Commentary
Content posted in November 2006
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Employers, Break Out Web-Use Monitoring Tools; Employees, Watch Your Backs
Commentary  |  11/22/2006  | 
Today is Cyber Monday (or Black Monday as those possessing a darker outlook on life call it) and although there's ample evidence that the popular belief of it being the busiest online shopping day of the year is myth rather than reality, no one disputes that by this date, Web-based browsing for holiday gifts is in full swing.
Microsoft Wants You To Party Like It's 1995
Commentary  |  11/22/2006  | 
Everyone keeps talking about five years. Five years since the release of Windows XP, five years to develop and push Vista out the door. But Microsoft wants you to double that number, and recall the monumental launch of Windows 95 that coincided with an Office suite upgrade, culminating in the biggest festival Redmond has ever seen. I remember how the cumulous clouds in the blue Redmond sky eerily matched the software's packaging (like Bill Gates ordered them up for the event), and the nightly
Who's The Stupid Megacorporation Now?
Commentary  |  11/22/2006  | 
Chevy marketers had this bright idea: As part of the campaign touting the Tahoe luxury SUV, they'd put some video clips and sound clips and stuff out there on the Web and invite users to come up with their own commercials. And the users responded -- with videos slamming the Tahoe for being an environment-destroying, terrorist-funding gas-guzzler, and ridiculing people who would buy the SUV. Sound like a marketing disaster, right? Actually -- not so much.
Best Comments From The IW Blog Community: Immigration, Microsoft Vs. Linux, And More
Commentary  |  11/22/2006  | 
Our blog participants tackle whether immigration laws need to be reformed to keep good tech workers in the U.S., defend challenge-response systems as a way of fighting spam, criticize Microsoft's veiled legal threats against Linux users, and more. Read on for samples of the best recent comments on our blog posts:

Municipal Wi-Fi Is As Trendy As Curbside Recycling
Commentary  |  11/21/2006  | 
There was a time that curbside recycling was the check-the-box status symbol for a progressive city, and cities did a lot of trial-and-error before they found models that actually made environmental sense. City-wide Wi-Fi is the new recycling. The trials are starting. Get ready for the errors.
Over Thanksgiving Feasts, Frustrated Immigrants Will Mull Pilgrimages To More Welcoming Shores
Commentary  |  11/21/2006  | 
It's the most American of holiday seasons, and Biju Alex is living the American dream. On Thursday, the 37-year-old chemist will dine with his family on turkey and all the fixings at their expensive home in an idyllic suburb north of Cincinnati. But Alex isn't an American--he's from India. And he says a broken immigration system has him on the verge of packing up--hi-tech skills and all--and leaving the U.S. for good.
Sneak Peak Of New Windows Mobile "Crossbow"
Commentary  |  11/21/2006  | 
Pics and reviews of the newest version of the Microsoft Windows Mobile OS have hit the blogosphere. The new OS, codenamed "Crossbow," is expected to debut sometime in the first half of 2007.
CIOs Uncensored: HP's Mott Goes For Broke, Seeks 80/20 Reversal
Commentary  |  11/21/2006  | 
Shifting more tech dollars to game-changing projects and products is on the to-do lists of most CIOs. But few are willing to put it in writing--and even fewer are willing to go so far so fast.
Make Your Own Nifty iPod Case
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
This is neat -- use a hollowed-out hardcover book as an iPod case.. But first you'll need to know how to hollow out a book to put a secret chamber in it..

For added niftyness:
You May Think Your Zune Is As Good As An iPod, But Can It Save You From Being Mauled By Bears?
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
A first-time mushroom hunter was saved after being lost in the woods when rescuers spotted the light of his glowing iPod, which he was using as a makeshift flashlight. (Via Wired Blogs)

Chatroom Addiction? Huh?
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
A former employee is suing IBM, which fired him after they caught him going into a chatroom. He says he's addicted to chatrooms, and IBM should have offered him counseling. He says it's a form of self-medication he uses because of his Vietnam-induced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He says IBM offers counseling for people with worse problems, such as alcoholism and drug addiction.

