Posts Tagged ‘cloud computing’

ATETV Episode 5; Plus, ATETV Reports Live From the 2009 NSF ATE Conference!

Monday, October 19th, 2009

ATETV episode 5 is up, and this week we’re reporting on three different ATE success stories. First, we meet a young single mother studying process technology to improve life for her and her family. Then we see how the geospatial technology is bringing the centuries-old craft of surveying into the 21st century. Finally, we learn how internships are getting ATE students into jobs even before they graduate.

In other news, Wednesday through Friday this week the American Association of Community Colleges and the National Science Foundation are holding the 16th National ATE Principal Investigators Conference in Washington, D.C. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Technicians and the Green Economy,” and the conference organizers have followed through by “greening” proceedings, down to the 100-percent recycled reusable water bottles handed out to all participants.

In addition to discussing the meeting’s very timely theme, participants will attend sessions about making the most of their NSF grants, showcase their projects and network with ATE professionals in their fields from across the country. There’s even a session on making the most of social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook, led by ATETV advisor Gordon Snyder and featuring Mike Qaissaunee, the star of last week’s cloud computing segment.

In order to bring you an insider’s perspective on this week’s event, we’ve recruited two ATE students who will be in attendance to serve as ATETV correspondents. Josh Cleburn is a student at Lee College in Baytown, Texas, just outside Houston. Josh is the president of the school’s section of ISA — The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society.

Also reporting for us is Cristina Curatolo, who is representing Nashville State Community College at the conference. Originally, from Romania, Cristina is a student in NSCC’s Visual Communications program specializing in Multimedia Design. “For me this is a real honor and shows me how much my instructors respect the work that I have done,” Cristina said of attending this year’s conference. You can see an example of her work on her iTunes podcast.

Thanks to Josh and Cristina for their help, and check back in here for more from this year’s conference.  Our correspondent team will be sending live updates throughout the conference via Twitter and uploading photos via Facebook after the event.

We are also starting a discussion in the forum called ATE Conference: Technicians in the Green Economy.  Students, teachers, and other conference attendees can share their thoughts in this thread and keep us updated throughout the week.

We also would love to see your photos and hear your updates in our Facebook fan page.  Feel free to post photos and share your experiences with us.  For those “tweeting” from the event, follow our hashtag #ATEPI to stay up to date!

Cloud Computing and ATETV Updates

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Episode 4 of ATETV is up today, and things are heating up on ATETV.org. We’re busy planning our coverage of the upcoming National Science Foundation ATE Conference, which starts October 21.  The event is only open to principal investigators on NSF grants, but we’re recruiting attendees to send live twitter updates from the proceedings for us. We’ll also have some follow-up stories coming out of the gathering in the weeks to come.

For our last segment this week, we hit Times Square to ask passers-by about a tech term that’s been in the news lately: cloud computing.  We got some pretty creative responses, which you can see in the video above.

Basically, cloud computing refers to moving data and applications off the hard drives in individual computers and into the “cloud”:  farms of servers that can be accessed by any computer or mobile device, anywhere, anytime.

“All the software lives in the cloud. You no longer have to worry about installing software,” says Mike Qaissaunee, associate professor at Brookdale Community College.  “You no longer have to worry about downloading updates.”

Web-based email programs like Hotmail and Gmail are early examples of cloud computing.  With those services, your inbox doesn’t exist on your computer but on a server at Microsoft or Google.

If you’ve used an online service like Apple’s MobileMe to synchronize your contacts or calendar between your computer and your PDA, you’ve used cloud computing. If you’ve run any program in your Web browser instead of off your hard drive, you’ve been up in the cloud as well.

Google Docs, which lets users edit and share text and spreadsheets with coworkers online, is a more sophisticated example.  That sort of online collaboration is the big advantage of cloud computing, says Qaissaunee.  “It changes the whole way that you work.”

Apart from changing the way coworkers and students collaborate, cloud computing also means big opportunities for ATE students.  Storing more data in the cloud means more servers that need to be maintained, and since users expect access to their data 24/7, those servers need to be up and running constantly.

That means new careers for technicians who can maintain those servers.  More servers also means more electricity usage, which puts even greater strain on our energy resources. As cloud computing ramps us, so will the demand for alternative energy sources and conservation.  That means more jobs in green tech.

Cloud computing also presents new challenges in privacy and security. How should companies stores users’ personal information in the cloud?  How do they protect users’ data from identity theft?  As computer scientists and companies grapple with these issues, ATE programs and community colleges will be a vital link between the latest tech and the students who will be putting it into practice.

For more thoughts on cloud computing and other science and tech topics, check out cloud computing expert, Mike Qaissaunee’s blog.