Here's something interesting: "September 11 study shows flu spreads by airplane" (Reuters).
The 2001-02 flu season in the United States was delayed. The best explanation researchers have is the shutdown of air traffic in the United States for several days because of the attacks on September 11, 2001. By limiting people's travel and interactions, the flu virus didn't spread as much as usual. The air travel freeze acted as a natural experiment that confirmed what scientists had long suspected but been unable to prove.
One lesson is that in a pandemic, such as bird flu, it may be necessary to severely restrict air travel until vaccinations and treatments can be developed.
Separately, the shutdown also served as a natural experiment for scientists studying the influence of high-flying aircraft on Earth's climate: "September's Science: Shutdown of airlines aided contrail studies" (Science News).
This reminds me of the kinds of trends they're able to determine in Freakonomics.[Read More]
Bobby Woolf: WebSphere SOA and JEE in Practice
From archive: September 2006 X
Business Week magazine ran a really interesting article a month ago, "IBM's Revved-up Software Engine."
Sandy Carter (IBM VP of SOA Marketing) reviewed it in Business Week Article Rocks!!! She does a great job discussing the highlights, so I won't repeat that here.
The article, and Sandy as well, make a point that I spoke of in IBM Software: One-Third of IBM Profits--the IBM Software Group is quite profitable. I have a quick analysis on my wiki.
I conclude "Software, compared to Global Services, produces one-third the revenue and yet $2 B more in profit." And according to the article, Software revenue is growing thanks to SOA and IBM's dominant position in SOA. And as Software revenue grows, it has a multiplier effect for profits and IBM's bottom line. Pretty cool.[Read More]
Would you like to practice working with a team designing software? Then check out DesignFest.
DesignFest is an excellent workshop at the OOPSLA conference; it's free to conference registrants. OOPSLA 2006 is just a month away, October 22-26 in Portland, Oregon. So make your plans soon if you want to be there.
DesignFest is a one-day workshop where you're part of a 4-6 person team presented with requirements for a simple software application. Your team designs a solution and then develops a prototype by the end of the day. DesignFest coaches, experienced industry practitioners, help the team with this process. It's a really great chance to do some hands-on work, experiment with different techniques, practice working nicely with others in a somewhat pressure-filled situation, and generally learn a lot.
I participated in DesignFest a couple of years ago, specifically with a team using Extreme Programming (XP), the Eclipse IDE, JUnit, etc. I got to participate first hand in the XP planning process and a couple of 2-hour iterations. I learned a lot, and it really sold me on XP in a way that a bunch of PowerPoint slides would not have.
Whether you choose to be on an agile team or a more traditional one, Java or .NET, DesignFest is a great way to improve your design skills. Check it out.[Read More]
Thinking about OOPSLA has gotten me thinking about my favorite part: the tutorials.
Back when I got started using OO, good training was hard to find. But each year OOPSLA had a great concentration of tutorials by academics and practitioners teaching practical advice on how to do your job better. I learned a lot this way; I might dare say that I got more out of the tutorials than I did out of the main conference itself. These days there are more places to learn Java, .NET, and so on, but the problem with free resources on the Web is that often you get what you pay for. Pound for pound, OOPSLA tutorials pack a lot of education into a relatively small cost.
The OOPSLA 2006 Tutorials (they're easier to browse in the conference program PDF) continue the tradition. Some tutorials that look especially interesting:
So, lots of good stuff to learn, lots of variety. OOPSLA is just a month away, so if you'd like to attend, start planning today.[Read More]
There's a new Insight and outlook column in the developerWorks Architecture Zone: "What are the most influential trends facing developers today?"
My answer is, "The-network-is-the-computer on steroids."
For previous columns, see What are the top IT architecture issues?[Read More]
Wish you could configure your DataPower appliance from the WAS admin console?
The Integrated DataPower Management for WebSphere Application Server enables you to do so (as documented on my wiki).[Read More]
If you've got to do real-time programming, which would you rather use: Ada 95, C, or C++; or Java?
WebSphere Real Time (on my wiki) enables you to develop Java programs that deliver predictable response times. It implements the Real-time Specification for Java; see Real-Time Java (It's About Time).
There are also other IBM Java Developer Kits available.[Read More]