Archive for the ‘IT Conversations’ Category

Cloud versus Grid

I am back from vacation and trying to catch up on my podcasts. In an IT Conversations Technometria Podcast, Phil Windley spoke with Rich Polski. Rich is working on Eucalyptus, an open source implementation of the Amazon EC2 interface.

Rich gave a great definition of the difference between grid computing and cloud computing. Grid computing typically involves a small number of users requesting big chunks of resources from a homogenous environment. Cloud computing typically involves a large number of users with relatively low resource requirements from a heterogenous environment.
Rich and Phil went on to discuss the opportunities for academic research in the cloud computing and virtualization spaces. If you are considering when and how to leverage these technologies, give it a listen.

Some recent podcasts

I wanted to call attention to four good podcasts that I listened to recently. The first is from IT Conversations and the Interviews with Innovators series hosted by Jon Udell. In this one, he speaks with Raymond Yee of UC Berkeley, discussing mashups. I especially liked to discussion about public events, and getting feeds from the local YMCA. I always wind up putting in all my kids games into iCal from their various sports teams, it would be great if I could simply subscribe from somewhere on the internet. Jon himself called out the emphasis on this in the podcast in his own blog.

The next two are both from Dana Gardner’s Briefings Direct series. The first was a panel discussion from his aptly-renamed Analyst’s Insight series (it used to be SOA Insights when I was able to participate, but even then, the topics were starting to go beyond SOA), that discussed the recent posts regarding SOA and WOA. It was an interesting listen, but I have to admit, for the first half of the conversation, I was reminded of my last post. Throughout the discussion, they kept implying that SOA was equivalent to adopting SOAP and WS-*, and then using that angle to compare it to “WOA” which they implied was the least common denominator of HTTP, along with either POX or REST. Many people have picked up on one comment which I believe was from Phil Wainewright, who said, “WOA is SOA that works.” Once again, I don’t think this was a fair characterization. First off, if we look at a company that is leveraging a SaaS provider like, is, at best, a service provider within their SOA. If the company is simply using the web-based front end, then isn’t even a service provider in their SOA, it’s an application provider. Now, you can certainly argue that services from Amazon and Google are service providers, and that there’s some decent examples of small companies successfully leveraging these services, we’re still a far cry away from having an enterprise SOA that works, whichever technology you look at. So, I was a bit disappointed in this part of the discussion. The second half of the discussion got into the whole Microhoo arena, which wound up being much more interesting, in my opinion.

The second one from Dana was a sponsored podcast from HP, with Dana discussing their ISSM (Information Security Service Management) approach with Tari Schreider. The really interesting thing in this one was to hear about his concept of the 5 P’s, which was very familiar to me, because the first three were People, Policies, and Process (read this and this). The remaining two P’s were Products and Proof. I’ve stated that products are used to support the process, if needed, typically making it more efficient. Proof was a good addition, which is basically saying that you need a feedback loop to make sure everything is doing what you intended it to. I’ll have to keep this in mind in my future discussions.

The last one is again from IT Conversations, this time from the O’Reilly Open Source Conference Series. It is a “conversation” between Eben Moglen and Tim O’Reilly. If nothing else, it was entertaining, but I have to admit, I was left thinking, “What a jerk.” Now clearly, Eben isn’t a very smart individual, but just as he said that Richard Stallman would have come across as to ideological, he did the exact same thing. When asked to give specific recommendations on what to do, Eben didn’t provide any decent answer, instead he said, “Here’s your answer: you’ve got another 10 years to figure it out.”

New Feature on The Conversations Network

First, I have to admit that I’m part of the 99.8% of IT Conversations subscribers that currently aren’t donating, but that will be changing in the very near future. Given that I listen to at least 3 or 4 programs from them per week, I have no excuse for not donating.

I was happy to hear on Doug Kaye’s message today that they’ve added a smart playlist function. I had tried their personal playlist function previously, and just as Doug pointed out, I didn’t use it due to the need to actively manage it. It was far easier for me to download everything and just fast forward through the programs that didn’t interest me. Now, I can simply enter the topics I’m interested in and the series I regularly listen to, like Phil Windley’s Technometria, Moria Gunn’s TechNation and BiotechNation series, and Jon Udell’s Interviews with Innovators. This is great addition, so thank you IT Conversations and The Conversations Network. My membership donation will be coming shortly.

