Commentary
Content posted in May 2008
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Looking through the Prism at WPF
Commentary  |  5/31/2008  | 
Google's Schmidt: Mobile Internet The Future Of Advertising
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
Speaking to a German newspaper, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that the mobile Internet will indeed be the next major advertising platform. According to Schmidt, the iPhone is leading the charge.
Is YouTube A Tool For Terrorist Propaganda?
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
I think of YouTube as being primarily a place to watch cute cat videos. But Sen. Joe Lieberman condemns the video site for something sinister: Terrorist organizations are using YouTube to post videos inciting Arabs to kill Americans. Lieberman is demanding that YouTube put a stop to the practice.
Google Shows First Android GPhone Prototype
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
Sure, Google engineer director Steve Horowitz says "I'm here to tell you there is actually no GPhone" in this interesting Android demonstration video I've linked to. But then he goes on to show off a GPhone prototype he's been working with for the last six months. So let's go to the videotape.
Mozilla's Add-On Army (Finally!) Makes Its Move
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
As Firefox 3 takes its final steps towards a final release, some users are wondering whether their favorite extensions will fall by the wayside. As it turns out, most of them won't have to wonder -- or worry -- much longer.
Cell Phones' Newest Feature: Avoiding Speeding Tickets
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
Trapster is a new service that allows cell phone users to alert one another about the location of speed traps. Alerts are sent in real-time to Trapster users as they approach a tagged trap. Never mind the fact that using a cell phone while speeding is probably not a good idea.
The Challenge of Mobile Analytics
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
Last year everyone was talking about Web 2.0; this year it's all about the Mobile Web. Let's take a look at what this means for mobile analytics... The bottom line: Mobile analytics are relatively new; beyond infancy, but certainly not for the faint of heart. The biggest challenges are...
Live Search Cashback Invites Company Troubles
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
My first look at Microsoft's new Live Search Cashback mentioned some concerns about its potential for abuse by employees. It would be easy for someone to buy products with company money and pocket the cashback rewards. As I've been doing a few more searches and purchases with the service, it seems like some merchants may be counting on this sort of behavior.
Obama's Tech Outreach Betrays Small Glitches
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
While Sen. Barack Obama unveiled an impressively broad technology policy plan last November, his campaign still has a few glitches to work out in terms of its own use of online technology for outreach.
Google's Android To Offer Up App Store?
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
Another gem to come from Google's I/O conference is news that Android-powered phones will be able to access some sort of centralized store to find and download applications to the handset. This will be great for developers looking to distribute their applications, as well as users seeking new functionality for their phones.
New Backup Options Blur The Line Between Physical and Virtual Storage
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
NovaStor's new NovaBACKUP 10 data protection and disaster recovery software for Windows lets small busineses store data locally and online in the cloud.
Startup Incubator Opens In Pittsburgh
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
A new facility for startup software and Internet companies is about to open in Pittsburgh. The new AlphaLab is affiliated with Innovation Works, a seed-stage investor that has pumped $37 million into more than 100 Pittsburgh-area startups over the past eight years.
Firefox Or Flock? Or Both?
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
With a release candidate of Firefox 3 upon us and the final version set to drop sometime in June, I'm finding myself a bit torn: Do I upgrade to FF3 once it's fully baked, or stay with my current browser?  What makes the dilemma all the tougher is that my current browser isn't Firefox 2 -- well, it is, sort of, but not really.  It's Flock, which serves as great proof of how open
Dining At the Intersection of Search and Retention
Commentary  |  5/30/2008  | 
Lawyers were well represented (you might say) at last week's Enterprise Search Summit in New York. At times, it felt more like an e-discovery conference with analytics and social-computing side-tracks rather than a search conference featuring a few e-discovery sessions... Without good search technology, sifting through the data isn't just tedious but nightmarishly expensive.
