Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The 10 Fastest Supercomputers in the World

For those of us who are old enough to remember the 80’s and 90’s there was an ongoing “competition” to determine which computer was the “world’s fastest.” During the 2000’s as technology became more “personal” most of the public tended to focus on the latest consumer technologies such as phones, tablets, gaming systems, HD displays, and smartwatches. However cutting edge research still occurs at the “high end.” The performance of some of these systems is nothing short of mind blowing. Here are the 10 Fastest Supercomputers in the world according to eWeek. Awesome!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Approaching IT Security Like Homeland Security

According to Karen A. Frenkel at CIO|Insight, President Obama has identified cyber-security as a top national security challenge and has ordered a review of federal efforts to defend the U.S. information and communications infrastructure. The goal is to develop a comprehensive approach to securing America's digital infrastructure. Brian Beyer, CEO of Red Canary, explains that while your organization may not have the budget, resources, experts, or technology of our national government, organizations of all sizes can benefit from applying the same security tactics as the Department of Homeland Security. This slideshow presents some of Beyer's tips to help you defend your business.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Smartwatches Already Obsolete?

Like many I followed the release of the Apple Watch earlier this year. And although I think they look cool, there was just something about the whole idea of "smartwatches" that kept bothering me. Like, "Why do we need something like this?" and "Would I actually wear one?" I hardly ever wear a watch. Ever. And when I do I'm a Casio "G Shock" kind of guy except for when I wear the Tag-Heuer my wife gave me for my birthday. I have a colleague that wears a Rolex. And two that wear Breitlings. My Dad always wore an Omega. A watch can make a bold fashion statement. And at least for now, most "smartwatches" don't cut it although definitely the $17K Gold Apple Watch qualifies. For business and communications, my current phone (Galaxy S6 Edge) does everything I need. Plus tells the time! So I was interested to read this article by Rob Enderle in SD Times. Enderle makes some good points. But what is most important about any technology is whether or not it works for you. So, do you own a smartwatch? And what functionality does it add?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Developing an Excel Dashboard Application

The following was presented at the SOBIE Academic Conference, April 17, 20105:

"Effective decision-making requires information to be available in a format that highlights key performance variables and trends while allowing the user to “drill down” to deeper levels of detail as necessary. It is important that the data also be updateable in real-time. Microsoft Excel and Access allow information to be stored and presented in ways that facilitate the decision-making process. The power and flexibility of Pivot-Tables, Sparkline Graphs, Conditional Formatting, and Data Analysis functions in Excel combined with the storage capacity and connectivity of Access make it possible to design a customizable application.

A sample dashboard that analyzes salary and benefit information is demonstrated along with a discussion of all formulas and macros used. Methods for automatically connecting to and updating the spreadsheet from an external data source such as Microsoft Access are included."


video

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Excel Charts Show Travel Stats for Indiana

Earlier this semester, the MIS 320 Business Decision Making class had to analyze data collected on travel to and from Indiana. The assignment was to create a series of charts that would visually interpret the data for use by Indiana business leaders, politicians, state and local governments, and average citizens. On the surface, this appeared simple enough--after all how hard could graphs be? The challenge was that the data collected was from multiple sources and unorganized. Students had to dig deep in order to uncover useful information. They also were encouraged to experiment with color, 3-D effects, and styles. Some of the more interesting examples are shown here:

Taylor Kinney created this effective area chart comparing the number of people who visit Indiana from the rest of the United States to the number of people from Indiana who travel outside the state. It is not surprising that the highest activity involves the surrounding "five state" region.



Keflome Gebrenegus used a radar chart to perform the same comparison. The number of people from Indiana traveling to Florida clearly shows up as a "spike" in the lower right.



Jack Hiatt used a 3-D surface chart to compare individual measures for each method of travel included in the survey. The use of multiple dimensions allows comparison across categories and the "wireframe" and "rotation" options makes every data point visible.



Ross Beretta paid tribute to Indiana by adding the state flag as a background to this cylinder chart breaking down travel by income level. Adding a background image allows you to customize your graph using any picture. The picture becomes part of the chart and re-sizes automatically.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Get Ready for 5G!

The mobile networks that our smartphones and other devices rely on to connect to the Internet today typically use 4G technology. According to Stephen Shankland reporting for c|net on the 2015 Mobile World Congress, higher-performance fifth-generation networks are coming soon and the possibilities seem endless. Gartner predicts the number of devices connected to the Internet to increase from 5 billion in 2015 to 25 billion by 2020.

Using 5G technology, sensors will be built into appliances, security systems, health monitors, door locks, cars, and wearable devices. "You'll have tags on your dogs talking to devices in your home," says Femi Adeyemi, lead mobile architect for Fujitsu. "You'll know when your children come home. Cars on the highway will be autonomously managed."

The difference in speed will be awesome as well. 5G networks will allow for downloads at up to 10Gbs. Compared to the relative “slowness” of today’s 4G networks (about 100-150Mbps) events will happen in “real time.” 5G networks will bring augmented reality and virtual reality applications into the mainstream. Augmented reality superimposes information like driving directions, product prices or acquaintances' names over our view of the real world. For example, you might think of “Google Glass” as an early type of Augmented Reality device. On the other hand, Virtual Reality creates an entirely new and artificial view of the world.

5G will also shorten the delay before beginning a download. Waiting a few seconds for a streaming video to start at 4G speeds may seem like no big deal, but that's way too slow for things like self-driving cars, where every millisecond counts. 4G needs at least 15 to 25 milliseconds for a car to tell the one behind it that it has begun emergency braking. That delay will drop to 1 millisecond with 5G.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Apple Pay Gaining Support

Apple Pay is rapidly gaining support in the mobile economy. According to Don Reisinger at eWeek, the latest news is that JetBlue will become the first domestic carrier to enable its passengers to use Apple Pay to make in-flight purchases—from food to movies. JetBlue is just one of a number of businesses that are supporting Apple Pay. The service has so far proved reliable and is growing in popularity. While the platform is still in its infancy, it has a solid foundation to build on and is continuing to win converts among merchants and consumers. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express all support Apple Pay. To learn more about Apple Pay vist: http://www.eweek.com/mobile/slideshows/how-apple-pay-is-winning-converts-to-the-mobile-payment-service.html