Commentary
Content posted in June 2006
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Fight For Your Entertainment Rights
Commentary  |  6/30/2006  | 
If you own an iPod or MP3 player; yearn for a music-enabled phone; download, share, or mix songs and video; or even if you just want to listen to your music or watch your videos in relative peace, take heed. Pending legislation could make the simplest exercise in legal home media use more cumbersome than you could ever imagine.
Down To Business: The Age Of The Control Freak
Commentary  |  6/30/2006  | 
Control freaks call the shots today. But before you start howling about Big Brother gone bonkers, look in the mirror.
Why Recycling Should Be A One-Way Trip
Commentary  |  6/30/2006  | 
Encyclopedias are looking better and better every day
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  6/30/2006  | 
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  6/30/2006  | 
Community Feedback
Commentary  |  6/30/2006  | 
(Almost) Everything You Want To Know About PC Power Supplies
Commentary  |  6/30/2006  | 
"Power Supplies 101: A Comprehensive Guide" is a great little primer for understanding the power supplies that are in all your systems. Want to know how wattage really applies to amps for PCs? Curious about the different kinds of loads and what "Active PFC" really means? All is revealed in this guide.
Office Letter: Printing Double In Excel
Commentary  |  6/30/2006  | 
Printing two copies of a range on a single page sounds useful, and it is. It also sounds easy, but it isn't.
BI Gets A Boost From Open-Source Community
Commentary  |  6/29/2006  | 
Open-source development is having a significant impact on business intelligence. Among the vendors that have adopted open-source technology within their products in a big way are Actuate, Pentaho and JasperSoft.
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Mobility
Commentary  |  6/28/2006  | 
Our two most relied upon computing/communications devices--the laptop and the cell phone--are making headlines today. The failure rate on laptops (and desktops)--failure defined as necessitating replacement of a hardware component--is dropping, but remains higher than a rate I'd consider optimal.
Account And Data Theft By India's Outsourcing Workers Rare Compared To In-House Thievery At U.S. Banks
Commentary  |  6/28/2006  | 
That the arrest on theft charges of an HSBC employee at the bank's outsourcing operations in India made big headlines shows that hiring low-wage staff in that country for sensitive financial work must be...a pretty safe business practice. Yup, you read that right, and here's the proof.
Keybored? Here's Two New Ways To Enter Data
Commentary  |  6/28/2006  | 
The most basic piece of PC technology has been around for more than a hundred years -- the keyboard. It came over from mechanical typewriters virtually intact. You'd think the "standard" 101-key keyboard would be the end of the discussion, but people just will not quit fiddling with it. And here are two more -- one that adds a key, and one that drops a whole bunch.
Vista Volume Licensing May Require Product Activation
Commentary  |  6/28/2006  | 
According to CRN, Microsoft is planning to require Vista and Longhorn customers with volume licenses to register and report their license key usage, ostensibly through some kind of licensing server running on Longhorn, and possibly a hosted server run by Microsoft. Although the article does not explicity state that product activation will be required, it seems pretty clear that de-activati
Go Ahead. Kill Your Scanner!
Commentary  |  6/28/2006  | 
Our recent review of the Casio EX-Z1000 revealed interesting new features: The camera has 37 presets, among them a preset for photographing business cards, and another for taking pictures of pictures. Old pictures, to be precise (the preset "Old Photo" brings faded colors back to life). That's when it hit me: Why not use MY digital camera as a scanner?
Intel Cell Phone Effort A Failure Of Historic Proportions
Commentary  |  6/27/2006  | 
Intel, the world's largest semiconductor company, on Tuesday finally owned up to one of the most colossal failures in that industry's history when it unloaded its communications and applications processor business to Marvell for $600 million. It's not surprising that Intel tried to slip that announcement in under the cover of its much splashier
The Top Ten List Of Top Ten Lists
Commentary  |  6/26/2006  | 
Bloggers discovered quickly -- and lately have been abusing -- something we journalists have long known: Shoehorning your content into a list, and putting the number in the headline, is a cheap-and-easy way to generate more interest. And ten is the perfect number for items in your list. Even David Letterman knows that.
Net Neutrality Hypocrites
Commentary  |  6/26/2006  | 
It's odd to hear people in an industry that exists because of government regulation argue against government regulation and for the free market. And yet that's exactly what happens when telcos and cable television vendors argue against net neutrality regulations, which would forbid them from giving preferential treatment to Internet traffic for companies that pay for the privilege.

