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 Alexander Wolfe
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Profile of Alexander Wolfe

News & Commentary Posts: 624
Alexander Wolfe is a former editor for InformationWeek.
Articles by Alexander Wolfe
posted in February 2008

Starbucks Takes Coffee Break, Makes Customer Satisfaction Gaffe

2/27/2008
Starbucks can send me an e-mail when they reload my card -- yeah, I know I'm a sap for giving them an interest-free loan, but it's convenient -- and they can pepper me with communications when they've got a sale to promote. So how come they can't bother to clue me in when they're planning to shut their doors for three hours? Not very Web 1.0 of them, huh?

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Video: Is Microsoft Open Source's Friend?

2/24/2008
Microsoft made its most significant move since the 1992 release of Windows 3.1 on Feb. 21, when it pledged to make "strategic changes in technology and business practices to expand interoperability." What does this mean in plain English? It's Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's corporate-speak way of telling the open-source community that he can't beat 'em, so he plans to try to outflank them.

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Video: How To Build An Intel QX9770 Quad-Core PC

2/20/2008
Intel's newest top-of-the-line quad-core processor, the QX9770, won't officially ship until 2Q, but we've got a review unit. It's the most interesting device to come out of Intel in a while, since it pushes desktop performance ahead on several serious fronts: It's fabricated at 45-nm (OK, the QX6850 is, too), supports ultra-fast DDR3 memory, and has a 1600-MHz front-side bus -- Intel's speediest yet. I'v

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The Black Swan, Or You Can't Predict The Next Google

2/19/2008
If you read one book this year, make sure it's Nassim Nicholas Taleb's "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable." Taleb's thesis is that everything the experts think they know about forecasting is wrong, and if you think you can predict the future performance of the stock market from a study of past trends, you're gonna be losing lots of money. And don't go looking for the next Google, either, because it's going to come out of l

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My Open Letter To Dan Savage

2/15/2008
Dear Dan: I never thought I'd be writing to you, a known sex columnist. Because I've never had one of those, you know, problems. But now I hear you've taken issue with my recent blog post, where I asked "Is Podcasting Dead?" I hear you even trashed me on your Savage Love Podcast, saying, "You're clearly dead from the waist down, that's why my podcast doesn't appeal to you."

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What Hath Roger Clemens Wrought?

2/13/2008
Nothing hammers home how the Web has become the de facto national fireplace than today's congressional hearing on steroids. Both of New York's morning tabloids -- the News and the Post -- featured big ads from CNN, teasing readers to "Watch Roger Clemens' Testimony LIVE. At your desk." That collective giant mouse click you heard was employers everywhere getting ripped off.

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EBay's Feedback Changes Are Bad News For Buyers

2/7/2008
Whatever happened to Web 2.0 openness at eBay? That's what many sellers are wondering, now that the online auction powerhouse is killing its longtime policy of letting sellers leave bad feedback about buyers. Sure, there are abusive sellers who vindictively post bad ratings, but warts-and-all feedback is eBay's one market-policing mechanism, Now, as Ars Technica correctly puts it, eBay wi

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With HTC Shift, Intel's UMPC Is Finally Real

2/6/2008
I was going to call this post "Intel Finally Pushes Past The PC Processor," in recognition of the fact that this is the first time I can remember when a blue sky concept for a new-fangled computing device has moved beyond the bloviating stage and into the real world. But that's sure the case with Intel's Ultramobile PC. Hot little items like the HTC Shift are making their way to market, and lots more are on the way. Hey, I want one!

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Here's What The Google Phone Could Look Like

2/5/2008
Speculation about how the GPhone is shaping up has taken a temporary back seat to the chatter about Google's efforts to throw a monkey wrench into Microsoft's bid for Yahoo. But what developers are doing with the Android SDK, released last fall to inspire the flowering of a thousand independent Google Phones, is actually much more interesting. Now there's some stuff to look at, too.

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Rating The Super Bowl Commercials

2/3/2008
As always, the real contest at the Super Bowl was among the commercials. (Admittedly, the game, in which the Giant upset the Patriots 17 - 14, was exciting, too.) On Fox, there were some 50 ads, which went for upwards of $2.7 million for each 30-second spot. Based on the preponderance of beer ads, it must be an American truism that you can never be too rich or have too much Bud Light.

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