I don’t know about you guys, but I am concerned about environment! Recycling, reusing, running to raise money to save seals, I do it all.
That is why I was extremely upset to find out that watching YouTube videos and digital music streaming could harm the environment even more than production and distribution of compact discs.
According to the recent study done by Bach Technology on “the hidden cost of digital music consumption”, streaming or downloading a total of 12 tracks with compression just 27 times by a single user equates to the production and shipping of one physical 12 track CD album.
Moreover, the researchers came to a conclusion that “repeated streaming of individual tracks may not necessarily be a desirable long term solution with respect to energy consumption for the life cycle of a sound recording”.
Apparently, air conditioning used to cool down the datacentres uses up to 4 per cent of the world’s electricity energy. YouTube alone is responsible for consuming around 0.1 present of 2010 global electricity levels. As stated in Bach’s report “global data traffic hitting 1 yottabyte by 2027 could require more than a fifth of the planet’s 2010 electricity consumption”.
I cannot say how reliable (realistic?) could be the estimation of the future energy consumption level and its impact on the environment. However, one thing I know for sure is that we, indeed, should be worried about our environmental footprint.
Not ready to adjust your streaming behaviour to save the planet?
My proposition is: Become a vegetarian to keep environmental balance 😉
How about that?
Thinking about the end of the IS course today, and how much I enjoyed this course: I was just browsing through a gadget website and checking all the devices that will probably be in the market in about 20 years time, once all of us are matured, stable and technically savvy enough to make use of all of these devices for ourselves and for enjoyment.
I was thinking about how 100 years ago, people would perceive the future. I actually found a painting collection of French artists who lived in 1900 and made a prediction on how the future would look like 100 years after, in the year 2000. It is actually quite funny what they came up with, and it’s even funnier to see that some of these ideas are actually existing already. You can check it out by clicking on the following link: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680400/100-years-ago-french-artists-predicted-the-future-with-eerie-accuracy#-6
The reason I was thinking of this, is because I am very curious and eager to see what technology comes up with in the near future for our generation. The “future” with regards to technology is reaching us at a faster rate every time. I must say, that it seems like the trend in the future is going towards robots (or as we BIMmers who paid a bit of attention in the last DBA lecture refer to it: agents). One of these agents was already introduced last year.
It is basically a thermostat with an intelligent agent built in it. This thermostat will not only support us in decision making, but also regulates the temperature automatically for us. The video explains the functionality and the goal of this device brilliantly. The thermostat is already available for sale (in the US), and it is priced at $250. A second version of the thermostat was just released about one month ago.
For everyone who is interested in other fun, innovative and interesting gadgets that are bound to shape the future as we know it, you might want to give the website http://www.gizmag.com a check. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I do not really remember the last time I wrote a text message. No need to pay (how much it was? around 40 cents ?) for text messages after WhatsApp sneaked its way into my life. Thank you, T-Mobile, unlimited internet for € 2.50 a month totally changed my messaging routines.
However, I started wondering whether T-Mobile is as happy as I am with me using this free “over the top” messaging service. Turns out, extremely concerned would be the best phrase describing the attitude of mobile providers to the new free messaging and voice over the internet protocol (VOIP) calls via smartphone applications.
As it can be clearly seen from the graph above, text messaging revenues have declined significantly in the majority of the European countries. According to the statistics that I found, Dutch mobile service provider KPN is experiencing a significant drop in revenues from its mobile services. In the second quarter of 2012 KPN’s revenues from Dutch consumer mobile service were 9.4% lower than a year before (Economist, 2012)
Similar tendency can be observed around the world, with OTT messaging costing operators $13.9 billion or 9% of messaging revenue last year, according to a consultancy firm Ovum (Economist, 2012).
It is not at all surprising. Why would someone pay for an sms message if you can just connect to the Internet and use WhatsApp?
But what would happen in future?
By 2016 mobile phone users are expected to be sending 118 mobile instant messages a month compared to 31 messages in 2011 (Informa Telecoms and Media, 2012). Mobile network providers are not going to be happy. They enable users to use a service on which they basically do not make any money. They would not push users to pay for it, would they? Or block them altogether? 😦
Previous week there was an presentation about Search Engine Optimization (SE) by two guest lecturers.
