CategoryTechnology

Innovative Ideas in the Field of Technology

Innovative ideas in the field of technology have simplified the work and helped our rapid development. These ideas contribute to the creation of innovative technologies over time. In order to create this innovative idea, it is necessary to have the knowledge, which is fundamental in this process.
Thus we get the scheme: knowledge, idea, technology.

To date, innovative technologies are traditionally divided into two segments: information technologies (technologies of automated information processing) and communication technologies (technologies for storage and transmission of information). For example, with the help of communication technologies, people can receive and transmit various contents, being in different corners of our world. International relations, including education, business negotiations and much more are now possible faster and more efficiently. If we recall the communication innovations in the field of education, first of all, it should be emphasized that people can enter higher education institutions and study remotely regardless of their location. Furthermore, every qualified pedagogue teaches something new and useful. Communication with representatives of other countries contributes to our self-development. All this eventually promotes the creation of qualified unique staff.

Information technologies allow:
– To automate certain labour-intensive operations;
– Automate and optimize production planning;
– Optimize individual business processes (for example, customer relations, asset management, document management, management decision-making), taking into account the specifics of various branches of economic activity. Information technology is used for large data processing systems, computing on a personal computer, in science and education, in management, computer-aided design and the creation of systems with artificial intelligence. Information technologies are the modern technological systems of immense strategic importance (political, defence, economic, social and cultural), which led to the formation of a new concept of the world order – “who owns the information, he owns the world.”

The spread of information and communication technologies play an important role in structural changes in all the areas of our life. For someone, it will be difficult to learn these technologies. Workers who will not be able to study will have to give way to the younger generation. Thus we are faced with a problem because, in order to use innovations in technologies and develop it, it is necessary to have a qualified youth. First and foremost there is the question of education. Anyway, only education can create a developed generation that will continue to strive for new knowledge and will meet the requirements of innovative technologies. In addition, I am convinced that innovative ideas in technologies have created a completely new life, which poses new challenges for our country. How we will cope with these tasks depends on the future of our country.

Teaching With Technology

Teaching with technology helps to expand student learning by assistant instructional objectives. However, it can be thought-provoking to select the best technology tools while not losing sight of the goal for student learning. An expert can find creative and constructive ways to integrate technology into our class.

What do we mean by technology?

The term technology refers to the development of the techniques and tools we use to solve problems or achieve goals. Technology can encompass all kinds of tools from low-tech pencils, paper, a chalkboard to the use of presentation software, or high-tech tablets, online collaboration and conference tools and more. the newest technologies allow us to try things in physical and virtual classrooms that were not possible before.

How can technology help students?

Technology can help a student through the following ways:

1. Online collaboration tools: Technology has helped the students & instructors to share document online, editing of the document in real time and project them on a screen. This gives the students a collaborative platform in which to brainstorm ideas and document their work using text and pictures.

2. Presentation software: This enables the instructor to embed high-resolution photographs, diagrams, videos and sound files to augment the text and verbal lecture content.

3. Tablet: Here, tablets can be linked to computers, projectors, and cloud so that students and instructors can communicate through text, drawings, and diagrams.

4. Course management tools: This allows instructors to organize all the resources students’ needs for the class. the syllabus, assignments, readings, online quizzes.

5. Smartphone: These are a quick and easy way to survey students during class. It is a great instant polling which can quickly access students understanding and help instructors to adjust pace and content

6. Lecture capture tools: The lecture capture tools allow instructors to record lectures directly from their computer without elaborate or additional classroom equipment. The record lectures at their own pace.

Advantages of technology integration in the education sphere?

The teaching strategies based on educational technology can be described as ethical that facilitates the students learning and boost their capacity, productivity, and performance. technology integration inspires positive changes in teaching methods on an international level. The following list of benefit will help in resolving a final conclusion:

1. Technology makes teaching easy: technology has power. It helps in the use of projectors and computer presentations to deliver any type of lesson or instruction and improve the level of comprehension within the class rather than giving theoretical explanations that students cannot understand.

2. It facilitates student progress: technology has made teachers rely on platforms and tools that enable you to keep track of individual achievements.

3. Education technology is good for the environment: if all schools have dedicated to being using digital textbooks, can you imagine the amount of paper and number of trees that will be saved. students can be instructed to take an online test and submit their papers and homework through email. They can be also encouraged to use readers to read through the literature assigned.

4. It has made students enjoy learning: students enjoy learning through their addiction to Facebook, Instagram, dig, and other websites from a very early age. the internet can distract them from the learning process. making learning enjoyable through setting up a private Facebook group for the class and inspire constructive conversations.

5. It makes distance learning more accessible: without the internet, people won’t be able to access any vital information. today distance learning is one of the most trending learning methods. Students can organize their time in a way that works for them and they can easily gain the knowledge they are interested in.

Impact of Smart Technology on Data Entry Processes

With evolving smart technologies, the entire process of rendering data entry services has become way easier. Smart technologies are now helping businesses strategically and economically by generating data from every possible source including mobile phones, industrial equipment, smart accessories and personal computers.

Data entry services are considered to be “smart” on their responsiveness with respect to the incoming data. Businesses are looking for effective ways to manage data for obtaining better value and supporting their ultimate objectives.

Smart technologies tend to engage people and various smart devices with the related business, for better processing and collection of data from designated sources. For supporting and coping with the current evolution of such technologies, processes are being constantly renewed.

