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Meaningful Work and CRM
July 16, 2015
Having meaningful work is one of the biggest challenges for many people at the bottom of the employment ladder. In Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell documented the multigenerational effect. The children of people who had meaningful work turned out to be more successful and advanced further in their careers than children of people stuck in less-rewarding occupations.
Social Networks Funneling More News
July 15, 2015
News consumption on Facebook and Twitter has increased significantly in the last two years, according to a report from the Pew Research Center and the Knight Foundation. Sixty-three percent of Twitter and Facebook members surveyed said they got news from those social networks. For Twitter, that's an 11 point increase from 2013, when 52 percent of its members said they got news there.
Flash Furor Grows Despite Adobe's Latest Fix
July 15, 2015
Three new vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player have been reported over the past two weeks, triggering a storm of protest and leading Mozilla and Google to ban the plug-in from their Firefox and Chrome browsers. "It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day," Facebook CSO Alex Stamos tweeted Sunday.
DoD Sets Ambitious Cloud Goals
July 15, 2015
The U.S. Defense Department, often cited as a bit sluggish in taking advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, appears now to be emerging as a government leader in adopting the technology. In the short run, DoD has far outpaced other federal agencies in setting up cloud contracts. During fiscal 2015 Q1, the value of all federal contracts for cloud projects amounted to $668 million.
Apple Scarfs Up Nearly All the Smartphone Profits
July 14, 2015
While Android smartphones have captured nearly 80 percent of the worldwide market, Apple has an overwhelming lead where it counts most: profits. Ninety-two percent of worldwide profits from smartphones go to Apple, according to Cannacord Genuity. Samsung is a distant second with 15 percent. Since Apple started peddling smartphones eight years ago, its profit picture has brightened continuously.
Waiting for the Internet of Things
July 14, 2015
Despite all the attention being given to the extraordinary opportunities promised by the Internet of Things, many software and technology vendors are still waiting for demand to match the predictions. Security concerns are the most common inhibitor to IoT initiatives, industry surveys suggest, but a number of other factors likely are getting in the way of IoT deployments as well.
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata Leaves Legacy of Charm
July 14, 2015
After more than a decade of shaping fan-forward Nintendo philosophies, President Satoru Iwata died Saturday at 55. Iwata had been struggling with cancer for about a year. The one-time programmer and long-time video game enthusiast worked his way through the Nintendo ranks. He succeeded Hiroshi Yamauchi in 2002, becoming the first Nintendo president who wasn't a member of the Yamauchi family.
Wrangling Big Data: When in Doubt, Think Like a Customer
July 13, 2015
As businesses gain new insights about the power of data, they're discovering new sales and marketing tactics that go far beyond what previously was possible. It's not just big data and a technology-driven revolution -- it's also a shift in attitudes about data's place in sales, its role as a guide or reality check, and its ability to fuel new processes that drive greater sales performance.
Haters Force Leadership Change at Reddit
July 13, 2015
The haters have won at Reddit, forcing the ouster of interim CEO Ellen Pao and her replacement by cofounder Steve Huffman. Board member Sam Altman, who led a $50 million investment round in the firm, on Saturday announced Pao's resignation and Huffman's appointment, lashing out at the campaign against Pao. It was "sickening" to see some of the things Redditors wrote about Pao, he said.
Walmart to Crash Amazon's Prime Day Party
July 13, 2015
Walmart on Monday announced it will offer an online sale to rival Amazon's Prime Day this Wednesday. The Walmart.com sale will be open to all customers, emphasized CEO Fernando Madeira, unlike Amazon's Prime Day, which is open only to members of Amazon's Prime program, which currently costs $99 per year. Asking customers to pay money to take part in a sale doesn't add up, Madeira said.
Tech Tools to Make Your Next Move Less Painful
July 13, 2015
My wife and I just completed a move from California to Oregon, and it was far less painful than it could have been, thanks to technology. It used to be incredibly painful to move. While a lot of the pain is still there, technology has advanced a lot since we last moved -- about 18 years ago -- and at least some parts of the process now are far easier.
Gadget Ogling: Unobtrusive Audio, Connected Flora, and a Water Jet Cleaner
July 11, 2015
Dot is billing itself as the world's smallest Bluetooth headset. That might be mere marketing claptrap, but there's no doubt it's an impressive piece of kit. It runs for six hours of playback and nine hours of call time before it needs to recharge, and it has an 80-hour standby time. When Dot does need more power, you can simply plug it into the protective case.
