Latest read: Navigating the Health Data Ecosystem

The unique data issues explored in Navigating the Health Data Ecosystem by O’Reilly prove to be accurate regarding today’s modern, fast moving data environments. Health care has the unique demand regarding datasets that do not sync when compared to retail or corporate enterprises.
Navigating the Health Data EcosystemThe most perplexing issue surround support for human physiology is computing standards and compliance requirements. I recall working directly on large datasets for clinical trials that confirm the challenges outlined.

Navigating the Health Data Ecosystem indeed has “Six C’s”: Understanding the Health Data Terrain in the Era of Precision Medicine. Honestly at times it felt like 6 dozen C’s in O’Reilly’s guide from 2014.

Clearly the biggest “C” challenge is complexity. From the outside it may seem like an uphill battle but from within the health care data marketplace its like climbing Mount Everest…over twenty times. Many views navigating the Health Data ecosystem are a direct result of the Affordable Care Act.

However we should not ignore the opportunities facing the health care industry. It is still surprising to fully understand that electronic medical records (EMR) is still hand coded, data can be accurately labeled in multiple ways (including fax) while legacy data systems are still in operation. This causes a tremendous burden for effective change management systems to be effective given the unrealistic demands the public has regarding Health care data.

Latest read: The Internet as Material Empowering the Next Phase of Connected Hardware Innovation

Ayah Bdeir wrote The Internet as Material Empowering the Next Phase of Connected Hardware Innovation as a way to introduce the iPad generation to digital legos. This is a resource that should be in every elementary school across America.
The Internet as MaterialLego turned the cement block into a toy that we have all played with growing up. Ayah is doing the same for the circuit board.

littleBits Electronics has launched a revolution in the open hardware movement that somehow remains in a ‘quite’ mode.

Her idea needs a bigger platform like for example the Gates Foundation to be catapulted across a national audience.

littleBits has a product solution for children that is the next step to the Raspberry Pi’s breadboard. Microsoft has really embraced Raspberry Pi and breadboards for their IoT projects.
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Latest read: The Emperor’s New Clothes: Exposing the Truth from Watergate to 9/11

Richard Ben-Veniste’s book The Emperor’s New Clothes: Exposing the Truth from Watergate to 9/11 is a unique look at the political coverups that have engulfed Washington and the country. I find his approach to understanding the facts of highly publicized events to be a lesson in approaching internal reporting.
The Emperor's New Clothes: Exposing the Truth from Watergate to 9/11Ben-Veniste proves in The Emperor’s New Clothes that time will not and cannot alter Washington’s presidential change of power and the implications when tragic mistakes lead to institutional change.

It is clear to Ben-Veniste that established, solid governance can actually alter the accepted, institutional approaches in seeking important answers to events that bring organizations to the edge of collapse.

Clearly lessons from Watergate still ring true today. Since The Emperor’s New Clothes was published in 2009 Ben-Veniste‘s experiences as a commissioner on the 9/11 Commission have been given time to understand his successful, seasoned approach in dealing with the Nixon Administration and the conflict over Archibald Cox and the Saturday Night Massacre provide lessons in dealing with Condoleezza Rice and Attorney Generals (John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales) under W. Bush regarding executive privilege, another throwback position to Nixon and his defense of the White House taping system.

It would not be pressing to understand how Ben-Veniste is an accomplished lawyer, Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District service from 1968 to 1973. And then from 1973-1975 serving as the lead prosecutor on the Watergate Task Force. He was also a presidential appointment to the US Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group in 2000.

Latest read: Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War

The Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War by Ted Morgan is a simply stunning read. This book proves to be a perfect follow up to the CIA’s Archimedes Patti revealing Why Vietnam? Prelude to America’s Albatross and Bernard Fall’s excellent Hell In A Very Small Place: The Siege Of Dien Bien Phu.

This review below includes a series of powerful quotes from the 700+ pages that should turn your stomach as French leaders permitted men to die just to save face for their failing empire. It is truly stunning across this book to see a morally bankrupt France fight to recolonize IndoChina.

Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam WarMorgan set the post-World War II stage inside IndoChina for any reader to learn how France was able to maintain a rule over IndoChina during the occupation by the Japanese Imperial coup in Vietnam. Valley of Death reveals how the CIA approached Ho Chi Minh before D-Day to rescue downed US Air Force pilots from Japanese troops throughout IndoChina. Ho urgently cooperated and was rewarded with munitions and a US Army Deer Team sent by the CIA to Ho Chi Minh. Their mission? To train and lead Viet Minh troops against the Japanese. This includes raids on Japanese positions in northern Vietnam after both atomic bombs were dropped.

Again Valley of Death clearly reveals US and Viet Minh relations were bonded against Japanese control of IndoChina during World War II.
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Latest read: Google Analytics Integrations

Dan Waisberg has written an excellent book Google Analytics Integrations that is well tested for Google’s Analytics Platform. He has been a long time respected contributor to the Analytics marketplace. In this book he adds an expert voice one of the strongest today about all things analytics.
Google Analytics IntegrationsGoogle Analytics Integrations reveals code, methods and best practices to streamline any existing metrics reporting to bringing together multiple enterprise services into a single data reporting and visualization engine running Google Analytics.

For users and teams seeking to gain executive support for their GA service Google Analytics Integrations will help build your needed message to unite metrics reporting across your organization to ensure accurate end-to-end reporting. By also including the ability to pull metrics from email a la DirectTarget and the much needed understanding of how to understand web metrics for social media, the overviews here will help solidify a solid measurement campaign moving forward.