Read the article
TiVo And Universal Advance The Copyright Conflicts
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
There's been a lot of action recently in the ongoing copyright conflicts over distributing music, movies, and TV shows online. But the two most interesting developments have to do with TiVo introducing a new feature that amounts to hanging a "SUE ME" sign on their backs, and, separately, Universal finding an innovative, and possibly groundbreaking, legal strategy in its copyright lawsuit against MySpace.
A New Twist On Link Exchanges
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
I keep a personal blog, in addition to this one. It's just a friends-and-family blog, with a dozen or so regular readers. Maybe fewer. Sometimes I don't post on it for weeks at a time. This morning, I checked my personal e-mail account and found this variation on the old link-exchange technique for search-engine optimization, in relation to something I posted on my personal blog:
BI on Steroids Reaches the Extended Enterprise
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
I want you to start thinking about BI on steroids -- the innovations that will take BI to the point of becoming a must-have office tool for 110 percent of employees. These are not just the technical innovations, but also innovations in how you think about BI and view information processes. 110 percent? Am I crazy? Sometimes. Is that a typo? Nope.
Are Song Parodies Fair Use?
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
Universal Music seems intent upon seeing how far it can push back fair use of copy righted materials on the Web. According to TechDirt, Universal is sending cease and desist letters to sites hosting a parody of U2's "One." The cover in question features a Bank of America employee singing about the company's recent merger throug
Blogs: A Collaborative Context?
Commentary  |  11/20/2006  | 
Adobe Expands Its Digital Rights Software
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Vendors have been hawking enterprise digital rights management software since as early as 1994, yet few have bought. Board shenanigans and intellectual property lawsuits may start to propel solutions like Adobe's, which password-protects Word, PDF, and CAD files, to the forefront. Or not.
Down To Business: Can The Worthless Regs
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Some are way too broad. Others have outlived their usefulness. We should be as rigorous in evaluating and retiring IT regulations as we are (or should be) with our IT systems.
IT Confidential: 10 Things The Tech Industry Should (But Probably Won't) Be Thankful For
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Gratitude has never been a hallmark of the technology industry--ask Scott McNealy--but a thoughtful reverie about recent events is probably in order around the holiday season, no matter how embarrassing.
Gmail Focuses On The Little Things
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Google has been working on smaller refinements in Gmail. In case you haven't noticed, Gmail now has a feature that lets users see attachments in HTML instead of having to download them. Users can now also
Fleck Lets Users Annotate Web Pages
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Fleck lets users add notes to Web pages, viewable by other Fleck users. Unlike other Web-annotation services, it doesn't require you to download and install anything on your PC or in your browser.

TechCrunch writes:

This is a relatively crowded space, the two services I'm most familiar with for collaborative annotation are
Report: China Blocks Wikipedia Again
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
How do you say, "Never mind" in Chinese? Censors in China blocked Wikipedia again, according to the blog Danwei.. But apparently there's a tool called the Gollum Wikipedia browser that allows you to circumvent the Chinese censors and access Wikipedia articles. (Via
ACLU Sues Washington State Library To Remove Internet Censorware
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
The ACLU sued the North Central Regional Library District in eastern Washington state, charging the library's use of a "restrictive Internet filter to bar access to information on its computers and refusing to honor requests by adult patrons to temporarily disable the filter for sessions of uncensored reading and research," according to an ACLU press release.

Microsoft Sits On Linux Dilemma Of Its Own Making
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
When Microsoft signed a patent agreement with Novell, owner of SuSE Linux, it thrust itself onto the horns of a dilemma. It seemed to be saying that Linux contains patent exposures. If you're a Linux user, Microsoft may sue you for using its intellectual property, unless you use SuSE.
A Nintendo Wii Review That Will Make You Say, "Aaaaaawwwwww."
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder has a sweet review of the Nintendo Wii:
Nintendo sent me a Wii last week. I'm not a big gamer, but I like playing the Gamecube and DS with my nine-year-old daughter, even though she always beats me. (I don't own a Playstation or XBox, and haven't really used either). Nintendo g
Calcanis Leaving AOL
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Blogger-entrepreneur Jason Calacanis left AOL after chief executive Jonathan Miller was replaced.

