/* ---- Google Analytics Code Below */

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wirelessly Charging Devices from your Washer

An unexpected thought covered in Engadget.    " ...   WattUp technology promises to deliver power over the same radio bands as a WiFi router and is apparently able to charge a smartphone from distances of up to 15 feet. The idea, at this early stage, is to cram these power transmitters into Haier's refrigerators, washing machines and microwaves, so that you can re-juice your phone while you wait for your dinner and do your laundry. .. " 

Mending Networks

Network design is a favorite topic.  It was taught in Operations Research classes.  It was both analytical and visual.  Combining two appealing ideas. Here, more about the form of networks that have best system resiliency.

Virtual Reality Boom Beyond Gaming

In Ars Technica:  For a while there it seemed like VR was being used much less outside of gaming. Now the tide seems to have turned.   This article is rich in surprising examples. " ... Considering that the new wave of virtual reality doesn’t even have any consumer-facing hardware products at the moment, it’s pretty incredible how many different companies and industries are already exploring the medium’s potential. It might be gaming that convinces millions of people to put a VR headset in their house, but it could very well be these non-gaming uses for virtual reality that turn the devices into what Oculus is already calling “the final compute platform.” .... " 

Ant Size Radios

Back to idea of swarming intelligence, but now linking to an Internet of Things.

" ... Scientists at Stanford University have built ant-sized radios that could one day help track patients' temperatures, turn on coffee makers in the morning and prevent forgery.

A Stanford engineering team has built a radio, equipped with sensors, computational units and antennas one-tenth the size of Wi-Fi antennas, that is able to gain all the power it needs from the same electromagnetic waves that carry signals to its receiving antenna. No batteries are required.

These radios, which are designed to compute, execute and relay commands, could be the key to linking gadgets together in the increasingly popular idea of the Internet of Things. ... " 

Enterprise Message from Microsoft

In Computing Now:   I have started to wonder more about how the typical office utilities and methods, like Office 365, will integrate with the cognitive sciences. Documents are information, will they look the same when converted into knowledge?   What will the tools and services be that will connect these as needed in the cloud?   A technical view at the link that does not address this, but is about the infrastructure involved.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cognitive Systems Colloquium

Jim Spohrer writes, more at the live blogging link:

" ... Today’s Cognitive Systems Colloquium at IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., brings together leaders in science, technology and psychology to discuss the coming era of cognitive computing and to craft a shared agenda among industry, academia and government. Come back during the all-day event for updates on presentations by Nobel Prize laureate Daniel Kahneman, A.I pioneer Danny Hillis and others.   More. 

Live Blogging from the IBM Research Cognitive Systems Colloquium smarterplanet.tumblr.com

Today's Cognitive Systems Colloquium at IBM Research brings together leaders in science, technology and psychology to craft a shared agenda for the future. By Steve Hamm Today's Cognitive Systems Colloquium at IBM Research in Yorktown.  ... " 

White Noise for the Nose

We spent much time looking at how to deliver aromas  Which are difficult to manage in complex spaces.  Now some research indicates that you can use the equivalent of white noise to remove pungent aromas.

Service Robots at Lowes

Lowes has always been high on innovation.  Now taking a new retail step forward.  I like in particular the idea of the robots working collaboratively with live associates  A Work force has to be collaborative.

 In Retailwire: 
" .. In late November, the Lowe's-owned Orchard Supply Hardware will be rolling out in-store robotic shopping assistants, which glide around the store interacting with customers and catering to their shopping needs.

A promotional video posted on YouTube shows the sleek robotic shopping assistant, OSHbot, rolling up to individuals in the store and interacting with them, introducing itself by name. OSHbot is shown identifying items that customers place within its view and leading the customer to where similar items can be found. Marco Mascarro CEO and co-Founder of Fellow Robots explains that OSHbot maps out the store as it moves through it, so that it is aware of sales floor reconfigurations and changes in stock. OSHbot is also shown enabling touch-screen searches for items, communicating with customers in multiple languages, and facilitating cross-store video chats with live associates. .. " 

Also more technical details in IEEE.

Connected Health Focus

The latest Cisco Focus Magazine is devoted to Connected Health.

" .... This month, Focus, Cisco’s monthly online publication, takes a look at the latest Connected Health trends and technology news.  Data-driven decisions, better specialized care and improved patient experiences are transforming healthcare, and I encourage you to read about it in this month’s issue of Focus.

