Overheard: Word of the Day

A Whatis.com blog

October 16, 2007  2:48 PM

Overheard: Do you really need a 4 terabyte hard drive? YES!

Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Storage, Technology
eric_gwinn.gif “The Library of Congress has 20.5 million cataloged books in its classification system. Half that collection would just about fit inside the desktop computers we’ll be able to buy four years from now.”

Eric Gwinn, Incredible shrinking hard drive


Eric writes: We”re all going to want higher-capacity hard drives to handle the hours of high-definition video we’ll be shooting with our HD video cameras in the next few years. We already know there’s no way to guess what other media will come into our everyday lives.

Eric is right, although I’d argue that there’s a lot of people who wanted those higher capacity hard drives YESTERDAY. Anyone who’s ever worked with video knows that the success of YouTube is fundamentally based on compression and storage. Sure, they make it easy to share videos — but the real value is being able to offload those gi-normous video files and reclaim your storage space.

October 15, 2007  6:19 PM

Overheard: The problem with Steve Ballmer

Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Microsoft, Microsoft Windows, Technology
ballmer2.gif “Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft, probably because he knows nothing can be done to plug the holes in the sinking ship that is Windows. He made his mark, and it’s time to get out.

Ballmer, on the other hand, is like Al Pacino at the end of Scarface — all coked up and in a gun fight with an entire drug cartel — which is a terrible plan.”


October 14, 2007  4:33 PM

Overheard: SOA, 2B or not 2B an acronym?

Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Acronyms, SOA
joe_mckendrick2.gif “Typically, it’s either a word or it’s not. No two ways about it. You don’t hear anyone talking about deploying on the U-N-I-X operating system, and no one attaches S-O-A-P headers on their Web services. GUI, of course, is Gooey. G-U-I sounds like something you could get locked up for.”

Joe McKendrick, Should “SOA” be a Word, or Stay an Acronym?

October 14, 2007  2:51 PM

Overheard: Armed robot deployments within ten years?

Posted by: Margaret Rouse
military technology, Robotics
james_canton.jpg “Instead of units with 2,000 soldiers and 150 robots, this equation might be turned around within a decade. Imagine a detachment of 150 humans and 2,000 robots.”

James Canton, The Extreme Future

October 14, 2007  2:16 PM

Overheard: Spammers are just direct mailers

Posted by: Margaret Rouse
certified email, Email marketing, Spam, Technology
daniel_terdiman.jpg “But spammers are not dumb. They’re just direct mailers. They’re going for the 1 percent that thinks “OnlineBootyCall message” actually might mean romance is in the air.”

Daniel Terdiman, The game of subconscious spam filtering

October 14, 2007  12:51 PM

Overheard: Data analysis is scary

Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Data analysis, DataManagement, Technology
rachel_hinman.jpg “Part of what makes data analysis scary is: 1) There is a lot of data and 2) It is all in disparate forms. Slogging through all that data can feel intimidating because there is simply so much stuff.I often relate this phase of analysis to the television show Clean Sweep. It’s a show about people who have a house so crammed with crap that it’s unlivable.”

Rachel Hinman, Demystifying Data Analysis

October 13, 2007  4:11 PM

Quiz: What are these people talking about?

Posted by: Margaret Rouse
DIRECTIONS: These are real statements from real people discussing real technology in the blogosphere. I’ve removed one word from each quote. Can you still figure out what they’re talking about? Click on the link to see if you’re right! Then click your back button for another question.

1. ____________ adoption has been discussed for a number of years now, but the form factor hasn’t been embraced in the way it was initially expected. One of the main reasons is that they are often referred to as “hot little power-suckers.”
What are they talking about?

2. Today, I think of __________ as the zombie operating system. It stumbles around, and from a distance you might think it’s alive, but close up it’s the walking dead.
What are they talking about?

3. The __________ industry is like women’s clothing, except it’s more fashion-driven.
What are they talking about?

4. You know __________ have moved beyond the novelty stage when they are embroiled in that classic business action: A fight over trade secrets.
What are they talking about?

