The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Displaying articles for: February 2012

Leap day 2012 – it should be an interesting day

leap day.pngIt doesn’t come around often, but today is a leap day.  There are some interesting traditions and reasons for having the leap day. Some people actually make a plan on what to do to take advantage of this extra day.


It will be interesting to see how the technology community celebrates leap day – beyond Microsoft releasing the Customer Preview of Windows 8.

Born to code…

scratch.jpgTechnology review asks the question How Young is Too Young to Learn to Code?In the article they talk about a report by Heather Chaplin from KQED about new software that will be aimed squarely at children who have barely learned their colors, much less how to read.


Talk about Digital Natives…


Anyone who has an iPhone and a two year old will probably tell you that touch interfaces are allowing children to spend more time with computers than ever. Although too much screen time in a day has been linked to psychological problems.


The redesigned programming environment is called Scratch, Jr. You can access the development environment and run programs from the web. It is a re-designed version of Scratch, which has been used to teach programming principles to elementary school-age children, that has been simplified. When I looked at the commands it reminded me of a graphical version of a simplified Logo.


I’ve seen some business process modeling tools that could use some of the techniques from this environment

Richness vs. Reach or why do I have better IT at home than at work?

Apps, social media & collaboration tools have created a powerful personal IT experience. In many ways a better one than most people experience at work. How can we leverage this power in the business environment?

Simulating reactions in the world of tomorrow

business gaming.pngAnyone who has looked at the goarmy efforts know that the US army is into virtual worlds. This form of serious gaming is regularly used to develop skills and strengthen understanding.  The Army’s latest call for research proposals is looking for ways to develop a “Virtual Laboratory of Aggregate Behavior,” (VLAB). This program proposes the development of a digital domain wherein hundreds or thousands of individuals could be involved in the Army’s “randomized controlled trial experiments”. We’re not talking about AmericasArmy or other typical military simulations here though…


They want a simulation platform that can offer robust testing for behavioral theories. For example, understanding how a community will react during a crisis, or how and why certain groups come together in a situation while others fall into chaos.


There are numerous social projects already underway like the Pentagon’s Minerva program (focused on bridging the cultural divide) and the Army’s Human Terrain System that embedded social scientists into combat units. Most of these are focused on smaller groups though. This research proposal is trying to look at the macro level.


Since some of these efforts deal with commerce issues and the behavior of various types of groups, it seems like the results developed here would be of interest to businesses as well.

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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