Rwanda’s minister of youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana recently signed a new agreement with the San Francisco-based company Zipline, whose aerial vehicles — aka vampire drones — will be able to deliver blood to more than 22 transfusion facilities throughout the country. The life-saving potential of this technology has been tested by Doctors Without Borders, which used drones to fight tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea. And if the Rwandan experiment works, it won’t be long before other countries in the region decide to follow suit. For Rutayisire, the prospect of aerially connecting hospitals, tech hubs and markets across the continent is simply too exciting not to try. “With so much potential,” he says, “it’s hard to not be optimistic.”
Back to hiring employees and owning good old fashioned assets
“These entrepreneurs are not launching technology companies or even "on demand" companies. They are instead starting child-care companies, retail stores, restaurants, and laundry services that use mobile technology not only for delivery, but as a way to be more efficient at every step of their operations. "You’re seeing models evolve," says Ron Johnson, the former CEO of J.C. Penney and creator of the Apple Store, who nine months ago started a mobile-enabled electronics retailer called Enjoy. "And that’s what you’d expect in a new area of the economy."”
Ed Bastian is Delta’s new CEO. He is a long term Delta executive most recently its President. He is also a new age executive. For many a compliment or complaint or research request for profiling Delta in my blogs and books, I have emailed him for years now and he often responds within minutes.
I was pleased to see in his first letter in the airline’s Sky magazine, he focused on technology. As he says “As the next generation of travelers becomes a significant part of our customer base we want to meet their expectations that a top brand be a leader in technology regardless of their business. That’s why we look to companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Salesforce.com, among others, as examples of global leaders in technology that provide a great product and great customer service.”
He describes some of the innovations that Delta frequent fliers have enjoyed for years now
“..last month, we were among the earliest companies, along with Starbucks and Hyatt to use Twitter’s new direct message button within a tweet—something that’s essential for communication private customer information”
“..we have invested heavily in making the FlyDelta app an essential travel tool with the ability to book,change and monitor flights. track bags at all points of the journey and even watch the Earth scroll by via the unique ‘Glass Bottom Jet’ feature.”
“We have upgraded our flight attendants’ handheld devices with more information and functionality; we’re investing In radio-frequency identification, or ”RFID,’to improve maintenance and baggage handling and we’re deploying thousands of tablets to Delta pilots to serve as electronic flight bags.”
Look forward to more innovations from Delta under his new role.
Photo Credit – Delta of Guest Service Tool flight attendants use to personalize service in the air.
There’s a modest body of literature on the psychology of vacations, and one of its findings is that much of the pleasure comes from anticipation—a 1997 study found that people are happier thinking about a trip beforehand than when they’re actually taking it. The goal of Expedia’s usability researchers is not only to make Expedia’s various sites and mobile apps more efficient but also to make them an extension of the vacation fantasies that are always running in the back of our heads.
I had two moments of self-doubt this week in Detroit where I attended Plex’s user conference. Was I safe walking down the riverfront from the Marriott at Renaissance Center (or the more contemporary name, RenCen) to the Cobo Center, which buzzes with visitors from around the world at the annual North American International Auto Show? And was I out of mind waiting all alone in deathly quiet for several minutes at the platform for the People Mover?
As I recounted both moments to locals and they laughed at me, I felt guilty. Like so many others I have this negative stereotype of an unsafe, decaying city, and my time this week went far to dispel the image.
The Renaissance Center, after all was the world’s largest private development in the early 70s. The John Portman designed Marriott is the tallest hotel skyscraper in the Western world. I took several walks down the riverfront which overlooks Canada and is host to a tall ship, an Appledore and a riverboat, the Detroit Princess – reminders of centuries of history this city has witnessed and contributed to.
The People Mover in a driverless, 3 mile loop glides by GM’s spectacular world headquarters, and is being enhanced with a 70-foot-by-80-foot LED screen to cover the light train stop. Once on the train, I felt completely safe as it took us past downtown attractions like Ford Field, home of the 2006 Super Bowl (and where Plex offered tours at its PartyPlex), Comerica Park, home of the 2005 Baseball All- Star Game, Joe Louis hockey arena and several museums which celebrate the city’s ethnic diversity – African-American, Arab-American among them and pay tribute to Motown, auto history and much more.