5. Sure __________ is a big, boring enterprise software company, about as far from the furious consumer innovation of Web 2.0 as you can imagine. Yet it’s been clear to me for years that this company takes the ideas of Web 2.0 very seriously.
What are they talking about?

6. __________ have become the unexpected buzzword of 2007; just a few weeks ago I discussed how they can be used for marketers to disseminate information. But I’m realizing that this buzz is eerily similar to the buzz that surrounded desktop applications in the late ’90s.
What are they talking about?

7. As with any of this company’s announcements, this one comes with more than its fair share of misleading assertions and what I’ve come to refer to as __________ . It’s a modernistic form of algebra that arrives at irreproducible results that also have the unique property of having absolutely no bearing on reality.
What are they talking about?

8. There are now almost 600 consumer products made with _____________ technology, including computer processors by Intel and AMD, high capacity hard disk drives, battery pack systems and memory. Even the iPhone uses it.
What are they talking about?

9. But in China, ____________ key feature is its software, dubbed “Road to Riches.”
What are they talking about?

10. Many years ago, way back in 2003 or so, a computing model called __________ was being shopped around by The Open Group. In this model, a big processing job gets split up into lots of little jobs and sent to different computers around the country. The objective? To get super-computer power without having to build or buy a super-computer.
What are they talking about?

October 13, 2007  3:12 PM

Overheard: If you get the lead out, the tin man will have 5 o’clock shadow

Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Green computing, Technology, tin whiskers
dr_richard_north.jpg “To prevent lead from being incinerated or accumulating in landfills after electronic devices have been disposed of, the health and safety zealots have not so much thrown — as hurled — the baby out with the bathwater.”

Dr. Richard North, Whiskers!

Agree or disagree? We should allow lead to be used in electronic devices.

October 13, 2007  1:19 PM

Overheard – Forget about being a CIO when you grow up

Posted by: Margaret Rouse
CIO, Technology, Utility computing
nicholas_carr.jpg “We’ve entered the long twilight of the CIO position, a sign that information technology is finally maturing.”

Nicholas Carr, Twilight of the CIO

Nicholas writes: It will be a slow transition – CIOs will continue to play critical roles in many firms for many years – but we’re at last catching up with the vision expressed back in 1990 by the legendary CIO Max Hopper, who predicted that IT would come to “be thought of more like electricity or the telephone network than as a decisive source of organizational advantage.

Agree or disagree? IT should be thought of more like electricity or the telephone network than as a decisive source of organizational advantage.

October 13, 2007  12:03 PM

Overheard: Social software and group dynamics

Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Blogging, social software, Technology
clay_shirky.jpg “People who work on social software are closer in spirit to economists and political scientists than they are to people making compilers.”

Clay Shirky, A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy

Clay writes: We had every bit of technology we needed to do weblogs the day Mosaic launched the first forms-capable browser. Every single piece of it was right there. Instead, we got Geocities. Why did we get Geocities and not weblogs? We didn’t know what we were doing.

One was a bad idea, the other turns out to be a really good idea. It took a long time to figure out that people talking to one another, instead of simply uploading badly-scanned photos of their cats, would be a useful pattern.

Writing social software is hard. And, as I said, the act of writing social software is more like the work of an economist or a political scientist. And the act of hosting social software, the relationship of someone who hosts it is more like a relationship of landlords to tenants than owners to boxes in a warehouse.

The people using your software, even if you own it and pay for it, have rights and will behave as if they have rights. And if you abrogate those rights, you’ll hear about it very quickly.

That’s part of the problem that the John Hegel theory of community — community leads to content, which leads to commerce — never worked. Because lo and behold, no matter who came onto the Clairol chat boards, they sometimes wanted to talk about things that weren’t Clairol products.

“But we paid for this! This is the Clairol site!” Doesn’t matter. The users are there for one another. They may be there on hardware and software paid for by you, but the users are there for one another.

Agree or disagree? A group is its own worst enemy.

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