What Has Science Ever Done for Us? The Knowledge Wars Reviewed


Many people ask the same question of science. Since the 16th century science has given us electricity and anaesthetics, the internet and statins, the jumbo jet, vaccines and good anti-cancer drugs, the washing machine and the automobile. But what has it done for us lately?

In fact, for many people, what science has done for us lately hasn’t been dancin’ till one thought one would lose one’s breath. Rather, it has delivered emotionally-charged fights over issues such asvaccination, whether everyone should be taking statins, anthropogenic climate change, genetically modified foods, wind farms and high-tension power lines.

Indeed, while most of us are happy with most of the products of science — not least our iPods, white goods and light bulbs — when it comes to some of the more contentious issues of science we’re not such a happy bunch.

You only have to look at comment threads on articles about these topics to see just such unhappiness and disgruntlement. In such discussions, science isn’t a benign tool for understanding the natural world, but a villain intent on unleashing industries and technologies we don’t want, or forcing us to give up our SUVs or eat our broccoli.

In this sort of world you can understand why, when considering the state of things, many scientists have taken on slightly exasperated air.
We’ve all heard lines about “global conspiracies of scientists.” Yet no one who has a passing understanding of how science works could imagine getting a global community to agree on anything remotely doubtful.

At times The Knowledge Wars feels like a Wikipedia binge, ranging widely and wildly through invention and events of the last 500 years (although, to be fair, that’s often how I spend my Saturday nights). And, perhaps more fundamentally, it sorely misses a nuanced take on the economic sociology and history underpinning that period. For example, although central to much of scientific and social history of the last half millennium, “capitalism” doesn’t make it to the index.

But the bigger lament I have after reading The Knowledge Wars is one perhaps I share with Doherty. Modern science began with the birth of Renaissance men; with individuals who understood that wise governance requires an embrace of statecraft as well as high art and the latest advances in science.

Yet now, the very idea of Renaissance men and women seems anathema, a foolish dream that could never happen in this crazy mixed up world we now live in. But is that really so foolish?

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Big Data Explained in Less Than 2 Minutes – To Absolutely Anyone


See also: The Quantified Workplace: Big Data or Big Brother?

There are some things that are so big that they have implications for everyone, whether we want them to or not. Big Data is one of those concepts, and is completely transforming the way we do business and is impacting most other parts of our lives.

It’s such an important idea that everyone from your grandma to your CEO needs to have a basic understanding of what it is and why it’s important.

Original Source – LinkedIn

How to Safely Test Software Without Messing Up Your System


The internet is full of sweet apps, but it’s also packed with shady software. Before you install something awful, give yourself an infosec education. Here are the best tools to protect yourself out there when you’re experimenting with new programs.

Method 1: Virtualize an Entire Desktop with VirtualBox

Method 2: Simpler Virtualization with Cameyo

Method 3: Get Basic Protection with Sandboxie

Safely Test Sofware

Original Source – Lifehacker

Company Leaders Worried With Mobile Surveillance


Technopreneurph

3 Reasons Why Company Leaders Should Be Worried About Mobile Surveillance image cell no text.280by280.png

Disturbing news regarding government surveillance of mobile devices en masse has permeated our news this year. In the wake of Edward Snowden?s allegations, the public learned about cellular interceptors attached to fake cell towers. Popular Science and the CEO of CryptoPhone broke the news about these strange towers, which could be used ?a variety of ?over-the-air? attacks become possible, from eavesdropping on calls and texts to pushing spyware to the device.?

Fast forward a few months, and the Wall Street Journal publishes an article describing a secret government program that involves flying airplanes over the United States to collect massive amounts of cellular data. Sources familiar with the program explain that that this program was run by the U.S. Marshals Service program since 2007. These massive breaches of privacy shouldn?t just matter to individual consumers ? they can also impact companies as well. The use of dirt boxes, stingrays and…

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How The Internet of Things Will Transform Your Business


Gigaom

Business transformation
Retailers are connecting online and in-store sales by creating customized user offers designed to increase repeat purchases and improve customer retention rates. Transportation companies –  rail and air – are building intelligent systems to improve safety, streamline operations, and maximize efficiency. Manufacturing companies are redesigning plant floors and rethinking existing processes to deliver innovative products and related services with higher customer value – and higher margins.

Changing your business
How can the Internet of Things change your business? Our customers have seen powerful results. Businesses have discovered new revenue streams, realized cost savings and increased customer satisfaction. Red Hat’s open source technology has been instrumental in creating this connected universe of people, things and information.

Red Hat can help
In previous posts, we’ve given you a list of considerations to address during your project design, and we’ve explained why a three-tier architecture makes sense for enterprise IoT…

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City Leaders and Tech Entrepreneurship


David Cummings on Startups

Nationwide there’s a real push right now among city leaders to brand their region as a tech entrepreneurship hub. Tech has been hot for several years and every city can point to a local success story within the past 24 months. As tech becomes more pervasive and more industries are affected by it, it only makes sense that cities want to capitalize on it.

Here are a few thoughts on why city leaders are so excited about tech entrepreneurship:

  • Cities are either growing or shrinking, so it makes sense to focus on a growth industry
  • The internet provides for amazing distribution, collaboration, and innovation anywhere, so the need to be in a major hub has been greatly diminished
  • The majority of new jobs created over the next 10 years will come from companies that aren’t in existence today
  • Tech jobs are much higher paying than normal jobs
  • Tech entrepreneurs that…

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Why Should Startups Blog?


Pete Warden's blog

Secretary
Photo by Anne Bowerman

A friend just asked me a simple but important question – why should a startup have a blog? What are the practical, concrete benefits?

The short answer is, you probably shouldn’t have one! It takes a lot of time and mental energy to keep an active blog going, and if you spent that time on external consulting instead and channeled the revenue into AdWords you’d almost certainly get more traffic for your effort. If you don’t have a burning desire to say something, you’ll get dispirited by the initial lack of interest and give up.

It’s a bit like choosing to do a startup instead of sticking with a salary job – if you stare at the cold probabilities it’s an irrational choice. You hear about the successes, but not about about the hundreds of other blogs that get ignored despite great content.

So why…

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How Businesses Should Prepare For Internet Of Things


BusinessWorld

The IT industry creates new buzzwords every few years and this year everyone is talking about Internet of Things and Internet of Everything.

But what really is the true definition of IoT and what are its constituents? How should businesses prepare?

There are several definitions. But IoT or IoE is really about networks, devices, people and processes – and how these are all getting interconnected. The enabling technologies are mobility, cloud computing, big data analytics and social – a collective term for this is SMAC.

For IoT to be widely accepted and implemented, there are 2 or 3 things that need to happen:

  1. Businesses need to become IoT ready by upgrading its infrastructure, re-engineering processes and business models, and infusing an IoT culture in the organization.
  2. We need to have widely accepted industry standards, compliance, frameworks and protocols, through strong consortiums.
  3. Businesses need to be crystal clear about what they…

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