There are various smart applications that enhance data analytics processes and make them even better. These include Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Smart Data and Machine Learning.

Need of Smart Technology
Data entry services, when offered with smart technologies provide real-time data processing, thus improving business’s economic growth and providing a business-friendly option with efficient data management.

When looking for a suitable smart app for your business, you should always consult a data entry outsourcing company.

Nowadays, businesses are striving for more innovative strategies while incorporating these smart apps.

  • It eradicates the need of paper documents.
  • It provides innovation with a customer-centered approach.
  • These technologies are all industry-oriented, providing accurate results
  • These are scalable and easy-to-adopt.
  • They work even better with unorganized data volumes.

Collection of Data via Smart Technologies
Smart technologies assist in collecting and assembling data through:

  • Intelligent Capture replacing template-based data extraction with an efficient capturing module and natural language understanding.
  • Mobile Data Entry for collecting data on various mobile devices, enabling smart data entry services.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) providing the latest smart recognition technology for improved data processing.

Data Alteration through Smart Technologies
For better use of these technologies, data entry services and methodologies are continuously being reshaped and revised, allowing organizations to take competitive advantage, along with enhancing cost-efficiency and security of business operations.

Smart technologies include Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things have now replaced manual processes that are more time-consuming, providing lesser room for human errors.

Let’s talk about a few of these technologies:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are more responsive and secure when it comes to managing any repetitive task, recognizing various patterns and enhancing the accuracy level.
  • For expanding number of data sources and creating a connection between people, internet, devices and businesses, IOT (Internet of Things) is used extensively these days.
  • From cloud computing services based on data entry services, businesses can derive benefit and manage the complexity of their data infrastructure.

Effect of Intelligent Technologies
Smart technologies are drastically casting a positive impact over data entry services and rendering a friendlier approach, providing benefits in the following ways:

  • Better and more composed process, leading to reduction of human errors.
  • It has become faster and more efficient with easy management of data in bulk and from different sources like paper forms, scanned images and much more.
  • Streamlining the business operations and changing the perception of businesses to deal with data management projects.
  • Increasing the potential to scale data entry processes and utilize innovative techniques.
  • Enhancing the ability of businesses to manage remote projects more effectively and receive client data irrespective of network availability.

With data entry services supported by smart technologies, you can better achieve your business goals with an efficient management and processing of data.

Technology Acceptance Model

Advances in computing and information technology are changing the way people meet and communicate. People can meet, talk, and work together outside traditional meeting and office spaces. For instance, with the introduction of software designed to help people schedule meetings and facilitate decision or learning processes, is weakening geographical constraints and changing interpersonal communication dynamics. Information technology is also dramatically affecting the way people teach and learn.

As new information technologies infiltrate workplaces, home, and classrooms, research on user acceptance of new technologies has started to receive much attention from professionals as well as academic researchers. Developers and software industries are beginning to realize that lack of user acceptance of technology can lead to loss of money and resources.
In studying user acceptance and use of technology, the TAM is one of the most cited models. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was developed by Davis to explain computer-usage behavior. The theoretical basis of the model was Fishbein and Ajzen’s Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA).

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is an information systems (System consisting of the network of all communication channels used within an organization) theory that models how users come to accept and use a technology, The model suggests that when users are presented with a new software package, a number of factors influence their decision about how and when they will use it, notably:

Perceived usefulness (PU) – This was defined by Fred Davis as “the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance”.

Perceived ease-of-use (PEOU) Davis defined this as “the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free from effort” (Davis, 1989).

The goal of TAM is “to provide an explanation of the determinants of computer acceptance that is general, capable of explaining user behavior across a broad range of end-user computing technologies and user populations, while at the same time being both parsimonious and theoretically justified”.

According to the TAM, if a user perceives a specific technology as useful, she/he will believe in a positive use-performance relationship. Since effort is a finite resource, a user is likely to accept an application when she/he perceives it as easier to use than another .As a consequence, educational technology with a high level of PU and PEOU is more likely to induce positive perceptions. The relation between PU and PEOU is that PU mediates the effect of PEOU on attitude and intended use. In other words, while PU has direct impacts on attitude and use, PEOU influences attitude and use indirectly through PU.

User acceptance is defined as “the demonstrable willingness within a user group to employ information technology for the tasks it is designed to support” (Dillon & Morris). Although this definition focuses on planned and intended uses of technology, studies report that individual perceptions of information technologies are likely to be influenced by the objective characteristics of technology, as well as interaction with other users. For example, the extent to which one evaluates new technology as useful, she/he is likely to use it. At the same time, her/his perception of the system is influenced by the way people around her/him evaluate and use the system.
Studies on information technology continuously report that user attitudes are important factors affecting the success of the system. For the past several decades, many definitions of attitude have been proposed. However, all theories consider attitude to be a relationship between a person and an object (Woelfel, 1995).

In the context of information technologies, is an approach to the study of attitude – the technology acceptance model (TAM). TAM suggests users formulate a positive attitude toward the technology when they perceive the technology to be useful and easy to use (Davis, 1989).

A review of scholarly research on IS acceptance and usage suggests that TAM has emerged as one of the most influential models in this stream of research The TAM represents an important theoretical contribution toward understanding IS usage and IS acceptance behaviors. However, this model — with its original emphasis on the design of system characteristics – does not account for social influence in the adoption and utilization of new information systems.

