John Edwards Does YouTube. This Could Get Interesting
Count on political Internet video to get a lot more exciting than Democrat John Edwards' announcement posted this week. What if the Kerry Swift boat controversy of the last presidential campaign played out on YouTube? It all might even get hot enough to spark some interesting business uses of Internet video.
AT&T Concessions Bode Well For Consumers And Businesses Alike
The long dragged-out battle over net neutrality took a decisive turn last week. Anxious to push through the largest telecom deal in U.S. history by the end of the year, AT&T made some serious concessions to the critics of its proposal to buy BellSouth. Most notably, the telecom giant assured members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it will not discriminate--either positively or negatively-
Giving Tech A Sporting Chance
Not being much of a sports fan -- sorry, guys -- I've always been a bit bemused by the lengths to which players will go in order to win for their fans, their teams, and (probably most importantly) their prize money or huge salaries. It seems to have gone from such traditionally accepted means as fixing games (as immortalized in countless boxing films) to taking unpleasant medications that will both increase your muscle mass and shorten your life span -- and now, to using technology to gain an ad
Are You A 'User'?
OK, so you don't have any vacation time left, and you're working today (or maybe you're not working and you love InformationWeek so much that you can't keep away). Regardless, I need your help. I want to know about your experiences with user groups: what you think of them, if you belong to any, and how much of an impact they ultimately have on the technology you purchase, use, and manage every day. But first, let me tell you about my experiences with user groups ...
Why Bloggers Will Never Replace Reporters
What do you get when you fly in 14 celebrity bloggers to interview Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates (and give them a free Zune as a party favor)? Pretty much a group kiss-up, apparently.
Get A Second Life
Now that 2006 is fast slipping away, everyone has turned on their nostalgia and is eagerly looking back at the "top" stories of the last 12 months. I usually find these kinds of pieces interesting, but instead, I want to look at what I think will turn into one of the top trends of 2007.
The Return Of Spam
In recent weeks, you've probably noticed the return of an old pest: spam. For almost two years, it seemed as if spam might finally be on the decline. Remember when Bill Gates said that by 2006, "spam will be solved"? Well, that was all going well until a few months ago when spam struck back.
Three Areas Where SaaS Fell Short in 2006
There is always room for improvement. I am finding a few areas where many SaaS vendors fell short in 2006.
1. SaaS guys did not value nonvisual interfaces.
2. SaaS guys typically didn't consider integration to other SaaS players.
3. Many SaaS players were slow in supporting rich internet application technology, such as Ajax.
Here's how SaaS vendors can improve -- and what you should look for from leaders -- in 2007.
Goals and Resolutions for 2007
The promise of a fresh start, a new leaf, new projects, and maybe, just maybe, not repeating the mistakes and bad habits of the previous year is appealing, isn't it? We asked readers and industry luminaries what they plan/hope to do differently and predict will happen in the coming year. Here are some of their answers.
Don't Worry, It's Not Socialism
We're starting to see the emergence of new economies in the Internet in which the exchange of money isn't the straightforward path from customer to merchant that we're all used to. This has led to some alarmed hand-wringing about socialism, when in fact what we're seeing is the good ol' free market at work in strange and new ways.
Nature's Failure Shows Limits Of User-Generated Content
The publication Nature is abandoning an experiment with open, online peer review to help vet scientific research before publication. It highlights a question being asked with more skepticism about user-generated content attempts: Why should I generate content for you?
'I Was Quoted Out Of Context' = 'The Journalist Published What I Said'
In an interview with a journalist a short time back, Seagate CEO Bill Watkins made a joke about his company's mission: "Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap--and watch porn." Seagate employees were offended, and so Watkins did the manly thing--
Plenty Of Dumb To Go Around
A U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Web site Supercrosslive.com should be prohibited from providing direct links to live audiocasts of motorcycle races. Get out a big bucket of dumb, people, because there's plenty to go around for everybody in this case.
Cable Industry-vs.-Telco-Giants Is An Astroturf War
While I'm against tilting the playing field in favor of AT&T, which appears to be what Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin was trying to do in this week's FCC ruling on local franchise applications, I'm not against real competition in local broadband. But as you might expect given the players, it gets unreal pretty quickly. One example: "Astroturf" local support.
Over the course of my rather long and varied journalistic career, I've been laid off five times (usually because the magazine in question was shut down) and have survived two or three others, so I'm not unfamiliar with the anger and angst that can accompany that process. However, that doesn't mean I've got any sympathy whatsoever with the fool who reportedly planted a logic bomb in Medco Health Solutions' com
Fear Is Driving Users From Desktop To Web
The author of my favorite desktop application that I'm not using anymore kicks off a discussion of why applications are moving to the Web. Nick Bradbury of NewsGator, author of the FeedDemon RSS aggregator, says it's because people are afraid of installing software on their desktop.
Principle Rears Its Ugly Head At The FCC
The Federal Communications Commission under Republican Chairman Kevin Martin has been a government regulatory agency driven by principle -- the principle most often being, "whatever Big Business wants, Big Business gets." Unfortunately for Chairman Martin, he was prevented yesterday from giving AT&T what it wants most -- approval of its extremely dubious merger with BellSouth.
