Global Tech Internet of Things

Post-CES, Four Questions about the Internet of Things

Connected refrigerators, bras that monitor your heart rate, and, of course, autonomous vehicles were the kinds of things CES attendees focused on this year. It now seems inevitable that more or less everything will eventually be connected, and that raises new security, business, and technical questions for manufacturers, network providers, marketers, and consumers– the IoT ecosystem. What a few days scrambling around Las Vegas got me thinking.   More

Global Tech Internet of Things

The Internet of CES Things

At left, the Amazon Echo that sits in my living room. As Tim O'Reilly explains, it is a profound breakthrough in how we interact with computing that will shape the future as much as the smartphone did before it.

CES was a gigantic, if predictable, letdown when it comes to "consumer electronics." Everything seemed incremental. People ask each other "What's the most interesting thing you've seen?" My answer was an announcement not a device--Amazon's deal with Ford to put its Echo "Alexa" technology inside of cars. It was the Internet of Things that loomed large in the background--not to make connected toasters but to transform society with connected efficiency.   More

Global Tech Internet of Things Opinion

Thoughts on the Plane to CES

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Every January just after New Year's, as if to force upon recently idle strivers the urgency of redoubling their labors, converge hundreds of thousands of tech-focused leaders, strategists, inventors, financiers, retailers, and journalists. CES is American tech's biggest trade show, fiesta, business meeting, glad-handing exercise, walking course, and source of both elation and frustration. Says Slava Rubin, CEO of Indiegogo, who we ran into at our hotel's check-in: "CES is one giant networking event."   More

Global Tech Opinion

When Moore Is Not Enough – Why Our Growing Networks Require More Software

Image courtesy Shutterstock

The demand for communications bandwidth is expanding faster each year. We’re entering a stage where just Moore’s Law and faster and cheaper computing power will simply not be enough. The networks themselves need to become programmable platforms. The infrastructure needs to be as real-time, flexible and dynamic as our smartphones have become. Today software can scale up or down networks to meet user demands.   More

Global Tech Media & Marketing

The Facebook Pushback in India: Anti-Corporate, Anti-American, Anti-Poor

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg cares passionately about success around the world, especially India. He hosted Indian Prime Minister Modi at Facebook in September 2015.

There's huge controversy in India over Facebook's "Free Basics" Internet plan, part of the global Internet.org initiative the company has been spearheading. Facebook's aim, it says, is to get more people onto the Internet, since being online is essential for participation in any modern economy. In India, however, the project is encountering fierce resistance from elites who say it violates "net neutrality." But do all the critics--mostly upper-class and affluent Indian pundits, professors and anti-corporate activists--have a better way to get many millions of less-privileged Indians onto the Internet?   More

Bio & Life Sciences Global Tech Internet of Things

Techonomy’s Top Articles for 2015

At Techonomy we put on conferences and publish articles and videos. Our most popular articles this year tackled the conceptual problem with the Apple Watch, the Human side of the Internet of Things, how consumer genomics empowers consumers, tech and artificial intelligence progress in Ethiopia, and the need for the biotech industry to step up its game in communicating to the general public. It's a good flavor of the range of issues and topics that fascinate and motivate us. Keep with us in 2016 for much much more!   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy

Welcome to the Splinternet

Donald Trump has referred to "closing" the Internet in areas where the U.S. has enemies, while China's president, Xi Jinping, reasserted last week that each state has a sovereign right to control what its citizens can and can't do in cyberspace. Russia believes a state should control "its" Internet. A European Union regulation determines how non-EU companies can market to or monitor EU individuals. That four such distinct political cultures could all reach the same conclusion suggests that the days of a universal Internet are numbered.   More

Finance Global Tech Opinion

Big Tech: Better Together or Better Apart? Wall Street Doesn’t Care.

HP and Compaq, HPE and HPQ, Tweedledee and Tweedledum– better together? It may not matter. Now they're apart.

