Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How many tweets does an earthquake make?

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to send a tweet about it, did it really fall? This is the question I've been trying to wrap my head around today, after reading Steve Gillmor's latest missive from the realtime future (where they speak a somewhat different version of English than we do at present). Gillmor reports on a seismic event that happened near his home earlier today: This morning I felt a jolt and reached for my iPhone to check in with my wife on the highway. She immediately asked whether it was on Twitter... http://ping.fm/Cj4iP

What Publishers Need to Learn from Software Developers

There was a great exchange on the O'Reilly editors' backchannel the other day, so illuminating that I thought I should share it with the rest of you. We've been discussing the fast-track development we're using to produce The Twitter Book. (We're basically authoring the book as a presentation, after I realized how much more quickly I am able to put... http://ping.fm/h7dr9

Four short links: 31 Mar 2009

Web traffic, web design, hacker spaces, and feature spaces: iPhone and Android Make Up 50% of Google's SmartPhone Traffic Worldwide -- Matt Gross found this interesting tidbit in a TechCrunchIT story. Refining Data Tables -- Luke Wroblewski gives some seriously good tips for designing usable tables in web pages. After forms, data tables are likely the next most ubiquitous interface... http://tinyurl.com/cp95sf

Monday, March 30, 2009

Continuous deployment in 5 easy steps

One of the lean startup techniques I’ll be discussing at this week’s session at the Web 2.0 Expo is called continuous deployment. It’s a process whereby all code that is written for an application is immediately deployed into production. The result is a dramatic lowering of cycle time and freeing up of individual initiative. It has enabled companies I’ve worked... http://ping.fm/TJJsC

Four short links: 30 Mar 2009

A great free book, dead newspaper dig, movie Torrent wakeup, and money from free: Digital Foundations with Adobe Illustrator -- CC-licensed book that gets you started using Adobe Illustrator. I'm loving it, and I have the artistic ability of a particularly philistine rock. See also their advice to authors on how to negotiate a Creative Commons license. (via bjepson's delicious... http://ping.fm/0WLnQ

Web2Open: An Exciting Experiment

As I've written here recently, we've got some amazing sessions scheduled for Web2Open--the free unconference hosted by Web 2.0 Expo in SF this week. One that I'm particularly excited about is a new experiment, "Practice Your Customer Pitch." We're bringing in five startups who will get two minutes each to give their customer pitch (not their VC pitch), as if... http://ping.fm/Fcluy

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Today's Sunday Times features an interesting essay on Wikipedia by Noam Cohen, Rough Type's Journalist of the Week (my last post was inspired by his article on ghosttwittering). Cohen draws an elaborate parallel between Wikipedia and a city: With its millions of visitors and hundreds of thousands of volunteers, its ever-expanding total of articles and languages spoken, Wikipedia may be the closest thing to a metropolis yet seen online ... The search for information resembles a walk through an overbuilt quarter of an ancient capital. You circle around topics on a path that appears to be shifting ... Wikipedia encourages... http://ping.fm/hcsrB

Friday, March 27, 2009

Four short links: 27 Mar 2009

Design, Perl, Heresy, and Ephemera: Product Panic: 2009 -- Bruce Sterling essay on design for recession-panicked consumers. As is usual with Bruce, I can't tell whether he's wryly tongue-in-cheek or literally advocating what he says. Great panic products are like Roosevelt’s fireside chats. They’re cheery bluff. The standard virtues of fine industrial design—safety, convenience, serviceability, utility, solid construction … well,... http://ping.fm/DK0I7

The energy

The great thing about the two-dimensionality of the realtime-realspace continuum is that the sense of intimacy gets disconnected from the act of intimacy. You get the pleasure of the intimate exchange without having to clean up afterwards. No risk, no mess. In today's New York Times, Noam Cohen delivers the profoundly unstartling revelation that a lot of celebrities have hired flaks to feed content into their Twitter streams, their blogs, and the various other online channels of faux authenticity. A gentleman named Broadway (not his real name) thumbs tweets for rapper 50 Cent (not his real name), who has nearly... http://ping.fm/fF3Yz

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Azure and Microsoft....

Is Azure a Microsoft Data Centers-only Thing?
— Microsoft’s unreleased Azure cloud is not meant for private on-premises hosting, the company said. It’s strictly a Microsoft data centers-only thing supposedly because some of the new Azure widgetry Microsoft invents is bound to turn up in Windows Server – from which Azure derives anyway – as well as System Center.

Ignite SF @ Expo: 4/1 at Mezzanine

Ignite is coming back to San Francisco. On April First, the second night of the Web 2.0 Expo, I'll be hosting an Ignite at the Mezzanine (just four short blocks away from Moscone). As with all Ignites each speaker will only get 20 slides that each auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of five minutes. Folks with a... http://ping.fm/257OM

Cloud Spending is up 21%

Cloud Spending To Be Up 21% This Year: Gartner
— Gartner thinks that global revenues from cloud computing will surge 21.3% this year and top $56 billion, according to Reuters reporting from Finland. IT spending is obviously shifting in search of cost-effectiveness as the economy goes to hell.

