Monthly Archives: February 2006

Cool hack of the day: WhatsUp

I am a sucker for data vizualization projects, especially when it comes to news and stock prices (my roots I guess, as this is what I was building as a young C developer). I particularly like this one: What’s Up, a news map display developed by Jeroen Wijering, a UI designer recently graduated from the Eidhoven Design Academy. It basically displays headlines from a bunch of news (geolocated) RSS feeds on a planisphere. Jeroen says that he plans to make this available as a screen saver at some point.

You can launch it full screen here. Very cool.


TechDirt announces its first un-workshop – March 11, 2006 – Sunnyvale, CA

After the “everything 2.0” meme, I see the “un-“ something meme developing. What does it mean ? An event based on a two-way, open, discussion.

One of my favorite tech blog, TechDirt, is putting together the first edition of its Idea Workshop. The concept is very appealing:

A group of pre-selected companies and individuals will present ideas in quick, five minute presentations. Unlike a standard product showcase, this is not the “final word.” After a group of presentations, the attendees are split up into breakout groups, and given a specific issue from one of the presentations to “workshop.” For a company with a new product, this could be anything from “what new features should be added” to “what target market should they focus on” to “is there a business model here?” Other presentations may not be about products, but ideas, and the workshops will be related to those ideas.

 After a short period of time, everyone … Read more »


Erratum – The PowerBook G4: a lean mean fragile blogging machine

A month ago, I posted in enthusiasm and sheer happiness about my favorite toy of the moment, my PowerBook G4. After 3 months of moderate use (I don’t blog that much after all and my X41 is my main computer), it melted. About 2 weeks ago, the unit started randomly freezing – having no other recourse than clic-clac (power off/power on). Pretty extreme, but the only solution. Over the past week, it might happen 3 times in an hour, rendering the laptop unusable.

I tried to run hardware tests. Fine. Disk tests. Fine. OS re-install. The machine freezes 10 minutes into the install. FUBAR.

Called in Apple support (very nice) to get an incident ID. I now need to go the Apple Store to give the fried machine to an Apple Genius (doh), who will send it in for repair.

I have had 5 IBM ThinkPads and one Dell Latitude over the past 12 years. They never failed me … Read more »


Mashing up the Enterprise through SOA and BPM

I am trying to find examples of implementations of Web 2.0 concepts/technologies in the enterprise in advance of my upcoming panel: “Web 2.0 and the Enterprise”. I was therefore very interested in David Berlind’s recent post on “Rethinking BPM in a mashup-based SOA world” – a worthy read if you are tracking the topic.

There are a large number of issues involving enterprise mashups, David pointing out to a couple of them:

 To wit, attendees from the banking and government sectors have questions about the management of user IDs across domains (when a mashup involves multiple APIs each of which relies on its own identity management technology) as well as the reliability of public components.  For example, if an enterprise dispatch application along the lines of what Kemsley describes above relies on Google or Yahoo for its mapping component, enterprise architects want to know what Google and Yahoo are doing to ensure the uptime of the relevant APIs (a … Read more »


A few data points about podcast advertising

MarketWatch’s Frank Barnako published a piece (free sub req’d) about podcast advertising, out of which a few nuggets of information are worth noting:

Podshow claims to have reached in Q405 their 2006 revenue target of $300 to $400K, and predicts sales in the millions of dollars this year. There seems to be a consensus that there’s money to be made by recycling established media in the podcast world, too. Michael Greeson, president of the Diffusion Group of Dallas, pointed out that NPR recorded 4 million downloads in the first two months it offered podcasts. Last summer, Greeson issued a research report projecting nearly 60 million people in the United States will be listening to podcasts by 2010. The report also estimated 15.5 million portable players would be sold last year; the tally was closer to 22 million. Cameron Reilly, the founder of the Podcast Network of Australia, is achieving between $40 and $100 cost-per-thousand on his podcasts, but … Read more »


Ed Sim on successful offshoring

Whereas it was a must until a year ago, offshoring developments to India has generated enough of its fair share of operational issues to make startup teams and VCs much more cautious. Beyond local issues – like the difficulty of hiring and keeping talent, and increasing wages – getting the coordination, leadership and motivation aspects are challenging.

Ed Sim’s post comes a propos as he relates to a successful offshoring operated by one of his companies. Some key points:

Offshore interesting and motivating projects Develop local leadership talent Hire, train and manage local staff with a long term view in mind

At the same time, SAP is going to be looking to alternatives to India because of rising costs.