Here are some of the articles we found this week.
Two Questions to Ask Before You Set Up an Innovation Unit – “In our work at the European Center for Strategic Innovation (ECSI), we have extensively researched the role of successful Innovation Units. Drawing on our findings, we have developed a framework that breaks the Corporate Innovation Unit’s (CIU) role into seven distinct tasks. The seven roles for CIUs are: designing shelter for innovation; supporting best practices and methods; developing skills; supporting business unit initiatives; identifying new market spaces; facilitating ideas generation; and directing seed funding.”
A Photonic Circuit for Quantum Computers – “While photons would make for great qubits because of their speed, they don’t like to interact with each other, or anything else for that matter, making it difficult to achieve quantum entanglement. Now researchers at the University of Maryland and the Joint Quantum Institute have managed to solve this conundrum with their development of the first single-photon transistor using a semiconductor chip.”
A.I. and the Art of Spotting Fakes – “Every single gesture — shape, curvature, the velocity with which a brush- or pencil-stroke is applied — reveals something about the artist who made it. Together, they form a telltale fingerprint. Analyze enough works and build up a database, and the idea is that you can find every artist’s fingerprint. Add in a work you’re unsure about, and you’ll be able to tell in minutes whether it’s really a Matisse or if it was completed in a garage in Los Angeles last week. You wouldn’t even need the whole work; an image of one brushstroke could give the game away.”
The strange origins of your favorite companies’ names – “But while many of today’s companies’ names were chosen so their customers could easily identify what they sell, or showcase the spirit or mantra of the company–or were simply picked because the web URL was still available, some of the biggest companies have a bit more interesting–and even contentious–histories behind their names.”
Your coworker with the annoying sit-stand desk may be onto something – “The researchers believe that if there’s any takeaway from their research, it’s that employees should have the option to choose a sit-stand desk at work, as it could improve the way they feel inside and outside the office while also improving their productivity–once again proving that treating employees well is just good business.”
Relishing Retro Computing: Restoring A Sinclair ZX Spectrum To Full 1980s Glory – “Feeling nostalgic I decided I’d start a small collection of the machines that had had the most personal impact. When I was a kid, my cousin owned a ZX Spectrum 48K which he’d bought it brand new in 1983 and which, when I was around 14 years old, he’d loaned me on a long term basis. I asked him if he still had it and, if so, would he sell it to me. Sure enough, he had it carefully packed away in as good condition as you could possibly expect for a 35 year old machine. He even had all of his tapes, many of the inlay cards contained my hand writing and that of my school mates!”
How Microsoft fixed the worst thing about product packaging – “Thanks in no small part to Apple, packaging design is a major part of the design process at many companies today. So when designing the new Xbox Adaptive Controller–a gamepad for people who might not have use of their limbs at all–Microsoft realized it also had to figure out how to build a box for it that was just as accessible and amazing, too.”