Business Alerts by Chrissie Cluney

  • Flipkart and Microsoft Partner Up for Improved E-commerce Experience

Flipkart and Microsoft have joined forces to create a strategic cloud partnership. The combination has been formed to improve the online shopping experience for consumers in India.

“Combining Microsoft’s cloud platform and AI capabilities with Flipkart’s existing services and data assets will enable Flipkart to accelerate its digital transformation in e-commerce and deliver new customer experiences…At Microsoft, we aim to empower every Indian and every Indian organisation with technology and key to this is forging strategic partnerships with innovative companies like Flipkart,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

Flipkart will move to Azure, a cloud solution created by Microsoft. Flipkart will also adopt Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform.

“Flipkart has always been committed to its vision of transforming commerce in India through technology. Given Microsoft’s strong reputation in cloud computing, coupled with scale and reliability, this partnership allows us to leverage our combined strength and knowledge of technology, e-commerce and markets to make online shopping more relevant and enriching for customers,” said Binny Bansal, Co-Founder and Group CEO, Flipkart.

What are the benefits of Flipkart moving to Azure? Moving to Azure will enable Flipkart to access an additional layer of advanced cloud technologies and analytics. The Indian company plans to take advantage of AI, machine learning and the analytics capabilities like Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI to optimize its data. The data optimization will help the company be innovative in fields of marketing, customer service and advertising.

  • Get Ready for Snap Spectacles!

There’s exciting news from Snap Inc. The company will begin selling its video-recording sunglasses, Spectacles online for $129.99 in the US at on their website, Spectacle by Snap Inc. For the last three months, it only dispensed them from Snapbot vending machines in surprise locations and its NYC pop-up store.

Snap has now closed that pop-up, with “Snapbots will continue to land in surprising locations around the U.S. following a brief ‘nap’.” Buyers should expect to wait two to four weeks for their Spectacles to ship, and they can also buy $49.99 charging cases and $9.99 charging cords, which will no longer be sold on Amazon.

“…When we launched, the idea was: ‘We’re going to take a slow approach to rolling them out,’ said Evan Spiegel, CEO, Snapchat. ‘It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.’ Response has been positive since November’s launch so we’re now happy to be able to make Spectacles more readily available — especially for those in the US who have not been able to make it to a Snapbot.”.

The camera company doesn’t need to make money directly from Spectacles if it can use them to get more people creating and watching Snaps. But showing it can earn real revenue from hardware could bolster confidence in its public offering.

  • Uber: A Workplace of Sexual Harassment and Power Struggles?

Uber, the cab service provider, has been targeted with claims of sexual harassment, sexism and power struggles according to an ex-Uber employee. The ex-Uber employee left the company back in December has come forward with an account of sexism and power struggles within the company.

“In my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat. He was in an open relationship, he said, and his girlfriend was having an easy time finding new partners but he wasn’t. He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with. It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR,” said Susan Fowler, former employee, Uber.

Fowler was pressured to work under a manager who turned out to be the harasser. Even though she made several complaints about the issue to the HR department, her manager still tormented her. The HR department said that apart from giving him a warning, there is nothing that can be done. The situation worsened to the point where the HR department began to demean Fowler saying that sending complaints to HR through email was unprofessional.

“…What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in. It’s the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new Chief Human Resources Officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations. We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired,” said Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber.

Fowler was left with two options: leave the company or continue doing her work while still being targeted. If she chose to stay it could result in a bad performance review by her manager. She chose to leave. “It was an organization in complete, unrelenting chaos,” said Fowler.

  • China is Producing Next Generation Supercomputer

China has been very busy lately in regards to technology. The country has started to build a new-generation supercomputer that is expected to be 10 times faster than the current world champion of supercomputers.

China’s goal is to make breakthroughs in high-performance processors. The country wants to be known for other key technologies to build the world’s first prototype exascale supercomputer.

The prototype will be completed by 2018. “Exascale” means it will be capable of making a quintillion – 1 followed by 18 zeros – calculations per second. That is at least 10 times faster than the world’s current speed champ, the Sunway TaihuLight, which is China’s first supercomputer to use domestically designed processors.

“Its computing power is on the next level, cementing China as the world leader in supercomputer hardware,” said Meng Xiangfei, the director of application, National Super Computer Tianjin Centre.

It would be available for public use and “help us tackle some of the world’s toughest scientific challenges with greater speed, precision and scope”.

The other supercomputers that were made include the Tianhe-1, which was China’s first quadrillion-level supercomputer developed in 2009. It is now working at full capacity, undertaking more than 1,400 assignments each day, solving problems “from stars to cells”.

The exascale supercomputer will be able to analyze smog distribution on a national level, while current models can only handle a district. The other supercomputer, the Tianhe-3 could simulate earthquakes and epidemic outbreaks in more detail, allowing swifter and more effective government responses. The new machine also will be able to analyze gene sequence and protein structures in unprecedented scale and speed. That may lead to new discoveries and more potent medicine.

