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May 17, 2011

IDUG, Smart Systems

I recently returned from the IDUG 2011 North America conference in Anaheim. It was a great conference, and I wanted to share a bit about the keynote speech by Jeff Jonas.

Jeff, the founder of SRD and now chief scientist of the Entity Analytics Group, is a brilliant and energized speaker. In the keynote he discussed his Sensemaking on Streams project, which, to put it mildly, was an eye-opener.

I won't give away the speech for you, but it did involve some amusing storytelling. However, on a technical level, it's stunning -- and a bit scary -- how much data is being collected with phones and how this geo-data tracks our every move. How long did you spend at Macy’s shopping? Where will you be this Friday at 5:30 p.m.? They actually predict this stuff. While Jeff uses this technology to capture bad guys, you can probably imagine how it could be used against any of us. The privacy concerns are real, but at least this is acknowledged and efforts are being made to protect the innocent. 

I really like the way Jeff described how data finds data. This project can help mainframe operations people make sure that their systems are running properly, and it can help doctors in hospitals. Truly, I can imagine many potential, positive uses for this.

Finally, it was nice to learn that all this research and work is happening on the mainframe and with DB2 for z/OS.