Commentary
Content posted in April 2007
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How Does RadioShack Stay In Business?
Commentary  |  4/25/2007  | 
Leave it to The Onion to ask one of the pressing questions of our time: How does RadioShack stay in business? This clever satire ponders how the age-old retailer manages to survive in the era of Best Buy and Amazon.
Should BI and Performance Management Be a Single Platform?
Commentary  |  4/25/2007  | 
Weeks before Business Objects announced it will acquire Cartesis, I had an interesting chat with BI-industry veteran Ben Plummer, now a VP at Applix. Plummer commented that the company is positioning itself "in the convergence between BI and performance management… we're calling it 'Business Analytics.'"
Viacom Takes Out The Wrong Garbage
Commentary  |  4/25/2007  | 
Will AT&T Market The iPhone To Business Users?
Commentary  |  4/25/2007  | 
According to a new report, AT&T may try to market the iPhone to business users as well as consumers. Mobile and enterprise IT analysts, however, are not so cool with the idea.
S60 Summit Exhibitors Show Off Consumer Applications
Commentary  |  4/25/2007  | 
Continuing our tour around the S60 Summit expo hall, Over The Air saw another handful of innovative applications and services aimed at consumers and enterprise users. Want to find the nearest Wi-Fi? Easy. Need to seamlessly switch your cellphone from business to personal mode? Done.
100 Millionth S60-Based Smartphone Ships
Commentary  |  4/25/2007  | 
During this morning's keynote address at the S60 Summit in Madrid, Spain, Nokia announced that more than 100 million devices based on the S60 platform have shipped. That totals 53.5% of the world market share for smartphone operating systems, and that doesn't include Symbian UIQ, which also has a sizable chunk of t
Data Breaches Cry Out for Data Governance
Commentary  |  4/25/2007  | 
The New York Times on April 20 reported yet another significant data breach: the inadvertent public disclosure of tens of thousands of social security numbers belonging to people who received financial assistance from the U.S. Agriculture Department. The breach, coming on top of numerous others recently, is a clear indication that data governance is the need of the hour.
Pay-Per-Call Provides Alternative To Pay-Per-Click Web Advertising
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
I was introduced to a new industry last night: Pay-per-call. It's like pay-per-click advertising, except the site hosting the ad gets paid when the customer picks up a phone and calls the vendor.

Too Many Writers Spoil The Story
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
Blogger Jason Calcanis recently refused to be interviewed over the phone by Wired contributing editor Fred Vogelstein. Calcanis prefers e-mail. As Calcanis explained in an e-mail to Vogelstein, "I'm an email guy like dave winer.. And I own my words as well, and often print them on my blog (after stories come out)."
Building In Second Life, With Links To Web Info
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
I spent a pleasant hour or so last night acquainting myself with building in Second Life. I created a simple platform that floats at an altitude of 100 meters above my land. Building in Second Life is actually fairly simple in concept, and simple once you get the hang of it, but in the middle there's lots of fiddly little options to select and buttons to push and it's easy to make mistakes.

E-Mail Is Out With Today's Younger Web Users
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
For most of us in the business world, e-mail is an integral part of our work lives. But for the millennials -- the generation between ages 13 and 24 -- e-mail is for old people. That's right, the first form of communication that brought many of us into the online world is now as outdated as a leisure suit.
Video: "The Simpsons" Take On Google
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
Marge Simpson looks up her name on Google. "And all this time I thought 'Googling yourself' meant the other thing," she declares. Then she tries Google Earth. Hilarity ensues. Watch the 37-second video after the jump.

