May 14, 2016

Q&A with Shawn Callahan on Putting Stories to Work

The first thing you need to do to develop your storytelling skills is to find some stories, preferably about things that have happened to you. Then you must work out the lesson or insight that is contained in a story, share the story, and see what happens. Here are two tips that will help enormously. First, never use the word ‘story’ when you share your story. Don’t start by saying, ‘Hey guys, I want to share a story with you …’ Instead, start with the insight that is contained in the story. For example, your story might be about persistence, about just how important it is to stick with something. So you might start by saying, ‘You know what, a lot of success comes from persistence. A few years ago …’ And away you go. People will listen intently because they want to know the insight that’s based on your experience.

The UK builds a 'fintech bridge' to Singapore

The co-operation agreement enables the UK regulator to refer fintech firms to its counterpart, and vice versa, making it easier for fintechs to scale between countries. Both countries want to be global fintech hubs amidst growing competition from the US and China. A booming fintech industry is desirable for two reasons: it helps the national economy, and it promotes competition and growth in the financial services industry. But while both Singapore and the UK boast advantages for fintechs, they are relatively small markets — the UK has under 70 million people, while Singapore has around 6 million. The partnership will create opportunities for fintechs to scale beyond the countries' borders, making it easier for startups that choose to launch in these countries to attract investment.

Culture and Technology Can Drive the Future of Openstack

“OpenStack in the future is whatever we expand it to,” said Red Hat Chief Technologist, Chris Wright during his keynote at the OpenStack Summit in Austin. After watching several keynotes, including those from Gartner and AT&T, I attended other sessions during the course of the day culminating in a session by Lauren E Nelson, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research. Wright’s statement made me wonder about what lies in store for OpenStack and where the OpenStack Community—the “we” that Wright referred to—would take it in the future. Several sessions in the Analyst track called out the factors that explain the increased adoption of OpenStack as well as the technological challenges encountered.

15 Google Doc Features You Didn't Know Existed

While the capability to edit and make changes in a document is great, there are times when you only want to suggest changes -- without actually making any. That's where "Suggesting" mode in Google Docs comes in handy. It works a lot like Comments in Microsoft Word. First, switch from "Editing" mode to "Suggesting" mode by clicking the pencil icon at the top right of an open document, and then choosing "Suggesting." ... Want to comment on a document and get a specific person's attention? You can do that by tagging them in your comment. All you have to do is add an @ or a + sign, and then begin typing their name or email address. Google Docs will give you a couple options based on your Gmail contacts, and once you've submitted the comment, it'll notify that person you mentioned by sending them an email.

Blockchain technology will revolutionize the world, enthusiasts say

Blockchain could disrupt transactions the way the internet did for communication. Any information that can be encrypted and stored in digital form can be transmitted — everything from real estate deals to medical records to transferring concert tickets. Blockchain is a “distributed ledger” invented by the mysterious person or group known as Santoshi Nakamoto that is accessible by everyone, but controlled by no one. It’s searchable and public making it more traceable than cash but encrypted and anonymous to maintain privacy. Picture it as a communal record-keeping system — the kind small communities kept in the 16th century to keep track of births, marriages, property transfers, anything of importance—but on a massive global scale. Blockchain is seen as the next great disintermediation.

10 Ways Virtual Reality is Disrupting Industries

Most of all virtual reality are helping teachers bridge the gap between what’s taught in the classrooms and what’s out there in the real world. Putting it into practice recently, British Museum partnered with Samsung and hosted a Virtual Reality Weekend. Families got a chance to view the museum antics using Samsung Gear VR. In fact, children above 13 were given a VR tour of the Bronze Age where they could experience a 3D depiction of life as it was back then. While this is just the beginning, Google seems to be planning for a Magic School Bus experience with its Expeditions Pioneer Program. Expeditions is a virtual reality platform which allows teachers to take kids on virtual field trips to places where buses can’t go. The program currently has more than 100 VR panoramas including those of Coral Reefs and US Financial Centers.

Going Through the Scrum Motions as Opposed to Being an Agile Jedi

Doing Scrum and not being Agile is more challenging to discern. It occurs in organizations adopting Scrum as their preferred Agile approach. The astute observer will notice team behavioral patterns that suggest mechanical adoption rather than assimilation. The psychological pattern is that of introjection – similar to chewing on a mouthful of dry biscuits not being able to swallow. Similar to other managerial process, it is easy to adopt the Scrum ceremonies rather than their intent. We have seen it occur previously with Six Sigma, Total Quality Control, and other managerial processes. Achieving the intent requires a cultural change; cultural change requires organizational change; organizational change requires buy in from key stakeholders which in turn requires people championing the new process across the organization.

Road to Efficiency, Part 1

The responsibility for resiliency and access may move to the cloud solution provider, but if data is deleted (inadvertently or intentionally) or corrupted on a logical level (and we know applications never corrupt data, don’t we?), it doesn’t matter on which infrastructure it runs. Furthermore, most businesses typically require more than just the most recent point in time copy of data. Finally, remember that these requirements apply equally to IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions. ... In the end, we need to enhance the value of the data itself. One way is by providing insight into all data, regardless of whether it resides on-premises or in the cloud, on primary storage or as part of data protection solution. Once we can gather and identify all data, the key is unlocking its value. Global search, hold and discovery are just some of the initial use-cases.

Security in a hybrid world: You can’t protect what you can’t see

There are two parts to enforcing the new normal; bringing your entire estate into compliance, and enforcing the use of this new baseline. Once you have determine a need for change: patching, configuration files, applications, you name it, you need to act quickly and across your entire environment. Automation is faster, less error prone, and helps you reliably perform required actions across your entire estate. No matter how good you and your team are, and no matter how good your tools are, someone will always try to run older unpatched code. And someone will, if you don’t have the automated policies in place to confirm and approve code execution based on software versions, configuration file settings, registry settings, etc. One easy way to limit your exposure is to scan snapshots and live VMs for policy compliance.

Snowden interview: Why the media isn’t doing its job

A lot of people laud me as the sole actor, like I’m this amazing figure who did this. I personally see myself as having a quite minor role. I was the mechanism of revelation for a very narrow topic of governments. It’s not really about surveillance, it’s about what the public understands—how much control the public has over the programs and policies of its governments. If we don’t know what our government really does, if we don’t know the powers that authorities are claiming for themselves, or arrogating to themselves, in secret, we can’t really be said to be holding the leash of government at all. One of the things that’s really missed is the fact that as valuable and important as the reporting that came out of the primary archive of material has been, there’s an extraordinarily large, and also very valuable amount of disclosure that was actually forced from the government, because they were so back-footed by the aggressive nature of the reporting.

Quote for the day:

"If everyone has to think outside the box, maybe it is the box that needs fixing." -- Malcolm Gladwell