Commentary
Content posted in December 2007
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AMD Bitten By Barcelona Quad-Core Bug
Commentary  |  12/7/2007  | 
What AMD has here is a failure to communicate. That's the only judgment one can make, in light of the scrappy semiconductor maker's about-face Thursday regarding shipments of its Barcelona quad-core processor, launched on Sept. 10. For the past three months, AMD has downplayed reports of tight supplies and delays in ramping up manufacturing of the cutting-edge chip. Now, the company seems to be simultane
Small and Midsize Businesses, IT Companies Like You
Commentary  |  12/7/2007  | 
The most recent IDC report on tech spending was just released and its good news for small and midsize businesses.
What Do You Want For Christmas?
Commentary  |  12/7/2007  | 
According to a new survey, the most-wanted high-tech toys for technology professionals this holiday season are HDTVs and video game players. But what's at the top of CIOs' wish lists?
Another Network Management Startup Challenges The Status Quo
Commentary  |  12/7/2007  | 
PacketTrap becomes the latest startup to take on CA, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard in network management with the beta release of its pt360 management dashboard. Rather than being deterred by deep-rooted competitors, brash newcomers are taking them on.
Top-Ten Secrets of Successful BI Revealed
Commentary  |  12/7/2007  | 
My first Christmas present arrived the other day: a copy of "Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App." Author Cindi Howson sent it to me in part as thanks for this site's help in getting more than 500 BI professionals to complete a 30-question survey that provided insight into the best practices detailed in the book. True to its name, it's a guidebook that will steer beginners and veterans alike toward success.
Top 6 Lamest iPhone Lawsuits
Commentary  |  12/7/2007  | 
Apple always has been a target for lawsuits. With close to $15 billion in cash gathering dust in its bank accounts, it's no wonder that disgruntled or disillusioned customers and competitors might seek a payday. Here are six of the most onerous cases.
Get (And Give) The Gift of Open Source
Commentary  |  12/7/2007  | 
This Christmas I decided to give a few gifts to people in the open source community. I'm making donations to the maintainers of some of my favorite and most widely used software projects.  They've earned some payback!
Never Apologize, Never Explain
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
When it comes to a privacy breach, what's the best policy -- contrite or circumspect? Two incidents showcase different approaches.
Google Adds AIM To Gmail :-) For Some :-/ For Me
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
At first, I was excited by this announcement since I use Gmail, but I can see some definite disadvantages here for fans of AOL, iChat, and Trillian ... or if you like downtime, since you might not get any.
For Carriers, An Open-And-Shut Case On Wireless
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
The spectacle of the U.S. wireless carriers falling over themselves to look like proponents of "openness" has intensified with the launch of an AT&T campaign declaring itself "the most open wireless company in the industry." Pardon me if I don't break out the champagne.
Is The H-1B Visa Cap Capping U.S. Innovation?
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
Restrictions on visas for foreign IT pros to work in the United States will drive more tech jobs and creativity offshore, says a new study released today. While that argument isn't new, the report has a collection of government and other stats to help back it up.
What Do You Call The Hobbling Of WGA? A Good Start
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
Let's all say it together: Software piracy may be a problem for Microsoft. It is not a problem for Microsoft's customers. Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts are a problem for Microsoft's customers.
Report: Firmware 1.1.3 On The Way For iPhone
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
The latest scuttlebutt from the Interwebs suggests that a new version of firmware for the iPhone is about to be bestowed on the iPhone-toting public. Version 1.1.3 will bring in two new features: voice recording and use of the iPhone as an external hard drive.
At Your Services: The CIO As Operations Chief
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
More companies are adding business services to the CIO's responsibilities. Witness Fidelity Investments' latest move.
Opera Brews Up BREW Browser
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
Opera made a version of its Mini mobile Web browser available today that will work on phones using Qualcomm's BREW platform. Too bad you can't actually download it at will to many BREW phones.
For Those In Need, A Friend Indeed
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
A new service will let cell phone users find public restrooms from their handsets. The service is called...wait for it...MizPee. When you're done laughing and can pick yourself up off the floor, please continue reading...
More On Vista's New Social Copy Protection
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
After the flood of comments on my original post about Microsoft's radical changes to Windows Vista's copy protection, I thought I'd clarify my points. Let's get one thing out of the way first: I'm not advocating that anyone run Vista without buying a license key.  No, not even if you have it in for Microsoft.

