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Industry & Technology

This mini drone can be a soldier's eyes - IT industry - May 9, 2017 - 8:35pm
The lightweight drone can be easily deployed to scope out a potentially hostile environment without putting soldiers in danger.

CIO finds storytelling challenging but crucial - IT industry - May 9, 2017 - 8:31pm

Dave Smoley recently wrapped up a three-year digital transformation. While most CIOs might be popping the cork on a bottle of champagne, the AstraZeneca IT leader has turned his focus to growth and innovation. Smoley is educating executives on disruptive technologies that may generate more revenues and efficiencies for the U.K.-based pharmaceutical company.


AstraZeneca’s CIO Dave Smoley.

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IDG Contributor Network: How to recognize what tech your company needs - IT industry - May 9, 2017 - 8:29pm

The advancements in technology have greatly helped small business owners to realize increased productivity and lower cost structure in all sectors. If you want to stay ahead of the competition and maximize your profits, consider investing in the aspect of technology to boost your investments. Here are some aspects of technology you can use to recognize what Tech your company needs: 


Speed and time are very integral parts of any business enterprise, and hence you should compete with larger corporations by being swift or agile. You can utilize numerous modernized communication options such as email, live chats, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and mobile forms in communicating with your employees or suppliers instantaneously. Efficient means of communication will reduce risks of experiencing downtime in the execution of various tasks in your business.

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Why smart contracts can't be fully automated - IT industry - May 9, 2017 - 3:59pm

Blockchain technology has been generating excitement in the public and private sectors for the past several years for many reasons — a prominent one being support for self-executing contracts commonly referred to as smart contracts. But while smart contracts have the potential to streamline many business processes, full automation isn't likely anytime in the foreseeable future.

"Smart contracts are a combination of some certain binary actions that can be translated into code and some reference to plain language like we have today that is open to litigation if you mess up," says Antonis Papatsaras, CTO of enterprise content management company SpringCM, which specializes in contract workflow automation. "I think it's going to take forever."

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Leadership for the IT revolution - IT industry - May 9, 2017 - 12:00pm

Leadership in some form or fashion is taught in every college and university on the planet and has been practiced in every organization that ever existed. Despite that omnipresence, as well as society’s fascination with leadership and ample journalistic treatment of what appears to be a perennial “leadership crisis,” many executives lack a framework to evaluate and improve their own leadership. “Good” and “bad” leadership remains for the most part a subjective, bordering-on-mood-based assessment.

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(Insider Story)

A solar plane like this may one day take you to the stratosphere - IT industry - May 9, 2017 - 12:20am

Everyone has a preference when it comes to travel wear, but one company is hoping someday passengers will sport spacesuits on its craft. That company is SolarStratos, and it has built what it calls the world's first solar stratospheric plane. 

A two-seat prototype with 22 square meters of solar cells had its maiden flight on May 5 in Payerne, Switzerland. The flight only lasted seven minutes, with the plane ascending to just 300 meters. But the goal is to eventually take a solar plane on a five-hour flight to an altitude of more than 24,000 meters, which will put travelers in the stratosphere.

The project presents some unique challenges. First, passengers will have to wear a spacesuit, since the plane's cabin will not be pressurized. And in the case of an emergency, parachutes will not be an option in the -70 degree Celsius atmosphere. 

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This solar plane has its sights set on the stratosphere - IT industry - May 8, 2017 - 10:16pm
The first test of the prototype plane only lasted seven minutes, but the SolarStratos team hopes that one day, the solar aircraft will carry people to the edge of space.

HP to scale up its 3D printer business for use in mass manufacturing - IT industry - May 8, 2017 - 1:01pm

After announcing its first revenue from sales, HP Inc. today said it is now focused on scaling up its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing business that it believes will rival standard manufacturing technologies, such as injection molding.

While HP is planning some direct sales of its new Jet Fusion printer lineup, the vast majority of the machines will be sold through about 30 resellers in North America and Europe, where the company is focusing its attention.


What's interesting "is 80% of these channel partners are new for HP," Steven Nigro, president of HP's 3D Printing business, said during a press and analyst briefing on Friday.

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Why one CIO chose ‘speed over elegance’ in corporate split - IT industry - May 5, 2017 - 7:41pm

It isn’t often CIOs can make like the pros and draft “players” for their IT team but in early 2015 that’s exactly the scenario Tony Bender found himself in after he agreed to help Edgewell Personal Care peel off its Energizer brand as a separate company. Bender recalls meeting with Mike Aufdembrink, who Energizer hired as its CIO in December 2014, so they could fill out each of their IT teams.

"Early in the year we sat down and had what was akin to a draft," Bender recalls. "It was, 'OK, I want this person and if you get this person, I want this person. We had to divide the team up and make an offer to each person."

