Friday, June 24, 2011

Motivational Moment

Napoleon Hill's Thought for the Day



Never tear down anything unless you are prepared to build something better in its place.

This rule applies to both individuals and things. It’s easy to criticize other people thoughtlessly for their shortcomings, and equally easy to find fault in their work or in situations that are not to your liking. It is far more difficult to be a builder of people and to create works of art, useful products, or profitable businesses. Make sure you are a builder, not a destroyer of people and things. When you criticize the actions or work of others -- your children, your employees, or others for whom you are responsible -- make sure your criticisms are positive and directed at the act, or the opportunity for improvement, not the individual. Include specific suggestions for their application and focus on the potential for success.

Permanent link to this post: Never tear down anything unless you are prepared to build something better in its place.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Where Are Blacks In Technology?: Get Inky With It

Where Are Blacks In Technology?: Get Inky With It

'Nearshoring' Adds a Cultural Twist to IT Outsourcing

  • Many U.S. companies are finding development partners closer to home.


Most people think of India when they think of IT outsourcing. With its reputation for mastery of business process and a large class of IT professionals who speak English, India Inc. continues to dominate offshored technical work.

But more and more U.S.-based corporations have started looking closer to home for outsourcing partners—and finding them in Latin America. "Nearshoring," for some operations, turns out to make a better business sense than "farshoring."
(Nearshore is, of course, a geographically relative term, but for this story, it refers to American shores; plus, legend has it that the phrase was coined at Softtek, a now-global IT services provider headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, when it began successfully acquiring clients between the shores of North America.)
Last year, the LAC (Latin America/Caribbean region) captured less than 10 percent of the more than $200 billion global outsourcing industry, says the International Development Bank. "However, the region is well-positioned to increase its market share. Economic and political stability, skilled human resources and government support make LAC an attractive environment for the outsourcing of services."
Part of the reason the region will increase its share is that North American CIOs are encountering a number of challenges when outsourcing to India, including the rising cost of its programmers, and what some call the country's biggest HR challenge: Attrition.
Employee turnover at India's business-process and software factories has risen to 55 percent in the past year, according to a recent study, and erratic working hours is often cited as one of the main causes. Apparently, not everyone loves having to be at the office at midnight so that they can talk to (get yelled at by) a client on the other side of the planet.

Eliminating Time Zone Problems
This time-zone disparity has become one of the nearshore region's brightest selling points. A programmer in Sao Paulo, for example, and a client on the East Coast share the same basic office hours. Neither one has to come in early or stay late to have a discussion in real time.
Chris Snyder, CIO of Hulcher Systems, a Dallas-based provider of technology services to railroads, says the time lag between Texas and India was a significant reason he started looking elsewhere for developers. Hulcher eventually teamed up with Brazil-based Stefanini IT Solutions, one of the largest tech companies in that country, and says the results were "much, much better." Being able to talk on the phone or hop online for a quick chat or video conference during regular working hours made a huge difference, Snyder says.
Big tech firms like Google and Electronic Arts have enlisted nearshore companies for significant development help. Google team manager Patrick Chanezon says he looks for an outsourcing partner with a similar "Googly" philosophy ("fail often, fail quickly and learn") and a willingness to take risks. Google found that partner in Globant, a growing software company based in Buenos Aires. On one e-commerce project, Chanezon says, the Argentine team "came up with innovative tools to test our code and discovered security holes that otherwise might not have been found."

