Commentary - Content posted in April 2009 - InformationWeek

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Commentary
Content posted in April 2009
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Just Say No to Virtual Security FUD
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
What is special about a virtual computer-a VM? It's a computer in a file. That's it. It's just a computer stored in a file with similar foibles and management issues as a physical computer. So why do some people invest virtual computers some magical transformative powers? Do they not understand what a virtual computer is?
IBM Will Flex Financial Muscle In Cloud, Analytics, Outsourcing
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
Flexing its considerable financial muscle in strategic categories, IBM says it "will leverage our cash position to be opportunistic to accelerate our progress" in cloud computing and business analytics, while also reporting a whopping 50% jump in signings for long-term strategic-outsourcing deals in the financial-services sector.
Twitter, Microsoft And... Oracle?
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
Apparently where there's Tweets, there's fire. Twitter may or may not have a business model (management claims it does), but traditional software vendors are apparently convinced there's money to be made in them thar' streams.
Paring Management System Costs
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
Network and systems management has been a troublesome area for small and medium businesses. While many companies would like to deploy these products and get a clearer picture about their system and network usage, product pricing has often been too high for them to make that switch. Consequently, one successful vendor decided to retool its product line by adding a lower cost option.
bMighty bSecure: SMB Security On A Budget - And On Demand!
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
When times get tough, it's all too tempting to push security concerns aside. But that's a fool's game. Fortunately, there are ways for small and midsize companies to address security issues without breaking the bank. To learn more, check out the On-Demand version of bMighty bSecure, which brings together business and security experts to show you how to do exactly that.
Shopping Service Opens Up On Twitter
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
There is a new account on Twitter that gives you shopping assistance and since Twitter works on your mobile phone, this can be a useful companion when looking for something or when you have a question about a product. You just send @imshopping your question, in 140 characters of course, and it will respond with the information you are looking for.
Meet The Palm Eos, Follow-Up To The Pre
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
Palm may not have announced it, but a new device called the Eos has been spotted on the Internet. It's thin, it's sexy, and it just might be more exciting than the Pre.
A Great Guide To Picking The Right Linux Distro
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
Choice is empowering -- but too many choices can be overwhelming. The key to succeeding with Linux is to avoid the latter without sacrificing the former.
Feds Ink Deals To Let Government Agencies Use Social Media
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
The General Services Administration reached agreements with popular social media networks like Facebook and YouTube to allow agencies to use the service. Previously, elements of the terms of these services blocked the government from using them.
Make Linux Suck Less
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
Linux sucks! So says Bryan Lunduke, himself a Linux software developer, at a presentation he gave at Linux Fest Northwest. In truth, it's not a hatchet job -- it's exactly the kind of pointed and forceful Linux criticism we need more of.
IBM CIO's Strategy: Run, Transform, Innovate
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
Like other CIOs, IBM's Mark Hennessy knows that a dollar saved on data center operations is a dollar earned for business-technology innovation. IBM has moved the dial on its IT budget 10 percentage points toward innovation in recent years, and Hennessy says there are still more operational efficiencies to be gained.
Motorola CEO: 'Android-Based Devices' On Track For Late 2009
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
Today Motorola filed its first quarter earnings. Buried within the report was a juicy gem about the company's plans regarding Android devices, which CEO Sanjay Jha said will be available in time for the holidays. (Oh, and handset sales fell a whopping 45%.)
5 Tips For Avoiding Litigation In A Recession
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
With cash tight the last thing your business needs right now is a lawsuit. But the inevitable collection difficulties that come with a recession increase the likelihood of a business dispute. Here's 5 tips to help your business steer clear of litigation and handle it effectively if it does happen to you.
BlackBerry Storm OS 4.7.0.141 Leaked Onto Interwebs
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
What feels like mere hours after we first learned about the existence of Storm firmware 4.7.0.141, it appears the Internet Gods have delivered it for your downloading pleasure.
Clearing the Air on McKinsey's Cloud Report
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
The world of cloud computing was shocked last week with the release of the McKinsey report on cloud computing, entitled "Clearing the Air on Cloud Computing." As with any of the thought-leadership pieces pushed out around cloud computing, it was quickly picked apart by the pundits.