Edgewell Personal Care

Tony Bender, CIO of Edgewell Personal Care.

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Facebook nears 2 billion users, warns ad growth will slow - IT industry - May 5, 2017 - 3:21pm

Facebook is on track to surpass 2 billion monthly active users (MAU) before the end of this summer. The company ended the first quarter of 2017 with 1.94 billion MAUs and 1.28 billion people using the social network every day.

While the monthly user base grew 17 percent year-over-year, daily usage jumped at a slightly higher rate of 18 percent during the same period. Overall growth remains steady, which is unique for a company with such a massive global user base. Facebook reported identical growth rates on a percentage basis in the previous quarter.

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Top tips for finding the right cybersecurity products - IT industry - May 5, 2017 - 12:00pm

Having trouble finding the right security products for your business? You’re not the only one.

Today’s market is filled with hundreds of vendors and plenty of marketing hype. But figuring out which solutions are worthwhile can be a challenge, especially for businesses with little experience in cybersecurity.  

So we asked actual buyers of enterprise security products for tips, and here’s what they said.  

Damian Finol, security technical program manager at a major internet firm

Businesses have to do their research. That means looking at customer recommendations instead of relying on what vendors say. Testing the security products in house is also highly advised.

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The pitfalls of cybersecurity shopping: hype and shoddy products - IT industry - May 5, 2017 - 12:00pm

There's a growing threat on the cybersecurity scene that could drain millions from unsuspecting businesses and leave them vulnerable to hacking threats.

It isn’t a new strain of ransomware. It’s the cybersecurity industry itself.

It's ironic, but the products vendors sell, and the marketing they use, sometimes leave buyers misinformed and less secure, according to several business directors who actually buy the tech.   

“There’s definitely a lot of vaporware,” said Damian Finol, an IT security manager at a major internet company. “There are definitely products that have really exaggerated claims about what they actually do.”

For some vendors, it's more about the sale than about security, IT executives say. To close a deal, bad vendors tend to overpromise features that they claim will be added down the line but never materialize. That makes a buyer's job harder.

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Resiliency, staying afloat in the face of cyberthreats - IT industry - May 5, 2017 - 11:00am

Today's reality is that if the enterprise uses networked computers, they will get hit at some point. Not having and practicing a recovery plan could be the doom of any organization.

John Bruce, CEO and co-founder at IBM Resilient said, "Resiliency is the ability of an organization to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of cyber incidents."

Cyber resiliency is a critical element of the overall organizational resiliency, which includes the many things that organizations grapple with in the real world. Bruce said that in the digital world, the enterprise should also have disaster-recovery plans.

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Uber may be under a US federal criminal probe for its ‘Greyball’ tool - IT industry - May 5, 2017 - 7:33am

Uber Technologies is reportedly under a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in the U.S. over its use of secret software, which helped the company avoid officials seeking rides to investigate the ride-hailing service, according to news reports Thursday.

Their accounts appear to tally with a report last month by the Portland Bureau of Transportation, which stated that the City of Portland was notified by the U.S. attorney of the Northern District of California that Uber is the subject of a federal inquiry. The city is cooperating with the on-going probe.

Soon after the use of the so-called “greyballing” technology in many countries was reported by the New York Times in early March, Uber said it would prohibit the use of the technology to target action by local regulators.

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Data scientists compete to create cancer-detection algorithms - IT industry - May 4, 2017 - 9:23pm

Data scientists are using machine learning to tackle lung cancer detection. Beginning in January, nearly 10,000 data scientists around the world competed in the Data Science Bowl to develop the most effective algorithm to help medical professionals detect lung cancer earlier and with better accuracy.

[ Analytics 50: Call for 2017 entries ]

In 2010, the National Lung Screening Trial showed that annual screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) — a scanner that uses computer-processed combinations of many X-ray images from different angles to generate high-contrast 3D images — could reduce lung cancer deaths by 20 percent. While a breakthrough for early detection, the technology has also resulted in a relatively high rate of false positives compared with more traditional X-rays.

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IDG Contributor Network: Is blockchain technology secure for your company’s transactions? - IT industry - May 4, 2017 - 8:00pm

Blockchain technology is hard to ignore as practically everybody’s talking about it. That’s understandable because it’s predicted to disrupt the value flows that underpin business transactions and economies as well as create new business models. It has enormous power to solve business problems. But is a blockchain “distributed ledger” secure?

Blockchain is still in its infancy, so company leaders are naturally concerned about whether it can be manipulated. Organizations worldwide are seeking to take advantage of the new opportunities and disruptive power of blockchain — organizations that understand the magnitude of potential security issues. It has been rigorously tested in pilots and at scale by many governments, institutions and companies that have found the technology is incredibly secure.

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