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How Drones Can Be Used To Find You In the Remotest of Places…

December 20, 2014 by  

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Last summer, a Wisconsin search effort was under way to find 82-year-old Guillermo DeVenecia, a missing ophthalmologist who suffers from dementia. After a three-day effort involving search dogs, a helicopter and hundreds of people, DeVenecia was found by a consumer drone.
David Lesh uses his drone to shoot videos for his Colorado ski and snowboard business but decided to help with the search while visiting his girlfriend. It’s stories like these that provide an inkling of our future, one where drones will play a prominent role in many aspects of life. What is truly remarkable is that this scenario played out just four years after the introduction of the first consumer drone that helped mainstream the category. At the January 2010 CES, Paris-based Parrot S.A. introduced the AR.Drone, a $300 quadcopter equipped with a video camera and controlled by an iPhone. Parrot Bebop Parrot was the drone trendsetter, launching the first consumer drone in January 2010. Its latest state-of-the-art model is the Bebop drone, which retails for $500. Once considered a toy, drones, which are also called UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles, have blossomed into powerful aerial video tools that are reshaping many industries and…

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Merry Christmas From the Digital #RuralRockstars of South Africa

December 19, 2014 by  

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I almost never post a video that touts a corporate award in it, however truth be told it is big business who often sponsors awards, and whether it’s entirely a PR play for them or they really want to change the world, bottom line, change can happen as a result. That said, I still wouldn’t have posted it, however I have a personal story connected to South Africa, women and education and am passionate about change for all three. As someone who has lived in South Africa a couple of times, and attended her 12th grade year there, I have a soft spot for the country. I ran across this video through one of our RSS feeds and rather than post it as it was, I decided to write about it through my eyes. I learned about the deeds of the Good Work Foundation (GWF), which helps 185 rural adults qualify for their International Computer Driving licenses. What’s even cooler is that 81% of the students are women, as is the CEO Kate Groch. Go girls and go South Africa! A staggering 7,394 online hospitality modules were completed and for the first year ever, 139 adults…

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The Home May Become Connected, But What’s Useful & What’s Not?

December 17, 2014 by  

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When Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in January 2014, it loudly signaled that the Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Home trends had arrived. But it also caused more market confusion, as many now question Google’s motivations in the smart home market.
Connected devices are proliferating at a rapid clip. Besides the connected thermostat, we now have connected beds, connected toothbrushes, lightbulbs and light switches. Any device that is connected to the internet is considered a member of the Internet of Things.

Market Forecasts

It’s clear that 2015 is going to be a pivotal year, when the pixie dust starts to settle in the connected home market:
  • Market growth – According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Parks Associates, shipments of both smart-home devices and controllers will grow by 20%, or more, annually in coming years.
  • Smart home devices – In 2015, U.S. smart-home device shipments will reach 25 million. By 2017, Parks estimates, total shipments of such devices as smart thermostats and smart door locks will reach 36 million:
  • Smart home controllers – Smart-home controller or “hub” shipments are predicted to increase 36% in 2015 to nearly 2 million. A 32% growth rate in


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Awareness Alert for Travelers: Cyber Security & What You Need To Know

December 13, 2014 by  

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The startling cyber intrusion of Sony is rattling America. It’s one thing to have the credit card accounts of 55 million customers hacked, it’s another to have salaries, strategy presentations and confidential communication between your top executives and Hollywood stars spilled all over the internet.
Well, World War III is already here — And we’re losing.
Think that’s an exaggeration? If indeed tiny North Korea is responsible for the Sony intrusion, just imagine what would happen if Russia or China would engage in that sort of cyber terrorism, if they already haven’t that is. And the toll this warfare is exacting from society is truly stunning:
  • Security spending – Gartner expects worldwide information security spending to reach $71 billion in 2014, a 7.9% year-over-year increase. The researcher predicts security spending in 2015 will increase 8.2% to $77 billion.
  • Cyber attacks growth – The GAO reports that the number of cyber incidents affecting computer systems and networks continues to rise. Between 2006 and 2012, the number of cyber incidents reported by federal agencies to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has grown 782% (PDF):
  • Information security


