Commentary
Content posted in June 2009
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Benioff Offers Cloud Riposte: It's Not Just Fashion
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, finally got a little revenge. He wasn't in the least spiteful. Rather, he was only guilty of repeating something his former boss, Larry Ellison, said about software-as-a-service and cloud computing. An audience of cloud cognoscenti at Structure 09 loved the performance.
Apple Seeds iPhone SDK 3.1 To Developers
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
Today Apple began pushing out iPhone Software Development Kit 3.1 to developers of the iPhone platform. The new SDK has several new features that should make it easier for developers to create applications for the iPhone. The biggest new development is that the MMS feature is automatically turned on in 3.1.
Microsoft's Security Essentials: A Promising Start
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
I've been using the beta of Microsoft Security Essentials, (MSE) having been one of the lucky few to grab it in the first few days before Microsoft closed the beta. Here's what I think so far: It's not flashy, it's not feature-rich, and its not a replacement for enterprise-class workstation security. Because of that, it has the potential to be a great solution for consumers and small businesses.
Dell's Adds Ultraportable Notebook To Its Vostro Line For SMBs
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
Question: What's smaller than a notebook but bigger than a netbook? Answer: An ultraportable, like Dell's new 3.36-pound Vostro 1220, with a 12.1-inch screen.
Is The Pre Poorly Built?
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
There have been scattered reports that Palm's Pre smartphone is not holding up well. A few Pre users have been complaining that their screens are wobbly and can get easily cracked, the slider is poorly-designed, and the overall manufacturing is shoddy.
30% Of Auto-Industy Supply Chain Will Die, Expert Says
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
With bankrupt Chrysler about to resume production and as both it and General Motors struggle with huge losses and drastic new ownership structures, at least 30% and perhaps even 40% of the suppliers that feed the U.S. automobile industry will not be able to survive, says a restructuring expert.
Dell's MID Idea Is Kinda SAD
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
Later this year, Dell is reportedly going to sell a pocked-sized gizmo that can access the Internet, but won't offer telephony. In other words, it's working on inventing its own version of Apple's Newton.
Bsquare: Why Wait? We Got Yer Flash For Android Right Here
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
Bsquare says, "Pshaw!" No need to wait until the end of 2009 to get Flash on your Android device. It is already offering Android developers support for Flash Lite 3.1 on ARM-based devices.
Real-World Cloud Computing Applications
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
Anyone trying to understand the cloud computing phenomenon need only look at how cloud services are being used to get a better picture. The following examples demonstrate the cloud being used for everything from marketing campaigns to space exploration and scientific research.
Linux Netbook Prices: How Low Can They Go?
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
Some netbook vendors can't stop bad-mouthing Linux. But it's still the way to go if you want a low-priced, energy-efficient machine that is actually capable of doing useful work.
GPL Usage: Growing And Shrinking, Both
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
If the latest round of statistics are to be believed, the GPL -- the most popular license for open source software -- is undergoing a slow but fundamental shift. But if the same statistics are to be further believed, other licenses are also gaining ground on the GPL.

Realizing Government 2.0
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
One of the most compelling attributes of Web 2.0 is that it transformed the static Interweb from something pushed at us to something that includes our inputs. The coincidence of Howard Dean's intelligent use of the Web, the rise of Facebook in public consciousness and Barack Obama's very technologically-savvy campaign has led to the expectation that Government 2.0 would quickly follow.
Indian IT Firms Cutting Billing Rates At Unprecedented Levels
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
Indian IT services firms have been cutting their rates by 35% or even 40% as global clients continue to look for ways to reduce costs in the global economic downturn. The depth of this latest round of rate cuts is "unprecedented," according to an industry expert based in India.
Firefox 3.5 Is Here
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
Right on schedule, Mozilla Corp. shipped Firefox 3.5 about a minute ago, at about 11:20 am Eastern time. The new version adds performance improvements, privacy features, support for embedded video, and more. It comes into the world facing a more crowded and competitive market than before, as alternatives such as Google Chrome and Safari have emerged as viable alternatives to both Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Twisting Terms to Make BI Market Share Claims
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
When a BI vendor claims they are the market leader of anything, according to IDC, you need to be clear on what exactly gets counted. In other words, study the taxonomy on page three of IDC's latest report...
