Commentary
Content posted in August 2006
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IT Confidential: Are You Experienced? Microsoft Might Want You
Commentary  |  8/31/2006  | 
If you notice an increase in Buicks on the Redmond campus, here's why.
Where Gutenberg Led, Google Follows
Commentary  |  8/31/2006  | 
When you've been in the tech business for more than a few years, you develop loyalties to certain companies, sites, and products. This is why when I saw the recent coverage of Google's new venture to offer free book downloads, I bristled. Most news stories about the service tout the revolutionary aspects of the project, which "makes it possible for people to store books on their computers and make copies" rat
Katrina's IT Legacy
Commentary  |  8/30/2006  | 
This week marks the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans. In case there was any danger of forgetting the ability of Mother Nature to wreak unspeakable havoc, she highlighted the date by bringing forth Hurricanes Ernesto and John.
Blogosphere Reacts To Google's Desktop Plans
Commentary  |  8/29/2006  | 
Google's announcement of a new Web-based application suite has been the buzz of the tech blogosphere these past two days.
Getting Smart About Smart Phones
Commentary  |  8/29/2006  | 
With the number of enterprise mobile data users expected to grow to 269 million by 2010, as forecasted by research firm Yankee Group, businesspeople will need reliable and functional mobile devices that can serve up everything they need while traveling. For this reason, smart phones are growing in popularity because they offer a choice of mobile operating systems and a range of applications they can support. Read on and take a poll to tell us which smart phones are most popular at your company.
IT Managers Appear To Be Everywhere
Commentary  |  8/29/2006  | 
Look around your IT department. Doesn't it seem that every other person is a manager? That feeling isn't too far-fetched. The number of IT managers in recent years is way up. In mid-2006, the government classified 390,000 IT professionals in the United States as managers, up 119,000, or 44%, from mid-2001.
SAS Move Into Indirect Sales Is An Indication Of Accelerating Change In The BI Industry
Commentary  |  8/28/2006  | 
This week's SAS Institute announcement that it will begin selling business intelligence software through value-added resellers is a sure sign that commoditization within the BI technology industry is accelerating and another round of consolidation may be imminent. SAS, which until now has almost exclusively sold its business intelligence and data analysis software directly to customers, will develop a VAR channel to reach small and midsized businesses--defined as those with sales of less than $
Windows Vista: The last Of Microsoft's Supersized Operating Systems?
Commentary  |  8/28/2006  | 
With Bill Gates on the way out, Microsoft's new chief software architect, Ray Ozzie, has big shoes to fill and an even bigger operating system to manage. Windows XP is in the neighborhood of 50 million lines of programming code, and Windows Vista will push that number higher by millions. The time is coming for Microsoft to reverse direction and pare back its mother lode of code.
How Google Might Fail
Commentary  |  8/25/2006  | 
Google's success has a downside--a lot of enemies. Beyond reflexive contrarians who hate Google because they enjoy swimming against the currents of popular culture, beyond governments around the world that prefer limited rather than universal information access, there are many businesses that feel threatened by the scope of Google's ambitions. Could Google really fail?
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  8/25/2006  | 
IT Confidential: Don't Apologize About Data Loss--Just Don't Do It
Commentary  |  8/25/2006  | 
Adequate data security means never having to say you're sorry.
Why I Wish I'd Brought My Laptop On Vacation
Commentary  |  8/25/2006  | 
I'm a vacation zealot--I'm all about unplugging, leaving the office behind. But this time, I took it too far.
Are Intel And IBM Cheating With Their Quad-Core Processors?
Commentary  |  8/24/2006  | 
Are companies like IBM and Intel "cheating" in using multichip module (MCM) packages to create the latest advancements in multicore processors? Or is insisting that those next-generation devices be manufactured using a single monolithic design such as those by Advanced Micro Devices just gamesmanship?
TV, TV Everywhere
Commentary  |  8/24/2006  | 
While editing this week's personal tech story about all the ways you can get video on your mobile device, I was surprised. I knew mobile TV was moving forward by leaps and bounds, but I had no idea there were so many different options available right now.
TV, TV Everywhere
Commentary  |  8/24/2006  | 
Eaten By The E-Mail Monster
Commentary  |  8/24/2006  | 
Ready, Set, Collaborate!
Commentary  |  8/24/2006  | 
Workaholic Lawsuits?! It's Time To Get A Grip
Commentary  |  8/24/2006  | 
So being the "Type A" person that I am, last night I just had to read a story posted on our site headlined, "Always Connected To The Office? [yup, that's me] Troubled Times Ahead." Intrigued, I read on and came to a screeching halt at this statement:
Eaten By The E-Mail Monster
Commentary  |  8/23/2006  | 
E-mail has gotten to be downright impossible. It causes so many problems--lost productivity, infrastructure costs, legal liability--that we should just get rid of it. It's a waste of time and resources, and it's just likely to get us all sued.