I found a movie on Youtube that effectively describes awesome tips for pursuing a SEO-strategy as a start-up firm.
The presentator is currently employed at Google as a ‘developer programs tech lead’ and the movie objective is to provide basics of SEO in 10-minutes hereby examining the do’s and dont’s.
I hope you all will find it as useful as me!
Last week I came across a nice article in the ‘NRC Next’ (Dutch newspaper). The article is written by one of my favourite authors, Joris Luyendijk. He works for the Guardian and also writes for the ‘NRC’. His project started a couple of months ago in London. He wanted to know how the banking industry worked, by meeting the people who work for these banks (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/joris-luyendijk-banking-blog).
A software engineer working for a large bank approached Joris by email. A meeting was set up, however the engineer wanted to remain anonymous. He opened the meeting with the quote; “You would be shocked to hear if you would know how IT-system work in banks”. He continued by stating that if a banking system malfunction occurs it would normally take multiple hours to be fixed. In Holland almost every month one or two banks are faced with system malfunctions affecting thousands of Internet banking users. The reason for these malfunctions and long repair times is that most banks are products of mergers and acquisitions. The IT-systems of these banks are, most of the time, custom made and still need to be merged somehow. Software engineers create patches to ensure the systems will match and function. Many mergers and acquisitions later the bank systems are becoming too complex (a subject Marcus Peters mentioned in a previous lecture) to find the malfunction. Even finding a solution for the problem is becoming more challenging by the day, since systems are extremely interdependent.
First thought on fixing this problem seems to be easy, right!? The bank just needs to build one completely new system! …. Over course this is impossible, mostly because of financial reasons. The markets would punish banks for investing so much money (profit) in a IT-system. Therefor no manager would take on the project. As I once red in a Management Team Article; “Managers will not manage a firm, but manage their career”.
The software engineer finishes the interview by advising us to print all our bank statements, like he has done over the last past years, that’s how much he thrust the IT-systems of his own bank.
What do you think? Are you worried? Are the mergers or acquisitions the real problem of all this complexity? Or do you believe this is all exaggerated?
The first mobile telephone was demonstrated in 1973 and it was commercially available in 1983. From 1990 to 2011, the worldwide use of mobile phone increased from 12.4 million to over 6 billion. At first, it was a heavy portable handset, and then over the years it became smaller. Consumers have an increasing desire and need for new technology and some new ideas were demonstrated at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology.
The most potentially promising ideas were:
– Digits: it is an interface that can follow arm and finger movements with enough accuracy to be replicated on screen. A nice video of how Digits work: http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=173838&l=i.
– Add the feel of buttons and other physical controls to a touch screen by installing vibrating piezoelectric actuators that generate ‘friction’ at the point of contact with a finger. The design used for this is called SlickFeel and it can make glass feel as if it has physical buttons or even a physical slider with different kinds of level of resistance.This technology could help users to find the right control without looking at a screen.
– New sort of touch screen: a way for devices to recognize the swipes and presses from different people. It is similar to technology that is already in smartphones and useful for track modifications from different users on a particular document.
Example of a touch screen that recognizes different people’s fingers:
– The motion and touch sensors used in current phones: software on an Android phone that can automatically determine in which hand a person is holding it. It can allow a keyboard to automatically adjust to whether a person is using the left or right hand and lowers the amount of typos by 30 percent.
Out of these innovative ideas, I like SlickFeel the most as I think it would be interesting to be able to make use of a touch screen but still be able to ‘feel’ the button. I think it would improve the interaction of the user with the smartphone a lot and makes it more accurate to type and select things.
What do you think? Which technology is most promising for you?
Head up display will change the future driving experience. because you never have to take your eyes from the read to see the information. Pioneer introduce the new laser head up display in 2012. this concept hud let consumer drive safely and still see all the information. with this technology navigation becomes real. it can highlight the possible danger in the dark.
in this video you all have seen the future information technology. In the future we will life in an information world. In that world glass is main display for information.
