Commentary
Content posted in June 2008
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Survey on Voice of the Customer Text Analytics
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
I have created a short survey for users and consultants on Voice of the Customer (VoC) text analytics best practices. There are seven questions plus a comment field. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete. If you are involved with VoC text analytics or are looking at solutions for possible adoption, please respond to the survey. I'll publish results at a later date. Thanks!
Down To Business: St. Louis Gets Serious About Tech Talent
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
Employers are regularly criticized for overstating the IT labor problem, or for doing little to rectify it. But give some credit where it's due.
Sprint Says The Instinct Is Flying Off The Shelves, Breaking All Its Sales Records
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
Sprint's newest phone, the Instinct, is proving to be a popular handset. According to Sprint, it is the fastest selling EVDO handset in the company's history. In fact, Sprint's supply chain is being challenged to keep the phone in stock.
Abiword: One Lean, Mean, Word Processing Machine
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
OpenOffice.org gets a lot of attention these days as a practical, no-cost alternative to Microsoft Office. While OpenOffice.org does a fine job, however, there are times when a smaller, faster, feature-packed word processing program would be useful. There is another open-source application that fits the bill perfectly here -- and it deserves far more attention than it gets.
Should The U.S. Nationalize The Internet?
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
The Internet faces many problems from companies looking to maximize profits at the expense of the public good. Greedy businesses threaten innovation by trying to put an end to net neutrality, media companies want to control every Internet-connected device in an effort to lock down distribution channels, and spammers and other fraudsters have pretty much taken over e-mail. Now, TechCrunch is reporting that Vint Cerf, the so-called "father of the Internet," says maybe we should think of the Intern
Don't Troubleshoot. Change The Way You Work
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
Many of us computer users suffer in silence. Yes, there are the outspoken people we see complaining on message boards, but in general, we put up with the quirks of applications because the alternatives are not worthwhile. And sometimes, we have to go along to get along, which means forced updates to the latest version of software for no other reason than you have to be able to share files easily. Computers should change to fit our needs, not the other way around.
Mobile Linux Organizations Merge In Effort To Survive
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
This week's announcement from Nokia and Symbian appears to have had an immediate effect on the mobile Linux community. Today, the Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum announced that it will join forces with the LiMo Foundation and create one entity pushing for a standard mobile Linux platform. In the face of the forthcoming open source Symbian platform and Google's Android platform, mobile Lin
Help With Selecting A Digital Asset Management Solution
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
The process of selecting a Digital Asset Management solution can be daunting. The licensing costs alone can be staggering, even before adding in the additional expenditures for integration, consulting, and user training. Beyond just cost, though, lie other potential pitfalls: too few (or too many) features, poor integration with existing system, or a lack of vendor support.
LG's Dare A True iPhone Rival
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
Other phones have tried hard to beat (or at least match) the iPhone at the touch screen game. None have come as close as the new Dare, from LG. I had a chance to get some hands-on time with it last week. Apple, watch out.
Openmoko's FreeRunner Hits The Streets -- Just Not Here
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
One of my favorite open projects -- open software and hardware, both -- has finally been delivered to end users. The problem: India and Europe are the only ones getting it directly ... for now.

Server Costs Continue Falling
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
If you were hoping that server prices would continue declining during the current economic turmoil, here's the answer to your prayers: the latest market research shows that prices continued downward during the first quarter of 2008. However, the price slide did boost server unit sales.
Server How-To Center -- A New Service Of bMighty.com
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
The new bMighty Server How-To Center is the place to go for practical, hands-on information about how to choose, install and maintain your company's servers.
Oracle's New Plan to Save You Money
Commentary  |  6/26/2008  | 
Remember the classic slogans from Orwell's 1984: "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." Perhaps we should now add, "Higher prices mean lower cost of ownership." I'm reading a well-known software company's quarterly report wherein the following rather noble-sounding statements are made...
