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  • Why Surface Hub is more interesting than HoloLens

    Microsoft had an unusually kick-ass event this week. They trotted out the next version of Windows, which is called Windows 10.

  • Data analytics: Are we there yet?

    Remember what travel was like before GPS? You could usually manage if you were traveling along familiar roads, but go on a long trip and it could get exciting. Which exit were we looking for? Had we passed the red barn? Did the gas station attendant say to turn after three lights or four? And let's not forget the kids in the back seat asking, "When will we get there?" Okay, that part hasn't changed, although the good news is that they can usually see the GPS screen too and answer their own questions.

  • Facebook, take note!

    In the last few weeks it's possible some of your Facebook chums posted messages on their walls in which they tried to revoke permission for the social network to use and distribute content they post.

  • Forget Windows 10. Here are the four most important words Microsoft said today: Windows as a Service

    Microsoft's wide-ranging announcements about Windows 10 covered things as mundane as new customisations for the Windows 10 Start screen and as mind-blowing as a new computing holographic platform.

  • Outsourcing contracts: Foundations for success

    Most business and IT leaders learned to negotiate with outsourcers 15 or 20 years ago, when the virtual corporation was seen as the organization to emulate. Although virtual organizations have faded, they provided valuable lessons regarding how to structure outsourcing contracts. Unfortunately, those lessons are being lost. Over the last few years, I have encountered multiple organizations making "first-time buyer" mistakes when negotiating with outsourcers.

  • Let's not make patent trolls stronger

    As you can tell by the name we've given them, patent trolls aren't popular critters. The game these operators play is shady and sleazy, bordering on extortion -- though it's completely legal. What they do is to purchase patents, with no intention of using or selling them, but rather to shake down as many people as possible by accusing them of violating the patent, even if the patent troll has no reason to believe that.

  • Why I'm still excited about Google Glass

    I love covering Google, because the company is unpredictable. They believe in crazy moon-shot projects and have the resources to pursue them. And they put stuff into the public eye way, way before it's ready for prime time.

  • Chromebooks spank Windows

    Last summer Microsoft talked its partners into trying to stop the growing popularity of Chromebooks in its tracks by making a big push during the holiday season. While full retail results won't be in for a while, we do know the laptop sales results from the most important retailer of them all, Amazon. Guess what. With that retailer at least, Microsoft and its buddies failed. Miserably.

  • 2015: The year the Internet crashes. Hard.

    An Internet joke that goes back at least to the early 1980s consists entirely of the phrase: "Imminent Death of the Net Predicted!" Every year, even more often than you'd hear "This will be the year of the Linux desktop!" someone would predict that the Internet was going to go to hell in a handbasket -- and nothing happened. This year it's my turn, but I fear I'm going to be proved right.

  • Sony and Chase: Don't blame the CISO

    Over the last couple of weeks, I have read numerous news stories about the widely publicized security breaches at Sony and JPMorgan Chase. It seems as if everybody is a Monday-morning quarterback, with every other reporter voicing an opinion on how these breaches should have been prevented. In particular, I read two articles that specifically blamed the information security organizations at those companies for failing to properly stop the attackers. That's not fair.

  • Same-day delivery's big chance

    Stats about online retailers' holiday performance poured into my inbox as the year ended, but one in particular really caught my eye. Amazon noted that its final Christmas Prime Now (same-day delivery) order was placed on Dec. 24 at 10:24 p.m. -- and was delivered 42 minutes later, at 11:06 p.m.

  • 2015 is make or break for Microsoft

    This year we are finally going to get an answer to one of the big questions in the technology world. For years, people have been debating whether Microsoft will retain its position as one of the world's dominant tech companies or steadily become less relevant.

  • Microsoft will surprise in 2015

    You may have noticed that I take a rather cynical view of Microsoft. But I think I am able to recognize when it does good things. As a matter of fact, I think the company made some smart moves in 2014, and it's going to benefit from them in 2015.

  • 12 life-changing social media resolutions

    Want to transform your live? No, not your real life. Your online social media life. Here's how.

  • Court reaffirms: Think before you email

    A recent ruling is another wake-up call for email users in this post-Snowden era of email privacy -- or lack thereof. It makes it clear that hitting the delete button does not mean that the email no longer exists or is no longer accessible. And it reaffirms the need to think before you put information in an email. Once it is written, you have already lost control.

  • The hottest wireless technology is now sound!

    Using sound for transferring data is nothing new. In the 1940s, when IBM tried to solve the problem of how to use regular telephone lines to connect two computers, it figured out a way to convert data into sound, send the sound over the phone and then convert it back into data. (Yes, I'm talking about the modem.)

  • Maximizing Microsoft's Azure for Dev, Test, and DevOps Scenarios

    Microsoft has had their Azure cloud services for years, however most enterprises really don't know what Azure can be used for to help their organization. Much of it has to do with Microsoft having released Azure long ago with today's perception of the service based on what Azure did years ago. It also doesn't help that Azure does a LOT of different things, so for someone to get their arms around how Azure can help them is like roaming around aimlessly in a grocery store trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

  • Coder, sell thyself

    Many highly skilled coders limit themselves to obscurity or the bonds of employment because they are afraid of selling their own services. They have an inherent fear of sales and of being a salesperson. What they don't realize is that with a shift in thinking and some business building activities, they can win clients, launch a prosperous and independent business, and experience high levels of personal and professional freedom without ever having to sell to anyone.

  • At Microsoft, quality seems to be job none

    I actually had been feeling optimistic about Windows 10. No, really. You can look it up. I mean, I didn't think Windows 10 was the greatest thing since the advent of the Internet, but it did strike me as a solid replacement for the lamentable Windows 8.

  • Do you know the laws that govern personal information in the cloud?

    While the technological world increasingly renders geography meaningless, no one appears to have informed lawmakers of this fact. Data can move easily and seamlessly from Uruguay to Spain to the United States, but in doing so, three separate data privacy and protection regimes are implicated. As more companies, individuals and even governments place their data in the cloud, both customers and providers of cloud computing services must become acutely aware of the burgeoning laws and regulations restricting the collection, storage, disclosure and movement of certain categories of information.