What Girl Scouts Can Teach You about Blockchain

Having trouble getting your head around how blockchain IT works and why it’s important for business?

In order to help simplify things for you (and in the spirit of it being Girl Scout cookie season), let’s look back at a model that any former Girl or Boy Scout knows well: the fire triangle.

The fire triangle is a simple way of understanding the conditions to create fire. Specifically, you need heat, oxygen, and fuel combined in order for a fire to be able to start. Similarly, you can use this model to understand how blockchain helps create the conditions necessary for digital transformation to happen.

But first, the basics.


Technology for the Younger Generation

Technology has transformed our world. All our young children now are "digital natives" not knowing a time before computers, smartphones and pads. How is education changing to meet the world we live in today?

Whether we like it or not, our kids are very dependent on technology. They were born with electronic devices around them and will rack up a lot of use-time prior to ever entering a classroom. Because of this, learning through technology has become vitally important to the next generation of learners and leaders.

Technology provides teachers with a multitude of resources that are not traditionally available to them. For example, instead of carrying multiple books to the classroom, a teacher can simply open an app. Another interesting method of utilizing technology in the classroom is by giving lectures through presentations. Presentations allow the use of audio/visual methods which can be very useful in explaining certain subjects such as science and geography. It also makes it much easier for teachers to get their points across to their students.


The Mainframe Computer Isn't Going Anywhere - Except Maybe to Mars

 by Steve Moore, Senior Story Strategist, IBM

We'll admit it - some of us at The Computing Center are science and space geeks. So this article about how Mars exploration will essentially require taking mainframe level computer systems along with human spacefarers caught our eye. Also, look at the author's title - definitely cool!  If you're like us - read on! 


At the International Astronautical Congress in September, Elon Musk announced a vision to build a base on the moon in addition to his famous plans to build a permanent human colony on Mars. The announcement came with images of rockets, landing pads, refueling tanks and structures for human habitation. It’s an inspiring vision — but it can be easy to forget the individual steps it’ll take to realize the dream.

As Musk makes clear, long before SpaceX sends humans to the moon or Mars, they’ll have to send unmanned missions to establish the early infrastructure. In addition to propellant plants and solar panels, the early missions will almost certainly require systems for receiving, storing, analyzing and transmitting huge volumes of data. And with no humans on site to intervene, those systems will have to be incredibly robust, highly automatic, adaptive, self-monitoring and self-healing.


Staying on Top of Your Email Inbox

We've all been there. You return from vacation or a holiday and what do you find - hundreds of unread emails! It's tough to sift out the relevant emails from the spam.  And you might miss an important work emails from your employees, co-workers, or clients.  So, what to do?

Here are some tips on how to cut out the spam, irrelevant emails, and other detritus clogging up your inbox. A lot of this junk comes from years of giving out your email address when you sign up for accounts and services, ranging from your email address being sold, to mailing lists you once signed up for but are no longer interested in now.

Try these tips for a few weeks and see how your inbox looks then.

  1. First, start unsubscribing. Look for the unsubscribe link or button on any repeating emails that you don’t want to be on. Multiple emails every day from that vendor that sold you software years ago? Unsubscribe. Never actually read that newsletter you signed up for? Unsubscribe. (Yes, even from our eNewsletter if you don't find our information useful!)


Remember Holiday and Travel Safety

Many of us start traveling and have guests in town during the holiday season. Schedules get scrambled, everyone is busy and stressed.  So, now, before it all starts,  is a good time to take a few minutes to prepare for a safe holiday season.

In the office, remember to notify clients ahead of time of closures and support hours.  The Computing Center is traditionally closed the day after Thanksgiving.  We'll be open and available every other working day through the end of the year and will be open on January 2, 2018!

And at home, consider these winter holiday safety tips. Turn off lights at night, water your Christmas tree to reduce flammability, keep an eye on what's cooking, and more. And finally, during this time when we see our friends and loved ones, consider creating and discussing a family emergency plan.


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