In Search Of Innovation
For years, we've seen far too little in the way of innovative enterprise applications or major hardware and networking advances. Arguably, more innovation is taking place in the consumer space, although much of that is incremental rather than revolutionary. There's more evidence this week that innovation in the IT industry is now being driven from the search engine outward, both for consumer and business applications.
Handicapping The Open-Source Shakeout
The long-predicted consolidation of the open-source software market is finally starting to happen. But which path will the market take--disappearance of the pure-play open-source vendors, or a winnowing to a few strong ones?
Those were the two scenarios proffered by Kim Polese, CEO of SpikeSource Inc., when I spoke with her in late February. SpikeSource sells testing and tech support for open-source packages of business software such as JBoss, MySQL, and SugarCRM. If any of those companies get
Data Center Power And Cooling Consortium Long Overdue
One of the hottest topics in the world of IT this past year has been the growing difficulty businesses are experiencing in trying to keep up with the demand for computational throughput without creating unmanageable data centers where the cost of running and cooling the equipment exceeds the cost of hardware acquisition. The formation of The Green Grid organization announced on Wednesday, could be a first ste
Treo 'Hollywood' Spotted In Wild
A blurry photograph of the low-cost, no-antenna, 3G/GSM version of the Palm Treo, code-named "Hollywood" and likely to be named the Treo 800p, started circulating today on the Web. Is it real?
Can Oracle Be Trusted With Business Intelligence?
Oracle's business intelligence strategy appears to be coming together. The database giant says it plans to take recently acquired Siebel Business Analytics and make it the foundation for its BI products, which will include integration between Oracle Discoverer and the Siebel Analytic Server. Delivery of the combination is set for the first quarter of 2007.
The Cost Of Click Fraud
Click fraud is a serious problem complicated by the fact that click fraud data is in short supply. The Click Fraud Index aims to change that.
The good news is that the incidence of click fraud appears to be lower than the disturbingly high figure of 20% to 40% that has been suggested.
The bad news is that at 14%, that's still a lot of bad clicks.
All The News That's Fit To Rate?
Society today seems to be sending a mixed message regarding its desire for "expert" information versus the opinion of anyone who's inclined to give one.
Steve Does a Jobs on Woz
Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, has written an autobiography. He asked Steve Jobs, his old HP co-worker and Apple co-founder, to write the preface, but, Woz told The AppleInsider that Jobs said no. "I don't know why" he declined, Woz told the Insider, "because I'm nice to him, so there must have been something he didn't like."
New Data Indicates That Outsourcing Yields Numerous Benefits Beyond Cost Reduction
A new study shows that handing IT projects to third parties--often based in far-flung corners of the globe--isn't saving corporations as much as is widely believed. Predictably, critics of the practice have been quick to seize on the report as proof that outsourcing isn't justifiable considering its supposed impact on U.S. jobs. But they're missing the point.
Greetings From San Francisco
Today is my first day at the helm of Business Intelligence Pipeline, so I figured it's a good time for us to get acquainted. My name is Antone Gonsalves and I previously ran InternetWeek, another site within CMP Media's TechWeb online group. Other hats I've worn within CMP include working as a staff writer for InformationWeek Online and the magazine. I live in San Francisco, where I've covered business technology for the last 10 years.
Security Research Isn't Pretty, But It's Necessary
Security research is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Security researchers run an assembly line of self-aggrandizing publicity, churning out press releases and announcements patting themselves on the back for discovering security vulnerabilities in software by Microsoft, Oracle, and other major vendors.
The researchers operate under a constant cloud of suspicion: Are they simply creating a climate of useless fear, stifling innovation, E-commerce, and technology implementation? Are they
Geronimo May Prove A JBoss Competitor
It's not an accident that JBoss Inc. has built up a head of steam, culminating in a $350 million offer from Red Hat. And it will be no accident that other promising application server projects follow in its path.
Wireless E-Mail Patent: What Did NTP Know And When Did It Know It?
More evidence surfaced this past weekend suggesting that NTP, which last month received a $612.5 million patent-infringement settlement from BlackBerry provider Research In Motion, should never have been granted its wireless E-mail patents. The idea of wireless E-mail dates back to 1982, when it popped into the mind of high-school dropout Geoff Goodfellow, a one-time Silicon Valley entrepreneur. That's two decades before NTP won its first legal battle against RIM.
A few years ago, in another life, I was presenting some research related to brand identity and the delivery of IT services to a tech-savvy group in Paris. I asked the attendees what they thought of when they heard the IBM brand name. Though the attendees gave a number of answers, the common consensus was that IBM represented quality, stability, and market superiority. In essence, IBM was a company these consumers of IT solutions trusted. Well, judging from the results of the
Apple Computer Is Secretly Plotting Global Domination. Or, Maybe Not.
