Content tagged “Computing and information technology”

Case study in analytics

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, the state's most prominent health insurer, is trying to nudge the market away from a fee-for-service model toward rewarding providers for improving patients' health.

Data sleuths

Talk of big data is all the rage in technology circles these days, and though plenty of people don't have a clue what it is, practically everyone is involved in its collection.

With tech taking over in schools, bills arise across US to curtail data collection

This year alone, Louisiana was among 36 states that introduced new legislation on student information privacy and security, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan research group. And as The New York Times reports, the state's bill—which prohibits public school employees from collecting information about students' political or religious beliefs, family income, relationships with ministers or doctors, and gun ownership, as well as protects students or prospective students from having to give school officials access to their personal social media accounts or email addresses—was among about 30 bills passed nationwide. The bills are emerging as technology companies are collecting a vast amount of data about students, touching every corner of their educational lives—with few controls on how those details are used. Now California is poised to become the first state to comprehensively restrict how such information is exploited by the...

Garage to globe

The sleek contoured interior of audio engineering company PreSonus Audio Electronics resembles the designs of the recording equipment, audio mixer boards, and speakers created within these walls. And although the company moved into its new 44,000-square-foot headquarters six months ago, the new-car smell has yet to wear off.

New software development center to create 245 jobs in Lafayette

St. Louis-based IT consulting services firm Perficient announced today it plans to open a new software development center in Lafayette. Gov. Bobby Jindal joined company officials in making the announcement, championing the project for the estimated 245 new direct jobs and 248 indirect jobs it will create. "Once again, our business climate, our quality colleges and universities, and our outstanding environment for technology investments in Acadiana have combined to produce a great win for Lafayette and our state," Jindal says in a prepared statement. Perficient plans to begin hiring in the fourth quarter, and will launch its operations before the end of the year. The firm is aiming to have made at least 50 hires by the end of 2015 and reached full employment within six years. At that time, the company is expected to have an annual payroll of $16 million in Lafayette. "We spent several months carefully assessing multiple markets and options across the United States for the build-out of...

Challa Kumar

Lab-on-a-chip technology has what Challa Kumar calls a "cool factor": Major things can happen in small devices.

Exploring the third dimension

3-D is no longer just for movies.
It has grabbed the attention of marketing firms, artists and other creative types in the Capital Region.
The technology enables them to design a digital 3-D object with computer-aided design software or scan a three-dimensional object with a 3-D scanner, then create that solid object with a 3-D printer. The technology has advanced rapidly and is now affordable enough to be widely available.

'Business Report': Law firms adding data security to list of specialties

Though data security breaches have been the stuff of news headlines for years, the dangers may not have hit home for many people until a major U.S. retailer fell victim to electronic hackers. As Business Report notes in a feature from the current issue, last year's security breach at Target Corp.—the third-largest retailer in America—compromised the credit card accounts of as many as 40 million people who had shopped at Target stores, forcing many to cope with credit disruptions. Investigators concluded the criminals captured data that was stored on the magnetic stripes of cards that customers had swiped at cash registers. The breach put into the hands of the attackers everything they would need to create counterfeit cards. The rising incidence of companies failing to protect data they collect from customers and vendors sends concerns rippling through businesses of all kinds. Many whose data worries previously centered on storing information in ways that ensure...

More than an IT guy

Though data security breaches have been the stuff of news headlines for years, the dangers may not have hit home for many people until a major U.S. retailer fell victim to electronic hackers.

Patients take control

Juggling constantly changing work, family and social calendars can make the task of scheduling a dental appointment quite challenging for even the most organized among us.

My Favorite Tech: Stafford Kendall

It's no small feat to be singled out from all of the small businesses across the country and named as one of 75 Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winners by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But that's just one of Covalent Logic's achievements under the leadership of Stafford Kendall. Her client list includes the likes of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, BREC, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Louisiana Economic Development, as well as publicly traded oil and gas companies, and hospitality firms.

My Favorite Tech: Calvin Fabre

Once writing software from his garage, he is now the man behind the vision, execution, and guidance of Envoc, a software and graphic design firm with offices in Baton Rouge and Hammond.

My Favorite Tech: Noah Boudreaux

This tech veteran who has worked with some of the nation's largest financial firms in software delivery and implementation was named chief operating officer in 2013 after climbing the Sparkhound ladder. He oversees operation of the entire organization—including the company's Support Services arm, which provides national IT support for customers' infrastructure and applications. On the side, he is an evangelist/enthusiast for Franklin Covey 4DX.

Mosely turns to Atlanta developer for Long Farm apartments; plans third filing

An Atlanta-based development company has signed a purchase agreement with Russell Mosely to acquire 12 acres at his Long Farm development, on which it plans to develop 276 multifamily units. "I'm excited we're going to have some nice apartments there," says Mosely, who is developing the project on a 237-acre site on Barringer Foreman Road, where his legendary grandfather, the late U.S. Sen. Russell Long, once did business and entertained visiting dignitaries. "The apartments drive retail and other uses at the project so this is a big step forward," Mosley says. ECI Group, a 40-year-old firm that develops, builds and manages real estate projects in the southeast, is developing the apartments, which will be located on the eastern portion of Long Farm, about 200 feet off of Antioch Road. Final development plans will be submitted to the Planning Commission today, says Mosely, who will also file plans today for a third filing of Long Farm. The 11.2-acre filing will be for 40 single-family...

