Western Digital unveils its new 4K-ready NVME gaming SSD

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While it tries to craft a microwave-assisted 40TB hard drive by 2025, Western Digital is releasing storage solutions for the nearer future. The company introduced the Black 3D NVMe, an SSD designed to run 4K and Ultra HD graphics quickly and seamless…
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The future of healthcare is a digital version of your doctor

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Imagine waking up in the morning, checking your blood pressure and then calling up a hologram of your doctor and asking if the reading is normal. The digital version of your doctor would look like her and would respond to your question based on a combination of her own medical knowledge and your patient data.

This digital doctor already exists, according to Dr. Leslie Saxon, the head of the Center for Body Computing at USC. She described a “virtual human me” on The Internet of Things Podcast and shared her predictions for the future of healthcare in a connected world.

“We’ve created a virtual human me. I’m an expert in cardiac rhythm disorders. My virtual human is fueled by voice recognition AI. And she can provide unbelievable in depth content to you in a very deeply personal way,” Dr. Saxon says. “It’s very easy to create very realistic virtual humans. So, this looks like me … who, after you see me in a clinic visit, or if you’ve never met me and you’re living in Bangladesh, you can ask me questions about hearth rhythm disorders.”

Saxon says her answers are based on 30 years of experience answering patients questions, data-driven guideline data, and that it’s deeply personalized to you, because it’s an AI engine that can learn about you. The virtual Dr. Saxon already has 3,600 questions it understands and the goal is to deploy versions of it in all kinds of places.

Saxon views this sort of effort as the future of medicine, a future where 80% of medical care will be virtual and perhaps 20% will rely on in-person visits. And a key aspect to this vision is getting the knowledge of doctors to scale to the places where the patients are.

“What we’re seeing now is, we’re seeing this sort of merger of personally collected healthcare data with traditional data,” she says. “So, as you know, Apple announced this ability to support [electronic health records] on their platform, traditional electronic medical data as well as personal data. So, we’re now moving toward that virtual care vision. Telehealth is one small step, but it doesn’t really scale. All telehealth means is, you can get a doctor on a screen, a real doctor.”

This mixing of wearables to provide on-demand patient data, AI-powered virtual doctors, and real doctor visits only when the need is great will require better cybersecurity, a new regulatory framework, better privacy frameworks (Saxon says HIPPA is not enough) and peer-reviewed clinical data on what data from new sensors actually means. Saxon also cautions that patients will have to take a much more active role in their healthcare. There is no more paternalistic doctor that’s going to tell you what to do.

Patients will have to seek out information, evaluate it and play an active role in developing healthy habits.

“We’re not keeping patients down on the farm anymore” she says. “They have to understand their drugs. They have to engage in their care, they have to partner with us to make it better. Because I don’t want to spend a lot of time interrogating a patient like I’m a cop, “Did you do this or that,” and them feeling judged. I want them to come to me as a partner and I’m going to add my little expertise in.”

To learn more, listen to the whole interview here or just hit play below.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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Our digital future will be shaped by increasingly mobile technologies coming from China

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Since the dawn of the internet, the titans of this industry have fought to win the “starting point” — the place that users start their online experiences. In other words, the place where they begin “browsing.” The advent of the dial-up era had America Online mailing a CD to every home in America, which passed the baton to Yahoo’s categorical listings, which was swallowed by Google’s indexing of the world’s information — winning the “starting point” was everything.

As the mobile revolution continues to explode across the world, the battle for the starting point has intensified. For a period of time, people believed it would be the hardware, then it became clear that the software mattered most. Then conversation shifted to a debate between operating systems (Android or iOS) and moved on to social properties and messaging apps, where people were spending most of their time. Today, my belief is we’re hovering somewhere between apps and operating systems. That being said, the interface layer will always be evolving.

The starting point, just like a rocket’s launchpad, is only important because of what comes after. The battle to win that coveted position, although often disguised as many other things, is really a battle to become the starting point of commerce.  

Google’s philosophy includes a commitment to get users “off their page” as quickly as possible…to get that user to form a habit and come back to their starting point. The real (yet somewhat veiled) goal, in my opinion, is to get users to search and find the things they want to buy.

Of course, Google “does no evil” while aggregating the world’s information, but they pay their bills by sending purchases to Priceline, Expedia, Amazon and the rest of the digital economy.  

Facebook, on the other hand, has become a starting point through its monopolization of users’ time, attention and data. Through this effort, it’s developed an advertising business that shatters records quarter after quarter.

