Overheard: Word of the Day

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.

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

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.

January 23, 2008  2:42 PM

Overheard: Virtualization causes appliance vendors real pain

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
christopher_huff.jpg Virtualization is causing IPS and NAC appliance vendors some real pain in the strategic planning department. I’ve spoken to several product managers of IPS and NAC companies that are having to make some really tough bets regarding just what to do about the impact virtualization is having on their business.

Christopher Huff, How the Hypervisor is Death By a Thousand Cuts to the Network IPS/NAC Appliance Vendors

January 22, 2008  1:49 PM

Overheard: You’re getting IE7 whether you want it or not

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
ie7.jpg Microsoft has warned corporate administrators that it will push a new version of Internet Explorer 7 their way February 12th, and it has posted guidelines on how to ward off the automatic update if admins want to keep the older IE6 browser on their companies’ machines.

Gregg Keizer, Microsoft warns businesses of impending autoupdate to IE7

January 22, 2008  2:39 AM

Overheard: Why marketers love virtual trade shows

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
janet_meiners.gif Online marketers are fans of virtual events because it costs less and often results in more targeted leads. The virtual version of trade shows don’t usually completely replace regular trade shows but are a way to cut costs or add value. Perhaps the biggest advantage of a virtual trade show is that you can track what people at your event do.

Janet Meiners, Trade Shows Go Virtual

January 22, 2008  2:08 AM

Overheard: Will Real ID makes data theft easier?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
burglar.jpg Here’s an ugly prediction that you can take to the bank: as the amount of data that the feds collect on innocent civilians grows, so will the number of people who are victims of crimes that were made possible by unauthorized access to a government database.

Jon Stokes, Analysis: Metcalfe’s Law + Real ID = more crime, less safety

January 21, 2008  11:50 AM

Overheard: Forget about retaining your top executive talent — focus on retaining your customers!

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
circuit_city.jpg Circuit City (Fortune 500) announced last month that it approved millions in cash incentives to retain its top talent following the departure of several key executives over the past year. Executive vice presidents could claim retention awards of $1 million each and senior vice presidents could get $600,000, provided they stay with the company until 2011, according to a filing with the U.S. Exchange Commission.

SteveB, Circuit City same-store sales fall 11%

Last March Circuit City fired a bunch of people who earned more than $18 an hour. Then they outsourced their IT infrastructure to IBM to cut costs.  Now they’re promising big bucks to top executives that stay. There’s discussion in the blogosphere over whether the days of the big box consumer electronics store are over — and whether the shopper who frequented that kind of store does all their shopping online now. 

I think Best Buy just did it better. Best Buy invested a ton of time and money into training every employee — even the Christmas-time temp. They were smart enough to team up with the Geek Squad. Circuit City is failing because they thought about the product, but failed to think about the end user who would use that product.

Best Buy did it right. They invested in education.

January 19, 2008  7:35 PM

What is IT? Name that tech!

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
What is IT?
Hint: It’s looks and bends like regular paper, but it has power.
What is IT?
Hint: This device works for Wal-Mart in supply chain management.
What is IT?
Hint: This device was patented in 1970. The inventor never made a dime from it.
What is IT?
Hint: A chip like this can be made 64 times smaller than the one you see here.
What is IT?
Hint: You can build a camera with it. Or maybe a GPS tracking device.
What is IT?
Hint: Oh Mama! That Jack of Hearts is a regular playing card.
What is IT?
Hint: These guys are not angels, despite the very expensive technology they’re using.
What is IT?
Hint: You’ll find this kind of low-tech device in a data center.
What is IT?
Hint: This mobile device helped a doctor in New York successfully treat a surgical patient in Argentina.
What is IT?
Hint: The only alphabetical key on this pretend keyboard is the letter “R.”

January 19, 2008  1:06 PM

Overheard: Sun and MySQL — was Oracle behind it?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
john_dvorak.jpg I’m close to being convinced that Oracle wanted to buy MySQL to kill the product, but knew it couldn’t pull off the stunt itself. So it sent in a stooge to do the job.

John C. Dvorak, The Sun-MySQL deal stinks

Let’s begin by putting MySQL in perspective: It’s the most competitive and biggest threat to Oracle Corp., if for no other reason than it’s cheaper, and in many applications, more practical.

It’s used extensively by the open-source community and is the engine that runs almost all the blogging software — including the successful WordPress, which is used as the blogging-content back end for the New York Times, among other large commercial enterprises.

I love a good conspiracy theory. The drama, the suspense, the twisted plot lines — and when Larry Ellison is a main character, it’s even better.

January 18, 2008  3:52 PM

Overheard: Yahoo supports universal Internet log-in

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
open_id1.jpg As more major Web players start to sign onto OpenID–and more casual Internet users start using the standard–there will inevitably be security concerns raised.

Since OpenID has no central repository for identity management, users can choose which sites they trust with their OpenIDs. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to always make the right decisions. Sometime in the not-so-distant future, an incident or two will likely surface that will call into question just what universal standards mean for privacy and personal security on the Web.

 Caroline McCarthy, Yahoo throws weight behind OpenID standard

January 18, 2008  3:02 PM

Overheard: Tiered Internet services — it’s here

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
saul_hansell.jpg Time Warner said on Wednesday that it was going to start testing a new rate plan in Beaumont [Texas] that would limit the amount of bandwidth each customer can use each month before additional fees kick in.

Saul Hansell, Time Warner: Download Too Much and You Might Pay $30 a Movie

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