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Information Week
InformationWeek Daily - Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Editor's Note

Can Software Identify Most Popular Veep Candidate?

It's obvious that the Internet is shaping opinions and becoming a vehicle for sharing information during the presidential campaign. It was only a matter of time before we began hearing more about how political operatives are using the Web to shape their strategies. Now, one technology company is touting a "secret weapon" for choosing the ideal presidential ticket.


Affinnova announced during a recent conference for political consultants that the same techniques that have helped market Gatorade, Microsoft, and Wal-Mart can predict which combinations of candidates and issues are most likely to draw voter support.

"Affinnova's project to identify the ideal vice presidential candidates marks the first time this technology has been applied to the political process," the company announced in New York City last week.

A sample of 2,000 likely voters will choose from slates led by Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, paired with 100 vice presidential running mates. The system, developed through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also will include 120 policy priorities.

"What works for peanut butter should also work for politics," Affinnova said. The company said it is putting the concept of "The Wisdom of Crowds" into action through software.

Will this work? I'm waiting to see. Read the rest of my blog post and let me know what you think.

K.C. Jones

Quote of The Day

"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." -- Samuel Johnson

Top Stories

Open Source Data Recovery Tools To The Rescue
Disasters happen to the best of computers. Luckily, open source apps like SystemRescueCD, dd, Partedmagic, BackTrack, Security Tools Distribution, Helix, and TestDisk can help recover important data and bring dead systems back to life.


Tech Implementation, Amish-Style
When Lavern Schlabach was hired to automate the processes at Keim Lumber, a nearly 100-year old home improvement and lumber company, he had an unusual challenge: A staff that was predominantly Amish and had little or no exposure to technology.

White Paper

Linux Developers: It's Time To Open Source All Device Drivers

Linux kernel developers issued a statement saying binary drivers cannot be viewed as an acceptable alternative to open source drivers.

Social Networking Can Affect Real World In Powerful Ways

Groups have already are demonstrated real-world power generated by online networks, according to New York University Professor and author Clay Shirky.

FCC Moves Forward With Free Wireless Plan

Despite opposition from wireless carriers, the FCC is seeking public comment for its free Wi-Fi plan.

Supreme Court To Hear AT&T Access Fee Appeal

A federal appeals court had ruled that AT&T was charging wholesale prices to ISPs that were too high for them to compete with AT&T in the retail market.

Dell Extends Windows XP Sales 'By Popular Demand'

The computer maker will accept orders for PCs with the older Microsoft operating system until June 26.

Bill Gates Waxes Philanthropic At Microsoft 'Exit Interview'

The Microsoft chairman will retire from full-time duties this week, but expects to remain busy with his foundation's work.

Motorola, Kodak Unveil 5-Megapixel Cameraphone

The co-branded Motozine ZN5 features auto-focus, Xenon flash, Bluetooth capabilities, and more.

Microsoft Deleted Windows Interoperability Documents, Feds Say

The court-mandated committee overseeing Microsoft's compliance with a federal antitrust settlement said the software company broke a pact when it removed some information.

Rackable Systems Adds Five Servers

The rack-mount designs feature twice the density of Rackable's existing systems and are aimed at financial, oil and gas, scientific research, and other organizations that need high-performance systems.

Web Sites Push For More Transparency and Accessibility In Government

OpenCongress and MetaVid give citizens an open window into government activities.

HP Contributes Source Code For Unix File System

The Tru64 file system source code and supporting materials have been posted on

Microsoft, AT&T, Covisint Partner On Health Data Exchange

The agreement lets consumers who use Microsoft's HealthVault share their health data with their doctors.

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In This Issue

The latest research, polls, and tools

Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.

The BI Explosion
Examine the business intelligence strategies of 500 companies, including deployment drivers and challenges, spending plans, and vendor selection, in this recent InformationWeek Research report.

Latest InformationWeek Blog Posts

Study: Small Businesses Making More Use Of Smartphones
According to the latest data from AMI, 31% of small businesses in the United States are using smartphones to access e-mail, contact, and calendaring information regularly. Trends indicate that SBs already are looking into location-based services and other functions such as CRM, field force automation, and sales force automation to power their businesses.

Red Hat In Boston, Part 2.3: openSUSE And Openness, Period
Last Friday afternoon I sat down for an hour with Joe Brockmeier, community manager for openSUSE, to talk with him about SUSE 11 and the open source world in general. It was a bit rambly, but that was part of the fun: We stumbled across a whole slew of key truths about open source along the way.

