Commentary
Content posted in August 2009
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New Survey Questions SMB Interest In Netbooks and Cloud Computing
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
The results of a new Spiceworks survey shows that while more than half of small and midsize companies are using some form of cloud computing, they're still showing caution about fully embracing the technology. And only 13% of SMBs say they plan to buy netbooks. All this as the Great Recession forces SMBs to hold on to computers longer and cut key projects.
GMIS Epilogue: DHS, DC, and The Merits of In-Person
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
Like every conference attendee, I was way too busy dealing with logistics to deal with most anything else. But now that I'm all unpacked, here are a few things of note that I left out of my conference blog, including advice from the Department of Homeland Security, cloudy goodness from Dmitry Kachaev of the District of Columbia, and why we might all want to be teleconference luddites.
Northrop Wrist-Slap: Yes, Virginia, There's A Santa Claus
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
Dear Boss: I know my project's 9 months late but you shouldn't fire me because Northrop Grumman is nine months late on its Virginia project but will still continue to get paid $190 million per year thru 2014, which you must admit is a tad more than I make for delivering similar results. With Virginia showering clemency on Northrop, how can you not do the same for me??
Will Kennedy's Death End Or Renew Push For Reform?
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
During his 47 industrious years in the U.S. Senate, Ted Kennedy championed more than 2,000 bills. Hundreds of them became law, including landmark healthcare legislation ranging from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 to the $20 billion health IT provisions of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
iPhone The Most Popular Internet Device At Wireless Cafes
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
According to a new report from JiWire, more people use iPhones to connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots than any other device. Those users stay connected for over an hour, and mostly visit social networking sites.
Fickle Carriers Now Want Stimulus Funds
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
The unqualified success of the first part of the government's broadband stimulus effort is forcing broadband carriers to change their tune.
Snow Leopard vs. Windows 7: Does It Matter?
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
As President Obama said, the media loves a ruckus. But should SMBs really care about the alleged Snow Leopard-Windows 7 throwdown? And is the OS where the real battle is anyway?
The Cloud Reality Is Setting In
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
A recent survey reveals that cloud computing fears regarding security, data management, total cost of ownership, regulatory and compliance issues, and vendor lock-in have actually increased...
USAirways And Barclays Send Creepy Credit-Card Message
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
A couple of friends and I recently met for beers at Slattery's and I paid the bill with a USAirways MasterCard from Barclays Bank. So imagine my surprise a couple days later when I got an email message from USAirways bearing the subject line, "How was Slattery's Midtown Pub?"
Verizon Said To Be A No-Show At Motorola's Android Event
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
On September 10, during a keynote address at the GigaOm conference in San Francisco, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha is expected to announce the company's first Android device(s). A Verizon representative has said that Verizon won't be attending and doesn't know what's being announced. This begs the question, which carrier is going to sell the to-be-announced device(s)?
Ad Copy For The Faithful
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
Last week's talk about FSF's "7 Sins" campaign made me think about the nature of such pro/con publicity efforts -- like Apple's PC/Mac ads, the "I'm a PC" ad. Are they designed to draw people into the fold, or keep people from leaving it?

Verizon Holding BlackBerry Storm Firesale, Storm 2 Release Date Leaked?
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
Verizon Wireless has dropped the price of the BlackBerry Storm to the low price of just $50. Sounds like Verizon wants to move some inventory. On top of that, a recently captured screenshot of Verizon's inventory system suggests that the BlackBerry Storm 2 will be available via Verizon WIreless's business channels as soon as September 29.
BP Outsourcing Cutbacks Set Trend For Multinationals
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
After seeing BP save an estimated $500 million by consolidating 40 outsourcers down to five, many other global corporations are looking into similar reductions to cut costs and reduce risk. "The next 12 months will see a fair number of deals triggered by vendor consolidation," says Gartner's research chief in India.
AT&T Rejects Two Motorola Android Phones
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
Android and AT&T just cannot seem to get together. Motorola was working on two phones for the carrier but AT&T just rejected the devices claiming they were out of date.
Building On The Government 2.0 Platform
Commentary  |  8/30/2009  | 
Tim O'Reilly is enthusiastic, and rightly so, about the promise of innovation in "Government 2.0," the concept of government serving as a platform from which new services and applications are made available to the public. So, if the government is a platform, how do businesses and other developers build on it?
Ford Swaps New Cars For Twitter Chatter
Commentary  |  8/30/2009  | 
Ford is seeding the U.S. market for the imminent introduction of its Fiesta model by giving Fiestas to 100 bloggers with a requirement that they upload Fiesta-related videos each month to YouTube and discuss their impressions of the car on Twitter, Facebook, and their blogs.
