Friday, November 20, 2009

From Sohrab Sepehri...

I’ve never seen two rival pines.
I’ve never seen a willow, Sell its shadow to the earth.
An oak happily offersIts branch to the raven.

And wherever there is a leaf,
in me, passion blossoms.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I am and I am not...

I said I shall tell the tale of my heart as best as I can;
Caught in the storm of my tears, with a bleeding heart,I failed to do that!I tried to relate to event in broken, muted words;
The cup of my thoughts was so fragile, that I fell into pieces like shattered glass.

Many ships were wrecked in this storm;What is my little helpless boat in comparison?
The waves destroyed my ship, neither good remained nor bad;
Free from myself, I tied my body to a raft.

Now, I am neither up nor down-no this is not a fair description;
I am up on a wave one instant, and down under another the next.

I am not aware of my existence, I know only this:
When I am, I am not, and when I am not, I am!
(Divan 1419:1-6)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Grahame's final recited poem:

"I was born the day I met you,
Lived a while when you loved me,
Died a little when we broke apart."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Come, Come...

I know there are claims that this poem may be unauthentic, but that is not important. The importance is in the message. Nevertheless I like this poem very much…

please, come again,

Whoever you are.
Religious, infidel, heretic or pagan.

Even if you promised a hundred times, and a hundred times you broke your promise.

This door is not the door of hopelessness and frustration.
This door is open for everybody.

Come, come as you are."


Monday, July 20, 2009

On Ethics and Virtues.

Interesting notes By Dr. John Morris.

Deontological thinking rests on 2-3 fundamental principles -
1. Rights: Best captured under the rubric of “human rights”

2. Justice to include:
A. Distributive: how were outcomes provided
B. Procedural : what processes were used
C. Interactional: what communication processes were used and were they appropriate and/or fair.

3. Virtue ethics: what is moral/ethical is not only what rules dictate but also what the mature person with a “good” moral character would deem appropriate.

Virtue: an excellence in being. For humans (as opposed to angels and animals?) Excellence in being involves both right thought and right action. That is, virtue isn’t just thinking “right” thoughts but also involves “right” action.
Virtues include such things as:

Good faith

Intresting self test... how many of the items can we check from the list?!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Case Study on Chapter 15

3- The strategy of Avnet for creating the CookBook and keeping the local ERP systems can provide some ease on local operations. Howoever, it can also reduce efficiency and effectiveness of data transfer from local systems to the CookBook. Causing delays in transfer of information or disconnects between sources.
The offsetting benefits can be such as ease of use for local employees, use of local language etc. Keeping local systems can also help comply with local regulation for which the system is designed. Things that can’t be incorporated in CookBook and implemented globally.

4-A transnational strategy may be more practical for market of electronic equipments and parts in respect to cost, but it can also compromise reliability and quality.
A multinational strategy can create more centralized financial management to the business and in the meantime use the resources from other locations with less compromise in quality and management.

Chart 15-3 was not available for comparison.

WTO mission statement

WTO mission.
The World Trade Organization — the WTO — is the international organization whose primary purpose is to open trade for the benefit of all.

About WTO.
"The WTO provides a forum for negotiating agreements aimed at reducing obstacles to international trade and ensuring a level playing field for all, thus contributing to economic growth and development. The WTO also provides a legal and institutional framework for the implementation and monitoring of these agreements, as well as for settling disputes arising from their interpretation and application. The current body of trade agreements comprising the WTO consists of 16 different multilateral agreements (to which all WTO members are parties) and two different plurilateral agreements (to which only some WTO members are parties).

Over the past 60 years, the WTO, which was established in 1995, and its predecessor organization the GATT have helped to create a strong and prosperous international trading system, thereby contributing to unprecedented global economic growth. The WTO currently has 153 members, of which 117 are developing countries or separate customs territories. WTO activities are supported by a Secretariat of some 700 staff, led by the WTO Director-General. The Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and has an annual budget of approximately CHF 200 million ($180 million, €130 million). The three official languages of the WTO are English, French and Spanish.