The Plex conference was an optimistic mix of over 1,200 manufacturing executives, as I describe here. I had a chance to have lunch in Birmingham, one of Detroit’s best preserved suburbs.
And I took the opportunity to revisit the Light Tunnel at Detroit Airport. Some of the Phillips LED lights have survived since their installation in 2001. It is a good reminder this is a city which is easy to write off but keeps bouncing back.
Minerals are combinations of chemical elements arranged into crystalline structures. Earth's rocks are built from different aggregations. Think of feldspar, quartz and mica - these are the ubiquitous species that everyone knows.
But cobaltominite, abelsonite, fingerite, edoylerite - these are examples that will not form unless the "cooking conditions" are absolutely perfect.
The atomic ingredients must sum exactly, the temperature must be precise to the degree, and the pressure will have to be defined in the narrowest of margins.
And then, some will immediately fall apart when they get wet or the sun shines on them.
When you hear the word "drone," you probably think of something either very useful or very scary. But could they have aesthetic value? Autonomous systems expert Raffaello D'Andrea develops flying machines, and his latest projects are pushing the boundaries of autonomous flight — from a flying wing that can hover and recover from disturbance to an eight-propeller craft that's ambivalent to orientation ... to a swarm of tiny coordinated micro-quadcopters. Prepare to be dazzled by a dreamy, swirling array of flying machines as they dance like fireflies above the TED stage.
Haier is now the fastest-growing provider of appliances in the world. Since 2011, it has held the largest worldwide market share in white goods. With its upscale brands in China, such as Casarte, and its growing presence in the United States, Europe, and Japan, this US$38 billion company has moved out of the value-priced and niche appliance domain to compete directly with top-of-the-line appliances from more established companies. It has accomplished this by being a consistently coherent and capable company: staying true to its core identity as a company dedicated to solving problems for consumers, while continually reinventing itself with imagination and verve.
The Express Drive program will initially offer 125 Chevy Equinox crossovers to Lyft drivers in Chicago. Drivers can rent the car between one and eight weeks and will be rewarded the more they drive. The cars will be rented out for $99 a week and 20 cents a mile to drivers who complete 40 rides or less a week. Once they surpass that number, the per-mile charge is dropped. If a driver completes 65 rides or more in a week, the rental is free. The rental fee covers the cost of insurance and maintenance.
actually it has built its own cloud, moving out of the Amazon cloud. From Wired
“Amazon’s cloud computing service lets anyone build and operate software without setting up their own hardware. In other words, those billions of files were stored on Amazon’s machines, rather than machines owned and operated by Dropbox.
But not anymore. Over the last two-and-a-half years, Dropbox built its own vast computer network and shifted its service onto a new breed of machines designed by its own engineers, all orchestrated by a software system built by its own programmers with a brand new programming language. Drawing on the experience of Silicon Valley veterans who erected similar technology inside Internet giants like Google and Facebook and Twitter, it has successfully moved about 90 percent of those files onto this new online empire.”
This reflects a growing availability of advanced-driver assistance systems, or ADAS, such as lane-keeping assist, automatic braking or adaptive cruise control in the market. As auto makers offer the components needed to power these functions in option packages as low as $1,800, they are being snapped up at a far higher rate than electrified vehicles.
After a decade of spending much of its time and billions focused on boosting fuel-efficiency, Washington is increasing its focus on technology that could save lives.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering ways to make ADAS features more ubiquitous, and Congress will hold a hearing Tuesday from Alphabet Inc.’s Google X team and General Motors.
Thor carries 57 sensors analyzing 140 variables like chest compression, sternum acceleration, and skull shifting. The old dummies typically measured about 20 such factors.
NHTSA says it plans to use Thor as part of its public, nationwide crash-test analysis beginning in 2019. Once that happens, auto companies will also have to make their vehicles markedly safer, says Warren Hardy, head of Virginia Tech’s Center for Injury Biomechanics. “We’re going to be able to design things to prevent a wider range of injuries and keep people intact,” he says, “not just keep them alive.”
