Nov. 10, 2009 SDF Fossil Fuel Future?

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On November 10, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum held a Clean Tech Breakfast: “Old Resources in a New Climate”. Greg O’Hara of Nixon Peabody moderated panelists Mark Duvall of EPRI, Kyle McCue of Ternion Bio, John Voltz of Jane Capital and Marianne Wu of Mohr Davidow Ventures. Most of the world is still burning fossil fuels. The panel had a spirited discussion about what will happen to this market.

While we need energy that does not emit carbon dioxide, don’t put your coal shovel away just yet. Liquid fuel still has advantages of energy density in aviation. It will take some time to replace all of it, maybe a century. Unless there is some dramatic breakthrough in solar, wind, nuclear or battery technology, we will be burning coal, gas or synthetics. The United States has an old established fleet of coal burning power plants generating a most of its electricity. China is building a new plant every week. Energy security for both countries is now a matter of national security.

What drives switching to alternatives is price and government policy. When oil is $150 per barrel consumers start shifting to smaller cars. Fuel taxes in Europe are high to pay and build alternative energy infrastructure. An American subsidy for hybrids helps offset the $10,000 cost per vehicle of lithium ion batteries. While consumer lifestyle choice seems to be driving the short term purchasing of electric vehicles, the big change will occur when corporate and government fleets are converted. A big market drives down production costs and the process takes on a life of its own.

Weaning an economy away from fossil fuels and the whole supporting infrastructure around it may take generations.  Global demand will drive up the cost of all energy. We just have to calculate the total cost.  Buying a cheap gas powered car and paying three dollars for a gallon of gasoline long term does not make sense compared to paying more up front for an electric car and paying 250 per kilowatt hour over the life of the vehicle. In the end, no matter what sources for electricity we use, it will need a smart grid to be delivered efficiently.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Nov. 4, 2009 SDF SAP Distributed Development

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On November 4, 2009 SDForum and SAP presented “Distributed Development”. Professor Terri Griffith of Santa Clara University moderated panelists Richard Bair of IBM, Cherie Gardiner and Suzanne Kirkpatrick of Microsoft, George Mathew and Clas Neumann of SAP, as well as Jeff Pettibone of NetApp. They shared their experiences with high level SAP Labs leaders on managing development projects spread across the planet for large organizations.

First determine if distributing the development is needed. It might be faster and easier to do it in one place. If the project requires it, be prepared to travel. Despite the technology, it is important to spend time on site to learn about the people, places and culture of wherever you are collaborating. Find their strengths and see how it fits with teams in other places. Study how other multinational corporations adjust. Monolithic policies don’t work. Adapt to local conditions to build trusting relationships. Remember you are not doing business “in” a country but “with” the people in it.

By the way, the best time in Silicon Valley to hold a teleconference with Europe and Asia is 7:00 AM PST.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Nov. 3, 2009 SDF SAP Enabling Innovation

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On November 3, 2009 SDForum and SAP presented “Enabling Innovation”. Chris Shipley of Guidewire Group moderated panelists Gamiel Gran of Sierra Ventures, Kimber Lockhart of Increo Solutions, Dan Pistone of Bridge Bank, Mark F. Radcliffe of DLA Piper and Jeff Seibert of Increo Solutions. They shared their best practices and lessons learned about fostering innovation and entrepreurship with high level SAP Labs leaders from around the world.

Invention is proving a good idea works. Innovation is bringing that idea to market. Small start-ups can move fast. Big companies have more resources. How do you duplicate the startup/venture capitalist/entrepreneur environment in a large corporation?

Silicon Valley evolved a culture of high risk and failure that is contrary to the traditional culture of corporations. Entrepreneurs expect eighty percent of our projects to fail. They are positive in outlook and pragmatic in practice. Some entrepreneurs have a clear idea of what they want. Others are like sculptors and go through a process of subtraction of what they don’t want. To succeed you must try, fail fast and try again, quickly learning from your mistakes. This is hard to do when you are responsible to shareholders and fellow employees. Create a culture of risk taking, be patient but set milestones and limits the way a startup would. Be flexible. Get ready for radical changes in direction overnight, always aware that the clock is ticking.

An important part of innovation is cross-pollination. This process that seems unique to Silicon Valley is cross pollination. At a large company people may stay at the same position for a long time. Entrepreneurs change jobs are constantly, learning from one situation and applying it to another. They get several lifetimes worth of experience they could never get anyplace else. The more you move, the more you learn.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 30, 2009 SDF Collaboration

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On October 30, 2009 at Techmart in Santa Clara, SDForum hosted “Collaboration 2.0: Collaborating in the Next Decade”. Using social media at work is collaboration. So many consumers are adopting and using social networking and web applications at home that it is starting to find its way into the workplace. Companies incorporate these new tools to improve productivity and combine disparate resources around the globe. They create content and build engaging communities. Online collaboration not only augments old ways of doing things, it improves mindshare, transparency, and creates a sense of community among coworkers. It adds value for customers and opportunities for new investment.

