Thursday, February 28, 2013

BIM as Water Droplets?




The article excerpted and linked below highlights the need for businesses to quickly come to grips with how services and products are delivered in a knowledge and information based economy.  The article summarizes an Accenture study assessing business operations in the digital age.  The quote excerpted below rang true with me.  

My vision of (BIM)X on a complex project is of a mighty river of information flowing into an even larger river of information and finally into an ocean of information.  Viewing the data flowing in the rivers and accumulating in the oceans, and then evaporating and falling again in new places helps me visualize what's happening the (BIM)X world.  The article gets the river piece of my analogy right with the supply chain v. warehouse concept, but doesn't quite capture the full water cycle image I have in mine minds eye when I think of (BIM)X.  


It's a good read though.  

What's needed is a strategy that sees data more as a supply chain than a warehouse. It's about asking the questions that need to be answered first and then designing applications for the "right" data. "Companies that recognize this and make data a strategic asset that drives business outcomes will have an edge over those that view data merely as an output," the report said.


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New BIM Protocols Across the Pond




As regular readers may know, the UK Government recently announced 2nd level BIM as the standard on all of its projects by 2016.  Rather than demanding BIM out of the blue the UK provided the built industry with almost 4 years advance notice.  Several useful reports have been published in the context of the push for 2nd level BIM and the most recent publications include the following:




In the next few days Collaborative Construction will review these materials and report back with a more detailed analysis.  The BIM Insurance piece is particularly intriguing.  As an construction lawyer I've had hundreds of conversations with insurance industry professionals who refuse to acknowledge the role BIM plays in the built environment and who refuse to address the need for new generation insurance products that protect integrated teams, rather than pitting those team members one against another by providing disparate coverage for each member.

Once I knock out some other work I will revisit these materials.

 
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Onuma Demos Knowledge Applied to Information




Kimon Onuma posted a video on youtube that walks you through, in about 10 minutes, the process for sketching a 32 story tower in SketchUp, landing that SketchUp model in the Onuma System, exporting the key attributes of the model into excel, taking the file back to Onuma etc.  He notes, the model can also be exported to Revit and other BIM applications.

Hat tip here to Mike Bordenaro of the BIM Education Coop who posted the link in the BIMStorm Linked in Group.

At the end of 10 minutes Kimon creates a very impressive model from which you can extract reports of all kinds.  Of course, the Onuma Sysetm also easily accepts data from dozens of other BIM tools as well.

The array of BIM tools grows everyday.  Watching videos like this remind me how quickly the knowledge and information economy is descending on us.  Are you ready?  Is your organization ready?  Do you have the right legal instruments in place?  Do you need help with cultural change issues?  Are you an owner that needs to formulate an RFP that calls for bids from integrated teams?  Are you a member of a team asked to deliver in BIM?  Are you trying to put and IPD process in place?  Are you an owner wondering how to deploy BIM in the facilities and maintenance stage?

Collaborative Construction and its strategic partners can help.  Call today.  Meanwhile, watch Kimon demonstrate the power of KNOWLEDGE applied to INFORMATION in the video below.



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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

4D Printers?




4D printers?  Really?  Sounds interesting to say the least.  The article excerpted and linked below provides more details.  As always, I foresee fascinating uses in the built environment!

“This is a whole new idea of printing, where you don’t just print static objects; you print things that turn into other things,” explained Skylar Tibbits, an M.I.T. researcher who is working on the printer collaboration with Stratasys, an Israeli 3-D printing company. Mr. Tibbits’s research has focused on self-assembly technologies, for things ranging from toys to furniture.


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Will Graphene Power the Battery of the Future?




One more nano-tech advancement that is too cool not to share.  Long time readers may recall my early fixation on battery technology.  At the time I was struggling to justify the green agenda generally and the inordinate amount of money spent on green energy boondoogles.  Those boondoogles remain boondoogles, but advances in battery technology provide advocates of the green agenda with a glimmer of hope.