Search Technologies

Each of us has been faced with the problem of searching for information more than once. Irregardless of the data source we are using (Internet, file system on our hard drive, data base or a global information system of a big company) the problems can be multiple and include the physical volume of the data base searched, the information being unstructured, different file types and also the complexity of accurately wording the search query. We have already reached the stage when the amount of data on one single PC is comparable to the amount of text data stored in a proper library. And as to the unstructured data flows, in future they are only going to increase, and at a very rapid tempo. If for an average user this might be just a minor misfortune, for a big company absence of control over information can mean significant problems. So the necessity to create search systems and technologies simplifying and accelerating access to the necessary information, originated long ago. Such systems are numerous and moreover not every one of them is based on a unique technology. And the task of choosing the right one depends directly on the specific tasks to be solved in the future. While the demand for the perfect data searching and processing tools is steadily growing let’s consider the state of affairs with the supply side.

Not going deeply into the various peculiarities of the technology, all the searching programs and systems can be divided into three groups. These are: global Internet systems, turnkey business solutions (corporate data searching and processing technologies) and simple phrasal or file search on a local computer. Different directions presumably mean different solutions.

Local search

Everything is clear about search on a local PC. It’s not remarkable for any particular functionality features accept for the choice of file type (media, text etc.) and the search destination. Just enter the name of the searched file (or part of text, for example in the Word format) and that’s it. The speed and result depend fully on the text entered into the query line. There is zero intellectuality in this: simply looking through the available files to define their relevance. This is in its sense explicable: what’s the use of creating a sophisticated system for such uncomplicated needs.

Global search technologies

Matters stand totally different with the search systems operating in the global network. One can’t rely simply on looking through the available data. Huge volume (Yandex for instance can boast the indexing capacity of more than 11 terabyte of data) of the global chaos of unstructured information will make the simple search not only ineffective but also long and labor-consuming. That’s why lately the focus has shifted towards optimizing and improving quality characteristics of search. But the scheme is still very simple (except for the secret innovations of every separate system) – the phrasal search through the indexed data base with proper consideration for morphology and synonyms. Undoubtedly, such an approach works but doesn’t solve the problem completely. Reading dozens of various articles dedicated to improving search with the help of Google or Yandex, one can drive at the conclusion that without knowing the hidden opportunities of these systems finding a relevant document by the query is a matter of more than a minute, and sometimes more than an hour. The problem is that such a realization of search is very dependent on the query word or phrase, entered by the user. The more indistinct the query the worse is the search. This has become an axiom, or dogma, whichever you prefer.

Of course, intelligently using the key functions of the search systems and properly defining the phrase by which the documents and sites are searched, it is possible to get acceptable results. But this would be the result of painstaking mental work and time wasted on looking through irrelevant information with a hope to at least find some clues on how to upgrade the search query. In general, the scheme is the following: enter the phrase, look through several results, making sure that the query was not the right one, enter a new phrase and the stages are repeated till the relevancy of results achieves the highest possible level. But even in that case the chances to find the right document are still few. No average user will voluntary go for the sophistication of “advanced search” (although it is equipped with a number of very useful functions such as the choice of language, file format etc.). The best would be to simply insert the word or phrase and get a ready answer, without particular concern for the means of getting it. Let the horse think – it has a big head. Maybe this is not exactly up to the point, but one of the Google search functions is called “I am feeling lucky!” characterizes very well the existent searching technologies. Nevertheless, the technology works, not ideally and not always justifying the hopes, but if you allow for the complexity of searching through the chaos of Internet data volume, it could be acceptable.

Corporate systems

The third on the list are the turnkey solutions based on the searching technologies. They are meant for serious companies and corporations, possessing really large data bases and staffed with all sorts of information systems and documents. In principle, the technologies themselves can also be used for home needs. For example, a programmer working remotely from the office will make good use of the search to access randomly located on his hard drive program source codes. But these are particulars. The main application of the technology is still solving the problem of quickly and accurately searching through large data volumes and working with various information sources. Such systems usually operate by a very simple scheme (although there are undoubtedly numerous unique methods of indexing and processing queries underneath the surface): phrasal search, with proper consideration for all the stem forms, synonyms etc. which once again leads us to the problem of human resource. When using such technology the user should first word the query phrases which are going to be the search criteria and presumably met in the necessary documents to be retrieved. But there is no guarantee that the user will be able to independently choose or remember the correct phrase and furthermore, that the search by this phrase will be satisfactory.

One more key moment is the speed of processing a query. Of course, when using the whole document instead of a couple of words, the accuracy of search increases manifold. But up to date, such an opportunity has not been used because of the high capacity drain of such a process. The point is that search by words or phrases will not provide us with a highly relevant similarity of results. And the search by phrase equal in its length the whole document consumes much time and computer resources. Here is an example: while processing the query by one word there is no considerable difference in speed: whether it’s 0,1 or 0,001 second is not of crucial importance to the user. But when you take an average size document which contains about 2000 unique words, then the search with consideration for morphology (stem forms) and thesaurus (synonyms), as well as generating a relevant list of results in case of search by key words will take several dozens of minutes (which is unacceptable for a user).

