Human Disappearing Bird Prank

 Human Disappearing Bird Prank

WHERE are you?????????

“Where are you? – avian variation.”
Image courtesy of


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Big data’s future is in Ohio

 Big data’s future is in Ohio

For more than a decade, a common refrain in the corporate world was that data was exploding, and companies needed the capacity to capture that data. As the challenges of data capture have been more or less mitigated, the next challenge became how to get value out of that data. Between 2015 and the end of 2017, the use of big data analytics grew nearly 40 percent among companies surveyed, according to Dresner Advisory Services, while big data software and services revenues will reach $ 42 billion this year, and more than $ 100 billion by 2027.

Today, there’s an ever-growing number of solutions that are creating opportunities to utilize data for business, science and technology breakthroughs in ways we’d never imagined.  And if you look closely, you’d see that in no place is that more evident than in Ohio, where there’s a growing big data sector.

Innovation driven by legacy institutions

Ohio’s 25 Fortune 500 companies give the state a key advantage in becoming a leader in data analytics. Many of these companies are already training their significant IT workforces to utilize data analytics in ways that drive business development. According to the Wall Street Journal, Nationwide Insurance is in the third year of a five-year plan to overhaul its insurance business using technology and data analytics, exemplified by its new SmartRide usage-based insurance program; Cleveland Clinic is working on projects that harness CE telemedicine, data analytics and AI, and Procter & Gamble is using big data to reach more niche audiences. Companies like these will drive applications that lead to new products and services, spinoffs and related startups.

The public sector has also proven receptive to experimenting with analytics. In May, the city of Columbus launched the Smart Columbus Operating System, which utilizes transportation data, as well as the Internet of Things to better understand our city and its challenges. Smart Columbus is part of DriveOhio, a year-and-a-half old public-private partnership that aims to encourage the deployment of connected vehicles and smart mobility projects.

Turning Ohio into an analytics destination

What’s really promising is that venture capital firms and accelerators in the state are also increasingly interested in backing data analytics startups. In 2017, Fintech71, a nonprofit startup accelerator targeting financial technology, funded 10 companies, seven of which heavily utilize data analytics. And various VCs and accelerators such as Blue Chip Venture Company, CincyTech, Drive Capital, JumpStart, Mutual Capital Partners, Rev1 Ventures, River Cities Capital Funds and many others have put their considerable support behind data platforms and analytics companies across multiple industries, such as Ahalogy, Clarivoy, ConnXus, ExpenseBot, IncludeFitness, MakersWorkstation, MassMatrix, Nexosis and WireTap. The Columbus Region is also hosting more events centered around data analytics, like the Smart Cities 2018 Conference, and the Women in Analytics conference, which drew more than 450 attendees this year.

Lastly, the state’s universities are realizing the demand for data analytics talent. For example, Ohio University has its own business analytics major, and the Ohio State University produced its first class of data analytics graduates in 2017.  The University of Cincinnati and Cleveland State University now offer data analytics certificates, and Miami University’s statistics majors can co-major in analytics. The latter also announced a $ 50 million initiative this year that will be spent on new programs to educate students in in-demand fields in the state, including data analytics.

The challenges ahead

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the U.S. economy could be short as many as 250,000 data scientists by 2024. Despite the growth in educational programs, there is still the potential for a talent gap if Ohio institutions don’t work hard enough to promote and expand these programs.

There’s the added difficulty in maintaining and expanding a local edge cloud and internet technology infrastructure that can handle this data explosion. Privacy and security concerns associated with personal information protection will be an ongoing concern and a potential impediment to innovation, so companies need to take a careful and thoughtful approach to how they incorporate cybersecurity earlier into the development lifecycle – or the speed of innovation in the data analytics community could slow dramatically.

And finally, while investment in technology is growing, Ohio companies received only about seven-tenths of 1 percent of the country’s venture funding last year. Educating investors that the Midwest is a great place to invest in analytics-related startups, and connecting promising startups into an ecosystem of valuable customers and partners, is something we must continue to push.

Despite these pitfalls, Ohio startups are continuing to gain promising traction, like Columbus’ Root Insurance. The company, which uses data analytics to judge driver behavior, raised $ 51 million earlier this year. With our combination of information-intensive industries with huge and innovative companies driving the data explosion, a growing talent pool of data scientists, and the desire of civic and business leaders to invest in our technology infrastructure and startup communities, Ohio has the ability to drive opportunities and meet the growing demand for big data analytics in the U.S.

