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   Non-TechTrends Worth Watching


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From: Ron11/18/2019 12:38:48 PM
3 Recommendations   of 2652
 
‘Low-Code’ Becomes High Priority as Automation Demands Soar

CIOs are expanding the use of tools that let noncoders create applications Chief information officers, on the hook to automate manual and repetitive business processes, are increasingly turning to tools designed to create applications quickly, without the sweat of writing and debugging lines of code.

Collectively known as “low-code,” these tools have been available in some form for decades. But they have grown more popular with information-technology staff and other departments as workplace automation grows and young, mobile-savvy people join the workforce.

With low-code, employees can quickly make apps by picking, dragging and dropping from a collection of ready-made software building blocks.

Johnson Controls International PLC, an Ireland-based industrial and technology conglomerate that makes heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, tapped nontech employees like engineers to create low-code dashboards that track installations, record project metrics and manage service calls, said Chief Information Officer Nancy Berce.

The company, which has about 105,000 employees across more than 100 countries, set up guardrails so the low-code apps don’t disrupt the resiliency of its central systems, she said.

“A lot of people are creating a lot of good things; how do we start to share that and make that more available to broader users? We haven’t quite figured that one out yet. That’s the next level of maturity,” Ms. Berce said.

Freeing up staff to focus on core technology issues was one of the reasons St. Luke’s University Health Network in Pennsylvania started using low-code, said CIO Chad Brisendine.

“There’s always a bigger appetite for IT than what we’re able to provide. I see this as helping meet that demand,” Mr. Brisendine said.

IT employees turned to low-code to build more than 20 applications using Microsoft Corp. tools. None of them took more than 20 hours to create.

It took eight hours to make an app that pulls information from the hospital’s systems, including a Workday Inc. platform, to track and send reminders to staff on continuing medical training, a requirement for doctors to retain their license. The author, an analyst in the IT department, didn’t know how to code, Mr. Brisendine said.

Mr. Brisendine next year plans to expand low-code training to more business units within St. Luke’s, which has about 15,000 employees.

Companies including Siemens AG , Appian Corp. , Pegasystems Inc. and Salesforce.com Inc. also provide low-code tools.

Forms of low-code have been around for decades, but combining it with the use of application programming interfaces, chunks of code designed to connect systems and platforms and share data, has made it easier for those not conversant in C++ or Java to create applications with a punch, said Jason Wong, senior director at research and advisory company Gartner Inc.

Gartner is projecting that low-code will account for more than 65% of application development activity by 2024.



David Hoag, CIO at Chicago-based Options Clearing Corp., a central clearinghouse serving as a backstop for trades in the options market, said making low-code applications is as easy as dragging and dropping widgets.

The company used low-code to develop a visitor-registration system as part of an “app a day” program, where technology teams work with other departments to create applications to solve pressing business problems. The system, created in less than a day, registers visitors, logs arrival and departure times, captures visitor and badge information, and helps the facilities team generate reports on visitor activity.

Similar commercial software was quoted at costing between $30,000 and $50,000 a year, Mr. Hoag said.

OCC started building low-code apps in 2015 and today uses about 30 of them. Mr. Hoag sees low-code’s use spreading beyond IT.

“More people will be entering the workforce who have the foundational skills necessary to run with these things. Even if they’re not Java and HTML and JavaScript experts, they’ll be able to implement low-code systems,” Mr. Hoag said.

wsj.com

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From: Julius Wong11/19/2019 1:40:53 PM
1 Recommendation   of 2652
 
MIT develops new carbon capture technology

gasworld.com

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From: Julius Wong11/21/2019 7:53:07 AM
2 Recommendations   of 2652
 
Mexican 'smart city' would be 100% energy efficient, self-sustaining

An Italian firm has put forward an idea for a green city that would be completely self-sustaining, modern, and green.

bigthink.com

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From: Ron11/22/2019 7:06:31 PM
1 Recommendation   of 2652
 
Solar Breakthough Using Mirrors and A.I. - Company backed by Bill Gates
cnn.com

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From: Glenn Petersen11/26/2019 10:02:12 AM
1 Recommendation   of 2652
 
Wealth by Generation and Age

by Alex Tabarrok
Marginal Revolution
November 26, 2019 at 7:25 am

Kurt Andersen made the following arresting tweet

Fraction of all US wealth owned by Boomers & Gen-Xers when the average member of each was age 35:

Boomers, 1989 21%
GenX, 2008 8%
The average Millennial turns 35 in 2023. Right now they own 3%.

