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The Evolutionary Perspective
Daily Archives: June 8, 2017
Posted: June 8, 2017 at 11:48 pm
Magnus Carlsen vs Hikaru Nakamura was a great fight that ended in a draw, the same result as the other four games in round three of theAltibox Norway Chess tournament. Friday is the first rest day.
The start of Carlsen vs Nakamura. | Photo Maria Emelianova.
In November 2013, when Anand was struggling in his match with Carlsen, Nakamura tweeted the following famous tweet. Ever since a clash between him and the world champion is something special.
After 12 losses and 18 draws, only in Bilbao 2016, Nakamura managed to win his first classical game against Carlsen. After that, they played the 2016 Chess.com Blitz Battle and one blitz game in December in Qatar, but today’s game in Stavanger was their first classical game in a year. Itdidn’t disappoint.
Via a different move order compared to last year, the players reached a g3-Dragon and again Carlsen played b2-b3 early on. This time, Nakamura was well prepared for it.
For a change, Carlsen arrived early at the game, several minutes before Nakamura. | Photo Maria Emelianova.
Carlsen was “ashamed” of 11.b3 as he “didn’t grasp Hikaru’s idea at all.” That idea was to simply swap pieces on d4, which normally gives White a pleasant space advantagebut not here.
Happy with his position, Nakamura decided to play actively with 21…f5, the start of “insanely risky” play according to Carlsen.
However, the world champ didn’t make the most of his chances. A key position was this:
Carlsen was unhappy with 24.Rc6, the best moves according to the engines but not very practical. 24.b5 would have been tougher to meet. A knight appearing on c5 will just be taken off the board.
Carlsen:”With this time control you need to play for the initiative…” Nigel Short: “…and prevent his.” Carlsen: “Exactly.I have no clue what he is going to do…”
In the game, Nakamura sacrificed a pawn to create an active play, and in a phase where Carlsen missed several of his opponent’s moves, he was almost lucky not to get in trouble.
Hikaru Nakamura correctly judged that he would have enough counterplay.| Photo Maria Emelianova.
Interestingly, after the game, it turned out that both players had been optimistic about their chances. In that sense, a draw was a good result.
Carlsen joins the TV2 live show every day right after he finishes. | Photo Maria Emelianova.
Levon Aronian vs Anish Giri was a great fight as well, which started slowly though, compared to the other games. While Karjakin and Anand had already drawn, and others reached endgames, these players were still in their early middlegame. That was mostly because of Aronian using a lot of time: almost 20 minutes on 13.0-0, 19 minutes on 16.Qb3, 13 minutes on 19.Bc1 and 18.5 minutes on 20.dxe5.
Giri in deep thought.In the post-mortem, he said that during the game he realized that Aronian probably looked at this opening for Black in preparation for his second round game against Nakamura. | Photo Maria Emelianova.
That last move was right afterGiri had put the board on fire as he pushed the g-pawn in front of his king two squares.A tactical sequence followed and the chess board became a mess, but more important was Aronian’s horrendous time trouble. He needed to make 12 moves in less than 2 minutes.
Giri: “What we didn’t take into account here is that Levon had like a couple of minutes for 12 moves. The objective evaluation of the position is absolutely irrelevant.”
“This time control is very strange. You’re playing the classical control and then you have 20 minutes less. It’s weird. Takes time to adjust,” said Aronian, who was kind of lucky that an endgame was reached where he had a number of simple moves.
Giri is impressed by the “cheapo artist,” as Short called Aronian the other day. | Photo Maria Emelianova.
Aronian is not the only player having difficulty adjusting to the time control in Stavanger (which is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move 61).
Today Vladimir Kramnik, who drew a long game with Wesley So, revealed that he got it wrong initially. He assumed 2 hours for 40 moves and was wondering why he was getting so low on time during the first round. Then, at the start of round two, he noticed the clocks saying 1:40:00, and thought it was a mistake!
Despite attending the players meeting, Kramnik got the time control wrong during the first round. | Photo Maria Emelianova.
The first game to end today was Sergey Karjakin vs Viswanathan Anand. It only took about 1.5 hours, but there was a nice story behind it.
First, Karjakin admitted that the line he played against the Berlin wasn’t anything special, but Black needs to know what he is doing. Then Anand revealed how his memory had worked: at some point, early in the game, he remembered the position with 21…Bd7. From that point onwards he was trying to figure out how to reach it!
