Archive for Jul 2008

                          Relationship Providers

                          Businesses spend a great deal of time and money trying to identify their customers. By "identify" I mean not just get a name and credit card number, but find, learn about, and discover the attributes, preferences, and even desires of customers. They spend millions of dollars on "customer relationship management" (CRM) systems that are really "customer dossier systems" in a quest to manage the identity data they collect about customers. In the same way, customers spend a great deal of effort identifying businesses. Which business sells the product that will meet my needs at a price I'm willing to
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                          Using the iPhone Plugin for Movabletype

                          The iPhone apps for Typepad and Wordpress made me jealous. But I found that there's a plugin for MovableType that provides a servicable interface for the iPhone. Typing HTML on the iPhone keyboard isn't easy. But if you have to blog remotely, here it is.
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                          A Day Without a Laptop

                          I forgot my laptop at home today. Just drove off without it. Left it sitting in the garage. Ugh. Fortunately, today wasn't a day that I was planning on spending the day coding. My development environment runs in Fusion on my MBP, so that would have been tough. I had a day of meetings and discussion and for that, my iPhone worked just fine. For the most part, I take my laptop everywhere I go. This mistake has taught me that I could take it fewer places and get by. What suffered? I couldn't pusblish today's show on IT
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                          August CTO Breakfast at UTOSC

                          A few days ago I said that we wouldn't be holding a CTO breakfast in August. I was wrong. In fact, we'll be holding the breakfast on August 28 in conjunction with the Utah Open Source Conference at Salt Lake Community College. Please mark your calendars. If you're a regular breakfast attendee, I have discount codes for UTOSC that I can give you. Just send me a note.
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                          Saving Money by Slowing Down: Applying Technology

                          With the high price of gasoline, lots of people are looking for ways to save money on gas. The simplest method is simply to slow down. The drag on a vehicle goes up with the fourth power of the speed. That implies a very crisp knee in the curve. Of course, the standard answer would be "lower the speed limit to 55MPH." But that would really be a bummer for people on long trips. We have better technology than in the 70's. Most people cruising down the highway at 75 don't know that they could slow down 10 or
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                          Using bit.ly with MovableType

                          I've been using the mt-twitter plugin to automatically publish blog articles to Twitter. I find that I get more readers that way than RSS or my newsletter at this point. One problem is that you don't get any good stats that way. I've modified the mt-twitter plugin to use bit.ly now to solve that problem. With bit.ly you can click on the "info" link and get good stats about who clicked from where. This is the code I added to the _update_twitter function: my $bitly = LWP::UserAgent->new; my $url_response = $bitly->get("http://bit.ly/api?url=" . $obj->permalink); my $small_url; if($url_response->is_success) { $small_url =
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                          Top Ten IT Conversations Shows for June

                          Here's the top ten shows on IT Conversations for June: Episode Nine - StackOverflow (Rating: 3.28)Joel and Jeff discuss Apple's WWDC (and the correct pronunciation of OS X), the use of JavaScript on modern web sites, affiliate programs, and much more. Episode Ten - StackOverflow (Rating: 3.43)Joel and Jeff discuss the fine art of listening, source control, the risks of being an internal IT developer, and the state of current mobile platforms. Oh, and how to clean the toilet. Episode Eleven - StackOverflow (Rating: 3.28)Joel and Jeff try to avoid talking over each other while discussing data generation, full
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                          CTO Breakfast on Friday

                          We're doing the July CTO breakfast a little early this month because of Pioneer day. For those of you not familiar with Utah, Pioneer day is a state holiday on the 24th of July and it's a pretty big deal. Celebrates the day the first pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 18481847. We'll do the usual thing on Friday. Anyone with an interest in technology products and companies it welcome to come. Hopefully Phil Burns will come and we can get into heated discussions about the iPhone. :-) If you've got other things you'd like to discuss, bring
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                          Waiting for the iPhone--Again!

                          I've had mixed feelings about whether to upgrade my iPhone to the new 3G model. Ultimately, I get three things: 3G, GPS, and 8G more RAM than I have now. None of those alone were enough to tip me and together, they were marginal. Consequently I wasn't all in a tizzy over today's iPhone availability. Still, since I had a few friends who were excited to get one and were coming up to the Apple store in Salt Lake to get one, I figured I'd tag along and maybe pick on up. What I wasn't ready for was 7
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                          Success Factors for Saas Delivery

                          I'm at the Utah Technology Council's CTO P2P forum this morning. Nate Bowler, a former collegue at Excite@Home and CTO of @Task is speaking about SaaS, software as a service. Nate says that his number one take-away from this talk is: Pick a market that is underserved or could benefit from the improved delivery model of a SaaS platform and serve it in a non-trivial manner. Emphasis on "non-trivial." Often companies dumb down their SaaS offering. Nate stresses the importance of using the same technology stack for on-premise and on-demand options. In order to deliver SaaS, you have to
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                          The 50-50 Rule in Retail: Capturing Customer Conversations

                          Ross Mayfield notes that in an Apple retails store "50% of the space is for retail sales and 50% for service and support." He goes on to contrast that with places like Fry's or Best Buy. I'm always amazed when I go into an Apple store: they're happening places. If you're in retail, visit an Apple store and then go back to your place. Seem kinda quiet and dead. Yeah, I thought so. Ross goes on: What Best Buy is missing is the fact that they provide no after market value add with their retail -- in comparison to
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                          Understanding the Net

                          Doc Searls must have spent some of his convalescence deep in thought. His recent essay Saving the Net III: Understanding its Frames is a great piece on how we understand and don't understand the Net. This is a long essay. You'll actually have to do some reading if you want to get the meat of Doc's argument. But it's worth the time.
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                          Open Source and The Gap

                          David Eaves posted a piece overlaying the Firefox 3 Pledge Map and Thomas Barnett's map that divides the world into the "the functioning core" and the "non-integrated gap." As you might expect, there's a high correlation. People in the gap aren't connected, so they have less access to computers, use the 'Net less, and participate in open source projects less. There are some exceptions--like Scandinavia on one side and Columbia and Turkey on the other. David makes this comment: Non-Integrated Gap countries with the most pledges are Iran, Turkey, Venezuela, Peru, and Indonesia -- interesting list. Seems to suggest
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                          Browser Mix on Technometria

                          As long as we're on the subject of Technometria stats, here's the browser breakdown for last month on Technometria: FireFox - 41.80% Internet Explorer - 33.76% Safari - 12.65% Mozilla - 9.06% Opera - 1.79% Roughly two-thirds of the visitors to Technometria were using something other than Internet Explorer. Granted, this is a pretty geeky crowd. Of the Firefox users, roughly 30% were using version 3. Of the IE users, roughly 40% were using version 6. Only four visitors the entire month were using IE 5.5. I had a few IE 8 visitors.
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                          Top Ten Stories on Technometria Last Month

                          It's funny to me which stories and posts seem to take off and which don't. Sometimes when I'm writing a post I just know that it's going to get traction, but most of the time, it's hit or miss. Here's a list of the top ten posts on Technometria for June. Only two of them were written in June. Fixing MacBook Pro Sleep Problems 8.74% of all downloads for the month P2V: How To Make a Physical Linux Box Into a Virtual Machine 6.18% Top Ten IT Conversations Shows for May 2008 4.35% CIO vs. CT 4.23% Free Mobile
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                                                  Super League

                                                  Variety show

                                                  Foreign exchange