Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Interesting Reads – 2018-07-16

Interesting Reads – 2018-07-16

The 13 Types of Data

Data is a thorny subject. For a start, we’re not sure how we are supposed to refer to it, that is - data is the plural of datum. Strictly speaking we should talk about data that ‘are’ not ‘is’ available to support a theory etc. The Guardian newspaper discussed the debate and appeared to suggest that (split infinitives and nuances of idiomatic Latin notwithstanding) our day-to-day usage of the term is allowed to remained conveniently grammatically incorrect.

“For what it's worth, I can confidently say that this will probably be the only time I ever write the word ‘datum’ in a [blog] post. Data as a plural term may be the proper usage, but language evolves and we want to write in terms that everyone understands - and that don't seem ridiculous,” wrote Simon Rogers, in 2012, before moving to his position as data editor at Google.

So of the many different instances of individual datum (sorry, data) that exist, can we group them into distinct types, categories, varieties and classifications? In this world of so-called digital transformation and cloud computing that drives our always-on über-connected lifestyles, surely it would be useful to understand the what, when, where and why of data on our journey to then starting to appreciate the how factor.

Agile Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto is a proclamation that articulates four key values and 12 principles that its authors believe software developers should use to guide their work.

The document, formally called the "Manifesto for Agile Software Development," was produced by 17 developers during an outing on Feb. 11-13, 2001, at The Lodge at Snowbird ski resort in Utah.

The developers, who called themselves the Agile Alliance, were seeking an overhaul of the software development processes that they saw as cumbersome, unresponsive and too focused on documentation requirements.

According to agilemanisfesto.org, the online home of the proclamation, the developers' stated goal was not anti-methodology, but rather "to restore credibility to the word methodology."

It further states: "We want to restore a balance. We embrace modeling, but not in order to file some diagram in a dusty corporate repository. We embrace documentation, but not hundreds of pages of never-maintained and rarely-used tomes. We plan, but recognize the limits of planning in a turbulent environment."

Robot cities: three urban prototypes for future living

Before I started working on real-world robots, I wrote about their fictional and historical ancestors. This isn’t so far removed from what I do now. In factories, labs, and of course science fiction, imaginary robots keep fuelling our imagination about artificial humans and autonomous machines.

Real-world robots remain surprisingly dysfunctional, although they are steadily infiltrating urban areas across the globe. This fourth industrial revolution driven by robots is shaping urban spaces and urban life in response to opportunities and challenges in economic, social, political and healthcare domains. Our cities are becoming too big for humans to manage.

 Good city governance enables and maintains smooth flow of things, data, and people. These include public services, traffic, and delivery services. Long queues in hospitals and banks imply poor management. Traffic congestion demonstrates that roads and traffic systems are inadequate. Goods that we increasingly order online don’t arrive fast enough. And the wi-fi often fails our 24/7 digital needs. In sum, urban life, characterised by environmental pollution, speedy life, traffic congestion, connectivity and increased consumption, needs robotic solutions – or so we are lead to believe.

Chaos Engineering: Building Confidence in System Behaviour through Experiments

With so many interacting components, the number of things that can go wrong in a distributed system is enormous. You’ll never be able to prevent all possible failure modes, but you can identify many of the weaknesses in your system before they’re triggered by these events. This report introduces you to Chaos Engineering, a method of experimenting on infrastructure that lets you expose weaknesses before they become a real problem.

Members of the Netflix team that developed Chaos Engineering explain how to apply these principles to your own system. By introducing controlled experiments, you’ll learn how emergent behaviour from component interactions can cause your system to drift into an unsafe, chaotic state.

  • Hypothesize about steady state by collecting data on the health of the system
  • Vary real-world events by turning off a server to simulate regional failures
  • Run your experiments as close to the production environment as possible
  • Ramp up your experiment by automating it to run continuously
  • Minimize the effects of your experiments to keep from blowing everything up
  • Learn the process for designing chaos engineering experiments
  • Use the Chaos Maturity Model to map the state of your chaos program, including realistic goals

Get the book  (Registration is required)

The Digital Workplace in 2030: Preparing now for the digital worlds of work to come

The practice of looking into the future and forming well-considered ideas about what we might find there requires both rigor and creativity.

