Thursday, December 29, 2016

Joel Neidig of ITAMCO Speaking (and mentioning MTConnect) at The White House

The Obama Administration has done a phenomenal job supporting manufacturing.

To celebrate this fact, this past Wednesday December 21st there was a two hour meeting at The White House to recap the many manufacturing accomplishments of the Obama Administration.  There were a wide array of speakers with Joel Neidig of ITAMCO being one of the real highlights.

Joel sent me a note that he would be speaking at this White House event.  Joel is the Manager of Development and Technology for ITAMCO and is one of the most creative and smartest individuals that I know.  If if I had to pick one young rock star in manufacturing it would be Joel Neidig of ITAMCO

Joel nailed it during his presentation, mentioned applying the concept of hacking (this is the completely positive vein of creatively programming to do interesting things and NOT the negative concept of hacking we hear about in the press) in manufacturing and that he spoke a little about MTConnect - which was very cool!  

Below is the quick photo I took of the TV (Chromecasting it) when Joel was speaking.  Way to go Joel!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Sun Microsystems "Project Blackbox" Another Example of Technology Ahead of the Curve

In 2007 Sun introduced Project Blackbox.  The idea was pretty simple, put a modular data center in a shipping container.  Below is a photo from Wikipedia showing Project Blackbox (later called Sun Modular Datacenter) out in front of the MPK Campus. 

There is an interesting article by David Shepard EVP, General Manager of the BASELAYER’s Anywhere hardware division, at Data Center Frontier where Mr. Shephard discusses the market potential:

"In the Charles Dicken’s tale, Scrooge had insights into the future that caused him to change his ways for the better. While we do not have these same insights, there are several key market trends that should prepare Infrastructure and IT professionals for what is to come. According to Markets and Markets, the worldwide market for modular data centers will most likely grow from $8.37 billion currently to $40.41 billion by 2018. The Natural Resources Defense Council states that data center waste will rise from 91B kWh to 140B kWh by 2020.

These two trends together paint a future in which modular data center energy consumption will be a key factory. MDC providers will need to take an active part in their designs to continue to deliver performance while looking at the sustainability impact computing resources."

Yet another example of Sun Microsystems being a decade too early for a given market....

Thursday, December 22, 2016

MEMEX wins 2016 Global Machine Monitoring System Product Leadership Award

HUGE Congrats to MEMEX!

Below is from the announcement:
"Frost & Sullivan has a global team of analysts and consultants continuously researching a wide range of markets across multiple sectors and geographies. As part of this ongoing research, they identify companies that maintain consistently high standards for product or service quality and innovation, allowing them to form deep relationships with their customers. This research involves extensive primary and secondary research across the entire value chain of specific products. Against the backdrop of this research, Frost & Sullivan is proud to present MEMEX with 2016 Global Machine Monitoring Systems Product Leadership Award.
Headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, MEMEX-operating as a publicly traded company under the stock ticker “OEE”)—earns its recognition as a global leader in the machine-to machine manufacturing market. MEMEX serves customers within the aerospace, automotive, and advanced industrial sectors by measuring manufacturing excellence in customers’ operations. MEMEX looks to continuously improve its turnkey machine monitoring and automation solutions for its customers, expanding the capabilities of its flagship product, MERLIN, to stay a relevant and highly efficient machine monitoring solution for customers through technical service, support, training, and software development. MEMEX and the MERLIN system received Frost & Sullivan’s 2013 North America Technology Innovation Leadership Award in the machine monitoring market and the company is once again recognized in 2016 as a global Product Leader with its continued commitment to innovation and customer value."

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer of Ashburn and Tim's Gingerbread Man

There are two items that are a must in the Edstrom family every Christmas - one is outside and the other is inside.  Outside it is THE Deer of Ashburn and inside it is Tim's Gingerbread Man.

Below was the first rev of THE Deer when I found it in my neighbor Rick's trash.  I did not ask for permission to take it (Rick later said I am always welcome to take anything in his trash :-) and quickly mounted it on my son John's Taurus (the famous Sun Microsystems $1 million Ford Taurus)  John was not amused and ordered it off before he drove it to high school that morning.

Now I needed to find a purpose for the deer and then it hit me, the ultimate Christmas Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer of Ashburn!

It is always nice to see the line of cars several miles long in Ashburn as they wait in line to see Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer of Ashburn :-)

The inside ornament that is a must is Tim's Gingerbread Man. This always goes in the most visible space on our Christmas tree every year.

The story here is that Tim is 3 years old and the pre-school teacher gives out the Gingerbread Man, glue, some things to glue on there and lots of noodles to glue on.  It normally keeps the kids busy for 20 minutes according to the teacher.  After 1 minute Tim yells, "I'm done!"   The pre-school teacher thought this was priceless and was laughing out loud when she told the story.  She had never seen one like Tim created :-)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Will Republicans Obamacare Repeal and Delay Actually Turn Into Repeal and Kill?

Obamacare had records sign up this week.  This is remarkable because if you listened to the Republicans you would think that Obamacare has been an unmitigated disaster.

Here are some facts that President Obama stated this week:

“When I came into office, 44 million people were uninsured. Today, we’ve covered more than 20 million of them. For the first time in our history, more than 90 percent of Americans are insured.”

As stated at

"Republicans say the average family health insurance premium has increased by $4,154 under President Obama. That’s right — and it’s a much slower rate of growth than under President George W. Bush. In fact, employer-sponsored premiums have been growing at moderate rates for the past few years."


