Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts

January 10, 2020

3D Printed Octopus: "Shabbat Shalom"

This is a 3D Printed Octopus.  

The bendable legs are cute. 

It's sitting on a camera and tripod. 

Soon 3D Printed Objects will even talk, and when they do, this one will say: 
Shabbat Shalom!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 1, 2020

Holiday SHOULD BE Giving To Children's Hospital

Thought this was a pretty good display with the Three Bears for holiday donations for Children's National Hospital. 

While it gets your attention (who sees three pink bears lite up on the street at night?), asking people with a small impersonal sign on the floor to remember to login and make the donation later isn't very effective. 

People act on the spot, especially when it's an emotional appeal for charity for sick children that need help.  

The children deserve for there to be a way for would be donors to actually give on the spot--where they can swipe or tap their credit card, write a check, or drop some money in for giving. 

Later, later, later...and unfortunately, it may never happen for the Children. 

Come on--it's the new roaring 2020s--we can create some urgency and convenience and do better than this!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 20, 2019

Plea For A Wireless World

If anything screams wireless...

There has got to be a better way.

One day people are going to laugh their heads off at they way we did technology.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 18, 2019

Types of Project Management Office

This is a quick breakdown of the 3 types of Project Management Offices (PMOs).

  • Enabling (Supportive) — Provides best practices, templates, and tools “as needed,” and compliance is voluntary.
  • Delivery (Controlling) — Adopts framework or methodology, policy, and repeatable procedures, and a certain level of the standards are enforced.
  • Compliance (Directive) — Establishes strict standards, measures, and control over projects, and these are highly regulated.

A good place to start is with an enabling/supportive PMO and then progress to a more delivery/controlling model. Generally, a compliance/directive PMO is for more highly regulated organizations.

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal and concept via CIO Magazine and Gartner)
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November 11, 2019

Artechouse = Art + Tech + House



This place was really cool in Washington, D.C. 

Artechouse = Art + Tech + House. 

Great immersive technology, art, music, dance, and light show. 

Highly recommend it!

This exhibit "Lucid Motion" was by Japanese artist Daito Manabe X Rhizomatiks Research.

They also had a nice augmented reality display. 

Had fun with the clan. 

Hope you enjoy!

(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 23, 2019

When Do We Get The Replicators

Good advertisement piece for a 3D Printing Class. 

Not sure that we're nearly there yet in terms of the Star Trek vision for the Replicators that could make food and other items on demand. 

But things are slowly taking shape. 

Someone wake me up when I can order up a pizza from this thing.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 27, 2019

That Decisive Qualitative Edge

So I am reading this book called "Israel's Edge."

It's basically about their elite genius program, "Talpiot," in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).  

Each year the program accepts only the top 50 out of 100,000 graduating high school students for a 9-year commitment. 

There are the mathematicians, physicists, and computer scientists that help give the IDF the cutting edge in military R&D and other innovations. 

These are the brain trust behind Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system and Trophy tank active protection system and many more both military and industrial advances. 

This program was born after the almost disastrous 1973 Yom Kippur War where Israel misjudged the intelligence and the advances in their enemies capability and almost lost the war. 

I like the philosophy of General Yitzhak Ben-Israel who understands the importance of challenging the status quo and looking differently at critical situations and avoiding confirmation bias:
My method is not to look for supporting evidence. I look for refuting evidence...you see one white swan, then a second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. You still can't conclude that all swans are white...nature builds us to be inductive, to make generalizations from past experience...this standard way of scientific thinking can be limiting and destructive."
Instead we must be continuously curious, think outside the box, be creative, and innovate. 

Especially, where we don't have a quantitative advantage like with Israel surrounded by many enemies, then we must rely on a very sharp qualitative edge. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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August 30, 2019

Breakthrough Hybrid Car Technology

Saw this photo on Facebook.

Thought this was just too excellent. 

Yes, a new hybrid car.

- The chassis goes one way.

- The passenger compartment goes the other way. 

Was the engineer on hallucinogenics? 

Or perhaps, this is some super secret new technology for easy parallel parking. 

Think about it, if the car is driverless than what difference does it make anyway? ;-)

(Source Photo: Facebook)
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August 17, 2019

Copy Any Key

Thought this was pretty cool in Safeway supermarket.

A automated key copy machine. 

You insert your key. 

And out pops a duplicate for you. 

Home, car, business, whatever.

What is happening to that guy who used to work the key copy machine at the local locksmith?

Who says automation and robotics isn't taking and going to take away jobs. 

I still remember that key machine--where the locksmith would put the key on one side and a blank on the other, and the machine would copy the surface grooves of one unto the other. 

Now even that is gone. 

I guess we're lucky still to have keys (for now).  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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August 5, 2019

Shootings in El Paso and Dayton

Another bloody weekend...this time in El Paso and Dayton. 

With at least 29 dead and 53 injured in mass shootings.

We still don't seem to be able to get a state of security in our country. 

Whether it's gangs and violence in our decaying cities (yes, like Baltimore). 

Or mass shootings by racists and nut jobs attacking our schools, houses of worship, shopping malls, and places of work. 

People can buy assault rifles with mega mags of ammunition and go crazy.

And they do!

While I was impressed with the response in Dayton especially, they killed the perpetrator within 30 seconds of the start to his killing spree, in other cases it takes considerably longer,

Moreover, while generally the first responders are brave and heroic in going after and taking out the bad guys, in places like the Parkland shooting, the officer apparently hid behind a tree while the students got massacred. 

We need a rethinking of how we deal with these terror situations. 

Can technology help (and I know these may sound crazy, but we have to think out-of-the-box at some point)?

We have the ShotSpotter technology to pinpoint where shootings are occurring. 

