OKAY first, let us define “OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE” as follows:

Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source-code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner. The benefits include:

  • COST—Generally, open source software if free.
  • FLEXIBILITY—Computer specialists can alter the software to fit their needs for the program(s) they are writing code for.
  • FREEDOM—Generally, no issues with patents or copyrights.
  • SECURITY—The one issue with security is using open source software and embedded code due to compatibility issues.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY—Once again, there are no issues with accountability and producers of the code are known.

A very detailed article written by Jacob Beningo has seven (7) excellent points for avoiding, like the plague, open source software.  Given below are his arguments.

REASON 1—LACKS TRACEABLE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT LIFE CYCLE–Open source software usually starts with an ingenious developer working out their garage or basement hoping to create code that is very functional and useful. Eventually multiple developers with spare time on their hands get involved. The software evolves but it doesn’t really follow a traceable design cycle or even follow best practices. These various developers implement what they want or push the code in the direction that meets their needs. The result is software that works in limited situations and circumstances and users need to cross their fingers and pray that their needs and conditions match them.

REASON 2—DESIGNED FOR FUNCTIONALITY AND NOT ROBUSTNESS–Open source software is often written for functionality only. Accessed and written to an SD card for communication over USB connections. The issue here is that while it functions the code, it generally is not robust and is never designed to anticipate issues.  This is rarely the case and while the software is free, very quickly developers can find that their open source software is just functional and can’t stand up to real-world pressures. Developers will find themselves having to dig through unknown terrain trying to figure out how best to improve or handle errors that weren’t expected by the original developers.

REASON 3—ACCIDENTIALLY EXPOSING CONFIDENTIAL INTELLECTURAL PROPERTY–There are several different licensing schemes that open source software developers use. Some really do give away the farm; however, there are also licenses that require any modifications or even associated software to be released as open source. If close attention is not being paid, a developer could find themselves having to release confidential code and algorithms to the world. Free software just cost the company in revealing the code or if they want to be protected, they now need to spend money on attorney fees to make sure that they aren’t giving it all away by using “free” software.

REASON 4—LACKING AUTOMATED AND/OR MANUAL TESTING–A formalized testing process, especially automated tests are critical to ensuring that a code base is robust and has sufficient quality to meet its needs. I’ve seen open source Python projects that include automated testing which is encouraging but for low level firmware and embedded systems we seem to still lag behind the rest of the software industry. Without automated tests, we have no way to know if integrating that open source component broke something in it that we won’t notice until we go to production.

REASON 5—POOR DOCUMENTATION OR DOCUMENTATION THAT IS LACKING COMPLETELY–Documentation has been getting better among open source projects that have been around for a long time or that have strong commercial backing. Smaller projects though that are driven by individuals tend to have little to no documentation. If the open source code doesn’t have documentation, putting it into practice or debugging it is going to be a nightmare and more expensive than just getting commercial or industrial-grade software.

REASON 6—REAL-TIME SUPPORT IS LACKING–There are few things more frustrating than doing everything you can to get something to work or debugged and you just hit the wall. When this happens, the best way to resolve the issue is to get support. The problem with open source is that there is no guarantee that you will get the support you need in a timely manner to resolve any issues. Sure, there are forums and social media to request help but those are manned by people giving up their free time to help solve problems. If they don’t have the time to dig into a problem, or the problem isn’t interesting or is too complex, then the developer is on their own.

REASON 7—INTEGRATION IS NEVER AS EASY AS IT SEEMS–The website was found; the demonstration video was awesome. This is the component to use. Look at how easy it is! The source is downloaded and the integration begins. Months later, integration is still going on. What appeared easy quickly turned complex because the same platform or toolchain wasn’t being used. “Minor” modifications had to be made. The rabbit hole just keeps getting deeper but after this much time has been sunk into the integration, it cannot be for naught.

CONCLUSIONS:

I personally am by no means completely against open source software. It’s been extremely helpful and beneficial in certain circumstances. I have used open source, namely JAVA, as embedded software for several programs I have written.   It’s important though not to just use software because it’s free.  Developers need to recognize their requirements, needs, and level of robustness that required for their product and appropriately develop or source software that meets those needs rather than blindly selecting software because it’s “free.”  IN OTHER WORDS—BE CAREFUL!

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DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES

November 29, 2017


The graphics for this post are from Feris Alsulmi and the Entrepreneur Magazine.