File Sharing And SMS Powers Come To Skype 3.0 For Windows Mobile
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
The latest version of Skype for the Windows Mobile platform adds some nifty new features. Users will now be able to swap files back and forth, and can send text messages to other mobile phones directly from Skype.
Are SMBs Facing A Crisis Of Cloud Confidence?
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
Cloud computing is often thought of as the perfect option for small businesses. But a new survey shows that small businesses share many of the cloud computing concerns of their larger competitors, including security, availability, and speed.
BlackBerry Tour Hitting Verizon July 12 For $200
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
If you've been hankering for some BlackBerry Tour action from Verizon Wireless, it's time to get excited. The nation's largest carrier has launched pre-orders for the Tour, which will be in stores starting July 12. It will come in two versions: one with a camera, and one without.
600 Apps For Windows Marketplace For Mobile Launch
Commentary  |  6/30/2009  | 
When the new application store for Windows Mobile, dubbed Windows Marketplace for Mobile, opens it will have 600 apps to start with according to a Windows Mobile product manager at Microsoft France.
Online Sales Tax Brouhaha Hits More SMB Amazon Affiliates
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
Amazon.com has dropped affiliate relationships with small businesses in North Carolina and Rhode Island as the states prepare to implement new laws requiring the company to collect online sales tax.
The Go-To Geek, June Edition
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
Oh, sure, you may be a high flying enterprise architect, DBA, infrastructure engineer, or coder, but your friends and family all think: you work in IT. You love IT. And, "you must want to take care of my consumer grade tech needs because you love IT so much." Riiiight. How can you satisfy them and still have time for summer fun?
So Long, And Thanks, Google Earth, For All The Fish
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
In the latest installment of what appears to an ongoing series in the technology press, criminals are using technology to commit crimes.
SAP Looking At 35% Margins And Doubled Revenue By 2014
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
A leaked SAP strategy document says the company expects to reach an operating margin of 35% by 2014 and also expects current revenue to double during that five-year period. Right now, archrival Oracle has an operating margin of 51%, so it will be interesting to see how each side spins its profit story to its customers.
Cloud Computing... By The Hour
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
It's easy to understand the need to for configurable cloud-computing resources. But does anyone really need to buy (rent?) cloud-computing capabilities on an hourly basis? SoftLayer thinks so.
Small vs. Large: Amazon Explains How Companies Use Cloud Computing
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
Cloud computing is often promoted as leveling the playing field between small businesses and large enterprises. But Andrew R. Jassy, senior vice president of Web services at Amazon, says that small companies use the cloud differently.
Top 10 Companies For US Patents In 2008: IBM Again #1
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
IBM was awarded 4,186 patents last year to lead the Top 10 list, marking the 16th straight year IBM has earned more US patents than any other company in the world. IBM's achievement - that's more than 11 patent granted every single day for the entire year - also marks the first time any organization has been awarded more than 4,000 US patents in a single year.
Broadband Stimulus May Disappoint Thousands
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
The ball might finally get rolling tomorrow for the $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus funds, not a moment too soon where operators and Internet-starved rural communities are concerned.
Will New Certification Criteria Fuel Open Source E-Health Records?
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
Till now, certification requirements for electronic medical records were pretty hefty, addressing hundreds of stringent criteria that comprehensive inpatient and ambulatory systems must meet in order to get a seal of approval from the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, or CCHIT, a non-profit federally supported group.
Apple's Snow Leopard: Bigger Than The iPhone 3GS?
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
While all the Apple buzz is about the iPhone 3GS, Snow Leopard is looking like much more important announcement for Apple. Both were announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference a few weeks ago, they're both significant steps forward for existing products. While the 3GS is sexier, Snow Leopard has under-the-hood improvements in the operating system that will help carry Apple into the future.
Palm Kills Homemade Apps With Latest Pre Firmware
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
Palm has issued another firmware update for the Palm Pre. The latest version, 1.0.4, offers some minor security improvements and one unwelcome change: some homemade apps no longer work.
Stallman and Mono: Not As Mono-Lithic As You'd Think
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
Free software grand master Richard Stallman weighed in not long ago about Mono, the open source implementation of Microsoft's .NET. He's not against it in principle, he just doesn't feel it's a good idea to depend on it for anything, especially not the core GNU tools.

