my recent reads..

The Warden

I've had Anthony Trollope's The Warden in my iPod for a while, and finally listened to it last week. This is the LibriVox recording of the 1855 novel.

It's a great story that deals in part with the unexpected ethical dilemmas that often attend foolhardy idealistic pursuits. A nice dab of dry wit, to whit:
..but in matters of love men do not see clearly in their own affairs. They say that faint heart never won fair lady; and it is amazing to me how fair ladies are won, so faint are often men's hearts! Were it not for the kindness of their nature, that seeing the weakness of our courage they will occasionally descend from their impregnable fortresses, and themselves aid us in effecting their own defeat, too often would they escape unconquered if not unscathed, and free of body if not of heart.

I couldn't help thinking that if you notch up the drama a bit and don't take it too litterally, the story would make a great "romantic-comedy-drama" movie. I can't dislodge a feeling that there's a stuffy British 1950's B&W version, but I can't find a reference to it. I did discover that there's a BBC series of The Barchester Chronicles from 1982 with Donald Pleasence playing Rev. Septimus Harding (perfect casting). The Warden is one novel in the series.

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SOA/Enterprise 2.0. The Rebel Alliance takes on Deathstar-2.0

What is the driving force for *2.0 in the enterprise? Deathstar-2.0 jokes aside, Billy (Fusion ECM) and Jake (AppsLab) have been nutting this out. Billy's in the "its all about the data" camp, and Jake's taking the "power to the people" stance. Bex has chipped in with a view that "its about knowledge".

You may think its a cop-out, but I think its a case of you're all right. Depends on what perspective you want to take.

Yes, its all about me, but in the same way that driving around town is all about me. Until a semi wants to cut into my lane. On the road we have established ways of collaborating to keep things moving nicely (signals, lane markers, the odd toot of a horn). It's all about me in the sense that I want to safely get to where I'm going. But the roads department has a broader objective.

I'd suggest that the real difference with Web-2.0 in the wild is that there really is no broader objective to speak of. I blog. I like. That's good enough for me.

But in an enterprise, there's always an over-riding agenda that's bigger than any individual: profitability, customer satisfaction, market share etc. If that's not front of mind, you deserve a pink slip .. give you lots of time for facebook!

With that in mind, I'd like to share a visualisation of the enterprise I call the "SOA Sphere". Not perfect, by tries to cram a number of key concepts together:

  • Information (data/knowledge) is the core asset of an organisation

  • Business Services/processes/applications collaborate with users and act upon the knowledge base

  • Security is an all-encompassing capability; a key enabler of innovation

  • People live, breath and work together in the environment that these services create. No distinction really between employees, customers, partners or the great unwashed

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Comically Large Things

Comically Large Things is a site devoted to the supersize. Why? Apparently because big = big laughs!
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Proof! Oracle Development have a funny bone

Recurity Labs GmbH have a very interesting post on their investigation of the new password algorithms in Oracle Database 11g.

I did a double-take when I saw the set of hashing algorithm identifier values (used as a parameter to the ztv2ghashs hashing function)..

0xf00d means: Use MD4
0xdead means: Use SHA1
0xbeaf means: Use MD5

Ah! It's an oldie but a goodie. Brings back schoolboy memories of getting your LCD calculator to spell out well-known petroleum companies.

And good to see that even in the depths of Oracle Development there's a willingness to do something a little special, for no reason other than because they can.
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