Monday, July 25, 2016

A supercomputer for more efficient oil extraction

The low oil prices we've seen lately present a challenge for the energy industry. To maximize output, global energy company Total upgraded its supercomputer.

The global energy company Total draws on the power of supercomputers for advanced 4D modeling to locate and simulate the behavior of oil reserves under the surface. 4D seismic consists of repeating 3D seismic surveys over time across the same area. Total's geophysicists and reservoir engineers develop models based on complex physics by working with advanced algorithms that require a great deal of computational power.
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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mark Twain got it

From "Two Views of  the Mississippi."
Picking up on the transition from innocence to experience that William Blake explores in his poetry, Twain encapsulates the gain that also entails loss:
Now when I had mastered the language of this water and has come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition. But I had lost something, too. I had lost something which could never be restored to me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry, had gone out of the majestic river! 
Twain offers further details and then suggests a parallel with the medical profession:
 Since those days, I have pitied doctors from my heart. What does the lovely flush in a beautyʹs cheek mean to a doctor but a ʺbreakʺ that ripples above some deadly disease? Are not all her visible charms sown think with what are to him the signs and symbols of hidden decay? Does he ever see her beauty at all, or doesnʹt he simply view her professionally, and comment upon her unwholesome condition all to himself? And doesnʹt he sometimes wonder whether he has gained most or lost most by learning his trade?   


Thursday, July 14, 2016

A digital strategy for growth in the biotech sector

QIAGEN is a German life sciences and diagnostics firm that has customers in more than 100 countries. Given the trend toward e-commerce in the biotech sector, which has emerged in the past few years, it became clear to the company's management that future growth called for a digital strategy that included online self-service.
To achieve that goal, the company partnered with TCS and used SAP Hybris solutions to design, engineer and launch a new global Web shop. The shop plays a central role in allowing QIAGEN to effectively serve its customers, according to  Florian Wegener, head of eCommerce.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The author is an algorithm

About a year ago, I wrote about algorithms producing producing rap lyricsand said, “Perhaps the next project will be an algorithm that produces films.” In fact, that project has arrived, and its name is Benjamin (formerly known as Jetson).
Benjamin is the self-chosen name of “the world’s first automated screenwriter,” according to its own Facebook page. Benjamin’s site gives a slightly longer description of the screenwriter as “a self-improving LSTM RNN [Long short-term memory recurrent neural network] machine intelligence trained on human screenplays.”
Benjamin already has written a film entitled “Sunspring” with some prompting from Ross Goodwin, “creative technologist, artist, hacker, data scientist,” and the filmmaker Oscar Sharp. To qualify for the Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge, the entire film was made from start to finish in just 48 hours with three human actors playing the roles.
It is available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube. As the writer Neil Gaiman tweeted, “Watch a short SF film gloriously fail the Turing Test.”


I’d Like to Thank the Algorithm that Made this Film Possible

Friday, July 8, 2016

Steps to secure IoT

With great connection comes great vulnerability, which is why security looms large in Verizon's Internet of Things platform.
Verizon has kept a keen eye on security while the company develops its Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which is called ThingSpace. From an investment of nearly a decade ago to exploration of new technologies, and the application of analytics, Verizon is building up tools to secure user connections.
According to recent research by Gartner, worldwide spending on Internet of Things security will increase from $348 million this year to $547 million in 2018. That forecast is in line with what Warren Westrup, director of connected solutions at Verizon, sees from the investment his own company is making in IoT security.
Security concerns are the chief "inhibitors of IoT," Westrup stresses. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

An architectural firm finds a better way to share files

SLAM Collaborative is a diversified architectural firm with four locations in the United States: Bosto
n, Atlanta, Syracuse, N.Y., and Glastonbury, Conn. With geographically dispersed teams, getting people access to data needed for coordinated projects was a recurrent problem.
John Stergakis, the firm's director of Information Services, says SLAM is committed to drawing on the best talent from each office for each project. That means they have to be able to communicate with each other and share files between the four offices. This was a serious problem because of the delays in data transfer.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ford Aims for a Sustainable Supply Chain

Though virtue is said to be its own reward, that doesn’t hold true for business. Ford is very much aware of its image and the effect that can have on customer behavior. In fact, in its press release about making the World’s Most Ethical Company list, it states very clearly:  “Consumers placing increasing importance on ethics in business; recent report shows majority of U.S. learned more about a company before doing business; more than one-third opted not to do business with companies with negative reputations.”
What Ford says its customers want corresponds to what Nielsen published in a report this past fall, “The Sustainability Imperative: New Insights On Consumer Expectations.” It notes that “brands with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability have grown more than 4% globally,” in contrast to those that cannot make the same claims whose growth rate was under 1%.


Committing to Ethical Standards for the Supply Chain