Tales from the Technoverse

Commentary on social networking, technology, movies, society, and random musings

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Having Pride in Your Children

November 26th, 2014 · family

It is a very natural thing for a parent to feel pride in your children’s accomplishments. As both of my daughters remind me, I am biased (they are, of course, wrong, I am totally objective about each of them; I just happen by coincidence to have the best two daughters ever) and my job is to be proud of them (I do agree with this one).

But sometimes your children do something a bit more special.

Miriam and Tamar have talked about running a marathon together for a while. Over the last year they decided to be more serious about it, both doing a regular training routine, one in Northern Virginia and one in Brooklyn. They both submitted entries to the Philadelphia Marathon, held the week before Thanksgiving.

So this last weekend, I drove Ellen and Tamar up to Philadelphia Saturday morning, while Miriam met us there, taking the train from New York. We stayed in a bed & breakfast located a mile south of Independence Hall (a place Ellen and I found the last time we visited Philadelphia).

Saturday the girls picked up their packets and wandered around the Philadelphia Convention Center for the marathon exposition. Aisle after aisle of special shoes, special socks, belts, GPS time pieces, books, energy bars, and thousands of participants and friends-of-participants and family-members-of-participants.

At the Marathon Convention

At the Marathon Convention

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Article on the Panel I Moderated at the Federal Health IT Summit

November 22nd, 2014 · atarc, healthcare, technology

Nice follow-up article in Fierce Mobile Healthcare regarding the panel I moderated here.

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Health IT – Mobility, Wearables, and the Internet of Things

November 21st, 2014 · atarc, healthcare, technology

A remarkable statistic that was presented during the panel discussion I moderated yesterday at the first Federal Health IT summit hosted by ATARC, the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center, was that medical errors in hospitals are the third leading cause of death in the United States. The focus of the panel directly and indirectly dealt with how to decrease that statistic.

A lot of the emphasis over the last year or so in the federal Health IT market has focused on electronic health records and comparable issues, topics which have been and continue to be challenging and important topics.

But as Dr. Julian Goldman who was one of the participants on the panel who noted even more important is all of the information we do not have and do not use that directly affect the results of medical treatment.

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Today’s Argument – Biopic

November 18th, 2014 · movies

I have had the fortune to spend much of the last 30-some years being improved by Ellen.

Remarkably I find that no matter how much she corrects, I still have much work that is needed to be done.

The context of this thought resulted from my mentioning this morning that there is a new biopic (movie) coming out about Martin Luther King called Selma that evidently has been well-received.

That led to a discussion about how to pronounce biopic. I say it as if it rhymed with myopic. Ellen said it by saying ‘bio’ and then ‘pic’.

Naturally with the web available, and luckily since everything on the web is always true, I was able to do the research and for once (just this once) learned that Ellen was wrong, though she still denies it. Or at least partially wrong.

If you go to Cambridge Dictionaries Online they have recordings of how Ellen says it, British English, and how I say it, American English. Being the American patriot I am, I will stick with my pronunciation.

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More Efficient Mail Delivery

November 15th, 2014 · technology

It occurs to me that if we were able to connect our mailbox to the recycling bin in some automated fashion, it would would increase efficiency.

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The Importance of Storytelling

November 15th, 2014 · art, atarc, history, movies, popular culture, theatre

Over the last year or so, I decided to focus a bit more on academic opportunities.

I have attempted to become a better professor at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), helped start a non-profit focused on increasing academic involvement with government (ATARC), and this semester signed up for two graduate courses at the University of Maryland College Park in, of any things, Government and Political Science.

One of the two graduate classes I am taking focuses on Political Institutions in the US, the other focuses on Political Theory relating to human rights. It is the latter I wanted to talk about in this post.

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Gone Girl

November 14th, 2014 · movies

Last night, as part of the Ellen birthday set of events, culminating in her long-desired trip to New Orleans in December, we went to see Gone Girl (chosen as an alternative to Nightcrawler, and partially because Ellen does not want to see a key character that reminded her of the Michelin tire guy).

I am not going to provide details other than to say I thought it was well acted and directed and generally worth seeing, though it was pretty R.

We saw the film in the newly opened ArcLight movie theaters that have just opened in Montgomery Mall. These have reserved seating, which I like though I know some do not, and are so new they even have a bit of a new car smell and sense to them, soon to be overwhelmed with spilled popcorn. Their existence is not well known yet so we saw the film  almost completely by ourselves. Like some other movie theaters we have gone to they have a staff person talk for  a minute before the film starts telling you about the film, other films, concessions, life, whatever. It was pretty strange with us being the only people in the movie theater.  Another couple came in as the movie was starting so the lowest attendance I have ever experienced, three, was not bested.

After the film, I reflected on Gone Girl, which I did not read as a book, and The Girl With A Clock for a Heart, which I read but since it does not yet exist as a movie have not seen. In both cases the female protagonist was, to be put it mildly, complicated. I have not come to a conclusion as to which one was the most or least desirable to get involved with, though it is safe to say in either case the likelihood of my current 30-plus year marriage would have been small.

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Today’s AFCEA Bethesda Panel on Leveraging Data

November 13th, 2014 · data, government, technology

This morning was the first of two breakfasts that AFCEA Bethesda is hosting relating to the importance of data within the Federal Government with panelists talking about how to maximize the use of the large amounts of Government generated data.

The panel was moderated by long-time industry veteran, Wyatt Kash, who currently is the Vice President of Content Strategy, Scoop Media, FedScoop.

Panelists included:

  • Michael Kennedy, Executive of Architecture and Interoperability, Office of the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • David McClure, Jr. Data Asset Portfolio Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce
  • Michael Simcock, Director of Enterprise Data Management and Chief Data Architect, Department of Homeland Security

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In A World …

November 11th, 2014 · movies

Finished watching Lake Bell‘s In A World.

This continues the sequence of woman written, often directed, and starred in films that I have watched over the last month.

The story is about a woman, well-duh, who, like her much more successful father, is in the “world of movie-trailer voiceovers”. If nothing else, I learned that there is a world of movie-trailer voiceovers (or at least there was a movie about them which in our modern world of if-it-is-on-the-screen-it-is-true is the same thing).

She finds herself in a competition with her father to do the voice over for a new quadrilogy (trilogy plus one). The voice over would  start with the iconic phrase “In A World …”, and thus the name of the film.

I thought the film was nicely done, a funny satire, with some heartfelt moments. Perhaps since I have a daughter who studied acting, I am a bit of a sucker for films about films. Lake Bell is clearly talented as a writer, director and as the star of the film. B+ (rated R for language including some sexual references).

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Spectrum Sharing – A Few Thoughts From My Experiences at the October Workshop

November 7th, 2014 · technology

I posted a few weeks ago about the Spectrum Sharing workshop that I was going to help facilitate.

The problem that the Federal Government is wrestling with is the increased use of wireless technologies, not just wireless phones and tablets but things like wireless insulin pumps and cars.

BTW, I was at a Cybersecurity Conference run by the wonderful Bob Gourley earlier this week where it was pointed out that someone who had a wireless insulin pump (or some other wireless medical device) will enter an area of conflicting policy when he or she has to work in a secure SCIF (an issue almost no one had on their intellectual radar even a few years ago).

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