September 29, 2014

Smarter algorithms will power our future digital lives
Basically, even though most people haven't even heard of deep-learning algorithms, better ones could mean a future that includes smarter homes, and robots that care for parents and walk our dogs. "This type of research is important in that it could yield better ways to wade through the infinitely expanding pool of data driven by the Internet of Things and mobility," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "Deep learning is a critical part of the future of the digital world even though most people don't know anything about it."

Can “Agile” break the Iron Triangle? Can open allocation?
Without further exploring the rabbit hole of subordinacy, let’s return to a question that I’m sure many readers have asked. Why is this set of three traits (subordinacy, dedication, and strategy) called an Iron Triangle? The answer is that an organization gets at most two from each person. To see why that is, it’s useful to examine the eight combinations formed by the absence or presence of each trait. People with zero or one of the Iron Triangle traits tend to be organizationally inert, so I won’t focus on them. At 2 out of 3, we get the MacLeod archetypes.

Jeff Hawkins on why his approach to AI will become the approach to AI
We’re very confident that by the end of the 2020s, we’re going to be settled on a dominant paradigm. It’s going to be quite different than the one we’re currently in today, where specific algorithms that excel at one task dominate. We believe it’s going to be based instead on the universal algorithms that work on many problems. They’re going to be memory-based, not mathematically based. They’re going to be based primarily on time-based patterns, and they’re going to be online learning paradigms. Our belief in this comes really from studying the brain. This is what the neocortex does.

Samsung to offer PC gamers a 27-inch curved display
Critics who have reviewed curved TVs report that pictures seem to have more depth, and that objects at the edges of the screen look sharper because the curve of the display tracks the curve of your eye. But those reviews have been of TVs with screens that are at least twice as big as a computer monitor, and that are viewed across much greater distances. On the downside, faultfinders have noted that distracting reflections—especially from ambient light sources—are much more prominent in curved displays.

Be open and honest
What prevents leaders from apologizing freely, from owning up to mistakes and taking full responsibility for them? One contributor, no doubt, is the cultural axiom that leaders, particularly aspiring ones, should hide weaknesses and errors. However, we need to realize that it is not only healthy for leaders to admit their wrongdoings, but such practice can be a powerful tool for them, increasing their legitimacy among their co-workers. People need courageous leaders in order to feel there is someone to make the tough calls and to take responsibility for them; they need to know that the buck truly does stop with the leader.

5 features Windows 9 needs to succeed
On Tuesday Microsoft will preview the next-generation Windows operating system – currently codenamed Windows Threshold, but expected to be called Windows 9 – and it will be a keystone to Microsoft's plans over the coming years. With that in mind, here are five features that Microsoft must add to Windows 9 if it is to have a chance of not only tempting me back into the ecosystem, but also of dissipating the cloud of negativity that Windows 8 currently finds itself engulfed in.

Architecting IT for cloud integration platforms
Choosing an iPaaS product allowed InsideTrack to repurpose IT staff that had been doing back-office roles and other development activities to higher-value work. They created new roles for business analysts who could understand business process workflow and partner with other business units to ensure the company was getting what it needed. This made it possible for InsideTrack to use business analysts to do much of the integration work instead of technical experts. Sue found that individuals coming from the business side had a greater understanding of the business process and were able to work more effectively with the different business units than the traditional IT staff.

CTO to startup founder: The reprogramming process
Startups provide a polar opposite environment. You'll remain the decision maker, but you'll take on the role of chief producer as well. As a new founder, time is a luxury when it comes to product testing. This will inevitably change the way you look at production. "The biggest change in philosophy was to start thinking incremental vs large scale releases. As an engineer, you want the application deployed flawlessly, and without issues," said Larry Kiss, former Senior Design Engineer at Motorola, now co-founder of SpotHero. "But in a startup, every minute that a user isn't using the new production/feature, is lost time for user experience or production validation."

Citi Calls Coders to Develop Apps for 'Internet of Things'
Citi will make available a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) to individuals around the world selected to participate, and invite them to create apps for mobile devices, the Internet of things and wearable apps. An internal team from Citi will select applicants who can code while a panel of judges will determine who participates on one of three demo days. The innovation initiatives underscore what banking execs have publicly stated: They are strugglingto keep up with customers' digital demands at a time when the industry is getting disrupted on payments and other fronts while consumers are using branches less.

Let Me Graph That For You
Variably structured data is the kind of messy, real-world data that doesn't fit comfortably into a uniform, one-size-fits-all, rigid relational schema; the kind that gives rise to lots of sparse tables and null checking logic. It’s the increasing prevalence of variably structured data in today’s applications that has led many organisations to adopt schema-free alternatives to the relational model, suand document stores. But the challenges that face us today aren’t just around having to manage increasingly large volumes of data, nor do they extend simply to us having to accommodate ever increasing degrees of structural variation in that data.

Quote for the day:

"A culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness." -- Jim Collins