Commentary
Content posted in December 2006
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Tibco ActiveMatrix: Less Or More Complexity For SOAs?
Commentary  |  12/7/2006  | 
Tibco's recent launch of its ActiveMatrix product has stirred up some discussion about whether the product suite would simplify the building of SOAs, or add complexity to an already difficult task.
Google Funding Terrorism?
Commentary  |  12/7/2006  | 
A post yesterday on Search Engine Journal details claims by Jim Hedger from Webmaster Radio that Google's AdWords and AdSense programs are funding terrorist organizations. That's just the tip of the iceberg. All the major search engines are helping pedophiles, Nazis, and murderers find information about all sorts of things. Car manufacturers are providing militant
Good News On E-Voting Security
Commentary  |  12/7/2006  | 
Freedom To Tinker analyzes this week's decision on voting machine security standards, and it looks like the news is very good. He says they're officially just guidelines, but will almost certainly become law. "Thirty-five states either have a paper trail statewide or require one to be adopted by 2008. The glass is already 70% full, and the new standard
Major Labels Selling Unrestricted MP3s
Commentary  |  12/7/2006  | 
This is encouraging: Major labels are starting to experiment with selling unrestricted MP3s.. EMI, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and Disney's Hollywood Records have gotten into the act. The value for consumers: You can play them on any device you want, make backups, and share the tracks with your friends. Value to the labels: They can stick it to Ap
"Little Fatty" Is China's Latest Internet Hero
Commentary  |  12/7/2006  | 
An overweight Chinese gas station attendant became a celebrity after getting pix of his phiz posted to the Internet. Qian Zhijun, a/k/a "Little Fatty" got his picture loaded onto the Internet four years ago. Since then, his face replaced Jean Reno on a poster for The Da Vinci Code, Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean, and other actors on other movie posters. "He even has impersonators. Recently h
The Future Of Chat
Commentary  |  12/7/2006  | 
David Strom has an interesting article about how chat is evolving to replace e-mail, conference calls, and meetings.. In particular, group chat is evolving in that direction -- people working on similar projects leave chatroom windows all day, and stop in when they have something to discussion. It's happening on Wall Street, in tech companies, and even on Naval fleets on maneuvers. David also talks abou
You May Not Run Vista, But Your PC Actually Might
Commentary  |  12/7/2006  | 
The headline is back: More Than Half Of All Business PCs Can't Run Vista, Survey Says. The last time we saw it was in April. The version then read, Many PCs Won't Be Able To Run Vista When It Comes Out, Gartner Advises . It's a story that's taken on a life of its own. Trouble is, I think it's more sc
Tech Pros Upbeat On Jobs, Prospects
Commentary  |  12/7/2006  | 
This Portal Will Self-Destruct in Five Seconds
Commentary  |  12/7/2006  | 
Microsoft SharePoint is famous for its ease of creating -- and abandoning -- local workgroup portals. As readers of our latest Enterprise Portals Report know, this has not fundamentally changed in MOSS 2007. Here's why those who require firm, enterprise-level administration and control may need to look elsewhere for their portal solution.
Because Taping Bacon To The Cat Seemed Like It Would Be Too Much Of A Productive Use Of Time
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
So this guy decided to install 200 Firefox extensions,, just to see if he could do it.

Best Comments From The InformationWeek Weblog
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
Participants in our InformationWeek Weblog community spoke out on spam, Linux vs. Vista, and blaming Google.

U.K. Committee Injects Common Sense Into Copyright Discussion
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
A prestigious U.K. copyright committee has handed down its recommendations, advocating breathing common sense into U.K. copyright law: The committee, headed up by Andrew Gowers, former head of the Financial Times, recommends striking down the law that makes it illegal for consumers to rip CDs to iPods, or perform other "format-shifting" -- but only for CDs created after the law goes into effect.

Bush Administration Wants Broader Powers To Read Your E-Mail
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
The Bush Administration continues its ongoing assault on citizens' right to privacy, pursuing a lawsuit in an appeals court in Ohio in an attempt to gain the right to read your e-mail without a warrant.

Will Yahoo's Reorganization Be Enough?
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
Yahoo's reorganization, announced Tuesday, looks like it's designed to cut down on the bureaucracy that built up at the company, and restore focus. In particular, they're looking to focus on customer segments, rather than products. And CEO Terry Semel may not last much longer.