As we consider the evolution of the digital workplace, it can help to take a step back and consider what changes will occur and the forces that will influence them. This sets the tone for an exploration of the future of work that is first and foremost about human flourishing and how we inhabit the digital worlds of work.

This report offers recommendations and thinking points for digital workplace leaders asking what they should do now to prepare for the workplace of the coming decades.

Inside this report:

  • What will the world be like in 2030?
  • Describing the dimensions of the digital workplace in 2030
  • What organizations need to think and do now

Get the report (Registration with work email is required)

Built By IIT B’s Team Shunya, This Awesome House Can Generate Energy for Future!

Team Shunya’s – Project Solarise unites traditional architecture with contemporary interior designs, modern lifestyle and futuristic amenities in a single house. Solar Decathlon is an international exhibition in which teams from various countries around the world compete to build a fully functional solar-powered house, applying cutting-edge technologies and innovations in a month-long competition.

The teams have to make a live model of the house on the site within 15-20 days. The US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon also designated as ‘The Olympics of Solar Powered Houses’ challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.

Team SHUNYA from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, is the only team from India to have been selected in Solar Decathlon 2018, which will be held in Dezhou, China.

SHUNYA stands for ‘Sustainable Habitat for an Urbanising Nation by its Young Aspirants’. Team SHUNYA is motivated to contribute to the goal of creating a sustainable future by providing a solution to India’s growing energy and housing problems.

NPTEL July to December 2018 semester course booklet

The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) was initiated by seven Indian Institutes of Technology (Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati and Roorkee) along with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 2003. Five core disciplines were identi­ed, namely, civil engineering, computer science and engineering, electrical engineering, electronics and communication engineering and mechanical engineering and 270 courses in web/video format were developed in this phase. The main goal of NPTEL Phase II (2009-14) was to build on the engineering and core science courses launched previously in NPTEL Phase I. An additional 600 web and video courses were created in all major branches of engineering, physical sciences at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and management courses at the postgraduate level. Several improvements such as indexing of all video and web courses and keyword search were implemented.

NPTEL Online Certification: The objective of enabling students obtains certi­ficates for courses is to make students employable in the industry or pursue a suitable higher education programme. Through an online portal, 4, 8, or 12 week online courses, typically on topics relevant to students in all years of higher education along with basic core courses in sciences and humanities with exposure to relevant tools and technologies are being offered. The enrolment to and learning from these courses involves no cost. Following these online courses, an in-person, proctored certi­fication exam is conducted across 100+ cities within India and a certi­ficate is provided through the participating institutions and industry, when applicable.

In the Jul-Dec semester, 270 courses are available across various disciplines. More at https://onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in

You can download the 322 pages course booklet from  http://nptel.ac.in/media/pdf/nptel_2018_booklet.pdf

10 Awesome New Ideas by IRCTC Making Train Travel Better for Passengers!

IRCTC implemented a number of initiatives in 2018, in an attempt to make train travel smooth, fun and secure for passengers. This year has been a year of innovation and change for the Indian Railways. Trying to obliterate the conception that most people have, the national carrier has aimed to be cleaner, greener and above all, passenger-centric. The Railways and IRCTC, have always prided on passenger facilities and have tried to implement measures pan-India.

The Railways has always acted on your feedback and has depended on it to better the services you can avail. 2018 saw the Railways make forays into technology and using it to their advantage. This year, the Railways has, as always, tried pushing the envelope. Here are ten ways the Railways tried to make 2018 better for its passengers.

NavIC, India’s Very Own Desi GPS Coming Soon: 10 Awesome Things to Know!

GPS or Global Positioning System is a US-based technology consisting of 31 satellites that provide geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near our planet. The global navigation satellite system was created by the US government and is maintained by it. Additionally, the government also makes it freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.

Well, India’s own GPS is all set to be launched and will place it in the club of select countries which have their own indigenous navigation systems. The GPS has been named NavIC—Navigation with Indian Constellation.

The confirmation for the development work was granted by IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, signalling that the rollout of NavIC will take place soon.

Here are ten things regarding the NavIC that you should know about:

Indian Scientists Use Leaves To Extract Gold From E-Waste!

