The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This is getting monotonous

So this McConnell guy is unstoppable, apparently. Not content with hacking out mystery stories, now he's got a business book out there! What does he know about business? Monkey business, maybe. Here's what he claims:

People fear Carnegie Mellon's CMMI models because they think they're just a big, prescriptive way of imposing the waterfall development method on everybody. Wrong. In this book, I argue that what CMMI is (or can be used as) is a big compendium of common sense things to do, and you do them to avoid trouble. You can be as agile as you like, and there's nothing that says you have to get appraised at some specific level. You can benefit just by treating CMMI as a checklist: Do we do this at all? Could we be doing it better? Or just differently?

This volume is about the overall starting point: three process areas that all start with "Organizational", and consequently are known as the Os. The plan is to have at least one more book, probably more than that, all looking at what CMMI calls for and asking the question, "If we don't do this, what could go wrong"?

Anyway, you can read it on a Kindle device or on almost anything else (PCs, Macs, Android devices, iPhones and iPads ... Amazon gives away free reader software). Oh, and McConnell says he might consider print versions, too. No promises there. That stuff costs money!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Have a look in your medicine cabinet

Consider this: the FDA says that "...only products intended solely for self-limiting disease conditions amenable to self-diagnosis (of symptoms) and treatment may be marketed over the counter (OTC)."

So unless a condition is a) going to go away of its own accord (is self-limiting) and is something you can diagnose and treat successfully yourself, companies can't sell their nostrums over the counter. Or to put it another way, while it's conceivable that a homeopathic treatment might make something go away or get better more quickly, whatever disease or condition it's marketed for has to be one that will just kill itself off anyway.

The FDA also says "The labeling for those products offered for OTC retail sale must bear at least one major OTC indication for use ...", meaning that "You'll feel better!" or "Increase your quality of life!" don't cut it. The labeling has to tell you why you might actually want to participate in a large collective hallucination take the product.

Recently, the FDA has had to send warning letters to at least six homeopathic marketers, reminding them of this.