The title of this post is not really a challenge but merely a question.  Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?  Most individuals at some time in their lives feel they can do it better.  I’ll let you define “IT” but everyone working for a living has dreamed of going it alone—even if that thought is fleeting and momentary.  Someone once said that if your dreams don’t scare you, you are not dreaming big enough.   I would hazard a guess we see the light at the end of that long tunnel as being riches untold and not really considering the journey that got us there.  I have started two or three businesses and can relate from personal experience there are those dark days.  Waking up at 2:00 A.M. Wednesday morning wondering how you will make payroll on Friday.  If you are challenged by the prospects, you may appreciate the following graphics and comments.  Let’s take a quick look.

WHAT ARE THE OBVIOUS OBSTACLES

No one wants to fail. No one wants to spend time and money working from dawn to dusk with the result being deep in debt and possible bankruptcy.    Even with this being the case, fully 98% of the replies from polls taken indicate the greatest obstacle is the willingness or the ability to take the necessary risks.  Age may be a factor.  Family circumstances may be a factor. Possible lack of knowledge may be a factor. Fear may be a factor.  Clearly, the ability to attract necessary capital IS a factor.  Ted Turner once said “never use your own money when starting a venture”.  Easy for Turner to say.  In today’s world, finding an “angel” or investment capital is a huge problem.   Thanks to a do-nothing Congress and Executive Branch, we have tax codes that work against an individual launching a business.  This will not change with the next administration or the 114th Congress.  It won’t change.

In looking at the graphic above, you can see 2009 numbers and they are not pretty.  Sixty-one thousand bankruptcies and six hundred and sixty-one thousand company closures.  Most of these are retail establishments relative to manufacturing companies but even so—that hurts.  Now, 2009 was the year after the housing bubble popped.  Did you see that coming? I did not. Not on my radar at all and yet, the bubble affected all of us. Everyone.  You will not be taking your family for Sunday dinner or a movie on Saturday if you have a sudden drop in sales.  People with their homes in foreclosure don’t spend for items somewhat frivolous in nature.

IS AGE A FACTOR

It’s a given fact, the older you are the more experience you have.  There are few successful business owners under the age of thirty and most of them are whiz-kids involved in computer science and programming.  Good for them, but most of us are not.

Again, from the graphic, you see that seventy percent of new business owners are married and sixty percent have at least one child.  These facts weigh very heavily on one’s mind with contemplating ownership of a company.

Now the big question:

There are mavericks that launch their businesses without benefit of those items given above but probably few, if any, who do not at least consider the questions posed above.  It takes:

Consider the questions and problems above.  Are you willing to jump?  Is now the time? Are the conditions proper for the company I contemplate starting?  Is my family situation right for a new professional direction?  Am I really dedicated to a fifty, sixty or even seventy hour work week?  If you cannot give answers in a positive fashion to these questions you may really need to continue working for “the man”.  Just a thought.

 

CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE

November 29, 2017


I have been fortunate enough to travel to several places in the world as an employee of General Electric and as a consulting engineer.  While at GE, I worked in the International Group, specifically the Latin American Pole.  My specialty was the combustion of gaseous flues and those agency codes that govern the safe use of gas burners, gas transfer manifolds, and the controlling hardware necessary for successful and long-lasting use.  My wife and I also love to travel, and we have made numerous trips to various countries over the years.   With this being the case, I can tell you what you already know—culture can be significantly different from country to country and region to region.  The importance of those differences can be critical in an office and/or team environment.  More than ever today, we see cooperation between team members in different countries, and it is not strange to have team members in cross-functional groups within a company in the United States.

When you are working in an international environment, you need to make a concerted effort to understand the cultural backgrounds, beliefs and attitudes of the people around you.  If you do not, you will struggle to get things done.  We all need to develop “cultural intelligence”.  Cultural intelligence may be defined as follows: “Cultural Intelligencecultural quotient or CQ, is a term used in business, education, government and academic research. Cultural intelligence can be understood as the capability to relate and work effectively across cultures. Originally, the term cultural intelligence and the abbreviation “CQ” was developed by the research done by Soon Ang and Linn Van Dyne as a researched-based way of measuring and predicting intercultural performance”. There are many reasons to develop cultural intelligence but two of the most important are:

  • To aid working effectively with people who are different from you.  Whether you are working abroad or leading a culturally diverse team, it can mean the difference between success and failure, and the difference between solving problems and creating them.
  • Cultural intelligence is a predictor of strong job performance in a new culture.  Research shows that professionals with a high degree of cultural intelligence are more successful in international assignments.  They certainly can work more effectively with different groups, and they adjust more easily to living and working in the new culture.

I would like to demonstrate now just how diverse various cultures are and can be.  I will then close with suggestions on how to improve and develop cultural intelligence.

