Archive for Apr 2010

                          Personal Data, Freedom, and Value Creation

                          Image by mkrigsman via Flickr Data is big business. Whether its demographics or FICO score, people know things about you and sell it to people who want know about you. If you're read my blog post on the Power of Pull (or listened to the podcast) then you know that I believe we haven't even scratched the surface of where data exchange is going. As more and more of our life goes online there will be more and more semantic, structured data available about every aspect of our lives. For example, your golf clubs will automatically register your strokes,
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                          Come to Digital Death Day

                          The day after IIW (that would be May 20th), Kaliya is running a workshop called Digital Death Day at the Computer History Museum. Death is a part of life but what does death of the physical self mean for the digital self? This is a conference focused on this question and others around "digital death". What does it mean for loved ones of the departed? What does it mean for professionals in end of life care and post mortem services? What does it mean for online tool and service providers? What does it mean for estate
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                          Automatic Negotiation of Contracts Using Context

                          Image by IsraelMFA via Flickr I had some great discussions with Renee Lloyd of Project VRM this week at Kynetx Impact on the subject of legal agreements and context. I don't pretend to understand the legal issues sufficiently well to exilian them here, so I'll just summarize my understanding and let Renee and others correct me where necessary. The problem is that the terms and condition agreements that most Web sites use ubiquitously have some legal issues that make them less than ideal. Moreover people dislike them. Their inflexibility leads to lost business and opportunity. What if we had
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                          CTO Breakfast Following Impact

                          Image by windley via Flickr In one of those scheduling goofs that look good 6 months beforehand, but utterly silly up close, I've schedule this month's CTO Breakfast just a day after the Kynetx Impact conference. Not to mention we have 20 people staying over after Impact to talk about personal data exchanges on Thursday. Nevertheless, the CTO Breakfast will happen on Friday morning at 8am in the usual place (Novell cafeteria). You're invited. You don't have to be a CTO, just interested in technology developments. While you're planning your week, please also come to Kynetx Impact on Tuesday
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                          Putting a Facebook Like Button in a Movabletype Blog

                          The top of this post has a Facebook "like button." I'm not sure I'm going to leave it there, but I though I'd share how I did it. These instructions are for Movabletype: Edit the "Individual Entry Archive" template under "Archive Templates" Once you decide where you want the button in the template, insert the following code: <iframe src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=<$MTEntryPermalink$>&layout=standard&show_faces=false&width=390&action=like&colorscheme=light" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; height: 25px; width:390px;"></iframe> Note that <$MTEntryPermalink$> is what gets the entry URL and places it in the call to Facebook Save the template Republish any entries you want to have the like
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                          Programming the Internet: Reactive Systems, Events, and KRL

                          Imagine walking into Borders and having your smartphone alert you to the fact that the book you put on your Amazon wish list this morning is available right now and on sale. As another example, think about an application that gathers relevant articles from your RSS and Twitter feeds based on searches you've performed or that are related to an email your received from a friend today. These examples show the power that can be achieved when we start programming the Internet and not just the Web. There's no reason that clients in different domains (like your smartphone and
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                          Branding and Indispensability vs Reputation and Influence

                          I was asked by Cyd Tetro to sit on a panel today at the Women Tech Council along with Sue Johnson. The topic is "personal branding, indispensability, and networking." I'm planning to be a little contrarian. First off, I agree with Doc that the idea of branding is dehumanizing. Fine for corporations, not necessary for people. We already have an identity and we have our humanity. Those are the things that we need to emphasize, not the idea of personal brand. Second, as the saying goes, "the graveyards are full of indispensable people." The idea isn't
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                          The Power of Late Binding

                          Lately the subject of late binding keeps coming up. In computer science the term refers to runtime resolution of what names mean and includes the concept of dynamic loading. Most of the languages that have gained favor over the last decade like Python and Ruby are late binding languages. Usually these languages also include other runtime resolution features like dynamic types. Raising the topic causes programmers to reach for their crusader sword and shield as they prepare for the religious battle that is sure to follow. Late binding is a big deal in many OO langauges because of the
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                          Things Every Programmer Should Know

                          This week on the Technometria Podcast, I interview Kevlin Henney, the editor of the book 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know. I really enjoyed reading this book and I enjoyed the conversation with Kevlin. One of the things that struck me is that there's so much wisdom here that we just don't teach people. Rather, we expect them to pick it up as they go along. I heartily recommend the book (and the podcast) to beginning programmers and old-hands alike. The book's Web page has copies of the contributions that made it into the book and also the one's
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                          UTOS Hackathon on April 24

                          Image by mindjuju via Flickr UTOS (Utah Open Source Foundation) is sponsoring a hackathon on April 24th. Here's Clint Savage's description: Concept is a coding barcamp. People show up to help or to present a coding project, new or existing, in 30 seconds. Everyone spends a bit of time getting organized (determining where each group will reside to hack), then the hacking begins. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are provided as well. There is also a Wiki page about the hackathon with more information. The hackathon is sponsored by XMission and Stackable.com. This sounds like it will be a fun
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                          Students, Come to Kynetx Impact Free

                          I like students--it comes with being a professor for 20 years. So, students can come to Impact for just $10. Since the price includes 5 meals, that's a pretty good deal. Still, I recognize that for some students, the cost of the conference may be small compared to the travel costs of flying or driving and finding a place to stay. So, if you're a student and would like Kynetx to give you a $500 scholarship to help with your travel costs and lodging, send us a note and tell me why you deserve to come on our dime.
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                          Apps Make Downloads Cool

                          Image by Getty Images via Daylife Have you ever noticed that many of the things you do in an app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone could just as easily be done using just the Web and a browser? My bank, for example, has an iPhone app. They also have a pretty nice Web site. What they don't have is a pretty nice mobile version of their Web site. They put their money into creating an app rather than merely putting a mobile skin on their current system. Many other apps are similar. Why do they do this?
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                          My Initial Thoughts on the iPad

                          Image by Tom Raftery via Flickr On Saturday, the UPS truck pulled up to the front of my house and dropped off a couple of iPads (32Gb, no 3G). The driver said they were delivering about 350 of them around Utah County that day. I spent a good part of rest of the weekend playing, exploring, and evalutating it. Here are my initial thoughts. First, as many have already said, the screen is gorgeous and the form factor incredible. The first thing many comment on when they first hold it is: this is beautiful. The device was a little
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