Altocloud Receives $2 Million Funding and Launches Predictive Communications Platform for Online Sales

The year is still young, but it is already a busy one for software startup, Altocloud. The Mountain View, California company just announced $2 million seed funding and the commercial availability of its predictive communications platform for customer sales and engagement. The funding, led by Delta Partners, Digicel Group and ACT Venture Capital, brings Altocloud’s total funding to $3 million. Altocloud's new platform intelligently identifies the optimal online visitors and delivers tailored chat, voice, video and content so customers get the information and help they need at exactly the right moment.  

Opinion: Technology is no longer a disruptive force

When Google announced in 2012 that they were bringing Google Fiber to Kansas City, my father called me and said he was interested. As an information technologist, I was excited. I told the “old man” that Google Fiber was going to change everything. Last month, Google Fiber finally came to my parents' neighborhood, and I made the six-hour drive to visit the house I grew up in.

I do not like the word Smart

I was reading an article this morning regarding the use of ARM-based chips in a number of devices including "smartbooks". It appears the industry would like you to now call those smaller and less powerful laptop computers a smartbook instead of netbook.

To describe these devices as a smartbook is idiotic marketing for two reasons. First, "netbook" is a term that has been around for two years and most people today recognize the term being applied to smaller sized notebooks. When you hear the question, "What is a smartbook?" it seems very natural to just answer by replying, "a smartbook is a netbook". Secondly, I have to say it's very moronic (worse than ironic) to call a dumbed-down notebook a smartbook. At least when you say "smartphone" it is in reference to increased functionality over the traditional mobile phone and not less functionality.

I do not like the word "smart" being attached to devices and applications that are far from actually being intelligent on their own. Is marketing that insecure in the devices they're selling that they need to attach the word "smart" to cover up their own lack of intelligence? I have a theory that any time we attach the word "smart" to software or devices it is inviting doom into our lives.

Dell releasing the Mini 12 netbook this week?

Last year, I started looking for a linux laptop and ended up just migrating my old Windows laptop over to Ubuntu Linux.  Since my personal preference is for smaller sized laptops, I have also been keeping an eye on the new low-cost netbooks.  Currently, I'm leaning toward the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 with Ubuntu already installed.  However, my personal sweet spot for a laptop seems to be in the 10 to 12 inch range.

Today, at Dell.com I came across reference to a yet to be released Inspiron Mini 12 (1210)!  While there have been rumors circulating on the Web that Dell will be introducing a 12.1 inch Mini netbook or (and) E Slim, I don't think anyone has reported seeing actual references of the Inspiron Mini 12 at Dell.com.  Until now!  Perhaps we'll be seeing the Inspiron Mini 12 released this week or possibly next week?  If the price is reasonable and Ubuntu is available, this Mini 12 will be my next notebook.

Windows XP SP3, Internet Explorer 6, and Complacency

Microsoft has never said that they would drop support for Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) after the release of Windows XP Service Pack 3. However, I've often wondered if it would be to Microsoft's advantage, as well as beneficial to their customers, if they did drop the IE6 support. With Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) now the status quo for most non-Enterprise users of Windows and IE8 development underway, what better opportunity is there to end support for IE6 than now?

There is no question that Microsoft is supporting IE6 in the next service pack. Jane Maliouta, Microsoft's Deployment Project Manager for IE8, addressed IE6 support with XP SP3 in an IEBlog post on IE and Windows XP SP3.

XPSP3 will continue to ship with IE6 and contains a roll-up of the latest security updates for IE6. If you are still running Internet Explorer 6, then XPSP3 will be offered to you via Windows Update as a high priority update. You can safely install XPSP3 and will have an updated version of IE6 with all your personal preferences, such as home pages and favorites, still intact.

So the question remains, just how long does Microsoft plan to support this 7 year old browser? From as near as I can tell, support for Internet Explorer 6 is tied to the life cycle of the Windows XP operating system. Mainstream support for Windows XP is currently dated to end in April 14, 2009. So that means Internet Explorer 6 will have been on the desktop for more than eight years! While enterprises may take comfort that product support for Windows XP and IE6 has lasted so long, consumers and the rest of the world have since moved on with the changing world.

Social Publishing Systems to topple the CMS

You and I have a dirty little secret. Many of the Web applications that we call content management systems (Web CMS) are not really content management systems. Huh? A lot of this confusion stems from the difficulty most of us have in answering what should be a simple question, what is a content management system? Scott Abel, The Content Wranger, has noted in previous comments that one of the problems in discussions about content management is that we really lack a common definition of CMS.

I loved my Commodore 64

As a teenager in the 1980's, I mowed lawns for three reasons. I mowed lawns to save money for college. I mowed lawns for spending money on the weekends. Finally, I mowed lawns to buy the Commodore Vic-20 and eventually I purchased the Commodore 64. I was neither envious of the school's Apple II's nor my neighbor's TI-99/4A. I had a Commodore 64 and I was cool even before geeks were cool.

Virtually impressed with Microsoft

I usually spend my weekends writing a few drafts for articles that I'm going to post for CMS Report. The idea is that I'm not competing with the hectic pace I usually find myself in during the weekdays.  Well, I found myself distracted from the usual writing endeavor for two reasons: 1) Microsoft's Virtual PC 2007 and 2) the snow finally melting leaving a nice warm weekend to be outside.  Needless to say, not much time was spent with the computer.  However, let's talk about Microsoft and something they finally did right.

A focus lately has been on the fact that you can run Windows inside of an Apple Mac through virtualization.  What the commercials don't talk about is that you can also run the same type of software, such as Parallels, to also run the Linux OS inside your Mac.  Since Microsoft Windows and Linux are the primary operating systems I use at work, the ability to run the two operating systems together is of interest to me.  In fact that interest is so great that for the first time in a decade I've been considering to buy a Mac at home.

During the past five years I've been dual-booting between Windows and Linux on my PCs both at home and work.  However, there are inconveniences with dual-booting due to the the constant need to reboot your machine to get to the other operating system.  This better method is virtualization and something Apple has been promoting the past year or so to lure in Windows users to their computers.  Now Microsoft's free Virtual PC has arrived and I think it is about to change my world.

The New Workforce: Millennials (Generation Y) in your Organization

In late 2006 and early 2007, a resurgence of articles began focused on the generation of workers entering the workforce after Generation X. This generation, born after 1980, has also been called other names including Generation Y, the Millennials, and Generation Next. As it has always been, organizations must continue to learn and adapt when generational changes take place in the work force. The next generation of workers now entering the organization promises to "rewrite" the rules for those of us in information technology.

Big Blue, Drupal, and Open Source

The online magazine CMS Wire recently posted an article titled, "Feeling Blue, IBM Courting Drupal". In the article, author Scott Frangos writes:

Hot off the gossip wire: IBM is falling for Drupal. Hmmmm. ECM leader IBM has developed a series of nine tutorials for Open Source CMS Drupal. And as it turns out, Drupal runs rather well on IBM Linux servers while plugged-into IBM’s DB2 Express-C database. The final tutorial covers just exactly how to do that.