Boeing details fixes to get 737 Max flying again

first_img Comment Now playing: Watch this: Tags 32 Photos Boeing said the fixes will “reduce the crew’s workload in non-normal flight situations and prevent erroneous data from causing MCAS activation.” Among them:MCAS will now compare inputs from two sensors, instead of just one. (The system is activated by angle-of-attack sensors near the airplane’s nose.)If the sensors disagree by 5.5 degrees or more, MCAS will not automatically activate. According to a preliminary report from the first crash in October, a faulty AOA sensor was sending incorrect information to MCAS.An indicator on the flight deck display will alert the pilots when the sensors disagree. Until now, Boeing sold a warning light alerting pilots to a fault as part of an optional package of equipment. The aircraft involved in the first crash did not have that light installed.MCAS will kick in only one time if it determines an aircraft’s nose is too high. Also, MCAS will never move the horizontal stabilizer (the flight surface on the tailplane that moves an aircraft up and down) with more force than the pilot can exert on the control column. Both crash investigations show the planes oscillated several times before crashing, indicating that the system activated several times even after pilots recovered from the dives.Flight crews will need 21 or more days of instructor-led and simulator training on the 737 Max, including interacting with MCAS, before they can fly the aircraft. Boeing and the FAA are facing charges that current 737 Max pilot training did not mention the system in order to minimize the cost and time of certifying pilots. That training is now the focus of multiple investigations including one by Congress, which opened a hearing Wednesday.Boeing didn’t give a timeline for the changes or say when the 737 Max, which remains grounded around the world, might carry passengers again. Before that can happen, the FAA and aviation safety agencies in other countries will need to certify the fixes as safe. Airlines will then need to install them and retrain crews. A 747 story: The history of the jumbo jet 1 Share your voicecenter_img Aviation Boeing “The 737 family is a safe airplane family. And the 737 Max builds on that tremendous history of safety that we’ve seen for the last 50 years,” he said. “We’re working with customers and regulators around the world to restore faith in our industry and also to reaffirm our commitment to safety.”Though the official causes of both accidents have not been determined, investigators have found clear similarities. Under scrutiny is a flight control system called MCAS (for Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) that pushes the 737 Max’s nose down when it determines that it’s too high. Preliminary data from both crashes show that flight crews struggled to take control as the airplanes continually dove just after takeoff.  Eager to assure airlines and passengers that its best-selling airplane is safe, Boeing on Wednesday announced how it will update a flight control system that’s at the center of investigations into crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed 346 people.Speaking at the company’s 737 factory in Renton, Washington, Boeing executive Mike Sinnett opened the briefing by expressing sympathy for the victims of both crashes and for their families.  2:33 Tech Industry How United Airlines prepares a Boeing 777 between flightslast_img read more

Plan for Obama Presidential Center Advances over Protests

first_imgThe Associated PressConstruction of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago took a major step forward May 17 with a city commission’s decision to sign off on the project after hours of testimony from both supporters and opponents of the project.The Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved a proposal to build former President Barack Obama’s center in Jackson Park on the city’s South Side. The action came over protests from opponents who want an agreement that local residents will benefit from the $500 million project.Crowds protest outside a planning commission meeting for the Obama Presidential Center at City Hall demanding a Community Benefit Agreement, May 17, 2018, in Chicago. (James Foster /Chicago Sun-Times via AP)“Community residents have no ownership, no say-so, no input,” said Devondrick Jeffers. “We know this is a huge investment in the community, but it’s not truly an investment if residents don’t benefit from this as well.”However, Obama Presidential Center supporters cheered the plans for the presidential center, saying it would bring job opportunities to the area and foster economic development.Obama Foundation chairman Martin Nesbitt told the commission former president and Michelle Obama pushed planners not to limit their imagination on the possibilities for the community that would surround the center.“Our vision is that the center is a public campus integrated into the park as a part of it and not apart from it,” Nesbitt said. “When families and young people come to our campus, we hope to have them inspired to see that they have the power to change the things in their lives and the communities they live in.”Nesbitt claimed 20 percent of the jobs at the center are reserved for residents who live in lower-income neighborhoods and contractors hired to build the center are mainly African-American-owned firms.Officials want to break ground on the center this year, with the opening slated for 2021. The plan for the center still has other hurdles to clear, including City Council approval.The city also must contend with a lawsuit filed this week by a non-profit group trying to block the project on the grounds it is not a true presidential library. The group takes that stance because the center will only have a digital archive of documents and not the documents themselves.last_img read more

