Commentary
Content posted in March 2008
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Your Next Fav.or.it Blog Aggregation Tool?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
At Startup Camp in London, I met Nick Halstead, the erstwhile founder behind fav.or.it, a new blog aggregation site that's been widely discussed in the, um, blogosphere (there's a dog chasing its tail somewhere in that statement).
Fujifilm's Tape Tracker - GPS For LTO
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
As expected, the seemingly constant stream of news stories revealing how one organization after another has lost, misplaced, or allowed evil hackers (which some of you want me to call crackers) to access personal data about its customers, employees, and/or clients has spawned a new product. Fujifilm's Tape Tracker combines a GPS receiver and cellular modem to create a James Bondian tracking device cleverly disguised as an LTO tape. All you have to do is slip a Tape Tracker into each Turtle of ta
CTIA: Just Who Is It For?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
We're here at CTIA Wireless 2008, the cellular industry's trademark show in the United States. This year's show kicked off with Smartphone Summit, where the morning held tracks discussing everything from market stats from leading analysts to the latest and greatest smartphones.
BlackBerry 9000 Has Rotten Battery Life, But Otherwise Rocks
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
The word from early testers of the much-rumored BlackBerry 9000 mystery smartphone have reported absolutely abysmal battery life. With the Wi-Fi running, testers say the battery runs dry with just two hours of Web browsing. Other features, though, impressed the users in the field.
CIO As Acquisition Partner
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Is the CIO an effective position to enlist in your company's mergers and acquisitions strategy? It makes sense, given that integration is one of the major challenges in an M&A move, particularly integration of the IT variety.
HP Unveils Products with Muscle for Midsize Businesses
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Today, HP announced several products targeted for smaller businesses. Regardless of how these products play with the so called SMB market, the announcement indicates just how serious HP is about competing for midsize business IT dollars.
CTIA Wireless: On The Ground In Las Vegas
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Over The Air is on the ground in Las Vegas for the CTIA wireless trade show this week and will be posting videos galore of all that we see. Be sure to check back regularly for updates. So far, the smartphone summit showed some interesting developments from Symbian and UIQ.
Google Has A Privacy Policy That Doesn't Offer Privacy
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
In an effort to demonstrate its commitment to privacy, Google on Friday announced a revamp of its online Privacy Center, a repository for information about Google's privacy policies and practices. On Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Google's enterprise search hardware is finding its way into U.S. intelligenc
Griefers Post Seizure-Inducing Graphics On Epilepsy Board
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Attackers targeted a messaging board for the nonprofit Epilepsy Foundation and posted JavaScript code and flashing computer animation to trigger migraine headaches and seizures in some users.
Did Verizon FiOS' Free HDTV Inch Us One Step Closer To Jonathan Schwartz's Free Cars?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
OK. So things went very badly after, in an effort to drum up more business for its fiber-optic based FiOS service, Verizon offered up free HDTVs. After Verizon had a hard time making good on the promise, the bad news spread like wildfire across news sites and blogs. But did the critics miss a bigger "free car" picture that Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz once alluded to?
Outspring Mail For Mac Learns From You
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
I've recently been bumping up against the rough edges of Apple Mail, and so I was very interested in learning about Outspring Mail, a $95 Mac e-mail program that's designed to observe the user's actions and learn from them.
So, Lady, You Want to Grow Your Smaller Business? Here's Some Advice
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Apparently, women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men. That statistic has caught the eye of none other than Microsoft which is teaming up with a bunch of small business experts in a series of conferences kicking off this week in five cities across the country just for women to network and learn. Men, go watch some basketball.
Are Vendors Accountable For Over-Promising Software Demos?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
It's a classic. An on-stage software exec confidently gestures toward the demo of newly "announced" software, expounding on its life-changing features before a packed audience. But the software doesn't really work yet; it isn't even shipping until next year. So is this demo an act of fraud? That's an interesting question in light of the lawsuit Waste Management has filed against SAP.
Linux Wins The Security Showdown! Now What?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
So now that Ubuntu Linux was "last man standing" in the PWN to OWN contest at CanSecWest, does this mean open source has it all over the competition when it comes to security?  It can, and it ought to -- but it's not a guarantee.  And we need to not think it is.

