Profile of Alexander Wolfe
News & Commentary Posts: 624
Alexander Wolfe is a former editor for InformationWeek.
Articles by Alexander Wolfe
posted in May 2008
Sure, Google engineer director Steve Horowitz says "I'm here to tell you there is actually no GPhone" in this interesting Android demonstration video I've linked to. But then he goes on to show off a GPhone prototype he's been working with for the last six months. So let's go to the videotape.
In April, shortly after I bought my very own iPhone, I blogged about the device's design flaws, pointing out the 5 Areas Where Apple's iPhone Falls Short. With the new 3G iPhone on the way, the question to ask now is whether all the lingering annoyances are being fixed. Here's my blow-by-blow assessment.
Working in a garage-based company that's looking to create its first killer Web site? Or maybe you're toiling in the bowels of a behemoth corporation, wondering why you're mired in an old-fashioned, "waterfall" software-development process when all you wanna do is board that Web 2.0 train, and quickly. Well, I've got the answer for you, and it's called Joomla.
Here's a holiday weekend thought experiment, which doesn't seem so far-fetched anymore given the high price of gas: If you were stranded in the middle of nowhere, what digital tunes would you have to have on your music player to survive the boredom? In the old days, radio stations called this challenge "Desert Island Discs." I'm updating it for the MP3 era; read on for my list.
Microsoft has just snared a U.S. patent for proactive virus protection, which is how security software helps secure your PC when it encounters shape-shifting malware not already in its antivirus definition file. What I want to know is, what does this mean for all the other vendors -- like McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky, and Trend Micro -- that have been selling proactive protection software for years? Do they now have to pay Microsoft protection; I mean, royalties?
I've been following the debate surrounding U.S. Senate authorization of funding for President Bush's Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative. A bunch of senators are complaining that they don't know precisely what they're funding and that there's all sorts of secrecy involved. Hey, of course much of the plan is secret! It's about security, stupid.
Roaming the show floor at Web 2.0 Expo recently, I was surprised to hear that Yahoo has a story to tell developers every bit as good as Google's. That's the message that came through loud and clear -- and with a British accent -- in my video conversation with Sophie Major, international program manager for the Yahoo Developer Network.
When eBay announced back in January that it was pulling the plug on its longtime policy of letting sellers leave negative feedback on buyers, those self-same sellers were royally peeved. Now that the policy is set to go into effect, on Monday, May 19, the ire of eBay sellers shows no sign of abating. Boy, are they p.o.'d. Here's what they're telling me.
I suppose it makes perfect sense that the network perceived as the favorite of old folks that advertisers no longer covet would attempt to leapfrog its competition by making a big splash in online. However, in moving to acquire CNET Networks for $1.8 billion, just what exactly is CBS getting? A new-age media company at the cutting edge, or a leader of the Web 1.0 world which lately has been slow to adapt?
You gotta give Google props for its openness, in terms of its executives speaking in plain English and not treating a launch as an excuse to engage in robotic sloganeering. (Remember "We'll release it when our customers tell us it's ready"?) On the other hand, the problem with Google's new Friend Connect is that it's nowhere near as open as competitive offerings from Facebook and MySpace. Hey, Google, open means open. What part don't you understand?
I've spent this weekend -- yes, the life of a tech journalist is that exciting -- not Twittering but rather mulling the significance of the incident involving the White Plains, N.Y., girl who led the police to recover her stolen Mac after she took a picture of the thieves using the laptop's "Back to My Mac" feature.
The resilience of the U.S. economy in the face of recent recession worries is a wonderful thing to behold. If you're like me, you've resigned yourself to a kind of schizoid view of the current business cycle. Greatly simplified, it boils down to: average people, very worried; businesses, not so much. Or, as Google CEO Eric Schmidt put it in a recent interview: "What recession?"
Self-replicating programs, which spread unchecked across the Internet, are always bad. Except when they're good. At least that's the theory behind U.S Patent number 7,296,923, awarded to Symantec for "Using a benevolent worm to assess and correct computer security vulnerabilities."
Viral marketing is moving into areas you'd never have thought. Take software-as-a-service, where upstart Workday, a company formed in 2005 by PeopleSoft founder and ex-CEO Dave Duffield, is posting up on YouTube a series of short videos -- OK, they're commercials -- which poke virtual fingers in the eyes of industry powerhouse SAP.
Corporate calling. Corporate who? Long, boring, time-wasting, day-deadening, you can't get out of it, corporate online Web and phone meeting, that's who. (This is my Internet Age version of a knock, knock joke, and just about as unfunny.) But if all-hands-on-deck meetings are like death and taxes -- i.e., unavoidable -- at least WebEx is working to energize them so that they'll be more useful. Call it collaboration on Web steroids.
It hit me yesterday, when I was reading fellow blogger Eric Zeman's complaint about the difficulties he's had typing accurately on the iPhone's soft keyboard. That's a problem I've kvetched about constantly, most recently in "5 Areas Where Apple's iPhone Falls Short." But I think I've figured out the solution, an
"After careful consideration, we believe the economics demanded by Yahoo! do not make sense for us," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in withdrawing the $44.6 billion bid.
When I lambasted the iPhone in a recent post for its numerous shortcomings, Wolfe's Den readers responded in droves with comments. As is par for the course, most criticized me for my criticisms of the sainted Apple. (Hey, I own an iPhone now and am trying to get into the iPhone Developer Program, so how anti-Apple can I be?) However, many readers responded with their gripes about still-unaddressed
An IBM security expert ripped the scab off the dirty little secrets of the security industry in a highly entertaining presentation Wednesday at Interop. Joshua Corman, principal security analyst at IBM Internet Security Systems, highlighted the gaping divide between what customers think they're buying (safety) versus what security vendors are most intent on selling (stuff that'll bring in the bucks). Here, in condensed form, is his list.