Beaming into Social Networks

I’m listening to Jon Udell’s latest innovator conversation, this time with Valdis Krebs, courtesy of IT Conversations. Valdis is a researcher in the area of social networks and he and Jon are discussing sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, MySpace, etc. One of the interesting points that Valdis makes is that social networking has always been a peer-to-peer process. Two people engage in some form of personal, direct communication to form a “connection.” This is predominant form of building a network, rather than joining a club. The model of virtually all the social networking sites is one of “joining”.

The discussion brought me back to the late 90’s when I had purchased a PalmPilot. I actually owned one that had the U.S. Robotics logo on it versus the 3Com or Palm logos that came later. One of the features that came along later (I think it was when I upgraded to a Handspring device) was the ability to “beam” contact information to other Palm owners. The goal was to do away with business cards and instead “beam” information electronically. While I thought the technology was pretty cool, it didn’t survive because the PDA didn’t survive. It all got morphed into mobile device technology, and with the multitude of devices out there now, the ability to quickly share information between two devices disappeared.

I think this would be a great technology to bring back. I attended a conference back in December, and of course walked away with a number of business cards. I then had to take the time to put those contacts into my address book. Thankfully, as an iPhone owner, I only had to put them in one place for my personal devices, but I also had to enter them into my contacts on my work PC. Then became the step of adding all of these people to my networks on LinkedIn (at a minimum). I actually didn’t do this, most of the people actually had already sent me requests for the various social networks.

In thinking about this, I have to admit that this was way too difficult. What we need is the ability to share contact information electronically with our handheld devices via some short range networking technology like Bluetooth, and have that electronic information be “social network aware” so that as a result of the exchange, contacts are automatically added to friends/contact lists on all social networks that the two parties in common. It should be an automatic add, rather than a trigger of email to each party of “do you want to add this person to your network?” An option would be to ask that question on the device at the time of the interchange, which would allow people to be added to appropriate networks as is supported by sites like Plaxo Pulse.

So, for all of you involved with social networking technology, here’s your idea to go run with and make it happen. I’ll be a happy consumer when it becomes a reality.

IT Conversations: OpenDNS

I listened to the latest Technometria podcast from IT Conversations yesterday, which was a conversation with David Ulevitch, CEO of OpenDNS. It was a great discussion about some of the things they’re trying to do to take DNS into the future. It certainly opened my eyes up to some things that can be done with a technology that every single one of us uses every day but probably takes for granted. Give it a listen.

Great TechNation Podcast

I found this podcast fascinating. Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Sandra Blakeslee about the body maps our brain creates and gives some very interesting anecdotes regarding virtual reality, out of body experiences, phantom limbs, and even treatment for anorexia. I plan on getting Sandra’s book after this fascinating interview.

Podcast on User Experience, Apple, etc.

Phil Windley, Scott Lemon, and Ben Galbraith had a nice discussion on the iPhone, Apple’s iLife and iWork, user experience, consumer-friendliness, and much more in the latest IT Conversations Technometria podcast. Sometimes, their best podcasts are simply when they get together and have a discussion about the latest happenings. It was very entertaining, especially the discussion around the iPhone. Give it a listen. Also, make sure you give the Paul Graham essay on “stuff” mentioned by Phil a read.

Another great Technometria

This time the conversation is with Scott Berkun, author of “The Myths of Innovation.” To give you an idea on how entertaining this Technometria conversation was, Phil Windley’s two co-hosts, Ben Galbraith and Scott Lemon, both went online to Amazon during the call and purchased Scott’s book. The discussion focused on the human element of software development and things that contribute to success with innovation. Here’s the link to the IT Conversations page for it.

Another great conversation…

In the latest Technometria podcast from IT Conversations, Phil, Ben, and Scott speak with Robert Glushko from U.C. Berkeley and OASIS on documents, data, XML, semantics, etc. Sometimes it’s good to just listen to smart people have a conversation, as you can learn a lot. This qualified as one of those conversations for me!

Innovative Thinking

While I’m on the subjects of podcasts, another good listen was this presentation from Tim Brown, CEO of Ideo, on Innovation Through Design Thinking which was presented at the AdaptivePath conference. One of the great comments he made was how innovators take in everything from the environment around them to get new ideas. This hit home, because that’s one of the ways I go about writing this blog. I simply take in all the information around me, and sometimes things click. A great example of this was my blog on the power of feedback loop which came to mind after watching a video on a cow-powered dairy farm. If you consider yourself an innovative thinker, give it a listen.

Interesting podcast…

I’m here at the airport listening to the latest IT Conversations Technometria podcast from Phil Windley and company. This one is a conversation with Phil Wolff of Skype Journal. If you have any interest in VoIP and Identity Management, this is a great listen.


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