June 21, 2015

Nest keeps smart home portfolio neat and tidy with latest upgrades
The Nest team on the show floor demonstrated how each of these products (and more made by others) can work together on the connected fabric. For example, the Dropcam can communicate with the Nest Theromostat to automatically turn on motion alerts when the thermostat is set to "Away." Dropcam can also record clips when Nest Protect detects smoke. But rather than trotting out even more different connected appliances throughout the home, Nest is working harder with what it already has, which not only offers the possibility of reducing clutter but simply costs for buying multiple gadgets in the long run. With Nest, Fadell elaborated consumers don't have to choose a bundle of products or platform -- they only have to start with one, which can be accessed, monitored and managed from anywhere worldwide through a mobile device.

The Startup Illusion
Contemporary entrepreneurs no longer adhere to the traditional model of professional success; work hard for many years and, one day, you’ll “make it.” Instead, today’s collegiate youth have bought into the Zuckerberg model. Young, aspiring entrepreneurs believe that with a brilliant idea and a little bit of luck they, too, can be billionaires, potentially overnight. Entrepreneurs are choosing to embrace the lie of probable success whilst ignoring the daunting statistics that contradict such thinking, such as the fact that 80 percent of startups fail within 18 months. I, too, turned a blind-eye. It’s difficult not to buy your own hyperbole. However, after an entire year’s worth of work crumbled in a matter of hours, I opened my eyes and saw through the startup illusion.

What the FCC's new robocall rules mean for your company's marketing efforts
Telemarketing efforts are widely used in both business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing efforts, and the stakes are high. Earlier this year, Twitter called on the FCC to rule that those who call or text a wireless phone number for which consent was previously given should not be held accountable if that’s no longer the case when it is reassigned. Twitter did not respond to a request to comment for this story. “My hope would be that robocalling wouldn’t be part of any corporation’s communication strategy in 2015,” said author and Internet marketing consultant Brian Carter. The marketing world has moved toward opt-in communication, Carter noted.

Beyond Automation
Intelligent machines, Nicita thinks—and this is the core belief of an augmentation strategy—do not usher people out the door, much less relegate them to doing the bidding of robot overlords. In some cases these machines will allow us to take on tasks that are superior—more sophisticated, more fulfilling, better suited to our strengths—to anything we have given up. In other cases the tasks will simply be different from anything computers can do well. In almost all situations, however, they will be less codified and structured; otherwise computers would already have taken them over. We propose a change in mindset, on the part of both workers and providers of work, that will lead to different outcomes—a change from pursuing automation to promoting augmentation.

The Benefits of a Cloud Integrated Hyper-converged Architecture
The key benefit of an HCA though is its inherent simplicity. This is especially true if the architecture is delivered in a turnkey fashion that includes hardware and software, allowing the architecture to be scaled out as easily as adding additional bricks to a stack of Lego blocks. The result is a quicker time to value, since implementation is far simpler, and thanks to the integration there are fewer components to manage. The end result is a reduced total cost of ownership that allows the business to more rapidly extract value from their IT investments. HCA allows an organization to deliver IT services in the same way that large public cloud providers do, essentially creating a private cloud.

Elon Musk To Build A Hyperloop Test Track, Puts Out Call For Pod Designs
SpaceX says it is not getting into the loop business, merely that “it is interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional hyperloop prototype,” says a spokesman. There are still scores of engineering and mechanical issues to resolve around safety mechanisms, costs, propulsion and suspension systems and manufacturing techniques. Teams are welcome to submit entire pod designs, individual subsystems or safety features. SpaceX says it will also likely build its own pod, which will not be eligible to win the competition. Criteria for winning the competition come out in August.

What role does artificial intelligence play in Big Data?
Analysing large data sets requires developing and applying complex algorithms. To date, humans had to come up with hypotheses, identify relevant variables and then write algorithms to test these theories against the information collected in big data sets. However, as data sets become larger, the ability for humans to make sense of it all becomes more difficult, and limits the insights that can be gained from all this information. AI allows organisations to add a level of intelligence to their Big Data analytics to understand complex issues quicker than humans are able to. It can also serve to fill the gap left by not having enough human data analysts available.

DevOps Deep Dive: Infrastructure as code for developer environments
By taking the Infrastructure as Code approach to this problem, you gain a flexibility and extensibility for your solution and overcome the limitations of image based configuration. Specifically, because we defined our desired end state in code, we can modify the configuration attributes, we can change the versions of the software being installed, we can change the location of the software repository, or change the plugins required, or modify any aspect of the desired configuration all by changing the code. Contrast that flexibility against the static nature of an image, and the volume of work required to make a small change to an image-based configuration.

Probabilistic Project Planning Using Little’s Law
Little's Law helps us take an "outside view" on the project we are forecasting, based on knowledge about actual system performance on a reference class of comparable projects. The method can help any team that uses user stories for planning and tracking project execution, no matter the development process used. ... Little's Law deals with averages. It can help us calculate the average waiting time of an item in the system or the average lead time for a work item. In product development, we break the project delivery into a batch (or batches) of work items. Using Anderson’s formula, we can forecast how much time it will take for the batch to be processed by the development system.

SAS automates data modeling for fast analysis
SAS Factory Miner can use any source of data, as long as the data itself can be formatted into a table. The software, run from a server and accessed with a browser, offers a graphical point-and-click interface. It comes with a set of customizable templates for creating baseline models. Analysts can fine tune or revise any of the computer-generated models. To help pick the best models, the software uses a number of machine learning algorithms that, through repeated testing of the models, can recognize patterns to anticipate future performance. One unnamed customer used an early version of the software to build 35,000 different models in order to find the best approach for a marketing campaign.

Quote for the day:

"Success is the result of good judgement, which is the result of experience & experience is often the result of bad judgement" -- tony robbins