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RF-ID uptake slower than expected?

I’ve been a quasi-believer about RD-ID technology for a while now. I know more than several people who are investing their time and money into this space, but I am a fence-sitter. Briefly, why?

  • From what I hear and read, it doesn’t quite work reliably yet. The readers can easily be confused by multiple tags, mis-counting or mis-identifying.
  • While the advantages over bar-codes are very real, they don’t strike me as real enough to effect the kind of rapid industry change that fans of the technology are betting on.
  • The backbone infrastructure that will be needed to process all this super-detailed new data doesn’t exist yet. It strikes me that it might be an effort of Y2K proportions to upgrade the overall Enterprise software stack (ERP and others) to accomodate it.

That said, while I am a fence-sitter, I do think that RF-ID technology is very important and represents a real sea-change. I just think that it will take much longer than people think.(Remember one of my standard nuggets, it’s easy to predict the future, what’s hard is predicting exactly when.)

I was interested to see this article in the New York Times today about Wal-Mart delaying of their oft-cited deadline for all their suppliers to adopt to RF-ID.

Overview of Collaboration

I had the opportunity to be a guest lecturer at Brandeis University today, which was fun. Brandeis of course is my Alma Mater, so I was quite at home there. The course was about “Internet and Society” and the section was about Collaboration. Here are my slides, for those few who might be interested.

Behavior Signature Analysis (Demo Series

Behavior Signature Analysis (Demo Series 10) This is a little arcane but I thought it was an interesting pattern among several products launched at Demo 2004. “Behavior Signature Analysis” is the idea of learning something about the intent or higher level purpose of an activity by doing pattern analysis on some aspect of it’s low level behavior. There were several companies showing products that tried to do this at the Method invocation and HTTP Request levels: that you can tell something about meaning strictly by analyzing patterns of low level.


Memento: BC Krishna has built a really cool new solution to measure and understand the actual use of business application in the enterprise to demonstrate the value of the IT investment. So in contrast with Imperva, Memento uses patterns of object invocations as evidence that an application is being used in an expected fashion and using that information as evidence of business value.


Imperva SecureSphere does this by watching HTTP requests before they are handled by the web server or database and judging that repeated requests during a single session that don’t follow patterns (signatures) that were recorded during a training phase are probably indicators of some kind of malicious activity.


Different objectives, analogous techniques.

Outlook 2003 Rant.

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Outlook 2003 Rant. What were those guys thinking? Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those Microsoft haters. I love Microsoft. I admire their work. But in this instance, and one that affects me directly and daily, boy do I feel let down!

I’ve been using Outlook 2003 for a few months now. While it has some nice new features, the one feature I use the most and arguably the most important because of its prominence is so-called ‘Navigation Pane.’ Not to rub salt in the wound, but, why, oh, why

  • Can’t I resize the ‘Favorite Folders’ panel?
  • Can’t I hide the ‘All Mail Folders’ panel?
  • Doesn’t the ‘All Mail Folders’ Panel preserve its collapse state?
  • Can’t I look at my Tasks along side my Calendar like I could in Outlook XP?
  • Can’t I make sure that the ‘Current View’ Panel doesn’t disappear?

I remember a few years ago speaking to a Microsoft friend of mine who was a Program Manager who said, of the old ‘Outlook Bar’ – “we know it stinks; we are completely redesigning it!” Yikes.

And now I have to wait another 4 years for the next ‘redesign’ 😦

(I’ve been harboring this for a long time. It feels good to get it off my chest.)

Open Source Icons and BlogBridge

The beat goes on. Now that we have Unread working, the time was ripe to add several new commands to the user interface. With the help of Everaldo, I am now using the Crystal Icon Set, which has provided a wonderful face lift for BlogBridge. Feedback welcome! Also with the help of one of our offshore developers (in the Ukraine) there are major improvements (and more coming) in the rendering of the Blog Aricles, which now include support for a larger subset of html, including images and soon links.