Commentary
Content posted in March 2008
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9 IT Tips To Weather A Recession
Commentary  |  3/24/2008  | 
A recent InformationWeek survey shows that almost 60% of business and IT pros see the economy as in a recession or headed toward one. Yikes! But they share some tips on how to cope.
Bite-Sized Server Apps With BitNami
Commentary  |  3/24/2008  | 
What I enjoy most about open source is when people take existing products and twist them around into new shapes.  I've long had high regards for PortableApps for doing that, but thanks to a commenter on a previous post of mine, I now have a new crew to watch in that regard: BitNami.

Network Appliance Rechristens Itself NetApp, Picks Bad Logo
Commentary  |  3/24/2008  | 
In a stunning demonstration of branding over substance, Network Appliance, the market leader in corporate NAS, has decided that its biggest problem is that its target market of the top 5,000 storage-using organizations in the world had never heard of it. To address this problem it, like FedEx before it, adopted the company's nickname of NetApp as the official name and decided to use the worst stylized N logo since NBC in the '80s. Various other bloggers have compared it to Stonehenge, a staple,
Is Consolidation Needed in the Mobile Phone Market? For Smaller Businesses, Yes!
Commentary  |  3/24/2008  | 
The mobile phone market is rapidly expanding as new players -- like Apple and Google -- make their entrance. This is creating problems for smaller businesses, which must contend with the growing variety of mobile operating systems among their employees, all on a limited IT budget
WiMax Is 'A Disaster' That 'Failed Miserably'
Commentary  |  3/24/2008  | 
Oh, man. This doesn't sound good. The first WiMax operator to launch a WiMax network in Australia already has shut the network down. The CEO of Hervey Bay's Buzz Broadband berated the technology during a public meeting and said that it simply doesn't work as it's been advertised.
VMware To Double R&D Presence In India
Commentary  |  3/24/2008  | 
VMware's Bangalore engineering office to grow to 1,000+ in two years. Add in 200 or so other sales and support employees, 160 channel partners, university partnerships and many customers across India to look at the big picture.
Software as a Service: Are You Prepared?
Commentary  |  3/24/2008  | 
The economic environment has placed increased pressure on organizations to use their IT budgets and resources wisely... Software as a service (SaaS) alternatives could be a great opportunity to deliver business value and avoid long IT cycles... But nothing comes so easily without precautions and warnings.
CNN Creates Citizen Journalism Channels On Web, In Second Life
Commentary  |  3/24/2008  | 
Budding Wolf Blitzers can bring their news reporting talents to the Web and Second Life using a citizen journalism program run by CNN. Reporters post video, photos, audio, and text reports to the beta iReport site, and have the news appear on the site unfiltered. The best contributions appear on CNN itself.
All Sorts of Sorts
Commentary  |  3/24/2008  | 
From The Rumor Mill -- IBM To Buy Diligent
Commentary  |  3/23/2008  | 
Israeli business news site Global Online reported last week that negotiation for IBM to buy data deduplicating VTL software vendor Diligent Technologies for $200 million had reached an advanced stage. http://globes-online.com This would follow on IBM's acquisition of Israeli grid storage startup XIV a couple of months ago. Considering that XIV Executive Chairman Moshe Yanai remained a director of Diligent after it
Clarke Never Crossed Sci-Fi Humanities Divide
Commentary  |  3/23/2008  | 
I'm a bit late weighing in on the death of Arthur C. Clarke, who was buried Saturday in Sri Lanka, having taken (me, not him) some much-needed time off to contemplate various things. (Hey, if there's one key element in Clarke's writings, it's long time spans where nothing much happens.) So here's my contrarian thought, amid all the laudatory obits about this sci-fi pioneer.
Small Post, Tiny Footprint
Commentary  |  3/22/2008  | 
Ubuntu's JeOS (say 'juice' if you must) weighs in at 151 MB. Want to roll your own VMware mini-appliance? This is a pretty good place to start.
