Commentary - Content posted in May 2007 - InformationWeek

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Content posted in May 2007
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Child Sex Crackdown Causes Problems For LiveJournal
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
The venerable online community LiveJournal stirred up a storm of controversy when it attempted to delete sex-themed discussion groups in the name of protecting children, and accidentally deleted legitimate literary sites and at least one psychological support journal.
Should Companies Hire People With Black Marks On Their Internet Histories?
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
An international retailer finds a great candidate to head up its store in Shanghai. But a bit of last-minute Googling turns up information about political activism against the Chinese government. Should she still get the job?
Microsoft Drops A Few Data Center Strategy Hints
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
Ever wanted to know how Microsoft makes decisions about how to build its data centers, where they are and how big they are, and what the company intends to do with them all? A video interview the company has posted today with Michael Manos, the Microsoft's senior director of Data Center Services, gives a few hints.
Why Novell Might Need 'Plan B' For Linux Distribution
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
Novell says its alliance with Microsoft is a key part of its Linux sales strategy. It may need to rethink that. On Thursday, the Free Software Foundation took aim at the partnership with a deal-busting final draft of the new open source license.
The Razor-Blade Strategy
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
Have you heard about the razor-blade strategy (also called, according to Wikipedia, the "bait and hook model")? The idea is that a company sells you a razor for next to nothing -- or gives it away for free. Great deal, right? You get the razor, and the manufacturer gets to sell you high-cost razor blades for the next few years (or, at least, for as long as you use the razor), making a lot more than was inv
Doing the iPhone Shuffle
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
We're headed into the home stretch on the iPhone frenzy. Apple is still saying "end of June" but Web sites like The Boy Genius Report are saying June 15, just about two weeks away. Alpha early adopters will be flaunting them in every martini bar and boardroom in America and the rest of us will be doing the iPhone Shuffle, waiting in line at the Cingular store. Already there are leaks and spe
You Can See Steve Jobs' House On Google Maps
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
There has been a lot of fanfare this week for the new Street View feature on Google Maps, a function that gives users a 360-degree view from the streets of select cities. Now users are reporting seeing all kinds of things, including Steve Jobs' house.
Are Carriers Delaying The S60 Mobile Version Of Skype?
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
Darla Mack asks a great question: Where is the Symbian version of Skype? While Symbian smartphone users wait the Gizmo Project is already available for the N800, N95, N80ie and E61i. Will Gizmo become the Skype of the S60 smartphone world?
Americans Buy Low-Tech Phones And Keep Them Forever
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
According to J.D. Power and Associates, Americans are keeping their phones an average of 17.5 months, up from 16.6 months since last fall. That means more and more people are opting for 2-year contracts...and opting against the latest technology. Do people care about high tech?
Google Analytics Suffers Outage
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
Last week Google Analytics customers reported service outages that affected some for more than 24 hours. Worse, Google issued no official comment until Tuesday. As "Web Analytics Report" readers know, Google's official support partners fare no better than users, and in this case received no communications on the outage. As a free service, perhaps the offering is not supposed to be enterprise-class, but let's compare marketing hype to real functionality.
How Customers Should Prepare for Vendor Demos
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
Tony Byrne has provided some advice to vendors regarding product demos. Those ten points make essential reading for vendors and customers alike, but there is another perspective. Since I have personally sat in on those demos both as a buyers' advisor and as a vendor (system integrator), I need to add three points that customers should keep in mind when asking vendors to demonstrate their products:
Jobs Says EDGE Is Fast: Has The Reality Distortion Field Hit The iPhone?
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
Steve Jobs made headlines yesterday at the D: All Things Digital conference. Of course, Jobs spoke about the iPhone, but during his remarks, I began to see the telltale signs of the reality distortion field at work.
Businesses To Spend $9 Billion On Mobile Applications By 2011
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
It's time to dust off the hockey stick because we've got another mobile enterprise market study. According to the latest findings from Compass Intelligence, U.S. businesses will spend $9 billion on mobile CRM and other mobile applications by 2011.
Apple's Jobs: Mobile Internet Is Terrible. iPhone Delivers the Real Internet
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
Speaking to Walt Mossberg at yesterday's D: All Things Digital conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave us some interesting tidbits of info regarding the iPhone. The OS is the full Mac OS X with a different user interface. Third-party apps? Maybe. QWERTY keyboards? A waste of valuable space. FMC? Sort of. 3G? Well, Wi-Fi is faster. Oh, and current music phones stink.
Fax Mistaken For Bomb; Director Detained For 'Shooting A Pilot'
Commentary  |  5/31/2007
Yelling fire in a crowded theater ain't what it used to be. Consider the latest case of a perceived threat gone wild, which took the form of an ad faxed by a bank. One recipient in the Boston area took it to be a bomb threat, resulting in the evacuation of local stores the other day.
