Stories by Ephraim Schwartz

Netbooks in the business: Do they make sense?

With the some of the most recognized names in the high-tech industry -- Intel, Arm, Microsoft, Linux, Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, and many more --hyping netbooks as the next big thing, we decided to take a look at a category whose exact definition is still in flux to see how and where they fit into business usage.

The incredible shrinking operating system

From the software concept called JeOS (pronounced "juice"), the Just Enough OS, to hardware concepts like Celio RedFly, an 8-inch screen and keyboard device running applications off a smartphone via a USB or a Bluetooth connection, there are an increasing number of indications that the center of gravity is shifting away from the traditional massive operating systems of the past.

Obama can't have a BlackBerry. Should your CEO?

The press has been all over President-Elect Barack Obama's addiction to his BlackBerry and the possibility that he might have to give it up for reasons of national security. But no one in the media seems to be asking the most logical follow-up question: Is the cybertechnology that can compromise the future chief executive's BlackBerry also a threat to mobile devices being used every day by thousands of senior executives in corporate America?

Cybersecurity report offers Obama assorted recommendations

A congressionally sponsored study conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, made public on Monday, recommends everything from the creation of a the National Office for Cyberspace outside the authority of the Department of Homeland Security to maintaining "sufficient manufacturing capabilities" at home to supply components and software that is not dependent on a global supply chain.

Why XBRL is good, mandate or no

Like any government mandate, the SEC's requirement to use XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) in public companies' financial reports cannot be ignored. However, along with the government stick comes a number of beneficial carrots.

The XBRL mandate is here: Is IT ready?

Given all the pressures IT is under, another compliance initiative may seem to be one too many. There is such a mandate: to submit financial reports using XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) tags. How much will the XBRL mandate add to IT's burden? At first, the burden will be small, but it will increase over time -- as will the opportunity to use XBRL for better internal operations, not just for reporting compliance.

New regulations will soon swell IT workloads

The financial meltdown, fueled by a decade of exotic financing mechanisms that some say were designed to hide risk and pass it on to unwary buyers, will have a major impact on IT budgets, personnel, and reporting responsibilities. New regulations will put IT in the hot seat, much as the post-Enron Sarbanes-Oxley and other such rules did in the early 2000s as governments responded to that period's financial shenanigans.

Real-time business intelligence you can act on

Sometimes changing the name of a product isn't just marketing sleight of hand, rather it actually succeeds in giving potential customers insight into the true purpose of the product at hand.

Would-be WiMax users find a shortcut

Wireless users in the US city of Baltimore are standing politely in line to sign up for just launched Sprint WiMax service, called XOHM, pronounced "zohm," at slightly better than the expected rate, according to Sprint executives.

IBM's cloud initiative repackages its familiar offerings

Mixing together a melange of services, software and marketing, IBM's announcement this week of its Cloud Services Initiative is about putting an organizing construct around all of its cloud offerings, according to one IBM executive.

Socialtext 3.0 unveiled

Ross Mayfield, founder of Socialtext, unveiled this week version 3.0 of his company's enterprise wiki, which promises to make the corporate directory a social networking tool for the workplace.

Profiting from reduced IT energy dependency

While I applaud any company's attempt to be environmentally responsible and implement "green" projects, I remain skeptical of long-term commitments to green initiatives that don't decrease costs, fatten the bottom line, or polish the organization's image.

How IT could have prevented the financial meltdown

In the coming weeks the feds and the surviving financial services institutions will have the daunting task of unraveling all the securitized loans and other instruments that are hiding the toxic investments. But does the technology exist to do that? And if so, could it have been used to prevent the bad debt from hitting the fan in the first place?