when clouds evaporate your data

October 10, 2008 at 7:31 am | Posted in Technology Trends | 1 Comment
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The surge to the cloud feels like a certainty (as much as anything can be a certainty in technology).  It reminds me of the momentum shifts felt when things were moving to client/server computing, and more recently around virtualization.  I think the media is largely in a frenzy precisely *because* it’s the newest thing we’ve had to talk about of “mass” interest since virtualization.  That frenzy feeds on itself (as evidenced even  by my own posts on the topic).

As such, as with any technology transition, it’s not going to be all rainbows and lollipops.  Here’s an interesting post on what, I’m sure, will be many painful side effects as we move into the world of cloud computing.  Also got some enlightenment from our IT leader at Quest regarding a conference she attended, which I’ll post in a later entry.

browser wars fixin’ to heat up again

September 2, 2008 at 6:35 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | 3 Comments
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A while back I posted about some frustrations I had around web technology being useful, but not taking that next step to easy productivity. Along those lines, I really like what I’m seeing here from Mozilla. As I watched the video, I immediately identified with several of those pains. Cool stuff that I think will be a big hit on its own, and then a great framework on which others can build

And after this came an accidental early release of Google’s new browser in the works.

now you see it… now you don’t

August 15, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | 1 Comment
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Fascinating technology on the horizon.  Live long, and prosper.

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects.

give me internet or give me death (or at least no job)

July 14, 2008 at 7:38 am | Posted in Technology Trends | 1 Comment
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About a year ago, my cousin who is a junior in college, wasn’t returning my emails. I got frustrated and sent her a text message. Within a minute, I had a response. After further dialog (we did actually “talk”) I found that email was “so 90’s” and that to keep up with her, I would need to social network. This led to a discussion at work where I predicted that this generation will not tolerate what we currently call “collaboration” in today’s workforce.

Fast forward to today. Had a conversation with a customer who had a really sharp intern they wanted to hire. Kid politely says, “no thanks.” They ask him why and he said, “Everything’s great, but I can’t facebook.” This led the guy to poll his audience at a major college where he talks to Freshman classes about choosing a major. (he’s trying to spawn interest in IT). It was a class of about 450.

Question: How many of you have email accounts? Everyone.

Question: How many use their email accounts for social communication. Nobody.

Question: How many of you would turn down a job offer if you didn’t have free access to the Internet? Half.

The times, they are a changin’.

should oracle have bought mysql?

July 4, 2008 at 9:30 am | Posted in Business, Technology Trends | 7 Comments
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I’ve talked a bit about MySQL and a commenter on that thread agreed that they are really well positioned to be a cloud player. Before Sun acquired them, it was public knowledge that Oracle had made a bid for MySQL. Marten Mickos, MySQL’s CEO, got pretty aggressive in the media against the bid saying they didn’t want to be acquired, but rather wanted to grow to be a strong, independent company. Then they were bought by Sun. I think Marten would make the argument that they ARE still a strong, independent *database* company, even though they are inside of Sun. And that does have some merit.

But that said, MySQL was accountable to their investors and if Oracle had bid high enough, the deal would have happened. I was asked on a call the other day if Oracle screwed up by not making that deal happen. In the short-term, I don’t think so. But in the long term… I think they have a real threat on their hands.

Cloud computing represents the biggest disruptive technology the industry has seen in a long time. Today, the cloud databases are not anywhere nearly as capable as their traditional counterparts. How much do they need to be? You can pretty much do everything you need in the app layer. It’s harder, but does have it’s benefits. But of all the “traditional” databases, MySQL is best positioned (I think) to move to the cloud effectively.

We shall see, but I think it would have been wise for Oracle to pony up now and have them under their umbrella. Then again, Larry [Ellison, Oracle CEO) seems to have done OK thus far without any advice from me. 😉

wanted: wade-through-mountains-of-data-o-matic-thing

June 28, 2008 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | 4 Comments
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In commenting on my post about choice (thanks to EGM for that video, btw), kbarrette said:

There’s a skill to eliminating choices from consideration to reduce that sense of overload.

Ain’t it the truth. I think we’re all pretty good at it within our areas of expertise. For example, when we would go to coaching clinics, we’d be faced with dozens and dozens of presentations by experts on various systems to run and coaching methodologies. But the longer you coach, the easier it is to get there, scan the list, and know what will be applicable to you. Voila. Instant choice narrowing occurs.

But take something I’m not experienced at like my Mac. Which thanks to a free iPod Touch, also led to the chaotic, satanic, underworld of darkness known as backing up your DVDs. No, I’m not talking about stealing. I’m talking about my own videos. The ones my kids lose, and scratch, and leave behind on trips. Those. Mine. The ones I *bought* and *own* and just want to backup to a medium I can play in other places than the DVD player. But that’s a whole other post. Check that. That’s a whole book.

To the point here, the THOUSANDS of hits I get back in Google when searching for anything related to my backup challenges is overwhelming. And I don’t have the expertise to quickly wade through them to the ones I need. And, joy of joys, nothing like seeing a post that you think is perfectly on the mark, only to realize it was published in 1994 with version -0.2 of your software package that is now at version 12.5.

Internet search is awesome, but man is there room for improvement.

get your saas in gear

June 25, 2008 at 11:45 am | Posted in Technology Trends | Leave a comment
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A while back I posted some thoughts on the technical challenges of organic growth that generated some good discussion. At that time, I was looking at organic technical growth vs growth through acquisition. But there’s another angle to this, which is SaaS (Software as a Service).

Bob Warfield has a really interesting post that details some of the same challenges I listed (which just about anyone who’s been in software for more than 5 years can list), but for him acquisitions aren’t the answer as they only delay the problem. For him, the answer is SaaS.

SaaS does provide quite an appealing model, but I have to believe that the “Law of Unintended Consequences” is going to provide us some real fun with SaaS at some point in the future. Is it the next best thing? Sure seems like it. But I wonder how long before multi-tenant applications get too limiting in ways we maybe cannot see today?

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