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Monday, December 20, 2010

postheadericon Animoto Hologram Show

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Monday, December 13, 2010

postheadericon The Final Frontier

As an avid Science Fiction and computer gaming geek I figured the logical forecast for me to choose would be the Final Frontier: Preludes to Deep Space Travel.
The author William E. Halal speaks of Space Tourism, bases on the Moon and Mars, Star Travel and the possibilities of contact with alien life. Space Tourism is definitely the next wave in travel beyond our atmosphere. AS the government keep cutting back NASA's budget and limiting their ability to actually accomplish anything, the private sector will definitely move ahead. In just a matter of a few years a person will be able to at least hit Earth's orbit and in a few decades may even be able to visit the Moon. I believe a Moon base will be developed, but the odds are it will be a private endeavor. This is due to the abundance of resources available there for the taking. NASA most likely will set its sights on Mars. The only alien life I think that could exist in our solar system would be microbial. it would take the ability to travel to the stars to have any chance of finding any complex life. For this we are still centuries if not millennia away from having the technology to travel that far. We have come far in the last hundred years, I just hope I live long enough to see a human actually walk on Mars.

postheadericon My Thoughts on the Delphi Method

The Delphi method is used to bring a group of individuals to a consensus when brainstorming an idea or problem. If there is a problem that a group of individuals is trying to solve this method is used in several steps.

1. Define the issue
a. Identify exactly what the issue is and what it may affect. The problem statement should be clear and easy for everyone in the group to understand.
2. Develop the Delphi group and give them the problem.
a. Here is where you gather a group for the Delphi method and give each of them the problem to work on. This group can be small or very large. A normal sized group seems to be about 20 individuals. There is no need to hold meetings as everyone needs to look at the problem on their own.
3. Gather the responses.
a. Gather the responses that everyone sends back on the problem and compile into a sorted list. It is acceptable to mix up the answers to get more creative responses when you send it out again.
4. Send the List out to everyone.
a. Send the compiled list back out to the group and have them rank the answers by a method you choose. Always include the original question with the list. Some Delphi groups may work on several issues at the same time.
5. Repeat sending the list as needed.
a. It may take several communications with the group to formulate a solid plan to the issue. Basically until everyone comes to a consensus.

I personally see a couple of flaws in this process. The main one is that if the right individuals are not in the group I don't see how you could reach the correct conclusion. An example would be using the Delphi method to determine the best course of action for implementing a safe ecommerce site. If the group is not made up of at least some technical experts you will never be able to design it.
Thursday, August 19, 2010

postheadericon Drag On Tape

The thought this tool was pretty cool. On top of being a computer geek, I am also a big movie buff. I get to chatting online with friends on a movie that I have seen the trailer to or something from the past that I am trying to describe. This tool is great for gathering multiple video clips on movies and sending a single link to a group of friends for viewing. As movie reviews may not be the best subject for strategic discussions unless you are in the movie industry, this tool could also be used to combine several videos developed by several individuals and combined into a single presentation video for all interested parties to use as an overall review of the subject.

postheadericon Master Plan for a new Product

In Alexander N. Christakis boo, “How People Harness Collective Wisdom and Power to Construct the Future in Co-Laboratories of Democracy” ISBN 1-59311-481-8 the article case study that caught my eye was Master Plan for a new Product, Context for Drug Development.

The issue with any new drug being developed is the time span and cost involved. The case study states 12 to 15 years from start to when we will see it on store shelves and a price tag of 350 to 500 million. Imagine the cost savings in both lives and money if even 6 months could be shaved of this process. Even 6 months would lower the cost of development, which in turn would lower the cost of the drug when it hits the market and lower the negative cost associated with the disease being treated in more ineffective ways. By using an SDP approach to the Front-End work when developing a new drug improves collaboration among the key decision makers in the project. As most of the time when developing new drugs the Front-End work is the most time consuming and therefore offers the most return and need for improvement.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

postheadericon A bit closer to an actual Holodeck

How close are we to having an actual Holodeck as depicted in the Star Trek series and movies? I was watching an episode on the science channel a few weeks ago and scientists claim that in 20 years computers will be powerful enough to recreate our existing world in cyberspace. With no noticeable difference from how we perceive it now. While virtual reality has been around for some time now there have been issues with its adoption. Vertigo sickness being one and another is how to move around. The first VR trip I took back in the mid 90’s I believe was a simple world where you drove a small tank and played against one other person driving a similar vehicle. Fun but extremely primitive. I think it cost me 5 bucks for 10 minutes. While I think that only practical way to move around the cyber world is by using the mind, such as in the TV series Caprica.


Two other companies that I looked at are taking a different more physical approach to the problem. The University of Warwick and the virtual reality company VR Systems UK are developing what they describe as a cave system. The individual in cyber world basically walks around in a sphere. It is an interesting read and can be found on the Science Daily web site at.


The other device is the Cyberwalk Treadmill by Schwaiger and Munchen from the Cyberwalk European Project. It is a treadmill that has the ability to change direction. You can watch the video on You Tube link below.


postheadericon Privacy Defender

With the millions of people on Facebook it was a given that it would also attract unsavory characters. I personally know half a dozen of my relatives that have no idea on how a computer actually works, but they all have Facebook pages to share information with family and friends. I don’t know how many now I have had to contact and tell them to remove references to their full name and addresses. You may have guessed that these individuals are all minors.
This application is very impressive in that it will lock down all privacy settings automatically. There is about four easy steps and you’re done. A person doesn’t need to know a lot about computers or security settings, just take the recommendations and run with them. It even includes alerts to let a person know when Facebook makes any privacy setting changes.