Commentary - Content posted in October 2005 - InformationWeek

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Commentary
Content posted in October 2005
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Stealing From Google
Commentary  |  10/31/2005
I have a confession to make: I've been stealing from Google. With $1.578 billion in revenue last quarter, the company is unlikely to miss the pennies I've denied it. Still, I feel I owe an explanation: I'm "adnorant," which is to say I ignore online ads.
Text Messaging Boosts Teen Writing Ability
Commentary  |  10/31/2005
A Cambridge University study has found that text messaging has boosted the ability of teenagers to write. The study found that "today's teenagers are using far more complex sentence structures, a wider vocabulary and a more accurate use of capital letters, punctuation and spelling." That's the good news. The bad news is that they're also "ten times more likely to use non-standard English in written exams than in 1980, usin
Intel Self-Destruct Mode Aids AMD Momentum
Commentary  |  10/31/2005
It's hard to believe a company that controls more than three-quarters of perhaps the most profitable segment of the electronics industry can simultaneously look vulnerable and weak even while posting "banner" operational results.
Treo 650 Music Docking Station?
Commentary  |  10/29/2005
Move over iPod snobs, with your fancy gadget aftermarket of music docking stations. We Treo 650 smart phone snobs now have one of our own. The Treo 650 Music Dock charges and connects (for PC synchronization) your Treo, and plays music either from the Treo or from an external music source (the dock sports a 3.5mm
Feedback
Commentary  |  10/28/2005
Supreme Impact On IT
Commentary  |  10/28/2005
Microsoft Does What The Others Didn't
Commentary  |  10/28/2005
Microsoft, according to a number of reports, is "evolving its position" on the OpenDocument format. Although Microsoft told the State of Massachusetts last month that Office 12 will not support ODF -- and state officials effectively told Redmond to shove off by endorsing the format anyway -- the company was apparently hedging its bets in a big way.
SmartAdvice: Getting The Business Case Right For IT Portfolio Planning
Commentary  |  10/27/2005
Check out the seven C's for payback on portfolio planning, The Advisory Council says. Also, wireless upgrades could be the next "killer app" when a standard emerges.
Business Technology: RFID Is Already Proving Its Value
Commentary  |  10/27/2005
The adoption of radio-frequency identification has reached such a critical mass across a diverse range of applications that we're about to see indisputable evidence of the power of RFID and related technologies, Bob Evans says.
Messaging Behind Closed Doors
Commentary  |  10/27/2005
It used to be the case that internally created and internally transmitted messages (the oldest form of e-mail) were of little threat to the security posture of an organization. That was before we actually started monitoring what went on behind closed doors, so to speak. Organizations started paying a little more attention to internal messages once compliance and legal requirements made it more important to do so. But the focus for e-mail protection has always been on incoming messages, and more
Supreme Impact On IT
Commentary  |  10/27/2005
When President Bush scans the horizon for his next Supreme Court nominee, he might do well to not only choose a candidate who has spent some time on the bench, but also one with some understanding of, or background in, science and technology. Such an addition to the Supreme Court would be very timely at this juncture in high-tech litigation and advances. We have entered a technological age, and we
Intel Self-Destruct Mode Aids AMD Momentum
Commentary  |  10/27/2005
It's hard to believe a company that controls more than three-quarters of perhaps the most profitable segment of the electronics industry can simultaneously look vulnerable and weak even while posting "banner" operational results. But Intel, in reshuffling its processor roadmap this week has ensured that the momentum rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has built over the past year will continue for at least another
What, Me Worry?
Commentary  |  10/27/2005
Microsoft is making good on its plans to invade the business intelligence market with the launch of Business Scorecard Manager, a business intelligence server that's due Nov. 1. But at least one stand-alone analytics vendor says it isn't worried by Microsoft's foray into BI.
Tech Overload
Commentary  |  10/27/2005
Don't Believe Everything Your GPS Tells You
Commentary  |  10/27/2005
Two Australian tourists in New Zealand found out the hard way that you can't always rely on GPS to give you the best route. The visitors rented a car from Avis, which comes with a GPS system, plugged in their destination and drove where the gadget told them to drive. The system guided them through a ten-hour, death-defying journey into hell: through rivers, fog and perilous and narrow mountain passes terminating at a locked-g
Office Letter: Removing Dupes in Word
Commentary  |  10/26/2005
Here's a clever search-and-replace string to remove duplicate paragraphs from a Word document.
My Favorite Fantasy iPod
Commentary  |  10/26/2005
Apple's iPod is cool enough -- especially the new one. Detractors belittle the device, saying that it's nothing more than a hard disk with a play button. The iPod lovers and the iPod haters will disagree, but there's no denying the design influence Apple's music player has had over other music players, over other consumer electronics and over a large variety of random products.
How Many Office Suites?
Commentary  |  10/26/2005
The release of OpenOffice 2.0 is a red-letter day for the open-source movement, but what does it mean for for companies and individuals who now have a choice of more than half a dozen alternatives to Microsoft Office? Free is good, and OpenOffice is free -- but is it good? We'll find out -- there's a review coming in Desktop Pipeline RSN. It looks like the office-suite marketplace is settling down into three camps. The first is the free ones, like OpenOffice. The second is the commercial ones,
Is Google Spreading Itself Too Thin?
