General - systems and technologies

  • Big data .. big trendFebruary 04, 2012 – [I spoke at the Lita Top Technology Trends at Dallas. I had a trend in reserve - big data - but did not use it. Here is something along the lines of what I might have said ...] Big Data is a big trend, but as with expressions for other...read full entry...
  • Sympathy for Microsoft ...April 05, 2011 – We are watching a handful of companies battle to support our work and learning lives, our communication, entertainment and social network. The good guys are no longer quite such good guys (Apple, Google?). And the CEO of Facebook can characterize Microsoft as the underdog. My title is prompted by the...read full entry...
  • The amplified event ... March 14, 2011 – I introduced the phrase The Amplfied Conference several years ago to describe the way in which a conference experience might be shared by people who were not physically present, through the amplification provided by a range of network tools. On reflection, of course, such amplification is also a way of...read full entry...
  • Information management on campus: CRIS, IR, CERIF, CRM, PIPALSeptember 05, 2010 – One of the consequences of our network world is that more and more activities are 'informationalized': they generate data and the management of data is an important part of their operation. We will increasingly see applications which want to mix information about researchers and publications with information about projects, organizations,...read full entry...
  • The network reconfigures library space ... mobile reduxAugust 31, 2010 – So taken was I by William J Mitchell's comments on the impact of the network and mobile communications on space that I have quoted it here a couple of times already ;-) Here it is ... The fact that people are no longer tied to specific places for functions such...read full entry...
  • QR Codes and exhibitionsAugust 15, 2010 – We spend some time in the very congenial Dayton Art Institute this afternoon. We wandered around the Modern Masters exhibition (from the Smithsonian American Art Museum). I was interested to see the QR codes by the pictures. Here is a somewhat fuzzy picture taken by my son on his phone:...read full entry...
  • Sorting out demand ... Top tech trend 3August 08, 2010 – [This is 3. Here is 1 and 2.] I was pleased to participate in LITA’s Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In...read full entry...
  • Recommendation and Ranganathan - retreadAugust 08, 2010 – [I have been quoting the distinction made by Gavin Potter, a participant in the Netflix competition, about how our emphasis is shifting from sorting out supply to sorting out demand. I thought it might be useful to re-present this entry, the one where I first noted the distinction. I could...read full entry...
  • QR codes again ...May 02, 2010 – Andy Walsh of the University of Huddersfield gave a very nice presentation on QR Codes at the recent EMTACL10 conference at NTNU in Trondheim. I particularly liked his introduction in which he provided some motivating context for his work. He noted that as library spaces became places for social activity,...read full entry...
  • Augmenting June 29, 2009 – Layar created a ripple of interest a while ago. It is yet to be released. It is an application for Android based phones which will allow data from various partner resources to be 'layered' over the view through a camera phone. Partners discussed include banks (for ATMs), realtors, and a...read full entry...
  • Apple, netbooks and barcodesJune 26, 2009 – I traveled home from the 2nd M-Libraries Conference in UBC, Vancouver, yesterday. I was interested to come across several relevant news stories in the reading materials I had bought en route: The Globe and Mail, The Economist (last week's, as it turns out), and The Financial Times. This underlined the...read full entry...
  • Web 2.0 and air freshenerMay 17, 2009 – Web 2.0 is often talked about in terms reminiscent of an advert for air freshener: spray it on and there will be a major improvement in the quality of life, or at least of your service. Add tags or an RSS feed and you will be future-ready. You will smell...read full entry...
  • Snap and go catalogueApril 10, 2009 – Several things about catalogs, mobile apps, and pictures .... Just after doing the entry on the photo feature in the Amazon Blackberry app, I was looking at the catalogue at the University of Bath (where I worked for many years) and saw that they were using QR codes. From a...read full entry...
  • Amazon remembersApril 09, 2009 – I noticed this feature on the page for the Amazon Blackberry App. I haven't yet tried the app or seen the feature working so I do not know how well it works. Perhaps we need an application which allows you to take a picture of a book cover and find...read full entry...
  • Reading, Starbucks and imbricationMarch 19, 2009 – Jim has a very interesting account of a discussion at an AAAS panel about the future of the book, publishing and libraries over at HangingToghether. (It was part of a symposium on Information technology and the public good.) One note jumped out at me. He quotes Dan Clancy, of Google,...read full entry...
  • Concentration and diffusion againMarch 08, 2009 – From the Financial Times: According to Microsoft research chief Rick Rashid, around 20 per cent of all the servers sold around the world each year are now being bought by a small handful of internet companies - he named Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Amazon. That is an amazing statistic, and...read full entry...
