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The End Of The World... Or Just The Internet?

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I Survived The End of The World Posters by flyingdiscs
Make posters online at Zazzle.
Well it's December 22 and everyone is still here! So despite all of media hype and disinformation surrounding the Mayan calendar the world didn't end (told ya so...) but the way we see and interact with our "world" through the Internet is definitely changing. Mobile devices have become the primary means of communicating for an entire generation. Forbes has a very good article about what that means for business and individual users.

Fast iPhone Apps

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The MIS 290 class has started working on developing mobile apps. Using the development tools at the site iBuildApp.com it is possible to quickly create a working app for the iPhone or any Android compatible device. Developers can choose from many pre-defined templates and modules or with a little time and effort they can even create their own. If you know HTML or JavaScript the iBuildApp site provides a generic “bare bones” module to insert original code. Some of the basic modules provided by iBuildApp include: Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps, Contact Information, Streaming Video, and RSS feeds. There is even a simulator to test the app that emulates an iPhone or Android. The picture below shows one of our apps being tested on an iPad:

2012 Billionaire's Challenge

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Today in the BUS 350 Operations Management class, we held this semester’s "Billionaire's Challenge." The exercise involved analyzing a production case study using Microsoft Excel's Solver "add in." Students had to first set-up and solve the case then change key variables using Excel to earn at least one-million dollars profit. After that they may compete to make at least $1,000,000,000.

This semester's Billionaires are:

Maria Schwab - "Winner" $3.9 Billion!
Ciera Hughes
Julia Naab
Augie Hibner
Caleb Kolby
Weston Luzadder

Nice going everybody!

Mars Rover Landing

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NASA's Mars rover Curiosity touched down on the surface of the Red Planet, completing a 354-million-mile journey, and marking the beginning of a new era in planetary exploration.

The rover which is about the size of a small SUV, approached Mars at about 13,000 miles per hour. When the Martian atmosphere slowed the craft to about 900 miles per hour, a supersonic parachute deployed, slowing the craft even further. But the rover was still descending too quickly to land in one piece.

After the rover separated from the parachute, rocket motors fired, continuing to slow the descent. Then, at about 60 feet above the surface, a "sky-crane" lowered the rover to its new home on the Red Planet.

According to NASA, the rover touched down at approximately 1:30 a.m. EDT Read the full article from the Huffington Post here.

DNS Changer Malware Scan

On July 9 some computers that have been infected with the “DNS Changer Malware” will lose their Internet access when the “safety net” of servers now in place from the FBI will be taken down. If you are worried that your computer may be infected, visit http://www.dcwg.org to perform a scan of your computer. There is also advice on what to do if your computer is infected.

Atari Turns 40!

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Thought this article from USA Today was worth sharing. Lots of interesting trivia on the early days of technology. Never knew that Steve Jobs worked for Atari for example. Video games definitely have come a long way since then. Here’s a video of “Pong” from 1972:



Royal Flush

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This summer I have been reviewing JavaScript in 24 Hours by Michael Moncur in preparation for a programming class that I will be teaching this Fall. One of the chapters features a “Solitaire Poker” game that is actually pretty involved. Overall this seems to be a good book for beginners with lots of examples and is appropriate for our students who are Business majors. Anyway, I managed to get a Royal Flush while playing it the other day. Now if only that would happen when I go to Vegas!

4X Growth in Internet Traffic by 2016

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According to ITBusinessEdge, Cisco recently announced the results of the annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast. The VNI Forecast covers years 2011 to 2016, and projects the amount of IP traffic on public and private networks, including the Internet, managed IP, and mobile devices used by consumers and business.

By 2016, annual global IP traffic is forecast to be 1.3 zettabytes — a zettabyte is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes. The projected increase of global IP traffic between 2015 and 2016 alone is more than 330 exabytes, which is almost equal to the total amount of global IP traffic generated in 2011 (369 exabytes). This significant level of traffic growth and service penetration is driven by a number of factors, including:

1. An increasing number of devices: The proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, and other smart devices as well as machine-to-machine (M2M) connections are driving up the demand for connectivity. By 2016, the forecast projects there …

“How Are We Doing?” Efficiency, Utilization, and Productivity

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In business, knowing how we are performing in relation to our competition is vital. Internally we want to know if we are using resources effectively and getting the most out of what we have. Efficiency and Productivity are two calculations that are fundamental to the success of any organization. While the calculations are simple, choosing what measures to use and collecting the necessary data requires a thorough understanding of your industry.

To calculate Efficiency you will have to first decide what to use as a base for comparison. Does your company already have a “target” of some kind? Like total units produced? If so then you can compare everything to that. Once you have that, there are a couple of basic formulas that can be used:

Efficiency = Actual Output/Effective Capacity X 100%
Utilization = Actual Output/Design Capacity X 100%

Design Capacity is the maximum output achieved under ideal conditions. Effective Capacity is always less than Design Capacity because of factors su…

Does Texting Mean U R Dumb?

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Despite what some would have you believe that this is just another sign of the coming apocalypse, the answer is no. My high-school English teacher constantly reminded us that you should know your audience and use appropriate language. When in doubt use correct grammar and spelling. But there's nothing wrong with using abbreviations like "u" when texting. When you post something to Twitter for example you almost have to abbreviate given the 140 character limit. Most people understand this. But if you are applying for a job or writing a research paper for Psychology you should use proper language. Always!

No matter how young or old you are, "texting" is becoming more acceptable in daily life. But you still need to know your audience. Perhaps the best article I've read yet on this subject is this one. For those of you who still are trying to figure all of it out go here. TTYL