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Women in Tech
Is the Gartner Magic Quadrant Obsolete?
August 5, 2020
Once upon a time, it seemed no organization had its finger on the pulse of technology more than research consulting firm Gartner. Global corporations, technology companies, and the investment community have trusted Gartner for insights and analysis across a range of market sectors. But today, that leading position has eroded, and the merits of one of the company's most widely known and used tools, the "Magic Quadrant," has lost its relevance.
Congress vs. Big Tech: Breaking Up Is Hard (and Stupid) to Do
August 3, 2020
Like a lot of you, last week I watched the congressional testimony from the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google -- and there were a lot of apparent things that were problematic. One is that there are folks in Congress that likely shouldn't be in Congress, and another is that each company has some serious issues they haven't dealt with.
Why Microsoft Teams Will Be the De Facto Standard for Video Collaboration
July 20, 2020
I've been covering video conferencing since before we called it video conferencing. It has been an exciting and somewhat painful technology to watch because it seemed like everyone in the segment fundamentally didn't understand that if you don't have interoperability and didn't focus on ease of use, it wouldn't work. Let's talk this week about why Microsoft Teams is trending to be the new standard for video collaboration.
Google Clamps Down on Ads for Spyware, Stalkerware
July 14, 2020
Advertising for software and hardware designed to stalk and spy on people will soon be banned on Google. Promotion of products or services that are marketed or targeted with the express purpose of tracking or monitoring another person or their activities without their authorization will be prohibited on the platform starting Aug. 11.
AI Advantages in the Wake of the Pandemic
July 10, 2020
Artificial intelligence will play a major role as we try to move to a post-pandemic world, especially as it pertains to tracking people's health and wellbeing in public areas. Employers will tap technology solutions to help them face challenges such as adhering to new rules and regulations, monitoring compliance, and ensuring employee confidence and morale remains positive.
DHS Brings Web App to Coronavirus Fight
July 7, 2020
The Department of Homeland Security, through its Science & Technology Directorate, has released a web app to help predict the decay rate of coronavirus in the air. The tool, entitled "Estimated Airborne Decay of SARS-CoV-2," accounts for the ambient temperature, relative humidity, and UV index in an outdoor environment to determine how much exposure time is required to "inactivate" certain proportions of aerosolized coronavirus.
The Changing Dynamics of Essential Product Sourcing
July 1, 2020
The heart of the manufacturing world was the first region to feel the effects of the pandemic. While we have seen some stabilization, many challenges remain in terms of pricing, reliability, and the supply chain itself. Let's take a closer look at these challenges to better understand how best to navigate sourcing essential products from Asia in the current landscape.
Open Source Security Issues Exist: Deal With Them, Report Urges
June 25, 2020
Open Source Software is becoming much more commonplace within organizations, bringing a different set of risks and perceived challenges compared to closed source or proprietary software. The Information Security Forum has released a report to help security professionals recognize the benefits and perceived challenges of using Open Source Software.
Creators of Fashionable PPE Join Forces for Good
June 23, 2020
In the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic this spring, entrepreneurs Rebecca Cahua and Vivian Qu joined forces, skills, and teams to create and bring to production a reuseable nanofiltration mask that combines a high level of filtration with breathability and comfort. The E-Commerce Times spoke with Cahua and Qu to hear the story behind their new mask.
Macs Move to Apple Silicon Announced at WWDC
June 23, 2020
Apple's 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference will probably be known for two things: it was the first time the forum was staged virtually, and it's when Apple announced it would start making Macs based its own processor designs. "Now it's time for a huge leap forward for the Mac, because today is the day we're announcing that the Mac is transitioning to our own Apple silicon," Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the virtual keynote presentation.
Amazon's Distance Assistant Keeps Workers Aware of Proper Social Spacing
June 17, 2020
Amazon is rolling out a system that combines artificial intelligence and augmented reality to help workers maintain social distancing in the workplace. The new system has been deployed at a handful of Amazon buildings, but the company plans to deploy hundreds of the units in the coming weeks. Augmented reality is used to create a magic-mirror-like tool that enables workers to see their physical distance from each other.
Rethinking Remote Education
June 8, 2020
In these trying times, kids have to deal with a lot of stuff they weren't prepared for: a significant loss of weeks of education, damaged GPAs, and no assurance they'll be going back in the fall. However, some schools were able to pivot because they already had implemented remote programs that were mature, easily implemented, and designed by teachers for teachers.
Back to the RSS Future
June 5, 2020
For understandable reasons, people feel worn down by the volume and composition of the media coming at them. This fatigue stems from a few compounding factors. There is a strong perception that the character of the information presented by the media is warped by highly polarized players. Media consumers are concerned about how the invisible hand of algorithms influences the content they see.
Google Sued for Tracking Chrome Users While Incognito
June 5, 2020
Google is facing a class-action lawsuit for tracking people who used the Chrome browser's Incognito mode. Law firm Boies Schiller Flexner filed the complaint on behalf of people who used the privacy mode during the past four years. "Google tracks and collects consumers' history and other Web activity no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy," it states.
Jack Dorsey and the End of Twitter
June 1, 2020
I'm a member of what is likely a reasonably sizable informal group of people who trained to be a CEO but declined the job -- in my case, several times. So I don't envy the position that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is in as he tries to figure out a way to do the right thing concerning the spread of false information and defend his company against an attack by the designated leader of the free world.
