Profile of Jim Rapoza
News & Commentary Posts: 99
Jim Rapoza is Senior Research Analyst at the Aberdeen Group and Editorial Director for Tech Pro Essentials. For over 20 years he has been using, testing, and writing about the newest technologies in software, enterprise hardware, and the Internet. He previously served as the director of an award-winning technology testing lab based in Massachusetts and California. Rapoza is also the winner of five awards of excellence in technology journalism, and co-chaired a summit on technology industry security practices. He is a frequent speaker at technology conferences and expositions and has been regularly interviewed as a technology expert by national and local media outlets including CNN, ABC, NPR, and the Associated Press.
Articles by Jim Rapoza
New API promises to cut down on the annoyance factor of proving to websites we're human.
Tech companies have created some of the strangest and funniest company and product names in business. Here's the most recent evidence that this trend is only accelerating.
Among Android apps, you'll find some jewels--and many stinkers. Here's our top 10 list of Android apps to skip, including a few names you might not expect.
Dropbox lets you do much more than file sharing via its cloud-based storage service. Consider these eight tips to make your life easier.
Leave your worries behind: These 5 mobile apps for smartphones and tablets let you access apps and files on your desktop PC.
Among the hundreds of thousands of Android apps, we've rounded up 10 epic, must-have choices. These apps will save your bacon, day in and day out.
Mozilla now upgrades Firefox every six weeks. Get up to speed on the most significant changes in the beta of Firefox 8.
Beta version of Firefox 8 from Mozilla includes new features to better manage Web browser add-ons and handle tabs, as well as under the hood improvements.
Running a Wordpress website can be a snap for even novices, but many users struggle when it comes to custom site layouts and configurations. For those without web scripting experience, Platform Pro offers an appealing option.
Fluke Networks' ruggedized tablet is expensive and weighty yet offers network engineers a powerful tool to take into the field.
Flash, Photoshop, Acrobat, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver are among the updated Adobe Creative Suite bundles. Take a look inside a few along with the latest feature enhancements.
Essentially a stripped-down browser, the Mozilla web-only operating system layer has much in common with Google Chrome.
Platform Pro brings drag-and-drop simplicity to laying out and configuring a unique Wordpress website.
We will look at key characteristics of MDM products, including the ability to handle multiple operating systems and devices, tracking and analysis features, and security capabilities.
Creative Suite 5.5 includes some significant improvements to Adobe's suite of development and design tools and adopts an accelerated update strategy.
A prototype release of Webian Shell, a Firefox-based operating system layer, offers a look at the future of low-power browsing.
Many common assumptions about enterprise social technology have proven false or become outdated. It's time to reconsider these common myths.
The Chrome browser's latest version enhances privacy and security features and supports 3-D CSS.
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks have supplanted business cards for keeping track of important contacts and Nimble Contact utilizes the information and communications in these networks to keep contact info current.
The inexpensive USB docking station accepts both 2.5-inch laptop hard drives and standard 3.5-inch system drives that use a SATA connection.
The Shared Inbox add-on for Google Apps Business accounts is designed to provide improved help desk and customer support ticket features for businesses using Gmail as their main communications platform.
Software as a service merges all of a user's social, email, and traditional contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, and traditional mail clients into a single, easy-to-use application.
The RockMelt Web browser, which is based on the Google Chrome engine, is designed to be a tool for surfing the social Web. With deep integration into Facebook, along with capabilities to work with Twitter, RockMelt makes it possible to have a constant view into your social connections while using websites and Web applications.
Boosted Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube capabilities make the Web browser a good everyday app and an excellent choice for those who are heavy social media users.
Shared Inbox for Google Gmail lets you create multiple shared inboxes for functions such as customer support, general questions, or help desk.
For a while now, it seems as if malware that targets smartphones has been more of a theoretical exercise as opposed to a real threat. And mobile security software is one of the last things that many people and businesses think they need. But the recent outbreak of Android-based malware, which has led to reportedly tens of thousands of people becoming infected by malware found in more than fifty apps in the Android Market, could be the first sign of the new age of mobile threats.
The latest version of the open-source Mozilla Web browser has finally arrived and it is a welcome upgrade. Firefox 4 includes a revamped look and feel, faster performance, strong standards support, and enhanced privacy controls. As far as features go, Firefox 4 compares well with browsers such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 and Google's Chrome, and the large library of extensions and add-ons for Firefox make it the most extendable and customizable of modern Web browsers. With all other major
Mozilla has introduced a significant upgrade with Firefox 4, offering a new look and feel, better support for standards, increased performance, and enhanced privacy controls.
Broadvision has introduced Clearvale Express, a SaaS-based social networking/enterprise 2.0 application that makes it possible for a company to provide workers with a Twitter-like activity stream that lets you know what your colleagues are working on, collaborate on files and tasks, and build collaborative communities. Workers can follow other users and view a simple Facebook-like profile wall on each user of the company network within Clearvale Express. The application is a stripped down versio
The browser wars are back and bigger than ever. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Opera are all providing innovative, fast, and streamlined experiences for surfing the Web. And now, with the release of Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft joins in with arguably the best Web browser the company has ever released. With a revamped interface, improved security and privacy options, and much better performance, IE 9 compares well with competing browsers. Traditionally a laggard in performanc
Internet Explorer 9 is a powerful, fast, and intuitive interface for browsing the Web and compares favorably with competing browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
Now that serious malware has been discovered in the Android Market, Android smartphone users may want to evaluate the free Lookout Mobile Security app.
