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Showing posts from 2012

The Lean Startup

"It builds on many previous management and product development ideas, including lean manufacturing, design thinking, customer development, and agile development. It represents a new approach to creating continuous innovation. It’s called the Lean Startup."Overall, I found "The Lean Startup" to be informative and instructive, but while I picked up on many interesting concepts, such as: build-measure-learn feedback loops, minimum viable products (MVP), different engines of growth, cohort-based metrics, split-test experiments, etc.; many of those concepts weren't new to me at all (I accidentally discovered that I've been using them for some time; obviously, without having any idea that they were associated with or related to the Lean Startup). Nonetheless, reading about something known (or semi-known) often opens new dimensions, exposes different points of view, and helps with bringing things into focus as well as rationalizing and amalgamating thoughts, knowl…

Another great Mexican vacation!

Another relaxing Mexican vacation, this time with the entire family (loved having both kids with us)! Once again we stayed at a pretty good resort Now Sapphire. It's a relatively small, but cozy place with a white sand beach, buffets, a number of themed restaurants, bars, swimming pools, and a few entertainment options. Here are a few shots of the facilities and other assorted pics:











Autumn 2012 at the Great Falls Park

Great time and lots of fun with friends and family - first, at the Normandie Farm for an awesome brunch, then onto a brief walk at the Washington, D.C. Great Falls Park







Happy Veterans Day!

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

"In the long run, history is the story of information becoming aware of itself."
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick - this was not an easy read for me, I spent more time on this book than on two before and two after (all of comparable volume) combined. And I am not exactly sure why. I guess it could be the style, the vocabulary, the depth and the breadth of the subject matter coverage, or all of these and few other things put together. 

But I feel like it was well worth the effort. The story flows smoothly from the talking drums of Africa to the world of oral culture; to the invention of scripts and alphabets; to evolution of languages, books, catalogs and dictionaries; to further developments of abstraction, symbolic logic, and mathematics; to the birth of computer science, communications theory, information theory, quantum theory, ...

I don't think I can right a review that will do this book justice. So, I would simply say - this is a great book…

Great Mexican Vacation!

As promised, quick notes on our Mexican vacation. This time we went south of Cancun to Riviera Maya and stayed at a pretty good resort Gran Bahia Principe Akumal. It's a pretty big place (basically, three co-located resorts: Akumal, Tulum, and Coba) with a golf course, white sand beaches, and plenty of restaurants, bars, swimming pools, and entertainment options. Here are a few shots of the facilities: Of course, Caribbean Sea and its beaches are the main attraction: Wild life, like iguanas and lemurs, birds and tropical fish, is everywhere, yet it is fairly unobtrusive:
There are plenty of activities in the area. First, we went to swim with the dolphins: And then onto a great tour of Mayan ruins at Coba: Of course, scaling the grand pyramid was one of the highlights of the trip (double the fun for me, as I am afraid of heights):
Here's Mayan observatory (maybe the famous calendar that inspires end-of-the-world controversy was developed here? not to worry, it's just a beginning …

The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews

We have just returned from a very nice vacation (more about it in a different post), which I have used, among other things, to finish reading a couple of books - "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)" by none other than Richard P. Feynman himself, and "Beyond Hitler's Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews" by Michael Bar-Zohar:
Both are (IMHO) great books, but in this post I wanted to cover the latter (more on Mr. Feynman after I finish reading "What Do You Care What Other People Think?: further adventures of a curious character").


First of all, I would like to thank my good friend Al for turning me onto the subject and gifting me the book. I thought I knew quite a bit about the history and the fate of European Jewry during the WWII and the "Die Endlösung". After all, I have read extensively on the subject, both in school and later on; watched many documentary and popular movies - "Обыкновен…

Country of Origin Labeling

What precipitated this post you might ask? I'll tell you what - it was The Kojo Nnamdi show, the segment aired on or around April 9th of 2012 and was titled "Buy American". It got me so fired up that I had to wait for a month or so before trying to write about it. What was I doing all this time? - Thinking about the subject matter and trying to come down. So, here's a quick synopsis (and I suggest you use the link above to listen to the whole thing online):
Despite the popularity of slogans like, "Buy American," our trade deficits continue to soar. One proposal to address the problem is more detailed country-of-origin information on products to help shift American shopping habits. Meanwhile, the United States is pursuing a “NAFTA of the Pacific” trade agreement that would lower trade barriers with several Pacific countries. We explore how these ideas might affect the economy - and prices.Want to dig a little deeper into the views of some the people from the …