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Archive for the ‘Foresight’ Category

SoLoMo And What It Means For You And Your Business

Oh SoLoMo…..

What’s SoLoMo you say? SoLoMo (social, location, and mobile) is a trend larger than any single app or company, and it will encompass every industry on the planet. The future of mobile location will see the integration of location-enabled features and insights into every product you touch and every process you engage in during the course of your life, providing great efficiencies and incredibly valuable insights.

Every industry is, and will increasingly be affected by mobile devices and location-sensing technology. What we’re seeing today in the arenas of local commerce, deals, and productivity is only the beginning. With Internet and location-enabled phones in the hands of billions all around the world, the future of mobile location is rapidly becoming our future as an advanced civilization. As many of you know however, I am very concerned about the security responsibility and privacy issues around SoLoMo. Like all technology, there are always ethics issues involved in its development, deployment, and  utilization. But that’s a future blog posting!

Regardless, Fast Company has a really interesting article on SoLoMo and Mobile. You can check it out!

-DF

Written by David Frederick

December 6, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Mobile Spyware And Why You Should Be Concerned

Technology is truly a marvel, and like many “marvels” it can be used for good and evil. Apparently, the good folks at our mobile carriers are very interested in what you do with your mobile/smart phone. Consensual Data Capture is one thing, spying…. yes spying is another. No this isn’t a three-letter government agency doing this, but our mobile carriers or literally anyone else who happens to buy the right software to access the embedded spyware.

It was bad enough that “certain” organizations were tracking Black Friday shoppers without their knowledge in malls via their mobile/smart phones, but now we are learning about a new and very disturbing revelation around the amount of data, communication, and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) mobile carriers are collecting, whose using it, and how they are collecting it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for ways in which to drive and capture consensual consumer behavior, KPI’s, market metrics, and behavior to help drive more effective solutions, services, usage, and strategies, but the consumer should be informed AND give their consent to allow the capture and usage of this information. Apparently, this is not the case here.

Remember when Apple was tracking people’s location movements via their iPhone’s and cataloging the data? This is way worse. Of course, Apple was forced to stop that practice. But this new embedded spyware? If you own a non-Apple smart phone you should check out this disturbing article. So far, it effects 100 million of you. Even you do own an Apple iPhone, you should still check it out. This could still be happening with your iPhone.We just don’t know yet.

-DF

Tens of Millions of Smartphones Come With Spyware pre-installed, Security Analyst Says

Over 100 million smartphones are tracking their owners’ every step, Android developer Trevor Eckhart claimed, thanks to software that comes pre-installed on phones from most major carriers.

During a security demonstration revealed on Monday, Eckhart showed how software developed by Carrier IQ tracks virtually everything a user does — going as far as logging individual keystrokes and button presses. The company claims it helps its customers improve quality and performance “by counting and measuring operational information in mobile devices.” Security experts call it spyware.

“I assume that when I SMS my wife on the phone, no one is intercepting that message,” Chet Wisniewski of security firm Sophos told FoxNews.com. He called the whole ordeal is a “serious invasion of privacy.”

“Why do they need to know when I’m logging into Bank of America, when I’m accessing my password? It’s a different level of snooping,” he said.

Developed as a mobile analytics platform, Carrier IQ’s software can be found on most Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones — over 140 million phones in total, the company’s website boasts. Some reports suggest Apple iPhones may carry the software as well.

The company has flat out denied that its software records keystrokes, a claim Eckhart’s latest video seems to refute.

“Every button you press in the dialer before you call,” Eckhart says in his latest video, “it already gets sent off to the IQ application.”

Eckhart did not return FoxNews.com phone calls, and Carrier IQ declined to comment on his claims. A statement on the company’s website reiterates the company’s claims that its software does not track customers or record keystrokes.

“This information is used by our customers as a mission critical tool to improve the quality of the network, understand device uses and ultimately improve the user experience,” the company said. By evaluating these metrics, Carrier IQ aims to help with issues such as “dropped calls and battery drain.”

In videos showing Carrier IQ at work, Eckhart showed it going beyond such utilitarian monitoring. He showed Carrier IQ’s software monitoring entire text messages, a Google search, and his location, even during sessions protected by HTTPS, a security protocol that encrypts communications for sensitive transactions like online banking.

Sprint has acknowledged using Carrier IQ’s software, but denies having access to personal data.

