Archive for May, 2015

Platform helps displaced families in Haiti crowdfund new homes

May 31, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Crowdsourcing

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This is a great combination of Open innovation partnerships, social media input from crowdsourcing, and helping make the world a better place.  New Story is a non profit based in Haiti, and has come up with a crowdfunding platform which enables families to raise the money to finance building a new, long-term home.

It takes about $6,000 to build a home for one family. New Story has partnered with Mission of Hope, which sources families in need and helps them to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Potential donors can read the family’s story and view expenses such as materials and labor. All the money raised goes directly to each project, which is then carried out by local contractors in Haiti. The houses, which are three room block homes, are usually completed within two months, after which families post video updates for their donors. You can read this story here, and perhaps even donate to a family in need yourself: http://www.newstorycharity.org/

On hiring Millennials and bringing out their best

May 26, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Consumer "Identity"

A new study tells us what many already know: Millennials will be the largest generation in the U.S. workforce as of 2015. Yet we often have a difficult time hiring members of this youngest professional generation.  Why is that?

Check out this infographic and see if you can glean some insights:

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Photo via UpWork

The study reveals changes in how we work, generational differences, and the critical role millennials play for businesses as we move forward.

We know that millennials offer unique skills – such as fresh ideas, adaptability and tech-savvy – that businesses need in order to innovate and remain competitive. Although clear contrasts exist between the prior generation and millennials, these are to be expected as millennials reinvent what it means to be successful in a rapidly changing, technology-driven world.

What are your thoughts?

Hawaii Aims for 100 Percent Renewable Power by 2045

May 23, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Uncategorized

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 7.18.33 PMDid you know that Hawaii is on the verge of being the first state in the U.S. to set a goal of generating all of its electricity from renewable energy sources? This is exciting news for our island state.

There is a new bill that is gaining popularity that offers 100 percent of the state’s electricity that would be generated with renewables by 2045. If the bill passes, it will put the state’s climate goals far ahead any other, and extend Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative through mid-century. The initiative aims to reduce the state’s dependency on oil, which generates most of its electric power.

You can read more about this at a site called Climate Central.

Games innovators play

May 21, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

What if you could gain the knowledge and expertise to be able to manage innovation while dealing with the balance between running short-term operations and building long-term strategies – all from playing a game?

I came across an interesting article about using games for business models. It’s called the the Innovation Management Game, and it shows us the benefits of games and how they broaden our minds to think differently and consider different solutions to challenges:

  • Games can be a beneficial way of combining various interests.
  • Games challenge assumptions.
  • Games create surprises that might eventually lead to innovation.
  • Games offer the freedom to improvise, suggest, play and test alternative and future business model scenarios.

This one actually comes with a trailer:

Read full article: Using Games to create Business Model Innovation

Google to eliminate human drivers?

May 19, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

I shared this on our Facebook Page today. (I hope you are following our stories there.)

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It seems that Google’s goal of putting cars on “auto pilot” is becoming a reality. In fact, this prototype is going to be logging in road hours starting in June. The car has no steering wheel or pedals, so it’s up to the computer to do all the driving.  Wired Magazine reports that this is very cool, BUT there are some downsides:

Autonomous vehicles are coming. Make no mistake. But conventional automakers are rolling out features piecemeal, over the course of many years. Cars already have active safety features like automatic braking and lane departure warnings. In the next few years, expect cars to handle themselves on the highway, with more complicated urban driving to follow.

“We call it a revolution by evolution. We will take it step by step, and add more functionality, add more usefulness to the system,” says Thomas Ruchatz, Audi’s head of driver assistance systems and integrated safety. Full autonomy is “not going to happen just like that,” where from one day to the next “we can travel from our doorstep to our work and we don’t have a steering wheel in the car.”

Read the rest here:

2025 tech predictions an opportunity for hackers and innovators

May 18, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Crowdsourcing
NSA Headquarters

NSA Headquarters

The future – at least in the short term – will make our identities even more of an open book if we’re not careful. That’s according to a new report out from the Institute for the Future called Information Generation: Transforming the Future Today, and identifies five “key directional shifts” in the coming decade.

1. The information economy, which will take the data we generate from shopping, dieting or working out and securely chache it or sell it to the highest bidder.

Commerce in the data arena will be able to do everything from literally enrich us to helping society at large via the secure transfer of genomic data.

2. An increase of connected devices Not just your phone, but your car, your refrigerator and your headphones will all be talking to each other and sharing your habits with the Internet marketeers and manufacturers.

