Commentary
Content posted in August 2009
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Seniors Using Online Tools For Healthcare
Commentary  |  8/6/2009  | 
Think that seniors are Internet-phobic? Think again. Kaiser Permanente reports great benefits from its Internet tools to help seniors manage their own healthcare. A recent survey by Kaiser Permanente showed a little bit about how and why the health provider succeeded.
Twitter Downed By Cyber-Thugs?
Commentary  |  8/6/2009  | 
Twitter has been down most of this morning all over the world because, it says, of a denial of service (DOS) attack. Is it payback for Twitter's attempts at fighting malware?
July Jobs Report: Less Down Is Still Down
Commentary  |  8/6/2009  | 
The numbers are still nothing to cheer about -- especially among the 279,000 small and midsize business employees affected -- but at the very least, fewer jobs were lost last month than reported for June, according to the ADP's latest National Employment Report.
Ribbonizing OpenOffice.org
Commentary  |  8/6/2009  | 
A next-iteration design for OpenOffice.org's interface is being floated, and it looks like ... get this ... Microsoft Office 2007.

RadioShack's Function Follows Form?
Commentary  |  8/6/2009  | 
RadioShack wants consumers to call it "The Shack" and, starting today, will spend many millions on branding to associate its 4,450 stores with the idea of a cool and hip lean-to hovel. It makes no sense.
HP CIO Randy Mott Recruits Wal-Mart Ex-CIO Linda Dillman
Commentary  |  8/6/2009  | 
HP CIO Randy Mott has leveraged his extensive network of former Wal-Mart colleagues in hiring highly regarded former Wal-Mart CIO Linda Dillman as SVP of global IT. Dillman adds another very big brain to the world-class IT team at HP, which under Mott has completed an extraordinary three-year transformation.
Microsoft Encouraging iPhone App Ports To Windows Mobile
Commentary  |  8/6/2009  | 
Microsoft knows it has serious competition with the iPhone, and as the launch of Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile nears, WinMo project team members are helping developers port their iPhone applications to Windows Mobile with a few tips.
PDF Tools For The Mac
Commentary  |  8/6/2009  | 
Yesterday, bMighty blogger Matthew McKenzie ran down some Acrobat alternatives for Windows users. But there are some useful PDF tools Mac-using businesses should know about too; here are a few.
Global CIO: Welcome To The CIO Revolution: A New IT Manifesto
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
CIOs are rebelling against career stereotypes, technology paradigms, and in-bred risk-aversion to become aggressive drivers of innovation, growth, and market engagement.
No More Laptops: End Of Road For Enterprise Notebooks?
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
Here's a radical -- but eminently business-sensible -- idea for enterprises wondering why they've got to eat thousands of dollars each year per employee for PC support costs: No more laptops. Hey, if cloud and SaaS mean anything, it should be big savings by bagging the self-hosted software paradigm. How about you give your workers $500 each to buy a netbook instead, and they can support themselves? Workers tethered to an office can use a thin client, or -- perish the thought -- a desktop compute
Big Tech's Branding Problem
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
They flipped the "on" switch at the Large Hadron Collider outside Geneva earlier this week, and the lights didn't even flicker. After 15 years and $9 billion, the thing might not work for years, if at all.
Openbravo And Ubuntu: A New Small-Biz ERP Option
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
Openbravo and Canonical have partnered on an open-source ERP offering that could prove attractive to small and midsized businesses.
Panaya's SaaS Helps On-Premise SAP
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
More and more we're seeing examples of how on-premise software and SaaS can work hand-in-hand, and not necessarily in opposition. Consider Panaya, the provider of a software service for automating on-premise SAP upgrades, which just got $5 million in a second round of venture capital funding.
Get The New BlackBerry Curve For A Penny
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
When I saw Wal-Mart was selling the brand new BlackBerry Curve 8520 for about $50 with a new contract, I was shocked at how inexpensive it was. But Amazon is taking it one step further, and users can get the smartphone for a penny with a service plan
Google's Chrome Gets Another Shiny New Beta
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
Today Google made another beta version of its Chrome browser available to those brave enough to forgo the 1.0 version. The beta includes HTML5 goodness baked in and a 30% increase in speed.
Game On For Net Neutrality
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
The FCC's abrupt intervention last Friday into the quarrel between Apple and Google may have won more than a stay of execution for Google Voice; it may have heralded the beginning of a wide-ranging net neutrality movement in Washington of which Google has long been a proponent.
Microsoft Vs. Google Shows 'Alternative' Gone Mainstream
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
Three weeks ago, Microsoft said it will offer an online version of Office free to consumers, gambling one of the most successful software products in history on an emerging business model. Google this week calls that monster bet with … the price of four big-city billboards?
