Sunday, February 27, 2011

Study from Braindumps for Cert exams

When someone posts the contents of a certification exam on the Internet, is it unethical to study from it or is all fair in Love, War and Certification Exams?

Let the Great Lakes Geek know (anonymously of course) in the latest vote.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Real Programmers Write Code

In Vino Veritas - In wine there is truth.

How about In Flat Iron Veritas?

I had lunch with Aztek CEO John Hill the other day at the venerable Flat Iron Cafe and we started talking about the lack of real programming talent in may of the web 'development' firms.

That became fodder for the latest Great Lakes Geek One Minute Podcast

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Sea of Red

I always liked the old Sammy Hagar rocker called Red.

And I think about that song every year when it's time for the annual Go Red for Women event. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women and this event helps spread awareness of that fact.

Over 900 women attended the event last Friday and 99% of them wore red!

See photos of Cleveland Women in Red. Know anybody?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cleveland Orchestra as International Business Driver

We all know that the Cleveland Orchestra is the premier international ambassador for the city.

But did you know there are direct implications to international business?

At the Rotary Club of Cleveland event last Thursday, the Club honored Franz Welser-Most and the Cleveland Orchestra with their 2011 International Service Award.

Executive Director Gray Hanson accepted the award and gave the keynote address. It was interesting to hear the affect that music piracy has to the orchestra's bottom line.

Also interesting to learn where most of the musicians come from.

But the most interesting was the story that Hanson (no relation) told about the Emperor of Japan and business in Cleveland.

Cleveland Orchestra at the Rotary of Cleveland

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Record Player Marketing

I saw a cool marketing device that gets the target to listen to your company message. A firm called Grey Vancouver devised a cardboard phonograph mailer.

The principle behind a phonograph is simple so they were able to duplicate it in and mail it out.

The cardboard folds into the proper shape and a needle is already attached. A 45 RPM record is included and it has a hole so you can put a pencil in the hole and turn the record.

Very cool. It cost them $5000 to design, produce and send the 100 mailers but they got an incredible 90% response rate.

And traffic to their website grew from 50 weekly visits to over 70,000. Wow!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Least interesting day of the century

Below is the text of the latest One Minute Podcast with the Great Lakes Geek.

A programmer in the UK fed 300 million facts into a computer program that he wrote and determined that April 11, 1954 was the least interesting day since 1900. From news and events the program determined that fewer important things happened on that day than the others in the century.

In one sense that must have been a great day. The old Chinese curse says “May you live in interesting times.” Sometimes interesting is not good. It’s nice to have boring from time to time.

But when I read about the most boring day it reminded me of an old math problem. The prof would say what is the first non-interesting integer (or real number or irrational or whatever.)

We would go through the list excluding numbers. 1 is the identity, it is of course interesting. 2 is the only even prime number. 3 is prime. 4 is a square and so on. We could find something of interest for a lot of numbers.

But eventually we got to a number that we couldn’t find anything interesting about. Let’s call it X.

So we’d tell the prof that X was the first non-interesting number.

Do you see what happens next?

By virtue of X being the first non-interesting number, it becomes interesting! And the process continues.

So there may not be a lot of major events that happened on April 11, 1954 but it just got a little more interesting in my book.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Bill Clinton has a big instrument

Last Friday night, the Honorable Lojze Peterle, Member of the European Parliament and first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, spoke in Cleveland at a Slovenian church in Collinwood.

The speech was in Slovenian but I did manage to pick up part of it.

Prime Minister Peterle told how US President Bill Clinton was from a big country so he played a big instrument - the saxophone.

He is from a small country, Slovenia, so he plays a small instrument - a harmonica. But both can make beautiful music.

He then played Beethoven's Joyful Joyful on the harmonica - really well.

Check out pics and the short video of Prime Minister Peterle.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

National Broadband Policy

Blair Levin, principal architect of the National Broadband Plan, spoke at the City Club of Cleveland. His topic was "The New Table Stakes: Winning in the 21st Century"

He then joined a panel offering a local perspective on how Northeast Ohio is building toward a broadband future.

Moderator Lev Gonick, Vice President for Information Technology Services & CIO, Case Western Reserve University, led a panel consisting of:

Roy Church - President, Lorain County Community College
Bethany Dentler - Executive Director, Medina County Economic Development Corporation
Scot Rourke - President & CEO, OneCommunity

There are some glaring and problematic mistakes in our national broadband policy according to Mr. Levin. See what they are and more from the City Club Forum on Broadband

Snow and Ice Storm

Jim Evans suggested that we add "A hot member of the opposite sex . . . for extra body heat in the sleeping bag." to our list of snow storm travel preparations.

That reminded me of a true story.

In the blizzard of 1977, a co-worker and I left work downtown at 3PM and didn't get home till almost 11PM. We took our usual route - Chester - Euclid - Mayfield.

We must have helped 100 cars by pushing them out of drifts - we even directed traffic for awhile. All through University Circle and Little Italy. It was actually fun at times.

We both learned a lesson though in the first few hours of being cooped up in the car. In Hour 1 and 2 we looked at the other cars hoping to find cute girls. That was the #1 priority. We added looking for food around Hour 4 but by Hour 5 and beyond, our biggest concern was finding a bathroom!

After being stuck on Chester for 3 hours last month the same process played out - but much quicker!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Winter weather warning

The federal government has issued a travel warning due to the cold weather.

They suggest that anyone traveling in the current blizzard conditions should make sure they carry the following:

  • Shovel

  • Blankets or sleeping bag

  • Extra clothing including hat and gloves

  • 24 hours worth of food

  • De-icer

  • Rock salt

  • Flashlight with spare batteries

  • Road flares or reflective triangles

  • Full spare gas can

  • First aid kit

  • Booster cables

I looked like an idiot on the bus this morning.