4. Multi-sensory communication, with tools like digital wristwatches (think Apple), will do everything from tap us on the shoulder to measuring our heart rate to remind us when our eyes have had too many screens.

Speaking of hacking, here are eight more trends as reported by USA Today:

Cyber predictions for 2015

1. While hacks of major retail businesses will continue to occur with frightening regularity, it will be the health care industry that will be the source of many, if not most, major data breaches. Due to a perfect storm of vulnerability caused by large amounts of stored electronic data shared by many users within the health care system, the health care industry has become a major target for hacking, with the stolen personal information used for identity theft, including medical identity theft. The effects of that can be particularly harmful when an identity thief’s medical records become mixed with the victim’s medical records. The FBI has warned the health care industry that its cyber security is not presently sufficient to protect the information it stores.

2. As evidenced by the recent attack on Sony, companies are extremely vulnerable to hacking by nation states, criminal organizations or terrorists. The type of malware used to attack government agencies and major corporations is increasingly available to such groups who are showing a willingness to wreak havoc for purposes not restricted to financial gain.

3. A key element found in just about all major data breaches is that the malware necessary to harm the company or governmental agency is unwittingly downloaded. This is done through sophisticated phishing e-mails that appear to be legitimate and are specifically addressed to the employee or third-party contractor who is the weak link. Then it is exploited by luring that person into downloading the malware that brings about the hacking. These e-mails will continue to become more difficult to recognize in the upcoming year. Dealing with this type of phishing, called spear phishing or social engineering, and learning how to identify it must become an element of primary security for everyone, including individuals, companies and government agencies.

4. The Cloud will become even more broadly used by everyone for data storage and will consequently become a greater target for hackers and identity thieves. They will will focus their attention on hacking smartphones to gain the passwords necessary for access to the victims’ information in the cloud. Greater use of dual-factor identification, and greater attention to smartphone security, including complex passwords, encryption and security software, will help us all increase security.

5. Just as in 2014 we learned of the Heartbleed and Shellshock computer vulnerabilities that had been present, but largely unrecognized, for years, so will we find that other long-standing vulnerabilities will be discovered and exploited by identity thieves and hackers. Part of the problem is that much of the development of new software is built upon open-source programming such as Open SSL that contained and most likely still contains vulnerabilities waiting to be exploited. Developers have got to do a better job of building in security and updating security to all programs.

6. Personal banking and other financial transactions will become increasingly mobile and consequently will become an increasing target of hackers and identity thieves. We can learn from the experience in Europe where mobile banking has been done longer and where hackers have been able to even defeat dual-factor identification programs used for enhanced security. A great source of the problem with smartphone security can be traced to malicious apps that are unwittingly downloaded. Limiting your sources for apps to legitimate vendors, such as Google App, can help limit your vulnerability.

7. Hacks of major retailers will increase in the months preceding October of 2015. That is the date that stores must switch to smart cards with computer chips that generate a unique number for every individual transaction. Although some stores, such as Walmart have already switched to smart card technology, many have not, and many people have not received new credit cards with computer chips to avail themselves of the protection provided by the new system. Security measures to eliminate the types of hacking done to Target, Home Depot and others have still not been sufficiently taken by many American companies.

8. Expect a repeat in 2015. As exposed recently by the security company FireEye, hackers were able to use spear-phishing techniques to gain access to pharmaceutical companies’ computers, data and e-mails in order to gain information that they could use for purposes of profiting by insider trading using information not available to the public. We can well expect that this scenario will be repeated again and again in 2015.


Google to make surgery robots

May 15, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Uncategorized

Google and Johnson & Johnson are teaming up to develop robots that can perform surgery.  The companies say they are developing a “platform” to make robotic assistants to help doctors during surgery. Financial terms were not disclosed. What are your thoughts? Click the image to read more:
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California’s drought problems need innovators to step up

May 1, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Interesting links

I travel to California frequently, and have seen first hand the devastating effects of the drought and the water problems facing people and businesses. And many other states will soon feel the pinch of what’s happening to our California friends, by way of food shortages and the like. But for those who live and work there, California is becoming a land of thirst. Thankfully, there are many great minds working on this issue. Boston-based Cambrian Innovation is one. It has seen a spike in California inquiries for EcoVolt, a self-contained system that uses electrically active microbes to both purify wastewater and generate energy-producing methane gas. EcoVolt is aimed at food and beverage companies, and is in use by a few California wineries and breweries. Read more here:

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