Monday, January 31, 2011

Office of Strategic Innovation Roundtable Format and Logistics

Below is information on the format and the logistics for The Office of Strategic Innovation Roundtable (OSI/R).

 Just as a reminder, the OSI/R is a joint effort with AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology and Virtual Photons Electrons.  The OSI/R will be a regularly scheduled (likely weekly) webcast interviewing thought leaders in manufacturing, the computer industry, science and technology.

The basic format of the OSI/R will be:

  • The podcast will be an interview with thought leaders.
  • The length will be 15 to 30 minutes depending on topic.  Likely 30 minutes.
  • This will be captured as an audio only interview using Skype. 
    • In other words, this will not have live video with the thought leader, but will be voice ONLY recording with graphics added after the fact.  
    • I could add video after the fact as well.
    • I am going to use Skype on my MacBook Pro with AudioHijack Pro to record the OSI/R audio.
    • The thought leader will use Skype as well. 
  • The format will be dedicated (90%) on a topic that educates folks.
    • Tell me about yourself.
    • What is topic we will be discussing today?
    • Why is this topic important?
    • Who should know about this topic?
    • What are the business issues to be aware of?
    • What are the technical issues to be aware of?
    • How might this topic change over time?
    • When and how should someone embrace this topic?
    • Finally, tell me about your company or organization?
  • The last 10% of the interview, the thought leader can take the time to talk discuss they want about anything they want related to their company's/agency's product's and/or services.
  • The thought leader should send me some slides if they want that I will add to the podcast.
  • The thought leader and I will work out the topic with a list of areas to discuss.  This will be a combination Q&A and discussion.
  • The OSI/R will be used for MTConnect, MTInsight and Office of Strategic Innovation purposes.
  • The overall intent is to create a robust library of topics.
    • One advantage will be that when someone asks a basic question, we can point them at a podcast/webinar which is typically much better than a white paper or an email.
  • We can do this dirt cheap - which is important. 
  • Speakers do not need a lot of prep which is key.
  • I can edit stuff after the interview.
  • It should be fun and informative or why do it at all  :-)

Below is the opening I will use for Office of Strategic Innovation Roundtable's webcasts:

Please contact me if you would like to participate.  Stay tuned for more details.

Washington DC 2011 Auto Show

Below is a video I took on the amazing Chevy Volt.  I spoke to the Volt Product Specialist for about 45 minutes which was very interesting.

Below is $183,000 for the Mercedes SLS Gull Wing.

Below is the Nissan Leaf, which is the first 100% electric vehicle in mass production.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Announcing OSI/R - Office of Strategic Innovation Roundtable

Today, I am very pleased and proud to announce The Office of Strategic Innovation Roundtable (OSI/R).

 The OSI/R is a joint effort with AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology and Virtual Photons Electrons.  The OSI/R will be a regularly scheduled (likely weekly) webcast interviewing thought leaders in manufacturing, the computer industry, science and technology.

Below is the opening I will use for Office of Strategic Innovation Roundtable's webcasts:

Stay tuned for the first guest!

Great Article on Chevy Volt

The Washington Post's Gene Weingarten writes a great article on the Chevy Volt.

The Volt is the exact right architecture for an electric.  Below is what I mean as Gene Weingarten writes:

"The Volt is an all-electric car, with an asterisk. You can plug it in overnight -- even to the same sort of dinky wall outlet that runs your coffee maker -- and by morning, the car's battery is fully charged. It's ready to power the Volt's two electric motors, which will carry you 30 or 40 miles on that wall juice alone. If your life is circumscribed by a daily commute of 40 miles or less -- this applies to about three-quarters of Americans -- you can run this car without ever using even a teaspoon of gas, at the cost of about a buck fifty a day in electricity. But if you really, really want that cheese steak, you can get it, too.
The Volt's dainty gasoline engine doesn't usually power the car directly; it acts primarily as a generator to recharge the battery, which keeps the electric motors going another 300 miles or so after that initial charge is exhausted. Running on gas only, albeit premium, the Volt's motors still generate power at a respectable 37 miles to the gallon."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Parents Canon PowerShot SX130 IS Tutorial Video

My sister and I purchased for our parents a Canon PowerShot SX130 IS.   We bought this for my father's 77th birthday.

