Thursday, April 29, 2010

Economic Turn around -- how good depends

As the economy starts to turn around, how good will the recovery be?  Most large companies will see the most gains in customers and revenue.  Many CIO's at large companies will see their budgets increase in the next  6 months and hiring will increase. Executives at large companies are confident that business will improve dramatically.

Along with increase budgets companies are spending money on upgrading network and server platforms especially in relation to virtualization. At smaller companies, budgets are increasing but at a slower pace. Typically  50% of small business plan on spending on information technology projects and hiring will increase at  a slower rate than their large counter parts.

As economic condition improve, depending on your sector, positioning yourself to take advantage of increase budgets and new projects can help improve your upward mobility.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Google -- America's best company

Google search and documents has revolutionized the internet. Most people use Google search to find any thing and every thing on the internet. The search engine has lead to greater profits and higher stock prices for Google. Has innovation made Google America's best company?

In many ways Google business approach is less is more has been very effective. The Google home page is very simple and loads fast, prompting users to make Google their default home page. This switch helped introduce iGoogle personalized home page and eventually Gmail. Gmail itself became a game changer because user received 1GB mailbox t no additional change and the competition has to follow suit

Google innovation has continued to lead the way with Google Apps such as: Google talk,  Adsense,  Wave, Earth, Android, and Google 411 which has evolved into the Google cloud. Google is betting a higher number of users will do business and work in the Google cloud as oppose to on their own desk top.

As more businesses move toward a collaboration platform, Google is updating Docs to be a all-in one cloud based collaboration.  Google Docs is being designed to take Microsoft office documents and convert them into Google Docs with out losing Office formatting. Supposedly, two or more people can be editing various documents with very little delay time, enhancing real time collaboration

Google Apps have proven to be stable enough for business to move their entire email systems to Google's enterprise email solution. Google email is $50 per user a year, and Docs are included.  Google Apps included email, word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation suite.

Innovation and good applications and services has made Google a success. I am currently testing Google suite of applications and will review.

Monday, April 5, 2010

How good is the IPad, really cool or just hype?

The IPad is a pretty cool device for causal browsing, responding to emails, watching Videos, but very limited if you actually want to get some work done. I would consider buying and IPad for entertainment purposes only.

The things I like about the IPad:

  • Great screen which is high definition  and how thin the device is, "remarkable".
  • Touch screen capability is very similar to the Ipad-Touch which is cool
  • I was concerned about the virtual key board, but it seems to work perfectly
  • Great convience
The things that need to be improved on the IPad:

  • The screen is overly glossy and is difficult to view in sun light and certain lighting situations
  • Lack of storage space of documents
  • Limited USB support.

Overall, nice product and good design.

Friday, April 2, 2010

How good is your credit and is your data safe?

Having good credit along with the gold plated credit card has been a good thing. The gold card gets you privileges and access to  the goods things in life, "I really have arrived"! Assuming your credit is good and has not been affected by the recession, how safe is your credit card # and data?

Based on various large security breaches, such as the infamous Heartland breach, it time to improve credit card security.

To improve the safety of consumer credit card data, Ma has implemented The Massachusetts Data Protection Law which required companies to take additional steps to secure data. These measure help in Ma, but does not solve the problem of credit card theft.

After the Heartland security breach, the House introduced the Data Breach Notification Act. The law requires persons engaged in interstate commerce and in possession of  sensitive data to disclose breach of such information.

What can be done to improve credit card security? Many other countries outside the US have implemented smart card technology. The US government must at some point, mandate credit card companies to implement smart cards. Smart card technology could have helped prevent the Heartland breach, where intruders hacked into systems used to process millions of card transactions affecting 100,000 of merchants. To prevent the data from being compromised, smart cards generate one time response to financial transaction requests from banks, so the data stream is good for one transaction.

Implementing smart cards is a must,  and transferring the liability to credit card issuers from merchants can discourage or prevent fraud. Culpability for fraud  should be determine by the courts thus giving credit card companies the incentive to implement smart cards and chip and pin technologies.

Consumers need to be responsible consumers, keep your computer security up to date, and check for virus / malware on a regular basis. Checking your credit card statements and credit reports is advisable.  Enjoy your well earned privileges, live large.