Stories by Christopher Lindquist

Security simplicity

Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking to a number of information security experts from government, academia and business. Their jobs involve finding new ways to keep data safe from attackers. And despite new tools, techniques and policies, their jobs continue to get more difficult.

Opinion: What is .Net?

Microsoft has proven its ability to make serious mistakes (think Internet Explorer 1.0), learn from them, and then return with a vengeance. (OK, except maybe with WebTV.) So it goes with .Net. Warning: The following will make a lot more sense if you brush up on the concept of Web services first.

Simple, standardised collaboration is coming

Like it or not, the Web has been co-opted. Its grassroots foundations have long since been paved over by large companies looking to assert their influence over the direction of Web standards and technology. When did the Web “jump the shark”? With the advent of banner ads? When the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) contemplated allowing royalties on standards? (Take your pick.)

Online ads down but not out

If you thought all those dotcom deaths were going to reduce the number of annoying ads you see on the sites you visit, you're only partly right. A new report from Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. indicates that the current drop-off of online advertising is only a lull. The real storm will arrive starting about two years from now.

Still growing strong

The year 2000 was a banner time for IT spending and staff workloads, according to the "2001 Worldwide IT Benchmark and Trends Report" from Meta Group Inc. And even economic slowdowns and dotcom heart failures won't completely cap the trend in the coming months.

Going Gigabit

Gigabit Ethernet is growing fast, and 10Gb Ethernet will soon follow, according to a recent report by Scottsdale, Arizona-based Cahners In-Stat Group.

Prediction: E-Commerce - Paying the Bills

Those piles of invoices could start to shrink, according to a study by the Aberdeen Group Inc. in Boston. The report, "Internet Bill Presentment and Payment: E-Business Solutions for Improved Customer Service and Cash Flow," predicts that IBPP (both consumer and business to business) will increase more than 500 percent to US$1.9 billion by 2005. As payees seek to get a grip on their cash flows, payers will look for the efficiencies online payment can provide.

Align Your Minds

E-mail, voice mail and cell phones are powerful ways of connecting, but they don't always have all the connections you need. To fill the void, Parlano Inc. has recently released MindAlign, a set of server-based collaboration tools that let teams keep in touch, share important documents and track project progress from any networked computer.

Search Struggle

On the Web, finding what you need is more than half the battle, yet some sites still don't offer effective search capabilities. Seeking to provide an easy option for adding search to any site, Tippecanoe Systems Inc. has unveiled IndexMySite4Free.com, an online service that lets companies provide search features on their sites by simply adding a small piece of HTML code for a search button.

Remember the Mainframe?

You don't hear much talk about mainframes these days, even if the world is still running on them. But Singlepoint Systems hasn't forgotten. The company has announced LegacyPoint, an event management tool that provides two-way communication between OS/390 systems and Hewlett-Packard Co.'s OpenView VantagePoint network management product.

Hiring Woes: No End in Sight

For most IT managers, sob stories about a dearth of qualified employees come as nothing new. But according to a June 2000 report by Stamford, Conn.-based Meta Group Inc., the situation is going to get far worse before it gets better.

Innovation, Products in the Vanguard

USA Group's Hamed Omar remembers when it was relatively easy to protect enterprise computers against viruses. "In the early '90s, viruses spread from machine to machine by 'sneakernet'--the manual exchange of files," says the senior vice president of information technology at USA Group, a student loan guarantor. "Now, viruses can spread in a heartbeat via the internet as an e-mail attachment and can be a real problem to guard against and eliminate."