Commentary
Content posted in November 2006
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Intel Launches Quad-Core Processors
Commentary  |  11/15/2006  | 
AboutUs Lets You Describe The Web
Commentary  |  11/15/2006  | 
AboutUs is a Wiki designed to allow people to write comments about other Web sites. It currently contains listings for 3 million sites, the vast majority populated by whois records, with related links and a Google Map added for each page. Intriguing idea, but I fear it's the kind of thing that needs a critical mass to become useful, and needs to be useful before it ac
China Lifts Wikipedia Ban
Commentary  |  11/15/2006  | 
China lifted its ban on Wikipedia and popularity is over the moon, with more than 1,200 users registering to contribute to the site every day.

Authorities had been blocking both the Chinese and the English versions of Wikipedia steadily since October 2005. The sites previously had been blocked in China only intermittently. The lengthy ban
Cheap One-Laptop-Per-Child Assembly Line Gets Rolling
Commentary  |  11/15/2006  | 
The first 200 units in the low-cost One Laptop Per Child project rolled off the assembly line. Full mass production is due to start in the second quarter of 2007,

The OLPC laptop features a 2.6.19 Linux kernel, and an integrated user environment called Sugar that includes a web browser, a chat system, a simple word processor, and other basic software components. Additional applications will be availabl
Nifty Download: 'Faviconize' Your Firefox Tabs
Commentary  |  11/15/2006  | 
The nifty Faviconize Tab extension minimizes the width of the label on a Firefox tab to just the favicon, to save space on your desktop. You can decide which URLs should alwas be "faviconized," and which ones should have their titles spelled out.

What's a favicon? Look to the top of your Firefox browser window right now. See the address bar? See the little "IW" immediately to the left of it? That's a favicon.

(Via
MIT Researchers Working On Wireless Power
Commentary  |  11/15/2006  | 
Researchers at MIT are working on technology to allow you to get rid of the power cords for your electrical devices. A phenomenon called "evanescent coupling" would allow electricity to fly through empty space, allowing you to power up your laptop computer, cell phone, or any other electrical gadget at a distance of up to several meters, without the use of power cords. Previous
TechCrunch Vs. YouTube
Commentary  |  11/15/2006  | 
TechCrunch is in a legal fight with Google's YouTube over the right of users to download YouTube videos. YouTube's attorneys claim that TechCrunch's staff violated the site's terms of use by creating a tool that lets users download YouTube videos to their hard drives or
Why Open Source Java Is Such A Big Deal
Commentary  |  11/15/2006  | 
Well, it's not like the Open Sourcing of Java was a great surprise to most industry observers, but this week's announcement by Sun Microsystems that it is, in fact, releasing the Java Software Development Kit and JVM, the Java Compiler, and the just-in-time byte-code compiler known as HotSpot is a Really Big Deal nonetheless.
Hello, world: Intelligent Enterprise officially joins the blogosphere!
Commentary  |  11/14/2006  | 
We are excited about opening up this new channel for communication with subscribers and the broader Intelligent Enterprise community. We look forward to participating in the ongoing conversation among the blogs, and to sharing our ideas, reports and observations.
Beating Back 'BlackBerry Thumb'
Commentary  |  11/14/2006  | 
Uh-oh, time to call the lawyers? Come to think of it, better make that HR, too! One of the latest cautions making the rounds has "Crackberry" addicts suing their employers down the road over repetitive strain injuries attributed to overuse of the popular handheld email device and similar devices.
If Apple Comes Out With An 'iPhone,' Will Anybody Care?
Commentary  |  11/14/2006  | 
Leander Kahney thinks there might not be any demand for the rumored combination of iPod and cell phone from Apple. But the combo just makes sense. Why carry around two gadgets when you can just carry around one?
Why IBM Stands for India Beijing Machines
Commentary  |  11/14/2006  | 
If there were any doubts left about IBM no longer considering itself a U.S. company that operates internationally, but rather an international company that happens to operate in the U.S., those doubts should have been erased over the past couple of weeks.
Apple Cutting Deals To iPod-Enable Airlines
Commentary  |  11/14/2006  | 
Apple is working with six airlines to provide seat connections for iPods, to allow passengers to power their iPods, and view videos on seatback screens. Neat. The airlines are Continental, Delta, United, Air France, Emirates and KLM. The service will begin in mid-2007.

