In the 1980s, John L. Hennessy, then a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, shook up the computer industry by taking the concepts of reduced instruction set computing (RISC) to the masses. Hennessy wrote papers, gave talks, designed chips, started companies, and even, literally, wrote the book (a textbook that’s still used today). The RISC architecture, which focused on simpler, lower-cost microprocessors, was then thought to be an academic exercise with little practical use; today it plays a major role in the industry. Hennessy, now president of Stanford, is once again designing, testing, and advocating a new architecture, this time in the field of university education. He first began rethinking research at universities and recently began reimagining university education itself. For these efforts, in June Hennessy will receive the 2012 IEEE Medal of Honor “for pioneering the RISC processor architecture and for leadership in computer engineering and … [Read more...] about John L. Hennessy: Risk Taker
Just weeks after unveiling its online personal finance service, General Electric Co. announced Tuesday that it has partnered with CompuBank to provide personal banking services via GE's already established GE Financial Network (GEFN).GEFN, which initially included information on annuities, auto and life insurance, loans and mutual funds, will now offer users the opportunity to open checking, savings and money market accounts, write checks and access funds through cash machines.Customers will also be able to arrange direct deposits and electronic fund transfers, re-order checks online and use domestic wire service and bill payment features. Through its alliance with CompuBank, GE will offer certificates of deposit and Visa check cards.GE, considered an "old economy" success story, has made aggressive moves into electronic commerce and may emerge as a model for blending traditional and online operations. Even before GEFN was launched in February, GE had begun to move some of its … [Read more...] about GE Muscles into Online Banking
If you’ve spent any amount of time on Facebook, you’ve likely witnessed or fallen victim to the number of hoaxes that pop up, from celebrity deaths (who haven’t died) to supposed body of a mermaid. Facebook hoaxes have become so commonplace that even large news outlets once considered trustworthy, have claimed Morgan Freeman has died at least five times.In the latest hoax, however, the claim wasn’t that anyone died, but instead involved a celebrity participating in an act of good will. According to multiple Facebook posts, actor Richard Gere had gone undercover as an unrecognizable homeless person and was ignored and treated as homeless people are often treated (poorly), with only one person offering him food. According to the Facebook story, Gere was so compelled to help that he personally handed out hundreds of dollars to those living on the streets.Unfortunately, most of the story is a hoax, or misleading at the least. According to … [Read more...] about Millions believe actor Richard Gere’s ‘moving’ Facebook hoax about homelessness
Recently, I've observed a wave of articles, product releases and even analyst reports that describe solutions for companies looking to "get into" master data management (MDM) or "try out" an MDM project. Other reports claim that companies have been successful at MDM without having an MDM infrastructure in place.As someone who has been actively involved in the data quality, integration and management market for more than 20 years, there are several myths about MDM that have become commonly accepted. Here are the three biggest myths about MDM that are currently being pushed as reality.Myth: Master data management is the way to get your data in shape.Fact: This assertion is dangerously simplistic and analogous to rebuilding a motor to repair a spark plug.It's no surprise that people are confused as to the real meaning of MDM when so many definitions have been bandied about for several years. Some sources define MDM as a way to manage enterprise data about a company's products, customers … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS Master Data Management Myth Busters
Will camera phones replace digital cameras for the average consumer? Not by a long shot, according to a new study from IDC. The study refutes what it refers to as a myth about the digital technologies and affirms the notion of peaceful co-existence between the two.According to IDC's Mobile Imaging Survey, the myth is suspect at best, especially since resolutions in camera phones have remained somewhat constant and digital camera pricing has continued to decline.Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Jupiter Research, told TechNewsWorld he agrees with IDC's assessment."Camera phones will not become digital cameras, nor will music-enabled phones displace iPods or MP3 players," he said. "These devices will be an addition to, not instead of."Gartenberg said the issue is context. Consumers who are heading out for a night on the town may only want to take one digital device. The natural selection is the cell phone. If the consumer is inspired to take a snapshot of his friends, then the camera … [Read more...] about Camera Phones: Digital Camera Boon or Buster?
The U.S. government has largely failed to achieve the same productivity gains that private sector firms have experienced from utilizing IT -- despite spending US$600 billion on information technology over the last decade or so. As a result, the federal Office of Management and Budget has initiated a new program to improve the way federal agencies acquire and manage IT resources.OMB rolled out the plan last week at a forum attended by government agency chief information officers and representatives from private sector IT firms. The plan is an outgrowth of an aggressive review of troubled federal IT projects launched by OMB in mid-2009, shortly after President Barack Obama appointed Vivek Kundra as the federal CIO at the White House in March 2009. Obama said he was directing Kundra "to ensure that we are using the spirit of American innovation and the power of technology to improve performance and lower the cost of government operations."Since June 2009, OMB has been conducting in-depth … [Read more...] about OMB Proposes Federal IT Procurement Makeover
U.S. government agencies will be moving quickly to implement contracting reforms for the procurement of information technology in the wake of policy changes revealed last week by the Office of Management and Budget. For IT vendors competing for a share of the US$80 billion annual federal IT market, keeping close track of the procurement changes will be crucial to business success.The procurement reforms are based on OMB's assessment that huge federal IT investments have largely failed to achieve the same level of productivity as similar investments by the private sector.For IT vendors, the most immediate impact of the reform package presents increased opportunities for marketing cloud-based offerings to the federal government. Other important aspects of the package deal with improvements to contracting vehicles and actions designed to help federal agencies communicate better with the private sector.In assessing more than 50 troubled federal IT projects over the last 18 months, OMB … [Read more...] about Federal IT Procurement Reform: A Guide for Vendors
President Barack Obama made an overture to the business community, emphasizing the mutual benefits that come with a truly effective partnership between government and business, in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last month.Following up with a practical initiative, the White House has directed federal agencies to do a much better job of engaging with the private sector in contracting for information technology products and services. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that the reticence of federal procurement officials to better engage with vendors during IT acquisition activities often can result in inappropriate purchases and the unproductive use of federal funds.Daniel Gordon, OMB's Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, told federal agencies dealing with commercial IT businesses to "remove unnecessary barriers to reasonable communication and develop vendor communication plans, consistent with existing law and regulation, that promote responsible … [Read more...] about So You Want to Land a Federal IT Contract?