Too Much Of A Good Thing? Relief From RSS Overload
RSS readers can reduce information overload, but they also can become part of the problem as feeds add up. Startup mSpoke has an answer to RSS clutter with FeedHub, a new personalization tool that puts a content relevance knob at your finger tips.
Way back in the '80s, a popular maxim had it that "nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM." An IBM salesman probably came up with that one, but in any case it stuck. Reflecting on last week's announcement about the new IBM Lotus Symphony desktop suite, based on OpenOffice.org technology and available as a free download, I'd say it's time for a new maxim: "Nobody ever got fired for perpetuating the Microsoft Office monopoly."
My Linux Broke -- Is It My Fault?
One of the adages about Linux that gets passed around a lot goes something like, "It's a great system, but you really have to know what you're doing." The other day, I got a firsthand example of that -- I got bitten by a bug in a package that's readily available in Ubuntu's software repository.
Amazon Kills DRM And Puts iTunes On Notice
Digital rights management, otherwise known as DRM, died today, at least as far as music is concerned. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who deserves credit for calling for the elimination of DRM earlier this year, may come to regret that the competition has taken his advice to heart.
Dilbert Takes On Web 2.0
There's a particular Dilbert cartoon making the rounds that pokes good fun at Web 2.0 in general and "folksonomies" in particular... Cartoonist Scott Adams is particularly adept at surfacing (and pillorying) vague but alluring-sounding words like "folksonomy" and "platform" that, yes, we all over-use. But getting Dilberted also represents a certain coming of age...
Demo Day 1
Blogging from a live event is a new thing for me. What can I tell you during the event that couldn't possibly wait until the end of the day? Probably not much, but I've got a couple cups of coffee in me and I'm surrounded by people doing the same thing, so here goes...
Larry Ellison Says 'Just Say No to SaaS'
Well, it had to happen. Somebody who sells enterprise software had to push back on SaaS. In this case it was Oracle's Larry Ellison. Ellison told financial analysts in a quarterly earnings call last week that Oracle hasn't participated in the software-as-a-service trend because there's no money to be made there.
Google: A Virtual Video Headquarters Tour
Segways, exercise rooms, video arcade games, a gourmet cafeteria. Did you die, or perhaps move to some Western European welfare state? No, you're just an average "Googly" person, who's got the smarts -- and, apparently, the youth -- to work for the search-engine giant. See all this stuff and more on the quick video tour I've put together.
Greetings From Demo 2007 Fall
I'm in San Diego where the fall Demo conference kicks off tonight. Demo is a unique event in the industry. Over the course of the next two days, 69 startup exhibitors will demonstrate their cool new software, service, or hardware -- or all three, in some cases. They'll all do it on one stage in front of a crowd of a few hundred journalists, VCs, and other industry movers and shakers. So how do they manage to run 69 demonstrations in two days on one stage? It's all about the elevator pitch.
Selling Technology: What Appeals To Customers?
Software vendor Tibco has commissioned a video series (sans Tibco branding) called Greg The Architect, a hilarious spoof of business technology organizations that's aimed at the software architect.
Is Vista Where You Want to Be?
When Vista was released last January, we were told that it was the next great place to be. Eventually, we were told, everyone would be doing Vista. We might as well switch our operating system now or we would be way behind the eight ball.
IBM Eases The Way To Lotus Symphony
I'm always pleased when companies respond to the complaints of its user base -- especially when the user base isn't paying anything for the privilege. So while it is gratifying that Apple is offering irate early iPhone adopters $100 coupons, I feel even more appreciative that IBM quickly tweaked its originally irritating registration process for Lotus Symphony.
No Bundled Windows PCs? No Way
The Globalisation Institute, a European think tank, wants all computers to be sold without operating systems. Here's why that's a bad idea.
Rumors, Shareholders and Customers
I wasn't going to comment on the rumors about Business Objects looking to be acquired, because it seems to be one that resurfaces every few months. If the rumor is true, it runs counter to all the positioning the vendor has been doing since Oracle acquired Hyperion... If Business Objects is in the market to be acquired, what does that suggest about its stated strategy: oops, change in direction?
DEMO Show Targets Smaller Companies
The DEMO show is a great place to learn about brand new companies working on new brand new technologies. And this fall a significant number of the announcements are aimed at small and midsize companies.
Halo 3 Reviews Are In: Master Chief Rules!
Ever since Halo 2 ended with Master Chief promising to "finish the fight" on earth, gamers have been waiting for a sequel to the epic sci fi shooter. The time has come, but has it been the worth the three year wait?
Blyk Mobile Finally Gets Off The Ground
The ad-supported "free" mobile service in the U.K. is officially launching today after a long ramp-up period. Blyk is taking the MVNO in a new direction with its free services, but is this business model feasible?
Laptops for Kids, Not for Biz
Would you be interested in a rugged laptop that comes with a camera, built-in wireless, flash memory, an open source operating system from Red Hat, a web browser, a word processor, and more, all for about $200?
5 Cool Google Tools You Should Know About
Google is so vast that it's hard to keep up. But it's not just search, or even the new Web-based apps, which is extending the tentacles of the search-engine giant into territory beyond the reach of Microsoft. Here are 5 lesser-known but nevertheless interesting Google tools, code snippets, and professional tech training materials.
You've Got Mail. You're Fired
When I was in my teens it was considered very bad form to break up with a boyfriend over the phone. Email, I'm told, makes the phone break up look classy. So why is it okay to fire someone that way?
The Future Of Virtual Worlds
Are virtual worlds like Second Life here to stay? My answer is "yes, but." Yes, but virtual worlds are part of a long-term transition which also includes the mobile Internet. Yes, but the result will be a complete transformation in how we think about being "on the Internet" vs. being "away from the computer." Yes, but Second Life might not be the virtual worlds platform of the future.
In The Outsourcing Shuffle, Offshoring's Still Winning
Some of the more intriguing data points about the InformationWeek 500 concern how many companies are doing offshore outsourcing and using H-1B visas. It suggests the outsourcing shuffle-companies sending work out, others hauling it back in-continues. But while one in five companies have pulled outsourced work back in-house the past year, that hasn't dimmed interest in global IT.
Who's The Top Technology Dog: CIO Or CTO?
It was one of those heated hallway discussions: What's the role of the CTO, and how is it different from that of the CIO? And who's at the top of the technology pecking order?
Getting Advice From The Brazen Careerist
Journalists come from motley backgrounds. But I don't think we've ever had anyone writing for us before who played professional beach volleyball. Penelope Trunk has. She's also been a software executive, founded two companies, has been through an IPO, an acquisition, and bankruptcy, wrote a book, and been a professional columnist. Having had so many careers on her own, it makes sense that she specializes in giving career advice.
New Order For Cellphone Charger Chaos?
If your company supports multiple models of cellphones and smartphones, you probably have to support an equal number of chargers. But the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) promises an end to that annoying expense.
Larry Ellison Says No To SaaS
Larry Ellison told financial analysts in a quarterly earnings call yesterday that Oracle hasn't participated in the software-as-a-service trend because there's no money to be made there. If Ellison's observation isn't a red flag to CIOs, than I don't know what is.
Leaping Linux's Patent Hurdle
In the wake of my last column, Why Linux Is Already A Success, I got a great many comments and letters from people who agreed completely with my point of view -- that Linux was already a success on its own terms. I did, however, receive a reader comment that added some sobering real-world perspectives.