Pair the paint with related tech like infrared-reflecting windows, and the effects are amplified. When the DOE tested a Cadillac STS with infrared-reflective glass (offered by automakers including Mercedes, Volkswagen, and Volvo) and solar reflective paint, it found the car’s cooling demands dropped by 30 percent (from 5.7 to 4.0 kW).
To combat icy buildup, researchers at the University of Michigan developed a spray-on ice repellent coating that can be applied to equipment, aircraft and car windshields to make removing the frozen stuff a breeze. In fact, the team of engineers say all it takes to clear off a treated surface is the force of gravity or a light breeze thanks "iceophobic" material.
The team says the rubber-based coating could also lead to more efficient household and industrial freezers. The substance will not only help a freezer stay frost-free, but can make them 20 percent more energy efficient as well. In fact, the research effort has already developed hundreds of ice-repelling formulas for a variety of uses. So, what's expected to be the first application for the material? Frozen food packaging.
More important, just like the early iPhone, Amazon has managed to turn the Echo into the center of a new ecosystem. Developers are flocking to create voice- controlled apps for the device, or skills, as Amazon calls them. There are now more than 300 skills for the Echo, from the trivial — there is one to make Alexa produce rude body sounds on command — to the pretty handy. It can tell you transit schedules, start a seven-minute workout. read recipes, do math and conversions, and walk you through adventure games, among other possibilities.
Makers of digital home devices like Nest are also rushing to make their products compatible with the Echo. Alexa can now control your Internet—connected lights, home thermostats and a variety of other devices. Hardware makers can also add Alexa’s brain into their own devices, so soon you won’t need an Echo to consult with Alexa — you could find it in your toaster, your refrigerator or your car.
It may not look like much at first glance, but a map created by University of Wisconsin computer science professor Paul Barford and about a dozen colleagues took around four years to produce. He believes it could make the Internet more resilient to accidents, disasters, or intentional attacks.
The map shows the paths taken by the long-distance fiber-optic cables that carry Internet data across the continental U.S. The exact routes of those cables, which belong to major telecommunications companies such as AT&T and Level 3, have not been previously publicly viewable, despite the fact that they are effectively critical public infrastructure, says Barford.
Actually nothing to do with icrecream, but CSO highlights a variety of digital breaches
The Verizon RISK Team performs cyber investigations for hundreds of commercial enterprises and government agencies annually across the globe. In 2015, they investigated more than 500 cybersecurity incidents. They shared some of the details in a recent report of how they solved the cyber crimes.
Sea travel on the Caribbean became a routine for Spain, this is why it had detailed records of ship travels. Storms accounted for many of the shipwrecks in the Caribbean.
Florida Keys' tree-ring records extend all the way back to the 1707. These tree-rings show when there is a hurricane in a particular year, because the ring growth slowed down whenever one occurs. The team gathered wood samples from shipwrecks and began dating them.
The team used two books in the study to combine shipwreck data with tree-rings data, namely "Shipwrecks In The Americas: A Complete Guide To Every Major Shipwreck In The Western Hemisphere" by Robert F. Marx and "Shipwrecks Of Florida: A Comprehensive Listing" by Steven D. Singer.
I was assigned a Hyundai as a company car in Saudi Arabia in the mid 80s. So pleasant was the experience that I avoided the brand for the next 3 decades
Their long warranty helped dispel lingering quality concerns and I finally got one of their SUVs. Since then, every member of the family has got one for the value, and increasingly for the curvy looks.
“Fluidic Sculpture is not a physical form, but a spirit. The lively beauty Hyundai Motor wishes to express is sometimes portrayed as dynamic curves, and at others, as more refined inner strength. Although expressions may vary, there is only one essence - Fluidic Sculpture.”
Design philosophy or marketing slogan? Probably a bit of both but the cars have come a long, long way.
The first DNA blood test for cancer in the United States was commercialized in 2014 by Guardant Health, a venture-backed California company, and tests to spot cancer DNA in blood, urine, or spinal fluid are now in development by a growing number of companies but remain a risky bet for investors.
One pioneering researcher, Dennis Lo, is now tracking more than 20,000 people in Hong Kong to see whether blood screening can catch liver cancer early. Some of his early and ongoing work was paid for by a $1 million grant from the Kadoorie Charitable Foundation, the charity of Hong Kong billionaire Michael Kadoorie, and he later won a $4.25 million award from the Hong Kong government. “It took us about 10 years to convince people to fund us,” he says. Lo says he recently cofounded a company called Cirina to develop blood tests, and he expects initial financing of $12 million from investors.