  • In China and Japan, gesture “come here,” with all of your fingers pointing down. Beckoning someone with a bent finger is considered impolite.
  • In Vietnam, point with your whole hand, not just one finger.
  • In South Korea, stay quiet on public transportation.  Noisiness is considered very rude. (Can you just imagine the culture shock when a South Korean visits the subways of New York?)
  • In India, you are expected to refuse your host’s first offer of a drink or snack. You will be asked again!
  • In Germany, use utensils, not your fingers, to eat—even with foods like pizza and fries. The one exception is bread. It can be eaten with your fingers.
  • In Afghanistan and throughout the Muslim world, eat your food with your right hand, not your left. The left hand is reserved for bathroom hygiene so using it for eating is considered unclean.
  • In Indonesia, while eating, keep both hands on the table at all times.
  • As a dinner guest in Kenya or Germany, finish everything on your plate or the host will be offended and think you didn’t like the food. NOTE: My wife and I also ran into this while in Italy.  The gentleman who waited on us was greatly offended that we did not “clean our plate”.
  • In China, if you clean your plate, the host will be offended because it is a sign that you didn’t get enough food. Likewise, in Afghanistan and India, leave a little food on your plate when you are full because an empty plate will be filled again!
  • In Pakistan, arrive about fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled start time of a meal, and up to one hour after the start time of a party.
  • If you are invited to a Danish home, be punctual!
  • In Kazakhstan, you will be served tea, but only half of a cup. A full cup is a sign that the host wants you to leave! Later in the meal, when you have had enough tea (or broth), turn your cup over to show that you are finished.
  • A superstition in Azerbaijan is that spilled salt means you are about to quarrel. Sprinkle sugar on the salt to counter this.
  • In Kuwait, when the host stands, the meal is over.
  • In India, do not wink or whistle in public.
  • In Vietnam, do not touch someone’s head or shoulder. Also do not pass things over someone’s head.
  • In Brazil, avoid purple lipstick as it is associated with funerals. Purple is fine for clothing and accessories, though.
  • In numerous countries like Libya, Slovakia, and Norway, greets a colleague with a handshake. But in Russia, do not shake hands or conduct business over a threshold—step all the way in or out of the doorway.
  • In China, it is bad luck to let your date borrow your umbrella to go home. This is because the word for umbrella in Chinese sounds like the word for “to break apart.” Instead, take the time to walk your date, with your umbrella, to the door—a gesture that goes a long way in many cultures!
  • In Thailand and in Arab countries never point your shoe/foot to another person. The shoe/foot is the unclean part of your body.
  • In Thailand, don’t touch the head of someone older than you, or, in general, don’t touch the head at all.
  • If you are in an African country and have an occasion to talk with a tribal chief, make sure your head is lower than his. It is considered disrespectful to be elevated above him.
  • If you are a male, don’t try to shake hands with an orthodox Muslim (covered) woman.
  • Don’t forget to say “takk for maten” (“Thank you for the meal.”) in Scandinavia. It is a MUST!
  • Never eat while standing in Indonesia
  • Never chew gum in public in Austria, Italy, Germany, or Malaysia.  This is considered disrespectful and calls you out as a “tourist”.
  • Don’t cut your grass on Sunday in Switzerland
  • Don’t bring wine as a gift in France. They consider themselves expert in this area and it would be somewhat rude if you indicated you knew more than they. Just don’t do it.
  • In Germany and the United Kingdom, it is frowned upon to spit in public.
  • Don’t give an even number of roses as a gift for a romantic occasion in Russia.
  • Don’t stretch or yawn in public in Spain. It is considered extremely vulgar.
  • Don’t touch a Mongolian’s head, hat or horse.
  • Cambodians believe you should not take a photo of 3 people.
  • It is considered bad luck for a building to have a 13th floor in the United States or a 4th floor in China.
  • In Nepal, never share food from the same plate; once it’s been touched by one person its considered disgusting to be eaten by someone else, which is the total opposite of Korean dining.

