The Top 5 Gadgets of 2012

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. Believe it or not they make the world go round. Whether we love them, hate them, need them, use them, or just plain want them; gadgets are cool. Yes, if nothing else they’re cool! Life can be tough at times and gadgets are there to make things a little easier (and have fun while doing so). It was a real shame to hear “Q” in the new Bond movie, Skyfall, say that gadgets are a thing of the past, part of an “old” generation and have gone out the window for Double “O” agents. Why do that? We want to see a gun doubling up as a homing beacon, or a trip wire dispenser. The bottom line is we all love gadgets and here are few to look out for this Christmas season.

HOME: – liGo BlueWave

Given the popularity of mobile phones, landlines are slowly becoming a thing of the past. But for those unwilling to carry their “hand extensions” everywhere they go so as to not miss a call, need look no further than the new liGo. Connect liGo to your mobile via Bluetooth technology and simply plug-in your landline. Now you can answer up to 3 different mobiles via your home phone (corded or cordless) and make use of dialling out with those 1000′s of unspent inclusive mobile minutes from anywhere in the home. Impressive, right? Especially useful for those of us whose mobile carrier signal suffers severe paralysis anywhere except for the most cumbersome of places. It’s fully iPhone Voice Dial and Siri compatible as well. What more could you ask for?

HEALTH/FITNESS: – Garmin 910XT

Looking to get fit and stay healthy? This little device may quickly become your best friend. Sporting all the goodness of Garmin that runners have come to love, this GPS watch will do more than just track your run. Non-runners, or those keener on other disciplines have swimming or cycling mode fully supported, along with multi-sport and triathlon mode – you’ll be sure to find fitness indoor or out a pleasure whatever the weather. With ANT+ wireless technology you can connect your foot pod or heart rate monitor (HRM) or both if you fancy and get instant feedback on up to 4 different workout statistics at once and full workout review upon completion at your PC. With accurate GPS tracking you’ll soon be pushing yourself harder, faster, and further than you ever have trying out the Xbox Kinect, and be “cool” while doing so. Although it comes with a steep price tag compared to simpler and cheaper models for fitness newbies unsure of whether fitness is for them, it’s a good a multi-sport fitness aid and one you’ll be sure to hold onto for many a year, the 910XT gives great bang for your buck in the long run.

FUN: Archos Gamepad

This 7-inch 1024×600 resolution device is truly built with gamers in mind. Packing Android 4.1 JellyBean straight out of the box, the Gamepad is a fully functioning tablet with a lot of twist. Under the hood, it boasts an impressive 1.5 GHz dual-core processor with a Rockchip RK3066, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage with Micro SD support for more. The major appeal of the device is the built-in dedicated gaming buttons that most console and handheld gamers are used to with controls, buttons and triggers to keep everyone happy. Due on the market at any day, at a possible price tag of just over £100 this is one to look out for. Okay, it’s no PS Vita, but with an Android platform, HDMI port and all things tablet worthy, it’s not trying to be a one trick pony handheld console. An awesome gamer tablet it surely is.

TV: LG EA93 21:9 monitor

For the serious cinematic experience seekers look no further than the LG EA93 21:9 aspect ratio monitor. Sporting 1080p HD resolution but on a massive 2560 horizontal pixel display making it a visual utopia bettering the 16:9 by a mile and then some. Imagine coupling up 2 of these babies via its Dual-Link connectivity and we are talking one major screen viewing area. There’s the standard HDMI, USB 3.0 ports and others, giving you everything you need from a screen. Bear in mind though, it’s not the same height as an IMAX screen, but nothing is, so you’ll still get a little cropping here and there, so be warned. Otherwise, welcome to cinema at home.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Sony NEX-6

Although a love for film and all the darkroom developing fluid goodness that comes with it still has a place in many a heart, there’s nothing like having a good quality digital camera to hand when you want a good photography experience without lugging around your DSLR, and no, an iPhone simply won’t do. As a step between the NEX-5N and NEX-7 the NEX-6 is perfect for those wanting beautiful 16 megapixel photos in a small package. The APS-C sized sensor produces wondrous low light pictures, preferable over the NEX-7′s 24MP offerings, and you can pixel peep til your heart’s content on the flip out screen. Using the same amazing OLED viewfinder found on the NEX-7 and Alpha A99 models, manual focusing is a doddle, whilst if autofocus is your preferred modus operandi then it’s as fast and accurate as you can get in mirror-less technology, even if not quite beating the competition in the higher price bracket. With Wi-fi included in the body, uploading your pics couldn’t be faster or easier, using the PlayMemories app. Using Sony adapters you get compatibility for all your Alpha, Leica and third-party Tamron/Sigma lens offerings, meaning you can use your favourite lenses as usual just on a smaller scale.

