Transparent Concrete

Not to be out done by other transparent building materials, concrete strikes back.

Concrete casts new light in dull rooms – optics.org

A wall made of “LitraCon” allegedly has the strength of traditional concrete but thanks to an embedded array of glass fibers can display a view of the outside world, such as the silhouette of a tree, for example.

Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

A new Enterprise 2.0 feed at ReadWriteWeb

A good introduction to the concept of “the Firm” and its relation to history and society in general. It uses this as a springboard to introduce a new RSS feed dedicated to examining how social media will accelerate the restructuring of the Enterprise.

Enterprise 2.0: The Nature of the Firm – ReadWriteWeb

Social Media (aka Web 2.0) is adding another gear that will accelerate the fundamental restructuring of the enterprise.

This is a big story. That is why ReadWriteWeb is dedicating a new “channel” to Enterprise 2.0. I will be editing this channel and we are looking for part time writers to contribute. More on that later.

Published in: on August 20, 2008 at 3:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

How likely are we?

An interesting study looks at alternate universes with different physics to determine how frequently you get an environment where stars will form. It turns out about 25% of the time; more often than you’d guess.

Science News / Stars Ablaze In Other Skies

According to inflation, a leading theory of the birth of the universe, the cosmos underwent a tremendous growth spurt in its first tiny fraction of a second, enlarging from subatomic scale to the size of a grapefruit. This rapid expansion may also have occurred in other patches of space remote from our cosmos, creating a multitude of pocket universes, or multiverses, with different physical laws.

In his analysis, Adams simulated conditions in other universes by simultaneously varying three parameters: the gravitational constant, which determines the strength of gravity; the fine structure constant, which sets the strength of the electromagnetic force; and a composite number that determines the rate of nuclear reactions, which keep stars shining.

By allowing all three of the parameters, rather than a single parameter, to vary, Adams created a simulation that may embrace a larger number of possible universes, he says. He finds that stars are stable entities in roughly one-fourth of the universes he considered. “That’s a sizable amount of real estate.”

Published in: on August 18, 2008 at 8:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Successful Web 2.0 projects in the Enterprise

McKinsey ran a study of businesses that had attempted to roll out Web 2.0 technologies for work.

The result: The projects run by the IT division were about twice as likely to be seen as unsatisfactory.

The more favorable alternative? Let the users develop the system.

Business Technology : The Key to Web 2.0: Watch Out for the Tech Department

Among the businesses that said they were dissatisfied with their Web 2.0 projects, 36% said that their information-technology departments found, vetted and rolled out the tools. Only 11% of satisfied businesses followed that model.

On the other hand, 25% of satisfied businesses discovered and launched Web 2.0 tools without IT’s support; only 10% of dissatisfied businesses chose the tools they used for themselves.

Published in: on August 13, 2008 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lindows to go.

Xandros consolidates its holdings, killing off Linspire and keeping Freespire as a testbed for Xandros desktop … ala Fedora.

Linux.com :: Linspire is going away

Xandros purchased Linspire, the company, earlier this summer. This week, the company announced that it was going to revamp community distribution Freespire, basing its next version on Debian instead of Ubuntu, and using it as a precursor for Xandros Desktop Professional, in much the same way Red Hat uses Fedora and SUSE uses openSUSE. But the company didn’t need multiple for-pay desktop distributions, so Linspire is getting the boot.

Published in: on August 13, 2008 at 6:51 pm  Comments (1)  

So what is your redundant email system?

How is this for a knee-jerk piece over at NewsFactor.

Google drops GMail service for a couple hours as the result of an upgrade. The conclusion: Cloud Computing is a boondoggle. Even tiny businesses should have a backup if they use it.

Yet, when my in-house IT staff drops email service for a day to upgrade their email server to the newest Mark 6000 model and has no redundant system, do I lose faith in them and start thinking about outsourcing to Google?

Oh yeah. Never mind.

NewsFactor Network | Gmail Outage Raises Doubts About Cloud Computing

While the idea of outsourcing IT to Google is appealing, the reality is that companies — even very small companies — need redundant systems. “Given that our company relies on Google’s Gmail and GTalk service, our operations came to a standstill this afternoon,” blogger Om Malik wrote on his site. “We aren’t a large company, but the losses are very real, especially in productivity.”

Published in: on August 12, 2008 at 9:40 pm  Leave a Comment