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Indeed the stars in the sky and their constellations no longer shine

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Ozymandias
Topic: Arts 7:17 am EDT, Jul 25, 2003

"I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away. "

This poem makes me think of Saddam Hussein..

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Ozymandias

Cringely's crazy idea
Topic: Society 6:45 am EDT, Jul 25, 2003

] When I mentioned in last week's column that I would this
] week be writing about a legal way to do a successful
] music downloading business -- a business that would
] threaten the Recording Industry Association of America
] and its hegemony -- dozens of readers wrote to me trying
] to predict what I would write. Some readers came at the
] problem from a purely technical perspective, ignoring the
] fact that the real issues here aren't technical but
] legal. Some readers took a legal approach, but they
] tended to ignore the business model. Some were looking
] solely for the business model. Interestingly, nobody
] even came close to my idea, which makes me either a total
] loon or a diabolical genius. Truth be told, I'm probably
] more of a diabolical loon.
] The reason I am even writing this column is two-fold.
] The biggest reason is simply because I would like people
] to consider lateral solutions to problems. I am pushing
] the concept of problem solving in a new way. There is no
] particular methodology here, just the underlying concept
] that if things aren't working the way you like, think of
] something different. Too often, people restrict their
] thinking or they somehow expect the world to change just
] for them, which it won't. But taking a lateral approach
] often yields interesting results. And once you've found
] an approach, maybe it can be applied to a different
] problem. What I am abo

Cringely's crazy idea

Bruce Schneier: 'How to Fight'
Topic: Society 6:45 am EDT, Jul 25, 2003

] I landed in Los Angeles at 11:30 PM, and it took me
] another hour to get to my hotel. The city was booked, and
] I was lucky to get a reservation where I did. When I
] checked in, the clerk insisted on making a photocopy of
] my driver's license. I tried fighting, but it was no use.
] I needed the hotel room. There was nowhere else I could
] go. The night clerk didn't really care if he rented the
] room to me or not. He had rules to follow, and he was
] going to follow them.

] The only way to change security is to step outside the system
] and negotiate with the people in charge. It's only outside the
] system that each of us has power: sometimes as an asset owner,
] but more often as another player. And it is outside the system
] that we will do our best negotiating.

Excellent essay by Schneier in this month's "Crypto-Gram" newsletter, about how to fight the system.

Bruce Schneier: 'How to Fight'

Wired News: Get Ready for New 'Nano' Products
Topic: Science 7:27 am EDT, Jul 24, 2003

] Scientists are wrestling with individual atoms to develop
] molecule-sized computers, tiny cancer-fighting robots
] that travel the bloodstream ... and stain-resistant
] trousers.

Wired News: Get Ready for New 'Nano' Products

Forbes Wolfe
Topic: Science 7:25 am EDT, Jul 24, 2003

A really good nanotech blog from the guy who does this stuff for forbes. Just click it.

Forbes Wolfe

TOP500 Supercomputer sites:
Topic: Computers 7:24 am EDT, Jul 24, 2003

] The TOP500 project was started in 1993 to provide a
] reliable basis for tracking and detecting trends in
] high-performance computing. Twice a year, a list of the
] sites operating the 500 most powerful computer systems is
] assembled and released. The best performance on the
] Linpack benchmark is used as performance measure for
] ranking the computer systems. The list contains a variety
] of information including the system specifications and
] its major application areas.

TOP500 Supercomputer sites:

Welcome to GJSentinel!
Topic: Computers 7:21 am EDT, Jul 24, 2003

] ATLANTA -- Jack Dongarra is the timekeeper in a race that
] has no finish line and no winner's circle -- just leaders
] whose tenuous hold on first place is determined by
] trillonths of a second.
] As custodian of the industry's "Top 500 List" for more
] than a decade, Dongarra, professor at the University of
] Tennessee and a researcher at Oak Ridge National
] Laboratory, has watched the speed of the world's fastest
] computers double every 18 months or so.

