Archive for Technology

Electronic data interchange

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is an electronic communication method that provides standards for exchanging data via any electronic means. By adhering to the same standard, two different companies or organizations, even in two different countries, can electronically exchange documents (such as purchase orders, invoices, shipping notices, and many others). EDI has existed for more than 30 years, and there are many EDI standards (including X12, EDIFACT, ODETTE, etc.), some of which address the needs of specific industries or regions. It also refers specifically to a family of standards. In 1996, the National Institute of Standards and Technology defined electronic data interchange as “the computer-to-computer interchange of strictly formatted messages that represent documents other than monetary instruments. EDI implies a sequence of messages between two parties, either of whom may serve as originator or recipient. The formatted data representing the documents may be transmitted from originator to recipient via telecommunications or physically transported on electronic storage media.” It distinguishes mere electronic communication or data exchange, specifying that “in EDI, the usual processing of received messages is by computer only. Human intervention in the processing of a received message is typically intended only for error conditions, for quality review, and for special situations. For example, the transmission of binary or textual data is not EDI as defined here unless the data are treated as one or more data elements of an EDI message and are not normally intended for human interpretation as part of online data processing. EDI can be formally defined as the transfer of structured data, by agreed message standards, from one computer system to another without human intervention.

What is personal data?

Personal data can be observed, inferred and/or derived.

Personal data is a piece of information or assessment of it that can be linked to you as an individual. It includes name, personal identity number, address, telephone number, E-mail, iris pattern, credit card information etc.

Sensitive personal data includes information on race or ethnicity, political, philosophical and religious beliefs, health conditions, sexuality, membership in associations or criminal matters.

Observed personal data about your behavior like “What and how do you shop?” – “What do you watch on TV?” – “Where are you going?” – “What are you searching for on the Internet?”

Growth hacking

growthhackingGrowth hacking is a marketing technique developed by technology startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure. It can be seen as part of the online marketing ecosystem, as in many cases growth hackers are simply good at using techniques such as search engine optimization, website analytics, content marketing and A/B testing which are already mainstream.

Growth hackers focus on low-cost and innovative alternatives to traditional marketing, e.g. utilizing social media and viral marketing instead of buying advertising through more traditional media such as radio, newspaper, and television.

Growth hacking is particularly important for startups, as it allows for a “lean” launch that focuses on “growth first, budgets second”. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, AirBnB and Dropbox are all companies that use growth hacking techniques.

R.I.P. Steve Jobs 1955-2011

The great visionary who brought us Apple and its ground breaking products has passed away. Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) lost his fight against cancer at the age of 56.

From the first Macintosh in 1984 until the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S today, Apple has been leading the evolution of personal computers. It has all been the vision of this great man. Steve Jobs will be sorely missed!

Here’s one of his great speeches, in 2005 at Stanford University:

Steve Jobs stepping down – will it make a difference?

Steve Jobs is stepping down, about time if you ask me. The man’s health has not been the best over the last few years, and it’s about time that he slowed down and looked after himself. Ok, so he’s not leaving Apple completely, I suppose it’s difficult to leave your brain child in the hands of other people. However, Tim Cook seems like a capable guy. I’m sure he will manage Apple just fine.

The big question is, will this make a difference? Is this the end of Apple? The simple answer is – No! The thing is, although Apple have been the most inventive and out-of-the-box tech company in the past, you don’t actually see many new and innovative products as of late. Although I’m sure we’ll probably see these in the future as well, I don’t think they’ll be as frequent as they have been in the past.

What Apple have to do now is to care for the products at hand, i.e. the iPhone, the iPad and of course the MacIntosh computers. They have to make sure to continue developing and improving their existing products, and I’m sure they will manage that just fine, even with Steve Jobs gone.

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for all you’ve done for Apple and the computer industry, and good luck Tim Cook!