Archive for May, 2010

Whiteboarding With Skype

It seems that Skype can screen-share as well as provide the video/tele that it is best known for. Does the popularity of Skype mean that WebEx and similar business-oriented web conferencing systems are in trouble?


Android As *The* Mobility Platform

In 1Q 2010, Android unit sales surpassed the iPhone. Is this a harbinger of Android as the dominant smartphone platform? And what of mobile computing in general? The iPhone OS already has migrated to the iPad, making it an excellent “mobility platform”. Certainly, Google is going to compete. The Microsoft offering, despite the major-play backing, is still barely a blip on the radar. webOS is a potential player depending on what HP decides to do. And RIM is in danger of being an also-ran with Symbian. So who will win the mobility race?

Cell Phones Gaining On Landline Phones

I know many people who have ditched their landline in favor of becoming a cell-only household. Now I see them in a whole new light: chain-smoking, binge-drinking cellphone users, who, despite the extra handset radiation, alcohol, and cancer-sticks are statistically more healthy than I am!

I know that is not the conclusion to make of the CDC study described in the InformationWeek article, but I did find that part amusing.

I can certainly see the appeal of switching to cell-only. I’m actually halfway there. I absolutely love my XLink system, a Bluetooth bridge that allows me to answer my cell calls on the house line. And since incorporating Google Voice, the only direct calls I get on my landline are telemarketers who conveniently ignore the Do-Not-Call list. Why am I keeping the Cox bundle anyway; maybe I should cut out that part of the service? As long as I don’t have to take up smoking as a prerequisite…

Brick-and-Mortar Trumps Online

Verizon has Droid, and its customers are drooling over the forthcoming HTC Incredible. Likewise, Sprint’s next salivatory blow is the HTC EVO 4G. Google was trying to tie into that growth market by pushing their own branded Nexus One phone online. Today, they have toned down their commitment and will only sell through channel partners such as Vodaphone stores in the UK. A big reason was that they had issues with tech support. But the other is more touchy-feely. Touchy-feely on the phones that is. People want to hold their phone and try it out before buying. Buying sight-unseen online wasn’t going to cut it. The Vodaphone stores, however, will give them that channel. Failed online venture or not, its all gravy to GOOG. They sold 20,000 units – a paltry sum next to BB/iPhone numbers – but you have to figure that was all word of mouth and Google reputation. Not bad for just slapping a logo on an HTC phone.

Facebook Insecurity

As Betty White – who hosted Saturday Night Live last night as a result of a grassroots Facebook campaign – said in her opening monologue, “now that I know what Facebook is, it sure seems like a huge waste of time”. Since I am a participant myself, I won’t hypocritically debate the merits. However, I will continue to call attention to the potential privacy risks that careless Facebook participation can incur. And one of the biggies lies with application security.

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Clever “Adobe Risk Management” Fake Alert

Earlier this year, I posted an example of a ridiculously contrived attempt to propagate malware. For as amateurish as that one was, this one is the exact opposite: a very clever and convincing ruse. The message purports to be courtesy of an Adobe “Risk Management” official, referencing a known Acrobat exploit, and urging the application of a patch.  What made it quasi-legit was not the fact that it came from Adobe, but that it came as a simulated mail thread from company VP to company VP, ultimately addressing an end-user by name and directing her to take action. I am not a malware expert and did not deconstruct the PDF or EXE to know if or what was infected, but it all seemed suspicious enough to me…

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