The (mamaRoo) seat simulates five gentle motions optimized for soothing, from a car ride to a gentle wave, to a tree swing. It has plenty of accessories to make the experience more fun and comfortable. But what really gets me excited is the fact that you can now control it the entire experience from an app on your iOS or Android mobile device.
Of course there are also the existing benefits of the infant seat that moms have loved, like four built-in soothing sounds, and an MP3 plug-in to play your own music instead of the tinny nursery song excerpts on traditional infant seats and swings. It mercifully charges in a standard wall outlet, so buh-bye, to those zillions of pricy C-batteries destined for landfills.
The device will help fill the gaps left by canes, dogs and basic GPS devices by providing users with more information about their surroundings. Worn around their shoulders, it will help users better navigate indoor spaces, such as office buildings and shopping malls, by helping them identify everyday features, including restrooms, escalators, stairs and doors.
The device will be equipped with cameras that detect the user's surroundings and communicate information to him or her through speakers and vibration motors. Users, in turn, will be able to interact with the device through voice recognition and buttons. Toyota plans to eventually integrate mapping, object identification and facial recognition technologies.
When it is time to begin waste collection, the driver of the refuse truck presses a button. This starts the robot, and the drone simultaneously lifts from the roof of the truck. Flying through alleyways, the drone quickly finds the location of the refuse bins and communicates their positions to the robot. This is followed by automatic waste collection and emptying by the robot. In the cab, the driver is able to monitor the exact location of the robot and the emptying process.
The ROAR project, Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling, is a collaboration between the Volvo Group, Chalmers University of Technology, Mälardalen University, Penn State University in the United States, and Renova.
Governing magazine highlights new infrastructure investments governments are having to make
- After Delphi, an auto parts manufacturer, took its driverless vehicle on a cross-country trip, company officials told Steudle that despite nominally uniform standards across states, the pavement markings were actually all different.
- Connected vehicles can't communicate with stoplights and pavement sensors unless those devices broadcast their information. Those traffic devices, in turn, can benefit from information from the connected vehicles.
- One of (Colorado’s) new initiatives aims to equip 1,000 vehicles owned by the general public with smartphone apps that will gather information about road and traffic conditions, much the way that the traffic apps Google Maps and Waze already do.
“In just three years, Mac will have aged from the human equivalent of about 49 to 70. That’s a lot faster than waiting 21 years to see how rapamycin would affect humans.
Kaeberlein also suspected his fellow pet owners might appreciate the opportunity. In fact, he has barely had to promote the study to enroll subjects—he simply mentioned it in passing to a reporter, and that reporter wrote a story that went viral. Soon he was besieged by phone calls and emails from more than 1,500 dog owners, some from as far away as Great Britain and Japan. One man who lived in the Midwest informed Kaeberlein he was ready to sell his house and move to Seattle if he could enroll his dog. (Kaeberlein advised him to wait until a nationwide study came to him.)”
Presenting scientific research and his own observations in highly anthropomorphic terms, the matter-of-fact Mr. Wohlleben has delighted readers and talk-show audiences alike with the news — long known to biologists — that trees in the forest are social beings. They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.
MIT has developed a predictive tool it says can give ships and their crews a two- to three-minute advanced warning, allowing them to shut down essential operations on a ship or offshore platform.
Combining ocean-wave data available from measurements taken by ocean buoys with a nonlinear analysis of the underlying water wave equations, Sapsis' team quantified the range of wave possibilities for a given body of water. They then developed a simpler and faster way to predict which wave groups will evolve into rogue waves.
The resulting tool is based on an algorithm that sifts through data from surrounding waves. Depending on a wave group’s length and height, the algorithm computes a probability that the group will turn into a rogue wave within the next few minutes.
“Nanotechnology is the study and manipulation of matter on an extremely small scale—at atomic, molecular, and supramolecular levels. Unsurprisingly, this is a very complex process. In practice, however, it can mean creating anything from plastic freezer-storage bags that can detect and eliminate salmonella, toothpaste with silver particles to fight decay, or carbon nanomaterials to make tennis balls bouncier and golf clubs lighter.
