Archive | May 2013

Will Robots Social Network When They Eclipse Man’s Intelligence?

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Singularity

Singularity for those mere mortals who are unaware is . First proposed by mathematician John von Neumann, it is the time when “ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.”

Ray Kurzweil

In his book “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology“, futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts that computers will be as smart as humans by 2029, and that by 2045, “computers will be billions of times more powerful than unaided human intelligence”.

So if robots and artificial intelligence will inevitably have more intelligence than man, what will social networking look like in that world? Well, according to a new social network catering to robots and their owners, you don’t have to wait another 16 years to find out. Almost like a real-life version of “Back To The Future,” launched in December, 2011, MyRobots.com is artificial intelligence’s answer to Facebook.

Social Network for Robots

Designed for robot owners and their robotic devices, the portal offers an opportunity for robots to generate their own status updates. Internet-enabled robots can be connected to MyRobots with an open API.

And if one network wasn’t enough, there’s also RoboEarth, described as “a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other about their behavior and their environment.” The site is designed for robots to upload their experiences at solving a task so that other robots can learn from the data. RoboEarth’s team members are Europe-based researchers with funding from the European Commission’s Cognitive Systems and Robotics Initiative.

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Pros and Cons of Social Networking for Insurance Agents

  social-media2 Nowadays we can almost say that virtual life became as important as the real life, at least when it comes to business. It certainly helped us to broaden the number of acquaintances.The computerization of socializing has become an inevitable part of the present and the future.General internet statistics shows that it took the radio 38 years, the television 13 years, and the internet 4 years to reach 50 million users. These statistics speak for themselves.

Social media has become an increasingly important tool to engage clients and understand their needs and preferences. More and more agents are starting to use such websites as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in order to interact with their customers on a daily basis.

Recent statistics

  • one out of every seven minutes spent online is on Facebook
  • 61% of LinkedIn members use it as their primary professional networking site
  • 34% of medium and 27% of small businesses use social media for business
  • 340 million tweets are sent every day
  • 62% of marketers say that social media has become more important to their marketing campaigns in the last 6 months

But as much as this type of communication can help you, it isn’t perfect. Here are the general pros and cons of this situation.

The pros

  • Price- most social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are free to use
  • Speed -sending personal messages takes seconds
  • Ease- easy promotional method for your career
  • Opportunity- engage with people that you wouldn’t meet in real life
  • Promptness- present the up-to-date information or publicize events in real time
  • Comfort – with a business social network, you can take your entire network with you
  • Availability- you can be active on social media anywhere
  • Growth- broaden your clients data base

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? The advantages have caught your attention. On the other hand, you should be well aware of the possible pitfalls.

The cons

  • Sharing- personal information is easily available and can put you at risk
  • Fraud – fake advertisements can invite unwanted viruses and spywares to your computer
  • Tracking- employers can always track you
  • Hacking- you can get hacked

However, there is no need to panic about it, as there is always the solution for every situation. Just follow this simple and effective advice that will keep you out of trouble.

How to Use Social Media Safely and Effectively

  • Use privacy settings wisely
  • Change your password often
  • Make sure everything is right before sending an update or a tweet or anything else
  • Carefully map out and consider the negative and positive side of the information you
  • Would like to post and how it is going to influence on your personal and professional life
  • Humanize yourself and you will see more people will come to you
  • Maximize your business’s potential by participating in social networking sites
    also remember not to be too pushy about your achievements
  • It takes time to establish the fruitful relationships, so don’t rush
  • Be sure to maintain security settings so you could avoid cyber-stalking and identity theft or any other form of harassment

The concerns about social networking should not overwhelm you. Just find the right platforms for your business and develop a following. Eventually you will see results. Do you know other effective methods that you would recommend in order to boost up the career perspectives?

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Facebook Pressured to Take Action on Violence Against Women

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Inaction from the leader of social networks against Women is not anymore acceptable. This is true also for all the words that do not respect others. It is important to understand that it is part of the keys successes of future of social networks. The anonymity may encourage some of us to express what they have worse in them. Innovative Technologies should prevent public to may authorize to express this violence: how to make it?

Tech

Without a doubt, misogyny and anti-women hate speech exists on the Internet in spades. Part of the problem, of course, is anonymity; another part is inaction on the part of social networks like Facebook to police such content. But a recent open letter from Women, Action & the Media on the topic has elicited a response from Facebook that includes a promise to work harder to make the Internet a safe space for all.

