By Manny Schecter
The U.S. has endured numerous economic eras — farming, machines, manufacturing, transportation, and so on. Why has the U.S. economy survived and, more importantly, thrived throughout these periods? Were we just inherently gifted farmers? Were we all mechanically inclined? Are we experts at efficiency? If not, what then?
Our economy has proven flexible enough to successfully transition from one era to the next, but how? The answer lies not in details about the eras themselves, but in the innovation that enabled and sustained them. That is, the U.S. has been a leading innovator in each economic era. We are curious. We are creative. We are inventive. And this innovative spirit has been the common thread throughout.
Another reason why our nation has successfully navigated numerous economic eras is we have the most robust patent system in the world. The patent system is an engine for innovation. Specifically designed to promote innovation, the patent system provides the protection needed to ensure creative endeavors are not misappropriated by others who have not shouldered the same development expense. To allow otherwise would advantage copycats over inventors. Continue Reading »
By Steve Hamm
Aleksandra “Saska” Mojsilovic grew up in the former Yugoslavia before it splintered into nine nations, and, by the time she graduated with a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Belgrade in 1997, “The world I knew didn’t exist anymore,” she says. Today, as a scientist at the IBM Research lab in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., she’s making it possible for people to understand how the world works much more deeply than every before–so they can transcend traditional boundaries and make better decisions in their private and professional lives. Continue Reading »
By Chris Sciacca
Ballet or mathematics? Most ordinary eight year olds girls would probably choose ballet, but Maria Dubovitskaya was anything but an ordinary eight year old.
One day, after ballet lessons in the Moscow suburb of Domodedovo, Maria’s parents were running a little late. She heard other children, mostly boys her age, clacking away on IBM 286 PC keyboards in the classroom next door. Peeking through a crack in the door Maria was overcome with curiosity.
“I remember they were drawing different figures on the screens and magically changing their shapes and colors simply by typing on the keyboard. I just had to try this out for myself.”
When her parents finally arrived, she immediately asked them to sign her up for a computer class.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but thinking back now, my parents were very supportive. In fact, a few days later my dad bought me a programming book for kids called The Encyclopedia of Professor Fortran, and also brought home a very simple computer. I was hooked,” said Maria. Continue Reading »
By Rob White
What do Healthy Splash, Dance Penguin Style, Dino Boy, Burger Party, and Ziggy Bones all have in common?
They’re all mobile applications and they were all developed by a group of 3rd and 10th grade students in Ottawa, Canada, taking part in the TechU.me program this week.
This pioneering program encourages the development of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication skills in young people. Specifically, it links primary students with high-schoolers and private-sector industry mentors to collaborate on mobile educational games and app development. Continue Reading »
By John Armstrong
The current tech narrative is rife with examples of how data analytics has reshaped our world and the industries that play in it. Healthcare providers are able to analyze vast pools of data to improve patient care through greater understanding of an individual’s medical history or determine which treatment is likely to be most effective, for example. Retailers can keep tabs on their customer’s purchases to make product recommendations that are most inclined to catch their interest.
Buoyed by these successes, the industry is pushing data into new, unexpected corners. Recently, we’ve seen individual companies begin to experiment with how data can inform design, from a company’s products to the experiences they offer. It’s about taking something that was once largely art and enriching it through science.
For example, Nike experimented with what it calls “smart data,” using the right data and scenario planning to come up with more sustainable designs for its products, such as a dyeing technique that doesn’t need water. Continue Reading »
By Dan Ricci
Remember when car dealers pushed tinted windows, rust proofing, and keyless entry to sell cars? That’s ancient history for automakers. Today’s new competitive edge is centered around the Connected Car – and using real-time insights from big data inside and outside of vehicles to improve safety, enhance vehicle quality and enrich the driving and service experience.
Cars are rolling gold mines of information, gathering data about the driver, the driving environment and the car itself, as well as any connected devices. In fact, up to 25 gigabytes of data is generated from a single plug-in hybrid vehicle in just an hour.
And although auto manufacturers have been capturing telematics information for years, something different, more sophisticated is going on now and it has everything to do with big data and analytics. Continue Reading »
By Ron Ambrosio
Machines have been connecting to the Internet for many years. To the point that, in today’s Internet of Things, more “Things” are connected to the Internet than people. This evolution now has industrial equipment branching out of their closed control networks to connect to enterprise networks, and in some cases to the Internet, too. But it’s created a challenge in how that data is understood and used. So, we joined AT&T, Cisco, GE, and Intel to establish the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to help influence the global standards development process for how industrial equipment – like transformers in the grid – connect and communicate.
In the same way you connect to the Internet, whether over wifi or a mobile network, no matter where you go or what device you use, proprietary industrial equipment needs a standard way to communicate, too. Continue Reading »
By Bryan Smith
A generational shift is occurring in large organizations around the globe, in which first and second-generation mainframe programmers are retiring from the workforce and being replaced by millennials, eager to jumpstart their careers.
After all, people have a tendency to go where the jobs are, and mainframes provide a great opportunity for engineers just entering the workforce – not only to find positions, but to have a clear career path for decades to come.
Here at Rocket Software, for example, we have developers that support dozens of mainframe products. So we need skilled programmers and developers to keep innovating. That’s why we’ve hired a number of new team members and immersed them in the mainframe universe. If you’ve been in the business as long as I have, it’s refreshing to hear what up-and-coming mainframe professionals are saying about this technology and the opportunities it provides.
Here’s what some of our under-40 Rocketeers are saying: Continue Reading »
By Roger Pilc
Social and mobile platforms and applications are changing the way we communicate, run our businesses, buy and share goods and services. In our personal lives, we often see the social mobile revolution as a great virtual enhancement to our real-life interactions. For lack of a better phrase, mobile devices have almost single handedly cured the fear of missing out because we’re now always connected. For businesses, it’s fast becoming a competitive game changer that helps reach customers across vertical industries.
Checking in at a concert venue or adding a location to vacation photos shared in social media is handy for many of us as consumers. For businesses such as insurance firms, banks and retailers, adding location intelligence means saving and often generating millions of dollars as they assess, for example, how many insurance policy holders in a flood zone also experienced a hurricane, or how many ATMs and bank branches should be placed in the world’s largest cities, and where should each be placed. The economic risks and rewards grow very high, very fast. Continue Reading »
By Jim Spohrer
Moore’s Law describes the phenomenon that drives rapid progress in the electronics industry. Taking advantage of the laws of physics, engineers have been able to pack transistors ever more densely onto semiconductor chips, doubling their capacity every 18-24 months. The effect of this so-called “scaling” phenomenon is the ability to do more with less space, continuously increasing the capabilities and lowering the cost of computing. Rapid progress is built into the system.
Society’s efforts to scale higher education have not been so successful. Sure, the world’s developed economies handle an immense quantity of university students. In the United States alone, nearly 5,000 institutions of higher education serve more than 20 million students. Yet the way we have scaled up to produce the number of knowledge workers required by modern society is ineffective and unsustainable. In the US, the cost of higher education has increased by 1,120% over the past 35 years, four times the increase in the consumer price index. And stasis, rather than progress, is built into the system. Continue Reading »