Friday, March 29, 2019

What You Experience Could Impact Your Offspring

Based on this article in Nature: In 1864, nearing the end of the US Civil War, conditions in the Confederate prisoner of war camps were at their worst, with overcrowding in some camps that Union Army soldier (prisoner) death rates soared. For survivors, the harrowing experiences marked many of them for life -- returning to society with impaired health, worse job prospects, and shorter life expectancy. Such hardships also had an effect on the prisoners’ children and grandchildren, which appeared to be passed down the male line of families. While their sons and grandsons had not suffered the hardships of the PoW camps -- they suffered higher rates of mortality than the wider population. It appeared the PoWs had passed on some element of their trauma to their children.

Your experiences during your lifetime – particularly traumatic ones – would have a very real impact on your family for generations to come. There are a growing number of studies that support the idea that the effects of trauma can reverberate down the generations through epigenetics. For the PoWs in the Confederate camps, these epigenetic changes were a result of the extreme overcrowding, poor sanitation and malnutrition. The men had to survive on small rations of corn, and many died from diarrhoea and scurvy. “There is this period of intense starvation,” says study author Dora Costa, an economist at the University of California, Los Angeles. 
For a long while we have understood that child abuse, for example, is very often passed from one generation to another. And as to how far back some of these cycles of abuse go is hard to determine. There are many cases of a person who was abused themselves -- and they also know what it feels like -- yet, they repeat to another what was done to them. This suggests in some cases a human being appears to have no control over their actions.

Read more here...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Remote Work - In the future, the norm, not the outlier

Throughout history, control has traditionally been centralized into various structures (governments, information providers, banks, corporations, etc). Certainly, some of this was necessary. Before the telegraphy,  the only way to get information was from newspapers. Depending on where a person lived, they may only have access to “stale” information many days or weeks old. And these information sharing mediums were limited to those who could physically get their hands on a copy, (or have it read to them when literacy rates were only a fraction of what they are today). Telegraphs and telephones increased the speed at which information could travel from point to point. Naturally, the internet changes the landscape for decentralized communication. So why sit in an office?

Clark Valberg, CEO of design software company InvisionApp, has made it his mission to modernize the workplace... by eliminating [the office] altogether. A decentralized workforce enables employers to access "passionate talent anywhere in the world irrespective of any geographic boundary," Valberg says, but implies "a renewed respect for the need for people to have a door that closes."

Today's world is built around instant, worldwide communication. Mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have shown that anyone, anywhere can disseminate information to millions of people, with just an upload. The nature of a team might be distributed -- or scattered. In either case, the actual number of working locations might be the same, but esprit de corps is very different. People on distributed teams arrive in that situation by design -- creating a stronger team by hiring the best people, regardless of location.

Read more here... and check out WeWork's first Dublin operation...

Friday, March 22, 2019

Why Process is Important to Scale Agile

Using SafeAgile and other lean software development approaches require customization for the organization. It isn’t good enough to just duplicate the efforts of others. Organizational change management means addressing top-down control that is in opposition to change — this will undermine agility.

Each agile team is different and needs to learn what works. In many cases, this means scaling agility outside of functional areas. Breaking down silos is key to the cross-over benefits of agile, reflecting the cross-functional nature of agile. Agility means putting in place defined engineering practices, with process controls.

While daily stand-ups and Kanban boards are important, to build high-quality software quickly, organizations should incorporate automated builds, automated testing, and automated deployments, among other things.

Read more... about SafeAgile

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Will Robo-Cars be Unaffordable?

Many are eagerly awaiting self-driving cars -- but we should recall that all of Silicon Valley’s big bets don’t always pay off.

Silicon Valley is pouring billions into robot cars. Soon – although the time scale keeps shifting – tech manufacturers say driverless cars will replace their traditional counterparts, car parks will become parks again and road fatalities will plummet. People have argued over ethical concerns surrounding the technology, the ensuing job losses and the public’s antipathy to this robot revolution. But the biggest obstacle may well be money.

The article continues, "Driver wages are a key part of taxi fares today. The average cab ride in San Francisco, for example, will cost you around $13. The driver keeps most of that. There is one caveat, however. Taxis are inefficient – so inefficient in fact that cabbies only spend about half their time earning fares."

Read more here....

Monday, March 11, 2019

Tim Berners-Lee Warns of a Breakdown of the World Wide Web

Global action is required to tackle the web's "downward plunge to a dysfunctional future", its inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has told the BBC. He made the comments in an exclusive interview to mark 30 years since he submitted his proposal for the web.

Read more here:

Friday, March 8, 2019

Oracle Java Copyright is Dangerous to the Developer Community

The US Supreme Court has been urged to hear Google out in its long-running copyright battle with Oracle over the search giant’s use of Java technology in Android. A number of amicus briefs have been filed with the top court in support of Google, with Microsoft, Red Hat and Mozilla, along with the Python Software Foundation, Developers Alliance, and the EFF, backing the web titan against database-slinger Oracle.

These recount an earlier court ruling in Oracle's favor on the fair use of Java APIs – stating, as it stands, that it sets a dangerous precedent that breaks long-standing and well-understood rules on software development, risks confusing the community and will damage innovation.

Google insists it built the Android platform on the computer industry’s “long-accepted practice of re-using software interfaces” – and that Oracle is "trying to profit by changing the rules of software development after the fact."

The Developers Alliance also sought to emphasize the knock-on effects of the decisions. “The current case has implications that go far beyond the two litigants involved,” as written in this PDF...

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ireland's First Report on GDPR

Last month marks the release of the first annual GDPR report from Ireland’s data protection supervisory authority, the Data Protection Commission (DPC). This is a follow-on from the DPC’s final pre-GDPR annual report and covers May through December of 2018.

The report confirms the DPC’s role as the clearinghouse for cross-border privacy complaints: A new category, termed ‘multinational complaints – others’, makes up 22% of all GDPR complaints in the report. These complaints are second to access rights as the largest category of complaint. 

This document also sets out the DPC’s views on the new complaint-handling mechanism under the Data Protection Act of 2018. When a negotiated resolution is not possible, the DPC is no longer legally obliged to make a formal, statutory decision. Instead, the DPC has a range of options: providing advice to the complainant; issuing statutory notices to controllers or processors; and, opening statutory enquires.

If a non-EU company is offering services over the internet to consumers in the EU, these companies are required to have a  data protection representative due to increased territorial scope. Article 3 of the GDPR applies to any ‘data subject’ in the EU, i.e. a person living in the EU. Notably, Article 3(2) applies to the processing of personal data of any individual “in the EU.” The individual’s nationality or residence is irrelevant. The GDPR protects the personal data of citizens, residents, tourists, and other persons visiting the EU. So as long as an individual is in the EU, any personal information of that person collected by any controller or processor who meets the requirements of Article 3(2) is subject to the GDPR. Learn more about having a data representative here.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Global Mobil (cellular) Roaming via Satellite - with your current iPhone!

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ubiquitilink said, by employing a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, that pretty much any phone from the last decade should be able to text and do other low-bandwidth tasks from anywhere, even in the middle of the ocean or deep in the Himalayas.

The way the business would work is because the satellites operate on modified but mostly ordinary off-the-shelf software and connect to phones with no modifications necessary, Ubiquitilink will essentially be a worldwide roaming operator that mobile networks will pay to access.

Friday, March 1, 2019

EU Copyright Agreement is Reached for Digital Content

A new EU directive will effectively ban buyout contracts, require producers and publishers to give authors information about the economic performance of their work, and offer the possibility of renegotiating the terms of your contract if your work is significantly more successful than anticipated.

Read more here...