Showing posts with label Graphics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Graphics. Show all posts

January 12, 2019

Border Security - The Facts

So in this longest of U.S. government shutdowns, one thing that is missing from the debate are an articulation of the facts. 

All I hear day-in and -out is that President Trump wants to build a wall or barrier on the Southern border because there is a crisis. And the Democrats in turn say it's not necessary, it's a waste of money, and even that it's immoral, and that they will resist Trump!

But this is not a reasoned debate!

Who cares who wants what and who hates who in politics.

We need to be presented with a solid communication of facts, figures, and why should we support a position or not. 

Yes, an endorsement by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is helpful, but the opposition can just claim partisan politics. 

So here are some simple facts to inform the discussion:

Gun Trafficking:
- Over 253,000 guns annually cross the border from the U.S. to Mexico.

Drug Trafficking:
- Cartels send $64,000,000,000 of drugs annually from Mexico to U.S. 

Human Trafficking:
Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked annually into the U.S. 

Gang Members:
Almost 6,000 gang members in 2018 were deported by ICE.

Illegal Immigrants:
- The U.S. and Customer and Border Protection apprehended more than 500,000 illegals trying to enter in 2008, and there are between 12 to 22 million illegals in the U.S, today

Looking at these numbers, I am not sure how anyone can say that the current border situation is secure--it isn't. 

So whatever we are doing with agents, sensors, surveillance, intelligence, inspection, and interdiction --no matter how good it is--it is not enough. 

Certainly a request for Border Wall funding for $5 billion out of a $4.4 trillion dollar budget and placing barriers on hundreds of miles out of a 2,000 mile border, does not seem at all extreme!

While I do not like to be on a government shutdown, I certainly don't see why this can't be resolved with some reasoned border security funding that includes among the other security measures, a wall/barrier. 

A strategically-placed border barrier only stands to reason in a layered defense/system of systems approach to security. 

For some of those that don't want the wall, and only want votes from a broken immigration system, this is a fight for power, rather than a genuine argument on how to help secure the country. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 29, 2016

Obama, Kerry, and the UN's 6 Principles of Ultimate Hypocrisy

So how do we know that Obama, Kerry, and the UN's position and resolutions against Israel is biased, hateful, and Anti-Semitic? 

Let's briefly look at the 6 ludicrous principles--as applied to the United States and it's settling the land of the Native American Indians. 

Principle 1: Recognized International Borders for 2 People  

- For the United States that would be recognized international borders for the Native American Indians and for the the United States agreed to by both sides.

Principle 2: Two States for Two Peoples

- That would be a West America for Native American Indians and an East America for the United States (see graphic above).

Principle 3: Realistic Solution for Refugees

- The realistic solution would not involve a return of the Native American Indians to East America, but would involve compensation. 

Hmm, how much do we realistically owe the Native American Indians for half the country? 

Principle 4: Washington DC as Capital for 2 States

- That would look something like this with a West Washington D.C. as capital for Native American Indians and an East Washington D.C. as capital for the United States. 

Principle 5: Satisfy U.S. Security Needs

- This would involve "innovative approaches to creating unprecedented, multi-layered border security."  

Uh, what does that mean, especially with our estimated 11.4 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. already???

Principle 6: Normalized Relations

- For the U.S., "this must bring broader peace" with South American neighbors (including Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.) and would allow "groundbreaking" security partnerships with others like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. 

Wonder how that would all work out, huh???

The main difference between the U.S. and Israel is that actually Jews were promised the land of Israel by G-d him/herself and the Jews have actually lived and worshipped there for 4,000 years!

If Obama, Kerry, and the United Nations want to lecture on a Two State Only Solution, perhaps they need to start by contacting the Native American Indians and getting out their drawing boards. ;-)

(Source Graphics: By Andy Blumenthal adapted from here and here)

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February 6, 2016

What does 600613 Spell?

As per my previous blogs on the mystical number 613 (corresponding to the G-d's commandments in the Torah), today we have a technological twist.

Recently, Google paid an award to a former employee of $6,006.13.

