Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Even if the world never warms another degree, population is projected to rise from 6.7 billion to 9 billion between now and 2050, and more and more of those people will want to live like Americans. In this world, demand for clean power and energy efficient cars and buildings will go through the roof.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Is belief in global-warming science another example of the "madness of crowds"? That strange but powerful social phenomenon, first described by Charles Mackay in 1841, turns a widely shared prejudice into an irresistible "authority". Could it indeed represent the final triumph of irrationality? After all, how rational is it to pass laws banning one kind of light bulb (and insisting on their replacement by ones filled with poisonous mercury vapour) in order to "save electricity", while ploughing money into schemes to run cars on ... electricity? How rational is it to pay the Russians once for fossil fuels, and a second time for permission (via carbon credits) to burn them (see box page 36)? And how rational is it to suppose that the effects of increased CO2 in the atmosphere take between 200 and 1,000 years to be felt, but that solutions can take effect almost instantaneously?
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
"The next Ice Age could take only weeks to engulf Britain. Scientists say the last great disruption to the Gulf Stream 12,800 years ago took only a couple of months to trigger a massive plunge in temperatures across Europe."
"Such an event occurred 12,800 years ago when a vast lake – created from melting glaciers at the end of last Ice Age – overflowed and poured into the north Atlantic, blocking the Gulf Stream. Europe froze – almost instantly, said Patterson."
"It was very sudden," added Patterson, "and it could happen again."
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The more I’ve seen, the more convinced I’ve become that the global warming crowd latched onto the parallel rise in temperatures and CO2, and built what has essentially become a religion around it. For 22 years it appeared to have been a solid conclusion that they were indeed tied together. Then the inescapable truth of the matter made itself clear in 1998 that they are not necessarily linked in the fashion that was first thought. Entire professional careers have been built around, and on, the premise that man-caused CO2 raises temperatures, and it’s too late to turn back now for most of them.
It appears that Jones and the CRU folks didn’t simply massage the data. As other pundits have pointed out, they waterboarded it. There are several blatantly obvious conclusions to be drawn here. First, any group receiving public money for research must make their data available to all. Even to guys with laptops on Saturday afternoons. Second, it seems that peer review means next to nothing. In the whole AGW thing, collaborating researchers apparently became co-conspirators. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge has no place in honest scientific endeavors. Third, science in general has taken a huge hit, making the average guy wonder if large grants create large lies and vice-versa. Fourth, where the heck has our media been? Menus at the White House are more important than what is possibly the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the American public? Apparently, only FOX got the memo. Fifth, school children need to be re-educated that CO2 is not the same as phosgene and sarin.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Because of [the uncertain event], [an event or events] might happen, which could lead to [impact or result which could be positive or negative].
Monday, November 23, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
import twitterapi=twitter.Api(username='something',password='something')api.PostUpdate("Hello World!")
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I think the economic crisis was created because too many smart people focused too much on their priorities.
A vast majority of professionals are in “emergency scanning” mode. Their self-management consists of checking for and acting on the loudest immediacies – in email, in the hallways and on the phone. Everything else is shoved to the side of the desk, and to the back of their mind. Because they’re focused only on “priorities”, and are paying attention only to the most intheir- face stuff, everyone else has to raise the noise level to “emergency” mode to get any audience at all. Sensitivity and responsiveness to input are criteria for the evolution of a species; and many an organisation has a nervous system that keeps them low on the food chain.
The addiction to this myopic view of what’s “most important” is not self-correcting – it is self-perpetuating.
Sometimes your highest priority may be to just get some unimportant things done.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
- Schedule, plan, and estimate deliverables ... not Tasks. Keep "todo's" out of Project. Let people manage the todo's. Let Project compute the cost/schedule.
- Keep the plan in Project as "high level" as possible. There is no "standard" work package size and believe no one who says otherwise. Use judgement and think.
- Focus your brain power on you and your team's energy to define the logical sequence of the project. Get the critical path network as right as possible while at the same time keep it "simple enough". Sometimes yet more complexity is a great thing because probably that complexity is indeed in the project you are about to embark upon and there is no reason to avoid it in your project model. Better to let complexity hit you in the model than let it take you by surprise in real life.
- Put no start/end dates on any task except for the start. Break this rule when in fact the date is a date that will not ever change, e.g. the date and time of a future solar eclipse ... things like that. Project deadlines are never fixed in Project even though the boss or client insists "it must be done!"
- Fix project deadlines in Project in the Deadline field. Let Project alert you when Project forecasts your plan is computing forward as missing future deadlines. [Hint: use the built-in field "Status Indicator".]
