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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pepsi Spire: Late Stage, on Shelf Customization

We saw early versions of Coke's Freestyle machine, an example of fashionable late stage drink differentiation that is now common in the marketplace.  An example of good engagement, provided by on site customization, but how profitable is it?  Now Pepsi is to follow with a similar idea, previewed in AdAge.  There is a claim that the Pepsi machine will let you invent your own beverage, but won't let you create a terrible beverage.  A hint at selection intelligence? Can selective product development intelligence be delivered to the consumer at point of purchase?  The ultimate end-stage differentiation.  And how can this be demonstrated to the purchaser?

More from Pepsi.  @Pepsispire

Who is the Employer?

In Retailwire: This leads to some 'unintended' consequences for small business, franchises and drives litigation.   The comments also have some good points.    Is McDonald's a 'joint employer' with its franchisees?

A Closer Look at Crowdsourcing

Crowds are biased.  So what does that mean for crowdsourcing? In HBS Working Knowledge: " ... At the Open and User Innovation Workshop, several hundred researchers discussed their work on innovation contests, user-led product improvements, and the biases of crowds. ... " 

Gamifying Intelligent Digital Signage

A concept we looked at in the innovation centers.  How do you engage with participants in alternative contexts?  Here, from RMG Networks.   A thoughtful white paper on the integration of gamification concepts with digital signage.  Primarily here in internal business settings. This can be problematical due to culture and different motivational goals.

" ... To summarize gamification researcher, futurist and author of Reality is  Broken Jane McGonigal, games provide us with “real positive emotions,  real positive experiences and real social connections” during a challenging time [work]. She goes on to state that the real world is at once too easy, depressing, unproductive, hopeless, isolating, disconnected,  trivial… the list goes on. But reality is our destiny, she goes on to say, and  our mission is to engage as fully as possible with reality. ... " 

See more resources from Jane McGonigal at her site.

Mistakes Futurists Make

Often collaborator Steve King in his Small Business Lab's Blog.  A must to follow.  Never considered myself a futurist, but an innovator connected to short term understanding of needs and emerging technology solutions.  Some common sense thoughts here on the study of future understanding.

Future Proofing the Supply Chain

Procurement futures considered: 

" ... Sustainable sourcing and procurement are key factors in "future-proofing" or protecting supply chains against future problems. Sustainable sourcing helps reduce procurement delays, improve supplier relationships and reduce waste-management costs while improving efficiency and transparency. E-procurement is considered by many organizations as one of the most beneficial steps toward sustainable sourcing and sustainable supply chain management ... " 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Walmart Labs Buys Luvocracy

In RetailWire:  " ... Yesterday, Walmart Labs announced it had acquired Luvocracy, an online community that helps members find products based on the recommendations of family, friends and other influencers. Members can then make purchases without leaving the site. What makes this Walmart Labs' purchase different is that it promptly shut down Luvocracy to the public after the deal was announced (terms of which not made public). ... " 

Tell a Great Story

In the HBR: Very good piece on story telling in business.  I have covered this here many times, including pointers to some of my colleagues that were experts, both internally and externally on this method.  The idea has become hot of late, we practiced it for decades.

See colleague Paul Smith's:  Lead With a Story.  A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince, and Inspire  ... And the storytelling tag below.

" ... We tell stories to our coworkers and peers all the time — to persuade someone to support our project, to explain to an employee how he might improve, or to inspire a team that is facing challenges. It’s an essential skill, but what makes a compelling story in a business context? And how can you improve your ability to tell stories that persuade? ... "

Learning to Operate with Wearables

In Engadget: Another example of  the potential use of Google Glass like wearables for augmentation.  Learning operating room procedure. Hands free and augmenting training that contains visual and highly tacit support for process.  Similar to what we experimented with in manufacturing maintenance.  Inevitable we will see more specialized examples.

IdeaConnection Re Connect

It has been a long time since I talked to them, but just reviewed their offerings.  A nice idea, whose newsletter is always worth examining for innovative ideas.  " ... IdeaConnection gives you access to a worldwide network of experts, thought leaders and industry veterans. By getting access to these brilliant minds outside of your company, you will be able to solve technical problems, break development bottlenecks and find technologies faster and more efficiently than your competition. Find out how IdeaConnection can accelerate your innovation today. ... Working confidentially with companies large and small. ... " 

Internet of Everything Discussion

Cisco sponsored a panel discussion yesterday that I was pointed to.  Still, not sure I agree with the differences between the use of the term versus using 'Internet of Things', but do see what point they are are attempting to make.    Recording and background here.  " ... featuring executives from Stanley Black & Decker, AeroScout Industrial, salesforce.com and FH Celebration Health--which spotlighted how the Internet of Everything (IoE) ...  " 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Quid. Just pointed to.  An augmented way for people to interact with information?

CGT Execs Admit Lack of Digital Knowledge

Based on a survey in CGT .  Not universally, but I would generally agree.  In particularly regarding digital innovation.

" ... The Consumer Goods Forum and KPMG International released the findings of their annual Global Top of Mind Survey, which polled nearly 500 C-suite and senior executives globally. Findings reveal how important the digital revolution will be over the next 12 months to consumer goods and retail companies – impacting everything from business growth and supply chain management to food safety, sustainability, and data security and privacy.

“This year’s research clearly shows how important digital strategy is to the modern consumer goods industry, as new technologies and new entrants to the market disrupt traditional consumption," says Peter Freedman, managing director of The Consumer Goods Forum. "Getting this strategy right and acquiring new digital skills will allow businesses to reach out to consumers in new ways, drive growth and enhance other important elements of their businesses; not least when it comes to ensuring a transparent and collaborative end-to-end value chain.” ... ' 

Need for an Open Source Internet of Things

About an open source IOT.  In CWorld.  what we said all along in the RFID world, its careful establishment of standards.

" ... The only limit to the Internet of Things isn't imagination or technology. It's the vendors. Will your Whirlpool, Maytag or GE washer be able to communicate with your Samsung TV or Apple iPhone, Sears' oven or any other device?

Without interoperability, consumer devices, electronic appliances and sensor-equipped wearables won't recognize each other and communicate. ... 

Open source challenges a proprietary Internet of Things
Linux Foundation believes it has the code for unlocking Internet of Things and bringing success ... " 

Machine Learning Mastery

Jason B has a blog on machine learning.  Good introductory piece: Why Machine Learning Matters.

Mass Marketing Days are Limited

A look at the future of mass marketing.   " ... Mass marketing no longer resonates with today's consumer and it must be replaced by one-on-one marketing with dedicated focus on pre-shop behavior, says Frito-Lay’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. ... " 

Visualizing Dynamic Networks

In IEEE Transactions, an example showing dynamic changes in networks:

Dynamic Network Visualization with Extended Massive Sequence Views
Networks are present in many fields such as finance, sociology, and transportation. Often these networks are dynamic: they have a structural as well as a temporal aspect. In addition to relations occurring over time, node information is frequently present such as hierarchical structure or time-series data. We present a technique that extends the Massive Sequence View ( msv) for the analysis of temporal and structural aspects of dynamic networks. Using features in the data as well as Gestalt principles in the visualization such as closure, proximity, and similarity, we developed node reordering strategies for the msv to make these features stand out that optionally take the hierarchical node structure into account. 

