August 20, 2015

10 Tips to Improve your Corporate Sustainability

Most sustainability initiatives are initiated without a thorough analysis of their outcomes. Many of them are funded for many years, with very little due diligence on their outcomes. Every sustainability initiative should always include a feedback loop in the processes that it undertakes. It could start, simply, by periodically assessing the performance and outcomes of the sustainability initiatives. If this is not possible then the initiative itself needs to be reviewed and outcomes clearly stated before it is allowed to continue. The feedback loop should reach as many affected stakeholders as possible. Once identified, the initiatives with the strongest feedback loop will most likely be identified as the high performers.

New chips took a backseat to robots and 3D cameras

Intel didn’t talk much about its upcoming Skylake desktop CPUs this week, but it did reveal that the chip has an integrated DSP used for a feature called Intel Smartsound, whch will allow computers to listen out for audio signals without using up too much power. It worked with Microsoft to build an upcoming technology for Windows 10 called Wake on Voice, which will let you walk up to a Windows 10 in sleep mode and bring it to life by saying “Hey Cortana.” Some smartphones already have this always-listening feature, but it’s not available yet on a PC. The catch is, we’re told Wake on Voice won’t arrive with the first Skylake chips, which means it won’t be supported in the first wave of Windows 10 PCs.

Patient care put at risk by IT problems at London NHS trust

Southwark’s continuing care team ran into further difficulties when it emerged that administrators were classifying patients in inconsistent ways on the TCM database. In one case staff were using the “deceased” field in the database to record the date of the end of a care package, creating confusion over whether patients were living or dead, Rochford revealed. In another case, administrators were only classifying cancer patients under palliative care, whether they were terminally ill or not, while failing to record other patients with life-threatening conditions as palliative, she said. “You could not follow a patient history. I could not tell what their diagnosis was, whether it was cancer or dementia, because they were coding them in the wrong way,” she said.

NFV use cases emerge as IoT evolves

IoT applications have very different network requirements and characteristics than the smartphones and tablets that currently dominate mobile networks. CSPs have started to use NFV to build IoT-specific sections of their mobile networks with new, virtual Evolved Packet Cores (EPCs). EPCs have many sub-elements that providers will use in different combinations for specific IoT applications. Virtual EPCs give CSPs the ability to cost-effectively customize their networks for individual customers, industries and applications -- critical in the diverse world of IoT. In addition to the EPC, additional NFV elements that CSPs may use to enable the IoT include routing, security, SDN controllers, monitoring and service assurance.

Design Thinking Comes of Age

Design thinking, first used to make physical objects, is increasingly being applied to complex, intangible issues, such as how a customer experiences a service. Regardless of the context, design thinkers tend to use physical models, also known as design artifacts, to explore, define, and communicate. Those models—primarily diagrams and sketches—supplement and in some cases replace the spreadsheets, specifications, and other documents that have come to define the traditional organizational environment. They add a fluid dimension to the exploration of complexity, allowing for nonlinear thought when tackling nonlinear problems.

Rise of the IoT Architect

It seems sensible to have just such a role dedicated to IoT with the necessary breadth in know-how to oversee the many constituent roles and teams. The challenge of course is that with IoT being so nascent there are very few people with the level of skills, knowledge and business authority let alone actual experience across so many disciplines. Creating current architects can take years and some think that this role may take a decade to establish. Of course that means in the interim there will be challenges, but it also means that organizations who see IoT as being significant to their future need to start investing in such individuals now. The flip side to this is that there are current roles within organizations that already possess elements of the skills required by an IoT architect.

How HTTP/2 Eliminates Technical Debt

The technical debt here is accumulated because the code is tightly-coupled to those hosts (and there’s technical ops debt, too, in maintaining those additional CNAMEs in DNS but for today let’s just focus on the code, shall we?) and any changes to the hosts requires changes to the application. Which is bad, because they can be spread out across a whole lot of code in a larger organization. Domain sharding in the application itself, too, can be a burden on the network and downright horrific for mobile applications as it requires additional DNS lookups along with all the extra overhead associated with TCP connections. A new binary framing layer enables full request and response multiplexing and eliminates the need for multiple connections.

Threat intelligence needs to grow up

“Threat intelligence,” added Glines, “is also internal threats, not just rogue employees but machines and devices that are rogue. It’s also employees that don’t know any better.” Enterprises need to do an internal audit to understand their internal and external vulnerabilities because they can’t protect themselves if they don’t know what they are protecting against. “It’s important to understand the attack life cycle, and there are free and open source information feeds out there. The problem with open source feeds is that they provide a lot of information that is not always valuable.” More boutique vendors will be able to provide companies with more valuable and accurate information that will assess intelligence and invest appropriately based on customer needs.

Francis Ford Coppola muses on power of instinct in data-driven culture

Coppola said he relies on instinct and his subconscious, which for him sometimes acts like a broken record, repeating the same thing over and over, to help surface a good idea or the right fit for a role. Specifically with casting, he said it's hard not to root for each candidate in the moment, so he gives himself space and time to mentally sift through auditions before making a decision. "You know how you go to a party and the next day, one person you met sticks with you. That's what I do with casting. Who stuck with me that I can't stop thinking about?" he said. But risks don't always equate to reward -- even for Coppola.

Version Control, Git, and Your Enterprise

Developers want the power to do whatever they may find a need to do. With Git they have more granular control of what is done and how, then they have experienced with other tools. Often Git’s large array of operations is split into two categories – the porcelain and the plumbing. Obviously making an analogy to something like a sink, the point being made is that the traditional tools let you interact with the porcelain, that is the abstraction and controlled interface to the tool, but Git also lets you get under the basin and behind the faucets to change how version control is executed, including rewriting history. Whether a developer needs that power or not, they like knowing that it is at their disposal to use.

Quote for the day:

“Think continally about what you want, not about the things you fear.” -- Brian Tracy

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