Honouring brightest legal minds

first_imgThe grounds of Le Meridien, Delhi were lit with the intellectual buzz, and bore witness to a starry night of the 4th Edition of India Legal Award, 2018. Succeeding three hugely successful editions, this award event bought together the highly accomplished legal minds of India and recognised their efforts for their significant contribution to the Indian Judicial industry.Attended by some of the top attorneys, in-house counsel, legal heads, entrepreneurs, government and public organisations, private lawyers and many more, India Legal Awards was able to achieve its core objective to share ideas on the country’s legal framework and provide strategies on efficiently managing legal acumen as a business process undertaken by the assembly of the country’s leading legal community. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe award ceremony witnessed the presence of some of the most influential legal personalities like Soli Sorabjee – Member of the Order of Australia and former Attorney General of India, Lalit Bhasin, President Society of Indian Law Firms and President-Society of Indian Law Firms and The Bar Association of India, Mahaveer Singhvi-Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Pulin Kumar-Senior Legal Director Group Legal and Compliance Adidas India, B Gopalakrishnan-Legal Advisor and Head – Legal Operations Group Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Ltd, and Dr Sanjeev Gemawat. Subhadip Sarkar-Assistant Vice President-Cognizant Technology Solutions and Tushar Mehta-Solicitor General of India though unable to grace the event were a part of the illustrious jury that lent its precious time and wisdom to arrive at a justified result. Their high industrial expertise and experience and painstaking due consideration played an imperative role in justifying the winners and their contribution to the Indian legal scenario. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFortune Legal Advocates and Legal Consultants bagged the Law Firm Innovative Awards while Phoenix Legal took home the coveted Litigation Dispute Resolution Team of the Year. The winners were carefully selected based on their practices, achievements and distinct parameters that put them a notch above their contemporaries.Following is the list highlighting the winners and their respective award categories who made an impressionable impact in their field of expertise.India Legal Awards was organised by Biz Integration and supported by Society of Indian Law Firms and IAPP.last_img read more

Effective Product Development needs developers and product managers collaborating on success metrics

