New Years

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -- Shakespeare

New Years ... my favorite time of the year,
To my mind, the primary function of the New Years day holiday is to remind us all that everything remains possible. We can start again, build anew, and right any misteps from the past year. New Years symbolically is a time to recalibrate; to redirect to our best selves.

"What one can be, one must be." -- Abraham Maslow

"Everything - a horse, a vine - is created for some duty...For what task, then, were you yourself created? A man's true delight is to do the things he was made for." -- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Once you believe you "can-do-it", the "how-to-do-it" will begin to develop. It is with that in mind that I wish you good fortune and grace in the new year and look forward to meeting up during the adventures of 2009.

-- Brian and family

OBAMA COULD INFLUENCE FUTURE OF CLOUD COMPUTING

http://www.rackspace.co.uk/About-Us/Newsroom/News-Articles/Obama-could-influence-future-of-cloud-computing-19083/

The election of Democrat Barack Obama to the US Presidency this week could positively influence the future of cloud computing, according to one industry analyst.

Krishnan Subramanian, lead writer at cloud computing blog CloudAve.com, states that if Obama was to implement his technology proposals as stated in his campaign, it could do much to pave the way for further success in the managed hosting field in the coming years.

For example, one of Obama's main technology goals is protecting the openness of the internet, showing he is essentially in favour of net neutrality. This bodes well for cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) in respect to encouraging competition and ensuring development from a range of vendors.

Many businesses worry about security and privacy concerns when considering cloud computing options. Obama's pledge to safeguard privacy could also help these companies overcome these reservations in the knowledge that the federal government will protect their data.

What's more, the Democrat's promise to extend next generation broadband capabilities to all Americans is likely to mean an increase in demand for cloud computing solutions and other managed hosting options, like virtualisation.

Subramanian even suggests that the US government might adopt cloud computing to provide the public with more transparent records and that using a healthcare SaaS system could revolutionise the system, as patient data could be accessed from anywhere.

Ultimately, one of Obama's most popular pledges on technology has been that he will encourage climate friendly energy development. This is likely to stimulate a further desire to increase the green credentials of data centres and drive costs down.

Many companies are already on this path - for instance, Google recently declared that its data centres were the world's most efficient. However, with support from the Obama administration, this trend - and all the others stated above - could receive crucial momentum.

End of US Monetary Hegemony?

What we are experiencing is the end of the bretton woods agreement and capital structure implemented following WW2.
Global financial underpinnings and monetary policy were established to setup predictable currency values, pegged to gold and ultimately the US $. How much is 1 franc, 1 Mark, or 1 pound? Compare it to the $. How do we know how much a $ is? Because 1$ is backed by x amount of gold.

Fast forward through 3 energy shocks, delinking from the gold standard in 1972, the $ now competes with all currency values in free float. 4 wars, a shrinking mft and textile base, the rise of trade imbalances, the following budget deficits, the insatiable spending and military appetite and you find yourself 60 plus years later nearing the end game of the bretton woods financial structure.

The US once centered as the base denominator and reserve currency in global monetary, once devalued, the seeds of the end began.

We now spend far more than we produce, or save. Our economic growth is largely based upon consumption. We borrow to consume, we finance to drive growth, and this economic engine - the engine of US consumption is now reaching its limits. The system has toppled, top heavy with debt, built on an economic foundation parted and parsed, scattered throughout the world.

What is the next engine?

What shape the next gobal economic structure? Soros says energy - the green kind.

The beauty and the power of market principles is that it rewards innovation, function, and value; the development of new markets. To be sure entrpreneurial risks are now required ... as that is the only authentic sustaining growth principle.

The rest is a financial rentier economy where innovation is wasted on developing legal structures, military, and power to enforce the profits of the status quo.

power thunderwhores don't lead, they protect.

New investment, research and design, new economy: develop where we need to go, not where we have been... develop for the future and not the past.

Sent from Blackberry

True Maverick Lost

J.L. Chestnut Jr., Early Leader in Civil Rights Movement, Dead at 77

"Help is on the way! I see it. Look about you ... the future is even more than bright if we will just hold out, stand up and be counted." -- J.L. Chestnut

J.L. Chestnut passed this week. He may be unknown to many folks outside of Selma and Alabama. However, his passing provides a moment to meditate on the life of a man with the vision and steel to change the direction and history of the United States. J.L. Chestnut acted as a fulcrom, shifting the direction of law, civil rights, and life in the deep south.
In America today, rarely do human events pivot based on the choices of a single person. In 1958 J.L. Chestnut was the first black attorney in Selma Alabama. It was a time where the power of law was absolutely abritrary, the daily events and lives of blacks were always uncertain and dependant upon the worst traits of white society; beaten for not saying ma'am or sir, jailed for not stepping off the sidewalk, killed for looking at someone the wrong way. The separate and unequal application of the the bill of rights and constitution undermines any principles eminating from our creator. Years before the Voting Rights and Civil Rights act J.L. Chestnut changed the lives of blacks in the deep south one by one, while laying the legal foundation for civil rights changes in the following decades.
--------------------------------------------------

