Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Freeform Dynamics: “Raising your game with Software as a Service: A guide for Small and Medium Businesses”

Freeform Dynamics – Published Content.

 

Title: Raising your game with Software as a Service

A guide for Small and Medium Businesses

First published: June 2013

By Dale Vile

I wonder how others view this report. I should make a disclaimer. I don’t see things in absolutes and do see a layered future, where a significant portion uses the Web in ways quite different from consumers or students. And I don’t see any current “stage” (desktop, cloud, or any other platform) exclusive of any other; or at least, I’d hope it would not be.

Since we are still moving to the notion of thinking of information as something other than factoids and mostly haven’t found communal information as a medium of creation and production, it doesn’t surprise me that, at least for now, the same old persists.

SMBs are tumbling into the cloud? Oh get real • The Channel

SMBs are tumbling into the cloud? Oh get real • The Channel.

 

The thrust is that far fewer small and medium businesses are using the cloud than, evidently, IT vendors (and others?) seem to believe. The immediate, if unstated, point is that the desktop continues to prevail, despite the claims of the ease and goodness of the cloud. (And this also explains, perhaps, Microsoft’s continued power as a profit machine, despite its sometimes risible flops as a consumer visionary.) What it also suggests is that the selling points for the “cloud” and its portable gizmos, are by and large more speculatively interesting than actually useful, at least for those companies whose size precludes needless risk. (For the individual consultant, such as I, the situation is different: I need mobility and am happy with the convenience the cloud, snoops and all, offers.)

Small biz isn’t finding it any easier to bag govt IT contracts

Small biz isn’t finding it any easier to bag govt IT contracts • The Channel.

 

Note, this study was done by Fujitsu. So….. Yet, let’s suppose that the conclusions are more valid than not. If so, I wonder if a strong programme promoting open source (and open data) would benefit SMBs… And I really do wonder that. It’s not a rhetorical question, though I wish it were, as I rather suspect that in some areas there would be a strong benefit. But as I don’t really know what the actual, primary issue preventing entrepreneurial (SMB?) growth, one can only wonder. (And even the whole concept of “entrepreneur” is as problematic as it is romantic and undefined.)

The Data Journalism Handbook now available in French, Spanish and Russian | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

The Data Journalism Handbook now available in French, Spanish and Russian | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog.

Social mobility … and open source

Social mobility: the charts that shame Britain | News | theguardian.com.

 

The longer reports from the OECD are worth going over. And this is not exactly news. But my question is, Among the countries examined, from what demographic groups are those working on open source projects coming, and How are they working on the project? Eg, as employees for an involved company, as students, entrepreneurs, retirees, etc.? Rishab Ghosh, and others have worked on this, but the empirical work done was conducted about ten years ago if not more; and since then, a lot has changed, not least of which is the advent of the app market for smartphones; and then there is the cloud.

But committing oneself to open source development, even if it is on a part-time basis, is for many outside of rich countries quite risky and a sidestep away from the corporate or government path (and possibly even a damaging one).

Datawind’s Aakash in the US

News | Communities In Schools of Wake County.

 

I’ve been tracking Datawind since they announced their first foray into very inexpensive tablets. Then, a couple of years ago, it was for the Indian market. But the tablet they released was panned as inadequate and, in away, worse than useless, as it made it harder to develop hardware that would actually meet the desires (forget about needs?) of its designated audience.

But I’m optimistic, and also believe that if it is not to be Aakash, it will in the end be something like it. The point is to provide a usable interface with usable applications that can be obtained cheaply and even more cheaply maintained and kept up to date.

To me, this almost stipulates an open source (and open data) context. And it demands a tablet, as they are inexpensive to make and use very little electricity. Portable keyboards are also inexpensive, if one wants one.

I’ve corresponded with Suneet Singh Tuli, the CEO, about open source and open content, as I saw that Datawind had no meaningful open source footprint. Yes, it’s willing to take advantage of others’ efforts, but Datawind seems reluctant to expose itself to the risk, however small and contained, that open source development demands.

(There is not even a Kickstarter or equivalent presence; and isn’t this a bright idea for Kickstarter? You know, a very inexpensive table that runs something open–there are many options, now, not just Android or Chrome–and uses an editor like UX Write [which I’m consulting for] to give students of nearly every level reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic tools that will last–and which also can be shaped by the student herself.)

So, I’m intrigued by how this pans out; and even more intrigued that Aneesh Paul Chopra is evidently involved in a project that would also use Aakash tablets.

But this is the lesson. If the device is not appealing to use it, like any insipid moral lesson, will be ignored in favour of the spicy; and if it is not open source (or its like), then it’s not likely to survive the slam of the markets as they move into action.

 

The Tyee – Is Your Private Data Lost in the Cloud?

The Tyee – Is Your Private Data Lost in the Cloud?.

Bangladesh: Changes to Info Technology Law – Ominous draft cleared by govt

Changes to Info Technology Law – Ominous draft cleared by govt.

The Daily Star is an interesting newspaper and newssite based in Bangladesh. Its stated mission, from the “About” page,

HISTORY
The Daily Star established its place in the media scene of Bangladesh on January 14, 1991. It started its journey with a sense of challenge and a feeling of humility to serve this nation as a truly independent newspaper. The newspaper made its debt at a historic time when, with the fall of an autocratic regime, the country was well set to begin a new era towards establishing a democratic system of government which eluded Bangladesh for too long.

OBJECTIVE

The Daily Star carries on with the long-term responsibility is to strengthen public opinion on how the democratic system should work and how to sustain and nurture democratic norms effectively.

It was a privilege for The Daily Star to be part of a changing scene after the fall of military autocrat in early 1990s. With that privilege came an enormous responsibility of upholding the duties of a free press. The newspaper is proud to pursue that policy without relenting for the past 15 years. (http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/about/ accessed 20August2013)

Social Tech Census    

Social Tech Census    .

 

This is a quite useful and also interesting site and effort. Kudos the creators and maintainers!

 

Why Big is Blinding Us to the Real Value of Big Data – Innovation Insights

So let’s get real about Big Data. What enterprises really care about is putting data to use, and that requires the ability to ingest diverse sets of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data and then put it to use in real time. The right tools for these jobs are Hadoop and NoSQL databases like MongoDB, two of the hottest job skills in the industry, and less RDBMS and proprietary data warehousing technology.

via Why Big is Blinding Us to the Real Value of Big Data – Innovation Insights.