Commentary
Content posted in June 2007
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Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
Can IT Redeem Politics Gone Wrong?
Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
We can try to use data mining to forestall terrorist attacks. We can also use it for precision marketing, to predict and reduce customer churn, to forecast product sales. Could our government not do a bit of data mining to understand why someone becomes a terrorist and then do some scenario analysis to see if we can constructively create conditions that will address root causes?
On ZFS As The Default File System In Leopard
Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
I don't care what Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz said, or how the Mac community interprets what he said, the idea that ZFS will be the default, boot FS in Leopard makes no sense.
IT Confidential: The Tech Industry Could Use Some Good Advice
Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
And you're just the person to provide it. Share your pent-up frustrations, your good and bad experiences, and, in particular, your free advice on the most vexing technology problems of the day.
Down To Business: Who's Really To Blame For Software Insecurity?
Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
Applying the latest patches and fixes will help companies keep ahead of software bugs, but developers need to write cleaner code and law enforcement needs to make examples of convicted hackers.
3G iPhone To Ship By Year's End?
Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
I don't know who kickstarted the iPhone rumor mill today, but it's cranked and running at fever-pitch. The latest iPhone tidbit claims t
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
AT&T May Lock iPhone Customers To Just The iPhone
Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
Earlier this week we heard rumors that the iPhone may require special contracts. And then there were rumors that the iPhone might be available as a pre-paid device as well. Now it looks like the iPhone will not have a removable S
Apply Mysteriously Changes iPhone TV Ads, Deletes Contract Reference
Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
In checking the TV ads posted to Apple's site, the initial versions had language at the bottom of the commercials stating "Minimum 2-year contract required." The ads have been updated and no longer include that disclaimer, reviving hope that the iPhone will be available
Microsoft Buys Stratature to Master Data
Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
Microsoft has announced its acquisition of Stratature, a master data management (MDM) vendor that supports the definition, sharing and maintenance of reference data. Stratature's technology is used by organizations with analytical master data challenges in which master data changes over time in financial, product and customer hierarchies. Microsoft lacked a solid position and technological approach to MDM and was under competitive pressure to respond.
ITC Kicks Qualcomm Where It Hurts
Commentary  |  6/8/2007  | 
Qualcomm's business centers on its 3G wireless technology and the patents pertaining to that technology. Qualcomm has been tangling with Broadcom and Nokia over some of those patents. Yesterday,
Inside OS X Security: Keeping Your Mac Safe In An Unsafe World
Commentary  |  6/7/2007  | 
Mac expert John Welch takes you through the threats, holes, and exploits swirling around Mac OS X, and offers up some tips and tactics to protect your system.
Google Pitch For Lifting H-1B Visa Limits Heralds 'In-Sourcing' Surge
Commentary  |  6/7/2007  | 
Having winnowed the domestic pool of highly experienced IT and engineering talent by hounding thousands out of the business through years of layoffs and false complaints about the math-smarts of American students, big business has hit on the latest tack for controlling high-tech labor costs: In-source the jobs it was previously outsourcing, by getting the government to lift the cap on H-1B visas.
Give Me Your Tired, Your Not-So-Poor...
Commentary  |  6/7/2007  | 
Immigration is a topic that has occupied the American mind since a group of English settlers had their visas stamped at Jamestown, VA, in 1607. However, while a great deal of the debate in the past centered around the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free" who were the majority of those searching for a place in the United States, some of today's arguments concern a less desperate group: highly skilled workers, many o
Palm Is Trying To Have Its Cake And Eat It, Too, With The Foleo
Commentary  |  6/7/2007  | 
For whatever reason, I just can't get Palm's Foleo out of my head. Frankly, I still don't know what Palm intends this device to be -- is it a low-cost Linux notebook or a smartphone companion? Or none of the above?
iPhone To Impact Smartphone Use?
Commentary  |  6/7/2007  | 
You betcha. But not in the way you might suspect. Rather than cannibalize sales of smartphones, Arm's CEO Warren East believes the iPhone will trigger widespread usage of smartphones and other converged devices. His prediction? Smartphone sales will double this year -- to nearly 200 million -- if the iPhone is a hit.
Research: iPhone Will Be A Big, Big Seller
Commentary  |  6/7/2007  | 
Analyst firms may not agree on exactly how many iPhones Apple will sell this year, but they all seem to agree that the number will be a big one. We're talking more than 3 million by the end of 2007, which eclipses Jobs' hoped-for number of 1 million by a mile. But just who is it that's interested?
Sprint Launches Mobile Shopping Tool
Commentary  |  6/7/2007  | 
Mobile commerce is back in the news thanks to an announcement from Sprint. Yesterday at the Mobile Marketing Forum, Laura Marriott pointed out to me that mobile commerce is the next big phase for mobile marketing. Today Sprint announced a new service that combines product and price search with location. Is the fut
First Impression: Camino 1.5 Is A Sleek, Fast Mac Browser
Commentary  |  6/7/2007  | 
I've been working today on a review of the recently released version 1.5 of the Camino Mac Web browser. So far, I'm impressed. It's lightweight, sleek and fast, and fixes a lot of the user interface clumsiness that's kept me off Camino in the past.

