Tuesday, November 30, 2004

EPIC 2014 - World of personalized media

The Museum of Media History features a 8 min flash of
EPIC 2014. It's a story of the near history, predicting a mythical future scenario of Google merging with Amazon to form Googlezon, a collaboration which enables fully personalized media. In the year 2014, The New Your Times has gone offline. Worth to check it out.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Publishers, learning objects and the future of education

During the past weeks I've been writing and speaking about a loosely joined network for online learning. It's a system build on emerging technologies that connects the isolated islands of creative workers, bound in their islands by the barriers and limits of their online groupware systems or learning environments.

Yet the publishers and designers of standards behind the online learning have taken a different route, missing the point of online learning and internet completely. It seems like a step backwards, reflecting on the existing world, not building the future but recreating the past.

Stephen Downes explanation of a brave new world of online learning and what went wrong is entertaining, sound and to the point by someone who has observed the field for a long time. Read his learning networks transcript, it's worth of every minute of your time. I've personally observed the online learning field for several years already and I honestly recommend this one as a quick mind boggling introduction to learning objects, content repositories and artifacts that describe the future of learning as well as past. Shall it be ground for the future scenarios of online learning you might be working on.

I feel the fresh wind in the air, the snow has finally arrived to my neighborhood. Along with it Stephen has shown me that what I'm doing is probably worth of it.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Exercise your creativity in boring business meetings

Found these through IT conversations. Alphachimp studio facilitates groups using visual presentation and learning as seen here at Pop!Tech conference. Scroll down to see the visual mind maps of various presentations.

We all were given a box of crayons after all. I remember practicing the art of drawing shapes, illustrations and figures in my school books, despite the fact that the teacher didn't really like it. So now it's time to start doing it in work ;)

Friday, November 05, 2004

Make, Buy, Outsource, or Open Source?

Mikko Puhakka has written a nice article about the fact that businesses should start to look after IT Survival Strategies. It is evident that Open Source is here to stay and companies have to ask from themselves, "what is our Open Source strategy?"

I agree with most of his points. Businesses should start to think about these issues before it hits their forehead. There is one thing I don't completely agree with:

"watch out, incumbents! I suggest that you accept that open source is here to stay, and that it's causing the value of your current offering to slowly approach zero. And you'll have to find new sources of revenues while you still can.

In my opinion, Open Source is not causing the value of all closed source software products to approach zero. There is a certain group of specialized products which market is very small: e.g. a product which is only useful for say, windmills. If your software has only a handful of customers around the world, I argue that such software is not going to be replaced by an Open Source product.

So far Open Source has been successful in applications which user base is potentially very large and brings benefits to almost any organization around the world. Open Source products directly threaten the position of products that have such a broad market. My analysis is that in the future Open Source starts to threaten more specialized products indirectly, because Open Source platforms enable companies to bring a new specialized product faster, cheaper and more conveniently to the market by building on open platforms.

He later answered that I'm most likely correct:

"I was talking about theoretical possibility. Open source is a challenge to look at academically as e.g. existing economical theories pretty much say that it's emergence should not have taken place...."

So all of you who have so far ignored the existence of Open Source: think about your strategy and the possibility that your wonderful product may sooner or later get replaced with an Open Source offering.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The fall of the capitalist dream of Iraq

While I have been interested in the latest economical impact in the infrastructure of Iraq caused by the Bush administration, I have read a great article by Naomi Klein, "Baghdad Year Zero: Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neo-con utopia" released some time ago.

It describes how the idealistic believers in Shock theory didn't succeed in their attempts to turn Iraq into a capitalist dream of free market, low taxes and possibility to 100% privatize country's businesses and sell them to foreign companies.

It turned out the idealistic plan was just way too idealistic to work and it back-fired. The operations didn't paralyze the Iraqi people, instead the new approach gave them two decisions: either fight the privatization or starve and loose your job. Bremer gave no options, while his vision was blurred by the myriad of investment opportunities.

The greediness that drives the economical growth in capitalistic countries does not mean that the system works in it's most idealistic and purest form, as the religious crusade of the neo-con regime fueled by the Bush administration shows.

I guess you should value a more pragmatic approach these days.