Is it technological feasible? yes why not? we already have the technology of transparent screen and touchscreen. So i think it defiantly possible in near future.
on other side this technology has a financial issue. right know the cost is really high and to implement this technology to the normal consumer it will take same time.
Here is a nice example of the unlimited opportunities to invent a new businessmodel or strategy.
Some bright minds found an obstacle on the internet which they bend to an opportunity.
Maybe this video can be an inspiration.
Watch and enjoy!
Neural network, computer artwork of a brain with the brain’s neural network represented by lines and flashes, processes the information in the human brain in many ways.
Basically, all you need to do with neural network is to train them by showing examples, over and over and over again. Every time you show an example, you say, if this is the input, then this should be your output, and if this is the input, then that should be your output. You do it again and again thousands of times, and every time it adjusts a little bit more towards doing what you want. In the end, if you do it enough, the network will be build and learned your preference.
Recently at an international conference in Edinburg, Google scientists presented their result of task “looking for a cat” by neural network system. They created one of the largest neural networks for machine learning by connecting 16,000 computer processors. Presented with 10 million digital images found in YouTube videos, the Google’s brain is able to identify the cat’s face.
“The idea is that instead of having teams of researchers trying to find out how to find edges, you instead throw a ton of data (some cat faces) at the algorithm and you let the data speak and have the software automatically learn from the data,” Dr. Ng said. They never told the brain computer during the training”This is a cat”, instead, it basically invented the concept of a cat by simulate the neural network of input data.
Such technology will play more important role on speech recognition, chaos analyse, finantial prediction, and of course, as a useful tool for understanting people’s brain activity.
What do you think about it? May need extra one “brain” or two someday, you never know.
I wanted to do this post for quite some time but never found the right mood to do so. After having heard Marc Teerlink’s talk (Global Strategist at IBM) during the RSM leadership summit about ‘Turning Data into Dollars: How Big Data is transforming the market (and the world)’ I thought it would be about time… (although the talk has already been some days ago)
Before I left Germany to live in Rotterdam I have been working full-time for a telecommunications company with about 3.500 employees being solely responsible for the web analytics platform in use.
Wikipedia states: “Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.“
What is a web analyst doing?
There is probably no general answer to that question. While working for the company I had the impression that my job was divided into 3 main parts:
- Maintenance of the implemented tool: Check if system is running smoothly, KPI’s are generated correctly, automated reports are generated and send to management, and teach and support users having problems.
- Implementing new tracking parameters: As websites as well as the web analytics platforms evolve adjustment of code and the implementation of new variables are necessary. (An example from my former job was the implementation of a distinct tracking for cross selling during the order process.)
- Reporting and Analysis: Generate standardized reports to allow the management to assess the current state of the business. Furthermore, improve current processes on the website by providing specific analysis including tools as: A/B Testing, multivariate testing, campaign tracking, conversion funnel analysis, etc. as well as ad-hoc analysis on management’s request
Is web analytics really generating value?
This is a good question. Implementing one of the common platforms like Adobe SiteCatalyst or IBM Unica NetInsight as well as maintaining them on a webpage can easily cost hundreds of thousands of Euros per year (I know that Google Analytics is free – but it is not really a solution for sophisticated web tracking due to some limitations). My opinion is that companies have to cope with the following issues to leverage the true value of web analytics:
- Provide enough labor resources
This problem is closely related with what Michael Zhang said in the guest lecture about Facebook and that they do not provide enough resources for analytics. To be able to leverage the capabilities of a web analytics tool an analyst needs time. When you are mainly busy with coping with maintenance, standardized reporting, user support, as well as implementation of new variables there is not much time for in-depth analysis.
- Make people in the company understand the tool and the KPI’s
This is again an issue of time – teaching all employees how to use the tool and what the different KPI’s mean. Furthermore, in some industries you face a lot of fluctuation regarding staff – as soon as people have understood the tool they might be leaving the company again and the teaching starts from scratch. Documentation is key!
- People within the company do not understand how to read the reports correctly.