The extension for Google’s Chrome browser lets users block results from specific sites from appearing in search results.
Broadvision is providing a free, stripped-down version of its enterprise product for businesses looking for a simple way to offer social networking functionality to employees.
When looking for examples of enterprise applications where open source products have competed effectively against expensive and complex commercial products, a good place to start is content management. Open source content management systems (CMS) have become extremely popular choices for running very large, complex, and busy Web sites. Open source CMS Drupal has made its name on that basis, by managing some very popular Web sites, including many news sites and WhiteHouse.gov. However, in areas s
The latest release of the open source CMS addresses many weaknesses with a more intuitive interface and much improved core functionality.
With its recently released Chrome 9 Web browser, Google has added several enhancements to provide a more immersive and rich Web experience. Chief among these new capabilities is default support for the emerging WebGL standard. This makes it possible to run 3D animations, games, and other rich interfaces within a browser without the need for third-party plug-ins and extensions such as Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight.
The browser update brings a more active and immersive Web experience, including improved graphics, applications, remote printing, and search.
The Conversation Mode feature of the Google Translate app for Android devices makes it possible to carry out a spoken, in-person conversation and have the phone translate both sides.
Google Translate for Android smartphones offers a unique and compelling new capability. This beta feature, called Conversation Mode, makes it possible to carry out a person-to-person conversation and have the Android device translate and speak each piece of the conversation on the fly. This new conversation model feature only works for conversations between English and Spanish speakers, though the main Google Translate app supports a wide range of languages for standard phrase-by-phrase translat
Open-source content management systems, such as Joomla, have proven to be effective options for many Web sites and businesses and can be found running some of the largest and busiest sites on the Web. With strong content features, the open-source Joomla has been a popular choice, despite some traditional weaknesses, especially when it came to controlling user permissions on site and sorting content. But with the recently released Joomla 1.6, the open source content management system has gone a l
With the release of Chrome for Business, Google has made it possible for companies to build and deploy customized and locked-down versions of the Chrome Web browser.
Years before the social networking oriented RockMelt browser there was Flock. Now Flock 3.5 shows that the original social networking browser still has strong features that should interest users looking to integrate social networking into their Web browser. Flock works with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, newsfeeds and, new in this release, LinkedIn. The newest Flock browser is also now based on the Google Chromium engine, providing a faster and more streamlined browsing experience. A social
The RockMelt social browser launch got tons of attention, but the Flock Web browser has been integrating with social networks for years and the latest version showcases several advantages over RockMelt.
With on-demand plugins and improved mouse gestures, Opera Software's eponymous web browser remains one of the most innovative and cutting edge.
The Opera web browser, from Opera Software, has long been one of the most innovative browsers available, and has been the first to introduce many features that became common in all browsers, such as tabbed windows. With the recent released beta of Opera 11, the browser continues this tradition with several interesting new capabilities, including the ability to load plugins on demand within web pages. The Opera 11 beta also includes some features already found in other browsers, such as competing
Viewed through the prism of tech history, Attachmate acquiring Novell seems strange, but given today's realities, the deal makes sense and could be good for Novell and its customers.
The social network's latest messaging features point to a future in which you can contact someone wherever they are with a single click.
With most of the interface and feature work complete, Mozilla turns its attention to improving performance.
The Google Chromium-based browser, backed by Marc Andreessen, doesn't break new ground on feature set, but could be a hit with heavy social media users.
With the release of the IE 9 Platform Preview 6, Microsoft showcases more features and standards support for developers as they move closer to the final release of IE 9.
Connects over a greater range and relies on peer-to-peer linkups instead of a WiFi network or router.
With the latest version of the Google Chrome browser, all the changes are under the hood, including lots of bug fixes and improved HTML 5 support.
Mozilla Labs is working towards building a web app system that would let developers deploy apps across browsers and platforms.
With its built-in Facebook integration, Skype 5.0 makes a move to become the voice and video side of the powerful social network. Jim Rapoza assesses the new release.
At last week's TechCrunch Disrupt, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg both touted a new technology that will be key to the growth of both companies. This technology is autonomous search, which lets sites and services know what you're looking for before you even search for it.
Recent announcements, such as Google's addition of voice calling in Gmail, along with the partnership between Facebook and Skype, could be heralding a new age of interactivity for the Web. And talking with your voice on the web could become almost as common as typing.
People like things that you can buy and immediately start using with no or very little upfront effort. Lots of things are on this from appliances to gadgets to even prefab homes. But one thing that definitely hasn't been on this list was enterprise applications, until now that is.
So this month Google officially turns twelve years old. Looking back over that time, three concepts stick out when I think of the many Google services I've seen and used; utilitarian, unexciting, can't live without them.
