Commentary
Content posted in April 2009
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Is Oracle Starting To Look Like Blockbuster?
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
I know I'm going to get a lot of flack for what I'm about to say, but when Oracle announced earlier this week that it would acquire Sun Microsystems, I immediately thought of Blockbuster Video.
Oracle Purchase Of Sun Yields New Competitive Advantages
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
Oracle's grab for Sun is "an astounding move" that will enhance Oracle's ability to compete against Microsoft, VMware, IBM, and others, a new analyst report says. The three gems are infrastructure, channel-partner ecosystem, and the missing ingredients to offer robust cloud and virtualization solutions.
Craigslist Victim's Favorite Band? The Killers
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
The Web lets us go beyond the headlines and find out more about names in the news. Psychos and victims now leave behind a digital trail that offers greater insights into who these people are, or were. In a sadly ironic twist, Facebook reveals that one of Craigslist murder victim Julissa Brisman's favorite bands was a rock group called The Killers. It also shows that in most respects she was a typical young woman--and that's troubling.
Practical Analysis: The Increasingly Real Consumer Effect
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
Even if you don't (yet) let employees pick their own computing devices, securing data on mobile devices while accommodating savvy users should be a priority.
The Open Source Name Game
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
Dana Blankenhorn at ZDNet has proposed another name for open source. He wants to call it "democratic software." Me, I'd rather it just be good software, no matter what label we put on it or what development method we use.

Apple Is Already Selling A Netbook
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
Don't let Apple COO Tim Cook fool you. During the company's earnings call yesterday, Cook did everything but pick up a netbook and set it on fire, kick it across the room and spit on it.
EU Approves Price Caps On Internet Access
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
According to Reuters the European union is going to put price caps on text messages and data usage for users that roam in the area. This should be welcome news to travelers that try to keep in touch when overseas.
Google Makes Shopping Easier With iPhone And Android App
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
Starting today, Google is now offering a mobile version of Google Product Search for the iPhone and Android smartphones. The idea is to make gathering product information easier while on the go.
Mac Sales - Not As Bad As They Could Have Been
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
First of all: I want to know what they're smoking in Cupertino -- and where I can get a duffel bag full of the stuff? The famous Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field is apparently strong enough to enclose the company in an economic boom, even as the rest of the world is going through the toughest times in at least a generation.
Alltel Nabs CDMA Version Of BlackBerry Pearl Flip
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
Alltel's customers just got one more BlackBerry to choose from. Starting early next month, Alltel will be selling the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 for $80.
T-Mobile USA And HTC Have Sold 1 Million G1 Android Phones
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
The HTC G1 has passed an important milestone in the U.S. T-Mobile's recently released quarterly report shows that one million of the devices have been sold to customers in the U.S.
Mind the Gaps in BI Support and Value
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
The good news is that most business execs and IT professionals we recently surveyed are supportive of BI initiatives. The bad news is that many of these respondents also say their enthusiasm isn't shared by either top executives or end users... Here are a few thoughts on these latest bits of BI intelligence.
Top 10 Tech Investments For Your Business
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
Where to spend scarce dollars on IT is a never ending challenge for business owners. Deciding which investments in infrastructure, hardware, or software will yield the most return is a black art, but according CIOs these 10 places are a good place to start.
IBM CFO Tells Analysts Oracle Plus Sun Changes 'Nothing'
Commentary  |  4/23/2009  | 
Asked during a quarterly presentation to financial analysts for his reaction to Sun's decision to be acquired by Oracle after discussions with IBM broke down, IBM CFO Mark Loughridge offered a mild variation of "fuhgeddaboudit" by saying that in the ongoing competition for CIOs' decisions and dollars, the Oracle-Sun combination changes "nothing."
PBS On The FRONTLINE Of Digital Nation
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
FRONTLINE, the investigative program from PBS, is producing a documentary you can watch online months before it's finished, and even influence in mid-course.
Wireless, Life Sciences Winners In VC Deals
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
Venture capital funding may have dropped overall in the first quarter of this year, but not all sectors suffered as seen by the multimillion dollar deals granted to the likes of Meru, Beceem, Stokes, Lavante, iScience, and Ausra.
JC Penney CEO And CIO Put IT At Heart Of New Strategy
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
Retailer JC Penney's CEO and CIO are telling analysts and shareholders at today's annual meeting that IT has moved front and center in the company's strategy. The company is pushing traditional IT infrastructure management to third parties and is focusing its 1,100-member IT team on exciting, delighting, and extracting revenue from customers.
