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JimPinto.com weblogs getting management's attentionThe blogging phenomenon is transforming politics, business and society on a broad front. Weblogs, or "blogs" for short, represent millions of online comments linked together into a vast network of individuals and businesses. According to Business Week, weblogs are the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself.
The JimPinto.com website features weblogs on all the major automation Companies: ABB, Emerson, Honeywell, Invensys, Rockwell, Schneider, Siemens and Yokogawa. If GE enters the automation business in a big way (by acquiring Invensys or Rockwell) they'll get a weblog.
Many of these blogs are attracting more than 1,000 visits per day, and when something controversial comes along, the traffic shoots up to many times that number.
Why does JimPinto.com do these blogs? Because there is a BIG demand. In this recessionary environment, many comments are clearly generated by disaffected employees and represent an outlet for people who have no other way to communicate within their own company.
I do try to calibrate the input, to make sure it is NOT simply from a competitor. It's all too easy to ghost-write a complaint about specific people or situations. I review each incoming blog, and remove overly negative material, or stuff that simply looks like rumors. I don't like "rumors".
Blogs are shaking up just about every business. In this period of accelerating change, it's evident that senior management in all the automation companies read these blogs regularly. I've encouraged the people I know to respond and some of them do, though it can attract more flack. But that's good, and it often effectively mutes the critics. I recommend it strongly - it's better than pretending to ignore the barbs.
JimPinto.com weblogs have often outed news that is flatly denied by management, which makes them look silly when it eventually surfaces.
Typically, your name and email address will NOT be published in the weblog, unless specifically requested. However, including your name/email adds credibility - especially if you are at management level.
I'll appreciate your feedback for my efforts. And, if you care about your company, perhaps you can encourage more people to weblog positive inputs.
Cloud Computing is here, but security is key issueComputing wars will intensify this year, in hardware and operating systems, especially in the mobile arena. Growth in netbooks and smart phones and increased reliance on cloud computing will continue to transform personal computing from old markets dominated by Microsoft's Windows. The previously stable desktop arena will be surrounded by chaos, with lots of opportunities but no clear winners.
A fast-growing number of storage and software applications are moving to "the cloud" - offsite services provided by the likes of Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other major contenders.
With an eye on being the lowest-cost cloud competitor, the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) gives customers the chance to bid on unused computing capacity to save money on low-priority work that can be deferred until computing demand and prices are low.
In its annual "Top 10 Strategic Technologies" list, analyst firm Gartner proclaimed that cloud computing is the number one technology.
The steady migration toward cloud computing is driven first by cost, and then by quality of service. The immediate push comes from the economic downturn and the need to cut costs. The shift is massive, both in physical scale and economic impact. It allows businesses to turn off their own expensive, dedicated systems.
With the emergence of the cloud model and software-as-a-service (SaaS), large systems vendors like IBM, HP and Dell have been buying up service companies. It's changing the image of what each company really provides. Midst these big changes, it's uncertain who will emerge as real winners.
There will be many short-term pricing benefits and increased service. But the longer-term effects may not be quite so good for users. The gurus are warning that there will be some kind of catastrophe before too long, either service-outage or security-flaws. But, of course, these things can happen with dedicated systems too.
How secure is cloud computing? Clearly the major providers are paying a lot of attention to this key point because they are investing a lot and don't want to risk their reputation. But it remains perhaps the single biggest negative element in the switch to cloud services. Some companies hedge their bets by moving to more than one cloud provider.
Users have been thinking about these kinds of questions for months as they attempt to clean up their data centers by outsourcing some applications and virtualizing others.
Jim Pinto speech at Baton Rouge ConferenceI'll be giving the keynote speech this month at the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (GBRIA) Conference in Baton Rouge, LA. The conference theme is "New Solutions to Industry's Greatest Challenges." GBRIA's members include over 50 petrochemical and heavy industrial plants.
The conference will be held on January 27, 2010 from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm at the Baton Rouge Marriott. There's a dinner reception the previous evening for sponsors with the Keynote Speakers, which you might like to attend - please call Connie Fabre (contact details below) to become a sponsor and get yourself on the guest-list.
Key challenges that GBRIA members shared in a recent survey include dealing with operations issues such as plant reliability, maximizing automation technology, regulations, safety training, and managing relationships between contractors, customers, employees and the public.
My speech will be: "The Future of industrial automation, technology and global trends".
Also featured at this conference will be Dr. Loren C. Scott, noted economist and speaker, who will share the latest update on the volatile US economy and provide key clues to the recovery.
Objective of the conference:
I have lots of old customers and friends in the Baton Rouge area. You might like to attend, to get together and catch up on old times and new ideas.
Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance, Inc.
Phone (225) 769-0596
Pinto picks for 2010 top-5 automation technologiesHere are my picks for the top-5 automation technologies that will make an impact this year:
Embedded Intelligence & M2M
Cloud-computing & Software as a Service (SaaS)
Plant & Factory Security Systems
Top-5 consumer-tech gadgets for 2010The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV. is the largest electronics trade show in the world. This year, January 7-10 2010, it featured over 2700 exhibits, with the latest software and hardware, home theater equipment and innovative gadgets - the geek idea of heaven.
Midst the plethora of products and gaggle of gadgetry, here's what caught my eye:
The ebook revolution
TV on Internet
Cell phone heaven (& hell)
The world's thinnest laptop
eFeedbackThere's another Jim Pinto out there, a good friend. The other Jim Pinto [Jimpinto@aol.com] writes about the skills shortages:
"Most college students have no skill sets to enter the work force, especially in a small company where you must wear a lot of hats.
Another area is skilled machinists. Many machinists have left the industry, and the ones coming out of trade school can't even program a standard Fanuc control system.
"Some one needs to push a program to offer more on-the-job-training, so that we can keep certain core-competencies in the USA . I can get a sample machine part faster out of Asia that I can from a machine shop in the USA. I finally purchased new machines, to have my own proto-typing shop, so that we can be faster to market than our competition."
"Yet executives who have spent their lifetime gaining an education and years of experience, are seen as greedy and probably dishonest if they finally achieve a few years at well-paid top positions.
"If we cease to value the intellectual skills that require graduate school, medical school, years of apprenticeship, application or climbing-the-ladder, and instead admire the easy, dumbing down of hard mental application and study, we are going to change the population to one that values only 'bread and circuses' and is vulnerable to all sorts of evils and manipulation."
"We started outsourcing in the 80's. I wonder why we haven't yet outsourced the prison system. Very expensive for us taxpayers to support all this wrong doing.
"The states and the federal system would save considerably if we shipped convicted long term prisoners to cheaper facilities abroad. We could see some real tax relief."
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