While Google Apps has proven to be an attractive option for many small businesses and start-ups, many other businesses (especially those with higher security requirements) have shied away from the service. But a new security feature may address these issues, and in the end make Google's services more secure for all users.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9, now in public beta, improves on previous versions of the browser, but most of the new features simply catch up to Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera.
HTML 5 is one of the most important new technologies, both an engine for a revitalized "web operating system" and a key means to a single platform for mobile applications. Many of you have probably heard tons of hype about it. Or you're thinking, "what's HTML 5?"
On the day that their web browser turned two years old, Google decided to celebrate by releasing a new version of Chrome. And Chrome 6 continues the tradition of mainly small changes and updates to the Google web browser.
I always get a chuckle when someone is "surprised" that video games can offer value and lessons to business and tech. What a surprise! After all, video games have only been doing that since they first came into existence.
Ask someone what kind of desktop or laptop they own and they will most likely respond with the operating system name. And it used to be that if you asked about their smartphone, they would probably respond with the hardware name. But that may be changing.
With new features recently added to Google's Gmail, the application now has the ability to freely make calls to phones anywhere. And while, feature-wise, it is well behind competitors like Skype, its integration in Gmail makes it a serious option.
So you've decided that some form of enterprise social networking application would be a good fit in your business and help keep employees connected and improve collaboration? Great, but once you've done this, you should make sure that you have some view into how well your employees are embracing social networking.
I know what you did last summer! And last Tuesday afternoon. And last night. OK, I don't actually know this, but Facebook Places does
Touch based interfaces have become all the rage, with the intuitive interfaces of the iPhone and iPad leading the way. But a new type of interface is starting to gain momentum, and it doesn't need a mouse, keyboard or touch screen, just the user's hands and face.
When I first had a chance to try out Apple's iPad, I liked almost everything about it except for its size. And that's why rumors of an iPad Mini are very interesting to me.
As human beings we are social creatures, most people find it enjoyable to be out in social situations with groups of friends. But are modern technologies destroying the "social" aspect of social situations?
A recent Senate hearing showed some well-informed congressman making intelligent comments about the problem of privacy and the Internet today. But while the attention to privacy was promising, any actual privacy legislation out of Congress would probably make privacy issues worse, not better.
One of the biggest weaknesses of the Safari web browser has been its general lack of extensions and add-ons. But with the release of the Safari 5.0.1 update, extensions are now fully enabled in the Apple web browser and many useful ones are currently available to users.
Probably one of the most damaging things to happen to technology in the last twenty years was the passage of the DMCA. But a recent decision by the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress has rolled back some of the reach of the nefarious DMCA.
Despite the fact that the Web has been around for just about twenty years, getting started with a web site still isn't anywhere near as easy as one would expect. Over that time many tools have been released to make getting a website started much easier, and now you can add WebMatrix, a new tool from Microsoft, to that list.
While most emerging technologies tend to happen quickly, one that has been "emerging" for a really long time is the Semantic Web. However, Google's recent acquisition of Metaweb may be the signal that the Semantic Web has finally arrived.
Despite the fact that most of the underlying technology of cloud computing is based on open source, much of the current wave of cloud computing platforms are closed. But a new open source initiative is hoping to fully open up cloud computing.
Could it be that software patents, which in my opinion have mainly been a drain on innovation, are finally on death's door? A recent decision could point to the answer being yes.
Business intelligence tools are probably high on most people's list of complex applications. But a SaaS product from SAP tries to make BI a bit more usable.
There's a new wave coming in computing, one that will change the way you look at the Web and at applications. What is it? Let's just say, Coming Soon! This Blog! In 3D!!
The recently released beta of Firefox 4 shows off some new features and boosted HTML 5 support. But the biggest surprise is how much the redesigned Firefox interface looks like Google Chrome.
The current round of the browser wars has been marked by near constant upgrades and innovations (typified by Google's five updates of Chrome in less than two years). All of which makes Microsoft's slow progress to IE 9 somewhat surprising.
The Police famously (and creepily) sang "every step you take, I'll be watching you". Now, many people are worried about just how much their mobile devices and applications are watching where they go and what they do.
I had the chance to attend the Enterprise 2.0 conference this week in Boston and I was pleasantly surprised to see some very welcome developments and improvements in the companies and products that were at the conference.
So Adobe says that Flash will be running on 250 million smart phones in two years? Given the amount of help Adobe will likely get from smartphone makers, it could easily happen.
While the biggest news from Apple this week centered around the new iPhone, Apple also released a new version of another product, and it's one that anyone can freely use now. Safari 5 is the latest version of the Apple web browser and among the new features in the browser is a Reader mode that makes it a pleasure to read long articles on the Web.
For a while now, people have been using Internet-connected video cameras to keep a remote eye on businesses, vacation homes, pets, and kids. But setting up these online video systems is often complex and time consuming. That's where Avaak Vue comes in.
Though it is still the youngest of the major web browsers (at less than two years old), Google Chrome continues to impress and in many ways outshine the older and more mature browsers.