The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 112 - 20 January 2014
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In This Issue
Process and Information Integration in O&G
Ethics in Computing
Latency vs. Bandwidth
MIT's Big Data Online Course
Seen Recently
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Process and Information Integration in the Oil & Gas Industry
The Object Management Group (OMG), Energistics and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) -- with the help of c�b� IT & Knowledge Management as a facilitator and coordinator -- are bringing together players in the Upstream O&G industry to better understand how the efficiency and safety of their business processes can be improved through enhanced modeling. We aim to establish a roadmap for the adoption of existing standards, suggest development of new industry standards that will result in such business process improvements, and encourage collaboration with the Standards Leadership Council (SLC), a consortium that coordinates the efforts of several O&G standards organizations, for the benefit of the global upstream industry.

The initial phase of this effort will consist of two workshops:
  • the first one in Houston, Texas, February 25-26
  • the second one in Utrecht, Netherlands, March 30-31, immediately preceding and collocated with SPE's Intelligent Energy 2014 conference.

Readers interested in this effort should immediately contact us to obtain more information and secure an invitation to one of these meetings. 

Reminder: Ethics in Computing Webinar
The ACM is hosting an online talk on January 23 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern US time, entitled "Computing Professionalism: Do Good and Avoid Evil... and Why It Is Complicated to Do That in Computing." The speaker will be Don Gotterbarn, Director of the Software Engineering Ethics Research Institute. Register here.
Latency/Bandwidth Error Confusion... Again
In a January 8 article in Campus Technology about TARDIS, a new high-performance computing cluster to be shared by Georgia Tech and Emory University, both in Atlanta, the writer says that "the two sites share a 10 gigabit-per-second connection, making latency negligible." We've seen this error so often over the last 20 years that it's not funny anymore.

If I hand-carry a one-terabyte disk drive down the hallway to your office, and it takes me 100 seconds, I've achieved an 80 Gb/s connection, but the latency is still 100 sec. If an earth station beams a signal to the Mars rover, regardless of the bandwidth, the latency is several minutes due to the finite speed of light.

High latency is a "killer" for transmission protocols, such as TCP, that depend on receiving acknowledgement that a packet has been successfully delivered. Low bandwidth hurts if large data sets need to be exchanged, but it's basically a different problem. Billy Hoffman explains it well for non-experts in this blog post, and summarizes the issue with this wonderful double entendre: "the size of your pipe doesn't guarantee a satisfying user experience." Okay, so this confusion is still funny after all.
MIT Online Course on Big Data
As part of its "Online X" offering of professional online courses, MIT will offer "Tackling the Challenges of Big Data" from March 4 to April 1. The course, a collaboration between MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and its School of Engineering, includes 20 hours of video and costs $495. Students who pass the course assessments will get a professional education certificate from MIT.
Seen Recently...

"Much of traditional PM seems to be about fear of the unknown. But the unknown doesn't reveal itself just because you throw milestones at it."

-- Ed Seidewitz, "enterprise and software architect,

scaled agilist, UML geek" via Twitter (@seidewitz