David Kirkpatrick

March 2, 2012

Cool tech product: Logitech Mini Boombox

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:16 am

I found this in a CIO.com article this morning — the Logitech Mini Boombox.

From the first link:

Priced at just $99.99, the Mini Boombox is much cheaper than many comparable products. This makes it a great buy iconsidering its larger-than-life sound reproduction. I don’t plan to purchase a Mini Boombox for myself, as I already own a couple similar speakers, but it would be a reasonably-priced and solid optionfor business users looking for a quality wireless speaker that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

August 23, 2010

Microsoft’s Arc Touch Mouse

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:11 pm

Here’s some photos of Microsoft’s latest mouse tech — the Arc Touch Mouse — from CIO.com:

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse
(Photos are from WinFuture.de)

June 14, 2010

The World Cup on the web

Filed under: Media, Sports, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:20 am

Here’s a CIO.com guide to four online World Cup fixes.

From the link:

1. Live Streaming

ESPN3.com is streaming 54 World Cup matches for free. Head to their website and click “Watch Now” for the current match, where you can also view up-to-date stats.

Univision will also be streaming matches online for free (but this site is in Spanish). To watch, click “Ver partido en vivo” from the orange box in the top right corner.

April 8, 2010

Cyberwar food for thought

The CIO.com daily newsletter had a lot of cyberwar coverage today, and there’s plenty to think about when contemplating the future of national security.

Here’s highlights from three articles.

First up, is the U.S. the most at-risk nation in the world vis-a-vis cyber attack? Facts on the ground ought to give a little pause.

From the link:

Although the United States likely has the best cyberwar capabilities in the world, “that offensive prowess cannot make up for the weaknesses in our defensive position,” one-time presidential advisor Richard Clarke argues in his forthcoming book Cyber War.

Clarke — who served as special advisor to the president for cybersecurity in 2001 and now teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School for Government and works at Good Harbor Consulting — fears that any outbreak of cyber warfare would spill over into more violent conflict.

“Far from being an alternative to conventional war, cyber war may actually increase the likelihood of the more traditional combat with explosives, bullets and missiles,” Clarke writes in his book, which is due out April 20.

Next up, when the cyber attack happens here, what’s the chain-of-command and other protocols? Not as easy to answer as I’d like because of the widespread nature of cyber attack and the likely integral involvement of private enterprise. It’s akin to bombing a factory without the obvious military-based response.

From the link:

Because possible return fire could come from traditional military, intelligence, diplomatic or economic agencies — and perhaps even from private business — the United States needs a set of policies and procedures for cyberwarfare that are still in the making, experts say.

The president’s top cyber adviser, Howard Schmidt, has said in interviews that the responsibility for cybersecurity is a shared responsibility between public and private sectors. And within the government it will be shared among government agencies but not in a well-defined way. “Who’s in charge?” asks Jamie Sanbower, the director of security for Force 3, an integrator that works with the federal government. “That’s the number-one challenge we’re facing right now.”

And finally more analysis of the Google/China issue, and does it signal the beginning of a public cyberwarefare age? If nothing else, with a very concrete example to turn to, expect a lot more mainstream coverage of cyberwar issues

From the final link:

Many see the attacks as evidence that the U.S. is already in the midst of an undeclared cyberwar, with attacks against government targets estimated to have more than doubled in the past two years. Just last week, a top FBI official called cyberattacks an “existential threat” to the U.S. On Friday, two U.S. senators now pushing cybersecurity legislation in Congress reiterated those sentiments.

And Mike McConnell the former director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and director of national intelligence during the Bush administration, recently said in a Washington Post (WPO) column that the U.S is not only fighting such a war, it’s also losing the battle.

February 18, 2010

One major advantage with cloud computing — experimentation

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:22 pm

This link goes an article titled, “Cloud Computing’s Three Revolutions: Part 2,” and the whole piece is worth checking out (along with the first part) if you’re interesting in cloud computing. I have some serious concerns about cloud computing, particularly with privacy and the current state of legal precedent regarding the public/private status of data in the cloud (hint: right now people computing in the cloud are “not truly acting in private space at all” per U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman.)

Those concerns aside, this point from the first link details one place where a secure, private cloud can really help push innovation by removing a traditional roadblock to IT experimentation:

Low Cost Fosters Experimentation

An aspect of cloud computing that isn’t emphasized enough in most discussions about it is the fact that it is ideally suited for application experimentation. Just as the high-cost, capital-intensive IT of the past caused investment to focus on the safest, lowest-risk applications, the low-cost, capital-lite IT of cloud computing will motivate business organizations to experiment with new business initiatives. Business initiatives that, in the past, couldn’t have gotten enough support to justify sharing precious capital to take a flyer on them, will find a far friendlier environment in cloud computing.