This enables users to find temporal properties such as trends, counter trends, periodicity, temporal shifts, and anomalies in the network as well as structural properties such as communities and stars. We introduce the circular msv that further reduces visual clutter. In addition, the (circular) msv is extended to also convey time-series data associated with the nodes. This enables users to analyze complex correlations between edge occurrence and node attribute changes. We show the effectiveness of the reordering methods on both synthetic and a rich real-world dynamic network data set. ...  "

Monday, July 28, 2014

On Collecting Just the Right Data

In the MIT News:  Has come up in two recent client engagements.  What current data and ancillary metadata will be needed to make current and future decisions?   What is the cost of gathering and maintaining that data?  What is the value of that data over time?    " ... developed a new technique that could help with both problems. For a range of common applications in which data is either difficult to collect or too time-consuming to process, the technique can identify the subset of data items that will yield the most reliable predictions. So geologists trying to assess the extent of underground petroleum deposits, or meteorologists trying to forecast the weather, can make do with just a few, targeted measurements, saving time and money. ... " 

Simple Encryption App

In Wired:   A strong, easy to use encryption App, they say.  I have played with the alternative PGP, and I agree it is not an easy to use alternative for the typical user.

Virtual Reality in Advertising

In Adage:  Next new thing to impress and engage consumers?   Compare it to augmented reality often discussed here, which today uses less hardware. And its connection to game interaction.   " .... It's a bit like the leap marketers such as Coca-Cola, HBO and Nissan are taking into the nascent world of virtual reality. Well aware of the hurdles agencies, brands and the media must overcome first—not the least of which are the current cost of the technology and the cumbersomeness of the equipment—these first-movers are wagering on a marketing future where goggles can be bought at Walmart for $300 and brands can deliver visceral consumer experiences. Imagine Budweiser taking you behind the plate at the World Series or Pepsi giving you a virtual front-row seat at a Beyoncé concert. ... " 

Airwheel for Personal Transport

We tested the Segway to some extent, even used it in retail aisles.  Mostly safe.  You could learn it to safety in an hour or so.  Now there is the Airwheel .   Looking at a demonstration this seems to be less stable and harder to learn.  A review.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Space Exploration with CMaps

Been a while since I mentioned concept maps, but I use them often.  In a Linkedin conversation I saw mention of their use in an example to provide motivation for space exploration.  Alberto J. Cañas, Associate Director at IHMC (Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition) writes:

" ... We are developing new technology for the CmapServer that should make the integration much nicer. Hope to have it out in the next few months. Uses the same viewer technology we use for the SpaceExploration site (http://spaceexp.ihmc.us). ... "

Getting Your Work Done on a Tablet

I have had an iPad for years.   I helped survey its practical use for the enterprise.   I use it every day, but mostly for scanning information and planning, and sometimes for gathering notes at client meetings. Cloud enabled applications have made it more useful. And implementing applications like MS Word and Powerpoint help too.   There are still restrictions and inconsistencies for using it as a complete computing interaction tool.  GigaOM has a post on the current state of doing work on an iPad.

Government Chatbots for Screening

An area where we worked extensively, communication bots.  Also involved in clearance and interviewing processes.  I know there is currently a huge backlog in clearance delivery.  And there is a government  'Center of Credibility Assessment ..? '.  That makes one smile. In New Scientist:   More here.

" ... Want access to the US government's secrets? Talk to the robot.

Some 5.1 million Americans hold federal security clearance of one level or another, entitling them access to classified information. Putting each person eligible for clearance through the detailed screening process is a huge bureaucratic headache. Dean Pollina of the US National Center for Credibility Assessment in Fort Jackson, South Carolina – which assesses security technologies such as polygraph lie detectors for the government – wondered whether a computer-generated interviewer could streamline the process.

Pollina and colleague Allison Baretta built a system in which an on-screen avatar equipped with speech-recognition capability asks a series of screening questions. They then used it to do recorded interviews with 120 members of the US Army. ... " 

Innovation Talent

Thoughts on what innovation talent looks like.  It is an unusual talent.  In particular to take it beyond speculation and on to useful implementation.  In Innovation Excellence. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Analytics Disciplines Compared

Once again, a very nice piece by Vincent Granville I am just exploring.  Which seeks to answer a common question: What is the difference between all these analytic and data focused disciplines? What should I try first, or at all?  Have heard these questions often, and the frequency of query is increasing.  

He writes:  " ... Here I compare several analytic disciplines that overlap, to explain the differences and common denominators. Sometimes differences exist for nothing else other than historical reasons. Sometimes the differences are real and subtle. I also provide typical job titles, types of analyses, and industries traditionally attached to each discipline. It would be great if someone can add an historical perspective to my article. ... " 

Detailed, sometimes technical, but very useful to the extent it delivers.  Reviewing now.

Infrared Digital's Contextual Fusion

Heard a description of Infrared Digital's method called Fusion: " ..... FUSION provides an analytic architecture where you can create a single analysis that includes your internal media, media partners, and enterprise systems, as well as CRM & insight providers, and ambient data.

The combination of data from “all” media channels with other internal and external sources of data will enable you to take queues from your customer’s behavior and the world around them to inform your promotional approach.  ... " 

IBM Big Data Hub

IBM on their view of big data, useful resources and pointers.  " ... A strategic approach to big data is built on a data-driven culture, scalability and value, among other essential elements of progress. ... " . 

The Need for Objectivity

Former boss Bob Herbold on the elusive but necessary concept of of objectivity.  He always provides some excellent business examples from the management perspective.   In his blog.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Vision Correcting Displays

In Mashable:

" ... Those of us who need glasses to see a TV or laptop screen clearly could ditch the eyewear thanks to a display technology that corrects vision problems.

The technology uses algorithms to alter an image based on a person’s glasses prescription together with a light filter set in front of the display. The algorithm alters the light from each individual pixel so that, when fed through a tiny hole in the plastic filter, rays of light reach the retina in a way that re-creates a sharp image. Researchers say the idea is to anticipate how your eyes will naturally distort whatever’s onscreen — something glasses or contacts typically correct — and adjust it beforehand so that what you see appears clear. ... " 

Cognitive Computing Webinar and Resources

New World of Cognitive Computing. Yesterday attended a webinar on Cognitive Computing.  Which was a fairly good introduction, non technical and suitable for an extended technical executive introduction.  Recorded one hour presentation is here.  Just the slides here.

Panelists: Steve Ardire, James Kobielus (IBM), Adrian Bowles and Tony Sarris

" .. Cognitive Computing is a rapidly developing technology that has reached practical application and implementation. So what is it? Do you need it? How can it benefit your business?

In this webinar a panel of experts in Cognitive Computing will discuss the technology, the current practical applications, and where this technology is going. The discussion will start with a review of a recent survey produced by DATAVERSITY on how Cognitive Computing is currently understood by your peers. The panel will also review many components of the technology including:

Cognitive Analytics
Machine Learning
Deep Learning
And next generation artificial intelligence (AI) ... " 

iPhone as Future Wallet

More indications that Apple will be pushing the idea of a convenient phone-wallet in future mobile.  An idea that has been around for years. Talked to credit card companies about integrating promotion offers and shopping lists.  Will this finally be the push to make the idea common?   What are the security and privacy implications?

" ... It seems likely Apple's payment solution will combine iTunes with Touch ID and the secure enclave on iPhones. The service will come to market in partnership with existing credit card firms.

"Apple has told some partners its system would involve a so-called secured element in the phones — a piece of hardware where sensitive information such as a phone owner’s financial credentials can be stored," The Information says.

The offer means consumers will be able to use their devices to pay for physical goods on the Web, inside apps and at retail stores.... "

Kinds of Regressions

Vincent Granville maps alternate regression types and their applications.  Nicely done.  It's very useful to know alternative tools and what they are good for.  After you know your business problem, the data needed and available, and have visualized it thoroughly, regression is the right next place to go.  See also his book, which is pointed to.  Making my way through it now.

KNIME Analytics

Brought to my attention, have not looked at closely, but one of a large number of packages available today.

KNIME - Professional Open-Source Software
KNIME is a user-friendly graphical workbench for the entire analysis process: data access, data transformation, initial investigation, powerful predictive analytics, visualisation and reporting. The open integration platform provides over 1000 modules (nodes), including those of the KNIME community and its extensive partner network.