Karjakin vs Anand. The latter “won” the opening battle as he managed to remember his analysis. | Photo Maria Emelianova.
Anand vividly remembered the conversation with one of his seconds, who suggested that 21…Bd7 move. “I almost fell off my chair,” Anand said. But Black is fine there, his second told him, and today he could show it in the game.
Both Kramnik-So and MVL-Caruana can be found in the PGN file.
2017 Altibox Norway Chess | Round 3 Standings
In the evening a group of grandmasters joined in the hotel lobby. Guess what they were doing?
Friday is a rest day. The pairings for round four on Saturday are Aronian-Carlsen, Nakamura-MVL, Giri-Anand, Caruana-Kramnik, and So-Karjakin.
You can follow the games in Live Chess each day starting at 4 p.m. local time (7 a.m. Pacific, 10 a.m. Eastern).We’re providing on-site coverage on Chess.com/News and on our Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels.
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Posted: at 11:48 pm
By Chris Cook, for Trend
Obama’s Smart Energy Strategy
On taking office in January 2009, President Barak Obama inherited a failed energy policy from the George W. Bush administration which had attempted to secure Middle East oil & gas resources by military means through creating client states and imposing one-sided contractual terms favouring US International Oil Companies (IOCs). However, China’s threat in 2007 to pull the plug on the US financial system forced the US to back off in Iraq, in the same way that the US threat in 1956 to pull the plug on sterling forced the UK to pull out of Suez.
Consequently, the 2008 US financial meltdown obliged the incoming Obama administration to take a very different approach to US energy security. There were two major objectives of Obama’s resource resilience energy strategy: firstly, to rid the US for good of their historic reliance on Saudi oil, and secondly, to make a transition through gas as a bridging fuel to a low carbon economy.
The first objective was achieved by Obama’s investment bank collaborators who used Saudi/GCC petrodollars to inflate the oil price from its low of $35/barrel in 2009 by manipulating the Brent/BFOE benchmark oil price. The price was then maintained in a range between a collar under oil prices of $80/barrel and a US gasoline price cap at levels which would not threaten Obama’s 2012 re-election chances.
The effect of these artificially high prices were firstly, to fund indiscriminate lending to US shale oil and gas developers and secondly, to finance renewable energy such as wind and solar which substituted for fossil fuels. Finally, high prices led to massive investment in energy savings such as in more efficient car engines. As a result the US increased oil production by 5m barrels per day, and made oil product savings of maybe 2m bpd. When added to new high cost global sources of oil such as Canadian tar sands, and global renewable energy and efficiency, particularly in the EU, this led by 2014 to a substantial global surplus of oil production, which has now become structurally embedded.
The increasing surplus of oil supply led as I forecast it would in 2011 to a collapse in the oil price to $45 to $50/bbl in late 2014 after the financial Quantitative Easing (QE) pump of Federal Reserve Bank dollars was finally turned off.
Obama’s Energy Doctrine
Obama’s strategy executed through Hilary Clinton’s State/CIA power nexus was for Caspian and Qatari gas to supply Europe, displacing crude oil and oil products and competing with Russia. Resource nationalism particularly in Turkey and Syria – stood in the way of this. Meanwhile the massive US base at Al Udeid has effectively come to secure Qatari gas production and an effective position of Qatar as a US proxy in the MENA region acting against resource nationalism by promoting Islamism.
The US strategy was therefore to create a new wave of non-nationalist Sunni Islamism such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere, and Gulenism in Turkey. The outcome desired by the US was Balkanisation of the region to create a Kurdish Petro State (which would be tolerated by a Gulenist regime in Turkey) with Islamist territories elsewhere acting as conduits for Qatari gas transit to Europe by pipeline.
However, Obama’s smart energy policy was so successful that the accompanying wave of new smart technology and investment led to an irreversible tipping point in the global economy of Peak Demand the effect of which is to cap the global oil price at or around $50 per barrel.