Affinnova Algorithm Claims It Can Pick Most Popular Veep
It's obvious that the Internet is shaping opinions and becoming a vehicle for sharing information during the presidential campaign. It was only a matter of time before we began hearing more about how political operatives are using the Web to shape their strategies. Now, one technology company is touting a "secret weapon" for choosing the ideal presidential ticket.

Motorola Impresses With 5-Megapixel Camera Phone
Motorola and Kodak officially unveiled the Motozine ZN5 today. This latest handset from Motorola boasts a Kodak-branded 5-megapixel shooter with Kodak-approved optics and flash. It also packs some serious Kodak camera software. Have I mentioned that Kodak helped develop the camera? Insta-review says: Darned good camera phone.

What To Make Of Google's Android 'Delays'
Reports are circulating around the Internet today that Google's Android platform is facing difficulties and won't see the light of day before the fourth quarter. Reuters cites technical integration hurdles as the issue, with some Open Handset Alliance partners not able to bring Android to market before next year. I say this isn't really news.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Embraces The Wikipedians, Sort Of
With the upcoming relaunch of its Web site, Encyclopaedia Britannica is making some interesting changes. It's taken steps to embrace certain aspects of the collaborative nature of Wikipedia (and the Internet in general), but at the same time, it reasserts the need to rely on experts with strong voices and distinct points of view.

UC Vendors As Services Companies
I mentioned in last Friday's post that Unified Communications is expected to require much more systems integration work than traditional telecom implementations. That's directly related to the fact that communications is becoming more of a software business and less of a hardware business. It also means that many of the "hardware" vendors of the past are trying to imitate IBM's successes of the last decade in re-positioning from hardware supplier to software/services firms.

BakBone Gives Away NetVault To Red Hat Users
Following Red Hat in giving the software away and charging for support, BakBone Software is giving away a special free-use edition of its NetVault backup software. The free-use edition can handle backup for up to two client servers and up to 500 GB of disk through NetVault's built-in software virtual tape library, which makes standard disk emulate a tape library.

Failing The Basics Will Get You Hacked
Information security firm Sophos evaluated 580 PCs over a 40-day period and found businesses of all sizes can't tackle even the most basic things when it comes to IT security.

AP Correct In Calling BS On Blogosphere
No one else has voiced support to the AP for drawing a line in the virtual sand and attempting to preserve the tattered remnants of the profession of journalism, so it falls to me. Here goes: Just like the New York Mets with their firing of manager Willie Randolph, the AP botched big time the implementation of its copyright cease-and-desist claim against a tiny Web site, but the basic point was correct. Here's why.

Helio Kicking The Bucket?
Don't call it a phone company. In fact, don't bother calling it at all, because various reports are saying that Helio will follow in the footsteps of Disney Mobile, ESPN Mobile, and various other defunct mobile virtual network operators.

Satellite Radio Stumbles, Still Shines
XM Satellite Radio's share price is down another 3.6% today after plunging 17% on a discouraging report from Goldman Sachs. XM rival Sirius has suffered a similar stumble.

White Paper

Real-World SOA: Definition, Implementation and Use of SOA with CentraSite
Web services are having a dramatic impact on improving enterprise architecture and application development practices. This paper highlights three sample case studies illustrating how Fujitsu's CentraSite delivers SOA solutions.

Forrester Consulting: Unified Communications Delivers Global Benefits
This Forrester Consulting study shows how Unified Communications (UC) makes it simpler to contact others over any device in any location, enhancing business agility, cutting costs, and boosting employee productivity. Forrester finds that UC is already delivering major savings for organizations around the world in retail banking, manufacturing and education. Download the full report for free.

Software as a Service Research Report
No longer a niche software delivery model, software as a service (SaaS) can help small and midsize companies get access to enteprise-class software functionality without having to commit enterprise-level capital resources. Download the full report for free.

The Internet & the Developing World
The evolution of the Internet has been full of surprises - surprises that have sometimes resulted in radical changes in the commercial landscape, such as the arrival of Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube, and Skype. Could one of the next big surprises turn out to be linked to developing countries? Read the full report for free from

Job Listings

Featured Jobs:

T-Mobile seeking Program Manager 3 in Snoqualmie, WA

Trilogy Leasing Co, LLC seeking General Manager in Cranbury, NJ

Columbia Law School seeking Systems Analyst E-Mail Network Administrator in New York, NY

Prime Objective seeking Support Analyst in Somerset, NJ

Agilent Technologies seeking Business Manager in Bangalore, IN

For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit our Career Center.

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