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What do Furbies and cloud computing have in common?

The dawn of AI is here and it’s all possible because of cloud computing.

Let’s go back to the ’90s when Furbies became popular. The little toy fur ball had a small bit of Artificial Intelligence. It may be hard to believe, but that little guy had more computing power than the Apollo 11. Yes, the spacecraft that landed man on the moon. Fresh out of the box these AI fur balls would talk Furbish, the language of the Furby. After children had interacted with them for a while, their Furbies would learn certain English words. Furbies could even interact with each other if you had multiple units. Furbish was translated into 24 languages.

Furbies were not only cute (if a cross between a hamster and an owl is your idea of cute), the fact that they were able to “learn” a few words made them endearing. However, they obviously didn’t show the intelligence or the discernment of a human. But that would change a few years later when in 1997 a team of programmers and chess experts programed a machine called Deep Blue. The supercomputer had enough reason and logic to beat World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov at chess. The Russian had the upper hand the first few games, but Deep Blue progressed and eventually beat the chess Grandmaster, considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time.

Watson is our next step in the progression of AI. Watson, an artificially intelligent computer system, was programed to be able to listen to a question (think Siri on your smartphone) and then answer that question. To prove how brilliant this AI was, in 2011 TV quiz game Jeopardy had Watson on a show and matched it up against two of Jeopardy’s greatest champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. At the conclusion of the competition, Ken and Brad lost to Watson.

Enter cloud computing. For those who are familiar with the cloud, you know that it’s not just a buzz word. The platform is essentially thousands of remote servers working together in a centralized location. Users can then access the data either created or stored on those servers via a device such as a handheld device or laptop.

You probably see where I am going with this. The next logical step for AI is to let the cloud do the computing at lightning speeds, like Watson did on Jeopardy, and then send that information back to the device or AI being, such as the character Lieutenant Commander Data from Star Trek. We can see an early concept with CogniToy’s green dino. The green dino is a child’s toy about the size of a teddy bear that can carry on a conversation on different topics, tell a story, and even answer age-related questions. The intelligence grows or matures with the child. In fact, the green dino even has the ability to discern whether or not the answer is a little too mature for the age of the child, at which point the toy will tell the child to go ask his mom the question. All of this “smart” dino’s responses are computed in the cloud.

Currently, the only limitation of AI is being able to reach a Wi-Fi connection. However, as municipal wireless networks (where the entire city has access to a Wi-Fi signal) become more and more popular, this AI obstacle may not be around for much longer, allowing AI to continue to grow intellectually.

With giant tech companies such as Google buying up AI startups and cloud computing advancing so rapidly, it’s reasonable to expect ongoing funding for AI—and artificial intelligent beings in our lifetime. All thanks to cloud computing.

My name is Colton and I work for Mozy

 

Meet Colton. Colton is an integral member of our partners team here at Mozy. Colton works with our partners to help grow their business by selling EMC product to their customers. Colton quickly impressed management and worked his way to a few promotions since joining the Mozy Sales team. Colton is a vocal Pittsburgh Steelers fan and is a proud pogonophile and for all intents and purposes is the Brett Keisel of Mozy.

I define my workspace as…

“The Command Center.” It is a perfectly organized disaster. That is how I like it. Too clean stresses me out and too cluttered makes me uncomfortable. It’s got to be just right. My computer and monitors have got to be in just a way to make me efficient without distracting me. Some may call this a delicate balance. I would agree.

A device I can’t live without….

I’m pretty plugged in so it would be hard to answer this question. The obvious answer is my phone, and it is probably the best answer. But so much media streams in and out of my house that many other devices would be a close second. Anything from a PS4 or Xbox to my Roku and Chromecast. Take your pick.

When I arrive at work, I typically start my day off by…

Reviewing if I accomplished my goals from the previous day, and setting new goals for the current day. I then dive into whatever will help me accomplish the goals I just set.

How long have you worked for Mozy?

Three years in one capacity or another.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …

I don’t usually listen to music because I am often on the phone. The few times I do listen to music I do because I need to avoid distractions and get something done.

If you could be in one TV sitcom or movie, what would it be and why?

I will answer this question in two ways.

If I had a chance to be part of the cast of a TV sitcom or movie, it would likely be “The Walking Dead.” It would be fun to kill Zombies and be part of something unique and ahead of its time.

