Commentary - Content posted in July 2006 - InformationWeek

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Commentary
Content posted in July 2006
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Radio Killed The MP3 Star?
Commentary  |  7/31/2006
Imagine free music available 24 hours a day -- not .99 cents -- which you can choose according to the musical style. Better still, the music is accompanied by commentary identifying what it is, and random contextual information, as well as occasional breaking-news, podcast-like audio feeds. It's called "radio."
Days After Entering 12-Step Program, Microsoft Falls Off Wagon
Commentary  |  7/31/2006
Whatever happened to the "12 tenets," announced just 10 days ago, that were supposed to help a seemingly humbled and repentant Microsoft assume a more ethical stance toward allowing competition? Could it be that its self-imposed 12-step program has already failed to cure Microsoft of its monopolistic impulses?
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  7/28/2006
Community Feedback
Commentary  |  7/28/2006
IT Confidential: Conspiracy Theories And the Software Industry--A Perfect Fit
Commentary  |  7/28/2006
Conspiracy theories are better than reality; they're more fun and fit better with the facts. Here are a few new software conspiracy theories. Try them on for size, then see if you can come up with your own big-picture views.
Apple's Copy Protection Isn't The Problem
Commentary  |  7/28/2006
Cory Doctorow, noted sci-fi writer and Boing Boing editor, marshals a strong argument against digital rights management in InformationWeek. But his assertion that there's no good DRM oversimplifies an issue that's best framed in compromises rather than absolutes. Apple's DRM has benefited the public and the music industry. It
Meet Your New Code Host: Google
Commentary  |  7/28/2006
NewsForge is reporting that later today, Google will announce a hosting service for open-source projects. The addition to Google Code will be similar, in many ways, to SourceForge; it will also, however, include a new issue tracking tool and other perks created especially for smaller, independent open-source projects.
ERP Makeover: The Pig's Next Gig
Commentary  |  7/27/2006
Enterprise resource planning software--despite a long record of achievement in business process improvement--suffers from a lingering image problem. It's that ERP projects have a tendency to become resource hogs that waddle over budget and past deadline. New software in development by SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft promises to overcome the drawbacks of the past. But will ERP really get easier to deploy and manage? Or are ERP vendors merely putting lipstick on a pig?
Where's BI Heading?
Commentary  |  7/27/2006
In its most recent analysis of the business intelligence market, International Data Corp. sees vendors through 2020 focused on automating more decision processes, and on expanding BI's reach to more people inside and outside an organization.
Digital Music: Rent Or Own?
Commentary  |  7/27/2006
For music lovers, the advent of the iTunes online music store has been an incredible boon. The ability to legally download individual tracks from a huge catalog at 99 cents a pop is delicious (and a little dangerous for your wallet).
In Search Of A Low-Cost Wireless Internet Camera... That Works
Commentary  |  7/27/2006
Hawking Technologies announced yesterday a new, $129.99 wireless video camera that features automatic router configuration and URL setup. The proof, as always, is in the pudding. But that price and that feature (auto config and setup) sound pretty earth-shattering to me. For years, I've been looking for a good wireless Internet camera that's inexpensive and easy to set up. Is that so much to ask?
Best Bits: Vista And The Hardware Monster, Part 3
Commentary  |  7/27/2006
Vista loves graphics so much it wants to control them. You thought you were in charge of your PC? Get out of Vista's way.
Open-Source Darwin Fades
Commentary  |  7/26/2006
According to a message posted on the OpenDarwin.org Web site, the self-named attempt to build and maintain an independent open-source implementation of the operating system beneath Apple's OS X has come to the end of its road, with some of the blame being laid squarely on Apple's doorstep. This follows on the heels of a blistering editorial in Daemon News (a BSD news site) by OpenDarwin team memb
Quick! Quick! Collaborate!
Commentary  |  7/26/2006
One Laptop Per Child Hits Resistance In India
Commentary  |  7/26/2006
The well-intentioned One Laptop Per Child initiative has always faced the question, "Buy technology, or spend more on teachers?" Reports out of India suggest that country will choose people.
Map That Traffic Jam
Commentary  |  7/26/2006
How many times have you had this experience: You're driving along the highway, either in a highly congested area or a road you're not familiar with, and you hit a traffic backup that leaves you effectively parked for, say, an hour. You curse the road, the cars around you, your fate. You ponder how useless radio traffic reports are, since they only help you if they occur--and how unlikely is this?--five minutes before you need to jump off that road at a particular exit and take an alternate route
The Myth Of The 'Flying Car'
Commentary  |  7/26/2006
It's the fantasy of every frustrated driver who's ever been caught in traffic: to push a button, take off, and soar above the gridlock like an airplane. But don't hold your breath. You'll never "drive" a "flying car."
Who Owns The Internet?
Commentary  |  7/26/2006
Who Owns The Internet?
Commentary  |  7/25/2006
The key questions, which I hope are addressed in the hearing this week, are exactly what the Department of Commerce originally intended when it decided to work with ICANN back in 1998, whether those intentions have changed, and whether the requirements of the American business community have changed--or perhaps should change in its own best interests.