So there you have it! A little something for everyone to dip their hands into. One thing’s for sure with these gadgets, you don’t know what you’re missing out on until you’ve tried them so jump on board, the ride is wild!

Knowledge Mapping

This module focuses on the basics of Knowledge Mapping, its importance, principles, and methodologies.

Key Questions

  • What is K-map?
  • What does the K-map show, and what do we map?
  • Why is K-mapping so important?
  • What are some of the key principles, methods, and questions for K-mapping?
  • How do we create K-map?

Background

Each of the past centuries has been dominated by single technology. The eighth century was the time of the great mechanical systems involving the Industrial Revolution. The nineteenth century was the age of steam engine. After these, the key technology has been information gathering, processing and distribution. Among other developments, the installation of world wide telephone networks, the invention of radio and television, the birth and unpresented growth of the computer industry and the launching of communication satellites are significant. Now people started to think that only information is not enough, what matters is Knowledge. So there has been seen a shift from Information to Knowledge.

A bit of information without context and interpretation is data such as numbers, symbols.

Information is a set of data with context and interpretation. Information is the basis for knowledge.

Knowledge is a set of data and information, which which is added expert opinion and experience, to result in a valuable asset which can be used or applied to aid decision making. Knowledge may be explicit and / or tacit, individual and / or collective.

The term-Knowledge Mapping- seems to be relatively new, but it is not. We have been practicing this in our everyday life, just what we are not doing is – we are not documenting it, and we are not doing it in a systematic way. Knowledge Mapping is all about keeping a record of information and knowledge you need such as where you can get it from, who holds it, who expertise is it, and so on. Say, you need to find something at your home or in your room, you can find it in no time because you have almost all the information / knowledge about -what is where- and -who knows what- at your home. It is a sort of map set in your mind about your home. But, to set such a map about your organization and organizational knowledge in your mind is almost impossible. This is where K-map becomes handy and shows details of every bit of knowledge that exists within the organization including location, quality, and accessibility; And knowledge required to run the organization smoothly – since making you able to find out your required knowledge easily and efficiently.

Below are some of the definitions:

It's an ongoing quest within an organization (including its supply and customer chain) to help discover the location, ownership, value and use of knowledge artifacts, to learn the roles and expertise of people, to identify constants to the flow of knowledge, and to Highlight opportunities to leverage existing knowledge.

Knowledge mapping is an important practice consulting of survey, audit, and synthesis. It aims to track the acquisition and loss of information and knowledge. It explores personal and group competencies and proficiencies. It illustrates or "maps" how knowledge flows through an organization. Knowledge mapping helps an organization to appreciate how the loss of staff influences intellectual capital, to assist with the selection of teams, and to match technology to knowledge needs and processes.

– Denham Gray

Knowledge mapping is about making knowledge that is available within an organization transparent, and is about providing the insights into its quality.

– Willem-Olaf Huijsen, Samuel J. Driessen, Jan WM Jacobs

Knowledge mapping is a process by which organizations can identify and categorize knowledge assets within their organization – people, processes, content, and technology. It allows an organization to fully leverage the existing expert residency in the organization, as well as identify barriers and constraints to fulfilling strategic goals and objectives. It is constructing a roadmap to locate the information needed to make the best use of resourses, independent of source or form.

-W. Vestal, APQC, 2002

(American Productivity & Quality Center)

Knowledge Map describes what knowledge is used in a process, and how it flows around the process. It is the basis for determining knowledge commonality, or areas where similar knowledge is used across multiple process. Fundamentally, a process knowledge map cntains information about the organization? S knowledge. It describes who has what knowledge (tacit), where the knowledge resides (infrastructure), and how the knowledge is transferred or disseminated (social).

-IBM Global Services

How are the Knowledge Maps created?

Knowledge maps are created by transferring tacit and explicit knowledge into graphical formats that are easy to understand and interpret by the end users, who may be managers, experts, system developers, or anyone.

