Author
 Tom Smith

Profile of Tom Smith

News & Commentary Posts: 74
Articles by Tom Smith

Enterprise E-Mail Security Dogs Droid

1/12/2010
Following my post on the impact Android is having on usage of mobile web sites, I was contacted by Denis Stypulkoski, executive vice president and chief information officer at Tygris Commercial Finance, who noted the critical need for Google and Verizon to quickly add support for ActiveSync Provisioning Protocol - which is a prerequisite for e-mail security in Exchange shops -- in the Android OS.

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Early Data Proves Droid Is Next Big Mobile Platform

1/8/2010
For one of the few times in memory, the industry hype - in this case, surrounding Android smartphones - appears to have been warranted. In just two months, Android has emerged as the second most popular platform used to access InformationWeek's mobile web site, pushing aside BlackBerry and taking a meaningful bite out of Apple's iPhone.

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Recapping Web 2.0: What's Your Take?

9/19/2008
After three days at Web 2.0, it's clear the event has a bicoastal following and things in the Web 2.0 space are moving fast enough that it's not overkill to hold it multiple times a year in multiple places.

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5 Web Lessons From Google's Analytics Guru

9/17/2008
Google's Avinash Kaushik offered a series of tips -- squeezed in between an impressive series of one-liners -- for how Web analytics professionals and those driving Web businesses must evolve in a Web 2.0 world. Kaushik, who describes himself as an author, blogger, and analytics evangelist -- delivered his insights at a Web 2.0 expo New York session.

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Web 2.0 Discussion: Do Communities Need Active Management?

9/16/2008
Social Web design expert Joshua Porter asserted in a Web 2.0 Expo session on Designing for Community that companies must appoint a manager to actively run their community efforts. This individual, according to Porter, plays a critical role in managing the discussion, applying your community policies to participants, answering questions, ushering users around the community, and more.

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5 Assertions By Nicholas Carr That Do Matter

3/21/2008
Set aside the emotions engendered by Nicholas Carr's writings. The author of the infamous "Does IT Matter?" spoke at Search Engine Strategies in New York this week and raised a number of cogent issues that should be keeping IT managers and CIOs awake at night.

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Yes, Macs On The Net Are Increasing

10/4/2007
The number of Web surfers using Macs increased to 6.6% in September, a 40% increase over August. At Lifehacker, which is reporting those results, they have a far higher percentage of readers -- 14% -- using Macs. Your peers who visit InformationWeek.com from a Mac fall between 7% and 14%, and their numbers are growing.

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Video Alerts Give Google The Upper Hand -- Again

9/26/2007
The latest enhancement to the Google Alerts product -- to include news-oriented videos on topics that readers select -- is a compelling upgrade for information junkies, online videophiles, or those researching information on the Internet. It raises many questions on the future of information access, the future role of online video as an information source, and Google's strategic directions.

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Apple And HP Support: Head To Head

9/19/2007
Readers of our blog are mostly getting high-quality service from Apple's Genius Bar. That's more than I can say after three trips to my local Apple store, but our contrasting views raise an important question for computer and consumer products: Is support from the likes of HP -- the world's top PC vendor -- superior to Apple's? Or is the opposite true?

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Apple's Genius Bar Is Cool, But Not Consumer Friendly

9/18/2007
Proponents say the "Genius Bar" is just another example of Apple's superiority -- you go to a hip store to get hands-on support from smart, cool people who fix your problems on the spot. I say the Genius Bar is inefficient and unfriendly to the customer. Read about my travails in obtaining iPod support and see if you don't agree.

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Why Business Won't Buy Apple

9/17/2007
Its users are zealots. Its technical sophistication, ease of use, and level of innovation have long put it ahead of other computer makers and, now, it's arguably out-innovating the smartphone market. Yet more than half of businesses have no plans to buy Apple's computers and more than 70% have no plans to buy iPhones.

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Ameritrade Notifies Customers Of Data Breach -- Proactively

9/14/2007
Online brokerage TD Ameritrade is warning customers today that some of their personal information, including e-mail addresses, was accessed by an external source. Its handling of the situation shows there's some progress being made toward more proactive disclosure of security breaches, since the disclosure comes before any known loss of personal identity data such as Social Security numbers.

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Mac Security: Deal Or No Deal?

6/9/2007
True of false: when you use the Mac platform, you never have to worry about security again. At the risk of offending all the Mac zealots out there, the answer is a resounding false.