Why can't we have persistent armed drones on patrol with AI ready to swoop in (even through an open door or window) and respond and neutralize the shooter (while law enforcement makes their way through our busy city streets). 

Other ideas...embedded chips in humans (yes, it is coming) that would drive the privacy wonks nuts, but can identify occurrences of extreme violence and potentially stop it.  

I am sure there are other technology ideas out there.

Certainly, we do need to balance privacy with safety, and it will be tricky to make sure the AI is getting it right, but as we figure this out, tragically there are fathers, mothers, children not coming home because they are dead.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 18, 2019

Retro Cool Digital Watch

Wow, I love this retro digital Computron watch from Bulova. 

I remember when the first digital LED watches with the red numbers like this first came out in the 1970s. 

They were quite expensive then!

Part of the computer revolution. LOL

I remember my uncle had something like this and I thought how cool it was--no moving hands to read.

Also, has a little of that sci-fi Battlestar Galactica red (moving) light effect from the cybernetic enemy, Cylon visors. 

What's old is what's new.  ;-)
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July 17, 2019

Face Vase

Thought this was a pretty cool Face Vase. 

If you add a digital home assistant to this (like Amazon Echo or Google Assistant) and make the lips move on this vase, it would be quite the futuristic home assistant!

I don't think I'd feel comfortable living in my own house anymore. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 29, 2019

Using Drones To Stop Terror Balloons and Kites

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Using Drones to Stop Terror Balloons and Kites."
It is not hard to imagine Israel developing drones that can effectively deal with the terror balloons and kites. If a drone, can hover for extended periods overhead, go on GPS or remote-controlled operational missions, and can even be used to “take out” terrorist targets or other drones, then certainly they can intercept, capture, redirect, or destroy the flaming balloons and kites that the terrorists are sending to kill and destroy.

Israel and the IDF not only have the fundamental technical and scientific knowhow with both drones and missile defense, but also they have the motivation, with G-d’s help, to save the lives of the Israeli people as well as the beautiful and holy land of Israel. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 26, 2019

Amazing - They Go In And See

Had my routine colonoscopy this morning. 

It is so amazing that they can go in with camera and everything. 

Look around and if necessary, cut out anything bad. 

Years ago, people just felt sick or pain and maybe saw some symptoms from outside.

But they had no idea what was happening inside. 

So grateful to G-d for the technology and doctors that can make sure all is okay. 

We are truly living in miraculous times. 

They even send you home with some pictures afterward.

It's interesting to see, but maybe a little TMI. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 24, 2019

The Goal is Automagically

Wow, I couldn't believe that this is a real word.

Automagically.

I thought my colleague was using it as a gag. 

But when I asked Dr. Google, there it was. 

Automagically - Automatically + Magical

It refers to the use of computer automation and how when well-implemented it seems almost like the process is magical, ingenious, and oh, so easy. 

So this is the goal for us that all our processes and efforts should be poof--automagically done and  there it is! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 18, 2019

Beautiful Architecture, Washington DC

Check out this beautiful exterior architecture.  

This fine exquisite pattern is all around this building by Metro Center. 

I think this must've been restored over the last few years, because I don't remember it being this colorful and awesome in the past. 

Civilization can still create some amazing works...whether technology, medical cures, and even beautiful pieces of artwork. 

Now we just need to proceed with the positives of creativity and productivity without destroying ourselves with indifference, dysfunction, and mismanagement in the process. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 28, 2019

Robots In Rockville


Had some fun driving around this cool little Robot in Rockville Town Center.

I like to try out the latest gadgets. 

It's funny people's reactions when they see these. 

They're still not quite sure what to make of these. 

Robots on the street.

Drones overhead.

Submersibles in the water.

Soon they will all be autonomous, ubiquitous, and essential.

And people will be the side attraction. ;-)

(Source Video: Dossy Blumenthal)
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May 3, 2019

What Are The Chances for IT Project Success?

So I was teaching a class in Enterprise Architecture and IT Governance this week. 

In one of the class exercises, one of the students presented something like this bell-shaped distribution curve in explaining a business case for an IT Project. 

The student took a nice business approach and utilized a bell-shaped curve distribution to explain to his executives the pros and cons of a project. 

Basically, depending on the projects success, the middle (1-2 standard deviations, between 68-95% chance), the project will yield a moderate level of efficiencies and cost-savings or not. 

Beyond that:

- To the left are the downside risks for significant losses--project failure, creating dysfunction, increased costs, and operational risks to the mission/business. 

- To the right is the upside potential for big gains--innovations, major process reengineering, automation gains, and competitive advantages. 

This curve is probably a fairly accurate representation based on the high IT project failure rate in most organizations (whether they want to admit it or not). 

I believe that with:
- More user-centric enterprise architecture planning on the front-end
- Better IT governance throughout
- Agile development and scrum management in execution 
that we can achieve ever higher project success rates along the big upside potential that comes with it!  

We still have a way to go to improve, but the bell-curve helps explains what organizations are most of the time getting from their investments. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Adapted by Andy Blumenthal from here)
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April 28, 2019

Rockville Science Fair - 30th Year!















(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 12, 2019

Gotta Love FANUC


I love FANUC industrial robots. 

They are made by a secretive company in Japan and they are #1 in workplace automation worldwide! 

They have over half a million installed industrial robots around the world.

Their robots are on assembly lines making everything from "cars and smartphones to beverages and drugs."  They also are in Tesla and Amazon...so you know they are pretty much everywhere. 

FANUC has customers in 108 countries supported by 263 service locations. 

Their robots are made by...that's right other robots...80% is automated

These robots are strong, fast, and precise, and they can do dangerous work. 

This company is the future of jobs, productivity, efficiency. 

But of course, people are still the brains behind the brawn.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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