Highlights include:

The Internet of Everything in HealthcareFocus
The Big Data Opportunity in Medicine
New Human-Machine Interfaces
The Startups are Coming
Telemedicine Transforms Care in Brazil
The Devices Making Healthcare Smarter .... " 

A Less Stable Social Media World

Social media leading to a less stable world?   In Knowledge@ Wharton:  " ... While social media provides myriad benefits, the advances in connectivity and wealth may come at the expense of the state and the world’s stability, writes Curtis Hougland, CEO of Attentionusa.com, a global social marketing agency. ... " 

Recomputing Visualizations

Recently did work on the area of laboratory data business intelligence, and this work at MIT came up:

" ... In the age of big data, visualization tools are vital. With a single glance at a graphic display, a human being can recognize patterns that a computer might fail to find even after hours of analysis.

But what if there are aberrations in the patterns? Or what if there’s just a suggestion of a visual pattern that’s not distinct enough to justify any strong inferences? Or what if the pattern is clear, but not what was to be expected?

The Database Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has released a data-visualization tool that lets users highlight aberrations and possible patterns in the graphical display. The tool then automatically determines which data sources are responsible for which. ... " 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Watson Analytics Preps the Data

In InfoWorld:  Looking forward to seeing this.  It is a very key thing to getting analytics done right.  " ... "Often what business users do is rely on a data scientist or business analysts to help them, which can be too slow, or those people may not be available. So they make a decision without any analysis," said Eric Sall, IBM vice president of marketing for business analytics. ... ".  Cleansing, though,  can be a subjective thing,  removing some of the useful essences of knowledge.  So I want to see the details here before handing over the data.

IBM and Twitter form Partnership to Help Enterprise Decisions

Press release:

" .. Twitter and IBM  today announced a landmark partnership that will help transform how businesses and institutions understand their customers, markets and trends – and inform every business decision. The alliance brings together Twitter data that distinctively represents the public pulse of the planet with IBM’s industry-leading cloud-based analytics, customer engagement platforms, and consulting services. ..... " 

Additional Information and Links:

Hashtag: #IBMandTwitter
Main landing page: www.ibm.com/IBMandTwitter
IBM News Room Kit: https://ibm.biz/BdE2g2
Press Release: https://ibm.biz/BdE28s
IBM Smarter Planet Blog: http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2014/10/tapping-public-pulse-planet.html
Twitter Blog: https://blog.twitter.com/ibm

#IBMInsight

Health Scanning with Sweat Sensors

From our local University of Cincinnati, whose board I was on for years:

" ... A University of Cincinnati partnership is reporting a significant leap forward in health diagnostics that are more accurate than what’s available today, yet considerably less invasive than something like a blood screening. It’s a lightweight, wearable device that analyzes sweat by using a smartphone.  UC researcher Jason Heikenfeld is holding next generation of sweat sensor pad and flexible bluetooth circuit. .... 

In an article published in the latest issue of IEEE Spectrum Magazine, Jason Heikenfeld, a UC professor of electrical engineering and computing systems, highlights new developments regarding the gadget that can gather vital medical information in almost real time.  ... " .    Bravo. Look forward to hearing more.

Analyzing Your Quantified Self

In Mashable:   We are quantifying ourselves every day.  A massive amount of data, mostly shared.   But it is also a movement that is attempting to leverage their own data.  I heard much this week about democratizing this ability, but have not seen much evidence of it.

" ... The rise of the quantified self movement means we're all living by numbers. In the past, industries harped on understanding consumers and measuring their behavior — today, consumers themselves are tracking and generating enormous amounts of data.

Before things like smartphones or wearables, we’d have to consult doctors or data technicians or manually log activities to determine how many calories we consume and burn. But now, with Fitbits, Fuelbands, Jawbones and Whistles (even our dogs are tracking activity!), we can capture this data in a snap, see it updated in real time and use it to make better, more healthy decisions. ... " 

Water Canary

Brought to my attention as a sensor and data gathering example: The Water Canary.

" ... The Water Canary is an inexpensive water-testing device that makes it possible to collect real-time water quality data from the field. With the push of a button, anyone can measure water quality and share that information with the world. .. 