“Carrier IQ provides information that allows Sprint, and other carriers that use it, to analyze our network performance and identify where we should be improving service,” Sprint told CNET earlier this month. “We collect enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network and how to address any connection problems, but we do not and cannot look at the contents of messages, photos, videos, etc., using this tool,” Sprint continued.

While Wisniewski understands the needs for data and metrics, he believes carriers must be more forthcoming about how they are monitoring their users, what data they are collecting, and how they are protecting that data.

“If you’re going to collect that kind of information from people, you have to meet a different standard,” Wisniewski told FoxNews.com.

But for now, most users are stuck, unable to even turn off or uninstall the program.

“The Carrier IQ application is embedded so deeply in the device that it can’t be fully removed without rebuilding the phone from source code,” Eckhart wrote on his website.

“Even where a device is out of contract, there is no off switch to stop the application from gathering data.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/01/is-your-smartphone-secretly-spying-on/#ixzz1fJJ3Zfhk

Written by David Frederick

December 1, 2011 at 2:58 PM

S Curves Everywhere

If you have ever worked with predictive models and trend mapping you are no doubt familiar with the S curve. The ubiquitous S-curve (also known as the sigmoid function) has long been recognized by economists, technologists, and scientists as a strong tool for understanding patterns. Now professor Adrian Bejan at Duke University, with collaborator Sylvie Lorente from the University Toulouse, has developed an exiting new theory that explains the reason for the prevalence of this particular pattern throughout nature and the man-made world.

Their research shows that this phenomenon can be predicted entirely by recognizing in it a flow. The flow is not by diffusion alone, rather it is a combination of tree-shaped “invasion” by convection, followed by “consolidation” by diffusion perpendicular to the invasive lines. The S curve is not unique: its scales depend on the relative magnitude of the speed of the invading lines and the diffusivity perpendicular to the lines. Tree-shaped invasion covers the territory with diffusion much faster than line-shaped invasion. The predicted S-curve flow architecture unites the designs of spreading flows and collecting flows (e.g., mining, fossil fuel extraction, Hubbert peak) in all the realms of nature: animate, inanimate, and human-made.

Economic trends, population growth, the spread of cancer, or the adoption of new technology seem to follow certain patterns, says Bejan. A new technology, for example, begins with slow acceptance, followed by explosive growth, only to level off before “hitting the wall. Rebecca Henderson – one of my favorite MIT Sloan Professors who is now at Harvard Business School had some very interesting theories and practical models for working with S-Curves when developing a successful product and technology strategy. You should also check out her work as well.

Bejan’s theory, known as the constructal law, uses a large river basin as a visual description of flow systems, growing fast and far, with smaller branches growing laterally from the main channels. It is based on the principle that designs of flow systems develop over time by facilitating flow access — reducing and distributing friction or other forms of resistance.

  • A new technology, for example, after a slow initial acceptance can be imagined moving fast through established, though narrow, channels into the marketplace. This is the steep upslope of the “S.”
  • As this technology matures, and its penetration slows, any growth, or flow, moves outward from the initial penetration channels in a shorter and slower manner.

If your involved in predictive models, product development, technology development or analysis this is a very interesting study and I recommend you check it out. You can get the study below:

-DF

Ref.: A. Bejan and S. Lorente, The constructal law origin of the logistics S curve, Journal of Applied Physics, 110, 024901 (2011); [DOI:10.1063/1.3606555]

Written by David Frederick

July 21, 2011 at 9:49 AM

What Google’s Quiet Failure Says About Its Innovation Health

I wanted to share this interesting article from Michael Schrage with you. Michael is a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business, and is the author of Serious Play and the forthcoming Getting Beyond Ideas. Michael is considered one of the top minds in innovation and I found his recent blog post/article very insightful and interesting. Check it out.

-DF

What Google’s Quiet Failure Says About Its Innovation Health

Let social media mavens debate whether Google+ will succeed as a ‘Facebook killer’ where Buzz did not. I think they’d benefit from a quick look back at a failed innovation Google quietly DNR’ed. It offers a sobering reality check for anyone who believes that great people, great skills, great wealth, a great brand, and a great opportunity invariably lead to great innovation, They don’t. Not even for Google. There’s a valuable lesson here.