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Latest read: Hell In A Very Small Place The Siege Of Dien Bien Phu

Bernard Fall wrote a somber yet compelling book Hell In A Very Small Place: The Siege Of Dien Bien Phu. Fall was a respected journalist who predicted the failure of French efforts to re-colonize IndoChina after World War II. Fall gives a first hand account as he was on the ground with French troops beginning in 1953. He returned to IndoChina multiple times before dying in a 1967 ambush along US troops in Operation Chinook II.

hell in a very small placeHe revealed on more than one occasion in the opening chapters how the French considered permanently passing on Dien Bien Phu. Here is the Google Satellite Map of the valley Dien Bien Phu.

At first glance this was a Greek Tragedy. Yet as you progress Fall reveals how to simply save face on the global stage France continued to send men to their deaths over the 56 day siege.

At the earliest stages of the French occupation General Henri Navarre and Lt. General Rene Cogny would spare over the definition of the Dien Bien Phu defensive parameter with tragic consequences.

Cogny defined Dien Bien Phu as a guerilla camp or mooring point defense, Navarre interpreted a heghog or airhead defense be established which had proven successful for France against the Viet Minh a the Battle of Na San. Regardless their defense was never implemented to withstand the onslaught that came.

Hell In A Very Small Place reveals during this early confusion French intelligence intercepted multiple radio messages revealing strong evidence of the enemy’s shift of two established divisions heading towards Dien Bien Phu. Yet this intelligence was only debated as Navarre and Cogny never acted on this report which led to increased disagreements between them at the cost of their men.

Yet what no French military leader could forecast was the coming cease fire in the Korean War. This allowed Communist China to shift much needed weapons from Soviet Russia and material into Dien Bien Phu in mid 1953. It is discouraging to read Fall’s account of the Allied losses around Dien Bien Phu beginning in November 1953, three months before the Viet Minh would launch their initial attack at Dien Bien Phu. The cold war shifted tides from Korea to IndoChina.

Fall’s other recognized book Street without Joy reveals how 400 French Union troops were confronted by nearly 1,000 Viet Minh in hand to hand combat. They “simply fixed bayonet and walked into death.” Fall’s Hell In A Very Small Place extends this horrific sacrifice.
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Over breakfast this weekend at a popular farmhouse two high school teachers sat next to me to discuss how their respective LMS solutions made teaching difficult. Both were from wealthy suburbs outside Milwaukee. What really peaked my interest was hearing how one spent over 45 minutes trying to add polling for in-class feedback.
LMSaaSI helped lead the adoption of a Moodle LMS at a private Wisconsin college in 2007 that is still in use today and also had the pleasure of attending a conference at UW-Madison with Martin Dougiamas, founder of Moodle.

Yet over that breakfast I was intrigued by their difficulty with all things LMS for the upcoming school year. Frustration ranged from how one teacher received no LMS training (poll example above) while the second teacher spoke about her district migrating to a new LMS vendor over the summer.
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Latest read: Street without Joy

Bernard Fall‘s excellent and respected Street Without Joy provides deep insights to the French catastrophe in Vietnam culminating at Dien Bien Phu. Fall is recognized as a respected journalist who understood the failure of France. He was on the ground with French troops.

Street without Joy

Fall’s experience sharing French losses are shocking even 50 years later. And yet in war there are a number of truly heroic acts by French and American soldiers fighting a determined Viet Minh enemy.

Declassified in 2005 American pilots James McGovern and Wallace Buford where killed flying over Dien Bien Phu, just 24 hours before the French surrender.

Fall illustrates a perfect example of the French effort: in 1953 the army spent $20 million dollars to build a runway. It buckled when the first airplane landed and was abandoned.

France was complete decimated by World War II. The country literally did not have an air force until 1950. French planes supporting IndoChina included just 60 Spitfires — made from wood and canvas. Most planes were German Junkers 52s. The true irony, the French had to actually locate parts in Germany to repair Junkers damaged fighting the Viet Minh. For French pilots the demands were worse:

Nothing has thus far been said about the incredible strain of that operation on the air and ground crews of the French Far Eastern Air Force and Naval Aviation. At the height of the battle, in April 1954, many crews logged 150 flying hours. Dozens of pilots collapsed from exhaustion, but simply were doped up and returned to combat, for experienced pilots rapidly became even scarcer than aircraft. When, in the face of possible diplomatic complications, the American civilian air crews and their C-119’s were pulled out on April 24 from the Dien Bien Phu run—they were allowed to return to the run on May 1 – there remained only fifty French planes capable of flying the long and exhausting mission.

Embers of War reminds us that Parisians concerned about the welfare of the garrison, a majority of soldiers were not French. The colonial French Union permitted France under their empire to place soldiers from Laos, Cambodia, Tunisia, French Guinea and Morocco at Dien Bien Phu. As the battle inched closer a stunning 3,000 to 4,000 Moroccan troops deserted their posts and escaped into the jungle. The empire was over.

It would not be fair to say Fall ignored the horrors of war in this book. The tremendous loss of life, even French officers who lost sons fighting the Viet Minh. While tragically sobering it was not enough to change America’s focus off long term goals in Europe that played out in IndoChina ten years later. US Army Lt. General John O’Daniel toured Dien Bien Phu less than three months before the siege and found the garrison to be in a sound position.