Linden Lab Plans Stability Improvements, Web Hooks, And Face-Lift For Second Life
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
Linden Lab is working on improvements to Second Life to vastly improve Web integration, scalability, stability, and the beauty of the world, according to CTO Cory Ondrejka.
Just Because My Avatar Wears Black Socks With Sandals, That Doesn't Make Me A Middle-Aged Second Life User
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
I got a call the other day from a guy who wanted to talk to me about middle-aged Second Life users. I was insulted by the implication that I'm middle-aged, and would have told him so, except I had to rush off the phone or I'd miss Matlock.
Top Five Reasons The Palm Foleo Makes No Sense
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
Palm today decided to show us the future of mobile computing by giving us... a $500 laptop-sized Treo smartphone add-on that isn't even a real laptop. While I am sure some of you are excited by the Foleo and its Linux OS, I for one am under whelmed. Why would I pay $500 for a glorified smartphone accessory when I could get an entire laptop for just a little bit more?
Why Are Customers Frustrated With Web Analytics?
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
I spoke to customers and vendors at the recent Emetrics Summit to find some answers. Customers generally underestimated the level of effort required of them -- for example the tagging required to collect "basic" data, such as downloads of PDFs, Excel and Word files. Not understanding the need to develop a process for data collection, page tagging, and analysis, customers often assume that once the Web analytics solution is in place, it will run itself.
Palm Adds The Folly, Er, The Foleo To Its Portfolio
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
For once, the rumor sites had it completely right. If you heard a gunshot around 11:30 AM Pacific Time this morning over in Carlsbad, Calif., that was Palm shooting itself in the foot. Rather than spend its time and money developing the next kick-butt smartphone for the enterprise, Palm thought about the future and decided to give us a laptop that isn't even a laptop.
IE Mobile Gets Standards For Windows Mobile 6
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
For those of you eagerly waiting the upgrades to Internet Explorer Mobile for Windows Mobile 6, here is a rundown of what you can expect from the new OS.
Is Second Life Just A Big Chatroom?
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
Intel's launching a series of presentations for developers in Second Life puts the virtual world to its best business use, as a platform for conversations with customers. And yet it got me thinking: Is Second Life just a big chatroom?
Is Google Getting Serious About Business Software?
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
Here's to betting that a Salesforce.com and Google business partnership has been consummated. Salesforce informs me it will be making an announcement with a "leading Internet company based in the Bay Area" on June 5.
Will The Exit Of InfoSpace Spell The End Of The Carrier Deck?
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
Mobile content, advertising, and search firm InfoSpace is rumored to be on the auction block with Spanish firm LaNetro Zed as the prospective buyer. According to the rumors, InfoSpace could fetch around $1.08 billion if the merger goes through. This deal could mark the end of the first phase of the mobile Web.
CIO Gregor Bailar Leaving Capital One
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
Capital One said today its CIO, Gregor Bailar, is stepping down Sept. 1 to pursue philanthropic interests. Bailar was at the helm of the company's IT department when InformationWeek named Capital One the no. 1 company in the presitgious InformationWeek 500 list in 2005. For those who want to make hay about the shortening tenure of the CIO, even among the good ones, think again... (read on after viewing the video by clicking "Continue reading..." below) To see Bailar speaking on agile programmin
Is The Next Generation iPhone Already In Production?
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
The iPhone rumors are non-stop today. The iPhone supposedly will have more features than Steve Jobs announced in January and Microsoft might have some new patent with which to challenge the iPhone (and possibly block its path to market). Now reports claim that the
Apple Beware: Microsoft Awarded Web Phone Patent
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
Could Apple's iPhone be at the mercy of a patent just granted to Microsoft? Could be, judging by U.S. Patent 7,225,409, "Graphical User Interface For A Screen Telephone," which was awarded to Microsoft on Tuesday. More potential worries for Apple: The patent isn't just for a phone, but for the underlying softwar
What Is The Real Market For Wireless MVNOs?
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
The wireless industry has been trying to figure out the secret to MVNOs for the last five years. With the exception of Virgin Mobile, though, I haven't seen very many success stories. Now Voce, a new MVNO designed for the busy professional with disposable income, is trying to capture the coveted high-end market. Why do MVNOs think wealthy people want to go through a re-seller?
Does The iPhone Have Hidden Features?
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
We're just a few weeks away from the launch of the iPhone and the rumor mill is in overdrive. Yesterday my colleague, Eric Zeman, questioned if the iPhone would usher in a new era of fixed-mobile convergence and seamless connectivity. Today it seems the iPhone might be hiding some features that Steve Jobs didn't reveal in January.