If I could live in a TV sitcom or movie as if it were real life, I would like to live in the world of the movie “Remember the Titans.” I would love to have been part of an intense sports story on top of experiencing all the insane racial negativity and cultural biases. I would love to have been a part of that challenge.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …

Many things. First and foremost, my family. My wife and I have a two-year-old girl and a boy on the way. Outside of that I am passionate about board games and video games during the winter, fishing, camping and other outdoor stuff in the summer, and sports year round. Steelers, Jazz, Penguins, Diamondbacks, Juventus (I think I covered any sport I care about in order of how closely I follow them).

My eating habits are …

Poor and picky habits to be frank. I love Italian food, but I am also a pizza and pasta snob. I’m not a huge fan of anything that grows from the ground.

If I could be someone for a day, I would be…

Mike Tomlin, head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I would love to be involved at the highest level of the sport, but I wouldn’t want to be on the field. Mike is a coach who hangs around a legendary organization and it would be fun to be a large part of it, even if just for a day.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …

My passion to help people I love and care for. It’s important to love what you do, but more important to love who you do it for more.

One thing that makes me unique is….

My beard is unique. It is my mane that sets me apart and shows a unique side of my personality. Most people can only dream about such majesty and grandeur. (I hope that comes across sarcastically and not in arrogance.)

Guilty pleasure…

Dungeons and Dragons. I know I am a tabletop game nut, but I never thought I would dive so deep into the rabbit hole. Now that I have, I can’t get out. Don’t judge me.

 

Three ways the world is harnessing technology for the greater good

Recent advancements in technology have provided us with convenient ways to improve the quality of life. We no longer have to bum a quarter off of our parents or a stranger to make a call. We have remotes to nearly every electronic device in our house. But did you know that the same technology that is making our lives more convenient is saving literally thousands if not millions of lives in developing countries? Let’s take a look at three ways that technology is making life easier throughout the world.

Omniprocessor

If you’re a bit squeamish, this idea is one that may take a little while to get used to. One of the most recognizable faces in the tech industry, Bill Gates, recognized that urban sanitation is neglected and under-invested. He has a point. Nearly 1.5 million children die from contaminated food and water in developing countries. Gates and his foundation saw potential in a concept that would take raw sewage and turn it into potable water along with other benefits such as ash and electricity. The Omniprocessor addresses that issue by producing water that meets or beats the water standards of the supermarket brands through a profit-creating process.

Along with being able to harvest potable water from raw sewage, the Omniprocessor also creates electricity. The electricity that is created powers the processor and will even create extra power that the community can use or sell. Through the process of extracting potable water from the sewage, the waste is burned down to an ash that can be used or sold to benefit the community as well. All processes meet strict EPA standards, so there is no harm to the community.

Empower Playgrounds

Empower Playgrounds harnesses the energy of children (wouldn’t we all like to have the energy of a child!) in rural third-world countries to further their education. By providing a high tech merry-go-round, the kids essentially create energy for their village. To better visualize this, just think of a windmill lying on the ground. The kids act as the wind that propels the windmill, but in this case it’s a merry-go-round. The merry-go-round is connected to a gearbox that acts as a speed increaser, which powers a shaft that runs a generator, which sends a charge to a deep cycle battery. The battery can then power up rechargeable lanterns, which the school children use at night to be able to study what they learned at school that day. This allows the children to stay in school and complete their education.

Mosquito-zapping lasers

Malaria was eradicated in the United States in the 1950s. Other developing countries aren’t as lucky to have such a deadly disease contained. Nathan Myhrvold and his team set out to find a way to lower the risk of malaria by eliminating malaria-carrying mosquitos with lasers. Using a combination of store bought electronics his team developed a device that can blow mosquitos right out of the air. It’s pretty fascinating. Watch the Ted Talks video. The laser can target a moving mosquito and then zap it with a laser. The contraption is even smart enough to discern whether or not the insect is a mosquito rather than a beneficial honeybee or butterfly by the beat frequency of the insect’s wings. A perimeter could be set up to protect a hospital or a home from malaria-carrying mosquitos and could save as many as to 627,000 lives per year.

We look forward to seeing how the next generation will harness the power of technology to benefit the world for the greater good.