The interim summary

As we can see, currently existing systems and search technologies, although properly functioning, don’t solve the problem of search completely. Where speed is acceptable the relevancy leaves more to be desired. If the search is accurate and adequate, it consumes lots of time and resources. It is of course possible to solve the problem by a very obvious manner – by increasing the computer capacity. But equipping the office with dozens of ultra-fast computers which will continuously process phrasal queries consisting of thousands of unique words, struggling through gigabytes of incoming correspondence, technical literature, final reports and other information is more than irrational and disadvantageous. There is a better way.

The unique similar content search

At present many companies are intensively working on developing full text search. The calculation speeds allow creating technologies that enable queries in different exponents and wide array of supplementary conditions. The experience in creating phrasal search provides these companies with an expertise to further develop and perfect the search technology. In particular, one of the most popular searches is the Google, and namely one of its functions called the “similar pages”. Using this function enables the user to view the pages of maximum similarity in their content to the sample one. Functioning in principle, this function does not yet allow getting relevant results – they are mostly vague and of low relevancy and furthermore, sometimes utilizing this function shows complete absence of similar pages as a result. Most probably, this is the result of the chaotic and unstructured nature of information in the Internet. But once the precedent has been created, the advent of the perfect search without a hitch is just a matter of time.

What concerns the corporate data processing and knowledge retrieval systems, here the matters stand much worse. The functioning (not existing on paper) technologies are very few. And no giant or the so called search technology guru has so far succeeded in creating a real similar content search. Maybe, the reason is that it’s not desperately needed, maybe – too hard to implement. But there is a functioning one though.

SoftInform Search Technology, developed by SoftInform, is the technology of searching for documents similar in their content to the sample. It enables fast and accurate search for documents of similar content in any volume of data. The technology is based on the mathematical model of analyzing the document structure and selecting the words, word combinations and text arrays, which results in forming a list of documents of maximum similarity the sample text abstract with the relevancy percent defined. In contrast to the standard phrasal search by the similar content search there is no need to determine the key words beforehand – the search is conducted through the whole document. The technology works with several sources of information that can be stored both in text files of txt, doc, rtf, pdf, htm, html formats, and the information systems of the most popular data bases (Access, MS SQL, Oracle, as well as any SQL-supporting data bases). It also additionally supports the synonyms and important words functions that enable to carry out a more specific search.

The similar search technology enables to significantly cut time wasted on searching and reviewing the same or very similar documents, diminish the processing time at the stage of entering data into the archive by avoiding the duplicate documents and forming sets of data by a certain subject. Another advantage of the SoftInform technology is that it’s not so sensitive to the computer capacity and allows processing data at a very high speed even on ordinary office computers.

This technology is not just a theoretic development. It has been tested and successfully implemented in a project of giving legal advice via phone, where the speed of information retrieval is of crucial importance. And it will undoubtedly be more than useful in any knowledge base, analytical service and support department of any large firm. Universality and effectiveness of the SoftInform Search Technology allows solving a wide spectrum of problems, arising while processing information. These include the fuzziness of information (at the document entering stage it is possible to immediately define whether such a document already belongs to the data base or not) and the similarity analysis of the documents which are already entered into the data base, and the search for semantically similar documents which saves time spent on selecting the appropriate key words and viewing the irrelevant documents.

Perspectives

Besides its primary assignment (fast and high quality search for information in huge volume such as texts, archives, data bases) an Internet direction could also be defined. For example, it is possible to work out an expert system to process incoming correspondence and news which will become an important tool for analysts from different companies. Mainly, this will be possible due to the unique similar content search technology, absent from any of the existent systems so far except for the SearchInform. The problem of spamming search engines with the so called doorways (hidden pages with key words redirecting to the site’s main pages and used to increase the page rating with the search engines) and the e-mail spam problem (a more intellectual analysis would ensure higher level of security) would also be solved with the help of this technology. But the most interesting perspective of the SoftInform Search technology is creating a new Internet search engine, the main competitive advantage of which would be ability to search not just by key words, but also for similar web pages, which will add to the flexibility of search making it more comfortable and efficient.

To draw a conclusion, it could be stated with confidence that the future belongs to the full text search technologies, both in the Internet and the corporate search systems. Unlimited development potential, adequacy of the results and processing speed of any size of query make this technology much more comfortable and in high demand. SoftInform Search technology might not be the pioneer, but it’s a functioning, stable and unique one with no existent analogues (which can be proved by the active Eurasian patent). To my mind, even with the help of the “similar search” it will be difficult to find a similar technology.

Technology Learning Conquered Traditional Learning in Schools

Computers are in the schools. Whether they are in labs, in the library, in mobile pods, or in individual classrooms, the computers are there. But what will it take to ensure that these computers are used as high quality learning tools?

Today’s high-tech innovations will have little effect on education if schools adopt them without building “human infrastructure” that includes adequate training for teachers, proclaims the Benton Foundation in their recent report, The Learning Connection. Schools in the Information Age. So just what is “adequate training” for teachers?

According to more than 10 years of Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow research, to effectively integrate technology in education, teachers need to learn not only how to use computers, but specifically how to use computers for teaching and learning. At the same time the learning experiences being created by these educators must be re-examined, as technology changes both what is possible in the classroom, as well as what will be required of students when they graduate and join the workforce.

In 1991 the US Department of Labor issued What Work Requires of Schools, a SCANS Report for America 2000, The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, defining the skills and attributes essential for workforce success. To the traditional basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic, the report added listening and speaking, as well as decision making and problem solving. Beyond these basic skills, the report sited as vital the ability to identify, organize, plan, and allocate resources; to acquire, evaluate, and organize information; to work well with others; to understand complex inter-relationships; and to work with a variety of technologies.