A good example of this is the NASDAQ Market Replay application that leverages Amazon Web Services. Trying to buy enough equipment for this application would have been prohibitive, even though the application’s value seemed intuitive. Using AWS, the application could be developed for much less, which made launching it much lower risk. New applications can be tried out at a cost of hundreds or thousands of dollars, rather than the hundreds of thousands of dollars required heretofore. If you are a line of business executive with innovative ideas, cloud computing is going to make your prospects much brighter.

In the “low cost fosters experimentation” perspective, cloud computing is much like open source. In his book Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky noted that open source’s low cost encourages experimentation and making mistakes. When the stakes are low, trials that don’t work out are much more acceptable—and increasing the numbers of trials increases the odds for success.

January 27, 2010

Cloud computing security

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:07 pm

Security is certainly the most prominent concern going right now with cloud computing. Having a long memory of dodgey connectivity using dial-up and even DSL lines, just making certain I could get to my data, services, et.al. in the cloud remain something of a personal concern.

From the link:

The hype around cloud computing would make you think mass adoption will happen tomorrow. But recent studies by a number of sources have shown that security is the biggest barrier to cloud adoption. The reality is cloud computing is simply another step in technology evolution following the path of mainframe, client server and Web applications, all of which had — and still have — their own security issues

Security concerns did not stop those technologies from being deployed and they will not stop the adoption of cloud applications that solve real business needs. To secure the cloud, it needs to be treated as the next evolution in technology not a revolution that requires broad based changes to your security model. Security policies and procedures need to be adapted to include cloud models in order to prepare for the adoption of cloud-based services. Like other technologies, we’re seeing early adopters take the lead and instill confidence in the cloud model by deploying private clouds or by experimenting with less-critical information in public clouds.

October 23, 2009

HTML5 = compatibility

Part two of two posts (find part one here)

CIO.com has an informative article on “Five New Technologies That Will Change Everything.” I’m breaking this particular link into two posts because two of those techs deserve individual attention because of the sea-change they are going to create in your computing and browsing experience respectively.

This post is on the latest HTML version — HTML5. The idea behind HTML5 is creating a standard that allows every web page to look essentially the same regardless which browser, or platform (computer, mobile device, etc.), the user is viewing the page with/on. A lofty goal considering how the browser wars have been fought since IE and Navigator tussled way back in the last century, but here’s to the success of HTML5.

From the link:

Web browsers

Web pages built with HTML5 will display the same on any browser–desktop or mobile.

Hulk VI was great, but what should you watch this evening? Before heading off to work in the morning, you click to some trailers on a movie Website, but you don’t have time to watch many. So you use your mobile phone to snap a picture of the 2D barcode on one of the videos; the phone’s browser then takes you to the same site. On the commuter train to the office, you watch the previews over a 4G cell phone connection. A few of the movies have associated games that you try out on your phone, too.

Remember when every Website had a badge that read “optimized for Netscape Navigator” or “requires Internet Explorer 4”? In the old days, people made Web pages that worked best with–or only with–certain browsers. To some extent, they still do.

The new flavor of the HTML–the standard program for writing Web pages–is called HTML5 (Hypertext Markup Language version 5); and HTML5 aims to put that practice to bed for good.

Specifically, HTML5 may do away with the need for audio, video, and interactive plug-ins. It will allow designers to create Websites that work essentially the same on every browser–whether on a desktop, a laptop, or a mobile device–and it will give users a better, faster, richer Web experience.

Instead of leaving each browser maker to rely on a combination of its in-house technology and third-party plug-ins for multimedia, HTML5 requires that the browser have built-in methods for audio, video, and 2D graphics display. Patent and licensing issues cloud the question of which audio and video formats will achieve universal support, but companies have plenty of motivation to work out those details.

In turn, Website designers and Web app developers won’t have to deal with multiple incompatible formats and workarounds in their efforts to create the same user experience in every browser.

This is an especially valuable advance for mobile devices, as their browsers today typically have only limited multimedia support. The iPhone’s Safari browser, for example, doesn’t handle Adobe Flash–even though Flash is a prime method of delivering video content across platforms and browsers.

“It’ll take a couple of years to roll out, but if all the browser companies are supporting video display with no JavaScript [for compatibility handling], just the video tag and no plug-in, then there’s no downside to using a mobile device,” says Jeffrey Zeldman, a Web designer and leading Web standards guru. “Less and less expert users will have better and better experiences.”