 

 

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Top Natural Disasters that Threaten Businesses – Infographic

We love this infographic from our friends at Eastern Kentucky University Online. It takes an in-depth look at what can happen to a business when a natural disaster hits. Don’t let your business be one of the six in ten that don’t protect their most crucial files. Be sure to protect your business files with MozyEnterprise cloud backup.

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My name is Eric and I work for Mozy

Mozy scored big when they got years of expertise in technology by hiring Eric, otherwise known as Magnum PI around the office (Tom Selleck would be proud of Eric’s stash!). Eric passes many  tech companies that would love to have him as he endures a long commute from his serene sprawling ranch here in Utah.

I define my workspace as…

Wherever I am with my laptop; I don’t necessarily have to be at my desk in order to be productive. When I’m at my desk it’s lined with my kid’s sports schedules and Hot Wheels cars.

A device I can’t live without….

My mobile phone. I use it to email and text for work. Also, it connects into my second most essential device—my car, via Bluetooth.

When I arrive at work, I typically start my day off by…

Checking my calendar and email. I have usually already checked email before I get to work see if any communications have been received from our Cork, Ireland, office since part of our team resides there.

My work routine is…

Depends on the projects that are on my docket. We have regular meetings to discuss the progress of projects and what hurdles need to be removed in order to complete those projects. I also spend time generating reports, updating documents, and meeting with outside groups to get our products updated and released through the same channels as the Mozy product groups.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …

Yes, when the environment becomes noisy or I’m trying to shut out other distractions in order to focus on a specific task.

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …

Be teachable, listen to your co-workers, and choose your mentors wisely. There are many aspects to this position and it takes a long time to become adept at all of the nuances, so be patient. Be polite, you will have to work with those that you are working with now on another project in the future. It helps to treat everyone with respect and it makes everybody’s day better.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …

My family’s activities. Coaching basketball. Completing projects at home.

My eating habits are …

I say they are healthy, but my coworkers think they are bland. I try to eat reasonable portions, but I am accused of being boring in this regard.

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …

A high school teacher, perhaps in history or shop. I like working with youth and would like to make history interesting for a day or work on a classic car in a shop class.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …

I am driven to completing tasks. I organize everything into tasks and that’s probably why I became a project manager; it’s a good fit. I also am a stickler for recognizing other’s efforts. I think it’s important to acknowledge co-workers when they have gone out of their way to assist you.

 

*Join Eric on the Mozy team!  For more details on starting your career at Mozy go to  http://mozy.com/about/careers

Droplets vs. files: Comparing what specific clouds can store

Just as various cloud formations are comprised of different densities of water, various cloud storage servers are filled with several types of files. Some are large and require lots of storage space, while others are small and can be packed in tightly. You can protect all of your company’s important data with Mozy’s enterprise cloud backup solution.  Sign up for our 30-day free trial.

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My name is Mark and I work for Mozy

Editor’s note:  Mark was one of the first Mozy employees and is a familiar smiling face to all. In the early days, Mark was a team of one. These days he manages a team of five that oversees all of Mozy’s global tech documents. He is a family man and a dedicated super fan of the University of Utah. Go, Utes!

 

I define my workspace as…

Slightly messy with mementos from my coaching past. I tried to make it a little personal with some family photos as well.

A device I can’t live without….

My smart phone. I am on it all the time. The first thing I do when I wake up is check my mail and social media.

My work routine is…

Very sporadic. It really depends on the day, some days I am in meetings most of the day while others I am working on projects most of the day at my desk.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …

It depends upon my mood. Sometimes I blast the music through the headphones while at other times I like it quiet so I can concentrate better. If I am writing a lot I prefer to not have music playing. While if I am researching something I prefer to have music playing.

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …

Practice your writing skills. I have noticed recently that a lot of college students and graduates lack the ability to write well. I finished my MBA not that long ago and had to do group projects a lot. I was amazed at how many students couldn’t write very well.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …

Coaching lacrosse. I coached football for 5 years before moving onto lacrosse. I really enjoy sports and working with the young men on my team and getting to know them.

My eating habits are …

Terrible. I actually probably eat better at home because my wife does most of the cooking during the week. I definitely could eat healthier.

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …

Michael Jordan in his hay day especially when they were crushing the Utah Jazz.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …

I think my secret sauce is to have fun doing what you are doing while working hard. For those people that know me know I am always cracking jokes and trying to have a good time.

One thing that makes me unique is….

I have a large occipital protuberance.

