One of the challenges facing Oracle in its $7.4 billion takeover bid of Sun Microsystems is in convincing the European Commission that it plans to devote just as much attention to the free, open-source MySQL database as it will on any of its own costlier parallel database products. So far Oracle has a hard time convincing the EC of that, so should Oracle drop MySQL altogether? Former MYSQL business adviser Florian Mueller seems to think so.
Mueller isn't alone, either. Members of the EC feel that owning MySQL through the acquisition of Sun presents a huge conflict of interest for Oracle, who is poised to become the owner of its biggest open-source competitor.
"Oracle is a high-priced cash cow in the parallel database business," Mueller said during a press conference on Monday. "Why then should it be the one entity that controls development, determines revenues, and controls an R&D budget of a competing product that it sells against directly in the database market?"
Naturally, Oracle has a different perspective. According to Oracle CEO and founder Larry Ellison, MySQL isn't a competitor at all, and he points out MySQL has its own market and following. Instead, Ellison says Microsoft SQL Server is Oracle's competition.
But no matter how Ellison feels, it's the EC who has the final word, at least in Europe. Without the EC's stamp of approval, Oracle won't be able to do business in Europe. As it stands, the EC has set a deadline of January 19, 2010 to make a final decision to sanction the deal or not, although it could decide even sooner.
With no clear winner in the cloud computing sector, some ITs feel it makes more sense to incorporate their own private clouds. Doing so allows businesses to offer its customers a range of customized virtual services, automated tools, and other advanced services at a lower cost than what might otherwise be possible, argues mark Everett Hall of ComputerWorld.
Anything that costs less is sure to be a hit with the bean counters honed in on the bottom line, but the push for private clouds isn't without certain pitfalls. They can be harder to manage and maintain, and then you have to convince end users that being locked into a vendor isn't necessarily a bad thing. And on top of it all, not many people are even aware of what a private cloud is, and that could stymie its adoption. Or could it?
According to Geir Ramleth, CIO at Bechtel Corp., the lack of an exact definition could work to its advantage and prevent some ITs from becoming fixated on too narrow a scope.
Moving forward, that could become a moot point anyway. Earlier this year Thomas Bittman, an analyst with research firm Gartner, predicted that enterprises would spend more money building private cloud computing services over than the next three years than outsourcing to third party providers. And more recently, Gartner said IT shops are likely to spend more than half of their cloud budget on private cloud services by 2012. And when you're talking about a multi-billion industry, those savings start to add up.
David Liu, a longtime exec at AOL and vice president in charge of Global Messaging, will make his exit from the company next month, according to an email. His departure comes just one month after the hiring of ex-Yahoo Brad Garlinghouse as president of Internet and Mobile Communications.
Liu, who was in charge of overseeing AOL's AIM, ICQ, and more recent Lifestream social aggregator, said he was leaving to "pursue outside opportunities," but his desire to suddenly look elsewhere was most likely fueled when AOL decided to go in a different direction with Grarlinghouse.
So what's next for Liu? According to TechCrunch, Liu has a few things going on, including becoming an angel investor in startup SimpleGeo, as well as talking to private equity firms about joining as a partner in search of realtime startups. And considering Liu's history (earlier in the decade he launched and grew AOL.com's free portal to 50 million users), he shouldn't have too much trouble setting up meetings with investors.
Stronger than expected demand for microprocessors has prompted Intel to raise its Q3 forecast from $8.1 billion to $9.2 billion, and the good news is they aren’t the only ones predicting better times ahead. Both HP and Dell are forecasting Q3 revenues to rise, though this news comes hot on the heels of disappointing year to date earnings.
On Thursday, Dell reported a 23 percent drop in Q2 profit, but still managed to beat the street estimates. CEO Michael Dell claims, “if current demand trends continue, we expect revenue for the second half of the year to be stronger than the first half”.Rival Hewlett-Packard reported a similarly depressing drop in profit of 19 percent for the first half of the year, but is also expecting the trend to reverse itself soon.
The PC Industry is expected to benefit from the economic stimulus package in China, as well as what appears to be the start of an economic recovery in the U.S. Windows 7 is also expected to help move PCs in the consumer sector, but businesses will likely put off upgrading for at least a year or more.