Saudi Arabia has clearly learnt the truth of Yamani’s dictum that the Oil Age is not ending for lack of oil, since they would not conduct the Aramco IPO if the future oil price trajectory were upwards. Clearly, Saudi Arabia is now casting covetous eyes on Qatari gas, since this will enable them to free crude oil for export, particularly in the summer. In other words, Qatari gas will act as a bridging fuel while their ambitious (and in my view unimplementable) Energy 2030 programme progresses. Such a Saudi gas for oil swap is unlikely to take place on favourable terms for Qatar.
So President Trump has now turned away from the Obama doctrine at least in part due to his personal antagonism to anything Obama was able to achieve in office. Unfortunately, as with his similar rejection of COP 21 and Obama’s domestic US energy policy he has no constructive Plan B.
As a result of Trump’s impulsive action, Saudi Arabia has now been permitted to take extraordinary measures, with the full support of the US, which essentially constitute war on Qatar by economic means. Moreover, Qatar has been presented with a detailed ultimatum including a draconian prohibition in dealings with Iran and the scope for rapid escalation is clear.
Today’s events in Tehran an attack on the Majlis and an unprecedented suicide bombing at the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini provide a grave challenge to President Hassan Rouhani and his colleagues in Iran’s government. Trump’s top military/security team is extremely antagonistic to Iran, and clearly hope and expect that Iran will act stupidly and aggressively in response to this provocation.
What is Iran’s Smart Move in this difficult position?
The Smart Move
In my view, the smart, and unexpected, policy for Iran would be to propose a constructive regional initiative based upon energy/resource co-operation and resilience. This may perhaps commence with a humanitarian offer to Qatar of essential supplies through international waters.
What appears to be a unilateral US-backed resource grab by Saudi Arabia creates an opportunity for Russia, Iran & Qatar (who between them possess more than 60% of global gas reserves) to collaborate in launching a networked physical and financial global market in natural gas based upon a new settlement between gas producers and consumers.
The market in Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) is key to such a new settlement. While historically the global natural gas market has been fragmented and largely bilateral due to deliveries via static pipelines, the last five years has seen massive new production and infrastructure for liquidising and decompressing Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). The combination of diversity of supply, flexibility of delivery and homogeneity of gas (there are many grades and qualities of oil, but CH4 is CH4) has now led to an over-supplied global ‘buyer’s market’ in natural gas. The emergence and convergence of a global LNG price is strikingly illustrated by this chart.
I believe based upon my experience of implementing the UK Natural Gas Balancing Point Futures contract in 1995 as a Director of what is now ICE Europe that the potential now exists for a global gas ‘Balancing Point’ physical gas market price based upon the price at which LNG is delivered into and out of global LNG infrastructure. This could enable financial energy credit instruments (not derivatives) based upon this price which are issued, traded, cleared and settled within a global energy clearing union.
The EU, which is fuming at Trump’s America First antics, as well as China, India and Turkey (whose President Erdogan has offered to intermediate), could be expected to support a new global gas market settlement, while neutral countries like Norway and Switzerland could be expected to facilitate it.
So my advice to President Rouhani is to play chess where Trump is playing the fool, and to begin a process of depoliticised energy diplomacy based upon competition for quality of energy as a service and cooperation to reduce energy costs within a new natural gas global market paradigm.
Chris Cook is a former director of the International Petroleum Exchange. He is now a strategic market consultant, entrepreneur and a commentator.
Posted: at 11:48 pm
As a fan of things that go fast, I have drag racing near the top of my must-watch motorsports list. I have been fortunate enough to attend some Outlaw Diesel Super Series events, and Ive noticed that Im definitely not the only one enjoying the thrill of the drags. The number of people who come out to spectate continues to grow, as does the total count of competitors who enter each event. More and more diesel jockeys are eager to see what they and their rigs can do on the strip. This ever-increasing enthusiasm for diesel drag racing is amazing to witness, and its definitely growing the sportin both popularity and competiveness.
In April 2017, I attended the Rudys Diesel Performance season-opening event at Piedmont Raceway in Julian, North Carolina. It was a great two days of diesel madness, highlighted by the Outlaw Diesel Super Series drawing 165 competitors to the venue to wage war in six different drag-racing classes. The category with the largest turnout was our own (well, ours and ATS Diesel Performances) 7.70 Index Class, with 62 truckers reporting to the staging lanes for the first round of eliminations. For every race across all classes, the stands were packed to near capacity with cheering spectators watching vehicles roar down the eighth-mile.