I did a lot of research on this and really think that this is a great camera for very, very, old, elderly, old people or those who simply want an easy to use camera with great features.  Below is a short video I shot with my iPhone 4 so my parents will not bother me with dumb questions.  They can also call  Best Buy's Geek Squad with questions since we bought the 3 year accident

Below is from Canon's website:


Creative Memory Making.
Smart, sleek and creative, the PowerShot SX130 IS is the perfect companion to all your good times. Now you can capture every detail of special moments in crisp, stunning 720p HD - even while using the high-powered 12x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom! You'll record in stereo sound, then play back your videos instantly on you computer. The SX130 IS is all about creativity, with fun new scene modes like Miniature Effect for Movies, and Fisheye Effect for artistically distorted stills. While you're having fun creating, the camera's Smart Flash Exposure and advanced Smart AUTO systems are ensuring that every image is the best it can be. Add the DIGIC 4 Image Processor, 12.1 Megapixels and Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer, and you’ve got the ideal camera for making the good times last.

An End User's View of MTConnect

This is a 28 minute presentation that I (Dave Edstrom) created as the President and Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect Institute explaining MTConnect in non-technical business terms for end users.

What is MTConnect?   

MTConnect is an easy way for manufacturing technology (machine tools for example) to speak to the rest of the world.  Think of MTConnect as the "Bluetooth for manufacturing technology"  In more technical speak, MTConnect is a lightweight, open, and extensible protocol designed for the exchange of data between shop floor equipment and software applications used for monitoring and data analysis.

Let me know what you think by providing comments!

Anniversary of Oracle's Official Takeover of Sun Microsystems

Today is the one year anniversary of Oracle officially taking over Sun Microsystems.  

On this date a year ago, Oracle and I went in our separate directions.   It was a bitter sweet day.  Bitter in that it was the classic, "of all sad songs of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, what might have been."  Scott McNealy sent out a very heart felt email last year at this time to all of Sun.   Below are my favorite parts of Scott's long email.  Everyone loved Scott McNealy.

"First and foremost, Sun innovated like crazy. We took it to the limit (see Eagles). And though we did not monetize our inventions as well as we could have, few companies have the track record in R&D that we had over the last 28 years. This made working at Sun really cool. Thanks to all of you inventors and risk takers who changed how we live.

Sun cared about its customers. Even more than we cared about our own company at times. We looked at our customer’s mission as more important than ours. Maybe we should have asked for more revenue in return, but our employees were always ready to help first. I love this about Sun which I guess makes me a good capitalist if not a great capitalist.

Sun did not cheat, lie, or break the rule of law or decency. While we enjoyed breaking the rules of conventional wisdom and archaic business practice and for sure loved to win in the market, we did so with a solid reputation for integrity. Nearly three decades of competing without a notable incident of our folks going off course morally or legally. Not all executives and big companies are bad. Really. There are good companies out there. Special thanks to all of my employees for this. I never had to hide the newspaper in shame from my children.

Sun was a financial success. We paid billions in taxes, salaries, purchases, leases, training, and even lawyers and accountants for devastatingly cumbersome SOX and legal compliance (oops, more classic digression). Long term and smart investors made billions in SUNW. And our customers generated revenue and savings using our equipment in countless ways. Many employees started families, bought homes and put them through school while working at Sun. Our revenues over 28 years exceeded $200B. Few companies make it to the F200. We did. Nice."

 It was also bitter that I would no longer be working for James Hollingshead.  James was/is a great leader and a long time friend.   The sweet part was an opportunity for a fresh start after 23 years of working at Sun Microsystems.  The other sweet part was the foresight and generosity of Sun Microsystems with their Director Change In Control provision (if Sun was ever purchased).  The feeling was much like the one I had when I sold half my SUNW stock in the late summer of 2000 near its all time peak :-)
Specifically, that feeling was I was being proactive in my decision making and following Warren Buffet's timeless financial advice of, "bulls and bears do fine and hogs get slaughtered."

The plan was for me to take off until fall 2010.   That plan changed two weeks later after having lunch with Doug Woods, the President for the Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT).  Just like Vito Corleone in the movie The Godfather, Doug made me an offer I could not refuse :-)  After a week Doug and I agreed that AMT would create The Office of Strategic Innovation where I would be the Director and report directly to him as a consultant.   A few weeks after that I started part time consulting for AMT and currently I worked full time in 2010 for Doug.    2010 was a great year and I hope 2011 will be as well.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The West Isn't Working CNBC Video

This is a little below three minutes in length and if this short video on the future of the west does not get your attention, then nothing will...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kiss Cam -- A First at a Wizards Game for Us

We have seasons tickets and last night my wife and I took Tim and his friend Will.  I bought two fifth row tickets for $50 each - normally $110 for those seats.  Season ticket holders get special deals, which is very nice.  Tim and Will sat in the lower seats for the first half.  Julie and I sat there the second half.

