Tag Archives: MIT

Jan. 2, 2017 The New Yorker

Jan. 2, 2017 The New Yorker’s Ian Frazier wrote “Incident Report” about Captain Kirk and LaGuardia airport.

Michael Specter wrote “Rewriting the Code of Life” about MIT’s Assistant Professor Kevin Esvelt editing the DNA to fight Lyme disease.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Feb. 9, 2015 The New Yorker

On Feb. 9, 2015 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “A Fair Day’s Wage” about how after the New Deal and until the 1970s, many business paid a living wage, a policy supported by management specialists like Peter Drucker. Today, many companies “treat frontline workers as disposable commodities.” That may be changing. Recently, Aetna’s CEO Mark Bertolini read Thomas Piketty’s book “Capital In The Twentieth Century” and decided to raise his lowest paid workers hourly rate by at least twelve dollars an hour. Bertolini says “It’s hard for people to be fully engage with customers when they’re worrying about how to put food on the table.” MIT’s Zeynep Ton, author of  new book “The Good Job Strategy” says higher wages make “these companies end up with motivated, capable workers, better service, and increased sales.”

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 26, 2012 The New Yorker

On Mar. 26, 2012 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “The More The Merrier” about research by MIT’s Zeynep Ton. Retailers that reduce the number of employees and wages hurt their business in the long run. “…you can only outsource so much work before alienating your customers.” Ton examined companies that took care of their employees like Costco, Trader Joe’s, QuickTrip and Mercadona. They hire full time employees and train them. “Spending more on workers led to higher sales.”

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 30, 2011 The New Yorker

On May 30, 2011 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “A Billion Prices Now” about policy makers not having enough accurate information to make timely decisions about the economy. Beginning with the New Deal, the government began collecting statistics to put together Gross National Product (GNP) that became today’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). To improve upon this, MIT economists Alberto Cavallo and Roberto Rigobin created the Billion Prices Project (BPP) which predicted the economic collapse of September 2008 two months before it showed up in government statistics in November. Having such information can help decide how much intervention or stimulus is needed. Of course it requires courageous politicians to act upon it.

Michael Specter wrote “Resistant” about the history of epidemics, vaccination and human rights. A plague can change history or destroy a civilization. Get your kids immunized.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Nov. 16, 2010 SVEC Open House

On Tuesday, November 16, 2010, the Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC) held its Annual Open House Event In Santa Clara at the Biltmore Hotel. SVEC president Dr. KRS Murthy spoke about SVEC Educational Outreach Programs, Keeper of Flame Award and the 2010 Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame Inductees Celeste Volz Ford of Stellar Solutions and Terry Shoup of ASME and SCU.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Ted Selker of Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, MIT and Xerox PARC. His talk was on “New technology business development”. He showed how our intentions could be understood and acted on by computers at work, home and in cars. He believes that innovation can be encouraged through competitions. The marketplace would then test winning ideas adopted by new technology companies.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 30, 2010 SDF Social Search

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On March 30, 2010 in Menlo Park at the Orrick Silicon Valley Office, SDForum’s Search SIG hosted Google’s Damon Horowitz presentation “Social Search.” Horowitz was co-founder and CTO of Aardvark which was acquired by Google in February, where he is now Director of Engineering.

After studying at Columbia, MIT and Stanford he built several intelligent language processing applications at Perspecta, Novation Biosciences and NewsDB. He thought there were limitations with language processing that could overcome by including humans in the loop.  Social search activates the good will to share knowledge. Everybody knows something and it turns out that humans want to help each other. If you ask the right person the right way you will get an answer. Most search engines attempt to organize all the information on the Internet and that is only a fraction of what is available in our heads. Horowitz wants to make all that other previously undigitized information available to search.

Aardvark tries to find the perfect person in your network to answer your question. You are part of a conversation with other experts in a search for useful content across platforms. Members can access it through Instant Messaging (IM), e-mail, website (vark.com), Twitter and an iPhone App. A version for Google’s Android is the next logical step. They  plan to be the social media for over 100 million people and have already attracted interest at TED, Davos, the World Bank, the Fortune 500 and of course the White House. The business model is advertising. If a human expert cannot answer your question a sponsored answer can be offered. That is an attractive option for businesses targeting consumers.

It’s funny that all this machinery that we thought would isolate us is leading us to talk to one another.

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Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.