Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 2013 Meeting Notes

Attendees: Elizabeth Ashley, Dave Bleiman, Mario Guttman, Bruce Madsen, Karen Thomas, Marla Ushijima, Willard Williams

Collaboration via email vs. Google docs, which has real-time collaboration and version tracking.

Digital security is problematic. Comic examples include the witness in the George Zimmerman trial who testified via Skype but forgot to hide his email address, so was interrupted repeatedly by random people calling him; and a recent scandal in Japan when a ministry official used Google Docs for  sensitive material, with incorrect privacy settings. Various AE firms get hacked seemingly at random; one firm was hacked for extortion and called in the FBI. It's basically whack-a-mole to protect your firewall. The most secure form of digital data transmission remains the fax machine, which is why financial institutions and government agencies still use it.

General discussion on the Bay Bridge troubles. TY Lin is supposedly horrified; that it's a monument to stupidity. Is the fundamental nature flawed? Falsework is required during construction; it's not self-supporting during construction (as opposed to traditional suspension bridges). Catastrophic collapse would result in greater loss of life; modular nature of the old bridge would limit extent of damage.

Some structural engineers are frustrated/disillusioned with how BIM is used. They tend to feel that data is the most important aspect, not the physical representation; whereas architects are less interested in things "behind the paint." (Inflammatory statement noted and decried ;) Data remains a challenge to manage. ArchiCAD was previously notoriously bad at it, but has reportedly gotten much better of late. Onuma remains a leader in data aspects of BIM.

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