Mercedes Promises Self-Driving Taxis in Just Three Years

Mercedes is also jumping into the race to finish the driverless car and get into the seemingly very profitable future market. “That’s a big part of the reason the market for partly and fully self-driving vehicles could be worth $42 billion in just seven years and $77 billion by 2035, according to Boston Consulting Group” (Davies, 2017 April 04). This very profitable market has attracted multiple different companies into the race. “If you’re betting on Silicon Valley stars like Google, Tesla, and Uber to free you from your horrorshow commute with autonomous driving technology, don’t. That’s the key takeaway from a new report that finds Ford—yes, the Detroit-based, 113-year-old giant—is winning the race to build the self-driving car, with General Motors running a close second. Renault-Nissan, Daimler, and Volkswagen round out the top five. Meanwhile, Waymo—aka Google’s driverless car effort—sits in sixth place, with Tesla in twelfth. Uber languishes in sixteenth, behind Honda and barely ahead of startup Nutonomy and China’s Baidu” (Davies, 2017 April 03). Although these tech companies are ahead in the technology aspect, the strategies developed by Ford and GM in the actual automotive industry give them a cutting edge advantage over some of their key competitors.

Having these different factors of manufacturing and go-to-market strategy being taken into consideration, it may not be too far off for Daimler to make claims which seem farfetched currently. This company seems to be on more of the cutting edge when it comes to cars and getting these cars out on the roads as soon as possible seems very advantageous to these new developers. This current climate and race seems similar to the race to the moon, but now is being displayed in the private sector instead of politics. However, we can expect to see self-driving cars becoming a more prevalent reality within the near future.


Google’s Robocar Lawsuit could Kill Uber’s Future and Sent Execs to Prison

Currently Uber is in a tight spot with many ongoing allegations against the company. “Now, on top of political criticisms of CEO Travis Kalanick and accusations of a sexist corporate culture, the company must worry about a legal dispute that could cost it a truckload of money, kill its self-driving research, and even land more than one executive in prison” (Marshall, 2017).

The current allegation laid against Uber is of an employee stealing information from Google and utilizing it for Uber’s development. “The lawsuit, which Waymo filed Thursday, alleges former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski secretly downloaded 14,000 files proprietary technical files before leaving to found self-driving truck startup Otto. Uber acquired Otto last summer and put Levandowski in charge of its self-driving efforts” (Marshall, 2017). The lawsuit is based on the fact that information was stolen from Google and is being used illegally by Uber to gain an edge against Google’s own self-driving effort called Waymo.

The precedent for this accusation Google is making towards Uber is found under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. “This important new legislation creates a federal, private, civil cause of action for trade-secret misappropriation in which ‘[a]n owner of a trade secret that is misappropriated may bring a civil action… if the trade secret is related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce’” (Cohen, n.d.). The trade secret Google claims were research done for Waymo and used for research on one of Uber’s latest acquisitions, Otto.

Uber’s earliest response does not find the claims to be substantial and thinks the lawsuit will not come to action. “An Uber spokesperson calls Waymo’s lawsuit a ‘baseless attempt to slow down a competitor’” (Marshall, 2017). As this case has just been filed, more information will be needed to understand what the future implications are.


Uber sues Seattle over law allowing drivers to unionize

“The Seattle City Council has approved a law allowing the drivers of on-demand ride companies like Lyft and Uber to unionize” (Golson, 2006). “It allows for drivers for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft to unionize and collectively bargain for better working conditions, earnings, and other benefits” (Hawkins). These unions will provide much needed advantages to currently underprivileged drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft. This current need for better working conditions for drivers of companies like Uber is recognized by Uber as well. “The company recently named 2017 ‘the year of the driver’ and has said it will devote energy and resources to improving its relationship with the hundreds of thousands of people who drive on its platform” (Hawkins). The company recognizes implicitly the working conditions and compensations for the driver are not currently being met for the drivers’ needs and desires.

The company has recently received some poor press and reputation. “But the company’s bungled response to a taxi strike during the recent JFK protests led to a grassroots #DeleteUber campaign that saw 200,000 riders canceling their accounts” (Hawkins). Uber has not always maintained the best view within the eyes of the public and is currently looking to develop a stronger reputation among the applications users.

Uber’s main legal argument describes the authorities of Seattle of being incosistent with the labor laws of the city. “Shortly thereafter, Uber filed a lawsuit challenging the city’s rulemaking authority, calling it ‘arbitrary and capricious’ and inconsistent with ‘fundamental labor laws,’ according to court document” (Hawkins). Uber claims these laws do not have purpose and display a brash decision-making process on behalf of the city of Seattle.


