Test Match Sofa. This is what the Internet is for.


Regular readers will know that I’m a cricket fan. Being a cricket fan in Germany is awkward, as unless you con the beeb into thinking your computer isn’t in Germany, you can’t get decent audio or  video coverage.  This post will not be about the dumbness of DRM, but if the BeeB is reading, I will pay handsomely for legal iplayer access to cricket.  See my earlier moan here.

At the moment the Ashes are on. I never thought I would say this  but I’m supporting England this time around.  Partly because a good number of the line up have the same accent as I do, but mainly because of testmatchsofa. 


Rob, Dan, Jarrod and Nigel

Testmatchsofa, where Goethe, a bit of  swearing, leg breaks, comedy jingles, Chardonnay, Twitter, profound cricket knowledge, more than a smattering women commentators  and dodgy South African accent imitations  combine for compelling listening.

Their show exploits a lot of the web 2.0 technologies and concepts that I discuss and analyze as part of my day job.

1. Creation and broadcast costs are close to zero.

2. Multi-channel delivery. flash, iphone, native web, gadgets etc.

3.  Audience participation.  The sofa team don’t just use twitter to broadcast messages, they answer questions and chat with their audience.

4. Mashups. The combination of the cricinfo text feed, twitter and the broadcast gives a better experience than radio alone.

Sofa works because the gang actually know cricket. They may not have opened the batting for England half a century ago but they know their way around the Wisden, and they love the game. 

The game of cricket is now thoroughly professional, but is good to see that the cult of the amateur is alive and well beyond the mid-wicket boundary. 

To the gang at testmatchsofa, keep the commentary coming. Just drop the KP accent imitation, please.


O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees

Most learned judge, a sentence! Come prepare!

Tarry a little, there is something else.
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood;
The words expressly are "a pound of flesh."

The Merchant of Venice

(painting by Alexandre Canbanel. The Merchant of Venice)

The jury has decided.  SAP owes Oracle 1.3 Billion dollars.  I’ll leave others to speculate on whether SAP appeals, if is a fair sum,  or whether there will be other legal ramifications.  

Watching it all has been fun. Good theatre, with some dramatic performance and and even more dramatic absence.  Tabloid stuff.

  1. The amount, while breaking records  for  copyright infringement,  will not impact SAP’s ability to do business.  It has plenty of cash, and there is a serendipitous symmetry with the recent 1,5 billion dollar credit facility.  While it could slow down share buybacks, I doubt that it will have a real impact on its development or marketing spend. It would be wrong for SAP to shrink into cost cutting mode to fund this, but I don’t think they will anyway. 
  2. The case illustrates the hyper-competitive and ruthless nature of the industry.  Neither firm emerges Persil white from the process.  I’m not sure that it will really make a difference to how CIO’s view SAP or Oracle. Most CIO’s know that this is a pretty ruthless and aggressive business.  Oracle’s field will have a bit of fun in the sales cycle with this, but I doubt it will really impact business.
  3. Most software executives and developers have minimal understanding of copyright law and its implications.  Coming out of this, I’d hope that software developers think a little bit more about intellectual property and IT law generally. This would be a good thing.  I’d like to see software companies funding more IT law research and studies, but then I’m biased.
  4. Software companies using intellectual property to beat each other up in court isn’t new, but this judgment will encourage more of the same.
  5. The judgment was not about the legality of third party maintenance.  The SAP-Oracle case and Rimini Street –Oracle case will be quite different.  I don’t think we should conflate them.  The SAP-Oracle case was good entertainment, but it was just about damages. In the long run the Rimini Street case is more important for the whole industry.  I ‘m not assuming that just because SAP admitted that TomorrowNow was toxic, all third party maintenance is somehow tainted. 

These are my musings, rather than a formal Gartner position.

(Okay, the heading was from Romeo and Juliet, and the quote from Merchant of Venice)

I wish this sort of thing happened more often. A cycling moment.

This week I was in foggy England for work.

The Sky pro cycling team were staying in my hotel in Egham.  I took the opportunity to wish Brad Wiggins best of luck for Col du Galibier and the tour.  While waiting for my taxi the next morning  I chatted with a couple of  mechanics. I don’t think they were expecting a discussion about Dura-Ace Di2 with a bloke in a suit, but they were really friendly. They let me take some photos of the bikes.

Pinarello Dogma 60.1 frame, with lots of Shimano components.  I only had a quick look, but I didn’t see anything exotic, all off the shelf components.






The mechanics were really upbeat about Di2 electronic shifters. They have had no issues with them at all. The battery typically lasts 1000 miles or so. I remain unconvinced though, I’ll stick with manual world for now. I have enough electronics in my life.