I read that, after 18 years working on the project, Dr Jonathan Schaefer has finally produced a Checkers program that cannot be beaten.

It had to be capable of analysing all the 500 billion, billion board positions that are possible. Hmmm – I imagine it will be a while longer before we have the invincible Chess program and a little longer still before we need to worry about a "HAL" scheming against us!



Yesterday, we (the TVR Car Club) set a new world record for the biggest one marque parade of 551 cars (subject to ratification by the Guinness Book of Records). The previous record holder was Ferrari, with a puny 376.

Taunting the CIO

An article by David L. Margulius reported that the Wall Street Journal ran a special section whose lead article was headlined "Ten Things Your IT Department Won't Tell you", which spoke of "tricks" for getting around IT restrictions.

How to visit blocked web-sites using proxy servers, how to access personal e-mail on your company BlackBerry, how to search for work documents from home using Google Desktop, and so forth. (If you want the details, you'll have to subscribe.) The article goes on to argue that, actually, user demand for unfettered access across home and work is so strong as to be unstoppable.

The CIO's only option is to convince the board to embrace the new environment. Assume that your employees will have access to all the capabilities of Web 2.0, and work-out how they can use them to be more productive.

"Go to your executive team and implore them to face reality: As much as you'd like to have corporate policies in place to discourage shopping or surfing or Instant Messaging (or whatever) at work, they can't be enforced in the real world, no matter what technology you use.

“The more inconvenient your make these things, the more time employees will waste (and the more unnecessary risks they'll take) figuring out how to do them anyway. Instead, build a culture and incentive system where people can be trusted to focus on work and act responsibly."

Whilst I am somewhat concerned at the ethics of the Wall Street Journal in apparently promoting such an irresponsible approach (I'm not a subscriber, either) I agree with the gist of the article. The world's changing fast, and we have to change with it.