James Lundy of Gartner Research gave the opening keynote. He said the traditional IT structure is vulnerable and the users are out of control. It is the Wild West all over again.

Harold Yu of Orrick moderated panelists Salim Ali of SAP, Roosevelt Bynum of IBM, Chuck Ganapathi of Salesforce.com, Didier Moretti of Cisco Systems, Perry Teevens of Skype and Matt Thompson of Microsoft. They talked about “The Incumbent Perspective on Collaboration”. Big corporations are not only collaborating internally, they see it as they way to find and keep customers. Legacy IT systems must give way for the Facebook generation. If the IT department doesn’t keep up, employees and customers will bypass it.

Danny Wallace of PricewaterhouseCoopers held a fireside chat on “Use Case Study – Real Time Collaboration – End User Customer Perspective” with Prashant Nema of SVB Financial Group and Mark Plakias of Orange Labs. Unstructured collaboration allows free-flowing ideas between multiple parties. Plakias thinks of online collaboration as a low-cost, low-threshold way to round up research inputs.

Frank Marino of Frank Rimerman Consulting moderated panelists Michael Ashley of FastPencil, Ivan Koon of YouSendIt, Ross Mayfield of Socialtext and Aaron Levie of Box.net. They discussed “Emerging Talents that are Changing the Business Model – What’s the Next Big Thing?” When collaboration and technology create value, the money and talent follow. The average employee spends twenty percent of their week looking for information. Collaboration is dirty, until you allow people to argue, break rules, and mess things up, you won’t get innovation.

Anthony Ha of Venture Beat moderated venture capitalists Asheem Chandna of Greylock and Sharon Wienbar of Scale Venture Partners. They discussed “A Look at the Investment Landscape” You must get new customers within a certain period. This is a metric used to evaluate startups. Investors are looking for broad adoption even if the deal size is small. The “try before buy” model means software has to deliver quickly. Everyone is trying to figure out how to become the Twitter or Facebook for the enterprise when it will probably be Twitter and Facebook.

Chris Yeh of PBWorks moderated panelists Kailash Ambwani of FaceTime, Margaret Francis of Scout Labs, Ryan Holmes of HootSuite, Nanda Kishore of ShareThis and Seth Sternberg of Meebo. They discussed “Social Collaboration and the Consumer”. Collaboration is about people not technology. If you want to learn about collaboration start using the tools. Consumers will break down barriers to get what they want. You want to be there with a solution when it happens. Eighty percent of Generation Y use social networking for both business and personal use already. Privacy and security are big concerns. Social media is not like Vegas, what happens on Facebook, doesn’t actually stay on Facebook. Chris Yeh said a collaboration tool only works if it helps people do more and not get in the way.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 27, 2009 SDF Fed Cloud

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On October 27, 2009 in Palo Alto at Tibco Software, the SDForum Cloud Services SIG presented “The Federal Government and Cloud Computing”. Bernard Golden, CEO of HyperStratus and Joshua McKenty, Technical Architect of NASA’s Nebula Project talked about the new federal commitment to cloud computing.

Bernard Golden recently spent a week in Washington, DC, meeting with Congressional Committee staff members and various Federal agencies to discuss their cloud computing initiatives and concerns. Bernard shared the status of the overall Federal cloud computing initiative, his recommendations to the groups he met with, and upcoming milestones and deliverables for the Federal cloud. He thinks Federal cloud computing efforts and commercial cloud ecosystem will integrate and both will benefit.

Golden spoke about Vivek Kundra, who became the first Federal CIO and is strongly committed to the cloud. When Kundra took over he found hundreds of data centers all over the country. He wanted not just structural efficiency but operational efficiency. On his first day he called a meeting and asked the attendees about cloud computing. When they first group said it couldn’t be done, Kundra fired them and called in the next group. Not surprisingly, they said it could be done.

Golden met with staff of congressional committee for the House Energy and Commerce. They are concerned about network neutrality now supported by FCC and how to get more bandwidth for all users.

Golden then met with staffers for the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs as well the Senate Intelligence Committees. They are very concerned about security in the cloud. Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification at the application level may not work well in the cloud. He thinks cybercrime can be fought with transparency.

Golden visited the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Government Services Administration (GSA). The GSA has an approved list that you want to get on if you want to sell software to the government. They now have App.gov, an approved cloud computing offering so all government agencies can get on demand cloud services functionality. For example, the Department of Interior can use a credit card to use Salesforce.com. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is available now and soon Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). The bidding process is complex but Golden expects lots of demand.

