Friday, July 29, 2011

Is Your Head (Safe) in the Cloud - Part II

While the "cloud" is a strange and wonderful new thing, in my humble opinion it has actually been with us for a long time (read here) and cloud based services should be managed like any "service" we purchase or otherwise provide to our partners. As IT professionals we may be attracted by cost, flexibility and other benefits, but we must focus on managing performance, reliability and security just as we do with all of the systems we provide.

When use of the cloud is discussed, invariably someone raises the number one concern; security. How do I know my information will be safe in the cloud? Indeed, we have seen a number of news stories that suggest hackers have been able to penetrate the defenses at some of the major cloud players including Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

But we also know that some of the very best private system defenses have been compromised including RSA (the security people), NATO, the Pentagon, the FBI, numerous banks, credit card companies, department stores, energy companies and others. The list is long and growing. You get the feeling no place is secure once the hackers have you in their crosshairs.

Security is a concern for all systems, whether running in-house or at a third party site. The cloud may be no less or more secure than any other location for your data.

Vivek Kundra, the Federal CIO, thinks (as I do) the issue has been exaggerated (read here) and he actively encourages use of the cloud. The government can save considerable money (something it sorely needs to do) and be much more efficient by using these services.

In fact, it is likely a cloud service could help lots of small to mid-size companies, offering them better security at a lower cost than they could achieve on their own.

So what should you do differently when dealing with a cloud provider? Obviously you have complete visibility into your technical infrastructure and direct control over your people and policies. With any third party provider, you must determine if the security measures in place meet the level of protection commensurate with  the importance of any information that will be reside there.

It is important to investigate and confirm any claims made by your provider. Perhaps we need ways making the provider's security more transparent as was suggested in this article. The approach is to provide a means of rating services much like hotels or restaurants.

You must go beyond the physical infrastructure and discuss policies and procedures. Importantly, look at employee policies and how employees are managed. Look at who your provider relies upon and make sure the risk is transfered down and mitigated at all levels.

Security, along with performance and reliability, must be carefully addressed with provisions embodied in contracts, including specific remedies, and comprehensive plans for dealing with failures of any kind.

Do you have any advice to add to this list?

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Next Big Thing : HTML5

Ask any senior IT manager what are the hot trends in the industry today and they is likely to rattle off two or three categories. They will include, in no particular order:
  • the "cloud"
  • mobile computing
  • "big" or unstructured data
Admittedly, big data might be on the edge for some while others would include security. But those are pretty much the hot topics of the day. 

I like to keep my ear to the ground and people who have known me for a long time know I have a nose for what is likely to be the next big thing. One of my favorite stories is about the Palm Pilot. Way back in the 90's when this personal digital assistant (PDA) was first introduced I thought it was likely to catch on. Saturday afternoon I went to the mall and on a whim purchased one at CompUSA. At the time, I was working at a major reinsurance company and the Chairman was a real technophile. Sure enough, Monday morning he returned from a cross country business trip waving the proverbial full page ad from the airline magazine for none other than this new handheld device. Shortly thereafter it became de rigueur for executives and wildly popular for years.

I had a similar experience identifying the RIM Blackberry as the device of choice, a distinction it held until recently when first the  iPhone and then Android devices swept in. Android (my latest pick of the litter) has moved rapidly into the lead (read here.) 

Lately, I have been reading a lot more about the new HTML standard, HTML5, and how it is going to revolutionize the web experience. While I have not had much first hand experience with HTML programming, it just may be the next "watershed" event in the history of computing. It has been around for years but the most popular browsers IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome, are only beginning to fully support it in their current versions. 

Google abandoned their "gears" in favor of HTML5 native offline support. Apple, IBM and Microsoft all  published their support for HTML5 as the future of the web, and other pundits have begun to echo the news.

Offering new capabilities, simplicity of development, tighter code and device independence, it seems HTML5 should be the choice of every web developer from this point forward.

Let's see if I called this one right.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Battle of the Titans

So here we are about one month into Google Plus and the ranks have swelled to over 20 million participants with an expectation of more growth when its opened to the general public (rumored to be soon) and still more when the business community is invited to participate.

Polls abound declaring fifty percent defection rates from Facebook (click here) and the demise of other inferior social networks. Google Plus threads and other sources are full of prognosticators convinced Google Plus will take over the world. According to one story today, Google Plus is even going to be your bank (click here).

