Monthly Archives: April 2013
My friend Gina is a big fan of this song. I always wanted to include in my blog posts but until I found today’s infographic, did not have a solid connection. Well, now we do
Robots are really changing how things get done. Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing. These technologies deal with automated machines that can take the place of humans in dangerous environments or manufacturing processes, or resemble humans in appearance, behavior, and/or cognition.
One type of robot is in the news regularly, the drone. The General Atomics MQ-1 Predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built by General Atomics and used primarily by the United States Air Force (USAF) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Initially conceived in the early 1990s for reconnaissance and forward observation roles, the Predator carries cameras and other sensors but has been modified and upgraded to carry and fire two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles or other munitions. The aircraft, in use since 1995, has seen combat over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.
Here is some interesting stuff on robots from the folks at Click Software www.clicksoftware.com
Enjoy the day.
“The love you take is equal to the love you make.”
The Beatles, Abbey Road
Beatle fans know that the last album released by the Beatles was “Let it Be“, but the last album recorded by the Beatles was “Abbey Road” One of the top 10 albums of all time, recorded 43 years ago if you can believe that, Abbey Road is one of my favorite albums. One of my three wonderful daughters is named Abbey. Coincidence? You make the call
After the near-disastrous sessions for the proposed Get Back album (later released as Let It Be), Paul McCartney suggested to music producer George Martin that the group get together and make an album “the way we used to”, free of the conflict that began following the death of Brian Epstein and carrying over to the sessions for the “White Album“. Martin agreed, stipulating that he must be allowed to do the album his way. This would be the last time the band would record with Martin.
The climax of the album is a 16-minute medley consisting of several short songs, both finished and unfinished, blended into a suite by McCartney and Martin.Most of the songs were written (and originally recorded in demo form) during sessions for The White Album and Get Back/Let It Be sessions.
“The End” is notable for featuring Starr’s only drum solo in the Beatles’ catalog. Fifty-four seconds into the song are 18 bars of guitar solo: the first two bars are played by McCartney, the second two by Harrison, and the third two by Lennon, with the sequence repeating. Each has a distinctive style which McCartney felt reflected their personalities: McCartney’s playing is in a somewhat rigid staccato style; Harrison’s is melodic with pronounced string bends and Lennon’s is rhythmic, stinging and had the heaviest distortion. Immediately after Lennon’s third solo, the piano chords of the final part of the song begin. The song ends with the memorable final line, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make”.
“The End” takes up the last 2 minutes and 20 seconds of the masterful 16-minute medley that brings Abbey Road to a climax. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pM3PVzDUCY
Enjoy the day and the weekend.
Think average CMO tenure still hovers around 23 months? Think again. It now is 43 months, according to the latest findings from executive-recruitment firm Spencer Stuart, and it has been steadily gaining since its 2006 low of 23.2 months.
That 23-month myth remains a fixture, it seems, at marketing conferences and amid CMO-related banter, but it’s a thing of the past–at least for now.
To be sure, CMO tenure does vary, depending on industry: In the automotive industry, average tenure is indeed 25 months. Communications and media CMOs average 33 months. Meanwhile, CMOs in industrial companies log an average of 99 months.
But the role of the CMO is changing rapidly because of the rise of digital techniques, such as social and mobile, but also because of the ability to measure everything that is done. Until the digital marketing revolution, marketing was generally speaking, unmeasureable. “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker
But with digital techniques, everything is measurable. Feedback loops, segmentation becomes microtargeting, and optimizations can happen on the fly or even in real time. The relationship between investment and impact becomes correlated and causal — and the CMO becomes accountable down to the dime and moment by moment. When it works, all are happy – when it does not, stress levels go way up as the search to make it work happens in near real time.
What does a digital CMO do differently? They experiment aggressively. They hire smart digital natives — and empower them. They partner with great agencies. They have the humility to admit what they don’t know and the confidence to allow digital metrics to illuminate the results.
Gartner predicted that by 2017, the CMO’s technology budget will exceed the CIO‘s. Why? Because more often than not, it’s the CMO who is expected to drive the digital transformation, which is deeply dependent on technology.
Some CMOs are preparing for the digital revolution by filling the gap between expertise and authority. In other words, they have the self-awareness and the confidence to take bold action even when the context has shifted beyond their sphere of influence and scope of expertise. That is leadership. Others are afraid of the digital disruption – they will fail.
Content for this blog was sourced from the Harvard Business Review. You can read the full article here. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/04/the_rise_of_the_digital_cmo.html?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews
Internet shopping and reviews have gone hand in hand for some time now. Anyone who is considering spending money online to buy a product or service that they can’t see or try before they commit to it has no doubt done their research in other ways – usually by researching the feedback left by previous users.