Apple Possibly Lining Up 8GB Version Of iPhone 3GS
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
According to shipping documents from Rogers Wireless up in Canada, it appears as though Apple may be fading out the iPhone 3G in favor of a simplified iPhone 3GS line-up, containing the 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models.
New Add-It Yourself Business Directory
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
Bizwiki.com provides a Wikipedia-style opportunity for businesses to list and describe themselves. The intent is to build the "most detailed and up-to-date index of business in the United States."
Are You A Phisherman? Take My $10 Paypal Challenge!
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
Shortly after posting something for sale on my local Craigslist site, I was bombarded with 5 responses within minutes. Cool I thought, one of these nice folks was sure to get rid of this nagging item from my garage, but I was wrong. I was the victim of a piranha like PHISHING ATTACK. Are you a phisherman? I will paypal you 10 dollars if I select your series of answers to my questions, read on.
Will Cloud Computing Kill the Data Center?
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
I'm consistently hearing that cloud computing is the "data center killer." That sentiment typically comes from cloud computing providers, but now it's coming from some in the press and analyst community as well. I figured I would set the record straight here, and reflect upon some of the key issues.
Tech Jobs And The Mentality Of Entitlement
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
Taking the mentality of entitlement to a new low, a 27-year-old tech graduate of a New York City college is suing her alma mater because it has "not tried hard enough" to help her find a job, according to court papers filed in Bronx Supreme Court.
Promoting Healthcare Reform Through IT
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
One could say that when it comes to IT and healthcare, President Obama is taking some of his own medicine. Obama isn't only pushing healthcare providers to adopt IT; Obama is skillfully using technology to promote his healthcare reform plans.
Canonical's Closed Landscape
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
Something interesting is happening with Canonical's software portfolio. They're offering a new system-management server, but it's not an open source offering. If memory serves, it'll be Canonical's first venture into offering a closed-source product with open-source connectivity. Aberration or evolution?

Oracle, Protectionism, And The Myth Of 'Our Jobs'
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
In the context of the Obama administration's intent to punish companies for sending "our jobs" overseas, we recently noted that 70% of IBM's workforce and 40% of Microsoft's are based outside the U.S. Now, Oracle's latest financial results show that 61.3% of its employees are based outside of "the Americas," which means the percentage outside the U.S. is even higher.
Want WinMo Apps? HandMark Launches WinMo Apps Store
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
If you're interested in loading your Windows Mobile phone up with applications and don't want to wait until Redmond rolls out the Windows Mobile Marketplace, HandMark has your back. Its new HandMarket Apps for Windows Mobile boasts over 50,000 pieces of content.
Will 2010 Be The Year Of The Tablet?
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
Wired.com is predicting that 2010 will be the year of the tablet PC based on news of industry heavyweights jumping in the market. I see a lot of potential for tablet style devices, just not at the sizes people are talking about.
Satyam Founder's Latest Scam: 2,000 Jobs And $75M
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
It started off with so much promise: a depressed manufacturing region connects with a global IT powerhouse that commits to reinvigorating the stagnant community with a $75 million high-tech operation that will employ 2,000 people. The fly in the ointment, however, is that the promises were made - and, of course, broken -- by disgraced Satyam founder and chief fraudster B. Ramalinga Raju.
Themes Come To Chrome
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
If you like to play dress-up with your browser, Google's got some good news for you. It recently made 30 themes available for its Chrome browser. There's a good reason to skip the themes, though.
Military Gets Google Voice, Apple Gets Played
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
In the wake of Apple's refusal to allow the Google Voice app to be distributed through Apple's iTunes App Store and the FCC inquiry that followed, one way that Google could get back at Apple would be to highlight the benefits of the Google Voice service.
Tools That Help You Say No To Acrobat's PDF Bloat
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
These days, it pays to keep an eye out for lightweight, low-cost IT management tools that still get the job done. That is especially true when it comes to working with PDF documents.
Enterprise 2.0 Dark Horse: blueKiwi
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
Microsoft Applications, Cheap And Legal
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
A colleague has posted a rundown of ways to avoid paying full freight for Microsoft software, including several that a clever SMB could benefit from.
What Were The Top 10 Smartphones For The Second Quarter?
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
Research firm IDC has offered its take on what the top 10 best-selling smartphones were in the U.S. during the second quarter. There's one major flaw, however, that dramatically changes the results for the top spots. Is one company being treated unfairly?
Can At-Home Patient Monitoring Boost Health, Cut Costs?
