March of progress with human consequences

Fact: Today Cisco announced a new program with “learning solutions partners” to support China’s growing IT infrastructure by “Nurturing Talent in More Than 100 Training Centers Across 31 Cities in China” (Cisco Launches Talent Development Strategy for China“)

Analysis: One day last week an enterprising handyman in my little town of Montross, Virginia spied a large sinkhole in the long driveway leading up to our house. He offered to my wife that he’d fill and level the hole for $20.  Sold! Continue reading

Invisibility, Mind-Control, Great Coffee, and a New OS

Lots of interest and blogoshere commentary beginning about “The Mojave Experiment.”

The reaction is reminiscent of one of those Obama or McCain provocative ads posted online, generating far more attention and buzz than the attention they get on the natural by being broadcast.

Sure, it’s a sales pitch, and pretty narrowly geeky at that (thanks GoogleFight!).

But at least it’s an innovative one – as the Wall Street Journal puts it today, “Give Microsoft people credit: They did it with humor, and they weren’t afraid to air the negative stuff.”

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Web Security and New Media in Politics

FACT: The Obama presidential campaign has been lauded for innovative uses of the Web and social media, particularly for fundraising and volunteer recruitment.  But as PC World has just reported, “Two months after their Web site was hacked, the organizers of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign are looking for a network security expert to help lock down their Web site…. Security experts said this is the first time they can remember seeing a Web security job advertised for a political campaign.”

ANALYSIS:  I wrote before about my experience in 1994-95 helping build one of the Internet’s first political campaign websites – I designed the content and wrote much of it, for Mayor Frank Jordan of San Francisco.  (The pages were literally built and posted by mayoral son Thomas Jordan, by the way, who was then a college student at UC-Berkeley; he went on to great things at Pixar.)   At the time, with such a simple site, we didn’t have to worry much about security – or so we thought, and luckily the worst scandal in those early years involved domain-squatting by certain rival campaigns.

As PC World points out, though, “Obama’s Web site, built by Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes, has been the model of Web 2.0 campaigning, using social-networking techniques to raise funds and build a broad base of active, Internet-savvy supporters. But security experts have long warned that powerful Web site features also open new avenues for attack.”

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From Microsoft’s Cloud – PopFly

I mentioned PopFly in my last post – many Web users are now beginning to appreciate how it enables the fun and ease of innovation for non-technical people. Go to www.popfly.com/ and set up your own account (free of course), and you’ll be able to create usable, powerful “tools” out of the Cloud, or with your own data. 

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How Not to Predict Stock Performance

Google hasn’t had a great week on the stock market so far, but it isn’t often that you get to use the words “Google stock” and “kick ‘em while they’re down” in the same sentence, so…

I like my own little subtle “inside jokes” a bit too much sometimes. If you’re sharp-eyed you’ll have noticed that on the left-hand margin, down a ways, is an RSS feed featuring the latest news stories which include the phrase, “the next Google.” Yes, I use Google News itself to drive the RSS feed, ha ha.

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Silverlight 2.0: It’s “1 better than 1.0″

Last week I was visiting an intelligence community facility which has been known for several years for housing some of the brightest and most innovative adopters of Web 2.0 approaches for classified systems. I could say who and where, but then I’d have to… well, not kill anyone, just apologize to all my other friends at other agencies who think they’re the cat’s meow on classified Web 2.0. (With any luck this anonymity now makes each of them think, “Wait, who’s more advanced than we are?  How can we catch up??!”)Well, it turns out they’re excited about something new & cool they would like to use.

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Mashup Markoff

popfly.jpgJohn Markoff has a great story (that phrase belongs on a cut-n-paste clipboard) in today’s NY Times about PopFly, one of my favorite new Microsoft programs because it is so darned fun, and easy, and flexible – and potentially revolutionary.

I’m both a friend and fan of Markoff, but read his piece and you’ll see what I mean, as the examples he cites are pretty cool – or jump to the site itself.

PopFly is getting a lot of attention and coverage, landing on PCWorld’s list in December of “25 Most Innovative Products of the Year.”

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