As the enthusiasm continues to increase for this type of drag racing and the competition gets more heated, drivers willingness and desire to push themselves and their vehicles to the next level will rise. Competitive people want to winthey will not voluntarily let themselves sit idly or settle for second best. Their free time is spent at the track testing and racing, or in the garage prepping and building.
It is not an easy endeavor to put the right combination of components together. The engine alone has so many different ways it can be manipulated for power. Combine that with the complexity of the rest of the drivetrain, and you have a lot to get right. Getting everything to sync together and perform at its peak is a chess game. One move can take you forward or set you back. But that desire to be on top pushes people to keep trying and experimenting with new ideas.
Ingenuity and creativity are the things that really push motorsport technology forward. The guy or gal who can really think outside the box and bring something completely different to the table may have the key to winning. I understand there are rules in many classes that limit what can be done to an engine or vehicle, but he or she who has an ability to apply new concepts to the sport (a mechanical principle or technology that is not normally associated) could gain an advantage, and any edge, even a slight one, can be rewarded with a spot on the podium.
Racing has traditionally been the cornerstone for research and development of performance parts. That need and desire to go faster and win has stirred the creativity in many an individual and opened their eyes to ways of creating more power, speed, or efficiency from what is many times the simplest concept. Most ideas or theories have to be proven through trial and error. But, in the end, the sacrifice of time and energy (and money) proves it could definitely be worth it.
There is a reason auto and truck builders around the world support racing in one form or another and why they pump money into research and development. Racing is where a lot of new technology is born and where that technology is proven. Many of the advances made in competition will make it into what is driven on the road. The fastest production cars in the world owe much of their performance ability to peoples desire to race and win.
Even the new high-powered diesel pickup trucks on the market today owe much of their torque and power to racers and enthusiasts desires to improve their engines. Manufacturers pay attention to what is being done to the powerplants they produce, and then analyze what works and what doesnt perform as expected.
As more people continue to enjoy the excitement of racing diesels, the more the technology will develop, which will continue to push the industry and racing to new levels. Im waiting to see what the next big step forward is and where it comes from. Never count the little guy out.
Posted: at 11:48 pm
Occult literally means hidden from view, which is why we use it both in astronomy and to refer to secret knowledge.
After To Die For, Affleck moved to New York and attended Columbia University for two years, majoring in physics and astronomy.
His specialty was astronomy, a subject in which he had made several major discoveries.
Cosmic ray observations are more challenging than many other forms of astronomy.
Muslims made many discoveries in mathematics, chemistry, physics, medicine, astronomy and psychology.
British Dictionary definitions for astronomy Expand
the scientific study of the individual celestial bodies (excluding the earth) and of the universe as a whole. Its various branches include astrometry, astrodynamics, cosmology, and astrophysics
C13: from Old French astronomie, from Latin astronomia, from Greek; see astro-, -nomy
Word Origin and History for astronomy Expand
c.1200, from Old French astrenomie, from Latin astronomia, from Greek astronomia, literally “star arrangement,” from astron “star” (see astro-) + nomos “arranging, regulating,” related to nemein “to deal out” (see numismatics). Used earlier than astrology and originally including it.
astronomy in Science Expand
astronomy in Culture Expand
The science that deals with the universe beyond the Earth. It describes the nature, position, and motion of the stars, planets, and other objects in the skies, and their relation to the Earth.
Posted: at 11:48 pm
June 8, 2017 Astronomers from the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) explain with a model how seven earth-sized planets could have been formed in the planetary system Trappist-1 (here an artistic impression). The crux is on the line where ice changes in water. Credit: NASA/R. Hurt/T. Pyle
Astronomers from the University of Amsterdam have offered an explanation for the formation of the Trappist-1 planetary system. The system has seven planets as big as the Earth that orbit close to their star. The crux, according to the researchers from the Netherlands, is the line where ice changes in water. Near that ice line, pebbles that drifted from outer regions to the star receive an additional portion of water and clot together to form proto-planets. The article with the model has been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
In February 2017, an international team of astronomers announced the discovery of a system of seven exoplanets around a small star, Trappist-1 (see report on eso.org). It was against the prevailing theories of planet formation that so many relatively large planets orbited so close around a small star. Researchers from the University of Amsterdam now come up with a model that explains how the planetary system could have originated.
