The Big Picture, from WhatIs.com

Monday, September 18, 2006

Our Latest Discovery

If you're looking for new posts from the editors of WhatIs.com about new technologies, online trends or unusual terms, you can now find them at "Our Latest Discovery" instead of this space.

While we appreciate all of the feedback and the subscribers to this blog over the past six months, we're going to let "the Big Picture" go dormant, though you'll continue to see new content appear in the Grazr feeds in the sidebar as new Words of the Day, podcasts and Buzzword Alert newsletters are created.

If you're looking for more of the original news content which made up the bulk of our previous posts please visit Searchtechtarget.techtarget.com, where you'll find the freshest, most relevant enterprise IT industry news around.

Thanks again!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

OWASP to pay people to work on projects

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) aims to deliver more products, as well as increase corporate sponsorship with its Autumn of Code initiative. Read more...

PCI council formed; revised standard includes app security requirement

American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard and Visa have created an independent PCI standards council. Their first act was to release version 1.1 of the PCI Data Security Standard, which clarifies existing requirements as well as adds a new one for application security. Read more...

Champy: Four processes to successful retention

Increased turnover within an IT organization can lead to an overall decrease in productivity and quality of work. In his monthly column, James Champy suggests an offensive approach to retention and offers four tips for retaining qualified IT employees. Read more...

Gartner: Enterprise CRM returns

At the Gartner CRM Summit, analysts explain why enterprises are once again taking on large CRM projects and why it's more about processes than technology. Read more...

Open source stacks move into critical operations

IT managers must understand the changing dynamic of open source software stacks if they hope to benefit from flexibility and vendor independence down the road, says analyst Raven Zachary. Read more...

G-Log acquisition bears fruit with Oracle Transportation Management 5.5

Oracle today unveiled Oracle Transportation Management 5.5, the first major release to integrate the spoils of Oracle's purchase of G-Log Software last year. Read more...

Storage IPOs bode well for competition

Analysts say new public players could breathe competitive life into the market, but it all hinges on how well execs can balance the needs of users and shareholders. Read more...

New Exchange exams likely to emphasize server roles, security

Brush up on your knowledge of Exchange Server roles and security. These changes in the next generation of Exchange will likely factor heavily in the certification exams. Read more...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Eclipse director: Open source development bests proprietary

At Eclipse World, Eclipse Foundation's Michael Milinkovich tells SearchOpenSource.com that open source plug-in model will outshine Vista’s 'hairball' of code. Read more...

Open Season: openQRM membership surges; Red Hat champions new public forum

A free preview from Alfresco; Black Duck wins over Eclipse Foundation; Red Hat champions a forum for public discussion; openQRM gets hot. Read more...

Three patch updates coming for Windows and Office

Microsoft said it will release two security updates for Windows and one for Office next week. The Office update will address at least one critical security flaw. Read more...

Three patch updates coming for Windows and Office

Microsoft said it will release two security updates for Windows and one for Office next week. The Office update will address at least one critical security flaw. Read more...

Security Blog Log: Word doc scam evades spam filters

A researcher gets a harsh reward after flagging a University of Southern California Web site flaw -- and more blogs are keeping an eye on the latest security breaches. Read more...

Review: ISM Express 1000 a mixed bag

ISM Express is a powerful, useful product with strong reporting and policy management capabilities, but its surprisingly lax security should be tightened. Read more...

Xen startup Virtual Iron breaks ranks on paravirtualization

Virtual Iron questions the wisdom of paravirtualization while promoting unmodified operating systems to members of the Xen community. Read more...

Why VMware still trumps Microsoft Virtual Server

The differences between VMware Server and Microsoft Virtual Server demonstrate why VMware Server is still quite popular despite Microsoft's Virtual Server being freely available. Read more...

Gartner's Bittman predicts virtualization's future benefits and hassles

Gartner's Tom Bittman says that IT managers will find virtualization useful for speeding through deployments and balancing compute power. Tracking VMs, however, will be a hassle. Read more...

Brocade monetizes SAN Health tool

For an annual fee of roughly $2,500, Brocade will provide more advanced features to its SAN Health tool; also new are updates to directors and file management software. Read more...

webMethods buys Infravio for SOA governance tools

According to the CEO of webMethods, SOA is reaching an "inflection point" with an increasing number of multi-million dollar implementations that demand governance. Read more...

