Archive for January, 2010

Stripteases from your long distance lover are about to get a whole lot sweeter now that Skype has added support for 720p high definition video calls.

To take advantage of the new feature, you’ll need to download and install Skype 4.2 Beta for Windows. You’ll also need at least a 1.8GHz dual-core processor, and of course an HD webcam and broadband Internet connection.

"With HD-quality Skype video calls, we can bring our users even closer to the ones they love through an even richer, more meaningful video calling experience," said Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype. "Imagine being able to see the sparkle of your grandchild’s eyes or the setting of your best friend’s engagement ring. Through the innovation of Skype’s engineers and our hardware partners, these scenarios are now possible without having to buy expensive equipment or software."

Skype says you can expect a spate of new HD webcams to hit the scene in early 2010, including ones from faceVsion (not a typo) and Store Solutions that have been "optimized to work with Skype."

The VoIP provider also says to expect Skype-enabled HDTVs to arrive by mid-2010.

The memory market has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the tech industry, so it came as somewhat of a surprise when rumors started swirling that Kingston would go on a spending spree acquiring outsourcing partners Panram International and Orient Semiconductor Electronics (OSE). And with good reason, because as it turns out, the rumors aren’t true, or at least that’s what Kingston’s saying.

Kingston, who expects to see revenues generated from Asia reach the $1 billion milestone when all the numbers are tallied for 2009, said it will continue to work closely with contract partners, but has no plans to buy or merge with any of them.

The memory chip maker also indicated plans to increase its outsourcing to Panram and OSE instead of ramping up its in-house assembly capacity.

Image Credit: Kingston

EMC said this week it has inked a definitive agreement to purchase Kansas-based Archer Technologies, a privately held governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software vendor.

"Traditional security management focuses primarily on addressing technology issues, but our customers are telling us that their real challenges are in the areas of policy management, audit and compliance," said Art Coviello, President, RSA, The Security Division of EMC. "You can’t manage what you can’t see. The Archer solution not only offers the visibility into risk and compliance that customers need, it brings stronger policy management capabilities to the RSA portfolio. The end result is customers are able to better manage their security programs and prove compliance across both physical and virtual infrastructures, and effectively communicate to the business."

The acquisition instantly expands EMC’s GRC portfolio and enables the company to offer a broader set of IT-GRC solutions, ranging from policy orchestration and real-time security event management, EMC said.

After the deal is finalized, Archer will remain in Kansas and operate as part of EMC’s security division, RSA.

Image Credit: Archer via ZDNet

Like most of the tech industry, Microsoft had its fair share of struggles in 2009. So what does the world’s largest software vendor have to do kick off the decade on a positive note?

According to, the "disaster-free launches" of both Windows 7 and Bing could ultimately lead to greater fortunes in 2010. With regards to the recently launched OS, Microsoft (and its OEMs) are banking on companies with Windows-based IT infrastructures to use Windows 7 as an excuse to upgrade their systems, as well as upgrade to the next generation of Microsoft products.

"It looks like the Win7 inspired upgrade cycle can start in late 2010 and run through early 2013," Katherine Egbert, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., wrote in a report. "We expect new hardware purchases to precede the software upgrades by about 6 months."

Microsoft has also been positioning itself for the enterprise cloud market in 2010. The Redmond company’s Azure cloud platform is now underway, and that could prove key in what research firm Gartner says is a potential $150 billion market opportunity.

According to a recent white paper titled "The IT Complexity Crisis: Danger and Opportunity," IT failures ended up costing the global economy a whopping $6.2 trillion. Or so says Roger Sessions, a noted author on complexity who developed a model for calculating the total worldwide cost of IT failure.

For the nuts and bolts of Sessions’ formula, you can read the white paper here, but the end result is that the U.S. accounted for $1.2 trillion of the total failure, and the worldwide IT failure costs $500 billion per month, according to his calculations. However, not everyone agrees with how Sessions came about those numbers.

"Unfortunately, Sessions is fundamentally wrong in his numerical analysis, and his numbers are off by more than ‘ten or twenty percent.’ For the Federal Government alone, they are off by almost a full order of magnitude (10x)," said Bruce Webster an IT failure expert consultant.

According to Webster, Sessions made quite a few mistakes, including incorrectly interpreting government-supplied data regarding IT failure rates and associated costs, and wrongly extrapolating limited U.S. data to the remainder of the world, among other goofs.

You can read Webster’s detailed arguments here.

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