Political Calculus – PASS Nominations





Pardon me, sir. Do I have a dog in this fight? After my term of service on the PASS board of directors ended in December of 2009, I fully intended to stay far, far out of the way.  It's an intention that I've largely been able to fulfill,excluding the odd conversation with an occasional board member or committee chair looking for a little impartial advice when weighing some consideration or other. If you keep up with going's on within PASS, then you'll know that there's been some hullabaloo lately.  Please reference paragraph 1 again at this point to understand that I don't really … [Read more...]

Free Software for Unemployed Developers





Each month, for six months, Arnie Rowland will  be giving away a package of software, books, training, and development tools, valued at over $15,000, to an unemployed or underemployed developer that takes on a software project of his/her choice with a non-profit. "The idea is to provide the recipient access to all of the tools needed to improve his/her skills, an opportunity to gain practical experience, the potential to earn a recommendation and/or referral –and to positively contribute to society as a form of 'give-back'. No free lunch, just sweat equity –the kind that makes us all feel … [Read more...]

Now on SQLPASS, “Can Integrity Be Learned?”

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Ok, I admit it.  I've done about as good a job publicizing my monthly professional development column, Plays Well With Others, as NBC did when the transitioned Jay Leno back to the Tonight Show. So I'm going to try to better, henceforth and forever more!  Two entries ago, I talked about the The 8 Characteristics of Exceptional Leaders.  This month, I'm drilling into the characteristic on that list that generated the most controversy in emails and messages - "Absolute Integrity".  Many people took issue with the concept that integrity can be learned, instead believing that integrity … [Read more...]

Good News for Women in Technology – Barbie Has Joined the IT Scene




I'm happy to report that Barbie is now a cognizeti, a digerati, ... yes even an IT Professional! This year's new Barbie is Computer Engineer Barbie. Several months back, I encouraged all my friends and followers on Twitter to vote for the IT job for Barbie in Mattel's recent public job selection for the eponymous doll.  That encouragement was founded in an experience I'd had years earlier - becoming a dad to a very beautiful baby girl.  When I was growing up as a kid, I clearly recall how odd it was for a woman to have a career outside of a handful of "traditional feminine jobs" like … [Read more...]

Want Spy Novel Twists in a True IT Journalism Story? Read this…

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Journalists are important.  In my opinion, they're very important. The best journalists, like Old Testament prophets, speak truth to power and reveal the ugly dirt behind the pretty and public veneer of society.  Their very presence foils corruption or, at least, helps reveal it, punish it, and make it dive for deeper waters else go extinct.  It was for this reason that Thomas Jefferson famously wrote: "The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without … [Read more...]

[OT] When Does Media Content -Truly- Become Public Domain?

I've always been intrigued by our process for allowing creative content, such as songs or movies, to become public domain. A common usage for public domain might be to create a short family video and, seeking a peppy and familiar piece of background music, you settle on "The Entertainer", by Scott Joplin. (If you've never heard of it, listen here. You'll recognize it.)  Since the music is past the 75 year limit of copyright protection, it is now public domain - meaning that you don't have to pay or seek permission to use it for your family home video. Now, it seems that many old media … [Read more...]

What Direction Do You Choose?

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. Dr. Seuss Dr Seuss makes a great point.  Only you can determine where you go in life and where those you lead in life (your significant other, your kids, your family, your business associates) will follow.  What happens when you don't have your feet in your shoes?  What if you're not wearing shoes?  Or what if your shoes are sandals?  Which direction do you steer?  Do you head to the beach or to the snowy mountains?  What if you're not only steering yourself, but an entire … [Read more...]

Health Data Rights

There was a time when health information was merely a collection of facts about you. You visited a doctor on the 17th because of a sore throat.  You had your appendix removed when you were a grade-schooler. Now, in the 21st century, information is increasingly used to drive business value.  In a sense, information is becoming an asset.  And as many of us have seen with the antics on Wall Street, any asset can be abused for personal and possibly unethical gain.  Legislative bodies around the globe have expended a lot of energy on regulating the use and access of health data, such as the … [Read more...]