Sydney 1-5 Dec 08: 6th International Conference on Service Oriented Computing

Just wanted to let people know about the 6th International Conference on Service Oriented Computing (ICSOC 2008) which will be held in Sydney Australia 1-5 December 2008. 

This has been described as the “top-tier academic conference in the area of service-oriented computing, an area of ICT focused on enabling that different businesses can collaborate and achieve common business goals despite the fact that their software systems might be distributed over the Internet, run on different platforms, and implemented in different programming languages”.

ICSOC 2008 in Sydney offers a diverse program with presentations of peer-reviewed papers, 4 keynotes from leading researchers and industry experts, demo sessions, 5 workshops, a PhD student symposium, and several tutorials by world-renowned experts. 

This is a great opportunity to learn about the recent advances in service oriented computing and the benefits that they offer to businesses.  It’s also a good excuse to come to Sydney, which is pretty nice this time of year.

You can still get ‘early bird’ registration rates until 31 October 2008, and there’s more info about the conference at

Social Implications of Social Computing #1

Social computing has exploded and is changing the world we knew in a number of ways that impact on education. But social computing is not so much changing the world as it is changing student’s expectations of what kind of technology they should use in their everyday life and how they should interact with other people using that technology. This is a revolution akin to the telegraph and radio in its capacity to change the world we live in. For our learners technology is just part of the furniture for them, they are truly digital natives who have different beliefs and expectations.

A great example of this was at a friend’s place recently and her 3 year old brought over the TV remote and said it was broken. We finally worked out that she thought it was broken because she was unable to interact with the TV in the same way is with the PC.

This change gives rise to a number of interesting questions about learning and by implication about teaching.

Mark Pesce said recently that we are now connected, not by 6 degrees of separation, but by as little as one. Hyperconnectivity is being experienced by participants in the social media and social networked worlds.

Realtime, all the time, people are connected with their social networks and via mobile devices (not just phones anymore). This is not just a western phenomenon, as Mark has mentioned, even fishermen in remote villages are using mobile phones to help them to run their businesses better.

Thus there is a generation gap, but it is not based on age any more. Instead it is based on our relationship with technology. This gap is in relation to technology use and expectations. We have on the one side people like some of my friends who have only recently become comfortable with using email, and who only the use their mobile phones to make phone calls and who can’t imagine why you’d do anything else with a mobile phone. These people watch TV when the shows are broadcast and would probably be surprised and/or uninterested to hear of a different way. On the other side we have people I tend to call the digital folk – they use a plethora of digital devices, PCs, iPods, mobile devices, etc. They use these devices to do their work and to manage their social lives. One group is still living in the traditional world and the other inhabits a highly connected digitally connected world.

The interesting thing about all this social media is that users are starting to mix and match – consume it on their own terms. The digital folk, and this includes many of our young people, are mixing and matching platforms and devices to form a web of connections. They are interconnecting their activities on different media and platforms, for example, Facebook takes Twitter feeds which feed into SMS and are sent to mobile devices. And now with data capable phones like Nokia’s N95 or E71; Apple’s iPhone (a.k.a. the Jeebus phone); or the HTC Touch series of phones – data connectivity is mobile.

Think about this, some of our digital folk don’t remember when you could not buy stuff online; they think it is normal to order groceries online; and can’t imagine queuing all night to purchase tickets to a gig. They get it online and when they want.

One common thread in all of this that digital activity – social networking, shopping, consuming media – is no longer necessarily happening while stationary at home in front of the PC. A lot of this consumption is on the move using mobile devices.

More on this later …

6 Things, 6 Tags (Chain Letter ‘08)

Before I re-launch normal transmission, I must play the 6 Things game because @shoesmitten tagged me.

So, here are Six (Interesting?) Things About Me That You Might Not Have Known:

  1. I am the eldest of five siblings – some have linked my bossiness to this.
  2. All of my handbags are black and I often think I should get another colour but never do.
  3. My favourite foods are chicken laksa and es cendol.
  4. My one real addiction is shoes, even though I tend to wear my riding boots most of the time.
  5. I’m studying law part time but it might be early next century when I graduate at the rate I’m going.
  6. My hobby is my work and I really enjoy helping people to use technology effectively to drive their build their business.

