Commentary
Content posted in February 2008
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Dismal Prospects for Tech? Blame the Pols
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
As the field of presidential candidate gets smaller and smaller, the question among tech voters is who is their candidate. The answer, it seems is none of them.
Windows Vista Childbirth Pack 1
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
I have become convinced that Windows service packs and childbirth have a lot in common. You approach the big day with nervous anticipation, and hope that everything will come out OK. That day sometimes involves a lot of pain, but a few years after each event people look back wistfully and think, "Gee, that wasn't so bad. I'm sure glad we did it." As the big day arrives for Vista Service Pack 1, be prepared for that short-term pain.
Ubuntu: Linux's Obama (Sort Of)
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
What is it about Ubuntu that has generated such excitement about Linux?  To steal a word from Obama's playbook, "Change."

LinkedIn Launches Mobile Site
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
Today LinkedIn showed off a new beta WAP site that lets you perform some basic tasks related to your LinkedIn database of professional contacts. And when we say basic, we mean basic. You can't view your contacts' contact information, accept invitations, nor even update your own profile. LinkedIn Mobile has its work cut out for it if it intends to catch up to other social networking sites' m
India Outsources to US Tech Workers
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
The buzz in the local Indian trade magazines is about IBM recently grabbing a multi-year outsourcing deal from the Indian operations of Vodaphone, the global communications giant. Deals like these demonstrate that countries like India and China are more than a source of competition for US-based IT jobs, they offer a solid opportunity for those willing to brave the geographical and culture gap.
Google Becoming a Force in E-Mail Security for Smaller Businesses
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
As part of Google's effort to become a major software supplier, the search engine giant has set its sights on courting small and midsize businesses with its secure e-mail services
Hacker's Poised To Beat Apple's Latest Version Of DRM (aka C.R.A.P.)
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
One of the hotter memes over the weekend had to do with a cease and desist letter that the ever-litigious Apple sent to the operators of the Hymn Project. For those looking to remove Apple's copy protection technology (officially "FairPlay," but I call it "C.R.A.P.") from iTunes Music Store (iTMS)-bought content, the Hymn Project has been the go-to site for utilities that have managed to stay one
Join Us For InformationWeek Live Tuesday With Clay Shirky
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
Our guest, New York University's Clay Shirky, will discuss his new book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power Of Organizing Without Organizations, which describes how social networks like MySpace and Digg are allowing new kinds of collaborative action.

Sun, MySQL Seal the Deal
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
It's a done deal. In what seems like record time for an acquisition of this magnitute -- under six weeks, but who's counting -- Sun and MySQL have sealed the deal and MySQL is now part of Sun Microsystems.

"This is the most important acquisition in Sun history, and the most important acquisition in the modern software industry," Schwartz said.

And he may be right.

 
Microsoft, IBM Team Up on Embedded for POS
Commentary  |  2/25/2008  | 
Microsoft and IBM are teaming up in the point-of-sale arena with Microsoft’s Windows Embedded for Point of Service (WEPOS) operating system pre-loaded on IBM point-of-sale, self-checkout and self-service kiosks. Windows Embedded for Point of Service is a point-of-service operating system platform based on Windows but optimized for the retail industry.

Symantec Protection Network -- Online Backup, How Innovative?
Commentary  |  2/24/2008  | 
This week Symantec released the first services from its previously announced Symantec Protection Network (SPN) and, as Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise," online backup. Symantec Online Backup is a middle of the road service for small businesses that should have some appeal, especially after Symantec takes the time to add a few features the competition already has. Symantec Online Storage for Backup Exec, on the other hand, breaks new ground providing online off-site backup cap
What To Do In A Recession
Commentary  |  2/24/2008  | 
If the "R" word really is on the way, small and midsize companies can't just curl up and hope it goes away.
Video: Is Microsoft Open Source's Friend?
Commentary  |  2/24/2008  | 
Microsoft made its most significant move since the 1992 release of Windows 3.1 on Feb. 21, when it pledged to make "strategic changes in technology and business practices to expand interoperability." What does this mean in plain English? It's Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's corporate-speak way of telling the open-source community that he can't beat 'em, so he plans to try to outflank them.
Report: No iPhone SDK In February
Commentary  |  2/24/2008  | 
According to reports, the software developer kit for the iPhone is going to be delayed by one to three weeks. Apple is turning into a regular Microsoft with the recent spate of product delays.
Layers and SOA
Commentary  |  2/24/2008  | 
I've been a little quiet, what with a visit to Barcelona (GSM World Congress), and then some pressure at work (making up for the lost time :) ). Hopefully I can now get back to regular blogging.