" ... He was the first judge in Alabama to call me "Mister" in a courtroom. Really, in many courtrooms, I couldn't even sit inside the railing. I had to sit outside while the other lawyers sat inside. And when the judge called my case, my client and I got up and went before the judge. But that didn't happen in Judge Wallace's court. George Wallace said, "Mr. Chestnut," and I was almost shocked to hear that, it was so unusual. Also, Wallace was for the underdog. I was representing some poor black farmers who had been stripped of their cotton by a major cotton oil processor in Birmingham, and they sent down these high-priced lawyers and all that. And Wallace was sitting there looking at them, and I was sitting over at another table with my little clients in overalls and all of that. And these people looked down on us, these lawyers did. They wouldn't even refer to us as plaintiffs. They just said, "those people," with a good deal of scorn. And you could see Wallace getting tense over that and giving them the eye. And finally he said to them, "When you address Mr. Chestnut from now on, you will address him as Mr. Chestnut. You will refer to his clients as the plaintiffs. Do you understand?" And they understood. And Wallace ruled against them and ruled for me in every case."
---------------------------------

Another hero slips away from us into memory and history. We keep his story and leadership in our minds, and redouble our efforts. - Brian

"Help is on the way! I see it. Look about you ... the future is even more than bright if we will just hold out, stand up and be counted." Another hero slips away from us into memory and history. We keep his story and leadership in our minds, and redouble our efforts. - Brian

 

True Maverick Lost

J.L. Chestnut Jr., Early Leader in Civil Rights Movement, Dead at 77

"Help is on the way! I see it. Look about you ... the future is even more than bright if we will just hold out, stand up and be counted." -- J.L. Chestnut

J.L. Chestnut passed this week. He may be unknown to many folks outside of Selma and Alabama. However, his passing provides a moment to meditate on the life of a man with the vision and steel to change the direction and history of the United States. J.L. Chestnut acted as a fulcrom, shifting the direction of law, civil rights, and life in the deep south.
In America today, rarely do human events pivot based on the choices of a single person. In 1958 J.L. Chestnut was the first black attorney in Selma Alabama. It was a time where the power of law was absolutely abritrary, the daily events and lives of blacks were always uncertain and dependant upon the worst traits of white society; beaten for not saying ma'am or sir, jailed for not stepping off the sidewalk, killed for looking at someone the wrong way. The separate and unequal application of the the bill of rights and constitution undermines any principles eminating from our creator. Years before the Voting Rights and Civil Rights act J.L. Chestnut changed the lives of blacks in the deep south one by one, while laying the legal foundation for civil rights changes in the following decades.
--------------------------------------------------

" ... He was the first judge in Alabama to call me "Mister" in a courtroom. Really, in many courtrooms, I couldn't even sit inside the railing. I had to sit outside while the other lawyers sat inside. And when the judge called my case, my client and I got up and went before the judge. But that didn't happen in Judge Wallace's court. George Wallace said, "Mr. Chestnut," and I was almost shocked to hear that, it was so unusual. Also, Wallace was for the underdog. I was representing some poor black farmers who had been stripped of their cotton by a major cotton oil processor in Birmingham, and they sent down these high-priced lawyers and all that. And Wallace was sitting there looking at them, and I was sitting over at another table with my little clients in overalls and all of that. And these people looked down on us, these lawyers did. They wouldn't even refer to us as plaintiffs. They just said, "those people," with a good deal of scorn. And you could see Wallace getting tense over that and giving them the eye. And finally he said to them, "When you address Mr. Chestnut from now on, you will address him as Mr. Chestnut. You will refer to his clients as the plaintiffs. Do you understand?" And they understood. And Wallace ruled against them and ruled for me in every case."
---------------------------------

Another hero slips away from us into memory and history. We keep his story and leadership in our minds, and redouble our efforts. - Brian

"Help is on the way! I see it. Look about you ... the future is even more than bright if we will just hold out, stand up and be counted." Another hero slips away from us into memory and history. We keep his story and leadership in our minds, and redouble our efforts. - Brian

 

Utility Computing

October 21, 2007 - Sunday
Wandering observations on a Sunday morning...

Computing is moving from something you own to a service you subscribe to. We are witnessing, and are a part of, a transformation in business, society, and culture. This is a fundamental shift in how society is organized that we will look back upon 50-100 years from now as seminal as the printing press and the movement from hand copied texts to mass produced words. The printing press undermined the power hegemons of the church and monarchies. The Information age and Web 2.0 waves are re-shaping existing power structures ... more thoughts on this to come. -- Brian

To put it into context: first review Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and his knuckleheaded understanding of this new world. This way of thinking is dead and doesn't know it yet. Then read this blurb from Nick Carr - this is where we should be focused.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_of_tubes

"Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially. [...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."

***********************************************************

http://www.roughtype.com/

Nicholas Carr, The Big Switch

A hundred years ago, companies stopped generating their own power with steam engines and dynamos and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities didn't just change how businesses operate. It set off a chain reaction of economic and social transformations that brought the modern world into existence. Today, a similar revolution is under way. Hooked up to the Internet's global computing grid, massive information-processing plants have begun pumping data and software code into our homes and businesses. This time, it's computing that's turning into a utility.
The shift is already remaking the computer industry, bringing new competitors like Google and Salesforce.com to the fore and threatening stalwarts like Microsoft and Dell. But the effects will reach much further. Cheap, utility-supplied computing will ultimately change society as profoundly as cheap electricity did. We can already see the early effects — in the shift of control over media from institutions to individuals, in debates over the value of privacy, in the export of the jobs of knowledge workers, even in the growing concentration of wealth. As information utilities expand, the changes will only broaden, and their pace will only accelerate.

The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google will be published on January 7, 2008.