Until now, there were two prevailing theories for the formation of planets. The first theory assumes that planets are formed more or less on the spot where they are now. With Trappist-1, that is unlikely because the disk from which the planets had originated should have been very dense. The second theory assumes that a planet forms much further out in the disk and migrates inward afterwards. This theory also causes problems with Trappist-1 because it does not explain why the planets are all about the same size as the Earth.
Now, the Amsterdam researchers come up with a model where pebbles migrate instead of complete planets. The model begins with pebbles that are floating from outside regions to the star. Such pebbles consist largely of ice. When the pebbles arrive near the so-called ice line, the point where it is warm enough for liquid water, they get an additional portion of water vapor to process. As a result, they clot together into a proto-planet. Then the proto-planet moves a little closer to the star. On its way it sweeps up more pebbles like a vacuum cleaner, until it reaches the size of the Earth. The planet then moves in a little further and makes room for the formation of the next planet.
The crux, according to the researchers, is in the clotting of pebbles near the ice line. By crossing the ice line, pebbles lose their water ice. But that water is re-used by the following load of pebbles that is drifting from the outer regions of the dust disk. At Trappist-1, this process repeated until seven planets were formed.
Research leader Chris Ormel (University of Amsterdam): “For us, Trappist-1 with its seven planets, came as a welcome surprise. We have been working on pebble aggregation and sweepup by planets for a long time and were also developing a new ice-line model. Thanks to the discovery of Trappist-1 we can compare our model with reality.”
In the near future, the Amsterdam researchers want to refine their model. They will run computer simulations to see how their model withstands different initial conditions.
The researchers still expect some discussion among fellow astronomers. The model is quite revolutionary because the pebbles travel from the outer part of the disk to the ice line without much activity in between. Ormel: “I hope that our model will help answer the question about how unique our own solar system is compared to other planetary systems.”
Explore further: Temperate earth-sized worlds found in extraordinarily rich planetary system (Update)
More information: “Formation of TRAPPIST-1 and other compact systems.” Chris W. Ormel, Beibei Liu & Djoeke Schoonenberg. Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics. doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201730826 . Preprint: arxiv.org/abs/1703.06924
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Posted: at 11:48 pm
Astronomers with the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope(s) (KELT) survey have just announced an amazing find: the hottest gas giant ever discovered. In fact, the planet is so hot that its hotter than most stars, and its only a few thousand degrees cooler than our own Sun.
The planet, KELT-9b, is about three times the mass of Jupiter and twice its size. Its discovery was announced by B. Scott Gaudi of The Ohio State University and Karen Collins of Vanderbilt University at a press conference Monday afternoon at the 230th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas. We are very excited today to announce the discovery of KELT-9b a gas giant planet hotter than most stars. And I want to emphasize thats not a typo, Collins said during the press conference. She went on to explain that KELT-9b is so hot because of its sun, the brightest, hottest, most massive known transiting gas giant planet host star. Concurrent with the announcement, the work was also published online as a letter in Nature.
That host star is roughly 2.5 times the mass of our Sun, and is rotating so quickly (about once a day) that its more of a flattened egg shape than a sphere, like the planet Saturn. Every time KELT-9b transits across the face of its sun, the light coming from the star drops by only one half of one percent. The star, which is a hot, blue star, radiates not only in the optical, but also puts out huge amounts of ultraviolet (UV) light. Its massive output, coupled with KELT-9bs close proximity, boosts the temperature on the planets day side to about 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit (4,300 Celsius). Because the planet is tidally locked, the same side always faces its parent star; astronomers currently think that the night side is much cooler, due to the atmospheres poor ability to transfer heat from the broiling day side to the rest of the planet. But even still, that cool side is hot: The night side would probably look like a red dwarf to our eyes, Gaudi said at the press conference.
Furthermore, KELT-9b is orbiting its star perpendicular to the hosts axis of rotation. That means rather than circling in the same plane as the stars equator, as our planets circle the Sun, KELT-9b flies over its parent stars north and south poles with every 1.5-day orbit it completes. This odd orbit, Gaudi said, likely precesses as well, which means the planet may stop transiting its sun as seen from Earth within about 150 years, depending on the rate of this precession. Astronomers would then have to wait several thousand years before transits could be seen again.
