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

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Google Building its Own Quantum Chip

Have followed quantum computing from the beginning.  Even offered some industrial test problems for potential solution.  Followed  NASA and Google Tests of research and startup efforts. Good to see real solutions approaching.  Google has the right kind of problems.  See tag below on Quantum efforts.   In Technology Review:

Google’s New Chip Is a Stepping Stone to Quantum Computing Supremacy
The search giant plans to reach a milestone in computing history before the year is out. ...  by Tom Simonite .... " 

Towards an Era of Mass Collaboration

Good overview of the idea, and players that are helping to make it happen.  with similar challenges to any kind of group work measurement.

We're Entering A New Era of Mass Collaboration    By Greg Satell @Digitaltonto  In Inc:

In a networked world, the best way to become a dominant player is to be an indispensable partner .... "

Amazon Rolls Out Lex Chatbot Tools

Amazon rolls out conversational Chatbot interface 'Lex'.  Am looking for better yet conversational and memory capabilities for Lex.   Good technical overview at the link.

Amazon Lex – Build Conversational Voice & Text Interfaces  by Jeff Barr  
While computers that talk are great, computers that listen and respond are even better! If you have used an Amazon Echo, you know how simple, useful, and powerful the Alexa-powered interaction model can be.

Today we are making the same deep learning technologies (ASR – Automatic Speech Recognition NLU – Natural Language Understanding) that power Amazon Alexa available to you for use in your own conversational applications. You can use Amazon Lex to build chatbots and other types of web & mobile applications that support engaging, lifelike interactions. Your bots can provide information, power your application, streamline work activities, or provide a control mechanism for robots, drones, and toys.

Amazon Lex is designed to let you get going quickly. You start out by designing your conversation in the Lex Console, providing Lex with some sample phrases that are used to build a natural language model. Then you publish your Amazon Lex bot and let it process text or voice conversations with your users. Amazon Lex is a fully-managed service so you don’t need to spend time setting up, managing, or scaling any infrastructure.  ... " 

Google Earth is Updated

We were much impressed with Google Earth,  even used it for things like showing where our plants were worldwide, and providing 'tours' to their locations.  Seems not that much has been done to it in some time, but the Verge reports on a recent update.  New 3D capabilities.  Always interesting.

Technology and Societal Change

How Technology Can Help Solve Societal Problems

The Network Revolution

In the next article of the series, “The Network Revolution: Creating Value through Platforms, People and Technology,” authors Barry Libert, Megan Beck, Brian Komar and Josue Estrada debut the concept of Social Change as a Platform. Libert is a Wharton senior fellow and CEO of OpenMatters; Beck is the firm’s chief insights officer. Komar is vice president of marketing for Salesforce.org, the nonprofit reseller of Salesforce.com Inc. Estrada is the senior vice president of strategy and operations at Salesforce.org. 

As Charles Dickens so astutely observed about life during the French Revolution in “A Tale of Two Cities,” it was the best and worst of times. One could say the same thing today. The Fourth Industrial Revolution of technology networks and platforms could usher in an era of mass societal disruption — as well as unprecedented social cooperation. Whether the latter would prevail depends on the ability of nonprofit entities and the broader social sector to boost their collective impact by adopting the new business models that are disrupting the for-profit world. It would also depend on whether they can embrace what we call ‘Social Change as a Platform’ or SCaaP. ... " 

Selfie Drones

Drones that can follow you around to take pictures and perhaps provide security?    In Engadget:

Hover Camera can now follow and record its owner sans phone    Richard Lai, @richardlai ... 

" ... The term "selfie drones" may suggest an added level of convenience, but in reality, these machines still share one common pain point with conventional offerings: they need to be connected to a mobile device for initiation, mode selection and landing. The folks over at Zero Zero Robotics, however, are tackling this issue with a software update for their Hover Camera Passport. As we previewed back at CES, this foldable, fully-enclosed drone is finally getting an "Owner Mode," in which it can follow and record its owner without ever having to turn on the smartphone. ... " 

Friday, April 21, 2017

How Retailers can Cope with Slowing Growth

In  Knowledge@Wharton,  Non -Technical, but quite strategic these days.  Recall talking to Marshall Fisher while in the enterprise.   (See his book)

How Retailers can Cope with Slowing Growth

Wharton's Marshall Fisher discusses why retailers must break their 'addiction' to top-line growth.

