“Napster for Good Causes”

Another fascinating article today – the topic: “social software” or tech projects that help people.
From the BBC News article:
“Good ideas that use technology to improve life offline are being sought by a new non-profit organisation.
MySociety is looking to turn the ideas into working projects that help people get involved with their community or make a contribution to civil society.”
“The basic criteria for ideas are that:
They must be internet based
They must have a real world impact
They must serve many people for the same cost as they serve a few”
Here’s another cool example of using the Internet to help people, via the Junkyard Blog: Operation Hero Miles offers a way to donate unused frequent flyer miles to allow soldiers to use use them for flights home. If you’re not using them any way, it seems like a pretty good use for them.

The End of Credit Hours in Academia?

Fascinating article today about the push to end the credit hour system in academia.
From the article:
“Having time- and space-bound measures that equate learning with a certain place and a certain time is clearly outmoded. And yet it is the DNA embedded in both the academic and funding system,” said Jane Wellman, coeditor with Thomas Ehrlich of “How the Student Credit Hour Shapes Higher Education,” a recently released collection of essays on the credit hour.
The many different types of educational opportunities available today, including online education, are making the time-based approach less and less relevant.

Why Tables for Layout is Stupid

I’ve been wanting to find a little time to experiment with CSS on my web pages. So, I’ve been collecting resources on the topic.
Today, I found a great set of presentation slides on the subject called “Tables for Layout is Stupid” that is an excellent introduction to the topic and points you toward the standard references. Highly recommended.

Calculating ROI on IT Security

I spoke at an excellent CIO Security Forum put on the the St. Louis Chapter of the Association of IT Professionals on Saturday and learned tons of great stuff from the other panelists and audience.
One of the big issues raised was how to calculate return on investment for security efforts in order to sell security projects to management.
CFO magazine has a comprehensive discussion of this issue in an article called “Gremlin in the Works,” which is as good a starting point on this issue as I’ve seen.
Here’s the abstract:
“It’s almost impossible to figure ROI for information security investments. But as supply chains become more complex and business partners become more connected, IT security is increasingly the concern of the CFO.”

How Safe is Law Firm Data?

An article in today’s ABA Journal eReport addresses the shocking lack of attention a surprising number of law firms pay to security. As I’ve mentioned previously, the tech survey cited in the article is self-reporting and not scientific, but these numbers are astonishing because they reflect what law firms are willing to confess.
Are clients asking the right questions?