Showing posts from April, 2006

Beaver Overthinking Dam

April 19, 2006 | The Onion Issue 42•16

HUNTSVILLE, ONTARIO—Local beaver Dennis Messner is spending an inordinate amount of time and effort in the planning and construction phases of building his dam, according to neighbors close to the project.

In the past four months, Messner, 4, has visited hundreds of other dams and drawn up detailed and extensive blueprints. He has researched topics ranging from advanced dome acoustics to the near-extinction of the North American beaver in the early 20th century, and plans to incorporate much of his research into his design.
Enlarge ImageDennis Messner

Dennis Messner

"There are two primary schools of thought on dam building: the instinctive school and the adaptive school," Messner said, studying the river's current. "I'm more of an integration-minded postmodernist. I don't believe that form should follow function, like most of my colleagues do. On the other hand, a dam is a celebration of beaver culture, and that is what it …

Dear Office of the Clerk

I was pleased to receive your gracious request for my presence at the small get-together to be held in your exalted halls on Thursday the 28th of July. Be assured that I was grateful for the warm tidings offered by you, the Arlington County Sheriff's Department, and please know I am fully aware of your overflowing social calendar. Therefore, it is with no small sense of remorse, particularly in light of the many previous engagements of ours that I have had cause to break, that I must regretfully decline your invitation.

Bubble 2.0?

I wouldn't quite call it "Bubble 2.0" just because VCs are eager to invest again. The Internet is a genuinely big deal. The bust was as much an overreaction as the boom. It's to be expected that once we started to pull out of the bust, there would be a lot of growth in this area, just as there was in the industries that spiked the sharpest before the Depression.

The reason this won't turn into a second Bubble is that the IPO market is gone. Venture investors are driven by exit strategies. The reason they were funding all those laughable startups during the late 90s was that they hoped to sell them to gullible retail investors; they hoped to be laughing all the way to the bank. Now that route is closed. Now the default exit strategy is to get bought, and acquirers are less prone to irrational exuberance than IPO investors. The closest you'll get to Bubble valuations is Rupert Murdoch paying $580 million for Myspace. That's only off by a factor of 10 or so.



Your eyes
which first held me captivated
where I stood.

Your smile
to dazzle the sun
and warm every corner of my soul.

Your voice
like a sparkling mountain stream
which flows into my heart.

Your walk
and the way your gracefulness
takes my breath away.

Your hair
about which I dreamed
cascading into my face
as you hover over me.

Your hands
whose caress I crave
to hold my face
in their tenderness.

Your arms
I long to have around my neck
as you pull me close
to your warmth.

Most of all
everything you are
changed the way I feel about my life.

I love you.

Enterprise Web 2.0

Dion Hinchcliffe -- Noted business and IT forward-thinker John Hagel wrote a detailed piece yesterday about what he calls the "highly dysfunctional gap" between SOA and Web 2.0. And it's true, there are few worlds in the IT industry that seem more opposite from each other, yet are more strangely intertwined, than SOA and Web 2.0. What will happen?
IT Commandment: Put thy users first, above all else by ZDNet's Dion Hinchcliffe -- While the concept of IT commandments sounds rigid and inflexible to me, I will admit there are some core truths that should almost never be violated. Fellow ZDNetter Paul Murphy has recently blazed this trail and it's an interesting experiment in seeing what people believe is fundamentallly important in IT if nothing else, and spark useful debates. IT commandments will be part of a ZDNet blog series over the next week or so.

