Google puts Wave tutorials on YouTube

Imagine that!  In the “what took so long” category Google has finally released a series of good video training session all about their real-time communication and collaboration tool Google Wave.  I posted last month (read it here) Google is missing a real opportunity surrounding Wave acceptance due to limited access to Wave in groups.

As many have shared on twitter — a lot of people with Google Wave accounts simply “don’t get it” and the new channel on YouTube will provide a great single repository for Wave fans to learn about their real-time collaboration solution.  Wave is a web-based service, computing platform, and communications protocol designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and social networking.


As many have accomplished, Waves around the world have proved to be excellent communication opportunities for individuals.  If Google wants to reach out to small groups and large organizations, they must provide mass accounts to really kick the tires and integrate this promising tool into their infrastructure…..BTW it can help revolutionize a number of outdated ‘workflows’ that are in use today in non-profits, education and business.

Tags: Google Wave, beta software, Collaboration, real-time, communication, test audience, limited preview, trends

Google providing migration tools for Microsoft Exchange

Google is making it easy to switch from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps for email.  Google is providing a migration tool for business and K12 Districts to move from Microsoft Exchange 2003 and 2007 to Google’s Apps suite.  This follows their migration solution for Lotus Notes last summer.


Google migration from Exchange:

The process to migrate looks relatively simple. Through Google Apps, a customer enters their Microsoft Exchange user name and what it calls “two-legged OAuth,” consisting of a consumer user key and a consumer “secret”. They then upload a .CSV file consisting of the email addresses, calendar and contact information. It is optional what to migrate. For example, an IT administrator may upload email addresses and contact data but not the calendar. Email service does not get interrupted during the migration.

Coupled with Google’s offer to provide free anti-spam and anti-virus filtering (Postini) for K12 schools until July 2010 — its getting more and more difficult for Districts to continue using expensive, power hungry ($$$$) and outdated email services like Novell and FirstClass.

Why?  Check out Google’s simple cost calculator to see how much your School District (Tax Payers) can save by switching.  The Oregon School District in Wisconsin left Novell for Google and saved over $11,000 annually.  In tight economic times this makes a lot of sense (and lots of cents)

Latest read: Bursts

I found Albert-Laszlo Barabasi‘s Book Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means a wonderful read (review here) in March of 2008.  It was a wonderful read about the science of networks….both computing and non-computing networks.


Laszlo Barabasi will be releasing a new book Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do at the end of April and if its anything like Linked it will become another best seller.

At the same time Laszlo Barabasi has released a social networking exercise (cool) called BuRSTS “that is a performance in human dynamics, a game of cooperation and prediction, that will gradually unveil the full text of Bursts.”  Talk about hitting a social networking home run!  Now if everyone will start grabbing text…

Linked demonstrated that patterns in space (How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life) while Bursts will focus on patterns in time.

A couple of quotes about this upcoming release:

“In Linked, Barabasi showed us how complex networks unfold in space. In Bursts, he shows us how they unfold in time. Your life may look random to you, but everything from your visits to a web page to your visits to the doctor are predictable, and happen in bursts.”
-Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody

“Barabasi is one of the few people in the world who understand the deep structure of empirical reality.”
-Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan

I think Bursts is going to take us on a new ride.  I’m looking forward to the journey.

Latest read: The Cell

I finished reading The Cell: Inside The 9/11 Plot, and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It and was a bit disappointed. Not due to the writing, but rather I also read Triple Cross: How bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets, and the FBI–and Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him just a couple of months ago and felt it was much more in depth.

the cell

Triple Cross critiques issues addressed as errors in the reporting by the authors John Miller and Michael Stone.  Miller is a noted former investigative journalist with ABC News.
There was much attention drawn to The Cell for two reasons: The ABC movie The Path to 9/11 which was America’s first network movie behind the attack on 9/11 was based upon the book.  Second, it was Miller’s famous 1998 interview with Osama bin Laden.

At that interview Miller learned bin Laden was well on his way to leading al-Qaeda‘s war on America.  The only problem was it was too early for most law enforcement agencies to act upon.

The interview was interesting enough to see how Al was protecting bin Laden and Miller’s recollection of how 15 years old boys were shooting AK-47s next to his ears (as a way to intimidate him) repeatedly as bin Laden arrived for his interview.

Miller shared how he even initially met with bin Laden’s right hand man Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri.  It was quite an interview for Miller and helped establish him as a strong source on terrorism for ABC even before the 9/11 attack.

Continue reading “Latest read: The Cell”

Latest read: Our Endangered Values

Jimmy Carter has been an amazing writer since leaving the White House.  He has written 23 books and I have just finished Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis and found his writing a calming voice in today’s ridiculous world of news bites and aggressive internal rhetoric our “mainstream” news reporting.

our endangered values

I found Carter’s book similar in nature to Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason (review here) in finding a calming, rational leader who is looking to re-establish America’s global leadership through the core values our country was founded upon.

Carter simply lays out his personal, Christian and Presidential arguments for positive leadership reaching from Washington to a global audience.

The opening chapters focus on America’s traditional beliefs, Carter’s own traditional Christian faith, the rise of religious fundamentalism and the growing conflicts among religious people.  He accurately addressed the entwining of Church and State from 1970 to 9/11.

