Commentary
Content posted in July 2005
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Letters To The Editor
Commentary  |  7/29/2005  | 
Wanna Be A Certifiable Linux Geek?
Commentary  |  7/29/2005  | 
This just flew over my transom: At LinuxWorld in San Francisco next month, the Linux Professional Institute will offer free or really cheap Linux certification testing to all takers:
SmartAdvice: Use Java And WebSphere To Reengineer Legacy Mainframes
Commentary  |  7/28/2005  | 
Set guidelines that ensure easy technology transitions and migrations, The Advisory Council says. Also, to profit from RFID, rethink business rules.
The First Open-Source Keyboard
Commentary  |  7/28/2005  | 
I enjoyed Bill O'Brien's piece on new and interesting input devices over at Personal Tech Pipeline. But he missed what may be coolest thing to happen to a keyboard since, well, since there have been keyboards: Artemy Lebedev's Optimus. When I first laid eyes on this thing about a month ago, I knew I had to have one. Why? If you have to ask, then I can't explain.
Dashboarding From The Bottom Up
Commentary  |  7/28/2005  | 
A heck of a lot of organizations are rolling out reporting and analytics capabilities to their so-called "line-of-business" workers -- those knowledge employees whose ability to make smart decisions impacts things on the operational level. In other words, the people who really make a business run. As dashboards spread to more and more folks throughout the organization, one prominent business performance management executive has some advice for companies taking on new dashboard deployments: St
Microsoft's Get-Out-Of-Jail Card
Commentary  |  7/28/2005  | 
Longhorn, a difficult-to-herd animal of the Nor'West, has been roped, corralled and rebranded as Vista.
Dashboarding From The Bottom Up
Commentary  |  7/28/2005  | 
If you're rolling out new reporting capabilities, think about empowering line-of-business workers first, before taking dashboards into the executive suite.
Bloggers Weigh In On India Torrents
Commentary  |  7/27/2005  | 
Through yesterday and today, parts of India have been hit by what can only be described as rainfall of Biblical proportions. The city of Mumbai received three feet of rain yesterday. Some major IT outsourcing vendors, including Infosys and Wipro, have closed development centers in the affected areas. At least one blog out of of India is
InterBase: What Was The Chance...
Commentary  |  7/27/2005  | 
My last column raised as many new questions as I had when I researched it. This one concerns the back-door login that had been compiled into Borland's InterBase code. If anyone knows the answer, or knows someone who might, give me a shout.
Opinion: Why The CIO Should Be On The Board Of Directors
Commentary  |  7/27/2005  | 
No single executive has more visibility across more business processes than the CIO. It's time for companies to recognize the importance of this position, says Network Computing editor Rob Preston.
Embrace, Extend, Annoy
Commentary  |  7/27/2005  | 
Years ago, I spent enough time dealing with both Quark and its customers to get the gist of that company's end-user support philosophy: sit down, shut up, and do as you're told -- please.
Shake 'N Bake Your RSS Feeds
Commentary  |  7/27/2005  | 
FeedShake lets you merge multiple RSS feeds, then sort and filter them. (Via LifeHacker.)
Google-ize Your Logo
Commentary  |  7/27/2005  | 
Just for the fun of it: Logogle takes whatever text you input and makes it look like the Google home page. Like "InformationWeek," for instance. (Via Boing Boing and elsewhere.)
The Internet Worm
Commentary  |  7/26/2005  | 
Earlier this afternon, I got an interesting email from Bill Whiting, a Linux Pipeline newsletter subscriber. After reading my editor's note -- also availble on the site as today's column, "Analyze This!" -- Bill wrote to suggest that Borland and Cisco might, in fact, have some prominent open-source company: Sendmail, courtesy of a once-infamouse worm that came simply to be known as "The Internet Bug."
Analyze This!
Commentary  |  7/26/2005  | 
A few days after I published a column discussing the open-source marvel that is ClamAV, I heard from a PR rep for one of the big anti-virus vendors. I'll leave both his name and the firm's name out of this -- not because they did anything wrong (they didn't) but because I'm going to focus here on a single reference in this email that ultimately opened a much bigger can of worms.
Find Cell Towers With Google Maps
Commentary  |  7/26/2005  | 
The popular blog BoingBoing pointed to a site today that combines cell phone tower location information registered with the FCC with Google Maps, enabling you to look zero in on cities and see where the towers are. Can you hear me now?

Your Favorite Databases
Commentary  |  7/26/2005  | 
Readers show a wide range of views when it comes to which databases are the most analytics-friendly.
Find Cell Towers With Google Maps
Commentary  |  7/26/2005  | 
The popular blog BoingBoing pointed to a site today that combines cell phone tower location information registered with the FCC with Google Maps, enabling you to look zero in on cities and see where the towers are
Good Security Means Covering The Basics
Commentary  |  7/26/2005  | 
Despite all the attention you have to give to phishing and spyware, security leaders can't lose sight of all the mundane, but critical, security requirements, says columnist Wayne Rash.
Opinion: Companies, Consumers Need Identity Theft Insurance
Commentary  |  7/26/2005  | 
We also need services to help consumers get back on their feet.
BI Bullet Points
Commentary  |  7/25/2005  | 
Want quick advice on the best ways to leverage business intelligence tools? Check out this list.
A Rose By Another Name . . .
Commentary  |  7/25/2005  | 
A brief article on TechWeb says Microsoft registered domains related to several potential real names for Longhorn before it settled on Windows Vista. Apparently the company considered calling it "Windows '07" because it registered "windows07.us" and "windowsseven.us." Maybe wiser heads decided that was risky at both ends -- it would mean they'd have to ship it before the end of 2007, which right now doesn't look like a sure thing, and
BI Bullet Points
Commentary  |  7/25/2005  | 
There's nothing better than a nice business intelligence bullet list. OK, maybe that's an overstatement. But they're nice. And in case you haven't seen it yet, I've got one for you.
