What the D.C. Riots can Teach us about Technology
Washington DC just witnessed violent riots that took most people by surprise. But for people who have been observing trends on Social Media keenly, the signs were there to see.
The events that led up to political extremists storming the capital have been building up for a while now. Much of that build-up leading was taking place on Social Media.
Now that we know how dangerous Social Media can be, there are some touch lessons for the tech community to learn.
There is no doubt that technology has done so much good within Washington DC. Law enforcement agencies have leveraged the power of Social Media to trace and apprehend individuals who participated in the lawlessness of that day.
The riots in D.C. have brought to the fore the good and bad side of technology.
How Technology Enabled the Riots in Washington
It is impossible to deny the role of technology in making what happened at the Capitol even possible. Platforms like Twitter had rioters openly agitating and organizing during the lead up to the event. Little attention was paid to them.
Extremist groups congregated and coordinated their activities on Social Media networks including Twitter, where they built up the momentum to their big day when they stormed Washington.
As the rioters plotted together with like-minded people and groups like QAnon on Social Media, they also spread lots of misinformation.
Fact or Falsehood?
One of the major observations from the activities of the few weeks is how falsehoods get retweeted more frequently than facts.
Because social media users aren’t protected enough from misinformation, misinterpretations and lies often spread faster than facts.
This easily leads to events like what we witnessed on the 6th, when mobs of rioters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC.
Social Media companies have been the subject of much criticism for their failure to act in a more timely fashion. If groups like QAnon had lost their social media platform earlier, they would not have successfully mobilized for the D. C. riots.
The Role of Tech Companies in Security After the Riot
It may seem like the role of technology in these riots was a purely negative one, but technology has also played a positive role in the situation.
Because the riots were so widely publicized on Social Media with thousands of photos, videos, and live streams, law enforcement had an easy time tracking down rioters with facial recognition technology.
The vast wireless network on the Capitol helped law enforcement to track devices within the building. As the rioters stormed the building, their IP addresses were picked up by the network. This made them easily identifiable by their phone records.
Social Media no doubt played a role in making the Washington DC riots happen. But it is also a useful tool for bringing the law-breaking rioters to book by providing a record of their intentions which are admissible in a court of law.
Besides just providing evidence after the fact, law enforcement agencies are working on using Social Media to predict such events before they occur and act to stop or prevent them.
How the Capitol Riots Could Shape the World of Technology
The riots in DC brought in light the good and bad aspects of technology and now people are even more aware than before of the influence of technology on public safety.
This newfound awareness could shift the way America handles technology going forward. Tech companies are taking a more proactive approach to dealing with threats, and the government is putting technology at the center of its security operations.
Because Washington D.C.s wireless infrastructure was so instrumental in tracing and apprehending the rioters, it is likely that more attention will be focused on establishing more smart cities across America in order to enjoy the security benefits. Experts foresee that smart cities will grow by 18.9% per year over the next five years.
Law enforcement can be a lot more efficient if they can leverage a more connected city infrastructure
Twitter and Facebook responded to the riots by locking Trump’s social media accounts ostensibly to keep him from inciting more violence.
This is the most drastic action that a social media company has taken against abuse of their platforms by public officials.
Social media sites could become more proactive in future to identify and address these threats in time.
Technology’s Power for Good and Evil
Technology is as good or as evil as its users. The D.C. riots have demonstrated clearly that technology’s greatest strength is also its greatest power to harm.
Technology’s power of positivity or destruction is possible depending on how it is used.
We cannot condemn technology in total even after what happened any more than we can keep going without changing anything.
The greatest lesson is that individual users, tech companies, and authorities must be vigilant to harness the power of Social Media for good while mitigating evil.
What 2021 is bringing to Digital Asset Management
Digital asset management is a growing market. It attained a global $3.88 billion mark globally in 2020 and it looks like the only way is up.
Digital asset management is a software solution to the problem of storing, retrieving, and using digital assets. Digital assets include web pages, text documents, blueprints, audio files, graphics, and videos among other types of files.
Digital asset management solutions make it easy to access data as well as edit and share it through an integrated interface. Organizations and businesses are increasingly working online and collaborating from remote locations. This makes digital asset management an essential business service.
Why DAM will Gain Popularity
DAMs will gain more and more users who will need help managing digital files. DAM software fits in well with content management systems for example. This provides a more cohesive experience.
There are multiple types of DAM software that one can either host on-site or on the cloud. Get the best by comparing a range of DAM software tools to find the one that meets your personal needs. You want a DAM tool that can do all this:
- Asset organization
- Easy asset sharing both internally and externally
- Doing away with duplicated assets
- Help with version control
To get the most out of DAM software, take time to understand it and what it can do.
Multi-Channel Automated Marketing
Last year’s lockdowns saw many companies ramp up their online marketing investments. This increase in online marketing spending continues into 2021 and will probably go on for years afterward.
This focus on online marketing has created more work. People have to work on blogs, build social media engagement, conduct analyses, etc. Marketing departments have to do a lot more work across multiple social media channels using the same budget that they had before.
DAM software can make this a lot easier. It can automate some tasks and create a more user-friendly interface.
They can make it easier for users to share files and distribute them in a usable format. Before 2022, DAM software will be even more widely used. More companies will appreciate the practicality of DAM.
Blockchain and DAM
Blockchain technology has great potential for uses other than tracing bitcoin. Merging bitcoin technology with Digital Asset Management could create a better solution that delivers a higher level of security – letting users know whether an image is unaltered or data unchanged.
Tools that Enable Automatic Tagging
Tagging images and text files can be tedious. DAM relies on metadata to enable users to search for files and find them. Automatic tagging is central to metadata.
DAM can recognize the information in image and text files and automatically suitable tags. OCR automatically detects the content inside text files and tags them automatically.
