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Smart, connected products require that companies build an entirely new technology infrastructure, consisting of a series of layers known as a “technology stack” (see the exhibit “The New Technology Stack”). This includes modified hardware, software applications, and an operating system embedded in the product itself; network communications to support connectivity; and a product cloud (software running on the manufacturer’s or a third-party server) containing the product-data database, a platform for building software applications, a rules engine and analytics platform, and smart product applications that are not embedded in the product. Cutting across all the layers is an identity and security structure, a gateway for accessing external data, and tools that connect the data from smart, connected products to other business systems (for example, ERP and CRM systems).

Smart, connected products require companies to build and support an entirely new technology infrastructure. This “technology stack” is made up of multiple layers, including new product hardware, embedded software, connectivity, a product cloud consisting of software running on remote servers, a suite of security tools, a gateway for external information sources, and integration with enterprise business systems.

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This technology enables not only rapid product application development and operation but the collection, analysis, and sharing of the potentially huge amounts of longitudinal data generated inside and outside the products that has never been available before. Building and supporting the technology stack for smart, connected products requires substantial investment and a range of new skills—such as software development, systems engineering, data analytics, and online security expertise—that are rarely found in manufacturing companies.

Intelligence and connectivity enable an entirely new set of product functions and capabilities, which can be grouped into four areas: monitoring, control, optimization, and autonomy. A product can potentially incorporate all four (see the exhibit “Capabilities of Smart, Connected Products”). Each capability is valuable in its own right and also sets the stage for the next level. For example, monitoring capabilities are the foundation for product control, optimization, and autonomy. A company must choose the set of capabilities that deliver its customer value and define its competitive positioning.

The capabilities of smart, connected products can be grouped into four areas: monitoring, control, optimization, and autonomy. Each builds on the preceding one; to have control capability, for example, a product must have monitoring capability.

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Smart, connected products enable the comprehensive monitoring of a product’s condition, operation, and external environment through sensors and external data sources. Using data, a product can alert users or others to changes in circumstances or performance. Monitoring also allows companies and customers to track a product’s operating characteristics and history and to better understand how the product is actually used. This data has important implications for design (by reducing overengineering, for example), market segmentation (through the analysis of usage patterns by customer type), and after-sale service (by allowing the dispatch of the right technician with the right part, thus improving the first-time fix rate). Monitoring data may also reveal warranty compliance issues as well as new sales opportunities, such as the need for additional product capacity because of high utilization.

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Anxiety is the voice in the back of your head that says, “something bad is going to happen.” It’s what keeps you awake at 2 a.m. thinking about something embarrassing you did — five years ago.

Not all introverts have anxiety, and extroverts and ambiverts can struggle with it, too. To be clear, introversion and anxiety aren’t the same thing . Introversion is defined as a preference for calm, minimally stimulating environments , whereas anxiety is a general term for disorders that cause excessive fear, worrying, and nervousness.

However, for many introverts, anxiety is a regular part of their lives. And indeed, anxiety is more common among introverts than extroverts, according to Dr. Laurie Helgoe .

What Is High-Functioning Anxiety?

Sometimes anxiety is obvious (think: panic attacks and sweaty palms), but that’s not always the case. Many people live with a secret form of anxiety called “high-functioning anxiety.” Outwardly, they appear to have it all together. They may even lead very successful lives. No one can tell from the outside that they’re driven by fear. Sometimes they don’t even realize it themselves .

Do you have high-functioning anxiety? Although not an official diagnosis, high-functioning anxiety is something countless people identify with. It’s closely related to Generalized Anxiety disorder , which affects 6.8 million adults in the U.S., women being twice as likely to experience it as men.

Here are fifteen common symptoms of high-functioning anxiety.

Your mind frequently jumps to the worst-case scenario in any given situation. As a result, you may find yourself over-preparing. For example, you might pack underwear and makeup in both your checked luggage and your carry-on, just in case the airline loses your suitcase. People see you as being the reliable one — and often your preparations do come in handy — but few people (if any!) know that your “ready for anything” mentality stems from anxiety.

Interestingly, many people with high-functioning anxiety don’t reveal just how nervous they are, which is another reason why it’s often a secret anxiety. You may have learned to compartmentalize your emotions.

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that people who are anxious see the world differently than people who aren’t anxious. In the study, anxious people were less able to distinguish between a safe stimulus and one that was earlier associated with a threat. In other words, anxious people overgeneralize emotional experiences — even if they aren’t threatening.

Which can be a real problem if you’re an introvert who needs plenty of downtime to recharge . This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re attending lots of social events; instead, you may feel a compulsion to always be getting things done or staying on top of things. Staying busy distracts you from your anxiety and gives you a sense of control.

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Something is toxic in the state of Denmark, as a pair of researchers recently discovered while archiving books at a university library.

Analyzing old books doesn’t sound like particularly dangerous work, unless those books happen to be covered in deadly arsenic, as researchers Jakob Povl Holck and Kaare Lund Rasmussen from the University of Southern Denmark recently found out. Writing in The Conversation , the two recount how they accidentally discovered three poisonous books in their university library , all of which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

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Holck and Rasmussen found the noxious books while trying to read old text hidden within the covers. Previously, library archivists had discovered that the covers of the three books had been manufactured from recycled materials, namely medieval manuscript fragments such as copies of Roman law and canonical law. In this well-documented recycling process , European bookbinders placed these fragments inside bindings to strengthen the base of the books. But for archivists, these manuscript fragments are hidden treasures waiting to be found.

Holck and Rasmussen were trying to identify the Latin texts embedded within the bindings, but a thick layer of green paint made the content impossible to read. To pierce through the paint, the researchers used a scanning technique known as X-ray fluorescence analysis, or micro-XRF. This technique is used to investigate the chemical elements of ancient pottery and old paintings, and it works by using X-rays to reveal the chemical spectrum of a material. In this case, the researchers were hoping to use micro-XRF analysis to discern the chemical elements of the ink under the paint, and to see if they could make out individual letters. To their shock, however, they discovered that the green layer of pigment was made from arsenic.

Arsenic is a highly toxic, naturally occurring substance that can trigger poisoning, cancer, and sometimes death. Symptoms after exposure can include a sore stomach, irritated intestines and lungs, nausea, diarrhea, and lesions on the skin. The covers of these three books were painted with Paris green, copper(II) acetate triarsenite, also known as “emerald green” due to its resemblance to the gemstone. Holck and Rasmussen elaborate further on the practice of using arsenic in paint in their Conversation article:

The arsenic pigment—a crystalline powder—is easy to manufacture and has been commonly used for multiple purposes, especially in the 19th century. The size of the powder grains influence on the colour toning, as seen in oil paints and lacquers. Larger grains produce a distinct darker green—smaller grains a lighter green. The pigment is especially known for its colour intensity and resistance to fading.

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