Department of Defense is rolling out Rapid Access Computing Environment (RACE) as an internal cloud for agile computing. They see it as a faster and cheaper alternative to traditional purchasing of computing services.

Joshua McKenty told of his work as Technical Architect on Nebula Project, a Cloud Computing pilot under development at NASA Ames Research Center. He designed the service capabilities in the platform ensuring robustness, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Nebula integrates a set of open-source components into a seamless, self-service platform. It provides high-capacity computing, storage and network connectivity.  It uses a virtualized, scalable approach to achieve cost and energy efficiencies. The fully integrated Nebula components provide rapid development of policy-compliant and secure web applications. It encourages code reuse, improves coherence and cohesiveness of NASA’s collaborative web applications. Nebula will offer cost-effective Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). As a hybrid cloud, external researchers will have consistent tool sets and high-speed data connections to collaborate with NASA.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 26, 2009 SDF Will Bunker Match.com

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On October 26, 2009 in Menlo Park at Orrick, SDForum’s International SIG hosted Will Bunker, pioneer of One-and-Only.com, now known as Match.com. He talked about social media and his work with White Space Ventures and a new student-centric online learning community, YoYoBrain.com. If you want to go into social media, structure your business so it runs independently of your other projects. Develop a service that attracts customers rather than paying for demographic information. Consider second tier advertisers for steady revenue.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 26, 2009 SDF International SIG

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On October 26, 2009 in Menlo Park at Orrick SDForum’s International SIG celebrated its success transforming SDForum from a local organization to a global one.

Over the past twelve years its reach has gone from across the street to around the world. The individuals instrumental to this transformation were Jeannine Athas, Kevin Braithwaite and Charles Pfefferkorn. They brought together numerous experts very talented people and provided the International community with a place to share best practices. Building on their success, the International SIG will integrate into the main organization allowing both members and International Delegations access to all that SDForum offers within the realm of programs, tours and specific workshops.

It has been an honor to work with them and the world they have opened to me.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 20, 2009 SDF Vertica

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On October 20, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, the SDForum Business Intelligence SIG hosted Omer Trajman of Vertica. His topic: The Evolution of BI from Back Office to Business Critical Analytics. Trajman is an expert on cloud-based databases who launched Vertica’s cloud database on Amazon EC2 using Map Reduce integration with the Apache Hadoop project. Text from DJCline.com

Trajman started off with short history of databases and the idea of business intelligence. Gone are the days of gathering the data into reports for managers who decide what step to take next. This slow process in some back office has moved not only to the front office but the website in front of the customer. Now you can have real time analysis and react immediately using integrated real time data warehousing. Cloud servers, complex event processing engines, analytic databases and batch processing map/reduce systems offer near infinite capacity to solve problems deemed too complicated before. Text from DJCline.com

A phone company can rebalance its network on the fly. A cable company can assess who is watching and direct a targeted commercial to individual viewers. A bank should be able to determine which mortgages are likely to default. The wide adoption of business intelligence at the operational level finally answers the question: What is the point of gathering all this information if we cannot act on it in a timely fashion? Text from DJCline.com

There was some talk about the No SQL movement The idea is to have people build databases without using SQL. People are always tempted to do things on the cheap like doing their plumbing or electrical wiring on their own. Personally I think this is likely to cause problems down the road. As an example, I am sure you could build a website without knowing HTML, but you could do more if you understood the underlying code. Building databases without trained professionals is not a good way to build business intelligence. In the drive to do things faster we must remember to do things better as well. Text from DJCline.com

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 20, 2009 SDF PWC

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On October 20, 2009 at Pillsbury Winthrop in Palo Alto, SDForum held the Quarterly Venture Breakfast Series in collaboration with PWC. Sylvia Burks of Pillsbury Winthrop moderated panelists Savinay Berry of Granite Ventures, Jim Lussier of Norwest Venture Partners, Ho Nam of Altos Ventures, Prashant Shah of Hummer Winblad and Danny Wallace of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Danny Wallace of PricewaterhouseCoopers kicked off the meeting with an analysis of where investments went over the past year in biotechnology, industrial energy, software, medical devices and media/entertainment. Basically the level of investment is where it was back in 1996. The consensus is that the economy has hit bottom and may be recovering slowly.

Enterprise software burst with dotcom bubble mainly because so few packages were actually implemented. The need for enterprise services is still there and may be met with software as a service (SAAS), cloud computing or just plain web services. Larry Ellison of Oracle appeared in video clip disparaging anything called “cloud”. Even the panelists were skeptical. Your elevator pitch must explain what it does for an enterprise not just that it takes place in the cloud. Large companies will still try to run in-house clouds but smaller companies can quickly benefit from pushing their IT functions into the cloud. IT managers will manage platforms and data rather than hardware. Over time the costs and benefits will be obvious and most companies will outsource their IT the way they outsource their electricity. Develop a product or service that is sticky for users and does not require begging for scarce resoures from an inside IT department. Offering reliable security is solid selling point.