One of the most powerful arguments against much of the green energy that's produced is that batteries required to store and use it efficiently are, themselves, very damaging to the environment.  First, batteries tend to be made from heavy metals and the environmental cost of producing batteries is, thus, quite high.  Second, disposal of batteries can be equally dangerous to the environment and this raises the cost of disposal.

Enter carbon nano-tube technology circa 2010 - Nanotechnology Advancing Battery Technology - and now, even bigger advancements that leverage the discovery of graphene, also in 2010.  In tho old June, 2010 post I touted nano-carbon technology as a potential solution to the battery conundrum set forth above. The video below describes the latest breakthrough which may be a (SMART)X Game Changer!




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Cyborg Project by Autodesk is Nanotech Design on Steroids




My unhealthy obsession with nanotechnology, bio-tech, advanced materials science as a critical components of the BIM / IPD / Lean process brew stand on the brink of validation.  Autodesk's Cyborg Project takes center stage at the TED Conference.  The article, excerpted and linked below, confirms the validity of the various bio-tech and nano-tech posts I've thrown up on the blog over the past few years!
There are still many open questions that nanotechnology needs to surmount, ranging from viability to safety. Autodesk executives and the designers of Project Cyborg believe, however, that they can recreate the thriving commercial ecosystems that the company has now evolved in engineering design at a Lilliputian scale. They foresee nanorobots that will be able to attack cancers and other diseases and a new world of molecular materials, as well as a visualization system for an entire universe beyond the range of the unaided human eye. 
“People are only now being introduced to the fact that this form of science is in fact design, and it has the same paradigms and patterns as designing a factory or designing a car, with different nouns and verbs,” said Jeff Kowalski, Autodesk’s chief technology officer. “That’s our objective – to understand how to take 30 years of technology to transform how design is done in the inert world and empower those who are designing in the living world.” 


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Collaborative Construction
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Monday, February 25, 2013

More Biotech for Construction?




Ever heard of a Remora?  Me neither.  But biotech researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute have!  And they are busy using 3D Rapid Prototyping Printers to spit out replicas so they can study the impressive adhesive abilities of the little creatures.

Oh, a Remora?  It's a little fish that attaches itself to a shark for a free ride, if lucky, a free meal when the shark makes a kill.  Immunity from attack as a hitchhiker riding a shark?  Another side benefit.

Remoras, Porcupines, Geckos, birds and insects all provide these innovative researchers with interesting ideas about new materials and mechanisms modeled after those that occur naturally.  The 21st Century is going to deliver some pretty cool innovations before its all said and done!  Will the built industry get in the game?

Here's a link to the Study of Remoras article.  There's a pic of the little guys hitching a ride there.

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Collaborative Construction
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Security versus Freedom


Good summary of competing economic models in the US and Europe, though the narrator and I share the concern that more and more Americans are trading security for freedom in several different contexts.



The presentation reminds me of the Ben Franklin quote about those who give up essential liberties and freedom to gain security deserving neither.  In the economic context those who give up freedom to gain security ultimately receive neither, as ongoing monetary crisis proves.

The government need not determine who or what is too big, or too small for that matter, to fail.  The freedom to fail is as important, if not more important, than the freedom to succeed.  Failure and learning from failure leads to success.  Success without failure leads to false pride and a false sense of security, making the subsequent fall that much harder.  

Too many in government these days feel compelled to protect everyone and everything from failure, and that is a recipe for disaster.


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Collaborative Construction
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Bio-Concrete Revisted




The bio-concrete mentioned here last fall - Concrete that Repairs Itself - continues to move forward.  Below is a youtube video from the one of the inventors, Mircobiologist Henk Jonkers, describing bio-concrete.

Maintenance and repair of existing infrastructure and facilities represent a significant portion of the capital budgets of owners globally.  Concrete, a common building material, accounts for an enormous portion of such maintenance and repair work.  Advances in materials science - both biological and nanotech - hold great promise.

