Tag Archives: Big Think

News You Can Use: 1/24/2018

  • It’s time for Washington to start working on artificial intelligence

    Visitors to the Capitol today wouldn’t expect to see cutting edge experiments taking place inside the building and sadly, they probably don’t have much faith that Congress is even thinking about the future at all. This shows up in the rhetoric and it shows up in our budgets. Washington spends way too much time re-litigating the past — witness how much time has been devoted to debating old trade deals, the 2010 Affordable Care Act or the 1980s Reagan tax cuts — and has increasingly budgeted and legislated in a backwards looking way.

    Instead of embracing the trends of the future and empowering our citizens, too many policymakers would rather roll back the clock. According to data collected by the Brookings Institute, federal investment in research and development has declined significantly in recent decades, falling from 2.23% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 1960s to just 0.77% in 2016 (GDP). Think about that, across the same decades when we saw a globally-connected high-tech economy emerge, we dramatically scaled back investment in R&D.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/17/its-time-for-washington-to-start-working-on-artificial-intelligence/?ncid=rss

  • Gartner: AI and B2B marketplaces will dominate procurement

    Amazon’s Web Services are its main driver of revenue for the e-commerce giant, so as more procurement officers leave outdated software behind and switch over to more streamlined and efficient options, the result will be tighter competition for other software providers, cloud services, retailers and third-party sellers.

    Furthermore, as procurement departments let go of old software systems and embrace AI-run systems, virtual assistants and chatbots, procurement departments will begin to streamline and automate purchases, there will be a shift in labor and talent demand for those roles.

    https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/gartner-trends-2018-AI-b2b-marketplaces-chatbot/514389/

  • How to Win with Game Theory & Defeat Smart Opponents
  • 5 Habits For Staying Productive In The Dreariest Months Of The Year

    2. FEEL GRATEFUL FOR SOMETHING EVERY DAY
    The holiday season can feel like a giant, blinking neon sign telling you to practice gratitude and cherish those around you. But without the sugary-sweet commercials and Netflix holiday rom-coms as reminders, it’s easy to fall back into your day-to-day routines, forgetting to notice the everyday magic around you.

    A daily gratitude habit is strongly correlated with increased happiness and overall well-being, not to mention with strengthening your relationships. For the next month or two, give it a shot. You can go as a big as writing in a physical gratitude journal once a day, or as small as remembering to reflect on a good moment before you go to bed tonight.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40515213/5-habits-for-staying-productive-in-the-dreariest-months-of-the-year

  • With all 49 Democrats on board, Senate leaders sound off on plan to restore net neutrality

    Forcing a vote means everyone in the Senate has to officially weigh in on this issue, and that makes it a very simple matter, come election season, to say whether they support net neutrality or not. Sure, they can blow smoke and attempt to obfuscate the issue, but ultimately people understand that the new rule vastly reduces the protections they have, and to support it is to support that reduction. It’s not going to be a popular decision.

    If it gets into the House, the same thing happens there — so that’s a good reason to root for its success in the Senate, even if it doesn’t really get it any closer to becoming law.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/16/with-all-49-democrats-on-board-senate-leaders-sound-off-on-plan-to-restore-net-neutrality/?ncid=rss

Photo: Thought Catalog

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News You Can Use: 1/17/2018

  • Accenture calls for action on the digital procurement revolution

    In a recent report, the global management consultancy made no bones about the disappointment it feels at what it perceives as an almost industry-wide failure to embrace the technologies available for digitising procurement. It states that “procurement organisation has been largely left behind in the digital revolution. That needs to change.”

    The report looks at how bots can be used to automate and streamline manual or routine procurement tasks, how making use of available expertise such as speaking to buying agents and advisors will help people make the best purchasing decisions and deliver optimal value to the business.

