Stories by Fred Hapgood

Blog: Biology and Engineering

Usually engineers feel no special need to imitate nature's solutions to their problems (assuming there are any). Transport engineers do not think much about legs, nor structual engineers about tree trunks.

Written by Fred Hapgood07 Dec. 07 12:28

Blog: Why we need biological models

A notable enthusiasm in contemporary software engineering is the idea that the field has a lot to learn from biology. You see it everywhere, from using neuroscience to get to AI ("reverse engineering the brain") to employing biological motifs like chemotaxis in network design. There is even a computer science journal -- "Bioinspiration and Biomimetics" -- devoted to the theme.

Written by Fred Hapgood28 Nov. 07 08:22

Blog: Has the Ultimate Technology found its Killer App?

The idea of solving the machine learning conundrum with the techniques of natural selection (an idea called, depending on details, genetic algorithms or GAs, genetic computation, genetic programming, evolutionary computation, and evolutionary algorithms) has for decades been one those ideas that seem wonderfully promising but never quite get out of the laboratory.

Written by Fred Hapgood19 Oct. 07 11:51

Blog: Cassandra's Law and Synthetic Awareness

Moore's Law is globally famous and deservedly so. However it has a mirror opposite that is just as powerful yet is generally unknown, perhaps because no one likes bad news. We might call it Cassandra's Law: over time technological complexity of all kinds increases exponentially.

Written by Fred Hapgood18 Sept. 07 11:34

Blog: Finding gainful employment for your computer

A common fantasy -- I'm sure you have had it -- is to make your computer earn real money for you automatically and autonomously. They do so much now; how hard could it be?

Written by Fred Hapgood06 Sept. 07 12:01

Voice Of Reason

Much ink has been spilled over the vulnerabilities created by running voice traffic over data networks. But smart CIOs are, in fact, going to use voice over IP - and similar forthcoming technologies - to their benefit

Written by Fred Hapgood04 April 05 11:28

More Than Human

Transhumanism - the practice of enhancing people through technology - sounds like science fiction. But when it arrives (and it will), it will create unique problems for CIOs.

Written by Fred Hapgood04 Feb. 05 13:02

When Everything's Networked

You'll need a strategy for dealing with the hidden risks of Internet-connected air conditioners, door locks and forklifts.

Written by Fred Hapgood10 May 04 10:32

Plug and Pay

Utility computing: Who would have thought that a technology with such a pedestrian label would become a top IT story?

Written by Fred Hapgood07 May 03 13:21

Big Just Got Bigger

Suppose you came to work one day, took off your jacket, loosened your tie, sat down and found a letter on your desk from corporate counsel advising you that a court has just ruled that corporations are now responsible for retaining all business-related phone conversations for one calendar year.

Written by Fred Hapgood09 Dec. 02 10:18

Good Software Gone Bad

Ten years ago, computer security guru Fred Cohen made a revolutionary suggestion, one that inverted the roles of hardware and software. In traditional IS architectures, hardware persists while software is transient; the same processor executes instructions from many programs. This is why we say that software runs on hardware. Cohen suggested building an architecture around mobile programs, applications that would move around a network, recruiting and organizing hardware as needed. In this vision, the programs would endure while the hardware would come and go. In effect, the hardware would run on the software.

Written by Fred Hapgood15 May 01 16:08

Shattering the Glass House

The great trauma in the history of the CIO profession-what 1789 was to the French and the dissolution of the empire to the British-came in the late 1980s, when the venerable host-terminal system started to die under the massed attack of swarms of PCs.

Written by Fred Hapgood15 April 01 15:41

Sign on the Digital Line

As intranets become extranets, digital certificates tighten security.
All around the world, thousands of organisations, both public and private, have opened their networks to give suppliers, customers and partners access to such applications as technical support, order history review, applications sharing, catalog maintenance, and design and marketing collaborations.

Written by Fred Hapgood28 June 99 12:05