Overheard: Word of the Day

A Whatis.com blog


August 25, 2008  2:29 PM

Overheard: Var-to-Var networking at Partnerpedia



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
var-to-var
dan_blacharski.jpg At first it may seem a little counter-intuitive that VARs and resellers, a fiercely competitive lot, would want to collaborate on projects, but the benefits become obvious when you consider the fact that not every VAR has the same level of expertise–and temporary partnerships forged to meet very specific client requirements could benefit everyone.

Dan Blacharski, Partnerpedia delivers social networking to the channel

Partnerpedia is being pitched as a vendor-neutral, partner-to-partner networking portal that will enable resellers to connect with one another, share information and collaborate on projects. Karen Schwartz over at SearchITChannel.com summarized how VAR-to-VAR channel partnerships offer risks and rewards.

August 25, 2008  2:02 PM

Overheard: Wait till Xmas to buy your Blu-ray HD player



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Blu-ray, HD players, high definition, Steve Makris
smakris.jpg Although the Blu-ray movie count is up to 500 titles, the players cost 10 times more than DVD players. Industry observers agree that the HD scene, locked in a chicken and egg scenario between players sold and movie availability, will really take off when the price of players drops below $200. Maybe this Christmas.

Steve Makris, Six months after victory, Blu-ray technology is still expensive


August 25, 2008  1:20 PM

Overheard: Freemium biz model explained



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Don Dodge, VC, Web 2.0
don_dodge1.jpg The Open Source Software vendors have a similar model where they offer the software for free download and sell consulting, maintenance and support contracts for revenue.

Don Dodge, Freemium – Free to paid conversion rates

Don Dodge does a good job weeding through the Web 2.0 biz-speak and nailing down why the Freemium model could actually work for some start-ups.

Do the math. 100,000 free users convert to 3,000 paid users. They pay between $10 to $50 per user per month. Lets use $25 as an average. That is $75K a month or $900K per year. That is an excellent revenue stream for companies that typically have 3 to 5 employees.


August 17, 2008  9:40 PM

Overheard: E stands for Enlightenment



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
E, Enlightenment
e.jpg KDE and GNOME tend to mimic Windows. An unwritten rule in the Linux world is that user-friendliness is getting closer and closer to the MS-Windows model. So what really grabbed me when I started E (as Enlightenment is generally called) was it’s departure from the beaten track.

Kiran, The Day I Was Enlightened


August 17, 2008  9:25 PM

Overheard: Sharepoint comes in two flavors



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Ken Stewart, Microsoft Office Sharepoint Services, Windows Sharepoint Services
sharepoint.jpg Microsoft SharePoint 2007 comes in 2 flavors: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) and Windows SharePoint Services (WSS). SMB’s will traditionally be able to rapidly deploy WSS and not hassle with expensive licensing in MOSS. However, at certain levels, MOSS offers some higher level functionality that you just can’t beat.

Ken Stewart, SharePoint 2007: Friend or Foe? – 2 of 4 -


August 14, 2008  11:35 AM

Overheard: Kent Beck, extreme programming and the quest for quality



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
agile programming, extreme programming, Kent Beck, Programming
kent_beck.jpg I think it’s a combination of technical and social factors that leads to all the defects in deployed software. Part of it is the attitude that software is just inherently unreliable, and customers are conditioned to accept that. Developers are conditioned to accept that. Testers are conditioned to accept that. We just decided it was like the weather and there’s nothing we could do about it, which isn’t a very responsible position because in fact, there’s a lot that software developers can do about it.

Kent Beck, as quoted in Extreme Programming inventor talks about agile development

Kent Beck gave a great interview that’s posted on the IBM developerWorks site, where he talks about the payroll project at Chrysler.  It’s a great read.

Now, the payroll program would handle Chrysler’s entire payroll, representing 1/10 of 1 percent of the entire US gross national product — at that scale, with union rules and all the places they operate, it’s a complicated program. They had a crying business need; it had to work. At the same time, this wasn’t rocket science — we just had to execute.

So, after a couple of weeks I interviewed everyone one-on-one. I told the first guy that we’ll divide the project into three-week intervals called, say, iterations. In each iteration we’ll implement a few new features called stories. We’ll write down all the stories we need, slot them into the iterations, then do it.

