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Government COVID-19 Responses: 3 Massive Mistakes, 1 Huge Success
April 6, 2020
People don't trust their governments for a good reason. Governments lie to them regularly. In the ongoing COVID-19 event, we in the U.S. initially were told that there was little risk. The first 15 people who came to the U.S. with the virus soon would get well. We were advised to go about our day -- and many people did. They got on planes, departed for cruises, and went about their lives.
Living in the COVID-19 World: TV Hosts Struggle at Home
March 30, 2020
While stuck at home, many of us are burning through online content very rapidly. One of the things that's become painfully apparent is that TV shows that typically have live audiences suddenly have become almost unwatchable. In the context of the COVID-19 virus and our sudden need to view events remotely, coming up with ways to make audiences feel engaged has never been more critical.
COVID-19 Outbreak: Thoughts From the Stay-at-Home Front
March 23, 2020
Steps can be taken to mitigate the threat of spreading the coronavirus to folks who are sheltering at home. In many cases delivery drivers don't seem to have any protection, and if it's necessary to sign for something, customers are expected to touch a stylus or a screen that has been used by others. Drivers should be practicing social distancing, setting down packages at least six feet away.
3 Things the Tech Industry Could Do to Mitigate Pandemic Problems
March 16, 2020
We are up to our armpits in COVID-19, also known as "coronavirus," concerns. While the technology market could be devastated by it, there are several things tech players could do to mitigate the damage. Aside from having people work from home and stand six feet apart, the industry could take several innovative steps to mitigate the first manageable pandemic in the world's history.
COVID-19 and the End of Daily Life as We Know It
March 9, 2020
We apparently have no immunity to COVID-19, and a vaccine likely is around 18 months away. It takes a while to change human behavior, but if we go a full 18 months or more with people working from home and avoiding places like malls, big box stores, and other areas where people congregate -- like offices and events -- it will force a fundamental, permanent change in the way we work and interact.
Shifting Our Global Problem-Solving Focus From Symptoms to Cause
March 2, 2020
IBM's latest effort to solve global problems has evolved from a focus on catastrophic events, which increasingly are caused by climate change, to climate change itself. It is a huge jump to go from dealing with the symptoms of a problem, which generally is relatively easy, to dealing with the causes, particularly global scale. However, it is critical for a sustained impact.
The Really Big Salesforce-Vlocity Deal
February 27, 2020
Salesforce just announced it would buy Vlocity -- a startup with all the markings of a unicorn including a billion-dollar valuation -- for $1.33 billion. Vlocity was cofounded and led by David Schmaier, who was executive vice president at Siebel Systems in its go-go years. When Oracle bought Siebel it made Schmaier a wealthy man. He promptly dropped out of the CRM business.
RSA, COVID-19 and Risk
February 26, 2020
Two things are happening simultaneously: The RSA Security Conference is in full swing and so is COVID-19. It's a strange juxtaposition. There is geographic proximity in that the conference is going on undeterred just a few blocks from where the mayor declared a state of emergency, during the event, due to the ongoing spread of the virus. There's also topical alignment.
Microsoft Releases 'Mind Blowing' Xbox Specs
February 25, 2020
Microsoft whetted demand for its Xbox Series X product line with the revelation of some impressive specs for its next-generation gaming console. "It's really going to be a kick in the pants for the industry," said Mark N. Vena, senior analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. "It should provide quite a bit of adrenalin because the specs are really mind blowing."
Getting Autonomous Car Technology Right
February 24, 2020
Autonomous car efforts aren't looking very good. It is becoming clear that the five-level ranking system for autonomous cars is stupid. The reality is that the definition of "autonomous" is binary: Either the car can drive itself or it can't. The fact is that car makers don't want to take the final step to autonomy -- Level 5 -- because they are afraid of liability.
Viewing the 2020 Presidential Race Through a Competitive Analysis Lens
February 17, 2020
Back in the 1980s, I was a competitive analyst for IBM, and it was one of the most interesting jobs I ever held. The practice largely has died out, but at the time we were like the corporate version of the CIA. Since I'd been an internal auditor as well -- which is somewhat like the corporate version of the FBI -- I was a rarity. Few people serve in both agencies.
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.
Coronavirus Pandemic: 6 Things We Should Be Doing
February 3, 2020
As I write this, the first studies of the Coronavirus outbreak are coming in. The count now exceeds 17,500 cases in 24 countries. There have been more than 360 deaths, almost all in China. Most at risk are older males with pre-existing chronic diseases that weaken their immune symptoms. Women appear to have a higher natural resistance to viruses. WHO has declared it a global health emergency.
Is Icahn Attempting a Hostile Takeover of HP? Figuring Out the Backstory
January 27, 2020
When it comes to any merger, you often can't trust the reason the firms are merging, particularly if financial rather than operational managers are driving the process. When it comes to hostile takeovers, you can bet you are being misled, because the rhetoric will address synergy, but the folks driving the effort know the more likely goal is to destroy the acquired company.
The CEO of the Decade
January 20, 2020
Who is most deserving of the title "CEO of the Decade"? Historically the focus in choosing CEO of the decade has been on their financial accomplishments, but that approach has left us in a world lacking diversity and empathy in positions of power -- particularly noticeable in the tech industry -- and one where global climate change may end the human race.
