E-tales: Was Computerworld sister mag rated or ranked?

Former Otago District Health Board CIO Michael Swann cites the MIS 100 in his defence against fraud charges

Rated or ranked?

Imagine the surprise of some of those about the e-tales water cooler last week when they came across a report in the Otago Daily Times in which former Otago District Health Board CIO Michael Swann cited our very own publication, the MIS 100, is his defence against fraud charges.

Before being found guilty late on Friday night after lengthy jury deliberations, Swann told the court that, “with the help of Mark Black and ‘some of the other very competent team members’, he upgraded the system until, by the time his employment was terminated in 2006, the ODHB’s IT department was seen by other hospital boards as one of the top performing IT departments in the country, and was rated in the top 50 in Management Information Systems magazine rankings.”

We hate to disabuse Swann of his fancies, but the MIS listing is not one that ranks IT departments on the basis of the quality of their output or their management. Or, indeed, their financial controls. The MIS 100 ranks organisations according to their size, from biggest to smallest.

Originally this was purely on the number of computer screens deployed, and later it was finessed to include turnover and overall number of employees.

So to say it was “rated” is gilding the old lily somewhat. It was ranked.

Suck on that, Sam

IBM CEO Sam Palmisano may have been the first head honcho of a major IT company to get his own Real Life avatar, but CA CEO John Swainson appears to have out-done him at the recent CA World conference.

A Swainson avatar appeared in a Second Life-like environment on the big screens at the conference venue and, according to Computerworld US, the image could be seen “flying majestically through the Las Vegas sky and into the ornately rendered virtual halls of Vegas’ Venetian Hotel”.

When Swainson visited New Zealand several years ago, he struck the Computerworld NZ reporter who interviewed him as being a down-to-earth type. So it was no surprise to read that when “the real thing walked on to the stage, he was chuckling, probably at the silliness of it all”.

“You can’t actually interact”

We’re sure this is fiendishly clever — making an iPhone run Linux — but watching the video demo posted on Computerworld.co.nz last week raised an obvious question: Why?

Gone were all the things that make the iPhone the iPhone, replaced by 1980s-style command lines.

Okay, it’s a first and it’s a work in progress and we don’t all approve of Apple’s incresingly locked down, proprietary approach to business. And, yes, you are very, very clever to make Linux about as appealing on the iPhone as it is on the desktop.

Web2.0rhea and vomit share

UK tech site The Register has coined a new, approriate and somewhat offensive term “Web 2.0rhea”, while describing how blogging software firm Six Apart acquired and killed the Twitter-like Pownce service. After the acquisition, Six Apart announced in an “email sent to Web2.0rhea sufferers” that the micro-bogging app would disappear in thirteen days.

“Backed by Web 2.0 poster child Kevin ‘Digg’ Rose, Pownce made its debut in the summer of 2007, promising an even more vomitous version of Twitter’s stream of 140-character sound-byte consciousness. Unlike Twitter, it was set up to instantly transfer files, and Silicon Valley types were so excited that beta accounts were selling on eBay,” the Register reports. “But in the end, Pownce Web 2.0rhea wasn’t as contagious as Twitter Web 2.0rhea.”

The Register then said it was awaiting the death of Twitter: “It may have the industry-leading vomit share, but it lacks anything close to a business model.”

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