Outsourcing To (Native American) Indians
Commentary  |  7/25/2005  | 
While the contracting of IT and business-process work to India is hardly news these days, here's an example of Indian outsourcing that is, well, a little different.
SmartAdvice: Taking Project-Management Efficiency To The Next Level
Commentary  |  7/22/2005  | 
It's possible to leverage many project-management efficiencies without starting a formal office, The Advisory Council says. Also, align goals when trying to reduce product costs with collaborative commerce.
Letters To The Editor
Commentary  |  7/22/2005  | 
IBM Execs Just Wanna Have Fun
Commentary  |  7/22/2005  | 
IBM, of all companies, is blogging about the future of gaming. IBM. Blogging. About gaming. The blog, called GameTomorrow, launched yesterday.
You Wow Us With Your Prose
Commentary  |  7/22/2005  | 
Your entries to The Great Tech Call-'Em-Like-You-See-'Em Contest were entertaining, well-written, and a lot of fun to read--and we learned a little about you in the process.
Bye-bye Longhorn, Hello Vista
Commentary  |  7/22/2005  | 
This just in: Redmond, Washington, July 22, 2005 -- Today Microsoft Corp. announced the official name of its next-generation Windows client operating system, formerly code-named "Longhorn:" Windows Vista. And the delivery date of Beta 1, targeted at developers and IT professionals, has been officially pegged for August 3. Get those fingers on the download buttons. Official marketing slogan: "Bringing clarity to your world." Official Web site:
Technology: Can't Leave Home Without It
Commentary  |  7/22/2005  | 
As my wife, Laura, and I head north to Quebec for a vacation in a few weeks, we'll have a traveling companion: a laptop PC. We aren't alone. Lots of people bring their laptops on vacation.
One Fast Clam
Commentary  |  7/22/2005  | 
A lot of companies these days will try almost any kind of open-source software, including once-sacrosanct three-letter enterprise apps. Many of these people, however, still apply one big exception to their open-minded approach to open-source: anti-virus tools. Find out why they couldn't be more wrong.
Langa Letter: Converting Audio Files? Let 'Er Rip!
Commentary  |  7/22/2005  | 
Readers suggest more MP3 and audio-file tools than you can shake a memory stick at!
Snowball, Welcome To Hell
Commentary  |  7/20/2005  | 
I knew we wouldn't hear much about the usual suspects -- Symantec, McAfee, etc. -- when I set up this week's poll. But it's still interesting to see just how little these products matter to you : Out of about 100 votes so far, just one person says they use proprietary anti-virus sotware on their open-souce desktop system.
Business Technology: U.N. Snatches Internet; Tomorrow All IT?
Commentary  |  7/20/2005  | 
In a phony-but-it-could-be-real memo, a confidential operative for The Private Sector warns CIOs and CEOs that the United Nations' recent posturing to take over the Internet is only a tiny hint at its larger intent: to seize control of all IT systems, networks, software, and processes in the world!
Money Where Its Mouth Is
Commentary  |  7/20/2005  | 
Consulting firm Accenture sees the market for information management services swelling beyond $27 billion by 2007, and it's slapping down big money for a piece of the action.
Google Shoots The Moon
Commentary  |  7/20/2005  | 
Google engineer Larry Schwimmer today announced the arrival of Google Moon, a lunar version of the map technology seen on Google Earth. This is one small step for Google, one giant leap for lunar location-based marketing.
Opinion: If You Promise Customers Privacy, Deliver!
Commentary  |  7/20/2005  | 
If you promise customers their information is secure, you have to be ready to back it up. If you don't, you risk gaining their ire--and losing their business.
Opinion: New IE Flaw, Same Old Story for Security Managers
Commentary  |  7/20/2005  | 
Internet Explorer continues to lack any real innovation and treats security as an afterthought. Rest assured, we'll all be dealing with IE vulnerabilities for a long, long time.
Bill Gates Wants You -- Maybe
Commentary  |  7/20/2005  | 
Bill Gates wonders why more students don't go into computer science. Salaries and job openings are on the rise, he says. Why heck, Microsoft can't hire as many people as it needs, he says. Yesterday Hewlett Packard said it would lay off 14,500 people. Maybe that should give him a clue. Out here in the real world, computer jobs are still hard to come by, and really good computer jobs have just about become extinct since the Internet bu
Wi-Fi On The Road Leaves A Lot To Be Desired
Commentary  |  7/20/2005  | 
Despite its unpredictable, frustrating nature, wireless Internet access has become more than just a nice perk available at some savvy hotels. It has become downright necessary to compete for corporate travel business. But based on my experiences with wireless while traveling, there really isn't any reason to rush just yet.
Is VoIP Secure Enough For Prime Time?
Commentary  |  7/19/2005  | 
Consider the business impact of an attack that derails data and phone service in one swoop.
Two Versions of Vista?
Commentary  |  7/19/2005  | 
I read over the list of feature that Microsoft is promoting in the first official beta-test release of Windows Vista (the OS formerly known as Longhorn) and was struck again by how little personal interest I had in them: the article mentions "user account protection services, simplified corporate image deployment, secure startup for protecting laptops and a Windows System Assessment Tool to analyze performance." I run two PCs and a co
Collaboration and Compliance
Commentary  |  7/19/2005  | 
Rethinking The Open-Source Business Model
Commentary  |  7/19/2005  | 
Open-source developers need a new mix of skills to succeed with new business models: Along with the traditional focus on new technology and a solid bottomline, they will also have to master fresh challenges surrounding intellectual property and community relations.
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