Commentary
Content posted in December 2007
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Google Search Nets Chief Performance Yahoo
Commentary  |  12/31/2007  | 
As of Jan. 7, Steve Souders says he is trading in his Yahoo hat for a Google one. It's a boon for Google, but is it a bust for Yahoo? And, did anyone not see this coming?
A Year of IntelligentEnterprise.com
Commentary  |  12/31/2007  | 
It has been a year since Intelligent Enterprise magazine went on-line only. The last print issue, dated January 2007, came out last December. I thought I would miss the paper edition but now I see that, from a writer's point of view, the overhead of a print run, particularly for an IT publication, is a greater liability than may be justified by the extra value delivered.
New Year Prediction: IT Spending Will Grow. Uh, No It Won't
Commentary  |  12/31/2007  | 
First we're told that IT spending will be pretty healthy in the coming year. Then we're told that the researchers have changed their mind. What gives?
iPhone 1.1.3 Firmware Features Peeked
Commentary  |  12/31/2007  | 
An early working version of firmware update 1.1.3 for the iPhone has been spotted in the wild and given the full video preview treatment over at Gizmodo. A short list of the confirmed new features includes multiple-recipient SMS and Google's new faux GPS maps application.
What's better for a business Mac notebook: MacBook or MacBook Pro?
Commentary  |  12/30/2007  | 
Its not easy to decide which notebook Mac to buy. The three main models  the 13.3-inch MacBook, the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and the 17-inch MacBook Pro  offer a variety of tradeoffs, not just in the essential aspect of screen size, but in their different options.
NFL, Cable Giants Face Off In New Broadcast Universe
Commentary  |  12/28/2007  | 
On Saturday night, the New York Giants will face off against the powerful New England Patriots, who are chasing all sorts of historic NFL records -- most significantly, the second perfect season in league history (New England already is the first team to go 15-0 and can finish undefeated on Saturday). This game might also be billed as "The NFL vs. The Cable Guys."
Is Apple Planning To Launch An Ultra Mobile PC Next Year?
Commentary  |  12/28/2007  | 
We've been hearing rumors for months that Apple is working on some kind of tablet PC, most likely an ultramobile PC (UMPC) of some kind. One of my colleagues, Mitch Wagner, thinks that Apple has no plans for a tablet. Other industry insiders, like futurist Mark Anderson, think
Better Living Through Open Source: The Directory
Commentary  |  12/28/2007  | 
A common question I hear when people want to make the jump to open source software as a standard -- either to step away from Microsoft or from proprietary software as a whole -- is this: "OK, what do I use now?"  Sites like Open Source Living were built to answer that question.

Just How Neutral is the Net? Not Very.
Commentary  |  12/28/2007  | 
How large ISPs are squeezing the little guy harder than ever by hijacking searches and reporting questionable traffic metrics, which in turn drives up online advertising rates
Avoiding The Mobile Device Marketing Mire
Commentary  |  12/27/2007  | 
I'm working from home this week while my twin boys' day care is closed for the holidays. This morning, as one child screamed about his missing toy and the other demanded a cookie for breakfast, my cell phone rang. Foolishly and without thinking (or looking at the incoming number), I answered it.
Wipro Reportedly Trying To Acquire Capgemini
Commentary  |  12/27/2007  | 
There are reports coming from India that IT outsourcing vendor Wipro is preparing a $7 billion bid for Capgemini. The companies aren't commenting directly on these reports, but a Wipro exec did say something that underscores this fact: Indian companies are under the gun to move beyond their Indian workforces.
SaaS Predictions for 2008
Commentary  |  12/27/2007  | 
It seems that everyone is putting up predictions for 2008, so why should I be an exception? Here is what I think will occur in the world of software as a service this New Year...
VectorLinux: Save A PC From The Dumpster
Commentary  |  12/27/2007  | 
From time to time I've mentioned Linux distributions specifically designed for low-end systems -- some of which I've used to save machines from the dumpster. This week I've got a new release of one such Linux distro: VectorLinux version 5.9.
Blogging and Smaller Businesses: Good for Some, Not All
Commentary  |  12/27/2007  | 
Is your New Year's resolution to start a blog? For many smaller businesses, blogging can be an effective, cheap marketing tool. But for others, it's a waste of time.
The Rise Of The Two-Screen TV Audience
Commentary  |  12/27/2007  | 
Startup Jacked.com is building a business around people who use a PC, laptop, or cell phone at the same time that they're watching TV. These so-called "two screeners" may represent the rising class among TV viewers.