Carter also challenges traditional religious organizations in the South.  The issues of divorce, homosexuality, abortion and the death penalty.  These are emotional issues that reinforce many voters’ shift to the GOP and the Southern Baptist Convention.

An issue that continues to restrain Baptist and GOP leaders is the role of Subservient women in their church. This issue eventually lead to Carter’s exit from the Southern Baptist Convention.

It was interesting to see how his religious upbringing and service to our country as a navy submarine officer shaped his military, global and Presidential views.  Stories of positions on nuclear weapons, the aggressive Soviet Union and China along with the early movement in our country toward a safe environment are all reviewed with great detail.  He remains our country’s elder statesman with good reason stitched into the binding of his book.

Tags: Jimmy Carter, Our Endangered Values, reason, politics, reading, moral crisis, values, America, , religious fundamentalism, southern baptist convention, traditional beliefs, traditional christian faith, trends

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World

I consider Don Tapscott’s Wikinomics essential reading.  I just read his tweet that he and Anthony Williams are releasing MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World in late 2010.

I read his previous book Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything back in 2007 (review here) and I think its just outstanding….minus the role of advanced networks like Internet2 or BoreasNet especially if you live in the Midwest.

Don’t get me wrong I strongly believe Tapscott hit the nail on the head about the future of collaboration in Wikinomics, but he could not realize how important BoreasNet is for the Midwest’s economic growth and green technology futures.  With Boreas now connected to the Northern Tier its making the internet as “flat” as Friedman described in his best selling book The World is Flat: a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century.

Now add a really, really fast network research layer on top of Tapscott’s Ideagoras and the New Alexandrians and you really have something coming together – especially when you consider advanced, big science.

Okay, okay, okay I understand its not sexy to talk about massive data from Large Hadron Collider (LHC) traveling the Midwest via BoreasNet to university research facilities – but just give it another couple of years and the impact will be huge.

This book cannot arrive soon enough….like yesterday.

Tags: Wikinomics, Ideagoras, New Alexandrians, Boreas, Internet2, trends

Impressive update to Google Docs

Google’s impressive tool just received a nice upgrade.  For most users the new updates further justify migrating away from Office.  When you consider Google gives this away for free (especially to schools)….well a good thing just got even better.

From Google:

A better document editor
We’ve brought the responsive, real-time editing experience you’ve come to expect from our spreadsheets over to documents, which means you can now see character-by-character changes as other collaborators make edits. We also added another popular feature from spreadsheets: sidebar chat, so you can discuss documents as you work on them with colleagues.

The new technical foundation also helped us improve document formatting, which means better import/export fidelity, a revamped comment system, real margins and tab stops, and improved image layout within documents. These improvements have been highly requested, but previously impossible to create with the older documents editor on older browsers.

A faster spreadsheet editor
With the new spreadsheets editor, you’ll see significant speed and performance improvements — spreadsheets load faster, are more responsive and scroll more seamlessly. We’ve also added a host of often requested features, like a formula bar for cell editing, auto-complete, drag and drop columns, and simpler navigation between sheets. And as always, real-time collaboration in spreadsheets is easy with sidebar chat and the ability to see which cell each person is editing.

A new collaborative drawing editor
In the year since we launched the Insert drawing tool, we’ve received many requests for the ability to collaborate on drawings and make them accessible directly from the docs list. The new standalone drawings editor lets you collaborate in real time on flow charts, designs, diagrams and other fun or business graphics. Copy these drawings into documents, spreadsheets and presentations using the web clipboard, or share and publish drawings just like other Google Docs.

Tags: Google Docs, performance improvements, Network, trends,

Latest read: In Nixon’s Web

Of all the books written about Watergate and the domino effect those crimes left upon the federal government comes a rather late entry:  In Nixon’s Web: A Year in the Crosshairs of Watergate.

This was is a rather interesting read since L. Patrick Gray wrote his first hand account leading the FBI as Watergate unfolded.

Gray was a political appointment to the FBI by Nixon following the death of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI’s only Director who served over 48 years as the top federal law enforcement officer to appointed by President Calvin Coolidge.

To many inside the FBI his appointment was considered a shock since he was not a career FBI agent, but rather a former Navy officer who left the armed services to campaign for Nixon.

Gray’s son Edward has authored a website regarding the book.  There are interesting segments not only about Gray’s life before the FBI but also his management style that came from his Navy background as a skipper of subs during WWII and the Korean War.  Nixon appointed Gray Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division in the Department of Justice.

Gray’s biggest lesson from Watergate was, as a life long Republican he was ultimately sacrificed by Nixon’s WhiteHouse over his confirmation hearings with the Senate.  He was lead astray by John Ehrlichman and John Dean.  As Director of the FBI he reported to Ehrlichman and not Nixon.  Nixon’s men controlled access to the President.

Terrorist Attack at Chicago O’Hare
One of the surprises is Gray’s revelation of the terrorist attack planned for Chicago’s O’Hare following the 1972 Olympic tragedy.  It was a rather unique peak into history, to understand how the FBI managed the threat and to learn about Gray’s actions to lead the FBI’s response.

Continue reading “Latest read: In Nixon’s Web”