Microsoft Wins Hands-Down For Most Disappointing Product Of 2006
Many tech newspapers and magazines have year-end wrap-ups of the best products of the year, and at least one does a wrap-up of the biggest vaporware of the year, but I don't know anybody who's doing a wrap-up of the most disappointing products of the year -- products that were hyped like crazy, and which (unlike vaporware) actually materialized, but proved to be duds once the vendor showed us what was actually behind
Apple Customers Want Apple To Make A Phone. Will They?
Rumors of an Apple phone have been popping up across the Internet for a couple of weeks. Some parties mentioned in various instances of these rumors have denied the whole thing, while others have remained somewhat silent. Is Apple releasing a phone or not? Who knows. What I do know, however, is that with this level of interest, they probably ought to do so.
Sweet Suite Integration: BI Vendors Get it Together
Here's another sure-fire way to make BI an everyday office tool: standardize on a BI suite that has all the goodies (OLAP, reporting, query, dashboards) optimized for your different user groups yet reduces the cost of ownership. A fair few nay sayers grumble that the latest BI suites are a not at all integrated. Not true! The latest releases are miles ahead of previously disparate products. Here are just a few examples:
The InformationWeek Weblog Community Sounds Off
The community discusses the death of outsourcing advocate Sunil Mehta, tools for getting the most from two PCs, outsourcing security, upgrading Windows, and getting around Windows activation.
Has Blockbuster Finally Found The Hammer To Crush Netflix?
TechCrunch thinks it has, as Michael Arrington, a self-confessed former "die-hard Netflix fan," notes in a post explaining why he's canceling his Netflix membership. He says the recent announcement by Blockbuster that you can now return mail-order rentals at the store tips the balance. Also helping make Blockbuster more attractive: Allowing customers to use the free rentals for movies or games, generous free-
Journalist's Interview Interrupted By Attack Of Flying Genitalia
CNET interviewed Ailin Graef, aka "Anshe Chung," about her experiences amassing more than $1 million in virtual property inside the game Second Life. As is Graef's practice, she did the interview inside the game, specifically in the news bureau CNET has opened inside Second Life. What happened next is something that I'm sure never happened to Lois Lane. I'll let CNET tell it thems
Internet Searches Still A Consumer-Dominated Activity
For all the discussion of Google, Yahoo, and other major search engines in the IT trade press as an increasingly essential business tool, use of the technology to search the Web is still the unquestionable domain of consumers.
Access Vs. Delivery: Two Views of Content Security
James Governer has prompted an important discussion on his popular blog regarding enterprise content management (ECM) and Security. The architect views security as stopping bad guys from getting in (the Firewall Syndrome). The document management view casts security as assigning permissions (the ACL syndrome). They're two sides of the same coin, but they're quite different.
India Loses An Outsourcing Advocate
I last spoke with Sunil Mehta in October. The outsourcing exec was excited about new laws to prevent offshore data theft. He also was realistic: "The deterrent will come when we see convictions," Mehta said. That was the Mehta I knew through numerous interviews--a mix of enthusiasm and pragmatism. As such, he embodied the same values that drive India's outsourcing industry. Mehta, 41, passed away over the wee
SmartClose For Windows Saves Time Shutting Down, Re-Starting Programs
The free Windows software SmartClose solves one of the most annoying problems with Windows XP: If you're used to working with a lot of applications running in the background, it's a long, tedious process to shut them all down, and another long, tedious process to start them all up again. SmartClose automatically shuts down running programs and services with a few mouse clicks. It also saves the list of running programs to a "snaps
Tools For Getting The Most From Two PCs
I recently joined the ranks of, well, probably most of the computer-using adult world: I now have two computers that I use on a regular basis, one that I use primarily for work, one primarily for leisure activities. That leaves me with the need to find easy ways of getting information from one to the other, including browser settings, e-mail, and the occasional document. Here's what I've found works best.
Sony's mylo, Like Youth, Is Wasted On The Young
Sony's mylo is a big helping of gotta-have-it rolled up in a very small package: WiFi phone, email-IM-text-messaging-Web-browsing with a full keyboard, and even an MP3 player. Sony is marketing the mylo to the youth market, which leaves the impression that the mylo is just a toy. It's not. It's got some serious mobility features for grown-ups, too.
Enterprise Search Poised For A Shake Up
People often say you can't beat free, and IBM and Yahoo are hoping that will hold true in search. The two companies have released a potentially market-shaking product called IBM Omnifind Yahoo Edition that provides basic search functions for Intranets and Web sites, relying on Yahoo for Internet search.
Digg Unveils New Features
Digg unveiled some new features today designed to make it easier for us to keep up with news and harder for us to get any work done. Users will be able to rank podcasts the way they now rank news stories. TechCrunch notes the significance:: "The Digg team isn't putting it this way, but it's clear that this is an experim
Person Of The Year: Hey, It's The Digital You!
No sooner are blogs declared passé, and big business trains its guns on social networking sites, then along comes You, Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2006. Yes, you baby! Or rather we, us, them--the masses as it were, but not just any old masses. For its annual accolade, Time specifically singled ou