Amazon Debuts Public Data Cloud
Amazon.com has introduced a new service in which it hosts large data sets -- economic, demographic, scientific, and medical data, for example -- that are open for anyone to access. It's an interesting proposal, but one that casts Amazon in the potentially difficult role of having to be an information gatekeeper.
Actuate's Open Source Survey Says...
It's hard not to see open source usage surveys in the same light as any other assay of this kind: you can make the numbers say anything you like if you're careful (or not careful). I cracked open Actuate's Annual Open Source Survey for 2008 with this in mind, and while it has its limits it's still an interesting read.
Recycle This Blog
In what appears to be a truly holistic recycling effort, news put forth by the University of Michigan on its green computing efforts last June has been finding new life on news feeds in early December. Not one to shirk my recycling duties, I offer now a roundup of other relevant nonbreaking news. And for what it's worth, not only are they are all related to the U-M story, but I probably would have missed them if not for the Detroit Free Press
It's Not the Mac Monitor We've Been Waiting For
Modern iMac desktop computers and MacBook/MacBook Pro notebooks have clever built-in video cameras that can be used for video conferencing. What if you're using a Mac Mini, Mac Pro or a notebook with an external monitor? Until recently, you've been out of luck ï¿¼ no video camera. That's finally changed, thanks to an external Cinema Display with built-in camera. The bad news is, most of us are still out of luck.
Why Isn't 'Used' The 'New' New?
eBay is the uber-auction site that should be connecting today's penny-punching consumers, only its traffic is down significantly. What's wrong?
The Lighter Side Of Bad News
With the economy now officially almost 12 months into a nasty recession, even The rANT can get depressed. So it warms our tubular heart to remember that it's always possible to find humor amidst economic ruin.
iPhone Roundup: Apps Store's Top Tens, Easy Wi-Fi App, Amazon App
A number of interesting iPhone-related tidbits have surfaced in the last 24 hours. First, Apple gave us a list of the most downloaded apps in the Apps Store. Second, a company made an app that lets iPhone users bypass the clunky AT&T Wi-Fi service sign-in. Last, Amazon rolled out an application that lets you take a picture of any product and be taken to that product's Web site.
5 Things GM's Bailout Package Must Have
Last month, I argued in favor of the GM bailout package, because I believe Americans should make things -- servers, cars -- that are more technologically complex than cheeseburgers. Now, with Congress apparently poised to move on some kind of financial rescue plan, it's time to decide how to rapidly reshape Detroit's Big 3 to make hybrid, electric, and fuel-cell vehicles. Here's my five-point plan.
Google Follows Smaller Businesses In Belt Tightening
The last month of 2008 began with the announcement that the U.S. economy is "officially" in recession. Then there's the news that job losses in small business reached a 7 year peak. But broad economic statistics only tell part of the story. Google, the poster child for unstoppable growth, is cutting back. Say it ain't so!
Can HP Neoview Survive and Thrive?
HP has for many years capitalized on the data warehouse industry through its server and storage technologies, but in recent years has launched the HP Neoview data warehouse to play in the software and appliance aspect of the industry. While HP was out of the gate in 2007 with Neoview and appeared to have a rosy future, much has changed in the last year...
Politicker.com Impeaches Amazon Web Services
Political Web site Politicker.com has ditched Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud service in favor of Voxel dot Net's managed Web hosting service. In an unusually frank assessment, Politicker says scalability, clustering, stability, and cost issues drove it away from EC2.
Report: Google Taking Economic Climate Seriously, Cutting Back On Perks
Google has long been known to spare no expense when it comes to perks for employees. Looks like the slowdown in ad revenue is having an impact on Google, and the company is looking for ways to trim costs. In addition to staff reductions, Google also is cutting back on Googlers' 20% time on pet projects and has reduced the availability of its free cafeterias.
Cell Phone Service Improving
One of the nationï¿¼s poorest service providers, wireless carriers, has been making progress, so the bulk of their customers are now satisfied with their services. The main reasons for the improvement appear to be that the carriers have enhanced their network performance, so there are fewer dropped calls and less static, items that previously made customers very grumpy.
Rwanda's Internet Revolution (Video)
Past an incomprehensible genocide and a still-agrarian economy lies a country that's pinning its last gasp of hope on the Internet to lift itself out of poverty, prevent future violence, and become the economic hub of sub-Saharan Africa. Some of TechWeb's TV crew traveled into the heart of Rwanda, crouched in the jungle amid a sea of silverback gorillas, danced on the border of the notoriously dangerous Democratic Republic of Congo, and came back with a remarkable, mesmerizing story of hope.
