Commentary
Content posted in July 2007
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I Loved My iPhone But I Had To Return It
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
As you may recall, I finally snagged an iPhone a few weeks ago. At the time, I was less than pleased with my experience. I had problems syncing my iPhone with my PCs. Many of you wrote in with some advice on how to better connect my Jesus-phone with my laptop and desktop. While I appreciated your help, it wasn't enough. After 10 days, I returned my iPhone.
Google Almost Gets What It Wants From The FCC
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
The FCC set the ground rules today for the upcoming 700-MHz auction. While Google didn't get everything it asked for -- the FCC made progress toward opening up spectrum but stopped short of real open network access -- it came pretty close.
Cranky Bosses Are Bad Business
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
According to a new study, bosses in a bad mood are bad for business. Apparently, unhappy bosses lead to more employee turnover and other behaviour problems among employees. And US News & World Report blogger Justin Ewers suggests that these results are of special interest to smaller companies, "who tend to have more control over their work environments than managers at larger compani
7 Apple Briefs
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Learn to control iTunes using keyboard shortcuts that work in any app, take decent photos with your iPhone, and make a Wi-Fi hotspot on the fly using just your MacBook and a hard Internet connection. Also: Eminem sues Apple (again), the Adium IM client reviewed, and more.
Automakers Can Learn From Computer Industry's Mistakes
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Software is bringing cool new things to the auto industry, advancing such features as telematics and safety. Automakers also are trying to collaborate more on software standards, but it may not all be great news.
Poll Results on BPMN Portability
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
There's no denying that BPMN is gaining traction in the marketplace. I see it in my training. I see it in BPMS and BPA vendors getting on board. But what's amazing about this is that it's happening without a standard way to store and interchange BPMN between tools. It almost boggles the mind that the creators of BPMN "forgot" about this when they started, and its current owners place model interchange far down the priority list...
A Dirty Job to Call Your Own
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Fans of the Discovery Channel's popular series Dirty Jobs know filthy work when they see it.
Terrorism In Second Life? Give Me A Break
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Here in America, we have our share of stupid journalism, but we have trouble competing in the global market. For evidence, I point you to an article in The Australian about terrorists in Second Life.

Amp'd Mobile Subscribers Get Reprieve. Sort Of.
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Amp'd Mobile is still leaving the building, but Prexar Mobile has offered to step in and take over Amp'd's subscribers. Subscribers will be able to transition their service from Amp'd to Prexar by visiting Prexar's Web site and filling out some forms. Is this good news?
Are Printers Hazardous To Your Health?
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
OK, now you have another reason to stay away from the office: According to the Queensland University of Technology, laser printers can be hazardous to your health.
Foonz Offers Free Conference Calls To The Little Guy
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Not all cell phones offer the ability to make conference calls on the fly, but a new service from foonzMobile lets anyone initiate a conference call for free. How well does it work?
Analyzing the Evolution of SaaS and PaaS
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
After my post last week on PaaS (Platform as a Service), I've been thinking more about PaaS and its relation to SaaS, and I figured I would back up a bit, and put things into context. I think we are moving in three clear directions. First, there's the movement from visual to service-based interfaces. Second, there's the movement to outsourced or virtualized business processes. Finally, there's the growing acceptance of on-demand platforms for applications, services, and now development and enter
A Service Pack For Vista? Yes And No
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Microsoft has been saying there is no trial version of a Service Pack 1 for Vista, but Ars Technica reports that The World's Largest Software Company has released a "sneak peek" of several patches on its Windows Connect download service for beta testers of Win
Twitter Turns Drivel To Cash
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
Web 2.0 ventures have discovered a simple formula for success: encourage users' conceit that what they say, do, and think is interesting enough to share with others. This is how Twitter, a hot startup, turns a stream of drivel into cold, hard cash.
The CIO Role: Beware The Enabler
Commentary  |  7/31/2007  | 
I'm in a un-PC mood, so I'm thinking of IT and its relationship to business in terms of a dysfunctional family.
Windows XP A Shaky Bridge To Windows 7
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
Post Pokes Pogue Over Positive iPhone Press
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
A tabloid tempest in a teapot may be brewing, following an item in Page Six of The New York Post, which is shocked (shocked!) to discover New York Times tech columnist David Pogue praising Apple's iPhone within the pages of the Old Gray Lady while writing a book on the side about how to use the device.
Diddy Done It
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
According to McNewspaper, rap impresario Diddy is using online video to hire his next assistant. Publicity stunt? Bet on it. But still, there may be a trend here that "real" small and mid-size businesses can pick up one.
My Custom Linux Distribution Chooser
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
A couple of columns back I talked about how many people are daunted by the sheer number of Linux distributions out there. I argued that the total number of distributions that you need to consider are actually fairly small, and that it probably wouldn't be too tough to create a road map or chooser. Here's my first attempt at doing exactly that.
Daddy, I Want A Gold iPod!
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
For the geek who has everything: An 18K gold iPod Nano, with accompanying golden docking station, remote control, and earbuds. The vendor, Xexoo, removes the case of the device, and replaces it with one made from 100 g of gold.

