Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Naom Chomsky explains Cold War in 5 min - YouTube

The Cost of Conflict and benefit of collaboration

Most people don't understand a collaboration model. They think that negotiation means that you make people do things by threatening to walk out, having other alternatives or otherwise pressuring them. While this can work for the short term, it causes resentment and retaliation and does not get the other side to give you its best ideas.

Even those people who think one should focus on people's "interests" and "rationality" miss the point: the world is emotional and irrational, especially in negotiations important to people. To deal with an emotional person one needs to value their emotions and talk them gradually off the ledge, not show them how your spreadsheets align.

There have been so many missed opportunities: in Libya, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, with Israel/Palestine, with children, even in buying or selling homes, where one party wanted to talk but the other would not.

Firstly, the road from perdition begins, simply, with an attitude. The other side is not necessarily the enemy, even if they work for a competitor and even if others from their group might be the enemy.

Just because they were born Muslim doesn't mean they like Al Qaeda. Just because they are female doesn't mean they want children.

Using "averages" to judge people is unfair. How would you like to be judged based on an average?

Second, to get more one has to find out the other party's perceptions, ask questions, make a connection. People who make human connections with others are six times more likely to persuade others to do what they want.

Third, studies show that differences add value: they provide the basis for more creativity. Work groups with perceptual differences create three times as much value as consensus groups.

So, instead of debating over differences to see who's right, lawmakers and executives alike should be trying to see how they can create better ideas from those differences. For example, trading things that the parties each value unequally.

Fourth, threatening, insulting people and walking out just gets them angry and less interested in a deal. It might feel good, but in terms of meeting goals, it just doesn't work.

Fifth, emotion takes focus off goals and greatly reduces the chance of deals. If you are emotional, get someone else to negotiate, take a break or don't take it personally. If they are emotional, value their emotions to calm them down.

Sixth, start with the easy things on which there is agreement, even the date of the next meeting. It will bind parties together more.

Seventh, progress incrementally, small steps at a time, particularly when there are big disagreements. Parties get nervous making big steps in a risky world.

You don't have to trust everyone from the outset, but where there is conflict, simply acknowledge there isn't much trust and try to get commitments from each other in the absence of trust.

Build trust slowly through personal contact and you don't have to disclose your bottom line; simply say that it makes you uncomfortable. To be collaborative, you don't have to be fully disclosing. But you do need to say what's going on and actually try to form an agreement, piece by piece.

People don't expect you to disclose everything. But they do expect you to be direct, honest and real. That's the essence of collaboration. So before we tear ourselves apart, maybe we can be civil and have a talk?

Read the fill article here: The Cost of Conflict | Psychology Today

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Four steps to identifying and managing project risks

Some IT consultants overlook risk identification and management, especially on small engagements. Brad Egeland says this oversight could cost you future business.

I’ve run some projects as an internal PM and others as a consultant brought in to either lead a team or perform the work myself.

The way you run engagements will differ somewhat based on your incoming status (employee vs. consultant) and the size of the effort (long-term software implementation vs. short-term consulting gig to implement new processes).

There can also be differences in how you put together the upfront formal planning documents, and the way you formalize and document requirements.

One variable that remains constant regardless of whether you’re an internal or an external project lead is the task of risk identification and risk management. I’ll address the topic of risk below from a consultant’s perspective.

Step one: Identify risks

You’re coming in cold and don’t know the potential risks of the organizational infrastructure, procedures, and personnel. Be careful not to make assumptions before you have all of the facts; otherwise, you can wind up adding more risk.

Even if it’s a one-on-one engagement with the CIO or project sponsor, it’s critical that you run through a risk identification process during a detailed risk planning session.

(The CIO is your best source of initial information.) The onus is on you to ask good questions, because you’re the expert on consulting engagements and can warn the client about the common pitfalls they might encounter. You’re coming in cold and don’t know the potential risks of the organizational infrastructure, procedures, and personnel.

Be careful not to make assumptions before you have all of the facts; otherwise, you can wind up adding more risk.

Step two: Talk to SMEs and users

The next step is to meet with subject matter experts and end users (if these are different people) and any other personnel who will interact with the solution to a significant degree. These individuals can be good resources when you’re trying to identify potential risks.

