Semantic Technology Is Transforming

Architecture Infrastructure

5 Ways Semantic Technology Is Transforming the Financial Services Industry

By Marty Loughlin, Wall Street & Technology@insurancetech

Semantic search intuitively finds and connects relevant data across the enterprise. Innovation in this technology is helping organizations simplify and transform operations.

JULY 08, 2014After many years focused on reducing costs, financial service organizations are once again seeking to grow revenue. However, in the intervening years, the business environment has changed dramatically, and these organizations face significant new challenges on the journey back to growth.


First, we are in a new era of rapidly evolving regulatory oversight. Organizations must not only comply with an ever-growing list of compliance and reporting requirements, they must also testify to the quality of the data they report on. Second, savvy consumers, many of whom grew up in the age of user-friendly apps and instant data access, are demanding better service and products tailored to their individual needs.


Responding to these new challenges will require massive business and IT transformation. In particular, these organizations will need to change how they track, manage, and consume data. For many organizations, this data is not easily accessible — it is distributed across the organization, often trapped in local business units, applications, data warehouses, spreadsheets, and documents.


Traditional technologies are struggling to address this challenge and many believe a new approach is required. Some of the new big-data solutions do help. They are good at liberating and colocating data. However, they often struggle to make it usable. Creating a “data lake” where rigid structure is not required can result in yet another silo of unusable data where context, meaning, and sources are lost. Many organizations are turning to semantic technology for the answer.


Semantic technology has been around since the late 90s but has recently gained momentum as enterprise-quality applications have emerged that make it operationally viable. Briefly, semantic technology enables data to be described, managed, and consumed in an agile, standardized, human-friendly, and machine-readable way.


While search technology allows you to find data, semantic technology enables you to find it, understand it, link it, and take action on it. It is rapidly becoming a data “power tool” for financial services, offering agility and access to data not easily available before.


Following are five ways semantic technology is simplifying and transforming operations in the financial industry.


1. Selling more products and services
For most organizations, the easiest path to new revenue is to sell more to existing customers. To sell to your customers, you must first know them — who they are, what they buy, how they interact with you, and how they feel about your products and services.


Semantic technology unlocks and links silos of diverse customer data (accounts, transactions, interactions, and social media) to create a combined 360-degree view of customer interactions that can be used to make specific, individualized recommendations for the next best action. For example, mining call center transcripts for important life events like marriage or births and cross-referencing this information against the customer’s business interactions can be used to recommend new and relevant products.

Read the rest of this article on Wall Street & Technology

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Consortium aims to improve M2M communications


Vendors agree on standards so machines can talk

8 July 2014 by Nick Booth -

Consortium set to boost IoTConsortium aims to improve M2M communications

Top technology vendors have teamed up to create a consortium aimed at creating the right conditions for the Internet of Things (IoT) to flourish, creating more demand for data centers and hosting services.

Atmel, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Samsung and Wind River have jointly established a new industry consortium aiming to improve machine to machine (M2M) communications across form factors, vendors and operating systems.

The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) will define a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies for both wireless connection and managing the flow of information across the IoT devices.

The goal is to make the types of form factors, operating systems and service providers irrelevant when machines talk to each other so that the IoT industry develops faster.

Under the scheme member companies will use their software and engineering skills to define a protocol, enforce the use of open source software, and create a certification program.

The OIC said it will specify connectivity options using existing and emerging wireless standards, with the end goal being compatibility across the entire variety of systems.

The consortium takes in a range of industry verticals and smart home vendors, mobile phone makers and office systems developers will participate in the program.

Dell’s CTO for client solutions Glen Robson said the first OIC open source code will be designed for smart homes and office solutions but data centers and enterprises will be catered for.

“The explosion of the IoT is a transformation that will have a major impact and an open, secure and manageable connectivity framework is critical,” Robson said.

Intel’s VP for software and services Doug Fisher said the success of the IoT hinges on common frameworks based on open industry standards.

“Our goal in founding this new consortium is to solve the challenge of connectivity without tying the ecosystem to one company’s solution,” Fisher said.

Chrome Experiments

The WebGL Globe

The WebGL Globe is an open platform for geographic data visualization. We encourage you to copy the code, add your own data, and create your own.

If you do create your own globe, please share it with us. We will post our favorite links below.


  • Latitude / longitude data spikes
  • Color gradients, based on data value or type
  • Mouse wheel to zoom
  • More features are under development…

Created by the Google Data Arts Team.

Google’s future:

Google’s future: microphones in the ceiling and microchips in your head

 unique - Edited

Google’s ideas for a world of search without typing are taking outlandish shape

“I don’t have a microchip in my head – yet,” says the man charged with transforming Google’s relations with the technology giant’s human users.

But Scott Huffman does envisage a world in which Google microphones, embedded in the ceiling, listen to our conversations and interject verbal answers to whatever inquiry is posed.

