Monday, December 05, 2016

One choice management can make after a through Risk Analysis.  I bet they are reviewing their process now.
Samsung Knew Note 7 Had A Dangerous Design, But Took The Risk Anyway, Say Analysts
   according to a respected independent team of hardware engineers who cracked open a Note 7 for a test recently, they've concluded that the phone's tendency to combust is due to a "fundamental problem with the design of the phone," and that Samsung sort of knew the "super aggressive" design was risky, but went with it anyway because it was trying so hard to innovate and gain a competitive edge.

(Related) There are way too many laws!

Did the guy at Ohio State tell social media he was going to start stabbing people?  First I’ve heard that. 
Boston Police Plan to Monitor Internet for Threats Draws Criticism
The Boston Police Department is taking heat from civil liberty groups for plans to spend up to $1.4 million on new software that scours social media and the internet for potential threats.
The attack Monday on the Ohio State University campus is just the latest illustration of why local law enforcement authorities need every tool they can muster to stop terrorism and other violence before it starts, according to Boston Police Commissioner William Evans.
Monitoring technology can quickly mine the internet, from chat rooms to social media to blog posts, for certain keywords and phrases.  It can track postings in a certain geographic area, send alerts to police about potentially dangerous postings and more.  Law-enforcement officials say the technology allows them to more quickly and efficiently spot possible red flags in near real-time.
   A Facebook post by the suspect Abdul Razak Ali Artan before the attack suggested he was angry over what he perceived as mistreatment of Muslims, but didn’t express loyalty to a specific group or ideology, according to people familiar with the case.

Will we even notice an impact from this law?
It will soon be illegal to punish customers who criticize businesses online
Congress has passed a law protecting the right of US consumers to post negative online reviews without fear of retaliation from companies.
The bipartisan Consumer Review Fairness Act was passed by unanimous consent in the US Senate yesterday, a Senate Commerce Committee announcement said.  The bill, introduced in 2014, was already approved by the House of Representatives and now awaits President Obama's signature.

For my Software Architecture students.  Why, The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley.”
Report – The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Dec 4, 2016
Jakob Nielsen on November 13, 2016. “Summary: Across 33 rich countries, only 5% of the population has high computer-related abilities, and only a third of people can complete medium-complexity tasks.  One of usability’s most hard-earned lessons is that you are not the user.  This is why it’s a disaster to guess at the users’ needs.  Since designers are so different from the majority of the target audience, it’s not just irrelevant what you like or what you think is easy to use — it’s often misleading to rely on such personal preferences.  For sure, anybody who works on a design project will have a more accurate and detailed mental model of the user interface than an outsider.  If you target a broad consumer audience, you will also have a higher IQ than your average user, higher literacy levels, and, most likely, you’ll be younger and experience less age-driven degradation of your abilities than many of your users.  There is one more difference between you and the average user that’s even more damaging to your ability to predict what will be a good user interface: skills in using computers, the Internet, and technology in general.  Anybody who’s on a web-design team or other user experience project is a veritable supergeek compared with the average population.  This not just true for the developers.  Even the less-technical team members are only “less-technical” in comparison with the engineers.  They still have much stronger technical skills than most normal people…”

So, is Uber a ride-sharing company or a technology company?
Uber Bets on Artificial Intelligence With Acquisition and New Lab
Uber envisions a future in which a fleet of vehicles can make the most complex maneuvers while carting passengers around without the help of a driver.  To achieve that, cars will need to get a whole lot smarter.
Enter Gary Marcus and Zoubin Ghahraman.  The two men are being appointed as co-directors of Uber’s new in-house research arm on artificial intelligence, which the ride-hailing company unveiled on Monday.  The research arm’s aim is to apply A.I. in areas like self-driving vehicles, along with solving other technological challenges through machine learning.

Another car company struggling to catch up to Uber.  They even have a good reason to do it.
Here's How BMW Plans to Outpace Uber
BMW will test autonomous vehicles in Munich next year as it seeks to keep up with ride-hailing firms like Uber, which have spent billions on pay-per-use personal transport.
The German carmaker will have about 40 vehicles with self-driving functions in Munich’s inner city and then expand the project to other cities, BMW executives said on Friday.
“There is a trained test driver behind the wheel of every car,” Klaus Buettner, BMW’s Vice President in charge of Autonomous Driving said.
Uber’s rapid growth has prompted BMW to consider how autonomous vehicles may help them accelerate their own push into pay-per-use transport.
   “Ride hailing is nothing more than manual autonomous driving,” Tony Douglas, Head of Strategy for BMW’s mobility services said.  “Once you dispense with the driver you have a license to print money.”

Another tech transformation.
Capital One rides the cloud to tech company transformation
The Fortune 500 company, one of the top 10 largest banks in the U.S. with $313 billion in total assets, wants to be a tech company that also is a top financial services provider.
   "We need to be a high-productivity software engineering organization," Alexander said in an interview with Computerworld at this week's AWS re:Invent conference.  "The winners in banking are going to be really great technology companies.  It didn't use to be the case historically that you really needed to be a great software development company and a great analytics company, but it's really important today."

