Category Archives: Education

Cloud Infographic: Going To The Cloud

Cloud Infographic: Going To The Cloud

Cloud Infographic: Going To The Cloud

Over the past few years, we’ve covered the importance of cloud computing in the classroom and its defining nature as something to adopt and accept moving forward. Some of our coverage has been flippant while other discussions have been more serious in nature. Nevertheless we can all agree that cloud based education will be universal and the accepted method of teachings by many in the next little while. Massive cloud based classrooms will exist, and it will be just a matter of time before older generations start sharing stories of the good old days when classrooms were built with chalkboards and desks. In the meantime, cloud based educational services will be a hot topic for many years to come…

Attached is an excellent infographic provided courtesy of onlinecolleges.net .

education-cloud-infographic

Infographic Source: onlinecolleges.net

Cloud Infographic: Massive Open Online Courses

Cloud Infographic: Massive Open Online Courses

Massive Open Online Courses

With the growth of cloud computing, most of us have accomplished some form of telecommuting in the past few years. From updating the latest company lead in the CRM service of choice to coordinating a monthly corporate newsletter which requires last minute updating. This can all be accomplished remotely from the use of a cloud based service.

Another exciting area of growth will be online learning utilizing cloud based educational platforms. For example (MOOC) or Massive Open Online Course. “MOOC is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user fora that help build a community for students… ” Source: Wikipedia. This is excellent news for those looking to have a little more flexibility in their lives and have the ability to take courses on their own time.

Attached is an excellent infographic by MOOCs.com which lists several major MOOC providers.  There are over 1200 courses offered with over 16% in Computer Science which is very good news for those looking to break into the high flying, high demand field of Data Science.

MOOC

Infographic Source: MOOCs.com

Hand Writing: Data, Data, Everywhere, But Let’s Just Stop And Think

Hand Writing: Data, Data, Everywhere, But Let’s Just Stop And Think

Hand Writing: Data, Data, Everywhere, But Let’s Just Stop And Think

Surely nobody who has the slightest awareness of what’s going on in the world can be unaware of the phrase ‘big data’. Almost every day the newspapers and television make reference to it, and it’s ubiquitous on the web. In November, a Google search for the phrase ‘big data’ yielded 1.8 billion hits. Google Trends shows that the rate of searches for the phrase is now about ten times what it was at the start of 2011.

The phrase defies an exact definition: one can define it in absolute terms (so many gigabytes, petabytes, etc) or in relative terms (relative to your computational resources), and in other ways. The obvious way for data to be big is by having many units (e.g., stars in an astronomical database), but it could also be big in terms of the number of variables (e.g., genomic data), the number of times something is observed (e.g., high frequency financial data), or by virtue of its complexity (e.g., the number of potential interactions in a social network).

Data-Scientists_Infographic

However one defines it, the point about ‘big data’ is the implied promise—of wonderful discoveries concealed within the huge mass, if only one can tease them out. That this is exactly the same promise that data mining made some twenty years ago is no accident. To a large extent, ‘big data’ is merely a media rebranding of ‘data mining’ (and of ‘business analytics’ in commercial contexts), and the media coining of the phrase ‘big data’ goes some way towards explaining the suddenness of the rise in interest.

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of use of big data. One merely involves searching, sorting, matching, concatenating, and so on. So, for example, we get directions from Google maps, we learn how far away the next bus is, and we find a shop stocking the item we want. But the other use, and my personal feeling is there are more problems of this kind, involves inference. That is, we don’t actually want to know about the data we have but about data we might have had or might have in the future. What will happen tomorrow? Which medicine will make us better? What is the true value of some attribute? What would have happened had things been different? While computational tools are the keys to the first kind of problem, statistical tools are the keys to the second.

If big data is another take on data mining (looking at it from the resources end, rather than the tool end) then perhaps we can learn from the data mining experience. We might suspect, for example, that interesting and valuable discoveries will be few and far between, that many discoveries will turn out to be uninteresting, or obvious, or already well-known, and that most will be explainable by data errors. For example, big data sets are often accumulated as a side-effect of some other process—calculating how much to charge for a basket of supermarket purchases, deciding what prescription is appropriate for each patient, marking the exams of individual students—so we must be wary of issues such as selection bias. Statisticians are very aware of such things, but others are not.