Of course, other statistics clearly indicate Twitter has more star power (click here) and Facebook is now bigger than ever (click here) while Google Plus alienated people by shutting them down, requiring use of true identities. Google forced some news services and on-line publications to contribute under an individual name. Surely these acts will cause a backlash and slow or stop its growth. Right?


I predict Google Plus will continue to grow and evolve into the kind of social network that will appeal to a more professional community, while Facebook will continue to be the social network of choice for younger people, and people looking for entertainment, fun and games.

Google Plus will eventually be woven into the whole family of Google applications. The integration has already begun. Like one popular video illustrates, Google is where many people search, e-mail, write, store documents and photos and perform many other tasks. Once integrated, Google Plus will appeal to this segment of the population.

Facebook offers a different experience. It is not about the service, it is the social connections, the electronic relationships that you establish and maintain with your friends and acquaintances. It has clearly reached sufficient mass to continue to attract young social network newbies. It will appeal to high school and college students (its origin) because their friends will probably be on it already.

Similarly, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks will continue to appeal to certain segments. Twitter works well for publishers and news services, while LinkedIn has become the service of choice for human resource professionals.

I see the social network landscape unfolding much like cable television. There are a few dominant cable channels like HBO, Showtime and Cinemax. Then there are dozens of others such as the Food network, Bravo and Comedy Central that sustain their business on a smaller community of interested viewers. Yelp, Groupon, FourSquare, Tripit and many others (some not yet invented) will continue to provide a vast array of networks meeting our special needs and providing enough value to survive. There are 18 social networks devoted to new startup companies (click here) !!!

By the way, last week I predicted that tools would emerge to allow Google Plus participants to post to Twitter and Facebook. Since many, like myself, will likely have a presence in several of these networks for the foreseeable future, I expect over time to see a high level of integration. Extensions for the Chrome browser (click here) began to appear last week. Today I learned about Start Google Plus, a tool designed to more fully integrate content from these other networks.

In a couple of months, I would like to examine the demographics of Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus participants. I suspect over time  these statistics will bear me out. What do you think?

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Does the Google Chromebook make sense?

Personal computers have evolved into highly portable forms such as laptops, notebooks and tablets. Even sub-tablets like the Galaxy and smart phones like the HTC EVO rival the power and capabilities of  the desk top computers of only a few years ago. All these devices have one thing in common; local processing, memory and storage abilities which allow them to work standalone.

Google recently introduced a new portable device called the Chromebook with a very different approach. The Chromebook itself only runs what is essentially an internet browser. It has no local applications and stores almost no data on the device. It depends entirely on the internet with all of your applications and data stored in the cloud.

From the owner's perspective the this model offers a number of interesting and attractive features. The device has been optimized to start in under 10 seconds. It is self maintaining and self healing. It is virtually impervious to malware, but should the device be corrupted in any way, you simply turn it off and back on to boot up with a fresh, clean copy of the OS. If you leave it in the back of a taxi or drop it in the pool, you lose nothing (apart from the device itself) because none of your data or applications are on it. You never have to back it up or transfer your information to another device.

It is an IT managers dream as it can be deployed with no installation or maintenance required. It will never have to be rebuilt. Security is not compromised if an employee's device is accessed or stolen. It is small, light, attractive and affordable.

Now, in the US and other parts of the world, the internet is almost ubiquitous. But some of us who travel frequently by plane, train or subway or who live in remote, suburban communities may find this device challenging to use. Moreover, internet connections and the services we use are not always totally reliable.

For now, I think I will stick with the traditional personal computer. Besides, I never recommend anything I haven't tried personally. So, unless Google wants to send me an evaluation unit I can't say much more.

How about it, Larry?

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Monday, July 25, 2011

How High is Up

Everyone knows computers have become smaller, faster and cheaper. Moore's law is often cited and frequently some new chip demonstrates this law is still very much in effect. Memory, too, has reached new heights in capacity, yet consumes less physical space than ever before.

But few people realize that storage has experienced a similar, rapid growth in capacity and speed, while shrinking to unbelievably small sizes.

My first close encounter with mass storage devices came back in the late '70s when disk storage units were the size of your average washing machine and held an incredible 80 megabytes of data. That's not a typo. The actual disk was a five platter assembly with each platter roughly 24 inches across. It could be removed from the unit and stored off-line allowing for multiple 80mb sets of data. It was part of a Prime 400 mini-computer system. The main cabinet housing the processor, memory, controllers and power supply was the size of a small refrigerator.

