Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Pan-African Venture Fund

Hasso Plattner just launched a new pan-African venture fund. Most of the venture investment I am aware of in Africa has been heavily concentrated in South Africa, though I have been hearing a lot about private equity in Nigeria from some of my African friends. Kenya was also looking like a beacon in east Africa until the recent lamentable political destabilization.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse Picture

I was sitting at my computer in Redwood City worrying about the proper model for migrating composites from test to production systems when my colleagues from the integration team, Bo and Albert, called me over to Bo's office to see the lunar eclipse last evening. Pretty cool, though the eclipse was partially obscured by the cloudy weather in the Bay Area. Another friend, Deika, however, had a great view from Jamaica that she caught in a photo featured in the Telegraph. Wow!

An OSGI update

Dave and Khanderao wrote up a nice summary-overview on OSGI.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Business Process Management fallacies

I missed this when it first came out a couple of months ago, in case you did as well: Dubray wrote an interesting analysis of problems in BPM from conceptualization to implementation that is worth reading.

I don't agree 100% with the model for linking BPMN models to BPEL, at least not as the only normative approach to consider, but the runtime model is spot on. The only meaningful model for executable business processes is going to require composite models that incorporate more than just rote BPEL mappings: business rules, human task management, and some form of message mediation. If that sounds familiar, you've probably started to look at the Oracle AS 11 SOA suite preview....

And JJ gets why SCA is so central to getting BPM right. We had a brief conversation about this recently, which I think may make it to Infoq over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Next 4 Billion

I recently got a copy of the joint IFC and World Resources Institute report The Next 4 Billion. I am asking my friends in the technology sector to look carefully at the issues raised by this report: specifically, how to accelerate living standards, productivity and quality of life for the world's poorest using private sector resources and market-based mechanisms. Thinking in the developed world has changed radically in only a few decades: there is a genuine consensus that developing markets aren't there to be exploited, but to be developed into first-class market economies. Many (most?) of my friends are from emerging market countries, so I am confident this will be of interest to many of you.

I am convinced that business models are not yet there, but that that they are waiting to be unlocked by creative and innovative individuals. Since the problems with business oriented models aimed at developing markets is often one of scale, a big part of the solution is likely to be technology based. This is about developing a better future for humankind. Please give it some thought.

Turning back time

A really interesting paper appeared in this weeks Nature. (Unfortunately, requires a subscription to access the full paper, but you can get a copy at a local bookstore.) The authors used phylogeny based statistical techniques to reconstruct ancestral proteins for several bacteria. The results independently show (and collaborate other evidence) for paleotemperature trends from as far back as 3.5 billion years.

Phylogeny based ancestral protein sequencing is not fool-proof, but the evidence seems convergent: the seas were considerably warmer billions of years ago (30 degrees Celsius seems likely) during the early development of life.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Systems Integration 08

Tracks and a call for paper have been announced for the Systems Integration 08 conference in Prague this year. This conference is extremely practical and in my experience has excellent content for IT practitioners. It is also a great opportunity to get some insight into what is happening in IT and software in central Europe, especially the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008