When
· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · October
· · · · 04 (3 entries)

Practical Transparency · A few days ago, our CEO Jonathan Schwartz sent a letter to SEC Chairman Christopher Cox calling for SEC financial-disclosure regulations to allow for publishing material financials on the Web. It’s obviously a good idea, but there are some implementation issues. (Hey, I’m an engineer, I can’t help it.) ...
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Transparent Business · I spent a couple of fascinating hours Tuesday at a round table hosted by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The subject was Interactive Data, a term which is hardly self-explanatory but really means “Business Transparency”. This in the same week that Jonathan sent a letter on the same subject to SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, who was also around the table. Mr. Cox and the SEC are definitely on the right track; I expect bumps in the road, but there’s a chance that Accounting As We Know It could be blown up. Which would be a good thing; and not just because Open Source is creeping in ...
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Web Hacking With Real Money · Looking for some new data for your next mash-up? How about playing with real money? The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Interactive Data Initiative has an RSS feed of company financial filings; not just the text, but in a highly-structured XML format called XBRL. I glance at the feed this morning and see data from ADP, Dow Chemical, Molina Healthcare, Xerox, GE, Infosys, 3M, Bristol Myers Squibb, and lots more. XBRL isn’t the world’s easiest format to grok; that’s partly because the formalisms that govern accounting are non-trivial in the extreme. But I’m quite sure there are fortunes to be made by people who combine hacking chops with financial savvy, and figure out how to automate digging insight out of this data. Of course, in most gold rushes, the best business angle is selling tools and entertainment to the miners; so there is obviously more than one way to work this territory. And a great big tip of the hat to the SEC for getting this stuff on the air.
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