Microsoft Cashback, Blackest Friday Edition
Black Friday is supposed to get its name from the profit-friendly color it brings to merchant balance sheets. Microsoft's Live Search Cashback program came up with an embarrassingly different definition for the term. When a shopping search engine is unavailable for several hours on the biggest shopping day of the year, that's a Black Friday indeed.
Zoho Uses SQL To Access Cloud Apps
Zoho today rolled out CloudSQL, new middleware software that lets developers use standard SQL queries to access data in Zoho's cloud-based applications. It could blaze a path to easier integration of cloud applications.
Don't Hold The Phone, And Other Recycling Incentives
My BlackBerry went for a swim the other day. I'm too embarrassed to tell you where, save to say that I find myself multitasking these days in the oddest places. I will say that when it sank beneath the surface, its lights flickered like those of the doomed Titanic. That meant, aside from having an intense desire to boil my hand, I had to get a new BlackBerry and, yes, recycle the old one.
Video: Hands On With The Nokia N97
InformationWeek had the chance to spend some time with the new Nokia N97. Here's a complete rundown of the hardware and user interface of Nokia's darling little multimedia computer.
IBM Patents System For Splitting The Check
The waiter deposits a $200 check and an uncomfortable silence envelops the table. Glances are exchanged and eyebrows are raised. Who ordered the expensive wine? Who only had a soda and sandwich? Who pays for what? Enter IBM.
IBM's Cloud Conflict of Interest
I have no issue with IBM driving into the world of cloud computing - I figured it would. But just think about the larger hardware and software players - such as IBM and Microsoft, who are now moving toward the cloud - and the potential conflicts that could occur. In essence, your cable TV provider is offering to show you how to move to Satellite TV.
Google Gives Windows Users A Gmail Gadget For The Desktop
If you're a user of the Google Desktop product on the Windows platform, Google has good news for you. It's finally added a Gmail gadget for the Desktop sidebar. Now you can see incoming e-mail without opening up Gmail in your browser.
Guy Kawasaki On 'The Art Of Laying People Off'
In which the outspoken venture capitalist and author, as always, speaks bluntly: "Take responsibility. ... Cut deep and cut once. ... Don't ask for pity." Here's Kawasaki on sharing the pain: "Take a smaller office. Turn in the company car. ... Give your 30-inch flat-panel display to a programmer who could use it to debug faster." His 12 tips don't make for much happy talk but for business leaders in these troubled
Linux's New Digs: The iPhone
So now the latest iteration of the iPhone hasn't just been "jailbroken," it's snagged a visa to another country entirely. A project named OpeniBoot lets you boot Linux on the iPhone -- admittedly with little more than a command line, but for Linux that's more than enough to begin with.
Solar Powered Cell Phones on Tap?
Deep in the research and development labs at many of the nationï¿¼s leading technology firms, engineers are working feverishly to try and make your IT systems more efficient. Solar powered cell phones and voice activated Web sites are a couple of the items that one research group thinks could move from its labs to your company in a few years.
A Google Cloud In Your Data Center
Google's App Engine lets you build, deploy, and run Web applications on Google's infrastructure. But what if you wanted to create a Google App Engine experience in your own data center? Work is under way to make that possible.
Nokia Unveils The N97, Its Real iPhone Competitor
Today in Barcelona, Nokia announced its flagship multimedia phone for 2009, the N97. The N97 sports a 3.5-inch touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard for messaging. Other specs include 3G, Wi-Fi, 5-megapixel camera, GPS, and a whole lot more.
ADTRAN Goes 3G With New Netvanta 3G NIM
It's easy to think about 3G wireless technology solely as a way for laptop users to stay connected away from Wi-Fi hotspots. But that's thinking small. ADTRAN is thinking bigger with its new Netvanta 3G Module, designed to backup or even replace wired broadband connections in many applications for small and midsize companies.
Can You Track The 'Revenue Of IT'?
Does your company capture the full value of what IT delivers, or are the conversations only about how much IT costs? (Which then usually comes down to "too much.")
CIO Memo To Staff: Should Customers Really Rank Last?
In ugly times like these, what message does a CIO send to the business technology team about 2009? The National Bureau of Economic Research just declared that the United States entered a recession a year ago, consumer spending has tanked, the auto industry is floundering, and the financial industry is still trying to find its bottom (so to speak). If you're looking
'The Simpsons' Takes On Apple
When I came in this morning, Twitter was buzzing over an Apple parody that ran on The Simpsons last night. Homer, Marge, and the kids visit the Mapple Store at the mall and admire the MyPods and MyPhones. The segment includes a parody-in-a-parody of the famous 1984 Apple "Big Brother" commercial, featuring Comic Book Guy instead of an athletic woman with Eurythmics hair. Watch the embedded video below, until Yo