Commentary
Content posted in December 2005
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Why Don't More People Use RSS Feeds?
Commentary  |  12/16/2005  | 
I'm flummoxed why more people aren't using RSS feeds as their primary means of accessing frequently-visited Web sites. It's so much faster and easier for me to check my RSS reader than it is for me to visit a sequence of bookmarks to see if there's anything that's new on my regular sites. Why doesn't everyone feel that way? The vast majority of Internet users don't use RSS feeds. Only 6% of Internet users consume RSS
WiMax Versus Wi-Fi: Which One Will Be The King Kong Of Wireless?
Commentary  |  12/16/2005  | 
A mix of testosterone, coffee, and a really hot wireless topic got everyone's blood boiling at one panel discussion during this week's Interop conference, taking place in New York City. It was a King Kong (WiMax) versus T-Rex (Wi-Fi) debate where even the most level-headed executives took a stand.
Business Technology: Google Becomes An Irresistible Force
Commentary  |  12/16/2005  | 
Hot companies come and go -- it's Google's leadership in helping others imagine what could be that will measure its lasting impact, Bob Evans says.
SmartAdvice: A Checklist For Determining IT Spending
Commentary  |  12/16/2005  | 
The days of deciding IT spending as a percentage of overall revenue are gone, The Advisory Council says. Also, tips for managing processes after adopting RFID.
Letters To The Editor
Commentary  |  12/16/2005  | 
Supercool Gadgets For The Holidays
Commentary  |  12/16/2005  | 
Let's forget business intelligence for a second so I can show you something. If you love gadgetry and hate holiday shopping as much as I do, you've got to see this.
Prediction No. 7: SOX Still Takes The Blame
Commentary  |  12/15/2005  | 
The laws of physics still apply to compliance spending. In my second prediction in this series on the expected reduction in manpower costs associated with SOX compliance, I said that the funds spent in 2005 to automate SOX compliance processes would pay-off with a nice reduction in manpower costs. But for every action there is s separate but equal rea
Linux Succeeding Everywhere But On The Desktop
Commentary  |  12/15/2005  | 
What ever happened to the "Linux is dead" talk that followed the SCO suit against IBM? In fact, what ever happened to the SCO suit? Linux appears to be not just alive, but living large. IBM has announced it will create a special sales force for its hardware that runs Linux products from partners Red Hat and Novell. A new industry group, Linux Phone Standards Forum, is devoting itself to speeding the adoption of
The Intelligent Road Warrior
Commentary  |  12/15/2005  | 
Where reports and analytical information are usually found, the people who need them often are not. Those workers are out in the field, roaming on the road. That, in a nutshell, is the reason business intelligence for mobile devices has a big future. But the IT side has a long way to go before it can give the roaming user masses what they want.
BI: Shaping The Desktop
Commentary  |  12/15/2005  | 
Seemingly basic but key BI advances such as Web delivery, portals and personalization are influencing such mainline vendors as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo in what they offer on the desktop.
The Observer: Putting Common Sense Back Into The Equation
Commentary  |  12/15/2005  | 
The United States must invest in math and science education, Lou Bertin says -- and park its political baggage.
Party Like It's 1993
Commentary  |  12/15/2005  | 
The Syndicate conference, which was this week in San Francisco, has a lot of the great energy that I remember from the old days on the Internet, back in 1993-94.
IT Clunkers We Have Known
Commentary  |  12/15/2005  | 
IT Dreams For 2006
Commentary  |  12/15/2005  | 
Picturing Collaboration
Commentary  |  12/15/2005  | 
At Google, Missteps Are A Key Part Of Innovation
Commentary  |  12/14/2005  | 
Sometimes, when you're trying to innovate, your best intentions can be misinterpreted. And when you're Google, and your phenomenal success results in a growing "kick me" sign on your back, you have to take this into account. So would be the lesson Google should take from a note InformationWeek received from an alert reader recently in response to our coverage of
Needed: A Stronger Commitment To Rebuilding New Orleans
Commentary  |  12/14/2005  | 
I don't want to trade places with Mike Centineo, the director of Safety and Permits in New Orleans. On the one hand, he must struggle to get his vital city department up and running after Katrina, conveying a lot of bad news to homeowners in the process. On the other, he goes home to a heavily damaged structure and faces the same challenges to rebuild as many of his fellow residents.
