of last Saturday, the infamous Linux Hater's Blog has signed off. Seekers of curmudgeonly wisdom about Linux cleverly disguised as flaming bile will have to look elsewhere. And, strangely enough, I already miss him.

NIST Seeks New Hash Algorithm
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
NIST is wrapping up accepting submissions for a new cryptographic one-way hash algorithm today. NIST's competition follows a tradition of peer review, public discussion, and acceptance of algorithms that brought us DES, SHA, and AES. The selection process won't be complete until 2012, but final selection should addresses weaknesses in the hash algorithms used today.
Verizon Wireless Teaches Retail Reps How To Bash The G1
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Not one to sit on its laurels, Verizon Wireless is taking the interest in T-Mobile's G1 Android phone seriously by providing its sales reps with ammunition to shoot it down. Another list of "talking points" has been circulated, and it tells us what Verizon really thinks of the G1.
Obama's Online Answer Center Fields Tough Questions
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Everyone is worried about the economy. But surprisingly, the economy isn't the subject of the top three questions people are asking online at an "answer center" run by Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Visitors are most interested in whether Obama is a Christian and a patriot, and they want to know his position on women's issues.
Apple: No Opera Mini For The iPhone
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Opera Mini and Opera Mobile are highly capable browsers for mobile phones. Opera, which also makes a full desktop browser for both Windows and Apple machines, created a version of Opera Mini that will run on the iPhone. Too bad Apple won't allow Opera to offer it through the iPhone App Store.
Microsoft Azure in the News...
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Is Linux The Quick-Boot Miracle Fix? Don't Bet On It
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
Will demand for quick-booting PCs give Linux a leg up on Windows? That's how some folks see it, but I'm not one of them.
Indexable versus Iterable Collections
Commentary  |  10/31/2008  | 
The C++ standard template library design emphasizes collections that support generic iterators. In this post I propose an alternative design approach for collections that uses generic indexers.

Vote Now... on Telecommuting Alternative
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Motorola Causing A Ruckus
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Motorola sure gave us some interesting news today. The quarterly loss of nearly $400 million and thousands of layoffs always jump out at you, but, digging a little deeper, I couldn't help but wonder where Symbian fits into Moto's plans.
Google Updates Chrome To Version 0.3.154.9
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Google on Wednesday released a new version of its Chrome browser, the third Chrome beta release.
Down To Business: Microsoft, Industry Still Hang In The Cloud Ether
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Many customers still don't understand what "the cloud" is. Vendors don't help when they use the term to describe just about any product--or planned product--delivered from or touching a data center.
Crisis Survival Kit: 15 Tips From Venture Capitalists
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
At a recent Silicon Valley event focusing on the economic crisis, famed venture capitalist John Doerr offered up 10 tips on How to manage your start-up in the downturn," but the advice is useful for any business owner.
Crybabies Emerge After Wal-Mart G1 Discount Announced
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Remember how ticked off people were when Apple dropped the price of the iPhone from $600 to $400 last year? People cried foul in droves. In light of Wal-Mart's announcement that it's going to sell the Android phone for $31 less than it costs at T-Mobile stores, people are complaining.
Dell, Facebook, And Google Join Dreamforce Love Fest
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
The number of technology vendors involved in Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference next week is impressive. Salesforce is nowhere the size of Oracle or Microsoft, but it undoubtedly has a strong "partner ecosystem," as the vendors like to say. Michael Dell will be there, plus Google and Facebook execs, and many small software companies hawking their wares. So what's behind the rally behind Salesforce.com?
XenServer 5.0 In The Lab
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
The world was a different place the last time we ran a full review of XenServer. In July 2007, we called XenSource's XenEnterprise 3.04 a virtual bargain, and suggested that it was rough around the edges but a viable ESX alternative for smaller shops. It's not so rough anymore. You might even say it has smooth edges.
Taylor and Raden Define Decision Management
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Opening the second day of the Business Rules Forum, James Taylor and Neil Raden gave a keynote about competing on decisions. First up was James, who started with a definition of what a decision is (and isn't), speaking particularly about operation decisions that we often see in the context of automated business processes... Neil dug further into the agility imperative: rethinking BI for processes...
Green Metrics: Measure By Measure
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
You can manage what you can measure. You can tame what you can name. However you choose to say it, it's becoming abundantly clear that any efforts to go green must begin with accurate and actionable measurements of energy consumption.
'Motorolandroid': Another Open Source Proving Ground
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Even if there won't be any Android phones from Motorola for at least a year, it might well be one of the best things that's happened to Motorola in a long time. It also may well be the best thing that could have happened to Android, since it'll put the OS right in the line of fire of the non-smartphone-buying public.

