Commentary
Content posted in July 2009
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Introducing The IT Management How-To Center
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
There comes a time in every company's growth when it becomes clear that the IT infrastructure - PCs, servers, storage, printers, e-mail, software, and much more - can no longer be managed on ad hoc basis.
Network Computing Is Back!
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
You read that right. Network Computing, the only IT magazine For IT, By IT is back with the first digital issue (registration required) on WAN optimization and application delivery in a virtualized data center.
Palm Pre Users Want Virtual Keyboard
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
It is as if Palm developed the Pre to be the antithesis of the iPhone in that it has a nice QWERTY keyboard, but in doing so, they left out any sort of virtual keyboard, and that can be just as frustrating as having a virtual but no physical keyboard.
Is Technology Killing The Corporation?
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
If you've had an uneasy feeling over the past decade or three that things are going to hell in a handbasket, there might be some empirical evidence to support you.
Business Travel … To A Telepresence Station
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
There's an interesting tidbit in one of our articles this week, where an IT pro talks about traveling to another city to use a Cisco telepresence station for a meeting with executives in India. Commuting to telecommute -- sounds like something we should expect more of.
Amazon Still Mum On Web Services Revenue
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
Financial analysts looking for details on Amazon Web Services in the second quarter were left unsatisfied yesterday. Amazon CFO Thomas Szkutak said AWS is growing "very nicely," but didn't provide any information on the size or growth rate of the company's cloud computing business.
Extra, Extra: Wall Street Uses Technology to Make Money
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
The New York Times today unmasked what it calls "high frequency trading" in a page-one story that paints a picture of big Wall Street firms taking unfair advantage with the aid of technology. The story is really about complex event processing, or CEP technology, something that has been operating behind the scenes on Wall Street for years.
Was Microsoft's Open Source Hand Forced?
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
The saga of Microsoft's contributions to the kernel just took another curious step. A key engineer with open source network-infrastructure company Vyatta indicated that Microsoft had no choice but to post the drivers as GPL. The implication is that they wouldn't have if no one had pointed it out to them.

Motorola Gets Serious About Android Development With MOTODEV
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
Word has been circulating for a long time that Motorola is seeking out Android developers. Today, hearsay becomes fact as Motorola announces MOTODEV, a new program for Android developers to work more closely with Motorola.
Google's Latitude For iPhone Is A FAIL On Many Levels
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
The Web burst into excitement yesterday when Google made its Latitude location-sharing service available for the iPhone. That excitement was short-lived, however, once users discovered the the "application" is limited to the iPhone's browser and isn't a stand-alone application at all. Turns out even the mighty Google will bow before Apple's demands.
Help Wanted! Rental-Car Firm Is Hiring 19 App-Dev Managers
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
Bucking the rotten employment news that's become commonplace these days, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group is looking to hire 19 applications-development specialists and managers by Sept. 1. The company is planning a face-to-face job fair and is also accepting applications online.
Is There Really Interest In Windows 7?
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
Sometimes it's hard to gauge whether or not a particular technology has real interest or just the native curiosity all IT professionals have when something is 'new'. In the case of Windows 7, the interest is real. InformationWeek Analytics launched a research survey this week on organizations plans for Windows 7. Typical research surveys get 500 respondents; folks that are genuinely interested in the topic, not just filling out the survey to win an IPod. How many have taken the time to revie
Garmin: We're Shipping the NÜvifone! No, Seriously
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
A full 18 months after it was first announced, it appears as though Garmin-Asus is finally ready to ship the nuvifone. In case you've forgotten all about it, the nÜvifone runs Linux and tightly integrates mapping and GPS features with those of a cell phone.
The Germans Love Laptop Linux. So Why Don't We?
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
In Germany, two of the top 10 best-selling laptops currently run Linux. What do these folks know that we don't?
Palm To Apple: Bring It! webOS 1.1 Fixes iTunes Sync On Pre
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Today Palm made webOS 1.1 available for the Palm Pre. The changelog is outrageous. There's only one new application, but most of the Pre's systems see major updates. Oh, and Palm fixed the Pre's ability to sync with iTunes.
An Opportunity For Windows 7
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal's gizmo guru, reviewed Windows 7 today and said it's the improvement over XP that Vista wasn't, and that it could be a dicey install for some consumers. Putting these two observations together could make for an opportunity.
How CIO Szygenda Helped GM Get Out Of The Fortune-Telling Business
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
As General Motors CIO Ralph Szygenda winds down his legendary career, he'll be remembered for many things: shifting the focus of his team from IT systems to cars and customers; consolidating a near-endless array of systems, applications, networks, and processes; using arbitrage to create a flexible network of third-party IT services; and more. But to me, the biggest impact he had was in helping make GM relevant again by changing it from a mediocre fortune-teller to a real-time global business.