Google and Facebook, this famed duopoly, represent 89 percent of new advertising spending in 2017. Their dominance is unrivaled… for now.

Change is urgently being demanded by market forces — shifts in consumer habits, intolerable rising costs to advertisers and through a nearly universal dissatisfaction with the advertising models that have dominated (plagued) the U.S. digital economy.  All of which is being accelerated by mobile. Terrible experiences for users still persist in our online experiences, deliver low efficacy for advertisers and fraud is rampant. The march away from the glut of advertising excess may be most symbolically seen in the explosion of ad blockers. Further evidence of the “need for a correction of this broken industry” is Oracle’s willingness to pay $ 850 million for a company that polices ads (probably the best entrepreneurs I know ran this company, so no surprise).

As an entrepreneur, my job is to predict the future. When reflecting on what I’ve learned thus far in my journey, it’s become clear that two truths can guide us in making smarter decisions about our digital future:

Every day, retailers, advertisers, brands and marketers get smarter. This means that every day, they will push the platforms, their partners and the places they rely on for users to be more “performance driven.” More transactional.

Paying for views, bots (Russian or otherwise) or anything other than “dollars” will become less and less popular over time. It’s no secret that Amazon, the world’s most powerful company (imho), relies so heavily on its Associates Program (its home-built partnership and affiliate platform). This channel is the highest performing form of paid acquisition that retailers have, and in fact, it’s rumored that the success of Amazon’s affiliate program led to the development of AWS due to large spikes in partner traffic.

Chinese flag overlooking The Bund, Shanghai, China (Photo: Rolf Bruderer/Getty Images)

When thinking about our digital future, look down and look east. Look down and admire your phone — this will serve as your portal to the digital world for the next decade, and our dependence will only continue to grow. The explosive adoption of this form factor is continuing to outpace any technological trend in history.

Now, look east and recognize that what happens in China will happen here, in the West, eventually. The Chinese market skipped the PC-driven digital revolution — and adopted the digital era via the smartphone. Some really smart investors have built strategies around this thesis and have quietly been reaping rewards due to their clairvoyance.  

China has historically been categorized as a market full of knock-offs and copycats — but times have changed. Some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies have come out of China over the past decade. The entrepreneurial work ethic in China (as praised recently by arguably the world’s greatest investor, Michael Moritz), the speed of innovation and the ability to quickly scale and reach meaningful populations have caused Chinese companies to leapfrog the market cap of many of their U.S. counterparts.  

The most interesting component of the Chinese digital economy’s growth is that it is fundamentally more “pure” than the U.S. market’s. I say this because the Chinese market is inherently “transactional.” As Andreessen Horowitz writes, WeChat, China’s  most valuable company, has become the “starting point” and hub for all user actions. Their revenue diversity is much more “Amazon” than “Google” or “Facebook” — it’s much more pure. They make money off the transactions driven from their platform, and advertising is far less important in their strategy.

The obsession with replicating WeChat took the tech industry by storm two years ago — and for some misplaced reason, everyone thought we needed to build messaging bots to compete.  

What shouldn’t be lost is our obsession with the purity and power of the business models being created in China. The fabric that binds the Chinese digital economy and has fostered its seemingly boundless growth is the magic combination of commerce and mobile. Singles Day, the Chinese version of Black Friday, drove $ 25 billion in sales on Alibaba — 90 percent of which were on mobile.

The lesson we’ve learned thus far in both the U.S. and in China is that “consumers spending money” creates the most durable consumer businesses. Google, putting aside all its moonshots and heroic mission statements, is a “starting point” powered by a shopping engine. If you disagree, look at where their revenue comes from…

Google’s recent announcement of Shopping Actions and their movement to a “pay per transaction model” signals a turning point that could forever change the landscape of the digital economy.  

Google’s multi-front battle against Apple, Facebook and Amazon is weighted. Amazon is the most threatening. It’s the most durable business of the four — and its model is unbounded on two fronts that almost everyone I know would bet their future on, 1) people buying more online, where Amazon makes a disproportionate amount of every dollar spent, and 2) companies needing more cloud computing power (more servers), where Amazon makes a disproportionate amount of every dollar spent.  

To add insult to injury, Amazon is threatening Google by becoming a starting point itself — 55 percent of product searches now originate at Amazon, up from 30 percent just a year ago.

Google, recognizing consumer behavior was changing in mobile (less searching) and the inferiority of their model when compared to the durability and growth prospects of Amazon, needed to respond. Google needed a model that supported boundless growth and one that created a “win-win” for its advertising partners — one that resembled Amazon’s relationship with its merchants — not one that continued to increase costs to retailers while capitalizing on their monopolization of search traffic.

