Ever since the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program opened in 2003, people have been intrigued by the field of antennas off mile 11.3 of the Tok Cutoff Road.
The field of radio transmitters designed to heat portions of space has not operated since 2014. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute took it over from the U.S. Air Force in 2015. Despite that inactivity, 350 people were curious enough to travel to Gakona on Aug. 27 and explore the HAARP facility during an open house held by faculty and staff members of the Geophysical Institute.
Long a conversation piece for people who questioned what Department of Defense scientists were doing in the Copper River Valley far from any town, HAARP will soon host its first campaigns under university ownership.
Cold hearted orb that rules the night, Removes the colours from our sight, Red is gray and yellow white, But we decide which is right. And which is an illusion?
The Moody Blues wrote those famous lyrics nearly 50 years ago and way before the term ‘Big Data” was coined. These days with all kinds of social sentiment, sensory, satellite and other data which clearly help identify red as red and yellow as yellow, we still seem to want to decide which is right and which is an illusion.
Take what happened in Florida last week. Matt Drudge, the conservative blogger questioned if the government was exaggarating the intensity of Hurricane Matthew. I live on the western coast of Florida and was not affected much by this storm, but having lived through several close calls, I was pleased to see our governor (who may be even more conservative than Matt), sound the alarms loud and clear. Over 1.5 million Floridians faced evacuation orders. But the Governor then fought pleas for extending the voter registration deadline and a court had to intervene.
That was one of the largest Florida evacuations in recent memory. One of the most impressive achievements of the National Hurricane Center is that its ‘track forecast error” has been steadily dropping over decades. The improvements in track forecasts have meant that hundreds of miles of coastline have not been evacuated and we have saved millions of dollars in emergency services. As I found out when I wrote a case study on the NHC in The New Polymath, it has to collect truly “Big Data” via satellite imagery, flights by the Hurricane Hunters, sensors on buoys in the water, dropsondes parachuted through storm clouds and other sources. It uses supercomputing power to create multiple models of likely tracks ( you see them as spaghetti tracks on your TV). It goes back at the end of each season and audits its forecasts.
And yet, we let our politics question the men and machines at the NHC. I have noticed a bothersome trend with my right leaning trends. They are suspicious of any government sourced data – they are afraid to give President Obama any credit and, in turn, potentially help Hillary Clinton’s chances.
But my liberal friends are no better. They are so convinced of the “middle class squeeze” and want more social programs that they refuse to believe Big Data from the IRS, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau that I mined for my new book, Silicon Collar. The data shows plenty of opportunity for anybody with some initiative
· if you leave out the top 5%, the rest reported $ 6 trillion in AGI or $ 8 trillion in income to the IRS
· for 3+ years, the BLS has reported at least 4 million unfilled jobs every single month
· this economy has 40+ million jobs in franchises, platforms (Apple, eBay, Uber etc.), new services (alternative health, ethnic grocers etc.) which are not being tracked very well, but providing opportunities for many at $20, 100K, eveh higher a year
Most concerning is many of my tech savvy friends who do not want to accept the century of Big Data of research for the book which shows automation only gradually erodes jobs.
Why are there still 90,000 bank branches with over half a million teller and other jobs (just in the US) even after decades of ATMs and Mobile banking? Why do we still have over 600,000 U.S. postal jobs in the face of all kinds of digital communications and when the USPS has automated in the form of kiosks and logistics tech? Why do we still have so many grocery checkout jobs in face of the UPC code/scanner patented 65 years ago and self checkout available for years now? In a world of CGI, why do today’s animated movies show more animators in their credits than Disney’s Snow White did in 1937? How slowly will autonomous cars become mainstream and taxi and truck drivers disappear in a world where half the cars sold globally last year were still manual transmission ?
Their argument – machines are evolving much faster these days so they will destroy jobs much quicker. My counter – technology may be evolving quicker, but technology adoption curves have not speeded up. If anything, my research shows our societies have “circuit-breakers to over automation”. And they go – the past is a poor indicator of the future.
