Commentary
Content posted in July 2008
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OSCON, Pt. 4.2: openSUSE's Eleventh Hour (And Twelfth, And Thirteenth...)
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
Aside from having one of the niftier names in the industry, Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier has a pretty nifty job, too: He's the openSUSE Community Manager at Novell, where he oversees the folks that help make what will ultimately turn into the next version of SUSE Linux Enterprise. I grabbed a few minutes of his time to follow up on things I'd talked to him about back at the Red Hat Summit.

Memo To Forrester: Vista Is Not The Problem
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
Everyone's atwitter (not that Twitter) about the new "enterprise trends" report from Forrester Research, which stuck the shiv in Microsoft's virtual back by comparing Vista to "new Coke." Wrong; Vista is actually like Sprite -- it's a decent alternative to Windows XP, though not to everyone's taste.
OSCON Pt. 4.1: SourceForge's CCA Awards & Ross Turk: Everyone's A Winner
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
Even if two of my pet projects didn't garner any awards in the SourceForge.Net 2008 Community Choice Awards, it was still a thrill to hang out at Portland, Ore.'s superstylish Jupiter Hotel and see everyone from one of Microsoft's open source guys, Sam Ramji, to SourceForge community manager Ross Turk himself take the stage.

Customer Service, the Web 2.0 Way
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
Are you still not convinced that using Web 2.0 tools to get in touch with your customers is incredibly effective? Check out Comcast's "digital care manager" whose sole job is to troll the Web responding to negative comments about the company. Yes, Comcast is a large enterprise but what this guy is doing is something your smaller business could do on a smaller scale.
Gmail Adds Easy Email Encryption
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
E-mail can be a major security headache. That's why corporations take pains to ensure that their sensitive e-mails are protected. Sometimes that means using encryption. Gmail users always get encryption protection when signing in, but now it's easier to encrypt messages and everything else, too.
Two Years to Integrate DatAllegro? I Doubt It
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
Talking to Fausto Ybarra, Microsoft's director of SQL Server product management, I certainly didn't get the idea that the integration of DatAllegro's software for shared-nothing, massively parallel processing (MPP) with Microsoft SQL Server will take an eternity... Stuart Frost and independent Curt Monash also say it's a "straigtforward" proposition, and I believe them.
Apple Seeds iPhone Firmware 2.1 To Developers, Includes Better GPS Support (And Hopefully Bug Fixes)
Commentary  |  7/25/2008  | 
It appears that iPhone application developers have been given access to a new version of the firmware for the Apple device. Among the changes readily found in the system software is a new Core location feature, which could power turn-by-turn directions. But what about eradicating all those nasty bugs?
iPhone For The Rich, Android For The Rest Of Us?
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
ReadWriteWeb outlined an interesting interview with Nicolas Gramlich, founder of AndDev.org, an Android development community, who stated a rather controversial sentence: "Android is for the masses, iPhone is for the rich." Whether you believe the validity of Mr. Gramlich's statement or not, it's hard to deny the facts that help support his view.
Two More Views of the Microsoft-DATAllegro Deal
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
I learned of the Microsoft-DATAllegro deal from DATAllegro e-mail sent at 12:57 pm EDT on July 24. Ten hours later, I thought I'd see what others had to say. The search for views was more illuminating than any additional analyses I found. Take a look... if you don't mind snarky blog articles —
Content Migrations: Not For The Faint Of Heart
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
A number of bloggers in the content management community have been buzzing about why Oracle recently migrated its internal and external blogs to Movable Type instead of one of its own tools. It's a fair question, but the migration is understandable, as Movable Type is a solid platform, and well-suited to the type of work they are doing. But I'm interested in a more pragmatic question: How did Oracle manage to migrate all of that content?
Zune Phone Rumors Heat Up Again
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
That Zune tattoo guy may want to want to reconsider getting rid of the logo, as, once again, the rumor mills have Microsoft working on a Zune phone.
Beyond Server Farms In The Sky
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
In a previous entry, I wrote about how weeks of outages had forced Twitter, the popular microblogging site, to scale back on service features in an effort to keep its servers from going down.
You Think You Have Problems?
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
Despite cuts to both capital and operating budgets, the CIO of Oakland County, Mich., is bullish on the prospects of keeping his IT group efficient and serving his customers effectively.
The "Consumerization" Of Business Intelligence
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
You might think that business intelligence is the last software category to be affected by the trend toward consumer technology eclipsing its business equivalents. But according to the CEO of BI vendor QlikTech, it's already happening.
OSCON Pt. 3.2: OpenOffice.Org's 'Meaningless' Community Manager
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
Right after my chat with Zack of MySQL, I sat down with Louis Suarez-Potts, the community manager for OpenOffice.org -- a project that's probably every bit as important to Sun as MySQL, if not more so. Our conversation rambled a bit (he's a Philip K. Dick fan, same as me), but I was able to touch on the most important things on my mind -- and the first thing I learned was that Louis's job description is, in his words, "m
Down To Business: The Mind-Set Of The Indian IT Exec
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
After a week of meetings with a few dozen locals in three Indian cities, a clearer picture emerges.
DATAllegro? Is Microsoft Buying the Wrong Company?
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
My first thought on learning of Microsoft's plan to acquire DW appliance vendor DATAllegro is that MS is buying the wrong company. Yes, DATAllegro's parallelized database technology will fill a big gap in Microsoft's DW product line, namely that SQL Server doesn't scale to the top end, but the technology isn't compatible. It's Dataupia that would, without disruption, close the gap. No, this deal is about gutting DATAllegro. Look at the details —
Will In-Flight Web Access Save The Airline Industry?
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
This will almost certainly go down as the worst year in the history of the U.S. airline industry. Buffeted by high fuel costs, the airlines are canceling flights -- and losing money -- in record numbers. But there's a glimmer of hope in providing in-flight Web access to passengers.
Verizon Wireless Kills Off The Palm Treo 755p
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
Well, that was a short-lived affair. Verizon Wireless has announced it is phasing out the Palm Treo 755p. Verizon only began selling the 755p several months ago, and apparently now favors the younger, hipper Centro to serve as its sole offering running the Palm platform. I can just barely make out "Taps" in the distance.
What the Microsoft-DatAllegro Deal Means for Customers, Vendors and BI
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
By acquiring DatAllegro, Microsoft is filling a performance and scalability gap that has kept them from consideration in larger data warehouse deals... Regardless of any roadmap, the acquisition won't affect SQLServer users for at least two years... It will be hard to compete with Microsoft's deep pockets and a 100 percent SQLServer-compatible database...
Mobile Social Networking A Big Fat Failure So Far?
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
Despite the online popularity of Web sites such as MySpace and Facebook, a recent study shows that 93% of mobile users fail to access their social networking sites from their mobile phones. I fall into the small percentage of people who use their mobile phones for social networking pretty much every day. Why is such a small minority networking from their phones?
OSCON, Pt. 3.1: MySQL's Day In The Sun
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
On Wednesday I sat down at OSCON with a slew of people from Sun Microsystems to talk about key parts of their empire, both new and old. First up was Zack Urlocker of MySQL (whom I'd observed at the Monday Participate 08 panel), one of the newest additions to the Sun galaxy, and an acquisition that's caused a great deal of worry amongst existing MySQL users.

