Commentary
Content posted in June 2008
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Looking Into The Work-Trend Crystal Ball
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
A new report forecasting the top 10 workplace trends of the future says video and Web conferencing will make business travel extinct while social networking sites and other Web 2.0 technologies emerge as the primary tools for job recruiting. Is your organization ready to support these and other workplace trends? Or maybe you're already making these shifts.
3G iPhone Parts Cost Apple $173, $53 Less Than The Original
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
According to Silicon Valley research firm iSuppli, Apple was able to leverage its buying power to keep the hardware costs of the 3G iPhone to just $173 (for the 8-GB model). That's $53 less than it paid for the original iPhone's components. For the moment, analysts are suggesting that the unsubsidized cost of the device will be near $600. Pretty healthy margins, if you ask me.
Google Round Up: Mobile Videos, Navigation Toolbar Shortcuts, Real-Time Quotes
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
Google is always announcing some small tweak or update to its software and services. In the last few days, it has created a new mobile phone tricks channel on YouTube, shown us how to set up shortcuts in our navigation toolbars, and enabled real-time stock quotes.
Another E-Mail Archive Service Gets Bought
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
SaaS plus e-mail archiving gets hotter and hotter.
Skype VoIP Feed Turns Into Political 'Candid Camera' For John Edwards
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
It should have been a disappointment when Elizabeth Edwards couldn't make it to the Personal Democracy Forum Conference (PdF '08) in New York City where she had planned to speak Monday. Thanks to VoIP technology, those who had hoped to hear her were able to link up with her via Skype, and that turned out to be an unexpected advantage.
Nokia Takes Initiative With Symbian Open Source Move
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
Nokia's acquisition of Symbian and intent to make the popular operating system open source code changes alignments in the mobile device market. Nokia has now got a lever with which to extend Symbian's reach and make life more difficult for competitors.
Symbian: As Open As They Wanna Be (But How Much Is That?)
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
What with Google's Android currently stuck in the state of a work-in-progress, it was only a matter of time before someone else ponied up their own open source competition for the smartphone/handset market. But it isn't some newly-minted firm flush with a round of startup funding -- it's Nokia's own Symbian, to be merged with the S60, UIQ, and MOAP(S) platforms into one great big happy
How To Recycle Spent CFLs
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
Those corkscrew-shaped CFL bulbs use about a third of the power needed to light incandescent bulbs, so their cost-saving appeal to homes and businesses is obvious. But what happens when potentially toxic CFLs need to be replaced?
Home is Where Your Employees Should Be
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
It's 11 AM on a weekday morning, gas prices are soaring, and there are lots of affordable collaboration tools on the market. Do you know where your employees are? Better yet, do you know where your employees should be? Working from home.
New Open Source Tool For Data Quality Control
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
Talend has come out with an open source tool for assessing data quality. If you're like most companies, your customer database is junked up with duplicate names with outdated titles and inconsistent information. Talend's Data Profiler brings order to this mess.
ASUS's Linux Eee PC Gets Price Parity With XP Down Under Once Again
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
A while back I noted that the pricing for ASUS's new Linux-powered Eee PC was at a premium over their XP version of the same machine, a move which defied most brands of logic I could apply to the situation. Fortunately, after a bit over a month of this decision getting flamed roundly in public, they're backing down and quoting the same price for both machines: $649.

Nokia, Others Deal Major Blow To Android
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
Perhaps Android's greatest strength is not the operating system itself, rather the Open Handset Alliance that's backing it up. Without support, Android won't go far. Well, now Android and the OHA have a serious threat to worry about. Nokia and other mobile industry heavy hitters have teamed up to create an open source Symbian operating system with
E-Discovery, Compliance, Auditing, and Investigation
Commentary  |  6/24/2008  | 
E-discovery and auditing are flip sides of a single coin, the one concerned with retention of records and their production in litigation, the other with studying records to verify the correct of execution of corporate business processes and accounting procedures. Compliance is the coin standing on edge: operational rules and monitoring designed to ensure that businesses stay out of legal and accounting trouble.
SQL Injection Remains Scary Back-Door Security Threat
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
I got onto the subject of SQL injection thanks to Intel software blogger Kenneth Graf, who caught my attention with a post provocatively entitled, "Your password is potentially dangerous." (Who knew ? :) While SQL injection is nothing new, it remains a downright terrifying security threat, since it's a very easy way for hackers to get into the database behind your Web site.