There will surely be political implications.
Definitions: Baby Boomer=born 1946-1964, Gen X=born 1965-1980, and Millennial=born 1981-1996.

You can’t take it with you, so this will change eventually but perhaps too late. Think of this as the Prince Charles effect. Prince Charles hasn’t offed his mother and led a revolution yet but in an earlier age he probably would have and surely he has thought about it. Similarly, perhaps the demand among some Gen-Xers and Millennials for wealth redistribution can be understood as a demand to get their share of the pot before they are old and tired.

The data, which are from the Federal Reserve are here.

marginalrevolution.com

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From: Julius Wong11/26/2019 6:49:07 PM
   of 2652
 
‘There’s something terribly wrong’: Americans are dying young at alarming rates

washingtonpost.com

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To: Julius Wong who wrote (2629)11/27/2019 8:49:36 AM
From: Julius Wong
   of 2652
 
It’s Not Just Poor White People Driving a Decline in Life Expectancy

A new study shows that death rates increased for middle-aged people of all racial and ethnic groups.

nytimes.com

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From: Julius Wong11/30/2019 8:31:09 PM
1 Recommendation   of 2652
 
Making It Rain

How drought-stricken cities are capitalizing on a building solution so simple, it’s almost like it’s right above our heads.

reasonstobecheerful.world

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To: Julius Wong who wrote (2631)11/30/2019 9:27:31 PM
From: Ron
1 Recommendation   of 2652
 
Something that's way overdue, especially with aquifer depletion. They've been practicing
small-scale versions of this in places like Bermuda for a long time...


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From: Sam12/1/2019 2:00:45 AM
1 Recommendation   of 2652
 
Prime Mover: How Amazon Wove Itself Into the Life of an American City
For most people, it’s the click that brings a package to their door. But a look at Baltimore shows how Amazon may now reach into Americans’ daily existence in more ways than any corporation in history.

By Scott Shane

Nov. 30, 2019
full article at nytimes.com

BALTIMORE — Another big Prime Air 767 takes off from Baltimore-Washington International Airport — where Amazon’s shipping last year eclipsed that of FedEx and U.P.S. put together — and wheels above the old industrial city. Below, the online giant seems to touch every niche of the economy, its ubiquity and range breathtaking.

To the city’s southeast stand two mammoth Amazon warehouses, built with heavy government subsidies, operating on the sites of shuttered General Motors and Bethlehem Steel plants. Computers monitor workers during grueling 10-hour shifts, identifying slow performers for firing. Those on the floor earn $15.40 to $18 an hour, less than half of what their unionized predecessors made. But in Baltimore’s postindustrial economy, the jobs are in demand.

Near the Inner Harbor are the side-by-side stadiums of the Ravens and the Orioles, where every move on the field is streamed to Amazon Web Services for analysis using artificial intelligence. Football players have a chip in each shoulder pad and baseball players are tracked by radar, producing flashy graphics for television and arcane stats for coaches.

Up in northwest Baltimore, a pastor has found funding to install Amazon Ring video cameras on homes in a high-crime neighborhood. Privacy advocates express alarm at proliferating surveillance; footage of suspects can be shared with the police at a click. But the number of interested residents has already outstripped the number of cameras available.

In City Hall downtown and at Johns Hopkins University a few miles away, procurement officers have begun buying from local suppliers via Amazon Business — and even starred in a national marketing video for the company. Buyers say the convenience more than justifies interposing a Seattle-based corporation between their institutions and nearby businesses. Critics denounce the retail giant’s incursion into long-established relationships. It is a very Amazon dispute.

As federal regulators and Congress assess whether Amazon’s market power should be curbed under antitrust laws — and whether, as some politicians argue, the company should be broken up — The New York Times has explored the company’s impact in one American community: greater Baltimore.

Baltimore’s pleading pitch last year to become an additional headquarters city for Amazon, promising a whopping $3.8 billion in subsidies, did not even make the second round of bidding. But Amazon’s presence here shows how the many-armed titan may now reach into Americans’ daily lives in more ways than any corporation in history. If antitrust investigators want to sample Amazon’s impact on the ground, they could well take a look here.

Anirban Basu, a Baltimore economist who has studied the region for years, is skeptical of apocalyptic claims about Amazon, saying Sears and Walmart were both once seen as all-powerful. But he called Amazon a “profit-margin killer” and said it should be scrutinized, particularly because technological trends that include artificial intelligence, driverless trucks, drones and new payment systems all play to its advantage.

“All these things are a threat to other industries,” Mr. Basu said. “But they’re all good for Amazon. As powerful as it is, Amazon is set to be much more powerful.”

continues at nytimes.com

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