Open Sources, Open Notebook: Why Oracle Should Worry
Will open source databases make incursions into Oracle? Not likely. That's the view that extends far outside the circular towers of the Oracle campus. Consider, then, the experience of Jason Weiss, software architect at national florist supplier FTD. He thinks Oracle should be worried. Actually, he said, "terrified."
Whole Lotta Shaking Going On at Visual Sciences
If you're a Visual Sciences customer (i.e., HBX and Visual Site analytics, Publish CMS, or the former Atomz Search), you'd have to be a bit concerned by yesterday's report that the company is actively considering "unsolicited inquiries" to be acquired... the company's earnings failed to meet its earlier guidance, despite top-line revenue growth.
Is Amp'd Mobile's Gig Coming To An End?
According to AP reports, Verizon Wireless is really ready to pull the plug on MVNO partner Amp'd this time. Verizon says Amp'd is using $370,000 worth of Verizon's services every day and that Amp'd will have just $9,000 in the bank by Monday. Time to dial Amp'd down to "0"?
Video: Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' Re-Created In 3-D In Second Life
This hauntingly beautiful video shows construction of a 3-D re-creation of the famous painting by Vincent Van Gogh. The soundtrack is the lovely "Starry, Starry Night," by Don McLean. I think everybody will like this video, but you can appreciate it a little more if you've actually done some building in Second Life.
Read Gartner's Take on Customer Data Hubs
One indication that the customer data integration (CDI) space isn't a very mature is that there are only 11 vendors in Gartner's just-released Magic Quadrant. Another indication is that just two vendors, IBM and Oracle, are in the "leaders" quadrant. Two other vendors, Initiate Systems and Siperian, are within striking distance in the "visionaries" quadrant, but most vendors are stuck down in the lower-left, "niche player" quadrant.
Rich Internet Apps Offline: What a Concept
For the two past weeks I've been on a working vacation in Montana, where dial-up Internet access is all there is. No DSL and mountains block satellite connection. A good place to experiment with Rich Internet Applications (RIA) that need to be functional when disconnected from the Internet... I have been cultivating the garden of Google Gears... the browser plug-in intended to enable running Web apps offline.
Are There Really Too Many Linux Distros?
How are Linux distributions like digital cameras? It sounds like a joke on the order of, "What's the difference between a compulsive gambler and a revolving door?" (Answer: The revolving door knows when to stop.) But the more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that Linux distros are as varied as digital cameras, and for some of the same reasons.
How to Get Rich in Software
From time to time, CEO's and founders and even venture capitalists ask me for my opinion about how to do this or that, and I always respond the same way: "I've never earned a dime running a software company, why would you ask me?" And it's true. I have the utmost respect for the entrepreneurs and managers who build something from nothing and have the attention span to attend to the details. I can't do that.
Too Many Linux Distros Make For Open Source Mess
Remember the 1980s worries about how the "forking" of Unix could hurt that operating system's chances for adoption? That was nothing compared to the mess we've got today with Linux, where upwards of 300 distributions vie for the attention of computer users seeking an alternative to Windows.
Gartner, Open Source, and Microsoft
I received Gartner e-mail this week marketing their up-coming open-source summit. Analysts will explain the heretofore anti-establishment open-source movement, albeit without the help of representatives of the communities that lend open source its power and vibrancy. The message contains gems that help further illuminate Gartner's perspective on open source and the larger IT world...
MicroStrategy and the BI Breadth vs. Depth Debate
While much of the BI market has been busy expanding its solution breadth - acquiring or developing performance management capabilities - one vendor that has stayed focus exclusively on the BI front-end has been MicroStrategy... The company maintains that there is still a lot of work to be done to solve hard problems in the traditional BI space... problems such as impact analysis and regression testing.
Google Finds Mobile Search More Challenging Than Expected
According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, Google is working on a search service designed to help consumers find mobile content such as ringtones, games, and other paid content. But the project isn't going that well. It looks like Google has discovered mobile search is tough.
Meet The New Boss
Yesterday AT&T said it is ramping up and expanding its bundled landline-plus-wireless service -- known as the Unity Plan, which sounds like the latest Iraq strategy from the Bush White House -- to add more rollover minutes and decrease the service requirements on the plan. That sounds great, but a quick look at the week's news indicates that "the new AT&T" looks a lot like the old Ma Bell in terms of crapp
Book Review: IT Manager Battles The Undead In The Atrocity Archive
You don't have many IT-manager action heroes in science fiction. Sure, you have a lot of hackers, breaking into networks and subverting authority. But not a lot of science-fiction heroes save the universe in between staff meetings, working the help desk, and rebooting the file server.
Networking Startup, Of Cisco Lineage, Nears Launch
XKL, led by Cisco Systems co-founder Len Bosack, is a few weeks from formal launch. The Redmond, Wash., company will bring to market fiber optic networking gear for business networks. It has been a long, long time in coming.
Protecting The Enterprise From Your Own Employees
Mobile employees can be a pain in the neck. Whether it's preventing unauthorized use of thumb drives to take files home at night, or keeping tech-savvy workers from skirting network policies, keeping the rank and file in line while online can be a headache. But it doesn't have to be.
Microsoft Looks to Win the SaaS War on Price
Microsoft is gunning for Salesforce.com and plans to declare a price war with a lower subscription price. Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM is Microsoft's answer to on-demand CRM, and subscription rates will be $44-$59 per user, per month... Microsoft may have an upper hand, long-term, because of its sheer size, but price won't be how it wins the war.
CIO Closes Data Barn Door
A year ago, Ohio University suffered an embarrassing incident of comprised personal data. Now the CIO brought in to clean up the mess is articulating the measures he's taking to beef up network security. They sound familiar.
Adding Value Beyond 'Free'
Spiceworks' customer base has more than tripled since the beginning of the year, from 30,000 to 100,000 users, a testament to the promise of ad-supported software. Its next challenge: Going from free to indispensable.
Why Do You Need Third-Party Software Just To Turn Off Your iMac Display?
Turning down or off the display isn't just a matter of saving energy for Mother Earth. It is also necessary to produce a condition known to interior designers as "darkness." And the iMac, for some reason, lacks that most simple of hardware amenities: An on-off switch that controls just the display.
There's A Linux Distro For Every User -- And Vice Versa
One common question I get asked about Linux, typically by people who are not themselves users of the operating system, is "What kinds of people use Linux?" The conventional wisdom among non-techies is that Linux is strictly for pros or the tech-geek set. But from what I've gathered, today's Linux users actually break down into four categories.
Overseas Cell Phone Users: More Numerous--And More Courteous
Sitting in a London theatre last week waiting for the curtain to rise, we were startled to hear the loudest cell phone ringtone we'd ever heard broadcast over the theatre's loudspeaker--quickly followed by another, then another, then another until there was a virtual cacophony of conflicting bells, whistles, snippets of Europop and Beethoven echoing through the hall.
Twitter As Business Tool
It was only a matter of time until bloggers and technologists began touting Twitter as a business tool. I can hear you already: How on earth can a blogging tool that restricts users to only 140 characters be useful for business? The answer is easy: Twitter is a communications tool. If your business needs to communicate, then it needs to Twitter.