Google Hosts More Malware Than Anyone Else
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
Security firm Sophos has been poking around the Internet on the hunt for malware and found out that Google's Blogger service is the world's No. 1 repository for the evil code. Some 2% of all malware can be found on Google's servers. Google, time to clean house.
Failed Startup Recounts Its Mistakes
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
Angel investor Roger Ehrenberg has provided a frank assessment of what went wrong at Monitor110, a Web-based information service for hedge fund traders that closed down a few days ago. Many startups fail, but few are this candid about their mistakes.
3G iPhone Suffering From Network Woes
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
Apple forums pages are full of complaints from users who are having network problems with their 3G iPhones. They are not alone. My 3G iPhone rarely is able to connect to AT&T's 3G network, and instead of switching back to EDGE, will give me a "No Service" indicator, rendering the phone useless. Apple, AT&T, what's going on here?
MicroStrategy Previews Next Release
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
I attended MicroStrategy's Business Intelligence Symposium this week in New York and sat in on a preview of what promises to be a blockbuster release this fall. The headliner in MicroStrategy 9 will certainly be in-memory analysis capabilities. MicroStrategy isn't pioneering here... but successful delivery will put pressure on the few vendors that have yet to deliver this technology.
"Smaller - Cooler - Faster" Meets "Carry Small, Live Large"
Commentary  |  7/24/2008  | 
bMighty.com doesn't usually cover new chips and stuff, mostly because that kind of technology doesn't have an immediate impact on small and midsize companies. But when I heard not one but TWO awesome new marketing phrases in a single press briefing, I was hooked. And besides, Intel promises its new smart System on Chip (SoC) designs will accelerate some important trends that could benefit bMighty readers.
iPhone Sets The Stage For Google's Mobile Ad Business
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
The iPhone has set the standard for future mobile Web browsing, and it's exactly what Google has been waiting for; an opportunity to extend its lucrative full-Web advertising business into the realm of mobile.
DAT/DDS The Tape Format That Will Not Die
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
After an absence of five or six years, and two generations, DDS trademark owner Sony is rejoining HP in supporting the seventh generation of DDS/DAT drives, DAT320, targeted at the SMB market. DAT320, like HP's DAT160s, abandons the Digital Auto Tape cartridge, and its 4-mm-wide tape, using 8-mm tape in a two reel cartridge instead.
Where For Art Thou Sidekick?
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Documentum ECM Suite 6.5 Delivers Solid Web 2.0 Features
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
It's good news all around from EMC this week, with the one-two punch of strong second quarter earnings and the release of the feature-packed Documentum Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Suite Version 6.5.
Google + Digg?
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Google is about to acquire Digg, or so says Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.
ZipClip Makes It Easy To Bring Web Content To Phones
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Transferring content to your mobile phone can be a pain sometimes, but a new application is hoping to change that. ZipClip is a handy little free app that can get content from the Web to your phone.
Server Noise Issue Is Falling On Deaf Ears
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
True, typically nobody sits in front of a serverbut that doesn't mean that server ergonomics can be ignored, especially fan noise. In a small office, there is no escaping that noise. But there is little evidence that the vendors take the issue seriously.
OSCON, Pt. 2.3: Jim Zemlin's Outlook Is Cloudy (In A Good Way)
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Wednesday morning at OSCON I sat down with Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation, who I'd also checked out at the mobile Linux panel on Monday and had sat down with at the Red Hat Summit earlier this year. He's a terrifically engaging talker, and regaled me with tidbits about his current Linux-oriented fascinations: cloud computing and the mobile Linux market.

