Commentary
Content posted in December 2008
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Resolving What Not To Do In 2009
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
The New Year is upon us. This annual switch of the calendar signals the official shift from looking back on 2008 to looking forward to 2009. Looking forward usually takes two forms: predictions and resolutions.
Microsoft's Year-End Zune Fail
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
Users of the 30-GB Zune all over the world awoke this morning to find that it was the day the music died. Although it's still a bit of a mystery why the Zunes failed, the only fix that gets the Zune working right now is an extreme reset that requires disassembling the case to disconnect both the battery and hard drive.
Quality Issues (Still) Plague Spoke.com People Search
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
"If you want to keep your job, use Spoke," advise the folks behind "the fastest growing and most up-to-date business network in the U.S." Sounds like something to look into; social/people networks are one of the most important BI assets to have emerged in recent years. Grading according to accuracy, completeness, quality, usefulness, and usability, I'd give Spoke a low C. Here's why.
AIIM Adds Resources For Content Management Neophytes
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
AIIM, the Association for Information and Image Management, has long been a useful resource for established content management industry professionals as well as organizations just getting started with piecing together a content strategy.
What Ever Happened To On/Off Switches?
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
On this last day of 2008, among the many forecasts and prognostications for the next year, I'd like to take a moment to ponder a subtle change that already has occurred.
Green Stories To Watch In 2009, Part 2
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
Yesterday, I wrote of five green IT stories worth following in 2009: Energy Star data centers; cap and trade, carbon offsets and RECs; federal business energy tax credits; e-waste; and corporate purchases of green IT equipment. Here are five more:
Why OpenOffice Is Mired In Sun's Swamp
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
While I was out getting my fill of Christmas turkey, a brouhaha erupted online about the state of the OpenOffice.org project. One of the developers on the Novell side, Michael Meeks, wrote a widely circulated blog post in which he chastised Sun for its heavy-handed handling of arguably one of the most significant open source projects of our time.

Cisco Comes To A Home Near You
Commentary  |  12/31/2008  | 
Cisco is going to launch a new product at the Consumer Electronics Show in January intended to "take on" Apple, Sony, and other brands that sell technology products to regular folks.
Macworld Puts Its Future In Hands Of Apple Fanboys
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
With Steve Jobs passing on the January classic and Apple pulling out altogether after next year, the brain trust at IDG is hosting a town hall meeting of Macintosh faithful for suggestions. Is there wisdom in the collective?
Beating Swords Into Data Centers
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
Since my previous post about Canadian startup Bastionhost's hosting plan for an underground bunker in Nova Scotia, I've been investigating a number of former nuclear fallout shelters that have been converted into data centers.
7 Reasons Cloud Computing Is Fed By The Bad Economy
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
Cloud computing is everywhere these days, with talk of it saving businesses money and streamlining their equipment. And now one company explains how the recession is feeding cloud computing.
Keep Firefox On Guard Against Attack-Site Threats
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
Firefox 3 employs some great new security features. Here are a few quick tips on to make them work as effectively as possible.
T-Mobile Handset Schedule Hits The Tubes
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
The kid has done it again, as the Boy Genius Report has snagged the upcoming release schedule for T-Mobile. It's packed full of some really cool handsets, including a new BlackBerry, and an 8-megpixel camera phone.
Top 10 CIO Issues For 2009
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
Taking for granted that all CIOs want to stay employed in 2009 while helping their companies grow and increase profits and delight customers, our list of 10 top-priority items for CIOs in the coming year offers a blend of the old and the new. Here's our list of the 10 items we think will keep you excited and delighted in 2009.
Global CIO: The Top 10 CIO Issues For 2009
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
What should be on your agenda next year: A CIO-centric blend of business and tech issues that will help you increase business and customer value.
Yes, Trust In The PKI Is Broken
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
The trust in digital certificates relies on the fact that the authority issuing the certificate has validated the identity of the person or company making the request and that the digital certificate can't be forged. New research presented at the 25th Chaos Computer Congress shows that forging digital certificates is possible and practical. Trust in the SSL i
Crisis Survival Kit: 3 Things Every Business Owner Need To Thrive
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
Among the axioms flying around in these bleak financial times is that a recession is a great time to start a business. It's also a time to seize opportunities as competitors retreat and retrench. But whether you're hatching a new business or scrambling to keep the one you already have afloat, bringing 3 things to your business will put you on the path to success.
Green Stories To Watch In 2009
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
There have been a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings around green computing in 2008. As a new year begins, expect intense scrutiny as green efforts take shape, including data center metrics, cap-and-trade programs, vendor claims of power-management features, and state and federal legislation. Here are five stories to watch in 2009 (another five to come tomorrow).
Windows 7: Linux Killer, Or Windows Killer?
