Category Archives: Advanced Computing


How robots change the world | Oxford Economics

Thanks to Supply Chain Digest for promoting this study by Oxford Economics.  Read the article here for a synopsis of its findings: Supply Chain News: Oxford Economics Says Robots Benefits will Outweigh Cons

Basically, it says robots will greatly raise productivity and take jobs with a repetitive aspect, displacing workers toward jobs with high cognitive content.  But there may be local dislocations that will be hard for some people.   We’d better prepare for that and put in measures to alleviate the suffering, if we care about people and their lives.  They think about 1.6 jobs will be lost for every job robots take. but GNP may grow 5% as a result.  China is the major user of robots now, and the revolution promises to be harder on them than any other country as it looks now.

It isn’t clear from the summary whether the 1.6 jobs lost will be found again in other sectors, such as service and sales, support of the robots, or technical work like fixing the robots.  Nonetheless this kind of assessment is an eye opener to concerns we may have in our economy and political world for quite a while.

The report is available here:  How robots change the world | Oxford Economics

Or here: Oxford Economics 2019 Report – How Robots Change the World



Checking for vitals: Inside the Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp supply chain breach

Apparently, healthcare is among the worst industries in terms of breaches of data security. And this is despite the dramatic increase of attention the HIPAA law has focused on their behavior with data.

In this case it was two diagnostic laboratories, Quest and LabCorp, whose data were allowed to be stolen. the data stolen consisted of financial information, such as credit card information, bank account information, and medically identifiable information such as social security numbers, as well as names, addresses dates of birth, dates of service, and balance information. No diagnostic results were stolen.  And why would anyone want them except for blackmail, a hard way to earn money.

Apparently the breach was due to both firms’ use of AMCA, a billing collector for both firms. Over 12 million customers were affected.  The breach of security went on for over 7 months in 2018 and 2019 before being spotted.

Health systems are often cobbled together using a variety of sources of software, and it isn’t a surprise that there might be chinks in the armor.  On average, healthcare systems thke 36 days to pass between intrusion and detection.  They take on average 10 days to contain the problem.  An analyst at Gartner said “I think this is a hopeless situation.”  A re-architecture of health care data is required that puts security first.  But then it will be much harder for us to find out our test results or status.

There’s a tradeoff between security and accessibility that is a major issue for supply chains, and whenever there is a need for cooperation, as between patient and her health care providers.  Computer scientists and information technologists have needed for 20 years to spend serious resources on developing a sound practice that meets both needs.

screenshot-CIO Dive 2019-06-06  via Checking for vitals: Inside the Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp supply chain breach | CIO Dive

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Online port community system ‘game-changer’ for India’s shipping industry

, has written an interesting piece about a new port communication and collaboration system that is revolutionizing how Indian p[orts operate. It’s called PC51x, and it connects port users via secure messaging to exchange paperwork, financial info, and other messages.  In trials, it reduced cost and time for interaction drastically.

And it did NOT involve blockchain. In fact, it uses only technology developed years ago and tested severely by those years of practice.  It seems that for the user it operates like one of those doctor portals we have all become accustomed to in the US; annoying, but much faster and less annoying than waiting for her to call back (!@?^%$#!).  And capable of much faster integration if those communicating have a desire to make it better and faster.

They have announced a portal type interface.  This type of function is like what we used to call ‘middleware’, connecting systems with different data specifications and requirements, and letting them work out how to use the data.  It makes a lot of sense to me.

I think any port could copy this with a little hard nose bargaining with those it collaborates with.   Getting truckers on board might be more difficult without a good look at the systems they use every day.   But for many others it makes sense.

But should the port be the driver?  I think there is potential for 3PLs to usurp the role for their cargoes.  Then we’d have to link in their systems. Hard, but not impractical, and easier than forcing all their shippers to use the port’s message portal.  Everyone would benefit.  And more players such as banks and customs could participate as well.  Better that this should be driven by a lot of smaller players (if ports can be thought of as smaller) than by a national or global standards initiative, especially one from a single source.  Let it evolve, I say.

logo  via Online port community system a ‘game-changer’ for India’s shipping industry – The Loadstar