How Often Do You Meet With The CEO?
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Less often than last year, report many CIOs. Is that a good thing or a bad thing in terms of how seriously IT is taken as a business partner?
The Crowd Will Judge The Best PowerPoint Presentation
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
For modern business, the presentation has reached iconic status: we celebrate, debate, and decorate presentations -- elevate them to iconic status. Hyperbole? Perhaps, but how many contests do you see for spreadsheets or word processing? Flickering, projected images haunt our collective business conscious as we mouth the words "next slide" in unison. If you haven't thrown your latest, greatest presentation into the ring, you best hurry: the entry window for the World's Best Presentation Contest
EMC Pursues SharePoint And Web 2.0
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
The newest Documentum platform emphasizes collaboration, and also offers new tools to help manage information compliance.
At Comic-Con, No Tintin Mania
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Today is the first day of Comic-Con, the huge San Diego geekfest that celebrates superheroes, starship troopers, and the fanboys who love them. And while this is not a golden age for comics themselves, never has the comics world had more to celebrate, commercially.
Early Review Of The Unreleased BlackBerry KickStart Appears
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Since the clamshell KickStart from Research In Motion isn't ready for prime time yet, I think it's a bit premature to give it such an extended review, but the addicts at CrackBerry.com disagree. They've given the unreleased phone a thorough look-see. What do the editors over there think?
Business Objects, SAP Support Lessons Learned
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
One week later it seems the support situation at Business Objects is settling down... The main reasons for moving ahead aggressively with the migration to the SAP support platform are partially cost related but are primarily because it's "light years ahead of the support capabilities Business Objects had in place."
Network Management Vendor or Social Networking Supplier?
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Consumer trends, such as social networking sites, are having an impact on the network management market. While it does promote its network management software, one vendor is also trying to make itself into a destination spot for IT executives.
Google's Knol Finally Goes Public. A Wikipedia Killer?
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Anyone remember this? Google first announced Knol, a user-generated, online encyclopedia, back in December 2007. It's been in hibernation since then, as it spooled up its design, added content, and otherwise coalesced. Well, today it finally went live, albeit with only several hundred articles. Can it really take on Wikipedia?
Valuable H-1B Workers Alberta-Bound As Congress Fiddles
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Lawmakers in the Canadian province of Alberta are cashing in on the United States' failure to enact a rational immigration policy for skilled workers -- they're recruiting H-1B visa holders whose permits are about to expire.
OSCON, Pt. 2.2: Participate 08 (Sponsored By ... Microsoft?)
Commentary  |  7/23/2008  | 
Let's rewind a bit. My Monday afternoon at OSCON 2008 was taken up by "Participate 08," a Microsoft-sponsored discussion panel chaired by a whole panoply of folks -- including, yes, an open source liaison from Microsoft. The whole thing was neither a "corporate apologia" (as one wag put it from the audience) nor a pile-on where Microsoft got the worst of it. Their approach was only one of a diversity of perspectives, and sometimes not even the most eyebrow-raising.

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