Global CIO: In The Age Of Facebook, IT Problems Become CIO Nightmares
Commentary  |  8/30/2009  | 
For unknown reasons, a vital software application isn't delivering mission-critical information, and the end-customers are screaming mad. And they're airing their complaints very publicly on Facebook.
Office Upgrades Are Not Summer Fun
Commentary  |  8/29/2009  | 
A friend of mine returned from vacation last week to find that her work PC had been upgraded from Office 2003 to Office 2007. Perhaps I should say that the IT department had attempted to upgrade it, because things weren't working right. All it took was a day of wasted time for her to get things limping along again.
Health Care Reform: Let's Fix The Technology First
Commentary  |  8/29/2009  | 
It seems these days you can't put on the TV without every channel discussing health care reform in the U.S. The more I think about it, I believe we are doing it wrong. We should begin by fixing the technology then layering the new plans otherwise we will be in the same situation we are in now in just a few years.
Is The Future Of Music Making It?
Commentary  |  8/29/2009  | 
Leading names in the entertainment and technology worlds met earlier this week to map out an immersive, intelligent, multimedia future for music. I'm not sure their visions are going to make it.
Amazon's Private Cloud: Virtually Private Or Maybe Private?
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
Amazon, purveyor of the EC2 public cloud, suddenly announced Aug. 26 it's a private cloud supplier. Isn't there something wrong with a multi-tenant, shared resource provider transforming itself into a private cloud service? I'm not sure Amazon can offer a private cloud --yet. Then again, I see no reason why it couldn't sometime in the future.
Microsoft's 'Secret' Google Bashing
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
Microsoft is conducting secret meetings to discuss ways to hobble Google, DailyFinance reports. Phrased in a less incendiary way, such as "Microsoft lobbyists are working to advance Microsoft's interests and blunt revenue threats from competitors," this hardly qualifies as news.
The Mobile Roundup
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
It's been a surprisingly busy week for the end of summer, as Apple inked a deal to get the iPhone in China, Nokia turned to Linux for the powerful N900, and Research In Motion made moves to get a
ReviewCam: Greenview Data's SaaS-based E-mail Archive
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
Used to be you'd send a snappy little e-mail, carbon copy your boss to cover your ass, and life was grand. I grew up on PROFS and then cc:Mail when we went to "store and forward" systems (whatever that meant). It was cute, a novelty, like Twitter but without all the vitriol. Now it's subpoena material, proof of your negligence, or maybe just your nonchalance. You write it and it lives forever, by law. From thus emerges companies like Greenview Data kee
Top 10 (Hidden) Reasons SMBs Should Go Virtual
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
On the eve of the VMworld event in San Francisco, VMware virtualization guru Joe Andrews wonders why so many small and medium-sized businesses still sitting on the virtual sidelines. And he coughs up ten lesser-known ways virtualization can help even smaller companies
Is Cell Phone Security A Virtual House Of Cards?
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
Mobile service providers insist there is nothing wrong with their security standards. Are they whistling past the digital graveyard?
RIM's BIS 2.8 Details Leak
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
A multitude of BlackBerry users rely on Research In Motion's BlackBerry Internet Services rather than the BlackBerry Enterprise Server to get their fix of push email and data services. BIS version 2.8 is on the horizon, and with it, a number of new features.
Speech to Text Coming To iPhone?
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
According to a patent filing, Apple is working on speech-to-text technology for its iPhone and iPod product lines. Speech recognition could be the holy grail for data entry and retrieval on mobile devices, especially as they continue to shrink in size.
Apple Identifies Snow Leopard Incompatibilities
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
In the wake of widespread concern about software that might be incompatible with Snow Leopard, Apple has posted a support page describing known incompatibilities and how Snow Leopard handles them. A few items of interest to SMBs are on the list, and the smart businessperson will make sure to wait for updates or be prepared for workarounds.
Minimally Invasive, Incremental Approach To EMRs
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
With the stimulus incentive deadline for adoption of e-healthcare records quickly approaching, rising healthcare costs, and the increasing need to access patient data at multiple locations, there's no doubt that most healthcare IT professionals and physicians are planning to quickly and cost effectively embrace EHR technology in their organizations.
GPS Can Save Drivers 4 Days Per Year, Cut CO2 By 21%
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
A new study coming from Navteq says that U.S. drivers who use GPS devices with real-time traffic updates enabled can save themselves from spending four days in the car per year. On top of that, it cuts down on CO2 omissions by a whopping 21%. Sounds like a slam dunk for any business that has vehicles.