At this rate China will catapult itself into the future of supercomputers. Meng Xiangfei and the National Super Computer Tianjin Centre will be at a helm as they discover new supercomputers.

If Talk is Cheap Blame it on Joe Lucatorto

I was told of the passing of Joe Lucatorto last week and I wanted to share my memory of his leadership.  Joe was an amazing leader and accomplished a great many things in his career in the phone companies.  He oversaw the development of Interstate private line services and was instrumental in the way services were bundled into a managed service.

Joe was a true native New Yorker and understood the communications requirements of Wall Street better than anyone.

When I first started meeting with him, Pete Kos asked me to find a partner for Bell Atlantic New Jersey to bring SONET to NYC.   The region was ignoring the opportunity of the corridor and was helping Interstate operators.  When I first came to meet Joe his office had a number of couches lined up in the hall and I was just like every other vendor looking to meet the Don of Telecommunications.

When I had my audience he understood the situation better than my management and wanted to partner.  However, the city was not a place for SONET rings the way we had architected them.  You see often in the Towers of NY the circuits of an entire central office were less than the capacity needed for a single address in lower manhattan.

His need was for us to support NYNEX Enterprise which was a mix solution built on Newbridge Networks gear.

I worked to get the plans in place and was looking to have a kick off meeting the day Ray Smith announced he was merging Bell Atlantic with TCI.  My VP and entire management team never made it to the meeting.  I looked pretty foolish and Joe had gathered an executive team at NYNEX for this kickoff.

However, Pete Kos and certain unnamed management types told me to hold down the fort and keep visiting Joe.  I know that other phone conversations followed me into NYNEX management.

The TCI merger did not go through and in the long run NYNEX and Bell Atlantic merged. Those talks were above my pay grade, but Joe Lucatorto and his team gave me lots of credit for sticking it out and gave me a chance to work with them.

I have a lot of regrets corporately and one of the largest is leaving Luca’s organization.  He was brilliant and his team was dedicated to him.

I think of him often and expect that will not change.

 

 

Business Alerts by Chrissie Cluney

  • The UK to Borrow for its High Speed Broadband

The UK government will be borrowing to try to encourage investment in high-speed fiber broadband networks and 5G technology. The government is said to be spending over £1BN (in the United States that’s 1 billion dollars) by 2020-2021 to continue to build the country’s digital infrastructure.

“Our future transport, business and lifestyle needs will require world class digital infrastructure to underpin them. My ambition is for the UK to be a world leader in 5G — that means a full fiber network, a step change in speed, security and reliability. So we will invest over £1BN in our digital infrastructure to catalyze private investment in fiber networks and to support 5G trials,” said Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The UK does well in ranking when it comes to the top 10 countries for average broadband speeds, according to Akamai’s 2016 report. However, the gap between urban and rural broadband speeds remains problematic.

Telecommunications company, BT, whose Openreach subsidiary owns and manages access to the UK’s primary broadband infrastructure, has its focus on its efforts of squeezing higher speeds out of the existing copper based infrastructure. This infrastructure has very limited full fiber to the home rollouts.

This allows rival broadband network providers, such as Virgin Media, to typically focus on urban areas where the volume of paying customers makes the infrastructure expenditure worthwhile. The result of that focus is just two percent of UK premises have access to full-fiber connections.

What’s the government’s plan? They plan to improve that figure by encouraging smaller, alternative players to push in with full fiber offerings. There will be £400M (US – $495,480,000) for what it dubs “gold standard” fiber broadband, with funds needing to be matched by broadband providers, so a potential £800M (US –$998,600,000.) to fund rollouts.

  • President-elect Trump Appoints Two New People to FCC

President-elect Trump has appointed two anti-Net Neutrality opponents to his transition team. Their task will be overseeing his FCC and telecommunications policy agenda.

Jeff Eisenach, one of the two newly appointed advisers, is an economist who has previously worked as a consultant for Verizon.

In 2014, Eisenach testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee. “Net neutrality would not improve consumer welfare or protect the public interest,” said Eisenach.

The anti-net neutrality opponent worked for the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and in a blog post he wrote, “Net neutrality is crony capitalism pure and simple.”

Mark Jamison, the other newly appointed adviser, has a long history of battling against net neutrality oversight. Jamison formerly worked on Sprint‘s lobbying team and now leads the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center.

These two men can be considered leading adversaries of net neutrality who worked hard to prevent the rules from being passed last year. Net neutrality prevents companies internet providers from discriminating against any online content or services. For example, without net neutrality rules, internet providers like Comcast and Verizon could charge internet subscribers more for using sites like Netflix.

 

  • Wi-Fi Rules Five Ways Rules

What would we do without Wi-Fi? The invention has made it so immensely easier for everyone to stay connected. Here’s five ways in which Wi-Fi has assisted us.