Specifically, the open letter targets gender-based hate speech, much of which is tied in with threats and jokes about rape. According to the group, Facebook is overflowing with violent and offensive content targeting women. Specifically, the letter citing groups with names like “Raping your Girlfriend” and photographs of abused women with captions intended to elicit laughs.

“These pages and images are approved by your moderators, while you regularly remove content such as pictures of women breastfeeding

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Creating an Innovative Organization

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Helping Frontline Workers Become Innovative

Innovative organizations do not miraculously come into existence. Rather, they are created by leaders who establish the conditions necessary to bring out the innovative ideas within everyone.

How can organizational leaders create these conditions? In particular, how can they create conditions that will encourage frontline workers to be innovative? This requires, I believe, that leaders fulfill two major conditions. They must convince frontline workers that the leadership supports the line; and, they must ensure that frontline workers understand the big picture.

In every effective organization, there is some kind of implicit contract between the leadership and the line. The line will produce what the leadership wants; in turn, the leadership produces what the line wants. The organization’s leadership wants to make this message as explicit as possible: “You produce for us, and we’ll produce for you”.

This implicit contract is needed by any organization that seeks to become innovative. Frontline workers will not help an organization’s leadership do a better job at achieving its mission unless they believe these leaders will help them.

Frontline workers: leadership on their side

But what should those frontline workers who have decided that being innovative is good for the organization attempt to accomplish? In what direction should they attempt to innovate? What are the constraints? How will an innovation fit within other efforts being made throughout the agency? What is the purpose of the agency and how will any specific innovation help to achieve that purpose? To be effective as innovators, frontline workers must understand what the organization is trying to accomplish, why it is trying to accomplish that, and how it might achieve that goal.

Frontline workers understand the big picture

Before frontline workers are going to become innovative, they have to believe that the organization’s leadership supports them, and they have to understand the big picture.

Be immediately responsive

When an executive first asks frontline workers or middle managers what should be done to improve the organization’s effectiveness, the responses will inevitably focus on working conditions. People will complain about the lack of a soft drink machine, the broken toilet, or the photocopier that barely reproduces the original. Obviously, workers will be more productive if they have the right tool.

The quicker that top management produces the new copier, the better its credibility will be.

In fact, before asking frontline workers what should be done to improve the organization, its leaders ought to know the answer they will hear. Before top management meets with the workers, leaders ought to find out what kind of improvements the workers will request. Before the meeting, they ought to check out exactly what they will have to do to produce the improvement and how long it will take. Then, when confronted with the request, they can commit to making the improvement and also state clearly whether the improvement will be completed in a day, a week, a month, or a year.

To identify the needs of frontline workers, the agency’s leadership ought to ask the union. In fact, in a unionized agency, if the organization’s leaders go straight to their frontline workers, the union will view this as a direct threat, an effort to undermine its role.

Support mistakes

Innovative organizations make mistakes, lots of mistakes. And how the organization treats these mistakes and those who make them sends important signals throughout the organization. If the mistaken innovators are punished in any way, even if they are just perceived to be punished, frontline workers will relearn a basic lesson of bureaucratic life: It does not pay to experiment with new ideas.

Unfortunately, a lot of people make their living catching mistaken innovations. These mistake catchers get their jollies and their professional recognition from uncovering and exposing mistakes. The moral fervor with which they take on this assignment combined with the well-known and easily implemented strategy for publicizing any mistake creates the

If frontline workers learn that no mistake, even an honest mistake, goes unpunished, they will certainly be reluctant to be innovative. Consequently, leaders who wish to create an innovative organization have to figure out ways to prevent those who make mistakes from being punished.

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TOP6 ideas to initiate a Creative Climate

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Are you thinking about ways to transform your workplace into an environment more conducive to innovation? This article takes a closer look at six components of creative climates that have shown to be significant at facilitating creativity according to new research.

What is a creative climate?

A climate can be seen as various aspects of the psychological atmosphere in a team and the surrounding organizational environment. The climate often conveys expectations about which behaviors and attitudes that are acceptable. In the creativity research field there has been many attempts to conceptualize the idea of a ‘creative’ climate – i.e. such a climate that facilitates outcomes that are creative.