  • Decentering and recentering: the TV/PC and the networkFebruary 21, 2009 – A couple of interesting articles on how the network is changing patterns of media consumption appear back-to-back in the current issue of The Atlantic. They prompt an observation about networking and the home. Here is James Parker on the phenomenon that is Guitar Hero and Rock Band: Both franchises, however,...read full entry...
  • M-libraries in VancouverFebruary 15, 2009 – I am looking forward to attending the second M-Libraries Conference in Vancouver in June. The programme has now appeared and the conference is open for registration. Although mobile communications raise specific questions, more generally it represents the further diffusion of computational and networking capacity through our lives. I have quoted...read full entry...
  • Always on: libraries in a world of permanent connectivityJanuary 07, 2009 – The January issue of First Monday has appeared and I am pleased to have an article in it about libraries and mobile communications. Here is the abstract: Mobile communication has been more widely adopted more quickly than any other technology ever (Castells, et al., 2007). It represents a diffusion of...read full entry...
  • The changing education experienceDecember 03, 2008 – The Guardian published a supplement on the 'digital student' the other day. There is some general context and there is a range of short pieces on specific approaches or projects. This is all written for a general audience so there is no great detail and it is quite anecdotal. As...read full entry...
  • LeVan on Yee on mashupsNovember 13, 2008 – I mentioned Raymond Yee's book on mashups a while ago and signaled that a fuller review would follow from my colleague Ralph LeVan. This has now appeared: Ralph reviews the book positively in the current issue of Ariadne. I can’t imagine a more comprehensive book on mashups. This book would...read full entry...
  • djatoka, OpenURL and OOMRef-JOctober 10, 2008 – djatoka, "A Reuse Friendly, Open Source JPEG 2000 Image Server" developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Research Library, was released recently. An article in D-Lib Magazine by Ryan Chute and Herbert Van de Sompel introduces it. A particular feature of the approach is its use of the OpenURL as enabling...read full entry...
  • Flexibility may not be a good design goalSeptember 26, 2008 – Jerry McDonough has written an interesting and important article about XML, interoperability, and the social context of standards making: Structural Metadata and the Social Limitation of Interoperability: A Sociotechnical View of XML and Digital Library Standards Development. Drawing on a number of examples he presents a strong conclusion: The digital...read full entry...
  • Texting shelf informationAugust 04, 2008 – I have heard of people photographing catalog results with their cell phones and heading off to the shelves. And now I have just come across the Tripod library catalog. You can text yourself the bibliographic details - see the icon on the entry above. Here is what happens when you...read full entry...
  • Mobile apps and Google trafficJuly 27, 2008 – I have mentioned the often interesting Hitwise blog a few times. They have presented a couple of interesting analyses recently. One looks at the searches for mobile applications after the recent new iPhone release. They look at specific applications and also at general application areas. It is interesting seeing the...read full entry...
  • Reading and writhingJuly 20, 2008 – The Nicholas Carr article in the Atlantic - Does Google make us stupid? - has generated a lot of commentary. Carr himself has just pointed to an Edge discussion and an Encyclopedia Britannica discussion. I have commented on the perils of distraction a couple of times recently. Once when talking...read full entry...
  • Pogue songsJuly 14, 2008 – Jim Michalko describes a talk by David Pogue of the NYT at the American Association of Law Libraries meeting and finishes by pointing to an entertaining video. Rather than using the end of his session for questions he walked over to an electronic piano keyboard and performed three parody songs...read full entry...
  • Calais - entity identification in the cloudJune 26, 2008 – Calais is a web service provided by Thomson Reuters, currently at no charge. Calais enhances your content with rich semantic metadata. Using your content as a starting point you can utilize Calais to automatically add metadata such as entities (people, places, organizations, etc.), facts (John Doe works for Acme Corporation...read full entry...
  • Recommendation and RanganathanMay 13, 2008 – From time to time, we see a discussion about the relative merits of Google, or Amazon, and library catalogs as retrieval or search engines. There is one main difference that doesn't tend to get discussed much, and that has to do with the type of data that gets factored into...read full entry...
  • Computational advertisingMay 08, 2008 – I was very interested to read this brief piece about the 'new discipline' of 'computational advertising': Web advertising is the primary driving force behind many Web activities, including Internet search as well as publishing of online content by third-party providers. A new discipline - Computational Advertising - has recently emerged,...read full entry...
