Commentary
Content posted in August 2007
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Is Yahoo Working On A Cell Phone?
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Earlier this week Michael Arrington at TechCrunch dropped a bombshell that has yet to be explained: Yahoo is supposedly working on a cell phone.
Why Is Wall Street Punishing Clearwire?
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
It would be unethical of me to offer stock tips in this space, so I'll just phrase this as a question: Why is Wall Street hammering Clearwire Corp.? After reaching a high of $33.30 on July 19, the share price for the WiMax network startup has declined 37%. And on Tuesday the stock dropped 7% "on no news whatsoever," as The Motley Fool put it.
Down To Business: Manage Risk, But Don't Become Paralyzed By It
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
A company's life can depend on its ability to anticipate technological, financial, regulatory, and other big forks in the road, but heaven help us if we must spend all our waking hours thinking like actuaries and lawyers
Six Questions About The Google Phone
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
We're all waiting for the big news next week: Will Google finally announce the Google Phone? Well, I am ready for the Google Phone. In fact, I know exactly what I want to do with it when I first get my hands on one, assuming there actually will be a Google Phone. Here is my list of questions.
iPhone Impresses Europeans. Almost.
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Not all of them, obviously, but during my tip to London this week anyone within sight of my iPhone sidled up next to me quickly for a demonstration of how it worked. There were lots of oohs and aahs, quickly followed by bahs.
When Will Anyone Actually Watch Mobile TV?
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
With his post today, my colleague Eric Zeman raised a great question: Is anyone actually watching mobile TV? If by that he meant people watching video on their iPods, yes, I see many iPod users watching video. If, however, he meant people watching V CAST and other mobile TV services that stream over cellular networks...
Verizon Wireless Quietly Rolling Out More V CAST TV Markets
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Verizon Wireless launched its MediaFLO-based V CAST mobile TV services back in early March to two dozen or so markets across the United States. Today, Verizon added Corpus Christi, Texas, to the list of markets, which has swelled over the past few months to 37.
Where Are All The IT Jobs And People? Expand Your Horizons.
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
It's one of the great IT dichotomies of our time: Employers fret over a tech talent or labor shortage, while employees say jobs are as scarce as ever. Where's the disconnect?
Popover Hate
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Engadget managing editor Ryan Block struck a nerve yesterday when he posted a scathing attack on keyword popovers, such as those supplied by "IntelliTXT / Vibrant Media and like ad services whose entire business depends on polluting your content, confusing your audience, and tricking them into clicking on ads that just won't go away."
Letting Crazy People Set Intellectual-Property Policy
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Three stories in the news this week demonstrate that intellectual-property policy is set by crazy people. NBC is threatening to dump iTunes unless Apple violates the laws of nature. An organization of science fiction writers is sending willy-nilly takedown notices for property it doesn't control. And Viacom pirated a YouTube video, and then sent down a takedown notice against the video's real author.

Women In High Places -- Or Not
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Is the number of female CIO's diminishing? It certainly seems that way.
Your Business Is Ready For Viruses. Now, How About The Flu?
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
The Big Flu is coming. Many of your employees will be working from home, or not at all. How prepared is your company for this?
And the Winner of the Waiting Game is.Microsoft!!
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Hey, want to win a lawsuit even if you lose? Or better yet, want to get a verdict against you overturned even when it isn't? Just drag the original lawsuit out, oh, say about four years and when you lose in court file an appeal and let that drag on another four years. It worked like a charm for Microsoft.
The Lighter Side of Outsourcing
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Consumer confidence faltering in a sputtering economy, jobs continuing to move offshore at rapid pace… is this a time to laugh at outsourcing? Why not? As outsourcing vendors get increasingly sophisticated, and as corporate America gets increasingly greedy about the cost savings, here are a few glorious changes that we can look forward to.
Dear New IRS CIO: Admit Disastrous Failures And Outsource All IT
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
I haven't had a nice high-colonic IRS audit in a while, so what the heck: Of all the deep-seated horrors within the IT organization you now head, this is the killer: "60% of the IRS employees contacted by testers posing as help desk workers were talked into changing their computer passwords over the phone." A new CIO can't fix that -- but wholesale outsourcing
The IRS Gets A New CIO
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
If there's a CIO hot seat, it's got to be at the Internal Revenue Service. Who would want that job, anyway?
