Fun with Asset Databases

The New York Times is carrying a story on various absurdities found in the National Asset Database.

As an IT Architect, I am no stranger to 'asset databases', as they are a common element in architecture frameworks. Frankly, I generally find them maddening, for reasons made clear in the article.

The New York Times article presents an excellent cautionary tale on the dangers of a naive asset database implementations. Perhaps naive is too harsh, I'll let you be the judge. Having said this, database content based on inconsistant or incomplete definitions typically results in a database full of invalid data. The fact that the asset database is used in threat calculations brings the problem to an entirely new level. At best, it can result in a plethora of humorous and ridiculous examples of perceived risks. At worst it can result in fundamentally flawed input into calculations used for critical decisions related to national security.

Here's the bottom line. Are you an technology architect, designer, or coder? If so, bookmark the New York Times article. The next time you see an asset dictionary slapped up on the table, pull out the article and ponder your next steps. The rest is up to you.


New Scientist Tech - Bacteria made to sprout conducting nanowires

This is astounding - definitely worth a read.

It's not hard to envision this evolving to a larger scale.