"If the RNC wanted to show what has happened to employer-sponsored premiums under the Affordable Care Act, it should have started the clock in 2010, the year the law was passed. But that makes Obama look better. The rate of growth in average premiums from 2010 to 2014 is 22 percent. Even then, the increase isn’t completely attributable to the ACA. Premiums have been going up every year since the KFF survey started measuring them in 1999."
In addition:

"In an online petition to repeal a tax on medical devices, the RNC goes so far as to claim average family premiums “have skyrocketed” under Obama. Skyrocketed? More like inched up. The RNC gives the stat after saying that “Obamacare has been a failure.” That’s the RNC’s opinion, but it’s not supported by this statistic, which includes premium growth before the law was even enacted."

I think it was incredibly brave for President Obama to take on healthcare, when it would have been easy to kick the can down the road like every other President effectively has done.

As stated on ThinkProgress:

"Republicans in Congress have attempted to repeal Obamacare more than 60 times since the landmark health care reform act was signed into law in 2012. None of them have been successful. By now, the endless cycle of these repeal bills has become a routine fixture in Congress."

What is the definition of insanity again?  

All Americans would be for Repeal AND Replace IF the plan was better than Obamacare.   Obama said countless times that the administration would be pleased to have those discussions.  Instead of wasting all of this time voting to repeal, why were the Republicans NOT working to improve it? Because Obama and the Democrats would benefit almost as much as the Americans would and the Republicans vowed to do whatever they could to make sure Obama was not successful.

It is awfully easy for those in Congress to screw around with healthcare because, even if they serve just one term, they have no worries the rest of their lives because they are covered in terms of healthcare.

IF the Republicans repeal Obamacare WITHOUT an immediate replacement, then I would be willing to bet that Repeal and Delay will turn into Repeal and Kill.  Think sequestration.

I personally know people who lost everything because of healthcare costs and I also personally know (and related to) many people who could not have gotten healthcare without Obamacare. 

If the Republicans Repeal and Kill, or Repeal and LESS Coverage, then I really do not know how they can look at themselves in the mirror each day when they would have taken away what I believe is a basic human right from those less fortunate in life or those unlucky enough to have a preexisting condition.

We shall see....

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch Hands On Experience

Yesterday I got the complete Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch hands on demo by my longtime friend Roger F.  Roger is a "kids don't try this at home" level of software developer and we have known each other going back to the late 1970s.  He always has the latest and greatest toys, so when he mentioned he just got in a new Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch I could not resist the offer to come over and try them out.

What a difference two years makes!  The last time I was using a Oculus Rift was in September of 2014 at IMTS.  Back then it fell in the category of "this is interesting".  Roger took me through a large number of the demo environments and it was impressive.

I was pleasantly surprised how easy the Oculus Touch was to use.  This allows the user to touch and grab things in the virtual reality.  This made the experience very interactive.

I will give you one sort of funny example.  In one of the demos I was on the top of the skyscraper.  I walked to the edge, but hesitated stepping over the edge - even though I knew I was on firm ground :-)

The question I always ask is, "will this go the way of quadrophonic 8-tracks?"   There is a lot more work to do, but certainly for gaming, training and education this could be a game-changer.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Blue Collar and White Collar Security in Manufacturing

I first used these terms in a conversation with a friend of mine who is an internationally recognized expert in security.  We were discussing security in manufacturing and I made the distinction between blue collar and white collar security.  My friend commented it was an interested way to state the problem.

The more I thought about it, the more this might be the right model for manufacturing to ultimately think about security.  This is the first blog post on this topic, with more posts expected, but I wanted to lay out the foundation in this post.

At the 100,000' view, just as all towns look the same, and all security problems look the same.  With security, the canonical advice is that you must protect data at rest and data in-flight.  Stated another way, if you are moving data it must be encrypted and if you are storing data it must be encrypted.  One might ask, "well, does that about cover everything?"  The answer is no.  The obvious example is when processing is occurring ie data is in memory and  not encrypted.  In manufacturing, there are use cases (examples) where, because of the age or type of equipment, it is not possible to have the data encrypted directly to the device.  I will go more into that a little later.

First, let's define blue collar and white collar security in manufacturing.

  • Blue collar security would be those individuals who either are physically or need remote physical access on the shop/plant floor to devices and device data.
  • White collar security would be those individuals who are in the back office or non-plant floor management.
In large manufacturing plants, the will likely have someone that is IT person that does system administration, system security, networking, and basically gets involved with anything that is a computer or needs to talk to the network.  In very large plants, there will be a team that is typically sub-divided in terms of IT responsibilities.

A key point is that the blocking and tackling of system and network security still apply here, but there are domain challenges that also come into play - as you would see in any vertical.

It is interesting that networking companies like to distinguish between Information Technology (IT) security and Operational Technology (OT) security, but this is not the model I am referring to.

Just as a reminder on OT and IT:

Wikipedia defines Operational technology (OT) has "hardware and software that detects or causes a change through the direct monitoring and/or control of physical devices, processes and events in the enterprise."

Wikipedia defines Information technology (IT) has "the application of computers and internet to store, study, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data,[1] or information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise."

In these definitions, OT is a subset of IT and is defined primarily at the hardware/software transactional layer versus the blue collar and white collar security which is at the business security layer.

