JetBlue Drops CAPPS-II
Posted by Mark Tuesday, September 23, 2003 1:12:00 PM |
Verisign Breaks the Internet (in Case You Haven't Heard)
I really don't have much to offer this debate, other than that Verisign should be forced to give up the registrar business to companies that won't break the Internet. Nutshell: Verisign changed the name server response so that all mistyped URLs go to their SiteFinder service instead of returning a "domain not found" error. Seems innocuous, until you consider that some Internet services need to know when the domain does not exist. Imagine a mis-addressed email message which used to bounce back to you. Now it gets delivered, without you knowing it got delivered to Verisign. God knows what they do with misdirected email, but most people think they harvest the email addresses. The Internet community responded by supplying a BIND patch that avoids this "service" Verisign provides. Several companies filed lawsuits against Verisign. It's an ugly mess. ICANN watch has a lot of information and CircleID provides relevant information.
Posted by Mark Monday, September 22, 2003 5:35:00 PM |
Computerman vs. the Robot Bastard
Friday's computer-related movies: Jack Black is Computerman. Then there's the Robot Bastard Which one is better? Which is of sufficient quality for a B-movie rating? We report, you decide.
Posted by Mark Friday, September 19, 2003 6:36:00 PM |
Consolidation Reinforces the Existing DW Product Split
After a short break from the last round of consolidations, more companies in the data warehousing market are merging. Pervasive is purchasing Data Junction, provider of (relatively) inexpensive ETL tools. On the reporting and analytics side, Actuate purchased data integration vendor Nimble (retaining just one quarter of Nimble's staff in the process).
At the same time, and Ascential purchased Mercator in early August. Informatica is rumored to soon stop selling BI tools, and continued on their buying with the purchase of Striva. Offering these products in an effort to be a one-stop provider of data warehousing tools was never a particularly good idea. The back-end ETL and integration tools and the front-end analytical and reporting products have a tenuous relationship.
The whole idea of ETL products is to get data to where other products can access it. Expertise in one class of products is not a guarantee of success in the other. The only vendor who has been successful in both areas is SAS, and that's only because they've worked very hard to keep their data storage components proprietary. They're still rather weak when it comes to working with relational databases.
What we're seeing in the market is consolidation of data access tools, with vendors filling out reporting, OLAP, ad-hoc analysis and other BI tools into product suites. This makes sense even though the interfaces are different, because much of the configuration is shared, and users often need to move from one style of interface to another easily. On the back end there is similar consolidation, with ETL, data quality, messaging and other integration products all merging into a single data integration environment. These two consolidation trends will only accelerate and reinforce the existing product categories.
The marketing from most front-end tool vendors is failing to acknowledge this reality. They keep coining new terms to replace "reporting" or "OLAP". We have "business intelligence", "business analytics", "business activity monitoring", and other vague terms ad nauseum. The data integration vendors aren't much better. To "data integration" you can add "enterprise application integration", "enterprise information integration" and Gartner's newly confusing software category for BEA, "integrated services environment".
As the market matures it will be increasingly difficult for small BI or ETL vendors to stay in business, even with the exorbitant costs of the major vendors' products.
Posted by Mark 1:47:00 PM |
Call Me By Me True Name
Cap'n Bloody Jack Flint, at yer service. What be that scurvy dog natterin' on about? Now that ye know, get ye yer name before Cap'n Bloody Jack Flint sends ye to Davy Jones!
Posted by Mark 12:00:00 AM |
JetBlue and CAPPS-II
I've posted a number of items about the potential for misuse of data warehouse technology by companies and the government, but the number of documented occurrences has been low so far. Here's a major case where JetBlue turned over personal data on 5 million passengers to the TSA for testing of CAPPS II. This is after a consumer boycott of Delta for their participation in CAPPS I, something they later dropped because of the external pressure.
Posted by Mark Thursday, September 18, 2003 1:10:00 PM |
Simple File delivery to Friends
When you can't use IM file transfer, ftp or email to get a file to a friend: Dropload You sign up, leave the file, and your friend gets 48 hours to retrieve it. If you trust Andre Torrez with your email address, that is. He says the email addresses won't be collected or used, and you know his information so it seems like a fair trade. If you use it consider making a contribution. It's free only so far as he has the resources to make it free.
Posted by Mark Friday, September 12, 2003 9:18:00 PM |
The Longest B-flat Ever
The Chandra X-ray observatory was used to detect sound waves emanating from a large black hole, and the note has been sounding for 2.5 billion years. Once again, the Eastern religions got a cosmological theory right. The Om is just a little deeper than we can vocalize.
