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2 months

Artificial Intelligence and Education

Artificial intelligence (AI) in education can help both students and teachers explore unprecedented opportunities.

2 months

How To Build A Smart Data Hub

There’s a concept that’s been floating around from the realm of Big Data called a “data lake”. Now, personally, this is a remarkably misleading term, as it implies that data is like a liquid that flows, rather than the representations of people, businesses, contracts, books, widgets and anything else that can be represented as entities of some sort. You can’t dip a glass into a data lake and get some data. As metaphors go, it’s wrong in very nearly every way, and when dealing with virtual content, metaphor is astonishingly real.

2 months

The Gig Economy: License to Exploit

Frederick Taylor has a lot to answer for. The father of "efficiency management", Taylor made a name for himself in the early twentieth century by consulting with companies, offering his services to improve a new metric that he had devised called "productivity". He would go onto factory floors with stopwatches and clipboards and would record exactly how long it took a given laborer to accomplish a given task. He would then take the best of these measurements and declare that this was where his factory workers should be producing at, proceeding to remove all "unnecessary" breaks or downtime for those workers.

2 months

How Structured Is Your Data?

Programmers love a fight. Ask a roomful of programmers the question "EMACS or VI", leave the room for coffee, come back half an hour later and there will be blood on the floor. For data storage buffs, the same question, at least lately, comes down to SQL vs. NoSQL. Each has its defenders, its book of holy writ, its benchmarks and success stories ... and each has its dark secrets and stunning failures as well.

2 months

Feast or Famine: What Happens When the Job Ends

As a consultant, I go through periods where the work is just not there. This is not a case of being unemployed, rather, it is rather the default mode of existence for independent contractors who have to simultaneously do the technical work and nonetheless sell their skills.

2 months

Maybe It's Not Agile

I was, once upon a time, a huge proponent of agile. I thought the manifesto made a lot of sense, and it fit with my observation that a small group of skilled, dedicated programmers, working closely with the client, can almost always produce software more efficiently than a large consulting firm. Yet, over time, I've also seen Agile applied at companies with dozens or hundreds of programmers, and if anything the results were worse than that hokey old religion of Waterfall.

2 months

How Energy Storage Will Ensure the Cleantech Industry Sees More Green

Since Thomas Edison discovered electricity, the ability to store massive amounts of energy has confounded scientists, engineers and even the “The Father of Electricity,” himself. Without a storage component, the cleantech industry will not be able to experience sustainable growth as price spikes, security threats, instability and volatility remain ongoing challenges.