A simple example regarding some of the challenges in manufacturing regarding security is the network movement of part programs.  A part program is the low level G-Code that is what is sent to the machine tool to actually make the part. 

How this typically works, when either the part is too large for the memory of the CNC controller or there is a need for centralization of part programs, is that a Direct/Distributed Numerical Control (DNC) system is used to make life easier for the operators. Typically, an external computer is connected via RS-232 to the CNC and it is the external computer that feeds (drip feeds) that part program to the CNC.  There is a central server someplace in the plant where the part programs are stored.

That is all fine and good, but then the question becomes, "are these part programs encrypted on the disk of the remote and local systems?", and "are these part programs encrypted when they are moved across the network?"  The answer is typically no.  I bring this up because the attitude is sometimes, "well if it is not encrypted from the computer sitting next to the CNC when it moves over the RS-232 link, then why worry about it in other areas?"

Going back to the blue collar versus white collar discussion, who should have what access to which files on what systems? The policies and governance become critically important.  Simple concepts such as network segmentation and DMZ's (Demilitarized Zones) could mean the difference between losing your IP and keeping it.

This example further brings out why most people in manufacturing are scared to death of the cloud.  They believe it opens up their plant floor, with all of its lack of security issues, to the bad guys.

At the [MC]2 2016 conference, I presented with Bryce Barnes of Cisco on the topic, "Manufacturing Cyber-Physical Security".

The “Orange Book” was the bible for computer system security in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s
A — Verified protection
B — Mandatory protection
C — Discretionary protection
D — Minimal protection
The industry needs a Manufacturing Trusted Plant Evaluation Criteria Standard

     The summary point of this first post on Blue Collar and White Collar Security in Manufacturing is that while the challenges are complex and cannot be adequately defined at 100,000', deciding to not digitize your plant or shop is not an option if you want to stay in business.  This is why thinking about your plant from the blue-collar and white-collar perspective might the conversation to have regarding your plant's security.

The Hacking of John Podesta's Email and Security Lessons Learned

I happened to fly back with John Podesta back in May of this year after attending Dr. Dave Patterson's retirement weekend.  The photo is a little blurry because the plane was moving around a little bit.  The point of the photo, before talking about the security around John Podesta's email, is that this is a very smart and nice man and this could happen to most people.  He was in the middle seat because he had to make a last second flight.  I did not recognize him immediately, but then when I did I said, "you know, I thought you were somebody."  To which, he just laughed.  Also, we did not talk about email :-)

It came out yesterday reported at The Hill:

"The hack and eventual release of a decade’s worth of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails may have been caused by a typo, The New York Times reported Tuesday in an in-depth piece on Russian cyberattacks.

Last March, Podesta received an email purportedly from Google saying hackers had tried to infiltrate his Gmail account. When an aide emailed the campaign’s IT staff to ask if the notice was real, Clinton campaign aide Charles Delavan replied that it was “a legitimate email" and that Podesta should “change his password immediately.”

Instead of telling the aide that the email was a threat and that a good response would be to change his password directly through Google’s website, he had inadvertently told the aide to click on the fraudulent email and give the attackers access to the account.

Delavan told the Times he had intended to type "illegitimate,” a typo he still has not forgiven himself for making"

While this brief article makes one feel very bad for Charles Delavan, John Podesta, and most likely the world as we know it (but I digress :-) it does bring out one very solid piece of advice, but leaves out a even more important security suggestion from my perspective. 

The solid piece of advice is what I highlighted in bold above:

  •  "A good response would be to change his password directly through Google’s website."
 I would argue that the first advice that the security people on Clinton's team should have insisted upon would be two-factor authentication for EVERYONE's email and communication systems.

Just as a reminder, two-factor authentication or 2FA, is when the ability for you to login requires two different methods to authenticate or ensure who someone really is. In other words, just knowing the login and password is NOT enough.

The most popular for 2FA is using your phone with a token.  For example, you are traveling and you sit down at computer in your hotel to print out your boarding pass and you decide to check your email.

With single factor authentication, only your login and password are asked for to allow you in to your email.  With 2FA, the email service would essentially state, "you have not logged in here before, please send me the 6 digit token I just sent to your smartphone." 

If you have your phone, you see the 6 digit token come up, you then enter it in.  At that point you are asked, "do you want to trust this computer going forward?"  In other words, you will NOT have to put in a new token each time you login.  If this is a hotel computer, you would NOT want to trust this computer, whereas if it was your new MacBook Pro you just purchased, then you would say "yes."  By saying yes, you will not have to enter in the 6 digit token again.

Certainly the advice on going directly to your email provider or going directly to your bank's login (if you received an email from your bank that wanted you to change your password) is the correct advice. BUT, I would argue that ANY online service that offers 2FA, take advantage of it!

So far we have not seen too much in the area of triple-factor authentication:

  1. Something you know - your password.
  2. Something you have - your smartphone where a one-time token can be sent.
  3. Something you are - a biometric such as a fingerprint or retina scan.
Triple-factor authentication is used in intelligence agencies and areas where information protection is at a premium.

An area where many companies could do a much better job is account recovery.  Too often, 2FA might be used for login but NOT for account recovery - which is obviously brain-dead.


Four year anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook

Today is the four year anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook.
Below is from Newton Patch: 

"It doesn't get easier," said Nicole Hockley, mother of 6-year-old Dylan and co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise.

Nelba Marquez-Greene said on the Remembering Ana Facebook page, "People remember our daughter. And we are grateful. No child should die from gun violence. Thank you for still remembering and honoring her."

