The Morning Download: Newport News Shipbuilding CIO Tests Digital Tools - CIO Journal.

By Anonymous

Good morning, CIOs. Newport News Shipbuilding, supplier of aircraft carriers to the U.S. Navy, is looking at kitting out shipyard workers with mobile devices that include step-by-step instructions and 3-D representations of various parts of the construction process. Chief Information Officer Bharat Amin tells CIO Journal’s Sara Castellanos that the effort is part of his own goal of choosing strategic IT projects that will increase efficiency and save time and money.

Towards a model-based environment. The shipbuilder, the largest division of defense contractor Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., is a third of the way through a five-year plan to transition the paper-based shipbuilding process to a one that uses tablets and software. “Our goal was to create a model-based environment,” Mr. Amin said, “A 3-D model that we give them on a mobile device, where they can rotate it, turn it, and get instructions, and query it to ask, “How do I build and assemble this?”

Emerging tech to the rescue? In a field where time is money—lots and lots of money as previously reported by The Wall Street Journal —the hope is that such digital tools, including augmented reality, will lead to cost savings. “(We) want to improve the bottom line and overhead costs and improve cycle time,” Mr. Amin said.


Google’s risky pragmatism. In middle age, Alphabet Inc.'s Google's motto has gone from ‘Don’t be evil’ to something more like ‘Get real,’ Columnist Christopher Mims writes. Nowhere is this shift more apparanent than with news that the search giant is developing a search product to conform to China’s strict censorship.

Mission matters. Writes Mr. Mims: "There is an irony in Google’s attempt to strengthen its business by bending toward realpolitik. Many of the brightest people in tech come to Google not just for the catered meals and ample pay, but because they are stirred by its idealistic mission. Those people might be equally motivated by the company’s abandonment of it—to leave."

Case in point. The New York Times reports that Google employees are circulating a petition demanding more transparencey on the part of decision-makers. The letter identifies the China search engine, saying the project raises “urgent moral and ethical issues.”

And so.... Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai on Thursday told employees that the internet giant is “not close to launching a search product in China.” The WSJ's Douglas MacMillan has more.

Tesla faced earlier SEC scrutiny. Securities regulators began investigating last year whether Tesla Inc. misled investors about its Model 3 car production problems, people familiar with the matter tell the Journal. The Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed a parts supplier for the auto maker as part of the probe, one of the people said, well before the regulators began looking into Elon Musk’s tweet last week about taking the company private.

States deploy tech to track election hacking. States are installing into their election infrastructure a $5,000 sensor designed to track instrusions, Reuters reports. So far 34 of 50 states have installed the Albert sensor, which feeds cyber incident data to the Deparment of Homeland Security.

Hackers probed Alaska, say researchers. Shortly after Alaska Governor Bill Walker led a trade mission to China in May, hackers at China’s Tsinghua University probed American companies and Alaska-based government departments for vulnerabilities, according to cyber firm Recorded Future. A university official tells Reuters that the allegations were false.

Nvidia’s crypto business dries up, worrying investors. Nvidia Corp. reported robust sales and profits during its second quarter, but warned that revenue from products geared toward cryptocurrency mining would be sharply weaker than expected, the Journal's Micah Maidenberg reports. Nvidia's graphics processing units are well suited for many of the types of tasks required for the machine learning and the company said its data-center business--its fastest-growing segment--booked $760 million in sales, up 83% from a year earlier.

Foxconn plans China factory. Foxconn Technologies, the world's biggest contract manufacturer known for assembling Apple Inc's iPhones, will work with the city of Zhuhai in China’s Pearl River Delta to build a semiconductor plant, people familiar with the matter tell the Journal.


Every week, CIO Journal offers a glimpse into the mind of the CEO, whose view of technology is shaped by stories in management journals, general interest magazines and, of course, in-flight publications

Success in the year 2050: Roll with it. Depending on how one looks a it, the mid-century is shaping up to be a truly terrible or truly exciting time to live. "We cannot be sure of the specifics, but change itself is the only certainty," says Yuval Noah Harari, author of “Homo Deus” and a participant last year in a CIO Journal Q&A . “Humankind as a whole will increasingly have to deal with things nobody ever encountered before," he writes in Wired UK. What kind of things?  "Super-intelligent machines, engineered bodies, algorithms that can manipulate your emotions with uncanny precision, rapid man-made climate cataclysms, and the need to change your profession every decade.” To prosper in a future where "uncertainty is not a bug, but a feature” people will need to invent new ideas and products, of course, but also themselves "again and again," he writes.  Shorter: The Learning Annex lives.

Culture vs. strategy. Heidrick & Struggles asked 11,000 executives to weigh in on the age-old debate over whether strategy or culture supplied the “primary source of competitive advantage” to an orgnaization. The executive search firm found that those executives occupying higher positions of the organization placed a higher emphasis on culture. Why? One reason, according to Karen West and Elliott Stixrud, who both work at the firm’s R&D unit, is that the view from the top is just different. “As leaders rise higher they gain a more comprehensive view of the organization’s many moving parts and see culture as the means of aligning all those parts around strategy,” they write in Quartz.

It's the data, dolts. The New Yorker's Ian Frazier has fun with testimony by Cambridge Anaytica's Christopher Wylie in which he berated British lawmakers for having to "explain and re-explain and re-explain and re-explain, you know, how relational databases work, what is an eigenvector, what is dimensionality reduction.” What a bunch of noobs.


New York University said Thursday that it will cover tuition for all its medical students regardless of their financial situation. (WSJ)

Nevada’s Lake Mead, the biggest reservoir in the West, is on track to fall below a critical threshold in 2020, according to a new forecast by the Bureau of Reclamation. (WSJ)

Global stocks came under pressure amid a drop in the Turkish lira and lingering worries about China’s economy and trade relations. (WSJ)

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul who understood vocal harmony and phrasing perhaps better than any of her female pop and soul contemporaries, has died at 76. (WSJ)

The Morning Download cues up the most important news in business technology every weekday morning.