Commentary
Content posted in September 2009
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Vivek Kundra: All Customers, All The Time
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
CIOs are an interesting lot, cast as both business and technology leaders. Get them talking about agile development, and the inner geek appears. Talk about net present value, and they grab their lapels and straighten their pocket squares. But today's CIO talks increasingly about the customer, and if our nation's CIO, Vivek Kundra is paid every time does, he might be able to help bail out both the banks and the car companies.
Google Tries To Take The Typing Out Of Mobile Search
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
Performing searches on mobile phones -- especially those without readily accessible QWERTY keyboards -- can be a pain in the, er, thumb. Google recently made some changes to how local search works on mobile phones, and it requires fewer keystrokes.
BlackBerry For Mac Out Friday
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
Research in Motion announced that native desktop software for managing the company's BlackBerry smartphones will be available as of this Friday, October 2, at 1 PM EDT. The software will bring Mac-based mobile workers the functionality that up til now they've needed to use a third-party app for.
iPhone Ad Market Share Surges To 40 Percent
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
According to mobile advertising company AdMob, the iPhone's world-wide smartphone market share has reached 40% in just over two years. Meanwhile, competitors Nokia and RIM lost ground.
Google Wave Ridden By Cybercriminals
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
Google Wave is being made available on Wednesday to 100,000 or so developers, early adopters, and Google Apps customers. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are making the most of the launch: They've rolled out a blackhat SEO poisoning campaign to turn interest in Wave into a computer infection.
Tenacity Matters In E-Medical Record Projects
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
E-medical record projects aren't for the faint of heart. The conviction of a strong leadership team and a solid vision of the project's goals are keys to successful deployments. Just ask the folks involved with the EMR rollout at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Vermont.
Relaunched Recovery.gov Fails Accessibility Standards
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
Recovery.gov, a showcase government-transparency Web site that relaunched on Monday, fails to meet U.S. federal government Section 508 accessibility standards. The non-compliance issues relate to display of data tables despite on-site compliance claims. Sharron Rush of accessibility-advocacy organization Knowbility goes so far as to state, "The recovery.gov Web site is a good example of what NOT to do for accessibility in my opinion."
Mathias On Mobility: Wi-Fi Continues Its Advance
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
The recent finalization of the IEEE 802.11n standard spotlights the fact that wireless has moved up to the esteemed position of primary access for, well, almost everyone today.
MotionX Offers $3 GPS App For iPhone
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
The iPhone this week got a new entry in the fast-moving category of GPS software: MotionX-GPS Drive is by far the least expensive of the half-dozen alternatives, with a "holy cow!" low price of $2.99, with an annual subscription of $25. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than any of the alternatives.
Global CIO: Accenture Should Start Buying—Here's A Shopping List
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
Where is it written that IT services companies have to sit back and wait to be acquired by IT product companies? Accenture has the power to reverse that trend and offer new value to CIOs.
Zipcar App Is Brilliant Branding
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
The Zipcar iPhone app announced about a week ago is a great example of how to merge technology and marketing in order to deliver branding. More business would do well to follow the lead.
Join Our Windows 7 Wednesday Virtual Event: Path To Enterprise Adoption
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
In getting ready for Wednesday's 10 am eastern Windows 7 Virtual Event, hosted by the InformationWeek Business Technology Network (i.e., us, and you can register here), I've been trying to get a feel for just how rapidly enterprises will adopt the new operating system.
BlackBerry Round-Up: TiVo And Mac Support Arrive
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
Today two interesting bits of information concerning BlackBerries became public. First up, TiVo has launched a new, free DVR-scheduling app for BlackBerries, and second, RIM has said BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Macs will be available Friday, October 2.
Give Away The Platform, Sell The Tools
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
Here is a radical suggestion to fund the development of newly-emergent open source OS platforms: Keep the platform and as much of the other software on it free. Sell the development tools.

Sustainable & Green: The Color of Money
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
Having worked with an organization that got good press for saving money through an automated PC shutdown program, I've fielded a lot of questions from IT managers looking to make sustainability and green moves. I can consolidate my advice on the topic into two short points: First, remember that green is the color of money. Second, overseed.
Solarwinds Tweaks IP WAN Voice Monitoring Tool
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
Increasingly, businesses are moving their voice traffic from the old telephone network to IP networks. However, this application is especially vulnerable to performance variations often found in IP networks. Solarwinds, which has been gaining acceptance by offering companies inexpensive, easy to deploy network performance tools, revamped its IP WAN tool to help companies meet this challenge.