For more information on all victims of 12/14 on a family approved page, visit here:
This website is intended to serve as a singular place of sharing, communication, and contact with the families of those who lost their lives that day.

Friday, December 9, 2016

My John Glenn Story At NASA's Kennedy Space Center

John Glenn passed away yesterday and if anyone defines the term "American hero", it would be John Glenn. Among his many accomplishments is being the first American to orbit the earth.

This is a true story that my wife likes to bring up as it shows my lack of judgement -- not in a bad way, but a humorous way.

On Wednesday January 21st, 1998 I was working for Sun Microsystems and was giving a non-disclosure to NASA at Kennedy Space Center.  NASA was an very important account for Sun and we were doing a great deal of custom real-time programming at the Solaris, library and application levels.  It was an afternoon meeting with a private tour after my presentation.

I really hit it off well with the senior person at NASA.  By the end of the day we were joking back and forth.  As we were wrapping up, he says to me, "Dave, if you are interested, you could come as one of my guests tomorrow night when John Glenn will be here to observe the launch? "

Now, ANY rationale person would have said, "YES, absolutely!"  Me being a dummy, I said, "I would love but I am coaching my oldest son basketball and we have practice tomorrow night."

When I told my wife, she naturally said, "What were you thinking!!!?"

I was not thinking and I regret it to this day.  Here is the real kicker, when I got back, practice was canceled.

John Glenn went into space on October 29th of 1998.

God bless John Glenn.

The Insanity of Donald Trump and His Cabinet Selections

In 2 minutes and 45 seconds, Trevor Noah of The Daily Show, this segment completely insane these choices by Donald Trump are for his cabinet. 

We are going to be living in a world where Biff of Back To The Future is President of the United States....

Thursday, December 8, 2016

"OEE May Not Be Enough" - Why Financial Overall Equipment Effectiveness (FOEE) (TM) Will Be THE Killer Metric For Manufacturing

The first "killer app" I ever saw was VisiCalc.  For those of you too young to remember VisiCalc, it was the world's first "visible calculator" or electronic spreadsheet and it came out in 1979.  I remember demoing it in 1979 and the concept was so different, that it took a little while for people to truly appreciate what was going on, but when they did, they would push me aside and take over the keyboard.  At that point, I would start writing up the order :-)

I believe the MEMEX's MERLIN Financial Overall Equipment Effectiveness™ (FOEE™) will be the killer metric for manufacturing as VisiCalc was the killer app  for the entire business world.

Just as a reminder, it was on Wednesday September 14th, 2016 at IMTS, where MEMEX introduced MERLIN FOEE

Together with Robert C. Hansen, who runs OEE College and is the owner of R.C. Hansen Consulting, we wrote an article in Modern Machine Shop titled "OEE Is Not Enough". 

HUGE thanks to Mark Albert Editor of Modern Machine Shop for stopping by MEMEX's booth at IMTS 2016 so I could show him FOEE, as well as asking for more info on FOEE so it could appear in MMS.

As the article starts off:

"Overall equipment efficiency (OEE) is considered a critical measurement of how well a manufacturing unit is doing. The formula is simple: It multiplies the percentages of availability, performance and quality to yield a single percentage. This result enables similar units (one machine, one department, one plant or an entire enterprise) to be compared or rated against a target such as a plant’s best record or a benchmark of world-class performance. Focusing on OEE enables manufacturers to pinpoint factors that hold back productivity.

Significantly, recent developments in data-driven manufacturing make calculating OEE easier, faster and more accurate—and acting on it more effective. For example, these benefits are an important advantage of connecting machine tools to a network for data collection and monitoring.

However, shops and plants must also focus on profitability. Managers have to balance decisions about maximizing the part-making capability of their equipment with decisions about the money-making potential of this equipment. OEE ratings alone provide an incomplete picture. One development that seeks to address this shortcoming is called Financial OEE (FOEE), a trademarked name for a new feature of MERLIN Tempus Enterprise Edition (EE) from Memex."

We then continue with important areas for FOEE and questions to ask:

MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) is a communications platform for real-time manufacturing analytics. Tempus is the company’s suite of applications for machine monitoring such as real-time views of the plant floor, custom dashboards, reporting, alerting and other functions related to data-driven manufacturing. Tempus EE adds OEE, job scheduling and other modules such as FOEE.

Memex has partnered with noted OEE expert and author Robert Hansen to develop this approach. FOEE answers the question, “What is the value of improving OEE on this particular machine for this particular product?” More to the point, it answers “How much profit is being left on the table by not performing at company-best or industry-best levels for that specific part?”  Thus, the FOEE concept shows the power of data-driven manufacturing and the Industrial Internet of Things to transform decision-making not only on the shop floor, but also in the front office."

In the article, we further discuss the mechanics of FOEE.  I highlighted the three key values, as well as the definition of FOEE below.

"Tempus EE automatically collects the event details necessary to compute OEE.  The first phase of FOEE applies to stand-alone machines making a finished product. FOEE requires three key financial input values for each product and the machine. These inputs are unit sales price, unit material cost and the hourly operational expense (OPEX) of the machine. This information can be derived from the ERP product standard and the income statement.

FOEE is the current-state hourly profit divided by a value representing a world-class level of profit. This ratio tells a company what profit it made compared to what profit could have been made at world-class levels. With this information, a company can see the financial value of improving the machine’s performance."