Posted by Mark Thursday, September 11, 2003 5:36:00 PM |
The Google Calculator
I just discovered that Google has a calculator with which you can have fun mucking around. I did not know that they already indexed the answer to the Ultimate Question Via Kottke
Posted by Mark 12:32:00 AM |
Blogger Pro Goes Free
I can understand Google making Blogger Pro free but I do find it annoying to pay for something and then have it turned loose for free after I paid. Given the entrance of Yahoo and others into the blog market, I suppose the natural migration will be to free at the low end, and for-pay for the more flexible and complex tools, although it might go as far as the browser market where they're all free. I use Blogger Pro for this site, but I've been looking at alternatives because of reliability and performance problems. If I switch to a server-based product I'll probably go with movable Type, otherwise it will likely be Radio.
Posted by Mark Wednesday, September 10, 2003 11:41:00 PM |
Google Has Matured
First, there was googling: search a person's name to find out whether they were scary freaks of nice maladjusted suburbanites with all their perversions safely hidden under a nice veneer. Now there's counter-googling, where marketing firms use Google to search out information on people in order to either target them for advertising, or customize services. According to the article, blogs are a particularly juicy source of personal information that is much more detailed than any internal marketing database.
On the marketer's side of things, TRENDWATCHING.COM sees a massive opportunity for COUNTER-GOOGLING experts; specialized companies who'll be Googling customers non-stop on behalf of 1:1 marketing-prone corporations like airlines, banks, hotels, e-tailers and car manufacturers. A logical extension for direct marketing companies, who until now have only collect broad socio-demographic data.
I can't explain why, but I've always had a sort of distaste for digging up personal information on people and selling it to all comers, even as I helped some of the biggest data syndicators build systems that made it possible. Worse, I'm sure that this information will eventually be absorbed into all government databases popping up everywhere [see earlier posts].
How to get started? Ask your sales department for a list of 25 recent first-time customers (names and addresses), start COUNTER-GOOGLING, and be amazed at what you'll find, learn and dream up! Repeat for 25 long-time clients. Then, reap profits ;-)
Counter-googling proves one thing at least: Google has matured as a technology. It may now be used for evil as well as good.
Posted by Mark Tuesday, September 09, 2003 6:27:00 PM |
Oracle is Unbreakable, Just Not Secure
I've been tired of the Oracle "unbreakable" marketing campaign for some time. First it meant you wouldn't lose data, than that the database wouldn't go down, then that it was secure. Well, you can lose data if you don't configure it right, it does go down from time to time - even in a well-managed clustered environment, and now these security alerts.
What's funny about this marketing campaign is that it hasn't been true for years. The security angle was written up more than a year ago. Other aspects even earlier. The good side for Oracle is that the campaign may actually affect buying decisions, because they've been keeping it up. It's sort of like IBM's campaigning that DB2 is better for data warehousing, or Microsoft claiming that "this Windows release is the most secure ever" which in their case might be true each time they release a new version.
Still, it's time Oracle stopped this marketing nonsense and came up with a new campaign. The product is good, but it's breakable. Here's a thought: they could simplify their product pricing model so it doesn't appear that they're out to rape you every time you're up for a contract renewal. If they did that they'd actually have something to talk about.
Posted by Mark Monday, September 08, 2003 10:49:00 PM |
SCO's Development Roadmap to Nowhere
I don't know why SCO is bothering with announcements at the SCO Forum about their new product roadmap. I've seen the same press release in three different trade rags touting their "refurbishing", as their CEO puts it, of Unix. After alienating the entire industry and much of their potential future customer base, they think a roadmap for Unix development will attract new customers?
I doubt anyone could be that stupid, which is why this sounds a lot like trying to keep up the appearance of being a real business in order to keep the stock up and to prop up a weak legal offense. Consider the large number of ex-SCO developers out there. It's kind of hard to develop an operating system without people to do the work, and more are leaving every day because SCO has become a resume stain nobody with any smarts wants to be associated with.
Consider also the number of ISVs leaving the SCO fold versus those moving toward SCO. Fewer ISVs means fewer applications ported, which means less viability as a server platform, which means fewer customers, which means the OS is a dead end.
Imagine if SCO were to magically win their lawsuits: what company would turn to SCO for software when they've already showed that they have no qualms about suing their customer base? This would be a boon to Unix vendors who are hurting now because Linux and Windows on Intel boxes have been eating their sales from the bottom, which is unfortunately where the volume comes from to sustain their chip development if they don't use Intel/compatible chips.
And then there's all that stock that is being dumped by the executives. Every quarterly filing reveals the massive cashing-in that's going on. Makes one wonder when the SEC will start investigating...
Posted by Mark Friday, September 05, 2003 10:14:00 PM |