Technology

Welcoming new member Liz Kenny

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Liz Kenny.  Liz Kenny is a former McKinsey consultant with eight years of independent consulting and freelance experience. She partners with clients to drive sales growth as either a consultant, or a short-term embedded team member. Liz has a strong blend of both consulting and operating experience, and has supported strategic initiatives across a wide range of industries including retail, technology, media and entertainment, and financial services.

Liz balances her time between strategic and creative projects. When she is not working with a client, she is writing screenplays and other content (TV pilots, short films, etc.) Liz is based in Los Angeles with her new puppy, Fozzie Bear. Liz is happy to collaborate on projects in the Western U.S.

The Yin and Yang of Technology 

 

With so much press about how our technological habits create disconnection, Hugo Bernier explains how technology also gives people the tools and access to build connections.

I work crazy hours. To top it off, I commute a total of 3 hours every day. When I get home from work, I’m usually exhausted. 

One of my guilty pleasures is to play a video game with my kids. When they were younger, we’d play one of the many Lego games on Xbox. Now, we tend to play Halo or Call of Duty. 

Regardless of the age difference between my kids and me, the little buggers are worthy adversaries. They might even be better than me– but don’t tell them I said that.

I love that in the video game world, we’re able to play as equals. We’re sometimes teammates, partners, and sometimes enemies. We celebrate each other’s victories and tease each other’s failures.

In a household with three people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, breaking barriers of communication and making emotional connections can sometimes be hard. Video games are one of the ways that we can connect.

 

The technology discussed in this article:

  • The Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC)
  • The Logitech Adaptive Gaming Kit

 

Read the full article, Leveling the Playing Field with Accessibility, on the Tahoe Ninjas website.

 

Switching off the Coronavirus

February 19, 2020

 

Miklos Tomka illuminates the importance of doing what you can to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus is spreading fast and has spread inside of hospitals in China, exposing hospital staff. Various places are a source for spreading infections, light switches that everyone touches, is clearly one of these.

Ubiquilux has developed a product to reduce the risk of infections spreading in hospitals: a gesture controlled light switch. A light switch which does not react to random motions like motion sensing switches do (it reacts only to specific on/off/dim gestures) – the first true replacement of any switch. No one has to touch the light switch anymore

An independent, expert lead clinical study confirms that the new (patented) gesture-controlled technology from Ubiquilux is reducing bacterial load on the surface of a light switch (the light switch is a widely documented contributor of infection transmission).

 

Read the full article, Are you doing everything to protect yourself, your colleagues and your patients from the Coronavirus?, on LinkedIn.

 

How Algorithms Can Steer You in the Wrong Direction

 

Tobias Baer provides clear and concise examples of how Google uses the acquisition of select data to create bias, which leads to the dissemination of inaccurate information.  

 

I’m an avid user of the navigation function of Google Maps. Every time I reach my destination, Google asks me for feedback on the navigation instructions. What could possibly be wrong with that? Well, I bet that the data and any analytics derived from that feedback often – and, vastly! – overestimates users’ satisfaction. Why is that?

The app is a perfect illustration of availability bias. I only am given this opportunity to provide feedback when I reach my destination. Which means that if I reach a river only to find that the ferry supposed to take me and my car to the other riverside has stopped operations an hour ago, or if after a few hours of cycling I find that the path indicated by the app leads straight into a gigantic military infrastructure that is fenced by barbed wires with large red signs threatening any trespasser to be shot (both has actually happened to me), and hence my only option is to abolish my route, exit the navigation, and go back to where I come from, no feedback is collected.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • The problem with creating algorithms quickly
  • The lack of sufficient communication
  • The challenge of creating objective, systematic assessment procedures

 

Read the full article, A Little Example How Google Creates Biases, on LinkedIn.

Welcoming new member Michael Casaburi

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Michael Casaburi with Revulus Growth Partners to our community. Michael Casaburi spent 13 years at Bain and has been running a boutique consulting firm focused on market due diligence for investors and growth strategy for companies since 2013.

Michael brings top tier consulting approaches to investors (e.g., PE firms), the middle market, and BUs of large companies. He’s worked with some of the largest investors/companies globally as well as smaller firms/companies.

Michael lives in a Chicago, Illinois suburb (Naperville) with his wife and children. Michael is happy to collaborate on projects involving market due diligence, growth strategy, and strategic planning.

Technology is Changing How We Learn — and Think

December 18, 2019

Jason George takes a look at the mind maps of the London Cabbie to illustrate the difference between storing knowledge in the brain and accessing knowledge stored elsewhere.

Having been built up over hundreds of years into its current dense and meandering tangle, London’s road network shows few signs of the regularity that characterizes its counterparts in younger countries. Prior to the advent of cheap map technology, anyone wanting to explore unfamiliar neighborhoods would need a detailed atlas to find addresses or landmarks. Finding the desired spot was akin to playing Where’s Waldo, given the thicket of alleys and courts and lanes laid out with no obvious organizing principle.

One group was notably unfazed by this challenge. London’s black cab drivers developed a well-deserved reputation for their ability to navigate to any points in the metro area with ease, with no reference to guide them. This was not accidental, as to earn their license each had to pass a legendarily grueling test that came to be known simply as the “Knowledge,” a requirement first instituted in the era of horse-drawn carriages.

 

Topics covered include:

-Mental maps

-Panopticon

-The knowledge economy

 

Read the full article, How learning changes your thinking — Mind what you knowon Jason’s website.