 As we state in referencing the above figure:  "In the figure above a product called P0006 is analyzed over 180 days. The product-run OEE data is correlated with the three inputs necessary for FOEE. It also associates important actionable data such as profit contribution per hour and current FOEE based on the machine’s best FOEE percentage, as well as how much more profit would accrue by running the machine at its best OEE rate."

Why is FOEE from MEMEX the killer metric for manufacturing? As we state in the article:

 "With FOEE, managers can look at jobs scheduled for a machine and make decisions based not just on utilization, but also on utilization and profit. This enables managers to compare a list of machines capable of running a certain job, and to determine which machine would yield the highest hourly profit. Just as the OEE figure related to each project or job is a key tool in prioritizing and evaluating continuous improvement projects, FOEE provides a quick view of the profitability opportunity for these projects. FOEE is a tool to make better business decisions for scheduling products, guiding continuous improvement efforts and giving important feedback to sales and marketing teams."

That is why "OEE is Not Enough".... 

For more info on FOEE, please go here at MEMEX.

Very Nice Video on the History of Machine Tools

The folks at The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) like to say that, "Machine tools are the things that make the things."

This is an excellent video by Matthew Brady and really lays out the history of machine tools in a clear and logical fashion.

As you watch this, keep in mind the importance of knowing what these machine tools are actually doing and I think you will appreciate why MTConnect is so important in manufacturing.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Scott McNealy on Donald Trump and Government

All of us former SUNW'rs (Sun Microsystems employees) loved and love Scott McNealy.

I know whenever he speaks, I stop to listen.

Here is a classic Scott quote during the interview: “The worst CEO is a thousand times better than the best politician,’ in terms of driving us forward and driving the market economy, personal responsibility, less regulation and liberty out there in the marketplace.” 

Here is the link with a video.

I truly hope Scott is right about Trump.  I remain highly skeptical that Trump will end up doing a better job than President Obama.  We shall see....

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Storytelling of Science Video With Today's Science Thought Leaders

I enjoyed this video.  Any video that starts out with a Richard Feynman story, you just know is going to be good. 

The audience Q&A starts out at the 1:28:20 mark and there is lots of practical advice for the university students in attendance.

Below is the description out at YouTube:

"The Origins Project at ASU presents the final night in the Origins Stories weekend, focusing on the science of storytelling and the storytelling of science. 

The Storytelling of Science features a panel of esteemed scientists, public intellectuals, and award-winning writers including well-known science educator Bill Nye, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, theoretical physicist Brian Greene, Science Friday's Ira Flatow, popular science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, executive director of the World Science Festival Tracy Day, and Origins Project director Lawrence Krauss as they discuss the stories behind cutting edge science from the origin of the universe to a discussion of exciting technologies that will change our future. They demonstrate how to convey the excitement of science and the importance helping promote a public understanding of science."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Google Developers Six Lines of Code To Understand High Level Machine Learning

What I like about this video by Google Developers is that it takes just six minutes to show the high level programming points of machine learning.  Admittedly, if you do not have a programming background, it moves rather quickly and makes assumptions on understanding simple programming concepts.

Under Anaconda, I found there was a bug in his last line of code and I added the last two lines to fix it so it runs:

from sklearn import tree
features = [[140, 1], [130, 0], [150, 0], [170, 0]]
labels = [0, 0, 1, 1]
clf = tree.DecisionTreeClassifier()
clf =,labels)
result = clf.predict([[160, 0]])

The description at YouTube states:

"Six lines of Python is all it takes to write your first machine learning program! In this episode, we'll briefly introduce what machine learning is and why it's important. Then, we'll follow a recipe for supervised learning (a technique to create a classifier from examples) and code it up."

There is a rebirth of AI with machine learning and during my break from work life, machine learning is one of the areas I will be exploring through hands-on programming.  As my grandfather Melvin Thompson once said, "you don't learn how to milk a cow by reading a book." :-)  True, but reading some books first on machine learning and then programming might be a reasonable path...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The "Scary Arctic Heat Wave" is "happening much faster than I think anyone expected"

This is article is at Macro Business.

You need to check out the graphs to truly appreciate this level of change.  As the article states below (the last sentence I put in bold to drive home the point):

"Scientists are struggling to understand why a burst of “scary” warming at the North Pole has pushed Arctic temperatures nearly 20C higher than normal for this time of year.

…“We’ve been processing this data since 1958 and we haven’t really seen anything like this at this time of year,” said Rasmus Tonboe, a sea ice expert at the Danish Meteorological Institute. “We are watching the situation and trying to analyse what is going on but it’s very surprising.”

This had reduced the temperature difference between the Arctic and more southerly regions, causing a “wavier” jet stream — a great river of fast-moving air about 10km above the earth that acts as a barrier separating the North Pole from warmer latitudes.

…“That is scary because it is showing us how rapidly the climate system is changing … We expected for a long time to see the ice disappear and the Arctic warm up and perhaps the jet stream doing bizarre things, but it’s happening much faster than I think anyone expected."

I now have a carbon-based (specifically, human :-) that I ask individuals:

"Do you believe in global climate change?"

If the answer is either the Republican hiding/talking point of, "I am not a scientist", or as Trump has stated on Dec. 30, 2015, Trump told the crowd at a rally in Hilton Head, S.C., "Obama's talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it's a hoax. It's a hoax. I mean, it's a money-making industry, okay? It's a hoax, a lot of it." or they simply don't believe in global climate change, then I try to educate them and if there is strong push back, then I simply go talk to someone else.....