For electronics like computers, smartphones, and tablets, it can mean using atom-thin materials like graphene to create curved or flexible screens, or batteries that charge in 30 seconds. And that’s just the stuff that’s out there today. In fact, according to federal research there are more than 800 nanoscale products currently available.
Nanobiotechnology takes the science a step further by focusing on living things. This can mean feats like growing whole organs from stem cells, fluorescent polymers that glow when they touch a tumor, or computer processors built out of DNA strands.”
Yamaha’s drones have been dusting crops in Japan for more than two decades and handle more than a third of the nation’s rice paddies. That’s helped farmers cope with an aging population that’s winnowed the agricultural labor supply. Yamaha’s drones also operate in South Korea and Australia and are used for research in France.
Although there are hundreds of rival agricultural drones, many are smaller, powered by batteries, and work mainly collecting data, monitoring disease, and mapping. The gasoline-powered, scooter-size RMax, which has two 2.1‑gallon tanks, can fly for an hour when fully loaded with chemicals. It is radio controlled and has an onboard GPS system to keep its flight precise. Aerial spraying can be done as much as five times faster than with tractors, says Brian Wynne, president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
Every century has 9 days where the day and month are square roots of the year – and they can be celebrated anywhere irrespective of whether your preference is writing day or month first.
But this year also coincides with something only a part of the world enjoys – it is Opening Day for US Major League Baseball. The sport continues to adopt technology in all aspects.
USA Today writes about Trackman, the pitch-tracking radar technology employed by MLB’s Statcast. “Before, you idolized guys because they throw like you, or you like the way they pitch, but now you can actually find guys that you think you kind of relate to — arm-angle wise and whatnot — and try to recreate pitches that they’ve mastered. There’s just more understanding of how to throw it, where I need to throw it in my delivery, where I need to throw it in my motion, and how the hitter needs to perceive it so it’s effective.”
Sporttechie writes about Smart Bat which houses “a sensor in a 3x3cm cavity found in the base of the bat, and will be easily removable for charging. With this development, Trout and his team will be able to reflect post-game on his bat speed, time-to-impact, hand speed and attack angle through a 3D swing visualization and various stats (see some below)
Nearly a century ago, department store merchant John Wanamaker lamented that half his marketing budget was a waste. He wished he could figure out which half. He could have used the services of Heidi Melin, the Chief Marketing Officer at Plex, the cloud manufacturing ERP vendor and Jennifer Pockell-Dimas, who is her "digital guru". I interviewed them for my book research on how automation is changing every profession.
Here are some excerpts:
"Today, we can essentially measure everything that results from a dollar being invested in marketing. Earlier in my career (in her role at an advertising agency) I would spend literally millions of dollars of my client's money with zero accountability. We'd run an ad in a print publication or on broadcast and you thought perhaps it had an impact on the brand and you'd measure that maybe once a year. Don't get me wrong - it was fun but it was a little more about I like to say about arts and crafts because it was about making things look beautiful, capturing people's attention and creating an image. That's fun. We still have that but today everything is automated and we're able to match that investment to revenue. Before we knew that it had an influence, but just knew that intuitively, we couldn't prove it. Today with digital we're able to measure the impact of every dollar that we invest.
Our goal is to give our sales people granular information on every customer - visitors to the website, what they've downloaded, which parts of the website they visited, what campaigns they have responded to, where they raised their hand for more information. That's the kind of stuff that becomes so valuable in the relationship - they can have a much better informed conversation with the customer and create a more value exchange in the selling conversation than they've ever been able to have before."
Pockell-Dimas, who has more of a technical than an "arts and crafts" background, explains some of the marketing technologies they use
"We use Adobe as our web & asset management platform, and Eloqua for email and other campaigns. The leads from both are summarized into Salesforce SalesCloud. Once the deal closes in Salesforce it’s passed along to the Services portion of our consulting group (which may also be a partner) for implementation. When the customer is live they work with our Support team using the Salesforce ServiceCloud. We also use Jive as our Community platform."
