Commentary
Content posted in May 2006
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Microsoft's Not The Only Game In Town
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
If you're like me, you use several Microsoft products every day: Windows, for starters. Word. Excel. PowerPoint. Windows Media Player. Huge numbers of you use Outlook for E-mail, contacts, and calendaring. Even if you've switched to Firefox or Opera, you probably use Internet Explorer for certain sites, such as corporate tools, that won't support other browsers. Microsoft software is everywhere on both corporate and home desktops. We use it all the time without even thinking about it. We may e
Chinks In Outsourcing's Armor
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
A Tale Of Two IT Fiascos
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
Maybe They Could Spell It 'Serch'
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
Microsoft's rebranding of everything in sight as "Live" reached new peaks of frenzy this week when it announced a desktop search application called Windows Live Search. Only problem was, it already has a Web search called Windows Live Search.
Hardware Monitoring On Windows
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
In the last post, I wrote about the hardware-level monitoring tools that are available for Linux, and in this post I'll look at the same kinds of tools that are available for Windows. Surprisingly, hardware monitoring on Windows is much more complicated than it is on Linux. For one thing, there's no single extensible sensor engine like lm_sensors on Linux
Samsung Unveils Super Phone
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
Samsung unveiled a super smartphone today at the Korea 2006 Expo -- one that replaces your digital camera, iPod and GPS gadget. Oh, and you can use it to make calls, too.
BI Partners With Search
Commentary  |  5/18/2006  | 
Search technology is expected to become the primary method for finding information in business intelligence repositories. Google pushed the trend into high gear last month when it added to its search appliance a new feature for tapping into data stores for business applications.
Hardware Monitoring On Linux
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
For the past couple of weeks I've been blogging about hardware-level management issues, but I haven't really talked about the tools and technologies that can be used to keep an eye on this stuff. This post looks at the tools that are available for Linux (and Unix in general), while the next post will look at the tools available for Windows.
Sun Answers The World's Most Boring Question
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
Before announcing yesterday that it would release Java under an open-source license, Sun's executives might have considered the matter very carefully. They might have debated the pros and cons of open-source Java; invited outside experts to weigh in on the matter; and then settled on a carefully-timed plan for getting the job done. But they didn't. Rich Green, Sun's prodigal software boss, said yesterday about Sun
Apple's New MacBooks Are 'Flaky' - Users
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
Less than 24 hours after Apple unveiled its new MacBook laptop, some users have begun reporting that the black matte finish on the notebooks is fragile, literally flaking or peeling off.
Chinks In Outsourcing's Armor
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
When Diebold Inc. announced Wednesday that it will take over--or more precisely, take back--an Oracle ERP implementation and some additional IT-related functions, resulting in a financial charge and an end to its contract with Deloitte Consulting, it didn't explicitly point fingers or assign blame.
Surfing Is From Mars, Support Calls Are From Venus
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
A survey conducted for the Web security company Websense by Harris Interactive says that men surf more non-work-related Web sites than women while at work and spend longer looking at them, and women are far more likely to admit that their PCs are infected with spyware and call the Help Desk about it.
BlackBerry Vs. Laptop: It's No Contest
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
If you could use only one device for an entire day, which would it be: your BlackBerry, cell phone, iPod, or laptop?
Telecommunications Free For All
Commentary  |  5/17/2006  | 
Sun's Schwartz Welcomes Bad-Boy Fleury To JavaOne Stage
Commentary  |  5/16/2006  | 
Marc Fleury, CEO of JBoss Inc., took the stage at the opening keynote of JavaOne wearing a red beret. Well, he's French, which explains the beret, and JBoss is being acquired by Red Hat, which explains the color. But that's not what's surprising about Fleury being on stage during Sun President Jonathan Schwartz' address.
