Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Did I spot this in: a.) a 17th Century document drawn up between Sir Hubert de Poncey and his tallow chandler, or b.) a 21st Century digital media contract?

“Now therefore, for good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties hereby agree as follows”…

Friday, December 18, 2009

Who invented the Service Bus?

I’m listening to the Scott Hanselman / Udi Dahan podcast (here) on NServiceBus, and they are just discussing how the service bus model could be applied at the application level, and should not be dismissed as just an Enterprise design pattern (around 14 mins in).

This took me back to the time that James and I were working on an eVB (!?!) application for field engineers using old Windows CE mobile devices. We came unstuck with MSMQ eventually (too long to go into here), but not before we found a use for it in passing messages between multiple eVB applications running on the same device.

Can we lay claim to having invented the Service Bus (this was around ten years ago – when the internet was still 0.9, and the only clouds were in the sky, blocking out the sun)?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spot the difference

On the same day I visited Google at their London HQ, I also visited Microsoft at theirs. One of these two tech behemoths has an open ‘Guest’ Wifi connection throughout the building, that anyone can use.

The other also has a ‘Guest’ network, but theirs is password-protected; you have to apply for a password 24 hours in advance. I’ll leave it up to you to guess which is which.

I cannot understand why any company cannot maintain an open guest network with internet access. Even if it’s password protected to prevent drive-by byte-theft* they can keep one password and post it at reception. It’s totally bizarre. If one company can do it, so can everyone else. These concepts aren’t protected by law.

It’s the same with security online – why is that First Direct can manage an online banking system with a very simple login process that works from any browser, whereas others require a combination of key fobs, dongles and even (yes, that’s you Barclays) a mini-pocket calculator to generate a random password. Couldn’t they just have taken a look around at their peers and adopted best practice?

* This does happen - my builder admitted last week that he doesn’t have a working internet connection, he steals his neighbour’s; when he’s out and about he simply parks up in a residential neighbourhood and sees who’s got an open connection.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Google-ising (pt 2)

So I’ve now visited the London branch of the Chocolate Factory and can confirm it’s everything you’d hope for; good spots include someone sitting in a deckchair working, another in a massage chair, and a Segway parked up on the fourth floor.

All joking aside, the most interesting part was the relationship between sales and engineering. As explained (by a sales person, and without irony) in the lift on the way up, sales and marketing are on the bottom floor, below engineering, both physically and metaphorically. This was backed up by the reverential awe with which we were introduced to a real live Google coder, who could only spend 30 minutes with us before being stolen away by another sales team.

A fascinating couple of hours inside the machine, unfortunately just hours before they were all presented with their new phones, so I can’t confirm anything about their existence or otherwise.