KNIME can be downloaded onto the desktop and used free of charge. KNIME products include additional functionalities such as shared repositories, authentication, remote execution, scheduling, SOA integration and a web user interface as well as world-class support. Big data extensions are available for distributed frameworks such as Hadoop. KNIME is used by over 3000 organizations in more than 60 countries.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Maximum Flow

In CACM:  Maximum flow algorithms in a network under under constraint are a classical application of mathematical programming.  It has many applications.  This article covers advances in the methods.   Can also be used strategically for supply chain applications.  For years I made a career out of these. Article starts straightforward, but ends very technical.  They sound like one of those word problems:

" .... we give a simple example of each problem: For the maximum flow example, suppose we have a graph that represents an oil pipeline network from an oil well to an oil depot. Each arc has a capacity, or maximum number of liters per second that can flow through the corresponding pipe. The goal is to find the maximum number of liters per second (maximum flow) that can be shipped from well to depot. For the minimum cut problem, we want to find the set of pipes of the smallest total capacity such that removing the pipes disconnects the oil well from the oil depot (minimum cut). ... " 

Defining Digital Shoppers

Interesting statistics in Retail Wire. " ... Ernst & Young and Havas Worldwide are just two of numerous firms attempting to classify the still-emerging digital consumer in recently published reports. What questions are most important to ask when looking to define digital shoppers? What traits are particularly important to access in exploring how digital may alter the path to purchase?  ... "

Pageviews Dead?

It is suggested in Smart Data Collective. Engagement has always been king.  Well not really engagements, but purchases.  Pageviews are easily measured, and though always suspect in direct value, can be useful.  Views are the first step to engagement.  Again I suggest that the understanding of the decision process can bring multiple measures together, and useful.

Innovation Idea Prioritization

Some simple ideas to address the portfolio of innovation ideas.  In particular I don't see this done very often at startups, where it is assumed that you can just internalize the ideas and keep their value and risks straight.

Digitizing Consumer Decision Journeys

In McKinsey: It's back to understanding the decision process.   " ... Many of the executives we speak with in banking, retail, and other sectors are still struggling to devise the perfect cross-channel experiences for their customers—experiences that take advantage of digitization to provide customers with targeted, just-in-time product or service information in an effective and seamless way. ... "  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

IBM and Apple Partnership and the IOT

In CWorld:  An angle that I had not considered, but the connection makes sense.  It also strengthens the connection to enterprise sources of big data.

The partnership announced last week isn't just about selling more iPhones. It's part of a big push into the Internet of Things.

The deal between Apple and IBM isn't just about selling iPhones to the enterprise -- it creates a foundation from which both can build their presence in the evolution of the Internet of Things.

The deal puts the world's leading consumer tech company together with one of the world's leading infrastructure tech firms. Apple and IBM will deliver enterprise-class apps developed to make IBM's data-crunching tools accessible on Apple's devices. Big data is at the center of the plan. ... "  

Taking a Deeper Dive in Splunk

Mentioned to me some time ago, as an interesting solution, now taking a deeper dive. See Splunk.com  ... Will follow with some impressions.  See the elevator control analytics example previously mentioned.

" .... Splunk is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California, which produces software for searching, monitoring, and analyzing machine-generated big data, via a web-style interface.  Splunk  captures, indexes and correlates real-time data in a searchable repository from which it can generate graphs, reports, alerts, dashboards and visualizations. ... " 

http://www.splunk.com/view/SP-CAAAG2R    Using Splunk
http://www.splunk.com/view/SP-CAAAG2Q    Why Splunk?
http://www.splunk.com/get          Get Splunk
http://www.splunk.com/videos      Splunk Videos

Millennials and Food Shopping

In Smartblogs.   How will they be won over? " ... Millennials are much like the young versions of previous generations, except they grew up in a digital age and lived through the Great Recession, circumstances that affect the way they shop, Hartman Group CEO Laurie Demeritt writes. Young consumers distrust marketing messages, connect with brands based on price and personality and seek out fresh, convenient prepared foods ... "

Importance of Emotional Machines

Facebook AI director Yann LeCun on the importance of emotional machines   " ... “Emotions are often the result of predicting a likely outcome. For example, fear comes when we are predicting that something bad (or unknown) is going to happen to us. Love is an emotion that evolution built into us because we are social animals and we need to reproduce and take care of each other. Future AI systems that interact with humans will have to have these emotions too.” ... '.  Interesting argument, but I think we would accept something as very intelligent, even without very much emotion.

Network as Nervous System

A reasonable analogy for digital enterprise.    And Analytics should be the brain, placing the network n contexts to gather as much useful data as possible.  " ... Business and network strategies will become more integrated as the network becomes the nervous system of the digital business ... "  

Evaluating the Concept of Web Rank

Simple game based demonstration video about how search and in particular how web sites can be evaluated via their interconnections with hyperlinks.  Good to show kids, but also for adults to demonstrate how math about probabilities can be demonstrated via a proposed experiment.   Also an example of simulation methodology.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July August Analytics Magazine

July August 2014 Analytics Magazine

Why Do Analytics Projects Fail? by Haluk Demirkan and Bulent Dal
Not just another IT project: Key considerations for deep analytics on big data, learning and insights.

Real-Time Text Analytics
by Aveek Mukhopadhyay and Roger Barga
How a cloud-based analytical engine yields instant insight using unstructured social media data.

Analytics Transforms a 'Dinosaur'
by Brenda Dietrich, Emily Plachy and Maureen Norton
The story of how industry giant IBM not only survived but thrived by realizing business value from big data.

The Future of Forecasting by Jack Yurkiewicz
Making predictions from hard and fast data: Biennial survey of popular software for analytics professionals.

Executive Edge:
Six Ways of Value-Creation Through Analytics in E-commerce by Rohit Tandon
It has become imperative for organizations to be on the customers' online radar with respect to new products or services and to be able to influence their choices.

Augmented Collaboration: Cisco Spring Roll

Some of this discovered rather late, but Cisco provides new a prototype of collaboration features for its Telepresence brand.  Called Spring Roll.  Eweek discusses.  And a demonstration.  Collaborative and interactive sharing of data is a particular interest in the enterprise.  A curved screen is featured, but that is not enough.

You need to provide focus on the task at hand, and the best focus today is data.   See in particular work done with Business Sphere. Telepresence does not appear to be addressing this strongly, but should.  It deals with the display aspects and not interaction with the data.   Send me more if you have more about possibilities regarding collaborative data in Telepresence, or elsewhere.

See also in BizJournals.  And more on the prototype.

Data Analytics Ranked High in C-Suite

In Research Mag:     " ... 56% of consumer goods and retail business leaders cite data analytics as being important to their firm’s strategy, according to a recent survey.

This makes it the highest-ranked strategic area in the survey. The annual Global Top of Mind survey, run by Oxford Economics on behalf of The Consumer Goods Forum and KPMG International, gathered the views of 469 C-Suite and senior executives across 32 countries.   ... " 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Whats New in Social Science?

Am a long time reader of The Edge.    So What's new in social science?   Pretty massive and have only peeked at it, but take your time ....

" ...  Now, for the first time, we are pleased to present the program in its entirety, all ten talks and discussions comprising nearly six hours of EDGE Video and a downloadable PDF of the 58,000-word transcript. We intend to follow up this September with HeadCon '14, plans to which will be announced.

The great biologist Ernst Mayr (the "Darwin of the 20th Century") once said to me: "Edge is a conversation." And like any conversation, it is evolving. And what a conversation it is!

