Commentary
Content posted in July 2007
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Microsoft Creates New Ad And Search Research Group
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
Microsoft's been criticized repeatedly for arriving late to the game in some technologies, and the Web is no exception. Today, company chairman Bill Gates announced a new group called the Internet Services Research Center to help close the gap between research and productization for services Microsoft is investing in, especially advertising and search.
Will Microsoft Get Into Intentional Programming?
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
At Microsoft's annual Financial Analyst Meeting this morning, chairman Bill Gates said he wants to "make programming easy for information workers and professionals." It's possible Gates is talking about intentional programming, a method that allows subject matter experts like insurance adjusters or doctors to describe what they want programs to do as part of the development process.
Forget Users; It's External Customers That Count
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
Design business systems to serve the market, not your employees, columnist Seybold says.
iPhone Problem No. 2: This Time The Hardware Went Kaput
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
It was just two days after last week's failed network connectivity issues that the speaker on my iPhone died. How did Apple respond?
Meet Collaboration 3.0
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
Data Discovery: A Tool for Information Management
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
We all need to understand better how to establish cost-effective information management strategies. As part of this effort, we need to identify methods and technologies that can automate and improve data processing... The silos of data generated over the last decade continue to grow and to challenge organizations as they look to gain a consistent view of their operations... Data discovery is one way to identify data that should be assimilated into a common definition...
What Do We Really Want From Linux?
Commentary  |  7/26/2007  | 
In my last blog post about the real-world cost of Linux, I was struck by the contrast between my words and fellow InformationWeek blogger Alexander Wolfe's take on all this. He's lamented the broad variety of distributions out there, and
Is The Network A Pipe Or A Platform?
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
Web 2.0 has brought Sun's old slogan that The Network Is The Computer back into fashion, but few take it quite as literally as Cisco Systems. If Cisco gets its way, components like memory and processors will be linked by IP networks, not circuit boards.
Crackpot Analysts Way Off On iPhone Sales
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
Now that real numbers are in, it's clear that estimates of the number of iPhones sold in the first few days after the launch were wildly inflated. So, it's worth asking, where did the crazy off-the-mark numbers come from? It turns out that most of the high-end analyst estimates were based on, well, analyst estimates.
Smartphone Plus Projector Equals Road Warrior Heaven
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
Imagine you're on the final legs of a never-ending road trip. You arrive at the 100th client meeting that week to deliver the PowerPoint you slaved over for weeks. Just as you set up, the projector in the room goes dead. What do you do? Why not use the projector on your smartphone?
Carriers At Risk Of Losing Enterprise Customers?
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
Upstart Wi-Fi vendors could potentially pilfer certain enterprise business segments from wireless network operators, according to a new report from Analysys. Well, maybe.
AT&T's iPhone Sales Disappoint Stockholders -- EVERYBODY PANIC!
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
AT&T yesterday reported robust early sales for the iPhone -- but not robust enough. Investors expected more, and the price of Apple stock dropped as a result. But the figures represent a single datapoint, with no bearing on the long-term outlook for the iPhone.

Make Your Own iPhone From Paper Or Sand
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
Like to have an iPhone of your own, but think they're too expensive? You can wait until the price comes down. (We'll call this the "less desirable" or "not crazy") option. Or you can do as these hobbyists have done and make your own, from paper or from sand.

CDI, PIM and MDM: Confusion Prevails
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
A comment on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Customer Data Hubs from our own Brain Food Blogger served, inadvertently, to highlight the confusion that prevails in the CDI/PIM/MDM space. That's particularly unfortunate, because one simple mathematical equation could set the confusion to rest. First, here's the equation: {CDI, PIM} Subset {MDM}. In other words, customer data integration and product information management are both subsets of master data management.
Microsoft Office 2003 SP3 May Be Here Soon
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
Be on the lookout for a free upgrade to Office 2003 in the form of another service pack.
Helio Launches Support For Exchange
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
The forward-thinking MVNO has added the ability to retrieve email from Microsoft Exchange to its Ocean messaging device. The free 60-day beta trial is available immediately to Helio subscribers and will run $9.99 per month for All-In members after the trial expires. Is Helio trying to court the enterprise?