Makers of operating systems and browsers appear to be falling into line behind HTML5. Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera, and WebKit (the development package that underlies many mobile and desktop programs), among others, are all moving toward HTML5 support.

For its part, Microsoft says that Internet Explorer 8 will support only parts of HTML5. But Microsoft may not want to risk having its Internet Explorer browser lose more market share by resisting HTML5 in the face of consensus among the other OS and browser makers.

HTML5 is now completing its last march toward a final draft and official support by the World Wide Web Consortium.

USB 3.0 = blazing speed

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:01 pm

Part one of two posts (find part two here)

CIO.com has an informative article on “Five New Technologies That Will Change Everything.” I’m breaking this particular link into two posts because two of those techs deserve individual attention because of the sea-change they are going to create in your computing and browsing experience respectively.

First up is the new USB 3.0 standard. All you really need to know? Actual throughput of over three gigs a second with full duplex transmission.

If that isn’t enough to get you excited, here’s the full breakdown from the link:

USB 3.0

The new USB 3.0 standard preserves backward compatibility by allowing older cables to plug into newer jacks; but newer cables like this one have extra pins that boost the data rate to 4.8 gbps.

Before you leave work, you need to back up your computer. You push a button, and 5 minutes later, while you’re still packing up, your system has dumped 150GB of data onto an encrypted 512GB superfast solid-state drive, which you eject to take with you for offsite backup. On your way home, you stop at a movie kiosk outside a fast-food restaurant and buy a feature-length 3D video download on sale. You plug in your drive, the kiosk reads your credentials, and while you watch a 90-second preview of coming attractions, the 30GB video transfers onto your SSD. You pull out the drive and head home.

USB may be one of the least-sexy technologies built into present-day computers and mobile devices, but speed it up tenfold, and it begins to sizzle. Cut most of the other cables to your computer, and the standard ignites. Bring in the potential of uncompressed video transfer, and you have a raging fire.

Any task that involves transferring data between your PC and a peripheral device–scanning, printing, or transferring files, among others–will be far faster with USB 3.0. In many cases, the transfer will be complete before you realize it has started.

The 3.0 revision of USB, dubbed SuperSpeed by the folks who control testing and licensing at the USB Implementors Forum (USB-IF), is on track to deliver more than 3.2 gigabits per second (gbps) of actual throughput. That transfer rate will make USB 3.0 five to ten times faster than other standard desktop peripheral standards, except some flavors of DisplayPort and the increasingly out-of-favor eSATA.

In addition, USB 3.0 can shoot full-speed data in both directions at the same time, an upgrade from 2.0’s “half duplex” (one direction at a time) rates. USB 3.0 jacks will accept 1.0 and 2.0 plug ends for backward compatibility, but 3.0 cables will work only with 3.0 jacks.

This technology could be a game-changer for device connectivity. A modern desktop computer today may include jacks to accommodate ethernet, USB 2.0, FireWire 400 or 800 (IEEE 1394a or 1394b) or both, DVI or DisplayPort or both, and–on some–eSATA. USB 3.0 could eliminate all of these except ethernet. In their place, a computer may have several USB 3.0 ports, delivering data to monitors, retrieving it from scanners, and exchanging it with hard drives. The improved speed comes at a good time, as much-faster flash memory drives are in the pipeline.

USB 3.0 is fast enough to allow uncompressed 1080p video (currently our highest-definition video format) at 60 frames per second, says Jeff Ravencraft, president and chair of the USB-IF. That would enable a camcorder to forgo video compression hardware and patent licensing fees for MPEG-4. The user could either stream video live from a simple camcorder (with no video processing required) or store it on an internal drive for later rapid transfer; neither of these methods is feasible today without heavy compression. Citing 3.0’s versatility, some analysts see the standard as a possible complement–or even alternative–to the consumer HDMI connection found on today’s Blu-ray players.

The new USB flavor could also turn computers into real charging stations. Whereas USB 2.0 can produce 100 milliamperes (mA) of trickle charge for each port, USB 3.0 ups that quantity to 150mA per device. USB 2.0 tops out at 500mA for a hub; the maximum for USB 3.0 is 900mA.

With mobile phones moving to support USB as the standard plug for charging and syncing (the movement is well underway in Europe and Asia), and with U.S. carriers having recently committed to doing the same, the increased amperage of USB 3.0 might let you do away with wall warts (AC adapters) of all kinds.

In light of the increased importance and use of USB in its 3.0 version, future desktop computers may very well have two internal hubs, with several ports easily accessible in the front to act as a charging station. Each hub could have up to six ports and support the full amperage. Meanwhile, laptop machines could multiply USB ports for better charging and access on the road. (Apple’s Mac Mini already includes five USB 2.0 ports on its back.)

