Tom The Architect

Technology and other Interesting Stuff

Tag: review

Upside down, Ugh!!!

My speed test. When I first signed up for my fixed wireless service the speeds were great. Now, not so much. Just for reference, I subscribe to 10 Mbps up and down. I am starting to wonder if its worth the premium I pay.

Google Reader Updated

I have in the past written about Google Reader. It has received a needed update that has taken it to a whole new level. I have been of late getting tired of the river of news format, and have secretly hoped Google would do something about it. I tried tags and reading a feed at a time, but Reader was just to cumbersome. Now post redesign all I can say is Nice, and I won’t be going anywhere else to read my feeds anytime soon.

Well done Google.

Cognitive Economy: A Great Podcast

Verna Allee gave a presentation at MeshForum 2006 on Value Networks. I think this is a great presentation. She describes:

“A value network is a way at looking at any purposeful organization, company, or network. It is any web of relationships that creates value through complex, dynamic exchanges of tangible and intangible value.”

She makes the case that the economic theory for the new economy is still undefined. She also details how companies have no good way to measure the value of intangible assets. She says the traditional measures are tied to the the creation of tangible assets, which is then reinforced by current economic theory and practice. My favorite part comes at 36:07 minutes into the podcast, she makes a case for using Living systems as a way to think about the new economy (built on intangible assets like Information, talent, capability). At this point she describes why living systems are so great, because the are capable of renewal and are intelligent (an Autopoietic system). Living system’s are Autopoietic because of two types of exchanges; the first type is an exchange of matter and energy, the second type is an exchange of Intelligence (a.k.a. cognitive exchanges). I think she is on to something.

The cognitive economy is really about exchanges of intelligence. If you have not really followed my posts on the Cognitive economy listen to this presentation.

Steve Gillmor if you haven’t heard this presentation yet, you should listen to it. Ed Batista you will also find this presentation interesting. I will have to listen to this one again, I know I’m not doing the presentation justice.

Check it out.

Link Summary:
MeshForum 2006
Verna Allee presentation Value Networks at MeshForum 2006 via IT Conversations
IT Conversations RSS feed
More from Verna Allee
More on Autopoiesis via Wikipedia

Attended BarCamp Chicago (Saturday)

So what did I think of BarCamp Chicago? First, I want to thank the organizers (I think Jason Rexilius was one) for putting the event together. I really enjoyed the cleversafe presentation. Cleversafe is a distributed storage company and uses Information distribution algorithms (Commonly used to secure private keys) to create a highly available secure storage grid. Very cool. The presentation by Sean Johnson titled “How not to Burn Your Business to the Ground” was interesting and insightful. There was definitely an interesting mix of people and points of view. So I enjoyed it. All conferences have issues and Bar Camp was no different but for the price I’m not going to complain.

Links:
Barcamp.org
BarCampChicago

Cleversafe

JavaOne: Fireside Chat w/ commentary

Summary (Not in any particular order):

  • Get rid of AWT (Gosling)
  • Operator over loading (good (Gosling) and bad (Hamilton))
  • Simplicity, Yes
  • Participate in the JCP
  • Tell your vendors to improve their Java support
  • Netbeans
  • class loaders hard
  • Schedule Builder yeah what ever
  • US mobile infrastructure sucks
  • Fewer wireless providers could be good
  • AJAX use Java Server faces
  • Uh Time for Beer

My commentary:

Ok, this was the first time I attended the fireside chat. Problem number 1, the session should really be called the fireside question and gripe (bidirectional) session. Problem number 2, the panel seemed to me to be a bit aloof. If the question seemed a bit off or on a topic a bit off someone would mumble some remark followed up by Graham Hamilton PR techno speak (he does it quite well). Problem number 3, the answers for the most part were not really candid, I guess that happens when you are a VP Muckety Muck at a publicly traded company gotta watch what you say. And for the most part I think it was Graham Hamilton did most of the talking.

There were some interesting questions, there were a few about simplicity and ease of use. The responses from the panel were okay, but they lacked something. James Gosling talked about netbeans wrapping all the complexity which makes sense given the state of Java. It is many things to many people and that is never a good thing, someone is always left wanting. From the remarks I think Sun gets the ease of use issue, the problem is that there isn’t a great deal they can do.

Graham Hamilton urged everyone to get involved in the JCP process and work to make it better. Now I am not familiar with the JCP process, but I am familiar with standards bodies. In the end it comes down to vendors working very hard to defend there products and their investments. The customer is not a prime consideration, because there aren’t a lot of choices for the customer out there. I have seen first hand all the big vendors fight over standards, there aren’t many vendors who don’t have standards blood on their hands. So, I guess the call by Graham Hamilton rings a bit hollow for me.

There were some questions about mobile and why there are so many issues around the distribution of applications. One question about VMs for PDAs came up and the response from Sun was fair. The PDA phone market are converging and Sun has significant penetration and support on the phone platforms. The question about why its so hard to distribute applications lead to a round of telco bashing and rightly so. The comment from the panel that seemed to be wishful was that consolidation on the wireless market into a few companies might help the mobile application and data market.

OK, when has a consolidation ever been good for the customers of a regulated business like telephone industry. The consolidation of carriers in the wireless arena in my opinion will only continue to limit third party mobile application distribution. The telecoms want to maintain complete control over the vertical market, and even with big player like Google things like tiered network pricing could be used to limit third party access to the handset.

Finally, the schedule builder was mentioned at least twice. The topic was brushed off by the panel, a panel who admittedly does not use the tool (there’s a problem right there). I understand the schedule builder is a weak topic, but the brush off stuck in my craw. I spent a couple of hours dealing with the tool, time I could have been using for something a bit more productive. People pay almost 2k plus expenses to attend, then take time to attend the fireside chat only to have the questions about the schedule builder to be brushed off. Let me see if I can make the suggestion more palatable, How about a contest to see who can build a conference scheduling tool that also throws t-shirts.

The Passion of the early Police

I have long been a fan of the Police. I have listened to every album and I enjoy almost every song. The album I enjoy most is The Police Live. I enjoy this album for 2 reasons:

  1. Disc 1 is infused with passion and angst.
  2. Disc 2 provides a point of comparison that makes the passion on disc 1 so obvious.

Disc 2 shows how the band had lost its fire and passion at the end. This comparison is hard to make on studio albums, but is made simple with the 2 disc set. So buy the album and do the following:

  1. Listen to both discs in order.
  2. Hide disc 2 and hope never to hear it again
  3. Enjoy Disc 1 and the passion of the Police as it should be remembered