Tag you’re it – would be good to post your links in comments so I can find out about you too:


Over web 2.0 and not talking about it any more

Bye Bye Web 2.0

In fact, I’ve always been uncomfortable with the term web 2.0 and it is seriously starting to annoy me now.  Thus I have decided to excise it from my vocabulary.  

Henceforth it shall be referred to throughout my domain as social computing – and that term encompasses all ideas, notions and stuff (like social media, new media, social networking, etc) that used to be called that other name.

There I feel much better now!  But I still like my reflective logos 🙂

UPDATE 23 Oct 2008:  I’m including the term web x.0 in this ban, so don’t expect me to talk about web 3.0, web 4.0, or any other x.0!   Thanks to @wmeissner for helping to clarify this 🙂

From Microwaves to Light: Biomedical Applications of Numerical Electromagnetics

Anyone who has some time to spare on 27 Oct should check out this seminar by an eminent woman in engineering Prof. Milica Popovi?.  She’s from the McGill University, Montréal, Québec in Canada.

Venue: Macquarie University, North Rye, Building E6A, Room 133
Time: 2-3pm, Monday 27 October, 2008

Topics covered are: (1) research on microwave breast cancer detection. The novel screening technique, based on electrical contrast of cancerous and healthy breast tissue at microwave frequencies, is still at the infant stage. Studies to date suggest that this method could resolve small, early-stage breast tumors in a safe, non-ionizing, non-invasive, comfortable and cost-effective manner. The presentation will address the several aspects of our study related to microwave breast tumor imaging: design of a suitable broadband antenna sensor, multiple antenna arrangements for co- and cross-polarized tumor response, sensitivity of the novel technique to the presence of heterogeneity inherent to the mammary tissue and proposed design of the screening device.

And (2) high frequencies: numerical study on light interaction with human retinal photoreceptors. The chemical processes, which occur during this interaction, as well as how they result in our perception of color, are well known. The goal of the investigations was to tackle the following question: do the geometrical and electrical properties of the photoreceptors result in filtering effects that also participate in the color perception? Results suggest that this may well be the case.

More info: 
Electronic Engineering Department, ICS Division
Phone: + 61 2 9850 9141 Fax: + 61 2 9850 9128
Email: or

Seminar jointly sponsored by Macquarie University Electronic Engineering Department, 
IEEE NSW AP/MTT Chapter and Macquarie University IEEE Student Branch


Please note that visitors who do not have Macquarie parking permits can park only in designated “casual” parking areas. Parking fees apply. Several campus maps are available at, some with parking information. One colour maps shows the casual parking areas in yellow. Finding a parking spot could be difficult at the time of the seminar. You may have to park in the west end of the campus (close to building X6A or Australian Film, TV and Radio School) and walk for about 10 minutes to reach the seminar venue (E6A) in the east end.

New Improved Twitter Top 50 from @nickhac, now with web 2.0 goodness

The indefatigable Nick Holmes a Court over at Shifted Pixels has updated his Australia’s Top 50 Twitter Influencers (aka The Twitterati Top 50)

Using the power of web 2.0 goodness his list now updates automatically and can be embedded – guaranteed to keep people tweeting madly!

I notice that it has also upgraded to the top 100 twitterers, follow them at your peril …

More thoughts on Enterprise 2.0

Was trying to clarify my ideas about Enterprise 2.0 recently and realised the most important thing is that it enables the agile enterprise. Social software or web 2.0 technology allows connection of core business systems and processes with the people that need to access them.

That is, it enables an organisation to be more flexible and respond quickly to changes in market conditions, new technology, regulatory and consumer demands.

It also enables the agile enterprise to reach out beyond its organisational boundaries and to initiate conversations with stakeholders that were once almost impossible. It provides the ability to create an environment where dialogue is possible – dialogue between managers and staff, between company staff and consumers, and between company staff and suppliers.

One of the biggest challenges facing organisations is that of silos – of information, connections and power. It has been very difficult to effectively direct organisational resources in a focused way.

One approach to address this dilemma has been stronger attempts at top down control, better reporting systems like balanced scorecards and data marts. Using the maxim if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it businesses have measured and reported in an attempt to better harness organisational resources. But in fact, we still find it difficult to get people to work across the internal boundaries of the organisation to help deliver the kind of results we need. This is where Enterprise 2.0 comes into its own.