Does WebOS = Virtualization?
Commentary  |  2/23/2008  | 
An Indy-based independent consultant I know turned me on to Stoneware, makers of a webOS, not the heavy stuff your mother-in-law collects. Will it break into the desktop virt market?
Report From India: Key IBM Unit Grows From 60 People To 800
Commentary  |  2/23/2008  | 
In 2006, my colleague Paul McDougall was the first to spotlight the significance of IBM centering one of its key strategic units in India. That group, which creates reusable, SOA-based systems that IBM's consultants re-sell around the world, began with just 60 people then, and has grown to 800 today, part of IBM's 73,000 employees in India.
Report From India: U.S. Could Learn From Offshorer's Training Obsession
Commentary  |  2/23/2008  | 
Many companies in the United States complain about an IT talent shortage. Indian IT companies face brutal competition for talent, and one big part of their answer is huge hire-and-train efforts. There's something for U.S. companies to learn here.
Service Management In Acronym Land
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
I had a very informal chat with a buddy of mine about service management. And virtualization. Of course. Many TLAs were used.
Last CIO Standing: Joke Contest Results
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
How many CIOs does it take to screw in a light bulb? That age-old philosophical question's not as easy to answer as you might think. Here are several responses to our CIO Joke contest.
Microsoft to Share Technology Secrets
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
Associated Press via SiliconValley.com and Wired News, Yahoo News
Telligent Wants A Piece Of The Content Management Market
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
Rob Howard, CEO of Telligent, pulls no punches when he talks about his company's aspirations in the content management space. And the way Telligent markets its new CMS offering is just as brazen.
GM To Sire Hybrid Pony Car?
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning received a trophy, a ring, and his pick of Cadillacs for being the game-winning MVP of Super Bowl XLII earlier this month. But he won't be driving his new Caddy anytime soon.
Best Buy Spills The Beans On Nokia Internet Tablet With WiMax
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
Last year Nokia confirmed that it is working on a WiMax-equipped version of its N800-series Internet tablet. Until this week, there hadn't been further news of the device. Well, Best Buy pictured an unannounced Nokia N830 Internet tablet in its February Mobile Buyer's Guide, and possibly gave away the big WiMax secret.
Turning Work Into Play Is No Game
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
It sounds like techno-utopian silliness to say that businesses need to learn from online games how to make tedious knowledge-work more enjoyable. But many knowledge-work jobs are so deadly dull that the typical worker lasts just nine months -- in call centers, for example. Extend that by a few months, and businesses stand to save piles of money, said Byron Reeves, a professor in the department of communication at Stanford University.
A Kindler, Gentler Microsoft Won't Happen From Within
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
Microsoft's recent announcements about its new openness initiatives have been greeted with great skepticism.  They deserve to be, because Microsoft deserves to be changed for the better -- but it's only going to come from the outside, not the inside.

