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Monday, November 20, 2006

Microsoft Sees Opportunity in Municipal Wi-Fi

Having previously watched from the sidelines as more and more companies partnered with cities looking to develop municipal Wi-Fi networks, Microsoft reversed course this week and announced it will partner with MetroFi to build a new free Wi-Fi network for all of Portland, Ore., by late 2008. The project is being labeled as “free” to users; [...] [more]

Spotlight on a Support Team Member: Stephen Salina...

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Authentication, Authority Controls Needed to Move Web 2.0 Forward

Everybody’s favorite tech buzz word, Web 2.0, may have gotten a bit ahead of itself, which is par for the course for hot trends. News.com is reporting that participants in the Web 2.0 Summit this week are discussing why the lack of a usable universal authentication system for end users of social networking and collaboration sites [...] [more]

HPC Affects Storage, Too

High-powered computing (HPC) begins in the research labs and eventually trickles down to the commercial world. And while much of the attention is given to faster processing, the fact is that HPC is having a real-world effect on the data center. Leading researchers are taking a good, hard look at how ever-increasing computer power is affecting storage [...] [more]

Redesign of the Google Base homepage

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Microsoft?s ?Integration-Oriented Architecture?

A personal note: I just upgraded from Office 97 over Windows 98 to Office 2003 over Windows XP. As a result, my anxiety about crashes has diminished, and a few things work a little better. All in all, however, I?m not even 1 percent more productive. Multiply me by 30 or 40 million knowledge workers and you [...] [more]

Microsoft?s Allchin: Yes, You Will Need Anti-Virus with Vista

Microsoft’s Jim Allchin turned to his own blog to clarify what he says is a misunderstanding and to note that, in fact, most Windows Vista users will need to run anti-virus software. Makes sense to us, since most of the flack surrounding the Vista launch centers on Microsoft’s entry into the anti-virus business. Not that most [...] [more]

2006: A Great Year for HP? Or Not

We’re not sure whether to clap or kvetch, but HP’s fourth-quarter earnings report, out yesterday, was a bravura performance. Apparently proving that the pretexting scandal that burned up the news wires this summer was hardly even a distraction, the company posted numbers that brought its annual sales to more than $91 billion. Some observers expect that [...] [more]

Tech Tip: There's a new operator in town ? inmeta

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Ballmer: Linux Infringes Microsoft?s Intellectual Property

You had to know it was coming. PC Advisor reports that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told an audience at the recent Pass (Professional Association for Sequel Server) Conference that the company crafted its much-discussed deal with Novell to get an economic return for the Microsoft code he says is used in Linux. “Only customers that use SuSE [Linux] have paid properly for [...] [more]

Case study: Recipe for success

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Shorter Outsourcing Contracts a Sweeter Deal?

The latest research numbers from TPI bear out some outsourcing trends that have been gaining momentum over the last few years. In particular, companies are slicing the length of their outsourcing agreements. According to TPI, while contracts of at least five years were once the norm, the average contract now tends to run no more than two years. [...] [more]

HP?s Problem Is Sarbanes-Oxley?s Fault?

We’ve written before that it’s far too easy to blame the tough requirements in Sarbanes-Oxley for business or market failures: If we’re losing money, it’s because we had to spend so much on Sarbox compliance, darn it. Certainly, the U.S. stock exchanges are losing listings to London and other markets because Sarbanes-Oxley is too burdensome. So [...] [more]

Does the One Laptop Per Child Project Pose a Security Risk?

It’s hard to believe, but there is a downside to Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child project. Of course, the project’s intent — to distribute millions of $100 laptops to poor kids throughout the world — is beyond reproach. It’s the feel-good project of the year. The problem has nothing to do with the project’s goal. It’s technical: [...] [more]

SOA Vendors: Sell Business Benefits

An interesting bit of information came to light in a recent informal conversation with a vendor of process integration solutions ? notably, the quote-to-cash process. The company in question uses Web services and SOA to create its solutions, and its initial marketing efforts involved touting the SOA approach to IT organizations. The IT people were [...] [more]

Call for API Examples

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Don?t Forget the Users in BI Rollouts

In their desire to get the technological details of a deployment right, there is one thing many companies forget: their users. Even the smoothest rollout won’t be a success if users don’t adopt a new technology. Business intelligence is no exception, especially with the push to bring BI tools to a wider variety of users throughout an [...] [more]

Known Issues: API Latency & AdWords API Center Mislabeling

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API Updates: Instant Gratification and Sample Code...

