Monday, January 22, 2018
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IoT pegged to take centre stage in IT strategy

Posted by pakin On December - 19 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) platforms will dominate enterprise IT strategies in 2018, according to Hitachi Vantara.

Information technology will adopt IoT platforms to facilitate the application of IoT solutions, and must work closely with the operational side of businesses to focus on specific needs and define the scope of IoT projects, according to a company survey of 2018 IT trends.

“Building IoT solutions that provide real value can be difficult without a deep understanding of the business to properly simulate and digitalise operational entities and processes,” said Hubert Yoshida, chief technology officer of Hitachi Vantara, a subsidiary of Hitachi.

Russell Skingsley, chief technology officer at Hitachi Vantara’s Asia-Pacific division, said enterprises should find IoT platforms that offer open, flexible architecture, simplifying integration with complimentary technologies. The chosen platform should further provide an extensible “foundry” on which to build a variety of industry applications companies need to design, create, test and deploy quickly, with minimal hassle, he said.

For enterprises that started their digital transformation this year, the first problem they ran into was the ability to access their data. Data is often locked in isolated islands that make it costly to extract and use. These islands were not built to be shared, and many contain data that is duplicated, obsolete or no longer used because of changes in business processes or ownership.

“Data scientists tell us that 80% of the work involved in gaining analytical insight from data is the tedious work of acquiring and preparing it. The concept of a data lake is alluring, but you can’t just pour your data into one system, unless it has been properly cleansed, formatted and indexed or tagged with metadata so that the data lake is content-aware. Otherwise you end up with a data swamp,” said Mr Skingsley.

While object storage can take in massive amounts of unstructured data and provide metadata management and search capabilities, the capacity to be context-aware is missing. Object storage now has the capability to be “smart” with software that can search for and read content in multiple structured and unstructured data silos and analyse it for cleansing, formatting and indexing.

Hitachi Vantara said this year would witness a growth in analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) across the board as companies see real returns on their investments. According to IDC, revenue growth from information-based products will double the rest of the product and services portfolios for a third of Fortune 500 companies by the end of 2017.

“AI became mainstream with consumer products like Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri,” said Mr Skingsley.

Video content analytics will be a “third eye” for greater insight, productivity and efficiency in a number of domains beyond public safety. Algorithms that automatically detect and determine temporal, spatial and relational events combined with other IoT information such as mobile phone GPS and social media feeds can be applied to a wide range of businesses like retail, healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, education and entertainment.

Mr Yoshida said video can provide unique functions, like ego motion — 3D motion used in autonomous robot navigation — behaviour analysis and other forms of situational awareness.

“Retailers are using video to analyse customer navigation patterns and dwell time to position products and sales assistance to maximise sales. Video analytics relies on good video input so it requires video enhancement technologies like de-noising, image stabilisation, masking and super resolution. Video analytics may be the sleeper in terms of analytics for ease of use, ROI (return on investment) and generating actionable analytics,” said Mr Yoshida.

IT organisations have a legacy of siloed operations with server, network, storage, database, virtualisation and now cloud administrators passing change notices back and forth to deliver a business outcome. In fact, many would argue that IT was more focused on IT outcomes than business outcomes.

“Even when data centres use technology to create shared data repositories to break down the data silos, the different functions were still focused on their own objectives and not on the overall business objectives. Now with cross-functional teams using iterative agile sprints of two to four weeks, IT can focus on relevant business outcomes and deliver it more efficiently,” said Mr Skingsley.


Digital TV players log on to YouTube

Posted by pakin On October - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

As the media landscape has totally changed over the past three years, digital TV operators have tried to draw more people to watch their content on TV and digital channels such as YouTube, Facebook and Line TV.

The Electronic Transactions Development Agency recently reported YouTube is the most popular social media platform among Thais, followed by Facebook and Line.

Thais spend more than six hours a day on the internet, with YouTube providing daily entertainment for many, offering an opportunity for digital TV operators to focus on the changing media landscape.

Recently two digital TV giants — WorkPointTV and GMM Grammy (ONE31 and GMM 25) — announced they both had surpassed 10 million YouTube subscribers. The two operators believe the figure reflects the success of the digital transformation.

According to an industry source who asked not to be named, surpassing 10 million YouTube subscribers is not easy as the digital TV operators have to produce massive amounts of content for the platform consistently to draw organic users.

Phawit Chitrakorn, a member of the group’s executive committee and chief executive of GMM Music, said that GMM Grammy Official’s 10 million YouTube subscribers is only one of the successes of the channels under GMM Grammy such as Genie records, Grammy Gold, GMM25, ONE31 and GDH.

