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2020 Vision: The Future of Business Information 

Information Happens

The Uber Disruption

by Leonard Hancock on May 31, 2017

While transforming transportation, Uber has offered a model for innovative companies to cause disruption throughout the economy.

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The success of Uber, which is now the fastest growing company in the world, (in 2015 it announced a USD$51 billion valuation), is a bit of a mystery at first glance. Uber is a personal transportation company that doesn’t own any cars. The company makes it fortune by connecting those in need of a service, in this case transportation, with those offering a compatible service, by using a peer-to-peer business model. The transaction is digital; you use an app to summon or schedule an Uber-driver, and as soon as your ride arrives, off you go.

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Topics: disruption

HPC and Data Lakes Lower Cost and Increase Flexibility of Big Data

by Leonard Hancock on May 12, 2017

When leveraged for big data projects, high-performance computing and data lakes are an attractive alternative to structured data warehouses.

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Businesses today have found that managing big data presents its own set of challenges; when thousands of sources are accessed and collected, the process of handling information becomes difficult. The older method of storage—filing information in a directory that ranks it according to its relative importance (referred to as a data warehouse)—is an expensive way to treat large data volumes. Enter the data lake as a solution.

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Topics: Big Data, Unstructured Data, Data Lakes

Information Security of Containers Still in Development

by Leonard Hancock on April 27, 2017

Security concerns around container-based virtualization continue to haunt a promising technology

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Container-based virtualization has emerged as one of the top trends in enterprise IT over the last five years. Containers offer a level of flexibility and efficiency that is lacking in Virtual Machines (VMs), allowing cross platform integration. But in certain and crucial respects, container-based VMs lack the security of a VM running a dedicated operating system. 

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Topics: Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Virtualization, Containers

The Upside of Containers in a Virtual Environment

by Leonard Hancock on April 13, 2017

What Is Containerization, and How Is It Changing Virtualization? 

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The necessity for running applications on different platforms has long posed a challenge for IT developers, and this issue was initially addressed by the development of virtual machines (VMs) to enable multiple operating systems (OSs) on a single server.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Virtualization, Containers

Shadow IT Supports Cloud Technology

by Leonard Hancock on March 30, 2017

Authorized and otherwise, usage of cloud technology expands despite reports of its eventual demise.  

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Edging Out the Cloud

Some followers of the IT industry believe that the cloud’s days are numbered. Peter Levine, general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is one who considers the cloud’s demise inevitable. Levine believes that the centralized model of cloud computing is unsustainable in the coming era of the Internet of Things (IoT). Network latency, Levine thinks, is simply too big an issue given the speed and clutter of cloud computing.

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Topics: Edge Computing, Fog Computing, Cloud Computing, Datacenters

Edge Computing Takes Processing Back from the Cloud

by Leonard Hancock on March 23, 2017

By shifting computing power back to its source, edge computing solves latency problems with the cloud and the internet of things.edge-computing.jpg

Information Traffic Jams

With the development of increasingly sophisticated Smart Devices, the speed of data transfer has become a significant challenge for information technology (IT) companies. Transmitting raw or unstructured information in large quantities slows the speed with which a device can respond and carry out its function. Transmission lines become increasingly clogged by millions of users, and yet some data, such as the reaction of a self-driving car to road conditions, is time sensitive, and must be delivered immediately.

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Topics: Edge Computing, Fog Computing, Cloud Computing, Datacenters

Relationships Define Natural Language Processing

by Leonard Hancock on March 13, 2017

Vectors, ontologies, embeddings and sentiment analysis: how relationships between words are the foundation of NLP
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Human language follows unexpected patterns. Varied forms of syntax and metaphor, together with context and repetition, make classification challenging for both humans and machines. Manual classification of unstructured linguistic data by human curators can be valuable, but without technological assistance, is time consuming and potentially rife with errors. When such “natural language” data is left untouched it is less usable. Enterprises are faced with the challenge of transforming huge amounts of this raw data into actionable intelligence.

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Topics: Machine Learning, AI, Natural Language Processing, Ontologies, Sentiment Analysis

Are Machines Going to Take Your Job?

by Leonard Hancock on March 6, 2017

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For decades Hollywood has entertained the public with stories about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become smart enough to replace us. These stories may have an air of authenticity for manufacturing workers, especially as machine learning has enabled robotic process automation (RPA) to handle increasingly complex tasks. But some may rightly feel it is nothing new or particularly worrisome; factory workers have seen their jobs supplemented by machines for many years.

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Topics: Machine Learning, AI, Artificial Intelligence

The Blockchain Revolution

by Leonard Hancock on February 21, 2017

Blockchain is starting to deliver on great expectations, but the story of this technology is still just beginning.

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Is blockchain a digital miracle? Typing “What is Blockchain?” or “How Can I Use Blockchain?” into any search engine fills the screen with hype. Maybe it’s not quite a household word, but numerous individuals and companies see it as the future of IT security in an unsecured age.  Many think it will emerge as an opportunity for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Blockchain is a decentralized network of digital records open to public verification. Each record—each block of data—is time-stamped to create a chronological record, is linked to others, and is encrypted, so as not to be subject to revision.  In this way, the technology of a blockchain creates a secure, digital ledger.

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Topics: IT Security, hackers, bitcoin, IoT, Cybersecurity, blockchain, Internet of Things

Alliances, Standards and Blockchain: Hope for IoT Security

by Leonard Hancock on February 15, 2017

The high-stakes struggle to secure the Internet of Things is bringing companies together, but the way forward may come from the disruptive technology behind Bitcoin: Blockchain.

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The world of machines is getting smarter and more connected. From refrigerators that access the Internet, to Wi-Fi smart scales to track your weight and BMI, to self-driving automobiles, the Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as the future of everyday technology. Frighteningly, few in the Information Technology world would argue that the IoT is becoming more secure, and many would say the opposite. The question is, in a world where security breaches are commonplace, how can we get to a place where all devices are vastly more secure?

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Topics: IT Security, hackers, bitcoin, IoT, IBM, AT&T, Cybersecurity, blockchain, Internet of Things