December 27, 2014

UPS ORION Advanced Analytics Case Study
We then learned another lesson on the difference between “feasible” and “implementable”. There must be a balance between consistency and optimality. Advanced optimizations are great at rearranging things to find the lowest cost alternative. But that means that from day-to-day, they could significantly change a route just to save a penny. As you can imagine, drivers don’t like this and neither do customers.  We chose to add business rules and subjective parameters to limit and control the day-to-day variations. This not only improved consistency and acceptance by the drivers, but made the solution from ORION more understandable to front-line personnel, all while continually improving the experience for our customers.

Microsoft and Google Make Odd Bedfellows
It’s true, their businesses are more similar than they used to be, or rather Microsoft has evolved to compete more directly with Google’s cloud model, but there are ways both of them benefit from some of the same trends and developments. Technology firms believe in technology solutions the way capitalists have faith in capitalism and the Pope accepts the Church as true. So, in many respects, you would expect Microsoft and Google to have a similar job of persuading all of us that technology is the answer to all our ills.

“Smart” Software Can Be Tricked into Seeing What Isn’t There
The researchers can create images that appear to a human as scrambled nonsense or simple geometric patterns, but are identified by the software as an everyday object such as a school bus. The trick images offer new insight into the differences between how real brains and the simple simulated neurons used in deep learning process images. Researchers typically train deep learning software to recognize something of interest—say, a guitar—by showing it millions of pictures of guitars, each time telling the computer “This is a guitar.” After a while, the software can identify guitars in images it has never seen before, assigning its answer a confidence rating.

Examining New Mission-Focused Capabilities
The video at this link and embedded below captures the content and dialog of a webinar which examined new capabilities of Cloudera and Intel, with a focus on capabilities that provide a full stack solution to many key enterprise mission needs. The webinar included insights by Cloudera’s Senior Director of Technology Webster Mudge and Intel’s Enterprise Technology Specialist Ed Herold, plus questions from an informed audience. Results of the recent white paper on this topic were also presented.

Security Prediction: The Rise of the Third-Party Risk
Over the next year, third-party providers will continue to come under pressure from targeted attacks and are unlikely to be able to provide assurance of data confidentiality, integrity and/or availability. Organizations of all sizes need to think about the consequences of a supplier providing accidental, but harmful, access to their intellectual property, customer or employee information, commercial plans or negotiations. And this thinking should not be confined to manufacturing or distribution partners. It should also embrace your professional services suppliers, your lawyers and accountants, all of whom share access, oftentimes to your most valuable data assets.

IT Professionals Not So Jolly This Holiday Season
"With a more global workforce and customer base, companies must be able to cater to various time zones, cultures and customs, even through the holidays. Every minute the network or the site is down is a blow to productivity," he said."Further, we have to remember security for the network never takes vacation. It requires constant vigilance to ensure that an organization's most critical data is kept safe." Since many users aren't experienced remote workers, when they attempt to be online over the holidays, survey respondents noted that more than half (57 percent) of users experience problems with network access.

Business Intelligence Analysts as Architects
Likewise, an architect who doesn’t understand how to translate their artistic visions is less an architect than just a competent artist. When a building owner is truly receptive to the architect suggesting what “could be done” and why it might be useful to have that functionality, great things happen. Similarly, a business sponsor is more likely to embrace an IT partner who, because of an in-depth understanding of their goals, can offer suggestions that would otherwise be overlooked. The best Business Analysts can envision underlying possibilities in data that offer valuable business intelligence in ways the business may not even be aware. Thus, like a skilled architect, the skilled Business Analyst can solidify the vision and map the practical implications to a blueprint.

Singapore Wants a Driverless Version of Uber
Lam Wee Shann, director of the futures division for Singapore’s Ministry of Transport, said during a panel held at MIT last month that the government wants to explore whether autonomous vehicles could reduce congestion and remake the city into one built around walking, bicycling, and public transit. “Singapore welcomes industry and academia to deploy automated vehicles for testing under real traffic conditions on public roads,” Lam said in a follow-up e-mail interview. He declined to say whether Google or any other companies pursuing driverless cars have contacted Singapore yet.

6 aging protocols that could cripple the Internet
The biggest threat to the Internet is the fact that it was never really designed. Instead, it evolved in fits and starts, thanks to various protocols that were cobbled together to fulfill the needs of the moment. Few of those protocols were designed with security in mind. Or if they were, they sported no more than was needed to keep out a nosy neighbor, not a malicious attacker. The result is a welter of aging protocols susceptible to exploit on an Internet scale. Some of the attacks levied against these protocols have been mitigated with fixes, but it’s clear that the protocols themselves need more robust replacements. Here are six Internet protocols that could stand to be replaced sooner rather than later or are (mercifully) on the way out.

Enterprises Quickly Moving Beyond Cost Reduction To Customer-Driven Results
Business analytics is a pivotal factor in 35% of enterprises adopting cloud computing today, and 73% are seeing improved business performance after implementing cloud-based applications and strategies. These and other insights are from the KPMG study, 2014 Cloud Survey Report: Elevating Business in the Cloud. KPMG’s annual survey of enterprise cloud computing adoption finds there is a significant shift away from cost reduction alone to a more customer- and data-driven mindset on the part of C-level executives interviewed.

Quote for the day:

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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