July 26, 2014

Can Technology Fix Medicine?
“We want to believe that most of the things we do in medicine are based on evidence,” says Malay Gandhi, managing director of Rock Health, which funds health-care startups. “Some are, but most aren’t.” The opportunity, he says, is that medicine could become more analytical and evidence-based.  Data is also changing the role of patients, offering them a chance to play a more central part in their own care. One way is by using mobile technology to monitor sleep patterns, heart rate, activity levels, and so on. In development are even more advanced devices capable of continuously monitoring such key metrics as blood oxygen, glucose levels, and even stress.

Introducing Spring XD, a Runtime Environment for Big Data Applications
Spring XD provides support for the real-time evaluation of various machine learning scoring algorithms as well simple real-time data analytics using various types of counters and gauges. The analytics functionality is provided via modules that can be added to a stream. In that sense, real-time analytics is accomplished via exactly the same model as data ingestion. Whilst it is possible for the primary role of a stream is to be to perform real-time analytics, it's quite common to add a tap to initiate a secondary stream where analytics, e.g. a field-value-counter, are applied to the same data being ingested through a primary stream.

The ultimate guide to user experience
The secret to a good user experience (often shortened to UX) is not to make users have to think about what they're doing: it should come naturally to them to find what they're looking for and interact with your site. In a web design agency, user experience may be the responsibility of the team as a whole or a specific 'user experience designer'. There are even entire firms that specialise in user experience consultancy. In this post we've grouped together the best articles, interviews and tips features on Creative Bloq on the subject of user experience. Whatever your level of expertise, you're bound to find something to help your understanding and improve your technique.

7 tips for leading your IT team to greatness
Tredgold says it's always important to think about how improving the IT team can ultimately improve the business and its customers. He offered an example at DHL where he--as deputy CIO--and his department, focused on increasing the company's on-time delivery using technology. Instead of thinking about it as just getting packages somewhere more quickly, they focused on things like making sure children got packages on their actual birthdays and getting people medicine on the day the need it--and how their technology could impact those people. "Now this has a bigger purpose than … just making money for DHL," Tredgold said.

When Fighting with Your Boss, Protect Yourself First
These dissonant leaders are dangerous. They derail careers and blow up teams. They destroy people — sometimes overtly, sometimes slowly and insidiously. Over time we can find ourselves in perpetual, all-consuming combat with these bosses. We think about it all the time. We relive every last painful word hurled our way. We nurse our wounds. We plot revenge. We talk about our boss and the injustice of it all with anyone who will listen, including coworkers and loved ones. It’s tiresome, really, but we can’t help ourselves. It feels like a fight to the death. That’s because fighting with a powerful person — like a boss — sparks a deep, primal response: fear. After all, these people hold our lives in their hands — the keys to our futures, not to mention our daily bread.

W3C wants to open the social Web for the enterprise
"We've become social, but not the applications we use on the daily basis," said John Mertic, president of the OpenSocial Foundation. "We're trying to tear down these silos [of enterprise software] and make applications communicate with one another." The working group is refining a format to make social network activity streams digestible by different enterprise applications. The group is also working on a common vocabulary for functions that can be shared across applications as well.... "This will make it easier for a lot of these socials platforms to take hold, because you get out of the complex area of all how all the application programming interfaces work together," Mertic said.

A Few Good Rules
Engineers despise illogical, bureaucratic rules which act as obstacles to progress, yet there seems to be a at least a few at every company. Chances are, there were excellent reasons for enacting them at some point in the past. Gradually, over time they become deprecated, but the original authors cannot (or dare not) revoke them. Anyone who has worked on C++ codebases which forbid the use of STL for historic reasons, or Java projects which staunchly refuse to move past version 1.4 of the language understands just how counterproductive these measures can be.

Mobile Health’s Growing Pains
Enthusiasm has been slow to build in part because the technology is often still not perfect, with seemingly simple functions like step counters lacking precision. Another problem is motivation. Many people simply don’t seem to like using these apps and devices. It is clear, though, that a well-designed mobile health system can help if patients use it. At the Center for Connected Health at Partners HealthCare, a health-care network that includes Boston’s two leading hospitals, Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General, a number of mobile programs have been shown to offer strong payoffs both in quality and cost.

Innovation Emerges From Stories We Tell
Plato told us that “those who tell the stories rule society.” Play with his words just a bit and you get: “Those who tell stories of innovation create innovative societies.” Of course you need the tools and resources and assets of innovation to create innovation. But nothing really innovative happens until the stuff of organizations begins to operate inside of authentic narrative. Capital, people and technologies are just balance sheet items, outside of the context of an innovation story. Narrative — real, authentic and aligned narrative — calls resources into action against ambition.

A portrait of the modern cloud developer
The biggest difference between developers now and developers in the past is the speed they can go. A modern development team can create development infrastructure in the cloud, build working software in a matter of days, and then destroy the infrastructure. And do it all over again the following week. Modern developers achieve this using automation tools, collaborative methodology, and ready-made components. But it's not all good news. Fewer and fewer developers are women. If you have a daughter, would you think of setting her up for a career in the dev world?

Quote for the day:

"The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves." -- Ray Kroc