Riverbed Revenue Jumps 21% As It Sasses Cisco
Commentary  |  4/30/2009
Sparked by strong revenue growth in services and 500 new customers, Riverbed Technology reported revenue grew 21% in the first quarter to $88.5 million, and that it expects second-quarter revenue to be up by 13%-15% year over year. Emboldened by that success, Riverbed execs also told analysts they're beating Cisco "nine out of 10 times" even as Cisco and others offer discounts of 80% or more.
Global CIO: How Avnet Is Rethinking IT To Enable Global Business
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
A broader move from regional to global IT teams lets the company remain responsive to regional market needs while gaining the benefits of its global scale.
A Plethora Of Pre News
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
I'm still waiting for some official word on when Palm's Pre is coming out, but a few items leaked this week that may point to a price. There's also speculation that Palm may cap the stock of the handset when it's released to create a buss. That's right, we may face Wii-like scarcities.
Down To Business: Are Execs Twittering Their Time Away?
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
Clearly, the rules of social networking engagement are still evolving. Either these tools are shedding light on business issues, or they're just a distraction.
Are You A Super-User?
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
A long list of big brand names are outsourcing customer service to unpaid, voluntary enthusiast users who staff and sometimes manage online company forums. I'm just not getting it, and I thought you might help me out.
Pentagon Using Virtual Reality To Treat PTSD
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
The U.S. military is using virtual worlds to help treat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Going On A Job Interview? Here's Some Help
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
Job interviews rank up there with root canal for most people. Wouldn't you want to know in advance the trickiest question your prospective employer might ask on your job interview?
Practical Analysis: Mainframes And x86 Headed For Virtual Collision
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
Mainframes are still the best virtualization platform around. Perhaps there's more there than just a few best-practices lessons.
CIO At The CIA Recognized As IT Leader, Change Agent
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
For the second time in three weeks, the understandably low-key CIO of the CIA, Al Tarasiuk, has been in the public eye, this time in recognition for being named as a top IT leader and change agent at an industry event.
iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 4 Adds Voice Memo Recorder
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
Late Tuesday, Apple made a fourth beta version of the iPhone 3.0 operating system available to developers. One new feature spotted in the software is a voice-recording application.
Podcast: Is Twitter Making Us Stupider?
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
Leave it to Nicholas Carr to get us so twisted up that his mere name evokes a leer or a cheer, and rarely anything in between. His big stir ("Does IT Matter") gave way to "The Big Switch" (his book), and just for fun in between he published things like "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" Done questioning whether we matter, in "Twitter Dot Dash," he questioned our patte
Incubator Aims to Cook Up Potential Cloud Standards
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
A group of heavyweight tech vendors have assembled to put cloud interoperability and security specifications on a fast track to standardization
New ProCurve Threat Module: Flexibility Requires Planning
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
HP ProCurve announced a new module for their ProCurve 8212 and 5400 modular switches. The Threat Management Module offers firewall, VPN, and IPS functions simultaneously on the switch backplane which is unlike Cisco's approach with the Catalyst 6500 requiring separate security modules firewall, VPN, and IPS. The cost, however, is lower performance per module. ProCurve needs to increase module performance to make it a replacement for appliances.
The Palm Pre Costs Less To Build Than The iPhone, Storm And G1
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
The price point of the Palm Pre has been a much-debated topic ever since the phone was announced. iSuppli hasn't coughed up that nugget of information, but has estimated that the Pre costs a mere $138 to manufacture.
You Can't Have Your Java And Fork It, Too
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
The other night I commiserated with a friend over Sun's sale to Oracle, with both of us agreeing gloomily that this most likely means the end of Java as we know it. Actually, it may mean a whole new beginning for Java -- or a whole bunch of new beginnings -- and that's exactly the problem.
Microsoft: We're Not Making A Zune Phone For Verizon Wireless
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
The Internet has been rife with a bevy of reports recently concerning new smartphone hardware (codename "Pink") from Microsoft. In response to the reports, Microsoft said in plain English: "Microsoft is not going into the phone hardware business."
Microsoft's Tellme Voice Service For Windows Mobile
Commentary  |  4/29/2009
Microsoft's Tellme subsidiary is announcing a voice service that will be available to carriers and manufacturers for free for use on Windows Mobile 6.5 this fall. Users will be able to push a button on their phone to activate the service and say things like "Text Steve Jones" and the device would open up the SMS application, create a new message and pre-address it to Steve Jones.