  • Touch screenMay 03, 2008 – When we tried out the Kindle a while ago, my son immediately began to touch the screen. But no, the only effect was to leave marks. This morning in our local Border's I noticed that they had little notices stuck above the screens of their enquiry system. They said that...read full entry...
  • Search by color ...April 25, 2008 – We have been looking at Etsy at home recently: "your place to buy and sell all things handmade". It is just nice to use. I especially like the useful search by color ;-) They have an alchemy section: Turn your ideas into reality with Alchemy! Buyers can post requests for...read full entry...
  • QOTD: network-freeApril 21, 2008 – From Fred Stutzman, who is looking for network-free moments in which to 'code, write or create': In an attempt to resist the encroachment of network into the spaces of productivity, I've created Freedom. Freedom is a Mac application that disables your computer's networking capabilities for a selected time interval. Some...read full entry...
  • QOTD: predominant transportation method, texting and readingApril 20, 2008 – Having moved from London to the Mid-west we are very aware of the impact of location on life-style, the switch from public transport to the car being a major example. In this context, I was interested to read this paragraph by Castells et al in Mobile communication and society: a...read full entry...
  • The big switchApril 01, 2008 – I have just finished Nicholas Carr's The Big Switch. Here is a sample: The complexity and inefficiency of the client-server model have fed on themselves over the last quarter century. As companies continue to add more applications, they have to expand their data centers, install new machines, reprogram old ones,...read full entry...
  • An interesting university web presenceFebruary 20, 2008 – iSoton is an interesting web presence from the University of Southampton. I wonder how well it is being received and used. There are six panels. One displays a (short) list of university podcasts; another displays standard virtual tour stuff. The other four are more interesting. One displays the University's wikipedia...read full entry...
  • Library process automation: the ecology of providersJanuary 20, 2008 – Just as I began to see messages about the publication of Marshall Breeding's report on his survey of library perceptions of their system vendor I was reading The new economics of the BI market by Jerry Held on The Database Column blog. He talks about consolidation within the BI (Business...read full entry...
  • To 'extract, transform and load' or to federateJanuary 10, 2008 – One of the major questions for library systems is the role of metasearch or federation. I have written about this here (Metasearch: a boundary case) and here (Metasearch, Google and the rest). The issue is that libraries have to manage a range of database resources whose legacy technical and business...read full entry...
  • Google Book Search and document understandingJanuary 03, 2008 – Google Book Search: Document Understanding on a Massive Scale [PDF] is a brief treatment of issues faced by Google as they grow their corpus of digitized books and work to make it useful in various ways. Luc Vincent of Google discusses OCR (issues of many languages occurring unpredictably in variously...read full entry...
  • Interoperability?December 30, 2007 – In libraries we worship interoperability, in the abstract at least. We believe it is an unalloyed good. My snappy interoperability tag is "recombinant potential": things are interoperable to the extent that they are capable of being combined or recombined with other things. We are traveling with a laptop, head phones,...read full entry...
  • CRM 2.0November 14, 2007 – It is interesting to read about the developments within Oracle's new on-demand customer relationship management offering which is being discussed in various places. What is striking is how the familiar Web 2.0 approaches are coming to enterprise applications: mashups between various data sources, extensive data mining, sharing and commentary. Here...read full entry...
  • Library website analyticsNovember 01, 2007 – Our activities in the network world leave traces. The analysis of these traces is now a major undertaking as organizations mine this data to understand behaviors, to improve their systems, and to refine their offer. Tony Hirst has a series of posts about 'course analytics': In contrast to the academic...read full entry...
  • QOTD: URI patternsSeptember 28, 2007 – A quote about URIs: I propose that a resource and its URI ought to have an intuitive correspondence. …. URIs should have a structure. They should vary in predictable ways: you should not go to /search/Jellyfish for jellyfish and /i-want-to-know-about/Mice for mice. If a client knows the structure of the...read full entry...
  • The academic library and its usersAugust 30, 2007 – I mentioned Jim Collins' book on the social sectors the other day. I have just acquired Susan Gibbons' book, The academic library and the net gen student: making the connections. I was interested to see her make use of Collins' material in the opening chapter where she suggests the following...read full entry...
  • Top ten toolsJuly 28, 2007 – Jane Hart is compiling a list of the top tools folks use in their learning and working lives. It is aggregated from the top tens of contributors active in e-learning. It is broadly what you would expect near the top, with Firefox, Skype, Delicious and Google stuff heading the list....read full entry...
