We live in a time when discoveries in science and technology are happening rapidly, making it difficult to always stay informed. The full potential of these changes are continuously evolving, with digital technologies and connectivity transforming the world around us.
The media, entertainment and information industry have long played a role in informing, educating and entertaining consumers. Recently, new technologies and changes in consumption habits have influenced how the industry creates and transforms content into profit. However, the business community is concerned that the demand for innovators is greater than supply. According to one research in the US, the number of students entering college is significantly lower than the number of exits, leading to a loss of skilled workers.
The pace at which the trends are evolving requires including additional skills in the college programs in order to prepare students for the ambience they will enter upon graduation.
Industry leaders have identified 15 trends that will shape the future of Information Technology, with mobility, personalization, ‘Internet of things’ and security being the biggest trends in 2013. Some of the trends that will emerge in the coming years are visualization management, robotics and artificial intelligence (intelligence of machines and robots).
Continue reading The future of IT
These days buying almost anything you wish for is just a click away. Online shopping saves time and money, and no one can neglect the amount of things available that otherwise wouldn’t fit in just a single store. But one particular item that came across my mind recently got me to the conclusion that not everything should be sold online. And by this I mean medications.
Nowadays buying prescription drugs from the Internet is easy, and more and more people are turning to the Internet for cheaper medications that are easily reachable. Not to mention the constant spaming of our email inbox with ‘Recover your masculinity’ offers. But is this something people should buy so carelessly? Certainly not when you consider the risk of counterfeit, contaminated or just unsafe drugs. You name it.
In 1999 the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy started continuously reviewing these websites and found that from over 10,700 pages reviewed, 97% fall in the ‘Not recommended’ category because they are in conflict with pharmacy laws and practice standards. Most of them are unlicensed, operating illegally and what is certainly striking: 88% don’t even require a doctor’s prescription! Knowing whether the medicine is contaminated, expired or counterfeit is almost impossible. There are ofcourse online registered pharmacies that require a prescription, but knowing which page is safe and which is not is a definite challenge.
Searching through these websites, I realize that the offer is endless and the prices substantially low. You can find anything from just some ‘innocent’ drugs to the ones that ‘cure cancer’. And a medicine for HIV costs 3 dollars! It seems like a perfect catch for helpless people that tried all the options.
When I imagine how a choice is being made and thinking about filtering and recommendation agents, I just don’t believe there could ever exist such a system that would replace the expertise of a real doctor or pharmacist, weighting pro’s and con’s, explaining side effects and combining therapies. And in this case, memorizing one’s previous purchases would never result in an adequate personalized recommendation because medications are not about the colour and size. Continue reading Why I don’t (completely) believe in online shopping
Inspired by the topics of crowfunding, I began to wonder: Is this pure science fiction for companies in Croatia or could this actually lead to some results? The current economic situation is not in favour of entrepeneures and searching for a project funder is like finding a needle in a haystack. But does it have to be like this?
I certainly tried to search for some existing platforms, but all I could find is one named ‘Doniralica’ (in rough translation this is a derivative from the verb donate) which currently has only the main page with no signs of projects of any kind. I tried to understand why this is the case, as crowdfunding has been proven to be an extremely helpul way of financing throughout the world. Skimming through some related posts, I ran into the fact that in the surrounding region, Slovenia is the leader by the amount of money raised through crowdfunding and it got me thinking: Is it because they are more multidisciplinary or they exchange more experiences? And why can’t we do the same? Continue reading Crowdfunding in Croatia: a dream or a possible reality?
Simply everything can be bought online nowadays. From mass production products to specific niche products. However, about a third of all online transactions are returned (1). Buying online can result in certain disadvantages compared to buying in an actual store, one of which is the impossibility to physically hold the product, which can in the case of online clothing retailers, result in product returns. E-commerce clothing retailers like Zalando and Wehkamp.nl use a lot of different kind of recommendations to help the customers make satisfactory choices.
When buying clothes online, a customer can not try the article behind his/her computer screen. A customer will not know if the fabric is what the customer wants or how the product will actually look when he/she wears it. Does it look fancy? Slobby? Casual? Formal? And most of all, a customer will never be sure if the clothing actually fits unless he/she tries it on. This disadvantage has to do with the fact that clothing is an experience product characterized by the attributes that need to be experienced before the purchase, like taste, softness or fit (2). According to Xiao and Benbasat (2007), the use of recommendation agents influences the choice of users to a greater extent in the case of these products. What kind of recommendation agents do Zalando and Wehkamp.nl actually have to help customers choose? Continue reading Experiencing clothes behind a computer screen