I recall when we upgraded the system to 300mb drives, and later 550, 800 and finally 850mb disk drives. These larger units were non-removable, sealed containments but only consumed space equivalent to a file drawer. I marveled at the amount of data we could store inside these boxes. They cost thousands of dollars.

Today, we purchase disk units measured in gigabytes or terabytes, and you can easily hold them in your hand. They are assembled into complex arrays offering unparalleled speed and reliability, or they are delivered in storage attached network (SAN) form providing a host of other benefits including flexible management, pooling and sharing among multiple computing systems.

A couple of years ago I added a Seagate 300GB external drive to use as backup to the dual 200GB drives of my home system. Sitting comfortably on my desk was a little box two inches wide, five inches high and five inches deep which hold 1,000 times the information of those washing machine size boxes of yesteryear. It cost less than $100. By the way, this is already outdated and smaller devices costing less offer capacity in terabytes.

Last week I read an interesting blog entry. BackBlaze published the design of a unit with 135tb of capacity which could be built for about $7,500. You can read it here.

It is truly remarkable how far we have come.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Friday, July 22, 2011

I've Got Your Number

At the beginning of this year, I left my position as VP and CIO at a Fortune 500 company and I knew I would be out on my own for a while. The challenge was what phone number to put on my brand spanking new business card. In the past I might have added a second phone line for the house and deemed it for use as the "business" number. But who even wants one land line any more? As we become increasingly mobile, cell phones are the way to go. But I didn't want to give out my personal cell phone number nor did I want to carry (or pay for) two cell phones.

Then it struck me. I had played around with Google Voice for years and it offered capabilities which just might solve my problem.

Back in 2006 some friends told me about this cool pseudo telephone service called GrandCentral. You obtained a phone number from them and mapped it to one or more "real" phone numbers. You had complete control over what happened when someone called based on factors like the calling number, time of day and day of the week.

Timing is everything. When I finally decided to explore it, I discovered they had stopped taking new customers. The mystery was solved when Google announced the acquisition and limited introduction of the service, now branded Google Voice. Like GMail and Google Plus, you had to get an invitation from someone who already had the service. Of course, I managed to wrangle an invitation.

Over the next few years, Google added more capabilities and integrated it to other parts of their suite including the address book. Now it was possible to select a name from the contact list and have Google Voice call you, at the phone number of your choice, then call the other party and bridge the calls. In effect it acted like a secretary who got the person you wanted on the line for you. The best part was the cost. There was none. Both calls were initiated by the service, one to you and the other to the person you were calling.

Another cool feature I explored in depth was the voice mail service. The service allowed you to  record your own greeting. So what, you say? Most voice mail systems allow for that. But Google Voice let you create multiple greetings and associate them with individual contacts or groups of contacts. You could have as many different voice mail greetings as you want. I made a unique one for each member of my family and one for people with whom I never want to speak. That one says, "I'm sorry, the number you have dialed is no longer in service."

Finally, you can have Google Voice screen your calls. Contacts in my "family" group, for example, ring through. But callers from any number not in my contact list will be asked to identify themselves. Google then calls me on the phone number(s) as configured for that time and day, announces the party on the line and tells me to press 1 to accept the call.

Decision made. My new business card sports my Google Voice number.

Now I have complete control over where incoming calls ring. Last year when Google added "phone" to GMail they made the PC another instrument which can be associated to your number. My PC is my office phone. Most of my calls are placed by choosing the name from my contact list and clicking dial. When I am out of the house, my number rings on my cell. I have added some other rules, for instance, after 11PM, all calls (except "family") do not ring any phones but instead go immediately into voice mail.

My Google Voice number is the only phone number I will ever have to give out. When I land in my new job I can map my number to the office phone and have it ring there on weekdays. If I buy that summer house on the lake and put in a land line, I can have my number ring there on weekends. If I get a new cell phone I can disassociate the old number and map to the new one. It is infinitely flexible.

I still have one invite left if you want to get on board.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC or call me at 914 623-8508

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Don't Stop the Music

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  Yesterday I wandered into another part of the cloud. This time it was entertainment as a service. Spotify is a music service recently introduced on a limited basis in the US. They have over 10 million subscribers in Europe.

