Skunk Works

Skunk Works


<<The nickname Lockheed employees gave to their organization is an adaptation of the name for the ultra-secret high security “Skunk Works” moonshine operation featured in Al Capp’s widely popular comic strip Li’l Amber, which ran from 1934 to 1977.>>

— Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

The name since became widely used for elite research teams especially in the hi tech industry.

Panel from the Smithsonian
Quote from the Air and Space Museum

Ten Rules for Success

Here are ten rules for success from Investors Business Daily by way of my friend Mike Linett, President of Zerowait:

  1. How You Think is Everything. Always be positive. Think Success, not Failure. Beware of a negative environment.
  2. Decide upon Your True Dreams and Goals:   Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.
  3. Take Action.   Goals are nothing without action .
  4. Never Stop Learning:   Go back to school or read books. Get training & acquire skills.
  5. Be Persistent and Work Hard:   Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.
  6. Learn to Analyze Details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.
  7. Focus Your Time And Money:   Don’t let other people or things distract you.
  8. Don’t Be Afraid To Innovate:   Be different. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.
  9. Deal And Communicate With People Effectively:   No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.
  10. Be Honest and Dependable: Take Responsibility, otherwise 1-9 don’t matter.

Intro to Statistics

Q: Could you recommend some books on statistics that would allow me to be more efficient at Business Analytics?

A: Below are some sites that you may find useful.

1)      The online copy of StatSoft, the Statistica textbook, a good resource, and it’s organized as a book.

2) UCLA has an online probability and statistics book, although it may be too elementary for you.

3)      Planet Math has a lot of very useful links.   If you scroll down the page for the URL below, you’ll see a link labeled 62-XX, Statistics.  (There are plenty of other valuable links too.)

4)      The Kahn has some excellent short videos on specific topics in statistics.  More generally, the entire site is very well regarded.

It you share the name(s) of the (text)book(s) that you’ve read I can identify which resources may be of the most use to you.  As I’m sure you’ve discovered, statistics fractures into a myriad of sub topics just like mathematics.  So narrowing this down will let me help you better.

The domain names registered with you, are they automatically renewed?

Yes, as long as your account is in good standing, we make sure that we renew your domain names. Here is how it works:

  • 30 to 90 days before expiration, we bill your account for the renewal fee
  • once your account is billed, we renew your domain
  • you pay your bill as usual

To access your domain management tools, please visit the NewPush Customer Portal Tools.

Loading of over 1 Trillion RDF Triples

Franz Inc., a leading supplier of Graph Database technology, with critical support from Stillwater SuperComputing Inc. and Intel, today announced it has achieved its goal of being the first to load and query a NoSQL database with a trillion RDF statements. RDF (also known as triples or quads), the cornerstone of the Semantic Web, provides a more flexible way to represent data than relational database and is at the heart of the W3C push for the Semantic Web.

Dr. Aasman point out: “NoSQL databases like Hadoop and Cassandra fail on joins. Big Enterprise, big web companies and big government intelligence organizations are all looking into big data to work with massive amounts of semi-unstructured data. They are finding that NoSQL databases are wonderful if one needs access to a single object in an ocean of billions of objects, however, they also find that the current NoSQL databases fall short if you need to run graph database operations that require many complicated joins. A typical example would be performing a social network analysis query on a large telecom call detail record database.”

Enterprise Social Media Analytics with Atlas for Connections

The key benefits from deploying an enterprise social media software are to improve

  • customer satisfaction by building stronger relationships with customers,
  • staff effectiveness by simplifying access to existing internal expertise,
  • staff retention by allowing employees to build a stronger network and stronger relationships within the enterprise.

Atlas for IBM Lotus Connections is a social networking application, available from IBM Software Services for Lotus (ISSL), that allows users to visualize their current network of contacts and see how they can efficiently extend that network to tap into valuable resources and trusted experts across an entire organization.

Atlas enables these capabilities by accessing information from the different components of Lotus Connections. When users log in to their dashboard, Atlas compiles and displays information that will help them better understand the company’s professional networks and who they can tap into these networks to increase their effectiveness day in and day out.

With the help of these different components, Atlas allows users to:

  • visualize and analyze social networks in an organization,
  • identify the shortest path to reach someone,
  • find expertise across extended networks,
  • visualize and manage their personal networks.

Contact us to leverage this social networking and visualization application to help your company build vibrant and balanced professional networks, increase team effectiveness, and improve individual productivity.

Watch this brief demo from IBM demonstrating how to unlock the value of enterprise social media.

Happy 100 years IBM!

Today, June 16, 2011, IBM turns 100 years old. IBM invites you to join the Twitter conversation regarding the IBM Centennial–feel free to use the #IBM100 and #progress hashtags on Twitter. The conversation around these hashtags will be featured on on June 16.

Have a Family Owned Business?

If you have a family owned business, or just curious about them, here is a book that my friend Brice recommended to me. Haven’t read it yet, but put it on my list:

Dynasties: Fortunes and Misfortunes of the World’s Great Family Businesses

Here is the review from Publishers Weekly:
“Beginning as a work of economics, moving through soap opera and finishing as history, this book tells the stories of 11 great family businesses in Europe, Japan and America with at least three generations of family control. Observing that the vast majority of businesses are family owned and run, historian Landes (The Wealth and Poverty of Nations) argues that dynastic businesses offer a proven route to developing emerging markets, while companies managed by unrelated professionals and funded by public investors offer mostly bad jobs and slim profit shares to local employees. Even among the largest corporations, many retain significant financial and managerial involvement by the founder’s relatives, and those that do perform better than the others. Landes’s stories emphasize emotional life within these dynasties; he includes business details and general economic history only as context for family adventures and feuds. His emphasis is on how family considerations such as authority, love, trust, envy, marriage, adoption and succession determine the growth and direction of the business. While this may seem irrational compared to entrusting strategic decisions to specialized professionals selected according to talent rather than bloodline, Landes argues that family does a better job. (Sept. 25)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.”

The Mythical Man Month

Managing Software Development Projects

In today’s world, more and more managers find themselves having to manage an impromptu software project. It usually starts by a need identified by a “hobbyist” colleague, who realizes that they can solve a problem by writing a simple software. Before he knows it, the manager is sucked into the world of managing software development the hard way. In professional IT shops, it is hard enough for managers to keep software projects on track. Keeping in line the requirements, the budget, and the time-line is no small feat. If on top of that, you have to add that you’re managing hobbyist software developers with no formal training or experience, that can spell disaster. While The Mythical Man-Month might not solve all your problems, it certainly will give you a new perspective making your new predicament easier to deal with. For example, when you find that your developers find themselves in a cycle of adding yet another feature and the finished product release keeps being pushed out – this is called scope creep – you will be able to rely on the guidance in The Mythical Man-Month.

This book is a required reading in reputable graduate level computer science curriculae. Here is the Amazon review of this book:

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)

The classic book on the human elements of software engineering. Software tools and development environments may have changed in the 21 years since the first edition of this book, but the peculiarly nonlinear economies of scale in collaborative work and the nature of individuals and groups has not changed an epsilon. If you write code or depend upon those who do, get this book as soon as possible — from Books, your library, or anyone else. You (and/or your colleagues) will be forever grateful. Very Highest Recommendation.”

Tunring Filthy Water into Strile Drinking Water

From TED’s web site: :Too much of the world lacks access to clean drinking water. Engineer Michael Pritchard did something about it — inventing the portable Lifesaver filter, which can make the most revolting water drinkable in seconds. An amazing demo from TEDGlobal 2009.” Listen to the talk: