Monday, September 27, 2010

The Global Hive Mind

Please if you do nothing else today, at least have a look at this! This inspiring video reminds me why I got into IT. It's a talk on the power of Web Video, by Chris Anderson (who may have a vested interest in the topic but his insights are eye opening.)

The basic premise is that now web video is so accessible interesting things are happening. People are learning and developing skills and ideas faster than ever before.

It’s clear evidence that a global network such as the internet, has the potential to significantly improve on the educational capacity of the human race. Thus improving the quality of life for millions (possibly that'll be even be billions).

The really exciting part, is that this rapid exchange of ideas that is now possible, and accessible to many over the internet, will inevitably forge better ideas faster.

The issue then becomes, making access to this vital educational tool ubiquitous. It is of paramount importance that this technology reach as many people as possible, and hearing from, Christopher Makau towards the end of the talk, that seems like it could be a reality sooner than we think.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rant - Grrr Cloud

OK I’ve just got to say it... What is it with these people and “The Cloud”?!
Anyone who reads this blog, yes both of you, (hi Mum) knows that the Cloud as a networking concept has existed for decades. It’s only recently that it’s become a fashionable marketing accessory.

(That’s a joke BTW, there’s no way my Mum reads this blog.)

The Cloud is a conceptual hook to represent a large network... Often the internet. It’s an umbrella concept used to simplify the complexities of large networks, similar to what the concept of Traffic is, to Cars and roads. Basically it’s a mental get out of jail free card “Don’t worry about that bit it’s in the Cloud.”

I can show you network diagrams from the 90s that use clouds to represent large networks and the internet.

So now finally the rest of the world is catching on to the concept. But that bugs me! I see all these sales, marketing and management people carrying on about how wonderful the cloud is going to make everything... Do they realise they’re using a synonym for “the Internet”?

There’s nothing new in these “Cloud Services” certainly nothing you couldn’t achieve with a couple of big data centres’ and some clever scripting. But that’s the rub, that’s all we’re seeing from Cloud Platforms... Put your stuff in a data centre and run some clever scripts on it. It’s primarily just marketing Bollocks and it annoys me.

Some bright spark (probably Eric Schmidt) has coined a term to hook public interest in internet services by giving it a cool name.

So anyway I’m now gunna get back to scripting my documents to synchronise with a FTP server hosted offshore. Probably quicker to say I’m “Clouding” my stuff.