Permalink: http://edge.org/event/headcon-13-whats-new-in-social-science ... " 

IT as Creatives in the Enterprise

In CIO:  How could this not be so?  An efficient means to gather data, pass it to the parts of the entperprise that need it the most and leverage it with continually evolving analytical techniques, available in and outside the enterprise.  All partitionable on handy Clouds. The creatives will be needed to work the details.

Simulating Cardiovascular Drugs

The idea of this kind of in-silico drug testing has been around for a long time, we worked briefly with an effort at the University of California San Diego in a related effort.    Simulation is a powerful capability, if you can build a robust and sufficient model of the context involved.  Here another good step forward.

Facebook Buy Button Test

In Retailwire:  Will people buy directly on Facebook?  Possibly, but I have never see FB as a commercial context.   A test is underway.  " ... Users on desktop or mobile will be able to click the Buy call-to-action button on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business without leaving Facebook. How appealing do you expect Facebook's "Buy" button will be to Facebook users?  ... " 

High Resolution Flexible Display

Flexible screens continue to emerge.  We examined them for applications like advanced packaging and integrated shelf displays.  Its likely now that they will be used for wearable applications as well.

Watson and Academic Institutions

Have had some discussions on this concept.  There is considerable interest in academia, but the ideas have to be tied to course structure, AND be of real interest to hiring companies.  You have to work both sides of the knowledge chain.  IBM News room - 2014-05-07 Seven of the Nation’s Leading Technology Institutions Unveil Cognitive Computing Courses Leveraging IBM Watson.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Project Adam AI for Visual Recognition

There is more going on in AI than just IBM's Watson, here more focused, addressing one of the most important tasks of sensory recognition.  In TechTimes:     See also comparisons to similar work by Google.

 " ... Microsoft is developing an artificial intelligence (AI) system called "Project Adam" that can perform visual recognition tasks faster than any other system currently available.

Microsoft Research, a research division of the company, says that Project Adam enhances the learning ability of computers. With Project Adam computer systems can absorb data and teach themselves.

The company demonstrated Project Adam at its Faculty Summit in Redmond. As part of the demonstration, the company brought dogs of different breeds and showed how technology can distinguish between them in real time.

Project Adam can be very important for the company as several technology companies are working hard to develop AI and predictive systems that can be useful in the mobile technologies. Previously, Google was said to be using a network of around 16,000 computers to teach itself to identify pictures of cats. ... "

Thinkvine and Damon Ragusa

Have followed Thinkvine here for some time, out enterprise connected with them and have touched base  number of times since their creation in 2000 by Damon Ragusa.     They have done some very novel  work integrating agent based modeling simulation, marketing mix and related problems.  I like their new video on their offerings.  Simulation is a very powerful analytic technique to understand marketing operations.  In the news today, Damon Ragusa is back at the helm.  More details in today's Cincinnati Enquirer.  Hope to reconnect in the coming weeks.

Lost Links

Received another query about links that no longer point to the information that they should.  This is a common thing on the Web.   Unless what you are pointing to is a entity that has the resources to maintain their content, it happens.   You can ask, but usually I don't have the time to search out the lost information. It is true that some of these things can be found somewhere on the 'Internet Archive',  but I will not generally be re-linking them.

Wearables in the Enterprise

Will wearables be widespread in the enterprise?  Well not too many years ago I could not have imagined hand held computer-phones there.    An interview with Bill Briggs of Deloitte.  " ... Deloitte Digital, a mix of ‘ creative, strategy, user experience, and engineering talent, and technology services to help clients harness disruptive digital technologies to redesign “business as usual” – to engage differently with customers, change how work gets done, and rethink the very core of their markets’. He seemed like my kind of human. ... " 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Learning from Extreme Consumers

In Experientia:  " ... Traditional market research methods focus on understanding the average experiences of average consumers. This focus leads to gaps in our knowledge of consumer behavior and often fails to uncover insights that can drive revolutionary, rather than evolutionary innovation.  ... "  ... "

Forbes Sells Majority Stake to International Investors

This was of interest because I had a very small connection to Forbes.   'To accelerate growth they say ... '.  I liked their coverage of technical and management issues.  How this will change it is unclear.

 ' ... Forbes Family Welcomes Significant Investment by Investor Group  –

–    Investors Are Committed to Forbes’ Brand, Strategy, Values and Management  –

–    Forbes Family Will Retain Significant Interest; Current Management Team Will Remain in Place; Steve Forbes Will Continue as Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Mike Perlis as President and CEO  –

–        Forbes Media will remain a privately-held, independent company headquartered in the U.S.; Company’s Asian business will continue to be led by Forbes Media CEO/Asia Will Adamopoulos – ....' 

On Mindful Neuroscience

Short BBC piece that barely covers the topic.  Mentions a number of reading styled efforts underway. Less about mind reading than it is about behavior understanding in context.

Amazon Bundles Books

Amazon is Bundling. It has been talked about and tested  for a while, and I received an offer yesterday.  To pay a fixed monthly price for full online access to any number of a group of 600K books.   It's called bundling, and similar to what Netflix does.  Bundling can add the value to the seller of removing statistical purchase variation created my consumer behavior.  Would like to see those analytics.  At first when you read it, it sounds like you get access to the whole library, but no, not all publishers are participating, and like Netflix, what you would really like or need is often not included.   And my interests are eclectic.  Not participating for now.

Oracle Social Intelligence and Linkedin

In CWorld:  It is interesting that Linkedin is leveraging these kids of analytical techniques against the data that we are openly opening providing here.  Should this require further disclosure about what they are doing?

 " ... Oracle has hooked up its SRM (social relationship management) software suite to LinkedIn, a move to give marketing and customer support staffers a way to reach the business-oriented social network's 300 million users.

The LinkedIn integration provides the ability to publish LinkedIn Company and Showcase pages, which can be targeted according to factors such as geographic location, company size and industry, Oracle said in its announcement on Wednesday.

It will also be possible to interact with commenters on these pages, Oracle said. There's a degree of analytics as well, such as reports on the number of comments a particular posting generated, according to Oracle. ... " 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Migrating to the Cloud

In EETimes:

 " ... IBM is limbering up its cloud storage. Already committing $1.2 billion to establish for-rent datacenters in every country that needs them, today IBM announced a complete hardware/software/storage capability for cloud-based and hybrid users at a claimed 90 percent savings. Key is its software-defined storage-as-a-service, the newest element of IBM's software-defined storage portfolio. Called "Elastic Storage on Cloud," the new capability offered by SoftLayer (which IBM acquired last year) is an outgrowth of the Watson data management system, which beat the world champion humans at TV game show Jeopardy.

"With Elastic Storage on Cloud, we are addressing a new generation of workloads -- cloud analytics and mobile social [trending] -- which are heavily reliant on unstructured data, files, and objects," Bernie Spang, vice president of strategy for software-defined environment told EE Times. "You can have data that needs to be high performance in a flash cache on the server for high performance while moving seldom-used data that does not need low-latency access off to tape -- and it's not archived, it's active. It's just policy-based transparent movement of data to tape for up to 90 percent cost savings." ...'

Business Value in Content Marketing

In Clickz:  Includes a step by step look at what this means:

" ... A new study shows marketers can't tie business value back to their content marketing tactics. So how can marketers better measure the success of their content marketing campaigns? ...
Yes, it's a bit of an attention-grabber. And, yes, it's slightly misleading. But the new Forrester, Business Marketing Association (BMA), and Online Marketing Institute Content Marketing Study found that 83 percent of marketers cannot tie back business value to their content marketing efforts. In short, the study reveals that while most marketers know there is value in content marketing, most are not creating good content, let alone measuring its business impact.  ... "
Definition and history of content marketing.

