Commentary
Content posted in March 2007
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Palm Gives Enterprise Users Some Good News
Commentary  |  3/27/2007  | 
Today at CTIA Wireless, Palm announced that it is providing an update for Windows Mobile users of the Treo 750. The update includes Windows Mobile 6 and a software key to upgrade the radio to HSDPA speeds.
Stale Doughnuts On The CTIA Stage
Commentary  |  3/27/2007  | 
Coming to you live from the Tuesday morning keynote session at CTIA Wireless 2007 in Orlando. This is my fourth CTIA, best I can recall, and each year the stage props get bigger, the music gets more pounding, and the crowds get larger. At last fall's CTIA, in Los Angeles, we were joined by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. This year's edition will have a political cast as well: those strange bedfellows (and former
No News Is Bad News
Commentary  |  3/27/2007  | 
The CTIA Wireless show had its unofficial kick-off last night at the Mobile Focus event at Orlando's Peabody Hotel. There was a surprising lack of news from the mini-show floor, and there wasn't even any good industry gossip. What gives?
Prof. Davenport Misses the Point of Analytics
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
I recently sat in on a keynote presentation by Thomas Davenport of Babson College, who wrote a much-touted article on analytics in Harvard Business Review last year. He identified analytics as a competitive market advantage and illustrated his point with some case studies. It's certainly important to recognize their value, but analytics alone are only a small part of what is missing in business today.
Death Threats Force Designer To Cancel ETech Conference Appearance
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
Designer Kathy Sierra abruptly cancelled her appearance at the O'Reilly ETech conference here in San Diego this week, after receiving graphic and sexual death threats that made her afraid to leave her house, she wrote on her blog today.

When You Wish Upon a SmartPhone
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
Welcome to central Florida, a region of completely artificial consumer attractions charging way-outrageous prices to customers satisfying needs and desires they didn't know they had. Oh, yeah, and then there's Disney World.
Gates, Jobs Go Head-To-Head In "I'm A Mac" Commercial Parody
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
This humorous video pits Microsoft's Bill Gates and Apple's Steve Jobs against each other in a parody of the "I'm a Mac / I'm a PC" TV commercial. Cute. Watch it below the fold. Contains some mild foul language.
Faster Chipsets? It's About Time
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
Lord knows, getting any kind of breakthrough innovation in the computer hardware sector is like working at Dunkin' Donuts ... so many variations using pretty much the same materials again and again.
The CIO Dilemma
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
The Ascent Into Hell, Postponed
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
Most U.S. air travelers -- almost 70% of them, according to a 2005 poll by USA Today -- breathed a collective sigh of relief late last week when the Federal Communications Commission decided to extend its current ban on cell phone use on planes indefinitely.
Packing For CTIA: What I Expect To See In Orlando
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
Right now I am heading out the door to CTIA Wireless 2007 in sunny Orlando, Florida (also known as Disneytown, USA and Las Vegas East). As I was packing my belongings, I decided to jot down a list of the wireless news and trends I expect to see down in Orlando.
InfoWorld Follows (Readers') On-line Path
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
InfoWorld has announced that their April 2 issue will be the last to appear in print. The magazine follows in the footsteps of Intelligent Enterprise in going on-line only. Like IE, InfoWorld cites the advertisers' desire for "more immediate gratification and measureable results than print can afford them." Yet there's another important factor to on-line delivery that InfoWorld does not explore: reader preferences.
Tiny Apps For Linux On Slow Hardware
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
Linux has a well-deserved reputation for running well on less-powerful hardware than it takes to run Windows, and articles like How To Revive An Old PC With Linux offer lots of good advice. It's a great, no-cost way to get started with Linux. And here's what you'll need next: a great list of tiny, ultra-light-weight applications that will give you maximum computing for minimum footprint on you
A Second Life For Collaboration?
Commentary  |  3/26/2007  | 
The Web Just Wants To Be Rude
Commentary  |  3/25/2007  | 
The response to a recent blog post of mine has set me wondering just why it is that the first impulse of people who don't like what you write on the Web is to sling personal invective, mostly in the form of semi-literate screeds littered with curse words. The apparent answer: The anonymity provided by the Internet experience encourages a kind of online version of road rage.
'Garbage Social Networks' -- Does That Mean Twitter?
Commentary  |  3/25/2007  | 
The subject line in my email caught my eye immediately: "Thursday -- Garbage Social Networks, E-Flex, and More!" I've been playing with Twitter, and I thought, "Yes! I know just what that means!" It turns out I was wrong: the writer really meant social networks for people interested in reducing the volume of their trash. But I think my version is more interesting, because it explains the incredibly rapid devaluation of social networking as a concept. We really have sunk to the level of garbage s
The Daily Show Looks At The Viacom Lawsuit Against Google's YouTube
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
"The Google guys will be like, yo, check it out, we just put another gold-plated rock-climbing wall in our office. We're CRAZY rich!" Watch the video below the fold.
Is Motorola Up For Sale?
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
While everyone was following the Palm rumors this week, a few bloggers claimed that Motorola might be up for sale, too.
Furnishing The InformationWeek Office In Second Life
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
I spent some time yesterday furnishing InformationWeek's office -- or, should I say, bureau -- in Second Life. Read on for a photo of our little office, and some discussion of how it came to pass.

