Stories by Robert L. Mitchell

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium turned to cloud-based analytics when it needed a way to better predict how many visitors would be coming on any given day. With 65% of its expenses dedicated to payroll and attendance swings that ranged from 1,200 to 5,000 people per day, finding a way to ensure that staffing levels corresponded to attendance levels represented a huge opportunity for savings. "We live and breathe by attendance at the gate," says Donna Powell, business and administrative services manager at the Tacoma, Wash., facility.

Meet Cobol's hard core fans

Some of the world's largest businesses say their Cobol application infrastructure, running on state-of-the-art big iron, still delivers a powerful competitive advantage. The challenge going forward will be staffing it.

3D printing makes its move into production

The use of 3D printing for finished goods is about to disrupt manufacturing and supply chains in a big way. Here's why, and here's how IT will be critical to that transition.

The Internet of Things at home: Why we should pay attention

The Internet of Things is producing a lot of interesting consumer products that have the potential to lead to important enterprise tools. Here is a basic overview of the concept, together with examples of available products and what they offer.

Ad tracking: Is anything being done?

Online tracking is on the rise, but efforts to create a practical Do Not Track policy have slowed to a crawl. Meanwhile, users and browser companies are taking matters into their own hands.

The paranoid's survival guide, part 1: How to protect your personal data

Who says privacy is dead? While it's true that marketers, the government, data aggregators and others are gathering and analyzing more data than ever about every individual, you can still exert some control over what's out there, who's tracking you and what they do with that information.

Ad blockers: A solution or a problem?

Ad blockers can make websites cleaner and faster for users, but they can also take a nasty bite out of advertising revenue. How popular are they, and what can site publishers do about them?

Gotcha! FBI launches new biometric systems to nail criminals

Nearly 80 years after it began collecting fingerprints on index cards as a way to identify criminals, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is moving to a new system that improves the accuracy and performance of its existing setup while adding more biometrics.

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