Step three: Devise risk strategies

You need to work with the project sponsor, the SMEs, and users to determine and document the best strategy to mitigate or even avoid these risks if they arise.

Even if you can’t formulate a detailed risk response to each item, it will still be helpful to identify a strategy to keep in mind as you continue to track these risks.

Step four: Manage risk and provide regular status updates

I’m a proponent of managing consulting engagements on an ongoing basis like you would on a formal long-term project.

I encourage you to conduct weekly status meetings with the client, during which you should provide a revised task schedule and status report. Your risk list should be part of every weekly status report during.


We may not always conduct smaller consulting engagements with the same formality as we would $2 million dollar projects for Fortune 500 companies, but the need to identify and manage risks is still there.

It’s worth the time and effort because mitigating even one risk could mean the difference between success and failure and might land you future business with the client.

Online Communications: Are you there?

Ever started typing away in a chat window assuming someone is online and realized you’re typing into the void? Skype is a poster child for this syndrome. you’re working away and a pop up window tells you Fred has just logged into Skype, and you were just about to try and get in touch with him.

‘Hey - r u there? ‘ you type, and wait …nothing. Turns out Fred isn’t online at all despite Skype’s claims otherwise- or maybe he is but Skype is minimized on his desktop or he wandered away from his computer or phone. Plenty of small businesses - and business units of larger organizations - rely on these types of tools as their principle way of connecting and collaborating.

Culturally we tend to coalesce by habit around the watering holes where we expect to find people and information, but these ad hoc meeting places can rely on chance - and when you need someone urgently can be frustrating.

In mediaeval Britain the market cross in towns was the principle messaging center - if you wanted to find out what was going on that would be where you headed. Things have got a lot more complicated since then.

The current generation of options for information gathering and collaboration are increasingly fragmented: modern digital devices, whether desktop, laptop or mobile, are capable of hosting a formidable array of applications - and of course many of these are now hosted online and through cellular service.

Twitter is a good example of a modern communication medium where you need to keep an eye on your filters dashboard if you are to see your connections attempting to engage with you or vise versa…no guarantee they’ll see your comments or questions.

Serendipity is when someone finds something that they weren’t expecting to find, which can be highly illuminating experience online but not much use if you urgently need to get the last quarter’s numbers off a colleague. The are of course occasions when you bump into just the right person when going to the water cooler or rest room but that’s not a particularly dependable strategy for dependable communication.

To be fair the deep rooted conventions around telephone calls and left messages don’t necessarily guarantee a response, and nor does sending an email, but at least there are opportunities to communicate your absence (’I’m in a cabin in Canada and offline until the end of the month‘).

Presence information is baked into unified communications product suites but relies on users updating their status and doesn’t cross pollinate to other services. A single sign on of presence would be useful across enterprise apps but would be very difficult to create.

Paradoxically ‘real time’ communication tools can be very useful for information curation and intelligence gathering purposes, as the English police are now demonstrating by ‘sifting through an “overwhelming” amount of “chitter chatter” on social networks during last week’s riots in London‘ - and no doubt showing up on the doorsteps of late night violent shoppers in the coming weeks. This characteristic of the modern web - the ability to search and find information after the fact - is a valuable tool for researchers and analysts ….but less useful if it’s five to twelve and you’re looking for someone or something current before your high stress meeting in five minutes.

The solution is orchestration of collaboration consistencies across the broader organization and its outliers, which can be challenging when different parts of the enterprise have different ways of working together but is doable if everyone sees there is something in it for them - such as actually being able to contact people and find things.

Especially for larger organizations the challenges of not embarking on this type of consistency drive can mean ever greater fragmentation and the sort of ‘who’s on first?‘ misunderstandings made famous by 40’s vaudeville comedians Abbott and Costello seen above - assuming people can actually find each other online to participate…

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Complex Process of Innovation

The Innovation Process

The innovation process, in the business context, is a structured action that is remarkably easy to implement.

It begins with a problem and ends with profit. As such, it is the ideal business process.

So it is remarkable that so few businesses have actually implemented this structured innovation process. Fortunately, all you have to do is read this and implement it in your firm!

Read the full article here: Innovation Excellence

Ten Myths About Social Networking For Business - Forbes

Here is a short guide to social networking misconceptions. Each is accompanied by a tangible action plan that you can take right now.

