Commentary
Content posted in August 2008
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More Mainframe Fun
Commentary  |  8/31/2008  | 
I recently "released" (he says in quotes because it's still sub-alpha, albeit functional) PigIron 0.3 Java Class Library for IBM VM SMAPI. I blogged previously about PigIron. Working on PigIron has made me refresh my view of mainframe programming resources.

Envycasts Advanced ActiveRecord Review
Commentary  |  8/31/2008  | 
DCT readers of my posts know how interested I am in the power of vidcasts, especially ones that fully engage the viewer. I recently received an invitation from Gregg Pollack of Envycasts, to check out their new Advanced ActiveRecord vidcast.  And the verdict is...
FIJI Fun - Still Crazy After All These Years
Commentary  |  8/31/2008  | 
In 2001 I posted the last public changes of my ForthIsh Java Interpreter to SourceForge. There was a lot of interest in Java interpreters at that time. FIJI was a pretty good cut but the arcaneness of addressing Java classes in RPN insured a manageably small user community, so to speak.

Jump ahead to this week when
Think Holistically
Commentary  |  8/31/2008  | 
Software architecture is not a three-layer diagram -- UI/Business logic/Data. As an architect, you need to consider the project/solution at hand from a lot of different angles and take care for all sorts of concerns from the technical, team, managerial, and event esoteric ones.
The Mobile Evolution
Commentary  |  8/30/2008  | 
Embrace Your Constraints: Code Contests
Commentary  |  8/30/2008  | 
Regardless of our background, programming language of choice, or political persuasion, most developers have at least one thing in common: we enjoy building things. As full-on members of the creative class, however, we're also likely to have a million ideas for useful gadgets, web services, and applications, but comparatively little time to execute on them. Sigh.

Fortunately, given modern web savvy tool sets, it's easier than ever to launch a website or application. In fact, yo
A Few Pithy Thoughts on Architecture
Commentary  |  8/30/2008  | 
"97 Things" - Architect Axioms
Commentary  |  8/30/2008  | 
I recently stumbled on "97 Things - Things every software architect should know" (via Bobby Woolf). This is a list of axioms for architects (which will eventually be a book by O'Reilly) edited by Richard Monson-Haefel. While I don't agree with all the axioms, and some, which I fe
Calling All Software Pirates
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Don't you just love it when someone comes after you while trying to convince you that they're on your side? Well, then you're going to really enjoy "Smart about Software: 2008 Software Strategies for Small Businesses, a new reference guide for small businesses from Small Business Administration (SBA) in partnership with the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
Twitter, Not Rock 'N' Roll, Saved My Soul
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
I'm getting lots of questions about whether Twitter and other microblogging sites can and should be used in the enterprise, to which I say, "Can you afford not to?"
BlackBerry Bold Delayed Again?
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Arg. If you believe the Boy Genius Report, it looks like the BlackBerry Bold will be delayed again in the United States until Oct. 2. If true, this is truly disappointing news.
Review: Verizon's V CAST With Rhapsody Music Service
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
I've spent the last few weeks taking Verizon Wireless's V CAST With Rhapsody music download service for a spin. It has some really great features and some really annoying features. Find out if the pros outweigh the cons.
Report: TXTRS SND 95.4B SMS MSGS IN 2008
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Thumbs of people the world over are getting some serious action. That action comes in the form of pecking out text messages on their cell phones. So far, 2008 is on pace to smash last year's numbers by a mile. Some of the figures being touted by VeriSign are just staggering. It sent more than 52 billion messages in the second quarter, up more than 20% from the first quarter for a total of 95.4 billion messages. People sure have a lot to say.
Busy Week For E-Discovery
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Three new product releases aimed at the electronic discovery market close out the last week of summer.
Open Source Culture Needs To Be Security Culture, Too
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
How to react to the news that an earlier flaw in Debian's random-number generator has been used to fuel an honest-to-Linus exploit, especially after yesterday's post? Welcome to the tip of the iceberg.

