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Richard Hackathorn

Welcome to my blog stream. I am focusing on the business value of low latency data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse (DW) appliances, use of virtual world technology, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of business intelligence. However, my blog entries may range widely depending on current industry events and personal life changes. So, readers beware!

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About the author >

Dr. Richard Hackathorn is founder and president of Bolder Technology, Inc. He has more than thirty years of experience in the information technology industry as a well-known industry analyst, technology innovator and international educator. He has pioneered many innovations in database management, decision support, client-server computing, database connectivity, associative link analysis, data warehousing, and web farming. Focus areas are: business value of timely data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse appliances, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of BI.

Richard has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications, presented regularly at leading industry conferences and conducted professional seminars in eighteen countries. He writes regularly for the BeyeNETWORK.com and has a channel for his blog, articles and research studies. He is a member of the IBM Gold Consultants since its inception, the Boulder BI Brain Trust and the Independent Analyst Platform.

Dr. Hackathorn has written three professional texts, entitled Enterprise Database Connectivity, Using the Data Warehouse (with William H. Inmon), and Web Farming for the Data Warehouse.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Richard's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

The opening keynote was delivered by Philip Rosedale, CEO and president of Linden Labs, the creator of Second Life (SL). They affectionately referred to him El Presidente, reinforcing my impression of him as a visionary who is friendly and persuasive.

To his credit, he started humbly by admitting the poor reliability of Second Life. He wore a white t-shirt with big black block lettering saying "Missing Image", which occurs when SL has insufficient computing resources to properly construct the image of your avatar. This sent a strong message to his audience that he is fully aware of their concern for reliability. SL is just over 90% uptime including planned update outages. He quipped, "That's one nine, and it's better to have one nine than not any nines at all." I take this as a positive statement and hoping that at next year's conference he can argue that it is two or three nines.

Because SL is so complex, requiring constant innovations in grid computing. The next enhancement will be for different versions of the server to operate together. Eventually this innovation will avoid shutting down the entire grid for a version change several times per month.

Linden Labs was only received $20 million in venture capital to get to their current level of sustainable revenue. Rosedale predicted that, if the company had been traditional in its development strategies, they would never have been able to built SL to its level today. However, they have been driving SL toward better reliability. Over the last month, they introduced SL Voice, a major new capability of voice-to-voice chat sessions like Skype. At its peak usage, there have been 13 thousand people talking at the same time. All this was accomplished without disruptions in SL operations, as Rosedale proudly noted.

Over the past year, the international participation in SL has increased tremendously, to where residents from the US are only 25% of the total. SL is becoming a major influence on flattening the world and sharing cultures from one person to another.

Rosedale ended by predicting that SL will be bigger than the Web, when the technological problems are solved eventually. He remarked, "We do not appreciate how big this thing [SL] will get."

He is obviously a visionary, some of whom only blow hot air and some of whom change the world. So far, Linden Labs have accomplished a lot. But, the task ahead is a hundred or thousand times as large. Follow this one closely!

Posted August 25, 2007 11:29 AM
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