IT Conversations News: March 6, 2006

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

New Programs Last Week

Here are the programs we’ve published in the last week, ranked in increasing order of listener ratings.

  • Andy Brown – Adopting SOA at Merrill Lynch (rated 3.2 by our listeners) SOA is "the next big thing" and although everyone uses the term SOA, everyone means something different. For Andy Brown of Merrill Lynch, it is a framework architecture and a way of thinking. At the InfoWorld SOA Executive Forum, he argues that "SOA provides an integrated architecture that empowers us to deliver client focused solutions," and explains how Merrill Lynch is leveraging the power of SOA.
  • Rickard Oste – Food Chemistry (3.2) On this week’s BioTech Nation, Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Dr. Rickard Oste, professor of Food Chemistry at Lund University. He tells us how to turn oats into oak milk. You don’t just add water — that would be gruel. You’ve got to know your food chemistry!
  • Paul Levine – The Architecture of Participation (3.5) The "architecture of participation" is a key theme in the evolution of location- enabled services. Paul Levine – General Manager of Local for Yahoo! – reveals how his company is encouraging users, merchants, developers, and publishers to participate in Yahoo!’s local services and contribute to a grand strategy of expanding the sum of human knowledge.
  • Larry’s World – Mashups (3.5) Mashups are a good example of what some Internet insiders are calling "Web 2.0," a relatively undefined term that sort of means something like the Web serving as a platform with sites that take advantage of — among other things — user supplied content. The best place to find mashups is at which currently lists more than 450 mashups, 50 of which are classifies as "popular." Larry Magid speaks with three mashup site pioneers.
  • Timothy Zahn – The Star Wars Novels (3.8) Dr. Moira Gunn interviews sci-fi writer Timothy Zahn, author of "Star Wars — Outbound Flight." He talks about writing the official Star Wars novels and tells us what it’s like to see the occasional inclusion of his work in the Star Wars movies.
  • Ludo Oelrich – A Public-Private Partnership that Works (4.0) Ludo Oelrich is the Director of "Moving the World" a partnership between TNT and World Food Program. Speaking at the Effective Disruption Management Seminar convened by the Stanford Graduate School of Business last September he explains how the benefits of this association play out both ways.
  • Nic Dunlop – Finding the Khmer Rouge (4.4) Moira also speaks with author and photojournalist Nic Dunlop, author of "The Lost Executioner — A Journey to the Heart of the Killing Fields." He sought out and found the head of the notorious Khmer Rouge secret police, and he tells us how it happened.

The O’Reilly Pick of the Week:

This week’s IT Conversations/O’Reilly Pick of the Week is from 2004:

  • Janine Benyus – Bio Mimicry Biomimicry: It’s the conscious emulation of life’s genius. Janine Benyus is a life sciences writer and author of six books, including her latest — Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. In Biomimicry, she names an emerging science that seeks sustainable solutions by mimicking nature’s designs and processes (e.g., solar cells that mimic leaves, agriculture that looks like a prairie, business that runs like a redwood forest).

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