4 innovative use of technology

Cloud, Big Data, Analytics, Mobile and Social are used to help businesses address heightened consumer expectations for seamless, connected experiences. Below are four such innovations in different sectors:

Analytics for ATMs ATM analytics allows a bank to track its ATM network to help predict outages due to cash shortages or maintenance issues. Predictive analytics can help suggest cash refill and ATM maintenance strategy. Based on predictive model suggestion, it can point precise locations of ATMs, where action needs to happen. The technology helps in reducing reporting turnaround time and optimises ATM cash planning in the bank. Further it provides the ability to quickly determine and mediate machine outages.

Effective commodity trade forecasts using Big Data Based on Big Data and Analytics, another innovation is targeted at suppliers of commodities such as wheat and rice. Wheat is grown in Punjab, for example, and its yield is heavily dependent on weather. The ideal temperature for its growth is 25-35 degrees centigrade. However, if the temperature increases to around 40 degrees centigrade, then the yield is going to drop. Also, it needs to be stored in granaries, which needs to be at temperature of around 24 degrees centigrade. The crop also has a limited shelf life of a week. So, gap between demand and supply will lead to increase or decrease in wheat prices. By using Big Data this difference in demand-supply can be managed.

Emergency Help via Internet of Things and Remote Patient Monitoring Another new innovation is around the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology that can be used to help remotely monitor patients’ conditions. It help physicians and doctors to analyse the patients’ health status and provide medical consultation anywhere, anytime. The tool can also make use of data from diagnostic sensors, which are connected to a wearable device. Via the cloud, data from the wearable device connects with an application running on Bluemix, which analyses relevant health information and then informs the attendant and the doctor of any problems. This instrumented solution could be especially useful in urgent medical situations by connecting emergency vehicles with a Bluemix-based centralised traffic control, transmitting positioning data and enabling traffic control to clear the traffic for the vehicle.

Insights for Predictive Marketing Predictive marketing integrates social analytics and smarter commerce products to provide insights into personalised cross-channel marketing campaigns. The innovation can enable marketers to “pivot” from analysing anonymous social identities to reach real consumers with customised messages. Analysis of social media can provide an additional input in the creation of models that predict customer behavior. The outcomes can enable an organisation to interact with them in a way to enhance experience across each touch point. As a result, the innovation can support businesses to leverage the relevant information from social media for productive decision making. They will be able to understand their differentiators and competitors vulnerabilities.

From: http://cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com/

Facebook Experiments With Disappearing Posts

The ephemeral messaging apps space dominated by Snapchat keeps growing. Now it seems Facebook is adding to the trend again — in a whole new way.In a question and answer section on Facebook, the company now describes how to set a post you’ve published to expire, a process that allows the message to disappear.

Not everyone can do it, however. Under the question “How do I post something and set it to expire?” Facebook’s new answer cautions that states “setting posts to expire is only available in some areas right now.”

“We’re running a small pilot of a feature on Facebook for iOS that lets people schedule deletion of their posts in advance,” a Facebook spokesperson toldMashable. The company didn’t offer further details on how the process works.

The answer was first spotted by TheNextWeb, which reports some users are showing post-publishing deletion options of one hour to seven days.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has tried its hand at entering the disappearing message space. The Poke app, which was quietly shuttered earlier this year, was described by users as a near replica of Snapchat — the company that reportedly turned down Facebook’s $3 billion acquisition offer last year.

In recent months, the company launched a similar app, Slingshot, while Facebook-owned Instagram launched Bolt. Both apps focused, in part, on allowing users to send messages that can expire.

From: mashable.com

Facebook apologizes for rejecting dad’s ad to help baby


Facebook has apologised to a father after rejecting his advertisement on the social networking site asking people to donate money for his two-month-old son’s heart transplant.

NEW YORK: Facebook has apologised to a father after rejecting his advertisement on the social networking site asking people to donate money for his two-month-old son’s heart transplant.Hudson Bond has been diagnosed with the heart disease called cardiomyopathy (pertaining to abnormal heart muscle).

Bond’s parents sought Facebook’s help to raise $75,000 needed for the surgery by posting the baby’s photo in a hospital bed, ABC11 reported.

Facebook replied to the ad, saying the photo was “scary, gory or sensational and evokes a negative response”.

“Images including accidents, car crashes, dead and dismembered bodies, ghosts, zombies, ghouls and vampires are not allowed,” it replied.

Later, Facebook issued an apology, allowing the photo to stay on the site.

(Picture courtesy: Hudson’s Heart page on Facebook)

“I read Facebook’s response on media outlets. They apologised for the inconvenience this caused my family,” father Kevin Bond said in a Facebook post.

According to Facebook, the post could now be boosted to amplify its reach.

The family has so far raised almost $30,000 for Hudson’s heart transplant.

From: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Cosmos Browser uses SMS to provide web access without Wi-Fi or mobile broadband

Originally posted on Gigaom:

In regions without mobile broadband, or where it’s still too expensive to have a data plan, other ways to connect to the web are always welcome. Say hello to Cosmos Browser, which provides web access using SMS so that you can view web pages without using Wi-Fi or even a lowly 2G network. Using Cosmos on Android, you enter a web address which is sent to back-end servers through a text message. The servers strip out CSS and JavaScript from the content at that URL, compress the information and sends it back via SMS. The host app then decompresses the site info and renders the HTML. Clever!