Asian cultures tend to be full of taboos, though many are fading away.  The more interaction western culture has with eastern culture, the more eastern culture relinquishes the “old ways”.  If you are in an eastern culture, it is best to know the following:

NEW YEAR

  • Normally you clean the house before New Year’s Day in the Chinese calendar.  Cleaning after this day is inauspicious as it may sweep away fortunes.  In other words, don’t go calling on your Chinese neighbor the day before New Year’s Day.
  • Certain colors are considered inauspicious. White tends to be associated with mourning and death while red is considered a very auspicious color normally prominent in festivals, weddings and other happy occasions. It’d be sort of taboo to be wearing a white dress to a New Year celebration.
  • In Brazil, the ladies ALL wear white dresses on New Year’s Day.  It is the custom.  (You now see how confusing this can be.)
  • In very traditional areas, which you are more likely to find in the backwaters of Malaysia where traditions from centuries ago live on, you never throw out trash until the 5th day of the year, traditionally called Powu. Throwing out trash discards good fortune. It’s a good exercise in reusing and reducing waste during the New Year which sadly is seldom followed anymore and has begun losing to disposable items at New Year parties.
  • Traditional people also do not talk of death during New Year or say the word 死 si, which means to die, at all, not even in reference to it, during the New Year time period. Though this is well-followed on television and major celebrations, many people outside of S.E.A. don’t pay extreme attention to this rule; with our generation this is a fading taboo.
  • Traditional people also do not go out on the 4th day to meet friends. (I don’t really know how this could work in a commercial environment but nevertheless it must be true.)

EATING

  • Chopsticks are not to be stuck vertically into anything while eating, as this is only done in making an offering for deceased ancestors.  (This is true of Korean and Japanese cultures as well.
  • Chopsticks should also not be crossed and as much as possible not be placed to point at other people on your table, though I think few people realistically bother with the latter today.

GIFTING

  • Do not give pears to anyone. Especially do not give pears to couples and do not split a pear with a friend — eat it all yourself. (The word for pear, 梨, is pronounced identically to the word 離, which means to leave or separate).
  • Do not give clocks to anyone, as clock 鍾 sounds like 終 end.
  • Do not give shoes or slippers especially to older ones.
  • Do not give umbrellas.
  • Do not give green hats (a symbol of prostitution since ancient times).
  • Do not give sharp objects.

OK, now that we have some idea as to how things work for other cultures, let’s take a look at suggestions on how to become more intelligent from an international standpoint.  According to Dr. David Livermore, an expert in cultural intelligence, the process of becoming culturally intelligent consists of four components:

  • DRIVE:  Being motivated to learn about new cultures or settings
  • KNOWLEDGE:  Studying how culture shapes people’s behaviors, values and beliefs.
  • STRATEGY: Being able to factor culture into longer-term planning.
  • ACTION:  Behaving in a culturally sensitively manner, including being able to think on one’s feet in difficult situations.

There are five (5) Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication

  1. Create Proactive Communication: Stay out of the reactive cycle. Focus on positioning yourself, your product, and your company so that it facilitates partnerships and trust. This is an important first step before jumping into the business at hand.
  2. Rapport Secrets: Adapt your marketing material, sales style, and business approach to the cultural preferences of the customer.
  3. Organize Productive Interactions: Work towards collaboration and a ‘win-win’ outcome for all parties. This helps to avoid conflict and cultural sensitivities. It establishes trust, and influences decision-makers.
  4. Strategies for Relationships: Create strategies based on cultural expectations, and incorporate the appropriate level of formality. Understand the business hierarchy, the decision making protocol, and the timing necessary for sales cycles.
  5. Success Leaves Clues: Learn the Dos and Taboos of the country and cultures you sell to and partner with. Notice what works and what doesn’t. Change your approach based on the results, and enjoy the process!

I have discovered there are many opportunities to engage those of other cultures in their country or in ours.  I think it’s fascinating to discover the differences.  Hope you enjoy this one.

 


Elon Musk has warned again about the dangers of artificial intelligence, saying that it poses “vastly more risk” than the apparent nuclear capabilities of North Korea does. I feel sure Mr. Musk is talking about the long-term dangers and not short-term realities.   Mr. Musk is shown in the digital picture below.

This is not the first time Musk has stated that AI could potentially be one of the most dangerous international developments. He said in October 2014 that he considered it humanity’s “biggest existential threat”, a view he has repeated several times while making investments in AI startups and organizations, including Open AI, to “keep an eye on what’s going on”.  “Got to regulate AI/robotics like we do food, drugs, aircraft & cars. Public risks require public oversight. Getting rid of the FAA would not make flying safer. They’re there for good reason.”

Musk again called for regulation, previously doing so directly to US governors at their annual national meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.  Musk’s tweets coincide with the testing of an AI designed by OpenAI to play the multiplayer online battle arena (Moba) game Dota 2, which successfully managed to win all its 1-v-1 games at the International Dota 2 championships against many of the world’s best players competing for a $24.8m (£19m) prize fund.