At every Wizards game they run the Kiss Cam in the 3rd quarter.  It is always the same deal, the find young and old couples, put their faces up on the Kiss Cam inside a large heart and then you have to kiss before they move on to the next couple.   Everyone in the crowd stares at that the huge screens to see if they are selected and to see what goofy things the couples might do.   Last night, they zoomed in on Julie and me.   

When I jumped on here and started kissing her John Wall jersey she was wearing, the crowd that it was pretty funny.  Julie was naturally embarrased.  To our surprise they came back to us a second time, so this time I gave her the mother of all kiseses.   I thought it was great - as did Tim and Will sitting up in our seats and watching in on the big screen at the Verizon Center.  My wife, not so much :-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ashburn #1! - But Not Something We Will Advertise :-)

I was sent this link by a former Ashburn neighbor.  At first I thought it was a joke, but it is not.  What
is Ashburn, VA number one in?


A report is run every year and this year Ashburn, VA is number one.  As the report states:

"Ashburn, Va. is the most obscene place in America, as determined by analyzing data from Google.
To find the most obscene cities in America, we plugged the "seven dirty words you can never say on television" -- made popular by George Carlin -- into Google Trends.  We gave each city a score for each of the seven words, assigning more points to cities ranking higher up on each list."

Now, as a resident of multiple cities in my life, I find this hard to believe.   Considering that there is more bandwidth that comes into Ashburn, VA than any other city that I can think of (a three letter government agency in Maryland likely is ahead of Ashburn :-)  - Verizon's World Headquarters, AOL's Headquarters and many massive data centers for Amazon,  Google, Sony, Electronic Arts, insert company here, I just have to believe this is a function of massive bandwidth and not the foul mouthed Ashburn residents.  As I like to point out to friends and family, the internet ends just outside of my neighborhood at Verizon's massive campus.   I watched them pull countless fiber bundles into the old WorldComm Headquarters before it become Verizon.  We have countless data centers the size of multiple football fields spread through out Ashburn.

Of course, I have been known to contribute once or twice to that category of language, so maybe it is true :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Open Source For USA Report Card

The Open Source For America Organization came out with this very interesting report on the US government and its use of open source software.  Below is from the report:

"The Report Card assigned a percentage grade to the 15 Cabinet-level departments and agencies use of open source technologies, open formats, and technology tools for citizen engagement. Agencies that ranked highest based on the open source technology and open government criteria include:

Department of Defense (82 percent)

Department of Energy (72 percent)

Department of Health and Human Services (55 percent)

Department of Homeland Security (55 percent)

Department of Transportation (53 percent)

The latter agencies include the Departments of Veterans Affairs (49 percent); Agriculture (47 percent); Housing and Urban Development (45 percent); State (44 percent); Treasury (44 percent); Labor (44 percent); Justice (43 percent); Commerce (40 percent); Education (40 percent); and the Interior (37 percent)."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Favorite Neurosurgeon - Dr. Donlin Long

My all time favorite neurosurgeon is Dr. Donlin Long of Johns Hopkins.    Dr. Long is a legend in neurosurgery and just a great guy.  He was also the mentor for Dr. Ben Carson. 

Below comes from a page at Johns Hopkins:

DONLIN M. LONG served as director of the Department of Neurosurgery from 1973 through 2000, when he stepped down to devote all his time to research, education, and patient care. He holds a joint appointment at the Applied Physics Laboratory and is a founder of the Laboratory for Technology Transfer.

Dr. Long, who also holds a Ph.D. in neuroanatomy, focuses his treatment and research on tumors of the skull, complex spinal problems, and problems of chronic pain. As director, he led his department to become one of the best of its kind, responsible for major contributions to the understanding of brain systems, brain tumor therapy, and pain treatment. Twenty-three of his trainees have gone on to head neurosurgery departments or divisions in hospitals and medical schools all over the world. In 2001, Dr. Long was appointed a Distinguished Service Professor.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Net Neutrality in a Nutshell

The internet might be the most important invention the human race has ever come up with, and anything that could radically change the way the internet operates needs to be taken very seriously.  Most Americans are against net neutrality for the internet.  Most Americans do not know what net neutrality really is.

There are reasonable people who have differing views on net neutrality for perfectly logical reasons. The two individuals who had more to do with the creation of the internet than anyone else are Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.  Cerf and Kahn designed the protocol (rules of the road) that the internet still uses to this day. They also disagree on the topic of net neutrality. If these two brilliant individuals disagree, then it is worth taking the time to discuss what net neutrality is and why the manufacturing sector should care about this topic.

