A site devoted mostly to everything related to Information Technology under the sun - among other things.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


INCOSE is a good source for systems engineering - as distinct from purely software engineering - information.

They have a tools database team, whose current working reports are generally available to non-members. Requirements management tools, among others, are listed @ http://www.incose.org/ProductsPubs/products/toolsdatabase.aspx

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Risks of Out-sourced and Off-shored Projects

There is an ACM paper that discusses these risks @ www.tinyurl.com/5wfzua.

The Top 10 Risks are:

  1. Lack of top management commitment
  2. Original set of requirements is miscommunicated
  3. Language barriers in project communication
  4. Inadequate user involvement
  5. Lack of offshore project management know-how by client
  6. Failure to manage end-user expectations
  7. Poor change controls
  8. Lack of business known-how by offshore teams
  9. Lack of required technical know-how by offshore team
  10. Failure to consider all costs

Saturday, September 20, 2008

On Data Mining

In the book review of "The Numerati", published on 09/15/2008 in the Wall Street Journal, we read:

"What then of our privacy? What if the NSA, having scrutinized my data trail and determined that I am not a terrorist, sees that I may be cheating on my taxes? Or that I am running for public office while subscribing to a pornography service?"

And in an article titled "Mistaken Identity" published in the Wall Street Journal on 09/20/2008, we read:

"Revenue Science and Acxiom, along with a handful of other companies in the field including Yahoo and Time Warner's AOL, make deals with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of Web publishers for permission to collect data about visitors to those sites. When a person lands on one of the sites, the targeting technology places a "cookie," or small string of tracking data, on his or her hard drive. The technology can read the codes embedded in the cookies to see which other sites in the network the person has already visited. Based on that information, it automatically decides which ads to display."

In fact, data mining and the accompanying decision support systems (based on such AI techniques as artificial neural networks, decision trees, etc.) furnish the building blocks for potentially oppressive social organizations.

Such a social organization could be designed around the application of cybernetics (control-feedback theory) to society for maintaining a homeostatic state where Liberty is nowhere to be found. The distributed nature of data collection and cybernetic control will make it impossible to change such a system through the customary practice of a revolution that captures the central organs of the state. In fact, the system can only be changed by smashing it or waiting long enough for the Second Law of Thermodynamics to kick-in; the accumulated entropy causing it to finally fail

Starvation .Net

Check out www.starvation.net. I am impressed by the creative way that the world map in that site conveys grim quantitative information.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Comic Life

This is a software tool for making comics. It is not free but is reasonably priced. Find it @ http://plasq.com/products/

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Scenery from Brazil

Scenery from Switzerland

Pun Intended

1. The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'

14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

18. It's not that the man did not know how to juggle, he just didn't have the balls to do it.

19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

20. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

21. A backward poet writes inverse.

22. In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

23. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

24. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!

Flash of Genius

The Movie: http://www.flashofgenius.net/

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Web Archive

Interesting site with all kind of material: old commercials, old books, etc. http://www.archive.org/index.php

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Modelica language is an object-oriented language for physics-based modeling — or physical modeling — for virtual prototyping of engineering.

It enables a very easy definition of a system model by graphically describing its topology. An electric circuit looks like an electric circuit on a computer screen: this circuit can then be easily connected to a mechanical system model through motor models, shafts, gears, and so on.

Learn more about it @ modelica.org

The language specifications may be found @ http://www.modelica.org/documents/ModelicaSpec22.pdf

Apollo Books

A new book called "Digital Apollo" by David Mindell looks at the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC). Listings of the AGC code may be found @ (http://authors.library.caltech.edu/5456/1/hrst.mit.edu/hrs/apollo/public/archive/1701.pdf)

For more on that see Journey to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Guidance Computer by Eldon C. Hall. This book also provides a fascinating look at the human side of engineering, and how pilot demands (think "customer demands"), both reasonable and not, effect how we build systems.

The Creation Simulation

More on the Spores game from the Seed Magazine:

Friday, September 12, 2008

All Streets

Check out Ben Fry's (of "Data Visualization" book fame) www.benfry.com/allstreets which is a compilation of more than 26 million road segments in US. What is interesting about it that there are no outlines or geographic features specifically added to the images; they emerge by themselves.