Data Domain Adds Retention Enforcement - Deduplication, It's Not Just For Backup Anymore
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
In a further attempt to position its deduplicating NAS appliances as general purpose data repositories, Data Domain has added date retention enforcement as an optional feature. This follows naturally from the redesign of the file system last year to support a large number of small files as well as the small number of large files typical of a backup target.
An ISP Should Carry Bits--And Nothing More
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, plus the "Web 2.0" sites, get all the attention when it comes to the excitement of Internet opportunity. That's made Internet service providers jealous, and they've been looking for ways to tap into the financial bonanza flowing through their wires. Unfortunately, many of those ways invade user's privacy and break essential rules of the Internet.
Palm Centro Gets Unlocked
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
The little smartphone that could has been boosting Palm's stock and is available on Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and AT&T. But, Palm announced the Centro is now available unlocked and with an enhanced Google feature.
The Aggressive IT Department
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
Is it important for IT departments to be perceived as aggressive? Because they aren't. In our recent "Tomorrow's CIO" research survey of 720 corporate managers and CIOs and VP-of-IT level executives, only 6% of those on the corporate side describe their IT departments as more aggressive than the rest of the company. Is that bad, or business as usual?
HP Joins Data Deduplication Club With Agressive Pricing
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
HP officially joined the data deduplicators club today after several alert storage news sites including our own Byte and Switch broke the news from a premature update of HP's Turkish website. As expected they're adding Sepaton's DeltaStor, which they're calling Accelerated DeDuplication, to the VLS VTLs they've been OEMing from Sepaton for the past few years. More interesting are the new D2D2500 and D2D4000 appliances HP is targeting at what if you're HP or EMC is the SMB market but to those o
Study: Small Businesses Making More Use Of Smartphones
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
According to the latest data from AMI, 31% of small businesses in the United States are using smartphones to access e-mail, contact, and calendaring information regularly. Trends indicate that SBs already are looking into location-based services and other functions such as CRM, field force automation, and sales force automation to power their businesses.
Archiving and the Limitations of E-Discovery
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
Last week we read about yet another major financial scandal allegedly exposed through the discovery of an e-mail message from a fund principal that apparently stated that their fund was going to be "toast." First, this was (if true) a fantastically stupid communication to put in an e-mail exchange. Second, I wonder why it took so long to find this e-mail message...
Red Hat In Boston, Part 2.3: openSUSE And Openness, Period
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
Last Friday afternoon I sat down for an hour with Joe Brockmeier, community manager for openSUSE, to talk with him about SUSE 11 and the open source world in general. It was a bit rambly, but that was part of the fun: We stumbled across a whole slew of key truths about open source along the way.

Affinnova Algorithm Claims It Can Pick Most Popular Veep
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
It's obvious that the Internet is shaping opinions and becoming a vehicle for sharing information during the presidential campaign. It was only a matter of time before we began hearing more about how political operatives are using the Web to shape their strategies. Now, one technology company is touting a "secret weapon" for choosing the ideal presidential ticket.
Motorola Impresses With 5-Megapixel Camera Phone
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
Motorola and Kodak officially unveiled the Motozine ZN5 today. This latest handset from Motorola boasts a Kodak-branded 5-megapixel shooter with Kodak-approved optics and flash. It also packs some serious Kodak camera software. Have I mentioned that Kodak helped develop the camera? Insta-review says: Darned good camera phone.
What To Make Of Google's Android 'Delays'
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
Reports are circulating around the Internet today that Google's Android platform is facing difficulties and won't see the light of day before the fourth quarter. Reuters cites technical integration hurdles as the issue, with some Open Handset Alliance partners not able to bring Android to market before next year. I say this isn't really news.
Encyclopaedia Britannica Embraces The Wikipedians, Sort Of
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
With the upcoming relaunch of its Web site, Encyclopaedia Britannica is making some interesting changes. It's taken steps to embrace certain aspects of the collaborative nature of Wikipedia (and the Internet in general), but at the same time, it reasserts the need to rely on experts with strong voices and distinct points of view.
