Commentary
Content posted in May 2009
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IBM Cognos Forum: The Secrets and the Sizzle
Commentary  |  5/27/2009  | 
Much of what I learned and got excited about at IBM Cognos Forum I can't yet write about. So I will stick to the practical, the here and now, about two things in IBM Cognos 8.4 that caught my attention. First are the new metadata features: Business Glossary and Data Lineage.
New Amazon Cloud Service Says Forget Internet, Go Snail-Mail
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
If it's true that everyone likes newspapers and sausages but no one wants to see either one being made, then perhaps we'll have to add Amazon Web Services into that mix: for uploading very large data files, a new AWS service lets clients bypass the Internet and transfer the data to AWS the old-fashioned way: a physical package moving through the physical world. Who knew?
Wolfe's Den: Mixed Review For Windows 7 Release Candidate
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
Our columnist loves the performance -- and impressive enterprise ecosystem -- of the upcoming successor to Vista. But he wonders if Microsoft isn't missing a chance to offer more help to the average PC user.
U.S. Teens Sent 2,272 Text Messages Per Month In 4Q08
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
According to a new report by the Nielsen Company, teenagers in the U.S. sent an average of 2,272 text messages per month. That comes out to more than 80 messages per day, representing a more-than 100% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.
Sharing Apps From Windows Marketplace
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
Roughly two weeks ago, Microsoft announced you would be able to install apps you purchase from their as yet unreleased Windows Marketplace For Mobile store on up to five devices. They have now clarified that this is for up to five of your phones, not phones of friends and family members.
Global CIO: How Do You Match Up Against 50 Of The World's Top CIOs?
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
The global economic downturn is accelerating the evolution of the CIO position, requiring CIOs to be more business-driven, customer-focused, and accountable for growth.
IBM Takes BPA to the Cloud
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
"Cool" is not a word I would normally apply to IBM's business process management (BPM) software, but for the new BPM BlueWorks offering the term is appropriate. IBM bills BPM BlueWorks as a BPM community in the cloud, and it is that, plus a lot more.
Plethora Of Palm Pre Videos Pop Up For Your Perusal
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
If you're interested in seeing a really detailed look at how many of the forthcoming Palm Pre's features work, you have to check out this huge collection of video demonstrations.
Invisible Linux: The Details
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
The other week I theorized about "Invisible Linux" -- what Linux would need to become to really make inroads on the desktop. Since making that post, I've been refining my ideas about what this would be and how it could be created. Read on for more.

Online Advertisers Targeting Our Kids
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
The economic mess has come home to roost. I mean literally come home, as in vendors are trying to worm their way into every available keyhole and Internet connection to squeeze more dollars out of our kids.
Nokia Ovi Store: Initial Impressions
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
Nokia's Ovi Store recently became available to users of Nokia mobile phones around the world. I took it for a spin this morning. Did the world's largest handset maker get it right?
More on MySQL Forks and Storage Engines
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
Suppose Oracle wants to make life difficult for third-party storage engine vendors via its incipient control of MySQL? Can the storage engine vendors insulate themselves from this risk by working with a MySQL fork?
Meet 50 Of The Top CIOs In The World: The Global CIO 50
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
Who are the very best at this daunting profession? What are their priorities, and their achievements? What companies are they from, and which industries? Come check out our list - the Global CIO 50 - featuring profiles of some of the world's top CIOs, including 10 from India, eight from China, five from Brazil, and top IT execs from many other countries.
Microsoft Rethinks Its Win 7 Netbook Strategy
Commentary  |  5/26/2009  | 
Microsoft, it seems, is thinking twice about a key limitation it had slated for its netbook version of Windows 7.
Apple Working On Movie Downloads Directly To iPhone: Report
Commentary  |  5/25/2009  | 
Some screen shots seen recently for an iPhone application offer hints at a new feature that could be headed to the iPhone: Direct downloads of movies and television shows.
Two Apps To Get Your Food Fix On The iPhone
Commentary  |  5/25/2009  | 
I don't know about you but many times I walk into the supermarket and have no idea what I want to buy so I wind up eating way too many hamburgers. I've recently found two iPhone applications that can help with creating a wide range of tasty recipes.
Interop Raises CIO-Level Interest In Cloud, Virtualization: Video
Commentary  |  5/25/2009  | 
While last week's Interop event in Las Vegas showcased a wide range of innovative enterprise technologies including mobility, WAN optimization, security, storage, smartphones, data center infrastructure, servers, and more, the biggest CIO-level activity was centered around cloud computing, whose acceptance and potential are growing rapidly, and virtualization, which has already become a cornerstone in 21st-century enterprise IT strategy.
