Archive for the ‘Other Topics’ Category
Read this article from CNN about the possibility of a new law in New York that would make everyone an organ donor unless you opt out. I guess our organs can officially be compared to SPAM and email lists.
I can understand the point that we need more organ donors, but why be sneaky about it. Most people would never know about this law and understand it enough to opt out if that’s what they wanted to do. Instead, why not create an incentive? What about a free driver’s license renewal for becoming an organ donor or a discounted vehicle registration for becoming an organ donor? You would generally register yourself as an organ donor at the department of motor vehicles so create a reason for more people to become an organ donor! Don’t just pass a law making everyone a donor without their knowledge.
This is exactly why folks don’t like government, it’s time to be more creative in our policy making.
Have you ever noticed all the extra taxes at the end of your phone bill? Well, part of those fess go towards $800 million in funding to subsidize low-income telephone programs in about 20 states and growing. Don’t beleive it, read about it…
Is this fair or not?
Is the telephone a necessity for the modern society we live in?
Is cellular service now a right for every American like healthcare?
We would love to get your opinion on the subject. Please post comments below.
Anyone who has started a business, a new project or product at work, a movie, a book, basically everything that we see throughout our lives began with a test. Tests might be in the form of market research, pilot groups, alpha or beta tests, and so on, but for the most part anything new is tested before it is launched to the masses. So that begs a very important question, why doesn’t congress (government) have to test laws before they are put in place?
I’m sure the government tests some things, for example, new weapons or technologies that are developed. They probably test new software and other systems, but when congress passes a law, it is law for the entire nation as long as the president doesn’t veto. How do they know the laws are right and what impact they are going to have?
Let’s say Hollywood wants to produce a new TV show or movie for national release either by theatre or national television. Corporate America isn’t going to just take a guess and hope the show or movie is going to be profitable. No, they do diligence first through pilot screenings and releases. If certain benchmarks are met, the investment would then be made. It’s common sense really to manage your risk and get feedback before investing thousands or millions of dollars into a new project (government is often making billion or trillion dollar decisions). Corporate America would probably then go as far to test its marketing campaigns for the new project, weeding out what works and what doesn’t.
Software companies and web sites follow a similar framework. Software with many users is often upgraded regularly to fix bugs or provide new enhancements. As new and better code is developed it is tested internally and once approved for release is often released to a pilot group, and then a region, and finally to everyone if everything goes smooth. Web sites often throttle traffic to different versions of web sites before releasing something to everyone. For example, Amazon could throttle a small percentage of traffic to a beta site, measure the results and performance, and if everything looks good it could be implemented and made available to all users. Many web sites do this to measure changes and how they affect sales.
We often test things in our own personal lives. We might ask a friend or family member for their opinion before purchasing something or making some other type of decision. This feedback is often very valuable because you may not have any experience with the decision, but a friend may and that might be very helpful.
At the end of the day testing determines what works and what doesn’t and creates data that can be turned into knowledge so key decisions can be mode. However, Washington D.C. is somehow above the same common sense that everyone else in the country uses. Often times the decisions that are made affect the entire world. Lives, economies, across the globe are affected.
Some may argue that certain decisions cannot be tested. The decision to go to war is a tough one to test and some of the recent decisions regarding Lehman Brothers, TARP, and stimulus spending would have been difficult to test because time is a huge factor in the success. But healthcare reform is something that can be tested before it is made into law as time isn’t as much of a factor.
Benchmarks for success should also be included in the law so that government decisions can be measured for success or failure and at least there would be an opportunity to take corrective action.
So in conclusion, the government should test new legislation and the performance should be measured and analyzed to help make the government more effective in its policy making and strategy for the nation and the world.
It may sound selfish at times, but wanting may actually be a good thing.” Thing” may not even be the correct word choice, rather wanting could be a force that drives our lives, economies, our future, and more.
Think about how often you want something throughout a day. When you get up in the morning, you may not want to go to work, but you probably want coffee, maybe a donut and a bagel with cream cheese. For lunch you want something, you may want a snack or drink throughout points in the day, something for dinner, etc. You probably have a show you want to watch, a phone call you want to make or website you want to check out. Maybe you want to read a book, play a sport, or go see a show or concert. The point is that we want everyday and we want all the time.
There are even much bigger things we want. We have career goals, we want relationships whether friends or intimate, we want pets, we want kids, we want houses and cars, the list is endless. Economics is the study of markets and supply and demand. That demand is made up of our wants. Yes, we do have needs, but most of us have wants and we have them all the time. Count them up tomorrow or think back about today and think of all the things you wanted just today.
America was founded on wants as settlers wanted a new life while our founding fathers wanted freedom for all. Ultimately, all the wants of this nation are a contributing factor to the tremendous growth and prosperity this country has experienced in such a short amount of time.
So the question is… does all this wanting propel our economy and is it a hidden force that drives innovation, growth, and wealth in this nation and others? The answer quite simply is Yes. What else could have driven this nation so quickly besides our wants. So can our wants be measured and can it be quantified into an economic indicator, almost like a confidence level? Well during booms people want and spend more while during busts they want less, save more, and try to pay off debts. So maybe a survey of what people want can quantify this hidden force with our economy and economies of the world.
Do other countries want as much as Americans? Does America attract people who want? Does wanting create turnover in our economy? Does wanting create technological and medical innovations? The questions go on and on, but if you research any major accomplish in any time period you will find someone who wanted that accomplishment and if they didn’t want it, it probably would have never happened.
There is obviously a study that needs to be conducted here and if you have plans or want to study this please contact us as we would be interested in helping.