Basic steps in creating K-maps:

Basic steps – creating K-maps for specific task

  • The outcomes of the entire process, and their contributions to the key organizational activities
  • Logical sequences of all the activities needed to achieve the goal
  • Knowledge required for each activity {gives the knowledge gap}
  • Human resource required to undertake each activity {shows if recruitment is needed}

What do we map?

The followings are the objects we map:

  • Explicit knowledge
    • Subject
    • Purpose
    • Location
    • Format
    • Ownership
    • Users
    • Access right
  • Tacit knowledge
    • Expertise
    • Skill
    • Experience
    • Location
    • Accessibility
    • Contact address
    • Relationships / networks
  • Tacit organic process knowledge
    • The people with the internal processing knowledge
  • Explicit organizational process knowledge
    • Codified organizational process knowledge

What do the knowledge maps show?

Knowledge map shows the sources, flows, constitutions, and sinks of knowledge within an organization. It is a navigational aid to both explicit information and tacit knowledge, showing the importance and the relationships between knowledge stores and the dynamics. The following list will be more illustrative in this regard:

  • Available knowledge resources
  • Knowledge clusters and communities
  • Who uses what knowledge resources
  • The paths of knowledge exchange
  • The knowledge lifecycle
  • What we know we don? T know (knowledge gap)

Activity: 1

>> Can you create your personal knowledge map which shows the types and location of knowledge resources you use, the channels you use to access knowledge?

Where does knowledge tear?

Knowledge can be found in

  • Correspondents, internal documents
  • Library
  • Archives (past project documents, proposals)
  • Meetings
  • Best practices
  • Experience
  • Corporate memory

Activity: 2

>> What are the other places where you can find knowledge?

What are the other things to be mapped?

Benefits of K-mapping

In many organizations there is a lack of transparency of organization wide knowledge. Valuable knowledge is often not used because people do not know it exists, even if they know the knowledge exists, they may not know where. These issues lead to the knowledge mapping. Followings are some of the key reasons for doing the knowledge mapping:

  • To find key sources of knowledge creation
  • To encourage reuse and prevent reinvention
  • To find critical information quickly
  • To highlight islands of expertise
  • To provide an inventory and evaluation of intellectual and intangible assets
  • To improve decision making and problem solving by providing applicable information
  • To provide insights into corporate knowledge

The map also serves as the continuing evolving organizational memory, capturing and integrating the key knowledge of an organization. It enables employees learning through intuitive navigation and interpretation of the information in the map, and through the creation of new knowledge through the discovery of new relationships. Simply speaking, K-map gives employees not only -know what-, but also -know how-.

Key principles of Knowledge Mapping

  • Because of their power, scope, and impact, the creation of organizational-level knowledge map requires senior management support as well as careful planning
  • Share your knowledge about identifying, finding, and tracking knowledge in all forms
  • Recognize and locate knowledge in a wide variety of forms: tacit, explicit, formal, informal, codified, personalized, internal, external, and permanent
  • Knowledge is found in processes, relationships, policies, people, documents, conversations, links and context, and even with partners
  • It should be up-to-date and accurate

K-mapping – key questions

Knowledge map provides an assessment of existing and required knowledge and information in the following categories:

  • What knowledge is needed for work?
  • Who needs what?
  • Who has it?
  • Where does it benefit?
  • Is the knowledge tacit or explicit?
  • What issues does it address?
  • How to make sure that the K-mapping will be used in an organization?

Note:

  • K-maps should be easily accessible to all in the organization
  • It should be easy to understand, update and evolve
  • It should be regularly updated
  • It should be an ongoing process since knowledge landscapes are continuously shifting and evolving

Offline Readings:

  • K-mapping tools
  • K-mapping tool selection
  • Creating knowledge maps by exploiting dependent relationships
  • Creating knowledge structure map?
  • White pages
  • KM jargon and glossary

Online Resource: http: //www..voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki? KnowledgeMapping

K-mapping Tools:

  • MindMapping
  • Inspiration
  • IHMC (cmap.ihmc.us/) (need to have.NET Framework and JavaRunTime installed in your computer)

(Learn more about KM tool selection at http://www.voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki?KmToolSelection )
________________________________________

Categorised K-mapping

Social Network Mapping:

This shows networks of knowledge and patterns of interaction among members, groups, organizations, and other social entities who knows who, who goes to what for help and advice, where the information enters and leaves the groups or organization, which forums and communities of practice Are operational and generating new knowledge.