Geeking out your car?
Automotive Tech Flying Off the Lot
Panasonic is taking another spin on the automotive-technology highway, and investors should take note.
The Japanese electronics company plans to buy car-component maker ZKW Group for ¥100 billion ($881 million), according to The Wall Street Journal.  The Austrian company is a leading supplier of automotive lights for car makers such as Audi and BMW.
Headlamps may not sound like the sexiest part in a car, but innovations are popping up even there.  A matrix of LED lights controlled by a front camera, for example, can allow cars to maintain high-beam headlights without blinding other road users by turning parts of the light off when there is oncoming traffic.  A headlight could also send targeted light at potential hazards detected by a night-vision system, say a pedestrian crossing the road in the dark.
It is precisely such redesigning of boring old auto parts that has kicked up a flurry of deals in the space, long before futuristic self-driving vehicles arrive.

Gosh, I could be on double-secret probation and not even know it!
The New Era of Secret Law
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Dec 4, 2016
Brennan Center for Justice – New Report: “Secret Law” Governs Key Aspects of National Security Policy – “At least 74 opinions, memoranda, and letters issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) between 2002 and 2009 on core post-9/11 national security topics, including intelligence activities and the detention and interrogation of terrorist suspects, remain entirely classified, according to a new report by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.  OLC’s advice is legally binding on the executive branch in the same way a court order would be.  OLC opinions are just one component of an unprecedented buildup of secret law created by the federal government since 9/11 through a range of unpublished legal rules and opinions – all issued without public scrutiny or input – that govern policies affecting the lives and liberties of U.S. citizens.  Relying partly on new data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, the Brennan Center’s report, The New Era of Secret Law, concludes that secret law is prevalent throughout all three branches of government.  Along with OLC opinions, the report examines classified rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the “FISA Court”), secret presidential directives, unpublished regulations, redacted opinions in regular federal courts, agreements with foreign nations, closed immigration proceedings, and even classified provisions of legislation…”

For my students.  Design matters, even in the little things.
Fukushima reactor briefly loses cooling during inspection
One of the melted reactors at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant had a temporary loss of cooling Monday when a worker accidentally bumped a switch while passing through a narrow isle of switch panels during an inspection and turned off the pumping system.
The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said cooling for the No. 3 reactor, one of the three that melted following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, was out for nearly an hour before a backup pump kicked in.

Amazon cloud demands massive on-the-ground infrastructure
   Here’s one way to look at it: Every single day, Amazon’s cloud-computing business adds enough server capacity to support the data-storage and computing needs that the online tech giant had in 2005, when it had revenue of $8.5 billion.  That’s about the revenue of a middling Fortune 500 company.
   Another way of measuring it: As of December, AWS either rented or owned about 6.7 million square feet of space, or the equivalent of some 116 football fields.

Artificial intelligence for my students, even if they don’t have the natural kind…
Elon Musk's OpenAI and Google's DeepMind release their AI playgrounds to everyone
Artificial intelligence developed by the likes of Google's DeepMind and Elon Musk's OpenAI is taught within the confines of game worlds – including navigating around mazes, dodging deadly cliffs, playing laser tag and flying through space.
In a mission to build a general AI capable of solving any problem put in front of it, DeepMind is open-sourcing its game code to everyone.  The software and 14 levels from DeepMind Labs will be put on GitHub later this week.
And, not to be outdone, Elon Musk's own OpenAI is also releasing its own 'computer training ground' called Universe.  Universe is open-source software that supports Gym; OpenAI's toolkit for testing its algorithms which help software play games, for example, using a reward scheme.

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”  In this case, DigitalTrends doth. 
Tech is upending the ways we write, speak, and even think
When you look back a decade, it’s easy to feel that little has changed.  Sure, you had a different job back then, there were other shows on TV, and no one had described your shoes as “on fleek” just yet, but what’s different, really?  Yet when asked to think about the year 2006, most people today would probably Google it on a smartphone.
See, right then and there, you have your answer: Smartphones changed everything.

Yes, I run you over, but I still enjoy playing with you?  Miller is a nicer guy than his victims think!
Von Miller gives every player in AFC West custom bottle of wine, thank you note
   On the label of each bottle is an orange outline of eye-glasses, Miller’s signature accessory, and his autograph. And shipped with each was a note that read:
It is an honor and a privilege to take the field and compete with you twice a year.  We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to fulfill our childhood dreams of playing in the NFL.  The blood, sweat, aches and pains, and endless hours spent watching film are a testament to the love and dedication we have for this game.  So take a moment, reflect on all your successes, and enjoy your accomplishment.  Appreciate those who have helped you get this far, and start working towards your next childhood dream.
Thank you for helping to make our game great!
— Von Miller

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