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that widespread adoption of e-medical record systems will save the U.S. about $12 billion over 10 years. But other health related IT tools--especially web-enabled devices used to monitor chronically ill patients at home--could eventually boost those cost savings higher.
A Peek Inside SUSE Studio
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
While I was doing my writeup of SUSE Studio the other day -- Novell's new "Linux vending machine" -- I was in the process of building a couple of different distributions with it, too. The system is still closed to the public -- it's invite-only -- but I thought I'd share some basic impres
Google Muscling In On Microsoft Enterprise
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
Google's new offline ads encouraging IT administrators to switch to Google Apps show just how serious it is about going after Microsoft for enterprise business.
Using BPM to Survive, Thrive and Capitalize
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
Michele Cantara and Janelle Hill hosted a Webinar last week on the timely topic of surviving and thriving with aid of business process management (BPM)... Their premise is that BPM can turn the ax-man into a surgeon: you'll still have cuts, but they're more precise and less likely to damage the core of your organization...
U.K. Public-Sector CIO Has $600K Salary: QuangoGate??
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
A mild-mannered public-sector CIO in the U.K. has found himself at the center of a national controversy over excessive pay for civil servants because he makes almost twice as much as Prime Minister Gordon Brown and flies back and forth weekly between his office in London and his home in Aberdeen, Scotland, with the taxpayers footing his travel costs and London accommodations. Welcome to QuangoGate!
Marines Ban Social Networking Sites
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
Citing security concerns, the U.S. Marine Corps banned Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites from its networks, effective immediately, for a year. And other branches of the military are considering doing the same.
Cloud Storage Needs A Hybrid
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
Cloud storage is ideal for small businesses to perform backups, archive important data and to share files when collaborating on a project. Small businesses are typically built on desktops and laptops making the cloud the ideal connection point. As the business grows and servers are added, applications become more critical and the cloud becomes the bottleneck. At this point to handle the needs of a growing business cloud storage needs a hybrid.
BlackBerry 8520: $130 At T-Mo, $49 At Wal-Mart
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
The BlackBerry 8520 goes on sale tomorrow via T-Mobile wireless stores and its retail partner Wal-Mart. If you're a budget shopper, I'd plan to buy at Wal-Mart, instead, as it'll save you about $80. Also, first impressions of the 8520.
Glide Engage Is No Twitter
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
Micro (adj.): very small; involving minute quantities or variations. Sorry, I just had to double check that definition after reading about a new "microblogging" service that wants to take on Twitter.
Windows 7 A Work Of Art
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
Boticellis, Da Vincis, Rembrandts, and, uh, Windows 7? Yup, among the works at Washington, D.C.'s National Gallery of Art you'll eventually find Microsoft's next operating system. Also on view is Vista-in the dumpster out back.
Cisco Seeks Big China Growth By Partnering With Universities
Commentary  |  8/3/2009  | 
Cisco's creation of a supply-chain institute in China, in partnership with two universities, underscores its desire to become a major, broad-based player in the massive export-driven Chinese economy. Cisco hopes to leverage its presence with this new effort beyond supply-chain education and into entrepreneurship, funding, and business leadership.
Security Is No Excuse For iPhone Antics
Commentary  |  8/3/2009  | 
This week, the Federal Communications Commission is asking Apple and AT&T to explain the rhyme-or-reason to the Apple Store approval process, and specifically why the Google Voice application was rejected. I wonder if they can afford to give an honest answer.
I Don't Like Inline Text Ads
Commentary  |  8/3/2009  | 
The big news last week was regarding the partnership that Yahoo and Microsoft entered into. Paul McDougall noted, "Microsoft's search tools will appear on Yahoo's sites while Yahoo takes on sales role." I've seen some inline text ads that have me a bit worried about the new partnership.
IBM Packages Data Protection Solution
Commentary  |  8/3/2009  | 
As the first product of a new initiative to provide integrated solutions for midsize companies, IBM has introduced a new data protection package. The package is available at a promotional price of nearly 40% off.
Verizon Slashes Smartphone Prices
Commentary  |  8/3/2009  | 
Looks like it's dealing days for Verizon Wireless, as the nation's largest carrier has dropped the price of most of their smartphones to a cool $99 with a new contract. This is obviously in response to Apple dropping the iPhone 3G to $99, but it also paves the way for a new portfolio of Verizon smartphones.
Obama's Healthcare Reform Vision And Where IT Fits In
Commentary  |  8/3/2009  | 
Although President Obama won't get his wish of signing a comprehensive healthcare reform bill before Congress begins its August break later this week, an important part of Obama's reform plan--digitizing patient records--is already in motion.
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