As far as errors are concerned, a critical thing about big data is that the computer is a necessary intermediary: the only way you can look at the data is via plots, models, and diagnostics. You cannot examine a massive data set point by point. If data themselves are one step in a mapping from the phenomenon being studied, then looking at those data through the window of the computer is yet another step. No wonder errors and misunderstandings creep in.

Moreover, while there is no doubt that big data opens up new possibilities for discovery, that does not mean that ‘small data’ are redundant. Indeed, I might conjecture an informal theorem: the number of data sets of size n is inversely related to n. There will be vastly more small data sets than big ones, so we should expect proportionately more discoveries to emerge from small data sets.

Neither must we forget that data and information are not the same: it is possible to be data rich but information poor. The manure heap theorem is of relevance here. This mistaken theorem says that the probability of finding a gold coin in a heap of manure tends to 1 as the size of the heap tends towards infinity. Several times, after I’ve given talks about the potential of big data (stressing the need for effective tools, and describing the pitfalls outlined above), I have had people, typically from the commercial world, approach me to say that they’ve employed researchers to study their massive data sets, but to no avail: no useful information has been found.

Finally, the bottom line: to have any hope of extracting anything useful from big data, and to overcome the pitfalls outlined above, effective inferential skills are vital. That is, at the heart of extracting value from big data lies statistics.

David-J-HandBy David J Hand

David Hand is Senior Research Investigator and Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College, London, and Chief Scientific Advisor to Winton Capital Management. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and a recipient of the Guy Medal of the Royal Statistical Society. He has served (twice) as President of the Royal Statistical Society, and is on the Board of the UK Statistics Authority. He has published 300 scientific papers and 25 books.

Original post can be seen in the Institute of Mathematical Statistics Bulletin, January/February 2014bulletin.imstat.org

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Progress

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Progress



cloud-education

 

By David Fletcher

Are you looking to supercharge your Newsletter, Powerpoint presentation, Social media campaign or Website? Our universally recognized tech related comics can help you. Contact us for information on our commercial licensing rates. 

Let’s Talk Big Data

Let’s Talk Big Data

Let’s Talk Big Data

big-data-spend

More and more consumer data is collected every day. In fact, according to an infograph provided by Elexio, 90% of it was produced and collected these past couple of years. From how we use our credit cards, which stores we shop at and how we use social platforms, data is being collected in mass quantities. Now it is just a matter of how we use the data. Is all this information really significant or does the data in the amounts of hundreds of petabytes have little worth? Based on the evidence provided by Elexio’s infograph, information collection is costing the U.S. $900 billion; leading to a whopping 40% being thrown away due to not knowing what or how to use it.

While many are still unsure how best to utilize this information, more and more companies are continually insisting on accessing it.  As shown by Alteryx, even though companies do not know how best to use all the information gathered 45% of businesses say they need more. Not only do companies feel they need more data, they feel that more of their employees need access to the data in order to make more knowledgeable company choices. A whopping 77% of companies express the need for extensive employee access to such information for the well being of business decisions.

So, to what extent is this industry projected to grow in the next 10 years? Well, based on information provided by SAP, Big Data is a key element, along with the Cloud, Mobility and Social Business, in the 90% growth of 3rd Platform Technologies of ICT spending.  This growth will jump the need for data analytical positions within the industry. Currently around 68% of businesses still do not have a Big Data analytics team, however, with the projected growth of this niche that percentage will diminish quite rapidly over the next couple of years.

Big Data helps us not only determine consumer behavior, but it in turn also helps analyze market behavior, as well. Big Data helps us project which industries are growing and which are declining. With that said, many companies are still lacking Big Data sectors and thus missing out on the many uses it has. For example, from Alteryx’s infograph, we learn that four sectors, customer service, human resources, general management and strategy and business development, are restricted by their Big Data shortage. And of those four niches, customer service, strategy and business development and general management, along with marketing would significantly gain from an increase in Big Data competence.

One thing is for sure, the need for Big Data is on the rise. More and more companies are looking to reap the benefits and though we aren’t quite efficient in its use, this will soon diminish as the niche erupts over the next few years.

By Glenn Blake

4 Ways That Cloud Hosting Has Changed How We Do Business

4 Ways That Cloud Hosting Has Changed How We Do Business

4 Ways That Cloud Hosting Has Changed How We Do Business

Cloud hosting has lowered the barrier to entry for IT provisioning, provided improved collaboration tools and platforms, driven innovation, and increased choice.

