Holiday Party Guidance

I hope that everyone will be able to make an appearance at our annual holiday party tomorrow evening.  In advance of the event, please take a moment to review the Mutual Fund Operations Party Guidelines as they appear in section 1.3.9.a.ii.7.xi.12 of the department procedures manual.  For those unfamiliar with it, I’ve outlined the important sections below for a quick review:


  • There will be multiple bars dispensing alcohol at the venue.  You are not required to visit each one at least once.  If you find that you’ve learned where the bartender lives, their marital status and the names of their children, you’ve been hanging at the bar a bit too long.
  • The holiday party is one of the toughest tests offered up in the business world.  Fail, and you’ll be relegated to the chronicles of company folklore as one of those  “remember when people”.  As in “Remember when so and so got so drunk that he/she……”
    • “Oh yeah, I remember that.  Any idea where they went after they were fired?” 
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages is not required.  I strongly suggest you avoid it altogether if, at any time in the past 5 years, you have:
  1. had difficulty remembering anything past 8:00 p.m. from the previous evening, or
  2. woke up in a strange place after a night when you only intended to have a “few”, or
  3. really wish your parents taught you how to make a collect call at a public phone because your cell phone, wallet/purse and T- Pass were “stolen” (you’re much too responsible to leave them behind anywhere after 4 or 11 drinks….)
  •  Nobody needs to have a Lindsay Lohan kind of evening.  Not even Lindsay Lohan…..



  • The Holiday Party is a company sponsored event, there may be food, music and refreshments but everyone is expected to act in a professional manner, ALL EVENING.
  • Feel free to introduce yourself to any of your coworkers.  This is one of those rare times when most of the company gathers in one location.  Take advantage of the opportunity.  Don’t linger in one area too long.  Get up and move around.
  • Dress to impress, or at least blend in with the crowd.  Men should wear sport coats or blazers.  If you don’t have one of those, wear a suit.  This is not a shirt and tie only event.   Ladies, if you think that dress or outfit may be a little too casual or risqué for the event, chances are that it is…..
  • Be polite and respectful.   Never, under any circumstances, ask anyone for a date.

For more tips, please go to:


See you tomorrow evening.  I understand there will be a limitless supply of ginger ale on hand.

Happy Holidays,


“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.”

Phyllis Diller



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The Future User Interface

When humans first started to roam the earth, although I did not directly observe how they communicated, I am certain they did not use a keyboard. The early human most certainly communicated with sounds, gestures and facial expressions, similar to how we communicate now in those rare moments we are actually communicating face to face.

We now find ourselves sitting at a desk with our legs bent and our hamstrings tightening. We type on a keyboard with our fingers bent and our carpel tunnels collapsing under the weight of our arms. We make little sound or meaningful facial expressions while we interact with our computer other than the occasional gasp or cuss. What we do today is a far far cry from how our cave people ancestors first communicated. There was no typing for the first 43 thousand years we roamed the earth.  The qwerty keyboard has only been around for about 150 years. So conservatively we have enslaved ourselves to a desk and keyboard for less than .4 percent of our existence on the earth.

Will our bodies evolve to be more suited to the technology we have developed to work with today’s technology?  This evolution will certainly not occur in my lifetime. Maybe it’s time to completely rethink the user interface and how we interact with our computer instead.

Let me introduce the future user interface or FUI (pronounced fouy) for all of our acronym lovers out there. The FUI is a complete workstation including the seat.  With the FUI, you sit down in a chair that offers lumbar support and extends your legs so that your hamstrings are not constantly bent and tightening.  More of a lounge chair than an office chair. There is no desk but a large monitor/CPU mounted to the chair that is also a touch screen.  The mount is of course adjustable and movable to suit to the individuals body dynamics (short arms/long arms, tall/short,  near sighted/farsighted) Our hands and wrists rest on our lap or are waving around in space, rarely are they leaning on a desk. The FUI computer is at least 32 inches by 32 inches and is within arm’s reach. Inside one of the arm rests of the FUI chair is a wireless keyboard with touch pad.  In the other arm of the desk is a fold out work surface/desktop that can work as a touch surface interface or a flat writing surface.  The monitor has two quadraphonic speakers built in while the FUI chair has the other two speakers, with a subwoofer under the seat. There is an HD web cam and quadraphonic microphones mounted at the top of the monitor/CPU and in the chair head rest.  There is a Microsoft Kinect like bar mounted at the bottom of the monitor that skeletally recognizes a person from the waist up including all the joints of the hand. The monitor/cpu has usb plugs, a dvd slot and audio/video input/output ports.