  1. People can stream ALL of the movies they want. Streaming subscription services have been able to revolutionize the way we consume movies and TV shows. Most of the top services require at least a 5.0 Mbps connection speed for the best viewing experience.
  2. It helps gamers to level up. “Lag” is a word can strike terror into the hearts of devoted gamers on the verge of completing the final level of their favorite game. Wi-Fi assists any gamer with reaching the highest levels with some ease.
  3. For communication in the workplace. Wi-Fi is glue that holds most businesses and companies together nowadays. Companies would be lost without a good connection. Just like when a power outage occurs, we take Wi-Fi in the workplace for granted. We just assume that it’ll be working properly that is, until it fails.
  4. When you work from home. If you’re self-employed, Wi-Fi is something that runs your business. Having no Wi-Fi for even one day could be a major setback with communicating with interested buyers, sellers, or business contacts.
  5. Because you can’t live without it. Wi-Fi has become something like water, in the sense that you just can’t live without it. The connection is becoming a base necessity for civilization. It’s no wonder, President Barack Obama spearheaded the 2010 National Broadband Plan, designed to get internet into every American household.

 

  • A New Battery Could Charge in Seconds and be used for Days

 

Battery technology plays a major role in our digital lives. While it has certainly been refined over the past few years, there is always room for improvement.

Scientists from the University of Central Florida have developed a supercapacitor battery prototype that works as if it were new even after being recharged as many as 30,000 times. If successful, the research could mean the development of super fast-charging batteries that could last a whopping 20 times as long as today’s lithium-ion batteries.

In other words, you could charge your phone in only a few seconds and not need to charge it again for an entire week,” said Nitin Choudhary, postdoctoral associate at UCF, in a report from Engadget.

The reason that supercapacitors can be charged so quickly is that they store electricity on the surface of a material, instead of having to store it through chemical reactions, as happens in lithium ion batteries. These material sheets are able to hold a ton of electrons.

The research is still in early development and it is nowhere near ready for commercialization just yet. Although it certainly looks promising. Presently, the technology is just a proof of concept. The team behind it is now figuring out the best way to patent the technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INFORMATION GATHERED

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1.) https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/23/uk-to-put-up-1bn-for-full-fiber-broadband-and-5g-400m-extra-for-vc/

 

UK to put up £1BN for full fiber broadband and 5G, £400M extra for VC

Posted 5 minutes ago by Natasha Lomas (@riptari)

 

The UK government has confirmed it will be borrowing to try to encourage investment in high speed fiber broadband networks and 5G technology — with a plan to spend over £1BN by 2020-2021 to bolster the country’s digital infrastructure.

Giving his Autumn Statement today, Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “Our future transport, business and lifestyle needs will require world class digital infrastructure to underpin them. My ambition is for the UK to be a world leader in 5G — that means a full fiber network, a step change in speed, security and reliability. So we will invest over £1BN in our digital infrastructure to catalyze private investment in fiber networks and to support 5G trials.”

The UK continues to rank well outside the top 10 countries for average broadband speeds, according to Akamai’s 2016 report. While the gap between urban and rural broadband speeds remains problematic.

Incumbent telco BT, whose Openreach subsidiary owns and manages access to the UK’s primary broadband infrastructure, has focused its efforts on squeezing higher speeds out of existing copper based infrastructure — with only very limited full fiber to the home rollouts. While rival broadband network providers, such as Virgin Media, typically focus on urban areas where the volume of paying customers makes the infrastructure expenditure worth their while. The result: Just two per cent of UK premises have access to full-fibre connections.

The government’s plan to improve that figure is to encourage smaller, alternative players to push in with full fiber offerings. There will be £400M for what it dubs “gold standard” fiber broadband, with funds needing to be matched by broadband providers — so a potential £800M to fund rollouts.

Today Hammond also said that from next April there will be 100 per cent business rates relief for a five year period on new fiber infrastructure — “supporting further rollout of fiber to homes and businesses”.

A further £750M will be made available to fund 5G trials.

The chancellor added that the government will be asking the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) for recommendations on the UK’s future economic infrastructure needs — and signaled an intention to increase the proportion of GDP spent here, to between 1% and 1.2% of GDP every year from 2020, up from around 0.8% this year.

£400M to try to help UK startups scale before being bought out

The Autumn Statement also contained a measure specifically aimed at supporting UK startups to scale up, with the Chancellor announcing plans to put £400M into venture capital firms via the British Business Bank — “unlocking £1BN of new finance for growing firms” as, in his words, “a first step to tackle the long-standing problem of our fastest growing startup tech firms being snapped up by bigger companies, rather than growing to scale”.

Eileen Burbidge a parter at VC firm Passion Capital, which has received investment money via the British Business Bank, welcomed the move.

 

“I think it’s an excellent decision,” she told TechCrunch. “Passion isn’t more likely to be a future beneficiary than anyone else (our existing/prior BBB commitments have been done/in the past, 2011 and 2015) but as a previous beneficiary we can attest to how valuable the BBB support was to attracting other investors in support of our fund and activities.