One of the worst things in a meeting that can happen to you is when a colleague from marketing tells you that you have a big issue on the website and he backs up his argument by showing you one of the automated reports that you have produced yourself and then have to tell him that the numbers on there sadly mean something totally different – that might even happen weeks after you launched the report (happened to somebody I know). It is really important to educate people on reports and kill as many unnecessary reports as possible. Why producing them when nobody looks at them or they are just misinterpreted.
I had always the impression the web analytics is still not well known amongst people even within the industries for which this can be used as a measure to gain further insights. Even at university I have hardly heard people addressing this topic.
Nevertheless I have the impression that this field creates a lot of room for career opportunities. There are a lot of open positions in this field and as supply and demand are not really balanced analysts can easily ask for excessive wages.
So have you ever heard about web analytics? Do you think companies should spend more money on establishing the infrastructure for thoroughly analyzing their websites or is that rather a waste of money?
Since the exams are inevitably approaching I decided to deliver a little less serious topic to you 😉
Wired has just published a 12 most annoying technologies list.
So, how many times have you called the electric company, the cable company, or customer service only to hear the prompt… ‘please say why you’re calling…’? This is one thing that infuriates me. Not to mention the dialogue that I know we’ve all had… ‘representative. Representative….. REPRESENTATIVE!… Fuc* this.’ Click.”
To find out more please take a look at: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/10/1-annoying-technologies-as-chosen-by-the-wired-commenters/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Top+Stories%29&pid=3853&viewall=true
Android or iPhone? A debate going on forever and I am pretty sure that a general consensus will never be met! A often brought up argument has always been the fact that it is annoying to change from one to another due to the fact that its hard to transfer all of your personal data, photos etc! I found this online which is trying to make it easy and explain how to easy switch and transfer your data! Everybody who is using an android phone actually has no good excuse for not switching to the iPhone anymore by using the aforementioned reasoning 😉
Check out the link to see how: right here
I hope you still remember the last week’s technology of the week comparison of the Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad business models. I just hit on a new interesting news from that field regardin Apple no-profit selling hardware policy.
The CEO just recently made an official statement: We want to make money when people use our devices, not when people buy our devices. By contrast Apple has indicated in the past that it makes much of its profits from device sales while running its iTunes store “slightly above” break-even.
Amazon is seeking to distinguish its line-up by offering a subscription package that includes access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. The service offers users the ability to borrow up to one book a month from a selection of titles including well known authors – such as JK Rowling – and writers who have published their works through Amazon’s own publishing system. The UK service will include more than 200,000 ebooks at launch.
Amazon is also attempting to use its hardware to stimulate sales of other physical products sold via its store. Access to its Lending Library facility will be tied to a £49 annual subscription to its Amazon Prime service.
Some more interesting inights on: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19907546
Every morning and afternoon during rush-hours a lot of traffic jam occurs every day. Most famous (or horrible) highroads in the Netherlands which are known for their traffic jam are the A4 and the A50. In the traffic jam history are two days unique, 30th March 2002 and 30th ecember 2007. These two days are the only two days without traffic jam in the Netherlands in the last ten years. A further more introduction about the importance of the problem is of no need.
Our political leaders all have their own solution for this problem. More Asphalt, more carpooling, promote public transportation, increase fuel prices, etc etc. But apparently no one of this solutions works properly. Due to increasing welfare more and more people are buying and driving cars.
But I read an article where Microsoft stated to have the proper solution for the traffic jam problem. It shall not surprise you BIM-mers, the solution involves Technology. More precisely Microsoft tells us the solution is het ‘Nieuwe Werken’ (Flex Working). Employees should be able to start working at home at 8.30 am. After working for one hour, they should can drive to a customer for a meeting and afterwards they drive through to the office where a general meeting can be held. After the meeting the employees can drive home before rush-hour and finish up the work at home, just before dinner.
Redundant to say Microsoft is able to deliver a kind of software which enables video chat, sharing documents in the cloud and working together in the same document. Microsoft claims his employees drove due to Flex Working due to Flex Working 1.5 million kilometers less than normal they would do without flex working between 2007 and 2011.