Many financial savants grabbed their crystal balls and went into hiding when the economy went into freefall. Now that there are signs of recovery, they are again gazing into their crystal balls with renewed hope. According to many of them, including IMF’s chief economist Olivier Blanchard, the recession is behind us.
Tech honchos now believe that the IT industry would lead the recovery. According to a survey conducted by KPMG, two thirds of the 130 CEOs that were surveyed believe the IT industry would recover quicker than the US economy. Furthermore, a vast majority of CEOs feel 2010 would bring glad tidings for their industry. One can expect lesser job cuts in the near future as more than two thirds of tech bosses are not too keen on cost cutting.
It looks like Intel's Atom platform and the whole netbook craze can only do so much to stave off slumping sales. According to market analysts Gartner Group, worldwide spending on IT is expected to drop 6 percent from 2008 to $3.2 trillion in 2009. While $3.2 trillion might not sound like much to sneeze at, the 6 percent slide is almost twice as much as Gartner predicted during the first quarter.
The biggest casualty in IT spending comes to computing hardware, which is expected to drop by 16 percent. IT services and telecom spending are on track for 5.6 percent and 4.6 percent drops, while Gartner predicts software spending growth to slow by 1.6 percent.
According to Gartner, lingering global IT budget cuts and the rising U.S. dollar are both to blame.
In the end, it might be easier keeping a problematic IT administrator on board than to let him go. Top level execs take note - according to a new survey, which pinged 300 IT administrators still with a job, a staggering 88 percent admitted they would steal company secrets if they were laid off.
The information IT professionals not-yet-scorned said they'd take include the CEO's passwords, the customer database, R&D plans, financial reports, M&A plans, and the company's list of privileged passwords. And when it comes to that last one, administrators don't even need to be laid off in order to start poking around. More than a third of those surveyed claimed to have used privileged passwords to snoop on the network, look up salaries, and peek at other personnel details assumed to be private.
"Our advice is secure the most privileged data, and routinely change and manage them, so that if an employee's contract is terminated, whether sacked or made redundant, they can't maliciously play havoc inside the network or vindictively steal data for competitive or financial gain," said Udi Mokady, chief executive of security firm Cyber-Ark.
Technological trends may come and go, but every once in awhile they turn out to be more than just temporary fads. Consider that many of today's gamers weren't even born yet in the Atari 2600's heyday, yet 30 years later gaming consoles have become so popular that there exists an entire generation of FPS junkies who actually prefer lining up a headshot with a gamepad instead of using a keyboard and mouse. And speaking of videogames, let's not forget the 3D revolution sparked by the now defunct 3DFX (moment of silence).
More than just fun and games, recognizing lasting fads can prove lucrative for companies and upstarts who ride the hype, but it's not always easy predicting where PCs are headed. If we were to look back 10 years from now, what would we say were most influential technologies of the time? No need to hop into your time machine, because with the help of Gartner Inc., an information technology research and advisory company, we answer that question right now.
Hit the jump to see which of today's technologies are at the pinnacle of their hype cycle.
Be wary of the disgruntled IT guy. No really, be wary. He most likely won’t be in to gun anyone down, but he may lock you out of the computer system. That’s just what happened to the City of San Francisco. Terry Childs a network engineer who helped create the city’s new multimillion dollar FiberWan system had reportedly faced disciplinary problems at work. He is now accused of hijacking the city FiberWan system locking out all other Admins.
While the system continues to run normally, administrators can’t make changes to the framework of the system. They’ve called in experts to get into the system but it could take several weeks.
Childs first gave up a bogus password to police. He has now clammed up and is refusing to cooperate. He is currently being held in jail in lieu of $5 million bail.
San Francisco's mayor, Gavin Newsom, described Childs as a formerly well-regarded worker who had apparently turned into a "rogue employee that got a bit maniacal", "He was very good at what he did, and sometimes that goes to people's heads".
Hop online without the aid of a firewall and you may find your PC flooded with malware in only a few short minutes. Just clicking on a malicious link can be enough to infect your rig with a virus. Internet bad guys from the around the globe are constantly on the prowl for vulnerable machines waiting to be hacked, and once inside, these anonymous crooks have free reign over your personal sensitive data. But it's not just international eyes that you need to be worried about, and the person peering at your data may be closer than you think. Wondering who that might be? Click through to find out!