Honda CR-Z will run Pikes Peak with full-EV power


Honda is hitting the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in this experimental CR-Z with an electric powertrain driving and steering all four wheels up the twisting mountain route. Honda is running a CR-Z at Pikes Peak this year. But as you might have guessed, this is no ordinary CR-Z. This particular racing prototype packs an experimental powertrain.

Though precise technical specifications remain a closely guarded secret at this point, our source at Honda has confirmed a few key details. For starters, the CR-Z racer packs a fully electric powertrain, ditching the 1.5-liter inline-four that forms the internal-combustion component of the street-legal model’s hybrid propulsion system. This contrary to circulating rumors that it could be packing the hybrid powertrain from the new NSX.

Whatever the details of the electric motor (or motors) on board, they’ll be driving and steering all four wheels through Honda’s proprietary Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) and Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) systems. The technologies ought to make the CR-Z racer pretty adept at tackling the 156 twists and turns of the world-famous Race to the Clouds. The aero package is obviously pretty aggressive as well, and the bodywork appears to have been modified to an even greater extent than the carbon-fiber prototype we drove in Japan.

Driving duties will be handled by Tetsuya Yamano, a Japanese driver known in the Super GT series (where he won the GT300 title in 2004 in an NSX) and for running Civics in Gymkhana events back in the 90s. It’ll be competing in the Pikes Peak Challenge Exhibition class, but the idea behind the CR-Z prototype is as much about experimentation as it is about results. The project will serve to train some of Honda’s younger engineers. They won’t be alone on the mountain, though, as Honda also recently announced that it would be fielding its new ARX-04b Le Mans prototype at Pikes Peak this year as well.


Formula E’s first season of electric racing comes to a close

After several months of occasionally intense competition, Formula E’s first season of all-electric racing is over. Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird has won the second race of the London ePrix, while NEXTEV TCR’s Nelson Piquet managed to do just well enough (seventh place) to win the overall driver’s title by a single point. Not that Piquet’s chief rival, Sebastien Buemi, is about to cry — he secured the team title for E.dams-Renault after winning the first London race on June 27th.

This is a watershed moment for high-profile EV motorsports, although it’s really just the start of something larger. The initial Formula E season required that everyone drive the same car; that’s good for showcasing driver ability, but not so hot for advancing the automotive industry. The gloves will only really come off during season two, when teams can use their own motors and batteries. While it could result in a handful of manufacturers dominating the races (remember Ferrari’s Formula 1 streak?), it should also lead to technological improvements that filter down to electric cars you can buy.

Source: engadget

Business Leaders Step Into Technology While Technologists Step Into Leadership Roles

Say goodbye to the calcified, creaky business systems and processes that we’ve come to know and love. They’re being swept away by clouds and mobile systems at an alarming rate. But that’s a positive thing, of course. With this transformation, however, comes a need for deeper knowledge and understanding of the new systems and processes that are driving new businesses, how they interact, and what they are capable of delivering.

In the process, CEO, CFOs and COOs are becoming more immersed in technology decisions, while CIOs and CTOs — and their IT staff members as well — are being asked to join in on high-level decision-making teams.

That’s one of the key takeaways from a recent report published by CompTIA, an IT industry trade group. The report’s authors note that “new technologies such as cloud and mobility account for nearly all projected revenue growth in the IT industry.” The net effect, the report notes, is increased options and increased complexity. This is having an impact on businesses of all sizes, but is especially being felt by leaders of mid-sized companies which were interviewed by the study’s authors for the report.

Business leaders are getting more involved in technology decisions than ever before. To a large extent, many previously non-tech businesses are evolving into technology businesses. A manufacturer of engine components, for example, now relies on software — either developed in-house or purchased — that sets the design points and tolerances of the components being produced on lathes and other machines.  An export-import business now engages customers across the globe through e-commerce-based transactions, using sites and tools developed in-house or contracted through the cloud.

To grasp all this new complexity, business leaders will be depending on IT executives and professionals more than ever. This is accelerating the transition of IT departments (and their people) from simply being service departments to technology brokers and active advisers at the highest levels of the business. Corporate IT’s power and influence over business is growing (not waning), but multiple business leaders now have a voice in IT’s direction. “Business unit leaders certainly have more say in IT decisions. But as cloud, mobile, big data and social waves grow larger, central IT will emerge as a service broker to in-house and third-party IT offerings.”