    Accenture specializes in helping procurement companies to digitize their business operations, and the report shows confidence that the familiar frustrations surrounding procurement today will give way to a simple and intuitive buying experience for users to enthusiastically embrace.

    http://www.supplychaindigital.com/procurement/accenture-calls-action-digital-procurement-revolution

  • iPhones and Children Are a Toxic Pair, Say Two Big Apple Investors

    “Apple can play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do,” the shareholders wrote in the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “There is a developing consensus around the world including Silicon Valley that the potential long-term consequences of new technologies need to be factored in at the outset, and no company can outsource that responsibility.”

    Obsessive teenage phone usage has sparked a debate among academics, parents and even the people who helped create the iPhone. Some have raised concerns about increased rates in teen depression and suicide and worry that phones are replacing old-fashioned human interaction. It is part of a broader re-evaluation of the effects on society of technology and social media.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/iphones-and-children-are-a-toxic-pair-say-two-big-apple-investors-1515358834

  • Can We Digitize the Voting System? Blockchain, Corruption, and Hacking
  • How Actual Smart People Talk About Themselves

    They all know it. A lifetime of quietly comparing their ease in handling intellectual challenges—at the chess board, in the classroom, in the debating or writing arena—with the efforts of other people gave them the message.

    Virtually none of them (need to) say it. There are a few prominent exceptions, of talented people who annoyingly go out of their way to announce that fact. Muhammed Ali is the charming extreme exception illustrating the rule: he said he was The Greatest, and was. Most greats don’t need to say so. It would be like Roger Federer introducing himself with, “You know, I’m quite graceful and gifted.” Or Meryl Streep asking, “Have you seen my awards?”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/how-actual-smart-people-talk-about-themselves/549878/?utm_source=feed

  • H-1B visa extensions for workers waiting on green cards are safe for now

    The Trump administration appears to be creating distance between itself and rumors that it might end the practice of extending H-1B visas during the green card application process. The rumored change would have a large impact on foreign tech workers in the U.S., but the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is offering assurances that no such policy change is underway.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/09/h-1b-visa-extension-green-card-policy-change-uscis/?ncid=rss

Photo: Tim Gouw

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News You Can Use: 12/20/2017

  • Jailed for a Text: China’s Censors Are Spying on Mobile Chat Groups

    In China’s swiftly evolving new world of state surveillance, there are fewer and fewer private spaces. Authorities who once had to use informants to find out what people said in private now rely on a vast web of new technology. They can identify citizens as they walk down the street, monitor their online behavior and snoop on cellphone messaging apps to identify suspected malcontents.

    Years ago, in the Mao Zedong era, people were sent to prison, labor camps and death for opinions expressed in private. In the decades since China launched economic reforms after Mao’s death, prosperity and social mobility created room for more personal freedom and expression. Now China appears to be reverting to old form, empowered by new digital surveillance tools.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/jailed-for-a-text-chinas-censors-are-spying-on-mobile-chat-groups-1512665007

  • Billionaire CEO Michael Dell tells employees, forget hierarchy: ‘Be willing to break things, make stuff happen’

    “At our company, if we want to get something done, we tell them: ‘Just get it done. If anybody gets in your way, just shoot them.’ Not actually shoot them, but like, we’re all from Texas, so we use colorful analogies like that,” says Dell. “Make sure everybody knows we’re not actually shooting” people, Dell says. (Dell is headquartered in Round Rock, Texas.)

    “Don’t let anything stand in your way. Look, if you’re gonna do something new, you have to be willing to break things, and sort of make stuff happen,” says Dell. “If you have a big company, there are a lot of people running around that tell you you can’t do stuff.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/07/billionaire-michael-dell-on-success-take-risks-make-stuff-happen.html

  • How to Rebuild a Relationship After a Difference of Opinion
  • Too Many Meetings Suffocate Productivity and Morale

    So, my appeal to all you entrepreneurs, don’t suffocate the life out of your companies with too many meetings. Hire smart people, trust them to do their jobs, and get the heck out of their way, so they can do the jobs they were hired to do. You don’t have to micro manage every single decision. Empower your team to make their own decisions in a flat organizational structure. Even if they make mistakes, that is fine, they will learn from them. But, the team will be moving twice as fast at getting things done, than if they were burdened with a bunch of meetings. Speed matters with startups.