Google In Your iBook
Commentary  |  5/16/2006  | 
Charity, it seems, is catching, not to mention competitive. The Maine Department of Education recently struck a deal with Apple Computer to provide iBooks for 36,000 students for $289 apiece as part of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative. The iBooks come with plenty of nifty software. But nothing from Google. So Google, ever committed to organizing the world's in
Treo 700p: It Can't Wash Your Car (Yet), But It Comes Close
Commentary  |  5/16/2006  | 
Hey, all of you traveling businesspeople out there! Put down your BlackBerrys and give the new Treo 700p smart phone a try. It may not come standard with "push" E-mail, but it combines the best of both worlds--professional and personal--into one neat package.
Yahoo's New Home Page: Nice But Not Enough
Commentary  |  5/16/2006  | 
Yahoo today unveiled a redesign of its home page. The new design has a lot to recommend it. It's a big improvement over the old one. The use of Ajax technology to expand links, tabs, and menus is great--it vastly expands the amount of space on the page. And the integration of Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Local, and other services is quite elegant. "You'll see better content bei
20 Questions About Windows Vista
Commentary  |  5/16/2006  | 
Battling Patent Trolls: Four Old White Guys Get It
Commentary  |  5/16/2006  | 
For at least four Supreme Court justices, understanding 21st century business dynamics helped sway their decision to join the rest of the high court in striking down a century-old precedent that all but required an injunction against those deemed to have violated a patent.
Tech Workers Of The World Unite! Or Not
Commentary  |  5/16/2006  | 
Efforts to unionize IT workers have, to date, pretty much fallen flat. Despite the growth in perceived job threats like offshore outsourcing, automation, and H-1B visa workers, tech pros aren't rushing out to get union cards. Some fear that unionizing IT will result in even more jobs going offshore as companies look for ways to circumvent collective bargaining. One trade union thinks it has an answer for that.
Sony Unveils Its 'Ultra Mobile PC'
Commentary  |  5/16/2006  | 
After Microsoft unveiled its Ultra Mobile PC, or "Origami," concept March 9, we witnessed a flurry of new hardware interpretations from a variety of vendors. The basic idea is a mobile device bigger and more feature-rich than a smartphone or PDA, but much smaller than a laptop.
IT Confidential: Is Technology Evil, Or Just Naughty?
Commentary  |  5/15/2006  | 
We hear it everywhere: Irrational fears that technology will be our ruin. IT is facing its own backlash with concerns being raised about privacy and personal control.
Not Such A Scenic Vista For Microsoft
Commentary  |  5/15/2006  | 
Today's top story, "20 Questions About Windows Vista," only reinforces my gut feeling that we won't see any rush to upgrade to Vista. The software just doesn't offer any compelling reason for the vast majority of business users and consumers to run out and upgrade immediately.
Review: LockNote
Commentary  |  5/15/2006  | 
With this elegant single-purpose utility in place you can get rid of all those sticky notes that help you remember passwords and similar sensitive data.
Power Supply Management: The IT Blind Spot
Commentary  |  5/13/2006  | 
As part of building out my testing infrastructure, I've become more involved with system-level management tools and technologies. This effort has proven to be generally useful for overall resource management purposes (and particularly useful for resolving the various heat-related problems that have cropped up), but there are also some significant blind spots in the current crop of hardware management solutions. At the top of the list are system power supplies, which are currently treated as litt
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  5/12/2006  | 
Community Feedback
Commentary  |  5/12/2006  | 
Down To Business: Show Collaboration, Don't Just Expect It
Commentary  |  5/12/2006  | 
If all these new tools are really going to improve productivity, they must become indispensable to the masses.
IT Confidential: Is Technology Evil, Or Just Naughty?
Commentary  |  5/12/2006  | 
We hear it everywhere: Irrational fears that technology will be our ruin. IT is facing its own backlash with concerns being raised about privacy and personal control.
Reality, Promise, And Web Services
Commentary  |  5/12/2006  | 
If it's like most technology, there are problems and implementation headaches and things you wish you'd known about Web services before you began. But you're probably slogging through anyway because the alternatives are even worse.
Has E-Mail Hit A Wall?
Commentary  |  5/12/2006  | 
What Does Microsoft Have That Google And Yahoo Lack?