"And then we use plenty of specialist tools like Oceanos for contact list building and enrichment, Demandbase to personalize customer outreach, Vidyard for video marketing, Kapost for content management and many others"
Melin best describes their commitment to accountability with a dashboard she constantly monitors and presents regularly to her CEO and Board.
Some of the metrics include:
Volume of Media Coverage
"In Q3, we secured 48 piecesof earned coverage in publications including Forbes, IndustryWeek, TechCrunch, ComputerWorld, Deal Architect, Diginomica, and Techonomy . The State of Manufacturing Technology report continued its momentum and received pick up on other tech-focused and manufacturing blogs. In addition, Plex secured 18 pieces of placed coverage was published on Industryweek.com, CIO.com, Diginomica.com and Plex.com."
and Social Impressions
"Our social media efforts this quarter resulted in 513k organic impressions on LinkedIn and Twitter, a 19% increase from Q2. The new baseline for Q4 will be 512k impressions."
Pockell-Dimas summarizes their charter
"It's like when you walk into a store. When the salesperson comes up to you and can tell you're looking for something specific and they help you out and they save you time, you've established a personal relationship, and then there's the salesperson who does not watch your cues, that is so irritating that you just want to leave the store. We are here to give our sales force all the digital cues they need to better understand their customers"
Not to mention they also bring levity to sales kickoff and other meetings as shown below.
With golf club head speeds well into triple digits, aerodynamics is a discipline Callaway has studied for years. For its latest driver, the XR16, the company sought a fresh approach to moving through the air. So they called Boeing, which knows aerodynamics pretty well and surely counts a few golfers among its legions.
"The objective," says Evan Gibbs, Callaway's research and development chief, "was to have Boeing come in and critique Callaway's analytical methods and results, assess our baseline aerodynamic performance to date, evaluate different flow tripping options, and ultimately provide some guidelines for a new design feature on the crown of our upcoming XR16 driver."
In design, they’re simple. They’re very traditional earbuds, with a small circular bulb that holds a few microphones and a processor. All the processing of sound is done individually on each bud, and they can be calibrated to each user's individual separate ears. Their software leverages tried-and-true acoustic techniques for noise cancellation and effects, but also machine learning algorithms able to adapt to your surroundings.
The app associated with the Here buds has three tabs: a volume knob, which is the master switch for the volume of your world; an equalizer, coupled with effects like echo and reverberation; and a tab split into Tune In and Tune Out, which are pre-made filters meant to either enhance the soundscape or cut it out tailored to certain situations.
When it sits on your bathroom counter, a new device called Droppler measures how much water you're using and gives real-time feedback. But once you've trained yourself to take shorter showers—and you're no longer using the gadget—you can turn it into a drone or a video camera.
Founders at Nascent, the startup making Droppler, think that this could be the future of electronics: instead of tossing out new technology a couple of years after buying it, the guts inside can just be transformed into whatever you need next.
The company studied 600 electronic products, and found that a kit of less than 15 modular parts could build 80% of the gadgets on the market. The shape and the software might be different, but the things that make your Nest or drone work—and what give it its environmental footprint—are basically the same.
Wall beds no longer simply hide away behind an unusable wall or sliding doors, but serve as a shelf, table or desk when tucked away. Engineered for stability and ease of use, there is no need to clear off the desk before setting up a wall bed. In just a few quick moves, a living room or office can transform into a guest bedroom.
Sofa beds that convert into bunk beds make for an easy way to sleep two without clearing away furniture to unfold a traditional sofa bed. It's a perfect solution for grandparents who occasionally watch children overnight, or for turning a one-bedroom apartment into a home for a family of four.
Transforming furniture and space-saving design isn't just reserved for beds. Side tables and coffee tables that easily turn into dining tables allow a modest home to readily host large dinner parties or family gatherings. The square footage of a home should not limit the experiences and memories that can be had within its walls.
Currently, as few as 37% of puppies make it through the raising program to become successful service dogs for the blind. Given that it costs Guiding Eyes more than $40,000 to raise each dog, even a 5% increase in performance can yield the non-profit considerable savings.
The first step was to move all the data — which includes 30 years of structured genetic breeding data and thousands of unstructured questionnaire documents — to IBM Cloud.
Now, Professor Chris Tseng of San Jose State University and a group of his machine-learning students are using IBM Watson services on Bluemix to look for insight in all that data.
