New York-based Inform Technologies issued a press release earlier this week, reporting the success of their recent partnership with the Washington Times on a major website redesign. Having spoken to both Inform’s CEO Jim Satloff and the Washington Times’ Executive Editor John Solomon, there’s an interesting story to tell of applying semantic technologies in a way that saves editorial staff time whilst significantly improving the utility and value of a newspaper site. The press release describes Inform as; "a 'journalistic' technology solution for media companies that works as an extra editor, intelligently mining and linking content from sites, archives and the Web overall. The solution automatically creates links within content, as well as new, topic-specific Web pages. The result is that media-company Websites become deeper and richer, encouraging readers to spend more time and view more pages. This gives the media companies opportunities for additional … [Read more...] about Washington Times amongst newspapers putting semantic technologies to work with help from Inform Technologies
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Is information technology destroying more jobs than it creates? That’s long been the conventional wisdom, of course. Proponents of IT, on the other hand, point to the new types of opportunities created as a result of the march of technology — from programming to analytics to technicians. However, two longtime proponents of IT as an opportunity creator — Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, both with MIT — have taken a darker view of IT’s impact on the economy. In the latest edition of MIT Technology Review, David Talbot reviewed Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s new book: Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy, and pulls out the observation that the digital economy may be favoring that 1% at the top of the pyramid while sapping opportunities at lower levels of the economy. The first decade of the 2000s was a time of … [Read more...] about Does information technology create or destroy jobs? Or is this even the right question?
Nick Carr created huge waves a few years ago with his Harvard Business Review article and follow-up book titled Does IT Matter? In these works, he opined that information technology is becoming a standard utility, much like the water and electricity that flows into our homes and businesses. And as with water and electricity, it is no longer a competitive differentiator for companies to have these services. In his latest work, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, Carr looks deeper into the phenomenon, observing that cheap, utility-supplied computing "will ultimately change society as profoundly as cheap electricity did." Early effects include the shift of control over media from institutions to individuals, to the way wealth is distributed. "In the years ahead, more and more of the information-processing tasks that we rely on, at home and at work, will be handled by big data centers located out on the Internet. The nature and economics of … [Read more...] about Living on the Grid: why information technology does matter
There's no question that cloud computing, commodity solutions and open-source software have changed our perceptions about the value of IT. Many, in fact, are convinced that information technology is rapidly becoming a standard utility, much like the water and electricity that flows into our homes and businesses. And as with water and electricity, it is no longer seen as a competitive differentiator for companies to have these services. Nick Carr expressed much of this thinking a few years ago with his Harvard Business Review article and follow-up book titled Does IT Matter? However, not everyone is convinced that IT simply "doesn't matter." Michael Shrage, director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, for one, says the perceptions about IT as a standard utility miss the mark, and that IT is a huge value creator -- if applied properly. And Erik Brynjolfsson, management economist at MIT, says IT is an innovation machine. Both Shrage and Brynjolfsson shared insights on the … [Read more...] about Four good reasons to stop viewing information technology as a ‘commodity’
Is information technology destroying more jobs than it creates? That's long been the conventional wisdom, of course. Proponents of IT, on the other hand, point to the new types of opportunities created as a result of the march of technology -- from programming to analytics to technicians. However, two longtime proponents of IT as an opportunity creator -- Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, both with MIT -- have taken a darker view of IT's impact on the economy. In the latest edition of MIT Technology Review, David Talbot reviewed Brynjolfsson and McAfee's new book: Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy, and pulls out the observation that the digital economy may be favoring that 1% at the top of the pyramid while sapping opportunities at lower levels of the economy. The first decade of the 2000s was a time of accelerating technology, accompanied by stagnant … [Read more...] about Does information technology destroy or create jobs? Debate heats up
