IT Conversations News: July 24, 2005

(Hear the MP3 version with additional commentary in beautiful monophonic audio.)

One Week Behind. For those who keep track of such things, yes, I missed last week’s update, so this week we’ve got to cover 14 days worth of news, housekeeping and shows. And I apologize if you’ve sent me email in the past two weeks and I haven’t replied. I’ve was traveling much of that time, and there just isn’t a way to catch up at this point. Please understand if, for example, you emailed me a suggestion of a name for the new project. I was flooded with great names and couldn’t respond to each message.

New Programs This Week

Listed in increasing order of listener rating.

  • David Coursey on Web Talk (rated 2.4 by IT Conversations listeners). David Coursey is a technology journalist, author and contributing editor at Ziff-Davis’s Publish.com. He is president of David Coursey Consulting, Inc. David is also the former executive editor of ZDNet AnchorDesk. David talks about his extensive background in journalism and radio broadcasting as well as some of his recent columns expressing skepticism about journalistic weblogs and the long-term growth and economic viability of grassroots podcasting.
  • Annalee Newitz – Sex Laws and Technological Change (3.1) How have sex laws and American culture defined the path of technological advancement? It’s an interesting idea; one that Annalee Newitz, freelance writer and Media Coordinator/Policy Analyst for the Electronic Freedom Foundation, explores in this presentation from the 2005 O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. She discusses the legal and social restrictions and influences that have driven the adoption of new technologies for often unintended purposes.
  • Axmark & Widenius – MySQL Users Conference (3.1) MySQL AB founders David Axmark and Monty Widenius open the 2005 MySQL Users Conference in traditionally entertaining style with a presentation in which they look back at some of the major milestones in MySQL history, the current state of the MySQL world, and the future wonders in store for MySQL users.
  • Ron Gula – Frontline Security (3.1) It’s the premiere of a new IT Conversations series: Frontline Security with Sondra Schneider. Honeypots, armchair security and clients as far flung as Antarctica. Ron Gula of Tenable Security talks with Sondra about security for both enterprise and individuals. From applications and services to identity theft and privacy, this conversation covers security concerns large and small.
  • Meyya Meyyappan – Nanotechnology (3.2) It costs NASA $100,000 per pound to send anything to Mars, which explains why they don’t send giant machines but little rovers. Nanotechnology can certainly do its magic here. There automobile industry, cosmetics and the chemical industry are already using it. But what exactly is it? Host Larry Magid talks to Dr. Meyya Meyyappan, Director of the Ames’ Center for Nanotechnology about… Nanotechnology.
  • Gruinder Shahi (3.3) On last week’s BioTech Nation segment, Moira spoke with Dr. Gruinder Shahi, the Chair and CEO of Singapore’s BioEnterprise Asia. They talk about his current interest: Asia’s cultural readiness for biotech.
  • JD Lasica – Darknet (3.3) Why is Hollywood fighting the new digital and remix generation? Do they have a good reason to? Why aren’t we allowed to copy a DVD that we legally purchased onto a computer without breaking the law? JD Lasica, renowned author of ‘Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation’ and co-founder of OurMedia.org speaks to host Denise Howell about Darknet, Hollywood, the Internet, and us.
  • Roger McNamee – Software 2005 (3.6) We’ve come to think of technology as being on a par with indoor plumbing. Add to this apparent maturity the growing demands of globalization, and you might think it’s time to get out of the technology business completely. But Roger McNamee’s talk at Software 2005 should give you the confidence to keep going. He examines the new rules that need to be learned and followed in this era of the ‘new normal’ and shows how the problems faced both by companies and technology staff can be turned into golden opportunities.
  • The Globalization of Technology – Software 2005 (3.7) How do you make a laptop that sells for less than $100 in order to sell to developing countries? Should businesses be considering the developing world as markets or as areas in need of charity? This lively panel discussion covers numerous technological solutions to the global digital divide from the perspectives of business, education and the international development community.
  • Scott Chasin – The War on Spam (3.8) Finally, the war on spam is shifting to controlling outbound email traffic. This has profound implications for Internet service providers and for their customers. Zombie spambot attacks are being met with responses including blacklisting of users and entire ISPs. At Inbox-IT 2005 in San Jose, Scott Mace spoke with Scott Chasin, CTO of MX Logic, Inc. about efforts from Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. to control the spambots.
  • Buzz Bruggeman – Networks and Sales (3.8) A four star review in USA Today read by more than 2.3 million people got ActiveWords all of 32 downloads. But a blog post by popular blogger Robert Scoble resulted in more than ten times that number. Buzz Bruggeman, the founder and EVP of ActiveWords Inc., speaks about his experiences in marketing and selling his company’s software and the networking tools he uses. He discusses how a huge advertising budget may no longer be the only way to reach people.
  • Joe Trippi (3.8) From the Tech Nation Summer Archive Series, Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Joe Trippi, the former manager of Howard Dean’s U.S. Presidential campaign, and the author of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised — Democracy, The Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything." He’ll tell us what was different about this Presidential campaign, one that made Internet history. From blogs to meet-ups to astonishing campaign contributions, the Internet enabled Howard Dean to come out of nowhere.
  • Reinventing Radio (3.8) Isn’t radio an old, dying medium? What’s it doing in a conference on emerging technologies? Matt Biddulph, Tom Coates, and Matt Webb and Paul Hammond show us how radio is a reemerging technology experiencing a resurgence in popularity and relevance. They explore how radio can be improved by introducing feedback mechanisms and by ultimately making it a more social medium. Using principles of social software, the BBC becomes more of a peer than a broadcaster.
  • Michael Tiemann – Defining Open Source (4.0) Open source is an indispensable element of the software industry, but how did it get that way? Was it due to the success of pioneers such as Stallman and Torvalds? Was it the innovative licensing models, the collaborative community, or just market economics at work? Michael Tiemann, founder of RedHat, President of the Open Source Initiative, coder and long term open source advocate explores the many dimensions of the open-source movement and poses some interesting questions to its community.
  • Jonathan Schwartz at Supernova 2005 (4.2) We kick off the IT Conversations coverage of Supernova 2005 with a chat between host Kevin Werbach and Jonathan Schwartz, president and COO of Sun Microsystems. They cover a lot of ground, but the dominant theme is the ways in which technology (and control of technology) are decentralizing: moving into the hands of users. As computing continues to get cheaper, decision making also migrates to lower levels within organizations.

The O’Reilly Pick of the Week:

This week we begin a new feature in collaboration with O’Reilly Media. We call it The O’Reilly Pick of the Week. Each week, Daniel Steinberg of O’Reilly will select a current or archived IT Conversations program that he feels is particularly interesting. We’ll feature that program on our home page, and Daniel will review it on the O’Reilly Network web site.

This week’s IT Conversations/O’Reilly Pick of the Week is a terrific session from last year’s Open Source Convention (OSCON):

  • The Dysons – In Praise of Open Thinking (3.4) One of the characteristics of diversity–in science, in technology, in biology, in culture, in software, or in children–is that the underlying programming tends to be open source, or connected in all directions. Freeman Dyson and George Dyson think in all directions, but each filters through a particular lens. Esther Dyson, also scheduled, was stuck in Texas and couldn’t be there.

And remember, this year’s OSCON, held in Portland, Oregon, begins in just one week. We’ll bring you the keynotes here on IT Conversations, but that’s just a fraction of what OSCON is all about. It starts with two days of tutorials and includes BOFs every night. Sure, the audio is great. But it’s nothing compared to being able to rub elbows with the Who’s Who of the open-source world. And yes, we’ll be there, too!

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