Commentary
Content posted in June 2007
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People Matter in Advanced Analytics
Commentary  |  6/20/2007  | 
I read with interest Tom Davenport's article, "Humans and Black Boxes" in BIReview. He raises the issue about whether humans are required in the analytics process anymore, given the offerings of vendors of unattended data mining tools. After all, with all of the hardware and bandwidth at our disposal, shouldn't systems be smart enough to swim around in the data and come up with predictive models that are more accurate than we mere humans can? Of course, Davenport doesn't believe that, and neithe
Enterprise 2.0: Making the Business Case
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
The Enterprise 2.0 movement gets an "A" for awareness and technology development, but a "C" for communicating business benefits. This report card, offered today by Harvard Business School professor and keynote speaker Andrew McAfee, sums up the mix of enthusiasm and hunger for practical applications in evidence here at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston.
Enterprise 2.0 In Action At Enterprise 2.0
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
I came to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston this week expecting to hear about all the challenges companies are having proving the value of collaborative technologies to their employees and how they were trying to get pilot projects off the ground and what vendors are doing to sell tools like blogs, wikis, and mash-up engines. What I didn't anticipate is that I'd see innovative uses of collaborative technology right here at the show. Exhibit one: Morgan Stanley.
How Do You Keep Work From Taking Over Your Life?
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
Blogger Dave Taylor describes a major lifestyle change -- he's shutting off his cell phone and computer at 5 p.m. on weekdays, and all weekend, too.

YouTube, You Screwed?
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
More businesses want to get involved with YouTube. It's young, it's hip, it's "Web 2.0." But don't mistake YouTube for child's play. As a Pittsburgh law firm is learning, there can be ugly repercussions to posting video for the whole world to see.
Bye-Bye E62, We Hardly Knew You
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
AT&T is sending the E62 out to the smartphone retirement village. That's right, the smartphone that was destined to kill the BlackBerry is now nothing more than a memory in the minds of mobile geeks and abandoned enterprise users. What happened?
Mobility And Enterprise 2.0: Are These Two Ready To Play Together?
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
I just returned from a panel on business mobility at Enteprise 2.0 called "Integrating the Mobile Worker." Everyone there seemed eager to learn one thing: Is business mobility ready for Enterprise 2.0? The answer: You'd better make sure all those Enterprise 2.0 applications can work on smartphones.
My Macs And Treo Hate Me
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
I've been having a terrible time getting my iCal calendars moved from the colossal iMac to the wee-small PowerBook and getting them to sync with my Palm Treo 650. I was eventually able to move the calendars, but syncing still has me stumped.

Safari For Windows Hits Million Mark
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
Will Enterprise 2.0 Kill Corporate E-Mail?
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
One of the themes that emerged during this morning's keynote sessions at Enterprise 2.0 was how Web 2.0 technologies act as new communications tools. Some technologists (including a few of the speakers this morning) suggest that Web 2.0 could kill e-mail for consumers. Could technologies like social networks, blogs, Skype, and IM kill e-mail for businesses as well?
Mobile Web Browser Wars Heat Up With Addition Of Revised Opera Mini
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
Unlike the regular Web browsers (you know, IE, Firefox, Safari), mobile Web browsers aren't really in a pitched "war" for market share. I say it's high time they had a war of their very own, though, and Opera is firing the first shot with its newly revised Mini 4 Web browser. Does Opera sing high notes, or fall flat?
All Knowledge Is Social At Enterprise 2.0
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
I am at the Enterprise 2.0 conference today in Boston. Enterprise 2.0 is a relatively new term -- it was first coined in March last year. But it has captured the imaginations of technologists and vendors around the world in just 15 months and gone memetic. But what does Enterprise 2.0 really mean for businesses?
Dell's Mobile Phone Strategy: Selling High-End Nokia Devices
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
This isn't quite the line of thinking people had in mind a few months ago when tossing around the idea of Dell entering the smartphone business. Dell's small business Web site is now selling unlocked E and N series Nokia phones. If you a
Combating Insurgency with an Unusual Weapon
Commentary  |  6/19/2007  | 
Can data quality and data integration technologies help quell insurgency in Iraq? Going by a recent New York Times news item, this seems to be the case, and serves to remind us yet again - if indeed there was any need - about the kind of profound impact data integration and quality can have on the success of any initiative, business or otherwise.
Microsoft Freshman Course: How To Monetize Patents
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
I watched Microsoft as a leading-edge company make has-beens out of those who couldn't keep up with its frenetic pace of Windows development. WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 spring to mind. Now Microsoft, a little longer in the tooth itself, has found a way to make has-beens out of a new set of companies -- those that agree to pay Microsoft royalties on open source code.