The higher speed of 3.0 will accelerate data transfers, of course, moving more than 20GB of data per minute. This will make performing backups (and maintaining offsite backups) of increasingly large collections of images, movies, and downloaded media a much easier job.

Possible new applications for the technology include on-the-fly syncs and downloads (as described in the case study above). The USB-IF’s Ravencraft notes that customers could download movies at the gas pump at of a filling station. “With high-speed USB [2.0], you couldn’t have people waiting in line at 15 minutes a crack to download a movie,” Ravencraft says.

Manufacturers are poised to take advantage of USB 3.0, and analysts predict mass adoption of the standard on computers within a couple of years. The format will be popular in mobile devices and consumer electronics, as well. Ravencraft says that manufacturers currently sell more than 2 billion devices with built-in USB each year, so there’s plenty of potential for getting the new standard out fast.

October 1, 2009

Cloud computing and security

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:16 pm

An interesting overview from Bill Brenner at CIO.com.

From the link, the conclusion:

Having said that, I also agree with Mike Versace that we should offer some basic approaches that ease the learning curve and ask some basic questions. The approach that I’ve been using is what I coined RAIN, which is just a plain old tried-and-true planning and analysis approach with emphasis on interfacing.

  • (R)equirement: understand your business requirements, and derive technical, non-technical, regulatory and security requirements.
  • (A)nalysis: from your requirements, analyze what tasks or services you want to or can outsource, and clearly define which party is responsible for which tasks, to reduce confusion and conflict later; perform risk analysis, especially with respect to cloud connectivity, mutli-tenancy, local data privacy regulations (of your providers), and business continuity.
  • (I)nterface: clearly define system and human interfaces. Who and how to contact providers for services or problems? What API or webpages to use and how, what the returned result should look like? The more interfaces/touch points, the higher the risk for breakages or problems.
  • e(N)sure – verify and ensure services are performed according to agreements. (Validate and boundary) Test the results sent from providers to ensure that they are in the correct formats and are what you expected; audit or pen test services; perform practice runs with your providers.

This is nothing new or fancy, but I’ve witnessed light-bulb moments without glassy eyes when I explained cloud computing challenges with this approach.

In more cloud computing news today, here’s Technology Review and CIO.com on Amazon’s cloud services.

September 18, 2009

Chrome 3.0 is out

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:32 pm

Actually it’s been out for a few days. I downloaded Google’s Chrome 3.0 browser immediately and I like it. I did a Chrome experiment a few weeks ago and haven’t looked back. Within the first week I made it my default browser, and yesterday had to get into IE for to troubleshoot some tech problems I was having with WordPress and realized I’d already become completely comfortable with the stripped-down and very fast Chrome interface.

From the first link:

HTML5 Support

image of iPassConnect for BlackBerry Icon

Google Chrome 3.0 offers support for HTML5 capabilities, including the “video” and “audio” tags for integrated embedding of multimedia elements. With those options, multimedia content can be featured and played in pages without the need for any plugins or external utilities.

Ready to give the new Chrome a whirl for yourself? If you have an older version of the browser already installed, you should be prompted to update soon. Or, you can visit the official Chrome page to download it manually now.

July 31, 2009

News for the paranoid

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:45 pm

And remember just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean you aren’t under surveillance.

From the link, ten methods to grab voice and data on the sly:

3. Laptop eavesdropping via lasers: Bouncing lasers off laptops and capturing the vibrations made as keys are struck give attackers enough data to deduce what is being typed. Each key makes a unique set of vibrations different from any other. The space bar makes an even more unique set, Barisani and Bianco say.

Language analysis software can help determine which set of vibrations correspond to which key, and if the attacker knows the language being used, the message can be exposed, they say.

July 8, 2009

Deciphering the latest tech buzzwords

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:57 pm

A handy list from CIO.com allowing everyone to drill down into the cloud-like synergistic world of information technology buzzwords. Or maybe it just helps you wade through the latest in corporate-speak BS. I’m going for the latter.

Of course there’s a few culprit on this list that have gray whiskers, so it’s not quite the latest in buzziness.

From the link, this one’s a beauty (and one I haven’t heard before unless I actively blocked it from my memory — admittedly a possibility):

Buzzword #6: Prosumer

This one is mercifully used less frequently nowadays by marketing departments, as it stands out as one of the most irritating buzzwords ever concocted. Essentially, it’s a mix of “professional” and “consumer.” A “prosumer” product, therefore, is a product that can meet users’ business and personal needs.

