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Gary Edwards

Gary Edwards's Public Library

Mar 01, 15

"Visualize your work
The Kanban board gives you an excellent overview of your current work situation.

When working in a team of people you can instantly see what other people are working on right now, what has been done and what is coming up.

KanbanFlow can be used as a Lean project management tool for you and your team. Its intuitive user interface will get you up and running in a few minutes."

Mar 01, 15

"What is AgileZen?

AgileZen is a simple and flexible project management application that draws on ideas from lean manufacturing to provide a new way of thinking about project management. Rather than organizing tasks into a bunch of lists and trying to slice and dice your way through it, AgileZen lets you see and interact with your work visually."

  • Add "sent from my iPhone" to all email accounts signatures - This way people don't get upset with you for keeping your emails brief and getting right to the point.

  • Prominent in the rise of the political fortunes of both the 41st and 43rd presidents is the support of figures listed by the US government as terrorist financiers, as well as some connected to the now closed, Saudi-controlled criminal enterprise known as BCCI.
  • Of special interest to independent researchers is the failure of the nation's air defenses on 9/11, and the reliance of these defenses on the company formerly known as Ptech, which was founded with funding partly from Saudi financiers with ties to designated terrorist organizations. Ptech employed a mix of foreign nationals and Americans with ties to Israeli software companies with possible links to Israeli Mossad. Now renamed Go Agile, Ptech is a purveyor of software which is critical to the security of major software systems embedded throughout the FAA and the US Department of Defense.
  • “With the official blessing of George H. W. Bush as the head of the CIA, [Saudi Intelligence Minister Kamal] Adham transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a world-wide money-laundering machine, buying banks around the world to create the biggest clandestine money network in history.”

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  • "For many, these phones have become essential tools to help us complete important work tasks like checking email, editing documents, reviewing sales pipelines and approving deals," wrote Rajen Sheth, Google's director of product management for Android and Chrome for Work, in a

  • Patti notes that AccuWeather now tries to do as many educational internal sessions as it can to show his IT staff what the company has done cloud-wise. In fact, Patti now considers cloud the default option for any project. His people need a solid justification for doing something on-premise.
  • "Look at things from a cloud-first perspective. The cloud should always be the default option because of what it buys you."
  • Underwriters Laboratories (UL) also has extensive tenure in the cloud. The global independent safety science company was the first to deploy a complete, global instance of Office 365 for its employees.

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  • The Pointer Events specification, an API for Web developers to handle touch, mouse, and pen inputs in Web applications, has been published as a Recommendation by the World Wide Web Consortium. This is the Web standards group's final, mutually agreed on version of the spec.

     

    Pointer Events was first proposed by Microsoft as an alternative to another specification, Touch Events. Touch Events was born from Apple's initial work to touch-enable Safari on the iPhone. W3C moved to standardize it without Apple's involvement, and at one point during Touch Events' development, it looked as if the spec would be covered by Apple-owned patents, with Apple unwilling to offer a royalty free grant for users of the spec. Had this situation continued, it would have precluded W3C from issuing the spec as a recommendation.

  • t was also a more general specification; while Touch Events was designed for touch and touch alone, Pointer Events allowed developers to use similar code to handle touch, stylus/pen, and mouse inputs. Pointer Events also addressed certain problems with Touch Events, such as a 300 millisecond delay before responding to taps in order to disambiguate between single and double taps.
  • Pointer Events avoided the patent issues.

