Posted by & filed under Apple, smartphones.

Xiaomi Corp., going for wow-factor ahead of what could be the largest initial public offering since 2014, has revealed a blistering pace of growth that’ll help it take on Apple and Samsung in global smartphones.

The Chinese smartphone maker filed for an IPO in Hong Kong Thursday, kicking off a process that’s expected to raise at least $10 billion and confer a value of $100 billion on the eight-year-old company. That offered investors a glimpse into the inner workings of the company controlled by billionaire Lei Jun, and its ups-and-downs since almost dropping off the radar in 2016.

Source:   Bloomberg

Date: May 3rd, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-03/china-s-xiaomi-shows-off-scorching-growth-ahead-of-mega-ipo

Discussion

1) Why does it matter that a Chinese smartphone maker is raising $10 billion dollars in an IPO?

2) How big is Apple’s share of the smartphone market (and why is so small?)

Posted by & filed under Augmented Reality, User Experience (UX).

The God of War franchise is back and has made some major changes to its iconic lead character Kratos.

No longer simply angry, violent and focused solely on revenge – the son of Zeus is now struggling with being a single parent.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 3rd, 2018

Link to video: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/newsbeat-43828831/god-of-war-the-single-dad-opening-gaming-up-to-new-emotions

Discussion

1) Why is the push to show emotion important in any user experience (UX)?

2) What are some ways you can think of to reflect emotion digitally?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, IT Trends.

A worker demonstrates the delivery of an Amazon package to a vehicle in San Francisco, April 23, 2018. People in dozens of cities across the U.S. can soon start getting their Amazon orders delivered to a parked car, provided their vehicle has the proper technology.

It seems clear now that Amazon won’t rest until I’m obsolete.

Month after month, year after year, the behemoth has wedged itself into my life, taking over tasks I once fulfilled as a husband and father. When we were newlyweds, my wife would scrawl illegible lists and send me off to market.

Did I enjoy these expeditions? Not really. But as I winced under the fluorescent lights, traumatized by an instrumental version of “Eleanor Rigby” while trying to decipher her atrocious handwriting — that must be “pomegranate” and not “Pomeranian” — we bonded as co-conspirators in the running of a household.

My wife told me what to do and I did it. It was beautiful.

These days, more often than not, she tells Amazon.

Source: Toronto Star

Date: April 27th, 2018

Link: https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/opinion/2018/04/25/amazon-is-making-me-obsolete-as-a-husband-and-father.html

Discussion

1) No one wants to be made obsolete.  As technology and tech-related services like these role out, how would you, as a manager of technology at your company, make sure your employees don’t feel obsolete.

2) How do you stay on top of all the new services that are rolling out and providing enourmous efficiencies?

Posted by & filed under addiction.

With brightly coloured screens, feeds that scroll on endlessly and videos that autoplay, digital devices and apps are designed to keep us hooked.

Now, some of the people responsible for creating those very apps and devices are raising concerns over their addictiveness, asking if the tools they’ve created could be a little too engaging.

Beyond the social ramifications of overusing devices, there’s growing concern that smartphone use and too much screen time can damage our physical and mental health.

 

Source: CBC Technology News

Date: April 27th, 2018

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/cellphones-ramona-pringle-addiction-1.4637316

Discussion

1) “Do you feel ill-at-ease or uncomfortable when you accidentally leave your smartphone in the car or at home, have no service or have a broken phone?”   Why is this?

2) What could you do as a director or manager of technology at a company to make sure your employees are not addicted to their tech?

Posted by & filed under Automation, Autonomous Vehicles, Careers.

In 2013 Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne of Oxford University published a report titled “The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?”. The authors examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation, by implementing a novel methodology to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, using a Gaussian process classifier.

According to their estimates, about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk. Although the report is specific to the US job market, it is easy to see how this might apply all over the world.

We extracted the jobs and the probability of automation from the report and have made it easy to search for your job. We’ve added some additional information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to provide some additional information about the jobs.

Source: www,WillRobotsTakeMyJob.com

Date: April 24th, 2018

Link: https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/

Discussion

I used this website in class during a discussion on careers in MIS.  What I did was pull up the website and then I talked about this being based on research from Oxford University.  I then said that I would put something in to start us going.  I entered “Truck Driver”.   The website pulls up a list of jobs that match that description.  Before clicking on one of those from the list, we had a short class discussion about what we thought the probability was for automation.  So, for truck driver we had already covered that driverless vehicles have progressed so much that Google has already driven 4 million miles without a driver, and that Volvo has already delivered a truck load of Coors beer in a driverless truck,  As such, class thought that “long haul truck drivers” had a pretty high chance of being replaced by robots.  We settled on 75% chance.  Then we clicked on “heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers”, and the response from the website is that there is a 79% chance of them being replaced.

We repeated this with suggestions from class.  Suggestions included Nurse (class thought low chance and the website says 0.9%), College Professor (we used computer and information research scientists, which class thought low chance and the website says 1.5%), pilot and so on.

Accountant comes out at 94%, which is a very interesting discussion for those in class who might want to study accounting.

Professional athlete comes out at 28%, which many thought way too high.  I discussed how eSports is becoming huge, with professional teams and world wide competitions.  The biggest athletes in South Korea are online race car drivers.  With this knowledge, 28% might actually be low.

