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More on that pesky "Cloud" term

I posted the other day on the multiplicity of Cloud definitions, and whether I thought the term itself is useful, or all hype.  Up in the North East, Adrian Pearson picked up on it and related to a story of being sold some telecoms technology with a cloud diagram and so concluded:
"David’s article reminded me that there is real practical benefit in being able to use a term like “Cloud”; to allow everyone in the discussion to make a mental note to accept that bit of the explanation as a “no need to go there” and concentrate on the more important stuff."
Dennis seemed to like the post too, and admired my honesty over admitting falling in to the jargon trap.  He followed that up this week with "Struggling with understanding the cloud?" picking up on some great satire and sarcasm on the definition thing.  Well, that reminded me of Larry Ellison's rant on the topic from last September.  He was at the Churchill Club, a kind of Silicon Valley insiders thing, talking to Ed Zander, when he went off the deep end, around exactly the same issues, saying:

"Cloud Computing is not only the future of computing, it is the present and the entire past of computing,  is ...


SunGard kick aaS campaign

I have to admit I think my friends at SunGard have put together a kick aaS Cloud Computing ad campaign:


Snippets - Facebook and Ning, wiki wisdom, and Ricky Tomlinson

A few blog snippets:

The guys at Ning, which you can use to create your own social network on anything, have realised how important linking in to Facebook has become.  The've just released a new feature for Network Creators where you can add the ability for your members to promote videos, music, podcasts, and photos from your network to Facebook with one-click.  I'll be using that for London Wiki Wednesdays.

On Ross Mayfield's blog, he's picked up on a post that Julian Harris wrote following the last London Wiki Wednesday and the wisdom of crowds.  Ross brings in his power law of participation curve, from a recent presentation, to highlight the difference between Collective Intelligence and Collaborative Intelligence.  He goes on to talk about extending wikis to help turn to turn weak signals into strong signposts.

And lastly, something to make you laugh.  Dennis just commented that he looked a bit of a slob on the YouTube video he did for Loic on LeWeb 3.  I'm afraid I missed most of the start of what Den was saying imagining him next to Caroline Aherne of the Royle Family.  I think we've found the Ricky Tomlinson of the web 2.0 world.  (Sorry Den!)



Mine's smaller than yours! - XDA vs. N95

David Tebbut and Dennis Howlett comparing the size of their....... PDA/smartphonesActually I'll be posting about yesterday's London OpenCoffee Club later on, but I couldn't resist putting up this photo.  David Tebbutt has just switched to a Windows Mobile based XDA Trion PDA.  Dennis Howlett has just  switched to a Nokia N95 smart phone.   Apart from David's initial woes, he seems happy carrying his life around on the PDA.  Dennis swears by the N95, isn't so good with his thumbs but uses Fring with skype and the nearest wifi hotspot to keep his call charges down (although the quality can be a bit variable).  This is them comparing devices - mine's smaller than yours! 


SAPPHIRE 07 asides

The first thing to say is that Mike Prosceno and Stacey Fish have excelled themselves in providing us Bloggers high level access to senior SAP executives at this show. Beyond that, nothing seems too much trouble to sort out. Some examples - I hadn't picked up a pass for the underground and the trams, but Stacey gave me hers. When Mark Yolten overheard me saying I was hoping they would demo A1S, he went away to check it was happening, or to arrange it if it wasn't. In terms of logistics, food, the hotel, the evening meals, the entertainment - all great. As usual, I walk around this event and I don't want to imagine the total cost. I realise customers and partners pay their way, but a lot of resources went in to this, with very close attention to detail.

There are a few asides that have been worth recording. Charlie and I wished we had a camera to capture Mark Yolten's shoulder shrug when we were giving him a hard time over A1S. Mike Prosceno telling us to p*** off when we were pressing him over an A1S demo. Maggie Fox turning up to last night's dinner in the little black dress with the pearls, and Thomas describing it as the Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's look. The uncomfortable look on Mike's face when he had to explain to Manoj Ranaweera who was tagging along, that he wasn't invited to the special audience 5 of us had been granted with Henning Kagermann. James Governor doing a rather crazed video podcast during the evening reception yesterday. Craig Cmehill doing a live broadcast to the web of us bloggers at the bloggers corner, which was watched by 11 people who found out about it through James and Craig putting the URL on Twitter.

A few selected posts:

Craig Cmehill gets his T-shirt bill

Quotes from SAPPHIRE More quotes (I was there when Prashanth came out with his Gladiator impression, aimed at Bob Stutz who was late)

On Live TV

Oracle's tastelessness

Why on earth did SAP invite me to Sapphire?

Live blogging Kagermann's Vienna Sapphire

Second Life is just another interface

SAP Sapphire short notes #1 (try 2 and 3 too)


Where are my keys?

I couldn't resist this insertion of humour. Courtesy of Hugh MacLeod I read this post from Anna Pickard of LittleRedBoat about a certain shopping challenge. Enjoy.


Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons

Over the last week I have been making connections on various social networking sites. I've been slowly building up contacts on LinkedIn to see how useful that might be, plus I've been invited in to various Ning networks, as well as thinking about setting up one of my own for Twinfield. Last week I attended the London OpenCoffee Meetup, and decided I would start to connect to my various friends and acquaintances on there. Some of the events I'm attending are on the rival Upcoming service, rather than Meetup, so I've started to make connections there too. The same is happening on my Flickr account. It occurred to me what a "cat's cradle" of a network I was creating, and I wondered if there might be some future technology that could consolidate all of these connections in one place. The ideal service would automatically create links to people I'm already networked with on my other services when I subscribe to a new service . With a little Googling I discover that some people have already started to try and create things like that. Loopster crawls all over your LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Livejournal and Blogger accounts. I don't know what else is in their roadmap, but they've only just started. Over on TechCrunch I saw this post on the topic, which also references Profilactic (yes , that really is a product name, and they describe their product as barely 1.0) and ProfileLinker.  However, I've signed up but Loopster doesn't seem to work, and I can't see this style of product being successful in any case. Each social network has it's own advertising reach to their particular community, so there will be no motivation to cooperate with some form of aggregation service to make our lives easier. They all have their own business model to fulfil. Consequently, I believe these services are doomed to failure, though they'd be really useful.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. at CWRUAlthough those thoughts were fruitless, it reminded me that I hadn't written about the sad death, this month, of one of my favourite authors, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Vonnegut was part of the voice of counter culture in the 60s and 70s, though he was less well known over here in the UK. I discovered him in my teens, and his 1963 Cat's Cradle is probably my favourite novel of his, along with Breakfast Of Champions from 1973. The anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five is probably his best known work. Apparently, the publisher of Vonnegut's first novel, Player Piano, told him he was a science fiction writer. This probably means that less people have come to know him, or taken his work as seriously as they should have. In his own words from the New York Times Book Review:

"I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled "Science Fiction" ... and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal."

Cat's Cradle is a superb satire exploring science, technology, religion and the arms race. Just as valid today as 40 years ago. It is packed with ideas, insight and humour about the human condition. Most of his work is like that, along with containing a healthy dose of new words that he invented. Part of the book takes place on the fictional Caribbean island of San Lorenzo, where the natives follow the religion of Bokonism, which comes complete with some great vocabulary. In the preface to his 1974 collection of writings (that has the same title as this post) he says:

"Dear Reader: The title of this book is composed of three words from my novel Cat's Cradle. A wampeter is an object around which the lives of many otherwise unrelated people may revolve. The Holy Grail would be a case in point. Foma are harmless untruths, intended to comfort simple souls. An example: "Prosperity is just around the corner." A granfalloon is a proud and meaningless association of human beings. Taken together, the words form as good an umbrella as any for this collection of some of the reviews and essays I've written, a few of the speeches I made. "

So can we call the Internet a wampeter? I'm hoping that the networks I've just joined aren't granfalloons, and I'm always on the look out for foma. If you are my age you might not have read Mr Vonnegut for quite some time. I'm certainly going to dust him off and remind myself how brilliant he was. It's a great shame he is not going to be around to give us his wisdom on the current state of technology, religion or the environment. We need it, but so it goes.


The "subtleties" of viral marketing

I just noticed a link to Clearification in a mail from one of my Microsoft friends. The new Vista viral marketing campaign had passed me by up to this point. Over here in the UK we don't get much Saturday Night Live, or notice who writes for Conan O'Brien so, with a large dose of "uncool" I needed the help of Google to discover who Demetri Martin is. The material is very funny, and the production values are high, but"¦..

BMW's Hammer and Coop mini films are hilarious, epic and show off the product beautifully. SmartSheet's campaign is delightfully silly, and tells me something. SOA Now Journal's Greg the Architect films are outrageous, covering a complex set of issues with some great characterizations. I didn't particularly like the Apple attack ads, but they make their point. Demetri Martin makes me laugh, but that's about it - from a Vista perspective, I can't see the point.

Hopefully Hugh will get them in to edgier material with a message.


Rod's new innovation creation

One of our fellow Enterprise Irregulars, Rod Boothby of Innovation Creators, has entered the world of parenthood. His wife Cindy gave birth to their first child, Caitlin, on Monday March 26th, weighing 6lbs, 9 oz and 19" long.


I couldn't resist testing out Bubblesnaps, which is a new service that lets you add speech and thought bubbles to your pictures and send them to friends, or add them to your blog and website.

Congratulations to Rod and Cindy!


April Fools

Swiss Spaghetti HarvestI thought about writing up a story on Marc Benioff resigning and joining SAP as CEO or some such, but decided no April fools on this site. I did see that the Museum of Hoaxes has their top 100 as judged by notoriety, absurdity, and number of people duped. I had hoped to find their number 1 on YouTube, but you can find it on the BBC website. I've seen the footage - in style and delivery it's excellent:

#1: The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest