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

Opinion Society

Unfazedly Optimistic Holiday Greetings!

Illustration by Clara Kirkpatrick

And so another year ends–with stunning speed and with surprising and slightly disturbing warmth here in New York. Techonomy wishes you happy and merry and a new year of continued optimism, despite the mood of the moment. Here are some thoughts about the kind of world we can collectively create, worth keeping in mind as a new year dawns amidst escalating short-sighted rhetoric and much distraction.   More

Opinion Security & Privacy Society

Are We Ready for Techno-Social Engineering?

The future of our personal data is in the hands of companies that author Morrison worries we cannot trust. (image courtesy Shutterstock)

Companies like Facebook and Google are developing new technologies to mine our data, to assess who we are and what we want, and – to hear the Internet giants tell it – deliver elegantly tailored experiences that help us better understand and interact with the world around us. David Lazer, an authority on social networks at Northeastern University, refers to it as the rise of the social algorithm and says it's an epic paradigm shift fraught with social and policy implications. Cardozo School of Law’s Brett Frischmann calls it techno-social engineering.   More

Opinion Society

How We Re-Humanized Our Planet (A look back from 2065)

Simone Ross onstage at TE15. She co-wrote this essay to illustrate how tech might help in "Rehumanizing Society," which was the conference theme.

"Towards the end of 2015, our world was in turmoil. Instability, fear, and anxiety dominated the global dialogue," this essay begins. But from there it imagines what that world might look like if all the potential we at Techonomy see in tech were to become realized in the next fifty years. It's an only somewhat whimsical vision, meant to be inspiring and reassuring. It's why we remain resolute optimists.   More

Business Opinion

How to Succeed at Crowdsourcing Innovation

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Vigilant business leaders fear becoming irrelevant. We must encourage our employees to want to innovate – not because they are under threat, but because they are eager to be engaged. Much of an organization’s best innovation is driven by ideas that come bottom-up, originating from the grassroots. How can leaders effectively crowdsource innovation?   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 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

Business Opinion

My Advice to Jack Dorsey

Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com

What is the future of Twitter? With the departure of former CEO Dick Costolo and recent declines in the company's stock valuation, many users and investors are asking. Co-founder and now interim CEO Jack Dorsey is right to focus on the mass market now that the service so successfully has leaders like journalists and politicians on board. He seems to recognize that the dynamics of what drives these audiences are different. Yet Twitter’s power to create more influencers every day is a powerful basis upon which to build, in a culture where everyone has the potential to give voice to their thoughts. Tapping into this desire as a means to pull the mainstream, intelligently and responsibly, is not just a smart move but a necessary one as the world navigates an always-on sharing culture.   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

Bio & Life Sciences Opinion

Why It’s So Hard for Americans to Talk About Science

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Talking about science is a lot harder than it should be. We talk all the time about things we don’t fully understand: the polar vortex, how footballs can get underinflated during games, why the Kardashians still get so much attention. We’re not experts in these areas, but we’re happy to weigh in with theories and opinions. But when it comes to scientific topics, both scientists and lay people hide behind the excuse that the general public in this country simply doesn’t have the education to process such complex information.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare Opinion

Obama’s Not-So-Daring Precision Medicine Plan

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For all the attention that President Obama’s precision medicine initiative has garnered in the weeks since he first mentioned it in his State of the Union address, you’d think the program was the next version of the Human Genome Project. But unlike that effort, which was a wildly audacious push to revolutionize biology and medicine, the modest new initiative—and its $215 million price tag—seems downright underwhelming.   More

Global Tech Opinion Techonomy Events

The Internet Is Not the Answer

Andrew Keen, Internet entrepreneur and author of several books about technology including "Digital Vergito" and, most recently, "The Internet Is Not the Answer," spoke at our Sept. 16 Techonomy Detroit conference about his belief that tech companies seek profits under the misleading guise of doing social good.   More

Global Tech Government Opinion

European Legislators Face “Data Secessionism”

