Monday, June 28, 2004

The Dirty Bomb Distraction

The Dirty Bomb Distraction

Explains in a rational, logical, and mathematical (should you be so inclined to run the numbers) way why fear with the so-called "dirty" is fear itself.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

The 911 Commission has Perverted its Work -- One who was there speaks.

BuzzMachine... by Jeff Jarvis

"The 9/11 Commission has perverted its work and, in my view, committed the unpardonable sin of politicizing 9/11 and turning the attacks of mudering terrorist nutjobs into a litany of things we did wrong, things that are our fault.

No, 9/11 is the fault of murdering terrorist nutjobs and the only solution to this is to hunt down and capture or kill every one of them we can find wherever we find them -- yes, even in Saudi Arabia, even in Iraq, even in Pakistan, even in New Jersey. I wish I heard the Commission giving us a few more suggestions about how to do that."

Friday, June 18, 2004

Joel on Software - How Microsoft Lost the API War

Joel on Software - How Microsoft Lost the API War

"Microsoft's crown strategic jewel, the Windows API, is lost. The cornerstone of Microsoft's monopoly power and incredibly profitable Windows and Office franchises, which account for virtually all of Microsoft's income and covers up a huge array of unprofitable or marginally profitable product lines, the Windows API is no longer of much interest to developers. The goose that lays the golden eggs is not quite dead, but it does have a terminal disease, one that nobody noticed yet."

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Guardian | Oil chief: my fears for planet

Guardian | Oil chief: my fears for planet

"In an interview in today's Guardian Life section, Ron Oxburgh, chairman of Shell, says we urgently need to capture emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, which scientists think contribute to global warming, and store them underground - a technique called carbon sequestration."

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Microsoft Office Search: project 2003 deployment

Microsoft Office Search: project 2003 deployment

Microsoft provides a number of useful templates, in Microsoft Project format, for deploying Project and Project Server.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

UN Inspectors report WMD shippped out of Iraq before and during the war

"The United Nations has determined that Saddam Hussein shipped weapons of mass destruction components as well as medium-range ballistic missiles before, during and after the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 2003."

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Sun Bloggers

See Sun Bloggers

Sun Microsystems is providing blog resources for "any Sun employee to write about anything."

That's interesting.

Dakota Indian tribal wisdom on project management (Anders Jacobsen's blog)

Dakota Indian tribal wisdom on project management (Anders Jacobsen's blog): "Dakota Indian tribal wisdom on project management

The tribal wisdoms of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that 'when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount'. However, in many companies as well as in the UN and NGO community a range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Changing riders
2. Appointing a committee to study the horse
3. Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses
4. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included
5. Reclassifying the dead horse as 'living impaired'.
6. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse
7. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed
8. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance
9. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance
10. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the mission of the organisation than do some other horses
11. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses..."

How Could Blogging Fit into the Corporate World

I found occasion to write down initial thoughts on this for a friend which became an email. Seems more appropriate as a blog posting, so here it is. This will hopefully form the basis for subsequent thinking/blogging on this subject.

Demonstration of Valididay

See "The" Tom Peters of Managing for Excellence Fame as discovered blogs and has, according to his web site, "We've also become enamored of various blogs and blogging software, and so we said, "Let's bloggify Tom." I point out this site only to show the growing "acceptance" of this new wave.

See for the BBC news report of Bill Gates telling the executives who recently attended his party that "blogs are good for business". Again, another indication of the "wave".

Interestingly, there a many blogs now done by Microsoft employees. Truly something is happening in that corporation. For example, I like reading Bob Scoble's blog from He seems to have taken (or given?) the role of bridging inside/outside Microsoft. Another Microsoft example is Eric Rudder who is near the top of Microsoft.

I like reading Joel on Software Very eloquent writer. Ex Microsoft and now runs his own software firm in NYC. Their product CityDesk is attractive for this stuff.

I enjoy reading Andrew Sullivan, Instapundant, Steven Johnson, Belgravia Dispatch and Jeff Jarvis Jerry Pournelle's is interesting as it really is a blog, but he's been doing this for years and years, before blogs became fashionable. He's a science fiction writer with work experience in the US aerospace programme, writing for Byte, etc.

Things to Notice about Blogs

- They provide links, and attribution, to the things they are talking about. You can go see for your self.
- They provide links to other sites/blogs/etc. of interest to them. This personifies the "web" as a network of related information. There the links are high quality since they are vetted by the person doing the publishing.
- They use specialised software which provides the "standard". Tools like Moveable Type, Blogger, etc. These tools support open standards, e.g. RSS (Really Simple Syndication). Most tools are free, or very low cost if for commercial purposes.

My blog, which I'm experimenting with, is at It has been found by the search engines and gets a growing number of hits. Not very many. Not very interesting, but it's just something I'm experimenting with not to get hits or attention, but only to explore the work process one has to adopt to be a blog "contributor" vs. a blog "consumer".

The Tools

There are lots. Some ones I have experience with are:

- Movable Type (what I would probably implement in a company).