Advocates of IPD, BIM and lean process need to be cognizant of the the risks and benefits of these new materials.  Incorporating advanced materials into existing facilities and infrastructure will prove far more effective in achieving the "green agenda" that simply throwing money at the problem.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV



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Friday, February 22, 2013

The future of construction = BIM?




You don't say?  Hmm.  Wonder where I heard that one before?

I'll add two points to the excellent article linked below.  

1.  BIM will quickly emerge as the new standard of care in the built industry.

2.  Lenders, insurers and sureties will jump aboard the band wagon soon.

With those two caveats here's the link.


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Orphaning America's Patriots





Country Club Republicans - whose who contended AIG, et. al. were "too big to fail" - joined forces, after the New Deal, with Democrats to rule America.  This rule by elite, referred to by the brilliant Megan McArdle as the Mandarinzation of America - cannot prevail in a Democratic Republic because a majority of the population has a completely different set of values.

Professor Angelo Codevilla's piece in Forbes, linked below, lays out the argument in detail.  McArdle's piece, linked above is a shorter piece with a similar message.  I recommend both articles, though if you are pressed for time skim McArdle's piece and print Codevilla's for future perusal.

My sense is average folks in America have just about had enough the nonsense and will step into the breach when the fiscal house of cards crashes down around the elite's ears.


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Collaborative Construction
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Project Management Survey




Derek Singleton, with Software Advice out of Austin, Texas asked me to share the survey linked below.  I completed the survey and it reminded me of the pain points project managers, with boots on the ground, experience when it comes to day to day operations.  I took the opportunity to plug BIMZEN as a smaller more nimble solution

While project management software isn't precisely aligned with BIM and IPD, or SaaS that supports collaborative construction process, the survey, the sponsors of the survey and the tone of the questions reveals that even classic estimators and old school project managers are beginning to see a glimmer of value in BIM and IPD oriented solutions.   

Take few minutes to complete the survey.  Experienced advocates of BIM and IPD will chuckle at the commonality of the problems listed but as I noted, the survey is niece reminder of project specific pain points that drive the folks with boots on the ground.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

More on SaaS that Supports Collaborative Construction Processes




Wilkinson has another good article up on collaborative construction processes enabled by SaaS.  This time he explores 16 reasons a dominant provider has not emerged.  Anyone interested in collaborative processes in the built industry and the software tools deployed to support those processes should read the post.  It's very insightful.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Monday, February 18, 2013

BIM Adoption - Need a Fear Biscuit?




Goldilocks can help you with your BIM adoption strategy.  Really.  She can.

Too often BIM adoption runs off the rails for one of two reasons.  The first reason for failure is too much fear and the second is not enough fear.  The images below illustrate these two extremes.

On the hand, many firms employee the toe dipping strategy depicted below.











Others grab a CAD Manager by the scruff of the neck and throw him / her into the den of BIM lions, ala the image below.



Neither approach is effective.  Think through your strategy and hire a good BIM consultant to help make it happen.  Collaborative Construction can help with crafting, drafting and negotiating the new generation legal agreements to make all the moving parts fit.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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New BIM to FM versus Old BIM to FM




New BIM to FM is hard.  Owners seeking BIM to FM must modify procurement methods to enable integrated teams to plan, design, construct operate and maintain BIM enabled facilities and infrastructure.  Committed owners enjoy success when they utilize RFPs that seek proposals from integrated teams.  New generation legal agreements support and enable the process.

Old BIM to FM is even harder.  Owners with EXISTING facilities and EXISTING infrastructure interested in rendering such facilities and infrastructure BIM enabled face enormous challenges.  Many believe the cost of creating an accurate and integrated BIM of existing facilities and infrastructure is too high.  While that may have been the case in the past, emerging technologies may lower the cost enough to justify, or even require, such efforts.

The cost of virtual design and construction tools and processes dropped exponentially in recent decades.  Similar reductions in the cost of gather BIM compatible data from existing facilities and infrastructure are on the horizon.  At MIT they are exploring the use of live mapping tools by emergency responders.  Below is a link real time video created by an "explorer" along with a link to the full article.




