The branding gurus at various tech companies are certainly gamblers at heart; they're always rolling the dice when they choose names for their products. Tech reporters and bloggers clap their hands together in gleeful anticipation when they hear about a forthcoming iPad, ThinkPad, Zune, Vista or Wii -- especially if said products end up sucking royally. They can imagine how much fun they would have with headlines like "ThinkPad? StinkPad!," "Goodnight Zune," "Vista's Lack of Vision," etc. Whoever is picking the titles for HTC's smartphones is handing a lot of potential ammunition to these wiseacres. Who wouldn't be licking their literary chops over the prospect of a clay-footed Hero, a error-prone Eris, a limp Passion, a barely-there Desire? And when you launch a phone called the "Incredible," as HTC does this week, you damn well better deliver something that approaches smartphone nirvana without actually having to stick a picture of a half-eaten fruit -- the kind that got Adam, Eve … [Read more...] about HTC Incredible – The Name Says It All
For some businesses, Apple's App Store rules just don't make business sense. It all comes down to Apple's 30 percent cut of App Store-based sales and a business' existing customer base. To reach consumers through the iOS App Store, Apple's basic terms are pretty simple: If an iOS-running Apple customer buys an app, Apple gets 30 percent of the sale price. If the customer buys an add-on product through the app, called an "in-app purchase," Apple also gets a 30 percent cut. In exchange for this 30 percent cut, Apple not only delivers a kick-ass hardware, software, and store experience but also serves up all the data from its data centers and handles all of the e-commerce payment processing. You would think that running e-commerce from the Web or mobile devices would be easy these days, but it's not. It can be surprisingly painful, especially for new developers and growing businesses. For a guy in a garage with a great idea, these terms -- and opportunity -- are pretty amazing. But Not … [Read more...] about What Happens When Apple’s Rules Stop Making Sense
By Jack M. Germain Mar 7, 2008 8:30 AM PT Information technology managers are facing a massive rollout of new demands and computing models that could potentially make inroads in enterprise computing in 2008. As the technology continues to evolve and the landscape continues to change, IT managers have to pick and choose carefully in deciding which new, talked-about technologies to implement in their enterprises. For instance, IT departments are showing more interest in Software as a Service (Saas). In fact, a recent Forrester study notes that decision-makers at North American enterprises will continue to spend an average of 29 percent of their total IT budgets on software-related costs this year. Furthermore, the adoption of SaaS will rise to the level of a top priority for IT departments by year's end. Another corporate need that could further burden an already overtaxed IT departments is the chore of overseeing the good name of its marketing organization. IT managers are being asked … [Read more...] about Making Sense of IT’s Swirling Trends
By Jack M. Germain Aug 12, 2013 5:00 AM PT Cloud storage technology options, along with developing trends such as Big Data, are driving rapid industry growth. Cloud storage developed around three model options: Infrastructure as a Service; Platform as a Service; and Software as a Service. Merging with these cloud service models are technologies providing cloud computing space and cloud backup services. Don't forget to factor in options such as public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud. Coraid Senior Director of Product Marketing Suda Srinivasan One of the biggest tripping points in managing cloud computing is selecting a solution that avoids vendor lock-in. That is where open source technologies have pushed the envelope as an alternative to proprietary, or closed source, solutions. "Most if not all of the really big public clouds, as well as some of the more successful private clouds, are based on Linux or some flavor of an open source operating system," Suda Srinivasan, senior … [Read more...] about Coraid’s Suda Srinivasan: Public Cloud vs. Private vs. Having It All
There's a lot riding on Apple's new Photos for Mac OS X app. At WWDC, Apple briefly showed off an early version of its upcoming Photos app, which will integrate with iCloud and the iOS 8-based Photos app with the iCloud Photo Library service. Naturally, this plan raised some questions about Apple's iPhoto and Aperture products. Late last week, Apple revealed that it has stopped developing new features for Aperture and iPhoto. Instead, the company is focusing on Photos for OS X. The move away from iPhoto makes sense -- why have multiple consumer storage and editing apps? -- but the death of Aperture was an outright blow to professional photographers who took the plunge and invested in it. By investment, I don't mean the US$80 the app costs: Professionals and prosumers have put thousands of hours into learning the app, and they have amassed untold numbers of photos and gigabytes of data using it. They're not happy. Meanwhile, What About iPhoto? Consumers, on the other hand, are less … [Read more...] about Despite Apple’s Aperture Fumble, the Photos for OS X End Goal Could Win It All
Autonomous cars lend themselves to lending themselves, proponents like to say: we'll rent them instead of owning them. That way, we'll make better use of a smaller number of cars and thus pay much less on average per passenger-mile. If so, then your next car may well be your last-that is, if you can keep it going for the 3 to 50 years it may take before cars become fully, utterly robotic. Three if you're a techno-optimist like Sergei Brin, of Google and its famous Google Car; 50 years if you're a technopessimist, like Volkswagen research director Jürgen Leohold. Or maybe you've already bought your last car no matter which side is right. An entire ecosystem of car sharing is aborning right now, thanks to startups like Uber and Lyft, and it's based on merely human drivers. True, sharing would be even more attractive with robots, which probably explains why Google recently invested US $348 million in Uber. The startup was recently valued at around $18 billion-half again as much as … [Read more...] about Does Ridesharing Economics Make Sense Now, Even Without Self-Driving Cars?