Adobe Teams With Linux
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
PC World, Techtree
Security Showdown: OS X Caves First, Vista Buckles (Due To Flash), Ubuntu Wins
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
At the 2008 edition of the PWN to OWN security showdown at CanSecWest (Canada Security West) in Vancouver, an Ubuntu distribution of GNU Linux took top honors after Apple's Mac OS X and Microsoft's Windows Vista eventually caved under hacker pressure. All OSes were up-to-date with the latest patches.
Cradle To Grave, Baby
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
Virtual Center can support 200 hosts and 2,000 VMs. VMware's new Lifecycle Manager offers hope to automate and track those thousands of containers...
WatZatSong: You Tell Me
Commentary  |  3/31/2008  | 
When we held Startup Camp in London, WatZatSong was one of the more intriguing new ventures. Raphael Arbuz' project lets the community help you figure out songs that you know some lyrics to, or a tune stuck in your head.
Death To Brick-Level Backups!
Commentary  |  3/30/2008  | 
Friends, readers, fellow backup geeks, lend me your eyeballs. I come to bury mailbox by mailbox (brick-level) backups, not to praise them. Exchange server administrators shall not backup mailboxes individually via MAPI for it is so slow it causes thy tape drive to shoeshine, takes several times the disk or tape space as an information store backup, is prone to errors, and causes your backup jobs to fail, claiming disabled mailboxes are corrupted. The time has come to throw brick-level backups o
Printing Out Is Hard To Do
Commentary  |  3/30/2008  | 
I used to have a wonderful printer. It was an HP Laserjet III, and it lasted me through about eight years and three Windows upgrades. Its black-and-white toner produced beautiful, sharp, smudge-free output. Eventually, though, it wore out and went to that great recycle bin in the sky; I had to face the loss and look for a replacement. That's where the trouble started.
GoVault - It's The Software, Stupid
Commentary  |  3/30/2008  | 
Simplicity is the key to products for the SOHO market. Small business owners are like one-armed paperhangers; accounting, technology, and other administration tasks will always take second place to doing enough business to make next week's payroll. The backup software bundled with Quantum's GoVault uses this year's hot technology, data deduplication, to make backup to GoVault's removable hard drive cartridges simple as any I've seen. All you have to do is pick the folders to backup and set a sch
Cinci Bell Goes Thin With Sun
Commentary  |  3/29/2008  | 
I wrote on Sun's VDI upgrade earlier this month. Charlie Babcock interviewed Jeff Harvey from Cincinnati Bell on his company's VDI deployment for our 3/31 issue.
Rails: Vendor Everything Just Got Easier
Commentary  |  3/29/2008  | 
Here's a common deployment fiasco: You build something. Something great. You use a number of different third party libraries installed on your system. Then, when you deploy the app to production, things break. You investigate. You realize that one of the libraries you're depending on doesn't exist on the server. You install it. Things still don't work. You realize that another one of the third party libraries is an older version. You update it. Things start to work. But now, on
Energy Camp @ Interop: Calling All Interested Parties In IT Energy Savings
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
If you're an IT professional, solution provider, or someone else with an interest in how to trim back the energy consumption of technology (especially if you're someone with domain expertise to contribute to the broader conversation about "green IT"), then I hope you'll join me and Energy Camp master of ceremonies James Governor (blog) for Energy Camp in Las Vegas on April 28 (just prior to the start of Interop).
And The Survey Says …
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
The CIO must be the most surveyed profession on the planet. No wonder a new survey says CIOs are dissatisfied with their jobs -- they're tired of being surveyed.
The Down Side of Social Networking
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
Another Good Reason To Quit Feeding Microsoft's Favorite Cash Cow
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
If you put just one open-source software package to work in your small or medium-sized business, I can tell you exactly where to begin. And as much as I like Linux, I actually have something else in mind for you.
Google Mashup: Video Ads, Privacy, Online Safety
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
Google, as always, has been busy. Here's a roundup of some recent developments. Video ads are now being served in search results (although I couldn't find any); Google says it is really, really concerned about your privacy; and the company outlines steps for people to protect themselves.
Photo: Why To Check Power Supplies Before Use Abroad
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
To everyone in the hotel that I was staying in while in the U.K. for Startup Camp London (including my co-workers), I apologize for almost burning the joint down. Twice. Thankfully, I'm the only one who paid a price for my stupidity: a bit of damaged finish to my brand new MacBook, a blown-up power supply for an Ethernet hub, and one destroyed power strip.