A favorite theme many speakers -- especially futurists -- like to invoke is that we've passed the industrial revolution, or even the information revolution that superseded it, and we're now in some kind of "post-information" revolution. Some people, especially on the European side of the pond, have another name for it, calling it "Industry 4.0." Just to clarify this phenomenon, the numbering wasn't meant to align with any of the information technology waves of the past few decades -- Web 2.0, et. al. But the transformation promised with Industry 4.0 has everything to do with IT. "Industry 4.0" was the brainchild of the German government, and describes the next phase in manufacturing -- a so-called fourth industrial revolution. The phases consist of the following: Industry 1.0: Water/steam power Industry 2.0: Electric power Industry 3.0: Computing power Industry 4:0: Internet of Things (IoT) power As you can imagine, building a new industrial paradigm around IoT calls for IT … [Read more...] about Industry 4.0: It’s all about information technology this time
In a tight economy, even casinos have to watch their budgets, but IT shops have to move fast to keep up with the competition, says Rod Luck, vice president of IT at the Cache Creek Casino Resort in northern California. Casino insider tells (almost) all about securityWith a tight budget, Luck says he and his staff are "pretty much just keeping our systems running," but he's made time to pursue a social networking and mobile strategy, and is ramping up an existing virtualization project to improve labor efficiency.Luck, who has about 25 IT staffers to serve a 415,000-square-foot resort, notes that the casino uses Facebook and Twitter to connect with customers, and looking for ways to keep customers informed via their cell phones. A pilot project on the mobile front is allowing customers to receive text message updates when their restaurant table is ready, or to receive information on hotel room availability."We've done a pilot and now we're moving forward into other areas, because you … [Read more...] about Casino Banks on Social Networking, Mobile Technology and Virtualization
Publishing lists of 2012 information technology trends is so cliché that it's almost cliché to write about how cliché it is.But we can't get enough of them. Why? Because it's far more fun to dream about the year ahead, than look back on 2011. Because while the past 12 months were most likely full of transition, budget restraints and other challenges, 2012 is the "future" - a bright beacon of hope promising to finally bring us the flying cars and robot maids we dreamed of as kids.Well, we're halfway through month one of 2012 and here's what I see: more transition, more budget restraints, and more challenges ahead as a result. Don't mistake my realism for negativity. I don't doubt that we'll be talking a lot about cloud, virtualization, context-aware computing, big data management and mobility in 2012 - but how many of us are moving toward execution on any of these? I know I'm not being completely fair - IT trend lists are just that: trends. They're not … [Read more...] about 2012 Information Technology Trends
Recent news coverage has been filled with talk of the split of U.S. Cyber Command from the National Security Agency. It’s a transition that makes sense. Cyber Command is focused on warfighting within the cyber domain while the NSA is focused on intelligence collection, and while the techniques are often the same, the objectives are extremely different. In fact they’re governed by two completely different laws.Cyber Command falls under Title 10 of US code, which governs warfighting. Within the cyber domain this is termed Computer Network Attack, or CNA, and means hitting an adversary with the goal to disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information, computers, or networks. All of these activities are very likely to be noticed by the adversary. On the other hand, NSA is governed by Title 50, which covers covert intelligence collection -- an activity which is only effective if it’s not noticed by the adversary.The two activities are so different that it probably never … [Read more...] about Information security is not information technology
The United States is the birthplace of both the personal computer and the Internet. It has written the rules for using business technology to deliver staggering increases in worker productivity. It has given the world major innovations in the microprocessors that power computing and electronics devices of all sizes and functions.The U.S. has quite simply served as the undisputed leader and catalyst of the global IT industry for the past 40 years. Yet the landscape has changed rapidly over the past decade, and especially in the past five years, as the U.S. is now facing challenges across the board from nimble innovators in Europe and Asia.In the past several months, many journalists and commentators in the U.S. have made bold assertions and dire predictions about America's decline as a force in technology. Below is a list of some of the more prominent (and most dire) reports, including links and some quotes that provide a brief synopsis of each one. US Losing Its IT Chops … [Read more...] about Sanity check: Is the U.S. losing its role as the world leader in information technology?