Soon, natural language processing will make it possible for DAM systems to automatically recognize video as well as audio files.
The evolution of these tools could soon make manual tagging a thing of the past.
Skoltech Researchers Develop a New way of Studying Startups
Researchers based at Skoltech have used Big Data from Google Trends to develop an innovative methodology to analyze study how startups grow.
Big Data is yielded by internet users and how they interact with the web. The new methodology comprises a research tool as well as a source of data.
A paper detailing the researchers’ findings appeared in the Technological Forecasting and Social Change journal which focuses on technology management.
Fast-growing tech companies and startups are widely seen as crucial to economic development, job creation, and innovation worldwide as well as nationally.
Even though they are so important for the economy and draw a lot of interest from policymakers and researchers, startups are not easy to analyze because of their growth patterns.
Because early-stage businesses are both fragile and very private, they usually don’t have the time to share information about their achievements, how they did it, and when things happened for them. Startups may not be interested in sharing that information and they have little incentive to do so. They are too busy scaling up or testing the market.
External observers will find it difficult to understand the progress of startups because it is so hard to find objective information.
Skoltech Ph.D. student Maksim Malyy worked at a St. Petersburg startup accelerator before enrolling at Skoltech’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI). While there, Malyy became intrigued by the difficulty in studying startups.
Mally spent three years studying the problem from practical and theoretical perspectives with supervisors Zeljko Tekic and Tatiana Podladchikova. Together, they emerged with valuable insights for tackling the problem of data scarcity on startups. They published some of their findings in the journal.
Maksim clarifies that if they can show that information from Google trends and other internet search traffic information can yield high-quality data on the growth of startups, it will help to address the dearth of data on startup growth.
They selected a large number of companies based in the US. The companies were chosen through a transparent process.
The trio successfully demonstrated that there was a solid correlation between the Google search trends according to the company name and the curves that show company valuations in a chain of investment rounds.
The authors say that with this correlation, Google Trends data can function as a measure of development instead of using information that is not publicly available like sales figures, market share, or employee numbers.
Data from Google Trends is publicly available and easy to gather. This information is publicly available for nearly every company and can be used to generate accurate growth paths for an early-stage company in real-time.
These evolution curves mean that one could look at old answers, pose questions, and come up with more concrete concepts, predictions for the future, and theories.
According to Maksim, the study could impact start-up research in significant ways. Their findings show that this new approach to research could be as good as an X-ray scan for startups. It could offer cheap, non-invasive, and easy ways of understanding how new tech companies work.
Professor Tekic and Podladchikova cited one of their reviewers: “I think this paper will stand the test of time and be useful for many years to come. It truly is a fascinating study.”
Leading the Way to the Workplace of the Future
Hybrid workplaces are a hot topic nowadays. But what comes after the hybrid workplace?
Cameyo is a company that has been a leader in using cloud desktop technology, which has proved superior to Citrix. Cameyo still emphasizes building a working group to focus on defining the future cloud office and what it will entail.
Even in these early-stage efforts, you can still see what elements are still needed. But we can still flesh out what the future digital workspace will need to work.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a downturn in the market over the last year. And this has brought up the one thing that people will need to navigate the future workplace. They will need to be flexible.
We can now look at how things might look in the future.
8 Parts of an Ecosystem
The Digital Workspace Consortium envisions 8 parts of the ecosystem of the future workplace. The first part is cloud-connected virtual desktops. These devices will resemble small PCs or tiny desktop computers which will be only the front end of a desktop that is cloud-hosted.
Part two is the virtual applications on which the cloud desktops will work. These applications will provide the necessary tools for workers to do their jobs either remotely or on-site.
Part three will be Secure Endpoints to facilitate the greatest integrity and to safeguard companies as well as workers from cyber-attacks both local and remote.
Part four will be innovative tools for collaboration between individuals working both on-site and remotely, keeping them cohesive and connected.
Part five will be about Policy and Management policies that ensure units perform optimally and follow consistent rules across organizations.
Part six will be keeping employee skills up to date and addressing interpersonal problems by using critical analytics, as well as monitoring and testing.
Part seven will be print management, to provide better security of printed materials and keep printers in good condition and functioning.
Part eight will be security in part through secure endpoints. This will entail providing physical as well as electronic security by safeguarding company websites and keeping remote employees safe.
These components may seem all-encompassing, but I believe that there are a few more areas that need to be covered. They include site management, employee monitoring, and consumption management, bolstering employee productivity, boosting work/life balance.
These eight components seem pretty complete, though I’d suggest a few more: site management, including auto-provisioning of the workspace; consumption management and reporting (monitoring utility and resource usage to contain costs); employee monitoring; and management efforts to bolster employee productivity and work/life balance. Finally, virtual space management ensures the consistency, compliance (safe workspace), and effectiveness of virtual collaboration spaces as those come online.
What the result looks like to an employee is a remotely managed working experience that is consistent and that allows people to work from any location without disruptions.
Employees working on-site will benefit from a workplace that is provisioned dynamically. Workers can collaborate seamlessly using consistent tools regardless of their location. All employees should have access to the support of their colleagues while working remotely or on-site.
Future houses will be fitted with virtual offices allowing people to work and collaborate with others on projects without having to commute. We doubt this will come earlier than 2030, though.
In conclusion, the future workspace will be more virtual than ever (obviously.) The pandemic has led to more people than ever before taking on remote work.
We already have smart offices equipped with digital technology but we don’t have consistency in the tools we use and how we cooperate in using them.
We believe that the Digital Workspace Consortium should play a leadership role in the conversation about the future workspace. To do this, we will need to address a clear path to market which is the missing link.
The group wants to partner with companies like Dell, Accenture, or Lenovo to lead the way to tackle the challenges of the future workspace.
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