IT Conversations News: December 18, 2005

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

New Programs Last Week

Listed in increasing order of listener rating.

  • Richard Monson-Haefel – The Rebel Platforms (rated 2.3 by our listeners) For enterprise application development, the high-end "superplatforms" like J2EE and .NET aren’t the only choice. Developers can choose from the "rebel platforms," open-source platforms that don’t adhere to industry standards like J2EE or .NET. Burton Group analyst Richard Monson-Haefel describes the rebel platforms, compares then with superplatforms from Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Oracle, and BEA on criteria including flexibility, risk, lock-in, development complexity, and cost.
  • Heather Gold (3.1) Moria Gunn interviews Heather Gold, high-tech humorist and creator of "I look like an egg, but I identify as a cookie." They’ll talk about high-tech humor — yes, there actually is such a thing.
  • Mitchell Baker – The Mozilla Foundation (3.1) With over 100 million downloads so far, Firefox is a huge success. Mitchell Baker and her team helped blaze the trail for commercial open source. She shares her insights on The Mozilla Foundation as an organization and the launch of Firefox. From the O’Reilly Media Open Source Convention (OSCON).
  • Mary Roach (3.3) Moira Gunn also speaks with Mary Roach. Following her earlier New York Times bestseller "Stiff — The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers," Mary takes on another unusual subject: How Science studies the Afterlife. Mary will tell us what happened when she ran into Alyson Dubois, the real-life clairvoyant whose life is the basis for the hit show, Medium.
  • Robert Beardsley (3.3) Then on BioTech Nation, Moira speaks with Dr. Robert Beardsley, president and CEO of Kereos. He tells us about their new approach to detecting cancer.
  • Reinventing Media – Supernova 2005 (3.3) As the Internet becomes a greater factor in our day-to-day lives, the role of all forms of media is rapidly changing. Dan Gillmor leads a diverse group of entrepreneurs to discuss the evolution of the Internet from a platform for text and pictures into a platform for every sort of media.
  • Josh Bancroft – Podcasting from Mobile Devices (3.5) To produce great podcasts you don’t need a lot of complex equipment or technical expertise. In this session from the first in-person Podcast Academy classes, Josh Bancroft tells how to get good results with a cellphone, PDA or MP3 player.
  • Ray Kurzweil – When Humans Transcend Biology (4.1) Increasing technological advances are certainly making a global impact. However, one may very well ask how new technologies will change daily life. In this question and answer session, Dr. Moira Gunn of Tech Nation talks with Ray Kurzweil about the impact of technological change on large and small arenas of life. This is part 2, the Q&A session. It’s the unedited version of an earlier Tech Nation program.
  • Todd Kuiken and Jesse Sullivan – Mind and Body (too late for reviews) As director at the Neural Engineering Center for Artificial Limbs at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Dr. Todd Kuiken has found both a partner and a patient in Jesse Sullivan–a double amputee who has become the world’s first bionic man. This presentation at Pop!Tech shows Jesse as he is: a remarkable man, possessing the patience of Job and a remarkable spirit.

The O’Reilly Pick of the Week:

This week’s IT Conversations/O’Reilly Pick of the Week is a great one from early last year:

  • Marc Smith – Catalyzing Collective Action on the Net (3.8) This talk demonstrates several technologies and concepts that show promise as ways to enhance online communities, making them easier to discover and making it easier to select high-quality content, evaluate that content, and motivate others to contribute significant value. In short, these tools may catalyze collective action by highlighting participants’ histories and relationships.

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