Crapware Costs You Time, But Makes Them Money
Commentary  |  3/22/2008  | 
It's an unfortunate fact that most Windows-based systems are filled with crapware when they're delivered. This unwanted software has a limited lifetime or crippled functionality. When its teaser trial is up, you either succumb to its incessant pleas for money or find a way to uninstall it. Last week, Sony put forth a solution. For a mere $50 more, it would deliver a system that is the way it should be -- free
Object-oriented music
Commentary  |  3/22/2008  | 
Sametime-OCS Integration at Last???
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
George Clooney Googles Himself
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
Writer A.J. Jacobs takes the debonair actor on a hilarious cybertour of what people are saying about him on the Internet. He bravely reads his Wikipedia entry, looks up reviews of his best and worst movies, and joins the Facebook group "George Clooney is NOT the sexiest man alive."
802.11n: Myth vs. Reality
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
Most people think of the upcoming 802.11n Wi-Fi standard as the best thing since wireless bread -- who doesn't want more speed and longer range? But even wireless vendors acknowledge that the hype may have overtaken the reality.
So, Did Google Win Or Lose The Spectrum Auction?
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
Google did not come away from the FCC 700-MHz spectrum auction with any licenses. It did, however, force Verizon Wireless to spend $4.74 billion and trigger the open access provisions to a massive block of spectrum that covers most of the country. With those provisions, and Verizon's own "Any Device" initiative, that leaves the door wide open for the Android platform.
The Google Of Peer To Peer?
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
Tiversa, a five-year-old company based in Pittsburgh, specializes in knowing what kind of content is being shared over peer-to-peer networks. Until now, it's concentrated on helping businesses find and fix data leaks caused by file-sharing users. But Tiversa's got other plans for its technology, including working with advertisers to understand and respond to user activity on P2P networks.
Spicebird: More Open Source Competition For Outlook
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
There's been a lot of discussion about which open source application works best as a replacement for Microsoft Outlook: Evolution, Ximian, Thunderbird, and so on. Let's add another contender to that list, shall we? Meet Spicebird
Apple To Ban SDK Developers From Accessing iPhone Music Features?
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
Since Apple released the SDK several weeks ago for the iPhone, the euphoria has slowly been fading. Reports that not everything will be open for access and other detractors have tempered the initial joy. The latest piece of bad news? Developers won't be able to create music players for the iPhone.
Viral Video Of The Week: Star Wars Meets Saul Bass
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
Welcome to our new end-of-the-week feature. The clever and astute might recall seeing a similar incarnation on the Network Computing Blogs a while back. I convinced (read: fast-talked and begged) the powers-that-be that this would be a fun way to bid the last five days buh-bye and head into the weekend.
More Users Going Off-Deck For Mobile Content
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
The walled gardens built by the mobile network operators continue to crumble. As more and more content can be reached off-deck, mobile users are finding it and the carriers are losing control of their distribution models. With AT&T and Verizon Wireless flinging their networks open, how long before the gardens are gone entirely?
5 Assertions By Nicholas Carr That Do Matter
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
Set aside the emotions engendered by Nicholas Carr's writings. The author of the infamous "Does IT Matter?" spoke at Search Engine Strategies in New York this week and raised a number of cogent issues that should be keeping IT managers and CIOs awake at night.
Green Agendas Continue To Influence Content Strategies
Commentary  |  3/21/2008  | 
My first post of 2008 was a content management trend watch: number two on the list was the movement toward green IT.
Rethink The Business Case?
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
Every P2V business case is about cost savings, right? You know the pitch; consolidation will set you (and your budget) free. PR firms are even touting virtualization as the saving grace for budget woes in the coming Dark Age, er, Recession. What if I told you folks up and down the food chain are looking at VM'ing to resolve server-build hassles and a list of other operational woes? What if I said those same folks are expecting costs to be neutral, or higher for P2V, but their
USB Drive Dongle -Stick One In Your Bag O' Tricks
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
It happens to the best of us every once in a while. The CEO broke his laptop screen, or the desktop power supply of the VP of HR, who insists on storing data on his C: drive, bit the dust. Now you have a hard drive full of data in a dead system. How do you mount the drive so you can recover the data? Put it in a spare desktop? Is it PATA, SATA, or the mini-PATA connection for laptop drives that also carries power? For around $30 you can stick a USB drive dongle in your bag of tricks and read the
CIOs Uncensored: The CIO Is Dead; Long Live The CIO
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
There's a perfect storm of factors bearing down on CIOs, but they can weather it.