How To Vet Technology Startups
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
The release of InformationWeek's Startup 50 raises the old question: Should IT departments do business with startups at all? The unequivocal answer is yes, and here's my advice on how to pick the right ones.
AT&T Hates On The Palm Pre, And Apparently Has A Short-Term Memory
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
AT&T sent around a memo that extols the iPhone and bashes the Palm Pre. This type of document has surfaced in the past, and will surely show up again. The idea is to give sales associates arguments to use in favor of an AT&T phone rather than a competing model. Palm's Pre was sure to see this type of treatment at some point, and here it is.
Where Is Open Source?
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
No, not "what", but "where". As in, check out this nifty map courtesy of Red Hat that shows levels of open source adoption in different countries around the world. It's eyebrow-raising research, not least of all because the results go against a couple of conventional wisdoms about open source.

Recession Doesn't Dim Green Focus For SMBs
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
Despite the recession we're mired in this Earth Day, the majority of business owners say environmental issues are just as important as the economy and more than a third focus more on the environment now than ever before. And thanks to new technologies, going green is more achievable than ever before.
Facebook 1.5 For BlackBerries Goes Live
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
If you're an avid Facebook user and are accessing it from your BlackBerry, there's good news from Research In Motion. The latest version of the application was made available today, and it includes a host of key new features. Updated!
Symantec Acquires Startup 50 Company
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
Mi5 Networks, which makes a Web security appliance, will be integrated into Symantec's product line later this year.
Connectivity: The Achilles Heel of SaaS
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
Those who push back on SaaS and cloud computing typically site security, privacy, and legal issues, but they almost never talk about connectivity... In the recent shenanigans surrounding cut fiber lines in Silicon Valley, those affected quickly understood that Internet access can be gone in an instant...
Cellular Network Cards Miss Market Opportunity
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
Sprint has released their new 2-in-1 Aircard 402. The card works in both a PCMCIA II slot or the newer ExpressCard slot. For someone that may have multiple laptops to work with, this may be very handy. As I look at my netbook though, an Acer Aspire One, maybe not so much.
Podcast: AMD Loss Obscures Aggressive Chip Plans
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
AMD's persistent economic challenges -- it just reported a first quarter loss -- have obscured its very real technology story. The scrappy chipmaker remains on track with an aggressive Opteron server-chip roadmap, which will see its six-core Istanbul processor fielded in the next several months, and its 8- and 12-core designs coming in 2010. I talked about Operton recently with Vlad Rozanovich, who heads up AMD's enterprise sales efforts in the United States. Read on to access the podcast.
Lego, Rock Band Building Up Business
Commentary  |  4/22/2009  | 
I can shred to "Detroit Rock City" and my cowbell is perfect on "Don't Fear The Reaper," but soon I'll have to learn new licks -- make that bricks -- now that Lego's getting onstage too.
Oracle Purchase Of Sun A Monster Step Backward, CIO Says
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
The CIO at Case Western Reserve University, which uses Sun's MySQL open-source database as well as Oracle databases, says the Oracle takeover of Sun is "a monster step backward for those of us who are committed to sustaining open source," according to The Wall Street Journal.
Windows 7 Starter Edition Is A Non-Starter
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Despite the flagging economy, the netbook category has shown encouraging growth over the past year. Well, it's been encouraging at least for companies like Asus and Acer that have built tiny notebooks that people are eager to buy. Netbooks have mostly been a challenge for Microsoft, though, which has struggled to find a version of Windows that will run on these tiny systems.
What The Oracle/Sun Deal Means To Your Business - Take Two
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Yesterday, I wrote that Oracle's purchase of Sun could lead to the abandonment of MySQL but was likely to boost Java. Today, Info-Tech Research lead analyst Andy Woyzbun predicts new packages leveraging the open source database. But he's not so sure about the future of Open Office.
U.S. Fighting Cyber-Spy Threat
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
UPDATED Spies have breached project plans for a vital U.S. fighter jet project and the Air Force's air traffic control system, reports the Wall Street Journal, hot on the heels of an earlier WSJ report detailing infiltration of the U.S. electrical grid by the Chinese and Russian governments.
Global CIO: Prove IT's Business Value To Your CEO -- Or Else
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
CIOs face relentless pressure from CEOs to prove, in financial terms, the business value of the IT team and the IT budget.
