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    Wednesday
    Jan272010

    Obama says we need new generation safe, clean nuclear power plants

    cnet news has a post on President Obama’s speech.  An excerpt they have from the speech on energy is.

    Here are some excerpts from the president's speech:

    We should put more Americans to work building clean energy facilities, and give rebates to Americans who make their homes more energy efficient, which supports clean energy jobs...(Last year's investment) could lead to the world's cheapest solar cells or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched. And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy. You can see the results of last year's investment in clean energy--in the North Carolina company that will create 1,200 jobs nationwide helping to make advanced batteries; or in the California business that will put 1,000 people to work making solar panels...

    But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. That means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies. And yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.

    Going to white house gov web site is the same with inserts for (applause).

    Next, we need to encourage American innovation.  Last year, we made the largest investment in basic research funding in history -– (applause) -- an investment that could lead to the world's cheapest solar cells or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched.  And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy.  You can see the results of last year's investments in clean energy -– in the North Carolina company that will create 1,200 jobs nationwide helping to make advanced batteries; or in the California business that will put a thousand people to work making solar panels.

    But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives.  And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.  (Applause.)  It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.  (Applause.)  It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies.  (Applause.)  And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.  (Applause.)

    On my next trip to Mizzou, I want to see if I can visit the faculty at University of MIssouri Research Reactor Center that I blogged about in Oct 2009.

    Nuclear Reactor Research at University of Missouri

    I was just in Columbia, Missouri, and the folks I was with took me on campus and we drove by the University of Missouri Nuclear Reactor, a 10 mW facility.

    Endowing The Future

    The internationally recognized University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR), a
    10-megawatt facility, is the most powerful among the dozens of research reactors located on our nation’s university campuses.

    Even worldwide, few facilities can compare.

    Those at MURR treat it like the unique national resource that it is, employing the facility as a research source – providing products and services that will save or extend people’s lives.

    The superior level of the science at MURR helps put the products and services it offers a step ahead, further fueling the depth of its research.

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jan272010

    Trust in the Data Center, Lost in Translation

    Mike Manos’s post on why Private Clouds will exist brings up an interesting view, a belief that “trust” is what is going to define people’s behaviors using cloud computing.

    Private Clouds – Not just a Cost and Technology issue, Its all about trust, the family jewels, corporate value, and identity

    January 24, 2010 by mmanos

    I recently read a post by my good friend James Hamilton at Amazon regarding Private Clouds.   James and I worked closely together at Microsoft and he was always a good source for out of the box thinking and challenging the status quo.    While James post found here, speaks to the Private Cloud initiative being what amounts to be an evolutionary dead end, I would have to respectfully disagree.

    It’s a little ironic that Mike discusses ‘trust” as an issue when he is a Sr. VP at Digital Realty Trust.  But, this trust is more like this kind.

    In common law legal systems, a trust is an arrangement whereby property (including real, tangible and intangible) is managed by one person (or persons, or organizations) for the benefit of another

    The Trust Mike Manos refers to

    In sociology and psychology the degree to which one party trusts another is a measure of belief in the honesty, benevolence and competence of the other party. Based on the most recent research, a failure in trust may be forgiven more easily if it is interpreted as a failure of competence rather than a lack of benevolence or honesty. In economics trust is often conceptualized as reliability in transactions. In all cases trust is a heuristic decision rule, allowing the human to deal with complexities that would require unrealistic effort in rational reasoning.

    Part of the problems to establish trust is the lack of good communication.  Lost in Translation is a book on this topic for IT.

    Do you speak "business" or "IT"? Perhaps you speak a little of both. In today's connected world, where business and IT are fused, chances are that if you're a business or IT executive, or someone working to transform a business, you speak a little of both. But what if there was a "third" language? A common language that was natural for both "business" and "IT," straightforward enough to use, yet sophisticated enough to work in today's connected world? What if such a language only comprised a handful of words? With such a language, the "loss in translation" between the business and IT would happen less, because both would be using the same language. With such a language, business outcomes and transformations would become much more achievable. This handbook describes what this language is-the language of Information Systems for the 21st century.

    How many problems do you think could be addressed if both parties understood each other better?  And not Lost in Translation?

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jan272010

    Complex technology projects, learn from Apple System 7 Blue Meanies

    One of the most enjoyable projects I worked on was Apple’s System 7.  There were many lessons I learned working on that project, one of which is “don’t tell the whole development team to innovate.”  Because if everyone innovates, the system doesn’t work.

    For all the years I spent working on Windows Operating Systems from 1992 to 2006, the last client OS i worked on was Windows XP, running the Technical Evangelism team. 

    When Windows Vista (aka Longhorn) came after Windows XP, I recognized the pattern from System 7 pushed too far as Jim Allchin and the rest of the executives ordered innovation in all parts of the OS.  We saw powerpoints for features that had little hope of seeing the light of day.

    One big lesson that worked well to ship System 7 was “Blue Meanies.”  Who are the Blue Meanies?  Here is the secret about box with the people.

    System 7.0.1:

    Help! Help! We're being held prisoner in a system software factory!

    The Blue Meanies

    Darin Adler
    Scott Boyd
    Chris Derossi
    Cynthia Jasper
    Brian McGhie
    Greg Marriott
    Beatrice Sochor
    Dean Yu

    What did they do?