The key players in the public and private sector are now working to protect their interests in a world that is shifting from government to “Googlement”—driven by the unprecedented ability of companies to gather, store, and evaluate vast amounts of personal data. Adding to the challenge will be unabated progress on more invasive technologies such as biometrics, household robotics, smart homes, and connected cars, coupled with widespread adoption of cloud computing. Even overconfident U.S. tech titans must concede that Europe is in the pole position to shape this process and that the Old Continent’s success or failure will reverberate around the world.   More

Media & Marketing Opinion Techonomy Events

Risky Marketing

Techonomy 2013 - Tucson, AZ

The Techonomy 2013 session "Smart Media: Waste Not, Want Not" brought together marketing professionals from firms as diverse as Glam Media and YP (formerly Yellow Pages). They discussed how to make targeted advertising desirable by accurately assessing what people want and avoiding offending them. Alison Lowery, chief technology officer for Simulmedia, related how one consumer’s personal feedback to Jeff Bezos regarding her offense at receiving an ad for a “sensitive” product caused Amazon to rethink its ad strategy.   More

Media & Marketing Opinion

Why Bezos Should Buy the L.A. Times

Jeff Bezos via Niall Kennedy.

In the wake of Jeff Bezos’s purchase of The Washington Post, he would do the journalism business a big favor by cutting a similar deal for The Los Angeles Times. And while he's at it, the Amazon multi-billionaire should snap up the seven other newspapers owned by the Times' parent, the Tribune Company. They include The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Hartford Courant, and The Orlando Sentinel. Since the Tribune Company emerged from bankruptcy last December 31, it has signaled its plans to either spin off or sell the newspaper part of its media empire. Bezos could quickly flesh out his news and information universe.   More

Media & Marketing Opinion

How Much Will Bezos Disrupt the Post?

Earns Washington Post

The best news for the ailing news business in a long time is Jeff Bezos's $250 million purchase of The Washington Post. Those who entertain the knee-jerk reaction that this acquisition of a legacy media operation is simply Bezos laying down dead presidents for “a billionaire's bauble” are sorely mistaken. The news and information economy desperately needs disrupters and innovators of Steve Jobs-like ambitions, and who else but Bezos fits that description? The Amazon founder wouldn't have opened his checkbook if he himself didn't think he was that guy.   More

Opinion

Mobile Is a Fundamental Sea Change for All Businesses

(Image via Shutterstock)

One of my favorite pundits for decades has been Bill Gurley, a partner at Benchmark Capital in Silicon Valley. Gurley recently penned this authoritative article on the many reasons why those who miss the transition to apps may miss the next generation of users. This is not the next generation of web/mobile/Internet users. This is the next generation of customers—period. The App economy is global, it is ubiquitous, and it is growing with astonishing speed, as he notes. Gurley's long background as a PC security analyst, author, conference organizer, and for the last decade or so venture investor position him uniquely. His perspective is essential.   More

Learning Opinion

Every Classroom Needs a Camera, and Here’s Why

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Let’s imagine every classroom installed a camera (and software) that could record, store, and manage the lecture and materials so they were available to students anytime and anywhere on any device. What improvements would that bring? The universities and colleges that have done just that using Echo360’s edutech software (in which my firm, Revolution Growth, is an investor) have improved student outcomes and instructor efficiency. More students pass the class, and with higher grades. Fewer teachers are required for entry-level classes, and valuable time is spent on more personalized instruction.   More

Government Opinion

Did Obama Just Destroy the U.S. Internet Industry?

Photo: President Barack Obama talks with Michael Froman, then NSA deputy for international and economic affairs, during a working dinner at the G8 Summit, June 25, 2010. (White House/Flickr)

News about the National Security Agency's PRISM program and its privileged access to internal user data at nine U.S. Internet companies has unleashed a torrent of justified anger and hand-wringing. But the worries do not go far enough. Almost everybody is still looking at this through a narrow domestic lens. Our values and goals may be more challenged than you think.   More