Profile of Alexander Wolfe
News & Commentary Posts: 624
Alexander Wolfe is a former editor for InformationWeek.
Articles by Alexander Wolfe
posted in August 2009
An important Trend Micro paper, spotlighting a cybercriminal hub operating out of Estonia, has surfaced on Slashdot. The racket here is that a seemingly legitimate Internet Service Provider is in reality the headquarters for a rogue network, which extends into Europe and the United States. The breadth of the deception outlined in the paper is scary; doubly so because cybercrime is emerging as the single biggest security threat of the next decade.
Two unpleasant bouts with updated software have led me to formulate Wolfe's First Law of Programming: An upgraded, enhanced, or otherwise supposedly improved software release will always perform more poorly than the rev which it replaces. My two cases in point are AIM 184.108.40.206 -- you gotta love their configuration control -- and Time Warner Cable's latest electronic programming guide.
I wanted to share with you an insider comment I received in response to my Wednesday column, Recession Or Bust, R&D Spend HP Must. According to my correspondent, Hewlett Packard CEO Mark Hurd is a "show me the money" kind of guy. Which is not a criticism -- it simply means that company's research engineers have to earn their stripes every day.
The quad-core processor battle between Intel and AMD remains the most exciting arena in PC technology, where consumers can get the latest stuff at what amounts to cut-rate prices. The newest entry is AMD's Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. The 3.4-GHz quad-core chip, which modders are already overclocking to 3.9-GHz, goes for $245.
Research means different things to different companies. For Apple, it's its lifeblood. Microsoft's lab cranks code. At Intel, R&D is in the DNA. So what is it at HP, where Q3 R&D spending was recently slashed by $228 million?
Recent criticism of NIST's cybersecurity guidelines for federal agencies raises the logical question: If government networks are at risk, how do I ensure that my operation is protected? One place to start is US-CERT's IT Security Essential Body of Knowledge.
I'm in the unenviable position of defending Microsoft, but dive into the United States Patent and Trademark Office's database, and see if you don't agree with me that last week's court decision banning Microsoft from selling Word is nuts. The i4i patent Microsoft supposedly infringes seems loosely applicable to Word at best, and obvious enough software-wise to make you wonder why there
Interest in Microsoft's Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format is heating up as Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 move out into the marketplace. So here's some VHD news you can use in the form of pointers to two free online user guides.
The way I read it, Windows 7 is launching not with a bang, but a whimper. Which is a good thing. Unlike Vista, whose January 2007 debut was accompanied by Microsoft protests that it really, truly was great (even if the WDM display drivers clearly weren't), Windows 7 simply works. Anyone who has test-driven the beta gets that. Now that I'm about to install the final, release-to-manufacturing version, it's time for a quick OS recap. Click ahead for a video and some MS PowerPoints.
Here's the first image of one of Microsoft's planned retail stores, as tweeted by the corporate communications team at Redmond. Actually, it's a shot of the drywall in front of the store, which is presumably still under construction.
Cisco CEO John Chambers took a glass-half-full approach to Wednesday's earnings report, which saw fourth-quarter profits at the networking behemoth slide 46% compared to the year-earlier period. Undaunted, Chambers issued a statement saying he saw a number of positive signs this quarter and thinks the business might be at the "tipping point," which precedes a rebound.
Here's a radical -- but eminently business-sensible -- idea for enterprises wondering why they've got to eat thousands of dollars each year per employee for PC support costs: No more laptops. Hey, if cloud and SaaS mean anything, it should be big savings by bagging the self-hosted software paradigm. How about you give your workers $500 each to buy a netbook instead, and they can support themselves? Workers tethered to an office can use a thin client, or -- perish the thought -- a desktop compute