Abra Kadabra! Here's Another Photo Magic Trick!
Commentary  |  7/25/2006
Here's a neat (and low-cost) trick: Make 3D prints using your existing camera, existing printer and standard printing paper. Sounds like magic, doesn't it?
More Penny-Pinching HMOs Outsource Americans' Private Medical Data To India
Commentary  |  7/25/2006
If you've had some nasty or embarrassing illness in the past 12 months, perhaps an ailment so unusual or damning you'd prefer to hide it from your employer, friends, and loved ones, then here's a shocker: There's a good chance a stranger in far-off India knows all about it. And the kicker: It was your health care provider that told him of your secret battle with plantar warts, rampant hirsutism, and pathological addiction to eBay.
Funding Innovation Where It's Incubated
Commentary  |  7/24/2006
For the kick-off session at its annual faculty summit in Redmond, Wash., last week, Microsoft convened a panel of tech leaders and educators to wax philosophic about hot IT topics of the day: declining federal research spending, job competition from India and China, and why the United States can't attract kids to math and science. There's been a lot of ink spilled about those shortcomings of American competitiveness lately. But this confab had an ace in the hole. Sitting on a stage between Mic
Will You Join The DRM Dance?
Commentary  |  7/24/2006
Two Digital Camera Magic Tricks
Commentary  |  7/24/2006
Software developers have figured out how to "stitch" together or combine images to do "magic tricks" with your digital photos.
Net Neutrality: The Frenzied Search For The Perfect Metaphor
Commentary  |  7/24/2006
Listening to last week's lively audio debate on net neutrality between Vint Cerf and Dave Farber, I was struck (again) by something. Net neutrality. What a terrible name for such an important issue.
Opinion: Apple's Copy Protection Isn't Just Bad For Consumers, It's Bad For Business
Commentary  |  7/24/2006
Apple's copy-protection technology makes media companies into its servants. Other copy-protection technologies, like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, are just as bad, says Internet activist Cory Doctorow.
Did Intel's New Processors Fuel AMD's ATI Acquisition?
Commentary  |  7/24/2006
Advanced Micro Devices could have stayed on its current path and likely continued to gain share in the x86 processor market. But on Monday, AMD executives rolled the dice and made one of the most costly acquisitions in semiconductor history by adding the graphics processing capabilities of ATI Technologies to its portfolio.
Coming Real Zune Now?
Commentary  |  7/24/2006
Microsoft, which obviously didn't learn any lessons at all from the failures of the "buzz marketing" that sank its Origami "ultra mobile PC" gizmo, has unleashed a strange (as in odd . . . very, very odd) Web site that may sink Zune, the media player it confirmed it will unleash on a breathlessly awaiting world later this . . . uh, should I say "year" here, or the way things have be
Interesting Spam Article
Commentary  |  7/23/2006
"The State Of Spam," by Christopher Heun, provides a good catch-up on current spam volume, its changing nature, and current enforcement activities (governmental and private sector alike). It's a must-read for anybody who deals with junk e-mail on a daily basis.
From Our Blog
Commentary  |  7/21/2006
Community Feedback
Commentary  |  7/21/2006
Down To Business: Web 2.0 Not A Game-Changer--Yet
Commentary  |  7/21/2006
Show us the money--the long-term viability. Then we'll get on board.
IT Confidential: 10 True Things About Technology
Commentary  |  7/21/2006
The unvarnished truth in 10 simple, penetrating bulleted items.
Intel Makes Branding Gamble With 'Leap Ahead' And Core 2 Duo
Commentary  |  7/21/2006
The next year will determine if Intel's processor portfolio overhaul of the past few weeks will successfully put the brakes on rival Advanced Micro Devices' market share assault of the past two years. But AMD executives believe Intel has again made a big error in giving up positions of strength by abandoning two of the most well-known brands in the technology industry: Intel Inside and Pentium.
What If You Could Google Objects, Not Just Words?
Commentary  |  7/21/2006
Right now, you can google any word or combination of words. But what if you could google actual things or objects? UK designer Callum Peden has come up with a product idea for Google. It's just an idea, but a really good one.
Barracuda Attacks Image-Based Spam
Commentary  |  7/20/2006
Yesterday Barracuda Networks announced an upgrade to its Spam Firewall product that provides the ability to apply optical character recognition, or OCR, techniques to incoming e-mail. This is an important escalation in the spam/anti-spam arms race, and something that will hopefully become more common.
Will You Join The DRM Dance?
Commentary  |  7/20/2006
Back in the bad old days of the 1970s, Sony came out with a wonderful machine called a Betamax video tape recorder. The idea was that consumers could tape their favorite programs off of their televisions and watch them at their leisure. No longer would people have to rush home in a panic in order to catch that week's episode of Star Trek--you could watch Johnny Carson at 9 a.m. and your favorite daytime soap at 1 a.m. if you wanted. But Universal City Studios didn't see it that way.
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