Now that this wicked buzzword has been unleashed upon the world, it is routinely used in PR pitch monstrosities that say things such as: “PressureWashersDirect.com today released its recommendations for the best prosumer gas pressure washers” and “Sony is expanding its industry leading line-up of high-definition video products with two new HDV(TM) cameras designed to meet the needs of professionals and prosumers.”

June 26, 2009

What comes after enterprise 2.0?

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:45 am

A CIO.com interview with Andrew McAfee, coiner of the term enterprise 2.0, on the next step in integrating web 2.0 into the enterprise.

From the link:

As people learned it was more efficient, for example, to put shared information into a wiki rather than e-mailing a Word document around to 50 people, the term Enterprise 2.0 was born. Coined by Andrew McAfee, an associate professor of technology and operations management at Harvard Business School, Enterprise 2.0 has yielded a whole industry of start-up and incumbent vendors that sell social software.

As that market meets this week for the annual Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, CIO.com’s C.G. Lynch caught up with McAfee, who recently authored a book on the topic. McAfee gives his take on how enterprises have done at adopting Web 2.0 technologies in the past year, and how the vendor landscape for selling social software to businesses has evolved.

June 18, 2009

Hope springs eternal

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:23 pm

In an informal web search poll of no import — or is it? — by CIO.com blogger Gary Beach finds either a lot of positive attitude on economic conditions out there, or maybe just a lot of people searching (see what I did there?) for something economically positive to hang on to for a while.

From the link:

Here’s what I found in returns from my search

Economic hope (99,800,000 returns), economic recovery (34,400,000), economic despair (311,000) and economic pessimism (1,350,000). 

What does this mean to your business? Probably not much. But you might want to share the search results with your staff and management to brighten their day and get the team focused on the coming upside!

May 22, 2009

Presentation tips

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:44 pm

Well, really these tips are all “don’ts” instead of “dos.” Good information for anyone who does presentations, expert or beginner.

From the link:

4. Read from Your Slides
“Most presenters who are just considered average or mediocre are usually caught reading the text on their slides,” Gallo says. This dreadful presentation technique ties into Gallo Rule #2. “When you place a lot of text on slides,” he says, “naturally you want to read from them, so you turn your back to audience and you read from slides on the display.”

Unfortunately, people read from their PowerPoint slides much more than they think they do, Gallo notes. “When you read from your notes or from slides,” he says, “that completely breaks the connection you have with audience.”

Gallo’s Tip: Practice your speech and know it cold, so that you can sustain eye contact with your audience while you are presenting. “Great presenters will do this: They glance at a slide just for a second to prompt them for the next piece of information,” Gallo says. “And then they turn and deliver to audience. They know what’s on the slide because they have practiced.”

May 21, 2009

Cloud computing not ready for prime time

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:51 pm

A fact pounded home by Google’s recent problems with outages and malicious links in search results.

Here’s a CIO.com article on cloud computing and why a slow and steady approach is best:

These are troubling events that illustrate just how perilous the cloud can be. But don’t believe those who suggest this is a new threat. It merely validates the security concerns smart people have been raising for a very long time.

One of the people I trust on this issue is Chris Hoff, whose recent cloud security talk at SOURCE Boston attracted a crowd that included security luminaries like Dan Geer [ CSO podcast interview with Geer] and Marcus Ranum.

Hoff has warned repeatedly that companies are moving too fast on cloud computing without truly understanding what it’s about first. [“This love affair with abusing the amorphous thing called ‘THE Cloud’ is rapidly approaching meteoric levels of asininity,” he told me in one interview.]

Another voice I trust on the issue is Ariel Silverstone, a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces with experience in physical and information security who regularly contributes to information technology certification exams and to newspapers, magazines and online publications like CSOonline.

In his latest CSO column [ Cloud Security: Danger (and Opportunity) Ahead] Silverstone noted that the breathtaking pace of cloud computing adoption demands that the technology evolve with stronger security woven into the architecture.

“We approach quickly the point in which the amount of data and of processing in the cloud will be not only unmanageable but also pose a security and related privacy risk to the users of the data, and to people who the data concerns,” he wrote.

April 28, 2009

A Google Profiles primer

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:21 pm

Courtesy of CIO.com. A nice breakdown of how to set up a Google Profile and why you might want to do it.

From the link:

This week, Google launched Google Profiles, which lets you build an online biography listing your interests, educational and professional background, and links to your data on websites like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.

While some industry analysts view Google Profiles as a competitor to Facebook’s profiles, Google says the main purpose of Google Profiles (right now) is to create a centralized repository for your information on the Web, so that when someone uses Google’s search engine to find you, they actually find you, not another person with the same name.