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Twitter Taps HackerOne To Launch Its Bug Bounty Program

Following security breaches that have shook confidence in many online services, Twitter today announced the launch of its bug bounty program that will pay security researchers for responsibly reporting threats through HackerOne, a bug bounty program provider. Twitter will pay a minimum of $140 per threat reported on Twitter.com, ads.twitter, mobile Twitter, TweetDeck, apps.twitter, and its iOS and Android apps. Twitter actually began working with HackerOne three months ago according to its bug timeline, but it seems the Apple celebrity photo hack has catapulted cybersecurity to a new level of mainstream interest, and Twitter wanted to show that it takes keeping its users safe quite seriously.

Twitter writes “To recognize their efforts and the important role they play in keeping Twitter safe for everyone we offer a bounty for reporting certain qualifying security vulnerabilities.” Already the program has recognized 44 hackers for helping Twitter close 46 bugs.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 11.01.46 AM

Some large companies like Facebook run their own bug bounty programs, butHackerOne offers a plug-and-play solution for companies that want the benefits of crowdsourced bug hunting without having to fiddle with adminsitering the program themselves. Others that employ HackerOne include Yahoo, Square, MailChimp, Slack and Coinbase. HackerOne recently raised $9 million to expand and market its programs. HackerOne was co-founder by Alex Rice, a former Facebook security team member who saw the social network’s self-run bug bounty program save the company from tons of threats.

For comparison, Twitter offers a higher minimum reward than the $50 Yahoo provides or the $100 from Slack, but significantly less than the $1,000 bounty from Coinbase, $250 from Square, or the $500 Facebook provides with its in-house program.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 11.29.34 AM

Some are calling on Apple to work more closely with outside security research following the celebrity photo iCloud hacks this week. Instead, yesterday itpassed blame on to users for not choosing more secure passwords or enabling additional protections. While it does cooperate with independent experts viaVUPEN, some believe a more open program could have identified some of the tactics used to steal access to iCloud accounts of stars like Jennifer Lawrence. Perhaps Twitter’s move will encourage Apple to rethink how it includes the community in boosting security.

[Image Credit: Screenrant via Star Wars]

From: http://techcrunch.com/

IIM Calcutta to incubate 40 startups in 5 years

imageThe Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta has launched a new startup incubator as it looks to tap into India’s burgeoning start-up eco-system.

The incubator, IIMCalcutta Innovation Park (IIP), which has been registered as a Section 8 company under the new Companies Act, plans to host about 40 startups over five years. It will focus on five key sectors-healthcare, education, clean technology, lifestyle and analytics.

“The incubator will focus on entrepreneurial ventures developing product as well as delivery of services,” said Ashok Banerjee, dean, new initiatives and external relations, at IIM Calcutta.

Energy solutions venture ONergy, Doctors For You and primary education-focused company Edwell will be among the first batch of incubated start-ups, while two more ventures are expected to join over the next two months.

IIP, which will provide seed funding of 5- 50 lakh for an undisclosed stake in the ventures, will receive about 7 crore in funding from the Department of Science and Technology, which will be allocated over the same period. It also plans to raise up to 20 crore from its alumni.

The management institute counts notable entrepreneurs such as TutorVista founder Krishnan Ganesh, Rediff’s Ajit Balakrishnan and Rocket Internet-backed Jabong’s Praveen Sinha among its alumni.

IIP will also look to develop start-up enterprises from the eastern part of the country, a region not traditionally known for emerging enterprises. “The east is still a virgin territory in terms of entrepreneur development, and where we hope to foster change,” said Banerjee.

The development comes at a time when private sector incubators and accelerators have taken the lead in building the country’s still-nascent startup eco-system.

“The big issue has been the overall infrastructure. Unlike in the US, our really great academic institutions are standalone ones. There is no central ecosystem yet,” said Ajit Rangnekar dean, Indian School of Business, which runs the DLabs business incubator.

Apart from ISB, IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Madras and IIT Bombay are among the handful of education institutions to have established a strong reputation in incubating startups.

IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship has seeded over 100 start-ups, including traffic monitoring system Birds Eye Systems and healthcare delivery company Forus, with over 80% going on to raise external capital. “It’s been pretty dismal. Two or three institutions have done a great job, but the others have just paid lip service,” said Rajesh Sawhney, founder of GSF Accelerator, a leading start-up accelerator in the country.

From: http://content.timesjobs.com/

How Taking Time Off Can Help You Get Ahead [by Bob Sullivan]

As summer comes to a close, many Americans find themselves lamenting the vacations they didn’t take.

Whether it’s due to stress over the work that will pile up while they’re gone, or concerns that their employer will realize that the company can get by without them, the U.S. Travel Association said last week that 40 percent of Americans don’t use all of their vacation days.

But what if taking time off actually helped you get ahead at work?

Want a raise? Try taking a vacation - woman on beach

Image credit: Shutterstock

According to internal research by audit firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young), employees who use more vacation days end up with better performance reviews.

“In the U.S. and Canada … for each 10 vacation hours a person took, we found on average that performance reviews were 8 percent higher,” said Maryella Gockel, flexibility strategy leader at EY.

Read More: Is going on vacation becoming too much work?

Vacation also helped slow down employee turnover, with every 40 hours of free time extending employees’ stay at the company by eight months, Gockel said.

Anne Weisberg, senior vice president at the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit that examines the “work-life fit,” said that while people know there is a correlation between taking time off and better work performance, there is little research into the connection.

Read More: Tips for vacationing on a budget

“We all know this intuitively, that we are not performing at our best when exhausted,” she said. “Taking a break can bring you back and increase your performance. People on some level understand that. The question is what is the tone being set by the team leader?”

Although it can be difficult to measure the correlation between taking time off and performance, Ken Matos, senior director of research at the Families and Work Institute, cited some findings that parallel the results discovered by EY.

From: http://www.entrepreneur.com/