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The Argument for a Private Cloud in Prisons

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

The stories on the Connected Life Exchange frequently focus on the importance of bringing broadband access to the Internet where it’s needed most — underdeveloped countries, rural communities and under-served areas. While broadband in and of itself cannot boost an economy, it’s a fundamental element in improving both education in the public sector and opportunity in the private sector.

But there’s one demographic segment of the population in the U.S., the UK, and undoubtedly in many other countries, that doesn’t have Internet access, and is unlikely to have it soon: prisoners.

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Military Veterans Need Support from U.S. Companies

This post was written by Michael Veysey, director of Veterans Programs at Cisco

Since September 11, 2001, men and women in the U.S. armed forces have fought in our nation’s longest wars. This all-volunteer force has endured sacrifices that most of us will never know or experience—all to protect our peace and freedom. So, hiring a qualified veteran into our ranks is our chance to say “thank you“ to our nation’s heroes.

Hiring veterans is not only a good thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Their knowledge, training, and experience, often under extreme conditions, demonstrate that they can thrive in a competitive and dynamic business environment.

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How Smartphone Apps Deliver an Economic Boost

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

The place: San Francisco. The time: a Saturday afternoon.

The scenario: after lunch, two out-of-town couples find themselves in a neighborhood where taxi cabs are scarce. One of the women remembers a new iPhone app called Uber that allows you to wirelessly order a Lincoln Towncar and bill the trip to a credit card.

Elapsed time between signing up with Uber and the car arriving: 10 minutes. Estimated incremental cost above a traditional cab: $7.

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How Smart Grid and Broadband Work Together

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Energy policy is a topic that is on the minds of government and business leaders the world over. According to The Climate Group, an independent not-for-profit organization, our global economy is still driven by energy needs, and the vast majority of that energy comes from a finite supply of fossil fuels. According to their assessment, unless we rethink the way we produce and consume energy, eventually there won’t be enough to go around.

They believe that we need to cut our emissions by two thirds by 2050. But we need to do it in a way that protects our livelihoods, creates jobs and supports economic growth around the globe.

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Is The Second Economy The End Of Human Labor?

Recently, there have appeared some analyses that point to a shift from traditional human production to machine production.

In a McKinsey Quarterly article (https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Strategy/Growth/The_second_economy_2853

), W. Brian Arthur, a visiting researcher at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, focused on the “second economy”.  The subtitle of his article sums up the message:

“Digitization is creating a second economy that’s vast, automatic, and invisible—thereby bringing the biggest change since the Industrial Revolution.”  He continues, “we can say that another economy—a second economy—of all of these digitized business processes conversing, executing, and triggering further actions is silently forming alongside the physical economy… human beings may design it but are not directly involved in running it. It is remotely executing and global, always on, and endlessly configurable.” Read More »

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