ECommerce and Some of its Difficulties

E-commerce is something which has begun to dominate our increasingly online culture. This word is used for any type of business involving the transfer of information across the Internet, as according to Network Solutions. Understanding this definition broadens it past just transactional payments or goods and services rendered to others, but informational transactions on the web. The trading of information across the Internet has become a standard practice in today’s culture and along with this practice there are many challenges and difficulties plaguing the further development of e-commerce.

One challenge facing e-commerce is the need for amazing and seamless experiences by the customer across multiple platforms, according to Echidna. A lot of time has to be spent in the design of an application for it to be appealing and intuitive for a customer to be able to use. This creates a large focus on design and lots of time needed for the front-end when the back-end may be just as important. Not only this, but it requires collaboration among sellers and the channels which allow a person to buy. Not always will these be the same companies but may require a certain amount of collaboration over multiple companies. As is displayed, creating spaces for organizations to work together is always difficult.

Another major concern when dealing with e-commerce is the inevidability of hacking occurring, as described by My eCommerce. Significance does not matter to a hacker, but at some point there will probably be some form of security breach on a site. This could create a large issue for customer information integrity. Compromising the data of the customers’ transactional information can cause false spending on the part of the hacker to issue large expenditures not desired by the customer of the site. Therefore, security measures need to be taken to ensure the integrity of the data provided to the website.

Seller and buyer retention is another major difficulty in eCommerce, as described by Provectus. With the amount of websites available to people for the purpose of eCommerce, certain options will be more valuable for certain periods of tims as opposed to others. With the fast paced changing of platforms, being able to maintain a steady customer base is nearly impossible. One must maintain itself as the major site for buyers and sellers to return and maintain loyalty to a particular seller. Being the best option is of the utmost importance.

These three issues detailed above describe some of the difficulties found in the growing field of eCommerce. In a fast-paced and changing world, it is imperative to stay just ahead of the curve to make one’s platform the best in its field. Taking into considerations some of these challenges and paying attention to these particular details is a great start.

Two Tools of the Human Mind

The mind is intriguing. It allows a person to dissect and understand topics in distinct parts. It can also put together difficult concepts into a larger whole. These are two distinct tools at the mind’s disposal. Is there a default setting? To try and understand what a default setting of a person’s mind may be try and read the following text as displayed by

“Aoccdrnig to a rseearch sduty at Cmabridge Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oreder the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.”

I find this an interesting concept as the text, although scrambled does not actually cause me great difficulty when trying to decipher what it says. Now brainhq posits these are not well enough scrambled words and the context provides enough information for people to decipher what it is saying beyond this. But even providing the context of the article, does this not prove the power of the human mind to synthesize information?

The theory of this student, provided from the information above, is synthesis occurs frequently within the human mind on a default basis. Not only this, but synthesis must develop from practice. A person who is not as experienced in the English language would have great difficulty deciphering the hidden message in the scrambled text above. The power of synthesis and the human mind is great, but only due to the recognition of past forms is the mind able to decipher the intended message so quickly above.

Countering this point, people are also prone to look at typos when they encounter a document for the first time as opposed to someone who has poured over the document repeatedly. This explains the value of an editor. People utilize editors frequently because they are not able to recognize certain mistakes in his or her writings due to the nature of exposure. The more a person is exposed to a particular form, the more apt one is to look at the nature of the text in its whole as opposed to understanding and analyzing each particular part. Providing such a fresh perspective from an editor allows for a deeper analysis which may be eluding for the author viewing the intended whole as opposed to the real component parts.

The mind utilizes analysis and synthesis on a daily basis, and the need for both is imminent for any who wishes to learn. The theories presented above describe analysis and synthesis when it comes to a familiar topic, language. Analysis and synthesis are not simply attributed to this, but occur in other categories as well. Analysis and synthesis are practiced things and provide power in the realm of learning and understanding new concepts.

To Share One’s Human-ness: A Discourse on Human Communication

Human communication is a broad concept with a vast area of influence. Exploring this topic can be difficult to understand as a whole. Therefore, it is helpful to separate the large whole and understand it according to these terms. To begin, one must look at human communication as a word to understand what the parts of it is, in order to grasp a whole.