Coming Soon To the Zune
Commentary  |  11/14/2006  | 
Ars Technica predicts some capabilities for the Microsoft Zune. Some of these are available in the current product, they're just not switched on. Zune users will be able to connect directly to the Internet and buy tunes wirelessly, without having to go through a PC. Zune users will be able to share video, and a Zune phone is likely.

Web 3.0 Bombs Among Bloggers
Commentary  |  11/13/2006  | 
Web 3.0 is dead on arrival. In Sunday's New York Times, respected technology journalist John Markoff detailed the coming of Web 3.0 - the movement to imbue digital data with meaning so that it can be better understood by computers - and the blogosphere shot the idea down in cold prose.
Get On Board The Vista Express Upgrade
Commentary  |  11/13/2006  | 
The Christmas train is comin', it's rolling round the bend,
But I ain't seen new Windows since I don't know when.
Vista's not quite ready, but I need a new PC.
Should I wait or should I buy now? That's what tortures me.
The dark clouds of Vista's delay already hang over the holiday PC selling season, and Microsoft and PC makers are trying desperately to turn lemons into lemonade with an "Express Upgrade" coupon program. But some computer comp
How Trustworthy Is The Web?
Commentary  |  11/13/2006  | 
My eleven-year-old daughter loves Wikipedia. Just loves it. Give her an assignment that requires research, and that site is her first stop. And no matter how much I have cautioned her, she takes everything she finds there as gospel truth.
Microsoft Launches Social Networking Service For IT
Commentary  |  11/13/2006  | 
Microsoft quietly launched a social networking site for IT professionals, called Aggreg8. "The service is pretty bare-bones, with little content and few members. Parts of the site, like FAQs, have inconsistent formatting and broken images. Basically, it looks like a work in progress, at best," says TechCrunch.

Video: Here's What An Exploding Laptop Looks Like
Commentary  |  11/13/2006  | 
The gang at PCPitstop rigged up a notebook computer to make its battery explode. "If this were a real-life situation, the best strategy would be to move away from the laptop, quickly," the narrator says. Ya think?

Will You Shut Up Already?!
Commentary  |  11/13/2006  | 
Gmail recently launched a new feature that will allow you to "mute" endless discussion threads that you're not interested in following. Just press the "m" key and, unless a message is addressed directly to you, you'll never see that discussion thread (Gmail calls 'em "conversations") again. Further messages in the conversation will go directly to the message archive, where you won't see them unless you specifically go looki
Universal Music Head Says iPod Owners Are Thieves
Commentary  |  11/13/2006  | 
"These devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it," UMG chairman/CEO Doug Morris says.

Some may be thieves, but all iPod owners are customers and potential customers of UMG's product. Big media companies like Universal routinely think of their customers as the enemy, and they talk about it publicly. That's a good way to put yourself out of business.

(Via
Build A Skype Server For Your Home
Commentary  |  11/13/2006  | 
How to build a Skype server for your home phone system. The server lets you use your regular phone handset to make Skype calls. (Via Digg)

Is Management Consulting A Scam?
Commentary  |  11/13/2006  | 
Joel Spolsky writes that management consultants who hire on to big companies to improve IT are scamming the companies they work for:

A management consultant at Bain wrote me a nice email, that included the following sentence:

"Our team is conducting a benchmarking effort to gather an outside-in view on development performance metrics and best practice approaches to issues of
Global Tech Industry? How About A National One?
Commentary  |  11/12/2006  | 
Rolling Stone has a piece on a bar night with under-30 tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. You'll cringe at the seen-this-before clichés (Firefox co-creator Blake Ross, who's among those profiled, didn't like what he read). But what's fascinating aren't the individuals,
Webmethods Moves Toward The SOA Promised Land
Commentary  |  11/12/2006  | 
WebMethods is a good example of an old-time enterprise application integration vendor that's moving as fast as possible to meet the rising demand for tools to build service-oriented architectures. A form of distributed computing, SOAs make it possible to reuse applications in multiple business processes. This bit of magic is usually performed through the use of interfaces that leverage XML standards.
Dem Victory Punctures E-Voting Conspiracy Theories
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
Sure, there were problems with e-voting systems during Tuesday's elections. But all in all, they worked. What's the proof? The Democrats won big.