Posted: at 11:47 pm
Whether you are running applications that share photos to millions of mobile users or youre supporting the critical operations of your business, a cloud services platform provides rapid access to flexible and low cost IT resources. With cloud computing, you dont need to make large upfront investments in hardware and spend a lot of time on the heavy lifting of managing that hardware. Instead, you can provision exactly the right type and size of computing resources you need to power your newest bright idea or operate your IT department. You can access as many resources as you need, almost instantly, and only pay for what you use.
Cloud computing provides a simple way to access servers, storage, databases and a broad set of application services over the Internet. A Cloud services platform such as Amazon Web Services owns and maintains the network-connected hardware required for these application services, while you provision and use what you need via a web application.
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Posted: at 11:47 pm
It is no understatement to say that public cloud computing is revolutionizing how technology is used. Executives from the top three public cloud providersAmazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platformspoke at the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit in Bellevue, Wash. this week.
Here are three lessons you need to learn now.
Microsoft ( msft ) and Amazon are courting major software companies to run their operations on their respective clouds, and manyTableau ( data ) , Salesforce ( crm ) , Workday ( wday ) are doing so.
“We want to win both big customers and the software companies selling to those customers,” Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s executive vice president of cloud and enterprise, said at the conference.
Related: Welcome to the Era of Great Data Center Consolidation
The problem is that the major cloud providers offer more than basic computing, networking, and storage building blocks. They are adding more capabilities that compete with software companies they are courting.
For example, while SAP ( sap ) financial software runs on Microsoft Azure public cloud, SAP also competes with Microsoft Dynamics applications. As Guthrie noted: “If we overlap in places, we have to do that in disciplined ways.” Guthrie, who manages both Azure cloud and financial software that competes with SAP, added: “I see SAP as both a competitor and a partner, but we’re able to manage that well.”
This is dj vu for Microsoft. Years ago as the company built its Windows franchise, it wanted other software companies to move Microsoft products, which ran on the older DOS operating system. But even as the Windows team pushed third-parties like Lotus Development Corp., then a leader in DOS spreadsheet software, to move to Windows, Microsoft was building its own competitive Windows Excel spreadsheet software. This did not work out so well for Lotus, which ended up being acquired by IBM ( ibm ) .
Guthrie told Fortune that Lotus’ fate had more to do with that company being late to Windows than any competition from Microsoft’s competitive software. In similar fashion, Guthrie said software companies should quickly commit to cloud or risk falling behind.
Amazon Web Services ( amzn ) , the leader in the public cloud market, was born in Seattle approximately 11 years ago . Microsoft, the second largest public cloud company, is based a few miles east in Redmond. And while Google ( goog ) is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., a good chunk of its cloud development work takes place in the Seattle area. Oracle ( orcl ) also fields much of its nascent cloud work in the area.
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At the conference, Docker’s new chief executive Steve Singh said his company will open a significant engineering hub in Seattle or Bellevue soon. Docker, which backs container technology easing the deployment of software that runs in the cloud or in company data centers, is based in San Francisco.
Greg DeMichillie, director of product management for Google Cloud, said that company is constructing a new facility in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood to house more Google cloud personnel.
“If you look at the rate at which we are hiring, not just in engineering, our growth here in Seattle is pretty phenomenal, DeMichillie said. Google also has offices in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.
Fortune 500 companies run lots of decades-old business software, simply patched up and updated over time. Databases, financial accounting systems, and software managing manufacturing tasks all fall into that category. Cloud providers think much of that key business software should move from corporate data centers to the cloudbut such migrations are difficult.
Guthrie, however, said most of Azure’s cloud business comes from truly new computing jobs that have never ran in anyone’s data center. The Internet of thingsin which billions of connected devices from fitness gadgets to appliances to factory gear in order to gather datais partially responsible for enabling those new scenarios.
“We havent seen a huge lift and shift of existing things until recently,” Guthrie said. “I think Amazon would say the same thing. Core IT hasnt been lifting and shifting core workloads until lately.”
Related: Microsoft Claims Shipping Giant Maersk as Huge Cloud Win
Brand new computing taskslike German auto giant BMW’s connected car work , which brings the driver’s smartphone, contacts, calendar into the car itselfcould not happen without a cloud. Projects like this, Guthrie added, are not necessarily driven by traditional IT staff, but by business units at the company.