Some global companies are turning to Latin America for specific skills or expertise. Brazil, in particular, has a reputation for world-leading financial and banking software—skills developed amid the flames of a national fiscal crisis in the 1980s—and for having a large number of mainframe programmers. Companies like CPM Braxis are well-established as providers of enterprise systems, while smaller, younger firms like Ci&T have become known for mastering agile development techniques. Ci&T developed a mobile application for a brand called Coca-Cola (and recently released its own iPhone application for runners.)
One of the challenges businesses sometimes face when partnering with nearshore countries for large IT projects is finding enough skilled workers. This is particularly the case with Brazil, where there is heavy competition for IT staff. Brazil is ranked the eighth-largest IT market in the world, and it's big enough to keep technology workers well-occupied. Global giants like IBM, Dell and HP have large operations there, and they compete with big indigenous companies as well as the government for experienced programmers and project managers. This situation will only get tighter as mega-events like the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics come to town.
Outsourcing managers who scour the globe looking for IT talent are quick to point out that there is no lack of sophisticated tech skills in India, but often say that Latin American countries maintain one significant edge: cultural affinity with their neighbors to the north.
"Outsourcing is no longer a simple transaction," says Jamie McLellan, worldwide CIO at JWT. "It demands input from the right side of the brain. Partners have to fit in culturally, socially and generationally. They need to speak our language, understand our goals and objectives."
"Without cultural affinity, it doesn't matter how inexpensive your workers are," says John Parkinson, global sourcing chief at Axis Capital and a man who has worked with IT partners in India, China, the Philippines, Europe, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia, and Brazil.
As Julia Santos, head of global sourcing for Johnson & Johnson, put it at the recent Nearshore Nexus conference: "To get results from a Latin American is so much easier than dealing with someone from India or China. We speak very much alike, our customs are very much alike, and that breeds trust.... People I work with in Latin America come to the table with solutions, and that's what we're looking for."

Monday, June 20, 2011

The BDPA Insider - June 19, 2011



 
The BDPA Insider - June 19, 2011 

What better way to start the day than with your weekly message from BDPA! 

In this issue: 
BDPA Detroit Chapter Wins 2011 Midwest Regional HSCC Championship
Cincinnati students excel at BDPA Midwest Regional High School Computer Competition
BDPA iRadio Show - June 14, 2011
BDPA Member-Get-A-Member Drive - Grand Prize is an Apple iPad
Are Blacks More Likely Than Whites to Support Causes Online?

Click here for the latest issue of "The BDPA Insider":
 
Click here for "The BDPA Insider" Archives:

 
In the new global economy, America needs a workforce with the knowledge and skills to compete. A new workforce of problem solvers, innovators and inventors who are self-reliant and able to think logically is one of the crucial foundations that drive innovation capacity in the nation. A key to developing these skills is strengthening science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competencies in every student and worker.

Click here for more:


Contributed By: Wayne Hicks | BDPA Education and Technology Foundation
 
BDPA Cincinnati chapter (www.bdpa-cincy.org), a nonprofit organization made up of racially diverse information technology professionals who advance the careers of African Americans from the classroom to the boardroom, stepped up to the challenge by hosting a BDPA Midwest Regional High School Computer Competition (HSCC) and IT Showcase held at Cincinnati State Technical College on June 11, 2011.

Students from Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit and Los Angeles gathered for an opportunity to compete in oral exams, written tests, presentations and web-based design/programming projects.

Click here for more:

 
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) successfully produced its first Internet radio show! BETF is extremely grateful to Franne McNeal who served as the host of the BDPA iRadio ShowFranne was able to smoothly handle all of the challenges of bringing the BDPA message out to an international audience via BlogTalkRadio.

Our plan is to produce BDPA iRadio Show on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. We hope that you will support our efforts. Here is the first show for your enjoyment!

Click here for more:


BDPA recently launched its new 2011 Member-Get-A-Member Recruitment Drive with an Apple iPad as the grand prize! Current members are the ideal ambassadors to communicate the advantages of joining BDPA to prospective members, and those who participate by telling friends and colleagues about BDPA may be eligible for valuable gifts and special recognition. BDPA's Online Member-Get-A-Member program is interactive, easy to use, and rewards members for helping to recruit new members. The drive ends December 31, 2011.

Welcome to the 2011 BDPA Member-Get-A-Member Drive-- your opportunity to share the value of a BDPA membership with your friends and colleagues, and receive free gifts in the process!
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS:

Click here for more:

 
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) has established a number of online fundraisers via social networks in the past few years. As such we were intrigued by a new survey that claims ethnicity is a factor in how people perceive charitable and political causes they encounter on social networks and whether they go on to get involved with those causes.  [SOURCE]

Out of 2,000 participants in the survey, 30 percent of Black adults and 39 percent of Hispanics said they were more likely to support online causes rather than causes they encountered offline; 24 percent of whites said the same.