first_imgModern product development is witnessing a drastic shift. Disruptive ideas and ambiguous business conditions have changed the way products are developed. Product development is no longer guided by existing processes or predefined frameworks. Delivering on time is a baseline metric, as is software quality. Today, businesses are competing to innovate. They are willing to invest in groundbreaking products with cutting-edge technology. Cost is no longer the constraint—execution is. Can product managers then continue to rely upon processes and practices aimed at traditional ways of product building? How do we ensure that software product builders look at the bigger picture and do not tie themselves to engineering practices and technology viability alone? Understanding the business and customer context is essential for creating valuable products. In this article, we are going to identify what success means to us in terms of product development. This article is an excerpt from the book Lean Product Management written by Mangalam Nandakumar. For the kind of impact that we predict our feature idea to have on the Key Business Outcomes, how do we ensure that every aspect of our business is aligned to enable that success? We may also need to make technical trade-offs to ensure that all effort on building the product is geared toward creating a satisfying end-to-end product experience. When individual business functions take trade-off decisions in silo, we could end up creating a broken product experience or improvising the product experience where no improvement is required. For a business to be able to align on trade-offs that may need to be made on technology, it is important to communicate what is possible within business constraints and also what is not achievable. It is not necessary for the business to know or understand the specific best practices, coding practices, design patterns, and so on, that product engineering may apply. However, the business needs to know the value or the lack of value realization, of any investment that is made in terms of costs, effort, resources, and so on. The section addresses the following topics: The need to have a shared view of what success means for a feature idea Defining the right kind of success criteria Creating a shared understanding of technical success criteria “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We have to go far — quickly.” Al Gore Planning for success doesn’t come naturally to many of us. Come to think of it, our heroes are always the people who averted failure or pulled us out of a crisis. We perceive success as ‘not failing,’ but when we set clear goals, failures don’t seem that important. We can learn a thing or two about planning for success by observing how babies learn to walk. The trigger for walking starts with babies getting attracted to, say, some object or person that catches their fancy. They decide to act on the trigger, focusing their full attention on the goal of reaching what caught their fancy. They stumble, fall, and hurt themselves, but they will keep going after the goal. Their goal is not about walking. Walking is a means to reaching the shiny object or the person calling to them. So, they don’t really see walking without falling      as a measure of success. Of course, the really smart babies know to wail their way to getting the said shiny thing without lifting a toe. Somewhere along the way, software development seems to have forgotten about shiny objects, and instead focused on how to walk without falling. In a way, this has led to an obsession with following processes without applying them to the context and writing perfect code, while disdaining and undervaluing supporting business practices. Although technology is a great enabler, it is not the end in itself. When applied in the context of running a business or creating social impact, technology cannot afford to operate as an isolated function. This is not to say that technologists don’t care about impact. Of course, we do. Technologists show a real passion for solving customer problems. They want their code to change lives, create impact, and add value. However, many technologists underestimate the importance of supporting business functions in delivering value. I have come across many developers who don’t appreciate the value of marketing, sales, or support. In many cases, like the developer who spent a year perfecting his code without acquiring a single customer, they believe that beautiful code that solves the right problem is enough to make a business succeed. Nothing can be further from the truth Most of this type of thinking is the result of treating technology as an isolated function. There is a significant gap that exists between nontechnical folks and software engineers. On the one hand, nontechnical folks don’t understand the possibilities, costs, and limitations of software technology. On the other hand, technologists don’t value the need for supporting functions and communicate very little about the possibilities and limitations of technology. This expectation mismatch often leads to unrealistic goals and a widening gap between technology teams and the supporting functions. The result of this widening gap is often cracks opening in the end-to-end product experience for the customer, thereby resulting in a loss of business. Bridging this gap of expectation mismatch requires that technical teams and business functions communicate in the same language, but first they must communicate. Setting SMART goals for team In order to set the right expectations for outcomes, we need the collective wisdom of the entire team. We need to define and agree upon what success means for each feature and to each business function. This will enable teams to set up the entire product experience for success. Setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) metrics can resolve this. We cannot decouple our success criteria from the impact scores we arrived at earlier. So, let’s refer to the following table for the ArtGalore digital art gallery: The estimated impact rating was an indication of how much impact  the business expected a feature idea to have on the Key Business Outcomes. If you recall, we rated this on a scale of 0 to 10. When the estimated impact of a Key Business Outcomes is less than five, then the success criteria for that feature is likely to be less ambitious. For example, the estimated impact of “existing buyers can enter a lucky draw to meet an artist of the month” toward generating revenue is zero. What this means is that we don’t expect this feature idea to bring in any revenue for us or put in another way, revenue is not the measure of success for this feature idea. If any success criteria for generating revenue does come up for this feature idea, then there is a clear mismatch in terms of how we have prioritized the feature itself. For any feature idea with an estimated impact of five or above, we need to get very specific about how to define and measure success. For instance, the feature idea “existing buyers can enter a lucky draw to meet an artist of the month” has an estimated impact rating of six towards engagement. This means that we expect an increase in engagement as a measure of success for this feature idea. Then, we need to define what “increase in engagement” means. My idea of “increase in engagement” can be very different from your idea of “increase in engagement.” This is where being S.M.A.R.T. about our definition of success can be useful. Success metrics are akin to user story acceptance criteria. Acceptance criteria define what conditions must be fulfilled by the software in order for us to sign off on the success of the user story. Acceptance criteria usually revolve around use cases and acceptable functional flows. Similarly, success criteria for feature ideas must define what indicators can tell us that the feature is delivering the expected impact on the KBO. Acceptance criteria also sometimes deal with NFRs (nonfunctional requirements). NFRs include performance, security, and reliability. In many instances, nonfunctional requirements are treated as independent user stories. I also have seen many teams struggle with expressing the need for nonfunctional requirements from a customer’s perspective. In the early days of writing user stories, the tendency for myself and most of my colleagues was to write NFRs from a system/application point of view. We would say, “this report must load in 20 seconds,” or “in the event of a network failure, partial data must not be saved.”  