Google knows that with its position as the starting point — with Google.com, Google Apps and Android — it has to become a part of the transaction to prevail in the long term. With users in mobile demanding fewer ads and more utility (demanding experiences that look and feel a lot more like what has prevailed in China), Google has every reason in the world to look down and to look east — to become a part of the transaction — to take its piece.  

A collision course for Google and the retailers it relies upon for revenue was on the horizon. Search activity per user was declining in mobile and user acquisition costs were growing quarter over quarter. Businesses are repeatedly failing to compete with Amazon, and unless Google could create an economically viable growth model for retailers, no one would stand a chance against the commerce juggernaut — not the retailers nor Google itself. 

As I’ve believed for a long time, becoming a part of the transaction is the most favorable business model for all parties; sources of traffic make money when retailers sell things, and, most importantly, this only happens when users find the things they want.  

Shopping Actions is Google’s first ambitious step to satisfy all three parties — businesses and business models all over the world will feel this impact.  

Good work, Sundar.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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HPE’s Aruba launches AI analytics for smart digital workspaces

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) company Aruba Networks has launched NetInsight, an AI-powered analytics tool that’s designed to help organisations set up, monitor, and manage IoT-based smart workspaces.

“Monitor, analyse, predict”

IoT networks can be complex, and integrating kit from different suppliers can be a challenge. Managing and maintaining these systems can also be a problem.

That’s where NetInsight comes in, according to the company. The new system has been designed to monitor IoT devices automatically, and to deliver predictive analytics about how well they’re functioning.

Aruba claims NetInsight will identify performance lags, suggest what might be causing them, and recommend configuration changes. The aim is to find and fix these problems before they impact on workflows or system performance within networks and organisations.

Improving the user experience

IoT implementations are often deployed in dynamic and unpredictable environments. But while these have evolved over time, many of the tools that IT professionals use to manage them have changed very little, and lack focus on the user experience.

However, IT managers increasingly demand tools that give them better insight into both problems and fixes at a glance. This is why NetInsight has been designed within the Aruba ‘mobile first’ approach, which was conceived to deliver information that is both accessible and actionable, said the company.

One customer is the University of Washington, which has to manage more than 12,000 Wi-Fi access points and over 150,000 devices on its campuses, hospitals, and clinics. In that environment, the network management challenges of size, complexity, unpredictable usage patterns, and performance-sensitive applications are significant, according to David Morton, director of Networks and Telecommunications at the University.

“Using Aruba NetInsight, we have access to network data with flow visualisations and actionable analytics,” he said. “That helps us make critical decisions about where expanded and new coverage is needed – such as outdoor Wi-Fi for new constructions. We can also validate the ‘before and after’ impacts of network changes, so we can proactively deliver the best possible user experience.”

• Aruba has also announced an expansion of its Aruba Edge Technology Partner Programme to include new partners CBRE, Deloitte, and global furniture maker Herman Miller.

Internet of Business says

As the IoT spreads, analytics and management tools are a fast-growing area. And as ever with connected programmes, the subtext is always data – not just data about users, but also about how the system itself is performing.

Read more: SAS, Cisco claim first platform for IoT analytics at the edge


The post HPE’s Aruba launches AI analytics for smart digital workspaces appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

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Why for manufacturers the customer must be at the centre of the digital strategy

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It’s easy to get obsessed with technology – it is the key enabler of today’s revolution – but the harder part of the transformation is cultural.

It’s about putting the customer experience and their business outcomes at the centre of everything. That means realigning engineering, manufacturing and the supply chain around delivering a world-class sales and service experience. It means new thinking about optimising customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics such as Customer Satisfaction Scores or Net Promoter Scores rather than production efficiency.

The list of technologies that can help this realignment is endless. Manufacturers should be investing in, or at least exploring, the internet of things (IoT) and industrial automation, cloud, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, 3D printing and more. Microsoft partner Columbus recently published a major industry report exploring how these emerging technologies fit into the wider digital transformation push of manufacturers, as part of a ‘Manufacturing 2020’ strategy.

But at the heart of the revolution is data. We are putting telemetry on everything, creating a data-driven culture with a single version of the truth. Fundamentally the fourth industrial revolution is being powered by the ubiquity of IoT data coming from sensors in the factory combining with data pouring in from the outside world, such as the wealth of information being generated by smart cities, smart buildings, smart offices and even connected cars. Choosing an IoT platform is a big decision; start by identifying one that can match the scale of your ambitions.

