09/23/08

Green IT

urban sprawl - Yann Gourvennecs Antimuseum

urban sprawl - Yann Gourvennec's Antimuseum

(by Stewart Baines) A green baseline is critical if IT leaders want to transform their IT estate, reckons analyst Forrester. Its new report, “Is Green IT Your Emperor with No Clothes?” argues that what you can’t control you can’t measure. In other words, if you don’t know how much power a PC consumes, or what the cooling costs are for your data centre, you will struggle to create a strategic plan to reduce the footprint of either.

09/23/08

new htc internet phone dubbed ‘iphone killer’ by msa

Google Phonemsa solutions UK has this story about a preview of this brand new htc smartphone/pda which is dubbed by the Internet site as the ‘iphone killer’.

The new htc internet phone has a touch screen too but they haven’t forgotten about the slide-out keyboard, an htc specialty known to all the Taiwanese manufacturers’ fans (note: I own an htc 7500 advantage ultra mobile pc)

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09/15/08

ROI study sheds light on conference benefits (2)

This is part two of our article on web conferencing ROI based on the Frost & Sullivan and WebEx document dedicated to the return on investment for web conferencing services.

In part one of this article
, we have established that the main benefits which can be derived from web conferencing are not forcibly those that seemed obvious at first sight.  The prominence of the productivity factor is obvious.

However, one still has to build a business case around that and try and estimate how much productivity can be derived from the usage of this ICT tool, and what impact it can have on either sales, profits, or even other business factors such as the investment of this productive time into other activities which in turn can generate either more revenue and profits or even lead to a leaner organisation.

> read on at this address on the Business Value & ICT blog

09/10/08

business value and ICT blog now open!

A brand new Orange Business Live blog dedicated to business value and ICT has just been made available to the worldwide community of readers and possibly contributors. A registration form will soon be made available in order to enable users to engage in passionate discussions online on the subject of the impact of ICT on business.

the business value & ICT blog

This blog is about creating business value from ICT and provides a focal point for passionate discussions about how information and communications technology can bring actual value to your business. The blog is structured around seven topics (see bottom of the page) ranging from application performance to unifying communications. Subjects such as the impact of ICT on business, ROI calculations for communications services, and golden rules for new ICT transformation projects will be tackled. Our pool of authors will grow over time and new members are welcome to join as writers for the Orange Business Live blog.

read on at this address

09/10/08

ROI study sheds light on web conferencing business business benefits (1)

it’s not just GREEN IT …

It’s not just with Green IT that ROI calculations are a must. Conferencing is very much at the centre of most discussions on that topic at the moment. I believe that Cisco’s much touted launch of its new telepresence system a couple of years ago has been very instrumental in putting conferencing – and video conferencing in particular – on top of the business agenda. The recent interest in environmental issues  (as in our new CO2 saving tool)  – no longer disconnected from business – has also triggered an outstanding revival in the conferencing market. Similarly, the accelerating pace of globalisation and the fact that business teams are now increasingly scattered across different regions is no longer a subject for the likes of Charles Handy (who warned us more than 13 years ago that virtual organisations were our future) but a reality that almost all knowledge employees have to live with and a potential opportunity that the most nimble of us can leverage. No doubt then that the demand for conferencing tools is rising.

09/3/08

Google Chrome real thin client: the fat Firefox killer

         

browser war (one more time)

 

 

 

 When I first heard of the release of Google Chrome I thought that this was probably one browser too many. When I tried it this morning (I’m writing with it now) I was really amazed at the simplicity and – above all – lightning fast display of the new Google browser. Besides, there are interesting features like window drag and drop, the ‘most visited’ page and ‘recent bookmarks’ box which are automatically updated when you open a new tab, its ‘full screen always’ mode and many others. 