The study was released by Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication and Ogilvy PR, a public-relations company.

Click here for more:

Please accept our invitation to join us in the City of the Big Shoulders by registering for the 33rd Annual National BDPA Conference, August 3-6, 2011 at the Hilton Chicago.

Click here to register for the 2011 National BDPA Conference today!



Hilton Chicago
720 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603

Smarter Implants Shielded From Cyber-Attack

  • Medical implants today receive wirelessly transmitted instructions from physicians regarding how to dispense their therapy, opening them to cyber-attacks that could potentially be fatal. However, a novel shield technology could secure access to the implants by virtue of an add-on medallion worn by the patient.
  • Medical implants today receive wirelessly transmitted instructions from physicians regarding how to dispense their therapy, opening them to cyber-attacks that could potentially be fatal. However, a novel shield technology could secure access to the implants by virtue of an add-on medallion worn by the patient.Even though there have yet to be any reported cases of cyber-attacks on people with medical implants, such as pacemakers, researchers are intent on heading off the possibility with a shielding technology that works even with existing implants.
    Someday soon Hollywood will be basing a major film on the premise that a hacker gains control of an important person's medical implant, either manipulating them by adjusting, say, their blood sugar with an insulin implant, or even assassinate them by stopping their heart with their own pacemaker. That is precisely the real-world scenario that Massachusetts  Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Dina Katabi and University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass) professor Kevin Fu want to "head off at the pass," to use the Hollywood colloquialism from old Westerns (where the bad guy alway wore a black hat).
    The stakes are enormous. Millions of citizens worldwide already have approved medical implants and more than 300,000 more receive pacemakers, defibrillators, drug pumps, brain "stimulators" and the like every year. Many of these implants have wireless connections that allow doctors to monitors their performance and fine-tune their therapeutic benefits. Communication with them is carefully encoded so that stray radio signals do not unintentionally modify their programming; however, hackers today already possess the skills to circumvent these safety measures, prompting Katabi and Fu to collaborate on a solution before the problem materializes.
    The smarter solution, according to the team, is what it calls a "shield" which is worn like a medallion. The shield constantly emits a jamming signal on the precise frequency at which the implant receives its wireless instructions from an external programmer, usually at the doctor's office. However, this is no dumb jamming signal that just blankets the patient in white noise, which could actually endanger the patient if it randomly changed the implant's programming. Instead, it emits a carefully encrypted signal that still allows authenticated programming to get through but which foils any hacker who does not possess the encryption key.


    The shield uses two antennas, one to transmit the jamming signal and the other to relay authenticated programming commands to the implant. (Source: MIT)
    Even smarter, the "shield" also can work with existing implants that were never intended to be protected by encryption algorithms, since all the authentication and other safety measures are handled outside the body in the medallion. And in emergencies, such as when the patient is unconscious and the attending physicians do not know the encryption key, the implant can revert to normal functionality by merely removing the medallion.
    Together with doctoral candidates Shyam Gollakota, Haitham Hassanieh and Ben Ransford, the team will present the shield for peer review at the upcoming Sigcomm (August 16-19, 2011, Toronto) conference of the Association for Computing Machinery.
     

Motivational Moment

The con man works harder and pays more for what he gets out of life than any other person, but he kids himself into believing he is getting something for nothing.

There is a fundamental rule in sales: You must sell yourself first before you can effectively sell others. If you can’t believe in the value of your products or service, no one else will either. If you are conning others into an unfair deal, you must work mightily to overcome your internal resistance to doing something wrong. A deal is a good one only when it is good for everyone involved. When each participant has an equal opportunity to profit and the risk is shared among partners who care about one another’s welfare, not only is the likelihood of success far greater, but the journey toward it will also be much more enjoyable

Thursday, June 16, 2011

BDPA Detroit Chapter Annual Bowling Party

 
Fundraiser for:
BDPA Detroit Chapter & High School Computer Camp (HSCC) Program
 (2011 Regional Champions)