Decisions in the WTO are generally taken by consensus of the entire membership. The highest institutional body is the Ministerial Conference, which meets roughly every two years. A General Council conducts the organization's business in the intervals between Ministerial Conferences. Both of these bodies comprise all members. Specialised subsidiary bodies (Councils, Committees, Sub-committees), also comprising all members, administer and monitor the implementation by members of the various WTO agreements."

In a globalized world role of WTO works like the role of the U.N. in a commercial sense, or at least that is my impression. It appears that "The end result of easy trad for all" has increased the standards of life even in cheap countries that were sources of providing inexpensive labor.for the rest of the consumers in the world. Now the expectations in most of those countries like (India, China, Indonesia etc) has increased dramatically that makes them not very economical anymore.

One would wonder what would next generation of World Trade Organization focus on? Where are we going to look for the next inexpensive labor? Other planets? Or should we change our expectations from the commercial world, and demand less.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Case Study on Chapter 13

Q1: ALCS was outdated, cumbersome, unreliable, and not compliant with the current IT security requirements. ALCS actually was not a loan control system handling all the details of the loan, it was just a tracking system that interfaced with the agency’s mainframe that ran a program that actually funded and dispersed loans. Applications should be generated and followed up all in paper form. The physical files were sent back and forth, and there were chances of them being lost, duplicate entries were made, calculations were mistaken, and this all causes delays. The agency required 200 people to control the files, and over 3000 people on staff to feed the paper monster.
Q2: At some point in history it would make sense to have multiple regional locations to assist the file generation and follow up, but today this is very much outdated. Each center was a duplicate of the other, and in addition each had its own IT infrastructure. Therefore, there was a need to consolidate the centers to create a single point of contact and base of command for IT support. By creating a single call center, all calls now go through one place rather than being routed based on geography. Plus, by centralization, one office could handle the loans and legal staffs and disburse loans. Same software could be used by all people involved without need of any mail courier, therefore cutting the time needed for communication and significantly reducing the cost.
Q3: Self-service applications should be implemented. Staff management tools can keep track of work hours of the employee. In addition, personalized profiles can be made for applicants to track the process of their claims, and see the balance sheets on their loan, and/or make direct transaction online, eliminating the waiting time on claimed checks, money orders, etc.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Obama's Information Technology Priority

Obama's Information Technology Priority
Global coverage of business intelligence ecosystem

This article seems interesting and relevant to our class and current state of economy and government:
As Obama administration noted ” Barack Obama understands that we must use all available technologies and methods to open up the federal government, creating a new level of transparency to change the way business is conducted in Washington and giving Americans the chance to participate in government deliberations and decision making in ways that were not possible only a few years ago. To achieve this vision, Barack Obama will encourage the deployment of the most modern communications infrastructure. In turn, that infrastructure can be used by government and business to reduce the costs of health care, help solve our energy crisis, create new jobs, and fuel our economic growth.”

This article suggest some solutions and comments on this policy and points to some of the related issues that government needs to tackle.
1- Such as state of Federal IT projects that are in trouble;
2 -much higher indirect cost of IT project for the government
As an example, consider the IRS mission critical information system, the Electronic Fraud Detection System (EFDS). Between 1994 and 2005, the IRS spent $185 million on EFDS. This system had multiple problems and was abandoned in 2006.
Approximately $185 million was lost on this project in direct costs.
3- There have been two major initiatives to help the federal government improve its ability to manage IT. The first is accounting. The second is architectural.

Now Obama is adding National Health Service and VA system in the list for IT upgrades.

To help this process Obama promised to appoint a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the federal government. This person will work “with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices
This article suggest the highest priority for the new federal CTO is to declare a War on Complexity of IT projects is .

  • Drive a consensus on the need to control complexity.
  • Identify candidate methodologies that show promise in helping control complexity.
  • Test the candidate methodologies in real life scenarios.
  • Choose the one that does the best job of controlling complexity.
  • Train project managers throughout the federal government in the use of that methodology.
  • Require the use of that methodology on all new IT projects.
  • Continuously reevaluate and refine the methodology.

Perspectives of the International Association of Software Architects, Issue #7, January, 2009 Copyright 2009, IASA,
global coverage of business intelligence ecosystem

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Business Intelligence Software's Time Is Now
Special Report March 2, 2009.