By combining the hard and soft data, the study will connect complex patterns, and yield useful insights that will help inform every stage of guide dog development.
Medium – thanks to Vijay Vijayasankar of IBM for sharing
All kinds of companies and industries are already using Microsoft technology. Japanese farmers are tracking cows, which walk more when ready to conceive, so they can inseminate the cow at the optimal moment. An Australian wine company is using similar algorithms to predict grape yields. A hospital about an hour from Microsoft is using Azure tools to help figure out which cardiac patients are most likely to require re-admission. Norway’s eSmart Systems uses Azure Machine Learning to forecast energy grid usage and turn down home heating when demand is high.
In 1816, the artist Rembrandt Peale gathered an audience at his museum in Baltimore, and wowed them by illuminating the room with gas lamps, instead of candles. Soon the city became the first in the US to light its streets with such lamps.
Two centuries later, the city is celebrating its pioneering work with light with a festival this week. The vid below talks about the artists and shows which reflect a much more contemporary view of light.
The environment in which the system operates is kept at a temperature that is near absolute zero. So you probably remember, –273 degrees centigrade is the lowest temperature, called a thermodynamic limit or the lowest temperature that’s physically possible in the universe. This machine runs at 0.01 degrees kelvin, or 10 degrees millikelvin, above that.
So unless there’s any other intelligent life in the universe, this is the coldest environment in the universe that this machine has to run in. For instance, interstellar space is about 4 degrees kelvin, which is much, much warmer than our operating temperature.
That’s not the only part of it. We have to create a magnetic vacuum and an air vacuum. So there’s this coffee-can-sized environment that has this incredibly low temperature and this magnetic vacuum that is probably among the purest environments in the universe. There are no naturally occurring environments like this.
From an interview with the CEO of D-Wave Systems, Vern Brownell.
The little EV may look like just another five-door compact, but two figures make it an engineering masterstroke: 200 and 30,000.
That first number is its range: 200 miles on a fully charged battery. That’s a number exceeded only by Tesla, whose cheapest model starts north of $70,000. And that brings us to the second number. Chevy promises the Bolt will cost less than $30,000 after the $7,500 federal tax credit. Together, they make the Bolt the first EV that delivers excellent range at a great price. It is the electric car for the masses.
As part of the Infor Analyst summit this week, dinner was at the top of the spectacular One World Observatory in New York. The sun set over the Statue of Liberty and the full moon later made for a memorable evening.
As the Telegraph said of the tower which opened last year
“What they have ended up with is a building that screams defiance and strength. It is 400 feet higher than the original Twin Towers; the walls and floors contain 14,000lbs of concrete per square inch, compared with 900lbs that is standard for skyscrapers; there is a waterproof fire lift, and the elevators and stairways are housed in a reinforced column "like a bunker".”
To me, one of the highlights was the technology. The Global Welcome lobby has a large video board which shows off a dynamically generated world map highlights the hometowns of visitors (they key in their zip codes).
The ThyssenKrupp “skypods” zip up 102 floors in 47 seconds – at nearly 25mph. In that ride, you have little time to scream, and even if you wanted to, you are in awe of the walls which show a time lapse of the Manhattan skyline from the 1500s to today.
The See Forever Theater at the top projects more images of New York in a multi-dimension setting and at the end the screens open up to the live view of the city today. You can then walk around and get a 360 degree view of the city, its famous rivers, bridges and other icons.
The video below gives some of the experience but well worth a visit next time you are in New York city. And yes, you can quietly scream your defiance also while you are there.
Profile of First Second publishing which has made illustrated books an art form over the last decade
“We have a whole process to pair authors and illustrators together! It's something that we do a lot -- and it generally involves a lot of research. As an editor, I visit schools with comics programs throughout the year, meeting young cartoonists and generally keeping an eye on the talent pool. In addition, our staff and I attend a lot of shows, and at the end of every show we bring home mini-comics from people we'd like to work with one day. We also spend a lot of time on the internet, looking at cartoonists' work. And we read extensively to make sure we're aware of amazing authors and artists who are out there.”
