August 12, 2014

Redefining System Architecture with Data at the Core
System architecture in today’s cloud era should be defined by the data it contains rather than the hardware that stores and makes it available. Software-defined data platforms are drastically and rapidly changing the IT model. By abstracting the underlying hardware, and allowing data management and access to be defined workload by workload, data characteristics are now defining the infrastructure used, rather than vice versa. IT investment, therefore, needs to be better matched against the value of data to the business, while allowing increased flexibility and responsiveness.

Sentencing, by the Numbers
While well intentioned, this approach is misguided. The United States inarguably has a mass-incarceration crisis, but it is poor people and minorities who bear its brunt. Punishment profiling will exacerbate these disparities — including racial disparities — because the risk assessments include many race-correlated variables. Profiling sends the toxic message that the state considers certain groups of people dangerous based on their identity. It also confirms the widespread impression that the criminal justice system is rigged against the poor. It is na├»ve to assume judges will use the scores only to reduce sentences. Judges, especially elected ones, will face pressure to harshly sentence those labeled “high risk.”

Forget 'Things' – It's The Internet Of Business Models
Success in the Internet of Things will come to those who look beyond the disruptive technology. Indeed, as former Intel CEO Andy Groves perfectly put it: "Disruptive technologies is a misnomer. What it is, is trivial technology that screws up your business model." That's a great observation, especially with the Internet of Things where falling prices are making the technology more readily available -- so if you're looking to make money out of manufacturing home sensors, maybe think again because you'll be up against stiff competition, even from someone with some electronic smarts and $35 to spend on a Raspberry Pi.

'Biochip' aims to quicken disease diagnosis, cut medical test costs
The Hydra-1K -- which is a silicon chip -- can be used at doctor's offices or points of care, where a disease can be instantly analyzed to determine treatment, said Arjang Hassibi, founder and CEO of startup InSilixa, during a presentation at the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, California. The chip -- which Hassibi also called a reader -- heats up a culture or sample, and can identify unique molecular structures like DNA sequences, to help identify possible strains of a disease, which can help determine medication, or whether a patient needs to be isolated. Right now the chip can test cultures or samples only for specific diseases and mutations.

A Glimpse Behind the Cloud: Tour the EMC Durham Data Center
Our virtual tour of the Durham Data Center gives you a high level understanding of how our data center works and a glimpse of EMC Cloud computing using Vblock architecture. It features purpose-built Vblocks which run our SAP-based, enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and Exchange environment, as well as 100 percent tapeless backup environments built on our Data Domain and Avamar technologies. With tens of thousands of VMs in our data center, our sales staff can tap in to Durham to demonstrate products and services in a real-life lab setting.

Agile Practices and Social Nudges in the Workplace
A special kind of nudge is the “Social Nudge”, which results from the interaction with other people. According to Thaler and Sunstein: “Social influences come in two basic categories. The first involves information. If many people do something or think something, their actions and their thoughts convey information about what might be best for you to do or think. The second involves peer pressure. If you care about what other people think about you, then you might go along with the crowd to avoid their wrath or curry their favor.”

Intel watches ARM as low-powered computing thrives
“You get more peak performance per thread on Intel than on ARM-based chips," said Novakovic.  “ARM-based architecture is more suited for mobile devices and connected devices such as the refrigerators and the washing machines." But Intel thought that if it built extremely high-end high-compute power processors first, it can scale it down to suit the mobile devices needs. “But ARM proved that strategy completely wrong by starting ground up,” said Novakovic. “There is a growing market for low-power CPU architecture and that’s where ARM is winning and that will be Intel’s biggest threat,” said technology blogger Scott Wasson.

Ontologies versus Data Models
The common definition of an ontology is: a specification of a conceptualization. I find this is a very difficult definition to apply practically. To me an ontology is a view of the concepts, relations and rules for a particular area of business information, irrespective of how that information may be stored as data. ... Using ontologies to drive clarity in business discussions is beneficial. We can clearly see that Figures 1 and 2 are not data models, and so data models cannot be used in this example. However, ontologies also play a vital role in conjunction with data models. As noted above, data models are sometimes held to represent business reality, as well as provide a design for a data store. Yet, a data model of any kind has to be a generalization across many different business views.

Virtual Meetings on the Rise, but Value Is Still Debatable
Meetings are increasing because, in general, workplaces are encouraging collaboration–between individual, teams, divisions and locations, Craig Daniel, vice president of collaboration products at LogMeIn, told eWEEK, noting there has been a dramatic increase of tablets and smartphones replacing PCs as the virtual meeting tool of choice. ... "Nobody will admit to liking meetings, but most people will acknowledge that they serve a purpose," Daniel said. "Many meetings are a waste of time, but every now and then, with the right attendees and the right tools, we come away from one saying, ‘That was a good meeting’."

Project Inception - How to Use a Single Meeting to Achieve Alignment
Inception attendees should include the core team doing the work and the sponsoring stakeholders or their designates. Typically this will include business, product, development and perhaps other teams like operations and support. It may also include representatives from upstream or downstream teams that are producers or consumers of this teams work. Practically the effectiveness of the meeting starts to diminish when the number of people is over 10 people because there is a lot of group participation and having 20 people all contribute effectively is difficult.

Quote for the day:

"There is no right way to do a wrong thing." -- Harold S. Kushner