Podcast:

"... Successful retailers can grow quickly in their early years simply by opening new stores. But eventually they run out of real estate, and then they need the discipline to stop opening new stores and focus instead on driving more sales through their existing stores. They can boost sales and profits dramatically by making changes in the way they run their existing stores, such as with help from analytics and the use of technology.

In fact, several such small changes brought in profits that helped 17 retailers outperform the stock performance of the S&P 500 index, according to a new study titled “Curing the Addiction to Growth” published in the Harvard Business Review by Marshall Fisher, Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions, along with his co-authors, Vishal Gaur (who has a PhD from the Wharton School and now is a professor at Cornell’s Johnson School) and Herb Kleinberger (who has an MBA from Wharton and for many years led PWC’s retail practice).    .... " 

Mercedes Connecting to Amazon Echo and Google Assistants

The breadth of this is most interesting.  All their new cars can link to both of the most common  assistants.  Seems an indicator of popularity of the assistant idea as yet not seen.   A first true link between Smart Home and Smart Car.    Next steps?  In theVerge: 

Mercedes-Benz is connecting the Amazon Echo and Google Home to all its new cars ...   by Andrew J. Hawkins  @andyjayhawk

Mercedes-Benz announced today that all of its 2016 and 2017 vehicles in the US can now connect with both Amazon and Google’s digital voice assistants.

Starting today, Mercedes owners can instruct their Google Home or Amazon Echo to remotely start or lock their vehicles, as well as send addresses to their in-car navigation system. But a promo video by Mercedes shows a much more frightening use-case: using these digital voice assistants to compensate for incredibly stupid behavior, like leaving the house with both the iron and stovetops on at full blast. ... " 

Related:

Ford is integrating Alexa into its cars.  It was the first to do this.

Hyundai is working with Google Home.

Google Home Recognizes Distinct Voices

A major issue with home assistants, that they cannot distinguish between members of a household, is being remedied this week.  The Google Home assistant, which I have had under test since its inception, can now distinguish up to 6 voices in a household, allowing for different profiles for individual household members.  Which should allow for different, tailored and more intelligent responses. Getting us closer to conversations.   And also be able to capture distinctive household member data.

  In our particular household, that has not been an issue.  Will be testing that.  How accurate? Enough for adult vs child?  Purchasing?  Secure answers?  The Amazon Echo or other assistants do not yet allow for this capability, but rumor is out that it is coming.

(Update) Easy enough to train it for your voice.  But you have to invite others to be trained, and they have to load up their own copy of the 'Google Home' App, to train themselves. .... (More to follow) 

List and links to Assistants studied.  Over 40 assistants have been commented on here.


(Update) Technology review on the issues here.

New Kinds of Assistant Magic Mirrors

We examined the Mirror idea under many conditions.  For cosmetics, eye-ware, clothing.  At home and in the store.  The somewhat new idea then is having trained associates guide its use.  A Virtual assistant.  Does not save the cost of expensively trained labor problem.  Saw a similar thing being done in Asia, where having live demonstration people in the aisle is already common.   But will robotics ultimately take that function? See the Lowes' bot example.

Having a system that can really operate well at home has different challenges,  to make it work and be engaging.   The phone is the natural channel.  We tried permanently mounted mirrors.  Has challenges similar to developing sales chatbots, but with image recognition as a sensory input.   I see this has a limited potential for high end products.   But many will still want to see such products live. Could drive some to stores for a demo.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, will you leave me any shoppers at all?

This magic mirror could be a great sales tool. More likely, though, it will just siphon sales to an online rival.   By Evan Schuman, star Influencer, Contributing Columnist, Computerworld  ... 

The interplay between store associates and in-store technology has always been a delicate balancing act. When the tech helps the associate be an all-knowing partner to the shopper, it's a great thing. But when the tech is deployed so that the associate seems to just get in the way, it can ultimately undermine the in-store experience. Enter the HiMirror.

Retailers have toyed with magic mirrors before — it seems to be the retail tech idea that never dies, despite the fact that it rarely works long term — but this mirror goes much further. ... " 

Why Do Deep AI Methods Work?

Gets back to transparency, and can we actually explain how advanced AI methods work?  This issue was known years ago during early methods with neural network methods.   Our own work in the area was criticized for this.  Does this make a difference?