These functional specifications didn’t tell us how/why they were important for an end user. Writing user stories forces us to think about the user’s perspective. For example, in my team we used to have interesting conversations about why a report needed to load within 20 seconds. This compelled us to think about how the user interacted with our software. It is not uncommon for visionary founders to throw out very ambitious goals for success. Having ambitious goals can have a positive impact in motivating teams to outperform. However, throwing lofty targets around, without having a plan for success, can be counter-productive. For instance, it’s rather ambitious to say, “Our newsletter must be the first to publish artworks by all the popular artists in the country,” or that “Our newsletter must become the benchmark for art curation.” These are really inspiring words, but can mean nothing if we don’t have a plan to get there. The general rule of thumb for this part of product experience planning is that when we aim for an ambitious goal, we also sign up to making it happen. Defining success must be a collaborative exercise carried out by all stakeholders. This is the playing field for deciding where we can stretch our goals, and for everyone to agree on what we’re signing up to, in order to set the product experience up for success. Defining key success metrics For every feature idea we came up with, we can create feature cards that look like the following sample. This card indicates three aspects about what success means for this feature. We are asking these questions: what are we validating? When do we validate this? What Key Business Outcomes does it help us to validate? The criteria for success demonstrates what the business anticipates as being a tangible outcome from a feature. It also demonstrates which business functions will support, own, and drive the execution of the feature. That’s it! We’ve nailed it, right? Wrong. Success metrics must be SMART, but how specific is the specific? The preceding success metric indicates that 80% of those who sign up for the monthly art catalog will enquire about at least one artwork. Now, 80% could mean 80 people, 800 people, or 8000 people, depending on whether we get 100 sign-ups, 1000, or 10,000, respectively! We have defined what external (customer/market) metrics to look for, but we have not defined whether we can realistically achieve this goal, given our resources and capabilities. The question we need to ask is: are we (as a business) equipped to handle 8000 enquiries? Do we have the expertise, resources, and people to manage this? If we don’t plan in advance and assign ownership, our goals can lead to a gap in the product experience. When we clarify this explicitly, each business function could make assumptions. When we say 80% of folks will enquire about one artwork, the sales team is thinking that around 50 people will enquire. This is what the sales team  at ArtGalore is probably equipped to handle. However, marketing is aiming for 750 people and the developers are planning for 1000 people. So, even if we can attract 1000 enquiries, sales can handle only 50 enquiries a month! If this is what we’re equipped for today, then building anything more could be wasteful. We need to think about how we can ramp up the sales team to handle more requests. The idea of drilling into success metrics is to gauge whether we’re equipped to handle our success. So, maybe our success metric should be that we expect to get about 100 sign-ups in the first three months and between 40-70 folks enquiring about artworks after they sign up. Alternatively, we can find a smart way to enable sales to handle higher sales volumes. Before we write up success metrics, we should be asking a whole truckload of questions that determine the before-and-after of the feature. We need to ask the following questions: What will the monthly catalog showcase? How many curated art items will be showcased each month? What is the nature of the content that we should showcase? Just good high-quality images and text, or is there something more? Who will put together the catalog? How long must this person/team(s) spend to create this catalog? Where will we source the art for curation? Is there a specific date each month when the newsletter needs     to go out? Why do we think 80% of those who sign up will enquire? Is it because of the exclusive nature of art? Is it because of the quality of presentation? Is it because of the timing? What’s so special about our catalog? Who handles the incoming enquiries? Is there a number to call    or is it via email? How long would we take to respond to enquiries? If we get 10,000 sign-ups and receive 8000 enquiries, are we equipped to handle these? Are these numbers too high? Can we still meet our response time if we hit those numbers? Would we still be happy if we got only 50% of folks who sign up enquiring? What if it’s 30%? When would we throw away the idea of the catalog? This is where the meat of feature success starts taking shape. We  need a plan to uncover underlying assumptions and set ourselves up for success. It’s very easy for folks to put out ambitious metrics without understanding the before-and-after of the work involved in meeting that metric. The intent of a strategy should be to set teams up for success, not for failure. Often, ambitious goals are set without considering whether they are realistic and achievable or not. This is so detrimental that teams eventually resort to manipulating the metrics or misrepresenting them, playing the blame game, or hiding information. Sometimes teams try to meet these metrics by deprioritizing other stuff. Eventually, team morale, productivity, and delivery take a hit. Ambitious goals, without the required capacity, capability, and resources to deliver, are useless. Technology to be in line with business outcomes Every business function needs to align toward the Key Business Outcomes and conform to the constraints under which the business operates. In our example here, the deadline is for the business to launch this feature idea before the Big Art show. So, meeting timelines is already a necessary measure of success. The other indicators of product technology measures could be quality, usability, response times, latency, reliability, data privacy, security, and so on. These are traditionally clubbed under NFRs (nonfunctional requirements). They are indicators of how the system has been designed or how the system operates, and are not really about user behavior. There is no aspect of a product that is nonfunctional or without a bearing on business outcomes. In that sense, nonfunctional requirements are a misnomer. NFRs are really technical success criteria. They are also a business stakeholder’s decision, based on what outcomes the business wants to pursue. In many time and budget-bound software projects, technical success criteria trade-offs happen without understanding the business context or thinking about the end-to-end product experience. Let’s take an example: our app’s performance may be okay when handling 100 users, but it could take a hit when we get to 10,000 users. By then, the business has moved on to other priorities and the product isn’t ready to make the leap. This depends on how each team can communicate the impact of doing or not doing something today in terms of a cost tomorrow. What that means is that engineering may be able to create software that can scale to 5000 users with minimal effort, but in order to scale to 500,000 users, there’s a different level of magnitude required. There is a different approach needed when building solutions for meeting short-term benefits, compared to how we might build systems for long-term benefits. It is not possible to generalize and make a case that just because we build an application quickly, that it is likely to be full of defects or that it won’t be secure. By contrast, just because we build a lot of robustness into an application, this does not mean that it will make the product sell better. There is a cost to building something, and there is also a cost to not building something and a cost to a rework. The cost will be justified based on the benefits we can reap, but it is important for product technology and business stakeholders to align on the loss or gain in terms of the end-to-end product experience because of the technical approach we are taking today. In order to arrive at these decisions, the business does not really need to understand design patterns, coding practices, or the nuanced technology details. They need to know the viability to meet business outcomes. This viability is based on technology possibilities, constraints, effort, skills needed, resources (hardware and software), time, and other prerequisites. What we can expect and what we cannot expect must both be agreed upon. In every scope-related discussion, I have seen that there are better insights and conversations when we highlight what the business/customer does not get from this product release. When we only highlight what value they will get, the discussions tend to go toward improvising on that value. When the business realizes what it doesn’t get, the discussions lean toward improvising the end-to-end product experience. Should a business care that we wrote unit tests? Does the business care what design patterns we used or what language or software we used? We can have general guidelines for healthy and effective ways to follow best practices within our lines of work, but best practices don’t define us, outcomes do. To summarize we learned before commencing on the development of any feature idea, there must be a consensus on what outcomes we are seeking to achieve. The success metrics should be our guideline for finding the smartest way to implement a feature. Read Next: Developer’s guide to Software architecture patterns Hey hey, I wanna be a Rockstar (Developer) The developer-tester face-off needs to end. It’s putting our projects at risklast_img read more

