Friday, November 25, 2005
USB Devices for the Person Who Has Everything
Digg pointed to this GadgetSpy article on the most pointless USB devices, like this USB Christmas Tree.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Seeing is Believing?
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Can you Digg it?
Digg is a technology news website that employs non-hierarchical editorial control. With digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do.
And from Digg an AJAX Wikipedia Search.
Free-fi vs Fee-fi
The End of Process?
If a knowledge worker has the organization's information in a social context at their finger tips, and the organization is sufficiently connected to tap experts and form groups instantly to resolve exceptions -- is there a role for business process as we know it?He starts by quoting Clay Shirky:
process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity.A couple more quotes:
Organizations are trapped in a spiral of declining innovation led by the false promise of efficiency. Workers are given firm guidelines and are trained to only draw within them. Managers have the false belief engineered process and hoarding information is a substitute for good leadership. Processes fail and silos persist despite dysfunctional matrices. Executives are so far removed from exceptions and objections that all they get are carefully packaged reports of good news and numbers that reveal the bad when it's too late.
John Seely Brown and John Hagel point out that while 95% of IT investment goes to support business process (to drive down costs), most employee time isn't spent on process -- but exceptions to process. Further, competitive advantage comes from how we innovate in handling exceptions. When something fails, informed and empowered employees turn to their social network. The informal network, or heterarchy, is where most business gets done.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
WiFi goes to College
Which are you?
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Virtual World Business Brands
Massively Multiplayer Online Games, also known as virtual worlds, have become increasingly popular sites for branded advertising campaigns. While most in-game advertising efforts involve established corporations working with game administrators to deliver targeted ad campaigns or the development of separate branded worlds, players who frequent some MMOGs are taking matters into their own hands by creating original brands for avatar clothing, virtual vehicles, event hosting services and more. Although amateur virtual brand developers typically have no previous professional experience with advertising or brand building, they use conventional industry tactics such as the creation of memorable brand names, product lines, logos and promotional web sites to create and communicate complex brand identities, spending as much as 50 hours per week promoting and managing their brands. With close readings of four member-developed business brands within the virtual worlds 'There' and 'Second Life', this paper demonstrates how each brand's identity is deeply intertwined with its creator's personal identity and the identity of its parent world. Virtual world business brands originally developed for their creators' own entertainment have unexpectedly turned into profitable enterprises that defy stable definitions of work and play.
Be Careful What You Search
DURHAM, N.C. -- Robert Petrick searched for the words "neck," "snap," "break" and "hold" on an Internet search engine before his wife died, according to prosecutors Wednesday.Thanks to Slashdot for the pointer. "Will police in the future simply serve a subpoena to Google to find out what you've been thinking about?"
Two Interesting Podcasts
- David Fogel on Problem Solving through Artificial Intelligence
- Vinod Khoosla on Web 2.0 companies avoiding Web 1.0 companies' mistakes
Monday, November 14, 2005
Watch out for Sony CDs!
Rootkits, by design, are virtually undetectable by anti-virus and anti-spam products. Even if they are detected, they integrate themselves so completely into the operating system that they are almost impossible to remove without going through a clean OS installation. UK outlet The Register recently covered this at length. In effect, you are generally better off buying a new PC.In essence, Sony is "attacking" your PC, something that at least three states believe violate their privacy laws, and have filed law suits against Sony.
Postscript (11/15/05): Yahoo News reports that Microsoft views the Sony rootkit a threat to its operating system and will distribute software to remove the rootkit from Windows.
Update (11/15/05): BusinessWeek Online reports that Sony will discontinue distributing the rootkit. Sony is making available software that will uninstall the rootkit. This software, however, is only available after filling out an on-line form and giving the Sony website unlimited access to your PC--a cure that is worse than the sickness. Bad Sony.
Now THAT's what I'm Talking About!
More on Google as an Ad company
GOOGLE IS CONSIDERING SELLING PRINT ads in two Chicago newspapers, a company spokesman confirmed Thursday. The initiative, described by the spokesman as "a potential print ads test" would allow advertisers to purchase ad space in the papers through Google's AdWords system. The beta service, called Google Publication Ads, is by invitation only, even to users with AdWords logins. It allows users to select a publication or list of publications by demographics, circulation details, or keywords; design an ad that incorporates text and images; and submit the ad online. The ad will then be forwarded to the publisher for approval, and when the ad runs, the user receives a proof of publication and a bill.
