Commentary
Content posted in May 2008
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Women In Business Are A Hot Topic
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Yesterday, on bMighty a businesswoman was front and center. Today, on SmallBizResource you'll find the third installment of Wednesday's Woman. A coincidence? Hardly. Women and business are hot and not likely to cool anytime soon.
Cisco Etches itself into SOA
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Does Cloud Computing Create A Bad Work Environment?
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
I was speaking with some industry people last night and was horrified to learn about the work environment of an acquaintance of mine. Though he has a regular 9 to 5 job, he doesn't get his own cubicle. Rather, he has to sit in a sterile work station that cannot be personalized in any way. Is this the best that cloud computing has to offer?
How The Cable Companies Can Win Again
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
The cable companies are in trouble, but the trouble is so avoidable. They have home and business premise access, and those lines have been robust enough to carry hundreds of video channels, many now in high definition. The addition of phone and Internet service has been, I'm sure, a fantastic boon to their businesses. But the growth of video on the Internet and the power of the Web as its platform will be this decade's final disrupter. Those with no urgency today will be scrambling for survival
Analysts Rain On Apple's iPhone Parade
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
With iPhone sales petering out due to their growing unavailability, Apple may not sell 10 million iPhones in 2008, say analysts. What spurred Jobs to believe that Apple could attain that number, when to-date the iPhone has sold only 5.4 million? Discuss.
Cellular Modems Move into the Mainstream
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
What do you think was the hottest networking technology in 2007? Power over Ethernet switches? No. Unified Threat Management security systems? Guess again. VoIP phones? Nope. Try cellular modems, whose sales rose by an astounding 300% from year to year.
It Must Be Summertime Because We're Starting To See Rumors About A Mac Tablet Again
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Certain periodic events mark the passing of time. The sun rises and sets. The weather goes from warm to cold to warm again. Football changes to basketball, then baseball. And, a couple of times a year, we see a new rumor that Apple will be coming out with a tablet computer. Because, you know, that Newton was such a huge hit that Apple's just sweaty-palmed to do it again.
Cisco Delivers On Open Promise
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
John Chambers has been talking about transforming the way enterprises use and manage IT resources for a couple of years now. With "Cisco Motion," he's finally delivered.
Why Not Data Warehouse Appliances?
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
In my book, it's time to stop thinking of data warehouse appliances (including those powered by column-store databases) as experimental devices for pioneers and performance nuts... Will these devices start replacing conventional enterprise data warehouses (EDWs)? I haven't heard many solid arguments against the appliance approach.
To POP Or To IMAP, That Is The Question
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Anyone who uses POP to retrieve e-mail from a mobile device knows that not everything you do on your phone is reflected in your account online. Google feels your pain, and wants you to know that IMAP can save you the hassle of re-performing actions when you log in from your PC.
If You Have No Privacy, Don't Blame Microsoft
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Recently, I came across a conspiracy theory that Microsoft is spying on us using the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT). This theory has no doubt been given new impetus by Microsoft's (unrelated) training police forces in computer forensics, which seems like a bad idea to me. Bu
Architect, Sure, But Of What?
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
The CIO is generally thought of as an architect -- traditionally of a company's IT structure and strategy and, increasingly, potentially, of a company's overall business processes. However, not everyone, it seems, is willing to make the leap to the CIO-as-process-guru hypothesis.
In Your Face, Climate Alarmists
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
The agitators over at grassfire.org want you to "break free from the 'carbon footprint guilt' being imposed by Climate Alarmists."
Windows 7 Shows Microsoft Hasn't Learned Vista Lessons
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
The project was called MinWin, a Microsoft effort to slim down the next version of Windows. The company said it had heard, loud and clear, that another bloated OS like Vista wouldn't fly. Then Windows 7 galumphed into the room.
Startup Replay: The TiVo Of Software
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Startup Replay Solutions has mostly (re)played in the gaming world, with customers like Electronic Arts, Vivendi, and Microsoft, but now it's moving into financial services and other verticals with its TiVo-like ability to re-create and play back application sessions for quality assurance and testing.
Via's OpenBook Is Share Alike, If Only On The Outside
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Open hardware specs seem to be catching on.  After the OpenMoko released CAD design files for all of its handsets, Via's gone and done the same thing with its new OpenBook.  It's only the
Semantics and SOA: Don't Give Up
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Although I don't remember when I first heard the term Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), I remember researching Web services around 2000. Back then... the sky seemed the limit... Platform independence, long-running transactions, and asynchronous processes - it would be like world peace. Unfortunately, it hasn't really panned out yet.
I Think, I Video, I Am
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
In a cover story for InformationWeek next week, I will say the following (technically I've already said it, you just haven't read it yet; technically, I'm paraphrasing myself, which may be a form of plagiarism, but I don't know): I think Web Video is undergoing a massive upheaval today. Right now. Before our eyes. I think in two years, the lines between what we watch on the Web and what we watch on television will cease to blur. I think all video will soon be delivered over the Internet.
Arrays: Core or Library Type?
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
As programming languages provide ever more powerful ways to specify user defined types, where do arrays fit in? Are arrays a fundamental type that must be in the core language, or are they a type that can be built up from other core types, and so be a user defined library type?