Dissecting the AD architecture: SID filtering and the authentication firewall

In this article, Windows expert Dean Wells describes the process of security identifier (SID) filtering and breaks down several components of the authentication protocol in his continued analysis of the Active Directory architecture. Read more...

Friday, September 08, 2006

HP's data center consolidation provides management insights

Hewlett-Packard Co. has a vision for the data center of the future, and it is using its own massive data center consolidation project as the proving ground for its ideas. Read more...

HP Integrity servers get new Itanium chip

Hewlett-Packard continues to push the Intel Itanium 2 chip over RISC-based processors with the expansion of its Integrity server line to include the most updated Itanium. Read more...

Financial sector data center veteran leads consulting arm of Aperture

After spending 30 years as a data center manager for Verizon, First USA, Bank One and JPMorganChase, Gary Aron has decided to head up the consulting services division at Aperture -- a data center software company in Stamford, CT. Read more...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

RFID continues to raise security concerns

As more applications are developed for radio frequency identification technology, CIOs need to pay closer attention to the potential security risks. Read more...

Intervoice buys Nuasis call center tools

Speech and IVR player Intervoice has snapped up the assets of Nuasis, bringing together IVR, speech recognition and contact center software. Read more...

Customers school company in business intelligence needs

Before choosing a business intelligence tool, student loan management company Elm Resources did its homework -- working with customers to learn what they wanted from a new system. Read more...

Cisco, SAP team-up marries network with risk management

Cisco and SAP team up to market governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and networking combo. The application/networking vendor relationship highlights SONA’s first major proof point to networking professionals. Read more...

Cisco, Microsoft unveil NAC/NAP interoperability

Nearly two years into their partnership, Cisco and Microsoft yesterday announced a joint architecture combining their network access security solutions. Read more...

Podcast: Oracle security guru Peter Finnegan on the problem with PL/SQL

The protective wrapping around the programming language used to write procedures and commands in the Oracle Corp. database -- PL/SQL -- isn't as ironclad as some might expect, says Oracle security guru Peter Finnegan. In this new SearchOracle.com podcast, Finnegan explains what DBAs need to know to protect their systems.

Download the PL/SQL security podcast here

SAP acquisitions helped expand retail presence

Jim McMurray, SAP's senior vice president for retail, doesn't rule out further acquisitions in the retail industry and says expanded functionality has resulted in customer wins. Read more...

Looking for virtualization hiring advice?

The growing adoption of virtualization technologies means companies need professionals who can design new kinds of architectures, master new tools and interpret new results. This article offers some suggestions for what to look for when hiring IT pros to manage your virtual infrastructure. Read more...

Windows Developments: Product news, September 2006

This month's eight featured products include object relational mapping on .NET, a revived Turbo programmer and tools for SQL data comparison and synchronization. Read more...

VoIP startup untethers would-be mobile workers from wireline office phones

VoIP startup DiVitas Networks has voice-over-WiFi-to-cellular technology in the works that gives end users access to enterprise apps and puts dual-mode handset management in the hands of network administrators. Read more...

Users anticipate joint Cisco and Microsoft security

Users are keen on checking out Microsoft and Cisco's interoperable security architecture outlined this week by both companies. When it comes to enterprise security, however, Cisco still gets more respect from IT shops. Read more...

Expected PCI standard update raises concerns for Web app security

Industry observers hope the PCI standard will focus more on security at the application layer -- not weaken current regulations -- and that the standards process will become more open. Read more...

Cutting-edge monitoring tools now critical to financial firms

If you’re in financial services, it’s time to add BAM and CEP to your pantheon of three-letter terms. Read more...

Fed up with IVR, firm answers all calls with humans

The backlash against automated phone systems has been fierce. One company has decided to do away with it altogether. Read more...

Korean insurer retires 7,000 MIPS mainframes

Korean insurer Samsung Life Insurance shut down its IBM zSeries mainframes, shifting a 7,000 MIPS workload, including loan, contract and payment systems to two HP Itanium 2-based Superdomes running HP-UX. Read more...