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  • Last December, Russian's giant gas firm, Gazprom, and a Turkish pipeline company signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a pipeline from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea. This new “Turkish Stream" is an alternative to the “South Stream" Black Sea pipeline from Russia to Bulgaria – a project that the Kremlin abandoned in December, in response to the sanctions imposed by the European Union after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

  • The digital artifacts of software development are still files containing lines of text that hark back to punch cards. And we still visualize changes to those files on a line-by-line basis. Compilers and IDEs understand code in terms of modules and methods, but version control systems don't share that understanding. Attributing a change to module X or method Y, and observing such change over time, is cognitive grunt work that could in theory be machine-supported but in practice isn't.
  • his impedance mismatch exists for deep historical reasons and won't be resolved anytime soon. Meanwhile there are two ways to address it, and GitHub is pursuing both.
  • That's a common practice in government agencies that have adopted GitHub for collaboration, according to Ben Balter. He's created a tool that can convert the Word documents widely used in such agencies into Markdown, a plain-text format used on GitHub and in many other environments. T

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  • Git, the decentralized version control engine under GitHub's hood, works in ways that surprise not only nonprogrammers but also programmers who come to it from centralized systems. 

     In those systems it's a big deal to create a branch within a repository, in order to explore an alternative version of a set of artifacts. In Git a branch is a lightweight construct, an illusion created by moving pointers instead of data. In a conventional system it would be unthinkably costly to create a branch to change a single word in a document. Git makes that maneuver trivially cheap. GitHub can embed it in a workflow -- the pull request -- that encapsulates discussion of the change and ties it to the document's change history. 

     Git's protean capabilities have made it a laboratory for workflow innovation, and the many approaches that have emerged present another layer of complexity. The mechanics of branching and merging are tricky enough, but there are also various schools of thought about when and how to branch and merge. All this is challenging for programmers and way beyond most others. How can you tame this beast so that nontechnical stakeholders can participate?

  • GitHub's answer: Enhance the website for core activities. A lawyer who wants to change one word in a legal document needn't use the scary Git client; she can edit the file in the browser. That action will kick off a pull-request workflow that automates the creation of a branch dedicated to the proposed change. GitHubbers like to say that "there's only one way to change something." Nobody is required to adhere to that golden rule, but doing so follows a path of least resistance.
  • There's also GitHub Pages, a service that hosts websites on top of GitHub repositories. It's favored by technical bloggers who are familiar with Git and willing to install (and use locally) a Ruby-based site generator called Jekyll. But as others have discovered, you don't have to install Jekyll. It's possible to manage a GitHub Pages site entirely in the browser and enjoy the benefits of version history and issue discussion.
Feb 25, 15

"Organizations generate and store mountains of valuable data, but find it difficult to sort it for maximum efficiency.  Most businesses around the world are facing the challenge of information overload, and the abundance of data can create several headaches for a company: 

...Investment of too much time and effort in managing documents
...Difficulty in accessing valuable data in real time
...Incorrect versioning causes incalculable loss of time and efforts
...Data replication creates confusion and takes up space for storage
...Data visible only on certain operating systems and devices
...Storing paper documents takes up space, increases data maintain expenses
...Critical data lost due to inadequate data back up and/or lack of digital data

Document Management System – Damming the Data Deluge

The term ‘DMS’ refers to the use of scanners, computers, and other Internet-enabled devices like tablets or smartphones, to store, index, secure and manage documents for easy retrieval, audit and collaboration. EDMs (Electronic Document Management systems), deployed by major enterprises in the 1990s, can be seen as precursors to the modern document management system. By implementing a document management system, companies can streamline and automate most parts of the document management cycle. 

What does a DMS do?

It manages all your organizational data in a predictable and repeatable format for a large number of end users, makes the data available to all the devices across your organizations (you can set access rights), makes the data available to multiple applications, allows employees to collaborate on project while automating the process of version control, creates backup copies to ensure that no data is ever lost. In short, a customized DMS helps you create and implement the most optimum document management program. 

Using a DMS, your company can: 
...Slash the cost of storing and maintaining documents
...Automate data collection and minimize human efforts
...Simplify data retrieval through a centralized repository that every employee can access
...Establish access control and set up secure access to levels of data
...Foster collaboration and eliminate versioning errors
...Improve data security by digitalizing and backing up all information
...Set up search function to enable instant access to any part of the data
...Elevate the level of information processing and sharing in the organization

Does your Business need a DMS?