I have been a fan of Slacker Personal Radio for a long time.  Slacker is a web site that behaves like a radio station. You can search for an individual song, an artist, an entire album or choose a particular genre of music. They have a large collection of predefined stations such as top 40, classical or comedy.

But the real power comes from being able to define your own station. Slacker has an uncanny ability to determine other songs you will enjoy based on the selections you make. Slacker is a free, ad-supported service but you can subscribe to an ad-free version with a few advanced features. I use Slacker on my home PC and in the car on my smartphone to play "stations" I have defined.

This week, when my son sent me a much coveted invite to Spotify, I decided to take it out for a spin. The installation and registration process were fast and simple. In no time flat I was choosing artists and tracks to play. Spotify has more tracks than its competitors and a great user interface. No training required. Performance was flawless and quality was good. One really neat feature is the ability to create and share play lists. A good friend Tweeted a play list and it took exactly two mouse clicks to begin to enjoy it. The basic service is free, however, there are levels of subscription that offer  advanced features such as playlist synchronization of among devices and offline play.

Mashable published this terrific comparative analysis Spotify infographic of most of the popular services.

Spotify is terrific but for now I am going to have to stay with Slacker. I'm also a fan of Linux (Ubuntu) and Android, and Spotify is only available in early beta on these platforms.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is Your Head in the Cloud

Lots of articles, ads, surveys and research being published these days about the "Cloud." Apparently, there is this mythical vapor land where we can suddenly and magically fulfill all of our computing dreams for mere pennies. In fact, company employees have discovered they can venture into this wonderland without even involving IT.

So what is the Cloud?  I'm not going to explain the difference between IaaS and SaaS but rather point out that the "Cloud" has been with us for a very long time. It just floated out there under a variety of different names. Yes, there are some differences in the offerings today, but fundamentally the Cloud is nothing more than timesharing reincarnated and scaled up to epic proportions.

Way back in the 80's it was possible to request a "virtual machine" and even change its characteristics on the fly. Service bureaus provided processing capabilities that could be accessed remotely. Software could be accessed while it ran on shared systems housed and operated remotely by third parties.

Even today, though seldom thought of it in these terms, companies use lots of "cloud" services (SaaS) for payroll processing, customer tracking and benefits management. We've all been using e-mail in the cloud for years!  Every hear of AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo or MSN?

So what's so different and why all the hype?  In a word accessibility. Never before has so much power and capability been so easy to obtain. You need a few terabytes of storage for a week? It can be obtained from a variety of sources instantly with a credit card.  You want to process 50 million records of purchase data? You can grab a couple of dozen processors and analyze it in short order, again, using a credit card.

Computing power, memory and storage have continued to increase while their unit costs decline. The major cloud service providers have enormous economies of scale. This has created new opportunities. In some cases, it is economically feasible for companies to displace large portions of their internal technology infrastructure or perhaps some applications with external services.

But this is not a panacea. There are many issues and concerns that do not go away when engage a cloud provider. In fact, all the same security, reliability and performance issues you have with internal systems must be addressed in this brave new world.  But that is a story for another day.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Google Plus - Making it Better

After a week of tinkering with the new social network from Google I still like it, but I find it nearly impossible to keep up with the flurry of postings.  Miss a day and it takes hours to wend your way through all the content that has been added. This, by the way, with only a couple of dozen "friends."  I shudder at the thought of how much there would be if I had as many friends here as in Facebook or LinkedIn.

This problem is not unique to Google Plus but there are a couple of improvements they should make to ease the process of wading through your main stream.

For those of you not familiar with Google Plus, the main steam is a consolidated feed from all of the friends in any of your circles. Circles are how you group your friends and who sees what. On the home screen you can choose to view content from one circle at a time or the consolidated stream. Viewing the stream is like drinking from a fire hose. It comes at you too fast and contains far too many comments for each post to make it practical to read through. In my case,  I have discovered it is usually a handful of friends or sites being followed that contribute to the overwhelming amount of content. I moved these overactive sources into their own circle so I can separate their content, read or ignore whole portions of it, but they still crowd the main stream.

Google should introduce a meta-circle which would be a circle of circles. Sure, one could create and maintain such a circle but that would require selectively adding friends in two places. Nested circles would be easier. Better still, imagine you could select one or more circles to display on the main page or somehow exclude one or more from the consolidated stream. This would work too.