The term has two distinct words to be broken apart and observed in their own right. These two distinct words being “human” and “communication.” According to the Online Etymology Dictionary (2016) the word communication stems from the Latin infinitive “communicare” which means “to share.” This concept of sharing is implied when thinking of what it means to communicate. This is a process which people utilize “to share.” The question this line of thought provokes is, what is one sharing? If communication truly is “to share,” then there must be an object which is being shared. This can be understood and described by the other word within the term.

Consulting the same etymology dictionary (2016), human derives from the Latin “homo” which means man, or human being. This, at the face value, does not seem very helpful towards understanding what we are sharing. But, when considered at length, it can be determined this is exactly what is being shared. Within human communication, what is being shared is one’s humanity. The different aspects which comprise a person of their own distinct “human-ness.”

In summation of this exercise in our exploration of the term, “human communication,” it can be said to mean, “to share one’s human-ness.” Human-ness, meaning, these distinct aspects which comprise a person of their humanity. A follow-up questions which must be addressed is, what are some of these things which comprise a person’s humanity? As this is a very abstract concept, it will take quite a few practical examples to better understand.

One example of how someone can express an aspect of their human-ness comes from Thriving on Chaos (1987). Tom Peters provides an Information Artifact (Gillette, 2016) describing management and breaking it down for others to understand. Tom Peters’ human-ness, in this context, is characterized by his experience in the business sector and, more specifically, management. Not only does he describe part of his human-ness in the business sector, but also in the scholarly realm as well. Although, an interesting task of Peters’ is to elude to a less scholarly and educated version of himself for success in the business arena. Although Peters has obtained a doctorate he has omitted this from his name on the front of the book. He not only does that but also describes a works cited section as acknowledgements at the very in what is the smallest font size of the book. This gives the impression of less scholarly work attached to the book to allow for an emphasis on “doing”” as is respected in the business world.

Tom Peters’ captures a large aspect of humanity in this information artifact. This broad category, as it can be defined, is experience. Experience seems to be the main driver of such a text as it allows Peters to have well-developed formulated theories on the subject. Human experience plays a large role in who someone is and how they continue to react to the world and towards other humans. As other outcroppings of humanity, or human-ness, impact someone elses, it forms a new way for one to share his/her own human-ness.

“For example, the term may only hold meaning in reference to the spoken word between two people while to others it could hold a deeper meaning such as the unspoken bond between a human mother and child” (Eber, 2016). My fellow team member Rick Eber points out a key concept into defining a person’s human-ness. My teammate uses the concept of depth to describe the two different interchanges. As this is helpful, it does not totally suffice for understanding what this “deep-ness” is referring to, emotional depth. The key differing factor between the two aforementioned interchanges deals with the emotional depth being shared. Sharing the emotion is a key characteristic in and of itself. The Online Etymology Dictionary (2016) provides insight into the component parts of the word emotion; the first part stems from Latin prefix “ex-” meaning out, while the second stems from Latin “movere” meaning move. Putting this together we come to understand emotion as an outward motion. Intuitively we understand this concept as we describe people having no emotion, or some as being very emotional. People often confuse this concept with feelings instead of the emotional outcroppings, or the movement of oneself outwards.

Stepping back to the example of a child and a mother, one can intuitively understand and see the connection between the two parties due to emotion. The mother and child both connect with one another due to the outwards motion of what is occurring inside each. Another example of how emotion is inseparable from human communication is when one person attempts communication to another person of a different language.

Having been in a situation such as this before, speaking and sharing complex concepts of an intellectual nature is nearly impossible. However interactions may still carry great meaning as you both connect in your human-ness. Laughter transcends barriers as well as tears. These outwards motions of one’s human-ness allows a person to interact and empathize with another without the same complex coding system, or language.

Another aspect of an outcropping of one’s human-ness is one’s self-identity. A concept of a self-identity does not refer to how one truly is in the context of things, but it refers to a view of oneself. How a person views him or herself is a form of one’s human-ness. A concept, or theory, of who a person is, is inexplicably ties towards how we share our humanity with others. “Finally, theories are intimately tied to action.. How we think – our theories – guide how we act; and how we act – our practices – guide how we think” (Littlejohn, 2011). Littlejohn and Foss drive home this point well. To consider oneself a certain person with a particular identity allows a person to carry themselves with such a particular identity.

To provide an example of who considers himself/herself to be a strong and independent person will share in his/her human-ness in a distinctly different way that someone who perceives themselves as a weak person who needs others badly. The first person does not worry about harming the feelings of others whereas the second would care deeply whether his/her actions are affecting other people. If you were to insult both of these people the first would either not care because there’s no need for you or offence you back. Insulting the second might be met with agreement, or admission of accusations being true. Though self-esteem and self-identity are different, self-esteem does play a large role in building self-identity.