Above all, it’s a no frill, and incredibly quick browser, straightforward and – eventually – a really thin client. So much so that I then started to wonder whether it was really Miscrosoft who had to fear Google’s new release or rather Firefox. The once preferred browser of many a geek and Web enthusiast – including yours truly – has been enhanced with piles of new functionality, addons, skins and such like until it became hardly usable. Now, my Firefox 3 browser loads far slower than my IE7 and sometimes it freezes my PC to a point that I have to kill it and start IE to browse the web. The final straw I should say.  Besides, many sites aren’t displayed properly with Firefox, a bug which never was corrected and is now wearing thick (the useful IETab addon can somewhat circumvent that problem, but only to an extent and besides, it contributes to the bulk of Firefox).
As per the question raised by ZDnet (see linked article at the bottom of this post and here) I don’t think that Google Chrome is an IE killer (IE still accounts for more than 80% of usage) but I would certainly rate it as a potential Firefox killer. At the end of the day, Google Chrome is promising not because of its development kit or any such complex features but because it delivers on the real and fundamental promise of the long awaited but never seen thin client. And one can remember 1997 and the way that Google killed Yahoo! in no time not just because its search engine and indexing was superior, but because it had managed to strip its user interface of all the unnecessary bells and whistles. 
Google Chrome is Google’s back to basics browser and therefore I think it has a good chance of succeeding. Now the next question is: Is Google Chrome the future Android browser for mobiles? Wait and see, we’re thrilled!

 

09/1/08

Google’s privacy threat? not so serious Guardian says

Google – Privacy Threats

Google is big. And getting bigger. In the online advertising world they have now become unavoidable and so far they suffer no rivalry. They are also projecting to take over  competitor doubleclick but the merger is still under investigation. Grossman’s point in this article is that Google obviously has all the means to massage piles of data about users and usage patterns and even do evil things with them but that Google doesn’t have an obvious vested interest in using this data in the wrong way, or rather that it has yet to be proven that it has. To put it in her words: “And shouldn’t the company actually commit the crime before we punish it?”. In other words, a lot of our fears around privacy are more related to rumour than fact. I think she has a very good point.

09/1/08

reverse innovation: Orange’s Liveradio example

Orange's revolutionary Liveradio

Orange

online TV and radio: two revolutionary ways of staying tuned

Here are two interesting innovations I’d recommend. It’s not every day you buy a product and once you’ve unwrapped it you think that it’s made your day.  It’s not every day you buy a product and switch it on and find out that it works well and that you are ready to use it and feel quite exhilarated.  It’s not every day you fulfil a requirement at €129 (£99 UK price). And this is exactly what happened last Saturday when I went to buy Orange’s Liveradio, an Internet radio that works — and works well — is user-friendly and doesn’t force you to switch on your computer.  Who would want to do that when one has just woken up, is hardly awake, and poring one’s cornflakes in a bowl.  I am not even mentioning fighting one’s computer addiction which is one of the major drawbacks of having to work in computers all day long. Liveradio is selling like hot cakes in France and has also been introduced in England.  At the end of the day what is willing revolutionary about it is not its website which you may want to use to configure your radio, although it works reasonably well.  What is revolutionary is that this appliance is well and truly a computer but you can’t see it and don’t have bear its flaws.  In essence it is sort of innovation in reverse.  Instead of having a radio plugged or emulated by a computer, it’s a computer that is integrated and hidden within the body of a radio, that is to say a computer with fewer functionality but just the basic functionality that a radio needs. Its menus are versatile and customisable and you can browse the radios much more easily by using the simple straightforward jog dial than using a mouse on a computer.

At the end of the day, Liveradio is the only way to listen to France Inter in England or the BBC in France, or any other combination of countries/radios.  It’s a very comfortable and no hassle way of using Internet radios.  Similar products exist or will be produced and made available soon, but they are  not so many and not so easily available.  One could also recommend Liveradio to that group of strangely eccentric fanatics of FIP radio, a 70′s style music-only Paris-based channel belonging to Radio France. This group of fans is based in Brighton and they are constantly fighting to gain access to it from across the Channel.

Another revolutionary online entertainment option is that of watching Internet TV on one’s mobile, and this is not fiction, it does work well. I found it on a French Geek’s blog and I can advise a very good link to sky News here.  The link to the BBC doesn’t work though, unfortunately.  French TV channels all work well with 3G/3G+ for what they’re worth.

We are just a few months/years away from mobile entertainment anywhere, any time for the masses and it’s not difficult to imagine what kind of sociological changes will be triggered by such technologies which will enable you to connect at any time in any place.