Apple Reporting iPhone 3GS Shortages
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
It looks like the iPhone 3GS is a solid seller. Apple is reporting that the iPhone 3GS is out of stock at 29 of its retail stores (as of 6/26). Apple also recently launched a tool to let would-be iPhone buyers check the stock levels of the Apple Store near them.
KACE Offers Mac Management Upgrade
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
Apple Macintosh users like to believe that they use the best computers around. And maybe they do. But from an IT-management perspective, Macs in mixed environments have often been treated as red-headed step-children. The next versions of KACE's KBOX Systems Management Appliance aims to level the playing field with Mac-management tools on par with its Windows offerings.
VM Management For Fun And Profit
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
I chatted up a group of IT pros running full tilt towards virtualization. They all seemed to have left their management hats at home... How 'bout you? We'd love to get your view on VM management.
Does Twitter Match The Mission?
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
A CIO with the U.S. Air Force argues that government-technology decision makers must apply cost-benefit analysis in determining whether Web 2.0 tools make sense for their agencies.
CIO Seeks Open Government In Brawling New York State Senate
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
Andrew Hoppin, CIO of the New York State Senate, is working to leverage information technology to get more people involved in politics. Politics needs more voices from the left, right, and center, he said. "Not just professional voices, the people paid to be there, but the people who are interested and have a concern about the workings of the legislators," he said.
CIOs Don't Listen To Vendors Anymore, Says Salesforce CEO
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
During the global economic downturn, an IT industry that delivers too much complexity and not enough flexibility has lost a lot of credibility, says Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, and a major repercussion has been the rise of the reference-account CIO as sales driver. Is your commission plan all set up?
Adaptive Planning Says Challenging Economy Requires More Sophisticated Planning Tools
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
Is the recession bottoming out or will things get worse? Is a comeback bounce around the corner, or are we looking at the dreaded "L-shaped" recovery where business remains stuck at a depressed level? More to the point, what is your company going to do about whatever scenario plays out?
Google Ups File Attachment Capability Of Gmail
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
I just don't know how anyone can survive with the limits placed on email systems these days. I mean, where does Google get off thinking it is acceptable to limit Gmail file attachments to a mere 20MB. That's ridiculous. Wait, what? Google just changed it to 25MB? Oh. That's cool.
T-Mobile Launch Events For New Phones
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
T-Mobile in the US is holding events in seven cities around the country for the impending launches of the HTC Touch Pro2 and HTC Dash 3G. The Touch Pro2 has been eagerly awaited by many, and the Dash 3G might be better known to you as the HTC Snap.
Bucking the Cloud Computing Hype
Commentary  |  6/29/2009  | 
If you push back on cloud computing, even for good reasons, then you're considered a backward thinker. If you go along with the trends and the hype, and your systems hit a cloud computing-enabled wall, then you're considered incompetent. I'm not sure which path is better.
Is Text The Only Way To Hold A Conversation?
Commentary  |  6/27/2009  | 
Audio podcasts haven't seemed to take off like some expected. Video is great as a broadcast medium but it too hasn't taken off for conversations. Is text the only way to hold a conversation online?
Windows 7 Pricing: How Much Lower?
Commentary  |  6/27/2009  | 
For months, the news about Windows 7 has been encouraging. The product looks good, but the one thing we didn't know was how much it would cost. Now, we know that too -- or at least some of the picture.
Looking back on Enterprise 2.0
Commentary  |  6/27/2009  | 
10 Essentials Of IBM's Cloud Computing Strategy
Commentary  |  6/26/2009  | 
IBM recently made its most significant cloud computing announcement to date, which one executive compares to the launch of Big Blue's venerable System/360 mainframe 40 years ago. Following is my list of the top 10 things you need to know about IBM's emerging cloud strategy.
Macintosh Malware + Twitter = Greater Vigilance (If You're Smart)
Commentary  |  6/26/2009  | 
Tweets from a respected Macintosh evangelist inadvertently contained links to a Trojan horse aimed at Macintosh computers. The incident should serve as a warning to Mac-using SMBs that while their Macs aren't nearly as subject to malware attacks as Windows machines are, that's not a guarantee that nothing bad can happen.
China Should Hire Apple To Police Porn
Commentary  |  6/26/2009  | 
The Chinese government has been having a rough month. The authorities there have been dialing back already limited Internet freedoms to discourage disruptive remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. In early June, authorities let slip that starting in July PCs shipped in China would have to include Web filtering software called Green Dam.
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