Stories by Thomas Hoffman

  • Union Pacific Railroad ditches its mainframe for SOA

    At the heart of Union Pacific Corp.'s railroad operations is an IBM mainframe-based transportation control system that's been chugging along like a hardworking locomotive for nearly 40 years. According to industry experts, it was a pioneering system when first introduced, and it made the Omaha-based transportation giant one of the first companies in the world to make extensive use of online transaction processing technologies.

  • Riding the curve

    Technologies that might seem passé at some organizations are considered quite cutting-edge at others. Here's a look at a pest control company and a local government agency that are pushing the envelope in their respective industries.

  • BT's Web 2.0 security strategy

    In 2006, just as the first tweet was being Twittered, BT Global Services launched an effort to keep its customers and 112,000 employees safe in a new world of Web-based communities and other interactive sites.

  • Q&A: Nicholas Carr on 'the big switch' to cloud computing

    During his keynote speech at the Society for Information Management's SIMposium 08 conference in the US, author Nicholas Carr drew an analogy between cloud computing and the transition that manufacturers made from generating their own power to relying on utilities in the early 20th century.

  • Storage virtualization: The skills you need

    As companies are diving deeper into virtualized storage projects, IT managers are getting a better understanding of the staff skills they need to make those projects succeed. The exact talents required depend on the type of storage implementation, but most employers say they're in the market for two kinds of IT worker: technicians with vendor-specific SAN or NAS knowledge, and systems administrators and IT architects who understand the complexities and interdependencies among applications, operating systems and I/O, all of which affect storage requirements.

  • Eyeing IT spin-offs through an R&D lens

    Venture capitalists hail from all different backgrounds. Many are investment bankers or entrepreneurs; some are even former journalists. David Tennenhouse, a recent entrant into the venture capital world, hails from the research and development trenches. Tennenhouse is a former vice president and director of R&D at Intel Corp. He also previously worked as director of the Information Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and as DARPA's chief scientist. In addition, he has taught at MIT.

  • Advice on protecting kids from online predators

    The numbers are downright frightening: One in five U.S. teenagers who regularly log onto the Internet say they have received unwanted sexual solicitations via the Web, according to the U.S. Crimes Against Children Research Center. And, the center says, 25 percent of children have been exposed to pornographic material online.

  • IBM executive explains company's buying spree

    IBM has been on an acquisition spree, having recently snapped up DataMirror, a data management vendor in Markam, Ontario; Princeton Softech, a data archiving company in Princeton, New Jersey; and Watchfire, a Web application security provider in Waltham, Massachusetts. Computerworld US' Thomas Hoffman talked with Deborah Magid, director of software strategy at IBM's Venture Capital Group in Menlo Park, California, about the company's strategy.

  • Survey: Most corporate boards neglect IT issues

    Although many corporate board members believe that IT strategy is important, most directors admit that they don't pay adequate attention to information technology issues, according to a study slated to be released next week by Deloitte Consulting.

  • EDS pushing massive IT retraining effort

    Electronic Data Systems (EDS) has embarked on a mammoth retraining program aimed at providing 20,000 of its 87,000 technical workers with updated business and technology skills by the end of this year.

  • Running IT like a business isn't easy, executives say

    Ask any small business owner, and they will tell you that starting and running a business takes a massive amount of work. Some IT executives who are trying to run their IT operations like a business are beginning to discover the same thing.