Google Health should have become yet another of the super search engine’s high-impact, paradigm-busting successes. All the essential ingredients were there. A huge global market consistent with Google’s espoused mission to ‘organize the world’s information.’ An increasingly info-centric industry rife with inefficiencies achingly ripe for transformation. The chance to bring algorithmic ingenuity, superior scalability, and simpler user interfaces to individuals and institutions overburdened with complication. No dominant incumbents but intense interest from serious rivals such as Microsoft to spur competitive creativity. A controversial and humongous health care reform initiative in America to promote top-of-mind awareness and concern. Literally hundreds of billions of dollars of opportunity.

Rarely do the post-industrial stars align so well for an entrepreneurial enterprise hellbent on market revolution. Between the ongoing digitalization, consumerization, and personalization of health care delivery, Google was supremely well-positioned to have as big an innovative impact on medical informatics as it’s had on mass media. Admittedly, Google Health’s original conception and execution as a ‘personal health records’ portal wasn’t particularly sexy or exciting. But then, that’s what many naysayers had said about search and maps. Google had the skills and resources to iterate its way greater impact. Everyone understood that organizing the world’s health care information was a worthy business ambition squarely in Google’s innovation sweet spot.

The market reality proved sour. Nothing much happened. Barely three years after the service launched, Google announced its demise. Health officially dies in January; all whimper, no bang. By virtually every metric that matters, it’s been a stunning disappointment. The service may not have lost Google much money but, relative to opportunities and expectations, Google Health transformed nothing. No paradigms were nicked or even nudged. Genuinely talented people with top management support and technological brilliance don’t even have the satisfaction of a successful failure. (Google Wave, for example, may have been a market failure but even its critics acknowledged its innovation chops.) One of the world’s most innovative companies didn’t just fail to innovate as a business, it dramatically underachieved even as a technical innovator in one of the world’s biggest, most dynamic, and most important industries. What happened?

Some observers say that regulatory and privacy concerburns deterred participation. Google insiders point out that an internal champion left the company to launch a digital healthcare company of his own. External critics complain Health’s initial user interface was clunky and that the burden of inputting personal health care data was a discouraging bore. Even more damning are accusations that Google Health’s ‘records management’ value propositions simply weren’t compelling enough to command commitment from either health care organizations or individuals. An upgrade last year didn’t meaningfully shift momentum.

No doubt each of these points have elements of truth. But none of these reasons comes close to explaining ‘the why.’ Here are mine:

Google Health failed both as a business and as a product because Google ignored — rather than embedded — the innovation sensibility that made it successful. Google Health failed because it wasn’t designed to deliver the fundamental value proposition that Google has done best. Google Health failed because it betrayed the very Web 2.0 ideals that made it both a technology and market leader. Access to great talent, great tools, great technology and great markets collectively couldn’t compensate for Google abandoning its computational core competence

“A true Web 2.0 application is one that gets better the more people use it,” noted internet infopreneur and publisher Tim O’Reilly, whose team coined the phrase ‘Web 2.0’ over five years ago. “Google gets smarter every time someone makes a link on the web. Google gets smarter every time someone makes a search. It gets smarter every time someone clicks on an ad. And it immediately acts on that information to improve the experience for everyone else. It’s for this reason I argue that the real heart of Web 2.0 is harnessing collective intelligence.”

Simply put, Google Health was never a true Web 2.0 application. Google Health didn’t get better the more people used it. Google didn’t get smarter every time someone made a link or search. Google certainly didn’t ‘immediately act on that information’ to improve the Google Health user experiences. The real heart of Google Health certainly wasn’t a harnessing or harvesting of ‘collective intelligence.’

Contrast that with the ongoing success of Google Maps and Gmail. For an even more compelling case, look at how Android — formally launched after Google Health — and its Open Handset Alliance evolved. Android was a true Web 2.0 innovation platform in every way Health was not; Android enabled a true Web 2.0 innovation ecosystem in every way Health did not. Android was predicated on empowering Web 2.0 user experiences in almost every way Health did not. Indeed, where were the Aetnas, Kaiser Permanentes, and British National Health Services in adding ongoing value to the Google Health experience?

Web 2.0 innovation isn’t just about who uses the application, it’s about who is trying to make it better. Because Android truly embraced and embedded the Web 2.0 ethos, Google was able to do for handset manufacturers what it proved unable to do for health care companies. Google Health never became an innovation ecosystem where users, usage and partnerships combined to continuously create new value. It didn’t have the Web 2.0 heart for it.

But the very reasons for Health’s failure help explain why Google+ deserves all the attention it’s been getting. Social media platforms like Facebook can’t succeed unless they, too, honor the commandment to creatively harness collective intelligence. Google’s renewed efforts to compete with Facebook force it to revisit its most fundamental Web 2.0 innovation sensibilities. Google’s future health depends on learning the right lessons from Google Health.

