Monday, January 18, 2016

GoogleCar Obsolete Already??

Tired of waiting for autonomous cars? Skip right to autonomous aerial vehicles!

“The ready-to-fly AAV is a manned drone capable of automatically carrying a passenger through the air, simply by entering a destination into its accompanying smartphone app. Due to the 184’s fully automated navigation, made possible by EHang’s 24/7, real-time flight command center, passengers have no need for a pilot’s license – they simply sit back and let the drone take over from there.”

Read more at GearJunkie

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Can Your Online Profile Replace Your C.V. or Résumé?

In a recent communique with a potential customer, I was asked to send a resume, even though I had forwarded my LinkedIn profile. I was dismayed that someone in the tech industry would still be wedded to the static nature of a Word document. It is certainly my opinion that the role of "telling who you are" is best accomplished through a person's online presence -- LinkedIn, a professional landing page, or perhaps even FaceBook. If one is in the job market, I believe it makes more send to send potential employers to your LinkedIn page instead of sending a Word or PDF version of your résumé or C.V. If you are like me, you might use your LinkedIn profile to include not only your qualifications, but testimonials from colleagues and clients, and other information such as publications or successful projects. I feel that the need to establish professional credentials is best served efficiently by sending someone to a LinkedIn page. This will convey relevant experience, and in a place that is maintained because it’s easy to update on a regular basis. Further, as an IT professional, I can appreciate the concept of the "single source of truth" model for data -- instead of uploading copies a résumé to job banks, or keeping track of various versions, outdated or otherwise defunct.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Possible Discovery of Gravitational Waves

From the Guardian:
If gravitational waves have been discovered, astronomers could use them to observe the cosmos in a way that has been impossible to date. “We would have a new window on the universe,” Krauss said. “Gravitational waves are generated in the most exotic, strange locations in nature, such as at the edge of black holes at the beginning of time. We are pretty certain they exist, but we’ve not been able to use them to probe the universe.”

Einstein predicted that the waves would be produced in extremely violent events, such as collisions between two black holes. As gravitational waves spread out, they compress and stretch spacetime. The ripples could potentially be picked up by laser beams that measure minute changes in the lengths of two 4km-long pipes at the Ligo facilities.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Google Cars Don't Have to Be Perfect, Just Better Than the Average Driver

Autonomous cars dont need to be perfect -- just a bit better than people texting, being drowsy, fiddling with the GPS, slightly inebriated, etc. And Google Cars are... learning...

Bad weather is just one obstacle to drivers, but by being even just a little better than the average driver, self-driving cars will decrease accidents, reduce injury and death, and save us all money. Think about it: radar isn't affected by rain or fog or nighttime. Can you see in the dark or a downpour?

"As we're developing the technology, we've made sure our cars are aware of how rain may affect their ability to drive," says Google. "Our cars can determine the severity of the rain, and just like human drivers they drive more cautiously in wet conditions when roads are slippery and visibility is poor."

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Looking Ahead to a Cool New Year!

In the new year of 2016, what will you the IT decision-maker need to be aware of? Of course, my focus is on Cloud computing, web services and other cool technologies, but what will gain traction?

Drones and other autonomous actors. While the focus has been on the US Federal Aviation Administration wanting to control pilot-driven remote aircraft, true advancement will come from autonomous control. Artificial intelligence is slowly advancing, soon we will see more ground and air vehicles operating on their own. For example, thank of Google’s autonomous driving car, or Amazon’s coming drone delivery service.

Internet of Things. Even now, millions of devices supply information to the Internet. And thanks to inexpensive embedded systems, potentially billions of other devices that would not be classified as a "computer" are communicating over networks, mostly with other machines. Low-cost computing, low-cost or free connectivity, and the relative ease for software and processors to make connectivity happen, will make it possible for organizations, governments, companies, and even individuals to collect detailed data from all sorts of devices — and automate them in many ways.

SOA and cloud deployment of applications. For an eternity (in technology terms), developers have built native applications, for a particular device and platform/OS. Data associated was stored on the device, although perhaps uploaded remotely. Depending on the nature of the app, Internet connectivity might not even be a factor. This will change radically in 2016: mobile cloud apps don’t require a download; you can use the mobile cloud app UI in a browser window on the remote device, and an Internet connection will be required because data will be transferred between the mobile device using JSON over HTTP/S.

Advanced customer relationship management. You should be looking at proactive security architectures, and the ability to deliver self-service or automated response to customers. Because every organization wants to deliver activities designed to enhance the level of customer or stakeholder satisfaction, more efforts will be directed at preventing a negative customer event from occurring. Anticipating a need to prevent escalation reduces devilry costs and leaves the target user with a better feeling about the organization. Notifying a customer of account activities, sending reminders, and reflecting a “human touch” in communications are all ways of advancing CRM — and can be automated by analyzing past interactions with that user.

Three-D Printing. The promise of “mass customization” will mean personalized products, manufactured on demand at the end-user location. Newer, cheaper 3D printing technologies will mean consumers create exactly the objects they want from available models, or modify those models for their own needs. Full industrial-sized products, such as cars will not be too far off.

What else? I am sure quantum computing will become more of a reality, as the power to process huge volumes of data from GPS-enabled apps, data marts, and “internet of things” devices will have to be analyzed. Marshaling the swarms of drones overhead will require non-human air traffic control. Highways will become more safe, but with greater volumes of vehicles packed into lanes. More will be done, with less resources, freeing us to undertake high-value pursuits.