Code_swarm is a series of videos created by Michael Ogawa about the development of an open-source software. Using dancing lights, rings of color, and snappy music, Code_swarm shows the history of commits in software projects such as Python, Eclipse, PostageSQL, and Apache.

Check it out @ http://vis.cs.ucdavis.edu/~ogawa/codeswarm

The code is available @ http://code.google.com/p/codeswarm


Check out Processing, an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions @ http://processing.org/.

Data visualization using Processing is discussed in Ben Fry's book, "Visualizing Information".

3 Free Science Games

http://www.fold.it/ This is a free online game where players compete for the most stable protein folding solution.

www.fas.org/immuneattack is an educational game in which the players guide a nano-robot (nanobot) through blood vessels and human tissue of a person with a malfunctioning immune system.

http://www.stellaralchemy.com/lee/virtual_creatures.html is a 3D virtual creature evolution game created by Lee Graham.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Microsoft ESP

Microsoft ESP is a visual simulation platform that enables developers to create simulations using 3D modeling tools, .Net, C++, and XML-based training missions. Learn more about it @ http://www.microsoft.com/esp/default.htm and http://msdn.microsoft.com/esp.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Few Test Automation Tools

Here is a good website with a broad list of QA test tools; many are open source:

TestComplete Enterprise ($2k per seat, not open, but COM based and extensible) is an automated test manager, with support for unit, functional, regression, distributed and HTTP performance testing at the project level. Find it @ http://www.automatedqa.com/products/.

pywinauto is a set of python modules to automate the Microsoft Windows GUI. At it's simplest it allows you to send mouse and keyboard actions to windows dialogs and controls. Find it @ http://pywinauto.openqa.org/

AutoIt v3 is a freeware BASIC-like scripting language designed for automating the Windows GUI and general scripting. It uses a combination of simulated keystrokes, mouse movement and window/control manipulation in order to automate tasks in a way not possible or reliable with other languages (e.g. VBScript and SendKeys). Find it @ http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/

A Few Testing Tools

These are several tools both commercial and free that are great for implementing the testing for .Net applications. Some are specific to .Net and some are not.

RegMon for Windows v7.04 by Microsoft [SysInternals]
RegMon is a free and very useful discovery tool that monitors all registry interaction from any and all running applications, and allows users to quickly jump to Regedt32 to manipulate registry values.

FileMon for Windows v7.04 by Microsoft [SysInternals]
FileMon is a free and very useful discovery tool that monitors all file activity for any and all running applications, and allows users to quickly jump to files in Explorer for management.

Peach Fuzzing Platform 2.0
Peach is a free and comprehensive fuzzing platform that allows on-the-wire fuzzing of network I/O and files of almost any type.

Defensics 2.0 by Codenomicon
Defensics is a powerful commercial fuzz testing platform for on the wire fuzzing of most
all protocols.

Wireshark 1.0.0
Wireshark, formally known as Ethereal, is a free and powerful tool for real-time monitoring and analysis of network traffic.

WhatsUp Gold by Ipswitch
WhatsUp Gold is an inexpensive professional-grade network discovery and management
tool that provides real-time server and service monitoring.

Event Analyst
Event Analyst is an inexpensive tool that allows the consolidation and correlation of server log files.

Holodeck Enterprise Edition v2.8 by Security Innovation Inc.
Holodeck is a professional-grade discovery and fault injection tool that virtualizes an
application’s runtime environment and allows testers to completely control its resources.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Salary Survey

The 2008 Redmond Channel Partner's Salary Survey may be found @ http://rcpmag.com/features/article.aspx?editorialsid=2485


Take a look at Blueprint's Requirements Center 2009 for requirements elicitation @ http://www.blueprintsys.com/product_rc_features.php.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Spores is a new computer game created by those who gave SimCity and its derivatives. Read about engineering the computer game Spore @ http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/sep08/6594. You can also check out

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I am a senior software developer working for General Motors Corporation.. I am interested in intelligent computing and scientific computing. I am passionate about computers as enablers for human imagination. The contents of this site are not in any way, shape, or form endorsed, approved, or otherwise authorized by HP, its subsidiaries, or its officers and shareholders.

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