Matt Wald is currently president and CEO of the Columbus Collaboratory, a unique advanced analytics and cybersecurity solutions company founded by seven member companies: American Electric Power, Battelle, Cardinal Health, Huntington, L Brands, Nationwide and OhioHealth. As a career corporate entrepreneur in business and technology innovation, he has launched or revived multiple businesses, and has led numerous successful national product launches, acquisitions, and exits valued from $ 5 million to $ 400 million.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Entrepreneur Tony Drockton Explains How He Creates Passionate Customers for Hammitt

hammitt Entrepreneur Tony Drockton Explains How He Creates Passionate Customers for Hammitt

Entrepreneur Tony Drockton Explains How He Creates Passionate Customers for Hammitt

Posted by Barney Beal, Content Director

A lifelong entrepreneur, Tony Drockton ran start-ups in the construction and finance industries before moving on to high fashion. As he built up Hammitt, a handbag-focused luxury accessory brand, he knew he needed to take a different approach than others in the industry. He embraced a philosophy that welcomed all partners – wholesale, retail, online, offline – with a goal of putting the customer first.

It’s worked for the Los Angeles-based company, which has seen 40 percent growth year over year for the past four years and grown its online direct-to-consumer sales 300 percent.

In this video, Drockton sits down with CXO Talk’s Michael Krigsman and shares some of what he’s learned about customer loyalty, advocacy and creating passionate customers.

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The NetSuite Blog

How To Use Geo-Targeting In Digital Marketing: 6 Tips

 How To Use Geo Targeting In Digital Marketing: 6 Tips

Search engine optimization is an incredibly popular marketing approach these days. If you are using it to promote your product or service, you likely face numerous competitors, many of whom boast marketing budgets that dwarf yours.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t win – using geo-targeting, you can pick your fights and precisely concentrate your efforts on the target demographics that will bring you the best results. Here’s how.

1. Dig deeper into demographic and geographic data

It is a normal practice for marketers to run demographic analysis to decide on the best target areas for the launch of new products – it allows them to locate markets with high concentrations of potential customers and good income prospects. However, if you want to get more out of it, you should dig deeper and run an additional evaluation of how difficult it is going to be to reach your target customers. For example, you may want to choose a market with a lower total number of customers but with a higher percentage of the target demographic because it will be easier to reach out to them.

2. Optimize for Google Local Search

According to Google, at least 73 percent of online activity is connected with local searches in this or that way. In practice, it means that when people are looking for something online, they are looking for something that is close by. If you want people to deal with your business, you need to make sure they know you are there when they are nearby. This means you must sign up for Google My Business, but to optimize your efforts it may be necessary to use a proper local listings management tool.

3. Target location-specific keywords

Going after highly competitive words in your industry is a futile effort for all but the largest brands with enormous marketing budgets. However, taking these highly competitive keywords and adding the name of your location to them can help you bypass most of your competition and concentrate on people who are looking for your product or service at their location.

4. Exclude locations where your target audience isn’t present

Similarly to how you decide which locations you want to reach out to, you can decide which locations you want to avoid. Any location that can be specifically targeted can be excluded. Why would you do this? To save costs trying to attract customers where you don’t expect them to be. For example, clubs and bars that target college students can exclude locations around campuses during breaks when students are away. The business saves money without missing out on customers.

5. Use geo-fencing

Geo-fencing means establishing a perimeter around the location of your business in which your ads are delivered. For example, a café may only deliver its ads within one-mile radius because outside this radius would bring quickly diminishing returns. Another even more useful opportunity is to define perimeter not by distance, but by time. You could, for example, use a platform that analyzes your location and determines how long it takes to get to you from different places. The aforementioned café, for example, could then target only locations within a 15-minute walking distance for maximum effect.

6. Use location-specific landing pages

Geotargeting isn’t just about targeting the right customers. It is also about offering them relevant content when they most need it. If geo-targeting helps you find the right client, make sure to show them a landing page that reflects the reason why they decided to click your link. Alternatively, you can detect the client’s location when they visit your site and demonstrate a relevant landing page. For example, you may show different offers depending on the neighborhood they come from: a premium-class for those from high-income neighborhoods, economy-class for those from lower-income ones.

These are, of course, not all potential strategies for using geo-targeting. The good thing about this approach is that it is only limited by your own ingenuity – you can find numerous viable strategies on your own depending on your industry and location.

For more digital marketing strategies, see MMS: Engaging Consumers Through Richer Communication.

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Digitalist Magazine

Sacha Baron Cohen tricks Sarah Palin with 'evil' humor, and we are surprised?

 Sacha Baron Cohen tricks Sarah Palin with 'evil' humor, and we are surprised?