Apple-Google Contact Tracing App Gets First Trial in Switzerland
May 29, 2020
Switzerland has launched a pilot program for SwissCovid, a contact tracing app based on Apple and Google's jointly developed APIs. The APIs will work with iOS 13.5 and devices running Android 6.0 or higher. The pilot involves several thousand workers at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, ETH Zurich, the Swiss Army, and staff at some hospitals and cantonal administrations.
Necessity May Give Us a Virtual Court System
May 25, 2020
One of the exciting things that came out of Microsoft Build was that the company has been working to create virtual court solutions. If done right, a virtual system could fix a lot of court-related problems. It would allow judges to work around their schedules better and give attorneys improved access to online resources. It also might provide a way for jurors to improve their understanding.
Work.com and the CRMification of Society
May 20, 2020
CRMification is the process by which the culture absorbs CRM technology, processes and techniques to achieve some kind of new utility for getting things done better, faster and cheaper. Today we should add safer too. Another way to state it is that CRM is a disruptive innovation in the culture. The next normal will have something to do with CRM.
Apple Gingerly Sets More Stores to Reopen
May 19, 2020
Apple has reopened nearly 100 of its retail outlets around the world and plans to open another 25 in the U.S. and 12 in Canada. All of its retail stores previously were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our commitment is to only move forward with a reopening once we're confident we can safely return to serving customers from our stores," noted Apple SVP of Retail Deirdre O'Brien.
Facebook Sets Up Political Advocacy Group as High-Tech Teeters on Edge
May 13, 2020
Facebook has set up American Edge, a political advocacy group for the high-tech industry, which is drawing scrutiny from United States lawmakers. American Edge will fund ad campaigns and studies by academics to push its efforts. Facebook is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to build support for the tech industry. It formed American Edge as a nonprofit organization in December.
Report: Working From Home May Be a Keeper
May 12, 2020
More than 40 percent of professionals working at home because of the pandemic would prefer to work remotely full time, suggests a new report from Valoir. "One of the reasons we did this survey was to help provide people with more data to understand they weren't alone, and we expected to hear more about stress and the negatives of remote work," said Rebecca Wettemann, principal at Valoir.
IBM's Strategic Approach to Diversity
May 11, 2020
IBM's outgoing CEO Ginni Rometty gave a compelling talk at IBM Think last week on how the company is fighting strategically for diversity. I know of only one other company, Cisco, that is taking a genuinely holistic, strategic view of the problem, resulting in a broad positive impact. The reason I can name only two companies is that most are taking a tactical approach.
Far-Right Spreads COVID-19 Disinformation Epidemic Online
May 5, 2020
Far-right groups and individuals in the United States are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to promote disinformation, hate, extremism and authoritarianism. "COVID-19 has been seized by far-right groups as an opportunity to call for extreme violence," states a report from ISD, based on a combination of natural language processing, network analysis and ethnographic online research.
UK Rejects Apple-Google Contact Tracing Approach
April 29, 2020
The UK's plans to launch a smartphone application to track potential COVID-19 infections won't include Apple and Google. The country's National Health Service has designed its own mobile software to do contact tracing of people exposed to the coronavirus. The NHS reportedly found that its own tech works "sufficiently well." The NHS chose a centralized model for its data collection and storage.
Ad Makers Use Deepfakes to 'Refresh' Old Content
April 28, 2020
With measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 putting a chokehold on their filming capabilities, advertising agencies are enhancing old content with new tech, including deepfakes. Deepfakes typically blend one person's likeness, or parts thereof, with the image of another person. Ad agencies are so restricted in how they can generate content, they'll explore anything that can be computer-generated.
Google Tightens Reins on Advertisers
April 24, 2020
Google soon will require all advertisers to prove their legitimacy, regardless of the advertising content. All advertisers will have to verify their identity, submit personal IDs and business verification documents, said John Canfield, Google's director of product management for ads integrity. Google began requiring political advertisers to verify their identity in the runup to the 2018 elections.
How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 1
April 17, 2020
At this point, remarking that people now are more concerned about online privacy than ever before is not a novel observation. What's fascinating, though, is that interest in personal digital security has remained high since the issue exploded about seven years ago. In other words, instead of experiencing a short-lived spike, digital privacy awareness has been sustained. This is encouraging.
We're the Adults in the Room
April 15, 2020
The U.S. Postal Service recently has been battered by a decline in the number of packages it delivers, partly caused by the coronavirus situation. It reportedly is losing $2 billion each month and will be "illiquid" by Sept. 30. The USPS is chartered to do the hard and often unprofitable work no one else wants to do, but the White House has rejected talk of a bailout for the service.
USPS Collapse Could Be Nightmare for Some Businesses
April 15, 2020
As a result of the pandemic, USPS, which has run at a loss for years, is even more cash-strapped. It expects to lose $2 billion each month during the pandemic. That prompted Postmaster General Megan Brennan to ask Congress for $50 billion in funds -- $25 billion to offset lost revenue from declining mail volume due to the pandemic, and another $25 billion for modernization.
Contact Tracing Phone Apps: Health vs. Privacy
April 14, 2020
Google, Apple and MIT have made headlines with announcements of contact tracing mobile apps in the wings. Their purpose is to identify contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 so appropriate actions can be taken to stem its spread. However, a Cambridge University professor threw some cold water on those apps. The apps proposed by Google, Apple and MIT all have voluntary aspects to them.
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Women in Tech
Which Big Tech CEO that testified at the Congressional Antitrust Hearing on July 29 is the most trustworthy?
Jeff Bezos of Amazon
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook
Sundar Pichai of Google
Tim Cook of Apple
All of them are equally trustworthy to some extent.
None of them are trustworthy whatsoever.