As Apple’s continued success shows, a good idea or service can triumph in bad times. A good idea can grow a company or create a new industry. They did not wait for a recovery. They started their own.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 15, 2009 STC Jack Molisani

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On October 15, 2009 at the San Jose Scottish Rite Center, the STC Silicon Valley Chapter hosted Jack Molisani of ProSpring Technical Staffing. In a follow-up to his popular “The Top 10 Mistakes Writers Make When Looking For Work” session, Molisani presented “Resume Secrets That Might Surprise You”. He talked about little-known facts about resumes and the hiring process that may be hurting your chances of landing that new job. Jack raffled off a free entrance to the LavaCon Conference on Professional Development to be held October 25-27, 2009 in New Orleans.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 15, 2009 SDF Rich Moore

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On October 15, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum’s Engineering Leadership SIG hosted Rich Moore CTO/VPE of iLoop Mobile. He presented “My Path to fame, wealth, accolades – Engineering Management in the year 2009” or “How can I achieve my Engineering Management career objective during these challenging times?  Is Engineering Leadership for me?” Moore talked about how he deals with the toughest economic climate of our time taking care of clients like Coke, Western Union, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Sony, Deutsche Bank, E Online and Comcast.

Also attending was a delegation from the Asian-Oceania Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO). The organization is a bridge for IT companies in the region seeking to expand their network of contacts, do business together and develop their capabilities. Pictured below are SDForum EL SIG Chair of Kimberly Weifling, ASOCIO Secretary General Lim Lucas, Mohamed Siraj, ASOCIO President Ashank Desai, Wakensys Managing Director Mohamed Suhurdeen, UCP’s Reza Jannetpour and EL SIG Chair Sam Hahn.

Scrappy Chicken also attended. More about that later.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 14, 2009 SDF Fighting Crime

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On October 14, 2009 in Palo Alto at Pillsbury Winthrop the SDForum Emerging Tech SIG presented “Fighting Crime: Information Chokepoints & New Software Solutions” SIG Chair Ron Lichty introduced speakers Ron Mayer of Forensic Logic, Shane Rapp of COPsync and Ron Stein of ShotSpotter. Text from DJCline.com

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I expected the future of crime fighting would be something like the film Minority Report. It is not even close. Instead I was surprised to learn that known criminals are on Facebook, essentially putting out their own wanted posters. As usual, police have to keep up with the times. Law enforcement works best when getting the right information in time. Traditional detection and analysis are simply not able to meet the flood of information facing police. Emerging technology offers ways to not only solve crimes but prevent them. Text from DJCline.com

Ron Mayer, CTO of Forensic Logic explained how to improve data integration for crime prevention and prediction. A police force can be as small as one small town sheriff or a huge big city police department. Each jurisdiction has its own way of keeping and retrieving records. Sharing this information is complicated by proprietary systems and different data format standards. His company works to speed up the sharing and analysis of this data. The results are dramatic maps showing entirely new interpretations of data providing fresh insights to solving crime. Text from DJCline.com

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Shane Rapp of COPsync combined his computer and law enforcement experience to speed the collection and sharing of timely information with officers in the field. COPsync can give the location of patrol car and its relationship to crime scenes. It can identify dangerous suspects and alert nearby officers for backup. A police chief can better manage and deploy limited resources. It can increase communication across jurisdictions in emergencies using not just voice but text to mobile devices. I confess my favorite part of the software was the symbol library where you can choose what sort of animal was involved in the ccident. It needs a duck or goose icon. (don’t ask). Text from DJCline.com

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Ron Stein of ShotSpotter showed how effective triangulating shots fired can quickly locate criminals more accurately than a human calling the police. Their software can differentiate between all sorts of urban noise to pick out not just gunfire but what kind of gun. The good news is that it can be applied in the battlefield. Once again mobile devices are increasingly deployed. Text from DJCline.com

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What amazed me is how resourceful these companies are. They want their software to work on laptops in a patrol car or even a cell phone. They use Microsoft SQL-Server. They are adapting IT technology and using it in new ways. Text from DJCline.com

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved

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Oct. 12, 2009 The New Yorker

On Oct. 12 2009 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Inconspicuous Consumption” about consumers going into debt before the Great Recession and their reduced spending afterward. Prudence and reason prevail until the next recovery.

Ken Auletta wrote “Searching For Trouble” about Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin dealing with growth and change.

