Latest issues and trends facing decision makers in the digital world
On TOKYO and ARMONK, N.Y., Aug. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM): Japan today announced that Sony Corporation and Sony Global Education, a subsidiary of Sony that works to provide global educational services, have developed a new blockchain-based student education records platform. With the solution, school administrators can consolidate and manage students' educational data from several schools, as well as record and refer their learning history and digital academic transcripts with more certainty. The new platform, developed using IBM Blockchain, uses blockchain technology running on the IBM Cloud to track students' learning progress, as well as establish transparency and accountability of scholastic achievements between students and schools."
On Re/code: "It’s more than a pivot to video — it’s an evolution of text. Reports of the death of the written word are greatly exaggerated. The much-lamented and much-snarked-about phrase “pivot to video" is, if I'm being honest, somewhat warranted — video advertising is becoming central to every digital media company’s revenue model. But along with the effects on advertising, we’re also massively misunderstanding a pretty critical shift in journalism itself.
On I'd Rather Be Writing: "Write the Docs Podcast Episode #7: in this podcast, we first explore the flourishing community of technical writers in Poland, discussing why the tech writing scene in Krakow is taking off so quickly and what trends this young tech writing community is embracing. We're joined by special guest Pawel Kowaluk, a Polish tech writer who runs SOAP (a tech comm conference based in Poland). writer?
On I'd Rather Be Writing:"On Many tech writers have a heavy disdain for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in documentation. At first this disdain seemed a bit unfounded and elitist to me, but now, after a recent project, I'm starting to understand the reasons for the disdain. All too often the FAQ format is abused by non-writers who want an easy way to write. The list of random questions grows with each incoming question until it's a ridiculous hodgepodge of information thrown together, with no larger story or narrative."
If you laugh at how older people use computers, Masako Wakamiya, a 82-year-old from Japan is going to set you straight. Masako Wakamiya is making the news for an app she created and for attending the WWDC.
On Stumbleupon: "The Beatles sang it and countless philosophers have claimed it, the best things in life are free. But is it really the case? Well, if you’re hanging out on the Internet, the answer is a resounding “yes”. To see why, check out the sixteen fantastic free things you can do online down below. If all of this online awesomeness has you feeling a bit nostalgic for the old days of the Internet, take a trip back in time and check out 14 websites from the 1990s that are somehow still around."
On Digital Book World: "Take a look around at any given point throughout the day, and chances are you’ll see a fair amount of people in your vicinity with their eyes glued to mobile screens. What is it they are consuming? Perhaps the latest text or breaking news headline has captured their attention. However, research by Towards Maturity suggests that 67 percent of people access some form of learning resource via their smartphones. Could it be that those around you are reading, watching videos or brushing up on career-related skills? The mobile learning industry is projected to grow to $38 billion in the next few years, as I mentioned in my previous blog post outlining the ways publishers can increase their mobile advantage. Individuals are reading and learning more on their phones and tablets now than ever before – giving rise to a true transformation of the digital learning landscape.…
On New Republic: "A recent change in the way the giant e-tailer sells books has publishers scrambling. Amazon has long ceased to simply be “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore,” which was how it described itself back when it launched in 1994. It’s now the Everything Store, a place where you can buy underwear and bananas. It is the largest e-retailer in the world, accounting for more than half of all e-commerce growth in 2016. But that does not mean that books have ceased to be important to Amazon—and it certainly does not mean that Amazon, which dominates the book industry in the United States, has ceased to be important to publishers. That’s why a recent tweak in the way Amazon sells books has publishers and authors very worried.
On Word of Pie: "It’s been a while since I wrote a book review, mostly because I’ve been reading fiction and history, neither of which really fit this blog. However I just finished a book that definitely deserves a review, Women In Tech. First, the TLDR: Read the book!"