  • Microsoft in the cloudJuly 16, 2007 – There is a short piece about Microsoft plans for network level services on CNET. Not much detail and still indicating a direction rather than reporting a lot to look at. Nevertheless, it is an interesting direction. Microsoft is in the early stages of a plan that will see virtually its...read full entry...
  • New spacesJune 10, 2007 – Manuel Castells' Rise of the Network Society is a loose, baggy monster of a book, to hijack an expression. It is full of memorable phrases. One that has stuck in my mind is his catchy definition of space as 'material support for time-sharing social practices'. This is in the context...read full entry...
  • Eduserv and Second LifeJune 01, 2007 – And while talking about other lives, those interested in thinking more about Second Life in an educational setting can follow the discussion on the Eduserv Foundation blog (second life on eFoundations) where this is a particular interest. They held a dual-world symposium (rl-sl does not quite have the ring about...read full entry...
  • New lifeJune 01, 2007 – There are lots of news stories, but little news, about the deal to develop a major virtual venue between the Swedish Entropia Universe and the Cyber Recreation Development Corporation (CRD), the online entertainment division of the Beijing Municipal People's Government. China will soon have its first cash-based virtual world, where...read full entry...
  • Universal search and the rich texture of suggestionMay 18, 2007 –  There has been some discussion - less than I expected - about Google's steps to develop a unified search across its services (blogsearch, booksearch, YouTube, etc) so that blogs, video, books, maps, and so on are returned in results on the main Google site. This latest refinement sounds simple,...read full entry...
  • Gaming and the Rhinoceros in the RoomMarch 21, 2007 – Jenny Levine spoke about gaming and libraries at Getting in the flow. I hadn't seen this presentation before and liked that she approached it from several angles. The presentation is on her presentations wiki. I was struck by a comment she made about socialization. If large numbers of people engage...read full entry...
  • Institutional cyberinfrastructureFebruary 26, 2007 – Thomas J. Hacker and Bradley C. Wheeler describe how changing research practices are creating new support demands and argue for the benefits of centralized cyberinfrastructure on campus. They talk about strategies for managing the conversation with schools who are developing their own infrastructure. This is in an article, Making Research...read full entry...
  • Only five computers?: network level computingFebruary 26, 2007 – Greg Papadopoulos, Sun's CTO, has a nice blog entry playing on the remark that Thomas J Watson is sometimes reported to have made about the world needing only five computers. He says yes, the world will only need five computers. Let's see, the Google grid is one. Microsoft's live.com is...read full entry...
  • Libraries, Carnegie and GatesFebruary 02, 2007 – Vista is here and here are a couple of videos to mark it ..... Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK, introduced Bill Gates at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum Europe 2007 in Edinburgh during the week. He spoke about philanthropy and began by invoking the Scot...read full entry...
  • Emergent knowledge and intentional dataDecember 31, 2006 – I have written about 'intentional' data on and off, data recording user preferences or choices. Such data has a variety of uses in our domain: we are all familiar with Amazon's 'people who bought this also bought this' feature. One of the major lessons of Google is to show how...read full entry...
  • London displayedDecember 29, 2006 – The British Library has an exhibition on London and its maps. There is a 'curator's blog'. And there I read:Just a quick note to let you know about a fantastic new Google Earth layer based on London: A Life in Maps that a colleague in our web team has put...read full entry...
  • Speedy ...November 10, 2006 – I find that I use Technorati less these days than Google Blogsearch and Bloglines/Ask for looking at blog stuff. This is not to do with poorer results. It is to do with speed: Technorati makes you wait for a moment. And I don't like waiting. I was interested to see...read full entry...
  • Collaborative Sourcing? Open sourcing?September 23, 2006 – Paul Courant and Rebecca Griffiths published a paper on open source software recently. It was called Software and collaboration in higher education: a study of open source software and was funded by several institutions, including the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. The final report is available [pdf] and there is a...read full entry...
  • The word that will be on everybody's lips this fall ...September 21, 2006 – ... is Zotero. So says Dan Cohen. I'll write much more in this space about Zotero over the coming year (and beyond), since I conceive it not just as a free EndNote replacement (actually, it's already much better than EndNote in only its 1.0 release), but as a platform for...read full entry...
  • Search is more than searchSeptember 04, 2006 – Bjørn Olstad, CTO of FAST, presented at Ticer on search [pdf]. A couple of things caught my eye. It would have been nice to hear the presentation - I have only the .ppt to go on. He talks about a move from content management to consumption management. And taking the...read full entry...