Ever since humanity discovered the metal gold, it has almost permanently nestled everywhere around us. In our modern times, gold is not only used to make jewellery but due to its various unique properties, is used in making electronic components, medicines and even as an ingredient in cooking.

Interestingly, one of the most common uses of gold today is in smartphones, laptops and digital cameras. Due to gold’s better conductivity and general resistance to oxidation and corrosion in varying environments, gold is used in circuit boards and numerous electronic connectors.

All this gold lasts nearly forever, but not the electronics it is buried in. According to CEA’s CE Product Life Cycle study, appliances like smartphones have an average lifespan of only five years – with the number dropping each year.

No wonder in 2016, the executive summary of e-waste noted a massive 44.7 million tons of e-waste in just one year.

To put that in perspective, a printed circuit board (PCBs) (used in cellular phones and personal computers) contains about 280 g/ton-waste of gold. With about 44.7 million tonnes of waste, it means that there are about 12,000 tonnes of gold in that waste, which is about 10,00,000 standard gold bars lying in trash heaps!

In fact, Japan is even looking to recycle old technology, including smartphones, to create Olympic medals for Tokyo 2020 Games.

But the problem lies in how the gold is extracted. Methods such as precipitation, ion exchange, solvent extraction, and flotation for gold recovery are available. But these methods have major disadvantages like the use of toxic chemicals, high reagent requirements and the generation of toxic secondary wastes that require proper disposal.

Hence a better alternative for the extraction of gold is the need of the hour. And this alternative is what researchers from across India have developed using plant leaves.

Carbon Zero Challenge 2019

Carbon Zero Challenge (CZeroC) aims to trigger novel ideas towards developing carbon neutral systems to serve major sectors which are plagued by energy and environmental challenges. The thematic areas are; Agriculture, Industries, Transportation Systems, Urban Areas & Cities, and Water &Waste Management. The grand challenge posed to the competing teams was to develop a grid free /alternative system which is economically viable, socially acceptable, environment friendly and easily replicable in multiple areas. The challenge is to understand the energy needs of these sectors and develop a sustainable green energy alternative by combination of one or more renewable energy sources.

CZeroC 2019 offers Funding support, Entrepreneurship Training, Incubation Support & Mentorship, to best ideas.  Registrations for CZeroC 2019 are now open and will close on 22nd Jul 2018. Visit the http://czeroc.iitm.ac.in  to know more.

Call For Papers: 13th Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), has been organizing Ahmedabad organizes ‘Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship’ since 1994. The Biennial Conferences continue to provide a forum for researchers, educationist and practitioners to share their research findings and experience in the field of entrepreneurship development. Deliberations on issues that are of contemporary relevance and interest have opened up new avenues to spearhead entrepreneurship at a much wider scale. The Conferences has organized under the aegis of the Centre for Research in Entrepreneurship Education and Development(CREED) set up by EDII.

Conf. Dates: February 20-22, 2019 (Wednesday to Friday)
Conf. Venue: Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Bhat, Gandhinaga, Gujarat

Deadline for Abstract (about 200 words)  -- October 26, 2018 & Full Paper (about 4000 words)  -- November 30, 2018.

Contact: Mr. Ganapathi Batthini, Conference Coordinator, Emai;: ganapathi@ediindia.org
Mobile: 09327 045345. Website: http://conference.ediindia.org/

Call For Papers: International Conference on “Blooming Trends in Tech Challenges and Opportunities”

Conf. Dates: 27th – 29th September, 2018
Conf. Venue: National College, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu

Submit the soft copy of the abstract (not exceeding 250 words in Times New Roman, Font size 12) be email to nacoiconference@nct.ac.in The abstract should contain title of the paper, author(s) name, full address for corresponding including contact number and e-mail id

Contacts: Dr. P.S.S Akilashri, The Coordinator , BTTCAO-2K18, Phone: 9942380091, 7010094491, Website: http://www.nct.ac.in/dep-cs-conference.html

Call For Registration: ACM India Chennai Professional Chapter Expert Talk

Speaker: Prof. Raj Reddy (1994 Turing Award Winner) Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Topic: Whither AI? -- Cognition Amplifiers and Guardian Angels in your Future
Date, Time & Venue: 20th July 2018 at 10.30 a.m. at SSN College of Engineering
More details and pre-registration at http://www.ssn.edu.in/?page_id=15598


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