IT Confidential: Brand Me, Sue Me, Trade Me, Tag Me - InformationWeek

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07:15 PM
John Soat
John Soat

IT Confidential: Brand Me, Sue Me, Trade Me, Tag Me

They Make Computers, Too? Apple Computer grabbed the top spot in an annual online poll ranking global brand-name recognition. The poll, conducted by Brandchannel magazine, got responses from almost 2,000 readers. Apple displaced Google, which had won top honors the last two years but dropped down to second place. Apple scored big mainly on the strength of its popular iPod personal music device, according to Brandchannel. Third place went to Swedish furniture chain Ikea, and Starbucks came in fourth. The fifth spot was a surprise: Arab television and Web service Al Jazeera. Another surprise: no Coca-Cola, a perennial brand-name favorite, in the top five.

Dyslexia As A Marketing Strategy. Online meeting service provider WebEx said last week that it had filed a lawsuit against rival Citrix alleging, among other things, cybersquatting. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, alleges that Citrix purchased a slew of domain names, such as "" and "," on the same day last month that WebEx launched MyWebExPC, a free Web-based PC-to-PC remote-access service. Citrix sells a similar service called GoToMyPC. The lawsuit alleges that Citrix is using the domain names illegally to divert potential customers of MyWebExPC to its own site.

Have A Little Strudel With That Cup O' Java. George Paolini, a former Sun Microsystems exec who found himself in the middle of the Java wars in the '90s, has been hired by German software maker SAP to run its expanding software partners program. He'll be a senior VP and will report to executive board member Shai Agassi. Paolini spent eight years at Sun before departing in 2001. He was perhaps best known there for running the Java Community Process, a system Sun established for making technical and business decisions about its Java programming language. By the late '90s, Paolini was involved in industry spats with IBM and Microsoft over Sun's control of Java. After he left Sun, Paolini worked at a startup called Zaplet, which was funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, then went to Borland Software, where he spent the last two years.

Taking One For the Team. You could say John Halamka, who's CIO of both CareGroup Health System and Harvard Medical School, takes his role as an IT leader very personally. Not only did he lead CareGroup's Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital's recent rollout of radio-frequency identification technology to track medical gear and patients via tags on equipment and beds, in December Halamka had an RFID chip implanted in his right arm, under the skin between his elbow and shoulder. Halamka, who's also an emergency-room doctor and likes to mountain climb in his free time, says if he were unconscious after an accident, ER docs could scan his arm to read a 16-digit ID, allowing them to access his health records. No medical data is on the chip, which is the size of two grains of rice, and it doesn't hurt and isn't visible. "I'm doing this purely to contribute knowledge to the industry," Halamka says. "It's not a Harvard or CareGroup goal to have RFIDs implanted in patients."

This guy has free time? Maybe they RFID'd him just to keep track of him. Which shouldn't give my wife any ideas, I hope. But I hope you have an industry tip and will send it to [email protected] or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to talk about the importance of branding, Java versus .Net, or the best place to get an RFID chip implanted, meet me at's Listening Post:

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit John Soat's forum on the Listening Post.

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