Sunday, October 17, 2010

Apple Looking at Near Field Communication (NFC)

For those wondering where the mighty Apple is going next, look no further than this article. Near field communication (NFC) is a shrot range wireless protocol. It is most commonly seen in contactless payments where users wave a Visa or Mastercard key fob near a receiver to pay for products. Now it looks like Apple may be embedding similar technology into its iPhone line of products. This means that users could use their phone to pay for products. Consider iPhones are already directly linked to the users credit card account this is a natural extension. Being able to pay for products with an iPhone could have dramatic impacts on the fees credit card companies charge and increase the amount of money Apple collects along the way. No doubt the other phone software makers will follow suit.

Read the article.

(submitted by Kenneth Rhode)

Helping Socially Challenged Companies

This article tracks how companies are increasingly being asked to implement social networking/Facebook type tools, but when they do adoption remains low. In other words, IT departments build it and nobody comes. Why? Well the author offers up some explanations and some strategies to increase adoption of internal corporate social networking tools. One of the strategies includes email integration. I guess that proves that email still reigns supreme.

Read the article.

(submitted by Carrie)

It's Windy at Google

Google just announced that it is investing significantly in a project to build an underwater "super-highway for clean energy." Essentially this would fund transmission lines that would transfer wind power generated from wind farms offshore the U.S. East coast. This is just the latest in a series of energy related investments Google has been making as it attempts to stay ahead of its growing infrastructure related problems, namely: space, power, and cooling.

Read the article.

(submitted by Tom)

Yahoo Cools Data Centers with History

Cooling servers in a data center is a difficult, expensive, and not very green endeavor. For companies like Yahoo, which the entire business is predicated on running and cooling massive amounts of servers, seeking breakthroughs in cooling technologies can produce significant benefits. This article describes how Yahoo, with help from a government grant, is looking at how manufacturing companies cooled their factories before air conditioning was developed. The goal is to use these techniques to improve how data centers are cooled. In the process it seems that traditional wisdom about cooling servers may be turned on its head.

Read the article.

(submitted by Tom)

Wave Goodbye to Google Wave

After much hype last year and this year, Google has announced it is retiring Google Wave. The killer App designed to combine email, IM, wikis, and social networking just never received the anticipated adoption. However, it is doubful Google isn't crying over this as most of their products are just very public betas. Look for elements of Wave will likely make their way into other products including possibly an entire Google social networking platform rumored to be in development.

Read the article.

(submitted by Mike)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Visual Google

Google recently made an interesting acquisition - they bought the visual search engine, like.com. Like.com is a search engine that allows users to match clothes and apparel from retailers. Instead of matching keywords and what other users bought, visual search compares personal style and current fashion trends. While like.com was limited to the fashion industry it is part of Google's strategic plan to remain ahead of the crowd in all areas of search technology.

Read the article.

(submitted by Mike)

Network Neutrality: To Engage or Not to Engage

Every so often the topic of network neutrality pops up as various technology companies and lawmakers attempt to tackle a decidedly 21st century problem. Simply defined, network neutrality prohibits Internet service providers from controlling which content has priority over the network. Internet service providers argue they could charge premium rates for controlling access to certain network traffic. On the other hand, companies like Apple and Google want unrestricted access so that users continue to embrace their networked devices. This Wharton Business article dissects some of the key issues associated with this debate.

Read the article.

(submitted by Judi)

Surfing the Friendly Skies? High Speed Airplane WiFi Expands

Surfing the Friendly Skies? High Speed Airplane WiFi Expands

WiFi on a plane seems like a no brainer in the year 2010, but so far carriers have been slow to adopt the technology. Vrigin has it on most flights, Delta it on about 1000 flights a day, and JetBlue, Southwest, and United keep talking about adding it. A few other carriers have it, but by and large the entire airline industry has failed at delivering something that is a quantifiable benefit to travelers. However, that looks to change as more providers are entering the market. This article discusses some of the emerging players in the market. Of particular note are the size of the pipes that will allow (at least theoretically) large streams of data. There is a lot of talking about this, let's hope that they actually take action on some of this.

Read the article.

(submitted by Ruth)

Aligning Business and IT

Read an interview with David Sward, author of the book Measuring the Business Value of Information Technology. Sward discusses how business and IT can align to maximize investment and drive success. He has some interesting insights into tool selection and building value based partnerships amongst business units. While there is nothing earth shattering about his analyses, it is a very good read.

Read the interview.

(submitted by Mike)

RIM Playbook vs iPad

RIM, maker of the Blackberry, announced its new tablet this week. The new device, named Playbook, will sport a 7” screen, 2 HD cameras (for video and pictures), 1 ghz processor, 1gb of RAM, and a support for 3G and 4G networks. Most notably the device will support Flash, something Apple adamantly refuses to do. The device should hit the U.S. in early 2011 and there are no pricing details yet. In fact there are no test models available yet either. RIM's entry into the tablet market is exciting for some and given their focus on problems that frustrate iPad users creates more buzz. However, keep in mind RIM's entry into the touchscreen phone market with the Storm has been an unmitigated disaster. So caution flags should accompany this announcement. Also, keep in mind by the time the Playbook actually launches Apple will have released version 2.0 of the iPad, which will have addressed many gaps in the 1.0 version. However, it is exciting to see the tablet market expanding.

Read the article.