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What's Going On With Oracle?
May 14, 2020
Oracle appears to be undergoing a kind of resurgence during the coronavirus crisis. Financial analysts are saying nice things about its ability to pay dividends even in tough times. Its technology, which always has been good, is seeing an interesting uptick. All of this is buffing the company's image after years of, yes-but responses from the market.
The Tech Industry's Tectonic Shift
March 27, 2020
As COVID-19 continues to spread, states and cities across the U.S. have imposed restrictions -- from banning large gatherings to lockdowns, with citizens ordered to stay home except for essential jobs and errands, or get outdoor exercise. These steps came as infection numbers mounted, and the World Health Organization stated that COVID-19 was in fact a global pandemic.
Concerns Grow That COVID-19 Could Take Down the Internet
March 24, 2020
It may not be a question of if but when the Internet will reach the breaking point under the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Internet is fast becoming a potential victim of the coronavirus assault. With an estimated billion people staying home, remote working, or just watching shows online all day, concerns are mounting that the Internet will break under the strain.
It's Time for a Social Media and Disinformation Reckoning: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 6
February 13, 2020
Can social media be saved? Can democracy be saved? The first question may seem less compelling than the second, but to some very worried observers, they are intimately entwined. Social networking -- on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a host of other online networks -- is the root of all current cultural evils, in the eyes of some critics. Undeniably, social networks offer positive experiences too.
Rumblings in the Cloud
February 10, 2020
One of the old sayings is that there are "lies, damned lies and statistics," with the implication being you really can't trust most reported numbers. Still, we've often thought, at least with major vendors, that you could trust rankings. One current set of rankings involves cloud providers. The general impression was that Amazon was first, Microsoft second, and Google third.
Oops - Google May Have Sent Your Embarrassing Private Video to a Stranger
February 5, 2020
Google misdirected a number of private videos that users of its Google Photos app intended to back up to Google Takeout, sending them instead to strangers' archives. The company emailed affected users to inform them that a technical issue caused the error. Google recommended that affected users back up their content again and delete their previous backup.
Feds Seek Restraining Orders in Robocall Cases
January 30, 2020
The DoJ has filed complaints in two landmark cases calling for temporary restraining orders against five companies and three individuals alleged to have carried hundreds of millions of fraudulent robocalls to American consumers. "This is the first time the DoJ is taking legal action against anyone for facilitating fraudulent robocalls," said Liz Miller, principal analyst at Constellation Research.
Could Ads Become Potent Weapons Against Streaming Piracy?
January 24, 2020
Though it no longer grabs many headlines, video piracy remains a major issue for pay-TV services, according to consumer research firm Parks Associates. If just 10 percent of pay-TV subscribers should discontinue paying for services by 2023, the loss in revenue to operators could approach $6 billion, according to the firm's report, "Video Piracy: Ecosystem, Risks, and Impact."
Canonical Introduces Scalable Android-Based Cloud Platform
January 21, 2020
Canonical is deploying a scalable Android-based operating system for mobile and desktop enterprise applications from the cloud. The company just announced its Anbox Cloud containerized workload platform. Anbox Cloud allows apps to be streamed to any operating system or form factor. Its uses include cloud gaming, enterprise workplace applications, software testing and mobile device virtualization.
Few Households Have Taken the Gigabit Broadband Leap
January 7, 2020
Increasing numbers of connected devices in the home and greater consumption of streaming media are driving consumer demand for faster broadband speeds. In recent years providers have introduced greater service speeds, bundles and pricing models to address widespread consumer churn. The service speed average among U.S. broadband households has increased steadily over the last four years.
Providers Game System to Boost Broadband Speeds
December 17, 2019
A 10-year-old FCC program to ensure that ISPs deliver on their connection speed promises to consumers, has become unreliable. Companies including AT&T, Cox, Comcast and Verizon reportedly have been employing tactics to make their performance numbers look better than they actually are. "The FCC is friendly to operators currently," observed Parks Associates' Brett L. Sappington.
Amazon Makes Quantum Computing Accessible as a Service
December 4, 2019
Amazon Web Services has announced Amazon Braket, a fully managed quantum computing service. Braket will let scientists, researchers and developers experiment with computers from multiple quantum hardware providers in one place. Users can build and test their circuits in a classically powered simulation environment, and then run them on an actual quantum computer.
Demystifying 5G - It's Real and It's Here
November 26, 2019
Every decade the wireless industry transitions to a new cellular technology, and every generation there are doubts about it. This continues with 5G. I have heard from consumers and even people within the industry that there is "no need for 5G," "5G is only for businesses," "5G won't be available until 2025," "mmWave is only for fixed wireless access," and "radiation from mmWave is harmful."
Disney+ Is a Wonderful World for Tykes and Geeks
November 21, 2019
Disney+ has made its official debut, with a few minor hiccups. It is widely available via a plethora of devices, offers a breadth of content, and serves quick and seamless downloads to mobile devices. However, with a heavy focus on Disney animated films, Marvel superhero movies and Star Wars, this service might not be quite the Netflix killer that the Walt Disney Company claims it is.
Keeping the 'Service' in SaaS
November 20, 2019
In today's highly competitive B2B software industry, it's not enough to staff a call center and sit back and wait for customers to reach out when they need you -- it's imperative that you take the initiative. When customers have so many solution vendors to choose from, service becomes a strategic differentiator to set your company apart from the crowd.
Disney+ Launches New Era of Streaming, With a Few Hiccups
November 14, 2019
The much-anticipated Disney+ streaming service has arrived. In the first 24 hours, the app was downloaded 3.2 million times. Demand for the new over-the-top streaming service prompted the company to announced that it had exceeded its highest expectations -- but with problematic results. Many users were unable to launch the app on its huge opening day.