By placing real-time water quality information within reach, the devices make it possible to quickly identify invisible threats so that appropriate actions can be taken to protect people and ecosystems and prevent hazards from erupting into full-scale emergencies. ... "  

Big Data Analytics Platforms

In Informationweek: " ... Data analysis is a do-or-die requirement for today's businesses. We analyze notable vendor choices,  from Hadoop upstarts to traditional database players. ... " 

Future of Automobiles from Bill Ford

From McKinsey:  Long view on the future of automobile technology.  " ... There are a lot of forces converging in the auto industry right now, including urbanization in emerging markets, powertrain electrification, emissions concerns, and trends toward active safety systems, semiautonomous driving, and vehicle connectivity. Is it an understatement to call this an interesting time? .... "   Interview with  " ... William Clay Ford Jr. is known for taking the long view. The great-grandson of Henry Ford and the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford was an early advocate for sustainability at the company, which earned the number-one spot on Interbrand’s list of Best Global Green Brands in 2014 and also has been improving its competitive position.  ... " 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Key to Change is Middle Management

In the HBR:  With some interesting hints on how this can be achieved.  A little soft, but useful thoughts.   Middle management is a squishy thing, strongly culture influenced. It can be very influential, or just support staff.

Big Basketball Data

In Wired:  Excellent non technical look at tracking the complexity of sports.  Have followed this technically for a few years, this is a good non-tech view.  Nice example too of how data can be scrounged from multiple sources ...

" ... tracking 10 players in constant motion isn't trivial. He started scouring fan sites and sports coverage, and eventually he found stats for every shot taken in the NBA. It wasn't much—just who took the shot, from where, and whether it went in. But it was a start.

The data wasn't exactly private, but neither was it public—Goldsberry scraped it from the web. Specifically, he found that ESPN.com published shot charts with the box score of each game. He found the files that powered them and grabbed their information. “They were publishing these data sets but not using them to the potential that I saw in them,” Goldsberry says.

Eventually he pulled together a database with the spatial coordinates for every shot taken from 2006 to 2011—more than 700,000 of them. Then Goldsberry the cartographer teamed up with Goldsberry the hoops junkie. “I wanted to find a way to get this data to sing a new song, to tell us things like where Kobe is good and where Kobe is bad,” he says. And he wanted to do more than just crunch numbers. Goldsberry wanted to show people, “to communicate to players, and fans, and the media.”  ... ' 

For the technically minded here is the paper.

Watson Determining Personality and Resonance of Message

Today at the Insight meetings we saw a Watson cognitive App being built from a number of Bluemix services and prefabricated Java.  Of particular interest was a user personality modeling mechanism.   They showed it being used to determine how well a message resonated with a recipient. A near definition of advertising.

The simple model was built and embodied in an App in a few minutes.  What they showed could be done by anyone with just a little computer dev experience.  Potentially a very big idea, especially when being used online.  Genesys was an example of a company using the idea today, for call center style applications.

It was unclear what theory of personality was being used.  Someone know?  I am sure there will be some push back on relevance of the model.  Also matches well with service and advisory applications.   I have asked for a complete demo video of the personality feature and will post it here, hopefully sometime soon.

#IbmInsight

Scene Understanding and Labeling Pixels

A problem I looked at for a startup a few years ago.  Ultimately it was chosen to address it by using crowdsourcing.  Here a Vimeo interview with Stephen Gould discusses image understanding and pixel labeling, the topic of   " ... Scene Understanding by Labeling Pixels".  What do you see? How about now? And now? Because that's what your computer sees. Can we teach it to understand that these arbitrary pixels are a tree, a car, a chair? Then can we teach it to put it all together and describe an entire scene ... Join us as we talk with Stephen Gould about how computer vision goes from individual pixels to full scenes, and then back again, in Scene Understanding by Labeling Pixels. ... " 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Watson Analytics Seen Today

Watson Analytics    Have yet to get a beta loaner, but today I did get several more in depth demonstrations of the idea.  In one case I was able to at least suggest entries.  The idea is good, but not new.  Why not have a data analytics system ask you for all the input needed to perform an analysis, have it perform it and then show the results, with some guiding words about the results.  An advisory style wizard.  With cautions.

But Watson is more than that, mainly because of its interface.  You choose the structure for the analysis based on the data.  Then it guides you in the right direction to get something meaningful.  Several unusual visualizations are used along the way.   One, for example, uses a word cloud to describe a decision tree. This struck me as very useful for an interface to be used to scan possible solutions quickly, say for an executive with little mathematics background.

