Lexicon Systems, LLC Blog

lex'•i•con: the vocabulary of a branch of knowledge. Thoughts on environment, health & safety (EHS), sustainability and information technology to support them.

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Read the fine print when surfing the Web

We often surf the Web, download documents or apps without reading the Web site terms and conditions and privacy statements. A Time post by Victor Luckerson says that when we use a Web site, we enter into a contract, and we may click “Agree” without knowing what we just agreed to. Companies can track your activities, sell your information and photos and give your information to law enforcement agencies without your knowledge. You may not be able to delete your account on some sites, or may not be able to delete content permanently. And terms can change at any time. So beware!

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The Internet Map

Photo: fastcompany design

I came across an interesting “infographic” today where Ruslan Enikeevcreated a map of the Internet universe—196 countries, 350,000 sites and 2,000,000 links. The result of his year-long undertaking looks like a color-coded map of the night sky.

The large aqua-colored “planets” at the center of the universe are Facebook, Google, YouTube and Yahoo.

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Emerging tech trends

Today I attended a Gartner Webinar on the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2012:

  1. Media tablets and beyond
  2. Mobile-centric applications and interfaces
  3. Contextual and social user experience
  4. Internet of Things
  5. App stores and marketplaces
  6. Next-generation analytics
  7. Big data
  8. In-memory computing
  9. Extreme low-energy servers
  10. Cloud computing

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Flash memory is in demand

All of the desktop and laptop computers I have used to date rely upon a hard disk drive (HDD), a 50-year-old technology that involves magnetic recording on a spinning platter. A solid state drive (SSD) uses 30-year-old technology that relies on flash memory chips with no moving parts.

While the cost of memory and data storage continues to drop, flash drives of adequate size for laptop computers remain 3 to 30 times more expensive than hard drives above 100 gigabytes (GB), according to Currie Munce, VP, Research & Advanced Technology for a unit of Western Digital. Munce believes that flash memory and HDD magnetic recording are synergistic technologies. Rather  than completely replacing hard disk drives, solid state flash memory is driving increased demand for hard disk drives.

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Smartphones and tablets–21st Century “beepers” or productivity tools?

Smartphones and tablets are cool and fun to use—so much so that workers check their mail at all hours of the day and night, at the dinner table, at their kids’ sporting events and at social gatherings. They check mail before going to work in the morning and after supper. They send business-related text messages at times when a phone call might be too intrusive. A YouTube video went viral; it showed a woman texting while walking, and she fell head-first into a fountain.

In some ways, smartphones and mobile devices make us more productive, and our bosses expect us to be on call 24 hours a day. Being on call with a smartphone is only marginally better than carrying a beeper.  I prefer to work only half days—from 7 am to 7 pm. As they say on Facebook, “LOL” or 🙂 .

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The Web comes of age

Happy 21st birthday to the World Wide Web! The first Web page went live on 6 August 1991. Do you remember where you were then? I remember huddling around our lone PC using “Gopher” to do an Internet search. It was slow. Today, we have several PCs and other Internet-capable devices, when I never imagined having more than one computer.

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It’s not easy being green: running a sustainable business has its challenges

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), launched 15 years ago, provides a reporting framework that allows organizations to report on their sustainability initiatives. This voluntary reporting initiative is growing in popularity,

Running a sustainable business requires change, and change is difficult. Top challenges that companies face, according to Jeffrey Puritt, President of TELUS International, are:

  • Obtaining senior management support
  • Engaging employees
  • Cost
  • Knowing what to measure
  • Identifying sustainable suppliers
  • Consumer desire for sustainable products

The good news is, companies that have implemented sustainability programs are worth more than companies that don’t. The Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes demonstrate that reporting on the triple bottom line of environmental, social and economic performance adds value.