A new On The Go (OTG) wearable charging cable for smartphones, called Thino, is a portable charger, battery back-up, and data transfer all in one compact, durable and lightweight aluminium body! Thino has a dual side USB connector and is able to detect and switch between different USB charging methods such as charging downstream port (CDP), dedicated charging port (DCP) and standard downstream port (SDP). Thino is able to supply any Android and iOS device with the maximum current it can draw from the source. The built-in 480mAh Lithium Polymer battery can be used as a portable back-up battery to keep your device up and running for 2 hours.
You will see a highly automated manufacturing flow, like what the automotive industry uses. But what you see is sometimes the flow is like this [he moves one hand off to the side]. Sometimes the flow is like this [he shifts it again], and all of a sudden, the flow is like this [he moves both hands]. And you say, “What the hell is going on here?” Well, what happens is that there’s a customer request such as, “I want this product in that size, in that lot size, with that blue color, with that dot on the bottom.” So the software steers the manufacturing process into lots as small as one item. And then sometimes all of a sudden, you see that certain products are being sorted out into a queue, because the plant received information about a quality defect in that product. So the simulation fixes the defect and gets approval from quality management to put it into the production process. And then off we go.
Industrie 4.0 basically takes the cost of scale close to zero. The production process is being changed. It’s machines talking to machines in a self-optimizing manufacturing and engineering process. Using this approach, we have attained a production quality rate of 99.9988%. That is getting pretty close to Six Sigma. In the last five years, we have increased productivity eightfold. It’s really something.
Though city dwellers may not realize it, agriculture is a big source of carbon emissions. That’s because of livestock’s production of methane, how manure is handled, and soil management (something as simple as tilling the soil releases greenhouse gases). Dairy geniuses Mike and Sue McCloskey, partners in one of the country’s biggest dairy operations, have come up with an elegant approach to tackling several of these problems at once in the hopes of creating a zero-carbon footprint dairy farm. At the heart of the operation: a process that turns their dairies’ tons of cow manure into natural-gas fuel. Here’s how it works.
My friend Bill Hewitt, CEO of Exari describes his recent vacation where he went with “disruptive” travel choices, eschewing big brands as much as he could
“Ah, the proverbial family holiday. Pack up the wife and the kids and take on Europe. Call the travel agent, let him book all the flights, hotels, tours, meals. Overpay. Be underwhelmed.
Or blow it up and do everything for half the price. Have more fun.
This year, one of my kids was going on a school music trip to Croatia and Venice, so I thought, "let's meet him in Venice and see a bunch of Europe". As I explore the traditional route, I realized that the single most expensive portion was the one we would use the least- housing.
So I started browsing AirBnB. Large 3 or 4 bedroom. Two hotel rooms in Paris would have cost about $400 each. The 2,000 sf 4 bedroom in the chic artist neighborhood? $800 for 3 nights. For 4. (photo below)
Transportation was next. Uber everywhere. 40% less than a Paris taxi and 60% less than a London cab.
Food? We found the best fish and chips in London and the shop had only been open 3 months. Thanks Tripadvisor.
The only thing we couldn't do disruptively was air travel, so we flew BA. Reasonable prices, but when I tried to use my status to get into the lounge they reminded me that I could only bring one guest. "We have to be consistent with our policies". That's right. Consistency over customer service.
I know my ratings for AirBnB, Uber and Tripadvisor matter. It's a great way of managing the provider / consumer relationship. Is there anyone out there disrupting the airline industry? If so please let me know.”
Before the release of Android, smartphone makers faced a similarly byzantine set of challenges. (How do you manage memory? Download content from the web? Host third-party apps?) By giving away its operating system, Android freed manufacturers from worrying about any of that stuff, resulting in an explosion of smartphone models.
And that’s just the kind of platform Rubin hopes to build with Playground—providing all the basic hardware and software components so entrepreneurs can concentrate on generating interesting devices. Those components come courtesy of the Studio, which plays a role for Playground’s startups similar to the one the Q Department plays for James Bond. If you’re building a drone and need the best available microphone array, the seasoned technologists in the Studio will simply give it to you. (And they’ll know what next year’s microphone arrays will look like, so you can be sure your design is future-proof.) “It’s modular hardware,” Rubin says. “A couple of years from now, you could roll in here with an idea, and we could just rearrange these modules.”