While we're on the topic of circles, Google Plus lacks the ability to share a common circle definition. The notion of a public circle is useful for groups of people who want to be associated with each other. Someone would have to own and manage it, but it could be shared among all members eliminating the need for each member to add every new member to their local instance of the circle.

Another missing feature is the ability to collapse all of the comments associated with a post. Facebook is easier to speed through since by default the associated comments are hidden and have to be selected to view. It makes it faster and easier to scan through hours of posts.

Google Plus does have some keystroke shortcuts. In case you didn't know, the letter J will move you to the next posting and K will take you back to the prior post. Using these shortcuts you are able to skip over all the comments. I would prefer a collapse all feature, putting more main posts on one screen and allowing me to choose the posts I want to fully explore.

Finally, I like the ability to mute or dispose of a post from your stream, but it would be better if it only removed it from the stream and left it visible when viewing the circle containing that post. In other words, let me remove the clutter from my home screen without losing these posts forever.  Why not add a variant like Mute Local or Mute Global.

What do you think of these ideas? What would you change about Google Plus to make it better?

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Monday, July 18, 2011

Has Anybody Seen the Bridge

Some people may be wondering where I came up with the title View from the Bridge. If you thought perhaps since I live in New York this referred to the splendor of the Hudson Valley as seen from the Tappan Zee or the glorious Manhattan skyline and the cliffs of the Palisades viewed from the George Washington you were sadly mistaken.

Several years ago I started delivering a talk entitled Getting Out of the Engine Room. It drew a parallel between the engine room of a cruise ship and the IT department of most companies. It put forward the simple argument that, like the engine room, the IT department was absolutely critical but largely invisible. During this talk I ask people  who have been on a luxury liner, if during their cruise, they went below deck to pound on the engine room door and thank the crew inside. As you might expect, this generally evokes quite a few giggles from the crowd. But no hands ever go up.

Last August (2010) a cruise ship had a small engine room fire. This enormous ship lost all motive power, had no heat or light, no prepared food, no entertainment and a lot of miserable passengers. Without the engine room the ship was completely crippled.

Whatever your perspective may be from  inside the engine room, the people outside simply expect flawless operations and failures are typically the only thing they will notice. I encourage IT professionals to get out of the engine room. You have to be up on deck with the rest of the crew and your passengers. Understanding what the crew need and what the passengers want is crucial to your success.  In other words, unless you understand the business and know what customers want you cannot add value in any significant way. If you spend your entire day huddled over a keyboard inside the server room you are out of touch and too focused on technology.

I recall a staff meeting where I asked how many of the IT staff had attended a meeting with a customer or visited a production line. When a relatively small number of hands went up I asked the follow on question; how do you support a business when you don't know what they do?

Of course, it is also highly desirable to be on the same course as the captain. In fact, the ultimate achievement is to be on the bridge helping the captain chart a new course. I wonder how many of you have read the most recent annual report or 10K for your company. Do you have a clear view from the bridge or are you busy stoking the engines without knowing where you are headed.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Friday, July 15, 2011

Coke or Pepsi ?

As if the world of social networks wasn't already set on its ear by the introduction of Google Plus, we learn today that Microsoft may be planning to introduce something called Apparently, due to some unfortunate "accident" the welcome screen for this new service was posted here. It was immediately all the rage in Google Plus threads and other communities. Will Socl be the Facebook killer? Will it stifle the rapid growth of Google Plus? Who will be the ultimate social network king? 

A quick search of this topic will already return hundreds of thousands of hits. All the popular blogger and news services have published stories full of facts and figures and opinions on who is going to win the social network wars. Google Plus has topped 10 million subscribers. Microsoft has hundreds of millions of Hotmail, Skype and other service customers. FB is still the undisputed, all time champ with 750 million plus.

Who cares. 

Use the social network you like and feel most comfortable with. If it doesn't do everything you want, try one of the others. They will all have strengths and weaknesses, and they will probably all continue to exist. There are now numerous add ons and add ins to allow Google Plus users to automatically post to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The other services will eventually return the favor. Already the Plus 1 button is appearing everywhere. More interoperability is, no doubt, on the way.

I certainly won't lose any sleep over which one social network will rule them all. The real danger is I may never sleep again trying to keep up with the posts on all of them. 