Business/Customer Sweet Spots: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 2
January 16, 2020
If you're a small business owner or a key member of an enterprise executive team, you want your firm to succeed. If you're a customer, you want to be treated well. Those goals are not diametrically opposed, but very often it seems that companies and customers are at cross-purposes. ECT News Network recently gathered together five technology experts who did some hard thinking on the subject.
The Most Important Autonomous Car Announcement at CES
January 13, 2020
Getting around Las Vegas during CES is a nightmare. One evening I wanted to go to the In-N-Out Burger place, and even though it was only a mile or two from my hotel, the traffic was so bad that I doubted I'd make there and back before midnight -- and it was only 6 p.m. I used to try to walk CES, but the miles of fast walking on concrete ripped the soles off both my feet one year.
Tech Strides, Tech Worries and Tech Visions: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 1
January 8, 2020
If you're turned off by the mere thought of talking heads vying to speak the loudest or the longest in a TV "discussion" of some pressing issue of the day, read on for a refreshing dose of sanity. ECT News Network recruited five smart people with plenty to say about the state of technology, and we gave them plenty of time to say it. The result is a far-ranging intercourse.
CES 2020: Prepare to Be Amazed
January 6, 2020
Every year I look forward to CES being over. That's not because it isn't interesting -- it is. It's because the place is a nightmare to get around, thanks to some incredibly stupid decisions that turn Las Vegas into a gridlocked mess. Coming right after the holidays, it destroys more family vacations than any other event short of a long driving trip with very young children.
2010 - 2019: Product of the Decade
December 30, 2019
As we get to the end of December, I typically pick my product of the year, but this is also the end of the decade, so I'll go back and look at the prior products of the year, name my pick for this year, and then pick my product of the decade. 2010 was an easy choice as the iPad came out and scared the hell out of the entire PC market. Its release made the whole "PC is Dead" thing real.
Using Technology to Fix the Flawed Impeachment Process
December 23, 2019
When the U.S. president was impeached last week, it surfaced the fact that impeachment, and particularly the removal of a U.S. president, is a process that doesn't work. Throughout U.S. history, there have been 45 presidents, and given that no one trains for that job, you'd figure several would have been removed for cause. However, impeachment has been attempted three times without a removal.
The Human Problems Underlying Intel's Diversity Report
December 16, 2019
When Intel released its diversity report last week, it got pounded for the lack of diversity in its executive staff. Intel is one of the few companies being transparent about diversity. Given that lack of diversity is the problem we want to solve, the bashing is stupid. It is only going to make it harder to address the problem. In effect, Intel did the right thing and was punished for it.
A Secret Strategy That Could Be Apple's Fatal Self-Inflicted Blow
December 9, 2019
Both Intel and a bunch of professors connected to Apple and the FTC came out in support of the Judge Koh verdict against Qualcomm, even though it had been shown that the foundational evidence was manufactured contrary to the wishes of the DoJ, DoD and other major government agencies. That was well after Qualcomm was identified as a critical part of the U.S. defense against Huawei's 5G dominance.
Tapping AI for a Future of Better, Faster, Cheaper Gift Shopping
December 2, 2019
If you are like me, every Christmas you dread shopping because figuring out what everyone wants is a bit of a nightmare. You don't know what folks want in your price range. If you find out, there is no easy way to be sure they haven't bought it themselves, or that someone else didn't get it for them. Choosing sizes and colors adds to the nightmare. These problems aren't limited to Christmas.
Thanks, Analysts, for Doing a High Risk, Low Reward Job
November 25, 2019
I'd like to dedicate this column to the analysts out there who are fighting the good fight -- who are risking their careers, reputations, and sometimes even their lives to do the right thing, often without credit, and knowing that doing the right thing can exact incredible personal costs. Being an analyst, I'm often reminded that other jobs depend on my doing my job right.
Banishing Bias From the Leadership Selection Process
November 18, 2019
I'm spending a lot of time these days looking at the evolving market for artificial intelligence and the problem of bias. I think the problem in part is due to confirmation bias -- the need to look only at the information that agrees with a position already set. Another contributing factor is the lack of a set of metrics that we can apply consistently. AI systems will face similar problems.
Tech Company Standouts for Giving Veterans Their Due
November 11, 2019
Today is Veterans Day. I got a note last week from Joe Sestak, one of the shrinking field of United States presidential candidates, reminding me that we should observe a moment of silence in recognition of our veterans today. We've asked these people to put their lives on the line for us, and we get a day to offer our thanks. Giving our thanks is the least we can do.
The Truth vs. Censorship Trap
November 4, 2019
There recently has been a lot of rumbling about Twitter deciding not to take political ads, and Facebook deciding -- and this was stupid -- that it would run political ads even if they were untrue. I'm becoming convinced that Zuckerberg is trying to put Facebook out of business. There are some real differences between the firms. Facebook does far more political advertising than Twitter.
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.
Getting Sustainability Right
October 28, 2019
It seems strange to me that our governments haven't been more aggressive about protecting the environment, given that the cost of not doing so poses an existential risk to the human race. It seems insane to me as we watch parts of the country burn and other parts of the country drown that we're still arguing about climate change rather than coming together to do something about it.
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Which of these technologies has the pandemic caused you to increase using the most?
e-commerce
gaming
online news
social networking
streaming entertainment
texting
videoconferencing
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