Judging Risk is Difficult

Why we underestimate risk.
" ... In hindsight, many risks seem obvious.  And when we do take the time to evaluate potential risks, there is often not much that is profound about them.  Yet so many of us fall prey to unforeseen risks, believing that they came out of nowhere or that they could not have been anticipated.  While this may be true in some cases, most of the time risk blindness occurs due to the way our brains are wired. Here are three reasons why we’re blind to risk, and what we can do about it. ... " 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Paths to Learning

Stephen Few reviews a recent book on the Science Learning.  A good topic, because we still have much to learn about learning.  Worth a look, I plan to read:  " ... Many of the strongly held and frequently espoused notions about learning practices (e.g., good study habits), which seem intuitive, are dead wrong. Scientific investigation into the learning brain has revealed a great deal, especially in recent years, but the findings seldom reach the teachers and learners who would benefit from them. Peter Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel have responded to this problem in the form of a wonderful new book titled Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (2014). ... ".  I do wonder if some of these methods can then be transferred over to machine learning?

Riken Research

A long time research resource on Japan, Riken Research writes:

" ... The latest printed edition of RIKEN Research, containing a selection of articles published on our website, has just come out. In our Perspectives and Places section, we highlight the RIKEN Center for Quantitative Biology, and Highlights feature research being carried out throughout our organization.

Readers may notice that it has a new look. As part of our move away from print and toward online media, we decided to issue the magazine four times a year, with more pages, and to give it a new look designed to make it feel a little more like a magazine and less like a report. ... " 

Big Data, Marketing and Finance

Some thin case studies in the HBR blogs.  But it is clear that the deeper use of analytics techniques on growing and complex gathered data will from now on be essential to running the marketing side of financial businesses.

Pipelines and Forecast Timing

In E-Commercetimes: The timing of forecast value is an important aspect.  It's part of the decision process that is often forgotten.

" ... Analytics should be able to tell you the likelihood of each deal's completion in time for you to take action if the prediction is unfavorable. If each deal is somewhat different, then comparing each with the historic deals most like them will provide a truer indicator of close probability than simply comparing deals through something as general-purpose as deal stage. The difference is important. ... " 

MOOCs and MBA Programs

In Knowledge@Wharton, Interview and video:

" ... In a new research paper, Christian Terwiesch, professor of operations and information management at Wharton, and Karl Ulrich, vice dean of innovation at the school, examine the impact that massive open online courses (MOOCs) will have on business schools and MBA programs. In their study — titled, “Will Video Kill the Classroom Star? The Threat and Opportunity of MOOCs for Full-time MBA Programs” — they identify three possible scenarios that business schools face not just as a result of MOOCs, but also because of the technology embedded in them. In an intereview with Knowledge@Wharton, Terwiesch and Ulrich discuss their findings. ... " 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

IBM and Apple Partnership for Mobile

I was struck by this announcement yesterday because it includes many of the needs we addressed in the enterprise when we understood that mobile capabilities would change the way we did work.  We would have to provide new functionality to focus efforts and deliver security.  And provide important data anytime, anywhere, with augmenting analytics.  

Addressing questions like: " ... What public apps should I use?  What Apps should we have written to address our special needs?  How do I make sure the right data is available and secure? ... "

Will continue to follow the details.

" ... Apple and IBM yesterday announced an exclusive partnership that teams the market-leading strengths of each company to transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps—bringing IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad. ... " 

See the MobileFirst website and the supporting blog  and press release.

And the impact on Microsoft.

Searching for Live Hangouts

Interesting idea to search for live events in Google Hangouts.  In test.  Have now used hangouts a number of times for small group communications.  Simple interface, and is usually without problems.

IT is Cracking the C Suite

In the HBR Blog: Well yes, but it has been there selectively, for a long time.  Well understood for several decades that its values are not overhead, but essential. Just managed differently in different enterprises.

Creating Future IT Organizations

In CIOInsight:  Transformation yes, but also making things work efficiently.

" ...  If I have one major complaint about how IT executives have seen their role, it is that, generally speaking, they think too small. For many IT executives, IT has been solely operational and financial. It has been merely a means to reduce costs and improve organizational efficiencies. IT executives have rarely sought to develop technologies that had the power to transform—whether that was to transform their business or human lives. Yet, Benetech shows us that technology can play a vital role in just this kind of transformation. And I believe that as we look to the future, it is the companies that use technology as a transformative engine that will be rewarded.  ... "

Samsung and SmartThings

In GigaOM: Samsung is in negotiation to buy home automation company SmartThings.   The connection makes lots of sense.  Though as I have mentioned here before, I do hope that the user experience under Samsung is improved.

" ...  Samsung is in talks to purchase SmartThings, the smart home startup that has been trying to make home automation a mainstream option for consumers who aren’t afraid to spend a bit of time programming their devices. According to TechCrunch, Samsung would pay around $200 million with an eye toward getting in front of Google with its Nest acquisition in January. ... "

 Having looked at SmartThings I do recall that their interface was too much about programming, which would make it less than appealing for most.   Also, my own experience with current Samsung devices interacting has been less than perfect. Lots of work to do it seems.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thermoelectric Materials

In Tech Review: Turning waste heat into energy.  With an abundantly available material.  " ... California-based Alphabet Energy plans to begin selling a new type of material that can turn heat into electricity. Unlike previous thermoelectrics, as such materials are known, it is abundant, cheap, and nontoxic. ... " 

New Compounds from Microbe Interaction

Synthetic biology (WP Overview)  is of interest for product development, some readers of this blog have indicated an interest in how this domain could link to analytic methods.  You will see some pieces like the below appearing as I explore the domain.  Do chime in if you know of other resources.

When microbes join forces, useful new compounds emerge
In a recent paper, SFI External Professor Elhanen Borenstein and co-authors show that when living together, communities of microbial species commonly produce novel, potentially useful compounds that single species growing alone do not produce. They begin to define the mechanisms and time signatures of such "emergent biosynthetic capacities" and present a computational framework for modeling, exploring, tracking, and predicting this phenomenon in simple two-species communities.

Such enhanced metabolic capacities represent a promising route to many medical, environmental, and industrial applications and call for the development of a predictive, systems-level understanding of synergistic microbial capacity, the authors write. 

Full paper, technical but beginning paragraphs are useful and readable.

Major Urban Data Observatory

Interesting concept, in Venturebeat:  A means to observe and compare data about major cities.  And I hope visualizing related analytics.   Sounds akin to work that was done with P&G's Business Sphere.

TED co-founder Richard Saul Wurman’s Urban Observatory is now a virtual reality.  [ I will look into this deeper and report more here ]

The Urban Observatory is a multi-media interactive exhibit culled from big data that is displayed on screens to let viewers compare and contrast data from the world’s largest cities. Fifty-five of the world’s largest metropolitan cities shared their data to create what Wurman is calling the globe’s first real public observatory.

The observatory is being unveiled today at the Esri User Conference in San Diego. Wurman produced the project with geographic information systems provider Esri. Early next year, in February 2015, the Urban Observatory will make its way to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, where the exhibit will be permanently housed. .... "

Apple's Swift Language

In Wired: Have heard of it, but never even looked at the code. Will it remake computer programming?  I like new ways of thinking about the process of logical control.  Now available to some outside Apple.

' ... Chris Lattner spent a year and a half creating a new programming language—a new way of designing, building, and running computer software—and he didn’t mention it to anyone, not even his closest friends and colleagues.

He started in the summer of 2010, working at night and on weekends, and by the end of the following year, he’d mapped out the basics of the new language. That’s when he revealed his secret to the top executives at his company, and they were impressed enough to put a few other seasoned engineers on the project. Then, after another eighteen months, it became a “major focus” for the company, with a huge team of developers working alongside Lattner, and that meant the new language would soon change the world of computing. Lattner, you see, works for Apple. .... '

ZDNet article on the changes.  Apparently you can get access to it with a free registration.

Apple's Informative Swift Blog.

And in the WP: Swift the Programming Language.

