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Necessity May Give Us a Virtual Court System
May 25, 2020
One of the exciting things that came out of Microsoft Build was that the company has been working to create virtual court solutions. If done right, a virtual system could fix a lot of court-related problems. It would allow judges to work around their schedules better and give attorneys improved access to online resources. It also might provide a way for jurors to improve their understanding.
Work.com and the CRMification of Society
May 20, 2020
CRMification is the process by which the culture absorbs CRM technology, processes and techniques to achieve some kind of new utility for getting things done better, faster and cheaper. Today we should add safer too. Another way to state it is that CRM is a disruptive innovation in the culture. The next normal will have something to do with CRM.
Apple Gingerly Sets More Stores to Reopen
May 19, 2020
Apple has reopened nearly 100 of its retail outlets around the world and plans to open another 25 in the U.S. and 12 in Canada. All of its retail stores previously were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our commitment is to only move forward with a reopening once we're confident we can safely return to serving customers from our stores," noted Apple SVP of Retail Deirdre O'Brien.
Facebook Sets Up Political Advocacy Group as High-Tech Teeters on Edge
May 13, 2020
Facebook has set up American Edge, a political advocacy group for the high-tech industry, which is drawing scrutiny from United States lawmakers. American Edge will fund ad campaigns and studies by academics to push its efforts. Facebook is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to build support for the tech industry. It formed American Edge as a nonprofit organization in December.
Report: Working From Home May Be a Keeper
May 12, 2020
More than 40 percent of professionals working at home because of the pandemic would prefer to work remotely full time, suggests a new report from Valoir. "One of the reasons we did this survey was to help provide people with more data to understand they weren't alone, and we expected to hear more about stress and the negatives of remote work," said Rebecca Wettemann, principal at Valoir.
IBM's Strategic Approach to Diversity
May 11, 2020
IBM's outgoing CEO Ginni Rometty gave a compelling talk at IBM Think last week on how the company is fighting strategically for diversity. I know of only one other company, Cisco, that is taking a genuinely holistic, strategic view of the problem, resulting in a broad positive impact. The reason I can name only two companies is that most are taking a tactical approach.
Far-Right Spreads COVID-19 Disinformation Epidemic Online
May 5, 2020
Far-right groups and individuals in the United States are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to promote disinformation, hate, extremism and authoritarianism. "COVID-19 has been seized by far-right groups as an opportunity to call for extreme violence," states a report from ISD, based on a combination of natural language processing, network analysis and ethnographic online research.
UK Rejects Apple-Google Contact Tracing Approach
April 29, 2020
The UK's plans to launch a smartphone application to track potential COVID-19 infections won't include Apple and Google. The country's National Health Service has designed its own mobile software to do contact tracing of people exposed to the coronavirus. The NHS reportedly found that its own tech works "sufficiently well." The NHS chose a centralized model for its data collection and storage.
Ad Makers Use Deepfakes to 'Refresh' Old Content
April 28, 2020
With measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 putting a chokehold on their filming capabilities, advertising agencies are enhancing old content with new tech, including deepfakes. Deepfakes typically blend one person's likeness, or parts thereof, with the image of another person. Ad agencies are so restricted in how they can generate content, they'll explore anything that can be computer-generated.
Google Tightens Reins on Advertisers
April 24, 2020
Google soon will require all advertisers to prove their legitimacy, regardless of the advertising content. All advertisers will have to verify their identity, submit personal IDs and business verification documents, said John Canfield, Google's director of product management for ads integrity. Google began requiring political advertisers to verify their identity in the runup to the 2018 elections.
How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 1
April 17, 2020
At this point, remarking that people now are more concerned about online privacy than ever before is not a novel observation. What's fascinating, though, is that interest in personal digital security has remained high since the issue exploded about seven years ago. In other words, instead of experiencing a short-lived spike, digital privacy awareness has been sustained. This is encouraging.
We're the Adults in the Room
April 15, 2020
The U.S. Postal Service recently has been battered by a decline in the number of packages it delivers, partly caused by the coronavirus situation. It reportedly is losing $2 billion each month and will be "illiquid" by Sept. 30. The USPS is chartered to do the hard and often unprofitable work no one else wants to do, but the White House has rejected talk of a bailout for the service.
USPS Collapse Could Be Nightmare for Some Businesses
April 15, 2020
As a result of the pandemic, USPS, which has run at a loss for years, is even more cash-strapped. It expects to lose $2 billion each month during the pandemic. That prompted Postmaster General Megan Brennan to ask Congress for $50 billion in funds -- $25 billion to offset lost revenue from declining mail volume due to the pandemic, and another $25 billion for modernization.
Contact Tracing Phone Apps: Health vs. Privacy
April 14, 2020
Google, Apple and MIT have made headlines with announcements of contact tracing mobile apps in the wings. Their purpose is to identify contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 so appropriate actions can be taken to stem its spread. However, a Cambridge University professor threw some cold water on those apps. The apps proposed by Google, Apple and MIT all have voluntary aspects to them.
