Friday, November 9, 2012

The War Against Obesity

After reading a interesting article on gastric-bypass surgery, also known as 'stomach stapling', I thought of my good friend Dr. Ahmed who is currently a very prominent figure in the obesity intervention community. He operates out of London and is frequently called upon as an expert in the space.

The article cites a study showing patients who have undergone surgery to treat their obesity have shown significantly higher incidents of addiction in other areas such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. Are these people tragically trading one vice for another?

From the article:
...candidates suffer from binge-eating disorder and display addictive personalities, therefore after their weight loss surgery, they may replace overeating with a different substance... Patients documented noteworthy increases in the amount of substance use (a combination of drug use, alcohol use, and cigarette smoking) 24 months after surgery...

The good Dr. Ahmed and I shared many a good laugh while he was studying his craft at Stanford, or 'cutting', as he referred to his surgical skills. He thought of his mission on this planet as doing what he could to bring about victory in the global War Against Obesity. He called himself merely a foot-soldier on the front lines of the battle. Fighting the good fight one laparoscopic gastic bypass surgery at a time.

As tribute to my friend, his fight, and the good people he is helping, I wrote a short poem in his honor... My wife thought it was amusing, so here we go:

An Ode To The Warrior...

They seek him out, to ease the pain,
To stop the mass they gain again...

Poke the holes! 
Drain the fat! 
Sew them up....
... and that is that!

Bellies shrink,
...yet how they drink!

More, then more, struggling, stop. 
Will other vices rise to top?

Hunger falls 
into Abyss....

All the while, their saviour smiles...
Our good doctor delivers BLISS...

Keep cutting my friend! Victory will be hard fought but is not out of our reach!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Building Enterprise Mobile Apps? Try this...

One of the better resources out there on mobile development and the mobile market in general is Simon Judge's Mobile Phone Development site. In it, a multitude of topics are covered regarding building and delivering mobile apps efficiently and effectively. 
One insightful posting from Simon discusses the challenges on inter-dependencies on systems as they relate to mobile app development. You can read the posting Saving Mobile Development Time, Effort and Cost here. In the post, he mentions:
In mobile, dependencies tends to be the server side, embedded data, UI graphical assets and sometimes localised text. The problem is that these are often not ready when the app is developed causing placeholders to be used. When the actual items become available there are often problems to be resolved that might have been more efficiently been resolved when the code was actually designed/written.
I couldn't agree more, and this is a prime example of where the new trend of Service Virtualization can have a tangible impact on the delivery of your mobile apps. By using the capabilities that an SV solution provides to abstract away the back-end server side components that most enterprise mobile apps rely on, development and test teams are unlocked, and able to execute in parallel while those back-end pieces, web services or data models are being built and finalized. 
With all of the complexity and lack of mature tooling that mobile developers and testers currently have to deal with, having the ability to remove the constraint of off-device systems should be greatly appreciated.
This is something that many large enterprises we talk to are looking to take advantage of. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hybrid Mobile Platform from Oracle? Worth a look...

This week at Oracle Openworld 2012 there has been a significant amount of focus given to enabling mobile platform for our enterprise apps. Oracle has made some interesting moves in this area with both the preview release of Oracle ADF Mobile, as well as the latest updates to the Oracle Developer Cloud Service. There are some very nice features available from both ADF and ODCS that I recommend folks have a good look at.
With mobile growth rate explosion showing no signs of slowing, companies like OracleAdobe and Appcelerator are making investments to facilitate the path for enterprises to address the demand for mobile access to enterprise data and apps. Whether it is through updating enterprise app interfaces to support tablets and phones, providing hybrid app platforms, or exposing back-end enterprise data via APIs and connectors. If you are tasked with building a mobile app in the enterprise today, you'll find a lot more help than existed just 6-12 months ago.
The latest hybrid app platform from Oracle embeds PhoneGap as part of their solution, but also enhances what is generally possible with PhoneGap by providing common UI elements and business logic widgets out-of-the-box. The choice of a hybrid app platform over a native app, or mobile web-based approach (i.e. via Safari, Android browser or mobile Chrome) is increasingly looking like the logical choice if what you need is to get an enterprise app deployed into an App Store quickly for BYOD consumption.
Here at CA, we are seeing more of our customers take advantage of Service Virtualization (SV) to accelerate their mobile app development. By leveraging the capabilities in SV, mobile app teams doing development, testing and performance tuning can de-couple their apps from the backend services that are either providing business logic or serving as data-sources. This allows much faster iterations during app development which has been key to getting apps deployed quickly.
By having an entire infrastructure essentially in a box using SV, mobile app developers can verify business workflows directly from their mobile devices without requiring enterprise infrastructure access. Primary use-cases as well as edge-cases for their apps can be independently validated without affecting production systems or requiring test or dummy data to be placed into corporate databases.
This is a big win for most teams, especially when it comes to testing and performance tuning. We'll be talking a lot more about mobile in the upcoming months, especially as it relates to SV. In the meantime, check out the latest offerings in the space and let me know which platform you decide to go with for your app, and why.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tesla, We're Pulling For You.

Recently, a good friend sent me a note expressing his skepticism about our stalwart pioneers at Tesla Motors. It went something like this:
...but even after ten years they are in the development stage? Why go to three models? Oh yeah, right… To get more people interested and put down the money…

I hope the best for the boys at Tesla, I’d be interested in buying one… but I wouldn’t be putting down cash like this.
My response: Ye of little faith, my friend!

The pent up anticipation about this car is overwhelming here in California, and the price point I believe puts the Model S at the top of its class in terms of performance, practicality and style. The danger is that the Model S ends up with some early reviews like Fisker, which had a Karma arrive DOA when Consumer Reports was reviewing it. Ouch.

The Model X is a fantastic prototype, super exciting and more than a concept from what I've seen. It's purely designed to generate investor interest in the stock, as well as advance orders. There's no good business reason that I can see to tip their hand so far in advance of production if their cash position wasn't the principal driver. Although it has been very successful at generating great buzz for the Model S.

I think consumers feel better about a car company that has more than one model, even if not yet in production. It creates a sense of security, a larger image of a brand. Losing the ability to produce the Tesla Roadster was unfortunate for them, IMHO. Continued production of the Roadster would have really helped bridge the Model S production gap.

It's difficult to find any reviews on the Roadster that are not glowing and exceedingly positive. Sure, there's the novelty and 'shiny new toy' factor that gets everyone putting on rose-coloured glasses, but the reality is the thing goes like stink and hasn't stranded anyone out on the highway just yet to the best of my knowledge.

I'm a big fan of what Tesla is working to achieve. Let's put aside the environmental benefits, and the positive impact a reduction in imported oil dependency can have on our foreign policy for the moment. This is about innovation, entrepreneurship, and an amazingly cool set of cars that are fun to drive and nice to look at.

Where's the debate here exactly? Americans need to get behind this company.