Content Management Help For Law Firms
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Lawyers need a little love from content management systems, too, and the recent product and partnership announcements from Open Text and Interwoven should fit the bill nicely.
BlackBerry Wins Versus Windows Mobile For Google Apps Mail
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
After a flawed experience with one of the first Windows Mobile-based Motorola Q's, Microsoft outfitted me with a Samsung SCH-i760 smartphone which, from an industrial design perspective, is one of the best designs for a smartphone I've ever experienced (more on that in a second). Unfortunately, integrating WinMobile 6.0's version of Outlook with Google Apps-based Gmail was so problematic that I gave up in favor of a company-furnished BlackBerry. Bla
Smaller Businesses Drive SaaS Growth In China
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Worldwide, the market for SaaS is projected to grow 25% annually and reach $19.3 billion by 2011. Much of the fuel for the growth comes from China, where the annual growth rate is pegged 33% and almost 20% of the total market ($3.8 billion). And in China, the SMBs are the growth engine -- 42 million of them contributed 60 % of GDP and by 2012 there will be 50 million.
Learning about Text Analytics
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
I spend a lot of time on teaching materials on text analytics: articles, presentations, and courses. I've gotten positive feedback about my introductory materials, which I designed for practitioners (like myself) rather than for academics or researchers. There are great resources out there — technical papers and white papers, case studies, software, etc. — but you have to get the basics down first...
Leaked Documents, Unintended Access: That's Also Life In The Cloud
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Running a business in the cloud, or even part of a business, is great for so many reasons: It's cheap (sometimes free), incredibly convenient, and simple. But life on your private little cloud can get unintentionally, and unknowingly, crowded with extra eyes if you're not very careful.
MapReduce: And You Were There
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
There's been a lot of buzz lately about Google's MapReduce framework for speeding up the processing of large datasets. It makes you wonder, did Google just dream this up in last couple years while all of the database vendors were sleeping? Or, paraphrasing Isaac Newton, were they standing on the shoulders of giants? The answer is, both.
Obama Nomination Spotlights 'Net Nation
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
We are all Internet Americans now. OK, Barack Obama actually didn't say that in his nomination-acceptance speech Thursday night. But he could have, because the great thing about this campaign is that you don't have to watch TV or consume the news when it's pushed down to you by big media. You can learn about the candidates when you want, how you want (for example, Obama's speech can be viewed here). All the more reason that it's incumbent upon y
Assertions in Production Code?
Commentary  |  8/29/2008  | 
Acquia Expands Its Commercial Drupal Private Beta
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
It appears that Acquia, the startup focused on releasing a commercial version of open source content management system Drupal, is moving briskly toward a full launch. Its private beta program has kicked into high gear this week with a new batch of invitations being given out at both Drupalcon Szeged and by TechCrunch. Going forward, Acquia plans to dole out about 100 new invi
Comcast Orders Extra-Large Customer Caps
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Yesterday, DSL Reports broke the news that Comcast is planning to implement a 250-GB monthly bandwidth limit, starting in October. All I can say is that it's about time.
Upcoming iPhone Software Update to Address Security Flaws
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
A locked iPhone isn't really locked -- not if you're running firmware 2.0.2 (the current version) or earlier. Apply promises to patch a newly discovered security flaw next month.
No Blueprint Yet For Private Clouds
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Many people don't like the concept of "private clouds," including my colleague John Foley and Sam Johnston ("The case against 'private clouds' "), since by definition cloud computing involves letting people plug into shared IT services in data centers that aren't their own. As oxymorons go, though, private cloud computing doesn't st
Your Views On Education: It's Everyone's Business
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Judging by the thoughtful e-mail I received, the responsibility for transforming teaching methods, academic curriculums, and delivery tools falls to us as a society, not just to the education establishment.
Breaking News: Google Announces Android Market, Tackles Apple
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Today Google announced its competitor to the iPhone Apps Store, the Android Market. The market will be a place where content developers can publish applications for Android phones, and Android users can go to discover and download them to their devices. Booyah!
Open Source Code Auditing By Design, Not Happenstance
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
If there's any one thing you hear said consistently about open source, it's the security benefits. My take: given how much we depend on software, we need to stop assuming open source = secure, and take steps to make sure that happens. Here's one idea how.

