Enabling Eureka via Citeability

The story of Archimedes resonates with everyone, because we all regularly feel that rush of excitement that he famously felt when discovering the principle of water displacement: “Eureka!” he shouted, “I have found it!”

Whether it’s car keys or the perfect birthday present for a loved one, we know that feeling. But how often do you feel like shouting “Eureka” when you’re surfing the web looking for a particular piece of government information?

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Stop being so touchy

Remember Tom Cruise’s virtual 3D in Minority Report? Wouldn’t it be cool if, instead of an iPhone-like touch screen, we could manipulate data and 3D images on screens by simply moving our hands – interacting virtually without touching a keyboard or screen?

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Opening Doors to Interoperability

I had to write a freshman term paper on Immanuel Kant, and chose as a topic his role in sparking the German Enlightenment, from which I at least learned the word Aufklarung … which surprisingly doesn’t come up much in normal conversation, even when I’m in Germany. But I’ve been thinking about that movement and its ramifications quite a bit, because of the ongoing technology enlightenment driven by “open-source” approaches.

When I announced I was joining Microsoft, several of my friends in the open-source-software “movement” raised their eyebrows and ribbed me for joining the dark side… although the brighter ones also pointed out several important trends and markers through 2006 and 2007, changes in Microsoft behavior and approach which appeared to signal that the company was tacking in a much more open direction. Ray Ozzie’s joining of the company, and his announced projects, were taken as significant, along with several software launches (both in the Live world and elsewhere) with fundamentally open foundations.

Today the company is making public what Steve Ballmer and Ray Ozzie are calling “important changes to our technology and business practices that will enhance the interoperability of our products and expand the technical information we share with developers, partners, customers, and competitors.” All to the good, including more comprehensive information about the new “Interoperability by Design” approach.

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