The AI displayed the ability to predict where human players would deploy forces and improvise on the spot, in a game where sheer speed of operation does not correlate with victory, meaning the AI was simply better, not just faster than the best human players.

Musk backed the non-profit AI research company OpenAI in December 2015, taking up a co-chair position. OpenAI’s goal is to develop AI “in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return”. But it is not the first group to take on human players in a gaming scenario. Google’s Deepmind AI outfit, in which Musk was an early investor, beat the world’s best players in the board game Go and has its sights set on conquering the real-time strategy game StarCraft II.

Musk envisions a situation found in the movie “i-ROBOT with humanoid robotic systems shown below.  Robots that can think for themselves. Great movie—but the time-frame was set in a future Earth (2035 A.D.) where robots are common assistants and workers for their human owners, this is the story of “robotophobic” Chicago Police Detective Del Spooner’s investigation into the murder of Dr. Alfred Lanning, who works at U.S. Robotics.  Let me clue you in—the robot did it.

I am sure this audience is familiar with Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics.

  • First Law: A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • Second Law: A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • Third Law: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Asimov’s three laws indicate there will be no “Rise of the Machines” like the very popular movie indicates.   For the three laws to be null and void, we would have to enter a world of “singularity”.  The term singularity describes the moment when a civilization changes so much that its rules and technologies are incomprehensible to previous generations. Think of it as a point-of-no-return in history. Most thinkers believe the singularity will be jump-started by extremely rapid technological and scientific changes. These changes will be so fast, and so profound, that every aspect of our society will be transformed, from our bodies and families to our governments and economies.

A good way to understand the singularity is to imagine explaining the internet to somebody living in the year 1200. Your frames of reference would be so different that it would be almost impossible to convey how the internet works, let alone what it means to our society. You are on the other side of what seems like a singularity to our person from the Middle Ages. But from the perspective of a future singularity, we are the medieval ones. Advances in science and technology mean that singularities might happen over periods much shorter than 800 years. And nobody knows for sure what the hell they’ll bring.

Author Ken MacLeod has a character describe the singularity as “the Rapture for nerds” in his novel The Cassini Division, and the turn of phrase stuck, becoming a popular way to describe the singularity. (Note: MacLeod didn’t actually coin this phrase – he says he got the phrase from a satirical essay in an early-1990s issue of Extropy.) Catherynne Valente argued recently for an expansion of the term to include what she calls “personal singularities,” moments where a person is altered so much that she becomes unrecognizable to her former self. This definition could include post-human experiences. Post-human (my words) would describe robotic future.

Could this happen?  Elon Musk has an estimated net worth of $13.2 billion, making him the 87th richest person in the world, according to Forbes. His fortune owes much to his stake in Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), of which he remains CEO and chief product architect. Musk made his first fortune as a cofounder of PayPal, the online payments system that was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.  In other words, he is no dummy.

I think it is very wise to listen to people like Musk and heed any and all warnings they may give. The Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of our country are too busy trying to get reelected to bother with such warnings and when “catch-up” is needed, they always go overboard with rules and regulations.  Now is the time to develop proper and binding laws and regulations—when the technology is new.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

November 23, 2017


Hello Everyone.  I want to take this opportunity to wish EVERYONE a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING.  It’s hard to believe I have been publishing through WordPress.com since May of 2009.  It’s been a marvelous experience and I have met incredible people along the way.  Truly incredible people–very supportive of my efforts.  I CERTAINLY do appreciate you all taking a look when you have time and the inclination.  As you know, I generally post subject matter relative to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professions.  That somewhat limits my exposure because we are a “social media” world right now very interested in subjects other than STEM.  That’s OK. because I try to provide value-added content so you leave my site having derived something of interest and something you can use.  I want to thank our audience living in other parts of the world and hope you have a marvelous and SAFE American Thanksgiving.  Celebrate with us.

Take care.

Bob J.

MAIN STREET MEATS

November 18, 2017


I generally do NOT comment on my successes, failures, things I do well, things I do not do well, BUT I am probably one of the world’s best independent experts on “all-meat” hamburgers 😊😊.  Do NOT be fooled by my very quiet demeanor and passive personality.  I’m one of the best.  You might say a connoisseur of burgers—all-meat that is.  A turkey burger is not really a burger.  Let’s get that straight right now.  The best all-meat hamburger in Chattanooga is served by a restaurant called Main Street Meats. I know, I know, those of you who read this post and live in Chattanooga, will say NO, Tremont, Urban Stacks, Slicks; all serving great hamburgers, BUT Main Street Meats is the very best.  Main Street has a burger that would make the Earl of Sandwich giddy with excitement and anticipation!