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI
No one really knows how the most advanced algorithms do what they do. That could be a problem.

by Will Knight  April 11, 2017

" .... Already, mathematical models are being used to help determine who makes parole, who’s approved for a loan, and who gets hired for a job. If you could get access to these mathematical models, it would be possible to understand their reasoning. But banks, the military, employers, and others are now turning their attention to more complex machine-learning approaches that could make automated decision-making altogether inscrutable. Deep learning, the most common of these approaches, represents a fundamentally different way to program computers. “It is a problem that is already relevant, and it’s going to be much more relevant in the future,” says Tommi Jaakkola, a professor at MIT who works on applications of machine learning. “Whether it’s an investment decision, a medical decision, or maybe a military decision, you don’t want to just rely on a ‘black box’ method.”

There’s already an argument that being able to interrogate an AI system about how it reached its conclusions is a fundamental legal right. Starting in the summer of 2018, the European Union may require that companies be able to give users an explanation for decisions that automated systems reach. This might be impossible, even for systems that seem relatively simple on the surface, such as the apps and websites that use deep learning to serve ads or recommend songs. The computers that run those services have programmed themselves, and they have done it in ways we cannot understand. Even the engineers who build these apps cannot fully explain their behavior. .... " 

Whats Interesting in Your Data?

In MapR they pose the question: Cognitive Analytics Answers the question: What's Interesting in Your Data?

Good general thought.  But I would suggest it depends what your definition of interesting is. Measurably valuable in current and continuing business process and practice?   Yes.

That is why its cognitive.   People and process are embedded in the question and measures provided by analytics.

Singapore Plans its Future City

BBC takes an overview look.   Very impressive plans, but there needs to be much more detail.  For example how will security be handled? Privacy of data?   Lots of challenges here, but this is very likely the future.

Tomorrow's Cities: Singapore's plans for a smart nation   By Karishma Vaswani,   Asia business correspondent ... "

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Social Media Demographics

A view of most major social media their demographics and buying habits in 2017.  Interesting, but overly infographic.  Could be done in a single visual page.   Useful information.

Bain on the Firm of the Future

Not so much technology oriented, but about the basic notion of the firm.  Good, broad view.   Especially for technologists, who often believe it is all about tech advances.  Its also about business process and how to deliver value.

The Firm of the Future

April 12, 2017 Bain Brief By James Allen, James Root and Andrew Schwedel

In the world of the firm, something is changing. It’s not that your local bookstore went out of business. Or that your taxi driver now rates you on a 5-point scale. Or that anything can now be outsourced, allowing even the smallest firms to rent capabilities on demand. It’s more profound than these.

The prevailing paradigm that has underpinned business for the past 50 years is under review. The simplest version of that paradigm is that firms exist first and foremost to deliver returns to their shareholders’ capital—and the sooner they deliver it, the better. We will describe the challenges confronting this paradigm. But the first question we asked as we observed the changes was this: Is such a shift unusual? Has the idea of the firm been consistent over time, or has it changed before? ... " 

GE Digital Approach to Digital Transformation

Doing work with GE Digital on an upcoming Analytics Summit.

They send along this Webinar, reviewing their approaches:

" ... Gain insights into the five pillars of digital industrial transformation based on GE’s own playbook. .... "

How Viruses Spread

An impressive visual and description of of how viruses spread.  In Quartz   " ... A new genetic tool maps how deadly viruses spread around the world in real time ... ".   Recall a recent post on Kellogg work in using cell data for prediction.  Tag below on Epidemics.   And also links to our work on retail data for the same purpose.

Robotics Newsletter

Konrad Holubek writes:
 
" ... I wanted to let you know that I collect and send out a weekly email on robotics, a subject I am very passionate about. 

You can see an example of the latest newsletter here : http://snip.ly/v4kjf

If you are also interested in robotics, you can subscribe to the newsletter here : http://immersive-robotics.com/subscribenewsletter.html

Please note that the newsletter is spam free : no ads, just carefully curated news about robotics.  ... " 
 

Retail Analytics Trends

Fairly general look at retail analytics and their future.

In Bridge2i
Categories Analytics, Blogs Customer Intelligence, Retail
Retail Analytics Trends 2017 and Beyond .... 