First Three Official Android Apps Outted?
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
The Android Guys are at it again. Someone clued them into what could be the first three applications that will be pre-loaded on phones running the Android platform. Unsurprisingly, all three were among the top 50 applications in the Android Developers Challenge.
Steve Jobs Is Alive
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
If you're a subscriber to Bloomberg newswire, you may have been worried about the status of Apple's CEO as the news company inadvertently published an incomplete obituary Wednesday afternoon. It quickly retracted the story, but it's still morbidly interesting to give it a read.
Server Benchmark Gamesmanship Is Perilous For The Players, But Good For The Buyers
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Last month, Fujitsu Computer Systems was able to boast that its server had achieved the best price-performance ratio on a Transaction Processing Performance Council (TCP) benchmark. Three weeks later, a Dell unit took the top spot. Watching the show may be dizzying, but it offers non-obvious advantages for server buyers.
Wells Fargo CIO: No Budget Cuts Yet
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Agreeing that the banking industry "is challenged from a financial perspective," the San Francisco firm's tech chief says demand for IT services is growing and the IT group sees itself as an equal partner within the organization -- and more than that.
IBM Spends $300 Million For 13 New DR Sites
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
With the biggest investment in disaster recovery and business continuity infrastructure since SunGard bought Comdisco's Availability Solutions business unit for $825 million in 2001, IBM has declared its intention to be a disaster recovery service provider worldwide. It is building 13 new "Business Resilience Centers" to expand its services beyond the mainframe-based services it is known for.
Google Toying With The Idea Of Letting Users Mess With Search Results
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
This one is sort of a head-scratcher. According to a report, Google is working on a new function that would allow users to change the ranking of search results, comment on them, and possibly even delete them. Couldn't that negate their usefulness? Not if you believe Google.
Why MapReduce Matters to SQL Data Warehousing
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Greenplum and Aster Data have both just announced the integration of MapReduce into their SQL MPP data warehouse products. So why do I think this could be a big deal? The short answer is "Because MapReduce offers dramatic performance gains in analytic application areas that still need great performance speed-up." The long answer goes something like this...
Outage At Microsoft's Office Live: That's Life In The Cloud
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Users of Microsoft's Office Live Small Business recently experienced a brief e-mail outage. I'm guessing they have a lot to talk about with users of Apple's MobileMe and Google's Gmail.
Biden's Record Is Inconsistent On Cyber-Rights Issues
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
Joe Biden has a mixed record on privacy and Internet civil liberties issues. He often votes with the FBI and media companies against consumers and citizens. He sponsored legislation designed to make it illegal to circumvent copy-protection -- even on content and devices you legally own. He also sought to weaken encryption, and introduce a bill like the controversial PATRIOT Act long before 9/11. But in other areas he's defended privacy and cyber-rights.
The Touchscreen BlackBerry Storm Emerges
Commentary  |  8/28/2008  | 
The BlackBerry Bold may have been released up in Canada last week, but it's the Storm that is really set to rock the smartphone boat. RIM's touchscreen darling is headed to Verizon Wireless in the very near future as a global device.
EMC Says Celerra NX4 Brings Enterprise Class Storage To SMBs
Commentary  |  8/27/2008  | 
According to EMC, small and midsize companies are clamoring for low-end storage products, so the company is trying to satisfy them.
Micosoft's SQL Strategy For Massive Data Sets
Commentary  |  8/27/2008  | 
Cloud computing service providers like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo are all hard at work on a new generation of parallel data processing tools that will make it easier for each company to store and analyze enormous data sets such as search logs and click streams.
Using A Wiki In Your Enterprise
Commentary  |  8/27/2008  | 
Although it seems that they've have gained more traction and attention over the past few years, growing a successful wiki in most organizations is still often a grassroots effort, driven by dedicated technologists and content providers.
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