The process of developing and deploying a DMS is not overly complicated. For small business, an off-the-shelf DMS can work with minor tweaks. For mid-to-large enterprises, customization holds the key. In order to make the DMS work for you, you need someone to understand your work process, existing document management procedure, and the context within which the data is used. Armed with this knowledge, the team of developers can customize and set up a DMS that helps you improve information flow and boost product."

  • "It's amazing how the most disruptive thing you can do for any business is to launch an app," said Adam Seligman, Salesforce's vice president of developer platform marketing. 

  • Several analysts noted that the possible Russian delivery of the Mig-35 is more than a game-changer. The delivery of Russian MIGs including the MIG-35, together with the delivery of the French Rafale jets could reflect increasing tensions between Egypt and the USA/UK, as well as a growing cooperation between those continental European nations led by France and Germany, who are looking for closer ties with Egypt and increasingly oppose an US/UK dominated policy of tensions in North Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, directed against Russia.
Feb 21, 15

" Remember when Goldman Sachs – dubbed by Matt Taibbi the Vampire Squid – sold derivatives to Greece so the government could conceal its debt, then bet against that debt, driving it up? It seems that the ubiquitous investment bank has also put the squeeze on California and its school districts. Not that Goldman was alone in this; but the unscrupulous practices of the bank once called the undisputed king of the municipal bond business epitomize the culture of greed that has ensnared students and future generations in unrepayable debt."

  • In 2008, after collecting millions of dollars in fees to help California sell its bonds, Goldman urged its bigger clients to place investment bets against those bonds, in order to profit from a financial crisis that was sparked in the first place by irresponsible Wall Street speculation. Alarmed California officials warned that these short sales would jeopardize the state’s bond rating and drive up interest rates. But that result also served Goldman, which had sold credit default swaps on the bonds, since the price of the swaps rose along with the risk of default.

     

  • In 2009, the lenders’ lobbying group than proposed and promoted AB1388, a California bill eliminating the debt ceiling requirement on long-term debt for school districts. After it passed, bankers traveled all over the state pushing something called “capital appreciation bonds” (CABs) as a tool to vault over legal debt limits. (Think Greece again.) Also called payday loans for school districts, CABs have now been issued by more than 400 California districts, some with repayment obligations of up to 20 times the principal advanced (or 2000%).

     

  • The controversial bonds came under increased scrutiny in August 2012, following a report that San Diego County’s Poway Unified would have to pay $982 million for a $105 million CAB it issued. Goldman Sachs made $1.6 million on a single capital appreciation deal with the San Diego Unified School District.

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  • The IMF enforces the global money-sequence cancer system by its defining policy commands on debt-impoverished countries to open them up to foreign feeding on their domestic markets and fire-sale enterprises, drastically reduced workers’ wages and benefits, stripped public pensions, healthcare and education, sell-off of historic infrastructures to pay ever more bank-created debts, and – in general- multiplying transnational money demand and profit invading their life functions at all levels.
  • The IMF and Wall Street have been cumulatively hollowing out Africa, Latin America, South-East Asia, South Europe and the US itself in these ways over 35 years.
  • Now it is the turn of the once social democratic Europe, state by state, beginning with the most indebted and helpless. Ukraine on the outskirts of Europe next to Russia is where the military option has been required to strip it and its former Slavic economic union with Russia. This historic relationship has been the last line of life defence in the way, a conservative but sharing ethos of resource-rich societies with Putin as a superior leader facing the US-EU’s many-times more powerful economic levers and lethal arms to bully him and Russia into submission.

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  • The shape of beacons to come
    Several beacon makers offer richer options though proprietary APIs and protocols that can do more than iBeacons does, yet their hardware still uses iBeacons for initial OS-level auto-detection and app alerting in iOS. Those vendors include Estimote, Gimbal, Onyx Beacons, and StickNFind.

