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New Tech Vetting Law in SF Could Fuel Regulatory Trend
October 17, 2019
San Francisco officials want to get ahead of the emerging technology curve by prequalifying and regulating startup tech proposals before products become available to consumers. That approach is a developing trend in the U.S., according to Arle Lommel, senior analyst at CSA Research. If approved, the creation of a city-controlled regulatory office would invert the historical norm.
California Applies Brakes to Galloping Gig Economy
September 12, 2019
California Assembly Bill 5, which would require many businesses to hire workers as employees rather than independent contractors -- and reclassify their existing workforces accordingly -- has passed its second reading. The State Assembly will vote on amendments in a third reading and then send it to Governor Gavin Newsom, who has indicated he will sign it into law.
Autonomous Vehicle Development Fuels Industry Angst
August 30, 2019
In the Internet of Things -- or the "Intelligence of Things," which is a more apt description -- the automotive segment has become a leading center of innovation. Only healthcare offers the same ability to leverage advances in sensors, processing, connectivity and artificial intelligence technology to advance an industry while simultaneously improving society.
Apple, Tesla, IBM: Only One Has Gotten the 'Unique' Model Right
August 26, 2019
I'm struck by the way Apple and Tesla are executing a model very similar to IBM's. While IBM has evolved to put the customer at the center always, Apple and Tesla are nuanced in that respect, much like IBM was in the past. I worked at IBM when it imploded in the early 1990s, so I can speak to what is in Apple and Tesla's future unless they learn the easy way what IBM learned the hard way.
Sanity-Saving Tips From a Heavy Traveler
August 19, 2019
I'm on the road about 50 percent of the time, and I'm often asked for advice on how to have a better trip -- what to carry with you, where to sit, how to manage frequent flier programs, and so forth. One of my first really bad travel experiences was during my stint in IBM Internal Audit. I was auditing an IBM corporate site when the rules were three-piece suit, white shirt and tie.
Is Biometrics ID Security Good Enough?
August 2, 2019
United Airlines has announced plans to begin rolling out Clear's biometric prescreening at its hub airports. The system works by verifying a flier's fingerprints or eye scan. Clear already is available at about 60 locations throughout the United States. It offers a system that utilizes biometrics to speed preapproved travelers to the front of the security lane.
Tesla's Failings Overshadow Its Impressive Successes
July 29, 2019
Launching a new car company and getting it to global scale doesn't happen often, and it has been a long time since there has been a successful launch of one in the United States. Tesla really stands alone as the only new U.S. car company of scale since American Motors and Studebaker failed decades ago, when three auto companies then dominated the U.S. industry.
The Greening of E-Commerce
June 24, 2019
E-commerce by its nature involves a lot of packaging and shipping, and e-commerce companies can't always control how their products get sent. There are ways to make these processes more sustainable, however, and the benefits might well be worth the effort. "E-commerce won't stop growing anytime soon," said Mark Bastiaanssen, CEO of Shiptimize. "Many models are currently being tested."
6 Things We Won't Be Able to Live Without in 2035
June 24, 2019
Things rarely happen as fast as we think or progress as slowly as we hope. We all thought we'd have flying cars by the end of last century, for instance, but we are due to be up to our armpits in them by the end of next decade if the impressive number of trials continue to go well. I touched on the drone drop issue a little last week, and I have been thinking about it ever since.
Uber Drones to Make Meal Drops This Summer
June 21, 2019
Uber Elevate, the aerial arm of rideshare service Uber, will test a fast food delivery by drone service later this summer in San Diego. Delivery destinations won't be houses or apartment buildings, however, but instead will be "designated safe landing zones." Those landing zones could include the roof of a parked Uber vehicle in one scenario. An Uber courier would hand-deliver it to the consumer.
The 5 Most Pressing Problems With Drone Delivery
June 10, 2019
Amazon plans to begin drone deliveries within the next several months. The drones have become far more capable, safer, and less noisy, but there are five other problems that will need to be addressed before this delivery method reaches its full potential. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to drone delivery. Still, there are several things that will need to be addressed.
Reliving D-Day Through Augmented Reality
June 6, 2019
The National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, is honoring the exploits and sacrifices of the Greatest Generation in a new augmented reality exhibit "D-Day: Freedom from Above." This AR experience commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings, which helped liberate France and Western Europe from the Nazis and lead to the Allied victory in the Second World War.
US Post Office to Test-Drive Autonomous Trucks
May 22, 2019
The U.S. Postal Service has announced a pilot project using self-driving trucks. It will conduct the two-week experiment in collaboration with TuSimple, an autonomous driving technology company based in San Diego. TuSimple's contract with the postal service calls for one of the company's self-driving trucks to make five round trips hauling USPS trailers between Dallas and Phoenix.
Is Nvidia Tesla's Kryptonite?
April 29, 2019
Tesla sure didn't have a good week last week, given the kind of press coverage it got. I'm not that worried about Tesla going away, though, as its products are far too popular for it to disappear. On the other hand, management clearly needs to be fixed. What got me started looking at Tesla last week was that it pretty much announced that Nvidia was its Kryptonite.
FAA Greenlights Wing Aviation Drone Deliveries
April 25, 2019
The Federal Aviation Administration has given its first air drone delivery certification in the United States to Alphabet's Wing Aviation, paving the way for the service to begin commercial package delivery in Blacksburg, Virginia. "This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy," said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Qualcomm: Rethinking AI in a 5G Quantum World
April 15, 2019
It is expected that 5G will move aggressively into the market, with near-complete major metropolitan coverage by the end of the year. This technology is a game-changer, but it doesn't come without issues, one of which is the massive change in network loading. 5G will shift the bottlenecks from the wireless networks to the backhaul, where the expected massive increase in traffic will force some rather impressive network upgrades.