Introduction to Machine Learning

A good, largely non technical guide to the basics of machine learning.  Useful for the interested and motivated decision maker or executive.   Part I here, others apparently to follow.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Procter Singapore Supply Chain Center

In Business Journal, about Procter&Gamble:

" ... The Singapore E-Center will be the Cincinnati-based company’s (NYSE: PG) first of its kind outside the U.S. and is designed to fuel end-to-end digital innovation across its supply chain management, e-analytics and e-business by expanding partnerships with local small-medium enterprises and startups and supporting their development of digital solutions.... "

Microsoft Expands Cognitive Services

I remain disappointed by the integration level of Cortana assistant with other MS services, but at least now Microsoft seems to be advancing on cognitive services.  Now developers can take the capabilities further.  Includes mention of their 'Build a Bot Strategy'.  But very little about Cortana itself, except as a front end.  Seems they are losing an AI opportunity here to Amazon and Google. Need a framework for assistants, and Microsoft has one of the most popular in Office.

Microsoft makes three more cognitive services generally available
Microsoft is rolling out more of its Cognitive Services programming interfaces, which provide developers with a way to add face recognition, computer vision and more to their apps and services.
By Mary Jo Foley  .... " 

End of Brand Loyalty?

Of much importance to my former employer and all of CPG.  Still don't see its involved with culture. just the channels that cultures currently use for information.   Those channels can be selected by marketing.  In Forbes: 

The Death Of Brand Loyalty: Cultural Shifts Mean It's Gone Forever   by Kathleen Kusek

Oracle and Moat for Measurement and Analytics

Its all about accurate and universal measurement, directly and indirectly through the results of analytics.  So this is not surprising.

Oracle buys Moat
Creates the World's Most Comprehensive Cloud Platform for Marketing Data and Analytics
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., April 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Oracle today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Moat, the fastest-growing digital measurement cloud company. Moat will join Oracle Data Cloud, which uses data and analytics to enhance media for leading marketers and publishers. The combination of Oracle and Moat will connect data to consumer attention for better media experiences and business outcomes. .... " 

Facebook using Augmented Reality

Zuckerberg talking how AR will play in Facebook.    And suggests that it will first play through the cameras in people's phones.   Less cumbersome than a headset,  but less stability too.  In VRFocus:

The Camera To Be ‘The First Augmented Reality Platform’ – Zuckerberg
 Facebook will use the camera part of the Facebook app as the basis for AR platform. ... " 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Talk: Artificial Intelligence in the Car

Upcoming CSIG Talk this week.  

" ... This a reminder about our Cognitive Systems Institute Speaker Series on Thursday, April 20, 2016 at 10:30 am ET US (7:30 am PT).  Our speakers are Roberto Sicconi and Maggie Styƛ, Founders of TeleLingo, who will be presenting "Artificial Intelligence in the Car." ... 

Please point your web browser to https://apps.na.collabserv.com/meetings/join?id=2894-8491 password=cognitive.   Use audio on computer or dial 855-233-7153  PIN Code: 43179788    Non-IBMers please use the "guest" option instead of entering your email.   

 ...  A link to slides and a recording of each call should be available on the CSIG website (http://cognitive-science.info/community/weekly-update/).   We encourage those who join the calls to add questions and comments to the LinkedIn Discussion Group:  https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Cognitive-Systems-Institute-6729452  .... 

Thank you!
Dianne Fodell  ....   " 

Microsoft Flow and Buttons

In SiliconAngle: 

" ... (Microsoft) The company has also introduced something it calls Flow-compatible hardware buttons. They’re somewhat reminiscent of Amazon.com Inc.’s Dash buttons, which allow consumers to restock their supplies at the push of a button in their pantry, for example. ... 

However, Microsoft is aiming at the Internet of Things with this new update. It’s partnered with The Button Corporation and Shortcut Labs, so that businesses can install web-connected Bttns from Button Corp. in conference rooms and other locations. This should help employees to gain help when problems crop up, without needing to create a ticket or make a phone call, Microsoft said. .... " 

Using AR To Transfer Images

If you can't draw well, or precisely, perhaps you can trace images from a phone App using Augmented Reality.   Clever idea for the right kind of application.  Warns that this is best done with the aid of a tripod.  Available on IOS for now,   Right now it only works with A4 size paper, but they report that it will ultimately be linked to the Project Tango system to detect location,  on a Lenovo Phone, with the potential of doing full size murals.

In ITunes:  " ... SketchAR is an application through which the user sees a virtual image on the surface of which they are planning to trace a sketch. In one hand, the user holds a phone and sees a virtual image, while the other hand traces virtual lines already on the paper ... " 

SketchAR puts virtual images on paper to let you trace drawings from your phone by Dami Lee @dami_lee In TheVerge: .. 

