The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
Issue No. 62 - 15 December 2011
In This Issue
E-Mail Isn't Dead... Yet
IMMM 2012 in Venice
11 Programming Trends
More Power to You
OMG and CSCC Highlights
Seen Recently
CB photo
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E-Mail and Mark Twain

Mark Twain reportedly wrote, "the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." The same seems true of e-mail, which Atos CEO Thierry Breton wants to eradicate from internal company use in the next 18 months. Mr. Breton makes excellent points about the misuse of e-mail, but he is making two mistakes:

  • Communication is a cultural and social phenomenon, so it is subject to change processes on a human time scale.
  • You do not displace a practice or technology by edict, you do it by offering and promoting something better. 

It took 20 years (1980-2000) for the world to really adopt e-mail, and it will take more than 18 months to massively move to the next stage. Atos could adopt a new collaboration architecture (Cisco Quad is an attempt at this) to overcome the drawbacks and overload of e-mail, and offer to lead its clients to adopt such better practices based on its internal lessons learned. If they are successful, e-mail use will then gently decline to the point where it is only used when it remains the most appropriate medium. A mandate from the CEO will not do that. 

IMMM 2012 in Venice
IMMM 2012, the Second International Conference on Advances in Information Mining and Management, will take place in Venice on October 21-26, 2012. The event covers the types of information mining, mining methods and tools, multilingual and multimedia data mining, automated information extraction, data cleaning, domain-specific mining, mining metrics, and more. The Call for Papers is open until June 7.
The Race to End-of-Year Trend Analysis
IT analysts share with politicians and economists a compulsion to publish forecasts at the end of each year, while forgetting the previous year's unrealized predictions. Peter Wayner of InfoWorld joined the fray with "11 Programming Trends to Watch."

Some of them are assertions or findings about current trends, rather than predictions, which is a little safer. The author's findings, many of which are not really new at all, range from the fact that designers of some new languages simplify their work by compiling into Java bytecode or JavaScript, taking advantage of the back-end execution facilities provided by others, to the rapidly increasing importance of GPUs for scientific computing.
More Power to You
In the middle of all our intellectual pursuits of IT and KM, we're often hampered by very basic impediments, including access to power in meeting rooms. The pivot power strip by Quirky is a nifty idea. Its six outlets can pivot around so that bulky power adapters/chargers, which often obstruct the next outlet, don't.
OMG and CSCC Highlights
The Object Management Group's quarterly technical meeting is in progress in Santa Clara, Calif., as this issue of The KIT goes to its virtual press. Some of the activities in the Analysis & Design space include the specification of an Interface Flow Modeling Language, and a proposal to simplify the structure of the Unified Modeling Language (UML).

The Cloud Standards Customer Council also met during the event. In its 8 months of existence, it has attracted 285 members and has produced a well-received Practical Guide to Cloud Computing, which defines 9 steps to maximize success. Two interesting cloud projects, representing the two ends of the complexity range, were presented: a small implementation of SalesForce at Fire Clay Tile, and a large private cloud deployment at the Kroger Co.
Seen Recently...

"I text you and you text back immediately. I call you and you don't pick up. I will kill you."

-- Dave Peck, via Twitter (@davepeck)