Web 2.0 Expo Preview: Will Wright, Sims and Simulations

Will Wright has been the foundational genius behind a thirty year string of blockbuster games, from the early Raid on Bungeling Bay in 1984 to the first truly fun urban simulation, Sim City. From there he delved deeper into the lives of the individual inhabitants of those cities with the Sims, a game that let players actually shape how his simulated people interacted with one another (while making them increasingly life-like and sophisticated in their own actions). In 2008, he released Spore, where the simulations focused on the evolution of life in a massively parallel game system. Scheduled for June 2009, Wright will release the much awaited Sims 3, in which for the first time, the Sims can explore their world. Wright will be speaking on the Sims and games in general at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. O'Reilly editor Kurt Cagle caught up with Will Wright to ask a few questions. http://ping.fm/YWLWG

Four short links: 26 Mar 2009

Books, Money, Collective Despair, and a Dashboard of Doom: Will The Real iPod For Reading Please Stand Up -- Sebastian Mary argues eloquently that we're too focused on long-term writing because of the requirements and constraints imposed upon us by a mass-market paper book, whereas text online is basically an experiment in different lengths and sizes to find new balances... http://ping.fm/3tAFd

Ignite Show: Dr. Jayson Falkner on DNA Science, It Works!

At Ignite Portland #5, Dr. Jayson Falkner explained the latest in DNA Science, how its effected human evolution and what it's doing to our society. We've cleaned it up and put it into Episode 6 of the Ignite Show. The title is a tribute to the classic XKCD cartoon "Science! It Works....". The Ignite Show will feature a different speaker every Tuesday for free. http://ping.fm/HsEw0

The Cloud: Before we knew what we were doing..

I am going to take a moment, though I might have touched on this and will again, to discuss what is about to occur. Obviously I can draw myself into a tangent on where we are in the complete realm of technology. It is easy. For a moment of nostalgia, I just put in The Matrix to remember what the long nights were about.

Those nights were about the quest. What quest? In retrospect I cannot remember the passion of the night. I remember the days when we didn't have all of the technology we do today. Kind of like the dawn of the DVD's. There were many nights where the gentle glow of the monitor, the Matrix and A Perfect Circle was all I had (that and alot of coffee).

Those nights, with the stimulus of the background ambiance, were the true creative moments. We existed in a zone few know. The conscious state of the mind clamoring at sleep while the endorphins of the mind were stimulating the very state of the euphoria we existed in. The absolute zone. We created.

We pushed Linux to knew levels. We were pushing security of the systems. Making each a fortress upon itself. Collapsing the perimeters of poorly configured systems and pulling the network behind secure infrastructure. Each day watching the technology change.

Then I would look up and spend a moment in the Matrix. How could something make so much sense. I remember the song by Pearl Jam... "Do the Evolution". What a mind job. Is that what we were doing. Honestly... we all know it. We were building the dawn of the next generation.

The nights carried on. The quests evolved. Technology grew exponentially; not just in the hardware of the desktop. But the laptops, networks, security, knowledge and anything technological went through a massive overhaul. We saw ebay grow up, Amazon evolve, Google become a dominance, Microsoft falling to paradigms they couldn't see, and YouTube. YouTube comes on the scene in 1995 and today accounts for 10% of all Internet traffic.

Why does all of it matter? It matters simply for this reason: We were the dawn of the day we sit in now. We provided the path. We provided the perimeter. We provided the networks. And now the Cloud.

This is the commoditization of a frontier never seen before. We aren't only connected to the system we are interconnected to each other. We took the red pill and we have no idea what the rabbit hole is doing to us.

As technologists, we have a new task... To build technology as a commodity. Mr. Nicholas Carr so eloquently outlined it in his book "From Edison to Google".

Where do I choose to focus.. Right on the edge of the cut. Bleeding profusely in a technological world I have no idea which way to turn (not really I do know).

It is here that we continue the evaluation of the cloud.

