Friday, September 25, 2009

5 exabytes in the last 2 days. We better get busy!

Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, at a talk given at a forum jointly hosted by Google and the Pittsburgh Technology Council, stated that the amount of data generated from the birth of humanity to the year 2003 was 5 exabytes (point 8:30 of the talk). The date of the presentation was September 23, 2009. Schmidt, then stated that given the connectivity we now have the amount of data generated the last 2 days was equal to these 5 exabytes. What!!!???!??!?! An exabyte is one quintillion bytes. Just within the last year could you buy a 1 to 4 terabyte hard drive. An exabyte is 1,048,576 terabytes or 1,073,741,824 gigabytes, i.e a lot of data!

OK. We may have generated that amount of data the last few days. And do not misunderstand me. I realize there is intelligence in that data. And yes, let it instruct and assist us. But my thinking is that the 5 exabytes in the last several thousand years is of much better quality and substance that the 5 exabytes in the last 2 days, right? If not, then the quality and substance is hidden therein and let us get busy and mine it out!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Digital Utopia--Free?

Was considering purchasing the Kindle version of the new book by Chris Anderson, Free: The Future of a Radical Price and looked for reviews (An ironic note is that I fully understood that I would have to pay for the digital version of the book). In my search of reviews, I did find the "free" review by Malcolm Gladwell at The New Yorker.

Gladwell discusses that Lewis Strauss, the former head of the Atomic Energy Commission, famously predicted in the mid-nineteen-fifties, due to the advent of nuclear energy, that “our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter.” Gladwell then states, "It is pointless to wonder what would have happened if Strauss’s prediction had come true while rushing past the reasons that it could not have come true."

Strauss appeared not to consider the cost of the infrastructure of energy distribution. In a similar way, with the phenomenum of YouTube, "A recent report by Credit Suisse estimates that YouTube’s bandwidth costs in 2009 will be three hundred and sixty million dollars."

Time will tell but the Achilles' heel, at least for now, that I see for a Digital Utopia of "Free" is the "cost" of distribution. Bandwidth, batteries, e-readers all cost money.

Monday, August 03, 2009

@Erlanger911 offers a nice twitter service for Erlanger, KY residents

@Erlanger911 offers a nice twitter service for Erlanger, KY residents in that it provides traffic and emergency service based tweets.

Posted via email from m2web's posterous

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Look mom I sent this from!

Here is a sweet service. Send to Facebook, Twitter, and your Blogger blog from e-mail.

I uploaded the Sisyphus the Software Developer image via an attachment!

Posted via email from m2web's posterous

Saturday, May 02, 2009

IBM's Many Eyes Data Visualization Project

Per a previous post where I show my Facebook friend social graph, I mention that the social graph displays "more" information than a grid of your Facebook friends' pictures. In short, data visualization can help us analyze data and more easily notice patterns. IBM's Center for Social Software is doing this with their Many Eyes Project. Here is a blurb:
It is that magical moment we live for: an unwieldy, unyielding data set is transformed into an image on the screen, and suddenly the user can perceive an unexpected pattern. As visualization designers we have witnessed and experienced many of those wondrous sparks. But in recent years, we have become acutely aware that the visualizations and the sparks they generate, take on new value in a social setting. Visualization is a catalyst for discussion and collective insight about data.
Check it out

Monday, April 27, 2009

Twitter - knowledge or data?

In a blog post entitled, Dull Networks? How microblogging might turn the wisdom pyramid upside down, Miguel Encarnação presents concerns that the brevity of microblog messages such as Twitter may circumvent the way we process data into more useful forms of knowledge. He provides examples:

  • Data represents a fact or statement of event without relation to other things.
    Ex: It is raining.
  • Information embodies the understanding of a relationship of some sort, possibly cause and effect.
    Ex: The temperature dropped 15 degrees and then it started raining.
  • Knowledge represents a pattern that connects and generally provides a high level of predictability as to what is described or what will happen next.
    Ex: If the humidity is very high and the temperature drops substantially the atmosphere is often unlikely to be able to hold the moisture so it rains.
  • Wisdom embodies more of an understanding of fundamental principles embodied within the knowledge and is essentially systemic.
In my view, even with the 140 character limit, tweets can be and often are more than bits of data. In my view, they are bytes of knowledge. The example of knowledge in Miguel's post is: "If the humidity is very high and the temperature drops substantially the atmosphere is often unlikely to be able to hold the moisture so it rains" This is 146 characters. This can easily be shortened to: "If the humidity is very high and the temp drops substantially the atmosphere is often unable to hold the moisture so it rains" which is 130 characters and can be tweeted. Moreover, tweets can and often do contain links to other websites that contain full explanations on the topics referenced.

In fairness, Miguel is correct that information received on microblogs such as Twitter, as all information sources, need to be closely examined and

In summary, tweets, if used properly can augment both knowledge and wisdom.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Facebook GreaseMonkey Scripts for a better view in Firefox

Was scoping out my Twitter feed when I noted a tweet that I follow from Atul Arora. The link went to a Jeff Smith’s blog that discussed Facebook tweaks with GreaseMonkey. GreaseMonkey allows you to customize the way a web page displays using JavaScript. Via the highlighted scripts I was able to get a more desirable viewing experience on Facebook.

Click here for the full article with screen shots and links.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Fittest CMOs and Business Intelligence from Social Media

Recently, in my Marketing Management class for the Master's in Business Informatics program at NKU I had to write two short research papers that were part of the course's two initial exams. In each of the papers, we were given three to five days to research and complete. Here is an excerpt from the first paper entitled Survival of the Fittest CMOs:
Given the rapidly "evolving" role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), one paradigm to consider when surveying the swiftly changing CMO phenomenon is to look at natural ecosystems and how ever changing environment pressures facilitate the change or evolution of the organisms in those ecosystems. In this paper, we examine the characteristics of the "primitive" CMO, the new environmental pressures challenging the CMO, and finally the fitness factors that are involved in the survival of the fittest CMOs.
Here is Survival of the Fittest CMOs.