My wife and I visited “Meats” this past Friday.  This post will give you some perspective as to why I say this is a wonderful experience.   Let’s take a look.

MENU

The menu separates the restaurant from your typical “burger joint”.  Much more expansive and certainly much more complete than a fast-food, hash-slinging, drive-through, down-and- dirty, greasy spoon establishment.   Main Street has a lunch menu and a dinner menu.  Since we went to dinner, I have given you the dinner menu below.

DINNER MENU

– BUTCHER’S SELECTIONS 

Served with House-Pickles, Mustards, and Niedlov’s Baguette

DAILY CHEESE SELECTIONS (1) $7 / (3) $19

DAILY CURED MEAT SELECTIONS (1) $5 / (3) $14 / (5) $23

– STARTERS –

PORK RINDS, Harissa Aioli ~ $5

BEEF TARTARE, Filet Mignon, Sour Carrot, Cornichon, Shallot, Yolk, Baguette Crisps ~ $13

CHICKEN LIVER MOUSSE, Bacon Jam, Parsley, Lemon ~ $9

HUMMUS, Seasonal Vegetables, Grilled PIta ~ $9.5

MSM BRATWURST, House Mustard & Pickles ~ $8

– SOUPS –

TURKEY POTATO, Turnip Greens, Mushrooms, Bacon, Green Onion ~ $6

– SALADS –

FALL GREENS, Buttercup Squash, Pepita, Baked Feta, Sweet Onion Dressing ~ $9

– SANDWICHES –

LOCAL BEEF BURGER, House Pickles, Mustard, Mayo, Caramelized Onions, Bacon, Gruyere ~ $10.25*

FISH TACOS, Spicy Aioli, Cabbage, Radish, Pickled Shallot, Cotija ~ $9

– PLATES –

BUTCHER’S STEAK, Bordelaise, Mashed Potatoes Simpson Farms (TN) Flank ~ $19, Simpson Farms (TN) New York Strip ~ $32, Strauss (NC) Filet Mignon ~ $36, Simpsons Farm (TN) 70 Day Dry Age Ribeye ~ $44

FISH n’ GRITS, Bacon Cheddar Grits, Pickled Okra, Chow Chow ~ $18

GRILLED PORK CHOPS, Roasted Root Vegetable, Apple and Onion Gastrique ~ $26

ROASTED CHICKEN, Sweet Potato, Smoked Ricotta, Pecans, Bourbon Maple Cream Sauce ~ $20

– SIDES –

HOUSE MADE FRIES, Tallow, Maldon Salt ~ $5

GARDINERA ~ $4

BRUSSELS, Apple Glaze, Chili Flake ~ 6

BEANS-N-GREENS, Chow Chow ~ $5

BROCCOLINI, Garlic, Aleppo, Parm ~ $6.5

POTATO SALAD, Scallion, Bacon, Mustard, Mayo ~ $6.5

– DESSERTS –

BANANA PUDDING, ‘Nilla Wafer, Marshmallow ~ $7.5

BREAD PUDDING, Maple Anglaise, Bacon Caramel, Chantilly ~ $7.5

COOKIES & ICE CREAM, Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookie, Clumpies Ice Cream ~ $5

WINE

– SPARKLING –

MEZZA DI MEZZACORONA ~ $8/gl $39/bt

– WHITE –

CASS MR BLANC ’16 ~ $9.5/gl $48/bt

MOUTON NOIR BOTTOMS UP ’14 ~ $48/bt

MOUTON NOIR OREGOGNE ’13 ~ $82.5/bt

UNIQUE SAUVIGNON BLANC ’14 ~ $7.5/gl $37/bt

VIGILANCE CHARDONNAY ’16 ~ $8/gl $40/bt

– ROSE –

AIX PROVENCE ROSE ’16 ~ $9/gl $46/bt

– RED –

BOOMTOWN MERLOT ’14 ~ $8.5/gl $42/bt

CALIFNORNIA SOUL ’11 ~ $9/gl $45/bt

HEITZ INK GRADE VINEYARD ZINFANDEL ’13 ~ $67/bt

HENDRY HWR PINOT NOIR ’14 ~ $9.5 gl/ $48/bt

HIRSCH RESERVE PINOT NOIR ’13 ~ $168/bt

LESSE-FITCH CABERNET ’15 ~ $7.5/gl $36/bt

NEYERS LEFT BANK RED ’15 ~ $65/bt

BEER

– DRAFT –

BLACKBERRY FARMS BOUNDARY TREE SAISON ~ $6.5

GOOD PEOPLE MUMBAI RYE ~ $5.5

ODDSTORY BELGIAN DUBBLE ~ $7

– BOTTLE –

BEARDED IRIS EVER CLEVER ~ $12

BEARDED IRIS SCATTERBRIAN ~ $11

BELL’S WINTER WHITE ~ $5.5

BLACKBERRY FARMS BELGO IPA ~ $15 (375ml)

