Plex

Plex is a versatile media server that can run on Macs, PCs, Nvidia Shield, and NAS devices. Clients can run on a wide range of devices and on web browsers. Plex makes your media available at a speed and resolution tailored to your Internet bandwidth and device resolution. The following is a 20-minute introduction to Plex in a home environment:

The big news for Plex is the DVR function including hardware trans-coding:

Plex vs Kodi (big picture differences)

Kodi playback of Blu-Ray:

 

Recent Medical Advances

On 2017.10.30, in Medical, Technology, by Greg

Artificial Organs

It will soon be possible to replace many or your organs with new ones that are compatible with your body since they are created from your own cells. This video explains:

Mobile Stroke Units

A Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit (MSTU or MSU) could be a lifesaver. Usually staffed by paramedics, a nurse, and a medical imaging specialist, an MSTU is essentially an ambulance dedicated to the fast diagnosis and treatment of strokes. When a dispatcher calls in a stroke, the MSTU is mobilized to the patient’s home. Once it arrives, the team is able to determine whether a stroke is caused by a blood clot, administer a drug to dissolve that clot, and then bring the patient to an appropriate hospital.

Ultrasound Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease

A new study from the University of Queensland combines ultrasound therapy with immunotherapy to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s Disease. Australian researchers have found that mice suffering from Alzheimer’s performed much better in behaviour tests after receiving ultrasound treatment, a discovery that could give hope in the battle to find a cure for humans suffering from the degenerative illness.

First Alzheimer’s patient treated with focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier

3D Visualization and Augmented Reality for Surgery

While the market is still growing and imaginations running wild, several hospitals will be adopting virtual reality tools in 2017, pushing the boundaries of surgical reality.

CRISPR-Cas9

CRISPR-Cas9 is a method for genome editing – a powerful new technology with many applications in biomedical research, including the potential to treat human genetic disease.

This video features one of the persons who discovered the technique, Geneticist Jennifer Doudna:

Video collection: The Future of Medicine

The following is a playlist of videos about the future of medicine:
https://www.ted.com/playlists/23/the_future_of_medicine

Regenerative Medicine

The following is one such video about regenerative medicine:

 

DeepMind and Machine Learning

On 2015.10.06, in Society, Technology, by Greg

By now you have probably seen this:

About Watson

Watson is a question answering (QA) computing system that IBM built to apply advanced natural language processing, information retrieval, knowledge representation, automated reasoning, and machine learning technologies to the field of open domain question answering.

    The key difference between QA technology and document search is that document search takes a keyword query and returns a list of documents, ranked in order of relevance to the query (often based on popularity and page ranking), while QA technology takes a question expressed in natural language, seeks to understand it in much greater detail, and returns a precise answer to the question. –Craig Rhinehart

Watson can process 500 gigabytes, the equivalent of a million books, per second. The sources of information for Watson include encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, newswire articles, and literary works. Watson also used databases, taxonomies, and ontologies. Specifically, DBPedia, WordNet, and Yago were used. For the Jeopardy contest, Watson had access to the full text of Wikipedia.

In healthcare, Watson’s natural language, hypothesis generation, and evidence-based learning capabilities allow it to function as a clinical decision support system for use by medical professionals. To aid physicians in the treatment of their patients, once a physician has posed a query to the system describing symptoms and other related factors, Watson first parses the input to identify the most important pieces of information; then mines patient data to find facts relevant to the patient’s medical and hereditary history; then examines available data sources to form and test hypotheses; and finally provides a list of individualized, confidence-scored recommendations. The sources of data that Watson uses for analysis can include treatment guidelines, electronic medical record data, notes from physicians and nurses, research materials, clinical studies, journal articles, and patient information

About Deepmind

Google DeepMind was founded in 2011 by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.The team is based in London and was supported by some of the most iconic technology entrepreneurs and investors of the past decade. DeepMind combines the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general‑purpose learning algorithms. This video from child prodigy Demis Hassabis explains their latest innovations:

