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                          Archive for May 2008


                          UT Open Source Conference CFP

                          The Utah Open Source Conference is calling for presentations. If you've got something you've always wanted to tell the world about open source, this may be your chance! Sign up on the Web site and submit your presentation idea now. The deadline is June 1st.
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                          Turning Shoppers Into Customers

                          Someone asked me for a one-paragraph description of Kynetx today. Here's what I sent them: Kynetx is an early stage ecommerce company focused on turning shoppers into customers. We provide online merchants with easy to use tools and services that give them the ability to merchandise in real-time to shoppers according to the shopper's individual context without changing their existing ecommerce toolset. Shoppers get a better shopping experience without sacrificing their privacy. Merchants sell more. The management team includes experienced ecommerce veterans Steve Fulling (CEO) and Phil Windley (CTO) who created the iMALL product strategy that successfully led to
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                          Larry H. Miller at the vSpring v|100 Lunch

                          Larry H. Miller, owner of the Utah Jazz, numerous car dealerships, and a member of the v|100 spoke at today's lunch. Here's a few note son what he said. He starts with two words of advice: don't stampede. Moving too fast causes you to dilute yourself. It's good to branch out, but doing it too fast will cause you to be ineffective. You have to learn how to run one unit that you manage yourself and can control before you branch out. That will cause you to manage differently. You then have to sell them the vision. Develop the
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                          Transactional Memory

                          We all know that Intel and AMD have punted. They can't keep building larger, faster chips for a variety of technical and economic reasons, so they have started placing multiple cores on a single chip. This, in theory, maintains the overall processing power and is easier to build. There's just one catch: it's much harder to program because to make use of that power, you have to program concurrently. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. Microprocessor engineers have saved programmers from the hassles of concurrency for years. That's as it should be: get it right once at the
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                          Utah CTO Breakfast on Friday

                          The May CTO Breakfast will be held on Friday (May 30) at 8am in the Novell Cafeteria (Building G, Provo Campus). Anyone interested in how information technology is used to build products or run companies. Despite it's name, you don't have to be a CTO to attend--just interested in technology, where it's headed, and the problems of starting and building a high-tech business in Utah. If you've seen something cool or just want to discuss a current topic, come prepared to bring it up. Put these future meetings on your calendar: June 27 (Friday) July 18 (Friday) No breakfast
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                          Please Help Serenity

                          Phil Burns' (@phil801) daughter Serenity was diagnosed with leukemia this past weekend. He's been blogging her progress. Jesse Stay had an excellent idea and built a "ChipIn" widget to collect donations. Please donate, any amount, if you can.
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                          Cat Brains and Bionic Eyes

                          This article from New Scientist about how scientists recorded the reponses of 49 neurons in a cat's brain (the lateral geniculate nucleus, or LGN to be precise) in order to create a better bionic vision system reminds me or the sentient lobsters in Accelerando by Charles Stross.
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                          Am I Done with Facebook? Twitter FTW!

                          I got a message from Facebook today saying that someone had friended me. I realized I didn't care. Not that I didn't care about the person who'd friended me--I didn't care about Facebook. It's been weeks since I was there and my life is pretty much the same. I think the reason is Twitter. Twitter is much more social, much more interesting, and the plethora of clients (including any mobile phone with SMS) means that I don't have to remember to go check the site to see what's happening. Twitterific displays a solid stream of the 140 character thoughts
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                          Wall Street and Web 2.0

                          I really enjoyed this discussion on Web 2.0 and Wall Street from ETech with Bill Janeway and Peter Bloom. There are some interesting parallels and some great discussion from a couple of financial jocks who clearly get technology and, especially, the 'Net. Recommended.
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                          Plaxo and Comcast

                          I'm still trying to make sense of the news that Comcast is buying Plaxo (reported value of the deal between $100 and $200 M). I can't tell you how happy I am for Plaxo and especially Joseph Smarr who I have great respect for (see our Technometria interview with Joseph Smarr here). Still, the discontinuity between what Plaxo is and what Comcast does is jarring--at least on the surface. I believe there is a fundamental conflict o interest between a company that does both transmission of traffic and sells other Internet services. Yeah, I know they all do it,
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                          One Is the Loneliest Number: Relationships on the Internet