Ron Paul “interviewed” by Cohen (as Bruno) “We were in a studio situation. I wasn’t invited to a hotel room. A studio situation where they had a lot of lights burn and blaze and all kinds of commotion. They said — better get in this back room here. And all of a sudden, I was in this room, which they had it all fixed up as a bedroom. So, getting me there was sort of dishonesty. Getting me into the interview.
I was expecting an interview on Austrian economics. So, that didn’t turn out that way. But, by the time he started pulling his pants down, I, What is going on here? I ran out of the room. This interview has ended.
When this all gets out, I’m probably going to have to apologize to my supporters because I think most of them are going to figure out why in the world didn’t I sock this guy in the nose?”


Unlike Michael Cohen the Trump fixer, this Cohen apparently “tricked” Sarah Palin into an interview for his Showtime program.

That she made a big deal about it, pre-debut, and perhaps prompted by Matt Drudge only shows how much she wanted the attention.

Pretty much encapsulates Austrian economics, because everyone is an individual… tricking every other individual, even to the extent of using disabled people as a pretext.


Showtime is being very quiet and mysterious when it comes to Who Is America?, the new interview show thing from Sacha Baron Cohen, but it turns out that the network doesn’t really have to do anything when the participants are so embarrassed that they end up promoting it themselves. That’s what Sarah Palin seems to be doing at least, as she recently admitted to The Daily Mail that she got conned into giving an interview to a disguised Cohen for the new show.

 Sacha Baron Cohen tricks Sarah Palin with 'evil' humor, and we are surprised?

Palin says Cohen had “disguised himself as a disabled U.S. veteran, fake wheelchair and all,” and she “sat through a long ‘interview’ full of Hollywoodism’s disrespect and sarcasm.” Eventually, she says she “had enough” and “literally, physically” removed her mic and walked out “much to Cohen’s chagrin.” Now, there are a couple of things to unpack there, including the unnecessarily specific note that she “literally” took her mic off, but the idea that Sacha Baron Cohen was actually frustrated that Sarah Palin saw through his gag after a “long” chat might be one of the most ridiculous claims she’s made. (Alright, we know it’s not even close to some of her stupidest comments over the years, but come on.)…

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Q&A with Construction Company New to Dynamics 365

Christman Blog 300x225 Q&A with Construction Company New to Dynamics 365

The Christman Company (Christman) is one of the largest construction contractors in the US, with ten office locations across the country and over 500 employees. As the company grew, the use of spreadsheets and multiple digital platforms was not providing a complete 360-degree view of customers, sales processes, or ongoing projects. Christman identified a need for a centralized platform to provide complete visibility into opportunities and data assets as well as capabilities to track sales processes and manage contacts.

We recently sat down with the team at Christman, including Angela Bailey, Vice President of Brand Strategy and Communications, and Russell Knorp, Application Developer, to hear how Microsoft Dynamics 365 has transformed their business processes [read the full case study here.]

072018 1558 QAwithConst1 Q&A with Construction Company New to Dynamics 365

Why did you seek out a CRM platform?

“We knew we had data in different silos spread across multiple platforms, but we didn’t have a centralized way to manage our contacts or opportunities, so we did our research and knew we wanted a CRM product.”

How did you choose Dynamics 365?

“One thing about Dynamics 365 that I’ve appreciated so far has been the ability to integrate data from other systems. The fact that it has the API well defined makes integrating easy. One of our core values is creating lasting relationships, and Dynamics 365 helps us manage those relationships, long before a project actually emerges.”

How has Dynamics 365 impacted your business?

“We’re able to capture the history of an opportunity and the progression to close a lot better than we used to. We have also been able to integrate and eliminate one of our silos of data in order to look at all of our information and see where we are at with our open opportunities list. We can quickly sort by region and pull out highlights of what’s happening.”

“From the management perspective, it’s been really great to have a dashboard of information that our business development leader can bring up for us to review together. We have company-wide management team meetings where we can look at what we call our ‘grow dashboard’, which surfaces information about what we have in our sales pipeline and the active milestones for our open opportunities. Additionally, reporting on our sales activities and progress used to be a manual process for us and that’s where Power BI came in. Our reports are now automated and much easier to process.”

How did you choose PowerObjects as your partner?

“One reason that we came to PowerObjects was their specialization in CRM. It being PowerObjects’ primary line of business and focus was huge for us. I don’t think we could have gotten through the last development without the expertise of the two PowerObjects analysts that worked with us and our sales representatives’ expertise in guiding us towards the right overall solution for our business.”

To learn about the next steps The Christman Company wants to take with Dynamics 365 and to read their full case study, click here. For more customer success videos and stories, be sure to explore our Customer Success page.

