The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 222 - 16 August 2018
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In This Issue
OMG Cloud WG Meeting
Taxonomy Boot Camp
5G News
Consumer IoT Example
LinkedIn Group Changes
Seen Recently
Claude Baudoin

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OMG Cloud Working Group Meeting, Sep. 25
Claude Baudoin will lead the first face-to-face meeting of the Object Management Group's new Cloud Working Group (CWG) on September 25, 1:00-5:00 p.m. in Ottawa, Canada. You can learn more about the CWG here (there's a link to join in the sidebar) and register for the September meeting, which is open to non-OMG members and free. A key outcome of the meeting will be a revised schedule of white papers (new as well as revised) for the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019.

We will also give current members an update by teleconference in early September.
Taxonomy Boot Camp
The annual flagship event for people creating taxonomies, a key step to manage an organization's information and ensure consistency of the vocabularies used across all systems, takes place in Washington, DC, on November 5-6. Click here for the event's program.

Many people engaged in taxonomy were not trained to do so (e.g., through a degree in library science). Recognizing this, Heather Hedden wrote a great book entitled "The Accidental Taxonomist." Heather will give a two-hour workshop for taxonomy novices on the first day of the conference. If you are new to this work, don't miss it!
5G News
The first planned commercial deployments of fifth-generation cellular networks were announced in the last few months, and the pace is accelerating.
  • Verizon announced that Houston will join Sacramento and Los Angeles as cities in the U.S. where they will deploy the technology before the end of 2018.
  • Globe Telecom, in partnership with Huawei, will deploy 5G in the Philippines in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Meanwhile, a report from Deloitte says that China has outspent the U.S. by $24 billion in 5G technology since 2015, and has now built 350,000 new cell sites, compared to 30,000 in the U.S.

The real story (as opposed to the marketing one) is more complex. For a discussion of 5G deployments, see Dan Jones' article, "The Dawn of Mobile 5G: Deployments, Use Cases and Destinations," published a couple hours before this issue of the KIT was going out.

Consumer IoT Examples
Hubspot published an article with a list of 7 "super futuristic" IoT examples. Summary: these are interesting but not "super futuristic"... simply because they already exist! The first example (attaching to a gift a personalized message that the recipient can access by scanning a QR code) arguably stretches the definition of IoT. This is still a good read as readers can think for themselves about the novelty and relevance of these examples. One regrettable omission is HP's Instant Ink system, which reorders printer cartridges automatically based on consumption, delivers them at the user's doorstep, and bills the user monthly according to the number of pages printed -- an interesting combination of consumer IoT and subscription-based (or outcome-based) pricing.
LinkedIn Group Changes: Scaling Up and Technical Debt
Attention LinkedIn group managers (and members, to a lesser extent): LinkedIn is launching a completely redesigned version of their "groups" product. The current tool, which is 12 years old or more, is really a separate product from the basic LinkedIn tool (professional profiles and networking). The integration between the two is fragile; the tool itself is bug-ridden, especially in the functions visible to group owners and managers (handling join requests, moderating posts, etc.); and the LinkedIn helpdesk has been woefully unable to answer bug reports or questions about groups.

So, this redesign and relaunch should be great, right? Not so fast -- while there will be enhancements to LinkedIn Groups, not just a straight replacement, the first release will also remove some capabilities many group managers have used, such as pre-moderating some users. Expect new growing pains as LinkedIn works to stabilize this new product while implementing additional capabilities (and restoring some lost ones) in 2019, and group managers have to go through a new learning curve.

LinkedIn's problem is not new -- it is a combination of scaling up (the product was probably not designed for the number of members and groups that exist today) and technical debt. To the company's credit, they decided to redesign the product rather than patching it. This will wipe out the old technical debt instead of adding to it.
Seen Recently...
"I am sorry to say that twice this week I have had to give notice that I might have to back out of major invited lectures because the hosts arranged all-male events. I do not do all-male events. No one should."
-- Siva Vaidhyanathan, cultural historian (this same week, we saw another
tweet from someone who refused to join an editorial board
because the gender ratio was already 13-to-1)