Flex working could not only help to solve the traffic jam problem but can also help to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses.
In line with CEO Microsoft Netherlands John Reynders I would like to invite outgoing minister Schultz to implement Flex Working within the ministry to find out and experience the benefits of flex working.
To follow my previous post about BYOD (primarily about the strategies companies use to respond to BYOD trends), this time I would like to focus on the implementation process. Recently, I happened to read multiple good articles on the implementation on McKinsey Quaterly and Harvard Business Review, as well as observed a part of practical implementation process in a multinational company. This short blog lays out 4 steps that CIOs and their Infrastructure and Applications teams should follow to make a smooth transition.
1. Define the device policy. It is very important to define the policies surrounding the technology strategy, which can be seen as operationalization of workplace technology strategy (explained in my previous blog). CIOs have to consider multiple factors that will affect their decision in balancing the needs of the workforce with the risks of technological transition. On one side, BYOD offers improved employee communication, out-of-office productivity, huge opportunities to leverage sensor networks and establishment of a new channel to the customer. On the other side stand security, costs and governance. Good policies should account for these contrasting drivers and provide clear definitions for device choice (hardware, software), funding (fully paid, allowance), usage, and support.
2. Support infrastructure – selection and implementation of mobile device management and communication solutions. It includes evaluation and selection of vendors (for example for e-mail) and integration of the service with existing IT planning.
3. Prioritization – identifying the most important user groups and learning how technology can help them to do the work. Pilot projects and feedback from critical user groups is essential for prioritized and optimized implementation process.
4 Integration – integrating new solutions into existing IT architecture and roadmap. This is one of the most challenging and time consuming processes in BYOD implementation. Many of legacy apps are often incompatible with new mobile platforms, and acquisition/development of new ones is often very costly. Again, prioritization of user groups and required services is critical to create the most value from a transfer to mobile.
These are just very short and simplistic definitions of a much more sophisticated process of BYOD deployment in the organization. However, I wanted to highlight some of the complexities surrounding the process and show you that (any) technological change is a challenging process – even the one that seems quite straightforward when looking from the users perspective.
* Primary Source – McKinsey Quaterly
Algorithms. Much has been written about it in the past few years. First, there was Google that based an entire business model on the use of algorithms, and then algorithms took over the financial world. Nowadays, algorithms are used in high-frequency trading and are increasingly replacing the traditional way of trading. Results: increased profit margins of financial institutions and enlarged market volatility. However, the benefits of algorithms have been recognized in another, unlikely at first sight, sector: the retail industry. But first, what is it that makes algorithms so popular?
An algorithm is a mathematical term for a man-made, step-by-step finite procedure for calculating a function. Generally, once a computer algorithm is implemented it does not require any further human intervention, except when a change to the process or output is needed. And it is this inborn value to operate automated processes by themselves that makes the algorithm very popular.
Back to the retail industry. Imaging yourself standing in an exclusive designer clothes shop. You realize that you would really like to buy a piece of clothing in this shop, but you don’t have enough money at that particular moment. But at the minute you decide to leave the shop and go somewhere else, you receive a text message. This text message is from your bank offering a loan to make purchases and even with a 15 discount in the next 30 minutes. Moments later, you leave the shop with your new purchases; successful participant of ‘right place, right time’ marketing.
But, how did this text message end up on your phone? Firstly, your smartphone ‘knows’ where you are by using GPS technology installed on your phone. Secondly, you have signed up for text alerts through an automated system that notifies your bank of your location. Thirdly, this system is aware of previous spending and history with similar retailers and it also ‘knows’ your bank account balance. All these details have been recorded by retail algorithms. Once the process has gone through all stages, the algorithm creates the output: the text message.
This type of retail marketing is already implemented by a number of companies around the world, including DBS, one of Asia’s biggest banks, and the number of companies that make use of this technology is still growing, because it yields high profits for the companies concerned. Even though the use of algorithms as a marketing tool might sound like music to shopaholic’s ears, it also might mean a potential disaster to others. Retail algorithmic trick people easily to fall into debt; as the debt increases with the number of offers the person accepts. Especially in times of recession it might be controversial to use algorithms in retail marketing. So, besides the huge advantages of this technology for both businesses and customers, many ethical questions can be raised, and in the end it boils down to one question: ‘Will the benefits of retail algorithms outweigh the ethical issues of the use of this technology?’
