Archive for the ‘General’ Category

McKenzie Worldwide Joins PDX Cyber Camp Sponsor List

Monday, February 20th, 2017
Students in class working on desktop computer

PDX Cyber Camp helps prepare students for employment in the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity.

McKenzie Worldwide is proud to be a sponsor again of this year’s PDX Cyber Camp which is focused on providing motivated high school students with a hands-on, introductory experience to cybersecurity principles, including hands-on implementation of cybersecurity policies and practices in Windows and Ubuntu operating systems. We’re also particularly excited about the camp’s “Girls Only” session which hopes to inspire young women to pursue rewarding and high-paying technical careers in cybersecurity.

Lincoln High School’s Coding Club and EnergySec are a driving force behind the cybersecurity camp which is organized and managed by a team of high school students, educators and industry professionals. This year, Pacific Star Communications, Inc. (PacStar) is the Title Sponsor of the 2017 PDX Cyber Camp which is great news! PacStar provides specialized hardware and software solutions for military and commercial customers requiring reliable 24/7 advanced communications so cybersecurity is very important to them.

Cybersecurity is one of today’s hottest technical fields, with some experts forecasting a shortage of up to 1 million of trained professionals in the coming years. Careers in cybersecurity can be incredibly rewarding, high-paying, and are in demand worldwide in just about every industry.

Camp Details:
• Date: Monday July 17th through Friday July 21st, 2017
• Camp Times: Full day camp.
• Camp Reception: Thursday, July 20th
• Location #1, (Girls Only) Lincoln High School, 1600 SW Salmon St, Portland, OR 97205, Room #223
• Location #2, (Co-Ed), Center for Advanced Learning, 1484 NW Civic Dr., Gresham, OR 97030
• Location #3 (Co-Ed): Mentor Graphics, 8005 Boeckman Rd, Wilsonville, Oregon
• Cost: $150. Scholarships available based on financial need.
• Food: Lunches provided.
• The camp facility supports a maximum of 30 students, and will be limited to that size so each student will have a dedicated computer system.

Curriculum and Highlights:
• Introduction to cybersecurity and ethics
• Introduction to VMware Player
• Hands on security configuration of Windows and Ubuntu operating systems
• Mock cyber competition
• Guest speakers from leading cybersecurity companies
• Networking reception with security business professionals

Instruction will be provided by industry cyber security experts as well as advanced students, and/or instructors from educational organizations. Each student will have their own dedicated high-performance computer during the class, which includes extensive labs.

The program will include guest speakers with deep experience in cybersecurity technologies and careers. 2016 speakers included cyber incident responders, malware analysts and cybersecurity researchers from Lockheed Martin (Leidos), RSA, Intel Security, Galois and PacStar.

By participating in the camp, students will receive valuable experience that can help them qualify for cybersecurity internships at local companies. Three students on the 2016 organizing team of this camp landed internships at cyber and network security companies in Portland.

The PDX Cyber Camp is non-profit and volunteer driven. All proceeds and sponsorships go only towards direct expenses such as curriculum, supplies, and outreach expense.

Apply for the camp now by visiting this link:

http://bit.ly/pdxcyber

Tek Pulse: Science news you can use to build your brand

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Editor’s Note: This a reposting of the Tek Pulse, a regular blog roundup of the latest and greatest science news McKenzie Worldwide puts together for our client Tektronix. Blog features like this are an affordable way to build your company’s social presence and drive traffic to your website. Drop us a line to learn how we can do the same for you.

tekpulse175

1. Can the donut-shaped magnet ‘CAPPuccino submarine’ hunt for dark matter? Institute for basic science, January 23, 2017, EurekAlert – Scientists have taken a big step forward in the hunt for dark matter. Everything we see accounts for just four percent of the Universe, the rest is dark energy and dark matter. However, we have never been able to directly detect dark matter. One possible dark matter particle is an axion, but special technology is needed to catch their presence. Currently, scientists in South Korea are in the process of building such technology, using haloscopes. Haloscopes contain resonant cavities immersed in an extra-strong magnetic field. The magnets in the haloscopes are the most important feature and in order to find the axion, the team had to develop a new kind of magnet shaped like a donut, called toroidal magnets. The next step is to develop and prototype new machines in the hunt for dark matter.  For the full article check out EurekAlert.

