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The key to success? Low expectations! August 31, 2006

Posted by Matsu in News and politics, Random.
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Williams and BushI watched Brian William’s interview of President Bush (George W.) on NBC the other day. For the most part the President seemed to give decent responses to Mr. William’s questions. But, one response made me stop what I was doing and actually look at the TV to see if maybe Saturday Night Live or some other comedy show had interrupted the serious news interview.

What did the President say that caught my attention? He said, “The key for me is to keep expectations low.”

That’s not what I would normally expect from the ruler a country like the United States, but I guess that works for him. You can read a news article about that interview here.

Bombardier CRJ-200 Plane Specs August 27, 2006

Posted by Matsu in News and politics, Technology.
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This is a follow-up to this post about the terrible airplane crash that happened a few hours ago.

The airplane manufacturers’ web site has the following specs for the distance required for takeoff and landing of a Bombadier CRJ200:

CRJ200 ER
FAR take-off field length (SL, ISA) at MTOW 5,800 ft 1,768 m
FAR 121 landing field length (SL) at MLW 4,850 ft 1,479 m

CRJ200 LR (long range)
FAR take-off field length (SL, ISA) at MTOW 6,290 ft 1,918 m
FAR landing field length (SL) at MLW 4,850 ft 1,479 m

Based on this information, the plane requires 5,800 feet (1,768 meters) to get off the ground. Given that, the length of the runway used at Bluegrass Field Airport becomes an important factor.

According to this web site, there are two runways at the airport, one that’s the main runway is very long, and then a shorter runway. Runway 26 is the shorter runway and the one that was reportedly used by Delta Comair Flight 5191. The length of runway 26 is 3,500 feet. Significantly less than what the manufacturer recommends for the plane.

Breaking news: Delta flight 5191 crashes in Lexington, KY August 27, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Family, News and politics, Technology.
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This morning, at 6:00am, a tragic airplane accident took place here in Lexington, Kentucky USA. There are not a lot of details, but it has been reported that most of the 47 passengers and 3 crew members of the Delta Comair flight did not survive. I have heard one report that one person may have survived.

The plane was a Canadian made Bombardier CRJ-200.

CNN news story about this accident can be found here.

Building a brand August 26, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Management, Web.
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Yesterday and today I attended meetings about institutional branding and building a brand. I learned a lot. In fact, my mind is still chewing on many of the things I heard and learned. I also learned about several books that are new to me but were recommended to the audience to read. I’ll post information about them as I read them.

To help understand branding, the guest speaker equated it to reputation. Building a reputation is language that’s easier for me to understand and digest. As the speaker said, when someone hears or sees your company name, what they think about you, or the reputation you have built, is your brand. Establishing it or changing it can take decades.

I’ll share more on what I learned today about branding and marketing in a future post.

What makes a good web site? August 24, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Technology, Web, Weblog.
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The past couple of days I have been asking people what they see in a good web site. What is it they look for and what is it they consider important for a web site they like and they consider better than most other web sites. As you may imagine, people have difficulty quantifying what they like when it comes to web design or layout and overall functionality.

When I ask myself that question I first think, what else is there that is equivalent to a web site? The primary purpose of a web site is to provide information. Yet, most everyone would agree that the look (aesthetics) are very important as well. So, it can be a form of art. And, if not considered ‘true art’ then at least artistic design.

What else is there in our everyday lives that is a mix of information (data) and art (graphics)? After pondering that question (briefly) it hit me, a map! Yes, web sites are like road maps (but not like an onion).

Let’s consider the similar characteristics of road maps and web sites. First, a road map must be accurate to be useful. The same is true of web sites. We seek to provide accurate information. And, like roads, we can run into dead ends, which on web sites we call broken links.

Roads, like web sites, are constantly changing. And, new roads are being built all of the time, just like web pages and web sites. Therefore, current information is important for maps. The same is true of web sites.

What about standards? Both require adherence to standards in order to be worthwhile. If a map doesn’t adhere to standard units of measurements (such as miles or kilometers) then it can be less than useful. The same is true of web sites.

I have not figured out the web equivalent of the legend on a map (so help me out here). But, if you think about it, you will find there are several other similarities between web sites and maps.

Normalizing my life August 20, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Family, Management, Random.
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The past few weeks have been very busy. You might be able to guess just how busy I was based on the amount of writing I’ve done, or not done. The work that I and everyone in my department has been doing is finally complete and the deadline has arrived.

I hope that my life at work and at home will now begin to normalize and I can get caught up on all of the reading and other tasks that I set aside to do after I had time. I also hope to get caught up on sleep, which I had very little of these past few weeks.

Now, where to begin reading online? Slashdot? eWeek? Engadget? Or, skip those and go straight to Digg?