Smaller Business SaaS Still In Early Adopter Phase
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Despite bullish predictions that the market for SaaS is ripe and small and midsize businesses are embracing subscription-based applications and IT services, the market for may still be in the early stages, which means lots of opportunity.
Deep Linking Now Possible With YouTube Vidoes
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Sharing videos via YouTube is what the fun is all about. Sometimes, however, the "good part" is somewhere in the middle of the video, and you have to sit through minutes of tedium to reach the money shot. No longer. Google has created a way for people to link to specific times within their videos, meaning you can jump straight to the action.
Will Microsoft Shake Up Cloud Computing SLAs?
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
For Microsoft, which announced its cloud computing platform this week, it seems like service level agreements don't just mean uptime. That thinking could shake up the industry.
Crisis Survival Kit: 5 Ways To Increase Revenue From Current Customers
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Hanging on to your customers is crucial in these tough times, but just keeping them isn't enough. Growing revenue from your existing customers will help keep your business afloat by offsetting, in part, the inevitable slackening of orders and departure of other customers.
Smaller Businesses Have IT Envy, See SaaS As Solution
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
How do smaller businesses use and manage IT? Not surprisingly, smaller organizations struggle to compete with larger enterprises and often don't know how to gain access to the high-quality IT services that could offer competitive parity or advantage. But hosted services may open doors previously closed to smaller organizations.
Going Laptopless: MicroPersuasion On iPhone As Notebook Replacement
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Ever since my InformationWeek cover story, "Is The Smartphone Your Next Computer?," I've been getting pinged by people telling me their tales of going "laptopless." (Can I use that word in a family blog?) Steve Rubel, the popular MicroPersuasion blogger and public-relations executive at Edelman Digital, spoke with me for the
Motorola: No Android Phones For A Year
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Just when it seemed Motorola was on the brink of turning things around, reality had to intrude. Motorola reported its third quarter earnings today. The company suffered a deep loss of $397 million. Worse than that was a comment made by Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha. He said there will be no Android phones from Motorola until the holiday season of 2009.
Is The Cloud The End Of Microsoft?
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
As InformationWeek covers Microsoft's revelations at its Professional Developer Conference this week, it's becoming clear that Microsoft's top brass know they aren't in the same business they were just a few years ago. So is this the transitive stage that spells the end of Microsoft's dominance of the software industry?
Wayback Machine
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
It is interesting to look back at one's own code from years ago. It's like having one's own Wayback Machine.

Architect Soft Skills - PDF version
Commentary  |  10/30/2008  | 
Google Apps Looks To The Future
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
In the wake of yesterday's announcement of Labs for Google Apps, I just happened to get a chance to sit down with a Google project manager on the apps enterprise team. He offered some insight into the company's plans to differentiate its products.
IBM's Enterprise Content Management Push
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
Content management systems may not be the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of IBM's name, but this week it's being made clear that they play a critical part in IBM's Information On Demand strategy.
SAS Offers 101 on Voice Mining
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
Manya Mayes of SAS has written a helpful introductory paper on audio analytics, "Tune into the Voice of Your Customer with Voice Mining." The technology and techniques described have applications for e-discovery, intelligence, and rich-media search. Given coverage of distinctive characteristics of speech and of analytical concerns that include BI integration, Manya's paper merits a look for anyone who works with audio data.
Are Bots On Twitter Hurting Overall System Performance?
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
If you use the "real-time short messaging service" Twitter, you know that over the last year there have been many performance issues. So many, in fact, that users have created a name for the outages, called the "fail whale." I started to poke around and began to wonder if bots running on the Twitter network could be causing some of the system performance issues on the service.
Imation Finds Scary Data On "Recertified" Tapes
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
Last month I wrote about my general misgivings about selling used data tapes for reuse. My New Yorker's general skepticism left me dubious that the few dollars I got for sending a box of tapes via UPS or FedEx to Joe the used tape salesman was worth the risk that some of my data might make it to Christopher the identity thief. Today I got a press release from Imation reporting that they purchased around 100 "recertified" tapes from "leading recertifyers as found on Google" and found recoverab
In an Economic Maelstrom, How Bad is Your Performance Management?
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
It's obvious to everyone that we are in turbulent times as economic challenges rattle the globe. The question is whether the post-mortem analysis and diagnosis of the causes and symptoms of this mess will focus on the right areas and help minimize future failures... Let's be honest. Organizations have not managed their businesses using systems to understand current performance and risk in a common, enterprisewide fashion.
Consumers Cutting Cell Phone Spending
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
Has the global economic slowdown made you change your cell phone plans? You may not be alone, as a new poll for GetJar shows that more than 75% of respondents are planning to cut back on their bill, or wait to upgrade or buy a new phone.
12 Easy Ways To Cut Your Company's Tech Costs Now!
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
These days, everyone's talking about saving money on technology, but where do you start? To help, bMighty.com has put together a slide show with a dozen practical ways to shave a few bucks off your IT budget without impacting productivity.
Hackers Crack Open, Unlock The G1 Android Phone
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
Well, that didn't take too long. A coven of crafty coders have used their wily skills to break the software chains tethering the HTC G1 Android phone to T-Mobile's network. There is a trade-off, however, and it's a big one.
AT&T Finally Offers Free Wi-Fi To The iPhone (For Real This Time!)
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
Today I received a text message from AT&T. It was an official announcement that I can now begin using AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots for free in locations such as participating Starbucks. Nice of AT&T to get on the ball six months after news of the service first leaked out.
Logitech Acquires SightSpeed
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
OpenOffice.Org 3 Downloads: Windows Way In The Lead
Commentary  |  10/29/2008  | 
In what probably comes as a surprise only to people who haven't been following trends in open source recently, the vast majority of people who've grabbed OpenOffice.org 3.0 in its official release are Windows users. Out of 3-plus million downloads in the first week or so, almost 2.5 million of those were for the Win32 edition of OO.o.

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