Stories by Shane Schick

Dell PowerEdge 12G server takes aim at HP Proliant

Dell on Monday took shots at rival HP and made a further effort to reposition itself beyond its roots as a PC manufacturer with the release of its 12th generation blade, rack and tower PowerEdge servers along with native 10 Gigabit Ethernet support across its servers, storage and networking products.

Canadian government hit by foreign hackers

Malicious hackers who may be based in China managed to fool Canadian federal IT staff into providing access to government computers, leading to severe Internet restrictions at Treasury Board and the Finance Department, <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2011/02/16/pol-weston-hacking.html"><u>CBC News reported</u></a> late Wednesday.

The strange afterlife of AltaVista

When the Microsoft bid for Yahoo broke a week ago, I decided to brave the snowstorm that had blanketed Toronto to go talk about the implications on CBC Newsworld. They asked the standard questions: Why Microsoft was making this move, what would it mean for the search market, and so on. I knew in advance what the last question would be, but I surprised myself with the answer.

What's in store for Google's GDrive?

Whatever Google offers with the GDrive -- assuming it ever actually comes out with the GDrive -- it's got to be better than having everyone in the enterprise working off the F drive. Although it may go by other names in specific companies, the F drive refers to that shared dumping ground where everything seems to end up. This includes meeting notes, annual reports and even expense form templates. According to a story in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Google will soon offer an online service that acts as a repository for such data. Makes sense: if you're going to offer tools for enterprise search, as Google is doing, it helps if users have something to search through. The business users most likely to adopt GDrive would be the same kinds of firms that have adopted its Enterprise Apps suite. In other words, smaller organizations or departments in larger ones that have more web-savvy employees with particular preferences around user interface and availability. Google's main limitation, as always, is its die-hard tether to the browser. It won't let you access what's stored in the GDrive offline, even though a lot or work still happens without an Internet connection being activated. Even as an online-only offering, it may be hard for Google to compete with Microsoft. Besides the &quot;Skydrive&quot; Microsoft offers as part of its Live.com services, it also has SharePoint. Yes, it's a portal product, but we've also talked to Canadian customers who told us they used it to move all the data that would normally be in the F drive anyway. When it's something like personal e-mail, users are quite happy to use up tons of storage, and Google pushed the rest of the industry to increase the limit on what was accepted by an online provider. In a business context, though, is Google prepared to handle terabytes? And even if it is, are companies prepared to have terabytes stored virtually on Google? There may be an image problem here: storing data on Google kind of feels like putting it in the middle of a public park. The company would need to emphasize not only the search capabilities of the GDrive but also the security it will use to protect the data. And unless it partners with someone, Google has no proprietary security technology that anyone knows about. If you consider the state of offline storage today, the need for better availability and search is clearly there. It's why companies like EMC are being successful with content-addressable products (and probably why EMC recently acquired online storage provider Berkley Data Systems for US$75 million in September). It's why Symantec has been offering e-discovery tools to sift through data stored on Veritas products. These are the kind of heavy-duty chores enterprises care about. It's different than storing your personal MP3s, and Google will have to prove it understands that. Human nature plays a part in all this, of course. No matter how sophisticated the technology, there's something impermanent about storing something online than on disk or in a box you can touch and feel. That perception may be the GDrive's biggest hurdle. That, and the F drive.

Why Oracle is finally going after BEA

If you're a technology firm and you're acquired by another company, you must have been doing something right. In BEA's case, an offer to be acquired by Oracle suggests the company might have been doing things a little too right.

The Skype is falling

I guess written apologies are supposed to be more thoughtful, but in this case, you think someone at Skype could have called.

Ballmer saves Ozzie from black eye

It's a good thing Ray Ozzie had Steve Ballmer backing him up, because Ray Ozzie wears glasses and Microsoft's investors sound like they're ready to hit a guy with glasses right about now.

Open beta attempt to boost AIX

IBM is trying to promote the next version of its Unix operating system variant by opening up the beta testing program to any customer or developer who wants to kick the tires.

You haven't Hurd the half of it

I don't think he mentioned the term "dog food" in his keynote speech at HP's Technology Forum and Expo in Las Vegas this week, but that's obviously what Mark Hurd is preparing to feed his employees.