With the growth of blogs and other information delivered via RSS feeds, there is no way I could ever find all the useful content that is out there. I know there is someone in the blogosphere writing about a similar concept as I am right now - somewhere. (P.S. Here is one that's close)
The business possibilities of this context based delivery approach would be significant as well. Allowing the subscription to a number of different feeds with only the pertinent ones being displayed to the situation at hand. Because the value is high and the technology is ready, it will happen someday soon. I just can't wait.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Getting on the Ajax Bandwagon
"We should've been leaders with all our web properties in harnessing the potential of Ajax, following our pioneering work in OWA (Outlook Web Access)," Ozzie wrote. "We knew search would be important, but through Google's focus they've gained a tremendously strong position."
Forbes in self-destruct mode
Into the 600 range
Abstract Views: 3245
Download Rank: 695
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
TV on Demand for 99 Cents
Top 10 Software Bugs of All Time
1993 -- Intel Pentium floating point divide. A silicon error causes Intel's highly-promoted Pentium chip to make mistakes when dividing floating-point numbers that occur within a specific range. For example, dividing 4195835.0/3145727.0 yields 1.33374 instead of 1.33382, an error of 0.006 percent. Although the bug affects few users, it becomes a public relations nightmare. With an estimated 3 to 5 million defective chips in circulation, at first Intel only offers to replace Pentium chips for consumers who can prove that they need high accuracy; eventually the company relents and agrees to replace the chips for anyone who complains. The bug ultimately costs Intel $475 million.
There is a much more powerful source of influence available toThx to Jay Pelt for the reference.
anyone with experience as a human being — telling an authentically persuasive story.
There are six types of stories that will serve you well in your efforts to influence others.
Those you wish to influence begin with two major questions: Who are you? and Why are you here? Until these questions are answered they don’t trust what you say.
- Who I Am Stories
- Why I Am Here Stories
- My Vision Story
- Teaching Stories
- Values in Action Stories
- "I Know what you are Thinking" Stories
Monday, November 07, 2005
RFID Collision IDs
RFID chips, including the ones specified for U.S. passports, can still be uniquely identified by their radio behavior. Specifically, these chips have a unique identification number used for collision avoidance. It's how the chips avoid communications problems if you put a bagful of them next to a reader. This is something buried deep within the chip, and has nothing to do with the data or application on the chip.
Chip manufacturers don't like to talk about collision IDs or how they work, but researchers have shown how to uniquely identify RFID chips by querying them and watching how they behave. And since these queries access a lower level of the chip than the passport application, an access-control mechanism doesn't help.
To fix this, the State Department needs to require that the chips used in passports implement a collision-avoidance system not based on unique serial numbers. The RFID spec -- ISO 14443A is its name -- allows for a random system, but I don't believe any manufacturer implements it this way.
Artificial, Artificial Intelligence
Amazon has introduced a very innovative web service call the Mechanical Turk.
For software developers, the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service solves the problem of building applications that until now have not worked well because they lack human intelligence. Humans are much more effective than computers at solving some types of problems, like finding specific objects in pictures, evaluating beauty, or translating text. The idea of the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service is to give developers a programmable interface to a network of humans to solve these kinds of problems and incorporate this human intelligence into their applications.
For businesses and entrepreneurs who want tasks completed, the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service solves the problem of getting work done in a cost-effective manner by people who have the skill to do the work. It does this by accessing a vast network of human intelligence with the efficiencies and cost-effectiveness of computers. Oftentimes people do not move forward with certain projects because the cost to establish a network of skilled people to do the work outweighs the value of completing it. By turning the fixed costs into variable costs that scale with their needs, the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service eliminates this barrier and allows projects to be completed that before were not economical.
For people who want to earn money in their spare time, the Amazon Mechanical Turk web site solves the problem of finding work that they can do wherever and whenever they want.
Thanks to John Battelle for the pointer.
Friday, November 04, 2005
The Wisdom of Crowds
- Cognitive diversity
- Independent thought, and
- Efficient aggregation
High Tech Materials
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Wikipedia into Print
More Vernor Vinge Singularity
He uses an example. We are now embedding networked computing devices in the inanimate world around us. Once there is a critical mass of the networked embedded devices, the inanimate world will "wake up." The intelligent toaster will "converse" with the intelligent fridge without the mediation of the human. The emergent collective intelligence will create a world unlike anything we can imagine.
Vinge suggests reading Accelerando (2005) by Charles Stross. to get a sense for this kind of world.