Stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

  • Oracle, still clueless about security

    Oracle Chief Security Officer Mary Ann Davidson let loose a long rant about people who dare to look into the security of the company’s products. Oracle quickly backed away from those remarks, but has it faced up to the fact that its CSO has some wrongheaded notions about her own area of expertise?

  • For Linux, Supercomputers R Us

    Supercomputers are serious things, called on to do serious computing. They tend to be engaged in serious pursuits like atomic bomb simulations, climate modeling and high-level physics. Naturally, they cost serious money. At the very top of the latest <a href="http://www.top500.org/">Top500</a> supercomputer ranking is the Tianhe-2 supercomputer at China's National University of Defense Technology. It cost about $390 million to build.

  • What does HP think it's doing?

    Winston Churchill once said of Russia, "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." Now, I don't deal with international politics. I just write about technology. But when I've looked at HP lately I've been left thinking of its strategy as, well, "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."

  • iOS 8 hate

    Enough is enough. Apple's iOS 8 mobile operating system came out in mid-September. Since then, the company has delivered seven -- count 'em, seven -- patch releases, and iOS 8 still doesn't work that well. Argh!

  • Pulling net neutrality from a swamp of lies

    On Feb. 26, the Federal Communications Commission voted, along strict party lines, to <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2889261/fcc-approves-net-neutrality-rules-reclassifies-broadband-as-utility.html">approve new net neutrality rules</a> by reclassifying broadband as a regulated public utility. So does that save the Internet or lock it up in a bureaucratic, censored, expensive prison?

  • Chromebooks spank Windows

    Last summer Microsoft talked its partners into trying to stop the growing popularity of Chromebooks in its tracks by making a big push during the holiday season. While full retail results won't be in for a while, we do know the laptop sales results from the most important retailer of them all, Amazon. Guess what. With that retailer at least, Microsoft and its buddies failed. Miserably.

  • 2015: The year the Internet crashes. Hard.

    An Internet joke that goes back at least to the early 1980s consists entirely of the phrase: "<a href="http://catb.org/jargon/html/I/Imminent-Death-Of-The-Net-Predicted-.html">Imminent Death of the Net Predicted</a>!" Every year, even more often than you'd hear "This will be the year of the Linux desktop!" someone would predict that the Internet was going to go to hell in a handbasket -- and nothing happened. This year it's my turn, but I fear I'm going to be proved right.

  • Microsoft will surprise in 2015

    You may have noticed that I take a rather cynical view of Microsoft. But I think I am able to recognize when it does good things. As a matter of fact, I think the company made some smart moves in 2014, and it's going to benefit from them in 2015.

  • At Microsoft, quality seems to be job none

    I actually had been feeling <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2845313/say-hi-to-windows-8-2-er-10.html">optimistic about Windows 10</a>. No, really. You can look it up. I mean, I didn't think Windows 10 was the greatest thing since the advent of the Internet, but it did strike me as a solid replacement for the lamentable Windows 8.

  • Say hi to Windows 8.2 -- er, 10

    <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2476464/microsoft-windows/did-microsoft-just-admit-windows-8-is-its-worst-operating-system-ever-.html">Windows 8 is quite possibly the worst</a> desktop operating system that Microsoft ever released. Since Windows 8 is going up against such all-time flop-a-doodles as Vista and Windows ME, that's saying something.