EBay, Amazon and Trip Advisor are just three sites that have built their own reputation on encouraging third party reviews and now almost every e-commerce site you can think of will have some kind of review or rating system. We are so used to seeing a star rating system or a comment box that if a site doesn’t allow reviews we wonder why not.
When I shop on-line or off-line, I always check both expert and consumer reviews. Whether for a book, something for the home, or for a larger purchase, such as an automobile or furniture, reviews are essential. How have other people enjoyed their purchase? What is the good and the bad? Ultimately it is your decision, but we want to make these decisions with as many facts as possible. This has been going on forever, but now, with the world as connected as it is, we have become even more dependent on reviews. Years ago we would ask our parents, relatives or friends for their advice. Today, we not only ask them, but we ask experts and people we do not know for their opinions. Just the way it is.
Check out the statistics on opinions below:
Thanks to the people at PeopleClam for putting this terrific infographic together. http://www.peopleclaim.com/
Tell it like it is.
Tough week in New England last week. Tragedy, more tragedy, heroes, spirit, amazing people, justice and now hopefully answers to our questions. Stress levels way up for everyone. So today I thought I would share with you some happiness.
Being happy may just be the single most important thing you can do for your health, making it just as important as diet and physical activity. If you aren’t feeling like yourself lately, not to worry. Knowing that times are stressful and the unexpected often occurs, here are ways to help you get back to happiness almost instantly.
Today’s blog is a reprint from the following original article. http://www.fitsugar.com/Ways-Get-Happy-29731619
Thank you FitSugar.
- Play a game (not on your phone): Get your family together, invite some friends over, and have a game night. Not only will you be surrounded by good company, friendly competition usually guarantees a good time and a good laugh.
- Smile: When in doubt, smile! Not only is it contagious, smiling helps relieve stress, boost your mood, and release endorphins.
- Go for a walk: If something isn’t going well at work or home, step outside and take a walk. It doesn’t have to be long, but a quick stroll will help you get fresh air and clear your mind.
- Call a friend: Don’t text, dial! Calling a close friend is a great way to talk over your worries and get advice from someone you trust.
- Try something new: Stop your rut by switching things up. Try a new gym class, restaurant, or take a new route to work in the morning.
- Unplug: Flying shouldn’t be the only time you unplug. Calm your mind by turning off your tech and escaping social media for a minute or two.
- Sing (out loud!): We give you permission to sing in the shower, car, anywhere. We promise you’ll feel better — with or without a record deal.
- Volunteer: Nothing beats the feeling of helping others. Make a difference and meet a few friends in the process by checking out VolunteerMatch.
- Make a gratitude list: It’s often easy to focus on the negative or those things you don’t have. Quickly boost your mood by jotting down the things you are grateful for, both big and small.
- Eat up: Start cooking those fava beans, they make you happy! Since this bean contains high concentrations of an amino acid known as L-dopa (dopamine), it will boost your mood and decrease depression.
- Practice yoga: Even the celebrities know there are several health benefits of yoga. See for yourself by watching this 10-minute yoga series for happiness or finding a studio to begin your own practice.
- Take time off: Maybe you just need a break. Rather than planning a vacation, take the time to adventure around your local neighborhood. Visiting new spots may be just what you need to reset and appreciate what’s around you.
- Take charge: Go for it! Instead of getting bogged downed by the big picture, take a small step in the right direction, now. Just knowing that you’re heading in the direction of your dreams will make you happy.
- Have fun in the kitchen: Even if you’re not a cook, take your mind off things by exploring new ingredients or trying a new recipe. If you don’t know where to start, browse our healthy recipes.
- Meditate: Meditation is a great way to unwind and strengthen the relationship between your mind and body. These tips will help you start a meditation practice, without costing a dime.
- Give a compliment: Kick-start a smile with another person and a few genuine words.
- De-clutter: For a clean slate, get organized. Getting rid of the clutter and rearranging your space will make it feel new. It is also a great starting point to move forward with future projects.
- Stay in the moment: Rather than trying to micromanage the future or worrying about the past, live in the moment and just be.
- Rest up: If you’re having a hard time getting your mind off things, reset with a power nap. A short break will give your mind and body a rest and will help you approach things differently when you wake.
- Know it’s going to be OK: Just remember, it’s always going to be OK.
My friend Elizabeth found the following wisdom and suggested that I share it with you. You will notice a very common them from last week’s Comfortably Numb http://wp.me/p1WXuM-ut blog focused on doing the best you can do regardless of the mediocrity and excuses around you. This is a re-post of some additional recommendations on getting you to focus on success. Original article can be found at:
1. No problem — Take the challenge
There is no such thing as a problem. What you call “a problem” is not a thing independent of you, but a situation you don´t like. It is “a problem for you.” To deal with it more effectively, put yourself in the picture. Think of it as your challenge. Take the difficulty as an opportunity to show your true colors.
