June 30, 2005

IT Failure Rates

Via acadac: IT Cortex Statistics over IT Failure Rate concludes:

  • an IT project is more likely to be unsuccessful than successful
  • about 1 out of 5 IT projects is likely to bring full satisfaction
  • the larger the project the more likely the failure

Ponder that last point. Maybe it's better to make things small, simple, and incomplete! (And start with the interface.)


June 28, 2005


Do something good and go sign up. Watch the video if you like celebrities in white T-shirts, sans makeup.

Google Earth

Google Earth (formerly Keyhole) is now available FREE! I'm trying to remember what the UI looked like in my long-expired trial version of Keyhole. I think this one is much improved, and certainly simplified for the masses. Unfortunately, it's PC-only, but they promise they're working on a Mac version.

I could spend hours playing...

via Search Engine Watch


June 22, 2005

Proper Use of PowerPoint

Doing a presentation? Read Seth Godin's [PDF] Really Bad PowerPoint (and how to avoid it) first. If you don't do what he says, your presentation will suck. I promise.


June 17, 2005


Former U.N. ambassador and Republican senator from Missouri, John Danforth, in the NYT:

In the decade since I left the Senate, American politics has been characterized by two phenomena: the increased activism of the Christian right, especially in the Republican Party, and the collapse of bipartisan collegiality. I do not think it is a stretch to suggest a relationship between the two. To assert that I am on God's side and you are not, that I know God's will and you do not, and that I will use the power of government to advance my understanding of God's kingdom is certain to produce hostility.

By contrast, moderate Christians see ourselves, literally, as moderators. Far from claiming to possess God's truth, we claim only to be imperfect seekers of the truth. We reject the notion that religion should present a series of wedge issues useful at election time for energizing a political base. We believe it is God's work to practice humility, to wear tolerance on our sleeves, to reach out to those with whom we disagree, and to overcome the meanness we see in today's politics.


June 10, 2005

Best Bets

Peter Van Dijck on how Best Bets are the poor man's PageRank™:

In short, best bets (where an editor can select the top results for certain search queries) is seen by many information professionals as about the cheapest and best way to improve your search engine, but the enterprise search industry doesn’t have much of a clue.

"There is no bookshelf"

Clay Shirky: Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags.

It comes down ultimately to a question of philosophy. Does the world make sense or do we make sense of the world? If you believe the world makes sense, then anyone who tries to make sense of the world differently than you is presenting you with a situation that needs to be reconciled formally, because if you get it wrong, you're getting it wrong about the real world.


June 9, 2005

Wherein Dave Loses Wisdom

I had 25% of my wisdom teeth extracted today. The tooth had "erupted" and was collecting bits of this and that, resulting in a nasty infection a couple weeks ago.

I was shocked by how quick and painless the procedure was (just a couple minutes, not counting some waiting time while the local anesthetic set in). Having told family and friends about the upcoming event, I'd heard numerous horror stories, from Ben's doctor who was still learning how to apply the local anesthetic correctly, to Kristen's who at one point had his foot up on her chair to get better leverage.

Having been frustrated by the absence of on-line recommendations when I was looking for a dentist, I am offering this: If you're looking for a good oral surgeon in the Silver Spring, MD area, Dr. John Wise did a great job! He was really pleasant, making sure all my questions were answered, and telling me what to expect next throughout the procedure. His assistant and office staff were great too. Here's his info:

John M Wise, DDS - Oral Surgeon
10313 Georgia Ave Ste 102
Boyds, MD  20841
Phone: 301-681-7500

June 8, 2005

Homeland Insecurity

Apparently, none of the gazillions of dollars we're spending on homeland security have been earmarked for stopping freakish, wild-eyed, chainsaw murderers at our borders.

The Privileged Planet

NCSE has a review of the book by William Jefferys.

A movie based on the book generated some controversy recently.