The CIO And SharePoint
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
Why should CIOs pay close attention to this particular Microsoft product (as opposed to the myriad others you support in your organization)? Because it's viral (meaning its use is probably growing in your company, whether you know it or not), and it needs to be managed closely to get the most of out it.
Of Earth Hour And Toasty Undercrackers
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
I'll get to the undercrackers in a moment. First, a word about a global event scheduled for Saturday, March 29, which is either a planet-friendly gesture we can all feel good about, or a misguided act of "environmental indoctrination."
Three Mobile Advances: Search, Recommendation, Web Integration
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
Cell phone manufacturers aren't the only ones pumping new features and functions into mobile devices. Three startups--Kannuu, Aggregate Knowledge, and Ribbit--are getting into the act, too.
Friday Open Source Round-Up
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
So what's new in the world of open source apps you can really use?  Among other things, we have a new edition of OpenOffice, a Linux-based system-rescue utility, and a portable edition of an open source financial management application.  Read on ...

AT&T (Finally!) Sets MediaFlo Mobile TV Launch Date
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
More than a full year behind competitor Verizon Wireless, AT&T has set May 2008 as the date it will launch its mobile TV service using Qualcomm's MediaFlo network. This is more than four months behind schedule. The good news is that it will be launching the service with the svelte LG Vu phone, which (we can't help the comparison here) is very much like the iPhone.
The 'Weekly Watch' On Content Management
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
With all the activity in the content management market, I thought it would be a good idea to start a weekly ritual of quick blurbs and sound bites from vendors, users, and anyone else who'd like to throw their message in the mix.
Viral Video Of The Week: Big Dog Beta
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
Surely by now you've seen the video of the "Big Dog" -- the amazing quadruped robot designed to serve as a "pack mule" for soldiers in terrains where military vehicles are unable to manage or maneuver. I'll wager, however, you've never seen the original "Beta model" in action?
UIQ Platform Updated, Receives Love From SlingMedia
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
The UIQ mobile operating system has been updated to version 3.3. The biggest changes with this new system software, which is based on Symbian OS v9.3, are support for widgets, as well as the most recent version of the Opera Mobile browser. At the same time, SlingMedia announced that UIQ phones can now use its mobile service to stream TV. In all, good times ahead for UIQ.
Technology Is Not the Driver of BI Adoption
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
I'm having trouble with the supposition that "Emerging Technologies Will Help Drive Mainstream BI Adoption"... There are only two pieces of enterprise analytical software (broadly speaking) that ever gained currency in organizations in the past two decades - Excel and Google. Wouldn't it be a good idea to understand why?
Why Did Vista Stink? Developers, Developers …
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
Microsoft wields incredible power in the computer industry. Still, when it comes to the image of its flagship operating systems, it is greatly at the mercy of third-party software developers. When users sit down to use Windows, the code written by Microsoft sometimes doesn't matter as much as the bugs left behind in poorly written applications and drivers. If a crash happens, the average user is more likely to blame "crummy Windows" than to figure out it's a bug with a device driver.
John Jantsch Snowballs To Small Business Success
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
Sometimes when you notice a name or concept that's new to you, it starts popping up everywhere. The last two weeks, the clustering I couldn't avoid was contests for smaller businesses. This week, it's John Jantsch, the Duct Tape Marketing maven himself.
Sticky Notes vs. the Computer
Commentary  |  3/28/2008  | 
All That Got Stolen Was Microsoft's Thunder
Commentary  |  3/27/2008  | 
It's bad enough that Microsoft with its big war chest might sue you for producing open source software. But what's really hard to take is the suggestion that you stooped to stealing Microsoft code for your project. At the Open Source Business Conference this week in San Francisco, one show organizer got his revenge.
Google Restores 'Save & Close' Button To Google Docs
Commentary  |  3/27/2008  | 
This is some short and sweet news. This afternoon I fired up Google Docs to write a post about Picasa Web Albums, and noticed that my favorite button is back. Thanks, Google!
Has Social Networking Gone Too Far?
Commentary  |  3/27/2008  | 
Google Offers APIs To Picasa Developers
Commentary  |  3/27/2008  | 
I use Picasa to share pictures with my friends and family. It has some great features, and even offers plug-ins for Apple's iPhoto software so you can upload directly to Picasa albums from iPhoto. Today, Google introduced a new API for Picasa that should make it easier to transfer pictures around -- once developers get around to actually using it to create Picasa buttons.
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