April 7, 2009

Twitter and Google

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:08 pm

Here’s a CIO.com Web 2.0 adviser post on whether Twitter makes a better fit with Google because of its searchable information or Facebook for the social networking aspect. Efforts to monetize Twitter ought to be interesting as well as tracking its potential acquisition.

You find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/davidkonline.

From the CIO.com link:

We pump lots of information into Twitter, and Google has shown, time and again, that it’s the mechanism on the Web that lets us sort through that information.

But to me, Twitter is just as much about people as it is information, and that’s where a Google acquisition falls a little short. While Google’s social team has been making some innovative products (like Friend Connect), the company hasn’t been the place where people want to connect with the people important to them in their life; Facebook has been that place for a couple years now.

April 1, 2009

Searching Twitter

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:35 pm

Tips from CIO.com on finding tweets you want to see.

From the link:

It’s easy to miss little gems of information on Twitter, the social networking service that allows users to exchange short messages. Because we all can’t spend hours in front of the service, we miss important messages (or tweets) posted by colleagues, friends and family while we’re away. As the list of people you follow on Twitter grows, the problem becomes more acute: hundreds of messages pass by and flow off the page before you’ve even had a chance to look at them.

You can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/davidkonline

March 26, 2009

Crazy keyboards

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:10 pm

Yeah, I thought about titling this post “Krazy keyboards” but just couldn’t do it. I hate reading those deliberate misspellings other places and didn’t want to subject any more on the world than necessary.

At any rate here’s a CIO.com (via PC World) slideshow of 14 very crazy keyboards.

Number five is my favorite in terms of just completely outside the box (and very possible that box is full of nuts.)

From the link:

OrbiTouch Keyless Keyboard

OrbiTouch Keyless Keyboard

OrbiTouch Keyless Keyboard

Manufacturer: Blue Orb

If aliens (other than Klingons) used computers, they’d probably gravitate toward the $399 OrbiTouch Keyless Ergonomic Keyboard—if only to impress us: “God, they must be an advanced society if they’ve figured out how to type on that thing.” But maybe it really is ergonomic. After all, when was the last time you saw an alien life form wearing braces on its wrists?

March 19, 2009

Ten netbooks

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:41 pm

From CIO.com. I’m not sure if netbooks will become as popular in the U.S. as they are in Europe and Asia, but I’m betting we hear a lot more about this tech in the coming months.

From the link:

Image credit: IDG News Service

Image credit: IDG News Service


The MSI Wind U100-279US Netbook

MSI Wind netbooks usually crack the top 10 best-sellers list. Key features are its light weight and ergonomically designed keyboard, which is just 20 percent smaller than a full-sized laptop keyboard.

Cost: $379.99 at Amazon
Screen size: 10 inches
CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor
RAM: 1GB, 2GB maximum
Storage: 160GB hard drive
Battery: 6 cell
Operating System: Windows XP Home
Weight: 2.6 pounds

March 9, 2009

Web 2.0 government

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:29 am

Looks like the nation’s first CIO is looking to make some needed changes around D.C. I particularly like the idea of a data.gov site with open format access to U.S. government information and documents. Bring the government of the people back to the people.

From the link:

The U.S. government’s first CIO, Vivek Kundra, introduced himself Thursday as someone who will act aggressively to change the federal government’s use of IT by adopting consumer technology and ensuring that government data is open and accessible.

Kundra also wants to use technology such as cloud computing to attack the government’s culture of big-contract boondoggles and its hiring of contractors who end up “on the payroll indefinitely.”

Kundra, in a conference call Thursday with reporters shortly after President Barack Obama named him as federal CIO said one of his first projects is to create a data.gov Web site to “democratize” the federal government’s vast information treasures by making them accessible in open formats and in feeds that can be used by application developers.

“How can we leverage the power of technology to make sure the country is moving in the right direction?” asked Kundra, stressing that his ambition is to “revolutionize technology in the public sector.”

Kundra was expansive about his tech goals and critical of the government’s contracting record for IT projects that “frankly haven’t performed well,” saying there have been few consequences for failures.

March 6, 2009

Tips for the newly telecommuting

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:15 am

Telecommuting as in laid-off from an office job for the first time in a career and suddenly either doing contract work from home, or simply working on a job search. As a freelance writer I’ve been telecommuting for years and have to admit there’s a lot to say both for, and against, the practice. All in all I like it, but telecommuting isn’t for everyone.

From the link:

With thousands of people losing their jobs each week, Nilles offers five pieces of advice for those CIO.com readers who might have little if any experience working outside an office environment and now find themselves working from their homes full-time—looking for new jobs, or working on contract assignments until they find other full-time gigs.

