Business Digital Techonomy Tucson

Six Ways Organizations Can Survive Until 2100

Vander Auwera_Orgs

I am a Techonomist, and this year will be attending my third Techonomy conference. Techonomy explores "the role of technology in business and social progress." I love the word “progress.” It has that gentle flavor of positivism; in the direction of better. I am more and more convinced that we don’t need innovation; we need progress. How is progress reflected in a modern company? What does a 21st century company look like? Or maybe we should start thinking about what a 22nd century company would look like.   More

Life Science

How a Stanford Scientist Used His Genome Data for Preventive Care

The much-heralded $1,000 genome isn't here yet, so if you have easy access to state-of-the-art sequencing technology and you lead a team of genetics experts, it must be pretty tempting to sequence your own genome. Craig Venter famously did it on the sly, and Mike Snyder, director of the Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine, couldn't resist either.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Will We Finally Get Serious About Climate Change?

To those of us who believe in science, which includes the rest of the world and apparently no more than half of Americans, it has been painful in recent years to see continued bizarre and destructive weather, even as data clearly suggested climate change is at least partly responsible. Now in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's devastation, experts like Eric Pooley of the Environmental Defense Fund are clearly articulating yet again why we must act. This will be hard politically, because reasonable action will by necessity be global, not just national. We're not too good at that here. Not to mention that many Americans, including powerful politicians, still willfully disregard reality and the likely costs of inaction. This essay by Pooley from The New Republic eloquently underscores the basics. Business Week's cover story entitled It's Global Warming, Stupid! also is a must-read. (Pooley, a great supporter of Techonomy, was my editor at Fortune.)   More

Techonomy Tucson

Techonomy Media Returns to Tucson, Announces Techonomy 2012

Techonomy Media today announces its annual conference, Techonomy 2012, a unique three-day multidisciplinary gathering at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Tucson, Arizona, taking place November 11-13, 2012.   More

Business

Google Casts a Big Shadow on Smaller Websites

As a go-to search engine and powerful online advertiser, Google has great influence over online consumers. But is this influence illegal? As Google has moved beyond search and search advertising and into online commerce and local reviews, antitrust officials have become suspicious. Regulators in the U.S. and Europe are conducting inquiries into whether Google is using its power to stifle competition—specifically whether the company uses its search engines to favor offerings like Google Shopping and Google Plus Local over rivals.   More

Learning

Ethiopian Kids Teach Themselves Using Only Tablet Computers

Can tablet computers educate the world? In two Ethiopian villages, illiterate children with no schooling are quickly learning their ABCs—and more—with Motorola Xoom tablets provided by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization. OLPC is experimenting to see if the children can teach themselves to read by playing around with the tablet and its preloaded educational apps and games. So far, the program has been a success—the children quickly figured out how to turn on and use the tablets, and within five days they were using 47 apps per child, per day. They retained information from the apps, and even customized their tablet desktops (working around OLPC software set up to prevent them from doing so). While the study is still in its early phases, these results confirm that technology will be an invaluable resource for educating the uneducated.   More

Digital Government

Why Revolution Can’t Come to North Korea

Mizrahi_North Korea

If you woke up tomorrow morning with the desire to, say, overthrow your government, you couldn't have picked a better day. Before you left the house, you could tag some inspirational photos of homemade signs on Facebook; Tweet out a few patriotic blasts with locations of the day's protest spots; email friends, family, and sympathetic bloggers with firsthand reports and mission statements; Skype with a foreign journalist in one of those romantic grainy interviews you see on CNN; and, if you had a few extra minutes, create a Freedom Playlist to rock out to, because every revolution needs a soundtrack. This is the golden age of grassroots regime change. Unless, of course, you woke up in North Korea.   More

Elections Government Life Science

Where Obama and Romney Stand on Life Sciences

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We have heard debates, convention speeches, and campaign events with lots of talk about jobs and foreign oil and national security. But what about where the candidates stand on another matter critical to innovation in our country and the future of healthcare: life sciences?   More

Digital Energy & Green Tech

Tech Companies Pitch in to Provide Storm Support to Startups

Many tech and media businesses have been disrupted by power loss and connectivity issues in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. But several companies, like the social media optimization service SocialFlow, are fortunate to have fully operational offices. In addition to being able to offer uninterrupted service to clients, they've been generous with their good fortune by opening their offices to entrepreneurs who need space and resources. The workspace sharing hub PivotDesk has stepped up to create a dedicated page for entrepreneurs affected by the storm. "Entrepreneurial communities thrive when people give before they get," reads the site, which lists available office spaces at tech companies throughout New York and New Jersey.   More

Digital

Instagram Offers Powerful Views of Storm

Hurricane Sande

When I checked my email this morning, my mother, who lives in France, had sent me links to two Instagram photos of the blackout and flooding in lower Manhattan. Some of the most visually stunning impressions of Sandy's impact have been shared via Instagram. According to Forbes.com's Steve Bertoni, even before the storm made landfall, there were 300,026 photos shared on the mobile site under #sandy; 183,003 tagged #hurricanesandy, and 27,564 under #frankenstorm (along with 1,467 photos tagged #huricanesandy, for those whose spelling gets shaky when the wind blows). As power remains out and cell networks stay up, Bertoni predicts Instagram, along with Twitter and Facebook, may prove "one of the key links to the outside world to millions of stranded people."   More