Not only do educators need to learn to use computers, but they need to learn to integrate them into the learning experience in a way that fosters the development of this higher order skill set. In many cases, this requires fundamental changes in classroom practice. Seating students in rows and having them complete drill and practice exercises, whether on the computer or on a ditto page, is unlikely to accomplish the ambitious goals implied by the SCANS Report.

The vast majority of technology staff development programs have as their focus learning how to use individual software applications. Educators who have experienced this type of application training report that it does not have a significant impact on how they use technology in their teaching. That is, learning about the application itself does not translate into changing classroom practices, and thus has little or no impact on student learning.

When learning about technology is firmly rooted in the context of teaching, however, the results are quite promising. Using a technology staff development model created as a result of more than 10 years of research through the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT), many school districts are seeing what happens when teachers are able to transfer their learning from the staff development experience into classroom practice.

In order to have a significant impact on classroom practice and ensure effective technology integration, schools and districts must make a significant investment in a coordinated approach to staff development like the model based on the ACOT research. Real change requires providing educators with a sequenced program of quality staff development experiences, along with followup and ongoing administrative support.

In Fulton County, Georgia, where they are in the second year of their technology staff development program based on the ACOT model, vanguard teams of teachers are serving as mentors within their schools, providing a model of effective technology integration for other teachers to follow. During the first year of the program these vanguard teachers participated in either four or six days of technology integration training offered through Apple Staff Development.

During the two-day training sessions the vanguard team members experienced firsthand what it is like to engage in an integrated lesson with technology, while the course facilitator modeled an effective style of teaching in a technology-enriched, engaged learning environment. Technology skills were acquired in context. The learners (in this case the teachers in the staff development course, but it could as easily have been a group of students) were highly motivated to learn the technology skills to complete their projects, and the relevance of the technology learning was immediately evident.

Building on the experience of participating in an effective lesson, the vanguard team members reflected on what they had learned and how they could apply their insights to designing integrated lessons of their own. On the second day, they were given the opportunity to redesign a favorite unit of instruction, integrating technology. Upon returning to their classrooms, these redesigned units provided an initial opportunity to experience integrating technology in their teaching. As they experienced the effectiveness of this new way of teaching, the redesign of other units followed.

Over the course of the first year of the program, these vanguard team members became increasingly comfortable with integrating technology within their own classrooms and prepared themselves to serve as role models to other teachers. Now in the second year of the program, Fulton County is both expanding its vanguard team by providing the integration training to additional teachers, while at the same time empowering the trained vanguard teachers to share what they have learned with their colleagues.

This seeding approach, having at least two teachers in every school who can serve as mentors to their peers on site, has proven effective in motivating teachers to take the risk and make the personal investment required to effectively integrate technology into the classroom.

The CEO Forum on Education and Technology’s Star Chart establishes a “target technology” level for all schools to strive for that would give students regular and consistent access to technology to use as needed to support their learning endeavors, and have educators using technology to access information, communicate with students and parents, and for administrative tasks. They challenge all schools to achieve this target level by the year 2005.

We won’t get there simply by putting computers in schools, nor by training teachers on how to use software applications. True technology integration requires supporting and training educators in instructional models that effectively integrate technology. It requires that teachers have professional development programs in which they can experience effective use of technology in service of teaching and learning, and that they receive the support required to modify their own teaching practices to replicate these models. Once the majority of teachers have their students using technology to gather, analyze and publish information, as well as collaborate on projects, we will know that technology is truly a tool for teaching and learning. At this point we will be taking advantage of the opportunity technology presents to prepare our students to become successful knowledge workers of the future.

The Top 10 Mistakes Technology Companies Make

In working closely with technology providers over the years, I regularly discover that these companies are making common mistakes that devalue the company, leave revenue on the table, or jeopardize their long-term health. So this special article identifies the top 10 of these mistakes to help you avoid making them.

10. Failure to register a federal copyright for company-developed software

Your company has spent months, and maybe years developing the next-big-thing. You’re out there licensing it to customers, fighting off competitors, and trying to maximize your revenues. What would you do if a customer was misusing your software? What if a competitor was copying parts of it to use in its product? There are various ways to respond to these problems, but one of the easiest to way to strengthen your claims is to register a copyright for the software with the United States Copyright Office. Registration provides you with an enhanced ability to have a court prevent infringing use of your software, and a greater amount of damages that are recoverable. The best part is that registration is relatively easy and inexpensive.

9. Licensing technology too broadly

So you’ve landed that big deal with that big customer. You’ve carefully priced the deal based upon your expectations of how the customer is going to use your technology – by a specific group within the customer’s large organization. You’re hoping that the success of this deal will lead to a greater adoption of your technology within the rest of the company, and ultimately more revenue for you. Unfortunately, you later learn that this one group is sharing your technology throughout the rest of the company, with no additional license fees to you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Why? By failing to carefully and narrowly draw up the license grant in your agreement, you’ve unwittingly granted the entire company the rights to use your technology, and you’ve left a pile of cash on the table.