Five Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Vista Service Pack 1
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Having long taken the position that there are many things which need to be fixed in Vista, I'm happy to see Microsoft is at work on a beta of Service Pack 1 for Vista. On the other hand, an examination of Redmond's documentation reveals that there may some significant shortfalls when SP1 ships in early 2008.
Gear6 Aims To Speed Storage Access
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
For most applications, the storage industry is fairly adept at delivering requisite performance. All, that is, except for large data set processing. Think: Financial market modeling, or digital image rendering, or seismic analysis for the gas and oil industry. For these applications, thousands of servers churn away for days before the job is finished. And when there's a lot of data fetching, the speed of the storage system is critical, and in most cases, currently inadequate. Gear6 thinks it ca
Stonebraker Raises Vertica's DW Profile
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
I had a long briefing with database legend Michael Stonebraker today, and I feel compelled to share a few highlights of the conversation. Stonebraker is known as a visionary, and he has consistently turned those visions into long-term bets through commercial startups. Today's prediction? "Sooner or later, the entire data warehousing market is going to move to column-store solutions," Stonebraker asserts, column-store being the architectural basis of his latest venture, a startup called Vertica.
Another CIO Priority: Managing Uncertainty
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Management philosophers have held forth for years on the chief role of the chief information officer. We've been told that they must be adept at managing complexity and managing the ever-accelerating pace of change and even managing their bosses' expectations. Let's hurl another esoteric priority into the mix: managing uncertainty.
Microsoft Spooning BlackBerry? I Think Not
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
The ripple effects in the mobile and wireless market continue to spread, in ever more Byzantine ways. Today Reuters reports that "Research in Motion Ltd shares rose more than 3 percent on Thursday on renewed market speculation that Microsoft Corp could be interested in buying the BlackBerry maker." This according to one analyst would be "in response to Google's recent announcement that it is interested in ma
CIOs Uncensored: When It Comes To IT, Cool Is As Cool Does
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Sure, Steve Jobs is the King of Cool--but cool is as cool does.
Jaxtr's New Twist on VoIP
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Given the recent failure of SunRocket, and Vonage's lack of profits and patent problems, you might find it odd to see VCs pouring money into yet another VoIP company.
To Dream the Impossible Wi-Fi Dream
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
The efforts in certain cities to provide free Wi-fi access to all reminds me of the efforts to provide universal health care coverage in this country: Everyone agrees that it's a great idea; everyone knows that it would be beneficial to many; but a combination of politics and finances keep stalling those efforts. The latest Quixotic attempt to provide free Wi-fi access came in Chicago. The city wanted to create a citywide wireless Internet network but after less than two years of trying to get
Coming Soon To Theaters: The Return Of The Spectacular CIO
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Not long ago I interviewed Thomas Tull, the chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures -- the folks who helped bring the blockbuster 300 to movie screens this summer. His challenge for the movie business is nearly identical to a CIO's challenge.
Why An OS X-Based iPod Matters
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Last week, we wrote about reports that the upcoming new line of iPods would be based on OS X. Even as I wrote that, I was thinking, "So what? Why should the average iPod user care?" My colleague Antone Gonsalves provides the answer.

Symbian Gains Market Share Thanks To Japan
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Symbian reported a huge jump in the number of mobile phones shipping with its operating system on board. It claims the 52% increase is due to larger sales volumes in Japan.
Small and Medium Sized Businesses Embrace Linux Abroad
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Are SMBs in Europe and Australia more inclined to ask for Linux on the desktop than IT buyers in the US? What can you learn from this recent trend overseas?
Nokia Parties Up London
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
After the day-long confab called Go Play, Nokia hosted 400 journalists, analysts, customers and staffers at a big old bash at London's Ministry of Sound night club. Maroon 5 was rocking the house, and so were the beat mixers.
The Future of E-mail
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
With the emergence of so many communications options, does e-mail still make sense?
Are You Linked In Or Facing The Book?
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Lately, I've been getting two similar appeals in my business e-mail: from LinkedIn members wanting to add me as a connection, and from Facebook members adding me as a friend. So now I'm wondering: Which network should I actually take the time to cultivate?
Google To Follow Apple into the Cell Phone Market?
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
By Paul Korzeniowski Cell phones seem to be primary currency in todays high tech market. Now that the Apple iPhone buzz is dying down, reports are that Google, is about to become the next industry heavyweight to jump into the market. These vendors seem to think that cell phones are a good way to connect with the young, hip buyers who dictate which products are cool and which are pass
Microsoft Acquires Parlano
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
Office 2.0 Conference Next Week
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
End Nigh For Muni Wi-Fi?