Myth 1: Everybody is on social media.
Crowd being turned back at Coliseum (LOC)
Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr
Why it’s perpetuated: Experts will show you pretty statistics on how more than 80% of people heard of a product through social media. This is a scare tactic to get you to hire them. The truth is social media is not on every one’s radar–not yet, anyway.

Action plan: Even if your target demographic is not on social media, you can harness the power of the Web by making it easier for search engines like Google to find your website (known by geeks in the trade as “search engine optimization”). Remember that this approach takes some time to gain momentum.

First step: Pepper your website with well-trafficked key words. How to pick them? Go to the Google Keyword Tool and enter about 20 or more generic terms that relate or describe your product or service; look for relevant terms that get several thousand monthly queries but it’s not enough to find popular key words.

You have to find ones where your site can compete–that means finding words that, if typed into Google, will spit out a page of results where your site ranks nice and high.

The key to ranking high on a search results page is to have as many high-quality sites as possible pointing links to your site (this goes for articles, information graphics and other forms of content, too).

A high quality website is chocked with content and follows Google’s Quality Guidelines. How many high-quality links do you have to attract? There’s an easy way to get a feel for that number.

For each key word, copy web addresses of the top sites that pop up in Google when you search on those key words. Then paste each of those web addresses into www.MajesticSEO.com and click “Explore.” Instantly you will see how many other sites are pointing to each particular web site.

If the first 10 addresses you chose are each attracting tens of thousands of links, it’s probably not worth your time to try to compete on that particular key word to get quick exposure on search engines.

However, if the third or fourth site down from the top of the search results page is only attracting a few hundred links, you just might be able to hoist yourself onto that top search page in a few months or less with some concerted effort.

How to increase the number of links to your site quickly? Start by courting relevant bloggers. Find the most active scribes by searching relevant keywords on Google Blogsearch.

Send each blogger a short, not-too-sanctimonious email saying you’re a fan of their work, and that you might have some content you think their readers would really enjoy; include a link to your site in the message.

Interested bloggers will refer to your link in their articles, making it more popular in the eyes of the search engines.

10 Steps To Writing Irresistible Content Irresistible

10 tips for making your content irresistible:

1. Write with conviction

Don’t be boring. Don’t just spit out the facts. Write from a place of passion and honesty. Write from your soul, not just your head. Create a “wow experience for your readers…every time.

2. Write simply

Since most people scan online content, make sure you writing is simple – easy on the eyes and easy to understand. Invest enough time formatting your post.

3. Make it applicable

What do you want your readers to do? Don’t assume they will apply what you write. Give them specific instructions on how to do what you’ve written.

4. Use humor

It’s easy to drone endlessly about facts. Resist this urge. Also, don’t try and be funny if you’re not. Honestly, humor often comes from being honest. Look at your topic and describe how it makes you feel, how it makes your readers feel, and be descriptive. You may just unlock some humor you never thought you had.

5. Create unique headlines

If your headline sucks, say goodbye to anybody reading your content, except maybe your mother. She’ll probably read anything. Online readers are moving fast and if a headline doesn’t jump off the page, capture their imagination, connect with their passion, they won’t read.

6. Do your research

Thoughtful, well-learned people make the best bloggers. Are you constantly learning, constantly developing? It will show in your blogging. Know your niche, know what your readers want, develop an insatiable curiosity for deeper learning. It will show in your writing and people will love it.

7. Solve a problem

Content that spreads is content that helps. Find a problem that your readers have and solve it. This may take time, but it’s worth the investment.

8. Be generous with other’s content

Nobody likes a talking head that ignores everyone else. If you want your content to spread, live it by sharing other’s content. Networking and connecting with other bloggers is so important to your blog’s success.

9. Be kind

If people like you, they’ll be more inclined to share your content. Respond to comments when you can, participate in Twitter conversation, respond to facebook comments. Always be kind. This will increase your likeability.

10. Connect with influencers

The more you connect with influencers, the greater chance your blog has to getting noticed. Comment on their blogs with insightful thoughts. Link to their posts (they will notice). Share their content with passion. Reach out to them and thank them for their expertise.
How do you make your content irresistible?

