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Phobias, Fears and Unicorns

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If you want to vilify someone just tack on a phobia label. These days fear of anything makes us the villain, the bad actor, the malevolent one. Leaders, whether elected, chosen or self appointed, demonize fear as a tonic to assuage the masses of every threat. It’s meant to dull us down to a state of[…..]

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Different Is Better

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If you’re looking for better start first with different. In culture of professed accomplishment, we’re bombarded daily with messages of superiority that lack identifying substance. Companies proclaim they are better. They provide superior customer service. Their product is highest quality. Words, hollow words. Regardless of how loudly you shout – shoppers, customers and purchasers won’t[…..]

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Hyping Millennials

I’m about to scream if I read or hear another nonsensical diatribe of meaningless kerfuffle about how Millennials are generationally unique in human history. According to the ‘experts’ and pundits this group of young people see life from an entirely different historical perspective. Let’s see, they are smarter, more computer savvy, more collaborative and intrinsically[…..]

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Someone Is Going to Get Hurt

With all the pressure to cut back, reduce prices, slash costs and do more with less, safety is going to be the first to suffer. Customers have demanded that suppliers cut prices. Suppliers have lost revenue and reduced their staffs to stay in business. My guess is there are safety professionals laid off and additional[…..]

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SCADA, IOT and the Cloud

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SCADA must rely on the Cloud to accomplish the Internet of Things. Legacy SCADA systems are a cornucopia of varied protocols, operating systems, software versions and hardware capabilities. Few communicate seamlessly with each other. A lot of older ones barely talk to themselves. Over the years, they have gotten much better. However, successive modernization of[…..]

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Forget Minimum Wage – What’s Coming Is a Lot Bigger

Don’t mistake the current surge toward elevating minimum wages as the big issue for business and the greatest impact on the economy. It’s pennies compared to the new rules that legally exempt employees from wage and hour rules. Most salaried employees are improperly classified. Seriously, check the rules, if you’re salaried. Do you really qualify?[…..]

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Isn’t It About Time?

There are two waves of technological change crashing down upon us all – the Cloud and the Internet of Things [IOT]. They have been more like a rising tide – existent for a while and gaining height every year. As a rising tide it was easy to dismiss them as risky and uncertain – things[…..]

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The Dirty Secret Behind Efficiency

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That’s apple pie. This labels a word or expression that everyone will erroneously accept as common and at the very core of our professional existence. Everyone will agree that efficiency is good. Who won’t accept a slice of apple pie? Efficiency is overused, uncommonly understood and practically meaningless in most engineering and corporate discourse. Every[…..]

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The Internet of Things is a Long Way Off

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We’re a long way away from achieving the goals, dreams and fantasies of the Internet of Things in the production oil patch. It’s not because of the lack of imagination or technology. The sensors and their collection/aggregation systems are not capable of providing the wealth of data needed for IoT to deliver. Upstream and downstream[…..]

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Wow, It Comes In Colors?

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Too many buyers either don’t know, or ignore, the dynamic phases of project development. They think it happens during the development of a product specification. The users, engineers and insider experts get together and create a detailed description of what they want. Surely there’s some debate, and perhaps argument, over this list of wants and desires.[…..]

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25 Sep 2017
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Take a Flood Insurance Lesson from HAZMON

Houston is amazingly flat, with high ground existing mostly on freeway interchanges. On top of that, add three bayous and at least two rivers that drain state-sized basins through the city and surrounding residential communities.  When it rains in Southeast Texas the water flows toward Galveston Bay, and a few times each year at least[…..]

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21 Sep 2017
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What About Ethics?

Ethics are a set of standards which define correct or desired behavior. That’s an easy definition to state but in practice a hard concept to embrace.  The word is worn like the proverbial cheap suit and bandied about by those whose behavior makes most of us shudder.  Hard to define, ethical behavior is something most[…..]

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15 Sep 2017
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Don’t Tell People How to Give

It took me a few days to explain the patterns of rescue, giving and recovery observed recently with the devastations brought about by Harvey. Stories in social media and news reporting abounded with individuals pitching in from the get-go. The rescues began almost within minutes. The nation watched video of the Cajun Navy, boat owners[…..]

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05 Sep 2017
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Spies, Lies & Negotiations

Go watch “Bridge of Spies” starring Tom Hanks. Forget the popcorn. Get a pen and pad to take notes. This is the best video training on negotiation I’ve seen in years. Here are my notes on the movie. Always be prepared to walk away. Make sure the other side knows that you will. This one[…..]

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24 Aug 2017
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There’s No Such Thing As Two Identical SCADA Systems

Stroll through your local Ford dealership and look at the rows of F150’s, America’s most produced vehicle. Ford sold 820,799 in 2016.   Find two that are EXACTLY alike. I mean same EVERYTHING. Find two so alike the invoices are identical. Betcha can’t.   Same thing is true of industrial add-ons like the SCADA systems[…..]