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Category Archives: Futurist

Futurist: Channel Has To Remove Friction To Cloud 2.0 Adoption – CRN: The Biggest Tech News For Partners And The IT Channel

Posted: October 28, 2019 at 9:47 pm

Over the next five to ten years, the technology industry will shift from Cloud 1.0 to Cloud 2.0, and managed services providers that can smooth enterprise adoption of disaggregated cloud services will prosper greatly.

But the trick to seizing that opportunity isn't understanding the progression of technology, which is fairly predictable, but the use cases that it will enable, Tom Koulopoulos, chairman of the Delphi Group think tank, told attendees of NexGen Cloud 2019 conference in Anaheim, Calif. on Tuesday.

In a keynote titled "How Next-Gen Cloud Will Transform Business," Koulopoulos told the NexGen audience: "the value that people in this room bring is going to increase by orders of magnitude."

[Related: NexGen Conference & Expo 2019]

The pace at which computing power and storage capacity increases mostly follows a trend line. But business advantage comes in understanding how people, and organizations, use those resources.

To illustrate that point, Koulopoulos, a highly-regarded futurist and author, traced the evolution of computing technology, from the IBM ENIAC mainframe of the 1950s to the smartphones we all carry arounda large percentage of the 10 billion computing devices in existence.

Back in the 1950s, no one could comprehend the use case for what is essentially 10 billion ENIACs. Similarly, we can't comprehend what will come in the next 60 yearsbut the next 5 to 10 years are in clearer focus.

An "insatiable appetite for data," will characterize emerging business models that revolutionize every industry, he said.

Currently, from transportation to health care, the stumbling block is storing and accessing the right data, as we're generating more of it than human beings know how to understand and decipher.

What's worse, it's all too expensive, Koulopoulos said. There's still a long way to go to achieving Cloud 2.0, where data is bottomless, and storing any that might be of value is economically viable.

"The economics of data ultimately define the parameters of your business model," he said.

Those challenging economics have slowed cloud adoption. Currently, only 10 percent of companies have moved their data into the cloud.

"We've barely seen the economic impact of this movement. But it's going to happen," Koulopoulos said.

Companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Google deserve to be commended for building the first-gen cloud. But what has held up universal adoption is that those providers still present a bundled economic model.

Cloud 2.0 will be the unbundled cloud, deconstructing servicescompute, storage, networkinginto components offered by vendors that can optimize each of them independently. Look to what Wasabi is doing for storage, or Packet for compute, as examples, Koulopoulos said.

"Your role is to be the aggregator of these various services," he told solution providers gathered in Anaheim.

Slowing that progress is lock-in to Cloud 1.0. "Once you're locked in, it's really hard to get out of it," he said.

The channel will play a key role in unlocking the next phase of cloud, which further frees companies to focus on their core competencies and shed all othersan essential pursuit for businesses that want to remain relevant as the world rapidly changes.

And for most businesses, technology is essential to the products and services they deliver customersbut it's not their core. Cloud partners must figure out how to eliminate the friction that makes it harder for their enterprise customer to focus on their core value propositions, Koulopoulos said.

"What you deliver as an industry is the elimination of technological friction," Koulopoulos said. "You take friction out of the equation, you increase the velocity of the transactions, and increase the pleasure of the user experience."

That sentiment resonated with Ben Schmerler, director of strategic operations at DP Solutions, a managed services provider based in Columbia, MD.

Schmerler works on guiding direction of the business, and sees the paradigm shift currently under way as one that will drastically impact MSP practices.

"We have to be bleeding-edge within our core, willing to embrace this new stuff, embrace change, but remember fundamentally who we are," Schmerler said. "That sounds like it's conflicting, but I dont think it is. "

MSPs have to constantly assess how the deliverables they excel at can be provided to suit the modern and rapidly evolving market, Schmerler said.

"A lot of MSPs become very stale," he said.

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MSPs Will Help Enable The ‘Virtualization Of The World,’ Says Futurist – CRN: The Biggest Tech News For Partners And The IT Channel

Posted: at 9:47 pm

While Michael Rogers says he wasn't a fan of the title "futurist" at first, he's come to embrace the title for himself. And he recommends that MSPs start thinking of themselves as futurists, too.

"Part of your practice going forward is going to be being a futurist," Rogers said Thursday at the NexGen 2019 Conference and Expo in Anaheim, Calif., an event hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company.