- A detail but worth a lot: properly manage the mpp files with respect to versions, backup, etc. Avoid relying on manual methods like email, file shares, etc. wherever possible. Create "one version of the truth", and if not true, make it so.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Recently you posted a poll on Apple Discussions. We are including a copy of your message at the end of this email for your reference. We understand the desire to share experiences in your topic "What is Your Battery Life?", but because these posts are not allowed on our forums, we have removed your post.
If you would like to share your experiences with Apple directly, you can submit feedback here: http://www.apple.com/feedback
As part of submitting feedback, please read the Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy linked to the feedback page.
Apple Discussions staff
This message is sent from a send-only email account. Any replies sent to this address are deleted automatically by the system.
A copy of your message for reference:
Collecting info about what would be a reasonable expectation of how how much time to get on a battery charge using a MacBook. I get at most 2:25 as shown on the battery indicator (top right of screen), but in clock time about 2 hours max.What about you?
Three people provided me their experience before the posting was deleted:
1. Battery life really depends on how the computer is being used (screen brightness, disk burning, wi-fi, BT, etc.) and can vary considerably. Just sitting here surfing the web about 4 - 5 hours for me.
2. Basic web browsing (low brightness)- 4 hours. Streaming video/Music - 2.5 hours
3. I have similar battery life as the other 2 posters, with optimal energy saving settings, about 4.5 hours. If I'm playing a video game, I can expect about 1.5 hours give or take.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Here is an inconvenient truth about renewable energy: It can sometimes demand a huge amount of water. Many of the proposed solutions to the nation’s energy problems, from certain types of solar farms to biofuel refineries to cleaner coal plants, could consume billions of gallons of water every year.
We have a lot of water, but we have a growing population who continually need more water, more energy, more food.
Monday, September 28, 2009
McIntyre's work since last week, reported on his web site, indicates that Briffa's work only chose tree ring data which supported their hypothesis of unprecedented climate change. They excluded tree ring data that did not tell the story they wanted told. The IPPC's case for anthropogenetic climaate change rests firmly on this hypothesis.
If this were science, the hypothesis would be declared "not proven".
I hope this will cause widespread debate in the world. Trouble should be brewing. I fear it isn't.
Hat-tip to my friend the professor on this!
Because people exist and want to continue to exist, people need energy. People cannot exist without energy. Energy makes the world go round. We need to create ways to get that energy that do not kill.
China is on getting with this.
As Tom Friedman points out in this article, China's leaders are mostly engineers. Yes, they are politicians, but they area also engineers. Compare that to the West's leaders in government, media, and education. Much of our world has strong forces discouraging science and technology--at just the point we all need more.
The new energy infrastructure requires innovation, invention, design, investment, manufacture, marketing, and sales. Let's get on with it too.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
It’s hard for most of us in the West to believe that some people prefer war to peace when they could have either, but they do.
Now beginning to understand; yet I don't.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
"When the government killed all the pigs in Egypt this spring — in what public health experts said was a misguided attempt to combat swine flu — it was warned the city would be overwhelmed with trash.The pigs used to eat tons of organic waste. Now the pigs are gone and the rotting food piles up on the streets of middle-class neighborhoods like Heliopolis and in the poor streets of communities like Imbaba."
"What started out as an impulsive response to the swine flu threat has turned into a social, environmental and political problem for the Arab world’s most populous nation.It has exposed the failings of a government where the power is concentrated at the top, where decisions are often carried out with little consideration for their consequences and where follow-up is often nonexistent, according to social commentators and government officials."
Friday, September 11, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Paul Krugman writes on this more eloquently than I in today's NY Times in a article entitled "Swiss Menace". Killer point:
But a Swiss-style system of universal coverage would be a vast improvement on what we have now. And we already know that such systems work. So we can do this. At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies.
This illustrates the biggest change in the rhetoric of health care reform over the past year. Last summer, during the campaign, Obama succeeded in focusing attention on the real problems of the patchwork insurance-and-care system as it actually exists: rising costs, bureaucratic inflexibility, perverse incentives, inevitable delays and de facto rationing, implicit decisions about life and death. Now, various opponents of a reform plan have succeeded in shifting attention to the imagined problems of a post-reform system: rising costs, bureaucratic inflexibility, perverse incentives, inevitable delays and de facto rationing, implicit decisions about life and death. It is an achievement to ponder.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I learned recently there are a few competing tools out there that until now I didn't know anything about. Yes, Primavera is out there (too big, expensive, with much legacy) and now that Oracle has bought it who knows where it will go.