Johnny Lee - YouTube video on remote screen

Automatic Projector Callibration with Embedded Light Sensors - Johnny Lee

Low-Cost Multi-touch Whiteboard using the Wiimote - YouTube

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Banking: A Service desert

Good service from a customer perspective is one of the key reasons for choosing a bank. Within the other hand, banks will usually understood under the service counter area unpleasant. Accordingly, often the large gap between the experienced and the service is promised at banks.

Googling for you "service in banks", we get a lot of evidence of poor service. If you ask friends or acquaintances on the service experience at banks, so the picture looks not much different: Mostly criticism, little praise. The concept of "Service desert Germany" seems to be created for banks.

Customer engagement as a central objective

It has long been proven that good service and business success are closely positively correlated. Two important keywords and gradually make it clear this place in the banking sector by: Customer Engagement and Customer Experience.
Under Customer Engagement is the ability to inspire customers. From a Harvard study , we know that this can lead to an increase in customer profitability by over 20%.

Customer Experience, also a term from the Harvard Business School is known, a company's ability to bring about all the sales channels of communication and positive experiences that make a crucial difference from a customer perspective in the competition.

To bank customers to inspire positive experience high service quality is an important if not crucial. And this is where banks do all confessions, despite often difficult.

Is the term "Service" burned?

A few years ago thought about it a major German bank to introduce a different concept for their stores. They tried something new and more meaningful.

These include surveys were conducted and reviewed various term variants for approval and acceptance by customers and employees. From the perspective of the bank it was hoped above all to the term "advisory branch." Clear favorite was from a customer perspective but the term "Service branch". Unfortunately, this was also the term with the worst approval rating among the employees.

Even if this action is a long time ago and has not yet implemented this, but it reveals the problems of the term "service" in the banking sector.

The term "service" for bank employees often have little "value". Do you mean by "service" in short and simplified "counter service" and want it most as quickly as possible away.

Bank customers "love" good service

For customer service, however is something important, and often something crucial. Good or bad service makes for a lot of customers from the difference between a good and a bad bank.

This is especially true because products have become more or less interchangeable. A global study by management consultancy Bain from 2010 to approximately 90,000 individuals were interviewed, says that service was the deciding factor for a retail bank.

Product range and the level of charges on the other hand are secondary. The study comes to three key findings:
  1. Service quality determines satisfaction and loyalty of bank customers
  2. Banks with a high number of loyal customers are more successful and cheaper to refinance
  3. In a survey of about 90,000 residential customers direct banks cut the best and the worst performing large branch banks
One of the authors of the study, combined, for example, respondents with the term "service" that you will be greeted when you walk into a bank branch. Many bank customers would sometimes feel, however, to interfere with the entry . Notably, this would apply to wealthy clients.
Nothing new. Already in 2007, came a study by Booz Allen Hamilton to similar results. Frightening, is that banks seem to learn little from these results apparently.

Customers have certainly supports clear ideas about what they associate with good and poor service:
Guter Service und schlechter Kundenservice in Banken und Sparkassen

Characteristics of good and bad customer service from bank perspective

Actually, the above points should make it a particular challenge to banks.

All the more so, why banks not change that. Or do they communicate their good service not only right for the customer?
Or, as Jim Bush (Executive Vice President, Services at American Express) expressed on the Forrester's Customer Experience Forum 2011 is: "Treat the customer as you would like to be treated."
What do you mean? They have particularly good or particularly bad experiences in the service of the banks do? Whether as customer or as an employee, tell us of it here.

Social Media Revolution 2010 - YouTube

On the way to a successful use of social media in the banking sector are six steps to overcome that build on each other. To get to the top of the ladder, have tangible value for customers and fans will be created.

There are six different active roles that can take you if you approach the topic of Social Media. They build on each other and differ in the intensity of your bet and the resulting potential benefits for you and your bank.
Step 1: Ignore

No trend in the Internet has such a tremendous growth, such as social networks. And not just in the networking of private individuals. The Facebook fan for many companies is an important shop window in the interactive relationship with their customers become. Although financial services, especially in this country have been exhausted, yet the full potential so they too are represented, some with considerable influx.

