Stories by Jon Udell

Social context for data analysis

I'm a huge fan of the CAPStat (formerly DCStat) program, but despite my cheerleading, the hoped-for citizen-led mashups haven't yet materialized in a big way.

Data export, delivered

From time to time I get recruited to help someone export mail and contacts from one e-mail program and import the data into another. The fact that a civilian must recruit a geek to accomplish this seemingly mundane task speaks volumes about our indus...

A good universal canvas

Like many of you, probably, I tire-kicked Google Spreadsheets when it first arrived on the scene, then forgot all about it. A nice bit of AJAX hackery, I thought, but no serious competition for Excel. I was wrong, though, and here's an anecdote that ...

The carbon-adjusted supply chain

At the Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT in September, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos gave a keynote talk on the slew of new and innovative Web services his company has recently launched. His discussion of MTurk, S3, and EC2 held no surprises for me...

XQuery, learning by example

If you set out to explore XQuery, the XML query language, you'll soon encounter a collection of examples, or use-cases, that show how XQuery can query and transform XML data. These scenarios are elaborated in a W3C document that presents a sample dat...

Web apps, give me the data

If you search the Web for "fortune500.xml," you'll find an ordered list of the Fortune 500 companies. It's just what you'd want if you were writing a custom portfolio application. But it didn't exist until last week when Doug Purdy, a Microsoft progr...

Strategic screen sharing

There's one thing I wish screen-sharing systems would do well: screen sharing. I watch a lot of demos projected to my computer. It's always a struggle, both for the presenter and for me. Windows or Mac? IE or Firefox? Who has the latest version of th...

3-D telepresence

Two weeks ago I wrote about an invitation to join Sun's Oct. 10 debut in Second Life. On the same day, coincidentally or not, IBM invited me to its alumni virtual block party on the 12th. I'd been itching to try my hand at virtual cinematography, so ...

Why SOA, VOIP will converge

A dozen years ago, I wrote a Byte cover story on the subject of computer-telephony integration. CTI was "right around the corner" back then. Every time I revisit the subject I conclude that, regrettably, it still is.

Strategic Developer: Second Life's metaverse

A well-known company issues a press release inviting reporters to witness its online debut. The year? Not 1994, but 2006. The company? Sun Microsystems. I had to pinch myself when I read the announcement: "Please join John Gage for a special event in...

Amazon's services grow

The announcements from Amazon Web Services just keep on coming. The latest news flash is FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), which will make Amazon's warehouse, its customer service, and its pick, pack, and ship machinery available to sellers.

National personality, national identity

Every seven years since 1964, the filmmaker Michael Apted has released another installment of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002S64SC/infoworldcom-20" target="_blank>"The Up Series"</a>. These films document the lives of a diverse ...

Detecting threats in the real world

Security pros know there's no perfect defence against a determined attacker. So when an identity thief strikes, it's vital to detect the theft. But who's going to be the detective?

Languages for agility

At the 2004 Open Source Convention (OSCON), Jim Hugunin, the creator of Jython, made the dramatic announcement that he would be joining Microsoft to pursue his latest project, IronPython, a Python implementation for the .Net CLR (Common Language Runt...

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