Soon, There Won't Be Smartphones, Only Dumb Ones
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
Motorola buying Good Technology today is only the latest deal that points to the fact that phones with e-mail and Internet soon will be the only ones we want.
Ajax13: New Online Office Suite
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
Ajax13 joins the field of online office suites, including a word processor, spreadsheet, drawing program, presentation software, and music player and manager.

I gave it a three-minute test drive, spending most of that time in the word processor, and here's what stands out: It's designed to look like
Down To Business: Nonpartisan? Let's Keep An Eye On The Watchdogs
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
Blue-ribbon interest groups are waxing impartial on everything from privacy to information policy and systems to online buying trends. But what's their real agenda?
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
Community Feedback
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
Firefox Users: Make Your Useless Page-Not-Found Error Messages Useful
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
Errorzilla is a replacement for the error page Firefox shows you when you get a dead link; instead of just a "Try Again" button, you get a choice of several actions, including looking up the page on the Google cache, the Wayback Machine, pinging the site to see if it's up, doing a traceroute to check the connection, and running a whois search on the
Excuse Me, Michael Copps, You're The Good Guy
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
Last week I was spitting nails about the Federal Communication Commission's decision in the Logan Airport WiFi case. But it turns out I was spitting them at the wrong person. I called Commissioner Michael J. Copps the thief-in-charge at the FCC. My mistake. That would be FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin. Copps, a Democrat in his second term on the commission, has fought the good fight agains
What's Web 2.0?
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
While everyone in high tech land knows about Web 2.0, it appears most marketers have no clue what it means. According to a survey conducted by MarketTool, 78 percent of marketers have no idea what Web 2.0 is. Even more interesting, of those who had heard of the term, many thought it referred to "Companies that survived the dot com crash and are now thriving."
Stealth Layoffs and Reputation Monitoring
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
A growing body of search software products aims to help a company understand and manage its reputation on the general Web, among media sources and in the blogosphere. Is software the best method of securing good public opinion?
Web 2.0 Summit
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
Some quick thoughts on this week's Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco:
  • • Buying a new Mac instantly raises your credibility at this conference. It's even better if you sit in the lobby and make Skype calls on your Mac laptop.
  • • To paraphrase Seth Godin small is the new big -- small applications, small teams, small budgets, small, small, small.
VMware's Diane Greene Is For Real, But Is Los Angeles?
Commentary  |  11/10/2006  | 
A conversation with Diane Greene, president of VMware, is an unusual experience among powerhouse software companies. She is the organizing force behind a company that is a market leader, but there's little of the weighty, driven executive about her.
Dell Gives Linux User Refund For Un-Used Windows
Commentary  |  11/9/2006  | 
Dell gave one of its Linux-using customers a $105 refund for the Windows that automatically comes pre-installed on new PCs, whether you want it or not. But first the customer had to jump through a lot of hoops to get it. Dell says the refund was a "unique response" and not new policy.

Review: Microsoft Zune Found Wanting
Commentary  |  11/9/2006  | 
The New York Times's David Pogue reviews the Microsoft Zune and finds it wanting, both in absolute terms and compared with the iPod:

But what, exactly, is the point of the Zune? It seems like an awful lot of duplication [of the iPod] - in a bigger, heavier form with fewer features - just to indulg
IT Confidential: Supreme Court Says, Show Me The Data
Commentary  |  11/9/2006  | 
As of Dec. 1, federal regulations will require companies to inventory all their data. Are you prepared to dig out that incriminating E-mail string? If not, you'd better have a good reason or a lot of extra cash.
Google Earth Pinpoints Weapons of Mass Destruction
Commentary  |  11/9/2006  | 
The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Federation of American Scientists have assembled a Google Earth map file that shows the locations of America's nuclear weapons.
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