July 12, 2015

Inside the murky world of 'social media influencers'

Companies can connect with influencers by identifying and eventually contacting the people who line up with their brands, products and target demographics. For example, a clothing company hoping to gain traction with female millennials for an upcoming collection could partner with a fashion blogger to get potential buyers interested in products. An effective influencer might be someone target customers already follow and admire. Depending on the reach and status of the blogger or influencer, companies may send product samples, request reviews or profiles, or partner up for giveaways and contests. In some cases, influencers are sent on trips to particular hotels or destinations, supplied with cars, or invited to parties or events, with the understanding that they will promote the associated products or services.

Microservices 101: The good, the bad and the ugly

"That contract will include its interface: how do I invoke it remotely, what do I invoke it remotely with? A lot of people talk about microservices and REST [Representational State Transfer] and, absolutely, REST is a fundamental approach for microservices. But it's not necessarily the only way that you might want to talk to your service," Little said. "You might want to talk to it using a binary protocol. You might have no choice but to talk to it using some legacy protocols. With COBOL, even though you're moving to microservices, you might still have a significant amount of your architecture that's still tied to CORBA. It might not be the exclusive way to talk to your microservice but you might have to have a CORBA adapter in there somewhere."

Is Augmented Reality The Next Tech Revolution?

If the future of virtual and augmented reality technologies plays out the way the companies behind them hope it will, then one day your laptop, your smartphone, and your television could be replaced by devices that overlay virtual apps and experiences on your surroundings or create immersive experiences that let you experience an entirely different world in your living room. Two of the most exciting augmented reality systems on the way are Microsoft’s HoloLens and MagicLeap’s technology. Magic Leap is known for its secrecy about the hardware and software it’s building to deliver a “cinematic reality” experience that its CEO says is “disassociated” with the “legacy terms” of augmented reality and virtual reality.

Mistakes To Avoid With A Startup Board Of Directors

Most entrepreneurs avoid setting up a board of directors for their new business unless or until they sign up an investor who demands a seat on the board. That implies that a board of directors has no value to the founder, and is just another burden that to be assumed for the privilege of attracting outside investors or going public. In my view, nothing could be further from the truth. Especially for entrepreneurs who have not built and sold companies before, and need this startup to be an attractive acquisition or IPO target in a few years, I can’t think of a better way to enlist outside experts and keep them motivated to help you meet the challenges of a startup. High-performing startups today are the ones that use every resource at their disposal.

Fujitsu And Microsoft To Revolutionise The Manufacturing Through IoT Innovation

Both Microsoft and Fujitsu have stated that the solution has a range of different applications and can be tailored to a wide array of different sectors, which in turn will give both companies experience of other markets. This move is not the first by either company into developing IoT/M2M solutions. It follows Fujitsu’s IoT innovation drive to expand its core data centres in Japan in order to accelerate demand for its cloud services. For Microsoft, this is one of two recent IoT innovation collaborations, the other being its partnership with Miele, the manufacturer of domestic appliances, to produce a new breed of smart appliances, following a proof-of-concept study.

How R can supercharge data science

Already we’re seeing the capabilities of R bear fruit across companies both new and traditional: Norway’s eSmart Systems has been deploying R-based forecasting models in the cloud to help optimize the country’s power grid using data from smart meters. American Century Investments is using R as the basis for its quantitative investment platform. The National Weather Service uses R in its River Forecast Centers to help predict flooding. Real-estate analysis company Trulia uses R to help predict home prices. R is part of Twitter’s Data Science Toolbox, used for monitoring the site’s user experience. The list goes on. But despite this widespread use, we’re really just beginning to understand the power of today’s advanced statistical platforms.

Group Policy Terminology and Concepts

A group policy object (GPO) is an Active Directory object which contains one or more Group Policy settings which affect the configuration settings for users or computers. A GPO acts as a container for the settings configured in Group Policy files. The Active Directory components that can be linked to a GPO are computers, sites, domains, organizational units (OUs). By linking a GPO to sites, domains, and OU actually applies the GPO settings to any user or computer objects within that particular container. As already mentioned, a GPO can be thought of as being a container that contains Group Policy settings. The GPO identifies the following components of Group Policy:

Pens Are Making a High-Tech Comeback

Everyone has different ideas for how it’ll work. Livescribe’s pen uses special paper which helps the system digitize your writing for you. With Phree, you’re separating input and output, like moving a mouse in your hand and seeing the cursor on the screen move—nothing comes out of the pen when you scribble it, but the exact lines show up on the screen. Wacom makes both a product where you write on the screen (Cintiq) and products with a pressure-sensitive pen-input tablet that sits on your desk (Intuos). Microsoft’s researchers believe, however, that the only way to advance pen-based input is for you to write directly on the screen.

How Android Wear can change the way you travel

Android Wear improves your trip and helps you with the often excessive number of details that come with planning one. Of course, you get the same alerts you get on your phone: flight reminders, nearby places to check out, and hotel price drops. Since they come to your watch, your travel partner doesn’t get irritated that yet again that you’ve whipped out your phone. If you do it right, you’ll actually use less technology during your travel and spend more time looking around. But arriving at such travel bliss takes some work on your part. You’ll need to ensure your Google account is optimized to mine the right travel details, and of course you’ll want the proper apps. Here’s how I get my Moto 360 ready to get a better experience out of each trip.

Infrastructure as a Service and Cloud Technologies

Besides the economic advantages from a cost perspective, the main competitive advantages are the flexibility and speed the cloud architecture can add to your IT environment. In particular, this kind of architecture can provide faster deployment of and access to IT resources, and fine-grain scalability. A recent survey indicated the issues that beginner and experienced enterprise cloud users face. 4For beginners, the main issues are security, managing multiple clouds, integration with current systems, governance, and lack of expertise. Experienced companies face issues of compliance, cost, performance, managing multiple clouds, and security.

Quote for the day:

"Disruptive thought is seeing something normally ignored to find value in what's different" -- @terencemauri

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