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News & Commentary
Content tagged with Productivity/Collaboration Apps posted in March 2008
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Your Next Blog Aggregation Tool?
Commentary  |  3/31/2008
At Startup Camp in London, I met Nick Halstead, the erstwhile founder behind, a new blog aggregation site that's been widely discussed in the, um, blogosphere (there's a dog chasing its tail somewhere in that statement).
HP Unveils Products with Muscle for Midsize Businesses
Commentary  |  3/31/2008
Today, HP announced several products targeted for smaller businesses. Regardless of how these products play with the so called SMB market, the announcement indicates just how serious HP is about competing for midsize business IT dollars.
Google Has A Privacy Policy That Doesn't Offer Privacy
Commentary  |  3/31/2008
In an effort to demonstrate its commitment to privacy, Google on Friday announced a revamp of its online Privacy Center, a repository for information about Google's privacy policies and practices. On Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Google's enterprise search hardware is finding its way into U.S. intelligenc
Gartner BI Summit 2008: The Next Generation of Innovation
News  |  3/31/2008
Decision making as core competency, emerging technologies as BI enablers and changes in the BI market itself are core topics at this week's Gartner Business Intelligence Summit in Chicago. Analyst Kurt Schlegel explains the trends and business drivers.
WatZatSong: You Tell Me
Commentary  |  3/31/2008
When we held Startup Camp in London, WatZatSong was one of the more intriguing new ventures. Raphael Arbuz' project lets the community help you figure out songs that you know some lyrics to, or a tune stuck in your head.
Gartner BI Summit 2008: Q&A With Howard Dresner
News  |  3/30/2008
In a preview of his keynote presentation at this week's Gartner Business Intelligence Summit, former analyst Howard Dresner talks about his new book, the convergence of BI and process management, and what it takes to get to the next level of performance management.
Printing Out Is Hard To Do
Commentary  |  3/30/2008
I used to have a wonderful printer. It was an HP Laserjet III, and it lasted me through about eight years and three Windows upgrades. Its black-and-white toner produced beautiful, sharp, smudge-free output. Eventually, though, it wore out and went to that great recycle bin in the sky; I had to face the loss and look for a replacement. That's where the trouble started.
Rails: Vendor Everything Just Got Easier
Commentary  |  3/29/2008
Here's a common deployment fiasco: You build something. Something great. You use a number of different third party libraries installed on your system. Then, when you deploy the app to production, things break. You investigate. You realize that one of the libraries you're depending on doesn't exist on the server. You install it. Things still don't work. You realize that another one of the third party libraries is an older version. You update it. Things start to work. But now, on
Google Mashup: Video Ads, Privacy, Online Safety
Commentary  |  3/28/2008
Google, as always, has been busy. Here's a roundup of some recent developments. Video ads are now being served in search results (although I couldn't find any); Google says it is really, really concerned about your privacy; and the company outlines steps for people to protect themselves.
Three Mobile Advances: Search, Recommendation, Web Integration
Commentary  |  3/28/2008
Cell phone manufacturers aren't the only ones pumping new features and functions into mobile devices. Three startups--Kannuu, Aggregate Knowledge, and Ribbit--are getting into the act, too.
Why Did Vista Stink? Developers, Developers …
Commentary  |  3/28/2008
Microsoft wields incredible power in the computer industry. Still, when it comes to the image of its flagship operating systems, it is greatly at the mercy of third-party software developers. When users sit down to use Windows, the code written by Microsoft sometimes doesn't matter as much as the bugs left behind in poorly written applications and drivers. If a crash happens, the average user is more likely to blame "crummy Windows" than to figure out it's a bug with a device driver.
John Jantsch Snowballs To Small Business Success
Commentary  |  3/28/2008
Sometimes when you notice a name or concept that's new to you, it starts popping up everywhere. The last two weeks, the clustering I couldn't avoid was contests for smaller businesses. This week, it's John Jantsch, the Duct Tape Marketing maven himself.
All That Got Stolen Was Microsoft's Thunder
Commentary  |  3/27/2008
It's bad enough that Microsoft with its big war chest might sue you for producing open source software. But what's really hard to take is the suggestion that you stooped to stealing Microsoft code for your project. At the Open Source Business Conference this week in San Francisco, one show organizer got his revenge.
Google Restores 'Save & Close' Button To Google Docs
Commentary  |  3/27/2008
This is some short and sweet news. This afternoon I fired up Google Docs to write a post about Picasa Web Albums, and noticed that my favorite button is back. Thanks, Google!
Google Offers APIs To Picasa Developers
Commentary  |  3/27/2008
I use Picasa to share pictures with my friends and family. It has some great features, and even offers plug-ins for Apple's iPhoto software so you can upload directly to Picasa albums from iPhoto. Today, Google introduced a new API for Picasa that should make it easier to transfer pictures around -- once developers get around to actually using it to create Picasa buttons.