Wall Street fashions come and go. Does a company do better as an ever-accumulating conglomerate or a thinning-down disaggregator of business units? Eager investment bankers, hungry for fees, apply different rationales in different times. Hewlett-Packard and Compaq were better together. Now HPE and HPQ, are better apart. Or so they say. And the transaction occurred, generating vast fees for lawyers, bankers, and consultants. The benefit to shareholders, employees, and customers? Unclear.   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy Techonomy Events

How to Battle Breathtakingly Sophisticated Cybercriminals

(photo courtesy Shutterstock)

The Internet is the new frontier for crime. The hacking ecosystem is breathtaking in its breadth and sophistication. And nation-states are stockpiling cyber weapons capable of disrupting power grids and banking systems, among other targets. There's lots more to worry about. But one of the most promising ways to improve proactive security, and one which merits much greater use, is information sharing of security incidents.   More

Global Tech Opinion Society

Reflections on Clinton Global Initiative: Changing How We See the World

The Clinton Global Initiative in September tackled a wide range of issues with a heavy gloss of celebrity–but it worked, says author Ermacora (who also took this photo).

The Clinton Global Initiative has become a sort of Davos-on-US-soil, distinguishing itself with a focus on action and innovation for both international and American development. There's a heavy emphasis on peace processes and democracy, as well as on infrastructures of healthcare, education, energy and aid for those in need. The event is a wildly elaborate production, yet it conveys a sense of intimacy and care thanks to former President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea. Technology was everywhere, including a movie shot with virtual reality techniques.   More

Analytics & Data Business Cities Global Tech Transportation

A Less Congested Future: Technology for Moving People, Businesses, and Cities

Urban Engines so-called "space-time engine" can model cities like Sao Paulo, here, to analyze and optimize urban transportation.

Accelerating urbanization is leading to clogged transportation networks, but the clever use of data can smooth our city systems. Powerful tech tools—from the Internet of Moving Things to the computational and sensing capabilities of smartphones—can help reduce congestion. Modeling and data-driven systems will define the future of urban transport.   More

Cities Global Tech Jobs Startup Culture

The Global Rise of an Entrepreneurial Generation

Hindriks developed Jobbatical not in Silicon Valley for New York but in Tallinn, Estonia. (Photo via Shutterstock)

A connected world and periods of economic upheaval have redefined the aspirations of an entire generatiom. The Millennials are now seeking new ways of working and living interesting lives. The traditional global nerve centers are being augmented by a long lineup of cities working to attract fresh waves of modern talent. Individuals in far corners of the earth are creating products that impact billions of people. Jobbatical is a company started in Estonia which enables this trend to expand further.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Global Tech Startup Culture

Lebanon’s Unlikely Hydroponic Farmer Wants to Change Local Agriculture

Pictured from Left to Right: Christian Sakr, Mahmoud Hossari, Ali Makhzoum, Ali Awad, and Celine Sakr.

Ali Makhzoum thinks his hydroponic farming system can increase farmers’ yields, decrease the labor needed to harvest and reduce the water requirements by up to 90 percent. His Life Labs systems, developed in Beirut, are automated, self-contained, and, Makhzoum hopes, “smart”--with the ability to govern themselves.   More

Analytics & Data Global Tech Society

Artificial Intelligence Catches Fire in Ethiopia

Young Ethiopian with robot whose AI software was created in his country. (courtesy iCog Labs)

Ethiopian artificial intelligence R&D is on fire. The driver for this unexpected sector is the government’s massive multi-billion dollar, industrial plan and fervent development of higher education. At the hub is an AI group, iCog Labs, co-founded in 2012 by a young Ethiopian roboticist, Getnet Aseffa Gezaw, and an American AI pioneer, Ben Goertzel. With twenty five Ethiopian software engineers, iCog pursues full-on ‘Strong Intelligence.’   More