You still have doubts that social media is important and right for your home? Then read on: Social Media

The Year of E-Commerce - Dr. Hansjörg Leichsenring

Click on the image to read the full report in PDF format

SIX Interbank Clearing – The payments hub

SIX Interbank Clearing operates the payment systems SIC and euroSIC in Switzerland and across its borders.

It thereby enables banks worldwide to handle their payments in francs and euro rapidly and securely. Interconnected with the primary players in the Swiss financial center, it also provides other economically vital payment traffic services.

Read More

The First Study of Open Innovation in France

Click To View in larger format
The first ever study conducted in France ‘Open Innovation in France’ was presented during a Press Conference in Paris on May 31st 2011 and the English version was released online on June 7th 2011 at the Word Innovation Forum in New York.

An infography summary is available on this link : Open-Innovation-English-3
The detailed version is available in pdf format on this link:  Study 2011 by bluenove ‘OPEN INNOVATION IN FRANCE’ or on our blog.

The summary version is also available on slideshare.

The French version of the detailed study is available on this link.

Bluenove supports international companies to implement Open & Collaborative Innovation projects in France and Europe. For instance, we have helped a Brazilian leader in the Cosmetic industry to detect, assess and map potential innovative partners in Europe.

We also support change management projects to implement collaborative software solutions and dynamics within organizations.

We are also interested to identify consulting partners worldwide who may be interested to conduct a similar study in their own country in order to develop a benchmark approach or map such as our Open Innovation Map: http://www.openinnovationmap.org

Feel free to contact us for more information about the study or our services at contact@bluenove.com

29 ways to stay creative - YouTube

Available at 29 ways to stay creative inspires redMOKA - YouTube

Saturday, August 13, 2011

DIY: LDAP user management with LAM

We've tried a lot of LDAP administration tools, and they all pale in comparison to LDAP Account Manager. Here are some details about this powerful tool.

Ah, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), that feisty, pain in the keister system that can be a real joy to set up and administer. Seriously, someone needs to create a distribution based solely on LDAP such that you put the disk in the machine, boot up, install, and enjoy it without having to go through a boat trip on the River Styx to get it up and running.

Until then, there are a handful of tools designed to make life more tolerable for the LDAP admin. One of those tools is LDAP Account Manager (LAM).


  • Management of various account types
  • Profiles for account creation
  • Account creation via file upload
  • Automatic creation/deletion of home directories
  • Setting file system quotas
  • PDF output for all accounts
  • Editor for organizational units
  • Schema browser
  • LDAP browser
  • Multiple configuration files
  • Multi-language support
  • Support for LDAP+SSL/TLS

Two versions: LAM and LAM Pro

LAM comes with the tool’s standard features. LAM Pro comes with the standard LAM features, plus User Self Service, Additional Account modules, Run Custom Scripts, Access Levels, Password Reset Page.

Look at the full feature matrix for the differences in features. The costs for LAM Pro are:
  • Single computer: New license $240 USD / Upgrade $180 USD
  • Company license: New license $800 USD / Upgrade $600 USD

Installing LAM

Beyond having LDAP installed, the requirements for a LAM installation are:
  • Apache webserver (SSL recommended) with PHP module (PHP 5 >= 5.2.4). Other modules for Apache include: ldap, gettext, xml, and optional mcrypt.
  • Some LAM plugins may require additional PHP extensions.
  • Perl (optional, needed only for lamdaemon).
  • OpenLDAP >2.0.
  • A web browser that supports CSS2 and JavaScript (The Chrome browser has a problem displaying some of the pages correctly.)
Installation is quite simple and well documented (on a per-operating system case). After the installation is complete, point your browser to http://ADDRESS_TO_LAM_SERVER/lam and you should see the LAM login page. By default, the user credentials are:
  • user: admin
  • password: lam
Be sure to change the master password immediately upon login.

Using LAM

After you log in to LAM, you’ll see the main window, which is where you’ll do all aspects of LDAP account management (Figure A).
Figure A

You can even add Samba domains from within LAM. (Click the image to enlarge.)
To see how simple LAM is to use, click the Add User button. From the Add User window (Figure B), various user types can be added. You’ll notice that regardless of type the minimum that can be entered for a user is the lastname field. This is standard operating procedure for LDAP.
Figure B

A sample of the Add User window for the UNIX type. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Various features or warnings

  • If you need to edit OU entries, browse the schema, edit the profile, run the test, etc. and click the Tools link. Use caution when editing any of the profiles or OU entries.
  • The Tree View (Figure C) might appeal to many old-school LDAP users because of its more familiar layout.
Figure C

You can see everything laid out in reference to its standard LDAP organization. (Click the image to enlarge.)
  • You should utilize the PDF feature. It allows you to download PDF documents of users, groups, hosts, etc.
  • The server information will give you: Managed Suffixes, LDAP Version, Config suffix, Schema suffix, and SASL mechanisms.