BDPA Detroit Chapter
Annual Bowling Party

Saturday, June 25, 2011
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Advance Ticket Price $15.00
(Includes shoes and 2 games)
Slightly higher at door
Grill and cash bar available 50/50 raffle

Plum Hollow Bowling Alley
21900 W. 9 Mile Rd
Southfield, MI 48075
(248) 353-6540
For tickets contact
Cliff Samuels Jr. at csamuelsjr@gmail.com

BDPA Radio Episode 1


Listen to internet radio with BDPA on Blog Talk Radio

3D Printers Now in Homes and Classrooms

    3D Printers Now in Homes and Classrooms
  • Once relegated to scientific industries like space, medicine and engineering, 3D printers are becoming less expensive and easier to use. The newest models are now appearing in classrooms and even households around the country.
  • Once relegated to scientific industries like space, medicine and engineering, 3D printers are becoming less expensive and easier to use. The newest models are now appearing in classrooms and even households around the country.From making space station parts to robots, 3D printers have grown in potential and power in recent years. Now, 3D printers are becoming smaller and cheaper, making them useful for day-to-day household projects.
    Software behind 3D printing technology creates two-dimensional cross-sections of three-dimensional objects. 3D printers then deposit layers of material to create the objects. While various industries, including dental and medical, have made use of 3D printers for years, the machines are becoming more common for everyday items, such as keys and jewelry.
    The RapMan 3D printer is transparent, simple and significantly cheaper than previous 3D printer models. (Source: 3D Systems)
    According to a recent article by CNN Money, the prices of 3D printers are rapidly dropping. While just five years ago, even inexpensive 3D printers could cost as much as $50,000, consumers can now buy them for around $1,000.
    3D Systems, a South Carolina 3D printing company, hopes to lead the market in making the technology mainstream, according to the article.
    "We've been doing 3D printing for 25 years," Rajeev Kulkarni vice president of global engineering at 3D Systems, told CNN Money. "We've had production systems and large systems for a long time. This is our attempt now to get at the consumer level, where we make 3D printing accessible to the mass market."
    3D Systems recently teamed with software companies Alibre and Autodesk to create RapMan, a reasonably priced 3D printing system. The printing kit, which costs $1,499, allows users to create small models and machines. Its transparent interface means users can see how the printer works, making it ideal for students.
    The machine is simple enough for use in small businesses, schools and even households. Case in point: A 7th grade student from California is using the 3D printer to learn about mechanics and engineering.
    Still, the printers are still quite costly compared with other household electronics. Grant Schindler, a researcher at Georgia Tech, told CNN Money that 3D printers will need further improvements for them to become mainstream.
    "It's more like 10 years before it comes really common," he said. "And there has to be a killer app—maybe jewelry is it. There needs to be something that everyone wants, that everyone says, 'I need this 3D printer.'"
    More information about the 3D printer trend, as well as a video, can be found here.

    Also see the MakerBot 3D printing systems at the Maker Faire at the Henry Ford on July 30-31 ,2011 in  Detroit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DAAS Choir - Detroit State of Mind

Motivational Moment

Napoleon Hill's Thought for the Day


Keep your mind fixed on what you want in life, not on what you don’t want.

We have just begun to explore the inner workings of the mind, but we have long been aware of the effects of our thoughts. When you focus on not missing the target instead of on hitting the bull’s-eye, the results are often disastrous, for it is impossible to think negative thoughts in a positive way. Ask any golfer who has tried not to miss a putt or a bowler who has struggled not to miss a strike. Make sure your goals are specific and precise. “Making a lot of money” or “earning regular promotions” are wishes, not goals. State exactly how much money you expect to earn and when, and the specific promotion you want, how you plan to earn it, and when you expect to do so. As Carlson Companies chairman Curt Carlson once noted, “Obstacles are those frightening things you see when you take your eye off the target.”

Permanent link to this post: Keep your mind fixed on what you want in life, not on what you don’t want.