This article highlights six components of a creative climate that have been shown to be among the most salient in predicting creative and innovative outcomes.

1. Challenge

Complex, challenging and interesting tasks and goals spur intrinsic motivation, which is a critical component of creativity. Yet here also lies an important caveat. Tasks and goals should not be too overwhelming because then the challenge risk becoming an obstacle – effectively stifling motivation.

2. Intellectual debate

When working with complex and challenging tasks, problems often surface. The nature of these problems is that they are often novel to the people that encounters them and complex in that they can be solved in different ways. To ensure that a project can move forward, many viewpoints must be heard and people must feel secure enough so that they put forward their best ideas. In organizations where there is no debate people tend to stick to “tried and true” ways of doing things – applying old solutions to new problems.

3. Flexibility and risk taking

A basic reality of creative endeavors is that they are inherently uncertain. Often, there is no valid information that ensures that an idea or an innovation is guaranteed to succeed. Even a creative idea itself may not be practical enough to be realized into a new product, service or process improvement. Thus, risk is inherently built into innovation. Research shows that tolerating this risk, not minimizing it, is the best strategy. Thus, it is crucial that organizations accept and allow risk, encourage experimentation and failure.

4. Top management support

Another salient component of a creative climate is the perception of support from top management. This support entails both espoused support; when top management communicate norms that encourage innovation, risk taking and experimentation, and enacted support. This latter form of support is perhaps the most important, since it is the amount of resources such as money, time and facilities that top management is prepared to commit to innovation. If resources are not available, employees will see through the rhetoric of encouragement, effectively undermining these efforts.

5. Positive supervisor relations

Support for new ideas by the supervisor or team leader is critical for the further development and implementation of these ideas. Especially supportive leaders listen and give feedback to ideas, and tolerate a certain degree of experimentation. Furthermore, leaders should publicly recognize and reward creative efforts.

6. Positive interpersonal exchange

The last salient component of creative climates is joy. When team members experience a sense of “togetherness” that comes with a common goal, team members will want to cooperate efficiently for their mutual benefit. This increases both team performance as well as individual performance. With increased togetherness communication is facilitated, which will allow different perspectives and keep conflict away.

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Switzerland: Solar Impulse project

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HB-SIA, Solar Impulse prototype A

With its huge wingspan equal to that of an Airbus A340, and its proportionally tiny weight – that of an average car – the HB-SIA prototype presents physical and aerodynamic features never seen before. These place it in a yet unexplored flight envelope.

Carbon fiber structure, propulsion chain, flight instrumentation, everything has been designed to save energy, to resist the hostile conditions facing airplane and pilot at high altitudes and to marry weight restraints with the required strength.

Solar Impulse is a Swiss long-range solar powered aircraft project being undertaken at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The project eventually hopes to achieve the first circumnavigation of the Earth by a piloted fixed-wing aircraft using only solar power. The project is led by Swiss psychiatrist and aeronaut Bertrand Piccard, who co-piloted the first balloon to circle the world non-stop, and Swiss businessman André Borschberg.

Piccard initiated the Solar Impulse project in 2003. By 2009, he had assembled a multi-disciplinary team of 50 specialists from six countries, assisted by about 100 outside advisers. The project is financed by a number of private companies. The four main partners are Deutsche Bank, Omega SA, Solvay, and Schindler. Other partners include Bayer MaterialScience, Altran, Swisscom and Swiss Re. Other supporters include Clarins, Semper, Toyota, BKW and STG. The EPFL, the European Space Agency and Dassault have provided additional technical expertise, while Bay Area based SunPower provided the aircraft’s photovoltaic cells.

HB-SIB, the new plane will flight in 2015

It was not built to fly round the world. Its purpose was rather to demonstrate the feasibility of the program by making the first ever whole day-and-night flight without fuel, a task that it accomplished brilliantly in July 2010. The lessons learned by the team are now being applied to the construction of Solar Impulse HB-SIB, which is due to circumnavigate the Earth in 2015.

Question of energy defines the project

At midday, each square meter of land surface receives, in the form of light energy, the equivalent of 1000 watts, or 1.3 horsepower of light power. Over 24 hours, this sun energy averages out at just 250W/m². With 200m² of photovoltaic cells and a 12 % total efficiency of the propulsion chain, the plane’s motors achieve an average power of 8 HP or 6kW.