Each interface comes with loaded additional options, suggestions or advice.  Still there might be some criticism for the complexity of some of their visuals. I am assuming that there will be warnings provided with information about the validity of the analysis. Looking forward to further hands on.

 #IBMInsight

Whole Foods Digital Signage

Whole Foods Store of the future utilizes digital signage.  They have been innovators in this space for some time.   " .... Whole Foods has unveiled a new range of touch screens and other digital tools at its new flagship store in Alpharetta, Ga., that incorporate social media and other technology to provide product information such as food source and nutrition. The move is part of the retailer's effort to stand out among an increasingly crowded market in which more traditional retailers are starting to offer natural and organic items.   ... " 

USPS to Test Delivery of Groceries

The idea has been suggested for years, now finally the Feds have approved a test.  Why not?   " ... Federal authorities have given approval for the U.S. Postal Service to commence a two-year test of a customized delivery program for grocery e-tailers. .... The USPS began operational tests on such a service earlier this year in partnership with AmazonFresh in San Francisco. The Postal Regulatory Commission approved a further test allowing for USPS to work with retail partners to deliver bins of groceries to customer homes between 3 and 7 a.m. ... " 

Haptic Handles

In CWorld:
It's not quite the same as thumbing a ride, but a cylindrical gadget that nestles in your palm can get you where you want to go.

Japanese mobile giant NTT DoCoMo on Monday showed off Yubi Navi, a prototype navigation and communication device that uses haptic feedback to convey information. ... " 

Big Data Retail Program

At Insight2014: IBM Big Data & Analytics: Retail Business and Industry Leadership Program  Retail continues to be an important place to gather and leverage complex data.  #ibminsight 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gartner Identifies Key Technology Trends

 I don't usually like top ten lists.  But in this list I do like the general descriptions.  Top strategic technology trends. No big surprises, and the order is debatable.

Tracking the Value of Corporate Get-togethers

This week attending IBM's big conference on Big Data and Analytics called Insight2014.  In progress all this week.  A huge affair with thousands of participants.  Each IBM participant is given an RFID tag.  They are allowed to opt out of this, but few do.  This allows IBM to understand not who particularly attends what, but how many people attend what parts of the conference, even the path of individual people.  You can also do data queries against the data.  How many people from a particular organization attended a key talk?   How many meals need to be ready for lunch. It's not that tagging has not been tried in conferences before, its that this data is designed to better understand the microstructure of the data. The statistics of the data.  In aggregate and in real time.  Leading to an understanding of the conference's value. A display in the lobby lets you visualize the results and pose new hypotheses.  An excellent example of behavioral data.

#ibminsight

Steganographic Malware

Network threats based on hidden malware.   " .... Researchers at the Hungary-based Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security have uncovered Duqu, an unusual form of steganography-based malware that embeds itself in Microsoft Windows machines, gathers information about industrial control systems, and then transmits it to its command-and-control center. ... " 

Galactic Shadows

My colleague Keith J Caserta has come out with a second book in his Kindle series called: Galactic Shadows. Science fiction about AI and how aliens are likely to interact with us.   His web page and ordering information. Much enjoyed his previous book: Soul Searching, reading this one now.

Fast Track Back to Kanban


It has been a considerable time since I have worked with Kanban, the lean,  just in time manufacturing process.   This InfoQ piece outlines what it is and a workshop that addresses how to achieve it.  Even including a Kanban game to teach the concepts.

" ... So you are considering getting started with Kanban, but where do you start? In this article we describe the approach we used in Danske Bank to get teams off to a good start with Kanban. You are free to use the material and content to get started yourself and the purpose of the article is to explain the what and how of the workshop to enable you to use it. .... " 

This also makes me think of electronic or e-Kanban, which has been integrated into corporate systems such as ERP.   I often thought of Kanban as 'activated' business process models.   Now with more data and better analytics, might we take e-Kanban further, analyzing the streams of data now created in the enterprise to create new kinds of Kanban intervention?   What might that look like?  Thoughts?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Productivity Startups

We need more of these, in particular startups that deliver more efficient connections to each other, supplanting regular e-mail, focus data to value and have the ability to improve process.

Kroger Scan, Bag and Go


Got a chance today to use the Kroger in-aisle checkout method at the Middletown,  Ohio Kroger today.   This was a concept we tested with many alternatives in the innovation center and in lab stores. Nicely done example here.