BLACKBERRY FARMS BLACKBERRY RYE ~ $15 (375ml)

BUY THE KITCHEN A HIGH LIFE ~ $3.25

FOUNDERS PORTER ~ $6

HI-WIRE STRONGMAN COFFEE MILK STOUT ~ $6.5

MILLER HIGH LIFE (7oz.) ~ $2.5

MODELO ESPECIAL ~ $3.5

WISEACRE ADJECTIVE ANIMAL ~ $7.5

YEE-HAW DUNKEL ~ $5.5

BEVERAGES

– BOTTLED BEVERAGES –

ACQUA PANNA BOTTLED WATER ~ $3.75/500ml, $6/1L

DIET COKE ~ $3

FANTA ~ $3.5

MEXICAN COKE ~ $3.75

SAN PELLEGRINO ~ $3.75/500ml

SPRITE ~ $3.5

VELO COLD BREW COFFEE, BUNNY HOP ~ $4.25

VELO COLD BREW COFFEE, RTD ~ $3.75

– COFFEE & TEA –

GREYFRIAR’S COFFEE ~ $2.95

ICED TEA ~ $2.95

When you walk through the front door, you immediately are reminded that this is truly a meat market.  They sell the very best cuts of meat in addition to having a small restaurant.  Take a look.

 

 

In addition to meats, they have an excellent selection of cheeses.  The cooler below is more complete than appears because I took this photo with my cell phone which does not have a wide-angle lens.

The seating area is fairly small with approximately ten (10) tables and one very large table and accommodating groups in the center of the establishment. Main Street is a locally owned and operated operation and they enjoy the small size.

Every restaurant must have a bar and Main Street certainly does also.  The selection includes what you see below and other choices under the bar itself.

Our waiter was a great guy, very knowledgeable and very attentive.  Never an empty water glass and always accommodating.

The JPEG below really does not do justice to the burger itself.  You simply cannot get a feel for the quality of beef, or bread, or “fixings” included with the burger.  Main Street calls this the Local Beef Burger with house pickles, mustard, mayo, caramelized onions, bacon, and Gruyere cheese.  I say—you MUST include the caramelized onions. They establish one element of the overall taste. Also, the bacon is not your microwaved, thin, ready in two minutes bacon.  It’s twelve dollars ($12.00) a pound from the cooler.  Thick and cooked so crispy when eaten.

CONCLUSIONS:

Once again, the good news is—Main Street Meats is in Chattanooga.  The bad news is—Main Street Meats is in Chattanooga.  Most of you reading this post cannot “rush right down” and give this great restaurant a try, BUT you can make the visit to the River City.  Put that visit on your “bucket list”.  As always, I welcome your comments.

THEY GOT IT ALL WRONG

November 15, 2017


We all have heard that necessity is the mother of invention.  There have been wonderful advances in technology since the Industrial Revolution but some inventions haven’t really captured the imagination of many people, including several of the smartest people on the planet.

Consider, for example, this group: Thomas Edison, Lord Kelvin, Steve Ballmer, Robert Metcalfe, and Albert Augustus Pope. Despite backgrounds of amazing achievement and even brilliance, all share the dubious distinction of making some of the worst technological predictions in history and I mean the very worst.

Had they been right, history would be radically different and today, there would be no airplanes, moon landings, home computers, iPhones, or Internet. Fortunately, they were wrong.  And that should tell us something: Even those who shape the future can’t always get a handle on it.

Let’s take a look at several forecasts that were most publically, painfully, incorrect. From Edison to Kelvin to Ballmer, click through for 10 of the worst technological predictions in history.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” William Thomson (often referred to as Lord Kelvin), mathematical physicist and engineer, President, Royal Society, in 1895.

A prolific scientific scholar whose name is commonly associated with the history of math and science, Lord Kelvin was nevertheless skeptical about flight. In retrospect, it is often said that Kelvin was quoted out of context, but his aversion to flying machines was well known. At one point, he is said to have publically declared that he “had not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation.” OK, go tell that to Wilber and Orville.

“Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. No one will use it, ever. Thomas Edison, 1889.