[Related: Blockchain: 5 Things The Channel Needs To Know]

"Futurist" is a useful title because it gives permission to "think out a little bit further" than usual, he said--which is something MSPs ought to get into the habit of doing, if they aren't already.

"I think there is an interesting role for futurists and R&D in your industry," Rogers said. "Because you are building the infrastructure for the next decade. I often call it the 'virtualization of America and the world'--the fact that more and more of what we do, how we learn, how we shop, how we need our mates, is going into the cyber sphere."

While many would contend that's already happened, "my argument is that it's actually just started, he said.

"We will be stunned 10 years from now by how much goes on in the virtual world and has been moved to the virtual world," Rogers said. "The winners toward the end of the next decade will be the ones who best figure out what belongs in the virtual world, what should remain in the physical world, and how you connect between them."

Rogers outlined several specific technologies he believes will be "very important in the virtualization of the world" down the road--even if they "may not play a big part now in the MSP world.

One technology is smart glasses, including devices that are starting to emerge that can project a virtual screen that can be controlled by voice (or even by hand in the air). Potential uses for the glasses include aiding with repair work in the field, Rogers noted.

Another use for new display technologies is to better enable distributed workforces--with Rogers giving the example of new systems that could be described as "videoconferencing on steroids." The systems could offer a high-res, wall-sized screen that is connected to another office within an organization.

"In the demo I saw, you walked into a coffee lounge in Palo Alto and it looked like an ordinary coffee lounge with a table, chairs, coffee maker. And then there's a full-size video screen, completely covering the back wall, on which you saw identically the same coffee lounge," Rogers said. "It literally looked like one room. And that was up in Portland, Oregon. So you'd walk into Palo Alto, a bell would ring in Portland, Oregon, to indicate someone was in the coffee lounge, and your co-worker from Oregon would come out."

Research on those offices suggested that a piece of work divided between the two sites was equivalent to work occurring in the same space, Rogers said.

Allen Falcon, CEO of Westborough, Mass.-based Cumulus Global, said this example of visually connected offices resonates, because it recognizes that the human connection is really important in work.

So if you're not going to go physically into the office, your work relationships still have to be there. And the visual component of communications, which is more than half of communication, has to be there as well," Falcon said. "And so really focusing on the technologies that let people use the network to work and live in the way they want, as a convenience, and as a way of maintaining the human connection--I think that's an opportunity for our industry."

Other examples of technologies that Rogers expects to be increasingly important going forward include blockchain, IoT and artificial intelligence.

AI, he noted, is already automating a wide range of white-collar jobs, including in sectors such as law. For instance, in just a few hours, eDiscovery applications are capable of going through evidence that previously would have taken months, he said.

"It is clearly the way forward for a lot of these white-collar organizations where work is being automated by AI," Rogers said.

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Tech and futurism drive iconic car event’s appeal – The Japan Times

Posted: at 9:47 pm

The 46th Tokyo Motor Show, slated to kick off on Oct. 24 at Tokyo Big Sight and other areas in Tokyos Odaiba district, is set to showcase the latest automotive trends but will also depart from previous editions of the motor show.

This years motor show, under the theme of Open Future, places an increased focus on the future of our society and its use of rapidly evolving technology in addition to revealing the newest in automotive trends.

The word open means the event will not be limited to showcasing the auto industry. By being open to other industries and collaborating with them, we are trying to demonstrate the mobility-centered society of the future, said Jun Nagata, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Associations Tokyo Motor Show Committee.

This year, the venue is expanded to include a larger area of Odaiba, featuring a wide range of programs for visitors to enjoy the excitement of cars and future technologies.

A total of 187 companies and organizations from eight countries around the world will participate in the show that will be held through Nov. 4.

The biannual Tokyo Motor Show, however, is at a crossroads, and this years event reflects this reality.

In its heyday, the Tokyo Motor Show used to attract many automakers from around the world, such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Volkswagen AG, and it used to be a bit of a production when a new car rolled onto the stage. Taking advantage of this occasion, many automakers used to meet with executives of other global companies to conduct business negotiations during the event. But in recent years, such activities have decreased.


Japans car sales remain the third largest in the world after the U.S. and China with 527.2 million units sold in 2018, but more and more automakers are prioritizing the Chinese market and its motor shows. The Frankfurt Motor Show, which was held just last month, also failed to attract many carmakers, with only Honda Motor Co. participating from Japan.

