Show Support: PRAY FOR JAPAN « PicBadges

March 16, 2011 Leave a comment


The need is great!  Prayers and support for Japan, going through incredibly heartbreaking multiple catastrophes.

Peace be with you all.

Categories: Uncategorized

Yup, the information superhighway is 20 years old and humming along just fine TYVM

August 22, 2010 1 comment

Wired Declares The Web Is Dead—Don’t Pull Out The Coffin Just Yet was a Tech Crunch article recently about Wired’s RIP proclamation.

So…wow, wasn’t this a great title for an article … just sucked you into the read. The fancy color picture of course just helped. HOOK…LINE…and SINKER. Just in case you missed it, here’s the wow picture.
WWW traffic since the 90s to today.

Really catching. But like with any graphic or worse, powerpoint presentation, it is what lies behind all that glitter. As pointed out by a friend, this is just the US for starters so it was a bit hyperbole by Chris Anderson, Wired’s Editor. On top of that, Nick Bilton in the BITS Blog New York Times, challenges some of the reading of the data.

In short, the old categories are likely not that useful and there’s a lot of convergence of Web traffic. If anything we know that the amount of data traveling over the “information superhighway”, to borrow an old term, has exploded beyond belief – Boing Boing notes:

“Between 1995 and 2006, the total amount of Web traffic went from about 10 terabytes a month to 1,000,000 terabytes.”

How much information is that? If we use the 20Terabyte for the US library of Congress as a benchmark…It just boggles the mind. I can’t compute really. Just for fun, check out Lesk’s “How Much Information is There in the World“.

I think that in many ways, this illustrates how data has become more and more part of the human experience, the human pysche. We might end up being Borg-like in our interconnectedness. Take a look at this description of the Borg. In particular where we might be headed:

Born humanoid, they are almost immediately implanted with bio-chips that link their brains to a collective consciousness via a unique subspace frequency emitted by each drone.

Right now, we got so many “data ports” that our brains can’t keep up with the multi-tasking required in today’s society. We need to “unplug” as they say and recently scientists were looking into this: “YOUR BRAIN ON COMPUTERS: Outdoors and Out of Reach, Studying the Brain“. Look at the NYT Unplugged Challenge about this whole phenomena.

Very “Borg-like-esque” to me. Yes? No? May be so?

Maybe we do need a “coffin” but we just don’t know it yet.

Addendum: Now Playing: Night of the Living Tech in the Aug 21 NYT Week in Review discussing “the proliferation of digital media forms and fast-shifting patterns of consumption”.

The Captain has a New Ship

August 18, 2010 3 comments

Lots have happened in the past few months and my blogging frequency dropped to just about brain dead levels, reflecting the changes going on in life. So as the 1st half of 2010 finishes and the 2nd half of 2010 accelerates into 2011, a quick catch up and new horizons to seek and new journeys to celebrate.

I am blessed to make a successful transition from the corporate world to the vendor world. Not just because of the current backdrop of the worst economic crisis we have seen world-wide since the Great Depression, but because any life changes are full of anxiety and sometimes 2nd guessing. If anything, today’s world is more full of uncertainties, new paradigms and so-called “new normal”, more global competition, more challenges, more people chasing fewer brass rings, and more risk – personally, professionally, familial.

Yet by the same token, there’s more opportunity as well because with societal changes on this kind of massive scale, human needs are created in which solutions are dying to be discovered. Innovation and imagination is waiting to serve. And into this breach I jumped both feet in with not much of a peak to check if there’s enough water…just go! So by surrendering to my surroundings and after long and deep soul searching with help, it’s a return to the roots. A circle back into time – to be the solutions provider guy helping wherever the need is.

Previously as a CIO in the Greater China region, I had gained tremendous experience in so many areas: Top Team level, IT strategy, Business Strategy, Functional Management, Leadership development (both personally and others), Business and Functional Change, Organizational Development and Decision-making, Training and Multicultural teamwork amongst others. It was full-on, dynamic, frustrating, disappointing, exhilarating, satisfying, incomplete…. Lots of memories of the people and friendships and for that I am truly fortunate and blessed. But with the overall corporate IT environment changing, it was no longer a good fit. And it is sad to see how IT has changed to be too conservative, too slow, too reactive in a world needing the total opposite.