The hardware and software associated with these tools and processes are advancing by leaps and bounds.  I predict widespread use of these tools in the next few years by general contractors to map facilities and infrastructure prior to bidding refurbishment work.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Aconex Restructures as the MArket for SaaS supporting Collaborative Construction Grows




Paul Wilkinson on his Extranet Evolution Blog has a post up analyzing the reported restructuring at Aconex.  The players in the SaaS that enabled collaboration in construction continue to jockey for position.  Earlier this month I noted the acquisition of 4Projects by Viewpoint, another event best covered by Paul.

In addition to Aconex and 4Projects collaborative tools from OnumaAsiteSynchro, MySmartPlans, BIM 360, Projectwise, BIM + ZEN and similar tools are emerging as critical components of integrated project delivery.

Innovation and competition is rampant in this arena, which is a good thing for the built industry which tends to be slow to change.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Obamacare Disaster Looming




I'm not an $800 per hour ERISA lawyer but I"ve litigated ERISA cases in the past and I'm knee deep in trying to figure out how badly Obama screwed me, my family and my little company and I've reached conclusions very similar to those detailed by Colleen Medill in the email to Professor Glenn Reynolds.  


I am deeply into studying the impact of Obamacare on employers, and I have been communicating with highly sophisticated ERISA lawyers who are advising employers, from Fortune 50 companies to small firms under 50 employees, on whether to keep or drop or modify their employer group health plans.

It has become very clear to everyone involved who is analytical and not ideological that the rational strategy, for both large and small firms, is to cease providing health care insurance to employees.

No company wants to admit that they are considering eliminating health insurance as an option, or be the first one to drop their health insurance plan, but once a competitor does so, the preference cascade will begin. The clear sentiment is “We will not be the first one to drop our health insurance plan, but we would be a close second.”

The coming preference cascade for employer group health plans is what the Democrats fear the most, because Obamacare was sold to the masses as “if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it.”

The people who really know the law, and who have been following the avalanche of regulations, have already figured this out. It will take a while for this specialized knowledge to seep downward, because right now only $800+ an hour ERISA attorneys and the most sophisticated HR people understand how Obamacare really works.  


Sadly, the disaster has only just begun.  Liberals never seem to think things through.  Or maybe they do!

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Collaborative Construction
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Job Site Safety




As a Unit 3 Instructor for the AGC's BIM Education Program I cover risk mitigation along with BIM contracts and insurance issues.  The blog post linked below provides a nice summary of the top ten OSHA violations and ties those violations directly to the top four causes of injury on job sites.

Of course, an integrated and properly incentivized BIM enabled team runs a much safer job site than the average clan of construction bears.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Asteroid Mining Not that Far Fetched?




Several different companies have been formed recently that contend they will mine asteroids.  While far fetched at first blush, the business model just might make sense.  Especially given the difficulty of receiving a mining permit from the EPA or similar organizations elsewhere!

The first image below depicts near earth objects in flight TODAY and the neighborhood appears to be this crowded on a regular basis.  Accordingly, the asteroid miners of the future may not have to fly to far.

The second image depicts the path of the asteroid that will pass INSIDE the orbit of the moon and INSIDE the orbit of most satellites.

If you want more details take a look at THIS BLOG ENTRY which provides more background.

Very interesting.


The path of the asteroid that flies by on Friday.


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James L. Salmon, Esq.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Collaborating Around Big Data




Collaboration is an important element of integrated project delivery (IPD) and the article excerpted and linked below provides some good insights regarding real collaboration around Big Data.