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We're Going Mobile

I took a break from the hypnotic pull of Google+ yesterday and met real live humans in person. I know this is pretty old school, but once in a while you have to step away from the keyboard.

In the morning, I tried something new at Starbucks. Oh, I've had a vanilla latte and mocha frappuccinos before but this was the first time I used my smart phone to pay for it. The Starbucks application on my HTC EVO really came in handy as I emerged from the NYC subway. I had a little less than an hour to kill before my first meeting and the app makes it easy to find the nearest Starbucks location. It knows where you are and displays nearby locations on a map. Of course we all know in Manhattan you cannot go six blocks in any direction and without finding a Starbucks. Indeed, one was just a couple of blocks north.

Once inside I waited in line, placed my order and used the payment function on my phone. At the push of a soft button, my phone displays a bar code which is scanned and transfers the exact amount from my account to the register. Simple, safe and convenient. No fumbling with my wallet, counting bills or checking change, or swiping cards. Your phone, usually in your hand anyway, can just be held out, scanned and you are done.

I have been having this same experience for some time at the airport. Automated systems advise and allow you to check in the day before your flight. You can even print a boarding pass at home, speeding the process of getting to the gate (which we all know is a lot more complex these days.) But some airlines permit you to load your boarding pass to your smartphone. Displaying it and holding the phone to the special readers in the security line is fast and avoids the typical paper shuffle.

In other parts of the world, people have been transacting using smartphones for some time. New technologies are being introduced including NFC, a technology that allows smartphones to communicate wirelessly with POS terminals. Since it is likely to take several years for NFC to be included and present in enough phones, we will see methods like the bar code scanner Starbucks uses. A new and innovative approach uses sound. Your phone can produce tones that a register can hear and process in a similar fashion.

We have become an mobile device oriented society, and we can expect more applications will appear and more business will be transacted in this way. Personally, I can't wait. Let's get with it Dunkin. Why do I still have to use a credit card in your store?

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Google+ the new kid on the social network scene

Being a fan, I was excited by the announcement Google were introducing a new service, Google+, extending their suite into social networking territory. I had been equally excited by Buzz and Wave when they were introduced but that excitement didn't last very long. I didn't get much of a buzz from Buzz, and Wave was such an unusual hybrid of email, instant messaging and document editing that I couldn't figure out exactly how you were supposed to use it. And, apparently, I wasn't alone.

But after two days of tinkering with Google+ the excitement continues to build. I find the new construct of circles of friends and the ability to effortlessly share postings with them nothing short of brilliant. Easy to comprehend, simple and yet very powerful. It is like you can have multiple Facebook accounts but all in one place. This may be the first on-line service where one can socialize with friends and business acquaintances. Make a mistake in a post you can go back and correct it. Don't like it any more, you can delete it. Want to share it with more or less people, you can change this. Don't want to see a particular post from someone else you can mute (hide) it from site.

The security model is pretty extensive, yet simple to tune. The integration to other Google features is seamless. And I suspect, before long, we will see integration with the other social nets and a collection of APIs to allow for independent development of interfaces to other products.

I plan to keep experimenting with Google+ and will add more findings as I discover them. There are already millions of users (making this the fastest growing new service) and an enormous about of on-line documentation, opinions and other information.

Give it a try and put me in one of your circles!

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Welcome to the Bridge

I decided that since I have been frequently voicing my opinions at conferences, on-line forums and on other people's web sites, blogs and Twitter accounts, perhaps it was time for me to have a place where I can publish original thoughts as they occur to me.

Partly this was serendipity as I recently posted a comment and the software automatically identified me as the owner of an account on this site. Since the tool is here, the account is set up, and I do occasionally have an original thought, I figured what the heck. Maybe this will even stimulate some discussion or increase the number of followers of my own Twitter account @JPuglisiLLC.

Don't expect to see much here, at least not for a while. This is post number one so if you are reading this today (July 12) I have some news - you are up to date!!

Editor's note: There are now about 168 entries with a new one added every week day. So if you are just reading this for the first time you have a significant amount of catching up to do !!

In the coming days and weeks I expect topics will include the cloud (of course), mobile computing, social networks, big data and other new technologies of interest. I love to play with new devices and software, and never recommend anything I haven't used myself. Let me know if there is anything in particular that might interest you.

Well, let's get this party started. Engine room, full steam ahead. See you on the poop deck.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC