Does Privacy Matter?
Donald Leka, CEO of New York-based TransMedia, maker of the Glide online media sharing and storage service, believes consumers care about privacy.
Why Does Microsoft Get Smacked For Doing The Right Thing?
Microsoft endorses a third-party software product that helps customers "create a secure, auditable, and compliant enterprise environment" -- that's a good thing, right? Not so fast! A colleague of mine says that, conversely, it's simply another wacky chapter in what he calls the ongoing "Through The Looking Glass" saga of Windows Vista.
SaaS, Mashups, And The End Run On IT Departments
In its early days, one of the hottest selling points for software as a service was "you know, you don't really need your IT department to do this." SaaS vendors have to be more subtle these days. But end-user mashup tools could raise some of the same questions of how much end users should do without IT's help.
Blocking The Ad Blockers: Formula For Success?
A Web site owner is protesting a Firefox plug-in, Adblock Plus, that blocks advertisements. He's doing it by blocking all Firefox users from his site, whether they're running Firefox or not. It's a gutsy move. As Microsoft with its Windows Genuine Advantage screw-up this weekend reminds us, nothing builds relationships with your customers quite like giving the impression you're calling them al
5 Keys To Social Networking Success
Investors are flocking to fund social networking startups. How can you identify a good investment? Here are five key characteristics, backed up with real-world examples.
Most Small Businesses Are Security Over-Confident
That's what a new study says, anyway -- 80 percent of small to midsize businesses don't block (or, by implication, monitor) employee use of computers for file-sharing or use of USB devices, three-quarters allow unfettered Instant Messenging, nearly half don't even have spyware controls installed, and a staggering percentage don't regularly update what security software they do have. Yet most feel confident that their companies are protected.
Time to Think of HP in Networking, Not Computer, Terms
Looking for a high-performance, low cost Ethernet switch. Chances are names like Cisco, Nortel, 3Com and Extreme Networks pop into your mind when you start your search. Yet, the hottest company in the switch area is none of these companies; it is Hewlett-Packard, which sells the ProCurve product line. Surprised, surprise, surprise.
A Clean New Internet?
Sometimes, when things aren't going your way, the best way to handle things is to simply walk away. At least, that's the philosophy being followed by the Japanese communications ministry, which apparently intends to build a new Internet.
Of BI, Crème Brulee and Chocolate Mousse
Just back from vacation in France and was wowed by something unexpected: BI for waiters! When the waiter showed up to take our order, he wielded a kind of pen-computing/Palm device, not a pad of paper. I had never seen this before - at least not in NYC-area restaurants. At my enthusiasm, the waiter proudly declared "C'est nouveau!"… "it's new!" Imagine the possibilities: When I order mousse au chocolat and it's sold out, the waiter can proactively recommend an available alternative - cr
Coming to Your Cell Phone: Ink-free Printing
Remember the tantalizing promise of the paperless office? I'll believe it when I take delivery of the personal jetpack I've been waiting for since childhood*. But the idea of an inkless printer is almost as close as my next mobile phone.
Did Apple Hurt Its Loyal Customers? Or Bravely Resist Software Bloat?
Computer users complain continuously about software bloat, so you'd think we'd applaud a vendor's efforts to simplify and slim down a popular application. That's what Apple did with iMovie '08 -- but it's got some of Apple's most loyal users squawking that Apple turned a once-powerful application into crippleware.
Going Green Is Big Business - Not Small Business
It seems counterintuitive, but apparently corporate America, not small and midsize companies, is leading business efforts toward environmentalism.
So says Kevin A. Fletcher at GreenBiz.com, citing all the typical barriers like lack of time, resources, funds, and staff, not to mention green expertise.
Where's the Beef in Acer's Gateway PC Buy?
Like the Wendy's customer asked way back when: where's the beef in today's $710 million takeover of Gateway by Taiwanese computer maker Acer?
Sure, the deal makes Acer the number 3 PC-maker in the world, pushing past mainland China's Lenovo (which got that big by swallowing IBM's PC business). I just don't think it's likely to have an immediate impact on small and midsize computer buyers.
Shred up those papers and that trash! Or crooks can grab your business cash! And identities, trade secrets and anything else that's not micro-shredded or broken down into its component atoms.
Mobile Control For Small Fleets
Lots of smaller companies have trucks, too.