Two recent discoveries: OmniPlan by the folks who brought me OmniFocus and OmniGraffle--both of which I use daily. US$150. And a "free" open source project which produces OpenProj which appears to be using Microsoft Project as their design basis.
I also really like and use Risky Project as it changes everything. I consider it "Project Planning 3.0" and has a great future.
I'm going to be experimenting with OmniPlan and OpenProject over the next few weeks in prep for attending the Microsoft Project Conference in September. [I am still a little puzzled why Microsoft, a global player, is limiting the "free" licensed copy of Project Professional 2010 to only those participants at the Conference who are from USA or Canada!.}
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I'm about half way through and I'm fascinated with his explanations of what radioactivity is, how it works, how it decays, how it disperses, how it affects human tissue, how human tissue responds, and how it is measured. He is explaining the physics of it. What's even more fascinating is how the physics is complete different that how I believe most people believe. And that leads to the large risk of mistaken political decisions.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
The New York Times has an interesting article about Microsoft SharePoint in today's edition. Probably the result of good PR by Microsoft, but the truth as I understand it.
I introduce SharePoint to teams as a way to get a "single version of the truth".
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I discovered that the Office for Mac version was really not that expensive (about £100 here) so I splurged and bought a copy. I find that I'm using for many of my writing projects as I do like it. [It reminds me of Word 2.0c from the early 1990's which I think is still the best writing program ever--alas, that for another posting someday.]
Today I discovered why Office on the Mac is a "deal". The product lacks macros. I cannot do keystroke recording of macros. I cannot create macros. I cannot edit macros. I'm told it "respects" macros in files created by other versions of Office, e.g. Office 2003 and 2007 for Windows. But macro functionality has stripped out. Gosh. There are times that with a small macro I can do a lot to remove the drudgery of something.
What a surprise. No macros in Office 2008 for the Mac.
Billings. Heard about this from Apple's web site. The good is that's is "pretty" and the reports look great. The bad is that the data is hostage. Can't get it out into a database or a spreadsheet.
TimeCache. From pandaware.com. This appeared interesting. It had a lot of settings and it appeared that the data could be sent from a report to a CSV file that could then be imported. It seemed like it was written by and for accountants as it used a lot of nomenclature that I found non-interesting, e.g. Posting. While it had a lot of settings and it appeared to be the one I wanted. I went ahead and bought a license key. However, after a couple weeks of use I grew less enthralled with its odd user interface (caused maybe by its Mac roots), the complexity of getting data in and out, and all that. I looked around again.
OfficeTime. I can't remember how I found this. At first glance it looked great. Less complexity than TimeCache which could be good or bad. Sometimes with complexity the software can be around for the long term since it can handle most anything. I used it in parallel with TimeCache for a few days and soon discoved that OfficeTime was just better for me. It's now the "standard" around here. They even have a Windows version which could be useful for some business opportunities I see.
Since it had only been a few weeks since I bought a license for TimeCache, I wrote them and asked for refund, explaining why I wasn't going to use it anymore. I got back a snotty email from them about how they had a problem with that since I had full opportunity to test the software before buying it. True. But who would have thought to treat a customer that way. I told them to keep the fee and and I'm glad the relationship is severed.
Meantime, I'm using OfficeTime. I've been in contact with the developers to suggest how they could do some simple integration with SharePoint to make it a more valuable product. Hopefully that happens.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I found an opportunity to include a small advertisement in an up-coming supplement in a major UK daily newspaper "Report on Project Management". They plan to focus on why project management is vital to every business strategy as efficiency & effectiveness is key to succeeding in a recession. Here's what will be published. I was going for the "look" that I remember from Mobil Corporation's ad's on the editorial page of the New York Time from the 1980's.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Isn't that slightly over 1% per year? Isn't that a reasonable plan? (Unless of course deflation occurs, but how can water companies or us know that?)
Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
At the invitation of Microsoft I download the ISO image of the latest Release Candidate for Windows 7. It was about 2.3 gb and amazingly the download worked. I launched the install process inside of VMWare Fusion running on my brand new Macbook.
Once the black screen turned into Windows 7, there was what looked to be a scratch on my beautiful and brand new Macbook screen. Upper left quadrant there was this ugly white streak. I went searching for my screen cleaner cloth and try as might I could not remove it. It was hard to see in the daylight as I was running the laptop in the back garden on one of the first beatiful sunny days this year. But none the less, the "scratch" was there.
After Windows 7 finished loading, I noticed it was not a scratch, but some sort of light flare on the new Windows 7 desktop. Sigh.
In any event. Windows 7 seems to work just great in VMWare Fusion, alongside XP, Ubunt, and OS X (the host operating system).