Having it "All"...Fact, Fiction, or FantasyIn my 20s and early 30s it seemed that lunch with my girlfriend's resembled a scene from Sex and the City - nonstop analysis and au pining about the pursuit of Mr. Right. Now in my early 40s, it's amazing how much the conversation has shifted although everyone seems to have the same struggle - how to manage the nonstop juggling act of career, family, personal goals...indeed the discussion inevitably turns to the question of "Can we really have it all???" It seems to be the lingering question in the back of everyone's mind 24/7 like a persistent nagging migraine and recent insights from the likes of Marisa Mayer, Sheryl Sandberg, and Anne Marie Slaughter have made the question that much more pressing. For me, I've come to the conclusion that the answer lies really in questioning the question. "Why do we want to have it all in the first place?" I can't help but think that having it "all" may be a very American concept. I was struck years ago by … [Read more...] about Having it All…Fact, Fiction, or Fantasy Build. Empower. Inspire.
Storage spawns where it’s needed, from sensibly architected SANs serving transaction-intensive systems to storage appliances bought impulsively to fill a departmental need. That leaves IT to manage many islands of storage strewn across the enterprise at a time when the need for centralized storage management has never been greater. Compliance requirements, multimedia-rich applications, and a proliferation of databases are pushing IT departments to increase the size and complexity of storage networks across the enterprise. “I tell our senior management that we grow our storage at a rate of 40 to 50 percent per year and they can’t believe it,” says Lev Katz, datacenter operations manager for EMC storage customer MidAmerica Bank. “But then, if our business grew 30 percent last year, it makes sense for storage to grow the same amount, if not more. You have that many more people, you have that much more e-mail, you have that many more files.” Point … [Read more...] about Making sense of storage management
Hewlett-Packard's deal to acquire Mercury Interactive is winning praise from HP software customers and analysts as a smart combination of system and application management tools. HP announced Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with Mercury in a deal worth about $4.5 billion. The buyout had been rumored for at least a year. After the announcement, HP CEO Mark Hurd said the move will double his company's software revenue to more than $2 billion annually, adding that the combination of the companies' product lines will make HP "an end-to-end leader in IT management." That sentiment was echoed today by several HP OpenView (OV) customers. [ Have a tech story to share? If we publish it, we’ll send you a $50 American Express gift card — and keep you anonymous. Send it to [email protected] | We've all been there: 7 hardware horror stories from the help desk. | Follow Off the Record on Twitter and subscribe to the newsletter. ]Mercury products will "enhance or … [Read more...] about Users: HP buy of Mercury Interactive makes sense
Here’s a paradox for you: The latest government stats indicate that the IT job market is positively sizzling right now. Unemployment hovers at a nearly imperceptible 3 percent, and employers everywhere report difficulties finding qualified workers to fill open spots. Yet every week I receive e-mails from frustrated, even angry, IT folks whose jobs were either eliminated or shipped overseas. Although they keep plugging away, they simply cannot find work. And these folks are not just a bunch of cranks; they’re IT pros with real skills and experience to match. Are the rosy employment numbers a lie? Should I stop relying so heavily on my e-mail volume to gauge the job market? I think the answer to both questions is no. Both data sets make sense when you recognize that the skills required for the most sought-after jobs are unevenly distributed across the IT talent pool. Ace project managers and developers versed in cutting-edge technologies can write their own tickets; … [Read more...] about Making sense of the IT job market