I often catch myself saying, “the real problem is…” followed by the thought, “…that you don´t agree with me!” Equally often, my counterpart argues that “the real problem is…” that I don´t agree with him. Unless we recognize and give up these bad stories, we will each push hard to overcome the other. Push versus push equals stuck: a very expensive stalemate where we both spend tremendous energy for no result.
2. Drop “Who’s responsible?” – Be response-able
You didn’t do it. So what? You are suffering from it. People and things are out of control. It is tempting to blame them and play the part of the innocent victim. Don’t. The price of innocence is impotence. That which you blame you empower. Become the hero of the story; focus on what you can do to respond to your challenge.
The inspiring question is not, “why is this happening to me!” but “what is the best I can do when this happens?”
I once coached a financial services executive who would always blame external factors: regulation, competition, the economy, his employees, his boss, his peers. All these forces did impinge on his goals. It was the truth, but not the whole truth. The truth that he refused to accept, the one that blocked his growth, was that he was able to respond to these forces. (See the coaching questions I use, here.)
3. Forget what you don´t want – Focus on what you want.
Consider an issue that troubles you. What would you like to have happen? I ask this every time I coach. Infallibly, I learn what my client would like to not have happen anymore. This is a bad end for a hero´s journey. Avoiding what you don´t want will take your energy away from achieving what you do want.
Your brain doesn’t compute “no”. What you try to avoid you unconsciously create. If you don´t believe this, try to not think of a white bear right now and notice where your mind goes. Define a positive outcome precisely. Ask yourself, “What do I really want?” and visualize it in as much detail as you can. This will force you to put some flesh on the conceptual bones. Furthermore, ask yourself, “How would I know that I got what I wanted? What would I see? What would I feel?” In this way you will be sure that your vision has observable standards by which to measure success.
4. Take one eye off the ball – Go for the gold.
It’s not about hitting the ball; it’s about winning the game. Set your mind on what you are ultimately trying to achieve. Build a chain from means to ends, taking you from getting the job, to advancing your career, to feeling professionally fulfilled, to being happy. The ultimate goal and measure of success is happiness.
“What would you get, if you achieved X, which is even more important to you than X?” Ask yourself this question and discover that you never ask for what you really want—and neither does anybody else. We all ask for what we think is going to give us what we really want. Have you ever bought set of golf clubs hoping they would make you play better? And what would you get, if you played better, which is even more important to you than playing better?
5. Failure is not an option – Succeed beyond success.
Commit fully to achieve what you really want. Know that you deserve it and give it your best. This will make you more likely to get it. Success, however, is not the most important thing. To be a hero, pursue your goal ethically, as an expression of your highest values. Success may give you pleasure, but integrity leads to happiness.
Have a great day!
Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) is a mass surveillance method that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates. They can use existing closed-circuit television or road-rule enforcement cameras, or ones specifically designed for the task. They are used by various police forces and as a method of electronic toll collection on pay-per-use roads and cataloging the movements of traffic or individuals.
ANPR can be used to store the images captured by the cameras as well as the text from the license plate, with some configurable to store a photograph of the driver. Systems commonly use infrared lighting to allow the camera to take the picture at any time of the day.
In the UK, an extensive (ANPR) automatic number plate recognition CCTV network. Effectively, the police and security services track all car movements around the country and are able to track any car in close to real time. Vehicle movements are stored for 2 years in the National ANPR Data Center to be analyzed for intelligence and to be used as evidence.
In addition to the real-time processing of license plate numbers, similar systems called ALPR systems (Automatic License Plate Recognition) in the US collect (and can indefinitely store) data from each license plate capture. Images, dates, times and GPS coordinates can be stockpiled and can help place a suspect at a scene, aid in witness identification, pattern recognition or the tracking of individuals. Such data can be used to create specialized databases that can be shared among departments or individuals (such as insurers, banks or auto recovery) Specialized databases can also be used to compile personal information on individuals such as journalists suspected gang members, employees of a business, patrons of a bar, etc., and be shared by E-mail or portable flash media.
The Boston Globe had a great article on this topic last week. Here is some of the article. Full article can be found at http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/04/08/big-brother-better-police-work-new-technology-automatically-runs-license-plates-everyone/1qoAoFfgp31UnXZT2CsFSK/story.html
Now, automated license plate recognition technology’s popularity is exploding — seven Boston-area police departments will add a combined 21 new license readers during the next month alone — and with that expanded use has come debate on whether the privacy of law-abiding citizens is being violated.
These high-tech license readers, now mounted on 87 police cruisers statewide, scan literally millions of license plates in Massachusetts each year, not only checking the car and owner’s legal history, but also creating a precise record of where each vehicle was at a given moment.
The records can be enormously helpful in solving crimes — but they increasingly make privacy advocates uneasy.
