As if Apple wasn't having enough problems with its launch of MobileMe, its usually reliable friend Walt Mossberg has recommended that people stay far away from the service.
Mossberg's review on All Things Digital doesn't even take into account the service outages that have many former .Mac users up in arms over their inability to access e-mail. In his view, "it's a great idea, but, as of now, MobileMe has too many flaws to keep its promises."
MobileMe does more than just give you e-mail: it's designed to let you access your contacts, calendars, and bookmarks from any computer connected to the Internet. One flaw that bothered Mossberg was the fact that while changes made to one of those applications on an iPhone sync instantly, changes made on the Dell PCs and Macs he used in his testing synced in 15-minute intervals. Apple has acknowledged that issue and says it's working on a fix.
But the main issue seems to be that MobileMe is sluggish and buggy, according to Mossberg. Web pages load very slowly, synchronization with Microsoft's Outlook e-mail software seems problematic, and manual refreshes were required to make changes appear inside calendar appointment.
The MobileMe mail problems don't seem to have been fixed, although Apple is still claiming that only 1 percent of all MobileMe users are affected. While that's indeed a pressing problem, Mossberg's experience is enough to make you wonder if Apple's a bit over its head trying to run a cloud computing service.
As an aside, an informal poll of the CNET staff could not turn up the last Apple product that Mossberg flat-out panned. The closest we came was the original Motorola Rokr phone , which to be fair, nobody liked .
digg_url = 'http://digg.com/2008_us_elections/Psst_Barack_Obama_will_text_you_his_veep_details';
In one of his recent-- and subsequently parodied --attack ads on U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, Republican John McCain accused his rival of being too much of a celebrity and not enough of a political leader.
That was what I first thought of upon learning that the Obama campaign has instituted text-message alerts to inform supporters of the candidate's choice for vice presidential running mate.
So this way, if you're OMG OMG TOTALLY DESPERATE to learn whom Obama has chosen for his veep, you can sign up and learn the moment it's announced--even before anybody Twitters it . The timing seems a little bit awkward, considering the whole Paris Hilton ad debacle. Text-message alerts for Obama's vice president assumes the sort of eager anticipation generally reserved for the second or two of Best Picture envelope-opening at the Oscars, or the naming of the Brangelina brood's latest member. You know, celebrity .
On the other hand, this could net the Obama campaign quite a few more e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers for its Rolodex of supporters. And text message initiative like this is an appeal to the Britney generation, the hordes of young supporters who have grown up drinking a highly caffeinated blend of AIM and the E! network, and who don't see the slightest problem with applying the rhetoric and strategy of celebrity infatuation to national politics. That's the crowd who made Obama into a "celebrity."
And, come to think about it, if TMZ-inspired campaigning has reinvigorated public interest in the nation's future, I don't see anything wrong with that. But I'll pass on the text message, Barack. I can wait until it shows up on Google News.
SAP on Tuesday sent out a notice to employees that the deck chairs will be realigned following its megamerger with Business Objects, according to sources close to the company.
SAP's business user organization, which is responsible for information worker and organizational performance applications, will be moved over to Business Objects, the sources said.
In some ways, that should come as no surprise.
SAP, as part of its $6.8 billion Business Objects merger announcement in October , said Doug Merritt, the head of its Business User Development and a corporate officer, would join the Business Objects group and report to Business Objects Chief Executive John Schwarz, rather than Henning Kagermann, SAP's chief executive.
Post-merger, Business Objects will continue to operate as a standalone business under the SAP Group.
SAP's business user organization, according to its presentation to financial analysts in Vienna last year, includes Duet, enterprise search, mobile, Adobe Systems forms, and analytics dashboard, as well as governance, risk, and compliance software and corporate performance management software.
Kagermann and Business Objects executives plan to chew the fat with the press on this topic in greater detail Wednesday.UPDATE: January 16, 2008, 1:30 pm
And chew they did . Kagermann, along with Leo Apotheker, SAP deputy CEO, and Business Object's Schwarz, offered up their vision and road map of the combined company. SAP on Tuesday closed its merger with Business Objects.
SAP and Business Objects plan to jointly introduce nine products by the end of this month, of which two will specifically be targeted at mid-size to small companies. Those two products include its SAP Business All-in-One with BusinessObjects Edge Standard package, which focuses on delivering a business process platform with comprehensive business intelligence, and also the Crystal Reports Server Package, which is a type of reporting technology.
The other seven products include: a financial performance management package geared toward chief financial officers, a.k.a. head bean counters; a governance, risk and compliance package for tackling regulatory issues; a visualization and reporting package; enterprise query, reporting and analysis package; data integration and data quality management package; and, finally, a master data services package.
With Business Objects, a pioneer in the business intelligence arena, SAP is looking to build its fourth pillar in its four-pillar growth strategy, said Kagermann. SAP has viewed business intelligence as key to their strategy of maintaining a high growth rate, given the recent rapid acceleration SAP has seen in that market.
Dawn Kawamoto covers enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News. E-mail Dawn .