Condition Monitoring Podcast

I interviewed Doug Farrell who is product manager of condition monitoring products for National Instruments on current technology and future trends on condition monitoring for a podcast. This was a “sponsored podcast,” that is, the reason for the interview was that NI paid for some promotion that went along with it. But the content of the interview is really good and not commercial at all. I’ve done several of these where the topic remains relevant and the content was excellent. Three of them still have hundreds of downloads per year four years after I recorded them. If you have any interest in the topic, you’ll learn something useful from Doug.

Benefits of Standing
I’ve been trying to use my standing desk more and more–and especially after seeing some reports on bad things that happen to your body caused by sitting. I’ve recently remodeled my home office. Here’s a picture of my standing desk. Bought it from Levenger. Made a slight modification.

Here is a recap of studies about sitting from Zen Habits. Read the entire post for his solution.

Bad health from sitting:
Multiple medical studies (like this one in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and this one in the American Journal of Epidemiology) have shown that sitting greatly increases the rate of all-cause mortality, especially from causes including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. In particular, that first study showed that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.

Even if you exercise, the longer you sit the greater the chances you will die.

Sitting shuts down the circulation of a fat-absorbing enzyme called lipase. In another study, scientists found that standing up engages muscles and promotes the distribution of lipase, which prompts the body to process fat and cholesterol, independent of the amount of time spent exercising.

Photo Contest

OK, not my usual post. But this is cute. From a press release I just received:
“Calling all Tyvek Wearers: Get Dirty to Win Big! DuPont has announced its DuPont Tyvek “Dirty Work” Photo Contest, open until September 30, 2011. Submit photos of yourself in a Tyvek garment in your dirtiest, grimiest, sludgiest state on the job. You can also enter via your mobile device! Entries will be posted to an online gallery–make sure to visit the contest website to see how your “dirty work” is stacking up against the competition! The grand prize winner will receive a NASCAR Racing Experience weekend trip for two. Runners up will receive American Express gift cards.”

Stack Exchange guys

For you fans of online community building who have followed the conversations of Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky as they built Stack Overflow–they’re back. They are now talking about the growth and development of Stack Exchange. Places to pick up the podcast are here and here.

Open Source, modular MES from Poland

I’ve switched my “Getting Things Done” application from Thinking Rock to Nozbe. I discovered that Thinking Rock, while it follows all the GTD ideas from David Allen, it was too cumbersome to use. My automation days taught me that if the technology was too hard for the operator to use, he’d quit using it.

Nozbe was developed also from a Getting Things Done perspective by a programmer in Poland–Michael Sliwinski. Well, this is a lead-in to another application from Poland that I just heard about–Qcadoo.

Qcadoo is an MES or manufacturing management application for small to medium sized companies. The developers wanted to develop software that was easy to use, so they worked with a company that specializes in usability as they developed the program. The other point was to tackle the typical MES problem–it entails a big and wide deployment that often makes it difficult to implement.

They say, “He can start his adventure with Qcadoo MES by deploying a simple functionality – a single module – and in time add new ones to solve just the task he needs. Additionally you don’t just get access to modules from Qcadoo but mainly from our partners and from the Open Source community.” That’s right, it’s not only Software as a Service, but it is also open source.

You start with the basics then add additional “apps”. The company has an “app store” similar to the familiar Apple AppStore or Android Market. This is the real trend in MES–building up scalable modules. Oh, yes, and selling to the plant management level instead of trying to sell millions to the CIO.

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