Why Hire More People?

How to know if you should hire more people?
Organizational psychologist and leadership specialist David Javitch said there are several signs employers should look for when determining whether to expand their staff. Evaluating current employees' skill sets and work levels, writing detailed job descriptions and providing immediate feedback as new hires navigate their responsibilities are among his tips .... 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Computing Now: The Web at 25

The World Wide Web is now only 25 years old.  It seems much longer.  IEEE Computing Now discusses the birthday, and the future of the Web. It will be here for some time, but what will it look like, connect and deliver?

 " ... In a mere 25 years, the Web has irrevocably transformed the world. It has become indispensable, impacting nearly every aspect of human activities in practically all fields. It continues to leap ahead offering new capabilities and extending its reach and utility. The Web has indeed become the most influential technology of our times, although it hasn't reached its zenith and we've yet to recognize and embrace its full potential.

This issue of Computing Now commemorates the Web's 25th anniversary by highlighting its genesis, progress, and potential. We invite you to comment below and share your thoughts on how the Web will be in the next quarter century .... "  

D-Wave Gets more Funding

Have followed D-Wave Quantum computing since its inception.   The WSJ reports on new funding it has received.   I talked to them about potential applications in the enterprise.  They are still the only quantum computing company that has major commercial clients (Lockheed and Google)  Still, there remains controversy on what they are supplying today.  Worth continued observations.  I will.

More in CWorld.

Big Data in Sports

In Linkedin: How Germany Beat Brazil. And how Big Data Helped.  Via my colleague : Ali Rebaie: Big Data Analyst and Consultant , Top Big Data Influencer, Public Speaker and Trainer.   See also SAP's alleged involvement with World Cup big data.  Also how Bayesian networks have been used in this space.

Tiny Watson

You would not think size would be a big issue, given what can be done in a smartphone.  But the goal is a good one:  In CWorld:

" ... The company ... will show a smartphone-size prototype microcomputer that integrates CPUs and circuitry typically spread out over large motherboards. IBM initially hopes to build a "datacenter in a box" holding a swarm of these computers, and research will pave the way for even smaller computers, said Ronald Luijten, an IBM researcher.

IBM wants to build a version of its Watson supercomputer the size of a pizza box, containing a series of such microcomputers. Watson made waves by winning a Jeopardy contest in 2011. The Watson server today is the size of three stacked pizza boxes. ... " 

Minds and Brands, Taking Off.

Piece on how a number of brands are using neuromarketing.  Nontechnical.  Some examples I had not heard of.  Nielson pitches its own acquisitions:

" ... To be sure, neuroscience adds a high-tech and high-touch spin to a sophisticated but very low-tech organ: the brain. "Neuromarketing offers a more robust picture of how consumers engage with marketing and product materials. It provides insights that otherwise aren't available," said Michael E. Smith, director of industry relations for the Consumer Neuroscience Branch at Nielson. Smith told CMO.com that he believes the concept is now in the "takeoff" phase and is on the way toward becoming "serious business." ... " 

IKEA and Instagram

IKEA using Instagram.   " .... IKEA Creates an Entire Website Inside Instagram ... Russian Agency Instinct Uses Tagging Feature in a New Way ... "

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Marketing Clouds

In GigaOM:  " ... All the big guys – Adobe, IBM, Salesforce, Oracle – have a suite of marketing tech platform tools they call marketing clouds. Social media marketing is the obvious focus, but what else is required for these platforms? ... "   The results from a survey.

Capgemini on Big Data

We worked with Capgemini for some time, but it has been years since I connected.  I was informed of Capgemini's resources on Big Data Analytics.  Just starting to take a look at their series of PDF's that appear to be useful executive treatments of the topic.

Mass Customization in Manufacturing

A long time interest.  Good piece on how it relates to innovation. It has considerable variation in different industries.  Have seen it from the research and the manufacturing end.  Make sure to get your data consistent to make it easy to implement and adapt innovations.

" ... The mass production strategies put forth by the titans of the 20th century still resonate today on manufacturing floors, in business processes, and the systems that support them, like Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Personalization and production efficiency have long been believed to be on the opposite ends of a continuum; mutually exclusive benefits that manufacturers and consumers are forced to choose between. In the last decade, however, innovative companies in a broad range of industries have shattered this dichotomy.

To get started, manufacturers should consider current challenges, historical approaches and the potential benefits of a modern mass customization model.  ... "  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Google Glass in the Emergency Room

We are seeing more applications of Google Glass in health care.  Here an article was sent to me about its use throughout the Beth Israel Emergency Room.   The details for its hands-free and data access and augmentation capabilities are interesting:

 " ... Beth Israel doctors get access to their patient’s records because Google Glass can read what are known as Quick Response codes -- or QR codes -- that are much like bar codes found on the sides of cereal boxes and other commercial products.

Beth Israel has begun posting QR codes on the doorways to patients’ rooms. Each code is unique to that patient, linked to his records that are stored on the hospital’s electronic database. Before entering the room, the Beth Israel doctor can scan the QR code with his Glass, and the patient’s information is promptly displayed on the screen. ... " 

A book I recently finished: Age of Context, by Scoble and Israel, contains a good section on current applications of Google Glass.

Rethinking Computer Design

In CWorld: IBM spending over three billion dollars to change the fundamentals of computer design.  By removing silicon.

Continuous Surveillance: The Panopticon

In the news, Ars Technica writes about it.  Using aircraft or drones to continuously record activity in a city.  Shades of Bentham's Panopticon.  But recall that was mostly applied for how to run prisons.  This relates to using existing infrastructure for continuously capturing data.  We ran a experiment that asked: What if we had continuous, complete data in a given context?  What could we do with perfect information?  Which had surprising answers.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Steps to Avoid Losing Your Credibility

Former P&G CIO Bob Herbold in his blog on credibility. Nice short piece on a recent CIA contract proposal by Amazon and IBM.   " .... Beware! Too many leaders get to the point where they believe they can excite their audience just by broadly describing their dream, but not addressing the current situation. ... " .  Specifics are more credible than dreams.

Samsung Advanced Appliances

Samsung Digital Showroom: Have always seen Samsung as a company that was destined to introduce the most advanced online home appliances.  We tested early versions in a smart home environment.   However, I have now had to directly utilize in-home advanced Samsung devices, and found that their methods, software and maintenance methods are less than ideal.  Smart home appliances need to be very robust in their capabilities, maintenance and being very foolproof.  Have not seen that with common Samsung appliances.  Why?

Google Shopping Express and Retail Partnership Risk

Was unaware of this in particular, interesting points are made.   " ... Whether it is Amazon or Google, the retailer who decides to partner with one of these services has to think long and hard about the impact on their relationship with the consumer. During its "Amazon Rising" documentary, CNBC interviewed suppliers who used Amazon fulfillment services and complained Amazon cherry picked their best sellers to carry themselves. In the case of Google, without any store visit, does the consumer really think they are dealing with the retailer or buying from Google? Does the retailer risk losing the customer's loyalty? ... " 

Creating User Journey Maps

Did not know there was so much process behind this, but here a Step by Step Guide to Creating User Journey Maps.   Nice idea.  " ... User journey mapping is one of the tools that UX pros use to find and address the weakest points in customer experience with the product. It helps visually articulate the key touchpoints where users interact with your product and analyze the user experience at each stage. The map itself looks different for each project, that’s why some professionals prefer to refer to it as “journey modeling”. Depending on its goal a user journey may have various sections, but generally it highlights typical user behavior step by step for each channel (website, physical store, call center, mobile app, etc) or simply highlights user’s actions, thoughts and ideas at each step. ... " 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

BigDataLens Revisited

I revisited the site of BigDataLens.  Most interesting, their blog.  A form of interestingly constructed pattern recognition / predictive analytics.  Worth a look, the examples given are useful and readable.