But how does collaboration transform information into power? Merely making documents available on a shared drive doesn’t work. That’s why organizations are embracing collaborative workflows and social media techniques: they invite the open sharing of valuable content and meaningful ideas – not just file names. True collaboration leads to conversation and insight, to inspiration and fulfillment – and to faster and better decisions.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics ... in the age of Big Data




Interesting article linked below that touches on a concept associated with Big Data that's been bothering me.  The article essentially argues that huge data sets lend themselves to malfeasance by researchers because of the ease with which correlations can be identified combined with the spurious nature of the vast majority of the correlations in a large data set.  I liked the following analogy:

Just like bankers who own a free option — where they make the profits and transfer losses to others – researchers have the ability to pick whatever statistics confirm their beliefs (or show good results) … and then ditch the rest. 
Big-data researchers have the option to stop doing their research once they have the right result. In options language: The researcher gets the “upside” and truth gets the “downside.” It makes him antifragile, that is, capable of benefiting from complexity and uncertainty — and at the expense of others.
As a fan of Big Data and Googlizing facilities and infrastructure I view this as a cautonary tale.


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Collaborative Construction
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Friday, February 8, 2013

CaliPERS - Corrupt Investor




Something that cannot go on for ever will not.  Bills that cannot be repaid, will not be repaid.  Socialism fails because you eventually run out of other people's money.  The cliches roll on forever, but the gravy train at CaliPERS will not.

California continues to drive the crazy train off the rails.

The article excerpted and linked below details that corrupt inner workings of the California Public Employees Retirement System.  If you wonder where the US is headed, should we continue down the unsustainable path we are on. the article gives you a glimpse behind the curtain.

Californians interested in saving the state must act.  Sadly, many are abandoning the field to Governor Moon Beam & Co. and simply moving to Texas.  Maybe that's the best option.  Fortunately, it's not a choice I need to struggle with.

Illustration by Sean Delonas

This is what happens when you politicize investment strategies.

Prop. 21 had another effect that proved disastrous for CalPERS’s performance: turning the fund into a mammoth would-be activist. The initiative passed at a time when many companies were closing down their own corporate-directed pension funds and switching to defined-contribution plans, in which the assets are directed by the wishes of individual employees, not concentrated in a single fund. As a consequence, the newly empowered CalPERS was left one of the biggest shareholders in America. And over time, the CalPERS board started using its newfound power to enforce its own political agenda, often without meeting its fiduciary responsibility to invest the fund’s money wisely. 
Leading the charge after becoming state treasurer in 1999 was Phil Angelides, who announced that he wanted to “mobilize the power of the capital markets for public purpose.” During Angelides’ tenure, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis, a third of his office’s press releases concerned his actions on the boards of CalPERS and of CalPERS’s sister fund, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). For example, soon after Angelides took his board seats, he persuaded CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest shares in tobacco companies. Depressed at the time, those shares soon began to rise; a 2008 CalSTRS report estimated that the funds missed $1 billion in profits because of the divestiture. CalPERS also banned investments in developing countries like India, Thailand, and China because they didn’t meet Angelides’ labor or ethical standards. A 2007 CalPERS report calculated that its investments in developing markets underperformed an international emerging-markets index by 2.6 percent. Cost to the fund: $400 million. 
Angelides wasn’t alone. Union officials and other CalPERS board members pursued their own political agendas, demanding, for instance, that the fund not invest in firms and countries that lacked worker-friendly labor policies. By 2011, according to a Mercer Consulting report, CalPERS had adopted 111 different policy statements on the environment, social conditions, and corporate governance, all dictating or restricting how its funds could be invested.
CalPERS leaped into “social investing” at exactly the wrong time. That trend had gained currency in the 1990s with an emphasis on buying into environmentally “clean” companies. Tech firms were high on the list, so the 1990s Internet start-up boom made social investing seem like a sound financial strategy. But when CalPERS debuted its Double Bottom Line initiative in 2000—so called because it would supposedly produce both good returns and good social policy—the tech bubble had already popped. 
Many socially conscious investors then turned their attention to another industry that didn’t pollute: finance. One social-investing research firm named Fannie Mae the leading corporate citizen in America from 2000 through 2004. Other finance firms that attracted big cash from social investors included AIG, Citigroup, and Bank of America, according to an analysis by American Enterprise Institute adjunct fellow Jon Entine. When the market for shares of these firms imploded in 2008, so did the performance of social investors.
The passage quoted above - though the long article as a whole does - fails to address the rampant Social Cronyism that occurs there.  Of course, California is not the only jurisdiction where Corruptocrates and Kleptocrates have seized power.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fear Porridge for the Built Industry



A common excuse - among dozens offered - at collaborative workshops designed to support adoption and implementation of integrated project delivery (IPD) and building information modeling (BIM) is the lament that many stakeholders in the built industry fear change.  Change is hard and it can be frightening.  But I suspect there is both too little and too much fear of change in the built industry.  That's because the right amount of fear is actually a catalyst for change.

