Commentary
Content posted in February 2008
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Study: Cell Phones Don't Cause Brain Cancer
Commentary  |  2/6/2008  | 
A new study coming from Japan says that holding a cell phone to your head and gabbing all day long will not increase your risk of brain cancer. It may, however, increase your risk of becoming a social outcast, getting into car accidents, and walking into a light post.
Gartner BPM Summit: Opening Keynote
Commentary  |  2/6/2008  | 
I'm here in Vegas for Gartner's 5th BPM summit, and they're reporting about 1,000 attendees (though I'm not sure if that includes Gartner and vendors)... Analyst Janelle Hill gave us Gartner's big-picture view of BPM, and she seems to be hitting her stride as Gartner's face of BPM since Jim Sinur left... Her view of how BPM might change with any coming recession matches most views I've heard and agree with...
Virtual Machines, Real Dollars
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
VMware's stock price might have tumbled, but that isn't stopping VC investment in the virtualization space. Two startups raked in millions this week.
VKernel Gets a Little VC Love, Too
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
We've written about VKernel before; the young New Hampshire startup produces virtual appliances for VMware. It looks like the Nashua-based folks have something to be happy about after the Pats loss on Sunday - they've picked up $4.6M in VC funding.
The CIO Skill Set: Is IT A Horizontal Expertise?
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Do the skills of a CIO translate over various industries? Or should technology people look to specialize in certain vertical areas to increase their effectiveness?
Liquid Computing Board Ousts CEO Hurley
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Brian Hurley, co-founder of "fabric computing" vendor Liquid Computing and, until a few days ago, its CEO, has been shown the exit. In his place steps Greg McElheran from investor Axis Capital. The abrupt change hasn't been publicly announced.
Fear And Voting -- Online
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
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Gartner Shakes Open Source's 8 Ball
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
In a press release dated Jan. 31, research firm Gartner made a number of predictions about the IT marketplace in two to four years.  One of the eye-openers: By 2012, they claim, "80% of all commercial software will include elements of open source technology."  Wacky?  Exaggerated?  Probably not.

Learn About SOA And Virtualization Later Today At InformationWeek Live
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Join us at 3 p.m. Eastern time today when we'll be talking with my colleague, senior editor Andy Dornan, about virtualization and service-oriented architecture at the official launch of InformationWeek Live.
Gartner 2008 BI Magic Quadrant Plays it Safe
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Gartner late last week issued its 2008 Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms in which it placed five companies roughly on a par in the prized upper-right quadrant: Business Objects, Cognos, Oracle, SAS and Microsoft. As you'll see when you download the report, none of the top five seem to stand out; you could draw a straight line from SAS, on the "Completeness of Vision" axis, to Microsoft on the "Ability to Execute" axis and touch all five vendors.
Apple Updates iPhone And iPod Touch; People Start Complaining
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Apple just can't make anyone happy any more. Forget the idea that the Mac Faithful might be all excited that Apple just doubled the storage capacity of its iPhone and iPod Touch -- albeit for an extra $100. Instead of cheering, user forums are full of whiny moaners who think Apple is out to screw them.
Here's What The Google Phone Could Look Like
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Speculation about how the GPhone is shaping up has taken a temporary back seat to the chatter about Google's efforts to throw a monkey wrench into Microsoft's bid for Yahoo. But what developers are doing with the Android SDK, released last fall to inspire the flowering of a thousand independent Google Phones, is actually much more interesting. Now there's some stuff to look at, too.
Twice as much Mac market share by 2011?
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
In three years, says influential analyst firm Gartner, Apple will double its U.S. and Western Europe market share for desktop computers.
Dell Says No Thanks To Notion Of Buying Motorola's Mobile Unit
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Dell CEO Michael Dell said that his company is "more focused on the computer business" and not so focused on mobile phones. In other words, Dell doesn't want to touch Motorola with a ten-foot pole. But who would be interested in Motorola?
One Last Prediction: Open Source is Going Mainstream
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Research firm Gartner made a bunch of tech predictions that IT folks should be aware of, and get ready for. Among the most interesting one: Open source is hitting the big time.