 

Homebrew Supercomputers
Commentary  |  5/28/2008  | 
Joomla Rocks, Or How To Build A Professional Web Site For No Money Down
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
Working in a garage-based company that's looking to create its first killer Web site? Or maybe you're toiling in the bowels of a behemoth corporation, wondering why you're mired in an old-fashioned, "waterfall" software-development process when all you wanna do is board that Web 2.0 train, and quickly. Well, I've got the answer for you, and it's called Joomla.
Business Tech Is The Land Of The Living
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
Women prefer careers working with living things, rather than "inorganic matter," according to a study recently blogged about by my colleague, Richard Martin. But how come more females don't seem to realize that a successful career in the business technology field is all about working with people? People are "living things," too, right?
Paying The "Linux Tax"
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
Most of us know about the "Windows Tax" -- the extra cash you shell out to pay for the cost of a Windows license when you buy a new PC.  But what about a (so-called) "Linux Tax," the cost incurred by an ordinary user switching to Linux from Windows?

Cleveland Rocks!
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
How did the CIO of a rust-belt financial firm buffeted by the mortgage meltdown mess pull out a big win in Cambridge, Mass., last week? Here's a hint: Make the most of what you've got.
Microsoft (Slightly) Lifts Curtains On Windows 7
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
After a long silence, Microsoft Windows chief Steven Sinofsky is talking, the Windows team is blogging publicly about Windows 7, and there are rumbles that Windows 7 might actually be demonstrated at a conference this week. But is Microsoft actually saying anything?
UK Theme Park Bans SmartPhones. Everybody Panic!
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
Whenever I get in a discussion of the convenience of mobile devices, I run into some old fart who gets his knickers in a twist about how he doesn't carry one of them newfangled barkberries, he's too important to be at the beck and call of an electronic ball-and-chain. When confronted with one of these pundits, I like to inform him about an exciting new feature on my cutting-edge smartphone that helps protect my privacy. It's called an "off button."
What Drives Mac Speed? Hard Disks!
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
I had the opportunity last week to work with a new MacBook Pro, one that's about year newer than mine. Performance on the new model was much faster. Why? Because of the hard drive's speed. That's one place where you should choose carefully.
How Will Your Social Computing Strategy Deliver ROI?
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
I spoke with Matthew Greeley, CEO of Brightidea.com, recently and came away impressed with its approach to delivering real value with Web 2.0 sizzle. It just released WebStorm 5.0, which uses social networking elements to capture information that companies can use to drive innovation.
A Search Engine Just For IT
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
Paglo is launching the beta version of its search engine for IT and its ability to let IT departments search and get information about their networks and the devices on it just might mean a few less headaches.
'In the Cloud' is the New 'as a Service'
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
I've come to the conclusion that "as a service" is getting played out as a marketing term. The new and exciting term now being borrowed from the Web world is "in the cloud." While there is a difference between the two, many companies never figured out if they were SaaS or a managed hosting environment... I expect to see more confusing messages as vendors rush to the next buzzword.
Huge Web Hosting Company Begs Users To Adopt Gmail
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
DreamHost must have never imagined that so many people would use its Web-hosting services and choose to use its e-mail product. In some recent comments made by DreamHost, it is asking that its customers choose Gmail instead, because "it's something Google...can do better."
Grasping At 3G iPhone Rumor Straws
Commentary  |  5/27/2008  | 
Turns out, people are sort of desperate for news about the 3G iPhone. So desperate, in fact, that they are willing to infer just about anything. Take the latest 3G iPhone reports. Apparently, Apple has received 188 containers of something at a North American port. These particular containers are of interest because they are unlabeled ... and Apple's containers are usually labeled.
Midnight Meetings on the Rise
Commentary  |  5/26/2008  | 
Misunderstanding Open Source
Commentary  |  5/26/2008  | 
Richard Stallman announced the GNU Project in September 1983. Eric S. Raymond published the first version of The Cathedral and the Bazaar in 2000. IDC estimated a year ago that worldwide revenue from standalone open source software reached $1.8 billion in 2006, projecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26% from 2006 to 2011. That's revenue, not the presumably much higher avoided cost of closed source alternatives. So why are open-source fundamentals still so widely misunderstood, inc
Adventures in Encryption
Commentary  |  5/25/2008  | 
Time Machine Full-Disk Behavior Is Making Me Nervous
Commentary  |  5/24/2008  | 
Yesterday, one of the Leopard-based iMacs experience a strange Time Machine error  and that error is making me uneasy about the possibly buggy backup software.
Desert Island MP3s: What's Your Must-Have Music?
Commentary  |  5/24/2008  | 
Here's a holiday weekend thought experiment, which doesn't seem so far-fetched anymore given the high price of gas: If you were stranded in the middle of nowhere, what digital tunes would you have to have on your music player to survive the boredom? In the old days, radio stations called this challenge "Desert Island Discs." I'm updating it for the MP3 era; read on for my list.
Nokia Announces Mobile Innovation Winners
Commentary  |  5/24/2008  | 
Forum Nokia has announced the winners of this year's Mobile Innovation Competition, a contest which gives university students the opportunity to show off their skills as mobile application designers.

The Era of the Mobile Web
Commentary  |  5/24/2008  | 
Small Businesses Look To The Web For Recession Relief
Commentary  |  5/23/2008  | 
When the going gets tough, small businesses get on the Web. At least, that's the impression you get from Register.com's new Small Business Web Survey.
Stretch Your Budget With Acrobat Alternatives
Commentary  |  5/23/2008  | 
If you're looking for a free, functional alternative to Adobe Acrobat, then I have bad news and good news. Here's the bad news: No single application can do everything that Acrobat does. Here's the good news: No single application tries to do everything that Acrobat does.
FCC Wants To Sell Yet More Airwaves, Google Perks Up
Commentary  |  5/23/2008  | 
I guess the $20 billion the FCC brought in during Auction 73 just wasn't enough. Today, Kevin Martin, the FCC's chairman, floated the idea of another spectrum auction. This one will sell off 25 MHz of spectrum, with the express purpose of providing free wireless broadband services. Google must be licking its chops.
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