The vast majority of the stakeholders in the built industry harbor no fear of BIM or IPD because, frankly, those stakeholders lack sufficient knowledge of the tools and processes associated with BIM and IPD to know they should be afraid.  At the other extreme you find stakeholders peeking behind the competitions' curtain where BIM and IPD annihilate waste and inefficiency and they break out into cold sweat, then run screaming - metaphorically of course - from the room.

At Collaborative Construction we try to serve bite sized Fear Biscuits that instill just the right amount of fear in workshop participants.

I also call it serving Fear Porridge, ala Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

When the temperature of the Fear Porridge is just right, the participants are alert to the danger, but not too terrified to think.  That's when fear serves as a catalyst to change rather than as an inhibitor.   



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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More on the Acquisition of 4Projects by Viewpoint



I mentioned the acquisition of 4Projects by Viewpoint in an earlier blog post and via LinkedIn.  Now I see that Paul Wilkinson, who, like 4Projects, is based out of the UK, provided a nice write up on his Extranet Evolution Blog. Anyone interested in learning more can follow the link below.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
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Office 513-721-5672
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Federal Oil & Gas Policy Hindering the Economy?




It sure looks that way.  A new study by Professor Mason at LSU indicates the Obama Administration's policy of blocking development of oil and gas resources on federal lands slows economic development.  You can read the whole study HERE, but there is a summary below, courtesy of John Hinderacker of the Powerline Blog.

Mason looks at both short-term gains, during the pre-production phase estimated at seven years, and long-term gains during the ensuing 30 years of oil and gas production. Mason concludes that reforming the Obama administration’s energy policies would yield more than 500,000 jobs annually in the short term, and almost two million jobs annually during the ensuing 30 years. He finds that GDP would increase by $127 billion annually over the next seven years, and $450 billion annually thereafter.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website













A Primer on Green Energy Failure



The Obama Administration invested billions in "green energy" initiatives championed by donors to his campaign.  As regular readers may recall I refer to this as Social Cronyism - aka Crony Capitalism in a Republican administration - both of which are rampant American politics.  

Under Social Cronyism the government picks winners and losers in the market place, and fails spectacularly when it does so.  For example, of the $20.5 billion guaranteed loan monies paid by the Department of Energy through the so-called 1705 Loan Guarantee Program over $16.4 billion went to companies owned  or backed by major Obama donors.  See, Peter Schwiezer, Throw Them All Out.  

Unfortunately, under the Social Cronyism model owners and backers suck the taxpayer monies from the businesses then cast the spent shells aside.  As a result, by October of 2012 more than half of the 30+ Obama donor backed companies that received billions in federal subsidies - both grants and guaranteed loans - filed bankruptcy and all 30+ are circling the proverbial drain.  List of Failures.  Again, this is because the companies lack a viable business model and depend, entirely, upon the largess of the federal teat to which they've attached themselves for their existence.

I remind readers of these realities, because too many of my liberal friend continued to clamor for a federal teat of their own.  Reliance on government backed subsidies is not a viable long term business model.  Investing in lobbyists in Washington D.C. - which is fast becoming "The Capital" described in The Hunger Games - represents a viable strategy only so long as the people - those in the Twelve Districts in the Hunger Games - remain docile and compliant, or as Margret Thatcher famously put it, the politicians run out of other people's money.  Regardless of the precise failure mechanism Social Cronyism will fail.

