A fleeting roadside scene in Lima, Peru, sticks in my mind. A very little girl, perhaps four, stood on a narrow traffic island bisecting a congested thoroughfare amid choking dust, soot, and fumes. With the girl was a woman I took to be her mother. The mother, a street peddler, was unpacking a crate full of something. (I couldn’t see what, but other peddlers offered avocados, toilet paper, and toy rats.) Around them roared 1970s-era buses and battered vehicles, passing below concrete habitations creeping up dismal, denuded hillsides in one of the city’s vast slums. The child was energetically scooping up plastic bags for her mother, her shaggy brown hair flopping forward. Not far away, an old woman picked through a pile of smoldering refuse. Against the squalid tableau, the girl was tidying her little corner of Lima as she spent her morning helping Mom at work. I thought of her as I passed through steel gates manned by armed guards at Peru’s Ministry of Education … [Read more...] about Una Laptop por Niño
11 must have machine learning tools
In 2012, physicists in the Netherlands announced a discovery in particle physics that started chatter about a Nobel Prize. Inside a tiny rod of semiconductor crystal chilled cooler than outer space, they had caught the first glimpse of a strange particle called the Majorana fermion, finally confirming a prediction made in 1937. It was an advance seemingly unrelated to the challenges of selling office productivity software or competing with Amazon in cloud computing, but Craig Mundie, then heading Microsoft’s technology and research strategy, was delighted. The abstruse discovery—partly underwritten by Microsoft—was crucial to a project at the company aimed at making it possible to build immensely powerful computers that crunch data using quantum physics. “It was a pivotal moment,” says Mundie. “This research was guiding us toward a way of realizing one of these systems.” Microsoft is now almost a decade into that project and has just begun to … [Read more...] about Microsoft’s Quantum Mechanics
Like any proud father, Gary Marcus is only too happy to talk about the latest achievements of his two-year-old son. More unusually, he believes that the way his toddler learns and reasons may hold the key to making machines much more intelligent. Sitting in the boardroom of a bustling Manhattan startup incubator, Marcus, a 45-year-old professor of psychology at New York University and the founder of a new company called Geometric Intelligence, describes an example of his boy’s ingenuity. From the backseat of the car, his son had seen a sign showing the number 11, and because he knew that other double-digit numbers had names like “thirty-three” and “seventy-seven,” he asked his father if the number on the sign was “onety-one.”“He had inferred that there is a rule about how you put your numbers together,” Marcus explains with a smile. “Now, he had overgeneralized it, and he made a mistake, but it was a very sophisticated … [Read more...] about Can This Man Make AI More Human?
At WWDC 2015, Apple announced that the Swift programming language is set to be open source, meaning developers can feasibly develop apps for OS X and iOS using a Linux PC. This strategy seems far removed from the standard Apple playbook.However, this tactic demonstrates an awareness of the wider world of computing. The industry is changing, and so too must the companies in it. There’s a different, smaller audience that needs to be catered to just as carefully as the masses that line up for every new iteration of flagship devices like the iPhone.This audience isn’t as easily swayed by minor cosmetic improvements or a new 24/7 radio station. They’re more interested in what’s under the hood, and the infrastructure that supports the platform in broader terms. They’re developers, and they’re more important than ever before.The Changing Face of DevelopmentIn recent years, we’ve seen the once-stuffy world of developer conferences take steps … [Read more...] about Swift goes open-source, but what’s in it for Apple?