Mr. Calacanis sold his company, Weblogs Inc., a network of blogs, to AOL last year and continued to run it from offices in Santa Monica, Calif. This year he took over Netscape.com, transforming it from a Web portal into a
The TechCrunch NYC Party: Web 2.0 East
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
While I didn't make it out to San Francisco for Web 2.0 earlier this month, I felt like I was at the East Coast version last night at the TechCrunch party.
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Community Feedback
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
First Look: Microsoft Zune
Commentary  |  11/17/2006  | 
Or You Could Just Make A Trip To Dunkin Donuts. If You Get Wet, It's Raining
Commentary  |  11/16/2006  | 
Melitta is selling a coffeemaker that displays the current weather, along with the forecast, while it's making you a cup o' joe. The coffeemaker gets the weather info using a wireless service from Microsoft. I know you're all far too mature to make any jokes about things to watch out for if your coffee-mak
A Couple of Zune Corrections
Commentary  |  11/16/2006  | 
"Write in Haste, Correct at Leisure" is my motto. So here are a couple of leisurely notes on my very hasty first look at the Microsoft Zune media player that appeared yesterday.
Google: Just What The Doctor Ordered?
Commentary  |  11/16/2006  | 
Search is getting ready to go vertical and it looks like Google's first market of choice could be healthcare. A study published last week in the British Medical Journal showed that a doctor or patient using common keywords thorugh a Google search could get a correct diagnosis in almost six out of 10 cases. The researchers warned that ef
Tech Toys For The Holidays
Commentary  |  11/16/2006  | 
When was it that you were hit with your first Christmas commercial this year? For me, it was sometime right after Halloween, when I was watching a local TV station and was suddenly confronted with that overweight guy in a red suit who was urging me to think about what I wanted to get my friends this year.
China Opens Access To Wikipedia, But Some Topics Still Blocked
Commentary  |  11/16/2006  | 
While China opened access to Wikipedia, it's still blocking some topics selectively:

In removing restrictions on Wikipedia, the Chinese government appears to be choosing to rely instead on keyword filters that block specific material on all sites, including Wikipedia. Subjects that are still off-limits on Wikipedia in
Apple iPhone: Mid-2007?
Commentary  |  11/16/2006  | 
FoxConn Electronics in China is lined up to manufacture the iPhone, Apple's rumored cell phone. They'll hit the market with 12 million units in the middle of next year. That's according to a report on CNN/Money. The guy from CNN/Money says he read an article in Chinese in the Commercial Times. So this is hardly reliable; don't whip out our credit cards just yet. OK, bloggers --
Google Adds Click-To-Call
Commentary  |  11/16/2006  | 
The Official Google Blog explains how it works: "Search for a business, like a hardware store, on Google Maps, and click the 'call' link next to its phone number.... Then, enter your phone number and click 'Connect For Free.' Google calls your phone number and automatically connects you to the ha
And It Doesn't Have Custom Ring-Tones, Which Is A Plus
Commentary  |  11/16/2006  | 
Artist Duncan Wilson has created a wireless communicator that looks like the two-Dixie-cups-and-string we all played with as kids. "Tug the cord to activate, squeeze to talk and hold to the mouth and ear," he says.

I'm going to quote the entire rest of the text from the page now, just
BlackFriday.info Says The Grinch Got Into Best Buy
Commentary  |  11/15/2006  | 
BlackFriday.info, a site that informs consumers about holiday shopping deals, says it took down a leaked price list from Best Buy after Best Buy threatened to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to shut down the entire site. BlackFriday says Best Buy is abusing the law, but there's nothing they can do about it.

Keep An Eye On The Watchdogs: Readers Reply
Commentary  |  11/15/2006  | 
Readers weigh in on Rob Preston's assertions that many 'watchdog' groups have their own not very thinly veiled political agendas.
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