YEAR IN REVIEW: August 2010

IBM Canada’s E.X.I.T.E. Technology camp for girls celebrated its 10th anniversary of showing 11 to 13 year olds that science is fun and exciting. 

The vice-president of a Vancouver-based mobile development shop said the addition of the Webkit browser in the Blackberry 6 operating system is a huge move for RIM that could bring it closer to Apple in creating advanced applications

The persistent expectations gap between IT and C-level executives got a thorough airing by a Toronto panel. One member said it’s an organizational problem, while another suggested it’s a matter of communications.

The highly criticized publication of classified military documents on WikiLeaks shouldn’t close the door on information sharing in government, a former director of the CIA told a reporter. 

The country’s new wireless startups are private entities, so figuring out how successful they’ve been isn’t easy. But one industry analyst figured Wind Mobile had signed up 100,000. There were disputes, however, about the progress of Public Mobile and Mobilicity. 

Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd stepped down after a company investigation found he had violated the company’s standard for business conduct in his personal relationship with a former contractor. 

Security was Research In Motion’s byword, but not for some countries. RIM was forced to begin talks with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia over demands for more control over the handset maker’s communications network. 

If homes can be prefabricated, why not data centres? Hewlett-Packard agrees, arguing it can build data centre faster and more cheaply by using standard, pre-built components in “quads.” Sort of like Lego, the company said.

Every technologies gets an upgrade, but a B.C. equipment maker said enterprises shouldn’t get too caught up in the buzz over USB 3.0 because the technology won’t  bring many benefits to business devices.

Discounting wireless prices and handsets has intensified since the launch of new cellular companies, but an executive at Wind Mobile’s biggest shareholder promised said the Canadian wireless startup won’t start a price war.

When two giants start slugging each other, watch out. Oracle Corp. began a lawsuit against Google Inc., alleging its Android smart phone software infringes on Oracle Java patents and copyrights. In reply, Google called the action “baseless” and vowed to fight back.

For his part Java founder James Gosling said the lawsuit was about ego, money and power.

How important is social media in organizations? Nearly 90 per cent of small and medium-sized Canadian companies believe they have an impact on the organization. But a survey suggested IT managers aren’t the ones driving the company’s strategy.

With Apple’s iPad flying off store shelves, a second rumour surfaced that the company would launch a smaller version of the device by Chrismas. 

Many North American jurisdictions have forbidden car drivers from using wireless phones unless they are plugged into a hands-free device. But what about accessing the apps on the phone? An Ontario transportation official told readers what to look for.

Intel caught the industry by surprise in announcing a deal to buy security software company McAfee Inc. for US$7.7 billion to help secure devices powered by the chipmaker’s silicon. Bloggers quickly took sides, some saying Intel should stick to licencing McAfee technology, while others saw the logic in the deal. 

Dell found out the hard way that a deal isn’t a deal until everyone signs. It thought it was going to by virtualization storage maker 3Par. Then Hewlett-Packard elbowed its way into the party, triggering a furious bidding war. Within days Dell had made a counter-bid, only to be outflanked by HP again.

A second carrier in Sweden launched a wireless network using the superfast LTE technology, with plans to offer service in 218 communities by the end of 2011. 

In the middle of its bidding war with Dell over 3Par, HP found another company to buy: Stratavia, which makes database and application automation software. 

Nortel Networks, which has been under bankruptcy protection since January, 2009, continued trying to sell assets by coming up with a tentative deal to sell its multi-service switch line to PSP Holding LLC.   

In a major win for independent Internet providers, the federal telecom regulator ruled incumbent local exchange carriers like BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada and Telus Corp. have to give ISPs wholesale access to their new – and fast — fibre networks for resale. However, the incumbents can charge ISPs 10 per cent more than their own costs. Analysts wonder if that will drag out negotiations.

A day later the regulator again ruled against Bell, this time over its plan to offer rural communities in Ontario and Quebec wireless Internet access instead of DSL over phone lines. The ruling was part of a decision okaying the dispersal of $730 million in funds that had been held for rural broadband.

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