Nature of Creativity of the Brain

Replay of some recent talks and discussion at the Santa Fe Institute.   " ... Creativity is a key ingredient of both science and art, but how much can scientific inquiry tell us about creativity?
“Science can study creativity, but creativity is also central to the scientific process; it is useful to understand both directions of this interaction,”Creativity is a key ingredient of both science and art, but how much can scientific inquiry tell us about creativity?  “Science can study creativity, but creativity is also central to the scientific process; it is useful to understand both directions of this interaction,” ... " 

Augmented Pixels Update

I am following a number of Augmented Reality companies.  Here are the latest updates from Augmented Pixels. in Odessa.

 " ... First of all, Large Silicon Valley Plug and Play Incubator invested in Augmented Pixels selected it to participate in Plug&Play Retail accelerator program. Full press release .... 

 ... Modus Matrix, a game changing application for real estate sales based on our platform AR House. The app was created for Harkus, strategic design agency, as a part of their strategic marketing for a Canadian builder Jayman Modus. More information, ... 

The app is currently available on iOS devices, but in a few days Android version will be released.
Thirdly, we are expending our global reach by partnering with a big Brazilian online retailer HomeIt. HomeIt will become our client and will be listed in our sales platform for furniture retailers ShowInRoom. .... 

 ... Further articles:  Augmented reality and football.  And Home Electronics Demonstration using Augmented reality.

Managing Supply Chain Risk

In CGMA Mag:   Good ideas here.   You can can manage your risks, often by simulating alternatives.

  " ... A global poll of more than 1,000 senior executives by consulting firm Accenture found that managing operational risks related to the supply chain was important or very important to 76% of respondents.

But results of the efforts differed as widely as the approaches, which included monitoring risks, defining capabilities to fill potential gaps, and building excess capacity.

Nearly three-fourths of the companies represented in the Accenture survey reported returns on investment on their risk management efforts of 50% or less. Twenty-one per cent of participants reported a 51% to 100% return on investment and 7% had a return on investment of more than 100%. ... "  

Facts about the Internet of Things

Some obvious yes, but useful thoughts about the internet of things.

" ... If something isn't connected to the Internet—whether human, animal, household appliance, automobile, factory tool, etc.—does it exist? If you're going all-in on the Internet of things, you may conclude that it doesn't. Simply stated, the Internet of things refers to the possibility of providing online connectivity for every "thing" on the planet. In addition to computing devices, the objects and products that can be connected include cars, ovens, bathtubs, washing machines, bridges, dams and hospital patient monitors. What else could come of this? "Paper towel dispensers in restrooms that signal when they need to be refilled," according to a recent report from the Pew Research Internet Project. "Municipal trash cans that signal when they need to be emptied. Alarm clocks that start the coffee maker." The phenomenon has even launched the concept of "smart creatures," which places homing devices on animals. In the case of honey bees, for example, the device would monitor their pollination productivity. Given the growing interest in these and other related tech developments, we're presenting the following 10 fascinating facts about the Internet of things. They were compiled from a variety of online research and infographics, including reports from Cisco, Gartner and the Pew Research Internet Project study  ... "  

Lovelace Test versus Turing Test

More powerful in testing machine intelligence than the Turing test, it is claimed, from Slashdot.   I had not heard of this particular term.  A generalized non technical article. With an element of measuring actual creativity in the results.   Here also see an original paper on the subject.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Google Map Hacking

Had never heard of this, but in Wired.  It is a pretty serious thing if a supposedly perfect map and associated business list is hacked. It is happening.  A Danger of crowd sourcing.

What is Hadoop?

A non technical introduction by colleague Bernard Marr, nicely done, an intro to some big data concepts  as well.

Barriers to Open Innovation

With a link to a broader article: Interview with Anders Hjalmarsson of Viktoria Swedish ICT, Götegorg, Sweden. Author of “Beyond Innovation contest: a framework of barriers to open innovation of digital services”  .... .

Python most Popular Teaching Language

Although most larger non tech enterprises these days do little internal programming themselves, it is interesting to see what programming languages are being taught these days, and what skills are thus most readily available.  Instructive piece.  Note too that this is to teach programming skills, and the skills are generally portable with some retraining.

Company Initiative Overload

Have seen it. There can even be be overload in figuring out which initiatives to work on. Ao how should we address this?   Some good embedded ideas, in Forbes:  " .... If you work for a large company, you may be suffering from a common ailment: initiative overload. You don’t have enough time to do anything well. You don’t have the bandwidth to absorb what you need to absorb. Fortunately, the ailment isn’t fatal. You may not escape initiative overload, but you can learn to manage it. Here are four guidelines to prevent it when possible and mitigate its effects when not. ... "  

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Tableau Research Builds New UX for Data

Always looking for better user interfaces to make the curation and utilization of data more obvious to both the analyst and the decision maker,  who need to understand what they have, or may be missing, as it relates to real business decisions.    In GigaOM, interesting work under way at Tableau.  Have used Tableau for years, and always enjoyed its simplicity.  Still, it is not adequately transparent to the decision maker for both interaction and understanding the data.    Will new versions lead to better clarity?  I do hope so.

  Tableau, contact me for my further thoughts. 

  Look forward to seeing more about the results. From the GigaOM article (Via Walter Riker):

" ... “The real power [of Tableau] was to go through a bunch of different views to answer one question,” Mackinlay said. “All you have to be an expert at is your data and the questions you want to ask of it.” ...  Now, a new research division within Tableau (it technically was created about a year and a half ago) is trying to imagine and create the next set of technologies that change the way data analysis is done. The five-person team, which Mackinlay heads, consists of four visualization experts (including Mackinlay), a couple of whom are also specialize in statistics and one of whom specializes in high-performance computing. The fifth member specializes in natural-language processing and computer graphics. ... " 

And see Tableausoftware, which does a very good job of introducing their approach.  I also reviewed a recent book on their latest version.

Augmented Reality for Smart Watches

From press release today:  Implies the integration of a camera in a Smart watch and fast advanced image recognition.

 " .... , Metaio, today announced the first ever object recognition solution for smart watches. The technology company today released a video that demonstrates a computer vision-based health & lifestyle app for wearable devices implemented using Metaio technology.

Smart watch manufacturers are still struggling to find the balance between simplicity and functionality. By adding computer visual recognition functionality, the goal of fast and effective interaction with a smart watch is achieved.

Utilizing the camera of a smart watch, users snap an image which a companion smartphone then checks for matches using Metaio visual search technology. When a match is found, data is returned to the user in the form of glanceable information on the watch, or rich, interactive data on the smartphone.

“When we gave phones and glasses the ability to see the world around them, it opened up huge opportunities for all kinds of mobile apps”, said Metaio CEO, Dr. Thomas Alt. “We can see that smart watches are going be a huge part of the mobile computing revolution, so we wanted to make sure that we could bring the power of computer vision and augmented reality to this form factor.” ... '  

Live, Free Microsoft Research Summit

I plan to tune in for a part of this:

Microsoft Research Faculty Summit to Be Streamed Live July 14

Join us for a broadcast of the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit streamed live from Redmond, Washington on Monday, July 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PDT (12:00 to 8:30 p.m. EDT). This free online event offers keynotes and demo presentations from the Faculty Summit as well as lively discussions with leading scientific and academic researchers about their investigations into future trends in computer science research. The event will feature such luminaries as:

- Leslie Lamport, 2013 ACM A.M. Turing Award recipient and principal researcher at Microsoft
- Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft's Technology and Research Group
- Mary Gray, senior researcher at Microsoft
- Chris Harrison, assistant professor, Carnegie Mellon University
- Jeannette M. Wing, corporate vice president, Microsoft Research and ACM Fellow

Roles in the Newly Empowered Retail Democracy

In Retailwire:  Short piece that takes the idea beyond the typical view of just buying product.  The new consumer wants to be a:

  - Supply chain manager: deciding where to buy, ship, pick up and return orders.
  - Merchandise operations manager: considering ethical sourcing, price, delivery times and stock availability.
- Merchant: reselling used or unwanted items on the global market places like eBay and Amazon.
- Brand marketer: engaging on social networks, reviewing products and educating peer groups. .... "

Watson Assistant in the Power of Your Hand

Today we completely expect intelligence to be in the palm of our hands.  We can get it, but the means at hand now is repeated search.  There have been a number of attempts, interesting but hardly complete.  I have been reading Scoble and Isreal's new book: Age of Context, which covers what this is expected to look like.  I have used Siri, but it has only been useful for the most 'hands free' moments.  Will IBM Watson provide solutions to the hand held assistant problem?  In particular because of its attention to natural language interaction?

