You don’t need to teach a child to push harder when confronted with a heavy object. She figures it out. You don’t need to teach a child to pay attention when you shake a rattle. He naturally gets attracted to its sound and motion. You don’t need to tell a child to become calm and joyful when seeing beautiful objects. She just smiles.The human brain has evolved over centuries to interact with physical objects and react to cues in the real world. Interfacing with mobile apps is increasingly more like interacting with these physical objects. We touch, swipe, tap and tilt them.Apps are also responding like physical objects.They slide, bounce, shrink and stretch. The obvious benefit of this, when done well, is that the human brain doesn’t need to be trained to respond. It simply draws upon millions of years of evolutionary learning engraved in our limbic system.I am glad that both Apple with iOS 8 and Google with Material Design are headed in the same direction. In fact, the new Syncplicity for iPhone app also borrows heavily from the real world and, in the process, creates a natural experience that is easy to use and seamless.Let me give three examples of metaphors our brains either love instinctively or have learned over millions of years of human evolution and how they can be used in mobile apps.How objects respond to touchIt is common for physical objects to shrink when you press on them, like paper crumpling into a ball. It is also natural for physical objects to bounce, no matter how little, when they are dropped on the floor. The global gesture of tap and hold in Syncplicity causes the sheet to shrink, just like real sheets of paper. When you swipe the sheet down, it docks at the bottom with a slight bounce. This makes it easy to remember that there is a sheet waiting to be restored. How bubbles captivate the child in all of usBubbles are delightful. They rise to the surface. They naturally evoke an urge to reach out and touch. What better way to offer rich functionality than to use bubbles like animation? Syncplicity’s contextual menus use bubble design to naturally attract users to reach out and tap,exploring the full functionality of the system.These are just a few examples of applying these physical world metaphors to the mobile world in ways that even children understand and love. I am proud of the Syncplicity team for creating a rich and easy-to-use experience that relies on these intuitive metaphors. This is, though, just the beginning of the revolution in UX that leverages human evolution.Just like we ride on the shoulders of those who came before us, this is our humble attempt to provide a platform for others to build on. Try Syncplicity out and partner with us in advancing this revolution even further. How objects slide and stretch when pulledPushing or pulling objects makes them move in the real world – sliding forward, backward or side-to-side. In the case of elastic objects, like rubber bands, they stretch when pulled and go back to their original state when released. Mobile apps can use this metaphor to good effect too. For example, in Syncplicity, tapping and holding the main menu panel results in the left and right panels sliding into view. Swiping to the right or left panel applies the stretching metaphor visually, indicating that if you let go, it may go back to its initial state.
Month: February 2021
In February every year IT industry’s collective thoughts turn towards Berlin where Cisco hosts its annual European conference, Cisco Live Europe or CLEUR. VCE/EMC had a major presence at the show as the Diamond sponsor and it was a great opportunity for us to connect with our customers, partners and peers.IT transformation in the digital age was firmly on the agenda. Cisco Live show theme ‘We’re ready. Are you?’ forced participants to take a pause and think about the state of their IT. The overarching theme was explored in various keynotes and breakout sessions which were all designed to highlight how customers and partners can leverage the dominant technology trends of IoT, mobile, analytics, network and data center automation, and Cloud while protecting against expanding security threats.The show theme strongly complemented the VCE/EMC theme, ‘Redefine Infrastructure’ highlighting that a robust and a scalable infrastructure provides the best foundation for modern data center. Our booth was a hive of activity with a constant stream of visitors wanting to learn more about our products and solutions.Paul and I got ready for our session by taking a picture with the product that started it allWe hosted two breakout sessions. First was a joint session hosted by Tom O’Reilly, CTO EMEA and Antony Smith from RenaultSports F1, a long standing VCE customer. The session highlighted how CEOs are increasingly seeing IT as a driver of digital business innovation and growth responsible for survival in markets with emerging disruptive forces. This presentation addressed technology market trends, the current state of enterprise data centers, and how technologies such as software defined, converged and hyper-converged platforms can help customers plan and architect their next generation data center. Having an F1 customer present a real life use case where Vblock Systems™ was foundational to the company’s high performance and scalable IT environment that supports its need for big data and real-time analytics was the highlight for me.Jointly delivered with Paul Carr from Cisco, my session focused on how Cisco and VCE are extending converged infrastructure market leadership through the Vblock Systems. As VCE, EMC’s Converged Platforms business continues to innovate and build its market leading converged and hyper-converged portfolio – I’m extremely enthusiastic and excited about our continued partnership with Cisco. My thoughts were echoed in a recent blog by Frank Palumbo, Senior Vice President at Cisco where he outlined our continued joint successes.Cisco Live this year was even more special as we launched our first ever jointly engineered EMC and VMware hyper-converged Infrastructure Appliance – the VxRail. Its appearance on the booth caused much excitement and interest from the attendees.The vArchitects at the EMC booth were kept busy giving demos of the VxRailA full house for both the sessions, it was exciting to see that our messages resonated with attendees who actively engaged in the post-session Q&A. If you want a deep dive on any of keynotes and breakout sessions, you can access them here.We are at Cisco Live in Melbourne, Australia, 8-11 March 2016. So if you’re down under and attending the show, be sure to drop by our booth.For now it’s Auf Wiedersehen from me!