Full Nelson: Agito's FMC On TechWeb TV
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) is anything but fixed these days, although several pieces are coming together. Nokia has several dual mode handsets, for example. Carriers like T-Mobile and BT are rolling out new services. Most of the activity has been aimed at the consumer, and while that isn't an unlikely target, FMC promised to be a key component for the truly mobile enterprise worker. Agito Networks hopes to provide some answers on the infrastructure side.
SaaS Leadership Hinges on Microsoft's Yahoo Bid
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
I guess I could point to all of the press releases and blog posts about Microsoft's $44 billion Yahoo bid, but there are thousands at this point and you already know what's going on... A core issue here is ownership of the SaaS marketplace, a clear direction for all of the major players and thus the driving force behind the current land grab, and this deal.
Source: Yahoo Talking To Google To Fend Off Microsoft
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
According to a Reuters report, Yahoo said it would consider joining forces with Google in order to prevent Microsoft from acquiring it. What sort of partnership could it strike with Google that would hold Microsoft at bay while not triggering antitrust issues? Oh, and Yahoo says $31 per share isn't good enough.
Dell Forges into iSCSI Terrain
Commentary  |  2/5/2008  | 
Data here, data there, data, data everywhere, that has become the mantra in many small and medium businesses. Consequently, trying to manage their data storage systems has moved up the ladder of management concerns, something Dell tried to address.
Google's Answer To MicroHoo: Buy Adobe
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
Moments before being ravished at the hands of Microsoft, Yahoo will have the opportunity to throw its bouquet to the bridesmaids. By tradition, the recipient of this parting shot is next in line for a merger. If Yahoo wants to exact some measure of revenge on its unsolicited suitor, it will aim for the lovely Adobe.
At DEMO, Glitches, Frayed Nerves, And A Sucking Sound
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
Seventy-seven companies took the stage at last week's Demo conference in hopes of impressing the world with their innovative products. They got six minutes to do it, at a cost of $3,000 per minute. Not everyone pulled it off flawlessly.
It's Super Tuesday: Vote Early, Vote Often!
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
Among other things, this election could have a profound effect on the technology industry and the prospects of small and midsize businesses. It's up to you who you vote for, but please, if you live in a Super Tuesday state, please make sure to vote.
A Greener Bowl Game? Super
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
What else ya got? Super Bowl XLII (double extra large!) will be remembered for the stunning outcome on the field (Giants 17 - Patriots 14), not for the NFL's environmental efforts off-field.
Join Us Later Today For The Kick-Off Of The Brand-New InformationWeek Live
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
We're a little more than an hour away from launching our new series of events: InformationWeek Live, a real-time podcast featuring InformationWeek editors and top guests. Today's netcast is primarily a tech rehearsal, but a few of us editors will be there sharing perspective on the top headlines of the day.
Motorola's Viral Mobile World Congress Teaser Ad Misses The Mark
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
A PR company based in England fired off an e-mail to all us press types attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. Embedded in the e-mail is a YouTube link. The video we're treated to is supposed to get us stoked about Motorola's up and coming phones. Instead, it leaves us with the impression that Motorola still thinks it's 2006.
nLite And vLite Can Lighten Windows, But Sometimes Too Much
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
Einstein supposedly said, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." With the release of vLite, Vista users have a chance to try their hand at achieving Einstein's ideal. My experience with the XP version, nLite, has been that it's often hard to determine what constitutes simplicity -- and when to stop simplifying.
Samsung Releases Symbian-Based N95 Killer
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
Not to be outdone by competitor Nokia, Samsung has finally dropped a high-end media phone into the market to challenge the N95's worldwide supremacy. Samsung will be showing off the new hardware at Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona, but we already have a nice rundown of the specs.
What's Microsoft Really Buying With Yahoo?
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
It's a tough question, isn't it?  Is Microsoft buying Yahoo because of its long-term and broadscale expertise with open source?  If so, to what end?  Well, I thought, maybe what they're really buying is the expertise of the Yahoo programming team, akin to what I felt was happening with Sun and MySQL, et al.  Unfortunately, the theory doesn't seem to work here.

