Last week, I was Maxwell Linden, lab technician. I was four long years from retirement, sharing a cramped little A-frame with my wife, and driving a Lincoln Mercury seriously in need of a new transmission. Today, call me Mr. Linden, widower extraordinaire. Along with my wife Leah, my financial troubles are gone forever. Even though her life-insurance payout was only $250,000, I feel like a million bucks! Grieving is a process, they say. At first, I was angry with God for striking down the love of my life. It had to be a mistake. What had she done to deserve that? I was just working my way out of the denial phase of the grieving process when the phone rang. Mr. George Tift from State Farm Insurance had a little proposition to make. After giving his condolences, he told me that my term-life insurance plan entitled me to 10 quarterly installments of $25,000, for a total pre-tax payout of $250,000. Yowza! What had I done to deserve that? A quarter of a million American dollars! That's … [Read more...] about I Hit The Dead-Wife Insurance Jackpot!
10 year term life insurance
Chief analytics officers should be grounded in the business and deeply familiar with customer experience. From there, use more data, test, test, test and make the case for data-driven decisions.Chief analytics officers are (or should be) just one step away from chief strategy officers.This was just one of many pearls of wisdom heard at the January 26-27 Chief Analytics Officer Forum in New York. The event was attended by a who's who gathering of CAOs, chief intelligence officers, analytics directors and aspirants to these roles from companies including American Express, AXA, Charles Schwab, Delta Airlines, Disney, McGraw Hill, the New York Times and State Farm Insurance.Tips from the Chief Analytics Officer ForumI attended only the second day of the CAOForum, but I came away with plenty of notes and my own thoughts on these 10 best practices for analytics leaders.Deeply understand the customer experience to reduce friction. Keynote speaker Joe DeCosmo, CAO at global lender Enova … [Read more...] about 10 tips for chief analytics officers
Last week Bill & Melinda Gates announced that their foundation would commit $10 billion over the next decade to help research, develop and deliver vaccines for the world’s poorest countries. By significantly scaling up the delivery of life-saving vaccines in developing countries to 90 percent coverage—including new vaccines to prevent severe diarrhea and pneumonia—the model suggests that we could prevent the deaths of 7.6 million children under 5 before 2019. The foundation also estimates that an additional 1.1 million children could be saved with the rapid introduction of a malaria vaccine beginning in 2014, bringing the total number of potential lives saved to 8.7 million. Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele is the director of the World Health Organization Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals and is responsible for strategic direction, coordination and management of immunization activities. He called me yesterday from Geneva to answer a few questions about … [Read more...] about Gates’ $10 billion vaccine pledge will yield ‘amazing effect’ on child mortality
When Mihaela Lazar first learned COBOL in the early 1970s, little did she know that she would be paving the way for a successful career several decades later.In the 2000s, Lazar got a job offer she couldn't refuse as a COBOL developer in Bucharest, Romania. She continues to work with the language today: "Life's twists and turns took me back to COBOL," she said. Experts like her are hard to find, but much in demand: COBOL still powers most of the world's financial transactions and despite being over 50 years old, the programming language shows no signs of fading away.Identification division COBOL appeared in 1959, when Steve Jobs was just four years old, half a century before the arrival of the first iPhone.The guidelines for the new programming language aimed at businesses, designed to make software more affordable and easier to write, were set at a meeting at the Pentagon. COBOL, an acronym from COmmon Business-Oriented Language, has had few updates since then, though it became … [Read more...] about 50 years and still going strong: Will we ever be ready to kill off COBOL?
If you've ever watched "Star Trek," you've probably coveted one of the ingenious gadgets carried by those polyester-wearing space travelers. Much of the sci-fi series' futuristic tech is the stuff of dreams. But one device, in particular, has always seemed to have life-changing potential. In the "Star Trek" universe, the medical tricorder is an indispensable tool -- a handheld portable scanning device that diagnoses medical conditions within seconds. This fictional device could solve age-old dilemmas. A typical visit to the doctor today isn't easy: drive to the doctor's office, wait up to an hour in the lobby before an assistant checks your vitals, wait for the doctor to come in and ask questions, travel to have your blood drawn, then wait up to a week for results. And this scenario assumes a lot, not the least of which is that you live near a doctor, have health insurance, can afford to pay the bills and a job flexible enough to let you off work. To simplify the onerous process, the … [Read more...] about A real-life medical tricorder: XPrize wants to make it so