'Let Us Be Your Benchmark'
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Video: Socialtext Turns Wiki Into Killer Web Platform
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
I'm big on community-centric sites as the next Web wave. My three regular readers know that from my recent post, Joomla Rocks, Or How To Build A Professional Web Site For No Money Down. While Joomla is indeed fantastic, there's another platform that's probably better out of the box for corporate users. It's called Socialtext, and I've got a video with company chairman Ross Mayfield to show you the high p
Recovering in the Cloud
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Why Bill Gates Left Microsoft
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Under the leadership of Bill Gates, Microsoft accomplished a lot. Now he's retiring from the company to dedicate more time to his charitable foundation. Yet I wonder why he's decided that now is the time to move on. I think the answer can be found in a 2003 rant by Bill about his problems in using the Microsoft Web site, Windows Update, and Windows in general.
Fujitsu's Interstage Update is Fit for SaaS
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Fujitsu is releasing version 10 of its Interstage BPM, and I had a chance for an in-depth demo a few weeks ago in advance of the recent announcement. ...Most exciting, I think, is full support for multi-tenanting to allow for shared services and SaaS. Key new features in Studio V10 include...
CrashPlan Takes Backup Peer-To-Peer
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Anyone that's read this blog even occasionally knows I'm a big fan of online backup for the SOHO to SMB market. After seeing literally hundreds of backup failures as small businesses tried to use tape drives and applications you and I would consider easy to use, like Retrospect and Backup Exec, I've come to the conclusion that tape drives, like backhoes and heart/lung machines, should be left to professionals. If you aren't a certifiable geek and don't have a full-time IT staff, you shouldn't ha
New Laws Make Now The Time To Get A Bluetooth Headset
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
You know the joke, right? Whats the first thing to do after getting in a car accident? Hang up the phone! Driving while holding your cell phone to your ear has always been dangerous, but its about to become illegal in several more states. To avoid accidents and tickets, get yourself a Bluetooth headset for your mobile phone, and make sure to use it.
Escaping From Locked-In Clouds
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
The first real controversy at the Structure08 cloud computing conference erupted during a panel called "Working the Cloud: NetGen Infrastructure for New Enterpreneurs." Not surprisingly, it involved Google.
Getting Started With: Drupal
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
The popular, powerful Drupal may seem a bit intimidating for the uninitiated, but for those looking to start out, here are some recommended resources to start learning the ropes.
Much Is Still Hazy About iPhone 3G
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
The next-generation iPhone 3G is due out on Friday, July 11. There's a lot that we know about the phone: It will be thinner. It will have an "assisted" GPS. It will cost $199. It will run on faster 3G networks, as well as the current 2.5-generation EDGE networks. It will come in 8GB and 16GB versions, but not a 32GB one. It will use the iPhone 2.0 software. But there's a lot that we don't know.
Bill Gates Revealed: A Few Things You Didn't Know
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
I've had occasion to chat with Bill Gates a number of times over the years, and there's often a point when something unexpected happens. He's been brutally honest, occasionally evasive, and surreptitiously a nice guy. As Gates gets ready to ride off into the software sunset, here are a few anecdotes that stand out.
Firefox 3 Video Tour: The Awesome AwesomeBar
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
We're kicking off a series of videos showing off the top features of Firefox 3. This time, we're taking a peek at the AwesomeBar, an updated version of the good old browser location bar, designed to make it easier for you to return to your favorite Web pages again and again. The Awesome Bar is controversial -- many people love it (including me). But others hate it, and for those people, we've got tips for how to disable the AwesomeBar.
With EcoSearch, It IS Easy Being Green
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Here's an inconvenient truth: being green can be a pain in the neck. So when I heard of a new search tool that helps the environment without inflicting the least bit of discomfort upon users, I checked it out at once.
Will All Content Move To The Cloud?
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Opening Structure08, the cloud computing conference in San Francisco, Jonathan Yarmis of AMR Research coined an interesting phrase: Everything As A Service.
The Ethical Case For Open Device Drivers
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
The recent announcement by Linux kernel developers that open source hardware drivers are the way to go got me thinking. You can make a business case for open source device drivers (you'll sell more hardware) or you can make an ethical case (it's the right thing to do). I believe in both, but for me the second view takes precedence over the first.

