July 24, 2014

6 Ways To Create An Agile Company Culture
One of the best places to start is with the people who will be executing on your vision: your employees. How you hire, train, and integrate new staff members will set the stage for the agile culture you want to create, eliminating resistance down the road. You want to establish a level of trust among employees, encourage collaboration across teams, and instill in them the understanding that failing, and failing fast, is key to learning and furthering the overall development process. Here are some of the steps we've taken to build an agile company at eNovance.

10 Technologies That Will Transform PCs in 2015 and Beyond
You might write off PCs as archaic or boring. You might take for granted that they'll get faster, lighter, more power-efficient and more convenient to use over time. But if you stop and consider all the things that go into making a computer better, there’s actually a lot to be excited about. Here are 10 PC advancements that will transform PCs over the next several years.

Collection Pipeline
Collection pipelines are a programming pattern where you organize some computation as a sequence of operations which compose by taking a collection as output of one operation and feeding it into the next. (Common operations are filter, map, and reduce.) This pattern is common in functional programming, and also in object-oriented languages which have lambdas. This article describes the pattern with several examples of how to form pipelines, both to introduce the pattern to those unfamiliar with it, and to help people understand the core concepts so they can more easily take ideas from one language to another.

Smart Supply Network 3.0: The Next Big Thing?
“The internet of things is the result of connecting collectors, sensors, smart phones – all kinds of things – with the internet,” says Sherman, principal essentialist at Trissential. It is the natural follow-on to Web 1.0, “which was mostly static web pages,” and Web 2.0, “which was more interactive and collaborative,” he says. “Now we have this network of interconnected nodes that gives us unprecedented ability to connect people and things and all of the data in the supply chain.” Instead of a linear supply chain where things don’t work together, “we can now create an optimally performing network that I call the smart supply network – or, taking it one step further, Smart Supply Network 3.0,” he says.

Why Your High-Efficiency Data Center Needs Good PDUs
Power consumption in the data center continues to be a rising trend. The need to provide redundant power systems with high reliability and availability of compute resources is a major driving force for the increase in power utilization. Some data centers use just as much power for non-compute or “overhead energy” like cooling, lighting and power conversions, as they do to power servers. The ultimate goal is to reduce this “overhead energy” loss so that more power is dedicated to revenue-generating equipment, without jeopardizing reliability and availability of resources.

Dutch government can use spy data gathered illegally, court rules
Although the court admitted the possibility exists that intelligence agencies gather and potentially use information that wasn't collected in line with Dutch legislation governing such practices, it has ruled that collaboration with foreign intelligence agencies is necessary to ensure the safety of the Dutch people. Moreover, the Hague court noted that data gathered by foreign intelligence agencies is subject to less strict privacy rules than the information gathered by Dutch agencies.

10 More Robots That Could Change Healthcare
It is difficult to estimate just how many robots are wandering the halls of our local hospitals, because it depends on how you define robot. For instance, at least 800 hospitals use telepresence robots. These are rolling devices controlled by doctors and equipped with cameras and tools to allow for remote consultations. There are also "robot surgeons" like the da Vinci, which also require a human to operate them remotely. Both of these are innovative, but they aren't robots so much as remotely operated machines. We wouldn't call a remote control toy car a robot.

The 7 principles of highly effective innovation culture change programs
Innovation culture is one of the five cornerstones on which innovation success builds. The other four are strategy, processes, organization/management/governance and networks/ecosystems. Actually, two thirds of executives regard culture to be more important than the firm’s strategy or its operating model, as a 2013 study by the Katzenbach Center has found. Ex-IBM CEO Lou Gerstner, who led one of the largest business transformations in history, even went further by saying that “culture is everything.” Changing culture is not easy and one in two attempts will fail. This figure may come as a surprise given the fact that since the mid-2000s, organizational change management and transformation have become permanent topics on the management agenda.

Tim Cook talks about Apple's drive for business penetration
This is the first time Apple has acknowledged that those numbers don't give the full story about the iPad in the enterprise market. During questions Cook acknowledged that penetration in business is low -- 20% -- compared to notebook adoption, which he pegged at over 60%. He went so far as to say Apple wins if it can drive penetration from 20% to 60%. Those figures certainly match a lot anecdotal evidence about the breadth of iPad use across a range of industries. It also highlights the importance of the partnership with IBM. As the tablet market has matured in the U.S. and other developed countries, we've seen slower refresh cycles compared to smartphones.

Lessons Learned Building Distributed Systems at Bitly
Asynchronous messaging has its complexities, though, and in many occasions it can be more natural to handle a certain kind of operations synchronously. As examples of this, Sean mentioned that URL shortening is implemented at bitly as a fully synchronous operation, due to the requirement for it to be as fast as possible and consistent, meaning that the same shortened URL should not be returned to different users. On the other hand, analytics have different requirements altogether that make it a suitable candidate for going fully asynchronous. So, when bitly wants to collect and process some metrics data related to a user action on a link, it just enqueues it downstream, where it will be eventually dealt with without much concern for how long this will take.

Quote for the day:

"When nobody around you measures up, it's time to check your yardstick." -- Bill Lemly

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