Alphabet's Wing Delivery Service Takes Flight in Australia
April 10, 2019
Alphabet's Project Wing on Monday launched a commercial air delivery service in North Canberra, Australia, providing customers with fresh food, hot coffee and over-the-counter medications from seven local businesses. Shoppers can use Wing's mobile app to place orders and receive deliveries within 30 minutes. The launch follows an 18-month test period in the area.
US Government Forging Ahead With Airport Facial Recognition Plans
March 12, 2019
Plans to bring facial recognition to major U.S. airports by 2021 are on a fast flight path, despite concerns about the new technology's readiness. President Trump in 2017 issued an executive order expediting the deployment of biometric verification of the identities of all travelers crossing U.S. borders. It stipulates that facial recognition identification be used in the top 20 U.S. airports.
Wireless Charging and Our Autonomous Electric Future
February 18, 2019
One of the biggest problems for those of us who have electric cars is charging. Chargers that drop the charging time to a few minutes have been coming to market, but the cars that can use them haven't yet begun to ship. What this means for most of us is that we are talking anywhere from 45 minutes to several days to fully charge our cars, depending on the charging system we have access to.
E-Ticketing Flaw Exposes Airline Passenger Data to Hackers
February 7, 2019
The e-ticketing systems of eight airlines, including Southwest Airlines and Dutch carrier KLM, have a vulnerability that can expose passengers' personal data, mobile security vendor Wandera has reported. They use unencrypted links that hackers can intercept easily. The hackers then can view and, in some cases, even change the victim's flight booking details, or print their boarding passes.
Will the Sharing Economy Kill Personal Ownership?
February 7, 2019
The social networking era brought about a sharing economy. We share not only our lives, but also everything from cars to clothes to chickens, yes chickens. Services like Uber and Airbnb have ushered in a new era, and industries rapidly have been embracing the change to determine how to benefit from the shift in terms of future revenue. So, will we buy things in the future?
Why Intel Is in Such Horrid Condition
January 28, 2019
Intel released earnings last week. It beat expectations on the bottom line, but it missed big on the top line and the outlook was dismal. Looking under the covers, the company is a mess. The expected CEO announcement didn't occur. AMD's earnings are expected to be very strong, and AMD just made some organizational changes that suggest an increase in its competitive attack.
Jaguar I-Pace vs. Tesla Model 3: Which Is the Better Electric Car?
January 21, 2019
To suggest that electric cars are having a painful birth would be a colossal understatement. Tesla clearly plowed this field and quickly recognized that the lack of a charging infrastructure was going to be a problem and, with reasonable effectiveness, dealt with it tactically. However, those "tactical" chickens are about to come home to roost and it probably won't be pretty.
Google Assistant Gets More Features, Greater Reach
January 10, 2019
Google this week debuted a slew of new capabilities for Google Assistant at CES in Las Vegas. The new Connect platform lets device manufacturers incorporate Assistant into their products easily and cost-effectively. Connect uses Google's existing smart home platform to expand to new device types, while making device setup and discovery easy for consumers.
2019: The Year Everything Changes
January 7, 2019
We are approaching critical mass on a number of technologies that we will see increasingly this year. This wave will start at CES, where we will see an impressive number of attempts at personal robots and AI-powered digital assistants. Most will fail, but both the failures and the few successes will set the stage for the first true mobile personal robots that will arrive in the following years.
The Smartest Tech Products of 2018
December 31, 2018
Picking a product of the year is anything but trivial because the products I cover every week range from headphones to laptops to books, cars and more. So, I thought I'd try something different this year and pick six products that each deserve the title and then name a winner that stands out from the rest. This allows me to simplify the task and get around a bit of a writer's block I've been having on this subject.
BlackBerry Makes Autonomous Vehicle Play
December 13, 2018
BlackBerry this week introduced its new Security Credential Management System. SCMS -- a free service for the public and private sectors -- could encourage efforts to develop autonomous and connected vehicle pilot programs. BlackBerry undertook development of this technology to provide the critical infrastructure for vehicles and traffic lights to exchange information securely.
AI Meets VR in New Nvidia Tech
December 4, 2018
Nvidia has announced a breakthrough in 3D rendering research that may have far-reaching ramifications for future virtual worlds. A team led by Nvidia VP Bryan Catanzaro discovered a way to use a neural network to render synthetic 3D environments in real time, using a model trained on real-world videos. With Nvidia's technology, worlds can be populated with objects "learned" from video input.
Tesla vs. Jaguar: The First Real Electric Car Track Shootout
November 26, 2018
I'm a longtime Jaguar fan. I've owned a ton of them over the years, and I've had both good and bad experiences with the cars. Currently I own two -- a 1970 XKE and a 2014 F-Type -- and they are about to get a sibling. I've ordered a new Jaguar I-Pace, which is the first legitimate challenger to Tesla, which surprised the automotive industry much like Apple surprised the mobile phone industry.
Women as CEOs: The Problems and the Promise
September 24, 2018
I've followed several female CEOs over the years. Most failed, largely because they were both unqualified for the job and their boards didn't back them up. In several cases, the board and the CEO seemed to be in conflict, or the board failed to act. That has created the impression that female CEOs are a bad bet. However, I believe the real problem is that boards haven't been doing their jobs.
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