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The Salesforce.com Effect Comes To Interop

5/24/2007
In its 22-year history, the Interop trade show has been synonymous with networking, and this year's exhibitors are true to that heritage. But there's a recurring, software-oriented theme from many of the vendors I met with: the impact of Salesforce.com on the networking business.

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Strong Authentication, Great Value Proposition

5/23/2007
Positive Networks, a provider of hosted VPN services, is using Interop to promote a two-factor, telephone (land-line or cell)-based authentication system for users looking to access corporate applications. The company will look to hook customers with the authentication technology -- it's free -- then sell a series of add-on services.

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Making Corporate Data As Accessible As A Blog

5/22/2007
One of the more compelling product pitches I heard at Interop today came from a low-profile developer of software components called /n Software. Got lots of corporate data built up that your knowledge workers can't find or access? Need a lightweight, low-impact way to disseminate data from various systems internally or to partners?

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Microsoft Enlists Startup To Help Secure Linux Desktops

5/22/2007
Patent claims against Linux notwithstanding, Microsoft is working with a startup to ensure a key security initiative includes support for the open-source operating system on client computers. On Tuesday, Avenda Systems said it will build Linux client software for use with Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP) technology. That software will allow NAP to interact directly with Linux clients.

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Good Advice On Web Ops: Don't Forget The Users

5/22/2007
Coradiant is working with Splunk to add user performance and experience information to the types of data that Splunk collects in its IT search engine. The two companies are looking to provide a more integrated analysis of Web operations performance.

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Chambers Prods CIOs: Add Business Value Now

5/22/2007
John Chambers has some feedback and some advice for CIOs. Speaking in an Interop keynote address, the Cisco CEO says half of CIOs are viewed as adding value to their business while half are viewed as expense areas "and that's not good."

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The First Slam-Dunk Second Life Strategy

5/1/2007
In recent months, InformationWeek's Mitch Wagner has immersed himself in Second Life, chronicling much of the time he's spent there and positing many potential business applications for the virtual world. While he's argued persuasively to our readers and to his coworkers that SL has near-term business utility, I've been something of a skeptic.

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The Open-Sourcing Of College Education

3/14/2007
College education has gone open source: A number of top universities are placing their course materials online, free. No course credit is granted, but self learners can have access to all the same materials as those shelling out tens of thousands of dollars annually. That's great news for IT pros who are either unemployed or looking to acquire new skills and knowledge.

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Best Apps In The Mac Ecosystem

3/10/2007
If you're reading this, chances are it's because you use a Macintosh at home or work and, almost by default, that means you love the Apple platform. Or perhaps you've had it up to here with your PC, the Vista transition or the flaky things that PCs do, and now you want to make a clean break.

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Vista v. Mac OS X: Round 2

2/8/2007
Bought a new computer lately? My colleague Mitch Wagner and I have both done just that. Mitch made the leap from PC to Mac, while I -- under a time crunch due to the "expiration" of my existing notebook -- bought an XP-loaded, Vista-capable PC in the days leading up to the late-January Vista launch.

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Web 2.0 And The Ajax Challenge

11/29/2006
Web 2.0, and in particular the Ajax technology that often embodies it, has the technology world abuzz. Ajax facilitates more interactive Web sites that deliver a better user experience. With Ajax, Web-based software makes data retrieval transparent to the user, so software behaves more like it's running locally.

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Broadband In The Sticks: Tough Nut To Crack

11/8/2006
As a long-time home office employee living just outside a mid-size city, I've been spoiled with access to broadband, using it as my sole means of connectivity to my employer since 1995, when I was very early user of ISDN. Since 1999 or so, I've been using a cable modem, and am about 99% satisfied with how it's performed over that period. That's a pretty good track record.

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The Top Reader Photo Is...

11/3/2006
A couple of weeks ago, I asked for your favorite photos among many submitted by your peers. Seems the majority of you agreed with my pick for best photo, "The Sentry," which got 35% of nearly 900 votes. Congratulations, Tom McClure (and son). The response to our reader photo gallery was so positive I plan to make this a regular feature.

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Bloatosphere

8/8/2006
The number of blogs has increased 100-fold since 2003 to 50 million. In addition, the total has doubled every six months for about two years, according to a new report quantifying the blogosphere by Technorati. In July alone, there were 1.6 million blog postings daily, or 18.6 per second. Two blogs were created each second of each day.