How BlackBerry Could Make Voting From Smartphones Secure
April 13, 2020
Some states defaulted to mail-in ballots some time ago, and their elections are unconstrained by the pandemic. However, in many parts of the U.S. the prevailing attitude is that the Web lacks enough security for elections. That seems odd, given that we now use the Internet to manage our finances, our healthcare, our businesses, our travel -- and now our shopping, including for food.
Open COVID Pledge Makes Critical IP Freely Accessible for Pandemic Fight
April 9, 2020
Legal experts and leading scientists have teamed up with Creative Commons to create the Open COVID Pledge to help speed up the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. The Pledge gives broad permission to anyone to use intellectual property not otherwise accessible to the public, and generally replaces the need for any other license or royalty agreement.
Facebook, YouTube Crack Down on Conspiracy Theories Linking 5G to Coronavirus
April 8, 2020
Facebook and YouTube are cracking down on the pervasive conspiracy theories linking the spread of coronavirus to 5G wireless technology. Facebook has begun actively removing false claims that could lead to physical harm. WhatsApp has reduced the number of accounts users can forward chats to from five to one. Meanwhile, YouTube has banned all videos promoting 5G-coronavirus conspiracy theories.
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.
Coronavirus Threat Sparks Revolt at Amazon, Whole Foods, Instacart
April 2, 2020
Amazon has promised to check temperatures and provide surgical masks for workers at its fulfillment centers and Whole Foods grocery stores starting next week. Instacart workers have not received similar promises. The news came in the midst of brewing turmoil among employees. Some full-time and contract workers at Whole Foods, Amazon and Instacart walked out or called in sick on Monday and Tuesday.
Zoom's Soaring Popularity Is a Double-Edged Sword
April 1, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic worsened in the U.S., Zoom Video Communications offered free access to its videoconferencing platform and demand skyrocketed. "Zoom has quickly become the de facto for teleconferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic," said James McQuiggan, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4. "A lot of organizations are using it to keep in contact with their employees."
Fast Coronavirus Test Gets Emergency FDA Approval
March 31, 2020
Abbott will deliver 50,000 COVID-19 tests per day to healthcare workers, starting Wednesday, using its modified ID NOW testing process. Bringing rapid coronavirus testing capacity to the medical front lines is crucial in the battle to flatten the rising death and infection curve worldwide. The FDA issued emergency authorization for the point-of-care test.
Trying Times for Employee Engagement
March 28, 2020
These days are either the most trying time for encouraging employee engagement or the best we could expect. With so many people working remotely, many businesses need extra ways to communicate with the rank and file, and this might present a prime opportunity to try new things. We make a big deal of engaging the customer, and in most CRM circles engagement outranks simple customer experience.
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.
Instagram Combats COVID-19 Misinformation, Social Isolation
March 25, 2020
Instagram has announced a slew of new capabilities to combat misinformation about the coronavirus, along with a co-watching feature that helps users feel less isolated while sheltering at home. Efforts to clamp down on misinformation include removing COVID-19 accounts from recommendations unless they are posted by a credible health organization, and removing false claims that could cause harm.
Zoho's Noble Endeavor
March 25, 2020
Edge conditions and the change they drive are fascinating. Some people use the word "margin" because it's at the margin that things change. A situation exists more or less in equilibrium with the rest of its environment until in one way or another the stresses become so great that change happens. We have lots of metaphors, like "tipping point" and "the straw that broke the camel's back."
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.
Ask Siri if You Have the Coronavirus
March 24, 2020
Apple users wondering if they've caught COVID-19 now can ask digital assistant Siri for advice. The company has rolled out a self-screening feature that allows users to ask, "Hey Siri, do I have the coronavirus?" Siri then takes them through a questionnaire prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Public Health Service to determine if they're exhibiting symptoms of the disease.
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.
In the Time of Virus
March 19, 2020
Life goes on, though I keep thinking about the coronavirus and its impact on business, which is substantial. I am wondering if it's time to count our blessings even as we remain vigilant. At this point the number of active cases in the U.S. is still small, relative to the population, though the bug has an annoying ability to do math in the form of exponential spread.
Facebook Pledges Funds for SMBs in Face of Shutdowns
March 19, 2020
Facebook has announced a $100M commitment of cash grants and ad credits to help as many as 30,000 eligible small businesses in 30 countries where the company operates. The program can help SMBs maintain their workforces, meet rent costs, connect with more customers, and cover operational costs. In addition, Facebook has earmarked $1 million in grants to local news organizations covering COVID-19.
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Women in Tech
Which tech fields currently offer the best job opportunities in light of the pandemic?
Call Centers
Contact Tracing
E-Commerce
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Telemedicine
Video Event Planning
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