Companies that have established business intelligence tools throughout the organization in a consistent manner stand to benefit from the ability to get high-quality information and respond more quickly. For example, in the month leading up to the December 2006 European launch of Wyeth's (WYE) Enbrel (a drug by Amgen) prefilled syringes used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, the company saw forecasted demand triple. Because the company uses SAP Business Information Warehouse to aggregate information from throughout its enterprise, the plants were able to anticipate this spike in demand and respond accordingly. they can very quickly move product or capacity from one location to meet patient needs or market demands anywhere in the world.

Business intelligence software can help companies mine customer data that they already track to potentially sell new products or services.
Lots of companies use business intelligence to understand what has happened in the past, but it's really important, he says, to do strategic modeling to understand how to move forward, whether it means solidifying relationships with your most profitable clients or figuring out which employees are the least productive and will need to go in the next wave of layoffs.
all around BI software are gaining more popularity in most industries an will help the bottom line of the cooperation and make them run leaner and meaner.

By King, in San Francisco.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cactus flowers...

Huntington Library Pasadena CA.

"It would be nice if we could let let the little flowers be in focus, not the thousand thorns!
That is easy when we take pictures; in life, that is a different story..."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BUS 550 Chapter 10 Case study Questions

Myspace Case Study.
My space will benefits from advertising revenue from the add sponsors and also making business contracts with larger search engines such as Googol . All those company can benefit from the heavily used/high traffic of visitors on my space and use there targeted adds to attract new online customers. My space members can benefit from exclusive ads offered on that site was well as targeted marketing that suits their preferences and age groups.
My space does not create an ethical dilemma by itself, the users do. Having a control on what kind of information is being exchanged between the members, miss abuse and miss information posted by a user is not necessarily responsibility of the website. The role of the website is to create a forum for exchange of information and use technology for facilitating the “communication”. The site can only restrict access and content so much before it is not a networking site any more.
For example (I do not believe everyone who is stabbed by a kitchen knife will sue the knife manufacturer. Because the intention of manufacture was not making a tool to kill but some thing that can help people perform their tasks better… this analogy does not apply to the gun manufacturers to my opinion.)
Myspace is a social networking site and should be used with the discretion of the user.
Same reasons and argument as in Q2 stands for this questions as well. Parents and schools should control the access of there children based on their own discretion. Child parental control and limits on the computers. As well as “education of kids” about expositor to the ‘open’ world of World Wide Web should be the main tool to safeguard kids.

Article Review

Google PowerMeter,

Google is now field testing its PowerMeter software with over 10 million customers of eight large utility partners in three countries.
Google anounced it's lining up energy companies so it can enlist the utilities' customers to start using the home energy consumption software. PowerMeter helps consumers monitor their energy use through data supplied by so-called smart meters deployed by utility companies.
Google first announced in February its intention to give users detailed access to their energy consumption information. The idea is to get consumers to make more informed choices about power usage.
"This program is perfectly aligned with Google's mission of making the world's information accessible and useful," said Kristen Olsen Cahill, program manager for
The basis for the testing is for the trial users to learn about their own power consumption and provide feedback to Google about their use of PowerMeter software, according to Cahill. Google is providing the software for free to both consumers and the power companies.
The software works with all varieties of smart meters. Google has not yet set a date for more widespread release of the PowerMeter software.
Currently, utility companies around the globe have deployed over 50 million smart meters. Smart meters are expected to reach hundreds of millions in the next few years, Cahill said.
"How the data is used is up to each energy company, but we think that consumers should have access to that data."
What are googols intentions? (Three-Part Goal)
Also sponsoring the testing program is, the company's philanthropic arm. The project is looking for ways to address worldwide challenges with information and technology. "So this is kind of a perfect fit in that regard. Studies show that just by seeing your information on your energy use, you tend to reduce your consumption by 5 to 15 percent."
One goal behind the PowerMeter program is to get information about energy consumption into the users' hands. Having these details can help consumers answer questions like, "Why am I seeing huge spikes at 3 p.m. every day?" or "Why am I getting spikes when I'm sleeping?"
How It Works?
The participating energy companies install special equipment in their customers' connection boxes. This equipment transmits and tracks energy consumption data right to the consumers' iGoogle homepage, explainsEd Lu, part of the Google engineering team.