Commentary  |  12/30/2008  | 
The newest installment of Conventional Computer Wisdom holds that Windows 7 will be "a Linux-killer," unseating Linux on netbooks and sealing its fate on the desktop. Well, maybe XP-killer and Vista-killer is more like it.

Microsoft's Obvious-Patent Insanity
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
On Christmas, Microsoft filed for yet another one of those crazy patents that seems so obvious you have to wonder why they bother to apply. Aren't patents supposed to be for nonobvious inven
Forrester's Year-Old CIO Outlook: Where's 80/20 Plan?
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
Thirteen months ago, Forrester's Bobby Cameron offered a summary of his $379 CIO agenda for 2008: become a business change-agent, etc. The summary failed to mention attacking the 80/20 demon, which should be the top priority for CIOs in 2009. Because if they don't undertake that battle, all the other transformation happy-talk will remain just that -- a lot of talk.
Fake iPhone Nanos Pop Up
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
Well, it's that time of year when we get flooded with iPhone Nano rumors. But this one's a little different in that we're already seeing cases and knockoffs of a nonexistent device. Should Apple bring out an iPhone Nano?
The Future Of The Netbook?
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
As laptop computers are predicted to outsell desktops in 2009, what role will the smaller, cheaper netbook play? And how can you decide if the netbook is a good fit for your business?
NMAP Network Scanning: A Must-Have Addition To Your Library
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
NMAP, the open source network mapping tool, should be in any network or security administrator's toolbox. It's a feature-rich network scanner that goes far beyond port scanning such as service and OS detection, stealth and evasion modes, and sports an internal scripting engine. NMAP Network Scanning, a reference guide written by Gordon Lyon, a.k.a. Fyodor, is a must-have book to get the most out of NMAP.
Getting Started With Your New iPod Touch
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
The iPod Touch was a hugely popular gift for Christmas last week. If you got an iPod Touch or iPhone, read on for pointers to our favorite free and cheap iPod Touch apps. And if you didn't get an iPhone or Touch, we have some alternatives for you.
Intelligent Enterprise Top-Ten Blog Posts of 2008
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
What did you, the readers of Intelligent Enterprise, like most on this site in 2008? When it comes to our blogosphere, the three keys to popularity are controversy, controversy, controversy. Before we ring in the new, here's a list of our top-ten blog posts of 2008...
Microsoft Layoffs Coming?
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
Despite hiring at a rapid clip for the last few years, even Microsoft may not be immune to the rounds of layoffs hitting the technology industry recently.
Enhanced HP MediaSmart Server Looks A Lot Like An SMB Device
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
HP's enhanced home server should interest the SOHO/SMB market as well.
#1 Job Threat Is Technology, Not Globalization
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
In these high-anxiety times, are you worried your company will send your job overseas? The authors of a new book say you're right to be afraid -- but not of outsourcing. They contend the real job-grinder has been the productivity engine of IT and that fears of outsourcing and other globalization issues are "wildly overblown."
Palm Gets a Needed Christmas Present
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
Struggling to maintain a leading position in the smartphone space, Palm received a much needed cash infusion. Once a leader in this space, the company has recently struggled to remain relevant as high profile companies entered this space. In response, Palm has staked its future on its new Nova operating system, and the money could be used to help promote it.
Tools And Tips For Small-Biz Spam Assassins
Commentary  |  12/29/2008  | 
Building a Web 2.0 site is only half the battle. Keeping it free of spam and malware is the other half, and a new online tutorial on the subject serves up some solid tips on how to fight -- and win.
Microsoft Keeps Netbooks Small And Weak
Commentary  |  12/28/2008  | 
Although this doesn't seem to have been a great holiday season for technology in general, I suspect that netbooks will be a bright spot for computer makers. Tiny notebook PCs like the Asus Eee PC, Acer Aspire One, Dell Inspiron Mini 9, and
Ten Excellent Language Translators And Resources
Commentary  |  12/28/2008  | 
I've spent the last few years attempting to learn German. Initially, I attended German language classes at the Goethe Institute. Last year, I moved to a new city with no Goethe Institute and my schedule made it nearly impossible to find a class that would fit my schedule. Naturally, I turned to the Internet to continue my education, and here are 10 tools to translate content and interact with others who speak German.
Let's Stop This Patent Trolling
Commentary  |  12/26/2008  | 
It seems like every few months, some obscure company is awarded a patent for some relatively mundane idea, then turns around and sues the companies that have been using it. This time, the incredible and seemingly patentable innovation is icons that update based on document or window content.
