November 2007 Archives

links for 2007-11-27

Who are the Millennials?

People seem to come up with most interesting labels generations of people. My peer group has been classified as Generation X. Actually, I happen to like that term, as the memory of the magnificent Malcolm X re-emerged during the early 90's. In reality, that is not what Gen X actually represents to marketing types. The chart below compares some of the attributes of GenX with the Millennials (aka Gen Y).

Millennials and Gen X

It also appears that the marketing community has not settled into the exact year these Millenials would have been born. I have also seen 1977-1992 (courtesy of Brody Communications, Ltd.) During a recent trip to my alma mater, our recruiting team was briefed about the specific differences in this new generation group.

The idea was to make sure we knew what made these potential prospects tick.
Much of this humored me, as the Generation X (my generation) was said to be lost and unlikely to change the world.
Not by the marketing giants, but the media conglomerates and some disgruntled educators. Methinks it's too early to tell. Besides according to the book, Millionaire Mind, the best ideas typically come at 50. I am far from 50..

Anyway, getting back to this group called the Millennials. Curiously, I would not have met many of them without the help of the Internet and Social Networking. I suppose that this is not unusual, as I am no longer in school or living in area which is in close proximity to a university. Most of Gen Y people I have met have been very sharp and quite engaging. Are they as technically acute as the marketers suggest, I am not so sure. Suffice to say that they are very fortunate to have an abundance of computing power that simply did not exist when I was coming up. All we had was real Hip-Hop and crack rock :)

Since the marketers have made their assertions about what Millennials prefer. I figure that I should be entitled to my own.

  • Digg over Slashdot
  • Social over Anti-Social
  • Virtual over Physical

I am sure that I have got this totally wrong, but it was worth a shot..

links for 2007-11-18

Virtual PR Watchdog

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It appears that my most recent Intelligent Design segment is receiving a great deal of interest. I discovered the following while perusing my server logs

http://72.51.39.238/~jdoak/converseon/eresponder.php?newtopic=1& startDate=2007-10-14&endDate=2007-10-15&account=73

Hmmm. So I thought, what would a good closet sysadmin do about this one? Well I scanned the box of the originating IP after following the URL yielded a 401 error. Nice set of FOSS tools on that machine.. I digress. Initially, I thought it was some sort of bot trying to be naughty. After further review and a bit of ubiquitous Googling, I discovered that a companies like Converseon and others are hired on a case to case basis to monitor blogs and other digital media. I suppose the effort is to help companies manage their digital reputation. I guess the Cluetrain Manifesto was correct. Markets are indeed conversations. Apparently the company which I showcased hired 'jdoak' to _monitor_ the conversation in this space.

So, I believe 'Jack' or Jake is playing the role of the embedded reporter ;)
Mr. Doak please introduce yourself to the community..

*Update* to the Krusell case, it appears that I will soon be receiving a more robust multiadapt design. Hopefully, many others will benefit from an improved plastic. Once I receive the new hardware, I will share my thoughts.

links for 2007-11-13

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Who owns your data?

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Recently had an epiphany relative to data storage and digital identity. Granted my thoughts did not accrue in a vacuum, suffice to say that I have always been concerned with ownership. More specifically, the idea that it is very important to note that convenience comes at a price. I am not here to judge or criticize the desire for people to minimize complexity in their lives. I too have fallen victim to convenience.

I suppose half the battle is understanding the risks. What to do about it?
Here is an interesting use case.. Someone once told me that they did not like the fact that Flickr did not report the origin of the visitors to their photos. Flickr simply reports the number of views for each photo on their system. Perhaps this person wanted to figure out a way to make revenue from the traffic? Nope, that wasn't the concern at all. The concern was that their was no simple way to understand why people were interested in those particular photo sets. What brought them to those set of photos? Why did they find them particularly interesting? Some would probably ask, "Why do you care?" Well, it really is a matter of having some level of control over your data.
Ahh, but is the data really yours anymore? Methinks not. You have agreed to give up those rights the moment you agreed to share the content with Yahoo!

In return Flickr, will mix and slice the information to your liking. The same model applies to every so-called Web2.0 service. You throw your data up into the cloud and rely on the convenience of the service. Some people call it SaaS. To paraphrase Eben Moglen , giving your rights to the bailiff, pretty much guarantees that you do not have control your data anymore. Gmail works the same way, with the exception that the bailiff now earns residual income off your habits and the habits of your unknowing friends. It's all about data mining and ads revenue.