Outrageous Royalty Ruling To Be Reviewed
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
While the Bush administration may not be capable of saying "Oops, we screwed up," it seems that another part of the federal government -- the U.S. Copyright Review Board -- might have had a change of heart. After facing a storm of outrage, the board this week agreed to review its decision to impose staggering new royalty payments on I
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
IT Confidential: Why Software, And Beer, Should Be Free
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
Free--as in free beer--is not an unfamiliar concept in software, and one perhaps worth revisiting
Down To Business: Heads Up, Tech Management
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
Money and people once devoted to initiatives that drive new business now get sucked into operational necessities. Time to move out of maintenance mode.
Jott Helps Keep Track Of To-Dos When You Can't Write 'Em Down
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
I'm so excited I could just plotz -- I actually had a chance to field-test Jott yesterday and it worked like a champ. Jott is a new service that lets you phone in and record a 15-second sound bite, which it transcribes using speech recognition and then e-mails the text back to you. I used it to record an idea while I was driving to the dentist, and by gosh I had that e-mail waiting for me when I got back to my desk.

Nokia Gives U.S. Consumers Short End of the Stick. Again.
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
Yesterday Nokia finally released its fully featured flagship phone, the N95. It may not have a touch screen and slick Apple GUI, but the N95 is as close to an iPhone killer as you're going to get. Its drool-worthy spec list checks off every major functionality a so-called "multimedia computer" should have, including the Symbian Series 60 3rd Edition operating system, a 5-megapixel
Verizon Soft-Launches Its Second V Cast TV Handset
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
Remember the hullabaloo that was made over Verizon Wireless' V Cast Mobile TV service a few weeks ago? The second-largest U.S. carrier began offering its mobile TV service in select markets on one handset beginning March 1. Today, it made the second mobile TV-capable handset available, the LG vx9400, for $200. Too bad Verizon didn't m
Still No Deal For Palm
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
The much-ballyhooed deal to acquire smartphone maker Palm has yet to materialize. Meanwhile, Palm's shares took a hit while the market remains antsy for some M&A action.
Data Privacy: The Leading Roadblock to SaaS Adoption
Commentary  |  3/23/2007  | 
As larger organizations move toward SaaS, a few organizations are pushing back on this new model citing data privacy concerns. So, is data privacy a real issue? Or are IT managers reacting more to the lack of control than to data privacy? In my experience, organizations fall into three categories in their thinking about SaaS and data privacy.
Embed Rules Without Reinventing the Wheel
Commentary  |  3/22/2007  | 
Business rules show up in a lot of apps. Call centers employ rules for routing, exception-handling, escalation and approvals. Financial services set up rules based on deal value, customer status and regulatory scrutiny. Security software embeds access security rules. And as always, rules are made to be broken, so developers ideally want something that business users can change without having to go to IT.
How Should We Tax Property In Virtual Worlds?
Commentary  |  3/22/2007  | 
My colleague Tom Claburn has a clever and informative article on how virtual property should be taxed in online games and worlds like World of Warcraft and Second Life. Indiana law professor Leandra Lederman says virtual property should be taxed like fish -- when it's sold, not before.