Brian Nowak, executive director at Morgan Stanley , agreed that much cloud workand revenueis driven by totally new tasks like these.
“Autonomous cars didn’t even exist two years ago,” Nowak noted. Connected home devices, like Amazon Echo, are also new. The data that these gadgets collect needs to be analyzed in the cloud, he explained, and that is driving the bulk of public cloud business going forward.
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Here’s how venture capitalists are thinking about cloud computing companies and technologies – GeekWire
Posted: at 11:47 pm
Cloud computing is changing the technology world and creating opportunity for hundreds of new companies so how are investors thinking about which ones to put their investmentbehind?
Three Seattle-area venture capitalists Frank Artale of Ignition Partners; S. Soma Somasegar of Madrona Venture Group; and Sheila Gulati of Tola Capital spoke on stage Wednesday at the inauguralGeekWire Cloud Tech Summit about the state of the cloud computing industry and opportunities they see for related technologies and startups.
The panelists all agreed that its an exciting time for cloud technology and that this isonly the beginning.
We are early in this game, and its a game that is fundamentally changing how computing happens, Gulati said. Cloud is the new operating system.
The discussion, moderated bySeattle angel investor Charles Fitzgerald, ranged from the most attractive cloud-related areas of investment to how Seattle is becoming the cloud capital of the world.
Heres a quick rundown of their insights, which have been edited for brevity.
S. Soma Somasegar, Madrona Venture Group: In the last six to 12 months, we have been investing in a fair amount of what I call cloud-native, next-generation cloud infrastructure-related startups. Its everything from serverless computing, to the world of containers, to event-driven functions. There are a bunch of things people can go solve in a startup environment.
As you move the stack, there is still a lot of value that people can think about delivering at the application level. We get excited about what we call intelligent applications. Its not just predictable behavior from an application, but one that can learn from the data you have access to and continuously learn from thatand do a better job for customers. There are lots of enterprise use cases that are possible.
Sheila Gulati, Tola Capital: A lot of the opportunities for venture capitalists these days is up-stack, as you take advantage of the incredibly rich platform elements and the ability to develop and deploy more seamlessly and more easily.
But also, the real benefitthat the cloud gives you is that data ownership, that data predictability, that comparabilitybetween your different customersbecause youare running all of thatdata in cloud and then able to do very business-appropriate, business-useful comparisons. Its incredibly invaluable. Our last investment was in the insurance software space. Its specific to a vertical, its adding value. You have the industry incumbents really betting on this company in order to take forward the learnings and the benefit of cloud, mobile, and data-centric computing for their industry. We also like serverless.
Frank Artale, Ignition Partners: One of the things we look at, relative to cloud, are applicationsthat could not exist were it not for what the cloud brings, from an application perspective. That may include low cost access to things like cognitive services; low cost access to elastic compute and storage; networking; availability. Its all of these things that to build on-premise would just be too expensive to even go after. Enablement is always a big word for us.
Gulati: As you take each layer of traditional IT spend and map it out, cloud revenue is eating different layers of the stack. Cloud vendors are coming out with services that replace a lot of thetraditional, massive businesses. As venture capitalists, its important that we think of everything we do in the context of, lets makesure we understand how thisworks.
Artale: With the public cloud, now that it has become a trusted infrastructure as opposed to a technical curiosity, well see a similarpattern with enterprise IT that we saw inthe late 90s when hypervisors first came into existence. You saw a lot of lighter duty, older workloads being moved into virtual machines, and virtual machines being collected on backs of servers for cost efficiency. You could do more with less hardware, you havesome software, and you can run more apps.One of the first orders of business for enterprises of all sizes will be to identify existing on-premise applications that are candidates to make that move. People call this lift and shift, or modernization.’
Somasegar: Hybrid cloud will be around for at least the next 10, 20, 30 years. Not everyone can move everything they have on premise to the public cloud overnight. Its going to take time. People also need to take time to get comfortable to feel like they have the right levels of security and data protection. It takes time to get that level of trust. And even then, there will be extreme situations, whether government related or industry-specific, where youll want some stuff on premise. Hybrid is how I think the world will operate for at leastthe next two or three decades.
