DRM: A Half-Step Forward, More Steps Back
Apple came through on schedule last week and began selling DRM-free music files from EMI. It turns out this isn't a giant leap forward, more like a timid half-step, because they aren't really the clean files you probably hoped for. And far from leading in a seismic shift to respect for users by the music industry, it was a half-step forward that has been mostly obliterated by a massive rush backwards by t
Take 5: Why Did Amp'd Mobile Fail?
MVNO Amp'd Mobile today announced they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. I guess it is time to review my analysis of the MVNO market from last week.
'Chindia': An Intriguing Proposition
We are all perfectly (and in some cases painfully) aware of the rising IT prowess of China and India. But a recent book written by a couple of Gartner analysts takes this theme to an intriguing new level: what if India and China were to combine their capabilities, not just in information technology, but in other areas of business as well? The book presents an arresting proposition and is near the top of my suggested-reading list.
Does Customer Service Still Exist?
In recent blog entries, I've shared horror stories about customer service from the likes of Lowe's and Home Depot, as well as CompUSA, HP, and others. Reader responses indicate I'm far from alone in my customer service frustrations.
iPhone Launch Commercial Raises Some Questions For Apple
Apple has confirmed that its uber-cool iPhone will go on sale on June 29, at $500 or $600 a pop (depending on the model). It's also released three TV commercials, which began airing Sunday night, on 60 Minutes. So, of course, I've got a bunch of additional iPhone questions Steve Jobs doesn't want you to ask.
On Microsoft's Boring Names For Business Apps
Microsoft's been getting funky recently with the names of its consumer software -- see Vista, Silverlight, Popfly, and Zune. But as it proved today at its annual TechEd conference for the IT crowd, business apps are getting the short end of the stick on the name front, despite their cool code names.
iTunes Plus: DRM-Free, But Invades Your Privacy
This one hurts. Last week, Apple launched its iTunes Plus music store, selling higher quality audio tracks from EMI for $1.29 without digital rights management. Aside from the extra $0.30, there's another, higher cost that isn't mentioned. Each song purchased from iTunes and iTunes Plus is permanently tagged with the purchaser's name and email address. Users are outraged, and I don't blame the
Palm Finally Sells Itself...To Bono
The speculation that Palm might sell itself several months ago to an investment company or competitor has finally run its course. This morning, Palm announced that it has brought on private equity firm Elevation Parters (you know, the one founded by U2's Bono) to help run the business for $325 million. Elevation gets 25% ownership of Palm for its money, as well as two seats on the board. Is this the precursor to a brighter f
Google Gears Could Eliminate SaaS Achilles Heal
At Google's Developer Day event on May 31st, the company announced Google Gears, an open-source technology for creating off-line Web applications. You may think of "offline Web" as an oxymoron, but this type of technology is sorely needed to get around a key limitation of SaaS - the ability to use your SaaS applications when you're disconnected from the Internet.
How Is Porn Like The Mainstream Press?
What do purveyors of dirty pictures have in common with journalists? Answer: They're both getting screwed by the Internet. The New York Times turned up the apparent fact that the two professions are bedfellows of a sort, in its weekend story "For Pornographers, Internet's Virtues Turn To Vices."
Everything Slow Is Fast Again
The arguments are as long-lived as they are useless. Could the 1958 Yankees beat the 1918 White Sox? Would Spiderman beat Batman? Who's the better heavyweight, Muhammad Ali or Jack Johnson? Which computer is faster, a 1986 Macintosh Plus running System 6.0.8 on an 8MHz Motorola 68000 CPU, or a 2007 PC running Windows XP Pro SP2 on an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ with two cores, each running at 2.4GHz? Oh, wait, here's a guy who has the answer to that one -- and it may surprise you.
Google's Mathematical Limit
How high can Google count? Very high it turns out, but there is a limit. Using the Google search box as a calculator, Google's ceiling appears to be 2.00135558564^1023, which Google says equals 1.79769313 × 10^308.
Why Google Gears Is Good News, Bad News For Microsoft
GPLv3 No Longer Has Novell Worried About Linux Licensing
Who elected Richard Stallman king of the free software world? (Okay, he did.) With the GPLv3 license on the cusp of adoption, the Free Software Foundation president is again hitting the virtual stump to promise that he won't quit revising the license until all software is free, free as in beer. Meanwhile, Novell, which heretofore had been worried about GPLv3, now says on
Google Street View Backlash Is Silly
With the launch of Google Maps Street View come the inevitable backlash stories. The New York Times has an article today that describes how a "Google map service can zoom in so closely on buildings that it has caused Ms. Kalin-Casey and others to complain to the company and on blogs."
This description comes from the caption to a photograph of Ms. Kali
What Is Mobile Social Networking?
Someone earlier today asked me for a list of the top mobile social networking sites. This prompted a deeper question on my part. Exactly what is mobile social networking?
Where Is the Mobile Enterprise Market Heading?
As the number of mobile employees continues to climb, keeping them in the loop is increasingly important. It's also increasingly easier. With the proliferation of wireless broadband services and the continual onslaught of new enterprise devices and software services, there's nowhere for the market to go but up.
IBM and Business Objects Forge Closer Ties
IBM and Business Objects announced on Tuesday that the two companies will deepen the strategic alliance they announced last November. It's an indication that IBM does not discount BI - contrary to some suggestions - as just the tip of the iceberg. IBM has partnerships with both Business Objects and Cognos, and it's free to work with, rather than against, other independents in a market that is far from consolidated.
And You Thought the iPhone Was Expensive? Nokia Bows $940 Phone
When you look at the new Nokia 8600 Luna luxury phone, you can tell the higher-ups at Nokia let the design team flex a little bit of its creative muscle. It uses a smoked-glass sheathe to hide the keypad. Yes, glass. It also features a gorgeous QVGA display. It's a beautiful phone, no doubt. Too bad its features aren't more impressive than any $100 off-the-shelf feature phone. But hey, beauty comes at a price.
Business Impact from SOA? Yes, SOA
In an article two years ago, I wrote that service-oriented architecture (SOA) was technobabble, not strategic technology. In 2006 I noted that SOA was moving beyond chatter. Well, in later May IBM hosted Impact 2007 - an SOA event where people finally talked about it not only from an IT perspective but as real customers who have used SOA to deliver business value to their organizations. That's good progress.