September 22, 2008

Good riddance to Secure Computing

McAfee has announced a takeover of Secure Computing, ending that company’s independent existence. To this I can only say: It’s about time! Early this century, I was asked to revive my old investment research career and find stocks to short. A promising candidate turned out to be Secure Computing, whose main product lines included:

The short idea was in large part that the firewall-on-a-board idea had caused great overoptimism, stoked by the company. On further digging, I found that CEO John McNulty’s resume, as stated for example in Secure Computing’s SEC filings, seemed inconsistent with his resume as stated in SEC filings of his prior employer. Nobody seemed to care much about correcting that, however. Read more

August 20, 2008

Announcements, announcements, announcements!

A couple of months ago, we set up a category in this blog called Monash Research highlights for the purpose of clueing you in to our biggest news. Indeed, if you ever decide you can’t handle our full integrated feed, there’s a special Highlights feed that will keep you at least partly clued in to what we’re up to.

Other than the highlights feed itself, we have four pieces of news to share today:

Let me explain. Read more

August 18, 2008

High-energy physics considered by means of a rap video

CERN brought us the World Wide Web, which no matter what else it ever does leaves it on the plus side of the ledger. (Unless, of course, it creates black holes that destroy the planet, but that seems thankfully unlikely.) The Web led to blogs and YouTube. And now things have come full circle, as Jason Perlow has blogged a YouTube video that explains CERN’s main new venture — the much discussed Large Hadron Collider — in the form of a rap video.

It’s pretty funny and actually somewhat informative. Check it out.

Meanwhile, another video has time-lapse photography showing the building of the Large Hadron Collider. I actually only watched from about the 7:30 to 8:00 marks, but that part was pretty cool.

August 8, 2008

I’m going to be doing an online chat

August 19, 2-3 pm Eastern time, I’m going to be doing an online chat, hosted by Network World.

But please pay no attention to the listed description. Any topic goes — from Attensity to Zilliant — and the write-up is just one editor’s idea of what would be a good hook to attract participants. (And please, definitely, pay NO attention to my antiquated and scrunched up picture, to the missing text, or to any other aspect of networkworld.com’s user interface.)

July 28, 2008

We’re staying out on vacation another week

Contrary to what I previously said, I did not come back to Acton this weekend.  Instead, Linda and I are staying on Grand Cayman for another week, and hoping nobody else I follow gets acquired.  Here’s a taste of why.

July 11, 2008

Babycare dos and don’ts

There’s no tech angle here.  Just a funny set of cartoons.

Happy summer Friday.  I leave on vacation tomorrow.

June 9, 2008

Our blog redesign

If you’re reading this (and not just in your feed reader), you’ve probably noticed that the five Monash Research blogs have undergone a major redesign. We had two main goals in mind:

I hope you will agree that we’ve met those goals with — as it were — flying colors.

Most aspects of the redesign are pretty obvious, but here’s a biggie you might at first overlook. On most category pages on DBMS2, Text Technologies, and Software Memories, there are now brief category descriptions and, crucially, suggested links. Hopefully, these will help you find research that is interesting to you, but which you may have missed the first time around. If you want to check out some examples, you could start with:

Also — if you’re wondering why we added that super-prominent sign-up box for our complete feed, the reason is simple: Only about a third of our feed subscribers take the integrated feed. (The others typically take just Text Technologies or just DBMS2.) Given how my interests and subjects connect to each other, I think my readers are much better off if they get at least the headlines to everything.

June 2, 2008

Updating my standards and disclosures

In early 2006, I wrote a pair of posts in which I discussed my general standards for analytic credibility, and disclosed some of my own relationships and biases. I have nothing to add to the generalities, but maybe it’s time to update some specifics.

April 1, 2008

My favorite April Fool’s web page so far this year

Fun and quick, if you know anything about MMO or even other computer RPGs.

My favorite part is the “Epic Quest Arc“, or maybe:

Much Much More!

Six New Skills!
• Oppressive Yolk
• Hot Wings
• Eggcellent Assault
• Scramble
• Poach
• Batter
New Features!
• New Instrument: Drumstick!
• New Trait: Nuggets of Wisdom
• New Fellowship Skill: A Pox Upon You
• New PvMP Rank: Colonel
• Universal Cook Recipe: “Tastes Like…”
• One-shot Cook Recipe: Yourself!

Note: Chickens are a recurring comedic theme in Magic:The Gathering, and this also isn’t the first time they’ve surfaced in LOTRO.

March 4, 2008

Microsoft also seems to be selling SaaS directly

For a while, I’ve been arguing that SaaS is naturally a direct-sales business, even when sold to small organizations. If people are willing to have their business processes handled over a telecommunication network, they’re probably willing to buy services that way too. Indeed, the very first computer services firm ever was probably Automatic Data Processing. They sort of did SaaS, and they most definitely did direct sales.

What inspires me to bring this up now is the press around Microsoft Sharepoint. Apparently, there’s long been a SaaS version of Sharepoint for big firms, and now Microsoft is rolling it out for everybody. Now, I haven’t read the press releases, which weren’t sent to me by anybody at Waggener-Edstrom and are not easy to find on Microsoft’s web site. But the reporting doesn’t seem to mention partners, except in the negative. I.e., this seems like yet another significant direct-sales SaaS business.

If you follow this logic through, it suggests that a large part of the SaaS market will wind going to large companies with global reach — whether or not the rumors are true that Salesforce.com is currently being shopped around.

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