There is a huge amount of hype surrounding the concept and implementation of cloud technology. Marketers have grasped the potential messaging and branding benefits of the cloud with both hands. As is often the case, cloud boosterism has produced a predictable backlash from traditionalists in the IT world.

No one wants to be thought of as bandwagon jumping or buying into the flimflam of marketers, but there’s a danger that the impulse to ignore the cloud may leave businesses trailing behind their less circumspect competitors.

While it’s true that the cloud and its associated technology are not a panacea to all problems that IT-dependent businesses face a sober-minded assessment of the proven benefits of adopting cloud servers, compute resources, storage, and network infrastructure reveals a consistent advantage for businesses that choose to embrace the cloud.

cloud-student-draw

Lowered Barrier To Entry

It’s possible to argue all day about the relative benefits of the cloud versus traditional data center collocation for various business models. But, it’s undeniable that on-demand IT infrastructure with prorated billing is a huge boon for both startups and established companies developing new products.

It’s no longer necessary for businesses to invest assets they’d rather remain liquid into upfront hardware provisioning. That avoidance of significant CAPEX is the one advantage from which many of the other benefits stem.

Improved Collaboration

Back in the day, IT and its exploitation were location-bound. Today, companies all over the world are leveraging cloud technologies to implement new organizational paradigms. It is possible for a billion-dollar company like Automattic to succeed without a central location at all. Their IT resources are in the cloud, and so are the tools that allow them to develop, to organize, and to manage their finances and client relationships.

Companies can become globalized and decentralized while still maintaining a strong organizational structure. They can recruit from a global talent pool to find the best in their field because location is no longer an issue.

Automattic is an extreme example. Most companies neither need nor want their employees to be spread across 141 cities in 28 countries, but they can take advantage of the collaboration benefits of cloud technology in smaller ways.

A Driver Of Innovation

One of the corollaries of lower capital expenditure is increased willingness to experiment. Experimentation drives innovation. Both new businesses and established companies can take a risk on developing new businesses lines because that risk is much lower than it would once have been.

More Choice

An open cloud where data can be moved around at will pursuing the best price and service has encouraged the development of a flourishing ecosystem. The trend towards lessened risk of vendor lock-in gives companies the confidence to invest in cloud technologies in the knowledge that they are not stuck with a particular vendor should relationships go south.

These are four of the many potential benefits that cloud technology has brought to businesses of all sizes. It’s not necessary to drink the cloud Kool Aid to see that smart money should be moving in the direction of cloud services and marketplaces.

By Victor Brown,

Victor is a marketer and technical writer for Cirrus Hosting, the leading Canadian hosting company. Follow Victor and Cirrus on Twitter @CirrusTechLtd, Like them on Facebook, and you can check out their hosting blog http://www.cirrushosting.com/category/blog.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Down The Line

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Down The Line



cloud_167

By David Fletcher

Are you looking to supercharge your Newsletter, Powerpoint presentation, Social media campaign or Website? Our universally recognized tech related comics can help you. Contact us for information on our commercial licensing rates. 

The Education Revolution: Cloud Technology In The Classroom

The Education Revolution: Cloud Technology In The Classroom

Technology In The Classroom

With the back-to-school season now upon us, parents, students and teachers everywhere are once again struggling with the perpetual challenge of making kids job-ready in a high-speed and fast-changing environment. There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that information technology in the classrom plays a central role in all areas of life but sadly, access to this technology and the subsequent reaping of its benefits often stays out of reach, either due to lack of funding, lack of familiarity, or outright resistance.

In a recent USA Today special feature, in which CloudTweaks played a central role, Dr. Steve Paine, President of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), pointed out that “sixty-five percent of today’s students will have a job that has not been invented yet.”

In the same feature, Vint Cerf, one of the “fathers” of the Internet, and Grammy-winning musician John Legend, both attested to the power of interactive and customized learning, as a university professor and a former underprivileged student respectively.

CloudTweaks writer Adam Hausman provided a case for the effectiveness of the cloud as a secure and central repository for all of the essential files and documents that go into effective learning.

The resistance to the implementation of interactive technologies in the public school system stems from a collection of substantive adult fears that revolve primarily around control. Many teachers are not comfortable with technology and see it as a distraction from their existing lesson plan rather than a central component of it. Although they would like fulfill their calling to teach young minds, they do not feel comfortable with the sophistication and the high rate of change that modern technology delivers. Parents also are concerned about the lack of control that occurs when young children are “let loose ” on the internet. Concerns about access to pornography, scam sites, or simply ideas beyond their level of familial comfort cause parents and their related organizations to impose pressure on teachers  to limit access to online material. To many, the various technologies of the online world represent a vast unknown, one which didn’t exist when they were growing up, and therefore seems unnecessary.