8. Failure to provide detailed support and maintenance policies

Too often, once a company’s technology is ready to be licensed, determining how to support the technology becomes an afterthought. General and non-descriptive obligations like “providing telephone and email support” and “providing updates” are invitations for disagreements and missed expectations. When is phone support being offered? How quickly will you respond to problems? What is considered and update and what is a new product for which you would charge the customer separately? Many times, you need your customer to provide you with certain information about the problem before you can diagnose and fix it. Set the appropriate expectations in your support and maintenance policies and avoid these issues in the future.

7. Not contracting customers to recurring support fees

Customers want and expect that you will be there to support your product, assist with problems, and provide them updates when you add features or fix bugs. Customers also expect that you will regularly charge them for these services, so why do so many technology vendors sell a product to a customer and fail to structure regular and recurring support fees? In general, a technology vendor’s highest profit margins are realized through a support fee stream, and not in the upfront license charge.

6. Inadequate non-disclosure and non-compete agreements with employees and contractors

The technology business is one of the most competitive industries in the market. Why take a chance losing your competitive advantage by not ensuring that your intellectual property, customer lists, trade secrets, and other sensitive information are properly protected through appropriate agreements with your employees, contractors, and vendors? Finding and using some form agreement that you saw floating around on the Internet somewhere may actually make matters worse if you don’t fully understand the terms. Moreover, simple steps can be taken to ensure that anything developed by your employees is, and remains, your company’s property.

5. Giving away intellectual property ownership too liberally

Many technology companies develop customized technology for their customers, or make customized modifications to their existing technology on behalf of a particular customer. And most customers argue that if they’re paying for it, they want to own it. But giving away your company’s intellectual property in these instances can prevent you from reusing it for other customers – effectively shutting down a potential source of revenue in the future. And many times, your customers may not need to actually “own” the developments – a license right can often do the trick.

4. Using overly broad or subjective acceptance testing

It is not uncommon or unreasonable for customers to want to “kick the tires” of your technology before they pay for it. Problems arise when the customer has an unreasonable expectation of what the technology is supposed to achieve, and either want to withhold payment, or force you to provide extra services to meet that unreasonable expectation. This especially manifests itself when a customer includes acceptance testing language in a contract which is not tied to objective and realistic standards. Although it can be a laborious effort, taking the time to objectify these standards with the customer in the contract can save you significant time down the road, and get you paid faster.

3. Offering liberal source code escrow release conditions

For software developers, you know that your source code is the “crown jewels” of your business. It is the core of your technology, representing months or years of your blood, sweat, and tears. Yet many software companies are willing to give it away, for free, to their customers. How? By entering into a source code escrow agreement with a customer and allowing it to be released to them in situations where the code still holds value for you. Many customers will demand the source code be released to them if you stop supporting the software, but the intellectual property in the code may still be used in your other products or technology, effectively giving your customer the tools it needs to duplicate your technology. Creating very narrow and specific source code release conditions can minimize this impact.

2. Undervaluing technology

What is your technology worth? It’s a difficult question, and value can be measured and determined in many ways. Many new technology companies feel compelled to undercharge for their technology in an effort to break into the market. Although there is certainly some merit in that, I see vendors consistently undervaluing what their technology is worth, leaving significant revenue on the table. Understanding the impact and loss to the customer if they DON’T license your technology is the first key to pricing your product. Plus, under-pricing your product can create an impression that the technology is “cheap” – not a label that will build a positive reputation of your company in the long run.

1. Using a form license and/or services agreement that doesn’t fit your business model

Capturing exactly how you want to provide your product or services to your customer, allocating the risks, and creating each party’s obligations and rights, is not a simple or quick process. Replicating some other company’s form agreement not only exposes you to risks that you may not be aware of, but potentially violates the other company’s copyright in their agreement, and raises the risks outlined in the other points of this list. Having a customized agreement created for you that aligns with your business processes, mitigates your risks, and addresses the laws that apply in your jurisdiction for your industry is a key component in running a successful technology business.

Pepper Law Group, LLC has been working with technology companies for over 10 years to address these mistakes head on and to adopt best practices in the industry. How can we help you? Contact us for a free initial consultation.

Recruiter Technology, Why Recruiters Need To Embrace Technology

I have been in recruitment for over 15 years and am a true believer in the use of good technology within the recruitment process. This has led me to make it a mission to keep informed of what resources are being developed and made available on the technology front within recruitment.

I have therefore conducted continuous and extensive research in this area and have been involved in developing software and tools specific to our industry.

This brings me to an interesting topic which has come up time and time again during my research and discussions with numerous recruiters, I am sure all recruiters have discussed this in length and with much passion at some time. The replacement of recruiters and the recruitment process by technology!

I have heard from some clients as well as recruiters that some feel our days are numbered, as technology, for example on-line job portals / boards, both general and in-house developed will soon replace us.

These are my thoughts and findings on this issue:

Technology is fantastic! A great resource for Recruiters and should be embraced with open arms.
Many recruiters are afraid of technology, they would still prefer to work with flip cards and say that anyone using technology is not a “Real Recruiter”!

My experience is: ignore technology and “Real Recruiter” or not your business is doomed, it will not progress far into the future as a viable entity. You will be replaced.

Technology is not a replacement for recruiters but a powerful tool to assist us, make us more productive, give us more reach, make us more competitive. We should (in fact must) welcome it as many other industries and professions do. How many accounting packages are out their that could and in many cases do “replace” accountants in certain aspects, yet the demand for accountants is still high.

Why are we so insecure about our industry!