Monday, June 13, 2011

How the Internet is Revolutionizing Education

How the Internet is Revolutionizing Education
Via: OnlineEducation.net

BDPA Detroit Chapter Wins 2011 Midwest Regional HSCC Championship


BDPA Detroit Chapter Wins 2011 Midwest Regional HSCC Championship

In the new global economy, America needs a workforce with the knowledge and skills to compete. A new workforce of problem solvers, innovators and inventors who are self-reliant and able to think logically is one of the crucial foundations that drive innovation capacity in the nation. A key to developing these skills is strengthening science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competencies in every student and worker.
BDPA stepped up to the challenge by hosting a BDPA Midwest Regional High School Computer Competition (HSCC) and IT Showcase held at Cincinnati State Technical College on June 11, 2011. Students from Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit and Los Angeles gathered for an opportunity to compete in oral exams, written tests, presentations and web-based design/programming projects.

Conference participants were inspired by the opening remarks given by Cincinnati State president O'Dell Owens and BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Wanda Gray .
Two students from Detroit, Austin Little (University Academy HS) and Daniel Rothchild (Pioneer HS), demonstrated excellence throughout the event to take home the gold medal for their first-place performance.

The silver medal went to Cincinnati students: Hadiya Harrigan (Xavier HS), Christian Johnson (Mason HS) and Curtis Mimes (Taft HS).

The bronze medal went to a team of three students that participated via Skype from Los Angeles: Pooja Chebolu (California Academy of Math and Science), Akindele Davies (California Academy of Math and Science) and August Robinson (Hamilton HS).
Cincinnati Bell chief information officer Kevin Murray visited the regional competition to personally observe the work being done by the students. He noted that one of the high school students on the Cincinnati team recently accepted a summer internship within the Cincinnati Bell information technology department. He is looking for an opportunity to create a collaborative experience in the coming weeks and months between BDPA, Cincinnati Bell and Taft Information Technology High School.

Many of the students in this weekend's regional HSCC championship will have opportunity to travel to Chicago later this summer for the 26th annual National BDPA HSCC Championship in an effort to dethrone the 4-time defending HSCC champions from Rochester, Minnesota.

Another inspiring aspect of the event was the BDPA IT Showcase. This event aspires to create young people with skills and interest in pursuing STEM-based Ph.D. degrees after they graduate from college. There are too few people of African descent getting doctoral degrees in computer science and other STEM-based curriculum. BDPA hopes to create a pipeline of such academic superstars with its BDPA IT Showcase.
The four Cincinnati-based students who participated in the IT Showcase were: Jahaan Maiden (University of Cincinnati), Li-Ara Jackson (Mason HS), Landon Jackson (Mason HS) and Tariq Maiden (University of Cincinnati). These young people gave detailed presentations on a variety of topics including: 'History and Current Uses of GPS', 'Virtual Reality in Second Life' and 'How Global Processing Units Have Changed the World'.

The parents, volunteers, judges and sponsors were inspired by the performance of all the students who traveled by highways and cyberspace to participate in the BDPA Midwest Regional HSCC and IT Showcase. The hard work put in by Joseph Parker (Procter & Gamble) and his planning committee paid off in a major way.
BDPA is committed to prepare our children for careers in science and engineering much begin long before they are of college age. BDPA has a number of programs that enrich the pre-college STEM curriculum in the nation’s K-12 school systems, and encourage young students to take the requisite courses for careers in those fields. While the lack of preparation crosses all demographics, it is particularly acute in under-served communities.

We encourage you to find a way to support BDPA programs as either a volunteer or donor. Please contact BDPA Education and Technology Foundation executive director Wayne Hicks on (513) 284-4968 if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Five hot trends in healthcare technologies