But they don’t have the data. And yet, they want me to be a believer in their lack of Big Data. They want me call their red gray and their yellow white.
Musk said that the factory’s blueprint will more closely resemble an advanced computer chip’s instead of a traditional battery plant’s.
It’s all part of Musk’s new obsession to build, as he called it, “the machine that builds the machine.” In front of an audience of cheering Tesla customers at the launch, Musk effused, “I’m really excited about revitalizing manufacturing. I think it needs love, and we’re going to give it.” With only 14% of construction complete, it’s hard to know if Musk’s ideas will influence manufacturing the way industrialist Henry Ford’s did.
Each of these families is different in thousands of ways, from their ethnicities to their incomes to their sleepover policies. But we set out to find the ways they are the same.
In selecting candidates to study, we ignored siblings who do the same work in the same industry (like Venus and Serena Williams) and families that come from a great fortune or legacy (like the Trumps or the Kennedys). We looked for families in which all the siblings did well. And we defined success by leadership, service or achievement, not just fame or money alone. Of course, genetics plays a role for every family, but we focused on upbringing and sibling dynamics instead.
Digital is not only a means to optimize a company’s existing operations. It also gives both attackers and incumbents the power to disrupt value chains, enter new sectors, and create innovative business models. Established companies face threats from new competitors like Amazon Business, which offers millions of products, from automotive components, industrial lifts, and ramps to lab products, protective gear, and electrical equipment.
To get ahead of threats like this, industrial companies can use digital to transform and extend their own business models before change is imposed on them by attackers reshaping their industry. Some incumbents are joining digital platforms and B2B marketplaces to aggregate demand and sell direct to end users. BASF, for example, was the first chemicals company to sell products online through Alibaba. Other businesses, such as the 3-D printing start-up Sculpteo, are selling services rather than products. Still others are offering their manufacturing capacity as a service to third parties.
"This wouldn't have happened if Steve Jobs were around" is one of the most overused insults that even fans will hurl at Apple CEO Tim Cook when he does something they don't like. Fact is, you can apply the line to many of the things that Cook has done to make Apple as powerful, profitable, and vibrant as it is.
“These markets are huge, hundreds of billions of dollars. The knowledge of the asset itself is quite material. The ability to go to an airline C.E.O. and say, “I’ll guarantee you 99 percent uptime and a 1 percent fuel advantage,” I can do that. It’s hard. That’s not something that’s quite natural for some of the consumer companies to do, even though they’re outstanding. It’s our expectation that there’s going to be other industrial companies that compete. I think we’ll have new competitors. You’ll be partners with somebody in the morning and compete with them in the afternoon.
I think Amazon is an amazing company. Jeff Bezos is one of the guys I really look up to. I’m amazed by what they’ve done. We use Amazon web services. As amazing as they are, they’ve never made a jet engine. So let’s go. Let’s see what happens.”
At the board level, there is a need for knowledgeable, incisive “geeks”: independent directors with experience and perspective in putting technology to use. In the past, many boards have compensated by relying on management or external consultants for strategic advice. But the stakes are now too high to take that approach.
Boards can no longer duck the responsibility for the company’s digital transformation. They must take real ownership by ensuring that they are equipped to fully understand this part of the board agenda. Otherwise, how can they adequately oversee their company’s strategy, investments, and expense base?
This blog was born on March 7, 2005. Facebook had a different name then. The social network had 3 million, mostly casual users. Today it counts over 1.6 billion. No one had heard of the iPhone. The Google Car. Uber. Or Amazon Web Services.
It has been an amazing run over the last 11 years. And innovation keeps accelerating. This is what Florence must have felt like during the European Renaissance.
And the innovation is spreading globally. Search the blog and you find entries on Rwanda, Kazakhstan, Antarctica and plenty more places off the innovation beaten path.
The blog has influenced 4 of my books. It has helped many of my consulting clients as I “raise the bar” for what they can expect from technology
I am grateful to my sponsors for their continued support. I am thankful to many friends who send me story ideas for posts. And especially thankful to readers who have made this blog part of their regular diet.