Why Doesn't Wi-Fi Work On Many Corporate Campuses?
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
While some Wi-Fi evangelists wax poetic about the potential of muni Wi-Fi and free broadband wireless for the masses, I have a much simpler question: Why is Wi-Fi access on most corporate campuses so bad? Corporate Wi-Fi has been around now fo
Yahoo CEO Out: Does This Mean Panama Is A Flop?
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
Yahoo CEO Terry Semel resigned today in a move that sent shockwaves through the Web. Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang will replace Semel at the top spot. Despite Semel's best efforts -- buying Overture and building Panama -- Yahoo hasn't been able to keep up with Google in terms of search or online ad growth. Today's announcement opens up plenty of new questions.
Connecting My Wee Small PowerBook To My Colossal iMac
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
I got the wee, small PowerBook home Saturday, and began to explore options for connecting it to the colossal iMac. I want to use the same keyboard and mouse to control both machines. Turns out there are several says of doing that, all of them pretty easy.

'Sicko' On Google Video
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
Michael Moore's latest film Sicko has appeared online. My wife and I watched it in its entirety on Google Video last night. It has been removed since then, though it's no doubt still available on various file sharing networks. I'm tempted to send Mr. Moore a check for the $20 we won't be spending at the movie theater this summer, but to do so would be to shortchange
The H-1B Debate: Beneath The Policy, The Personal
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
I've spent the last few weeks researching an article on H-1B visas, and it's been both illuminating and painful to dig underneath the press releases of high-tech firms, lobbying groups, and politicians and talk to the individuals directly affected by how many H-1B visas are issued -- and how many of those guest workers actually get green cards.
The Only Way Ahead For WiMax
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
While I had my head down cranking out a feature on Intel's ultra-mobile future last week, Sprint Nextel chairman and CEO Gary Forsee for the first time raised doubts about the future of Sprint's WiMax network project. According to the Wall Street Journal, it appears that a spin-off or a joint venture of some kind wi
Microsoft Launches MSN Mobile Portal For Cell Phones
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
In a bid to remain competitive with other mobile portals, Microsoft launched its new MSN Mobile portal to make it easier for people to find the information they want or need. I took a quick look at it on my phone and it offers similar functionality as the other mobile portals offered by Google, Yahoo, and Ask. Is Microsoft breaking any new ground here?
Mark/Space Responds To My Complaints About Its Mac Synching Software
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
Mark/Space, the company that makes the Missing Synch software that -- among other things -- synchs Palm handhelds to the Mac, took issue with my complaints about its licensing and customer service.

The Synergy Between SaaS and Appliances
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
In my past life I was CEO of Bridgewerx, a company providing integration both as an appliance and as SaaS. Bridgewerx used a pretty sophisticated model for its time, and it's a good approach since both models sell the notion of convenience and economy. Therein lies the synergy... I suspect we'll see more of the appliance model for SaaS or SaaS-like business applications in the years to come.
iPhone Battery Life Details Emerge
Commentary  |  6/18/2007  | 
Apple made some more info about the iPhone public today and the news is encouraging. Apple has upgraded the touchscreen to a scratch-resistant glass surface, and the battery will provide up to 8 hours of talk time. That's much better than the
Knowledge, Wisdom, and the Rabbi
Commentary  |  6/17/2007  | 
IT Confidential: Google Vs. The FBI: Who's Got More Right To Data?
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
Both organizations collect mounds of data. What are they going to do with it?
Will The iPhone Make Consumers Abandon Their Carriers?
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
Just how powerful a pull will the iPhone be for AT&T? It's hard to say. According to a report in today's Wall Street Journal, just because someone knows about the iPhone doesn't mean they'll buy it. But it seems some carriers' subscribers may be more vulnerable for poaching than others.
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
Why Stock Exchanges Choose AMD
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
AMD issued a news release earlier this week saying that many leading stock exchanges are using its dual-core Opteron processors in their data centers to conduct billions of daily transactions. The next step for these stock exchanges is the transition to quad-core processors, which will require upgrades and careful planning to avoid downtime.
Hanging With The Grown-Ups
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
A close friend recently sent me an invitation to join a new search service called Spock, which has generated a bit of buzz. Besides the lure of the name itself (OK, I admit it, I was a Trekkie in a previous life), I was attracted by the idea of a new search engine that uses tags and other strategies to pull in information about people, eliminate duplicate information, and pull it all together in a profile page. But not all the buzz has been favo
AT&T To Skip WiMax For LTE?
