Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is memory lose the answer?

I've been thinking recently about search results, AI, project management and other things (a few beers would have distracted me to thinking about a few more beers....but when you're out you're out) - and a thought came to mind that maybe it's the forgetting part of our memories that has caused the problems.  Not that memory lose is why there has been little progress, but that memory lose in itself, the need to lose memory, has not been taken into consideration.  I'm far from an expert, but part of our ability to progress is to forget; forget past problems, pain points, even correct conclusions...we even combine past memories into a single one.  It's sort of a house cleaning effect.  So, let's apply memory lose to search results.  When we google we often find old, out dated information and older information first - would it make sense to 'reduce' the ranking of pages that have been around longer, especially those with little to no change?  In regards to AI - the base approach is to record everything, build complex switches to find the answer and then highlight the path for the next request...what if the old answers are lost, new paths need to be found to new/perhaps-better (or worse) results...but at least different.  For project management - a very specific area - wouldn't past approaches, right or wrong, once removed make available opportunities for new discovery.  You basically remove the 'known' right answer (that might not be the right'ist) for hopes of discovering a right'er answer for that point and time.  Just some random thoughts.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Read the feedback...

Will This Economy Finally Push the Toyota Way Into Software Development?
I like the feedback - I think agile had such a big impact because it was not corporatized...once it's incorporated into an unproductive company, it too will become another unproductive pushed down management fiasco......

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sometimes ignorance is genius

What are limitations? and how are they set? Some are physical, but the most impactful ones, the ones that affect us on a daily basis are often self-induced:
  • that's not how we do things around here
  • management (aka the man) said no
  • this is the best way
  • I need to get this done, no time to think about it
Experts are those that often don't know any better then those with real inspiration.  We often see the best results from new-hires because they are not pulled down by corporate culture, group-think and general noise.  Take a look at Cliff Young - an Australian marathon runner who was clearly out of his league, but won because he didn't know the pre-existing unofficial rules.....

My advice to succeed: Find out what the rules are and then go out of your way breaking each're bound to hit gold.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why do project management improvement processes fail?

It doesn't take much to find someone/somewhere talking about how their project improvement process failed to take hold in company x....and wonder why.  Easy answer - when you jump on a crashing plane to try to save it - you often end up one of the victims.  PM's are often brought in to help stabilize and address failing projects and often the root cause of the failing project is a corporate wide issues.  While it's easy for the PM to focus on the specific project, group or 'specific' improvement area, the rest of the overwhelming issues remain, lurking, building up pressure until the PM and all the nifty tools and powerpoint communicated process changes get crushed.  So - what should the PM do?  ..... stay tuned

My Hero - Bill Murray

Is Bill Murray NYC's New Party Boy?
Showing up out of nowhere? Washing dishes? Hanging out and talking about sweet potatoes and Mexican food? A tourmented free soul? Carl Spakler sounds like he's having a good time that's all.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Tilted Twister - Lego NXT Rubik's Cube solver

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

End of the database.....

Often times great ideas outlast their usefulness - and I think the time of the database as we know it is nearing it's end. I can still remember a time before databases - the time of the dinosaurs (aka main frames) and the various data store systems seems those times are coming back (look at google or yahoo - here's a good short article:  Let's take a look at the reason behind the emergence of databases:
  • disk space conservation (normalization provides for this)
  • common data access language (SQL)
  • easily exchangeable resources - DBA/DBD's (not cheap, but interchangeable)
  • common/standard backup/recovery (data security)
And the downside:
  • performance
  • scalability (I think they could scale hugely, but accessing would prohibit google size type of needs)
As with most great ideas, the original intention/benefits are often reduced through use of the idea in areas not intended or thought of.  I think a prime area where databases fail are large size websites where quick (very quick) access to massive data is required (not reporting or transaction processing).  Years ago large (considered large at that time) data stores existed outside of databases, standard summarizing was used to gather specific info, feed it into the database which would then be used for reporting....are we heading that way again?