Sprint Gets Up Close and Personal With Direct 2 You
July 9, 2015
Sprint's Direct 2 You program seems to be another home run in its recovery-and-expansion effort. It follows the success of Sprint's Cut Your Bill in Half plan over the last few months. Direct 2 You started out in Kansas City, Miami and Chicago. It is now in 28 cities and expanding rapidly. Sprint just announced its expansion into New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.
NYSE, United Shutdowns Spark Cyberattack Rumors
July 9, 2015
The New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday halted all transactions for three hours, due to what it maintained was a technical glitch. Trading continued on the other exchanges belonging to its owner, holding company Intercontinental Exchange. "The markets did not plummet with the shutdown," said Jim Wright, chief investment officer at Harvest Financial Partners.
Bridging the Front and Back Offices
July 9, 2015
I've written many times about how conventional, premises-based ERP seems to be evaporating. Configuration, pricing and quoting are business processes that illustrate the point. First, let's all agree that enterprise resource planning isn't going extinct as it evaporates -- it's too valuable -- but it is getting a haircut. Many of the functions leaving ERP are condensing back into the front office.
Apple Watch Sales Sink
July 8, 2015
After a glorious first week of sales following its introduction in April, sales have slid rapidly for the Apple Watch, according to Slice Intelligence. Sales have plummeted to fewer than 20,000 units a day, down from an average of 200,000 a day during its launch week, when it sold 1.5 million units, reported Slice, which measures online purchasing activity through an app used by consumers.
The Feds' Slow March to the Cloud
July 8, 2015
Where is the U.S. government going with the cloud? With annual federal spending on the technology now well over $2 billion, it appears that cabinet departments and a host of other federal agencies "get it" in terms of appreciating cloud benefits. Yet many view the same spending pattern as evidence that the pace of cloud development at the federal level is far too slow.
Raging Redditors Roar for Pao's Resignation
July 7, 2015
More than 208,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling on Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao to step down. Many Redditers fear Pao will run Reddit into the ground, the petition claims, noting that alternative sites have sprung up in recent months and received vast amounts of traffic. The immediate cause of the unrest was last week's dismissal of Victoria Taylor, Reddit's director of talent.
Customer Experience Is Everyone's Department
July 6, 2015
Customer experience is more than the act of trading money for a product or a service. It's the experience leading up to that, and the experience customers have with what they've purchased, all the way until they stop using it. Why is it, then, that the concept of "customer experience" seems to exist primarily in the marketing department? Marketing is but a small part of what makes an experience.
Musk Donates $10 Million to Keep AI From Going Rogue
July 6, 2015
The Future of Life Institute on Monday announced 37 winners of grant funding provided by Elon Musk and the Open Philanthropy Project. Musk contributed $10 million toward the effort. A total of $7 million will be awarded to fund the research teams for up to three years, most starting in September. Another $4 million is available to support research grants for areas that emerge as most promising.
Rick Perry and the Texas vs. California Tech War
July 6, 2015
A couple of weeks ago, I was waiting to do a CNBC slot on what to expect from the Apple Watch in Asia -- the entire smartwatch class is having a lot of issues for a variety of reason -- and I ran into Rick Perry, former governor of Texas, as he was coming out of the same studio I was about to enter. For some reason, I thought he was going to be a typical entitled stuck-up jerk, but he wasn't.
5 Things the Apple App Store Could Do Better
July 1, 2015
I haven't been thrilled with app discovery on the App Store for years, and while Apple has been tweaking things to make it better, it's pretty easy to enter the iOS App Store, look around, and come to the conclusion that only an infinitesimal fraction of 1.5 million apps must be worthy of showing off -- and unfortunately, Disney's "Palace Pets in Whisker Haven" is one of them.
Microsoft Is Looking More Like the House Nadella Built
June 30, 2015
Some aspects of CEO Satya Nadella's vision for Microsoft are becoming more clear. For one thing, the company's interest in advertising is seriously on the wane. Microsoft reportedly has handed off most of its digital advertising sales business to AOL. Microsoft will retain control of its search advertising sales, however, and Bing will replace Google as the engine powering AOL's consumer searches.
Yelp Study Blasts Google for Screwing With Search
June 30, 2015
Google has been tampering with the responses its search engine gives to queries and, as a result, has been hurting social welfare, alleges a survey conducted by Michael Luca, a Harvard Business School economist, and Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School and former FTC advisor. Yelp sponsored the research. The team last week sent a paper reporting the results to the European Commission.

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Do video cameras make the world safer?
Yes - People exercise more restraint because of them.
No - We just get to see more horrible things happen.
Maybe - They might deter some kinds of crime.