I told the next guy [I interviewed] that we have these three-week iterations divided into stories. For each story we’ll write these, um, acceptance tests to demonstrate that the stories meet the customer’s expectations.

With each person I interviewed I added a little more. By the end of the day, I’d interviewed 20 people and had laid out Extreme Programming’s basics.

My favorite quote from the article? “Sucks less isn’t progress.”


August 12, 2008  7:22 PM

Overheard: If it was every twelve minutes in 2006, what’s the lucky number now?



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
honeypot, Mark Ward, Security, Technology
mark_ward1.jpg If every hour a burglar turned up at your house and rattled the locks on the doors and windows to see if he could get in, you might consider moving to a safer neighbourhood. And while that may not be happening to your home, it probably is happening to any PC you connect to the net.

Mark Ward, Tracking down hi-tech crime

In 2006, a BBC News technology team set up a honeypot and found that the average home computer was attacked from the Internet once every twelve minutes. I wonder what the number is now?


August 12, 2008  5:51 AM

Overheard: Monetizing web video with product placement



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Cisco, Frank Rose, Video
frank_rose.jpg Sure, the YouTube explosion was fueled by amateurs, but it will be showbiz professionals who cash in on Web video. That’s because most big corporate advertisers want a safe, predictable environment — not the latest YouTube one-off, no matter how viral.

Frank Rose, Hollywood Has Finally Figured Out How to Make Web Video Pay

Frank Rose put together an interesting look at the scramble to monetize web video. I hadn’t realized that some TV execs were looking at Web video as the farm team for the big league. It also hadn’t occurred to me that product placement in web video could be big business.

On a sunny afternoon in March, Rogow pulls his black Porsche SUV to the curb, collects a ticket from the valet, and walks briskly into the Creative Artists Agency building on LA’s Avenue of the Stars. Perfectly framed in an enormous glass wall is the Hollywood sign, 8 miles away. Rogow is here to meet with Anita Lawhon, the Cisco executive in charge of entertainment partnerships. This is crunch time for Gemini Division, the weeks when everything — advertising, distribution, financing, production — must come together. On a table in the vast marble reception zone sits this morning’s Daily Variety. “Changes to Biz Give Town the Jitters,” reads the front-page headline.

Today, Rogow is focused on how to get that business model working. It’s going well — so well that Herskovitz recently met with his CAA agents to learn how Electric Farm is doing it. Cisco is key. Those Gemini Division agents are going to wield some pretty cool tech, much of it — thanks to a deal brokered by CAA — actual products from Cisco: a video surveillance system that sends an alert when someone penetrates the wrong sector; digital billboards that can be reprogrammed on the fly; TelePresence, a teleconferencing system with life-size video so hi-def it makes virtual meetings seem almost real. In the past few weeks, similar deals have been cut with Acura, Intel, Microsoft, and UPS. “In a cold business sense,” Rogow confides, “this show is a self-financing marketing vehicle.”

Another quote from this article got me thinking: “In 1908, movies were 10 minutes long because that’s all you could get on a reel of film, and the actors who appeared in them were anonymous. ” Sound familiar?


August 11, 2008  6:15 PM

Tag: You’re IT! — Meet Mark Schoonover



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Tag: You're IT!, Technology
markschoonover.jpg Last week we tagged Mark Schoonover. We invite you to tag his blog and follow Mark too!

1. When did you first discover your love for technology?
As soon as I was old enough to hold a screwdriver and take things apart!

2. How do you earn a living?
I’m a developer on the United States Navy and Marine Corp Intranet.

3. What do you love most about your work?
Very challenging assignments, great people, huge network.

4. What keeps you up at night?
Lately it’s been devoting time to the Drizzle project.

5. What do you do when you’re not working?
Coach soccer, referee, ultracycling, bugging my wife and kids….

6. You’ve looked in your crystal ball and have seen the future of enterprise IT. What does it look like?
Bigger, faster, more cores! There’s going to be a limit on CPU speeds, so the only way to go faster is to do things in parallel across many cores/CPUs at a time.


August 11, 2008  6:03 PM

Tag: You’re IT! Meet Pam Baker



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Tag: You're IT!, Technology
Last week we tagged Pam Baker!