SOA technology changes the integration game

Companies like VP Buildings are saving time, labor and money by using technologies that expose legacy application functions as Web services in a service-oriented architecture. Read more...

SMS phishing is here

Phishing attacks are no longer limited to email. Recently, researchers uncovered phishing scams using SMS, and mobile experts say enterprises should be wary of these so-called SMiShing scams. Read more...

Podcast: SAP firms cope with support issues

Consultant Doug Whittle discusses the support issues SAP customers face after their new systems go live and the support strategies that get the most value out of an SAP system. Listen here...

SAP adds risk components to compliance offerings

SAP is adding three new applications to address risk and compliance. The software vendor is also integrating NetWeaver with Cisco's services-enabled network architecture. Read more...

Rogue devices behind majority of attacks, study shows

According to a study of Justice Department cases, most attacks between 1999 and 2006 happened because companies failed to check device IDs before letting them on the network. Read more...

Survey: Data breaches difficult to spot, prevent

IT pros worry that false positives and a lack of resources are preventing them from blocking data breaches, according to a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute. Read more...

Testing VoIP-enabled ‘interactive SOA”

Mindreef announces that BlueNote Networks is testing its VoIP-based enterprise "interactive SOA" products to ensure standards compliance and interoperability for developers working with everything from COBOL to Java and C#. Read more...

Microsoft, Cisco release NAP/NAC roadmap

Microsoft and Cisco released plans on just how they would make their competing security architectures interoperable. A private beta will start later this year. Read more...

IT workers optimistic about job prospects

After a few years of poor prospects, job seekers in IT now feel the time is right to go searching for greener pastures. Read more...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Windows Presentation Foundation: Another darned revolution

There may be something of a "silent majority" out here in the land of the working Windows developers, composed of developers who have no intention of learning WPF any time soon.

Mike Gunderloy offers a list of reasons for ignoring WPF at the moment:

Read the list and join the conversation at TheServerSide.net

Hacme Casino tool reveals online gaming vulnerabilities

Foundstone's Hacme Casino shows some of the threats online gaming applications face and helps developers see how these issues may be present in their own code. Read more...

Prevent application logic attacks with sound app security practices

Application logic attacks are common, dangerous and difficult to detect. In this interview, expert Rami Jaamour defines and analyzes logic attacks and provides in-depth security advice. Read more...

Regulation redundancy: Money down the drain

A majority of organizations are still taking a costly manual approach to compliance and possibly putting themselves at risk. Read more...

Data management briefing: Introduction to integration

The alphabet soup of data integration technologies -- ETL, EAI, EII, EIM, SOA and others -- are more confusing than ever. Here's an overview of data integration technologies. Read more...

Oneida chooses SAP, iSeries to improve fiscal health

Flatware distributor Oneida will consolidate its various systems to SAP All-In-One on an IBM iSeries. Read more...

i2 files lawsuit against SAP

Supply chain management software vendor i2 Technologies filed a lawsuit claiming software patent infringement of sales and manufacturing product planning and tracking technology. Read more...

New Microsoft Word zero-day exploit discovered

Trojan.MDropper-Q is exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft’s word-processing application that could allow attackers to take control of certain machines. Read more...

Attacks against MS06-040 flaw on the rise

The dreaded superworm has yet to emerge, but six pieces of malware are now going after the Windows Server Service flaw outlined in MS06-040. A spike in attacks has led Symantec to raise its ThreatCon to Level 2. Read more...

Security Blog Log: Apple lives under ‘cloud of smug’

Apple is accused of security hubris for falsely boasting that malware isn't a problem for Macs. Meanwhile, in fall malware fashion, worms are out and bots are in. Read more...

XAML opens paradigm shift for application development

Microsoft's Extensible Application Markup Language is poised to make it easier for developers and designers to collaborate. It may also mean getting to know workflow. Read more...

Instant messaging boom brings security concerns

Instant messaging (IM) has made significant inroads to the enterprise, but using public IM applications may open up security holes in the network. Read more...

Vista and Office will start 2007 collaboration wave

Microsoft's Vista achieved release candidate status on Friday. With Office right behind, Microsoft is getting closer to bringing collaboration to the enterprise. Read more...

