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William McKnight

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I will periodically be sharing my thoughts and observations on information management here in the blog. I am passionate about the effective creation, management and distribution of information for the benefit of company goals, and I'm thrilled to be a part of my clients' growth plans and connect what the industry provides to those goals. I have played many roles, but the perspective I come from is benefit to the end client. I hope the entries can be of some modest benefit to that goal. Please share your thoughts and input to the topics.

About the author >

William is the president of McKnight Consulting Group, a firm focused on delivering business value and solving business challenges utilizing proven, streamlined approaches in data warehousing, master data management and business intelligence, all with a focus on data quality and scalable architectures. William functions as strategist, information architect and program manager for complex, high-volume, full life-cycle implementations worldwide. William is a Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, a frequent best-practices judge, has authored hundreds of articles and white papers, and given hundreds of international keynotes and public seminars. His team's implementations from both IT and consultant positions have won Best Practices awards. He is a former IT Vice President of a Fortune company, a former software engineer, and holds an MBA. William is author of the book 90 Days to Success in Consulting. Contact William at wmcknight@mcknightcg.com.

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

Recently in Technology Category

Now, that's fast! And that's the speed of the new "world's fastest computer". 6,000 square feet wtih 57 miles of fiber optics and 500,000 pounds of "very souped-up Sony Playstation 3."

Read about it here: http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/06/09/fastest.computer.ap/.

Posted June 9, 2008 6:05 PM
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Gartner has posted it's Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2008.

Overall, I think it is an excellent list. Not everything is apples-to-apples, but as far as concepts go, I agree with the article "urging IT executives to think about the risk of not implementing each one."

One I was looking for that is missing is some variant of the outsourcing/offshoring theme. I think this merits serious attention as well. The other one I was looking for and didn't find is open source, which should see some significant usage increase in 2008.

Green IT takes Gartner's top spot. While I could quibble about its positioning and the naming of the item, reducing TCO in the data center is undoubtedly a business driver for 2008. Power is increasingly a limited, and costly, resource. Furthermore, most CPUs there are unused at any point in time and most programs run unaware of machines other than the one it is directed to run upon. This leads essentially to Gartner technology #5, Virtualization. There will be a need to abstract the logical from the physical in coding to effectively utilize the CPUs and reduce their overall number in achieving the same results, thereby reducing power consumption and TCO.

In Information Management, Data warehouse appliances in particular will need to show thier green creds to succeed. Datupia came out this week with a press release of thier latest model touting its energy efficiency. Kudos Datupia.

Otherwise, I really like technology #4 - Metadata Management. We continue to have islands of data, but even if/when they consolidate, understanding that data and effectively leveraging it for query or programming continues to be complex. Too complex. Metadata has suffered in the past from overblown, impractical, metadata-only projects and what's happening is shops are learning that it's really best done on a project-by-project basis. This reality will help see Metadata Management earn its place on this list.

Technorati tags: gartner, outsourcing, virtualization, Green IT, metadata

Posted March 7, 2008 9:13 AM
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Last week, at the Black Hat Federal security conference, Chris Paget of IOActive was scheduled to present an ironically titled presentation “RFID for Beginners”. In this presentation, according to the abstract and interviews with Chris, he was going to present how to build a working RFID clone from $20 worth of off-the-shelf electronic parts, mostly from eBay. The maker of the target chip is HID, who threatened lawsuits and otherwise made it ugly and consequently IOActive decided to cancel the presentation, citing the difficulty of bringing these difficulties to a small company.

The chip “hack” he was going to speak about would have allowed for the surreptitious, non-secure reading of the HID chip. HID’s comments include one about protecting against a “major upheaval”among customers. A representative also said someone would have to get “within 2-3 inches and get into the same plane as the card.” Well, if they’re saying it’s not practical, why did they threaten lawsuits about the presentation?

However you look at it, the situation highlights security concerns dogging RFID progress.

Anyway, what do you think? Is the repackaging and sharing of one’s own research public domain? Or is it irresponsible to demonstrate the security vulnerabilities of a supposedly secure market product?

Technorati tags: RFID

Posted March 3, 2007 3:36 PM
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Next time you reach for the pepper shaker, you may have to wonder if it has a little something extra in it. APPARENTLY Hitachi has developed powder-size RFID tags, the pictures of which are all over the internet showing this little spec on a finger and a bunch of specs around an enlarged human hair (example link). However, after an exhaustive search for a legitimate news item on this, I am beginning to wonder if this story is real. Maybe it’s because I reported on the chips in coins, which turned out to be untrue, but I’m just skeptical about this one.

The reported size is 0.05mm x 0.05mm and the suggested use is not actually for ingesting, but for anti-counterfeit measures.

If you have any information, links or opinions on the feasibility of these chips, please comment here.

Technorati tags: RFID

Posted February 20, 2007 5:11 PM
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Are you tired of searching for those RFID tags on your clothing? According to this article, IBM has developed a chipped tag, adopted by Marnien Management Ltd., that allows you to remove the antenna from the tag easily. I note that the chip itself will remain on the item, so reading will still be possible, but the read range will be limited without the antenna.

Perhaps this is a workable middle ground in the emerging battle between industry and privacy. It does clearly expose the tag to the consumer, which should be more important to privacy advocates than the easy ability to "rip off" the antenna. After all, most consumers are unaware of the tag. This would be a blow to data collection since many would get ripped off and put the consumer in more control of when their tag is read although surreptitious reads are still possible without an antenna.

Technorati tags: rfid,

Posted December 8, 2006 3:35 PM
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