This downward trend also shows in the number of visitors. Although the Tokyo Motor Show saw more than 2 million attendees in 1991, the most recent event in 2017 drew just 770,000 people.

This decline has resulted in the transformation of the event into one with a future-focused concept that targets younger generations.

Unless the Tokyo Motor Show goes through a major paradigm shift, it wont be able to attract more visitors, Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp. and JAMA chairman, told a news conference ahead of the show.

Toyoda said he hopes to attract 1 million people to the Tokyo event, by making it like a theme park where people can get a glimpse of a future lifestyle through various exhibits and attractions that are not limited to the auto industry.

In the Future Expo area, for example, visitors will be able to view and interact with over 100 items, displays and leading technologies provided by companies across various industries.

Honda will display its UNI-CUB alongside a variety of other personal mobility vehicles. People will also have the chance to see a flying car currently under development by NEC Corp.

NEC Corp.s flying car will be showcased in the Future Expo area. | JAPAN AUTO MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION

Information on hydrogen energy, such as how fuel cell cars work, and space technology will also be on display in the energy of the future area.

The motor show will also host the e-Motorsports Under-18 All Japan Championships, where winners from the under-18 championships from each prefecture will compete against one another for the national title. Another attempt to make the event more appealing to children is a tie-up with KidZania. Children will be able to role-play as an employee at car manufacturers, parts manufacturers and mobile communication companies in the venue set up in the Aomi Exhibition Halls.

At the Open Road area, visitors can experience the near-future through test-drives of micro-mobility vehicles such as the Toyota i-Road and Nissan New Mobility Concept. Three types of personal mobility vehicles are also available for test-drives there.

Concept cars and production vehicles displayed by major automakers are going greener than ever, and most will incorporate some degree of electrification.

Mazda Motor Co. will launch its first battery-electric production car at the show, while the next generation Honda Jazz, known as the Fit in some markets, will see a hybrid drive upgrade.

Nissan Motor Co. also plans to unveil a concept minicar IMk, which is built on an all-new EV platform.

There will also be symposiums on various topics, ranging from zero-emission transport to drones to Mobility as a Service (MaaS), which integrates various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand.

To make it more family friendly, the motor show will be free for high school students or younger children for the first time in the events history.

The key word for this event is a firsthand experience. We want to make this show a theme park that families, including children, can enjoy, said Toyoda.

Venues:Tokyo Big Sight (Aomi, West and South halls, Mega Web, Symbol Promenade Park, parking lot next to Tokyo Fashion Town [TFT] building)

Duration:Oct. 24 to Nov. 4

Dates and hours:Special Invitation Day for Persons with Disabilities: Oct. 24 (Thu.) 2 to 6 p.m.Preview Day: Oct. 25, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.General Public Days (Weekdays, Saturdays): 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 2 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 25General Public Days (Sundays/holiday): 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.(Opening hours may be changed and entry into the venue may be limited whenever necessary)

Admission:Special Invitation Day for Persons with Disabilities: Free (requires pre-registration)Preview Day: 3,800 (Limited availability, free for elementary school students and younger, must be accompanied by a parent)General Public Days: Adults 2,000 (1,800 for advance ticket; 1,000 for day-of ticket after 4 p.m., excluding Sundays and holiday)High school students and under: Free

For further details:

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This Electric Toothbrush Uses AI Because Nothing is Sacred Anymore – Futurism

Posted: at 9:47 pm

Brush AI

These days, it seems like every brand is trying to leverage machine learning to imbue their products with special powers and, most importantly, make an extra buck in the process.

But does your next electric toothbrush really need a dose of AI? Oral-Bssays its new $220 electric toothbrush, called Oral-B GENIUS X with Artificial Intelligence, will leverage data from sensors inside the brush head and Bluetoothto deliver AI-derived brushing tips through an app. The future is now, huh?

The company claims to have learned how to brush teeth real good by deepening our understanding of consumer behavior across 60 countries.

Oral-B has created an algorithm from more than 2,000 brushing sessions to gain exclusive insights into brushing behaviors from around the world, reads an incredulous press release.

If that doesnt sound overbearing enough, its at least a little simpler than having to set up your smartphone to literally watch you brush your teeth every time, like Oral-Bs earlier attempt at leveraging smart tech from 2015.