Just How Successful Are Google's Mobile Initiatives?
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
Japan's No. 2 carrier, KDDI, today said it plans to offer a new mobile e-mail service powered by Google's Gmail. This is the latest in a long line of Google-related mobile announcements. While Google's mobile onslaught continues, this question remains: Just how successful are the search giant's efforts?
Hacking The Vote
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
Anyone following the controversy over whether voting machines promote or threaten our ability to determine who, exactly, has won a particular election was probably not surprised by the initial results of California's review of voting systems released last week. The question is: will this latest evidence that such machines can be easily manipulated force much-needed changes before the next major election?
Rumors Flying About Potential New Apple Products
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
Rumors are flying about products that Apple might introduce soon including a sixth-generation iPod, possibly as soon as early August. Other possibilities: A redesigned iMac, or ultrathin notebook. The rumors were triggered by two little words at last week's Apple earnings conference call: "Product transition."

A New Marketplace Greets EMC Documentum 6
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
At first blush, EMC Documentum 6 is a substantial upgrade to D5, consolidating many of the firm's acquisitions into a much more unified and standardized product set, and also boosting some areas, such as BPM and transactional document management capabilities... But the market has changed, and favors the buyer now far more than the vendor. Documentum was once the dominant and obvious choice for major ECM implementations, but today there is much more serious competition.
Caught In A Mosh: New MVNO Launches Beta Service
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
As Amp'd Mobile goes down in flames, another company is taking a shot at the MVNO model. Mosh Mobile, based in Indiana, will provide free services, including unlimited voice,
AlarmPoint Matches Problems To Problem Solvers
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
AlarmPoint releases version 3.1 of its event management system. New in this release is integrated support for RIM, Avaya VoIP/SIP presence technology, and better reliability.
'Buy It Now' Lives On - For Now
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
A Federal District Court judge in Virginia on Friday ruled against patent troll MercExchange's request for an injunction that would prohibit eBay from using its "Buy It Now" feature. It's a victory in the ongoing struggle to fix the badly broken patent system, but it doesn't address the real issue: MercExchange should never have gotten a patent for something as simplemindedly obvious as "Buy It Now" in the first place.
Italian 'Writes' 384-Page Book With His Cell Phone
Commentary  |  7/30/2007  | 
Science fiction author Roberto Bernocco wrote an entire novel in his downtime using only his Nokia 6630 cell phone. In case you're not familiar with that model, it does not have a QWERTY keyboard. He used T9 to write the entire thing, which took him 17 weeks. It was recently published.
If AT&T Ran The Highway System...
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
If AT&T ran the highway system, things would be different. Only AT&T-approved cars would be allowed on the roads, all of which would be toll roads. Drivers would have to prepay their tolls, based on the estimated number of miles they expected to drive. Those who drove fewer miles than estimated would get no refund; those who drove more would be charged for the overage at a higher rate.
AMD's Road Map
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Are The Carriers Killing Business Mobility?
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Welcome to Take 5, a regular feature on Over The Air where we sit down with a wireless industry insider to talk shop about mobility and business IT. This week's guest, Daniel Taylor, was the head of the Mobile Enterprise Alliance. Unfortunately, the MEA has decided to dissolve (more on that here) and Taylor is moving on to a new role
CIOs Uncensored: Why CIOs Don't Blog: There's No There There
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
At least, that's the conventional wisdom. But isn't that something of a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Linux Distro Of The Week: 64 Studio
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
In 1989, a company called New England Digital demonstrated a $100,000+ all-digital audio workstation suite. Things are a bit cheaper now.
Energy Star PCs: Not A Heap Of Green To Be Saved
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Buying Energy Star PCs is the right thing to do for the environment. Some companies take that responsibility seriously. But at companies only concerned about saving money, the EPA's brand new energy-efficiency requirements won't dazzle the accountants.
Is InfoSpace's New iPhone App Better Than Just Using Google Search?
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
InfoSpace made its Find It application available for the iPhone today. Using a screen with iPhone-esque buttons in the browser, users can search for restaurants, stores, health care providers and such. Are the results more useful than Google's?
The Cleaning Up Of Second Life
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Once upon a time, virtual environments weren't just places where you went in order to meet people in a more interesting environment than that of a chat room or an online whiteboard. They were places where you could reinvent yourself: slay dragons, look like Marilyn Monroe, be rude to your elders. Now, things are different -- at least, in Second Life.
Tiny Projectors Are A Really Big Idea, Really
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Motorola's announcement that it will work toward building tiny video projectors into its handhelds seems to have been widely misunderstood - at least by the commenters who have responded to the story. "Bad idea"? Come ON, people, this is huge! Who needs this? Everybody who has a cellphone, starting with me.
8 iPhone Briefs
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Here are some of the best information, tips, and links about the HarryPotter-phone. Learn how to troubleshoot problems, customize ringtones, use non-Apple headphones with the iPhone, and more.