About Machine Learning

Machine learning tasks are typically classified into three broad categories, depending on the nature of the learning “signal” or “feedback” available to a learning system:

  • Supervised learning: The computer is presented with example inputs and their desired outputs, given by a “teacher”, and the goal is to learn a general rule that maps inputs to outputs.
  • Unsupervised learning: No labels are given to the learning algorithm, leaving it on its own to find structure in its input. Unsupervised learning can be a goal in itself (discovering hidden patterns in data) or a means towards an end.
  • Reinforcement learning: Software interacts with a dynamic environment in which it must perform a certain goal (such as driving a vehicle), without a teacher explicitly telling it whether it has come close to its goal or not. Another example is learning to play a game by playing against an opponent.
  • And now for something almost completely different

    A little more Watson is fun:

    Ray Kurzweil

    No discussion of machine learning would be complete without some mention of the contributions of Ray Kurzweil. His focus for several years has been on pattern recognition. He is involved in fields such as futurology, optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He has written books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. Kurzweil proposed “The Law of Accelerating Returns”, according to which the rate of change in a wide variety of evolutionary systems (including the growth of technologies) tends to increase exponentially.

    Ray Kurzweil on “I’ve Got a Secret 1965”

    Ray’s Future

    An Intro to Machine Learning

    Steve Jurvetson provides a great intro to the field of machine learning:

    Nice first step for health applications

    Retail

    The city and local government

    Classrooms

    Teaching the way we learn

    Recommended

     

    “No provision in our constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprizes of the civil authority.” -Thos Jefferson

     

     

    Some ITIL 2011 Concepts

    On 2013.09.27, in Management, Technology, by Greg

    Service Warranty = how well the positive impact is delivered
    Service Utility = the service’s positive impact on the business operations
    Value = Warranty + Utility

    Deming Cycle: Plan, Do, Check, Act. The Deming Cycle has more detailed steps when used to improve IT services and processes:

      1. Define what should be measured
      2. Define what you can measure
      3. Gather the data
      4. Process the data
      5. Analyze the data
      6. Use the data
      7. Take corrective action.

    There are six outcomes of an analysis of service portfolios: Renew (meets functional needs but falls short in technology), Replace (overlapping, redundant), Retain (working well and aligned to business), Refactor (needs clarity of focus or primary functional role), Retire (fail to meet the needs both technically and functionally), and Rationalize (needs standardization or consolidation).

    Co-sourcing is one of five different types of supplier agreements including co-sourcing, partnering or multi-sourcing, business process outsourcing, knowledge process outsourcing, and application service provision.

    Coordinating the metrics, data collection, and reporting activities of the other processes and functions is the primary goal of Service Measurement and Reporting. The reasons for monitoring and measuring include: validate (is there alignment with the organizational vision and strategy), direct (using facts to drive change), justify (ensure the targets and metrics are correct), and intervene (drive improvements through corrective action).

    Transform the Business (TTB), Grow the Business (GTB), and Run the Business (RTB) are all categories of Services Investments. Transform the Business investments are for new capabilities or new markets, Grow the Business investments are designed to
    help grow the current business, and Run the Business (RTB) are investments to keep the current services operating.

    There can be a variety of Configuration Items CIs: Service Level CIs, Service CIs, Organizational CIs, Internal CIs, and External CIs. Each CI can vary in size, type, and complexity ranging from an entire system to a single module.

    Service Portfolio consists of the Service Pipeline (proposed and planned services), the Service Catalogue (active services), and Retired Services (no longer available). The basic goal of Service Portfolio Management is to provide IT Service Management with strategies for future initiatives and investment management guidance to ensure an effective portfolio of services are being delivered.

    The three sub-processes of Capacity Management are Business Capacity Management (ensures capacity meets future business needs), Service Capacity Management (manages on-going service delivery per SLAs), and Component Capacity Management (manages the individual components of the IT infrastructure).