Hey Road Warriors, AT&T's Network is Open (Except, Of Course, the iPhone)
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
Coming on the heels of Verizon's plan to open its wireless network, AT&T is making news with its "open" cellphone network. What has changed? Not much. But the fact that the company wants its "openness" to be noticed is good news for small and midsize business travelers.
25 Percent Of Small Business Owners Are Out Of Their Minds
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
According to a study conducted by AT&T, fully one-fourth of small business owners don't bother to concern themselves with the security of their business's data. Chances are you and your organization do business with SMBs. Which means that it's your information that is being left unprotected. That should make you angry.
Will Google Be Your Next Wireless Carrier?
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
Flushed with oodles of money from its outrageous stock price, Google decided to sink some of its cash into wireless services, a move that seems at best curious and at worst idiotic.
ECM and Enterprise 2.0: Zealotry of the Apostate?
Commentary  |  12/6/2007  | 
At the Gilbane Conference keynote today, execs from ECM vendors Alfresco, Oracle, IBM, and Adobe focussed on - perhaps inevitably - Enterprise 2.0. The overall gist was: enterprises should focus on sharing information rather than just controlling it... but while the ECM vendor talking heads get excited about their new religion, their companies are actually praying to different gods...
Re-installing Mac OS X 10.5.1 Leopard upgrade improves stability
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
Install it again, Sam. That's the word on the Mac OS X 10.5.1 update to Leopard.
Digg Jumps The Shark
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
Has success gone to Digg's head? The popular community destination, which drives lots of traffic to needy news sites and blogs (like yours truly's) has decided to update its story-input interface. It's a mistake; a big mistake.
Are Fears About The Economy Getting You Down?
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
Uncertainty about the economy is giving some tech professionals jitters about their jobs and wallets. Are the fears warranted or not?
Sun Or Microsoft? Decisions, Decisions
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
Sun Microsystems is extending its discount program for startups to Israel and the United Kingdom. It's a reminder that even a small business in Manchester faces a question mulled by corporate CIOs: Do we build on Microsoft or Sun?
CradlePoint Offers Personal HotSpot To Go
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
CradlePoint today announced a new personal Wi-Fi hotspot product that you can carry with you everywhere you go. Have hotspot, will travel.
Nokia Could Disrupt Music Distribution Models, Tick Off Its Competition
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
Yesterday Nokia shook things up a bit by announcing that it will offer free, unlimited music downloads to users of certain Nokia handsets for a full year. If you thought the deal sounded too good to be true, you were right.
IT Talent Crunch? Remember, Happy Employees Don't Leave
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
Apparently IT is booming in Boston. But the advice provided to Boston-area companies on how to deal with the talent wars and the staffing crunch are applicable to all tech departments looking to staff up.
Why Integrate Business Processes and Rules?
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
Michael zur Muehlen of the Stevens Institute of Technology spoke about business processes and rules at the recent IIR/Shared Insights BPM conference. He started out with the bottom line on why you want to integrate process and rules: 1. simpler processes 2. higher agility 3. better risk management. Who wouldn't want this? Well, it turns out users don't like processes...
Google Ruins Its iPhone Home Page
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
Google redesigned the Google home page presented to iPhone users and now it is totally useless. Before, it was the general mobile version of the site, which showed my headlines, weather, Gmail and other content all in a quick glance. Now it is a simple search box and I have to actively choose to view my content. Why did Google make it more difficult to use?
Drudge Report Goes Mobile
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
Another sign that the mobile Web is really going mainstream: The Drudge Report now has a mobile Web site. What's next?
Startup Founder Fights Cancer
Commentary  |  12/5/2007  | 
Steven Kirsch, founder of anti-spam startup Abaca, has been diagnosed with blood cancer.
Introducing Windows Vista, Freeware Version
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
After hearing that Microsoft has decided to finally do away with Windows Genuine Advantage, I realized there was one enormous repercussion: It puts Windows Vista and Linux on a far more even footing than ever before. And it essentially makes Vista into freeware, but that's just a handy side effect.
