All Done With Words

December 30, 2009

Impressive – go here to appreciate the use of letters/words!


Merry Xmas Everyone

December 23, 2009

…Let’s Hope It’s A Good One, Without Any Fear…(John Lennon)

Picture credit here.

5 Fallacies Of Cloud Computing

December 22, 2009

Some more views on the likely impact of cloud computing here, centred around questioning the validity of the following five statements (see also here for background):

  1. New technology always supersedes old technology
  2. Cloud computing is new technology
  3. The cloud will replace data centers
  4. Cloud computing can work for any IT need
  5. The cloud is secure

Now, it may seem that I’m somehow anti-cloud. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is a sensible method for provisioning computing resources on demand and fulfills a very real market niche. I just do not believe that it is the answer to every IT problem, nor is it the sole future of IT — only small portion of it. Cloud computing will expand the market. I can envision a very near future where companies use a hybrid of traditional dedicated data center resources with cloud deployments to extend, replicate or expand as demand warrants. The cloud is indeed a new paradigm, but it lacks the underlying “shift” that alters the entire industry around it. The pundits should sheath their hyperbole and focus on what cloud computing can do for people rather than what it will do to the marketplace.

Climate Change: For And Against

December 21, 2009

Impressive infographic at Information is Beautiful presenting the two sides of the climate change debate: The Global Warming Skeptics vs The Scientific Consensus. The picture above is s small part of the whole chart.

Interesting discussion of the chart and more general issues here, including:

Of course, there is no such thing as a purely objective and judgment-free presentation of data, no matter how scrupulously the data itself may be collected; if nothing else, we make choices about what data to present. And a side-by-side comparison chart like this can’t help but give a slightly misleading impression of the relative merits of the arguments, by putting the conclusions of an overwhelming majority of honest scientists up against the arguments of a fringe collection of politically-motivated activists. But it’s certainly good to see the actual issues arrayed in point-counterpoint format.

Still, there remains a somewhat intractable problem: when people are arguing about issues that necessarily require expert knowledge that not everyone can possibly take the time to acquire for themselves, how do we make judgments about who to believe?

Free eBook on Microsoft Office 2010

December 21, 2009

Free e-book on Office 2010 here, download is about 10.5 MB.

First Look: Microsoft Office 2010, by Katherine Murray, offers 14 chapters of early content, organized like so:

Part I, “Envision the Possibilities,” introduces you to the changes in Office 2010 and shows you how you can make the most of the new features to fit the way you work today…

Part II, “Hit the Ground Running,” focuses on each of the Office 2010 applications in turn, spotlighting the key new features and showing how they relate to the whole…

Part III, “Next Steps with Office 2010,” zooms up to the big picture and provides examples to help you think through interoperability…

Principles Of Good Management

December 4, 2009

Clear exposition of 6 key principles of good business management – 10-minute video summary here and web site on the associated book ‘Awesomely Simple’ here (including free downloads and other resources).

Deceptively simple is probably a better description than awesomely simple!

21 Different Ways To Innovate

December 3, 2009

Remarkably, the above picture is not a fake (see picture credit below):

This is a re-engined development of the Model 116, designed as well by Theodore P. Hall. A 25,5 hp Crosly engine is in the rear, powering the plastic-bodied 4-seat car and a 190 hp Lycoming O-435C built on the 34,5 ft wing for flying. Pilot Reuben Snodgrass flew it for the first time on November 1, 1947 but the prototype crashed within 3 weeks due to fuel starvation. Using the same wing and another car body it flew again on January 29, 1948 piloted by W.G. Griswold. Both machines used the same registration.

Here are some ways of coming up with similarly innovative ideas, although hopefully a bit more practical:

1.    Copy someone else’s idea.
2.    Ask customers
3.    Observe customers
4.    Use difficulties and complaints
5.    Combine
6.    Eliminate
7.    Ask your staff
8.    Plan
9.    Run brainstorms
10.    Examine patents
11.    Collaborate
12.    Minimize or maximize
13.    Run a contest
14.    Ask – what if?
15.    Watch the competition
16.    Outsource
17.    Use open innovation
18.    Adapt a product to a new use
19.    Try Triz
20.    Go back in time
21.    Use social networks

How many have you tried?

What works best for your organisation and culture?

Do you use the same method(s) over and over again?

More details here and picture credit here.