Individuals and entities interested in protecting the environment and increasing the efficiency with which planning design and construction services are delivered must not succumb to the Siren Song of federal subsidies.  To remain viable businesses must operate under model the delivers real value to real customers.  The "green economy" is a false enterprise, built on the backs of the taxpayers that is destined to collapse.  If you involved in an enterprise attached to a federal green teat get out from under the teetering structure while you can.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV

Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom

Collaborative Construction Website













Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Occam's Razor Cuts Global Warming to Bits



Based on the science it would appear so.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV



Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website













4Projects Acquired by Viewpoint



Interesting development noted in the 4Projects press release linked below.  The 4Projects software was, according to the users I've met, a very collaborative and useful tool.  I don't know a lot about Viewpoint but the acquisition likely expands the market reach of the combined enterprise.

I linked to a report a few weeks ago that noted the increasing popularity of 4Projects as a collaborative tool.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV



Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website













Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Silent Circle Brings Encryption to the Masses



This is great news for dissidents, journalists and freedom loving people every where.  Bad news for big-brother style governments.

I suspect the US Federal Government - which announced today that Drone Strikes that target US Citizens are "Legal, Ethical & Wise" - will not be a fan of this new technology.  Had the Bush Administration published a DOJ Memo declaring Drone Strikes on US Citizens Legal I doubt the my liberal friends would be gazing at their navels like they are today.  When their Messiah, Barack Obama adds another US Citizens to his Kill List the feel warm and fuzzy.  Of course, when George W. Bush ordered such individuals water-boarded or captured and interrogated he was a war criminal.  When their Messiah, Barack Obama kills those folks with Drone Strikes the navel gazers stand silent.

Regardless of the political side-show, the new encryption apps Silent Circle authored will save lives and cause big-brother governments great heart burn.  An app like this arms dissidents in brutal dictatorships in the middle east, Africa and elsewhere with a powerful new weapon of truth. 

A more robust version of this tool - capable of handling larger files - might be the used on IPD and BIM projects where security is a real concern.  Regardless, it looks like a real game changer.

Below is an excerpt and a link to the full article.
The technology uses a sophisticated peer-to-peer encryption technique that allows users to send encrypted files of up to 60 megabytes through a “Silent Text” app. The sender of the file can set it on a timer so that it will automatically “burn”—deleting it from both devices after a set period of, say, seven minutes. Until now, sending encrypted documents has been frustratingly difficult for anyone who isn’t a sophisticated technology user, requiring knowledge of how to use and install various kinds of specialist software. What Silent Circle has done is to remove these hurdles, essentially democratizing encryption. It’s a game-changer that will almost certainly make life easier and safer for journalists, dissidents, diplomats, and companies trying to evade state surveillance or corporate espionage. Governments pushing for more snooping powers, however, will not be pleased. 
By design, Silent Circle’s server infrastructure stores minimal information about its users. The company, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., doesn’t retain metadata (such as times and dates calls are made using Silent Circle), and IP server logs showing who is visiting the Silent Circle website are currently held for only seven days. The same privacy-by-design approach will be adopted to protect the security of users’ encrypted files. When a user sends a picture or document, it will be encrypted, digitally “shredded” into thousands of pieces, and temporarily stored in a “Secure Cloud Broker” until it is transmitted to the recipient. Silent Circle, which charges $20 a month for its service, has no way of accessing the encrypted files because the “key” to open them is held on the users’ devices and then deleted after it has been used to open the files. Janke has also committed to making the source code of the new technology available publicly “as fast as we can,” which means its security can be independently audited by researchers. 
The cryptographers behind this innovation may be the only ones who could have pulled it off. The team includes Phil Zimmermann, the creator of PGP encryption, which is still considered the standard for email security; Jon Callas, the man behind Apple’s whole-disk encryption, which is used to secure hard drives in Macs across the world; and Vincent Moscaritolo, a top cryptographic engineer who previously worked on PGP and for Apple. Together, their combined skills and expertise are setting new standards—with the results already being put to good use.