Huffman, Google’s engineering director, leads a team tasked with making conversations with the search engine more reflective of the complex interactions people enjoy with each other.

The future of the $300 billion business depends upon automatically predicting the search needs of users and then presenting them with the data they need.

“Computing is becoming so inexpensive that it’s inevitable that there will be a ubiquity of connected devices around us, from our lapel to our car to Google Glass [a new optical head-mounted computer],” said Huffman during a visit to the UK from the company’s California base.

A microphone hanging from the ceiling, responding to verbal queries, would remove the need to whip out a phone to remind yourself what time tomorrow’s flight leaves. It could also make sure you don’t miss the flight altogether.

“Like a great personal assistant, it will interrupt you and say ‘ you’ve got to leave now’. It will bring you the information you want,” Mr Huffman said.

In fact, believes Mr Huffman, who has been working on refining search for 15 years, the clunky physical act of typing requests into Google’s search box will gradually recede almost to nothing.

The information could be relayed via “a wearable device, perhaps it might have a small screen, which you can only interact with through your voice and maybe touch but nothing else”.

For play as well as work

The microphone network would have leisure uses too.

“Imagine I can say to a microphone in the ceiling of the room ‘ Can you bring up a video of the highlights of yesterday’s Pittsburgh Steelers game and play it on a TV in the living room?’ and it works because the Cloud means everything is connected,” he says.

“I could ask my Google ‘assistant’ where we should have lunch, that serves French food and isn’t too expensive? Google will go ‘ Ok, we’ll go to that place’ and when I get in my car it should already be navigating to that restaurant. We’re really excited by the idea of multiple devices being able to talk to each other.”

Whether Google users want a microphone embedded in every ceiling is another matter after the company became enveloped in a crisis of trust following Edward Snowden’s revelations about the US Government’s National Security Agency’s clandestine electronic-surveillance programme PRISM.

On Monday, Google joined forces with fellow tech giants including Facebook, Apple and Yahoo! to call for sweeping changes to US surveillance laws and an international ban on bulk collection of data to help preserve the public’s “trust in the internet”.

“We take privacy and security very seriously,” Mr Huffman said. “ Our goal is to keep users’ information private and use it in a way that helps that user. When I ask Google for travel information during my trip it draws it out using my hotel confirmation email. So I’m trusting Google with that information and in exchange I’m getting that value.”

Google believes it can ultimately fulfil people’s data needs by sending results directly to microchips implanted into its user’s brains. Research has already begun with such chips to help disabled people steer their wheelchairs.

“If you think hard enough about certain words they can be picked up by sensors fairly easily. It’ll be interesting to see how that develops,” Mr Huffman said.

His current priority is utilising Google’s Knowledge Graph, an expanding store of information holding 18 billion facts on 60 million subjects, to deliver a more “human” search response. Voice-based search requests are more complex than the two-word searches typed into the search engine.

“My team is working very hard on the idea of a richer conversation with Google. We use a fairly complex linguistic structure in conversation that Google today doesn’t understand.

“But five years from now we will be having that kind of conversation with Google and it will just seem natural. Google will answer you the same way a person would answer.”

The engineer adds: “Google will understand context in conversation but it’s not an armchair psychiatrist. You can’t have a conversation about your mother. Google can’t talk to me about how I feel about things until it understands factual ‘things’. We’re just getting started understanding ‘things’ in the world.”


Osho Meditation


Step 1: Look Into the Other
“Sit and look into each other’s eyes, [it is better to blink as little as possible, a soft gaze]. Look deeper and deeper, without thinking.

“If you don’t think, if you just stare into the eyes, soon the waves will disappear and the ocean will be revealed. If you can look deep down into the eyes, you will feel that the man has disappeared, the person has disappeared. Some oceanic phenomenon is hidden behind, and this person was just a waving of a depth, a wave of something unknown, hidden.

“Do it first with a human being, because you are closer to that type of wave. Then move to animals — a little more distant. Then move to trees — still more distant waves; then move to the rocks.

Step 2: The Oshoenic 
“Soon you will become aware of an ocean all around. Then you will see that you are also just a wave; your ego is just a wave.

“Behind that ego, the nameless, the one, is hidden. Only waves are born, the ocean remains the same. The many are born, the one remains the same.”

Osho, Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi Talk #4


To continue reading, click here

Osho Meditation


Step 1: Look Into the Other
“Sit and look into each other’s eyes, [it is better to blink as little as possible, a soft gaze]. Look deeper and deeper, without thinking.

“If you don’t think, if you just stare into the eyes, soon the waves will disappear and the ocean will be revealed. If you can look deep down into the eyes, you will feel that the man has disappeared, the person has disappeared. Some oceanic phenomenon is hidden behind, and this person was just a waving of a depth, a wave of something unknown, hidden.