The Regeneration Of Mobile Sales Force Automation
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
Just ask any CIO and they'll tell you mobility is a top priority for 2007. While certain enterprise applications are obvious ROI generators when mobilized, the real value of others is hard to pin down. Intuitively, we know that getting rid of paper-based processes in field service and other tasks is a major time and money saver. But what is the value in mobilizin
PowerPoint Rules That Could Save Our Sanity
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
Blogger/speaker/VC Guy Kawasaki in a speech at CA World served up a great set of to end PowerPoint insanity. When I found out his "10/20/30" rules come from a 16-month-old post on Mr. Kawasaki's blog, I worried they may be a bit stale to discuss here. Then I realized: since not one person in business yet adheres to this PowerPoint reform movement, the rules are worth sharing.
Take 5: The Evolution Of The Mobile Phone User Experience
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
Welcome to this week's edition of Take 5, our regular feature on Over The Air where we ask a wireless or enterprise IT industry insider five (or in this case eight) questions about a specific area of interest. This week's guest is Frank Tyneski, Senior Director of Design and Human Factors for Kyocera Wireless. Our topic is The Evolution Of Mobile Usability, with an emphasis on handsets and smartphones. Let's dig in.
Viacom Takes Out The Wrong Garbage
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
Anybody who has ever worked with computers knows the old adage "garbage in, garbage out." Besides the most obvious interpretation, this phrase also expresses the truth that, in the end, it's the human element that determines the value of a computer's output. However, taking the human element out of your processes completely can also result in some very embarrassing, and costly, mistakes.
Hey Mel, Your (Pay-)Slip is Showing
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez wasn't the only one getting raked over the coals before Congress last week. Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin also faced a hostile audience in a hearing at the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on the proposed XM-Sirius merger, in which committee chairman Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii said he believes the deal faces "a steep hill to climb" because of concerns over competition. Th
Symantec Introduces SAAS-Based Security Network
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
Last week Symantec announced Symantec Protection Network, a software as a service (SaaS) platform designed to deliver easy-to-use security and availability offerings to small and mid-sized businesses... This is one in a long line of what I call "infrastructure on-demand products," and it's one of the most exciting areas of SaaS, if you ask me.
Attention Cellular Customers: It's Time To Speak Out!
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
Most of us, if not all of us, use mobile devices whether it's a cell phone, a smartphone, or a Pocket PC. We all pay the monthly fees, the necessary taxes, and sometimes even those obscure charges that show up on our bills. We all deal with dropped calls, "dead zones," and lack of features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or 3G. But it's time for us-the consumers-to speak out and confront the cellular carriers with our frustrations.
Business Objects Leads Financial Tech Shakeup
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
If you work in finance or IT, yesterday was a big news day, with Business Objects announcing it will acquire Cartesis, Oracle finalizing its acquisition of Hyperion and SAP announcing at its Sapphire user conference that it will resell Acorn Systems' costing and profitability technology. So shakeup was the word of the day in financial performance management, and there was no doubt that Business Objects made a smart move.
By Jupiter! Consumers Don't Find Mobile Banking All That Intriguing
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
The latest results from Jupiter Research note that no matter how hard banks and other financial institutions push mobile banking, only 8% of cell phone users who use online banking services are interested in mobile banking. Jupiter says banks are going about it the wrong way.
Enterprise Apps Galore On Display At Nokia Application Summit
Commentary  |  4/24/2007  | 
Live from Madrid, Spain, Over The Air got the latest scoop on some cool enterprise applications for the connected business user. Ranging from business card readers to invoice approval and device security applications, there's a wealth of enterprise tools for the Symbian S60 platform to make working on the go more productive.
Her Second Life As A Swimsuit Model
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
Mary Hayes Weier, who wrote about her experiences building an online shopping avatar at LandsEnd.com, shares the result.

Buying Land In Second Life
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
At last, I bought land in Second Life to built my virtual home in. I've been shopping for more than a month, and couldn't find a tract I fell in love with. I'm still not in love with the land I bought, but I like it.

InformationWeek Shutting Down Its Second Life Office
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
InformationWeek shut down its office in Second Life. We're still committed to Second Life coverage. I'm still spending a couple of hours a day in Second Life. I'm still writing lots of blogs and articles out of SL. But the office just wasn't doing anything for us, so we gave it the ax.

Forrester Claims Mobile Business Will Not Be A Reality Until 2013
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
A new study from Forrester Research claims that while CIOs and IT managers are interested in business mobility, they are only now beginning to really embrace the technology. As a result, we may have to wait a little longer for the truly mobile enterprise. Are they serious?
The BlackBerry Crash: What Really Happened?
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
What really happened last week when RIM's BlackBerry e-mail service went down? Daniel Taylor over at the Mobile Enterprise Blog has some suggestions.
Safari Vs. Firefox On The Mac: Which Is Better?
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
I switched from Firefox on the Mac to the Safari browser yesterday. So far, after a couple of hours on Safari, I'm concluding that they're both fine browsers. On the other hand, each one has limitations. I really wish there were a browser that combines the best of both.