ClickFree Makes Backup Stupid Simple
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
Like many other members of the geek brotherhood, I provide informal tech support services for my friends and neighbors. In return they take care of Dr. Humphrey D. Dogg, DCS (Doctor of Canine Studies), when I fly off to Interop or TechEd. A few weeks ago one of my dog-run buddies was lamenting the lack of a good backup program for his Mac that would save his data to recordable DVDs. Given that he had an older PowerPC-based Mac and couldn't run Time Machine, I didn't have a better answer for him
Spigit's Web 2.0 For Enterprise Collaboration
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
Harnessing the collective wisdom of the crowd always sounds so good in theory, but few do it really well. More important, few have figured out the best ways to do it inside the walls of a corporation. I was surprised a couple weeks ago when the head of our HR department forwarded a job description to several of us to help her fill: It was for a company-wide Wiki manager -- not the "manager" role that makes it run and administers it, but the kind that evangelizes it, gets people to use it, and fi
MEDgle: Symptoms Ending In 'gle'
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
You know that rash, that one you don't want to talk about but that you keep scratching and wondering about but you're afraid to go to the doctor and get it checked out? I'm kidding -- but seriously, if you did, you could go to MEDgle first and find out how seriously to take it. This self-funded startup is yet another interesting way to exploit the expansiveness of the Web to create a new business opportunity.
Qualcomm Lays Out Map For The Future Of BREW
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
This week at Qualcomm's annual BREW conference, the giant chipmaker gave its content delivery platform a double shot in the arm. BREW's future includes Flash integration and the ability to run widgets created with Qualcomm's Plaza initiative. Are these improvements enough to fend off the competition?
CDNs Stage 3
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
In an upcoming InformationWeek cover story and online special report on the future of Web video (coming out next week), one of the areas I explored was content delivery networks. As executive producer of TechWeb TV, I publish a fair share of video, but it's been a while since I was able to take a deep dive into the land of CDNs, and boy, have they changed.
Ultra Low-Cost Laptops: A Viable Option For SMBs?
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
No one likes to spend more than they have to on a computer. And no one likes to carry around more weight than they have to. You'd think that would make a killer combination for ultra-low-cost ultra-portables like the Asus eeePC, OLPC XO, and HP 2133 Mini-Note. And now a new teeny tiny machine is on the way from Dell. But don't throw away your traditional notebook just yet.
Down To Business: Smell Opportunity, Not Just Upheaval, In Globalization
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
If there's such a thing as a business technology profession of the future, it's in developing, building, managing, and cultivating global supply chains.
CIOs Uncensored: An Interview With The Last CIO
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
How did it come about that Tomorrow's CIO really is tomorrow's CIO?
MokaFive Virtual Desktops: A Flexible Leash?
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
Virtualizing desktops is clearly an area of the enterprise that begs for IT action, but the variety of ways to go about it indicates that this technology segment is in deep ferment. Will those who have dominated the desktop so far rule a virtualized future? Perhaps, but where there's fermentation, there's also a whiff of disruption.
Obama's 'Solution' For Bridging U.S. Science Gap: Eliminate SATs
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
The Democratic presidential candidate has found a unique way to boost U.S. students' performance in math and science -- he'd eliminate rigorous testing and let everyone into college for free. Yup, that ought to do it.
Security, the Cloud and the Data Warehouse
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
"Doesn't DW-in-the-cloud suffer from the same fundamental problem as DW-as-a-Service in that you have to pump all of your proprietary, strategic, highly sensitive data outside of the firewall onto someone else's hardware?" James Dixon posted this question in response to my last post, and it points to a fundamental criticism that has been around since the first ASP started years ago...
3G iPhone Report Of The Day: It's Delayed
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
Quick, everyone panic! Apple's stock is going to tank if this one is true! German cell phone chipmaker Infineon said that it is seeing less demand for its HSDPA chips than it was expecting for some big, unnamed project (hint: 3G iPhone). Surely this means Apple is delaying the 3G iPhone's launch. Right? As Mr. Spock would say, "That's highly illogical."
Opera Cozies Up To Google, Adds Gears Support
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
I use Google Gears. I also use Firefox. When I upgraded to Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1, I lost access to Google Gears because it isn't supported yet. This is somewhat vexing. I also use the Opera browser from time to time. Today, Opera Software announced that both the desktop and the mobile versions of its browser will support Gears. Time for me to change browsers?
Windows 7 'Ultimate' Video: First Glimpse?
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
Windows 7 appears to look a lot like Windows Vista, judging from a video purporting to show the "Ultimate" version of Microsoft's next operating system that has popped up on the Internet and drawn more than one million hits on YouTube.
