Toys Non-Digital

Interesting set off toys found in a silver pan tray. 


A couple of dogs, some Play-Doh, a crayon, and a fighter plane. 


Off to the side (not pictured) are the Legos. 


Interesting with what competes with video games and phone apps these days. 


(Note: 85% of the world’s toys are now made in China!)


Frankly, there is still a lot to be said for the creative play of yesteryear. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)