But the fact remains that students today not only need to be prepared for both traditional jobs and the jobs of tomorrow, they also need to be given a chance to learn, regardless of socio-economic situation or personal learning style. The USA Today article  points out this is not just a nice-to-have idea. The quality of education in the U.S. is declining while other countries are aggressively taking advantage of the comparative low cost and the huge potential of online learning, giving their students a keen advantage in the global workplace.

As always, CloudTweaks played a central role in the co-ordination and content development of this special USA Today supplement. Our team of experts and writers constantly help our clients to stay abreast of the changes and benefits of interactive technology and cloud solutions, to help ensure that anyone who needs to learn about technology, including established professionals, can obtain what they need to know in real time, and in a way that makes sense. In November 2013 we will be teaming up with Fortune Magazine/Time Inc to create a special supplement that discusses the outlook for the cloud in 2014, including stories on security, commerce and innovation.

Email CloudTweaks for more information about this special project, and how your organization can be part of it…

By Steve Prentice

CloudTweaks Comics
The Internet of Things – Redefining The Digital World As We Know It

The Internet of Things – Redefining The Digital World As We Know It

Redefining The Digital World According to Internet World Stats (June 30th, 2015), no fewer than 3.2 billion people across the world now use the internet in one way or another. This means an incredible amount of data sharing through the utilization of API’s, Cloud platforms and inevitably the world of connected Things. The Internet of Things is a…

Cloud Infographic: The Future of File Storage

Cloud Infographic: The Future of File Storage

 The Future of File Storage A multi-billion dollar market Data storage has been readily increasing for decades. In 1989, an 8MB Macintosh Portable was top of the range; in 2006, the Dell Inspiron 6400 became available, boasting 160GB; and now, we have the ‘Next Generation’ MacBook Pro with 256GB of storage built in. But, of course,…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Benefits A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Computing And SMEs SMEs (Small/Medium Sized Enterprises) make up the bulk of businesses today. Most cloud based applications created today are geared toward the SME market. Accounting, Storage, Backup services are just a few of them. According to the European Commission, cloud based technology could help 80% of organisations reduce costs by 10-20%. This infographic provided…

New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware A new report published this morning by Menlo Security has alarmingly suggested that at least a third of the top 1,000,000 websites in the world are at risk of being infected by malware. While it’s worth prefacing the findings with the fact Menlo used Alexa to…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations Everyone knows what the cloud is, but does everybody know where the cloud is? We try to answer that as we look at some of the most unusual data centre locations in the world. Under the Eyes of a Deity Deep beneath the famous Uspenski Cathedral in the…

Are Women Discriminated Against In The Tech Sector?

Are Women Discriminated Against In The Tech Sector?

Women Discriminated Against In Tech Sector It is no secret that the tech industry is considered sexist since most women are paid less than men; there are considerably fewer women in tech jobs; and generally men get promoted above women. Yet the irony is twofold. Firstly, there is an enormous demand for employees with skills…

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Success for Today’s CMOs Being a CMO is an exhilarating experience – it’s a lot like running a triathlon and then following it with a base jump. Not only do you play an active role in building a company and brand, but the decisions you make have direct impact on the company’s business outcomes for…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

Embracing The Cloud We love the stories of big complacent industry leaders having their positions sledge hammered by nimble cloud-based competitors. Saleforce.com chews up Oracle’s CRM business. Airbnb has a bigger market cap than Marriott. Amazon crushes Walmart (and pretty much every other retailer). We say: “How could they have not seen this coming?” But, more…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does cloud security risks ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that, and…

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

DDoS Attacks October 21st, 2016 went into the annals of Internet history for the large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that made popular Internet properties like Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and Box inaccessible to many users in the US. The DDoS attack happened in three waves targeting DNS service provider Dyn, resulting in a total of about…

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Cloud Beacons Flying High When Apple debuted cloud beacons in 2013, analysts predicted 250 million devices capable of serving as iBeacons would be found in the wild within weeks. A few months later, estimates put the figure at just 64,000, with 15 percent confined to Apple stores. Beacons didn’t proliferate as expected, but a few…

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital. Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many…