Chris J Powell

Are you an Agent of Change…or Just along for the Ride?

It doesn’t matter what role you play or what industry that you are in, there are those moments that you can see something on the horizon…it may be hazy, it may be out of focus…but you know that something is coming.  Our daily lives have us riding along the Information Super Highway at ever faster speeds and that hazy object becomes clear for only a fleeting second. There is a choice that can be made when we first notice that hazy object way off in the distance.  We can choose to ignore it, we can choose to bring that object into focus or we can just wait for it to come along and let it sweep us up. I have decided that I am going to focus on those objects on the horizon.  I am just not happy if I wait for someone else to take the lead and tell me what Change will bring.  The big picture is not always full of Sunshine and Lollipops but despite many people telling me that it is a bad thing to try … Read more

Fueling Growth…What will the Future Hold?

All around the world very smart people are looking at how will the future unfold and sustain the next generation.  Is the future really about Green Technology? Is Information the Next Oil? Will humanity need to choose between the Environment and Quality of Life? Is Western Society in an unrecoverable decline?  In looking out to the Interwebz today and over the past week after having several discussions with my clients about Innovation I wonder…How can I help to Fuel Growth? When working with my customers who are for the most part IT Professionals (although I do work with several HR Professionals as well) I see a common thread among them all…they want to be a positive vessel of change for their organization.  Maybe it is because I sell ideas that I am lucky enough to have so many very positive and forward thinking people that keep me on top of my game but I wonder…how can I take this and Fuel Growth not only for my own company…but for the businesses that I strive to interact with every day? There … Read more

Death of the Desktop? Looks Like the End is Nigh!

Windows 8 as a platform is struggling trying to find its Identity.  If you look at Microsoft numbers they are saying that it is the most successful version of Windows to date…but they said that about Windows Me and Vista too so I have a tough time buying that.  The move to the Metro Interface was a bold move by the Enterprise Desktop Giant and signaled that they were ready to take on the Post PC Era and go head to head against all comers. The real question that I have is what will be Microsoft’s next move.  The Surface Tablet has had lackluster uptake, the Windows Phone Platform is not the success that they wanted and across the board PC and Laptop Sales are down globally. Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q12 (Units) Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad. Data is based on the shipments selling into channels. So with yet another drop in Global PC Sales (with Lenovo and Asus being the only … Read more

The Things about Technology that FRUSTRATE ME

There is no doubt that I love technology and all the wonderful things that it can do for me. In a moment’s notice I can be checking out the latest gadgets coming out of China and then switch over and listen to all my favorite music in streaming glory, then hop into Gamer Mode and have a rousing game of Ghost Recon with some guys in Poland that I will never meet.  It is amazing how connected we are and how easy technology has made things…until we peel back the layers and want to make things really happen! There are things that truly still get my ire up when it comes to technology and I am far more calm about these things than most would be, I guess it is my time spent using Open Source products that has given me some perspective. 1. New OS on Old Hardware There has been more than one occasion in the past that I have tried to update the OS on an older computer, both for myself, for friends and for family only … Read more

Open Source in the Enterprise

Companies around the globe are leveraging the power of Open Source Applications and Infrastructure solutions on a daily basis.  Things like Apache Web Server, Firefox Web Browser, Pidgin Communicator and WordPress are used without question of their origin, status or the fact that the capability of the services provided are indeed Open Source but there still seems to be a stigma that surrounds the world of Open Source. Open Source in the Enterprise does not need to be a dirty little secret.  Earlier this year, Barclays announced that they had cut nearly 90% of their software spend by driving towards more Open Source applications.  In an article with V3, a spokesperson for Barclays stated that while they were continuing to work with existing vendors they: “We’ve been making significant savings in our technology platform by doing a lot of the work in house to develop and launch our own applications rapidly,” This is a massive company that has reaches into both Finance and Insurance and by all accounts can be considered a premier brand by any consideration.  In their 2012 … Read more

Open Data Around the World

I am a big fan of Information being free.  Society as a whole benefits from the sharing of data and I recently stumbled across a very interesting site that has started to catalog the state of Open Data from across the Globe.  The Open Data Census is a collection of the worlds Open Data Sets and focuses on the sharing of the connections to open information that can be accessed by anyone and this project is part of the Open Knowledge Foundation. The reality is, Open Data is not only a new term it is actually in many ways a little scary to think of just how much information is collected by the governments that we elect.  In going through the Open Knowledge Foundation site you get a better understanding that while the volume of information that is collected is scary, the core benefits that it provides is truly limitless. The Video comes from the recent Lift Conference and the founder of OFK and Rufus Pollock is a champion of the Open Data Movement.  The revolution that we are now … Read more

Infographic of the Day – The Next Big Thing?

When one of my clients (who has become very influential in my drive to continue this blog) posted on his linked in that he had just got a 3D Printer…I was at the same time both a little jealous and also had to scratch my head and wonder why.  But that wonder why very quickly disappeared because having a 3D Printer would be beyond just a fun addition to a Geeks Basement Lab…it may just be the future…and it is here now. Today’s Infographic is brought to you by Sculpteo one of the many new business concepts that has come from the concept of producing custom products at home for fun or profit.  They not only have become a repository for the world of designs but also are a leading supplier of the materials used for producing these amazing next generation products! Cheers, Chris J Powell

Applying Game Theory to Life

The concept of looking at Game Theory and applying it to my life has been an ongoing concept that has been driving me towards success.  As I look deeper into the concept and focus on the applicability of the structure and concepts that power the Game Layer of our lives I wonder if it is really possible to turn my life into a Multiplayer Game that every move is planned for and in -some way choreographed? I have been accused of being far too analytic about everything that I do and this concept does not change that accusation but the reality is…Life is a Game…why not play it! There are lots of great resources out there on the Interwebz to point you in the direction of the application of Game Theory to your life.  I like the idea that there is process for building a better tomorrow and that every action that we take today has a butterfly effect that expands out like ripples in a pond. The 7 week course that I am taking on this concept is really … Read more

The Future is NOW! But Are We Really Getting Dumber?

Never before in human history has there been the ability for anyone to find anything the way we can today.  There really is no excuse for any person to say…I Don’t Know anymore.  Some may say that the advent of the internet has made us stupid…I say that we may not remember things the same way but that option to offload the memory capacity to an external resource like Google or any other Search Engine has freed up our ability to process information! Back in July of 2008 there was an article published in the Atlantic titled “Is Google Making Us Stupid” and there are several key points that while they may be true…or at least generally true, there was not the consideration that Human Evolution kicks in and we adapt to our environment. One of the obvious areas that has changed is our attention span.  Gone are the days for most of us when we would head off to the library or to the book store and purchase a good book, bring it home and voraciously read it…now that … Read more

Will ARM Based Servers be the Next Big Thing?

With a Global movement to reduce the power consumption of Data Centers (a report from Green Peace last year pins the carbon foot print of Data Centers at about 2% of the total world wide), ARM and Intel Atom based servers are moving up stream at a very fast pace.  I did some digging and most of the big players are leveraging ARM Servers in clusters…and are currently in proof of concept.  I thought I would take a look at a few of them today. We have all experienced the power of ARM based processors take our Mobile phones from Text Messaging devices to fully enabled mobile computers but to think that this same power could be then applied into a Data Center is absolutely incredible.  Combine that with the maturity of current Virtualization technology and it is actually an impressive move towards energy and space efficiency! The HP Project MoonShot is one such proof of concept design that leverages the power of Cluster Computing and in many cases could replace a large chunk of a Data Center with a … Read more