Overheard: Word of the Day


May 16, 2008  6:05 PM

Overheard: Is CNet – CBS marriage the beginning of a trend?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
peter_cohen.jpg This deal raises the question of whether any CBS competitors will decide to get into the game of buying Internet content companies.

Peter Cohan, CBS to buy CNet: Who’s next?


Peter offers three possible targets:

  • TheStreet.com (NASDAQ: TSCM) – This provider of business, investment and ratings content has $65 million in sales and a market cap of $236 million.
  • TechTarget (NASDAQ: TTGT) – This provider of online content for buyers and sellers of corporate information technology (IT) products has $95 million in sales and a $531 million market cap.
  • WebMD Health Corp (NASDAQ: WBMD) – This provider health information services to consumers, physicians and other healthcare professionals, employers and health plans has $332 million in sales and it’s market capitalization is $1.7 billion’

The Associated Press reports that CBS  is buying CNet  for $1.75 billion.

May 15, 2008  1:26 PM

Overheard: Biometric verification, the Lunch Lady, and Big Momma

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
schoollunch.jpg “Never again will a student hold up a lunch line to search for his/her ID card, fear peer pressure for being on a Free or Reduced meal plan, or have someone else charge a meal on their account.”

Advertisement for Sagem Morpho biometric scanner

Parents and educators concerned about the childhood obesity epidemic now have a new
ally that’s helping them apply tough love in the school cafeteria: fingerprint biometric
readers linked to point-of-sale (POS) systems and home internet connections that help them
monitor and restrict kids’ unhealthy lunch purchases.

Ok, this is kind of creepy. I can picture parent’s I’ve known really doing this. What’s next? Video monitors so you can check from work and make sure your kid isn’t trading with someone else? It’ll be interesting to see how this next generation figures out how to set parental boundries.


May 13, 2008  10:39 PM

Overheard: Overclocking is a personality trait

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Question: What kind of idiot would do that to NEW, EXPENSIVE hardware?

Answer: The same kind of person who, 10 years from now — when he gets his amazing new 200,000 GHz 512 bit processor with a terabyte of RAM — will say “How do I overclock it?”

This conversation on Slashdot made me laugh out loud. They were talking about an AMD Athlon 64 General Overclocking Guide. It’s totally beyond me why any sane person would want to take perfectly good hardware, void the warranty, put so much extra stress on components that the hardware’s lifespan is significantly shortened — and risk causing a fire — just so he could brag on some discussion board about how fast he got something going.


May 13, 2008  12:19 PM

Overheard: Social networking? SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
dollarsign.jpg

Facebook’s real problem isn’t privacy, it’s monetization.

Dave McClure, as quoted in Social-networking sites work to turn users into profits

 In many respects, it is the same query that dogged portal companies in the mid-1990s and search engines in the early ’90s. Some were sold. Some went public. Some went belly up.

The ongoing challenge is to concoct a potion — be it through banner ads, premium subscriptions or licensing agreements — that no one has perfected. Facebook, crown jewel of the field, is valued at $15 billion but barely turns a profit.


May 13, 2008  11:42 AM

Overheard: The Great Firewall of China

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
great-wall-of-china.JPG Depending on how you look at it, the Chinese government’s attempt to rein in the Internet is crude and slapdash or ingenious and well crafted.

John Ritter, The Connection Has Been Reset

When American technologists write about the control system, they tend to emphasize its limits. When Chinese citizens discuss it—at least with me—they tend to emphasize its strength. All of them are right, which makes the government’s approach to the Internet a nice proxy for its larger attempt to control people’s daily lives.


May 13, 2008  12:04 AM

Overheard: There’s no killer app for GRC software

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
johnhagerty.gif Most people assume that so-called GRC software–governance, risk and compliance–will continue to gather steam, as big boys like Oracle and SAP continue their marketing. It makes sense to automate compliance and risk issues, but the reality of this nascent field is that there really isn’t a single point solution.

John Hagerty, CFOs face complex GRC software decisions


May 10, 2008  1:28 PM

Overheard: Microsoft disagrees with GPL…again

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“With open source software, there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Bill Gates as quoted in Bill Gates on Pharmaceuticals: The System Isn’t Working

I have to admit, I am a big Bill Gates fan. Richard Stallman, on the other hand, is definitely not a Bill Gates fan. It’s seems like I read and read and read about Microsoft and open source, but I still can’t hear what MS is saying because I can’t get past the politics and the gigantic personalities of these two men.  I wish they’d both stop blowing smoke.


May 9, 2008  11:46 AM

Overheard: AML software and the law of unintended consequences

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
eliot_spitzer.jpg Poor Eliot Spitzer. The former governor of New York resigned in disgrace last month amid allegations he hired a high-priced call girl. In a matter of days, Mr. Spitzer went from potential presidential candidate to — in the tech world, at least — the poster boy for software usually used to snare fraudsters, money launderers and terrorists.

Ian Harvey, Anti-laundering software casts wide net to catch big fish

A little more info about how AML software accidently caught a big fish.

By law in Canada and the U.S., banks are obligated to report cash transactions of more than $10,000. According to U.S. federal officials, Mr. Spitzer’s transactions were flagged because it appeared as though he was trying to evade notice by moving several smaller amounts, which is known as “structuring.” In Mr. Spitzer’s case, three cash transactions amounting to more than $10,000 within a relatively short time frame set off alarms.


May 8, 2008  1:47 PM

Overheard: Are data Center efficiency metrics purposely obtuse?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
michaelmanos.jpg I have come to the realization that this industry does a wonderful job in telling its members WHAT to do, but lacks to follow-up with the HOW.

Michael Manos, Struggling with CADE, McKinsey / Uptime Metric

Lots of buzz about the Uptime Institute’s symposium on IT Energy Efficiency and the study McKinsey released called Revolutionizing Data Center Efficiency . It’s interesting that Michael Manos estimates that only 10% of data center managers measure the efficiency of their facilities. Could it be because it’s almost impossible for the average Joe to get the data they need to plug in the formulas? Or could it be that they’re waiting for a clear winner in the proposed metrics? Try this one out for size: CADE.

CADE is the new metric-of-the-week.

CADE (Corporate Average Data center Efficiency) = (Facility Efficiency) x (Asset Efficiency)

Facility Efficiency is defined as (Facility Energy Efficiency) * (Facility Utilization)
Asset Efficiency is defined as (IT Energy Efficiency) * (IT utilization)


May 5, 2008  12:12 PM

Video: Chris Pirillo explains why he’s upgrading from Vista to XP

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

 If you’ve never seen Chris Pirillo on video — or you just love Wayne’s World — here you go.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/HELrxLdP85c" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


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