Bottom line

All of the tools I have used that promised to make LDAP easier have paled in comparison to LAM. This web-based system can have any LDAP admin, regardless of experience, working serious magic with their LDAP accounts.

Plus, when you’re on a tight budget, deploying and managing LDAP (over Active Directory) will save some serious cash. And anyone with a DIY mindset will appreciate the flexibility of LDAP, but not every DIYer wants to have to take the time to learn to manage LDAP accounts from the command line.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

One box of Girl Scout Cookies = $15 Billion of Graphene

In a paper published in the journal ACS Nano, scientists  described how graphene, a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon, can be made from just about any carbon source, including food, insects, and waste.

Read the original study: DOI: 10.1021/nn202625c

“I said we could grow it from any carbon source, for example, a Girl Scout cookie, because Girl Scout cookies were being served at the time,” says James Tour, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science at Rice University. “So one of the people in the room said, ‘Yes, please do it. … Let’s see that happen.’”

A sheet of graphene is so thin that one sheet made from one box of shortbread cookies would cover nearly three football fields.

The scientists say the experiment is a whimsical way to make a serious point: that graphene, touted as a miracle material for its toughness and conductivity since its discovery in 2004, can be drawn from many sources.

Tour and graduate students Gedeng Ruan, lead author of the paper, and Zhengzong Sun, also tested other materials, including chocolate, grass, polystyrene plastic, insects (a cockroach leg) and even dog faeces.

In every case, the researchers were able to make high-quality graphene via carbon deposition on copper foil.

In this process, the graphene forms on the opposite side of the foil as solid carbon sources decompose; the other residues are left on the original side. Typically, this happens in about 15 minutes in a furnace flowing with argon and hydrogen gas and turned up to 1,050 degrees Celsius.

Tour expects the cost of graphene to drop quickly as commercial interests develop methods to manufacture it in bulk. In earlier research, Tour  described a long-sought way to make graphene-based transparent electrodes by combining graphene with a fine aluminum mesh.

The material could possibly replace expensive indium tin oxide as a basic element in flat-panel and touch-screen displays, solar cells, and LED lighting.

The new findings have “a lot to do with current research topics in academia and in industry,” Tour says. “Carbon—or any element—in one form can be inexpensive and in another form can be very expensive.”

Diamonds are a good example., he says. “You could probably get a very large diamond out of a box of Girl Scout cookies.”

Sandia National Laboratory, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research MURI program funded the research.

More news from Rice University: www.media.rice.edu/media/

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

‪Delivery Exalogic - Qualogy, The Netherlands‬‏ - YouTube

Some excellent lessons to be learned about how to install a new server into a modern building. The task was accomplished with the usual lack of concern for high risk points and health & safety by the Dutch team. Does fortune favour the brave or is Lady Luck a fickle mistress?

Well done to the team in accomplishing this task and continued success through good Project and Risk management practices for the future, and less reliance on luck.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Juno to Jupiter: This week @NASA - YouTube

Paper Thin Tablet Prototype - YouTube

"This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper," declared creator Roel Vertegaal, director of the lab. "You interact with it by bending it into a cellphone, flipping the corner to turn pages or writing on it with a pen."

Friday, August 5, 2011

When Google's Autonomous vehicles Collide - Who Pays the Bill?

This photo of what looks like a minor case of Prius-on-Prius vehicular violence may actually be a piece of automotive history: the first accident caused by Google's self-driving car.

There are rumours that one of the drivers switched his car to Manual just before the accident. Thus, proving Sebastian Thrun's point. (See the video)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reforming UK's Intellectual Property Laws - Vince Cable

The Government has accepted all ten recommendations made in Professor Hargreaves’ independent review on intellectual property, which estimates a potential benefit to the UK economy of up to £7.9 billion.

