DPL Fed Rate Hike Promotion: Buy DPL now or Buy DPL later?

After much ado the Federal Reserve decided to maintain interest rates at their current levels this past Wednesday -- which wasn't much of a surprise to most. The Syncopation team saw an opportunity to drum up the drama surrounding the Fed's upcoming November meeting by offering potentially huge savings on DPL licenses, with the amount of savings depending on the outcome of the FOMC's Nov 2 meeting. As a bonus, we're also providing a quick lesson on the value of imperfect information through our promotion. Read on for all the details.

The Expected Value of Various PowerBall Play Options

The PowerBall lottery recently reached a record jackpot – after not having been won since November. Tickets to play the lottery cost $2 each (though there are some multipliers you can add on for a couple extra bucks) and the odds of winning the record-smashing $1.5 Billion jack pot as of yesterday were a minuscule 1 in 292 Million (you can read more about the mathematics behind the lottery in this Wired article here).


SpaceX Taking Risk Head On and Winning

Nearly one year ago Chris blogged about Elon Musk's honest estimation of the likelihood of soft landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket for future re-use. After two previous failed attempts, SpaceX succeeded Monday (you can see this video of it here) -- a space exploration game-changer. With recyclable rockets in play, costs incurred by future missions are greatly reduced.

Diesel Deception: Assessing the Uncertain Impact on Human Health in the US

As I'm sure you've heard, Volkswagen is in a whole lot of hot water after admitting they equipped their diesel cars with software that allowed them to cheat on EPA emissions tests. Affected car models were found to be spewing as much as 35 times the amount of nitrous oxide (NOx) permitted by the EPA in real world driving conditions. NOx is a pollutant that can cause a variety of adverse respiratory problems, particularly in susceptible populations. (

Well Said: Pope Francis on Using Uncertainty to Avoid Decisions

The news of the day is the encyclical on climate change from the Vatican. The document is surprisingly clear and canny; reading it, one can easily forget that it comes not from some management science guru but from the leader of one of the world's great religions.

"As often occurs in periods of deep crisis which require bold decisions, we are tempted to think that what is happening is not entirely clear.


Decision Engineering: Keeping the Decision Factory Humming

The subject of Decision Engineering has been gathering increasing attention, most recently with this article in IEEE Roundup.

Decision {insert any noun in the English language} ...

Among some of my decision, uh, interested friends and colleagues, there's a certain skepticism about new terms that start with the word "decision".

Well Said: Reid Hoffman on Data and Probability

In a recent interview, Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn speaks about the nature of data and probability.

"We live in a probabilistic universe, and we tend to think in determinist ways. If A is data-driven and I think I have that data, how certain am I that I have that data? What could I discover that might actually tell me that that data is formulated wrongly? When you dig into it, most of your arguments are actually probabilistic. They're not certain, even when you have data. You're really trying to get a sense of whether you have a reasonable bet on the probability."

HBR on Chevron's Approach to Decision Making

Larry Neal and Carl Spetzler have a recent article in Harvard Business Review which explains Chevron's multi-decade commitment to Decision Quality (of which Decision Analysis is a key part).

This is a bit like when that alternative band you've been listening to forever ends up playing on Saturday Night Live -- you think "Gee, I thought nobody else knew they were good".

Snow II, New York Blizzard that Wasn't

First, let me note that up here in Maine we are getting another storm that is supposed to dump a foot of snow on us. This one doesn't have enough wind to qualify as a blizzard, but snow is snow. Second, I'd like to add a few notes about the previous storm, the blizzard that socked most of New England but spared New York City.



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