Apple Computer's recent forays into Windows compatibility and Intel hardware architecture raise some interesting questions about the strategic direction of the company.
This could simply be what Apple says it is: By supporting Intel hardware, Apple might simply be looking for price/performance that the PowerPC architecture no longer provides. And the introduction of Windows Boot Camp, which lets Intel-based Macs boot Windows, could simply be a way to win market share by recruiting Windows user
Hot Apps: Password Management
Memorize one master password of your choice to access all your password-based Web sites from any computer--with strong encryption tossed in as a bonus.
At Cray, Good News Is Hard To Savor
What else could possibly go wrong at Cray? Three weeks ago, the beleaguered supercomputer company mustered about as much fanfare as it could in its arcane corner of the technology market by unveiling a new product road map that promised to slice bloated engineering costs while boosting performance benchmarks for its multimillion-dollar machines. The announcement was supposed to show how Cray, beset by financial losses, key executive departures, a $1.50 stock price, and a pileup of acquired platf
Software Security Groupies Kiss And Tell
Bet you didn't know that software companies, like rock stars, have groupies. Rock star groupies know every word to every one of their favorite band's songs, and they know how to wrangle backstage passes that make them privy to the band's inner workings. In my April 17 article on software companies and the security researcher groupies who love them, I spin a yarn about several instances where researchers found their way onto the proverbial tour bus. Do the people in charge of IT security really w
An Engineer Blows The Whistle On AT&T
I never believed that the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against AT&T, alleging that the company helped the National Security Agency coduct illegal spy operations, had much of a future.
Consider the EFF's central claim in the case -- that AT&T and NSA collaborated to spy upon tens of millions of American citizens, including both domestic and overseas phone calls. EFF isn't just looking for the proverbial smoking gun; it needs to find a smoking howitzer to prove such a dramatic, and p
Microsoft Is Pushing Your Leg
Gartner Group analyst Todd Kort has discovered that the "Direct Push" email Microsoft built into Windows Mobile 5.0 to take on RIM and Good Technology isn't really push at all. It's fast pull, he tells Unstrung. The differences may be minor. But they're $ignificant.
Some are getting all hysterical over Red Hat's entry into the middleware market, like it's going to change the IT landscape as we know it. But I don't think so.
Save Lives: Debug Code
We're so used to looking at programming these days as a throwaway, low-cost skill. We discourage students from pursuing it, we outsource the basic tasks, and we routinely struggle with balky applications. Regardless of how smart any of this might be, we know we can live with all that.
But the tendency to ignore commonsense requests to thoroughly debug code? Very bad idea. In fact, it can be downright dangerous, according to panelists and attendees speaking at several sessions on topics such as
Microsoft's Crawl From The Bottom In Search
Microsoft may be lagging in the search market, but give its engineers credit for moving faster to catch up.
The software company posted a new search engine for academic journals to the Web Tuesday night, and while it's yet another example of Microsoft trailing Google in online software (digital maps and desktop searches also come to mind), Microsoft is showing what looks like a new willingness to take some chances and loosen up its release schedules.
IT Security: Playing To Win
Security company Fortify Software today released a Flash-based game called IT Defender that attempts to educate players about workplace security risks while they risk their jobs by playing a game at work.
Sure, it's a PR ploy. But it's a good one. (Really, anything is better than another press release.) As a game, it's nothing groundbreaking, but it's nicely done for what it is.
In China And India, IT Workers Fiddle While Paris And Rome Burn
Were I an Indian or Chinese IT worker or engineer, I'd be smiling after reading Monday's editions of Le Monde or Il Tempo. That's because I'd know that a job currently located in France or Italy is coming my way. I'd also be secure in the knowledge that after this week's events, there's almost zero chance that a multinational I might want to work for--say, IBM or Siemens--is going to choose Western Europe (with the possible exception of the U.K. or Ireland) over my country as t
The More Things Change...
the more they stay the same. Sure, it is an old adage but it also true. Consider recent talk of increased consolidation in the IT services industry. Companies like EDS are making moves to buy other firms, but this is hardly anything new. Just weeks ago, news surfaced of merger talks between Lucent and Alcatel - two tech vendors wi
Deflating The Wireless Bubble
Mobile and wireless computing are among the most hyped technologies available. My colleagues Elena Malykhina and Andy Dornan do a great job today describing both the potential and the problems of wireless and mobile computing. Their report includes the following: