Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

August 28, 2008  4:58 PM

Overheard: Our favorite Geek and Poke cartoons

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
oliver_widder.jpg Have you been to Oliver Widder’s Geek and Poke blog? You should. We’ve been watching him grow as both a cartoonist and an astute observer of IT buzzwords.His work is licensed under Creative Commons and we invite you to help spread the word! We’ll be posting our favorite Geek and Poke cartoons here.

















August 27, 2008  2:55 PM

Overheard: PCs can consume as much as 10% of your home’s energy bill

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
electricmeter.jpg PCs can consume as much as 10 percent of a home’s energy bill and give off as much carbon dioxide as a family car.

Martin LaMonica, Edison: Free energy-saving PC software

Verdiem offers a free download of their software that monitors desktop Windows PCs and puts them in low-power mode when they’re idle. It’s called Edison. Microsoft and The Climate Savers Initiative are both supporting the launch of Edison.

August 25, 2008  2:29 PM

Overheard: Var-to-Var networking at Partnerpedia

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
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

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
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

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
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

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
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

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
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

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
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?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
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

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
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?

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