Life Science

Gamers Help Map Brain’s Machinery in Retina Unraveling Challenge

Citizen scientists playing the online game Eyewire are helping neuroscientists map the J cells of the retina—a task that will help understand the machinery of the mind. MIT professor of computational neuroscience, Sebastian Seung, described the approach at Wired 2012.   More

Digital Learning

$97,500 for an Online Degree? 2U Is Worth It, Say Students

Burke_2Tor1

Still think college degrees earned online are universally cheaper and less esteemed in the job market than traditional ones? In the case of graduate degrees offered by universities collaborating with a company called 2U, you’d be dead wrong.   More

Business

How to Sell Cloud Computing to Skeptical Executives

As companies adopt cloud computing solutions, CIOs universally report positive results. But what about their bosses, employees, partners, and customers? Are they finding cloud computing efforts to be beneficial? According to Andi Mann, vice president for strategic solutions at CA Technologies, business executives are not as excited as IT about cloud computing. Companies must realize that the cloud does more than cut costs.   More

Digital Media & Marketing

Facebook Is Making $3 Million a Day on Mobile Ads

Who says Facebook isn’t making any money? On Tuesday afternoon Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company is making $3 million per day in revenue from Facebook’s flagship mobile ad product, Sponsored Stories. Add in the revenue from Sponsored Stories on desktop and the figure rises to $4 million per day.   More

Digital Media & Marketing

Can Facebook Make Mobile Its Gold Mine?

Facebook has "finally gotten religion about the need to really focus on revenue and profit," says Techonomy Founder David Kirkpatrick in a recent interview on Bloomberg TV. Facebook has always focused more on its product and user satisfaction than monetization, but Kirkpatrick thinks it's taken the company too long to recognize that "everything is going mobile." Still, he believes mobile ads will be an effective revenue stream for the company. "Everybody's in the first inning of figuring out mobile advertising," he says. "This is a gold mine, but the problem is you've got to convince consumers that it's OK to get more data about them, because if you do, you can give them information that they perceive as useful."   More

Finance Startup Culture

Agile London Startups Give Banks a Run for Their Money

Refugees from London's financial sector are flocking to the the city's burgeoning startup scene, launching lean, Web-based companies that capitalize on public mistrust of banking institutions, and use tech tools to trim costs and improve customer service.   More

Digital

Windows May Be Your Father’s Operating System, But What’s an Operating System Anyway?

This friday Microsoft makes several epochal announcements, including a radically redesigned version of Windows that veers sharply from the established, tedious, conventions. Those who love tedious conventions will be annoyed, but those who like cool new stuff—most of us, these days—will likely be, at a minimum, intrigued, and perhaps enthralled. Microsoft should never be counted out. And alongside the new OS—coming in two versions for Intel and ARM chips—will be a new all-Microsoft device called Surface, based on ARM. It of course would love to be an iPad killer. Don't hold your breath for that one, but the signs suggest Surface will be a hit, at least with the vast numbers of corporations that are deeply committed to Microsoft products.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Chicago Lays Pollution-Fighting Pavement

In an effort to curb pollution one block at a time, the Chicago Department of Transportation is developing what it calls "the greenest street in America." A two-mile stretch of Blue Island Avenue and Cermak Road in the industrial Pilsen neighborhood, which sees heavy truck traffic, is made with pavement that both recycles air and is made from recycled materials. The "photocatalytic cement removes nitrogen oxide gases from the air through a catalytic reaction driven by UV light," as reported on SmartPlanet. The street also incorporates bioswales, rain gardens, and permeable pavements, designed to keep polluted water out of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan and divert rainfall from the sewers. According to the CDOT, 60% of the project's construction waste was recycled.   More

Jobs Learning Techonomy Tucson

It’s Time to Find the Women in Tech

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"Where are all the women?" is an irritatingly common refrain in tech circles. Plenty of executives and investors, male and female, are seeking to advance more women in technology. But how? We need to take a three-pronged approach, bolstering education, opportunity, and visibility for women in technology. Increasing the pipeline of qualified women is a first step. Improving girls' access to science, technology, engineering, and math education is vital: organizations like the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy are investing heavily in so-called STEM initiatives. Get girls interested in science and math, the thinking goes, and they grow up into women earning 33 percent more than their peers in non-STEM jobs.   More

Business Elections Government

Do Corporations Stoke Innovation or Smother It?

This election season has predictably amplified the argument that taxation and regulation suffocate growth and innovation. But Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston argues an opposing theory: that "corporate socialism" stifles innovation, and that the subversion of competitive markets is responsible for depressed domestic wages. As Exhibit A, he asserts that near-monopolies in the cable, Internet, and phone markets mean that in many areas of the U.S. connectivity speeds are both slow and expensive by world standards.   More