Commentary  |  10/26/2005
Reading the recent news out of Google, I can't help thinking about Netscape. Like Google, Netscape had a dazzling entry into the world of business. At that time, Web browsers were still a new thing; there were literally two dozen commonly available, none of them with decisive market dominance. And none of them presented any significant competition to the Netscape browser, which was decisively smaller, faster and lighter. Later, Netscape launched the first superstar dotcom IPO. We all
EULA Be Sorry Someday
Commentary  |  10/26/2005
Most software licenses serve two purposes: They demand the right to do crazy things, so that the slightly less crazy things they really want to do look reasonable; and they discourage users from thinking too hard about this fact. There's a way to solve the second problem -- and if you own or manage a business, thinking about the first problem might be a very good idea.
Taking Responsibility For IT
Commentary  |  10/25/2005
Why are so many federal government IT projects in trouble, and what can be done? Here are some suggestions.
Before SOX, Archiving Was Just Good Procedure
Commentary  |  10/25/2005
For small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), it may be the only procedure. Security is still the biggest concern for SMBs when it comes to their messaging systems, but archiving is starting to pick up steam as a priority for this group as well as large enterprises. So says a report just published by the Radicati Group, which contains the results of Radicati's survey of businesses with less than 500 employees.
Microsoft Rattles Some BI Cages
Commentary  |  10/25/2005
Never mind that Business Objects, Cognos, Hyperion Solutions and others are allied with Microsoft on the operating systems front. The giant from Redmond wants their business on the applications end.
Security Myths That Need To Be Put To Rest
Commentary  |  10/25/2005
As columnist Wayne Rash points out, conventional wisdom about security can be a useful guide--or a trap.
SOA Consolidation Continues
Commentary  |  10/25/2005
Last week saw further consolidation in the SOA marketplace, as IBM Corp. announced that it had acquired DataPower Technology, removing from the field one of the last independent startups in XML acceleration, since Intel acquired Savega last summer.
A Hot Dog, A Soda And A...Cell Phone?
Commentary  |  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
Desktop Security And Vista: When Windows Passes Apple And Firefox
Commentary  |  10/25/2005
Columnist Rob Enderle takes a long, hard look at security across the board--from Microsoft to open source technologies--and seems to like what he sees.
Why Dutch Call For More Offshore Outsourcing Means U.S. Businesses Have To Follow Suit
Commentary  |  10/25/2005
Regular readers of my blogs will know that, for the most part, I'm pro-offshoring. It's a hot-button issue, so it's not surprising that my inbox is usually stuffed with E-mails calling me, at best, misguided and, at worst, Propaganda Minister for the One World Conspiracy.
A Question For All Of You
Commentary  |  10/25/2005
Let's say a car dealer sells you a new set of wheels. Then, let's say they send a mechanic to your house six months later who yanks out the stereo, replaces it with an AM radio and a coat-hangar antenna, and tells you it's an "upgrade." Most of us would call this behavior insane, stupid, suicidal, or all of the above. Yet here in the tech industry, we call it something else: a business model. Here's my question for all of you: Just how common is it?
Being Compliant And Ethical
Commentary  |  10/24/2005
From time to time, I like to let you know of inexpensive (or sometimes free) tools that might help guide your thinking as you begin or continue to roll out new compliance processes. I noticed a couple interesting new Web-based survey tools that help assess employee attitudes and awareness of integrity and antifraud risks as part of an ethics program evaluation. I found it interesting because it got me thinking
Jewel In Plain Sight
Commentary  |  10/24/2005
Oracle says Siebel's budding business intelligence functionality is a "hidden jewel" within the database maker's planned acquisition of the customer relationship management firm. But it's hard to call analytics a "hidden" jewel when such BI functionality is the very thing Oracle most wants to add to its enterprise software and database systems.
Good News/Good News
Commentary  |  10/24/2005
Improving The IT Workplace
Commentary  |  10/24/2005
Dancing With Spammers
Commentary  |  10/24/2005
Videocast: Firefox Heading For A Wall
Commentary  |  10/21/2005
My Web video debut describes how Firefox's stalled market share and the threat of Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 could mean big trouble soon for the plucky, open-source browser. Download the video here (Windows Media format, 2 min., 7 sec, 7.3 MB), or, if you have your podcasting software pointing at this blog, the video should download automatically. Like I said, this is my first effort, so it's not exactly an awar
Feedback
Commentary  |  10/21/2005
Business Technology: Respect For Customers Still Counts In The Virtual World
Commentary  |  10/21/2005
The best things to come out of the drive to virtualization, Bob Evans says, are the value and respect delivered to customers, not just the increased customer options.
Hand-Held Hand Hell
Commentary  |  10/21/2005
As if carpal tunnel wasn't bad enough - it appears we now have digit-specific repetitive stress to look forward to, or dodge as the case may be. I guess this means I'd better steer clear of the BlackBerry and other such tiny-keyboarded gadgets. Rats. Just as I was beginning to warm up to the idea, too. It was hard enough getting over the aging eyesight issue, I mean, can you really read those things? I see peopl
Measuring Interruption
Commentary  |  10/21/2005
Ink Is Thicker Than Water
Commentary  |  10/21/2005
The next time you dig into your pocket for $40 or $50 to buy a couple of cartridges for your inkjet printer, just remember -- the printer manufacturers don't enjoy charging such outrageous prices. They're only doing it to make you happy. Really. HP said so yesterday when it sued Cartridge World for supposedly violating a patent on its ink formulation. The article included a quote from Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president of supplies
The Results Are In!
Commentary  |  10/21/2005
SmartAdvice: 'Big Iron' Returns With Push For Server Consolidation
Commentary  |  10/20/2005
Companies can save money by reducing the number of servers, but consolidation can take different forms, The Advisory Council says. Also, it's time to decide whether to just comply with RFID mandates or to invest funds to re-engineer and improve effectiveness.
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