October 31, 2015

Without the proper amount preparedness and clear-headed foresight, a digital life left forsaken might cause a lot of ... inconvenience. Not only are there risks of fraud and identity theft with an unkempt digital afterlife, but there's also the possibility of exposing our darkest, digital secrets to unsuspecting (or overly curious) loved ones. OK, maybe we don't all have secrets lurking in our various inboxes. But anyone hoping to maintain some degree of privacy after death needs to take action before the reaper comes knocking. Google, Facebook, Twitter and other sites have various policies in place to deal with deceased users, so being aware of some of the options will help you maintain control over your information -- even from the grave.

Common Sense Software Engineering – Part IV; Life Cycles & Agile

All a life-cycle represents, is a way to get from the start of a project to a successful conclusion. It is a fairly straight-forward concept. Yet, today when reading anything about current variations on such techniques we are provided instead with a wealth of arcane terminology that really doesn’t mean much except to those who are using it. “Sprints”, “Stand-up Meetings”, “Scrum” and others appear to hide the simplicity of Agile’s foundations instead of allowing new-comers to easily understand it’s potential. Life-Cycles are also not to be taken as hard and fast rules of development as there are a number of standardized models that can be applied as the development situation warrants. Agile is just one among many such life-cycles but it appears increasingly that its promoters believe that it is more or less a panacea for all software development related issues.

Walmart undermines its online strategy — again

Walmart's online and mobile teams aren't ever given free rein. Sure, they can dream up great products and services for generating the most revenue and profits for online sales. But, it seems, they absolutely are not allowed to do anything that would truly threaten in-store revenue and profits. Result: Those services never go nearly far enough. Walmart's top bean-counters never forget on which side their bread is buttered. With that reality, buy-online-pickup-in-store made a lot of sense for Walmart. It makes the sale online, but it then finishes the transaction in a brick-and-mortar outlet, where the customer just might pick up a few more items before leaving. That takes advantage of all those locations staffed with personable, customer-facing employees, something that a sterile digital retailer can't match.

Could 5G networks make Brazil’s traffic mobile?

The most promising area of improvement could be transport. Brazil's has some of the worst congestion problems in the world. On Friday evenings in Sao Paulo, according to local traffic engineers, there are tailbacks for 112 miles on average but 183 miles at worst. At the moment, mobile phones actually make the traffic worse, because the first thing many drivers do at the traffic lights, in these days of screen addiction, is interact with their handset. There are systems in place already that try to improve the flow. Sao Paolo has a station dedicated to reporting traffic conditions and alternative routes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. SulAmerica Traffic Radio gathered a large following of listeners who also act as reporters, calling in to update other motorists or to vent their frustrations.

It is time for CIOs to shift gears to multi-speed IT

CIOs are recognizing that they need to juggle orienting IT to maintain reliable legacy systems while also quenching the organization’s thirst for innovation. Of the C-level executives we surveyed in a 2015 Accenture Strategy survey of more than 900 executives around the world, 81 percent said the IT organization has reached a fork inthe road, and the choice before them is whether they will accelerate the digital agenda or move out of the passing lane to allow others in the organization to lead. Either way, 88 percent of executives believe that the IT organization needs to broaden its scope and keep pace with evolving needs of the business.

5 Steps from Business Analyst to Data Scientist

What’s the difference, you might ask? While the end result of these two jobs is often similar, a business analyst and a data scientist use different tools to get there. In general, data scientists have much greater technical expertise, especially in computer programming, systems engineering, and statistics. Business analysts, by their very nature, rely on intuition and have human biases that are starting to be seen as flaws that put them at a disadvantage compared to the cold hard facts that data scientists can produce. In addition, business analysts are often concerned with the single truth of what did happen in the past, while data scientists are working in a much more fluid version of what might happen in the future.

Engineering Internet of Things systems

Machine sensing and feedback loops, which have long been integral parts of control theory, have become possible on an enormous scale through the connection of low-cost sensors to cloud-based platforms providing analytics and security. The availability of operational and maintenance data that results has changed conventional wisdom about engineering practices and tools. Data has transformed industries such as retail, banking and insurance, giving rise to concepts such as business intelligence, the single customer view, multichannel marketing and financial market technical analysis. These and other such concepts have been made possible by the ability to monitor, analyze and react to business data generated by millions of transactions.

Nokia greenlights intelligent transportation system that uses drivers' smartphones

Until now, ITS systems have used short-range comms. But Nokia's navigation division, HERE - which is about to be sold to a group of German car makers - is preparing a pilot with Finnish traffic agencies to test a system that uses existing commercial mobile networks. "Transportation is one, or maybe the only, industry sector where the internet and modern mobile technologies haven't yet made a huge impact," Mika Rytk√∂nen, Nokia HERE's head of digital transport infrastructure and business development for the EU, says. "What we are building now is a system where standard mobile networks can be used to connect road traffic to the cloud and traffic-management centres. This C-ITS [cooperative ITS] can be used to introduce new digital services to increase safety and sustainability and ease traffic jams."

Four and a Half Types of NoSQL Databases, and When to Use Them

System performance (throughput and latency) is achieved by simplifying how data is retrieved, and time-to-value is achieved by bypassing a lot of data modeling effort that is typically done for relational databases, especially on data formats that have complexity or a lot of variation. ... Any application that currently runs slower than you want or need, and does not require the core RDBMS capabilities—such as multi-row transactions, full SQL querying support, or integration with commercial applications—can likely use a NoSQL database. There are four main types of NoSQL databases, plus one type of “database” that should also be considered in the mix. In this blog post, I’ll provide a brief description of these types of NoSQL databases and when they can be used.

How Applications of Big Data Play a Vital Role in Industries

The goals of organizations have also evolved into visualizing Big Data into the larger scheme of things. With the spike in allocated budgets and inclusion, the participation of Big Data to apply itself into industry verticals is also rising. Implementation of Big Data has indeed brought results and the applications of big data have also evolved with time. This infographic presents how applications of Big Data are driving Industries and bringing innovative practices of growth in respective industries. Big Data provides solutions to overcome challenges faced by Industries who’ve ventured into the field. The infographic details challenges faced in 10 different Industries and how certain practices are being revolutionaized because of Big Data.

Quote for the day:

"Technology made large populations possible; large populations now make technology indispensable." -- Joseph Wood Krutch