Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

January 25, 2008  8:16 PM

Overheard: Explaining art in a way that every geek can understand

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
paint.gif Paul Wineguy has graciously given permission for me to reprint some of his altered art. Enjoy!

Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red
Piet Mondrian, 1921
oil on canvas

The Creation of Adam
Michelangelo, 1477-80

The Garden of Earthly Delights
Hieronymus Bosch, 1503-04
Oil on wood

The Thinker
Auguste Rodin, 1609-10
Bronze and marble sculpture

Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition
Cristiano Banti, 1857
Oil on canvas

Signboard for a Schoolmaster
Ambrosius Holbein
Pine panel

The Scream
Edvard Munch, 1893
oil, tempera and pastel on cardboard

January 25, 2008  2:40 PM

Overheard: Phish tales — proof there is no honor among thieves

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
phishing.gif A recurrent group of Moroccan fraudsters calling themselves Mr-Brain has launched a website dedicated to offering easy-to-use phishing site code, email templates and other hacking tools.Mr-Brain’s intentions are to encourage as many people as possible to use their phishing kits, for all is not what it seems at first glance.

Careful inspection of the configuration script reveals deceptive code that hides the true set of electronic mail addresses that are contacted by the kit – every fraudster who uses these kits will unwittingly send a copy of each victim’s details back to the Mr-Brain group.

Paul Mutton, Mr-Brain: Stealing Phish from Fraudsters

January 25, 2008  12:56 PM

Overheard: The technology behind the NASDAQ sign at Times Square

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
nasdaq.jpg The NASDAQ display is notable because it’s the largest continuous sign in Times Square. It has close to 9,000 square feet of display space — about a quarter of an acre.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to make a sign like this? It looks relatively sleek and simple, but there’s actually a massive amount of technology involved.

Marshall Brain, How the NASDAQ Times Square Display Works

On any large LED sign like this, it’s normal to use clusters of LEDs to make one pixel. For example, a sign might use two red LEDS, two blue LEDs and three green LEDs to make a single pixel. By changing the amount of power going to the LEDs of each color, it’s possible to mix the three primary colors together to create any color of the rainbow. Turn all the LEDs on and you get white light; turn them all off and you get black.

January 24, 2008  1:36 PM

Overheard: The secret history of Silicon Valley

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Warning: This video is quite long and runs more like an hour TV show.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/hFSPHfZQpIQ" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Steve Blank offers a glimpse behind the curtain, historically speaking. This recording is part of a lecture series called Google Tech Talks. It caught my interest because it had a great title and because my father was a pilot. The talk isn’t so much about business as it is about military R&D.

January 23, 2008  2:42 PM

Overheard: Virtualization causes appliance vendors real pain

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
christopher_huff.jpg Virtualization is causing IPS and NAC appliance vendors some real pain in the strategic planning department. I’ve spoken to several product managers of IPS and NAC companies that are having to make some really tough bets regarding just what to do about the impact virtualization is having on their business.

Christopher Huff, How the Hypervisor is Death By a Thousand Cuts to the Network IPS/NAC Appliance Vendors

January 22, 2008  1:49 PM

Overheard: You’re getting IE7 whether you want it or not

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
ie7.jpg Microsoft has warned corporate administrators that it will push a new version of Internet Explorer 7 their way February 12th, and it has posted guidelines on how to ward off the automatic update if admins want to keep the older IE6 browser on their companies’ machines.

Gregg Keizer, Microsoft warns businesses of impending autoupdate to IE7

January 22, 2008  2:39 AM

Overheard: Why marketers love virtual trade shows

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
janet_meiners.gif Online marketers are fans of virtual events because it costs less and often results in more targeted leads. The virtual version of trade shows don’t usually completely replace regular trade shows but are a way to cut costs or add value. Perhaps the biggest advantage of a virtual trade show is that you can track what people at your event do.

Janet Meiners, Trade Shows Go Virtual

January 22, 2008  2:08 AM

Overheard: Will Real ID makes data theft easier?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
burglar.jpg Here’s an ugly prediction that you can take to the bank: as the amount of data that the feds collect on innocent civilians grows, so will the number of people who are victims of crimes that were made possible by unauthorized access to a government database.

Jon Stokes, Analysis: Metcalfe’s Law + Real ID = more crime, less safety

January 21, 2008  11:50 AM

Overheard: Forget about retaining your top executive talent — focus on retaining your customers!

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
circuit_city.jpg Circuit City (Fortune 500) announced last month that it approved millions in cash incentives to retain its top talent following the departure of several key executives over the past year. Executive vice presidents could claim retention awards of $1 million each and senior vice presidents could get $600,000, provided they stay with the company until 2011, according to a filing with the U.S. Exchange Commission.

SteveB, Circuit City same-store sales fall 11%

Last March Circuit City fired a bunch of people who earned more than $18 an hour. Then they outsourced their IT infrastructure to IBM to cut costs.  Now they’re promising big bucks to top executives that stay. There’s discussion in the blogosphere over whether the days of the big box consumer electronics store are over — and whether the shopper who frequented that kind of store does all their shopping online now. 

I think Best Buy just did it better. Best Buy invested a ton of time and money into training every employee — even the Christmas-time temp. They were smart enough to team up with the Geek Squad. Circuit City is failing because they thought about the product, but failed to think about the end user who would use that product.

Best Buy did it right. They invested in education.

January 19, 2008  7:35 PM

What is IT? Name that tech!

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
What is IT?
Hint: It’s looks and bends like regular paper, but it has power.
What is IT?
Hint: This device works for Wal-Mart in supply chain management.
What is IT?
Hint: This device was patented in 1970. The inventor never made a dime from it.
What is IT?
Hint: A chip like this can be made 64 times smaller than the one you see here.
What is IT?
Hint: You can build a camera with it. Or maybe a GPS tracking device.
What is IT?
Hint: Oh Mama! That Jack of Hearts is a regular playing card.
What is IT?
Hint: These guys are not angels, despite the very expensive technology they’re using.
What is IT?
Hint: You’ll find this kind of low-tech device in a data center.
What is IT?
Hint: This mobile device helped a doctor in New York successfully treat a surgical patient in Argentina.
What is IT?
Hint: The only alphabetical key on this pretend keyboard is the letter “R.”

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