The Perils Of Relying On The Cloud
Commentary  |  9/30/2009  | 
I rely more on the cloud as each day passes. GMail is my preferred email interface. Evernote houses most of my notes and web clippings. MyPhone keeps critical data backed up on my Windows Mobile phone. The cloud is awesome when it works, but when it is down, you may be temporarily cut off from your data. In the case of some Palm Pre users, when the cloud went down, it wiped their Pre's memory causing data loss.
NYC Schools Overpaying For Proprietary Software
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
The PTA at my daughter's school spends $3,000 per year for an online learning management system. That's $3,000 every year that they shouldn't have to spend.
The Verizon Hub Bites The Dust
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Hi, my name is Eric, and I bought the Verizon Hub. I wanted to keep up with the Joneses and thought it would be really cool to have an Internet tablet in my kitchen. Turns out, I was wrong.
Microsoft's Must-Have Software Release
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
While all the focus has been on Windows 7 lately, there's another piece of Microsoft software coming out this week that could make an even bigger difference to the Windows world: Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). Athough I think MSE will be a great solution for most people, not everyone will be happy about this software.
A New Generation Of Internet Lawmakers
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
I'm still stuck in the 90s when I think about elected officials using the Internet. Back in the 90s, elected officials had never even touched the Internet. They thought it was a sewer of child porn and terrorists, and their only reaction to it was to try to control it--or make it go away. Until recently, I thought of lawmakers as still being as naive as they were back then. But a brief conversation with Rep. John Culberson shattered my preconceptions.
It's about the Tools Adoption Results
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Quick FAQ: Making Sense Out Of Moblin
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Are you wondering what Moblin is and why you're hearing so much about it lately? Step right up, and we'll try to answer your questions.
FileMaker Beefs Up Bento
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Version 3 of Bento, the "personal database" from FileMaker, adds features that make it a good choice for Mac-based small offices and midsize businesses with modest database needs. Its close integration with existing Mac tools means that getting up and running is relatively easy.
Thoughts on Integrating OLTP and Data Warehousing (Especially in Exadata 2)
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Oracle is pushing Exadata 2 as a great system for OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing), data warehousing or both. This claim rests on a few premises, the first being that Exadata is great for data warehousing. At this time, that's a claim much better supported by marketing and theory than by practice...
Motorola Cliq Will Cost $200
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
T-Mobile and Motorola said Tuesday the Android-powered smartphone would be available Nov. 2 for about $200 with a new two-year contract. I played with the Cliq when it was introduced earlier this month and liked it, but I think the companies may have shot themselves in the foot with the pricing.
IBM Preparing Self-Service Software Infrastructure
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
IBM has been investing in cloud computing for several years, although Willy Chiu, VP of IBM Cloud Labs, acknowledges it may be difficult for those outside IBM to develop a picture of what its cloud initiative will finally look like.
SaaS Vendor Workday Plans To Grow Big, Remain Independent
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Workday, an important SaaS company to watch, has hired the former CEO of PolyServe, later acquired by Hewlett-Packard, as its new president. Yet this isn't a case of a startup hiring an experienced exec to shop it around. As Workday's Aneel Bhusri recently told me, "Dave Duffield and I largely control the company, and we did not start Workday to sell it."
Do Phones Really Need A Mobile High-Def Connector Port?
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Some of the world's largest phone companies -- including the likes of Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson -- have banded together and formed the Mobile High-Definition Interface Working Group. The group's plan is to create a new, standardized port for mobile phones that can feed high-definition video and audio signals to HDTVs. Is this really necessary?
More SaaS IT Service Management Options
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
AccelOps' latest software release adds new features for network and data center service management, both for premises and SaaS deployments.
More on 'The Next Big Reporting Challenge'
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
"Breakthroughs on climate change and improving our society's energy efficiency are within reach." Would you guess this quote is from A.) A naïve, tree-hugging environmentalist B.) Paul Dickinson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project or C.) John W. Rowe, chief executive of Chicago-based utility company Exelon? Don't be shocked, but the answer is C.
Wireless Technologies Help With Alzheimer's Care
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
As the Alzheimer's spreads, healthcare companies are developing wireless technologies to help caregivers look after their charges. The technologies monitor people with Alzheimer's to make sure they're not in trouble, with a particular focus on making sure that patients don't wander off.
Global CIO: Ballmer Blasts IBM For All The Wrong Reasons
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Days before launching Microsoft's "New Efficiency" strategy, Steve Ballmer took some swipes at IBM and its strategy, which is bizarre because Ballmer's taking Microsoft down a path IBM's already on.