2. New design strategy for longer lasting batteries, Amanda Morris, January 23, 2017, TechXplore –With every charge and discharge cycle on a smartphone its battery capacity decreases, eventually rendering the device useless. In most cases, this degradation is due to the cathode in the device. Now a professor at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering has developed a solution. He created a computational design strategy that can pinpoint optimal materials to coat the cathode in lithium-ion batteries, thus extending the device’s battery and its life. The coatings could provide a barrier around the cathode to prevent degradation from hydrofluoric acid or may react positively with the acid so there’s none left to harm the cathode. The bottom line is, using computation as a design strategy quickly narrows down the potential materials to a manageable number to test experimentally, which will result in the accelerated development of many new materials in the future. For more information visit TechXplore.

3. Highly entertaining: Algorithm watches movie trailer and identifies objects in real time, Heather Hamilton, January 23, 2017, Electronic Products – Recent improvements have increased the speed and accuracy that algorithms can successfully identify objects. Now, a new algorithm called Yolo-2 (Yolo is an acronym for You Only Look Once) can identify multiple objects within the same image. A team of researchers developed and tested their algorithm on the “Wolf of Wall Street” movie trailer with a threshold of .15, meaning the algorithm will only react to objects detected with a confidence of 15 percent or higher. The team claims that Yolo-2 has many advantages over similar systems. For instance, it can look at the entire image so its predictions are informed by global context in the image and Yolo-2 is 100 to 1,000 times faster than other algorithms. For the full story check out Electronic Products.

4. Ultrafast Camera Captures ‘Sonic Booms’ of Light for First Time, Charles Q. Choi, January 20, 2017, LiveScience – A new superfast camera has captured the first ever video of sonic booms. Sonic booms are cone-shaped wakes of light or “Mach Cones.” Sonic booms are created by events like an aircraft flying at supersonic speeds. To capture video of the event, an optical engineer and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis developed a “streak camera” that could capture images at speeds of 100 billion frames per second in a single exposure. There are other imaging systems that can capture ultrafast events, but they require hundreds, or even thousands, of exposures before they can see them. This new system, on the other hand, can record such events in one exposure. The team says their technique could be useful for recording events in complex biomedical contexts, such as watching neurons fire and to image live traffic in the brain. For more information visit LiveScience.

5. And lastly, the most popular Tektronix download of the week goes to – Worldwide Spectrum Allocations Poster. For all the International Frequency Allocations, right at your fingertips, download this colorful poster.

Download your copy today!

Join the treadmill desk revolution

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

For all of us with high-tech, high-stress jobs, most of what we do involves sitting at a desk staring at computer screens.  Tools like email, Facebook, Google Hangouts and the like have made it even worse since the majority of our interactions take place at our desks.  Unfortunately, there is a price to pay for long hours hunched over a keyboard. Health experts are calling it sitting disease and it’s having a serious detrimental effect on society’s health WWW#28Revision (1) 200 pixelsas a whole.

The cure isn’t to combat the symptoms of sitting disease, but to attack the real problem of having to sit around while working.  What if you could stand or even better walk while working?  That simple concept is the driver behind the under-desk treadmill. While the concept of a treadmill desk is straightforward enough, as always the devil is in the details. The difference between success and failure with treadmill desks starts with proper knowledge about configuring your workspace and selecting the right desk and treadmill base, among other factors.

Looking around the Internet, you’ll find plenty of information about treadmill desks, but it’s hardly convenient or well-organized. Recognizing this void, one of our long-time friends in the tech industry and serial entrepreneur Ron Wiener and his team have launched a new site called WorkWhileWalking.com that puts everything you need to know about treadmill desks at your fingertips. Ron’s lively new site serves up reference information and in-depth product reviews combined with frequent reports on the latest industry developments. What’s more, Ron will be launching a new e-Book so you can read up on treadmill desks on your Kindle, smartphone or tablet.