- Blogger (what I use for my experimental blog). Now owned by Google. Will be taken along for a significant "ride" with Google as they do their thing.

RSS Feeds

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is the catalyse for a lot of this taking off. The reader can "pull" RSS feeds from where they want. I use Newsgator ( with Microsoft Outlook and I pull feeds from blogs of interest which greatly simplifies my work processes. In addition, I get feeds from traditional media, e.g. New York Times, Washington Post, etc.

I can't help but think that these simple tools are the way to forward. I'm less than enthralled with buying big "Knowledge Management" applications ... even though I know that's supposed to be what is supposed to happen in big corporations but I don't think it's the way to go. Keep it simple. Do it the way the world is doing it.

Corporate Environments

I haven't yet formulated my thoughts in a manner which can easily be written down. I'm bullish on "blogs". This is based on my previous experience over many years of similar sorts of things inside my previous employer. My first exposure to a lot of this sort of stuff was in the mid 1980's with IBM's "GroupTalk" product (used in the engineering organsition to a very limited extent), and the Internet's newsgroups and mailing lists (used in the corporate research organisation to a relatively large extent even though it was before the Internet was known as "the Internet".

Accordingly, it is arguable that what's happening today with blogs is not new. True. However, for a generation of people they are new and it is the way the new generation works and expects to work. It isn't going way.

I've decided I'm going to start to write something down, and maybe even "blog" it so that you and anyone else can watch the thoughts grow. It will center around my "Noise to Knowledge" theory (see below).

As a starting point see:

Sharing knowledge in organisations through blogging?
By Jonathan Briggs

5 Blognet Justifications Other articles at this page are also good reading. **NOTE: These 5 justifications hit at the heart of your question.**

Publishing a Project Web Log, by Jon Udell Jon has been long involved with this and even wrote a seminal book on this which was "before it's time" The technology has moved on, but the knowledge processes Jon describes in this book are very valid.

Chad Dickerson takes on using blogs for IT (project?) documentation ... something that should be of great value and I think his ideas are on mark.

This page provides links to some blogs. I just discovered this researching the email to you. I’m going to do some further reading here. IT-related, but just translate to your own environment.

Noise to Knowledge

Finally, see where I have briefly outlined what I really think about all this from a higher level perspective. Basically, I feel there are three identifiable clumps of information in the knowledge workers world:

1. noise,
2. learnings, and
3. knowledge.

Whatever work processes or tools are used, all three "clumps@ tneed to be handled with supurb tools. I believe that those organisations that can provide world class tools and nurture world class work processes supporting all three distinct "clumps" of information as it moves between "noise to knowledge" will become and continue thereafter to be world-class organisations.

Email is dead. Long live email.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

OpenOffice.Org is Starting Development of a Project Management Tool

oopm: Home

This could be significant. They are in the intial phases and are inviting discussion on the mailing lists.

Participate if you have input in this grass-roots project.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Problem with Blogger Email Publishing

I set my blog on Blogger to enable publishing via email (nice feature). Works great. I like it.

However, I received an erroneous message from their mail server saying that the mail was undeliverable ... yet, the mail that the server says is undeliverable was indeed published. I reported this to Blogger Support.

Their reply:

Thank you for writing in and reporting this problem. You might want to try changing the secret word in your mail-to-blogger address to see if your problem continues.

Please see our Blogger Help article for more details:

When Everyone Knows the Combination to the Lock

During the height of the Cold War, the US Strategic Air Command installed special locks, called "Permissive Action Links" on the Minuteman missle force.

Because the SAC were less concerned about unauthorised launches than they were about the poential for these locks to interfere with the implementation of wartime launch ordres, they changed the combinations for all these locks to be "00000000" which remained unchanged through the Cold War.


Who's afraid of Time Inc.'s legal disclaimer?

E-mail Confidential - Who's afraid of Time Inc.'s legal disclaimer? By Jack Shafer

We have all seen them, or maybe even are required by our employers to put them at the bottom of all our corporate email. You know--those "disclaimers". Jack Shafer at Slate decided take on Time Warner ask a lawyer to pick his way through the text. He explains how, as you probably already know, that such disclaimers hold scant legal weight for many reasons, the most significant being that they always seem to be at the bottom of the email when it's really too late to agree to it before actually reading the email in question. Sort of like software shrink-wrap license agreements.

Where are all the British blogs?

The Raw Story | James Clasper | Where are all the British blogs?

"Yet, why on earth would anyone want an intellectual diet consisting solely of the self-righteous platitudes of The Guardian and The Independent or the right-wing bromides of The Daily Telegraph and The Times, to say nothing of the BBC’s condescension or the titillating trash of cable and satellite news?"

Sort of says it all, doesn't ?

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Robert Scoble

I like to read Robert Scoble's weblog on Microsoft. He's inside the company and apparently has relatively free reign to write openly about what he thinks.

For example, here he attemps to destroy myths about Microsoft Internet Explorer and conformance to standards, with the killer line: "Syndication is where the action is", i.e. not the browser.

He also has interesting thoughts on linking.