Commentary
Content posted in February 2009
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Do You Backup Your Blog?
Commentary  |  2/28/2009  | 
Yesterday I reported on an apparent hacker attack on the iMedia Connection site. It appears the site must have been hit hard as it is down over 48 hours. What are you doing to make sure your blog is backed up in the case of a hacker attack or server outage?
Death Of Local Newspapers Spells Trouble
Commentary  |  2/28/2009  | 
The Rocky Mountain News is dead, and the San Francisco Chronicle is on life support. The Detroit Free Press, which just won the George Polk Award and Worth Bingham Prize for investigative reporting that led to the perjury conviction of a popular mayor, is reducing home delivery to three days a week. Community newspapers are dying, and online news media isn't filling the void. It's a bad situation.
CIOs And The Art Of IT Project Triage
Commentary  |  2/28/2009  | 
Global CIO guest columnist Howard Anderson has chimed in with a classic piece of strategic advice for CIOs on surviving these brutal times via artful negotiation of political minefields. Howard counsels CIOs on how to deal with suits seeking "shared pain," Sacred Cows, Godfathers, and Mahogany Row, and says to consider your pool of projects "one large Dungeons & Dragons game."
Smartphones Alter Unified Communications Equation
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
Earlier this week, I wrote about a Siemens study that identified the top 6 communications pain points for SMBs. Today, I heard from a UC expert who offered some interesting insight into the topic -- especially on the impact of smartphones on unified commications.
Content Management Conference Season Is Upon Us
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
Late winter and spring seem like prime time for content management conferences. If you were so inclined, you could practically make back-to-back reservations so that you're out of the office from March through June. Here's a quick look at a few of the conferences and events coming up for the first half of 2009. Ladies and gentlemen, start your frequent flyer miles!
The Mobile Roundup
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
While there wasn't a massive industry trade show this week, there was some major news. We saw Nokia hint that it might make a laptop, Microsoft confirmed that it wouldn't build its own
Interop Insider (MP3): Virtualization, Cloud, Green IT, & Security Are Major Themes At Upcoming Interop
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
I've decided to start publishing a new series of podcasts that I'm calling Interop Insider. After all, in addition to publishing InformationWeek, TechWeb also is the producer of some great events like Interop. So, given that us InformationWeekers can get an inside track on what's happening with our sister events, why not jump on that track early and develop an audio series that can be heard over time, or piled in its
The Data Center Hot/Cold Aisle Containment Debate
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
Optimizing air flow in your data center has several key benefits, including reductions in energy cost and carbon footprint. Most server equipment manufactured today is designed to draw in air through the front and exhaust it out the rear. This allows equipment racks to be arranged to create hot aisles and cold aisles. This 'hot/cold aisle containment' approach positions racks so that rows of racks face each other, with the front of each opposing row of racks drawing cold air from the same aisle
A Cloud User Switches Clouds
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
Less than two weeks after platform-as-a-service vendor Coghead disclosed that it's going out of business, competitor Caspio has migrated one of Coghead's abandoned customers to its platform.
Oracle's Social Networking Plans?
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
There has been some buzz about Oracle working on a new social networking and blogging platform called Social Suite. It's true, but only sort of.
Ingres and Alfresco Offer an ECM 'Appliance'
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
This week Alfresco, together with Ingres, announced the release of an ECM "appliance"... However, this particular announcement left me a bit befuddled. Mainly because it is not really an appliance as such, rather it's a software bundling of sorts.
The Beat Of The TomTom, Pt. 2
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
Voices from all sides are rising to further discussion of Microsoft vs. TomTom, with Linux and open source possibly caught in-between. It's not looking like
Salesforce CEO Benioff Claims Huge Wins Over Oracle
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
UPDATE: Bob Evans has just posted a new column about Salesforce and Benioff's challenges and opportunities in squaring off against Oracle, Microsoft and SAP. Two months after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison told financial analysts his company was whipping Salesforce in head-to-head competition for cloud deals, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff hit back this week by releasing a list of customers h
Bill That Boosts Spending On Small Business Programs Halfway Through Congress
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
Following the legislative process makes me all the more appreciative of the flexibility that defines small businesses.
Carbon Disclosure In Discrete Measures
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
The Carbon Disclosure Project's first global supply chain report, due on March 5, should be an eye-opener -- not only for what it contains but for what it lacks. Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM are among the IT companies that joined the CDP Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration and will be represented in the report.
Should Microsoft Build Its Own Phone?