“The BBB was absolutely crucial for us in launching our first fund since we were first time fund managers. Their commitment helped to secure funding from across European and South East Asian family offices and high net worths. So I think it’s brilliant the BBB will be given more funding to support even more fund managers or to greater degrees.”

Asked about the government’s overarching aim of prevent promising homegrown startups from being bought by overseas acquirers before they have a chance to get really big she described it as a “noble aim”, but added: “I see it all as good activity (acquisitions, mergers) and that it’s a good thing the world recognises Britain as a place to scout for great talent, innovation and technology.

“I’ve no doubt as our digital/tech ecosystem continues to mature that we’ll have more and more British ‘tech giants’ as well.”

Another measure announced in the statement is a commitment to spent £390M to build on what Hammond dubbed the UK’s “competitive advantage in low emission vehicles and the development of connected autonomous vehicles”. He also said there will be 100% first year capital allowance for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Also mentioned: support for plans to boost transport links between Oxford and Cambridge, with a view to capitalizing on knowledge sharing between the two universities.

“This project can be more than just a transport link — it can become a transformational tech corridor drawing on the world class research strengths of our two best known universities,” he said, backed the NIC’s interim recommendations on creating an Oxford, Cambridge “growth corridor”, including £110M in funding for East-West rail, and a commitment to deliver an Oxford to Cambridge.

In the speech the chancellor also reiterated the Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this week of a £2BN per year funding boost for R&D by 2020. And confirmed the corporate tax rate will drop to 17 per cent next April — although Theresa May has also said the government will be reviewing the rate to see if a further cut is possible.

He flagged up, in passing, what he described as “the raft of investments in the UK” since the Brexit referendum — name-checking Softbank, Nissan, Google and Apple, among others.

End: WordPress Article Content FEATURED IMAGE: CHRIS RATCLIFFE/GETTY IMAGES

2.)

http://www.gizmodo.in/news/Trump-Names-Two-Opponents-of-Net-Neutrality-to-Oversee-FCC-Transition-Team/articleshow/55551806.cms

 

 

Trump Names Two Opponents of Net Neutrality to Oversee FCC Transition Team

Michael Nunez

| Gizmodo Media

Nov 22, 2016, 02.42 AM IST

 

DONALD TRUM

Image: AP

President-elect Donald Trump has appointed two new advisers to his transition team that will oversee his FCC and telecommunications policy agenda. Both of the new advisers are staunch opponents of net neutrality regulations.

Jeff Eisenach, one of the two newly appointed advisers, is an economist who has previously worked as a consultant for Verizon and its trade association. In September 2014, Eisenach testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee and said, “Net neutrality would not improve consumer welfare or protect the public interest.” He has also worked for the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and in a blog post wrote, “Net neutrality is crony capitalism pure and simple.”

Mark Jamison, the other newly appointed adviser, also has a long history of battling against net neutrality oversight. Jamison formerly worked on Sprint’s lobbying team and now leads the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center.

Both Eisenach and Jamison are considered leading adversaries of net neutrality who worked hard to prevent the rules from being passed last year. For the uninitiated, the rules passed last year prevent companies internet providers from discriminating against any online content or services. For example, without net neutrality rules, internet providers like Comcast and Verizon could charge internet subscribers more for using sites like Netflix. The FCC’s net neutrality rules would protect consumers from paying exorbitant fees for internet use.

President-elect Trump has also been a vocal opponent of net neutrality. In 2014, he tweeted:

Follow

Donald J. Trump

‪@realDonaldTrump

Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target conservative media.

1:58 PM – 12 Nov 2014

 

 

 

The latest news from Trump’s transition team spells bad news for more than just the open internet. In addition to opposing net neutrality, Jamison has also publicly opposed FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s attempts to open up the cable industry’s monopoly on set-top boxes. Jamison recently wrote that chairman Wheeler’s reason for revisiting cable set-top box rules relied on “bad math and falsehoods masquerading as facts.”

The appointments should be startling to regular internet users because both advisers are like for deregulation. As it stands, most Americans have only one or two choices for broadband providers. With less regulation, it could encourage companies that are practically running monopolies to start price-gouging consumers. Back in February, four million people sent emails to the FCC in favor of passing net neutrality rules-but it now appears that those rules could soon be revised by a new administration.

 

 

Five ways Wi-Fi rules the world

We’ve come a long way from the early days where internet was all about information and entertainment — the new mantra is all about speed and quality of connectivity. We now expect instant and reliable connection to the internet, for a reasonable price. While mobile data services have improved for the AYCE (All-You-Can-Eat) model for the TV streaming and first-person shooter binges, there is no cost-effective replacement for good old Wi-Fi.

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But, sufficient Wi-Fi speed has been challenging as our devices get faster and our HD/Ultra-HD video streaming subscriptions take over TV; and as broadband speeds have zoomed up to 100-1000 Mbps, the need for a reliable Wi-Fi has never been so important. If your phone or laptop lags or connection lags in certain areas of the house or you see your 200 Mbps Internet service going down to a trickle in that new TV room with the 65 inch 4K screen, hit the pause button before upgrading your speed (and shelling out cash to your internet service provider). Your router has a lot to do with your Wi-Fi experience, so make sure yours is up for the movie/gaming night challenge.

