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)

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.  😉

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Success Anchored in Function AND Beauty

Just a saying from Dr. Ferry Porsche (as in Porsche cars) that I liked:


“It has always been a principal of our company that function and beauty are inseparable.”


If you can make something useful and attractive–you have a real winner!


Companies like Porsche and Apple get it (many, many others are clueless).  


Product development is both art and science and therein lay the foundations of their success or failure. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy 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)