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
Steve Ballmer recently said that Microsoft is not interested in building and selling its own phone. This was the same speech where he announced Windows Mobile 7 would be out in 2010. Instead, Microsoft would focus on the operating system and working with manufacturers to get products built. Should Microsoft be so rigid in this stance?
Global CIO: IT Project Triage (And Why Skippy Must Die)
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
Howard's rules for which projects to kill, which to preserve, and how to live to fight another day.
FCC Approves CDMA Version Of BlackBerry Pearl Flip
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
If you're a Verizon Wireless or Sprint customer and have longed for the chance to get your hands on the BlackBerry Pearl Flip, there's some good news. The FCC has recently given the green light to a CDMA variant of the Pearl Flip.
IT Search Engine Adds Netflow
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
Startup Paglo, which offers SaaS-based IT management based on search, now collects Netflow data to help customers monitor bandwidth usage by users, applications and protocols.
Too Hot To Handle: BlackBerry Bold Yanked From Store Shelves In Japan
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
The poor BlackBerry Bold. This device has not had an easy life. The latest chapter in the Bold's saga comes from Japan, where is has been pulled from store shelves by NTT DoCoMo due to overheating issues.
Obama's IT Protectionism Rattles Indian IT Industry
Commentary  |  2/27/2009  | 
President Obama's plan to penalize U.S. companies that use outsourcers from India and other countries will hurt the U.S. economy, the Indian economy, and the global economy, according to officials from the Indian technology industry. While it's not exactly a shocker to hear India's $63 billion IT and BPO market express such reactions, they underscore the central issue of just how damaging such a policy would be.
Facebook Invites User Input Into Terms Of Service
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Remember the kerfuffle last week over Facebook's unannounced changes in its terms of service? The ones that seemed to say Facebook owns anything you put up on the service, even after after you cancel your account? The ones that the company hurriedly rolled back when folks complained? Well, Facebook now has a new approach: It's a
Want An Obama Coin? Operators Are Standing By
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Have you been tempted by a historic Obama coin or wished you could hear those bingo numbers better? Have you wondered whether operators are really standing by? It turns out they are.
Users Want One Phone For Personal And Business
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Now that cell phones have morphed into mini-computing devices, people are putting a lot more in them than just a few cell phone numbers. Now they have hundreds if not thousands of contacts, all of our appointments, tasks, a sizable chunk of our music library, pictures and maybe even a few DVDs that have been ripped to watch during a flight. Trying to keep a personal and work phone up to date with critical information has just about become impossible, leaving many to just go for a single device f
Parasoft CEO Sees Possibility Of Huge IT Productivity Gains
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
There's a huge opportunity to improve productivity inside IT, which can then be leveraged into huge leaps in productivity at every level of your enterprise, an opinionated Adam Kolawa recently told InformationWeek in an exclusive interview. CEO of software tools vendor Parasoft, Kolawa holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Caltech and has written three books on software development, including his most recent one,
Unified Communications: Don't Forget The Glitz
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Yes, we're in a recession, so now more than ever hard cash savings are the key reasons to adopt a unified communications strategy, and key to getting budget for it. Just don't forget that the gee-whiz features matter, too.
Down To Business: Does Business Ethics Make Business Sense?
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
The best companies define and enforce employee codes of ethics, but in the end reputations rise and fall one person at a time.
Microsoft Sues TomTom; Orange Alert For Linux Backers
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Microsoft has filed suit against a software maker whose GPS navigation system uses Linux. Microsoft claims TomTom infringes eight of its patents. Linux backers are keeping a wary eye on the case, but so far consider this to be a dispute over GPS mapping software.
25 Random Things About... bMighty.com!
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
You know that annoying Facebook meme going around where people you hardly know shared way more than you ever wanted to learn about them? And you know how it's finally died down and you thought you were safe? Well, think again: here are 25 Random Things About bMighty.com, the InformationWeek Business Technology Network's site for small and midsize busineses.
Google Shortchanges Android Developers
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Developers who paid $400 for the fully unlocked Android Dev 1 are being prevented from buying and downloading premium applications from the Android Market.
Crisis Survival Kit: 12 Tips To Keep Customers Coming Back
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
As the recession drags on, people are keeping a tighter grip on their wallets. So how does a retailer stay in business? By developing a loyal following. Here are 12 tips to ensure your customers stick with you.