Social Networking And Employment
Commentary  |  7/25/2007  | 
Intel Quad-Core Xeon MP To Fuel Blade Server Consolidation
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
Let's admit that most of us are interested in quad-core processors because they're buzzworthy, and because we'd all like to own a really hot desktop PC. The truth is, where quad is really important is in servers, and that's why today's announcement by Intel of its Xeon 7300 Series MP processor (aka Tigerton) is so significant.
How To Bust A Fake Software Ring
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
Search's Dirty Money
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
Dirty money is a quaint concept because it's hard to imagine any other kind. Money is literally dirty -- some 18% of coins harbor pathogens, according to a 1998 study by Shirley Lowe, an assistant professor at the University of California -- and many great fortunes were made out of less-than-honorable work.
And The Mobile-Phone Leader Is ... Luxembourg?!
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
The OECD Communications Outlook 2007 is now out, and available for reading online. It has a wealth of useful telecom statistics, including the numbers of mobile-phone subscribers in the 30 OECD countries. The country with the highest penetration rate is (drum roll, please) Luxembourg, believe it or not, with 157.3 mobile subscribers for every 100 people.
What's The Difference Between A CIO And A CTO?
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
I mean, besides that middle letter. Or is that the only difference?
Where Is 'Above The Fold' In A Web 2.0 World?
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
Blogger Milissa Tarquini at Boxes and Arrows questions the nature of the so-called "fold" in a Web 2.0 world. Tarquini asks a really great question: Where is the fold?
Marc Andreessen's Next Big Thing? Cover Your Eyes
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
Now that Hewlett-Packard is buying Opsware for $1.65 billion (some $138 million of which goes into his pocket), Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen will be devoting more time to Ning, a Web startup for creating your own social networks. My first visit to the site was an eye opener -- as in, I couldn't believe what I saw there.
Verizon Wireless Subscribers Send 10 Billion SMSs In June, Probably Have Carpal Tunnel
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
My thumbs hurt just thinking about it. While I am sure the bulk of those text messages were sent by teenagers, I contributed my fair share. The 10 billion figure represents a 100% increase in the amount of SMS traffic since September 2006. So, do you think text messaging has finally caught on?
Americans Use The Mobile Web For Weather While Europeans Prefer Sports Scores
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
When it comes to using the mobile Web, Americans prefer to use their smartphones to check the weather while Europeans opt to keep up with sports scores. That's according to the latest mobile Web data from researcher M:Metrics.
Sprint Donating Smartphones For Wireless Electronic Prescription Program
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
Does your physician still use a pad and pen to write out prescriptions? Mine actually uses a tablet PC, and has a wireless system in place to send prescriptions directly to my pharmacy. Sprint and Allscript's new initiative doesn't quite go that far, but it comes pretty close by using Windows Mobile
Are We Moving to 'Platform as a Service?'
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
What's the new buzzword? It's Platform as a Service, or PaaS. Salesforce.com is promoting its Apex platform as a PaaS, something that goes well beyond the notion of a SaaS and that has the potential to change the game in how we consume all IT resources, not just applications... Core to the PaaS notion are a few major components: Development, deployment, integration, design, storage, and operations.
YouTube's Reign of Terror
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
The next leader of the free world may have stood on stage at The Citadel last night, but the real power in the room was YouTube. Politicians are terrified of the video sharing site. How else to explain their participation in a 90-minute YouTube infomercial masquerading as a debate?
Meeting Manifesto
Commentary  |  7/24/2007  | 
Join Us In Second Life For A Geek Meet Presentation On Virtual Architecture
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
Tuesday morning's Geek Meet in Second Life will be special for two reasons: First, the subject: Keystone Bouchard will speak on virtual architecture -- how design principles in the virtual world will evolve to be be different from real-world architecture.

Blindness To Perceptions Of Average User Is Real Linux Handicap
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
I've beaten up on Linux in a couple of recent posts, arguing that there are too many distros and that it's a myth that Linux is technically superior to Windows. From the 300+ responses I received, a new thread emerges: Linux supporters seem more interested in preaching to the converted than in doing the hard work
Where Will Businesses Look For Help With Mobile Device Management?
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
According to a new survey, use of mobile business applications in top enterprises is set to skyrocket through 2009. The survey, sponsored by a vendor (in this case Mformation), claims that almost 60 percent of managers in top U.S. enterprises already use smartphones as strategic devices. But does this mean CIOs will actually pay for more mobile device management?