Telcos and the cable TV industry don't exist in the vicious jungle of the free market. They live a protect
All Your Bases Belong To Microsoft
Commentary  |  6/26/2006  | 
Or so Steve Ballmer would have it. Though it's dabbled in it for a while now, Microsoft dove headfirst into unified communications today with an offbeat press conference that showed exactly how many ways Microsoft can dominate much more than just your operating system, desktop productivity, and server software.
Program Analyst Job Pays $454.5 Million, So It Seems Or Not
Commentary  |  6/26/2006  | 
Funny thing with numbers, they can tell much or little about the truth. Take, for instance, whether foreign nationals who enter the United States with H-1B visas in hand are paid the prevailing wage as the law requires.
Tom Evslin: A Blogger Blooks
Commentary  |  6/26/2006  | 
Tom Evslin and I have crossed paths in just about every one of his careers, although we've never met in person. This morning's crossing was a press release from the PR person for his murder mystery, hackoff.com, which he published first as a "blook," a blogged book, in installments on the Web, and has now issued in hardback. I haven't read it, but if it's as well written as his blog, Fractals of Change, it must
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  6/23/2006  | 
Community Feedback
Commentary  |  6/23/2006  | 
Firefox Scores One For World Cup Fans
Commentary  |  6/23/2006  | 
Keeping up with the World Cup can be a pain, especially if you're at work and have to keep one eye peeled for your boss. If you could use a better way to catch the latest scores -- and if you only want soccer results -- drop by Mozilla.org and try out Boris Ruf's Footiefox extension.
Big Vs. Small? It's Not That Simple
Commentary  |  6/23/2006  | 
We tend to oversimplify issues like net neutrality, patent reform, and predatory business practices.
IT Confidential: Mt. Rushmore Vs. American Idol? No Contest
Commentary  |  6/23/2006  | 
People are losing interest in our national parks, and electronic media may be to blame.
Another Cell Phone Health Risk: Killer Thunderstorms
Commentary  |  6/23/2006  | 
At first it sounds like a hoax, but reportedly doctors at the Northwick Park Hospital in England claim that using cell phones, iPods, and devices of that ilk during thunderstorms increases a person's chances of being struck--and even killed--by lightning. The doctors cite a real case involving a teenager who was struck by lightning while using her cell phone in one of London's parks last year.
Microsoft Is Thinking Way Inside The Box
Commentary  |  6/23/2006  | 
Bill Hilf can be forgiven for knowing exactly which side his paycheck is buttered on, but his self-satisfied quotes on why Linux will never oust Microsoft from the desktop are emblematic of the problems Microsoft has created for itself and for PC users. Hilf told CRN reporter Paula Rooney that Linux will never gain momentum on the desktop because of the complexity involved in delivering a tightly integrated an
Is Fear Driving Your Life?
Commentary  |  6/23/2006  | 
Is Central IT The Web 2.0 Villain?
Commentary  |  6/23/2006  | 
Fewer Vendors, Beefier Software Expected In BPM Market
Commentary  |  6/22/2006  | 
The herd of vendors in the business process management software market thinned a bit this week with EMC Corp.'s acquisition of ProActivity Software Solutions Ltd. The purchase reflected two trends: consolidation among vendors and the convergence of BPM and content management.
Will Intel's Woodcrest Change The Landscape?
Commentary  |  6/21/2006  | 
In typical Intel fashion, the company has scheduled a major press event for Monday that will happen simultaneously in New York and San Francisco to herald the arrival of a new product the company has been talking about extensively for the past six months. While it will be interesting to see what new information will be provided by Intel, what will be more intriguing is to watch over the next six months and see just what impact Woodcrest will have in reversing the company's struggles against Adva
If Vista Leaves You Cold
Commentary  |  6/21/2006  | 
To See Ourselves As Others See Us
Commentary  |  6/21/2006  | 
Holy cow! This is me she's talking about here:

A few weeks ago Jon and I gave an interview to an IT magazine for an article about accidental entrepreneurship. They wanted to know how this website now pays our mortgage...

Read on for more about what it's like to be interviewed by me for an article, and then visited by an InformationWeek photographer. Note that the blo
Best Bits: Miracle Of The 2-Hour DVD Disc, Part 2
Commentary  |  6/21/2006  | 
If you want to, you can put four hour-long TV programs on a DVD disc. Really. DVDs can't tell time. How are they going to know?
Is Central IT The Web 2.0 Villain?
Commentary  |  6/21/2006  | 
The Boing Boing blog offers tips to get around Web filters. It offers such advice in case you're subjected to a Web filter by "your employer or corrupt, undemocratic, dictator-based government." So that's what it's come to--central IT and Kim Jong Il are seen as tech compadres.
Can Gates Keep Departure On Schedule?
Commentary  |  6/21/2006  | 
Bill Gates has announced he's leaving his day-to-day involvement with Microsoft in 2008. Kezia Jauron sends me an e-mail wondering if this is a Vista-like timetable: "If Microsoft says this will happen in July 2008, can we expect to see it sometime in the spring of 2009?"
MySQL Gets Lit
Commentary  |  6/21/2006  | 
If you work with MySQL for a living -- or for fun, for that matter -- there's a new magazine in the works that you might find interesting. It's called Tabula: The MySQL Journal, and judging from the description its publisher posted online last week, it's going to be a first-rate operation.
If Vista Leaves You Cold
Commentary  |  6/20/2006  | 
If you don't plan to jump on upgrading to Windows Vista right away, you've come to the right place. Our top story for this week is Fred Langa's terrific article showing you how to completely rebuild, repair, or refresh an existing XP installation without losing data--and without having to reinstall user software, reformat, or otherwise change or destroy your PC's setup.
MOG's Music Blogging Service
Commentary  |  6/20/2006  | 
MOG, a new social networking site aimed at music fans, launched today. The question is: Does the world need another social networking service? President and CEO David Hyman, formerly the CEO of music data service Gracenote, says the site is for people who are passionate about music. "When you're 18 to 24 years old, people really find each other through music," he says.
Introducing InformationWeek Download
Commentary  |  6/20/2006  | 
Can Microsoft Now Finish Growing Up?
Commentary  |  6/20/2006  | 
Putting Tuition Money Where Your Mouth Is
Commentary  |  6/20/2006  | 
Teenagers never listen to their parents, right? But when it comes to not pursuing tech careers, kids seem to be tuning in. I've been hearing a lot lately from IT pros who say they're telling their own kids not to go into technology careers. That's the same advice many nontechie parents have been giving their kids since the dot-com bust. With so many companies purportedly offshoring, outsourcing, and hiring
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