READ MORE: This Electric Toothbrush Uses AI Because Nothing is Sacred Anymore [The Verge]

More on AI: In This Browser Game, Your Opponents Are Neural Networks

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This Rocky World With Three Suns May Have an Atmosphere – Futurism

Posted: at 9:47 pm

Three Suns

A team of Harvard astronomers have spotted a rocky planet with three suns using data from NASAs Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and, tantalizingly, they think it could have an atmosphere.

It could give us a glimpse of the conditions on interstellar planets which, like Earth, have their own atmospheres. But unfortunately, this super-Earth is simply too hot to contain the ingredients for life.

The rocky planet is roughly 1.38 times the size of Earth and over 22 light-years away. A paper detailing the discovery was published in the Astronomical Journal back in June.

As for the chance it could feature oxygen in its atmosphere, lead researcher Jennifer Winters is not hopeful. Its not in the habitable zone of its star, she said in a statement. Its too close. Its too hot. But if its possible that theres oxygen in the atmosphere that could come from other sources than life, thats good to know.

Still, the rocky orb is worth studying. Its one of the best examples of a rocky planet that might have an atmosphere that we can study to see what its made of, Winters added.

The team is hoping to spot the planet and analyze its atmosphere when the planet passes in front of its main star. That will happen in a couple of months time, but until then theyll use data from the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile to probe its mysteries further.

READ MORE: Why a rocky planet with three suns has astronomers attention [Harvard University]

More on exoplanets: Newly Discovered Exoplanet Is Unlike Any Other

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This Creepy Life-Sized Doll Is a Warning About What Office Life Is Doing to Us – ScienceAlert

Posted: at 9:47 pm

Emma doesn't look so great.

Her legs are puffy and covered in varicose veins. Her eyes are flat and dead, and her back looks like she spends her days ringing the bell at Notre-Dame Cathedral.

It's harsh but true. Emma is a life-sized doll depicting what the team think an average office worker in the United Kingdom could look like in 20 years if changes aren't made to the workplace environment.

For a new report titled The Work Colleague of The Future, a team of health experts led by behavioral futurist William Higham looked at survey data submitted by more than 3,000 office workers in France, Germany, and the UK.

The percentages of UK office workers who said they already suffered from sore eyes (50 percent), sore backs (48 percent), and headaches (48 percent) as a direct result of their work environment informed the design of the sickly Emma, who also suffers from stress-related eczema, excess weight, and swollen limbs.

If we don't majorly shake-up the standard office environment, according to Higham, we're headed toward a future rife with Emmas.

"Unless we make radical changes to our working lives, such as moving more, addressing our posture at our desks, taking regular walking breaks, or considering improving our workstation setup, our offices are going to make us very sick," he said, according to The Independent.

Of course, this isn't a peer-reviewed study, and Fellowes the office furniture company which commissioned the report is undoubtedly trying to promote its own products here. But it's still an interesting concept looking into exactly what our office spaces could be doing to our bodies.

This article was originally published by Futurism. Read the original article.

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Scientists Say They Finally Figured Out How to Spot Wormholes – Futurism

Posted: at 9:47 pm

Thinking With Portals

Scientists think theyve come up with a way to detect traversable wormholes, assuming they exist.

Theres never been any sort of evidence that traversable wormholes portals between two distant parts of the universe, or two universes within a theoretical multiverse are real. But if they are, a team of scientists think they know what that evidence might look like, breathing new life into a far-out theory that could finally achieve faster-than-light travel.

If a wormhole were to exist, then the gravitational pull of objects on one side, like black holes or stars, would influence the objects on the other side.

If a star wobbled or had otherwise inexplicable perturbations in its orbit around a black hole, researchers could hypothetically argue that theyre being influenced by the gravity of something on the other end of a wormhole, according to research published this month in the journal Physical Review D.

If you have two stars, one on each side of the wormhole, the star on our side should feel the gravitational influence of the star thats on the other side, said University at Buffalo physicist Dejan Stojkovic. The gravitational flux will go through the wormhole.

While the researchers hope to look for wobbles in the orbits of stars orbiting near Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, Stojkovic concedes that spotting some wouldnt guarantee that a wormhole exists there.

He added we cannot say that, Yes, this is definitely a wormhole. There could be some other explanation, something else on our side perturbing the motion of this star.

