The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
Issue No. 42 - 15 February 2011
In This Issue
Rethinking the Internet
KM and Team Performance
Map Your LinkedIn Network
Software Complexity Metrics
ETH Industry Courses on Software Engineering
Social Media and Crisis Maps
The Quest for Quality Data
Re-Read Recently...
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"Rethinking the Internet" Replay
Vint Cerf's "Stanford Engineering Hero" lecture given at Stanford on Feb. 8 is now available for replay here. Don't miss the insights or  dry wit of one of the "fathers of the Internet."
Knowledge Sharing and Team Performance
Vince Polley (KnowConnect) noted an interesting paper (though very academic in focus and tone) from the Harvard Business School on how knowledge sharing patterns affect innovation and performance. The conclusions may not all be earth-shattering, but the thorough methodology of an HBS study adds credence to them.
LinkedIn Network Map
LinkedIn Labs, the development part of the company, has released a rather amazing network visualization tool. To use this prototype, you need to have 50+ connections and a profile that is at least 75% complete. The map of your network is color-coded according to affiliations (companies, schools, etc.), you can navigate it, click on a node to see a summary of the person's profile, and you can share your map on LinkedIn or Facebook.
Software Complexity Revisited
Capers Jones, a famous author in the field of software productivity, metrics and estimation, and one of the key advocates of the function point method of software estimation, is working on "The Economics of Software Quality," his 16th book. In an exchange with Claude Baudoin, he wrote that he is looking at new methods to estimate software complexity earlier in the software lifecycle. He also provided some fascinating statistics on the function point complexity of various systems:
  • Windows: 7,165,245
  • SAP: 296,704
  • Office 2010: 93,498
  • Google Docs: 47,668
  • Skype: 21,202
  • Apple iPhone: 19,366
  • Google Search Engine: 18,640
  • Linux: 17,505
  • GPS navigation: 1,508
  • Laser printer driver: 1,248
  • Cochlear implant: 1,041
  • Atomic watch: 933
ETH One-Day Industry Courses on Software
ETH, the well-known technology university in Zurich, is offering a series of one-day courses for industry participants in the coming weeks. Of note are the following courses given by the Chair of the Department of Software Engineering, Dr. Bertrand Meyer:
  • Design by Contract -- Feb. 24
  • Software engineering for outsourcing and distributed development -- March 30
  • Concepts of Concurrent Computation -- March 31
  • Software Testing and Verification -- April 1 
  • Requirements Engineering -- April 8 
Social Utility of Social Media
A new publication by the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) appeared last October: the ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (TIST). Its inaugural issue contains this interesting paper: "Social media as crisis platform: The future of community maps/crisis maps" by Rebecca Goolsby. This is reminiscent of some of the "social mapping" that occurred after the earthquake in Haiti a year ago (see "IT to the Rescue" in The KIT No. 18, a year ago).
The Quest for Quality Data
The many Schlumberger and ex-Schlumberger subscribers to this newsletter, but undoubtedly others too, should be keen to look at our ex-colleague Philippe Theys' book, The Quest for Quality Data, published this month at �ditions Technip. The author examines the reason why oilfield data has significant quality issues, and what can be done about this, including the idea of "uncertainty management."
Re-Read Recently...
"Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm...
"Forty-two!" yelled Loonquawl. "Is that all you've got to show for seven and a half million years' work?"
"I checked it very thoroughly," said the computer, "and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."

-- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Quoted to illustrate Issue 42 of The KIT
(any resemblance to actual people who give an answer
without knowing the question is purely accidental)