That's where Alltel's new FieldMasterPro service comes in. Designed for Windows Mobile smartphones, the subscription-based service helps smaller companies better manage their field service organizations.
Study Slams Google's SaaS-Delivered Office Automation
This article reports on a new Burton Group study warding larger enterprises away from Google's SaaS-delivered office automation solution: "'At just $50 a year per user, Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE) hosted office productivity suite could be one of the cheapest mistakes a large business makes.' That's one of the conclusions of a study by the Burton Group, which said GAPE... lacks strong regulatory compliance features and poor administrative tools for user accounts.
Aggregate Knowledge Aims To Be A Mind Reader On The Web
Having jumped into the market for Web "discovery" technology last December, Aggregate Knowledge is getting closer to general availability of three new services. Founded by the same guys behind social networking site Tribe.net -- the assets of which were acquired by Cisco in March -- Aggregate Knowledge promises to help companies get the most appropriate products and content in front of Web site visitors.
There's Still Room On The Web For Small E-Tailers
It may seem that the giant online retailers have the search engines all locked up and that there's no way smaller companies can get noticed on the Web.
But a new study suggests that most of the top 100 e-tailers still don't quite get search engine optimization (SEO), and their failings leave room for other players to gain market attention.
Microsoft Endorses A Fix For Something It Insists Isn't A Problem
Vista's User Account Controls prompts are something almost everybody loves to hate. Microsoft has steadfastly maintained that they're a feature that improves the product. But this week, "Microsoft has taken the very unusual step of endorsing another company's product that fixes a problem in its own operating system." The "Through the Looking Glass" saga of Vista continues.
Host Google Ads, Boost Your Page Rank
I've been puzzling out a technique, used by sites that machine-aggregate content, that may boost pages' Google rankings. The aggregators stuff their pages with (Google) ads and contextually similar - albeit just similar enough - content. All that pseudo-content surely moves them up the Google rankings. How else to explain the success of the bottom-feeders who exploit others' content in order to sell ads?
Craigslist: King Of The Hiring Heap
You probably already know this, but Craigslist has got to be the greatest gift to hiring managers since the invention of the resume.
Large, rich enterprises may fool around hiring headhunters and using the big job boards, but leaner, more cost-conscious companies can do remarkably well with Craiglist -- especially when looking for tech-savvy workers.
But be warned, while Craigslist has great reach, you get all kinds of candidates.
What Orkut Really Needs
Google's software engineers report that they've been busy giving Orkut, the company's social networking service, a face-lift. But perhaps what the site really needs is a new name for the U.S market.
It's true that short, memorable domain names are hard to come by, but if ever there was a Google product in need of re-branding, it's Orkut.
Advice On Building A Better Password
We're always hearing that we need stronger passwords, but many people don't know how to craft a better, stronger password or they simply don't take the time to come up with some crazy complex string that they have no chance of remembering.
I was just talking with someone who gave me some great advice.
Why Waiting On An iPhone Deal In Europe Hurts Apple
So now France Telecom, parent company of Orange France, has gone from "Non non" to "Oui oui" on talks with Apple about becoming one of the European carriers for the red-hot iPhone once it (finally) makes its way to the Continent. Leaving aside for the moment the question of which operator(s) will get the privilege of offering the 365-Euro touch-screen wonder, here are three reasons that the long
IBM Employees Might Strike...In Second Life
IBM, like other businesses, plunged into Second Life partly in search of a new profit stream. I bet it never considered employees would use Second Life to strike the company.
Jonathan 'Marketing Weenie' Schwartz Offers Lessons For Would-Be Exec Bloggers
Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz is being filleted and fried on his own blog right now for changing Sun's ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA. The 277 comments include such subtle insight as "you're a marketing weenie." Name-calling aside, Schwartz provides a good test for an internal blog: Would employees rise to challenge a boss' idea like this? If not, is it worth anyone's time?
CIO As Outsourcing Expert
In the ongoing discussion of the expertise necessary to succeed as a CIO, let's not overlook knowledge and experience in handling multiple -- perhaps overlapping -- outsourcing relationships. For some companies, that's the prerequisite.
Weathering The Weather
Watch the news coverage of the Midwest floods and the toll they've taken on families, homes and holdings, and you can't avoid hearing -- and often -- from flood victims who discovered that their insurance didn't cover flood or landslide/mudslide damage. It's no great leap to extend those personal stories to small and mid-size business stories. How covered are you when a natural disaster strikes your business?