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Map That Traffic Jam

7/26/2006
How many times have you had this experience: You're driving along the highway, either in a highly congested area or a road you're not familiar with, and you hit a traffic backup that leaves you effectively parked for, say, an hour. You curse the road, the cars around you, your fate. You ponder how useless radio traffic reports are, since they only help you if they occur--and how unlikely is this?--five minutes before you need to jump off that road at a particular exit and take an alternate route

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Mobility

6/28/2006
Our two most relied upon computing/communications devices--the laptop and the cell phone--are making headlines today. The failure rate on laptops (and desktops)--failure defined as necessitating replacement of a hardware component--is dropping, but remains higher than a rate I'd consider optimal.

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Chinks In Outsourcing's Armor

5/17/2006
When Diebold Inc. announced Wednesday that it will take over--or more precisely, take back--an Oracle ERP implementation and some additional IT-related functions, resulting in a financial charge and an end to its contract with Deloitte Consulting, it didn't explicitly point fingers or assign blame.

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Blogs And Ethics Can Coexist

5/2/2006
The Internet for years has been cutting into the circulation bases and advertising revenue of daily newspapers. The dailies have been generally slow to adapt as Web sites offered the timeliest possible news, blogs, and compelling online presentations that featured lots of links to outside and related resources.

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In Search Of Innovation

4/19/2006
For years, we've seen far too little in the way of innovative enterprise applications or major hardware and networking advances. Arguably, more innovation is taking place in the consumer space, although much of that is incremental rather than revolutionary. There's more evidence this week that innovation in the IT industry is now being driven from the search engine outward, both for consumer and business applications.

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Casting About

4/4/2006
Last week those of us who opine in the InformationWeek Daily newsletter each day reached something of an internal milestone: our 100th Daily news podcast. That's 20 weeks' worth of audio versions of our flagship newsletter (all of which are available here).

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Google's Slip-pery Slope

3/7/2006
Google in many ways has positioned itself as the industry's anti-Microsoft. Since its inception, it hasn't been given to preannouncing products or features years in advance, then watching as the starstruck masses hung on every move related to those (oft-delayed) products. Its corporate credo of "Don't Be Evil" comes off as the antithesis to the evil empire in Redmond (though recent events in China raise questions

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When Tech Hurts

2/21/2006
The ways in which technology has enhanced all of our lives are too numerous to count. But on Tuesday, I was struck by two stories that I interpret as signs that technology may be driving too deep and becoming too pervasive in our lives.

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This Week's Spin On Google

2/16/2006
It's been a fairly typical week in techdom, with much of the news focusing on Google, including several strategic initiatives that, if successful, will expand the footprint of the company's search technology. Of course, Google and several competitors came under Congressional fire for their responses to Internet censorship by the government in China. Among this week's key developments:

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Google Desktop: Friend Or Foe?

2/9/2006
In the small workgroup I've been a part of the last couple years, I've become somewhat notorious for the chronic loss -- or inability to retain -- E-mail messages and documents. I can almost hear the frustration running through the minds of others as I request -- on an almost daily basis -- yet another resend of a doc or message.

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Disintermediation 2.0

12/1/2005
In the dotcom bubble, a term that cropped up frequently was "disintermediation," the notion of leveraging the power of the Internet to eliminate middlemen that added little value and decreased the efficiency of a business. If you were on the receiving end of it, your business was toast. The concept is worth revisiting today in the context of the classified advertising business of daily newspapers and recent moves by tech giants. The big question: are the dailies being disintermediated in one of

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E-ZPass For Airports? Sign Me Up

11/3/2005
Listen to a version of this blog -- as part of a Daily Newsletter podcast -- here. Here in New York and other Northeastern states, we have a wonderful system called E-ZPass that lets those with prepaid accounts buzz through highway and bridge tolls with little or no wait. If you've ever driven through any of the bridges in and around New York City, you can appreciate the time this system saves.

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A Hot Dog, A Soda And A...Cell Phone?

10/25/2005
I value the contributions information technology has made to our lives probably more than most people. I make my living on the Internet and spend the bulk of my time managing Web content and technology projects, and really enjoy working in this fast-evolving medium. Information technology -- in the form of a wirelessly enabled laptop computer and the omnipresent cell phone -- has permanently changed the lifestyle of my family, particularly as the computer's value as an educational tool increases

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Where Isn't Google?

10/4/2005
I was recently helping my daughter locate French-English translations on the Internet, and we couldn't find the information we needed through nearly a half-dozen online versions of widely used dictionaries. Where we ultimately found the translations: Google, or more specifically, Google Language Tools. Prior to this experience, I didn't even know this service existed. Not only was Google the only site where we could get the information, it prov

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