I got mentioned (alas my name was misspelled it's Yaron Goland not Yaron Golan) in Cringely's column this week. I read Cringely's column every week so getting mentioned is pretty nifty. What is even nicer is that while Cringely uses my old project, UPnP, as an example of why MS screws things up (not that I can disagree with him, UPnP was a lot of the reason I ended up quiting MS, see my article on the subject) he was kind enough to mention that I don't suck. That was very cool of him.
I just wanted to leave myself a note that I'm willing to bet that at some point in the relatively near future a huge scandal will erupt when people finally figure out why healthcare costs have been increasing at a double digit rate for the last few years. I can find no compelling reason that could justify such huge increases other than some form of massive fraud. I have already seen the absurd billing rates that the industry supports and our current 'first dollar' insurance system is clearly nuts, especially the filter that is introduced when people get their healthcare through their employer instead of on their own but none of these causes are sufficiently compelling to explain the healthcare cost explosion. When I did some research on the subject I found a laundry list of explanations provided: the population is aging, there are less healthcare providers, people are fatter and so suffer from more diseases, new medicines are expensive, people are demanding more healthcare, etc. but in the material I find on the subject no one ever quantifies these cost factors or provides a model that shows how they result in double digit cost growth. My guess is that there is a series of crimes in here some place, it's just a matter of time until they come to light. Anything whose cost increases at a rate greater than the increase in income isn't sustainable so eventually something will give.
I just finished reviewing a chapter in an upcoming computer science textbook on Web Services. The authors made a heroic effort to give the reader a solid grounding in Web Services including HTTP, SOAP, WSDL, BPEL, WS-TX, WS-CO, UDDI, etc. all in 60 or so pages. In terms of information density, the result was the book equivalent of depleted uranium. To make matters worse many of the specifications they were describing had already changed since the time they wrote the chapter and will surely change even more before they publish. Which got me to thinking about the book I would want to read about Web Services Protocols.