New tech, such as the NETGEAR Orbi a tri-band Wi-Fi system that delivers consistent speeds through concrete walls and canvases up to 4,000 square feet, is the gold standard of dependability and coverage. The NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi system uses an Orbi Router and Orbi Satellite to provide you whole home Wi-Fi coverage and speed. Better Wi-Fi benefits us all, in more ways than we might realize. We’ve got five reasons Wi-Fi is already ruling the world.

 

 

  1. You can stream ALL of the movies

Streaming subscription services have revolutionized the way we consume movies and TV shows. Imagine being at a buffet with all your favorite foods, but no fork to eat any of it. That’s the frustration of a slow connection: Top streaming services require at least a 5.0 Mbps connection speed for the best viewing experience. Can you imagine a world where you watched videos, TV shows and movies without Wi-Fi? And what if your roommates want to watch soap operas on the TV, while you’re keen on watching the football game on your laptop? Better triple those figures above — all the more reason to make sure your Wi-Fi is up to snuff.

  1. It helps you level up

Lag. That single word strikes terror into the hearts of devoted gamers on the verge of completing the final level (for the 238th time). Whether you’re a first person shooter or role playing gamer, those teenagers from Costa Rica on your gaming network will show no mercy when your spotty router delivers an ill-timed blip. Especially on nights when friends descend on your living room, consoles in hand, you’ll want the best connection possible to complete the mission and reach legendary status among the global gamer microcosm, whose company is entirely dependent on your Wi-Fi.

 

 

  1. For communication in the workplace

Mere frustration becomes serious anxiety when the Wi-Fi cuts out at work. Especially for corporate types and people who communicate between regional offices, the tedium of reconnecting to a dropped conference call is nothing to laugh about at the water cooler. And for creatives, public relations communicators and anyone who already stresses over deadlines, a slow or dropped signal means utter failure (and convincing the client that it wasn’t your fault, which is never a good time). Just like a power outage, Wi-Fi in the workplace is something you don’t even think about — until it fails.

 

  1. When you work from home

If your cubicle looks more like a bed frame, you’re probably dependent on your internet for your livelihood. You don’t want to try telling clients and employers you couldn’t get on a video conference call because your Wi-Fi went out. They’ll say, “Oh, did your dog eat your homework, too?” Cut the excuses — and the cords — and make sure your home wireless experience is reliable as you are.

  1. Because you can’t live without it

Like water, oxygen and TV streaming, Wi-Fi is becoming a base necessity for civilization — it’s no wonder President Barack Obama spearheaded the 2010 National Broadband Plan, designed to get internet into every American household. And Wi-Fi is continuing to streamline our home lives, with smart home tech such as Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, appliances, security cameras and more becoming the norm. The future is the NETGEAR Orbi’s 200 Mbps internet connectivity throughout your home. The future is now.

 

4.)

Charge your phone in seconds, use it for days? A new battery may make it possible

By Christian de Looper — November 22, 2016 10:40 AM

 

Battery technology plays a pretty major role in our digital lives and while it has certainly been refined over the past few years, there is always room for improvement. Scientists from the University of Central Florida have developed a supercapacitor battery prototype that works as if it were new even after being recharged as many as 30,000 times.

If successful, the research could mean the development of super fast-charging batteries that could last a whopping 20 times as long as today’s lithium-ion batteries. In other words, you could charge your phone in only a few seconds and not need to charge it again for an entire week, according to postdoctoral associate Nitin Choudhary, in a report from Engadget.

More: Tips to make your iPhone battery last longer (and a common myth busted)

The reason that supercapacitors can be charged so quickly is that they store electricity on the surface of a material, instead of having to store it through chemical reactions, as happens in lithium ion batteries. Those material sheets can hold a ton of electrons.

Much of the research with batteries involves using graphene. However, the team at UCF chose to go a different route — it wrapped 2D metal materials, which are only a few atoms thick, around tiny conductive wires, which essentially allows electrons to pass from the core to the shell quickly and easily. The result was a fast-charging material with a lot of energy and power density.

It’s important to note that the research is still in early development and it is nowhere near ready for commercialization just yet, however it certainly looks promising. Currently, the tech is just a proof of concept and the team behind it is now figuring out the best way to patent the tech. While it could go nowhere, like a lot of other battery ‘breakthroughs,’ we could also hear a lot more about supercapacitor research in the near future.

