Overheard: Word of the Day


January 26, 2008  10:23 PM

Overheard: Piracy hurting open source movement in China

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
firefox2.gif In China, the open-source movement is having a harder time gaining traction because of widespread software piracy. With pirated copies of Windows XP or Vista selling on the street for less than $2, there is little economic incentive for Chinese Internet users to download Firefox.

Bill Xu, founder of the ZEUUX Free Software Community, a Beijing group that promotes open source, points out that for Firefox to succeed in China, it shouldn’t compete on cost but by stressing its security features.

Chi-Chu Tschang, Mozilla Takes on Microsoft in China

January 26, 2008  8:42 PM

Overheard: Forget CPM — the new buzzword is “performance management”

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
robert_ashe.jpg Performance management is the new battleground. And we’ve been saying that for six years, at least. There’s sort of a category collapse going on where CPM and BI, reporting, and analytics are kind of starting to merge. The lines are getting very grey and I think customers are broadly viewing all this stuff now as performance management.

Rob Ashe, Working Under the IBM Umbrella

So…IBM buys Cognos, Oracle buys Hyperion and SAP buys Business Objects. Hmmm.


January 26, 2008  7:56 PM

Overheard: EMC enters the cloud

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
wade_roush.jpg Going with “SaaS”, as it’s called, is a major switch if you’re a hardware company, since it entails hosting your proprietary applications and/or your customers’ data on your own machines, providing access via the broadband Web, and charging for a subscription to the service, rather than for big iron.

Wade Roush, EMC Gets Serious About Software-as-a-Service

The company announced today that it has created a new business unit, EMC Software as a Service, with “MozyEnterprise” as the first product offering.

MozyEnterprise is a version of the existing Mozy Pro service that’s been hardened for major organizations based on Mozy’s experience working with 10,000 existing business customers—including General Electric, which turned to Mozy to back up all 350,000 of its desktops and laptops.

The new software installs itself on company-owned desktops, laptops, and remote Windows servers, then copies encrypted versions of each machine’s files to servers at EMC data centers over broadband connections. IT managers can oversee the backup process using a Web-based administrative console.


January 26, 2008  7:03 PM

Overheard: I’m declaring that 2008 will be the year of the thin client

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
bob_odonnell.gif Either HP sells thin clients, or someone else does. Sometimes, you have to eat your own children.

IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell as quoted in HP Thinks Thin

I’m hereby declaring 2008 as the Year of the Thin Client. In 2008, laptop vendors will begin lining up ducks as we all get ready to move to the cloud.

Andy Greenberg does a really great job explaining why the time for the thin client is now.

PC manufacturers pay their bills by selling new machines year after year with ever more impressive loads of storage and memory. But as the U.S. economy sputters and companies transfer their IT needs from the desktop to virtualized data centers and to the Web, one computer giant is moving its enterprise products in a new direction: slimmer and cheaper.

The only thing I think he got wrong is when he said “one computer giant is moving its enterprise products in a new direction.” I think they all are. I also predict they’ll come up with a new name to replace “thin client.” It’s too 90’s.


January 26, 2008  4:45 PM

Overheard: What happens to your computer after you give it to charity?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/5_tXcRYOYZ0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


January 25, 2008  10:58 PM

Overheard: WSJ’s Walt Mossberg puts the MacBook Air in context

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

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Engadget has a really good in-depth review of the MacBook Air with lots of photos.

On a related note, HP is also tossing its hat in the thin client ring.  Bob O’Donnell refers to it as “eating their own children.” The man has a way with words. :-D


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
Fresco

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.

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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.


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