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Paperless Restrooms Send User Generated Alerts

December 6, 2014 by  

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GGWC Flush with the success of a pilot program at its Silicon Valley HQ, Intel is rolling out digital restrooms across 22 campuses globally. From overflowing toilets to empty towel dispensers to faulty faucet motion sensors, Intel employees can now swipe their washroom maintenance requests using smartphones. Near field communications (NFC) chips  installed in the restrooms of Intel’s Robert Noyce Building at the beginning of 2014let employees anonymously report maintenance needs with a tap of their mobile phone. Those without NFC-enabled smartphones have the option to scan a QR code. Based on positive feedback from the Silicon Valley pilot, Intel is re-plumbing restrooms in all of its global offices to include NFC and QR codes. In order to ensure a clean flowing process, signage is being translated into eight different languages and the mobile application is being updated to have the most commonly reported restroom issues being the most accessible within the app. Each of the restroom signs is custom-coded for that particular restroom so that when the mobile application is triggered, it is for that restroom. 2,215 signs with NFC/QR codes will be hung worldwide. Streamlining the service request process addressed a big challenge for facility…

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The 2014 Washington Ideas Forum Explores Issues Under the Hood

December 4, 2014 by  

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A good indication that a thought provoking conversation has taken place is the “legs” it has in your mind and in the minds of others who share the experience. Such is the case with the Washington Ideas Forum – sponsored by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute. And with the recent news of Chuck Hagel stepping down as Secretary of Defense, one of the most compelling speakers at the Conference, capturing a taste of it seemed even more appropriate.  So, at the invitation of Steve Clemons, DC Editor at Large for The Atlantic, I spent two incredible days listening to all things innovative and important. Now, my sister (Marlene Colucci, Executive Director, US Business Council) and I have known Steve for about 30+ years. When he ran the Japan America society in Los Angeles, I always enjoyed tagging along and engaging in compelling discussions surrounding the East-West debate of the 90’s. Steve has a penchant for creating thought provoking conversations and visibility into issues and verticals that lack transparency. So we both knew this was going to be one great show. It appears he’s matched in that passion…

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Silicon Valley’s Liquid Amorality – Water Will Find Its Way

November 27, 2014 by  

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OneHackerWay620-2.jpg The Facebook campus sits next to colorful algae on salt flats along San Francisco Bay. Ten years ago in mid 2004 I left the Financial Times and started publishing Silicon Valley Watcher. Silicon Valley was starting to wake from a long downturn from the dotcom deflation and Google’s August IPO was a good sign after several years of bad news. The culture of Silicon Valley was different then. The software engineering community was more radical than today, and far more socially conscious. The open source software movement was very strong among engineers and there was overall an anti-commercial attitude and a respect for protecting an open commons. It shared much in spirit with the radical English groups from the mid-seventeeth century such as The Diggers, and also with the The Diggers of the 1960s in San Francisco, who ran free stores and served free food from their kitchens. The business bible of 2004 was The Cluetrain Manifesto and it came directly from that culture. Here’s an excerpt:
…People of Earth The sky is open to the stars. Clouds roll over us night and day. Oceans rise and fall. Whatever you may have heard, this is our


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Surf Summit, Where Technology, Entrepreneurism & Surfing Meet

November 19, 2014 by  

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Imagine a conference that combines surfing, technology and entrepreneurship on Ireland‘s magical wild coast. A subset if you will of Dublin’s Web Summit, the first ever held Surf Summit brought 200 attendees to the west coast of Ireland to join in discussions, surfing and other adventurous and cultural activities. When I told people I was going to an event where they planned to surf in Ireland’s coastal waters in the middle of November, they looked at me as if I was a bit mad, unless of course they happened to be Canadian or from a Nordic or Celtic country. You see, the Scots, the Welsh, the English, the Scandinavians and the Canadians thought this sounded perfectly normal, for when you come from a country where it is cold and rainy, you need to have a “can-do” attitude regardless of the climate or you simply won’t experience anything at all. I learned this from living in England many moons ago and it has made me a lot more resilient because of it. Iceland is another great example of where their personal and cultural life infiltrates…

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