Ho, Ho, Hold On A Minute!
Commentary  |  12/14/2005  | 
Don't look now, but the holidays are coming. That means it's time to get off your duff and get that gift shopping done. Naturally, we at Personal Tech Pipeline recommend gadgets for all your loved ones this year. By the way, you're not planning to do your shopping at the mall again, are you? We live in an era of incredible toys and life-enhancing products that are extremely affordable (thanks to Moore's Law and price-comparison Web sites) and will be delivered directly to you -- or to the gift
If You Haven't Seen This One, See It Now
Commentary  |  12/13/2005  | 
We ran the story two months ago now. It's been out there on the site, stubbornly lingering. And if you haven't read it yet, you might want to.
Like It Or Not, You Will Be More Productive, Microsoft Says
Commentary  |  12/13/2005  | 
I've seen the future, and it kind of reminds me of a Hallmark commercial. At least that's what happens when your vision is brought to you courtesy of a Microsoft keynote address. Microsoft Tuesday at Interop New York introduced its Office Communicator Web Access, a Web-based enterprise communications client based on Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, or Ajax, technologies that tie into Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005. If Microsoft has its way, you may never again be able to duck a
SOA Riches Spill Forth At Gartner Summit
Commentary  |  12/13/2005  | 
Gartner held its Application Integration and Web Services Summit last week, and a flurry of SOA-related news came out of it. Top of the list was the news that Tibco now offers a way to deploy quick, "tactical" SOAs through the latest version of its PortalBuilder, which minimizes custom coding and makes it possible to connect new Web services to legacy systems and packaged applications. Then,
Outsourcing Has Paved Way for GM's India Push
Commentary  |  12/13/2005  | 
General Motors' announcement this week that it intends to triple the number of cars it produces and sells in India while substantially adding to its labor force there provides another example of how outsourcing will help boost the U.S. economy. Yes, you heard that right.
Q&A: LJ Johnson, Nike's Global Information Security Officer
Commentary  |  12/13/2005  | 
LJ Johnson talks about security ROI--how the protection of intellectual property is considered growing the business at the athletic-apparel giant, for instance--and other issues.
E-Healthcare: Getting It Right The First Time
Commentary  |  12/13/2005  | 
Are there too many cooks in the national e-healthcare kitchen? Johanna Ambrosio worries we may be frittering away a great opportunity to create a coherent infrastructure.
Data Quality: Getting Worse?
Commentary  |  12/12/2005  | 
Last year, in our Business Intelligence Pipeline Voting Booth, we asked the readers to rate the overall quality of their data for analytical purposes: excellent, good, fair or poor. Respondents leaned toward the bad news end of the spectrum. This year asked the same question again, and it looks like things have, in fact, gotten worse.
Golly, Was I Too Cynical?
Commentary  |  12/12/2005  | 
Ten days ago I wrote about the state of Massachusetts' reversed its position on rejecting Microsoft Office in favor of the Open Document Format. I've lived in the state long enough to be extremely cynical about Massachusetts state politics -- although I prefer to think of it as "realistic." I am shocked by the latest development in the controversy. The good guys actually appear to have won one. Maybe I was TOO cynical?
Prediction No. 6: The IT Hand-Off Brings Focus On Cost
Commentary  |  12/12/2005  | 
I've already discussed in an earlier prediction the biggest and most annoying cost of compliance; the manpower dedicated to manual compliance processes, including human auditors. But there's more to consider than people costs. Some companies have used Sarbanes-Oxley as an excuse to re-examine their core business processes for ways to drive out cost. In fact, cost reduction and return on investment will be the focus of SOX compliance activity in 2006. Why? Because it's time to complete the hand-
Managing Content In An Information Digital Overload Era
Commentary  |  12/11/2005  | 
Having the software tools to manage content across the enterprise, as well as connect with suppliers and customers is becoming more important. I recently caught up with Conleth O'Connell, chief technology officer at Vignette, to talk about how companies will manage and share digital content in 2006. Some emerging trends O'Connell identified were personalizing content management and digital rights management. But the most interesting topic is at the end of the interview. That's where he talks
Feedback
Commentary  |  12/9/2005  | 
Business Technology: Fog, Smog, And Too Much Grog On The Blog
Commentary  |  12/9/2005  | 
Bob Evans imagines what bloggers might say about cybersecurity, phishing, Google, and raw lamb.
