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January 25, 2013
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The Game Changer 
  • Should workers be afraid of competition from computers?
    The proliferation of advanced software and computing technology is radically altering the nature of the workforce, and some human workers are finding themselves becoming obsolete in jobs where they were once vital, experts say. Research shows technologies such as cloud computing, Big Data and smart machines are particularly taking a toll on middle-income workers such as secretaries, who saw their numbers drop by more than a million between 2000 and 2010 thanks to new solutions. Meanwhile, economists estimate that two-thirds of the 7.6 million European middle-class workers who lost their jobs since 2008 were made obsolete by advanced technology. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Emerging Tools 
  • U.K. government, tech companies bet on graphene
    The U.K. government joined a coalition of equipment manufacturers -- including Nokia, Dyson, Philips and BAE Systems -- in investing in a facility at the University of Cambridge to conduct research and development on silicon replacement technology based on graphene. The center, which is set to open this year, will focus on methods of making the strong, lightweight material on an industrial scale for use in electronic devices. "We have to find modes of production that are consistently effective, and there is still a lot of work to be done in this respect," said team member Bill Milne. IT PRO (London) (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Security Update 
  • Senate Democrats issue renewed push on cybersecurity
    After failing to get a bill passed last year, Senate Democrats say they plan to make cybersecurity legislation a priority this year. On Wednesday, a trio of Democrats introduced a resolution calling gaps in the nation's cybersecurity preparedness a serious threat to U.S. national and economic security. "The new Congress has a real opportunity to reach needed consensus on bipartisan legislation that will strengthen our nation's cybersecurity," Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said in a statement. The Hill/Hillicon Valley blog (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Tech Business 
  • Lenovo's smartphone gains could fuel global M&A efforts
    Smartphone sales are surging in its home market, so China's Lenovo Group has its eye on acquisitions and potential partnerships elsewhere, said Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming, who named BlackBerry maker Research In Motion as a theoretical target. Wong said Wednesday that Lenovo has turned a profit in China, and the strong results would fund the company's forays into other markets. The PC maker "can leverage the scale they have in PCs to develop the mobile Internet side of the business," said Hong Kong-based analyst Jean-Louis Lafayeedney of JI Asia. Bloomberg Businessweek (1/24), The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing IT 
  • Lack of leadership hampering enterprise mobile efforts
    Mobility is the way of the future, but a survey suggests enterprises are limiting its evolution by not committing to developing mobile tools. According to Appcelerator, which polled 770 application development managers and other enterprise leaders, more than half of companies rank mobility high on their list of priorities, but few have hired the leaders required to see it through or developed mobile centers of excellence -- and many still lack the appropriate resources and strategy to benefit from advanced mobile applications. InfoWorld (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Purpose matters more than pay, millennials say
    Workers who are part of Generation Y are motivated more by a sense of significance and purpose on the job than they are by pay, research indicates. Companies can tap into that yearning to boost retention. Dan Schawbel, managing partner of Millennial Branding, recommends letting Gen Y employees have access to top leaders, giving them a chance to pitch ideas and showing them the impact of their work. The Fast Track (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Geeking Out 
  • Milky Way stars provide navigational guide for dung beetles
    Dung beetles in South Africa rely on the Milky Way to tell which direction they're headed in, according to findings published in Current Biology. Scientists built a 10-foot circular pen, fitted different types of blinders to the dung beetles and observed their abilities to roll balls in a straight line. "This study shows that some insects can use the starry sky for orientation, even though they might not necessarily be able to discriminate the individual stars. In theory, insects could use any large and dense group of bright stars for orientation or nocturnal migration," the researchers wrote. NBC News/Cosmic Log blog (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
SmartQuote 
Everything that humans can do, a machine can do. Things are happening that look like science fiction."
--Moshe Vardi, a computer scientist at Rice University, as quoted by The Washington Post/The Associated Press
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