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 4, 2009 Blumbers

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One More Soldier

By DJ Cline

September 11, 2026 3:30 AM

High on a ridge between Pakistan and Afghanistan was one more soldier in one more war. Text from DJCline.com

Captain Don Jin of the Chinese Army was assigned to find and kill the latest villain named Jaca. Many men had been sent to kill him and all had failed. Don’s commanders briefed him in Kabul and gave him a rough direction on where Jaca was last seen. They would keep sending soldiers until Jaca was dead. Text from DJCline.

Don’s approach was very low budget and off the radar. After picking up his regular field gear, he poked around town until he found someone who had the kind of rifle he wanted, sneaked into their compound and stole it. He found a truck, stole it and drove it as far as he could into the mountains. When he ran out of road, he started walking and then climbing. When he arrived at the last known location for Jaca, he started tracking him like an animal. Three weeks later he located what he thought was Jaca’s entourage in a remote village. It was not that difficult. In a poor country, the trash of rich people stands out on a trail. Text from DJCline.

He lay flat on his stomach just below the top of the ridge looking through his rifle’s night scope. In the valley below he saw half a dozen mud brick buildings built by local tribesmen. He looked at the largest building glowing from a fire inside. Don had been waiting for Jaca to step outside and use the latrine for a week. It never happened. Instead women would carry slop buckets out every morning. Don was patient. Jaca would make a mistake. Text from DJCline.

He kind of wished Jaca still smoked. Smokers inevitably stepped outside. He had gotten several targets this way. Don looked around the ridge he was standing on and found dozens of cigarette butts from Americans, Russians, British and possibly Turkish soldiers. They had all been here before him. Since arriving he also found batteries, buttons, wrappers, brass casings and even a bronze arrowhead. He wondered if the whole mountain was simply a pile of trash leftover from earlier battles. People had been fighting here for a very long time. With tensions between China and India so high he wondered if the next soldier on this ridge would have a laser pistol or a bow and arrow. Text from DJCline.

There was movement at the bottom of the valley. A woman carrying a baby was walking up the trail. A guard woke up and stopped her. She held her baby close as it started to cry. Don turned on the rifle microphone and tried to hear the conversation. As near as he could understand it, the woman said she was carrying a son Jaca did not know about. The woman begged to see Jaca. The guard alerted another guard who escorted her to the large building. Text from DJCline.

Listening through the microphone Don heard the consternation of Jaca’s voice at being woken up in the middle of the night. It sounded like the baby was given to Jaca to hold. The woman excused herself to use the latrine. She walked quickly to the latrine and then ran past it and up the hill toward Don. Through the microphone he thought he heard someone shout, “It’s not a baby!” Text from DJCline.

Suddenly the large building exploded, temporarily overwhelming the night scope and hitting the overload cutoff on the microphone. Guards ran out of the other buildings shouting and began shooting in the air. By now the woman was halfway up the hill and had taken off her clothes, wig and makeup. The woman was in fact a very thin man wearing a black commando outfit. As he approached Don the man held up his hands and said, “I am Tapas Kalki of the Indian Intelligence Service. Captain Jin, we need to leave this area immediately.”Text from DJCline.

The guards were beginning to fan out into the flame lit darkness. Both of them were now going to have to outrun some very angry men. How did that this guy already know his name? Te

Next? Pluribus 1

Text from DJCline.

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sept. 29, 2009 SDF Search: Google Microsoft Yahoo

SDF logo2009 copyBryan Steven copyCalleja Mario copyChandra Ashok copyCornett Larry copyCunningham Richard copyDoyle Brendan copyEmens Michael copyFallahi Tasha copyFaria Manoj copyHoffman Tricia copyJariwala Kara copyKaljonen Tatu copyKomissarchik Julia copyKrishan Baldev copyLeung Herman copyRashtchy Safa copyRodriguez Brian copyRoy Saugat copyRoy Saugat copyRudraraju Panda copySarapalli Anu copySuchter Sean copyTri Robert copyTyler Nate copyWright Johanna copy

On September 29, 2009 in Mountain View at Microsoft, SDForum Search SIG held a panel discussion on where search is heading. Safa Rashtchy moderated panelist Johanna Wright of Google, Sean Suchter of Microsoft and Larry Cornett of Yahoo.Text from DJCline.com

After communicating, search is the most common thing we do on a computer these days. Microsoft thinks users want shorter and more productive search sessions like when searching for the cheapest flight. You don’t want the anxiety of having paid too much for the flight because the search engine could not find the best fare. Microsoft also demonstrated Bing’s ability to sort through big and little dog breeds. Text from DJCline.com

Google wants users to have the right answer in the shortest amount of time. Over the past decade they have gotten better at more relevant search results. Today if you type in “How to tie a tie” you will get exactly that. If you type in Caltrain you will get an indented link for getting train tickets. Google showed how their cross language capability can display English and Arabic search results side by side. This opens up more content to more of the world’s population. Text from DJCline.com

Yahoo wants to make it easier to check on news and information that is relevant to users. Yahoo revealed its new search framework with filters on the left, results in the center and ads on the right. If you are looking for restaurants it will not only give you the location and menu but the Yelp reviews, Facebook pages, music, video associated with it.  Text from DJCline.com

What about designing search for mobile devices? Don’t try to cram the desktop experience on a phone. Start over and think about voice control, short sessions, simultaneous translation, local search with GPS. Searching for mobile solutions becomes more important as these devices in many cases become our only computing device. Text from DJCline.com

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Copyright 2009 DJCline All rights reserved.