That’s roughly the amount of power the Wright brothers had available to them in 1903 when they made their first powered flight. And it is with that energy, optimized from the solar panel to the propeller, that Solar Impulse managed to fly day and night without fuel!

FIVE world records established by HB-SIA

Absolute height: 9235 m (30300 ft)
Height gain: 8744 m (28690 ft)
Duration: 26 hours, 10 minutes, 19 seconds
Free Distance along a course: 1116 km (693.5 miles)
Straight distance, pre-declared waypoints: 1099.3 km (683 miles)

Across America 2013: Golden Gate end of April

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Robotics and Optimism

Robotics interface are now able to be connected with our brain. This is here a very good sample of these new natural user interface that will be used in the near future by everybody.

Check the video below:

Video: A year after losing her hands and feet to a flesh-eating bacteria, Aimee Copeland is adjusting to life as the first woman to receive state-of-the-art prosthetic hands. She talks about how she’s coping with her losses and her hopes for the future. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

TECH in AMERICA (TiA)

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by Jonathan Strickland (courtesy fwthinking)

I’m the first to admit that I’m snarky, sarcastic and goofy. But I’m also honestly optimistic about the future. Much of that is because I’ve seen some great stories come out of what was first a tragic set of circumstances. That’s the case with Aimee Copeland.

Miss Copeland suffered an injury while going on a zip-lining adventure. The injury led to a battle with flesh-eating bacteria, which ultimately required Copeland to have a leg and both her hands amputated. I can’t imagine how tough it was for her to go through all that.

Today, Copeland has a new set of hands courtesy of a company called Touch Bionics. Normally, these hands would cost around $100,000 but the company gifted them to Copeland free of charge.

Now, I don’t expect tech companies to display altruistic behavior for every person who would benefit from their products…

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Digital Promise: accelerating innovation in U.S. education

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The U.S. president message

President Barack Obama said “Digital Promise is a unique partnership that will bring everyone together – educators, entrepreneurs, and researchers – to use technology to help students learn and teachers teach. There’s no silver bullet when it comes to education, but technology can be a powerful tool, and Digital Promise will help us make the most of it.”

Their mission

Digital Promise is a nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress “to support a comprehensive research and development program to harness the increasing capacity of advanced information and digital technologies to improve all levels of learning and education, formal and informal, in order to provide Americans with the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the global economy.”

Their history

In 2008, Digital Promise was formally authorized as the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies through the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush. With an initial Board of Directors recommended in part by Members of Congress and appointed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Digital Promise was formally launched by President Barack Obama in September 2011 with startup support from the U.S. Department of Education, Carnegie Corporation of New York, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Digital Promise League

The Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools is a unique national coalition of 32 school districts in 21 states that serve more than 2.7 million students. Through partnerships with start-ups, research institutions, and one another, League districts are committing to demonstrate, evaluate, and scale up innovations that deliver better results for students.

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Australia: Social Network addiction

    Social Media Addiction. The 2013 Yellow Social Media Report has analyzed that a growing number of Australians are using social network at an addictive rate wherever they can, even in toilet cubicles. According to the study, three out of every five internet users are accessing these sites more than five times a day, making it a total of seven hours a day.

In a report by News.com, the study found that the time spent by Australians for social media usage has gone up this year, as smartphones have become the most popular way of accessing social media. Sensis digital partnerships and innovation executive general manager Kelly Brough said the study indicated the large growth of social media in Australia.

It was also the first time smartphones took over laptop computers for social media usage. The survey presented figures about various locations of social media access. Of the people surveyed, 34 percent logged on at work, 13 percent at school 18 percent in car, presumably from the passenger’s seat, 44 percent in bed, 7 percent in bathroom and 6 percent in the toilet.

Brough indicated that social media is important to people as part of their daily routine Australian social media users had an average of 258 friends, followers or fans, and women were more likely to use social media and share frequently Lack of interest and privacy concerns was the reason why Australians avoided joining the social media networks.

A total of 65 percent online Australians use social networks, added the report.

Social Media Etiquette

  social media About the importance to understand that all thinks written by anybody on social media can be seen by everybody. It can impact their life… and their company depending on what they are writting!

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