December 26, 2014

Developing a Modern Data Management Strategy
Setting aside data growth and dissemination, the majority of the employee workforce is not concerned about the management of data; they are simply concerned with having the ability to access data when and where required. With the introduction of bring your own device (BYOD) policies, mobile access poses an additional complication for organizations. If adequate data management policies are not put into place alongside an organization’s BYOD initiative, it can result in employees saving duplicate copies of large datasets remotely versus pulling it from a central repository. Duplication can quickly multiply capacity, compliance and regulatory concerns, as well as waste valuable storage space.

5 Reasons Why Excel Isn't Enough for Financial Reporting
Despite the compactness and versatility, it’s not necessarily the best knife, corkscrew or screwdriver. You might be able to get by in some situations with the Swiss Army Knife, but as the job gets bigger, you need a separate knife, corkscrew and maybe even multiple screwdrivers. ... For a small company with limited users and needs, they might be able to do all of their financial reporting and analysis within Excel. Basic data analysis, calculations and even visualizing simple tabular data can be achieved in some form or another. But as the company grows and becomes more complex, there needs to be a more robust financial reporting tool with more controls and oversight.

Why Digital Business means going web-scale
It’s a term coined by Gartner to describe the new approaches to computing pioneered by cloud services firms such as Google, Amazon, Rackspace, Netflix, Facebook and so on. These approaches potentially enable orders of magnitude of improved service delivery when compared to many of their enterprise counterparts. Gartner has identified six elements to Web-scale IT: industrially-designed datacentres, Web-oriented (or microservices) architectures, programmable management, velocity-focused processes, a collaborative organisation style and an innovation-centric and learning culture.

Patting down the pachyderm: Big data prognostications for 2015
Elephants are astonishingly intelligent creatures. Long ago, on a family vacation to Indonesia, I had the pleasure to see a troop of trained elephants perform close-up in an audience-interactive show. As I witnessed one of the animals crouch down around my intrepid firstborn, I was relieved to see that it was smart enough to follow its trainer’s instructions, sensitive enough to the boy’s presence and agile enough to execute the entire maneuver like the professional performer he is. As 2014 draws to a close, the proverbial elephant that we call “big data” is smarter, more sensitive and more agile than ever. It’s got a much more varied array of advanced analytics riding on its broad back.

Hundreds of Portuguese Buses and Taxis Are Also Wi-Fi Routers
A massive mobile Wi-Fi network that could be a model for many cities was launched in the city of Porto, Portugal, this fall. Buses and taxis are equipped with routers that serve as mobile Wi-Fi hot spots for tens of thousands of riders. The routers also collect data from the vehicles—and from sensors on trash bins around the city—and relay it back to city offices to help with civic planning. More than 600 buses and taxis are part of the network, which is now serving 70,000 people a month and absorbing between 50 and 80 percent of wireless traffic from users who otherwise would have had to use the cellular network.

How Much Longer Until Flash Storage is the Only Storage?
While it’s clear that flash array storage features a number of advantages in comparison to HDD, these advantages don’t automatically mean it is destined to be the sole storage option in the future. For such a reality to come about, solutions to a number of flash storage problems need to be found. The biggest concern and largest drawback to flash storage is the price tag. Hard drives have been around a long time, which is part of the reason the cost to manufacture them is so low. Flash storage is a more recent technology, and the price to use it can be a major barrier limiting the number of companies that would otherwise gladly adopt it. A cheap hard drive can be purchased for around $0.03 per GB. Flash storage is much more expensive at roughly $0.80 per GB.

Android Lollipop tips its hat to photographers with RAW support
When you snap a shot with your Android camera, the internal software compresses the image into a .jpg file. To the untrained, naked eye, that photo usually looks pretty spectacular. The thing is, what you see is what you get. You can't really manipulate that photo on any low level. It's compressed and saved in a read/write format, so the images can be more easily edited with a bitmap editor (such as The Gimp or Photoshop). With RAW images, the data has been minimally processed from the image sensor. Many consider RAW images to be the digital equivalent of the old school negative. These RAW images will have a wider dynamic color range and they preserve the closest image to what the sensor actually saw.

The Future of Data Scientists
Over time, the skill set for this group has evolved. We’ve seen a convergence of technological and math skills, and qualified data scientists are now part software architect and part mathematician. Data scientists must be able to understand technology and implement solutions in various languages while at the same time keep up with the advances in mathematics and machine learning that drive the profession. Even the brightest minds have had to embrace technology tools to complement their analysis as the need to identify patterns in huge volumes of multidimensional data has outpaced the human brain’s ability to do so. Raw computing power has also become increasingly important as organizations demand that decisions be reached and executed quickly.

IoT groups are like an orchestra tuning up: The music starts in 2016
IoT involves linking devices that in many cases have never been connected before, or at least not on anything but a closed, specialized network. It also involves managing those objects and developing applications to make them do things together that they could never do alone. So products from different vendors eventually will have to speak the same language, at some level. If they can't, then products for connected homes, cities and factories won't ship in the largest possible numbers, which they will need to do if prices are to plummet like they have for PCs, smartphones and other products over the years. That's especially important for consumer IoT, where cost is paramount.

The Future Of Wearable Technology Is In The Enterprise (At Least For Now)
“The whole world is going to go head-worn. It’s not if, it’s when,” says Osterhout. “The decision has already been made. It’s fait accompli.” Osterhout’s company made its name developing wearable imaging devices for the military. Think of night vision, target identification, and anything else you might have seen in a Schwarzenegger movie involving robots, aliens, and explosions. “We’ve built and funded and fielded thousands and thousands of handheld computers and headworn display systems for the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the New Year the company may be taking a version of its product to the big International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and that would most definitely not be for a military buyer.

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