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Sept. 24, 2009 STC Andrew Davis LinkUp

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On September 24, 2009 in Mountain View at the Dojo House, STC Silicon Valley hosted Andrew Davis of LinkUp to talk about what’s next in technical communication. Whatever you are doing now, it is time to do something else. You have to create profits for your clients or you won’t have any. Don’t be middle management.  Be so good, so unique you cannot be offshored. Become the subject matter expert that clients want to talk to. Text from DJCline.com

Davis recommended business strategies that I’ve seen work elsewhere:

1. Identify an underserved audience in a prosperous industry with good long-term prospects (e.g., not snow sports or clean coal, but maybe healthcare, medical devices, or clean tech)

2. Acquire deep subject-matter expertise

3. Develop a respected, and responsive, professional network

4. Cultivate a role as trusted intermediary between seller and buyer

5. Provide a proprietary standalone product or service – such as training, support, recruiting, advertising, marketing, mediation, testing, or even documentation – with which you deliver unique profit-making potential to your customer. Try to make your solution synergistic, and don’t stop refining it.

6. Connect with both buyers and sellers, and dig deep for ways to make them both more financially successful.

7. Market your results in ways that resonate with ‘money people.’ Address the CFO’s concerns.

After the formal meeting Andrew also spoke to me about LinkUp which is not LinkedIn. LinkUp helps companies list jobs that are not normally advertised.  Companies can post a position and find qualified candidates. He explained to me why LinkUp made sense for companies looking to actually hire people. In a nutshell, here is what sets LinkUp apart (from the employer’s perspective): Text from DJCline.com

1. Indexes jobs only from employers’ websites, and freshens them daily — its listings are always current, never fake, and usually unadvertised anywhere else. Result: candidates can confidently spend more time focused on your opportunities.

2. Carries no listings from recruiters, job boards, or aggregators. No middleman or advertising fees means candidates cost you less.

3. Publicizes all your jobs for less than the price of 2 postings on the major ‘pay-to-post’ job boards.

4. Offers a custom career portal, if you lack your own applicant-tracking system (ATS).

5. Brings candidates directly to your site, making them ATS-trackable and easier to inform.

6. Syndicates your job listings to Facebook and Twitter, solving your social-network distribution challenges.

7. Offers sponsored ads for $0.25/click — 1/8th the cost of Indeed, Simply Hired, and Google. Plus, you’re not bidding against the job boards as you would be on the aggregators.

8. Makes jobs ultra-accessible via the LinkUp iPhone app, blog widget, custom RSS feeds, email agents, Twitter, and Facebook app.

9. Carries almost 400,000 jobs from over 22,000 employers nationally, including all the Fortune 500 — at least 3 times more listings than The Ladders and Employment Crossing, and 8 times more than DICE.

10. August 2009 stats: 151,223 visits / 113,608 unique / average time on site 4:22 minutes. Text from DJCline.com

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All right reserved.

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Sept. 24, 2009 SDF Social Media

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On September 24, 2009 in Cupertino at Apple the SDForum Tech Womens Program & Marketing SIG presented “Professional Development 2.0: Taming Social Media”. Jo Miller of Women’s Leadership Coaching moderated panelists Janet Fouts Partner of Tatu Digital Media, Sheena Gogna of LinkedIn and Ravit Lichtenberg of Ustrategy. The panel discussed how to use social media to develop your personal brand, expand your professional network, manage your career and improve productivity.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sept. 23, 2009 SDF iPhone Apps Neal Goldstein

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On September 23, 2009 in Palo Alto SDForum’s Software Architecture & Modeling SIG hosted Neal Goldstein to talk about “Context-Driven Design: Next-Generation Mobile Architectures: The iPhone And iPhone Applications”. Text from DJCline.com

Goldstein is author of “iPhone Application Development For Dummies” and a pioneer in the practical application of edge and cloud computing. He believes we are living in a post desktop world. A compelling iPhone application is fundamentally different from one on a personal computer. Compared to a PC, the iPhone is limited by its screen, memory, processor, battery and no keyboard or mouse. Despite this, the iPhone offers usability and mobile Internet access to applications with an embedded experience relevant to wherever the user is located. A good app is about user experience not user interface. Goldstein described the iPhone software architecture and how context-driven design rather than function design can make a substantial difference in user experience. Text from DJCline.com