 

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Green v Brown in California Shale Oil Fight


Much to the chagrin of environmentalists everywhere the US sits astride several hundred years of oil and gas reserves trapped in tight shale formations. For many years technical challenges limited access to those reserves.  Advances in horizontal drilling techniques and fracking processes, developed ad deployed successfully in Texas, North Dakota and Pennsylvania, provide California with the means to unlock similar resources.

Whether California experiences an economic boom similar to the booms underway in other regions with oil and gas reserves in tight shale formations depends, in part, on whether companies can afford to extract those resources in California.  Just as their counterparts have done in New York, environmentalists in California have declared war on fracking and have sued to prevent oil and gas companies from developing those resources.  It will be interesting to see whether the coastal elites in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco succeed in barring poorer citizens in the interior of California from enjoying the financial rewards associated with a shale oil and gas boom of the kinds seen in other states.

The New York Times, of all publications, noted the battle may soon be joined.  Below are excerpts from the article and a link to the full story.

Comprising two-thirds of the United States’s total estimated shale oil reserves and covering 1,750 square miles from Southern to Central California, the Monterey Shale could turn California into the nation’s top oil-producing state and yield the kind of riches that far smaller shale oil deposits have showered on North Dakota and Texas. 
For decades, oilmen have been unable to extricate the Monterey Shale’s crude because of its complex geological formation, which makes extraction quite expensive. But as the oil industry’s technological advances succeed in unlocking oil from increasingly difficult locations, there is heady talk that California could be in store for a new oil boom. 
***
The Monterey Shale has also galvanized California’s powerful environmental groups. They are pressing the state to strictly regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the drilling technique that has fueled the shale oil and gas boom elsewhere but has drawn opposition from many environmentalists. In December, the State Department of Conservation released a draft of fracking rules, the first step in a yearlong process to establish regulations. 
***
Though production has been declining for years, California remains the country’s fourth-largest oil-producing state, after Texas, North Dakota and Alaska. So far, little of the crude is derived from the Monterey Shale, whose untapped deposits are estimated at 15.4 billion barrels, or more than four times the reserves of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, according to the United States Energy Information Administration. 
***
But the oil companies’ plans for the Monterey Shale are already drawing increasing scrutiny from environmental groups. Though oil companies have engaged in fracking in California for decades, the process was only loosely monitored by state regulators. 
The Monterey Shale’s geological formation will require companies to engage in more intensive fracking and deeper, horizontal drilling, a dangerous prospect in a seismically active region like California, environmental groups say. 
Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, are suing the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Conservation to prevent the opening up of further land to oil exploration and to enforce stricter environmental practices.


Again, it will be interesting to see if Californians act to improve their economy.  


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


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Cell 512-630-4446
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Under the Staircase - An Economic Adventure Series for Kids



Pretty cool Kickstart project unfolding that readers may be interested in supporting.  If you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews who need to know how the economy works this looks like a great series for them.

Follow the link below to learn more and support the project.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


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Obamacare Blows up in Unions' Faces



Wow.  Who could have predicted that a 2,700+ page law drafted by lobbyists and passed by a Congress that didn't read it would have unintended consequences?  The country is in the best of hands.  NOT.

In the first story linked below the new IRS Regulations explain the CHEAPEST insurance available under Obamacare for a family of 5 will be $20K per year.  Here's an excerpt from the actual regulation calculating the penalty (or TAX according to the US Supreme Court) you will pay if you don't purchase an Obamacare sanctioned policy.

“Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage. 
"(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J’s household income is $120,000. H and J’s applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000. 
"(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 - $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).
"(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).”
Got that?  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy right?


The second story, regarding the Union remorse, comes from Professor Meade - who spent the last 2 years analyzing the imploding blue model of governance - and he concludes as follows:

This aspect of Obamacare typifies everything that’s wrong about the fraying blue model. First the government establishes control over a huge sector of the economy. Then special interests spend tons of money and political capital to protect themselves from the inefficiencies that control introduces. So far the blue model has kept itself afloat by doling out favors to enough different groups to hold together a fractious political coalition. But as money gets tight, these groups are increasingly fighting over the same rents.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website