Wednesday, July 09, 2008

In the past we've seen many computer-focused terms become words of the year and find placement in the dictionary, and this year is no different. Remember last year when "truthiness" (a Stephen Colbert-ism) made it in, along with "google?"

So, here it is, Merriam-Webster's #1 Word of the Year for 2007 based on votes from visitors to their Web site:

w00t (interjection)
expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word "yay"
w00t! I won the contest!

Other words that made up their top-ten-votes list for the year include: facebook, 
conundrum, 
quixotic, 
blamestorm, 
sardoodle, dom
apathetic, 
Pecksniffian
, hypocrite, and 
charlatan.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Random Stuff
Wednesday, July 09, 2008 8:30:40 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Wednesday, July 02, 2008

You have firewalls and anti-malware system, video surveillance and monitoring systems for network traffic to and from the Internet. But look at eWeek's semi-smart list of the top ten infosec risks workers pose to your business today, and you may need to rethink your plans.

I call this a "semi-smart" list because it's practical and real-world, and doesn't assume the "standards" out there cover all the bases. But, at the same time it doesn't offer much in the way of solutions, which always frustrates me (and it misses some key points, especially related to intentional worker behavior, as opposed to neglect, and how it can substantially enhance the potential associated with these risks).

Point is, each of the items pointed out is very much worth considering and reviewing in your business security program. Just don't forget to look at them in the big-picture perspective of the business.

And now for the list:

  • USB Flash Drives
  • Laptops
  • P2P
  • Web Mail
  • Wi-Fi
  • Smart Phones
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Social Networks
  • Unauthorized Software Updates
  • Virtual Worlds

Pretty much every modern technical productivity enhancer. Before anyone starts screaming the alarmist song, think about not only how these things can be used for good, but also about how they could be used to to Very Bad Things.

How many of those technologies are specifically and can be proven effectively covered under your infosec policies? How many have you tested in the real world to see what your compliance profile really looks like? Could you meaningfully test for these threats, even if they were on your plan?

You can check out the eWeek article here.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
IT Security | Tech
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 10:09:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  

Google Talk is now available on the iPhone in the Safari browser. At the Google Mobile blog, the details are laid out. If you use Google Apps for your domain and have the Talk app activated there, word is you can access it, too using this URL syntax:

http://hostedtalkgadget.google.com/a/yourdomain/talkgadget/m

"We've just released in the US a new version of Google Talk designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod Touch browsers. In addition to sending your friends Gmail messages from your iPhone, you can now chat with them while you're on the move, too! In your iPhone browser, just go to www.google.com/talk, sign in and start chatting. That's it. Google Talk runs entirely in the browser so there's no need to download or install anything."

Announcement: Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Talk for the iPhone


Add/Read: Comments [0]
Apple | Mobile | Tech
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 8:49:12 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  

Tired of relying on well-funded commercial software companies testing their software on you while you come to truly rely on it, with little to no control?

Well, the world is (potentially) changing.

If you're - for example - a Twitter user, you might be interested in checking out Identi.ca, a brand-new open-source platform for microblogging. Press release below.

I can be found at http://identi.ca/greghughes - Check it out.

Control Yourself, Inc. launches Identi.ca, the Open Microblogging Service (July 2nd, 2008)

Montreal, Quebec-based Control Yourself, Inc. today launched Identi.ca, the open microblogging service. Users can post short messages about themselves to Identi.ca, which are then broadcast to friends in their social network using instant messages (IM), RSS feeds, and the Web.

Identi.ca is similar to existing microblogging sites such as Twitter, Jaiku, or Pownce. Unlike those services, Identi.ca’s underlying software is available under an Open Source license. Identi.ca is also the first service to support OpenMicroBlogging, a standard for exchanging short messages between microblogging sites. Identi.ca also makes public user data available under a Creative Commons license in standard formats.

“Too many existing social networks keep users locked in to their services,” says Evan Prodromou, president of Control Yourself. “With an Open Source code base, and support for standard data exchange formats, we are giving users back the autonomy to control their own social Web presence.”

Response from initial testers has been enthusiastic, both for the software’s design and functionality, as well as the site’s openness. “It makes me feel alive again to see the resurgence of free/open on the web,” said Jon Phillips, Community Manager with Creative Commons in San Francisco, CA.

Control Yourself will grow the service exponentially throughout 2008, adding features such cell phone text messaging (SMS) and multilingual support in its next software release.

Link to the original press release: Control Yourself



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Blogging | Tech
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 1:11:17 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
CIO.com has posted a great opinion article by Mike Gualtieri offering nine ways to make sure you're not labeled as a "clueless" CIO. I must say, the list is excellent and one that should be taken to heart by executive managers in general, and information/technical execs in particular.

Among his observations of a good CIO: "He gets opinions from his experts but there is never any question about who will make the final decision. And, if you never watched Star Trek then you shouldn't even be a CIO."

But the list contains several important and valuable points, it's not just humor. Do you know what your reports have to say about you? Does your CIO make the grade? This quick article is highly recommended.

I can especially relate to the issues associated with "drinking vendor Kool-Aid" and the need to keep a distance. In fact, my experiences with massive numbers of vendors led me to take drastic action to stop cold calls and other sales tactics, to the point even of angering those vendors. Basically, if I didn't have an established preferred relationship with a vendor, calls were relegated to a special mailbox. It gave me my time back.

Also, it is important to watch the balance between being a good geek leader and being the "uber-geeky" supervisor. If you are a professional manager, you hire the best and the brightest and make sure they can do their jobs well. If you're hiring smart, those people are much better at the tactical aspects of your organizational responsibilities than you are, anyhow.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Management | Tech
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 9:55:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  

Microsoft will soon be selling it's Office suite, along with security protection software (OneCare) and a slew of other applications for a $70 annual fee under the name "Equipt" this month. This is the first time a consumer has had the option to pay-as-you-go for the Microsoft productivity software, and will likely open up the possibility of a more budget-affordable option for many. When you consider an annual OneCare subscription runs you $50 a year and a copy of Office Home and Student Edition sells for a one-time fee of $150 (and a new version seems to come out every three years on average), it's an attractive deal. The $69.99 subscription fee will let you install the software on up to three home PCs.

Infoworld:

Equipt, which was formerly known by its code name, Albany, includes Office Home and Student 2007, Windows Live OneCare, Office Live Workspaces, Windows Live Mail, Live Messenger and Live Photo. Microsoft plans to begin selling it in the U.S. on July 15 through Circuit City, with other outlets to follow. It will be offered in other countries at about the same time, though pricing elsewhere was not announced.

The name comes from the idea that the package will help customers "equip their PC with a core set of services," said Bryson Gordon, a group product manager for Microsoft Office. "It resonated well with customers in testing."

Link to the Original Article at InfoWorld: Microsoft to sell Office 'value pack' for $70 per year



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Tech
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 9:33:40 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#