Thomas Edison’s brilliance was unassailable. A prolific inventor, he earned 1,093 patents in areas ranging from electric power to sound recording to motion pictures and light bulbs. But he believed that alternating current (AC) was unworkable and its high voltages were dangerous.As a result, he battled those who supported the technology. His so-called “war of currents” came to an end, however, when AC grabbed a larger market share, and he was forced out of the control of his own company.

 

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” Popular Mechanics Magazine, 1949.

The oft-repeated quotation, which has virtually taken on a life of its own over the years, is actually condensed. The original quote was: “Where a calculator like the ENIAC today is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh only 1.5 tons.” Stated either way, though, the quotation delivers a clear message: Computers are mammoth machines, and always will be. Prior to the emergence of the transistor as a computing tool, no one, including Popular Mechanics, foresaw the incredible miniaturization that was about to begin.

 

“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, 1946.

Hollywood film producer Darryl Zanuck earned three Academy Awards for Best Picture, but proved he had little understanding of the tastes of Americans when it came to technology. Television provided an alternative to the big screen and a superior means of influencing public opinion, despite Zanuck’s dire predictions. Moreover, the technology didn’t wither after six months; it blossomed. By the 1950s, many homes had TVs. In 2013, 79% of the world’s households had them.

 

“I predict the Internet will go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, in 1995.

An MIT-educated electrical engineer who co-invented Ethernet and founded 3Com, Robert Metcalfe is a holder of the National Medal of Technology, as well as an IEEE Medal of Honor. Still, he apparently was one of many who failed to foresee the unbelievable potential of the Internet. Today, 47% of the 7.3 billion people on the planet use the Internet. Metcalfe is currently a professor of innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise at the University of Texas at Austin.

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” Steve Ballmer, former CEO, Microsoft Corp., in 2007.

Some magna cum laude Harvard math graduate with an estimated $33 billion in personal wealth, Steve Ballmer had an amazing tenure at Microsoft. Under his leadership, Microsoft’s annual revenue surged from $25 billion to $70 billion, and its net income jumped 215%. Still, his insights failed him when it came to the iPhone. Apple sold 6.7 million iPhones in its first five quarters, and by end of fiscal year 2010, its sales had grown to 73.5 million.

 

 

“After the rocket quits our air and starts on its longer journey, its flight would be neither accelerated nor maintained by the explosion of the charges it then might have left.” The New York Times,1920.

The New York Times was sensationally wrong when it assessed the future of rocketry in 1920, but few people of the era were in a position to dispute their declaration. Forty-one years later, astronaut Alan Shepard was the first American to enter space and 49 years later, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, laying waste to the idea that rocketry wouldn’t work. When Apollo 11 was on its way to the moon in 1969, the Times finally acknowledged the famous quotation and amended its view on the subject.

“With over 15 types of foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big share of the market for itself.” Business Week, August 2, 1968.

Business Week seemed to be on safe ground in 1968, when it predicted that Japanese market share in the auto industry would be miniscule. But the magazine’s editors underestimated the American consumer’s growing distaste for the domestic concept of planned obsolescence. By the 1970s, Americans were flocking to Japanese dealerships, in large part because Japanese manufacturers made inexpensive, reliable cars. That trend has continued over the past 40 years. In 2016, Japanese automakers built more cars in the US than Detroit did.

“You cannot get people to sit over an explosion.” Albert Augustus Pope, founder, Pope Manufacturing, in the early 1900s.

Albert Augustus Pope thought he saw the future when he launched production of electric cars in Hartford, CT, in 1897. Listening to the quiet performance of the electrics, he made his now-famous declaration about the future of the internal combustion engine. Despite his preference for electrics, however, Pope also built gasoline-burning cars, laying the groundwork for future generations of IC engines. In 2010, there were more than one billion vehicles in the world, the majority of which used internal combustion propulsion.

 

 

 

“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked to the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.” Editor, Prentice Hall Books,1957.

The concept of data processing was a head-scratcher in 1957, especially for the unnamed Prentice Hall editor who uttered the oft-quoted prediction of its demise. The prediction has since been used in countless technical presentations, usually as an example of our inability to see the future. Amazingly, the editor’s forecast has recently begun to look even worse, as Internet of Things users search for ways to process the mountains of data coming from a new breed of connected devices. By 2020, experts predict there will be 30 to 50 billion such connected devices sending their data to computers for processing.

CONCLUSIONS:

Last but not least, Charles Holland Duell in 1898 was appointed as the United States Commissioner of Patents, and held that post until 1901.  In that role, he is famous for purportedly saying “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”  Well Charlie, maybe not.

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