De-Touristify Your Vacation Photos
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
Set up a tripod to take a picture of whatever landmark or scenery you want a picture of. Take a whole bunch of shots. Because you're using a tripod, the landmark will look the same in each shot, but the people will move around (as people do). Then, when you get home, use Photoshop or your photo editor of choice to create a composite photo. dsphotographic.com shows you how.

Or, you can do
Wall Street Analyst: iPhone Will Look Like iPod
Commentary  |  12/6/2006  | 
In an interview this week, Prudential analyst Jesse Tortora said that Apple's new cell phone will look like an iPod with a small screen and click-wheel interface. Tortora claims the device, dubbed the iPhone, will be a "slim music phone" that runs on GSM/GPRS networks. Rumor claim that Apple will debut the iPhone in January 2007.
Economist: 'Phones Are The New Cars'
Commentary  |  12/5/2006  | 
A piece in this week's Economist draws comparisons between cars and mobile phones, urging you to "look in your driveway" to understand how phones will develop.
Best Comments From The InformationWeek Weblog Community
Commentary  |  12/5/2006  | 
Participants in the InformationWeek Weblog Community speak out about Microsoft Windows Vista, offshoring, and e-voting security:

Blaming Google Is Just Blaming The Victim
Commentary  |  12/5/2006  | 
The owners of TalkOrigins Archive, a Web site about evolution, had every Webmaster's nightmare happen to them: Their site was hacked, a bunch of invisible porn links added, and Google noticed the problem and kicked them out of their search engine. They tried to contact Google to find out what the problem was, and Google didn't respond.

But Google's Matt Cutts tells a d
Media Piracy Begins At Home
Commentary  |  12/5/2006  | 
Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman's own kids are music pirates, he admitted in an interview. "Naturally, his kids were forced to cough up thousands of dollars to the RIAA to keep from getting sued. Right?" Ars Technica asks rhetorically. Of course not -- Bronfman says he disciplined the kids (he says he prefers to keep the details in the family) and gave them a talking-to about stealing music.

Of course, music piracy i
Japanese Media Organization Thinks Life In The 21st Century Stinks
Commentary  |  12/5/2006  | 
JASRAC, a Japanese media organization, decided the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act is "too much trouble" and wants YouTube to cooperate in preemptively filtering pirated videos from being uploaded: "While such a system is being implemented, JASRAC wants YouTube to take three provisional measures: 1) post a Japanese-language notice on the "top page of the YouTube website" warning about copyright infringement, 2) keep tr
New Nonlethal Weapon Induces Searing Pain At A Distance
Commentary  |  12/5/2006  | 
The U.S. military completed a round of testing of the Active Denial System, a weapon that inflicts searing pain at a distance -- but (according to the military) produces no injury. It motivates targets to run away -- and fast. It's been certified for use in Iraq.

The ADS shoots a beam of millimeters waves, which are longer in wavelength than x-rays but shorter than microwaves -- 94 GHz (= 3 mm
To Get BI to 110 Percent, Add Business Relevance
Commentary  |  12/4/2006  | 
In my last blog, I asked you to think about how you can take your BI deployment to 110 percent of your employees. Part of what will get you there is technology dependent. The other part is business relevance. In building a BI app or report, business and IT engage in a clumsy dance of users defining their requirements and IT interpreting those requirements. If business users don't ask for it, they don't get it.
Review: Hey! You Got Del.icio.us Bookmarks In My Firefox!
Commentary  |  12/4/2006  | 
Yahoo recently updated its del.icio.us Firefox extension to more tightly integrate some of the great features of the del.icio.us bookmarking service into Firefox. Del.icio.us replaces the venerable folder system of organization with a system of "tags." Tags are the equivalent of being able to put a single bookmark in multiple folders without having to make copies, and they're much better than folders for keeping your bookmarks organized and
E-Voting: Feds Say One Wicked Programmer Could Bring Down Democracy
Commentary  |  12/3/2006  | 
In what the Washington Post calls "the most sweeping condemnation" of paperless electronic voting machines, researchers at a key federal agency say such systems can never be made secure enough. Among the reasons: just one "clever, dishonest programmer" could rig an entire statewide election.
November's Less Noticed Version Of Windows
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
Much of the computer industry's attention this past week has been turned on Windows Vista, Microsoft's new desktop operating system. CEO Steve Ballmer raised the curtain on that product Nov. 30 in New York. Since about 800 million of the world's PCs run Windows, the software's release is profound, not only for Microsoft and its customers, but for the hundreds of hardware and software companies in Windows' economic orbit. Possibly overlooked in the run-up to Vista's launch was another November
Down To Business: A (Legit) Reason To Take Wal-Mart To Task
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
The company's Black Friday Web site debacle smacks of the rampant outages and slowdowns circa 2000. We expect better from the world's biggest and most influential retailer.
Google Makes A Small, But Handy, Upgrade To Google Reader
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
Google added a small, but extremely useful feature to its Google Reader RSS reader. While reading a feed, you can go over to a drop-down menu on the same page and rename it, unsubscribe to it, or select which folders it should appear in. Previously, you could just unsubscribe from the main page; if you wanted to rename it or select folders, you had to go to another page, which was inconvenient.