Use of the technology is outstripping creation of rules to prevent abuses such as tracking the movements of private citizens, or monitoring who visits sensitive places such as strip clubs, union halls, or abortion clinics.
A survey of police departments that use automated license readers found that fewer than a third — just 17 out of 53 — have written policies, leaving the rest with no formal standards for who can see the records or how long they will be preserved.
“The worst-case scenario — vast databases with records of movements of massive numbers of people — is already happening,” warns Kade Crockford of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, which is pushing for a state law to regulate use of license plate scanners and limit the time departments can routinely keep the electronic records to 48 hours.
The usefulness of the automated license plate reader as an investigative tool springs from the astounding number of license plates the units can scan and record. With an array of high-speed cameras mounted on police cruisers snapping pictures, these systems are designed to capture up to 1,800 plates per minute, even at high speeds and in difficult driving conditions.
Most of the departments that deploy license plate readers use them primarily for traffic enforcement. But the scanners — sometimes called by the acronym ALPR — are also used for missing persons, AMBER alerts, active warrants, and open cases.
While law enforcement officials are enthusiastic, critics can point to alleged abuses:
■ In 2004, police tracked Canadian reporter Kerry Diotte via automated license scans after he wrote articles critical of the local traffic division. A senior officer admitted to inappropriately searching for the reporter’s vehicle in a license scan database in an attempt to catch Diotte driving drunk.
■ Plainclothes NYPD officers used readers to scan license plates of worshipers at a mosque in 2006 and 2007, the Associated Press reported, under a program that was partially funded by a federal drug enforcement grant.
■ In December, the Minneapolis Police Department released a USB thumb drive with 2.1 million license plate scans and GPS vehicle location tags in response to a public records request, raising fears that such releases might help stalkers follow their victims. A few days later, the Minneapolis mayor asked the state to classify license scan data as nonpublic.
ACLU attorney Fritz Mulhauser warned last summer that, within a few years, police will be able to use license scan records to determine whether a particular vehicle “has been spotted at a specific church, union hall, bar, political party headquarters, abortion clinic, strip club, or any number of other locations a driver might wish to keep private.”
“Technology is rapidly moving ahead in terms of our ability to gather information about people,” said Hecht. “We need to have a conversation about how to balance legitimate uses . . . with protecting people’s legitimate expectation of privacy.”
With technology changing so quickly, privacy laws will not be able to keep pace. Scary but true.
And now a little Bowie.
In corporations throughout the world, there is a awful lot of talk – We are going to do this, we are going to do that. Sometimes it actually happens. It does so in organizations that are focused on results, have a clear understanding of market conditions, recognize where they can win, where they can establish new markets and where they can create value and growth.
Some organizations have the best of intentions and want to walk the talk, but do they really know how? Are they able to deliver against the talk? Are they able to live up to their customer expectations, especially in the many markets that are impacted by rapidly changing technologies, expanding channels, customer expectations and intense competition? It is tough out there and it is getting tougher.
Think about RIM, the makers of Blackberry. Here is their stock chart for the last 5 years:
Ouch. A bit of an uptick recently but that one hurts. Once the darling of stocks and consumers, now an afterthought. Happened really quickly.
Now let’s take a look at Ebay.
Nice. Vision, focus and outstanding execution. Well done.
Over the course of these disparate journeys, people have been involved every step of the way. Why is one company successful yet the other, once successful, struggles to regain it’s momentum in a market that has changed significantly since their heyday? What will happen to today’s high flyers once the technology shifts yet again and the market needs and demands change?
So many factors and variables involved in walking the talk. But the basic tenets are the right vision, seeing the market clearly, knowing how you are differentiated and superior execution of the plan. Holding your best and brightest accountable but also empowering them to do great things and recognizing value created, not politics, not puckering, no insecure leaders and most importantly no senior managers that waste your time.
Some senior managers tell us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. Some senior managers probe and question under the umbrella of “I am here to help you” or “I am trying to learn” or “I can help”, when their real intention is to find anything that might need improvement and highlight these 5-10% items over the 90% of great stuff that happens every day. I refer to these senior managers as “Car Wrecks” because they are the ones rubber necking what is wrong, instead of focusing on the positives and building on those. These “Car Wreck” managers delight in finding something wrong and then jumping to rapid, non-fact based decisions that are highly punitive and are totally misaligned to the business. Where instead of using the mistake as a learning experience, they want to expose a mistake through extreme disciplinary action, creating an environment of fear and a lack of willingness to take risk. Can you imagine working in an environment where mistakes are frowned upon because you would never want to get on that managers “Bad” list? Well that will certainly incent risk taking and thinking outside the box, won’t it? Not.
So, do your best to stay away from “Car Wreck” managers. There is only one car they are trying to wreck – yours.