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
The news this week -- EarthLink's retrenching, Chicago's decision to shelve (not "review," not "delay for more research," but "shelve" as in can, eighty-six, disavow all knowledge of) its prospective citywide network, and of course the usual posturing out of San Francisco -- would seem to indicate that it's difficult to divine signs of vit
EarthLink Muni Wi-Fi Head is History
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
As I reported earlier today, EarthLink CEO Rolla Huff says that his company is "not exiting" the municipal wireless business but will not invest in future projects unless the costs, and the risk, are spread across multiple stakeholders. That's a hollow claim. For evidence, take a look at this SEC filing, in which EarthLink spells out the "Costs Associated with Exit or Disposal Activities." At the bo
Will Google Announce A Linux-Powered Mobile Phone OS Next Week?
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
The Google Phone rumors are now in overdrive. Last week I blogged that Google could be preparing to launch the Google Phone in India. Since then more clues have floated to the surface.
Terrorism Hits Hyderabad: How Will CIOs Weigh The Risks?
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
Two terrorist bombings in the rapidly growing Indian IT city of Hyderabad have reportedly given some investors the jitters. For CIOs who've contracted with Hyderabad outsourcers, how serious is the risk?
Reports: Apple Announcing iPods Sept. 5, Mockup Photos Available
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
Looks like Apple is launching a new line of iPods next Wednesday, and bloggers are posting speculative mockup photos. They include a square nano -- nicknamed the "phatty" -- and another one that looks a lot like an iPhone. Read on for links to the photos, and more discussion of the announcement.

Survey: Consumers Want Companies To Guard Their Data
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
Or is it simply lip service? Because the letters that come to my lips are TJX.
iWork's Play for the Small Biz Desktop
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
"Productivity suite" used to mean one thing and one thing only: Microsoft Office. Word, Excel, Outlook, and Powerpoint. Love it or hate it, most of us use Office daily to grind out bargeloads of documents, spreadsheets, email, and presentations.
Angry Blogger Sends A Love Letter To Sprint
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has written what has to be one of the most scathing blog posts of 2007. The target of his ire: Everyone's favorite wireless carrier, Sprint.
Demo: Using The Nokia Music Store
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
I had the opportunity to take the new Nokia Music Store for a test drive. Will it be an iTunes challenger or an also-ran?
Open Text Keeps Up With Legal Sector
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendor Open Text recently announced that it will deliver a major upgrade to the acquired (ex-Hummingbird) eDocs technology for the Legal sector. Not earth-shattering, but important news nonetheless... It reaffirms Open Text's commitment to building on other repositories where sensible - in this case Microsoft - the platform that dominates Legal.
WebTrends Upgrade: The Price is Wrong!
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
What troubles me is how pricing based on "unique requirements" has become the standard operating procedure among the largest Web analytics firms - not just WebTrends. Perhaps this is just a reflection of a software space maturing and coming up with more enterprisey licensing models - "whatever you've got is what you'll pay" - but for you, the customer, this is not a good thing. I rarely meet a customer who completely understands their license or contract agreement.
Ovi Smokes! Nokia Breaks It Down
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
Today in London, Nokia unveiled a number of new handsets as well as revamped media services under the new brand name Ovi.
AMD Promises Rapid Ramp Of Barcelona Clock Speed To 2.3 GHz
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
There's been lots of chatter lately about problems AMD has had on the road to Barcelona, the quad-core processor it'll launch with great fanfare on Sept. 10. (That date ensures the story will have only a single day of prominence.) After talking to AMD, I've got some important news about Barcelona's clock speed.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You: If a Teen Wants in, They'll Get in
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
My first reaction when I read about the New Jersey teenager, George Hotz, who successfully freed his iPhone from AT&T and switched it to T-Mobile's network, was "that kid has way too much time on his hands."
How To Optimize Your Mobile Website For Search
Commentary  |  8/28/2007  | 
Welcome to Take 5, a regular feature on Over The Air where I inteview an industry insider about a pressing mobile or wireless topic. Today's guest, David Harper, is the founder of Winksite, a mobile application designed to make it easier to build mobile Websites. In this edition of Take 5, David and I discussed mobile search op


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