Motorola Ex-CFO Drama Continues
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
Today, Motorola's former CFO, Paul Liska, formally denied the allegations that he ran a data scrubber on his company-issued laptop to destroy evidence. Meanwhile, Motorola calls the whole thing an "extortion campaign."
Global CIO: Upheaval In The IT Industry: The End Of The World As We Knew It
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
The old model where hardware was hardware and software was software is gone, finished, and not to be seen again.
Sun CEO Schwartz To Staff: We've Fueled Entire Industries
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
In a memo to employees announcing the Oracle deal, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz makes every effort to emphasize the high value Oracle is placing on Sun's people. And, perhaps releasing his inner publicist, Schwartz also says Sun has "fueled entire industries with our people," driven the discovery of new drugs, and "transformed social media."
Microsoft, HP-EDS, Google Push Their Cloud Computing Agendas
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
First off, Microsoft has cut a deal with Hewlett-Packard's EDS outsourcing unit to deliver up to $3 billion in cloud computing services. Meanwhile, Google is taking issue with the whole idea of private, or internal clouds. Bottom line, cloud computing continues to gather strength even as skeptics try to puncture the hype.
BlackBerry Round Up: Storm Firmware, Addiction App, Niagara Update
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
Today has been a busy one out in BlackBerry-land, so here's a tidy summation of all that's been discovered. We've received new word on the next firmware build for the BlackBerry Storm; a new application lets you test your BlackBerry addiction levels; and there's more info about the BlackBerry Niagara.
The Palm Pre Is On Its Way To The U.S.: Report
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
According to a report on everythingpre.com, the first shipment of Palm Pres has left Hong Kong and is headed east. Is the Pre's release imminent?
CIOs and Risk: Not Me, Must Be The Other Guy/Gal!
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
My parents used to love telling me how, when I was a lad of about two or three years old, I would gleefully throw my two older brothers under the bus whenever my mom or dad inquired about a broken lamp or a spilled soda.
SolarWinds Tackles IP Address Management
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
As businesses become more dispersed, managing them becomes more complicated. One challenge for small and medium businesses is tracking network addresses, something that has become more complex as employees work with a wider range of devices. One vendor has tried to tackle the problems with two address management products.
Verizon Uses Microsoft To Make Apple Jealous
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
Wow. It looks like the rumor-mongering is getting out of control. Fresh off the talk that Verizon Wireless and Apple are getting hot and heavy about bringing out a CDMA iPhone, the Wall Street Journal is reporting Big V is talking with Microsoft to create an iPhone rival. Somehow, I don't think Apple's shaking in
Google Not Connecting Swine Flu Dots
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
Google's map of swine flu outbreaks is useful if you need a geography lesson, but it's not doing much to help people figure out where the disease is heading next or, more importantly, how it got started in the first place.
Amazon Acquires Stanza E-Book Reader: Superior Selection Meets Superior Software
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
The other day, I tweeted that it would be awesome if the Amazon Kindle store sold books through the Stanza iPhone app. Yesterday, Amazon acquired Lexcycle, the company behind Stanza. I must never use this power for evil.
Is Demand Slowing For Amazon Web Services?
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
In the first quarter of 2009, Amazon's net sales surged 18% to $4.9 billion, fueled by sales of electronics and other general merchandise, which jumped 38% compared to a year ago. Holding the company back, however, was its "other" sales category, which grew only 8% and includes revenues from Amazon Web Services.
SAP-Teradata Alliance Goes Beyond the Database
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
To what extent will SAP BusinessObjects software be integrated with Teradata?" The possibilities go well beyond SAP BW and the DBMS, and it's not so much a matter of smiting the competition as keeping up!
Working Together To Avoid The Patently Absurd
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
Patent reform may be in the air, but it'll be some time before the real fruits are reaped. In the meantime, we have to maintain our own guard against unfairly-granted patents, something the Open Invention Network's doing proactively with, for instance, the patents at the heart of the Mic
Richard Stallman Slams SaaS
Commentary  |  4/28/2009
If you're known by the enemies you keep, then Software as a Service received a boost the other day when it was bashed by Richard Stallman, the free-software GNUru. Stallman is such a control freak about his particular vision of software "freedom" that he says the following about SaaS: "You must not use it!"
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