Google Gives Users Fractional Control Over Search Results For 'Me'
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
I admit it. I've Googled myself. My guess is that you have, too. It's not because we're egomaniacs, but that we're curious to know what turns up. The problem is you couldn't control the information Google delivers about you -- until now.
CIO Will Advise Feds On $20 Billion Health IT Bill
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
John Glaser, CIO at Partners Healthcare, will be heading down to D.C. the week of May 4, to begin a six month stint helping to hammer out details of the federal government's $20 billion stimulus programs for health IT.
What If Cisco Acquires EMC
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
An intriguing idea, isn't it? Outlandish, you say? Maybe, maybe not. The fight for the data center is on. Brocade acquired Foundry solidifying the storage giant in the data center. HP ProCurve's One program forms a solid partnership to round out data center components. Oracle's acqu
Is IBM Looking To Acquire SAP To Match Oracle/Sun?
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Facing the prospect of all-Oracle stacks featuring Sun servers running Solaris OS on top of an Oracle database with all reporting through Hyperion, IBM might be considering a bid for SAP, a securities analyst speculates. He even cites a 2006 comment from SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner that only three companies would make ideal matches for SAP: Google, Microsoft, and IBM.
'Born To Go Fast', Bluetooth SIG Formally Adopts 3.0+HS Specification
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Today the Bluetooth Special Interest Group officially unveiled the long-awaited Bluetooth 3.0+High Speed specification. The real news is that, moving forward, Bluetooth 3.0-equipped devices will be able to blast data back and forth at 24Mbps.
Twittering And YouTubing To A Better Iraq
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Executives from Web 2.0 darlings including Twitter, YouTube, and WordPress are on a U.S. State Department tour of Iraq, looking for ways that social media can help. The tools, if used wisely, could be helpful at bringing people together and organizing in the war-torn country.
It's Time to Strengthen MySQL Forkers
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
I think Oracle will do a better job with MySQL product development than Sun has. But of course that's a low hurdle. And so it leaves open the questions: What should and/or will be the most widely adopted code lines of MySQL (or other open source DBMS)?
Sun's Deep Tech Bench Is Biggest Asset For Oracle
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
The most interesting omission I've seen in all the nattering about Oracle's planned acquisition of Sun Microsystems is discussion of whether the technical talent at Sun will mesh better with their new masters than they would have had the acquiring party been IBM. My counterintuitive answer is, yes.
Sun's Big Flameout
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Oh, man, did I ever had a bad feeling something like this would happen. Sun went from being a possible acquisition for IBM -- a company that could have done right by them across the board -- to being snapped up by Oracle, who are most likely going to take the hardware portion of Sun and throw the so
IBM's Hardware Slump Bodes Ill For Sun-Oracle
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Fresh off their $7.4 billion deal to acquire Sun Microsystems, Oracle execs likely paid close attention to IBM's first quarter results Monday, given that Big Blue sells many of the same tech goods and services for which Sun is known. The news wasn't so good.
Is AT&T Having A Fire Sale On iPhones?
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
AT&T recently dropped the price of refurbished 3G iPhones to the meager sum of $150. The price drop, along with a bevy of new features being uncovered in iPhone OS 3.0, have fueled speculation that AT&T is clearing out stock to make room for the next-generation iPhone.
Windows Mobile 6.5 May Launch Not Likely
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Last week, there was a ton of news that Windows Mobile 6.5 would launch May 11. This came from an announcement on the Windows Mobile blog. It seems though that the word "launch" wasn't the right word, and there won't be a May 2009 lau
More Cloud Services Emerge
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Cloud services are becoming more popular in small and medium businesses. While corporations like the flexibility that these services offer, they have been concerned about their security features. In response, one of the industrys most influential vendors unveiled a series of cloud security services as well as enhanced its cloud collaboration platform.
Hospital CIOs: 'Impossible' To Balance Cuts, EHR Funding
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Most hospital CIOs are facing a second round of 2009 IT budget cuts but must somehow begin funding electronic health records projects or face penalties in the form of reduced government subsidies. Two-thirds of CIOs say that balancing act is impossible.
Linux On WIndows: Get The Best Of Both Worlds
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Looking for the best way to try Linux without giving up Windows? A new guide will give you plenty of food for thought.
VMWare vSphere 4 Offers SMBs "Always On IT"
Commentary  |  4/21/2009  | 
Positioned as the first cloud operating system, VMWare's vSphere 4 provides SMBs with virtualization options for as little as $166 per processor.
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