There is another convergence that is driving business transformation. Inside the firm, the digital technologies used by IT, operations and engineering are converging. By embracing the digital transformation, manufacturers are empowering employees to be more productive in modern workplaces with apps and intelligent working methods such as the use of cobots, where employees and robots co-operate “shoulder to shoulder”.

It’s also about optimising operations through smart factories and supply chain solutions powered by intelligent edge and cloud. It means the transformation of products and business models, using insights from smart connected products, advances in modelling such as “digital twins”, and more agile end-to-end business solutions.

We see manufacturers, and individual businesses within manufacturing organisations, at various stages in their journey to servitisation, transforming products into services. Some are driving more customer engagement through traditional call centres or differentiating their product through (sometimes IoT-connected) field service. Increasingly, though, we are also seeing the transition to full “product-as-a-service”, where they sell flying hours instead of jet engines; car coatings rather than paint; water savings rather than treatment plants; and cleaning services rather than cleaning chemicals.

This journey requires that they break down the silos between internal systems such as ERP, CRM, PLM, and SCM. Instead, they need to connect “things” – people, data and processes – with more agile systems of intelligence that can keep pace with the new speed of business inherent in delivering highly tailored products and services.

Manufacturers need smart factories that can make their smart products and be at the core of much more agile supply chains. They also need intelligent shop floor solutions and business apps that augment people and address the growing skills gap in manufacturing.

IoT platforms are a key enabler, yes. But we also need big data and AI on top to provide the insights that line workers and business decision-makers need. We need both intelligent cloud and intelligent edge technologies to power robots and cobots in the factory of the future.

Big data also needs big compute to accelerate the product innovation unleashed by enhanced insights into customers, enabled by the ability to iterate through digital twins of devices, product designs, supply chains, and customer usage in digital cities. Can your legacy ERP, CRM, PLM and SCM systems keep up with the new speed of business?

At the heart of this digital world, however, lies the simplicity of customer insight. Whether you’ve got a smart product that can beam back data on customer use, or you use traditional client engagement channels, it’s those insights that will differentiate your future products and services –and decide the success or failure of your digital transformation.

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Apple’s Digital Books tool for iPad transforms written reports with rich photos, illustrations

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Along with the introduction of a new iPad, Apple announced that users will no longer need a Mac to create educational materials, and will be able to create books directly on an iPad using Pages and the new Digital Books.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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Logitech built a $49 digital crayon for the new iPad

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Apple's new starter iPad is designed to make drawing more accessible, but the $ 99 it takes to buy the official Pencil for that iPad is a lot to swallow for cash-strapped educators. That's where Logitech might help: it's introducing a $ 49 Crayon acce…
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Morehshin Allahyari’s 3D-printed project pushes back against ‘digital colonialism’

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<em>Detail of Morehshin Allahyari’s Ya’Jooj Ma’Jooj sculpture. </em>

The Iranian artist created a series of sculptures of dark goddesses

Continue reading…

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Is Blockchain the Solution to the Crisis in Digital Advertising?

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Presented by: PreVUE Blockchain by DashBid

Last November, with concern about “fake news” and social media manipulation at a fever pitch, news broke about another kind of online trickery: A ring of criminal hackers was found to be stealing somewhere around $ 500,000 a day from the buyers of online advertising. The operation, dubbed “Hyphbot,” impersonated media operations like the New York Times and Forbes and then sold views and clicks that were actually generated from fraudulent sites by automated bots from malware-infected PCs.

It was a dramatic instance of a much broader epidemic. One stunning estimate, made in early 2017, put the annual amount of ad fraud worldwide at $ 16.4 billion. That number represents a huge loss for advertisers and clients, who are spending money that has no impact on consumers. But ad fraud also has much larger economic and social impacts, including implications for the health of global democracy. How much good reporting, for instance, could Time or The Guardian have done with even a tiny fraction of that $ 16.4 billion in stolen ad revenue?

The good news is that there may be a solution to all of this, and it’s just over the horizon. Blockchain, the same technology that helped create the digital currency Bitcoin, could solve many of the underlying problems that make ad fraud possible.

A Frustrated Dream

To understand why blockchain is potentially useful for preventing online ad fraud, you first have to understand why such fraud happens and the big promise it’s undermining. First, flash back to the information desert that was pre-internet advertising. Old media like print magazines, billboards, and even television offered relatively little data about who saw an ad. They generally only provided volume and broad demographics, both with a pretty substantial time-lag. Most ad sales were, and many still are, based on the prestige of a publisher or broadcaster and good salesmanship, more than on measurable results.

