Celebrating our computing history

Last month, our team took a trip to the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, UK.

Bletchley is where Alan Turing and colleagues worked to break a number of German war time ciphers including Enigma and the more complex Lorenz, in the process creating new statistical methods and electro mechanical computing machines such as Colussus – the first programable computer.

I lived up the road from Bletchley for a couple of years in Northampton before I started with Thomson but never got around to visiting. I’m glad we did. The highlight of the day for me was a tour for the team of the museum. Among the bits I enjoyed the most was: (more…)

What is a platform?


A platform! Any further discussion required?

Earlier this month, I emceed a presentation by Hugh Dubberly on the networked platform revolution. What’s interesting to me is how caught up we get in trying to describe what we mean by platform. The word is horribly overloaded with meanings in economics, computer science, politics and everyday use. When we started the platform consolidation work three years ago, our team got mixed up early on trying to define what a platform should be for Thomson Reuters. Discussion about the platonic ideal of a platform has no attraction to me. To me, a platform – in our context – does one thing, that I finally managed to clearly describe at lunch with Hugh: (more…)

When will wireless be ubiquitous?

REUTERS/Victor Fraile

I remember a couple of years back, Rick King and I were asked this during a presentation and came up with radically different answers. It’s an important question. For example, if you believe that ubiquity is around the corner, then offline support in our products is purely temporary and we shouldn’t invest in something that’s so hard to get right.

Visiting TRGR the other week, I was asked this again and concluded my answer hasn’t changed. Rick, of course, ever the optimist, thought it would be a couple of years. I, on the other hand, am more of a pessimist. First of all, what do we mean by ubiquitous?

In my view, there are a several layers of ubiquity: (more…)

Trying to throw your arms around the world


I’ve been dedicated to the mobile space for 2 1/2 years now. In that time, the most common question I hear, by far, is: “what OS should we be building our app for?” Sadly, it’s the hardest question to answer! I’m not going to try and answer the question here – as it’s all but impossible on a generalized basis. However, hopefully I can give you a couple of data points and considerations to help you answer for your product yourself.

Before that, though, a quick shout out for the mobile web. There’s a reason we like it so much! You can, to a large extent, dodge the question of platform choice and you’re not subject to the vagaries of your OS/app store vendor.

Putting that aside, here are the main considerations: (more…)