 

The timeline of computer processor speed

In 1943 IBM’s president said that the world market for computers was only five! If he were around today he would be amazed at the progression of speed in the computer processor. Take a look at this infographic that details the progression of processor speed from the first transistor computer to the XBox One.

My name is Angela and I work for Mozy.

 

Angela has been a great asset for Mozy for many years. She has worked different positions in support and has won much internal recognition for her excellent work ethic. Angela is irreplaceable, and after reading her answers below, I’m sure you will agree.

I define my workspace as…

My workspace is a cubicle in our Pleasant Grove office. While I love work-at-home days because I don’t have to commute to work, I find I really miss the multiple monitors and computers I have to work with when I’m sitting at my work desk. It really makes life easier! I also have a little personal touch in my cubicle, such as my Doctor Who calendar, some KCS (Knowledge Centered Support) awards I’ve won, the Mozy data shuttle astronaut, and a cute little vinyl Maleficent my coworker gave me.

A device I can’t live without….

While I hate to admit that I’m so connected, I’d have to say it’s my iPhone because it has everything I need in one convenient little package: my music, my eBooks, Internet, and social media. It’s also often the only link to my social life when I’m balancing work and school and my only free time is filled with homework and what little sleep I can find.

When I arrive at work, I typically start my day off by…

When I arrive at work the first thing I do is head to the break room to get water for the morning while my computers boot up, then I like to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee while I start by checking in on internal company emails and then customer replies from the day before.

My work routine is…

Check internal emails, work on customer reply cases, work on new customer cases that are awaiting response, follow up with any customers who I haven’t heard from in more than three days, and then repeat. I also like to find time to create Knowledge Base articles when the queue is light or empty.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …

I prefer listening to music at work. Once I get “in the zone” with my cases, the music helps drown out all the background noise the rest of the office is making so that I don’t lose focus. It also helps that I don’t generally get interrupted if people see my headphones on! The best music to encourage productivity for me has been French music, such as Christophe Mae, Zaz, and Stromae. However, I find that listening to audio books or podcasts are equally as awesome during my work flow AND I’m gaining new information.

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …

Learn or improve your interpersonal skills and try not to take anything too seriously. While working in Support isn’t the ideal of most people, I really enjoy interacting with customers, especially when you can help them retrieve something important like their thesis that they’ve spent three years working on or the photos from their child’s first steps. Those things matter, and so you have to have some compassion for those times when people need a little extra care. Computer crashes can be so frustrating, and sometimes it’s hard not to take that out on a Support representative, even though it’s not personal. When that happens, you just need to remind yourself that it’s not about you, and then be as helpful as possible.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …

Writing is probably my main passion. Currently, I’m going to school and have dreams of one day being a renowned author. I also maintain 2 to 3 blogs (author’s note: check out Angela’s handy work at http://www.mysocalledchaos.com). I am also passionate about learning French, volunteering with a local animal rescue, and spending quality time with those who are important to me.

My eating habits are …

I try to eat healthy and I love getting fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market, but I will admit I’ll drop all calorie counting if you invite me out for Sushi or a bowl of pho.

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …

One of my colleagues in Ireland. I mean, hey, they’re in Ireland! When they complete their workday they get to look at all that green, and then walk down to the pub for a proper pint! ;)

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …

Probably the fact that I genuinely care about people and their lives. Being empathetic is perfect in my personal relationships with friends and family, but I find it’s also perfect when you work in Customer Service. I genuinely am happy for customers who are able to save their data, and genuinely sad when I hear some of the reasons they need to run their restores. When I hear how glad a customer is to have Mozy, it makes me happy.

One thing that makes me unique is….

My eclectic interests. I like to try most hobbies once, so if you visited my home you’d find an entire closet full of all the various things I’ve done and keep because I hope to get around to them again one day. Crochet, wood burning, oil painting, web design, photography, a musical instrument or two, etc. One day I’ll be able to do any hobby I want. Also, I want to be able to speak multiple languages. I’m working on French, and then hopefully I’ll start learning a third!

 

Interested in a career at Mozy?  Check out which positions are available at http://mozy.com/about/careers

Progression of football in video games

Did you know that September 12 is Video Games Day? Be sure to take some time to enjoy your favorite video game today. Until then, take a look at our infographic, The Progression of Football, to see if your favorite football game is among those that revolutionized the gaming industry.

 

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