Simplified Heart Rate Sensor Tech

In Engadget.   Another interesting breakthrough in health sensor technology.  Possible use for other emotion sensing applications.

Panasonic can read your heart rate by looking at your face
The sensor tech will be used to show the stress levels of golfers at an upcoming tournament. ... "

How to Mislead with Data

 I have seen it often in the enterprise and elsewhere.  Good points made in article below, and always worth repeating.    But missing is the current tendency to dress the results. Aka 'Tell a Story', or use some sort of pre-established narrative.  Or use an infographic to simplify into an instantly understandable point to be made.    Yes, that's confirmation bias, or model-confirmation bias.

Also very common and hard to detect unless you are shown the raw data and can manipulate it, which is rare.  Helps to do a risk analysis to understand the cost of a wrong model. Or involve the context owner early and often.

How to Lie with Data  Posted by Karolis Urbonas    In DSC

We expect that data scientists and analysts should be objective and base their conclusions on data. Now while the name of the job implies that “data” is the fundamental material that is used to do their jobs, it is not impossible to lie with it. Quite the opposite – the data scientist is affected by unconscious biases, peer pressure, urgency, and if that’s not enough – there are inherent risks in the process of data analysis and interpretation that lead to lying. It happens all the time while the intentions might be truly honest – though we all know the saying “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”.

As every industry in every country is affected by data revolution we need to make sure we are aware of the dangerous mechanisms that can affect the output of any data project..... " 

Monday, April 17, 2017

DeepMind Open-Sources Sonnet

DeepMind, now part of Alphabet, has open sourced Sonnet, a TensorFlow library for constructing neural network modules that allows variable sharing.  Another win for broader experiments with machine learning.

About Deepmind, now part of Alphabet.

Their open sourcing announcement:  https://deepmind.com/blog/open-sourcing-sonnet/   Indicates they plan to continue to update the resources.

Technical resources in Github.

(I corrected the title and other lines, my error, too much terminology)
 

Microsoft Updates Flow and PowerApps

Been waiting for more about this.   This interests me because it addresses workflow and thus business process.  IFTTT does that as well, but in a somewhat restricted approach.  Still instructive.  Looking to dig deeper here in understanding how they compare.  Azure linkages.  We need more succinct ways to model business process based on flows of contextual data.

Microsoft launches updates to PowerApps and Flow    by Frederic Lardinois in TechCrunch:

" ... Microsoft’s business-centric IFTTT competitor Flow and its ‘low-code’ PowerApps platform are both getting major updates today. While these are obviously different services that solve different issues, both aim to help non-developers make better use of their existing data and services without having to write their own code. While Flow, at its core, uses the if-this-then-that model, PowerApps allows you to build your own desktop and mobile applications from scratch.

Out of those two services, Flow is still the more approachable one and with today’s update, Microsoft is adding a number of new features that make it more useful for building integrations that streamline the kind of approval workflows that are still the bane of many enterprise users. To help users build these approval processes, Flow is getting new templates and a streamlined design experience for them in this update (though it looks like this feature may not go live before the end of the week).... " 

More on Microsoft PowerApps.

More on Flow in SiliconAngle.


Shrinking Deep Learning Neural Networks

Via O'Reilly.  As these tasks take on tougher problems,  efficient architecture will be important.   Even more important as these tasks become real-time.

Excerpt video:
Shrinking and accelerating deep neural networks    Song Han on compression techniques and inference engines to optimize deep learning in production. ... "

Learning by Sketching with CogSketch

Quite interesting idea.  I remember looking at the CogSketch platform.  Had not of thought of it as a learning method.  But many of us do learn visually, can this be a means to fill the learning gaps?   Does it work in contexts other than geology, that are less visual?   How do the analogy aspect work?

Helping Students Learn by Sketching
Sketch Worksheets software analyzes and provides feedback on student sketches

Northwestern University professor Ken Forbus and his team have developed Sketch Worksheets, software that helps students learn via sketching exercises and also provides on-the-spot feedback by analyzing sketches and comparing them to the instructor's drawings. The software is founded on CogSketch, an artificial intelligence platform previously developed in Forbus' lab that employs visual-processing algorithms to automatically replicate and understand human-drawn sketches. 

