Mobile payments may soar, thanks to COVID-19
Mon, 11 May 2020 07:09:00 -0700

One of the most frequently asked questions in these days of pandemic is, "When will things get back to normal?" Valid answers are generally, "They won't. Goodbye, handshakes" and "In stages, ending when a vaccine is approved and widely distributed." When it comes to payments, the answers are more complicated, but not any more comforting.

Paper money and coins have been plummeting in usage for years, and COVID-19 certainly isn't going to help. From a retail and finance perspective, those paper and metal currencies are more expensive to manage (to count, to secure), are easy theft targets (stolen stacks of non-marked $20s are about as non-traceable as possible) and a lot slower typically than using mobile payments or credit/debit cards.

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Wearables get their killer app: saving you from killer viruses
Fri, 17 Apr 2020 12:33:00 -0700

Until now, smart watches, rings and glasses offered useful features, but were optional -- that's changing fast. Soon our lives and businesses will depend on them.

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Wearables get their killer app: saving you from killer viruses
Fri, 17 Apr 2020 12:00:00 -0700

Every wildly successful computing platform gains that success because of a "killer app" -- a software category or usage model that compels people to embrace it en masse.

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(Insider Story)

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I've finally figured out why foldable phones actually exist
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:29:00 -0700

Ever since the first foldable phones were foisted upon us, I've been struggling to understand their purpose.

They're cool, sure — and technologically speaking, they're incredibly impressive. But from a practical, ten-fingered human perspective, what benefit do they actually provide? I've yet to hear a single unambiguous answer. And that's to say nothing of all the significant downsides and compromises they require.

At first, I assumed the foldable phone fad was similar to other questionable-benefit smartphone trends of the moment — counterproductive elements like "waterfall displays," cutouts in the active viewing areas of screens in exchange for smaller borders around said panels, and heck, even 5G — in that it was ultimately conceived as a way to make appliance-like devices seem new, exciting, and meaningfully different from their predecessors (and thus suddenly worth buying at a time when most of us are content to stick with our current phones for increasingly long periods).

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Q&A: How Baptist Health saved $13M using AI to reduce readmissions
Tue, 10 Mar 2020 03:00:00 -0700

Baptist Health is a three-hospital, nonprofit system serving Montgomery, Ala. and the surrounding region. It has 680 beds, 550 affiliated physicians and is the largest private employer in the area.

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(Insider Story)

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1. Why AMD’s energy efficiency milestone is important to the emerging cloud desktop

AMD this week announced it had exceeded its goal to increase energy efficiency 25-fold by 2020.  Called the 25x20 goal, it has been a driving force for the company for most of the last decade and explains why cloud providers like Google have begun to favor AMD processors. 

But the real importance will show up as we move to universal VDI or what I call the emergence of the cloud desktop market and products like Virtual Windows, which have been particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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2. Flashback Friday: Color me confounded

This tech’s co-workers dread when he goes on vacation, reports a pilot fish on the scene, because problems always arise when he leaves.

But he does go, and it’s soon noticed that the computer that’s supposed to gather data on all outgoing phone calls doesn’t seem to be creating new records.

Fish and colleagues find that computer standing amid a jungle of cables, and nothing to indicate what they all do.

“After a half-hour of fighting with it,” says fish, “we had to disturb our friend on his vacation.” And he says the solution is simple: Just plug the dark gray cable into the computer.

All they see, though, is a bunch of equally gray cables.

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3. Wayback Wednesday: Of course not

User calls pilot fish and complains, “My PC won’t work for any network applications.”
What happens when you try? fish asks.

“Nothing!” user says. “I just get something like a ‘Network not found’ error.”

Is this affecting anyone else over there? fish asks.

“Nope, just me,” replies user.

Can you try a couple of things for me?

“No, not really. I’m not at my PC and calling from another desk.”

Why?

“I just changed cubicles and my phone doesn’t work yet.”

So fish makes the trek to the user’s cube. After a quick inspection of the PC and its connections, he turns to the user. Who reconnected your PC? he asks.

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4. The Internet of Things in 2020: More vital than ever
Just when we needed it most, the internet of things is delivering gobs of data and remote device control across almost every industry, from healthcare to agriculture.
5. Flashback Friday: Color me confounded

This tech’s co-workers dread when he goes on vacation, reports a pilot fish on the scene, because problems always arise when he leaves.

But he does go, and it’s soon noticed that the computer that’s supposed to gather data on all outgoing phone calls doesn’t seem to be creating new records.

Fish and colleagues find that computer standing amid a jungle of cables, and nothing to indicate what they all do.

“After a half-hour of fighting with it,” says fish, “we had to disturb our friend on his vacation.” And he says the solution is simple: Just plug the dark gray cable into the computer.

All they see, though, is a bunch of equally gray cables.

To read this article in full, please click here


6. Wayback Wednesday: Of course not

User calls pilot fish and complains, “My PC won’t work for any network applications.”
What happens when you try? fish asks.

“Nothing!” user says. “I just get something like a ‘Network not found’ error.”

Is this affecting anyone else over there? fish asks.

“Nope, just me,” replies user.

Can you try a couple of things for me?

“No, not really. I’m not at my PC and calling from another desk.”

Why?

“I just changed cubicles and my phone doesn’t work yet.”

So fish makes the trek to the user’s cube. After a quick inspection of the PC and its connections, he turns to the user. Who reconnected your PC? he asks.

To read this article in full, please click here


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