I am aware that recruiters and the recruiting industry has taken a battering over a long period but one thing we can not doubt is that we are necessary, in fact essential! We too are always in demand – even if some folk like to tell us otherwise.

I have had clients try their own portal / on-line database, only to realise how difficult the recruitment function actually is, mainly their own portals only bring about more work and less recruitment success, as they get piles of responses, many whom they can never use, but they still need to manage.
They generally come back for assistance, even if it is with their own portal as an additional tool.

Recruiters should be getting in first, start using the excellent technology available, become recruitment technology experts and then use this knowledge to your advantage, sell your knowledge of recruitment technology tools to your clients, make it an added benefit to your clients.

If clients want to use technology in recruiting we should encourage it and be involved in the process of decision making and choices as to which technology is most suitable. Introduce them to technologies using your expertise. This may seem like a bad business approach to those who feel they are in danger of losing their jobs to technology, but if you explain and demonstrate to your clients how a combination of the right technology along with a knowledgeable recruiting professional will produce the most desired results, then you maintain control, you lead the process, you are able to make yourself an indispensable part of the recruitment process.

This is better then trying to persuade them not to use recruitment technology or just waiting for your business with them to possibly shrink as they find appropriate technology themselves or find a recruiting professional who is willing to guide them in this process.

Developments in recruitment technology are inevitable and in fact very necessary to ensure our industry, as well as the market in general, thrives. We can not have archaic recruitment processes trying to keep up with modern market human resource demands.

So, lets encourage more development by researching and using the tools and technology available to us, only by using the technology do we make it viable for the developers of these tools to continue enhancing and fine tuning to suit our requirements and needs. After all we are the recruiting experts and should therefore be the main contributor to how these systems operate.

Three Emerging Technologies that Will Change the World


I was speaking with a friend the other night about his great grandfather. His great grandfather was born in 1875. He lived until 1965. Can you imagine the technology that this man saw come online? Let me name a few: the typewriter, the electric dental drill, the telephone, the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb, the hearing aid, the electric fan, the dishwasher, the escalator, the airplane, the Model T automobile, the air conditioner, the defibrillator, the atomic bomb, the electric guitar, the nuclear submarine, nylon, the polio vaccine, and the laser. He died right when the first minicomputer was coming to fruition. All of that in the span of his lifetime. Which leads me to the topic of this article. Technology has completely changed the way we live. And technological advances have accelerated at unbelievable speeds. Technology is converging in ways no one could have foreseen. I want to highlight some of the most interesting technologies out there. These are technologies that will change the world, for good and bad.

Nano Technology

Probably the most interesting and frightening of the emerging technologies is nano technology. Nano technology is a cross disciplinary field that deals with building and synthesizing materials at scales of 100nm or less. Nano technology usually works in one of two ways. It either pulls smaller parts together to build or it breaks bigger parts down. The parts are then used to form smaller, new materials. But why is nano technology so important?

Nano technology is important because it will have massive effects across every area of life. As I write this, researchers are working on a nano particle to target cancer cells in lungs. In 2004, Rice University tested gold nano particle cancer treatment. In this treatment, these 150 nanometer gold particles were injected into the blood stream of cancerous mice. Gold particles at this size pass into tumors, but not healthy tissue. The researchers then passed infrared through the mice. The tumorous cells absorbed the infrared, heated up, and were destroyed. They are also working on quantum dots that allow doctors to easily identify multiple diseases quickly and accurately. But the uses don’t stop there. Nanotechnology will drive down the scale of electronics. This will lead incredibly small devices. The applications are limitless. And you can bet that the military will be clamoring for nano technology. The military is looking to have numerous nanotechnologies online by the year 2015. Such advances include performance enhancing nanotechnology that aids bodily functions. These will include response times, oxygen use, and heightened senses. But nanotechnology can also be used for reconnaissance and combat. Nanobots could scout areas without being seen. They could also enter into enemies for espionage. They could kill targets from within the host’s body. The possibilities are frightening.

Alternative Energy & Fuels

When gas prices skyrocketed this past year, many people suddenly took an interest in alternative energy and fuels. And because demand rose, companies suddenly found themselves forced to take interest. Most of the common arguments for alternative energy and fuels center around issues of pollution, cost, dependence, and jobs.

What most people don’t realize is that alternative energy and fuels always have environmental effects. This can be in the form of heat generation, air pollutants, waste by-products, land usage, extraction, etc. Instead, we have to talk about pros and cons around each type of energy and fuel. There is no silver bullet. Costs, dependence, and jobs also vary depending on the energy type.

There are a host of alternative energies being tested. Wind powered energy plants are already in place in many parts of the world. Solar energy production has taken huge steps forward with the help of nano technology. One such company is Nanosolar. Nanosolar is producing solar cells that are 100 times thinner than conventional cells. Not only are the cells cheaper to produce, but they also convert the solar energy much more efficiently. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) uses the temperature differences in the ocean layers to produce energy. And OTEC can utilize this colder water (36 degree F cooler) in other things like on shore agriculture and refrigeration. And the list goes on.

Massive interest was generated in alternative fuels this past year when gas prices hit record levels. New developments in battery technology could help. One such development is Millennium Cell’s hydrogen battery technology. This technology differs greatly from traditional rechargeable batteries in that it’s instantly rechargeable. It also has a much great efficiency for energy conversion, so it is much smaller and lighter. There is also greater reuse efficiency since you don’t need to replace the entire battery. You only need to replace the energy module. Developments are continuing in biodiesel, electric, hydrogen, methanol, etc. I think there could be some serious future synergy between nano technology and alternative energy.