Competency Mapping:

With this kind of mapping, one can create a competency profile with skill, positions, and even career path of an individual. And, this can also be converted into the? Organizational yellow pages? Which enables employees to find needed expertise in people within the organization.

Process-based Knowledge Mapping:

This shows knowledge and sources of knowledge for internal as well as external organizational processes and procedures. This includes tacit knowledge (knowledge in people such as know-how, and experience) and explicit knowledge (codified knowledge such as that in document).

Conceptual Knowledge Mapping:

Also sometimes called -taxonomy-, it is a method of hierarchically organizing and classifying content. This involves in labeling pieces of knowledge and relationships between them. A concept can be defined as any unit of thought, any idea that forms in our mind [Gertner, 1978]. Often, nouns are used to refer to concepts [Roche, 2002]. Relations form a special class of concepts [Sowa, 1984]: they describe connections between other concepts. One of the most important relationships between concepts is the hierarchical relation (subsumption), in which one concept (superconcept) is more general than another concept (subconcept) like Natural Resource Management and Watershed Management. This mapping should be able to relate similar kind of projects and workshops conducting / connected by two different departments, making them more integrated.

Knowledge is power, broadly accessible, understandable, and shared knowledge is even more powerful!

Essential Things to Change in Insurance Training

Insurance services use knowledge related to finance, regulations, analytics in general and everything else in specific. For example, take project insurance. The insurer needs to evaluate various risks associated with the project. He should be able to make use of project management documents to understand the measures being taken by managers to manage the risks identified by them. He should be able to assess loss in case of claim. He need to use the knowledge of project management techniques in project insurance.

Again, if it is agriculture insurance, an insurer has to get idea about the crop yield, soil quality, farming practices etc. To do a meaningfulful insurance. So, knowledge of agriculture science need to be applied. Since insurance extends its services to every possible activities in the world or even in space, it has the potential to use every kind of knowledge.

Knowledge gained by insurance professionals during training are to be used. They are not for answering few questions in examination and then forgetting them. There is no end of values ​​that insurance service can add in risk management in any kind of activities. And that is through the use of knowledge related to risk management techniques and also the knowledge related to activities. It may not be expected that every insurance professional will gain knowledge of every activity. But, he will do better if he is able to identify what knowledge to be used from where. This where can be external too.

There can be such training courses that are related to existing practices. But these are at the most basic level. It makes sense if there is a need of organized training on existing practices. There are regular changes in standards, regulations, etc. That may create a need for organized training to make them known to insurance professionals in formal way.

However, since Insurance service by nature is futuristic, there has to be an emphasis on such topics that empowers the professionals to understand the future in scientific way with greater nuance. Such training prepares insurance professionals to go much deep in their profession and make the profession richer.

So, one thing that definitely need to be in the insurance related training is something about the future, something latest, something new, something that make the participants come out from the routine thinking and dive deep into topics related to finance, regulations and analytics or Related to the special area of ​​insurance.

What are the Key Features of a Database Management System?

Every day the demand for a good database management system is increasing. The fact is that information is growing and expanding faster than ever. And this makes sense — all old records still need to be stored and saved, while new records are being added and updated daily. Even companies that five years ago had no use for a database management system are now struggling to even get a handle on the simplest information, as it relates to their customers.

All database management systems have one goal in mind — to take the information you enter into it, and store it effectively. Then, when you need to get that information back, you can access it quickly, without any problem or headaches.

Additionally, you want the feature of being able to access all of your information in one singular central location. What good is all your information going to be if it is scattered about on various disparate systems? If the accounting is on one computer, your inventory on another computer, and your sales information on a third computer, you will not be able to make the necessary snap decisions that are required in the business world.

Another feature many database management systems have is to give you the ability to make complex statistical and data analysis, so you can make the most accurate decision as quickly as possible, since time is money in business.

In addition to those features, another good feature of a database management system is its ability to stay secure. This is especially true, as it relates to hospitals. Most hospitals have very sensitive information about their patients, which could put them in legal problems if that information was accessed.

You want to make sure that you have proper security on your database management system, otherwise your information may be compromised. Nobody wants their competitors to get a get hold of their client list, and hospitals and psychiatrists, among others, have a duty to keep their information about their clients confidential.

Security can be enforced on each individual application that exists within a database management system, or it can be set up on the system itself. This will depend upon how many users are accessing the system, and how many applications are running on that system.

In conclusion, I’ve given you some of the basic features that make up a good database management system.