Understanding how consumers can make use of this information and compare it to neighbors and electricity use in other homes is the second part of Google's goal, according to Cahill. This will let consumers know if they are high energy users compared to others around them or are relatively energy-efficient, she said.

The third part is giving consumers tools to help them reduce their consumption.

So What?
Distributing free energy software may be little more than a self-serving gesture by Google, Jim McGregor, chief technology strategist for In-Stat, suggested. It remains to be seen whether there is any connection between educating consumers and convincing them to actually consume lower levels of power.

Google's approach is based on the assumption that if you can see your consumption, you will take steps to reduce it. However, other energy-saving steps, such as properly caulking a house, changing the type of light bulbs one uses, installing passive solar heating systems, etc., involve practical steps consumers can take to lower their energy usage.

"None of this is new, revolutionary or unique. This is just another effort to get consumers to focus on changing their habits," said McGregor. "Unless you're going to let the power company control how much power you draw, it really doesn't change things for the consumer."
Good Concept but ...
The concept behind Google's PowerMeter software is sound, but no new technology is involved.
The idea seems to support a good cause by Google, until they start charging for the access to this service. That is one thing to think about!

E-Commerce .com
By Jack M. Germain
E-Commerce Times
05/20/09 2:13 PM PT

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

TED ideas worth spreading

Some interesting site with lots of inspiration...
Finally after a very long time I found a website with some intellectual substance, that is worth browsing through.
Hope you find it interesting.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

IT Security Issues at Department of VA.

Case study Questions:

Some of VA’s IT security issues, were such as:
1- Department of VA did not having clear rules and regulations on handling governing transfer of sensitive clients personal data. And control on where and where not, data can be transported.
2-Lack of electronic data inscription, that would further secure data from unauthorized access.
3-Lack of security measures at VA’s Office, that would have prevented the data to be accessed easily. That would have been storage of data in a special format requiring special software, and only accessible through department secure server connection and only by authorized users.

VA did not manage the security bridge well. News on the stolen computer did not reach the chain of command properly and on time.
The incident was reported to the manager, but upper managers noticed of the incident through ‘office gossip’ and indirect meetings, clearly exhibiting organization’s lack communication and contingency plans for such crises.
Finally, it took VA office two weeks before authorities and FBI were informed. That was a long time for starting an investigation.

As the case states, utilization of a special data handling software that would be accessible solely through VA’s server based software with passwords would be an effective way to control access to sensitive information. In addition, having a contingency plans in case of security bridge is essential and can help minimize the damage.
They also need to place Standard Operating Procedures that define extend and manners of handling sensitive data outside the organization.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Poor Call-Center Service Angers Indians, Too

With better-paid, better-trained operators working for foreign call centers, Indian consumers are often frustrated by the service they get.
By Mehul Srivastava.
From:, April 24, 2009

This article interestingly points out the quality of service a customer may expect when calling a “call-center” that is outsourced to India. Article describes how, many telecommunication customers are unsatisfied from the quality of services when they are connected to an Indian service center. The issue has reached to the point that some American companies like Delta (DAL) has pooled its call center from India. Similarly Indians are speaking out too, Indian customers are unsatisfied with the service they get from the service centers in India. They complain from poor quality of service and untrained technicians. They also know that employees of call-centers who work in ‘Noida’ (a town 20 kilometers outside New Delhi) for internal Indian customers get paid less, use outdated equipments and get less training compared to their counterparts who work for a western company in the same town. “It makes economic sense, of course; foreign clients pay more than Indian clients do, sometimes by as much as 50% for total contracts, which are often decided by the number of ‘seats’ that an operator has to fill to service a contract.”(1)

Even though broadband Internet, fast and cost effective telecommunication technology has paved the way for globalization and resource utilization from distance, it still has quality issues. The human factor and local skills still plays a great role in success of many aspect of a business, and cannot be ignored.