Posted by & filed under Business Analytics, Careers.

Society is on the verge of a new industrial revolution – upending business, commerce, culture and nearly every other aspect of human life. Driving this revolution is the fusion of digital technology with the physical and biological worlds. Disruption is now a way of life that we all need to get use to.  Organizations like PwC are still learning how to harness artificial intelligence, robotics and other emerging technologies to best help our clients, our people, and society.

This whirlwind of new ideas offers unimagined opportunities and new threats, as organizations plan for an uncertain, tech-enabled future. While we don’t know exactly what this new world will look like, there is destined to be one constant: humans will be more crucial than ever in shaping, deploying and powering new technology.

Without the right people to guide it, investment in emerging technology is aimless and destined for failure. We need a talent pipeline that speaks the same language as the machines in their pockets.

Source: LinkedIn

Date: April 24th, 2018

Link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-pwc-created-app-build-workforce-future-today-rod-adams-sphr/

Discussion

1) “Candidates are most often lacking the data, tech and analytical skills needed to succeed in advanced digital settings. In fact, only 23 percent of educators believe their students will graduate with these essential skills.”  What are you doing to make sure you have the “data, tech and analytical skills needed to succeed”?

2) Which sectors of the economy and which jobs are going to be impacted by the increasing need for analytical skills?

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, Sustainability.

A stack of computers.

If you’ve got an old laptop collecting dust in your home, you’re not alone. In a survey conducted last spring by the Consumer Reports Survey Group, a quarter of the members who had purchased multiple laptops since 2014 confessed to letting one of those devices linger under the roof—unused—after it had been replaced.

And that raises a good question: How do you go about finding a new home for an old laptop? With Earth Day approaching, here are a few eco-friendly options to consider.

Source: Consumer Reports

Date: April 24th, 2018

Link: https://www.consumerreports.org/laptop-computers/what-to-do-with-your-old-laptop/

Discussion

1) Sustainability is important.  How might you help a company you work at recycle its old technology?

2) Do you have any old technology that you could recycle?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Careers.

MACHINE-LEARNING is beginning to shake up finance. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that excels at finding patterns and making predictions, it used to be the preserve of technology firms. The financial industry has jumped on the bandwagon. To cite just a few examples, “heads of machine-learning” can be found at PwC, a consultancy and auditing firm, at JP Morgan Chase, a large bank, and at Man GLG, a hedge-fund manager. From 2019, anyone seeking to become a “chartered financial analyst”, a sought-after distinction in the industry, will need AI expertise to pass his exams.

Source: The Economist

Date: April 24th, 2018

Link: https://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21722685-fields-trading-credit-assessment-fraud-prevention-machine-learning?fsrc=scn/fb/te/bl/ed/

Discussion

1) “JPMorgan Chase deployed software that can sift through 12,000 commercial-loan contracts in seconds, compared with the 360,000 hours it used to take lawyers and loan officers to review the contracts.”   What impact will technology like this have on careers in finance and law?

2) What are you doing, independent of which major you are choosing, to become better at AI?

Posted by & filed under FaceBook, IT and Politics.

 

After introducing the two witnesses from Facebook on Thursday, the chair of the privacy committee lamented the fact that neither of them was Mark Zuckerberg.  “I think we were, and myself as chair, disappointed that Mr. Zuckerberg declined our request,” Conservative MP Bob Zimmer said with a sigh. “And I’d say we don’t take that lightly.”  “Our CEO does apologize that he could not be here today in person with the committee,” replied Kevin Chan, director of public policy for Facebook’s Canadian division.

Source: CBC News

Date: April 20th, 2018

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/facebook-committee-parliament-wherry-1.4626570

Discussion

1) “”The power of Facebook to do good is incredible,” Angus said, pointing to how the platform has helped connect people in his vast northern riding.”  Could the Canadian government develop and deploy a social networking platform to replace Facebook for this purpose?

2) “But we are here because the power for Facebook to be misused, to do terrible things, is also at issue. And the question before us is the failure of Facebook to respect the absolute power it has.”  Is it the responsibility of a company to properly use the power that its users/customers have given it through their own choice to use the company’s services?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, IT and the law.

Eleanor Margolis had used PayPal for more than a decade when the online payment provider blocked her account in January. The reason: She was 16 years old when she signed up, and PayPal Holdings Inc. insists she should have known the minimum age is 18, because the rule is clearly stated in terms and conditions she agreed to. Clearly stated, that is, in a document longer than The Great Gatsby—almost 50,000 words spread across 21 separate web pages. “They didn’t have any checks in place to make sure I was over 18,” says Margolis, now 28. “Instead, they contact me 12 years later. It’s completely absurd.”

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: April 20th, 2018

Link: 

Discussion

1) “In 2005 security-software provider PC Pitstop LLC promised a $1,000 prize to the first user to spot the offer deep in its terms and conditions; it took four months before the reward was claimed.”  What might be better ways to make sure users know what they are signing up for?

2) What might be an appropriate length of terms and conditions that it would be sensible for a company to say that they are “clearly stated”?  That is, how much should a reasonable user be expected to read and understand when signing up for an online app or service?