Stories by Curtis Franklin Jr.

Can non-Apple tablets compete against the iPad?

Get ready for the iPad clones. In a week that, according to Apple, saw iPad sales hit the two million unit mark, IDG News Service reports that the Computex Taipei trade show is anticipating demonstrations of a dozen or more rivals to the iPad.

10 great iPhone apps for business users

As a member of the nomadic business class, I appreciate how Apple has managed to make a device as small as the iPhone a truly useful enterprise tool. Thanks to the wildly successful App Store, an amazing number and variety of apps promise to keep me organized, on time, on track, and productive even if my ever-present laptop isn't available.

PC vs. Mac deathmatch: Snow Leopard beats Windows 7

I have a confession: I'm a switcher. My long journey with Windows, which began even before Windows with MS-DOS, ended with Windows Vista. While so many others navigated the Vista debacle by sticking with Windows XP, I gave Vista a try -- and gave up. I leapt to the Mac OS.

Small Business Server 2008 gets 'small' right

A small business is not necessarily a simple business. That rather basic lesson has taken much of the computer industry far too many years to learn. Successful SaaS vendors have realized that small businesses need the same sort of functions and support that large enterprises get -- just in smaller quantities. Clearly Microsoft has come to the same realization with the release of Small Business Server 2008.

Office killers pack some heat

There are few pieces of software that users touch more often than office productivity suites. The market monster is, of course, Microsoft Office, with the lion's share of all licenses for office productivity tools. But two trends -- open source and cloud computing -- are offering a new generation of Office alternatives that businesses may want to consider.

The best wireless LAN system for SMBs

Small businesses have, for some time, been able to easily deploy a wide-open access point or two, or put together a couple of access points with a basic level of security. The thing that hasn't been easily available is a small, secure, managed wireless network that's easy to deploy and administer, and priced for the needs of a smaller business. Now there is such a thing, and its existence does a good job of highlighting what we've been missing. The solution is the Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex Smart WLAN System, and it is a very good thing, indeed, for the SMB wireless market.

Juniper Networks sheds nearly 1.3 billion watts

Often a green IT project yields more than green benefits. Juniper Networks, for example, wanted to become more efficient in human-resource use, to cut hardware maintenance and software licensing costs, and to better utilize space. To accompany these goals, Juniper set a concrete energy-consumption target: a 30 per cent reduction in its power footprint -- all to be accomplished within one year with minimal disruption to business operations.

Buyers' guide: Security information management

SIM (security information management) products have become more accepted as critical components within the network security infrastructure. As such, understanding the criteria for selecting SIMs has become more important. Moreover, in a fast-evolving market segment [SIM becomes SEM (security event manager), becomes SI/EM, becomes ...], it's more important to understand the important architectural differences and implementation requirements than the industry acronyms and product names. A wave of consolidation has already begun to hit the SIM market, but the major issues and deployment criteria span brands and individual technologies.

Symantec SIM brings friends

What is it, one might reasonably ask, that separates a SIM (security information manager) from a basic log-file aggregator? Both will, of course, aggregate log files, but a SIM must go further, gathering incident alerts and status conditions from a variety of network security and infrastructure sources. A good SIM will then add some intelligence to the mix, helping the security engineer figure out which information is worth his or her immediate attention and which can be ignored until time to pass a compliance audit.