Archive for August, 2016

Congratulations to BSA’s 2016 Girls Who Code Class!

posted by in Industry August 31, 2016

BSA’s Girls Who Code class of 2016 graduated this month, marking the end of an intensive seven-week coding program. While most of the 19 girls in the BSA classroom began the program with no knowledge of coding, they are now proficient in several programming languages, including Python, Scratch, HTML, and CSS. They have created websites and apps, met with Members of Congress, and have networked with leading women computer scientists and engineers.

Girls Who Code was founded in 2012 with the mission of closing the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. In four years, Girls Who Code has gone from 20 girls in New York to 10,000 girls in 42 states. The program couldn’t have come at a better time. We need a well-trained pipeline of computer scientists in our software-dependent economy, and right now the software industry has more jobs than it can fill. By 2024 there will be 4.4 million jobs available in computer and information technology. Encouraging women to join this field is critical to fill this gap: Women held 36 percent of computing occupations in 1991, but just 25% in 2015.
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Racing to the Finish Line with Software

posted by in Industry August 8, 2016

The biggest sporting event of the summer has arrived, bringing together impressive elite athletes, dedicated fans, and innovative technologies. Software and data have become critical components of many athletes’ training regimens. While some of these technologies—like wearable heart rate monitors—are well known to the average sports fan, athletes use many more complex tech tools to better their performance. In the spirit of summer athletics, let’s look at some of BSA’s member companies’ contributions to sports technology:

  • The USA Women’s Cycling Team uses IBM’s cognitive computing and advanced analytics to improve their performance in Pursuit Cycling, a sport in which the team competes as a single unit. IBM’s Watson Internet of Things Platform, Analytics, and the IBM cloud work together to show real-time data, which the cyclists can view in their eyewear and the coaches can view on a dashboard.
  • The Microsoft Band 2, used by elite runners and cyclists, goes beyond simply recording heartrate and sleep. This wearable calculates calories, fats, and carbs burned; tracks athletes’ maximum, minimum, and average speeds; and even records UV exposure during training. The band can also examine the user’s heartrate and compare it to previously recorded data to determine his or her cardio progress.
  • ANSYS’ engineering simulation technology produces highly complex models of athletic performance and equipment. These models mimic real-world behavior to predict and address possible challenges. By varying the data in the models, designers can create equipment that helps minimize the risk of injury while improving an athlete’s performance.
  • By analyzing 15 years’ worth of NFL data last year, Splunk was able to accurately predict plays during football games. In doing so, Splunk proved how helpful big data is for coaches and players—whether the data analysis is used to predict a competitor’s next move or fake them out by doing the opposite of what they expect.
  • Thanks to a research project conducted by Oracle, stadium operators can deliver a more efficient and innovative experience to fans by improving inventory management, loyalty rewards, and third-party integrations for in-seat ordering. For example, in a recent survey conducted by Oracle, the company found that food and beverage technology is being underused in stadiums, despite a strong demand from sports fans. This finding is paving the way for the adoption of mobile ordering.

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Privacy Shield Attracts Strong Company Support

posted by in Data, Privacy August 1, 2016

BSA President & CEO Victoria Espinel penned the op-ed below that ran earlier today in The Hill. As she notes, today is the first day that companies can certify with the Commerce Department for the Privacy Shield.

Why are data transfers across the Atlantic so important? Cloud computing services and data analytics increasingly depend on the ability to move data across borders. And these services dramatically improve the efficiency and competitiveness of businesses large and small. They also improve our cybersecurity defenses. If data has to stop at national borders, the benefits of cloud computing will be greatly reduced, and the economies on both sides of the Atlantic will suffer as a result.

BSA thanks the US Department of Commerce and the European Commission for their hard work and successful completion of the Privacy Shield.

Privacy Shield Attracts Strong Company Support

August 1 marks the beginning of a more stable and secure era for trans-Atlantic data transfers. That’s the day Privacy Shield, a new agreement between the United States and the European Union, takes effect. And it’s off to a good start, with a number of major companies already announcing that they will join, and many others favorably considering participation in the new framework.
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