Somasegar: Its definitely changing for the positive. I was at a dinner last month with venture capitalists and the whos-who of the Silicon Valley ecosystem. They were saying that theyve never seen so many Silicon Valley VCs come together in one place and were wondering whats happening here. Its a testament to people getting exciting about whats happening in Seattle and how they can be apart of it.
Weve also seen, at least in the past year, a tremendous amount of interest in terms of whats happening in Seattle and the startups here. We host people from Silicon Valley a couple times a week because they want to come here and understand the ecosystem. They know something great is happening and they want to participate more.
And as much as we get excited about Seattle being the cloud capital of the world, its not just cloud computing. There are many other areas where we have a tremendous amount of innovation here, between the bigger companies and the startups. We are the No. 1 or No. 2 in what I call the hot technology trends. All of this together makes us better and better each day that goes by.
Gulati: Its fine to call Seattle Silicon Valleys little sister, but its not true.Everyone is moving up here; everyone is opening an office up here. Theprevalence of more cloud computing happening here than in any other city in the world does change the game.
Artale: If you look at the movement, one thing people do notice is the amountof real estateleasesthat are being taken by mid-cap, large-cap, even startups from the Bay Area. Weve had companies move here from the Bay Area. There is great access to not just software development talent, but people want to be close to the epicenter and thinkers in cloud computing.
We also find that we are much more concentrated geographically here. Silicon Valley stretches from San Francisco down to south of San Jose thats about 75 miles and many hours sitting in a car. [In Seattle] we are concentrated, so there is good promise around that.
The other thing is that, at least for high value software development talent and programmanagement and marketing functions, people tend to stay in their jobs longer here. They dont go work some place for two years and find the next hotly-funded startup and move on. There tends to be more durability of teams. From my perspective, that is super important. Its something that is very attractive to businesses of all sizes.
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Posted: at 11:47 pm
ByMolly Wood and Clare Toeniskoetter
June 08, 2017 | 4:49 AM
Youve probably heard by now: the tech industry is in need of talent. Some companies are looking to veterans of the military to fill those roles.
Amazon has partnered with the Department of Labor, creating the Amazon Veterans Apprenticeship Program. Veterans enrolled in the 16-week program train for positions in cloud computing.
Ardine Williams is vice president of talent acquisition for Amazon Web Services, and she’s also a veteran herself. Williams spoke with Marketplace’s Molly Wood about the difficulties of finding a civilian job, and Amazon’s efforts to help.Below is an edited excerpt of their conversation.
Ardine Williams:The challenge that people have on the tech side is, in many cases, the technology that they’ve been working with doesn’t change as quickly in the military as it does in the civilian sector, and so helping veterans who are a good fit culturally and have good basic technical skills learn that next, more state of the art capability is really what helps bridge them into a role in tech, and then open up other career opportunities.
Molly Wood:What other things about the transition might be hard for veterans coming into the private sector, Amazon in particular?
Williams:You have to be willing to take a stand and say this is what I want to do. We have thousands of job openings at Amazon and I get contacted regularly by veterans who say “I’m really a capable leader and I can do just about anything.” And I don’t have any jobs like that. I need someone to come and say “Hey, these are three jobs that are a great fit for me” and “I want to be a project manager in supply chain.” It’s a very different experience in the military where you have a branch officer or someone the career side saying, “Hey Ardine, we’re going to send you to Fort X and you’re going to do Y.”
Wood: The tech industry takes a lot ofcriticism for being in a bubble in a lot of ways. Do you think that hiring from the military, creating a pathway for veterans, could improve the sort of pipeline problem that the tech industry often cites in terms of improving diversity? Or is the military its own bubble?
Williams:While it’s imperfect, the military is a relatively good snapshot demographically of the U.S., not geographically perfect, but from a demographic perspective if you look at gender and ethnicity. So in that regard, it’s a very valuable pipeline for any industry.
Wood:How will you know if you’ve succeeded?
Williams: The first piece for me is “are they successful, are we actually able to bring people in?” and then, “can we scale it, can I grow it to be a very robust pipeline?” So late last year, we worked with the Department of Labor to build an apprenticeship program and we’re running a number of cohorts this year in different locations. And success to me will be that we have a great graduation rate from those programs and that those graduates go on to roles that continue to increase in responsibility at Amazon.
You can listen to the full interview by clicking the audio player above.
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