Author Archives: nevis63

Tech’s ‘Frightful 5’ Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future

Description:There’s a little parlor game that people in Silicon Valley like to play. Let’s call it, Who’s Losing?

Source: nytimes.com

Date: Jan 20. 2016

There are currently four undisputed rulers of the consumer technology industry: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, now a unit of a parent company called Alphabet. And there’s one more, Microsoft, whose influence once looked on the wane, but which is now rebounding.

So which of these five is losing? A year ago, it was Google that looked to be in a tough spot as its ad business appeared more vulnerable to Facebook’s rise. Now, Google is looking up, and it’s Apple, hit by rising worries about a slowdown in iPhone sales, that may be headed for some pain. Over the next couple of weeks, as these companies issue earnings that show how they finished 2015, the state of play may shift once more.   read rest of story

Questions:
1.  Does this narrative of the tech industry give you positive view of of tech development going forward ?  why or why not?

2.   “Tech people like to picture their industry as a roiling sea of disruption”    Do you agree with this statement, why or why not?

Giving the Behemoths a Leg Up on the Little Guy

Description: Every year, the internet gets a little less fair. The corporations that run it get a little bigger, their power grows more concentrated, and a bit of their idealism gives way to ruthless pragmatism.

Source: nytimes.com

Date:May 3. 2017

This column is nominally about network neutrality, the often sleep-inducing debate about the rules that broadband companies like Comcast and AT&T must follow when managing their networks. But really, this is a story about ballooning corporate power.

At the moment, the internet isn’t in a good place. The Frightful FiveAmazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google’s parent company — control nearly everything of value in the digital world, including operating systems, app stores, browsers, cloud storage infrastructure, and oceans of data from which to spin new products. A handful of others — Comcast, AT&T, Verizon — control the wired and wireless connections through which all your data flows. People used to talk about the internet as a wonderland for innovative upstarts, but lately the upstarts keep getting clobbered. Today the internet is gigantic corporations, all the way down.  read rest of story

Questions:
1.  What is Network Neutrality?

2.  What are the pros and cons of network neutrality?

How to Protect Your Privacy as More Apps Harvest Your Data

Description: In the real world, your personal life is a private space. But in tech, your personal data is a ripe resource for businesses to harvest in their own interests.

Source: nytimes.com

Date:May 1. 2017

When it comes to data collection, services like Unroll.me and Uber are small fry compared with internet giants like Google and Facebook, which have a wealth of information about people. And then there are large data brokers like Acxiom, CoreLogic, Datalogix and ID Analytics, which collect, analyze and sell billions of details about consumers’ online activities for marketing purposes.

For consumers, giving up some data has become part of the trade-off of receiving compelling, personalized services. But that doesn’t mean you have to be caught by surprise. Here are some tips from privacy experts on protecting yourself from tricky data collection.  read rest of story

Questions:
1.  Should we, as consumers have to give up personalized information to use a digital service?  Why or why not?

2.  How does one make sure that their personal data is being protected and is secure?

Tech Trends That Will Change How You Work

Description: To you and me, the transformation seems gradual. Your business acquires more sophisticated tools, walls begin to disappear and fax machines vanish.

Source: Inc.com

Date:May 27. 2016
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First, your workforce trades in their pressed suits for business casual khakis, then jeans and, now, occasionally even shorts. On any given workday, only about two-thirds of your team is working in the office. The change is steady, like most sustainable paradigm shifts.

But imagine for a moment plucking your grandfather out of his mid-century office and dropping him in the middle of an ultramodern workspace. Would he even know he was at work? Would he recognize anything? Or would he spend hours searching for his Rolodex, typewriter and carbon paper?  read rest of story

Questions:
1.  What do you feel are the two most important trends?  Why?

2.  How do theses trends relate to the income statement paradigm that was discussed in class?

IBM Gives Watson a New Challenge: Your Tax Return

Description:  In its first steps toward commercialization, IBM’s Watson took on grand, science-laden challenges like helping doctors diagnose cancer. But that is changing as IBM strives to build its artificial intelligence technology into a multibillion-dollar business.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Feb 1, 2017

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Today, companies including Geico, Staples and Macy’s are adding the Watson technology to answer customer questions or to improve mobile apps that guide shoppers through stores.

Now in its broadest deployment so far, Watson will be assisting H&R Block’s 70,000 tax professionals this filing season at 10,000 branch offices across the country, where 11 million people file taxes.

The H&R Block partnership with Watson, announced on Wednesday, is being presented to a wider audience with a 60-second television ad during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

For IBM, the collaboration with H&R Block underlines its strategy in the emerging market for artificial intelligence technology. Watson will touch consumers, but through IBM’s corporate clients.

READ REST OF STORY

 

 Questions for discussion:

1. Do you feel that that IBM’s strategy of using Watson’s AI to touch corporate clients and not consumers will succeed?  Why or Why not?

2.  What are some applications of Watson AI that you would find exciting as a manager of a business?

As Goldman Embraces Automation, Even the Masters of the Universe Are Threatened

Description:   At its height back in 2000, the U.S. cash equities trading desk at Goldman Sachs’s New York headquarters employed 600 traders, buying and selling stock on the orders of the investment bank’s large clients. Today there are just two equity traders left.

Source: MIT Technology Review

Date: Feb 7, 2017

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The experience of its New York traders is just one early example of a transformation of Goldman Sachs, and increasingly other Wall Street firms, that began with the rise in computerized trading, but has accelerated over the past five years, moving into more fields of finance that humans once dominated. Chavez, who will become chief financial officer in April, says areas of trading like currencies and even parts of business lines like investment banking are moving in the same automated direction that equities have already traveled.

Today, nearly 45 percent of trading is done electronically, according to Coalition, a U.K. firm that tracks the industry. In addition to back-office clerical workers, on Wall Street machines are replacing a lot of highly paid people, too.   READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. Do you feel that that Computerized trading and AI will make the financial industry almost a employee less industry ?  Why or Why not?

2.  Do you feel that Government industries are susceptible to this sort of computerization and AI to reduces Public service employees in Canada by a significant amount?   explain

Your car’s data may soon be more valuable than the car itself

Description:  People have made fortunes selling cars and trucks. For many of us, a car is the second most expensive thing we’ll ever buy. But experts say the value of vehicles will likely pale in comparison to the riches from our cars’ data.

Source: CNN.com

Date: Feb 7, 2017

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“Data is the currency of the digital age,” said Jim Barbaresso, who leads Intelligent Transportation Systems at HTNB. “Vehicle data could be the beginning of a modern day gold rush.”The gold rush analogy is a common one, made by everyone from Barbaresso to the CEO of Daimler. Here’s why there’s so much potential:

Cars increasingly have sensors and cameras to track their performance and their surroundings. Vehicle sensors, for example, can better tell when an engine part is in need of replacement. A back-up camera doesn’t just help us park, it can tell how many pedestrians or vehicles are on a block.

These sensors generate data, which can be analyzed to make money. (If you doubt the way data can be turned into money, just look at the success of Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB, Tech30). They offer free services to billions, and make a fortune off the data they collect.)

 READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. Why will car data be worth as or more than the actual self-driving car?

2.  Who should benefit or accrue the benefits of the data that your car collects?  Explain