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Myth of Web 2.0 By Gary Beach, CIO (US) All the talk these days is about Web 2.0 and the ways business will be able to levera...

Myth of Web 2.0
By Gary Beach, CIO (US) All the talk these days is about Web 2.0 and the ways
business will be able to leverage it to foster commerce in 2006 and beyond. But
I recently had a Web 1.0 experience that was all too typical. I was visiting my
in-laws. I needed to log on to the Web and sat down at their PC to do so. I
finally got on but... it was an agonizingly slow process.
Most CIO readers have high-speed connections to the Internet at work and
probably at home too. But the experience I had at my in-laws is the norm for
your customers. In fact, according to published reports, about 70 million of
the 120 million households in America with an Internet connection log on via
telephone dial-up. Thats 70 million households and hundreds of millions of
customers for whom going online is both tedious and time-consuming.
Consequently, its not all that easy to sell them anything through the Web no
matter how user-friendly your site may be. But that could change very quickly.
Get out your pens and write down these three letters: BPL. Its a term coined
by the Federal Communications Commission and it stands for broadband over power
lines. Type BPL into your favorite search engine and learn all you can. Until
BPL came along, households had two major options for high-speed connectivity:
DSL lines from telephone companies and cable lines from cable operators. Now
BPL brings a third option that is both exciting and incredibly simple. BPL
technology has the potential to bring high-speed Internet connectivity to any
home that has a power line connected to it and is equipped with a BPL modem. It
plugs into any electrical outlet.

LINUXWORLD: Linux on desktop warming up
By John Dix, Network World (US)
Linux on the desktop is still mostly a pipe dream because few large
organizations are ready to make the switch, but that didnt seem to dampen the
enthusiasm of proponents at the LinuxWorld conference in Boston last week.
In a panel discussion on the topic, representatives from a range of vendors
said Linux on the desktop is becoming more feasible. Intel and Advanced Micro
Devices representatives, for example, pointed out that schools in South
America, India and Europe are early adopters.
And Greg Kelleher, senior program manager of IBMs Worldwide Linux Desktop
Strategy, argued that desktop Linux is perfectly appropriate for some segments
of the domestic workforce, particularly transactional workers, who typically
live in one application most of the day.
John Cherry, manager of the Desktop Linux Initiative for the Open Source
Development Labs (OSDL), told attendees his group just made available a
technology preview release of a set of common interfaces for Gnome and KDE, two
popular Linux-based desktop environments.
This is the first fruit of OSDLs Portland Project, which "intends to generate
a common set of Linux desktop interfaces and tools to allow all applications to
easily integrate with the free desktop configuration" users choose. Portland is
expected to encourage independent software vendors to step up their work on
desktop offerings.
Why adopt Linux on the desktop? In a session about migrating Windows
environments to Linux, Jon Walker, CTO of migration tool vendor Versora, listed
a handful of reasons: security, usability, cost, avoiding vendor lock-in, and
license leverage. But he cautioned buyers primarily motivated by savings to
think again: "If cost is the No. 1 reason youre looking at Linux on the
desktop, youre going to be disappointed."
A first step in any migration is choosing a Linux desktop distribution, of
which there are hundreds. Walker likes to group them by what he calls their
core philosophies: enterprise offerings include SuSE and Red Hat; pure open
source offerings such as Debian; versions that are similar to Windows such as
Xandros; and distributions known for ease of use such as Ubunut and Mepis.
Other questions to consider include applications supported, maintenance and
support offered, frequency of updates, ease of use and cost, Walker says.
Migration costs for one Versora customer with 1,500 desktops broke down this
way: macro redevelopment, 1 percent of costs; training and support, 2 percent;
indirect user expenses such as downtime and help desk calls, 46 percent; and
migration cost, 51 percent. The customer calculated an ROI of three years.
That makes desktop Linux less dream-like.

Shark Tank: IT can be a profit center
By Sharky, Computerworld (US online)
This company uses a charge-back system for IT support. And working in a field
office, one pilot fish splits his time helping out several business units and,
naturally, he keeps careful track of what gets done for whom, and for how long.
"One particular user wasnt in the office much, but one day she came in and
needed a bit of help," says fish. "That was unusual both for her and her
department. "I spent a couple of hours working on her issues, then I wrote the
charge number for the department and the service down and recorded it in our
time-capture application at the end of the month." A few weeks go by, and fish
gets a call from that users department at headquarters, asking about the
charge: "Did you do something for Marge during March? If so, what?" Fish looks
in his database, explains to the HQ staffer what he did for the user and hangs
up. Then fish logs a quarter-hour charge to the department for answering the
question category: Miscellaneous Services. A month later, theres another call.
"Did you charge my department for something?" Yes, says fish, I had to look up
my services to relate to the charges from a couple of months ago. "Are you
charging me for this time?" Yes, says fish. And thats the last call fish gets
about that departments charges.

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