Firefox 1.5: Some Pig!
Commentary  |  12/9/2005  | 
In the Editor's Note for this week's Linux Pipeline newsletter, I praised Mozilla for fixing the memory-management bugs that had plagued Firefox for such a long time, but which no longer seemed to be a problem in Firefox 1.5. Today, if I could add just two words to that Editor's Note, I would call upon the immortal wisdom of Rosanne Rosanna Danna: Never mind.
SmartAdvice: When Selecting Student Computers, Leave Room For Upgrades
Commentary  |  12/9/2005  | 
Buy the best computer your budget can afford, and don't skimp on drive capacity, The Advisory Council says. Also, integration servers ease pain of making hospital apps compatible.
Help Us Help Ourselves
Commentary  |  12/9/2005  | 
Help Us Help Ourselves
Commentary  |  12/8/2005  | 
More proof that life extends indefinitely on the internet, is a letter I received out of the blue from a student the other day in reference to a column I had written in 2002. 2002? Lord, what had I written? (Apparently it was assigned reading for some class) Well, it was a lament about the dying throes of customer service and the need for "Trustworthy IT." Today I'd wager that many people, when asked about customer service, wouldn't hesitate to say, "It's dead - stick a fork in it already!" Cert
Windows Live Local Vs. Google Local
Commentary  |  12/8/2005  | 
Microsoft has launched Windows Live Local in beta to try to catch up to Google Local. Check it out. It does some neat tricks, but it's sort of like a cocker spaniel: after you've been through what it can do a few times you find yourself focusing on what it can't do. Of course, I've got to admit, I was wowed by Google Local when it first came out, but it's basically a cocker spaniel, too. In fact, the two services are pretty much separat
Data Schema, Database Population And Bears
Commentary  |  12/8/2005  | 
Q: How are data schema like word processing programs? A: Nobody will use 95 percent of the features built into them.
Homeland Security Heavyweights Can't Explain Lack Of Data Sharing, Cybersecurity
Commentary  |  12/8/2005  | 
More than four years after 9/11, and nearly three years after the formation of the Homeland Security Department, we still haven't progressed past the problem of data sharing between the public and private sectors. Companies are worried that their closely held information could become public if citizens or the press file for disclosure under the federal Freedom of Information Act or state
Guys: Never Ask For Directions Again!
Commentary  |  12/8/2005  | 
You no doubt saw Fred Langa's awesome piece on hardcore, advanced trip planning. If you're really serious about off-the-beaten track trip planning, there's no substitute for the specialized mapping and routing sites he talks about. But for everyday getting around -- without asking directions -- Verizon Wireless customers using Motorola's V325 phone have a new option.
Sony: The Company That Couldn't Shoot Straight
Commentary  |  12/7/2005  | 
Well, it looks like the wacky gang at Sony is at it again. Sony BMG Music Entertainment said it shipped 5.7 million CDs with anti-piracy technology with a security vulnerability that requires a patch. No, this isn't the same security vulnerability we wrote about weeks ago. This is an entirely new one, involv
Prediction No.5: New Content To Manage
Commentary  |  12/7/2005  | 
Remember your first reaction when you found out you had to manage content like e-mail and instant messages as part of the business record for compliance regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley. Remember the collective "Oh Brother" you heard from your department. Well repeat after me . . . "Oh Brother" because its happening again. With the growing popularity of blogs in the enterprise and the use of wikis in corporate settings, these outlets are being recognized to contain potential material information
Google Cleans Up A Mess Microsoft Made
Commentary  |  12/7/2005  | 
Google has had its share of problems lately -- the messy backlash over its plan to scan whole libraries of books is still spreading, for example. But it's cleaned up one mess it didn't even make. Last week an Israeli hacker, Matan Gillon, posted his discovery of a bug in Internet Explorer (I know it's not exactly big news that there are bugs in IE, but bear with me, this one gets interesting). He used a malici
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