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
: Spinal Meningitis
: Dengue Fever
Friday, May 01, 2009
Thanks to the internet, found it!
Sunday, April 05, 2009
The best online word processor, however, may be the one from a tiny company, Zoho, a nimble innovator. Zoho Writer is running close enough to Word to imagine that it and other online word processors will be able to do most everything that Word can do, and more.
I've been experimenting with Zoho for a few months now. I'm impressed at it's capablities for team collaboration. Collaboration requires much more than a word processor, and Zoho has what's required.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
In the New York Times, Daniel Hamermesh writes I Fell for Their Data in Freakonomics about
I fell for a stupid article and turned off my home PC last night. The article says that Americans who leave computers on overnight are wasting $2.8 billion on energy costs per year.It ignores the cost of turning computers off — and having to turn them on again the next morning.
And in the Telegraph there is an article The rise of sea levels is 'the great lie ever told' by Christopher Booker who writes about Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change.
P.S. Why can't Mr. Booker punctuate and capitalise his title correct? When did the apostrophe replace the quotation mark? I frequently see apostrophes when quotation marks should be used.
Despite fluctuations down as well as up, "the sea is not rising," he says. "It hasn't risen in 50 years." If there is any rise this century it will "not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm". And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about. The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on "going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world".
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
- "When we used it, the project plans ran to scores of pages with hundreds of tasks and we didn't have a clue about what was going on".
- "Project gives funny answers. " they say.
- Those who don't use Project because of these issues, then report proudly how they keep it "simple" by using Excel and, if they use Project it's only to do a Gant Chart that they paste into PowerPoint.
"Keep it simple and enjoy complex benefits. Why don't you simply require your organisation to have for each "project" one-line plans in Microsoft Project?"
That floors them. "That can't possibly be enough detail", I hear.
I think that level of detail for most organisations is much better than projects with hundreds of trivial or individually-managed tasks, or projects "planned in PowerPoint". Maybe once 1-line project plans are achieved, you can move on to 5 or 6 line project plans. But no more.
Here is an example.
See the screen shot where we have a project called "Project 6" with one task: "Do Project 6". This project is slated to start on 27th May 2008 and use four resources:
• 2 Geologists
• Half of James Roberts' time
• A small amount of Susie Thomas's time
• A little less than half of Anne West's time
Project computes the total cost, based on the billing rates for the above people, to be £133k.
But this isn't the only project or activity being done by the organisation. There are many more, and nicely each has their own one-line model. The following shows how all these line projects are pulled together into a single view in a master project
They now don't have just a simple one-line project, but they have a much richer understanding of eight activities, all which have time demands on the organisation. Without going into all the details here, you now have all the capabilities of Project go look at deadlines, milestones, resource planning, etc.
So what other benefits do we get by doing this simple project setup in a complex product like Microsoft Project:
- Project handles all the complicated time-based computations.
- If one resource file is used, we can use the built-in capability of Project to show resource commitments, clash, over/under allocation.
- Simple scheduling can start to occur, for example make sequence the 8 projects in some sort of order--not by priority by but by successor/predecessor links.
- Let Project do the work of telling you when the projects will get done. If you don't like the answer, then change the plan.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Science Friday has video both demontrating and explaining it. I especially like the idea about tryingit out on speakers.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Ryan Maue of Florida State University shows how the recent peak of hurricanes in 2005 has receeded to a 30-year low. From their web site see where global hurricane activity has "sunk to levels not seen since the 1970's."
Food for thought when we think of the media message on climate change projections.
What is a document? Is it that restrictive format that has a bunch of text in it with all that formatting to make it presentable? Sometimes they get corrupted. Not so much as the late eighties, but really what is a document is it the file? Is it the format? Is it the information inside of the document that is what really defines it? The .Doc and .DOCX today is simply a description of the text and layout of the information in the file.I especially like his observation--which closely matches my own thinking:
Putting information into a .doc is like throwing something in a closet. The closet might get opened again, now put it in a folder and it's like putting it in a filing cabinet in a closet. Nest those more and more and it's likely to never be read again. SharePoint to the rescue and search might make those stats more likely to be found. Meta data and all that jazz will again increase the likelihood of it being read again.I've learned that we don't need most documents that are created and emailed in Corporate Land. We don't need them and we don't need to invest to make, publish, read, store, or retain them.
We probably need some of the information, and that information needs to be put into places which work better. Those places are being discovered.
"...food additives were rated as more harmful when their names were difficult to pronounce than when their names were easy to pronounce."
They also studied the relation between the names of amusement park rides and the expectation of excitement.
Yet more proof of the irrationality of risk management by most people.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Everyone, that is, but my son.