“Do it first with a human being, because you are closer to that type of wave. Then move to animals — a little more distant. Then move to trees — still more distant waves; then move to the rocks.

Step 2: The Oshoenic 
“Soon you will become aware of an ocean all around. Then you will see that you are also just a wave; your ego is just a wave.

“Behind that ego, the nameless, the one, is hidden. Only waves are born, the ocean remains the same. The many are born, the one remains the same.”

Osho, Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi Talk #4


To continue reading, click here


Additional notes from the author:

  • If you want to learn more about Tesla, I highly recommend reading Tesla: Man Out of Time
  • Also, this Badass of the week by Ben Thompson is what originally inspired me to write a comic about Tesla. Ben’s also got a book out which is packed full of awesome.
  • There’s an old movie from the 80s on Netflix Instant Queue right now about Tesla: The Secret of Nikola Tesla. It’s corny and full of bad acting, but it paints a fairly accurate depiction of his life.
  • The drunk history of Tesla is quite awesome, too.
  • has a great article about Edison and how his douchebaggery had a chokehold on American cinema.
  • X-rays: just to clarify, Tesla did not discover x-rays, but he was one of the early pioneers in its research.
  • Cryogenic engineering: I’m referring to the cryogenic engineering that has to do with using liquified air to cool a coil and reduce its electrical resistance (Patent No. 11,865), not freezing people and waking them up in the future so they can fight Wesley Snipes.
  • Transistor: Tesla’s influence on the modern transistor can be found in patents 723,188 and 725,605. (a better explanation here)
  • Radio: Tesla was the nicest geek ever until he decided to sue Marconi a few years later. 8 months after Tesla died, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Marconi’s patents on the invention of radio. So Tesla eventually won that battle, although he was dead by then.
  • Tesla VS Edison: I could write a novel on the differences between Tesla and Edison, but seeing as how this comic is already huge I decided to leave many things out. For instance, Edison killed cats and dogs, but Tesla loved animals and had a cat as a child. Originally Tesla wanted to be a poet, but after getting zapped by static electricity from his kitty he was inspired to study the effects of electricity. One could vaguely construe that Tesla’s cat was responsible for the second industrial revolution, which arguably makes it the most awesome cat who ever lived.
    Edison believed that fossil fuels were the future and that there were enough resources in South America to provide for the next 50,000 years. Tesla believed that renewable energy sources like hydroelectric, solar, and wind power were the future. This is remarkable because in the 1890s there was no such thing as “going green,” so Tesla’s ideas on conservation were very forward-thinking at the time.
  • Lastly, a big thank you to Jane C. Daugherty for proofreading this article for me. If you want to learn things from the most awesome librarian this side of the North American tectonic plate, follow her on Twitter.

    Passive Income At Your Finger Tips

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Frequency new machine-to-machine (M2M)

Silver Spring Networks Congratulates Ofcom on Updated UK Wireless Telegraphy License Regulations

Enables 870 to 876 MHz Spectrum Band Use On a License Exempt Basis, Unlocks More Opportunity for the Internet of Things

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 25, 2014--

Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE:SSNI) today congratulated Ofcom for its amendments to the UK’s Wireless Telegraphy Act, which will allow for commercial operations at 870 to 876 MHz on a license exempt basis and go into effect on June 27, 2014. The decision from Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, opens the frequency bands for new machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things applications that unlock greater economic and societal opportunities in the UK. License-exempt spectrum eliminates the prohibitively high costs of existing exclusionary solutions and ensures that high-performing, dedicated, and secure Internet of Things networks can be quickly deployed for the benefit of all UK citizens.

Countries around the world have prioritized the deployment of smart digital infrastructure as a means to improve quality of life and competitiveness, but many have found the lack of effective networking technologies a barrier to implementation. Ofcom’s move to adopt the new European framework will afford participants in the UK the same resources as the US, Canada, and most other industrial nations that allow the leveraging of license-exempt spectrum to benefit citizens through lower costs and improved system performance.

Working with some of the world’s leading smart energy and smart city programmes, Silver Spring Networks has already connected more than 18.5 million critical infrastructure devices such as smart energy meters, smart thermostats, renewable energy generators, networked street lights, and traffic control systems.

“We applaud the release of this spectrum by Ofcom which will help accelerate social and economic benefits for UK citizens and helps to provide a basis for Internet of Things applications such as energy resource management, smart energy and smart water, adaptive street lighting, environmental sensors, and intelligent transport networks that help modernize the UK’s essential citizen services,” said Mark Coyle, Managing Director for the UK & Ireland, Silver Spring Networks. “These types of machine-to-machine networks give the UK an opportunity to establish a technology foundation for its ongoing environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, and smart city leadership.”

“We are excited to continue working with a range of cities, energy companies, and our broad ecosystem to modernize the UK’s critical infrastructure and bring the benefits of the Internet of Things to meet the needs of our existing and future customers,” Mr. Coyle continued.