    Challenge yourself and every employee in your company to cap their recurring weekly meetings at 20 percent of their time. That is one day a week, or eight hours in a normal working day. That is up to 16 thirty-minute meetings they can schedule, plenty of slots to working with.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/304610

  • Drone curbs overtime in Japan by blasting workers with music

    Japan has a culture that encourages overtime out of a sense of loyalty, and that’s a serious problem. It not only cuts into family and social life, it leads to entirely avoidable deaths. Taisei (the company behind the main Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium) aims to fix that in an unusual way: having a drone nag you into going home. Its newly unveiled T-Frend is ostensibly a security drone that surveils the office with its camera, but its specialty is blasting workers with “Auld Lang Syne” (commonly used in Japan to indicate closing time) to force them out of the office. In theory, the music and the drone’s own buzzing make it impossible to concentrate.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/07/drone-curbs-overtime-in-japan-by-blasting-workers-with-music/

Photo: Samuel Zeller

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News You Can Use: 11/29/2017

  • Google Is Filtering News for the Wrong Reason

    Google decided to downgrade links to RT and Sputnik just as members of Congress investigate whether U.S. technology platforms helped facilitate a Russian disinformation campaign during the presidential election. Until the possibility of regulation arose, the company was fine with those links, even though RT’s and Sputnik’s content was always as pungent as it is today.

    The bottom line is that Google will downgrade any kind of content that can cause a backlash against it. That’s important to understand even if you don’t want to see alt-right, alt-left, pro-Russian, pro-Iran or any other biased “news stories.” What you do want can end up being censored, too, if Google’s finely tuned corporate nose smells complications.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-11-22/google-is-filtering-news-for-the-wrong-reason

  • Uber is now facing multiple lawsuits over its huge data breach

    After it was revealed that the ride-hailing giant paid hackers $100,000 to stay silent about the data breach of 57 million account holders, regulators around the world–including the U.K., Australia, and the Philippines–announced that they were investigating the company. Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission joined that list, saying it was “closely evaluating the serious issues raised.”

    Today, Uber can add three potential class-action lawsuits to the difficult issues it has to deal with, reports the Washington Post. In addition, the attorneys general of New York, Missouri, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are also launching an investigation.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40500244/uber-is-now-facing-multiple-lawsuits-over-its-huge-data-breach

  • Your Life in 2027: A Look at the Future (Vivek Wadhwa)
  • Tai Lopez Reveals the Secrets He Used to Make Millions From Social Media

    To make money, Lopez estimates you need at least 5,000 to 10,000 followers on Instagram; 1,000 on YouTube; 5,000 to 10,000 on Snapchat; 10,000 on Facebook; and 2,000 to 5,000 on Twitter. For a podcast and email, the magic number is 5,000 subscribers respectively. But the followers, he cautions, must be “highly targeted.” In other words, true fans.

    “It doesn’t matter if you have a million followers if they’re all ghost followers,” Lopez says, citing the importance of audience quality, not quantity.

    Expand your reach:

    Lopez recommends “shoutout for shoutout” exchanges as the least expensive way to grow a decent Instagram following of 10,000 to 100,000. How it works: repost another user’s post and say “Repost” or “Follow my friend.”

    “Start with acquaintances who have a couple thousand Instagram followers. Just say, ‘I love your post. I’m going to repost it on my Instagram and tag you.’ Don’t ask for anything in return. Many people are happy if you get them only 100 followers. Then you can come back a week later and say, ‘I have this post, would you mind posting it for me?’”

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/304903

  • The Out-Of-Office Template You Should Use This Holiday Season

    Hi there,

    Thanks so much for your email. I’ve decided to take advantage of the holiday weekend and truly take [Monday/Friday] off. In an effort to come back fully recharged, I won’t be checking my email. Don’t worry though, if it’s urgent, you can reach out to [name] at [email address].