Google to Offer 'Smart' Checking Accounts
November 14, 2019
Google plans to launch checking accounts next year. "We're exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the United States to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools," a spokesperson said. "Our lead partners today are Citibank and the Stanford Federal Credit Union."
Previewing Dreamforce 2019
November 13, 2019
Dreamforce is next week. Once again, the sold-out show will be headquartered at San Francisco's Moscone Center and overflowing to neighboring hotels. Over the years Dreamforce has become the Las Vegas of trade shows in one important respect. Both are famous for being bastions of excess. Vegas has excesses of the sensual kind, while Dreamforce offers a business and technology equivalent.
Apple Card Algorithm May Tilt Favorably Toward Men
November 12, 2019
New York regulators have initiated an investigation into a tech entrepreneur's complaint that credit limits for the new Apple Card are based on gender-biased algorithms. The investigation, announced by DFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell, apparently stems from a series of tweets David Heinemeier Hansson posted, revealing that his Apple Card credit limit was 20 times higher than his wife's.
Hello Streaming Services, Move Over Cable TV
November 7, 2019
Streaming services -- like HBO Max from AT&T's WarnerMedia, Peacock from Comcast's NBCUniversal, Apple TV+, Disney+ and many others -- are clear examples of the change to a short-attention-span world. What does that mean for investors, workers and consumers? Short-attention-span content seems new, with the arrival of streaming services, but there has been movement in this direction for decades.
The Force May Be With Microsoft
November 2, 2019
The Pentagon has awarded its $10 billion contract for cloud computing to Microsoft. The program -- which goes by the acronym "JEDI" for "Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure" -- has been attracting vendors like a dog attracts fleas for several years. It has been marked by fierce litigation too, so the award may not be the end of it. Oracle sued over the process, claiming it was unfair.
Streaming Is the New Cable
October 17, 2019
NBCUniversal has named Matt Strauss, a longtime executive at Comcast Corporation -- the parent company of NBCUniversal since 2011 -- to oversee its new Peacock streaming service set to launch in April. Strauss most recently served as executive vice president at Comcast, where he oversaw Comcast's video, Internet and voice services. NBCUniversal could have a lot riding on Peacock.
Blackouts Symptomatic of Perilous Times for Pay TV
October 11, 2019
Dish Network and Fox Corporation were able to come to terms last weekend, ending the blackout of Fox owned-and-operated local stations, as well as FS1, FS2, BTN, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes. The blackout of those channels was notable for its timing. The fall college and professional seasons had just begun -- as well as the new fall season of prime time programming on Fox.
Congress Eyes Google's Chrome Encryption Plans
October 1, 2019
Google's plans to test an encrypted Internet DNS protocol reportedly have spurred some members of Congress to consider opening an antitrust investigation. They are concerned that the new technology could give Google an edge over competitors by making it harder for them to access consumer data. Google is experimenting with new ways to enhance online privacy.
The Pitched Battle Over Streaming Content
September 13, 2019
At Apple's annual new products and devices event earlier this week, CEO Tim Cook told the crowd gathered at its Cupertino headquarters that the new Apple TV+ streaming service will be available for $4.99 per month. Consumers who buy a new iPad, iPhone or Apple laptop will receive a year of the subscription-based streaming video service for free. It was a shot across the bow at Disney.
Big Data's Seismic Effect on the Broadcasting Industry
September 5, 2019
Digital transformation has left hardly any industry unshaken. In broadcasting, it's safe to say that it has transformed completely the way we create, deliver and consume content. Undoubtedly, the most noticeable change lies in the shift toward the OTT format. Traditional TV now plays second fiddle: 69 percent of consumers use some type of streaming service.
Can Cable TV Survive the 5G Wireless Threat?
August 30, 2019
Traditional cable TV providers will face a big competitive threat in the next decade from the Internet, IPTV and 5G wireless. Cable TV typically lands at the bottom in customer satisfaction surveys. That means there is both plenty of room for improvement and plenty of room for new competitors and new technologies to jump in and quickly win. Not long ago, cable TV companies had no competition.
T-Mobile Merger Delay Keeps Sprint and Dish on Edge
August 16, 2019
The T-Mobile-Sprint merger looked like it was pretty much a done deal a couple of weeks ago, when DoJ gave its approval. It now looks like there won't be a final answer until 2020. This will go down in history as one of the longest corporate merger attempts. The delay will be hardest on Sprint and Dish Network. Even though T-Mobile looks stronger, it needs the deal too, as it transitions into 5G.
Timely Antitrust Investigation
July 26, 2019
The Justice Department is opening antitrust investigations into some of the biggest tech companies around, including Facebook, Google, Amazon and others. This is nothing that either the public or the companies involved should fret about. This is part of the evolution of the tech sector. We've been through this kind of thing before. Each economic era follows a similar trajectory.
What the CBS Blackout Means for the Future of Streaming
July 26, 2019
CBS went dark across AT&T's U-verse and DirecTV services, days after the seven-year contract between the two companies expired. As the two couldn't come to new terms, CBS and its related channels -- including CBSN, CBS Sports and The Smithsonian Channel -- were blacked out. This latest disruption in service affected viewers in major markets across the United States.
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Which technology has the strongest positive or negative impact on race relations?
Smartphone cameras, by holding people accountable.
Twitter, by reporting news as it happens.
Facebook, by providing a platform for discussing the issues.
YouTube, by exposing viewers to other cultures.
Twitter, by fueling antagonisms.
Facebook, by spreading fake news.