Take a moment and consider the question, “Who are you?” What is the first thing to come to mind? Though this may not be a complete self-identity it may reflect the most important aspect. Considering what you thought of first as being the most relevant because this concept of yourself is at the forefront of your mind. Now consider how this self-identity affects your actions. This identity more than likely, shapes your practice and everyday life all the time. It is probably your guiding theory. You live your life thinking of yourself as, “something.” This something details and describes how you relate with others using your human-ness to share in others’ human-ness.

This does not comprehensively describe what it means to be a human. However, it does break down one gigantic area into three huge areas to better understand what it means to communicate. To share in one’s human-ness. It must be mentioned this occurs in many different forms. “One can shout, whisper, wave with a hand, text a message, write an email, or send a letter. However, absence of human communication can also be representative of human communication” (Davlatov, 2016). My fellow DS describes many ways people express, or share, their human-ness with one another. These outcroppings can be separated into three different types. “This being said, it is my hypothesis that human communication can be defined by the unity of these three subcategories as such: a utilization of verbal, non-verbal. Or written action to convey a thought, message, or piece of information” (Ulrick, 2016). These different mediums for communicating encapsulate the different modes of sharing in one’s human-ness. Verbal includes the act of spoken word or in conversation. Non-verbal includes the act of body language or subtext given within a live conversation. One confusing [I CAN’T BELIEVE I USED THE WORD CONFUSING IN THIS PAPER I AM AN IDIOT READING THIS AT A LATER TIME… I WANT TO CHANGE THIS WORD IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE HE IS GOING TO TEAR INTO IT!!!! (rant over)] aspect for me is the concept of sign-language. It would seem a non-verbal act, but at the same time it is the course of a verbal interaction for people who are unable to communicate verbally. The last aspect, as purported by moy colleague, involves written word. This includes any text givent which must be read, such as the Information Artifact, Thriving on Chaos. These different medium allow for multiple pathways and methods for human communication to occur.

To dive back into the guiding premise, all of this is to say human communication is, “to share one’s human-ness.” This developes straight from the term and has many implications as described through the discourse of this essay. To understand what this means completely, it must be understood what human-ness, or one’s humanity, entails. This is broken down into three distinct parts; experience, emotion, and self-identity. These three components encapsulate what it means to be a human and to have human-ness. Although it is great “to share’ this, these different media for sharing fall under three major categories; verbal, non-verbal, and written. These forms of communication develop a person’s ability to share and help one understand how to better go about such a process. To share one’s human-ness, this is the essence of human communication.


Harper, D. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved November 01, 2016, from

Davlatov, D. (2016). The Essence of Information Transfer: Human Communication Defined. Unpublished manuscript Muncie, IN: Center for Information and Communication Sciences.

Eber, R. (2016). Human Communication: Defining the Undefinable. Unpublished manuscript Muncie, IN: Center for Information and Communication Sciences.

Peters, T. J. (1987). Thriving on Chaos: Handbook for a management revolution. New York: Knopf.

Gillette, J. E. (2016). Class Discourse: ICS 602. Muncie, IN: Center for Information and Communication Sciences.

Ulrick, R. (2016). Human Communication: A Theory of a Graduate Student. Unpublished manuscript Muncie, IN: Center for Information and Communication Sciences.

Revolution vs. Renaissance

People seem to place value on items throughout history. These items have been stored and bartered. Some examples of things which have been deemed valuable are gold, silver, land, food, and many other things. The main valuable product today is viewed as information. Being able to capture, interpret, understand, and apply information into multiple circumstances provides magnanimous returns. Companies recognize this today as they consistently monitor, store, analyze, and apply multitudes of information on any subject which gives them some form of access.

This gold rush nature simulating the previous Sooner and Boomer culture causes a reminiscence within the human mind. People have always strove through great means to gather the desired end. Profit, or perceived profit, has caused people to throw themselves towards something seemingly valuable. Recently, people have experienced this great striving as the information revolution.  Today, people have begun to stipulate this gathering and laid down frameworks for the information revolution leading to less upheaval and survival of the fittest mentality. No longer is it a brutish task to collect and decipher as much information as humanly possible, but these stipulations and regulations allow for less a revolution and more a renaissance. This information renaissance is the rebirth of tackling the information age with a newfound interest as regulations and stipulations have begun to form.