Goldstein also talked about App approval process. He thinks it is opening up. They are concerned about offensive content and intellectual property. It is better to be the IP owner. They don’t want the app to crash when they test it. Apps prices more moving away from 99 cents and more to ten dollars as they add more value. People are also preferring to do data manipulation on the iPhone rather than over the network. Text from DJCline.com

The closest competitor to the iPhone might be the Android because it is projected to have more devices out there in two years. The problem is that the Android may be a fragmented market given the nature of cell phone carriers. The Blackberry is very difficult to develop for and the Palm Pre seems to have dropped off.  Text from DJCline.com

In the future he sees more power and speed for the iPhone, comparing its current state to the early days of the Mac, which was underpowered but still did amazing things. It is worth getting in early and developing for. He also sees opportunities for faster and more reliable networks. Text from DJCline.com

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sept. 23, 2009 Engage Expo

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On September 23, 2009 at the San Jose Convention Center’s Engage Expo held a panel discussion on”How Venture Capital Sees Social Media” SDForum’s Susan Lucas-Conwell moderated panelists Timothy Chang of Norwest Venture Partners, Stewart Guenther of Venture Capital-Private Equity Roundtable, Shai Goldman of SVB Capital and Michael Kim of Rustic Canyon Partners. Text from DJCline.com

So what are the rules of engagement for social media? One-way boxed media like books and CDs are dead. Social media is about community, conversations and content. Theoretically social media is a platform-independent web service targeting customers who want to spend as much time as possible in your space. Revenue streams are shifting from advertising to subscriptions. The buzzwords are Media-As-Service (MAS), Free-To-Play (FTP) and metagames. If you are developing for the Apple iPhone you have good chance at funding because of the market and the distribution channel. Text from DJCline.com

If you want start a company think about how you are going to end it. Are you going to build it to be bought? What is your business plan and revenue stream? Do you know many venture capitalists want fifteen times their 2.5 million dollar investment back? Can you bootstrap it with angel investors? Talk to your potential acquiring company about who would be interested in investing. Text from DJCline.com

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sept. 18, 2009 SDF Innovation and Corporate Research Fair

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On September 18, 2009 in Santa Clara at Techmart, SDForum held the Second Annual Open Innovation and Corporate Research Fair: “Innovating in a Down Economy”. Silicon Valley’s leading high-tech corporations, including EMC, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Nokia and PayPal shared their thoughts, insights and best practices on how not only to survive, but to identify market share and growth opportunities. Learn how industry leaders innovate and how to partner with them.

Keynote Speakers included Gene Alston of PayPal, Sheryl Chamberlain of EMC, Elizabeth “Betsy” Corcoran of Forbes.com, Rich Friedrich of Hewlett-Packard, Deborah Magid of IBM and John Shen of Nokia Research Center.

Mark F. Radcliffe of DLA Piper moderated panelists Don Clark of NEC, Gary Getz of Strategos, Suzanne Harrison of Gathering2.0, Ron S. Laurie of Inflexion Point Group and David Smith of Tynax. The topic was”Open Innovation in Practice”.

Priya Ganapati of Wired Digital gave the closing summary on the need for basic research.

In the afternoon there were technology exhibitions by the participating companies like Dojo House, Huawei, LongJump, Nokia, PayPal, rrripple, and Zeus.

09-18-09 TechMart copy09-18-09 crowd2 copy09-18-09 panel1 copy09-18-09 DoJo1 copy09-18-09 Huawei1 copy09-18-09 LongJump1 copy09-18-09 Nokia1 copy09-18-09 PayPal1 copy09-18-09 Rrripple1 copy09-18-09 Rrripple2 copy09-18-09 Rrripple3 copy09-18-09 zeus1 copy

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sept. 17, 2009 Future Salon Collaboration

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On September 17, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, Future Salon hosted Nilofer Merchant. She talked about her book “The New How Building Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy.”

Merchant knows the power of community, collaboration or co-creation. She uses every possible communication channel to reach out: blogs, wikis, point systems, face to face meetings. Ultimately all networking is social.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sept. 17, 2009 SDF Investor Perspective

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On September 17, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum’s Engineering Leadership SIG hosted Laura Roden, Founder and Managing Director of VC Privé, LLC who presented “Funding from the Investor Perspective: How VCs and Angels Work”. Roden talked about how investors see the economic and subjective drivers of the funding process. Put yourself in the investors shoes. If you had a million dollars who would you give it to? Frankly, the last few years have been tough for VCs and they want to know how you are going to make money. Text from DJCline.com

VC Privé is a placement agent representing venture capital funds raising money. VC Privé is a channel for private investors who want information and access to top-tier funds in the range from $100,000-$5mm per fund. They represent funds in life sciences, clean energy, internet and software, consumer, and international investment sectors. Text from DJCline.com

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sept. 24, 2009 STC Andrew Davis Preview

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Please join us for our September meeting on Thursday, September 24, 2009 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at Hacker Dojo located at 140 South Whisman Road in Mountain View. Please note that this meeting is free of charge and that food will not be provided. Attendees can bring food to eat to the meeting.