ECM and The Reemergence of Process Reengineering
Commentary  |  6/7/2007  | 
Large enterprises are now reembracing reengineering. It seems that there is only so much streamlining you can do until you reach a point where you need to completely rethink a situation. That point is being reached by more and more large organizations, and radical change is now on the agenda for banks, insurance companies and manufacturing firms globally.
Did Incompetent IT Nearly Send Substitute Teacher To Prison?
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
A Connecticut substitute teacher could go free after being convicted on charges that she exposed her kids to online pornography. She says out-of-control spyware is to blame. If that's true, she took the fall for an incompetent IT department.

Will The iPhone Be Locked To Expensive AT&T Contracts?
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
It looks like AT&T's and Apple's talking points for the iPhone are now up on the Web. The document reveals just who can buy the iPhone and what you have to do to get your hands on it. But it also raises lots of new questions.
Kudos For Straight Talk On Airline's Tech Integration Problems
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
In an environment where most CIOs have their own PR handlers and their IT organizations can do no wrong, it's refreshing to get some straight talk from US Airways about its tech integration problems following its merger with America West. US Airways' sales and marketing VP, H. Travis Christ, comes off as more sinner than savior in this missive to frequent flyers.
Take 5: Mobile Marketing Goes Mainstream
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
Today I sat down briefly with Laura Marriott, executive director, Mobile Marketing Association, at the Mobile Marketing Forum. We spoke about mobile marketing and how it's evolving. If you think mobile marketing is only something for companies in Japan and Europe, think again.
I Wish More CIOs Were Like This...
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
...at least when it comes to candor. An online letter recently sent to US Airways frequent flyers explaining some of the IT-related problems customers have been experiencing since the merger with America West is chock-full of frank mea culpas that you don't see coming from many businesses these days, much less a major airline. It's clear in the letter that frustration over problems in integrating the two airlines' reservation systems is percolating, as CIO Joe Beery says he'd like "to be buried
Say Ha-Ha To Lala, iPod-Only Streaming Service
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
I couldn't get on Lala, the new music-streaming service that's so popular one day after its launch that it's apparently down. No matter; the idea of a service which combines the worst features of the defunct mp3.com business model with a lock-in to Steve Jobs's proprietary (yep, that's the word for it) iPod platform isn't the service from which I want to be getting my dinosaur rock tunes.
Sprite Launches Its Own Mobile Social Network As A Marketing Tool For Teens
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
Soft drink brand Sprite announced today at the Mobile Marketing Forum 2007 conference in New York plans to launch a mobile social networking platform for the U.S. market. Looks like some marketers are putting some money where their mouth is when it comes to long-term customer engagement. Or is this just some crazy dot-com-like spending?
Adobe Updates Acrobat And Reader For Vista
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
I am extremely pleased to announce that something I wrote has been rendered obsolete. At the end of April I shared my pain over Adobe Reader's problems with Vista. Yesterday Adobe released the promised updates to its Acrobat 8 and Reader products that are supposed to resolve the problems I (and many others, to be sure) discovered.
Will Mobile Video-Sharing Services Take Off?
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
AT&T will be launching its Video Sharing service this summer. The services are being pitched to consumers rather than enterprises right now. This is unfortunate. The enterprise uses of shared video are practically unlimited.
Ask.com Relaunches, But Is Mum On Mobile Component
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
Ask.com (you know, that other search site) relaunched itself yesterday with much hullabaloo, crowing about its new design, new algorithms, and customizable home page. In combing the official press release, the word "mobile" doesn't appear once. Does Ask not care about the growing importance of mobile search?
Web 2.0 Changes Web Analytics Pricing Models
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
Most hosted Web Analytics vendors charge you according to page views -- not unreasonable since each view is a call to their server and a new record in their database. But what happens when Ajax and other rich applications eliminate the notion of a "page"? Well, vendors are now talking about pricing in terms of "events" or "server calls," rather than page views.
I've Been Spoofed! The 'Mitch Wagner' Posting In The Second Citizen Forums Isn't Me
Commentary  |  6/6/2007  | 
A friend from Second Life IM'd me this evening, wanting to know if I posted messages to the Second Citizen forums saying how much I hate "newbs." Because I am always alert, I responded: "Huh?"

A One-Day Lesson In Telepresence Basics
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
For my first telepresence experience, I entered what looked like an ordinary meeting room, with ordinary people sitting at ordinary tables. The people were 5,489 miles away, but their video images were life-sized, realistic -- and a little bit creepy.

Search Is Driving Mobile Web Growth In The U.S.
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
Use of the mobile Web in the U.S. continues to grow, despite all the criticisms from bloggers and wireless insiders. According to the latest findings, the U.S. is now second only to the U.K. in terms of mobile Web use. What's driving all this growth?