Commentary  |  5/11/2006  | 
There are dozens of valid answers to this question. Some are probably quite funny. The one that interests me at the moment: a chief privacy officer. Microsoft has one, Peter Cullen. Google and Yahoo don't. Google said yesterday it wanted to be more transparent. It would also do well to be more a
When Everything Isn't Enough
Commentary  |  5/11/2006  | 
On paper, Oracle appears to have it all in business intelligence -- database, middleware, software tools, business applications and analytics. So what is the software giant missing? An enterprise-ready, integrated product, according to Ventana Research.
Preparing for the Unimaginable
Commentary  |  5/11/2006  | 
Hacking: A Few Cautionary Tales
Commentary  |  5/11/2006  | 
Flash Outgrows The Browser
Commentary  |  5/11/2006  | 
It makes a lot of sense. Adobe is running a project code-named Apollo to free Flash from its servitude as a Web browser plug-in and make it a full-fledged, stand-alone Web application client. Apollo would render HTML and PDF files as well as Flash animations, says an article on C|Net. Web-based apps are pushing the limits of Web browsers, and Apollo would let developers package up applications that would
Xeon Heat Management
Commentary  |  5/11/2006  | 
Last week I wrote about issues dealing with getting some of my older 32-bit Athlon processors to run in a low-power, low-heat mode during idle conditions. As I said then, being able to switch into this mode when the operating system isn't busy is enough to get you most of the way toward decent power and thermal management, although sometimes you need to do some other things, like use better fans or heatsinks. To illustrate just how much extra effort can sometimes be required, I thought I would t
A Chat With Linda Stone
Commentary  |  5/11/2006  | 
How To Share Camera Phone Videos
Commentary  |  5/10/2006  | 
YouTube, a very popular service for sharing videos, just rolled out today a new service that lets you easily upload your camera phone videos. It's free and easy to use.
Convergence, Version Umpteenth; It's No Pipedream
Commentary  |  5/10/2006  | 
News item: TiVo users will soon be able to watch videos downloaded from the Web on their TV sets, another sign of the convergence between TV and the PC.
A Simple Fix For RFID Privacy
Commentary  |  5/10/2006  | 
Microsoft To Google: Size Does Matter
Commentary  |  5/10/2006  | 
Preaching To The Unconverted: Warner To Use Peer-To-Peer To Distribute Movies
Commentary  |  5/9/2006  | 
From the "can't beat 'em, join 'em" department: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group Tuesday said it will use BitTorrent's peer-to-peer publishing platform to distribute flicks such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Matrix, Dog Day Afternoon, and Natural Born Killers, as well as TV shows such as Babylon 5 and Dukes of Hazzard.
How To Get Total Information Awareness (Without Really Trying)
Commentary  |  5/9/2006  | 
The Pentagon's Total Information Awareness (TIA) project, a massive effort to use information technology to know everything about everyone in the name of national security, was too controversial, so Congress pulled the plug on funding in 2003. (Recent reports suggest that the effort was secretly taken up by the
Microsoft Lap Dog, Ms. Wyne?
Commentary  |  5/9/2006  | 
Memo to Melanie Wyne, executive director of the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC), evidently a Microsoft PR program masquerading as a trade organization: When you get what you want, you are supposed to say "thank you." Didn't your mother teach you any manners? The state of Massachusetts' request for a OpenDocument format plug-in for Microsoft Office is a very reasonable compromise. So why are you doing a very unattractive imitation of a
India's Wage Inflation May Have Outsourcers Looking At Des Moines Over Delhi
Commentary  |  5/9/2006  | 
Today I met with TCS CEO S. Ramadorai at the company's London offices across the street from Buckingham Palace. Not a bad location if you want to create the impression you're in business for the long haul. TCS, with quarter after quarter of double-digit gains in revenue and profits, clearly is. But there's one thing that could derail the $3 billion company's plans to become a $10 billion company by 2012. It could also put the whole offshore equation in doubt.
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