Monday, November 21, 2016

TechWorm's Top 10 Programming Languages

I always enjoy these Top 10 Programming Languages Lists.

One of the key reasons is that I often hear that "XYZ" will be THE next language that EVERYONE will use!  The standard line is "it only takes X number of lines of code to do XXXX, whereas in _insert_established_language_here XXXX + 40% more lines of code."  That might be true for the particular use case, but that is just the beginning.

Invariably, every language hits that point where the really hard blocking and tackling of scalability and extensibility starts. Some languages, such as Java, had a big and smart company (Sun Microsystems) behind it that could make the necessary investments to take to the enterprise quality level.  I will give you just one example of how long it takes to take a new language t get to the point where realtime computing can first be started.  It took Java six years to get to the first realtime version, which was also JSR 1 (Java Specification Request).  One could argue that it was more like 2004 to 2006 before we saw applications believe realtime Java was a viable option.

Here is the link to TechWorm's Top 10 Programming Languages.

This nice article is written by

Not surprisingly, #1 is still Java and #2 is still C.

1) Java – James Gosling

Java is one of the most popular programming language making to the top of the charts for six years running. Java was invented by Dr. James Arthur Gosling who is also known as the father of the Java programming language. Dr.Gosling developed Java when he was working for Sun Microsystems between 1984 and 2010. Before joining Sun Microsystems he built a multiprocessor version of Unix for a 16-way computer system while at Carnegie Mellon University

James Gosling 2008.jpg

2) C – Dennis Ritchie

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, an American computer scientist, created the famous C programming language between 1967 and 1973 while working AT&T Bell labs. Though it is past its heydays, C is still very popular and used extensively in system programming. It’s older than Java but is still popular among old programmers. The C Programming Language is also referred to as K&R C, after its authors and Ritchie was the “R” in K&R C, and commonly known by his username dmr.
Dennis Ritchie 2011.jpg

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Congrats to MEMEX on Winning CIX Top 20 Award!

BURLINGTON, ON–(Marketwired – Nov 15, 2016) – Memex Inc. (“MEMEX” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE: OEE) announces that the Company is the recipient of the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) Top 20 Award. MEMEX was selected as one of Canada’s “Top 20” hottest innovative public technology companies. Hundreds of company profiles were reviewed and the winners were chosen by a selection committee comprised of technology experts and investors from across the country. CEO David McPhail will be making a presentation at the CIX Public Investor Day on the afternoon of November 23, between 4.00 – 4.40 pm, in Toronto at the MaRS Discovery District.

“It is an honour to win a CIX Top 20 award and be recognized as a leading Canadian innovator,” said Mr. McPhail. “I would like to thank CIX for organizing the public investor day and allowing MEMEX to share its story with investors.”

About the Canadian Innovation Exchange:
The Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) is a showcase for great Canadian innovation while catalyzing strategic relationships and transactions across this dynamic sector. Its objective is to bring together the key leaders and protagonists of technology-based innovation in order to learn from each other and to showcase and celebrate the tremendous innovative products, services and technologies that exist today and are providing the fuel for our economy to grow. The CIX is over three days, CIX FinTECH on Nov 21, Canadian Innovation Exchange on Nov 22 and CIX Public Investor Day on Nov 23.

About MEMEX:
MEMEX, the developer of MERLIN, an award winning IIoT technology platform that delivers tangible increases in manufacturing productivity in Real-Time, is the global leader in machine to machine connectivity solutions. Committed to its mission of “Successfully transforming factories of today into factories of the future” and encouraged by the accelerating adoption and success of MERLIN, MEMEX is relentlessly pursuing the development of increasingly innovative solutions suitable in the IIoT era. MEMEX envisions converting every machine into a node on the corporate networks, thereby, creating visibility from shop-floor-to-top-floor. MEMEX, with its deep commitment towards machine connectivity, offers solutions that are focused on finding hidden capacity by measuring and managing Real-Time data. This empowers MEMEX’s customers to effectively quantify and manage OEE, reduce costs and incorporate strategies for continuous lean improvement. For further information,

Media Contact                                                                                 
Memex Inc.:
David McPhail, CEO
Phone: 519-993-1114

Rashi Rathore, Marketing Specialist
Phone: 905-635-3040 ext 103

Investor Relations
Sean Peasgood, Investor Relations
Phone: 416-565-2805

Vets and Vettes

A great cause.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gregg Popovich said it best: Trump - "Sick to my stomach" and "We are Rome"

After finally, ok maybe, being able to somewhat rationally think about this election, here are my thoughts.

Nineteen years ago I took an all day basketball coaching clinic where DVD of coaching by Gregg Popovich, Coach of the San Antonio Spurs, was the one selected by Loudoun County.  I came away extremely impressed with "Pop" as he is called.  He is widely regarded as the smartest and best coach in all of sports and his record proves it.

Pop spoke out on the election at USA Today.  He nailed exactly how I feel.  I highlighted the text that really resonates with me.  There is a recording of Pop discussing his thoughts.  Below is his transcript.
“I’ve spoken on this before and I probably will again. Right now I’m just trying to formulate thoughts. It’s still early and I’m still sick to my stomach. Not basically because the Republicans won or anything, but the disgusting tenor and tone and all the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, and I live in that country where half the country ignored all that to elect someone.
That’s the scariest part of the whole thing to me.
“It’s got nothing to do with the environment and Obamacare and all that other stuff. We live in a country that ignored all those values that we would hold our kids accountable for. They’d be grounded for years if they acted and said the things that have been said in that campaign by Donald Trump. I look at the evangelicals and I wonder, ‘Those values don’t mean anything to them?’