Thinking About IoT Developers

Wednesday, February 08, 2017
9:00-9:55am
Wednesday – 2/08/17
IoT Developers
Open Source Strategies with IoT
IOTD-01
Eclipse Foundation
Many companies contribute to IoT solutions within the Open Source Community. This session is an overview of what the communities are developing and how they can reduce the time to develop IoT.
10:00-10:55am
Wednesday – 2/08/17
IoT Developers
Stump the Experts
IOTD-02
Telit
Bring us your toughest IoT problem for our experts to solve. Telit and friends will bring their technical support staff to help you solve your most pressing IoT challenges to get your project to market faster.
11:00-11:55am
Wednesday – 2/08/17
IoT Developers
Enabling Voice Driven Smart Home Experiences with Amazon Alexa
IOTD-03
Pivotal Software, Inc.
Amazon
Alexa, the voice service that powers Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Amazon Fire TV, provides a set of built-in abilities, or skills, that enable customers to interact with smart home devices in a more intuitive way using voice. Examples of these skills include the ability to control lighting and temperature. Customers can then access these new skills simply by making a command to Alexa. This session will walk through the Smart Home Skill API and showcase what is possible today.
Thursday, February 09, 2017
1:00-1:55pm
Thursday – 2/09/17
IoT Developers
Rapid Prototyping for Cat M1 (Live Demo!)
IOTD-04
Nimbelink
Verizon
LTE Category M1 (LTE-M) is here! But how do you start using it? NimbeLink and Verizon ThingSpace will use the brand new Cat M1 Skywire modem and off-the-shelf dev kits to create a working prototype in minutes using Thingspace IoT Platform. The prototype will use the Verizon Cat M1 network to send data to the ThingSpace platform where it can be displayed and analyzed. Come and see how quick and simple it can be to get started using the latest technology on one of the most advanced networks.
2:00-2:55pm
Thursday – 2/09/17
IoT Developers
Cloudy IoT Implementations
IOTD-05
Litmus Automation
The support of IoT by Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and Salesforce suggests that IoT can be deployed rapidly and with little concern for scale. However, the issue of quality assurance needs to be thought through as rapid deployment of code can lead to hacks, and systems that lack thorough testing. This session looks at how IoT support is integrated into cloud services and what developers still need to consider before using the cloud to deploy.
3:00-3:55pm
Thursday – 2/09/17
IoT Developers
Lessons in Connectivity and Support
IOTD-06
Get Wireless
Before you send your IoT Solutions around the world you need to know how to manage scale and support. This session is about how to develop, deploy and manage connectivity.
Friday, February 10, 2017
9:00-9:50am
Friday – 2/10/17
IoT Developers
Inventing the IoT Future!
IOTD-07
MyDevices
IoT Development requires a library or resources and active community of creators, developers, and innovators. This discussion is about how Collaborizm is being used by myDevices and Kandy.io to gather community and develop new IoT solutions. This panel talks about generating ideas and bringing them to market quickly.
10:00-10:50am
Friday – 2/10/17
IoT Developers
Developing an Edge System with Advanced Device Management Capabilities
IOTD-08
Eurotech
This presentation will explore how to develop an edge system with advanced device management capabilities. Some management platforms claim to have edge management capabilities, but these solutions based on an agent on a microcontroller cannot offer sophisticated management features. More advanced application development frameworks have a footprint that fits in intelligent edge device controller processors for better device management tools. The Eclipse Kura open source project is becoming popular for early development, with advantages for developing an edge system with device management capabilities that is ready to evolve into production. By integrating software and hardware at the edge and then communicating with the management platform in the cloud through a comprehensive device management tool, devices and their services can be monitored and changed from afar with ease.

Proximity & Affinity the future of IoT

I often listen to IoT discussions that make me think I am in an episode of Highlander!  “In the end there can only be one!”

I think that premise is flawed and I think we are going to see some changes as we adopt alternative wireless technologies.

Let me explain why.

  1. Security is the starting point, but not about the way that IoT and DDoS have been linked together.  If you see what I am doing with the security summit at IoT Evolution Expo you know that I am not about IoT fixing problems that are beyond it’s control.  DNS was being attacked before IoT and it will be attacked without IoT.  However, there is a bigger problem that faces those of us that try to harden our networks.  The problem is that when a calamity hits like a earthquake, tidal wave or terrorism, the odds are likely we are going to crash the network with sensors all trying to report back.  Whether that leads to reboot break ins or just a network failure is not clear.
  2. Proximity and Affinity are the solution.   If we map where things are when a packet storm starts the network gateways can dampen the noise and create a affinity group of reporting.  Now the reality of most PLCs these days is that IoT normally has pretty simple signals that it delivers.  This is particularly true in manufacturing but also applies to field systems. In reality we have many systems that are tracking boolean data of red (stop) and green (go).  Using Affinity information allows the systems to distribute and machine learn.

As we move to intelligence at the edge the use of affinity and proximity will increase.  While the cloud is common strategy today, the edge is the more logical place to manage particularly for system security.  Here again proximity can become part of the strategy as companies can sense their surroundings to gather deeper analytics. We see the edge become so well self management that it manages alternate routing, I believe this is the concept that is driving SDNs.

The bottom line is we are going to see the edge continue to become the focus thanks to IoT.  Building a pool of sensor intelligence from multiple devices is going to become more common place.

