Sunday, December 31, 2006

Maple CEO moonlights at VSNI

I may have to retract this story, as I can't find any written reference, but I have heard this gossip from more than one source, so am assuming its true.

I am told that MapleSoft CEO, Jim Cooper, now has a side job as Chairman of the Board at VSNI, makers of the venerable statistics software Genstat.

Unless he has too little work to do at MapleSoft, this makes little sense to me.

The obvious guess, that this is leading to the inclusion of Genstat statistics within Maple, like the inclusion of NAG numerics (NAG are part owners of VSNI) seems unlikely. Any hybrid of the two would be an uncomefortable compromise for both. Perhaps we will see a sharing of sales channels and user lists?

All rather odd. (If true).

Friday, December 15, 2006

New Scilab 4.1

The (Mostly) French, Scilab Consortium have shipped an update to their open source Matlab competitor, Scilab.

Version 4.1 appears to be just a maintenance release, though the bug fix list is reasonably significant.

Perhaps more interesting is the beta of a Scilab- Labview gateway. Scilab are already cosy with Mathworks' arch enemies National Instruments through their joint participation in the Numerical Math Consortium (more: 12/05, 1/06, 9/06).

Labview are more likely to be the winners of such an alliance, with customers who want to get rid of Mathworks licensing fees to move to Scilab, being left with spare cash to buy Labview! Existing Labview customers are less likely to be concerned about licensing fees, and already have a choice of professional computational engines to put behind Labview like Mathematica, and even Matlab!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New FEA tools for Mathematica

Wolfram Research have announced a couple of surprise products for working with finite element analysis in Mathematica - AceGen and AceFEM.

AceFEM, is a general finite element environment designed to solve multi-physics and multi-field problems based around Mathematica.

AceGen is a code generation and optimization. Unlike the existing code generation tools for Mathematica, which are aimed at FORTRAN 90 and C++, AceGen is specifically generating code for FEA tools like ELFEN, FEAP, ABAQUS and AceFEM.

There are some entertaining example animations on their website.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Minitab fights Dilbert over Six Sigma benefits

Minitab are highlighting a report that claims that those using technology based approach (read "using Minitab") to Six Sigma are more successful.

This refutes an article referred to in a recent Dilbert cartoon which really was in Fortune that claimed "of 58 large companies that have announced Six Sigma programs, 91 percent have trailed the S&P 500 since."

However with the claim being highlighted being based on the 16% of the 400 companies who took part in the study who have been judged to be "holding true to the rigorous program" doesn't seem to me to be too significant (though I have long since forgotten the appropriate math for significance tests to defend that claim). Perhaps this is just prejudice because the study was sponsored by Minitab themselves.

A few related comments on other sites: link, link, link