If you find that you’re sitting more than nine hours per day, chances are you are already suffering from sitting disease to some degree. Using a treadmill desk for just 2-3 hours per day at a pace slow enough that you can still work at a desktop or laptop PC has been shown to boost health, help with weight control and increase energy levels.  More and more companies, business leaders and celebrities are starting to embrace treadmill desks, and sales are growing steadily. We strongly encourage everyone to take a look at WorkWhileWalking.com or download the e-Book and get started. You’ll be glad did.

Come check out Simon Sinek’s Talk in NYC on July 11

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why,” will be speaking at a special breakfast presentation from 8:30– 10:30 a.m. at the ACE Hotel in New York City on July 11th.

Come have breakfast with Simon and leave inspired and armed with the right arguments for why you should fight to keep your personal and organizational aspirations at the center of the conversation. You’ll learn why “starting with Why” will inspire everyone in your organization to take  action.

To RSVP, go here.

Purpose-Driven Speaker Series Kicks Off in July

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

We’ve been working with OpenText on an exciting new speaker series focused on what it takes to become a Purpose-Driven organization. The speaking series will kick off in July with our first presentation by Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action.” He will be talking about the simple tools and strategies that organizations can use to define and talk about their unique purpose. Simon will be talking about how “starting with Why” has helped organizations around the world become more focused and successful.

Many of our speakers will also serve as judges for OpenText’s Prize for Organizational Purpose – an award of $10,000 will be made to the charity of the winner’s choice. Please share your stories with us about the role that purpose has played in your team or organization.

Here’s the line-up so far for OpenText’s Purpose-Driven Speaker Series:

Simon Sinek – July 11th – New York City
Michael Edson – September 21 – Washington, D.C.
John Seely Brown – October 18th – San Francisco
Andrew McAfee – November 1 – Boston

You can learn more about this speaker series here.

 

Take me out to the ballgame – online

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Sometimes in life we are blessed with the coming together of two things that we love. Milk and cookies, chips and salsa, and…baseball and technology? Yes, that’s right. The intersection of sports and technology is actually quite huge. Whether it’s fantasy league owners needing the most updated statistics or the college football junkie who needs to know the point spread on the big game, people everywhere are jumping on the bandwagon.

Major League Baseball’s opening day has arrived and a quick look online shows that a number of teams have fully jumped into the merging world of high tech and sports. Check these out:

  • The Cleveland Indians, not exactly burdened with a long history of success, have added a social media section to the stadium.
  • Applications about everything in baseball are available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and Blackberry.
  • The Oakland A’s, who have been in a political battle for over five years to get a new stadium on the edge of Silicon Valley in Fremont, have agreed to partner with networking giant Cisco. “Cisco’s networking equipment that will let fans use the latest available technology, so that they can do everything from upgrading tickets on cell phones to watching instant replays on handhelds.”
  • The entire March Madness – all 67 games of this year’s men’s NCAA basketball tournament – was broadcast live over the Internet in HD. Talk about ways to waste time at work. Thankfully, the boss button worked great.
  • And the best story, at least in my opinion, involves a creative idea. As reported on CNBC, a beer vendor who works at the Seattle Mariners games started a Twitter account so that he can take orders from fans in the stands. Simply send a message to @Msbeervendor with your seat number and your order and he’ll swing by. As 36 year old an entrepreneur/beer vendor and teacher (his day job) Kevin Zelko said, “Since the beginning of beer vendors, we’ve been walking up and down the aisles seeing who wants a beer, I’m going to try to change that.”
Msbeervendor

Follow @Msbeervendor to get your brews delivered at Mariners homegames

While there are many more examples of how professional sports teams and leagues have adopted technology, it’s important to ask yourself—why? Who cares if a baseball fanatic who can’t stop reading the box scores can get their hands on even more mundane statistics?

All cynicism aside (and believe me, I’ve heard all of the jokes about the pathetically slow pace of baseball), progressive companies are at the forefront of this seismic shift in how we view America’s pastime. Why do I consider these companies as progressive? It’s not about supporting the habits of statistical geeks, it’s really about improving the customer experience and securing customer loyalty—the Holy Grail of team owners. When a family of four has to shell out over $200 to enjoy a day at the park it’s in the team’s best interests to do everything possible to make the experience an enjoyable one. And if technology and social media can help, bring it on.

