Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Big Ball of Mud

[No, I don't mean downtown New Orleans.]

Two contrasting styles of software architecture have been characterized as "diamond" and "big ball of mud." While the former is prettier and more robust, the latter is a lot easier to create and to add to. Here's a website that explores the metaphor in considerable detail, with lots of stimulating ideas.



Saturday, August 20, 2005

Creationism, Bush and Corporate Responsibility

A post on Dan Gilmore's Bayosphere blog bemoans business leaders' silence in the face of (one of) Bush's attacks on science.
...I asked Benhamou, one of Silicon Valley's more distinguished people, whether it was the duty of executives to speak out when the president of the United States suggests that science classes be required to teach "intelligent design"--basically creationism in new clothing--as an equally valid alternative to evolution.

They absolutely should speak out, he said. It's a fact, he observed, that today's knowledge-based companies need people "whose minds are trained on knowledge and scientific fact, and not mixed up with this creationism bullshit."

I then asked if he could name anyone in a prominent corporate position who'd actually spoken out in this way. He could not, he said with what sounded like regret: "It's hard to be caught on TV saying these things, but it's particularly important now. I feel quite worried that we're passive about it."

Corporate America's leaders are willing to speak out on purely selfish matters. They'll call for lower taxes, for curbs on shareholder lawsuits, for all kinds of things that might be good for business interests in a specific way.

They'll even call for better education in a general sense. And some of them push for higher standards in schools.

But when it comes to even discussing the willingness of George Bush, his administration and his fundamentalist followers to turn public education into religious indoctrination--and to mock the foundations of scholarship by promoting faith as a legitimate scientific alternative to the scientific method--they fall silent.

Silence in the face of this challenge to basic education is damaging America. It gives yet another advantage, at least in the long term, to nations that teach children to think logically...



Saturday, August 13, 2005

Australian International University website

For all academics, former academics, students, and former students, this website repays close study. Truly, no university has previously managed to achieve all of these goals.

Thanks to Brian Randell for bringing it to my attention.

Rapacitas Bona Est

Updated March 20, 2008 to add: This website appears to have changed hands since I made this post. Use the Wayback Machine to see previous versions.

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Blackberry Women and Technology awards

A BBC story reports that Research in Motion is doing something to help remedy a situation that more have talked about than have done anything effective.
Top women in the field of technology are to be recognised in the first Blackberry Women and Technology awards. The awards have been set up by Research in Motion, the company behind the Blackberry mobile device, and Aurora, a women's business networking group.

Prizes will be given to women who have been leading lights in academia, journalism, public and private sectors, as well the top female mentors.

The awards will raise their profile in what has been a male-dominated world.

"What we want is to recognise the progress and achievement women have made not only in the technology industry, but also in using technology," Charmaine Eggberry, from RIM, told the BBC News website.