Vista and Office will start 2007 collaboration wave

Microsoft's Vista achieved release candidate status on Friday. With Office right behind, Microsoft is getting closer to bringing collaboration to the enterprise. Read more...

Close Ruby encounters of the .NET kind

The Ruby dynamic language, in particular Ruby On Rails, has taken the Web development community by storm. At least three efforts are now under way to make the Ruby environment more accessible to .NET programmers and the CLR.

Join the discussion at theServerSide.net here.

Metaverse

Neal Stephenson's seminal novel, Snow Crash, made a splash in the science fiction genre back in 1992 when it was first published. While William Gibson used the term cyberspace to describe his fictional depiction of an three-dimensional representation of an online world in Neuromancer, Stephenson chose "metaverse" for the same purpose. Between them, the books were central to introducing the concept of a 3D online environment to readers worldwide. As the Internet exploded into the public's consciousness at large in the 1990s, both books were often referred to by young entrepreneurs describing business plans for online ventures.

Years later, in the post-Internet bubble world, the metaverse is again part of the online buzz, as immersive 3D environments are actually available to netizens. While World of Warcraft now boasts more than 7 million users, another environment, Second Life, has been created by Linden Labs specifically to resemble Stephenson's fictional creation. As in Snow Crash, people are represented by avatars and interact with an online world that has been entirely created by other users. Second Life has now seen appearances by U.S. presidential candidates (Mark Warner), a virtual marketing conference, a virtual version of an Adidas store and is the recipient of plenty of offline buzz, as evidenced by this cover story from Newsweek earlier this year.

To learn more about the timeline of the creation of 3D environments related to the metaverse, visit the MetaverseRoadMap.org.

Friday, September 01, 2006

CIOs take a top-down approach to open source

Open source first found its way into enterprises through grassroots adoption, but CIOs are starting to lead the way from the top. Now that they have the reins, there is more at stake. Read more...

Call center brings it together with WFO

A customer of both Blue Pumpkin and Witness before the merger, Asurion is reaping the rewards of workforce optimization, and it's not just about technology. Read more...

HP user group to focus on data center consolidation

Attendees this year at the HP Technology Forum can expect a focus on HP's data center consolidation project. Read more...

Location intelligence helps Mississippi fight fraud, hurricanes

Mississippi's Department of Health implemented a business intelligence system with location data and mapping functions. It helped during Katrina -- but has many potential uses. Read more...

WAN traffic, applications optimized at retirement community

WAN traffic and application performance were terrible at Erickson Retirement Communities until network engineers found a way to run the WAN circuits at 95%. Read more...

Oracle updates free Application Express developer tool

The newest version of Oracle Application Express promises to make it easier for companies to build applications on top of Database 10g, and one communications software firm is banking on it. Read more...

Symantec CIO vies with virtualization, device policy

Symantec CIO David Thompson says virtualization is a big part of the security giant’s future and it has developed a policy to mitigate the security risks that come with it. Read more...

Malware database access sparks debate

Should an emerging database of more than 300,000 malware samples remain a walled community for trusted users, or is open access the best way to fight off digital desperados? Read more...

Podcast: Security Wire Weekly

This week, News Editor Eric Parizo leads a roundtable discussion with IT security pros about the latest Wi-Fi dangers, Microsoft's patching efforts and the ramifications of the IBM/ISS merger. Plus, all the week's top news and details on how long one recently convicted hacker will be behind bars. Read more...

An era ends as Tandberg buys Exabyte

The once-dominant player in the tape market has ended a long downward spiral by selling off its assets. At least customers can now count on continued support, analysts say. Read more...

VoIP outsourcing: Save money while gaining flexibility

VoIP outsourcing is the way to go for organizations looking to deploy voice services quickly and flexibly without a major investment in skills and upkeep. Read more...

SOA with J2EE and .NET: Possible, but not easy

Washington Group International's SOA project is built on J2EE, but the engineering and construction firm couldn't ignore .NET, so it found a way to make them work together despite RPC and WSDL issues. Read more...

Vista pricing goes public

Prices are posted for Microsoft Windows Vista courtesy of Amazon.com. But users will likely pay more after they factor in hardware and other software. Read more...