April 29, 2015

Self-learning systems to replace humans in manufacturing
The potential for fully automated, self-learning, and self-aware manufacturing systems led a consortium of businesses and institutions led by the University of Nottingham to undertake the Fast Ramp-Up and Adaptive Manufacturing Environment (FRAME) project a few years back. "The aim of the FRAME project is a paradigm shift from the conventional human-­driven ramp-­up and system integration process to fully automated, self-­learning and self­aware production systems," according to a report issued at the conclusion of the investigation. Ramp-up is necessary anytime a manufacturing device is moved, deployed, or constructed, and it typically entails an intensive and person-centered process of fine-tuning and optimization.

The Evolving State of Cyber-Threats
A new survey from QuinStreet Enterprise, “2015 Security Outlook: Meeting Today's Evolving Cyber Threats,” examines the challenges. The survey of 387 business and IT executives found, among other things, that cyber-attacks are becoming more targeted and increasingly sophisticated, most companies have experienced a damaging breach in the past year, and the majority of organizations have increased their security budget and adopted a more aggressive approach to thwart new risks. Since cyber-attacks are increasingly multi-pronged and use more sophisticated methods to create a breach–including social engineering–there's also a growing focus on using the right combination of tools, technologies and methods–and integrating them more effectively. Here are some of the highlights from the research.

Design Is The New Differentiator In Mobile Banking
Mobile users have eagerly adopted their banks’ mobile products, and they’ve proven to be quick learners of new features. This means that there is a huge opportunity for banks as they enter and expand their presence in the mobile space. However, it’s an opportunity that comes with a certain degree of peril. Financial institutions need to make sure their mobile offerings are keeping up with the cutting edge of design and functionality. They also have to make sure that applications are easy enough to navigate and use so there’s no barrier to entry for novice users, because the truth is, there are still many customers waiting at the gates.

3 Keys to Effective Technology Scouting
At its core, business development is a means of creating long-term value and opening doors to new opportunities through partnerships. My previous experience running business development for a technology firm required me to find, evaluate, and act on new deals. Today this role would likely be called technology scouting. Regardless of what its called, technology scouting is analogous with farming in that it relies on nurturing diverse opportunities, weeding out bad opportunities, and acquiring new technology only when it is ready. Moreover, professional scouting is a highly collaborative, and sophisticated operation that requires a lot of communication. Facilitating the scouting process can quickly become a time drain.

Full-stack JavaScript developers: Study these cloud age wonders in the wild
The full-stack developer is an expert JavaScript programmer, is able to handle these full-stack tools, understands other languages such as HTML5 and CSS (yes, they are languages), and has wrapped his head round concepts like AJAX, Single Page Applications, and RESTful web services. Like all IT nerds, the full-stack JavaScript developer is attracted to shiny new technology. If a business investor is a fat cat moneyman and the system administrator is a UNIX neck-beard, then the full-stack JavaScript developer is a fashion-following hipster. You won't find one anywhere near a LAMP stack or PHP-driven CMS. And that full-stack phrase sets this new breed of JavaScript developer apart from the puny JavaScript front-end developer of the past.

Orlando Int'l Airport hops on beacons bandwagon with new app
Airports are ideal facilities to implement mobile engagement solutions into, as they are packed with domestic and foreign travelers seeking directions to their departure gates, baggage claims, help desks and more. By offering a singular mobile app, visitors can access all of their pertinent information in one spot, which lessens the burden for airport and airline employees. The “blue dot” GPS function can also indicate a user’s position and offer them a path to get to their desired location, a feature that may resonate well with international guests. While Orlando International Airport is currently not providing commerce options within the app, such as beacon-enabled push notifications with deals for in-terminal shops or restaurants, it may do so in the near future.

2014 saw step change in anti cyber attack collaboration, says UK official
“This is about collaboration between the public and private sectors, so there's a lot of figuring out how to do that in this world of cyber space. “It is going to take time and a lot of effort on both sides because none of us can tackle this problem by ourselves,” he said. In doing so there is recognition of the fact that many companies are multinational and, given the global nature of cyber space and the ability to sell products globally, this work has to be done in collaboration with industry. “In many ways the discussions that we have are about how we can harmonise and synchronise the efforts of the US and UK governments to make sure we are working together and not at crossed purposes,” he said.

Digitizing integrated patient care
The digitization of health care services is having an explosive impact on telecommunications infrastructure for hospitals and health systems. From high-resolution medical imagery to electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine and more, the amount of data traversing health care networks has grown exponentially, and it's putting a strain on many health care information technology (IT) departments. In addition, a number of health care institutions are sending medical data to and from more locations as physician and partner networks expand. Health care employees are demanding the ability to transfer files faster and farther than ever before to improve integrated care methods. Fortunately, new network technologies are replacing the outdated T1 and digital subscriber lines that have fed health care systems for years.

Zombie apps haunt BYOD workplaces
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the app stores don't release information about why the apps were removed, he said. "We'd like to see more transparency from the app stores, similar to what we see in other product recalls," Guerra said. "As consumers, if an app is recalled, we want to be notified." And the app stores don't automatically pull the zombie apps from user devices, he added. "Google has announced the capability of removing malware apps from the devices -- but only if the users have set it up as acceptable on their device," he said. Other than that, according to Appthority, neither Google nor Apple are offering any solutions to help protect enterprises from this risk. In addition to the zombie apps, many employees also have outdated apps on their smarphones and tablets.

The best approach might be counterintuitive
If a team member isn’t doing what you want them to do, you might be tempted to tell them, in great detail, what you want them to do and why. If the team member has not done the task before, that might be helpful to them. If the team member is talented and engaged at work, there may be something else getting in the way. Before telling them (again and again), try a counterintuitive approach. Ask them how they are doing with that goal or project — and listen. A team member new to the task might explain that he or she tried your approach but got off track and didn’t know how to fix it. He or she will ask again for your guidance and instruction.

Quote for the day:

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of  leadership.” -- Harvey S. Firestone

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