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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

American entrepreneur, inventor, founder of Apple, Steven Paul Jobs, and his thoughts on:

Life

I want to put a ding in the universe.

Key Differences

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Pretty much, Apple and Dell are the only ones in this industry making money. They make it by being Wal-Mart. We make it by innovation.

It is piracy, not overt online music stores, which is our main competitor.

Customers

You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.

It took us three years to build the NeXT computer. If we’d given customers what they said they wanted, we’d have built a computer they’d have been happy with a year after we spoke to them – not something they’d want now.

A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.

Excellence

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

Definition of Design

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Market Share

Apple’s market share is bigger than BMW’s or Mercedes’s or Porsche’s in the automotive market. What’s wrong with being BMW or Mercedes?

Innovation

To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

Work

The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.

I think we’re having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we’re always trying to do better.

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 The internet is no longer a new thing, and with the explosion in internet traffic and most recently, social networking media — the pace at which data about everything circulates amongst everyone is faster than ever before. The internet is a powerful medium for exchanging information, and as Carol MacKnight writes for EDUCAUSE, is a perfect tool for education and encouraging learning and critical thinking:

Online communication offers the potential for collaboration as well as increased participation in the learning process, reflection, peer tutoring, monitoring of student learning as it is taking place, and extension of the classroom learning.

 Online forums, internet blogs (such as this), and social networking sites provide the venue for discussing ideas, debating arguments, and promoting advocacies. It does not come without a price though: the more information at the disposal of users, the more it demands from the users of that information. MacKnight is quick to point out (bold emphasis mine):

However, online communication puts emphasis on students’ comprehension and knowledge of the elements of an argument and thus on how to interact with ideas and each other in a meaningful way. We cannot assume that all students will come with sufficient critical thinking skills to advance an online discussion, nor can we assume that faculty have sufficient skills and practice in monitoring discussions or skills in creating productive communities of online learners. Both may need support and training.

Read the rest of MacKnight’s insightful article here.

Meantime, we join Carol MacKnight’s call in supporting and promoting critical thinking online as a tool for education.

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Having moved back into the analytic world of bank risk management, I’m pleased to be surrounded by familiar friends: statistical data and number crunchers. I thought this time would be a good starting point to refresh the critical-thinker blog with a few updates on how the financial world has evolved since the financial crisis of 2008 (of which we have written about in a number of previous posts).

One thing I’ve noticed is that banks have become more quantitative and rigorous with their desire for data than ever. One of the smarting lessons of the financial crisis seems to be: you can never have enough information, especially when it involves risk.

This is an interesting thing for us–as we’ve aluded to the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy before. Nevertheless, corporations (not just financial institutions) continue to amass huge quantities of data in the hopes of gaining an edge not only on competition but against disaster.

In a 2006 Harvard Business Review Article: Competing On Analytics, author Thomas Davenport elucidates 10 guiding criteria that determines if an individual or organization is serious about its data. The principles also help illustrate exactly the dimensions by which companies are moving forward with their information requirements (although noting that this was written prior to the financial crisis). Having moved back into risk analytics–I can only confirm that this is more the case than ever in the wake of the crisis.

You Know You Compete On Analytics When…

  1. You apply sophisticated information systems and rigorous analysis not only to your core capability but also to a range of functions as varied as marketing and human resources.
  2. Your senior executive team not only recognizes the importance of analytics capabilites but also makes their development and maintenance a primary focus.
  3. You treat fact-based decision making not only as a best practice but also as a part of the culture that’s constantly emphasized and communicated by senior executives.
  4. You hire not only people with analytical skills but a lot of people with the very best analytical skills–and consider them a key to your success.
  5. You not only employ analytics in almost every function and department but also consider it so strategically important that you manage it at the enterprise level.
  6. You not only are expert at number crunching but also invent proprietary metrics for use in key business processes.
  7. You not only use copious data and in-house analysis but also share them with customers and suppliers.
  8. You not only avidly consume data but also seize every opportunity to generate information, creating a “test and learn” culture based on numerous small experiments.
  9. You not only have committed to competing on analytics but also have been building your capabilities for several years.
  10. You not only emphasize the importance of anaytics internally but also make quantitative capabilities part of your company’s story, to be shared in the annual report and in discussions with financial analysts.

More on analytics in future posts.

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On The Big Picture, an allusion of how the Apple story could have made a nice gospel story:

As a long time Apple fanboy going back to my 1990 Mac Classic, I find this brilliant:

1. a creation myth highlighting the counter-cultural origin and emergence of the Apple Mac as a transformative moment;

2. a hero myth presenting the Mac and its founder Jobs as saving its users from the corporate domination of the PC world;

3. a satanic myth that presents Bill Gates as the enemy of Mac loyalists;and, finally,

4. a resurrection myth of Jobs returning to save the failing company…

This originally appeared on the Atlantic Journal.

Is it a wonder that Apple products have such a rabid following bordering on religious fervor, with customers buying and defending their products despite their flaws (read: Iphone 4)?

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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A while back we heard about MySpace population being larger than some nations. Now as the Economist reports, Facebook is the largest digital community, 3rd only to India and China in membership:

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Facebook has become the third-largest nation

Jul 22nd 2010

THE world’s largest social network announced that it had reached 500m members on Wednesday July 21st. If Facebook were a physical nation, it would now be the third-most populous on earth. And if the service continues to grow as rapidly as in the three months to July, it will reach one billion in about 15 months—almost the size of India. Not least because of its gigantic population, some observers have started to talk of Facebook in terms of a country. “[It] is a device that allows people to get together and control their own destiny, much like our nation-state,” says David Post, a law professor at Temple University, Philadelphia.

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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[Copy-pasted from the youtube site where this was taken.  Youtube site at bottom.]

528 Hz, the frequency for transformation and DNA repair.

There is a special sound and color of love according to Dr. Horowitz, a Harvard-trained award-winning investigator. Broadcasting the right frequency can help open your heart, prompt peace, and hasten healing. “We now know the love signal, 528 Hertz, is among the six core creative frequencies of the universe because math doesn’t lie, the geometry of physical reality universally reflects this music; these findings have been independently derived, peer reviewed, and empirically validated,” Dr. Horowitz says.

The third note, frequency 528, relates to the note MI on the scale and derives from the phrase “MI-ra gestorum” in Latin meaning “miracle.” Stunningly, this is the exact frequency used by genetic biochemists to repair broken DNA – the genetic blueprint upon which life is based! MI – 528 Hz – relates to crown chakra. Dr Puleo suggests an association with DNA integrity.

The regular “C” that we all know of in this culture (which is from the diatonic scale of do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do) is not the 528 Hz frequency “C.

A regular “C” vibrates at a frequency of 523.3 Hz.

The “C” of 528 Hz used for DNA repair is part of an ancient scale called the Solfeggio Scale.

(more…)

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Artificial Lungs

On the Huffington Post today, rat’s lungs have been successfully bio-engineered!

WASHINGTON — It’s an early step toward one day building new lungs: Yale University researchers took apart and regrew a rat’s lung, and then transplanted it and watched it breathe.

The lung stayed in place only for an hour or two, as the scientists measured it exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide much like a regular lung – but also spotted some problems that will take more research to fix.

Read the full story here.

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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