The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 119 - 1 May 2014
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In This Issue
Privacy & Publicity
KM Seminar in Mexico City
Cloud Industry Symposium
Bertrand Meyer on Agile
BASIC is 50
Seen Recently
CB photo

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Privacy and Publicity
At a panel session at the University of Texas at Austin on April 22, Karen Landolt, professor at the UT business school, and Michael Griffin, CEO of Adlucent, discussed the tension between our desire for a "personalized experience," which requires that we give up some data about ourselves to companies from whom we buy products and services, and our concern for privacy. Here are some interesting points made by the panelists:
  • Your private information is something through which you effectively pay for "free services."
  • Our awareness of this issue is new, but advertisers have been using personal data for a long time.
  • What we get concerned about, when we see it in someone's profile, is a shifting norm. Party pictures are no longer as damning as they might have been a few years ago.
  • Legislation moves much slower than technology. Most of it is reactive to egregious cases of abuse.
  • Some companies have such precise data about people's shopping habits that they could present ads that are so well focused that they would spook people. So they actually present "fuzzier" matches to avoid that reaction.
Gesti�n del Conocimiento
There is still some space for the one-day seminar on Knowledge Management, taught by Claude Baudoin in Mexico City on May 22 through the Cutter Consortium. This is shortened version of the 4-day course available directly from c�b� or from NExT for oil industry clients. Register on the Cutter Mexico Web site. Expect the seminar to be in English with a liberal mix of Spanglish and even real Spanish (especially during Q&A segments), and there will be simultaneous translation.
Cloud Industry Symposium
The Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) is hosting a one-day Cloud Industry Symposium on June 18 at the Omni Parker House in the center of Boston. Don't miss this excellent occasion to hear presentations and panelists discuss the opportunities for hybrid and community clouds, the experience of customers and vendors, and how to get past the security and privacy concerns raised by the use of public clouds. See the agenda and register here.
Bertrand Meyer on Agile
Prof. Bertrand Meyer, chair of the Software Engineering Dept. at ETH in Zurich, creator of the Eiffel object-oriented language, and author of many books and papers on software engineering, has tackled the realities and myths of Agile in his usual "if you don't like the raw truth, then don't bother reading this" style in his newest book: "Agile! The Good, the Hype and the Ugly." But don't think that the book is just a pointed critique at the exaggerations of some Agile proponents, although there is a fair amount of that. It is also a comprehensive exposition and comparison of key Agile approaches, including Scrum, Extreme Programming, Lean Software, and Crystal.
BASIC is 50
Dartmouth College (located in Hanover, New Hampshire), not generally considered a hotbed of computing research these days, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the BASIC language, which was developed there. FORTRAN was almost 10 years older, but the "Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code" was meant to make programming simpler and available to a broad range of users, even though there were no personal computers then.
Seen Recently...

"Slightly horrified that my top 10 issues list in adopting social computing in 2009 is 100% still the case."

-- Dion Hinchcliffe, referring to his ZDnet article