Sketch Worksheets' comparisons of student and instructor sketches are conducted by an analogy model, in which students and instructors apply conceptual labels to their sketches to represent relationships among the drawings' different components. Forbus says CogSketch uses analogy to compare labels and give feedback. Geoscientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison used Sketch Worksheets to devise a set of 26 sketches that cover topics in introductory classes. "This is a step in creating software that can communicate with people as flexibly as we communicate with each other," Forbus says. .... " 

See the tag below for more research information regarding Ken Forbus, previously mentioned.

Resolving Conflict in Self-Managed Teams

Further, perhaps more important, when should a team be self managed?   In the HBR:

How Self-Managed Teams Can Resolve Conflict   by Amit Maimon

In a traditional team structure, conflicts can be escalated to the boss to resolve. Can’t agree on how to prioritize projects, or on which deadlines need to shift? Ask the team leader to step in and make a call. Think a coworker is acting snarky, or that their work is too sloppy? Advise the manager to give them some feedback. But for flat or self-managed teams, that’s not an option. Self-managed teams must identify different ways to find and address day-to-day conflicts.

Self-managed teams can focus on three things to help them successfully resolve conflicts. (Traditionally hierarchical teams may benefit from them too.)   .... " 

Chrome Secure by Default?

Recently pointed to this in the Google blog.  Which claims that Chrome is secure by default.  Is this a reasonable claim?   Am a long time Chrome browser user.  Even used a Chromebook for a test.   Have seen no reason to move to Edge.   Have seen, rarely,  a few of the 'warnings' when entering a URL, indicating that the target destination was 'a deceptive site'.  How complete is that kind of warning?  How well does the classification of a 'deceptive site' work?   Quite an interesting data science problem by itself.

Competing Neural Nets Getting Smarter

We experimented with a similar ideas, using simulation and evolutionary methods to rate alternate neural network designs.  Considerable improvements since then.  Net architecture still contains much art.  The 'art' we talk about here can be readily rated by performance.  In Wired:

Google’s Dueling Neural Networks Spar to Get Smarter, No Humans Required

THE DAY RICHARD Feynman died, the blackboard in his classroom read: “What I cannot create, I do not understand.”

When Ian Goodfellow explains the research he’s doing at Google Brain, the central artificial intelligence lab at the internet’s most powerful company, he points to this aphorism from the iconic physicist, Caltech professor, and best-selling author. But Goodfellow isn’t referring to himself—or any other human being inside Google. He’s talking about the machines: “What an AI cannot create, it does not understand.”

Goodfellow is among the world’s most important AI researchers, and after a brief stint at OpenAI—the Google Brain competitor bootstrapped by Elon Musk and Sam Altman—he has returned to Google, building a new research group that explores “generative models.” These are systems that create photos, sounds, and other representations of the real world. Nodding to Feynman, Goodfellow describes this effort as an important path to all sorts of artificial intelligence. .... " 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

BBC Looks at Robots and Workers

Rise of the robots: What advances mean for workers  By Tim Harford .... No details here, but an interesting set of examples from the BBC.  

Count Down to Jambaar Time

Jambaar.com:  The Video-as-a-Service Platform for Data & Technology-Enabled Business Growth   (4 Days from Today)    @JambaarCom

An Immersive Star Wars Land

Been reading Brian Jay Jones biography of George Lucas: A Life.  I am  a long time fan of digital cinema and further how it can be made more immersive, so seeing that evolution in our lifetime is particularly interesting.  It is an amazing story of how Lucas brought about Star Wars, and now its translation to an immersive experience by Disney.

 In The Verge, the latest in that journey.
Watch the creation of Disney’s ambitious and immersive Star Wars land   “Everything about it is just about total immersion.”  by Bryan Bishop@bcbishop   Is the future one of immersion rather than dark space projection?   Expected to open in Florida and CA in 2019.   More background in Wikipeda.

Obituary: Robert Taylor, Computing Pioneer

I never met Computing Innovator Robert Taylor, but through connections at the Pentagon, ARPA and PARC heard of his innovative management that led to advanced computing and networking.  Notable too for his work on the Alto, progenitor of the personal computer,  and interaction with Douglas Engelbart on innovative computing interfaces.   ... In the NYTimes:

Robert Taylor, Innovator Who Shaped Modern Computing, Dies at 85
By John Markoff ...

In the Wikipedia.