Commentary
Content posted in April 2009
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Microsoft Prefers Visa
Commentary  |  4/4/2009  | 
Planning on landing a job with Microsoft during these hard economic times? They're still hiring despite the cutback of 5,000 positions announced earlier this year. But who are they hiring? To paraphrase a commercial for a popular credit card, it might be best to bring your visa card. Because Mic
Government 2.0
Commentary  |  4/3/2009  | 
The concept of openness is integral to the definition of Web 2.0 as a set of principles, but until recently, the largest source of information that one would want to be open -- the government -- wasn't particularly interested in openness.
Apple Buying 3.2- and 5-Megapixel Sensors For Next iPhone: Report
Commentary  |  4/3/2009  | 
Taipei's DigiTimes filed a report today that suggests the next version (or versions) of the iPhone will have much more powerful cameras. I can only hope that this is true.
CTIA: Video Demo Of QuickOffice For The iPhone
Commentary  |  4/3/2009  | 
I had the chance to sit down with QuickOffice this week and get a hands-on run through of its upcoming QuickOffice product for the iPhone. You want full Word and Excel viewing and editing capabilities on the iPhone, QuickOffice is your answer.
AT&T Taxing The Mathematically Challenged
Commentary  |  4/3/2009  | 
AT&T is testing a new service plan for netbooks that sounds suspiciously like cell phone plans, typically costing $50 for the hardware and $60 per month for service.
Amazon Cloud Saves Day For Australian Govt. IT Project
Commentary  |  4/3/2009  | 
Australia's federal government started building a site that would let Aussies compare prices at various grocery stores, but the project was a disaster - "a basket case" and "a complete, useless farce," said one MP. And now an Australian integrator plans to completely rebuild the site using Amazon's EC2 cloud with ties to Google Maps. Sounds like on this deal, the technology will be the easy part.
CTIA: RIM Updates BlackBerry App World. Already
Commentary  |  4/3/2009  | 
If you downloaded Research In Motion's new App World for your BlackBerry and have had a few problems with it, you're not alone. Users have reported connectivity and other issues. RIM has responded swiftly with an update to App World.
Desktop OS's, Not Mobile, To Rule Netbook Market
Commentary  |  4/3/2009  | 
I've seen a lot of speculation and opinions recently that mobile operating systems like Android will take over the netbook market, pushing Windows aside. HP is already playing with Android on their netbooks. It has been tried before. I don't see that happening in the near or far future.
Who Are Washington's Top Twitterers?
Commentary  |  4/3/2009  | 
Twitter is almost as popular in Washington as lobbyist-funded junkets. Elected officials use Twitter as a channel to talk directly with the people, communicating from fact-finding missions to Baghdad and during the State of the Union Address. Sen. John McCain even did a
How Is Open Source Like The Large Hadron Collider?
Commentary  |  4/3/2009  | 
Answer: you start using it, and it sucks everything else up into a black hole. If that sounds like a cheap shot, consider this column by Gene Quinn of IPWatchdog.com: "Open Source Race to Zero May Destroy Software Industry." That's a scary headline if there ever was one, and I read the piece with the growing sense that I had Heard This One Before. I had, just in a different skin.<
SGI, Once Mighty Graphics Giant, Gobbled Up For Pittance
Commentary  |  4/3/2009  | 
For anyone with an historical perspective about our industry, the demise of Silicon Graphics Inc. is a scary example of the truism that great technology is no insulation from the changing vagaries of the marketplace. (Also, that iffy business decisions don't help.) Still, remembering the heyday of this one-time maker of the absolute coolest workstations on the planet, it's sad to see it acquired for a paltry $25 million.
The New IT Manifesto: 10 Steps For Transformative CIOs
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
In this week's Global CIO column, I've proposed 10 steps CIOs should take in transforming their organizations in anticipation of inevitable post-recession requirements from CEOs for IT to take an even greater role in driving revenue, increasing customer loyalty, and boosting profits. Maybe these 10 steps will help you frame out your own "New IT Manifesto."
CTIA: Nokia Says Wimax Is Going To Fail
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Nokia's head of sales and manufacturing Anssi Vanjok, recently said, "I don't think the future is very promising [for WiMax]." Nokia ended production of its WiMax-equipped N810 Internet Tablet several months ago. Is he right, does WiMax have a real future?
Microsoft: The Most Interoperable Company In The World?
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Like the late comic Rodney Dangerfield, Microsoft doesn't get any respect. On Wednesday, at the Web 2.0 Expo, Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft's Business Division, tried to convince a skeptical Tim O'Reilly and an audience full of open standards sorts that Microsoft is, as he put it, "the most interoperable company in the world."
