On the Road
2005 was the year of the weird and wonderful trade show
Priorities Out Of Order
The beginning of a new year is a perfect time for businesses to assess their objectives and define which projects should take precedence in the coming 12 months. Unfortunately, all too often, IT professionals complain that corporate technology priorities are out of order. In the Systems Management Pipeline poll conducted over several weeks in December, only 18 percent of the respondents said their companies ha
Guard Those Walls
In the midst of a normally slow holiday week, I've been pondering some predictions for next year, which I'll roll out next week. But I'll toss one out now: Just a hunch, but the onslaught of malware next year is...
A Return To Confidence
We are at the point we reach every December where everyone who isn't already too busy compiling New Year's resolutions they will never keep is trying to make sense of the year that is rapidly coming to an end. And what a year 2005 turned out to be - complex, challenging, and at times frustrating but also always interesting.
Some would call it the year of the merger and acquisition -- though every year might qualify as that -- with Oracle and SAP leading the spending sprees. Just last week S
I Hear You Knockin', But You Can't Come In
Who gets in? Who's kept out? Those are the twin questions that frame network security. In this podcast I talk with Brett Helsell of Lockdown Networks about network access control--not the program put forward by Cisco (though we touch on...
Once again, a large enterprise has had to fess up to its customers that it has lost a backup tape containing their private information. Even in a year where some of the largest- and ostentiably best run - companies reported similar mishaps, the latest incident involving Marriott's timesharing division 'misplacing' customer data is still surprising, if not exactly shocking. After the negative attention f
Fixing A Fatal Flaw
In recent months, antivirus vendors have come under increasing fire for vulnerabilities in the very products that are supposed to protect against malicious software. Critics are questioning the reactive install-and-update model anti-virus vendors use currently. So naturally, there is considerable speculation that what is needed
Kicking And Screaming
Microsoft is peeved with the European Commission's move to impose daily fines for, among other things, not moving fast enough to make server source code available to other companies so that their apps can work within Windows Server. To which...
Google's Defense Of AOL Deal Misses The Point
Google has posted a response to critics of the AOL deal on its official blog, but that response conveniently ignores most of the criticism levelled at the company. It's only a partial attempt to come clean....
Get A Room, Already
New plot twists in the never-ending Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice saga of public messaging . . . As we spy on our free-loving foursome—Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and Google—, we see them still in the throes of monogamy but don't expect that to last.
AOL has now cozied up with Google, leaving Microsoft somewhat rebuffed. I say "somewhat" because Microsoft has never been an easily discouraged suitor. Don't forget
Warning: The Feds Use Your Cell Phone To Track You
Turn on your cell phone, and federal agencies can legally track your comings and goings and exact location --- all without having to get a court warrant. That's the latest frightening news from our Big Brothers in Washington....
More Holiday Madness
So the stockings are hung by fire with care in hopes that St. Nicholas will soon be there, but most New Yorkers are probably wishing most for one thing - the end of the transit strike. As for many of Salesforce.com 350,000 customers, they are probably longing to erase the six hours of lost access to their Salesforce apps just as they are wrapping up their year-end numbers. A database cluster error led was the un
Google Should Force AOL to Open AIM
AOL has long refused to let AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) talk to other IM clients for a simple reason: It dominates IM, and if AIM talked to other clients, AOL would no longer rule the roost. But now that Google...
Ho Ho Ho
Just what you always wanted to find under the tree -- a brand-spankin'-new 2U rack-mount Sun Fire T2000 server!...
Extreme Postdating: Mail To Yourself In The Future
Remember when time capsules were all the rage. You could bury or otherwise hide objects and documents from the present time in hopes that sometime in the distant future, other beings from other worlds or maybe just future humans would uncover them to help answer questions about life "back in the day." The only problem with time capsules is that they are rather unfulfilling. You could only imagine the curiosity, confusion and shock that some distant traveler might display upon uncovering your box
Google Goes "Evil," Part 2
Like Google's spare, fast-loading, graphics-free interface? Kiss it good-bye. Thanks to the AOL deal, Google will begin experimenting with accepting many different kinds of graphical ads, including the banner ads loathed by many, according to the New York Times....
Has Google Become More "Evil" Than Microsoft?
A little-known part of the Google deal to buy part of AOL for $1 billion is a shocker: Google agreed to a link scheme that Microsoft called unethical, but that Google was only too happy to accede to, according to...