On TechCrunch: "Algorithms are designed to make our lives easier. The problem is, they're designed by us." When Netflix recommends you watch “Grace and Frankie” after you’ve finished “Love,” an algorithm decided that would be the next logical thing for you to watch. And when Google shows you one search result ahead of another, an algorithm made a decision that one page was more important than the other. Oh, and when a photo app decides you’d look better with lighter skin, a seriously biased algorithm that a real person developed made that call."
On BBC News: "Two graduate students stood silently beside a lectern, listening as their professor presented their work to a conference. Usually, the students would want the glory. And they had, just a couple of days previously. But their families talked them out of it. A few weeks earlier, the Stanford researchers had received an unsettling letter from a shadowy US government agency. If they publicly discussed their findings, the letter said, it would be deemed legally equivalent to exporting nuclear arms to a hostile foreign power. Stanford's lawyer said he thought they could defend any case by citing the First Amendment's protection of free speech. But the university could cover legal costs only for professors. So the students were persuaded to keep schtum.
On BetaNews: "Bob Taylor, who far more than Al Gore had a claim to being the Father of the Internet, died from complications of Parkinson’s Disease last Thursday at 85. Though I knew him for 30 years, I can’t say I knew Bob well but we always got along and I think he liked me. Certainly I respected him for being that rarity -- a non-technical person who could inspire and lead technical teams. He was in a way a kinder, gentler Steve Jobs. Bob’s career seemed to have three phases -- DARPA, XEROX, and DEC -- and three technical eras -- mainframes, local area network (workgroup) computing, and the Internet."
KMWorld: "The term “data scientist” has been around for a decade, and the job function has existed even longer, but only recently has awareness really hit the mainstream. The primary reason for its growing relevance is the need to analyze large amounts of data. With a combination of heavy-duty technical skills, proficiency in analyzing big data and an orientation toward extracting value from complex data environments, data scientists are in a good position to pick and choose from a large number of job opportunities"
On SecurityIntelligence: "Phishing is one of the internet’s oldest online threats. Its history traces back to the mid-1990s, but it unfortunately continues to escalate in numbers. Based on social engineering, phishing can be delivered to an email address or through an SMS message with a URL inside. It can even come from inside a document saved locally on the recipient’s endpoint. Phishing attacks have been successful throughout the years because: they trigger the basic human instinct to act, they have become more convincing than ever and are difficult for recipients to visually detect, they advance in technical terms as their perpetrators come up with new and stealthy ways to serve them to unsuspecting victims."
On The Scholarly Kitchen: "Published back in February, Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto, Building Global Community, may not have made it to the top of your reading pile. Perhaps, like me, you initially categorized it as a marketing ploy, the action of a CEO trying to fend off criticism of his company. Many have faulted Facebook for its failure to ensure an informed and civil discourse for its users during a hotly contested political cycle, domestically and abroad."
Learning how to write computer code has probably never been more valuable. The younger the better. It's fun and coding helps kids learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work in team— essential skills for life.
On CMS Wire: "You wouldn’t train for a marathon without a year of rigorous training, would you? Any athletic feat requires a mix of hard work, dedication and education. But when was the last time you checked your organization’s digital fitness level? In other words, does your team have the stamina to be in it for the long-haul with some sprints along the way, or are you more likely to run up against exhaustion a few miles into the race? "
On The Scholarly Kitchen: "Recently, along with my partner David Lamb at STM Advisers, I participated in a Webinar sponsored by NISO. The topic was consolidation in the world of academic and library publishing. We covered some of the basic elements of consolidation (why it happens, trends, and who drives it) and provided a primer on mergers and acquisitions. It is our view that the pace of new deals is picking up for a number of reasons, some having to do with the macroeconomic environment (the Trump administration seems unlikely to pursue antitrust cases), the sheer amount of cash in investors’ hands waiting to be put to work, and the maturity of academic publishing, which makes established companies seek to combine in order to enlarge their market share and increase their clout in the marketplace."
On BBC News: "The inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has unveiled a plan to tackle data abuse and fake news. In an open letter to mark the web's 28th anniversary, Sir Tim has set out a five-year strategy amid concerns he has about how the web is being used. Sir Tim said he wants to start to combat the misuse of personal data, which creates a "chilling effect on free speech". He also called for tighter regulation of "unethical" political adverts."