READ MORE: How to spot a wormhole (if they exist) [University at Buffalo via]

More on wormholes: Physicists Publish Instructions For DIY Wormhole

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The US Army Is Spending $750K to Partner With UFO Research Group – Futurism

Posted: at 9:47 pm

Military Money

On Thursday, To the Stars Academy (TTSA) an alien and UFO research group founded by former Blink-182 member Tom DeLonge announced that it had entered into a partnership with the U.S. Army.

Now, new details on the partnership have emerged including that the Army is planning to spend at least $750,000 on the partnership.

As noted in a new Motherboard story, government document archivist John Greenewald has posted the entire Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between TTSA and the Army online.

The document reveals that the partnership will expire in five years unless the parties choose to renew it, and the government will not directly pay TTSA any money under the terms of the deal.

Instead, it will spend an estimated $750,000 on personnel, facilities, equipment, and other resources that TTSAs COO Kari DeLonge told Motherboard would be cost-prohibitive to a small startup-like TTSA.

The contract also makes clear what the Army hopes to get out of the partnership: to see if it can use TTSAs materials and technologies to advance its ground vehicles.

What the document doesnt mention, however, is TTSAs claim that some of the materials in its possession are extraterrestrial. Now that the group is getting the resources it needs to study those materials, maybe itllhave a better chance of figuring out just what exactly its gotten its hands on.

READ MORE: Tom DeLonges UFO Research Group Signs Contract With U.S. Army to Develop Far-Future Tech [Motherboard]

More on the partnership: Tom DeLonges UFO Research Group Partners With US Army

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Good News: The Ozone Hole Is Smaller Than Weve Ever Seen It – Futurism

Posted: at 9:47 pm

Hole New World

The hole in Earths ozone layer a part of the stratosphere that shields the planet from harmful ultraviolet radiation is the smallest its been since scientists first began observing it in 1982, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have announced in a joint statement.

However, human efforts to heal the hole seemingly had nothing to do with the welcome development.

The holes size fluctuates over time. According to satellite measurements, it typically reaches a size of about 20 million square kilometers (8 million square miles) in late September or early October.

But this this year, it peaked at a size of 16.4 million square kilometers (6.3 million square miles) on September 8 before shrinking to less than 10 million square kilometers (3.9 million square miles) for the rest of September and October.

In 1989, the Montreal Protocol an international treaty banning the use of ozone-depleting chemicals went into effect, and researchers expect the ozone to completely heal as a result of that agreement by 2070.

However, this years measurements of the ozone hole seem to have less to do with human efforts and more to do with unusually warm stratospheric temperatures, which the researchers could not link to climate change.

Its a rare event that were still trying to understand, atmospheric scientist Susan Strahan said in a NASA news release. If the warming hadnt happened, wed likely be looking at a much more typical ozone hole.

READ MORE: The Antarctic ozone hole is the smallest since it was discovered [CNN]

More on the ozone: Our Efforts to Heal the Ozone Layer Are Finally Paying Off

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Amazon Is Writing Its Own Facial Recognition Bills – Futurism

Posted: September 27, 2019 at 7:50 am


Amazon, the online-retailer-turned-tech-giant, is currently drafting a set of potential federal laws to regulate facial recognition.

Its strikingly ironic that Amazon which develops oft-criticized facial recognition software currently in use by police is now attempting to write the federal laws that would dictate how its own tech can be deployed. But CEO Jeff Bezos says thats essentially the plan, according to Recode. Its a troubling sign of just how much influence one megacorporation could have over the safeguards meant to keep it in check.

Amazon has previously called for the government to impose regulations over facial recognition, possibly as a means to stave off criticism of its own Rekognition software and its numerous eyebrow-raising problem areas. But now Bezos is upping the ante.

Our public policy team is actually working on facial recognition regulations, Bezos said at Wednesdays Alexa gadget event, per Recode. It makes a lot of sense to regulate that.

In August, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders vowed to ban law enforcement agencies from using facial recognition software. That may be why Amazon is drafting some potential regulations: self-imposed rules would be preferable to losing all its police contracts.

Its a perfect example of something that has really positive uses, so you dont want to put the brakes on it, Bezos said at the event. But, at the same time, theres also potential for abuses of that kind of technology, so you do want regulations. Its a classic dual-use kind of technology.

READ MORE: Jeff Bezos says Amazon is writing its own facial recognition laws to pitch to lawmakers [Recode]

More on Amazon: Cops Are Using Amazons Facial Recognition Software Wrong

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