UC and Web 2.0: Friends or Foes?
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Are We Ready for Voice 2.0?
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Are We Getting Con-Ficked?
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Conficker, the super virus that was going to bring down the Interweb, seems to have flopped -- unless, in true horror film tradition, it isn't really dead.
CTIA: First Look At Palm Pre Emulator
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Palm recently announced that it will provide an emulator for webOS on the Palm Pre that will allow Palm users to port their legacy apps from the old Garnet OS to webOS. This is a necessary step for Palm, and I was able to get a nice walk through on video.
Who's Buying What in BI?
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
What are firms in your industry buying? What are firms of your size buying? What are IT types using and what are business types using? When it comes to business intelligence software, you'll find answers to all these questions in these four charts from Nigel Pendse's "The BI Survey 8."
Gmail Gets New Search Powers From Google
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
The latest feature added to Gmail's Labs is the ability to perform more efficient searches in your inbox. Search queries will now auto-complete as you type, and Google has added more search operators
HootSuite Helps You Juggle Multiple Twitter Accounts
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
I manage two Twitter accounts: My own, and InformationWeek's. Until now, that was a bit of a clumsy process, involving logging in and out multiple times a day, checking search terms multiple times a day, and using two or three separate Web-based tools to perform necessary tasks with varying degrees of efficiency. Then I discovered HootSuite.
How The Web Doesn't Bring Us Closer
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
As the G20 world leaders come together to deal with this most global economic crisis, the world's connected as never before by Internet communications, collaboration, and transactions. Yet none of that helps me understand something like this week's "bossnappings," as fired French workers hold their managers hostage, and that's a cultural gap the Internet won't soon breach.
Is Microsoft's 'Foundation' Really As Cheap As It Sounds?
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Microsoft's latest server offering is priced to compete against Linux in the small-biz market. Some companies, however, might find a few devils in the details.
Ubuntu Server's Ambitions No Longer Cloudy - Er, Murky
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Yesterday I sat in on a conference call with Steve George, director of the Enterprise group at Canonical, to get more of an idea where they're headed with Ubuntu Server 9.04 and beyond. It's helped make clear what Canonical's ambitions are for Ubuntu as a server -- something that has been slightly dim even for Ubuntu / Canonical supporters.

The ACM Looks at Sentiment Analysis
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
"Our Sentiments, Exactly" in the April issue of the Communications of the ACM tackles sentiment analysis. The subhead: "With sentiment analysis algorithms, companies can identify and assess the wide variety of opinions found online and create computational models of human opinion." Author Alex Wright interviewed me for the article, and with his permission, I'll share our conversation...
EMC Reboots Archiving Software
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
New SourceOne platform takes a modular approach to archiving content and focuses strongly on electronic discovery.
Think Enhance, Not Replace, When Considering SaaS
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
When considering SaaS products such as Salesforce.com, NetSuite.com, or any of the 2,000-plus smaller SaaS players, the focus should be on leveraging pre-built business processes and not replacing existing core business systems...
Salesforce.com And NetSuite Get Chummy
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Salesforce.com and NetSuite announced Thursday "partner applications" to connect their SaaS systems. It's about time the two biggest vendors in CRM and ERP SaaS presented a united front on integration. Still, the announcement is more symbolic than technical, since these partner capabilities already existed.
Crisis Survival Kit: 5 Ways To Fund Your Business
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Need a cash infusion? You can forget about banks or VCs? Those traditional funding sources are strapped or stingy or both. If your businesses needs a significant investment to tap a new market, lock down the one you have, or upgrade equipment, you'll need to get creative.
Windows Marketplace for Mobile Only For WinMo 6.5
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
There has been a lot of discussion about Microsoft's application store, dubbed Windows Marketplace for Mobile since its official announcement at Mobile World Congress in February. The latest bit of info on the application store is it will not work on any existing platforms.
Populist Anger Isn't Supposed To Be Cute
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
The Transport Workers Union of American ("TWU") has launched a playful-looking web site (http://americanexeccheck.com), in hopes of prompting outrage over executive pay generally...and, in particular, the potential bucks American Airlines' top execs might make.
Dell Refreshes Its Vostro SMB Notebooks -- Adds Free Videoconferencing
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
As Dell introduces its new Vostro laptops for small businesses today, the company is touting an interesting extra: buy the optional Webcam, and get free Webcam and video chat software pre-installed.
Cloud Services (Or Whatever) To Surpass $56 Billion This Year
Commentary  |  4/2/2009  | 
Some people say that cloud computing is nothing new, a bunch of old ideas and existing technologies repackaged with the latest buzz words. Gartner puts the cloud services market at $46 billion last year, jumping to $56 billion this year and $150 billion by 2013. Call it what you will, that's a remarkable growth projection in the thick of a recession.
