Commentary
Content posted in February 2008
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VMworld Wrap
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
VMworld Europe offered a bunch o' news. VMware and others come out strong on systems management and security tools. I guess they have been listening to their customers.
Data Warehouse Appliances? Me too!
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Just as every presidential candidate this cycle is the candidate of Change, it seems that all the DBMS vendors offer the preferred data-warehouse appliance solution. That's the message I heard from appliance panelists at today's TDWI Washington DC chapter meeting. For a couple of them it was a real stretch, which in one case wasn't a bad thing. The net take-away is that we are seeing Change in the DBMS world, even if for the politicians that word is still only a promise.
World Of Warcraft, The Virtual Playmaker
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Forget the old business models of enterprise software and services, Vivendi's video games branch just posted one of its best margins ever, all thanks to a bunch of druids, goblins, orcs, elves, and fairies.
Accenture CIO: No Cuts In IT
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Economic uncertainty is something of a mixed blessing when it comes to IT, says Frank Modruson, the CIO of consulting firm Accenture. It can be a challenge, and it can be an opportunity.
Solar-Powered Gadgets Gone Goofy
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
I'm as eager as anyone to see more products that can be fired up with solar power. But some gadgets should never have made it off the drawing board -- they're just too goofy. Like these.
Mozilla Making Strides With Mobile Browser
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Late last year, Mozilla promised to "rock" the mobile Web with a new mobile browser of its own. Mozilla admits that success won't happen overnight, but a spokesperson did say, "Mozilla's mission is to break open a closed market." Can Mozilla be a player in an already crowded field of alternatives?
Laying Waste To Your Enemies With Google Bombs
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Wired has a How-To Wiki on its site that often has great little blurbs on how to get things done. Today's How-To idea? How to embarrass, frustrate, or annoy your enemies by sending them Google bombs. Is this valuable knowledge to share? Is bombing people on the Internet something mature professionals do? Or is it
Microsoft Upgrades Server Products
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Aquantia Seeks To Make 10GBase-T Scale
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Darwin would have liked our industry. Evolution is constant and predictable, and it's particularly so for Ethernet, from its original 10 Mbps incarnation to the current 10 Gbps version -- pricing, power consumption, and port density follow a similar trend line. But just because the evolution happens, doesn't mean that it's easy.
Hacking My PowerShot
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Hardware hacking: it isn't just for those of us with soldering-iron skills anymore, as the hacks for the iPhone clearly show.  I don't have an iPhone, but I do have a Canon PowerShot A560, and as it turns out, that's another device that can be hacked thanks to some firmware wizardry.

Microsoft Combined With Intel For A Vista Logo Disaster
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer got its hands on the Microsoft e-mails that are part of the lawsuit regarding Microsoft's ill-fated Vista Capable logo program. Earlier, I said Microsoft, OEMs, and retailers all deserved blame in the logo disaster, but these insider e-mails have changed my opinion on apportioning blame.
Report: 3G iPhone Coming By Midyear
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Those disappointed by the lack of a 3G announcement at Macworld can take heart. According to UBS analysts, iPhone chip supplier Infineon Technologies is ramping up production for the next generation iPhone. This time around, it will include a high-speed 3G data radio.
Vaporware Vendor Targets New Markets
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
You have to admire a technology company that can build a business around airborne water particles. FogScreen has done that, with an impressive customer list that includes Disney, Nokia, 20th Century Fox, Sony, and Microsoft. Now it's taking its act to Vegas.
BI Goes Mainstream at Procter &Gamble
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Philip Bierhoff, Systems Manager at Procter & Gamble, spoke at last week's FASTforward conference about strategies to increase user adoption as business intelligence goes mainstream. P&G's Symphony project creates "decision cockpits": dashboards based on specific roles and corporate divisions, and including information ranging from traditional BI reports to documents to news...
Fight The Power: Greening Your Linux Systems
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Linux has a lot of advantages as a desktop operating system. Power management, unfortunately, still is not one of them. But there are plenty of ways to make a Linux system less power-hungry -- and some of the most effective fixes are also some of the easiest.
Apples Achilles heel: Business-grade tech support
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
My business is a real mixed shop, split nearly evenly between Windows users and Mac users. A real challenge for us, and probably for you too, is finding quality contractors and support organizations that have deep Mac knowledge (or, frankly, any Mac knowledge).
Macintosh bargains are everywhere, just not on Apple.com
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Wheres the obvious place to research and buy a new Macintosh computer? You can find everything you need on Apple.com. But where are the best bargains? Despite Apples tight controls on retail pricing, the company store rarely has the best deals.
Looking at UC from Two Perspectives
Commentary  |  2/29/2008  | 
Top 6 Words And Phrases To Use In Internet Discussions To Prove You Are A Jerk
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
Are you a jerk and do you want people to know it? In real life, it's easy to prove you are a jerk: You can talk loudly during movies, cut in line at Starbucks, or tell new mothers their babies are ugly. But on the Internet, it's harder to prove you're a jerk.