When you sit down at the FUI you login or authenticate through 2 of 5 possible factors.  The choices include a pre-established voice phrase, facial recognition, a pre-established gesture (could be a hand gesture), a pre-established touch screen pattern and/or a password typed in either from a touch keyboard on the touch screen monitor/work surface or the wireless keyboard. You pick two of the above and the system logs you in and authenticates you.  I would usually authenticate by just sitting down, get a facial recognition lock then say something like, “hello, it’s me”. Regardless of how you authenticate, the system will capture a few seconds of audio and video for every authentication attempt then also capture a few seconds of video and audio after successful authenticating.  Let’s say I wanted to do some computing in the dark for some reason, maybe I want to watch a movie, in this case I might authenticate with my voice and touching some pre-defined spots on the touch screen. Now let’s say I have a bad case of laryngitis and a bee stung me in the face so I really don’t look like myself (talk about a bad day), in this case I might authenticate with a gesture and the touch screen.  So why have a password at all?  Because people are creatures of habit and the keyboard allows for the habitual fall back.

So once you are logged into the FUI computer, how are you going to interact with it?  Life with the FUI is full of options.  You can stay with the keyboard touch screen and communicate very unlike a cave person. Or you can return to your roots and communicate with voice, touch, gesture and sign language. Voice will be the way to create the written word.  Gesture will be used to navigate content.  Sign language could be used in place of voice when you want to create content quietly.  You don’t know sign language you say.  You did not come into this world knowing how to type on a keyboard either. Or perhaps lip reading could be translated into text.

For more creative, graphical content creation and interaction, navigation can be conducted with gestures and content manipulated with touch, gesture and the key board and touch pad are always an option. The idea of pages could still exist with the FUI but navigating and zooming in and out of one page could be much more extended similar to how, the zooming presentation editor works.

The possibilities for the FUI are endless.  Isn’t it time to rise from our desks and our keyboards and return to communicating like we have for thousands of years, through talking and gestures. FUI for you and to you.  Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome.  Criticism should be directed to someone else (I really don’t care who, but someone else please).

Bye for now,


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Deal Changing Technology Products and Innovations from 2009

The technologies listed for 2008, Twitter and Kindle, were still very important in 2009.  The real deal changers for 2009 are Facebook, Google Android and Amazon Cloud computing.

Although I am not an avid Facebook user since it is not in my comfort zone from a privacy and control of content perspective, I can not dismiss the vast adoption. I am also a reluctant user. Facebook has over 400 million users and on it’s way to be the third ranked web property world wide based upon unique visitors worldwide. Many people are running their life from Facebook. Simply amazing.

The feature rich and nearly platform Google Android is changing the smart phone market.  The iPhone and the Application store paved the way for the Google Android phone available from most cell providers and the many ever growing Google applications from many application stores.

Amazon has created a successful and practical implementation a cloud computing service available to the consumer and Industry.  With many services, from server nodes to storage, a published API and a growing developer community, Amazon has create a service for the masses.  I am updating my blog here from my Amazon cloud computer.

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Protected: Center for Information Management Studies (CIMS) at Babson, March 21, 2001

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Deal Changing Technology Products and Innovations from 2008

The Amazon Kindle 2.o


The Kindle is a deal changer in the world of printed media.  It is just a matter of time this type of technology will replace our newspapers, magazines and books.  Of course there is a place for the printed word, but I have to believe it will be more ad hoc and on demand in the future with services like those from “On Demand Books”.

Twitter and The 2008 Presidential Campaigns


Twitter is another deal changer. By 2008 the micro-blogging concept of 140 characters or less on Twitter took hold so strongly our newly elected president used the technology for his campaign and continues to use it. This has and will continue to change the way we get and interpret our news and information.

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Very Cool 3-D Cover of July’s Popular Science

Very Cool 3-D Image

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The Webby Awards

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996 during the Web’s infancy, the Webbys are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 550-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities.

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Two Best Consumer Products/Innovations of 2007

iPhone/iPod touch and the Safari Browser

iphones safari browser

The iphone/ipod touch and specifically the Safari browser have got to be one of the greatest consumer innovations of 2007. The biggest mistake was not to include wireless syncing with your Mac or PC’s iTunes.

The Jawbone


Stand next to a running lawnmower, a faucet or a sizzling sauté pan; walk down a noisy street side or leave the music playing in the background while you drive down the expressway – it just won’t matter.

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Snopes Rumor Has It Web Site

Snoops is the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation

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