    While the Meanies have sometimes been characterized as the "coders of System 7", the Mac OS was by then sufficiently large that major subsystems such as QuickDraw and QuickTime were developed and maintained by specialized groups, and the Meanies primarily focused on getting the pieces to work together.

    If you have a complex project where there is a lot of innovation which causes conflicts between groups when don’t work, think about creating a group of people whose job is to get the pieces to work together.

    Some may call this architecture, but getting systems to work together many times require the skills of implementation, not just architecture.  The Apple System Blue Meanies did it all.

    In your complex data center projects who are the Blue Meanies on your project?

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jan272010

    My Apr 2009 predicion of an Apple Netbook (iPad) full day battery, 3g, keyboard, phone, wifi, and iPhone apps

    I am down in SJ and friends are discussing the iPad.  Then I remembered my post on Apri 6, 2009.

    Imagine a Netbook with full day battery life, 3G network, keyboard, phone, wifi, and iPhone apps.  This device could probably be always on like an iPhone.  With a bluetooth headset you can leave the Apple Netbook in your carrycase.

    The one area I got wrong is it is not a phone. Which is a smart move by Apple.  Probably 90% of the iPad users will also have an iPhone.  Don’t give users the option of not having an iPad only.

    The one thing that would keep me from buying an iPad is given it is iPhone OS, there is no support for the Dvorak Keyboard.

    The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout

    The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (pronounced /ˈdvɒrɔːk/) is a keyboard layout patented in 1936 by August Dvorak, an educational psychologist and professor of education[1] at the University of Washington in Seattle,[2] andWilliam Dealey. It has also been called the Simplified Keyboard or American Simplified Keyboard but is commonly known as the Dvorak keyboard or Dvorak layout.

    Although the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (“DSK”) has failed to displace the QWERTY keyboard, it has become easier to access in the computer age, being included with all major operating systems (such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and BSD) in addition to the standard QWERTY layout. It is also supported at the hardware level by some high-end ergonomic keyboards.

    I’ve been typing on the Dvorak keyboard since 1987 when I worked on Apple keyboards for the Mac.  Unfortunately, the Dvorak keyboard is a niche not worth the iPhone OS to support.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Jan262010

    Japan’s Mobile Market is a Galapagos of isolation

    I have been to Tokyo over 20 times, but haven’t gone recently.  One of my ex-Apple coworkers is currently in Tokyo working for another high tech company, and it reminds of how the Japanese Mobile Market is different.

    The NYTimes has a good perspective (written by a Japanese native) on why the Japanese Mobile Market is isolatee like the Galapagos island.

    Why Japan’s Cellphones Haven’t Gone Global

    Robert Gilhooly/Bloomberg News

    Japanese cellphone makers want to expand, but their clever handsets do not work on other networks.

    • By HIROKO TABUCHI

    Published: July 19, 2009

    TOKYO — At first glance, Japanese cellphones are a gadget lover’s dream: ready for Internet and e-mail, they double as credit cards, boarding passes and even body-fat calculators.

    Enlarge This Image

    Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

    Competition is fierce in the relatively small Japanese cellphone market, with eight manufacturers.

    Enlarge This Image

    Junko Kimura/Getty Images

    Takeshi Natsuno developed a wireless Internet service that caught on in Japan.

    Readers' Comments
    Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

    But it is hard to find anyone in Chicago or London using a Japanese phone like a Panasonic, a Sharp or an NEC. Despite years of dabbling in overseas markets, Japan’s handset makers have little presence beyond the country’s shores.

    “Japan is years ahead in any innovation. But it hasn’t been able to get business out of it,” said Gerhard Fasol, president of the Tokyo-based IT consulting firm, Eurotechnology Japan.

    The point about the Galapagos island is made here.

    The Japanese have a name for their problem: Galápagos syndrome.

    Japan’s cellphones are like the endemic species that Darwin encountered on the Galápagos Islands — fantastically evolved and divergent from their mainland cousins — explains Takeshi Natsuno, who teaches at Tokyo’s Keio University.

    The article makes a final point on the issue of SW vs. HW innovation and the role of online app services from data centers.

    Meanwhile, Japanese developers are jealous of the runaway global popularity of the AppleiPhone and App Store, which have pushed the American and European cellphone industry away from its obsession with hardware specifications to software. “This is the kind of phone I wanted to make,” Mr. Natsuno said, playing with his own iPhone 3G.

    The conflict between Japan’s advanced hardware and its primitive software has contributed to some confusion over whether the Japanese find the iPhone cutting edge or boring. One analyst said they just aren’t used to handsets that connect to a computer.

    The forum Mr. Natsuno convened to address Galápagos syndrome has come up with a series of recommendations: Japan’s handset makers must focus more on software and must be more aggressive in hiring foreign talent, and the country’s cellphone carriers must also set their sights overseas.

    “It’s not too late for Japan’s cellphone industry to look overseas,” said Tetsuro Tsusaka, a telecom analyst at Barclays Capital Japan. “Besides, most phones outside the Galápagos are just so basic.”

    BTW, my friend in Tokyo is not one I would ask for his personal experience as he doesn’t own a cell phone even when he is in the US.  But, he works on mobile internet applications, so he has an interesting view developing for the Japanese market.

    Click to read more ...