AMD Promises Aggressive Quad-Core Road Map
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Promising quad-core processors soon and an aggressive technology road map aimed squarely at beating back Intel, AMD chairman Hector Ruiz yesterday positioning himself as the calm at the center of his company's recent financial storm, which saw $600 million in second-quarter losses. But AMD's commitment to ship Barcelona and Phenom this year, coupled with an aggressive processor road map, could put the scrappy
Second Life Geek Meet With Voice
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Our first Geek Meet using the native Second Life voice technology exceeded expectations two-fold: Keystone Bouchard gave a fascinating presentation on architecture in virtual worlds. And the voice technology worked like gangbusters.

Packet Sniffing for Web Analytics: Not Dead Yet
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
You could be excused for thinking that packet sniffing-based data collection for Web Analytics was long gone. Like log file analysis, packet sniffing fell out of favor with the advent of page tag-based data collection. Proponents argue that packet sniffing is superior because data collection becomes "hands off" once the collection appliance is installed between the router and network switch. There are no tags to maintain, nor log files to administer. On the other hand...
Case Study: Field Force Automation Saves The Day For Mac-Gray
Commentary  |  7/27/2007  | 
Welcome to Over The Air's first Friday case study. We'd like to make case studies a regular part of the blog and we're kicking things off with a look at how Mac-Gray's coin collectors used standard field force gear to reduce expenses, reduce wear and tear on its fleet and boost worker productivity.
iPhone Revolution Is Succeeding
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
Will Dual-Mode Smartphones Become The Device De Rigueur?
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
Not only did revenue from smartphones leap 10% in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the fourth quarter of 2006, sales of Wi-Fi-enabled handsets are on track to top $145 billion in the next three years. Is Wi-Fi the key to spurring smartphone adoption?
$28 Million For An Old Idea-Part 2
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
We have to kill the firewall in order to save it. That's the essential message from startup Palo Alto Networks.
More Copies Of Windows Than Cars?
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today said that by the end of this fiscal year, which began July 1, there will be more than a billion Windows PCs worldwide. "There will be more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles, which is, at least to me, a mind-numbing concept," Ballmer said. That hasn't been the only number thrown out so far.
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