How to create your own R package with RStudio Tutorial

first_imgIn this tutorial, we will look at the process of creating your own R package. If you are going to create code and put it into production, it’s always a good idea to create a package with version control, examples, and other features. Plus, with RStudio, it is easy to do. So, we will use a simple example with one small function to show how easy it is. This tutorial is an excerpt taken from the book Mastering Machine Learning with R – Third Edition written by Cory Lesmeister. The book explores expert techniques for solving data analytics and covers machine learning challenges that can help you gain insights from complex projects and power up your applications. Before getting started, you will need to load two packages: > install.packages(“roxygen2”)> install.packages(“devtools”) You now want to open File in RStudio and select New Project, which will put you at this point: Select a new directory as desired, and specify R Package, as shown in the following screenshot: You will now name your package – I’ve innovatively called this one package – and select Create Project: Go to your Files tab in RStudio and you should see several files populated like this: Notice the folder called R. That is where we will put the R functions for our package. But first, click on Description and fill it out accordingly, and save it. Here is my version, which will be a function to code all missing values in a dataframe to zero: I’ve left imports and suggests blank. This is where you would load other packages, such as tidyverse or caret. Now, open up the hello.R function in the R folder, and delete all of it. The following format will work nicely: Title: Your package title of course Description: A brief description Param: The parameters for that function; the arguments Return: The values returned Examples: Provide any examples of how to use the function Export: Here, write the function you desire Here is the function for our purposes, which just turns all NAs to zero: You will now go to Build – Configure Build Tools and you should end up here: Click the checkmark for Generate documentation with Roxygen. Doing so will create this popup, which you can close and hit OK. You probably want to rename your function now from hello.R to something relevant. Now comes the moment of truth to build your package. Do this by clicking Build – Clean and Rebuild. Now you can search for your package, and it should appear: Click on it and go through the documentation: There you have it, a useless package, but think of what you can do by packaging your own or your favorite functions, and anyone who inherits your code will thank you. In this tutorial, we went through the process of creating an R package, which can help you and your team put your code into production. We created one user-defined function for our package, but your only limit is your imagination. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and can implement the methods in here, as well as other methods you learn over time. If you want to learn other concepts of Machine Learning with R, be sure to check out the book Mastering Machine Learning with R – Third Edition. Read Next How to make machine learning based recommendations using Julia [Tutorial] The rise of machine learning in the investment industry GitHub Octoverse: top machine learning packages, languages, and projects of 2018last_img read more