Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

July 6, 2009  4:28 PM

Overheard – continuous data protection is like video

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
lauren-whitehouse CDP is like video and snapshots are like photos.

Lauren Whitehouse, as quoted in How continuous data protection is used today

As a result, CDP minimizes the loss of data in case of a failure. With snapshots, all data between a failure and the latest snapshot is lost.

July 2, 2009  6:48 PM

Overheard – Transformers in real life

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Autonomous, intelligent robots are great, but when they look like classic Transformers characters they’re even better.

Chris Davies, Chiara Robot with WiFi b/g, articulated claw & Pico-ITX brain [Video]

The handiwork of Mellon University’s Tekkotsu lab, the Chiara Robot has six independent legs, a claw arm with six degrees of freedom, and a combination of webcam and IR rangefinder for spotting objects and obstacles.  Even better, this is no simple lab project: the Chiara Robot will actually be manufactured and sold by RoPro Design.

I admit, Chiara is cool, but I don’t think it’s got the beat when it comes to looking like a classic Transformer character.  The WR-07, created by Nakamura san at Himeji Soft Works, is a robot that morphs from car to humanoid and back.

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July 2, 2009  12:59 PM

Overheard – Who cares what a browser is?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Google intern Scott Suiter went to Times Square and asked 50 random people three simple questions:

“What is a browser?”

“Do you know the difference between a browser and a search engine?”

“What browser do you use?”

It wasn’t exactly JayWalking, but to read some of the comments as this Google video makes its way around the blogosphere, you might be tempted to think it was.

JayWalking, if you’re not a Tonight Show fan, was a popular man-on-the-street interview segment where former host Jay Leno would stop pedestrians and ask them questions about American history, current events and other things a fifth grader would probably know. The more stupid the answers, the funnier the segment.

It’s pretty clear just from this little micro-survey that people were confused about the difference between a browser and a search engine.

The question is, does it really matter?

I don’t type in “http://” anymore.  I rarely type in “www.”  What I do instead sets my husband’s teeth right on edge because it’s so lazy. You see, sometimes I’ll search right from my browser window.

If you’re still pulling up the Google home page to begin your search, try skipping that step.  Open IE or Firefox and in the browser toolbar where it says “address,” type in your query —

And then imagine a whole generation of kids growing up doing the same thing.  They don’t care if they’re using the right window or the right word.  Would you be embarrassed because you called a generic bathroom tissue a “Kleenex?”  Or feel stupid if you called the HP office machine that copies and collates a “Xerox machine” instead of a photocopier?  Nah.  And that’s about how important any of this stuff is going to be to the next generation.

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The video ends by saying “Less than 8% of the people who were interviewed on this day knew what a browser was.”

July 1, 2009  1:29 PM

Overheard – Bugging HTML email

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
eric lai Hewlett-Packard Co. admitted several years ago to using Web bugs to spy on reporters during an internal investigation of news media leaks by board members.

Eric Lai, Analysis: Is HTML e-mail dangerous for your PC, or just your eyeballs?

There’s some buzz right now about whether or not HTML email is so insecure that it’s never a good idea. That means that Web bugs are back in the news.  If you missed the HP story the first time around, a company rep testified in front of a House of Representatives subcommittee about bugging emails to find corporate leaks to the press. They used a service called readnotify.com

ReadNotify’s service makes bugging e-mail a matter of pointing and clicking. The ReadNotify Web page will generate a document with an image. This image, a green check mark, can simply be dragged and dropped into the document that needs to be traced. The check mark becomes transparent after being dropped.

Web bugs aren’t illegal. Marketers use them to track email blasts to see how many emails were actually opened and synchronize browser cookies so a returning visitor gets served relevant ads.

June 30, 2009  1:33 PM

Overheard – VMware vs. Microsoft

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

“The video has ignited a longstanding debate within the partner communities of Microsoft and VMware over which company has the better approach to virtualization. In Microsoft’s view, virtualization is a feature of the operating system, while VMware represents an unnecessary — and expensive — extra layer. VMWare counters that Microsoft’s virtualization isn’t sophisticated enough for the needs of enterprises.”Kevin McLaughlin, VMware Apologizes To Microsoft For Hyper-V Bashing

Scott Drummonds, a technical marketing manager at VMware, admitted that he exercised bad judgment in posting the video and said he has removed it from Youtube. “Unfortunately, my intention to stir the pot with eye-poking banter has put my credibility and by association VMware’s credibility in question among some of you. For this I apologize,”

June 29, 2009  3:40 PM

Overheard – server virtualization

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
In the absence of standards, users and administrators configure virtual machines on spec, often overallocating resources to VMs, which creates waste and inefficiency. This problem is exacerbated in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), in which large volumes of VMs are often created over a short period of time.

Jeff Byrne, Curbing virtual server sprawl in growing virtualized environments

June 26, 2009  5:33 PM

Overheard – Application portfolio management

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
kristina-podnar And now with a huge portion of the COBOL workforce retiring (i.e. baby boomers) there is a sense of panic as the ecosystem is threatened by a looming shortage of staff and a scramble to snatch up those few green screen programmers remaining. So here are my questions: Did nobody see this coming? Was anybody paying attention? And what lessons will we learn from this that we can apply to our own little ecosystems of java, PHP, Ruby, and .NET?

Kristina Podnar, A Call for Application Portfolio Management

June 25, 2009  3:54 PM

Overheard – Discrete manufacturing

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“There are far too many valuable resources, too much valuable capital and especially too much human skill and know-how embedded in America’s manufacturing sector to allow it to go to waste.”

Vice President Biden, speaking in Perrysburg, Ohio

Tuesday, June 23rd, Vice President Biden and the Middle Class Task Force went to Perrysburg, Ohio to promote manufacturing.  The Vice President hosted a discussion on the state of manufacturing.  From what I could gather reading through the local news feeds,”retooling” and “renewable energy” were the buzzwords-of-the-day.  If you’re a discrete manufacturer for automobile parts, for instance, you might want to picture yourself making parts for wind turbines or solar panels instead.

June 24, 2009  12:46 AM

Overheard: Memristor is the missing link of integrated circuitry

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Electronic theorists have been using the wrong pair of variables all these years–voltage and charge. The missing part of electronic theory was that the fundamental pair of variables is flux and charge.Leon Chua as quoted in ‘Missing link’ memristor created: Rewrite the textbooks?

A memristor can be thought of as a resistor that changes its resistance depending on the amount of current that’s sent through it — and the big deal is that it retains its resistance even after the power is turned off.  Memristors are in the news again because engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed flexible memristor-like electronic memory chips.  It could be big news for consumer electronics because it opens up the possibility that memory chips can be printed just as simply and inexpensively as overhead transparencies.

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June 23, 2009  4:57 PM

Overheard – Is IT insourcing just a temporary solution?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
overheard Only 9% of CIOs said they planned to increase IT outsourcing this year, according to the latest update to Gartner Inc.’s 2009 CIO Agenda survey, and many are considering insourcing previously outsourced functions.

IT insourcing can bring jobs, cost savings back in-house, experts say

The survey, which ranked CIOs’ top priorities, found that “improving business processes” topped the list once again this year, with 57% naming it as a top concern. Following that was “reducing enterprise costs” with 51% and “improving enterprise workforce effectiveness,” which was up three spots from last year and garnered 37%.

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