Algorithms get a helping hand from humans | Sepaton boosts speeds of its storage appliance | Esri leverages unique space at SXSW for mapping gurus
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March 12, 2013
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Algorithms get a helping hand from humans
Algorithms are growing ever more sophisticated in their ability, but the literal-minded nature of the technology means humans are still needed to help figure out what people are actually looking for. Twitter employs a staff of "judges" who help interpret context and meaning, Google uses informational databases curated by people and IBM employs clinicians and medical students to create a medical database for its Watson supercomputer. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/10)
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Emerging Tools
Sepaton boosts speeds of its storage appliance
Sepaton reported Monday that its S2100-ES3 Series 2925 backup appliance can operate at 8 Gbps with Fiber Channel and at 10 Gbps with Ethernet connections. The company also incorporated encryption for data at rest into the appliance, which is priced starting at $355,000. Computerworld (3/11)
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Esri leverages unique space at SXSW for mapping gurus
This year's South by Southwest Interactive Festival is as much about interactive media and technology as it is about music. Software firm Esri commandeered a unique venue in Austin, Texas, to connect developers, hackers, entrepreneurs and executives with its geographic information systems mapping solutions. "GIS has been used for a long time in natural resources and government ... But commercial companies are starting to use it more and more, for things like: Where's the best place to locate a store? What are the trends in demographics so that we can project where we need to be building and buying land? Even things like, 'Where should we open flu-shot clinics?'" explains Esri Chief Marketing Officer Linda Hecht. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (3/8)
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Security Update
Report: Android attacks grow as platform expands to wider audience
The number of new Android malware threats doubled in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the previous quarter, according to a report from F-Secure, which found Android devices were the target of nearly 80% of attacks in 2012 compared with 67% in 2011. F-Secure cited a mobile version of a nefarious banking Trojan and a rise in SMS malware as major factors. CRN.com (U.S.) (3/11)
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Tech Business
Survey: Fewer IT directors plan to reduce headcount this year
One in 10 IT directors report they are intending headcount reductions this year, half the number that did so in 2012, a survey by ReThink Recruitment found. "Generally, expectations of headcount, salary and budget increases are all up on recent years," said ReThink's Michael Bennett. "The importance attached to IT departments has grown enormously since the financial crisis, but paradoxically this has not been matched by growing IT investment ... [but] spending now looks like it has turned a corner." IT PRO (London) (3/11)
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Managing IT
As data analytics grows, so does IT's focus on the consumer
The role of IT departments has changed in what is being dubbed "digital business," going from offering back-office support to providing applications and products directly into the consumer channel. That's according to this analysis that cites the burgeoning course of data analytics, which allows companies to examine customers' needs more closely. InformationWeek (3/11)
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6 mistakes that can sour a strategic plan
Successful strategic planning isn't waylaid by tactical and operational issues, writes Mel Lester, who cites a McKinsey survey that found more than half of executives were unhappy with how their company undertook strategy planning. Common mistakes that can derail the process include a lack of fresh ideas, too many action items and a failure to assemble teams optimally, he writes. E-Quip blog (3/9)
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Geeking Out
Should we restock extinct species?
Researchers are looking at ways to use ancient DNA to resurrect long-extinct species. Species such as the Tasmanian tiger and the passenger pigeon may be good candidates for "de-extinction." In particular, scientists are exploring three possibilities: cloning, "reverse engineering" using the extinct species' closest living relative and "breeding back" using strategic mating to bring back characteristics of the extinct animal. National Geographic News (3/10)
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SmartQuote
IT directors will be concerned about the depth of the talent pool available to fill the new roles being created, particularly when these roles involve newer technologies, such as app development or cloud computing."
-- -- Michael Bennett, director of ReThink Recruitment, as quoted by IT PRO (London)
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