  • Computing at the network levelAugust 24, 2006 – The blogs are alive with the sound of EC2. EC2 stands for Elastic Compute Cloud, a wonderfully descriptive name. This is the latest instalment of the Amazon as platform story. It provides flexible on-demand computational capacity. Sourcing options are becoming more interesting, and it underlines how over the next few...read full entry...
  • Moving to the network level: MicrosoftAugust 17, 2006 – Of the big Internet age companies, Microsoft is in many ways the most interesting. It has to find a way of straddling its desktop legacy and the new world of web services. In this context, the recent presentation by Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's newly elevated Chief Software Architect, at the MSFT...read full entry...
  • 15 sites that changed the worldAugust 13, 2006 – Of the making of lists there is no end. The Observer Newspaper lists fifteen websites that changed the world to celebrate the fifteenth birthday of the web. Here is a part of John Naughton's introduction to the fifteen.All this we now take for granted. To get a handle on the...read full entry...
  • Top ten IT issuesMay 14, 2006 – Educause Review publishes its latest top ten IT issues list:The elevation of Security and Identity Management to the number-one spot among the top-ten IT issues caps a steady four-year rise. Whether it retains this ranking will depend on its perceived importance relative to Funding IT and Administrative/ERP/Information Systems, which have...read full entry...
  • Hotels in the network age: an early Friday afternoon thoughtApril 20, 2006 – Think about conferences in those big rooms with disco balls or chandaliers, with makeshift screens, projectors on trollies, ugly lines of stuck down cable, shiny curtains, and so on. Or simple things like not having sockets beside desks in the rooms, or taking it up a level, not having worked...read full entry...
  • Top infotech storiesDecember 30, 2005 – More light holiday posting ... Technology Review has published its list of top 'infotech' stories for 2005. They note:Municipal Wi-Fi. "Now there are more than 300 U.S. cities considering municipal Wi-Fi, which would provide inexpensive wireless Internet access anywhere, for anyone: in a park, library, home, or car."Silicon photonicsSocial machines....read full entry...
  • Everything is dataDecember 30, 2005 – An interesting perspective on Wikipedia is provided by Dan Cohen who notes that the current discussion about authority does not engage with the full potential significance of Wikipedia. He describes how a large, openly available knowledge base like Wikipedia is a valuable resource for emerging data mining and search technologies....read full entry...
  • On demand services ..December 18, 2005 – I wonder will we see on-demand library systems emerge. I am thinking of services like salesforce.com (the poster child of the on-demand software phenomenon, it provides Customer Relationship Management services) or webex.com (a conferencing and online meeting provider). The idea here is that rather than installing local instances of an...read full entry...
  • Internet trends - and blogsOctober 06, 2005 – Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley gave a presentation at Web 2.0 which has been noted in several places. It provides an interesting overview of technology takeup. [pdf] She suggests that we are moving into the two most profound cycles of the computing era: PC Internet (Broadband) and Mobile Internet. There...read full entry...
  • Hwaet! Such swift search, SRU on a clusterSeptember 19, 2005 – My colleagues write about parallel text searching on a Beowulf Cluster in the current DLib Magazine:This article describes our experience building a scalable, relatively inexpensive, and fast searching framework that demonstrated 172 searches per second on a database of 50 million records. The article should be of interest to anyone...read full entry...
  • New model library system vendorsSeptember 05, 2005 – The formation of SirsiDynix prompted a couple of interesting posts. Kenton Good predicted that there would be another coming together this year and wondered would it be Innovative Interfaces and Endeavor Information Systems. He speculated that:Ex Libris feeling isolated will radically shift their business model. Leveraging their plans to modularize...read full entry...
  • Simpler licensesSeptember 02, 2005 – I mentioned a while ago that Thom is looking into our OCLC Research Public License to see how we can do what we want to do in as simple a way as possible. We feel that there is too much case by case discussion. In that context I was interested...read full entry...
  • AJAX August 28, 2005 – Ajax buzz continues to be high. And Thom continues to write about implementation experience, in this case looking at how one might work with standard protocol exchanges with SRU. The initial impetus for changing to AJAX for Web applications is to improve the user experience by avoiding screen refreshes and...read full entry...
  • iPods, platforms and ecosystemsAugust 18, 2005 – There is an interesting article in Forbes suggesting that the closed approach that Apple is taking with iTunes and the iPod will lead to their decline. In an ecosystem, all the players share some key components. Devices that can read the Windows version of digital music (WMA) all share the...read full entry...