I recall contacting a service center for resolving a connection issue I had with my XYZ internet router. I was connected to a customer service rep which I Initially thought was a robot-computer, but then I noticed that it was a live person. I noticed he had ‘an electronically altered accent’ that I had hard time understand! He refused to say where he was located and was distressed that I could not understand his robotic accent!
Then I thought, if I would hear his Indian or Malaysian … accent, I would understand him much better, with less frustration (maybe because I have an accent too)…
In my opinion technology is useful but lets not over do it!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Simply secure" with Apple.

One of the things that I enjoy about using UNIX OS is the security and protection from viruses.

Before I became a MAC user I had many incidences of virus infection on my PC. Once I even received a message from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, telling me "...Stop infecting our servers... and hacking into our network...' I paraphrased. While I had never even visit their website!
Next thing I knew, was that my computer was long infected and was being used to infect others. Finally when the antivirus software detected it ... the computer went mad. After a long battle with the virus and trying many software to cleat it, my PC was operable again but its window messages were mixed up!
How? For example, when it was asking me " Do you want to save this document? Cancel/OK
OK was cancel, and Cancel was OK!!!!
Imaging what did I go through before I figured that out... I think I started loosing my hair then...
I even tried to donate that PC to the Salvation Army, but they did not take it!

For a few years I was computer free at home and lived a happy life until my wife (who was my girlfriend at that time and was and is a Techie) lured me to get a computer again.

This time I converted to Apple and I am very happy about that. My computer is 5 years old now and still works like a charm .

Here is a little article on apple security for OS X.

Simply secure.
The Mac offers your organization a simple way to protect critical data and systems company-wide, with out-of-the-box security that’s easy to maintain and customize. Built on a proven, fully-compliant UNIX foundation, Mac OS X Leopard and Mac OS X Leopard Server provide layers of protection that are built-in, not bolted-on. This means your organization gets in-depth security at all levels of operation—from hardware to operating system to applications.
The Mac is easy to keep secure with under-the-hood technologies that require minimal IT management—providing crucial security while easing the burden of managing systems across the enterprise. With built-in features such as automatic software updates, application-based firewall, strong encryption tools, and integrated Internet security, systems are secure right out of the box. For easy customization, the Mac delivers robust tools that help IT administrators control system and server safety in just a matter of clicks.


Marrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch needed to update its It services to keep up with the competition and maintain its IT gained revenue and services.

Since online data management and service had great revenue for the company and the trend in business was moving fast toward use of internet. It was prudent for Marrill Lynch to consider a strong IT as part of their business strategy

It appears that Andrew Brown had finally convinced the management that selling the technology was a money saving strategy for the company but it does not appear that Marrill Lynch eventually had solved its IT issues nor its economical situations.
As a Merrill lynch service user, I do not think their web services are as intuitive or useful as Fidelity for example. And as we all know, the company has been in a grave financial problem recently …

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The penny pincher's tool

While working at Amgen I noticed a unique software used by our purchasing group and wondered how help the company while we have a dozen other softwares doing almost the same job for the company?!
Recently I came across this article which directly answered my question. Now it make more sense why Amgen is using services of this company.

Software maker Ariba helps Fortune 500 companies suss out waste, cut costs.
By Jia Lynn Yang, writer-reporterApril 10, 2009: 10:45 AM ETNEW YORK (Fortune)