  • Beacons aren't about sending location coordinates but about self-identifying.

  • That's the fundamental notion of liquid computing: Your activities, not just your data, flow from device to device. You might think that's simply cloud computing in action -- it is -- but Handoff shows you don't need the cloud to do this: It uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct for iOS devices and Macs to "notice" each other's presence, then compare notes as to what the user is doing on all nearby devices for which that user is signed in.
  • You think much less about passwords and bookmarks, thanks to Apple's and Google's ability to remember them across devices, which means it's easier to take care of your needs wherever and whenever. 

     That wherever and whenever, of course, freaks out most IT shops. After all, most still can't accept that people work on devices at home and on the road that aren't under full control of IT, using a standard image, and fully audited.

Feb 20, 15

"I was typing an email on my iPad, and I got distracted. Some time later, I set the iPad down on my desk, and an icon on my Mac appeared. I clicked it, and in seconds the Mail app was running with that partially entered email in front of me. That's the Handoff feature in action, part of the iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite updates that will ship this fall. It's a sign of a change in computing that Google and Microsoft are also pursuing, not just Apple.

Liquid Computing

Welcome to the next tech revolution: Liquid computing
Liquid computing: The next wave of the mobile experience
Apple Watch: The Internet of things' new frontier
iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are both in beta, so I can't really talk about the details of Handoff yet. But I can say it works just as Apple showed off at its recent WWDC conference's public keynote. Handoff is the first big step into a future where the notion of a device will go through a radical transformation.

[ Mobile and PC management: The tough but unstoppable union. | Subscribe to InfoWorld's Consumerization of IT newsletter today. ]

At first blush, what Apple is doing is blurring the lines between mobile and desktop devices. That's true, but it's only part of the actual transformation under way. There's no real name for this transformation yet, so I'm calling it liquid computing until someone else comes up with a better name.

In a nutshell, what Handoff -- and liquid computing in general -- portends is a world where both data and activities move around as needed. The device isn't the center of the universe, as it has been since the first computer.

Think back to the early PC era, when people first started getting PCs at home, not just at work. Remember the effort we all spent in making sure we copied our files to a disk for use at home? We had to bring our data with us or else use a network connection to a file share. That model has persisted to this day, which is why the biggest loss of corporate data remains the lost or stolen thumb drive or recordable CD.

But this mentality is now on its way out.

The journey to liquid computing
Several years ago, Google showed us a different way: the cloud as the new center. With Google Docs (now called Drive), you created your documents on its browser-accessible servers and worked on them there, usually through a browser but also via native apps on iOS and Android. You didn't have to sync your data, because it was accessible from pretty much any device. Unfortunately, Google's Web-based apps don't work that well versus what you can do on a smartphone, tablet, or PC native app, so most of us still start with the device and use the cloud as mostly a convenient file share.

Cloud storage services like Box and Dropbox reimagined that file share in a user-friendly way, with similar broad device support. Apple's iCloud Documents took the same idea but tied it to specific apps, moving us away from the notion of a common file pool to a common activity pool: text documents or spreadsheets or photos. Apple's initial iCloud Documents approach was too tied to its apps, though, so it hasn't really expanded beyond Apple's own applications. (Apple is moving to correct that mistake in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.)"

  • In a nutshell, what Handoff -- and liquid computing in general -- portends is a world where both data and activities move around as needed. The device isn't the center of the universe, as it has been since the first computer.
  • The journey to liquid computing
  • everal years ago, Google showed us a different way: the cloud as the new center. With Google Docs (now called Drive), you created your documents on its browser-accessible servers and worked on them there, usually through a browser but also via native apps on iOS and Android. You didn't have to sync your data, because it was accessible from pretty much any device. Unfortunately, Google's Web-based apps don't work that well versus what you can do on a smartphone, tablet, or PC native app, so most of us still start with the device and use the cloud as mostly a convenient file share.

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