Stories by Steve Alexander

Thumb-sized leaks in corporate security

Proliferating flash drives and other personal memory devices are causing corporate IT managers to rethink data security policies and enforcement. But the balance between corporate security and user convenience has never been more difficult to achieve, because ubiquitous thumb-size drives can hold gigabytes of corporate information.

Case Study: Web site adds inventory control and forecasting

Joseph Lacik Jr. doesn't try to measure the return on investment of his company's marketing Web site. The fact that Dallas-based Aviall was saved from financial disaster by a controversial multimillion-dollar IT project that included developing the Web site as one key element is all the return he needs to see.

How will you build business on the Web?

Buried under an avalanche of paper requests for insurance bids, Providence Washington Insurance Co. sometimes took weeks to reply-a delay that proved costly.

Scalability

Scalability is the capability of increasing the computing capacity of a Web site or a computer system - and the site's or system's ability to process more operations or transactions in a given period, in particular - by adding more, or more powerful, processors. Traditionally, scalability has been achieved by adding or changing to one or more large multiprocessor servers. A somewhat different, newer strategy is to add more (often many more) smaller servers.

Collaborative Commerce

The arrival of business-to-business exchanges on the Web has created new ways for business partners to work together. By using Web servers as hubs for collaborative commerce efforts, companies are seeking to exchange proprietary data, jointly manage projects and cooperate on the design of new products.

Wireless Web access

A funny thing happened on the road to handheld, wireless Web access: Microsoft chose a different route. As a result, analysts are divided over whether handheld Internet devices will rely on data downloads specially configured for minimum size, or on devices that can handle full-featured Web pages and graphics, even on their tiny screens.

Funny Things Happen to Wireless Web Access

A funny thing happened on the road to handheld, wireless Web access: Microsoft Corp. chose a different route. As a result, analysts are divided over whether handheld Internet devices will rely on data downloads specially configured for minimum size, or on devices that can handle full-featured Web pages and graphics, even on their tiny screens.

Viruses, worms, Trojan horses and zombies

Few aspects of computer security have achieved the notoriety of malicious software that preys on unsuspecting computer users. Viruses, worms, Trojan horses, logic bombs, zombies, password grabbers - the list gets longer and longer.

Viruses, Worms,Trojan Horses and Zombies

Few aspects of computer security have achieved the notoriety of malicious software that preys on unsuspecting computer users. Viruses, worms, Trojan horses, logic bombs, zombies, password grabbers - the list gets longer and longer. The different types of malicious software work by a variety of methods, and they have different potentials for causing damage.

Controversial Internet Patents

Amazon.com Inc.'s patented one-click system enables repeat online customers to place orders without re-entering credit-card or address information. Part of the patent covers the way Amazon stores billing and shipping data. In December, Amazon obtained a preliminary court injunction against Barnesandnoble.com that prevents the Amazon competitor from using the one-click system.

First on the Scene

Kevin Rivette, co-author of Rembrandts in the Attic, an intellectual property book published by Harvard Business School Publishing, says Wired magazine could probably have patented the now-ubiquitous Web page banner advertisement.

Enterprise Careers

Job burnout is a problem for which most IT managers and consultants have a pet solution -- some of them common-sense and some more drastic measures.