“All those values to me are more important than anybody’s skill in business or anything else because it tells who we are and how we want to live and what kind of people we are. That’s why I have great respect for people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, John Kasich, who I disagree with on a lot of political things, but they had enough fiber and respect for humanity and tolerance for all groups to say what they said about the man.
“I get it, of course we want him to be successful. We’re all gonna say that. Everybody wants him to be successful. It’s our country. We don’t want it to go down the drain. Any reasonable person would come to that conclusion, but that does not take away the fact that he used that fear-mongering and all the comments from day one. The race baiting with trying to make Barack Obama, our first black president, illegitimate. It leaves me wondering where I’ve been living and with whom I’m living.

“The fact that people can just gloss that over and start talking about the transition team, and we’re all gonna be Kumbaya now and try to make the country good without talking about about any of those things. Now we see that he’s already backing off on immigration and Obamacare and other things, so was it a big fake? Which makes you feel even more disgusting and cynical that somebody would use that to get the base that fired up to get elected.

“What gets lost in the process are African-Americans and hispanics and women and the gay population, not to mention the eighth grade developmental stage exhibited by him when he made fun of the handicapped person. I mean, come on. That’s what a seventh-grade, eighth-grade bully does, and he was elected president of the United States. We would’ve scolded our kids, we would’ve have discussions and talked until we were blue in the face trying to get them to understand these things, and he is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.”
(Reporter tries to ask another question/add a comment.)
“I’m not done.

“One could go on and on. We didn’t make this stuff up. He’s angry at the media because they reported what he said and how he acted. It’s ironic to me. It just makes no sense. So that’s my real fear and that’s what gives me so much pause and makes me feel so badly that the country is willing to be that intolerant and not understand the empathy that’s necessary to understand other group situations.
“I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, or a woman, or an African-American, a hispanic, a handicapped person, how disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all that.

“And so, my final conclusion is — my big fear is — we are Rome.”

The Recognized Problem With The Electoral College

My last blog was on a history of the Electoral College with a rational explanation of why it appears to work for the United States.

Just a little background here on other countries that use an Electoral College from Wikipedia:

"In Italy the presidential electoral college is composed of the members of both houses of Parliament and three members elected by each of the regional assemblies. Other countries with electoral college systems include Burundi, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu."

Besides Italy, do any of these other countries look like "thought leaders in democracy?"  Of course not.

When I hear people talk about the brilliance of our founding fathers, I have to question their thought process.  Let's see, we have a bunch of slave owners write a document over 228 years ago and NOTHING regarding the appropriate premise of that document has changed?  Really?

Let's clearly state why the Electoral College came about and not popular vote.    By William C. Kimberling, Deputy Director FEC National Clearinghouse on Election Administration.

"A third idea was to have the president elected by a direct popular vote. Direct election was rejected not because the Framers of the Constitution doubted public intelligence but rather because they feared that without sufficient information about candidates from outside their State, people would naturally vote for a "favorite son" from their own State or region. At worst, no president would emerge with a popular majority sufficient to govern the whole country. At best, the choice of president would always be decided by the largest, most populous States with little regard for the smaller ones"

Can ANYONE state that in 2016 that we "lack sufficient information about candidates from outside their State" ?   Of course not.

We saw what happened in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote, but George W. Bush became President - an unmitigated disaster.  Millions of Americans (me included) expect these next four to eight years  with Trump to be much worse.   An anti-science, anti-data Republican inherits a VERY sound country and screws it up.  We have seen this movie before folks and it does not end well.  Yes, Hillary had her own set of problems, BUT, give me a typical self-serving politician WHO believes in science every day of the week versus these anti-science and anti-data Republicans.

Of course, it is nearly impossible to get rid of this boat anchor Electoral College, so the idea of one person - one vote is a statistical joke.  In 2016, countries around the globe, except for Trump's Russia, shake their heads in complete disbelief on what is going on in the United States of America.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Tagging Along With John M at National Corvette Museum For Delivery of His 2017 Corvette Grand Sport

Had the privilege of spending three days with John M as he took delivery of his 2017 Grand Sport at the National Corvette Museum along with another ole SUNWer - Chris H who came up in his Audi R8 V10 for the day of delivery.

Above is (from left to right) me, John and Chris in front of John's '17 Grand Sport (GS).

Above is John's GS!

This was the first time I saw both of my and my father's bricks. Above is the  (location 2K with alphabet starting away from store and numbers right to left) Stingray brick from our visit to NCM last year.

Below (location 3N with alphabet starting away from store and numbers right to left) from our 2011 visit where I took delivery of my Grand Sport.

John living the dream!

Above is Chris in front of his Audi R8 V10 and John and is GS.  I will have a separate blog post on Chris' R8 as I have a couple of videos.

Above is John's '17 Grand Sport and my '11 Grand Sport back in VA. We need a photo of my 2016 Stingray and my 11 Grand Sport with John's Grand Sport.  Below is John's '17 Grand Sport and my '16 Stingray after having lunch with Sue Walls in Leesburg in early December.

