Tech Insights
Jun. 5, 2013

BYOD, cloud computing make network upgrades a CIO priority again
The network may be one of the less glamorous elements of the enterprise technology infrastructure, but it's an essential one — and it's getting an overhaul. New initiatives such as cloud computing and BYOD are imposing new burdens on the corporate network, which means chief information officers are looking at upgrades, new technologies and new techniques to ensure that it can deliver the required services.More

Legislative summary: Regular session roundup
On May 27, the 83rd Legislature adjourned Sine Die, signaling the end of the regular session. Within an hour, however, Gov. Rick Perry called a Special Session to address congressional and legislative redistricting plans. The end of the regular session does not mean that all of the 1,500-plus bills that passed the Legislature will be put into law; the governor has until June 16 to sign, veto or let pass into law without action bills passed during the regular session. In this article is a summary of important bills that were passed by the 83rd Legislature relating directly to the Metroplex Business Council's legislative agenda.More

IBM buys cloud computing firm in deal said to be worth $2 billion
The New York Times
IBM recently announced that it had agreed to buy SoftLayer Technologies, a cloud computing company, in an effort to strengthen IBM's position in the fast-growing market for computing sold to businesses as a service delivered over the Internet.More

Zynga, cloud pioneer, must fix revenue woes
Zynga has been forced to slash more than 500 employees from its workforce, about one-fifth of the total and its largest layoff to date, after projecting weak bookings for the second quarter. The moves indicated that Zynga, once a leading light of the social networking craze, has not yet found its footing in converting online games that bring people together into a revenue stream. In addition to cutting staff, Zynga will close some offices, the recent briefing of Wall Street analysts indicated. More

Cyberwar: US electric grid is riddled with cybersecurity holes
Electric grids give electricity to about 300 million people nationwide each day and are used to help ensure national security and economic growth. However, after a report released by Reps. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., it had been discovered that malicious computer worms have been attacking electric grids, causing the companies involved to have losses in both energy and money. These attacks have spread to the nation's power plants and have the potential to cost the economy billions of dollars in losses.More

4 personal-use robotics available now
As Rethink Robotics' Rodney Brooks has noted, despite all the amazing technological advancements of the last few decades, we still don't have a robot that can put a hand inside a pocket and take out a key. There are no Roseys from "The Jetsons" among us — not even a mechanical companion half as lovable as the space-helmeted "health aid" that starred in last year's Sundance Film Festival favorite "Robot & Frank."More

Freaky light-controlled gels could be the real future of robotics
University of California, Berkeley via Gizmodo
There's a branch of robotics research that doesn't necessarily believe that future automatons have to be filled with pistons, gears and motors. Working to closely emulate Mother Nature's more squishy creations, these robots would be made entirely from soft materials, like University of California, Berkeley's new hydrogel that reacts and moves when blasted with a laser.More

Solar airplane leaves Dallas for St. Louis
Dallas Business Journal
SolarImpulse will avoid thunderstorms and high winds on its flight from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to St. Louis, but the revolutionary aircraft's portable hangar wasn't so lucky. The 100 percent solar aircraft took off at 4 a.m. for the 21-hour flight with pilot Bertrand Piccard at the controls.More

Next big thing in smartphones could be coming from Google
It appears the next big thing in smartphones is coming neither from Samsung nor Apple but from Google. At All Things D, Dennis Woodside, CEO of Motorola, announced Moto X. Moto X may turn out to be the next big thing in smartphones because of the emphasis on making the phone "self-aware." Woodside neither showed the phone nor described it in enough detail to make a conclusive judgment about its prospects. Having said that, the concept of self-awareness of a phone takes the "smart" in a smartphone to the next level.More

Dell plans to offer tabletlike laptop by holidays
The Wall Street Journal via Dallas Business Journal
Texas-based Dell Inc. plans to expand its mobile offerings by launching an 11.6-inch Windows 8 laptop that can be used as a tablet. The Wall Street Journal said the computer will be launched by the holiday season, and it will be known as the XPS 11.More

Infographic: Big data snapshot
SmartData Collective
This infographic provides you with the recent trends that have contributed to big data's growth, the changes in technology and other trends related to big data.More

Moneyball at work: They've discovered what really makes a great employee
Business Insider
Hiring decisions have always been limited to a few imperfect factors, including what appears on a resume and what impression a candidate gives off in an informal interviewMore

Method creates atomic-scale semiconductors
An inexpensive material that can be "grown" in layers only one-atom thick has yielded atomic-scale semiconductor thin films.More

Innovative new nanotechnology stops bed bugs in their tracks — literally
Stony Brook Institute via ScienceDaily
Bed bugs now need to watch their step. Researchers at Stony Brook University have developed a safe, nonchemical resource that literally stops bed bugs in their tracks. This innovative new technology acts as a human-made web consisting of microfibers 50 times thinner than a human hair that entangle and trap bed bugs and other insects. This patent-pending technology is being commercialized by Fibertrap, a private company that employs nontoxic pest control methods.More

Nanotechnology researchers develop high-efficiency zinc-air battery
Stanford University via Nanowerk News
Stanford University scientists have developed an advanced zinc-air battery with higher catalytic activity and durability than similar batteries made with costly platinum and iridium catalysts. The results, published in the journal Nature Communications, could lead to the development of a low-cost alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries widely used today.More

Infographic: Big data snapshot
SmartData Collective
This infographic provides you with the recent trends that have contributed to big data's growth, the changes in technology and other trends related to big data.More

A degree in big data
IEEE Spectrum
How can a car-sharing company figure out the best spots to park vehicles or an electric utility forecast the demand for power? The solution today often involves crunching terabytes, and sometimes petabytes, of data. Whether retail, telecom or health care, businesses in almost every sector are hoping to innovate and increase profits by analyzing immense data sets.More

8 IT hiring trends you can't ignore
The job market, like any market, is not a static beast. It's subject to trends, disruptions, and ups and downs like any other marketplace. You can't manage your current job search — or your career in general — with the exact same strategies you used five years ago.More

5 easily copied traits of an excellent leader
Paul Spiegelman, founder and CEO of BerylHealth, recently met and had breakfast with Harold MacDowell, the CEO of TDIndustries, a mechanical construction and facilities service company in Dallas. Spiegelman reached out to him because he had been hearing a lot about TD's company culture. Spiegelman likes MacDowell and was excited to learn that many of the things he has been doing to maintain and improve the company culture at BerylHealth over the last 28 years are the same as what MacDowell is doing at TD, which employees nearly 1,800 people.More

7 social media tips for CEOs
Businesses can no longer afford to have top leaders sit on the social media sidelines, a new study finds. More than three-quarters of executives worldwide believe it is a good idea for CEOs to participate in social media, the research from public relations firm Weber Shandwick and research partner KRC Research found.More

5 powerful ways leaders practice patience
Today's business climate is more complicated than ever and fueled with many unknowns. Every leader feels the pressure of generating results, building the most effective teams and creating a high-performance workplace environment to secure sustainable outcomes. At the same time, employees are tired of the uncertainty and necessity to do more with less — often causing tempers to flare and growing workplace dissatisfaction. This added pressure on employees to perform without knowing their succession plan or imminent future is not only testing their patience but that of their leaders.More