Unlocked iPhone Innovations Continue
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
Every day, it seems, developers come up with nifty new ways to use the iPhone to do this or that. The latest creations allow you to use your iPhone as a full touchpad remote for your PC, zoom through applications on the iPhone using CoverFlow, and LoJack your iPhone.
TDWI in Vegas: Bigger than Ever
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
This week's TDWI World Conference turned out to be one of the biggest, with more than 1,000 attendees and another 200 executives at the BI summit. The highlights for me included...
Sergey Brin: MicroHoo 'Unnerving'
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
At a recent event, Google co-founder Sergey Brin called Microsoft's bid for Yahoo "unnerving" and said the move imperils innovation on the Internet. Google also posits that the merger would be illegal. Maybe the merger could violate antitrust laws. Or maybe Brin likes being King of the Mountain, and doesn't want anything to threaten that. Oh, and Brin? Innovation will continue w
Here Comes the Sun: Ideas for Powering Your Data Center
Commentary  |  2/22/2008  | 
Solar powering your data center is good for the environment, but Jimmy Ray Purser has an even more compelling reason to do it: It'll save your smaller business money -- no matter where it is located
Ask Not What Google Can Do For You …
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
"Don't be evil" is the search giant's mantra, but its operative phrase is "Get r' done." CIOs should take a lesson from the tech chief at the Cleveland Clinic and look for ways to work with innovative companies like Google to drive their organizations' agendas.
No Free Lunch
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
The party invites keep rolling in for product announcements in Cannes. Where, sadly I won't be for VMworld Europe 2008. But I have received a number of goodies, offers ,and handouts here in the States.
The age of the SSD is upon us
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
One of the most fascinating features of the new MacBook Air  Apples ultra-portable notebook computer, introduced at Macworld, and now shipping  is that its one of the first on the market to have a solid state disk (SSD).
Full Nelson: Appcelerator For Rich Internet Applications
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
We just wrote about Appcelerator a month ago -- in fact, it was our Startup of the Week. But we got a chance to talk to CEO Jeff Haynie, who gives a great overview of what this company is doing: letting you build rich Internet applications quickly using standard technology like HTML/CSS on the front end and Ruby On Rails, Java, PHP, .Net and more on the back end.
Documentary Examines Mac Fanatics
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
An upcoming documentary interviews more than 50 "Macheads" in an unsuccessful attempt to figure out what makes the Mac inspire such loyal and fanatical devotion.

Full Nelson: Krugle Code Search Not So Evil
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
I know. It sounds just like Google. It's search. How does Google allow it? It helps that the last name of one of Krugle's founders is Krugler. But the other founder is Steve Larsen -- couldn't they have named it after him? And was his name really always Ken Krugler, or did he change it just so they could do this? I will answer none of those questions. But I will tell you that I wish I were a developer, because Krugle, a code search engine, is an awesome idea. (Note,
Satellite Strike Marks New Space Race
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
On the list of all-time non-reassuring assurances, today's Pentagon statement about the downing of crippled U.S. spy satellite ranked high.
Obama Would Put A CTO In The Cabinet
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
Barack Obama plans to unveil his IT strategy, which will include making the job of federal chief technology officer a Cabinet-level position. He also wants to mandate open government meetings streamed over broadband and favors net neutrality.

Full Nelson: Redfly Neither Smartphone Nor Ultralight PC
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
By show of hands, how many people have attempted a business trip with only a (fill in your favorite term: PDA, Smartphone, whatever)? Keep those hands up . . . how many of this group has been satisfied with that experience? Anyone? We are at an infection point. No, NOT inflection -- please don't use that term (and don't call a stomach a tummy and don't ever let me catch you saying "mani-pedi"). We're becoming infected with the notion that we will not need a laptop. The choices include a.) the sm
Microsoft's New Mantra: Peace, Love, And Open Source?
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
People who work with open-source software tend to study Microsoft the way Kremlinologists once studied the Soviet Union: from the outside, and often at a considerable distance. It's a process that requires years of experience, a keen eye for detail -- and above all, a talent for reading between the lines.
Down To Business: Innovation: Get Off The Stump And Get On With It
Commentary  |  2/21/2008  | 
While driving breakthrough products and processes always will involve trial and error, it can't be just a 'let the chips fall where they may' affair
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