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IT Conversations
Executive Producer

News from IT Conversations

The Executive Producer of IT Conversations is Phil Windley, and you can read his blog for IT Conversations news and more. Here are some recent stories:

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Javier Soltero - Clouds Are No Substitute for Competence

Javier Solter talks about the importance of measuring the health of any cloud solution that might be entrusted with the running of mission critical applications. He talks about the problems inherent in the current generation of cloud computing offerings and why comprehensive, transparent performance and health monitoring is necessary. Solter goes into detail on how his company has been monitoring Amazon Web Services and Google App Engine and how this can help both the cloud consumer and the cloud provider.

Kenneth Brooks - Making the Digital Leap

Ken Brooks of Cengage Learning discusses the challenges of mixing digital and print media publishing together efficiently and economically. He also discusses how moving from a low scale craft process to a high scale impact process model improves not only productivity but profitability.

Andy Singleton - Managing Commercial Projects

Andy Singleton is an entrepreneur who has long studied and practiced the art of distributed software development. Influenced by the open source and agile movements, he has arrived at some startling conclusions about how to manage commercial projects. Among them: don't interview people, don't estimate schedules, and don't spend time in teleconferences. In this conversation with host Jon Udell he explains why not to do these things, and what to do instead.

Darrel Rhea - Marketing During an Economic Meltdown

Moira speaks with Darrel Rhea, the CEO of Cheskin Added Value. He tells us that even in an economic meltdown, we need to study the marketplace. They also discuss the importance of user-centered design and the current state of innovation.

Don Elmer - A New Approach for Fighting HIV

Dr. Moira Gunn talks with Don Elmer about a new approach for fighting HIV now being developed by Koronis Pharmaceuticals. The company is pioneering the development of a new class of anti-viral therapeutics based on a novel mechanism called Viral Decay Acceleration (VDA).

Business Startups for Bio Discoveries

Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with two scientists involved with new companies formed to work with new medical discoveries. Dr. Carolee Barlow discusses newly updated knowledge about anti-depressants and how they work. Then, Dr. Paul Rubin talks about the science of fish oils.

Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky - StackOverflow Episode 40

Joel and Jeff sit down with Michael Lopp, aka Rands, to discuss how a geek manages other geeks, the dangers of working remotely, the pitfalls of offshoring, and some techniques for continual learning.

Aaron Iba - EtherPad

Aaron Iba joins Phil and Scott to discuss EtherPad, a real-time collaborative text editing tool currently in beta. In addition to giving details about EtherPad, Aaron talks about how it uses AppJet as a platform. He gives a great deal of technical background information and reviews the future of the product.

Peter Sisson - Search Dialing? Now you're talking!

Just as the PC subsumed the typewriter, Peter Sisson predicts the inevitable integration of the phone and PC. He describes a PC phone integration model for the small office, home office huge market. The model is simple and requires only a PC, a phone, and a hosted service, allowing the customer to do local search dialing online using keywords such as coffee shop or plumber.

Robert Laughlin - The Crime of Reason

Robert Laughlin talks about his new book "The Crime of Reason and the Closing of the Scientific Mind." Professor Laughlin explores the inherent conflict between the government's efforts to support and protect the commercialization of Intellectual Property and the scientific researcher's need for free access to information in order to expand our knowledge in critical areas. Will ignorance be the price we inadvertently pay for safety and commerce?

Danese Cooper - Why Whinging Doesn't Work

From the Greeks to the geeks, everyone loves to complain says former Sun chief open source evangelist Danese Cooper as she uncovers the role of whinging in the open source ecosystem. She paints the current state of open source cooperation and delivers a snapshot of beneficial directions for the community to adopt. Danese references the Helsinki Complaints Choir, Billie Jean King and baseball in relation to FOSS development in this conference talk.

Phillip Long - Technology-Enabled Active Learning

Phil Long is on a five-year mission to find out more about how technology can enhance active learning. In this conversation with host Jon Udell, he reviews lessons learned from MIT's TEAL (technology-enabled active learning) initiative, and discusses the related work he and his team are doing at the Center for Educational Innovation and Technology at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky - StackOverflow Episode 39

Joel and Jeff discuss database design and the shell game of performance, the value of short, focused presentations, and the importance (or not) of a prestigious degree for software engineers.

Van Jones - The Green Collar Economy

Moira speaks with Van Jones about what it takes to build a green collar economy. Remember that 10 pounds each of us Americans put on over the last decade? Well, he's computed what it's costing us in terms of gas in our cars and fuel in our jets.

Dr Larry Brilliant - Hybrid Philanthropy

How would you react if a company you owned shares in decided to invest 1% of its equity, 1% of its profit, and 1% of its manpower to solve big problems? Larry Page and Sergey Brin included these provisions into the original IPO for Google. This seeded with nearly $1 billion. In this session from the 2008 Web 2.0 Summit, Dr. Brilliant converses on Google's hybrid philanthropy and describes's major initiatives.

Allen Hurff - MySpace Developer Platform Technical Overview

Allen Hurff tells the inside story of the creation of the MySpace platform, the genesis of OpenSocial. Hurff discusses MySpace's focus on developer relations and the APIs available and gives some clues to future enhancements. He emphasizes the balance required to provide powerful developer tools without compromising the user experience.

Peter Kogge - Exascale Computers

Peter Kogge of the University of Notre Dame discusses the obstacles to reaching exascale computing and the benefits of achieving it. He describes how supercomputing researchers have set a goal to increase computing power by one thousand times by 2015, but that won't be possible with current hardware architecture.

Andrew Boutin - Residential Heating With Solid Fuels

When Andy Boutin couldn't find a wood-fired boiler compatible with the steam heating system in his new home, he decided to mate a pellet burner to the existing boiler. Now his company, Pellergy, has brought the solution to the market. In this interview with host Jon Udell, the former marine engineer and naval architect offers a unique perspective on the modern rediscovery -- and reinvention -- of residential heating with solid fuels.

David Recordon - Supporting the Open Web

David Recordon announces the creation of the Open Web Foundation. The open web is all about the data and protocols behind the web services in the cloud; the open web needs open data, and open data needs open specifications. Modeled after the Apache Software Foundation, the Open Web Foundation's goal is to do for specifications what open source has done in its arena, build community around specifications.

Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky - StackOverflow Episode 38

Joel and Jeff discuss YSlow optimizations for large websites, the value of unit testing, and the hidden pitfalls of asking questions to programmers.
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