The amount is special in two ways as you can see:

First of all, Google saw that, if you look closely, this number spells Google. 

Secondly, it has the number mystical number 613 in it. 

613 is a winner and so is Google, which is now the the most valuable company in the U.S. (worth more than Apple) at $554 billion!

If you use simple Gematria, where each letter is a number (A=1, B=2, C=3...Z=26), then Guess what other successful technology companies has the mystical 613 in their names:















(Also, see which amazing technology company has 613 twice in their name!)

In contrast, some ailing technology companies that do not have 613:

- Yahoo

- Twitter

- LinkedIn

613 is a reminder of G-d's benevolence to mankind in that he G-d us the commandments as a roadmap to live by.  613 is a symbol of faith in G-d almighty and in his holy Torah (Bible). 

For those that keep His charge, we believe that Hashem will bless them and keep them. 

Indeed, technology used for the good of mankind is a blessing to us all.  ;-)

(Source Graphics: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)
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July 5, 2015

Big Data, Small Moments

There is a definite rhythm to our lives. 

And by analyzing the peak times of Google search terms, we can get a good picture of what it is (as Seth Stephens-Davidowitz notes in the New York Times Sunday Review).

- From starting a new day to taking care of bathroom business, looking for healing, and even goofing off. 

- Midday is some personal time for shopping, travel plans, and a news update. 

- The evening is a nice dinner and maybe some sexual intimacy.

- The night time is scariest with anxiety about health, leading to panic and thoughts of suicide, and easing off with drugs and pornography. 

- As we roll towards the early hours of the next day, we have a philosophical reawakening with contemplation about the meaning of life and our place in it. 

If we can get all this just from some data analytics of Google search terms, can you imagine what else we can learn about the masses and YOU, the individuals that make it up. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 29, 2014

A Razor to Apple's Throat


I love Razer's Project Christine - a completely modular PC. 

There is a stand and you simply attach the components you want: Central Processing Units (CPU), Graphic Processing Unit (GPU), Power Supply Unit (PSU), Solid-State Drive (SSD) storage, and so on. 

By making the architecture open and plug and play--just jack in a new module-- and change out whatever you want, whenever you want. Obsolescence be gone. 

This is a challenge to pure standardization, and a way to make customization cost-effective.

The cooling is done with mineral oil that is pumped throughout from the bottom reservoir. 

At the top, you see a module for a command center for adding operating systems, adjusting configurations and settings, or monitoring performance. 

A subscription model is planned where for a annual fee, you can get the latest and greatest upgrades.


Project Christine PC is the epitome of simple, useful, scalable and beautiful.

Watch out Apple, you have a Razor at your throat--it's time to seriously up the innovation game. ;-)
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January 31, 2013

Alienware Rocks

So this is the nicest looking laptop I have ever seen by far--and it's made by Alienware, a subsidiary of Dell (acquired in 2006).

Apple, I never thought I'd be saying it. 

But Alienware rocks!

The sci-fi style with beautifully lit keyboard and advanced features for gaming make this one awesomely powerful piece of hardware. 

I can't believe that kids are actually carrying these into school now a days. 

See video review of premier M18X Alienware gaming laptop here.

If you want unbelievable graphics display, memory, sound, processing power, storage, and style--this is it in laptop computers. 

Plus it comes with the cute alien figure etched on the cover. 

I want one! ;-)

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December 14, 2012

Children, Our Future

20 children dead today in school shooting. 

Completely unacceptable!

We need better psychiatric screening, more treatment options, and safer schools.

How can we expect children to excel, when they can't even feel safe. 

Safeguard our children, protect our future.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Massimo Valiani, Source Quote: ABC News article comment by Quinn, and Mashup by Andy Blumenthal)

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August 12, 2011

To Follow Or Not To Follow

Theskystallione

Twitter is a great streaming feed for news and information, but what you get depends on who you follow.

While Twitter does provide suggestions based on whether they are "promoted" or who you already follow (i.e. follow Joe because they are "followed by" Julia), it doesn't tell you a lot of information about them except their Twitter handle, short profile, location, basic stats, etc.