SmartPhones are Listening

In the WSJ Digits:  It is often forgotten that phones can listen in ways other than during the usual call.  A good piece that addresses this sensory mode. 

 " ... From chainsaws whirring in rainforests to snoring that sounds like chainsaws, entrepreneurs are finding all sorts of creative ways to detect sounds using smartphones.

App makers have long focused on detecting speech and music, but some upstarts are turning to a wider variety of sound-detection tasks. They are taking advantage of more sophisticated mobile hardware and software to recognize distinct audio patterns. ... " 

Monday, July 07, 2014

DARPA Explained and Now Socialized

An Engadget view of the US Pentagon's DARPA.   With which I have had some connections.   As expected it's mostly about the mad science notions.  Which gets lots of interest.  But no, its mostly about things that are fairly mundane looking while still being advanced.   Like the Arpanet, which had it been explained to you back then would have been caused you to yawn.  But that did lead to some more useful and universal things.  In the final paragraph they point out that DARPA is now very social and you can follow much of its non-confidential operations easily.  This was not so back in the seventies.

Disney Accelerator Chooses ChoreMonster

The ChoreMonster system, founded by a former colleague, has been mentioned here a number of times.  Now they have been chosen by the Disney Accelerator.   The premise:   " ... What if your kids begged you to do their chores? ... With ChoreMonster, it's possible. No chore charts required. ChoreMonster is a suite of web and mobile apps that make chores fun for kids. ...  

3D Loyalty Apps

Retailwire: 3D Loyalty Apps.
" ... Walgreens has partnered with its loyalty-app partner, Aisle411, to test Google's virtual indoor 3-D mapping technology, Project Tango. The combined technologies enable shoppers to search and navigate products in store aisles while receiving promotions and gaining loyalty points. ... Since early June, Walgreens has tested an enhanced version of its branded app internally at four stores in Chicago, New York, Seattle and St. Louis. ... "  

Better Shared Marketing Decision Methods

In the HBR Blogs:
" ...  Marketing increasingly must work across boundaries with other functions such as IT, sales, and finance to execute shared decisions. But it is at these seams that communication most often breaks down and processes stall. They key to effective collaboration is to define clear roles and processes for shared decision making. This video, based on Decision-Driven Marketing — an article featured in the July/August 2014 issue of HBR by Bain’s Aditya Joshi and Eduardo Giménez — shows how to improve decision making at the seams. ... "

Watson and Health Process Visualization Using Sankey Diagrams

On the topic of Watson + Visualization, Watson paths is a good example.  A research project with the Cleveland Clinic.  "  WatsonPaths is a new cognitive computing project that enables more natural interaction between physicians, data and electronic medical records. ... "   Video on Watson Paths.  Note the use of the method of Sankey Diagrams visualization in the demonstration.  See more on this visualization method at the link below.  More details at the IBM Research site.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Emotional Marketing Headline Analyzer

You plug in your blog headline and it calculates its value in a given context.    Have not tried it as yet.  Click here.

" .... This free tool will analyze your headline to determine the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score. As you know, reaching your customers in an deep and emotional way is a key to successful copywriting, and your headline is unquestionably the most important piece of copy you use to reach prospects.

Your headline will be analyzed and scored based on the total number of EMV words it has in relation to the total number of words it contains. This will determine the EMV score of your headline. ... "  

Visualizing the Data we Have

Video from the US Office of Personnel management (OPM).  Leveraging the Data We Have: Utilizing Data Visualization Analytics  The general point here is good, we often pay most attention to new data, but there is lots of mining opportunity with the data we have.

Holographs Brings Back Performers

In the CACM:  Technical, but very readable piece on the history and use of the holographic illusion. Remember seeing these live in Disney World a long time ago, their improvement has been considerable, bringing back the dead, and enhancing the living.  We saw holographic packaging displays demonstrated.  Some augmented reality ideas embed holographics.   Engagement, or a scary uncanny valley?  Holographic Projection Systems Provide Eternal Life? 

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Implications of the Right to be Forgotten

In Businessweek: " .... Since agreeing to comply with the European Court of Justice’s decision that people have the right to be forgotten, Google (GOOG) has received about 50,000 requests for Web pages to be removed from European search results. One of the requests it has granted relates to a story written by BBC economics editor Robert Peston. But Peston doesn’t want his article to be forgotten. ... " 

But although Google can apparently be made to forget, from Europe at least, the Internet may well remember what has been said.  How about anything derived from or commented on?  Who can redact and how?  Some amusing examples to understand the implications.  Or not.

Military Glasses

In Defense One, an example of 'military glasses'.  How are these different from Google Glass?   First with more of an emphasis on usable, task oriented augmented reality.

" ... The glasses, called simply the X6, are from San Francisco-based Osterhout Design Group. They look like the lovechild of Google Glass and the Oculus Rift, providing more information to the wearer than the small window on Google’s much-maligned headset but not obstructing vision like the Oculus Rift. (Admittedly, for spy glasses, they lack a certain subtlety.)

At a recent innovation symposium at Defense Intelligence Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., Bobby King, vice president of special projects for Osterhout, demonstrated how the headset provides situational intelligence.  Defense One looked through the glasses at a static, two-dimensional map and suddenly structures appeared in three dimensions related to objects of interest. King confirmed that the map was just a regular print of a satellite photograph. With that particular app, the glasses send information to a server that then processes the image against others to determine the location depicted. The glasses then present data from the database visually in the form of structures, special instructions, clues, etc. The view was smarter and more useful than what you would see with Google Glass, but didn’t get in the way of the user’s ability to actually see, like a clunky virtual reality headset. ... "  

The Meaning of the Rise of in-Car Cameras

Its hard to understand all the implications of connected vehicles.  The camera is a particularly interesting case because it is a very broad kind of sensor, so it is difficult to understand what the inclusion of multiple and increasingly sophisticated cameras will mean. Consider also the rising  predictive use of analytics methods against image data.  Inspired by  In ReadWriteWeb

RoboHow: Robots Learning in the Cloud

In Engadget:   Interesting idea, but would like to see the details of the languages that are used by the robots to transmit knowledge.  We  should be able to learn from that.  If this works, perhaps then we should worry.  " ... RoboEarth. No, it's not a lame SNES game from 1994, it's a cloud network that lets robots learn from the actions of other bots. It started over three years ago, and now, a new, related project has sprung from that initiative at the Institute for Artificial Intelligence at the University of Bremen in Germany. Called RoboHow, it seeks to translate info on the web meant for human consumption into something our electromechanical helpers can understand. .... " 

Friday, July 04, 2014

LA Takes Back a Billion Dollars of iPads

In Reason: Schools replace them with laptops, declare an unmitigated disaster.   " .... The Los Angeles Unified School District's plan to give every child an iPad—at a cost of $1 billion to taxpayers—drew universal criticism after numerous problems arose.  .... "