April 10, 2014

The Search for Creative Destruction
In our view, the process of creative destruction is primarily driven by product or business model innovation – often abetted by technology– that results in a superior value offering for consumers, be it higher performance, greater convenience or lower cost. This enhanced value proposition is the source from which economic benefits then flow, first to the innovator and over time to its consumers and competitors. The new product or model often proliferates into a new paradigm until subsequent innovation in turn threatens its dominant position.


How Tech Can Help Cities Reduce Crime
Camden County Police Chief Scott J. Thomson calls it a "significant departure from policing" in that it moves both toward the future and the past. "With our boots-on-the-ground goals, it's like 1840s policing of having cop building relationships," he says. "What's allowed them to do that is having bleeding-edge technology. It's back to the future technology." ... because cars are GPS-tracked through an Automated Vehicle Locator System, the system automatically locates the two nearest patrol cars to an emergency and directs them via in-car computers to that location.


Stung by file-encrypting malware, researchers fight back
Kevin Haley, director of Symantec's security response team, said Wednesday "it's the perfect kind of criminal scam. You get people scared and not thinking, and you can make a lot of money out of it." Ransomware schemes may be rising due to the sheer profitability and declining effectiveness of Web-based scams such as bogus security programs. Haley said Symantec estimates ransomware perpetrators on an average achieve a 3 percent response rate, and demand payment that is much higher than those peddling fake AV software, typically $50.


Internet Of Things Demands Open Standards
Ashton says the next-generation IoT has the potential to change the world, and I agree. By eliminating human beings as the primary creators and "routers" of information, the IoT becomes an ultra-efficient auto-organizing entity that handles all the myriad mundane details -- liberating human beings to focus on ideas. For this to happen, however, communication must take place on multiple levels, from the hardware that comprises the physical underpinnings of the IoT -- the internal computing parts inside each device -- to the communications protocols and methodologies that links from device to device and from the device to the cloud and back.


How Google Humanizes Technology in the Workplace And You Too, Can
Trends like these not only suggest that we're allowing technology to dehumanize us, our incessant connection distracts us from remaining present with other people, our work, and from sustaining any meaningful flow in our lives. Using the occasion of the Internet’s silver anniversary as an inflection point, I reached out to Google Human Resources Director, Dr. Todd Carlisle, to see if his firm has learned to more successfully utilize and integrate technology and even re-humanize it in their workplace. Here are five of his most useful insights:


eBook: Leveraging Cloud and Mobile
Spend on cloud and mobile will dominate technology investments for finance departments this year, but while the potential ROI in those areas is huge, so are the risks. By now most companies have adopted some cloud systems, and the good news is the process of implementing these solutions has gotten easier and more predictable. Unfortunately, for some organizations the process still has unexpected but significant complexities. Mobile is also on track to reach new productivity heights over the next two years, but CFOs still have concerns, particularly about device security management.


Big Data: A Misguided Critique
Here are the "problems" they have with big data, along with my responses. Although big data is very good at detecting correlations, especially subtle correlations that an analysis of smaller data sets might miss, it never tells us which correlations are meaningful. This is the worst. The example offered: From 2006 to 2011, the US murder rate was well correlated with Internet Explorer's marketshare. Correlation, but evidently no cause. Here's a news flash, guys. That's not a problem with big data. If it's a problem at all, it's a problem with statistics. A fundamental challenge in statistics is extracting cause from correlation.


NASA Releases 1,000 Apps To Public
Software makes up about a third of reported NASA inventions each year, and by publishing a software catalog the agency hopes to increase the ability of others to make use of its software significantly, said Daniel Lockney, who manages NASA's Technology Transfer Program. The TTP, which oversees the agency's intellectual property and the transfer of technology for commercialization and public use, is part of the agency's Office of the Chief Technologist. "Traditionally our [apps] were distributed at different offices and labs around the country. So we needed to gather everything in one place," said Lockney in an interview with InformationWeek Government.


The onus is on IT to improve perceptions around IT culture
"The culture surrounding how IT and the rest of the business relates to one another is becoming increasingly divided," said panel member Vivek Bhaskaran, founder and executive chairman of web-based research technology company, Ideascale & Survey Analytics. "We still have way too many companies that view IT as a set of administrative tasks that they are spending way too much of their budgets on." ... The disconnect between these perceptions and what departments think IT is in the business of, can stand in the way of innovation, Bishof said.


Law Firm CIO Makes the Case for Microsoft Lync
"People don't even realize it's a Lync phone system," he says. "The core infrastructure is functional. We've had over 30,000 minutes of conference calls on those phones without people realizing it." It is what Leung calls the "phone+" features - like the capability to seamlessly go from a call to a conference call to a video call to whiteboard functionality - that still need work, he notes. The features work, but are not always easy to find without some training. "The phone+ functionality, it's not as intuitive as I would have wanted," he says.



Quote for the day:

"I never learned from a man who agreed with me." -- Robert A. Heinlein