HP Dedupifies On-Premise Storage
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
The volume of data that business generate is growing faster and faster and, seeing opportunity, vendors are swarming to fill the need. The latest entry from HP is designed specifically for small and midsize companies, provided they prefer on-premise, physical storage.
Microsoft Hiring Mac Programmers, Enticements Include 'Kick-Butt Margarita Machine'
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Microsoft is reaching out to programmers with Macintosh skills in an effort to beef up its Mac Business Unit to meet rising demand for Apple-related products. Parrothead experience preferred but not essential.
Sage Upgrades ERP Software
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Sage Software has released Sage Pro ERP 7.5, its SMB-targeted business management software that the company says is easier to use than previous versions.
McCain's Lack Of Computer Skills Not Campaign Obstacle
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Sen. John McCain's computer aptitude, or lack thereof, became a hot topic of discussion at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City this week. The forum tackled technology's role in politics and policy. So, when news surfaced that McCain doesn't know how to use a computer, both technophiles and politicos in attendance were intrigued. Some were also involved.
Virgin Mobile USA In Talks To Buy Troubled Helio
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Speculation about Helio's future has been all over the place the last month or so, with reports surfacing that it was a potential acquisition target. Turns out that speculation wasn't far off. Sources indicate that Virgin Mobile USA, another troubled MVNO, may be buying out SK Telecom's stake in Helio. Can pairing two troubled MVNOs make for one stronger one?
Battery Life Issues Delaying Launch Of BlackBerry Bold
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Last month Research In Motion announced the new Bold smartphone with much fanfare. The device was supposed to be available on AT&T's network starting in July. It looks like that ain't gonna happen. AT&T has yet to certify the device, which is suffering from battery life problems, as well as overheating. Um, oops.
Intalio Powers BPM in the Cloud
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
The most interesting keynote at last week's Intalio User Conference was by Greg Olson, founder of Coghead, a BPM-in-the-cloud service that uses Intalio as the process engine under the covers... You can define data, forms, and perform the usual set of database operations, so it's really easy to build a database app in the cloud...
What Big Vendors See In The Clouds
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
This week we profile the cloud computing strategies of eight tech vendors. As we debated how to describe them on the cover of our magazine -- leaders, stalwarts? -- we settled on "behemoths." That's right, the unifying characteristic is just their bigness.
Archiving Market Constricting as Size Gains Importance
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Messages, tracking them, collecting them, monitoring them, and archiving them may be the biggest challenge many IT managers face. Recently, a raft of products emerged to take on those different functions and now they are being rolled into integrated solutions.
Bitmapped to Hell
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
Oracle bitmap indexes are generally used to index columns that have very sparse domains such as Y/N, gender, or any other list of member values that is small in number. You get the advantage of indexing without creating in imbalanced btree if a conventional index is used. There is lots of info on bitmap indexes. They are also very common in read-mostly applications like data warehousing.
Targeting Specific Java Versions (and using javap)
Commentary  |  6/25/2008  | 
I recently worked on a project where it became necessary to determine the version of the compiler that individual class files were compiled with. More specifically, I needed to determine the target version of Java the code was compiled to run on. You need to be specific about that since even the Java SE 6 compiler can be made to compile classes specifically for other versions of Java.

 

CIO: The Buck Doesn't Stop Here
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
How involved are CIOs in corporate decisions? Fewer report being involved at the front end of important decisions, more being brought in only afterward. That's not a good sign.
Nokia Kneecaps Microsoft, Google
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
A few comments and questions while digesting the news that Nokia will engulf the remaining portion of Symbian that it doesn't already own:
GPS: Small-Town Living for All
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
More Pics Of BlackBerry's KickStart
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
If you were just glancing through, it may seem that the only cell phone news today was Nokia buying Symbian. But BlackBerry lovers may be interested in seeing some new photos of Research In Motion's flip phone.
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