What I've read and caught up on (102906)
A sunny then rainy weekend, filled with costume making and Halloween prep. Here are a few articles from the reading file and ones I re-read during the commute last week. Thankfully, most are available for download, making it easy to save for later reading on mobile devices.
Bill Gates Gets Schooled- "Why he and other execs have struggled in their school reform efforts, and why they keep trying." By Jay Greene & William C. Symonds - June 26, 2006. Then read the follow up in the Readers Report, "What Else Bill And Melinda Need To Know," where BW readers responded to the story.
More Elbow Room On The Net - A pending upgrade will provide an almost limitless number of addresses. Nov. 6, 2006.
Net Calls Get A Better Hearing - I like Stephen Wildstrom's articles. In this one, he covers "two new products can turn your laptop into a high-quality speakerphone" (June 05, 2006): "In many situations, a quality speakerphone provides an attractive alternative. The basic designs of the ClearOne Chat 50 ($149) and the Polycom Communicator ($129, available in June) are quite similar. These allow the portable versions to function as "full-duplex" speakerphones, meaning that parties on both ends can talk at once, with very good audio quality." He preferred the Polycom for its sleek design and low price.
The View Beyond Vista - "Microsoft's monopoly on operating systems may face new competition." By Stephen H. Wildstrom - May 08, 2006. dowload the podcast here. Also see Vista Offers Brighter View for PC Gaming as "Microsoft's Rich Wickham talks about the introduction of operating system Vista and what it means for the future of the industry."
Hauling In The Hollywood Hackers- Interesting, short read on "how undercover FBI agents nab the bootleggers who threaten the movie biz." By Roger O. Crockett - May 15, 2006
Dawn Of The Idea Czar- "When the 'I' in CIO is for innovation, the post should go to a jack-of-all-trades." By Jena McGregor, April 10, 2006, who writes:
"The structure of the role varies widely: Some CIOs have sizable teams while others are more like internal consultants, and the job may be most closely tied to strategy, marketing, or R&D. But able candidates are drawn by the position's high visibility and the rewards that could accompany any successes. "If they're incubating truly new businesses, they could ultimately go run [one of them]," says Spencer Stuart consultant Cathy Anterasian. "That's very exciting."
Google's "Not Office" Launches - "Google has just launched "Docs & Spreadsheets," notes TechCrunch's Mike Arrington, one of the bloggers who got an early look. Yeah, yeah, they're not trying to do an online version of Microsoft Office. Sure. Just the next thing that could..." By Rob Hof - October 11, 2006. and...
Google Vs. Microsoft, For Real - "So Google's moving forcefully at last into the business software market, at least in a test version" with Google Apps for Your Domain. By Rob Hof - August 27, 2006
From Business 2.0
The mighty micro-multinational - The garage goes global as a new breed of startup operates worldwide in the battle for technology, talent, and customers. By Michael V. Copeland, July 28 2006.
How to hacker-proof your business - "Is the information stored by your company secure? Here's how to make sure your confidential data remains top secret." By Kevin Poulsen, October 27 2006
Microsoft's big nightmare: free online apps- "A new generation of browsers is about to make Web applications better than downloadable desktop software." By Om Malik, October 23 2006
Like, Um, You Know - by Alyssa Danigelis, 2006-05-01. "Verbal tics may be holding you back. How to identify them and overcome them. Totally."
The Future of Design - by Linda Tischler, 2006-07-01.
Fortune - free access
The big surprise is Enterprise - Quietly beating out rivals Hertz and Avis, this privately held outfit reigns as the No. 1 car-rental company in America, and the Taylor family aims to keep it on top." By Carol J. Loomis, Fortune editor at large, July 14 2006. At Enterprise, "keeping customers happy is an obsession."
The company's "Enterprise Service Quality index, or ESQi, derived from prompt follow-up phone calls to one out of every 15 Enterprise customers. The survey asks just two questions: First, on a scale ranging from "completely satisfied" to "completely dissatisfied," how would you rate your last Enterprise rental experience? Second, would you rent from Enterprise again? The answers to the first question are next compiled into an index. Each segment of the company - each branch, for example--then gets its score. And here is the kicker: If the ESQi for your bailiwick doesn't at least meet the company average, you don't - absolutely don't - get promoted."
Build It: The Ultimate Game Room - By Dan Evans and Nathan Edwards - 030106 - "Make your game room a vip room, with custom-painted PCS, a giant-screen plasma TV, an Xbox 360, and the world's first LAN scoreboard."
Smarter Homes- PC Magazine writers "take you inside three of the smartest homes in America to show you what they've done and how they did it. We also give you DIY tips and product recommendations for creating your own high-tech habitat."
From Forbes.com (subscription/registration sometimes required)
Move Into the Light - August 14, 2006, By David Armstrong - "Philips finally figured out how to make money selling TVs in the U.S. Credit a funky backlight--and a stern threat from the boss."
Is The Internet Out Of Room? - April 11, 2006. A look at the move to IPv6.