Adobe’s website featured an article recently called Databases, Web Apps, And APIs: Realities Of The Tech-Enabled CMO. In it, chief product officer Paul Mandeville suggests that in order to remain relevant top marketing executives need to be knowledgable enough about technology to leverage the right tools, especially at a time when CMO turnover is at an all time high.

It is important to note that this task extends beyond marketing technology and requires the ability to connect and leverage intelligence pouring in from all arms of the business. Customer databases, ERP systems, and customer service records all need to be able to talk to each other in order provide the bigger picture of what a company or organization can do to have more meaningful relationships and engagement with its audience. When CMOs can leverage the power of connecting business systems and technology, they can dramatically improve their ability—and their organizations’ ability—to make data-driven decisions.

Another option: find someone to oversee marketing and technology…

It takes 13,760 individual nickel-cadmium cells, each about the size of a desktop PC and weighing about as much as a full-grown adult, to create the world’s largest battery. Vice’s Motherboard column has more:

On August 27, 2003, the Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA), the cooperative that provides power to the Fairbanks area, powered up BESS, aka the Battery Energy Storage System. Larger than a football field and weighing 1,500 tons, BESS exists to ensure continuity of electric service. If the supply of electricity coming in from relatively distant coal plants to the south is interrupted, BESS kicks in until local power plants can be put online.

BESS can hold things down powerwise for all of seven minutes. It functions as what’s known as a spinning reserve. It’s a bridge between primary and backup power and is generally taken to mean some amount of excess generating capacity that is at any given time pre-synchronized to the grid. If power goes down, switching the spinning reserve on should be seamless.


Listicles, or articles that consist primarily of a series of items, do really well on the Internet in terms of attracting readers to click on a headline to read the full post. Buzzfeed, Mashable, and others have generated millions upon millions of page views using list posts. As a result, I typically ignore them.

Gizmodo’s 14 iPhone Gestures You Might Not Know About not only got me to click, but I actually found several tips worth implementing and passing along. Here’s one that I found really useful already:

No. 2: Tap and hold to bring up closed tabs in Safari

Want to get back to that web page you dismissed too quickly? Forgotten what you’ve just read already? In the Safari app, you can open the tab view via the icon in the lower right-hand corner, then tap and hold on the new tab icon (a plus) to see your recently closed tabs. You can also tap and hold on individual tabs to reorder them in the tab view.

Microsoft Office has long been prone to over-zealous auto-correction errors. From auto-numbering issues (if you’ve ever had to type a list using decimals such as 1.1.1, 1.1.2, etc., you know what I mean) to automatically selecting more text than you actually selected, undoing Microsoft’s “helpfulness” is usually more difficult and frustrating than it is worth.

Recently, researchers published a study in Genome Biology in which they found that fully 19.6% of peer-reviewed research in the field of genomics contain errors that were solely caused by Excel. Here is an excerpt from their report:

The problem of Excel software (Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, USA) inadvertently converting gene symbols to dates and floating-point numbers was originally described in 2004 [1]. For example, gene symbols such as SEPT2 (Septin 2) and MARCH1 [Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 1, E3 Ubiquitin Protein Ligase] are converted by default to ‘2-Sep’ and ‘1-Mar’, respectively. Furthermore, RIKEN identifiers were described to be automatically converted to floating point numbers (i.e. from accession ‘2310009E13’ to ‘2.31E+13’). Since that report, we have uncovered further instances where gene symbols were converted to dates in supplementary data of recently published papers (e.g. ‘SEPT2’ converted to ‘2006/09/02’). This suggests that gene name errors continue to be a problem in supplementary files accompanying articles. Inadvertent gene symbol conversion is problematic because these supplementary files are an important resource in the genomics community that are frequently reused. Our aim here is to raise awareness of the problem.

The real issue that is causing the problem: researchers are copying and pasting data into Excel. Without formatting the cells to receive values such as “SEPT2” or “MARCH1” as text, Excel assigns the formatting itself to the cell.