What is net neutrality?  In a nutshell, when you pay for a level of service with your internet provider (2 megabits per second or 25 megabits per second as examples), that provider should treat every packet of information the same and not discriminate.  For example, your internet provider should not be looking at:

·      What type of content are you requesting or sending?
·      Where you are going on the internet or where did you come from?
·      What type of device are you using to access the internet — PC, Mac, cell phone, internet TV, Blu-Ray player, something else?
·      What type of packets you are sending or receiving?  For example, Skype, (using the internet as a video phone service), Netflix (watching movies over the internet), bit-torrent (moving lots of files on the internet), or any other type of service that can be identified.

This is where the term “neutrality” comes from in the term net neutrality.  Everything should be treated “neutral” or the same. 

This really requires an example to drive home this point.  Let’s not use the internet, but let’s use something we are all familiar with — a toll road. When you get on the toll road, you might pay more if you are going a farther distance. You might pay more if you are in a large tractor-trailer versus on a motorcycle. You might pay more if there is a fast lane that you want to use, vs. the standard traffic lanes.  That is how the internet operates today.

Here is a sign that you would not see on a toll road:

All Cars Going to McDonald’s Can Take Fast Lane #5

All Corvettes Can Take Fast Lane #11

All Trucks Carrying Home Depot Deliveries Can Take Fast Lane #16

Right now the question you are likely asking is, “Wait a second, if all cars pay the same fee, then why should those cars going to McDonald’s or all Corvettes get in the fast lane?”  You are also likely asking the question, “Why should it matter what is inside my truck? Why aren’t all trucks treated the same if they pay the same fee?”

The answer to those questions would simply be that the toll road operator has a business agreement with McDonald’s, GM or Home Depot.  If you feel that this is perfectly OK because it encourages business to be creative and you want government out of business, then you would be against net neutrality.  If you feel that this is simply not fair and you want internet providers to treat all cars and trucks the same, then you would be for net neutrality.  Reasonable people can and do disagree on this topic.

Those who are against net neutrality typically say, “Hey, it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  That is a perfectly logical statement. Those who are for net neutrality will say, “The reason the internet is not broken is because it has treated all packets the same and this will do nothing but create a caste system on the internet that will stifle creativity of small startups.”

What is my opinion?  I agree with Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the web) that net neutrality is extremely important.  While I don’t trust government when it comes to providing simple and clear regulation, I trust big business less when there is this much money at stake on the most important invention that man has ever created.

In the classic film “All the President’s Men”, the character Deep Throat tells Bob Woodward to “follow the money”. Those three words of advice are timeless when it comes to analyzing anything from simple to complex situations.  This advice certainly applies here.

While I believe it should be painfully obvious that this is critical to all aspects of business and society, it is important for manufacturing because the primary way to increase productivity in manufacturing will be with open protocols, such as MTConnect, that share information globally over the internet. Bottom line, It will be interesting to watch how net neutrality plays out.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Scott McNealy Interview With Andrew Warner of Mixergy

I really enjoyed this interview with Scott McNealy.  Thanks to my oldest son for sending me this link.  There are commercials (I imagine that is why Mixergy provides the embedded code)  at the beginning, but after that it is commercial free.    This is only the second interview that Scott has done in the past five years.  I will always be a Scott McNealy fanboy.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

CentOS - The Free Enterprise-Class Linux Distro

It has been rumored that Facebook uses CentOS.  It may or may not be true.  What is true is that CentOS has and is making a great number of inroads in the enterprise.  If Ubuntu is the free Linux desktop OS, then CentOS is the free Linux enterprise OS. 

Below is from the CentOS homepage:

"CentOS is an Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor.  CentOS conforms fully with the upstream vendors redistribution policy and aims to be 100% binary compatible. (CentOS mainly changes packages to remove upstream vendor branding and artwork.)  CentOS is free.

CentOS is developed by a small but growing team of core developers.  In turn the core developers are supported by an active user community including system administrators, network administrators, enterprise users, managers, core Linux contributors and Linux enthusiasts from around the world."

This one hour overview on (FLOSS Weekly) of CentOS does a very nice job of laying out the the history, business and technical aspects of CentOS:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Most Beautiful Experiment of All Time

Thought I would start 2011 off with:

The Double Slit Experiment which is well known as The Most Beautiful Experiment of All Time.

As is stated at Wikipedia:

"The most baffling part of this experiment comes when only one photon at a time is fired at the barrier with both slits open. The pattern of interference remains the same, as can be seen if many photons are emitted one at a time and recorded on the same sheet of photographic film.    The clear implication is that something with a wavelike nature passes simultaneously through both slits and interferes with itself — even though there is only one photon present."