Download the Government response in full

Among the recommendations that have been accepted are:
  • That the UK should have a Digital Copyright Exchange; a digital market place where licences in copyright content can be readily bought and sold. This could add up as much as £2 billion a year to the UK economy by 2020. The Government will announce arrangements for how this work will be driven forward later in the year.
  • Copyright exceptions covering limited private copying should be introduced to realise growth opportunities. Thousands of people copy legitimately purchased content, such as a CD to a computer or portable device such as an IPod, assuming it is legal. This move will bring copyright law into line with the real world, and with consumers’ reasonable expectations.
  • Copyright exceptions to allow parody should also be introduced to benefit UK production companies and make it legal for performing artists, such as comedians, to parody someone else’s work without seeking permission from the copyright holder. It would enable UK production companies to create programmes that could play to their creative strengths, and create a range of content for broadcasters.
  • The introduction of an exception to copyright for search and analysis techniques known as ‘text and data mining’, allowing research scientists such as medical researchers greater access to data.
  • Establishing licensing and clearance procedures for orphan works (material with unknown copyright owners). This would open up a range of works that are currently locked away in libraries and museums and unavailable for consumer or research purposes.
  • That evidence should drive future policy – The Government has strengthened the Intellectual Property Office’s economics team and has begun a programme of research to highlight growth opportunities.
Alongside the Government response, a new intellectual property crime strategy and international strategy for intellectual property have been published.

IP Crime Strategy

The crime strategy outlines how the Intellectual Property Office will continue to enforce IP crime issues domestically. Counterfeit goods often use other company’s trade marks or infringe their copyright, which can lead to financial losses.

The international strategy sets out the UK’s five year vision to get the international IP framework in the best possible shape to support innovation and growth. Patent backlogs cost the global economy up to £7.4 billion a year.

Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox said: “Intellectual property is a key UK export and global trade in IP licenses alone is worth more than £600 billion a year. UK businesses need to have confidence in the international IP framework so they are able to create and exploit value from their ideas.”

Additional Links

Monday, August 1, 2011

Farewell Flash? Adobe Launches HTML5 Web Animations Tool "Adobe Edge"

Html5 150x150Today, Adobe is launching a new tool called Adobe Edge which will allow creative professionals to design animated Web content using Web standards like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. 
Not Flash.Aimed to coexist with Adobe Flash, not replace it, the Web design software is Adobe's big bet on how it will continue to solidify its position as a top player in the infrastructure of the modern Web, especially as the Web goes increasingly mobile.
In this new mobile context, the Web has become a more hostile environment for Flash, which has no place on Apple mobile devices, and likely never will.
Adobe claims it has been a strong player in HTML5, going back to April 2010, when it first began introducing support for the technology in its product line, including Dreamweaver, Illustrator, its Digital Publishing Suite and, more recently, its Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tool, Wallaby.

Now, with Adboe Edge, it aims to provide the tools that will help professionals build Web animations, and in the future, even simple games.

At present, Edge will focus on its core animation engine, but in the future, it plans to add more HTML5 features, including Canvas support, support for HTML5 Audio and Video tags, richer support for animating SVG graphics and more.

Edge 2 screenshot 072711
The software (for both Mac and PC) is designed to have an intuitive paneled user interface, a fast startup time, and will include, at the bottom, the familar timeline feature creative professionals already know and understand.

Edge users can import existing HTML documents and graphic assets including SVG, PNG, JPG and GIF and then sytle them with CSS3.

Panels on the left and right provide access to properties of the .EDGE file and the various elements the designer is working with and in the centre, there runs an embedded version of the WebKit browser.

When a project is complete, it will work on modern Web browsers like those that run on Android, iOS, HP's webOS, the BlackBerry PlayBook, plus Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer 9.

Where to Get Adobe Edge

Starting today, Adobe Edge is available as a free download while in its public preview period. The 1.0 product is expected to launch next year.

This is a hugely important launch for Adobe - one that IDC analyst Al Hilwa, says is "the biggest thing they have done so far." Hilwa likes Adobe Edge, and believes it shows that Adobe is really in-tune with designer needs.

Farewell Flash? Adobe Launches HTML5 Web Animations Tool "Adobe Edge"