NASA's Bad Week: A Crash; Accusations Of Fraud
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
On Tuesday, a failed NASA launch sent a satellite deep into the frigid sea near Antarctica. On Wednesday, the FBI searched the offices of a University of Florida professor accused of swindling the space agency out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. [Update: on Friday, the White House released its budget proposal, which calls for the space shuttle to be retired.] Luckily for NASA, the week's nearly o
Microsoft, Sybase and Vertica Raise Data Warehouse Ante
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
This week has seen not one, not two, but three fairly significant data-warehouse-related product announcements at this week' TDWI event in Las Vegas. That's a testament to the pace of innovation in data warehousing and to the insatiable demand for better, faster, cheaper ways of crunching more numbers.
Opera Brings Gears Support To Mobile Browser
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Google Gears is a great tool to have if you need to access certain Google or other Web services and there's no Internet connection available. Opera has extended the ability to use Gears to its Opera Mobile 9.5 browser, bringing new potential to the offline powers of mobile phones.
Obama Stresses Importance Of Helping Small Businesses
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
U.S. President Barack Obama shone the spotlight on small businesses Tuesday when he addressed Congress.
Does Microsoft's TomTom Beating Bode Ill For Open Source?
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Open source folks are nervous about a Microsoft lawsuit against in-car GPS maker TomTom, allegedly because of possible implications for Linux.

Change In The Wind You Can Believe In
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
PricewaterhouseCoopers says the winds of change that have blown a few clean-tech IPOs off course aren't strong enough to stop the renewable energy market from moving ahead. That includes wind power. Certainly, Intel, Cisco, Google, and other high-tech companies agree and continue to invest in wind and other renewables. There is, however, still that pesky question of a new, or revitalized, electrical grid.
Shareholders Criticize Apple Over Steve Jobs' Health Disclosures
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Apple shareholders are taking the company to task over how it handled disclosures about Steve Jobs's health, saying the company needs to be more forthcoming about the CEO's condition. But Apple directors say they've done nothing wrong -- and that nothing has changed since Jobs announced last month that he was withdrawing from day-to-day operations, and the ailing CEO plans a June return.
Business Owners' Optimism Starts To Inch Upward
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Knowing exactly when the low point (or high point) of any fluctuation occurs is almost impossible without some distance from the events. According to a new survey, the low point of optimism for small business owners may have been last October.
Despite Outage, Google Makes More Tweaks To Gmail
Commentary  |  2/26/2009  | 
Even though Gmail crashed for several hours earlier this week, Google is moving forward with its continual roll out of new features for its e-mail product. This week, Gmail adds the ability to change the tab label for Gmail, as well as add multiple attachments at once.
bMighty vs. Bernanke - Obama Finally Steps Up For Small Businesses. But Will It Be Enough?
Commentary  |  2/25/2009  | 
Small business got a lot of attention on the Presidential campaign trail last year, but they've seemed kind of invisible in Washington since then. Until last night, that is, when President Obama finally shared the love with entrepreneurs and small business owners. But despite the glowing rhetoric, it's not at all clear that business owners will get what they what they really want out of the administration.
Obama's IT Protectionism: Just What Are 'Our Jobs,' Anyway?
Commentary  |  2/25/2009  | 
"We will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas," President Obama said last night. That begs the central question: In our massively interdependent business world where more and more products are designed, sourced, built, sold and serviced everywhere, how exactly do we define "our jobs"?
Give Up Technology For Lent?
Commentary  |  2/25/2009  | 
Now that the Mardi Gras parties are over, Catholics (and others) are looking at 40 days of Lent, with self-denial replacing wild exuberance. Well, here's a modest proposal: why not give up some seductive technologies that may waste more time than they save? bMighty.com came up with 8 likely candidates.
Softwear By Microsoft: What A Puzzle
Commentary  |  2/25/2009  | 
While doing some browsing a few days ago, I stumbled into a bizarre Microsoft site named Softwear By Microsoft. Really, I had to check the domain name several times to make sure this wasn't some sort of phishing site or parody. But no, it's real.
Nokia Mulling Laptop Business
Commentary  |  2/25/2009  | 
Nokia's CEO recently said that the company is thinking about a future in laptops. Can the Finnish maker of cell phones successfully make the leap from cell phones and Internet tablets to full-featured laptops?
Android Users Can Look Rich, Too
Commentary  |  2/25/2009  | 
Remember that $1,000 iPhone App "I Am Rich?" The app showed a glowing red jewel, and ... well, that's about it. The point was that you could afford it and show it off. Now Android users can have that same kind of fun, and you'll also be able to get a recession-friendly discount as well.
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