IT’s transformation into an internal service provider is in its infancy and will require several years to complete, the report’s authors predict. “Business executives and employees want self-service applications, but that requires several stages of IT investment,” they state.

At the same time, corporate IT decisions are increasingly made via ad-hoc committees involving multiple business units, the report states. “While CIOs typically make the final call, peer CXOs and business unitleaders have a strong say in how IT systems are aligned to meet corporate goals. Those CXO and business unit voices have even more say if an IT project involves applications (rather than underlying infrastructure).”

This observation gels with another industry report, issued by Technology Business Research (TBR), which posits that business executives are playing greater roles in technology decisions as their organizations grow increasingly dependent on cloud computing services. In the process, the role of IT staff — particularly developers — is being elevated to part of the business leadership team.

The experience of one insurance company CIO was recounted in the CompTIA report:

    “Our innovation effort includes three teams of business and IT leaders:  (1) one to generate ideas; (2) folks who are tasked with finding the right resources internally to address the ideas and opportunities; and (3) a so-called innovation garage to build the prototype solutions. Five people from IT work in the innovation garage. They rotate in and out on 12- to 18-month schedules. When they rotate back into their specific departments, they have greater skills focused on innovation rather than maintenance.”

This alignment is seen as key to figuring out the best ways to approach cloud, mobile and digital in this brave new world. As the CompTIA report’s authors state, the competitive advantages of these new technology platforms are well understood: “Somewhat similar to public cloud service providers, midmarket businesses are building private clouds that deliver infrastructure and applications on-demand to employees and customers. The resulting hybrid cloud world will further accelerate innovation cycles—allowing businesses to enter new markets more rapidly.”

Thus, there’s a driving demand for business and IT executives, managers and staff to work as one, and “the line between business operations and IT must further blur—and may even disappear in some cases.”

As the CIO of a manufacturing company explained:

    “The alignment of business and IT is all about striking the right balance. I think it’s a good balance in our company. It has evolved over time because both sides have gotten wiser. The business has an appreciation for what we’re doing, and we have an appreciation for their needs. In a lot of companies, it’s difficult for CIOs to show the value of IT. They are so focused on keeping the lights on, which means IT is a cost-reduction story rather than an innovation story. Once you commit to innovation cycles between business and IT, the innovation can happen even faster.”

Or, as the CIO of a city government agency expressed it very nicely:

  “When you’re growing as a person you’re more inclined to think like an innovator. IT has to help spark that.”


Source: Forbes.

Take these 6 security measures to protect your IoT devices from hackers

Tech AnnouncementBI Intelligence estimates that by 2020 there will be more than 23 billion IoT devices connected to the internet. One of the biggest challenges in connecting so many devices will be in securing them to prevent hackers from controlling them or using them to infiltrate networks and databases. Many low-power IoT devices don’t have the computing power to run antivirus software like a computer.

A recent blog post on EETimes discussed six measures that can be used to protect IoT devices from hackers:
Use a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for authentication. A TPM is a dedicated microprocessor that integrates cryptographic keys into devices to uniquely identify and authenticate them. Each device then has its own identifier that is encrypted by the keys. This will prevent hackers from hacking and impersonating a device to gain access to home, enterprise, or government networks.

Use the Trusted Network Connect (TNC) standards to check for malicious software or firmware. The TNC standards offer a way to check devices for malicious software or firmware whenever they try to access networks or other devices. This would help prevent hackers from using hacked devices to upload spyware or other malicious software to networks or other devices.

Isolate and remediate infected devices with security software and protocols. If a device is infected with malware or other malicious programs, it needs to be quarantined. The IF-PEP protocol can isolate an infected machine from other devices and networks. There are numerous solutions from security software vendors for clearing the device of the infection once its isolated.

Layered security can limit the damage a hacker can do once device is hacked. A Mandatory Access Control system limits access to certain functions or files on a device for a given user. This acts as a choke point that can prevent hackers from gaining sensitive information through the hacked device.

