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Showing posts from October, 2009

Court Executives (Should) Have Their Heads in the Clouds

The launch this month of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 7, marks the end of one era of information technology and the start of another, says the Economist (“Briefing Cloud Computing,” October 17, 2009). Windows is not going to disappear but it will be much less important in the future.

Cloud Computing

Much of the computing we do today on our computers in our homes and offices will soon be – so to speak - in the “clouds,” and not on our personal computers, where Windows resides today. Instead, desktop computing on personal computers – featuring full-featured database and spreadsheet capabilities – is being replaced by IT architectures that call for the heavy lifting to be performed by external data centers accessible to us over the Internet.

Cloud computing is attracting an enormous amount of attention. The term “cloud computing” is a metaphor that originated with IT architects who routinely used cloud shapes to depict the flow of data from unknown external sources instea…

Rankings Based on Outcomes

Today's Wall Street Journal printed my letter to the Editor on the value of rankings focused on outcomes, a topic that has occupied this space often:

Most “number guys” can criticize performance measures, especially rankings, in their sleep because most measures are imperfect. Carl Bialik (“Ill-Conceived Ranking Makes for Unhealthy Debate,” The Numbers Guy, Oct. 21) takes the easy route for a cheap shot at the dated and flawed World Health Care low 37th ranking of the U.S. in the world in health care. He suggests that the “unhealthy debate” caused by the U.S. ranking would be cured by more methodological rigor and that, in any event, we shouldn’t rank everything, especially health care. I wonder if Mr. Bialik thinks that our debate about health care would be healthier if the U.S. ranked let’s say 12th in the world using methods that pass muster with the scientific community. I suspect that most of us would like to see the U.S. in first place and that even 12th place would not chan…