Earlier this year the CEPT, the organization that represents the national regulatory authorities for 48 European countries, published a framework for license-exempt spectrum availability for a variety of machine-to-machine, smart grid, and smart city wireless networks, among others. The UK is the first individual member state to publish updated regulations allowing license exempt spectrum for broad commercial use for these networks under the CEPT’s new framework.

Join the Silver Spring Networks Conversation

   -- Follow @SilverSpringNet on Twitter 

   -- Like Silver Spring Networks on Facebook at 

   -- Read the Silver Spring Connect blog at

About Silver Spring Networks

Silver Spring Networks is a leading networking platform and solutions provider for smart energy networks. Silver Spring’s pioneering IPv6 networking platform, with over 18.5 million Silver Spring enabled devices delivered, is connecting utilities to homes and business throughout the world with the goal of achieving greater energy efficiency for the planet. Silver Spring’s innovative solutions enable utilities to gain operational efficiencies, improve grid reliability, and empower consumers to monitor and manage energy consumption. Silver Spring Networks’ customers include major utilities around the globe such as Baltimore Gas & Electric, CitiPower & Powercor, Commonwealth Edison, CPS Energy, Energias de Portugal, Florida Power & Light, Jemena Electricity Networks Limited, Pacific Gas & Electric, Pepco Holdings, Progress Energy, Singapore Power and UK Power Networks, among others. To learn more, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements about Silver Spring Networks’ expectations, plans, intentions, and strategies, including, but not limited to statements regarding the capabilities and benefits of Ofcom’s amended spectrum regulations, and the benefits of Silver Spring Networks’ solutions. Statements including words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect” or “future” and statements in the future tense are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions, which, if they do not fully materialize or prove incorrect, could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include those described in Silver Spring Networks’ documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Silver Spring Networks as of the date hereof. Silver Spring Networks assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

    CONTACT: Silver Spring Networks

Noel Hartzell, 650-839-4184

Global Communications



comcast wifi freeThose who believe in open-source soft- and hardware  often also believe in the value of free information over the Internet. But, chances are, they still want their own personal information to be private. The two positions aren’t exactly contradictory, but they do lead to some head scratching when it comes to open Wi-Fi networks.

When Wi-Fi routers first came out — and we were all a bit naïve about data privacy — the tenants of a multi-unit apartment building might split a network, presaging the sharing economy in which sharing means that individuals have to fork over less money to big corporations. Still, those halcyon days faded as we learned to lock our digital doors against thieves.

But in a strange plot twist, Comcast, which became notorious for suing the U.S. government for its net neutrality rules, is opening up the Wi-Fi routers it rents to its cable ISP subscribers to provide free hotspots for nearby users to log on. The company has opened up 150,000 routers in Houston, but has said it plans to expand the program.

With Comcast’s abysmal reputation, one might first suspect that the move will violate the privacy of its subscribers? Comcast insists that the bandwidth opened up to guest users will not eat into the subscribers’ data, nor will the guests have access to their data. Subscribers can also opt out of the program, though the routers create the guest networks by default. A mobile finder app shows available networks but doesn’t provide exact addresses.


Comcast actually seems to be playing with the good guys when it comes to embracing the sharing economy.

If there is unused capacity in Internet infrastructure and telecoms and hardware-makers now have the smarts to keep subscribers’ data walled off, marshaling an army of Wi-Fi routers for use as hotspots could help expand access to those who lack it. The move also helps Comcast make a name for itself in the public hotspot arena currently dominated by AT&T and to poach cellular data charges from AT&T and Verizon.

Of course, Comcast could eventually charge for use of the hotspots, whether by selling minutes or bytes to guests or by making the additional guest network a premium service for its subscribers.

But there’s something odd about Comcast’s apparent good will. The company’s aggressive opposition to net neutrality rules has relied on a claim that data-hungry services like BitTorrent, Google and Netflix are using more than their share of a limited good: bandwidth.

Comcast has justified its position that it needs toll lanes on the Internet highway because the regular lanes are nearing full capacity. Yet, with the Wi-Fi hotspots, the company is unveiling brand new, open lanes on that very same highway. No toll required. The two positions are difficult to reconcile.

The highway metaphor might tell us a bit more about ongoing Internet controversies that we might like. Stop-and-go traffic in some areas and lack of roads in others different problems with the same general cause: inadequate infrastructure. It was the federal government that built the interstate highway system, but it has sat back and advocated for private competition when it comes to the Internet highway. Corporations will, by definition, look for a pay-to-play solution.

While Comcast’s move to open up Internet access from in-home routers seems, for now, to help users, its plans to make the pipes that feed the routers a private toll road don’t.

Photos: wifi concepts/mtkang courtesy of

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