Wine 1.0 On The Menu For Desktop Linux Users
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
It looks like Wine's time has finally come: Version 1.0 of the Windows emulation software is now slated for a June release. And Linux users almost certainly have Google -- or, at least, Google's money -- to thank for moving things along.
When Google Speaks …
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
... CIOs should listen. Google's CIO Douglas Merrill gave a (brief) interview to The Wall Street Journal earlier this week. Plenty of IT people picked up on it. If you haven't read it, you need to.
Video: Bug Labs' Build-It-Yourself Mobile Devices
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
We caught up with Peter Semmelhack, president and CEO of Bug Labs, to talk about how his company is building tools to allow users to build any mobile device "as easy as snapping Legos together." The company's mobile devices are based on open source hardware and software to foster innovation. Watch now to get a look at the devices, and find out how Bug Labs hopes to make money by giving technology away for free.
Verizon Bests Google In FCC Auction
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
Verizon Wireless did it. Its bid of $4.74 billion beat out all the other interested parties and secured the C Block in the FCC's 700-MHz spectrum auction.
It's A Support Thing -- Or: One Throat To Choke
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
Last year, word swirled in the air that Hewlett-Packard would be the next big PC vendor after Dell to add support for Linux on desktops.  So far the official word remains muted, in the realm of "we're exploring options, we'll make an announcement when the time is right", but the guesses now center around HP providing SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop as its distro of choice.  The real question isn't what distribution, though -- it's what kind of support options you'll get, or as they say
Teradata Has Acquired BI/DW Firm Claraview
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
Data warehousing powerhouse Teradata has acquired BI/DW solutions provider Claraview. The news is there on Claraview's Web site, "Claraview is a division of Teradata Corporation,..." but I don't have a clue why Teradata hasn't seen fit to announce the acquisition. There are a few hints of the take-over out on the Web, and an individual in a position to know told me the deal is (or was) "an open secret."
XPrize: $10 Million For 100-MPG Cars
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
The XPrize Foundation is doing for cars what it has already done for commercial space flight (and is trying to do for human genomics and lunar exploration) -- it is pushing for groundbreaking technical innovation by offering big prize money.
A great Mac transition book for Windows refugees
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
Many Windows users have trouble making the transition to the Macintosh, and often, it's for superficial GUI reasons. For example, one Windows XP user I know was very frustrated because the way you resize windows on the Mac (pull the lower-right corner) is more "limited" than the way you do it on Windows (move any side or corner). This was enough to make him lobby to go back to Windows, believe it or not.
Smaller Business as Spectator Sport
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
Paraphrasing Warhol, "Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes," but what's the value of fleeting moments in the spotlight for smaller businesses? A bevy of business contests promise prizes, publicity, and cash. Such contests may sap valuable resources from smaller businesses with little to spare yet they may also be the catalyst for some much-needed fine tuning of business plans.
The Mac's market share continues to climb
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
Stop feeling like a rebel by suggesting or promoting Mac usage within your organization. As the latest statistics show, Mac adoption is growing rapidly. While there still are more new Windows machines being sold, the gap is closing.
BlackBerry Addicts Get 1 GB Of Free Online Storage
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
Cortado Connect and Box.net are giving users of BlackBerry smartphones 1 GB of free online storage for pictures, files, music, whatever. If you want more storage, however, you'll have to cough up some dough. It's sort of like a mini-FTP for your phone. Check it out.
For Smaller Businesses, It's About the Technology (Even an iPhone Can Make Sense -- Really)
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
Anyone who ever said one person can't really make a mark on the business world on their own has never met a true entrepreneur. A recent article profiling a bunch of solo entrepreneurs who deliberately choose to keep their businesses small, demonstrates the power of the individual in the corporate world. But the real point of the article is what makes each of their businesses tick: It's all about the technology.
The Culture of Social Networking
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
HTC 'Dreams' Up Its Android Phone
Commentary  |  3/20/2008  | 
HTC was one of the first handset makers to commit to building an Android phone this year. According to inside sources, that phone will be called the Dream. It will package together a large touch screen with a full qwerty keyboard. It should street later this year.
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