New Certificates And Neo-Nomads
Commentary  |  3/22/2007  | 
The technological revolution -- and let's face it, this is truly a societal revolution -- is attracting a wide range of reactions from various groups that are part of the movement. On the one hand, two industry organizations are trying to impose order on the chaos involved in getting support for home technology. On the other, an increasing number of tech workers are enthusiastically embracing a rootless, home-is-where-your-hard-drive-is lifestyle.
Microsoft Attempts To Explain Its Windows Mobile Naming Conventions
Commentary  |  3/22/2007  | 
When Microsoft launched Windows Mobile 6 back in February, it also renamed the different versions of the software. Now, rather than actually describing what specific device they're for, the names are vague and confusing: Standard, Professional, and Classic. Find out why.
Motorola's Mobile Phone Business Is Back In The Red
Commentary  |  3/22/2007  | 
Motorola this week said that its mobile phone business is not doing well and that it will likely continue to post losses for much of 2007. Just a couple of years ago Motorola was the darling of the mobile market. The Razr was the hottest cell phone on the block and CEO Ed Zander could do wrong. What happened?
For Sale In Second Life: Amsterdam
Commentary  |  3/22/2007  | 
Amsterdam is for sale on eBay.. It's one of the most popular areas in Second Life. More than that: It is, to Second Life, what Times Square is to New York, or Fisherman's Wharf is to San Francisco. It's one of the first places where newbies go, to look around and check out the scene.

The Real Issues With XPDL, BPEL and BPMN
Commentary  |  3/22/2007  | 
Keith Swenson is one of the true superheroes of BPM, and a pioneer in the development of interoperability standards. He periodically feels called upon to insist that XPDL does not compete with BPEL… then usually adding that XPDL is actually better... The latest fracas started when Keith claimed victory from the fact that eight of the 12 vendors in the top-three Gartner Magic Quadrants support XPDL.
How To Dress For Success At Google
Commentary  |  3/22/2007  | 
Google employee Jason Warner offers some fashion advice on how to dress for success in Google's offices. Apparently, it starts out with the right shoes.
I'm Going To ETech Next Week -- How About You?
Commentary  |  3/21/2007  | 
I do not want to go to the O'Reilly ETech conference next week, because that involves leaving my comfortable desk chair. But those scoundrels at O'Reilly have thwarted me by putting on a conference with a mix of practical business advice and weird philosophical hocus-pocus that I find irresistible. I've been checking out the conference schedule and here's the programming that jumps out at me as most compelling.

IBM Launches Labyrinth, Library For Developers In Second Life
Commentary  |  3/21/2007  | 
IBM launched Codestation, an area in Second Life for developers, providing training, information, as well as a code library and labyrinth where developers can learn by building robots and racing them against each other. Check out the images.
In Defense of Hype
Commentary  |  3/21/2007  | 
As a writer and editor, I felt a twinge of guilt when I read Seth Grimes' blog on hyperbolic PR and "writers and editors who don't have the time, knowledge, and/or judgment to ask the right questions." Seth's last two blogs came about because a SaaS-model BI vendor served up what he felt was self-conscious PR overstating its actual accomplishments. But what's true of this startup company is still true of Salesforce.com and was once true of Google.
Will That Be Cash, Credit, Or SMS?
Commentary  |  3/21/2007  | 
Bankers, mobile network operators, and retailers have all come together to offer a text message-based payment program to the citizens of Belgium. Unlike near-field communication, which requires a handset equipped with an NFC short-range radio, this program will let every cell phone user complete
Google Denies Google Phone And Stresses Mobile Software
Commentary  |  3/21/2007  | 
So is Google actually building a mobile phone or not? This burning question is keeping mobile bloggers everywhere busy. And just when it looked like Google had confirmed the long-awaited Google Phone, another company executive thi
On Products, the Press, Analysts and SaaS
Commentary  |  3/21/2007  | 
"How do companies with such a trivial product get such [extensive] press?" I had written in a recent blog about the claims and the coverage garnered by a BI software as a service (SaaS) company... The person who sent me this question founded a rival company that creates BI solutions using open-source software... Consider the following PR 101 from someone on the receiving end of many press releases.
Programmers Left Their Heart In...Houston?
Commentary  |  3/21/2007  | 
California may be the tech industry's center of gravity, but a new analysis suggests there's a far better state for those making their living as programmers: Texas.
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