CIO’s more than ever need to play to win, not play to not lose. Now is not the time to be the smiling daisy or a wall-flower. IT guys all over are in a world of hurt and the squeeze won’t go away. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. So, damned the torpedoes and full speed ahead – go down blazing.

The Business more than ever requires miracles on a daily basis and so throw out the old play book and make your own. CIO’s are buffeted by a perfect storm of (i) unforgiving business climate where top-line growth is like scaling the side of a mountain, (ii) cost management that borders on the ridiculous, and (iii) warp-speed response and deployment. We are in a brave new world for sure.

As a result of the new challenges and horizons to look forward to, I’ve jumped into the world of Cloud Computing and related technologies. Having a chance to work with incredibly smart and fun guys predisposed to giving it all and enjoying the journey as well as the opportunity to do cool and exciting things most folks only dream of doing…why not? Life doesn’t give too many opportunities but sometimes, when it goes, you just have to “SWOOSH IT“. Thus, it is returning to where my journey started during the dot-coms days and an Oracle ERP ASP. A second chance to work for fun, rather than work for the money/ego.

Check my new home out — Cloud Garage: Innovation through Cloud Computing.

In the meantime, I also did some minor housecleaning: changed from IP2MAP to TRACEMYIP widget which resets the visitors counter. Also fixed a couple of broken RSS feeds. One not so new feature is the article feed to my Facebook NewsFeed which I replicate here. Just goes to show what I’m reading and sharing on a daily basis.

Categories: Unstructured thoughts

Jesse Schall Design Outside the Box talk

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Jesse Schall Design Outside the Box talk from DICE 2010.

Video Description: Carnegie Mellon University Professor, Jesse Schell, dives into a world of game development which will emerge from the popular “Facebook Games” era.

I’m catching up with some blogging that was inexcusably put on for months now. This is part of a follow up to the dual themes of play, games, and innovation which I had been tracking across the WWW and blogosphere. I just think that we miss out on how important this is to learning, business innovation, changed consumer behavior, and generally a brave new world. We in the corporate IT side of things cannot disregard these trends if need to we properly serve our business masters. Things are moving fast and better get on the train before it runs you over….

Another cool tid-bit is that Jesse Schell has a connection to one of my heroes, Randy Pausch. Among Randy Pausch’s legacy is Alice a wonderful world….maybe if it was around instead of 15-201, things may have been different for me? Hm.

TED Talk by Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world

April 2, 2010 Leave a comment

It really has been a long while since I blogged. The usual life and work suspects to blame which I suppose isn’t enough explanation for the several months of absence. Glad to be back and nothing like having another TED2010 Talk classic to move me to blog it. Jane’s talk about gaming and making the world, life, and people better hit the sweet spot.

The key points which bear remembering are:

  • 1. Passion and energy are often neglected or dismissed as irrelevant in the drive for all things “better”.
  • 2. Gaming is an wonderfully liberating way to teach and to learn. Try it sometime and don’t be afraid to let others try as well.
  • 3. The inner creative genius in all of us can be stimulated through “play”. Gaming like WoW or in my own gaming life, Ultima, Wizardry, Netrek, Pinball, Chess, can develop team-skills, analytical smarts, discipline, self-confidence, community and leadership skills.
  • Nowadays I find that the emphasis in education is away from play and more toward standardization, memorization but this is a mistake. Innovation, creativity, the lack of fear of failure are losing out because it’s hard work. And likewise, gaming is hard work but necessary and from Jane’s inspirational case for more gaming efforts to be used and harnessed.

    Unleash your inner-gamer!

    2009 Thanksgiving and Year End

    November 28, 2009 1 comment

    Tis the season of Thanksgiving and I miss some of the US traditions around it. Not least of course the food – it’s one of the 4F’s in life we feed on: Faith, Family, Friends, Food.