P.S. I took a moment to reflect. I will get back to the cloud discussion and some do's and don'ts.... Maybe we will even focus on the Private/Public discussion later.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An amateur among professionals

The new issue of Wired has a nifty little article by Rex Sorgatz (wasn't that the name of Julia's rich dickhead husband in Brideshead Revisited?) that provides a flowchart-styled guide to the blowhards of the Internet. Sorgatz manages to squeeze me into the group, smackdab between Michael Arrington and Jeff Jarvis. I am, of course, at once pleased and humbled to be included among such august company. But I also feel a slight sense of shame in that I don't think I've fully earned the honor. I have enough self-awareness to know this: I'll never be able to blow as... http://ping.fm/Momzw

jeffs_tech_wrld: Dobbs Dr. Dobb's Agile Update 03/09: http://tinyurl.com/cf87ue

jeffs_tech_wrld: Dobbs Dr. Dobb's Agile Update 03/09: http://ping.fm/z9VLB http://ping.fm/YlhT9
SOA, Cloud Computing & Live Mesh: A Day in the Life of Ivan Eyepack 2009
— Back in 2001 Steve Ross-Talbot wrote an article entitled A day in the Life of Ivan Eyepack. This was the story of how in 2001 someone equipped with a Compaq Ipaq would live in a connected world. The star of that story was very much the device. Now we have much more powerful devices and more choice - but surprisingly the starring role has moved to the ‘cloud' - services on the internet. Recently Microsoft announced Live Mesh, filling in a vital missing piece of the puzzle and ushering in a whole range of cloud based services.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What is the Cloud (In simple terms)

The term cloud computing and software-as-a-service have become two of the most tossed around buzz words over the past year or two. Defining these terms will provide a framework for discussing the additional topics that make up cloud computing.

What is cloud computing? Better yet, what is software-as-a-service? Are they the same thing? Are they necessary? Why do we care? How does social networking fit in here? Can we utilize these technologies?

Cloud computing - “Cloud computing is a computing paradigm in which tasks are assigned to a combination of connections, software and services accessed over a network. This network of servers and connections is collectively known as "the cloud." Computing at the scale of the cloud allows users to access supercomputer-level power. Using a thin client or other access point, like an iPhone, BlackBerry or laptop, users can reach into the cloud for resources as they need them. For this reason, cloud computing has also been described as "on-demand computing."” (searchenterprisedesktop.com)

Remember the “Cloud” is not the Internet, as some would believe. The Internet is utilized as a vehicle but it is not the cloud. Google, Amazon, eBay, etc utilize cloud technologies to provide services via the Internet. The cloud technologies are an operating technology built on a vast number of computers that provide a service.

There are three areas which we will focus on over the next several days: Applications, Hardware and Social Networking.

Cloud technologies are about to revolutionize our systems.... And mostly, the way we do business.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Clouds and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

If you choose to just look over this document, it is understood. But please remember one thing.... This blog and the master document were made with google docs on a netbook using a broadband connection... Basically, in a nutshell Software-as-a-Service (cloud computing 101).

This document looks from a high level view of the technologies offered by cloud computing and considerations in what should be observed by each person reading this. The detail into each technology is coming at a later date. I will address each with the documentation supporting it.

Over the past twelve to eighteen months there have been significant shifts in the technology industry. The penetration of Google as a commodity and their direct impact to competitors has pushed for adaptation of these new philosophies. The result has lead to a revolution of technology not seen since the introduction of the software and PC’s of the 80’s and 90’s or the Internet in the 90’s and 2000’s.

The industry has been historically developed through the computing capacity of machines, the reduction of cost of storage and an exponential increase of bandwidth not only to businesses but the last mile for the customer. With the recognition of technology, development and deployment of the next stage has begun. Evaluation to this is critical to developing a business plan for the years out.

Simply, we either drive the bus or get run over by the bus.

Today we can carry technology services to everyone via traditional technologies. We have noticed a huge reduction of traditional services offered through the years basically reducing the need for several industries... (newspapers, landlines, distributed systems, etc). This reduction is largely attributed to advancement in technologies introduced into the business market.

While we were deploying our traditional client/server models and distributed environments, Google was growing and moving in a different direction as the “traditional” industry was consistently taking us within the distributed systems environments.

As all business has done, we built silos of technology that were and are still underutilized to the point of unnecessary expenditures and duplicity of skill sets throughout the Industry. But the design and use of technology is skewed to support our customer base in a fluctuating nature to grow and evolve dynamically with the technological advances. Simply, Google’s household recognition and published evolution followed by the success of clouds within Amazon and eBay (to name a few) has brought us to today.

Each year a new technology or application is introduced. Most industries wait to deploy this technology up to eighteen to twenty four months later. The hesitation causes us miss a technology cycle during the phase of waiting. Historically, we have felt that waiting for the first upgrade, revision or service pack release is a model that works. In reality it is a way of business is several years old. The difficulty lays in our competitors adopting technologies earlier and making it available immediately.

The following posts will touch on the direction of the market, how we should look at it, and ultimately position ourselves to take advantage of the technologies. We will look into how the Return on Investment (ROI) will show a cost savings.

And while reading through this document, keep one thought in mind: Currently there are approximately 15% of systems utilizing cloud technologies in varying degrees today. BY THE YEAR 2011, it is projected to be approximately above 50%. 2011 is just twenty months from now.

This is where it begins

The essence of technology is about to explode again.  The days of distributed systems, Personnel who knows geek speak and purchasing large single use systems are coming to an end.

We are now looking at technologies which serve in a different capacity.

This is it.