A Tale of Two Economies
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
The signs are familiar and worrying: a US economy that cannot seem to rebound, job losses on the rise, and consumers getting increasingly jittery. Will US companies, in a desperate bid to cut costs, intensify their push to send work offshore? Not so fast.
Will More Networking Vendors Steal a Page From Microsoft?
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
Juniper is now allowing customers and partners to develop specialized apps on its operating system -- an approach Microsoft used with great success. Are network devices a new frontier for smaller businesses?
SaaS Trendwatching With Clickability
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
It seems like everything has the "as-a-service" connotation these days. Software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, even innovation-as-a-service. Actually, the newest one I saw come out of Demo 08 was insight-as-a-service, brought to you by the friendly folks at Silobreaker.
Yahoo Users Will Be Losers If Microsoft Gets Its Way
Commentary  |  2/4/2008  | 
Yahoo users should be none too happy about Microsoft's $44.6 billion hostile bid, because they're likely to come out in last place if the deal goes through. Yahoo's services are completely alien and antithetical to Microsoft culture and technology, and acquisitions are virtually always bad news for the customers and users of the company being acquired.
Windows Vista: Top 20 Stories From Year One
Commentary  |  2/3/2008  | 
Windows Vista celebrated its first birthday last week. In lieu of cake and candles, I've put together a list of some of the more memorable stories from the Microsoft OS's rather bumpy first year on the market.
Google, Microsoft Trade Jabs Over Yahoo
Commentary  |  2/3/2008  | 
Google issued a statement speaking out against the proposed Microsoft acquisition of Yahoo over the weekend, citing antitrust and competitive concerns. Later, Microsoft fired back, saying that a combined Microsoft/Yahoo could serve as a better, stronger Number Two in the market to Google's Number One. Nice of Microsoft to admit that Google has the superior position. But is Google quaking in it
Rating The Super Bowl Commercials
Commentary  |  2/3/2008  | 
As always, the real contest at the Super Bowl was among the commercials. (Admittedly, the game, in which the Giant upset the Patriots 17 - 14, was exciting, too.) On Fox, there were some 50 ads, which went for upwards of $2.7 million for each 30-second spot. Based on the preponderance of beer ads, it must be an American truism that you can never be too rich or have too much Bud Light.
Backup MX - It's The Least You Can Do
Commentary  |  2/3/2008  | 
When I ask organizations to list their mission critical applications, e-mail is always on the list. While organizations are investing in all sorts of high-availability solutions for their e-mail servers, I'm amazed at how often they skip the inexpensive steps that will insure that legit e-mail doesn't get bounced if the e-mail server is down. When your mail server, or Internet connection, is down, a backup MX, or mail exchange, server will accept mail for your domain and forward it automatically
New 'Evil Finder' Appliance Thwarts Bank Heist
Commentary  |  2/3/2008  | 
Mandiant, a consulting and software company that specializes in uncovering data breaches and fraud, last week introduced Intelligent Response, an appliance for incident response and analysis. As they left the stage at last week's Demo conference, Mandiant officials said the device had just been used to "stop a bank robbery."
D'oh! -- I Should Have Made A Backup #2
Commentary  |  2/2/2008  | 
In our last installment, a disgruntled employee deleted files from the computers at the small office where she worked. Her boss should have known better, but we don't expect Florida architects to be IT mavens. In episode 2, cable TV operator Charter Communications, whose chairman and largest stockholder is none other than Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, accidentially deleted 14,000 e-mail accounts and their contents.
The Rigidity Trap Applies to PowerPoint, Dashboards Alike
Commentary  |  2/2/2008  | 
Curt Monash shares my disdain for PowerPoint: not the software per se but rather the rigid communication dysstyle it encourages. Seeming solutions such as pecha-kucha pick up the pace. You "say what you need to say and then sit the hell down." On the other hand, you're still locked in that rigid PowerPoint sequence. Faster, simpler presentations aren't necessarily better presentations. The same principle applies to communicating analytical results.
Follow The New Money
Commentary  |  2/1/2008  | 
VMware may be cold at the moment, but VCs are saying virtualization is still hot.
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