Data determines the winners and losers in the digital ageIf we examine the top trends many organizations are focused on today—harnessing big data and analytics, embracing the Internet of Things, investing in artificial intelligence—they all have a common foundation. Data.It’s data that powers digital transformation and the digital economy. The organizations best positioned to win in this data era are those who have superior strategies for collecting and harnessing the untapped potential locked away in this ever-growing ocean of data.Unstructured data driving data sprawlUnstructured data is driving much of this growth. Gartner analysts estimated that nearly 80% of the data footprint for an organization is unstructured¹, and that enterprises will triple their unstructured data stored as file or object storage from what they had in 2019.² Adding to this complex equation is the fact that unstructured data growth is not consigned to the core data center, but is spreading across geographically dispersed and edge locations. According to Gartner, by 2022, more than 50% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud, up from less than 10% in 2019.³The end result is a growing, complex and increasingly siloed data landscape that must be managed with relatively flat IT budgets. This reality decreases the pace of innovation across teams and hampers their ability to collaborate effectively as more organizations are forced to focus on keeping the lights on, rather than driving real business value.PowerScale and DataIQ: Designed for the data eraToday, we introduced Dell EMC PowerScale, a new family of unstructured data storage systems that builds on the legacy that Isilon and OneFS have carved out in scale-out NAS. Customers can deploy PowerScale across edge, core and cloud environments, empowering organizations to capture data, wherever it’s being generated, at scale. But unstructured data storage alone isn’t enough to establish a strategy which puts data first. To truly solve the challenges detailed, organizations require tools that help them discover all the unstructured data strewn across the enterprise landscape, understand its characteristics and act on novel insights to accelerate the data lifecycle and optimize the environment.Enter Dell EMC DataIQ.DataIQ is multi-purpose dataset management software which delivers a unique method for managing unstructured data stored across multiple, heterogenous file and object storage platforms either on-premises or in the cloud. An advanced filesystem scan, index, classification and fast search platform, it provides single-pane-of-glass visibility into all unstructured data assets under management. This includes Dell EMC unstructured storage products such as the new PowerScale family (including Isilon), ECS, PowerStore and Unity. It’s also capable of providing a holistic data view across third-party and public cloud environments. DataIQ’s core dataset management capabilities are included with PowerScale, so customers can quickly start capturing value from their unstructured storage.Controlling the data lifecycle and accelerating time-to-insightsDataIQ helps control the data lifecycle by giving both IT and business users a toolset which enables them track data through its lifespan, ensuring the location of the data is known, determining if it is stored on the right platform and if it is accessible by the right stakeholders. Using custom tagging functionality, users can also logically group data from disparate systems together and manage it according to relevant business context. This capability is useful for correlating related folder and file assets which might be stored on different volumes, across multiple platforms, according to how actual project teams are organized within a business. Summary reports can subsequently be built which display total storage consumption by project name, team designation, or even project stage of completion, rather than being limited to reports based on simple file extensions.DataIQ also enables users to move data on-demand via its plugin ecosystem. This gives IT and content creators a means to transfer data to the right storage platform and performance tier, improving collaboration and meeting TCO objectives.By empowering employees to rapidly locate data, organize it based on unique context and move it as needed, organizations accelerate time-to-insights and can make smarter decisions on how data should be moved through the lifecycle. From creation to analysis, deletion to rehydration, DataIQ speeds time-to-value at each phase.Using DataIQ, organizations can break down data silos, make more informed decisions about data assets, speed up dataset management and unlock the potential hidden away in their unstructured data.¹ Gartner, Inc. “Market Guide for File Analysis Software” by Alan Dayley, Guido De Simoni, Julian Tirsu, Garth Landers, March-Antoine Meunier, March 27, 2018² Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage(source: Gartner, Inc. “Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage” by Julia Palmer, Raj Bala, Chandra Mukhyala, September 30, 2019³ Gartner Top 10 Trends Impacting Infrastructure & Operations for 2020, December 2019
