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  • Chart of Global Wind Energy Capacity by Country from 2005 to 2015

    In 2013 global wind energy capacity increased only 13% while in both 2014 and 2015 it increased 17%. Still 17% is less than any year in the last 10, except 2013.

    At the end of 2013 China had 29% of global capacity (after being responsible for adding 62% of all the capacity added in 2013). In 2005 China had 2% of global wind energy capacity.  At the end of 2015 China accounted for 34% of global capacity, the only country in the top 8 increasing their share of global capacity. The USA now has 17% of capacity.

  • Google Check of Whether a Website is Mobile Friendly

    The tool is useful in pointing out potential issues to improve for mobile users. I do wish however that Google wasn’t so autocratic about its opinions, acting as though failing their tests is equal to failure mobile users. It isn’t, it is a decent indication there may be a problem, but it is not proof there is a problem.

  • Product and Service Innovation is Driven by Customer Focused Organizations

    At the core of W. Edwards Deming’s philosophy is a focus on delighting customers, allowing everyone to contribute what they have to offer and continually improving.

    ...

    An organization must have a deep focus on customers in order to continually improve the value delivered to those customers and to innovate and create new products and services that delight those customers and future customers that the business can win over.

  • How to Use Data and Avoid Being Mislead by Data

    One of the four areas of Deming’s management system is “understanding variation.” The core principle underlying that concept is using data to improve while understanding what data is and is not telling you.

    The mistakes in interpreting data are very often related to mistaking natural variation in data as meaningful. Combining this with our brains ability to find patterns (even from random data) and confirmation bias this creates problems.

    Data can’t lie, but people can be mislead and they can even mislead themselves by misinterpreting data.

  • Photos of Kuching, Borneo, Malaysia

    The Kuching riverwalk and a bit of surrounding area are nice for tourists (and locals) to walk around and enjoy.

  • Healthy Living Greatly Reduces Likelihood of Dying from Cancer

    Lifestyle choices can greatly reduce the incidence and death rates from cancer. 4 factors can reduce the incidence of cancer by up to 40% and death rate by 50%: don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol in excess, maintain a BMI between 18.5 and 27.5, and exercising at a moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes or at a vigorous intensity for at least 75 minutes every week.

  • Acting Without Theory Often Results in Wasted Effort

    If you don’t understand why you take action you will find yourself wasting effort. You must have a theory that you can test in order to test what is working, what changes actually lead to improvement and to learn. If this bird wants to find food it will discover this method isn’t effective.

    I wrote about a similar example before: Experience Teaches Nothing Without Theory.

  • Thoughts on Security Risks while Traveling (especially risks of violence)

    How to travel safely?

    Not getting drunk at bars proactively addresses a significant portion of issues.

    Second, if you are coming from the USA or many other fairly high personal crime countries there are many places you are much safer while traveling than average risks at home are.

  • Foreign Ownership of USA Stocks Reached 26% in 2015

    In 1965 foreign ownership of USA stocks totaled about 2%, in 1990 it had risen to 10% and by 2015 to 26%. That the foreign ownership is so high surprised me. Holdings in retirement accounts (defined benefit accounts, IRAs etc.) was under 10% in 1965, rose to over 30% in 1990 and to about 40% in 2015. The holdings in retirement accounts doesn’t really surprise me.

  • Reporting on the Noise Level of Lodging Options

    I would love a service that reports on the noise level of hotel rooms, apartments for rent etc.. I am far more sensitive to noise than others. And in my nomadic existence the most annoying thing for me was noisy places.

    Reading reviews will provide some level of noise warnings when past travelers complain about noisy conditions. But this is time consuming (reading through lots of reviews to try and see) and not very accurate.

  • USA Health Care Crisis: Opioid Abuse

    Opioid abuse has greatly increased these deaths in the last decade. Chronic pain is a real problem we need to manage. But the current practices are leading to troubling results as are our methods for dealing with drug abuse (including illegal drugs such as heroin). Abusing prescription drugs such as addictive opioids and illegal drugs such as heroin are both leading to an increasing number of deaths in the USA in the last decade.

  • Reflection of the Washington Monument on the Vietnam War Memorial

    Photo of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. Most of the photo is shows a reflection in the shining granite of the memorial.

  • Golden Rules for Making Money

    P. T. Barnum wrote the Golden Rules for Making Money in 1880. He provides a few paragraphs on each of the 20 golden rules:

    1. Don’t mistake your vocation
    2. Select the right location
    3. Avoid debt

    ...

    "Politeness and civility are the best capital ever invested in business. Large stores, gilt signs, flaming advertisements, will all prove unavailing if you or your employees treat your patrons abruptly."

  • Cliff Norman and Ron Moen Discuss the History of the PDSA Cycle

    Ron emphasized the importance of the iterative nature of learning supported by the PDSA cycle. The importance of iterating the PDSA cycle multiple times is something that I find most organizations would benefit a great deal from. Another API consultant spoke on this importance at the 2006 Deming conference.

  • Curious Cat Tax Proposals

    My plan would have 3 parts. I like a flat tax, I doubt it will ever happen, but if we could get one I would be happy. Cruz proposes that (at 10%). I am fine with his proposal to eliminate all deductions but mortgage interest and charity. I would definitely tweak that some – no more than $50,000 in mortgage interest deduction a year and the same for charity. Basically subsidizing it a bit for the non-rich is fine. Subsidizing these for the rich seems silly so I would cap the deductions in some way.

    Increasing the giveaways to trust-fund baby as Cruz and Trump propose is the single worst tax policy change that can be made. I have explained previously how bad an idea this is: The estate tax is the most capitalist tax that exists.

    Social Security taxes are nearly equal to other income taxes. They are highly regressive. I would eliminate the current elimination of the tax on high income earners. I would just have the tax due on all earned income (no cap). If that let me reduce the rate, great, if not fine it would just make the fund solvent for longer. I would not increase the benefits due for high earners beyond what it is now.