                          Bob Blakely is speaking about building a relationship layer for the Internet. A relationship is the context within which we observe one another. Past history and even attitudes are not directly observable. This is imperfect--distant relationships are the basis for inaccuracies. More observations at a closer distance make for a more useful and feature rich relationship. Bob puts forward the emergence of the credit card industry as an example. Rather than requiring shoppers to create intimate relationships with every merchant, you create a single intimate relationship with your bank and the merchant has an intimate relationship with their bank
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                          Judging Credibility

                          Jeff Jarvis points out the flaws in Newscred. It's very simple --- though that's the problem; credibility isn't so simple. They list articles and you get to "credit" or "discredit" them. These scores are, in turn, compiled for writers and publications. The first and most obvious problem, which TechCrunch points out, is that this is bait for grudges. Fox from one side, the Times from the other will get discredited by their detractors all day long. One man's bias is often the other man's truth. From BuzzMachine ? Blog Archive ? Credibility is not binaryReferenced Tue May 13 2008
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                          What's Your Architecture's Agenda?

                          One of the topics that came up in today's free range small groups discussions are IIW2008A was the idea that architectures have agendas. Brad Templeton voiced the idea that all designs have defaults and those defaults represent an encoding of some kind of agenda. For example, let's say that you collect click streams from your web site visitors in order to give them recommendations, optimize banners, or whatever. What is the default for how long that data is stored? One week? A month? A year? Forever? You might not think of that default as an agenda, but it is
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                          Final: 2008 Utah State Republican Convention

                          Greg Curtis and John Valentine, House Speaker and Senate President(click to enlarge) I'm at the Utah State Party Convention this morning. There are literally thousands of people here. Traffic was backed up off the exit ramp near UVU (where the convention is being held). The convention just opened at 10am, but even at 8am, the parking lots were full. People come early to pick up their credentials and wander the candidate booths. I enjoyed wandering around and talking to a bunch of folks who I normally don't get to see. Lots of old friends and acquaintances here. Chris Cannon
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                          Doing CPAN Installs Using Capistrano

                          I've been trying to use Capistrano for application deployment over the last few days, writing rules to do some common tasks, figuring out how it works, etc. One problem I ran into is that I have a private CPAN bundle that I use to ensure a machine has all the right Perl libraries when I deploy to it. The problem is that CPAN is often run interactively and so module writers often assume the user will be present. That means that it stops in the middle and asks questions about skipping tests, etc. I searched for a while to
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                          VC Meetings Next Thursday

                          I'm going to be in the Bay Area next Thursday (May 15) with the day free and would love to get a few meetings with venture firms who might be interested in hearing about what we're doing with Kynetx. I don't know many VC's in the Bay area well, so if you wouldn't mind doing an intro to your favorite Bay Area VC, contact me.
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                          New IT Conversations Design

                          IT Conversations redesign!(click to enlarge) Doug Kaye has been working for months to redesign the infrastructure for the Conversations Network, including It Conversations. Much of that work hasn't been visible to IT Conversations listeners, but it's made the management of the network and production of shows much nicer. Now, that hard work is showing on the site as well with today's launch of the new IT Conversations. The new design is cleaner, brings lots of features, like ratings and playlists, out to the homepage, and automates things like "current series" and "topics" so that they're more up to date.
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                          Top Ten IT Conversations Shows for April 2008

                          In doing this month's top ten for IT Conversations, noticed two things: First, since Doug put in our own code for ratings, the number of ratings per show is way up. I think with the new homepage design (oops! Did I let that slip?!?) we'll see even more ratings. We've not had enough in the past for me to put a lot of confidence in them, but that's changing. Second, the number of overall downloads is down. We recently had to update the feed URL and this didn't get propagated correctly in all feedreaders and podcatchers. Please take a
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                          Fusion 1.1.2

                          VMWare released a new version of Fusion last week: 1.1.2. There are a lot of little fixes that if they were a problem for you you'll be very glad to have fixed. If not, you might not notice much difference. I'd been bit a few times by Fusion refusing to release USB resources when it quit. Bottom line: if you're not having any issues, no rush.
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