  • Open sourcingAugust 10, 2005 – Spotted a while ago on a vendor t-shirt at a conference: 'we help make open source affordable' ;-) Whatever about using other people's code, we have not found it as straightforward as we had expected making our own code available to others. Which license to chose? How to reduce the...read full entry...
  • SwikJuly 31, 2005 – Swik is a database of open source software. It will search for something if it doesn't already know about it. It has wiki-style capabilities for user contributed entries. Swik is a project to create a useful free-content directory for open source software. Swik was inspired by the wiki concept used...read full entry...
  • Web services glossaryJuly 28, 2005 – I look at Loosely Coupled from time to time as a good place to keep up to date with industry discussions about web services and enterprise integration. A useful feature of the site is the glossary. Naturally enough, the entries are written with the interests of the site in mind....read full entry...
  • Hwaet!April 25, 2005 – My colleague Thom Hickey has a short article in the current OCLC Newsletter expanding on our experiments with the Beowulf Cluster to speed up processing. We obtained the machine to investigate parallel text searching. At OCLC we have always searched our databases in parallel, but in as few pieces as...read full entry...
  • Invisible computingMarch 15, 2005 – The current issue of Communications of the ACM features several articles on 'invisible computing'. I have also just come across a short piece in the February 2005 issue of MIT Technology Review, Invisible computing is hard to miss. A quick search does not reveal this on the website. What it...read full entry...
  • iPods everywhereJanuary 22, 2005 – Apparently there are other uses for iPods than carrying around WorldCat. This short BBC video [5.6M QuickTime MOV] entertains. (Link via Adam Rosi-Kessel.)...read full entry...
  • WorldCat in your pocketJanuary 19, 2005 – We have been looking at things recently which have made my colleagues interested in hardware again, and which also show how far we have come in being able to manipulate and move large amounts of data. WorldCat is our union catalogue of about 56 million bibliographic records, which represent approximately...read full entry...
  • Generation so-not-youDecember 26, 2004 – Christmas morning ... Lorcan: let's read the instructions first ... Children: gone ......read full entry...
  • More on standardsDecember 12, 2004 – Further to my note on standards below, Jon Udell has some interesting remarks on standards of interest to us in a recent post. I was reminded of the twin themes of this column -- digital identity and the semantic web -- when Sean McGrath pointed to John Sowa's essay The...read full entry...
  • Digital natives and digital immigrantsDecember 01, 2004 – An Ecar report contains findings of a survey of students at several universities. It looks at use of technologies in learning, and more generally. They quote a distinction made by Marc Prensky between digital natives (who grew up with the technology) and digital immigrants (who did not). The findings are...read full entry...
  • 20 top IT mistakes to avoidNovember 28, 2004 – Chad Dickerson, in InfoWorld, writes about the top 20 IT mistakes to avoid. A couple of quotes:On the one hand, the most conservative IT shops dismiss open source solutions as a matter of policy. That's a big mistake: Taking an indefinite wait-and-see attitude toward open source means passing up proven,...read full entry...
  • Simple gets usedNovember 21, 2004 – More of Bosworth. It is worth thinking about MARC and Z39.50 in the context of this entry. MARC will take a long time to change? How soon will SRU replace Z39.50, or will it? Again, worth quoting at length.In the same way, I see two diametrically opposed tendencies in the...read full entry...
  • Mobile devicesNovember 20, 2004 – A new JISC report on mobile devices.Increasingly, staff and students within higher education institutions own and make use of these devices, particularly, in the case of students, in the main target age group of 18 to 24 years. Currently this use is often personal, informal and ad hoc, but increasingly...read full entry...
  • FirefoxNovember 17, 2004 – Among the many discussions of Firefox:As useful as the features and usability tweaks are, there is something much more interesting about Firefox and Thunderbird, and that is the sense you are dealing with well-polished end user applications and not collections of components. Firefox and Thunderbird represent a new breed of...read full entry...
  • Software as a serviceNovember 07, 2004 – Adam Bosworth's latest post argues that software provided as a service will be more flexible and able to evolve to meet user needs than software distributed to desktops or other scattered environments. Well this is where the comment about evolution in action comes in. Things that breed rapidly more quickly...read full entry...
  • Adobe, Yahoo and service recombinationOctober 31, 2004 – There is a growing desire to provide service at the point of need, or "at the point of inspiration" as Tim Cadogan of Yahoo says. Yahoo and Adobe have announced a collaboration around the Yahoo toolbar which will put Adobe and Yahoo functionality together on the desktop. This is another...read full entry...