"Entitled" Younger Workers Could Be Advantage For Small Firms
Commentary  |  12/26/2007  | 
No surprise, but it seems Generation Y workers expect more workplace perks than their more mature colleagues. Actually, though, that opens an opportunity for smaller firms with more flexible HR policies.
E-Mail Is The Center Of The Universe
Commentary  |  12/26/2007  | 
Seems that way sometimes, doesn't it? Well, a Canadian outfit called Kryptiva aims to make it almost literally true with a Collaboration Suite that links file sharing, application sharing, and instant messaging to your Outlook inbox.
Three New Year's Resolutions For CIOs
Commentary  |  12/26/2007  | 
It's the week before the new year, when we try to distance ourselves from that lingering platter of holiday cookies and contemplate what we'll do next year to live simpler, leaner, easier lives. For many CIOs, that will include taking a second look at 2008 IT spending plans.
BlackBerry Maker Proposes An Angular Keyboard For Mobile Devices
Commentary  |  12/26/2007  | 
Apple stole the show this year by introducing its touch-screen-only iPhone. But mobile innovation doesn't stop there. Many device makers are stepping up their game, including Research In Motion, which, according to a recent patent application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is proposing an angular keyboard for (what appears to be) future BlackBerry smartphones.
Top Five Open Source Stories Of 2007
Commentary  |  12/26/2007  | 
It's been a landmark year for open source, and in so many different ways that even a casual survey of the year's events will range far and wide.  Here's a quick rundown of what to me were the top five open source events of the year -- not an exhaustive list, of course, but the things that best reflected how important and widely entrenched open source software (especially Linux) has become.

Have You Sent Out Your E-Greeting Yet? You Should
Commentary  |  12/26/2007  | 
The holiday season offers smaller businesses an easy, cheap way to do some effective networking: the e-card. And if you put a little thought into yours, it could get you noticed.
Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work
Commentary  |  12/26/2007  | 
Campaign Visualizations: The Bad and the Ugly
Commentary  |  12/24/2007  | 
I wrote last week about a set of New York Times campaign visualizations that caught my eye. They met my "good" criteria: data-appropriate, designed to communicate rather than (merely) show off. The good is often contrasted with the bad and the ugly. Let's check out examples and then look at a TIBCO-Spotfire demonstration site.
A Firewalled Facebook
Commentary  |  12/22/2007  | 
Are Cell Phones Replacing Landlines?
Commentary  |  12/21/2007  | 
It's not uncommon for a household to bypass landline phones and use cell phones as the primary means of communication inside and outside the home. In fact, U.S. households are forecast to spend more on cell phone services than landline services this year.
Intel: Apple Likes Our Mobile Device Chips, Hungry For More
Commentary  |  12/21/2007  | 
According to word from Intel, Apple will be relying on the processor company more and more in the future. In fact, Apple has committed to Intel's Menlow Mobile Internet Device platform and
Miracle on Westgate Drive
Commentary  |  12/21/2007  | 
I have a home office, so when someone pulled up in a Budget rental truck, my first thought was, "Wrong house. We're not moving." Much to my surprise, it was the FedEx delivery person. How brilliant is that?
The Top 5 Mobile Stories Of 2007
Commentary  |  12/21/2007  | 
This year has been a heck of a ride in the world of mobility. We've seen success and failure, love and hate, and tons of new technology. Here are the five biggest stories of the year. I'll bet you'll never guess what number 1 is.
The First Chink In Microsoft's Linux Patent Armor
Commentary  |  12/21/2007  | 
And so Microsoft has finally agreed to give the Samba Team the protocol information it needs to allow systems that use Samba to interoperate as completely as possible with Windows Server machines. Based on the information Groklaw has provided about the agreement, it looks like this might be the first of many solutions to Micros
What's better for a business iMac: Bigger or faster?
Commentary  |  12/21/2007  | 
When youre specing out a new Mac, sometimes bigger is better. Sometimes faster is better. Sometimes it doesnt make a difference.
Think Secret No More
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
Alas, poor Nick Ciarelli, I knew him Horatio. A fellow of Infinite Loop, a most excellent Apple fan boy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now how abhorred in my imagination it is! Still... good luck with that pile of cash from Apple, buddy.
AT&T Disables Windows Live On Treo 750 Smartphones
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
Palm earlier this month released a Windows Mobile 6 update for AT&T customers with Treo 750 smartphones. But it turns out that Treo 750 users are unable to utilize Windows Live. Instead, they're restricted to using AT&T's Xpress Mail and instant messaging, as one very unhappy AT&T customer pointed out.
More BlackBerry 9000 Details Leaked
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
The Boy Genius Report has the scoop on the much-anticipated BlackBerry 9000 smartphone, yet again. Let's take a look at what this touch-screen smartphone promises.