Written by David Frederick

July 13, 2011 at 12:11 PM

World’s Data Will Grow By 50X In Next Decade.

Over the years I have worked with a lot of companies solving critical technology needs and helping them apply the right solution to their pressing challenges. The one area that seems to give most of my technology clients a major head ache is solving problems around information/content/data. How to store it, how to manage it, how to share it and how to optimize it. Particularly content and rich media.  So when I read this latest IDC research paper on how the world’s data will grow by 50X in the next decade, it only underscored the critical challenges around managing, protecting, accessing, and optimizing all of this data. Especially with the rise of cloud based infrastructure, applications and solutions.

What’s really astounding is that currently in 2011, the amount of data created and replicated will surpass 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes), growing by a factor of 9 in just five years. That’s a whole lot of data! I could write several books on the opportunities and challenges that this explosion in data will create, but for now lets look at some of the IDC data.

By 2020 the world will generate 50 times the amount of information and 75 times the number of “information containers” while IT staff to manage it will grow less than 1.5 times ( DF NOTE: Its a good time to get into IT Management Jobs!!)

In the next five years, these files will grow by a factor of 8, while the pool of IT staff available to manage them will grow only slightly. The IDC study predicts that overall data will grow by 50 times by 2020, and unstructured information — such as files, email and video — will account for 90% of all data created over the next decade. Astounding!

Topics: Computers/Infotech/UI

CLICK HERE TO GET THE IDC REPORT!

Written by David Frederick

June 29, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Online Filter Bubbles

Check out this very interesting video from Eli Pariser at a February 2011 TED Event. Very interesting on how search engines, content providers and other web providers are giving you what they think you need versus what you actually want. Eli makes a very interesting case that as web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli argues powerfully, that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

Check it out here!

Media multitasking is really multidistracting

It’s an interesting topic. The self delusional idea of multitasking. There really is no such thing. What is commonly misunderstood as multitasking is really something called switching – the ability of the brain to rapidly switch from one task to another. This can happen in milliseconds and can actually seem and feel like “multitasking” but unless you have an Intel processor wired to your brain, it aint happening.

Don’t get me wrong, many people can switch so fast that is truly seems like they are multitasking, but from a physiological and cognitive/processing stand point they are not.

Further complicating the cognitive challenges of switching/multitasking is the interesting introduction of multi-media i.e. trying to type a paper and listen to music or type a report and watch TV at the same time. This brings me to an interesting article from Boston College on media multiasking. As such, I thought I would share it with you.

-DF

Media multitasking is really multidistracting

Multitaskers who think they can successfully divide their attention between the program on their television set and the information on their computer screen have proven to be driven to distraction by the two devices, according to a new study of media multitasking by Boston College researchers.

Placed in a room containing a television and a computer and given a half hour to use either device, subjects in the study on average switched their eyes back and forth between TV and computer a 120 times in 27.5 minutes, nearly once every 14 seconds.

The researchers used advanced cameras to track where research subjects were looking to understand the physical demands and likely disruption caused by switching between the television and computer.

The researchers said that the subjects were not even aware of their own actions. On average, participants in the study thought they might have looked back and forth between the two devices about 15 times per half hour. In reality, they were looking almost 10 times as often. Even if quick “glances” (less than 1.5 seconds) were removed from the equation, the subjects were still switching over 70 times per half hour.

Brasel and Gips, Egan Professor of information systems and computer science, determined that when it comes to the dominant medium in this side-by-side challenge, the computer comes out the winner, drawing the attention of the study participants 68.4 percent of the time. But neither device proved capable of holding the attention of study participants for very long, regardless of their age. The median length of gaze lasted less than two seconds for television and less than six seconds for the computer, the researchers found.

Understanding the physical behavior of multi-media multitaskers raises questions about the level of comprehension among people who switch their eyes between the devices, specifically the impact on productivity or on children doing their homework. And for companies that rely on TV or the Internet to communicate with consumers, the findings raise questions about the effectiveness of the two channels as means to garner the attention of potential customers.

Note that the study doesn’t address your cell phone, tablet, and other devices.

Ref: S. Adam Brasel, James Gips, Media Multitasking Behavior: Concurrent Television and Computer Usage, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2011; : 110307160334058 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0350

Written by David Frederick

May 3, 2011 at 10:46 AM