Commentary
Content posted in July 2008
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SharePoint Licensing Confusion Abounds
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
Most customers don't understand Microsoft licensing in general and SharePoint licensing specifically. In fact, most customers are pretty confused by the dizzying array of options... In particular, some customers got a nasty shock when they realized the (potentially expensive) difference between an Enterprise Agreement and an Enterprise License in MOSS.
Time Management Tips From an Inspiring Source
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
Former Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Dr. Randy Pausch lost his valiant battle with pancreatic cancer on Friday. But Pausch left behind a timeless legacy that emphasizes living life to its fullest -- and for Pausch an essential element of that approach involved employing time management skills.
EV Certificates Enhance The Bottom Line, Not Trust
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
VeriSign has been very active in beating the Extended Validation certificate drum. I just have a real problem with EV certificates being sold as "better" than regular EV certificates. EV certificates don't change the security features of the resulting SSL connection. The green or red address bar doesn't tell us whether a Web site is trustworthy or not. But the green bar adds greenback to you
An Open Letter To Apple And AT&T: Why Did You Brick My First-Generation iPhone?
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
Anyone who upgraded from a first-generation iPhone to the iPhone 3G had to sync the new hardware with iTunes in order to finalize the activation process. By so doing, you effectively killed the cellular radio in the first-generation iPhone. Sure, the 1G iPhone can play media, browse the Web via Wi-Fi and access the Apps Store, but it can't make phone calls. What gave Apple and AT&T the right to disable my $600 piece of property?
Five Key Questions About the IBM-ILog Deal
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
With apologies to Gertrude Stein, there's not enough "there" there in the business rules management system market, what with only a handful of players, but yesterday's announcement by IBM that it will acquire ILog will certainly spark aftershocks. I came across a few particularly keen questions from a former industry insider...
Did You Know That iPhone 3G Has a User's Manual?
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
When you look inside the box from a new Apple iPhone 3G, you'll find a handset, a cleaning cloth, an AC adapter, a USB cable, ear buds, and a warranty document. What you won't find is an owner's manual. But there is one!
Sony Bundles Spare Backup With New PCs
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
From the good news/bad news desk Sony has joined Packard-Bell (they still buy them in Europe) to bundle Spare Backup's agent and online backup service with every PC they sell. On the good news front this means more of the fashonistas that buy Sony PCs at retail will backup their data online.
EMC Drops MozyPro Server Prices
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
In an e-mail to Mozy resellers, EMC this week announced that it was dropping the price for server backups via MozyPro from the $1.75 per GB per month level they reached in February (see Previous Blog Entry) to 50 cents per GB per month, curiously the same amount it was charging before the price hike earlier this year. Server coverage is still $6.95 a month for each protected server, up from the $3.95 pri
BlackBerry Users Can Save Gas By Using Local Shopping Application From Slifter
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
If you're desperately in need of a new pair of shoes and don't know where the closest shoe store is, the location-aware shopping application from Slifter will tell you. It also will tell you exactly where they are in stock, so you don't waste gas driving to three different stores to find the right size.
An Open Source Software Police?
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
I'm still sorting through the last bits of my OSCON trip notes, but one striking conversation I had was with Byrne Reese of SixApart about people who violate the end-user licensing of for-pay editions of OSS apps. Do we sic the open source cops on them? I'd like to think not.

iPhone 2.0 Outrage Tearing Up Apple Discussion Boards
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
On the heels of the MobileMe meltdown, it's now appearing that Apple's iPhone 2.0 software update is meeting with, er, more support issues than one would have expected. In fact, the outcry on Apple's own discussion boards has reached a crescendo, with numerous unhappy iPhone customers complaining that they're getting no comfort from Cupertino. Here's what they're saying.
The Mainframe Redux
Commentary  |  7/29/2008  | 
Like triumphant rock musicians who have never heard of Ravel and Satie, there are many successful Unix and Windows programmers in our profession with no experience of mainframes. Sadder still, they are convinced that mainframing is dead, and in any case irrelevant to our modern practice.

Looking At Open Source CMS Market Share
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
Lots of factors go into choosing an open source content management system: ease-of-use, compatibility with existing systems, support options, user communities, functionality. And while you don't want the selection process to turn into a popularity contest, knowing what systems are building critical mass and increasing (or decreasing) in popularity can be helpful.
MWg Zinc II Reviewed, Unlocked WM6.1 For $749?
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
MGw is a brand new device company that first introduced its new handset, the Zinc II, at the Mobius 2008 event a while back. It's a SIM-unlocked Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 device that's now available in the U.S. for a staggering $749.95.
Memo To Ballmer: Microsoft Doesn't Control Its Own Destiny
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
Last week, a Steve Ballmer memo leaked out. The main point of the memo was to announce the departure of platforms and services chief Kevin Johnson. However, other points in the memo caught my attention.
Michael Dell Revives Smartphone Rumor
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
In a recent interview, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell alluded that the company is exploring the idea of crafting its own smartphone. While he didn't provide any specific details, the comments revive one of the oldest rumors in the technology blogosphere.
Knol Rules!
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
Cuil Runs Too Hot On Opening Day
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
The creators of Cuil have garnered a good bit of buzz today with their new search engine that sifts through 120 billion Web pages, reportedly three times the number Google searches. Now if only the Cuil folks can find a way to ensure that their search engine performs while under pressure.
Fewer Deaf Ears: HP's Noise Ratings for Office Servers
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
In a small office, there's no escaping a server's noise. In the previous noise-related posting we looked at entry-level servers from Fujitsu and Dell that should not drown out conversation, with decibels outputs of 32 and 38 decibels, respectively. This time we'll look at Hewlett-Packard servers.
OSCON, Pt. 5.0: Sam Ramji's Wonderful, Terrible Job
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
There's a part of me that thinks Sam Ramji, director of Microsoft's Open Source Lab, has the worst imaginable job at Microsoft. But he doesn't see it that way: Where other people would see such a position as being crushed between two wholly opposed forces (Microsoft and open source), Sam sees it as a way to build a bridge that didn't exist before -- and maybe to transform Microsoft all the more from within.

