Apple fanboy delusions, the Palm Pre is looking mighty tasty

On many issues, I’m an Apple fanboy. On the issue of the iPhone, less and less. Here’s the short version of the story: Apple produces iTunes, which manages all of your music and videos, and syncs them to your iPod/iPhone. Very cool software, magnificently built, great experience overall. I’ve been using this setup for 6+ years. Along comes Palm with the Pre, a phone with functionality similar to the iPhone. Obviously, Palm wants to let its users sync their music and photo library with the Pre. Seems fair, right? Here’s how the story unfolds: iTunes 8.0: I will only sync … Continue reading Apple fanboy delusions, the Palm Pre is looking mighty tasty

Stefano thinks I’m a purist…

Stefano Mazzocchi is awesome and his thinking on Web-based data is incredibly nuanced and pragmatic, so it’s not often that I want to publicly disagree with him. But in his latest post, I think he’s off the mark. Stefano argues: The difference between RDFa and Microdata (syntactic differences aside) is basically the fact that the proponents of the first believe that once everybody naturally starts reusing existing ID schemes and ontologies a densely connected web of semantically reconciled information will come together naturally. The second just want to focus on immediate values and avoid speculating on what’s going to happen … Continue reading Stefano thinks I’m a purist…

Pot, Kettle, meet Zuckerberg

Facebook is an impressive company, they’ve done and continue to do some very amazing things. And I admit I certainly didn’t see them coming 4 years ago. But okay, come on: “No one wants to live in a surveillance society,” Zuckerberg adds, “which, if you take that to its extreme, could be where Google is going.” Umm, seriously? I mean, sure, Google might be pushing us towards a surveillance society, but then, isn’t Facebook doing exactly the same thing? At least Google promises to remove your records after a certain period of time, whereas Facebook wants to keep your data … Continue reading Pot, Kettle, meet Zuckerberg

Open Licensing in Health IT

John Halamka, renowned CIO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), is a blogger, and he just added a Creative Commons license after making the following remarks: I want my blog to be used for education, training, and research. I hope that its contents appear in derivative works such as other blogs, websites, and wikis. I’d prefer that these derivative works be openly shared. I would also ask that any material that is repurposed has attribution to me as the author. Content from my blog should not be sold. Charging for access to that which I make freely available … Continue reading Open Licensing in Health IT

Distributed Data Stores: the birth of a new layer in the stack

I learned web programming in 1995, when a SQL database for storing your data was the obvious choice, but the options were still few, expensive, and slow. Since then, the SQL database has become ubiquitous, and the options are many, including at least two very solid free/open-source solutions. But when it comes to large datasets, the paradigm for data storage is in the early stages of a radical shift towards distributed data stores. Google’s got its own (BigTable). Amazon’s got its own (Dynamo). And now Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and other web sites with large datasets are moving in the same … Continue reading Distributed Data Stores: the birth of a new layer in the stack

Putting the “End” in EndNote.

EndNote is a tool used commonly by a number of academics for adding endnote references to their papers. You keep an EndNote library of references, and you can easily add them to your Word document as you type your paper. So, this is a classic example of a file format that becomes vastly more useful if other programs can produce and read the EndNote file format. Web sites that list publications can also list their EndNote citation string, and individual researchers can publish an EndNote library of all of their publications. The network effect around a file format, it’s beautiful. … Continue reading Putting the “End” in EndNote.