You pick up a small hand scanning device just inside the entrance.  A  sign billed it as being in test.  Only about half of maybe twenty devices were being used today.   This could be replaced with an App to simplify the process.  You scan your loyalty card barcode to identify yourself.   Then you are off and scanning.   Its easy to learn, tried the always problematic produce identification and weigh in, but as long as you followed the instructions it went fine. All barcode tagged items were identified first time.

You can add and remove items. Get total cost.  No way to upload a shopping list, which would be useful. Also no way I saw to see your whole basket at once.  A store item locator would be useful as well.  These additional features could be integrated into an App on the customers smartphone.  No obvious place to place your device when shopping,  so it takes up one hand.  Saw this solved with a handle-holster in some experiments. Did not check how this handled coupons.  No way to send any messages back to the shopper, an obvious next step.

It was a little unclear to find where to check out, but as expected this was being handled next to the other self checkout.  It works similarly to self checkout, payment is gathered by  a payment system or employee.  Any ID checks needed are signaled as well.  No wait at all occurred on a relatively busy Saturday afternoon. Overall a good experience that I would use again.

Business Strategy and Execution for CIO

In Future of CIO: Business strategy and execution challenges. " ... Many companies spend significant portion of time for formulating rock solid strategies, focuses on business strategy development and puts a lot of efforts to develop a great strategy with strategic initiatives. On the other hand, strategy execution does not get the same attention which leads to misalignment with business objectives and not achieving the expected results. But more specifically, what are the business strategy execution challenges? .... '

Watson Cognitive Computing as Taught at Columbia

How is Watson cognitive technology being taught today in universities?  Here is an example of how it is described in a curriculum at Columbia:

" ... IBM Watson is ushering in a new era of computing, cognitive systems.  Based on natural language processing, generate hypothesis, algorithmically test possible responses, navigate Big Data, deliver evidence based insights, and learn through iterations and outcomes, this new class of computing  behaves more like the world’s most sophisticated computer—the human brain.  Since its historic debut on Jeopardy!, IBM Watson has been put to work in healthcare and financial services helping to transform these industries.

This course covers background concepts for working with IBM Watson and semantic technology in general, highlighting the current research problems and describing existing solutions. Students will gain an appreciation for what it’s like to work in one of the most advanced software research environments in the world. They will have the opportunity of learning from the developers of IBM Watson, providing their own insights, ideas and solutions to problems.....  

The full course description 

Many Worlds

Many Worlds is a 1950s idea that came out of physics.  A result of  the math that works very well predictively at the tiny, particle level, but for the real world gives results that don't match our every day reality.   A new theory suggests why.   It may have implications for the future of computing.

Manufacturing and the IOT

Manufacturing and the Internet of Things.  "... Manufacturers like GM and Stanley Black and Decker are creating this platform for innovation by deploying open standards–based Internet Protocol (IP) technologies that converge their enterprise and plant floor networks.  ... " 

Friday, October 24, 2014

How Watson Works

A straight forward, non-technical video of how Watson/Cognitive is designed to work,  implemented in the real world.    Worth a look if you are at all interested.  This does not mean that considerable work will not be needed to use it for your application.  See also my previous note about the upcoming webinar for more directly practical information.

New Realities of Local Retail

In ThinkwithGoogle:
" ... The relationship between digital and local stores is changing—something we learned from our new Digital Impact on In-Store Shopping study, commissioned from Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands. From it, we identified three new realities of retail: digital drives in-store traffic; smartphones are in-store shopping assistants and varied shopping habits call for a holistic approach to measuring retail success. Savvy retailers are learning how to reach customers by better connecting the online to the offline and by caring less about where a sale happens and more about how to help shoppers convert. Some brands, such as Macy's, REI and Sephora, are already doing so. Find out how. ... "

P&G to Spin off Duracell

Not unexpected.  But the form of the move is unusual. Not a profitable enough business.  " .... Though P&G said that the Duracell has 'attractive operating profit margins... and cash generation,' it saw its growth prospects as limited. ... ".    What is the growth potential of batteries?  Many more devices but mostly chargeable.

Update:  Received through the Alumni network.

On the Role of the Chief Data Officer

Excellent piece here. Have worked in the area of regulatory compliance.  Here the idea is to consider the more formal roles involved to address this problem systematically over time.