A great three days - thanks John!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thanks Veterans!

Thanks to my father John Kenneth Edstrom who did two tours of duty in Vietnam as an officer in the Air Force.  My father is also in the very unique category in that he was awarded TWO BRONZE STARS for the two tours of duty for his countless acts of bravery in his two years in Vietnam.  The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service.  

Thanks to my cousin Chris Edstrom who has done multiple tours of duty in Iraq and in Afghanistan.  Thanks to Dr. Harry Foxwell, Paul Warndorf and Brad Kirley for their service to our country.

History of Veterans Day as stated at

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory". There were plans for parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business activities at 11am.

In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. The Congress also requested that the president should "issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples."

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) was approved on May 13, 1938, which made November 11 in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I. A few years later, World War II required the largest mobilization of service men in the history of the United States and the American forces fought in Korea. In 1954, the veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word "Armistice" to "Veterans". Congress approved this change and on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, where ever and whenever they had served.

In 1968 the Uniforms Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) made an attempt to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October. The bill took effect in 1971. However, this caused a lot of confusion as many states disagreed with this decision and continued to hold Veterans Day activities on November 11. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which stated that Veterans Day would again be observed on November 11 from 1978 onwards. Veterans Day is still observed on November 11.

Harry Foxwell always used to send out a nice email to Sun employees (and I imagine others).  Years ago, he asked the question: Do you know where your veterans are?

Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery:
National World War II Memorial:
Marine Corps Memorial:
US Navy Memorial:
Air Force Memorial:
Korean War Veterans Memorial:
Vietnam Veterans Memorial:
Vietnam Women's Memorial:
Iraq Veterans Memorial:

Department of Veterans Affairs:

Friday, October 28, 2016

One Sheared Bolt = One Crushed Left Hand and Single Points Of Failure (SPOFs) on my bike

It was a beautiful fall day, so instead of driving to grab a sandwich and driving the three or four miles, I thought I would just jump on my bike and ride there.

One attosecond I'm up and riding and enjoying the beautiful fall weather, in the next femtosecond I am knocked out very briefly and lying face down.

Above is the seat bolt, which is the single bolt that kept my bicycle seat on the bike, which sheared off and this is the culprit that caused me to have this accident.  Turns out they make double bolt seat holders.

In the photo above, you see a round indentation and that was a small metal pipe that would HAVE hit and gone through the side of my head. Then to the right of that is where my helmet hit a rock, so having the helmet on and properly adjusted definitely saved my skull.

The big concern I had was my new right titanium hip.  My surgeon specifically told me,  "Dave, whatever you do, do not fall riding a bike because it could be a real mess in terms of trying to fix it".

I fell hard on my right-hand side and slammed my head against the ground, as well as the helmet against rock and a pipe sticking out of the ground, really bruised up my right rib cage bruised and sprained my right wrist and shattered my left hand.  So I wanted to get to the hospital where they did the hip replacement so I did what any person would do and I called Uber :-) after about 15 x-rays and a CT scan of ahead it was determined that the only real damage was my left hand so I was a very very very lucky.  The right hip was okay and I essentially sacrificed, unknowingly, my left hand save my right hip.

The photo above in the one below give some indication of my broken first metacarpal in four pieces

Above you see the metacarpal between thumb and the palm, it's broken in half and then it's also broken two other pieces again so there's four broken pieces.   Below you see the four small titanium rod that the doctor used to put it back together.  Those will have to come out again with surgery in the next few months

 Above is after surgery Thursday night and below is me heading home give me a thumbs up with my good hand.

After all of this I decided to take a close look at my Trek 7500 to see what other single points of failure (SPOFs) that I had and I found three other bolts that if they went I would lose control my bike.  They are circled in red below.  My bike is a ($850) 2009 model and looking at the 2017 hybrid bikes out today, if you spend over $750 you no longer see these Single Points Of Failure.  You should check your bikes out for single points of failure as well. 

Time for new bike and a new helmet (helmets are like airbags in that if you have an accident you have to replace them) for me.

Above and below is my hand at one week.

Above is my removable "Batman" cast.

Above is my x-ray - looking great - at 3 weeks.  Below is my hand at 3-weeks.

Below is my hand at 7 weeks.  This was three days after my surgery to remove the four pins.

Below is Julie when she came in to visit me right after my 18 minute surgery to remove the four pins.   Occupational therapy starts this upcoming Friday.

Even after short surgeries where the put you under, you need to remember to drink lots of water afterwards and take colace to keep your system moving.

At the seven week mark I got a good checkup (one week after the pins were removed).  I was told to use heat in the am and ice in the pm.  If either of those made things worse, then stop and only use what makes my left hand feel better.  I was also told that during surgery, he bent my thumb completely over so the ligament is fine, the bone is fine (still healing) but it will require OT and there will be pain as I work through this.

I see the Dr. again on January 17th, 2017 -- update the checkup went great.

Below is the Trek DS3 I purchased and heavily modified so it can be my new "Harley FatBoy" with NO Single Bolts Of Failure  - NSBOF :-)

I had my last day of OT on February 13th, 2017.   I am back to "normal" in terms of thumb motion, but not my normal range of motion.  The Dr. and the PT tell me it will take a year for it to come all the way back.

I had my last visit with my orthopedic surgeon on April 17th, 2017 and he reiterated to keep up my OT and in October of 2018 wherever my left hand will be at that point will be my new "normal".