Can Saving Costs Cost You?

In my last blog post I mentioned performance improvement. It’s a buzzword that frequently appears when researching software systems for the oil and gas industry, but what exactly does it mean? To me, Performance Improvement is a blanket term for a range of important issues, ranging from operational efficiency, to automation, and data integration. However, the…

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Constant Service Improvement

As many of you know, we have recently refreshed large parts of our production service infrastructure. Parts of the existing hardware, while still running well, had reached three years of age, which represents the point where we deem the ROI on renewal to be about right. In a cloud based service the ROI is made immediately more attractive because the cost is shared between all the consumers of the service.

Also, there have also been a lot of advances in three years for hardware.

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Standards That Work

I was thinking about why we have standards and what they achieve today. I have had a fair bit of experience both as a consumer and producer, dating back to working on X.400 in the 1980s through the many ‘standards’ in software through to the current day. In almost all cases these technology standards have, to some extent, failed. None raised themselves up to manage to be the thing the writers intended. At best they just grabbed a foot-hold or a niche. In this post, I will discuss the reasons why.

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The Dyson Airblade is impressive

If you live in the UK (I’m not sure how far these little beasties have travelled) then you’ve almost certainly encountered one of Dyson’s Airblades in a toilet or rest room near you. In the past, not that many years ago, hand dryers were weak and wimpy affairs, which seemed designed to do little more than push the water up your arms so that the sleeves of your shirt or jersey would absorb the moisture. No real drying went on. Then came Dyson, with his big engine and novel “no rubbing” design.

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Oracle versus Google

James Gosling clearly joins the wider development community in condemning Oracle’s decision to pursue Google over alleged wilful patent violation. It’s hard to argue with such esteemed commentators, and I do share an aversion to software patents, though less so to closed source (and I do understand they’re linked). However, I do think that most of the arguments reflect a particular world view, and it’s definitely not one that Oracle shares.

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Will you buy an iPad without a camera?

With the release of the iPad this week, Apple demonstrated their ability to do two things: build desirable products and generate unbelievable hype. Arguably, the second frequently acts to the detriment of the first, in that nothing can match the frenzy of speculation reported by the various rumour sites. However, it seems clear, even at this stage, that the iPad is likely to be a huge success, representing as it does a media device that people really will use in their living rooms for surfing, listening to music, watching movies and TV, and sending email. Unlike netbooks or laptops, it will feel much more natural and available. Even though it does so much less than the speculation considered likely, it does appear to do what it does brilliantly, and given the success of the iPhone it’s clear that people are drawn to the experience of a true computing appliance, without the file systems and the Start menu or whatever.

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