I remember growing up and heading to the ballpark with my grandfather and keeping the scorebook of the game. Found memories indeed. Now I get to take my kids to the ballpark and teach them how to keep score in a game on my iPad. Oh, how times have changed.

Become a Digital Native

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Much has been made of the Millennials, or digital natives, about to descend on the workforce. These are the next generation of workers, typically those born after 1985, who have grown up in a connected world.  Numbering some 78 million in the US alone – more than the 73 million baby boomers – this group will have a profound impact on the world of work and entertainment as it ascends to prominence, much as the baby boomers have had.

One of the big concerns is that this generation will kick the daylights out of previous generations because of their inherent proficiency with technology.  This group, so the story goes, is more social and connected and just better with technology then the boomers. This will give the up-and-comers a big advantage over the rest of us.

There’s no doubt that advanced ways of communicating and collaborating like Facebook, texting, video chats, etc. trump snail mail and email. But the social tools aren’t that hard to use. It’s more the set-in-my-ways mindset that distrusts technology and blocks meaningful collaboration. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I would submit that anyone can become a digital native.  I know that in my case I’ve been using digital tools – some very primitive – since the 1970s. As every new generation of technology came along, I immersed myself in the tools and embraced the new way of working.  Email was a radical shift from the world of paper memos, and certainly just as significant as going from email to social collaboration.

Android

My message to everyone 35+, go get yourself an Android or iPhone,  set up Facebook,  set up a Twitter feed, or collaborate on a Wiki page.  And open up. Speaking of which, I just upgraded from a BlackBerry to an Android.  While I still need a laptop and email, the real-time always-connected, always-located nature of the latest devices is a revelation.  Go ahead. Become a digital native.

The author of this post downloading social media apps for his new Android.

Bloggers Speak Out: Give Us Substance and Hold the Hyperbole

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Engaging bloggers is a careful art, particularly those who are not affiliated with the media. PR professionals have been ostracized for sending bloggers spam mails and press releases, and several brands have been blasted over the years for sending “gifts” that were perceived as “bribery”.

The simple rules of blogger engagement over the years have been:

1.       Be transparent on who you are and who you represent

2.       Read the blog thoroughly before engaging

3.       Blogger relationships should not be approached as transactional; Make the engagement conversational versus a pitch (specifically with those who are not journalists)

4.       If you’re sending product, make sure to make it is super clear there are no strings attached

5.       Avoid buzzwords

6.       DO NOT SPAM

Recently, two bloggers added some thoughts to the list I found interesting.

The Reinvigorated Programmer wrote a piece called “How to Render a Press Release Tolerable”. Their advice: pull out all the adjectives and get to the point.  Examples used:

Original:

PRLog (Press Release) – Oct 01, 2010 – Newburyport, MA. October 1, 2010 — eZuce Inc. has          developed strategic alliances with several of today’s leading technology vendors to enhance its open       unified communications solutions portfolio. Through collaborative development efforts and ongoing      integration testing and certifications, eZuce delivers next generation technology innovations that         address the demanding, complex requirements of enterprises and enables customers to seamlessly             transition from their existing legacy (IP) PBX systems.

Don’t your eyes just slide right off this when you try to read it?  Now let’s get rid of the adjectives:

PRLog (Press Release) – Oct 01, 2010 – Newburyport, MA. October 1, 2010 — eZuce Inc. has             developed strategic alliances with several of today’s leading technology vendors to enhance its open   unified communications solutions portfolio. Through collaborative development efforts         and ongoing integration testing and certifications, eZuce delivers next generation technology     innovations that address the demanding, complex requirements of enterprises and enables customers             to seamlessly transition from their existing legacy(IP) PBX systems.

[I was generous; I allowed “technology”, “solutions”, “integration” and “technology” (again) to         survive.]

Mark McLeod Hendrickson also recently wrote about how to pitch the likes of TechCrunch, GigaOm, VentureBeat or ReadWriteWeb. His advice- carefully craft your narrative and make sure it’s thought provoking. Simply sending facts won’t get anywhere.

Hendrickson outlines six types of the most common types of narratives and recommends crafting pitches around one or more of these types of angles.