CatalystWeb Brings Its Web-Based Productivity/Collaboration Suite to the Mac
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
According to the folks at CatalystWeb, which makes a Web-based business productivity and collaboration suite, small businesses need affordable software thats geared for their needs  and not busting with unneeded features designed for huge enterprises. The company is trying to address that need with a new Mac version of its CatalystOffice software.
BakBone Gives Away NetVault To Red Hat Users
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
Following Red Hat in giving the software away and charging for support, BakBone Software is giving away a special free-use edition of its NetVault backup software. The free-use edition can handle backup for up to two client servers and up to 500 GB of disk through NetVault's built-in software virtual tape library, which makes standard disk emulate a tape library.
Nokia to Acquire Symbian; Open Source OS Down the Road
Commentary  |  6/23/2008  | 
In a surprise announcement (at least a surprise to me) mobile phone giant Nokia announced it is launching an effort to acquire all of the shares of Symbian Limited stock that Nokia does not already own.

AP Correct In Calling BS On Blogosphere
Commentary  |  6/21/2008  | 
No one else has voiced support to the AP for drawing a line in the virtual sand and attempting to preserve the tattered remnants of the profession of journalism, so it falls to me. Here goes: Just like the New York Mets with their firing of manager Willie Randolph, the AP botched big time the implementation of its copyright cease-and-desist claim against a tiny Web site, but the basic point was correct. Here's why.
Apple builds in ZFS
Commentary  |  6/21/2008  | 
Efficiency versus intent
Commentary  |  6/21/2008  | 
Helio Kicking The Bucket?
Commentary  |  6/20/2008  | 
Don't call it a phone company. In fact, don't bother calling it at all, because various reports are saying that Helio will follow in the footsteps of Disney Mobile, ESPN Mobile, and various other defunct mobile virtual network operators.
Mozilla's Pain, TippingPoint's Gain -- And, Perhaps, A Tipster's Game?
Commentary  |  6/20/2008  | 
The recent news of a Firefox security flaw illustrates the dangers of security through obscurity. In this case, however, the obscurity I'm talking about doesn't involve the software.
SkyLounge Makes Business Trips Better
Commentary  |  6/20/2008  | 
Word Processing, Spreadsheets... and iPhones!
Commentary  |  6/20/2008  | 
Who says that iPhones are for such boring things as making phone calls? Even listening to music and surfing the Web, while taking a few photos with a built-in camera, isn't enough for some people. They want their mobile gizmos to replace their desktop computer  and maybe their laptop. No problem.
Satellite Radio Stumbles, Still Shines
Commentary  |  6/20/2008  | 
XM Satellite Radio's share price is down another 3.6% today after plunging 17% on a discouraging report from Goldman Sachs. XM rival Sirius has suffered a similar stumble.
AP Struggles To Save Face In Blogger Copyright Dispute
Commentary  |  6/20/2008  | 
I don't blame The Associated Press for refusing to participate in a conversation about its attempts to overthrow government authority and rewrite copyright law to its own liking. The AP is like a husband who foolishly told his wife that the new jeans do make her butt look big. The best way to limit damage at that point is to simply shut up and hope the subject eventually goes away.
Some Hard Data On Vista Users And UAC
Commentary  |  6/20/2008  | 
Of all the changes in Windows Vista, perhaps the most controversial is the User Account Control functionality that often results in multiple permission prompts that border on annoying. OK, let's be honest: UAC crossed the border, broke down the front door, and is camped-out-on-the-sofa annoying.
News & Surprises from Text Analytics Summit 2008
Commentary  |  6/20/2008  | 
Others have reported on this year's Text Analytics Summit: the prevalence of Voice of the {Customer | Market | Patient} as a theme, the focus on sentiment analysis and on BI integration, applications for analysis of social media data, and so on. I'll link to this commentary, and I have additional observations on the evolution of the text-analytics market.
Miles Per Gallon vs. Gallons Per Mile
Commentary  |  6/20/2008  | 
A "math illusion" makes it hard to use miles per gallon to figure out how much fuel you can save. With gas prices topping $4 per gallon, this is not just an academic exercise. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple solution.
Seeding The Cloud
Commentary  |  6/20/2008  | 
Recently, I got the chance to visit one of Microsoft's mega data centers for a tour while it was under construction. I'll just say this: creating the infrastructure needed for cloud computing isn't child's play.
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