Profile of Alexander Wolfe
News & Commentary Posts: 624
Alexander Wolfe is a former editor for InformationWeek.
Articles by Alexander Wolfe
posted in February 2009
A confluence of events -- faster processors, 32-nm fab technology, and the ubiquity of computing power -- make this an incredibly exciting time in the chip industry. So I made a video about it. Click through to see my eight minute vlog, where I opine on these trends and also show Intel's new Core i7 processor, the X-25 solid-state drive (SSD) that's taking the PC storage market by storm, and one surprisingly large heat sink.
The Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista is in the news today, following an Ars Technica story reporting that Microsoft has offered up a release candidate of the update to select testers. This is actually pretty ho-hum news, since the SP2 beta has been around since last October. The more interesting question going forward is, what's the upgrade path to Windows 7 for current Vista
I'm writing (actually, speaking) this post using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It's the first speech-recognition tool for the PC that's really ready for prime time. Indeed, since I started using it about six months ago, it's become one of my top 10 Windows must-have applications. Read on to see a video chat I had with Peter Mahoney of Nuance Communications, the maker of NaturallySpeaking.
It didn't take long for the online scum to come out of the woodwork and attempt to turn the just-passed $787-billion economic stimulus bill to their wayward purposes. On Friday evening, even before the final Senate vote approving the bill had been cast, I received an e-mail from the "Internal Revenue Service" (that always catches one's attention!) with the subject line "Submit your economic stimulus payment online form." What am I, a failed bank?
Not to drop names -- which means I'm going to drop names -- but over the years I've heard many executives speak live, everyone from Bill Gates and Gordon Moore to Steve Jobs and President George H.W. Bush. Of them all, far and away the most charismatic orator was the late, great astronomer Carl Sagan, who passionately believed that we are not alone in this universe. No. 2 is outgoing General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz, who just announced that he'll retire at the end of 2009.
Thank God for Intel. That's all I can say; in the wake of a sagging economy and continued weak chip demand, the semiconductor behemoth is doubling down on the future of the PC industry by pledging to spend $7 billion over the next two years. The money goes to upgrade a bunch of existing chip fabs to Intel's next-gen 32-nm fabrication technology, and will keep some 7,000 people employed.
Could Internet access onboard an airplane facilitate a terrorist attack? That's the scary supposition that's making the rounds, in the wake of in Saturday's New York Times story noting the rise of in-flight wireless services like Aircell's Gogo, which'll let you Web-surf your way cross-country for only $12.95.
Here's why Microsoft's upcoming successor to Vista will be a winner. Our columnist also visually walks you through his experiences installing the Windows 7 pre-beta and beta.
Google has been on its usual tear, demonstrating its propensity to roll out ever newer and funkier visual mashups -- Earth 5.0 and Latitude being just the latest. (What's next, Google Bailout to track the distribution of TARP money?) What this activity masks is a bigger issue that's brewing: how larger can Google get before its bubble bursts, and, more important, what's the ultimate destination of the search-engine giant?
Recent stories on Apple's iPhone patent have focused on Cupertino's threatened legal action against Palm, which is launching the iPhone-like Pre smartphone. But a closer examination of the Apple patent yields much more interesting news. Namely, Apple is considering adding a video record feature to the iPhone -- an omission users have long complained about -- and it may soon become a handheld videophone platform,
I admit it; I love technical books. Give me a cookbook-sized tome from O'Reilly, Addison-Wesley, or even Web access via the great new Safari Books Online service, and I'm there. Sadly, there's never enough time to dive into the platforms and programming tools one wants to learn about. Yet now's the perfect time, because reading is a great way to develop new professional skills while remaining positively focused on the future amid these challenging ec