July 13, 2015

An Algorithmic Sense of Humor? Not Yet.

Radev and co say the results provide some insight into the nature of funny captions. “We found that the methods that consistently select funnier captions are negative sentiment, human-centeredness, and lexical centrality,” they say. That’s a curious study that is hard to evaluate. The researchers acknowledge that there is no surprise in finding that negative sentiment correlates with funniness; human-centeredness is also an expected property of humor. The significance of lexical centrality is less clear. And therein lies the problem with this kind of research. It’s easy to imagine that one goal from this kind of work would be to create a machine capable of automatically choosing the best caption from thousands entered into the New Yorker competition each week.

Your Data Center – White or not White-Box Switches

They want the ability to automate and drive operations cost down and transform to cloud economics. They want to scale their architecture in an open multi-vendor environment that can be managed at velocity in a simplified agile manner without any compromise on security or compliance. They want to be able to provision and apply policies across the entire infrastructure without the cumbersome or possible errors that may jeopardize security and business uptime. And as they run physical and virtual workloads, they want an infrastructure that is transparent and enable these workloads to reside anywhere without restrictions on movements. Does whitebox switch model help these customers in that journey? Cisco’s Frank D’Agostino sat down with Forrester Andre Kindness to discuss this topic.

How CIOs can create the voice of IT

"Smart CIOs are aware that just like the cell phone space, their world has become commoditized," says Kristen Lamoreaux, president of Lamoreaux Search LLC, an information technology-focused placement firm. "Every one of their business leaders has options. They no longer have to go to IT for computer services -- they can go to Amazon and order what they want in three clicks. Therefore, IT needs to demonstrate its value … and CIOs are recognizing they need to step up their game in terms of communications." ... "As I start building out the elastic nature of IT, I need someone to help communicate and change the conversation I have with business and put things in business-enablement terms—not technical terms," Bhagat explains.

'Platform revolution' signals the end of industry boundaries

One key implication of the platform revolution is that industry boundaries blur as platforms take over and customers' demands and behaviors continue to evolve. In the platform era, a drug store chain becomes a healthcare provider, as is the case with Walgreens; a phone manufacturer becomes a bank. And most of these platforms seek to deliver "an outcome" for customers rather than a product. Increasingly, customers come to a company for a result -- "I want to improve my health, I want more leisure time, I want more convenience in how I manage my home," Daugherty said, outlining this shift in customer demand. The "outcome economy" doesn't just apply to consumers; the shift is broad and affects the B2B world as well, including Accenture, he said.

Computers Still Beat Mobile for Online Shopping

Reasons for the hesitation to shop on mobile devices could be related to the potential for errors, the study said. "While Amazon offers customers one-click purchasing, thus avoiding the tedium and potential error involved with entering credit card and address information, even this is not a perfect solution for first-time buyers, and is often not available on most other retailer sites," the study's authors wrote. "Until that changes, the computer may remain the device of choice for e-commerce, meaning retailers ought to continue optimizing the large-screen online retail experience for consumers."

IoT analytics brings new levels of innovation to new product development

In order to develop and market new products most effectively, you need to create a "single point of truth," or a body of data and insights that is comprehensive, accurate and timely.  These data and insights will provide all disciplines within the company involved in designing, manufacturing and marketing a new product the information they need to make critical decisions – product features, pricing, distribution and related functions. ... Streetline is a good example of how a company is using what some are calling IoT analytics to build out new products. The company recently launched Streetline IoT Gateway, part of the company’s mission to create smart cities and smart campuses.

How Digital NEST could lift a struggling rural community 

Digital NEST works on two primary levels — the first is providing access to tech, and also providing access to a diverse community. It's modeled after companies like Google and Apple, so there's plenty of food, the furniture is moveable, and it's just a cool place for kids to set up shop. The second level is education. Digital NEST offers short courses they call Institutes that cover everything from how to write a resume, to graphic design, coding, and videography. Basically, any tech skills that could lead to a job, Martinez said. It's impossible to explain the mission of Digital NEST without getting into the much larger, flawed ecosystems of both the tech industry and the plight of a community like Watsonville.

The Mobile Arms Race: Why Privacy Is the Next Battleground

It’s unclear how much privacy — or the perception of it — will matter in the mobile race toward “big data.” The concept of big data involves piecing together information from multiple areas to create new insights. This approach requires the consumer to share more in order to receive more personalized and relevant features. ... Data and the features that can be built around customer information have become the current battleground in the mobile wars because tools like machine learning represent the last frontier in a mature market. “We’ve reached a period of incremental innovation, and Google and Apple are looking for the next big leap,” says Saikat Chaudhuri, an adjunct management professor

How techies can volunteer their skills to help nonprofits

Finding others who want to use their tech skills for good is a great place to start. One possibility is Catchafire, a platform that matches talented people with causes they are passionate about. Basically, you pick a topic you care about, like "black male achievement," "maternal health," or "animals," and then pick what you're good at. It could be "data analysis, "digital marketing," "engineering," "web development," or a range of other fields in technology. Catchafire helps you find a project to work on from there. It may be remote or in person, one-day long or several months long. It shows you how much money you're helping save by donating your technical skills, and you get to practice those skills in the process.

The Most Common Reasons Why Software Projects Fail

Project failure can be defined as one or a combination of cost overruns, late deliveries, poor quality, and/or developing a product that does not get used. Regardless of their involvement during the planning stages, more often than not, software developers bear the brunt of the responsibility for such situations; after all, they’re the ones who built the application. However, closer examinations of the projects do not always show evidence of incompetence. ... Being clear on these definitions ensures projects get off on the right foot with realistic targets and an understanding of the project’s constraints. Not doing so can send a project on a death march from the start due to one of more of the following factors.

Quote for the day:

“The only way to follow your path is to take the lead.” -- Joe Peterson

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