Monthly Archives: December 2013

Why you don’t need Big Data yet

There is an interesting article on Forbes where Paul Sonderegger from Oracle is making the case that you have to jump onto the “Big Data” bandwagon without delay if you want to avoid your big-data-using competitors crushing you.

But he would say that, wouldn’t he?

In reality, most companies already have way more data than they can analyze well. Here in Denmark, despite a much-hyped business intelligence solution, Danish brewery Carlsberg ran out of their special Christmas beer long before Christmas. And global courier UPS was wrong-footed by a surge in last-minute online Christmas shopping, leaving millions of presents still winding their way through the logistics chain on Christmas morning.

More data only helps if you know what you’re looking for. So unless you know what you are looking for, or are one of the few companies who still have spare money to throw at new technologies without a business case, you do not need big data in 2014.

Lynch mobs, now in 140 characters

An executive of an American PR company sent out an inappropriate tweet and the internet exploded in rage. She received thousands of threatening messages and lost her job in the knee-jerk reaction common to public companies in the age of social media.

Social media can be a force for good when used to uncover and publicize serious wrongdoing, but lynching someone for 140 characters of thoughtlessness is a wholly useless, inappropriate use of social media. If you are one of those who participated in the “campaign” against her on twitter, Facebook or any other platform, look in a mirror and ponder whether you are proud to be associated with this lynch mob.

Christmas is a time of forgiving. Let us forgive Christine Sacco, and if you were part of the Sacco lynch mob, forgive yourself and do better in 2014. Merry Christmas.


Extra Christmas Present?

In 2014, I’ll be sending out a monthly ADF newsletter to help you on your way towards mastering ADF. If you sign up for the newsletter before Christmas, you’ll be entered into the drawing for a copy of my latest book “Developing Web Applications with Oracle ADF Essentials”. Sign up today for the chance of an extra Christmas present!

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The Age of Transparency

It seems that Boing just lost a 4 billion dollar deal to supply fighter jets to Brazil, because the Brazilians were miffed that the NSA spied on them.

You also live in a transparent world. If the NSA was unable to weed out Edward Snowdon in their hiring procedure, do you think you don’t have any leakers in your organization?

This affects your risk index exponentially:

  • The probability of an information leak is increased, because technical countermeasures are lagging behind the capabilities of a malicious user to smuggle out confidential information
  • The impact of an information leak is increased because your confidential information can easily be widely disseminated, and some types of information will spread virally way beyond your capability to stop it

Based on this dramatic increase in both probability and impact, some actions (even completely legal ones) will simply no longer be worth the risk.

Are younger employees better?

The CEO of a Danish IT company just posted a heretical article (in Danish) where he stated that he preferred younger employees, because they were more productive and more open to new ideas.

Naturally, older IT guys immediately started flaming him. Interestingly, they exactly proved his point: Many older employees are set in their ways and refuse to consider that other viewpoints might be as valid as theirs.

Especially in a fast-moving field like IT, dogmatism is deadly. If you are a not-quite-young IT person, think about whether you are falling into the trap of believing that your experience trumps every new idea that younger colleagues come up with.

OpenWorld 2014 Afterparty: The Rock’n’Roll San Jose Half Marathon

Björn Rost and I have appointed the 2014 Rock’n’Roll San Jose Half Marathon to be the  the official OpenWorld 2014 afterparty. It’s Sunday, October 5, 2014 – the Sunday right after Oracle OpenWorld.

Last year, the event was the Santa Cruz triathlon, but this year we’ll go for something that doesn’t require as much gear…

There is a special price if you sign up today, 12/12.

If we sue them, they’ll probably shut up

Today’s entry in the sad saga of companies who haven’t found out that the world has changed: Samsung.

This guy’s phone melted while charging, so he posted a video on YouTube of his melted phone. More than 800,000 views by now.

Samsung then sent him a letter that they would exchange his device if he took down the video and promised not to talk about it any more. So he put that letter on YouTube.

Over 1,000,000 views and a PR disaster for Samsung.

It is not enough that the people in R&D understands computers and social media. You need the whole organization, including legal and customer service, to understand that we live in a transparent world where you every misstep can be broadcast to millions.

Ostrich mentality

When the wind of change blows, some build walls, others build windmills

It seems that Nikon is squarely in the wall-building camp. Original batteries for all kinds of stuff are expensive, leading to a thriving market in compatible third-party batteries. But since a modern camera is more computer than camera, it is easy to program it to simply reject third-party batteries. Apparently, this is what Nikon just did to a number of its customers via a firmware upgrade.

There has also long been a simmering war between printer manufacturers and third-party ink cartridge and toner manufacturers. The printer interrogates a chip in the cartridge to ensure that the user is using original supplies, and the third-party manufacturer reverse engineering the communication to build his own chip.

The time when you could build a wall around your product or service and control your customers is long gone. Do you want to go the way of AOL, Nikon?