Business & Industry

PNN Exclusive! Part II: An Interview with My Daughter, the Six Sigma Black Belt

Bureaucracies, committees, and a few reasons why Six Sigma sometimes fails. One reader commented that Six Sigma is engineering done by committee — that engineers already know what needs to be done, but management wants the glory and, thus, the PR benefits of being able to tout that they've implemented Six Sigma. The whole idea behind Six Sigma is working as a team, and that team should be...

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Business & Industry

Vaccinations Without the Prick

Although categorizing it as a gadget may seem dubious, an immunotherapeutics company's needle-less vaccine gun deserves acknowledgement for its innovative design, particularly in function: PMED enables shots without the prick of a needle. Besides dentists, sharks, lawyers and clowns, is there anything more widely considered terrifying than needles? Of course, there's the actual phobia —...

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Business & Industry

'Gentlemen, We Can Rebuild Him. We Have the Technology.'

A 'na-na-na-na-na'-Neuro-Controlled Bionic Arm allows its only amputee user to move his prosthetic arm simply by thinking it. Whereas he once lacked an arm, the device allows the user to be "better, stronger, faster" — the world's first bionic man. Researchers and scientists have long been trying to find a better way to communicate amputees' brains with the reflexive movements of their...

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Business & Industry

'Digging' Boston's Highway-Tunnel System

Considered the largest and most complex highway-and-tunnel project in our nation's history, Boston's "Big Dig," in structural scale and scheme, is comparable to the great projects of the last century, including the Panama Canal, the "Chunnel" and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel Project (CA/T), unofficially and popularly called the Big Dig, was, without exaggeration, a...

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Business & Industry

Innovative Eye for Cinema Design

EYE Cinema's design mixes tradition with technology, as the Galway movie theater snubs its figurative nose at conventional-designed cinemas. "A living canvas at one of the most prominent sites in the city, the traditional cinema experience is turned back-to-front." Along a Galway highway, in the new Wellpark mixed-use development entering the city, the building stands transparent. Outside, the...

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Business & Industry

Are We Lacking Engineers? Or Are Engineers Lacking? (Does It Matter?)

Many United States companies say they are facing an alarmingly growing trend; that is, a severe shortage of engineers. Contrary to this belief, however, many others say there is actually an engineer surplus. Seriously, what is going on?!? Theory I: With a shrinking number of employed local talent in engineering fields, the United States is lacking engineers. Theory II: Theory I is stupid. There...

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Business & Industry

Ford Marries Brawn, Brains

Targeting those who do business on the road, Ford soon will offer wireless mobile offices in its F-series pickups. Innovatively packaging familiar technology, the foundation will be a mobile computer with GPS, wireless broadband and a printer, with add-ons. Earlier this month Ford Motor Co. unveiled its new mobile office system, what the company calls "the marriage of 'Built Ford Tough' brawn...

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Business & Industry

Effective Executive

Peter Drucker, considered to be the father of modern business management theory, recently passed on. In this book, Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can, and must, be learned. The measure of the executive, Peter Drucker reminds us, is the ability to "get the right things done." This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as...

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Business & Industry

PNN Exclusive! Part I: An Interview with My Daughter, the Six Sigma Black Belt

In this first installment of a three-part series, we explore a blog item published last week (Six Sigma: Is It Greek to You?), taking a look at Six Sigma overall, the joys of statistics, and whether or not any philosophy or methodology should be applied across an enterprise. While she doesn't present herself as an all-knowing expert, my daughter Lauren is a Six Sigma Black Belt who works for a...

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