Microsoft Plays Hardball With Windows 7 Versions
Commentary  |  5/23/2009  | 
When Windows Vista proved too big to fit early netbooks, Microsoft resurrected XP at a lower price to satisfy that market. Microsoft would only sell XP to an OEM if the system was sufficiently underpowered that it couldn't run Vista. Microsoft has already said that all versions of the slimmer Windows 7 should run on netbooks, so what will happen with Windows 7?
Introducing The Latest And Greatest Small Business Technology: Blogs!
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
Blogging may be old hat to some, but a new study says it's just now becoming mainstream for small businesses.
RightNow, Salesforce Offer Services To Track Customer Complaints On Twitter, YouTube
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
So you buy a new smartphone, and the touch pad stinks. You post on your Twitter or Facebook account, "Should've known better than to buy a phone from XYZ Corp. Their stuff is junk." You expect a few sympathetic replies from friends. Instead, you get this surprising, and maybe a bit creepy, message from XYZ Corp.: "Are you having a problem with your new phone? Please contact us--we'd like to help!" Welcome to the world of cloud monitoring services, brought to you by RightNow and Salesforce.com.
A Third Front For Computer Hardware Sales
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
Following AT&T's April announcement, Verizon debuted this week its own plans to sell deeply subsidized netbooks, thereby confirming that cell services will follow retail stores and the Internet as outlets for selling computers.
Air Force Calls In Twitter Air Strike
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
When the Air Force wanted to refute reports that GPS technology is failing, the service turned to Twitter to get the word out. Government Q&As on Twitter have been going on for a few months; it looks like they've gone beyond the gimmicky roots and are emerging as useful communications tools.
Business Owners Don't Fear Recession
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
The recession is scaring the bejesus out businesses of every stripe, but owners of small and midsize businesses have been to the brink of failure before -- many times -- and know how to survive.
Remembering And Honoring Our Heroes On Memorial Day
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day in honor of America's warriors who have sacrificed so much to keep the rest of us safe, I wanted to share a story about a small American city building a small but lovely memorial to three of its sons who gave their lives in military service to America and in so doing won this country's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor.
Still No Chrome For Linux?
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
With Chrome 2.0 out this week for Windows only, the hue and cry arises once more: why is there still no Chrome for Linux -- or for that matter, anything other than Windows?

BlackBerry Storm Firmware 4.7.0.148 Is The Best Yet
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
I finally had the chance to update my Storm to firmware 4.7.0.148. It is, without doubt, the firmware version to have. It fixes some of the most annoying bugs and makes the Storm much more usable.
Apple: World's First Victorian Tech Company
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
Either Apple has completely lost hold of its senses or it's trying to turn back the clock to Victorian-era America, a time when we led the world in official prudishness.
Sony Ericsson: Yeah, We're Going To Wait For Android 2.0
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
Sony Ericsson may have joined the Open Handset Alliance, but it appears as though the company -- known for its music- and camera-centric mobile phones -- doesn't quite have faith in Android 1.0 or 1.5. It is going to wait for Android 2.0 before it brings any Android handsets to market.
The Transparency Shuffle: Don't Let Your Mouth Write A Check Your Actions Can't Cash
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
The White House for months has made grandiose promises of complete transparency into how it's spending taxpayer money, but the reality is proving to be much more murky and unclear. Before making such sweeping commitments, perhaps President Obama should have spoken with some CIOs who know full well the importance of underpromising and overdelivering.
Inbox Preview Latest Gmail Lab From Google
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
The pace of new Labs for Gmail continues to flow unabated. The newest test feature for Gmail users to check out will show you a preview of the unread emails in your inbox while Gmail loads. This inbox preview will be most useful when you have a shaky Web connection.
1GHz Windows Mobile Device On The Way - In Japan
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
According to WindowsForDevices, NTT DoCoMo will be shipping a Windows Mobile phone that uses the Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon processor. The rest of the specs for the phone, called the T-01A, are equally impressive, even though its name isn't too sexy.
Linux Desktop Stats: Wrong Question, Wrong Answers
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
I'm not surprised that desktop Linux has hit the one percent milestone. I'm surprised that anyone takes these numbers seriously in the first place.