Apple MacBook Pro Laptops Push Santa Rosa Platform
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
Leave it to Apple to steal everybody's thunder. For most of this year, it's been the hard-keypad-less iPhone which has stolen attention away from Web-surfing smartphones you can actually buy now. Today, Apple has shifted the spotlight away from some Intel teasers out of Computex in Taiwan, and gotten us all talking about its new Macbook Pro laptops, whi
The Rise, Fall and Return of Operational BI and Analytic Applications
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
I find the recent press on operational BI an interesting resurfacing of events. A few years ago, operational BI was a hot topic. With EII technologies that allowed BI tools to tap directly into source systems, some wondered if it was the demise of data warehousing as we knew it. (It wasn't.) Analytic applications share a similar story with operational BI as many vendors initially jumped on this band wagon and later retrenched…
How Far Should We Trust Online Reviews?
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
What do you want first, the good or the bad news? With the goal of ending this editor's note in an upbeat way, let's start with the, er, less reassuring results of a recent undercover investigation by Daily Tech about whether Internet sites that routinely evaluated hardware were accepting payola in exchange for reviews.
Phoenix CIO Breakfast Is Set For July 31
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
I couldn't book something in Death Valley on July 31, so I had to settle for the cooler climes of Phoenix -- but if you're a CIO from the greater Phoenix area (or happen to be visiting that day), I invite you to join me and up to eight CIOs for the first in this season's series of informal CIO Nation Breakfasts.
Web 2.0 Tips; Vista User Profiles
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
Will A Private Avaya Have What It Takes To Battle Cisco?
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
Avaya late yesterday said it has agreed to be acquired by two private equity firms -- Silver Lake and TPG Capital -- for $8.2 billion. Now that it looks like Avaya will go private, will the company be better positioned to compete with Cisco for the future of the IP telephony business?
Shimmin On Software: Insight Into SOA Registries
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
As Service Oriented Architectures proliferate, vendors will realize they have to develop a master metadata management system to handle the different registeries.
Did Verizon Wireless Force Amp'd Mobile To Declare Bankruptcy?
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
Maybe. Staci Kramer at mocoNews.net points out that the carrier may have played a hand in the event. Verizon Wireless -- Amp'd Mobile's host carrier -- reportedly played a key role in Amp'd Mobile's decision to file. Is this real or is this just Amp'd trying to spin the story?
The More UMPCs Shrink, The More They Stay The Same
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
Ultra-mobile PCs are a category in search of a definition. Microsoft tried to nail it down last year with "Origami," a spec for a keyboardless device, that was pretty much laughed out of the park. But that didn't kill interest in small devices. And as today's introduction of a new "reference design" for a UMPC by VIA, the chipset and CPU maker, shows, while the devices are staying small, their usefulness is getting bigger.
Microsoft And HTC Develop New Touch Screen Technology To Fend Off The iPhone
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
High Tech Computer Corp. today unveiled its newest smartphone, the HTC Touch. The Touch is similar in many respects to other HTC Windows Mobile-powered smartphones with one major exception. HTC has added a new three-dimensional user interface that employs what it calls TouchFLO touch screen technology. The UI lets users sweep their fingers around the screen to access applications and control the device. Sou
Do BI Vendors Want SOA Now?
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
It was interesting to see at IBM's recent Impact 2007 event on service-oriented architecture (SOA) that the only business intelligence (BI) vendor exhibiting to demonstrate interfaces to IBM's SOA technology was Actuate… Few BI vendors have been motivated to go beyond the fundamentals; the BI market seems a little insulated from the SOA and enterprise architecture transformations.
Is AT&T Enhancing Its Edge Network For The iPhone?
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
According to an internal operations employee, AT&T decided that it had better get its data network in tip-top shape for the iPhone launch. As such, it is working to improve coverage, latency, and throughput in its Edge systems. AT&T is calling the upgrade Operation Fine Edge. I'd say AT&T is walking the razor's edge here. While it will dampen the sting of not having 3G in th
AT&T CEO Stephenson Says Wireless Is The Company's Core. And The iPhone Is Big, Too
Commentary  |  6/5/2007  | 
AT&T's new CEO Randall Stephenson gave telecom blogger Om Malik some insight into the new AT&T and its plans. According to Stephenson, wireless will be central to AT&T's future. Oh, and that iPhone is gonna be big, too.
Open Source's Rod Johnson: No Nuclear Winter Pending On Patents
Commentary  |  6/4/2007  | 
Judging by the reaction to Microsoft's patent assertions, open source advocates have been put on the defensive. But Rod Johnson, the developer of the popular Java framework, Spring, hasn't been thrown for a loss. "Open source is entrenched. Customers and software companies have too much at stake" to be swayed by Microsoft's saber rattling, he says.
Will Terrorists Use Google Earth?
Commentary  |  6/4/2007  | 
Does Google Earth provide too much information? Could it become a tool of terrorists? Last month, I asked if the CIA would eventually censor Google Earth. Now we discover that the suspects being held for the JFK terror plot supposedly referenced Google Maps as a part of the supposed plan.
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