Last week, Microsoft announced its cloud-computing effort, called Azure. Fitting between Google's and Amazon.com's current offerings, it represents a very big step toward moving applications off the desktop and out of a corporation's own datacenters. Whether or not it will have any traction with corporate IT developers remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the Azure effort has brought more of a Wild West feel to the whole arena of cloud computing. If this were the late 1880s, Amazon.com would provide the land grants, as well as raw Linux and Windows acreage to build your applications upon. Google's general goods store would stock and give away all the APIs that a programmer could ever use, and some of the scrappy prospectors that came to build the new towns would be from Microsoft. Steve Ballmer as Billy the Kid, anyone? [ Seehow Amazon, Google, and other cloud offerings fare in the InfoWorld Test Center comparison "Cloud versus cloud." | See why InfoWorld's Neil McAllister is concerned … [Read more...] about Making sense of Microsoft’s Azure
In this week's Keep the Joint Running ("Hard choices," 11/10/2008), I raised the possibility of "bribing" a technically brilliant but socially obnoxious employee (PiN, for "Pain in Neck") to behave better. The context was layoffs, the idea was the need for maximum productivity, and the bribe was a $1,000 per month bonus, after taxes, paid each month there are no complaints about the employee. Unsurprisingly, the proposal raised something of a stir. For example: Dear Bob ... I enjoyed your column, but see two potential problems with your year-long deal with PiN. [ Have a tech story to share? If we publish it, we’ll send you a $50 American Express gift card — and keep you anonymous. Send it to [email protected] | We've all been there: 7 hardware horror stories from the help desk. | Follow Off the Record on Twitter and subscribe to the newsletter. ]First, you just rewarded PiN handsomely for all of his troublemaking. If I'm his peer, I'm starting to wonder how big … [Read more...] about Does bribing an employee to stop being obnoxious make sense?
There's a reason the BlackBerry is the corporate standard smartphone and why no other device comes close. And it's not the keyboard (though that helps). It's BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), the tool that lets IT manage BlackBerry users' access and security settings to the standards that most regulated companies and government agencies must meet. But as employees continue to put pressure on IT to support the iPhone and other devices, such as the new breed of Android devices, lots of companies are coming out of the woodwork offering mobile management products. Should you bite? [ Stay up on tech news and reviews from your smartphone at infoworldmobile.com. | Get the best iPhone apps for pros with our business iPhone apps finder. | See which smartphone is right for you in our mobile "deathmatch" calculator. ] [ Android is now ready for real usage in the enterprise. Read InfoWorld's in-depth guide on how to make Android a serious part of your business. | Get the best office suite and … [Read more...] about Making sense of mobile management
Sometimes you have to step outside application development to gain insights into how best to manage your projects. A recent article in the New Yorker provided a spark for me on the subject of outsourcing. [ For more insights as to when and what you should outsource, read "Painful lessons from IT outsourcing gone bad" and "4 tasks you fear to outsource but should try" ] [ Have a tech story to share? If we publish it, we’ll send you a $50 American Express gift card — and keep you anonymous. Send it to [email protected] | We've all been there: 7 hardware horror stories from the help desk. | Follow Off the Record on Twitter and subscribe to the newsletter. ]The article, "Water Music" by John Seabrook, was about the new Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center. In it, Seabrook talks to Mark Fuller, co-founder of Wet Design, the fountain designers. (Wet also created the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.) The new Revson Fountain was constructed entirely on site at Wet, as … [Read more...] about When does outsourcing make sense?