IBM's ILog Deal Shakes Up Rules Market
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
IBM today announced that it plans to acquire ILog, an unquestionable leader in the business rules engine marketplace. The acquisition comes at a time when ILog seemed to be faltering, with declining profitability and reliance on a troubled financial sector, but there's no doubting the deal's tremendous value to IBM and customers.
BlackBerry Bold Gets A Black Eye, Delayed Again
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
Research In Motion's next-generation BlackBerry, the Bold, was announced in May and set for a July launch on AT&T's network. Then it was pushed to August. Now it appears that the new smartphone won't be available until September.
Is Cuil Too Cool For School, Or Does It Still Need To Learn Some Lessons From Google?
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
This morning a band of ex-Google employees launched a competitive search offering called Cuil (pronounced cool). Cuil has indexed about 120 billion Web pages, which is approximately one-eighth of Google's claimed 1 trillion indexed pages. Just how useful is Cuil?
Apple Mans Up To MobileMe Mess
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
Will MobileMe mail users be mollified by Apple's just-updated status page, which gives a progress report on how the Mac maker is recovering from the meltdown? Mmmm. Judging by the comments I received in response to my post last week, What's Behind Apple's MobileMe Meltdown, I wouldn't bet the iPod Touch on it.
A Voice For Smaller Businesses
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
Running a smaller business is all about being flexible, available, and often trying to appear larger than you actually are. One of the ways to achieve that is with a speech-enabled auto-attendant: that slightly disembodied voice that can direct callers, make your calls and read e-mail, among other things. Those systems are usually expensive but Active Voice just came out with Active Voice SPEAK which is designed for small and midsize businesses -- in its ease of set up, use, and, most significan
Requirements Gathering: Don't Be Naïve
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
Whenever the subject of business requirements for data warehousing and BI comes up, I try to bite my tongue because it's always at a time in the project when expectations are high and people are hopeful. I hate to rain on their parade, but this is one of those areas where best practices are often worst practices.
Java Real-Time System v2.1 Released
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
SOA Patterns: Chapter 2 for Free Download
Commentary  |  7/28/2008  | 
DZone recently published an interview with me on my  SOA Pattterns book. Along with the interview you can also download Chapter 2 of the book (I think you need to be a DZone member to actually download it).

 

The Pastebin, Evolved
Commentary  |  7/27/2008  | 
Pastebins are a simple tool for sharing code snippets for public viewing. They've existed seemingly forever and are incredibly popular in IRC (you do still use IRC, right?) where they're used to paste larger amounts of code for discussion, analysis, and debugging. In return for your text, you're given a nicely formatted syntax highlighted page whose URL you can paste into the channel. Typical examples include pastebin.com,
Office Open XML Converter for Mac Office 2004: Better Than Nothing
Commentary  |  7/26/2008  | 
Microsoft Office 2004 users can now finally read and write Excel, Word and PowerPoint documents in the new Office Open XML file format. The new XML-based file format was introduced with Microsoft Office 2007 for Windows, and Office 2004 users were out of luck reading documents in that format.
A parable about undefined behavior
Commentary  |  7/26/2008  | 
Mobile Set To Revitalize Local Newspaper Business?
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
It's no secret the local newspaper industry is failing, with readers dropping print versions for a more digital means of staying up to date with local news. Among efforts to revive the dying industry is an initiative on behalf of Verve Wireless to pump local news through mobile devices to provide a new medium for local outlets to boost their readership and subsequent ad revenue.
Yahoo And Zimbra: Walking The Line Between 'Killer App' And 'Endangered Species'
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
Yahoo is clearly gunning for big game with its next-generation Webmail technology Before the company bags an elephant, however, it will have to avoid blowing off its own foot.
Google Index Reaches 1 Trillion URLs
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
Three years after Google declared that its index was three times larger than any other search engine and then declined to cite a specific number to support that claim, it was widely believed that Google had tired of index one-upmanship and that it would no longer be measuring its index.
Open Text Rounds Out Offerings With Strategic Acquisitions, Partnerships
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
Open Text has had a busy couple of months, with certifications, partnerships, and a couple of acquisitions to round out its already robust enterprise content management (ECM) product offerings. These will serve to extend their reach internationally, as well as bolstering the functionality of its flagship ECM Suite.
AT&T Paranoid About Xohm/Clearwire Merger, Cries To FCC
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
It may have been out of the headlines the last few weeks, but out of sight does not mean out of mind for AT&T when it comes to the merger between Sprint's Xohm WiMax service and Clearwire. It recently filed a petition with the FCC trying to block the merger in what would be a serious competitive threat to its own 3G network.
The View From Google Knol
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
Google's answer to the Wikipedia encyclopedia, Google Knol (short for Knowledge), launched earlier this week to some fanfare, at least from cash-strapped authors and other subject-matter experts.
Windows Memory Has Physical, Design, and Marketing Limitations
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
Mark Russinovich is one of Microsoft's best technical people, and he shows that every time he makes a blog post. This week he has a great post about the maximum supported memory in different versions of Windows. I thought I knew this story pretty well by now, but learned several new things about the limits--and the interesting reasons behind them.
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