Tuesday Mar 13, 2007

James Gosling at Sun Live, London

After lunch, James Gosling presented and took us through some “What are Web 2.0” slides, its a short and to the point presentation. Among several asides, he pointed out that scientific computing which used to drive IT innovation is now leveraging the games industry, since the Sony Playstation 3 has the highest floating point performance in the world, (or on the planet as it seems is the current Sun mot-de-jour).

I wonder what this example says about the economics of the appliance vs. the general purpose?

tags: “topic:[James Gosling]” “

Inappropriate Behaviour

Robert Hamilton told a story about a company that prohibited instant messenger because it permits inappropriate behaviour. His reply,

I can behave inappropriately with a pencil!


Monday Mar 12, 2007

Empowering people

I visited the Commercial Industry break-out room and was pleasantly surprised to experience three interesting and in the final case hilarious presentation

John Blackman of JB Associates announced his company's Carbon Balance Sheet audit. I have been looking at how I can adjust the TCO tools we've been using to talk in terms of carbon footprint so its good to see others looking at helping companies understand their carbon consumption.

Bernard Taveres of Unilever followed with a presentation on some social programmes supporting Unilever's transition to adopting and living its “strategic intent” of “people vitality”. He spent some time talking about building the business case for building new forms of collaboration, and they saw the key variables as people, space and technology. I suppose what is interesting is the way in which innovators in teleworking recognise the cost of space and how its use changes as companies begin to trust their employees. Earlier schemes, including Sun's own iWork scheme started by reducing the time and cost of the commute, the consequent benefits include the reduction in space budgets, although realising this is both hard and takes time, and allows a company to hire the best, not merely the best within travel distance of an office.

Robert Hamilton of Orange then spoke, starting with the assertion that

Offices are pretty lousy places to work

He argued that the main use of an office is to take delivery of snail-mail and parcels. Well, that and meeting people, which makes the web-cam (or X-Coffee application) very useful, because you can check out whose in, before travelling to work and decide not to if the office is empty or full of boring people.

The tag line he developed is that agile businesses need to “collaborate in parallel” and people need to act as customers. Only two industries describe their customers as users, one of them is IT. He also asked why people mail presentations as attachments. We understand that putting a button onto a web site, reduces the viewers by 50%, why put your content as an attachments which requires a click and application load before people can read what you want. Obviously those with stuff to hide zip the presentations up, and require their readers to use the mouse twice. As Robert said,

why mail a presentation anyway, if what I say with the slide didn't add value, I wouldn't turn up.


Is this a technology vendor?

Richard Barrington kicked us off and introduced firstly a video of Jonathon Porritt, talking about climate change and the need to act. Richard is very articulate on this himself arguing that the key policy for both the public polity and the private is to consume less power. If we can do that, we still have a chance of avoiding disaster. It was interesting to me that this was one of the central themes of the opening session. Today's Guardian reported on the Government's announcement that the carbon reduction commitment of the UK ( 60% reduction by 2050) is going to become law, Brown & Cameron are having a duel by press release to prove their green credentials and George Monbiot nails the Channel 4 documentary based on the countervailing view from last week. I missed the news that Curry's are going to stop selling incandescent bulbs.

The opening key note speaker, Steve Nunn from Accenture also picked up on the climate change commitments that governments are making and importantly added the system utilisation dimension. The easiest way to reduce the demand for power by data centres is to drive up utilisation using the co-hosting, consolidation and virtualisation policies, and retire and reduce the number of systems required to perform the work. The final part of the jigsaw is that the acquisition costs of computer systems continue to fall, but the cost of power will increase. Today, there are many systems which will cost more to power during their working life then they cost to buy, and data centre managers need to adopt policies to manage this expanding part of their (or their employer's) budget.

As an aside, he stated that he didn't believe that windows systems could achieve more than 55% utilisation, even with virtualisation. I wonder if we could build a more performant solution with Solaris as the OS and using windows as a guest in some way.


Fantastic Day

OpenSolaris: Innovation Matters I'm just setting off to Sun Live, and I'll be dropping in to the London Open Solaris User Group (losug) at about 6:30 pm at the Westminster Central Hall.

Sun Live, is tag lined as "Evolution + Innovation = Revolution" and the revolution starts here. I always thought is was Electrification + Soviet Power; but we live and learn.

I publish on San Francisco time, the event is taking place on Tuesday 13th. 





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