  1. Competitive or Political Drama – aka “company X releases product Y to kill company Z”
  2. Gossip – “CEO of company X gets tangled up in Y”
  3. Insight – “trend X will change the world because of A, B, and C”
  4. Evolution & Confluence – “service Y is like X for Z, capitalizing on the recent developments of A and B”
  5. Success – “company X has created super impressive technology Y, is growing fast, or has made lots of money”
  6. Failure – “company X is dying or has messed something up”

In many ways, this follows the same rules as pitching business media. They aren’t interested in the product announcement (unless it is a breakthrough or from one of the major players). They’re interested in new trends, controversy, competitive tension, customer stories and the bigger picture impact.

The moral of the story: If you lead with a product announcement, aren’t clued into what the blogger cares about and don’t think through a compelling narrative, you’re wasting your time.

Oh, and hold the adjectives!

Happy Birthday Xerox PARC

Friday, September 24th, 2010

(Sung to the tune of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)

It Was 40 Years Ago Today,

That Xerox brought us into the fray.

Tech’s been going in and out of style,

But we’re guaranteed to share the file.

So stop me if you’ve already been told,

of the center up on Page Mill Road.

Who built the modern GUI in-house,

Who also invented the mouse.

So without any further adieu,

I’d like to share with you.

As groundbreaking as Noah’s ark,

The 40th birthday of Xerox PARC.

Do you know where the laser printer, Ethernet, mouse, GUI (as we know it today) and the term “ubiquitous computing” come from? If you guessed the hills of Palo Alto then you’d be correct. Xerox’s famed PARC lab is celebrating its 40th anniversary this week.

I was fortunate enough to grow up just three miles from the Xerox PARC labs. Some of the inventions that came out of the lab have become part of our everyday life. While the technologies themselves are pretty amazing, the legacy of PARC is all about creativity. The lab has always been a place where engineers were given free reign to invent, share ideas and help dictate the technology of the future. In looking at the history of the region it’s important to understand that these attributes – creative, inventive, sharing – are what helped build Silicon Valley into the global power that it is.

So happy birthday to Xerox PARC and to the culture it has spawned.

We Need More People & Companies to Ask the Question…Why Not?

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

It’s Monday morning and I’m in my usual work routine…check the headlines from business and tech publications to see what’s going on in the world. A good PR person never wants to be caught off-guard and have a client call to discuss news that is relevant to them and the industry without being prepared, but that’s just my humble opinion.

I just read what I consider to be a fascinating article by Daniel Terdiman from c/net titled “At IBM Research, a constant quest for the bleeding edge“. The article discusses a handful of projects that are being worked on at the nine IBM research centers around the world. One project with a biology slant involves two researchers who are coming up with a procedure in which they drilled a tiny hole into a microprocessor in order to allow a strand of DNA to go through and impact its nanocircuitry. Another project, called “Lab on a Chip,” is trying to create an inexpensive and quick way for medical facilities to test blood samples. And yet a third project could help municipalities offer residents cutting edge traffic and public transportation system predictions that are far better than anything available today.

What we’re seeing here is an emphasis on researching and developing new technologies that can help people in ways never thought possible before. As Terdiman stated:

“Throughout my visit to IBM Research, nearly everyone I spoke with brought up Smarter Planet, IBM’s corporate innovation program that aims to gather data from a wide variety of sources and use analysis of that data to solve new problems for customers and clients alike.”

So why am I going on and on in praise of IBM, a $97 billion company? Aside from the fact that my father worked for IBM for 30 years, which gave me a natural bias towards Big Blue, it reminded me of why I got into this business. I cannot design a microchip, am not qualified to do biological research and can’t describe how a CPU works. None of that interests me nor has it ever. And yet my world, both professionally and personally, revolves around technology.

What I have always loved about technology is how it impacts our world on a daily basis. Is my T-Mobile G1 phone with the Android O/S saving the world? No, but it has kept me from getting lost thanks to its Map application, allowed me to take a picture while boating in the middle of Lake Pend O’Reille in Idaho and posting it to Facebook in real-time, and let me instant message with my kids during carpools.

It’s these types of advances that give me hope that people and companies will continue to create new technologies that not only help support corporate growth, but allow young minds to be creative and ask the question…why not?


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