Newsletter Volume 31 Issue 7, Jul 2019
From The Editor
“On Microsoft Teams, we have about 3900 active users and teams after just completing a one-year migration. … Microsoft have, I think, around 13 million users of teams globally. So, our usage makes us 0.03% of the user base of Microsoft Teams. That means 99.97% of all the other users in the world are pooling their investment to fund the innovation of that platform for us.”This quote is from a July 19, 2019 article in The Mandarin, which notes that “Steve Hodgkinson has been chief information officer at Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services since late 2014. He has been named state government CIO of the year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards, and his team won state government project of the year in 2019 for its Client Incident Management System.
Before DHHS Hodgkinson had varied experience, including eight years as chief public sector analyst for consultancy firm Ovum, and even founded an online marketplace for house moving services. He has spent plenty of time thinking in depth about the exact questions he now confronts at work, having completed a PhD at Oxford examining the centralisation of IT functions in large multi-business organisations.” See below Steve Hodgkinson is banning ‘stupid digital stuff’. Relentless incrementalism, empowered staff and reusable platforms allow for cheap, fast ‘micro services’ that users love
“Northstar, an interactive data-science system, lets users drag-and-drop and manipulate data, and use a virtual data scientist tool to generate machine-learning models that run prediction tasks on datasets, on a user-friendly touchscreen interface.” This quote is from June 27 2019 ScienceDaily article from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which notes that “For years, the researchers have been developing an interactive data-science system called Northstar, which runs in the cloud but has an interface that supports any touchscreen device, including smartphones and large interactive whiteboards. Users feed the system datasets, and manipulate, combine, and extract features on a user-friendly interface, using their fingers or a digital pen, to uncover trends and patterns” See below, Drag and drop data analytics.
“A report released last week showed quality preschool would deliver a two-for-one return on investment for Australia: that is, for every dollar governments invest in preschool, two dollars will be returned to the economy.” This quote is from a July 15, 2019 article in The Conversation by Jen Jackson, Education Policy Lead, Mitchell Institute, Victoria University, who describes what needs to happen for an Australian child, and the Australian economy, to reap the two-for-one return. See below, Report finds every $1 Australia spends on preschool will return $2, but this won’t just magically happen
“Combining solar panel (photovoltaic) infrastructure and agriculture creates a mutually beneficial relationship. This practice of co-locating the two by planting crops under the shade of solar panels is called agrivoltaics..” This quote is from a 29 July 2019 ScienceDaily article by Ecological Society of America, in which Greg Barron-Gafford, associate professor at the University of Arizona, shows that combining these two systems — solar panel (photovoltaic) infrastructure and agriculture — can create a mutually beneficial relationship. This practice of co-locating the two by planting crops under the shade of solar panels is called agrivoltaics.”
“What’s super interesting,” Barron-Gafford explains, “is that we can cut back about 75% of the direct sunlight hitting the plants, but there is still so much diffuse light that makes it under the panels that the plants grow really well.” See below, Solar panels cast shade on agriculture in a good way.
Articles in the current Issue cover:
Steve Hodgkinson is banning ‘stupid digital stuff’. Relentless incrementalism, empowered staff and reusable platforms allow for cheap, fast ‘micro services’ that users love
“One of the first things I used as a mentor to engage my staff, when I first started in this job was ‘ban stupid digital stuff’. That came from Obama’s ‘don’t do stupid shit’ foreign policy. … That authorised people to say, hang on, you know what, what we’re talking about is actually stupid digital stuff. We are authorised not to do that. We’re going to think about it differently.”
“Even a coffee shop owner who doesn’t know data science should be able to predict their sales over the next few weeks to figure out how much coffee to buy,” says co-author and long-time Northstar project lead Tim Kraska, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science in at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and founding co-director of the new Data System and AI Lab (DSAIL). “In companies that have data scientists, there’s a lot of back and forth between data scientists and nonexperts, so we can also bring them into one room to do analytics together.”
Report finds every $1 Australia spends on preschool will return $2, but this won’t just magically happen
“National funding for access to preschool in the year before school continues to be agreed year-by-year, rather than as a sustained commitment. So the very first link in the chain is loose. Despite major gains in participation, around 10% of Australian children still don’t attend preschool. Of the early childhood services that provide preschool, 7% of stand-alone preschools and 21% of long day care services don’t yet meet the National Quality Standard. Lower-quality early childhood services are disproportionately located in poorer communities, where they are needed the most.”
“In places where it is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit when sunny, solar panels begin under-performing because they become too hot. The evaporation of water from the crops creates localized cooling, which reduces heat stress on the panels overhead and boosts their performance. In short, it is a win-win-win at the food-water-energy nexus”.
QESP Editor’s Note: The following blog is from a July 19, 2019 post in The Conversation What’s the next ‘giant leap’ for humankind in space? We asked 3 space experts
Consensus Software Awards
World’s Most Successful Awards
2019 Awards Presentations
The second round of 2019 Consensus Software Awards are now open for entries to the end of September and will be presented at the end of October. There are now 9 Awards Programs with new ones for FinTech, Blockchain, Agriculture, Education and Cognitive. See www.consensus.com.au
The first set of 2019 Awards were presented on 9th May at PwC. If you would like to receive further information, please email.
Quote of the Day
Design is a way of life, a point of view. It involves the whole complex of visual communications: talent, creative ability, manual skill, and technical knowledge. Aesthetics and economics, technology and psychology are intrinsically related to the process. Paul Rand
Quote from Yesteryear
The motive of change is always some Uneasiness: nothing sets us upon the change of a State or upon any new Action but some Uneasiness., This is the great motive that works on the Mind to put it upon Action. – John Locke An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690)