  • VirtualizationSeptember 21, 2004 – Virtualization, outsourcing, ASP, ... Jonathan Schwartz signals a Sun announcement about 'computing utility' services. He provides some nice ways of talking about this phenomenon which could be applied to what we have historically known as 'bibliographic utilities', and also to current initiatives which look at providing shared infrastructure in the...read full entry...
  • Sun blogsAugust 10, 2004 – ZDNet on the Schwartz phenomenon. The COO and President of Sun is using his blog to go straight to a wider audience with strong views.:In the bigger picture, as a regular blogger, Schwartz is using the Web technology as a direct channel to customers, prospects, stockholders, partners, and employees. Except...read full entry...
  • WiglafAugust 06, 2004 – Beowulf celebrates 10 years of computing activity.In late 1993, Becker and Thomas Sterling, both working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, began thinking about the possibilities of cluster computing. In the summer of 1994, Wiglaf -- the first Beowulf cluster, sporting 16 66-Mhz 486 DX4 processors connected by channel-bonded ethernet...read full entry...
  • MSN sandboxAugust 02, 2004 – Along the lines of Google Labs, and even, dare I say, our own ResearchWorks, is the MSN Sandbox.This is the place to play with new MSN technologies, look at prototypes, and peek behind the scenes at some of our new ideas. Let us know what you think about how we...read full entry...
  • Sun on eBayJuly 30, 2004 – Jonathan Schwartz notes that Sun has been experimenting with eBay as a sales channel. We've been running an experiment recently - putting computers up for sale on eBay. [Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog]...read full entry...
  • Value and interoperabilityJuly 30, 2004 – A second discontinuity for vendors is the double-edged sword of creating true interoperability while selling unique value. Customers want open systems using open standards, but the very act of truly achieving this commoditizes the proprietary value of a system's uniqueness. Community source projects also create viable reference implementations of open...read full entry...
  • Open SourceJuly 30, 2004 – Spotted on a company T-shirt recently: "we make open source affordable"....read full entry...
  • Standards, buyers and sellersJuly 24, 2004 – We tend to think of standards as a good thing without always thinking about the incentives for adoption among various stakeholders. Brad Wheeler (Indiana University and SAKAI) argues an interesting case, as reported by Wilbert Kraan on the CETIS website. Brad argued that the relation boils down to the question...read full entry...
  • IE team blogJuly 23, 2004 – The Microsoft Internet Explorer Weblog is at IEBlog. Not much there yet.Our goal in this blog is to be a good place, direct from the source, for information about IE. What are we working on? How do we make decisions? Why does some part of IE work the way it...read full entry...
  • iPods for courseworkJuly 22, 2004 – Duke is providing its incoming freshmen with a free iPod. Students also will be able to use the devices to download course content, recorded lectures, foreign language lessons, audio books and music from a special Duke website modeled after iTunes. The school will supply voice recorders for some classes, enabling...read full entry...
  • Sage and firefoxJuly 15, 2004 – Tim Bray on Sage, a FireFox extension which provides an RSS reader integrated in the browser. I have been using this for a while now and find it just fine....read full entry...
  • Spolsky on MicrosoftJune 18, 2004 – Spolsky on Microsoft has been noticed in several places:However, there is a less understood phenomenon which is going largely unnoticed: Microsoft's crown strategic jewel, the Windows API, is lost. The cornerstone of Microsoft's monopoly power and incredibly profitable Windows and Office franchises, which account for virtually all of Microsoft's income...read full entry...
  • eBay platformMay 27, 2004 – Google, Amazon and eBay are increasingly becoming large scale computational platforms available to other applications through web services. See recent announement from eBay. At this week's Microsoft Conference, eBay and Borland Software Corporation (Nasdaq: NM: BORL) announced a new relationship that will provide Borland developers with access to tools and...read full entry...
  • Hal Varian on IT as a commodityMay 09, 2004 – Hal Varian reviews Nicholas Carr's book Does IT matter: Business > Economic Scene: How Much Does Information Technology Matter?">In my view, companies cannot afford to ignore information technology, or relegate it to the back burner. Commoditizing it does not necessarily mean innovation slows. If anything, it could accelerate as more...read full entry...
  • First Monday article on OSSApril 12, 2004 – However, Open Source technology continues to remain foreign to the large majority of computer users. In order to accommodate these users, I believe that the five issues I mentioned must be seriously addressed and actively resolved. Due to the increases in Open Source usage, these changes should take place as...read full entry...
