October 29, 2004

You Can't Kill Them All

If you live in America, chances are you know someone who's been sent to Iraq. Most of them aren't home yet, but hopefully the number who don't return will be small. Because every casualty is a life-altering event for the family and their community.

In the scale of tragedies, then, I'm stunned and shocked at this Lancet report that the civilan casulaties in Iraq probably number a hundred thousand. When an occupying army kills civilians - men, women, children - they create persistently motivated enemies. The single most lasting effect of this war will have been to create a radicalized generation intent on the downfall of the USA.

We estimate that 98000 more deaths than expected (8000-194000) happened after the invasion outside of Falluja and far more if the outlier Falluja cluster is included. The major causes of death before the invasion were myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accidents, and other chronic disorders whereas after the invasion violence was the primary cause of death. Violent deaths were widespread, reported in 15 of 33 clusters, and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children. The risk of death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58 times higher (95% CI 81-419) than in the period before the war.

Summary in the Johns Hopkins press notice. Interview between Spencer Ackerman and one of the report's authors. Reuters summary.

October 21, 2004


Must be election season, or something.

Barry Briggs is perplexed:

Jeff is casting his vote for Dubya, which goes to show that there are intelligent people voting for Bush, a phenomenon I accept but don't understand.

William Gibson knows how to say what he means:

Reagan's presidency put the grit in my dystopia. His presidency was the fresh kitty litter I spread for utterly crucial traction on the icey driveway of uncharted futurity.

The painfully sober New York Times sounds pissed.

Politicians like to tell scary tales about their opponents; the Republicans have been complaining that Mr. Kerry keeps accusing Mr. Bush of secretly planning to reinstate the draft. But what the Bush campaign is doing is far more serious and can't be dismissed as a particularly ridiculous bit of political theater. The Republicans' habit of suggesting that a vote for Mr. Kerry is a vote for the terrorists - a notion that drew an embarrassing endorsement from President Vladimir Putin this week - is a reminder of the reckless way this administration has squandered the public trust on public safety.

Hunter S. Thompson, never one to hold back, is holding forth:

Your neighbor's grandchildren will be fighting this stupid, greed-crazed Bush-family "war" against the whole Islamic world for the rest of their lives, if John Kerry is not elected to be the new President of the United States in November.

The question this year is not whether President Bush is acting more and more like the head of a fascist government but if the American people want it that way. That is what this election is all about. We are down to nut-cutting time, and millions of people are angry. They want a Regime Change.

Some people say that George Bush should be run down and sacrificed to the Rat gods. But not me. No. I say it would be a lot easier to just vote the bastard out of office on November 2nd.

Or, if you're bandwidth-rich and just looking for a break from scheduled programming, try undergroundclips .


Damon: what a hero. "This is a 25-man team, and we play like it."

October 18, 2004

Enterprise Data Bridge

Today, Groove announced a new server package: "Enterprise Data Bridge". (See also the product details page).

I think this is a major event, and really important, so here's a quick rundown of the "what" and "why".

EDB has two components. First: a V3 version of the Groove Enterprise Integration Server (v2.5 of which has been shipping for some time). This is a high-capacity device capable of being a member of thousands of Groove spaces at once. Second: a version of Casahl ecKnowledge with a Groove-Connector. Casahl's product is a general-purpose data switch: it can be configured for one-shot or continuous data mapping from A to B, uni- or bi-directionally (in other words, full replication), where A and B are any of: {Oracle, SQLServer, DB2, Informix, Access, SAP R3, SharePoint, Notes, Exchange, Groove, and more}. It's a really powerful engine for linking different systems, for application migration, and for building cross-application business processes.

There's an interesting technology deveopment on the Groove side, too. Most of my work with EIS has been in building "in-process" Bots, which live on the server and take part in Groove dynamics transactions. That's too difficult to be readily repeatable... and EDB takes a different approach. The Casahl bridge is out-of-process, using Groove Web Services to the V3 Forms tool. Both of which I've talked about a little before. Yowza.

This is an off-the-shelf, general-purpose integration point - you don't need custom Groove bots or tools. Coupled with the low-development-overhead Forms tool, it's now possible for averagely-savvy business users to build applications which build out onto distributed infrastructure.

Update: Michael Sampson points to a Network World writeup which is worth reading.

October 12, 2004

Groove Rapid Solutions Exchange

Check this out:

The Rapid Solutions Exchange is a collection of Groove Workspace templates containing custom Forms-based tools. Each template focuses on a specific theme or strategic area.

The list below includes the templates available today. Over the next few months we will be adding many more.

Lots of really nice, powerful, easy-to-use, out-of-the-box applications. More coming. Submit your own too.

I'm proud to have had a small part in this. We're beginning to show off what Groove with the V3 Forms tool can really do.

October 08, 2004

Tornado This!

If you want to watch Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry at home, there's a torrent (650MB .MOV). Here, that's about a half-hour download...


So, what happened to BitTornado?

October 01, 2004

Moving to Grooving

Something subtle has been happening at work, and I only really noticed when firing up the PC this morning. Log in, start the apps: Groove, Firefox, Notes, and VMWare (where my current development project lives).

Everything's in Groove. (Everything except BlogLines, and I'm not even pretending to keep up with the weblogs now - it's strictly for recreation only. I'll fire up IE later to use MSDN, probably. And Visual Studio, no doubt).

This morning I have one email. There's nothing new for me in the other Notes databases I look at regularly (the design reference library, my bug list). An open-and-shut case; I can close Notes for a few hours (until I want to check email again).

Groove, on the otherr hand, suddenly went from being "what we make" to "how we work". That's happened since V3 shipped. Wow.