What IT Needs To Know About E-Discovery: Webcast
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Join me tomorrow at noon Eastern for a Webcast on IT best practices for e-discovery. We'll cover policies, products and get real-world insight from e-discovery professionals.
Diagnosing IT Problems In Healthcare
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
The ability to quickly trouble-shoot network and other IT infrastructure problems escalates as a top priority as healthcare providers replace paper patient records with electronic ones. It's bad enough when billing systems are down, but a hitch with a server running clinical systems could translate to delays in care if doctors can't access patients' medical records.
Q&A With A Post-Microsoft Sam Ramji
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Back when Sam Ramji announced he was leaving his position at Microsoft as director of their open source operations, I shot a couple of questions his way. He was on vacation at the time, but now he's back and has a lot to talk about -- about Microsoft, about open source, and about the two in combination.
CNN's iPhone App Lets Everyone Be A Reporter
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Today CNN took its commitment to mobile news a bit further by releasing a dedicated application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. For the news junkie, consider this new app to be your constantly available source for a fix. There's increased opportunities for the budding iReporter, too.
Defending Our Ethos On Facebook
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Yesterday I posted my outrage about a poll that appeared on Facebook asking if President Obama should be killed. Yesterday, I wondered how we should balance our needs for civility against the equally pressing need for everyone to have access to this kind of vehicle for expression and connection.
Dvorak Users Dislike Qwerty Keyboard Dominance In Phones
Commentary  |  9/29/2009  | 
Fans of the Dvorak keyboard layout sing praises of how much faster you can type than you can with a traditional Qwerty keyboard, so named because of the order of the first six letters on the upper row. With a PC, it is pretty simple - you just need to plug in a Dvorak keyboard and you are ready to go. With a phone though, you really don't have that option, at least with a physical keyboard.
A Wireless Edge? This Time For Real (Video)
Commentary  |  9/28/2009  | 
The 802.11n task group formed in January 2004. Two weeks ago, it ratified the wireless standard. Two years ago, we started seeing implementations. The world works this way. If it was just a faster WiFi that would be unfathomable, but many predict this could be the true replacement of the wired edge network.
webOS 1.2 Officially Being Pushed To Palm Pre Starting Today
Commentary  |  9/28/2009  | 
News of webOS 1.2's impending arrival has been floating about the Interwebs for weeks now. Today, it's official. Palm announced that webOS 1.2 is available for the Palm Pre. There are improvements a-plenty. Check to see the changelog after the jump.
Free Visual Voicemail For BlackBerries Available Via HulloMail
Commentary  |  9/28/2009  | 
HulloMail first launched in the U.S. in July on the Android platform. Now, Hullomail is going after hardcore enterprise customers with a BlackBerry-compatible version of its free visual voicemail service. With Android and BlackBerry conquered, its next target is the iPhone.
Getting A Grip On Health And Wellness Via The Web
Commentary  |  9/28/2009  | 
Open enrollment season starts soon and unfortunately for many organizations, that'll mean informing employees that they've got higher healthcare co-pays and deductibles starting in January. But for some employers, this year's open enrollment season brings some innovative twists to their benefits offerings, thanks to the web.
Unified Communications: Guts & Bolts (video)
Commentary  |  9/28/2009  | 
A common theme heard these days among enterprise architects is the increasing need to bring together network designers, application architects and information security teams for any sizable project, and that includes unified communications, especially because those communications often involve customers, not to mention many more parts and pieces.
Mac Security A Myth? Really?
Commentary  |  9/28/2009  | 
As the launch date for Windows 7 approaches, more and more articles about flaws in Mac security are hitting the Web. Should Mac-based businesses be worried?
Global CIO: An Open Letter To Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
Commentary  |  9/28/2009  | 
Oracle customers hear a lot from you about your competitors, but rarely do they hear how you feel about them and what your vision and strategy for them is. You're missing a huge opportunity.
Facebook Promotes Tolerance/Intolerance
Commentary  |  9/28/2009  | 
My initial reaction when I saw that Facebook hosted a poll asking whether or not President Obama should be killed was blind fury. Why haven't they stopped this? Where are the voices of outrage from national political leaders who stir up a hue and cry whenever someone allows a kitten to fall from a tree?
AT&T 'Pleased' With MMS Roll-Out. Customers? Not So Much
Commentary  |  9/28/2009  | 
Several weeks ago AT&T posted a video explaining that it wanted to be able to offer its iPhone customers the best possible experience once MMS (multi-media messaging service) was activated for the iPhone. According to the user complaints plastered all over AT&T's Facebook page, MMS was barely functional over its first weekend of availability. Is non-working service part of "the best possible experience"?
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