Here is a section of the second paper, Business Intelligence from Social Media:
Given the need for understanding the trends and patterns exhibited in data, utilizing the data in a way that can provide a competitive edge is vital. Three particular products or opportunities for this need are systems to store the data, systems to warehouse the data, and systems to mine the data for analysis and decision making. Data storage is a well understood concept of the use of computer systems to store customer information and transactions as well as other business related data. However, data in a data warehouse is different that the data stored by point-of-sale systems.
Here is Business Intelligence from Social Media.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Favorite Software Dev April Fools Joke

Here is my favorite April Fools software developer related joke: The "Phails" Web Framework at . Released on April 1st of course!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Visual Facebook Social Graph

Was reading about social networks in the NKU project management course textbook that I am currently taking and thought to myself there has got to be an application that you can use to login to Facebook and have it gather your social graph or "Friend" data and produce a visual social graph. A few minutes on Google and what I found was the Curl Rich Internet Application (RIA) platform from Curl along with a sample application called CurlGraph.

Long story short, after downloading their Run Time Environment (RTE) and pasting a URL into the address field of my browser, I installed the CurlGraph application on my system. Then after logging into Facebook with the app, it collected my Friends network info and then produced the following social graph visualization.

Click on the pic to get the larger image.

The neat thing about the app is that I could select anyone represented on the graph and they would then move to the center of the display. You could drag your friends around on the display and sort your social graph by alphabet or by popularity. Note that your Facebook friends are represented as circles. Also the popularity, or size of the circle, is based on the intersection set of friends that you have in common with each friend not on their total set of friends. That is why my wife's circle is large as we have nearly the same set of Facebook friends. Also note that while the bold lines connect my friends to me, the web of relationships that exist from all the friends is visible. This changes when you select a friend with your mouse as the connecting lines from them to your other friends then become bold.

In summary, I find it interesting when finding different ways to visualize data. This certainly tells you more about your Facebook Friend network than a grid of pictures.

Here is Curl's press:
Using Curl, developers can implement a new class of complex, business-critical, Web-based applications that cannot easily be developed with Ajax or other smart client technologies.

Curl allows organizations with legacy client-server applications to move to Web-based delivery, increasing reach, improving processes, accelerating productivity and reducing cost.

Customer driven #marketing? Now that's an #idea! for #social products.

Social computing as an interface between the business and their customers as a mechanism for product ideas and input? Go to
From Bill Taylor's Practically Radical Blog at In lean times, there's nothing more valuable than a great new product idea. Why not invite your customers to share their creativity with your company -- and turn the best ideas into actual products! That's what legendary shoe designer John Fluevog has done, with a project he calls open-source footwear.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Status Last 10 List for Facebook

Just finished the final touches on a new Facebook application I entitled, "Status Last 10."

In a nutshell, the app displays a list of your last ten status messages that you entered into Facebook. You can display the list on your Wall or Boxes Tab. Much of the blogoshpere speculates that Facebook opened their status API to compete with Twitter.

In any event, the app is coded in PHP. The next step will be to show the code once I get the refactorings completed and share the discoveries. More to come once I get the time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

People are not shapes on a diagram....they're people

Was listening to the Manager Tools Podcast in which they were discussing the fact that while we may plan and plan we must, the aspect of managing a project is really about the people involved. Moreover, the various diagrams that we create during the project inception and elaboration may be neat and pretty, the reality of working the steps are anything but that.

During the discussion they cited a poem from Stephen Vincent Benét entitled John Brown's Body dealing with the U.S. Civil War. Here is the relevant section:
If you take a flat map
And move wooden blocks upon it strategically,
The thing looks well, the blocks behave as they should.
The science of war is moving live men like blocks.
And getting the blocks into place at a fixed moment.
But it takes time to mold your men into blocks
And flat maps turn into country where creeks and gullies
Hamper your wooden squares. They stick in the brush,
They are tired and rest, they straggle after ripe blackberries,
And you cannot lift them up in your hand and move them.
--A string of blocks curling smoothly around the left
Of another string of blocks and crunching it up--
It is all so clear in the maps, so clear in the mind,
But the orders are slow, the men in the blocks are slow
To move, when they start they take too long on the way--
The General loses his stars and the block-men die
In unstrategic defiance of martial law
Because still used to just being men, not block-parts.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stifling Technological Innovation?

A straight forward post from Dave Hatter on the effects of corporate taxation on small business.

It would appear given the present political fervor of a new administration coupled with the current financial crisis that a perfect storm of over-regulation is on the horizon.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Value of Shorter Iterations in Project Management

Now with the start of the Spring 2009 term in the Business Informatics Graduate Program at Northern Kentucky University, I am taking Marketing Management and Project Management classes.

In the initial readings in the Project Management course deal with Work Breakdown Schedules, Organizations Breakdown Schedules, and Work Packages and how to best organize, monitor, and measure each step. As I read I am thinking of the value of shorter iterations within the cycles of a project.

Here is a discussion on the value of shorter iterations within software development that are in my view applicable to project management. Aspects such as more frequent feedback and a better understanding of the work package status makes shorter iterations attractive. With that said, I am sure that as the term progresses I will learn both the advantages and disadvantages to shorter iterations in project life cycles.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Simple Facebook Application

While I was off on vacation through the holidays I took an afternoon to put together a simple Facebook application in which Facebook users can display on their profile wall or box tab an English Standard Version (ESV) Bible Verse of the Day.

The application utilizes the ESV API.