November 10, 2008

Who should Obama appoint as United States CTO/CIO?

During the campaign, Barack Obama promised to appoint a national Chief Technology Officer. Naturally, vigorous discussion has ensued as to who that should be. I’ve been right in the thick of it:

Much of the blogosphere and trade press discussion started out silly, speculating on Eric Schmidt for the job and so on. Richard Koman was one of the first to analyze the subject more sensibly. But now Dan Farber has weighed in with a great post, looking at the practicalities of the position in detail, which was quickly echoed by his old partner Larry Dignan.

Getting Federal IT straight is a VERY difficult job. It’s also utterly crucial. I hope the Obama Administration gets it right.

November 7, 2008

Technology highlights of the 2008 US Presidential campaign

I’ve been writing quite a bit over on A World of Bytes about the technology used in the 2008 Presidential campaign. Subjects included:

I’m also writing over there about what I think the Obama Administration should do with respect to technology policy. First up is a ringing recommendation of Charles Rossotti for CIO/CTO. More to follow.

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’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.

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