It used to be that only a few CEOs were known for their obsessive love of cost-cutting -- guys like Mark Hurd at Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500) and Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500). But these days, with revenues everywhere grinding to a halt, everyone's getting into the act. Not surprisingly, a new breed of enterprise software has emerged to help the bean counters. Ariba (ARBA), for example, sells software that helps companies track where they spend money. In your typical big organization, there are thousands of people making purchases individually, and they might be using different systems to track those expenses, especially if there have been acquisitions of other companies over time. The simple act of finding out how much the company spends on ballpoint pens, for instance, can be riddled with red tape. Here's where Ariba comes in. The company can consolidate all that information into one place, so it becomes clear that instead of using seven different suppliers for pens, the company could just use one. Then Ariba sets up a reverse auction for suppliers to bid for business. Or if someone wants to order a huge shipment of pens but that spending would put the company over-budget, Ariba's software prevents the purchase. Voila -- savings. "It's the one area in technology that companies are spending money on because they can make a difference in their profitability," says Mickey North Rizza, an analyst with AMR Research. While software giants Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) and SAP (SAP) offer similar services, Ariba is the largest software provider that focuses exclusively on what the company calls "spend management." It works with more than half of the FORTUNE 500. Like (CRM), Ariba uses the so-called "cloud computing" subscriber model where clients essentially rent access to Ariba's software and can access it online. Analysts at Gartner project that while IT spending overall will drop by nearly 4% this year, "cloud computing" revenues will rise 21.3% to $46.4 billion. Last quarter, Ariba's subscription revenues were up more than 70% from the year before; total revenues were up 12%. Diebold (DBD), the company that makes ATMs and voting machines, has worked with Ariba since 2001. In 2006, Diebold set out a goal of saving $100 million in the next three years. Using Ariba's tools, the company found savings in literally every corner: from office supplies to travel expenses to the supply base for manufacturing ATMs. Before using Ariba, Diebold had trouble making sense of its purchases, which were tracked by different software platforms throughout the company. Ariba's software became "key to understanding who our suppliers were," says Michael Rager, a procurement executive at Diebold. "Its like having a black box that takes English, Portuguese and Chinese and spits out a standard language that everyone can understand." Other examples: Ariba recently helped a major fast food chain consolidate its pickle purchases. And it also worked with a bank to renegotiate its temporary labor costs. Ariba's software revealed the company was spending $40 million on 13 different suppliers with about 30 different contracts. After on online auction, the company reduced that total cost to $30 million. But what happens when the economy rebounds? Bob Calderoni, Ariba's CEO, points out that even after a company finds a new supplier who's helping it save money, there has to be a system in place to make sure employees stick to that supplier. "This never ends," says Calderoni. "As time goes on, [people] use more of it, rather than less of it." Thrift is in, and maybe it's here to stay.

Work Cited:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Blockbuster vs. Netflix Which Will Win Out?

Q2: Block buster was the business leader for movie rentals for a long time until Netflix came up with a new business model and introduced an online Video/DVD rentals for lower cost and no late fees. Netflix was a forerunner (First in business) and rapidly gained ground on movie rental business. Netflix could efficiently reach customers and conveniently deliver movies to their doors with less overhead cost and bigger variety of choices. Putting Blockbuster stores in a tough position to complete. Blockbuster and Wall Mart both tried to complete by following suit but have not been successful. And now with coming of downloadable movies through other “Network providers” and “Apple” competition has become more complex and vital for Blockbuster.

Q4: Netflix has been so far quite successful in its business strategy, compare to ‘mom an pops stores’ and Blockbuster for that matter. However, with rapid improvement of digital technology and movie on demand they may face some challenges and may loose some of their business to newer technology such as offering of downloadable and writable DVDs.
So far Netflix has the brand name recognition, clientele and subscribers that can follow the company with any new method of movie delivery that Netflix can offer. Company just needs to be quick and efficient in offering downloadable movie option, and not to loose much of the market share.

Q5: Chances of succeeding for Blockbuster or Netflix on this business depends on how fast they can capture larger market share with the help of the latest technology, who can offer more options and availability of new releases as well as hard to find movies...
They need to be on top of their ‘technology game’ and invest on new means of delivery as well as movie rental per see. IT plays a great role in their business and their viability depends on how adaptive they are and how creative they are in using information technology to their advantage.

New Use of this blog.

I will be using this blog spot for a while to post some information and assignment for my Business Information System Course. giving my opinion on some case studies, etc,
So it may not contain much of my fussy philosophical thoughts and photos.I hope it still have some substance to offer.

Monday, February 02, 2009

a sad day ....

My boss a brilliant scientist at AMGEN just passed away this weekend from a sudden and massive heart attack while biking.
He was in better physical shape then I. Life is a strange thing!
I spent in average 8 hours a day with him for the past 3 years and learned a lot from him… he will be missed. It was a great shock, I could not stay at work, I left work after leaving some flowers on his chair….

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Changing Seasons in California

Enjoy the little things in life gets me going every day... how about you?!