Five Nominees for Process Hall of Fame
Commentary  |  3/27/2008
Is there a business process management Hall of Fame? I don't think so, but there should be, to recognize the true pioneers and innovators in the field... My list emphasizes technology, recognizing those who first recognized that improving business processes demanded fundamentally new technology...
802.11n Price Points Drop, Features Rise
Commentary  |  3/27/2008
The inexorable push to higher speed wireless LANs recently took a significant step forward. Wireless access points that support PoE (Power over Ethernet) and cost less than $1,000 are now in the product delivery pipeline.
Helpstream Helps Those Who Help Themselves
Commentary  |  3/26/2008
Self-service customer support sounds like an oxymoron, but Helpstream insists that it doesn't have to be. The company, which recently secured $8.6 million in series B venture funding, has developed help desk and customer support software that brings together communities of users to assist each other.
Cemaphore Delivers E-Mail To Outlook Via Gmail, No Exchange Server Required
Commentary  |  3/26/2008
Let's say you're in love with Microsoft Outlook. You think it's the niftiest e-mail program ever. But the thought of licensing an Exchange server sort of makes you sick to your stomach. Acting like virtual Tums to quell your gastric butterflies, Cemaphore Systems is set to offer a subscription-based service that will deliver your e-mail via Google's Gmail system to your Outlook inbox -- no Exchange necessary.
Web 2.0 Development For The Common Man
Commentary  |  3/25/2008
Talk about tilting at windmills. WaveMaker CEO Chris Keene is challenging Microsoft's Visual Studio while simultaneously pointing out the drawbacks of Java development. Keene may be suffering delusions of grandeur--or perhaps he's onto something.
Yahoo, MySpace Get Social With Google
Commentary  |  3/25/2008
Google's OpenSocial effort has two new members, none other than MySpace and rival Yahoo. The three companies said they'll put any differences aside and work together to create the OpenSocial Foundation. The foundation will be focused on sustaining a "neutral, community-governed forum" for developing applications.
Small Business Winner Takes Home $100k In IT
Commentary  |  3/25/2008
The total technology makeover contest anoints a winner amid a full slate of free, online events for smaller businesses.
Experience!Tech: Searching for a Web 2.0 Clue
Commentary  |  3/25/2008
Honestly, if I hear one more middle-aged guy talk about how his kids shop/watch TV/live their lives on the Internet (implying, of course, that he still has his executive assistant print out his email for him), I will not be responsible for my actions.
Apple Is A Bad Windows Citizen
Commentary  |  3/25/2008
Over the past week, Apple has been raked over the coals for its force-feeding of new applications through Apple Software Update. The "update" word there might lead you to believe that Apple would only use the utility to deliver updates to software you previously installed. Yet Apple also uses its "update" program to download software you never requested.
What's Driving BPM Demand? It's the Economy, Stupid
News  |  3/24/2008
The model-driven approach and new SaaS-based offerings are sparking interest in business process management technology, but the recession may send demand over the top.
Is Google-Run Wi-Fi The Answer To Wireless For The Masses?
Commentary  |  3/24/2008
Haven't we been here before? Now that Google has lost the spectrum auction, it's petitioned the FCC to open up white spaces spectrum so it can provide Wi-Fi to smartphones (like, it's own, Android smartphone). What's wrong with existing Wi-Fi networks, and how is Google going to do it better?
The 'Secret Sauce' of BPM Success
News  |  3/24/2008
The business process management market is heating up, and a new report reveals that centers of excellence are the key ingredient of deployment success.
Identity Systems Launches Data Quality Suite
News  |  3/24/2008
The Information Quality Server provides a set of integrated tools that cover data quality steps in both batch-process and real-time operations. The tools are managed from a central console.
IBM Software Lets Business Execs, IT Collaborate On Data Integration Projects
News  |  3/24/2008
Information Server FastTrack translates into software code requirements defined by business analysts.
All Sorts of Sorts
Commentary  |  3/24/2008
Crapware Costs You Time, But Makes Them Money
Commentary  |  3/22/2008
It's an unfortunate fact that most Windows-based systems are filled with crapware when they're delivered. This unwanted software has a limited lifetime or crippled functionality. When its teaser trial is up, you either succumb to its incessant pleas for money or find a way to uninstall it. Last week, Sony put forth a solution. For a mere $50 more, it would deliver a system that is the way it should be -- free
George Clooney Googles Himself
Commentary  |  3/21/2008
Writer A.J. Jacobs takes the debonair actor on a hilarious cybertour of what people are saying about him on the Internet. He bravely reads his Wikipedia entry, looks up reviews of his best and worst movies, and joins the Facebook group "George Clooney is NOT the sexiest man alive."
So, Did Google Win Or Lose The Spectrum Auction?