He knew my message of "don't open attachments in email unless you are very sure." That message was drilled into the family the earliest age. He ignored the first email about the party--probably didn't want to go anyway. He ignored the scores of emails from all his "friends" which were generated and propagated by the malware on their machines. He smiled when he told me all this.
He is, however, chagrined to report that the only way his friends and their parents could stop the deluge of outgoing emails was to shutdown the machine. Further, he hears that some of the machines will no longer work. That cuts into their collaborative game playing (Football Manager).
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Never again, Easy Jet. My three hour flight from Alicante to Glasgow was torture thanks to a drunk sitting next to me. He was already hammered getting on the plane but the Stewards served him 3 double vodkas within minutes of take-off. As the abuse and taunts increased I finally hit my call-button. Only to be told they could not possible move him, but that I was free to find another seat. Difficult as the flight was close to full. Giving unlimited alcohol to these louts guarantees trouble, but profit comes first, I guess. Why is alcohol not limited? It is completely irresponsible and dangerous to fuel those already inebriated. Your comments would be welcomed.
We would like our Customers to have a speedy response to their enquiry, with this in mind we have looked at your email and have provided you with some suggestions for an instant answer to your question. We hope you will find these helpful.
If we have not found an immediate answer to your question, we aim to respond to your question within 12 hours.
easyJet Customer Experience Team
Monday, February 16, 2009
week in Spain (for the sun which has not shown up yet!). I noticed
when we checked in that our trip was insured with travel insurance. "I
didn't want or buy travel insurance!" I said to no one in particular.
Additional travel insurance is a dumb purchase for most buyers and a
huge money maker for sellers. It is dumb for buyers since the risks
covered are low but cost is high. It is often in addition to already-
covered risks like death, medical, etc.
While on holiday I looked more closely at EasyJet's web site. Amongst
all the other extras they flog at the customer is travel insurance.
Nicely hidden with the default "buy" switch on. Nice one.
I was suckered.
Why can't EasyJet treat me as a customer instead of treating me like a
cow in a herd of cattle?
Experts at Britain's top climate research centre have launched a blistering attack on scientific colleagues and journalists who exaggerate the effects of global warming.
The Met Office Hadley Centre, one of the most prestigious research facilities in the world, says recent "apocalyptic predictions" about Arctic ice melt and soaring temperatures are as bad as claims that global warming does not exist. Such statements, however well-intentioned, distort the science and could undermine efforts to tackle carbon emissions, it says.
In an article published on the Guardian website, Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, calls on scientists and journalists to stop misleading the public with "claim and counter-claim".
Finally some science gets attention in the media. While the above was in the Guardian for which I have a lot of respect, I do note it appears as if this news is not being reported by the BBC (or at least as far as I've noticed).
Climate change politics in the UK centres around the Kyoto Treaty, which itself is focused around wealth creation and redistribution.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Charles Platt, a former senior writer from Wired, has published a fascinating story in the NY Post about his experience of actually working at Wall-Mart.
Based on my experience (admittedly, only at one location) I reached a conclusion which is utterly opposed to almost everything ever written about Wal-Mart. I came to regard it as one of the all-time enlightened American employers, right up there with IBM in the 1960s. Wal-Mart is not the enemy. It's the best friend we could ask for.
We have other big political issues in our world: The Economy. The Climate. The Environment. Families. War. What can we learn from Wall-Mar?
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Technology can help us do almost anything - for better and worse. In considering the options, leaders need to ask the question: "I know we can do it, but should we?"
I particularly resonate with the following two principles she gives as they match my experince and I notice that few others actually do this:
1. Increase breadth of impact by pushing technology as far down in the organization as possible.
2. Increase the depth of impact by implementing features that simultaneously serve individual and business interests.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
The relationship between photographers and police could worsen next month when new laws are introduced that allow for the arrest - and imprisonment - of anyone who takes pictures of officers 'likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The researchers found this clearing of the air in the past 30 years may have amplified the warming of Europe.
They report their findings in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The research was led by Robert Vautard at the Atomic Energy Commission, Gif sur Yvette, France.
Since the 1970s, European temperatures have risen by about half-a-degree Celsius per decade.
This warming rate is faster than the global mean change (roughly equal to 0.18C per decade) and the trend averaged over all the Earth's land (roughly equal to 0.27C per decade) during the same period.
The regional climate models used by scientists have failed to simulate the European experience, say Vautard and colleagues; and they point to legislation that has cleaned up Europe's air as the probable cause.
Begs the question if we really know enough about the atmosphere to base our actions primarily on the results of atmospheric modeling.