Data encryption is a must. This should go without saying, but data needs to be encrypted when stored on a device or in transit. The post recommended using a read-only mechanism to obstruct hackers’ efforts to tamper with data on a device.

Secure legacy systems through industrial control systems. To reach their full potential, IoT devices and systems have to be integrated with legacy machines or appliances that were never built to be connected or secured against hacking. Industrial Control Systems can segment that legacy hardware from other systems and secure communications between them with encryption. This, for instance, could prevent a hacker who has infiltrated the network of a connected factory from then taking control of the machinery on the assembly line.

BI Intelligence estimates that spending on security for IoT devices and systems will increase five-fold from 2015 to 2019.


4 Tips To Get Your Resume Mobile Ready

Resume IconAttorneys and real estate agents aren’t the only ones using their mobile devices for work. Recruiters are too, which means you need to have you resume mobile ready.

Sure it may not be a requirement for most jobs today, but anything that makes it’s easier for the hiring manager to see your resume is going to help. Not to mention mobile is the way the world is heading.

“A lot of people tend to use their phone to review new applicants,” says Jesse Siegal, senior managing director – temporary staffing at The Execu|Search Group. “Getting your resume mobile friendly is only going to help and give you little more of a competitive edge in a pretty tight market.”

Getting your resume mobile ready doesn’t mean a complete redo, but it does mean you want to make sure the layout and content keeps mobile readers engaged. From choosing the right font to making it easy to read, here’s how to get your resume ready for the mobile wave of job hunting.

1. Keep it simple

Unless you work in a creative field where your resume is an extension of your portfolio, the best way to ensure your resume can be read regardless of the device is to keep it simple. “Avoid anything that is overly complicated like columns,” says Pamela Skillings, co-founder of job coaching firm Skillful Communications. “No colors and no crazy formatting. It might get garbled.”

Since most people will be looking at their mobile screen vertically and scrolling down you also want to make sure it fits in the pane of the phone or mobile device, says Siegal. The font should also be something basic like Arial, he says, noting you can differentiate sections of the resume with a smaller font instead of bolding items. “You want to make it a little more compact and laid out and a little easier on the eye,” says Siegal.

2. Be concise and to the point

Recruiters and hiring managers are often operating under a tight deadline and don’t have time to read a resume that drones on and on. On a mobile phone, people typically have even less patience, which is why brevity is your best friend. “Minimize scrolling and cater to short attention spans by ensuring that you get your point across with the least amount of words possible,” says Jesse Wright, vice president of recruiting and delivery at Adecco Engineering and Technology. “Ideally, your resume should be able to be captured in a single screen shot.”

Experts says to include all of the information about your career, accomplishments and achievements that pertain to the job opportunity up top and leave the less important things at the bottom. When someone opens a resume on a mobile phone what they see first is “make or break it” for the job candidate, says Skillings. You want to make sure you are optimizing that piece of mobile real estate by having the most relevant and interesting information right at the top, she says. “The biggest thing is making sure you are grabbing them with what is immediately visible,” says Skillings.

3. Take advantage of hyperlinks

Standing out is pointless if you make it hard for the recruiter or hiring manager to contact you. An easy way to prevent that from happening is to have hyperlinks to your phone number and email. Ideally you want the recruiter to be able to call you directly from your resume, says Wright. If you use social media as part of your job search, then Wright says to provide hyperlinks to those as well. After all scores of people have the leading social media apps installed on their mobile devices and in one click can be checking you out on LinkedIn.

4. Test your mobile resume before sending it out

Anything can go wrong with technology, and the last thing you want to happen is a problem with your resume whether it’s reading it or opening up the attachment. That is why career experts says it’s extremely important to test your resume on as many mobile devices as you can including an iPhone, iPad, and Android based phones. Wright says it’s a good idea to use the latest version of Microsoft Office because some new smartphones and tablets don’t support legacy versions of Microsoft. Another option says Adecco’s Wright is to save your resume in the PDF format, which provides easy mobile viewing. “You don’t want to make assumptions,” adds Skilling. “Testing it is important.”

Source: Glassdoor Blog