Apple iSlate Speculation Misses Point
Commentary  |  12/26/2008  | 
All the rumor mongering surrounding Apple's expected upcoming release of a humongous-screened iPod misses the point. A search of the USPTO patent database reveals that Apple isn't even the leader in Webpad patents. Hey, doesn't anyone remember the (failed) Windows-based Tablet frenzy, circa 2002? Thus, the big deal this time is that Apple will legitimize the platform, particularly for business users. Indeed, I believe mobile Webpads could edge out netbooks--and even debuzz smartphones somewhat--
Living With Parallels On Desktop, Server And iPhone
Commentary  |  12/26/2008  | 
I spend 80% of my work life in a 100% Mac shop. I've used VM solutions from Sun, VMware, and Parallels on Apple hardware for InformationWeek. We've been a Parallels shop at my day job 'cause, frankly, it was first out with desktop and server solutions. We're much happier with the latest rev of Desktop.
A Service Holiday As The Ultimate Gift
Commentary  |  12/26/2008  | 
"For sale" is certainly a purchase motivator, but the gift of help -- even if but for a day -- might deliver value far in excess than that revealed by even the deepest price slash.
Who Loves the Incumbent Vendor?
Commentary  |  12/26/2008  | 
Imagine you have been using a particular vendor's technology for the past five or ten years... Now it's time for an upgrade, or even a replacement of that technology. The product did what it was supposed to do at the time, but now technology has moved on and it's time for a refresh... Make sure you consider both sides of the double-edged sword of incumbency.
Wikipedia Appeals To Readers For $6 Million
Commentary  |  12/24/2008  | 
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is asking for donations to the nonprofit site. But with more than 150,000 volunteers at his disposal, the question remains: Is it in trouble of folding?
Some Business Stories Are Filled With Cheer
Commentary  |  12/24/2008  | 
It's all too common lately to check out the news and end up depressed. Which is why it's refreshing to read some good news, like the story of a recently shuttered bakery -- that resulted in 300 layoffs -- being opened back up by another company just in time for the holidays.
It's Time To Install Mac OS X 10.5.6
Commentary  |  12/24/2008  | 
Last week, Apple introduced the latest update to Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard." As with other recent Leopard updates, the 10.5.6 update focused on bug fixes and security patches. However, there are some welcome feature upgrades  including improvements to MobileMe's "push" synchronization for contacts, calendars and bookmarks.
Gartner: IT Has 'No Moral Basis' To Monitor Facebook Usage
Commentary  |  12/24/2008  | 
Does your IT team spend any time monitoring Facebook usage by employees? If so, you're just wasting your time and reinforcing the reputation that you and your team are busybodies, says Gartner analyst Brian Prentice. But his argument gets downright weird when he asserts such actions are an attempt "to deny people the right to reclaim a semblance of a personal life."
iTunes Gives And Gets A Blessing
Commentary  |  12/24/2008  | 
Apple's iTunes has received a unique endorsement in a marketplace populated by sports and entertainment celebrities: The Vatican has blessed an iPhone app.
Fighting Click Fraud And Bots From The Heart Of Texas
Commentary  |  12/24/2008  | 
It's been a big year for Click Forensics, a company that helps advertisers, agencies, and ad networks recognize and reduce low-quality Web traffic. In addition to naming a new CEO and securing second-round funding, the fraud-fighting startup struck a deal with Google.
Green IT, Unwrapped
Commentary  |  12/24/2008  | 
Bookmark this page. Contained herein are some of the more useful links I've come across in 2008. They are by no means exhaustive, but I believe they'll come in handy when you're looking for some eco-answers. They include private-sector sites, government agencies, NGOs, and 501(c)3 sites.
Initial Thoughts On WordPress 2.7
Commentary  |  12/24/2008  | 
Back in October, I attended an event where WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg provided a demo of the upcoming WordPress 2.7 release. I captured the demo on video and it has become one of my most popular videos to date. Here are my thoughts on the 2.7 release and why WordPress always seems to think about publishers first.
Looking Into The Content Management Crystal Ball
Commentary  |  12/23/2008  | 
I've never been one to make grand predictions about the future of technology, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy hearing what others have to say. As 2008 comes to a close, a handful of prognosticators are stepping forward to offer up their vision for the future of content management. Here are some of the more interesting lists ...
Top 5 Smartphones Of The Year
Commentary  |  12/23/2008  | 
It's the time of year when you look back at the previous 12 months and like to reflect. In the space I cover, I realized that we've had an incredible year in terms of the number and quality of smartphones. But what handsets were good enough to make my top five list?
Is Getting Work Through A Staffing Agency Risky?
Commentary  |  12/23/2008  | 
Amid the economic crisis, a lot of people are finding themselves out of work -- often for the first time. And those same people might be eyeing temporary staffing agencies to bring in at least some income. But what should be considered before taking on contract work?
Cloud Maturity Models Don't Make Sense
Commentary  |  12/23/2008  | 
An issue that's been roiling the cloud computing blogosphere the past few months is the notion of a maturity model for cloud computing, which I oppose. Multiple maturity models (say that three times fast!) already have been defined for a variety of IT subjects, including business processes and at least five or six different ones for SOA, alone.
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