Happy D365’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

New White Paper! Causes and Effects of Data Breaches

Data breaches should alarm every organization. Their costs are increasing, dramatically in some cases, and their negative impacts may extend well beyond the event. Customers are more likely to sever relationships—and prospective customers are less likely to form new relationships—after a serious data breach. Syncsort’s white paper, “Causes and Effects of Data Breaches,” explains exactly what data breaches are, what causes them, the costs your organization might incur as a result of them, and how you can prevent them.

In addition to increasing costs, the frequency of data breaches is also rising. Our white paper focuses on three common types of data breach: human error, system glitch, criminal attack. Regardless of the type or size of a business, these factors can produce disastrous effects.

Causes and Effects of Data Breaches banner New White Paper! Causes and Effects of Data Breaches

However, by tightening security appropriately, organizations can greatly reduce the odds of becoming victims. Furthermore, they gain greater peace of mind, knowing that their most sensitive data is adequately protected.

Download our white paper today to find out more!

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Syncsort Blog

Cumulative Update #9 for SQL Server 2017 RTM

The 9th cumulative update release for SQL Server 2017 RTM is now available for download at the Microsoft Downloads site. Please note that registration is no longer required to download Cumulative updates.
To learn more about the release or servicing model, please visit:

Starting with SQL Server 2017, we are adopting a new modern servicing model. Please refer to our blog for more details on Modern Servicing Model for SQL Server

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SQL Server Release Services

Introducing RapidMiner Real-Time Scoring

Operationalizationor putting models to workis an important part of the data science lifecycle. You might have trained and validated the most accurate model in the world, but if it just stays in the development folder of RapidMiner Studio, it’s not going to deliver much value, is it? Predictive models deliver value when we put them to work and make accurate predictions to mitigate risks, drive customer satisfaction, and help businesses grow.

Sometimes operationalization means periodically applying the model to large amounts of data records to score the risk associated with a portfolio, predict the probability of a user responding to a marketing campaign, or whatever other use case. This can be done by scheduling scoring processes in RapidMiner Server.

Other times predictions need to be interactive, where users can exchange information back and forth between RapidMiner and another application like a data visualization tool. You can do this today by creating a web service for the model in RapidMiner Server.

Lastly, there’s an important use case when predictions need to be delivered in real time. A personal recommendation in a web sitea delivery prediction in a phone appan immediate risk analysis needed by a bank application. In these cases, there’s a need for very low latency and high throughput. That’s what we’ve built with the new RapidMiner Real-Time Scoring.

Key Features of
RapidMiner Real-Time Scoring

The RapidMiner Real-Time Scoring Agent extends RapidMiner Server with a lightweight execution engine designed for specific use cases where speed and volume are critical. Here a few things we’d like to highlight:

  • Real-time scoring agents can indefinitely scale out for demanding use cases, and are easy to deploy and easy to manage.
  • The request latency for retrieving a score is less than 25ms.
  • It uses a modern REST API with JSON as request and response format. It can be called from any application, anywhere.
  • While scoring is the primary use case, any arbitrary process can be deployed in the Scoring Agents. If you need some preparation of the data, filtering, post-processing or anything else, it can be done.

With the new RapidMiner RealTime Scoring, you can turn your predictions into prescriptions, even for the most demanding use cases.

If you’d like to learn more about Real-Time Scoring, contact us.

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Illinois governor just made it harder to own guns….. and easier for cops to take them.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed legislation empowering police to confiscate firearms from citizens and extending the wait period for gun purchases to 72 hours.
The new waiting period means a single woman being pursued by a stalker now has to hide and/or live behind locked doors for three days while she waits to get a gun for self-defense.

NBC 26 reports that the confiscatory law is called the Firearms Restraining Order Act. By signing it, Rauner made Illinois the 13th state to empower police to confiscate guns and he joined a growing list of Republican governors who signed such laws into place following the February 14, 2018, Parkland high school shooting.

Governors Rick Scott (R-FL), Phil Scott (R-VT), and Larry Hogan (R-MD), signed gun confiscation laws following Parkland.

The problem with these laws is that they would not have stopped the Parkland shooting, because the family with whom the gunman lived actually took up for him when police came to the house after being alerted that he was a possible threat. (Gun confiscation laws require family members to attest to the danger posed by another family member.) Moreover, such laws would have not have prevented the May 18, 2018, Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas because that gunman used someone else’s firearms.

Additionally, the Maryland gun confiscation law certainly did not prevent the June 28, 2018, attack on Annapolis’ Capital Gazette newspaper. Five people were killed in that attack.


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