Sunday, May 31, 2009

Exploding networks

I was reading some of Kevin Kelly's posts recently and came across these two about the "Network" effect.

A networks tendency to explode in value mathematically

Increasing returns

If you haven't read any of Mr Kelly's works before you should start now.

ZeroTouch IT Ltd

Saturday, May 30, 2009

BioTech companies embrace Cloud Computing

Interesting post from Krishnan Subramanian on CloudAve about how BioTech companies are embracing Cloud Computing.

...Cloud Computing saves lot of time for these companies benefiting their research in dramatic ways. Even if we take economics out of the Cloud Computing for enterprises, the time savings itself is a huge advantage. It not only saves tons of money for these companies, it also helps them reach the markets faster beating out other players in the competitive marketplace.

ZeroTouch IT Ltd

Friday, May 29, 2009

It would be fantastic if Apple made one of these...

I was reading Scott Adams blog (Dilbert creator) recently and he outlined a wish for a new type of central computer for your home that handles all of your entertainment, home controller, and computing needs.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who would like one of these. I looked into this months ago and couldn't find anything that fit the bill either. Lots of pieces of the puzzle but no complete solution.

From his blog:

Before you rush to tell me "That already exists," and then provide links to things that only do a few functions, let me assure you that it doesn't exist. But there is no reason to think it won't be developed in the future.

I came to this conclusion while searching for a home system that would deliver recorded TV shows and music (iTunes) to several rooms in the house, with each room controlling its own content. I was surprised to learn that no such thing exists.

It would be nice if this hypothetical system also controlled my lights and video games and security and heat and AC. I'd love it if all of my entertainment content could be downloaded from the Internet. And it should be networked with my home computers and automatically back itself up over the network. That would be spiffy.

The closest thing on the market is a so-called home media center that will distribute movies, music, and your own content to multiple rooms. It's not yet integrated with a whole home DVR to handle all of your normal television viewing. It doesn't handle lights, video games, security, heat, AC, or home computing. And it doesn't back itself up over the Internet. Plus it is crazy expensive. So there's a long way to go.

I particularly like his idea for handling disaster recovery of all your media etc.

As an aside, the system would only need to back up a database of what movies, music, and video games you own, and not the actual content. If you ever needed to do a recovery, your record of ownership would allow you to download the content again for free.

This sounds like a job (no pun intended!) for Apple. Do for home servers what they did for music and phones.

ZeroTouch IT Ltd

Friday, May 8, 2009

Why companies are bad at changing?

The reason (well, one of them anyway): Change Blindness.

Eh, what's that? People are bad at noticing stuff. In companies they don't notice the stuff that is blindingly obvious to outsiders (or people not as close to the situation).

What better way of demonstrating this than a little magic. Watch these two videos to see this in action.

Richard Wiseman - card color change

Penn and Teller - cups and balls (with clear cups!)

Now think of all those situations (professional and personal) where you missed changes - I know I have, lots! Here's an extract from Wired magazine which casts some light on this:

Attention, it turns out, is like a spotlight. When it's focused on something, we become oblivious to even obvious changes outside its narrow beam. What magicians do, essentially, is misdirect - pivot that spotlight toward the wrong place at the right time.

ZeroTouch IT Ltd

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What Google means by Cloud Computing

Here's what Google means when they talk about Cloud Computing. Click Here.

ZeroTouch IT Ltd

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What recession?

Some people don't seem to have spotted there is a recession going on at the moment across the globe. My company has been looking for suppliers recently for an upcoming project. To narrow down the list we only contacted companies where we had a personal recommendation. One of the strongest placed companies obviously doesn't need the business because after the first contact they haven't called us back --even after we contacted them several times and got the person who recommended them to us to give them a gentle nudge! Unbelievable!

Another company never got back to us even once since we had our initial meeting. I hate that. If you don't want the business that's fine, just say so. Don't go into radio silence mode.

This was in total contrast to the company we will give the contract to. They returned our calls quickly. Sent through quotes. Were available for conference calls at short notice. Provided examples of their work before we even asked for it. A pleasure to work with.

I have a very simple perspective of things during the sales cycle.

If the experience is crap during the sales cycle, it is unlikely to be any better if you are an actual customer.

In these challenging times, I believe every company should be striving to significantly improve service levels all across their organisations. Reducing costs is only going to get you so far. Keeping customers (in particular) and getting new ones is how you will survive this recession. Not paying attention to service levels (or ignoring potential customers) will start to hurt your business sooner than you can imagine.

ZeroTouch IT Ltd

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Age of Immediacy has a meaningful downside

Brilliant article in Wired by J.J. Abrams on the Magic of Mystery. Definitely worth a read.

...And that was when I really felt it. Cheating is humiliating. No matter what form it takes. Skipping ahead—even without the help of someone in Underoos—lessens the experience. Diminishes the joy. Makes the accomplishment that much duller.

Perhaps that's why mystery, now more than ever, has special meaning. Because it's the anomaly, the glaring affirmation that the Age of Immediacy has a meaningful downside. Mystery demands that you stop and consider—or, at the very least, slow down and discover. It's a challenge to get there yourself, on its terms, not yours.

...The point is, we should never underestimate process. The experience of the doing really is everything. The ending should be the end of that experience, not the experience itself.


ZeroTouch IT Ltd