Stories by Frank Hayes

  • Sure the Cloud's insecure; it's like everything else

    Worried about security in the cloud? Fret over this instead: Last month, a hacker surfaced who claimed he can sell access to more than a dozen government, military and university Web sites all cracked easily because of bad programming.

  • The cloud issue you really can't ignore

    Maybe it's time to rethink the cloud. Yeah, I know -- at this point, most IT shops haven't thought through the cloud the first time. But Microsoft's recent troubles keeping its cloud services available to users shine a harsh light on the issue of cloud availability and reliability.

  • Vista vs. money

    To Vista or not to Vista? If that’s the question, the answer is money. Microsoft would really, really like IT shops to quit waffling and start migrating to the latest version of Windows. After all, Vista has been out for years now. It’s stable. It’s secure. The new software has even been paid for already under many volume licences.

  • Energy efficiency that saves pennies a day won't fly

    Fifty cents. That's how much U.S. businesses could save by shutting down all their PCs at night and on weekends, <a href="">according to a study released last month (download file)</a> by the <a href="">Alliance to Save Energy</a>. Of course, that's not how the report headlined it. <a href="">The alliance's number was US$2.8 billion</a> per year.

  • More Than a List

    Oh, not again. Last week, the SANS Institute and Mitre released yet another list of the most serious programming errors that break software security. And this time, SANS and Mitre got dozens of other organizations to sign on, including Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Tata, Symantec, the US Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

  • For Microsoft, the pain is just starting

    Microsoft cuts 5,000 jobs. That's the big news of the week. Not just because the layoffs will cut one in 20 of Microsoft's 91,000 employees. Not only because it signals just how hard Microsoft has been hurt by the failure of Vista and by shifts in the way big customers license and use software. Not even because of the grim sign it represents for the rest of the IT industry.

  • Data breach target: You

    Heard about a competitor's security being breached? Then you're probably next. In fact, you may already be owned.

  • Grokking SCO's demise

    The SCO Group 's US$5 billion threat against Linux is effectively finished. On Friday, Aug. 10, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled that SCO doesn't actually own the copyrights that it was using to threaten -- and in some cases, sue -- Linux users.

  • Fix your flawed DNS -- Now!

    If you're a hard-core IT security wonk, you already know about this. If not, go to right now and click on the button that says "Check my DNS." That will run a simple test to tell you whether your name server appears to be vulnerable to DNS cache poisoning.

  • RFID redux

    Let's talk about RFID. But first, let's imagine the Internet as it might be. Suppose every ISP required its users to buy only its own brand of modem. And use only its own proprietary Web browser. And connect only to Web sites certified by the ISP to work with that modem and Web browser.

  • 'Office' politics and the XML file format fight

    OK, try to follow this: Microsoft has spent the past two years slamming its Open XML file format through the process to make it an international standard. Along the way, there's been arm-twisting, committee-packing, bribery and other chicanery. But by last week, Microsoft was one step away from success.

  • HP+EDS means trouble for IT

    How many heads will roll at EDS? That's the obvious question, now that Hewlett-Packard is buying the company. A back-of-the-envelope calculation says that at least half the employees of HP+EDS are in services, but they generate only one-third of the revenue. Conclusion: Up to 50 per cent of them will get the chop.

  • Frankly Speaking: Microsoft's woes like IBM's of old

    Gartner says Windows is "collapsing." Well, sure. Strictly speaking, Windows itself isn't in a state of collapse -- Windows XP is still useful to a huge population of customers. But for Vista and the Windows franchise as a whole, things do not look good.

  • Pick a winner: 6 reasons why HD DVD should have won

    Well, that was quick. Last week, consumer electronics giant Toshiba announced it was pulling the plug on its high-definition video disc format, HD DVD. Within days, Toshiba's partners announced that they were now Blu-ray shops, and HD DVD players and movies were reduced to fire-sale prices.

  • Corporate IT gone wrong

    The mess at Societe Generale is still unravelling. The big French bank took a $US7 billion loss last month because of a rogue trader, and government investigators are continuing to spot new problems in the bank's story that it was all the fault of one greedy computer genius, financial trader gone wrong. Think this has nothing to do with corporate IT? Think again.