    I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible when I’m back in the office.

    [Your Name]

    The article contains another example as well.
    https://www.fastcompany.com/40499110/the-out-of-office-template-you-should-use-this-holiday-season

Photo: Roman Kraft

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News You Can Use: 6/22/2016

sn_horses_Isabella Jusková

  • Cable and telecom companies just lost a huge court battle on net neutrality

    The court verdict puts to rest — for now — a key question: Whether the Internet represents a vital communications platform that deserves to be regulated with the same scrutiny as the common networks of the past, such as the telephone system. Writing for the court, Judges David Tatel and Sri Srinivasan held that despite advances in technology, the underlying importance of the Internet to everyday communications and commerce makes it more similar to the phone system than not. Today, for example, consumers are accustomed to using not just the email accounts that their broadband provider gave them, but also using third-party services such as Gmail as well as Netflix, Amazon and Uber.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/06/14/the-fcc-just-won-a-sweeping-victory-on-net-neutrality-in-federal-court/

  • What’s going on with IT hiring?

    CompTIA, an industry group, said about 96,000 IT jobs were lost last month across all industries, not just the technology sector. That figure includes the impact of the approximately 37,000 telecommunications jobs sidelined by the Verizon strike, which was settled this month. But it was a rough month, by some estimates.

    Analysts have been generally cautious this year about IT hiring trends. Although the unemployment rate for IT professionals is about half the national average of 4.7%, said CompTIA, some analysts use terms ranging from “modest” to “pre-recession” to describe IT hiring.

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3080825/it-careers/what-s-going-on-with-it-hiring.html?nsdr=true

  • The Psychology of Solitude: Being Alone Can Maximize Productivity, with Scott Barry Kaufman
  • 4 Steps to Avoid ‘Death by Meeting’

    Whether your meetings are derailed by the shiny object syndrome, or you get stuck in the weeds, the only person who can save you is you! That’s why, when I’m facilitating team events, I make sure that our agendas include business items as well as elements relevant to the team. That way, we weave in learning with business needs, giving team members an opportunity to practice and apply the skills they are learning.

    What often happens, when a team gets stuck in the weeds or off track, is that team members start making eye contact with me: raising an eyebrow, in effect begging me to, “Get us out of here — we are stuck!” It always strikes me that it’s me, the guest facilitator, who is asked to save the day.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/275194

  • Doth thou protest too much?

    Many will applaud this effort to reign in what is seen as an out of control protest process. After all, the protest rate has grown some 45 percent during a period of time that total federal spending has dropped 25 percent. In 2001 there were about 700 individual protests filed with the GAO; in 2015 that number was over 2,500. Interestingly, of those protests on which GAO ultimately ruled, its “sustain rate” had dropped to 12 percent—from 18 percent just a few years earlier and 22 percent in 2001.

    https://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2016/06/03/insights-soloway-bid-protests.aspx

  • How Google killed Nest and why acquisitions fail

    I think the real problem is that when most companies do an acquisition they treat it almost like you and I would buy a car. They focus on the price and closing the deal after becoming interested in the firm’s products and/or services. But you don’t buy people, and a firm without the employees who made it a success is a failure in the making and worth a fraction of its assessed value. Part of the real cost of the acquisition is critical employee retention, and retention packages do a poor job of making people want to stay.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3082033/mergers-acquisitions/how-google-killed-nest-and-why-acquisitions-fail.html

  • Verizon to bid $3B for Yahoo’s core Internet business
    First Verizon buys AOL, and now they are looking into buying Yahoo. Verizon is where all of your old embarrasing email addresses like (mustang_guy_1972_xx@yahoo.com) go to die. 
    http://www.cio.com/article/3080025/verizon-to-bid-3b-for-yahoo-s-core-internet-business.html

Photo: Isabella Jusková

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