The Information Renaissance denotes a distinct change from the earlier brute force clambering to be the front-runner in the information age, but allows for a less barbaric rise to success. It allows for peoples’ privacies to be protected and stipulates what is allowed by these information seekers. Having stipulations in place to regulate this process does not deter others from engaging, but allows for new players and new ideas to flourish in the information age. Creating space for new ideas and new processes creates the exact space and creativity needed for a rebirth into the information age.

If you wish to explore this topic further, a great resource developing an in-depth opinion on this issue can be found from Dr. Jay Gillette.

A Means to an End

A question people have considered is if ends justify means. There are multiple ways to accomplish tasks and goals, but some methods traipse over others’ rights. These ends can be great, yet lack moral and ethical integrity, just ask the makers of Soylent Green. Integrity is most notably described as the quality of being honest or fair. As an applicant for a Master of Science maintaining one’s integrity can be difficult. Does receiving a degree justify using another person’s work without recognition?

This question prompts the need for a discussion about academic integrity. Academic integrity has its place in all academic institutions and must be understood to be avoided. The International Center for Academic Integrity holds to six core values: honesty, truth, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage. What this institution is trying to arrive at is a level of recognition for the work people have undergone already. Being up front about using others’ work and explaining what caused someone to arrive at an idea or position is important. John of Salisbury once said “We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.” This describes how we have used the work of previous people to stand upon and make new insights with the foundation provided.

Working within Ball State also has implications as the institution also holds closely to a need for academic integrity as displayed on their website. Section VII of the student code discusses the student academic ethics policy and the lengthy process undergone when the policy is not met by students. These policies and measures taken to ensure the code is followed displays the need for academic integrity across campuses and the weight placed on it by academic institutions.

The ends do not justify the means when a lack of academic integrity is in play. It is imperative a person considers what process is undertaken for achievement. Without consideration of means, the ends may have serious consequences and repercussions. One must not compromise integrity to achieve a short-term goal as the long-term implications are far worse than the near-sighted gains.

Fish and Water

A monkey hangs from a tree overlooking a river and therein sees a fish. The monkey sees it flailing and struggling in the water and considers how the fish must be in distress completely submerged. The monkey sees the fish has no legs or arms so there must be no way for it to get out of the water and save itself. So the monkey has compassion on the fish and reaches in to brings the fish to dry land saving the fish. Much to the monkey’s delight, it sees the fish can finally rest after a long struggle in the water as it falls into a deep slumber.

One understands from this story the fish is not sleeping, but has been killed unintentionally. This story points out how different contexts can allow different beings to thrive within them. The setting, or context, plays a major role in the fish’s ability to live. Similarly the Center for Information and Communication Science (CICS) is affected by its own context, the United States of America. One question stemming from this analogy is, “How does the US impact CICS, just as water and dry land have different impacts on the fish?”

Before assessments can be made about the value of the context, it is first important to understand the nature of the fish. The major mission of CICS is to develop leaders in the professional sector between business and technology. This goal is met through a rigorous Master of Science program in Information and Communication Technologies at Ball State University. There are factors of the United States context which give life to CICS while other aspects have a killing affect.

One way the USA is water to CICS is through its emphasis on information and information technology development. This has sparked opportunities for CICS to grow and develop utilizing materials provided within the US. There are a plethora of technology companies seeking advancement and development in the information field created many opportunities due to the monetary investment of the nation. The environment calls for programs to produce people who have experience with information technologies. CICS recognizes this and develops leaders in the field to meet this need for experienced professionals. CICS provides this experiences with information technologies in their courses to stimulate learning helping graduates thrive in the ICT field.

Another aspect of the US context which helps CICS grow is through the connectivity of the nation. For better, or worse, the United States is becoming a more interconnected place. One example comes from the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). A major research area within the US right now is the IoT or the interconnection of all devices to provide information one may need at any given time. Allowing communication to flow freely between any platform whether it is a refrigerator, car, television, phone, computer, or toilet. Information is being sent between multiple objects to render potential problems as solutions. This growth and development in information development requires leaders to be at the forefront providing CICS with a great purpose and identity in the US.

The US is a life-giving place for CICS to grow and develop. This keeps CICS developing and swimming. If the US was not a context in which CICS could develop, it too would be sleeping restfully on the dry land as the monkey sits by feeling good about its heroism. This however is not the case, and until the context of the US becomes detrimental to CICS, or the identity of CICS fundamentally changes so it may not thrive, i.e. if a fish were to sprout lungs, then the success and life of CICS will continue on.