Business Alerts by Chrissie Cluney

  • Are the batteries dying on the future of Smartwatches?

Apple sold 1.1 million of their watches in 2016, which is 73% less than it sold in 2015. And Motorola doesn’t “see enough pull in the market to put [a new smartwatch] out at this time,” you would be excused for thinking the smartwatch world is contracting.

“Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year,” said Shakil Barkat, global product development head, Motorola.

There are a few factors as to why this technology might be failing. First, smartwatches are implicitly polarizing. Unlike a phone, a watch is more an accessory and than an electronics device.
When a customer thinks about purchasing an Apple Watch or a Samsung Gear the question is not whether this device is better than the closest alternative. The question is whether this device will go with their wardrobe. The issue becomes more aesthetic than functional.

The second problem is that watches, unlike phones, are rarely upgraded. A watch is supposed to be an heirloom and the only way to encourage multiple purchases is to price them at lower than a traditional watch, which is a near impossibility. Or make them last longer. This is more of a generational problem, but one that will stymie smartwatch sales for years.

So what’ll happen next? The fashion watch brands such as Swatch, Burberry, Casio, Seiko will probably bring their long experience in making watches people actually want to buy to the smartwatch world.

Smartwatches are a fade. Watches, however, will always be with us but in their original form, as a tool and a bit of ostentation.

 

  • What’s HDR? It’s Explained.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It is slowly changing the way in which television set companies are making their televisions.

Ever since the HDTV standard was advertised in the mid-’00s, screen producers have been attempting to come up with new standards that feel anywhere as impressive. There hasn’t been a baseline image standard that has surpassed the quality jump from CRT sets to clearer panels with 1080p resolution support.

HDTV, 3D, and 4K have all been ready to quickly and accurately describe for every day people as “more pixels,” or “one image per eye”. HDR’s different because people don’t know how to justly describe everything that the standard is capable of.

HDR might be the most impactful addition to modern TV sets since they made the 1080p jump. The images are brighter and more colorful. Because of this the brightness and color are unmistakable to see even to the untrained eye. Content and hardware providers all know it, and they’ve all begun cranking out a worthy HDR ecosystem. The HDR difference is that it’s officially affordable.

“The problem with restricting maximum brightness to 100 nits (as in TV and Blu-ray) is that the brighter the color, the closer it becomes to white, so bright colors become less saturated. For example, the brightest saturated blue on an ordinary display is a mere 7 nits, so a blue sky will never be as bright and saturated as it should be,” said Dolby engineers.

The future of your television set is now HDR and not necessarily HD or 3D.

 

  • HackerOne Bug Bounties of 2016

What’s a bug bounty? Bug bounty programs are a way for software vendors to outsource web domain, app and network security beyond their own in-house security teams. This allows them to acquire as many eyeballs on potential security problems as possible before they become exposed and exploited by attackers.

Apple, Microsoft, Google and other name brand companies run their own invite-only and open bug bounty schemes. The rewards from those companies can sometimes reach as high as $200,000 for the most severe flaws, which could jeopardize users.

HackerOne provides a platform designed to streamline vulnerability coordination and bug bounty program by enlisting hackers to improve companies’ online security. Below is the list of the bug bounties that have been around this year as the most competitive programs.

PornHub’s bug bounty program was launched in May. It has already accepted reports and thanked 311 hackers for their efforts in finding security flaws in the porn provider’s web domains.

LocalTapiola is Finland’s insurance giant’s bug bounty scheme. It was launched roughly eight months ago. It has resulted in hackers being awarded some of the most competitive lures on the platform.

Twitter’s bug bounty program has proven to be a popular avenue for security researchers looking to make some extra cash. One hacker was awarded $15,120 for reporting a critical bug.

Snapchat’s bug bounty scheme, was launched two years ago. It is a relatively successful program, which has resulted in 125 security researchers being awarded over $70,000. The average for a valid bug report is $100. However, some researchers have earned $10,000 out of a $15,000 maximum award.

Uber’s bug bounty program has a response time of around a day. It asks researchers to find bugs in both the transportation company’s web interface and on their app. The bugs found range from cross-site forgery (XSS) issues to remote code execution.

Hack the Pentagon was the US government’s attempt in bug bounty programs. The program ran for 24 days last March. It resulted in 138 vulnerabilities being taken care of and $70,000 awarded to researchers.

From their success, Hack the Army was created. It is a program designed to challenge researchers to find security flaws in the US Army’s front-facing systems in return for thousands of dollars in rewards.

Bug bounty programs are a very lucrative choice of work for those people who have a knack for finding bugs in companies websites or apps.

  • Ericsson ConsumerLab Report – Top Trends for 2017.

The Ericsson ConsumerLab recently published their report, “The 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2017 and beyond”. This report found that 35% of advanced Internet users want an AI advisor at work. And one in four would like AI as their manager. However, almost half of the respondents were concerned that AI robots will soon make a lot of people unemployed.

The IoT? With an increase in IoT adoption, two in five believed smartphones will learn their habits and perform activities on their behalf automatically.

