February 19, 2014

Marginally Useful
Smith believes that cryptocurrencies will have wide application across business and culture, including both banking and online advertising. For banks, Bitcoin is “just a new source of money,” he suggests. “Banks are very hungry to advance their value through technology.” It’s easy to imagine, say, HSBCoin, or BarclaysBucks, giving investors who want choice in the currencies they use the services of a trusted financial brand.

Breaking Bad Leadership Habits
Despite being armed with greater access to knowledge and training than ever before, executives still need to be able to integrate that knowledge into their behaviour back at work. To do so, they must go through three major steps. First, one must identify a need for improvement. When we feel satisfied with our performance in a particular area, we don’t devote time and energy to improving it. The first step is hence to move from Unconscious Incompetence to Conscious Incompetence.

Preparing for the Future of AI, Where Robots Can Learn and Ask Humans For Help!
In a world full of self-driving cars, flying drones, and other robots, daily interactions with artificial intelligence will have a profound effect on how we live our lives. Elemental video scientist Boonsri Dickinson visited Carnegie Mellon robotics pioneer Maneula Veloso to talk about the science behind her robotic creations and the many years she has spent bringing autonomous robots to life. For video see this link and embedded below:

Why Big Data In The Enterprise Is Mostly Lip Service
For every Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Google, I would wager that thousands of midsized and large organizations are doing nothing with big data beyond giving it lip service. That is, the fact that a CXO has heard of big data is hardly to the same thing as her company actually doing anything with the massive amounts of unstructured data flying at us faster than ever. This begs two simple yet critical questions: Why the lack of adoption? And how can organizations overcome the obstacles currently impeding them?

In praise of the humble smart plug: Are outlets the gateway for the internet of things?
There are two other considerations here: measuring energy consumption and determining location. Most smart outlets from big names like Lowes and Belkin as well as smaller startups like PlugAway or Parce now have some kind of energy measurement feature, which might be useful in figuring out if your TV is a high-cost plugged-in device for which you should cut off access to power when it’s not on. Some, like Parce, offer algorithms that will turn it off for you.

Intel stresses in-memory computing with 15-core server chip
Applications tied to in-memory computing such as databases will get a boost with new throughput features and memory capacity of 1.5TB per socket. The Xeon E7 v2 chips, code-named Ivytown, will run at clock speeds between 1.4GHz and 3.8GHz, and draw between 40 watts and 150 watts of power. Intel is shipping 20 new chips in that family with between two and 15 cores. The new E7 chips are two times faster than their predecessors released last year, said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group, during a webcast.

Where Lean Startups and Design Thinking Meet
Many lean startup practitioners have a tendency to treat everything as “pivotable.” This can be dangerous because it turns lean startup into a mechanistic trial and error exercise. The lack of intent makes it easy to get lost. To avoid this fate, it’s helpful to anchor lean techniques around an observed human need, which is supplied by design thinking. You never want to lose sight of the need you’re designing for as you undertake the lean startup.

Mobile devices are uprooting your CRM business processes
Mobile is disrupting today's business processes, which should prompt all of us to rethink how we work: Are there more efficient and effective ways to work that incorporate mobile? How do mobile devices and applications enable us to gather the most accurate and up-to-date knowledge and to use it? Let's consider some ways in which mobility has sparked needed change in our existing tasks.

Digital Independence: NSA Scandal Boosts German Tech Industry
Critics have begun warning of the "Balkanization of the Internet" and doubt whether merely storing data on local servers will protect it from American intelligence. ... As a result, companies like Deutsche Telekom have demanded that data be processed within Europe to the degree possible. But the idea, known as "Schengen Routing," has been received with skepticism by European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes. "It is not realistic to contain data within Europe. You cannot put up border controls. That would destroy the openness of the Internet," she told SPIEGEL.

SQL Server SEQUENCE Basics
SQL Server now has the ANSI/ISO Standard CREATE SEQUENCE statement. Hooray! The bad news is that most programmers will not be aware of the significance of the underlying math. A SEQUENCE is not an IDENTITY. That propriety feature in T-SQL is a table property inherited from the old Sybase/UNIX days. It counts the number of insertion attempts, not even successes, on one particular machine. This goes back to how files were managed on UNIX systems in the 1970s. In those systems, you needed record numbers to locate the data, so T-SQL exposed this count as IDENTITY.

Quote for the day:

"Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging." -- Deepak Chopra