Like It Or Not, You're An Internet Exhibitionist
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
Emily Gould is an attractive young woman who's an Internet exhibitionist. She writes in the New York Times Magazine about her experiences as the co-editor of the gossip blog Gawker, where she shared intimate details of her romantic life and posted scantily clad pictures of herself. You might simply look at Emily as a freak. But if you use Facebook, or Twitter, or keep a personal blog, or are active on any other social media, then you and Gould are two of a kind -- the only difference is w
Will Apple's 3G iPhone Still Fall Short?
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
In April, shortly after I bought my very own iPhone, I blogged about the device's design flaws, pointing out the 5 Areas Where Apple's iPhone Falls Short. With the new 3G iPhone on the way, the question to ask now is whether all the lingering annoyances are being fixed. Here's my blow-by-blow assessment.
Cybernetic Monkeys Offer Hope To Human Invalids
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
The New York Times has a front-page story today about a group of monkeys who have learned to move robotic arms using only their thoughts, using tiny sensors in their brains called neural interfaces.
Converting Science Fiction To Reality: The Transformative Power Of Technology
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
Think there's no more magic in this business? Still have people trying to tell you that IT doesn't matter? Think again. I spent most of Wednesday at Carnegie Mellon University and among the people I spoke with was Jay Srini, the Chief Innovation Officer for the neighboring University of Pittsburgh's Medical Center Health Plan. Jay spoke about the extraordinary advances being made in the spaces where IT and medical technology and bioengineering meet health care.
Why The NY Times And Mashable.com Were Off Base On Blogging And Heart Failure
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
OK, I'm going off-campus in this post, but I now feel as though I've joined a "privileged class" that entitles me to comment on the New York Times story questioning the connection between the stresses of prolific blogging and heart failure and subsequently, a completely distasteful post on Mashable.com about being able to see (on a map) where bloggers are "dropping dead." The NY Times piece was shoddy reporting
Bashing SAP, Oracle and Other 'Stackers'
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
Lombardi's Jim Rudden posts an admittedly "cranky" piece about software giants like SAP crashing the business process management (BPM) party. His beef with those companies, which he calls "Stackers," is that they pursue the promise of BPM half-heartedly... I think he paints the Stackers with too broad and too black a brush. So let me offer a more nuanced view.
Open Source And Open APIs, Facebook-Style
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
The more I read Facebook's statement about opening its platform to third-party developers, the more it seems like you could interpret what they say as a promise to open just their APIs, or both their APIs and their underlying platform code.  Which one's more likely?  Better to ask: which one makes the most sense for Facebook, or any other Web compan
Nokia as a 'Software' Company
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
I'm probably the first to report that the news out of Barcelona is that cell phone giant Nokia  is transitioning from being a mobile phone company to being a software company. I'd be wrong, of course. Well, mostly wrong.

The future is within (embedded)
Commentary  |  5/29/2008  | 
Unified Communications Confounds Small Businesses
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Vendors love to talk up the benefits of Unified Communications, but an exclusive study of small and midsize companies by bMighty.com suggests that many companies are not yet getting the message.
Google I/O Overrun By Developers
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
More than 2,900 developers descended on the Moscone Center West convention center in San Francisco on Wednesday and Google wasn't ready for them.
Apple Hasn't Forgotten Tiger Users
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
If you're still running Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" on some or all of your Macs, Apple released two updates for you today.
The Fourth Iteration of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" Is Here
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Apple today released its third major update to Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard." The update, technically referred to as Mac OS X 10.5.3, is a whopping 420MB download. Given the number of things addressed by the update, I recommend that business users move to adopt it after carefully testing it in their own environment.
HTC's Android Phone Shown Off At Google Conference
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Google's I/O developer conference in San Francisco has marked the unofficial debut of HTC's upcoming Android-powered smartphone, the Dream. Here's a video sneak-peek.
Tomorrow's CIO: The Qualifications
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
What are the attributes that make for a good CIO, today and going forward? Here's another peek at our "Tomorrow's CIO" research survey results, specifically the attributes and abilities both CIOs and executive management are looking for in top technology talent. How does this line up with your own ideas about what it will take to prepare for the challenges of Tomorrow's CIO?
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