Chances are, you can vividly recall JFK’s famous inauguration speech in 1961, whether you were alive or merely watched the broadcast after the fact. The exact opposite sentiments apply when it comes to laptops: Ask not what you can do for your laptop — ask what your laptop can do for you. You’ve probably owned a few notebooks, you know what features you like, and you’ve likely experienced the good and the bad that come along with choosing a machine. For instance, the inconvenient hassle of toting around a 17-inch behemoth, or the inevitable letdown that goes along with streaming Netflix movies to an 11-inch screen. Fortunately, there is a bevy of suitable options, for every lifestyle or purpose, so long as you know what you’re doing. And remember, there are exceptions to every rule.Here’s our list of the most common laptop buying mistakes, so you can leave all potential regrets at the door. If you want to build your own … [Read more...] about 10 common laptop-buying mistakes you can easily avoid
Over the weekend, high-end retailer Neiman Marcus admitted that hackers infiltrated its system and stole untold lists of credit and debit card numbers, along with other personal information belong to its customers.The breach comes just days after Target said that hackers stole the payment data, addresses, phone numbers, and names of some 70 million customers – a number that may or may not include the roughly 40 million shoppers whose private data landed in hackers’ hands following the post-Thanksgiving spending spree.“The recent Target attack was about stealing data.”The bleeding does not stop there, however; according to Reuters, hackers have successfully breached the systems of “at least three other well-known US retailers.” We don’t yet know the identities of these outlets, but will undoubtedly find out soon.Cyberattacks are nothing new, of course. What makes the Target and Nieman breaches so frightening for shoppers – at least, … [Read more...] about Why are brick-and-mortar retailers crumbling under hacker attacks?
For months, the security community has been waving a red flag about how the nascent Internet of Things could become a cybercriminal's paradise. Last week, those admonitions were given some credence when the Federal Trade Commission recommended that the makers of IoT gadgets adopt some "best practices" to protect consumers from potential violations of their privacy and security.In its report, the agency noted that the IoT is already impacting the daily lives of millions of Americans through the adoption of health and fitness monitors, home security devices, connected cars, household appliances and other applications.Such devices offer the potential for improved health-monitoring, safer highways, and more efficient home energy use, among other potential benefits, the report added. However, it also warned that connected devices raise numerous privacy and security concerns that could undermine consumer confidence."The only way for the Internet of Things to reach its full potential for … [Read more...] about SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY Is the FTC Jumping the Gun on IoT Security?
In a year when it seemed that CRM continued to blur into other technologies -- artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, analytics and predictive tools, plus a host of other older technologies -- there was no shortage of things to blog about.However, only a few bloggers really captured what was going on in CRM in 2016 and reflected the evolution of the technology in their own unique ways. Doing that is a great way to land on our list of the 20 Best CRM Blogs of the last year.Perhaps next January, predictive technology will allow us to project which will be the best blogs of 2018. For now, we'll look back on a year of writing on the subject of CRM -- not just CRM, the technology, but CRM, the discipline. That's why there are no blogs targeted at developers and a precious few that are from vendors.Our criteria for inclusion are fairly simple: A top blog must have published at least eight posts in the previous year; it can't be from a vendor, unless it's written in such a way as to … [Read more...] about OPINION Top CRM Blogs of 2016: Countdown, Part 1
Responsibility for securing enterprise applications has been moving down the development lifecycle, and for good reason. It not only makes the enterprise more secure, but also saves companies time and money.For example, the average time to fix a vulnerability in IBM's application security solution has dropped from 20 hours to 30 minutes, according to a study Forrester Consulting released last month.Also, finding bugs earlier rather than later in the development process resulted in a 90 percent cost savings, the study indicated.If security at the application creation level is going to gain traction, however, it's going to require a change in the attitude on the part of developers."Developers don't inherently think about security -- they're paid to ship code," said Rami Essaid, CEO of Distil Networks."We've been saying that developers should write good code for the last 20 years, yet nothing happens," he told TechNewsWorld.Moreover, even if an organization can get its developers to write … [Read more...] about SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY To Protect Enterprise Data, Secure the Code
What makes a great CRM blog? Generally, the same things that make a great CRM implementation: good planning, thoughtful responses to a changing market, consistent posting (the "adoption" part of blogging), the right technology, and people with the right personality. It's the classic "people, processes and technology" trilogy, really.Do a Google search for "CRM blogs" and you'll get about 22 million hits. That means those that made our annual list of the best blogs and bloggers are one in a million (or more literally, one in 1.1 million).Our criteria are fairly simple: each blog must have at least eight posts in the previous year; it can't be a from a vendor, unless it's written in such a way as to be virtually vendor agnostic; and it must show a masterful grasp of both the human and technological elements of CRM. That narrows the field only slightly. From there, the judgment is based solely on the quality of the content.In past years, we've started with No. 1 and worked backward. This … [Read more...] about OPINION The Top 20 CRM Blogs of 2015: Part 1