By Chris Jablonski
The pace at which medicine and technology are converging is faster than most people realize. Today, point-of-care health technologies like tele-medicine and medical robots performing surgery in hospitals are commonplace.  Apple iPads and other mobile devices have made their way into the exam room, and electronic medical record (EMR) vendors are following suit with compatible applications.
Credit: NJIT
Professor Atam Dhawan Credit: NJIT
To find out what’s next, just ask New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Distinguished Professor Atam Dhawan, an electrical engineer and chair of the the IEEE emerging technology committee. He is also workshop chair for the upcoming 33rd IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) Annual International Conference scheduled for late August in Boston.
“Our goal is to investigate which biological and biomedical engineering technologies are likely to become important within the next decade,” Dhawan said in a university release. “For many people, a healthier tomorrow lies in advancements ranging from biomarkers for early diagnosis and monitoring to neural system engineering.”
The following are Dhawan’s five areas where medicine and electronics come together to have the greatest impact on lives:
  1. Point of care technologies - Ranging from health monitoring to tele-medicine, all point of health care solutions depend on patients connecting with healthcare professionals via computers. Treating people this way can be beneficial both as a great cost savings but also from a quality standpoint. Nursing engineering is fast becoming a career of the future. So too are health monitoring, e-health, and health care information management for disaster situations.
  2. Optical imaging - Optical imaging technologies will find greater use for diagnosing and staging of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and other fibrotic diseases. Current molecular imaging research focuses on the discovery and exploration of naturally existing molecular targets of diseases. It also focuses on novel approaches to exploit differences associated with the molecular targets between normal and diseased states, diagnosis and treatment.
  3. Neuroscience - Fast-emerging technological advances in bioelectronics, bio-nano-sensor technology and neural engineering have created exciting advancements in several areas of neuroscience. Advanced technological developments are critical for addressing the challenges of improving basic knowledge of the nervous system, neurophysiology and neurological disorders and to develop devices to interface with neural tissues.
  4. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine - The advent of stem cell-based therapies has brought regenerative medicine into an increased focus as part of the modern medicine practice. Gene therapy will also play a greater role in this new world.
  5. Robots - Patients will see more medical or bio-robots becoming an important part of their care. “These robots will develop novel nano micro and macro devices to assist in diagnosis, surgery, prosthetics, rehabilitation and personal assistance,” said Dhawan. “Clinical, therapeutic and surgical applications of medical robots with advanced instrumentation, sensors, actuators and real-time systems could make a revolutionary impact in medicine and health care.”

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Oracle Donates OpenOffice.org Open-Source Project to Apache

N.C. outsourcing deal leads to IT layoffs

Indian based offshore firm HCL wins outsourcing contract from Dex One; 30% of IT staff will be cut, reports say

By Patrick Thibodeau

A North Carolina company that has signed an outsourcing deal with the Indian IT services firm that will result in some layoffs. Dex One Corp. in Cary, N.C., a maker of yellow pages print directories, an operator of an ad network, and a provider of search tools and other products, said Thursday that it has hired HCL Technologies "to accelerate delivery of new digital offerings while reducing operational costs."
A local newspaper, the News & Observer, reported that Dex One plans o eliminate about 30% of its IT staff. About one in five of the laid off employees will be rehired by HCL, the newspaper reported.
The current size of the Dex One IT staff wasn't disclosed.Dex One officials were unavailable for comment today. HCL runs a regional facility in Cary that employs 278 workers, an HCL spokeswoman said.
A company that is making a similar move is Xerox, which is preparing to expand its outsourcing arrangement with HCL to include employees who work in its product engineering group.
Xerox has said some of the engineering employees may be transferred to HCL, but it hasn't announced layoffs and said that it's too early to speculate on the workforce impact.
Xerox and HCL signed a six-year, $100 million outsourcing agreement in 2009. The pact called for HCL to provide data center services and run nine Xerox data centers in the U.S. and Europe.
Dex One was previously known as R.H. Donnelley. The firm filed for bankruptcy under the former name in 2009, and emerged this year as the Dex One.
Dex One's CTO, Atish Banerjea , was not available for comment.
He was appointed to that job in January and has since moved the company to the Agile development methodology.
In a statement, Banerjea said HCL will give Dex One engineering expertise "that complements our Santa Monica, Calif., and Denver digital product development teams." The outsourcer will also help reduce cycle times to accelerate delivery of new products, he added.
"Beyond the operational benefits, this partnership reduces our costs and is part of the company's larger effort to record $140 million in cost savings in 2011," said Banerjea.