“The number of GMM Grammy’s YouTube subscribers reflects that the media landscape has really changed and we will keep focusing on these channels to increase audience engagement,” said Mr Phawit.

WorkPointTV’s YouTube Channel cemented its social network popularity with the launch of the Mask Singer singing contest, with executives commenting it is a great start for the channel.

WorkPointTV and GMM Grammy (ONE31 and GMM 25) have already been awarded the Diamond Play Button from YouTube as their subscribers surpassed 10 million people and the two operators anticipate receiving the Ruby Play Button for more than 50 million subscribers in the future.

The industry source said that earning revenue from YouTube is secondary for these two channels because the main focus is on increasing engagement with audiences and creating awareness in the wider community.

Nielsen Thailand reported ad spending across all media outlets fell by 8.69% in the first nine months to 79 billion baht because companies shifted their ad budgets to cheaper and more specific online media.

The biggest drop in ad spending was in the magazine sector, falling 35.8% to 1.45 billion baht for the period, followed by newspapers, which fell 21.6% to 5.82 billion. Cable and satellite fell 18.1% to 2.32 billion baht.

Conversely, ad spending for in-store channels jumped 33.8% to 737 million baht, while it climbed 16.4% to 4.56 billion for public transport and 21.2% to 5.11 billion for cinemas.

Mio Slice

Posted by pakin On October - 12 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The Mio Slice lets you get real-time heart rate intensity feedback with a personal score. It tracks heart rate, resting heart rate, sleep, calories burnt, steps, distance and time, and automatically monitors sleep quality. You can receive phone call and text message alerts, and it’s water resistant up to 30m. Battery life is up to five days depending on usage and setting.

Filip 2

The Filip 2 offers two-way communications. The stored numbers can send messages to the device. With built-in GPS, GSM and Wi-Fi, the Filip 2 acts as a tracking device with parents able to locate their children using the companion iOS or Android app. The GPS sensor extends to geo-fencing features; up to five of these can be set up.

Nuheara IQbuds

The wireless earbuds allow streaming of all your favourite music and audio content. They are sweat proof and water resistant. Selectively tune in or out the world around you with Super Intelligent Noise Control. Choose the best blend of your digital music and real world sounds for situational awareness. Enjoy 16+ hours on-the-go Bluetooth streaming and 32+ hours on-the-go Hearing Processing.

Amazfit Moonbeam

With a lightweight, beautifully-crafted and uniquely elegant design, the Amazfit is able to track your activity of steps, distance travelled, running and calories burnt, and monitor sleep. It features silent vibrating alerts for incoming calls and alarms. Personalise your device with many available wristband and necklace accessories.


Google fires employee behind anti-diversity memo

Posted by pakin On August - 15 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Internet giant Google has fired the male engineer at the centre of an uproar in Silicon Valley over the past week after he authored an internal memo asserting there are biological causes behind gender inequality in the tech industry.

James Damore, the engineer who wrote the memo, confirmed his dismissal, saying in an email to Reuters on Monday that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”.

Mr Damore said he was exploring all possible legal remedies, and that before being fired, he had submitted a charge to the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) accusing Google upper management of trying to shame him into silence.

“It’s illegal to retaliate against an NLRB charge,” he wrote in the email.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc based in Mountain View, California, said it could not talk about individual employee cases.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees in a note on Monday that portions of the anti-diversity memo “violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” according to a copy of the note seen by Reuters.

It was not immediately clear what legal authority Mr Damore could try to invoke. Non-union or “at will” employees, such as most tech workers, can be fired in the United States for a wide array of reasons that have nothing to do with performance.

The US National Labor Relations Act guarantees workers, whether they are in a union or not, the right to engage in “concerted activities” for their “mutual aid or protection”.

Mr Damore, though, would likely face an uphill fight to seek that protection based on his memo, said Alison Morantz, a Stanford University law professor with expertise in labour law.

“It’s going to be a hard sell that this activity was either concerted or for mutual aid or protection, rather than simply venting or pitting one group of workers against the others, which does not sound very mutual,” Ms Morantz said.

Debate over the treatment of women in the male-dominated tech industry has raged for months. Claims of persistent sexual harassment in the ranks of Uber Technologies Inc and of several venture capital firms led to management shakeups.

Management at the largest tech firms, including Google, have publicly committed to diversifying their workforces, although the percentage of women in engineering and management roles remains low at many companies.

Mr Damore’s memo attacked the idea that gender diversity should be a goal.

“The distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and … these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” Mr Damore wrote in the internal company memo last week.

Google’s vice-president of diversity, Danielle Brown, sent a memo in response to the furore over the weekend, saying the engineer’s essay “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender”.