    A concept of Incident Management is the difference between Categorization and Escalation. Within Categorization, Impact + Urgency = Priority. Impact is the measure of how much the business is affected. Urgency is measure of how long the fix can be delayed. The human element of Escalation helps with determining which incidents should be moved up or down in priority.

    The Service Package is the detailed description of the collection of services available for delivery to customers. The Core Services Package is the heart of the service, Supporting Services Packages help differentiate the Core Services, and Service Level Packages
    define the Service Utility and Service Warranty.

    Five different types of supplier agreements: co-sourcing, partnering or multi-sourcing, business process outsourcing, knowledge process outsourcing, and application service provision.

    Application Management, the Service Desk, Technical Management, and IT Operations Management are the four functions of Service Operation. Application Management is also responsible for managing applications through their entire life cycle, helps identify functional requirements for software, helps make the build vs. buy decisions, and helps define what skills are needed by staff to support the applications.

    Access Management is the function that ensures users are authorized to use a service. Access Management is coordinated by Service Desk but depending on the request may also call on Technical Management and Application Management. The activity lifecycle of an
    access request is as follows: Requesting Access –> Verification –> Providing Rights –> Monitoring Identity Status –> Logging & Tracking Access –> Removing or Restricting Access.

    Application sizing is an activity designed to determine the hardware or network capacity needed; modelling is used to forecast the infrastructure’s behavior under a set of conditions; and demand management are the short-term responses to meet current demand. Additional considerations are performance monitoring, tuning, storage of capacity management data, capacity planning, and reporting.

    Event Management: Event Occurs –> Event Detection –> Alert –> Event Correlation –> Significance of Events –> Event Filtering –> Trigger –> Response Selection –> Review Actions –> Close Event.

    The Definitive Media Library (DML) is one or more locations in which the approved versions of all software CIs are stored securely. The DML will also contain the licenses for the software CIs along with the documentation. All software in the DML falls under Change Management and Release Management control and recorded in the Configuration Management System (CMS).

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    The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business. The current form is known as ITIL 2011 edition. The ITSM lifecycle stages are listed below with their covered processes.

    Service Strategy

    • IT service management
    • Service Portfolio Management
    • Financial management for IT services
    • Demand Management
    • Business relationship management

    Service Design

    • Design coordination
    • Service Catalogue
    • Service level Management
    • Availability Management
    • Capacity Management
    • Information Security Management System
    • Supplier Management

    Service Transition

    • Transition planning and support
    • Change management
    • Service asset and configuration management
    • Release and deployment management
    • Service validation and testing
    • Change evaluation
    • Knowledge management

    Service Operation

    • Event management
    • Incident management
    • Request fulfillment
    • Problem management
    • Identity management

    Continual Service Improvement

    • Identify the strategy for improvement
    • Define what you will measure
    • Gather the data
    • Process the data
    • Analyse the information and data
    • Present and use the information
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    When you install Mountain Lion upgrade on the Mac, don’t be surprised if your Java installation gets blasted. I use CrashPlan for Cloud and local backup to the Mac. Crashplan depends on Java. Oops.

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    Mac OS X Server is an App

    On 2013.04.28, in Technology, by Greg

    The server-specific server applications and work group management and administration software tools from Mac OS X Server are now offered as “Server App,” an add-on package for OS X sold through the Mac App Store along with Server Admin Tools 10.7, available from the Apple support web site. There is no separate Server OS. This means that if you want server, you first install the Mountain Lion desktop release, a $19.99 upgrade to Lion, then separately download the Server App, also for $19.99. There is no separate server edition of Mountain Lion, just as there was no separate server edition of Lion. You cannot download the Mountain Lion Server App to a Mac that does not first have Mountain Lion installed.

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    Droid Update #3

    On 2013.04.27, in Technology, by Greg

    I switched to the Samsung Galaxy S3 in July of 2012. So I have been using it for nine months. The verdict: excellent, no problems. Especially good with the latest release of Android. Only complaint is battery life could be better … not as good as the iPhone 5, but good enough. The Galaxy S4 should be available soon, and there is a rugged version planned for this summer.

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