An interesting article about the current state. Google's 15,000 processors would probably rank in the top 500 if the system wasn't too busy to shut down to run the benchmark tests on it. The top 500 list is at

Welcome to GJSentinel!

Professor Gadget
Topic: Human Computer Interaction 6:46 am EDT, Jul 24, 2003

] [Ted] Selker is a much-lauded idea man whose prototypes and
] projects have been featured everywhere from Wired to the
] Wall Street Journal to ABC World News Tonight. His most
] famous invention, which he developed as a researcher at
] IBM, is the TrackPoint, the tiny, rubberized mouse button
] in the middle of many laptop keyboards.
] These days Selker is focusing on computerized gadgets for
] solving everyday problems. He directs the efforts of
] Counter Intelligence, a research group using computers to
] build the kitchen of the future. He also heads a team
] that is working on

Professor Gadget

DNS Stuff: DNS tools, WHOIS, tracert, ping, and other network tools.
Topic: Technology 11:38 am EDT, Jul 23, 2003

Need web-based access to WHOIS, reverse lookup, ping, tracert, spam database lookup, IP routiong info and more? Check this site out for several useful networking tools.

DNS Stuff: DNS tools, WHOIS, tracert, ping, and other network tools.

A business model for Memestreams
Topic: Business 8:12 am EDT, Jul 23, 2003

So I've been crunching on this for months. Actually since Terrence first told me about what Tom was trying to do, and even more so since I saw Tom demo Memestreams at PhreakNIC in October of 02. We've had numerous discussions about the potential for reputation systems in general, and Memestreams specifically. But I could never figure out a model that a) made money unequivocably and b) didn't smack of funk. But now I think I've found one that fits.

I just recently started working at a healthcare company that is growing very rapidly and is becoming very successful. Yay! for me to not be unemployed anymore. But one of the tasks I have in front of me is looking at knowledge management (KM) systems and processes. Part of this is due to the rapid growth of the company, who's core product is 'knowledge' about how to treat a person who has serious chronic illness. The other part is related to some organizational development changes within the company.

I'm a big fan of KM. I've preached it for about a decade. It's definitely helped my career out. I've even tried applying it in one of my companies, to much intangible success. It's a Good Thing(tm) to use as our workforce populace becomes more and more comfortable with technology's pervasivness, and the importance of sharing information and expertise electronically.

One of the biggest challenges with implementing KM into an organization is getting people to utilize it. If you've never had any KM process or tools, then you probably think that you can live without them. Why change? Change is hard and painful and I'm doing my job just fine thank you cuz my performance eval from last quarter says so. Besides, we don't need no stinking message boards to talk to each other.

Typically, businesses will try and 'incentivize' ( word) employees to utilize the systems in place. In some cases, they can get as Nazi as requiring you to put certain reports or follow a certain process. But this is hit or miss at best because as we all know, some managers will dismiss the KM process as 'fluff' and circumvent it. They won't require their reports to utilize it, and may even punish those that do. Another key challenge here is how do you incentivize it? You could say that the employee who contributes the most to the KM systems gets a bigger bonus than those who don't. But you could just keep ringing up posts of nonsense and still win that battle. And that got me thinking....

What's sorely needed in KM is reputation. And this could be the catalyst that incents utilization. If you had a reputation system in place, then it would be very easy to determine who was contributing the most USEFUL knowledge into the system, and bonuses and other incentives could be based on reputation capital. This could very easily motivate people to deposit info into the KM systems, and really motivate them to partake of that knowledge, because it would be required to increase one's reputation.

Of course the normal social network issues would apply, such as all your friends banding together to increase eachother's reputation capital regardless of quality. But I think there is adequate work in that area to minimize 'fixing' the system.

So the bottomline here is that Memestreams could easily plug into a lot of toolsets used in the KM universe (mailing lists, BBS's, content management, change management, etc) as a reputation engine to help drive up utilization. You get the benefit of working with a B2B market, in a very legitimate and hot sector, and you're solving a very real problem with adoption of that sector. Bling Bling!

A business model for Memestreams

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