AT&T CEO Admits It Won't Have The iPhone Forever
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
This week has seen the quarterly earnings reports from both Apple and AT&T -- partners in making and distributing the iPhone. The iPhone is clearly a hot seller, and AT&T knows the marriage can't (and won't) last forever.
Oracle Buys GoldenGate: Should Customers Be Concerned?
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Another independent gets taken over by the big boys. That's the good-for-Oracle, possibly bad-for-the-industry news today with Oracle's acquisition of GoldenGate Software, the San Francisco-based data integration, replication and synchronization vendor. Just what will become of GoldenGate's many technology-agnostic tools and industry partnerships?
Would You Be Happy If A Human Being Were Transcribing Your Voicemail?
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Spinvox has found itself amidst a scandal this week, as the BBC alleges that the company sometimes uses people -- not computers -- to transcribe voicemails from speech to text. This is disappointing, to say the least. Should you be concerned about your privacy?
SMB-Size Online Fileserver Comes To Mac
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
The collaboration and file sharing service NomaDesk, already available for Windows, is now available for the Mac as well. And a new iPhone extension enables file access and remote management.
How Google Could Stymie Apple
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Something few people could have foreseen is the impact that apps have on smartphone and feature phone sales; as the iPhone has demonstrated, apps really are the tail wagging the handheld dog.
Oracle Acquires GoldenGate To Bolster Data Integration
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Oracle has added real-time data-integration capabilities with the acquisition of privately held GoldenGate Software, enhancing its ability to ensure that vital business applications aren't disrupted during migrations and upgrades. The announcement confirms reports that we wrote about five weeks ago here in Global CIO.
Open-Source Apps Earn Software Security Seal Of Approval
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Two prominent open-source projects recently got a thumbs-up from Veracode, a company that applies a standards-based approach to software vulnerability testing.
What Computer Service Companies Know About The Equipment We Buy
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Not long ago, I had a fascinating conversation with David Yarborough, president of ComputerPlus Sales & Service. Unlike the rest of the world, he knows which technology products break, and which ones don't.
The Encryption Gap
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Things that make us say "hmmm" include these stats: The percentage of respondents to our 2009 Strategic Security Survey rating encrytion as effective in reducing risk dropped from 57% in 2008 to 48% in 2009. Use of disk, file and backup media encryption ALL fell year over year by at least five percentage points. Backup encryption usage is down 10 points.
Contractor's Widow Seeks $25 Million From Iraq
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
It's bad enough her husband was murdered outside Baghdad. Now, the widow of a contractor who provided IT and military hardware services for the reconstruction effort claims the Iraqi government stiffed the man's firm for $25 million.
Tips For Navigating The Managed-Services Ecosystem
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Want to make sure that your managed-service provider is on board for the long haul? Here are a few points to consider when making your choice.
What Microsoft's Open Source Gestures Really Mean
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
I've already commented on the meaning of Microsoft's contributions to the Linux kernel and releasing extensions for Moodle, but after going over what I wrote I thought some more analysis of the present and future of Microsoft's open source strategies are worth talking about. And no, pigs are still not flying, although they're getting mighty light-footed.

Apple's Investment Star Wanes As iPhone Its Only Growth Area
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
For five straight years, Apple's stock price has performed magnificently as Steve Jobs' company has created a series of brilliant products. But a Wall Street Journal columnist argues that with declining revenue for both iPods and Mac computers, Apple must now pin all its hopes on the iPhone's ability to slug it out in an "industry of mutual assured destruction."
TerreStar Satellite Test With Windows Mobile Phone
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
TerreStar has announced that they have successfully completed a call using mobile handsets with their recently launched satellite. How does a phone network sound that would be accessible from virtually anywhere?
Global CIO: Have Oracle & SAP Hit Tipping Point With 22% Fees?
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Alternative providers of support and maintenance services are winning over CIO hearts and wallets, but is this a real threat to SAP and Oracle or just a fad?
Resurrected! 7 Technologies That Won't Stay Dead
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
They're ba-a-a-ack! Despite being superseded and left for dead, a few hardy technologies keep springing back to life. Sometimes that's a good thing. Sometimes not so much...
Google Round-Up: Wave, Gmail, Docs
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
Here's a collection of blurbs about some Google goings-on that may not have gotten a lot of notice. Wave will soon be available for testers; Gmail will auto-unsubscribe users from mailing lists; and Docs sees more updates.