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
At the Wireless Communications Association conference this week, AT&T VP of government solutions for mobility Chris Hill said that AT&T is probably going to pick Long Term Evolution, or LTE, for its next-generation, high-speed network technology. Is WiMax out of the picture for AT&T, and how will enterprise users be affected?
Event Processing: The Next Disruptive Technology
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
Complex event processing (CEP) technology is aimed at many of the same challenges as conventional BI technology, it's just that the frame of reference is real-time analysis rather than a separate reporting loop built on historical data. Thus, CEP is another threat to BI as we know it, and it's pretty apparent that this will be one of the next competitive battlegrounds for the big infrastructure players.
Getting Ready For Enterprise 2.0
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
European Operators: Apple Is 'Unbelievably Arrogant'
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart wrote on Monday that Apple is having a tough time finding a network operator partner to carry the iPhone in Europe. The reason? Apple's outrageous demands and insistence on absolute control over the iPhone. The net result might force Apple to adopt a retail distribution model if it hopes to
We're All In The Same Bloat
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
Bloatware -- sometimes called craplets -- is that ugly build-up of annoying code you find on new PCs -- demoware, trial applications and sign-ups, and marketing cruft that you have to deal with when you're setting up a new computer. Apple ridiculed PC bloatware in one of its spot-on "I'm-a-Mac-and-I'm-a-PC" ads. And in their latest newsletter, the guys at PC Pitstop say it's getting worse.
CIO Dossier: Ben Holder, Unifi
Commentary  |  6/15/2007  | 
Challenge: Add even more complexity to an already complex IT role by taking on telecom cost-reduction project. Solution: A call to arms, CIO Nation! Ben?s got his own ideas but let's get him some additional CIO input. Ben Holder, CIO of Unifi, a textile manufacturer located in Greensboro, N.C., is in the discovery phase of overhauling the telecom bill-paying and management systems at the company. Not traditionally an IT operation at many companies, telecom is yet another part of the business wh
Sprint Might Spin Off WiMax. Does This Mean Sprint Has Second Thoughts?
Commentary  |  6/14/2007  | 
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Sprint might spin off its WiMax unit. The spinoff could be part of a deal to form a joint venture with Craig McCaw's Clearwire, which currently
The iPhone Could Kill The Mobile Streaming Video Market
Commentary  |  6/14/2007  | 
Get ready for this week's edition of the analyst hockey stick. According to the latest report from Research and Markets, the U.S. market for paid mobile video services is just bustin' at the seams, with growth expected to go from $180 million in 2006 to $10.2 billion in 2012. Are they serious?
Google Might Take A Transparency Lesson From Itself
Commentary  |  6/14/2007  | 
Google's been in the doghouse recently with privacy. Last week, watchdog group Privacy International ranked Google last among its peers in privacy, while Google simultaneously tried to quell European Union concerns that the company's data retention policies didn't meet EU rules to delete unneeded data by saying it would anonymize data after 18 months. Meanwhile, the company's under heat for street-level maps that have caught people urinating in bushes and showing a little too much thong.
Much Ado About Information Overload
Commentary  |  6/14/2007  | 
Voice of the Customer is Only Half the Text Analytics Picture
Commentary  |  6/14/2007  | 
Voice of the Customer was a central theme at this year's Text Analytics Summit. The aim is to stay on top of reputation, quality, and product-design issues by crunching blog- and message-board text, call-center notes and e-mail, and free-text survey responses. Yet VOC and the analytical approach it typifies are only half the overall text-analytics picture.
Hummer Cell Phone Misses The Point
Commentary  |  6/14/2007  | 
Yes, you read that correctly. A cell phone from Hummer, the ultra-SUV brand, is about to hit the market. It comes in the same garish yellow that's probably blinded you when one of the trucks roars past on the highway. It is lacking the most important feature, however: A rugged form factor. That means it is no good for field force workers.
Windows Users Don't Care About Safari
Commentary  |  6/14/2007  | 
iPhone Will Be Available At 6 p.m. 'Local Time,' But Shortages Likely
Commentary  |  6/14/2007  | 
If you're really interested in picking up an iPhone on the 29th, be prepared for long waits and possible disappointment. The iPhone won't go on sale until 6 p.m. local time, and lines will likely start forming early (like, Oh-Dark-Thirty early). Not only that, but a supply chain expert expects shortages to leave some empty-handed for up to eight weeks.
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