" ... In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage and control the terabytes of data embedded within different parts of an organisation.  The evolution of the “data lake” into the “data ocean” has resulted in the necessity for companies to assign a custodian representing key stakeholders’ interests.  A perennial hot topic is the role of the chief data officer (CDO); according to Gartner, 25% of major global organisations will have appointed a chief data officer by the end of next year (Gartner, 2014)[1].

This article aims to discuss the topic of the CDO and in particular, data governance; what characteristics are required by the person entrusted to harness data and protect stakeholder interests in an organisation? Does the seniority of this person warrant a title at C-level to be truly effective?  Time to look at these points in more detail. ... " 

Former Apple Retail Store Manager Will help You Choose.

The Apple store is impressive.  A showy blend of service, expertise and demonstration.   With lots of geeky camaraderie.

The Genius Behind The Apple Store Wants To Help You Choose Your Next Gadget 
Former J.C. Penny CEO and Apple retail chief Ron Johnson has a new startup that hopes to help you buy new things, according to the Wall Street Journal's Daisuke Wakabayashi. Johnson said Enjoy, as the startup will be called, wants to help consumers find the right product for them.  Enjoy may fill a much-needed gap in technology retail. .... "

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Google and AI with DeepMind

More examples of Cognitive, here with Google.

" ... Google, the search company that's investing heavily in robotics, is teaming with Oxford University researchers to work on artificial intelligence.

In January, Google bought the London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind. Now the Google DeepMind group will work with two of Oxford's artificial intelligence (AI) research teams.

The teams will work on image recognition and natural language understanding, according to Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind and vice president of engineering at Google, in a blog post.

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, called the collaboration a smart move since AI technology could boost Google Maps, search and Google+, the company's social networking service.

"AI can be used to make applications more predictive, as well as make robots smarter," he said. "Well, it's most directly about robotics but the intelligence can be ported to other applications. It could help anticipate user needs. AI could help apps figure out what users might do based on their past actions." ... '

Available Watson Cognitive Services

Jim Spohrer points to a more complete list of Watson Bluemix services.  I am in the midst of exploring. Here is one example to give you an idea of the granularity of the cognitive offerings.  There are a total of 8 now, but they hint at more coming:

" ... Concept Expansion
Maps euphemisms or colloquial terms to more commonly understood phrases

The Concept Expansion service analyzes text and interprets its meaning based on usage in other similar contexts. For example, it could interpret 'The Big Apple' as meaning 'New York City'. It can be used to create a dictionary of related words and concepts so that euphemisms, colloquialisms, or otherwise unclear phrases can be better understood and analyzed.  .... " 

Update:  An Upcoming webinar on the topic.  Hands On: Building Your Own Watson Powered Application on Bluemix, October 29, 2014 | 11:00 a.m. Eastern / 8:00 a.m. Pacific
Register: http://bit.ly/1sUB50h  

Asimov on How People Get New Ideas

In Technology Review:  Long ago, unpublished essay by beloved science and science fiction author Issac Asimov.  His writings inspired me starting in Jr High.   Good thoughts.

Testing Machine to Machine Systems

Machines are easier to deal with than humans, at least when the machines are not compromised by humans.   This will increase in importance.   But also implies the curation of the process by humans. With the aid of Cognitive systems.   Much more from the talk at link.

" .... Devices are becoming increasingly interconnected through the internet where they are communicating directly with each other. Testing such machine to machine (M2M) systems can be difficult due to their complexity and the usage of different platforms, as Peter Varhol explained in his talk about testing in the M2M world at the QA&Test 2014 conference.

Machine to machine systems are networks of connected machines which usually have little or no human interaction when they are communicating. The machines will do things based on input from other machines. Examples are automotive control systems, home automation, aircraft and aerospace systems and retail or point of sale (POS) systems. These systems can be performing safety-critical or mission-critical functions, therefor it is important to assure that these systems can be accurately tested. .... "

Protein Imaging Data

In Nature:  Heard much about this topic in R&D when we were still in health care product development.  " ... Data bank struggles as protein imaging ups its game Hybrid methods to solve structures of molecular machines create a storage headache. ... ".    Its about the idea of curating structure.  An idea that implies human intervention, but likely with strong cognitive augmentation.

What's in Stock Nearby

In Adage:  Macy's Links With Google To Show Mobile Users What's In Stock Nearby ... Find That Gift You've Been Looking for in the Right Size, Color and Price  ... " .  Call it Precision shopping.