“Bionetics”

This is my name for the incorporation of technology into the body. The dermal display is a great indication of things to come. Though I have yet to find a working demo version of this concept, I have no doubt that it will become a reality. The display would be driven by millions of nanobots. These nanobots would display light when touched. This would print a display onto your hand, or wherever the nanobot display would be housed. And this is where it gets really interesting. The display nanobots would be connected to millions of other fixed and mobile nanobots throughout the patient’s body. This would give instant readings on hundreds of vital statistics. Again, nanotechnology plays a strong role here.

The bionics revolution is already underway. There have been four major cases of robotic limbs recently, the latest being a woman. The robotic limbs take advantage of the functional nerve endings in the limb stump. These nerve endings are used to actuate the robotic limb and to provide feedback to the brain. More money is being poured into robotic limbs every year.

“Functional bionetics” are implants that enhance our lives. And you may be surprised to know that people are actively doing this as I write. People are inserting tiny electronics in their bodies that will unlock their front doors and their cars. The same technology is being used to unlock computers. But it doesn’t stop there. There is talk of implanting devices that will carry health information. You could be carted into a hospital totally unconscious and they would be able to access all of your past medical history. Most of this is done through RFID technology.

“Bionetic networks” will be networks of connected bionetic devices. This would allow people to share sensation, feelings, and communication. If this sounds completely fictional, I invite you to consider the work of Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England. He has implanted an extra-sensory device that interfaces with one put in his wife. They were implanted in their arms. The first experiments are aimed at exchanging sensory inputs, like pain. The hope is to extend that to other, more complicated neurological processes like thoughts and emotion. Obviously, that would drastically change relationships and indeed the world. Forget about your teens text messaging, maybe they will be brain linking in the future. Now that’s really scary!

What will we be able to say came online in our lifetimes? I’m sure we could already list a lot of important technologies. But keep your eyes out for these emerging technologies. They are set to change the rules of our world. These technologies will upset economies, change military tactics, empower people, and be used to control others. Keep an eye on them.

Paul McGillivary has been a technologist for 15 years. In that time, Paul has experienced thousands of technology problems, challenges, and products. He brings this experience to bear in the articles that he presents.

Fantastic New Wireless Technology Explodes Across The Planet

Bluetooth does not describe a dental condition in which a patient has blue teeth. The term “Bluetooth” signifies a special new technology, a technology of the 21st Century. The devices with Bluetooth technology allow the user of such devices to conduct 2-way transmissions over short distances. Usually the distance between the communicating Bluetooth devices runs no more than 150 feet. . The individual who has access to two or more devices with Bluetooth technology has the ability to carryout such short-range communications.

One big advantage to having access to some of the devices with the Bluetooth technology is the opportunity one gains to conduct a “conversation” between mobile and stationary technological items. The Bluetooth car kit underlines the plus side of having access to the Bluetooth technology. The Bluetooth car kit sets the stage for a “conversation” between a mobile and a stationary electrical gadget.

For example, the Bluetooth car kit permits a cell phone in the garage to communicate with a home computer. Thanks to Bluetooth, a car driver with a cell phone could sit inside a car and send a message to a home computer. By the same token, Bluetooth technology could allow a car to send a message to a personal computer. Such a message could inform a car owner that the motor vehicle sitting in the garage needed an oil change, rotation of the tires or some other routine procedure.

Not all of modern automobiles come equipped with Bluetooth technology. So far only Acura, BMW, Toyota Prius and Lexus have chosen to provide the consumer with this special feature. In order for the car owner to benefit from the potential of Bluetooth technology in a motor vehicle, all of the devices with that technology must use the same type of profile.

For example, if a car audio system contains devices with the Bluetooth technology, then any of the communications that take place between those devices require Bluetooth equipment that uses the same profile. Such restrictions typically specify that the Bluetooth car kit will work only if all of the inter-device communicating involves equipment that operates under the hands-free profile. In other words, a Bluetooth car kit would not be expected to allow a cell phone with a headset profile to communicate with a computer that had a dial-up networking profile.

Of course Bluetooth technology is not confined to the automobile. It has also been responsible for allowing young teens to listen to music from an iPod, while at the same time being equipped and ready to handle any number of cell phone calls. On other occasions those same teens might choose to use the Bluetooth technology to send selected images from a digital camera to a home computer.

The Bluetooth technology has demonstrated the ability to lay the groundwork for creation of a mobile entertainment system. It could also facilitate the quick assembly of an operating and mobile office space. The father of the young teen who was listening to a iPod could very-well be the traveling business man at the airport, the man who must wait for a delayed flight. Access to the Bluetooth technology would give such a man the ability to set-up a temporary “office” in the airport terminal.

Once that same traveling businessman had reached his destination, and once he had settled in a motel room, then he might use the Bluetooth technology to send signals from a laptop computer to a printer server. Both younger and older adults have demonstrated that Bluetooth technology is definitely a technology of the 21st Century. Who could guess that the Bluetooth technology got its name from King Harold, “Bluetooth,” of Denmark, who lived back in the 10th Century? King Harold sought to unite the countries of Scandinavia, much as the Bluetooth technology helps the different types of informational devices to work in unison.

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