Rumors On Palm Device Not So Promising
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
Well, as to be expected, tech and gadget rumor sites are already running pieces on what Palm will be announcing today. The one rumor that looks more substantive than the others (because it's based on an errant Palm press release) speaks of a Linux-based UMPC-type device. Hmm. Is this a market
Ajax Versus Silverlight, JavaFX and Flash/Flex
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
I've noticed that spokespeople for Microsoft, Sun and Adobe tend to gingerly disparage Ajax… It doesn't fit their model: proprietary delivery methods (runtime clients, graphics engines), proprietary or semi-proprietary development tools-their own solutions for overcoming the deficiencies of HTTP Web applications… It pains them that Ajax is so popular. They have to deal with it, treat it with kid gloves, even support it; but they don't like it.
Mobile Web Turns Into An Escape From Corporate Firewalls
Commentary  |  5/30/2007
A few months ago I reported how mobile Web use was growing, particularly in the U.S. In the U.K., employees are flocking to toilets to use the mobile Web. Why? Because it's a fast and easy way to escape the prying eyes of IT managers and corporate firewalls.
BT To Add Wireless VoIP To PlayStation Portable
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
BT said it is developing a software-based VoIP app for the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP). The new app will let users to make voice and video calls over a Wi-Fi network. Will VoIP be the newest add-on for mobile game handhelds?
Smartphone Accessories Make More Money Than Smartphones
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
That's right, there is more money in Bluetooth headsets and phone cover cases than in smartphones proper. According to researcher ABI, the market for smartphone accessories will hit $32 billion in 2007, much more than the $28 billion expected from the smartphone market.
Microsoft Cancels PDC... What's A Developer To Do?
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
Is Microsoft suffering from developer show burnout? -- or -- does the rescheduling suggest that it will it be a long time before Microsoft's "next wave of platform technologies" is ready?
With Toshiba Turion Laptop Deal, AMD Regains Ground On Intel
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
AMD has released additional information surrounding its important design win announced early Tuesday, in which Toshiba said it would ship laptops equipped with processors from the Avis of chip makers. As was the case when Dell opted for AMD, it's big industry news anytime a major PC manufacturers diverges from an Intel-only strategy. For AMD, the big challenge remains making such market advances stick, as opposed to the two-steps forward, one-step backwards dance it's been doing for the past fe
The Walrus Bucket Internet Meme, Seriously
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
The Internet has become so important to society that its role in the transmission of memes may be the crucial fact of our age. Therefore it is absolutely vital to one's position in the social order to understand and be current with Internet memes. Don't you think? Which is why you should pay a great deal of very careful attention to the Walrus Bucket Saga. Because if you don't know about it, you'll be ou
Linux Supporters Arrogant? You Be The Judge
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
Never one to shy away from a good argument--the mark of the employed blogger is a very thick skin--I'd like to continue the debate kicked off by my recent post, on Dell's decision to offer PCs equipped with Ubuntu Linux. My tepid post, in which I gingerly chided Dell for not caveating its Ubuntu offerings up the wazoo, while at the same time complimenting the previously direct-sales-only PC powerhouse a
Sex In Second Life
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
Is Sex In Second Life Harmful?
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
As I worked on our report on sex in Second Life, I wondered: Is all this gettin' cyber-sweaty harmful? I decided it depends on the circumstances. But I know many of our readers will say it's just plain wrong. What do you think?
Can History Survive The Internet?
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
The Internet is a wondrous place indeed. Besides all the practical benefits that are too numerous (and obvious) to mention here, there are few limits to where your imagination combined with Web technology can take you.
US Government Not Hot on SaaS
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
A recent Red Herring article By Eydie Cubarrubia… came to the conclusion that: "On-demand software isn't so hot in the government sector."… I'm tracking with this as well. In my recent dealings with the government, there does not seem to be an interest in SaaS. Why? Well, the government agencies feel that SaaS does not relate to them because of security concerns and, most of all, that their long procurement processes don't lead toward SaaS.
Palm To Unveil New Device Tomorrow
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
Palm, one-time innovator of the PDA market and maker of the Treo line of smartphones, has announced that it will be showing off a brand new category of mobile devices tomorrow. A new category? Something other than a PDA, smartphone, or glorified hard drive? My interest is piqued.
Will The iPhone, Wing, And Other Wi-Fi-Enabled Smartphones Finally Usher In FMC?
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
We all know the iPhone has Wi-Fi. The new HTC Wing, launched by T-Mobile last week, also has it. RIM CEO Jim Balsillie said in a speech that we'll see Wi-Fi on a BlackBerry device by year's end. Will this new crop of devices convince U.S. carriers to offer
Service Innovation: Survival of the Savviest
Commentary  |  5/29/2007
On May 30, a bunch of very smart people from a variety of industry and academic settings will gather in Santa Clara, Calif., to discuss service innovation in the technology industry, at a symposium organized by the recently formed Service Research Innovation Initiative (SRII). Service innovation is an idea whose time has come. The service sector now accounts for 75 percent to 80 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.
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