    It’s a time to reflect on the year and take stock of what’s happened and to look forward. It’s certainly been a difficult year on the professional front. But that’s tempered by the fact that I’m still gainfully employed with some good team members who are professional, work hard, and always try to deliver their best. So many are out there still struggling to find a footing and get plugged back into the workforce, whereas I’m given an excellent opportunity here in one of the world’s greatest cities and do things I like and personally grow.

    I also give thanks to my team, who’s gone with me on this journey – some just a year and some 4 years. I give thanks because I ask them to saddle up and throw a yoke over me and I drag them into a Brave New World. Having said that, many have this year taken root and grown some wings are flying themselves now and we fly with them. One has moved on to being a CIO for a USD 300M company here. When we first met it was a strange situation (looking back in hindsight) – I parachute onboard to being captain of a Titanic and here was this self-professed “cockroach” who’s survived eons of changes, transformations, and idiotic managers. He’s now king cockroach and his new organization is lucky. Then there’s this MT who was a clueless as clueless comes. Given a white sheet of paper, what would you draw on it? After nearly getting himself kicked out he’s done a complete 180 degree transformation. A butterfly he is now and I learned alot of myself when faced with a white sheet of paper – there’s lots of room for improvement. Additionally, this year I found myself doing a lot to support new guys who working hard to improve – I appreciate their dedication, hard work to self-improvement. And they have, one has learned to do more for others and one just being open to new adventures absorbing as much as he can. All very good beginnings …

    And then last but not least are my two seniors – can’t ask for a better group of people who keep me on the straight and narrow. One needs such strong foundational characters and act as the team’s compass. It’s not always about one person but about the many who create a successful environment for one and all. Helping us out is my dept admins and their invisible hands to guide and support me can’t be appreciated enough. While speaking of the “invisible players” that help ease the bumps along the journey, there are my life and executive coaches too: Winnie and Diana respectively.

    My colleagues and peers across APAC are also one of the great joys of 2009. A whole new world opened up and there’s no going back. For certain, many more changes are in store next year and I look forward to what 2010 has awaiting.

    As I wind down, I’ll be taking a break from blogging and focus on personal and family time over this holiday period. There may be a few catch up posts here and there, but thanks for reading and following my blog. I hope it’s been interesting, useful, and entertaining.

    Many Thanks,

    Random blog news

    November 14, 2009 2 comments

    A few weeks ago I started to make some changes to my blog. I changed to the INove theme by author mg12. Not that I didn’t like the previous elegant Tarski theme by Ben Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson…but I sensed a change was needed and I also was going through a mood change myself.

    Just recently I added two more RSS feeds: Mark McDonald’s Gartner Blog and ZDNet Asia Blog. This reflects my continuing journey toward the IT track away from the Program/Project Management side and also my continuing focus on Asia IT happenings.

    For the latter, It’s been about 6 years or so in Asia first stop in Taipei Taiwan (lots of people get this confused with Thailand). Then recently in Hong Kong the past 16+ months here. Lots of changes personal and professional during these times. And at all times extremely thankful, because it’s been mostly been positive and growing experiences.

    Overall, the Asian economies are doing relatively pretty well although not without suffering through it’s own structural changes. Companies continue to downsize tremendously – not least by the fact that the number of resumes I see are of extremely high quality and the number of recruitment firms chasing me for business – even those across borders. There are quite a lot of good human capital out there that’s “lost”. While not as bad as the US job and economy “titanicking”, it’s bad. The HR recruitment industry shakeout along with the FSI (Finance, Securities, Insurance) sectors is as ground shaking as the others.

    I keep touch around the market to see how things are developing. Naturally the press would try to be upbeat and forward thinking but the ear to the ground is much more useful and predictive. And the news is certainly mixed. I’m starting to pick up a sense of predictive cycle and there’s some underlying dynamic forces at work which will show results in the coming 12-18 months I believe. We have China and India and everyone inbetween. The strong ones from Korea, Singapore, Japan will always be in the mix. The Europeans in Asia are probably healthier than their US counterparts (see Newsweek’s The Modest Superpower: How the financial crisis could leave Europe even stronger than America).

