The impact of Star Trek on science and technology

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I am a big fan of all things Star Trek and was thus intrigued by this article, which discusses the impact of this show on science, technology, and society. Some Star Trek-inspired technologies include:

  • Cloaking devices (first seen used by a Romulan ship)
  • Quantum teleportation
  • Medical devices similar to tricorders
  • Intelligent robots (similar to Data, with apologies to the application of ‘robot’ to his name)
  • 3D printers, which have some similarity to the meal replicators
  • And, of course, Star Trek’s emphasis on diversity, acceptance, peace over war and, above all, a love of space exploration.

Eleven IT skills in demand

In this post, Dawn Kawamoto discusses the eleven information technology skills that are most in demand:

  1. Big Data analytics
  2. Project management
  3. Business analytics
  4. Software development
  5. Enterprise architecture
  6. Technical architecture
  7. Security and resilience
  8. Change management
  9. IT strategy
  10. Mobile solutions
  11. Digital skills (not explained clearly)

While the emphasis in this article is understandably on information technology skills, it is to be hoped that these skills would be balanced with others in the organization with good information management skills, since all of these skills are data driven.

 

The value of data

The Data Forecast is a new column that is worth following, hosted on The Data Administration Newsletter website. The Data Forecast will explore how innovations are changing the world around us, and how data drives so much of it. We will look at cloud technologies, which are upending old paradigms. We will also observe history repeating itself and realize that the fundamental challenges are nothing new; it is simply the context that has changed. 

The value of data is simple: it is what a business does with a particular data insight versus what it does without that data insight. If data is not driving meaningful, measurable changes in behavior, then it provides at best no value—and  at worst—negative value.

There are 3 key ways that this value is measured:

  1. Increase Top Line Revenue
  2. Decrease Bottom Line Costs
  3. Mitigate Risk

 

Mobile apps: What not to do

If you are like me, you juggle an increasing number of apps on your mobile devices. I tend to have a love-hate relationship with apps: On the one hand, I love playing with new apps, and particularly those that are related to helping one organize tasks. I’m one of those hyper-organized people who loves having lists, calendar reminders, and so forth. Ironically, I probably don’t need apps to help keep me organized, but I can’t help but want to download them. On the other hand, my love of organization apps means that I have too much information scattered in different places. I download a number of apps because I often become dissatisfied with the quality and functions of individual apps, which means I load them with content, then realize that they don’t work too well, which results in deletion of the app, and starting over with another one. Plus, of course, I’m always on the lookout for the new and improved app, which creates another vicious circle. I feel compelled, also, to keep abreast on new apps as part of my role as an instructor in the field of records and information manager. This post discusses common pitfalls to avoid in the design of apps: I recognize most of them.

Information chaos vs. information opportunity

AIIM  has published a report titled Information chaos v. information opportunity: THE information challenge for the next decade. The report can be downloaded here. The report notes that:

Information is everywhere and it is poorly (if at all) managed. Amidst all of this opportunity, organizations are drowning in a sea of content and information. File servers are overflowing and multiplying, making it difficult for anyone to find anything. Information is leaking out of the organization at every turn. If information silos in our existing solutions weren’t bad enough, we now have our content popping up in new silos in cloud applications that are beyond the reach of our conventional information governance frameworks (and that’s even assuming our employees are using a company approved cloud provider and not their own).

The report provides 34 strategies that organizations can implement to make better use of their information assets. The Slideshare presentation below provides a summary. Information Managers are essential to turning our information chaos into information opportunities.

 

 

 

Green data centres

Cloud computing is often heralded as providing a greener and more environmentally-friendly way to store large amounts of data, although this has not always been supported by hard evidence, especially as the number of mobile and computing devices that use cloud storage continues to grow. This post discusses eight companies that have created successful green data centres:

  • Apple
  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Verne Global
  • Equinix AM3
  • Green House Data WY2
  • NSIDC