Are Google iPhone Apps Also Beta Apps For Android?
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
It seems that lots of Googlers are really into the iPhone, including Googler-in-Chief Eric Schmidt. Google has been launching new mobile applications specifically for the iPhone, just as the company also prepares its own Android platform. Is there a hidden connection between the iPhone and Google Android?
Brits Caught Talking While Driving To Be Jailed
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
Talking, texting, or otherwise using a mobile device while driving is becoming illegal in more and more states here in the United States. None of the penalties here are as severe as those ab
RIM Closes 2007 With 10% Of Worldwide Smartphone Market
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
RIM saw yet another year of strong growth in 2007. It will finish the year as the world's No. 2 supplier of smartphones, behind only behemoth Nokia. RIM is going to have to do better outside of North America if it wants to keep it up.
T-Mobile Promises To Support SunCom Customers
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
T-Mobile this week issued a letter to SunCom customers, updating them on its upcoming acquisition of the southeastern wireless carrier and outlining its plan to support the customers going forward.
Apple Silences Think Secret
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
Think Secret, the target of an Apple lawsuit to find out who leaked information to the site, has announced that it has reached a settlement with Apple at the cost of its existence, though not its integrity. Nick Ciarelli, publisher of Think Secret, said the site will close.
Getting Up Close And Personal With The OSVDB
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
After my blog post about the revamp of the OSVDB, I was contacted directly by Jake Kouns, one of the OSVDB's project leaders. He wanted to clarify some of the project's goals and respond to some of the criticisms sent his way, and it turned into a deeply involving discussion.
An Easy -- and Guilt-Free -- Way to Make Room for That New Smartphone
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
With the holidays fast approaching and images of brand new electronics -- smartphones, PDAs, laptops or anything that makes it easier, or more fun, to conduct your business -- dancing in your head, there is one obvious question: What are you going to do with the old stuff?
Now You Can Own A Ferrari For A Few Hundred Dollars
Commentary  |  12/20/2007  | 
The latest Ferrari won't go from 0-60 in under 4 seconds, nor top out at more than 200 mph. But it will make pretty good phone calls, let you watch video, and browse the Web. Did you think I was talking about a real Ferrari? Nope. I'm talking about the Motorola Z8 Ferrari Edition mobile phone (which isn't going to really compensate for anything).
5 Tips for Green Data Storage
Commentary  |  12/19/2007  | 
Everyone wants to be green these days, and so does your data. Apparently, though, tape-based backup just doesn't cut it, environmentally speaking.
IBM's CIO: A Conversation With Mark Hennessy
Commentary  |  12/19/2007  | 
What's it like being the CIO at one of the most IT-intensive companies in the computer industry? It's a team effort.
Why Is Palm Still Standing?
Commentary  |  12/19/2007  | 
In view of the latest earnings report from Palm Inc. -- a quarterly loss of $9.63 million (compared with a $12.8 million profit a year earlier), revenue down 11%, and a stock in free fall -- it's time to ask, Why does this company still exist as an independent entity?
Verizon's Flagship Media Phone Receives Firmware Update To Fix Bugs
Commentary  |  12/19/2007  | 
Turns out the iPhone isn't the only high-profile device to receive regular firmware updates. Today, LG and Verizon Wireless made a firmware update available for the LG VX-10000 Voyager,
Intel Says Nuts To Reports Of 45-Nm Penryn Delays
Commentary  |  12/19/2007  | 
Unsubstantiated reports out of Taiwan claim that AMD's recent quad-core bug troubles have caused to Intel push back the launch of the first 45-nm versions of its desktop Core 2 Quad processors. Only problem is, Intel says it ain't so.
Location-Based Service Provider Balances Security And Privacy
Commentary  |  12/19/2007  | 
SquareLoop, a three-year-old developer of wireless location-based messaging services, has just secured $1 million in funding. The company promises to protect the privacy of mobile users even as it broadcasts sometimes urgent messages based on their location.
Wish You Could Listen To That MP3 At Home On Your Smartphone? WeBot Can Help
Commentary  |  12/19/2007  | 
Have you ever wished you could access that one song you can't get out of your head, but realized it's on your PC at home and not on your MP3 player? Well, one startup could be the answer to your problem.
Fire Low-Value Customers. No, Wait… Doh!
Commentary  |  12/19/2007  | 
The reasonable-sounding CRM conventional wisdom is that you should "fire your low-value customers," but it turns out to be not so reasonable after all. The theory is that low (or negative) value customers are a drain on limited resources, so getting rid of them should raise margins and make the company more profitable. Except it doesn't, according to a recent study by two Wharton marketing professors.
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