On BBC News: Wikileaks has published details of what it says are wide-ranging hacking tools used by the CIA. The alleged cyber-weapons are said to include malware that targets Windows, Android, iOS, OSX and Linux computers as well as internet routers. Some of the software is reported to have been developed in-house, but the UK's MI5 agency is said to have helped build a spyware attack for Samsung TVs. A spokesman for the CIA would not confirm the details. "We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents," he said."
On Every Page is Page One: "Yesterday I wrapped up work on my new book on Structured Writing and delivered it to the publisher. There will be more work to do, of course, after the pre-publication review process is complete, but in a broad sense, the book is done. That is, the arc of the book is complete. Good books have an arc. Finding that arc is one of the great joys of long-form writing. Of course, this blog is about short form writing — about Every Page is Page One topics that serve a single discrete purpose for the reader. But in a sense even a book should fit that mold — should serve a single discrete purpose for the reader. The whole should be more than the sum of the parts. There should be an arc, something the book says that is more than an accumulation of details, and…
On CloudTweaks: "The Advancing Cloud. On Forecasts scream huge growth rates for cloud but in the big picture it is tiny. Max Planck noted: “Science advances one funeral at a time.” Is cloud the same? The demand for public cloud infrastructure (IaaS) is expected to grow a whopping 36.8% this year to $34.6 billion in revenue worldwide, according to a new forecast from Gartner. Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud is also forecast to grow a very healthy 20.1% to reach $46.3 billion. Together we are looking at almost $81B in cloud spend this year – impressive. But, let’s step back a bit and get a bigger picture. Let’s pick on Gartner again (but any of the usual pundits will demonstrate similar data). In another recent forecast, Gartner projects that in 2017 worldwide IT spending will be $3.5 Trillion! This is a pretty breathtaking number. But, look at what it reveals. Spending on the cloud…
On The Scholarly Kitchen: "Our contemporary media landscape is characterized by fragmentation. Every publisher seemingly has its own platform, and users must learn to navigate the idiosyncrasies of each. If you know how to read The New York Times in print, you won’t have very much trouble reading The Washington Post either, but if you try to use their mobile apps you’ll see that it’s as if they are in different industries. The tv guide and movie listings in your local newspaper once told what you could watch during the upcoming week, but to rely on streaming services today you’ll find it difficult to determine what is available where across the different main platforms, Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. In our sector, the digital transformation has been no less powerful, but fragmentation is no less problematic. Or is it?"
On I'd Rather Be Writing: "Keeping pace with new technology and information is a core challenge for tech writers. You can divide the needed knowledge into four areas: product, technology, user, and industry domains. To limit the scope in each domain, filter by the users' tasks. To find time for the learning, implement morning routines for gathering information and log issues for needed documentation. Then as you work on the documentation and find yourself lacking knowledge, jump into online resources to learn what you need."
On Smashing Magazine: "2017 will bring about new conferences as well as play host to your favorite conferences from the past years. This year, the IoT may prove to be as prominent as wearables, while AI could join the ranks of the budding topic — virtual reality."
On Business Insider UK: "In 2011, Faisal Khan had recently turned 40 and quit a stressful job as a manager at an information technology company. He'd just spent a year studying banking and payments in the hopes of pursuing a new career in the field. Searching online for professional conferences to attend one day, he stumbled on a helpful post someone had written on question-and-answer website Quora. Browsing other threads, Kahn quickly realized that people were asking banking and payments-related questions he could address pretty easily. He started answering them..."
On TechCrunch: "The concept of measuring and responding to human eye motion, or eye tracking, isn’t new, but the past year saw a rising interest in the technology. There have been a slew of acquisitions of eye tracking startups by large firms and the rollout of several devices and software that support eye tracking.“Eye tracking sensors provide two main benefits,” says Oscar Werner, vice president of the eye tracking company Tobii Tech. “First, it makes a device aware of what the user is interested in at any given point in time. And second, it provides an additional way to interact with content, without taking anything else away. That means it increases the communication bandwidth between the user and the device.”