But by the 1990s, it started to seem that digital ads could change all of that. They would allow precise, real-time tracking not only of how often an ad was viewed, but the characteristics of its viewers, and even whether a viewer went on to engage with an ad or buy a product. It was thought this would dramatically increase the effectiveness of advertising. It would also make everyone a potential publisher — blowing the doors off the media establishment and letting everyone from solo bloggers to remote freelance reporters make ad money from their creativity and drive.

The problem is that it’s easy to subvert such a system, given the radically open structure of the internet. Anyone can connect to the internet from anywhere, and that openness makes tracking or confirming identity very difficult. Hyphbot was able to sell all those fake ads by simply creating domains that superficially mimicked those of prestige publishers, and there was no easy, automated way to distinguish them from the real thing.

To paraphrase a prescient New Yorker cartoon from 1993 on the internet: Nobody knows you’re a dog watching a heartwarming Colgate video thousands of times in a Russian basement.

The problem is worsened by the structure of the online advertising market. Most sales for display and video ads are “programmatic.” That is, at least partly automated. For the dream of data-rich internet advertising to scale up, it has to work this way. However, the architects of the sales process also sit between buyers and sellers – often in many layers. Because of a general lack of transparency in these operations, there are many opportunities for fraudulent ad inventory to enter the ecosystem.

Due to these drawbacks and failures, the dream of trackable, countable online advertising has only come true in a tragically limited sense. Facebook and Google have captured huge amounts of data about their users and solved some fundamental digital identity problems (though both have been fraud targets themselves). Because advertisers can target audiences based on trustworthy data from Facebook and Google, and buy fairly trustworthy views directly from them, they have come to dominate advertising online, with a combined 60% market share  in 2017.

That’s worrisome, and not just for publishers who would love to have more revenue from direct ad sales. For advertisers, Google and Facebook are hardly sexy destinations, and they offer relatively little variation in how they present ads. They’re particularly bad at doing what television and magazine ads have been good at for so long, which is giving a company or product a public personality. Such branding efforts lay the groundwork for long-term sales by making a brand seem sexy, comforting, or fun.  But the text bubbles, display ads, and 15-second videos that Google and Facebook traffic in truly suck at branding.

This shortcoming is just one example of a much deeper problem. Domination of online advertising by a few players, exacerbated by fraud in programmatic advertising, is bad for advertisers. It’s also bad for our economy and society, because it narrows our options for communicating.

In his new book “Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data,” Oxford economist Viktor Mayer-Schonberger makes the case that richer information flows, including targeted ads, are poised to accelerate the global economy dramatically by more efficiently connecting buyers and sellers. But Schonberger also says that a mix of different targeting algorithms is necessary for that to happen. Without many players, even the smartest markets would be subject to inefficient faults. A Google-Facebook duopoly of advertising, in short, is a real threat to a better future.

Fighting Ad Fraud With Blockchain

How do we fix the flaws – weak identity and poor transparency – that make open-market programmatic advertising so vulnerable to fraud? One notable effort in this direction is ads.txt, a new kind of metadata that publishers can use to “whitelist” trustworthy resellers of their ad space. But this has drawbacks, including requiring trust in publishers, which leaves a potential hacking vector in place and does nothing to police robotic views.

Blockchain technology may be a much better solution. First, the blockchain’s distributed, open, and secure database allows multiple actors in a supply chain to track custody in a way that’s completely transparent and auditable. This approach to ad tech parallels efforts underway in the shipping industry, where blockchain may help keep counterfeit or otherwise questionable goods out of the supply chain.

Second, and more radically, blockchain promises a more open solution to the identity problem than Facebook and Google’s walled gardens. IBM, for instance, is currently developing a blockchain-based digital identity solution that it hopes will be shared among governments and businesses. It or something like it could become a major linchpin of an updated digital ad environment, because it could confirm that an ad appeared on a real site and that a real person viewed it.

This is the first of three pieces we’ll be publishing on blockchain and ad fraud, and in the next two we’ll be diving deeper into precisely blockchain solves these problems for advertisers, while also opening up new possibilities for publishers and even audiences. But the fundamental truth is clear: Online advertising isn’t working, and it needs to, for everyone’s sake.

The preceding communication has been paid for by DashBid. This communication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares or securities in DashBid or any related or associated company. None of the information presented herein is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended. This communication does not constitute investment advice or solicitation for investment. Futurism expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from: (i) reliance on any information contained herein, (ii) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (iii) any action resulting from such information. 

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