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Month: July 2014

speaking of smart phones

speaking of smart phones

Good morning, All,

Can we not call it the Internet of Thing? How about the Internet of Devices, or if we’re married to IoT, let’s be more specific and just call it the Internet of Tracking. Think that you’re going to sit this IoT out for a while? Or that it’s still a ways off? Have a smartphone? Welcome aboard! And speaking of smart phones, in case you missed it, Apple left a backdoor on every iOS device.

No, we’re not going the paranoid route/NSA/possible governmental next steps in the name of ‘security,’ yea, even in a world where a TSA agent doesn’t know that the District of Columbia is part of the US. But security and our personal information are always of concern to us, especially in a world where networks are not secure – and more and more of the devices of our everyday lives are being connected. Read More...

Why is Yo worth so much?

Why is Yo worth so much?

Good morning, All,

In case you’ve been on a desert island or in a coma, welcome back, and yes, an app called Yo that was developed in half an hour or so, raised $1 million. Oh, wait, that was last week’s news and update – make that $1.5 million. We know what you’re thinking:

Y? Read More...

Breakfast-with-an-Angel-July

Breakfast-with-an-Angel-July

Good morning, All,

First, our next Breakfast with an Angel is tomorrow morning. You can register here. . Tech is an industry that loves its catch phrases and paradigms of the day. “We’re disrupting (INSERT VERTICAL HERE)” or “We’re the Airbnb/Uber of (INSERT VERTICAL HERE).” All well and good, but and like it or not, Airbnb and Uber quietly changed something. They did more than just herald what we’re now misnaming the sharing economy. It’s more than that: they disrupted, they fixed, they make money, and they empower people. Which was always the promise of tech. They raised the bar. And they wrote the blueprint for the possibilities of tech. They built a better mousetrap.

Uber didn’t really disrupt taxis. It disrupted car services – that’s the model, if you think about it. But they built a better mousetrap, and by extension, and disrupted taxis all over the world. Mistakes were made – and addressed. UberX rocks our world. Read More...

billionaire investors ,so-called business leaders

billionaire investors ,so-called business leaders

Good morning, All,

Simple math. Let’s give basic post pubescents millions – if not billion – of dollars, fawning accolades in the press, not to mention from billionaire investors and so-called business leaders. You think all of this might go to their heads and they might get the idea that they’re not only bullet-proof, but endowed with powers beyond those of mere mortals and –shudder – above the law? They may get older, but they don’t seem to outgrow it.

First, we had the reports of Facebook manipulating a small percentage of its users for data collection. ‘Small’ for Facebook is nearly 700,000 people. Not much less than the population of Alaska. The story has changed a few times
– has been altered/updated, but it’s pretty much FB standard practice to act first, offer a weak apology later. (Facebook COO tells users she deliberately tried to upset: “We never meant to upset you”. For the record, ‘she’ is that arbiter of appropriate behavior – Sheryl ‘Lean In’ Sandberg). Read More...

set TV innovation back a decade

set TV innovation back a decade

Good morning, All,

Two things happened last week to which attention must be paid. Aereo lost their right to exist, because, well, that’s the way court wanted it, since they pretty much ignored the facts and made their decision based on, that’s the way they wanted it. Aereo offered an “alternative to the bundle” that consumers are forced to accept from cable providers. (Why the Supreme Court just set TV innovation back a decade. The Supreme Court’s decision to kill Aereo was bad from a legal point of view — and downright horrible from a policy and innovation perspective.) The company ceased providing access to broadcast television as of this past Saturday. We’re reminded of Napster, which was also shut down by the courts in the Web 1.0 days and note to self and heads up to the broadcasters: even with napster gone, the music labels still failed to seize technology, thinking that it would just go away and leave them alone, and that given the court’s decision, it was game over and life as usual. Didn’t happen. Au contraire.

Google also held their i/o developer conference this past week, and here’s Everything You Need to Know. We’ll bottom line it: Android is “becoming contextually aware, flowing from place to place with you, and taking advantage of any input you throw at it—be it your voice aimed at a device on your wrist, a button on your steering wheel, your mouse on your laptop, or a gaming control on your TV.” They’re taking over your home, your car – they’re already at the office – and all sorts of other devices you may own now, or in the near future. (Does Nest remind anyone else of HAL – and just waiting for that little red eyeball to be enabled…) Let’s not forget what Google Everywhere really means. The cloud part of the announcement was interrupted by a protestor who chanted “wake the fuck up, you’re all working for a totalitarian company that builds robots that kill people.” Our question is: with Google in every aspect of our lives and waking moments, how are they different from the NSA, except that we opt in? Knowingly and completely? Read More...

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