Flirtin' With Disaster
On Wednesday, I ended up posting news, and writing my weekly Server Pipeline newsletter, from a mobile backup location (OK, it was my town library's wireless network) after my home office broadband went down for more than a day. That's...
So how is it, that with all the truly amazing technology we have today that puts the world literally at our fingertips, this time of year is still full of hassles and irritations for so many? And no, I am not referring to the annoying relatives, the stress of decking the halls only to have someone else's two year-old come and knock the tree over, or even the commercialization of a sacred time of year (though I hear you on those pains, believe me I do), but to the fact that with all even in the
When Free Isn't
I was excited last year when Microsoft announced that it would join the rest of the modern world and offer express versions of its development environment for free, targeting hobbyists and students. So I went to download Visual C# Express...
Two freebies for you today. The first is a well hidden, undocumented, unsearchable free virtual CD driver from Microsoft. VCdControlTool has no documentation and you'll need to read the readme in order to properly "install" the proggy as it involves...
HarperCollins Out-Googles Google In Book Scanning
Publisher HarperCollins has come up with an end run around Google's plan to scan books without the copyright holders' permissions. It will scan tens of thousands of its books itself, and then let anyone, from Google to Yahoo and beyond,...
Survivor's Guide to 2006: Security
As you prepare for 2006, you need compliance-driven products to ensure your company doesn't become the next security-breach headline. But don't be fooled by all the vendor hype.
Coming Into Compliance...Slowly
The other day, I was chatting with a networking vendor who spends a significant percentage of his time with financial services clients. The topic of compliance came up, and because his company makes equipment that connects data centers and storage systems, he had a lot to say on the topic. One thing that surprised me was his opinion that, for most of his clients, compliance was yesterday's news. That has not been my experience in the conversations I have had with as I IT professionals in recent
Business as usual in Redmond
OpenDocument. Open XML. Two standards, both open, from two different sets of vendors. Of course you've already gathered that one of the standards is coming from Microsoft who, like the cheese, stands alone....
A New Year's Eve For All To See
We tend to splurge in large amounts on New Year's Eve, so why should our messaging activity be any different? According to messaging provider Mobeon, based in Stockholm, Sweden, New Year's Eve 2005 will see the largest number of video mail messages ever sent.
With the growing installed base of 3G phones out there, and the proclivity of teens and young adults to employ the multimedia capabilities of these handsets, Mobeon believes this younger market will use
USA Today Vonage Ad Targets Meth Addicts?
Here's an example of contextual advertising gone haywire: A USA Today article that describes how meth addicts used Vonage in a money-making scam, includes a related ad for Vonage that crows: "VONAGE: Get your first month FREE!" I'm sure meth...
"Dark" Traffic Dominates
For anyone who has ever watched their email inbox get buried by spam, the findings of a messaging vendor Tumbleweed Communications' study on email traffic that shows 83 percent of all email is actually illegitimate isn't all that surprising. But it should be. After all, in the first quarter of this year the percentage of so-called "dark traffic" was closer to 60 percent.
Talk Is Cheap or at least VoIP is cheap
Im still cooling my heels at the inaugural East Coast Interop show. Its not surprising to see folks walking around with Bluetooth headsets clamped to their ears and cell phones in their pockets. Nor is it surprising to see many...
U.S. Is Bandwidth King; London The Top City
In America, we like things big, so there's reason to rejoice: The U.S is the world's bandwidth king, with 1.4 Tbps bandwidth and 704 Gbps peak traffic, according to Om Malik's blog. London, though, is the top city, with 1.1...
The Emergency Email System
Since today's snowstorm in NE Wisconsin is causing schools to close early, a friend pointed out the existence of the Emergency Email System, which is how he's getting information about what schools are closing and how bad the weather really...
Stressed out? Maybe more of your colleagues throughout IT are, but life on the server front is getting simpler -- or trying to, anyway....
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proclaimed this week Interop Week, in honor of the first East Coast Interop show. Despite said proclamation, there havent been any spontaneous ticker tape parades. That isnt deterring participants from turning out and...
Testing Update: ESB Performance
That's right. We love you so much that we're testing the performance of ESB products so you don't have to. The things we do to make your lives easier......
Is IM Poised For Greatness, On A Microsoft Scale?
Microsoft hasn't provided much on an overall strategy for melding its instant messaging and VoIP technology yet, but the software giant is sure interested in keeping skin the game.
A week after Yahoo! announced it would add computer-to-phone calling capabilities to its instant-messaging service, Microsoft said it is expanding its VoIP offerings via a deal with MCI to let PC users place calls to land line telephones