A walk in the cloud

Talk of the cloud is all the rage in corporate technology circles, and some business owners may find the buzz a little off-putting, or even intimidating. How many CEOs, after all, can take time to go all nerdy and investigate the ins and outs of cloud computing?

Michael Richmond

Michael Richmond heads up the technology division of Postlethwaite & Netterville. A network engineer, he's the guy who knows what all those acronyms like LAN, WAN and SAN mean, and how to make them work. He has consulted with government agencies and varied private-sector markets alike on high-level security and compliance, as well as advanced network design and IT strategic planning.

Evan Smith

He is the creative mind behind lead characters for both PC and Xbox 360. The animator, designer, video game developer and part-time digital art instructor at LSU shares his favorite design tools for getting his game on.

Louisiana Digital Media Center dedicated on LSU campus

More than three years after ground was broken on the $29.3 million, 94,000-square-foot Louisiana Digital Media Center at the LSU campus, officials from the university, state and Electronic Arts Inc. convened today to formally dedicate the facility. The center serves as the permanent home of the EA North American Test Center—which occupies about 30,000 square feet in the building—as well as the LSU Center for Computation and Technology, which will encompass about 50,000 square feet. The LSU CCT's Arts, Visualization, Advanced Technologies and Research initiative—or AVATAR—is also based in the center, which includes instructional space with audio/visual capabilities to support LSU's academic research efforts related to digital media and software development. In total, about 190 LSU CCT faculty, staff and students will be located in the center, and another roughly 200 students are expected to use the center's facilities and classrooms each week. "Such companies...

We got game
This firm works with clients to develop original products from the ground up or to improve existing products.Contracts services to build unique video games, captivation graphic and motion design, and customized business software (including eLearning and training simulations) on a range of platforms including mobile,PC,Web, and game consoles.
Owners/CEOs: Jason Tate, founder and lead engineer; Evan Smith, founder and creative director
Founded: Late 2010
Employees: 9 full-time, 14 part-time
Key projects:
Swapdrop Poker, a mobile IOS app
Road Redemption, a PC game; console version in development for Play Station, Wii U and Xbox.

Key NSA surveillance reforms said to be hampered by complications

Several of the key surveillance reforms unveiled by President Barack Obama late last week face complications that could muddy the proposals' lawfulness, slow their momentum in Congress and saddle the government with heavy costs and bureaucracy, legal experts warn. Despite Obama's plans to shift the National Security Agency's mass storage of Americans' bulk phone records elsewhere, telephone companies do not want the responsibility. And the government could face privacy and structural hurdles in relying on any other entity to store the data. Constitutional analysts also question the legal underpinning of Obama's commitment to setting up an advisory panel of privacy experts to intervene in some proceedings of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees the NSA's data mining operations. Obama has asked Congress to set up such a panel, but senior federal judges already oppose the move, citing practical and legal drawbacks. The secret courts now operate with only...

President ponders limiting NSA access to phone records

President Barack Obama is expected to rein in spying on foreign leaders and is considering restricting National Security Agency access to Americans' phone records, people familiar with a White House review of the government's surveillance programs tell The Associated Press. Obama could unveil his highly anticipated decisions as early as next week. Today, the president is expected to discuss his review with congressional lawmakers, while his top lawyer plans to meet with privacy groups. Representatives from tech companies are meeting with White House staff on Friday. The White House says Obama is still collecting information before making final decisions. Among the changes Obama is expected to announce is more oversight of the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, a classified document that ranks U.S. intelligence-gathering priorities and is used to make decisions on scrutiny of foreign leaders. A presidential review board has recommended increasing the number of policy...

Cybersecurity essentials

For those in business, protecting against information security risks is a critical part of protecting the bottom line. Cyber threats are an issue for everyone, but small businesses in particular are becoming common targets because they often have fewer preventative or responsive resources. The new year is as good a time as any to take stock of what measures you might implement to protect against a cyber threat. So what do you need to know? Here are the essentials.

NSA seeks to build revolutionary quantum computer

In room-size metal boxes ­secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world. The Washington Post reports that documents provided to the newspaper by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show the effort to build "a cryptologically useful quantum computer"—a machine exponentially faster than classical computers—is part of a $79.7 million research program titled "Penetrating Hard Targets." Much of the work is hosted under classified contracts at a laboratory in College Park, Md. The development of a quantum computer has long been a goal of many in the scientific community, with revolutionary implications for fields such as medicine as well as for the NSA's code-breaking mission. With such technology, all current forms of public key encryption would be broken, including those used on many...

The big data challenge

From engineering to coastal studies, top researchers at LSU easily share a campus. But their ability to share data across cyberspace is another story.