And yet we can't afford to get rid of it. It's what we use to stay in touch. If we didn't have e-mail, we'd be isolated from business communications.

Like the old barroom saying goes: Can't live with it. Can't live without it.

Perpetually Restructuring Sun May Have It Right This Time
Commentary  |  8/23/2006  | 
If you work as a reporter covering technology long enough, you begin to see that certain companies seem to remain in a perpetual state of recovery, reorganization, and rebirth. Sun Microsystems has been one of those businesses. I've lost count how many "new Sun" stories have been written by me and others over the past five or six years. However, revenue numbers published by IDC on Wednesday indicate that Sun
Quick Tip For Firefox Users: Deleting Incorrect Auto-Complete Entries
Commentary  |  8/23/2006  | 
One of the nicest things about modern browsers is that they can "remember" the text strings you type into certain kinds of Web-based forms. On the downside, they also remember your mistakes and typos, and sometimes this results in incorrect values being reused. My mission over the weekend: Find a way to get rid of the old values, without nuking the whole cache.
Tools Rule! Make Mine A Hammer, Please
Commentary  |  8/22/2006  | 
I'm thinking this can be an Olympic-style event at the next Black Hat. One recent year, I hear tell, some of the conference attendees headed out to the desert to skeet-shoot those discs a certain annoying Internet service provider insists on sending to 3 million of its closest friends.
U.S. A Middling Fourth In Top 10 Countries For Tech Worker Value
Commentary  |  8/22/2006  | 
Here's the scenario: You're in charge of technology for a U.S. multinational, and you need to roll up 1,000 computer programmers fast to support a new business initiative. Do you choose homegrown talent, or do you outsource to some far-flung continent? Based on industry data and conversations I've had with senior tech executives, I've compiled a subjective list of the top 10 countries, from first to worst, that are the best options for fulfilling your company's IT labor requirements.
Microsoft and Enterprise Web 2.0
Commentary  |  8/22/2006  | 
Laptops--Do We Really Need 'Em?
Commentary  |  8/21/2006  | 
In-Flight Internet Access: Although Much Wanted, Little Apparent Demand
Commentary  |  8/21/2006  | 
Many business travelers--and I'm one of them--spent the weekend scratching their heads over the inability of Boeing to make a go of its Connexion in-flight Internet access service.
Napster Redux: Music Publishers Take Aim At Web Sites For Copyright Infringement
Commentary  |  8/21/2006  | 
Here we go again. The music industry is targeting Web sites that allow users to share music. This time it's not recordings, but helpful hints on how to play the guitar.
Travel Restrictions: The Ripple Effect
Commentary  |  8/21/2006  | 
Ready For IM in the Contact Center?
Commentary  |  8/21/2006  | 
Laptops: Do We Really Need 'Em?
Commentary  |  8/18/2006  | 
Ask business travelers if they're willing to do without their laptop computers, and they'll say "No."

Unless they're from New York or Philadelphia, in which case the "no" is preceded by a string of expletives that'll blister the paint off a Chevy Camaro.

Business travelers believe they need their laptops to get work done on the road. Ask a business traveler which they'd prefer--cut off a hand or give up the laptop--and most business travelers would go for the hand. After all, t
IT Confidential: Three Bright Ideas For Those Blazing Batteries
Commentary  |  8/18/2006  | 
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Flaming laptops? Easy: Just add sticks and some marshmallows.
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  8/18/2006  | 
Community Feedback
Commentary  |  8/18/2006  | 
Laptops: Are We Forever Attached At The Hip?
Commentary  |  8/18/2006  | 
Countless travel and business plans have been thrown into disarray with the recent terror plot disruption. While the worst of the security clampdown may be over, now it looks like it was just a glimpse of things to come, and sooner or later, a lot of us may be traveling without our laptops. I don't know about you, but I can barely imagine hiking through Logan airport or O'Hare without that computer bag slun
Down To Business: Tell Us Your IT Disasters
Commentary  |  8/18/2006  | 
If the tech profession is to stop making the same mistakes, it must share its worst practices. We're all ears.
Taming The Wireless E-Mail Beast
Commentary  |  8/18/2006  | 
E-mail is said to be the No. 1 application used by office workers everywhere. But e-mail can also be the No. 1 headache for IT administrators, considering that large companies receive millions of e-mail messages a week, a topic that my colleague Paul McDougall and I explore in our upcoming "E-Mail Beast" feature. Now with wireless e-mail on the rise, companies have twice as many headaches. The good news is technology vendors are coming up with tools to make wireless e-mail more manageable.
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