Though I have tailed off a bit from my ridiculous pace of two years ago, I still go see a lot of live music. Although many of these acts make a mint, it’s not an easy life. I can only imagine how difficult it is to be on the road for months at a time. It’s hard enough for me, and I’m only gone one or two nights at a time. Though it’s not like I’m staying at the Ritz every night (don’t tell Rich I’m staying at the Ritz, okay?).
But there are examples of bands that do a job and earn their money every night. Let me highlight two great examples. First off, I saw Green Day during the summer. Those guys are one of the biggest bands in the world right now, but they haven’t forgotten where they came from. They played for almost 3 hours, had folks doing stage dives, and even gave a guitar to a lucky audience member. At one point they all dressed in drag for a few laughs.
And repeatedly they made the point about how much they appreciated their fans and that they give everything every night to make sure the fans get their money’s worth. They know that seeing a rock concert is a luxury for many people, and are grateful their fans choose to spend money they may not have to see them play music.
Next I’ll highlight Styx. I saw them a few weeks ago on their Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight tour. They played each album in its entirety and it was like stepping into a time machine. These guys haven’t had a hit record in decades, but they are able to travel around and play their classics year after year. And folks like me show up every time, which I assume provides a decent living for guys who probably carry AARP cards. They get how lucky they are and they play like it. It was a great show.
I guess my point is that we all have fans, whatever that definition is. Folks who allow you to do what you do. Do you appreciate them? Really?
In the day to day mayhem of deadlines and other demands, I need to remember that without our readers and contributors, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love. With Thanksgiving coming up, I want to let you know how appreciative I am. For all of you who read our stuff, who show up when we pontificate, and who ask for our advice, thank you. I know I speak for Rich and Adrian as well. We know how good we have it, and that’s because of you.
So before you take off for the long weekend (if you are in the US, anyway), make sure your fans know you appreciate them. I know they’d appreciate being appreciated.
Photo credits: “Starsky & Hutch Appreciation Fan Club originally uploaded by Ged Carroll
Incite 4 U
- Truth in advertising? – Stop reading this and click this link. Read the words in the picture very carefully. Doesn’t it make a pretty acronym? Mike is pretty slow, so I’ll spell it out. The first letters of McAfee’s three attributes (Focused, Unwavering, & Dedicated) spell out FUD. Really. You have to see it to believe it. I have a really hard time believing this was completely accidental, and nobody at McAfee was sniggering when they came up with it. Perhaps some marketing wonk misunderstood the meaning. Perhaps someone knew what they were doing, and wanted to see if they could pull a fast one. Perhaps this was a Titanic example of proofreading FAIL. I actually saw that while driving to my hotel for an appointment today, but only off in the distance when I couldn’t read it. Anyway, I suspect it won’t be up for long, which is too bad because it shows a heck of a sense of humor. Maybe. – RM
- Why bother? – The SQL Server 2008 option for massively parallel servers is going to be late. Actually, it’s already late, but it’s going to be even late-er-er or something like that. But the question in my mind is why? Why play this game at all? Why try to be the biggest and fastest relational database out there when performance benchmarks have not been a major buying considerations for databases in 15 years. Teradata has a killer database that scales great … but it’s not exactly dominating the market. Look at super-fast databases and database hardware providers historically, and tell me how they have generally done. Ant? Sequent? Yeah, exactly. I can see why Microsoft would like to be a player in that lucrative field, but the number of firms willing to spend $40k per processor on giant mission critical transaction processing systems is dwindling. BI and data warehousing is moving to generic cloud based non-relational data stores that perform 10 to 100 times better, but can be leased at fractions of the price. And the requirements of the data warehousing market are changing. My guess is that cloud services will be “good enough”, and this will be a case where “cheap, fast, and easy” cuts the massively parallel server market down before Microsoft arrives on the scene. – AL
- Ray Noorda rolls in his grave… – Like Shimmy, I remember when Novell was the king of networking. In fact, I cut my teeth on a Novell LAN (Token Ring, in fact) and am happy to say I have a CNE (that lapsed probably 20 years ago). But Novell is no more. It’s being acquired by Attachmate for a cool $2.2 billion. And that doesn’t seem to include some intellectual property that Microsoft is buying. It seems Attachmate is becoming a friendly CA, in that they buy mature, slow-growth businesses with big customer bases and the associated maintenance streams. Novell does compete in some growth markets like Identity Management, SIEM, and desktop management – but really the private equity guys are using leverage to buy cash flow. It’s a good model for the investors – not sure for customers. Remember NetIQ? Heard anything lately from them? Right, not so much. They are owned by Attachmate too. Guess they are too busy milking the cash cow to worry about innovation or press releases. – MR
- The Cloud Provider Full Employment Act – For those of you thinking the whole cloud thing is just an overhyped headline, try not to think too much about where your tax dollars are going. That’s right, it seems that the federal government is mandating a preference for cloud computing for pretty much… anything. Basically the OMB is telling agencies that they must give preference to cloud services if they can meet requirements for security, compliance, and a few other things. Okay, maybe that excludes some cloud services, but it hasn’t so far. Since the US federal government is the single biggest IT spender in the world, this could be provide a serious boost for the hype-ridden cloud market. And if you still think cloud is just a trend, remember that the feds are still rolling out PKI. The only thing that ever dies in government is your soul. – RM
- Cutting in on the action – Companies automate customer visible services by offering web portals. Financial institutions automate stock analysis and trading systems. Every time I call a company to get help with a problem they have some brain dead automated call software to avoid having a human help me. So what’s wrong with programming software to buy tickets? What’s wrong with using a computer to pose as a person? How is using a computer to solve a problem like CAPTCHA hacking? How is hiring Bulgarians to write CAPTCHA solving software a crime, and not just ‘outsourcing’? Writing code to defeat a CAPTCHA is not fraud, and if using a computer “to complete financial transactions faster than any human, giving them an edge …” is a crime, the prosecutors need to charge every executive of every Wall Street financial firm. I am not saying no crime was committed – and naming your company ‘WiseGuy Tickets’ is really asking for it – but I just don’t get it. I never understood why it’s illegal to scalp tickets while TicketMaster gets away with 45% service charges, so what is being described does not sound like a cybercrime, but rather successful entrepreneurism. – AL
- Is it easier to clean up the mess? – My man Shack makes a great point about how many of the things we need to do are considered too hard. As per usual, Dave is right on the money. It is hard to deploy white listing on a subset of your most important assets. It’s hard to get developers to think even a little about security before rolling that application out to the world. It’s hard to encrypt data at rest and on mobile devices. It’s also hard to do egress filtering. In fact, everything is hard. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. What we are doing is clearly not working, so maybe it’s time to try some of these things that have been ringing in the echo chamber for years. Or I guess you can stay on the easy path, which involves constantly re-imaging your machines, disclosing breaches to your customers, and addressing audit deficiencies. I guess hard vs. easy is more about your comfort zone and your ability to get your organization to think a little differently. – MR