Commentary  |  3/21/2008
Google did not come away from the FCC 700-MHz spectrum auction with any licenses. It did, however, force Verizon Wireless to spend $4.74 billion and trigger the open access provisions to a massive block of spectrum that covers most of the country. With those provisions, and Verizon's own "Any Device" initiative, that leaves the door wide open for the Android platform.
The Google Of Peer To Peer?
Commentary  |  3/21/2008
Tiversa, a five-year-old company based in Pittsburgh, specializes in knowing what kind of content is being shared over peer-to-peer networks. Until now, it's concentrated on helping businesses find and fix data leaks caused by file-sharing users. But Tiversa's got other plans for its technology, including working with advertisers to understand and respond to user activity on P2P networks.
Smaller Business as Spectator Sport
Commentary  |  3/20/2008
Paraphrasing Warhol, "Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes," but what's the value of fleeting moments in the spotlight for smaller businesses? A bevy of business contests promise prizes, publicity, and cash. Such contests may sap valuable resources from smaller businesses with little to spare yet they may also be the catalyst for some much-needed fine tuning of business plans.
Google's IT Department To Google Staff: Use Whatever Hardware And Software You Want
Commentary  |  3/20/2008
Google's CIO lets employees pick whichever hardware / operating system they want and download whatever software they feel they need to be productive. If you think it sounds like a security nightmare, you'd be wrong. Google's model is all about choice, even if it is a little less cost efficient.
BEA Surveys the State of the BPM Market
Commentary  |  3/20/2008
BEA recently completed a "thorough analysis" of the business process management market, based on analyst reports, articles, and customer surveys... There's a nice discussion about how most of the SOA vendors don't do BPM well, and most BPMS vendors either ignore SOA or try to make BPM and SOA the same thing...
Gartner: Emerging Technologies Will Help Drive Mainstream BI Adoption
News  |  3/20/2008
The technologies expected to breakdown today's hurdles to wider adoption of business intelligence include interactive visualization, in-memory analytics, search integrated with BI, software as a service and service-oriented architecture, Gartner says.
Veedow's Online Personalized Shopper
Commentary  |  3/19/2008
How can you lose with someone named Fabio at the helm, talking about how his company,, will do for shopping what Pandora does for music? Veedow will customize a recommendation-based social shopping site based on the items and styles that appeal specifically to you.
Brightbox Ruby On Rails Hosting
Commentary  |  3/19/2008
Traditionally, Ruby On Rails developers have had difficulty taking applications from their development systems to deployment (difficulties not experienced developing with PHP, ASP, or Java). But Brightbox, a U.K.-based startup showing off its wares at Startup Camp in London recently, specializes in Rails hosting.
Google's Search UI Derided As Antiquated
Commentary  |  3/19/2008
Some have declared that Google's search user interface -- and results pages -- are just too darned simple. It definitely isn't taking advantage of all that broadband has to offer with its elementary layout of links. Searchme, in comparison, displays results similar to CoverFlow in iTunes. Very fancy. I decided to compare Google, Ask, Yahoo, and MSN Live Search to Searchme to see what I could turn up.
Novell Hasn't Forgotten Microsoft's Jab At WordPerfect
Commentary  |  3/19/2008
News came this week that the Supreme Court wouldn't block Novell's antitrust lawsuit alleging that Microsoft harmed Novell's office suite during the 1990s. Novell won $536 million in 2004 regarding Microsoft's actions against NetWare, and is still pressing its decade-old grudge against Microsoft for the decline and fall of WordPerfect. The difficulty
Does Desktop Virtualization Need Desktop SOA?
Commentary  |  3/19/2008
Part of the rationale for Web services has always been that they can tunnel through firewalls, linking networks that are otherwise securely separated. Virtualization puts up similar barriers between applications within a single machine, so will crossing them require similar technology?
Memory Safety
Commentary  |  3/19/2008
LimeWire Bandit: ID Thief Gets Four-Year Jail Sentence
Commentary  |  3/18/2008
A Seattle man was sentenced yesterday to 51 months in prison for using peer-to-peer networks to commit identity theft. The case highlights a PC security risk that catches many users and businesses off-guard.
Today Google Docs Completely Failed Me
Commentary  |  3/18/2008
For the first time in 15 months, Google Docs failed to meet my needs and left me totally stranded. I no longer own Microsoft Office. I needed to send a PowerPoint file. I imported an existing presentation into Docs, edited it, and attempted to export it as a new PPT presentation. Alas, Google Docs only lets you export presentations as PDF or TXT files. I was flummoxed.
Second Guessing Microsoft On Internet Explorer 8
Commentary  |  3/18/2008
Microsoft's IE8 effort has been kicking into gear lately with its first beta release and a bunch of information. One controversial change is that IE8 is aiming to be "standards compliant" more than "IE7 compliant". Both IE6 and IE7 lagged far behind HTML and CSS standards that were well-establi
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