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IBM to Sun: Don?t Start Another Open Source Java Project

Yesterday when Sun Microsystems finally released the code for Java Standard Edition, Java Micro Edition and Java Enterprise Edition under the GNU General Public License v2, the company also received a statement from IBM encouraging contribution to one of the Apache Foundation’s existing open source Java projects. IBM, according to a News.com story, is concerned that releasing [...] [more]

Microsoft Linux Part 2: Red Hat Responds

It didn’t take long for Red Hat to comment on the Microsoft-Novell agreement, which will pit the leading Linux distributor directly against the software juggernaut. An Ars Technica piece published over the weekend quotes Red Hat’s executive secretary as saying that the company will be the only player in the Linux market a year from now. The Microsoft-Novell deal, [...] [more]

Appliances - Not for Dummies

The name of the first executive who used the term ?appliance? to describe an IT product is lost in the annals of IT history, but the concept of trying to make complex processes simple for the user ? pretty much as simple as a toaster ? lives on. It?s an interesting idea, but have we gone [...] [more]

IP PBXes Are Different Animals ? Make that Workhorses ? Than Legacy Voice Boxes

Research from In-Stat raises an important point, in addition to providing interesting numbers on the growth of Internet protocol-based public branch exchanges (IP PBXes). The firm says that the growth of the devices will be driven, at least to some extent, by the fact that they are called on to perform more tasks than legacy [...] [more]

Aruba?s Wireless VoIP Play

Aruba Networks plans to mobilize its portfolio of wireless local area network (WLAN) switches to support wireless VoIP. The company is entering the third phase of a five-stage plan. Fixed mobile convergence, the attaching of wireless VoIP functionality to fixed line infrastructure, is an important next step in communications. Many telecommunications players — including traditional carriers, [...] [more]

A better Help Center

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A happy Google user

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New Google Base data API

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A win-win for providers and users

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Don?t Let Short-Term Thinking Afflict SOA Deployments

One of the main benefits of implementing an SOA strategy is the end of legacy data silos that exist in most enterprises. The thinking is that greater access to data and applications across all organizational units improves efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. But now we’re hearing that a vast number of SOA implementations are being made not [...] [more]

A home-grown project

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Open House

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Let Them Have Their Web 3.0

Well, that didn’t take long. Less than a day after the New York Times ran an article quoting some venture capitalists about Web 3.0, the blogosphere went nuts. Make it stop, nearly all of them shouted. No more marketing gimmicks. But amid the knee-jerk cacophony, a couple of remarks made a lot of sense. Yes, Web [...] [more]

Will Comcast Buy Sprint Nextel?

Forbes reports on Citigroup research that suggests Comcast is eyeing a wireless carrier. Sprint Nextel is said to be the most likely candidate, with T-Mobile next in line. The report says Sprint Nextel is the favorite because its platform is more advanced than T-Mobile’s. This is news, but not surprising. Comcast is a mover and a [...] [more]

Stock Option Scandal Shows Crime Doesn?t Pay

Executive pay has reached levels that some would call obscene. In a recent CNBC interview, even President George W. Bush called pay packages “out of hand.” He indicated that though incentives are a good idea, they should be rationally tied to performance. Of course, such incentives also should be given and accepted via legal processes. But maybe that’s not as obvious [...] [more]

What's up, Docs & Spreadsheets?

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Does Late Form 4 Signal Stock Option Backdating?

Months after many brushed off the revelation of widespread option back-dating as something that would just blow over, at least 100 companies have filed financial restatements as the result of internal investigations, high level executives have left their companies and/or face criminal charges, and the Securities and Exchange Commission has issued new rules on executive pay disclosure. And [...] [more]

Have you covered all your Bases?

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Microsoft, Gold Disagree on Windows Mobile E-Mail Security

The disagreement between Microsoft and Jack Gold, principal of J. Gold Associates, is important. A few weeks ago, Gold released research that raised red flags about using Windows Mobile 5.0 for e-mail. The problem, Gold said, is that Microsoft doesn?t provide encryption for data on mobile devices. Use of third-party encryption, he said, interferes with the [...] [more]

Despite Clamor for Reform, Studies Say Sarbox Is Working

We can’t help but chuckle a bit as the Sarbox pendulum swings the other way yet again. For weeks we’ve seen nothing but stories about how Sarbanes-0xley is a mess and should be scrapped — or should at least undergo massive revision. This morning, what do we find but two studies saying that the controversial corporate [...] [more]

Johnny Can?t Keep up with Rest of World?

Thanks to the New York Times and countless other media outlets, it’s no secret that India is having a tough time finding enough workers with the right kinds of skills to fill its rapidly growing number of tech jobs. Indian outsourcing providers are taking all kinds of measures to ensure that the shortage won’t hurt their [...] [more]

Voting for Sarbanes-Oxley Reform?

No matter how strongly you feel about the issues, we’d venture to guess that you’re sick of campaign signs cluttering the landscape and political ads invading your downtime in front of the television. Thankfully, by this time next week it will be almost over. Before we get there, though, consider this: An analysis posted at Financial News this [...] [more]

Windows Bug Is Second Zero-Day Flaw This Week from Microsoft

An ActiveX flaw in Microsoft XML Core Services 4.0 is actively being exploited by hackers to take control of computers running Windows 2000, XP SP2 or Server 2003, security firms and Microsoft are reporting. What’s worse, for both Redmond and users, is that the flaw is related to a vulnerability supposedly patched in October’s patch release, [...] [more]

Is Metadata Worth It?