LONDON (AP) — There are no warning sirens, nor a rush for shelter. No neighborhoods of collapsed rubble with bodies buried inside from Nazi Germany bombardment. It is quieter than all that.,But the United Kingdom has now suffered its worst civilian loss of life since World War II by a significant number. Some 70,000 non-combatants perished in the 1940s. Three quarters of a century later, it’s 100,000 taken by the coronavirus pandemic, an adversary no less relentless and fearsome and one whose defeat is still some time away.,There are 100,000 dead — from a population of 67 million. In the U.S., the worst-hit nation by the virus, more than 420,000 have died from a population of 330 million.,One hundred thousand dead. For perspective: That’s just over 3,000 more than witnessed England’s only World Cup triumph in 1966 at Wembley Stadium as “Sunny Afternoon” by The Kinks topped the pop charts. And it’s 30,000 more than the crowd that gathered two decades later at the same famous venue for the Live Aid concert.,Here’s a look at some of Britain’s struggles with civilian deaths during World War II and since.,SUMMONING THE ‘BLITZ SPIRIT’?,In World War II, the threat to Britain was existential. During the German Blitz of 1940-1941, bombs rained on London and other strategic cities. The defiance, endurance and stoicism of the population during those months became known as the “Blitz spirit.”,It has been called upon during a series of crises over the years by British governments and politicians of various stripes. The current crop, led by Winston Churchill aficionado Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has invoked it as a mindset to combat the coronavirus crisis.,But the folklore of that spirit was built on a healthy dose of propaganda to keep Britons afloat in their darkest hours. There was no 24/7 rolling cable TV news detailing death, infection and deception, nor was there social media peddling conspiracy theories that the virus is all a hoax. There was, however, disproportionate suffering then, as there is now, of those less fortunate in life to begin with.,The endurance has endured; what other choice is there? But the only defiance shown by anyone but front-line workers in 2021 appears to be mainly by those flouting lockdown guidelines, which they see as an infringement on their personal liberties — thus putting others’ health at risk.,WORLD WAR II CIVILIAN DEATHS,From September 1940-May 1941, the U.K. suffered an intensive bombing campaign by Germany’s Luftwaffe that struck the biggest cities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. More than 40,000 were killed, half of those in London alone.,“Far be it from me to paint a rosy picture of the future. Indeed, I do not think we should be justified in using any but the most somber tones and colors while our people … are passing through a dark and deadly valley,” wartime leader Churchill said at the time.,Such imagery could resonate just as much on the British Isles now as it battles a virulent surge of coronavirus mutation, putting the hallowed National Health Service under its most severe pressure since its inception in 1948.,In the last phase of the war from 1944-1945, the Nazi rocket campaign, primarily the V2, was deployed to chilling effect, with east and south London taking the brunt of the bombings and deaths as they had during the Blitz. Thousands of civilians in residential communities died from those V2 rocket attacks.,ATTACKS ON BRITISH CITIES AND CIVILIANS,There have been other times of recent British national trauma, notably from the 1970s to just before the pre-pandemic epoch. These were mainly based on attacks on civilians in major urban centers.,There was the Irish Republican Army’s mainland campaign in response to the British Army’s military operations in Northern Ireland. That targeted people in pubs, parks and shopping areas as well government buildings and representatives. Deaths were in the dozens.,The bombing of Pan Am 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie days before Christmas in 1988, blamed on Libyan agents, claimed more than 40 British lives in the air and on the ground, as well as 190 Americans and victims from many other nations.,The second most deadly extremist attack came in the wake of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s ill-fated decision to join the U.S.-led war and occupation in Iraq. Homegrown extremists inspired by al-Qaida struck London’s transport system on July, 7, 2005, killing 52 people.,Islamic State group-inspired attacks in more recent years claimed dozens of lives in several London locations as well as at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in 2017. IS was vanquished in Iraq and Syria, and a spate of attacks abated in the U.K. Brexit, divisive and angry though mainly bloodless, then engulfed and divided the nation.,Then came the pandemic.,___,Tamer Fakahany is AP’s deputy director for global news coordination and has helped direct international coverage for the AP for 18 years. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tamerfakahany