Please Stop Making Watch Phones
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
So, Samsung introduced the "world's thinnest" watch phone today, and it does have a ton of features. While there's some Dick Tracy-inspired appeal, I really don't think we need these types of phones.
Apple's Fiscal Results Reason For Confidence
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
The positive profit and revenue numbers reported by Apple yesterday are indications that the Mac market remains healthy, meaning that Mac-based businesses contemplating technology investments have less reason to question their commitment to the platform.
ReviewCam: CrowdSPRING's Creative Bazaar
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
I'm a sucker for anything I can try before I buy, so I am now officially a glutton for crowdSPRING, a suckling newborn (14 months) in the marketplace of, well, online marketplaces; and in this case, a marketplace for creative design talent which -- let's face it -- we all need at some point. LG recently used crowdSPRING to design a new mobile phone, giving away $80,000 in awards according to the company's co-founders.
Amazon Web Services Secrets Revealed
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
Amazon.com exercises tight control over information related to its cloud computing business, a source of frustration to anyone trying to get a complete picture of Amazon Web Services. So I went in search of information from other sources. Here's what I found.
'Meaningful Use' of E-Health Details Getting Worked Out
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
While the nation has been abuzz with healthcare reform talk lately, some big progress is being made on the healthcare IT front. The policy group advising the U.S. health department on the criteria healthcare providers must meet to qualify for more than $20 billion of stimulus rewards for using e-health systems has completed an important chunk of its work.
Are Wireless Network Operators Protecting Your Privacy? Nope. Verizon CEO Punk'd
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
All enterprises should be concerned with the security of the mobile devices their employees carry. Not only is sensitive work information stored on there, but so is personal information. At some point, however, others have to be trusted to provide secure services and protect enterprise and end-user information. One customer not satisfied with the way wireless companies are protecting -- or not protecting -- our data took his fight to the front lawn of Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg.
IBM Aids Returning Veterans
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
IBM has teamed up with American Corporate Partners to provide career development and mentoring services for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a laudable effort in its own right, and makes a lot of sense given the hi-tech nature of today's military.
Venture Capitalists Putting More Money Into Startups
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
Investments rose 15 percent in the second quarter of 2009, with IT earning the most VC dollars. But funding remains significantly low compared to previous years.
Twitter More Important Than The Web?
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
Twitter continues to change the way people do business, and more importantly, how customers relate to businesses. We've already seen large corporations like Comcast use Twitter to monitor what their customers think of them, but small companies can also use it to great effect.
Hilton Hotels CIO Tim Harvey Exits; Hilton Was #2 On IW500
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
Hilton EVP and CIO Tim Harvey has left the company one year after Hilton was recognized as #2 in the InformationWeek 500 ranking. Hilton didn't give a reason for Harvey's departure, which follows a decade-long tenure marked by promotions and industry recognition. Did the recent addition of responsibility for corporate shared services dilute Harvey's ability to focus on CIO leadership?
Red, White And Blue -- And Open
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
The group's name: Open Source for America. The group's mission: revolutionize the way we govern ourselves, from IT departments on outwards. Or at least just the IT departments.

HTC Adopting Qualcomm's BREW Platform, Ramping Up Android Mix
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
HTC is known chiefly for its Windows Mobile smartphones. It also happens to be the only company with Android handsets for sale at the moment. Why, then, would it dip its toes into the mass market by adopting Qualcomm's BREW platform?
Matt Mullenweg And Dries Buytaert Probably Separated At Birth
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
When it comes to open sourced content management platforms and their creators, there's no question about the celebrity status that WordPress and its young founder Matt Mullenweg have ascended to. If offered an opportunity to interview Mullenweg about some news, I'd undoubtedly jump on it. But when I was offered the chance to do the same with Dries Buytaert, my initial response was "Dries who?" Once I realized "Dries, the creator of Drupal," I didn't hesitate (podcast below).
Move Over Idol: It's the BI Bake Off
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
Standard procedure in BI tool selections are bake offs. Customers provide a list of, oh, 100 to 200 requirements, and vendors must prove they can support them. Only a lucky few make it to the final-round, proof-of-concept stage. It's a grueling process for customers and vendors alike, as fraught with tension as the American Idol elimination process.
Do Linux Benchmarks Have A Leg To Stand On?
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
A recent set of Linux distro benchmarks appears to show some surprising results. Yet it also shows the dangers of relying too heavily upon such benchmarks to make real-world technology decisions.
Mobile Miracle: How To Revive A Wet Cell Phone
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
So, your fancy new cell phone is dripping wet and dead as a doornail. What now?
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