  • Cringeley on Sun/Microsoft dealApril 12, 2004 – McNealy should have watched "Godfather 3" -- "Never hate your enemies, it clouds your judgement." [PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column]...read full entry...
  • Tip House on extreme programmingApril 12, 2004 – Tip House has a website on extreme programming:This site is dedicated to all those involved in testing on XP projects, particularly acceptance and functional testing. [xptester.org home page]and a book:This practical tutorial for software builders demonstrates how testing is central to the extreme programming (XP) approach and explains what testing...read full entry...
  • IndexDataMarch 31, 2004 – Some colleagues will be familiar with IndexData the small Danish company set up by Sebastian Hammer which provides the open source Yaz 339.50 toolkit which is widely used. Sebastian Hammer is moving to the US shortly, and David Dorman is now promoting IndexData products in the US. They have an...read full entry...
  • Cringely on SCOFebruary 19, 2004 – 6) As for SCO, they'll continue to make noise until the middle of the year, at which point the legal case will implode and the company will give up. By that time, the company executives, insiders, and major investors will have all sold their positions at a handsome profit. This...read full entry...
  • Wireless access on the goJanuary 02, 2004 – Jon Udell describes his experiences looking for wireless access in his relatives' hometown, and being questioned by the police for sitting in a running car outside a local school.Is it conceivable that a small town might designate a well-known AP for public access, including drive-through use? The public library would...read full entry...
  • AlertboxDecember 22, 2003 – I typically find myself nodding in agreement when reading Jakob Nielsen's alertbox. Of course, others may have a different response! Here are his top ten web design mistakes of 2003. Sites are getting better at using minimalist design, maintaining archives, and offering comprehensive services. However, these advances entail their own...read full entry...
  • Microsoft and CRMDecember 07, 2003 – Microsoft will launch a global assault on the Customer Relationship Management market on Monday with the release of multi-language software aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). [FT.com Home US]...read full entry...
  • Open source vs buyNovember 19, 2003 – Interesting article by the CIO of UW Madison. They like to buy, but uncertainty in the vendor space is prompting them to look at open source again despite the maintenance gaps.So why, given the challenges of maintenance and support, did I opt in to a collaborative open-source project last July?...read full entry...
  • Clusters figure highly in top supercomputer listNovember 19, 2003 – While the overall rate of performance growth of the top 500 systems is steady, distributed clusters of generally off-the-shelf microprocessors are taking larger shares of these high-end systems. Indeed, seven of the top 10 systems are now clusters. The exceptions are NEC Corp.'s Earth Simulator, by far the most powerful...read full entry...
  • World's fastest computersNovember 16, 2003 – This list came up in discussion with OSU computer science faculty during the week.The TOP500 project was started in 1993 to provide a reliable basis for tracking and detecting trends in high-performance computing. Twice a year, a list of the sites operating the 500 most powerful computer systems is assembled...read full entry...
  • Unplug and playNovember 11, 2003 – I think this is a very nice phrase to describe some of what is happening as we look at service oriented approaches.Implementing an SOA leads to agile application assembly, which is a new approach to application development, maintenance and integration that I like to call 'Unplug and play': "... achieved...read full entry...
  • Web design and usability guidelinesNovember 02, 2003 – A resource from the National Cancer Institute:Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines The "Strength of the Evidence" scale provides designers and developers with an indication of how seriously they should consider each guideline. A five-point scale is used to denote the "strength of the evidence" related to each guideline. The...read full entry...
  • Adopting open sourceNovember 02, 2003 – Open source is an easy choice for the Early Adopter customer: low cost, time to market, and extensibility offer significant business advantage. It's not such an easy choice for Pragmatists, however, as a single provider will never deliver the Whole Product. For Pragmatists to reap the benefits of open source,...read full entry...
  • Mitch Kapor's ChandlerOctober 26, 2003 – When Ken Klingenstein was here he spoke a bit about Chandler from the Open Source Applications Foundation. A 'marketing' article in MIT's Technology Review:Mitch Kapor's new, more intuitive computer interface puts all the information we need to manage our digital lives at our fingertips, no matter what form it�s in....read full entry...
  • Amazon inside MicrosoftOctober 23, 2003 –  By integrating Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com Research Services for Microsoft Office System will provide Microsoft Office System users with convenient and seamless access to Amazon.com from within Microsoft productivity applications via the Research Task Pane. Users will be able to access Amazon.com information and make purchases without launching a...read full entry...