A new service called Twtrland helps you decide who to follow by providing lot's more information and displaying it in an organized fashion--simply plug in the Twitter handle you are interested in knowing more about and you get the following:

1) Basic Info--Picture, profile, stats on follow/follower/tweets

2) Top Followers--Let's you know who else (from the who's who) is following this person.

3) Advanced Stats--Provides measures on how often he/she gets retweeted, tweets per day, retweets, etc.

4) Graph of Content Type--Displays in pie chart format the type of content the person puts out there: plain tweets, links, pictures, retweets, replies and more.

5) Samples of Content by Category--Examples of this persons tweets are provided by category such as: famous words, plains tweets, pictures, links, retweets, and mentions.

I like the concept and execution of Twtrland in organizing and displaying tweeters information. However, I cannot really see people routinely taking the time to put in each Twitter handle to get this information. Making a decision a who to follow is not generally a research before you follow event. The cost-benefit equation doesn't really make sense, since it doesn't cost you anything to follow someone and if you don't like their tweets, you can always change your mind later and unfollow them if you want.

Overall, I see Twtrland more as a profiling tool (for research or interest) by getting a handy snapshot of what people are doing/saying online in the world of micro-blogging, rather than a decision support system for whether I should add someone to my follow list or not.

(Source Photo: Twtrland Profile of Sylvester Stallone, Rocky!)

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July 30, 2011

Federal Register On Steroids

"The Federal Register is "the official daily publication of rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents." It is published by the Office of Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration in the Government Printing Office's (GPO) Federal Digital System (FDsys)--"the next generation on online government information."

Attached is a snapshot that shows a very basic chronological order of posts with an issue of the Federal Register subdivided by agency/organization. It's organized and to the point!

Now, here is a new way of looking at the information from GovPulse, a site developed to "make such documents as the Federal Register searchable, more accessible and easier to digest...to encourage every citizen to become more involved in the workings of their government and make their voice heard." The site is built from open source.

You'll see that there is a lot more information readily available, organized in multiple ways, and really quite user-centric; some examples:

1) Number of Entries for the Day: The number of entries for the day are listed right at the top.
2) Calendar for Selecting Day of Interest: Next to the number of entries for the day, you can click on the calendar icon and get an instant 3 months of dates to choose from or enter another date of interest and be instantly take to there.
3) Statistics for the Day: The right sidebar displays the locations mentioned on a map and the types of entries and reporting agencies in pie charts.
4) Department Entries are Prominently Displayed: Both the number of entries for each department are identified as well as identifying their type and length along with an abstract for the entry. Each Department's entries can easily be expanded or collapses by clicking on the arrow next to the department's name.
5) Entries are Enabled for Action: By clicking on an entry, there are options to share it via social media to Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and Reddit to let others know about it and there is also a listing of your senators and representatives and their contact information to speak up on the issues.

Additional helpful features on the homepage--immediate access to areas that are last chance to act or what's new, such as:

1) Comments closing in the next 7 days
2) Comments opened in the last 7 days
3) Rules taking effect in the next 7 days
4) Rules proposed in the last 7 days

Moreover, you have another map with bubbles showing mentioned locations or you can enter your own location and get all the entries subdivided by 10, 15, 20 miles and so on up to 50 miles away.

Another feature called Departmental Pulse, show a trend line of number of entries per department over the last year or 5 years.

At the top of the page, you can quickly navigate to entries in the Federal Register by agency, topic, location, date published, or do a general search.

There are other cool features such as when you look at entries by department, you can see number of entries, places mentioned, and a bubble map that tells you popular topics for this department.

Overall, I think GovPulse deserves a big thumbs up in terms of functionality and usability and helping people get involved in government by being able to access information in easier and simpler ways.

The obvious question is why does it take 3 outsiders "with a passion for building web applications" to do this?

While I can't definitively answer that, certainly there are benefits to coming in with fresh eyes, being true subject matter experts, and not bound by the "bureaucracy" that is endemic in so many large institutions.

This is not say that there are not many talented people in government--because there certainly are--but sometimes it just takes a few guys in a garage to change the world as we know it.

Federal_register Govpulse

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