IT Conversations News: September 17, 2005

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

News and Housekeeping

  • Updates: The Way You Like ‘Em. Did you know that there are three ways you can receive these weekly announcements? This is the blog version, but you can also subscribe to email announcements, the IT Conversations ‘Everything’ or ‘Info-Only’ RSS feeds, or listen to the audio version.

Upcoming Events

  • EuroOSCON. O’Reilly Media’s EuroOSCON is 17-20 October in Amsterdam, and through our contacts there, we’ve arranged for a 25% discount. Go to the URL below and use the code "euos05itc."
  • Pop!Tech 2005. And our most popular of all events from last year, Pop!Tech, will be held again this year in Camden, Maine, October 16-19. Talk about rubbing elbows with some of the most influential people on the planet — this is the place to be.

New Programs This Week

Listed in increasing order of listener rating.

  • Stephen Lawler – Microsoft Virtual Earth (rated 2.5by IT Conversations listeners). Wouldn’t it be great if you could get information about the nearest and best restaurants and cafes when you find yourself in a new locality? It would be useful, too, if advertisers could use location-based services to target potential customers more accurately. Microsoft Virtual Earth provides APIs to do both of these things – and more. In this lively presentation, Stephen Lawler of Microsoft Corp. introduces us to the potential of MSN Virtual Earth.
  • Daniel Liebowitz (2.6). On Tech Nation, Dr. Moira Gunn intereviewed Dr. Daniel Liebowitz, author of "The Last Expedition: Stanley’s Mad Journey through the Congo." He talks about Henry Stanley, famous for his line "Dr. Livingston, I presume," and relates the story of Stanley’s Last and Questionable Expedition to Africa, what he calls his Mad Journey through the Congo.
  • Marc Benioff at Supernova (2.9). is well-known for its hosted Customer Relationship Management (CRM) service, and its on-demand customer service offering, But has set its sights higher than hosted CRM and Customer Service for small companies. In this conversation with Supernova host Kevin Werbach, Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff outlines the company’s larger strategy.
  • Lisa Williams and Ryanne Hodson at BlogHer 2005 (3.0). The time is right to explore your own Internet TV or radio station. Get ready to reach out to the world through podcasting and video blogging. Listen to Lisa Williams and Ryanne Hodson discussing "Get Your Word Out: Audio/Video-casting" at the BlogHer 2005 conference.
  • George Gilder on Larry’s World (3.0). "Many people still have this nostalgic belief that China somehow continues to be Communist, when in fact, in their constitution in 2003 they incorporated a provision upholding the sanctity of private property." Gilder believes that China has become a consumer country by building 60 nuclear plants. The Chinese government uses science and technology in a realistic way because China is run by engineers, not lawyers. This is just one of the controversial subjects touched on by Magid and Gilder in this interview.
  • Kim Polese – Do-It-Yourself IT (3.3). How is the open-source software world slowly moving from do-it-yourself (DIY) to do-it-together (DIT)? Which companies have identified the challenge, and why is testing a barrier to the growth of the software industry? Kim Polese answers these questions and talks about her new startup, SpikeSource, in this presentation from OSCON 2005.
  • Asa Dotzler – Linux on the Desktop (3.4). Why isn’t Linux ready for the desktop, and what can the developer community do to increase adoption? (For that matter, can Linux ever make it big on the desktop or is it only an impossible pipe dream?) Asa Dotzler, the community coordinator for several Mozilla projects, tackles all these questions in this insightful talk from ETech 2005.
  • Bob Wyman – Legalities of Syndication (3.4). Should websites and online businesses be liable for the actions of their users? Can syndication and reuse of content available via RSS and Atom feeds attract copyright-violation lawsuits? Why can’t the Creative Commons (CC) license be used as a basis for Digital Rights Management (DRM)? In this edition of Sound Policy with Denise Howell, Bob Wyman speaks about technical and legal aspects of syndication.
  • Anders Zachrisson (3.8). On Biotech Nation, Moira Gunn spoke with Anders Zachrisson, senior vice president of BioGaia, on the science of "pro-biotics," the flip side to antibiotics.
  • Sig Solares – Surviving Katrina with DirectNIC (3.9). With his team of brave and resourceful techies, Sig kept open a lifeline to their datra center, their customers and their city, all the way through Hurricane Katrina and its horrific aftermath. The crisis is far from over, and the smell of sewage, death and diesel generator fumes still fills the facility; but Sig kindly found time to talk with Doc Searls about a DIY-IT project which, for years to come, will serve as a crowning example of problem-solving in a real-life Worst Case Scenario.
  • Andrew Fraknoi (4.3). Moira also spoke with Andrew Fraknoi, the chairman of the Astronomy Program at Foothill College, who explained why we’re finding all those new planets, and the big fight about what’s a planet and what isn’t.
  • Jason Fried – Basecamp (4.3). Ride with Jason Fried of 37signals as he takes us through the lessons learned while building Basecamp, a hosted project management tool that is extremely popular among its thousands of users. Jason shares his experiences about what works and what doesn’t in web development and how the unconventional development methodologies followed by 37signals give it an edge. From the advantages of working as a team with members in different continents to getting the word about your product out effectively, Jason covers it all.

The O’Reilly Pick of the Week:

This week’s IT Conversations/O’Reilly Pick of the Week is a great program from our archives:

  • Scott Ambler – Are You Agile or Are You Fragile? (3.8). A presentation by Scott Ambler at the SDForum Distinguished Speaker Series in 2003 entitled "Are You Agile or Are You Fragile?" The software industry is shifting from large-scale, prescriptive processes that mandate rigorous procedures and policies to lighter, more agile methodologies. Are these agile processes appropriate for your organization? If so, which should you consider adopting?

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