October 1, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC Not a TechBrief subscriber? Sign up for a free subscription. >> DRIVING THE DAY: How the government shutdown will affect tech, by Serdar Yegulalp: "The general rule of thumb in a shutdown is that if any given government function involves 'the safety of human life and the protection of property,' it'll keep running. But not all government functions that rely on IT (or which IT itself may rely on) fall into that category -- even if common sense and our experiences in IT say otherwise." InfoWorld [ Give yourself a technology career advantage with InfoWorld's Deep Dive technology reports and Computerworld's career trends reports. GET A 15% DISCOUNT through Jan. 15, 2017: Use code 8TIISZ4Z. ]>>>> The beginning of the end for Washington NationalJournal >>>> A frighteningly ambitious startup idea: Disrupt US politics Sina Khanifar blog t/h Hacker News >>>> USDA is down >> WHITE HATS 1, BOTNET … [Read more...] about The SHUTDOWN effect on tech — BITTORRENT building server-free message client — All FACEBOOK posts now searchable — SPACEX explosion — MCAFEE hallucinates secure network
The notion that it's a good idea to move data and applications to public cloud providers, or even private clouds, is not always true. In the majority of cases, using public clouds adds a great deal of value. However, in certain instances, cloud computing doesn't make sense. No technology is a good fit for everything. Yet both people and companies like to treat new technologies as a universal silver bullet, using it where it does not make sense -- a mistake they're repeating now with cloud computing. [ Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ] [ Download InfoWorld's quick guide and get started with Azure Mobile Services for building apps today. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing newsletter. ]There've been many cases in the last few years where systems were pushed … [Read more...] about Where it makes sense to avoid the cloud
Here we go again with the rumors of an Apple television, aka "iTV." For several years, financial analysts (particularly Piper Jafray's Gene Munster, for whom the iTV has become an unintentional joke) and tech bloggers have been telling us it's right around the corner. Apple CEO Tim Cook's comments last spring that Apple had new product categories to debut in 2014 led to more speculation that the fabled iTV would be announced in time for the 2013 Christmas holidays or right after at one the various consumer electronics shows in January. Now, the rumorists tell us, the iTV is delayed until 2015 because Apple can't get content deals with Hollywood for it. All this rumormongering tends to leave out a key point: Why would Apple do an iTV? There are plenty of so-called smart TVs on the market, none doing well. Streaming content to your TV from the Internet is a sensible feature, but you can easily add that capability to your current TV for $100 using an Apple TV, Roku, or other such device, … [Read more...] about An Apple television doesn’t make sense, but Apple TV does
Linux has long lingered in the single digits in terms of desktop market share. But some recent comments by Linus Torvalds at LinuxCon have brought renewed hope that someday Linux might achieve a more dominant position. eWeek looks at what Linus had to say about about the desktop and a range of topics at LinuxCon. According to eWeek: Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman moderated the discussion and commented that Linux already runs everywhere. He asked Torvalds where he thinks Linux should go next. "I still want the desktop," Torvalds said as the audience erupted into boisterous applause. The challenge on the desktop is not a kernel problem, Torvalds said. "It's a whole infrastructure problem. I think we'll get there one day." More at eWeek I can sympathize with Linus' desire for Linux to have a larger share of the desktop market. It would be wonderful if we all woke up one day to find that Linux had 30% or more of the desktop market. There would be many celebrations among Linux … [Read more...] about Does it still make sense for Linus to want the desktop for Linux?
The enterprise collaboration market is increasingly crowded with apps and services that target distinct needs for messaging and communication. With its growing suite of apps that target the market from many different angles, Microsoft represents the challenge of modern collaboration. Collaborative work-related activities increased significantly during the last five years, and apps such as Microsoft's Yammer, Skype for Business, and the recently launched Teams are quickly becoming a bigger part of the way people work, according to Bryan Goode, Microsoft's general manager of Office 365. As the average age of today's worker trends younger and more employees work remotely, businesses flock to cloud-based collaboration tools, Goode says. [ Office 365 is now ready to deploy across all your clients. InfoWorld shows you: How to make document sharing really work in Office 365. • What works and what doesn't in Office 365 collaboration • What works in Outlook on Windows, MacOS, … [Read more...] about Make sense of Microsoft’s messy collaboration strategy
A few years ago, a breakthrough in machine learning suddenly enabled computers to recognize objects shown in photographs with unprecedented—almost spooky—accuracy. The question now is whether machines can make another leap, by learning to make sense of what’s actually going on in such images. A new image database, called Visual Genome, could push computers toward this goal, and help gauge the progress of computers attempting to better understand the real world. Teaching computers to parse visual scenes is fundamentally important for artificial intelligence. It might not only spawn more useful vision algorithms, but also help train computers how to communicate more effectively, because language is so intimately tied to representation of the physical world. Visual Genome was developed by Fei-Fei Li, a professor who specializes in computer vision and who directs the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, together with several colleagues. “We are focusing very much … [Read more...] about Next Big Test for AI: Making Sense of the World