The Butler Group, a respected IT consultancy, has produced an interesting statistic.  Enterprises waste 10 percent of their total salary costs because employees can?t find the information they need. Did we really need a survey to tell us this? But seriously, the 10 percent figure and others like it are often used by consultants and vendors to [...] [more]

Ajax: The Hero of Long-Tail Apps

Ajax has been a hero in the Trojan War, a popular cleaning product, an acronym, and now, according to Ron Schmelzer of ZapThink, a style of programming that puts more power in the hands of individual employees and gives credence to the newest fad in business thinking, “long-tail” economics. Ajax appeared on the media radar in [...] [more]

Time to Encourage Web 2.0?

In a recent interview with JotSpot co-founder and CEO Joe Kraus, we went a little beyond our normal focus on data and process integration and uncovered some perspectives that may have huge implications for the enterprise. To take a step back, JotSpot?s product offering is a corporate wiki. A wiki, as almost everyone now knows due [...] [more]

With Merger, AT&T Threatens to Dethrone Its Mother

Ma Bell’s place as one of the most powerful monopolies in U.S. history (the other being Standard Oil) is about to be usurped by her offspring, some analysts are predicting. When AT&T buys BellSouth, a deal that is still pending approval by a sharply divided FTC, it will become more powerful in many key ways than [...] [more]

Dell, AMD Deal Moves Ahead; Taking Orders on Intel Quads

Squawking from long-time AMD partners about apparently tight supplies of chips isn’t likely to slow down soon, as the direct-sales giant Dell has quietly added laptops alongside its AMD-based desktop line announced back in August. TheStreet.com reports this morning that the Dell Web site has “quietly” been moving AMD-based laptops to both consumers and businesses this week. The [...] [more]

Is 3G a Victim of the Hype Machine?

The Democrats won. That’s their big problem: Now they have to do more than complain. They have to govern. If history is any guide, it won’t be long until people call them failures. 3G is facing the same sort of challenge. The platform has gradually been rolling out, but naysayers already are calling it a flop. The [...] [more]

Radicati: Wireless E-Mail Will Take Off

The acquisition of Good Technologies by Motorola this week certainly suggests that Radicati’s bullish attitude is justified. The firm says that wireless e-mail is set to take off. Its new report, Wireless E-mail Market, 2006-2010, contends the market will be driven by Microsoft and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry product. The market will increase from 12 million [...] [more]

Collective Intelligence: Oxymoron or Opportunity?

Tim O’Reilly, the organizer of the Web 2.0 Summit just concluded in San Francisco, wants us to believe that users, not developers, are the hidden strength of the commercial Internet of the future. “We’re just at the beginning of a world where everything, everything is going to be connected,” O’Reilly is quoted as saying in an internetnews.com [...] [more]

Picture This: Image Spam Eluding Detection by Anti-Spam Software

Monitoring firms are noting a huge spike in spam levels, beginning in October. MessageLabs, for one, suggests that spam-mongers are beefing up their Trojan-spewing botnets in preparation for the busy holiday season. Another rising problem: image spam. Spammers have figured out a number of ways to embed text into images — where anti-spam solutions based on text [...] [more]

Microsoft Interoperability Panel: Plenty of Friends, but a Few Foes Missing

It’s hard to take shots at someone for promoting “interoperability,” and so even Microsoft — often the easiest and most vigorously pursued of tech-press punching bags — is getting generally positive coverage for its Interop Vendor Alliance initiative. The main goal of the vendor panel, which Redmond touted loudly yesterday at a European tech show, is [...] [more]

Microsoft, User Misconduct Feature Prominently in Latest SANS Top 20

The SANS Institute has released its annual list of Top 20 Internet Security Attack Targets and, to no one’s surprise, Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system and Office productivity software get mentioned — a lot. SANS pays a lot of attention to zero-day attacks — in fact, there’s a special section on them at the end of the [...] [more]

$200 Million, $500 Million: Either Way, Google?s Not Going to Win YouTube Battles

So Google didn’t earmark $500 million to spend trying to prevent or to defend itself against the copyright infringement lawsuits that it may face with its acquisition of pirated-video-laden YouTube. Nope, it is only about $224 million, says Google CEO Eric Schmidt. That figure comes from the set-aside 12.5 percent of the Google stock owed to [...] [more]

Yahoo, Microsoft Sign onto Google?s Sitemap Protocol

Announcements by Microsoft and Yahoo that they will adopt Google’s Sitemap Protocol should put smiles on the faces of Webmasters and IT departments spending increasing hours on search engine optimization. The 18-month-old protocol is now in effect at Yahoo and Microsoft plans to have it implemented early next year. All three companies also say they will [...] [more]