AJAX-CLient Side

The client-side technology known as Ajax continues to grow at an explosive rate, both in visibility and actual use. The number of Web developers who are learning Ajax and incorporating it into their applications is such that, increasingly, development managers must assess Ajax-related proposals from their technical staff.What is Ajax? What value does it provide? Why is it growing in popularity? What toolkits are available, and how do they compare? What are the risks involved in adopting Ajax? What are best practices for incorporating Ajax? Ajax is the name given to a disparate collection of programming techniques that involve browser-side technologies such as JavaScript, Document Object Model, and background transfers between server and client of XML data and JavaScript objects. Ajax gained prominence early in 2005 with the widespread user adoption of innovative Web-based services from Google: Gmail (Web-based e-mail) and Google Maps. More recently, it seems that every new high-profil…

Software as a Service

SaaS as a software solution that is hosted and
supported by a vendor as a service, which is accessed by users via the
Internet, without the need to deploy and maintain an on-premise IT
infrastructure. Whereas some people associate SaaS with ‘pay-as-you-go’
subscription pricing, SaaS is more indicative of the hosted deployment model.
In fact, SaaS can be priced via subscription, annually or perpetually.
SaaS has generated growing industry attention and customer acceptance
because it offers a simpler method to adopt and administer essential
business software applications such as enterprise spend management, ecommerce,
workforce performance management (WPM), and customer
relationship management (CRM). It also makes it easier for end-users to
access and use these applications via the Internet.
SaaS does not require additional IT infrastructure investments in new servers
and databases to store data, or private networks to permit user access.
Instead, companies can leverage the SaaS provider’s hosting fa…

Press Releas: JackBe and AJAX related

Today's focus: JackBe nimble with AJAX and business

By Mark Gibbs

The explosion of interest and tools in the Asynchronous _JavaScript + XML, or AJAX, market has been remarkable and resulted in an unusual situation: In the phase where the AJAX market is still taking baby steps the tools that enable AJAX development have gone from premium pricing to commodity pricing in a single year.

An example of a contender in the AJAX market that has recognized that the value to enterprises lies in offering more than a tool kit is JackBe with its NQ Suite .

First, let's look at its technology: JackBe provides a complete suite for developing AJAX applications and as the company's architecture diagrams show, JackBe is a bridge between the client-side and the server-side presentation logic (why don't more companies take the time to draw useful architectural diagrams as JackBe has - well done chaps!).

The client side requires JackBe Core Services , _JavaScript libraries that provide rendering…

AJAX in the Enterprise

AJAX solutions provide real business benefits such as competitive differentiation; increased online revenue and sales conversions; higher customer satisfaction, retention, and productivity; and lower support costs by improving the usability of your Web applications.ROI: Better user interfaces can result in fewer human errors resulting in time savings, and less overall frustration. Reduced long-term impact of bandwidth requirements.“Ajax Cost Savings = Hourly Labor Rate X (Seconds Saved per Transaction X Number of Transactions per year) / 3600Looking at a conservative potential time savings of 36 seconds per transaction, if a business performs 50,000 of these transactions per year, and a labor cost of $20/hour, we see a total labor savings of $10,000 per year, or 500 man hours, on this transaction type alone. Given the Microsoft Fiddler predicted time savings of 199.01 seconds per transaction for a remotely hosted application, you see a more aggressive cost reduction of approximately $…

GIS and Interoperability

Interoperability is an essential design goal for any enterprise GIS system, but this will not be achieved through standardization of fine-grained APIs. The experience of GIS
vendors and data publishers within the OGC, not to mention the larger software industry, has confirmed this. The first family of OGC technology specifications, collectively referred to as Simple Features, did not deliver directly in terms of interoperability because the Simple Features APIs for Component Object Model (COM) and the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) were not widely implemented (only one vendor has implemented all these, which does not constitute interoperability). However, the specification of feature geometry and coordinate systems that emerged from the Simple Features specifications has become central to the new generation of Web-based specifications.
The bearer of interoperability must be the data model. The data model must be rich enough and adaptive enough to contain all that is n…