The meeting topic is What’s Next? Glimpsing the opportunity beyond the impasse with Andrew Davis.

If you’re feeling insecure about your professional prospects, you’re in good company. The world has changed, your cheese has moved  as in the book “Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life” by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard. It is high time to face facts: most high-tech technical communicators have become commodities, purveyors of expensive and increasingly unvalued services.

Globalization, a shrinking economy, impatient customers, and increasingly lean, “do-more-with-less” companies are now the norm. Especially in high tech, product quality deteriorates but users seem to care only about initial cost. Meanwhile, technical communicators have become passive and disengaged from their audience, their compensation rates are trending downward, job security has become a joke, and true professional advancement is rare. Job satisfaction is the exception rather than the rule.

My view is that high-tech technical communicators’ best option is to apply their skills to other industries and focus on helping customers generate profits. I have some specific answers to the ‘where from here’ question, but the list is far from complete and I hope to catalyze (with insights, anecdotes, hope and, yes, fear) a productive discussion about how to respond to the marketplace’s challenges.

Speaker: Andrew Davis runs Synergistech Communications, a recruiting firm that since 1995 has matched talented technical communicators with staff and contract opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Andrew is also a former Technical Writer of system administration and software developer documentation for companies such as Oracle (documenting relational databases on minicomputers), IBM (UNIX hypertext authoring tools), Informix (Windows database tools), Network Equipment Technologies (PBXs and routers), and Verity (enterprise text search tools). He’s well-connected in Silicon Valley’s software and telecommunications documentation communities. He also recruits technical trainers and instructional designers, medical writers, and user experience (UX) professionals.

Synergistech is currently doing on-demand recruiting, namely ’speaking when spoken to’ rather than marketing its services actively. Most of its efforts are focused on developing a web-based job-seeking product for SF Bay Area technology workers.

Advance reservations are requested, please email our Reservations Manager if you plan to attend.

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sept. 3, 2009 SDF Android

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On September 3, 2009 in Menlo Park at the Orrick campus, SDForum’s Mobile SIG hosted Marko Gargenta of Marakana. Gargenta helped create the The San Francisco Android User Group (www.sfandroid.org). He talked about the Google – Android mobile handset operating system and the eCommerce store called Android Market. He also discussed a concept for deploying a TV series to multiple platforms and connecting its community of fans using locative media. Text from DJCline.com

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Aug. 26, 2009 SDF Microsoft Pearls of Wisdom 2

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On August 26, 2009 in Mountain View at the Microsoft Campus, SDForum, Women 2.0, Astia, and TiE Women’s Forum hosted “Pearls of Wisdom from Successful Women Leaders.” People that talk about the lack of successful women in Silicon Valley leadership positions should recognize the work done by people at this event. Sandra Chiang, Lilia Lauer, Sheela Ursal attended. Below are pictures of some of the other attendees.

Note: This meeting was of interest to the public and as such should be covered by the press. Anyone who attended an SDForum event consented to be photographed as part of the registration process. This notification is like the Apple iTunes agreement that nobody pays any attention to, perhaps they should. The good news is that the photographer is very nice and asked attendees if they wanted their pictures taken. If they said no, their pictures were not taken. Nowadays everybody has a camera so this issue is not going away.  Text from DJ Cline.com

Araque Patricia copyBelska Margaret copyBerschauer Kelly copyBloom Marilyn copyBoevers Elke copyBora Monalisa copyCast Diane copyChanHerur KC copyFarrell Rhonda copyGalvan Claudia copyGholami Nina copyGomatam Venkatesh copyGordon Francine copyHalf Jan copyHanson Kathy copyHerron Christine copyHolroyd Linda copyHuang Melissa copyJacobsen Kristen copyJain Chanchai copyJaine Aditi copyJoshi Manoj copyKao Janet copyKearns Sara copyKhachooni Terra copyKohn Helen copyKulkami Smitha copyKwan Shirley copyLee Frank copyLien Annie copyLim Su copyLiu Meiyang copyLondon Sonja copyMa Amanda copyMcFarlane Jennifer copyMehta Nehai copyMishra Reena copyNagar Lavina copyNorthrup Karen copyPatel Carol copyPolese Karen copyPortnov Lana copyRota Nadia copySeelig Tina copySharma Ruchi copyTellerman Shanna copy

Note: 09-04-16 Portland OR SE22nd and SE Salmon

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