This is a short one, but to all the developers out there and future developers… if you want to be the best, you must think like a user. As technology becomes more prevalent, software (user interfaces) is going to become a bigger part of all our lives. You can now purchase a robot vacuum or lawn mower or control your air conditioning unit through the Internet. Every appliance already has a computer in it, even your toaster, so it’s only a matter a time before your toaster has a user interface to go along with it. Hopefully the person writing the code for that toaster read this post.
Machine language is something that is not part of our day to day, which is why we have user interfaces, and GUIs are supposed to be easy, intuitive, and reliable for the user. So software doesn’t begin with the code, it begins with the user. Put yourself in the shoes of the user and think like a user. Make your software simple and intelligent.
The Best Developers Think Like Users!
The Genographic Project is one of the most amazing studies done on the origins of man. The Y chromosome found in males gets passed on from generation to generation without genetic mutation. Dr. Spencer Wells, using the Y chromosome, has taken blood and other samples to track the DNA of all human ancestry.
The results of this study are amazing and tons of information can be found on the National Geographic Genographic Project website. The study was led by Dr. Spencer Wells with sponsorship from National Geographic and IBM. The best part is that YOU can participate and trace your lineage back to the very beginnings of scientific Adam and scientific Eve.
So why is this research so important, why is it so amazing? It’s so amazing because of the results. We are ALL decedents of the African Bantu tribe from almost 60,000 years ago or 2000 generations. Some 50,000 years ago, a small group of our ancestors decided to go on a journey. Little did they know that their journey would populate the world.
This research is so important because it shows that we are all brothers and sisters. We are all different, but also all connected. We live in different countries, practice different religions, and the color of our skin is even different, but the science is showing that we are all related and we are all humans.
Fox News reported last night that requests for troop increases have been sitting on the presidents desk since August. It is now the middle of October, troop deaths are on the rise, and the president doesn’t even have a strategy yet. As president, if there is an active war, it should be your top priority unless there is a crisis. We obviously had a huge economic crisis with a collapse in the American financial system so we can safely rank that priority number one and then the war should be second on the priority list.
Since August, Obama and his administration have had the war on the back burner campaigning for healthcare reform, the Chicago Olympics in 2016, and various other detours like a trip to New Orleans to talk about Katrina today. Healthcare is important, but not more important then have a war strategy already in place. The war definitely should not be pushed behind the Chicago Olympics, which was a complete failure. Chicago was eliminated first and Chicagoans were split as to whether they even really wanted the Olympics in their city… check out this web site: http://www.chicagoansforrio.com/. Obama is from Chicago so it’s understandable that he would want to support it, but if you have more pressing issues like the lives of soldiers and the future security of the country, maybe you can leave the campaigning to Oprah.
A strategy is needed, it’s needed now, and we need to finish what we started and get it done quickly. I would recommend more “shock and awe”. Send troops, drones, special forces, and get the war done. Spend more in the short-term, wrap it up, and save in the long-term.
Quick little post on seeing a problem and doing something about it. I bought this projector from Dell because it is so small and portable when traveling. When you read the reviews or actually try to use it, not being able to adjust the projector up or down was a huge problem, especially when trying to make a presentation happen for a client. I knew there was a way to fix it so I started brainstorming and came up with this…
I figured why not add a tripod? Most digital cameras and video cameras come with a port on the bottom to attached a tripod, big or small, and that’s all the projector really needs. I was able to use industrial strength epoxy to attach a bolt to the bottom of the projector that would allow the tripod to attach and poof, the little guy now adjusts and works fantastic.
The point here is this… trying to make something better, solving a problem, or other ideas are good to pursue and then share with others. The Internet provides all kinds of resources to share with others so take advantage of it. There is no such thing as a bad idea.
The Krispy Kreme donut burger… is this a joke? No it is not and maybe this is what’s wrong with healthcare in America. Check it out for yourself on CBS.
What more can you say, over a thousand calories in a single burger. If it’s your only meal of the day, maybe your body won’t go into shock after eating this. Wow!
Iran is always a hot topic and always in the news especially with the United Nations meeting and G20 in Pittsburgh this week. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered his speech to the UN in a prime time forum and everyone walked out. Why is that? Well Iran is having issues in a lot of areas right now. People in Iran believe Ahmadinejad fixed the recent presidential election, Iran doesn’t comply with the UN on many fronts, and there is no separation of religion and state. Recently, it was just discovered that Iran had a secret nuclear facility not reported to the IAEA and several world leaders thought the G20 would be a great time to address the issue. Watch this video to see Ahmadinejad’s reaction.
So why is the world scared of Iran developing nuclear technology? It doesn’t have anything to do with electricity, it has to do with weapons, nuclear weapons. This is where the issue of separating church and state comes into play. First, Ahmadinejad doesn’t believe that the holocaust happened, which is purely anti-Semitism. There are many videos including the recent speech at the UN where you can hear the words coming from Ahmadinejad. There is also another word you’ll always hear from Ahmadinejad and that is “Imam” and that word should scare you. It is also in reference to Imam Mahdi or the 12th Imam, which is the messiah Iran’s leaders believe will return if they cause havoc to Israel and United States. They don’t have to defeat Israel and the US, just cause cosmic chaos. Basically, the Iranian government believes in Armageddon and has a strategy to bring it about. There are hot lines, TV shows, etc. Just do a few Google searches or read these articles: 1, 2, or 3. How can you negotiate with these religious beliefs, you can’t and that’s why the world is watching and focused on Iran.
A great show about the history or Iran and the relations between the US is being replayed again on National Geographic on Saturday October 3rd at 5PM. If you want to learn more about Iran, Iran and the West is a great show from NatGeo.