Virtual reality? While mentioning about Virtual Reality, the report pointed out that almost four out of five VR users believe it will be indistinguishable from reality in only three years.

“Beyond real time, I believe we should be talking about reality time. In fact, what we call reality becomes ever more personal and subjective,” said Michael Björn, head of research, Ericsson ConsumerLab.

Over 50 percent of those surveyed are already use emergency alarms, tracking or notifications on their smartphones. Of those people who say their smartphone make them feel safer, three in five say they take more risks because they rely on their phone.

One in three respondents said social networks are their main source of news and more than one in four value their contacts’ opinions more than politicians’ viewpoints.

“Consumers also want the future to remain fully mobile, implying that demand for battery-friendly, instant and fast connectivity is set to grow rapidly. In that sense, reality time means it is time for 5G networks,” said Björn.

The Ericsson ConsumerLab report describes what our society is doing in regards to technology. We can only wait to see what will actually happen in 2017!

Unicorn Awareness 16 of 155: Lufax Peering into Finance

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

Currently we have gained a new Unicorn and the count is 155. In other words we are one short. (Which I would make a case should be more than one ;<) ).

Lufax

Lufax is short for Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co. and according to the WSJ they have “7 million registered users [and have] arranged more than 200,000 loans worth $2.5 billion.”

The idea of  peer-to-peer [P2P] lending is to bypass the bankers so that the lenders can recoup principal and interest directly. This increases the chance of individual defaults and makes risk unmitigated.  In China, the banking industry has not matched the need of small firms and consumers so LuFax is a well known alternative.  However, it is not the only alternative.

Unicorn Awareness 15 of 155: Palantir Finds Fraud

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

Currently we have gained a new Unicorn and the count is 155. In other words we lost one.

Palantir

At $20B the Palantir is one of the largest unicorn’s in the herd.  The P A L in Palantir maybe a reference to it’s origins in PayPal, where the focus was on using link analysis to find fraud.  Since then it has been a darling of the government agencies with contracts for $215M for helping them to do everything from finding Bin Laden to prosecuting Bernie Madoff.

They are looking to be used for energy, entertainment, finance, healthcare, insurance and retailing.

Unicorn Awareness 14 of 156: Xiaomi Zowie

This is a series of articles aimed at making people aware of the endangered Unicorns that exist among us.

It is not their fault that they are endangered. It’s the price and pride of ownership. So where along the way the decision was made to feed them more than they can consume and that lean was not as import as means.

Some of the unicorns have done well on this diet. Others have not. We don’t pass judgement on the individual unicorns. We just highlight the herd for your awareness.

Currently we have gained a new Unicorn and the count is 156.

Xiaomi

It might be the great firewall of China is an aid to Xiaomi growth, but certainly it’s vision is international.  The company’s name means “little rice” in Chinese, but within China the social aspects of the Xiaomi product line is apparent.  The founder Lei Jun is like the Mark Zuckerberg of China and the product launches rival the Steve Jobs grandeur.   Combined with their social media prowess, moderate pricing strategy and frequent software releases the company has a market valuation of 46B.

Of note is the fact that Qualcomm is an investor.  The WSJ lists Huawei and Lenovo as its competitors but Apple and Google come to mind first internationally.

The Bright Shiny Object Syndrome

A friend once commented on a specific country, that it was the best place to go if you wanted to see a smile while being told to go jump in a lake.  “They are very good at telling you to F*#k-off politely”

I have similar feelings about the “spirit of collaboration” in California.  I contend that the openness is a false trust factor.

I am not saying I am not interested in open solutions, I am saying that some business ideas are corrupted by the bright shiny object syndrome.

While I am impressed with all the activity, sometimes it feels like some stronger discipline is needed.  A good example is ride sharing and the offshoots.  Does Apple really have any business going into the Auto industry?   If so, what is their competitive advantage?  Are they going to be able to charge a premium for a mid market car?  Go on the high end?  The auto industry was very sick just about a decade ago.  Consolidation occurred for brands and companies.  Does this look like a ripe market?

Yes, Tesla has brought game changing technology to market, but it’s still not clear if they are not going to be an enabler for others more than a competitor.

Uber and others have indicated they are going to use autonomous vehicles to ride share. Does a driver less car change the cost factors to the point where the BOM is significantly impacted?  And does the lack of a steering wheel have other human factors that impact comfort and buying decisions.

The fact that Google left the board of Uber indicates the issue I have.  Google wants to be in the ride sharing business in San Fransisco.  Google waited until it was ready before resigning from the board.  I am not sure that follows the “do no evil’ goal, but even so, I still have to ask why?  The fact that Uber has taken a real debt with bonds and merged it’s china operation suggest that things are tougher.  Does the use of Google for maps equate to a google cab?

I would love to see the rotary guidance applied to opportunity.

Does it have to be built?

Does it have to be built now?

And does it have to be built by us?

I think a lot of projects would be abandoned once these questions asked.