Good Thoughts on E-Mail Responses

Not about managing your email, but the often more important issue of how you should respond to serious questions in email. The most useful element: Pause.   " ... There is a simple two-step method to making the pause work for you. First, buy yourself some time to think. Second, follow the four simple C’s of effective communication that help determine how best to respond in terms of the context, content, channel, and contact. ...  " . Much more at the link.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Analyzing Ebola Data with Watson API

Technical.

A report via the Cognitive Systems Institute.
Note this is Under Development.  Should not be used conclusively.  It is an example of using Watson services via Bluemix.

Vikash Singh Ruhil. Data Scientist ( Graduate Assistant ) at St. John's University reports:

During HACKNY, I used bluemix service IBM Watson API for a ebola data analysis. Our service is live at http://ebolabigdata.org . Major part of API is under implementation. ....   " 

Here is another example from the competition called a Personality Badge:
   http://challengepost.com/software/tortellini-personality-badge

Debating Emotional Intelligence

How important is the concept? An interesting debate, that reminds me of the concept and what it has come to mean.   The author concludes:  " ....  I can’t emphasize enough the crucial importance of EI-based competencies for success in leadership roles. ... " 

BBC Time Line of Computing

A slideshow style timeline of the emergence and use of computing, broadly defined.   I dislike this style of presenting information, though I understand it is meant to give more room to advertising.  Also clearly a UK view, based on new declassified understanding of who built the 'First Digital Computer'.    Each slide contains an attached PDF, which I have not examined yet, a nice idea for source information, Great for new students of the topic.  I have always liked the topic of how early non electronic 'computing' links to current digital methods.

On Successful Innovation

Related to topics like Should we build a physical or virtual place to emphasize innovation.  Or should the process be more or less deliberate?    I agree that culture is important, and culture can, to a degree, be molded.

" ... Successful innovators care about solving interesting and important problems — innovation is merely a byproduct. If this distinction seems like hair-splitting, it isn’t. The two focuses create vastly different realities.

Focusing on innovating — as a worthy goal unto itself — tends to be born from self-centered motives: We need to protect ourselves from competitive forces. We need to ensure we have a growth engine. We need to keep up with other companies. To do all these things, we need to innovate. This is often a CYA perspective coming from an executive suite looking to protect its turf. It isn’t inherently bad. It’s just that this focus tends to create a culture where customers are on the sidelines, not in the center of the dialogue. ... " 

Social Robot for the Home: Jibo

The idea of a social, family robot is an interesting idea. None I have I have ever seen has worked very well, or has been very comforting.   Shades of Kismet from the same lab.    Now a new attempt, available in 2015, that is worth a look.  Nothing here to help you do any physical home chores, but just to be friendly.  The idea has been tried and sometimes successfully used  to amuse children, but will it work with adults?

" ... Cynthia Breazeal, the famed roboticist at MIT’s Media Lab and a pioneer of social robotics, is unveiling her latest creation today. Unlike her previous robots, created for research and used in settings like classrooms and hospitals, her newest robotic device is designed for people to use at home. Breazeal hopes users will find the robot, called Jibo, so fun and friendly that it will become "part of the family."

"Jibo, please introduce yourself," Breazeal says, looking at the little robot next to her during a demo last week in New York City.

Jibo doesn’t move. She tries again, and this time the robot springs to life, spins its body, blinks its eye, and talks about itself in an excited—if a bit robotic—voice. .... 

Jibo will come equipped with an initial set of apps, or "skills," as Breazeal calls them, that will allow it to play different "roles." For example, the robot will be able to act as a cameraman, tracking faces and snapping pictures so you can be in the photos. It could also act as an assistant who reminds family members of their schedules, or as a telepresence avatar that helps people connect with each other.  ... "  

Disruptor Foundation

A note from colleague Julie Anixter reminded me of the Disruptor Foundation, where she is executive in residence.  

"  .... Co-founded by Professor Clayton Christensen and Craig Hatkoff in 2009, the Disruptor Foundation is a private 501(C)3 non-profit whose mission is to raise awareness of and encourage the advancement of disruptive innovation theory and its application in societally-critical domains.

The Foundation’s marquee event, the annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, is presented in collaboration with the Tribeca Film Festival and the Harvard Business School’s Professor Clayton Christensen, originator of disruptive innovation theory.  ... "   

Much more background at the link.