I meant to blog about this earlier in the week, but
CIOs Uncensored: Personal Tech Is A Part Of Business--Get On With It
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
This Consumer Effect isn't slowing by any measure. With Web 2.0 initiatives coming fast and furious, it's only just beginning.
If The World is Flat, Then What?
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
What is a flat world and what does it mean for businesses? Will China be the next superpower? Can we understand God by understanding the laws of nature? A panel discussion yesterday afternoon in New York City brought together New York Times columnist (and author of "The World is Flat") Thomas Friedman, Reuters COO Devin Wenig, O'Reilly Media CEO Tim O'Reilly and others for a broad-ranging discussion of the flat world, Web 2.0 and other themes. Here's what I got out of it.
Now That Vista Is the Past, Let's Look At The Future
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
One of the best things about the launch of Windows Vista -- finally -- is that it clears the decks. Now we can look past it to the really interesting operating systems coming in the future, like Apple's version of OS X that will natively run Windows XP applications. I swear I'm not making this up. But other people may be.
Not Exactly A Roomba
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
How to turn a radio-controlled toy car into a remote-control dustmop. This is really cute, for geeky values of the word "cute."

IT Confidential: Turn On Your Virtual Red Light
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
Where a trip to a virtual world gets blocked, but the author gets a lesson in Internet business models
Transferring Old Home Movies To Digital Media
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
If you grew up in the 70s or earlier, you've probably got a box of home movies sitting around somewhere, probably in 8 mm or Super 8 format. It's just sitting there, gathering dust and fading into worthlessness. That's some precious family memories and history there, slowly being destroyed by time and changing data formats.

Jim Carroll solved that problem, building his own tools for automatically converting movies to digital media. Other solutions already exist for this problem, but th
Is Simply Linking To Copyright Material Illegal?
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
Boing Boing reports that Fox is trying to extend copyright law by sending takedown notices to sites that just link to supposedly infringing clips on YouTube. The target sites aren't hosting the clips themselves; just linking to them. The law is "somewhat murky" on whether linking to infringing materials is itself infringing, says Electronic Frontier Foundation senior intellectual property attorney Fred von Lohmann. Th
Behind Business Objects' Latest SaaS Deal
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
Yesterday's announcement by Business Objects that it has acquired software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider Nsite was as remarkable for what it didn't say as what it did say. Yes, Nsite is a SaaS vendor, and that should sound good to Wall Street. And yes, Nsite provides "an on-demand applications platform" as described by the press release, but that's about as generic as saying "Nsite is an information technology company." Here's why the deal is important.
Community Feedback
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
What Should Google Do With It's Homepage?
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
Should Google abandon it's no-frills, squeaky clean home page? Blogger Henry Blodget things it's time for Google to move on. He argues that Google's homepage ethic is standing in the way of product development and evolution. Google's home page simply gets too much traffic not to capitilize on it, especially since Google's brand is designed to bring people to the main homepage. I think Blodget is right. It's time for Goog
When Web 2.0 Met The Flat World
Commentary  |  12/1/2006  | 
The scene is a back alley in Bangalore. Two shadowy figures meet warily. "I'm Thomas," says the man with the mustache. "I'm with a syndicate called Globalization, Inc." The other nods. He's taller, weathered like the Irish hills. "Tim's the name," he says. "I run a gang called the Collaborators. It's time we did a deal."
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