1. Good or Bad: You’re the Boss Now

The first thing that someone who was used to working in a big-company office environment will notice, says Nilles, is that he has lost all his means of support: Need IT’s assistance with an Internet connection issue? Gone. Or accounting’s help with a financial question? Nope. How about marketing’s insights? Ditto.

“When you’re working from home, you are the entire staff,” Nilles says. “You have to think about that, and you have to become self-sufficient. And all of the things that you used to leave for someone else to do, you may have to learn or relearn them yourself.”

Even basic scheduling or meeting personal deadlines can be difficult for people who have long relied on office norms that dictated when assignments and projects needed to get done, he says. In the office “if people were walking down the hall to a conference room, then [that told you] that there must be a meeting,” Nilles says. “Now, you need to provide your own cues as to what really needs to get done today.”

March 5, 2009

What makes Gen Y tick?

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:29 pm

Here’s one take, at least from the business perspective.

From the link:

The other day an invitation landed on my desk from a local recruiting firm. It was for a panel discussion on how to recruit and retain the diverse and ambitious Generation Y.

I own a software firm where most of my employees fall into Gen Y (born between 1977 and 1994). They are indeed a dynamic bunch: creative, loyal, intelligent and highly motivated.

For Gen Y, studies indicate their top wish list includes:

  • Work/life balance
  • To be heard and valued
  • Regular recognition
  • Work in a fun atmosphere
  • Motivated by challenge and a collaborative environment

During the audience participation of the panel discussion, it occurred to me that Gen Y was getting a bad rap based on an inflated expectation of salaries and career advancement. In hard economic times, Gen Y might be about to get a wakeup call. Salaries are not what they were a year ago, and advancement to the executive team in less than two years just isn’t going to happen. But there are ways to leverage this talent and get a lot of ROI.

My company lives by the KISS principle, as does our intranet software. I like simplicity and use it in just about every aspect of my business. The same holds true for motivating the young generation. As it turns out, it can be pretty simple.

February 25, 2009

PowerPoint don’ts

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:55 pm

By example.

From CIO.com, trainwreck number five:

Fun with Arrows: Part 2

This slide comes from a presentation that Jesper Laugesen sat through (Laugesen thought it worthy of a nomination for the “world’s worst” PPT slide). If the “community” is supposed to rally around this PowerPoint slide, then there might be a lot of confusion about just where to get started. PowerPoint experts say that bullet points and arrows shouldn’t be used (or kept to just a few). These arrows are quite disorienting.

Snooze Scale: ZZZ

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February 16, 2009

Using LinkedIn company profiles for job search

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:36 am

For LinkedIn users who are looking for work, here’s a CIO.com article on utlizing LinkedIn company profiles when searching for jobs.

From the link:

Since LinkedIn Company Profiles launched nearly a year ago, more than 160,000 companies have established a profile page. If you’re job hunting in today’s struggling economy, LinkedIn company profiles can help you learn about companies on your short list in greater depth, according to career experts who have analyzed the service. Another bonus: a careful examination of LinkedIn contacts who have recently joined (or worked at) a company can help you determine if the organization would be a good fit, as you compare your own qualifications against the candidates hired.

After using the service and talking with experts, we’ve constructed a quick primer on LinkedIn company profiles and how you can start utilizing this resource right away for job hunting or networking.

How to tell your geek doesn’t love you anymore

Filed under: et.al., Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:30 am

Yeah, this is late for St.V-day but still pretty funny — 10 ways to tell your guy and girl geek isn’t into you from CIO.com.

From the link, signals from a guy geek:

2. He uses “Wii” more than “we” in conversation.

And signals from a girl geek:

7. She tells her Twitter followers more than she tells you

February 13, 2009

Twitter etiquette

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:03 am

Five tips from CIO.com. Man, this feels like Twitter week to me. There’s an unusual amount of Twitter news going on with the awards program and everything else, and I’m much more in tune with all the news because my tweets started being syndicated through Newstex’s NewsTwits.

I used Twitter first during the presidential debates after C-Span invited me to join in their new media coverage of the event and tweets were a major part of audience reactions. 

After that I didn’t do much with the app before this week when my NewsTwit feed went into effect and I’m sorry I’ve held out so long. In a short few days I’ve really learned to appreciate the utility of Twitter. Just a couple of days ago I blogged I couldn’t see the business use of Twitter, and now I do. The old proverbial light-bulb and all that.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/davidkonline

From the CIO.com link:

2. Be Up Front About Your Twitter Aspirations


As the divide between our consumer and professional lives blurs at the hands of social technologies, the content of your tweets can take on a whole new meaning, especially if you work at a traditional corporation that doesn’t acknowledge this reality.