Future of GIS

“Currently, GIS is being implemented on the Internet with simple Web mapping technologies. Such recent advances as the Google Earth 3D visualization environment are simply extending map-viewing capabilities in this traditional manner. But as the GIS server architecture takes hold, we will see leveraging of the Web 2.0 environment for integration and the linking of a whole multitude of distributed services, as well as the development of a whole new generation of embedded applications that will make use of these services. This new architecture will support both existing and new workflows that will lead to improvements in how information is integrated and used to support multi-agency/multi-organization collaboration.To realize the full potential of service-oriented architecture with geoservices, certain procedures and protocols will have to be implemented, including standardization of data models, creation of interoperability procedures (Extract, Transform, and Load and related technolog…


to Ajax has also brought attention
to rich Web applications, which will
help vendors using other development
approaches, Garrett said.
According to Norbye, better
browsers, tools, and network performance
will improve Ajax’s capabilities
in the future.
Ajax could find various uses. For
example, vendors could use it to build
Web-based versions of desktop applications.
This way, companies could
make software widely available to
employees via a network and thus
avoid spending the time and money
required to install applications on
every computer. Ajax also could be
useful for the growing number of Web
applications for mobile devices.
However, predicted Root, while Ajax
may prove interesting to developers
now, they may turn to versions of Flash
and other technologies in the future
because, for example, Flash supports
audio, video, advanced vector graphics,
and other capabilities that Ajax
can’t offer.
Because they find it useful, companies
will create more Ajax-based
applications in the near future,
predicted K…

Press Release: Sun Exodus Aids JackBe

Sun Exodus Aids JackBe

Sun Exodus Aids JackBe: "To get a head start on the emerging trend of AJAX and SOA integration, JackBe, one of the early AJAX supporters (it had one of the first AJAX tool kits available on the market), has recruited three of Sun's top Java/SOA engineers, including Distinguished Engineer and Chief Java Architect John Crupi.
Crupi, who also was former chief technology officer of Sun's Enterprise Web Services Global Practice, joins JackBe as the company's CTO. Deepak Alur, a Sun principal engineer who led Sun's SOA initiatives and was lead architect for implementing eBay's V3 project, joins as JackBe's vice president of engineering. Dan Malks, also a Sun principal engineer, joins JackBe as vice president of solutions and strategic development.
The trio made up a core team focusing on SOA strategies in Sun's services-focused organization. The loss of these engineers is but another blow to Sun's software world in the wake of the rec…

Rich Internet Applications

develop large-scale, Web-based enterprise applications. Traditionally, they have
used Ajax for smaller programs and have developed more important software
with technologies by Microsoft, Macromedia, and Sun Microsystems.
Microsoft is reportedly trying to simplify the development of rich Web applications
via a project code-named Atlas. Atlas will provide tools to be used with
the company’s ASP.NET, which developers use to create Web pages whose elements
are treated as objects.
Microsoft declined to comment for this article.
Greg DeMichillie, lead analyst for Directions on Microsoft, a market research
firm, said there is little information about Atlas except that “it will work by providing
much of the boilerplate code that an Ajax developer would otherwise
have to write, such as determining which browser is being used and adjusting
the JavaScript sent to the client accordingly. That makes Ajax applications easier
to write because developers can focus on code specific to their application.”


As the Internet has become
more mature, rich applications
featuring responsive
user interfaces and interactive
capabilities have become
increasingly popular. The capabilities
represent a way to make programs
easier to use and more functional, thus
enhancing the user experience.
Developers have used a variety of
applications from companies such as
Macromedia, Microsoft, and Sun
Microsystems to add these capabilities
in the past, as discussed in the
“Developing Large-Scale Rich Web
Applications” sidebar.
However, Web applications have generally
exhibited problems such as slow
performance and limited interactivity,
particularly when compared to typical
desktop applications, noted Nate Root,
research director for Forrester Research,
a market analysis firm.
Now, developers are going back to
the future by building Web applications
using Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript
and XML), a set of technologies mostly
developed in the 1990s. A key advantage
of Ajax applications is that they
look and act more like desktop application…

NEWS Alert

I have just been named President of the Globe.