Tech Takes Stage At San Francisco Small Business Week Event
Commentary  |  5/22/2009  | 
The culmination of Small Business Week in San Francisco was the Business After Hours Grand Expo at AT&T Park, the picturesque home of the San Francisco Giants. And technology played a starring yet diverse role in the celebration.
5 E-Commerce Tips To Maximize Online Sales For SMBs -- From A PayPal Expert Who's Seen It All
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
Small and midsize businesses can compete online, if they know what they're doing. To get some tips, I talked to Eddie Davis, senior director of SMB merchant services for PayPal, which works with 73 million of online buyers and hundreds of thousands -- he wouldn't say exactly how many -- of online merchants. Davis says PayPal has distilled its experience into a set of tips for SMBs looking to boost their online business.
Craigslist Should Drop South Carolina Suit
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster must be embarrassed by his stunning imitation of a sand castle at the water's edge last week -- I can't think of another reason for Craigslist to sue South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster.
Will 11n Ever Supplant Ethernet To The Desktop?
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
That's just one of the questions InformationWeek Analytics is looking to answer with our first-ever "Wireless Nation" report. Security and compliance are also high on our coverage list.
BlackBerry Storm 2 Caught On Video
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
Well, lookee what we've got here. Someone managed to capture the unannounced, unofficial BlackBerry Storm 2 for Verizon Wireless on video. Feast your eyes on this.
Open Source On Wall Street: Crunching The Numbers
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
Open source on Wall Street isn't exactly news, but the "where" and "how" are crucial. It's looking more and more like the big-money men are turning to open source not just to build their networks and backends, but to actually crunch and count the money. I hope it's not just a strategy only for hard times.

Does Red Hat Need Hardware White Knight After Oracle-Sun?
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
With its acquisition of Sun giving Oracle contol of the Solaris operating system, Red Hat and its Enterprise Linux might well become the less-favored stepchild in the expanded - and extended - Oracle family. And with the old hardware/software distinctions in the industry being erased, Red Hat is a likely takeover target, perhaps by a hardware company, predicts one financial analyst.
YouTube To Uploaders: C'Mon, You Can Do Better Than That!
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
YouTube recently revealed that its users are uploading 20 hours of content to the site every minute. But that's not good enough. YouTube is pushing users to increase the rate of uploading to 24 hours every minute. YouTube also announced a new social tool for YouTubers to take advantage of.
Practical Analysis: Reacquaint Yourself With Your Changing Business
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
In companies that have had large numbers of layoffs, what you thought you knew about how your colleagues do their jobs is no longer valid.
Take Credit Card Payments On Your Phone With Intuit GoPayment
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
For today's mobile businesses, accepting payment from any location at any time is crucial to maintaining cash flow and increasing business -- cash only doesn't cut it anymore. A new offering from Intuit offers businesses another option for taking payment via mobile phones (and not just smartphones).
Google Uses More Tools To Speed Up 'Suggest' Feature
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
Google recently revealed that it is making improvements to Google Suggest, the feature that begins to offer search suggestions as you type in a query. Among the new features are personalized suggestions, navigational suggestions and sponsored link suggestions. My suggestion? Check it out.
Is Cisco Looking To Acquire Citrix For Virtualization Play?
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
With cloud computing going mainstream and virtualization a core element in IT strategy, Cisco could be interested in acquiring virtualization stalwart Citrix, say the folks at Motley Fool. And in a time when Cisco is warming to the "unified" approach, a Citrix buy would give Cisco the ability "to build an entire data center on its own platforms."
More Phones Upgradable To Windows Mobile 6.5
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
Nearly two months ago, HTC confirmed that the Touch Pro2 and Touch Diamond2 would be upgradable to Windows Mobile 6.5 and HTC would provide that upgrade. It now seems that some phones by LG and Acer will be upgradable as well.
Limits of Visualization: Wordle Misses Meaning
Commentary  |  5/21/2009  | 
As I related in connection to my image gallery, "See Connections with Visualization," "Building on the foundation of basic charting, data graphics and dashboard displays, the growing palate of visualization makes analyses more accessible and understandable to a general business audience." Yet visualizations can be no better than the information and analyses that feed them. Let's use Wordle, an excellent "toy," to see why.
IBM System S: Not for Everyone
Commentary  |  5/20/2009  | 
IBM's announcements about "System S" along with its "Smarter Planet" campaign have really caught my attention... It's quite an achievement, so far as I can tell, but the breathless enthusiasm of the press/bloggers/analysts has me a little put off. Here's why...
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