The Free Software Foundation's Deadly Sins
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
After giving Vista a pummeling, the Free Software Foundation has turned to Windows 7's "sins" against computer users. And like their previous anti-Windows campaign, it misses the point. You can't improve your own lot by lowering everyone else's.

Apple: Exploding iPhones Not Our Fault
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
Apple has been investigating reports of exploding iPhones over in France. According to Apple, the phones in question broke as a result of "external pressure," not because they overheated and exploded.
Shadow IT: A Plague on Good Governance
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
One of my favorite technology terms is "Shadow IT." The term is not employed often enough, and its role in undermining good information management should be more widely broadcast, because Shadow IT represents a plague on content management.
Palm's Last Best Hope?
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
Palm, who arguably created the PDA market, had nearly vanished from existence compared to the onslaught of products from competitors, products which were running shiny new operating systems. The Pre launched to much fanfare in June on the Sprint network in the US. Now, nearly three months after it arrived, how is it performing as the platform and device to save Palm?
Does Apple's Snow Leopard Really Matter To SMBs?
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
This is a big week for the Apple Macintosh. The company is rolling out its big Snow Leopard Mac OS X upgrade, and of special interest to SMBs, the server version of Snow Leopard debuts as well. But how big a deal is the Macintosh world to SMBs anyway?
Massachusetts Data Privacy Law Delayed, Again
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
We predicted this eventuality here, in this blog, 6 months ago. The MA Data Privacy law, touted by some as the most far reaching in the nation, is too unwieldy for small businesses to follow. However, the law is getting watered down a bit, making it more palatable for small businesses.
Down To Business: Outsourcing's Next Big Thing
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
'Outcome-based' contracts are all the rage, but there's often a big gap between what CIOs say they want and what they're ready to do.
Accenture Extends 20-Year Relationship With BP: Update
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
In an extension of their 20-year relationship, Accenture "will be BP's strategic service provider for its SAP development work" and will "provide BP with information technology application-development services," an Accenture press release says. A report yesterday in Global CIO, based on unclear information from an IBM spokesman, misstated Accenture's role as a BP partner.
Google Grants Docs Translation Powers
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
If your enterprise is spread across more than one country or region, chances are your employees don't all necessarily speak the same language. In order to help facilitate communication, Google Docs can now translate documents to 42 different languages.
Job Seekers Flunk The Social Networking IQ Test
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
Want to scrape the muck out of your company's job applicant pool? Just head for your favorite social networking site.
Launch Pad is coming to San Francisco!
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
FCC To Put Wireless Corps On The Hot Seat
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
Today the Federal Communications Commission announced its decision to investigate the wireless industry. Under the gun will be the power held by the larger providers, truth-in-billing issues, and whether or not consumers have as much choice as they should.
A License War - Or At Least A Debate
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
Amidst the laundry list of links I get sent every day to paw through, FOSS Licences Wars was a standout. Despite the word "wars" in the title, it's actually less vitriolic than such a name would suggest. It's one guy's take on the whats, whys and should-Is of the different open source licenses.

Practical Analysis: 'I'd Rather Work Anywhere Else'
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
What beat-down, burned-out employees need is a belief that management has a vision for how things will be different.
Nokia Officially Bows Maemo 5 And N900 Tablet
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
Nokia confirmed speculation today that a new Internet Tablet is in the works. The new N900 carries forward the basic concept of the N800 and N810, but takes it a huge step forward by adding cellular radios (making it a phone) and giving it the powers of Maemo 5, the newest verison of Nokia's mobile Linux platform.
VMware CTO On Virtualizing Smartphones, And More
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
I recently spoke with VMware CTO Stephen Herrod, and what he had to say about virtualized desktops, "employee-owned" IT, and why it may make sense to put virtual desktops on an iPhone will make some CIOs uneasy--and some ecstatic.
Online Privacy, Anonymity On Internet Collision Course
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
Privacy and anonymity are very close relatives, but their fates seem to be headed in very different directions, as recent examples from the worlds of Google and Facebook illustrate.
Possible Windows Mobile 6.5 Second Edition Screen Shots
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
Last week I told you about Windows Mobile's dual strategy and indicated there may be a refresh of WinMo 6.5 in the early spring. The rumor is getting stronger because there have been some screen shots of a device clearly running WinMo 6.5, but with some tweaks that differ from what we've seen.
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