Sunday, August 17, 2014

Because now it's a "Communication First" world


Mobile first. Cloud first. The Digital Age. Disruption. Clichés abound as we all try to make sense of how technology has put us into a 24/7 state of communication. And therein lies the essence of a monumental shift: we inspire action by connecting to others, enabled by trust and persuasion. Former NBC News war correspondent Hanson Hosein now runs a graduate program for professionals that focuses on this very secret sauce. And you'll get a taste of it through a dynamic, multimedia infused presentation that's reveals the latest best practices, along with what's lurking right around the corner. Ultimately, he'll prove that all organizations needs to master a "communication first" strategy to leverage content throughout its communities and networks, inside and out.


Crowd Source Gone Wild:  Over 1 million players play one pokemon game.

BBC   and video and channel

Using the social-gaming video site Twitch, all the players were trying to control one character in the game at the same time.


Twitch is a website that lets users broadcast and watch games and use an online chat function while playing.


The online game took 16 days to complete and the site was viewed more than 36 million times.


BBC Article: 

​Link to Twitch channel recorded video:

Link to Twitch channel on going:



How Successful People Stay Calm


The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we've found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.


If you follow our newsletter, you've read some startling research summaries that explore the havoc stress can wreak on one's physical and mental health (such as the Yale study, which found that prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control). The tricky thing about stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it's an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it's difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn't prolonged, it's harmless.


The Most Fascinating Profile You'll Ever Read About a Guy and His Boring Startup


Stewart (Butterfield) is well known in certain circles as the founder of the ur-photo-sharing service, Flickr. When he and his two partners sold it to Yahoo for, Stewart says, "somewhere between $22 million and $25 million" in 2004, it kicked off the Web 2.0 era and signaled the end of the dotcom bust. Flickr was a treasure chest of innovation, but Stewart never even intended to make the damn thing. He'd set out, instead, to make a game called Game Neverending. It was a financial failure. Flickr was merely based on a set of features broken out of the game, but it took over the company and his life. You may have heard the regrettably trendy term pivot, where a startup abruptly shifts to a new strategy and suddenly thrives. This was one of the original pivots. Everybody does it now.


Russell Brand: Robin Williams' divine madness will no longer disrupt the sadness of the world


What platitudes then can we fling along with the listless, insufficient wreaths at the stillness that was once so animated and wired, the silence where the laughter was? That fame and accolades are no defence against mental illness and addiction? That we live in a world that has become so negligent of human values that our brightest lights are extinguishing themselves? That we must be more vigilant, more aware, more grateful, more mindful?


How to Secure the Cloud

Northwestern University News

Northeastern University researchers are working on the Frontier project, which includes researchers from Boston University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Connecticut. The Frontier project will develop mechanisms to help make the cloud as secure as possible. The researchers will deploy and test the mechanisms as part of the Massachusetts Open Cloud, a partnership of state government, industry, and universities that is designed to create a new public cloud computing marketplace to help spur innovation. The researchers have developed a new method for computing on encrypted data with the potential to change the fact that conventional methods of encryption leave the data useless, notes Northeastern professor Daniel Wichs. "I can send you encrypted data, you run the computation and then send me back the encrypted answer," Wichs says. However, he also says while this breakthrough represents great promise, the approach is still too inefficient to be widely useful. The researchers want to provide a new level of security to cloud-based computing by developing new theoretical methods for encrypting data and performing computations on that data. "We want to take a standard program and convert it to work on encrypted data," Wichs says.


Now You Can See the Invisible

University of California Santa Barbara

University of California, Santa Barbara researchers are using Wi-Fi signals to look through solid walls and see what is on the other side. The patented technology lets users visualize the space on the other side and identify not only the presence of occluded objects, but also their position and geometry, without any prior knowledge of the area. Furthermore, it has the potential to classify the material type of each occluded object such as human, metallic, or wood. The researchers want to use this imaging technology with automated mobile robots in situations where human access is difficult or risky, and the ability to ascertain what is in a given occluded area is important, such as search and rescue operations for disasters. The technology also can be implemented on a Wi-Fi-enabled device or a Wi-Fi network, where it can be used to monitor the presence and location of objects and people throughout a built space, which opens possibilities for spotting intruders, or watching over senior citizens. In addition, the technology can provide information for smart building applications to optimize services that depend on the level of occupancy of a building. In the future, the system could be modified to be used in preliminary body scans and health monitoring via a Wi-Fi-enabled handheld device.



Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain

NY Times

THIS month, many Americans will take time off from work to go on vacation, catch up on household projects and simply be with family and friends. And many of us will feel guilty for doing so. We will worry about all of the emails piling up at work, and in many cases continue to compulsively check email during our precious time off.


But beware the false break. Make sure you have a real one. The summer vacation is more than a quaint tradition. Along with family time, mealtime and weekends, it is an important way that we can make the most of our beautiful brains.


Equation to Predict Happiness

University College London

Researchers at University College London (UCL) have developed a mathematical equation that can accurately predict how happy people will say they are from moment to moment based on recent events such as rewards received. The team tested the equation on more than 18,000 people worldwide, and the results show moment-to-moment happiness reflects how well things are going as well as whether they are going better than expected. The scientists had 26 subjects complete a decision-making task in which their choices led to monetary gains and losses, and repeatedly asked them to answer "how happy you are right now?" The researchers also measured their neural activity during the task using functional magnetic resonance imaging, and from the data built a computational model in which self-reported happiness was related to recent rewards and expectations. "We expected to see that recent rewards would affect moment-to-moment happiness but were surprised to find just how important expectations are in determining happiness," says UCL's Robb Rutledge. "In real-world situations, the rewards associated with life decisions such as starting a new job or getting married are often not realized for a long time, and our results suggest expectations related to these decisions, good and bad, have a big effect on happiness."


The Least Interesting Man in the World


Have you gotten out of town at all this summer? Any weddings? Country weekends? Did you, perhaps, accept the invitation of a faintly sleazy old dude to visit a greasy beach? Was it Trivago Guy? OMG—you're hanging out with Trivago Guy? He's a weird cat! Trivago, the Düsseldorf-based travel search engine, has a most peculiar on-air pitchman—a sallow avatar of middle-aged masculinity, a found object and a cult item, an accidental enigma.


Break Out Of Your Creative Rut With Spontaneous Field Trips

Fast Company

Three times a year, management at The Via Agency surprises their employees. After what seemed like a standard company-wide meeting, for example, president Leeann Leahy shut the office down for an hour in the middle of the day and sent everyone to the dance club across the street for a free drink and an hour to let loose. "We all dance our faces off and, then, you go back to work," Leahy told Fast Company.

Leahy calls these events "go dos," shorthand for "get out, do things," and they're part of a larger effort to promote creativity. The ad agency operates under the theory that creativity comes from having a life outside of the office. Inspiration has to come from somewhere, after all.