    The key story continues to be China. It is still just growing and booming. It’s a juggernaut. Now, its impact within and without its borders is undeniable and where you sit colors your feelings about its impact. Surely the American whining of its currency manipulation policies is with merit, but by the same token, it’s a symbiotic relationship.

    The 2009 year is ending soon and 2010 coming soon.

    Managing against the tide

    November 8, 2009 3 comments

    A few years ago before leaving the States for Asia, which was after the dot-bomb mushroom cloud was settling down, my good friend was repeatedly telling me that Asia was nothing like what the papers was telling me. Specifically, no matter what I was reading about the advancement of India or the so-called “Tiger economies”, the people were different and different from the ones I knew in the US. So this leads to the saying attributed to a friend of a friend was my indoctrination to the world of the Asian workplace – “I expect excuses and failures”.

    And he was right, in a way you simply cannot imagine until you are here. Even now, I am still taken aback at times with the full impact of this simple truth.

    This, creates major issues for me due to my personality style and my management style. One of my favorite bloggers, RandinRepose, wrote about this example (of me). He told a little story about a boss/mentor that he termed “The Leaper”. I’ve no doubt that some of my team members get this treatment unintentionally. Sometimes though, I use this style purposefully because it’s a bit like my law school socratic method (check out this great story of it in practice) – an excellent teaching methodology IMO.

    But anyways, readng Rand’s illustration of his Leaper boss was like looking at myself in the mirror in ways I was uncomfortable (because I don’t like being “aggressive” in this manner) with but there I am/was – “Hello there!” Hmmm. Yup, definitely a thinking moment…because it’s a point where some action or plan is just soo needed. Hmmm.

    While it makes me uncomfortable with this, I’m a bit at a loss in terms of how else to move people who are content – fat, dumb, and happy. The easy answer is to replace them, but the pool of talent is from the same pond. So, fishing will only get more of the same. Thus, it seems that the answer is to breed new species.

    So how do you deliver this change? Wendy Mason’s “change management blog” has some good reads and this one – DELIVER THE CHANGE – A CHECK LIST FOR BEING A GOOD CHANGE AGENT – was pretty inspired. And the man in the mirror looks back and says, “who”?

    “If it is to be, it is up to me” sums up nicely then. Quoting Ralph Stayer, CEO of Johnsonville Foods and co-author of Flight of the Buffalo which goes like this:

    If it is to be, it is up to me.
    If it is up to me, it shall be.

    On this note, theres many fantastic bloggers and writers out there that help those practicing management and leadership day-in-day-out can be better equipped. Some of them in my blogroll and RSS Feed. Here are two I’d like to share:

  • Ten Principles of Leadership from Sith Sigma Blog that I referenced HERE,
  • and

  • 5 Habits That Help Cultivate Greatness from The Daily Mind.
  • Seems the tide is getting bigger and bigger, nearly tsunami effect, threatening to wash away so much that’s been laid down. We’ll just have to prepare, hunker down, and dig just that much deeper inside. Still, the question remains in many people’s mind, when will these changes stop? As Bob Sutton says, change will never be over, but that begs the question I think which is, “Are the changes always necessary or need to be so interminably long? You can only remodel your home so much before you figure out that it’s time to just move out completely to a new home and stop with the tinkering! Change it and change it once and let the change take hold and bedded down. If you have to change so frequently, then I would say, that you probably screwed up.

    As the world turns

    The awesomeness of the Milky Way galaxy and its stars

    November 1, 2009 Leave a comment

    The panorama’s creator, Dr. Axel Mellinger of Central Michigan University, spent 22 months and traveled over 26,000 miles to take digital photographs at dark sky locations in South Africa, Texas and Michigan. I just had to share this piece of work by him to my blog readers.


    3000 panoramic images of our Milky Way - Dr. Axel Mellinger

    Let us dream and dream big!

    Categories: Uncategorized

    Yellowing Leaves

    October 31, 2009 1 comment

    It’s autumn back Stateside and I miss it always – it’s my favorite season. Here are some nice youtube vids of Autumn back “home” and other places.

    Categories: Uncategorized