On Microsoft: "This year’s RSA Conference in San Francisco brings the world’s security professionals together to discuss cybersecurity at a critical time. The past year has witnessed not just the growth of cybercrime, but a proliferation in cyberattacks that is both new and disconcerting. This has included not only cyber-attacks mounted for financial gain, but new nation-state attacks as well. As engineers and other employees across the tech sector meet in San Francisco, we need to ask ourselves what our response should be.;..."
On Beta News: "Cloud Computing Is Not the Solution for Everything. I am gung-ho about cloud computing, so much so that in Why Cloud Computing Is Ideal for Small Businesses I say that cloud computing is the best thing for small business since the invention of the stapler. But that doesn't mean that there are no cloud computing disadvantages and that every small business should immediately throw out all their servers and desktop software and conduct all their business operations in the cloud. Performance-intensive applications such as video editing are not suited to the cloud, nor are other types of software that require high-performance desktop computers (such as those used for graphic design)."
On BBC: "There may be actual solutions to the spread of fake news. Fake news - from false celebrity gossip to the fabricated story of Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump - became a huge issue during the US election campaign. Those who peddled falsehoods were motivated sometimes by profit and sometimes by politics. British parliamentarians are launching a committee to look at the problem. But globally, there are various methods being offered to fix it..."
Tuesday August 08
On Re/code: "Most of us got that one very wrong. Worked out well for Mark Zuckerberg, though. Blast from the past, disguised as news: The Financial Times is going to have an…
Tuesday August 08
On Re/codde: "Here’s a look at their comparative diversity. An internal memo written by a male Google engineer has reignited a heated debate about representation in Silicon Valley. Google’s new diversity VP has…
Tuesday August 08
On VentureBeat: "Conversations about chatbots helping humans in the workplace always brings up the same range of issues. We often end up discussing the place artificial intelligence will have in…
Tuesday August 08
On VentureBeat: "Humans possess an insatiable desire to create, to build, and to shape the world around us. Examples span from rudimentary cave paintings, to the invention of language and…
Tuesday August 08
On VentureBeat: "We have witnessed a marked rise in the amount of venture investment dollars over the last decade. Capital has become near-ubiquitous, it may seem. These capital inflows have had…
Tuesday August 08
On BetaNews: "Functional shared services can bring so many benefits to all sorts of organizations. Whether it’s cutting labour costs thanks to location-driven arbitrage, making services like HR and finance…
Tuesday August 08
On BetaNews: "As consumers become bombarded with more and more advertising both online and in the real world, the challenge of directly appealing to customers is a challenge facing businesses both large…
Tuesday August 08
On BetaNews: "The BBC has announced plans to roll out a new font across its network of websites in a cost-saving measure. The corporation has designed a new font called…
Tuesday August 08
On KMWorld Magazine: "From simple questions to complex application requirements, the ability to examine and analyze text for insights can make a huge difference in solving business problems. Determining what…
Wednesday July 05
On Wired: "Before there were browser windows, there were regular windows—ones you could see through. And one day in 1914, Florence Carman saw too much..."
Saturday July 01
On n I'd Rather Be Writing: "With four kids and a house full of devices, it can be pretty hard to wrangle devices from kids' hands and shut off Internet…
Tuesday June 27
On Techlicious: "Privacy concerns and privacy controls on Facebook are ever changing. When you post a picture of your kids at a family gathering, which one of your Facebook friends can share it?…
Monday June 26
On I'd Rather Be Writing: "In addition to being a technical writer, I also play basketball. I might spend more time playing basketball, in fact, than I do writing on…
Monday June 19
On VentureBeat: "It’s amazing how rapidly the world of technology can turn customer service on its ear. Transformational tech is completely revolutionizing the online sales experience. There’s only one hitch:…