ConocoPhillips And Harrah's Put CIO Positions On Ice
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
A $240 billion energy company and the world's largest casino company, each deeply dependent on IT in every facet of its business, say they don't plan to fill their recently vacated CIO positions. Is this (a) a quirky coincidence, (b) a short-term savings plan, (c) a sign of things to come, or (d) mistake they'll soon regret, or (e) a chance to create new titles that better reflect current responsibilities?
Web 2.0 Warning: Don't Put All Your Facebook Apps In One Basket
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
Here's a lesson I learned, painfully: Be careful which Web 2.0 providers you get in bed with, because the software underpinning you're relying on today to help you do the next big thing could be turned off tomorrow when the company realizes it's got to focus its efforts elsewhere, like maybe to snare some of that elusive stuff called revenue.
Global CIO: Global Supply Chains And The CIO
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
In these challenging economic times, the right decisions can wring significant savings out of supply chain operations, and forward-looking CIOs are in an ideal position to help companies grab those savings.
Web 2.0 Expo: Five Companies To Watch
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
When it comes to pressure, Launch Pad is not for the squeamish. You have to be willing to expose your company's soft underside in 5 minutes. So, who are this year's chosen five at Web 2.0?
CTIA: AT&T Offers A Netbook For $50
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
If you're looking for a netbook on the cheap, AT&T has a deal for you. It is now selling a wider range of netbooks, with some starting at just $50. Of course, don't forget to add $1,440 for the cost of the necessary data plan.
CTIA: QuickOffice For The iPhone Is Awesome
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
Today at the CTIA wireless trade show, I was able to see a demonstration of the new QuickOffice software that will be available for the iPhone later this month. Instant verdict: epic win for enterprise productivity!
CTIA: Celio Lets Your PC Become Your Smartphone
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
Celio, maker of the Redfly mobile companion device, has trotted out some new beta software that lets you access your smartphone's applications from your PC.
Conficker's Not A Blessing For Linux
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
In the last few days before the Conficker worm's alleged conquest of the known world on April 1, a bunch of Linux and open source blogs have ruminated about the possibility that this would be another nail in the Windows coffin. See? Windows is horribly insecure! Linux is not! Watch people defect from Windows in droves! ... And that silence you hear is me trying hard not to die laughing.

Web 2.0 Helps Protect Californians Against Toxic Substances
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
Shell Culp, CIO of the California Department of Toxic Substances, describes how the agency uses blogs, message boards, and wikis to help protect California's citizens against dangerous chemicals. The agency uses Web 2.0 tools to support programs including the new Green Chemistry Initiative requiring manufacturers to provide a list of potentially hazardous chemicals included in products, similar to food product labeling.
Global CIO: What CIOs Must Do To Survive The Recession
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
The old ways are gone forever -- CIOs must adapt to a new environment fully engaged with operations, customers, and revenue generation.
Game Consoles Hit Milestones Toward What Goal?
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
Both Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 reached sales milestones in Japan last week -- 3 and 1 million units, respectively -- but I'm not sure I understand the long-term strategy for game consoles.
GhostNet: Today The Dalai Lama, Tomorrow Your Company?
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
Never mind Conficker. If you're looking for a good reason to consider alternatives to Windows, its name is GhostNet.
Entrusting China With Our Internet A Bad Idea
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
Greed still triumphs over common sense and the common good, despite everything we've learned from the meltdown of our financial institutions.
SAS Global Forum: Chillin' with the Numerati
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
What are "analytics" and how do they relate to BI, OLAP and data warehousing?... Unlike BI tools, analytics are not necessarily welcome. "People don't always want to hear that what they are doing now isn't right," said Stephan Chase, Marriott International's vice president of Customer Knowledge...
Microsoft's Simple Server For SMBs
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
With Windows Server Foundation, Microsoft makes a bid for the 15-employee and smaller business server market and gives chase to the 70% of SMBs that don't have a server.
ReviewCam: Apture Takes Hyperlinking To A New Context And Depth For Any CMS
Commentary  |  4/1/2009  | 
At Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, I had a chance to catch up with Apture CEO and founder Tristan Harris to "shoot" a ReviewCam movie of Apture's innovative cloud-based hyperlinking service that seems to automagically work with any content management system. What's special about Apture is how frictionlessly it adds new levels of context and depth when hyperlinking something (e.g.: text) in ways that the native CMS (egg: WordPress) could never do and it does this (a) by adding only a bit of Javasc
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