For more information on retail algorithms visit: http://progressblogs.com/blog/author/john-bates/
For an interview with John Bates, CTO of Progress, on algorithms visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11999340
Yesterday Austrian Felix Baumgartner jumped out of his helium ballon in space from 39,045 meters. After four minutes and 18 seconds he opened his parachute and after 10 minutes he landed.
Baumgartner broke the record of highest jump from a platform and he is the first man outside an aircraft or spacecraft that has broken the through sound barrier.
In addition, with his spacejump also several digital records were broken. Over 8million viewers were streaming the jump on YouTube (highest amount of live viewers). Furthermore, a photo of the landed Baumgartner Facebook was shared more than 29,000 times within 40 minutes. On Twitter more than half of all subjects in the Trending Topics Worldwide had anything to do with the record.
For those of you that were lying under a stone yesterday evening,
The latest language from the company once identified for its programming languages seeks to bring a higher class of developer into the Web apps space, without changing the foundation of the Web… even if such a change wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
Read more about TypeScript: here
The danger of wrong pricing is nowadays bigger than it was before. Since so many transactions are online, companies have to be aware of the price they give their products. When there is a mistake in pricing on some website many customers can order before someone in the company takes any notice. In special, due to the social networks, people can inform each other about the mispricing within no time. A good example of online mispricing is Hema. Last year they priced their cranberry pie by accident for free. A couple of million people ordered the pie. Most of the customers ordered more than one pie. Hema gave the customers a voucher, which was worth one pie, as a solution to the problem.
I had the same kind of experience last month. A friend noticed me by text, provided with a link to the website, that I could order a HP Probook with a enormous discount. The vendor was Bol.com who had at that moment a marketing campaign whereby they sold “out of date” products with up to 75% discount. It is of course not really realistic when a HP Probook is priced from over a thousand euro’s to only 100 euro. But on the other hand there was a small change that it was the real price, so I thought let’s give it a go and ordered one. According to nu.nl I was not the only customer who ordered this laptop, with me a lot of others saw their chance. Predictably, I was not as lucky as the ones who ordered pie at Hema, whereas I received an email from Bol.com a couple of days later which stated that the order was canceled due to a mispricing. What I, on the other hand, did receive was a 20 euro discount on another laptop from bol.com.
I am wondering if Bol.com gains a lot of sales out of this mispricing. They got a lot of attention from media and people on forums. In this case you could have known, as a customer, that the deal was unfair. But when it was only, for example 200 euro’s of discount, it would have been a fair deal. In that case Bol.com would have been forced to deliver the product without margin. Concluding, companies have to be careful with pricing their products online, especially because people could spread the news of a mispricing within seconds by the use of social media!
Are computers/laptops becoming obsolete and will tablets become the new laptops?
Just a few days ago, the infamous “Drie Dwaze Dagen” at the department store Bijenkorf, where tons of people save up and do their shopping at discounted prices was around. So just as all the others, I also was looking for some nice bargains, of course I checked the products already with the Bijenkorf app on the ipad. What caught my eye was the Ipad 2 for sale, and I remembered my mom nagging about the slow speed of her netbook and wanted something faster. So we got it as her present for her birthday, but now the problem was making it practical for her to use. There I went back online to check out some cool and useful accessories and did not realize the hundreds perhaps even thousands of accessories the web offered, until I came across a nice article which reviewed the most useful add-ons for your ipad. While I was reading, there was a product, perhaps you already know this, the $100 Ulthrathin from Logitech which transforms your ipad into “very much looking like an ultrabook”. This made me wondering if computers and laptops will become obsolete in just a few years? Are you looking for a keyboard or some smart, stylish and useful accessories for your ipad, check out this youtube video and website:
Let me know, what your thoughts are on tablets vs laptops?
You might upgrade and value your ipad even more.