As such, you might want to make it clear who you represent and why you’re on Twitter. Some people put messages on their Twitter background (which can be customized under the “settings” tab), noting that the opinions expressed in their tweets don’t necessarily reflect those of their employers. They also might provide a link that explains with greater detail why they’re on Twitter. While this can allow you some leeway, it doesn’t necessarily mean your employer or your followers won’t call you out on some tweets.

“There’s a real difficulty there,” Boyd says. “For people who are employed by companies, to some extent, they’re always a representative of the company. It’s almost impossible to divorce yourself from that. They need to figure out where they can draw line, and for some people where that line is is different.”

In the end, the more up front you are in your profile description about who you represent and what you plan to talk about, the more you’ll allow yourself some cover, says Kirsten Dixson ( @kirstendixson), a reputation management and online identity expert. But that also means you shouldn’t get upset with people if they tweet something that’s in line with their stated Twitter goals.

“They might have things that are off-putting, that are overtly religious or political and not in your own views,” she says. “But if they’re up front about that, they’ve been fair.”

February 12, 2009

Twelve job searching tips …

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:19 am

… from CIO.com.

The job market is tough right now. There’s a financial crisis and unemployment is high and rising. This means going beyond the usual steps when looking for work.

Here’s an infomative article from Mark Cummuta at CIO.com with twelve secrets for job hunting in a recession.

From the link:

I’ve previously summarized the key secrets I use in my own job search in an article I wrote last year, 10 Secrets for Searching for a Job During A Recession. This article has been seeing a significant increase in traffic lately, and I would imagine that is because more and more people are being impacted by the continued downward spiral of our global economy.

Since writing that article, I have made two more observations about the job market – making that “12 Secrets” now – and have adjusted my own job search strategies to improve my odds.  Specifically, I have increased my “time-to-delivery requirements” (how fast I respond to an opportunity), and I have expanded my marketing efforts.


11. Improve your time-to-delivery.

Job opportunities have been pulled off the market for many reasons over the past year. My personal experience shows that when faced with making the final decision on even their ideal candidate, most employers have not been willing to pull the hiring trigger.

But the market has shifted in 2009. Now, I am amazed not by how many jobs are being pulled off the market, but rather how quickly they are disappearing once posted. For the past several weeks hiring firms are posting positions again and are willing to make a hiring decision again. However, they have so many candidates available, and so many applicants applying, that opportunities disappear before I even get a chance to apply. I’ve spoken with recruiters who have apologized that a position was still online, even a mere 48 hours after posting, and that they were not taking any more resumes.

February 6, 2009

Twitter for business

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:29 pm

Honestly, I’m not certain I see a whole lot of utility for Twitter in the business world, but my mind is open.

That’s one of the best aspects of new (well not totally new, but still feeling its oats in the case of Twitter) online applications. It’s almost impossible to guess exactly when and where they find that niche usage. Many never do find the sweet spot, but those that do often surprise.

I’ve done some tweeting — mostly during the presidential debates. C-Span contacted me and asked if I wanted to contribute to their new media coverage. Twitter was a major part of that effort so I did contribute a few tweets to the cause. I’m about to ramp up my tweeting because I’m adding tweets to my blog syndication.

You can track me here:

http://twitter.com/davidkonline (@davidkonline in Twitter parlance)

I’m not going to go crazy, but once the syndication is in place expect tweets on either big stuff with a link or little stuff that I decided against blogging about, but thought cool/interesting/important enough to throw out there as a tweet.

From the CIO.com link in the first graf:

 Twitter remains a very nascent social network, so if you don’t know how it works or what it does (or you haven’t even heard of it), don’t feel bad. In fact, you’re still in the majority. But we’re here to help you reap the benefits of Twitter with this quick get-started guide.

Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang), a senior Forrester analyst who researches social media and who pens a blog on Web Strategy, says that while Twitter doesn’t release exact numbers, he estimates that three to six million people use Twitter, compared to 150 million for Facebook.

Here is an (appropriately) short explanation of Twitter: Twitter is a free service that allows users to publish short messages of 140 characters or less. These messages are read by “followers” — people who make a conscious decision to subscribe to your messages and have them delivered to their own Twitter home pages.

Each message you post is known as a “Tweet.” In the social media and social networking industry, Twitter facilitates a process known as microblogging or microsharing. Every user is identified by putting an “@” sign in front of their name (for instance: @cglynch).

Joining Twitter has value for many people, but it can also be a waste of time if you don’t understand how the medium works and how best to utilize it. We take a look at suggestions from social networking gurus to help you determine if adding Twitter to your daily tech diet is in your best interest.

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