Property Brothers is a Canadian TV show that shows on American cable TV network HGTV. The premise: two brothers, one a real estate agent, the other a contractor, help a family purchase an existing home that with some renovation will meet that family’s vision for a “dream home.” The biggest challenge in every episode is helping the family to visualize the possibilities of a home that requires significant work.

There exists a unique paradox in the design, development and construction industry. For most of us professionals working in the built environment, spatial contextual awareness (the ability to perceive one’s place in the world, and perhaps more importantly—the ability to to imagine future spaces based on drawings and other abstract representations) is a fairly common trait.

The brilliant and always insightful Valeria Maltoni recently wrote a blog post at her site Conversation Agent about the importance of “Engaging Multiple Perspectives to Expand Opportunities.” She opens with the following:

It happens in every industry, business, and (if we’re not careful) community—it becomes homogeneous over time. We gravitate toward people like us, and our conversations and worldviews start reflecting those of others. This reinforces a cultural phenomenon that goes by the name of bandwagon effect.

Back in 1984, Newsweek created a short-lived technology-focused publication called Newsweek Access. Steve Jobs was featured in a cover story that discussed the business environment of the still nascent tech industry in Silicon Valley.

Here is a short excerpt of the interview between Tom Zito and Steve Jobs around the time of the launch of the original Macintosh:

Zito: Is the computer business as ruthless as it appears to be?

Jobs: No, not at this point. To me, the situation is like a river. When the river is moving swiftly there isn’t a lot of moss and algae in it, but when it slows down it becomes stagnant; a lot of stuff grows in the river and it gets very murky. I view the cutthroat political nature of things very much like that. And right now our business is moving very swiftly. The water’s pretty clear and there’s not a lot of ruthlessness. There’s a lot of room for innovation.

Zito: Do you consider yourself the new astronaut, the new American hero?

Jobs: No, no, no. I’m just a guy who probably should have been a semi-talented poet on the Left Bank. I got sort of sidetracked here. The space guys, the astronauts, were techies to start with. John Glenn didn’t read Rimbaud, you know; but you talk to some of the people in the computer business now, and they’re very well grounded in the philosophical traditions of the last 100 years and the sociological traditions of the ’60s. There’s something going on [in Silicon Valley], there’s something that’s changing the world, and this is the epicenter.

Over at Quartz, Olivia Goldhill is reporting on a major grant for some interesting philosophical research. Candace Vogler and Jennifer Frey are leading a multi-disciplinary study on the difficulty some people experience of “getting over themselves” on one level, but on another level, it seems the pair has received a grant to ultimately try to answer one of humanity’s greatest questions: What is the meaning of Life?

Of course, that question has already been answered. “The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything” is 42.

The importance of “getting over yourself”—or self-transcendence—is key to their major 28-month project on virtue, happiness, and the meaning of life. The research proposal received a $2.1-million grant from the John Templeton Foundation and unites a team of around 20 international scholars, working in philosophy, religion, and psychology…

This is where the idea of “getting over yourself” becomes worthy of serious philosophical contemplation. “If you really want to be participating fully in the kind of good there is for human beings in your life,” Vogler says, “you need to have a life that’s connected to something bigger and better than you are.”

The buzz word du jour, Big Data, is now coming to the legal profession. Forbes reports that the old stalwarts LexisNexis and Westlaw are facing some potential disruption from up-and-comer Ravel Law.

Here is some more information about the firm:

Established in 2012 by two lawyers with backgrounds in analytics, they provide services designed to help legal professionals draw insights and connections using advanced analytical algorithms.

One of their services– Judges Analytics – lets lawyers search through every decision made by particular judges to find those most likely to be sympathetic to their arguments. The data is visualized through Ravel’s dashboard in a way that makes it easier to spot connections and opportunities that otherwise would have been missed.