25 Days With An iPhone
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
Like our reviewer John Welch, I've been living with the iPhone since it first came out, so I was very eager to read his in-depth review of the device "Review: Two Weeks With An iPhone," which was a follow-up to my earlier iPhone review, written after living with the device for just one weekend.

The Promise Of Data Warehousing Made Easy
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
Is it possible to build a multi-terabyte data warehouse in less than an hour? That's the pitch made by two-year-old Dataupia, which today revealed partnerships with AMD, Informatica, and a dozen other tech companies. But if it sounds too good to be true, well, you know.
What's Linux Gonna Cost You?
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
If there's one thing about Linux that everyone, even detractors, must admit is a good thing, it's the price tag. Linux is free -- free to download, free to run on as many PCs as you like, free to modify as needed and redistribute under similar conditions. This doesn't mean it's not going to cost you anything, though.
Will Automation Be An IT Job Killer?
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
We've shared ways that U.S. IT pros are planning their careers with one eye on offshoring as a risk factor. We haven't spent enough time on the automation risk. Today's news of Hewlett-Packard buying Opsware for $1.6 billion cash shows how a lot of companies will look to automation to cut IT people, regardless of where in the worl
iPhone Unfairly Blamed For Network Hiccups
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
Along with Investor's Business Daily, the Associated Press, and several dozen other journalists, I got suckered late last week by reports that the Wi-Fi network at Duke University had been overwhelmed by iPhones automatically seeking an Internet connection. Turns out that the problem lay not in the iPhone but
Dark Linings In Those Municipal Wi-Fi Clouds
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
More news that the already controversial municipal Wi-Fi projects are getting bogged down by technical, administrative, and political challenges came in the form of reports that the Wireless Silicon Valley project is in big trouble.
Offshore 101 for SMEs
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
As a small or mid-sized enterprise, you simply do not have the kind of leverage on offshore service providers as the GEs and Citis. But just because you aren't spending $20 million annually on offshore services doesn't mean that you have no options... Fortunately, there are ways to get the kind of attention and service you need even if you're a relatively "low-ticket" spender.
Research: Chinese Beginning To Love Smartphones
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
According to a new report from In-Stat, smartphones are about to become the new it device over in China. In-Stat attributes the upsurge in smartphone use to a host of factors, including the availability of third-party applications. The funny thing is, most Chinese users don't give a whit about the operating system, or productivity.
VideoJug: Video With Veracity
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
It's a lot of fun to catch the latest user videos on YouTube, but you can never be certain about the verisimilitude of the information you're getting. A new site called VideoJug is determined to become the expert version of YouTube -- a place where you can find how-to videos from various experts for everything from etiquette to eBay to earthquake survival.
Microsoft Gets No Kick From Vista
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
Fifty-one billion dollars is a number so big it's hard to get your mind around -- a number-of-galaxies-in-the-sky number, a Halliburton-no-bid-contract number. Still, I'm willing to believe Microsoft took in that much in its just-ended fiscal year. But Microsoft says that huge number was in some way helped by "solid customer acceptance" of Vista? Come on, I wasn't born yesterday.
Linux For Writers
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
Mitch Wagner's post about writer's tools for the Mac got me thinking about whether or not similar things exist for Linux. Like Mitch, I'm also an aspiring fiction writer (emphasis on the "aspiring") and after some digging I found entire distributions devoted to writers and writing.
It's Over. Amp'd To Sell Assets, Cease Operations
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
As of tomorrow, Amp'd Mobile will be no more. It failed to find anyone willing to fund its debt and will begin selling its assets in pieces within the next week. Rather than play "Taps," I think we should fire up Jimi Hendrix's version of the "Star Spangled Banner" in honor of Amp'd's passing.
The BI Gap in Moore's Law, SOA and DB Performance
Commentary  |  7/23/2007  | 
Here is the rub. SOA and the standards that go around it were not invented for BI. It's one thing to ship a url or a 141-digit credit card transaction string or even 50k of XML around the network, but SOAP was not designed to handle shipping a 10 GB result set from one service to another. The whole idea of loosely coupled begs the question, "Where is the data?"
Forget Harry Potter: Books We'd Really Like To See
Commentary  |  7/20/2007  | 
Can you tell a book by its cover? In a post-literate society, the wrapper's beside the point. Indeed, if the prerelease Web leak of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" proved anything, it's that a little bit of content is king (or wizard). Whether most people actually read complete books anymore is a separate question.
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