Face Off: Business Objects vs. Oracle (and Microsoft)
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
When Business Objects first acquired SRC software in Q3 2005, some industry and financial experts wondered, "why SRC, a little-known budgeting, planning, and financial consolidation vendor… why not a stronger performance management player such as Cartesis or OutlookSoft?" Fast forward 18 months and Business Objects did exactly that, announcing late Sunday night its intent to acquire Cartesis.
Slick Profits And Ugly Extortion At U Of Maryland
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
An e-commerce triumph by young college entrepreneurs has been tarnished by larceny and extortion at the University of Maryland.
Informing People Does Not Improve Decisions
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
I don't typically watch C-Span, but I was watching last week because my wife was giving testimony before a Senate Committee… From Senator Gordon Smith to the esteemed panel with academic and scientific pedigrees in abundance, here was a group of people who were as well-informed on the issues as any group could be. Yet, not a single of one them was swayed from their positions by the others' testimony… So what does this have to do with BI? Everything.
13-Year-Old Gets Thumbs Up At LG National Texting Championship
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
On Saturday I decided to skip my usual weekend routine to check out the LG National Texting Championship in New York's Roseland Ballroom. More than 300 text messagers crowded the historic space to show off their texting skills and earn a chance to take home the $25,000 grand prize.
Do Women Belong in The Kitchen or in BI?
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
I want to highlight a piece of recent news from CIO Insight: women are leaving IT. There are no studies as to why this is happening, only the fact that it is. Fortunately for women in BI, it looks like our role in this segment of IT remains steady at 28 percent... Compared to other IT sectors, BI seems to be wonderfully represented by females, particularly in industry thought leadership.
Growth Of Mobile Phones Sales Continues, But At Slower Rate
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
Across the globe sales of mobile phones rose 10% during the first quarter of 2007, according to research firm IDC. The 256.4 million units represent an increase over the year-ago quarter, but it's somewhat cooler than the hot sales from the fourth quarter of 2006, which were 13.8% higher. Will sales hit 1 billion again this year?
Cingular To Refund Affected BlackBerry Users
Commentary  |  4/23/2007  | 
According to an inside memo, business subscribers who call Cingular/AT&T's customer service line will receive a prorated credit (up to $2.50) for the loss of their BlackBerry e-mail service for one day last week. Looks like complaining can accomplish something after all.
Is CA Serious About Software Development?
Commentary  |  4/22/2007  | 
Think of CA, once the definition of the serial-acquirer software company, and "organic development" doesn't leap to mind. But a homegrown mobile-device management tool CA has in beta is a sign of things to come, its CTO says. He's promising to show off more such work this week at CA World.
Dell's XP Embrace: Some of The Mojo Is Back
Commentary  |  4/22/2007  | 
Dell's recent management shakeup and the return of founder Michael Dell to the controls may already be paying dividends, in the form of the company's move to offer Windows XP on certain desktops - flying boldly in the face of Microsoft's Vista-and-nothing-but-Vista strategy.
Writing And Productivity Tips From Cory Doctorow
Commentary  |  4/21/2007  | 
This is a little off-topic for us. Last night, I went to a talk by InformationWeek contributor, blogger, and science-fiction writer Cory Doctorow. He was speaking in his capacity as an sf writer last night, reading from and talking about his writing, and I was attending, not as a journalist, but as a friend, fa
Got Any Good Windows Vista Tips?
Commentary  |  4/21/2007  | 
Have you got your feet wet with Microsoft's new operating system? If you're like me, you don't have it at work, but you've been spending an untoward amount of time with it on your home PC. That's where I came up with my Top 5 Windows Vista Tips To Personalize Your PC.
A Hammock For Your Electronics
Commentary  |  4/20/2007  | 
Because your electronics needs its beauty rest? No, it's a little doo-hickey to use when charging your gadgets at inconveniently placed electrical sockets, to keep from having to put 'em on the floor. Still: Funny.
Role-Playing In Second Life
Commentary  |  4/20/2007  | 
Role-playing is one of the most popular activities in Second Life. You're basically pretending to be a fictional character. Remember when you were a kid you tied a towel around your neck and pretended to be a caped superhero? As far as I can see, role-playing in SL is like that, but geared for grownups.

Dell's Move Raises Question: Will Windows XP Compete With Vista?
Commentary  |  4/20/2007  | 
Dell's plan to reintroduce Windows XP as an option on its consumer and home-office PCs, as reported midday Friday on our site by Paul McDougall, adds a powerful counterbalance to the tale of unimpeded Vista uptake.
Microsoft News And Notes From My Redmond Visit
Commentary  |  4/20/2007  | 
You learn a lot about a company after being on its campus for two days. Microsoft's no different. The company's main campus in Redmond is huge, with tens of thousands working there daily. With so many people, my meetings cut across business and product lines, and I was able to get a bunch of good insight, as well as some bits and pieces that I find newsworthy and interesting, including some release dates and/or new details about Windows Live, security, management and developer tools. So, onto a
IT Confidential: What Microsoft Means To Me: Ubiquity, Influence, Casual Dress
Commentary  |  4/20/2007  | 
I was back on the Redmond campus for the first time in almost 10 years, and it was like I'd never left -- except I didn't recognize anyone and nobody recognized me.
5 Rules For Exploiting Tragedy
Commentary  |  4/20/2007  | 
And the award for The Crassest PR Pitch I received this week in the wake of the Virginia Tech slayings goes to … Sam Sims, of Jones PR in Oklahoma City! (Take a bow, Sam.)
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