Sprint "Simply Everything" Changes Wireless Landscape
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
$100 a month for all your mobile voice, data, and messaging needs? Heck yeah! But this is more than a good deal, it's a step toward a new way of using wireless - for your company and your customers.
Did Poor Data Governance Spark the Subprime Crisis?
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
The subprime lending crisis offer fresh evidence that we're in the bear-skins-and-stone-knives era of understanding risk and making good decisions based on data. That's one of the key points I heard yesterday at an IBM Data Governance Council meeting in New York... Current technologies are limited by a lack of best practices and standards and by the sheer scale and complexity of enterprises and financial markets...
Are Online Ads Losing Value?
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
For an industry that saw its revenue rise 25% last year to a record high, the online advertising business is in a bit of a funk. Mostly that's because of Google, which has seen its dominance in Internet ads erode, slightly, and watched its share price slide by 38% in the last four months.
Down To Business: With Recession In The Air, Don't Just Cut And React
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
After you've built stronger business cases for your business technology projects, take the time to reassure and motivate your team.
CIOs Uncensored: Customer Intimacy Is An IT Priority
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
CUNA Mutual Group's CIO seeks to understand and help the company's customers directly.
Taking Google Sites For A Spin
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
After seeing the news this morning about the launch of Google Sites, I decided to take the new tools for a spin. I signed up, bought myself a domain name, and went to work at customizing it and setting up users. Just how easy is it?
Suddenly SaaS Is A CIO's Best Friend
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
As recession looms, fingers are pointing to software as a service as a viable, fiscally responsible option for upgrading application portfolios. Is recession-driven SaaS another notable turning point for technology?
Stonesoft Guards Against External and IntraHost Threats
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
I spoke with Stonesoft on Wednesday regarding the company's new security solutions for VMware. Intrahost protection, anyone?
Don't Discount The Threat Of Web 2.0 Terror
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
We've recently seen silly articles hyping the threat of terrorists using virtual worlds and other Web 2.0 sites for recruitment, planning, and training. And we've seen equally silly articles ridiculing the idea. The truth is that Web 2.0 tools are great for terrorism, for the same reasons they're great for legitimate projects. That doesn't mean we should shut down Facebook and Second Life to protect ourselves from instant, horrible death. But we do need to rationally evaluate possible threats.
Congress Tries To Drink Big Oil's Milkshake
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
If Daniel Plainview weren't fictional, he'd be howling bloody hell. Congress on Wednesday passed a bill that would yank $17.65 billion in tax breaks to oil companies and reallocate the savings to fund tax incentives for wind, solar, and other renewable energy technologies.
Firefox, Or Pigfoot?
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
One index of success for an open source project is how many other projects are derived from it -- or how many people have created alternate builds of the same project.  Firefox's success has spawned a whole slew of community-compiled editions of the program, and this week I've been living with one of them, code-named "Pigfoot."

Sprint Bests Other Unlimited Plans With 'Simply Everything'
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
The wireless industry has been waiting for a response from Sprint to all the unlimited plans launched by its competitors last week. Well, now we have it. Today, Sprint announced what is essentially an "unlimited everything" plan for $99. And when they say everything, they mean everything. How will Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile respond to this?
Apple COO: iPhone 'Not Married' To AT&T, Will Always Be Hacked
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
Speaking at a Goldman Sachs investor's conference in Las Vegas yesterday, Apple COO Tim Cook said that, "Apple is not married to the single, exclusive-carrier model." Whoa. So is Apple's exclusive contract with AT&T shorter than initial projections? And if so, when might other carriers be able to sell the iPhone?
Join Us For GridTalk Friday On The Future Of Motorati Island
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
Join us Friday to look at one of the most active communities in Second Life: Motorati Island. The sponsors, headed by Pontiac, recently turned the island over to the United Spinal Association. Renamed Motorability, it's headed up by Patty Streeter, who will be our guest for GridTalk noon SLT.

Those Other Ruby Web Frameworks
Commentary  |  2/28/2008  | 
The Pragmatic Programmer has long advocated that it's good practice to learn at least one new programming language every year. If you're a web developer, it's at least as important to pick up a new framework from time to time.

Most Ruby developers tasked with building web applications are clearly working in Rails at this point. However, there are some great alternative fram
Wikis in War
Commentary  |  2/27/2008  | 
Fireproof Storage? I Don't Get It
Commentary  |  2/27/2008  | 
Over the past couple of years ioSafe, Sentry, and Schwab have introduced a new generation of backup targets, fireproof storage. A Frankenstein like crossbreeding of USB hard drive or NAS and fireproof safe, they can protect your backups against fire, flood (as they're waterproof, too) and gloom of night. Last Interop our own Steve Hill drove out to the desert with the friendly folks from ioSafe, poured a flammable liquid on one of there NAS boxes and had himself a nice little computer barbecue s
EMC Boosts Mozy Pro Prices Up To 300%
Commentary  |  2/27/2008  | 
In an e-mail sent to MozyPro resellers this week, EMC announced new pricing for online backup of servers via its MozyPro division effective March 1. Users that purchase plans under the current pricing will be grandfathered in, so if you were thinking that MozyPro was the right answer for your servers, sign up now. Of course, you also may want to consider another provider, like Intronis Technologies' eSureIT or IBackup Professional, now that MozyPro is in their price range.
Where To Start With ILM
Commentary  |  2/27/2008  | 
Last week I hosted an ILM (Information Life-cycle Management) video Web cast. One of the questions that came up was "Where do I start with ILM without much risk?" It's a good question.
Will Office Open XML Slam The Door On Accessibility?
Commentary  |  2/27/2008  | 
Microsoft's bid to turn its Office Open XML (OOXML) format into an ISO standard is a bad idea for any number of reasons. One of those reasons, however, strikes me as especially troubling: If OOXML wins ISO approval, it could make life much harder for millions of disabled people who rely upon accessibility-enhancing tools and technologies.
In Silicon Valley, A Way Forward For Muni Wireless
Commentary  |  2/27/2008  | 
This week's news that Covad Communications has stepped in as the primary network provider on the stalled Silicon Valley Wireless project may allow us, in Wall Street parlance, to "call the bottom" on the ailing business of providing widespread, low-cost municipal wireless access.
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