1. Pam, when did you first discover your love for technology?
I’m the cat that curiosity is always stalking! I love to learn new things and technology is constantly about new things, so it’s a natural match for my questing mind. There is much to accomplish but only one lifetime to do it in; technology allows us to super-speed our accomplishments to roughly double the time we actually have. Combine the lightning speed action with the continuous intellectual exercise, and you have the reason I’m addicted to tech!

2. How do you earn a living?
I am a full-time freelance writer who also does significant analytical work as a contracted analyst for various research firms, most notably for UK-based Visiongain using the pen name Pam Duffey, but also for several other research firms. I also do “big picture” consulting work, meaning I help start-ups and tech companies figure out how to make money from their great tech ideas. I repair the disconnect between great adoption rates and poor monetization.

3. What keeps you up at night?
Fear of human nature. Technology within itself is neither good nor bad — the humans wielding it however are often both. Greed is growing at an unprecedented rate while compassion, decency, and respect for privacy are wilting everyday. I fear what the man behind the curtain may do to the munchkins of the land if left unchecked. To many of our so-called over-seers and governmental regulators are far too ignorant of technology to properly protect the people — and they too are a mix of good and evil. In my opinion, human nature is the scariest thing out there.

4. What do you do when you’re not working?
I play hard. Not being one to tackle anything half-heartedly, I go after pleasure with the same gusto that I tackle a work project. Generally, I love to travel and learn new cultures whether that’s in another state or another country. Once there, I try out just about anything the locals enjoy. Told you, the cat that curiosity stalks!

Downtime at home, I enjoy great sci-fi movies, books of all kinds, my wonderful dogs, and long walks through the woods. Pretty sedate really.

5. You’ve looked in your crystal ball and have seen the future of enterprise IT. What does it look like?
A greatly diminished data center as everything goes Software as a Service (SaaS) and to cloud computing. Companies will crystallize their efforts to their core competencies and outsource everything else; hosted everything will rule the day. Unified communications and universal compatibility will make everything easier to do and use. Vulnerability, however, will sky-rocket because of this.

Outsourcing things like contact centers to foreign countries, however, will crash and burn as great customer service once again becomes vital to bottom-lines and companies realize that “cost per contact” is not nearly as important as “outcome per contact.” Using locals in contact centers for any given region is the only way companies can achieve the customer satisfaction levels they need to boost sales and brand loyalty, so expect offshore outsourcing to revert to near-shore and onshore outsourcing. In fact, some of that is happening now.

Nanotechnology will finally burst through the manufacturing obstacles and devices and hardware will become much smaller, better and faster, further reducing the size of the data center, the impact on the environment, and the cost of IT.

Google and Apple will eventually break the U.S. carrier stranglehold, possibly Yahoo will have a role in that as well, and the U.S. will finally see more benefits in mobile technology than we imagine today. That too, will further change enterprise IT. But until we get our carriers to play ball, mobile’s not going to be much more than it currently is here. Mobile advertising here is going to fail, largely because of carrier shortsightedness and their fear of becoming “dumb pipes.” It will take years before companies will be willing to try mobile advertising again after that, but they will eventually, and the second wave will be tremendously successful because carrier obstruction will be dealt with and because new business models will make mobile advertising more lucrative.

Broadband speeds in the U.S. will finally come up to par to other countries, once we eventually get around to redefining what constitutes “high-speed” broadband. Broadband issues will become paramount as companies turn to more telecommuters worldwide in order to satisfy their talent needs and lower energy needs. Enterprises will push hard for the change — and get it — as they learn from the global marketplace how badly out-of-whack the U.S. is, comparatively speaking.

The same is true with SOA. Only the U.S. sees SOA as a reuse advantage, other countries see it as a business process advantage. Because of this, U.S. based companies are not realizing the full benefits of SOA, but that will change in the near-future.

That’s just a few of the changes I see coming.

Bonus Question: If Stephen Spielberg was going to make a movie about your life, what would it be called?

It would definitely be an action movie, most likely a sci-fi movie too because the role technology has in my life, and a bit of a thriller since even I never know what’s going to happen next, lol, so maybe it would be called “The Wonder-lust Chronicles” or “Chaos Trapper.”


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