Global Tech

Staunch Syria Enclave Holds Off ISIL—And Finds Support Online

Socialist activists demonstrate support for Rojava / via Allt åt Alla Malmö

In northern Syria, along the Turkish border, has emerged a de facto autonomous region known as Rojava. The enclave is engaged in a brave and for the time being successful fight for self-governance and independence against considerable odds. Many of its best soldiers fight in all-female battalions. Meanwhile, supporters of the region’s socialist-feminist ideology are working to help them with a new Indiegogo campaign. Rojava's population is roughly the same as San Francisco, and comprised of a Kurdish majority along with Arabs, Chechens, Armenians, and other ethnic groups. After declaring autonomy from Syria in November 2013, Rojava established a political system built on principles of direct democracy and gender equality, and has drawn comparisons to revolutionary Catalonia in the Spanish Civil War.   More

Global Tech

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Facebook?!

Image via jbor / Shutterstock

Facebook’s plan to provide Internet access to the roughly 10 percent of the Earth’s population that lives too far from cell towers or landlines to get online is moving forward. Or, more accurately, upward. The company released more details last week about how exactly they’re hoping to make the plan a reality. One key component: drones, solar-powered and with the wingspan of a Boeing 737, nearly 100 feet from wingtip to wingtip.   More

Global Tech Startup Culture

Forget Bubble Talk—Beirut Tech Is Accelerating

(Image via Shutterstock)

Recently called "the Silicon Valley of the Middle East" by CNN, and "the Middle East’s Tech Hub" by TechCrunch, Beirut’s tech scene is the darling of international media of late. (Though Techonomy first wrote about it over two years ago.) The tech scene here has turned a corner, going from fledgling to now officially on the map. Among the reasons: the launch of various funds that will bring over $100 million in investments to Lebanon’s startup economy over the next five years, and the ongoing efforts of Lebanon’s Central Bank to decrease the risk of investing in startups. But now three new companies that specifically aim to foster tech startups are setting up. Two of them are accelerators, and one will invest and nurture slightly more mature companies. In a city of 2.2 million, some are wondering, is this a bubble? And if so, when will it burst?   More

Global Tech Opinion

Google’s Fail of a Ramadan App

(Image via Google Arabia)

Earlier this month Google launched a “Ramadan Companion App.” As a Muslim who works in marketing strategy and social media, who has consulted on a number of Muslim-focused marketing projects, this seemed to me like it could be an exciting development. As far as I know, Google has not previously reached out specifically to the global Muslim community. I love apps and I’m always excited to see what’s new and hot and cool. Plus Ramadan was starting. Initial response to Google's app on Facebook was positive and there was a bunch of “attaboy’ing” on community posts saying, "Oh look, Google’s finally paying attention to Muslims." Sad to say, this euphoria was short lived.   More

Global Tech Government Partner Insights

A Critical Moment for the Future of the Internet

(Image via Shutterstock)

The Internet, the greatest invention of our generation—several generations in fact—is in many ways a reflection of the American Dream. It’s vast and open, unlimited in its potential reach. It’s inclusive and welcoming. Anyone can be part of it and make a difference. The fastest growing part of the global economy is Internet-based, and the Internet accounts for a significant and growing portion of global GDP. According to Boston Consulting Group, the Internet is contributing up to 8 percent of GDP in some economies, powering growth and creating jobs. You’d be correct in arguing it’s an American-made innovation. We can trace the roots of the Internet back some 50 years to a U.S. Defense Department research program. But as the Internet has expanded globally, it’s become increasingly clear that one government cannot lay claim to it. The Internet is a worldwide resource. It belongs to everyone.   More

Global Tech Government Partner Insights

Towards a Truly Global Single Digital Market

(Image via Shutterstock)

Europe is in the midst of a messy negotiation on how to build a single digital market—putting all 28 members of the EU under one set of rules. The potential benefits are clear: consumers will gain access to new services, regulations can be made more consistent and growth enhanced by market norms. According to one study, such efficiencies could give the region an estimated $400 billion economic boost in the first year alone. But the ambitions of Brussels policymakers are too small. A single European digital market should be just the first step in the creation of an open global digital market that will allow companies and individuals everywhere to continue to exploit the Internet’s potential.   More