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Showing posts from September, 2006

Europe - A Future for Technology?

What decisions will shape the landscape of the European digital economy of 2020?

It should be a matter of concern to our own Prime Minister in waiting, probably Gordon Brown and a question that formed the title of a working party at the European Ideas Network 2006 (EIN) Summer University in Lyon, which assembled many of the continent’s leading politicians, Commission President, José Manuel Barroso with businesses and centre-right research groups to explore the future of Europe in a globalised network economy.

Chaired by MEP, Malcolm Harbour with SAP Vice President as ‘Rapporteur’, the Digital Economy Working Policy Group was tasked with identifying ‘critical’ policy issues that require the further attention of the European Parliament.

Significantly, it was agreed that Europe is falling behind in both ICT development and exploitation, in spite of the commitments of the 2000 Lisbon Agenda which set the European Union the goal of becoming "the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-bas…

Interoperability – The Second Front Opens

Often tired and frequently oversold, the struggle between the software industry’s giants, otherwise known as the Open Source /Linux debate, has, over the summer, opened a second front, interoperability, injecting more life into an argument of increasingly strategic importance.

For a while now, the case in favour and against the introduction of Open Source / Linux solutions, has surrounded fundamental questions of reliability, security and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

A search for the ‘silver bullet’ argument in the analyst reports on any one of the vendor websites remains elusive and what one finds mostly surrounds the question of why one side’s TCO benefit is greater than another’s. After all, TCO and ROI (return on investment) are less factors of the underlying Operating System than the applications and services that support the Server platforms. Furthermore, it’s argued that TCO doesn’t examine the underlying flexibility of a technology and with it, any potential savings that acco…

Crackberry Summer

I’ve been quiet for several months; time for reflection and a sabbatical from writing after almost twenty-five years without a break. Technology is rather more difficult to escape; particularly the kind offered by my Blackberry and I’ve discovered during the summer, while I’ve been building-up Airads, my aviation business, that the device is quite invaluable in the cockpit as long as you don’t fly too fast and too high.

As an example, earlier in the summer, I had an engine starter motor problem on the way back from Devon which needed urgent attention and I knew that my aircraft engineer was on holiday in Wales. So while flying the aircraft back to base, I managed to conduct a two way diagnostic conversation by Blackberry SMS, which ensured, thanks to having my Outlook address book replicated that I had a second engineer and a replacement engine part available for the following morning.

I know what you’re thinking, “You’re not supposed to have a mobile phone switched on when flying.” Tru…

Time to Spare

Curses this morning as I discovered I couldn’t get into White Waltham airfield for a meeting with Microsoft.

The journey had started without any problems and as I passed Biggin Hill, I asked London Information for the latest Heathrow weather, which was reasonable.

Fifteen minutes later on reaching Ockham and having received a Special VFR clearance from Heathrow Director on the descent via Woodley into White Waltham, the weather decided to throw a surprise, with a menacing and thick fog-like cloud rolling in from the West, leaving me quite unable to continue on to land. Worse still, there were very few options in terms of other places to go with an instrument approach facility, other than Farnborough, so now getting low on fuel, I had to divert into Biggin Hill and pay the penalty of a whacking great landing fee for the privilege.

Many airfields waive their landing fees when an aircraft has to divert and this strikes me as eminently sensible. Not Biggin though. You see, when the fuel gaug…