Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

November 18, 2008  1:17 PM

Overheard: USB 3.0 is on its way

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
tuan_nguyen.jpg According to official specifications, USB 3.0 will officially be known as SuperSpeed USB and carry with it a whopping bandwidth of 5 Gbps, which is roughly 1 CD’s worth of data (650 MB) per second.

Tuan Nguyen, SuperSpeed USB More Like HalfSpeed

Ok now it makes sense that Apple ditched FireWire.

November 18, 2008  1:24 AM

Overheard: No presidential technology in the White House?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
jeff_zeleny.jpg Sorry, Mr. President. Please surrender your BlackBerry.

Jeff Zeleny, Lose the BlackBerry? Yes He Can, Maybe

In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.

It makes sense, but it still surprised me. How ironic! Now that he finally gets to work from home, he’ll be the only Dad in the country who can’t text message his kids when it’s time for dinner.

November 17, 2008  10:28 PM

Overheard: net neutrality

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
julian_sanchez.jpg In print and TV, we see a range of models for divvying up the cost of getting content to the audience—from paid infomercials to ad-supported programming to premium channels—and it’s never quite clear why the same shouldn’t pertain to online.

Julian Sanchez, Is government regulation needed to ensure net neutrality

Because President-elect Obama is in favor of net neutrality, it’ll be interesting to see who he picks for the FCC and whether Obama will endorse Senator Byron Dorgan’s net neutrality bill.

The controversy that surrounds net neutrality laws reminds me a little of what happened with the Equal Rights Amendment back when I was in college.  The question then was “Do we really need an equal rights ammendment to the constitution or does the Bill of Rights already provide the legislation we need?

It’ll be interesting to see whether the “new” FCC thinks they can govern effectively with the legislation they already have on the books.

November 13, 2008  12:05 PM

Overheard: The Microsoft Operations Framework is ITIL-lite

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
niel-nickolaisen2.jpg The Microsoft Operations Framework? I call it ITIL-lite. Same idea of a set of best practices but without the increasing complexity of ITIL.

Niel Nickolaisen, sharing advice from a colleague in the tech tip The Real Niel: ITIL versus MOF

November 12, 2008  8:39 PM

Overheard: We don’t need no stinkin’ credit card. Give us your e-mail address book.

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
gunter_ollmann.jpg Elite cybergangs can no longer make great money stealing and selling personal identity data. Thousands of small-time, copycat data thieves have oversaturated the market, driving prices to commodity levels. Credit card account numbers that once fetched $100 or more, for instance, can be had for $10 or less.

Gunter Ollmann as quoted in Internet thieves make big money stealing corporate info

The most fertile turf: AOL, Yahoo and MSN instant messaging; YahooMail, HotMail and Gmail; and MySpace and FaceBook, the free tools that on any given day you’ll find open on millions of workplace PCs. The most coveted loot: e-mail address books, instant-messaging buddy lists, PowerPoint slide presentations, engineering drawings, partnership agreements, price lists, bid proposals, supply contracts, executive e-mail exchanges and the like.

USA Today has put together an interesting overview on where the dollars are today in cybercrime.  Gunter Ollmann is the chief security strategist at IBM ISS, IBM’s tech security division.

November 12, 2008  1:19 PM

Overheard: How will power-line broadband work?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
rural.jpg International Business Machines Corp. said it has been hired to work with rural electricity cooperatives to provide high-speed Internet service over power lines. The project is a sign that using the electricity grid for communication — a technology utilities have long been interested in — has finally matured.

William M. Bulkeley, IBM Hired to Develop Power-Line Broadband

The system works by using standard power lines to carry a radio-frequency signal in the magnetic field that surrounds the wires. The signal is continuously amplified by low-priced repeater boxes clamped to the lines. When an electricity customer signs up for broadband services, the supplier mails out a special modem that is plugged into the wall outlet where the computer is plugged in.

UPDATE 8-03-09: IBM IBM and an ISP called International Broadband Electric Communications announced they have begun to establish broadband over power line (BPL) networks for nearly 200,000 rural customers served by 7 electrical cooperatives in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and Virginia.

November 12, 2008  12:43 PM

Overheard: The future of SaaS is in appliances?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
mayank_sharma.jpg Today, virtual appliances are becoming a de-facto means of software distribution and have spawned a new type of business — the virtual appliance vendor.

Along with software vendors and virtualization software companies, appliance vendors are putting in the extra effort to streamline the distros that power the apps. So, for example, Bugzilla, the popular bug tracking app, is available as a 2.4MB download tarball from Mozilla, as well as a 150MB appliance from appliance vendor Jumpbox. Mathematically, this is 62.6 times the size of the app, but in 150MB you’re also getting an operating system, stripped to the bone and optimized to run only that particular app.

Mayank Sharma, A virtual appliance primer

Am still trying to figure out why we won’t be using virtual appliances for just about everything and how the distribution model fits in with SaaS.

November 12, 2008  2:38 AM

Overheard: Using fast flux for nefarious purposes

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
skoudis3.gif Since the summer of 2007, there has been an explosion of large-scale fast-flux botnets. With this technique, bad guys can leverage thousands of disposable drone machines as intermediaries, rapidly switching between different systems, confounding investigators who try to trace back a constantly fluctuating set of targets.

Ed Skoudis, Thinking fast-flux: New bait for advanced phishing tactics

November 12, 2008  2:24 AM

Overheard: Hardware level encryption and EPO

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
elinor_mills2.jpg A hot area for encryption right now is full disk encryption, in which every piece of data on a hard drive is encrypted. With all the laptops that get lost and stolen, there’s really no reason not to encrypt the hard drive.

Elinor Mills, To encrypt or not? That is the question

Dell announced that they will be the first computer maker to ship a laptop with Seagate’s 160GB self-encrypting FDE hard drives.

In plain English, full disk encryption (FDE) means that all the data on your hard drive will be automatically encrypted.  To access data on the hard drive, you need a password.  If no password is provided, the hard drive stays locked down.  Encryption at the hardware (firmware) level is supposed to be less expensive and more efficient.

So what happens if you forget your password?

Well, Seagate teamed up with McAfee to create an enterprise-level security management software they’re calling ePO (enterprise policy orchestrator). If you’ve got a company laptop, your self-encrypting laptop can be unlocked by your IT department. If you’re a consumer, you’re on your own.

November 11, 2008  7:33 PM

Overheard: A virtual appliance isn’t something you buy on Second Life

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
josh_suereth.jpg So what is a virtual appliance? A virtual appliance is a virtual machine that can be distributed (like any file) and deployed onto some hypervisor (a server that runs virtual machines). Because a virtual appliance is an entire virtual machine, the appliance developer has control of the entire aspect of the machine, from operating system to window themes to startup procedures.

Josh Suereth, Virtual Appliance – Not a Toaster on Second Life

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