November 2004

I’ve been involved in standards work since the late 1970s, and I’ve always viewed the primary objective as interoperability. Interoperability demands unambiguous specifications (as much as humanly possible) and verifiable conformance – preferably machine-verifiable. A standards body creates a spec and defines conformance criteria; people implement that spec and test their implementations for conformance. That’s…

Read More Musings on standards

Back on November 5th I blogged about the likely consequences of the “perfect storm” of the trade deficit, budget deficit, and oil prices, particularly the collapse of the dollar. Others have the same idea. In today’s Boston Herald, Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, waxed apocalyptic: “To finance its current…

Read More Economic `Armageddon' predicted; film at 11

During the recent US election campaign, the issue of American’s attitudes towards evolution popped up again. It’s usually presented as “X million Americans don’t believe in evolution…”, with the corollary at election time “…and they all vote Republican”. As I was dozing on the flight from Boston to Seattle on Friday, I found myself musing…

Read More Americans, evolution, religion, and post-modernism

When I first started reading science fiction back in the early 1960s, it seemed that all future cities were either shattered dystopias or cool, automated Jetsons-like worlds. This account seems typical: “Just swipe a prepaid card through a stanchion in front of an empty waiting vehicle, punch in the destination number, take a seat in…

Read More Building sci-fi?

Herewith a collection of the most ill-defined terms in the computer business today. I’ve chosen them because in the last few months I’ve encountered at least two WILDLY incompatible uses of each one of them – often many more! policy virtualization agent edge web service solution service architecture SOA Anyone like to suggest a few…

Read More Humpty-Dumpty on IT