So, again the question is what are we to do about this concern? Well consider that a fundamental level, both Y! and GOOG utilize the same building materials that are readily available in the wild. In a world Free and Open Source Software. I'm not talking about building a private datacenter. Of course that would be cost prohibitive. What I am suggesting is that you begin to store some of your own data. The cost of a terabyte of storage is roughly 1/4 the cost of the same quantity 5yrs ago. The software that you could use to search and index your own data is free. However, cost of learning how to manipulate and use these building materials is not free.

Well, you have to use your good judgment. What are the tradeoffs? What is the cost benefit? I do not have all answers. I merely pose the question. In fact, it is a question that many others have asked too. Fortunately, we still have time think about a solution.

Eben Moglen's MySQL Conference talk

Bradley Kuhn Software Freedom Law Center

*Aside* If you listen to Brad's talk closely, you might actually hear my question about tivoization and GOOG towards the end of the Q&A period.

Why Did I Get Married ?

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Got hoodwinked into watching a genuine 'chick-flick'. Anyway, it is unlikely that I would do another such film. I had heard about Tyler Perry, but I figured his work was much like "Waiting to Exhale", so I was bracing for the worst.

I don't think the film gave me anymore insight to marriage than I had previously. The only difference was that the cast was comprised of actors who had virtually vanished from the front line landscape (ie Janet Jackson, Malik Yoba, Michael Jai White). Jackson's performance was particularly awful. She was neither plausible or genuine in her role as a psychology professor. In fact, I think the highlight of her acting portfolio was Jason's Lyric Poetic Justice.

It would seem that the producer did the very best to focus on the monetary wealth of the characters, rather than the essence of dysfunctional relationships. IMHO, the film was best suited for a much younger demographic. Ironically, the storyline would suggest a very mature theme. Go figure. It's Hollywood. Go get the torrent, save your loot.

Much Ado About Java

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I have been following the various posts regarding Apple's decision not to include Java support Leopard (newest OSX) release. Frankly, I believe it is much ado about nothing. IMHO, Java has a home on many embedded platforms. In fact, the Gmail and Google Maps applications which run on my Treo 650 are powered by Java. Some of my most used software (Limewire and Azureus) are indeed Java applications. So, I really do not believe Apple can curtail the sphere of influence of the Java.

True indeed Sun Microsystems really never managed Java very well. It took them nearly a decade to figure out that releasing Java under the GPL was necessary and critical to the continued proliferation of the software. However, I really do not believe Sun cared much about the desktop platform, after all they spent much of their cycles on building out hardware. Hell, I would call them a hardware company. At the end of the day, Java will have a home in well-conditioned environments. It has very well defined objectives as middleware or glue for various server based applications. As mentioned earlier, Java also works fairly well on ARM processors (ie Smart Phones, etc.).

Tale of Two Joes

Now that the dust has settled and A-Rod has opted out of his contract. I figured it would be time to discuss the 2007 Yankee Postseason and the departure of legendary skipper Joe Torre. Yes, I have recovered and can pontificate on the future of the ballclub.

First I was pleased that the Bombers made a huge push and seized a playoff spot. You have to realize that the team was left for dead in June. They were 14.5 behind the Bosox and trailed five other teams for the Wild Card spot in the AL. Obviously, the lionshare of the credit goes to the ballplayers for finally playing up to their potential and also the faith of the GM in playing the youngsters from the farm system. You have to recognize that Torre does not lead with a great deal of emotion and you will never see him in a fit of rage on the bench. This demeanor clearly rubs off on his players. If there were any doubters in that clubhouse, they were well hidden.

Perhaps this is why Mets manager Willie Randolph, a Torre protege never showed much trepidation as his ballclub slid out of playoff contention?

Torre's tenure in NY was extremely successful, 6 WS appearance 4 World championships and 12 consecutive postseason appearances and 9 consecutive AL East Titles. The latter a streak that ended this season. Oh yeah, congrats to RSN, but I am not ready to crown Bosox as the next baseball dynasty. If Boston can show me success over a decade, I will consider it. For now, their recent success is simply "thermal noise" when compared to what the Yankees accomplished in the 90's.

Now with iTunes Support

I have now added an easy link to the right-side navigation menu. You can easily subscribe to AG Speaks with your iTunes feedcatcher. However, I still refuse to pay Apple any money to list my content in its Apple Store. IIRC, Apple requires a credit card to simply list content in their store. Thx but no thanks.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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