Stop The Presses! IT Is Strategic
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
And if the Wall Street Journal says it's so, then it must be true. Meanwhile, the CIO takes on the role of "unusual savior."
What Kind Of Tech Talent Do You Need?
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
If you're looking to hire IT staff next year, what kind of talent are you hunting for? On the flip side, if you're searching for a new tech job, what skills do you offer prospective employers?
More Gift Guidance? Here You Go
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
Picking the items for the Holiday Gift Guide can be a contentious process. I wrote it this year, and I got overruled on some really cool stuff I wanted to get in.
Silicon Valley's First Phone Company?
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
Ribbit, a 2-year-old company whose software integrates cell phone calls with Web applications, is about to unveil plans to become, by its description, "Silicon Valley's first phone company."
Performance Management or Measurement Tyranny?
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
In "Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations," Dorset House Publishing, 1996, Robert Austin made a very clear case that performance measurement often leads, paradoxically, to distortion and dysfunction instead of improvement. According to Austin... measuring an indicator of a performance raises the risk of making things worse. How can that be?
SAP Bows Enterprise Software For The iPhone
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
Well before the SDK has been made available by Apple, SAP created a new version of its sales force automation software that will work on the iPhone. It will help salespeople manage prospective customers and keep an eye on their sales cycles. Is this the first in a wave of Web-based enterprise apps for the iPhone?
Is LiveJournal Deal Part Of Putin's Putsch?
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
The same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin posted a controversial electoral win, a Moscow firm backed by a Kremlin insider bought up a blogging service widely used by dissidents in the country. Coincidence?
Sprint Looking To Divest WiMax Business
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
Sprint's acting CEO Paul Saleh told investors that Sprint is seriously considering selling its stake in the WiMax network it has been building. This could be a deathblow for WiMax's future. At least for the short term. And it would leave Sprint without a 4G strategy.
Poor Performance At Top Of Users' Windows Vista Gripe List
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
My recent post, "Top 5 Things Microsoft Must Fix In Windows Vista In 2008" prompted a slew of comments, consistent with the zeitgeist that the almost-year-old operating system continues to gain adherents on the consumer side, even if it's still spottily deployed in the corporate arena. Still, I have to say I was surprised by how many readers agreed with my main point, which is that Vista's performance ai
When Bad Things Happen With Good Software
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
If you create a piece of open source software and discover that it has been put to use in a way you find personally distasteful or immoral, what would you do about it?
Rethinking the Cubicle -- An Office Space Only Dilbert Could Love
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
Small and midsize companies, be aware: larger companies are rethinking the cubicle culture. If you want to maintain your nimbleness and your competitive edge, it's time for you to consider making some changes as well.
Verizon Wireless CEO Says Company Will Use Android
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
Now that Verizon Wireless is all about open access, it looks as though the company will embrace Google's Android mobile platform. CEO Lowell McAdam commented that the company is planning to use Android and that i
ParAccel Lowers the Cost of High-Performance BI
Commentary  |  12/4/2007  | 
ParAccel announced top TPC-H benchmark numbers with Sun at the end of October, beating out the former leaders in both the price and price-performance. Not by a little, but by four times in performance with a big drop in cost. The fact that a little startup like ParAccel can enter the market with a database to support BI that beats the TPC-H results of all the major vendors should wake people up.
Business Intelligence in 2008
Commentary  |  12/3/2007  | 
Facebook is good for something (beyond wasting time)! It brought me to a BI 3.0 discussion thread started by Darren Cunningham, prompted by his LucidEra colleague Ken Rudin's blog entry, "What's in Store for Business Intelligence in 2008." LucidEra does interesting enough work, but that blog entry of Ken Rudin's is mighty solipsistic. My own BI 3.0 hot/heating-up list additionally includes, in rough order of 2008 significance...
Managing Your Employees By Age
Commentary  |  12/3/2007  | 
Kids today, they hate everything. Or at least, they hate the companies they work for, probably including yours. But here's news: savvy managers can solve the problem: FREE!
How Should You Format Your External Hard Drives and USB Flash Drives for Macs?
Commentary  |  12/3/2007  | 
Its amazing how USB flash drives  sometimes called thumb drives  have replaced floppy disks as the most convenient way to transport data. They're small, sturdy, fast, reliable, and hold a heck of a lot of data.
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